In their latest deal to fight ISIS, Washington and Turkey are treating the Middle East’s largest stateless minority like pawns. That’s a huge mistake. By John Feffer, July 29, 2015. – Let’s mix some metaphors in the Middle East, all of them involving elephants. In the crisis zone that encompasses Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria, the Kurds are the elephant in the room. They are the “problem” that no one really wants to talk about.
By Michael Rubin – 2015-07-29- Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters take up positions inside a damaged building in al-Vilat al-Homor neighborhood in Hasaka city, as they monitor the movements of Islamic State fighters who are stationed in Ghwayran neighborhood in Hasaka city, Syria July 22, 2015 (Reuters).Make no mistake: It is essential that the Iraqi government, and Iraqi and Syrian Kurds both have the material they need to fight the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh). When Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi took the reins of power in Baghdad in 2014, he inherited an impossible situation: ISIS had seized broad swaths of territory, including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. The precipitous American withdrawal also undercut his ability to resist Iranian pressure.
30 Jul 2015 – A leading commander of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) warned about the eruption of clashes between forces in his party with the Peshmerga fighters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Shingal, northern Iraq.
SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) MESOP FLASH : Senior Turkish official meets Barzani after strikes against PKK
30 July 2015 – A senior Turkish foreign minister has paid a snap visit to Erbil to hold talks with Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani after the Turkish army’s strikes on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the region.Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu went to Erbil early July 30 and met with KRG President Massoud Barzani, the Anadolu Agency reported.
In the months following the 2003 invasion of Iraq most of the top American leadership refused to admit that there was any resistance to its presence in the country. When the Bush administration did talk about any violence it tended to dismiss it as the acts of dead enders trying to bring back the old regime or foreign fighters, which supported the White House’s claim that Iraq was part of the global war on terror. It took until the end of 2003 for the U.S. to openly accept that an insurgency had begun. That showed how little the Americans understood what the invasion had wrought, which would set a pattern of failure in the nation for the next several years.
MESOP TODAYS COMMENTARY : BY HENRI BARKEY & OTHERS – Why Turkey-KRG ties will likely trump Kurdish solidarity
Josh Wood – The National – 28 Juli 2015 – BEIRUT // The government of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region is in an awkward position after Turkey resumed strikes against the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, ending a ceasefire in place since 2013.Despite a bitter past, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was thrown into de facto alliances with both Turkey and the PKK in recent years.In the space of a decade, Iraq’s Kurds went from fearing that a Turkish invasion would crush their hopes for independence to becoming strong economic partners with Ankara. Despite initial mutual suspicion, Turkey quickly found the oil-rich, landlocked and relatively peaceful KRG a ripe market for trade. And in Turkey, the KRG found a destination for its oil. Both sides benefited.
MESOP : IRAN ORIENTED SHIA MILITIA IN IRAQ IN PRAISE OF PKK/PYD – Hadi al-Amri: PKK & its affiliates are the spearhead against ISIS in Syria
By RUDAW – 27 July 2015 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The head of the Shiite Badr Organization, Hadi al-Amri, said Monday that Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters and its affiliates were spearheading the war against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.“PKK and Syrian Kurds are the spearhead in the fight against ISIS,” said Amri.
Iraqi Christian militia draws foreign fighters / By Adam Lucente – Al Monitor 27 July 2015 – Dozens of foreigners have joined the People’s Protection Units since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war to fight against the Islamic State (IS). Since early 2015, the Iraq-based Christian military organization Dwekh Nawsha (Self-Sacrificers in Aramaic) has become an alternative destination for such fighters. Despite the enthusiasm surrounding their cause and heavy media attention, Dwekh Nawsha’s Western volunteers only recently began participating in combat roles in the battle against IS. This was the result of monthslong petitioning of the authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan.
By RÛDAW 27 July 2015 – SINA, Iran — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived Sunday in Sanandaj, the capital city of Iranian Kurdistan, and marked his first visit to Kurdistan province after two years serving in office. According to Iranian state news media, Rouhani was accompanied by a government delegation for a day-long visit in Kurdistan. “Choosing Kurdistan province as the first place to visit right after the nuclear deal with the West shows the importance of Kurdistan and its people during the Islamic Revolution and their role in protecting Iran,” Rouhani told the press upon his arrival at Sina airport.