Kurdistan Region ready to defend Kurds in Syria
Recently, a number of tragic photos of massacres and mass killings of Kurdish children and women perpetrated by radical Islamist groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda and the AlNusrah group have been published on social networks. The radical groups announced that killing and kidnapping Kurdish children and women is both holy and religious. This is a clear return to the policy of genocide and Anfal perpetrated against the Kurds by the Baath regime during the nineteen eighties.
The Kurdish question in Syria is about to become a major issue, but this time the matter is not related to the massacre of the Kurds by the Assad regime, but rather the massacre and declaration of war against Kurds by radical Islamist groups. At the same time, the matter has been linked to YPG fighters linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The matter is serious, because the Kurdish question will be turned into an issue over which Kurds and Arabs will commit act of violence against one another. And for the first time, in order to reduce pressure on the Assad Regime, Iran and Russia are mentioning the attacks and massacres against Kurdish people and condemning them. They intend to denounce the terrorist attacks committed by these radical Islamist groups in order to improve the reputation of the Assad Regime, but not necessarily because they support Kurds in this part of Kurdistan. We should keep in mind that Turkey is part of the equation and that the events in Syria and involving Kurds is extremely relevant to that country, adding to the fresh ties between Saudi Arabia and Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist groups. The Kurdistan Region, which now plays a role in crucial regional decisions, cannot stand still while Kurds of its own blood are under threat.
The President of the Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barzani, delivered a message to the preparation committee of national conference on August 8th 2013 regarding this issue:
“Recently, news items and rumors spread in some general and political media have claimed that war has been declared against the Kurdish people in Western Kurdistan by terrorists, and that extremists affiliated to AlQaeda have attacked innocent civilians and beheaded Kurdish children and women. I call upon you to form a special committee to visit Western Kurdistan and investigate the veracity of these reports. If the information is right and innocent Kurdish children and women are under threat of killing and terror, the Kurdistan Region will defend these innocents with
First published in 2005 all its strength."
It is obvious that, in both moral and political terms, the Kurdistan Region cannot remain a bystander to the events in Western Kurdistan for good, especially if investigations prove the claims that Kurdish citizens have been targeted by radical groups. The Kurdistan Region will soon have to make a crucial decision which will impact on the international and regional political situation by sending forces to prevent the massacre of Kurdish children and women and redressing the internal balance for Kurds in this part of Kurdistan. Any steps of this kind should obviously be recommended by the national conference committee which is to be sent to Syria by President Barzani. We should bear in mind that Syria is a neighboring country of international sovereignty; the Kurdistan Region cannot send its special force into any country unless there is a new international status quo on the ground.
What’s important for the Kurds at this stage are unity and solidarity in defending the Kurds and preventing massacres and attacks perpetrating by radical groups against Kurdish people in Western Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Region has a golden opportunity to take the initiative in eradicating terrorist attacks on Kurds in the context of terror eradication led by superpowers. This action may terrify some Kurdish groups, but it will eventually benefit the Kurds. The boundaries dividing the different parts of Kurdistan, and even between different Middle Eastern countries will no longer be politically and constitutionally sacrosanct. The unity of the Kurds will be strengthened, and some countries fear of a united Kurdistan will recede. These fears may be shared by some Kurdish political parties who think the KDP, which is led by President Masoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Region, will take steps to promote this strategy. These will be temporary concerns, because our era needs cooperation and political partnership between all parties, not imposition and monopolizing.
The fears are justified, but the Kurds are faced with a new opportunity to elevate the Kurdistan Region's role in the future status quo in Syria, and particularly in Western Kurdistan which may witness new developments. The KRG’s duty in moral and national terms will have to be weighed up against the national conference which is due to be held on August 24th this year, and which will take the responsibility for taking the first steps towards unifying the voice, power and strategic options of the Kurds.