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A Kurdish involvement for Mosul is not in vain

AFP file photo of Kurdish forces at a base northwest of Mosul.
AFP file photo of Kurdish forces at a base northwest of Mosul.

By Polla Garmiany

As the war with the so-called Islamic State continues, there are Kurdish voices demanding that the Peshmerga forces stay out of an upcoming fight for the city of Mosul due to its allegedly Arab character.

There is no question that today the majority population of the city is Arab, following the Arabization of Kurdish lands during the reign of Saddam Hussein and those of his predecessors.

While each step forward by the Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk, Kobane and Shingal is highly lauded by the Kurds, it appears that their involvement in the fight for Mosul is undesired and unwanted by some.

On social media sites Kurdish youngsters post comments like, “Don’t spill Kurdish blood for an Arab city!” or “Let Arabs fight for Arab cities and Kurds for Kurdish cities.”

But have such commentators never heard about the Kurdish city of Mosul? Do they not know about a Kurdish population ever living there?

Barely a century ago, in 1923, the Turkish Lausanne Commission provided demographic figures for the city, reporting that up to 50 percent of the population was Kurdish. In contrast, there were just about 13 percent Arabs and the remaining 37 percent Jews, Turkmens, Assyrians and Chaldeans.

It is correct that the demography of Mosul has changed during the last decades, but does that make it a non-Kurdish city? Do Kurds accept the forced Arabization of cities like Kirkuk or Qamishli? And do they accept the suppression of their culture elsewhere in Kurdistan?

One has to remember the Kurdish request for an independent state in 1938 at the League of Nations meeting in Geneva, where Kurdish representatives handed in a map that included the city of Mosul. The same request was also made in 1945 at the San Francisco Conference, held by the UNO. And one has to remember that to this day there is an office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Mosul, serving the people of Kurdistan in this very city.

But apart from all this, there are innocent people living in this city, held by a brutal terrorist organization which is anything but religious. All these people -- Kurds and non-Kurds, Muslims, Christians and Yezidis -- hope for a non-sectarian force to rescue them.

The involvement of Peshmerga forces in the fight for Mosul would not be just a fight for a so-called Arab city or a fight for the Kurdish population of an ancient city with a very Kurdish character and deep Kurdish roots. It would be a fight for all the righteous and innocent people of Mosul, regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Moreover, it should be acknowledged that a participation in the fight for Mosul would not just help the city’s population: it would also enhance and strengthen the Kurdish position in later negotiations between Erbil and Bagdad concerning the disputed areas in Iraq, or even on a potential Kurdish independence.

Therefore, it is important for the Peshmerga -- including the Assyrian and Chaldean battalions -- to join the fight for Mosul and help the struggling Iraqi forces free this ancient and great city from the terrorist “Islamic State.”

An intervention would not just help the Kurds physically and politically, it would also confirm the Peshmergas’ image as a freedom force fighting for the innocent and oppressed people of the region.

The writer is a Kurdish student at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Gemany.

The views in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rudaw.


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elly meriwani | 29/3/2015
If shia and Kurdish forces would take Mosul there will be sensitiveness among the sunni. Whatever will happen to Iraq, wether it will be a federation of 3 parts, it is important that the 3 groups are able to talk to each other and live together.
Zana Dew | 29/3/2015
There is great American pressure on Barzani to fight in Musol, but the US administration does not support Kurds as a nation but as a proxy! The Americans even do not accept Kurds to sel their oil! They want to keep and abuse Kurds as part of Iraq. Kurds should not participate as this will lead to more attacks on the Kurdsh areas and more tension between Kurds and Sunnies.
AKS | 29/3/2015
Lets just say it like this; Every piece of land the peshmerga liberates is kurdish land from that day on. Let's see then if the US and Baghdad want kurdish help.
Nither Gods,Nor slavery | 29/3/2015
The city of Mosul historically is an Assyrian city but after the defeat of the Assyrian Empire at the hands of combined attack by Babylonian and Medes(Kurds)700BC,the city gradually became a city shared by Assyrians,Chaldeans and Kurds,But after the invasion of the city by ISIS ancestors(the Muslim invasion of the whole Mesopotamia and Kurdistan),the Arab tribes from the Arabian desert and Yemen in their thousands spread all over Mesopotamia for looting and kidnapping women and children,since the time the Arabization policy started then recently intensified by the fascistic Baath party's regime from 60s on wards till 2003,So to remove ISIS THUGS from Mosul city it should be the fight of the KURDS,ASSYRIANS,CHALDEANS and whoever want to stand against ISIS Muslim thugs and want to free thousands of kidnapped women and children by ISIS(ISIS can be compared to the Ottoman army thugs polices who went to the Balkan regions and other places when they were in power).
Karwan Zaro
Karwan Zaro | 29/3/2015
In airplanes, when failure happens, you have to take on the breathing-mask first ( provided that the mask is meant for you and not meant for you to take and use it on others than you ), then helping others. Helping others first will result in you dying. We are concerned here, because we also are in the plane!!!!! I am on to taking Mosul back, I will just gather some rocks ( ammunition ) to throw ( human weapon ) at the enemy, without them noticing me standing 10-15 ( may be 30 ) meters away from them. Effective strategy for a tragic outcome, me involved. Ok, will bring my armor with me, it is an empty oil barrel. Greed is the main cause of stupidity. If Mosul is kurdish, then Beg-Dattî ( Bagdad ) also is. Stop playing card, with your/others life. /The views in this comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Anyone else. ( may be somewhat hesitant )

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