Kurds are perplexed by US stance

Condemnation for as long as no American is hurt

964KURDISH DESK, 19 January —  The United States has maintained a consistent stance regarding the Kurdistan region’s security, as highlighted by recent events and historical precedents. Despite expressing support and sympathy, US intervention has been conditional on direct impacts on American lives and assets, particularly when it comes to attacks within the Kurdistan region.

On March 13, 2022, Iranian missiles targeted the residence of Sheikh Baz Barzanji, a prominent businessman in Erbil. The attack occurred approximately 1.4 kilometers from the new US consulate in the city. Similarly, the house of Peshraw Dizayi, another victim of Iranian aggression, is located less than 5 kilometers from the consulate.

In response to the attack, the US consulate in Erbil, 60 hours later, acknowledged concerns over a ballistic missile striking close to their facilities but emphasized that no US assets were harmed. An official statement condemned the attacks but noted, “No US facilities have been damaged by Iranian attacks.”

This approach reminds the Kurds with a historical pattern dating back to 1991, during the presidency of George W. H. Bush. Following encouragement from the US, the Iraqi people, including those in Kurdistan, revolted against Saddam Hussein’s regime. Despite initial successes in liberating Kurdish cities, the US altered its stance following the cease-fire agreement under Safwan’s tent, allowing Saddam to use helicopters and tanks to quell the uprising.

Year after year, successive US administrations have echoed similar positions, limiting their responses to expressions of concern and condemnation, regardless of the threats faced by the Kurds.

The pattern repeated on the night of March 13th, 2022, with Sheikh Baz Barzanji’s house being struck by a missile, remarkably close to the US consulate. He miraculously survived the attack with his wife, daughter and son.  The US response was muted, with the most substantial action being the blacklisting of an Iranian investor.

A similar scenario unfolded on January 15th, when Peshraw Dzeyi’s residence was hit, resulting in the tragic deaths of Dzeyi and his 11-month-old daughter, Jina, and severe injuries to his family. The proximity of the attack to the consulate raised questions among the Kurdish population.

The people of Kurdistan Region, perplexed by their government’s alliance with the USA, speculate about the extent of US foreknowledge of such attacks. “Because if they didn’t know about it, they would’ve activated their air defence systems”, said a Kurdish Military General to 964media on the condition of anonymity. “They wouldn’t wait until the missile passes the fence of the consulate to act”, he added.

This suspicion is bolstered by former US President Donald Trump’s remarks in November 2023 about having prior knowledge of an Iranian missile attack on Ain Al-Asad and assurances that no Americans would be harmed.