Monday, September 08, 2008

Kurds fear Iraqi arms purchases

This was the headline of an AFP news article published today at, which reported the Kurdish reaction to last week's announcement by the Iraqi government they had interest in buying 36 advanced F-16 fighters from the United States.

Adnan al-Mufti, the speaker of Kurdistan Regional Government's parliment, said today, "We want the Iraqi government to be strong and able to defend the sovereignty of the country but our concern is related to the crisis that has happened in Khanaqin."
Mufti was referring to the surprise raid by the Iraqi military on the town of Khanaqin in the Diyala Province "under the pretext of combating terrorism", as described by KGR President Massoud Barzani, even though KGR Peshmerga forces had been providing security for the area for the last two years. Peshmerga forces pulled out of most parts of the city, but refused Iraqi defense ministry orders to pull out of other Kurdish-populated areas of Diyala province. The Iraqi forces, on orders from Iraqi Prime Minister Mouri al-Maliki, gave the Peshmerga 24 hours to evacuate their posts in the disputed district.
The stand-off between Iraqi government forces and the Kurdistan regional forces has come to be referred to as the Khanaqin crisis in news reports, and typifies the fragile nature of the cooperation between the two governing bodies.
Jeremiah 50-51 describes a coming battle between these two forces: "Consecrate the nations against (the inhabitants of Chaldea), the kings of the Medes [Kurds],... for the destroyers will come to her from the north... And her mighty men will be captured, their bows shattered" (Jer 51:28, 48, 56).
But first comes the fire, then the abandonment, and then the defeat in battle.
And then the flood, and finally, the drought. A complete uninhabitable desolation in our time.



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