How you can tell you’re about to have a civil war

Patrick Burke – The Iraqi Kurd’s vote for independence in September 2017 sent shockwaves through the region. The day after the vote, the Iraqi military conducted a military exercise with Turkey. The government in Baghdad grounded international flights in and out of Kurdish Regional Government territory. And the Turkish government threatened to shut down the pipeline carrying oil from northern Iraq.

The Iraqi government recently launched a military offensive to retake the lucrative Kirkuk oil fields that the Kurds had won during their fight against Islamic State in 2014. The offensive largely has been bloodless. This was apparently due to political deals between the main Kurdish opposition party and the central government in Baghdad.

But the specter of yet another full-scale civil war hangs over Iraq. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanese Hezbollah, has been explicit in expressing worry about another war. “It will open the door to partition, partition, partition,” he said, referring to the referendum. “[P]artiton means taking the region to internal wars whose end and time frame is known only to God.”

The threat of civil war isn’t just a problem in the Middle East.

Source: The Roper Report

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