VICKEN CHETERIAN

Vicken Cheterian

There is a deepening political crisis in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) – or the Kurdish autonomy in northern Iraq. Following the news from a distance, one would get alarmed that the crisis might go out of hand, fear that the crisis might even turn once again into inter-Kurdish conflict. How does the situation look from the ground?

Father Levon Yeghyaian receives me in his office and explains the difficulties of his community in Qamishli; the city had 1800 families before the conflict erupted, now only 700 families remain. In neighbouring Hassakah there are only 89 families, while in Derik (al-Mailikiyah) 69 Armenian families live.

As we pass next to regime checkpoints in the centre of the city, my driver cautions not to film, as we risk being stopped and interrogated. The Syrian regime still has presence in Qamishli, preserving some government buildings there known as “security square”. The Qamishli airport, just to the south-west of the city, is also under regime control.

Most of all, Putin was not realistic about his own forces, the capabilities of his own armies. Russian soldiers do not want to fight in Ukraine; the numerous cases where tanks and other military equipment are abandoned testifies to this. Russian military equipment evidently suffers from lack of maintenance, Russian logistics are overstretched, but more important Ukrainian army proved itself more skilled in fighting a war with modern digital technologies and combined arms.

On February 24, 2022, Russian military invaded Ukraine. International Relations will not be the same again. As Russian military targets the entire territory of Ukraine, its political objective remains ill-defined.

Russian military intervention might stabilize the ruling cast for a while, but it will deepen its lack of legitimacy. As events unfold, there are numerous questions that remain open.

Now, a year after the war started, and nearly eleven months after it ended, the positions of the conflict sides and influential powers changed dramatically. Yet, the war did not put an end to the conflict; it just transformed it.

Why did Turkey support Azerbaijan in its war effort? Why Turkey continues to impose economic blockade against Armenia from the first day of its independence? Isn’t this the legacy of the 1915 Genocide?