Today, after the passage of 4 years from the US attack on Iraq, this country has entered into a vicious circle of violence, terror, political instability, social unrest and ethnic and religious tensions. During the past years, the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and northern Iraq's cities has experienced relative peace and security. But during the recent months, violence and tensions increased among different ethnic groups in Kirkuk. The situation in Kirkuk suggests that more violence will be likely to occur in this oil-rich city during the current year. Iraq's former regime began the arabization of Kirkuk in the late 1980s (after Kurds repression during Anfal and Halabja massacre). Baath regime drove Kurds and Turkmens out of the city and replaced them with Arabs (mostly Shiites) from the central and southern regions of Iraq. These policies deprived Kirkuk of its Kurdish identity.

After Iraq's occupation, Kurds tried to transform Kirkuk again into a Kurdish city. According to intelligence resource, more than 150,000 Arabs have been forced to leave the city due to increasing violence and limitations. The political future is to be determined during three-stage process. Also a referendum is to be held about the future of Kirkuk (according to the article 140 of the Constitution) before 13 November 2007.

In addition to the ethnic composition, the oil factor has fuelled the tensions. There are some ambiguities in the articles 112 and 115 of the Constitution about how to use oil resources by the regional Kurd government and central government. Given Kirkuk's social and political situation, it could be considered a crisis – prone place. Turkey and Iran have serious concerns about the developments in Kurdistan. Also, the United States is fearful of the intensification of disputes in Iraqi Kurdistan. The period of peace in Kurdistan is near an end.