What is happening in Kirkuk?
According to Gulf News, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has commissioned a report on the potential outbreak of hostilities in the contested multi-ethnic city:
[…] He fears the disintegration of the Iraqi Army if the Kurdish-majority Iraqi forces in Kirkuk support the annexation of the city.
Iraqi forces stationed in the Sunni Arab provinces of Nineveh, Salahuddin and Diyala would then have to step in to protect the Arabs and Turkmen in Kirkuk.
There are two brigades of the Iraqi army and 9,000 policemen in Kirkuk. The Kurds constitute more than 90 per cent of the leadership and more than 70 per cent of soldiers in the lower grades.
‘There is no equal in military power. Kurdish forces are too large. They would be able to impose total control over Kirkuk in hours,’ Tourhan Al Mufti, a member of the Turkmen block in the governorate of Kirkuk told Gulf News.
My question is: why have the U.S. and UN let this conflict simmer all these years?