Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iraq: Caught Between Al-Sadr’s Militia and the PKK | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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I have always been and always will be a dedicated defender of the just causes of the Kurdish people.

However, this does not stop one from stating that the actions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Northern Iraq harms the Kurds and their causes, as well as further deepening the crisis in Iraq, which is one of the most important countries when it comes to Kurdish presence.

Iraq’s stability is essential for achieving regional stability. Therefore, no political entity in Iraq should be allowed to set its own private agenda and interests, before that of the national interests of Iraq as a whole.

There are Iraqi parties that have excellent relations with a number of neighboring states, while other parties share a tumultuous relationship with those same states, therefore, no party should exploit their good relations with Iraq’s neighbors in an effort to turn that relationship into a fifth column that puts regional interests at the expense of Iraqi interests. Furthermore strained relations with neighboring states should never be used to humiliate Iraq and prolong its suffering.

A year ago, the situation on the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border was tense; both countries tried to resolve these issues by using calm diplomacy. Eventually, it became clear that a well-known Sheikh affiliate with Iran, in the Iraqi city of Umm Qasr located near the Kuwait border, was a catalyst in the dispute. He almost succeeded if it weren’t for the calm handling of the crisis between the two governments.

Allowing militias affiliated with Iran like al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army to remain active in Basra and other provinces in southern Iraq, has allowed Iranian intelligence agents to infiltrate the area. Furthermore, the actions of the PKK against Turkey has left its neighbor no choice but to retaliate in a military fashion. These acts harm the stability of Iraq and do nothing to improve the security situation.

The Iraqi government needs to adopt a clear and transparent policy regarding the PKK, since Iraq as whole is more important then any political party or political belief.

No Iraqi party should be allowed to enrage its neighbors or betray Iraq’s future, as it currently suffers from terrorism, extremism and the forces of sectarianism.