PRAVDA.Ru correspondent Sergey Borisov reports
The Kurds are closely studying the experience of the Afghani “Northern Alliance” for further use against Iraq. The dream of the Kurd to overthrow Hussein may come true if the USA launches an offensive against Iraq. The USA and the Kurds have the same goals. The North Alliance’s war in Afghanistan is a great inspiration for the Kurds: themselves national minorities and with US air support, the alliance managed to reach Kabul. The Christian Science Monitor reported that the Kurdish leaders are sure that they will only achieve their goals through Baghdad.
Pentagon generals are planning an anti-Hussein operation and expect to receive the Kurds’ support, and they want to use the Afghanistan experience in Iraq as well. Sheikh Jafar Mustafa, the leader of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union, believes that the USA is “the best friend of the Kurdish people” and is readey to support to an anti-Hussein operation. At the same time, the Kurdish leaders are trying to avoid making any open anti-Hussein statements, as the regions inhabited by Kurds may be quickly occupied by Iraqi if such statements are made.
Leader of the Kurdistan Democratic party Masud Barzani says that the Afghani model will not be repeated in any anti-Hussein operation but the main lessons of the operation in Afghanistan should be used. In Barzani’s words, Afghanistan’s main lesson is that national minorities took over the country. The two main parties of Kurdistan say they have given up claims of an independent state. At the same time, they are sure that Kurd authority will be significant in Baghdad in order to guarantee a secure life to Kurds in northern Iraq. For this very purpose, the Kurds want to clench the leading positions in the Iraqi opposition.
Unlike the Northern Alliance, the Kurds have only a few tanks and heavy machineguns. The Iraqi armed forces, which are considered to be the strongest in the Middle East, can hardly be compared with the Taliban. The Kurdish army makes up about 70,000 soldiers, and the Iraqi has about 400,000 soldiers.
The Kurd factions were at war in the mid-90s , then concluded an armistice. They have managed to achieve a consensus regarding Baghdad. The Kurds have have a chance for the first time in the history to change the situation in Iraq, and they expect to receive US support to implement their plans. It is the USA that is to determine the role of a new “Northern Alliance” in Iraq.
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/03/30/39035.html