De Facto Kurdistan

In the Middle East, they like to say that the friend of my enemy’s friend is my befriended enemy. Or something like that:

The Arab Iraqis see Turkish support of Iraqi Kurdish autonomy in the north as an attempt to get back, after a fashion, their lost Mosul province. The Iraqis fear that the Turks would support a Kurdish effort to oust Iraqis troops from Kirkuk or even Mosul. This would expand the Kurdish north, give it a lot more oil, which would be exported via Turkey. The Kurds could continue the fiction that they are part of Iraq and the Turks could believe that they have, sort of, gotten back their lost province.

Meanwhile Turkey appears to be supporting the establishment of another autonomous Kurdish zone in northeastern Syria. This is adjacent to the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish zone and the Iraqi Kurds have been helping their kinsmen across the border, much to the annoyance of the Syrian and Iraqi governments. This support is paid for with Iraqi Kurdish help for Turkish efforts to shut down bases for Turkish Kurd separatists (PKK) in northern Iraq. This has caused some PKK to move to camps in Iran. This is also dangerous, but the Iranian Kurdish separatists (PJAK) have been under less pressure than their PKK brethren across the border.


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