TURKEY – A growing civil war

The insurgency of the Kurdish PKK and its armed wing HPG (Hêzên Parastina Gel, People’s Defence Force, in Turkey) has intensified throughout 2016 in southeastern Turkey, causing a tightening of the Turkish government’s military and administrative repression. They regained control of cities like Cizre, Nusaybin, Sirnak or Diyarbakir at the price of major destruction. Many mountainous and rural areas, however, are under de facto control of the insurgency.

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Daesh lost half of its areas in Iraq: KRG official

Yaver said the group had been weakened financially by the loss of many of its oil wells and was struggling to sell oil because its convoys have been targeted by U.S.-led international coalition forces in Iraq and by Russia in Syria.

He said that according to data Peshmerga Ministry, Daesh lost around 20,000 fighters in the past two years, bringing its total force to between 10,000 and 15,000.

Atheel al-Nujaifi, the head of Sunni group al-Hashd al-Watani, said they were 20 kilometers (around 13 miles) from Daesh’s stronghold Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, and were preparing for an operation to retake the city this year.

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Political and military factions in Kurdistan | MAP

Kurdistan is divided between 4 countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. It has been the scene of several regional conflicts over the past 25 years. This has led to a complex political and military situation in each country where several political parties are defending Kurdish people rights, and are controlling their own military groups. The conflicts are also widely influenced by the two main regional powers, Turkey and Iran, which all have their client factions. The article and the map are not an exhaustive list of all groups involved, but aim at explaining who are the main Kurdish actors in each country and what their relationship is

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The Middle East’s alphabet soup of Kurds, explained | Washington Post

In the U.S., the call to “arm the Kurds” has become a standard refrain of the presidential election campaign, with little recognition of the dizzying array of Kurdish factions operating in the midst of the region’s crises. Not all are working in tandem — some are in direct opposition to the other. What follows is a rough digest of the alphabet soup of prominent Kurdish groups in the Middle East.

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