Much has been made in the press recently about arming and supporting “The Kurds” or the “Peshmerga” in Northern Iraq to slow down ISISs expansion.
Missing from these generic descriptions is how Kurds from four countries (Turkey, Syria, Iran & of course Iraq), often distrustful of one another & connected to competing influencers are marching to the fight – actually, reports indicate that it was fighters from Syria’s PYD & Turkey’s PKK (ironically a US designated Terrorist Org) that helped slow down the ISIS advance as Iraq’s Peshmerga fighters initially retreated.
To help make sense of all the different parties (and acronyms!), below is a high-level guide to key Kurdish political & military structures.
Note: Graphic edited 8.15 to correct Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan acronym (PDKI, not DPKI)