Hawija offensive hamstrung by Baghdad-Erbil mistrust

12 Sep 2017   Iraq

Political tensions arising from Kurdistan’s upcoming independence referendum are complicating an impending offensive to dislodge the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militant group from one of its last strongholds in Iraq. Kurdish leaders have grown alarmed in recent weeks as federal Iraqi troops have deployed for an attack on Hawija, which is west of Kirkuk – and near large oil fields at the heart of long-standing disagreements over how to draw Kurdistan’s southern border.

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