Amed – Oppressed for thousands of years by various regimes, the Kurdish people have had a long and troubled history. Not until the Reforms of 2097 when the Turkish Republic was split into the Union of Kurdistan and the Union of Asia Minor, did a Kurdish government have true complete self-administration. Even now, while the Kurds of the Athenian Federation have complete freedom and joined voluntarily, the Kurds of Iraq and Iran continue to be oppressed by the ethnic majorities in those countries. Recent reports from the Union of Kurdistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have however become cause for concern on how the Kurds are being treated in both countries, but especially Iraq.
These reports talk about mass arrests and ethnic cleansing of large portion of the Kurdish population. Kurds have long been a thorn in many Arab and Persian governments’ sides as they are a people very resistant to occupation and with a strong identity, as well as the will to fight for it. At various points in the 20th and 21st centuries governments of the four countries have attempted to expel or exterminate these people to reduce the threat and create space for their own ethnic majorities. Incidents of that kind that have taken place in the former Turkish Republic and Kingdom of Syria were even cause for reparations by the successor regions in the Athenian Federation. No justice has ever been granted to Iraqi and Iranian Kurds however.
If the Kurdish and Imperial fears about the Kurdish minorities in Iraq are true, it threatens to become an even larger humanitarian disaster than the attempted genocide on Athenian citizens in Germany. This has caused strong calls both from the government of the Union of Kurdistan and the Parliament to take military action for the protection of Iraqi Kurds and other ethnic minorities in the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced that it had issued a formal warning to the President of Iraq with a warning to respect the rights of ethnic minorities.
For its part the Union of Kurdistan has deployed 100,000 Peshmerga to its border with Iraq. The all-gender Peshmerga is the official armed force of the Union of Kurdistan. It is the only sanctioned armed force besides the Hellenic Forces within the Athenian Federation and was authorized due to the justifiable fears that in the future the Kurds may once again need arms to defend their own. Should the Athenian Federation intervene, the knowledge of the territory and cultural homogenity would likely make these Peshmerga a vital force in rapidly securing the Kurdish regions.
So far the Athenian warnings do not seem to have impressed the Iraqi government, it is expected that a major decision on whether to go to war against Iraq is being left open until the Empress returns. However pressure is building on the government to maintain its commitment to the Kurdish people and also protect those abroad like it would any other ethnic group of the Federation.