Will the Iraqi Kurds be a collateral victim of the war in Ukraine? In and around Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Islamic State is back. It’s raising its head in Sulaymaniyah. It’s retaking its positions in the caves and tunnels of the Qaraqosh mountains. Along the old Sector 6 front, around Gwer, on a daily basis, ISIS tests the capacity of Gen. Sirwan Barzani, a leader of the Peshmerga, the regional military force.
The Kurds’ European and American partners don’t seem to appreciate the danger. They appear to regard ISIS as a tumor that has been excised, when it is more like mercury—a poisonous liquid that vaporizes and rests in suspension, waiting for its adversaries to lower their guard so it can condense anew. That is what is unfolding in Iraqi Kurdistan.