“Iraqi Kurds: Yesterday’s Victims Show Little Compassion?”
AlJazeera, Mar. 18, 2014
“There is no doubt that Iraqi Kurds have faced gross injustices throughout the last century – from British colonial air raids to Saddam Hussein’s chemical attack on Halabja on March 16, 1988 as part of his ‘Anfal’ campaign. Along with the rest of Iraq, they also suffered 12 years of crippling UN-backed sanctions. For this reason, one would imagine Iraqi Kurds would feel a sense of solidarity with their brethren in – and from – the Kurdish regions of Syria (otherwise known as Rojava). But this is not the case. In addition to the high-handed position the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has taken towards the burgeoning Kurdish movement in Rojava, the tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds currently seeking refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan are subjected to racism and exploitation at every turn. … Kurds in Syria have a long tradition of solidarity with the Kurdish movement in Iraq, as well as in Turkey. Following the establishment of Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in 1945 under the leadership of Mustafa Barzani, father of the party’s current leader, the affiliated Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDPS) was founded in 1957. In response to this renewed nationalist consciousness among Kurds in Syria and their support of the Iraqi Kurdish movement, successive Syrian governments initiated policies of Arabisation and oppression of Kurds. … And yet, among Iraqi Kurds, this feeling of collective victimhood appears to have given way to an enormous sense of entitlement, as they commit the same kind of discriminatory practices to which they were subjected not so long ago.”
Quickie analysis: Though the author clearly has an opinion, this article is a good look at some of the history of the relationship between Iraqi and Syrian Kurds.