January 11, 2013
Re "Statehood for Kurds?," Opinion, Jan. 4 David Hirst offers the Kurdish question the visibility it is often denied. He stresses the role of external forces in reshaping the Middle East. However, regional and international politics and policies are portrayed primarily as causes rather than manifestations of the colonial division of the Middle East, a division that has impeded democratization and the attainment of minority rights. The Arab Spring, albeit promising initially, is now leading to a growing Islamization of the region.
January 4, 2013 |
The Baghdad newspaper Sabah published a surprising article a few weeks ago. Its editor, Abd Jabbar Shabbout, suggested it was time to settle the "age-old problem" between Iraq's Arabs and Kurds by establishing a "Kurdish state. " Never before had I heard such a once-heretical view so publicly expressed in any Arab quarter. And this was no ordinary quarter: Sabah is the mouthpiece of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. Shabbout went on to suggest a negotiated "ending of the Arab-Kurdish partnership in a peaceful way. " He called his proposal Plan B, Plan A being the "dialogue" between Iraq's central government and the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq that emerged after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
October 5, 2012 |
AFRIN, Syria - This tranquil town in northwest Syria is a haven from the warfare convulsing much of the country, but the calm points to profound challenges facing the country - and the entire region - when the fighting ends. The laid-back guards at the checkpoints are Kurdish militiamen. The mustachioed man whose image greets visitors is Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence in a Turkish prison for his leadership role in the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a group deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
September 7, 2012
EFRIN, Syria - The mourners chanted, "Long live Kurdistan!" as the doleful cortege moved slowly toward the hillside cemetery, past the olive groves and pomegranate orchards. Funerals have long become settings for political theater in strife-ridden Syria, where each side has tried to turn burials of war dead into highly public affirmations of their adversary's barbarity. But the procession Friday through the village of Basuta wasn't just another instance of a funeral becoming a rallying cry against the government of President Bashar Assad.
October 20, 2011 |
Turkey launched land and air assaults into neighboring Iraq on Wednesday after Kurdish militants killed at least 24 soldiers and injured 18 in the latest in a series of deadly strikes near the border, authorities said. The Turkish offensive across the Iraqi border included helicopter gunships, ground commandos and fighter jets, authorities said. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan canceled a foreign trip and labeled the operation a legal "hot pursuit" of terrorists operating out of Iraq's Kurdish region.
July 6, 2011 |
The White House is prepared to keep as many as 10,000 U.S. troops in Iraq after the end of the year, amid growing concern that the planned pullout of virtually all remaining American forces would lead to intensified militant attacks, according to U.S. officials. Keeping troops in Iraq after the deadline for their departure at the end of December would require agreement of Iraq's deeply divided government, which is far from certain. The Iraqis so far have not made a formal request for U.S. troops to remain, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.