Joint Forum: ‘The Crisis in Iraq’

The Centre for Kurdish Progress in partnership with the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS)  invite you to a  public forum on ‘The Crisis in Iraq: Unexpected Alliances Western Intervention and the Kurdistan Question’.

Keynote speakers are Ms Bayan Sami Adbul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government High Representative to the UK,

Mr Salih Muslim, Leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) which is Kurdish opposition in Syria – TBC,

Dr Liam Fox Conservative MP for North Somerset, and former Secretary of State for Defence,

Mr John Woodcock Labour and Co-operative MP for Barrow and Furness,

Mr Nick de Bois Conservative MP for Enfield North

Mr David Davies Conservative MP for Monmouth

Mr Jason McCartney Conservative MP for Colne Valley

Lord Tim Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrat Peer and member of Communications Committee,

Lord Maurice Glasman, Labour Life Peer, member of Private Bills Select Committee in the House of Lords,

Mr Bill Park, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Defence Studies, King’s College, London University

Mr Gary Kent, Administrator of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Kurdistan Region, Iraq,

Ms Meg Hillier Labour and Co-operative MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch,

Mr Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent

Mr Harvey Morris, Journalist and author of three books on the Middle East, including the best-selling Saddam’s War.

Mr Eric Ollerenshaw MP Conservative MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood.

Ms Sundus Saqi – Iraqi Turkmen Front Representative UK

Islamic State (IS), widely known as ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) has become one of the strongest jihadist militant groups, having  grown out of al-Qaeda in Iraq. IS took over the Syrian city of Raqqa in 2013 in the fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime and has been attacking Kurdish cities in Rojava (Northern Syria) for more than 2 years. Only after having taken control of cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, the seizure of Mosul in Iraq and the announcement of the establishment of a ‚Caliphate’ across parts of Iraq and Syria, IS has made more and more headlines in the Western media.  IS massacred thousands of local people who are non-Sunni, non-Muslim and non-IS supporters and caused a humanitarian crisis unexampled in the 21st century. Most striking has been the plight of the Yazidi people, members of an ancient Kurdish faith, who are now faced with annihilation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, kidnapped, killed. Many more have died from hunger and thirst in attacks staged by IS. Hence, the world has been watching a great tragedy that is still unfolding.

IS is known to have international fighters from the neighbouring countries including Turkey and Western Europe. Questions remain regarding the increasing strength of IS and how and where the  group’s military and financial power have come from. The United States has begun airstrikes on IS’s strongholds in Iraq, however, there is a debate over a possible joint US and UK military intervention in Iraq and Syria to stop IS’s advance in the region. Although the possibility of an alliance with Syrian President Assad in order to tackle IS has been ruled out by UK, there are still calls for dialogue with Assad. Turkey’s role but also the  major involvement of Kurdish forces (Peshmerga, YPG/J, PKK) against IS add to the complexity of the current crisis.

Is military intervention a long term solution? What would be a political solution to the crisis? What role do regional actors play in this conflict and should the West support the Kurds? If so, how? Our keynote speakers will address questions regarding the crisis and what role the regional actors might have in this conflict.

This  joint public forum  is kindly hosted by Meg Hillier Labour and Co-operative MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.

The event will take place on Tuesday 9 September 2014, between 7.00PM and 9.00PM in Committee Room 12, the House of Commons. Please note that security checks are required to enter the House of Commons, so we kindly ask you to arrive at 6.30PM, allowing the event to start and end promptly on time.

Booking is required for this event to ensure adequate seating availability.

RSVP to [email protected] or [email protected]

We look forward to welcoming you at this joint public forum.