The decision by Sunnis and Kurds to walk out of Iraqi’s Parliament Tuesday has some regional officials thinking the country is inching closer to splitting along sectarian lines.
Fox News National Security Anaylst KT McFarland spoke to Stephen Lari about the Kurdish perspective to the increased threat by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). His company, the Claremont Group, has been working with the Kurds in the country’s northeast, developing several infrastructure and commercial projects.
Lari says the Kurdish region “represents the most stable, pro-U.S. component of Iraq.” He points out the ground situation is “very safe” and the local population is “pro-Western.”
The rapid movement by ISIS in recent weeks, however, is causing concern among the Kurds.
“That situation has made things more difficult,” said Lari. “There is a large humanitarian issue with tens of thousands fleeing to a safe haven in Kurdistan.”
He suggests the Kurds might be moving closer to declaring an independent state. Critics, however, disagree, believing Kurdistan could not support itself.
Lari points out Iraqi Kurdistan has been a “de-facto nation” already since the establishment of no-fly zones after the first Gulf War.
“They have managed their economy, their [internal] relations in every way with little impact from Baghdad,” said Lari. “A lot of what you think you’d need for a sustainable nation is certainly there – they have been doing it [already].”
He added, “they are a democratically elected, inclusive government [which] is exactly what we aspire for the region – they are the model.”