On Wednesday, the Iraqi Army Joint Operations Command announced in an official statement that the Kurdish Peshmerga force didn’t withdraw from the Faysh Khabur border crossing area on the Syrian-Iraqi border as it had promised during the previous talks. The Peshmerga was also accused by the Joint Operation command of “conspiring” to kill Iraqi troops.
The Joint Operation Command added that the Peshmerga even used the ceasefire period to reinforce its positions in Faysh Khabur area, and to build defense lines there. Meanwhile, Iraqi sources reported that dozens of Syrian Kurds from the Rojava Peshmerga were deployed in the area.
In its official statement, the Joint Operations Command also announced that it ordered its force to deploy in Faysh Khabur area and on the Syrian border. The Iraqi Army units were given strict orders not to fire first at the Peshmerga, but to defend themselves if attacked.
“If the armed groups that’s linked to Eribel attempted to fire rockets and projectiles on the federal forces and kill its personals or scare the citizens, we will chase them with the power of the federal law and they will have no safe haven,” the Joint Operations Command said in its statement.
Iraq Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi also stressed that “the Iraqi Federal government is willing to captured the border” during an interview on the Iraqi Alsumaria news TV channel. Abadi added that the federal authorities are exclusively responsible for the Iraqi borders, according to article 110 of the Iraqi constitution.
The Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) could be planning to mimic the Israeli Army who used the 1948 ceasefire to reorganize and reinforce its troops before launching a successful attack against the Arabian armies. The Kurdish fascination with the raise of the Israeli state supports such theory. Hwever, the situation in Iraq looks completely different.
According to initial reports about the reached agreement, the Faysh Khabur area has to be jointly controlled by the army and the Peshmerga:
Then they proved that they only understand the language of force. They proved If you show respect or negotiate with them unconditionally, they think you’re weak. The current KRG leaders are a bunch of liars and thieves. The federal government may have a better chance with the next one, if the corrupt Barezani gang let go of the power.
“…Meanwhile, Iraqi sources reported that dozens of Syrian Kurds from the Rojava Peshmerga were deployed in the area…”
I’m still waiting to see what the real deal is with the so-called Rojava Peshmerga. For some reason, these guys left Syria to form a Syrian Peshmerga under Barzani. Barzani was apparently ‘hired’ for that task by request of the FSA/ rebel’s Syrian National Coalition political party. This brought significant additional western aid and arms to Barzani, which was used to arm, train, equip and pay the (then) 3,000-strong force – many of which were thought to be non-Syrians. Basically, a merc army independent of the YPG/YPJ and not under PYD control. Trouble is that the Syrian Kurds didn’t trust them and still have not let them enter Syria to fight ISIS. They are still welcome to join the YPG as individuals like everyone else, but not as a unit and not as Peshmerga answerable to Barzani or the KDP. They now number 5,000 and fight ISIS in Iraq, but not Syria.
Originally, this seemed like a Barzani/SNC merc army scheme intended to ‘pacify’ Syrian Kurds and bring them under Iraqi Kurd authority, replacing the PYD Indirect support from the US was confusing because we were also supporting the YPG/YPJ at the same time. The emergence of the US-backed SDF made it seem like the US shelved the Syrian Peshmerga project in favor of the SDF, but it wasn’t shelved at all and has grown instead.
Now the ‘Syrian Peshmerga’ show up at the Iraqi border crossings ready to fight Iraqi forces and preserve the US supply corridors through the Iraqi border to the SDF. The whole thing feels like typical US scheming – why would they keep these fake Peshmerga on the payroll in Iraq if the PYD and YPG/YPJ don’t want them in Syria? Is this a NATO, a CENTCOM or a CIA operation? What are their plans for these guys? Will the US stab the Syrian Kurds in the back (as expected) and have these thugs move in?
As you pointed out, they’re neither Syrian nor Iraqi, but from Turkey. Apparently nobody wants them, they’re fugitives in Turkey and because of their ideology, culture and the fact that their loyalty lies somewhere else cannot be absorbed in Iraqi Kurds’ Peshmerga. Syrian Kurds too see them as a threat, despite their common roots. Their training doesn’t make them a suitable force to fight a war as they are trained to be insurgents and perform terror acts, not fighting an army. The US cannot openly support them just yet because they’re PKK and not re-branded like SDF or HTS.
IMO The only use for them can be to intimidate others by mentioning their number and also using them as cannon fodder. Supply route between Iraq and occupied northern Syria has great importance for the empire (more than BuKamal/Qa’im for the resistance) and without it their pet projects will die. Perhaps they will be sacrificed to make an excuse for the US to “bring peace and stability” and directly control the supply route.
Agreed, don’t forget Israel helping to “bring peace and stability”.
This is getting complicated to track but from how devious the shenanigans are, it would not surprise me if this was a joint Pentagon and CIA last grasp attempt to save Syria (I mean kick start a revision of the war), probably supported with ideas from Nato Countries.
From my limited knowledge, this results in the re-opening of the border crossing. Unlike you, I do not think this has anything to do with the Syrian Kurds per se; more to do with getting hardened Iraqi Kurds infiltrated into the SDF, maybe just to keep the war alive (que Israelis) or prop up the opposition.
Personally I do not think that the PMU forces will like this.
My view only and yes, I am often wrong.
The game is being shut down. It is just a matter of time and a lot of screaming.
Iraqi or IRGC puppets? That’s the question!