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Feb 01,2008
Arab anger threatens Kurd power
by UPI

BAGHDAD - The strong political power Kurds enjoy in Iraq appears to be fomenting anger among Arab factions, a report said Friday.

The Kurds, made up mostly of Sunnis, have built enormous political strength since the ouster of Saddam Hussein, staunchly backing the current Iraqi government and maintaining close ties with the United States, The New York Times said.

But, efforts to seize control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and gain a bigger share of national revenues are reported antagonizing other factions and uniting most Sunnis and many Shiites with the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki against Kurdish demands.

"There's a strong feeling that the Kurds have overreached," Joost Hiltermann, a senior analyst for the Middle East at the International Crisis Group, told the Times.

The United States, meanwhile, is going to have to choose between the long supported and protected Kurds and the Iraqi Arabs, whose government the Americans helped create, the report said.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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