• Short Summary

    ALTHOUGH THE BAATH REGIME IN IRAQ HAS HAD MORE THAN A YEAR IN POWER, IT HAS NOT YET SOLVED THE KURDISH PROBLEM.

  • Description

    ALTHOUGH THE BAATH REGIME IN IRAQ HAS HAD MORE THAN A YEAR IN POWER, IT HAS NOT YET SOLVED THE KURDISH PROBLEM. THE TRIBESMEN OF THE HILL COUNTRY BORDERING IRAN - WITH WHICH IRAQ HAS HAD A DISPUTE SINCE EARLIER THIS YEAR - ARE STILL IN OPEN REVOLT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT.

    THE KURDS, 2,000,000 STRONG IN AN IRAQI POPULATION OF 7,000,000, HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR AUTONOMY FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, WAGING AN INTERMITTENT GUERILLA WAR AGAINST GOVERNMENT FORCES.

    WITH REPORTEDLY 15,000 MEN IN JORDAN ON THE BORDER WITH ISRAEL AND ANOTHER LARGE FORCE DEPLOYED NEAR SHATT AL-ARAB SINCE THE DISPUTE WITH IRAN ERUPT THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT HAS A SEVERE MILITARY BURDEN NOT HELPED BY THE INTERMITTENT BATTLES BETWEEN THE KURDISH REBELS AND GOVERNMENT FORCES.

    THE KURDISH REBEL LEADER, MULLAH MUSTAFA BARAZANI, HAS DECLARED THAT HE WILL NOT CO-OPERATE WITH THE BAATHISTS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, AND HAS LAUNCHED HIS PRESENT OFFENSIVE IN AN EFFORT TO BRING DOWN THE REGIME.

    THE FIGHTING HAS YET TO REACH THE PITCH THAT PREVAILED BEFORE THE 1966 CEASE-FIRE, BUT THE BATTLES ARE GROWING IN INTENSITY.

    SINCE THE SHELLING OF THE IRAQ PETROLEUM COMPANY'S REFINERY AT KIRKUK EARLIER THIS YEAR, AN ACTION THAT HIT THE FLOW OF OIL TO THE MEDITERRANEAN AND RESULTED IN A LOSS OF MORE THAN GBP2,000,000 STERLING, THERE HAVE BEEN A SERIES OF GUERILLA AND ARTILLERY STRIKES BY THE REBELS AGAINST GOVERNMENT POSITIONS AND KURDISH TOWNS OUTSIDE THE REBEL AREAS.

    THE GOVERNMENT ALLEGES THAT THE KURDS ARE BEING HELPED BY IRAN, NOT ONLY WITH WEAPONS BUT WITH IRANIAN NATIONALS WHO FIGHT ALONGSIDE THE REBELS. WHETHER THIS IS SO OR NOT, THE KURDS MANUFACTURE MUCH OF THEIR OWN ARMAMENT FROM OLD FOOD TINS AND STEEL TUBES.

    ON THE GOVERNMENT SIDE, THERE IS A RELUCTANCE TO INITIATE FIGHTING WITH THE REBELS IN THEIR MOUNTAIN STRONGHOLDS AND AROUND THE RUGGED PASSES IN THE NORTH. HOWEVER, WHEREAS IN THE PAST THE GOVERNMENT LEFT MUCH OF THE FIGHTING TO THE DISSIDENT PRO-REGIME KURDISH FACTION LED BY JALAL TALABANI. THE IRAQI TROOPS ARE BECOMING MORE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN CLASHES SUCH AS ATTACKING OUTLYING REBEL POSITIONS AND PUSHING BACK KURDISH ADVANCES.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA94IL18KKP6GF8YSQ7MQCU26UN
    Media URN:
    VLVA94IL18KKP6GF8YSQ7MQCU26UN
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    31/10/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:40:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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