Kurdistan Independence Referendum and Why It Matters so Much in the Fight Against Radical Islam

Iraqi Kurdish students attend the first day of the new school year in Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (Photo: SAFIN HAMED / AFP / Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Jennifer Breedon, April 19, 2017:

The recent rejuvenated referendum on Kurdistan Independence will likely draw a few questions from people. Namely (1) What does “Statehood” mean and what is required to gain it? (2) Why does an independent Kurdistan really matter? And (3) Is it really helpful to have another independent government in the Middle East in an already volatile area?

What does “Statehood” mean and what is required to gain it?

Becoming a state provides autonomy and self-determination that allow a government to aid their people, provide security to their region, build infrastructure, among many other things. Even autonomous regions within a state are subject to the official national government decisions and therefore cannot enter into alliances with potential allies. In this situation, it matters for the United States because the modern Kurds and the Kurdish government in Northern Iraq are extremely pro-America and pro-democratic freedoms.  In an age where the Middle East is constantly laced with sectarian violence, the Kurds are a secular governing force that rejects extremism. However, since it is merely an “autonomous” region of Iraq, they are subject to alliances of the Iraqi government and cannot be a strength of secular democratic governance that is so desperately needed throughout the Middle East.

The Montevideo Convention of 1933 outlined the four main requirement of statehood. Those are: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, the capacity to enter into foreign relations with other states. However, meeting the Montevideo requirements doesn’t automatically gain independent statehood today. That requires recognition by the international community (and recently done via the United Nations).

The Kurdish region was officially recognized as semiautonomous in the 2005 Iraqi constitution following the U.S. invasion of Iraq and fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Today, that region and the territories closest to it have become the only safe zone for refugees and IDPs fleeing from the wrath of ISIL in Iraq.

Why does an independent Kurdistan state really matter?

When I was meeting with Kurdish government officials in January this year, I asked this very question to Dr. Dindar Zebari, a top official in the Kurdish Democratic Party.

Dr Zebari: “…you cannot have a success story within a failure story [Iraq]. Sectarian violence in the Middle East-and especially Iraq-will continue. There is a problem and that’s religious engagement in government and it holds all of humanity back: the case of Shia vs. Sunni. Yazidi, Christian and other minority communities will be under religious extremist governments because the ethnic cleansing under these governments will never stop. Kurdistan has been successful as an accepting autonomous region and our government has never and will never turn away minorities. Our constitution is based on individual human rights and not religious identity.

JB: What makes Kurdistan as a state unique in this region?

Dr. Zebari: We are unique in that we already have self-determination and friendly relations with many other governments. The only forces that have EQUALLY protected all the religious minorities since ISIS began their violence, are the Peshmerga forces. We have already delivered more for the rights of minorities and protecting from ISIS than many other independent states in this region even though we aren’t yet a recognized nation-state.

According to the CIA World Factbookthere has been voluntary relocation of many Christian families to northern Iraq” since the rise of ISIS. An article in the Council for Foreign Relations noted in 2015 that, “even while asserting their autonomy, Iraqi Kurds are still considered by policymakers as the ‘glue’ that holds [Iraq] together amid sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia Arabs.

Today, almost all the U.N. refugee areas for ISIS victims are in or near the Kurdish region because it has been secured by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. However, since the Kurds are not an independent nation-state, they are not privy to U.N. practices in refugee camps, nor are they invited to talks on the humanitarian situation in the region. Additionally, when money is sent to the “refugees” and IDPs living in camps in the Kurdish region, none of that money goes to the Kurdish Regional Government because they are not a recognized state. The money is either given directly to the United Nations OR the “recognized” government of Iraq in Baghdad.  Considering that Iraqis have fled Baghdad for safety in Erbil and the Kurdish region, this seems to make very little sense in helping those that need it most and supporting the forces protecting the victims.

Jennifer Salcido, a humanitarian filmmaker in Iraqi Kurdistan, recently met with a small group of Assyrian Christians. When she asked them why they didn’t go to Baghdad for safety from ISIS, they responded, “Because they will murder us in Baghdad. We are much safer in Erbil [Kurdistan region capital].

Is it really helpful to have another independent government in an already volatile Middle East region?

The answer is 100% yes if that independent government is friendly to the United States, Israel, and secular governance including human rights and not Islamist sharia implementation. The Kurds have no sharia laws or desire to impose Islamist laws. They’ve been persecuted by Islamist governments for far too long and the modern Kurdish parties, such as the KDP, have adopted a secular democratic constitution.

Most Kurds are Muslim, but reject religious rule in favor of secular governance so that all religious people and ethnic minorities can have fair and equal representation. The Kurds have adopted secular lifestyles seen just by visiting the capitol city of Erbil where you’ll hear American music, see a booming economy, or have conversations about new business enterprises.  If you’re lucky, you may run into the Erbil Men’s Club. Kurds don’t identify as “Sunni” or “Shia” at the outset. While they will openly say what religion they practice, they refuse to allow their identity to be encompassed in the sectarian strife they’ve witnessed throughout the Middle East. They want no form of oppressive sharia law in their governance to promote the rights of women and minorities. In fact, Kurdish government mandates that 30% of Parliament members be women. I witnessed that firsthand and it looks a lot like the United States: churches, mosques, and synagogues side-by-side with equal numbers and mutual respect between all religious leaders.

The issues in the Middle East come down to proxy wars and one important differentiation: Does the country have a theocracy or a secular government that governs the people with basic freedoms of life and liberty to freely worship? The Kurdish government maintains the latter and thus makes their application for statehood a necessary element in upholding human rights and providing for a more stable and violence-free Middle East.

Jennifer Breedon is an attorney and the legal analyst for Clarion Project. Jennifer’s specializations are in international criminal law, Middle East policy and U.S. Constitutional Law. To invite Jennifer to speak please contact us.

Former ISIS sex slaves now army of ‘Sun Ladies’ ready to defeat terror group

Fox News, by Hollie McKay, Feb. 8, 2016:

They witnessed the slaughter of their families on Mount Sinjar, and then were forced by ISIS into sexual slavery. Now the “Sun Ladies” are ready to fight – for veangeance as well as survival.

Some 2,000 Yazidi women who were captured in the brutal August 2014 attack on their mountain stronghold have escaped and have taken up arms against their former tormentors. Driven by the fresh memories of unspeakable atrocities and the survival of their people, hundreds have signed up to fight the black-clad terrorist army.

“Now we are defending ourselves from the evil; we are defending all the minorities in the region,” Capt. told FoxNews.com from the unit’s makeshift base in Duhok, Iraq. “We will do whatever is asked of us.”

Khider is one of 123 Yazidi women who have undergone training and taken their place alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, as they skirmish almost daily with ISIS and prepare for a looming assault on the terrorist army’s Iraqi base in Mosul. The women range in age from 17 to 37, and there are another 500 who are awaiting training.

Khider, (r.), leads more than 100 Yazidi women, many of who escaped sexual slavery. On left is one of her fighters.

Khider, (r.), leads more than 100 Yazidi women, many of who escaped sexual slavery. On left is one of her fighters.

They call themselves the “Force of the Sun Ladies,” a name that reflects the culture’s solar reverence. Monotheistic and embracing elements of several religions, Yazidi once numbered 650,000 in Iraq, nearly all on the northern Nineveh Plain. ISIS’ genocidal campaign to “purify” Iraq of non-Muslims led to the slaughter of thousands and displaced at least 200,000.

“Women were throwing their children from the mountains and then jumping themselves because it was a faster way to die,” Khider recalled. “Our hands were all tied. We couldn’t do anything about it.

“Whenever a war wages, our women end up as the victims,” she added.

The Yazidi women are fighting for their people, and for revenge aganst the terrorists who enslaved them.

The Yazidi women are fighting for their people, and for revenge aganst the terrorists who enslaved them.

Some managed to escape when coalition forces pounded ISIS from the air and broke its siege of Mount Sinjar. But thousands starved to death or died of heatstroke, and ISIS later systematically killed men, as well as women, deemed too old or too young to be sold into sexual slavery. Boys who could be brainwashed and conscripted as child soldiers were kidnapped.

Women taken as captives were ordered to convert to Islam, subjected to forced marriages and repeatedly raped. Several escaped after being sold off to low-level fighters, while others were ransomed back to their families.

Khider had no experience with weapons or combat when she approached the Peshmerga senior command and proposed the idea of a specialized all-female Yazidi force after having survived the assault on Mount Sinjar. She hopes that in forming the force, the women will be able to protect themselves and inspire other minority groups to follow suit.

“Our elite force is a model for other women in the region,” she said. “We want to thank all the other countries who help us in this difficult time, we want everyone to take up weapons and know how to protect themselves from the evil.”

The women willfully stepped into the line of fire as a support force to the Peshmerga on Nov. 13, the day the Kurdish forces took back their hometowns and villages from ISIS occupation. The newly formed unit engaged in direct combat and later helped clear streets and buildings rigged with explosives.

As with the Christians, Kurds and Iraqi military, they know the imminent battle to retake Mosul will be the real test. Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul is the terrorist group’s regional base. Most of the Yazidi women who escaped ISIS were held in Mosul and can help provide valuable intelligence, as well as boots on the ground. And fighting to free those left behind provides added motivation.

“We have a lot of our women in Mosul being held as slaves,” Khider said. “Their families are waiting for them. We are waiting for them. The liberation might help bring them home.”

ISIS has taken girls as young as 8 and traded them at the market for a few dollars. One mother who gave birth while an ISIS slave told FoxNews.com she was not permitted by her captor to feed her newborn son. When the baby cried, the Muslim militant beheaded him, she said.

“It’s important to us to be able to protect our dignity and honor,” a 19-year-old “Sun Lady” named Mesa told FoxNews.com. “My family is very proud; they encouraged me to join.

“I’m very proud to protect my people,” she said. “And after all that has happened to us Yazidis, we are no longer afraid.”

But one prospect frightens the Yazidi women as they prepare to fight ISIS. Yazidi boys kidnapped from Mount Sinjar have been drugged and brainwashed, and could now be fighting their mothers and sisters under the black flag of ISIS.

“Now there will be terrorist Yazidis, something that never used to be,” Khider added. “But we have many missions left. We will do whatever is needed.”

Mylee Cardenas contributed to this report.

Blown to kingdom come: Incredible footage shows ISIS suicide bomber’s car explode in MID-AIR

Explodes like a firework: The car erupts in a ball of flames either due to the explosives or fuel tank igniting

Explodes like a firework: The car erupts in a ball of flames either due to the explosives or fuel tank igniting

Jihadi tried to launch attack on Kurdish Peshmerga forces near Kirkuk, Iraq

Daily Mail, By SIMON TOMLINSON, April 14, 2015:

This is the incredible moment a car being driven by an ISIS suicide bomber detonates mid-air seconds after it is blasted skywards by an explosion on the ground.

Video shows the jihadi attempting to launch an attack on Kurdish Peshmerga forces, reportedly near Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

But as the car approaches, it hits what appears to be a roadside bomb, catapulting the vehicle at least 100ft into the air.

Just as it begins to fall back down to earth, the car detonates like a firework, either due to the explosives on board or the fuel tank igniting.

What’s left of the car is then seen dropping back down into the massive cloud of smoke that has billowed up from the ground.  

The footage is the latest in a string of videos released by Kurdish forces which show ISIS launching bungled attacks in Iraq.

Compilation clips released on YouTube also show militants being killed or injured by back-firing mortars, malfunctioning machine guns and misfiring rockets.

It comes as Iraq’s prime minister said his country needs greater support from the international coalition so it can ‘finish’ the Islamic State.

Haider al-Abadi said the ‘marked increase’ in airstrikes, weapons deliveries and training has helped roll back the extremists, but that more is required to eliminate the group once and for all.

‘We want to see more,’ al-Abadi told journalists yesterday as he boarded a flight to Washington where he will meet with Barack Obama as part of his first official visit to the U.S. as prime minister.

‘We can finish Daesh… and we can stop their advance in other countries,’ he added, using the group’s Arabic acronym.

‘We are the only country with armed forces on the ground fighting Daesh. We need all the support of the world.’

The U.S. and its coalition allies have carried out nearly 2,000 strikes in Iraq since its campaign began in August – as well as nearly 1,400 in neighboring Syria.

American officials say the campaign has been somewhat successful, though it is likely to stretch on for years.

In November, Obama authorised the deployment of up to 1,500 more American troops to bolster Iraqi forces, which could more than double the total number of U.S. forces to 3,100.

The Pentagon has made a spending request to Congress of $1.6 billion, focusing on training and arming Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

ISIS Shaping Operations Against IA Blunts Mosul OP Before it Starts

The Iraqi Army (IA) has begun clearing Khan al-Baghdadi earlier this week. LTG James Terry, the senior US commander of the “Coalition of the Reluctantly Willing, is playing down the Islamic State’s (IS) seizure of large chunks of the town and claims the following: My assessment is (Islamic State) is halted, on the defensive, and really forced-exposed themselves in order to achieve gains.” With all do respect sir, that is incorrect and will submit to you that IS’ move into Kahn al-Baghdadi was part of a much broader overall effort force the IA into reallocating from the planned Mosul operation to Retaking places like Khan al-Baghdadi, Bayji and Tikrit. Furthermore, IS has already reinforced the town with fighters dispatched from Ar Rutbah and Syria that will later be used for the main assault on al-Asad Airbase. Perhaps your staff neglected to tell you what’s truly happening on the ground? Kahn al-Baghdadi is a true test to gauge how well the Mosul operation will turn out – and the evidence doesn’t suggest there will be a happy ending. In fact, we’re willing to bet that IS will not only disrupt the IA effort to relieve the pressure being placed on al-Asad Airbase, we will put money on attacks picking up in Ramadi.

Iraq moving to retake town from Islamic State: U.S. officer

http://www.macon.com/2015/02/22/3600234/at-kurdish-outpost-skepticism.html

IA Struggling to Avoid Collapse on Multiple Fronts -Mosul OP in Danger of Failing

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=5008

ISIS Launches First Wave of Attacks Against al-Asad Airbase as Kirkuk Heats Up

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4779

Iraqi Checkpoint Station

The IA will be hard-pressed to drive IS out of Anbar
Source: assafirnews.net

Below is a video of the IA rolling out to Khan al-Baghdadi (which doesn’t inspire much confidence):

 

As the IA continues to throw more resources into the Anbar line of Operations, IS has already begun harassing Peshmerga units West of Kirkuk and appear to be massing fighters in Hawijah for a larger attack that will likely be a multi-pronged effort targeting the isolated IA forces in Bayji along with Kirkuk and the Peshmerga lines of communication (LOC) that run to the Northeast outskirts of Mosul. The IRGC-Qods Force Ramazan Corps appears to be making moves to attempt an operation geared towards purging the areas South of Kirkuk going into Saladin Province. Our sources in the country have reported that the Qods Force intent is for this operation to push all the way into Bayji and Tikrit in a bid to secure the main LOC linking Mosul to Baghdad. We assess that the Ramazan Corps will run into significant problems due Mosul being so far away from their main support hub of Baghdad. This is important because the amount of support that the Ramazan Corps provides to the Mosul operation will be dependent on how well this effort to retake Tikrit, Bayji and clear the Zaab Triangle is, along with the Anbar effort. Still, we assess they will have personnel on the ground acting as “advisors” and performing specialized missions such as demolitions and targeted raids on IS leadership. We will also likely see an increase in weaponized UAV operations conducted by the IRGC-Qods Force with Samarra used as the primary staging-area. With that said, we assess the Ramazan Corps and Shia Militias’ probability of success in these areas (which have much higher concentrations of Sunnis than Jalula or Amerli) to be LOW. In fact, we’re already seeing indicators of this effort going far less smoothly than they anticipated with IS having already abducted 100 pro-GOI tribesmen before the Tikrit operation’s kickoff. Those pro-GOI tribal forces are supposed to be one of the major contributors to the overall joint strategy, essentially becoming a replay of what happened to the Albu Nimr tribe in Anbar. Definitely not off to a good start.

Islamic State seize 100 Iraqi tribesmen before battle for Tikrit

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/25/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-idUSKBN0LT1IX20150225

More than 5,000 fighters arrive in Tikrit in preparation for zero hour

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/5000-fighters-arrive-tikrit-preparation-zero-hour/

Iraqi forces prepare for Tikrit offensive

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iraqi-forces-prepare-for-tikrit-offensive/2015/02/21/f05fd9f1-8892-4207-a212-029c94ed9c4e_story.html

Qods Force UAV OPs Part II

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=2660

Qods Force UAV OPs in Iraq

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=367

The Main Act: ISIS Tightens its Grip in Anbar Province, Preps to Retake al-Asad Airbase

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4916

albu nimr44

Those 100 tribesmen will likely meet a fate similar to that of their Albu Nimr counterparts
Source: alkuwaitiyah.com

The worst-case scenario is for IS to suck the joint-IA/Qods Force/Shia Militia force conducting the clearing operation into Bayji and cut them off as they attempt to surround the city. This would be accomplished with the IS fighters massing in Hawijah and other areas within the Zaab Triangle that the Peshmerga thus far have not been able to clear. Should IS pull this off, it would isolate the forward forces, completely cutting them off from any hope of reinforcements as the Kurds attempt to address the increased pressure being placed on Irbil and Kirkuk. This is the driving force behind Qods Force commander GEN Suleimani’s decision to launch the clearing operation moving from the areas South of Kirkuk down to Tikrit and Bayji.

ISIS: Regained the Initiative in Northern Iraq

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=3794

suleimani samarra

GEN Suleimani: The man with the plan
Source: The Long War Journal

As we first stated in our 20 JUL 14 article “State of the Iraqi Air Force and Special Operations” and followed up in “IA Preps to Take Mosul as Kings Rage Continues,” Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) capabilities and readiness are in steady decline. However, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MoD) has been able to delay the organization’s complete collapse with rapid recruitment in the later part of last summer, although the degradation has only slowed – not stopped. This was due to recruits being selected right off the streets instead of the usual selection process through MoD, opting to go with “quantity” over “quality.” To offset the growing demand as capabilities decline, the IA has become increasingly reliant on the Qods Force-backed Shia militias. Despite the Shia militias doing more of the heavy lifting, ISOF still experienced 30% casualties during the DEC 14 Bayji operation. What’s worst is that despite the ISOF being in its continued state of decline, the overall IA can’t function without them and the militias being the lead element in their operations. These significant deficiencies will be come much more apparent for the public once they begin to experience the heavy resistance in Tikrit, Bayji and Anbar Province that we assess to be in the IA’s future.

The GOI thinks they had “great victories” in Jalula and Amerli, but the ugly truth of the matter is that IS never intended to stand and fight there like they do in the heavily-Sunni populated cities of Tikrit, Bayji, Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul. The increased use of Shia militias – who have been depopulating Sunni areas – will only galvanize the locals to oppose what is widely viewed as an “Iranian puppet regime.” Most damning of all, however, is the fact that the majority of the IA personnel being used to augment the forces pulled from other areas to field the force tasked with retaking Mosul are all currently being trained by US military personnel. This means the backbone of the main effort will be filled primarily of green recruits who likely have never fired a weapon in anger, much less operated as a cohesive unit in a do or die situation. Of course the Obama administration announced this publicly with the GOI in the hopes that Mosul would be a ghost town by the time the IA rolls in. Unfortunately, its looking increasingly doubtful that will happen with reporting from our sources indicating that if anything IS fighters are digging in for a long, bloody fight with more weapons and personnel coming in from Syria. With the stakes being as high as they are, we just don’t see this as being the recipe for success. We hope to God we’re wrong.

– Oh, and keep an eye on Baghdad, because IS has been sustaining their current OP-tempo and will continue to increase their attacks in the capital as we get closer to when the Mosul operation is supposed to be kicked off…

State of the Iraqi Air Force and Special Operations Forces

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=69

IA Preps to Take Mosul as Kings Rage Continues

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4699

GOI Has Big Plans to Retake the Country From ISIS – But Can They Pull it Off???

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4565

Other Related Articles:

Iraqi Army Facing Heavy Resistance in Anbar: Counter-Offensive Stalls

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=3758

Pro-Government Tribal Forces in Anbar Province Running Out of Steam

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=3626

ISIS Burns Iraqis Alive to Send Message to US – Government Remains Oblivious

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4971

Islamic State Seizes Town of Khan al-Baghdadi – Threatens US Marines at Ayn al-Asad

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=4755

ISOF’s Admiration of their IRGC-Qods Force Embeds

http://isisstudygroup.com/?p=122

***

Published on Feb 26, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Can Kurds in Iraq and Syria keep up fight against ISIS? Dr. Anwar Anaid and Dr. Henri Barkey explain the latest regional developments

Turkey, Friend or Foe?

turkish-prime-minister-turkey-436x350by Kenneth R. Timmerman:

As the battle for the Syrian border city of Kobani raged and prospects of an ISIS-led massacre of thousands of innocent civilians loomed this fall, the BBC interviewed the vice-chairman of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP Party in Ankara.

Why hadn’t Turkey responded to NATO’s request to launch joint military operations to halt the ISIS assault on Kobani? How could Turkey just sit back and watch so many innocent civilians die, BBC correspondent Jonathan Marcus asked.

The replies from Yasin Aktay are telling.

“Why is Kobani the most important problem?” he asked. “There is no tragedy in Kobani as cried out by the terrorist PKK. There is a war between two terrorist groups. You mean we should… favor one terrorist organization over another?”

The AKP deputy leader went on to explain the calculus of death as seen from Turkey’s point of view. “Less than 1000 people have been killed in Kobani, but more than 300,000 people have been killed in Syria. Which is more important?”

Aktay’s remarks reveal much more than just a callous disregard for the Kurds, who comprise roughly one-third of Turkey’s overall population, or for the popular Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which broke off peace talks with the Turkish government in October to protest Turkey’s stranglehold over the Kurds in Kobani.

According to Vice-president Joe Biden, Erdogan himself admitted that Turkey had ordered border guards to turn a blind eye as new ISIS recruits flooded across Turkey’s borders to join the battle against Assad in Syria. (Okay, when Erdogan was informed of Biden’s comments, he hit the roof and demanded that “loose-lips” Uncle Joe retract them).

In response to a Harvard University student’s question whether the U.S. could have intervened earlier in Syria, Biden went even further:

“[O]ur allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends – and I have the greatest relationship with Erdogan, which I just spent a lot of time with – the Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except that the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.

“Now you think I’m exaggerating – take a look. Where did all of this go? So now what’s happening? All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because this outfit called ISIL which was Al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space in territory in eastern Syria, work with Al Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now all of a sudden – I don’t want to be too facetious – but they had seen the Lord. Now we have – the President’s been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be seen as the aggressor – it has to be led by Sunnis to go and attack a Sunni organization.” [h/t to Mark Langfan for excerpting this Q&A from Biden’s speech]

But Erdogan’s treachery goes much deeper.

Kurdish sources tell me that the initial Turkey-al Nusra front agreement was made more than two years ago, and included Turkey’s agreement to help smuggle arms to the Syrian rebels from Benghazi and other parts of Libya.

Earlier this year, Turkish and Qatari intelligence officials met with senior ISIS leaders in Jordan to plot the take-over of Mosul and the predominantly Christian Nineveh Plain.

Also at the meeting was a representative of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) president Massoud Barzani, who has worked closely with the Turkish government and has spearheaded massive Turkish investment in northern Iraq. Barzani apparently believed ISIS would stop their advance after seizing Mosul and the Nineveh Plain, and ordered his peshmerga fighters to withdraw rather than fight the ISIS advance.

The most dramatic events occurred in Sinjar, when 13,000 peshmerga fighters mysteriously “melted away” in August rather than confront an ISIS assault force of around 1000 men. While much of the national media focused on the plight of the Yazidis, a Shiite sect considered heretical by most Sunnis, ISIS continued to march eastward through the Nineveh plain, massacring the Christians who failed to flee.

Not until they began threatening Erbil, the capital of the KRG, did Barzani apparently realize he had been duped and called on the United States to supply heavy weapons so the peshmerga could halt the ISIS advance. As Kobani was falling, Barzani authorized Kurdish fighters from the PKK and PJAK, who had bases in northern Iraq, to transit through his territory to relieve the besieged city.

Read more at Frontpage

America is handing the region to Iran instead of arming the Kurds to defeat IS

kurdsI24 News, By SHERKOH ABBAS Sep. 22, 2014:

“You can lead them to water, but you can’t make them drink.” After having its “head” dunked in the truth of Islamism, the Obama Administration seems to prefer to drown in its failed anti-Bush pacifism.

Everyone knows the most reliably pro-American military in the Syria-Iraq region is the Peshmerga, yet American arms have not been provided to these Kurds, nor has their justified nationalist aspiration been acknowledged, let alone endorsed.

Instead, America is handing the region to Iran (enhancing its nuclear ambitions), accommodating resurrected Turkish dreams of a worldwide caliphate (transcending its “sultanate”), and failing to enlist necessary support from Wahhabist Saudi Arabia (reinforcing its ideological outreach). Indeed, America can’t find anyone to provide the “boots on the ground” that can begin to match the burgeoning Islamic Army, threatening to conquer the American Homeland… and everything in between.

Lame excuses for inaction advanced by Obama’s spokespeople are easily exposed; for example, they failed to ensure that the Continuing (Funding) Resolution passed last week would allow direct support for Erbil without first transiting Baghdad. Again, ideology (“We must not undermine the new ‘unity’ government”) shrouds intent and pays lip-service to the legitimate, urgent needs of one of the diminishing number of unabashedly pro-American fighting forces.

The vacuum displacing a relatively tranquil Pax Americana is predictably and rapidly being filled by both Sunni and Shiite Islamists, and Kurdistan finds itself in the cross fire.

Tehran wants to immortalize a Shiite Crescent (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon), Ankara wants to sever it with Sunnis (multi-national Arabs and non-Arab Ottomans), and Riyadh wants to stir the pot just enough to foment insurrection, but not enough to allow the Kingdom to be threatened. Geopolitical lines are thereby crossed as these aspirations are being fulfilled, while Kurdistan (joining Israel, to a degree) serves as an irritant, a stubborn target for those harboring far greater aspirations.

Each of these countries has attempted to manipulate Kurdistan via political alliances that serve only to undermine the legitimate aspirations of the populace – self-determination, either as an independent state or as a quasi-independent federated-region. In the mean time, 30-40 million Kurds struggle for survival.

Instead of helping Kurds, who are ready to do America’s bidding, Obama aspires to let the Free Syrian Army decide which “moderates” should receive armaments and year-long training in Saudi Arabia (costing American taxpayers $1 billion). Is Obama enamored of Saudi oil?

Instead of helping Kurds, who desperately need American support, Obama is acceding to Turkey’s rapprochement with the Islamic State, most recently having absented itself from America’s nascent “alliance of the unwilling” in return for release of 49 Turkish hostages. Is Obama pro-Brotherhood?

Instead of helping Kurds, after more than 60 villages and towns in Syrian Kurdistan have fallen to the Islamic State, Obama is receding from opposing Assad (propped up by Rouhani and Putin), hoping that Syrian air defenses (yet to be degraded) won’t block Allied bombers. Is Obama a genocide-appeaser?

Kurds eagerly and valiantly defend Western civilization against Muslims who continue fighting the Crusades; they may be a millennium remote chronologically, but they remain zealots hungry to avenge the 1683 defeat of Islam outside the gates of Vienna.

Demography is rapidly changing, as Kurds are increasingly subject to ethnic cleansing; if defeated, Kurds would be forcibly resettled out of Syria and thereby lose their distinctive identity for, already, a million refugees have relocated, replaced by pro-Assad Shi’ite/Alawite Arabs. Sporadic air-support (recalling the Yazidi plight) is grossly insufficient against the Islamic State. Yet, inexplicably, Obama has even failed to ensure other Arab nations (plus his Turkish pal, Erdoğan) and opposition groups (plus other countries, worldwide) condemn the Islamists’ anti-Kurd acts.

Political groups petitioning for support must have “clean hands.” Thus, elements of the Free Syrian Army seeking allied arms must pass the litmus-test of supporting Kurds, for most are allied with the Muslim Brotherhood or al-Qaida. Unlike stateless-Kurdistan, pro- and anti-Assad entities are merely struggling for power. Therefore, America must provide military, political and humanitarian assistance to Kurdistan urgently, empowering it to lead a coalition of ignored minorities.

Dr. Sherkoh Abbas (President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria) and Dr. Robert Sklaroff (a physician-activist) have co-written essays during the past half-decade advocating for an independent Kurdistan.

Also see:

WATCH: ANTI-ISIS PROTESTS IN LONDON POPULATED BY KURDS, COMMUNISTS, AND PKK SUPPORTERS

PIC_0263Breitbart London:

LONDON, United Kingdom – Anti-ISIS protests in London this weekend saw hundreds of people march from the BBC’s Broadcasting House to the American Embassy then down to Marble Arch.

The march followed the Gaza protests staged in London over recent weeks, and there were originally concerns that the demonstration would be met by London’s pro-ISIS campaigners who were spotted on Oxford Street, moments away from where the march is due to start and end, earlier this week.

But all passed peacefully, with the only animosity being directed at the Breitbart Londonteam itself after tough questions were asked about the support for the PKK, and the communist flags being waved at the event. At one point, Breitbart London’s correspondents were surrounded by hostile protesters shouting, “You are ISIS!” at us.

The PKK, or Kurdistan Worker’s Party, is listed as a terrorist organisation by NATO members included the United Kingdom and the USA, as well as Australia, Iran, the Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, and more.

But by and large the protests focused on the atrocities being committed by ISIS in the northern part of Iraq. Campaigners cited the massacres of Yazidis, though some, including speaking Dr Mary Davis, seeked to blame the Western powers rather than deal with the issue itself.

Breitbart London was there, with interesting results.

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