Iraqi Kurdistan’s fight against ISIS has for many Kurds been an existential battle central to their survival and that of their autonomous region in Iraq. However, with ISIS prevented from embarking upon Kurdistan’s major towns and cities, thanks to the efforts of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the U.S.-led military coalition against the jihadists, the Kurds face what their Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani, describes as the “real existential threat”—the region’s economic crisis. If this situation does not improve soon, ISIS will be the least of its problems. Indeed, it is often overlooked that, as a result of the crisis, Iraqi Kurds are now found among the deluge of refugees and economic migrants from the Middle-East into Europe.
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