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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kurdistan president draws criticisms over go-it-alone approach toward Syria's Kobani

November 27, 2014

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq',— President of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region - Massoud Barzani – recently dropped a bombshell by saying he may approve sending more Peshmerga troops to the besieged Kurdish Kobani city in Syrian Kurdistan if needed.

Now Barzani's choice of words has made analysts conclude that the KRG chief has already dispatched Kurdish troops to back the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Unit - the YPG/YPJ – who are currently battling Islamic State IS group militants in Syrian Kurdistan.

On a related front, Kurdistan Parliament in Erbil recently gave full authorization for President Barzani to decide on the deployment of Kurdish Peshmerga troops to Kobani. The Kurdish parliament's decision was the first of its kind allowing the Barzani to act single-handedly in a matter that extends beyond Iraq's borders. This comes as Kurdistan has recently witnessed a number of protests by locals calling on authorities to rush to the aid of their Kurdish brethren in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).

Meanwhile, the Kurdish Ministry of Peshmerga has backed the Kurdish parliament's decision stressing that any deployment of its forces will be referred to the KRG chief only and not Iraq's ministry of defense.

Erbil has not been shy over supporting the establishment of a Iraqi Kurdistan KRG-like autonomous region in Syrian Kurdistan. Rojava is currently seen as a de-facto autonomous region in north north-east of Syria. Kurds see Syrian Kurdistan to be part of a plan for the Greater Kurdistan which includes Turkish Kurdistan (southeastern Turkey), and Iranian Kurdistan (northwest Iran).

Iraq's defense ministry has often referred to Kurdish forces as part of the country's defense mechanism. However, the recent decision by the Kurdish parliament and the Peshmerga indicate that they see the developments in Kobani as a "Kurds-only-matter." Observers say the move has once again highlighted the rift between Erbil and Baghdad in the decision-making process.
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