Connect with us

kurdistan

The Guardian view on the fall of Raqqa: as Isis loses, Iran wins | Editorial



Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces celebrate at a stadium that was the site of Islamic State fighters’ last stand in the city of Raqqa.  - 1508698240 318 5760 - The Guardian view on the fall of Raqqa: as Isis loses, Iran wins | Editorial

Raqqa, self-styled capital of the self-styled Islamic State’s self-styled caliphate in eastern Syria, fell to Kurdish and Sunni Arab forces last week. The event was an indisputable success for the US-led anti-Isis international coalition. For the city’s inhabitants, it meant the end of a terrifying three years under the rule of a nihilistic cult. Isis’s rule in Raqqa made a global statement, showcasing its atrocities and its ideology: there were beheadings in a sports stadium, gay men thrown off rooftops, women reduced to slavery, and children indoctrinated to become suicide bombers. That the insurgent group has now been kicked out is a piece of good news for the Middle East and beyond.

It is much too soon to claim that Isis has been beaten for good. It still holds pockets of territory across the Syria-Iraq border. Nor is Sunni disenfranchisement – a key recruiting sergeant for Isis – likely to disappear if the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, is allowed to continue to persecute his people. Donald Trump’s assertion on Saturday that the fall of Raqqa heralded a political transition for Syria is both cynical and hollow. There is no sign whatever of such a transition in Damascus.

Nor can it be said that the wider region is any closer to stability, let alone peace. As Raqqa fell, a second city, Kirkuk in neighbouring Iraq, changed hands too. Here, though, the circumstances were very different. Kurdish peshmerga forces, who had held Kirkuk and nearby oil fields since 2014, were pushed out by the Shia-dominated Iraqi army. Just weeks earlier, a referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan voted overwhelmingly for independence. Designed as a measure to further the Kurds’ long-held political aspirations, the vote backfired badly. Baghdad government troops swept in almost unopposed. Divisions among Kurdish factions played no small role in the collapse.

That, in just one week, Kurdish forces should be victorious in Raqqa but crushed in Kirkuk, is part of a chaotic realignment across the region. Anticipating the imminent demise of Isis power, local armed groups and the nation states that act as their patrons have moved quickly to hedge their positions and fill any vacuum. Alliances are shifting as circumstances change, and lines are redrawn in the sand. A regional free-for-all is in motion, whose end game no one can predict.

Kurdish and Iraqi forces who had allied against Isis, both of them trained and equipped by the US, have now turned against one another. In Syria’s eastern desert, US- and Iran-supported groups who once confronted Isis in parallel are now violently competing for strategic landmarks. Tactical solidarities are also wearing thin. Turkey, formerly an active supporter of the anti-Assad insurgency, now seeks Russian support against the Kurds, while announcing it will send ground forces into Syria’s rebel-held province of Idlib.

Blunt military power and geopolitical opportunism governs these events in the Middle East. Diplomacy has all but been abandoned. There is no rule book except might-makes-right. As Isis-held territory shrinks, states and non-state entities alike vie for influence and conquest. Sectarian and ethnic differences fuel a dangerous dynamic. Comparison with the thirty years’ war may not be exaggerated.

However, the one state that has so far gained more than it has lost in this multifaceted regional war is surely Iran. With its troops and its proxies deeply involved on the ground, Iranian sway has grown across Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It has capitalised on chaos as well as on American errors and miscalculations. Mr Trump’s recent threats against Iran should perhaps be seen in this context as an attempt at pushback, but they have the potential to create even larger problems. As Isis recedes, the world is witnessing a scramble for the spoils. For the moment, every military victory sets the stage for another confrontation, not for talks. For the people of Raqqa, Kirkuk and many others, it is a recipe for more, not less, uncertainty.

theguardian

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

kurdistan

US-led coalition strikes kill 150 Islamic State militants in Syria



A pair of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles flying over northern Iraq  - 3607 - US-led coalition strikes kill 150 Islamic State militants in Syria

US-led coalition strikes kill 150 Islamic State militants in Syria

Strikes near As Shafah come as the US urged Turkey to focus on fighting Isis and show restraint in its campaign against Kurdish forces







A pair of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles flying over northern Iraq  - 3607 - US-led coalition strikes kill 150 Islamic State militants in Syria









The US has signalled an open-ended military presence in Syria as part of a broader strategy to prevent Islamic State’s resurgence
Photograph: Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/AFP/Getty Images

The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State has said it has killed nearly 150 militants in strikesin the Syrian middle Euphrates valley.

The strikes on Saturday come as the US urged Turkey to show restraint in its campaign against Kurdish forces in northern Syria and to focus on fighting Isis. On Tuesday, Turkey claimed to have killed 260 Kurdish and Isis fighters in a four-day offensive the north of the country.

The US has signalled an open-ended military presence in Syria as part of a broader strategy to prevent a resurgence of Isis, pave the way diplomatically for the eventual departure of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and curtail Iran’s influence.

“The precision strikes were a culmination of extensive intelligence preparation to confirm an Isis headquarters and command and control center in an exclusively Isis-occupied location in the contested middle Euphrates river valley,” said a statement issued on Tuesday by the coalition.

The strikes took place near As Shafah, Syria and killed between 145 and 150 militants. The statement added that US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes Kurdish YPG fighters, helped in target observation.

Turkey seeks to avoid any clash with US, Russian or Syrian forces but will take any steps needed for its security, a Turkish minister said on Tuesday, the fourth day of its air and ground offensive against Kurdish forces.

The United States and Russia both have military forces in Syria and have urged Turkey to show restraint in its campaign, named Operation Olive Branch, to crush the US-backed Kurdish YPG in the Afrin region on Turkey’s southern border.

“Our SDF partners are still making daily progress and sacrifices, and together we are still finding, targeting and killing ISIS terrorists intent on keeping their extremist hold on the region,” maj gen James Jarrard, commander of special operations for the coalition, said in the statement.

The United States has led an international coalition conducting air strikes against Islamic State since 2014. US troops have served as advisers on the ground with Iraqi government forces and with Kurdish and Arab groups in Syria.

The coalition has said in the past that fewer than 1,000 Islamic State fighters remain in Iraq and Syria, but that the militant group still remains a threat. The figure excludes areas in western Syria under the control of Assadss government and his allies.



theguardian

Continue Reading

kurdistan

Kurds in Canada urge Turkey to ‘stop spilling Kurdish blood’ in Afrin

- KACOttawa - Kurds in Canada urge Turkey to ‘stop spilling Kurdish blood’ in Afrin


Rojen Rahmani, head of lobbying and advocacy for KAC, said the Canadian government needs to respond and condemn Turkey’s violent campaign in Rojava.

“I think Canada’s response to Turkey’s attack on Afrin needs to be louder,” she told Kurdistan 24. “[Canada] needs to play a larger role taking into account the YPG forces are an ally of America and Canada.”

Turkish warplanes began striking the Kurdish city of Afrin on Saturday as ground troops entered the region the following day.

The campaign dubbed “Operation Olive Branch” is meant to clear Syria’s Kurdish-held northwest district of People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters who Turkey claims are an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Ankara has labeled the US-backed Kurdish forces a “terrorist organization” and has been infuriated by Washington’s support for the YPG.

The US, which is backing the YPG in the ongoing battle against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, said it was concerned regarding the situation.



Source link

Continue Reading

kurdistan

New Governor Steps Up Arabisation Campaign in Kirkuk

- 955d54c3357369ad15d1991b10e69675 L - New Governor Steps Up Arabisation Campaign in Kirkuk


KIRKUK — The new governor of Kirkuk who was appointed by the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, Rakan Saeed, helps the Arabisation campaign against the indigenous Kurdish population of the province.

According to a written document, a copy of which was obtained by BasNews, signed by the governor himself, Saeed urges the security forces based in Nawroz district of Kirkuk to send him the list of names who have been given lands by the directorate of the area.

The documents also show that the people whom their names are in the wanted list have to leave the place in 7 days otherwise they bear the responsibility.

According to the information obtained by BasNews, the number of residents who have been warned to leave their properties is estimated to be 130 families who had built their houses 14 years ago in Kirkuk.

Political observers believe that Saeed’s documents are to intensify the Arabisation in Kirkuk province, therefore he should be stopped.

On October 16th, 2017, Hashed-al Shaabi in collaboration with a few other militias which were allied by some “traitors” in Kurdish military forces, invaded Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, and Khanaqin. During the invasion, hundreds of citizens were killed or severely injured despite the fact that approximately 200,000 people fled their cities.





Source link

Continue Reading

Recent News

- 24turkey1 facebookJumbo 400x240 - Mixed Messages From U.S. as Turkey Attacks Syrian Kurds - 24turkey1 facebookJumbo 80x80 - Mixed Messages From U.S. as Turkey Attacks Syrian Kurds
Syria59 mins ago

Mixed Messages From U.S. as Turkey Attacks Syrian Kurds

Photo Turkish soldiers around the area of Mount Bersaya, north of the Syrian town of Azaz, on Tuesday. Credit Saleh...

- 5a67ae24fc7e9309638b4567 - US chemical blame-game: Well-timed PR stunt or trick to justify military presence in Syria? - 5a67ae24fc7e9309638b4567 - US chemical blame-game: Well-timed PR stunt or trick to justify military presence in Syria?
Syria2 hours ago

US chemical blame-game: Well-timed PR stunt or trick to justify military presence in Syria?

French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. © Philippe Wojazer / Reuters

- 20180124 sdf3d46d3 image 400x240 - 37 Turkish soldiers and gang members killed in Afrin  - 20180124 sdf3d46d3 image 80x80 - 37 Turkish soldiers and gang members killed in Afrin 
Rojava3 hours ago

37 Turkish soldiers and gang members killed in Afrin 

According to SDF sources, the invading Turkish army and allied gangs suffered heavy losses during ongoing clashes in Afrin. Bodies...

kurdistan3 hours ago

US-led coalition strikes kill 150 Islamic State militants in Syria

US news US-led coalition strikes kill 150 Islamic State militants in Syria Strikes near As Shafah come as the US...

- 20180124 sdfaedabe image 400x240 - 8 soldiers killed in an action by SDF fighters  - 20180124 sdfaedabe image 80x80 - 8 soldiers killed in an action by SDF fighters 
Rojava3 hours ago

8 soldiers killed in an action by SDF fighters 

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces carried out an action against the Turkish army and affiliated gangs in Bazara village...

- 24Friedman web facebookJumbo 400x240 - The Tweet Trump Could Never Send Tehran - 24Friedman web facebookJumbo 80x80 - The Tweet Trump Could Never Send Tehran
Iran3 hours ago

The Tweet Trump Could Never Send Tehran

Photo The Hamoun wetlands in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan Province have dried up. Credit Behrouz Mehria/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images After violent...

- 20180124 raj084be1 image 400x240 - Turkish attack on Rajo kills one civilian, wounds two others  - 20180124 raj084be1 image 80x80 - Turkish attack on Rajo kills one civilian, wounds two others 
Rojava4 hours ago

Turkish attack on Rajo kills one civilian, wounds two others 

Turkish army is continuing its invasion attacks against Afrin Canton of Northern Syria, also hitting civilian areas besides military targets....

- 20180124 20180123 2018 01 23 hsk dauyyani ji bo efrin 2 620x3649b2bdb imageb2feed image 400x240 - Self-Defense Forces: We will not allow Turkey to invade Afrin  - 20180124 20180123 2018 01 23 hsk dauyyani ji bo efrin 2 620x3649b2bdb imageb2feed image 80x80 - Self-Defense Forces: We will not allow Turkey to invade Afrin 
Rojava4 hours ago

Self-Defense Forces: We will not allow Turkey to invade Afrin 

The Defense Councils of Northern Syria regions made a joint statement at Heseke Stadium in solidarity with the resistance of...

- KACOttawa 400x240 - Kurds in Canada urge Turkey to ‘stop spilling Kurdish blood’ in Afrin - KACOttawa 80x80 - Kurds in Canada urge Turkey to ‘stop spilling Kurdish blood’ in Afrin
kurdistan4 hours ago

Kurds in Canada urge Turkey to ‘stop spilling Kurdish blood’ in Afrin

Rojen Rahmani, head of lobbying and advocacy for KAC, said the Canadian government needs to respond and condemn Turkey’s violent...

- 20180123 20180123 555ef125f imaged8d415 image 400x240 - Number of civilians wounded in Turkish attacks rises to 10  - 20180123 20180123 555ef125f imaged8d415 image 80x80 - Number of civilians wounded in Turkish attacks rises to 10 
Rojava4 hours ago

Number of civilians wounded in Turkish attacks rises to 10 

Turkish army continued its airstrikes and artillery attacks on Cindires and Rajo districts of Afrin throughout Tuesday. 10 civilians suffered...

Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2017 KurdDaily.com