Posts Tagged ‘Kurdish’

Syria’s Kurds Going Their Own Way; Turkey Concerned

July 25th, 2012 Comments off
PKK (left) and KRG (top) flags join a Syrian rebel flag

As Syrian regime forces have pulled back from the Kurdish regions of northeast Syria along the borders with Turkey, local Kurds have broken out Kurdish flags — that of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq and that of the PKK, the radical movement of Turkish Kurds. Josh Landis’ Syria Comment has a collection of articles,  and this piec e at Al-Monitor goes into some detail.

Regional and ethnic interests are asserting themselves all over Syria, and Syrian Kurds have major grievances,including th fqct that for many years large numbers were denied Syrian nationality. But the presence of the PKK in the mix at a time when Turkey is, by default, the main external cheerleader and supply source for the rebels, really tosses fuel on the fire. A quasi-independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq has been tough enough for Turkey to swallow; a link between the KRG and Syrian Kurds raises the stakes considerably.

The volatile mix of Israel, Iran,m Hizbullah, the Gulf Arab States and Turkey in the Syrian mix was already alarming. Now there’s a Kurdish element too.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Iraq: Blast kills 6 security officials

July 24th, 2012 Comments off

Children gather at the scene of a bomb attack in Madain, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 23, 2012. An onslaught of bombings and shootings killed scores of people across Iraq on Monday, in the nation’s deadliest day so far this year. The attacks come days after the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq declared a new offensive seeking to re-assert its might in the security vacuum left by the departing Americans. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)Iraqi police say an explosives-rigged motorcycle killed six Kurdish intelligence officials when it blew up near them in a town in the country's north.

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Syria opposition picks new leader

June 10th, 2012 Comments off

Kurdish activist Abdelbaset Sayda, elected leader of the opposition Syrian National Council, promises reforms to the often divided organisation.
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Syrian opposition group elects new leader

June 10th, 2012 Comments off

This image made from amateur video released by Shaam News Network and accessed Saturday, June 9, 2012, purports to show an injured man being treated in a mosque in Daraa, Syria. Syrian troops shelled the southern city of Daraa early on Saturday, killing more than a dozen people, activists said.(AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CANNOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT, DATE, LOCATION OR AUTHENTICITY OF THIS MATERIALSyria's main opposition group in exile, the Syrian National Council, has elected a Kurdish dissident as its new leader at a meeting in Turkey, a council statement said.

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Assad to Erdogan: "Help my opposition, & you might as well help the PKK & build a second Kurdistan in your backyard!"

May 23rd, 2012 Comments off

“…Recently, though, Ankara has backpedaled, abandoning its aggression and sliding back toward Washington’s position. With this, Turkey has entered the third phase of its Syrian policy, falling nearly in line with Washington’s policy of “wait and see and hope for an orderly transition — for now.”
What could explain Turkey’s new posture? Many factors come to mind, from the fear of getting bogged down in a war with a neighboring country to being left alone to fight al-Assad. But one key factor is its fear of two Kurdistans.
Syria’s restless and well-organized Kurdish minority, for the most part, does not trust Turkey. Instead, the Syrian Kurds are looking to their counterparts in Iraq’s Kurdish region, the Middle East’s first autonomous Kurdish political entity. Some Syrian Kurdish leaders aspire to gain what the Iraqi Kurds have: their own Kurdistan.
Turkey can deal with one Kurdistan, but two might be too many.
In recent years, Ankara’s policy with the Iraqi Kurds has evolved from open hostility in 2003, when the Iraqi Kurds built their Kurdistan, to open friendship today.
In this regard, the Iraqi Kurds have helped Turkey by embracing a crucial strategy: Since 2003, the Iraqi Kurds have gradually abandoned their policy of turning a blind eye to the presence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a Turkish Kurdish terror group that fights Turkey inside northern Iraq.
As far as Turkey is concerned, anyone who hosts the PKK is an enemy. Seeing this plain fact, the Iraqi Kurds sacrificed the PKK to ally with Turkey against Iraq’s increasingly authoritarian central government in Baghdad……
So far, so good. But what if there were two Kurdistans, with a second to emerge in Syria after al-Assad’s potential fall? Could Turkey deal with the second one with the same ease it has learned to deal with the first?
Maybe, if the Syrian Kurds also denied the PKK safe haven. One could then envision commercial ties cementing the relationship between Turkey and the Syrian Kurdistan, similar to Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdistan.
This could be a tall order, though. While the PKK has had negligible support among the Iraqi Kurds, this has not been the case among the Syrian Kurds. Granted, the Syrian Kurdish umbrella group, the Kurdistan National Council, has excluded the PKK from its membership. But still, some intelligence analysts suggest that the PKK has grassroots appeal inside Syria.
Then there is the Syrian regime’s complicity on the PKK issue. Damascus harbored the PKK for years, only stopping in the past decade to improve relations with Turkey. Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, however, al-Assad has once again allowed the PKK to have an armed presence inside Syria in retaliation for Turkey’s support to the Syrian uprising.
The prospect of a second Kurdistan, one with a menacing PKK presence in it, now looms on Turkey’s radar screen. The al-Assad regime has caught on to that fear, allowing the PKK ample room to operate inside Syria, speaking to that primal Turkish strategic anxiety and sending a message to Ankara: “Help my opposition, and you might as well help the PKK and build a second Kurdistan in your backyard.”

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Kurdish rebels kill four Iran Guards: report

April 25th, 2012 Comments off

A Kurdish rebel from PJAK inspects a crater left behind by an alleged Iranian artillery attack in 2008Kurdish rebels have killed four members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in the country’s west, a provincial official told the Mehr news agency on Wednesday.

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Aleppo in the New York Times

April 18th, 2012 Comments off
A reader sent me this:  “I was born in Aleppo, Syria. The city does not have an indigenous Alewite community. You have christian neighborhoods, Sunni/ Kurdish neighborhoods, and some mixed Christian, Sunni/ Kurdish neighborhoods. I have a cousin who is a Baath member. He told me in the past that the majority of Baathist members in the city are Sunni and the rest are mostly Christians. The massive [pro regime] demonstrations you saw in Aleppo are party members who are almost entirely non-Alewite. The NY times loves to see Arabs kill each other because they believe it benefits Israel. They also love to show sectarian problems between Arabs, which they think it also benefits Israel.”

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After Qatar & Saudi Arabia the ‘wanted’ Iraqi official travels to Turkey!

April 11th, 2012 Comments off

“…Al-Hashemi denies the charges against him, saying they are politically motivated. He fled to Iraq’s Kurdish self-ruled region in December, and is currently in Turkey on a tour of neighboring Sunni-led countries…”

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Blasts temporarily shut down Iraq-Turkey pipeline

April 5th, 2012 Comments off

The 970-km (600-mile) pipeline runs from Iraq's northern oil hub of Kirkuk to Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coastOvernight blasts in southeastern Turkey on Thursday temporarily shut down a pipeline pumping oil from Iraq, with Kurdish rebels suspected to be behind the explosions, authorities said.

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"Chauvinist and Exclusionary"

March 31st, 2012 Comments off
Kurdish political representatives accused the Syrian National Council of “Chauvinism and exclusionariness.

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