Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kurds to be 2 of 3 Iraqi surge brigades

"The Kurdish makeup of two of the three Iraqi army brigades due to be sent to Baghdad under President Bush's new strategic plan is drawing concern from Iraqi and U.S. experts.
. . . A former senior CIA operations officer who is familiar with Iraq said yesterday that sending the units into Baghdad "will not make many friends for the Kurds, depending on where they go." But, said the officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, "if you are going in to clear a majority-Sunni area, better to use Kurdish rather than Shia troops. . . . They are obviously better than Iraqi police and more professional."
Last week, Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker and a prominent member of the Iraqi Kurdish Coalition, declared his opposition to Kurds going into Baghdad.
"There are fears that a fight like this, pitting Kurds against the Arabs, is bound to add an ethnic touch to the conflict," Othman told the Iraqi newspaper Az-Zaman."
. . . But the deployment holds appeal for the Kurdistan Regional Government, because in return, the Baghdad government would be ready to provide it an additional share of the national budget, a Kurdish official told the New Anatolian, a Kurdish newspaper, last week."

The Washington Post. Use of Kurdish Troops In Baghdad Debated. January 16, 2007.

posted: thursday, january 18, 2007, 3:20 AM ET


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