Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The news from Arbil, Helsinki, and Dohuk

Sami Abdulrahman was killed by a suicide bomber ten years ago.  He was one of 56 who died that day in Arbil when al-Qaeda in Iraq pulled off twin bombings at the offices of both major Kurdish political parties, the KDP and PUK .  All his life Sami worked for Kurdish unity and his efforts were one of the main factors in the rapprochement of the KDP and PUK.  There is a park named after him in Arbil directly across from the Kurdish Parliament building.

His daughter, Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, has just been appointed KRG Ambassador er make that Representative to the United States.

John McClain, who has always fancied himself something of a ladies man is going to go full court press on trying to charm this lady. But I suspect that John is going to end up as the enchanted one rather than the enchanter.   She will have to work both sides of the aisle though if she wants to help out the Kurdish cause.  This post BTW has been vacant for two years due to internal conflict between the two major parties. About time they agreed on the person to fill it.

Speaking of enchantresses, Kurdo-Finn pop star Helly Luv is doing a USO type tour for the Peshmerga.   More pics here.  She is probably driving the ISIL Sharia Court jurists crazy with worry that some of their headchoppers are secretly watching her pop numbers on youtube.  And yes, I understand her tour in Kurdistan with the Pesh is probably a big career builder for her back home.  But then the same could be said for Bob Hope and Ann-Margaret.

And speaking of rapprochement, the three autonomous and separated Kurdish Cantons in Syria (Afrin or Efrin in the NW, Cizire in the far NE, and Kobane in between) may finally be getting an agreement among themselves.
Representatives of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNCS) and the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan (aka the PYD) started meeting last week in the city of Duhok in Iraqi Kurdistan.  Reportedly they have agreed on a joint council (40%KNCS, 40% PYD, 20% smaller parties) and a joint military force.  Not sure how that will work out.  Afrin, the westernmost Canton is just NW of Aleppo.  They need to have a separate policy in order to survive so close to Assad.


  1. I think the bigger shock to me was Turkey kind of/sort of giving their consent for the Kurds to do their thing on their border against ISIS. Not sure if it's an improvement, or a convenience of keeping a buffer between Turkey and ISIS; But it does seem to give the Kurds some breathing room on their western border.


  2. Sheerakhan - The Turks are trying now to send Free Syrian Army troops into Kobane to help the YPG against ISIL. May not be a done deal as the YPG Kurds smell a rat.

    The Turks have been friendly for a long time with the Peshmerga of northern Iraq. Or at least the KDP faction of the Peshmerga. They are not as friendly with the PUK faction which is tied more to Iran. But the Kurds have never been a monolithic bloc. They seem to be the only middle eastern people left who practice and tolerate multiple religious beliefs? There are Sunni Kurds, Shia Kurds, Yezidis, Shabaki, Alevis, Kaka'i, even a few Jewish Kurds, and there are tales of Christian Kurds but Wikipedia seems to think no. Even Atheism is condoned.

    Now everyone seems to be loving on them. Russia just sent several million dollars worth or humanitarian aid for refugees to Arbil. Seems like all of Europe is sending either weapons and training teams or humanitarian aid. There are reports of individual American veterans serving in Kobane with the YPG and in Iraqi Kurdistan with the Peshmerga - no Lincoln Brigade yet or Lafayette Escadrille. Kurdo-American Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani yogurt has sent millions of dollars. Lots of young Kurdish Scandinavians are returning from the diaspora to wear Pesh or PYD uniform.