This is certainly not the first or second time! Ofra writes quite regularly about the Kurds.
Their history. Maybe their future? Especially as it pertains to Israeli interests.
She's certainly not writing from a hostile perspective. She writes quite sympathetically from what I've read. (Who is Ofra Bengio? )
Ofra Bengio is calling the Kurds proxy fighters- because that is what they are.
That is what they have long been. Particularly vicious marauders while attacking Christians as you will learn. Then as now. Except now it's Arabs too. Sunni and Shiite.
Uncovering fact and separating it from fiction to better understand the reality that Kurdish militias have willingly been proxy fighters and ethnic cleansers for far longer then most are aware.
In fact one could safely state, by all appearances, there has been a concerted effort to clean up blood thirsty Kurdish history-- for political reasons. Geopolitical reasons.
FYI: There will be additional links at the bottom of this lengthy post
From American Interest- where one read a month is granted.
Will the Kurds’ proxy fight against ISIS work against their national aspirations in the long run?
"Since 2013 President Barack Obama has been repeating the mantra that there would be no American boots on the ground in Syria, explaining, “We are going to have to find effective partners on the ground to push back against ISIL.” No doubt, the Kurds have proved to be effective fighters both in Iraq and Syria, but the crucial question is whether they are really partners or mere tools in a proxy war, to be summarily dispensed with when the war is over.The Kurds as proxy fighters is a topic broached repeatedly here. Rather then the commonly presented noble warriors meme. The kurdish militias have a long history of service and plain opportunism as proxy fighters/mercenaries on behalf of more powerful parties but taking liberties for their own gain!
The Kurds are well known for having played a proxy role for various warring parties, be they old empires or modern states. This record raises questions such as: What circumstances led them to play such a role? Why did they commit themselves to it? How did they expect to benefit from it? And what is the balance of their gains and losses over the years?"
Discussing fact over fallacy doesn't win any popularity contests that's for sure! However to understand a situation, any situation, one must have a grounding in reality. When I write things here such as Kurds are proxy fighters it's because they are present time and they have been historically. The common memes of Kurds as the perpetual victim or the noble warrior are nothing more then simplistic mind viruses used to persuade one to believe that which should not be believed
"Historically speaking, the proxy wars in which the Kurds have taken part assumed three main patterns. 1- The Kurds were either fighting as proxies: for their government against an internal or external enemy; 2-for a neighboring government against their own government; 3-or for regional or international actors against their government or various non-state actors. But while the patterns may have been different, the results have been tediously familiar.
An early case of the first pattern is that of the Kurdish Hamidiye cavalry, established by Sultan Abdulhamid in 1890 and active until the Young Turk revolution of 1908. Since the Ottoman Empire by that time had become weak relative to its encroaching adversaries, the Sultan needed this cavalry, composed of different Kurdish tribes, to fight Russia and contain the Armenians. Indeed, the Hamidiye was said to have played a no small role in the Armenian massacres of 1894–96.
For the Kurds involved in the Hamidiye, the experiment had mixed results. On the one hand, it taught them how to organize, train, and fight; on the other, it deepened rivalries between the tribes and their chieftains. And this doesn’t even factor in the repercussions of their participation in the Armenian massacres. Ataturk promised the Kurds autonomy for their support in the war of independence, but then he reneged on it"
Not sure if Ataturk promised these proxy mercenaries autonomy- However, based on my previous reading it seems the Kurdish Hamidiye kept all the spoils of their terror. Land. Homes. Stolen wealth.
It is most interesting that the Turks under Ataturk the Donmeh (crypto jew) and the Kurdish hordes were both complicit in the murder of Christians- It seems so familiar. Likely because it is ongoing today.
Important: Hamidiye and Hamidian when referencing the Kurdish mercenaries and the Armenian massacre is the same.
- * Slaughter of Armenians at Sason in August 1894 by Kurds. Saso/u/n, a province in Eastern Turkey, was the first Armenia area
"The Assyrian civilian population of upper Mesopotamia (the Tur Abdin region, the Hakkâri, Van, and Siirt provinces of present-day southeastern Turkey, and the Urmia region of northwestern Iran) was forcibly relocated and massacred by the Muslim Ottoman (Turkish) army, together with other armed and allied Muslim peoples, including Kurds, Chechens and Circassians, between 1914 and 1920"
All Assyrian men were slain and the others were forced to flee. These massacres were often carried out upon the initiatives of local politicians and Kurdish tribes"In other words the Kurdish militias went above and beyond the call, on their own! It's interesting to observe that modern day Kurds including PKK claim all the land that was once occupied by Assyrian Christians and Armenian Christians as their own.
"The Aramean and Armenian massacres of the end of the Ottoman times are mainly, preponderantly and predominantly a Kurdish responsibility"
Back to the article "The Kurd's Proxy Trap"
"The modern incarnation of the Hamidiye is the Korucular—the village guards system established by the Turkish government almost a hundred years later (1985) to fight the ascending power of the PKK. It was designed, as the Turkish saying has it, “to have the Kurds kill the Kurds” (“Kurdu Kurde Kirdirmak”). Numbering between 50,000 and 90,000, the still-active guards have important tactical advantages because they are familiar with the language, the people, and the geography of the region, and they are armed to do a job comparable to that of the regular army. An undeclared aim of creating the Korucular was to revive the tribal regiments in order to control other tribes and build structures similar to those of the Hamidiye. In fact, despite the high salaries and benefits its members have gotten from the Turkish government, the Korucular could not overpower the PKK. It did, however, further divide Kurdish society.
Another example of a proxy involvement aimed at “divide and rule” is the Kurdish auxiliary force that the Iraqi monarchical regime established, and that the Ba‘athi regime revived under the cynical title of the “Salah al-Din Forces” for the purpose of fighting Mulla Mustafa Barzani’s guerrilla force, the Peshmerga. Nicknamed juhush (donkeys), this force did not prove to be loyal to the Ba‘athi regime; indeed, it turned against it on various occasions, especially during the Kurdish uprising in 1991 following Operation Desert Storm.2
The second pattern includes the backing that Iran granted intermittently (1960–90) to the two major Kurdish parties in Iraq—the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)—so as to destabilize the central Iraqi government in Baghdad. For its part Baghdad, supported the Iranian KDP to destabilize the Islamic Republic"The Kurdish role of killers for hire between Iran/Iraq etc was mentioned in this post: Kurds: Betrayers Are Often Betrayed- Victims of and Parties to Conflict
"Another example is the support Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad granted to the KDP and PUK during the 1970s in order to weaken the rival Ba‘athi regime in Baghdad. Shortly afterward, the elder Assad granted asylum and bases to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to engage the Turkish army. However, in all these cases the support of the neighboring countries turned out to be a double-edged sword for the Kurds. When it no longer suited its interests, Iran abandoned the Kurds in 1975 for a deal with Baghdad. Similarly, under Turkish pressure Assad evicted Ocalan from Syria in October 1998 and shortly afterward Syria and Turkey signed the Adana agreement “against PKK terrorist organization,” paving the way to “development of relations in all areas.”The Adana agreement has been mentioned at the blog previously
Regional governments and those extrinsic to the region have also employed the Kurds extensively in struggles against certain governments or non-state actors. The most glaring example is the secret tripartite support given to the Kurds of Iraq in their war against the Ba‘ath between 1972 and 1975. Iran, Israel, and the United States, the partners in this plan, had one common target, namely, to destabilize the radical Ba‘athi regime. But when in March 1975 interests dictated temporary reconciliation with Baghdad, both Iran and the United States abruptly stopped their support to the Kurds. (As for Israel, its government was genuinely interested in a Kurdish victory, not just the weakening of Baghdad, but it could not continue its aid since it had to pass through Iran.)
The most recent case of Kurds acting as proxies is the role they are fulfilling today in fighting ISIS on two fronts, in Iraq and Syria. From early on it was clear that neither the United States nor the European Union were eager to send ground forces to combat ISIS. But they could not detach themselves from the several repercussions of this war: Their own citizens were being targeted by ISIS, and the Europeans had to contend with a flood of refugees trying to escape the war zones. In the absence of developing a full-fledged Turkish option to suffocate the violence in Syria, the next-best solution to the dilemma was the well-tested device of Kurdish proxy war"It's not credible to believe, suggest or otherwise claim the kurds are fighting ISIS. I don't care much who makes the claim. ISIS is a proxy force for the US/Israel/NATO. The kurds are a proxy force for the US/Israel/NATO. Since they are both proxies it is absurd to believe they are truly fighting one another. I've covered on multiple occasions the FACT that the ISIS proxy regularly melts away 'to fight another day when the kurdish proxy comes to town.
"On the Iraqi front the Kurdish forces—the Peshmerga—have been the most effective boots on the ground. While the Iraqi army collapsed in June 2014 before ISIS’s disproportionally smaller forces in Mosul, the Peshmerga managed to stop the ISIS onslaught and even to take control of important chunks of territory around Kirkuk. Shortly afterward, ISIS initiated another onslaught on the Kurdish region, but Kurdish forces stopped them from reaching Erbil. They were less successful in Sinjar, which proved to be a prelude to the Yezidi massacres of August 2014. Ever since, however, the Peshmerga (with the help of Kurdish Syrian forces) have reoccupied Sinjar and held the line against ISIS along a front of more than 1,000 km"The above paragraph is the stuff of 'official narrative' It is not, however, reality. The Iraqi army collapse was due to the fact that it was filled with Sunni Muslim Kurds or Arabs who dropped trou' and joined up with ISIS. It was yet another example of Kurd/ISIS symbiosis.
It is being said that U.S.-trained government troops have fled the city, many of them **stripping off their uniforms so as to not be identified.**
"US trained government troops?"
Troops loyal to which government? Being US trained? Who paid them? Who supplied these troops? Exactly who were these people that the US trained?"Stripping off their uniforms"
All we know is that they are US trained government troops- See Israeli/Kurdish cooperation.
And changing into what? Camouflage clothing?
"So as not to be identified"
You should not assume this is to avoid being targeted by ISIS. If these were plants, they would have stripped off their uniforms, changed into clothing pictured below and would became easily identifiable to their cohorts. In ISIS. This also explains the ease with which ISIS took Mosul.
“Kurds made public statements that this is not their fight, and everyone pulled back from the battlefield. The withdraw of 35-40% is enough for the collapse of the army.”The official bogus narrative isn't the truth. And Kurdish withdrawal reads exactly like ISIS's typical withdrawal
Kurd Proxy Trap Continues
"The secret to this success is the degree of cooperation between Kurdish forces on the ground and the air support the U.S. military and its allies have granted them. This symbiotic relationship goes back to the 2003 Iraq War. At a time when Turkey’s AKP government denied the U.S. military the use of Incirlik Air Base, it was the Peshmerga who performed a proxy role by occupying the whole of northern Iraq. This Kurdish achievement was vital for the U.S. military, which lacked boots on the ground in that part of Iraq. The numbers speak for themselves: While more than 4,000 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq since 2003, none have died in the Kurdish region?I've mentioned the troubles between the US &Turkey in 2003, repeatedly, here at the blog.
"The Kurdish proxy war in Syria has been much more complicated than that in Iraq. In contrast to the Kurds of Iraq, with whom the Americans had a long-standing acquaintance going back to the 1991 Gulf War, the Kurds of Syria were an unknown quantity in Washington. The PYD and its military organs, the YPG and the YPJ, came to the fore only in 2012 when they took control of three Kurdish cantons in northern Syria and established the autonomous region dubbed Rojava. Furthermore, the PYD is an offshoot of the PKK; its Marxist-Leninist leanings do not fit well with the West"More official narrative nonsense- I've articles here, linked, that report on the movement and presence of PKK in northern Syria as early as 2010. The US acknowledged the YPG was affiliated with PKK, until they cleansed their own websites of the connections. I would expect no less from Ofra Bengio but adherence to the official Israeli sanctioned narrative
"At the time, U.S. policy was also still pinning its hopes on the Syrian opposition, which it helped establish (to what extent remains a matter of contention) in order to fight the Assad regime. But it soon transpired that this opposition was no match either for the Assad regime or the jihadis, certainly not ISIS and not even Jabhat al-Nusra, then the al-Qaeda proxy in the war. Those who carried the battle to ISIS were mainly the YPG and the YPJ. However, employing them in a proxy war in Syria presented the Obama Administration and its allies with a problem: It sought to support them militarily, but it resisted endorsing their political agenda out of concern for roiled and deteriorating relations with Turkey.
Turkey did not see eye to eye with its NATO allies. The Turkish leadership reasoned, not without justification, that the fuel enabling ISIS to burn the region and beyond came from the murderous Assad regime; it therefore even granted ISIS tacit support in Syria and Iraq at a certain point in the fight.3 More importantly, Turkey regarded the PYD and its military wings as mortal enemies because of their close ties with the PKK. The last thing Ankara wanted was a Kurdish entity on its southern border that could become a model for the Kurds of Turkey, and that might unite Kurdish forces against it in the long run"To those that say Turkey supported ISIS??? ... Ofra Bengio says Assad supported ISIS. Yes, Assad fueled ISIS. Totally ignoring the US/Israeli/NATO connections. Convenient. Never mentioning that ISIS came right on out of Iraq, chock full of Sunni Kurds and Arabs!
"The West had thus to reconcile its need for effective Kurdish boots on the ground against Turkish permission to use Incirlik Air Base for sorties against ISIS. The recipe was to refrain from declaring the PYD a terrorist organization and continue supporting the YPG despite Turkey’s remonstrations, but at the same time appease Turkey by turning a blind eye to its attacks against the PKK in Iraq and Turkey.
This arrangement worked for two months—from July to September 2015—when a familiar player re-emerged on the already complicated scene: The Russian regime decided to salvage the Assad regime via air attacks against its opponents. This turned Syria into an expanded politico-military battleground in which various regional and international forces are vying for influence. The proxy war also took a new turn. Russia’s declared aim was to fight ISIS, but in fact its targets were the other opposition and jihadi forces, leaving the fight against ISIS to the Kurds.
Thus both Russia and the United States sought to use the YPG against ISIS. The PYD ably used this new status to leverage an improved standing in the international arena. Unlike the PKK, which is still on U.S. and EU terrorist lists, PYD members have achieved some measure of acceptance. Furthermore, the Kurds of Syria have managed to open representative offices in Moscow and in certain European countries. The Turks don’t like it, but the only way to diminish the PYD and destroy Rojava is for Turkey to undertake the brunt of the anti-ISIS fighting itself"And Turkey has taken it upon itself to fight ISIS, which is the Kurds too. I'm really hoping my readers are not deluding themselves. There kurds and ISIS are bff's.
""Many reports suggested that the Daesh (ISIS) fighters who attacked Kirkuk were Kurds rather than Arabs"
"Looking back, the Kurds’ experience with proxy wars has been rewarding in the short term but mostly disastrous in the long term. The Kurds have been able to best many opponents and establish a reputation for martial skill, but at the cost of exacerbating internal divisions and serially alarming everyone from their state “hosts” to neighbors. So why do they continue playing this role, what are the lessons they may draw from it now, and will it turn out better for the Kurds this time?
On the face of it, the present proxy war is different from earlier ones because there seems to be a greater convergence of core interests between the proxies and their employers. Partly for that reason, the support is overt rather than covert. As for the Kurds, they now seem to display higher degree of national consciousness and cohesion, which conduces to their gaining wide autonomy or even independence. The powers also seem to have changed their stances. The air support the U.S. government had granted to Kurdish forces fighting both in Iraq and Syria was so crucial that, without it, Erbil and Kobani would have collapsed. Similarly, the military training and equipment given to both fighting forces were critically important. So a true mutual dependence has been demonstrated to a degree that transcends all previous engagements.I'll agree that there does seem to be "a greater convergence of core interests between the proxies" kurds and their employers: US/NATO/Israel- Remaking the middle east for Israel 2.0 seems to be on the menu. And yes "the support is overt rather than covert." Not just arms flowing, but through the media mouthpieces too! Main stream and alternative NATO media. Hence the two main memes met to garner support "noble warrior" and/or the "always betrayed"
I disagree that the Kurds have a 'higher degree of national consciousness or cohesion"
What they have is duplicity, tyranny and coercion
Is there a rub?
"But here’s the rub: Even during this current bout of proxy war, U.S. and EU policy has been to systematically block Kurdish representatives from participating in any international forum arranged to discuss strategy for combating ISIS or finding solutions to the Syrian civil war. Similarly, the weapons granted to the Peshmerga do not fulfill all their needs; they do not include heavy equipment such as tanks or aircraft—the kind of equipment the Iraqi army lost to ISIS when Mosul was captured. Moreover, for a long time all military support to the Peshmerga had to be transferred via Baghdad, which was reluctant to deliver it to Erbil. In Syria, too, the support given far from covers the needs of the Kurdish forces"Have the US and EU systematically blocked Kurdish representatives from participating in international forum.... etc., ? Not from what I've read. It looks to me as if the Kurds have tanks? Do they need aircraft? When they have the US/NATO airforce at their beck and call?
Perhaps the Peshmerga had to get their arms via Baghdad. But PKK and YPG sure didn't!
"The most recent turn of events in the war in Syria may be an omen of things to come. For the first time since the war erupted, Turkey sent its military forces into Syria in late August to prevent YPG forces from liberating the border town Jarablus from ISIS. Turkey’s main purpose has been to stop the advance of the Syrian Kurds toward de facto autonomy, specifically to prevent the linking up of all three Kurdish “cantons” on the Turkish frontier. So dangerous has Ankara deemed this autonomy that it quickly mended its relations with Russia, which had suffered a blow following the Turkish downing of a Russian ground attack jet in November 2015. One important aim behind the reconciliation has been to diminish or end Russian support to the Kurdish enclave in Syria.
In addition, Ankara called on the U.S. government to bring pressure on the YPG to evacuate their forces from Manbij after they had spilled their blood there in the fight against ISIS. This might have confronted the Administration with the need to choose between a state and a proxy. However, Secretary of State John Kerry quickly solved this dilemma: He called on the YPG to leave Manbij immediately. The only logical conclusion for all Kurds to draw from this action was an old one: State sponsors are fickle. They should only count on their backing for as long as the fight against ISIS continues, and then only to the extent that such aid does not antagonize other central governments in the region. Furthermore, all the major powers—including the United States—continue to pursue the goal of preserving the integrity of the Iraqi and Syrian states, ultimately at the Kurds’ expense"Ankara called on the US to keep a promise made to Turkey regarding the Kurdish taking of Manbij. I've covered the Manbij promise on more then one occasion.
The US told Turkey that once their Kurdish proxies cleared Manbij of their pals in ISIS the Kurds were going to leave. But they didn't. And the US didn't make them leave either. There was no 'fickle' behaviour on the part of state sponsors
Covered the Manbij promise hereEvading the fall into the proxy trap?
So, there was the matter of a promise given by the US to Turkey- once ISIS was removed from Manbij, the Kurds were to vacate the area- They, of course, did not. And it looked as if the US had no intention of encouraging them to do so- Resulting in Turkey taking matters into their own hands. We know the Manbij Kurdish fighters let ISIS go free, displaced a whole bunch of residents and destroyed the registry records making it difficult for the displaced to return. Run of the mill stuff for the Kurdish militias and their US backers. This failure to keep a promise appears to be a factor in Turkey’s move into Jarablus, Syria- Turkey surely noticed the the US didn’t keep their word regarding Manbij- so it appears they moved on their own.
"Can the Kurds manage to evade falling once again into the proxy trap? This question is all the more pertinent now that the Peshmerga and the YPG are poised to play a crucial role in liberating Mosul and Raqqa respectively from ISIS. Since they remain a non-state actor, they must prove to their partners that they are important not just for short-term tactical military tasks, but also for longer-term strategic considerations—namely, that they are reliable partners and a buffer for the duration against jihadi forces in the region"Ofra Benigo never mentions the PKK in all this? Amazing.
Ultimately, the Kurds will only stop getting shafted by opportunistic or desperate state sponsors when they take their fate into their own hands. That means getting and staying unified, and proving that they can govern people and places effectively. In that regard, the recent troubles in the KRG are not helping. Alliances are not typically meant to dole out philanthropy to their members; payoffs are earned, not begged. The Kurds must either rise to the occasion, or they will once again validate the famous line from Friedrich Schiller’s 1783 play, Fiesco (Act III, Scene 4): “Der Mohr hat seine Arbeit gethan, der Mohr kann gehen.” (“The moor has done his duty, the moor may go.”)Bad KRG.
"Kurdish raids on villages in the Diyarbekir Vilayet intensified in the years following a famine that ravaged the region. This was followed by fierce battles between Kurds and Shammar Arabs. In August 1888, Kurdish Aghas led attacks on Assyrian villages in Tur Abdin killing 18. Requests for an investigation by Patriarch Ignatius Peter IV went unanswered by the Porte. Another Kurdish raid in October 1889 targeted several Assyrian/Syriac villages during which 40 villagers including women and children were killed. These events were the first signs of the massacres that would characterise the Diyarbekir Vilayet for the following decade.There is an image link above from the time of the slaughter of Christians, by Kurds in Sasun
The Hamidian massacres came when some 4,000 Armenians in the Sasun district of Bitlis Vilayet in 1894 rebelled against Kurdish nomadic tribes, who demanded traditional taxes from them"
Some, but not all of the related posts at the blog regarding Kurdish ethnic cleansing/displacement:
- PKK occupy 3 Assyrian Villages - With the intent to force the christians out no doubt!
- Kurds fully participate in Generational Assyrian/ Armenian Christian Genocides
- Kurds fighting & killing Kurds/Arabs & Christians.Kobane(i) attack benefits Kurdistan creators