The Kurdish forces that were until recently considered to be terrorist groups in Europe are charged with systematically cleansing northern Iraq of their ethnic enemies, so finds a report by Amnesty International.
The groups were quickly catapulted to the status of valued allies by the emergence of the Islamic State, but this new report raises questions over who the West has chosen as its bedfellows in the fight against radical Islam – harkening back to the 1970s when the West allied with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to defeat Communism.
Titled ‘Banished and Dispossessed: Forced Displacement and Deliberate Destruction in Northern Iraq’, the Amnesty team who combined field research in Northern Iraq, interviews, and satellite photography found Kurdish Peshmerga forces and their allies were clearing and demolishing towns and villages inhabited by Arabs.
While the report falls short of calling the attacks ethnic cleansing, the evidence presented by the report does show ethnic Kurds are moving Arabs en masse from conquered areas and preventing them from returning, effectively colonising them.
In a press release accompanying the report, Amnesty said: “Peshmerga forces from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdish militias in northern Iraq have bulldozed, blown up and burned down thousands of homes in an apparent effort to uproot Arab communities in revenge for their perceived support for the so-called Islamic State”.
Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s officer who conducted the research in northern Iraq said: “KRG forces appear to be spearheading a concerted campaign to forcibly displace Arab communities by destroying entire villages in areas they have recaptured from IS in northern Iraq. The forced displacement of civilians and the deliberate destruction of homes and property without military justification, may amount to war crimes”.
Supporting the idea that conflicts in the Middle East are often driven by vengeful individuals with long memories, the report suggests a part of the action by the Kurdish groups may be motivated by a sense of revenge for the genocidal actions of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime in the 1980s.
Satellite images acquired by Amnesty International show bulldozer tracks near to piles of rubble which were once settlements. Even orchards were bulldozed, preventing the return of the landowners to rebuild and engage in agriculture. Meanwhile, when Israeli security services tear down the houses of terrorists, there is widespread international condemnation.
Paramilitary groups linked to Kurdish nationalism including the PKK were recognised as terrorist groups in Europe for decades until the collapse of Syria and Iraq and the emergence of the Islamic State precipitated a marriage of convenience. Nations including Germany went from prosecuting individuals associated with the PKK to flying them enormous arms shipments almost overnight.
Just one shipment of second hand weapons flown from Germany to the Kurds included 16,000 rifles, eight million rounds of ammunition, 4,000 rockets, 10,000 hand grenades. and over 100 military vehicles.
While many in Europe were happy to forget the past and throw their support behind military support for the Kurds, not all were delighted by the sudden change.
One of the founding complaints of the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of Europe (PEGIDA) movement was an objection to the German state giving materiel aid to terrorists, which they believed would only inflame the situation and cause more Muslim migration to Europe.
The brutal inter-ethnic conflict between the Kurds and Muslim Arabs has now spread beyond Iraq and Turkey to mainland Europe, as the migration crisis has welcomed thousands of both groups into European cities. Breitbart London has reported at length on the bloody street battles fought between the groups, with violent clashes and killings in Sweden, Germany, and Switzerland. Last week in Britain, a Kurdish nationalist protest caused transport mayhem as anti-Turkish activists shut down the Severn Bridge.
Breitbart London reported on one such exceptional clash of cultures in the city of Bern where protest turned to murder as a black saloon car was driven at high speed through a crowd of Kurds, an event caught on camera from multiple angles as by-standers looked on in horror.