Syr­ian Kur­dish an­guish a bur­den for all parts of Kur­dis­tan

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

In the face of deadly bat­tles be­tween Syr­ian Kur­dish forces and Ja­bat al-Nusra and other Is­lamist forces in Western Kur­dis­tan, Kur­dish civil­ians have suf­fered bru­tal reprisal at­tacks and mur­der across a num­ber of Kur­dish towns and vil­lages.

The neigh­bour­hoods of TelAbeyd, Sere Kaniye, Tel- Aran and Tel- Hasel amongst oth­ers across Kur­dish pop­u­lated ar­eas have been the sub­ject of kid­nap­pings, killings, loot­ings and ter­ror.

The Kur­dish ar­eas have been rel­a­tively quiet since the Syr­ian up­ris­ing be­gan but the lat­est de­vel­op­ments not only serve to deepen the con­flict be­tween alQaeda af­fil­i­ates and Kurds but in­creas­ingly pitch an eth­nic bat­tle be­tween Kurds and Arabs, open­ing another theatre and di­men­sion in the al­ready com­plex con­flict.

The Syr­ian Na­tional Coun­cil (SNC) and its leader Ahmed Jabra, as a legally recog­nised body and the sup­posed flag bearer for free­dom, democ­racy and the fight against tyranny, has to shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­demn the at­tacks, pro­tect Kurds and en­sure Kurds are en­ticed into the po­lit­i­cal fold and not alien­ated in the fight against the Syr­ian regime.

How­ever, the stance of the Free Syr­ian Army (FSA) and el­e­ments of the SNC have hardly tak­ing kindly to the Kurds. They have failed to ad­dress the gen­eral mis­trust and anx­i­ety of the Kurds and have looked at Kur­dish gains with great sus­pi­cion.

With so many play­ers on the Syr­ian chess­board, the re­cent con­flict be­tween Is­lamist forces and Kurds has seen a num­ber of for­eign pow­ers weigh into the equa­tion.

It was hardly sur­pris­ing and some­what ironic that Rus­sia and Iran were quick to high­light the mas­sacre of Kurds to the world, but this is chiefly in their quest to dis­credit the Syr­ian rev­o­lu­tion and show the world the dark side of the op­po­si­tion than any for any true af­fec­tion for the Kurds. Iran and Rus­sia were dis­tinc­tively quiet whilst Kurds were per­se­cuted for decades in Syria.

By the same token, the U.S. and its E.U. and re­gional al­lies have been rather muted and cau­tious in the face of the atroc­i­ties as it seem­ingly serves as an em­bar­rass­ment for the pro-op­po­si­tion camps and specif­i­cally for some Arab states and Turkey that have sup­ported such groups to vary­ing de­grees.

In the face of Syr­ian Kur­dish iso­la­tion and de­spair, the state­ment last week by Kur­dis­tan Pres­i­dent Mas­saud Barzani con­demn­ing atroc­i­ties and vow­ing to sup­port Syr­ian Kurds, was wel­come, bold and the just the tonic to stir sen­ti­ment and any no­tion that Kurds will be by­s­tanders amidst the plight of their eth­nic brethren.

Barzani had warned that "If the re­ports are true, show­ing that cit­i­zens, women and the chil­dren of in­no­cent Kurds are un­der threat from mur­der and ter­ror­ism, Iraq's Kur­dis­tan re­gion will make use of all of its ca­pa­bil­i­ties to de­fend women and chil­dren and in­no­cent cit­i­zens."

For too long, the forcibly di­vided Kurds have strug­gled for na­tional rights within the con­straints of lo­calised mech­a­nisms than as a na­tional force or co­her­ent eth­nic group. It has be­come too easy and po­lit­i­cally cor­rect to la­bel each por­tion of Kur­dis­tan with a Syr­ian, Turk­ish, Iraqi or Ira­nian pre­fix.

The lands may be ar­ti­fi­cially di­vided but a fence, bor­der post or de-facto de­lin­eation of ter­ri­tory doesn’t change the soil com­po­si­tion, ge­og­ra­phy, na­ture or her­itage of ter­ri­tory. Do the bor­der fences that ran­domly sep­a­rate Nusay­bin or Qamishli ac­tu­ally mean that the his­toric land, the peo­ple, or the fam­i­lies on ei­ther side are any dif­fer­ent?

If there is a mas­sacre of Turk­mens in Iraq to­mor­row, will Turkey re­main idle? Sunni states and Gulf coun­tries flocked to sup­port Sunni rebels in Syria while Hezbol­lah and Iran rushed to sup­port their Shi­ite brethren.

Why should Kurds across greater Kur­dis­tan re­main idle? The cru­cial step by Barzani was to en­sure a del­e­ga­tion was formed by the Kur­dish Na­tional Con­fer­ence Prepa­ra­tion Com­mit­tee from mem­bers across greater Kur­dis­tan – this na­tional re­sponse demon­strates a com­mon voice and a united stand but al­most un­der­scores the seeds for a Kur­dish League.

Wash­ing­ton amongst oth­ers was quick to warn Barzani against in­ter­ven­tion and it is not clear what mea­sures will be taken by the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion if the cur­rent del­e­ga­tion vis­it­ing Syr­ian Kur­dis­tan bring back con­clu­sive proof of mas­sacres and atroc­i­ties against Syr­ian Kurds.

No doubt the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion lead­er­ship will warn and in­crease pres­sure on the West to act and in­ter­vene, but if the re­sponse is neg­a­tive then the lead­er­ship must match rhetoric with ac­tion.

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