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         Kurdish Peshmerga Fighters in Syria       An On-Line Publication of the Anonymous Anything Society - January 16, 2019


    Describing the Kurds is a challenge. Although the British Broadcasting Company describes them as one of the indigenous peoples of the Mesopotamian highlands, they are a people without a nation-state. They do constitute a distinctive community united by race, culture and language who inhabit parts of five other countries, namely Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. They also adhere to a number of different religions, although the majority are Sunni Muslims.

    They were shortchanged by the Allied Powers which set the boundaries of Turkey after World War One. Any move by the Kurds to form an independent state, a Kurdistan, was brutally quashed. The Kurds are a brave, resilient people. They established an autonomous enclave in northern Iraq and today are a real part of Iraqi governance.

    Turkey for one, including its present leader, Erdogan, consider Kurds who continue to strive for independence under the banner of "The Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units" Terrorists and hopes to wipe them out. The Turks have a long history of doing that to Non-Turks. (Google, "Armenian Genocide").   

     IS, calling itself "The Islamist State (Known in Arabic as Daesh), turned its sights on three Kurdish enclaves in northern Syria and eastern Iraq, in 2014. In response, Kurdish "Peshmerga" forces in Iraq fought back. They retook the area around Mosul lost to ISIS militants by Iraqi forces. The Kurds saved the giant oil fields developed in their territory, as well as a huge dam on the Tigris River. Had ISIS blown it up, much of Baghdad would have been washed away.

    The United States has been equipping and training Kurdish forces from the inception of our offensive in Iraq. Since January, 2015, Kurdish forces (famous for integrating women sharpshooters into their ranks) have been aided by U.S.Trainers and coalition air power in nearly wiping out Daesh. The radical Islamist State cut-throats have been driven out of thousands of square miles of territory by the Kurds. If we choose to pull our help, ISIS is bound to attempt to try once more to establish a caliphate. 

     In October of 2017, the Peshmerga captured the de facto Daesh capital of Raqqa and are now advancing into the Islamists' last foothold in Syria. However, our President is premature in saying "Mission Accomplished." (Sound familiar?)

    Their gains have brought the Kurds into direct contact with Russian, Syrian and Turkish-backed forces in the area.

    It would be shameful and dangerous to give up on our Kurdish allies now that they are so close to achieving the eradication of ISIS. Nothing would please Assad, Erdogan, Putin and Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi, the head of ISIS, more.

    Never has our President been more terribly wrong in wishing to abandon the Kurds, an action that General Mattis could not countenance.

      CORRECTION: Two weeks ago, I recounted the story of eight German saboteurs landed by submarines on American soil in 1942.  In closing, I stated that President Truman commuted their sentences, following the end of WWII. Since, I was notified that I was wrong. Truman commuted the sentences of only two (because they voluntarily turned themselves in) and the other six were electrocuted.

-Phil Richardson, Observer of the Human Condition and Storyteller 

    "He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself."óJoseph Menchen

Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries

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