" ... the Iraqi military announced that elite units had been "re-deployed" at the K1 base, about 5km (3 miles) north-west of the city of Kirkuk, and that other troops had taken control of the nearby Leylan area, the Baba Gurgur oilfield, and the headquarters of the North Oil Company.
The military also said troops had taken control of a military airport, police station, power plant and several industrial areas, as well as key bridges, roads, junctions.
The Kurdistan Region Security Council accused Baghdad of launching an "unprovoked attack" and said the Peshmerga would "continue to defend Kurdistan, its peoples and interests".
Peshmerga had destroyed five US-made Humvees used by the Popular Mobilisation, a paramilitary force dominated by Iran-backed Shia militias, it added." BBC
Iraq was created as a by-product of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War One (1914-1918). The present territory of Iraq had been ruled by the Ottoman Turks for several hundred years. At Versailles the British were given what is now Iraq as a "mandatory territory" with the intention that the area be made independent at some point in the future. Britain decided to cobble together something called the "Kingdom of Iraq" in this mandatory area. There was no Iraqi People when this state was created. There was no group that thought of itself as Iraqi. There were a number of distinct populations that had little in common; Arab Sunni Muslims, Arab Shia Muslims, Kurdish Sunni Muslims, Kurdish Shia Muslims, Kurdish Yaziidis, Turcomans, Assyrian Christians, Chaldean Christians and Jews. None of these groups particularly liked each other. Nor did they like the Hashemite prince that the British installed as their king.
Soon after Iraqi independence was granted in 1925 revolts against the central government's authority began. Kurdish revolts, Arab Revolts, etc. Kurdish and Arab revolts had actually begun before 1925 in the period of direct British rule. The British had actually exiled the Barzani of the day to India. The Kurds of NE Iraq have been more or less in some form of revolt since 1925. There have been periods when either the Talabani or Barzani Kurds have formed temporary alliances with the Baghdad government usually in an effort to screw the other major Kurdish faction but in general the pattern of resistance to Arab rule has been persistent.
The history of the State of Iraq from 1925 until the destruction of the state by the US in 2003 was characterized by a continual effort by the various Baghdad government to create an Iraqi national identity that subsumed the various groups that had happened to be in what became Iraq's sovereign territory. IMO the emergence of Iraqi Man was still a work in progress when US invasion halted the process.
A new Iraqi state emerged under US occupation and covert Iranian tutelage. This state is dominated by Shia Arabs. IMO if a choice must be made in the future between the US as a sponsor or Iran the Shia government will turn away from the US and face east. The Borgists believe that the US should have refused to withdraw its forces from Iraq and that the US will be able to refuse a future Iraqi demand for US withdrawal. It is a big mistake to think the US could do that. A refusal would inevitably lead to another country wide guerrila rebellion against the US.
In the present circumstance the US has encouraged both the KRG and the Baghdad government to think that it is our one true love. Since these two historic actors have mutually exclusive and deeply held goals and desires, that was a very foolish thing for the US to do.
Will there be a secessionist war? Probably there will be such a war. The oil in the north of Iraq certainly exacerbates the crisis since the new Kurdish state would need the income to survive.
As Churchill said. "just one damned thing after another." pl