KURDS SEIZE KIRKUK! I WAS THERE IN DECEMBER AND IT FELT LIKE A TINDER BOX…and NOW?

Iraq

The Kurds seizing Kirkuk is a very bad sign — a sign things are getting explosive!

In December I traveled with Reverend Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse to Iraq.  We went to  a Syrian refugee camp inside Iraq and we also traveled to Kirkuk and beyond.   (You saw our special about our trip on Fox Files.)

In addition to the refugee camps, we also met with the President of Kurdistan.  Kurdistan is like a state within Iraq but with more autonomy that you think of with a state.  The people of Kurdistan LOVE Americans.  They are the population so grateful to our US Military.  Saddam Hussein terrorized them — remember how he killed them with chemical weapons in the late 80′s?  They hated him and love us for liberating them from him.

While my memory is a big foggy on all the details, at the time of our meeting the President of Kurdistan was feuding with Baghdad — a feud that had been going for some time.  The feud was over oil and money.  The oil is in Kurdistan.

I can’t remember the right numbers, but I think Kurdistan is supposed to turn over all the oil revenue to Baghdad and Baghdad is then supposed to return 17% of the revenue to Kurdistan but the President of Kurdistan was complaining to us that Kurdistan was getting cheated – getting a number much less (10%?).  He was clearly unhappy. 

The feud gets more complicated and dangerous when you fold into the picture that Turkey is involved.  Turkey gets its oil from Iraq (Kurdistan) and it also has a huge Kurdish population and is forever worried that the Kurdish population within Turkey will declare its independence (secede) from the rest of Turkey.  

Meanwhile…Turkey has political unrest.  The Turkish government in the last few years has not only grown unhappy with the Obama Administration which means we have little influence to put the lid on simmering problems, but it has begun to clamp down on rights and social media.  

In short….this is a mess… 

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