2014 August 11 Monday
Kurdish Fighters From Turkey Turned Tide Against ISIS In Iraq

Kurdish fighters from Turkey, members of a group called PKK (Kurdish Workers Party), are designated as terrorists by Turkey and Western countries. These terrorists developed combat experience fighting for the Kurds in Syria against Sunni Jihadists and then recently entered Iraq and turned the tide of battle.

Sure, US bombing helped and so did small CIA arms shipments to the Kurds (which are now going to get ramped up btw). But the experienced Kurdish fighters made a big difference.

Some observations about Syria and Iraq:

  • Russia and Iran have been supporting the Assad government against ISIS.
  • US military supplies to the lame Iraqi army have ended up in the hands of ISIS in Iraq and ISIS has transferred some the tanks and other equipment to Syria.
  • US military supplies to the lame Iraqi army were used by ISIS to attack Yazidi, Christian, and Shiite Arab towns and to attack Kurds.
  • US military aircraft sorties against ISIS/Daash in Iraq are blowing up US equipment that ISIS is using to kill Yazidis and others that ISIS sees as deserving death just because of their religious beliefs.
  • The Obama Administration has yet to man up to the US government's responsibility to destroy US weapons captured in Iraq which are now in Syria being used against Kurds, Christians, Alawites, and assorted other groups that are not Sunni Muslim Arabs.
  • Russia and Iran have played key roles in preventing the Sunni Jihadists from slaughtering non-Sunnis in Syria.
  • Russia and Iran were faster to help the embattled incompetent, nepotistic, and corrupt Iraqi government and military.
  • A Kurdish group branded as terrorists by the Turkish government is fighting in Iraq to protect Kurds against the ISIS Jihadists.
  • Kurds who honed their fighting skills protecting Kurds in Syria are protecting Kurds and other minorities in Iraq.
  • The US government is too obsessed with maintaining a multi-cultural state in Iraq and in keeping alive the Sykes-Picot national boundaries in the Middle East to be able to think rationally.
  • Ethnic groups who do not trust each other, some of whom even want to wipe out some of the other groups, should not be together in a single national state.

ISIS is horrible at a level that makes many other less-than-freedom-loving groups in the Middle East look good in comparison. ISIS hate us and hate non-Sunnis. Okay, great, the enemies of our enemies ought to get help from us to wall off some areas against our enemies.

Some of these other groups aren't even really bad. The Kurds, who have been abused by Arabs and Turks alike, just want their own country and their efforts to get it seem pretty justified. Some other groups in the Middle East would be far better off with their own country. Coptic Christians, Lebanese Christians, and Yazidis come to mind.

A modest proposal: We help Kurds move from Turkey to the Kurdish zones in Syria and Iraq and arm them to the teeth so that they can expand and defend their zones. Then we help Christians and Yazidis set up their own zones in a loose confederation with the Kurds.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 August 11 09:27 PM 


Comments
WCN said at August 12, 2014 2:09 AM:

Better proposal: we help solidify Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan and keep covertly supporting their independence bid. Iraq, Syria, Libya and Somalia should all be dismembered and 12 new countries should be formed in their wake. While we are at it, we should support further dismemberment of Sudan and the re-partitioning of Yemen.

We should support the dismemberment of all of those Muslim-majority nations into smaller and less powerful ethno-states

WCN said at August 12, 2014 2:11 AM:

Better proposal: we help solidify Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan and keep covertly supporting their independence bid. Iraq, Syria, Libya and Somalia should all be dismembered and 12 new countries should be formed in their wake. While we are at it, we should support further dismemberment of Sudan and the re-partitioning of Yemen.

We should support the dismemberment of all of those Muslim-majority nations into smaller and less powerful ethno-states

Jim said at August 12, 2014 6:48 AM:

Of course we just ignore all the possible unintended consequences of our meddling in all these conflicts. An independent Kurdistan for example would in the long run destabilize Turkey. Do we want that? We are like a little kid playing with matches or firecrackers. We haven't got a clue as to what we are doing.

Jim said at August 12, 2014 7:01 AM:

If only we had listened to people like George Marshall and George Kennan and stayed out of the conflicts of the Middle East! Now having created chaos by our disastrous interventions in places like Iraq and Libya our only idea now seems to be to create more chaos.

Jim said at August 12, 2014 7:07 AM:

Now if we just work hard enough on all this we should be able to de-stabilize Saudi Arabia which is inherently prone to instability anyway. The crowning achievement of our foreign policy will no doubt be converting Pakistan into a lunatic asylum with nuclear weapons which it's close to already.

Jim said at August 12, 2014 9:43 AM:

I just watched on CNN a helicopter designed for 15 peopple take off with over 40 desperate men, women and children crammed aboard, the crew pushing people out as they closed the doors. Like the Sorcerer's Apprentice we are helpless to control the demons we have helped unleash.

Jim said at August 12, 2014 11:08 AM:

US arrogance and stupidity have created a hellish situation in Iraq.

amac78 said at August 12, 2014 11:12 AM:

> US military supplies to the lame Iraqi army have ended up in the hands of ISIS

Seemingly knowledgeable commenter 'blert' at The Long War Journal wrote on Aug. 9th:

I find it significant that the Pentagon spokesman dared not mention that the howitzer [shown by CENTCOM video being targeted on Aug. 8] was certainly an M198, 're-purposed' by ISIS from the Iraqi army.
52 - 1 = 51
The new and revised count of M198 howitzers in ISIL's possession.
... They are enough, by themselves, to entirely destroy Kurdistan. The Kurds have no counter-battery capability at all.
... American weapons are designed by geniuses to be used by idiots. ISIS will figure out how to use GPS enhanced howitzers in very short order. Baghdad would be hapless once ISIS opens up an artillery offensive. Shi'ite militias don't know how to fire M198 howitzers.

destructure said at August 12, 2014 12:33 PM:

Saudis are ethnically Arab and religiously Sunni. Iranians are ethnically Persian and religiously Shiah. Levantines are neither Arab nor Persian -- even though they speak Arabic. Sunni Arabs and Shiah Persians have been fighting for control of the middle east for hundreds if not thousands of years. Iran has a very capable intelligence network that has recently (over the past couple of decades) established client states throughout the middle east. The Iraqi Shiah and Syrian government are both backed by Iran. Al Qaeda and ISIS are both Sunni and backed by the Saudis. The Saudis are also responsible for a lot of hardware being smuggled into ISIS hands from other countries. Given that the Saudis are a US "ally" and the Syrians / Iranians are both US (and Israeli) "enemies" it's likely the US and Israel both wanted Al Qaeda/ISIS/Sunnis to fight Syria's Assad and carve out an Islamic Caliphate from parts of Syria and Iraq as a hedge against Iran. That may sound strange but it's the same thing the US did by backing Saddam Hussein against Iran. The US and Israel probably didn't want the Sunnis massacring Kurds, Assyrians and Yazidi. But that just shows the contradictions inherent in supporting a group like ISIS. Iran and ISIS may both hate us but as long as they're in a standoff against each other we (and Israel) benefit. As long as the US sends a clear message by hitting any ISIS tanks, artillery or troops that threaten the Kurds, Assyrians or Yazidi we can get what we want.

Mercer said at August 12, 2014 1:34 PM:

How is ISIS worse then the Saudis? They both preach a militant version of Islam and do not allow churches in their territory. ISIS is probably getting money from the Saudis.

My modest suggestion is to allow the Kurds to sell their oil to US companies and ignore the Iraqi government's objections.

patrick said at August 12, 2014 10:10 PM:

Besides ISIS' possession of captured artillery, armored vehicles etc. that we gave to the "Iraqi Army", and the Kurds' lack of said weapons, another factor that has weakened the Kurds is a rivalry between the YPG (the main Kurdish faction in Syria) and KDP (the Iraqi Kurdish ruling party) It looks like they are setting that aside out of necessity. Also remember the Iraqi Kurds haven't had major combat experience for at least 10 years (the KRG is the only area of Iraq where no US soldiers were killed during the war). The PKK/YPG peshmerga, on the other hand have been killing jihadis left and right in Syria for 2 years.
By the way, the YPG have Assyrian Christian militia units as part of their fighting force.

patrick said at August 12, 2014 10:12 PM:

Besides ISIS' possession of captured artillery, armored vehicles etc. that we gave to the "Iraqi Army", and the Kurds' lack of said weapons, another factor that has weakened the Kurds is a rivalry between the YPG (the main Kurdish faction in Syria) and KDP (the Iraqi Kurdish ruling party) It looks like they are setting that aside out of necessity. Also remember the Iraqi Kurds haven't had major combat experience for at least 10 years (the KRG is the only area of Iraq where no US soldiers were killed during the war). The PKK/YPG peshmerga, on the other hand have been killing jihadis left and right in Syria for 2 years.
By the way, the YPG have Assyrian Christian militia units as part of their fighting force.


Post a comment
Comments:
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
URL:
Remember info?

      
 
Web parapundit.com
Go Read More Posts On ParaPundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright