Nytt

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Vi hører mye om PKK, men lite eller ingenting om PJAK – iranske kurdere som fører geriljakrig mot Iran, på samme måte som PKK mot Tyrkia. Begge kan utløse krig, og Iran og Tyrkia kan meget vel komme til å samarbeide om å knuse geriljaen.

Richard A. Oppel fra Herald Tribune har vært oppe i de 3.000 meter høye fjelltoppene der PJAK-geriljens soldater klatrer som fjellgeiter. PJAK står for Partiet for et fritt liv i Kurdistan. Geriljaen er sekulær og har sosialistiske røtter. Den står for likestilling. Noen mener den og PKK egentlig er samme organisasjon.

I begge tilfeller er spørsmålet: Får PJAK støtte fra USA? Det ville være logisk. Iran støtter Sadr-militsen og andre grupper som lager vanskeligheter for amerikanerne i Irak. Hvorfor skulle ikke USA gjøre det samme mot Iran? Selv sier PJAK at de har kontakt med Washington.

Like the PKK, the Iranian Kurds control portions of the craggy, boulder-strewn frontier and routinely ambush patrols on the other side. But while the Americans calls the PKK terrorists, Iranian Kurdish commanders say PJAK has had «direct or indirect discussions» with U.S. officials. They would not divulge any details of the discussions or the level of the officials involved, but they say that the group’s leader, Rahman Haj-Ahmadi, visited Washington this summer though it is unclear with whom he met.

Biryar Gabar, one of 11 members of the group’s leadership, said there had been «normal dialogue» with U.S. officials, declining specifics. One of his bodyguards said officials of the group met with Americans in Kirkuk last year.

Iranian officials have accused the United States of supplying the fighters and using them in a proxy war, though these claims were denied by the U.S. military. «The consensus is that U.S. forces are not working with or advising the PJAK,» said a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, Commander Scott Rye of the navy.

A senior U.S. diplomat said that there had not been any official contacts with the group and that he was unaware of it having received any support from the United States. He also said that Haj-Ahmadi, while in Washington, did not meet with administration officials.

Since the PKK is on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations and aiding such groups is illegal, the United States is eager to avoid any hint of cooperation with the PJAK.

Geriljaen skaper problemer for den regionale regjeringen i Nord-Irak, som i den østlige delen er i hendene på Jalal Talabanis PUK. I august var det et væpnet sammenstøt mellom pesh merga-soldatene til PUK og PJAK-soldater som kom tilbake over grensen fra Iran. Iran skal ha lagt press på PUK om å gjøre noe. Mye av handelen i Kurdistan går over Iran.

Gerilja-angrepene skal være forklaringen på at Iran har beskutt landsbyer langs grensen.

Tension between the party and the guerrillas apparently led to a skirmish in late August, when fighters crossed the border from Iran and were attacked by the pesh merga, the armed force affiliated with the party. Karayilan, the PKK leader, said he immediately phoned a counterpart at the PUK, who he said told him that the party was «getting pressure from Iran.»

Talabani recently warned the guerrillas to put their weapons down or leave the border.

But a senior party official close to Talabani admitted that «the people would be against us» if the government took action against them.

The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, declined comment on the August skirmish, but he acknowledged that the pesh merga could not defeat the tough and proficient guerrillas. «If Iran and Turkey with their huge armies cannot control their borders,» he said, «how could we do that?»

Kurdiske myndigheter sier en knebling av geriljaen ikke vil være populært. De tviler også på at de greier å knekke geriljaen. I så fall har de et stort problem.

Kurdish militants’ other front: Iran