Military Review

Dialectic of betrayal

Youth and skill
(an Anglo-Saxon proverb)

Experience and treachery always win youth and skill
(proverb Anglo-Saxons)

Dialectic of betrayal
Promotion of the Iraqi army and Shiite militia "Hashd al-Shaabi" during the operation to return Kirkuk under the control of Baghdad (source:

The surrender of Kirkuk to Iraqi troops, which occurred as a result of the withdrawal from the battlefield of the armed forces of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), radically changed the balance of forces in Iraqi Kurdistan. Thus, the stabilization of the region as a whole remains in question even after the capture of Raqqah - i.e. the actual end of the war against ISIL and the defeat of this organization (which is banned in Russia). Our country, which has its own interests in the region (as the military operation of our VKS in Syria showed to the whole world), is interested in the speedy restoration of peace in the Middle East. In this regard, Kurdish separatism can be considered as a new factor in the destabilization of the region - in the situation of the absence of ways and mechanisms for a political resolution of the contradictions of the interests of all subjects.

As it became known from the document published by the member of the Gorran party of Iraqi Kurdistan, the outcome of the “battle” turned out to be predetermined by separate talks held the day before between official representatives of the Shiite organization Hashd al-Shaabi and the PUK. Their leader, Hadi Ameri, from the PUK - Pavel Talabani, the son of the recently deceased leader of this Kurdish party, Jalal Talabani, became the signatory for the Iraqi Shiite militia.

Pavel Talabani, son of Jalia Talabani, founder of PSK (source:

Even earlier, it became known that Major General Kasem Suleymani, the well-known in the Middle East, the head of the special unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, arrived in Iraq (as “military adviser to Shiite militia”) to “mediate in the negotiations on territorial accessories Kirkuk. It is possible that during his mission he will also establish contacts with the Turkomans, whose communities traditionally represent the conductors of Turkish interests, not only in northern Iraq, but also in Syria. This assumption can be arrived at, given that the main occupation of Kasem Suleymani before the start of the war with ISIL and supporting the Syrian leadership "on the ground" was the establishment of ties between the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Shiite communities of Iraq and Lebanon to create a so-called "Shiite arc" - a kind of "Shiite International", representing a potential threat to the United States as the main enemy of Iran (as well as for the key regional allies of America - Saudi Arabia and Israel).

Famed Iranian Major General of the IRGC Kasim Suleymani on the outskirts of Kirkuk

Turcoman (presumably Kirkuk) demonstrates loyalty to Turkey

According to the nine points of the PSK Peshmerga separate agreement (the so-called “Talabanists”) undertake to return all disputed territories, and also to transfer to the Baghdad government all the oil-producing and oil-refining industry of Kirkuk (“strategic objects”), all oil fields, and airport and military base. Baghdad, in turn, undertakes to pay salaries to the Peshmerge Talabani and the officials of Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah (Talaban stronghold). This treaty means that the leadership of the PUK de facto rejects the already proclaimed independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, which was originally, to a large extent, an initiative of a different Kurdish clan - Barzani, politically designed in the form of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). It is currently headed by Masud Barzani, who is also the President of Iraqi Kurdistan until 1 in November of this year (despite the fact that he has already promised not to run for the next election). Thus, “blocking” with the Baghdad government, the Talabani clan strengthens its own position, claiming to redistribute the rent from the extraction of natural resources, but within the framework of a unified Iraq, and not as representatives of an independent state. In other words, in the case of the preservation of these trends, we can very soon become witnesses of the parallel existence of two "Iraqi Kurdistan". The first “Talabanist” will exist within Iraq, being more or less loyal to Baghdad (and, therefore, to Tehran). The second, “barzanist” will defend its independence, including with weapons in hands: insofar as it will be possible and necessary - by analogy with how their Turkish brothers from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the territory of Turkey do it, where the Kurmanji was persecuted for a long time and the PKK itself was (and remains) banned being equated to a terrorist organization.

As the fall of Kirkuk showed, the interests and ambitions of key Kurdish clans are so incompatible that no cooperation on the basis of joint opposition to Iraqis and Shiites is possible. Moreover, it is necessary to note the difference between these clans including in the ideological, “ideological” aspect, namely, belonging to different Sufi tarikats, Islamic religious orders (Barzani-nakshbandi, Talabani-Kadiri), which is also important in the context of the ethnic and cultural specifics of the Middle East region. All these factors, of course, leave their imprint on the relations of clans among themselves, prevailing, ultimately, over any considerations of “all-Kurdish solidarity”.

In this situation, when, as a result of the referendum, the entire system of relations in the region has lost its balance, a variety of scenarios of further developments are possible. Voices of skeptics are already heard, claiming that now the Iraqi army is targeting Erbil (the stronghold of the Barzani clan) and will not stop until it takes it by storm like Kirkuk. In any case, at the moment Iraqi media are spreading just such an agenda; At the same time, yesterday, government forces began to move east towards Erbil. According to Ezidi Press, the Yezidi city of Shangal was also surrendered by the Peshmerga without a fight (however, the sympathies of the Yezidis themselves, as far as can be judged, were on the side of the Iraqis who came). At the same time, however, it is necessary to realize that this may turn out to be nothing more than a tactical ploy with not so much a military as political goal setting; designed to scare Barzani and cool the ardor of his supporters, forcing him to start playing by the rules of the Baghdad government under the pretext of preventing senseless bloodshed.

Map of Iraqi Kurdistan (source:

From an “applied” point of view, a more realistic scenario seems to be when Iraqis and Turks coordinate their efforts aimed at limiting the weakening of the forces of the Kurds and, above all, their separation (achieved by blocking roads and passages). In particular, the current military operation of the Turkish armed forces in the north-west of Syria in the vicinity of the city of Idlib is intended for this very purpose. If these anti-Kurdish forces succeed in uniting their efforts, then both the PKK and the KDP will find themselves in an extremely vulnerable position when all the regional powers unite against them - and along with them the “silent majority” of the world community. However, even in this case, the sudden intervention of the Americans cannot be ruled out if they consider the Kurds to be useless from the point of view of their national interests in making decisions about the post-war structure of Syria (and possibly Iraq), and with them the updated regional security system generally. So, in particular, the United States for quite a long time supported the Syrian Kurds (represented by the Democratic Union), while Turkey strongly opposed this cooperation, but could not prevent it from doing so.

Thus, from a tactical point of view, the situation in the region unfolds not in favor of the Kurds. From this, in turn, it is possible to draw a "strategic" conclusion, according to which the actual failure of their project to build an independent state occurred. It is impossible, of course, to discount the exceptionally complex foreign policy situation. However, the factor of internal disunity should also not be diminished. It cannot be ruled out that the combined forces of the KDP Peshmerga and PSC would be able to keep Kirkuk - or, at least, hold back the Iraqi forces and continue to coordinate their attacks in a coordinated manner already within their autonomy (if the Iraqis still had the desire and strength to invade it). Now the Kurds (this is primarily about the KDP) will be in the minority even at home ... As for the PUK, having won tactically, strategically, they have narrowed the range of their further moves, because of their perfidious policies now alone among all Kurdish groups. This, in turn, means that it will now be easier for the same Iraqi government to knock down their “bargaining position” in any negotiations and simply suppress it if necessary, including physically.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi (source:

However, in this sense, the Kurds as a people are victims of that actually feudal, patrimonial system of social relations that they still have not been able to (or perhaps did not want) to get rid of. That is why their ideas about gaining "common Kurdish independence" remain a utopia, breaking up into narrow clan interests, the idea that the interests of their clan are of greater value than all Kurds combined (as a kind of "nation-wide unity"). This is understandable in the sense that the Kurdish nation in the strictly scientific sense of the word does not exist, because Nations arise only where, over a rather long period of time, capitalist relations are reproduced that destroy the previous, feudal system with the characteristic isolation of each individual social unit — the community. Apparently, it is for this reason that various kinds of social experiments in the spirit of communal socialism are currently being implemented in Rojava - Syrian Kurdistan (which, perhaps, very soon will be threatened by direct Turkish-Iraqi intervention). In turn, the reason for the lack of a political platform capable of reconciling the interests of all the political forces existing in Iraqi Kurdistan lies in the fact that the economic ties of the Barzani and Talabani clans connect them more closely with Turkey and Iran, rather than with each other - which, in turn, , determines the foreign policy (more precisely, foreign policy) that the Kurds (their various elite groups) pursue - primarily in relation to each other. It is for this reason that the idea of ​​a single Kurdistan will most likely remain on paper. Anyway, in the present historical There are no objective prerequisites for its occurrence.

As for our interests, they consist in stabilizing the situation in the region - and as soon as the Kurds themselves are not able to create any viable alternative to their present position, it is necessary to fully support the status quo that existed in the Middle East before the Arab spring It is another matter that the Kurds can provide us with significant assistance during the upcoming talks with the United States, Turkey and Iran on the post-war structure of Syria, therefore, we should not ignore their ideas about their own interests.

In addition, in connection with the capture of Kirkuk by the Baghdad government army, it should be noted that our state-owned transnational corporation Rosneft is now in an ambiguous position, because it has already concluded an agreement with the autonomous government of Iraqi Kurdistan on the purchase of oil going through the oil pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey however, an agreement was reached to bypass official Baghdad (as well as an agreement to manage this oil pipeline by Rosneft). Thus, it can now be argued with a certain degree of confidence that the implementation of the planned gas pipeline to Turkey (and further to Europe) will be coordinated with the Baghdad leadership. Although, who knows - perhaps, without the mediation of the Kurds in the person of the clan Talabani, this will not be enough.
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  1. samarin1969
    samarin1969 19 October 2017 06: 18 New
    Early the author arranges the figures. Kurds are transferring combat-ready troops to Kirkuk. And where there are Kurds, there is US aviation. Well, and from the intervention of the "northern wind", Netanyahu personally warned Russia "in a friendly way".
    If the Iraqi leadership does not stop using the help of Shiite forces, then Kirkuk will return to the Kurds.
    1. svp67
      svp67 19 October 2017 07: 54 New
      Quote: samarin1969
      Early the author arranges the figures. Kurds are transferring combat-ready troops to Kirkuk. And where there are Kurds, there is US aviation.

      Kurds depart throwing equipment, colloquially it is called-run. They will not repulse Kirkuk, and without its oil, grain and water, their autonomy is DAMAGED.
      1. samarin1969
        samarin1969 19 October 2017 08: 21 New
        Quote: svp67
        Quote: samarin1969

        Kurds depart throwing equipment, colloquially it is called-run. They will not beat Kirkuk ....

        In the morning, it was already handed over after an “unknown aircraft” raid. Iraq is withdrawing troops from Kirkuk. Shaabi alone cannot resist the Kurds from under Raqqa.
      2. Vadim Sh.
        Vadim Sh. 19 October 2017 13: 43 New
        But not everything is so transparent, they have tan support, and these will cling to - at the expense of the Kurds, of course.
      3. Maki Avellevich
        Maki Avellevich 20 October 2017 08: 19 New
        Quote: svp67
        Kurds depart throwing equipment, colloquially it is called-run.

        the behavior of the Kurdish forces is just like installing a trap for Iraqis.
        early to judge but it seems that there is going on a little more than can be seen from far.
    2. chenia
      chenia 19 October 2017 08: 45 New
      Quote: samarin1969
      Netanyahu personally warned Russia of "friendly" from the intervention of the "northern wind".

      When it was? This is the first \
      And secondly, the creation of an independent Kurdistan is extremely beneficial to Russia.
      Well, you can’t be so naive as to consider the Turks and Iranians as eternal allies. Moreover, increased Iranian influence will weaken Russia's position.

      Assad must be persuaded to create Kurdish autonomy in Syria (Iran is likely to be against it).
      I said a thousand times Assad do not hold all Syriat, and let him take the tidbits (as a winner), and let the Sunnis in Syria build their own state.
      1. iouris
        iouris 19 October 2017 11: 53 New
        Quote: chenia
        the creation of an independent Kurdistan is extremely beneficial to Russia.

        And who benefits? After all, the Russian Federation acts as a member of the coalition. According to the author, Rosneft "was in an ambiguous position", but this is a state corporation. And how will the Syrian leadership behave if the Russian Federation supports the project of creating an independent Kursk state?
        1. chenia
          chenia 19 October 2017 17: 10 New
          Quote: iouris
          And how will the Syrian leadership behave if the Russian Federation supports the project of creating an independent Kursk state?

          And do not support, do not interfere with the creation of Kurdistan. This is a problem of Iran and Turkey. And by and large, Iran and Turkey are the problem of the Russian Federation (in the future).
      2. Bakht
        Bakht 19 October 2017 14: 46 New
        Kurdish autonomy in Syria will be. And Assad does not need to be persuaded. Perhaps there will be Kurdish autonomy in Iraq. She was before the referendum. In Turkey and Iran, it is unlikely at this stage.
        What you offer is a partition of Syria and a redrawing of borders. The fact that the Russian Federation is ABSOLUTELY unprofitable and against which Putin and Lavrov are opposed. It is beneficial for Russia to maintain a single Syrian state as a federation. Everything else is beneficial to the Americans.
        1. chenia
          chenia 19 October 2017 17: 21 New
          Quote: Bakht
          What you offer is a partition of Syria and a redrawing of borders.

          Do you think Assad will keep all of Syria? He may win the war (although oh so far before that), but he will lose the world.
          So let the tidbits be enough (here you still have to try and keep it), does autonomy with the Kurds and the rest is Sunni.
          Otherwise, a war without end.
          1. Bakht
            Bakht 19 October 2017 17: 36 New
            Are you ready for the partition of Ukraine? East and South of Russia, and what will keep Poroshenko-and will be Ukraine. Without the West.
            It’s easy to share someone else’s. Federated Syria, like federated Ukraine, is the only way to peace. By the way, like federal Azerbaijan.
            1. chenia
              chenia 19 October 2017 18: 02 New
              Quote: Bakht
              Are you ready for the partition of Ukraine?

              Without Western intervention, this question would not have stood at all. West, East, South and Center of Ukraine are one people. Moreover, with Russia it’s not fraternal (Russian), but one people.
              And over time, we will figure it out.
              Syria is an artificial entity built not according to the religious-ethnic principle, but created taking into account the sphere of influence of some Entente countries.
              The most numerous Kurdish people then received nothing at all.
              Yes, I am not against a united Syria, but one must be realistic.
              1. Bakht
                Bakht 19 October 2017 18: 40 New
                So be realistic.
                Syria at this stage wins the war. And in the updated form it may well exist. Assad has already made a promise to the federation. I do not see the prerequisites for its division.
                Ukraine at this stage is losing the war. And Kiev shares the "united people" of Ukraine. You now do not have a "single people." There are Russians and Ukrainians. And rivers of blood between them. And at this stage, the partition of Ukraine is more likely than the partition of Syria.
                The recipe is one for all countries. Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Syria. Linguistic, economic federalization under one center. But not political.
                PS By the way, the section of Ukraine is most beneficial to Europe. The Poles lit you up like kittens. And now the integrity of Ukraine, like Syria, can only be ensured by Russia. But only in Ukraine it can be understood too late.
  2. Uncle lee
    Uncle lee 19 October 2017 06: 19 New
    I am completely confused about the events .....
    1. iouris
      iouris 19 October 2017 12: 00 New
      Worse when you "get it all clear."
  3. svp67
    svp67 19 October 2017 07: 53 New
    Scotland, Catalonia, Kurdistan ... the stages of a GREAT betrayal ...
    1. Stas157
      Stas157 19 October 2017 08: 29 New
      Quote: svp67
      Scotland, Catalonia, Kurdistan ... the stages of a GREAT betrayal ...

      Who betrayed whom?
      1. Tilkus75
        Tilkus75 19 October 2017 13: 14 New
        Yes stuffing)))
    2. Maki Avellevich
      Maki Avellevich 20 October 2017 08: 21 New
      Quote: svp67
      Scotland, Catalonia, Kurdistan ... the stages of a GREAT betrayal ...

      reptiles, these insidious reptiles ...

  4. ukoft
    ukoft 19 October 2017 08: 54 New
    Well, there is not only Rosneft. ExxonMobil also concluded an agreement with the Kurds.
    and stability is not advantageous for Russia there, because oil prices will fall, and Iran will begin to pull the pipeline through Turkey to Europe. so that Russia’s stability there is completely unprofitable.

    as for the Turks, they lose. after all, the Barzani clan has weakened. Iran is getting stronger.
    but it seems parties like Gorran, which do not associate themselves with the clans, will turn both the Barzanists and Talabanists. young Kurds are less likely to associate with clans, and clan contradictions have led to a large defeat of the Kurds.
    Let’s see how many Kurds recently arrived in Kirkuk will leave back. if the majority remains, then they can come back.
  5. Stirbjorn
    Stirbjorn 19 October 2017 09: 25 New
    the Kurds resemble the Poles of the 18th century, who were regularly beaten by us ... the feature of these confederations was the same internal squabbles, especially aggravated, in the face of the advancing Russian troops .... so as a united people, the Kurds are nothing of themselves, here the author is right
    1. RL
      RL 19 October 2017 10: 29 New
      Before you carry a balcony, you need to be familiar with the latest events, and not earn stars in the wake of Uryak ignorance.
  6. Fedya2017
    Fedya2017 19 October 2017 23: 54 New
    It is possible that the United States will allow the extrusion of Kurds from Iraq to Syria. to create a Kurdish state or autonomy. Such a new state will become a shield from the advance of Iran towards Israel and other states of B. Vostok. This is in the interests of Russia in order to tear Syria from Iran. There is no friendship in politics. there are only interests ...
  7. Mandra Eugene
    Mandra Eugene 20 October 2017 11: 44 New
    IMHO it is not necessary to complete a military operation there until the last depletion.
    Because it is a convenient place from the border of the Russian Federation as a testing ground for weapons testing in practice.
    Let urinate in a small controversial area, because normal life there has long been gone.