The Kurds and Kurdistan
The bitter war which began in 1961 between the Kurds of northern Iraq and the Iraqi army is only the latest in a scries of struggles for autonomy by this ancient people. There arc Kurds also in Turkey, Syria, Iran and the U.S.S.R.; they number upwards of six million in all, and like many minorities their sense of nationhood has only been strengthened by centuries of division and alien rule. Should the remarkable effectiveness of the Iraqi Kurds’ guerilla tactics win them even limited autonomy, it would be a clear incitement to Kurdish nationalist wars in the surrounding countries. This probability, and the significance of Arab reaction when faced with the dilemma of a rival nationalism, give great interest and international importance to the problem of the Kurds in Kurdistan.
Derk Kinnane first encountered the Kurdish question while in Iraq as a lecturer at Baghdad University, lie has visited Iraqi Kurdistan and keeps in close touch with events there and among Kurds elsewhere.