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Previous | Next :: Sardar : Security Team Leader : Kurdistan : Iraq | June 13, 2014, 8:42 pm

Sardar : Security Team Leader : Kurdistan : Iraq
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A couple of years ago I was up in the North of Iraq in the land of the Kurds .......... that is always the most relaxed and welcoming bit of Iraq especially for Brits or Americans ......... partly because many Kurdish people remember with gratitude the Western imposed no fly zone that protected them for years from Saddam's forces the air policed by US and UK aircraft ........... (Years before the US led forces ever arrived in Bagdad the Kurds had risen against Saddam ....... they rose at the end of the US led liberation of Kuwait in 1991) ............

One of my body guards in the region, Sardar, told me as a child he had escaped into the mountains with his family to flee Saddams forces during that uprising .......... his Grandmother had died from exposure to the cold ........ It had been a terrible time of suffering for his whole family ....... he wept as he recalled it ........... The Kurdish fighters the Peshmurga fought fiercely ........ once they were protected from air attack by Saddams helicopter gunships and aircraft they fought back to win against Saddams forces on the ground and pushed them out of the Kurdish region then held the territory ............ Sardar's remaining family were able to come back down from the mountains ......... the no fly zone was critical to allowing the Kurds to defend themselves and to live without the terror of Saddams regime in effectively a separate state calved out of what was then Saddam's Iraq ............

When I was there I felt pretty sympathetic to the desire of most Kurds from Northern Iraq to once again be a separate Nation State ........ separate from the rest of Iraq ........ With all its continuing sectarian violence following the US led invasion ................ But today I feel that sympathy even more strongly as I listen in horror to the news coming out of Iraq ............ summary executions........ beheadings and other atrocities carried out by ISIS fighters the Al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria and Iraq (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) ) .......... These violent religious fundamentalists have seized so much territory they are even threatening Baghdad itself ...........

As I look at the maps I see ISIS is holding territory or at least operating in territory right up to Erbill in the Kurdish region .......... And that Peshmerga fighters are now defending Kirkuk as the Iraqi army have abandoned their posts ........... I fear for the friends I made there ........ I fear for my modern progressive friends in Baghdad and especially other cities already fallen to ISIS ..............

In the Kurdish region I am thinking particularly of Sardar who wanted to hang up his AK47......... not worry about violence and war again ...... he wanted to get married and raise a family and never carry a gun as was the wish for him of his soon to be wife ......... I truly hope that this might still be possible for him .......... but sadly I suspect he will have already felt the need to pick up his weapon once more .......... ready to defend his family and his people from another army coming up from the South armed with terrible weaponry and disgusting ideology.

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Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXX

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PS............ Here is a depressing overview in the UK's Daily Mail

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