Erdogan Blames Israel’s Mossad for Iraqi Kurdistan’s Secession

As Lone Public Supporter of Kurdistan, Israel Is an Issue

Iraqi Kurdistan’s secession vote was widely publicly opposed by the region,and indeed the world. The only nation that did endorse secession was Israel, a fact which has become a complication for the Kurds.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, long hostile toward Kurds in general, was particularly hostile toward Iraqi Kurdistan’s vote, and is blaming it on Mossad, noting that the region has “history with Mossad” and suggesting that proved the vote was driven by them.

Israel has had long-time ties with Iraqi Kurdistan, with Mossad advisers reportedly backing Kurdish units since the early 1960s. Israeli officials had advisers on the ground with Mullah Mustafa Barzani, the father of Iraqi Kurdistan’s current leader.

Turkey tried to position known Israeli support for the Kurds in vilifying the secession vote, claiming Israel had a secret agreement to send hundreds of thousands of Kurdish Jews into the region after the vote, and positioning it as a “second Israel.”

Israeli officials deny any deal was in place to formally support Kurdish secession, and indeed if anything it seems like Netanyahu publicly saying he supports independence has been a problem for the Iraqi Kurds to manage, and a justification for Erdogan to attack the effort.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of