An article published in The New York Times on 2 March 1979, in section A page 13, titled “Mustafa Barzani, Kurd’s Leader Dies” provided an obituary and a brief history of the Kurds and their prominent leader. He had been living in exile in Northern Virginia since 1976.
In 1975, the Shah of Iran reached an agreement with Iraq to cut off supplies to the Kurds. The United States, at the direction of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, withdrew its support. Soviet‐supplied Iraqi tanks quickly overran Barzani’s troops, and he sought asylum and medical treatment for lung cancer in the U.S.
“In 1990,” says Wahab, “when President Bush asked the Iraqi people to rise against Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, the Kurds responded to that. And unfortunately, once Saddam Hussein’s tanks rolled into Kurdistan, the U.S. just stood by, and that resulted in a massive exodus of Kurds to the mountain.”
In the aftermath of Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet on February 10, 2016, a Rojava representative office linked to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party/ Democratic Union Party (PKK/PYD), was opened in Moscow.
Two days before the opening ceremony, that was attended by Russian and Kurdish politicians, a furious Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave an ultimatum to the U.S. administration to choose between Turkey and Syrian Kurds by asking them “me or terrorists?”
from cooperating with its archenemy. Ankara might hope Moscow will drop the Kurds as the campaign against ISIL begins to draw to a close. But Russo-Kurdish partnership has deep roots that stretch back to the turn of the last century and might last longer than Turkey would like. As American power in the region is perceptibly in retreat, Russia is trying to fill the vacuum. In Moscow’s regional calculations, the Kurds might prove to be more than great fighters. They could provide the Kremlin with further leverage.”
borders, what the Kurds claim to be their homeland happens to be divided among Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and they would have to forfeit prime real estate abundant with natural resources as well as being of great geopolitical and geostrategic importance for a Kurdish state to emerge.
The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq somewhat resembles an autonomous region, however, when Masoud Barzani went for a referendum for independence from the Iraqi central government in 2017, he was quickly forced to resign.