Race, Religion, And The Kurd Problem
In northern Iraq, the semi-autonomous Kurdish government is asking the Kurdish separatist groups (the PKK from Turkey and the PJAK from Iran) to disband. This is in response to over a month of attacks inside Iraqi territory by Iranian and Turkish land and air forces. The Iranian operations began on July 16th, and a month later, the Turks unleashed a week long air campaign against suspected PKK bases in Iraq. The Turks also used artillery, to attack over a hundred PKK targets Turkish intelligence had identified in northern Iraq. Iranian troops are still carrying out patrols just across the border in northern Iraq, seeking out PJAK members (and any hidden weapons) still in the area. Iran claims to have killed at least fifty PJAK members, while Turkey, mainly because of dozens of air strikes, claims over a hundred PKK dead. The PKK and PJAK bases in Iraq support terror attacks in Turkey and Iran, and the warm weather is when most of these attacks are carried out. Both Iran and Turkey began their attacks into Iraq after they had suffered losses on their side of the border from the Kurds fighters based in Iraq.
Iraqi Kurd officials calling on PKK and PJAK to surrender is all for show. Until the Iraqi Kurds send troops after the Kurdish separatist groups, the Kurdish leaders are simply recognizing the fact that most Iraqi Kurds support the goals of the PKK and PJAK (a separate Kurdish state, comprising Kurdish populated territory in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria). But these four countries have no intention of surrendering territory to form "Kurdistan". So the fighting continues. The Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq will not fight the Turks or Iranians, as that's a fight they will lose. But they will tell the Turks and Iranians what they want to hear, and not much else. The Iraqi government is less diplomatic, simultaneously telling Iran and Turkey that they have to deal with the Kurdish government in northern Iraq, and that they are guilty of killing innocent civilians during the search for Kurdish rebels.