The Globe and Mail reports that friendly fire killed 52 Kurds in the last few days. The dead were members of the Islamic Group of Kurdistan, which is an Islamic Kurdish group that has worked with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan at least up until now.
This does not constitute an emergency, but it does further unsettle the situation in Northern Iraq. The Islamic Group of Kurdistan was theoretically willing to help fight Ansar, the Al Qaeda-related group that holds another patch of Northern Iraq — but now there’s more tension and we could wind up with additional anti-American sentiment up there. The more tense things get, the more likely it is that Turkey will decide to just move in.
We tend to think of the Kurds as a united group, and allies, but the truth is that you’ve got Kurds who just want to be Kurds, Islamic Kurds, and (in Turkey particularly) Marxist-Leninist Kurds. They all want an independent Kurdish state but that’s as far as the agreement goes. Right now, you’ve got Iran, Turkey, the US, the PUK, the IGK, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and Ansar all jostling around in one small chunk of the world.
The Balkans didn’t settle down too quickly either.