Kurdish Cause (1975-1980) and its Impact on Iraq-Syria Relations


  • Rebin Saeed Mullah Department of History, College of Arts, Soran University
  • Saman Hussein Ahmad Social Sciences - College of Primary Education - University of Sulaimani




Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan, South, West, relationship, impact


Throughout the stages of contemporary Kurdish history, the Kurdish issue has had an impact on regional relations in general and the relationship between Iraq and Syria in particular. This impact became more evident during the Algiers Agreement, which marked the end of one of the most prominent Kurdish revolutions—the Aylool revolution. Simultaneously, it worsened Iraq-Syria relations. Researching the Kurdish question and its effect on the Iraq-Syria relationship during the Algiers Agreement reveals its distinctive characteristics. During this period, the strained relations between the two states were reflected in the Kurdish issue. Through the method of analysis and ascertaining of political events and incidents, we can highlight the significance of this matter. While the post-1975 era marked the emergence of new political parties in the Kurdish political and military landscape, the proliferation of these parties did not substantially influence the Kurdish issue. Additionally, the Kurdish political orientation in the region shifted, particularly in relation to Iraq and Syria. The Kurdish issue experienced a difficult phase, characterized by internal divisions and disarray within the Kurdish community. Meanwhile, the Kurds were unable to capitalize on the strained Iraq-Syria relationship. Despite a complete ban on political activities, Syria extended comprehensive support and cooperation to all South Kurdistan forces and political parties due to its deep-rooted disputes with Iraq. This financial and military assistance played a significant role in revitalizing the new revolution. Syria’s contrasting policy towards the Kurdish cause is evident. It is clear that regional countries utilized the Kurds as a means of pressure against each other, particularly for maintaining a balance in the region. This dynamic persisted until the 1980s, but with the changes that both Iraq and Iran underwent, including the collapse of the Algiers Agreement and shifts in regional relationships, Iraq’s disputes with Syria and Iran intensified. As a result, the Kurdish issue entered a new phase.