BASHAR AL-ASSAD’S OPPONENTS ARE FLOWING TO KURDISTAN

Bashar al-Assad’s opponents are flowing to Kurdistan

ABDULLA HAWEZ

22 January 2012

(This article was first published at “A Middle Eastern View” and republished under Abdulla Hawez‘s permission)

Samir Geagea received Hero's welcome in Arbil's predominately Christan district of Ankawa. In the picture, Geagea crosses in front of a piece of writing which has written "the people of Ankawa welcomes Kurdistan's beloved guest    Dr. Samir Geagea"
Samir Geagea received Hero's welcome in Arbil's predominately Christan district of Ankawa. In the picture, Geagea crosses in front of a piece of writing which has written "the people of Ankawa welcomes Kurdistan's beloved guest Dr. Samir Geagea"

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Lately, Iraqi Kurdistan has witnessed vital political activity, starting from Burhan Ghalioun, chairman of the Syrian National Council (SNC)’s visit to Walid Jumblatt, Lebanese prominent druze leader, to Samir Geagea, from Lebanese opposition bloc, to Turkey’s deputy foreign minister, Feridun Sinirlioglu.

For some the stream of political leaders to Kurdistan might be normal, but lately all the political leaders that have visited Kurdistan are somehow linked with Syria. Those who have visited Kurdistan are from Syrian opposition, Lebanese anti-Syrian leaders, and from Turkey an important player in Syrian case. According to some information that I could grab from Kurdish sources, in all the meetings with the above people, Barzani has discussed Syrian case. Burhan Ghalioun’s meeting with Barzani which has taken place two weeks ago was mostly about guarantees from SNC for Kurds in Syria in return Kurdish National Council which represents most Kurdish parties will join SNC. Syrian Kurds have some demands to join the SNC including studying in Kurdish in predominately Kurdish cities and giving Kurds some kind of self-ruling. Ghalioun took the demands to discuss it with other members of the SNC. Worthwhile, some Kurds still haven’t joined the demonstrations which they belong to pro PKK parties. According to some Kurdish journalists that have visited Murat Karayilan in the last August, PKK doesn’t want Bashar Al-Asad to be toppled. PKK has historical ties with Syrian regime, they used to base in Syrian territories before the imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan. Before Ghalioun, Walid Jumblatt, which claims to have a neutral stance regarding Syriahas met with Barzani, Jumblatt used to be a die-hard opponent of Syria’s Assad. Jumblatt, which has Kurdish origins, discussed with Barzani withdrawing from Lebanese government in the right time if it needed; Lebanese government has a strong pro Syriastance in the international community. Samir Geagea’s meeting with Barzani, only a week ago, also has connections with Syrian case.According to unconfirmed information, Barzani which has strong ties with many Lebanese parties is trying to convince Jumblatt to negotiate with Geagea’s 8th of Shubat bloc to fail current government, dominated by Hizbullah. Turkey which has a harsh stance on Syrian regime since the start of the uprising, –

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believed to be asked Barzani, strong ally of Turkey, to use his good tie with Lebanese parties to fail the pro Assad government in Lebanon; Turkish deputy foreign minister, Feridun Sinirlioglu, paid a visit to Arbil before some days to discuss the improvements of this case with Barzani. Moreover, Sinirlioglu also met with Samir Geagea, and they discussed Syrian case.

In addition, Kurdistan Islamic Union or (KIU), which has strong ties with Iran, Turkey and Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, is mediating between Iran and Syrian Brotherhood, because Syrian Brotherhood knows if Iran continue supporting Al-Assad, it would be extremely hard to topple the regime with no hope of foreign intervention. Again,Turkey, to be specific Ahmet Davutoglu personally asked Salahaddin Bahaddin, head of KIU to use its relationship to open a negotiation channel between Iran and Syrian Brotherhood. For this, before a month, Mr. Bahaddin paid a visit to Istanbul to see leaders of Syrian Brotherhood, and then visited Tehran. Moreover, later, Bahaddin flight to Sudanto see Iran’s friends, Sudanese president, Hassan Bashir and Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal which both have good relationship with Iran, and both have Islamic background. Further details, yet not known. Furthermore, a week ago, Salahaddin Bahaddin met with a delegation of Kurdish National Council of Syrian Kurds in Arbil. According to a source close to KIU, Bahaddin is trying to mediate between Syrian Kurds and Brotherhood as well. Syrian Kurds are striving to get guarantees from opposition regarding Kurds amid the growing chance to topple Al-Assad’s regime.

Iraqi Kurdistan with its strategic geo-political location in between Syria, Turkeyand Iran is becoming a vital place of political struggle between different actors that play a role in Syrian case. Kurds keep a keen relation with both Middle Eastern giants, Iran andTurkey. Barzani which used to have a good tie with Al-Assad’s regime one day seems it turned its face to the opposition with the growing chance of uprising’s success.

* Abdulla Hawez is a Freelance Journalist based in Iraqi Kurdistan. 

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Some Media news that verify the meetings

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Salahhadin Bahaddin with Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammad Shaqfa, on 19-11-2011. Bahaddin has visited Turkey without any Media flash.
Salahhadin Bahaddin with Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammad Shaqfa, on 19-11-2011. Bahaddin has visited Turkey without any Media flash.
Salahhadin Bahaddin with Khalid Mashaal in his Sudan visit.
Salahhadin Bahaddin with Khalid Mashaal in his Sudan visit.

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Barzani’s President Barzani received deputy Turkish Foreign Minister

 

President Barzani receives a Lebanese Forces Executive Committee delegation

 

برهان غليون في كوردستان العراق للقاء البرزاني

 

Druze Leader: Islamist Power in Middle East ‘Doesn’t Scare Us’

 

Kurdistan Islamic Union, KIU’s General-Secretary of Kurdistan Islamic union received a delegation of national council of Syria Kurdish

 

KIU secretary general praised Sudan’s position

 

إيران: الامين العام ليككرتوو يشارك في اجتماع المجمع الدولي للصحوة الاسلامية بطهران

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ABDULLA HAWEZ
Lately, Iraqi Kurdistan has witnessed vital political activity, starting from Burhan Ghalioun, chairman of the Syrian National Council (SNC)’s visit to Walid Jumblatt, Lebanese prominent druze leader, to Samir Geagea, from Lebanese opposition bloc, to Turkey’s deputy foreign minister, Feridun Sinirlioglu." />