In a region beset with conflict, the relatively prosperous Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Iraq has more than ruffled feathers by deciding to sell oil and natural gas directly to Turkey. It's a move that has infuriated Washington and Iraq's central government in Baghdad. Both fear that oil independence could lead Kurds to split from Iraq.
Is Kurdistan's separation from Iraq bound to happen? And what kind of impact would it have on neighbouring countries' Kurdish populations? Denise Natali, an American specialist on Kurdistan from the National Defense University in Washington, gives us her thoughts on the issue.