Kurdistan Update


Prospects for a high-profile D.C.-meeting promoting unambiguous and aggressive American support for an independent Kurdistan continue to brighten, as potential supporters emerge; the issuance of a letter by four House members will prompt efforts on Monday-a.m. to link their offices with others who are like-minded. Again, EVERYONE receiving these “Blast” e-mails is cordially invited to pitch-in, for TIME-IS-TIGHT!

The five principles distilled in earlier memos and approved by Sherkoh Abbas are recapitulated but, of course, suggested refinements/amplifications are welcome. Were a D.C. conference to be held, it would be based upon the necessity to amalgamate them into a pivotal action-item, namely, to agitate that America must honor the Kurds against Iranian aggression by assertively supporting the Peshmerga ASAP. The two key counter-arguments dispelled in prior memos are cited again [rephrased affirmatively]: [1]—The Trump Doctrine [“Principled Realism”] that serves as the foundation for MAGA is manifest (and not undermined) when America helps the Kurds because this effort would NOT necessitate nation-building, and [2]—The absence of a status-of-forces agreement allows for continued American advisory involvement in Iraq (and would not yield legal action by Baghdad to evict non-combat troops) when USA-matériel is used.



Here are the five principles that must be co-adopted by individuals/groups forthwith:


  1. America must endorse creation of an independent Kurdistan.


  1. America must recognize it would be in America’s interest.


  1. America must educate both the world and its citizenry that Kurds arguably are the largest ethnic group lacking a homeland.


  1. America must help Kurds establish safe-zones.


  1. America must help educate the world that Turkey/Iran falsely claim that Kurds aspire to establish revolutionary entities in these two countries.

This “Blast” e-mail includes an overview of its predecessors and updated news reports; the trends are extremely discouraging, yielding the EMERGENCY need for ACTION.


These e-mails have amassed supportive data from myriad Internet sources that have been aggregated this past week; information from all political perspectives is included:








Of articles co-written with Sherkoh Abbas during the past a decade, three orient tersely:



http://kurdnas.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=447:the-road-to-iran-runs-through-kurdistan-and-starts-in-syria&catid=35:opinion&Itemid=55 [4/15/2008] {EVERYTHING we wrote almost a decade ago remains either already experienced or about to transpire.}


[Spring 2014] {This provides a detailed overview of the “players”; we were kindly provided sufficient space to flesh-out the major historical forces, as well}


[current] {This addresses major geopolitical forces at-play.}


This 2015 overview cites our climactic meeting [pictorially] with Senator Ted Cruz [R-TX]:




An ongoing-resource provides updates in real-time, noting swiftly-moving events:




Sherkoh’s message [e-mailed, unedited] from a few hours ago, reflects acute anguish:


US, UK, France, and Some EU countries with help of Saudi they think that Iraq could be delinked from Iran and they would benefit from oil and gas of Iraq.  At same time, giving Syria to Russia to please it and the Turks by killing any hope of Kurdistan in Iraq or Syria.


But, Iran is smarter, they already opened HQ for Iranian revolutionary guards in Kirkuk a few days ago and they marched on Kurdistan with more of gab 200,000 militias loyal to Iran not Iraqi Central government.



Although suffering from an acute URI, Sherkoh demonstrated his communication prowess while articulating key-concepts [https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x65btor {@ 25:00].


Sherkoh Abbas President of Kurdish National Assembly of Syria (KURDNAS) and Jerry Gordon a Senior Editor of The New English Review (NER) teamed-up on i24News Crossroads [on 10/19/2017 @ 6:30 p.m.].


The segment focused on what options Kurds have following the forced withdrawal from Kirkuk by Iranian – backed Iraqi Shia al Shaabi Popular Mobilization Units and Iraqi National Army armored units. They used US equipment in the ejection of Kurdish Peshmerga forces originally supplied to fight the Islamic State.


The confrontation that occurred on Monday October 16th was triggered by the objection of the Baghdad government of Premier Haidar al-Abadi to the Kurdistan Independence Referendum on September 25th.


Kurds feel outraged by the betrayal of certain members of the Talabani family and the neutral position taken by the Trump Administration.


Those actions contributed to the loss of vital oil resources and fully 40 percent of territory gained by the Kurdish Regional Government in defense of a 600-mile-long front in Iraq created in the rout of the Iraqi National Army in 2014 that fled the advancing Islamic State blitzkrieg.


Kurdish Peshmerga suffered 2,000 killed and 10,000 wounded engaged in defeating the Islamic State in Iraq. {This was edited slightly for grammar.}


ANYONE who doubts the urgency of the situation is invited to recognize two key military “tells” regarding what has transpired. First, Iranians infested the invasion and, second, Americans were tagging-along, their presence having been strategically invoked by the Iraqi/Iranian generals to “disarm” Kurds, both mentally and physically from resistance.


When sounding an alarum regarding what has been transpiring during the past decade, our “style” has been to rely upon hyperlinks to convey our concerns “telegraphically.” Editors have accommodated our op-ed quirk because they have appreciated a message that carries profound historical import, noting the rest of the world maintained almost-total electrical-silence; those people who disseminated our input notably have included editors @ American Thinker, The Hill, Jerusalem Post, Jewish Policy Center, and Israpundit.

Therefore, rather than compose a forceful op-ed, it is preferable [until Monday’s input can be weighed] to provide a few updates [with terse summaries thereof] that SHOULD be sufficient to motivate The Donald to manifest his newly-minted, multi-department anti-Iran strategy by breaking the creation of a Shi’ite crescent from Tehran to the Mediterranean; that this is justified legally/morally/historically/etc. has been extensively documented.

We have always shared our viewpoints freely, opting to defer maintaining “ownership” of anything we have culled from the Internet and/or reformulated assertively in an essay; therefore, we ask that readers read/absorb/disseminate the following articles/ideas:

Iran, IS, Al-Qaeda good at dividing communities: White House National Security Advisor



Speaking at the 2017 Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit, McMaster said: “Iran is very good at pitting communities against each other.”


“It is a hegemonic design and a threat they share with ISIS & Al-Qaeda,” White House National Security Advisor said, referring to Iran’s meddling in neighboring Iraq and Syria.


Lieutenant General McMaster, speaking about the Kirkuk take over through Iraqi and Iranian-trained Shia militia, said that “Iran has to stop using illegal armed groups in Iraq at the expense of regional security and stability.”


McMaster emphasized United State’s interest in a unified Iraq but provided that the country could free itself from Iranian influence.


“What we would like to see in Iraq is a stable Iraq that is not aligned with Iran,” he said.


He also said nobody should do business with Iran’s Revoluntaiory Guards (IRGC) that Trump considers designating as a terrorist group.


McMaster said IRGC was a “great narcotic trafficking organization.”


Mike Pompeo the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also spoke at the FDD Summit and said that he saw Iran at the heart of Kirkuk problem but also many other problems in the Middle East.


“The president [Donal Trump] has come to view the threat from Iran is at the center of so much of the turmoil that bogs us down in lots of places in the Middle East,” Pompeo said.


“You can see the impact that they are having today in northern Iraq. The threat that they pose to US forces. We had an incident last week,” CIA director said.


Answering interviewer Juan C. Zarate’s point that reports indicated that Iranian Quds’ commander Qassem Soleimani was in Kirkuk this week, Pompeo interjected, “I’m aware of that.”


Pompeo mentioned other Iran’s growing influence on groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, Houthis in Yemen, and Shiite militias in Iraq known as People Mobilization Forces (PMF) or Hash Al-Sha’abi.


He also criticized the Iran deal and added that it has not in reality curtailed “Iranian adventurism, the terror threat, [and] malignant behavior.”


Despite the US emphasize on containing Iran, their goal of “ensuring that the Abadi government in Iraq is successful,” has offered leeways to Iran to assist in a swift takeover of Kirkuk which has displaced some 100,000 Kurds.


The US officials criticize Iran for dividing communities, including Kurds, and establishing influence in Iraq and Syria. But Washington’s inaction in Kirkuk allowed Iran to achieve those very goals.


“The conflict in Kirkuk offers further evidence of Iran’s steady rise,” said Emma Sky, author of “The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq” who served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004 as the governorate coordinator of Kirkuk.


“Iran is showing everyone in the region that it is the indispensable ally—not the United States. It is securing its corridors across Iraq and Syria, mediating between the different groups on the ground, while the United States occupies a shrinking space,” Sky wrote.


She added that Iran mediated a deal between PUK and the Iraqi government and guided the Shia militias supporting the Iraqis.


“Iran has every interest in maintaining these militias—making it increasingly difficult for any Iraqi prime minister to demobilize them. And Turkey, which used to be a U.S. ally, is moving closer to Iran and Russia,” Sky said.


Abandoning our Kurdish allies is a win for our Iranian enemies



…It makes no sense for a nation to treat its enemies kindly and its allies harshly. Any nation that tries this foolish approach will see its enemies grow stronger and more dangerous, and will lose its allies when it abandons them…


Iraqi forces are also supported by Iran, including that nation’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury Department earlier this month.


And Iran is clearly an enemy of the United States, Israel and many of our Arab allies. It is a state sponsor of terrorism and an oppressor of its own people, with particularly harsh restrictions on women, homosexuals and Christians. President Trump has sharply criticized the nation’s conduct and has threatened to withdraw from the agreement designed to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.


It’s in America’s interest to have good and peaceful relations with and between the Kurds and the Iraqis, despite Iran’s support of Iraq. But we shouldn’t abandon our Kurdish allies to achieve this goal.


The man most responsible for the failure of the U.S. to give adequate support to the Kurds is Brett McGurk, President Trump’s special envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS. He held the same position in the Obama administration and has been allowed to keep his job.


President Obama replaced one of our most respected military leaders – Marine Corps Gen. John Allen – with lawyer McGurk. While serving as envoy to Iraq, McGurk has presided over the Iranian takeover of what’s left of Iraq.


Shamefully, the State and Defense Departments followed McGurk’s strategy and gave tacit approval for the Iraqi government and its Iranian allies to move against our dedicated Kurdish friends.


McGurk told U.S. officials and Iraq, Turkey and Iran that he could convince the Kurds not to hold their independence referendum.  He told U.S. and Kurdish officials that he could stop Baghdad from using military force against the Kurds.  He failed on both accounts.


As President Trump has noted, Iran received $1.7 billion from the Obama administration for signing the nuclear agreement with the U.S. and other nations


“Just imagine the sight of those huge piles of money being hauled off by the Iranians waiting at the airport for the cash,” President Trump said. McGurk was one of the U.S. officials who handed over that money to the Iranians.


One of the leaders of Iranian forces backing Iraq against its Kurdish citizens is Qassem Soleimani, who commands the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force. He is a terrorist who has been killing Americans for years in Iraq and is still doing it through the Taliban in Afghanistan.  Half a world away from the NFL, Soleimani also disrespects our flag, having his forces walk on it in parades.


Last month, the Kurds believed that being a proven ally of the United States against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Al Qaeda and ISIS would result in America recognizing their referendum for independence from the Iraqi state.


But the hard-line that McGurk took against our Kurdish allies – warning them harshly against their peaceful independence referendum – had the effect of convincing the Iranian-backed militias and the political leadership in Baghdad that they had a green light to enter Kirkuk. In the words of former Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, this criticism “may have emboldened Baghdad to take a harsher posture than it otherwise would.”


For the last decade, I’ve briefed Army Generals H.R. McMaster (now President Trump’s national security adviser), David Petreaus (who became CIA director) and Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno on the strong influence of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Iraq’s security forces.


But for years, McGurk has been downplaying this influence.


On Oct. 1, a highly lethal roadside bomb called an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) reappeared in Iraq after six years. It killed Army Spec. Alexander Missildine and wounded another U.S. soldier. Its reappearance was a warning from Iran: the Islamic Republic is prepared to begin killing Americans again. The EFP is the signature weapon of two Revolutionary Guard-led militias in Iraq.


Scandalously, these militias receive paychecks and equipment from both the U.S.-backed Iraqi Ministry of Interior and the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force. It’s Brett McGurk’s responsibility to provide that information to the president and Congress, because it’s a violation of the Leahy Law. That law was enacted to keep U.S. funds and equipment from security forces involved in human rights violations. Qassem Soleimani is smiling.


If President Trump wants to push back against Iran he should do so in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. This is where he can stop Iran from creating its highly coveted land bridge through Iraq and from eventually controlling northern Iraq as well. Stopping Iran here would save lives, save alliances and give credibility to America’s commitment to our allies. We can do that by working with our only authentic allies in the region, the Kurds.


Our Kurdish allies need strong American support and our Iranian enemies need to know we are serious about them and serious about supporting our friends.




State Department ‘Not Aware’ of Iranian Role in Iraqi Invasion of Kirkuk



State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert continued efforts to tamp down the flames threatening to ignite northern Iraq in war Friday.


Since the Kurdistan Regional Government held a successful independence referendum last month against the wishes of the Iraqi national government, the administration has tried hard to avoid taking sides in what could become yet another inter-ethnic conflict in the war-torn country. Both sides in the potential conflict, the Kurds and the Shiite Arab-majority government in Baghdad, are putative American allies in the region. The task became even more difficult Friday as reports came in of violent clashes between the Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters north of the oil-rich, multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk, in a town called Altun Kupri.


“We are monitoring the situation closely, and call on all parties to cease all violence and provocative movements, and to coordinate their activities to restore calm,” Nauert said in a statement on the fighting Friday, continuing:


In order to avoid any misunderstandings or further clashes, we urge the central government to calm the situation by limiting federal forces’ movements in disputed areas to only those coordinated with the Kurdistan Regional Government. We are encouraged by Prime Minister Abadi’s instructions to federal forces to protect Iraqi Kurdish citizens and to not provoke conflict.


Although the Kurds have yet to formally declare independence, the referendum was enough for Baghdad to send the army to take Kirkuk from the Kurds this week after issuing an ultimatum demanding Kurdish Peshmerga forces evacuate the city. Kirkuk – home to Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen – falls in territory that has been disputed for decades and came under the jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Regional Government after the Kurds drove out the Islamic State in 2014. The Iraqi army fled upon the arrival of ISIS.


The statement made no mention of the involvement of Shiite militia groups, broadly tied to Iran, in the fighting. Friday’s reporting from the front lines again made reference to the presence of these Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) fighters. Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ vaunted Quds Force special operations group, is rumored to be on the scene directing these sectarian paramilitaries.


On Thursday, Nauert went so far as to deny the State Department had specific knowledge of Iranian involvement. “[T]his operation that took place, to go north – for the Iraqi Government to go north was something that was coordinated with the Kurds,” she said in response to a reporter’s question on Iran’s role in the seizure of Kirkuk. “I’m not aware of any Iranian involvement in that, per se. I know a lot is being made of that, but I just want to underscore what a huge concern Iran remains for us, not just there but throughout the entire region.”


Instead, the State Department has reiterated their generalized call for calm. “The reassertion of federal authority over disputed areas in no way changes their status – they remain disputed until their status is resolved in accordance with the Iraqi constitution,” Nauert’s Friday statement urged. “[A]ll parties should engage in dialogue now on the basis of the Iraqi constitution, as Prime Minister Abadi offered and the Kurdistan Regional Government accepted publicly.”


The statement also reiterated the years-long official line that the United States “remains committed to a united, stable, democratic, and federal Iraq” as well as “to the Kurdistan Regional Government as an integral component of the country.” Nauert emphasized the importance of the fight against ISIS, despite both Kurds and the Iraqi government having largely moved past concerns over the greatly diminished terrorist pseudo-state.


Congressmen call on US to halt Iraqi attacks



Four US Congressman wrote Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday, calling on him to “utilize all available resources to broker an immediate ceasing of offensive hostilities” against Kurdish forces and “seek a long-term diplomatic solution.”


The letter, signed by Representatives Ralph Abraham (R-Lousiana), Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), and Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin), “noted with great alarm the recent actions of the Government of Iraq, in concert with Iranian-backed Shia Militias, in attacking Kurdish forces to re-claim territory under the control and administration of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).”


“As you know,” the letter to Tillerson continued, “condoning an armed offensive by the Government of Iraq against the KRG will only further destabilize the region.”




“The Government of Iraq and the [KRG] are vital partners in the fight against terrorism. We urge you to engage your Iraqi and Kurdish counterparts to ensure that the fight against [the Islamic State (IS)] continues without delay. We look forward to a prompt response,” the letter concluded.


Congressman Abraham visited the Kurdistan Region in late August, spending an entire week there. He met with Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and traveled to the front lines.


Upon returning to the US, Abraham described the Kurds as “great warriors, who fight side by side with our American men and women.”


The Kurds are “great people, great allies, for the Americans,” he told KEDM, the National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate in northeast Louisiana.


Congressman Gallagher, who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine Corps officer, spoke with Kurdistan 24 two weeks ago. He praised the Kurds, explaining that when he visited Kurdistan a few years ago, he had been “impressed by their level of commitment to the fight against [IS] and the shared values we both have.”


But, even then, Gallagher was concerned that some party, whether Turkey, Iran, or Iraq, might “overreact” to the Sep. 25 independence referendum and called on the US to “play a calming role.”


Congresswoman Blackburn represents Nashville, home to the largest Kurdish community in America, and is the Republican co-chair of the Kurdish-American Caucus in the House of Representatives. Congressman Jared Polis is the Democratic co-chair of the caucus.


In March, as Congress marked the 29th anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons attack on Halabja, Blackburn spoke with Kurdistan 24 and stressed the importance of Congressional efforts to secure proper funding “to support the Kurds as they stand strong in this region, stand strong for freedom and against [IS].”


Iran’s Quds Force Opens Bases, Headquarters in Kirkuk



…Iran has taken control of the city and the Quds Force members are embedded with the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi forces in the bases they have opened in the city. He explained that if they continue to control the city, they will begin the Arabization of Kurds and Turkmens, arguing that the Kurdish and Turkish languages were not allowed to be used at a press conference in Kirkuk on Tuesday.


[CURRENTLY – continually updated]



01 Heavy clashes between Peshmerga, Shia militia south of Erbil

02 KRSC: Peshmerga foils PMF attack on Erbil-Kirkuk Road

03 Israeli PM lobbying world powers to stop attack on Kurds

04 US Embassy warns situation in Kirkuk could ‘quickly change’

05 Erbil Governor says Kurdistan capital safe, urges media to report responsibly

06 Peshmerga Command: Shia militia attacks Peshmerga with US weapons, Iranian artillery

07 Barzani: Baghdad issues arrest warrants against whoever speaks freely

08 Sen. Ted Cruz backs Kurdish independence, warns Iraq against further attacks

09 Newt Gingrich condemns attack on Kirkuk, says US may have to arm Kurds

10 Congressmen call on US to halt Iraqi attacks

11 VIDEO: Kurds protest Shia militias’ directing US weapons at Kurdistan

12 WATCH: Iraqi forces in Khanaqin open fire on demonstrators, kill and injure seven

13 HRW: Conflict in disputed areas kills civilians


Peshmerga refutes PMF claim of using German MILAN weapon while defending against them


HRW: Conflict in disputed areas kills civilians

VIDEO: Kurds protest Shia militias’ directing US weapons at Kurdistan


Peshmerga Command: Shia militia attacks Peshmerga with US weapons, Iranian artillery


UN denounces violence in Tuz Khurmatu as Abadi sends in army to restore order


Why the US should learn from history and support Kurdistan referendum –

A sovereign Kurdistan is not just a display of military might or tactics, but a display of resolve and the acknowledgment of human rights and liberties.



Independent Kurdistan thwarts neighbor’s expansionist agendas



Should the West support the Kurdish referendum for independence?



Kurd fighters in Iraq briefly block roads to Mosul [10/12/2017]




October 22, 2017 | Comments »

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