Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Crude Oil: Will Syria Turn Into Kurdistan?

The latest events in Syria confirm that they are just a few links of the decade-long chain of shocks in the Middle East. Wars in Iraq and Libya, tensions around Iran, the so-called “Arab Spring”… and now it seems to be Syria’s turn to shed blood.

Over the last decade, the balance of powers in the Middle East has changed dramatically. Iraq turned from a local power into a disaster area. The same can be said about Libya. Egypt is losing its power in the region as well. Syria, which was another major power in the region, is rapidly turning into some kind of Somali. All this is happening amid the eternal confrontation between, the Arabs, the Persians and the Turks, with active participation of the USA, France and Great Britain. By the way, the UK and France contributed to the creation of such countries Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and helped to establish the borders between them in the early 20th century. Do London and Paris want to reestablish the borders?

Delayed-Action Bomb?

What can detonate the delayed-action bomb in the Middle East? Who has waited for this moment of centuries? What secret “weapon” do the world’s major superpowers have in store?

According to Masterforex-V Academy, it is not about some shady political organization, religious group or anything like that. We are talking about an entire ethnos, which is the 4th biggest one in the Middle East. These are the Kurds – 35 million people, who don’t have a separate independent state. They live in different countries such as Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq.

Obviously, the Kurds may turn into a major political and military power in the region only if it is backed by a global superpower with its own interests in the region. The Western allies may re-raise the Kurdish question, thus throwing the Middle East into the abyss of chaos.

Kurdish Question

The major problem is that the Kurds, people with their own culture, language, history and political ambitions, still haven’t acquired their own statehood.

Historically, Kurdistan is a region where the Kurds have been living for centuries (they represent 80-90% of the local population). It has an area of 500.000 square kilometers (the size of France). However, Kurdistan is just a notion. It is occupies the land that belongs to 4 neighboring states – Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. The biggest part (200.000 square km) belongs to Turkey. The 2nd largest area of Kurdistan is located in Iran (over 160K km2 and 10 million people. Iraq’s part of Kurdistan occupies 75K km2 with 5 million people living there. And finally, Syria’s part occupies only 15K km2 with 1.5 million people living there.

There are several countries of the former USSR that have Kurdish minorities. These are Azerbaijan – 200K people, Armenia – 75K, Turkmenistan – 50K, Russia – 65K. Kurds also live in Western Europe (Germany, France, Netherlands), the USA and Australia as well as several countries of Latin America.

Kurdistan could have emerged instead of Syria and Iraq. However, the winners of WWI failed to implement the idea that served as the basis of the treaty signed on August 10th 1920 after the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist. Later on, the newly created Turkish Republic and Iran took the biggest part of the territory. The rest came to Iraq and Syria, which became independent later.

Attitude towards Kurdish minority. It varied with time in different countries. Centuries ago, Kurdistan was the area of endless battles between the Ottoman Empire and Persia. In 1638, Kurdistan was divided for the first time. Until then Kurdish tribes fought against, the Turks, the Persians and between them. Later on, they started fighting for independence. Since then, the attitude and policies towards the Kurdish issue was mostly of assimilative nature. During the last century the Kurds periodically started uprisings, which were eventually suppressed. Saddam Hussein was especially cruel in crashing those Kurdish uprisings (later he was sentenced to death because of using chemical weapons in several Kurdish settlements). Iraqi Kurds were supported by Iran (later by the USA) while Turkish Kurds were backed by the USSR.

The Kurds are a major military power in the region. Any Kurd over 13 is a potential soldier. They have their own political parties and hidden multiple military units with thousands of radical fighters in each of them.

The Kurdish issue will always be up-to-date, at least until it is resolved. This is about the region Kurdistan is located in. It is rich in natural resources, especially natural gas and crude oil and is vital for the transportation of energy carriers from the Persian Gulf region to the USA and Europe. Therefore, there always be a lot of players in the arena. It is always easier to start a major conflict in the region than to stop it.

The Kurds have always viewed as a military power in multiple confrontations between Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. Even during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), the Russian Empire planned to use the Kurds in a partisan war against the Ottoman Empire. The British Empire asked for the same kind of help during WWI while Germany tried to cooperate with Kurds during WWII. The USA also cooperated with the Kurds during the recent military operation in the Middle East.

The US may well address them for help once again today when the export of Iran oil is blocked and oil prices are volatile and nearing the local highs.

Kurdistan is the location of the major oil pipelines in the Middle East. If to consider the latest revolutions in Egypt, Tunis, Libya and Syria, the US authorities are able to support any revolt in the region that they will benefit from.

Today, when the Syrian government troops are mainly concentrated in Damask, the capital, and Aleppo, a business center, the North-East of Syria is controlled by Kurdish military units. President Bashar Asad pretends that he approves this state of affairs as the Kurds, he says, defend his power. But the Kurds themselves seem to have another opinion on the matter. They probably view this part of Syria as a part of a new and independent Kurdish state.

As for the Iraqi part of Kurdistan, in March 2012, the Iraqi Kurds wanted official declaration of independence. The event was scheduled for March 21st but later it was suspended. The leader of the Iraqi part of Kurdistan Masuda Barzani made official visits to Washington, Damask and Ankara to discuss the conditions of the future declaration of independence. Analysts name several possible reasons why the declaration was postponed:

• They say Turkey might threaten to start a war against the new state.
• Baghdad might threaten to start a war against it as well.
• Washington’s pressing request to delay the declaration till better times (this secret weapon may be used against Iraq if it tries to get out of control or to try to influence Turkey, not to mention the confrontation with Iran).

Now when there are 2 almost independent Kurdish enclaves, Turkey will be more cautious so as not to get 3 fronts (1 internal and 2 external ones), especially as the US and its allies may provide support to the Kurds in their effort to create an independent state.

Will the Kurds eventually manage to create an independent state?

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