10:30 GMT +321 February 2017
    Iraqi Kurdish girls carry a Kurdistan flag during the celebration of Flag Day in the northern city of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq

    'Vital' Regional Ally: Why Russia 'Should Play Kurdish Card'

    © AFP 2016/ SAFIN HAMED
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    Russia should increase its influence in the Middle East by playing on regional differences and the Kurds are instrumental in this respect, Russian analyst Vladimir Lepekhin asserted.

    Moscow's relations with the Kurds in Turkey, according to the analyst, are gradually improving at a time when Ankara is essentially in a state of war with its Kurdish population. Turkish forces have recently intensified the airstrike campaign against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) after the ceasefire collapsed.

    "Nowadays Russia's cooperation with the Kurds in Turkey, Syria and elsewhere has not only become possible, but is in fact vital. Russia does not have many friends in the Middle East. So it cannot ignore ties with its longtime ally like the Kurds," the expert wrote in an opinion piece for RIA Novosti.

    Russia could improve ties with the Kurds in Turkey in response to Ankara's "unfriendly steps" towards Moscow, he added.

    "The simplest form of cooperation involves sending Russian weapons to Kurdish fighters in Turkey," he noted.

    Lepekhin maintains that Moscow should be careful in promoting ties with the Kurds since this ethnic group and its aspirations are one of the key factors not only for Turkey, but also Syria, Iran and Iraq. Russia should keep in mind that regardless of where the Kurds live, they want to establish an independent state by carving out parts of the existing sovereign states, he pointed out.

    Russia's relations with the Kurds should be considered within the framework of Moscow's "strategic partnership with Tehran … and the emerging peace process in Syria," the analyst noted. He believes that Moscow and Damascus would want the Syrian Kurds to take part in the negotiations to counterbalance the opposition.

    "Russian analysts mostly agree that Moscow should play the Kurdish card more actively in Turkey and Syria. It should provide support to Peshmerga in return for the Kurdish backing of the Syrian government forces, the Iraqi government and especially Iran," he asserted.


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    Middle East, Kurds, geopolitics, cooperation, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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    • avatar
      Mr Lepekhin, we are in agreement.

      Well, I have shared the same thoughts here yesterday. It is good to learn that my own understanding of the situation so far seems to be improving.
    • avatar
      Indeed, America's neglect is to Russia's advantage if Russia takes up that option to arm the Kurds. However, not all Kurds share the same dream, so that in itself has the potential to open a Pandora's Box of unknown consequences if Russia should decide to ingratiate itself further into the Middle East. Some very sound thinking is needed here!
    • rzuber78
      Yesterday was too LATE.-... Long Live FREE KURDISTAN
    • avatar
      Peshmerga is in Iraq. And according to Wikipedia they are split. PKK is in Turkey, YPG/YPJ is in Syria. What is he talking about? PKK is the force to fight Turkey is it not?
    • FeEisi
      That's not a good idea. What's to stop Turkey and its allies from supporting different Jihadist separatist in Russia? Russia should follow China's example and not meddle in the internal affairs of other countries.
    • avatar
      Ivan Zadorozhny
      Russia should ally with the Kurds to balance Turkey.
    • avatar
      in reply toFeEisi(Show commentHide comment)
      FeEisi, So what? Anyone can try. A financial support is required, and quite a large one for that matter.
    • avatar
      If this bond can be accomplished then Erdogan's days in power will be numbered, good luck Mr. Lavrov in attaining that goal.
    • False.

      Russia should bomb the Kurds permanently into oblivion.

      The Kurds are a False Flag Covert War apparatus of NATO Zionists and should be destroyed. You see their mole ridden faces being promoted in the same way as Ms. Uzi of Zionist Israel. Same marketing ploy to gain sympathy.

      If you promote Kurds then you promote NATO policy that will strengthen these same PPK Kurds in Iran to break away and join this new NATO state that has been in the works ever since the US imposed a no fly zone in Northern Iraq to build up this project. Now they have also expanded into Syria.

      One must also not forget that Turkey used the Kurds as mercenaries to rape, torture and murder Christian Armenians during the World War I Central Powers Genocide. The score has not been evened.

      Problem with these Vlasov Russians is that they forget too quickly and the only thing they remember are their Swiss Bank Accounts, etc. and Western benefactors (aka: very senior partners)

      This Russia must remember which side it is on. When you see which side NATO supported during the last Revolution. You see what the problem is with these Pro-NATO Zionist policies in the face of a very dire situation: Ukraine, LNR, DNR, Abkazia, South Ossetia, etc.
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