Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kurdish peshmerga tighten grip in Nineveh, says senior official

An article by Zeena Sami at published today cites a senior official in the Province of Nineveh in northern Iraq, who claims Kurdish peshmerga militias have "tightened their grip" in several provincial districts and towns.

Osama al-Najaifi is quoted as saying, "The Kurds have controlled these areas through their militias in an attempt to annex them to their region. This is a move which flagrantly violates the law." The article claims that the peshmerga is even present in Mosul itself, the capital of Nineveh province, stating that "at least half of Mosul, the part on the left bank of the Tigris River, is under Kurdish militia occupation."

Mosul lies along the "trigger line", a demarcation separating northern areas of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish peshmerga forces and those controlled by Iraqi government military forces to the south. This standoff is considered the most likely source of future conflict for Iraq by many experts.

The prophecy of doom on Babylon in Jeremiah describes this demarcation line: "I am going to arouse and bring against Babylon a horde of great nations from the land of the north, and they will draw up their battle lines against her; from there she will be taken captive,... and Chaldea will become plunder" (Jer 50:9-10).

Jeremiah identifies these "great nations" that plunder Babylon: "Summon against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz..., the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their prefects, and every land of their dominion," (Jer 51:27-28).

Who best represents the "Medes" today? According to Prof. M. R. Izady, "what little remains today of the old Medians and the name 'Mede,' is found densely concentrated in southeastern Kurdistan--the site of the rise and twilight of the Medes. In fact there are still some Kurdish tribes and clans who carry the evolved forms of the name 'Mede.'" Prof. Izady asks rhetorically, "which ethnic groups can claim to be the descended from the Medes? If it mattered--and I do not believe it does--then Kurds along with a few others can make this claim."

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