Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 25, 2015

Turkey Lauches War On Islamic State's Worst Enemies - The Kurds

Since 2013 a ceasefire between the state of Turkey and Kurdish PKK rebels in south-east Turkey held up well. The government pledged some support for Kurdish cultural autonomy and in return the ruling AK Party gained votes from parts of the Kurdish constituency. The AKP government also has good relations with the Kurds in north Iraq. It buys oil from the Kurdish regional government and supports the kleptocracy of the ruling Barzani clan in that autonomous Iraqi region.

The PKK is a militant Kurdish organization in Turkey. The equivalent in Syria is known as YPG. In Iran the group is called PJAK and in Iraq HPG. The HDP party in Turkey is the political arm of the PKK. The PYD is the political arm of the Syrian YPG. All these are essentially the same egalitarian, secular marxist/anarchist organization striving for Kurdish autonomy or independence.

[Correction per CE in comments:
The PKK is main Kurdish party in Turkey. Its military arm is the HPG. Usually though only PKK is used to identify both. The equivalent in Syria is the PYD as the party and the YPG as its military arm. The HDP that now sits in the Turkish parliament after wining 12% of the vote is not the political wing of the PKK (which is itself a political party). HDP is an umbrella party of several far-left secular parties, including Kurdish, and is for minority rights including and foremost those of Kurds. (Confused? So was I.)]

Turkey has now reopened its war on the PKK Kurds in Turkey, Iraq and in Syria. Turkish police rounded up hundreds of Kurdish activists in Turkey and tonight dozens of Turkish fighter planes attacked PKK positions in Syria and Iraq. This war is likely to escalate and will be long and bloody. It will be mostly fought on Turkish ground. How did it come to this?

The war on Syria and support by Turkey for even the most radical islamists fighting the Syrian government changed the relations with the Kurds. It is undeniable that Turkey not only supports the Free Syrian Army but also the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Turkey is the transit country for international suicide bomber candidates joining these organizations. Weapons, ammunition and other goods are smuggled into Syria with the help of the Turkish secret services and the Islamic State exports oil to Turkey. The Islamic State is recruiting in Turkey and is believed to have many sleeper cells throughout the country.

When the Islamic State attacked Kurdish positions in Kobane in north Syria the U.S. intervened on the side of the Kurds. Turkey was miffed and at first blocked all support. The Kurds in Kobane are, like the Kurdish rebels in Turkey, organized in the PKK/YPG. They want an continuous autonomous region in north Syria connecting all Kurdish enclaves along the Turkish Syrian border.

Ankara fears that such a region could be joined by the Kurdish areas in south-east Turkey. This would be a threat to the Turkish state. Turkey wants to gain land in the war on Syria not lose any. Idleb and Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq are regions that Erdogan would like to add to his realm.

As the Kurds in Syria as well as Iraq had some success in fighting against the Islamic State and increased their territories the Turkish AKP government saw its plans in shambles. Additionally the AKP lost in the recent elections in Turkey while the Kurdish HDP party, for the first time in its history, joined the Turkish parliament. Without a solid parliamentary majority Erdogan's plan of becoming the almighty president over a larger, Ottoman Turkey is finished.

To change the situation Erdogan decided to reopen the war against the Kurds under the disguise of joining the U.S. war against the Islamic State.

On July 20 a bomb exploded during a meeting of young socialist Kurds in the southern border town of Suruç. Some thirty people were killed and over a hundred wounded. Turkey immediately attributed the attack to the Islamic State but IS never claimed the attack. The Kurdish PKK immediately blamed the Turkish state and accused it of collusion with the Islamic State. The next day the PKK killed two Turkish police officers in revenge for the bombing.

Last year secret audio tapes leaked of conversations between the Turkish prime minister and the head if the Turkish secret service. They planned a false flag attack against Turkish targets as a pretext to invade Syria. The PKK assumption that Turkey colluded with the Islamic State to attack Kurds in Turkey is thereby quite plausible. The claimed "intelligence failure" that allowed the attack seems to be a mere smoke screen. The attack gives Turkey a public relation talking point that it is fighting the Islamic State while in reality Turkey is attacking those Kurds who are fighting the Islamic State.

On Wednesday Turkish police raided hundreds of homes all over the country. The mass arrests was sold as an action against Islamic State fighters. But beside a few well known IS functionaries hundreds of Kurdish activists and leftists politicians were taken into custody. Demonstrations and riots by Kurds in Istanbul and other cities increased. Today Turkish courts banned Kurdish news agencies and media. Turkish media and the Internet in Turkey are again partially censored.

Why would Erdogan now launch a war against the Kurds? What are his aims? These come to mind:

  • Prevent the unification of Kurdish cantons in north Syria which the Islamic State lost after the Kurdish offensive.
  • Maintain secure supply routes to AlQaeda, the Islamic State and other anti-Syrian groups with the long term aim of incorporating north Syria into Turkey.
  • Rally nationalist for a new round of elections to Erdogan's side. Shut out the HDP from the next election to again win an outright AKP majority.
  • Gain support from the Turkish army which is a political opponent of Erdogan but sees the bigger danger in a possible Kurdish autonomy.

Yesterday the Turkish government announced that it would open the Incirlik air base for U.S. attack flights against the Islamic State. It also claimed that the U.S. had agreed to set up a no-fly zone over Syria. The U.S. officially denied the later. Turkey fighter jets flew a few attacks against alleged Islamic State targets in north Syria. The Kurds say the Turks only bombed some empty houses. The official announced plan seems to differ from what the Turks are actually doing:

Turkey and the United States have agreed on a military action plan with the objective of clearing the Turkish-Syrian border of jihadist terrorists in what the two countries have called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)-free zone.
...
The plan crafted by Ankara and Washington foresees the deployment of FSA units to this area if ISIL is completely cleared from that particular zone, which would both prevent the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) from further expanding its influence towards the West and create a safe environment for either sheltering Syrians fleeing violence or those who want to return to their homelands.

Last night the Turkish air-force went on an all out attack against Kurds in Iraq not against Islamic State fighters or positions. Several dozens Turkish jets attacked PKK postions in north Iraq. These jets allegedly flew through Syrian air space. This is an attack against the group that was, with international support, most successful in fighting against the Islamic State. One wonders how much of this part of the plans was agreed upon with the United States.

Does the U.S. collude with Ankara in the now open war against the Kurdish PKK? How then can it then continue to use the PKK/YPG as an ally against the Islamic State?

The U.S. position is confused:

Obama administration officials acknowledged the PKK and YPG have links and coordinate with each other in the fight against Islamic State, but they said the U.S. continues to formally shun the PKK while dealing directly with YPG. The groups operate under separate command structures and have different objectives, the officials said.
...
Just two years ago, President Barack Obama told Turkey the U.S. would continue to aid its battle against PKK “terrorists.” The U.S. continues to share intelligence about the PKK with Turkey, and military officials from the two countries sit together in an Intelligence Fusion Cell in Ankara established by the George W. Bush administration to help Turkey fight the group.

But now, “the U.S. has become the YPG’s air force and the YPG has become the U.S.’s ground force in Syria,” said Henri Barkey, a former State Department analyst on Turkey now at Lehigh University.

Again, the PKK and the YPG are not really distinct organizations. They are essentially the same. It seems that the U.S. is now helping the Turkish government, which supports the Islamic State, to target Kurdish positions while at the same time giving air support to the same Kurds against the Islamic State.

Who in Washington came up with such a lunatic policy position and what is the real aim behind it?

Posted by b on July 25, 2015 at 04:03 AM | Permalink

Comments

MEanwhile in Yemen, the sick people in Saudiarabia have just killed 120 people!
http://presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/25/421751/Death-toll-Saudi-aggression-airstrikes-Taiz-Yemen--

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 25, 2015 4:09:21 AM | 1

There is no 'Who' in Washington. Military policy is determined in Alexandria, and most likely redetermined in Quantico, and all the other Spook Centrals around the Globe, after urgent red phone discussions with their handlers in Hebron and Riyadh. US Air Force and Pentagon are particularly infested with crypto-Zionist Crusaders.
What SHOULD be of interest on this board is the looming bankruptcy of the Ukraine.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jul 25, 2015 4:13:29 AM | 2

More conformation, b
Turkey's air force hits IS and PKK in Syria and Iraq
2 hours ago
Turkish air force jets have carried out fresh strikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria and also hit Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33663005

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 25, 2015 6:01:39 AM | 3

Some small corrections: PKK is a (outlawed) political party. It has a military wing which is called Hêzên Parastina Gel (HPG). The latter is comparable (but not the same) to the YPG/YPJ in Syria, which is basically the military wing of the PYD party (the latter therefore comparable to the PKK). So the HDP that sits now in the Turkish parliament is not the political wing of the PKK (which is itself a political party) as the article states. HDP is an umbrella party of several far-left secular parties, including Kurdish, and is for minority rights including and foremost those of Kurds. Comparable to SYRIZA maybe.

Posted by: CE | Jul 25, 2015 6:53:57 AM | 4

sounds like there are two groups (at least) pulling Obama's strings - a more nearly 'straight' group going through the motions, at least, of fighting ISIS, in concert, more or less, with the Kurds, and another neolibracon group, supporting ISIS and now Turkey/ISIS against Syria and the Kurds. It's been this way for a while in Obamaland. Mon, Wed, and Fri he wears one hat and Tues and Thursdays another, with the weekends up for grabs.

Meanwhile more and more 'top brass' are sounding off on political subjects. An American coup d'etat is no longer out of the question.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 25, 2015 8:18:41 AM | 5

@1

I agree that the US/KSA attack on Yemen and the UN's silence on their monstrous crimes there are testimony to the complete corruption of the US/UN. It's war, war, war all the time with these bastards now, not even the pretense of an interest in peace anywhere.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 25, 2015 8:27:37 AM | 6

Good analysis it appears.
Saying that the US policy is inconsistent is a huge understatement. It is driven strictly by the desire to become and remain a hegemon. Thus, it is inconsistent because it attempts to both placate and destroy perceived enemies. The only exception seems to be Israel ... though the twisted logic is still manifest.

Posted by: Rg an LG | Jul 25, 2015 8:44:38 AM | 7

Thank god this is much too confusing for most voters and even politicians to follow. It leaves the respective security organizations free hand to make policy and then explain what happened after the fact.

Posted by: Ralphieboy | Jul 25, 2015 8:54:43 AM | 8

Assad struck a blow, of sorts, for Kurdish unity and independence when a year or more ago he officially passed control of Syria's Kurdish region to the Kurds. His reasoning, apparently, was that the Kurds were the least anti-Assad group and he could rely on them to defend 'their' territory, making it practical to deploy the SAA elsewhere in Syria.
So this latest Turkish-American 'plan' is just another hilarious clusterfuck. I mean when so-called allies can't even agree among themselves who their worst enemies are it's time for someone to sober up or take a cold shower. The Yankees won't dare declare, or implement a limited no-fly zone because Russia will redefine, expand, and rigidly enforce it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 25, 2015 9:53:06 AM | 9

The Zionists won't like this,Turkey attacking their buddies.Obomba will release Pollard to quell the Zionists ire.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 25, 2015 10:45:36 AM | 10

@ 7: "Saying that the US policy is inconsistent is a huge understatement. It is driven strictly by the desire to become and remain a hegemon."

Bottom line, Yep!

Posted by: ben | Jul 25, 2015 10:52:47 AM | 11

The question we should be asking, is what does Erdogan gain from allowing the US to use Incirlik airbase now??

Letting the US use the base does not mean that the US is going to help Erdogan bomb the Kurds. To me it sounds like it could be part of a bigger deal to provide Turkish ground forces supported by US airpower to remove Assad.

Is this the beginning of the big push to topple assad?

Posted by: plantman | Jul 25, 2015 11:00:35 AM | 12

@dahoit
Convicted Israel spy Jonathan Pollard could be released early, maybe in the next few weeks.
By Evan Perez and Pamela Brown, CNN
July 25, 2015

Washington (CNN)—The U.S. government anticipates releasing convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard in November 2015 when he is up for parole, or perhaps even earlier if legally possible, U.S. officials said Friday.

The move, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, could be viewed as an effort to placate the Israeli government, which has long called for Pollard's release, at a time when the Obama administration is seeking to keep Israel from actively scuttling the nuclear deal with Iran.

But multiple officials insisted that it had nothing to do with the Iran deal but rather was a recognition that Pollard met the conditions for release and noted that the final decision is up to an independent parole commission.
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/24/politics/jonathan-pollard-israel-early-release/index.html

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 25, 2015 11:13:26 AM | 13

This give me a headache.
Bombing 32 people to start a war to hold power is disgusting and it won't work.
The elections showed the the Turkish people did not support the interventionist foreign policy pursed by the president they do not support ISIL. It also showed support for peace with the Kurds.
Now erdogan has smashed this all.
The U.S. with that idiot obama agreed to this no doubt to get use of the Turkish airfields as they still want to bomb Assad.

Posted by: James lake | Jul 25, 2015 11:36:04 AM | 14

Turkey has been fighting a bloody war with the secessionist PKK for 30 years and the recent cease-fire and negotiations never produced any lasting results which led to its failure. the recent killing of Turkish police gave Erdogan the excuse to resume attacks on the PKK.

These conflicts may seem to revolve around Islamic State and al-Nusra but there are old axes to grind that predate the Syrian War.

Searching news reports about the police roundup in Turkey showed 16 PKK members detained with the remaining 200+ arrests being IS or other group's members, there were also more IS members arrested earlier this month.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jul 25, 2015 11:53:52 AM | 15

good post b.. thanks... the usa and turkeys interests are very different.. i think erdogan is being very naive to think he can go against the wishes of the people of turkey by doing what he is doing.. of course when he sees obama doing the same, maybe he figures it doesn't matter.. bottom line - the war industry wins and humanity suffers with needless death and mayham... thanks obama and erdogan for signing onto more perpetual war thinking that is some sort of solution here..

the ongoing nightmare in yemen brought to them by saudi arabia and their friends which includes the usa is really disgusting... that the un/usa are silent or directly participating in this tells one all they need to know about how fucked we are here at this point in time..

Posted by: james | Jul 25, 2015 12:20:35 PM | 16

Not to worry the US has just released 'sixty' yes 60 "moderate" approved fighters into Syria to take on IS 20/40,000 then to move on to destroy Assads army 180,000?? The US high command are delusional.

Posted by: harry law | Jul 25, 2015 12:57:37 PM | 17

"Turkey Lauches War On Islamic State's Worst Enemies - The Kurds"

Wow, thanks for reinforcing the NATO main stream media's official war mongering narrative- Cause that's just what you're espousing and we all know how truthful the war whore media is

Posted by: Penny | Jul 25, 2015 1:38:39 PM | 18

"Sources tell CNN Türk last night Turkish jets made 159 sorties against PKK camps in N.Iraq and hit 400 targets"

And they flew some three sorties against IS.

Posted by: b | Jul 25, 2015 2:35:54 PM | 19

@17 harry.. it is called throwing more logs on the fire.. every bit helps.. regime change is still the driving force of usa foreign policy.. death and destruction follow it where-ever it goes..

@18 b.. obviously turkey is being given more autonomy thanks their generousity towards the usa for the use of their airbase... funny how warmongers like to stick together like that..

Posted by: james | Jul 25, 2015 2:44:08 PM | 20

It is clear that Erdogan wants Turkey to be a new Ottoman Empire. It is clear that the main elements of the US great game players want Iraq divided up into Kurdistan, Sunnistan, and Shiastan. It becomes murky when the US covert policy makers that decided that old OPeration Gladio was over and a new type of Operation Gladio involving muslim jihadis (instead of the old fascist types it still uses - look at the Ukraine) was what was going to happen - notice US covert support for Chechen rebels, using Muslim jihadis to help Balkanize Yugoslavia and so on. The war on terror is loved by all the main US policy elements It did alienate the old Operation Gladio collaborators in the Turkish military whom Erdogan gladly helped eliminate. This new Operation Gladio worked with the ME oil kingdoms to try to overthrow secular Assad in Syria (notice how secular Saddam was militarily eliminated by US - Turkey didn't cooperate as Iraq was/is a major trading partner - to help assuage Turkey for money lost - much heroin from Afghanistan uses Turkey as a middleman) and it also fit with mainstream policy types who wanted to overthrow Assad for pipeline and Iran- Russia influence reasons. Overtly the US has to be totally against ISIS while covertly ISIS is a direct result of US efforts. Erdogan helped with these efforts as article notes. While most of Turks don't want Kurdistan to happen, they certainly don't want ISIS as a neighbor. Also while being mostly a covert US creation (notice how it doesn't attack Israel - in fact is supported by Israel), ISIS like any group gaining power wants to be its own master. It does have a good grasp of military strategy and tactics in its particular area. In the foreign policy arena it isn't a story of good guys in white hats against bad guys in black hats - it's all black hats fighting each other.

Posted by: gepay | Jul 25, 2015 3:00:27 PM | 21

That's the best basic summary by b that I have witnessed online. Required reading.

The Turkish fraud of holding a "ceasefire" with the Kurds seems to be the same bullshit ceasefire standards as the Israeli State terrorists. Known by both sides of course, but still blatantly deceitfully obvious.

Why now, is an interesting question and b already mentioned the main plausible reasons.
Could I add that since ISIL has been successful in destroying 1/2 of the Syrian military (which has been remarkably successful for the evil US Empire and it's allies where the U.S. have not lost one soldier doing so), that vacuum can never be filled in by enemies of terrorist states like Turkey, Israel etc, with Kurds.

How much of the planned murderous chaos of divide and conquer is necessary, before the evil states start directly intervening with their war crimes of regime change ?
Is the lesson of Libya where chaos raigned for too long without the US being able to control Libya, now being learnt for Syria ? Is the US being allowed to use a Turkish airbase mean that direct US warcrimes are coming sooner than later ?

Posted by: tom | Jul 25, 2015 5:04:07 PM | 22

Erdogan may have visions of grandeur about a neo-Ottoman Empire but he is having trouble just staying in power in Turkey. These new adventures may have something to do with that lost support and could produce renewed support or outrage.

A short time ago the Islamic State in Gaza declared war on Israel and began firing rockets into that 'Supporter's' territory so that rumor is getting somewhat dated.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jul 25, 2015 5:04:25 PM | 23

This Turkish airbase that's closer to Syria, as well as the recent news of US trained "fighters" heading into Syria, who are really target designators, is not a coincidence.

Posted by: tom | Jul 25, 2015 5:55:13 PM | 24

Some people here are claiming that the Turkish people are against this war in Syria ( there is some truth to that ) but after the terrorist bombing in Suruc against Turkish nationals what is the mood now in Turkey ?
After a short search I didn't find any info.

Can someone else fill-in with what the mood is ?

Posted by: tom | Jul 25, 2015 6:01:54 PM | 25

#24

I recently read a piece in Middle East Eye, that more or less implied that Erdogan cannot easily backtrack on his support of ISIS. Regardless of how Turks (both in the political and civil realms) may object to Erdogan's duplicitous policies in Syria, or anywhere else that concerns ISIS, he has gone way too far along this road to suddenly back out now - lest he find Turkish targets in the ISIS caliphate's cross-hairs. Whatever Erdogan's current thinking about his ME "strategy", he now finds himself caught in a dilemma of disastrous proportions.

Posted by: bjmaclac | Jul 25, 2015 6:39:34 PM | 26

5

America already had its coup-d'etat on 9/11, the day after a Congressional investigation forced Rums feld to publicly admit the Pentagon had 'lost track of' $2,300,000,000,000, ...and the Congressional investigation records were stored under secure access at the Pentagon to prove it.

The next day, a miracle happened! A magic 757 with no engines, no passengers bodies, no luggage, no massive wings or tail section, made an impossible 270-degree 5G dive descent to 500 knots at 50 feet off the deck, a stunt both commercial and military pilots said was impossible, and Boeing admitted would have ton a 757 apart,...then this miracle 'plane' slammed into the Pentagon exactly where those Congressional records were kept, blowing through five solid concrete walls, and leaving only a smoking crater, with no JP-5 conflagration.

A miracle!

Still, under Y2K records rules, there were backup copies of the investigations in a New Jersey databank warehouse,...but wouldn't you know, that hard-drive had been magically erased.

Miracles on miracles led to two, count 'em, two unfunded $4TRILLION unaudited wars of diversion and distraction and all-out war profiteering looting, with creation of the National Police State NSA all-seeing domestic surveillance Supreme Soviet, which USARYANS subsist under today.

If that's not a Mil.Gov Coup, I sure as hell don't know what is, ... but it makes perfect sense. They saw what happened to the Soviet military that decade, and said, Not on my watch!

'Defense' aka MIC, is only defending the Blue Team. Period. 'See something, say NOTHING!' The rest of you'all can go straight to hell, and MIC will be only too glad to help you get there, just as long as they keep their golden rice bowl.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jul 25, 2015 7:21:04 PM | 27

When I saw the Syrian map with the two Kurd controlled areas and the only supply line to ISIS running through the middle; I thought Turkey would do something to prevent the Kurds from closing the gap and cutting off their resupply. Clearly the US signed off to the bombing of the Kurds to get use of the Turkish airbase. The degrading an effective anti-IS militia was of no concern.

This is not gross incompetence.

After the withdrawal from Iraq and before the rise of the Islamic State corporate media talked about the dangers of Mexican drug cartels and intervention south of the border. It suddenly stop and hasn’t restarted since even with El Cahpo’s escape from jail. Instead, the rise of the Islamic State provided the perfect boogeymen and scapegoats to frighten the peons to continue funding of the military to blow up sand, mud huts and people on the other side of the world. Besides Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Libya; Greece and Ukraine are also wealth extraction schemes.

The fundamental problem with these never ending wars for profit is that they breed hard core survivors who would like nothing better than to extract revenge on their enemy’s homeland.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 25, 2015 8:58:05 PM | 28

"Clearly the US signed off to the bombing of the Kurds to get use of the Turkish airbase. "

That was the case after the First Gulf War, in exchange for use of Incirlik Air Base, the US turned a blind eye when Turkey came down as hard on the Kurds as Saddam was doing on the other side of the border.

Posted by: Ralphieboy | Jul 26, 2015 6:34:48 AM | 29

Turkey's Dangerous Game
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33664269

For months, Ankara resisted military involvement in the US-led coalition of the willing. It insisted that the attacks also target President Bashar al-Assad's forces. Washington's reply was, in effect, that the immediate concern was IS and that the "Assad problem" needed to be put on the back burner.
~~~
Critics believe Turkey is only striking the jihadists as cover for going after its real enemy: the Kurds. Ankara's reluctance to hit IS earlier, the argument goes, was actually a reluctance to help Kurds fighting IS militants. Now both can be bombed, Turkey is willing to get involved.
~~~
The danger, though, is that this two-pronged attack will expose Turkey to more attacks by IS and foment more violence among Turkey's Kurdish minority, spurred by the PKK.

Forty-thousand people died during the 30-year armed conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state. Turkey can ill afford a return to the bad old days of the 1990s. But the ghosts of the past could be reawakened.

A perilous game indeed.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 26, 2015 7:43:36 AM | 30

Since late 2003 we have seen the life for the people who live in the ME turn from something that for many was no picnic but at least families and local culture thrived, into absolute devastation.

Call me non optimist but I have come to the conclusion that amerika having no coherent strategy is the plan. Nothing else makes sense and I just cannot believe than even the tweedledee/dummers in congress can be that obtuse.
The alternative is to conclude a multi hydra headed monster - every head containing an amoral brain which insists on forcing the particular gross distortion this head passes off as reality - hoping that somehow their delusion will be adopted by enough people to advance the head further up the pecking order.

Erdogan can't get permission to hop into Syria and attack either the resistance or Assad. To do so would require access of up to date info on which groups in the resistance were considered OK right then along with which parts of Assad's efforts are to be left alone.

The racist amerikans don't trust him and neither does Saudi or Qatar neither need another player while they shape up to grabs best bits of the devestation. And not to forget the major - Israel. who don't trust what they cannot control.
Erdogan needs a war to force support for his government and keep the Turkish military class engaged on important stuff that won't allow time to be distracted by coups, juntas and such.

So do as others before have done over the years in similar situations and beat up on the kurds.

You Asshole Erdogan

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 26, 2015 9:02:07 AM | 31

too common, you can't arm a war without both sides getting arms. It takes two to tango; and two to make war. And, failing to arm both sides only moves half the weapons used, that's a major market. What, are you a communist?

Posted by: Scott Conner | Jul 26, 2015 9:53:02 AM | 32

@Debs Call me non optimist but I have come to the conclusion that amerika having no coherent strategy is the plan.

Interesting and likely correct thought: "having no coherent strategy is the plan"

Well, it keeps the wars and the war machine going and the dollars running to the relevant people. So what's not to like with having no coherent strategies?

Posted by: b | Jul 26, 2015 2:03:29 PM | 33

@14:
"This give me a headache.
Bombing 32 people to start a war to hold power is disgusting and it won't work.
The elections showed the the Turkish people did not support the interventionist foreign policy pursed by the president they do not support ISIL. It also showed support for peace with the Kurds.
Now erdogan has smashed this all."

Not only Ergogan, there are two to tango. The PKK, in this very advantagous political situation for the kurdish and all turkish left, did one of its most stupid decisions to reopen the armed conflict with the turkish state by killing some police and soldier after the Suruc massaker. The PKK CC now says it was their local branches who decided about it, but nevertheless, they could have imagined that Erdogan etc. was just looking for such a chance.

They say that the policemen killed had direct links to the IS, if they can proof it, why not strongly expose those through the HDP and other publicity means they have all over in Turkey?

http://www.todayszaman.com/national_pkk-kills-2-turkish-police-officers-in-retaliation-for-suruc-blast_394244.html

"HDP's Demirtaş expresses condolences over killing of police officers

Commenting on the killing of the two police officers, HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said he shares the grief of the families of the officers. “The police officers massacred in Ceylanpınar are also the sons of the oppressed people and from the families of laborers. I also wish God's mercy on them and share the grief of their families,” the party leader said."

www.kurdishquestion. com
http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/north-kurdistan/emergency-joint-statement-by-kurdish-parties.html

" 'WE WILL NOT LET YOU WAGE WAR! '

Co-presidents affirmed their determination to struggle for peace and democracy as opposed to interventions and war policies, and promised to bring the perpetrators of massacres, war and robberies to justice.

HDP, DBP, HDK and DTK ended the statement by saying that they would not let AKP wage war, and called upon democracy forces to mobilize for stopping war and violence in the country, ending the isolation of Mr. Öcalan, and beginning negotiations for a lasting peace in Turkey."

It seems that Erdogan and some parts of the armed PKK wing want the continuation of macho politics on both sides

Posted by: Dilsoz Buhar | Jul 26, 2015 2:18:45 PM | 34

Lunatic policy in Washington?

It's a high-wire balancing act with both Kerry (diplomacy) and Biden (aggression) as performers in the act. To compensate the nuclear deal with Iran, Obama has vowed to add military arms, funds and power into the Middle-East. The essence of Assad's overthrow was the Neocon wet dream to break the axis Teheran – Baghdad - Damascus – Hezbollah. Lebanon had been the playground for Sunni Saudi Arabia, Shia Hezbollah, Syria and Israel. Alliances were made on the spur of a moment and broken again. The assassination of Rafic Hariri was a state(s) sponsored act of terror used to end by UN mandate of Syria's military presence. In 1976 the Arab League had established in Lebanon an Arab Deterrent Force which was mostly comprised of Syrian forces.

Obama is determined to add pressure on Russia through its proxy Ukraine and keep sanctions in place. Apparently with the expectation Putin will fold on Syria and his support for Assad. The issue is more complex as Turkey has a good relationship with Russia through an understanding between Erdogan and Putin on gas transport pipelines. Obama has played the endgame a number of times: Assad will be overthrown in a matter of weeks. It's the implementation and the contradictory advice he gets from his National Security Council advisor Susan Rice which spoils much of any sort of sound foreign policy. It must be giving John Kerry an headache.

Posted by: Oui | Jul 26, 2015 2:36:15 PM | 35

You guys are all wrong...

Turkey is not at war with Syria and all this has nothing to do with foreign politics.

Erdogan has lost the last elections and as of now his Ottoman Empire dreams have gone down the drain. The only way he can survive (litterally) is if he manages to redo the elections in a few months and then get the AKP (his political party) to win with more than 50% of the votes. That way he'll be able to become a "super president", he'll get rid of his actual prime minister, and later one he'll pass on the country to his son. That's the real purpose of the war, not Syria or Assad...

But for that he _has to_ turn the vote of the people in the country around and the only way to do that is to weaken the HDP/kurdish party. If more and more soldiers/police officers are killed, it is likely that people will vote less for the HDP and he will eventually be able to get rid of them completely (the HDP).

The HDP is roughly at 10% today. If they get even 1% less votes due to those killings, they wont be able to get ANYONE elected (there is a 10% minimum voting barrier in Turkey) and all those votes will be added to the largest party, the AKP.

If the HDP gets 10% vote, they can send 80 people to congress and Erdogan cannot run the country by himself. If they get 9% vote, they send ZERO people to the congress and all of those votes go to Erdogan who can then become the new Sultan ! (pretty much)

It's as simple as that and all of this war is just purely internal politics and the last hope of a dying SOB to remain the leader of the country :(

If in the process he can weaken the Kurds (Turkish and/or Syrians) and Assad, that's just a bonus and he might be able to get something out of it in a (distant) future but don't be fooled, this war has nothing to do with Syria...

The deal with the US was certainly something like : You can use your military bases and we'll help you a little in Syria, but then you'll shut your mouth when we deal with the Kurds. In a couple months Turkey will turn around _again_ and stop fithing because the elections will be over by then.

BTW if you really think that anyone (ie Turkey and/or US) really want to get rid of IS you are wrong. Even if Turkey stays at war in Syria, it won't be to overthrow Assad, it'll only be to be able to fight against "all terrorists" ie IS AND the Kurds !
No one wants to win the war... They just want a big mess that's all :(

Posted by: SysATI | Jul 28, 2015 2:43:10 PM | 38

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