Kurds’ Response After Coalition Snub? Push Forward
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.