Tag Archives: Kurdish

Squeezed by sanctions, Iranians seek day jobs in Kurdish Iraq

Squeezed by sanctions, Iranians seek day jobs in Kurdish IraqWhen the car pulled up to the curb in Iraq’s Arbil, a half-dozen Iranian labourers swarmed around it. Squeezed by US sanctions on Tehran, they were hunting for work across the border. Mostly Kurds themselves, they have sought day jobs in construction and other menial labour in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region to make up for the deteriorating economic situation at home.



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Syria army vows to retake control of Kurdish areas

Syria army vows to retake control of Kurdish areasSyrian government forces will reclaim control of northeastern areas controlled by the US-backed Kurds, whether by force or through reconciliation, the defence minister warned Monday. Marginalised for decades, Syria’s minority Kurds have carved out a de-facto autonomous region across some 30 percent of the nation’s territory since the devastating war broke out in 2011. Backed by a US-led coalition, Kurdish forces have spearheaded an offensive in Syria against the Islamic State group.



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Two Iraqi soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish PKK: military

Two Iraqi soldiers killed in clashes with Kurdish PKK: militaryClashes between the Iraqi army and Kurdish PKK militia killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded five of the militants on Sunday, the Iraqi military said in a statement. The clashes took place in Sinjar in northwestern Iraq after the PKK fighters were denied passage through an army checkpoint, the statement said, adding that the militants drove a vehicle into one soldier and attacked the checkpoint. The PKK did not immediately comment.



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U.S., Turkey at odds over Kurdish fighters in Syria

U.S., Turkey at odds over Kurdish fighters in SyriaThe disagreement, played out in rival tweets, is the latest consequence of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Dec. 19 decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, potentially leaving the Kurdish militia under threat as Turkey weighs a new offensive there. U.S.-Turkish relations have been strained by U.S. support for the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has for decades waged a separatist insurgency in Turkey. The Kurdish YPG has been a U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists and it controls swaths of northern Syria.



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Donald Trump warns Turkey of economic devastation if Kurdish forces attacked

Donald Trump warns Turkey of economic devastation if Kurdish forces attackedDonald Trump warned Turkey on Sunday of economic devastation if it attacks Kurdish forces in the wake of the US troop pullout from Syria, while also urging the Kurds not to "provoke" Ankara. The US President  took to Twitter to reveal some of his latest thoughts in the slow drip-drip of information being released by his administration after his surprise December announcement of the troop withdrawal. His top diplomat Mike Pompeo is on a whirlwind regional tour aimed at reassuring allies amid rising tensions between the US and Turkey over the fate of Washington's Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Mr Pompeo also sought to reassure Washington's Kurdish allies in the fight against IS, who fear the departure of American troops would allow Turkey to attack them. Turkey had reacted angrily to suggestions that Mr Trump's plan to withdraw troops was conditional on the safety of the US-backed Kurdish fighters, seen by the Turkish government as terrorists. "Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds," Mr Trump tweeted, while pushing for the creation of a 20-mile (30-kilometer) "safe zone." Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019 ….Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria – natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2019 Mr Trump did not detail who would create, enforce or pay for the safe zone, or where it would be located. US-led operations against IS in Syria have been spearheaded on the ground by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Ankara sees the backbone of that alliance, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist group linked to the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) which has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state. On Saturday, more than 600 people were evacuated from the remaining IS holdout in eastern Syria, a monitor said, as US-backed fighters prepare for a final assault on the area. "Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms," Mr Trump said. Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) stand near U.S military vehicles in the town of Darbasiya Credit: Reuters "Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria – natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!" Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman said that several dozen jihadist fighters were among those evacuated to areas held by the Kurdish-Arab alliance. Abdel Rahman said some 16,000 people, including 760 IS fighters, have fled the area since the start of December, though this marked the first time the SDF and the coalition provided buses, suggesting a deal struck between the warring sides. The United Nations said on Friday that overall some 25,000 people have fled the violence over the last six months as the die-hard jihadists have battled to defend their dwindling bastions. An estimated 2,000 civilians remain trapped in the area around the town of Hajin, the United Nations said. The US-led coalition on Saturday fired over 20 missiles against jihadist positions, the Observatory said. The monitor said some 300 SDF combatants had deployed near the village of Sousa in preparations for a final assault.



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Turkey adamant on tough stance on Syrian Kurdish fighters

Turkey adamant on tough stance on Syrian Kurdish fightersANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday that Turkey will not refrain from military action to protect its borders from what he describes as threats posed by Syrian Kurdish fighters.



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Top Syrian Kurdish official says Kurds ready to fight Turkey

Top Syrian Kurdish official says Kurds ready to fight TurkeyBEIRUT (AP) — A top Syrian Kurdish official said Tuesday his fighters are prepared to confront Turkish forces if they enter northeastern Syria, adding that it's clear from Ankara's latest statements that Turkey has a plan to invade the region.



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Erdogan blasts Bolton's 'unacceptable' comments on Syrian Kurdish militia

Erdogan blasts Bolton's 'unacceptable' comments on Syrian Kurdish militiaTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday condemned comments by a key US envoy over the future of a US-allied Syrian Kurdish militia as a “grave mistake”, as tensions flared over Washington’s planned withdrawal from war-torn Syria. Erdogan’s comments came shortly after US National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks in the Turkish capital with Erdogan’s adviser Ibrahim Kalin, in a key meeting focusing on the surprise US decision to withdraw its troops from Syria.



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US's Bolton says Turkey must not attack Kurdish fighters once US leaves Syria

US's Bolton says Turkey must not attack Kurdish fighters once US leaves SyriaWhite House national security adviser John Bolton added a new condition on Sunday to the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.



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Kurdish official asks for US clarifications over withdrawal

Kurdish official asks for US clarifications over withdrawalBEIRUT (AP) — Syria's Kurds are awaiting clarifications from the U.S. over America's plans to pull out its troops from Syria following comments made by a top White House aide that appeared to contradict earlier comments by President Donald Trump, a Syrian Kurdish official said Monday.



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