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Was Iran's missile attack on KDPI a message or a strategy?

By Arif Qurbany 13/9/2018
Political armed groups of East (Iranian) Kurdistan halted armed actions against Iran two decades ago at the request of Kurdistan Region's two ruling parties the KDP and PUK. In return Iran was expected to create an environment where Kurds at home could engage in political and cultural activities. But it did exactly the opposite. Iran has killed nearly 300 Peshmerga and members of Iranian Kurdish parties in the Kurdistan Region over the past three years, and executed numerous others inside Iran.

Consequently, Iranian Kurdish parties faced criticism for remaining silent in the face of all these killings and executions. These parties saw that Iran didn’t even take into account the interests of the Kurdistan Region when it brought the Pasdaran army, Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi and Afghani Hashd upon Khurmatu and Kirkuk and wanted to even invade Erbil.

This compelled Iranian Kurdish parties to resume their armed struggle against Iran and sent some of their fighting force into Iran to fight the army. Tehran’s response was disproportionate and feared these parties might get international or regional support.

In the end and after many occasions where Iranian military officials warned they would, Iran attacked the headquarters of the KDPI/PDKI in Koya. Leaders of the KDPI shrugged off the threat. They seemed to have forgotten Iran's military influence in Iraq. It was certain Iran would hit them. It was only a matter of time.

Was the attack related to the political turmoil of Iraq or Iran's own issues with the US? Did it have anything to do with the Iraq's elections and the Kurds' indecision on which coalition to join in Baghdad? Could it be a message to Erbil or just part of the regional strategic agreement between Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria to constrain the Kurds? Parties in the Kurdistan Region should seek answers for these questions.

Iranian Kurdish parties should have learnt a lesson from the killing of their leaders by the Iran in the past. The attack on their base in Koya was expected, especially after intelligence and media reports said that Iran had installed missile launchers in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Even ground attacks aren't unexpected the same way Turkey has crossed borders in pursuit of the PKK in the Kurdistan Region and Syria's Rojava.

What happened on October 16, 2017 in Kirkuk, Shingal, and Khurmatu, the invasion of Afrin, the missile attack on Koya, and whatever else that may happen in the coming months is part of a long-term regional plot against the Kurds.

So what are the Kurds going to do? Do they have the means to protect themselves against their advanced weaponry? Could they possible force those four countries to change their hostile acts by becoming a real source of headache for them? Or perhaps they could change Iraq's political scene and in turn the whole regional alliance.

Disagreements between neighboring countries gives the Kurds breathing space. Their unity means danger. The dissolution of the four-country pact can save the Kurds and that partly relies on the US foreign policy and the Kurds themselves.

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


Parvez | 13/9/2018
This is just a propaganda note for separate Kurdistan Country. Why you should not work for the welfare of common Kurds living in KRG area? Why they are poor despite of resources? Why leadership wants credit for creation of a new country? Why they supported Israel? Is it not the treason? Why they want America to intervene-an external power? Why you support terrorism in neighboring countries? We know that selfish kurdish leaders can just think about them self not about the Kurds who want development.
Unite | 13/9/2018
Some simple but bloody good questions have been asked and begging for answers from the Kurdish political leaders. This is not the first time Kurds find themselves in this situation. The problem is the Kurds themselves. They relies on false promises of external powers and neighbouring countries far too much and too often, with horrific consequences, but they never learn the lesson. Look at the 1974 accord where France became a guarantor to support the Kurds if Iraq fail to abide by the terms of the accord. The result was Iraq unleashed its mighty force against the Kurds and France went silence. Much recent than that October 2017, after sacrificing thousands of Kurdish Peshmarga against ISIS on behalf of the whole world, only for the whole world to turn back on Kurds, kept silence and emboldened the enemy agaist the Kurds. Yet, no lesson learnt as at this very day, the Kurds have been called to support an Iraqi government formation, and the Kurdish political parties are falling over themselves to run to Baghdad just to do that; Why? Kurds cannot get themselves united but too easy to side with their enemy against each other. They fight each other and killing a number of brave peshmargs over a very simple disagreement between themselves. But they cannot get united to repel the aggression against the Kurdish people.
Umit | 13/9/2018
It is a direct act of war when it systematically occures for more than 40 years starting with the US hostage taking in iran in 1979.
Pony | 15/9/2018
It’s strategy and means that they need their forces somewhere else and just a few with missiles are used to camouflage a big army. Iranians main forces are somewhere else and their ground Troops are poor Afghan refugees missused as slave soldiers that don’t want to harm anybody, because they let their own people flee to the west to send billions of dollars as help to their families. Also it’s facing threats from suppressed east and from south by their enemies. On the other hand it’s quite probably that they are cowards and only dare to attack highly exposed Kurds than the other forces that would crush them.
Qader | 16/9/2018
@Parves, mostly due to corrupt Kurdish leaders who are easy to manipulate, but not by Israel, by Iran Turkey and Baghdad, who work effortlessly to destroy and assimilate Kurds into Turks Iranians and Arabs. For now, Kurds are fragmented because of weak corrupt leaders, they have no country and no good backers or allies. But you posed the wrong question, the real question is why people in Iraq and Iran for instance much worse off than Kurdistan region? seen Basra lately? I mean despite having a country? Despite having a 100 times more resources? they even steal the resources of minorities like Kurds Balouchs Turkmen etc. Why do most Iraqi politicians work for Iranian or turkish or Saudi interest? Why do Iranian and turkish groups like the Shah fans, the Mujahdeen and Gulen work for US interest against their own country?

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