The Americans have close relations with the political actors in Bashur (the Kurdistan Region of Iraq/South Kurdistan) both militarily and diplomatically, writes Ehmed Pelda for Yeni Yaşam. They often emphasise their demand that the peshmerga should unite. They even say that they will withdraw their financial support if such a unity is not formed, since they are settling in Bashur and developing an air defense system at the same time. This system may have been developed especially against Iran, but can it also be a move against Turkey? Although unlikely now, it is an option for the US in the future.
It is also understood that US officials met with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) co-chairs and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) issue was placed at the top of the agenda at this meeting. PUK co-chair Lahur Talabani declared that they will not fight against the PKK. However, the details remain unclear. For example, it is not clear whether the US wanted the PUK to fight or whether the PUK provided a response and shared an stance that was against both Turkey and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
There is some stagnation on the war front, compared to the previous period. It is observed that the Turkish military forces have failed in the face of the People Defence Forces’ (HPG’s) resistance. Turkey desperately needs an intra-Kurdish civil war to break this balance, because it is hard for Turkey to settle and maintain its presence in these lands considering the finance, logistics and the current domestic crisis.
Likewise, it is very clearly seen by society and politically active forces in Bashur that the PKK is an excuse and that the primary purpose is occupation. Turning these reactions into an organisation of the people to stand together and engage in action to stop Turkey’s occupation would make it hard for them to maintain their presence. Therefore, such a social movement would mean a change in the conjuncture and in the agenda of an intra-Kurdish conflict.
An intra-Kurdish conflict, on the other hand, would risk the historical achievements of the Kurds and would ease Turkey’s hands politically and militarily by allowing its penetration to take place in the region permanently.
Nechirvan Barzani recently visited the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Masrour Barzani visited Belgium and Greece. Almost every day, they have these contacts with diplomatic groups, military representatives and embassies, as such. Why are all these meetings happening?
I wonder if the Bashur administration is also looking for alternative ways to build relations with other parties other than Turkey? Because the social, political and economic dependence on Turkey has reached such a level that it has even disturbed the USA and such concern has been voiced on various occasions.
Alternative trade routes may also change the dynamics of the region. In fact, such an attempt was made in the early periods of Masrour Barzani’s government. However, after his visit to Turkey, he gave up with such attempts. Even now, parallel to Turkey’s demands, it uses its own intelligence and military forces to enter areas where the PKK is located, leading to alarming conflicts. K24 television, which belongs to it, also makes offensive propaganda similar to that of Turkish TV during the 90s.
Bashur is currently in a transition period. It is certain that things will no longer remain as they are now. Either a process of internal conflicts and crises will begin or it will enter a process that will positively affect Rojava (West) and Bakur (North) in a way to strengthen both its internal unity and the unity of the Kurds.