International Community Must Cooperate With Kurdistan

By Yara Kamaran Ismael:

ISIS has been advancing almost continuously. Take, for example, how, after the refugee crisis in Shingal (Sinjar) and the seige of Kobani and many other tragedies, now ISIS has recently set its sights on another battle and commiting another atrocity in Al-Anbar Province in Iraq. The Iraqi army evacuated this area, just as they did when they abandoned iraq’s second largest city of Mosul on June 10, 2014 and left us traumatized. There is no such thing as an Iraqi army; instead we should call it “Maliki’s army”, referring to the former prime minister, who created so much division within the Iraqi army. Peter Beaumont reported elegantly in his piece in ‘The Guardian’: “But despite its manpower and equipment – and the huge sums invested in it – the Iraqi military has suffered constant problems with combat readiness at battalion level while struggling to attract sufficient recruits to maintain effectiveness, particularly in key areas such as training”.

Despite the extensive tribulations caused by ISIS and other militants in Iraq, the Iraqi people were already suffering from an intolerable, hazardous situation that far exceeds even the anguish brought by ISIS. Take for example the arbitrary shelling and tanks pounding the city of Rumadi, leaving people with no choice but to flee the city and look for shelter and become refugees. People are walking for miles and miles with no food or water in the insufferable sun’s heat; only wishing to find a sanctuary for their families. At the same time, their brothers in Baghdad are neglecting what is happening to those Sunnis who are seeking refuge in the unstable capital of Iraq. Similar things happened when the Iraqi army gave up on Mosul without a fight. It was the people of Mosul that paid the price of these political and sectarian plans of nonchalant Iraqi politicians.

There is a very strange phenomenon in Iraq, which seems to be the only country to assume that people from some areas should not be defended by the army. Instead, their protection must come from militias composed of local citizens. Take for instance the city of Babylon: displaced males from Anbar aged 18-50 could not enter the city or even advance to the Kurdish region. Instead, these men are compelled to fight for their cities to replace the non-existent Iraqi army.

In any case, when I was in Iraq I learned that we, the Kurds, are not so well-loved there. One of the things we are most unloved for is protecting our beloved, safe Kurdistan. We ordinarily ask Iraqis (just like any nationality) for a “visa” and, in most cases, they need a native Kurdish sponsor and then they can enter Kurdistan. But Kurdistan is and always has been a safe haven for humanity. It is now the home for almost two million refugees and the numbers are increasing rapidly. That was not the case with Baghdad when they asked for sponsors for the refugees coming from Rumadi, Anbar. From refugees running for their lives! From refugees!

In a poll on one of the most illustrious Iraqi channels’ website, Al Soumaria, a question was asked about whether people approved the law for insisting on sponsors for the refugees coming from Anbar. 70% said they did support the law. Noteworthy: the poll was targeting the public. When will they learn the basics of humanity and letting go of sectarian segregation? Now, is there one rational reason why refugees were not allowed to enter Baghdad? Iraqi officials are stating, “Security officials fear ISIS fighters may have infiltrated the crowds, and say they need to verify that those coming in do not pose a risk to others.” They fear for Baghdad’s safety … Baghdad’s safety! Was it ever safe? Out of more than 90,000 refugees, only 10,000 refugees were permitted to enter Baghdad.

Now the Kurdistan region, which already has more refugees than its capacity, opens up a new camp for the displaced Iraqis from Al-Anbar province. This is because Kurdistan hosts and welcomes all refugees, regardless of their race or religious affiliation. However, no matter how ardent the Kurdish people are to help people in need, people whose suffering Kurds can identify with, there are still the complications with the Iraqi government and the current economic calamity and, moreover, Kurds are lacking the ammunitions and weapons that can change the whole outcome of the war. This situation is surpassing all the Kurdish government’s capabilities. The international community needs to assist Kurdistan promptly. The flowers of Kurdistan are bleeding profusely in the war against the ISIS terrorist group, its heroes are martyring. ..

Yara Kamaran Ismael is a Kurdish high school student, born in Baghdad and living in the United States since 2014.

One Response to International Community Must Cooperate With Kurdistan
  1. K.I.M.
    May 1, 2015 | 06:57

    Exactly right. Kurds should first stand on their feet. Kurds must further strengthen their ties with the international community, as well. Obamas Admin is not the only Ally of Kurds and Kurdistan. Work with another country that supports Kurdish independence in South.

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