Taking into account possible escalation in Iraq at the end of September, this military activity looks like a pre-preperation “just in case”, though perhaps the Turkish General staff has a more serious agreement with the Iranian military on the subject of action to prevent the dismemberment of Iraq. The official explanation from the Turkish military emphasized that the military exercises are aimed at practicing cooperation in fighting terrorism. As DAESH is long gone from the area, it is quite clear who the Turks mean.
For the second year, the United States has denied a controversial Kurdish leader a visa to speak at an event at the presitigious National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“The visa, it was actually refused,” Salih Muslim said in a video.
I am invited to deliver a lecture concerning geopolitics of the Kurdish region, of Kurdish people, concerning Kurdish identity – how we understand it in the geopolitical science, the ethno-sociological science I am developing in Russia. It is my first visit in Iraq and in Kurdistan and the Kurdish area, to Erbil. I am very happy because it is the first time I get to know better Kurds, to understand desires of Kurdish people, to speak with different personalities of academic circles, of political circles. It is a first meeting with the Kurdish people. I know some Kurds in Russia and elsewhere, but it is the first time that I am in the land of Kurds, that is very important.
Despite the fact that the Americans showed the flag on the Syrian-Turkish border in Rojava, clashes between Kurds and Turks continued, and on both sides of the border. In Turkey, the army conducts regular operations in mountainous areas against the Kurdistan workers ‘ Party, reporting the killed PKK members and seized weapons. The Kurds in turn report that attempts to ground the activity of the Turkish army in ‘ Afrīn turned losses of the Turks in the form of several destroyed and damaged armored vehicles (judging by the video, that the Turks at lost at least 2 M-60) and from 17 to 24 killed and wounded.
In an interview with BBC’s Persian Service, Mulla Hassib from Sulaimani says the Kurdish Muslims who are leaving Islam to join Zoroastrianism and another religion, must be given a period of three days to regret their decision or “they must be killed, executed”.
The Zoroastrian representation in the Kurdistan Region has filed a legal complaint against a Kurdish Islamic preacher whom they claim has issued a decree that all converts to the pre-Islamic faith must be killed if they did not repent within days.
The Kurdistan Region President recently stated he would declare independence the moment the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki resumed power.
In an interview with Sharq al-Awsat in Davos, Switzerland, Masoud Barzani, the Kurdistan Region President, said he could not “accept staying within an Iraq ruled by Maliki.”