Saddled with a repressive government that cuts their wages in the name of austerity, Iraq's Kurds are demanding something better.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party is under mounting pressure.
Both regions have held independence referendums that have returned overwhelming "yes" votes. But without international support, the road ahead will be a tough one.
It seems almost inevitable Iraqi Kurdistan will separate from the rest of Iraq – but going it alone will be hugely difficult.
Iraqi Kurds will vote Yes to independence in September – and it could lead to trouble.