Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi
THIS remains no more a shrouded truth that there exists an inseparable éminence grise US-Israel role in destablising the Middle East. Washington-Tel Aviv-led political-cum-ethnic decentralism or regional centrifugalism is callously aimed to grind their geopolitical interests. The current Israeli support for Kurdish referendum held on September 25 in Iraq cannot be divorced from this devilish perspective. However, Israel’s political dream faces a unified strong resistance from the Turks, Iraqis, Iranians and Syrians since they consider this referendum as a mala fide attempt to create another state in the centre of Iraq on an Israeli model meant not only to disintegrate Iraq but also Syria, Turkey and Iran.
The Kurdish individuals, scattered over extensive ranges in northern and northeastern Iraq, southeastern Turkey, northwestern Iran and northeastern Syria. Despite the complaints, over 90% of approximately three million Kurds who voted on September 25 and picked autonomy; accordingly, various nations forced financial authorizes and undermined military intercession. Every nation has its own particular purpose behind contradicting the submission, however there is one provincial power that has tossed its weight behind the Kurds’ drive for freedom.
The Turks have been strongly resisting against a violent Kurdish insurgency since the late 1970s led by the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK ), which is mutually regarded a militant terrorist group by both Turkey and the United States. But on the contrary, the United States has been actively supporting the Democratic Union Party ( P.Y.D.) and the Kurdish militia (Y.P.G). fighters in Syria while Turkey regards them as terrorist groups, thereby causing diplomatic fissures between Ankara and Washington. In August 2017 Faisal Mekdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, labelled the elections a joke. “Syria will never ever allow any part of its territory to be separated,” he said.
By supporting Kurdish statehood, Israel seems to guide the locale toward another path and, by augmentation, energize other ethnic and religious gatherings in the area to look to imitate the Kurdish illustration. By intentionally trying to disassemble the current multi-ethnic, multi-social and multi-religious country expresses, Israel’s journey to be perceived as an absolutely Jewish state would never be divorced from its devious regional agenda to penetrate the forces of regional turmoil. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discharged an announcement in front of the choice saying Israel “underpins the honest to goodness endeavors of the Kurdish individuals to achieve its very own condition.” Numerous Kurdish Jews who left Iraq to move to the new state stayed in touch with their families back home. That transformed into Israeli help for the Kurdish protection in Iraq, starting in the 1960s.
The US apprehends that in the post Saddam era, Iran exercises an influencing leverage in Iraq—not only with the central government in Baghdad, which is dominated by its fellow Shia Muslims, but with the Kurds. Therefore, the Trump administration has imposed terrorism-related sanctions on the IRGC, the same group in which major general Qasem Soleimani is a senior commander. Iran conjectures the Sept. 25 choice as the most negative development. As per an authority inside Iran’s Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Velayati, the presence of a secessionist Kurdish state in Iraq would just profit of the United States and the “Zionist administration of Israel,” both of whom look to “colonize and command” the Middle East, Press TV revealed. Some strategists are of the view that Washington can use Kurds as a potential US ally in any upcoming attempt to counter Iranian influence in Iraq or destabilize the Islamic republic with the help of ethnic groups that populate its borders.
That policy of undermining pan-Arabism, which, according to an American researcher Patrick Higgins, has expanded now into undermining the “Axis of Resistance” — that is, Iran, Syria, as well as Lebanese and Palestinian resistance movements — explains Israel’s underlying motive for supporting Iraqi Kurds. . “In order to undermine the idea of a united pan-Arab socialist state,” he said, one that supports the Palestinian struggle, “Israel (sought) to make ties with non-Arab Muslim actors.” Fundamentally, the US-Israel designed Kurd strategy is a true replica of the Indo-US mischievous plan to support the Baloch dissidents in Pakistan so as to divert the international pressure of the Kashmir issue. Israel’s apparently thoughtful demeanor towards the notable battle of the Kurds to win their own particular state is both toxic and beguiling. Indeed, it was also during last month that Israeli General Yair Golan openly said that an independent Kurdish region in Iraq would stem the influence of Iran. However, the Western forces are concerned a plebiscite in Iraq’s semi-self-ruling Kurdish district including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk could upset the western apple cart to fight the war against Islamic State aggressors.
These dynamics notwithstanding, the policymakers in Washington don’t foresee any convergent US interests to support the Kurdish move in the present time where Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran do not endorse any move envisaging an independent Kurdistan —clearly evident by the “No for Now” campaign, that has voiced alarm that the plebiscite is less about Kurdish independence and more about Masoud Barzani. The fact is that Barzani is regarded as persona non grata by the rest of Iraq; including Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UK, the European Union and the Arab League. In favour is nonetheless Israel, a declaration he could probably have done without. And yet not surprisingly, the Kurdish leader Barzani has announced he will step down as president of the region’s government in November, after an independence referendum he championed backfired and triggered a regional crisis.
— The writer, an independent ‘IR’ researcher-cum-analyst based in Karachi, is a member of European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on IR, Critical Peace & Conflict Studies.
Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi