Iraqi Kurdish independence dream quashed after Baghdad backlash

Even if the dust does in fact settle, most Kurds acknowledge that their bid for independence was at the very least mistimed and misjudged, according to Mansour at Chatham House. “They misplayed their hand,” he said.

Al-Abadi, the Iraqi prime minister, needed to act against the Kurds for several reasons, according to analysts.

He has defined his leadership by the strength of his security forces, making wins against ISIS where his predecessor failed and positing himself as a counterweight to Iran. He didn’t want to be seen as the Iraqi leader who let Kurdistan break away and form its own state.

Nevertheless, some experts say that it’s not in al-Abadi’s interests to push too hard.