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After Mosul

Competing claims for northern Iraq will leave the post-IS settlement rife with new geopolitical risks

The fall-out of the campaign to reclaim Mosul and the surrounding province of Nineveh will be a central preoccupation of Iraq in 2017. Control of the north will need to be resolved and will be a thorny matter. This is already a key problem in Kirkuk. There, Baghdad exercises authority over the North Oil Company (NOC), which runs oilfields in Kirkuk proper; the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), based in Sulaymaniyah, has political control of Kirkuk's provincial institutions and security control of most of the province including the NOC-administered fields; while Masud Barzani's Kurdistani Democratic Party (KDP) has security control of the oil-rich district of Makhmur, which the PUK claims b

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