Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lobbying top world powers to support the independence bid of the Iraqi Kurdistan region from the rest of the country.
Analysts say Israel, which has been the only major power to explicitly endorse Kurdish independence, sees the Kurds who are scattered in Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran as a bugger against shared adversaries.
Israeli officials said Netanyahu raised the Kurdish independence with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, and with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
He also mentioned the issue in his contacts with French authorities.
An Israeli official, requesting anonymity, stated that the Tel Aviv has security interests in Kurdistan.
“This (territory) is a foothold. It’s a strategic place. It would be best if someone gave them weaponry, and whatever else, which we cannot give, obviously,” the official said.
Israel has maintained intelligence, military and business relations with Iraqi Kurds since 1960s.
Meanwhile, Iraqi armed forces retook the oil-rich Kirkuk region this week, after the September 25 independence referendum that was rejected by Baghdad.
“The issue at present is ... to prevent an attack on the Kurds, extermination of the Kurds and any harm to them, their autonomy and region, something that Turkey and Iran and internal Shi‘ite and other powers in Iraq and part of the Iraqi government want,” Netanyahu’s intelligence minister, Israel Katz, said on Friday.