BAGHDAD, July 2 (UPI) -- When the fighting finally stops in Iraq, the nation's Kurdish population -- which has long been in conflict in the Middle Eastern country -- intends to carve out their own state, leaders say.
Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in Northern Iraq have expressed frustration recently and claimed the United States hasn't provided enough support in their fight against the Islamic State.
Thursday, Fox News reported that the sentiment on the ground there is that the Kurds want their own state, whether the United States likes it or not.
"Once that is done, they will move forward with plans for their country," the report cited an operator with connections to Kurdish leaders as saying. Another source directly advising Kurdish leaders, the report states, said "they have only one goal, whether the U.S. likes it or not."
Kurdish forces have successfully regained control of Mosul and are now focusing their efforts on Kirkuk -- which, some say, is the cultural Kurdish capital of the nation.
"Everybody's dream, every single Kurd, wants to have a free independent Kurdistan," Kurdish Intelligence Agency chief Lahur Talabani said. "Of course, we want to be free. It will be difficult, but we would love for it to happen right now."
Such a move, however, would not be met with unanimous approval. In Washington, some administration officials believe Kurdish independence would be a destabilizing move in such a geopolitically sensitive region.
"The policy of this administration has been clear and consistent in support of a unified Iraq," a State Department spokesman said. "A unified Iraq is a stronger Iraq and is important to the stability of the region as well."
Last month, the Turkish government also expressed its opposition to a Kurdish state -- saying it would "never allow" such a move. About 14 million Kurds live in Turkey.
Relations have long been strained between Arabs and Kurds in the Middle East, and the political climate could get even worse should Kurdish leaders defy its Western allies by pursuing independence.