What’s happening in Mosul and Raqqa is all related to this.
It is part of the counter-balance of Turkey against Iran.
By the fall of 2016 with IS on the ropes, the Kurdish Peshmerga had conquered tens of thousands of square kilometers outside of the official borders of the KRG in areas previously described as “disputed” between the KRG and the Iraqi central government.
For more than a decade after 2003 the Kurdish region had argued with Baghdad over which areas each would administer in various regions bordering the KRG.
These places must be under the influence of Turkey to prevent Iranian influence in this region.” Shortly after the war with IS began, Turkey increased its military presence in northern Iraq to include a military base near Bashiqa.
That base came to include several thousand mostly Sunni Arabs from Mosul, commanded by Atheel Nujaifi and Turkish advisors under the banner of a unit called Hashd al-Watani. Iraq’s government has threatened Turkey, but Turkey’s response has been to up the ante, threatening to involve itself in Tal Afar and Sinjar.
His elevated spirits were also due to the fact that the PMU, of which Badr is a central component, was about to receive official status as a national militia from the Iraqi parliament. Amri, who had played a key role in negotiations to end fighting with Kurds in Tuz Khurmatu in April 2016 between Shi’i and Kurdish forces, is a clear representation of Shi’i ascendency in the region.
“We have been an ally of Kurds for 40 years and we are the sons of this land,” he told reporters in April, 2016. As the leader of Badr, a component of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a friend of Qassem Soleimani, and once considered for the position of Iraqi Defense Minister, Amri’s relations with the Kurds in Tal Afar are symbolic of the new Iraq. These relations are also symbolic of the challenges facing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). offensive in 2007 to root out insurgents, and the subsequent withdrawal of U. forces had left the KRG on its own as a center of stability in a country lurching from crisis to crisis.
The KRG seeks to highlight its role in hosting Christian refugees and helping to liberate Sinjar and parts of Nineveh. It works with its own affiliated minority units, including Shabak, Kakei and Yazidi Peshmerga, and Christian groups such as the Nineveh Plains Forces, which are aligned with their own KDP affiliates or their own parties in Iraq. An Assyrian Peshmerga battalion named ‘the Leopards’ in late November 2016, as did a brigade of Arab Peshmerga from Rabiah. In the post-IS period, competition for minority loyalties in Sinjar and Nineveh will likely continue to increase.During that discussion, Barzani told Crocker that “Turkey is the counterbalance to Iran,” and Crocker told Barzani that a military confrontation would lead to Kurds “losing everything,” they had achieved.In the eight years since that meeting, concerns about Iranian involvement in Iraq have grown.Hundreds of thousands of men were mobilized to fight IS, after a brief existential crisis that saw the extremists on the doorstep of Erbil and Duhok.The leading Kurdish factions of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran set aside differences to fight the enemy.
The arrival of IS on the borders of the Kurdish region in June of 2014 postponed myriad problems that were bubbling to the surface and set back many advances in the region. The KRG, which had advertised itself as “the other Iraq,” had a new airport which opened in 2010 with one of the longest runways in the world (4,800 meters).