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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.
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.

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