A terrorist state as Turkey’s neighbor

A terrorist state as Turkey’s neighbor

The West is in alarm because of the threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Issues like protecting Yazidis and other minorities are being evaluated. Meanwhile, measures to keep ISIL from directing a threat to Europe and the U.S. are being discussed.

Interesting statements have recently published in European media. British Prime Minister David Cameron told the Sunday Telegraph that if the world left ISIL to succeed, then a terrorist state neighboring the NATO member Turkey would be created in the Mediterranean.

According to Cameron, air strikes will not be enough to eradicate ISIL. Warning that the group could become even strong enough to strike British streets, he called on the West to take more decisive, efficient precautions. One of these precautions would be to arm the Kurds against ISIL more powerfully.

Cameron announced that they would start sending personal protection and bomb disposal equipment to the Kurds.

ISIL has been growing in Syria since last year, but its occupation of the Iraqi city of Mosul and its advance towards the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) capital Arbil, via Sinjar and Karakush, showed that the KRG was not ready for secession from Baghdad in military terms, despite its aspirations for independence.

ISIL’s attack apparently suspended the disagreement between the Kurdish militias in Rojava, the PKK, and the Peshmarga. But what’s next for Iraq now?

The international community is giving hints that the West does not support an independent Kurdistan right now. The resignation of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki can be viewed in this respect.

Al-Maliki’s successor, Haidar al-Abadi, is expected to unite what’s left from the ISIL incursion into Iraq. This is because the West thinks that the solution to ISIL is in uniting the Kurds with those Iraqi Shiite and Sunni tribes that don’t support ISIL.

Speaking to Bild am Sonntag, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier has said an independent Kurdish state would further destabilize the region, while also affecting its neighbors. Steinmeier had met KRG President Masoud Barzani in Arbil on Aug. 16, and Barzani told the same paper that “the Kurds are fighting ISIL for the sake of the world’s freedom.”

To summarize, our borders are boiling. The countries that have played a part in the process that has turned Iraq and Syria into their current state are now reevaluating their policies because of the risk that ISIL’s weapons may one day aim at them.

Even the prospects of sending a Western peacekeeping force is being discussed now, along with the possibility of the EU and the U.S. removing the PKK from their terrorism lists, due to its part in saving Yazidis. Whether arming the Kurds will accelerate the break-up of Iraq is another question that is being asked.

What’s happening in Syria and Iraq should concern us, as they are our next door neighbors and this is about our security and stability.