WASHINGTON, D.C. – A secret decision apparently has been made by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and even Iran to let the strategic Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani on the Turkish-Syrian border fall to ISIS fighters, jeopardizing the lives of some 160,000 Syrian Kurds, WND has been told by a well-placed Middle East expert.
In letting Kobani fall to ISIS, the source said, there was agreement “to deal with ISIS later.”
The apparent decision aims to diminish the influence of the Kurds in Syria and weaken the prospect of creating a sovereign Kurdistan, which is sought by the Kurds not only in Syria, but in Turkey, Iran and Iraq..
“It is a real set up behind the backs of everyone,” the well-placed source told WND.
Ankara has brought its tanks up to the Turkish-Syrian border in sight of Kobani but has not committed any troops to stop the ISIS siege of the Kurdish city.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Kurds have been appealing for arms and ammunition in addition to aerial bombing by the U.S.-led coalition of Arab countries on ISIS positions. Sources on the ground, however, say the bombing has become virtually meaningless, since ISIS fighters have blended into the population, requiring more fighters on the ground.
The Syrian Kurds have been fighting ISIS just as their counterparts in Iraq, the Kurdish peshmerga, have been doing to keep ISIS from taking over their territory, which comprises some of the largest oil reserves in Iraq and Syria.
The Turks have resisted assisting the Kurds since Ankara for years has been battling the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK, which seeks to carve out a portion of the border countries to create Kurdistan.
For Turkey, the Syrian and Turkish Kurds occupy valuable oil resources sought by the energy-deficient Turks.
In addition, the Kurds have an alliance with the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, whom the Turks want to see overthrown in favor of a Sunni-run government.
However, ISIS clearly is the only predominant Sunni group in a position to take over, since it already has grabbed much of northeastern Syria and western and central Iraq to form its caliphate, which it seeks to govern under strict Islamic law, or Shariah.
For Turkey, an ISIS takeover of Kobani would help split up the Iraqi Kurds from the Syrian Kurds, further diminishing the chance for a united Kurdistan.
At the same time, it would give ISIS a northern bridge between Iraq and Syria, which it hasn’t had until now.
Consequently, not only will the Turks refuse to commit combat troops, so will the U.S.
Because of the Kurds’ ties not only with Syrian President Assad but also with Iran, sources say the U.S. doesn’t want to leave the impression it is bolstering Assad and working with Iran by providing further assistance to the Syrian Kurds beyond aerial bombings.
There are questions concerning the extent to which the Iranians went along with the secret deal to let Kobani fall to ISIS.
As WND reported, there have been calls in recent days within Iran for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to assist the Syrian Kurds, prompting demonstrations of support in a number of Iranian cities.
As a signal of Iran’s concern, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in Kobani.
“Iran will soon send humanitarian aid for the residents and refugees in this area through the Syrian government,” Afkham said.
Shiite Iran is a major supporter of the government of Assad, a Shiite-Alawite.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, has made it clear that Iran doesn’t want Turkish troops inside Syria. Iran now is in discussions with Turkey to return some 200,000 Kurds who have fled Syria for refuge in Turkey.
At the same time, Amir-Abdollahian made clear Iran “will take any necessary action to help the Kurds in Kobani in line with its support for the Syrian government in its fight against terrorism.”
The WND source said Iran’s interest in wanting to help the Kurds is “just a front,” since Iran, like Turkey, has opposed an independent Kurdistan carved out of western Iran, which, like the Kurdish portions of Turkey, Iraq and Syria, have rich oil deposits.
Although Tehran wants to show support for the Kurds because of their backing of Assad, it nonetheless may be more concerned about the repeated historical efforts by the Kurds to establish their own Kurdish state. There are strong ethnic, linguistic and cultural ties between the Kurds and Iran. However, Tehran doesn’t want to see the Kurds taking over its western oil reserves.