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The Kurds, who quantity about 35 million, make up the world’s largest ethnic group with out their very own state. Most of them are concentrated in an unlimited territory, which is break up throughout Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Armenia.
Whereas they share a standard ethnic id and are predominantly Sunni Muslims, Kurds on this space shouldn’t have cross-border representatives, widespread insurance policies or a joint army protection unit.
This places them at additional danger of assault from states within the area, which have their very own strategic causes for focusing on the minority. DW takes a glance.
Why is Turkey focusing on Kurds in Syria?
Lately, Kurds in northeast Syria have come underneath common assault from Turkey, which says that it’s preventing terrorism.
Final weekend, Turkey elevated its offensive and launched operation “Claw Sword” towards Kurdish separatists in Syria and towards the Kurdistan Staff’ Get together (PKK) in northern Iraq, whom it holds accountable for a terrorist assault in Istanbul on November 13 that killed six individuals and injured greater than 80.
Each the PKK and their Syrian affiliate, the Kurdish Syrian Individuals’s Safety Unit (YPG) have denied any involvement within the bombing.
After Turkish air strikes killed at the very least 184 Kurds, together with fighters and civilians, in Syria and Iraq final weekend, the Turkish-run Anadolu information company accused the YPG of firing rockets into the Turkish border city of Karkamis on Monday.
The company stated that at the very least three individuals have been killed.
Whereas Turkey, the USA and the European Union take into account the PKK as a terrorist group, they differ on the problem of the YPG.
This ambivalence in the direction of the Kurdish factions is especially true for the US, because the YPG efficiently joined forces with US-troops towards the “Islamic State” in Syria in 2016
The identical day, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his rhetoric. “The operation [Claw Sword] will not be restricted to simply an air operation,” he advised reporters on his flight dwelling after the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar.
He then instructed that Turkey would possibly launch a fourth floor offensive into Syria. It has already launched three such assaults since 2016 and now successfully controls massive swaths of the border area, which is dwelling to round 4 million, primarily Kurdish, individuals.
A civil struggle has raged in Syria since 2011. After preliminary main losses by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops, Syria joined forces with Russia in 2015 and has since received again management of the vast majority of the nation.
The northeast, nevertheless, together with the town of Idlib in northwestern Syria, stays one of many the final remaining strongholds towards al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies.
Observers suppose that Erdogan is likely to be planning an offensive to power the Kurdish inhabitants of the area farther from the border as a way to clear territory to resettle Syrian refugees who initially fled the struggle in Syria.
This transfer might handle the rising resentment in the direction of Syrian refugees in Turkey, which has contributed to Erdogan’s lowering reputation at dwelling, amid an financial disaster, forward of subsequent yr’s presidential election
Why is Turkey focusing on Kurds in Iraq?
Turkey’s ‘Claw Sword’ air raids on Iraq final weekend centered on the Qandil mountain area on the Iraq-Iran border, which is claimed to be dwelling to the PKK’s headquarters.
In accordance with Iraqi Kurdish officers, greater than 30 PKK militants have been killed in 25 air raids.
The US criticized the raids: “We proceed to oppose any uncoordinated army motion in Iraq that violates Iraq’s sovereignty,” Ned Value, spokesman for the US Division of State, stated in a press release.
Why is Iran focusing on Kurds in Iraq?
On Monday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) additionally elevated its assaults on what it described because the “headquarters and facilities of conspiracy, institution, coaching and group of anti-Iranian separatist teams,” in a press release.
In accordance with the semi-official Tasnim Information Company web site, 26 individuals have been killed.
Tehran blames the exiled Iranian Kurdish opposition within the Iraqi semi-autonomous Kurdish border area, additionally referred to as Kurdistan Regional Authorities (KRG), for the continuing protests within the nation, which have been sparked by the demise of Jina Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish lady, who had reportedly not been sporting “appropriate” apparel.
The preliminary protests towards the authorities have become a wider motion calling for human rights and girls’s rights particularly, in addition to regime change, with Kurdish cities main the cost. The Iranian regime has reacted with a brutal crackdown on the protesters.
Some Kurds have fled to Iraq from Iran. However only a few consultants consider that the protests are being organized from Iraq as some Iranians have maintained.
Edited by: Anne Thomas
Why are they under fire? – DW – 11/23/2022
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