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[Note both text and follow-up commentary.]

OCTOBER 14, 2014 4:00 AM

NATO Must Help the Kurds Now
The Kurdistan National Assembly makes an impassioned plea to America and the world.

By Sherkoh Abbas & Robert B. Sklaroff

Kurds are valiantly defending themselves from annihilation in Kobani while America and Turkey busy
themselves declaring what the other party should do. Ultimately, America must understand Turkish
motives in order to implement a clear policy. America must stop following from behind and start
leading the free world against the burgeoning threat of Islamo-Nazis.

As the Islamic State (IS) continues to launch barbaric attacks in Kobani and elsewhere Turkish tanks
remain idle, just over the horizon. Turkey, a member of NATO, has the worlds sixth-largest military, but
it hasnt stirred to stop the carnage because the Islamic State has not yet desecrated the tomb of
Suleyman Shah, located in Syria. In August 2013, Turkeys president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, singled out
the tombs site for special commendation, declaring that it along with surrounding land was
Turkish territory. Thus, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Kurds are a lesser priority than protecting a
monument to a man who drowned while trying to cross the Euphrates River in 1236; Erdogan cited
article 9 of an agreement signed with France on October 20, 1921, to honor the memory of the
grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

Some observers fear that Erdogan reached a compromise with the Islamic State on September 20 this
year when he swapped 180 jihadists in return for the release of 49 Turkish consulate staff captured in
Turkeys consulate in Mosul, Iraq. Yet he delayed implementation of a motion passed by Turkeys
parliament that authorized deployment of Turkish armed forces into Iraq and Syria to fight the Islamic
State, and that allowed foreign forces to conduct anti-IS operations from Turkey. Why? Because
he equated the Islamic State with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), with which he had supposedly
reached a rapprochement.

Much of the conflict between Washington and Ankara has focused on whether to establish a buffer zone
between Turkey and Syria and, if so, how it might be policed; Erdogan wants the Unites States to
establish a no-fly zone, claiming that the two nations have a shared interest in defeating the Baathist
regime led by Bashar al-Assad; Obama, however, wants to minimize direct American involvement. Much
of the territory that would be in the buffer zone now is home to Kurds. Allowing Turkey to assert
hegemony over this region would jump-start a radical demographic shift, eliminating the spirit of
Kurdish nationalism in western Kurdistan and undermining efforts to ensure non-Islamist influence
within any future Syrian government. Creating a Turkish belt above the Iranian belt (linking Tehran
to Lebanon) would essentially supplant Kurds from land theyve inhabited for millennia. Kurds would
justifiably oppose establishment of settlements by Turkish Turkmen that, along with those built by Arab
Baathists, would infiltrate this region with peoples who predictably would harbor fealty to Ankara or

Thats why America and the international community must not place the fate of the Kurdish people in
the hands of the Turkish government, which has stood by passively as the Islamic State has slaughtered
Kurds. All three parties America, Turkey, and Kurdistan share enmity against Assad (and, assuredly,
the feeling is mutual) along with his supporters in Tehran and Moscow. Its only reasonable to predict
that Baathists in Syria would exhibit the same level of anti-Kurdish racism as Saddam Hussein displayed
in Iraq (particularly given that his former followers now populate the leadership of the Islamic State).
But Assads overthrow must not be followed by the creation of a puppet government controlled by
Erdogan instead of the ayatollahs.

America must honor its unique history of protecting the human rights of oppressed people worldwide.
Journalists bravely covering this multi-party conflict have exposed the degrading, immoral, and
brutal treatment of Kurds by the Islamic State, but they have not reported adequately on the deaths of
wounded Kurds who, escaping to the Turkish border, were refused entry by Turkish security forces (the
army and the gendarmerie). These are tough days for Kurds and other religious and national minorities
who live among them people from all over Syria. They face genocide, with no end in sight and, thus
far, no help on the way.

Kurds are not trying to parlay sympathy for their plight fearing slaughter to manipulate American
foreign policy, although Kurds feel they were robbed of a homeland after World War I, as multiple
ironclad agreements were abrogated. But this is hardly the time to relitigate prior betrayals, because it is
essential to create a real buffer zone immediately to protect Kurds from a Holocaust, a Shoah against
Kurds and other peoples.

Unfortunately, given that Russia can veto any U.N. Security Council provision deemed to undermine
Assad, it is unlikely that the U.N. will act to protect the Kurds. Its therefore preferable that NATO play a
larger role in this conflict, the same way that it worked with Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also,
few people recognize the ongoing danger of arming the Free Syrian Army its leadership has professed
views that are unequivocally anti-Kurd and anti-Israel.

The Kurdistan National Council of Syria therefore calls upon NATO to establish a joint force with the
Pesh Merga (which, by the way, translates as those who confront death). Functioning as temporary
protectors against a common existential threat, this force would also serve to undermine Irans ability to
influence the Kurds and the Yazidis. Rather, the population could be shielded from Islamism through the
shared efforts of NATO, the Kurds, and Syrian militias that the Kurds can vet so as to preclude providing
arms to Islamic terrorists. Their mission would be, initially, to protect the population and, subsequently,
to facilitate the return of refugees from neighboring countries, particularly Turkey. Ultimately, this entity
could provide the catalyst for the creation of a democratic and pluralistic Syrian government that would
accommodate the civil rights of all indigenous people.

Kurds simply want to be empowered to choose their own destiny and to live in freedom with others
who share their desire to create security and stability. Kurds can protect themselves via the Pesh Merga
in South Kurdistan and by severing the corrupt belts envisioned by Iran and Turkey. In conjunction
with this initiative, all Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq will need to cooperate closely. As much as we
envision an independent Kurdistan with Erbil as its capital, we must focus now on reaching consensus
about what is happening to Erbils west. At a time when common enemies confront us, we need unity
among the Kurdish militia and between the Kurdish community and the myriad moderate members of
the Syrian Free Army. To stop the carnage in Syria, NATO must intervene.

Sherkoh Abbas is a human-rights activist, a leader of the Kurdish Dorkian tribe, and a founding
member of Center for Democracy in the Middle East. He served as president of the Kurdish-American
Committee for Democracy in Syria and is currently the chairman of the Kurdistan National Assembly of
Syria. Robert B. Sklaroff is a physician-activist and supporter of Kurdish self-determination. This article
constitutes the policy of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, conveyed to America and the world on
behalf of the Kurdistan National Council of Syria.

We emphasize the pivotal nature of our assertion that "few people recognize the ongoing danger of
arming the Free Syrian Army its leadership has professed views that are unequivocally anti-Kurd and

This hyperlink contains a quotation from the head of the FSA [which Obama is depending upon to
provide feet-on-the-ground] which is unequivocally both anti-Kurd and anti-Israel.

Dr. Abbas met him, General Abdul-Ilah al-Bashir al-Noeimi, as is documented in the pictorial; prior to the
Syrian Civil War, Noeimi served as a career officer in the Syrian Army where he was Brigadier General.
"A Coup in the Supreme Military Council?". Carnegie Endowment. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 17
January 2014.

Dr. Abbas also provided the translation of his Arabic assertion, in which he claimed Kurds were either
Zionists, terrorists, or undeserving of "rights."

Thus Obama is BOTH avoiding the urgent need to avoid an ongoing humanitarian crisis by NOT helping
the Kurds, but he is also AGAIN arming people who openly espouse political stances that are at-variance
with American policy.

Specifically, America should not aid/abet people whose basic political philosophy is almost
indistinguishable from that of those who are considered to be the enemy.

{Our concerns regarding the quasi-Islamist leadership of the FSA have been corroborated *"Obamas ISIS
strategy enters Chernobyl phase"].


We are grateful to NRO that this 1098-word piece was published virtually intact, based upon our
lengthier submission; elaborative observations that readers may wish to appreciate are as follows:

1. ['graph #1] We noted that neither America nor Turkey is actually acting forthrightly, without
fingerpointing at each other. This observation is dramatized both by America's double-error [vide supra]
when eschewing Kurds and helping the FSA, and by Turkey having reneged on its alleged-pledge
[announced by Rice on Sunday] to allow its soil to be used to attack the Islamic State [rescinded on
Monday] assuming it had ever truly been made.

2. ['graph #2] It is ironic that remaining quiescent "just over the horizon" is a behavior-pattern currently
practiced both by Turkey and America, despite Obama's rationalization for total Iraqi withdrawal having
included the assertion that, by remaining "just over the horizon," America could reassert a military
intervention should the need subsequently arise.

3. ['graph #3] We noted that the swap of known Islamists for the consulate staff and their family
members antedated Erdoan's current inaction when faced with an impending massacre in Koban;
although Biden's comments were subsequently self-declared as impolitic, it must be appreciated that
Turkey [and Qatar] underwrote the Islamic State.

The Jerusalem Post reported one Islamic State member said Turkey, a member of NATO, provided funds
for the terrorist group.

4. ['graph #4] The demand by Turkey that America impose a no-fly zone could suffice would create a
direct confrontation with the Russian-supplied air-defense employed by Damascus [which would have to
be KO'ed]; this would also arouse Tehran [which has vowed to visit retribution on Israel, as was
suggested by the sudden initiation of bombing of northern Israel by Hizbollah]. These dominoes would
be falling on the eve of the midterms, an eventuality Obama obviously wouldn't wish to transpire, for
this phenomenon would dramatize the abject failure of both his foreign policy and the paradigms that
have animated it.

5. ['graph #5] Although some claim al-Qaeda and the Islamic State are rivals, the key-point to which
Obama's acolytes seem to exhibit willful-blindness is the fact that they are all "fingers connected to the
same hand" that promotes worldwide Jihad [including, for example, Nigeria's Boko Haram]. Similarly,
Obama's prior support for the Muslim Brotherhood [particularly reflected in his evolving policies
regarding Egyptian leadership] reflects his consistent gutting of prior opposition [to whatever degree
possible] to those aggressively seeking a worldwide Caliphate.

6. ['graph #6] It may be recalled that Obama was stirred, respectively, after public opinion erupted
following publicity of the Azidis' plight and of the double-beheadings of Americans; thus, it is necessary
to enhance pressure upon Obama and his Dem-party allies during these three weeks prior to the
midterms, for it seems circumstances are undermining his classic "run-out-the-clock" modus operandi.

7. ['graph #7] We emphasized that Kurds do not harbor the intent to leverage loyalties of other
countries by playing-upon "sympathy"; rather, we perceive Turks as being engaged in this sordid level of
self-serving discourse. The Kurds seek self-determination in an unfriendly, volatile neighborhood, but
American support is urgently needed; Kurds have consistently espoused Western values despite ongoing
pressures to acquiesce to the wills of larger countries that are both contiguous to Kurdistan [Turkey,
Iran, Syria] and more distant [Saudi Arabia and Qatar].

8. ['graph #8] we EMPHASIZE we have documented the claim that the head of the FSA harbors
fundamental political views that are ANTITHETICAL to those that Americans assume Obama would
support overseas; for details, note the information [provided here, under "guest"] that includes a
posting directly from the general who runs the FSA.

To conclude, we now note the use of chemical warfare against the Kurds by the Islamic State in
Koban..., documented by Gruesome photos....
...and that the THREAT of such barbarism had allegedly prompted Obama to draw his infamous [and
indubitably "crossed" and "double-crossed"] "red-line" that would prompt American involvement.

THEREFORE, America MUST advocate calling an URGENT meeting of NATO "allies" [noting that none of
those dozens that had supposedly been accrued by Obama have stepped-up-to-the-plate].
NATO must intervene SOLELY on behalf of America's ONLY trustworthy ally in the region, the Kurds;
other cogent decisions would devolve easily from making this fundamental intervention.


A few questions for our Kurdish friends:
What types of weaponry are most urgently needed by the Peshmerga?
Haven't the Kurds been cooperating with the Iraqi (mainly Shia) security forces?
Do the Kurds have the ability to call in air strikes?
Isn't the FSA more interested in removing Assad than fighting ISIS?
What would Turkey do if the U.S. threatened to support a Kurdish state made from parts of Iraq and

I reply based upon information gleaned from conversations with Sherkoh.

The Kurds need heavy weaponry that is delivered directly, rather than via Baghdad; light-arms can't
compete long-term with tanks, and RPG's are in short-supply throughout Kurdistan.

The Kurds have consistently complied with American pleas that Erbil cooperate with Baghdad, but
Baghdad hasn't reciprocated [withholding arms, etc.].

The Kurds would be eager to serve as America's boots-on-the-ground, and have demonstrated that they
merit being viewed exclusively as having the capacity to fulfill that role [supplemented by people/groups
that the Kurds know and, thus, could effectively "vet"].

The Kurds fear the loyalties and motives of the FSA, as is reflected in much of what has been conveyed
in this article and elsewhere.

The Kurds had hoped that a rapprochement of Turkey with the PKK [which would now disavow intent to
undermine eastern Turkey in this regard] would have allowed Turkey to support Kurdish self-
determination being manifest in Iraq and Syria; this is why it is so disheartening that Turkey's desire to
supplant Assad seems to be the priority over honoring support for non-threatening Kurds.

THESE VIEWS have NOT been reviewed by Dr. Abbas prior to being uploaded, but they reflect
observations that are "owned" by myself, but that are consistent with issues discussed with him, during
the past six-plus years.

How can the U.S. provide heavy weaponry to the Kurds (I assume you want antitank missiles, tanks,
artillery) without the cooperation of Iraq or Turkey? We need a port.
Are there any airfields controlled by the Kurds that can support large cargo jets, bombers, and fighters?

Erbil...from which such matriel could be trans-shipped overland.


Another individual wrote:
Big "guns" are needed to 1. Raise money to buy needed weapons 2. Bring attention to the plight of the
Kurds 3. Shine a light on the inaction of Barack Obama and his operatives 4. Organize a peaceful
(national) rally call to action.
Buying weaponry (from Israel?) seems to be the most crucial and immediate need of the Kurds.
Fundraising is essential and celebrity is needed to get the attention of good people who have not yet
been engaged (and unfortunately do not have the time or wherewithal to search out articles about The

The Disturbing new photos were obtained by the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA).
They show bodies and burns of ethnic Kurds, gassed by the Islamic States army.
It may be using chemical weapons seized from Saddam Husseins old arsenals.
They were slaughtered with mustard gas or some kind of blistering agent.
This occurred in the besieged Kobani region of Syria, in July.