A War Of All Against All
August 14, 2015 12:12 PM Subscribe
Why Turkey is bombing the Kurds more than Islamic State - "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bombing campaign — capitalizing on the nationalist, anti-Kurd sentiment that has been steadily growing inside Turkey — could help him regain his AKP party's absolute majority in parliament now that coalition talks have failed and snap elections are likely."
US military leaders were "outraged" when Turkey began its bombing campaign, giving US special forces stationed in northern Iraq virtually no warning before Turkish jets started striking the mountains... Erdogan has also complicated his party's relationship with Washington further: While the White House was relieved when Turkey announced it would allow the US to launch airstrikes against ISIS from Incirlik airbase in its southeast, the PKK is a politically contentious target.also btw...
The militia was working with US-backed Kurdish fighters to repel ISIS from northern Iraq and is also closely linked to the Kurdish YPG militia, which, backed by US airstrikes, has proved to be the most effective force fighting ISIS on the ground in northern Syria. Now the US is reportedly embracing an all-out partnership with the YPG to make up for the failures of its $500 million Syrian train-and-equip program — a move that is sure to anger Ankara and inflame tensions even further.
- A caretaker government attacks the Kurds, abroad and at home - "Erdogan has used bombing IS as cover for much heavier air strikes against the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. Peace talks launched over two years ago have in effect ended. Hundreds of Kurds have been arrested. The PKK, which has fought intermittently for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for decades, has resumed killing Turkish policemen and soldiers. The PKK's attacks play into Mr Erdogan's hands; many believe it, too, is escalating the conflict to undermine the HDP's moderates."
- The Kurds' chance for peace is being blown apart - "Many warn that the situation could spin out of control. Young Kurds born in families displaced by the earlier conflict tend to support the militants. In October 2014, protests against Turkey's lack of support for the Syrian Kurds fighting Islamic State (IS) led to street violence in which nearly 40 people died. Meanwhile the autonomous area carved out by Kurdish fighters in Syria, which they call Rojava, is fuelling dreams on the Turkish side of the border too. In Kurdish towns, the fresh graves of young fighters killed in Rojava, festooned with flowers and flags, testify to the growing numbers joining the struggle."
- Turkey, America and the Kurds: Awkward allies - "Turkey had been edging towards taking a more active role in the coalition against IS for several weeks, which may well have been the trigger for the suicide attack. The reasons included growing alarm about the strengthening relationship between the Americans and the Kurds; active recruiting by IS inside Turkey's big cities; and worry over the damage being done to Turkey's reputation by its tolerance of IS."
- By bombing the Kurds, as well as Islamic State, Turkey is adding to the chaos in the Middle East - "Erdogan's vainglory risks placing Turkey on the pyre of the Middle East. The AK party should ignore the president's scheming, get on with forming a coalition with centrists and resume peace talks with the Kurds. The PKK must restore the ceasefire: more than three decades of fighting produced only misery. Now that the PKK has abandoned its old separatism, negotiations on devolution and language rights offer the best prospect of peace. If Turkish and Kurdish guns were pointed at IS, rather than at each other, it would be better for Turkey, the Middle East and the world."
- The YPG/J are radical feminists, with women fighting on the front lines and even commanding whole fronts - "The Kurds are trying very hard to change, to get out of the sectarian nightmare. So when Islamic State attacked those vulnerable Assyrian villages around the town of Tal Hamer, they fought for the Assyrians."
- Kurdish fighters 'confused' by U.S. allegiance with Turkey - "So we now have this very complicated triangulation where you have the YPG in northern Syria working with the United States and the coalition actively fighting ISIS and succeeding... and at the same time you have Turkey, which just opened fire on the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers' Party separatists), their sister group in Iraq and Turkey."
- Back to Fundamentals - "Corruption of a much greater magnitude... implicating President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family, has gone untouched. A probe by Turkish prosecutors against Erdoğan in 2013 was clearly politically motivated (and driven by Erdoğan's foes in the movement headed by Fethullah Gülen, a self-exiled Islamic preacher), which gave the government the cover needed to quash the investigation."
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