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.