IRAN ON THE MARCH: Trump’s Kurdistan Folly Directly Impacts Israel

The going line coming from Washington over the the joint operation carried out by the Iranian Al Quds Force, Hashd Al-Shaab, and of course the Iraqi Army against Kirkuk, a Kurdish majority city is that this was a minor border disagreement between the Federal authority in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government sitting in Erbil.

The repeated line that there was little fighting is simply not accurate. Our sources on the ground have reported intense fighting with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Al Quds Force against factions connected to the Kurds.

Already the Kurdish Peshmerga is withdrawing further North and have withdrawn from cities South of Erbil.

No mention of major Iranian inovolvement can be heard from the Pentagon’s lips. This allowance of major Iranian military movement into Kirkuk and if the Iraqi PM can be believed into the capital of the KRG itself Erbil, then the Trump administration can be rightly seen as a paper tiger , willing to scream and threaten Iran without putting its foot down when the moment arrives to do so.

If the Iran-Iraq army is allowed to use American weapons at will and essentially wreck havoc in the most stable area of what is left of Iraq, then how can the White House be believed on the rest of its commitments in the region.

How Does this Affect Israel?

Israel is dealing with the realization that it is fast becoming surrounded by a Russian protected Shiite alliance made up of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.  Kurdistan’s stability and friendliness to Israel has been known both behind scenes and in recent years out in the open.

The lack of responce by the administration as well as nuanced statements backing the false notion of Federalism within an already divided Iraq essentially provides Iran with the motivation to continue to move to control the region and ultimately threaten Israel, without fear of US response.

President Trump is now seen as weak by the Shiites who are taking advantage of an administration that is more worried about its bark than its bite.

Israel now knows it cannot rely on comments alone from the administration when it comes to stopping Iran, but must demand concrete actions. By allowing the lightening quick occupation of Kirkuk by Iran-Iraq, Trump unknowlingly has set the stage for the very unravelling of his new Iran policy.

The President and his team can still rectify the situation by demanding the Iraqi army hand over all American equipment it is using in breach of its agreement with the US military.  If Baghdad resists, the US military would be justified in bombing the tanks and humvees in the assaults on the Kurds. Furthermore, the US can still now provide air support to enable the Kurdish Peshmerga to even the odds against the Iran-Iraq army.

The longer the President and the Administration in Washington ignores the situation, the faster Iran will move to create an irreversible control over the entire region, which will ultimately isolate Israel.

Battle Over Kirkuk Begins, Turkey Supports Baghdad Against Kurdistan

The battle over Kirkuk has officially begun as Iranian and Iraqi forces enter the city of Kirkuk with US weapons gifted to Iraq for use only on ISIS. The Kurdish Peshmerga under threat from A1-Abrams Tanks now in the hands of the Hashd Al-Shaabi (an Iranian backed militia in Iraq) fell back to the city’s center.

Kurdish casuties have already been reported by Kurdistan 24 and Rudaw.

Peshmerga reinforcements have been sent from Erbil to push out the Iran-Iraq army now occupying Kirkuk and the oil rich region around it.

In a breaking development Turkey has publicly backed Baghdad over the Kirkuk crisis in a carefully worded statement:

“We are closely following the steps the Iraqi government is taking to establish its constitutional sovereignty over Kirkuk, the homeland of our Turkmen kin throughout history. Turkey will side with the Iraqi government in taking steps to ensure lasting peace and stability in the country,” the statement read.

Turkey has reportedly built up their defenses against the Syrian Kurds in preparation of their own assault against the Kurdish region in Syria.

Will US Back the Kurds?

Given that Baghdad, after years of US support has openly handed over A1-Abrams to America’s number one enemy, Iran, as well as after years of training with the US has now openly switched allegience to Tehran, US policy must change.  In order to hold Iran back the Kurds must be seen as the frontlines in stopping Persian expansion.

Given the fast pace of events in and around Kirkuk, the US military leadership has been reported to be meeting with Kurdish leadership in Erbil.  This meeting is a foreshadowing of preperations for a push back against the onlsaught by the merged Iran-Iraq army.


A Synagogue in Kurdish Iraq? Only a Matter of Time…

The Jewish community in Iraqi Kurdistan has officially submitted a request to open a synagogue in Erbil, the region’s capital.
“Representatives from the Jewish community put forward a request to build a synagogue in the city of Erbil and although they have the right to it, the ministry is yet to agree to issue the licence,” the ministry’s spokesperson Mariwan Naqshbandi told The New Arab. “The ministry of religious affairs includes representatives from eight religious communities, including the Jewish community. Therefore, they have the right to get the licence request approved to build a synagogue.”

On Wednesday the Jewish community in Kurdistan, now numbering only 400 families, marked 71 years since tens of thousands were forcibly expelled from the region. The Kurdish Jewish community wants the Kurdistan Regional Government to recognise what happened to the Jews of the area.

Location of Erbil, Iraq Source: Google Maps
Location of Erbil, Iraq Source: Google Maps

Kurdistan Friendly to Israel 

It is a fact that no one wants to admit, at least not publicly, but for years successive Israeli governments have covertly and more recently backed Kurdish independence from Iraq.  Kurds are not Arabs and have a traditions of being descended from the Medes who were known to be friendly to the Jewish people.  In fact the Kurds and Jews should be considered to two predominantly indigenous people of the area until the Arab population colonized what is today northern Iraq.

Israel currently buys a good portion of its oil from Kurdish areas from a pipeline running through Turkey to the Mediterranean.

As ties continue to grow beyond military assistance, expect direct trade and open relations as long as the Peshmerga can keep ISIS and Turkey from its borders.