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Turkey seeks to exploit claims to Iraqi Kurdish village

A small village in Iraqi Kurdistan has become a flashpoint for tensions between the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party and its rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, with the PKK also entering the dispute.
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“Brakuji” is the curse of the Kurds. The Kurdish word for fratricide is also used by Kurds to define the Iraqi-Kurdish civil war in the 1990s. The yearslong conflict between three major Kurdish actors in Iraqi Kurdistan is a black stain in Kurdish history. Today, escalating tensions among those actors over a small northern Iraqi town have revived memories of the civil war, calling to mind the oath of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s leader, Massoud Barzani: “I will never allow another Brakuji.”

In-house tensions are mounting over the town of Zini Werte, west of Mount Qandil, which is home to the headquarters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The tensions are playing into the hands of Turkey, which continues its military push against PKK positions in the region. The PKK has waged for decades an armed insurgency in Turkey, and is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara and much of the international community.

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