DEIR AL-ZOR FALLING: Syrian Regime and Kurdish SDF Head for a Showdown

As the talk of chaos and war between the Kurds of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq and the Arab areas to the South intensify due to the approaching referendum, something ominous is fast approaching between similar sides in Syria.

The last stronghold of ISIS rests in Eastern Syria in a sparsely populated region called Deir al-Zor. In recent weeks Deir al-Zor has been the focus of intense fighting between the Russian backed Syrian regime and ISIS fighters. Sources on the ground report that the Syrian government forces fought their way to an air base on the outskirts of Deir al-Zor.

Meanwhile the US backed SDF, which is made up of mainly Kurds along with some Arab units is heading for Deir al-Zor from the North. The Kurds shocked the Syrian regime when they essentially declared an independent enclave in Syria’s North.  Similar to their brethren in Iraq, they have become the most effective force to wiping out ISIS.

The Syrian Kurds who make of the bullwark of the SDF have one mission in mind as the approach Deir al-Zor.

“The first step is to free the eastern bank of the Euphrates and the areas Islamic State still holds. We’re not specifying a timeframe but we hope it will be a quick operation,”Ahmed Abu Kholeh head of the SDF military council told Reuters. 

With both armies on a collision course, Deir al-Zor may very well be the first point of many where the US and Russian proxies fight.  The challenge for the Syrian regime, is that the Kurds are far better trained than their Jihadist counterparts.  With Iraq about to be split between the Iranian influenced South and Kurdish controlled North, Syria is on its way to a division between Kurdish and non-Kurdish areas.

Iran and Turkey Are the Big Losers

Whether or not the Syrian Regime and the SDF fight against eachother directly remains to be seen.  What is important to understand is that both the SDF in Syria and the KRG in Iraq in a sense create the very Kurdistan that Turkey and Iran are petrified of.  Afterall, if both the Syrian Kurds and Iraqi Kurds can gain independence what stops the 20 million Kurds in Turkey and the 15 million Kurds in Iran from doing the same thing.

Look for Iran, Syria, and even Turkey to cooperate against what they see as the growing Kurdish threat to their hegemony. It will then be up to Putin to decide how to proceed against the world’s largest group of people still without a state.

Iran is Scared of an Independent Kurdistan

September 25th will be remembered in history as the day which saw the beginning of the unraveling of the post WW1 global order.  When the Kurds of Iraq finally vote for breaking away from Iraq and declaring an independent Kurdish state, the veil covering the artificial boundaries that exist throughout the Middle East will be lifted.

The countries that will be affected directly will not just be Iraq, but Syria, Turkey, and most importantly Iran. Iran itself is home to 15 million Kurds, which is three times the amount of Kurds in Iraq.

Seyyed Mohammad Javad Abtahi an Iranian MP said that President Barzani of the Kurdish Regional Government’s actual plan is to annex Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iran.

“Barzani is seeking to establish an independent Kurdistan consisting of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk provinces,” he said, and that “Barzani then plans to annex Kurdish regions of Turkey, Syria and Iran step by step.”

Iran, has for years treated the Kurdish areas as second class forcibly conscripting Kurds into the army.  The Kurds of Iran actually had an independent state called Mahabat in 1946 until the Shah backed by the USA crushed it. This would effectively mean the Iranians are acutally occupying foreign land.

What bothers Iran the most from an independent Kurdistan is that it would block its advance between Iran and Lebanon.  Not to mention, the KRG itself would act in coordination with Israel and the USA against the growing Shiite crescent.

“But today, new reports show that the US is behind the idea to create a new cancerous tumor like Israel along Iranian borders,” Abtahi said.  “The US claims it is against the referendum but in reality Washington is interested in the idea. It is also investing huge amounts of money in supporting Peshmerga forces.”

Although the Iranians have insisted they will not get involved with internal Iraqi issues, our sources tell us the Iranian military has begun to move its army into Iranian Kurdish areas as well as positioning its forces to be ready to deal with an independent Kurdistan in Iraq.


China’s Latest Strike Against Petrodollar is Another Shot to Kill US Hegemony in the Middle East

China Petrodollar

China took another major step towards the inevitable end of petrodollar dominance and the further internationalization of the yuan. Via this report:

‘China is expected shortly to launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold in what analysts say could be a game-changer for the industry.
The contract could become the most important Asia-based crude oil benchmark, given that China is the world’s biggest oil importer. Crude oil is usually priced in relation to Brent or West Texas Intermediate futures, both denominated in U.S. dollars.
China’s move will allow exporters such as Russia and Iran to circumvent U.S. sanctions by trading in yuan. To further entice trade, China says the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong.’

Critical to this move is the decision by Saudi Arabia:

‘If Saudi Arabia accepts yuan settlement for oil, Gave said, “this would go down like a lead balloon in Washington, where the U.S. Treasury would see this as a threat to the dollar’s hegemony… and it is unlikely the U.S. would continue to approve modern weapon sales to Saudi and the embedded protection of the House of Saud [the kingdom’s ruling family] that comes with them.”
The alternative for Saudi Arabia is equally unappetizing. “Getting boxed out of the Chinese market will increasingly mean having to dump excess oil inventories on the global stage, thereby ensuring a sustained low price for oil,” said Gave.’

If Saudi Arabia feels that China can act as an effective shield against its Iranian adversary, it most likely will forgo this ‘embedded protection’ from the US and acquiesce to Chinese demands. It may feel greater pressure as Qatar recently restored diplomatic relations with Iran thereby strengthening the Iran-Turkey-Qatar alliance.

Chinese Relations with Pakistan / Afghanistan

China has made inroads with non-oil producing nations in the region. Primarily, it has a growing economic relationship with Pakistan. While challenges of political and economic isolation exist, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor commonly known as CPEC has grown larger than its initially planned $46 billion investment plan announced in 2015. The investment is potentially crucial to China’s Belt and Road Initiative as it could provide a link from China through Europe and Africa. In addition, China has aggressively pushed development of a railway linking China and Afghanistan that is aimed to cut travel time between the two nations from six months to two weeks. Although the project has run into problems, the importance of this railway cannot be understated. Back in September, Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Yao Jing went so far to say, “Without Afghan connectivity, there is no way to connect China with the rest of the world.”

Gold Moves

Curiously, on August 21, US Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin became the first government official to visit Fort Knox in 43 years. Just prior to his visit, he said to an audience (hopefully in humor) ‘I assume the gold is still there…It would really be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no gold.” After his visit, he tweeted ‘Glad gold is safe!’. Unfortunately, it would have been more reassuring to some if there had been a full audit (i.e. serial numbers per each gold bar).
In addition, Germany recently announced that its central bank completed the transfer of $27.9 billion worth of gold bars back to Frankfurt three years ahead of expectations. The gold was held by the Federal Reserve in New York and France’s central bank to hedge against political and currency risks.

China’s Strike Against Cryptocurrency Threat

Yesterday, China effectively banned all organizations and individuals from raising funds through ICO activities. Also, all banks and financial institutions in China will not be able do any business related to ICO trading. Cryptocurrency prices dropped sharply as a result. While intended to protect investors from fraud, the decision may have been timed to strike back at the US – Japan alliance to transition to a world reserve currency led by Bitcoin. It would not be in China’s interest to allow this transition to occur smoothly (if at all). It is unclear how committed China is to blockchain technology as its primary goal is to prevent any financial instability in its markets as it attempts to undermine US hegemony.

US – China Comparison

In spite of the numerous deficiencies of Chinese government behavior (especially towards its own people), its acumen in establishing relationships throughout the Middle East without using military force can be characterized as highly impressive. Contrast that with the US and its consistent failed policy of invasion in the name of ‘fighting terrorists’. Sixteen years of US occupation has left Afghanistan as a failed state where the Taliban control roughly 40% of the country and opium production has risen from 185 tons in 2001 to 3,300 tons in 2015 despite the US spending $8.4 billion in counter narcotics programs. Equally troubling is President Trump’s recent decision to break his campaign promise and raise troop levels in Afghanistan. His deference to the military industrial complex has garnered meaningless praise from many of the same people who have supported these failed policies.
As Democrats and their compliant media hyped the fake Russian hacking narrative (updated to Russian collusion), Russia has only become more unified with China to counter US power. While China has economic issues of debt and ghost cities, the US is gripped in a state of chaos as it has:

  • An illusion of a healthy economy (due to central bank manipulation) and in contrast to the reality of a failing economy with fake economic data published by a corrupt government (Even David Stockman, former Reagan administration budget director, asks ‘How can there be “full-employment” at 4.4% unemployment claimed by the BLS and the Fed’s monetary central planners, when there are 103 million adults without jobs?’)
  • Dire circumstances for many as anywhere from 49% of Americans to 78% of all American full-time workers live paycheck to paycheck
  • A likely cost of $150 to $180 billion from Hurricane Harvey that will be added to a national debt of approximately $20 trillion
  • Death threats made by ‘deep state’ members against its president on a regular basis
  • An Attorney General that is too scared or compromised to follow the rule of law and proceed with justice and who has no problem instituting a widely criticized a policy that abuses its citizens


The repercussions of a Saudi move to side with China should not come as any surprise but will affect everyone in the world. For years, Dr. Ron Paul has warned about the end of the petrodollar system causing the US dollar to lose its world’s reserve currency status and to subsequently collapse. As a result, Russia would immediately demand the end of a US presence in Syria. This could be followed by the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Turkey and other countries. In the midst of great uncertainty, some may use the event to their advantage. The Kurdish population could feel emboldened and seize the opportunity to declare an independent state. In this case, Israel would be the beneficiary as a new Kurdish state would counter the looming threat from Iran.

Originally Published on News with Chai.


Why it may weaken US adversaries and strengthen our allies.

If the leaders of Iraqi Kurdistan aren’t intimidated into standing down, on September 25, the people of Iraqi Kurdistan will go to the polls to vote on a referendum for independence.

The Kurds have been hoping to hold the referendum since 2013.

Whereas Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu restated his support for Kurdish independence earlier this month in a meeting with a delegation of visiting Republican congressmen, the Trump administration has urged Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and his colleagues to postpone the referendum indefinitely. US Defense Secretary James Mattis, who visited with Barzani in the Kurdish capital of Erbil two weeks ago, said that the referendum would harm the campaign against Islamic State.

In his words, “Our point right now is to stay focused like a laser beam on the defeat of ISIS and to let nothing distract us.”

Another line of argument against the Kurdish referendum was advanced several weeks ago by The New York Times editorial board. The Times argued the Kurds aren’t ready for independence. Their government suffers from corruption, their economy is weak, their democratic institutions are weak and their human rights record is far from perfect.

While the Times’ claims have truth to them, the relevant question is compared to what? Compared to their neighbors, not to mention to the Times’ favored group the Palestinians, the Kurds, who have been self-governing since 1991, are paragons of good governance. Not only have they given refuge to tens of thousands of Iraqis fleeing ISIS, Iraqi Kurdistan has been an island of relative peace in a war-torn country since the US-led invasion in 2003.

Its Peshmerga forces have not only secured Kurdistan, they have been the most competent force fighting ISIS since its territorial conquests in 2014.

The same is the case of the Kurdish YPG militia in Syrian Kurdistan.

As for Mattis’s argument that the referendum, and any subsequent moves to secede from Iraq, would harm the campaign against ISIS, the first question is whether he is right.

If Mattis is concerned that the referendum will diminish Iranian and Turkish support for the campaign, then his concern is difficult to defend.

Turkey has never been a significant player in the anti-ISIS campaign. Indeed, until recently, Turkey served as ISIS’s logistical base.

As for Iran, this week Iranian-controlled Hezbollah and Lebanese military forces struck a deal to permit ISIS fighters they defeated along the Lebanese-Syrian border to safely transit Syria to ISIS-held areas along the Syrian border with Iraq. In other words, far from cooperating with the US and its allies against ISIS, Iran and its underlings are fighting a separate war to take ISIS out of their areas of influence while enabling ISIS to fight the US and its allies in other areas.

This then brings us to the real question that the US should be asking itself in relation to the Kurdish referendum. That question is whether an independent Kurdistan would advance or harm US strategic interests in the region.

Since the US and Russia concluded their cease-fire deal for Syria on July 7, Netanyahu has used every opportunity to warn that the cease-fire is a disaster.

In the interest of keeping Mattis’s “laser focus” on fighting ISIS, the US surrendered its far greater strategic interest of preventing Iran and its proxies from taking over the areas that ISIS controlled – such as the Syrian-Lebanese border and the tri-border area between Iraq, Syria and Jordan. As Netanyahu warns at every opportunity, Iran and its proxies are moving into all the areas being liberated from ISIS.

And Iran isn’t the only concern from either an Israeli or an American perspective. Turkey is also a looming threat, which will only grow if it isn’t contained.

Turkey’s rapidly accelerating anti-American trajectory is now unmistakable.

Last week during Mattis’s visit to Ankara, Turkish- supported militias in northern Syria opened fire on US forces. Not only did Turkey fail to apologize, Turkey condemned the US for retaliating against the attackers.

Moreover, last week, Turkish authorities announced they are charging US pastor Andrew Brunson with espionage, membership in a terrorist organization and attempting to destroy Turkey’s constitutional order and overthrow its parliament.

Brunson was arrested last October.

Whereas until last year’s failed military coup against the regime of President Recep Erdogan, Turkey demonstrated a firm interest in remaining a member of NATO and a strategic ally of the US, since the failed coup, Turkey has signaled that it at best, it is considering its options. US generals say that since the failed coup, they have almost no one to talk to in the Turkish military. Their interlocutors are either under arrest or too afraid to speak to them.

The regime and its supporters express both neo-Ottoman and neo-colonial aspirations, both of which place Turkey on a collision course with the US.

For instance, Melih Ecertas, the head of Erdogan AK Party’s youth wing, proclaimed that Erdogan is not merely the president of Turkey, rather he is “president of all the world’s Muslims.

So, too, Muslim Brotherhood leader Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi called Erdogan “the hope of all Muslims and of Islam.”

Qaradawi, who lives in Qatar and is Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel’s superstar preacher, has good reason to love Erdogan.

In June, Erdogan decided to make a strategic move to protect the pro-Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Iranian Qatari regime from its angry neighbors, led by Saudi Arabia. Turkey’s deployment of forces to Doha stalled the Saudi-led campaign against the Qatari regime.

If the regime survives, and if world oil prices continue to drop and so weaken Saudi economic power, Turkey’s decision to deploy its forces to Qatar could be the first step toward realizing its neo-Ottoman ambitions.

As for neo-imperialism, last October Foreign Policy reported that Turkish television now uses a map from 1918 to define Turkey’s current borders. From 1918 through 1920, Turkish territory included large portions of Iraq, among them Kurdistan and Mosul, as well as large swaths of Syria, including Aleppo.

Foreign Policy reported that use of the map indicates that as the post-World War I map of the Middle East becomes obsolete, Erdogan sees an opportunity to expand Turkish territory.

Then there are Erdogan’s moves to build strategic ties with Russia and Iran.

Last November the NATO member announced it is negotiating the purchase of an S-400 air defense system from Russia.

As for Iran, last week Maj.-Gen, Mohammad Hossein Baghari, Iran’s chief of General Staff, paid the first official visit by an Iranian army chief to Turkey since the 1979 revolution. Baghari met not only by his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Hulusi Akar, but with Erdogan as well.

Erdogan said after the meeting that he and Baghari discussed possible joint military action against the Kurds in northern Iraq, Syria and Iran.

In his words, “Joint action against terrorist groups that have become a threat is always on the agenda.This issue has been discussed between the two military chiefs, and I discussed more broadly how this should be carried out.”

Baghari was more explicit. He effectively announced that Iran and Turkey will respond with force to the Kurdish referendum.


“Both sides stressed that if the [Kurdish] referendum would be held, it will be the basis for the start of a series of tensions and conflicts inside Iraq, the consequences of which will affect neighboring countries.”

Baghari continued, “Holding the referendum will get Iraq, but also Iran and Turkey involved and that’s why the authorities of the two countries emphasize that it is not possible and should not be done.”


This then brings us back to Israel and the US and why Netanyahu is right to support Kurdish independence and the Trump administration is wrong to oppose it.

So long as there is no significant change in the nature of the Iranian and Turkish regimes, their empowerment will come at the expense of the US, Israel and the Arab Sunni states.

The Kurds, with their powerful and experienced military forces in Iraq and Syria alike, constitute a significant check on both Iranian and Turkish power.

Several commentators argue that the Turks will respond to the Kurdish referendum by waging a war of annihilation against the Kurds in Iraq and beyond. Iran, they warn, will assist in Turkish efforts.

As far as Iran is concerned, in the near future, its central effort will remain in Syria. As for Turkey, whereas Erdogan and his followers may wish to undertake such a campaign, today it hard to imagine them succeeding.

A year after the failed coup, the Turkish military is astounding observers with its incompetent performance in Syria. Despite the fact that Turkish forces are fighting in Syria in areas adjacent to their border, they are unable to competently project their force.

Turkey’s underperformance in Syria makes clear that the Turkish armed forces, which Erdogan gutted in his purges of the officer and NCO corps in the wake of the failed coup, have not rebuilt their strength.

According to an analysis by Al-Monitor published last September, the first four rounds of purges in the immediate aftermath of the failed coup reduced the number of general officers by nearly 40%. The ratio of pilots to aircraft in the Turkish Air Force was reduced from more than three pilots per plane to less than one pilot per plane.

While Al-Monitor assessed last year that it would take up to two years for the Turkish Air Force to rebuild its pilot corps, last week it appeared that two years was a gross underestimation of the time required.

Last week the US rejected a Turkish request to have Pakistani pilots fly Turkish F-16s. The request owed to the critical shortage of pilots in the Turkish Air Force.

And Erdogan continues to purge his generals. In early August he sacked the commanders of Turkish land forces and the Turkish Navy.

Given the current state of Turkish forces on the one hand, and the battlefield competence of Kurdish forces, it is clear that the balance of the two forces has never been better for the Kurds.

If Kurdistan becomes independent with US and Israeli backing and survives, the implications for the longevity of the Erdogan regime, given the rapidly expanding size of the Kurdish minority in Turkey, are significant.

Likewise for Iran, an independent Kurdistan in Iraq will serve to contain Iranian power in Syria and potentially destabilize the Iranian regime at home.

In summary then, opponents of Kurdish independence are correct. An independent Kurdistan will destabilize the region. But contrary to their claims, this is a good thing. For the first time since 2009, destabilization will benefit the US and Israel and weaken Iran and Turkey.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Why are ISIS Fighters Being Transferred to the Border of Iraqi Kurdistan?

While Syria and Iran have begun to win back ISIS controlled areas in Western Syria, the Kurdistan Region Security Council has noticed that the defeated ISIS soldiers are not being killed or held, but rather transferred to Eastern Syria on the Iraqi border.

“According to an agreement between ISIS terrorists, the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, hundreds of ISIS militants left the Lebanese border areas and were taken with their arms and ammunition toward the Iraqi border areas,” the Kurdistan Region Security Council said in a statement released Tuesday.
“We as the Region’s Security Council express our concerns about this action and consider it suspicious. This raises many questions.  We hope that all relevant parties in the region take a serious stance on this action,” the statement added. 

The fighters were transferred to Al Bukamal on the Iraq-Syria border in eastern Deir ez-Zur province, part of the middle Euphrates River valley.  This area has the largest build up of ISIS fighters.  The question remains: Why Syria and Iran would want to strengthen the jihadist’s hands on the border of Iraq instead of wiping them out?

Iran Wants Chaos After Kurdish Independence

The approaching Kurdish referendum on independence is set to take place on September 25th.  An independent Kurdistan puts Iran into a dangerous position.  Afterall, Iran has 15 million Kurds within its borders, mostly in the West on the Iraqi border.

Our analysis indicates that Iran is using ISIS in order to create chaos after the Kurdish referendum.  There is one thing to have a Kurdish state, which is strong and stable.  This would be the last thing Iran wants, but a Kurdish state that has to continuously fight ISIS is one that would pose no threat to Iran.

ISIS, being a Sunni Jihadist organization would simply be ferried across the border into Sunni Iraq and moved North to the KRG.

Essentially, ISIS has become a tool of the Shiites in much of the same way as it was with the Obama administration. Where it goes it creates chaos and with any chaos there is always another party looking to make order.  Iran is now mobilizing to the KRG’s East as well. Kurdistan is essentially surrounded by chaos to its West, Turkey to the North and the Iranian army to its East.

In order for Kurdistan to come out of September 25th as a stable country, the Iranian game of creating as much problems as necessary must end.  This can be done by ensuring the ISIS buildup on the Kurdish border is wiped out. If the Pentagon is truly serious about helping a nascent Kurdistan become an actual state, then it must ensure the ISIS force in Deir ez-Zur is finished before it can create havok for the new state.


Are Turkey and Iran Teaming Up Against an Independent Kurdistan?

With the likely passage of the Kurdish Indpendence referendum st for September 25th, Tehran Times reported that “Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, made a rare visit to Ankara where he met with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Turkey’s defense minister.”

Iran has continually pushed back against Kurdish Independence as has Turkey.  Both countries fear a free and independent Kurdistan will enable their large Kurdish populations to push for increased autonomy.  In Turey there are 20 million Kurds that live in second class conditions in Southeastern Turkey.  In Iran there are 15 million Kurds in the North West of the country.

“Holding the referendum is a natural and just right of the people of Kurdistan and no one other than the people of Kurdistan has the right to talk about it,” the Kurdish Peshmerga said in a statement released on Friday.

A rising Kurdistan will not only change the anatomy of the Middle East, but will thwart the hegemonic desires of both Turkey and Iran.

Although no one has declared armed conflict after the referendum, the threat is there.  The USA has even warned the Kurds not to go ahead just yet, but will not stop the vote. Given the large unknown factor after September 25th, most countries in the immediate vicinity are on edge.

Iran has accomplished a lot by subverting Iraq through its Shiite agents in Baghdad, but an overt move to Kurdish independence would roll back its advances and create a defacto Israeli ally on its borders. That would mean boh Kurdistan and Azerbaijan could give Israel an ability to take out Iran’s nuclear arsenal with ease.

This would mean that Israel could remain independent of the Saudi led Sunni alliance. This alone would weaken the leverage the Trump administration and the Saudis have in regard to Jewish biblical areas in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) deisired by the Arab world.


Bibi’s Support for Kurdistan Becomes Critical Before the Upcoming Kurdish Referendum

According to the Jersualem Post, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his support for an indepependent Kurdistan to a group of 33 visiting US congressmen.

Israel’s support for an independent Kurdistan is no secret, yet it has been relegated until recently to covert relations. As Iraqi Kurdistan votes on a referendum supporting independence on September 25th, Israel’s support is critical due to the fact that the US government continues to waver on whether or not the Kurds should hold the referendum.

Just recently US Seceretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to hold off on going forward with the referendum.  Despite the pressure the KRG insisits it is going forward with the referendum.

“The date is standing, Sept 25, no change,” said Hoshyar Zebari, a close adviser to Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked Barzani to postpone the referendum.

Despite the rheotric from both the US and the KRG, American aid and direct development of the Kurdish autonomous area has continued, leading some to believe that the US and KRG are actually in agreement when it comes to the referendum.  When it passes the US, like Israel will forcefully recognize and support and independent Kurdish state.

According to my sources on the ground in Erbil, the US now directly controls one-third of Erbil’s international airport.  The US government has also resumed direct arms shipments to the Kurds as opposed to Obama’s policy which saw weapons transferred through Bagdhad to Kurdistan. This meant that many of the weapons were transferred to Iran instead of the Kurdish Peshmerga.

Why Does Israel’s Support Matter?

Bibi’s clear support for Kurdistan is not only on the governmental level, but is a reflection of how Israeli society as a whole views Kurdistan.  More than this, an indpendent Kurdistan would reshape the region by giving another moderate indigenous nation their own homeland.

While America wavers on Kurdistan due to the need to placate its Arab partners, Israel is able to speak its mind and show support for Kurdistan.  Israel’s support for Kurdistan runs deep and after September 25th this support may very well bear fruits by way of a truly moderate neighbor in the Middle East.


The Real Reason Turkey is Bombing Kurdistan’s Border Region

The Turkish government continued to pound Southern Kurdistan, which is located in Northern Iraq. According to Rudaw, the Turkish military has been increasing bombardments in the area since Friday. The Turkish government claims it is only targeting PKK terrorists, yet this is a ploy often used by Erdgan to justify attacks on the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The latest attack was said to be carried out against PKK forces in the mountainous border area. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency news reported operations by Turkish jets in the Kurdistan Region  on Sunday, “were conducted in the Zap and Matina regions Saturday evening, killing three terrorists, who were preparing for an attack.”

With the September 25th referendum fast approaching and no sign that KRG President Barzani will be able to cancel it, Turkey has begun to step up deterrence by military means instead.  Already heavily involved with attempting to destablize the fledgling Kurdish autonomous area in Northern Syria through airstrikes and his Turkmen militia, the KRG area in Northern Iraq poses a challenge to Turkey.

Turkey and the KRG actually do nearly $8 billion in oil sales per year. Turkey and the Kurdistan Regional Government  signed a 50-year energy deal, which resumed the flow of Kurdish oil to international markets. The deal went against Baghdad’s demands for an immediate halt to sales.

With these figures, Turkey cannot directly go against the KRG, even if a referendum will be pave the way for independence.

“Holding the referendum will not have a negative impact on the economic relationship between Turkey and the Kurdistan Region, but rather it strengthens the bilateral relation,” the KDP official told Turkey’s state-run news outlet, Anadolu Agency. The official added that the KRG is able to satisfy more than 50 percent of Turkey’s energy demands.

If this is the case, then what is Erdogan’s strategy in relation to the Kurdish Regional Government on Iraq?

After all there are more than 52 oil companies operating in the Kurdistan Region’s oil fields and more than 20 additional oil reserves are ready to operate. Erdogan cannot simply go to war with a region that supplies so much of its oil.

Turkey Wants a Kurdish Vassal State in Norther Iraq

Long suspicious of any independent Kurdish State, Erdogan and the Turkish military have opted to tacitly support a compliant Kurdistan held within what is today the KRG in order to utilize its political structure to control the Kurds drive for true independence while keeping the oil flowing into Turkey.

Turkey knows that the soon to be independent Kurdistan, held within land locked borders has only one way to get its oil out and that is though Turkey. Turkey can come off as an unlikely benefactor of a Kurdish state while controlling the very state it claims it supports. This strategy requires Turkey to cut off Western Kurdistan, which is in Northern Syria while also ciolently repressing its 20 million Kurds in Suthern Turkey.

Turkey’s continued bombardments of the KRG is a message to Masoud Barzani that he is only allowed to push for Kurdish independence in name only or else the Northern Iraqi region could end up much like Northern Syria.


Baghdad Threatens Force to Keep Kurdistan in Iraq

As the Kurdistan Regional Government’s September 25th referendum on independence fast approaches, Baghdad has begun to warn the KRG that it is willing to us force to keep Iraq unified.

Iraqi Defense Minister Irfan al-Hayali said the following while on a trip to Iran aimed at strengthening cooperation:

“The army will intervene to prevent any attempts or illegal measures aimed at dividing the country.”

Irfan al-Hayali  later denied the statements and said they had been mistranslated.


Kurdistan has been a long time coming and many believe that the Bush 2 administration was pushing for an eventual split from Iraq. “The people of the Kurdistan Region have the right to decide on their future peacefully,” President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani has repeatedly stated.

Although the US has often said it supports an eventual independent Kurdistan, recent comments suggest a subtle backtracking from outward support. The US fears a drive towards independence now will complicate its relationship with Baghdad and formerly push it into the arms of Iran.

Iran’s State News Agency reported the following:

Iran and Iraq on Sunday signed deals aimed at boosting military and defense cooperation during a visit by Baghdad’s Defense Minister Irfan al-Hayali to Tehran. In a memorandum of understanding, signed by Hayali and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan.

With the ties already growing the US may need to jettison its current policy and support Kurdistan openly. The coming referendum will put the USA to the test on whether it really wants to stop Iran or not.


US ABANDONS KURDISTAN: Independent Kurdish state would be “Significantly Destabilizing”

With the following statement the US has appeared to backtrack on their support for an independent Kurdish State in Northern Iraq.

“We think that under the Iraqi constitution, there’s an important process of dialogue that has to take place, and having a referendum on such a fast timeline, particularly in disputed areas, would be, we think, significantly destabilizing,” Mr. McGurk told reporters after a anti-ISIS coalition meeting at the State Department on Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend had already begun to dash the Kurdish hopes for US backing when he said the following at the Pentagon last Tuesday:

“You know, I think… the position of our government is that this is not helpful for the campaign, right now, certainly. It’s not helpful in the coalition’s fight, the world’s fight against ISIS.This effort by the KRG to have this independence referendum, whether it’s the right thing to do or not, is not my position to judge. But I do think it’ll have some kind of impact and — and apply additional friction to the campaign.”

What the US is nervous about is the regime in Bahgdad.  The Kurdish Peshmerga was the main party behing the liberation of Mosul.  A ground war that is fought between a seceding KRG and Bahgdad could see the Kurdish Peshmerga actually win, that is if the USA keeps Bahgdad from using fighter jets.

The Kurdish referendum has essentially exposed the USA as playing both sides in Iraq similar to the British strategy in the pre-1948 Palestinian Mandate. On one hand the British high command encouraged Jewish rights to the Land of Israel as well as even using them in World War 2, but when it came to independence the British not only backed the Arabs, they trained and equipped their armies.

The USA has utilized the Kurds to fight ISIS, which is essentially an American creation gone bad, while at the same time keeping back the Kurds from attaining their just independence and now insinuating that they would be blamed for a failure to wipe out ISIS for good. The  USA has picked the Western created state of Iraq instead of the indigenous people of Kurdistan.

A statement from the KRG Representation to the United States said the following:

“The holding of a referendum is the democratic right of the people of Kurdistan and will enable us, for the first time, to determine our future. The outcome of the referendum will lead to negotiations with Baghdad and we ask our friends in the United States to encourage that dialogue so that the settlement is a win-win for both sides.”

The United States appears to be fumbling a golden opportunity to reorder the Middle East along ethnic and indigenous lines, thus ensuring continued sectarian conflict for generations to come.