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Vol. 81/No. 40      October 30, 2017

(lead article, Socialist Workers Party statement)

Protest the assault against Kurdistan!

US out of Mideast! Accept Kurds referendum vote!

Iraqi government forces seized Kirkuk, and entered nearby oilfields, above, Oct. 16. Joined by Tehran-backed militia, they also seized airport, military bases, other cities. Washington gave Baghdad green light to attack Kurds, aimed at blocking an independent Kurdistan.
The following statement was released Oct. 18 by Osborne Hart, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of New York.

The Socialist Workers Party says: End the assaults against Kurdistan now! Recognize the overwhelming results of the Kurdish independence referendum! U.S. out of the Middle East!

We urge working people to support the centurylong fight of the Kurdish people for independence. Through every step they’ve taken along this road they’ve encountered obstruction and war from the imperialist powers and capitalist rulers in Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, where the vast majority of the over 30 million Kurds live.

These regimes live in fear of Kurdish independence in the Middle East. The Kurdish struggle is in the interests of workers everywhere.

This fight is sharply posed today. Since the Sept. 25 referendum, where 93 percent of those in the Kurdistan region voted for forming their own state, Washington and its imperialist allies have called for the referendum to be tossed aside. Ankara, Tehran and Damascus have blockaded the Kurdistan Regional Government, seeking to isolate and strangle the Kurds until they back down and nullify the vote — something they have refused to do.

Washington, which has claimed to be an ally of the Kurds and relied on the Kurdish peshmerga army to counter Islamic State in Iraq, said it backs a “unified Iraq” and opposed the Kurdish referendum. It stood aside when Iraqi forces and Tehran-backed militias launched their assault and captured Kirkuk, a historic Kurdish city. The militias beheaded peshmerga fighters and ransacked the homes of Kurds in the city. This invasion opened the road to further attacks on Kurdish areas.

The Kurds have lost Kirkuk, a swath of further territory where they had protected the population for years, and their oil resources. They still face a brutal blockade. Further military assaults cannot be ruled out if the Kurds don’t renounce their fight for independence.

The Socialist Workers Party demands Baghdad withdraw from all of the Kurdish homeland. We demand that the rulers in Ankara, Tehran and Damascus end their blockade, which hits working people the hardest.

We urge working people in the U.S. and around the world to help initiate and join protests in defense of the Kurdish people’s struggle.

We demand: End the war against Kurdistan now! U.S. out of the Middle East!
Related articles:
With US complicity, Baghdad seizes Kurdish city of Kirkuk
Madrid steps up threats, attacks against Catalan national rights
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