Den isra­elske jour­na­lis­ten Jonat­han Spyer har vært på besøk hos PKK-geril­jaen som skjuler seg i fjel­lene i Nord-Irak. Tyr­kia og Iran sam­ar­bei­der om å knuse geril­jaen, men det er små utsik­ter til at de lyk­kes. Både fordi begge regje­rin­ger behand­ler sine egne kur­dere for dår­lig, og fordi en større inva­sjon ville inne­bære krig med den regio­nale kur­diske regje­rin­gen.

Our PKK con­tact and dri­ver arrived at the appointed time out­side the hotel in Erbil. We had been told he would iden­tify him­self using an agreed term. We hadn’t quite been ready for the fact that this single word would be the sole com­mu­ni­ca­tion pos­sible between us. The dimi­nu­tive, scrawny youth who tur­ned up at six that mor­ning knew neit­her Eng­lish nor Ara­bic.

Only Kurdish. That was how we began our jour­ney from the Iraqi Kurdish capi­tal toward the Qan­dil moun­tains, in the remote bor­der area between Iraq, Tur­key and Iran.

It is in these moun­tains that the guer­ril­las of the Parti Kar­ke­ren Kur­dis­tan (PKK) live and wage their 26- year-old war against Tur­key. They offer ideal ter­rain for guer­rilla figh­ters. Acces­sible only through a network of nar­row, near impe­ne­trable passes, the moun­tains serve as a laun­ching ground for the PKK and the allied Ira­nian Kurdish PEJAK into their respec­tive areas of ope­ra­tion.


The writ of the Iraqi Kurdish regio­nal govern­ment has little purchase in the Qan­dil area. The PKK is the de facto ruling aut­hority.

Our con­tact from the Kurdish regio­nal govern­ment in Erbil che­er­fully wis­hed us luck on the eve of our depar­ture – and told us not to bot­her cal­ling him if we got into trouble. There was, he said with a broad smile, “abso­lutely not­hing he could do” in such a situa­tion.

hele storyen fin­nes Fire From the Moun­tain

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