by Ghassan Kadi
My previous article titled “Kurdish Autonomy; Partition Or Master Plan” was met with some controversy. Some readers seemed to have missed a very basic point it raised. Others misunderstood the main issue and tried to put words into my mouth saying that the article condoned partition and argued that Syrian Kurds should not be given independence and a separate state, even though the article clearly indicated that such was not its objective. This article herein is intended to shed more light on the subject and emphasize an issue that is paramount for long-term Syrian security.
With the return of Tadmor (Palmyra) to the custody of the Syrian Army, the military victory of secular Syria is drawing nearer. Now, this was, still is, a war that was waged on Syria by many nations and facilitated by neighbouring countries that opened their borders to militants and their munitions to cross over, unopposed, carrying everything from small hand-carried machines guns all the way to heavy artillery and even tanks.
Little has been said about the actual route that those supplies took; and specifically, the routes they took from Turkey into Syria. And unless one takes the history of this region into account, the significance of this subject cannot be seen and appreciated.
Like some nations, Syria has natural geographical boundaries. The Syrian Social National Party (SSNP) was founded by Antoun Saade in 1932. The party calls for the reunification of “Greater Syria” (aka Natural Syria and the Fertile Crescent). This article is neither meant to promote the doctrine of that particular party nor is it meant to reject it. This is said because the doctrine of the said party comes in a whole “package” that includes issues other than the natural barriers on Greater Syria, and there is no need to dwell into those issues here and now. On the issue of Greater Syria alone however, what Antoun Saade suggested as the boundaries makes a lot of common sense, especially with respect to the northern borders.
The reason as to why the northern borders are specifically of significance is because Turkey has not been a good and friendly neighbour of Syria. This in fact is a gross understatement as Turkey has been bullish and brutal to an extreme, and for a very long time.
If neighbouring states and nations have good relationships with each other and do not harbour any hostilities towards each other, then all differences and disputes, including border disputes, can either be negotiated or dropped as being of no significance when they do not pose any threat and danger. But such is not the case when it comes to the Syrian-Turkish border line.
Historically, the first real superpower was the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians were very powerful, and they breached all natural barriers and extended their empire over to Egypt and to most of Anatolia. The borderline between Turkey and Syria did not become a sticking issue till the Muslim conquest of the Byzantines. Faced with the outcome of several military defeats, Emperor Heraclius ordered his troops to retreat and evacuate the areas that are to the south of the Taurus Mountains and east of Tarsus; which is at the western end of the mountain chain as it bends south towards the Mediterranean.
What Heraclius made was a very painful decision, but one that is pragmatic and strategic. He left Syria and secured the southern border of what was left of his empire by a mighty natural barrier; The Taurus Mountains.
At the height of the Muslim Empire (ie the Umayyad and Abbasid eras), the Taurus Mountains were breached especially in its eastern regions, where gaps are more abundant and the Muslim Empire advanced to as far as Armenia. But as the Abbasid rule fell apart and the Muslim Empire was subdivided, the Taurus Mountains once again resumed their natural “role” as the borderline between Syria and Turkey. This is seen best during the period of the Hamadani Principality as per map No 1.
Those borders remained unbreached until a counterattack came from the north this time. That was when the Ottomans invaded and captured Syria in 1516 AD. Syrian regions south of the Taurus Mountains fell under Turkish rule back then, and they remain as such ever since.
During the Ottoman rule, the question of borders between Syria and Turkey was nonexistent as Syria recoiled under the iron fist rule of Istanbul. The question did not rise again till after the end of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
As empires often do, they try not to sever relationships with each other when they can. It is only in rare cases that they totally destroy each other. The example of Rome destroying Carthage remains thus far unique. The Romans killed every Carthaginian man, woman and child. Even World War II, with all of its atrocities, did not thankfully reach such proportions.
With the rise of Ataturk to power, colonial France wanted to turn a new leaf with the new Turkey, at the expense of Syria. The annexation of the Syrian Cilicia and Iskenderun regions to Turkey is often spoken of, but the “gift” of land south of the Taurus Mountains to Turkey is hardly ever mentioned.
With Syria in a constant state of war with Israel, the “liberation of Palestine” high on its early agenda as a new independent post WWII state, the ensuing need for taking back the Golan Heights from Israel climbed its way up the priority ladder to take the lead role.
How many wars Syria should fight and can fight? The region south of Taurus became so ignored and even almost forgotten; but shouldn’t be as such, not anymore.
If one takes a drive from Adana (a Syrian city under Turkish occupation) north towards say Ankara, he/she will have to cross the mighty Taurus Mountain chain. This is a highly inaccessible chain that can only be crossed at certain gates in between the mountain peaks. The Cilician Gates (Gulek Bogazi in Turkish) is the one that has to be crossed taking this particular route.
Troops and armaments that have crossed Turkey into Syria must have used that route. Got the picture?
This harangue is not meant to be a lesson in history or geography. It is about highlighting a basic issue that is essential for the security of Syria.
If one looks at Map 2 with a fresh look, it becomes clear that Syria’s natural defense line had been in Turkey’s hands for a whole century. It did not cause a threat until Erdogan decided to use this strategic advantage to flood Syria with Jihadists.
Had the line joining the mountain peaks been the political border between Syria and Turkey, it would have been virtually impossible for Turkey to send those troops into Syria. And this is the strategic weakness that Syria has, the one that has been and continues to be overlooked despite all of what has happened.
Had Syria had positions and watch towers on mountain tops, breaching its borders would have been close to impossible. With this advantage on Turkey’s side, troops were able to take their time crossing the gauntlet and move into the flat terrain where the current political borders are.
Another close fresh look at Map 2 reveals something else if it hasn’t been picked up in the first look. The cities of Gaziantep and even Diyarbakir are within geographical and historical Syria. Got the picture?
This is heartland Kurdish territory. This is where virtual real battles are currently raging between the Kurds and the Turkish Army. Hundreds of Kurds have been slaughtered under the watchful eyes of the international community with very little condemnation.
These Kurds are not Turkish Kurds, they are Syrian Kurds. They live and have lived within Greater Syria for centuries. There is also a huge number of non-Kurdish Syrians who live in that region.
The proposed unilateral declaration of Kurdish Federation is nothing but a bit of a joke. It does not represent the views of all Kurds, and not even those of a reasonable minority. It did however receive a lot of hoo-ha perhaps more due to its nature rather actual ability to see the light.
Now here is the deal. Syria can pretend that there is no such thing as a Kurdish question and can pretend that her current northern borders with Turkey do not warrant any concern. On the other hand, she can see in wartime an opportunity to mop up as Pandora’s Box is already open.
With or without any such proposal for federation, Syria should take a leading role and try to capitalize on the situation north of its borders. The time has never been more opportune for Syria to act on this front.
With Russia on her side, with an impending military victory and with turmoil within Turkey, Syria has a golden opportunity to win the hearts and minds of Syrian Kurds living south of Taurus.
As mentioned in the previous article, if those Kurds see their cousins enjoying privileges they don’t have, if they see themselves persecuted and bombed by Erdogan’s troops whilst their cousins are living in peace, prosperity and have the respect they have earned and deserve, they will naturally gravitate towards it.
In a recent interview on Sputnik I drew parallels with Ukraine. Who would have thought that the events of Maidan would lead to the reunification of Crimea with Russian motherland? And we haven’t seen the end of this one yet have we?
Adversity can be turned into opportunity. Crimea was reunified with Russia without a war and without bloodshed.
The bottom line here is that the Kurdish issue needs to be resolved, and there are perhaps only four ways to deal with it:
1. Ignore it and hope that it will go away, but it won’t.
2. Deal with Kurds the Erdogan way, which is inhumane and totally unacceptable to put it very mildly.
3. Succumb to present and future pressure and eventually allow for federation under dangerous terms that may lead into partition, or
4. See the silver lining and try to turn the situation against Turkey and get Kurds and other non-Kurd Syrians living south of the Taurus Mountains to seek reunification with mother Syria.
This is not a call for a new war. Given Turkey’s history of aggression and thuggery, and given that it may act aggressively again, Syria has all the right to seek the prevention of new wars and secure its northern borders within her geographical barriers and hold the key for checkpoint Taurus.
Map No 1 The Hamadani Principality of the Tenth Century AD.
Map 2 Showing the Taurus Mountains against the existing Syrian-Turkish borderline
” there are perhaps only four ways to deal with it ” >
There exist another two possibilities as well:
(a) The Kurdish majority (south of Taurus) area to be joined together and to be made “autonomous region” within Syrian Republic
(b) The Syrian Kurdish and Iraqi Kurdish regions joining together as a separate nation-state independent of Syria and Iraq
It will appear that Syrian Iraqi ‘national ethos’ will get hurt by the (b) option. However, in the long run, in my opinion, this may be more ‘stable’ solution to the “Kurdish problem”.
Ghassan, yet another excellent article.
I would like to add that, never ever since the Turkmen left their original territory have they ever been decent neighbors to whomever they happened to be near. Just as an example: the territory of modern Ukraine never had much peaceful time since the XV century, constantly having to fight Turks and their cousins Tatars.
As for the Kurds, outside of other aspects of the question, I believe that Kurd disassociation from Turkey, will take a big bite out of Turkey’s population and territory, and most likely put an end to their dream of reinstating Ottoman Empire.
With due respect but this option No. 4 of “silver lining” is nothing but a wishful thinking. Comparing Crimea with this situation is not applicable- Crimea after the referendum decided to join mighty Russia. Who on Earth could object it and try to prevent it by force? To start a war with Russia because of Crimea? It would be an absurd.
But whatever this “wishful thinking” about Kurds in the historical northern borders of Syria suggests, it is also an absurd that Turkey, which is military mighty country, would peacefully look at such decision of Kurds south of the Taurus Mountains. Erdogan, or whoever be the Turkish leader would immediately launch a war of the huge proportions to keep the status quo of the current Turkish southern borders. This war would for sure engulf entire Syria and could probably drag in other countries too.
So naming the Kurdish federalization declaration as “silver lining” which would eventually motivate Kurds in Turkey to wish the status of Syrian Kurds and proactively work on it, is a warmongering yell with unforeseeable consequences, and it is for sure that Syria would be the first on the list of “collateral damages”. Syrian support of that concept in order to gain benefits of her “historical” northern borders is out of question because it would drag Syria and entire region in the bloody war with disastrous consequences.
Besides, mentioned controversial article and this interview are full of words “IF” and “eventually”, which meas that even author sees clear limits and obstacles to such “silver lining” objective. Proposed silver lining path is actually walk over the blade of the knife both for Syrian Kurds and Syria as well. In such game of the high stakes everybody will lose everything in the long sustainable war which would burn to the ground Levant and the whole Middle East. Contrary to the wishful thinking in the article,this is cruel reality.
Expecting that Kurds after the years of fight against Turkey and Daesh after recognition of their federal status in Syria and eventual union with other Kurdish entities will remain within the Grand Syria historical borders, instead of creating independent state, ripping apart Syria, and Turkey and other territories is at least – naive.
Imagine even for a moment that proposed platform for Kurdish political and military movement is successful and Kurds southern of Taurus mountains manage to get rid of Turkish grip, and even after so many casualties are willing to join Syrian Kurds under Syrian flag (which is unimaginable) and to recognize government in Damascus- what kind of Syria would it be? When Syria with 20 millions of Syrians re-claim historical lands and accepting 30 millions of Kurds and become the minority in own homeland? I find it ultimately unrealistic since Syrians are those who are to be asked about own future.
What Syrians think about this was best exposed by President Assad:
STOP “FEDERALIZATION” (INTERNAL PARTITION) IN SYRIA
President Assad just came out loud and clear against “federalization” in Syria, addressing the ‘inconvenient fact’ that Kurds are outnumbered by Arabs in their own self-proclaimed “federalized” (internally partitioned) statelet:
“Earlier in the day, a group of French lawmakers met with Assad in Damascus during their visit to the Middle East country.
“[Assad] emphasized that Syria is a small country and too small for implementing an idea of federalization, also due to the fact, that all communities are linked and closely woven together,” Nicolas Dhuicq said.
He added that Assad believed Syrian Kurds’ bid for federalization was a bad idea.
“He mentioned Kurds and the fact that they talk about federalization. To his mind, it will not be a good idea, especially, concerning the Arab population in the area. He said that in Syrian regions with Kurds population, Kurds, actually, represent only 30 percent of the population, so they will be a minority on their own territory,”
There is another fact that we must not overlook and forgotten: the Kurdish “federalization” declaration and Kurdish manifest of Democratic Syria” are nothing else than CIA written pamphlet served to Kurds in order to prepare Kurds to be the next USA proxy army in the region, once Daesh is defeated and US/Turkish / Saudi support for Daesh is so badly exposed.
If it is not so clear what are real intentions of Syrian Kurds let me remind you on hte manifest published in 2015 called “The Project of a Democratic Syria” by the “Movement for a Democratic Society, Rojava/Northern Syria”
Despite nice name this is the hatred filled pamphlet showing the reality and intentions of at least part of Syrian Kurds supported heavily by US intelligence services and US establishment.
The manifesto and Federalization declaration are noting but American plan B for the Middle East and in such light mentioned “silver lining” not only a dream and wishful thinking but it is also counter productive as the idea which actually stays in line with USA and it’s allies plans of partitioning Syria and redrawing the borders of the Middle East and as such it is very dangerous for the future of Syria.
The best analysis of this manifest was written by Andrew Korybko in his 3-part article published in Katheon:
At the end I would like to underline also the official Moscow stance: Moscow will support any decision or political approach which is the actual wish and decision made by Syrian people. This also includes recognizing of Syrian Constitution and laws, as well as the two decision of the UNSC about Syria.
ok so ‘the Silver lining’ line is but 2 words in the sentence..
-‘“autonomy within a state and federation spell danger”. They normally lead to partition and strife. In saying this, I was also looking at a -possible- silver lining here, provided that the series of “ifs” referred to in the article were joined together.’-
…(the word possible seemingly forgotton altogether in any further mention )
….ok.. now i can see where the sentence .. -‘ Tragic as they may be, wars offer “opportunities” for mopping up problems because they put nations in situations where Pandora’s box is already open. Syria now has this “opportunity” of resolving the Kurdish question by offering the Kurds the security they seek.’-
could be used by alarmists to appeal to direct base indignation among anxious syrian supporters at this pivitol point in time.
(especially if edited requoting).. or treating it like some excerpt from a colume in a murdoch print or something, rather than being mindful of who is saying it ,(ie his groove his outlook his nature his wider dialoge etc)…and of course the forum (this is being a radio interview)..
considering all that it is actual natural to see that the line
-Syria now has this “opportunity” of resolving the Kurdish question by offering the Kurds the security they seek.’-
means simply that .. by Syrian Government restoring soveriegnty and peace in syria the syrian kurds will have a welcome place in the Syrian mosaic (possibly more than any time in the past?) and oppotunity to capatilize on that goodwill at the same table with …who knows say grand plans of high speed rail being built from lebanon to iran onto india thailand china etc.. striaght thru kurdish and other communities etc.. who knows ?….but then maybe thats my frame of mind becuase thats how i read it ..the sort of ‘security’ that syria can unmistakable provide when we include economic, medical, and civic security. along with a solid international standing with ‘the big boys’.. of course it is far more ‘secure’ than turkeys policies ..and certainly turkish kurds are going to seek the same in the regions (from the turkish authorities) ..that they live.. and i would have to agree that this could POOSIBLY be a good thing..?…
With a due respect McLennan, I read both articles by author and I made comments on analyzed possibilities offering my observations and predictions of further events and possible unfolding, so there were really no need to repeat me the quotes from the article which I read several times to avoid misunderstand and wrong comments. I would have appreciated if you replied me on my particular comments,mentioned facts, or assessments, it would be very constructive dialog I guess.
I wrote actually about my view of very likely outcomes of the current path chosen by Syrian Kurd representatives, namely PYD- Democratic Union Party who is the at least the most internationally exposed and known party whether they represent all Syrian Kurds or not. As you are probably aware, even in the most developed democracies, people are rarely really asked for opinion, and political representatives of countries are usually lead own politics, far away from the real wishes of own people and voters. I do not see the difference in Northern Syria under Kurdish autonomy authorities which are mostly represented by PYD .
I understand well what you and as well author wanted to say, but I clearly disagree with that, offering different view of the very likely outcomes, considering reality of the present time, roles of all key players in the region as well as the current politics and views of future Syria given by the legitimate Syrian government and president Assad who are enjoying the support of the huge majority of Syrian people. All other views or political proposals out of those made by president Assad and Syrian government I consider as – opposition politics and I comment them as such.
When I quoted “silver lining” – I didn’t catch just on two words, I use them as they represent the idea behind the platform of using the momentum of the time and actual Kurdish questions so blatantly expressed in a few recent Kurdish steps, as ultimate goal which is re-establishing in the future of historical Syrian borders gathering all ethnicity southern of Taurus mountains.
Article actually describing the possibility to seek the “Grand Syria” in her historical borders. We are all painfully aware that ANY “Grand XXX” idea on the account of neighboring countries leads to inevitable war. There is no difference here too.
I even didn’t say that this idea should not be possibly good. But I have to say that it is far too optimistic and unrealistic and as such it represent serious threat and danger the region, and besides, it opposed official Syrian government politics which clearly and publicly denied any possibility of granting such federal or additional autonomy rights to the Kurdish population in Northern Syria.
So please take my comment in that lights, as a different opinion about potential issues and threats which could arise behind this idea, particularly having in mind the most recent Kurdish steps happened after the publishing of these articles, instead of possibly malicious and/or groundless comments from me.
mate i never said federalism was a good idea and frankly dispise the kurds and anyone advocating it.. and dont appreciate someones attempt to elevate their own inflated status , by misconstruing others points and perspective. (ie your attempt to paint yourself as ‘an opponant’ of my advocating kurdish federalism is fraudulent and false’ as i have not and do not . and long before you start bleating about it i have been a strong critic of any move that would compromise the syrian government , and have openly decalreed my contempt for the kurds being championed counteless times ditrected at nu,merous folk (including my own family and freinds) and dont need you to lecture me on what the syrian government position on it is.. . and will remind you i have been a firm supporter of the syrian government and people long before this current war..and long before you came ‘onto the scene’.. and will not stroke your inflated ego.. if you dont understand that the real message that was being made was that if the syrian govewrnment takes the lead and aserts their policy regarding the kurds and reminds ALL syrians (including of kurdish decent) that if they ditch the western plot and stand with syria that they will be honeoured with recognition and a secure place in the syrian mosaic , the alternative that yoiu seem to advocate is an esacalation of division in syria by simply dismissing a festering issue ,
WOW, did I mention, anything related, “painted” or “misconstrued to you, or put something on your mouth, so it looks like you are supporting federalism? I never said that anywhere in my comment and my reply, and if you take a look again on my words – I was just clearing out my views – not yours; why I think as I wrote, and why I find generally, as a whole, these 2 last articles to be wrong.
THE ONLY TIME I addressed you personally, was by asking you that look at my comments in the light of that additional explanation. Nothing else.
So, if you read again the last part of your reply which is pretty much personal, and a bit insulting, and compare to my reply where I addressed you just with words to take my comment in the lights of my explanations and views, I hope you will find how you overreacted and stepped overboard.
Please, keep the distance and politeness and allow that we could disagree on the issue and to have different views. Trying to shut up someone for different opinion is not the best way to discuss things, and will say more about you than, me.
As long as I keep the distance and keep polite stance, I expect the same from you.
Thank you for another interesting article.
However, are you not missing an important historical point, which is the Sykes–Picot Agreement ?
The following map shows how Syria was first initially sliced out of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire:
Notice the blue marker of Zone A leaving places like Mardin and Diyarbakir out of Syria and of course disregarding the entire Southeastern Taurus range (Güneydoğu Toroslar), which even shows the topography on the British Royal Geographical Society map of 1910.
As for the breaking up of the current nation state of Turkey from the hands of the Anatolian Turks whether peacefully or by force, which will inevitably happen, will require a substantial unification of certain powers physically on the ground. This can be a complete Kurdish alliance, or even an Arab-Kurdish alliance…..and time will tell how things will develop.
The breaking up of the current nation state of Turkey is the next natural phase after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire…..You can call it stage 2.
Hi Harry Red, thanks for the link to the map and your observations. Naturally the article is all about Sykes-Picot and there really was no need to spell that out I think.
This possible scenario in the area south of Taurus is something that could take a very long time to evolve depending on many factors and circumstances
The big game goes on.
Your “silver lining” takes the Turks at their own game of influence. This time Russia with the (un)voluntary help of the Kurds and Syrian is taking Turkey into dismembering. Kurds have very clear reasons to take an aggressive stance against Turkey. The federalization of Syria renders moves of them in that direction feasible. Any autonomy of the Kurds will allow that and my bet is on the idea that they’re going to use it. Russia did not carry on with a treaty that has to be reconducted every 25 years. Armenian have nightmarish memories of Turks killing their ancestors and Russia has just okayed implicitly any move into Turkey from their part. Let’s see how Armenia is treated by Russia on that account ! If I’m right, they are going to be encouraged to move into Turkey. Now, the dismantling of Turkey is thinkable.
It’s a big move. The risks for Russia are minimal. Proxies with very deep disputes again Turkey are entering the game. Syria has good reasons to play along. It knows from actual experience that she is considered as a prey by AKP’s Turkey. Reversing the game is accepting it as fact and an intelligent defense. Reasons that made easy for Turkey to help Daesh and Co works to make easy for the Kurds to help their folks on the other side of the border. Armenian could start asking for the part of Turkey they consider theirs. Since the dismantling of USSR, it’s an independant state that can have it’s goals. If Russia supports them to stay independant no one can protest or every US military base on the planet is to be dismantled. These moves will make Turkey pay the highest price for the downing of the Russian SU-24. It will very clearly suggest Turkey to be much more polite to Russia and accepts her influence. The ongoing war in Syria had Russia positioning weaponry in a place it can support Armenia and Syria very fast and heavily. The presence of these troops have the role of a fleet in being. Dismantling Turkey will secure Greeks on the other side and the Bosphorus straight is going to be opened to Russia with (why not) the help of Greece, Serbia, Macedonia and so on.
I accept beforehand that I’m having wild thoughts, the process I describe is more based on a gut feeling than on facts, this idea will be denied by everybody on the field and so on. I could imagine that process. Therefore the possibility I’m right remain. In Putin’s boots, I’d move in that direction without any qualm of conscience. Russia offered friendship and collaboration to Turkey. It refused at every level I can think of and there is a 4th generation world war raging again every state proclaiming and defending its independence again the USA. Therefore, the correct move is to accept that war and to proceed along that line.
PS : Iran knows that if Syria falls they will be under assault by the same forces. The victory of Assad is existential to them.
i like your wild thoughts and gut feelings :D
What is your thesis Mr Kadi?
Are you suggesting tiny Syria should use Kurds like a crowbar, to pry territory away from not-so tiny Turkey, for the creation of a Greater Syria?
This is pure folly Mr. Kadi. The best laid plans of mice, men — and their masonically sponsered Muslim Brotherhood minions.
What the people want (Syrian, Arab, Kurd, Turk, etc. and etc.) is to be left out of your too clever schemes for remaking their lives by redrawing lines on a map. They want to be liberated from their gun totting CIA gangster-oppressors, not to become the tip of a luciferian spear. No normal or semi intelligent person wants their homeland to become a battleground between heaven and hell.
Andrew Korybko, on the other hand, does not play footsie with cabalist-imperialists because be understands the demoniac nature of the artificial ‘Kurd’ nation, as conceived in a zionist ‘think-tank’ somewhere near you.
The Kurdish ‘nation’ is an AZ project to create a new kind of collective which is properly referred to as satanic. Read the three-parter below and you will understand.
All good people have a profound interest in not falling into the trap you are laying Mr. Kadi. To support the Kurds — or maybe yourself, we should understand who is pulling the strings and never agree to play along.
Despite the protestations of so-called realists and others trapped in globalizing consciousness, we the people have the power to say NO.
As soon as we make use of it everything will change.
The Kurds’ Hate-Filled “Federalization” Manifesto. Part I
The Kurds’ Hate-Filled “Federalization” Manifesto. Part II
The Kurds’ Hate-Filled “Federalization” Manifesto. Part III
For those few readers who have sufficient time to pursue the issue even further, something which is nearly impossible given the non stop barage of information to which they are subjected, I strongly recommend they read the latest from Thierry Meyssan.
The motive for the attacks in Paris and Brussels
Pseudo-Kurdistan is a project supported by Turkey.
I believe some of Saker’s ‘partners’ have imposed you on him and on us, Mr. Kadi, to purposely bury us with bull***t. There is no other reasonable explanation for the inclusion of your devious and consistently poor quality work.
In my opinion.
@Pseudo-Kurdistan is a project supported by Turkey
And perhaps by Israel? Israel thinks in mythical terms:
“The Jewish Roots of Kurdistan”
The history of Judaism in Kurdistan is ancient. The Talmud holds that Jewish deportees were settled in Kurdistan 2800 years ago by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser. As indicated in the Talmud, the Jews were given permission by the rabbinic authorities to allow conversion from the local population. They were exceptionally successful in their endeavor. The illustrious Kurdish royal house of Adiabene, with Arbil as its capital, was converted to Judaism in the course of the 1st century BCE, along with, it appears, a large number of Kurdish citizens in the kingdom (see Irbil/Arbil in Encyclopaedia Judaica).
The name of the Kurdish king Monobazes (related etymologically to the name of the ancient Mannaeans), his queen Helena, and his son and successor Izates (derived from yazata, “angel”), are preserved as the first proselytes of this royal house (Ginzberg 1968, VI.412). [But this is chronologically untenable as Monobazes’ effective rule began only in CE 18. In fact during the Roman conquest of Judea and Samaria (68-67 BCE), Kurdish Adiabene was the only country outside Israel that sent provisions and troops to the rescue of the besieged Galilee (Grayzel 1968, 163) – an inexplicable act if Adiabene was not already Jewish].
Many modern Jewish historians like Kahle (1959), who believes Adiabene was Jewish by the middle of the 1st century BCE, and Neusner (1986), who goes for the middle of the 1st century CE, have tried unsuccessfully to reconcile this chronological discrepancy.
All agree that by the beginning of the 2nd century CE, at any rate, Judaism was firmly established in central Kurdistan…
Many aspects of Kurdish and Jewish life and culture have become so intertwined that some of the most popular folk stories accounting for Kurdish ethnic origins connect them with the Jews.
The tombs of Biblical prophets like Nahum in Alikush, Jonah in Nabi Yunis (ancient Nineveh), Daniel in Kirkuk, Habakkuk in Tuisirkan, and Queen Esther and Mordechai in Hamadân, and several caves reportedly visited by Elijah are among the most important Jewish shrines in Kurdistan and are venerated by all Jews today…
Kurdistan the Birthplace of the Babylonian Talmud…
“C I eh?”, I always welcome criticism and the harsher it is, the more it shows me how to write better in the future. But what you wrote is not criticism. You want your pound of flesh because in a previous “encounter” we had, your only way out was to cut and run because your argument did not have a foot to stand on. Pandering to MY friend Andrew, who is not YOUR friend, does not conceal your identity. What gave you away was your language usage, your obvious personal vendetta against me and my wife’s excellent detective skills. I wish you had the decency and intestinal fortitude, or at least one of them, to put your pen name to your comments and in this manner you may in fact solicit some support from your “followers”. However, just like you blocked me on FB a few weeks ago, you are once again hiding because your comfort zone is where you lurk; in the doldrums of darkness.
You want your pound of flesh because in a previous “encounter” we had, your only way out was to cut and run because your argument did not have a foot to stand on.
What the hell are you talking about? Until now you have never responded to any one of my comments.
I wish you had the decency and intestinal fortitude, or at least one of them, to put your pen name to your comments…
What does my pen name have to do with anything in my comment?
YPD now calling for a Syrian ‘Kurdistan’ Central Bank:
Your comments are completely on-point. Destabilization of Turkey is the goal of the anglozionists. Turkey is an occupied nation; by NATO. Erdogan is being led into a trap by NATO.
The author is a moron, with a definite agenda. That being in a nut shell Second Israel. Greater Israel. And yes, as you so succienctly point out, satanic, evil.
I suggest you visit the blog site Penny for Your Thoughts. The author there has been preaching much of what you believe to be for years. A visionary blog when it comes to Syria, the kurds, etc
C I eh?
I find it amusing that anyone who disagrees with your political analysis is instantly labeled a ‘zionist,’ ‘intelligence agent,’ ‘think-tanker,’ or any other ad hominem attack.
If you want to refute someone, do it with facts and analysis, not name-calling. I personally do not agree with all Mr. Kadi writes, but he certainly is very well informed on the region and undoubtedly has a myriad of sources. If you have first-hand accounts of Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine or the Levant, or first-hand sources you’d like to share, please do. Posting someone else’s analysis, screaming “He’s right! You’re wrong!” and heaping on insults does not contribute to anything resembling a discussion.
please refer to my previous comment in reply to Slobadons asertions
This is as accurate a report as it gets. My Grandfather, who was born in 1901 in the town of Sweidieh in the once Syrian province of Iskenderun (Now Hatay in Turkish) told me the entire history of that region. My father who passed away in 2014 confirmed those stories. I was 22 when I had decided to verify certain demographic facts by myself, so I traveled through the entire area from Mersin to the Iraqi border, only to find the inhabitants speak Arabic and Identify themselves as Syrian all over the area south of the Taurus mountain chain.
Thanks Ghassan Kadi for this essential background information.
Well, after reading other comments I must add that there are almost as many Alawis as Kurds south of the Taurus. These people from what I have gathered have declared their support for the Syrian leadership on many occasions since the start of the war on Syria.
My comments here are not to dispute any of the facts that appear in the thread but to add certain reminders that we know historically exist, namely:
1) National borders are rarely a constant or a permanent line on a map
2) Nations, with or without a state, have the right to self determination.
Hence, It does not make any sense for anyone to forward an absolutist position with regard to the political geography of the middle east. Ghassan Kadi’s article clarified little known historical facts, which are essential if one is to predict a likely outcome to the current issues in Syria and its environs (The map(s) of Sykes-Picot).
Suppose you live in a beautiful house on the river.
One day corporation XYZ comes along and says sell us your home or we will take it from you.
Appropriately you to tell them to f off. You’ve lived in that home for 40 years and plan to retire in it.
Next day you are visited by a city official who tells you, what right have you to hold up progess? On the basis of the principle of ’eminent domain, ‘ we are taking your home.
The principle of ‘self determination’ works exactly the same. It is a legalistic principle by which powerful who can afford unlimited lawyering get to do as they please.
I support the people who want to be left alone, not pie in the sky legalisms which don’t mean what you think they mean.
Very interesting Ghassan. Thanks for bringing some geographical and historical clarity into the equation, which grows more complex by the day.
I think Erdogan must be growing more alarmed by the possibility of a breakaway Northern Syria ‘Kurdistan.’
If not, he should be – it would act as the catalyst for the Turkish Kurds to join them, and incite all-out civil war in Turkey.
Nor would it be good for Syria.
Latest from Russia is a statement that she is ready to normalize relations with Turkey, providing an acknowledgment is made of the attack on the Russian plane.
(If I recall correctly , it was Davutoglu who actually gave the order – that might give Erdogan some ‘face-saving’ room for manoeuvre).
He would be an even bigger fool than he already is not to take it – does he seriously think he can sustain the Turkish economy on terrorism blackmail of Europe indefinitely? It will only enhance NATO objectives, whose plans do not include him.
In addition, in line with maintaining the integrity of the legitimate Syrian state, Putin will not supply arms unilaterally to the Kurdish militias: the Russian objective is to stymie sectarian opportunism, which would lead to the break-up of Syria.
Sure, the US will supply them but they will also fund armed ‘Sunnistan’ – another of their projects. Is that what ordinary Syrians of whatever persuasion want?
The interview with the Russian Head of Syrian Operations emphasized a resurgent Syrian nationalism, including among the Syrian Kurds themselves: I can’t help thinking that the leadership is growing alarmed at this and is attempting to reassert itself with its federalist project.
Ordinary Kurds should look to Iraq and ask themselves if a pseudo-state contrived from multiple factions largely serving the interests of dominant clans and the oil cartels is really the road to a better future. Wouldn’t it be better to be part of the rich cultural tapestry of Syria, with the added kudos of playing a major role in saving the ancient land from the depredations of ISIS? Sectarian federalism would see them go from heros to zeros in a New York minute, as it will inevitably result in displacement and land-theft, even ethnic cleansing of ‘non-Kurds.’
That was the Nazi project – do they want to emulate it?
Time China made some loud investment noises about Syria. How about financing the restoration of Palmyra?
I’ve a very simple reason to believe that Kurds will play along the scheme of dismembering Turkey and keeping Syria. If they decide to be all Syrian, they become a majority in a country. That spells the end of their endless fights again three countries and an opening to a see through Syria. The federalization of Syria would then ensure self determination for the minorities and security for everybody. A state based on those two things could be liveable.
The issue out of this nightmare for Erdogan is to accept total defeat.
Four countries – you forgot Iran.
No way will the Kurdish nationals of Iraq or Iran become Syrian.
Nor could Syria bear another influx from Turkey – that’s where the Syrian Kurd nationals originated.
So this pan-Kurdistan would form as the border lands, stretching from Northern Iraq to Syria and along South Turkey. A land with no strategic depth for nation-building. And one populated by warring factions and a haven for smuggling.
The Kurdish project in Iraq is pretty much a microcosm of what to expect, and that’s a disaster for the ordinary Kurds, thousands of whom have headed to Europe rather than stay. It is riddled with corruption and factions.
What’s more , they would also be under constant attack from Arab and other militias.
So no, the Syrian Kurds will not be spear-heading such a project – not if they have any wisdom, or at least good guidance. They would be just another Israel. but one under perpetual threat from the conflict of interests of the major powers.
Far better to retain their Syrian national identity – shared with others of different ethnicities /religious persuasion.
Ethnicity and nationality are two different things. Kurds, and others, living south of the Taurus Mountains are Syrian. The article is neither about discussing the prospect of creating a pan-Kurdish nor it is advocating it. With respect, you’ve missed the point
For three years, that I stopped reading your articles today by accident, I found an article. I have the impression that time is stopped. Ghasan you are Kurdish? You are from Kurdish lobbies?
Syria has problems with all friends of US neighbors. Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Saudi
If for her peace, it must give its territory each pawns of enemy countries, that will become the noble Syria?
The Syrian Arab Army must continue to fight with the help of these allies. because God’s help is near! And Kurdish are not his allies are pawns of the enemies Euro-US-Saud-Qatar-Turkey-Israel.