The Kurdish Regional Government is bypassing the federal pipeline to export oil to Turkey, thus avoiding payments to the central government. Without Kurdish oil revenues, Iraq’s economy is in danger of collapsing. Iraqi oil minister threatens legal action against Ankara.
Last year the Kurds planned to make there own deal for drilling rights with China, without government approval. Maliki threatened to call out the army, and the deal fell through.
That is another front that could get interesting. As Iraq gets too preoccupied fighting Saudi-funded insurgents on their southern front, this will provide a golden opportunity for the Kurds to assert some of the independence that they always wanted from the north. Turkey, Iran and Syria have a vested interest in making sure that that does not happen.