What’s Another War in Iraq?
Somehow no one cares that Turkey has invaded Iraqi Kurdistan. On Monday, despite Baghdad officials’ denunciation, Lt. Gen. Carter ham said he was “heartened” by Iraq-Turkish dialogue. Now the Kurdistan Regional Government has voted to use its 100,000-plus militia force, the pesh merga, against the Turkish military if the Turks move into civilian areas.
In January 2006, I went to Iraqi Kurdistan and interviewed, among others, the elderly minister of defense, Hahmid Effendi. I asked Effendi how many pesh fighters there were — estimates vary — and he hinted in the direction of the figure cited above. Except, he said, if any of Kurdistan’s neighbors invade. In that case, even the elderly women would become pesh, Effendi told me.