Kurdistan: Iraq’s Unknown Dictatorship, with Kamal Chomani

The Game of Thrones politics of Kurdistan is fascinating and neglected, involving family and tribal dictators, international intrigue from the likes of Turkey, Iran and Israel, and the elusive PKK.

Rania Khalek spoke with Kamal Chomani, a political analyst from Iraqi Kurdistan. They discussed the nuances of the political parties that make up the leadership in Iraqi Kurdistan, their relationship to the Iraqi government and its neighbors, the plight of the Yazidis, the Kurdish issue in other parts of the Middle East and more.

TIME CODES:

0:00 Intro
2:03 What is the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)?
7:10 Family dictatorship: Barzani’s KDP in Erbil vs Talabani’s PUK in Sulaimaniya
13:44 Repression and arrests of activists and journalists
15:03 Are there opposition movements to the regimes in Iraqi Kurdistan?
23:31 Is there free media in the Kurdistan region?
37:08 What is the main cause of tension between Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan and the central government in Baghdad? 43:20 Expectations for Iraq’s upcoming elections
48:35 What is the KRG’s reaction to the US ending its combat role in Iraq?
53:38 The KRG’s betrayal of the Yazidis and ongoing repression of their right to return home
1:01:54 PKK and PMF cooperation in Sinjar
1:06:27 Rania’s electricity goes out (again)
1:07:54 Is the YPG’s Mazloum Kobani the most popular leader among Kurds today?
1:12:29 The PKK’s alliance with the US in Syria
1:21:00 Why does Turkey have 30 military bases in northern Iraq?
1:27:14 Is there a solution for Iraq that creates greater unity and integration?
1:30:10 Kurds have grievances in Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Do they dream of unity? What are practical solutions for the Kurdish issue?
1:36:30 Where to follow Kamal’s work

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