Kurds’ Re­sponse Af­ter Coali­tion Snub? Push For­ward

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By J. Watt

On Jan­uary 22nd, a con­fer­ence in­volv­ing key rep­re­sen­ta­tives from more than twenty-one coun­tries met in Lon­don to dis­cuss the state of the con­flict against the Is­lamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS). Yet, those who have been fol­low­ing the con­flict closely may have no­ticed a key player miss­ing from the con­ver­sa­tion: the Kurds.

While not all of the over sixty coun­tries con­fronting ISIS were present, it’s cer­tainly puz­zling that the Kurds, who have en­gaged ISIS on the ground con­tin­u­ously over the past four months and dur­ing the days sur­round­ing the con­fer­ence took con­trol of Kiske Junc­tion near Mo­sul to cut off key sup­ply lines for ISIS, were ab­sent.

For a va­ri­ety of po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, the Kur­dish Re­gional Gov­ern­ment was, no doubt, un­ex­pect­edly snubbed in not re­ceiv­ing an in­vi­ta­tion to the Jan­uary anti-ISIS coali­tion gath­er­ing. But how should they re­spond to not get­ting in­vited to the big boys’ ta­ble? Keep do­ing what they’re do­ing to en­gage and de­feat ISIS.

Af­ter the Jan­uary meet­ing, Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Abadi said, “There is a lot be­ing said and spo­ken, but very lit­tle on the ground.” While the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is send­ing mixed sig­nals to the Kurds by help­ing them through mil­i­tary train­ing while not in­clud­ing them in key sum­mits, the Kurds con­tinue to press for­ward on mul­ti­ple fronts to do ex­actly what said sum­mits seek to do. There’s no doubt that coali­tion airstrikes have been ef­fec­tive in pre­vent­ing the ad­vance of ISIS in key ar­eas, but the Kur­dish Pesh­merga (as well as Syr­ian Kur­dish forces) are, in fact, do­ing very much on the ground.

This time around, the Kurds were ex­cluded from the in­ter­na­tional round ta­ble. While Kur­dish lead­ers may be hope­ful it doesn’t hap­pen again, this week (through the lib­er­a­tion of Kobane with Pesh­merga help and con­tin­ued tight­en­ing of the ar­eas around Mo­sul) the Kur­dish mil­i­tary forces have proven they are more in­ter­ested in do­ing than talk­ing.

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