Jan 23 2018

With oil at stake, Kurdish independence still looks gloomy - columnist

The United States is betting on the Kurds to compete with Russian influence in Syria, but with Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria protesting, a Kurdish state is still not likely, a columnist for the London-based Al Arab newspaper wrote.

Claude Salhani, a political analyst, said that in the Middle East’s history of conflicts, the Kurds have proven themselves to be faithful allies to Western interests, “only to be left empty-handed.”

Salhani said:

Kurdistan, as an independent state, does not exist but, if it did, it would comprise land from Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. That’s why those countries are not very eager to see the creation of a Kurdish state.

There is another detail that makes it harder for the Kurds to obtain their independence: The lands the Kurds claim are rich in oil. Oil means revenue and who wants to give away a potential cash cow?

In Turkey, where the Kurdish people dominate the southeastern provinces on the Syrian and Iraqi borders, the government worries that a move towards a Kurdish independent state in Syria would encourage Turkey’s Kurds to follow suit, Salhani wrote.

This is something “neither its military nor its politicians want to see happen.”