Monday, August 20, 2007

Iraq War Spill Over into Iran and Vice Versa

The complex nature of the War on Terrorism has been made evident by the recent events in northern Iraq/Iran. Iran has long been fighting an insurgency with (at least politically) US-backed rebels.

Now another chopper has crashed in northern Iran and the anti-Turkey, anti-Iran, anti-US Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has claimed responsibility. In partial response Iran has opened up a new front the PKK's anti-Iranian faction called Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK). Iran is doing this by shelling a pro-PJAK village in Iraq and massing troops along the Iraqi border.

The dynamics of this engagement is interesting. Northern Iraq is for all practical purposes its own little country within Iraq. The Kurds tend to avoid the Arab Sunni versus Arab Shia struggle; Kurds prefer to mind their own affairs. The Kurds have their own micro-military and the backing of the United States Army. Iran on the other hand semi-openly supports and arms anti-American forces in non-Kurdish parts of Iraq.

Iran will most likely avoid open conflict for fear of getting into a open war with the United States; something which at the current moment Iran is unready for. However, expect proxies to continue to battle it out in Iraq and elsewhere.

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