The separatist Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has de-facto declared a surrender in the ongoing standoff against the Iraqi Federal Government, promised to “freeze the results of [independence] referendum”, and asked for “an open dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi Federal Government on the basis of the Consititution.”
On September 25, the KRG held an independence referendum an area controlled by its military forces in northern Iraq, including a number of areas that are not a part of the Kurdish autonomous region like the oil-rich province of Kirkuk. KRG President Masoud Barzani and its regional government were seeking to use the referendum to turn a large part of nonrthern Iraq into an independent Kurdish state and rejecting any attempts of the Federal Government to establish a dialogue within the Iraqi Constitution.
On October 16, the Iraqi Army, the Federal Police and the Counter-Terrorism Service, supported by local members of the Popular Mobilization Units, launched a limited security operation to re-gain contested areas from the KRG. The KRG’s military force, the Peshmerga, showed its inability to counter even this limited effort and lost Kirkuk city, its oil-rich countryside as well as many areas across northern Iraq.
On October 24, the Department of Foreign Relations of the KRG released a statement suggesting the Federal Government next points:
1. Immediate ceasefire and halt all military operations in the Kurdistan Region.
2. Freeze the results of referendum conducted in the Iraqi Kurdistan.
3. Start an open dialogue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi Federal Government on the basis of the Consititution.
The statement argues that “continued fighting does not lead any side to victory, but it will drive the country towards disarray and chaos, affecting all aspects of life.” However, it’s clear who was the initiator and losing side of the observed conflict.