Denise Natali, a columnist for Al-Monitor and an expert on oil and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) at the National Defense University in Washington, told Al-Monitor that there is likely to be “a compromise and payment of some sort to the KRG” that will allow its oil to flow out to Turkey. She doubted, however, that agreement would be reached on a long-sought national hydrocarbon law this year and attributed whatever progress is achieved less to the crisis in Anbar than to upcoming parliamentary elections in April that could topple the Maliki government and hurt Kurdish parties as well.

“This is all revolving around election politics,” she said.