A staunch Arab nationalist, Ismail Hadidi once dreaded the possibility that his ethnically diverse city would be swallowed up by the neighboring semiautonomous Kurdish region and cut off from the Baghdad government.
But the provincial councilman is also a practical man. And when he compares the chaos and violence in the Iraqi capital with the prosperity and peace next door in the three-province Kurdistan Regional Government area, teaming up with the Kurds doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. He’s even considering buying some property in the Kurdish enclave.
“The people of Kirkuk were afraid of this,” said Hadidi, a Sunni Arab tribal leader. “But given the situation, I believe most people will move toward being part of Kurdistan, because what the people want above all is security.” [complete article]