“Where in the world can the same person be the prime minister, the chief of staff of the armed forces, the minister of defense, the minister of interior, the chief of intelligence and the head of the national security council?”

— Massud Barzani, president of the Kurdish Autonomous Region in northern Iraq, discussing what the Kurds see as a power grab by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki. More ominously, Barzani said Maliki’s government is “waiting to get F-16 combat planes to examine its chances again with the peshmerga” – Kurdish fighters – implying a new Iraq civil war may be looming.

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