August 23, 2013
A PEOPLE WHO CONSIDER THEMSELF A NATION ARE ONE:Syria's Kurds Take the Offensive (Ted Galen Carpenter, August 22, 2013, National Interest)
If the Syrian civil war wasn't already murky and complex enough, the country's Kurdish minority has added a new element of instability in recent weeks. Kurdish militias have launched offensives against Syrian rebel forces operating in the northeast and have scored significant victories. That development sets off alarm bells with both the Obama administration and the government of Turkey. The Kurdish agenda in Syria is increasingly clear: to establish a de facto independent state in northeastern Syria similar to the self-governing Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Since the authority of Bashar al-Assad's regime is now nearly nonexistent in northeastern Syria, the militia victories over Syrian rebel forces brings the realization of that goal tantalizingly close.
Turkish leaders consider such a prospect anathema. Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has long been a thorn in Ankara's side, and Turkish officials see the KRG as being an inspiration to secessionist Kurdish forces inside Turkey.
The creation of Kurdistan was the one thing GHWB got right in the First Gulf War.
Posted by Orrin Judd at August 23, 2013 12:51 AM