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[casi] =?Windows-1252?Q?US_Promises_Iraq=92s_Turkomans_Autonomy?=

Dear list members,




            A N U
Assyrian News Watch
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Assyrian Chaldean Syriac



Tuesday, July 9, 2002


US Assures Turkish-Backed Turkoman Minority
Autonomy and Oil Cities in Post-Saddam Iraq

US Promises Iraq’s Turkomans Autonomy

Excerpts from last DEBKA-Net-Weekly

9 July: US war planners have decided that their most useful strategic asset
for the coming offensive against Saddam Hussein is the 2.5 million
Turkomans of north and central Iraq - even more than the Kurds.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military and intelligence sources explain their

1. The Turkomans control a vital strip separating Baghdad and central Iraq
from its oil regions in the north. After the war is over, US strategic
planners plan the establishment of Turkoman and Kurdish autonomous states
in the north and a Shiite territory in the south to keep the federal regime
in Baghdad chronically weak and ineffective. The oilfields will be left
with the Turkomans and the Shiites. The Turkic-speaking Turkoman Strip is
of exceptional geo-strategic importance, running as it does from the
Turkish-Syrian borders in the northwest to the Iranian border southeast of
Baghdad. It includes the oil cities of Kirkuk and Mosul, as well as Arbil –
or Irbil, Diala, Salah-e-din and Altunkopru. The last is an island-town on
the Little Zab River. There is also a large community in Baghdad.

2.  At the end of May, Turkey came around to joining the US offensive
against Iraq for compelling strategic reasons of its own. One, the eventual
disseverance of Iraq will enfeeble Iraq and its military ally, Syria, both
neighbors. Two, Ankara will gain control over the perennial Kurdish problem
by holding Turkish military forces in the autonomous Turkoman region and so
clamping the Kurdish regions between Turkey in the north and the Turkoman
Strip in the south. Three, the Turks will gain a direct route to Baghdad
for the first time since the Ottomans were thrown out in 1924.

Turkey now has special military units and military intelligence agents
positioned in Turkoman towns, corresponding to the US presence in the
Kurdish regions. They are training small Turkomen units in the arts of
guerrilla warfare. The Turks and Turkomans will be able to cut the supply
lines from Baghdad to the Iraqi forces positioned on the Turkish and Syria

Turkish agents have also been planted in the Turkoman community in Baghdad.
They are assigned to helping the American effort to undermine and subvert
the Saddam regime from within, so reducing the need for large-scale
military action.

The new name to watch for is Sapr Oketene, the US-Turkish choice of
Turkoman national leader.
The forcible relocation of the Turkomen communities and their replacement
by Arabs began in 1925 when the British first set up the Iraqi oil company
in Kirkuk and Mosul. This policy of changing the demography of the oil rich
sectors of Kirkuk by deporting ethnic Kurds and Turkomans is still going
on, including seizure of their lands.

The “safe havens” created by the UN in 1991 after the Gulf War divided the
Turkomans into two separate communities, part living above the 36th
parallel which is dominated by the Kurds and part living below and
dominated by the Iraqi regime.  Since then, the largely Sunni Muslim
ethno-linguistic Turkomans who ruled Baghdad from 833 to 1924 complains of
ethnic cleansing by the dominant Kurds.

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