The long-awaited launch of the military offensive to liberate Mosul from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) was initiated on 17 October. The extent of coordination between federal forces and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is notable. But divisions will come to the fore again following the operation, if not earlier, particularly over oil-rich disputed territories.

In his televised statement announcing the operation, Prime Minister Haidar al-‘Abadi emphasized that only the...