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Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to step down, ending independence bid



Masoud Barzani

The Kurdish bid for independence is essentially over as Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani will resign from his post effective November 1st. The referendum for independence that he championed passed last month but prompted severe backlash from the Iraqi and Iranian governments.

Even his resignation was met with turmoil as armed protesters stormed the Kurdish parliament as they met to approve their leader’s resignation.

“I am the same Masoud Barzani, I am a Peshmerga and will continue to help my people in their struggle for independence,” said Barzani.

23 of the 70 Kurdish MPs voted against accepting Barzani’s resignation.

The United States backed Iraq, Turkey, and other regional powers in opposition to the independence referendum.

My Take

This was an opportunity for the United States to back one of its most loyal allies in the Middle East. It was the Kurdish Peshmerga who aided us the most in the Gulf Wars. They’ve fought long and hard for their independence and we turned our back on them.

It was also a missed opportunity for President Trump who could have made a mark in the history books by backing the Kurds and helping them achieve independence. It wouldn’t have taken military or financial assistance; simple diplomacy would have been enough to give the Kurds a chance. Instead, the co-author of “The Art of the Deal” caved instantly to demands from anti-American regimes in Iran and Turkey.

Further Reading

Iraqi Kurds’ Independence Dreams Dashed as President Steps Down, Iraq—Masoud Barzani is to step down as president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region just a month after an independence referendum reversed years of political and military gains made by the Kurds and dashed their dreams of statehood.

Mr. Barzani “refused to remain” in office beyond Nov. 1, in a letter read to the Kurdish parliament on Sunday before a session to discuss how the president’s powers should be redistributed. He will continue to play a role in politics without holding any formal position, a member of…

Kurds Mark End of an Era as Masoud Barzani Stands Down Over Failed Independence Bid 71-year-old wrote a letter to the regional parliament on Sunday to inform lawmakers that he would end his presidency of the semi-autonomous region, which he has led since 2005.

“I refuse to continue in the position of president of the region after November 1,” the letter read according to a tweet by his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), one of the two major parties in Kurdish politics alongside the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Kurdish leader Barzani resigns after independence vote backfires | Reuters condemned the United States for failing to back the Kurds. “We tried to stop bloodshed but the Iraqi forces and Popular Mobilization Front (Shi‘ite militias) kept advancing, using U.S. weapons,” he said.

“Our people should now question, whether the U.S. was aware of Iraq’s attack and why they did not prevent it.”

Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food. He writes about food, politics, and cars for several publications and lives in northern California.

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