Power struggle in Kurdish region of Iraq raises questions - analysis

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Power struggle in Kurdish region of Iraq raises questions - analysis
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan has played a key role in the Kurdish struggle for decades but also has often been at odds with the other major Kurdish party, the Kurdistan Democracy Party.
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
JULY 18, 2021

Iraq is facing numerous crises this year, from pro-Iranian militia attacks on US forces, continuing ISIS attacks and now a relatively minor, but potentially important, power struggle among a political party in the Kurdistan region. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is the second-largest political party in the autonomous Kurdish region. It has played a key role in the Kurdish struggle for decades but also has often been at odds with the other major Kurdish party, the Kurdistan Democracy Party. The PUK now appears to be rocked by an internal struggle between key figures, Bafel Talabani and Lahur Talabani.

For years, the PUK has appeared to have internal struggles and the area the PUK runs, called Sulimaniyeh and its surrounding governorate, has seen protests and crackdowns. Furthermore, the city and region of Kirkuk, once a PUK stronghold, was taken from the Kurdish region by Iraqi forces and pro-Iran militias in October 2017 in the wake of a Kurdish independence referendum. At the time, key figures in the PUK, recovering from the loss of famed PUK leader Jalal Talabani, agreed to a deal with Baghdad and Iranian interlocutors such as Qasem Soleimani. Among those who were involved in that deal was Bafel Talabani.

more............ https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/p...gion-of-iraq-raises-questions-analysis-674152
 
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