Russia Allegedly Supplying Weaponry To Iraqi Kurds Fighting ISIS–Through Bagdad

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

kurdistan-regional-government-coat-of-arms125px-flag_of_russiasvgThe realpolitik in the Levant changed significantly upon the entry of the Russian Government into the foray. Russia announced recently it would assist the Assad Government in Syria as well as Kurdish forces in fighting what it perceives to be a mutual threat to Russia by ISIS. It has interest in maintaining the Assad government, which has long established ties with Moscow. In the past weeks the Russian military established operational bases in Syria and began a heavy program in supplying material and personnel.

Now, the Russian leadership announced it was working on providing weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting ISIS through the Iraq Government. This shows a clear departure from the politics in the region where the focus was upon the United States to provide the Iraqis with defense abilities. Yet, this has proven to be ineffective due to the rapid expeditionary campaign launched against the people and government of Iraq by ISIS. It was almost an embarrassment when the United States surprised the world with the announcement of ISIS’ threat after it was six months into its war effort against Iraq and Syria and went so far as to claim that despite the loss of 25% of Iraq’s territory and ISIS forces advancing within several dozen miles of Iraq’s capital, the situation was under control and was not an existential threat to the nation.

Now, in the vacuum of a serious effort on behalf of the west to address the ISIS problem, other than airstrikes and millions of dollars recruiting and training a handful of Syrian volunteers, Russia is emerging to fulfill the void left behind. Russia will gain both in terms of influence in credibility in the area as a result.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced last Thursday that his government will supply through Baghdad supplies and weapons to those Kurdish fighters engaged in combating ISIS. The Kurds meaning those in the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq.

He stated that a fusion center was established in Bagdad having representatives and military personnel from the Kurds as well as nation stakeholders from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Russia. The center focuses on coordinating the war against ISIS by these stakeholders

However, the Minister of Peshmerga (Iraqi Kurdistan), Jabar Yawar told Rudlaw News that they had not been informed of cooperation between Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Russia.

Minister Lavrov however stated during a UN Conference, “We have replied to the Kurdish request regarding armament and send arms to them through Baghdad.”

In other news, the United States reportedly is now supplying the Kurds with MRAP military vehicles which will be of great use.

Whatever the immediate logistics between these nations and the fusion center might be it is clear that Russia is garnering a strong presence. In the past few days Russia has confirmed that it carried out airstrikes against rebel positions in Syria. It is noteworthy that a difference of loyalties exists between the West and Russia with regard to Syria. The U.S. and especially Turkey maintain that the Assad Regime must go and Russia states that the Syrian government is an ally and that it is respecting what it refers to the legitimate government elected by the people of Syria.

During an interview on the Charlie Rose program, Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressed concern that it would be unacceptable to topple Assad because this would lead to another vacuum and chaos where non-state terrorists would then seize control of the country and lead to even larger problems than what might be expected in assisting the Syrian Government in its combat with rebels forces. While ISIS and other terrorist organizations are a common enemy as defined by all international governments, allied “moderate Syrian Resistance fighters” as the US Government refers, are also by definition fighting Assad: specifically the Free Syrian Army. The FSA, a reported ally of the United States, was the target of a Russian airstrike several days ago.

President Putin also made mention of the how the West allowed Libya to descend into chaos by expunging the legitimate government of the nation and creating an environment for militias and terrorists to operate. He made a similar objection to the effort by the US to destroy the Iraq government in the 2003 war which also led to chaos and the situation we have presently in the region.

The Russians will, in the opinion of your author, have the potential to displace the United States from a position of authority and reverence as a savior to those fleeing the attacks by ISIS and other terrorists.

There has unfortunately been a long history of the United States making promises of salvation to those under struggle from oppression in the area only to be abandoned later when political interests wane. The US did this to the Kurds, and the Marsh Arabs after the First Gulf war who believed after the decimation of Iraqi President Hussein’s military and promises to the Kurds that if they fought Saddam, the United States would protect them. Unfortunately Saddam recovered his forces and launched putative attacks against the Kurds in retaliation for their loyalties.

Years earlier, it also can be found in how the US previously supported Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war where Iraq legitimately believed America was on its side, especially knowing the hostility between the US and Iran after the Shah was deposed and the taking of American hostages. It came as a great shock when Iraq discovered that the US was also covertly supplying Iran with arms and support during the same conflict.

Another example was with a great many in Syria. The United States promised to arm and train resistance fighters in the Syrian Civil war, such as the Free Syrian Army, where it initially rolled out the red carpet to the FSA leadership with more promises, only to later begin to cut off essential munitions and supplies the FSA begged for.

And probably the greatest betrayal, as seen by many war-weary Syrian civilians, was the infamous “Red Line” saber rattling by President Obama declaring if Assad’s forces utilized chemical weapons in the civil war, the US would intervene militarily. In the aftermath and terror the civilians suffered from the chemical attack, many truly believed the United States was now determined to take out Assad from a leadership role and help bring an end to the civil war and their suffering. But, to them President Obama reneged on what they believed to be his promise to the Syrian people to deliver them from war and instead found a face saving way out for the United States to negotiate the removal of weapons in talks brokered by the Russian Government without having to remove Assad and get its knuckles bruised.  The barrel bombings and shelling soon returned against Syrian civilians courtesy a newly revived President Assad.

Now we return to the problems at had where at least initially the US Government and President Obama are very critical if not angry with the Russians for their entry into the war, their backing of Assad, and taking over. Putin offered, and it possibly is occurring operationally in some degree between the US and Russian militaries in the area, to provide a working plan with the United States that ensures both forces do not cross each others’ lines, leading to friendly fire episodes.  Furthermore he expressed interest in sharing intelligence information and steps to end the hostilities ultimately. But, it certainly complicates the matter when several of the actors’ allies are the enemy of the other. At least with regard to the Kurds, they have a common “friend” in Syria and Iraq.

One other complicating matter could be the situation with Turkey.

Turkey only reluctantly allowed Kurdish Peshmerga forces from Iraq to cross its territory to engage ISIS in Syrian Rojova, specifically Kobani, to assist the YPG/YPJ in driving terrorists from the city. Due to decades long fighting between the Turks and the Kurds in Turkey proper, it was hesitant to allow an formalized Kurdish presence on its border. It was even indifferent in allowing ISIS to fight up to its border. As long as it was fighting the Kurds, and not Turkey, Ankara would at least allow the status quo. Turkey did finally allow US bombers and aircraft to station at air bases for attacks in Syria albeit reluctantly.

Yet Turkey demands that Assad must go, which complicates the Russian entry, but it also creates problems between Kurds and the Syrian Government. Turkey asserted that it would not accept an independent Syrian Kurdistan on its borders, for fear it would assist forces such as the PKK by providing a safe harbor for militia fighters to launch attacks into Turkey. Yet, diplomatic sources have raised the probability that Assad would agree to granting a more autonomous state for the Kurds in Rojova in exchange for the Kurds battling those resistance forces fighting the Syrian Army.

In the larger picture Russia has been, though largely unsuccessfully, trying to dislodge the United States from its influence in Europe by carrot and stick measures to draw western European nations into its sphere of influence. Now the largest influx of refugees since the Second World War into Western Europe, much of which stems from civilians fleeing the Syrian civil war, is creating the seeds of discord that Russia can take advantage of. Though some countries such as Sweden, Austria, and Germany promote themselves as being welcoming to refugees, others such as those nearer to Russia the mood is more hostile and fearful.

Russia can offer to take charge of the situation on the ground in Syria where the US and other external powers have proven to be largely ineffective in destroying the terrorist elements leading to the crisis in Syria and Iraq; hence the refugee exodus. If Russia can create through its stepped up efforts in Syria at least a workable resolution to the civil war and to bring in some measure of stability, especially if most of the refugees are able to return home, Europe and other nations surrounding Syria who are being burdened with the huge costs and resource allocation of hosting refugees will now view Russia more favorably than the Americans.

It is of course premature to predict that the coming of the Russian military will knock out the terrorists quickly, easily, and singlehandedly but it certainly will prove to be a game changer. Also many of the resistance forces and those ethnic groups who can argue that they were oppressed under the Assad regime will worry that once he is strengthened he will then resort to old practices and at least disallow any gains in autonomy they received at least in theory from the government. Then there is the question of how “moderate forces” (as the US refers to them) who have legitimate and strong grievances with the Syrian Government. In attacking these forces it could likely put Russia into the middle and result in what the United States called a quagmire, adding years and more blood to the war.

The Kurds in Iraq are generally very supportive of the United States, and it is one of the few true allies the United States has in the region. So, it is unlikely that the Russians will be entirely successful in unseating the Americans from its position of respect and praise there. But, if the United States can counter Russian influence by showing demonstrated steps to crate a true homeland, under their own governance, for the various ethnic groups that were carved up between arbitrary borders following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and the events of the early 1920’s, it could regain a lot of face and standing in the region for many years to come.

By Darren Smith


Ekurd Dail
Al Monitor
US News

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

37 thoughts on “Russia Allegedly Supplying Weaponry To Iraqi Kurds Fighting ISIS–Through Bagdad”

  1. “Putin has drafted 150k men for military service. How about a pool when he takes Ukraine, Poland, etc. ?”

    Napoleon met his Waterloo by biting off more than he could chew. So did Hitler. So did George Bush. So will the adventurous Putin. Let ’em deceive themselves. It’s those pesky “Common Offenses” when Americans are limited to “Common Defence.”

    The recent graduation of women from Ranger School proves America can conscript all the women it wants.

    Women are tough as nails and they are not needed for mankind’s sole purpose in the universe, perpetuation of the species – procreation and nurturing.

    Heck, women don’t even need affirmative action, they’re so great.

    We can just shove women into the meat grinder of the battlefield.

    American birthrate be damned.

    Actually, America has already lost the war of the birthrate.

    Americans will soon be diluted out of existence.

    Mexico has been fighting the battle of the birthrate pretty successfully. Mexico’s invading troops have permeated America. They’ve been reinforced by “asylum seeker” invading troops (that never go home) from Asia and the Middle East.

    “…to ourselves and our posterity,…”

    I wonder if the meant to ourselves and our posterity. I know. Let’s ask the Supreme Court. It reads the words of the Founders…or not.

  2. Pooh Blues,

    George Bush is a failed President, similar to “Lincoln the Terrible” and “Roosevelt, King of the Free Stuff,” and history will record that. Wait I forgot Johnson’s “Great Society” and “War on Poverty,” $22 trillion later, poverty won, by the way.

    Smart men would have revealed the wisdom of the admonition, “Let sleeping dogs lie.”

    Serenity Prayer –

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

    If American leaders weren’t smart enough to know the right course, all they had to do was follow the parameters in the essential American Context, the Preamble, wherein the Founders limited government militarily to “Common Defence.”

    If only Bush had considered the Preamble BINDING, Uncommon Offense would have been precluded.

    Similarly, abandoning the utility of the gold-backed currency, charging the fed with assuring economic growth and employment, infusing economic “stimulus,” nullifying private property rights by imposing communistic redistribution of wealth and conducting corporate bailouts would have never happened, if the parameters of the essential American Context, the Preamble, had not been ignored.

    The Constitution provides for governance within the parameters set by the Preamble.

    The Founders wrote and sited the Preamble in front of the Constitution for a profound purpose.

    Funny thing, the literal Ten Commandments don’t need “interpretation” or “amendment” and they are still compelling and inarguable.

  3. Kurds have been calling for arms all the past couple of years and Obama conveniently ignored. Putin understood the need and responded promptly with the blessings of Iraqi Government. Influence we had in the region is fast diminishing while Russia’s long term vision prevails.

  4. Putin has drafted 150k men for military service. How about a pool when he takes Ukraine, Poland, etc?

  5. forgotwhoiam:

    What’s that thing called the Monroe doctrine?

    Did not the founders also warn us about foreign military engagements?

    We have plenty of oil here in the states and we also get it from Canada and South America. Reduce regulations that prevent fully exploiting one of our abundant natural resources.

    We never should’ve gone into Iraq and we should’ve just bombed the crap out of the Taliban and left.

  6. Leave the entire Middle East to Russia or whomever.

    Buy oil and gas from the new boss, Russia.

    Germany and Europe do.

    Here’s an idea. Provide for the Common Defence.

    Last time I checked, defense was different from offense.

    You don’t suppose the Founders meant what they said, do you?

    The right to private property, keep and bear arms, commerce clause, national borders, freedom of speech/thought/discrimination/nationalism/racism/religion/neighbors/business employees, no offensive military operations and freedom from political/ideological fanatics?

    Oh, that’s right. The Preamble is not binding. The Preamble was only binding in 1789. The Founders only meant to put the Preamble into practice in 1789. There’s a hidden codicil that mandates that America shall adopt communism with Marx in 1848 – the framers had a premonition.

  7. Darren:

    Interesting article. United States should pull back from the Middle East and let the Russians and their spear of influence. It doesn’t matter to us especially if we have an effective military and ballistic missiles with nuclear tips.

    As far as the Iranians and the Iraqis go, I was a pretty good strategy to let two sets of brutal dictators smash themselves against each other. It’s what Roosevelt should’ve done with the Nazis and the Soviet Union. Let them bludgeon themselves at the death and that we come been and pick up the pieces. But apparently our leaders are to abysmally stupid to figure that out.

    What did people expect when they voted for an incompetent man – child who never did anything in his life?

    Hopefully president zero is not going to lead us into a real shooting war with Russia that can involve the entire world. That’s usually what happens when liberals/progressives are in office if history is any guide. World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam. You can make the case that Bush was just a liberal in conservative clothing.

    1. I was a day or so behind on the news….there are now reports that the Russians have bombed ISIS areas. The first 2-3 days of their strikes were in non-ISIS areas.
      It’ll be interesting to see if the bombing will focus on ISIS, or if all anti- Assad groups are targeted.

  8. BDog

    Exactly, countries that were designed by outsiders or temporary powers have successfully returned to their ethnic origins. Look at the Balkans. Once that was all Yugoslavia. It was only possible under a dictator. Czechoslovakia was made up after WW1 and after the dictator USSR left reverted to two distinct countries.

    Once there was a reason to combine peoples under one ruler, typically to stop them from slaughtering each other. However, there is less and less of that and now the problems seem to stem from combining minorities and majorities with differing fairy tales. Perhaps ISIS could have a patch of desert where they could kill each other and be used in turn for target practice by special forces. Iraq should be three states: Sunni, Shia, and Kurd.

  9. This dog is rooting for Kurdistan. Our choice in the U.S. is not an echo. We can enter the war and decide how to divide up the muddle east or allow the other muddlers to divide it up. The best division would be to forget any so called nation state which is on a map now and to divide it up by religion or ethnic groups. No more nation states with both Sunni and Farsi and one state for he Kurds. Tell Turkey to eat their own itShay and kick them out of NATO. And create a Kurdistan in part of Turkey and neighboring pirate territories. Meanwhile, go back to Saturday Night Live from 30 years ago and listen to their song styled: Bomb, Bomb, Iran!

  10. Putin’s military went into Syria with the stated intention of striking at ISIS. The reports I’ve seen indicate that the bombing is nowhere near ISIS-held territory.

  11. Russia has had the ‘catbird’ seat since the beginning. They back Iran and Syria and can pick and choose backing Iraq and the Kurds to their advantage, neither of whom threaten Syria. The Kurds are on the road to having their own nation and it includes much oil. They need a route to the Med and that would be through Syria. Either, with the aid and persuasion of Russia, Syria can cede northern territory to a new Kurdistan either permanently or as a corridor. A Kurdistan will act as a buttress between the maniacal Islamics to the south of Turkey and Turkey. A Kurdistan will act as a place for fanatical Kurds to go and leave Turkey alone. A Kurdistan will act as a stepping off place for US and perhaps Russian forces to wax ISIS.

    Arming the Kurds has been something the US has had trouble with as they have had to choose between their Nato partner, Turkey’s wishes to get access to air bases and arming the Kurds.

    This has little if anything to do with how tough Obama is or how tough Putin is. It has mostly to do with the fact that the US position is far more complicated and restricted than that of Russia’s. A US president that the critics envisage would still have to deal with the same players and the same complications. Since the three stooges started this mess the area has been a dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t scenario.

    Perhaps it is not such a bad thing for the US to suck up its ego a bit and let Russia play in their backyard. The disputed territories of Ukraine are predominantly occupied by Russians who want to annex to Russia. A strong military from two directions will keep the nut cases in check. Sometimes it has just gotta be what it gotta be.

    If the US/Obama has half a brain they will drop the ‘global’ perspective and partner with Russia: an independent Kurdistan, a Syria held to the coat tails of Russia, perhaps areas of Syria jointly administered by rebel groups under the eye of Russia and the US but not Syria, etc. The area has been nothing but square pegs jammed into round holes since the British and French took over screwing it over from the Ottomans. Before that and since it has been nothing more than a Balkan like stew of religious fanatics. Separate the fanatics from those that seem enlightened like the Kurds. Protect and support the enlightened ones and confine the others to territories where they can evolve or not.

  12. Very good article Darren. What s the best solution for cultures that do not believe All Lives Matter? Where is our moral legitimacy in trying to resolve problems in the Middle East when we have our own culture war going on right here in the United States? We are so divided that we cannot agree to condemn a psychologist for aiding a patient that wants to be blinded. We cannot agree that Cops Lives Matter. We cannot agree that we need to secure our border or that citizens have a right to be able to defend themselves. We cannot agree that it is important to verify ALL voters have a legitimate right to vote. We cannot even agree what sex a person is born until someone “feels” a particular way about it. And when we have a segment of our society that WILL NOT stand up and defend the lives of another segment of society simply because they believe differently about the existence of God, then we ARE absolutely no different than the Middle Eastern cultures we are supposedly trying to guide toward peace.

  13. While I agree with much of the post, I do have to object to the idea that Assad was clearly the one who used chemical weapons in Syria. There have been enough legitimate questions raised as to who used them, and the point is that they are gone now, thanks to the effort of Putin and Obama getting together to craft a sensible solution to that problem. I also have to remind people that it was the GOP which blasted Obama for saying it would attack Assad for the use of those weapons and they raised enough political questions that made it near impossible for Obama to use US forces there. The outcome though proved to be a better solution than what Obama initially wanted.

    The situation in Syria is much like what the US faced in WWII with the Soviet Union as our ally. Stalin was a monster, yet he was less of one and less a threat than Hitler. As Churchill noted in his proposal that the UK join the USSR as allies and in view of his long time aggression against the USSR, he noted that if Hitler invaded Hell, he would likely say a few kind words about the Devil too. The practical reality is that Assad has power in Syria, has the support of a large part of its population, especially minorities who would more than likely be massacred if a Sunni government came to power. There are very few “moderates” in the area and the fact is that Assad is the one guarantor of the minorities simple existence. As Putin pointed out in his interview, there must be a settlement among the RATIONAL parties in this conflict for a long term solution. That means that Assad will have to stay until the fighting ceases and ISIS is defeated. IT is time for all the other parties to recognize that this is the case, and make plans accordingly. Is ISIS a bigger threat than Assad? Asking for a utopian solution is no solution at all.

  14. I think Amb. Ryan Crocker is scheduled as a guest on Chris Wallace’s Fox News Sunday.
    He’s also a key figure in the PBS documentary, LOSING IRAQ. That documentary can be found online.
    I hope Crocker is one of the Mideast experts being consulted about U.S.Mideast policy.

  15. Superb post. Putin is done sizing Obama up and is going for the knockout. Our utter impotence in arming the Kurds, some of the best and bravest people in the world, is despicable. This is just the beginning of the Hitlerian moves by Putin to restore and expand the Russian influence to its former Soviet Union dominance. This is a KGB predator against a law professor prey. The one hour notice a Russian General gave our Embassy that they were commencing air strikes was all you need to know of how Putin views Obama. They had just met a day earlier in NYC and Putin said nothing. Putin does not just want to defeat Obama, he is intent on humiliating him and the US as well. The Ukraine is next, then like 1939, Poland. I expect the president of the Putin Fan Club to weigh in here shortly.

    1. Obama is a pawn and puppet for the Globalist Terrorists running this country. Eventually the EU and US Citizens will see the truth when their countries are bankrupt and flooded with refugees, from the corporate globalist and secret societies agendas.

  16. If Russia deals with ISIS like they did during the Chechen wars, then there will retaliation from ISIS. But Russia will come back with a scorch the earth policy.

    How Putin handles critics:

    A string of political enemies and critics, including a former bodyguard, an investigative reporter, and a human rights activist have been gunned down in Chechnya, Moscow, Austria, and Dubai.

  17. Eventually American and European Citizens will wake up, probably when it’s too late and their governments are bankrupt.

    They will soon realize that the refugee crisis, as well as their governments’ economic problems are being caused by US and NATO country international terrorists, military terrorism, criminal secret societies, and corporations controlling these nations to create these globalization wars and false flag terrorists events.

    Russia and it’s allies seem to be the only governments interested in stopping the international terrorism fueled by false flag events and the controlled countries governments’ manipulations of the media and citizens.

  18. Basically a relatively accurate portrayal of what is happening insofar as has been reported in the US. A “quagmire” seems to be when military troops continue to receive orders to randomly kill, maim, plunder, rape, and destroy, but nobody knows why or what the objective is, other than to use up weapons so that weapons manufactures can continue to be paid megabucks for producing new ones.

Comments are closed.