The Kurds May Seize the Moment to Break Free of Iraq
Their centuries-old dream of statehood is coming closer amid the chaos of war.
As Sunni fighters led by the jihadist group ISIS have pressed forward, capturing the Iraqi cities of Mosul, Tikrit, and Ramadi and encircling Baghdad, Iraq's Kurds have taken advantage of the chaos by expanding their territory and pushing for greater autonomy.
During the past month Sunni militants have spilled out of Syria, dissolved the Iraq-Syria border, and established an Islamic caliphate that straddles the two countries. The Iraqi army fled in the face of the Sunni advance, but Kurdish militia fighters repelled ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) at their borders. On June 12, Kurdish militias advanced, seizing oil-rich Kirkuk, a city at the edge of Kurdistan that Kurds claim as their own, but which the Baghdad-based government considers