The issue of trenches on the border between Iraqi Kurdistan Region and Rojava has been one of the most important issues for the Kurds in last several weeks.
Barzani led Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) says these trenches are intended for preventing ISIS and other extremist groups from crossing the border. Yet, this notion has not convinced many.
Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG), who has successfully been fighting against ISIS and other radical groups, is strongly rejecting the idea that Islamic extremists ever use the region where trenches are dug. Democratic Union Party (PYD) also believes the trenches are dug by KDP to further deepen the ongoing embargo on Rojava, and punish the people for supporting the PYD.
In Iraqi Kurdistan Region there is generally a consensus among political parties against these trenches with the exception of KDP. Indeed, in regards to Rojava generally, Goran, PUK, Islamic parties and other smaller parties have a different view than KDP; they are more supportive of PYD and Cantons declared in three regions of Rojava. Since the KDP is the strongest party in Iraqi Kurdistan, and control much of the government, none of these parties really have power to stand against KDP’s policies.
Something certain about these trenches is that they have caused deep wounds in the conscious of many Kurds. Regardless of what political parties say, people commonly view these trenches as something further dividing them and legitimizing the borders which they never accepted. That is the reason for the strong reaction coming from Kurds living in different parts of the world against these ditches.
Finally, it should be noted that people in both sides of the trenches are close relatives that were divided by those borders. Despite those borders they continued visiting each other facing many difficulties. Now they fear that these trenches will separate them forever…