Archive | Iraq

Will the Kirkuk Campaign Lead to Regime Change in Kurdistan?

NOVANEWS

The Iraqi federal government commenced a military intervention in the Kurdish-occupied oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

This area has long been disputed between the Iraqi central authorities and the Kurdish Regional Government of Northern Iraq, and Article 140 of the post-2003 US-imposed “constitution” decreed that a referendum was supposed to have been held here before 2008. Such a vote never took place due to the country’s dire security situation and misplaced priorities at the time, but the Kurdish-claimed city take part in a different referendum last month when they voted for independence from Iraq. The Kurdish military forces, or Peshmerga, occupied Kirkuk in 2014 after they drove Daesh out of the city, which they had previously conquered after expelling the Iraqi Army shortly beforehand. Baghdad declared the vote illegal, while Erbil said that it gave the Kurds the right to negotiate independence from Iraq, stressing that they wanted to achieve their ends as peacefully as possible.

According to the Iraqi Constitution, the Kurds’ moves are illegal, hence why Prime Minister Abadiasked them several times over the past month to reverse their pro-independence path, allow the return of federal forces to their region, and surrender Kirkuk back to the central government. The Kurds refused to do any of this, which is why the Iraqi Army was ordered to reclaim the disputed city in what was a largely non-violent operation, albeit one which the Kurds described as a “declaration of war”. Right now the situation is very tense, since the federal forces are reluctant to sweep into the formal territory of the Kurdish Regional Government out of fear that this might provoke an all-out civil war, though they nevertheless need to reestablish their presence there if they want to have any hope of stopping the Kurds’ secession.

It’s in this context that it’s relevant to mention that Iraq has most likely coordinated its response with its Turkish and Iranian neighbors, both of whom are confronting their own armed Kurdish separatists as well. None of these three state parties want to create the false impression that they’re waging a “War on the Kurds”, nor do they have any intention of launching a trilateral Arab-Turkish-Iranian occupation of Kurdish territory in Northern Iraq because of how unsustainable this would be from a military perspective. Instead, what they’re seeking to do as a worst-case scenario is carry out a “regime change” in the region by ousting the separatists and replacing them with Baghdad-friendly “federalists” until a new round of elections can be held by the Kurdish Regional Government, one which the pro-independence forces would be barred from participating in unlike the upcoming ones scheduled for 1 November.

It’s very possible that the end result of this prospective effort could see the Barzani family’s political monopoly over Iraqi Kurdistan broken once and for all, which could herald in a completely new era for the region and change many of the international partnerships that were brokered by this powerful clan.

 

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Iraqi Seizure of Oil-rich Kirkuk from Kurds Risks Broader War

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered an offensive by Iraqi army units and pro-government Shia militias Monday to capture the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and surrounding areas from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). The attack, which reportedly provoked clashes in some areas between Iraqi units and Peshmerga fighters, threatens not only to further destabilize Iraq, but could prove the trigger for a broader catastrophic conflict that could quickly engulf neighboring Syria, drawing in regional and imperialist powers.

The retaking of Kirkuk took place after Baghdad negotiated the voluntary withdrawal of Peshmerga forces aligned with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) faction, which is hostile to KRG president Masoud Barzani and opposed September’s Kurdish independence referendum. The referendum, which returned a substantial majority in favor of independence, was condemned by the regional and imperialist powers, and denounced by Baghdad as unconstitutional.

Barzani declared the Iraqi advance to be an act of war and ordered the Peshmerga under his command to use all available resources to fight back. KRG officials accused the PUK of a “betrayal” for failing to resist the Iraqi advance.

The loss of Kirkuk will be a devastating setback to Barzani’s independence plans. Control of the oil reserves from the area represented an important source of income for the KRG, which established a pipeline to Turkey to bypass Baghdad and sell oil on the world market.

While Peshmerga forces remained in control of oilfields outside Kirkuk Monday, Irbil reportedly had to halt oil supplies to Turkey as engineers failed to report to work. Eurasia Group estimated that of the 600,000 barrels a day shipped by the KRG to Turkey, 450,000 barrels would fall under the control of the Iraqi central government if it establishes a secure hold over Kirkuk and surrounding regions.

While US military figures and the corporate media sought to downplay the scale of the clashes Monday, the Iraqi army’s advance will have explosive consequences and poses the danger of a renewed wave of sectarian bloodletting that could rapidly engulf the entire region. Both sides have not only been armed to the teeth and trained by the US and its imperialist allies over recent years, but are contesting areas which are of major economic and geostrategic significance. Added to this, the extremely fragile situation in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, as the US and European imperialist powers jostle to advance their interests and regional powers like Turkey, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia are drawn ever more closely into a complex web of alliances that are increasingly in flux, and the true extent of the danger posed to the region’s long-suffering population becomes clear.

Kirkuk was a prize possession of the KRG. The oil-rich city and surrounding oilfields have been under Kurdish control since 2014, when Iraqi forces fled before the advance of ISIS. In last month’s referendum, Barzani controversially included the ethnically diverse city in the area considered to be part of an independent state, hoping thereby to seize control of its oil wealth. Baghdad responded furiously, vowing to use the military to restore its control.

Primary responsibility for the ethnic and sectarian conflict lies with US imperialism and its allies, which have systematically encouraged Kurdish regional ambitions in northern Iraq since the illegal US-led invasion in 2003. At the same time, Washington helped establish a Shia-dominated puppet regime in Baghdad that conducted a brutal crackdown on Sunni areas of Iraq, while refusing to countenance any move by the Kurds towards independence.

Having destroyed Iraqi society, creating the political and social conditions within which regional and ethnic conflicts could assume such malignant forms, US imperialism is now hypocritically seeking to pose as a neutral arbiter between Baghdad and Irbil, appealing to both sides to show restraint. Its main goal in this is to prevent all-out civil war in Iraq, since this would cut across Washington’s broader agenda in the Middle East of pushing back Iranian influence and consolidating an alliance with the Gulf states and Israel to secure US dominance over the energy-rich and strategically important region.

However, US actions are the most destabilizing factor. While backing both the KRG and Iraqi central government with financial and military resources, as well as personnel on the ground, Washington is relying chiefly on Kurdish allies in Syria to oust the Islamic State from its rapidly shrinking territory, and, much more significantly from the Washington’s point of view, prevent forces loyal to Iran and the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad from emerging in control of eastern Syria. This would facilitate Tehran’s establishment of a land bridge to Damascus, Lebanon and the Mediterranean coast, a development which would be a major strategic blow to the US, and its major Middle East ally, Israel.

Though the Syrian Kurds are not on good terms with Barzani, instead aligning themselves with the Turkish Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), Ankara, Baghdad and Tehran all view the emergence of strengthened Kurdish autonomous areas in northern Syria and Iraq as intolerable. Turkey has once again over recent days sent troops into northern Syria to block the emergence of a contiguous Kurdish territory on its southern border, prompting sharp protests from the Syrian government that its sovereignty is being violated. Further escalating tensions in Syria, the Israeli Air Force carried out a strike on a missile battery near Damascus Monday morning, claiming it had fired at Israeli reconnaissance planes over Lebanon.

Ankara condemned Barzani’s independence referendum and held talks with Iran about a possible military intervention. It has pledged to hand over border crossings between Turkey and the KRG to the Baghdad government. With a Turkish military base in northern Iraq not far from Mosul, Ankara could also be drawn into the fighting if it spreads.

A Turkish government statement praised the Iraqi offensive, claiming that it was necessary to drive out PKK forces which were allegedly being harbored by the KRG. It noted, in what amounted to a threat of a direct military invasion, that Ankara is “ready for any form of co-operation with the Iraqi government in order to end the PKK presence in Iraqi territory.”

This follows the provocative declaration by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the wake of the Kurdish referendum that Irbil’s actions could spark an “ethnic war.”

The Iraqi offensive comes just days after US President Donald Trump vowed to blow up the 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran, unless the pact is renegotiated to meet Washington’s demands. His announcement not only aggravated tensions between the US and Iran throughout the Middle East, with Washington’s commitment to target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) operations in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, but brought to light the widening rift between US imperialist policy and that of its European rivals.

Should the fighting in Iraq spread, Iran faces the immediate prospect of being dragged into the conflict. Substantial numbers of Iranian military personnel, including members of the Revolutionary Guards, have been embedded in the Iraqi military to strengthen it in its operations against ISIS, a fact which was reportedly important in preventing Trump from designating the IRGC as a “terrorist organization” in his Iran speech Friday.

In addition, the Shia militias which have joined the Iraqi army advance into Kirkuk are under Iranian influence. The Guardian reported that Qassem Suleimani, head of the IRGC’s Quds force, helped direct the offensive.

Unconfirmed reports Monday indicated that ethnic strife has already begun. Kurdish commanders claimed that advancing Iraqi forces had burned villages south of Kirkuk. Large numbers of people were said to be fleeing the city, while the Kurdish governor of the region appealed to everyone with arms to resist Baghdad’s advance.

The Iraqi government has asserted that the Shia militias or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), who are notorious for anti-Sunni and anti-Kurdish attacks, have agreed not to enter Kirkuk itself, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious city including Arabs, Turkmens and Kurds. But already by Monday afternoon, there were reports of two senior PMU commanders entering the city to watch Iraqi flags being raised over government buildings.

Al-Abadi released a statement Monday proclaiming that the military operation sought to “protect the unity of the country” and urged Kurds not to resist.

An indication of the violence in store for the region is given by the fact that the Iraqi advance was led by elite forces from Baghdad’s Counter-Terrorism Force, which led the murderous assault on Mosul that, in conjunction with US air strikes, laid waste to much of the city and claimed tens of thousands of civilian lives.

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Kurdish SDF Terror Proxies Re-Occupy (What’s Left of) Raqqa, Syria

NOVANEWS

The occupation and destruction of Raqqa, Syria, by Western-supported terrorists, is now transforming itself into a re-occupation by “Kurdish” SDF terror proxies who are taking the place of the previous place-setters — ISIS/Daesh — many of whom are now being re-deployed elsewhere.

As with Mosul, Iraq,1 NATO’s ISIS assets occupied and terrorized the area for years, as Coalition forces illegally bombed the area – pretending to fight ISIS — destroying at will the ancient city, and killing mostly civilians.

As with Mosul, Iraq, the desired imperial outcome of catastrophic destruction and depopulation has been achieved.

But, whereas the endgame of now destroyed Mosul, Iraq has yet to unfold, (apart from ISIS being channeled to Syria), the endgame in Raqqa, Syria, is more transparent.

Permanent Syrian resident Lilly Martin explains the catastrophe in these words:

Oct 14, 2017: Reqaa, Syria was the ISIS headquarters. The US backed Kurdish traitors went in with the pockets full of dollars paid by Saudi Arabia, and their weapons all free from Uncle Sam. They did FREE Reqaa of the ISIS, but in doing so the US backed Kurds have committed genocide and ethnic cleansing, killing and stealing the lands, homes, farms and shops of all the Syrian citizens. Notice that Mosul, Iraq was liberated, and the Iraqi citizens got their city back. But in Syria, the US military is backing some ethnic-killer-militia called SDF, and the unarmed civilians of Reqaa are either dead, maimed or living in a refugee camp, with no hope to return home. Go ask Pres. Trump what that is all about. I can not understand why this is allowed to happen, and the whole world is busy talking about a sex scandal – crime in Hollywood?2

The anti-democratic, ethnic-cleansing SDF — stooges for the illegal US occupiers — are now posing as “liberators”, when in fact they are the new occupiers of Raqqa, Syria.

As with all of the terrorists who have infested Syria for the last seven years, the “Kurds” would not be a military threat without the direct support of the illegal Western Coalition forces occupying and destroying Syria.

Notes

1 Mark Taliano, “The Islamic State as ‘Place-Setter’ for the American Empire. ISIS is the Product of the US Military-Intelligence Complex.” Global Research, 30 August, 2017. (https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-islamic-state-as-place-setter-for-u-s-empire-isis-is-the-product-of-the-us-military-intelligence-complex/5606371) Accessed 15 October, 2017.

2 October 14, 2017 Facebook commentary

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War Crimes and the Rights of Children in Syria and Iraq

NOVANEWS

War Crimes and the Rights of Children in Syria and Iraq: On the Importance of Media Literacy in Times of Universal Deceit

Just as it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that ISIS/Daesh are Western proxies/strategic assets in Syria, so too has it been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt the myriad illicit ways in which the terrorists enrich themselves to the detriment of Syria, and beyond.

Not only do NATO terrorists engage in organ harvesting[1], for example, but they engage in sex slavery as well. Author and human rights activist Ewelina U. Ochab reports the following:

During my recent trip to Iraq, I was shown a document, dated October 16, 2014, listing the prices for the purchase of Yazidi and Christian girls and women. The prices ranged from 75,000 Iraqi Dinar (about $64) for a thirty- to forty-year-old woman, to 200,000 Iraqi Dinar (about $170) for a girl between one and nine years old. Overall, the younger the girl or woman was, the higher the price to be paid – the sight of such prices being paid for babies and young children filled me with unimaginable horror at the pain they n would go through.[2]

Since the White Helmets are al Qaeda auxiliaries, again, proven beyond a reasonable doubt, it follows that we should be viewing their videos with a critical eye.

Given what we know of the terrorists’ illicit operations, if videos or other media products feature children, as they so often do, the following questions need to be asked:

  • Where are the parents?
  • Who are the parents?
  • If there are no parents in the video, why not?
  • Where is the follow-up? What happened to the featured children?
  • Are children being exploited to create a pretext for more NATO war crimes?
  • Are images of children being “recycled”?
  • If medical procedures are being performed on children, are correct medical protocols being followed?

A more subtle (but effective nonetheless) example of child exploitation, instrumentalized to promote war and terrorism, involves 8 year old Bana Alabed, whose parents are al Qaeda affiliated. “Bana’s” alleged tweets, taken in their entirety, serve as propaganda to advance the goals of her terrorist-affiliated parents who lived in a terrorist-occupied area of East Aleppo from which terrorists launched gas cannister bombs —- filled with explosives and shrapnel (i.e. nails) — onto innocent civilians in Aleppo.

Prof Tim Anderson’s Facebook commentary that,

(i)t must be one of the greatest propaganda achievements of modern times that Washington (with its embedded media) has succeeded in convincing millions of apparently educated people in western cultures that it has “NOT” been conducting a war against Syria for the past seven years,[3]

attests not only to the power of Western propaganda, but also to the urgency for Western populations to become more critical media consumers.

The impacts of the Western-imposed war on Syria will resonate for many generations.

Notes

1 Mark Taliano, “Syria: Disappeared Voices by Western Corporate Media.” Global Research. 9 October, 2017.( https://www.globalresearch.ca/voices-from-syria-disappeared-voices-by-western-corporate-media/5612525) Accessed 13 October, 2017.

2 Ewelina U. Ochab, “Sexual Violence As A Weapon Of War: The Story Of Daesh And Boko Haram.” Forbes. 2 March, 2017.( https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewelinaochab/2017/03/02/sexual-violence-as-a-weapon-of-war-the-story-of-daesh-and-boko-haram/#318118e06a17) Accessed 13 October, 2017.

3 Facebook commentary, 12 October, 2017.

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Separatist Kurdish Factions: Human Rights Violations and Racism

NOVANEWS
 

The West has effectively preyed on the Kurds’ internal divisions and has used some factions to fulfill an imperialist goal of dividing and weakening the Near and Middle East. The Kurdish people are diverse, and in recent years, aspects of their culture and customs have been discussed in mainstream media. But the behavior of some of their more corrupt factions must also be addressed.

A history of human rights abuses

Separatist Kurdish factions have a vested interest in claiming Arab, Assyrian or Armenian history as their own. However, at times when they have failed in that endeavor, they have resorted to destroying any relevant history pertaining to the areas they are trying to claim altogether. In this aspect, they operate in a similar manner to Daesh/ISIS.

Assyrian Artifacts Vandalized in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Recent reports show Kurdish flags painted on Assyrian reliefs in Dohuk, not once, but twice in quick succession. There is evidence of hammering and chiseling taking place, as well as numerous suspected bullet holes. The Kurdistan Regional Government have not condemned these acts or committed any resources to watching over and protecting Assyrian heritage.

Every time the Kurds failed in an attack against Turkey, they would migrate to Syria and try to claim Syrian land as their own. For instance, they tried to claim the Syrian city of Ayn al Arab, naming it “Kobani/Kobane.” The origin of the name is the word “company,” a reference to a German railway company that built the Konya-Baghdad railway. The Kurds also claimed Al Qamishli, another Syrian city, as their illegal capital and renamed it Qamislo/Qamishlo.

It’s worth mentioning that Kurds are not even a majority in the land they claim as theirs in northeast Syria. For example, in the governorate of Al Hasakah, they amount to about 30 to 40 percent of the population. That number has decreased since the outbreak of the current Syrian conflict, as many Kurds have left for European countries.

Most of them have fled to Germany, where their numbers are about 1.2 million, a little less than the number of Kurds living in Syria. However, they do not seem concerned about seeking autonomy there. They only seek it in the Middle Eastern countries that have provided them with refuge all of these years – these are the countries they want to stab in the back instead of thanking them for their hospitality.

Amnesty International’s many refutable allegations against the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army cannot be taken at face value in the absence of other corroborating reports. In some cases, however, they do report truthfully, such as when they released a report in 2015 accusing the YPG, the militia of Syria’s Kurdish population, of a range of human rights abuses.

“These abuses include forced displacement, demolition of homes, and the seizure and destruction of property,” the group wrote. “In some cases, entire villages have been demolished, apparently in retaliation for the perceived support of their Arab or Turkmen residents for the group that calls itself the Islamic State (IS) or other non-state armed groups.” Amnesty International has also documented the use of child soldiers, according to Lama Fakih, a senior crisis advisor for the group.

Some Kurds claim that their “Kurdistan” is “multicultural and multi-religious,” which is disingenuous when you consider that those additional cultures consist of people now dwelling amongst a Kurdish majority in lands the Kurds took by force. On September 25th, these minorities were faced with the prospect of casting meaningless votes for the KRG Referendum in Iraq since, even if they all voted “no,” they would nonetheless be outvoted by the Kurdish “yes” majority and as a result would still find themselves subject to a Kurdish government and agenda, if the Iraqi government recognized the referendum.

British Parliament addresses Kurds illegal confiscation of Assyrian lands (Kurds Stealing Assyrian Land). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKZzf4Ic4YM#t=25 

Kurdish racism against Arabs – especially Syrians

Finnish investigative journalist Bruno Jantti described his experience working in Iraqi Kurdistan while investigating Daesh:

“When working in Iraqi Kurdistan, I was struck by the prevalence of regressive attitudes, including racism and sexism. I returned recently from Iraqi Kurdistan where I spent a couple of weeks investigating the Islamic State (IS) group. Working mostly in the vicinity of Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk, I could not help but notice a great many societal and cultural characteristics that somewhat surprised me.

Considering what is happening right next door in Syria, the level of anti-Syrian racism did catch me off guard. I came across such prejudice almost daily. A taxi driver quipped in Sulaymaniyah: ‘These Syrians are ruining our country.’ Another taxi driver was quite upset at Syrian kids who were washing car windows and selling tack. ‘These are dirty kids.’ he said. It was all but unusual that internally displaced persons of Iraqi or Syrian Arab descent who had fled to Iraqi Kurdistan were discussed using such language.It wasn’t just taxi drivers. In the Sulaymaniyah governorate building, an officer deemed it appropriate to prep us for our interviews in refugee camps in the area. She told me, verbatim, that Syrian refugees ‘complain about everything.’ In another city, a police chief was astonished and disappointed that my colleagues and myself were applying for a permit to work in a camp inhabiting Syrian refugees. The police chief stated: ‘But these are Syrian refugees!’ There was no shortage of contempt in his voice.

I had been fully aware that Kurdish nationalism flirts with highly questionable portrayals of Arabs, Persians, and Turkish people. In Iraqi Kurdistan, I was surprised at how prevalent some of those attitudes seemed to be.”

 :
The young Man, Ali Faisal al-Khuzaim killed by the Kurdish militias because he broke away from them and joined Syrian army 

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More than 1,000 Foreign ISIS Terrorists Enter Syria via Iraq

More than 1,000 foreign Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists have entered Syria via Iraq, the pro-opposition Syrian Opposition for Human Rights claimed on Thursday.

According to the report released by the pro-opposition group, the 1,000+ ISIS terrorists came from several countries in central Asia, including Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan.

The terrorists entered the Deir Ezzor Governorate via Albukamal, which is the last crossing for the terrorist group between Iraq and Syria.

The SOHR report also claimed that more than 500 Islamic State terrorists had been killed in Syria over the past two weeks – this cannot be confirmed by Al-Masdar.

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How Kurdish independence underpins Israel’s plan to reshape the Middle East

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Israeli and Kurdish flags

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

Palestinians and Israelis watched last week’s referendum of Iraq’s Kurds with special interest. Israeli officials and many ordinary Palestinians were delighted – for very different reasons – to see an overwhelming vote to split away from Iraq.

Given the backlash from Baghdad and anger from Iran and Turkey, which have restive Kurdish minorities, the creation of a Kurdistan in northern Iraq may not happen soon.

Palestinian support for the Kurds is not difficult to understand. Palestinians, too, were overlooked when Britain and France carved up the Middle East into states a century ago. Like the Kurds, Palestinians have found themselves trapped in different territories, oppressed by their overlords.

Israel’s complex interests in Kurdish independence are harder to unravel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was the sole world leader to back Kurdish independence, and other politicians spoke of the Kurds’ “moral right” to a state. None saw how uneasily that sat with their approach to the Palestinian case.

… Israel wants a bulwark against Iran transferring its weapons, intelligence and know-how to Shia allies in Syria and Lebanon.

On a superficial level, Israel would gain because the Kurds sit on plentiful oil. Unlike the Arab states and Iran, they are keen to sell to Israel.

But the reasons for Israeli support run deeper. There has been co-operation, much of it secret, between Israel and the Kurds for decades. Israeli media lapped up tributes from now-retired generals who trained the Kurds from the 1960s. Those connections have not been forgotten or ended. Independence rallies featured Israeli flags, and Kurds spoke of their ambition to become a “second Israel”.

Israel views the Kurds as a key ally in an Arab-dominated region. Now, with Islamic State’s influence receding, an independent Kurdistan could help prevent Iran filling the void. Israel wants a bulwark against Iran transferring its weapons, intelligence and know-how to Shia allies in Syria and Lebanon.

Israel’s current interests, however, hint at a larger vision it has long harboured for the region – and one I set out at length in my book, Israel and the Clash of Civilisations.

It began with Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion, who devised a strategy of “allying with the periphery” – building military ties to non-Arab states like Turkey, Ethiopia, India and Iran, then ruled by the shahs. The goal was to help Israel to break out of its regional isolation and contain an Arab nationalism led by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser.

[The Yinon Plan] proposed the implosion of the Middle East, breaking apart the region’s key states – and Israel’s main opponents – by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord. The aim was to fracture these states, weakening them so that Israel could secure its place as sole regional power.

Israeli general Ariel Sharon expanded this security doctrine in the early 1980s, calling for Israel to become an imperial power in the Middle East. Israel would ensure that it alone in the region possessed nuclear weapons, making it indispensable to the US.

Sharon was not explicit about how Israel’s empire could be realised, but an indication was provided at around the same time in the Yinon Plan, written for the World Zionist Organisation by a former Israeli Foreign Ministry official.

Oded Yinon proposed the implosion of the Middle East, breaking apart the region’s key states – and Israel’s main opponents – by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord. The aim was to fracture these states, weakening them so that Israel could secure its place as sole regional power.

The inspiration for this idea lay in the occupied territories, where Israel had contained Palestinians in a series of separate enclaves. Later, Israel would terminally divide the Palestinian national movement, nurturing an Islamist extremism that coalesced into Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In this period, Israel also tested its ideas in neighbouring southern Lebanon, which it occupied for two decades. There, its presence further stoked sectarian tensions between Christians, Druze, Sunni and Shia Muslims.

The strategy of “Balkanising” the Middle East found favour in the US among a group of hawkish policymakers, known as neoconservatives, who came to prominence during George W. Bush’s presidency.

Heavily influenced by Israel, they promoted the idea of “rolling back” key states, especially Iraq, Iran and Syria, which were opposed to Israeli-US dominance in the region. They prioritised ousting Saddam Hussein, who had fired missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war.

Although often assumed to be an unfortunate side effect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq,

… Washington’s oversight of [Iraq’s] bloody disintegration into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish fiefdoms looked suspiciously intentional. Now, Iraqi Kurds are close to making that break-up permanent.

Syria has gone a similar way, mired in convulsive fighting that has left its ruler impotent. And Tehran is, again, the target of efforts by Israel and its allies in the US to tear up the 2015 nuclear accord, backing Iran into a corner. Arab, Baluchi, Kurdish and Azeri minorities there may be ripe for stirring up.

Last month at the Herzliya conference, an annual jamboree for Israel’s security establishment, Justice M’sinister Ayelet Shaked called for a Kurdish state. She has stated that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to “reshape” the Middle East.

The unravelling of Britain and France’s map of the region would likely lead to chaos of the kind that a strong, nuclear-armed Israel, with backing from Washington, could richly exploit. Not least, yet more bedlam would push the Palestinian cause even further down the international community’s list of priorities.

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Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Slams Kurdish Referendum

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  • In the mid 1960s and 70s, Mossad planned and funded a Kurdish Army to fight Iraqi troops in northern Iraq, and other Israel enemies in the Middle East.
    In the mid 1960s and 70s, Mossad planned and funded a Kurdish Army to fight Iraqi troops in northern Iraq, and other Israel enemies in the Middle East. | Photo: Reuters.
teleSUR speaks to Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haidar Mansour Hadi about the controversial referendum.

On Sept. 25, 92 percent of the total of 8.4 million Iraqi Kurdish population voted “yes” to independence in a referendum on whether to secede from Iraq.

RELATED: Iran and Turkey Warn Against Iraqi Kurd Secession

That was a symbolic step for the ethnic group composed of by more than 30 million people spread across five countries. They decided to settle in lands of their own in northern Iraq, where Iraqi Kurdistan is made up of three provinces run by an autonomous regional government and protected by their own security services.

Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haidar Mansour Hadi pointed out that “the referendum was a severe violation to the Iraqi Constitution, that represents the social contract between all Iraqi components, ratified by the Kurdish people in a way exceeded other Iraqi provinces: Erbil 99.36 percent, Dohuk 99.13 percent and Sulaimania 98.96 percent votes.”

Noting that the people who are claiming to secede from Iraq are genuine participants in the Federal Government since 2003, the Iraqi official said that the Kurds cannot justify a secession. “The Kurdish people are part of Iraqi people.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called on foreign states to stop cooperating with Iraq’s autonomous and oil-rich Kurdistan on issues in the oil sector, and also demanded that all border posts with Turkey, Syria and Iran be placed under Baghdad’s supervision, closing airports. Turkey also responded aggressively, threatening military action and sanctions in order to force the Kurds to “give up on this adventure that can only have a dark end.”

As the Kurdish leadership is claiming that Baghdad is punishing the Kurdish people by closing borders and airports for trying to express their rights, Haidar has observed that the Iraqi Federal Government has full rights to control the airports in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, subject all border crossings to federal authorities and close all non-official ports.

“As the Kurdish people are part of Iraqi people, the governmental procedures are basically addressed to deter the Kurdish government for fragmenting Iraq’s unity and preserve its regional position,” he said.

“Oil exporting, foreign trade, investments, bank transactions and the diplomatic and consulate representations are subjected to the federal government authority,” added the Iraqi diplomat to Russia.

The international community and regional neighbors have opposed the referendum, but there is only one government all over the world which has openly supported it: the State of Israel, which has been condemned by several international organizations for crimes against humanity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

An Iraqi senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that “Tel Aviv is only interested on weaken Iraq.” Haidar added that “the Kurdish people are part of the Iraqi people, and the governmental procedures are basically addressed to deter the Kurdish government from fragmenting Iraq’s unity, and preserve its regional position.”

RELATED: Why Does Israel Support an Independent Iraqi Kurdistan?

As Lebanese journalist and political commentator Osama al-Sharif wrote in the Jordan Times, “Netanyahu and his far right allies know very well that a unilateral Kurdish decision to cede from Iraq in the absence of an agreement over a number of contentious issues, least of which is the future of oil-rich Kirkuk province, would trigger a civil war that is likely to spill over.”

In the mid 1960s and 70s, Mossad planned and funded a Kurdish Army to fight Iraqi troops in northern Iraq, and other Israeli enemies in the Middle East: Syria and Egypt. One of the Zionists’ partners then was Mullah Mustafa Barzani, Masoud Barzani’s father, currently the (illegal) President of Kurdistan, and Nechirvan Idris Barzani’s grandfather, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) a nephew of Masoud Barzani, who rules the region without any legal basis since 2015. In 2013, he concluded his eight-year term in the Kurdish Presidency, extended by two years by the local Parliament but, since the mandate totally expired, Barzani has prevented the members of Parliament from setting up new elections.

As observed the website The Moon of Alabama, Barzani’s corrupted power has also been propelled by the United States oil interests in the region.

“The Kurds pumped and sold oil without the consent of Baghdad. Corruption rules in Kurdistan and the regional government had to rob local banks to find fresh money. That still wasn’t enough to pay salaries. The Barzani family mafia has robbed the region blind. To keep going, the local government needs to annex more riches and widen its business base.”

In August 24, 2015, The Jerusalem Post reported that a majority of Israeli oil imported is from Kurdistan.

“Importing crude from Erbil (capital of the KRG) could be geopolitically, economically favorable for Jerusalem. Israel had imported as much as 77 percent of its oil supply from Kurdistan (KRG) in recent months, bringing in some 19 million barrels between the beginning of May and August 11,” the publication wrote.

“During that period, more than a third of all northern Iraqi (KRG) exports, shipped through Turkey’s Ceyhan port, went to Israel, with transactions amounting to almost $1 billion.”

On Sept. 26, an official within Iran’s Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Velayati, said before the vote that the existence of a secessionist Kurdish state in Iraq would only benefit the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel, both of whom seek to “colonize and dominate” the Middle East.

RELATED: Baghdad Rejects ‘Second Israel’, US and Australia Rejects Kurd Referendum

Asked about the Kurdish claim that the vote acknowledges their contribution in confronting Islamic State group after it overwhelmed the Iraqi Army in 2014, Haidar said that the Kurdish referendum undermines international efforts to combat terrorism, especially the battle against Daesh. “It’s considered a danger on the security of the region. Not just Kurdistan fought ISIS. All Iraqis fought hand in hand and sacrificed their lives in order to win the war against ISIS.”

“Since 2003, our Kurdish brothers were an important part of the Iraqi political process we together, as Iraqis, worked closely to convince the U.S.-led forces to leave Iraq after signing a strategic agree with the United States,” added the Iraqi Ambassador.

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said before the vote that Kurds will not declare independence, but “will engage in serious negotiations with Baghdad.” Haidar observed that from the beginning, Kurds wanted their own independent state. “I would strongly disagree with what Prime Minister of Kurdistan said.”

“The Federal Government in Baghdad refuses any negotiation with the Kurdish leadership, unless they admit the referendum results are void, and the referendum itself is a violation of the Constitution,” remarked the Iraqi diplomat to Moscow.

Posted in IraqComments Off on Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Slams Kurdish Referendum

Iran and Turkey Warn Against Iraqi Kurd Secession

 NOVANEWS
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 4, 2017.
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 4, 2017. | Photo: Reuters
“The only beneficiaries are the Zionist regime and the U.S.,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Warning against alleged foreign plots, the leaders of Turkey and Iran said harsh measures would be taken against Iraqi Kurdistan to maintain Iraq’s territorial integrity from attempts to secede from Baghdad following an independence referendum.

RELATED: Last Flight Departs as Iraq Imposes Ban for Kurdish Independence Vote

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking in a televised press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on Kurdish leaders to reverse their decisions or else Iran and Turkey would have no choice but to impose harsh and necessary measures.

“Some foreigners plan to split the area to increase ethnic and sectarian discrimination. Both countries do not accept such acts of discrimination,” Rouhani said. “As far as we are concerned, Iraq is one single country. We do not accept any geographical changes. ”

“But the people of Iraqi Kurdistan are our good neighbors, are our dear brothers. We do not want them to experience any pressure, we do not wish to exert this pressure,” Rouhani added, noting that Kurdish officials’ decision to proceed with the referendum lies at the root of the regional dispute.

Erdogan, for his part, said that measures have already been taken against Iraqi Kurdistan, but even stronger ones would be imposed.

“What is the referendum organized by northern Iraq’s regional administration for? No country in the world apart from Israel recognizes it. A decision made at the table with Mossad (the Israeli spy agency) is not legitimate, it is illegitimate,” the Turkish president said.

RELATED: Why Does Israel Support an Independent Iraqi Kurdistan?

Speaking at a joint presser following the meeting between the two presidents, Rouhani asserted that “Iran and Turkey as the two Muslim, friendly, and powerful countries of the region are the anchors of stability in the Middle East.”

Both Tehran and Ankara have rejected the referendum held in Iraqi Kurdistan on September 25 and have taken several economic and security measures to back the federal government in Baghdad, including large-scale military exercises.

During a subsequent meeting with Erdogan, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the United States and Israel were behind the referendum.

“The United States and foreign powers are unreliable and seek to create a ‘new Israel’ in the region,” Khamenei said. “This is a threat to the future of the region.”

“The US and the European administrations’ attitude toward the issue is different from Iran and Turkey’s,” he added. “The US intends to have a tricky agent against Iran and Turkey, so the stance of the Americans and the Europeans should not be trusted at all … As you mentioned the only beneficiaries of the recent developments are the Zionist regime and the U.S., respectively.”

On Wednesday, Erdogan arrived in Tehran on a visit aimed at bolstering bilateral relations with Iran, as well as the common stance on Iraqi Kurdistan.

The visit’s main agenda item is economic cooperation, but the Kurdistan referendum was also included in the discussion.

The Turkish president supported the goal of raising Turkish-Iranian trade volume to $US30 billion.

Erdogan and Rouhani agreed to expand bilateral cooperation and protect the unity of Iraq.

Posted in Iran, Iraq, TurkeyComments Off on Iran and Turkey Warn Against Iraqi Kurd Secession

Nazi regime: Weakening Iraq the Kurdish Referendum

NOVANEWS

Tel Aviv Is Only Interested in Weakening Iraq: The Kurdish Referendum

On September 25, 92 percent from the total of 8.4 million of Iraqi Kurds have voted “yes” to independence on the Iraqi Kurdish referendum, on whether to secede from the Iraqi territory. That was a symbolic step for the world’s largest ethnic group composed by more than 30 million people spread across five countries, to settle a homeland of their own in northern Iraq where the Iraqi Kurdistan is made up of three provinces run by an autonomous regional government, and protected by their own security services.

The Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haidar Mansour Hadi has pointed out to Pravda that

“the referendum was a severe violation to the Iraqi Constitution, that represents the social contract between all Iraqi components, ratified by the Kurdish people in a way exceeded other Iraqi provinces: Erbil 99.36%, Dohuk 99.13% and Sulaimania 98.96% votes.”

Noting that the people who are claiming to secede from Iraq are genuine participants in the Federal Government since 2003, the Iraqi official said that the Kurds cannot justify a secession. “The Kurdish people are part of Iraqi people.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called on foreign states to stop cooperating with the the Iraq’s autonomous and oil-rich Kurdish on issues in the oil sector, and also demanded that all border posts with Turkey, Syria and Iran be placed under Baghdad’s supervision, closing airports. Turkey also responded aggressively, threatening military action and sanctions in order to force the Kurds to “give up on this adventure that can only have a dark end.”

As the Kurdish leadership is claiming that Baghdad government is punishing the Kurdish people by closing borders and airports, for trying to express their rights, Ambassador Haidar has observed that the Iraqi Federal Government has full rights to control the airports in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, subject all border crossings to federal authorities and close all non-official ports.

“As the Kurdish people are part of Iraqi people, the governmental procedures are basically addressed to deter the Kurdish government for fragmenting Iraq’s unity and preserve its regional position,” he said.

“Oil exporting, foreign trade, investments, bank transactions and the diplomatic and consulate representations are subjected to the federal government authority,” added the Iraqi diplomat to Russia.

The international community and regional neighbors have opposed the referendum, but there is only one government all over the world which has openly supported it: the State of Israel, year by year condemned by several international organizations for crimes against humanity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

An Iraq senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity to this report, has stated that

“Tel Aviv is only interested on weaken Iraq.”

Ambassador Haidar adds that,

“the Kurdish people are part of Iraqi people, and the governmental procedures are basically addressed to deter the Kurdish government for fragmenting Iraq’s unity, and preserve its regional position.”

As Lebanese journalist and political commentator Osama al-Sharif wrote in the Jordan Times,

“Netanyahu and his far right allies know very well that a unilateral Kurdish decision to cede from Iraq in the absence of an agreement over a number of contentious issues, least of which is the future of oil-rich Kirkuk province, would trigger a civil war that is likely to spill over.”

In the mid 1960s and 70s, Mossad planned and funded a Kurdish Army to fight Iraqi troops in northern Iraq, and other Israel enemies in the Middle East: Syria and Egypt. One of Zionists’s partner then was Mullah Mustafa Barzani, Masoud Barzani’s father, currently the (illegal) President of Kurdistan, and Nechirvan Idris Barzani‘s grandfather, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) a nephew of Masoud Barzani, who rules the region without any legal basis since 2015: in 2013 he concluded his eight-year term in the Kurdish Presidency, extended by two years by the local Parliament but, since the mandate totally expired, Barzani has prevented the Members of Parliament from setting up new elections.

As observed the website The Moon of Alabama, Barzani’s corrupted power has also been propelled by the United States oil interests in the region.

“The Kurds pumped and sold oil without the consent of Baghdad. Corruption rules in Kurdistan and the regional government had to rob local banks to find fresh money. That still wasn’t enough to pay salaries. The Barzani family mafia has robbed the region blind. To keep going, the local government needs to annex more riches and widen its business base.”

In August 24, 2015, The Jerusalem Post reported,

“Majority of Israeli Oil Imported from Kurdistan [report title]. Importing crude from Erbil [capital of the KRG] could be geopolitically, economically favorable for Jerusalem. Israel had imported as much as 77 percent of its oil supply from Kurdistan [KRG] in recent months, bringing in some 19 million barrels between the beginning of May and August 11. During that period, more than a third of all northern Iraqi [KRG] exports, shipped through Turkey’s Ceyhan port, went to Israel, with transactions amounting to almost $1 billion.”

Recently reported on teleSUR English on September 26,

“an official within Iran’s Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Velayati, stated before the vote that the existence of a secessionist Kurdish state in Iraq would only benefit the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel, both of whom seek to “colonize and dominate” the Middle East.”

Asked about the Kurdish claim that the vote acknowledges their contribution in confronting Islamic State group after it overwhelmed the Iraqi Army in 2014, Ambassador Haidar stated that the Kurdish referendum undermines the international efforts to combat terrorism, especially the battle against Daesh:

“It’s considered a danger on the security of the region. Not just Kurdistan fought ISIS. All Iraqis fought hand in hand and sacrificed their lives in order to win the war against ISIS.”

“Since 2003, our Kurdish brothers were an important part of the Iraqi political process we together, as Iraqis, worked closely to convince the US-led forces to leave Iraq after signing a strategic agree with the United States,” added the Iraqi Ambassador.

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said, previously to the vote, that Kurds will not declare independence, but “will engage in serious negotiations with Baghdad.” Ambassador Haidar observes that from the beginning, Kurds want their own independent state.

“I would strongly disagree with what Prime Minister of Kurdistan said.”

“The Federal Government in Baghdad refuses any negotiation with the Kurdish leadership, unless they admit the referendum results are void, and the referendum itself is a violation of the Constitution,” remarked the Iraqi diplomat to Moscow.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, IraqComments Off on Nazi regime: Weakening Iraq the Kurdish Referendum

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