The ef­fect of ISIS on the Kur­dish econ­omy

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Swara Kadir

There is a fa­mous say­ing in Ara­bic which trans­lated says: the calamity of a na­tion is the pros­per­ity of an­other. This say­ing rings true of what's hap­pen­ing right now in the Kur­dis­tan and Iraq re­gion.

ral pun­ish­ment of be­head­ings and am­pu­ta­tions. The Cen­tral Iraqi govern­ment led by Noori Al Malaki, to­gether with its dis­in­te­grat­ing Iraqi army that the U.S spent over 25 bil­lion dol­lars on couldn't hold back the Sunni tide.

What's all this got to do with the Kur­dish econ­omy in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion? Well, if there was such a thing as luck, you could call it an eco­nom­i­cally lucky win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for the Kurds to ex­pand and cre­ate a pow­er­ful econ­omy.

Since the cut­ting off of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion's share of the Iraqi petrodol­lar which is over ten bil­lion US dol­lars per an­num, the Kur­dis­tan econ­omy has al­most reached a grind­ing halt with de­plet­ing money sup­plies. The mas­sive wel­fare state of over a mil­lion wages paid by the govern­ment has been fi­nan­cially af­fected. And the strate­gic in­fra­struc­ture projects have been halted.

The so­lu­tion that the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (K.R.G) came up with was the di­rect sell­ing of crude oil via Turkey. This was a dar­ing move by the K.R.G which caused a lot of re­sent­ment from Noori- Al- Ma­liki. The Iraqi govern­ment ini­ti­ated a law­suit of 250 mil­lion dol­lar com­pen­sa­tion against the Turk­ish govern­ment for the ap­par­ent 'smug­gling' of the crude oil via oil tankers.

This seems to have taken a de­ci­sive turn with the ISIS coup in Mo­sul. AlMalaki is now in a weak­ened po­si­tion and is in need of Kur­dish co­op­er­a­tion to re­solve this na­tional cri­sis. Now the K.R.G is in a stronger po­si­tion to con­tinue its am­bi­tious ven­ture of ex­port­ing crude oil. It is bring­ing Kur­dis­tan a step closer to­wards gen­er­at­ing its own na­tional source of in­come and eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence.

The ic­ing on the cake is that the oil rich, con­tested city of Kirkuk is now in the pro­ces­sor of be­ing ab­sorbed back into the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion since the with­drawal of the Iraqi forces which cre­ated a vac­uum for the Pesh­marga (Kur­dish armed forces) to move in and take con­trol. If this ab­sorp­tion of Kirkuk be­comes per­ma­nent the en­larged Kur­dis­tan re­gion would have over 60 bil­lion oil bar­rels in un­der­ground re­serves mak­ing it a key oil econ­omy in the world.

While at the out­set, the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion with the spread of Sunni fa­nat­ics may look gloomy, but what will fol­low is a golden eco­nom­i­cal age for Kur­dis­tan with the in­creas­ingly em­i­nent prospect of Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence that will give Kur­dis­tan the free­dom it needs to sell its own oil.

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