Sunday, July 26, 2015

Make sure it's a landline call





DEBAKA reports:

The Middle East woke up Friday, July 24, to two new full-fledged wars launched by Jordan and Turkey for cutting down the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as is forces advanced on their borders. The United States and Israel are involved in both campaigns. Jordanian armored, commando and air forces are already operating deep inside Iraq, while Friday morning, Turkey conducted its first cross-border air strike against ISIS targets in Syria. Clashes between Turkish troops and Islamic fighters erupted at several points along the border. Both governments also conducted mass arrests of suspected Islamists. The Jordanian police picked up ISIS adherents, while 5,000 Turkish police detained 250 Islamist and outlawed Kurdish PKK suspects in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Saniurta. Jordan Friday shut down its only border crossing with Iraq.

But Turkey's not trying to cut down the Islamic State with these attacks.

It's using the threat or 'threat' of the Islamic State to advance their own interests which is to yet again re-start the war between Turkey and the PKK -- Kurdish fighters who have fought for an independent Kurdish homeland (fought via armed violence) for decades now, since 1984.

Contanze Letsch (Guardian) points out:

Turkey launched overnight airstrikes against several positions of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s party (PKK) in northern Iraq for the first time in four years, the country’s government has said.
The air raids put an end to a two-year ceasefire between the Turkish government and the PKK, severely endangering the already fragile peace process started in 2012 in an attempt to end a bloody conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people over 30 years.

ITV adds, "The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has said its 2013 truce with Turkey 'has no meaning anymore'."  AP explains, "The strikes in Iraq targeted the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, whose affiliates have been effective in battling the Islamic State group. The strikes further complicate the U.S.-led war against the extremists, which has relied on Kurdish ground forces making gains in Iraq and Syria."  Zia Weise and Chris Stevenson (Independent) note the shift in their report which includes:

“With the bombardment, Turkey has ended the ceasefire,” said Zagros Hiwa, a spokesman for the PKK and the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) based in the Qandil mountains, told The Independent on Sunday. “It ended the ceasefire and it ended the peace process unilaterally. From now on, we will continue our struggle against all odds.”

The action of the Turkish government should be immediately and universally called out.

This is not helping anything.

The Turkish government -- probably like many others -- is using the pretext of the Islamic State to attack Iraq.

In doing so, it is violating Iraq's sovereignty yet again.

This didn't work out well before, for any who paid attention.

The Turkish warplanes, announcements swore, killed 'terrorists.'  Reality, they bombed farming communities and killed civilians.

This didn't endear them to the Iraqi people.

There was outrage, naturally.

Now the Turkish government uses the threat or 'threat' of the Islamic State to overturn a peace initiative that they clearly never supported and were only waiting for the first chance to void.

In terms of Turkey, this means the PKK is now engaged in war with them which will mean on the outskirts of Turkey as well as inside.

This was a stupid decision by the Turkish government.

The question right now is whether or not the White House approved this assault.

Did the White House know about it and is that why there's been no major public condemnation of the assaults on northern Iraq from the White House?

The best they can offer, as the BBC notes, is a minor player with minor words:

US White House spokesman Alistair Baskey said Turkey had the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks by Kurdish rebels and urged the PKK to renounce terrorism.
But he said that Ankara should also avoid violence towards the PKK and seek to de-escalate the conflict.

Jacques Brinon (AP) notes that meek and weak wasn't the response in France where at least a thousand "Kurds and leftist Turks" took the streets of Paris to register their objections to Turkish warplanes bombing northern Iraq with banners decrying the action and some accusing the Turkish government of assisting the Islamic State.

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