Escalating PKK war raises threat of intra-Kurdish conflict

For over two decades, rival Kurdish powers have sworn to avoid civil war — but deadly fighting has strained an informal truce to its breaking point.
Escalating PKK war raises threat of intra-Kurdish conflict
Kurdish Zerevani soldiers march to a forward position near the village of Badana Gawra on the Khazir front line during the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State militant group, Oct. 17, 2016. (PATRICK OSGOOD/Iraq Oil Report)

SULAIMANIYA/ERBIL - Deadly conflict between the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the dominant ruling party of Iraqi Kurdistan is threatening to shatter an informal truce that has largely kept the peace between the rival Kurdish groups for more than two decades.

If it escalates further, the renewed violence could destabilize both the political and security dynamics of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and put oil fields and exports at risk.

This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.
If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial.
Iraq Oil Report Attribution Policy

All sources quoted or referenced spoke to Iraq Oil Report directly and exclusively, unless stated otherwise. Iraq Oil Report typically grants anonymity to sources that can't speak without risking their personal safety or job security. We only publish information from anonymous sources that we independently corroborate and are important to core elements of the story. We do not provide anonymity to sources whose purpose is to further personal or political agendas.

Iraq Oil Report Commitment to Independence

Iraq Oil Report strives to provide thoroughly vetted reporting and fair-minded analysis that enables readers to understand the dynamic events of Iraq. To meet this goal, we always seek to gather first-hand information on the ground, verify facts from multiple angles, and solicit input from every stakeholder involved in a given story.

We view our independence as an integral piece of our competitive advantage. Whereas many media entities in Iraq are owned or heavily influenced by political parties, Iraq Oil Report is wholly owned by several of its employees. In a landscape that is often polarized and politicized, we are able to gather and corroborate information from an unusually wide array of sources because we can speak with all of them in good faith.

To fund this enterprise, Iraq Oil Report depends on revenue from both advertising and subscriptions. Some of our advertisers and subscribers ‐ including companies, governments, and NGOs ‐ are also subjects of our reporting. Consistent with journalistic best practices, Iraq Oil Report maintains a strict firewall that removes business considerations from editorial decision-making. When we are choosing which stories to report and how to write them, our readers always come first.