Patrick Cockburn reports from Mosul:
There has been a mounting number of clashes between predominantly Arab Iraqi army units and the Kurdish peshmerga forces along a 260-mile line that stretches diagonally across the northern third of Iraq, from Sinjar to Khanaqin in the south.
The tensions underpinning the conflict have always attracted less international attention than the US-Iraqi war or the Shia-Sunni conflict.
Yet if the conflict develops into a full-scale war it will complicate President Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw 142,000 US soldiers from Iraq over 16 months and redeploy many of them to the US military effort in Afghanistan.
That war will be bloody, it will be long, and it will tear Iraq asunder. As for news coverage, don’t hold your breath — there aren’t many old hands like Cockburn left in Iraq, and the macho bloggers who have taken their place have neither the local contacts nor the language skills to roam around on their own.