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Signal: High Turnout for the Iraqi Kurds Referendum

Impact on Issues ➙➚ ➁/➄ Iraq Kurds Referendum The Iraqi Kurds would need allies if they want to survive. However correct and right their right to self-determination, being landlocked, surrounded by countries opposing this right is hardly conducive to state-building. The question surrounding the Kurdish referendum is all the more crucial considering that the Islamic State remains a threat and thus that Iraq is still at war. Turnout high as Iraqi Kurds defy threats to hold independence vote ERBIL/SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – Kurds voted in large numbers in an independence referendum in northern Iraq on Monday, ignoring pressure from Baghdad, threats from Turkey and Iran, and international warnings that the vote may ignite yet more regional conflict. The vote organized […]

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The Kurds and Rojava, State-Building in the Syrian War

During the Autumn 2013 and Winter 2014, we witnessed a major reconfiguration of forces in Syria, as seen previously, including with the rise of Salafi-Nationalists. This article looks at the evolution that took place in Western Kurdistan, notably the birth of novel political institutions, Rojava, and how and why the Kurds relate to the Geneva conference that took place in early 2014. Creating Rojava We recall that on 10 July 2013, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) declared starting making plans to move towards some degree of autonomy for Rojava or the Syrian part of Kurdistan (see for detail 4 Nov 2013 update, 2.1.). News about Rojava and its “project” can be followed on its own website, created in August 2013. The PYD moved forward on 11 November 2013 […]

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The Kurds in Syria – State-Building, New Model and War

This article focuses on state-building in Syria’s Kurdish area, i.e. the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria, also locally called Rojava, and potential impacts. Indeed, we saw previously that the Kurds’ capacity to build a viable polity in Northern Syria was one crucial element for evaluating not only the outcome of the battle of Raqqa against the Islamic State, but also the way Turkey could become further and more intensely embroiled in the conflict (see Helene Lavoix, “The Battle of Raqqa, the Kurds and Turkey“,  The Red (Team) Analysis Society, 2 May 2017). Extreme cases scenarios ☔  Scenario War with Turkey escalates ⛵ Directly Impacted Actors: All Eurasian + Middle East states, U.S. (military, diplo); NGOs (for Syria/Iraq/Turkey); Businesses in Turkey, Trade & exchanges with Turkey; Airlines; Maritime activities; Religious institutions… ⛅ Scenario Kurdish […]

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Signal: Turkey and Iran discuss Iraqi Kurdish referendum

Impact on Issues ➚➚ ➁ Gulf Crisis ➚➚ ➄ Syria & Iraq Should we expect further rapprochement between Turkey and Iran, which could, in turn, further tense the Gulf crisis as well as the situation in Syria (and obviously Iraq)? Related articles Towards Renewed War in Syria? The Kurds and Turkey The Middle East Powder […]

Signal: Iran Turkey Boost Military Ties – Iraq Kurds Independence

Impact on Issues ➚➚ ➁ Gulf Crisis – ➚ ➀ Russia Conundrum – ➚➚ ➄ Syria & Iraq The aftermath of the Kurdish referendum in Iraq continues to send shock waves, as the Kurds persist in wanting their independence while Iraq and their neighbours, home to Kurdish communities refuse this possibility. Besides impacting the Gulf […]

Signal: Turkey about to close Iraq border and air space – Iraq Kurds Independence

Impact on Issues ➚➚ ➄ Syria & Iraq – ➙ ➁ Gulf Crisis – ➚➚ ➀ Russia Conundrum Turkey President Erdogan declaration would tend to confirm the harsh and unremitting position that Turkey, Iran and Iraq have been taking since the beginning on the issue of Iraqi Kurds independence. However, considering the Kurds will and resolve, […]

Signals: Russia Unveils Policy on Iraq Kurds Independence, Iraqis and Kurds discuss…

Impact on Issues ➘ ➁➀ /➄ Iraq vs Kurds – ➙ ➄ Syria  – ➘ ➀ Russia Conundrum ➚ Russia Influence – ➘ ➃ Middle East Tension – ➘ U.S. influence Note 13 Oct: Latest signal 16 Oct 2017 as situation has considerably evolved since 11 Oct, showing the essential fluid character of the dynamics ate work. A flurry of diplomatic moves, visits and […]

Signals: Towards War In Iraq between Kurds and Iraqis, Iran…

Impact on Issues ➚➚ ➃  /➄ Iraq vs Kurds – ➚ ➄ Syria  – ➚ ➃ Middle East Tension ➚  Iran Iraqi and regional influence ➚ Russia, U.S., Gulf Countries Conundrum ➘ Russia Influence ➘ U.S. influence – ➚ U.S.weight (unwilling? influence) Around Kirkuk, skirmishes have now taken place in the early hours of Monday 16 October 2017 between Iraqis troops and Hashd […]

Signals: Kurd Military Command on Kirkuk; Iran again…

Impact on Issues ➚➚➚ ➃  /➄ Iraq vs Kurds – ➚ ➄ Syria  – ➚ ➃ Middle East Tension ➚➚  Iran Iraqi and regional influence ➚ Russia, U.S., Gulf Countries Conundrum ➘ Russia Influence ➘ U.S. influence – ➙ U.S.weight (unwilling? influence) The Iraqi attack on Peshmergas-controlled Kirkuk continued on 16 October and, as a result Iraqis forces, allegedly according to Kurds […]

Signal: The Kurdish-led SDF Defeats the Islamic State in Raqqa

Impact on Issues ? ➄ Bashar al-Assad government decision regarding the Federation of Northern Syria… and Turkey (critical uncertainty) ➚➚ ➃  Turkey acting against the Federation of Northern Syria ➚  ? ➃ Iran influence (uncertainty regarding policy) ➚ ➃ Russia influence trial ➚ ➃ U.S. influence trial ➚ ? ➃ Gulf Countries (uncertainty regarding policy) ? Western NGOs and then businesses prospects in Syria ➚ ? ➄ Syrian future  (high uncertainty) […]