Simultaneously with the development of the war in Syria, the implementation of another political scenario, the creation of the “Great Kurdistan”, takes place less loudly and without serious clashes. Numerous Kurdish people, who have long sought to create their own statehood, are gradually turning their dreams into reality. Actually, this ancient people, belonging to the Indo-European language family, is worthy to create their own state.
The bulk of the Kurdish tribes live in a region called Kurdistan - in the regions of the middle and northern Zagros (mountain system) and in the upper reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Currently, Kurdish territory is divided between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. There are large and well-organized Kurdish communities in the countries of Europe and the USA. The bulk of the Kurds - Muslims. They are Sunni Islam, and some are Shiite Islam. Alevism, Yezidism, and Christianity are also common among them. The largest Kurdish community lives in Turkey, mainly in the south-east and east of the country. Kurds make up a quarter of Turkey’s population. Kurds in Iran mainly inhabit the western islands (administrative-territorial units of Iran) - Ilam, Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Western Azerbaijan, Hamadan and Zanjan. There are Kurds in other areas of Iran. Especially a lot of them in the ostan North Khorasan.
In Iraq, the Kurds settled in the so-called. "Iraqi Kurdistan", the Kurds themselves often call it "Southern Kurdistan". This is an area in northeastern Iraq. The Kurds make up a significant percentage of the governorates (administrative-territorial unit of a number of Arab states) Erbil, Dahuk, Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk, as well as the regions of Khanekin (Diyala governorate), Sinjar and Makhmur (Ninawa governorate). However, only part of the ethnic territory of the Iraqi Kurds is part of the autonomy. In Syria, the Kurds represent the largest ethnic minority (10-15% of the population) and mostly live compactly in the regions of the northern and northeastern part of the state on the border with Turkey (“Syrian Kurdistan”). The Kurds themselves call their area of residence “Western Kurdistan” - as part of “Greater Kurdistan”.
In Iraq, the Kurds were allies of the United States in the war against the regime of Saddam Hussein, so Washington allowed in 2005 to legitimize the wide autonomy of the “Kurdistan Region”. Baghdad could not interfere with this process. In conditions of extremely weak central power, Iraqi Kurdistan became de facto independent. Iraqi Kurdistan has become the only stable and relatively safe zone in Iraq. Kurds provide security and order in their territory. Oil reserves of Iraqi Kurdistan, which are considered among the largest in the world, provide a steady income. In addition, Iraqi Kurdistan is distinguished by an abundance of rivers and lakes, and in the conditions of water scarcity in the Middle East region, fresh water is an important natural resource. The abundance of water also helps Iraqi Kurdistan maintain the position of one of the main agricultural regions of the Middle East. Here they grow up to 75% of Iraqi wheat, half of the fruit, almost all of the tobacco, a significant portion of barley and cotton. Livestock is developed. Thus, Iraqi Kurdistan has an economic base that allows you to create an independent state.
Modern Iraq has not recovered after the American occupation. Baghdad annoyed by the economic contacts of Erbil and Ankara, but can not do anything. In order to survive, the Iraqi government did not support the aggression in Syria, established good contacts with Iran, and conducted large-scale arms purchases in the United States, the EU, Russia and other countries. So, the last major contract is the purchase of the X-NUMX T-24 Golden Eagle light fighter from South Korea. The cost of the contract was 50 billion US dollars. However, large-scale purchases of modern weapons not yet led to the stabilization of the state. Destructive trends are stronger. Thus, according to a statistical study published in the medical journal Public Library of Science, Iraq from 2003 to 2011 lost 460 to thousands of people. And the number of victims of undeclared war continues to grow. Acts of terrorism, attacks on state institutions, military and police facilities, mosques (the enmity of Shiites and Sunnis) are commonplace in Iraq. Sunni radicals are fighting both against their traditional opponents - the Shiites, and against the Kurds.
In December, 2013, Islamic radicals sharply intensified operations in several provinces of Iraq at once and are pushing the army. In the occupied territories, jihadists create camps for training militants for the war in Syria and against the Shiite government of Iraq. In Baghdad, very alarmed. Syria and Iraq are turned into "hotbeds of terrorism." The radical movement "The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" plans to create in the territory of Syria and Iraq a state ruled in accordance with radical interpretations of the Shari'a. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria should be part of the future of the “Great Caliphate”. In 2013, this organization claimed responsibility for almost all the terrorist acts that took place in Iraq. They took 6 thousand lives, and that's not counting the greater number of wounded. In July, the militants were able to make a successful attack on two main Iraqi prisons - the famous Abu Ghraib and Taji. As a result, thousands of bandits were left free, including the “field commanders” sentenced to death, who were also captured by the Americans. In recent months, Iraqi gangs have developed unprecedented activity, conducting real combat operations against the security forces. The Iraqi authorities not only could not prevent the movement of militants across the Iraqi-Syrian border, but also began to lose control over imposing parts of the country. So, recently, militants subjected the center of Kirkuk to mortar shelling, 50 security personnel were killed. The bandits announced that they had created an “emirate” in the territory of oil-rich Kirkuk and the neighboring provinces of Salahuddin and Diyala.
The Iraqi armed forces could not restore combat effectiveness after the American occupation and were completely demoralized. At present, we see a similar picture in Afghanistan. Desertion from the army and law enforcement agencies has become widespread. Therefore, Baghdad not only cannot control Iraqi Kurdistan, but also faces the prospect of the final collapse of the state and the formation of new Sunni territorial formations in the so-called "Sunni triangle" Baghdad - Tikrit - Ramadi. In addition, if the Islamists are defeated in Syria, a significant part of them may move to Iraq, since the borders are transparent.
The success of Iraqi Kurdistan gave grounds to the Kurds from other states to declare the need to create their own autonomy, and in the long term a single state. To do this, the Kurds need to reject part of Syria, Turkey and Iran. Moreover, taking into account the war in Syria, the Kurds were able to achieve considerable autonomy there. In the fall of 2013, northeastern Syria began to position itself as a future counterpart of Iraqi Kurdistan. Salih Muslim, leader of the Party of the Democratic Union (the largest structure of the Syrian Kurds), announced the future autonomy and federalization of Syria. A special commission is already preparing a constitution for the northeastern and northwestern regions of the SAR, predominantly populated by Kurds. Three provinces are going to be included in Syrian Kurdistan: Kobani (center), Afrin (in the west) and Kamyshly (in the east). For the time being, this is not about independence, but autonomy within the Syrian Federation. November 12 published a declaration on the creation of an autonomous provisional administration in the Kurdish regions of Syria. In the Syrian war, the Kurds generally oppose jihadists, preventing them from gaining a foothold in the Kurdish areas, receiving support from Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Workers' Party and Iraqi President D. Talabani (he is a Kurd by nationality).
At the same time, Syrian Kurds are unhappy with Erbil’s flirting with Ankara. In particular, on November 16, the head of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan agreed to take a stand against the provisional self-government that the Democratic Union Party proclaimed in Syrian Kurdistan. Syrian Kurds also criticize Ankara for supporting gangs in Syria.
The declaration on the creation of an autonomous provisional administration of 12 in November was preceded by a visit of the Kurdish delegation to the United States. There was a conference on the role of the Kurds in the New Middle East. It stated the need for the establishment of a Kurdish national state in Syria. The Kurds have announced support for their plans by the American political elite. Washington's motive is obvious. From the plan of "modernization" of the Middle East, no one refuses. It did not happen immediately to destroy Syria with the hands of "secular" gangs and Islamists, you can use the "Kurdish card". The Kurdish factor is a very powerful trump card with which you can continue to muddy the waters in the region. Grateful Kurds, like the Albanians in Kosovo, will allow the US to get a powerful foothold in a key area that affects several states at once. The United States will be able to control all directions - from the Persian Gulf in the south to the Caucasus in the north. The Kurdish state will be a "headache" of neighboring countries, will allow Washington to take on the role of judge.
Already, the existence of Iraqi Kurdistan and the activation of Syrian Kurds has become a serious problem for Ankara. The Kurdish issue in Turkey’s foreign and domestic policy has gained particular importance in recent years - it is a matter of maintaining the unity of the state. Ankara was forced to urgently change its policy towards Iraqi Kurdistan and the Kurdish Workers Party in the most radical way. From military operations against units of the Kurdish Workers Party and regular attacks on militant bases in Iraq, Ankara moved on to negotiations and cooperation. So, in 2012 - early 2013, the Turks managed to agree with the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, Abdullah Ocalan, on a plan for a phased settlement of the Kurdish problem in Turkey. In the spring of 2013, Ocalan handed over historical a message in which he substantiated the need for a transition from armed struggle to political struggle.
In mid-November, the head of Iraqi Kurds, Masoud Barzani, visited Turkey for the first time in 20 years. He held talks with the head of the Turkish government Erdogan. They were held in the city of Diyarbakir, which is considered to be the unofficial capital of "Turkish Kurdistan". Ankara has set its sights on resolving a lengthy conflict with Turkish Kurds, since under current conditions it threatens the integrity of the state. Erbil, counting on the political and economic support of Ankara, supports the Turkish government in this matter. In addition, Barzani considers Syrian Kurds to be competitors for their leading role in the process of uniting the Kurdish people. And the Turks are afraid of the revitalization of the Kurdish movement on their territory - in the event that the Syrian Kurds can achieve great success in the establishment of the "Syrian Kurdistan". Therefore, Ankara and Erbil have sung in this issue, at the same time increasing cooperation in the field of energy and oil production, construction of oil pipelines. Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey reached a preliminary agreement on the construction of a pipeline from Kirkuk.
The criticism of the Kurds and against Iran has intensified. It is clear that in Tehran, they monitor the processes in the Kurdish community and are not going to let the destructive processes take their course. After the overthrow of the shah regime, the Kurds sought to grant them national autonomy within the framework of the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, this idea did not fit into the principles of a theocratic state. The Iranian leadership adheres to the concept of "a multi-ethnic state as a whole." In addition, Tehran takes into account the danger from the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who can use the Kurds as their "fifth column". Therefore, the Iranian authorities are pursuing a policy of strengthening the country's integration. To this end, the government is trying to force the development of the economy of the Kurdish regions. The basis of their economy to date is agriculture. Iranian Kurdistan is the breadbasket of Iran - rich crops of grain, rice, vegetables and fruits are gathered here. The authorities are trying to develop the industry of the Kurdish-populated areas. At the same time, the problem of the development of the social infrastructure of the region is being solved. In the region there is a shortage of higher education institutions, secondary specialized educational institutions, schools, medical institutions, places for leisure and entertainment of the population. High unemployment, especially among young people, and housing problems exacerbate the situation.
Tehran, like Ankara, began rapprochement with Erbil. Moreover, Iran began to establish contacts immediately after the adoption of a new constitution in Iraq in 2005 and the determination of the autonomous status of the Kurdistan Region. The Islamic Republic has established fairly close political and economic relations with Iraqi Kurdistan. It also helped the economic development of bordering Iranian areas populated mainly by Kurds. More than half of all trade operations with Iraq are in Iraqi Kurdistan. Several hundred Iranian companies operate in Kurdistan. Their number is constantly growing. In late October, the President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Masoud Barzani, visited 2011. He called Iran a "friendly country." Thanks to the fruitful cooperation between Tehran and Erbil, the level of tension in the Kurdish-populated regions of Iran is relatively low. Iraqi Kurdistan leaders M. Barzani and J. Talabani hold regular meetings with representatives of the political movements of Iranian Kurds.
Thus, Turkey and Iran have so far managed to fend off the threat from the Kurdish movement. The Kurds achieved the greatest success in Iraq and Syria, the states that have undergone external aggression.
It is believed that the United States and Israel are the main forces behind the Kurdish project. Israelis, like Americans, played a big role in the emergence of Iraqi Kurdistan. Israel needs an independent Kurdish state in order to deliver a serious blow to the Arab world and Iran, that is, to weaken potential opponents. It is obvious that the Kurdish state will cause a strong rejection from Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria, that is, Israel will get an ally in such a volatile region. Natural resources of Kurdistan, hydrocarbons, water and bread, as well as access to the sea through Syria - this is the essence of the geopolitical confrontation. Gradually, the Kurds are turning into a force that can influence the political situation throughout the Middle East. They are trying to use the historical moment and realize the century dream of their state.