SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) – Basnews English – 18/09/2017 – ERBIL — Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft signed a deal with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to invest in gas pipelines in the region.
Iraqi Kurdistan PM: Kurds sacrificed enough for independence, Baghdad won’t stop the referendum
18 Sep, 2017 07:02 Edited time: 18 Sep, 2017 07:05 – The war with ISIS in Iraq is drawing to a close, but the day after will be no easier. With Iraqi Kurdistan going for an independence referendum, Baghdad may not be eager to accept the vote. The already volatile situation in the Middle East might be destabilized even further by the establishment of a Kurdish region – or, perhaps, help stabilize it instead. Will the price of Kurdish independence be too high? We ask Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan Nechirvan Barzani.
Follow @SophieCo_RT – Sophie Shevarnadze: Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of Kurdistan regional government of Iraq, welcome to our show, it’s really good to have you with us. Now, Prime Minister, I have heard reports from the head of the Kurdish news network TV saying that the independence referendum will be delayed under pressure from Iran and the United States. Is this true?
WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) – MESOP NEWS INSIGHT: THE PKK/PYD PROBLEM IN NORTHERN SYRIA – ROJAVA / A CASE OF SECTARIANISM
Daniel Wilkofsky and Khalid Fatah – September 18, 2017 – WAR ON THE ROCKS
What holds the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) together? This is an important question, as Washington has thrown its support behind this coalition of politically disparate factions in the fight against ISIL. Indeed, the SDF reportedly now controls 60 percent of Raqqa — the collapsing caliphate’s self-proclaimed capital — in addition to most of northeast Syria.
SDF promotional material tells the story of a multi-ethnic band that strives together towards decentralized, participatory government, which would protect the rights of all ethnic groups without emphasizing their distinct identities. While it does count large numbers of Arabs among its ranks, the SDF is dominated by Kurds affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), itself an offshoot of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). Even more than a shared vision for governance, or hatred of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, it is obedience to PYD authority that sits at the core of the coalition.
KRG @PMBarzani: The day after referendum will not mean declaration of independence and it shouldn’t be exaggerated. https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/403646-isis-iraq-independence-referendum …
US should be focused on this point rather than general hysteria over the vote – www.mesop.de
ISIS’s Expanding Campaign in Europe – By Jennifer Cafarella with Jason Zhou – BY ISW (Institute for the study of War)
Key Takeaway: ISIS’s attack campaign in Europe is expanding despite ISIS’s losses of terrain and senior leadership in the Middle East and North Africa. ISIS continues to plan, resource, and execute attacks from its remaining safe havens in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. ISIS has successfully expanded its coordinated attack campaign in Europe to target the UK and Spain. Rising levels of ISIS-inspired attacks in Sweden and Finland may signal growing online ISIS activity targeting vulnerable populations in those states and receptivity among those populations to the ISIS message. Coordinated attack attempts could follow. ISIS is sustaining its attack efforts in its initial target states of France and Germany, meanwhile. ISIS’s activity in Belgium, also an initial target state, is much lower, but the lack of ISIS attacks in Belgium does not signal incapacity. ISIS may be using its networks in Belgium to support attack cells elsewhere in Europe. ISIS also appears increasingly successful at inspiring low-level attacks in Europe despite its territorial losses, indicating its messaging is still resonant. ISIS’s campaign in Europe will continue and may even increase despite its losses in Iraq and Syria.
Erdogan, Turkey Chief of General Staff to pay separate visits to Iran
18 Sept 2017 – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar will pay separate visits to Iran in the coming days amid rising tension over the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) bid to hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25 and the developments in Syria.
Iranian President Hasan Ruhani and Erdogan will preside over the Fifth Turkey-Iran High Level Strategic Council meeting that will be held in Tehran on Oct. 4, Hurriyet daily reported.
MESOP NEWS FOCUS : BUT GTHIS IS ONLY SIMULATION – Turkey begins unannounced military drill on Kurdistan borders
By Rudaw 3 hours ago – 18 Sept 2017 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Turkish military has begun a military drill near the Kurdistan Region border, just a week before the Region’s historic vote on independence is scheduled to take place.
The military said that the unannounced drill began on Monday, and at the same time “anti-terror operations” also continue in Silopi, near Habur border crossing with the Kurdistan Region.
MESOP NEWS GRAND EXPECTATIONS! 95% of People Expected to Vote “Yes” to Independence: Kurdish Official
Basnews English – 18/09/2017 – ERBIL — An estimation of 95% of people in Kurdistan Region are expected to vote in favour of independence on the referendum day, said a Kurdish politician.Kurdistan Region is scheduled to hold an independence vote on 25th September, which also allows the people in the disputed Kurdish areas to have their voice.Despite media campaigns attempting to promote the ‘No’ vote, Mohammed Haji Mahmoud, Secretary General of Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party, said that the vast majority will vote ‘Yes’.
NORTH KURDISTAN (TURKEY) – MESOP NEWS : 2017-09-18 – MESOP / GATESTONE REPORT – Turkey — it sometimes slips out of view since it doesn’t make the Secretary of State’s “Countries of Particular Concern” list for human rights violations.But in the city of Diyarbikir for one, “entire neighborhoods” have disappeared. The Surp Giragos Church has been converted to an army base, the sanctuary desecrated with urine and garbage, the pews burned as firewood.
Those are just a few things mentioned in the report “Turkey’s Mass Persecution of Christians and Kurds,” released Sept. 4 by the Gatestone Institute. Since 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been attacking Kurdish-majority areas in the country, and Christians have been caught in the crossfire, according to the report.
In Diyarbikir “virtually the entire town — and all Christian properties belonging to the indigenous Armenian, Assyrian (Syriac), Chaldean and Protestant communities — was included in an expropriation plan adopted in March 2016 by the Turkish cabinet.” That expropriation plan included the Surp Giragos Church and others. Those ethnic groups haven’t been able to worship in their own churches for the past three years, according to the report.
SPIEGEL ONLINE – 18 Sept 2017 –
Die Kurden im Irak träumen von der Unabhängigkeit, die Regierung will das mit allen Mitteln verhindern. Nun hat der Vizepräsident der Minderheit … Volltext lesen http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/irak-kurden-referendum-bagdad-will-kein-zweites-israel-dulden-a-1168381.html