Can they catch a break?


It’s not easy being a scapegoat. Especially when one group of people has that levied against them by not one, not two but three different countries. But that is what the Kurds have to go through.

The best situation that they are in is in Northern Iraq. There they have a chance to govern themselves. The road to this has not been easy. Targeted by their home country and neighboring Iraq during their 1980-88 War, Then Desert Storm took place and the horrible situations that they suffered afterwords. The situation was relatively stable thanks to a No Fly Zone

The Invasion of Iraq by the United States and its coalition partners back in 2003 and the subsequent ouster of then President Saddam Hussein led to new challenges. An unstable Iraq acted as a magnet drawing Islamist Fighters to Iraq to order to take on the Crusaders. A series of weak Governments in Baghdad and indecision in Washington presented an opportunity to create an Islamist State in the region. Who bore the brunt of this offensive in 2014? It was the Kurds along with the Yezhdis, Christians and other Religious Minorities.

However its not just in Iraq where the Kurds have been made scapegoats.

We all have seen the videos that are able to be shown outside of Iran during the recent protests after the death in Police Custody of Mahsa Amini. She was killed over not properly wearing a Hijab. Although there has not been any serious press coverage there is concern over the actions of the Iranian Security Forces in the City of Mahabad. This is not the only location where the Kurds have a majority that has come under threat by the Iranian Security Forces.

Iranian Security Forces have also launched rockets into the Erbil area of Northern Iraq. The Iranian Regime claims that the region is the source of support for the Anti-Regime protests that are currently ongoing. It’s convienent for these threats to be made against the Kurds. There is a sizable US Presence in the area as well.

The third country that is threatened by the Kurds is Turkey. For decades an insurgency by the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) has been waged against the Turkish Government in the Southeastern Part of the Country. It has been widely speculated that Kurdish activities and their presence is also one of the reasons why the Turks have intervened in the Syrian Civil War and their efforts to establish a Security Zone.

The Bombing in Istanbul on November 14th was blamed on the Kurds in an almost Knee Jerk reaction by the Turkish Government. The Turks responded by launching airstrikes into the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq and by threatening to expand their operations in Northern Syria. Another fact that leads to the hyperventilation by President Erdogan is that Elections are planned for Turkey soon as well.

Whether is Government dysfunction in Baghdad, Protests throughout Iran or even attacks against Turkish interests in Syria or within the Homeland itself it’s always easy to blame one segment which is common throughout the region. So when will this tactic wear thin and the population cry out “not this time”? Time will tell


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Specialist in US Policy (Security, Assymetrical Operations and Business Development) towards Africa and Arab World (Washington DC – USA)

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