Israel Asks for Air Corridor to Provide Assistance to Iraqi Kurdistan in Its Standoff Against Federal Government

On October 21, Maxim A. Suchkov‏ a journalist in the US-based Al-Monitor news website said on Twitter that according to “Moscow rumors”, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin that Israel is considering using the Syrian airpsace as a corridor to send planes to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

Thus, Israel is allegedly going to provide aid to the Kurdistan Regional Government against the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

While it’s very unlikely that Tel Aviv is ready to provide some kind of military assistance to the KRG, there are no doubts that the Israeli leadership is considering options to provide “humanitarian assistance” to the KRG.

Suchkov added that Russia does not see an Israeli involvement in the Iraqi Arab-Kurdish crisis as a good idea. Such intervention might risk the Russian investments in the Iraqi oil sector, Suchkov argued. In other words, Russia rejected the Israeli request for the assistance in the issue.

On October 20, Reuters reported that an Israeli official confirmed to it that Netanyahu is lobbying world powers to prevent further setbacks of the KRG as they lose contested areas to the Iraqi Army. The official told Reuters that the Israeli prime minister discussed the the Iraqi Kurdish issues with the United States, Russia, Germany and France.

Another Israeli official told Reuters that the Iraqi Kurdistan Region is “a foothold” and a “strategic place” for Israel due to its proximity to Israel‘s enemies in Tehran and Damascus. The official also said that Israel wants to see Iraqi Kurds provided with the means to protect themselves.

“It would be best if someone gave them weaponry, and whatever else, which we cannot give, obviously,” the official said according to Reuters.

Back on September 13, Netanyahu announced an official Israeli support to creation of an independent Kurdish state in the Middle East. the Israeli prime minister’s office released a statement claiming that Israel “supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own“.

However, on September 25 two Israeli officials told Reuters that Netanyahu barred the Israeli government comment on the Kurdistan Region independence referendum in Iraq. One of the officials told Reuters back than that the Iraqi Kurdistan Region subject is “too sensitive”.

In the near future, Israel will likely continue its media, diplomatic and other efforts to prevent the stabilization in Syria and Iraq after ISIS is defeated.

Source: South Front

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