Iraqi Forces Move into Kirkuk

Self-determination for me, but not for thee.

Iraqi government forces have entered central Kirkuk, residents say, after taking key installations outside the disputed city from Kurdish fighters.

Witnesses told the BBC they saw federal forces entering the provincial government building.

Clashes were reported south of Kirkuk earlier in the day, while thousands of residents fled the city.

It comes three weeks after the Kurdistan region held a controversial independence referendum.

While Kirkuk is not inside Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish voters inside the city were allowed to take part.

Iraq’s prime minister has said the vote – in which residents of Kurdish-controlled areas, including Kirkuk, overwhelmingly backed secession – was unconstitutional.

We’re seeing this elsewhere in the world and it is the normal response. When Catalans want to break off and form their own nation, the Spanish authorities move in with force. When Kurds want to break off and form their own nation, the Iraqi authorities move in with force. Come to think of it, when South Carolinians wanted to break off and form their own nation, the American authorities moved in with force. The truth is that while the international community talks a good game about self-determination, they only ever really support it when it’s convenient.