With their armies still locked in a standoff, the KRG and Baghdad are fighting political battles – over territory, power, and oil – that risk escalating into armed conflict.

In disputed territories, a thin line between politics and violence

In disputed territories, a thin line between politics and violence
A local journalist poses a Kurdish peshmerga fighter for a photograph in Duz, south of Erbil. (KAMARAN NAJM/Metrography/Iraq Oil Report)

While leaders in Erbil and Baghdad continue to fire salvos this week in an ongoing war of words, two very real armies are still facing off in Iraq's disputed territories, a thick band of land that runs between the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and southern Iraq.Months after Iraqi and Kurdish forces dug into battle lines that they have not left, tensions remain high.On Wednesday, in the small town of Tuz Khurmatu, 80 kilometers south of Kirkuk, a suicide bomber walked into a packed mos...

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