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Arab-Kurd conflict heats up after Tuz Khormato incidents

Factions in Iraq seem more worried about staking claims to territory and power than in fighting the Islamic State, and the result could be a prolonged civil war.
Kurdish peshmerga forces stand in the street after Yazidi people loot houses in the town of Sinjar, Iraq November 16, 2015. Before it was overrun by Islamic State, Sinjar and the surrounding villages were home to about 200,000 people, mainly Kurdish and Arab Muslims - both Sunni and Shi'ite - as well as Christians and Yazidis, a faith that combines elements of several ancient Middle Eastern religions. Now the town is largely deserted. But in a row of houses used by Islamic State fighters, there were signs o

BAGHDAD — The multi-ethnic city of Tuz Khormato has become a symbol of the ethnic conflict in Iraq between Arabs and Shiite Turkmen on one hand, and the Kurds on the other.

There are no precise statistics on the city’s components, but the numbers of Turkmen, Kurdish and Arab residents are roughly equal. The city derives its importance from its diverse ethnicities and sects in the middle of conflicting forces' strongholds in Iraq. Although it is under the rule of the central government in Baghdad, the Kurds aspire to annex Tuz Khormato to Iraqi Kurdistan. The city is close to Sulaimaniyah province in Iraqi Kurdistan and Kirkuk, which is a disputed area between the central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in southern Kurdistan.

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