Kurdistan is Coming Whether Turkey Likes It or Not

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”FOR $5/MONTH YOU CAN SUPPORT MICHA’S WRITING” color=”primary” size=”lg” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.paypal.com%2Fcgi-bin%2Fwebscr%3Fcmd%3D_s-xclick%26hosted_button_id%3DPBTQ2JVPQ3WJ2|||”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq declared on June 7 a plan to hold a referendum on the region’s independence this year on September 25. This decision has put into motion the KRG’s drive for independence and the first serious nail in the coffin of the post-colonial state structure in the Middle East.

Despite anger over the referendum in Ankara, Turkey is continuing negotiations with the KRG.

“Our primary aim is to correct this mistake through negotiation. We will keep working on this issue,” the Turkish presidential spokesman said. “To adopt an immediate sanction such as closing the border gate without sitting with them is out of question.”


With the Mosul operation essentially on cleanup mode, the Peshmerga has gained significant territory that is now considered part of the KRG and is included in the referendum.

Arif Qurbany a Kurdish political analyst and observer wrote the following in his opinion piece on Rudaw

“A decision to set the referendum date in Kurdistan to determine the fate of the Kurdish nation in Iraq with the inclusion of Kirkuk and the all Kurdistani areas outside the Region was a crucial and brave move for all the parties that attended the meeting.”


Despite his support for the referendum, Qurbany urged all Kurdish parties to unite in order to see independence be successful:

“If all the people of Kurdistan together have a united will, then the opposition of foreign nations to the referendum will not have a substantial significance and will not pose a threat to the process, just as the nation’s will in the spring uprising of 1991 overcame all barriers. When we also wanted to hold elections for the parliament and later formed the government and declared federalism, not only did no government or country support us, but also they threatened to attack Kurdistan. But because the will of the nation was behind its leadership, no reactions or threats from anyone worked as the Kurds proved themselves on the ground. They were even obliged to deal with us.”


Turkey has much to lose from an independent Kurdistan as does the Iraqi government.  Kurdistan remains the most stable area of Iraq and is oil rich. An independent Kurdistan based in Northern Iraq will most likely extend into Northern Syria and connect to the YPG which has already declared itself an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria. As the KRG prepares for the referendum, covert allies of the autonomous area such as the USA and Israel remain silent. Israel itself has nurtured a behind the scenes relationship with the burgeoning country through military training, oil sales, and arms provisions.

Israel took a similar tactic in South Sudan, which most credit for the young country’s successful independence drive.  For Israel, an independent Kurdistan provides it a buffer against Shiite expansionism and a moderate Muslim ally.

The most important geopolitical result of an independent Kurdistan will be a direct check to the expansionist desires of Turkey’s semi-dictator Erdogan, who has had his sites in reinstating a mini-version of the Ottoman Sultanate.  Kurdistan is the best chance for the region to begin to rectify the colonial pursuits of the British and French as well as the Ottoman Empire.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

After Raqqa Falls, Can an Israeli Supported Kurdistan Reshape the Middle East?

With the battle for Raqqa about to get underway, those countries looking to pickup the scraps after ISIS is dead and buried are numerous, but essentially fall into two categories.  The first are Iran, Russia, Allawite Syria, and Turkey.  The second group is made up of the emerging Sunni alliance led by Saudi Arabia, Syrian opposition groups, the Kurds, and Israel.

The emerging strong man in the battle for Raqqa is the YPG, which is the American backed Kurdish militia of Northern Syria.  Just like the Peshmerga in Iraq, the Kurds in Syria fight with the same determination against ISIS.  Yet, with ISIS on the run and the Kurds fully backed by the USA a post caliphate Middle East is already emerging. It is clear as that the Turks have increasing nightmares of a Kurdish state rising on their border from the Mediterranean to Iran. Furthermore, this Kurdish state would be backed by the USA. the irony cannot be mistaken as the plan of the Shiites led by Iran has always been to create a corridor from Tehran to the Mediterranean.

The battle after Rakka will be an attempt to destroy the nascent Kurdistan by Turkish and Shiite forces.  The Turks opposed the US arming of the YPG a month ago.  One Turkish official said the the decision to arm the YPG was “tantamount to placing dynamite under Turkey-USA relations.”

Kurdistan – Image Source – PANONIAN

Israel Must Back Syrian Kurds

With Iran on the march and the US still trying to find its footing in the Middle East, the long standing covert alliance between Iraqi Kurdistan and Israel, must be applied to the YPG and the autonomous Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria.  The only force capable of providing stability East of the Levant are the Kurds. They, like the Jews, Druze, and Arameans have been systematically displaced over the 1400 year Jihad led by arabized Muslims who were only indigenous to Saudi Arabia until they pushed out of the Arabian peninsula after Muhammad died.

ISIS was conceived by the Obama administration, Turkey, and the Gulf States to hold back Iranian influence in the region.  The problem was that this entity turned on its masters and subsequently invited itself to be destroyed.  The Kurds, whom most of the players used and then abused over the years are the only stable option to holding back the rising Shiite influence in the area. The challenge is that Erdogan’s Turkey has decided that Iran is a far better partner than allowing a sovereign Kurdish entity from exposing the myth of Turkish control and historical continuity in the region.

The Trump Administration has clearly opted for the approach that backs a rising Kurdistan despite the threats from Turkey in doing so. The lines are being drawn.

Post Raqqa, the real war will begin.  Israel’s backing of a rising Kurdish state can ensure a totally different Middle East.

Kurdistan Rising as ISIS Falls Apart

No matter whose propaganda one believes on the nature of ISIS’s demise, the wannabe caliphate is falling apart. With its collapse, their capital in Raqqa is under siege by the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the powerful YPG Syrian Kurdish militia allied with Syrian Arabs. The YPG’s forces are rapidly taking control of much of Northern Syria and moving to link directly with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.

This entire scenario is of course the opposite outcome that Turkey wanted when they unleashed ISIS into Syria and Iraq to start with.  Turkey wanted ISIS to create chaos so Turkish forces could go in and not only clean up the radical Islamists, but wipe out the burgeoning Kurdish entity in Iraq.  Not only has the KRG grown in strength, but the Syrian Kurds have become the main power broker in Syria.

With the US funding and training the YPG militias, Turkey has grown increasingly incensed with the Trump administration. Not only will a defacto Kurdish State arise along its Southern border, this state will essentially be backed by the US. Erdogan, the Turkish president has long opposed any Kurdish entity due to the inspiration it will give to the Kurds in Turkey, who form 10% of the Turkish population and a solid block in the country’s Southern regions.

The US appears aware of the inevitability of an independent Kurdistan.

It was reported in the news last week that the Director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Vincent Stewart told senators during a hearing that the question of independence for the Kurdistan Region is to be expected.

“Kurdish independence is on a trajectory where it is probably not if but when. And it will complicate the situation unless there’s an agreement in Baghdad,” Lt. Gen. Stewart said last Tuesday.

As Kurdistan continues to rise to fill the void left by the ravages of ISIS, a new conflict is about to begin.  Turkey will not sit idly by and allow the very people they have oppressed for generations rise up against them.  The Trump administration will have to choose between a pseudo ally in Turkey or rectify past sell outs of the Kurds committed by both George Bushes and Bill Clinton by allowing a free Kurdistan to solidify its control over its ancient homeland.

United Kurdistan (Image source: Ferhates/Wiki)


Turkish Tanks Roll into Al-Rai Expanding Operation Euphrates Shield

On Saturday more Turkish tanks crossed the Syrian border into the Syrian rebel-controlled town of al-Rai in order to support the new operation Euphrates Shield

Al-Rai is about 55 kilometers west of Jarablus, and part of a 90-kilometer strip near the Turkish border that Erdogan’s government says it is clearing of jihadis while making sure the YPG or Syrian Kurdish Army keeps away.

The Turkish backed rebels buoyed by the Turkish tanks spread out and then seized villages to the east and the south of al-Rai.

“They took several villages, about eight villages. At first they took two and withdrew from them, but then reinforcements came and there was an advance,” Zakaria Malahifji of the Aleppo-based Fastaqim group said.

While Ankara claims the The Turkish-backed operation’s goal is to put pressure on ISIS, most observers believe that Turkey’s real goal is to block the YPG from expanding and forming a formidable Kurdish state.

While Turkey views the Kurdish Army as a terrorist organization, NATO as a whole sees the group as the vanguard of their anti-ISIS strategy.  This conflict of interest has caused stress between NATO and Turkey.

At the G20 summit Erdogan  spelled out his view of the YPG to China’s CCTV:

“There is no good terrorist. All terrorists are bad. All organizations involved in terrorism are cursed. This is how we see things and how we put up our struggle.”

For Erdogan, the label of terrorist is a ruse to allow for a non-measured response to his Kurdish foes. Loosely applied, the Turkish military can be unleashed to finish them off.

Kurdistan Rising from the Chaos of War

First the Background

The Kurds, who have been itching for a sovereign state of their own, now find themselves in the unenviable position of being the chief agitators to Erdogan’s Turkey.  In the beginning of the turmoil in the Middle East Erdogan made a deal with the devil, ISIS.  The thought there was that Erdogan would be able to create a fundamentalist Sunni caliphate as a stop gap measure against the growing Iranian hegemony in the region.  Furthermore, the new caliphate would keep his arch enemies the Kurds in check.

Erdogan went about doing this by being the main corridor for ISIS bound fighters as well as the middle man for ISIS oil.  Of course Erdogan sold Kurdish oil on top of that. The Kurdish oil kept the Kurdish leadership in Northern Iraq beholden to Ankara.  This strategy is still in play, however Russia’s increasing intervention and Syria’s new found might against its Western backed foes has put a serious wrinkle in Turkey’s strategy.

Two Autonomous Kurdish Regions Are Too Many for Erdogan

As long as the Kurds relegated themselves to an autonomous province in Northern Iraq, Erdogan and Turkey’s military felt they had strategic strength.  Russia’s arming of the Syrian Kurdish Militia otherwise known as the YPG has alarmed Turkey.  Although the Kurdish population in Syria amounts to a small 1.6 million, the territory it has gained among the chaos has been significant.

The border between the Syrian Kurdish region and Iraqi Kurdish region, which has 6.6 million Kurds  has melted away, effectively giving the Kurds one long autonomous area stretching along the Southern border of Turkey.  With Turkey’s 15 million strong Kurdish population just to the North, Turkey is rapidly heading for destabilization.

After the Kurdish bombing in Ankara, the Turkish Prime Minister Davutoğlu said:

“We collected intelligence all night,” Davutoğlu told reporters in Ankara. “The perpetrators have been fully identified. The attack was carried out by YPG member Salih Necer, who came in from Syria.”

Of course the YPG has denied involvement.  Truth matters not though to Ankara, who needs some reason to put a stop to the de facto creation of a Kurdish republic to the South and perhaps even within Turkey.  The fear is compounded even more by Russia’s backing for Kurdish military operations.

If Turkey uses the pretense to attack Syria in order to push back Kurdish expansion, the die will be cast for an intense explosion in war activity throughout the Middle East.  The Kurds are seen by even America as in the right in relation to Turkey.  Erdogan may feel he has no choice, but his decision may end up taking him down one way or the other.