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Kurdish "Terrorists" Rescue Yezidis

category mashriq / arabia / iraq | imperialism / war | opinion / analysis author Friday August 15, 2014 20:55author by PaulB - WSM Report this post to the editors

That's embarrassing - PKK 'terrorists' rescue Yezidis before US Special forces arrive

PKK fighter in Makhmur, Erbil after retaking it from ISISThe US special forces finally sent to Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq to assess a mission to rescue the threatened Yezidis this morning [Thursday 14 August], reported that most of the displaced population had already been rescued in the previous days. What is not being widely reported is the identity of the Kurdish forces who secured the northern side of the mountain and opened a safe passage for the threatened Yezidi civilians, through the Syrian territory they control to Dohuk in the north of the Kurdish Autonomous region in Iraq.

Embarrassingly for the US, arriving on its white charger to save the day, only to discover they are far too late, the saviours of the Yezidis are the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and their Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) allies. The PKK are officially on the US and EU “terrorist” lists and the autonomous Syrian region defended by the YPG is subject to blockade by ISIS to the South and West, Turkey to the North and the corrupt Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) regime in Kurdish Northern Iraq to the East.


Kurdish "Terrorists" Rescue Yezidis

The US special forces finally sent to Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq to assess a mission to rescue the threatened Yezidis this morning [Thursday 14 August], reported that most of the displaced population had already been rescued in the previous days. What is not being widely reported is the identity of the Kurdish forces who secured the northern side of the mountain and opened a safe passage for the threatened Yezidi civilians, through the Syrian territory they control to Dohuk in the north of the Kurdish Autonomous region in Iraq.

Embarrassingly for the US, arriving on its white charger to save the day, only to discover they are far too late, the saviours of the Yezidis are the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and their Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) allies. The PKK are officially on the US and EU “terrorist” lists and the autonomous Syrian region defended by the YPG is subject to blockade by ISIS to the South and West, Turkey to the North and the corrupt Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) regime in Kurdish Northern Iraq to the East. The PKK’s pariah status dates from the war which it fought in the 1980s and 90s against the Turkish state, first under the the dictatorship, then the civilian government, for independence for the mainly Kurdish region of South East Turkey. Since late 2012 peace talks began with the Turkish government and a ceasefire was declared in March 2013.

The Yezidis are an ancient, mostly Kurdish-speaking, religious minority living for centuries in the northern Mesopotamian land between the upper Tigris and Euphrates known as al Jazira (“the Island”). Subject to much suspicion by the adherents of the major religions of Islam and Christianity around them, unjustly accused of being “devil-worshippers”, the Yezidis have survived centuries of persecution by concentrating in small communities mostly in Nineveh in Northern Iraq, with smaller enclaves in Armenia, Georgia and Syria. The town of Sinjar in northern Nineveh, on the mountain of the same name near the Syrian border, has been a Yezidi centre for centuries.

Until 3 August Sinjar was under the protection of the KRG president Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) soldiers (known as the Peshmerga). What exactly happened on the morning of Sunday 3rd August is in dispute. The PKK allege that the Peshmerga basically did a runner and left the Yezidis defenceless, despite Barzani’s past guarantee of protection. Regardless of the actual details, it’s undisputed that the forces of the Islamic State (IS - previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and ash Shams/Syria, ISIS) were able to advance into the town of Sinjar without a fight. The terrified population, fearing massacre at the hands of IS, reputedly holding the view that exterminating the “devil-worshippers” is a religious duty, fled up onto the mountain, where they have remained without food water or shelter until these last days, as has been widely reported in the media.

By last Friday 8 August, the plight of the Yezidis was not the priority of the KRG government in Erbil. IS forces had taken a number of border towns in the KRG, control of the Mosul dam and seemed poised to drive into Erbil itself. The much-hyped KRG Peshmerga (Kurdish: “those who face death”) had failed to hold back the IS advance, allegedly in many cases deserting in a similar fashion to earlier at Sinjar. Well-attested reports speak of a wave of panic seizing the KRG with the fear of the imminent fall of Erbil to the IS. It was at the height of this panic that Barzani begged his US patrons for air support and military intervention.

But despite the desultory 14 bombs since dropped by the US airforce, the main effort to stop the IS advance and put backbone back into the Kurdish defence came from PKK and YPG fighters declaring common cause with the Peshmerga in the defence of “Southern Kurdistan” (the common Kurdish name for Kurdistan in Northern Iraq) despite the serious repression they have faced at the hands of the KRG in the past.

The connection between the West’s support, until now, for al-Maliki, Barzani and beyond them the Saudi and Turkish policy that has produced the ISIS Frankenstein monster, is as reprehensible as it is simple. Consistently, for the last decades if not longer, the US and the previous imperialist powers of Western Europe, have chosen the most corrupt, most venal local leaders as a bulwark against other political forces in the region. This from the simple calculation that they could be easily bought off and expected to repress their local populations and deliver oil to Western petroleum corporations as cheaply as possible.

It is no accident that Nouri al-Maliki, who the US and even Iran are now agreed to try and oust, is the most corrupt of all possible Iraqi Shia leaders. He was chosen specifically for that very quality. Above all he was chosen to keep out the potential “loose cannon” Muqtada al-Sadr, who despite his undoubtedly sectarian Shia base, had called on Iraqis to resist the US occupation on a nationalist rather than sectarian basis.

Similarly Barzani and his KDP’s unique selling point to the West was their promise to keep the PKK out of Iraqi Kurdistan. While this was not entirely possible given the tens of thousands of refugees from the Turkish state’s war on the Kurds in refugee camps dotted around the KRG, Barzani has done his best to repress both the PKK and, since the emergence of a Kurdish liberated zone across the border in Syria, their YPG allies. To enforce the blockade on “Rojava” (Kurdish: “The West”, for Western Kurdistan, i.e. the part of Kurdistan in Syria) the Erbil regime even went so far as to dig a ditch along the very Sykes-Picot border that Kurds generally have always rejected.

In the last days, first, somewhat sheepishly, first the US, then France and now even Germany, have said they are ready to arm “the Kurds” in Northern Iraqi Kurdistan. On past record the suspicion must be that those weapons will not be destined to the PKK and YPG forces that stopped the IS “barbarians at the gate”, preventing the collapse of the Erbil regime, but rather the KDP forces whose corruption led to the near-collapse in the first place. This because the KDP are seen as “reliable”, not in the sense of being any military use against the IS, but “reliably” anti-PKK.

Herein lies the contradiction at the heart of Western policy in the region. The continual policy of supporting only the most corruptible forces has lead to the current situation where the “official” Western-backed military forces of the region are completely incapable of holding back the relentless IS advance, and the only forces capable of resisting the Wahhabi-fascist war machine are officially designated as “terrorists” - enemies of the West. Unlike the source of the Wahhabi fascist ideology in the first place - our “ally” Saudi Arabia.

If internationalists or those who reject both the Sunni sectarian Wahhabite fascism of the Islamic State and the venal, corrupt Shia sectarianism of the al-Malikis and the faceless non-entity currently lined up as his replacement, were able to make demands of the governments of the EU and US then the first one would have to be for an end to the blockage of Rojava by both Turkey and the KRG. Secondly, an end to the proscription of the PKK and its Syrian ally the Democratic Union Party (PYD - the political wing of the YPG), and recognition of the Rojava autonomous region. It is an international scandal that the last line of defenders against genocide in Northern Iraq are officially castigated as terrorists by the international community.

Activists in Berlin are calling a demonstration demanding that the US arm the PKK instead of dropping the odd bomb. Obviously that’s not going to happen, but “why the hell not?” is still a good question rather than some clever-clever “transitional demand”. After all if all the weapons handed out to the private militias of corrupt local proxies end up being abandoned by troops who run away at the first sign of trouble. Isn’t arming these useless proxies just arming the Islamic State by the back door? The jihadis of the Islamic State are now cruising back and forth over the illusory Sykes-Picot line in brand new Humvees and Abrams tanks courtesy of the American taxpayer. Isn’t it time somebody asked why?

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Issue #3 of the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective

Front page

Elementos da Conjuntura Eleitoral 2014

The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes

[Chile] EL FTEM promueve una serie de “jornadas de debate sindical”

Ukraine: Interview with a Donetsk anarchist

The present confrontation between the Zionist settler colonialist project in Palestine and the indigenous working people

Prisões e mais criminalização marcam o final da Copa do Mundo no Brasil

An Anarchist Response to a Trotskyist Attack: Review of “An Introduction to Marxism and Anarchism” by Alan Woods (2011)

هەڵوێستی سەربەخۆی جەماوەر لە نێوان داعش و &

Contra a Copa e a Repressão: Somente a Luta e Organização!

Nota Pública de soldariedade e denúncia

Üzüntümüz Öfkemizin Tohumudur

Uruguay, ante la represión y el abuso policial

To vote or not to vote: Should it be a question?

Mayday: Building A New Workers Movement

Anarchist and international solidarity against Russian State repression

Argentina: Atentado y Amenazas contra militantes sociales de la FOB en Rosario, Santa Fe

Réponses anarchistes à la crise écologique

50 оттенков коричневого

A verdadeira face da violência!

The Battle for Burgos

Face à l’antisémitisme, pour l’autodéfense

Reflexiones en torno a los libertarios en Chile y la participación electoral

Mandela, the ANC and the 1994 Breakthrough: Anarchist / syndicalist reflections

Melissa Sepúlveda "Uno de los desafíos más importantes es mostrarnos como una alternativa real"

Mashriq / Arabia / Iraq | Imperialism / War | en

Tue 16 Sep, 10:55

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oabubakralbaghdadi570.jpg imageWhat do we think about the current crisis of Iraq? 21:25 Tue 24 Jun by Kurdish Anarchists Forum 0 comments

The Iraq crisis has been continued for decades while it has been under the power of Saddam Hussein or under the “current democratic Regime” since the invasion of 2003. There were no freedom, no social justice; no equality and also little opportunity for those who were independent from the political parties who were in power. In addition to existing brutality and discrimination against women and the ordinary people a very big gap was created between the rich and poor, making the poor even poorer and the rich richer. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, History's wheels turn faster and scream as blood does not oil the axes enough* 23:23 Mon 26 Aug by Ilan S. 0 comments

The turmoil in our region expresses the melting of world history as we knew it. It accelerates before it reaches its end as the axes of the old order cannot hold it any more. The Zionist settler colonialist bridgehead of the developed imperial countries in the cradle of human culture at the east of the Mediterranean Sea is being eroded by the resistance of the indigenous inhabitants who are recruiting supporters from all over the world. The cracks in neoliberal global capitalism, which seemed to have reached its ultimate victory just a few years ago when the end of history was declared, are pointing to the real end of the history of egoistic and alienated class society. In the day-to-day struggle here, it is still hard to discern the cracks in the structure of the system, but you can already smell it in the clouds of tear gas at the weekly demos and feel the ground tremor under your feet. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, Some activities the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative involved with lately 17:23 Tue 15 Feb by Ilan S. 0 comments

There are four main areas of struggles the AAtW activists are involved with: Joint struggle with communities that invite us to join, like Bil'in and other struggles against the separation fence. Other joint struggles against occupation and settler colonialists like Nabi Salih. Joint struggles with wider coalitions like the Sheikh Jarrah coalition and South Hebron. The fourth is within Israel, like prison and jail solidarity, Al Araqeeb and Lod. It seems that our confrontational and direct-action mode of struggle is being adopted by more and more Israeli radicals.

textIraqi trade union leader on the current situation in Iraq 20:28 Wed 03 Oct by Manuel Baptista 0 comments

Falah Alwan, president of the Federation of Workers Councils & Unions in Iraq was recently on a short visit to Lisbon to gather some support for the workers' resistance inside Iraq.

textIsrael: "Occupation 40" - first actions in Tel Aviv 16:48 Wed 06 Jun by Ilan Shalif 1 comments

The 6 days of actions to commemorate the atrocities of the 40 years of Israeli occupation from the 1967 war started in Tel Aviv this afternoon, after an appetizer in the form of nightly hanging of placards during the last few weeks.

text6 days of protests to mark 40 years of occupation 18:50 Tue 05 Jun by Kibush 40 0 comments

For six days, June 5 to 10 - corresponding to the days of the 1967 War - a wide spectrum of events will take place, including exhibitions, demonstrations, theatre plays, academic conferences etc., in order to place a the occupation and the millions suffering under its yoke on the public agenda. June 9 and 10 had been declared as International Days of Protest Against the Israeli Occupation, and we will hold The main march and rally on Saturday, June 9.

textItaly: "Resistance, disobedience, solidarity" - an evening with an Israeli refusni 17:09 Tue 21 Nov by FdCA Fano 0 comments

On Monday 20th November 2006 at the Istituto Tecnico-Commerciale Battisti in Fano, eastern Italy, with Lior Volinytz, a 19-year-old Israeli refusnik and activist in the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative.

textIsrael, Direct action near the border of Gaza Strip 01:29 Sun 19 Nov by Ilan S. 0 comments

It happened when the Zionist leftist peace now (who refused to join the previous Saturday more radical left demonstration against the massacre in Beit Hanun) had their demonstration and at Erez road block. 25 activists organized by the anarchists against the wall initiative traveled to the region bordering the Gaza strip. When the boring speeches started at the peace now not far away demonstration, we entered a compound of army tools of war - about 50 heavily armored soldiers carriers and 5 D9s (of the model that crashed to death Rachel Cury). We climbed on two of the carriers and placed around pictures, banners, and other materials representing massacred people. The soldiers on guard there tried to make us go away but we just ignored their commands. Police officers who came there just asked to see our ID cards, but surprisingly did noting more.

text655,000 Dead in Iraq since Invasion 17:23 Fri 13 Oct by Anarcho 0 comments

According to a new study published by a medical journal between 420,000 and 790,000 Iraqis have died as a result of war and political violence since the beginning of the US-UK invasion in March, 2003, with 655,000 considered the most likely figure.

textStatement on al-Badil article 16:51 Mon 11 Sep by Alternative Libertaire 0 comments

On 27th July 2006, Alternative Libertaire (France) distributed a text entitled "News from Lebanon: the Israeli attack" by our Lebanese comrades, Al-Badil al-Chouyouii al-Taharrouri (Libertarian Communist Alternative). This text denounced the Israeli war, Western plans for a Great Middle East, and criticized Hezbollah as a religious and reactionary organization.

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imageThe wonders of the desperate gamble that Netanyahu lost Aug 26 by Ilan S. 0 comments

To keep Hamas on its legs again after the Egyptian closure forced it to its knees and to compromise with the West Bank Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu started a war that was supposed to set Hamas back on its feet, though much weaker than before the closure.

textIsrael burned the stew Aug 02 by Ilan S. 0 comments

The present Gaza war was started before the actual shooting, by Egypt's blockade of the Gaza Strip, intended to break the rule of Hamas due to it being a part of the Islamic Brotherhood movement. [Italiano] [Türkçe]

imageIsrael/Palestine: Background to the present conflict Jul 27 by Ilan S. 0 comments

Egypt insists on dissolving the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip. Israel "just" wants to sabotage the yielding/compromise by Hamas to the Palestinian West Bank Authority. The relevant political context for the present round begins in November 2012, with the agreement between Israel and Hamas under Egyptian sponsorship. [Italiano] [Português]

textSyria: the Struggle Continues – “Day of Rage Against Al-Qaeda & Assad” Jan 19 by TŘÍDNÍ VÁLKA 0 comments

Since nearly three years that an uprising broke out in Syria (as a local materialization of the upheavals shaking the whole regions of Maghreb and Mashreq) most of the reactions, comments and critics from militant structures which claim to be revolutionary, internationalist, communist, anarchist… go in the same direction: doubts about what happens, doubts about essential material determinations that give birth to the movements that develop in front of our eyes, doubts about the class nature of these events, doubts about the potentially subversive content of struggles of our class when it doesn’t wave the “good” flags, etc. [Português] [Français] [Italiano]

imageWhat's going on in Syria? Sep 05 by Monte 0 comments

The difficulty in understanding the current geopolitical situation often depends on the interpretative framework that is used to decipher events. I believe that the world-systems theory that defines the current crisis in the hegemony of the centre - the USA - is the one which more than any other is able to explain the complexity of the redefinition of the relationships of power and balances, the redefinition of alliances and new strategic areas. [Italiano

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imageWhat do we think about the current crisis of Iraq? Jun 24 KAF 0 comments

The Iraq crisis has been continued for decades while it has been under the power of Saddam Hussein or under the “current democratic Regime” since the invasion of 2003. There were no freedom, no social justice; no equality and also little opportunity for those who were independent from the political parties who were in power. In addition to existing brutality and discrimination against women and the ordinary people a very big gap was created between the rich and poor, making the poor even poorer and the rich richer. [Italiano]

text6 days of protests to mark 40 years of occupation Jun 05 0 comments

For six days, June 5 to 10 - corresponding to the days of the 1967 War - a wide spectrum of events will take place, including exhibitions, demonstrations, theatre plays, academic conferences etc., in order to place a the occupation and the millions suffering under its yoke on the public agenda. June 9 and 10 had been declared as International Days of Protest Against the Israeli Occupation, and we will hold The main march and rally on Saturday, June 9.

textStatement on al-Badil article Sep 11 AL 0 comments

On 27th July 2006, Alternative Libertaire (France) distributed a text entitled "News from Lebanon: the Israeli attack" by our Lebanese comrades, Al-Badil al-Chouyouii al-Taharrouri (Libertarian Communist Alternative). This text denounced the Israeli war, Western plans for a Great Middle East, and criticized Hezbollah as a religious and reactionary organization.

textLebanon- The Smoke, Anguish and Terror of a Fascist Attack Sep 02 Grupo Qhispikay Llaqta, Perú 1 comments

The anarchists of Peru and the rest of the world oppose the fascist attacks of the Israeli State against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. We refuse to follow reformist or reactionary positions that call for the formation of a new Palestinian state- a state that even if established could only survive subject to the mandates of American imperialism. Instead, we support and instigate the class struggle in the region as a means toward the eventual foundation of an Anarchist Federation, which in turn is the only way to secure a truly humane and dignified existence for the working class of these countries.

textOn the slaughter in the Middle East Aug 19 Anarkismo 19 comments

«Being slaves of God, the people owe to be, also, slaves of the Church and the State, insofar as the State has been blessed by the Church» Michael Bakounin

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