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The Kurds: Historical Revisionism and the REAL Reasons they have Remained Stateless

Kurds leave the town of Kirkuk in Iraq for Erbil on March 28, 1991. The Iraqi army has been bombarding the area, which is held by Kurdish rebels. (AP Photo/str) 1991

The Kurds claim to be the largest group of nomadic people in the world that have remained stateless since the beginning of time. This rather incorrect claim has allowed Western powers to use the “stateless” plight of the Kurdish people as a tool to divide, destabilize and conquer Iraq and Syria, where colonial oil and gas interests run deep.

The U.S.-led coalition of war criminals is using elements of Syria’s Kurdish population to achieve its goal of destroying the non-belligerent, democratic country of Syria, led by its popular, democratically-elected President Bashar al-Assad.

Washington seeks to create sectarianism and ethnic divides in a country that, prior to the Western-launched war, had neither.

However, Kurdologists reject this characterization because it does not fit into their account of historical events that attributes a state to them at one point in time.

Their estimated population is 30 million, according to most demographic sources. They also reject the idea that they are being used as pawns.

Responding to a question about where the autonomous administration would “draw the line” on U.S. support and the support of other superpowers, the co-leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim Muhammad, stated “Our guarantee is our mindset. It depends on how much we educate and organize our people. If we defend our morals and ideology, then bigger powers cannot use us as pawns.”

The Sykes-Picot agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement in 1916 between the United Kingdom and France, to which the Russian Empire assented. It set the borders for countries like Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, but the Kurds held little or no influence. The main purpose of the agreement for the French and British was to bolster their own influence and power in the region. The Kurds have made the argument that they were promised land at the time, but were then cut out of the deal at the last minute.

Kurdish history in the 20th century is marked by a rising sense of Kurdish nationhood focused on the goal of establishing an independent Kurdistan in accordance with the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. Countries like Armenia, Iraq, and Syria were able to achieve statehood, but the prospective Kurdistan was in the way of the newly founded state of Turkey, established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The state of Kurdistan has simply never existed.

The only areas in the Middle East where the Kurds were able to establish some semblance of legal autonomy are the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq – where minorities are well-protected under new laws– and Israel.

As a result of the disparity between areas of Kurdish settlement and the political and administrative boundaries of the region, a general agreement among Kurds could not be reached regarding borders.

However, the Treaty of Sèvres was not implemented and was superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne. The current Iraq-Turkey border was agreed upon in July 1926.

While Article 63 of the Treaty of Sevres explicitly granted full safeguards and protections to the Assyro-Chaldean minority, this reference was dropped in the Treaty of Lausanne.

It’s worth noting that the Iraqi Kurds are situated on the country’s oil-rich fields. Syria’s Hasakah province – which the Kurds are illegally claiming as their territory and which includes their self-appointed capital, Al Qamishli – also contains some of Syria’s most valuable oil fields. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the U.S. is putting its money on the Kurds.

Attempts to rewrite geographic history

An estimated 30 million Kurds reside primarily in mountainous regions of present-day Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. They falsely claim to be the world’s largest stateless population. However, the Tamil people of South East Asia who predominately live in India and Sri Lanka are double their size at almost 80 million and are in fact the largest ethnicity that remains without it’s own homeland. Kurds are not monolithic, however, and tribal identities and political interests often supersede a unifying national allegiance.

Some Kurds, particularly those who have migrated to urban centers, such as Istanbul, Damascus, and Tehran, have integrated and assimilated, while many who remain in their ancestral lands maintain a strong sense of a distinctly Kurdish identity.

A Kurdish diaspora of an estimated two million people is concentrated primarily in Europe, with over a million in Germany alone.

These migratory wanderers never possessed their own country at any point in their history but were always part of a larger country or empire that took them in and provided them refuge.

The version of events that the Kurds present is in staunch contrast with the account that is supported by most historians. This has proven to be a point of contention between the Kurds and the citizens of other countries.

The Kurds claim to have been conquered and occupied throughout their history, for instance.

Here is an example of their attempt to rewrite history to fit their narrative: “The Kurdish region has seen a long list of invaders and conquerors: Ancient Persians from the east, Alexander the Great from the west, Muslim Arabs in the 7th Century from the south, Seljuk Turks in the 11th Century from the east, the Mongols in the 13th Century from the east, medieval Persians from the east and the Ottoman Turks from the north in the 16th Century and most recently, the United States in its 2003 invasion of Iraq.”

About Sarah Abed (168 Articles)
Independent journalist and political commentator. For media inquiries please email

1 Comment on The Kurds: Historical Revisionism and the REAL Reasons they have Remained Stateless

  1. Syrian oil production peaked in 1995 and has since dropped off a cliff. I don’t think oil is a factor in this case.


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