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'The Kurds Can Wipe IS Off The Face Of The Earth'


A German military expert (left) speaks with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters at a shooting range in Irbil.

A German military expert (left) speaks with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters at a shooting range in Irbil.

Tajik journalist Davlyat Nazirov has called on the United Nations to sort out the question of Kurdish statehood, arguing that it is the Kurds who would be able to successfully defeat the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq.

In an interview with a Tajik news outlet on January 12, Nazirov also accused the United States of using terrorist threats to control Tajikistan.

Apparently in sharp contrast to the prevailing view of the threat posed by IS in Central Asia, Nazirov, who is a member of Tajikistan’s Writers and Journalists Union, played down the danger of IS to Tajikistan and the wider region. However, Nazirov implied that the West is responsible for whipping up IS hysteria in Tajikistan as part of a long-term effort designed to serve its own interests.

“This is the 24th year of our independence [from the USSR] and throughout this period we have been constantly frightened, threatened, and warned of the threat of invasion from religious, extremist, and terrorist organizations. In general, these “threats and challenges” to our region are indispensable for great countries in order to solve their geopolitical problems: first, to create military bases on our territory and second to use our territory for transit,” Nazirov said.

Nazirov claimed that in 2010 the United States had placed Taliban fighters along the Tajik border to “ensure that our republic is more ‘compliant.’”

“Here I want to note that we are not easily frightened,” Nazirov added, saying that Tajikistan’s domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies had “strength enough” to deal with “extremist and terrorist organizations and groups.”

Russian Presence In Tajikistan

Nazirov also noted that Tajikistan is a member of regional security treaties including the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO), an alliance including Russia and Central Asian countries; and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes China, Russia, and Central Asian states.

Tajikistan has also agreed to the deployment of the Russian 201st military base on its territory.

Russia and Tajikistan signed a protocol regarding the status of the Russian military presence in February.

Nazirov said that one of the methods of wiping out the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq is connected with Kurdish statehood.

“If the United Nations really wants to solve the problem of the war with IS, it needs first of all to solve the issue of Kurdish status and statehood....It is the Kurds, the Kurdish militants who will be able to wipe IS off the face of the Earth, just like in 1818 the Turkish Empire managed to wipe out the Wahhabis,” Nazirov said.

The Tajik journalist added that the United Nations must also secure the release of Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence in a Turkish prison. Ocalan is one of the founding members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey, which the United States and the European Union class as a terrorist organization.

-- Joanna Paraszczuk

About This Blog

"Under The Black Flag" provides news, opinion, and analysis about the impact of the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in Syria, Iraq, and beyond. It focuses not only on the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East, but also on the implications for the region and the world. The blog's primary author, James Miller, closely covered the first three years of the Arab Spring, with a focus on Syria, and is now the managing editor of The Interpreter, where he covers Russia's foreign and domestic policy and the Kremlin's wars in Syria and Ukraine. Follow him on Twitter: @Millermena

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