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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Barzani: Sectarian conflict made ISIS inevitable, now is time to redraw boundaries with Kurdish statehood

By Zhelwan Z. Wali 13/3/2016
Photo: Rudaw
Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Kurdish President Masoud Barzani says the time has come for the world leaders to rethink the boundaries of the Middle East and for the Kurds to have a state of their own in the region.

In an interview with Philadelphia Media Network [Philly], an American news agency, Barzani discussed a variety of issues currently affecting the region including the reasons behind the emergence of terrorists groups like the Islamic State, the failure of Iraq and Syria nation states and the potential for Kurdish statehood.

"If you look at the Middle East, the old borders only exist on paper," he said. "There has already been a redrawing of the Middle East," in light of the "new realities on the ground."

Barzani believes the emergence of sectarian terrorist groups in the Middle East was inevitable because "the ouster of Saddam Hussein unleashed sectarian strife between Sunnis and Shiites [and] that has broken the country."

When ISIS overran Mosul and seized one-third of Iraq in the summer of 2014 Iraq fragmented Barzani argued. Therefore he believes that "a 'Sunnistan' is one of the possibilities," for the future of that part of Iraq.

This was also the case in Syria, Barzani added, because "the regime's brutal response to a peaceful uprising has torn the country apart, largely along sectarian lines." Therefore, he reasoned, "I think it will be very difficult to have a united Syria again."

It was the sectarian conflict which "opened the way for ISIS to base itself in Sunni areas on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border," Barzani said before adding that "killing will continue" given the diverse ethno-sectarian make-up of the Iraqi and Syrian states.

In parts of his speech Barzani predicted that a Kurdish state in the region will emerge sooner or later.

"As for the Kurds, they have been dreaming of independence since the 1923 Lausanne Treaty between the World War I allies and post-Ottoman Turkey," he explained. "That document reneged on a promise to carve a Kurdish state out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire and allow this non-Arab ethnic group to have its own home."

On March 10, Barzani told a meeting of his Kurdistan Democratic Party party members that the Kurds will only spill their blood for an independent Kurdish state in the future.

"If we spill blood this time, it is only for independence, we must make it come true and all the blood that we have spilled so far will not be wasted," he insisted.

"Independence is our right and we have worked for it and we will never give it up," he went on to vow.

In late January, Barzani told Kurdish political parties that a referendum on Kurdish independence should take place before the US presidential election in November.

He assured the world that an independent Kurdish state is going to bring about stability for the region.

Asked if his vision of statehood would include other neighboring Kurdish areas in Iran, Turkey and Syria, he replied by saying "I think each part of Kurdistan within the last 100 years has its own special status, our focus and strategy is for Iraqi Kurds alone."

Given its adherence to the One Iraq Policy the United States has not endorsed nor supported statehood for the Iraqi Kurds. Barzani hopes the USA never opposes the idea of Kurdish state in the region.

"If the US will not be against us, will not oppose it, we will be very grateful," he said.

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angrybird | 13/3/2016
"If the US will not be against us, will not oppose it, we will be very grateful," he said. That shows what kind of leader Barzani is! He's a puppet and a stooge of foreign powers. Kurds should be the ones who decide on their independence not someone who is 12 thousand miles away and doesn't even know who Kurds are. Or worse doesn't even care what happens to Kurds!
Brzoo Kurdi
Brzoo Kurdi | 14/3/2016
There is no doubt that a Kurdish state will weaken the positions of the enemy of freedom and democracy , it is very clear a democratic state like Israel will help to create a Kurdish state ,and this is enough to tell the US a Kurdish state will be in the interest of the United states of America.
Muraz Adzhoev | 14/3/2016
Asked if his vision of statehood would include other neighboring Kurdish areas in Iran, Turkey and Syria he replied by saying "I think each part of Kurdistan within the last 100 years has its own special status, our focus and strategy is for Iraqi Kurds alone". The absolutely reasonable and adequate answer of the right person to the right place, of the true national leader who respects and is ready to follow only the free will of the people. If the people of Western Kurdistan fulfills its inalienable right to self-determination and decides to reintegrate overwhelmingly with the people of Southern Kurdistan in order to establish one sovereign federative democratic Kurdistan, then President-Commander Barzani certainly will do his best to comply with that national willingness by all possible legitimate means. Establishment of Kurdistan is inevitable already and very near, because Iraq and also Syria are actually finally failed states and dead countries. Turkey most likely will solve the Kurdish national issue as soon as Kurdistan is officially established and declared. Clerical Iran will have to follow democratic Turkey, and will solve the Kurdish issue there to avoid a revolutionary coup.
qalla | 14/3/2016
that's right, shift attention from the economical collapse and massive corruption with "independence" talk
mvlazysusan | 14/3/2016
Lets hope Iran, Iraq and Syria donate some land to the new Kurdish State... And if the Turks do not willingly donate the lands underneath the Kurds feet to a new Kurdistan, that land gets taken by force.
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