Recent happenings now indicate that peace in the Middle East remains a distant dream and it seems that this time, even the international community has stopped taking notice.

It has been a heated week for the oil-rich regions. Turkish armoured vehicles have rolled into north-western Syria to impose a “de-escalation zone” in a province dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants. While Erdogan stated that it was meant to secure the country’s border and to maintain a cease-fire, the more evident motive is to stop the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers an outlet of the illegal Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), from gaining influence.

It is never a peaceful time to be a Kurd nationalist but this week, it may have gotten even worse as Iraqi forces advanced on oil-rich Kirkuk, currently held by the Kurds. While a major confrontation was eventually avoided, the situation got very close to a violent clash. The anger of the Iraqi President at the Kurds comes after a humiliating referendum where Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favour of secession, prompting calls from Kurdish officials for negotiations. While the situation dissipated this time, there is no guarantee that it won’t amount to war next time, with the Kurdish claiming they will fight if the army advances.

The situation could easily escalate into war, considering the military nature of these expeditions. It is thus astonishing that this issue is not being highlighted on any international forum or stage. The conflict in these regions are ones that have stakes for the rest of world, with entities like ISIS and new militant groups everyday ready to exploit a potential war.

A war on the Kurds could have very serious consequences for international war against terrorism that every state is fighting. It is time for the UN to step in and prevent matters from exacerbating into armed conflict.