The first shots in the Kurdish War for Independence may have already been fired

Ebril, Kurdistan (TFC) – Since August, The Fifth Column has been presenting The Case for an Independent Kurdistan. Given the geopolitical climate in the region, TFC believed readers who wanted to stay ahead of the news deserved the background information necessary to understand the coming shift in the Middle East. A special newsfeed was established to cover Kurdish developments. The moment we predicted may have arrived.

A cell phone recovered from the body of an Islamic State commander may have set in motion a chain of events that will alter the face of Middle Eastern politics and the maps of the region. For those who are just learning of the subject, a quick overview is in order. The Kurdish people saw their ethnic homeland divided up when Europeans drew the maps of the Middle East. There are roughly 40 million Kurds, most of whom reside in specific regions of Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. These regions make up what is commonly known as Kurdistan. Kurds are different from most in the Middle East in the fact that they identify themselves by their ethnicity rather than their religious affiliation. While many in the region will describe themselves as “Sunni” or “Shia”, the Kurds identify as “Kurds”. There are Kurds of every possible religion. As a whole, they are liberal. This is especially true when compared to neighbors in the region. Women have rights. Iraqi Kurdistan has domestic violence laws. Education and community are paramount. A nation born from this ethnic group would be the beacon of freedom in the Middle East George Bush hoped Iraq would become.

The Iraq war saw Kurds in Iraq obtain recognized self-rule with a great deal of autonomy. Iraqi Kurdistan has its own police and army. It’s a volunteer army that has successfully kept the Islamic State at arm’s length. In Syria, NATO’s plans for the destabilization of President Assad gave Syrian Kurds de facto autonomy. Those in Rojava for example, couldn’t care less what laws were passed in Damascus. The Kurds in Syria are ready for independence. Kurds in Turkey are in the midst of an insurrection and have called for self-rule. This demand will most likely be ignored by the Turkish government and war will follow. Iranian Kurdistan is comparatively peaceful.

Image Source: Kurdishstruggle, Flickr, Creative Commons Kurdish PKK Guerillas In Shingal

Image Source: Kurdishstruggle, Flickr, Creative Commons
Kurdish PKK Guerillas
In Shingal

Three separate Kurdish regions have either already attained autonomy or are attempting to. These three regions could form a continuous area if present borders were erased.

Turkish forces had long been suspected of being involved in NATO’s plan to destabilize Syria. Turkey was believed to be clandestinely supporting the Islamic State. Last week, a cell phone pulled from the corpse of a dead ISIS commander was reported to have the contact information of Turkish Intelligence. Shortly before that, Turkish troops had quietly staged a build up inside Iraq without the permission of the Iraqi government. It was a low-intensity invasion.

Inside Turkey, Kurds have been subjected to mounting violence and oppression. TFC’s Woman of the Year, Nudem Durak, was imprisoned for singing in Kurdish. The seeds of insurrection were growing and open violence had repeatedly broken out, though it was short lived. Since the cell phone discovery, things have began to take on a life of their own. An apparently ultra-violent group of former PKK (Kurdish Worker’s Party) soldiers staged a mortar attack on the international airport in Istanbul. This group, known as the Freedom Falcons of Kurdistan, released a statement on the web which informed readers they were forced to act against the “war coalition” of Turkey and the Islamic State. On Saturday, firefights broke out between the Kurdish PKK and Turkish troops. Shortly thereafter, the Iraqi Foreign Minister warned Turkey that if it did not completely withdraw its troops from Iraq, military confrontation was inevitable. Then a Kurdish Member of Parliament in Iraq told the negotiation team discussing the future of Iraq that it needed to make Kurdish independence a reality soon. Today in Turkey, the PKK detonated and explosive device and killed 3 Turkish soldiers.

The Kurds are ready and are pushing for independence. They need a world power to recognize the independence of a new country and supply them with weapons and economic deals to bolster a fledgling nation. If only there was some ex-intelligence officer running a major world power that was currently in a politically tense situation with Turkey. This week President Putin of Russia extended an invitation to the major Kurdish political party from Turkey to come visit him and his Foreign Secretary in Moscow. It should be noted that while the PKK is an illegal organization inside Turkey, the group has ties with Moscow stretching back to the 1990s. It is expected that the PKK will contact Moscow about obtaining anti-tank missiles to be used against the Turkish armored vehicles currently keeping Turkish Kurdistan under curfew. Also today, Syrian Kurds moved West of the Euphrates River in direct defiance of warnings from Turkey. A pro-Kurdish member of parliament referred to this century as “the century of the Kurds” and suggested they may have autonomous regions or even independent states.

The west planned on destabilizing Syria since 2006. It appears that in attempting to be masters of the universe, the NATO alliance will succeed in redrawing the map. It just won’t be the way they imagined. Luckily for the ever-hungry belly of the West’s war Frankenstein, if NATO is able to salvage its relationship with the Kurds, the remaining section of Kurdistan under Iranian control will give the west the pretext it has been searching for to invade Iran and establish regime change.