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More Trouble in Iraqi Kurdistan


More than a year ago, I reported how former students—refugees from Kirkuk—were being expelled from government land by the Talabani family’s personal company. Qubad responded that this was not true, even though the (now homeless) family had the papers to prove it. Indeed, Qubad, who had no interest in seeing the eviction notice, insisted that such things could not happen in Iraqi Kurdistan because rule-of-law would prevent it. Well, now it seems that Talabani and the PUK have, in a method eerily reminiscent of how Saddam Hussein governed, begun offering state land—perhaps some of the land confiscated from refugees—to artists whom Talabani favors.

Meanwhile, Kurdish security in Sulaymani round up a death squad allegedly seeking to murder the editor of an independent Kurdish newspaper which has been critical of corruption and abuse off power by the Kurdish leaders. This is interesting, as it appears that the ‘hit’ was ordered by the head of KDP intelligence, Masrour Barzani, but busted by PUK security, in which Talabani’s older son Bafil plays a lead role.


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