Friday, February 13, 2015

Blog #2 Iraq's Kakais: 'We want to protect our culture'


A force of 680 fighters of the Kakai Battalion are being led by Farhad Nezar in a response to the threat of ISIL. The battalion is named after the religion the battalion follows which is a minority religion found mainly scattered across Northern Iraq. The threat these men face is the potential brutality shown to religious minorities by ISIL due to the failure of the Iraqi army when they abandoned Kirkuk. The brunt of the recent fighting takes place on the front lines around Kobane a little over a month ago but ISIL was unable to overtake and push forward the line.

Part of what also brought forth this resurgence was Saddam's policy against them that gerrymandered many Kakai areas to no longer keep them in power. They fear being uprooted by ISIL and Arabs living in their territories. They proclaim they simply wish to protect their culture and feel it's their duty to protect their lands and ask for the help of the international community to help achieve this goal. Though, despite not initially signing up, many Arabs in the area will join the Kakais if push comes to shove.


This goes to show that ISIL is more than just a potential threat to the US or your everyday Iraqis but for those who aren't part of the mainstream Muslim communities. It apparently can be nearly a death sentence to many of those sub-cultures within that area. I feel it's a good, if not a bit ironic, turn of events when the locals stop relying on their poorly performing militaries and instead choose to defend their culture and cities themselves from hostility.

Thomas Cohen

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