Skip to main content

Congress cool on Kurdistan bailout

KRG leaders’ Capitol Hill trek yields lots of praise but no promises.
Iraqi Kurdistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani speaks during an interview with Reuters in Erbil, January 14, 2016. The autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq may sell parts of its electricity sector to raise funds to help plug a budget gap left by sinking oil prices, Talabani told Reuters. Picture taken January 14, 2016.  REUTERS/Azad Lashkari - RTX22MGD

The Iraqi Kurds’ dire warnings of impending financial doom have failed to awaken Congress from its pre-election slumber.

Top officials from the besieged Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) made the rounds in Washington this week to warn that Erbil’s $100 million-a-month operating deficit was harming its ability to take on the Islamic State (IS). Declining oil prices and the burden of caring for perhaps as many as 1.8 million displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees are taking their toll, they said, with peshmerga fighters going unpaid for the past three months and civil servants for the past four.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.