Since June, a great deal of international focus has been on Iraq, where the transnational jihadist movement Islamic State took over large swaths of the country’s Sunni-majority areas and declared the re-establishment of the caliphate. Despite the global attention on the country, especially given U.S. military operations against the Islamic State, U.S.-Iranian cooperation against the jihadist group — a significant dynamic — has gone largely unnoticed. A convergence of interests, particularly concerning the Iraqi central and Kurdish regional governments, has made it necessary for Washington and Tehran to at least coordinate their actions. However, mistrust and domestic opposition will continue hampering this cooperation.
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Posts Tagged kurdistan
From The Truth About Guns:
I first saw Waco on Instagram where he posts pictures of his life in Iraq as a Peshmerga soldier. Through a multitude of photos with Iraq as the backdrop the young vet beams patriotism for his country as well as respect for the Iraqi men he now calls brothers. I became curious to find out why this fellow Texan would embark on such a journey. Here’s what I found on Facebook . . .
From Soldier of Fortune:
The Navy SEAL killed in a battle yesterday with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters responded to an early attack on peshmerga units about 2 miles behind the forward line of troops, Army Col. Steven Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, said today.
From NRA News:
From New York Times Magazine:
I found a 26-year-old American civilian named Clay Lawton standing alone, just outside the village. Square-jawed, with large eyes and bright teeth, he was a volunteer freedom fighter with the local militia. ‘‘I’m from Rhode Island,’’ he said. ‘‘You know it? Most people confuse it with Staten Island or Long Island.’’
Lawton first heard about ISIS on ‘‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.’’ At the time, he was lounging around Key West, driving tour boats from island to island, going to parties, talking to girls. Three months later, he ran out of things to do and bought a ticket home. He lived with his parents and took a job painting houses, thinking he would start a career as a carpenter. After high school, he spent a couple of years in the Army but never deployed. He always wished he had. When a friend from boot camp sent Lawton an email full of links to videos made by the Islamic State — the execution of James Foley, clips from the day ISIS executed 250 Syrian soldiers in the desert — Lawton looked up ‘‘how to fight ISIS’’ on his lunch break.
A Facebook page called the Lions of Rojava was recruiting foreign volunteers. It was affiliated with the People’s Protection Units, known by the Kurdish abbreviation Y.P.G., the military arm of a faction that since 2012 has controlled a sweep of land between the Islamic State’s territory in northern Syria and Turkey. Rojava, as the Kurds call it, is a place that didn’t exist until a few years ago, when civil war in Syria opened up a front for Kurdish nationalism.
From The Daily Mail:
Xate Shingali, 30, who performed traditional Yazidi folklore music all over northern Iraq, was granted special permission to form the unit by the Kurdish President.
She formed the brigade on July 2 and has since recruited 123 female fighters aged between 17 – the minimum age required to join – and 30.
Speaking from the Sharya refugee camp, just outside Dohuk, Xate said the male Kurdish fighters are training them to use AK47s.
She added: ‘We have had only basic training and we need more… But we are ready to fight ISIS anytime.’
“Syria: A Chronology of How the Civil War May End is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
Editor’s Note: The conflict in Syria is entering a critical phase. Turkey has at long last entered the fight, conducting airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria — and capitalizing on the opportunity to attack Kurdistan Workers’ Party militants in northern Iraq. Turkey’s newfound vigor is fueled by a convergence of U.S. and Turkish interests in the region, evidenced by the July 23 agreement between Ankara and Washington to allow U.S. forces to use Incirlik Air Base. There is a shared interest in combating the Islamic State, and both countries want to see a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian conflict that would end the fighting and remove Syrian President Bashar al Assad from power. Al Assad’s frank July 26 comments about the level of fatigue in the Syrian army, combined with the continued success of Syrian rebel groups and the prospect of Turkey’s increased participation, could indicate that the al Assad regime itself is considering its options.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will to travel to Doha on Aug. 3, where he will discuss the future of Syria with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Stratfor has been tracking the evolution and perspectives of the key parties involved in the Syrian conflict from the opening of hostilities. We are publishing this chronology to highlight our previous analyses and forecasts. Read the rest of this entry »
From The Daily Mail:
During his two years in the U.S. military, he never served abroad – but on the second day fighting in Syria, he was struck by a mortar round during a firefight with ISIS.
As he recovered from his injuries – which sometimes still cause him to squint – he helped out the militia by taking to social media to recruit others, CNN reported.
He’s been contacted by many former soldiers from across Europe, America and Australia, he said. They are attracted to fighting for the Kurdish militia for the same reasons as he was.
‘ISIS has threatened all these countries… to push their agenda in those nations,’ he said. ‘And the veterans of those nations who love their countries don’t want to sit by while this is happening.’
From War is Boring:
His shop isn’t much more than a basement under Erbil’s central bazaar. Its only fittings are a work bench, a chair and some tools. Shotguns and air rifles line the walls. He even owns some ancient-looking muskets.
Before Islamic State swept into Iraq, Bakhtiar’s business mostly focused on repairing hunting weapons. He had run the family business since 1987, when he took over from his father during the reign of Saddam Hussein.
From The Daily Mail:
The Telemark Battalion is an elite mechanised infantry unit of the Norwegian Army which has been involved in the fight against the Taliban as part of the NATO-led security mission since 2003.
Around 50 soldiers from Telemark will be heading to the city of Irbil in northern Iraq to train Kurdish forces to help them in their fight against Islamic State, the Norwegian ministry of defence has confirmed. It is thought the mission will begin in early April.
From The Daily Mail:
According to those who escaped, the jihadis’ savagery is more hideous than anyone feared.
Headless corpses litter the streets of the besieged Syrian border town, they say, and some of the mainly Kurdish townsfolk have had their eyes gouged out.
Refugees who made it to Suruc, just across the border in Turkey, tell of witnessing appalling horrors in hushed tones, as if they can barely believe it themselves.
Father-of-four Amin Fajar, 38, said: ‘I have seen tens, maybe hundreds, of bodies with their heads cut off. Others with just their hands or legs missing. I have seen faces with their eyes or tongues cut out – I can never forget it for as long as I live. They put the heads on display to scare us all.’
“Turkey, the Kurds and Iraq: The Prize and Peril of Kirkuk is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Reva Bhalla
In June 1919, aboard an Allied warship en route to Paris, sat Damat Ferid Pasha, the Grand Vizier of a crumbling Ottoman Empire. The elderly statesman, donning an iconic red fez and boasting an impeccably groomed mustache, held in his hands a memorandum that he was to present to the Allied powers at the Quai d’Orsay. The negotiations on postwar reparations started five months earlier, but the Ottoman delegation was prepared to make the most of its tardy invitation to the talks. As he journeyed across the Mediterranean that summer toward the French shore, Damat Ferid mentally rehearsed the list of demands he would make to the Allied powers during his last-ditch effort to hold the empire together.
He began with a message, not of reproach, but of inculpability: “Gentlemen, I should not be bold enough to come before this High Assembly if I thought that the Ottoman people had incurred any responsibility in the war that has ravaged Europe and Asia with fire and sword.” His speech was followed by an even more defiant memorandum, denouncing any attempt to redistribute Ottoman land to the Kurds, Greeks and Armenians, asserting: “In Asia, the Turkish lands are bounded on the south by the provinces of Mosul and Diyarbakir, as well as a part of Aleppo as far as the Mediterranean.” When Damat Ferid’s demands were presented in Paris, the Allies were in awe of the gall displayed by the Ottoman delegation. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George regarded the presentation as a “good joke,” while U.S. President Woodrow Wilson said he had never seen anything more “stupid.” They flatly rejected Damat Ferid’s apparently misguided appeal — declaring that the Turks were unfit to rule over other races, regardless of their common Muslim identity — and told him and his delegation to leave. The Western powers then proceeded, through their own bickering, to divide the post-Ottoman spoils. Read the rest of this entry »
“In Iraq, the United States and Iran Align Against the Islamic State is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
Rudaw reporter says that the Peshmerga have made progress in their counteroffensive near Zumar where they intend to cut off the IS militants from retreating into Syria.
“We decided to go on the offensive and fight the terrorists to the last breath,” said Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani Monday afternoon. “We have ordered the Peshmerga to attack the terrorists and enemies of Kurdistan with all their power.”
“Letter from Kurdistan is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
By Reva Bhalla
At the edge of empires lies Kurdistan, the land of the Kurds. The jagged landscape has long been the scene of imperial aggression. For centuries, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Russians and Europeans looked to the mountains to buffer their territorial prizes farther afield, depriving the local mountain dwellers a say in whose throne they would ultimately bow to. Read the rest of this entry »