Iraq crisis: Kurds pin hopes on an oil-rich future

July 7, 2014

Iraqi Kurds have already governed their territory, a land of wheat fields and rugged mountains that extends from Iraq's northern and western border with Turkey to the Iranian border in the east, for more than two decades. They have overseen a construction boom, built an oil industry and maintained security, even as fresh turmoil has racked much of the rest of the country.

Yesterday, as Iraqi forces continued to try to oust insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) out of Tikrit, part of the larger battle against the gains made by Isis in recent weeks, Kurds are also seeking to tighten their grip over the territory.

In the contested oil-rich region of Kirkuk, Iraq's Kurdish minority has been steadily consolidating control for weeks. On the southern edge of the province, in an area once secured by central government forces, Kurdish soldiers are reinforcing a shaky border separating them from their new southern neighbours, the Sunni militants of Isis.

Copyright, the Independent, 2014.