Don't miss




New revelations on the role of the French army in the 1960's war in Cameroon

Read more


South Africa : Students injured in clashes with police

Read more


#BadHombres and #NastyWomen

Read more


Trump's talk of rigging : what lasting damage to democracy? (part 2)

Read more


Trump's talk of rigging : what lasting damage to democracy? (part 1)

Read more


Sheltered from the storm? How the UK economy is faring four months post-Brexit

Read more


German authorities struggle with radical Salafist preachers

Read more


DJ duo The Chainsmokers on success, singing and viral videos

Read more


Race to the White House: Trump's family continue to support him

Read more

Middle East

Video: Kurds consolidate autonomy amid Iraq crisis

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-20

A jihadist offensive in northern Iraq has humiliated and hurt the government in Baghdad, but it has strengthened the position of Kurds who have long dreamed of independence. FRANCE 24 was on the ground as the Kurdish regional government was formed.

After nine months of negotiations, Kurdish political parties formed a regional government on Friday, an important first step in securing greater autonomy and concessions from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

There are longstanding differences between Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq and the central Baghdad administration, but the sudden and massive advance by the jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria, also known as ISIL) has given the Kurds the upper hand.

When the Iraqi army fled from the jihadists, the Kurdish military forces, known as the Peshmerga, deployed to confront the rebels.

Last week the Peshmerga took control of the oil fields near Kirkuk and Mosul that the Iraqi army had abandoned.

Oil key to independence

Oil may prove to be the key to future negotiations between the Kurds and Maliki’s government. The Kurds have already succeeded in unilaterally exporting oil to neighbouring Turkey.

Experts say it will be fairly easy to re-open and begin exporting the oil from the Kirkuk and Mosul fields, and significantly boost reserves and funds for the Kurdish Regional Government.

If Kurdish politicians are still reluctant to talk openly about independence, much of the population is eagerly awaiting that long-awaited day.

To watch FRANCE 24’s full report from the autonomous region of Kurdistan click on the player above.

Date created : 2014-06-20

  • IRAQ - USA

    Obama ready to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Video: Iraq’s Kurdish fighters ready 'to face death' against jihadists

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Islamists seize most of main Iraqi oil refinery at Baiji

    Read more