Most American attention has focused on relations between the United States and the Iraq government as they hammer out the last pieces of the security pact, but trouble may well be arising in other areas of Iraq that have nothing to do with the American presence. In recent weeks, Kurdish leaders in the north have clashed with Prime Minister Maliki over his plans to assist the Supporting Councils which are made up of pro-government tribal leaders. The Kurds believe Maliki is attempting to create an Arab presence in Kurdish regions in order to gain greater power, particularly over oil in the region. President Massoud Barzani warned Maliki “this is playing with fire.”
Maliki is furious that Kurdish leaders function as an autonomous government in northern regions of Iraq and even are negotiating with foreign oil companies. Last month, the Iraqi army came close to an armed clash with the Kurdish Peshmerga units which, in effect, are a separate army that protects Kurdish territory against Iraqis. The Washington Post recently reported three planeloads of arms from Bulgaria were flown into Kurdish areas. Maliki is also worried that Kurdish leaders will form an alliance with Sunnis to block his government from extending its power into certain areas of the country.
Of course, both Turkey and Iran have large Kurdish minorities and they will become upset if the Kurds extend their power within Iraq.
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Islam, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Iraq, Kurds, Maliki government
President Bush boasts of the success of a surge which witnessed introduction of thousands of additional American forces and the resulting decline in violence. Even as Bush was pleased with the surge results, another surge was occurring in northwest Iraq, and it was being led by forces who operate in the mountains of Kurdistan. The Turkish government is upset at recent events in which one of their outposts was attacked by forces of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party(PKK) which resulted in the death of seventeen of its soldiers. Turkish planes have been bombing areas of northern Iraq. but there are demands in the Turkish parliament for a massive invasion of Kurdistan to wipe out the rebels.
Turkish military leaders are concerned the attack on their soldiers involved Kurdish rebels who possessed heavy military equipment that previously had not been seen in combat. Turkish generals are not pleased at the lack of support from the Iraq government or from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan government. Invading Kurdistan is now a political hot potato and is being used by opponents of the Erdogan led government.
Will war become more widespread in northern Iraq even as it is reduced in other areas of the country?
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Turkey, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Kurds, northern Iraq, Turkey