writes Meral Cicek for Yeni Özgür Politika.he founder of the airstrike strategies in theory and practice is Britain. It could be only a coincidence or an irony of history that the first area where they bombed was South Kurdistan. This is another issue. What is certain is that the Kurds are the people who have been subjected to airstrikes the most in the past 100 years,”
Seyit Mohammed Abdullah Hasan (1856-1920) led a decades-long resistance against the occupation of Somali regions by the colonialists. With the Dervish Movement, he was able to build an autonomous system that unfortunately lasted only a few years.
The movement became the symbol of resistance against Britain and Italy, based on guerrilla tactics, but was liquidated in 1920. There were two main reasons for that end: the death of their leader and the British airstrikes.
In May 1919, Britain had conducted an air campaign against Şêx Mehmûdê Berzencî, who had succeeded in expelling the British from Sulaymaniyah (Silêmanî) in South Kurdistan. This was the first airstrike to suppress a riot. In other words, the first resisters in history who were bombed by warplanes were Kurds.
After Britain proceeded with its tactics in airstrikes in Sulaymaniyah and Somalia, it became a well-developed strategy that would be continued against the Başûrê (South) Kurdistan. The first large scale air operation aimed at suppressing the uprising was conducted in 1923, again in Sulaymaniyah, against the “serhildan” (the name given to mass Kurdish uprisings) which was led by Şêx Mahmûdê Berzencî.
Previously, in May 1920, Sunni and Shia tribes located in today’s Iraq united and resisted against the British invaders. Britain had to bring in a military force from India that consisted of 100,000 people to suppress that rebellion.
It cost ten million pounds for Britain as the country was already suffering from economic problems due to the “First Sharing War” (World War I). It was looking for new sources of income. Therefore, ‘cheaper’ ways to control and invade Mesopotamia were sought. For Winston Churchill, the Minister of War in the British government at the time, the name of this low-cost tactic was ‘airspace security’.
Assyrians who fled the genocide in Hakkari (Colemerg) and became refugees in the Nineveh plain built the British “military airports” which were used to conduct the airtrikes in South Kurdistan.
In the following years, when the occupation ended, the Assyrians were forced by Britain to leave the villages they had built with their own hands and, once again, they became refugees.
The founder of the airstrike strategies in theory and practice is Britain. It could be only a coincidence or an irony of history that the first area where they bombed was South Kurdistan. This is another issue. What is certain is that the Kurds are the people who have been subjected to airstrikes the most in the past 100 years. Moreover, these Kurds are the ones who continue to resist despite facing the harshest war technology for the past 100 years.
The bombs dropped on the Kurds 100 years ago were made in Britain. Today, they carry the Turkish flag. Nothing has changed in essence. Like yesterday, today the ones who are bombing the Kurds are the ones who are united under NATO and its allies and they want the Kurds to bow down. It is not solely Turkey who is responsible for the operations. This can be understood more clearly when one looks at which states’ representatives visited Bashur before the latest operations.