Iraqi Kurdistan functions as a state in all but name - despite facing terror from ISIS and political pressure from Baghdad (photo: dpa)

The rise of the Kurds could define new shape of Middle East

The war with ISIS has given Iraqi Kurdistan the opportunity to demonstrate its strength, order and cohesiveness. What the Kurds have achieved in Iraq is permanent. Iraqi Kurdistan will never again be subservient to Baghdad. This leaves not only Iraq, but the government of Turkey concerned about what a new Kurdish political entity might mean.

2015 COULD witness the birth of a globally recognised and economically independent Iraqi Kurdistan.

This would see Kurdistan as the first of the Middle East countries to redraw the Middle East map since the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement and the League of Nations mandate in the early 1920s.

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Professor Dr. Amatzia Baram
A paradoxical result of the ISIS offensive has been that, under its military pressure, negotiations between the Kurds and the new Baghdad central government have become more productive than before. It may be said that the presence of ISIS has been a major benefit to the KRG
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