The Iraqi cabinet has proposed cutting Kurdistan’s 2018 budget. The Kurds view this as continued retribution for the September 25 independence referendum. The cut, perhaps unintentionally, also reinforces the desire of many Kurds to breakaway. Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani offered to send Baghdad all oil, border, and airport revenues if the government raises Kurdistan share of the budget to its constitutionally guaranteed 17 percent. Kurdistan must legally receive a share equal to its population.
Separately, the Supreme Court ruled against secession by any province or area of Iraq. This not only hurts Kurdish aspirations but dampens independence hopes for other provinces and ethnic groups as well.
At least 502 people were killed, and one was wounded in recent violence:
In Fallujah, gunmen killed a boy and wounded a woman.
An explosion killed a militiaman as he was defusing bombs in Hawija.
Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Rashid al-Yarallah reported that at least 500 militants were killed during the liberation of Qaim.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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