15:43 GMT09 April 2020
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    The success of the Kurds as a fighting force against Daesh worries some regional powers, who remain too divided to reach a political solution to the conflict in Iraq and Syria, warned political analyst Wladimir van Wilgenburg.

    Some regional players in the Middle East conflict are worried about the influence of the Kurdish militia which has emerged as one of the most successful fighting forces in Iraq and Syria, Kurdish affairs expert Wladimir van Wilgenburg told Sputnik.

    ​"I think some concerns are justified, because it's not possible for the Kurds for instance to take areas populated by Sunni Arabs, there should be a bigger Arab component," said van Wilgenburg, adding that though the Kurds have shown their capability in defeating Daesh in several areas, greater Sunni Arab involvement is needed in the operations. 

    One such recent success was the capture last month of the Iraqi town of Sinjar, said the expert, which "broke the logistical line between Raqqah and Mosul, the two capitals of ISIS (Daesh). Also they are fighting heavily in Hasakah, where they have defeated ISIS several times. Because the Kurds are so close to Raqqah and Mosul, whoever wants to defeat ISIS, they have to work with them." 

    Kurdish peshmerga forces prepare their positions on the front line for battle against Islamic State group positions in northern Iraq.
    © AP Photo / Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC)
    While these military successes will earn the Kurds political influence in the Middle East after Daesh, they face opposition from some governments, particularly Ankara, which is opposed to the formation of a Kurdish statelet on its border, and Baghdad, said the expert.

    Van Wilgenburg spoke of the important role of international mediators in bringing about a political solution which will bring lasting stability. In particular, the US could use NATO to positively impact on Turkey's relationship with the Syrian Kurds, and Iran could mediate between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurds. 

    Sunni Arab states must also ensure the inclusion of Sunni Arabs in a post-Daesh political solution, in order to prevent the emergence of a new Daesh in the future, said the expert, who nevertheless expressed caution about the possibility of all the actors being able to resolve their differences and bring peace to the region.

    "Everybody has their own agenda, and that makes it very difficult to find a solution," said Van Wilgenburg, who explained that political agreements with opposition groups in Syria and the inclusion of Sunni Arabs in operations against Daesh are crucial to the defeat of the terrorist group. 

    Tags:
    peace process, Daesh, Syria, Iraq
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