The headline really does not say much in itself, but there is much meaning that one can infer from it.
Firstly if you hear the term ‘Peshmerga’ this is the Kurdish word for ‘soldier’ effectively meaning Kurdish army.
This is the Kurdistan flag:
For the hard line cynic there is the fact that western nations will struggle to accommodate the number of refugees that might flood out of Kurdistan and other areas fighting ISIS (aka IS, ISIL).
So it would make more sense economically for that fledgling oil state to not be conquered, especially my the murderous fanatics of ISIS.
The knowledgeable cynic might also note the USA stayed out of WW2 (for years) by sending military and other supplies to Brittan and its empire to fight Nazi Germany.
A nationalist cynic would likely prefer to lose gun in the middle east than our own troops.
A humanitarian cynic might note that the Geneva convention is being ignored by ISIS and civilians right to live without persecution in Kurdistan (and neighboring areas) is under serious threat.
An cynic aware of current ISIS tactic might note that ISIS are a highly mobile ground force using flat deck utes ( trucks) and SUV’s to transport troops and light artillery and AA, so as such they can strike with remarkable speed, and a civilian’s only real defense is to start shooting to slow the advance.
Geo-politically aware cynics might note that the region of Kurdistan (on the borders of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran) controls significant proportions of Iraqi oil, and what we are seeing is a balkanization of Iraq and to some extent the wider middle east with blurry allegiances (and borders) based on religion, ethnicity and tribal affiliations.
Historically aware cynics would note that Iraq was a state manufactured by Brittan to join together the Kurds ( of mixed faiths) in the north (who had the oil) the Shia ( minority sect of Islam popular in Iran) in the center and the Sunni’s (majority sect of Isalm) in the south where the British could control the flow of oil through the port of Basra.
Cynics who are knowledgeable in the oil trade will know the entire region is full of oil, and the different fresh water sources, oil wells, pipelines, ports and shipping lanes are extremely contentious in term of who controls them.
The energy security of many nations depends on the flow of oil both where its flowing to and where its flowing from. There is reason they call it ‘black gold’.
*this map is from 2013 as Kurdistan began as a state and prior to the formation of ISIS. Borders may have changed and are indicative only as a rough guide to the region. Kurdistan’s first major victory over ISIS just days ago left Kurdistan in control of Mosul an important dam and fresh water source.
It is ironic that the Australian government not only manufactures assault rifles and is willing to give them to foreigners, but not to their own people, who are largely unarmed in their own country.
As a final note the guns are not really a gift, there will be demands for oil from Kurdistan in the future.
Perhaps the fluidity of power struggles is the nature of the desert, the sand itself shifting endlessly in dunes and ergs.
The firs steps towards a new middle eastern nation are being taken today, with Kurdistan beginning sales of oil to Turkey. The Turks have been paying quite high prices for oil lately, so there is at least one satisfied customer but the economic price is just one part of the cost to consider. Iraq is clearly not happy as they feel it is their oil. Kurds might argue Iraq only ever existed (and was created) so that the British could get control of oil and have it delivered to the port of Basra.
The geopolitics of oil now have new factor in the complex equations of diplomacy. If Turkey Joins the EU there will be an oil state on the doorstep of the EU. Could a pipeline from Iran to Europe now be more feasible. Will Kurdish people flood to the newly cemented state?
Just like a new service station opening up in your town or city there are always flow on effect. Everything in the Middle east just got a little more interesting.
Good Luck to the Kurdish people.
Where is Kurdistan?
Kurds already control a region in Northern Iraq, but may want significant parts of Turkey, part of the border region of Iran and even some of Syria and Armenia.
With access to the oil trade some of these wishes may be fulfilled, but like any transaction is there a willing seller, and what will be the price?