The Kurdish government in northern Iraq announced that they will begin exporting oil via a pipeline through Turkey by 2013. The Iraqi government insists that only it can approve oil production and exporting activities, but does not have the military capability to impose their will on the northern Kurds. This is an Arab/Kurd conflict, part of a struggle that goes back thousands of years. The Kurds are relying on Turkish support, and in return are cooperating with Turkish efforts to deal with Turkish PKK Kurdish separatists, who have bases in northern Iraq. While the PKK goal of a separate Kurdish state is popular with most Kurds (even in northern Iraq), the survival of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq is considered more crucial, for now.
I didn't think any of Iraq Kurdistan's neighbors would be eager to see Kurdistan thrive apart from Baghdad due to their own Kurdish issues. But I thought calmer heads would prevail to keep Iraq together and functioning.
Relations with the central government in Baghdad must be pretty bad for the Iraqi Kurds to cut off their brethren in exchange for access to the outside world.
At this rate, Kurdistan could think of joining NATO one day.
UPDATE: Thanks to Pseudo-Polymath for the link.