Shootout between ‘allies’ underscores Iraq divisions

In Tuz Khurmatu, a gun battle between Shia militia and Kurdish fighters – nominal partners in the fight against IS militants – highlights the ethnic and sectarian tensions pulling northern Iraq apart.
Shootout between ‘allies’ underscores Iraq divisions
Shia militiamen brandish their weapons in the town of Tuz Khurmatu on Aug. 31, 2014. (STRINGER/Reuters)

TUZ KHURMATU - Ethnic and sectarian tensions are approaching a breaking point in the volatile northern city of Tuz Khurmatu, following an Oct. 3 gun battle between Shia militia and Kurdish fighters.

The shootout, which injured at least four people, highlighted not only a rivalry between Kurds and Shia, but also the widespread mistrust and mistreatment of Sunnis. It was another worrying sign that violence and sectarianism will continue to plague Iraq even after the extremist militants of the so-called Islamic State (IS) are dislodged from the country.

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.