Sep 30 2013
By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, September 30, 2013
The Kurdish city of Irbil was the scene of rare violence on Sunday. A series of bombings rocked the city, killing at least six members of the Kurdish security forces.
Irbil is the capital of Iraq’s autonomous region, which, in Iraqi terms, has been an oasis of peace and tranquility in comparison to the rest of the country.
The ferocity of the attacks suggests that they were part of a pre-meditated plan that was there in the criminal minds but they were waiting for the right opportunity to carry it out.
There are several forces, lurking to inflict as much damage as possible on the Kurdish region. But probably they were looking for the time in which the damage will have far-reaching consequences.
It seems they found the aftermath of the free and democratic parliamentary elections held in the region last week appropriate to carry out their terrorist act.
The semi-independent region will inevitably be affected by the events in neighboring states. It has recently become a haven for tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds fleeing violence in their own country.
Kurdish armed groups and members of Al Qaeda have been fighting each other in Syria, sparking a large exodus of Syrians to the Kurdish north in Iraq.
The Kurdish region has been the envy not only of other parts of Iraq but also some neighboring states due to its prosperity and relative security.
The Kurdish authorities have wisely administered their region, balancing their relations with the central government in Baghdad and neighboring governments namely those of Turkey and Iran.
They have been coordinating on security and political matters with Turkey following the withdrawal of Turkish Kurdish rebels to northern Iraq.
They have preserved the region’s secular character and fought tenaciously the spread of sectarianism in their ranks.
There have been serious and dedicated efforts not to allow the sectarian divisions prevalent in the central and southern parts of the country to take roots in their region.
Despite their expanded ties with Iran, they have stood against Iranian clerical government’s attempts to export its religious and sectarian pursuits to their region.
The attacks were also meant to send a signal to all those unhappy with the Iraqi Kurds and their democratic experience that their region is not impregnable and can be penetrated easily.
The attacks are an opportunity for the Kurds, fresh from their free and democratic elections, to close ranks and work together so that such carnage will not happen again.
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