Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Kurds may seize the moment to break free

By Avi Asher-Schapiro for National Geographic June 28, 2014

Their centuries-old dream of statehood is coming closer amid the chaos of war.
A photo of Kurdish Peshmerga forces standing guard in Kirkuk.
Kurdish forces stand guard against ISIS fighters in
the oil-rich city of Kirkuk on June 17, 2014.
As Sunni fighters led by the jihadist group ISIS have pressed forward, capturing the Iraqi cities of Mosul, Tikrit, and Ramadi and encircling Baghdad, Iraq's Kurds have taken advantage of the chaos by expanding their territory and pushing for greater autonomy.

During the past month Sunni militants have spilled out of Syria, dissolved the Iraq-Syria border, and established an Islamic caliphate that straddles the two countries. The Iraqi army fled in the face of the Sunni advance, but Kurdish militia fighters repelled ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) at their borders. On June 12, Kurdish militias advanced, seizing oil-rich Kirkuk, a city at the edge of Kurdistan that Kurds claim as their own, but which the Baghdad-based government considers beyond Kurdish borders. [...]

Sitting atop an ocean of newly conquered oil fields and emboldened by the breakdown of the Iraqi state, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani declared that the Kurds would not cede their newly conquered territory. "We cannot remain hostages for the unknown … The time is here for the Kurdistan people to determine their future," he said.


This is a great article that points out there are 30 million to 35 million Kurds, a traditionally nomadic people "from the crossroads of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Persia, united by a common mother tongue..."

Jeremiah the prophet also classifies the Medes, today known  as the Kurds, into three regional groups: Ararat (Urartians) in eastern Turkey, Minni (Manaeans) of northern Iraq, and Ashkenaz (or better, Adiebenes) of northwestern Iraq/westernmost Iran, centered around Irbil, the current capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

These great nations, inspired by the "spirit of the kings of the Medes", would "draw up their battle lines" against the Chaldeans, and then overwhelm them and soundly defeat them, showing no mercy.

With Iraq now overrun by Sunni militants, the regime may soon change hands, and the Kurds, called Medes by Jeremiah, of the three regions of Ararat (Anatolia), Minni (Mesopotamia), and Ashkenaz (Persia), may soon declare independence, setting up a critical conflict between the two forces.

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