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What’s next for Kurds in Iraq and Syria

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It has been quite some time since I wrote for this blog. Although I continue writing articles for an online Kurdish website (RojevaKurdistan.com), in Turkish, I have not been producing in English.

Events have taken a path that is very favorable for the Kurds, both in Iraq and Syria. The fake and failed states of Iraq and Syria have literally fallen apartand Kurds have gained so well that it has become nonsense to talk about Iraq or Syria.

rojava and bashur

Iraq
One thing about Iraq is that (or was that) that it has been an Arab state. Disregarding the Kurdish majority up in the North, Iraq has always had an Arab identity and Kurds fit nowhere in this. Even though a recognition of Kurdish ethnic political rights was always an issue for governments in Iraq, it had not been realized until American invasion in 2003.

Thanks to the American intervention with Gulf War I, then with the invasion in 2003 and the weakening of Baghdad in its capacity to rule, Kurds prospered and ensured control in their native lands. The invasion of the Sunni parts of Iraq by ISIS and its subsequent defeat by Peshmerga has helped Kurds to gain control of the last bits of their historical land, liked to be called the disputed regions by Arabs of Iraq. No more. Map of Kurdistan in Iraq has been drawn with blood and no sane person could recommend the Kurds to give them back.

Iraq-Ethno-Map

As for Arabs in Iraq, it is the historical enmity between the Sunni and Shii populations that will not cease to exist unless one or both decide to give up their religion. They hate each other and, be assured, will continue to do so.

What is then best for Iraq? To divide into three separate states. One for Kurds, one for the Sunni and the last for the Shii. Once these three go their own ways, there will be no reason for any conflict in this geography, unjustly called Iraq any more. Would anyone of these to pursue political ambition beyond what is Iraq today, it would then be an analysis of a different topic.

Currently Kurds are preparing for a referendum for independence that will take place on September 25 and there is no doubt the majority of them will vote in favor.

Syria
Syria is yet another failed state created at the same time with Iraq, during post WWI era. Ruled by the Alawite Arab minority in the last decades Syria could hardly be considered one its citizens were happy with. The Kurds, at least a good portion of them, did not even have ID cards and bsides the Kurds, Sunni Arabs, the majority of the population, could not take part in ruling the country.

If Arab Spring had one effect there, this effect was unleashing the political ambitions of Kurds and the Sunni that resulted in a full scale war, with various regional and global powers supporting one side or the other.

failed syria

In the current state of the ongoing war the regime controls a fraction of the country, which is the most populous and strategically most important parts, if Syria was ‘intact’ as before. Kurds however, control the most important dams and oil wells, that were anyway on Kurdish land. The fight of the Sunni opposition in the South of the country being a mystery for the news watchers, the north is almost a complete loss for them, save some parts neighboring Turkey and this thanks to the support of Turkey and its allies. Regime is supported by the Russians and by good luck, the Kurds, led by the Syria faction of the PKK, managed to ally themselves or their interests with those of the USA.

Currently the opposition and the regime enjoy a kind of truce in their fighting, but Kurds continue their fight with ISIS in Raqqa, which is the capital of the self declared Khilafat. According to the latest news report, there are about 2’000 IS fighters left in the city but Kurdish fightersi known to be fierce at battle field, and with support of the US Army, fight well to recapture the city. It is important to note though that the Kurdish ambitions do not involve controlling Raqqa. After the recapture, it is very likely that some Kurdish fighters at different levels will remain in Raqqa only to help create a governing body formed by local Arabs. This obviously gives the advantage to the Kurds to create (and in the future keep under control) a neighboring Arab regime that is friendly to them and will remain so.

The future for Kurds

map of kurdistan - approximate

Pandora’s box in the region was opened in 1991 when the USA responded with a war to Saddam’s invasion of Iraq. Kurds were given a safe haven in the North and this was used for a political establishment in the course of the history. Could it better than it is today? I do not think so. I believe things developed perfectly for Kurds, as all the setbacks in all this time has also helped to have an experience that will prevent similar setbacks in the future.

After Iraq came Syria, rather unexpectedly for most. The lazy Kurdish politicians of Iraq and their non-ambitious political establishment could not take advantage of the troubles in Syria to expand their rule there. There was PKK and with the right people on the ground, PKK managed to control a land bigger than those of the Iraqi Kurds. Richer? I do not know but if they could somehow reach to the Mediterranean they could also possibly take the political lead from Barzani or Talabani families and their affiliates to themselves. If some news reports are to be believed, they currently have a better supplied and better organized, or at least a more battle ready armed force than the Peshmerga of Northern Iraq.

Let’s together imagine a scenario where finally the Iraqi Kurds decide declare independence that would be recognized by the UN. How could this possibly effect the politics of Kurds in Syria and beyond, Kurds in Turkey and Iran.

Kurds in Syria (Rojavayé Kurdistan, West of Kurdistan)
The PKK will find it in a position to match the legal status of the newly independent Kurdistan, which is Bashuré Kurdistan for Kurds, South of Kurdistan. Guessing these two, we may expect a stupid enmity and aggression from Turks, which I believe will lead to a Turkish defeat in the hands of Kurdish fighters, the YPG, Syria faction of the PKK. I do not expect at any time a Turkish aggression towards Bashur, mainly for the inability of Turks in such a situation to explain the world their reason nor open yet another front with Kurds in addition to ongoing conflict within Turkey (Bakuré Kurdistan, North of Kurdistan, led by PKK directly) and in Syria, Rojava. Second and most striking reason is the Turks’ need for the cash flow they receive from Bashur. In a scenario in which this cash flow cuts, and Qatar cash flow in suspect, Turks would fall into an economic crisis they would not be able to get out of.

Short? Expect a Turkish attack to Rojava and suffering a terrible defeat. What will follow is a guess but it could either be an attempt for independence or, better in my opinion, a constitutional deal with Damascus regime that will give such an autonomy that would leave them more independent, more powerful and completely conflict free than what independence could give.

This is it for today. Please leave your comments below on what you think of these thoughts.

🙂

Written by M. Husedin

11 August 2017 at 11:49 PM

What have we Kurds to learn from Israel

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(This article was published long time ago and does not reflect my view of today in regards to the “Palestinian Arabs. I would not know atthe time of writing the strength of Palestinian propaganda and their hatred against Israel).

A lot.

Not that I am one of those Kurds who is “kaafir”. No, I am not muslim. I never was but I also have never been a bad person either. I am of “sersur” origin, which you will know as Alawi or Alevi following the name given by the Kemalist of Turkey in the 20th century, or one might easily associate the belief as one that shares the same roots with the Ezidis and the Ahl-i Haqq. I am not a follower of this belief either. I am rather a non-believer.

What has this to do with Israel and the Kurds? It is about the identity that makes one Kurd, which is what frames this article. It is not about Islam, the Muslims or the Jewish. It is about the Kurds. The Kurdish identity. The identity that unites us.

Israel and its brutality
Rhetoric would ask if we don’t see the brutality of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza? Whether we don’t know the suffering of the Palestinians in general.

I know all these and my heart is with the suffering Palestinians. Truly. Though my honest political opinion on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict is that there should have been a way to find peace between the two societies to settle on the same land peacefully. This hasn’t been the case, and looking at the rhetoric of both sides, no peace is any time soon.

And, no, this small piece of article is not about who is right and who is wrong. As a Kurd, sorry to say, I have no “ideological or humanitarian” particular interest in the rights and wrongs of the world. I prefer to have a politically nationalistic view of the events, be it in the US, Venezuela or Israel – Palestine. When I ask “what have we to learn from Israel” I mean it.

What have we Kurds to learn from Israel?
jew-jitsuRhetoric is one thing that I keep repeating to my friends when it comes to Israel. The Israelis always manage to put things in  a way that is received in the best way possible by the audience. They always put forward the bad actions of their enemies / opponents, make sure that their suffering is repeated by the interviewer, that people know they are not the ones who attacked the first and finally they make sure it is known that their action is for the defense of their people and nothing else. And it is true! They always make sure that their action is in defense.

Us, the Kurds
Let’s have a look at Kurdistan now. A land of about 500’000 km2, as big as France. A Kurdish population of minimum 35 million and to some accounts 50! Where are we in defense of this land and this people? Aren’t we yet only happy about the soon-to-be declared independence of 4.5 million Kurds that are squeezed into about less than 20% of Kurdistan?

What have we Kurds to learn from Israel? First and foremost and with one word: defense. The defense and the whole education system that is behind the Israeli defenses, together with the industrial / technological machine that supports it. Internal strength.

The diplomacy the Israelis develop with each and every strategically important entity on earth, be it a state, a semi-state (like ours or Catalonia) or a corporate structure. The external strength.

A note on Israeli – Palestinian conflict: I don’t like my fellow Kurds taking sides strongly with the IDF because of their dislike of the Arabs, or Anfal contributor Palestinian immigrants of the Saddam Army. And no,  I don’t care what Mr Abbas said against the Kurdish independence. His fault does not lead me to make another fault. Seeing the State of Israel as possible Kurdish allies shall by no accounts  mean that we can not or will not criticize them.

Written by M. Husedin

24 July 2014 at 1:39 PM

Kurdish politics dynamics, the PKK and peace with Turks

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It’s been a long time since I have last posted on this blog. I have to admit it is mainly because I do not know of my audience. It is clear that I do not want to write to friends, but then, who do I write to? Who are you?

Anyway.

With this post I want to mention my opinion of the ongoing peace process between the PKK and the Turkish State.

It has to be the same one continuing, the process that started with the visit of the British minister of Foreign Affairs to Hewler, Iraqi Kurdistan, back in 2009. Since then, I do not believe the agenda has changed. In the overall picture, it is the same process which the Americans gave the kick for with a report written by David L. Philips, dated back to 2007: Disarming, Demobilizing, And Reintegrating The Kurdistan Worker’s Party.

The current process
The idea behind should be simple. Do not break the hearts of the Kurds but take the PKK out of the game (might it be only the war game or the whole game? I pick the latter). Overall strategy seems to be “gather Kurds behind Nechirvan Barzani”. This, the way I see it, is being built up slowly but surely.

The milestones during this process -for the managers of the project- are likely to be the following:

  • The retreat of PKK guerrillas to their bases in Qandil Mountains
  • The referendum for the new Turkish constitution
  • The death of Ocalan in prison
  • The attack of Assad forces to Kurds in Northern Syria
  • The coming of Peshmerga to Syrian (Southwest) Kurdistan as liberator.

The PKK

If these happen as listed, then what will happen in Northern Kurdistan politics is another guess. Somehow the whole pie seems to be planned to be given to / collected under the lead of the ‘Iraqi’ Kurdish state. Aren’t they being invested as the future Kurdish state? All these hydrocarbon digging, selling, transporting agreements…

PKK’s one main weakness within the Kurdish political community is its un-understandable resistance to commonly accepted Kurdish national flag, Ala Rengin. Not that they do not target a Kurdish state anymore (or in that case they declare to have no problem with the borders designed right after the World War I, the current borders that deny the Kurds), they also refuse having anything in common with the rest of the Kurdish political establishment.

It is clear for me that any remaining PKK dominance on Kurds of Northern Kurdistan after the retreat of the guerrilla and the death of Ocalan will be wiped away by a Hewler backed nationalist wind supported by the strong symbol of the nation, the Ala Rengin.

These are how I read the ‘Peace Process’. In my opinion, PKK, in reality, does not deserve the dominant position in Kurdish politics with the current ideology it has. It won’t hurt if it leaves politics peacefully.

Written by M. Husedin

03 May 2013 at 1:31 AM

The war for Kurdistan and the International Humanitarian Law

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Many articles on Kurds (of Kurds or others) start with a justification of  “why the Kurds have the right to fight; that the Kurdish land has been inherited from their ancestors, that they form a majority on their land and that they are under oppression of regimes that deny their very rights of  ‘being'”.

It is in the recent years that the articles on Kurds changed in nature. More expert articles are produced on various topics. One point, however, is weakly emphasized within the Kurdish and the international community, which is the definition of the war going on in Kurdistan according to International Law and the necessary obligations such a definition brings to the parties engaged in the conflict in Kurdistan.

Two main international conventions set the rules that oblige the state and non-state parties to abide with: Geneva Conventions and Hague Conventions. Together with subsequent treaties, case law, and customary international law, these conventions form the International Humanitarian Law (link).

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is a set of rules which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects persons who are not or are no longer participating in the hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare. (link)

It is mainly due to lack of knowledge of Kurds and lack of institutions to follow the war in Kurdistan, many actions of the oppressive regimes in Kurdistan have gone unseen.

In a war all tactics and stratagems are a part of the ‘game’. The winner and loser are defined by their own terms. Developing diplomacy skills, preparing assaults your opponents are not prepared to, etc. are all part of this game of war. There are actors who oppose wars and there others who define -in their own terms- wars that are ‘justified’. None changes the fact that “there always have been customary practices in war”. Kurds have been one of the most naive nations when it comes to wars.

Modern warfare has brought with it a set of rules that oblige the parties to the warfare to abide with. As mentioned, these set of rules are mainly the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions. There is not a piece of land on earth where parties to a conflict are not obliged by these.

In where International Humanitarian Law (IHL) does not apply, International Human Rights Law (IHRL) applies:

Both international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) strive to protect the lives, health and dignity of individuals, albeit from a different angle. It is therefore not surprising that, while very different in formulation, the essence of some of the rules is similar, if not identical. For example, the two bodies of law aim to protect human life, prohibit torture or cruel treatment, prescribe basic rights for persons subject to a criminal justice process, prohibit discrimination, comprise provisions for the protection of women and children, regulate aspects of the right to food and health. On the other hand, rules of IHL deal with many issues that are outside the purview of IHRL, such as the conduct of hostilities, combatant and prisoner of war status and the protection of the red cross and red crescent emblems. Similarly, IHRL deals with aspects of life in peacetime that are not regulated by IHL, such as freedom of the press, the right to assembly, to vote and to strike. (Link)

Is the Kurdish cause limited to “freedom of press, the right to assembly, to vote and to strike”? Is that the extent of the nature of the war going on in Kurdistan? Of course not and one does not need an expert opinion to see it so. However, lack of expert opinions in case of the war in Kurdistan has been a major faiblesse of the struggle for Kurdistan, Kurdish independence.

Kurds have long suffered and continue to suffer under states that simply do not feel obliged by these rules. In case of Turkey, where according to Geneva Conventions a clear non-international armed conflict (NIAC) continues between the state forces and the PKK, by refusing that there is a conflict, the state simply denies the rights of Prisoners of War (POW) to PKK fighters and many other obligations these conventions bring.

There are hostilities going in all over Kurdistan. Kurdish political parties, mainly PKK today, engage in open armed conflict with states of Turkey, Syria and Iran. In many instances armed troops of the PKK and the states fighting against the PKK visibly organize cross border operations. What is missing is the recognition of this war by the international community.

Not that there are no efforts for this. Perhaps the most important piece of work on this is the one of Kerim Yildiz and Susan Breau: The Kurdish Conflict: International Humanitarian Law and Post-Conflict Mechanisms.

This book is a groundbreaking analysis of the on-going conflict waged by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey and its spill over into northern Iraq in terms of the international law of war (jus in bello or international humanitarian law) and the use of force (jus ad bellum).

their analysis is divide
d into two parts. Part I concerns the international law of armed conflict as applied to the Kurdish struggle, while Part II delves into some potential legal and political solutions. Upon analyzing the relevant literature and treaties, the opening chapter of Part I concludes “on a factual basis in spite of the denial of Turkey” (p. 58) that the complex conflict in southeast Turkey, which also spills over into northern Iraq, constitutes a non-international armed conflict. Thus, “it can be argued that a whole range of humanitarian guarantees are offered to both civilians and combatants” (p. 88) by such means as the Hague Regulations of 1907 as well as the Geneva Conventions of 1949 with their Common Article 3 that provides limited protections for civilians and members of armed forces hors de combat. (link)

Based on ordinary knowledge of the mentioned conventions, the aim of this article is to:

  1. Bringing to the attention of Kurdish political organizations the fact that their fighters have more rights according to the mentioned conventions; that the states they are engaged in war / conflict have certain clear obligations that are not respected.
  2. Inviting the international community, (mainly the ICRC, the organization which, by the Geneva Conventions, mandated) to ensure that the states engaged in hostilities with well organized Kurdish military organizations to respect the mentioned laws. (ICRC’s hypocrisy in not mentioning the hostility between the Turkish State and the PKK in Iraqi soils is worth mentioning in bold (link))

Following are taken from a study published on the ICRC’s website, titled “The protective scope of  Common Article 3: more than meets the eye”, written by Jelena Pejic (link).

(The bolds and italics are of mine)

it is widely accepted that non-international armed conflicts governed by Common Article 3 are those waged between state armed forces and non-state armed groups or between such groups themselves. IHL treaty law allows a distinction to be made between NIACs within the meaning of Common Article 3 and those meeting the higher, Additional Protocol II, threshold.

At least two criteria are considered indispensable for classifying a situation of violence as a Common Article 3 armed conflict, thus distinguishing it from internal disturbances or tensions that remain below the threshold.

The first is the existence of parties to the conflict. Common Article 3 expressly refers to ‘each Party to the conflict’, thereby implying that a precondition for its application is the existence of at least two ‘parties’. While it is usually not difficult to establish whether a state party exists, determining whether a non-state armed group may be said to constitute a ‘party’ for the purposes of Common Article 3 can be complicated, mainly because of lack of clarity as to the precise facts and, on occasion, because of the political unwillingness of governments to acknowledge that they are involved in a NIAC. Nevertheless, it is widely recognized that a non-state party to a NIAC means an armed group with a certain level of organization that would essentially enable it to implement international humanitarian law.International jurisprudence has developed indicative factors on the basis of which the ‘organization’ criterion may be assessed. They include the existence of a command structure and disciplinary rules and mechanisms within the armed group; the existence of headquarters; the ability to procure, transport, and distribute arms; the group’s ability to plan, co-ordinate, and carry out military operations, including troop movements and logistics; its ability to negotiate and conclude agreements such as ceasefire or peace accords; and so forth.Put differently, even if the level of violence in a given situation is very high (in a situation of mass riots, for example), unless there is an organized armed group on the other side, one cannot speak of a non-international armed conflict.

The second criterion commonly used to determine the existence of a Common Article 3 armed conflict is the intensity of the violence involved. This is also a factual criterion, the assessment of which depends on an examination of events on the ground. Pursuant to international jurisprudence, indicative factors for assessment include:

the number, duration and intensity of individual confrontations, the type of weapons and other military equipment used, the number and calibre of munitions fired, the number of persons and types of forces partaking in the fighting, the number of casualties, the extent of material destruction, and the number of civilians fleeing combat zones. The involvement of the UN Security Council may also be a reflection of the intensity of a conflict.

certain NIACs originating within the territory of a single state between government armed forces and one or more organized armed groups have also been known to ‘spill over’ into the territory of neighbouring states. Leaving aside other legal issues that may be raised by the incursion of foreign armed forces into neighbouring territory (violations of sovereignty and possible reactions of the armed forces of the adjacent state that could turn the fighting into an international armed conflict), it is submitted that the relations between parties whose conflict has spilled over remain at a minimum governed by Common Article 3 and customary IHL. This position is based on the understanding that the spill over of a non-international armed conflict into adjacent territory cannot have the effect of absolving the parties of their IHL obligations simply because an international border has been crossed. The ensuing legal vacuum would deprive of protection both civilians potentially affected by the fighting and persons who fall into enemy hands.

It is ironic that the ICRC can define what very well suits the conflict going on between Turkey, Iran, Syria and the PKK but not find it worth even being mentioned.

Is there more than that meets the eye?

Written by M. Husedin

29 September 2012 at 11:28 AM

Attack to Syria: opening the Kurdish corridor for an attack to Iran

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MILITARY LOGISTICS
The term logistics -in the sense being used today- was most probably first used after the World War II in American army (1953). It is also said that the term logistics comes from the surname of a general in Napoleon’s army who was responsible -and also effective- in provisioning the army with supplies, and that his surname has become the word for logistics today (logistique). Whether one or the other, it is clear that military warfare and logistics are very closely related.

When following events and developing analysis, I am being careful about ground preparations of an eventual assault, which I believe has not changed much since the times of Sun Tzu, the author of famous Art of War.

Whatever happens between nations, states, peoples; it is all about who is ready for what. Military preparation is almost always to avoid an actual war by showing the opponent that you are ready for it. Readiness is the key word here. Military logistics (and logistics in general) is all about being ready. When the shit hits the fan you want to be ready. This is almost all about it.

Then, there are times when you can not avoid a war. This is when the war happens.  Any general will always want to make sure that the right troops with all their arms, vehicles and provisions are at the right place, at the right time.

LOGISTICS ANALYSIS OF A WAR AGAINST IRAN
Now, put yourself to an American general’s shoes who is responsible for preparing the army for a war in Iran and think where you would want your army to be positioned and what access routes you would want to be secured:


I will not go into any detail in this article other than this small note here to tell that such a political map is no help to any general for preparing on the ground for an assault against Iran. I will only mention so briefly that Turkmenistan and Armenia are with Russia, thus no enemies to Iran; Azerbaijan and Georgia are with USA and Israel, thus friends with USA. Afghanistan and until recently Iraq under American invasion, whereas Pakistan and Turkey, though allies to USA, are against an attack to Iran (and sometimes openly declaring support for it). And of course the neighboring Arab states on the other side of the Persian Gulf are all pro-American. 

If I was the imaginary American general, I would make sure that I had access to the war theatre both from Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, through Hormuz Strait. For both passages, you need to secure and gain support of two nations which are not shown on this map: the Kurds and the Balloch.

FORGOTTEN PEOPLES: THE KURDS AND THE BALLOCH
However, the above map itself is a misperception for not showing the two nations who are hostile to Iranian regime. The Kurds in the west and the Balloch in the East.  Let’s examine the demography maps of these peoples / nations in relation to Iran’s borders.

First, map of Kurdistan. See what actually the western border of Iran looks like:

https://i0.wp.com/www.kurdaid.ch/download/map_kurdistan.jpg
In this demographic map you see that the Persians have no borders with the Turks. It is all Kurds, it is all Kurdistan.

Now, have a look at the Baluchistan map on the other side, in the east:

https://i1.wp.com/www.languageandpeace.com/images/perry_castaneda/balochistan.gif
Iran has no border with Pakistan, and if you include the Pashto, Iran has almost no border with Afghanistan. Both the Balloch and the Pashto carry hostile feelings against the Persians. Just like Kurds.

I guess this much introduction is enough to understand that what is seen in a ‘normal’ political map is completely wrong on the ground. A general will calculate well these variables before marching into these territories.

These are all well said and now we can continue with the analysis of the western front of a war against Iran, which is basically Kurdistan as you have seen.

WESTERN FRONT OF AN ATTACK TO IRAN: KURDISTAN

Iran’s western border is basically Kurdistan.It can be said that south of Kurdistan are the Shia Arabs of Iraq. Right, and they owe their rule in Baghdad to Americans. Not much to write on this, as against all the commentators I do not believe the Shia Arab politicians can possibly have negative feelings against the Americans, or that they will go out of control.

Iran’s western border is Kurdistan. There is part of Kurdistan under Persian rule, which we call Eastern Kurdistan. In this article we analyze the parts of Kurdistan which are not under Persian rule.

North of Iran’s western border is Northern Kurdistan, Kurdistan under Turkish rule, and south of it is South Kurdistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, which is semi-independent and if the rumours have truth, they are preparing for a declaration of independence. South Kurdistan, without doubt, is ally to the USA. Since the security of South Kurdistan is still widely owed to the US protection umbrella, I exclude an option that they do not fully support US in a war against Iran. Current Kurdish president Massoud Barzani’s father was Chief of Army of short lived Kurdistan Republic of Mahabad of Eastern Kurdistan, which was crashed brutally by the Persians. Long story but enough to know and imagine that president Barzani will want to liberate hs brothers and sisters accross the border.

This is one at hand for the American general.

One in hand but still too far to Mediterranean.

Can we expect the Turks to allow American troops and their provisions to pass freely through Turkey. Well, Turks refused a similar request in 2003 when Americans asked 61’500 trrops permanently based + 61’500 troops in transit during the war against Saddam to fight in what woould have been the Northern front. Turks refused and it did not happen. There is no reason for the Turks to accept a similar request in the coming years.  Actually, there are already reports leaking out that Turks do not want to allow any foreigners in Turkey during a war against Syria:

Meanwhile, there have been disagreements regarding what action must be taken against Syria. Turkey refuses to set up buffer zones for civilians on its border with Syria, and demands that the transfer of equipment and medicine be done via the sea and not through its territory.

Fortunately, Kurdistan map does not end in South Kurdistan. We still have the Southwest Kurdistan, what is Kurdish region under Syrian rule (Good news for our imaginary American general):

Syrian Kurdistan or Southwest Kurdistan itself does not border Mediterranean, which is not very important in my opinion. The lost connection of Kurdistan to Mediterranean is due to Turkification and de-Kurdification policy of the Turkish state. It can be reversed in time. This remark is for the Kurds themselves.

As for the Americans; once invaded, Latakia may very well serve as the port. Or, better still, Iskenderun under Turkish rule, once bordering Kurdistan, can serve this purpose. New Syrian state under American rule may sign a quick free-customs-trade-agreement and that may allow Iskenderun port to be a future base for US military supplies.

Once such a route is opened, it may very well serve the Kurds to open to the world.

Expect more on this to pop up in the future articles.

Written by M. Husedin

19 February 2012 at 8:50 PM

After Iraq (from the Atlantic)

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A report from the new Middle East—and a glimpse of its possible future

By Jeffrey Goldberg

 

Not long ago, in a decrepit prison in Iraqi Kurdistan, a senior interrogator with the Kurdish intelligence service decided, for my entertainment and edification, to introduce me to an al-Qaeda terrorist named Omar. “This one is crazy,” the interrogator said. “Don’t get close, or he’ll bite you.”

to read more, please click.

Written by M. Husedin

25 January 2012 at 5:18 PM

Syrian intervention and the Kurds

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Although events in Libya happened before this blog started and thus my views unwritten, my analysis was that the events of the Arab spring were unexpected and sudden, therefore the intervention to create a change in Libya was unprepared and as a result immature. There were signs of bad organization, mismanagement and lack of roles and leadership among the intervening powers.An intervention to Syria will not be similar.

Analysis, plans and thus an expectation of the result in the event of such intervention will not be immature as Libya. As Bashar the Stupid put well last week in his speech, “Intervention in Syria will cause earthquake”. On one hand, though not unknown, important to be said. On the other hand, once said, these words mark the moment of defeat for the regime in Syria and also the fall of Syria as a state as it is. A regime trying sell itself with the fear of its disappearance.

https://i0.wp.com/arabsummitsyria.com/summit/files/gallary/Assad%20and%20Erdogan.jpg
Bashar Al-Assad the stupid and Erdogan the Turk

There are many wrongs about Syria but the most important two are:

  1. It is not a ‘natural’ state
  2. It sits on a part of Kurdistan

Not natural in the sense that it is the creation of a colonialist deal between Britain and France after the World War I. Syria was designed at the time the ‘French influenced part’ of the famous Sykes – Picot secret agreement. It was perhaps fitting to the needs of these powers at the time when they were powers. They are no more as they were. This era finally comes to an end with US intervention to the region. America has other plans in the region. Syria as it is is an obstacle to these plans.

Sitting on Kurdistan is a problem because it becomes more and more clear that no state is any more able to keep the Kurds under control. Saddam couldn’t, Turkey can not, not Iran but also not Syria. Kurds want an independent state of their own. As America wants access to Central Asia, Kurdistan needs be in peace. It is clear that peace in Kurdistan will come with unity and independence.

Returning back to Syria, if you have a look at the map of Kurdistan (a more or less map) you can see the part of Kurdistan under Syrian control:

https://husedin.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/syriakurds-map.jpg?w=296

The northeast part, namely around Qamishli are where the Kurdish political concentration is. And this is where Syria extracts a good part of its oil. This is the oil that was being sold to Europe and Europe buys this oil no more as a part of sanctions imposed on Syria. The oil sales revenues were more or less 75% of the revenues for the Baathist Syrian state.

THE INTERVENTION
If the rumours and suggestions are correct, then the roadmap to intervention to Syria will be similar to that of Iraq during 90’s. It is also my belief that this is the only way to prepare the grounds for a successful and controllable intervention to Syria. It is only right to trust the Kurds as allies on the ground.

Let’s have a look at how events may evolve around Qamishli if such an intervention happens;

  • The Turks will play a major role as they control a very long border with Syria. Worth mentioning that this border is almost entirely Kurdistan.
  • The border between Iraqi Kurdistan (South Kurdistan) and Syrian Kurdistan (Southwest Kurdistan) will simply evaporate to nothingness as it was fake anyway.
  • Syrian Kurdish territory will become an extension of Iraqi Kurdish territory; both economically and politically.
  • Syrian Kurds will ask the same rights their brethren enjoy in Iraq; a Kurdish National Congress like entity will force itself into existence (wanted or not wanted).
  • Turks will have to choose between being friends or foes with the Kurds. Since the Kurds will be allies-on-the-ground for the West, the Turks will have to choose being friends (Turks will by no means dare NOT taking sides with the West)
  • Knowing that the Turks fear to death of losing control on Northern Kurdistan under their occupation, they will do their best to keep things ‘under control’.
  • Turks will not dare intervene to Kurdish politics more then they are allowed, as they will remember the ‘Hood Event‘ in Sulaymaniyah, in Iraq.
  • As a result the Turks will try to keep things (related to Kurds) under control via Arabs, which will be the soft Islamists in Syria. That will be Turks’ bargain in the game.

In short, I believe this intervention will happen as rumored and as suggested. Kurds will benefit from it as a nation. They will choose to be allies with the USA and the Turks will not have much effect on how things will evolve.

https://i0.wp.com/www.turkishweekly.net/image/Image/energyreview/PKK1x.jpg
A prominent PKK guerilla leader of Syrian origin, Bahoz Erdal (Erdal the Storm)

PKK might be a problem however. They do not fit into the projections for a Kurdistan with their ideology but nonetheless they are players on the ground. Lastly they have decided to take sides with the falling Assad regime. It is perhaps to get as much as possible from this desperate regime. PKK proved well during the 90’s to use well these regimes.

In my opinion however PKK plays wrongly this time. Symbolically by rejecting the Kurdish flag PKK does not stand in where the Syrian Kurds see themselves in a future. PKK prefers its ideological flag rather than the national Kurdish flag. Secondly, by being seen taking sides with the Assad regime, PKK should be drawing a very bad popular image of itself. In contradiction it should also be said that PKK has always been a very flexible organization and equally successful in controlling its supporters. They may very well position themselves in the centre of the things in the months ahead.

All to be seen. This week’s Arab League summit on Syria will give us more hints on how things will evolve.

Written by M. Husedin

09 November 2011 at 1:27 PM