Eastern Syria, Western Kurdistan

From the BBC:

Syrian Kurdish militia have been engaged in fierce fighting recently with the jihadists of the anti-Assad al-Nusra Front.

Mr Barzani [President of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region] called for a delegation to visit the Kurdish areas in Syria.

He said if the delegation found evidence of “terrorists” killing Kurds, then Iraqi Kurdistan would “make use of all its capabilities to defend the Kurdish women, children and citizens in western Kurdistan”.

There isn’t a dull word in that entire quotation. This article dramatizes the true danger of the Syrian conflict, as it becomes an ever faster centrifuge, in which the starring attraction is no longer simply the rebels vs. the Assad regime. Rather, the conflict is becoming a multi-polar, anarchic free-for-all whose various factions are increasingly mobilizing support across the entire region. Now, Assad’s (distantly Shiite) Alawite regime, allied with the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah, is fighting both the nominally secular Free Syrian Army (FSA), and both are fighting the radical Sunni al-Nusra Front militia (with supposed ties to al-Qaeda, and which is attracting droves of Sunni militant tourists from Iraq), which in turn is fighting Kurdish militias in northern Syria, a region the President of Kurdistan is now threatening to invade. The extraordinary uptick in sectarian violence in Iraq (with 800 murdered in terrorist attacks during Ramadan alone) also seems to be directly tied to the Syrian conflict. There has been a recent spate of sectarian killings in Lebanon. And we could go on and on. Iraq’s civil war in 2005-2006 was ghastly, but (so far as I know) mostly contained within the country’s borders; the nightmare scenario for Syria is that its religiously-fueled divisions ignite internecine Sunni – Shia – Kurdish strife in Iraq, Turkey, or Lebanon, drawing these countries into the international equivalent of a massive bar fight.

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This entry was posted in geopolitics, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Politics, Syria and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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