September 16, 2004


Kurds Flooding Back Into Northern Iraq: Kurdish Exiles Pour Back Into Northern Iraq City They Once Fled, Trying to Reclaim Region (The Associated Press, Sept. 16, 2004)

Kurds are on the move again in northern Iraq but this time they're not fleeing. As many as 500 Kurds a day streamed into Kirkuk last month in a land rush that took city officials and U.S. troops by surprise. The influx, which has slowed in September, leaves the nascent city government struggling to cope with dozens of refugee camps on once vacant patches of ground. [...]

If they keep coming, this city of 750,000 could have 100,000 new residents before the first elections since Saddam was ousted last year, officials here say.

The Kurds' return is viewed with alarm by those who fear an independent Kurdish state, among them Iraqi Arabs and surrounding countries with Kurdish minorities, especially Turkey, said U.S. Army Col. Lloyd Miles, who commands the Kirkuk-based brigade.

"They don't want the Kurds to get control of the oil here," said Miles. "Then they will have a source of income for an independent state."

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 16, 2004 4:51 PM
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