Kurdish Peshmarga Should Stay Where They Belong
By Ardalan Hardi
The New York Times reported on Dec. 14th that the Iraqi government wants to replace the U.S. troops in Baghdad with largely Kurdish Peshmarga forces from Kurdistan, to take primary responsibility for security in the Capital of Iraq.
According to NY Times’ Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq’s national security adviser said that the plan was presented during the President Bush and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meeting in Amman, Jordan, on Nov. 30 2006.
On a phone interview with, Kurdish Aspect, Sheikh Ja’far Mustafa Minster of Peshmarga Forces in Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) denied that there was such a plan, “The news is baseless” he said from Baghdad.
Meanwhile Hawlati reported on Dec. 20th that the Kurdish leaders have reached an agreement with officials in Baghdad for sending Peshmarga for some especial operations in Middle of Iraq.
The source told Hawlati, "the Kurdish leaders opposed to the idea of sending Peshmarga without a plan to Baghdad and fight unknown enemy, but they agree to send Peshmarga for some special operations in some specific areas,"
Nechirvan Barzani, told reporters on his arrival from Baghdad, "if Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, officially asks the president of Kurdistan to send Peshmarga to the middle of Iraq, then we agree but for some specific purpose,"
The source told Hawlati that Nechirvan Barzani meant "terrorist" groups when he told reporters "specific purpose". The source said that those terrorist groups exist in some parts of Iraq and there are possibilities that they could be attacked and the operation will have a, "clear political purpose"
Yesterday, President Jalal Talabani told Kurdistani Nwe that “Peshmarga is recognized as a legitimate organized military force in the region, therefore the government could benefit by utilizing that force where ever is needed”.
Iraqi government is asking Kurdish forces to do something that neither the Iraqi nor American troops have been able to do: restore stability so that healthy institutions of self-government can begin to develop. Flooding the war zone with Peshmarga forces from the north would be a catastrophe for the Kurdish political future in Iraq. Until now the sectarian violence has been between majority Shiites and Sunnis while the Kurds have been able steer clear of this meaningless slaughter. Moving Kurdish forces to Baghdad will lead to the escalation of violence into the Kurdish region and the current sectarian war might become a Kurd-Arab war. Once Kurdish forces arrive in Baghdad, Shiites and Sunnis may put their disputes aside to fight against the Kurds.
Further more; the current finger pointing of the death squads between Sunni and Shiites will also be directed towards the Kurds. The Kurdish people have already been accused of being the U.S and Israeli agents by the Sunni insurgents and Sadr militiamen. Both groups have constantly rejected Kurdistan federal region. Just recently, Abdulhadi Al Darraji, the representative of the Sadr movement in Baghdad, told Awene, an independent Kurdish newspaper, that they reject KRG and strongly object the article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, which calls for the normalization of Kirkuk and other disputed areas in Iraq.
Sending Kurdish forces to Baghdad with the hope of putting an end to the bloodshed, is a suicide mission for the Kurds and it could lead to a civil war with no end in sight. It also gives Sadr and Sunni nationalists more excuses spreading their hatred propaganda toward the Kurdish people.
Thus far, Kurdistan has been relatively safe from terrorist attacks. The terrorists have not been able to infiltrate and operate in the Kurdish region. Sending a large number of Peshmarga to the middle of Iraq will weaken the security situation in Kurdistan, and it still may not restore stability in Baghdad.