The calls by Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, for a referendum on Kurdish statehood, as well as Syrian Kurdish calls for autonomy have brought the question of Kurdish independence just at a time when the region is facing enormous turmoil. The Iraqi and Syrian Kurds have gained increasing international recognition for their efforts in combating ISIS and some observers conclude that the conditions for an independent Kurdistan have never been as favorable as they are now. But what are the prospects for a Kurdish nation state? And which positions do Western governments — particularly the US and Germany which are among the key international partners of the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds — take with regard to Kurdish independence?
This publication was first released on the website of our North America office in Washington.
Table of contents
- Introduction 7
- The development of Kurdish autonomy in Iraq and Syria 9
- Hopes for self-determination? 11
- Direct support from the US and Germany 12
- Statehood: so near, and yet so far 14
- Dim prospects for Kurdish statehood: Going it alone? 19
- List of Acronyms 20