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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The enemy of my enemy is ... How does that go? -- Man, this thing sure is complicated, our involvement with Muslims fighting muslims: Turkey strikes Kurdish militants in Iraq, ends truce of more than 2 years

From The Washington Post:

Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish militants in northern Iraq early Saturday, expanding and complicating the air war launched by Turkey against the Islamic State in Syria the day before.

The strikes targeted weapons-storage facilities and camps belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, at its Mount Qandil headquarters in the remote mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, according to a government statement.

There were also strikes for a second night in a row against the Islamic State in Syria, indicating that Turkey is now actively engaged in the war against the militants after months on the sidelines.

The strikes against Kurds in Iraq opened a second front for Turkey, effectively ending a two-year truce with the PKK that had been a signature achievement of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

The PKK issued a statement saying that the cease-fire, which had already been strained by a number of PKK attacks in Turkey, is now off. “This truce has no meaning anymore,” it said.

The targeting of Kurdish militants will also complicate the United States’ air war against the Islamic State, which has relied heavily on a PKK-allied group of Syrian Kurds to make advances in northern Syria.

The United States, like Turkey, has designated the PKK a terrorist organization, but unlike Turkey it does not apply the label to the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, thereby making cooperation possible.

“There is no connection between these airstrikes against PKK and recent understandings to intensify US-Turkey cooperation against ISIL,” he added, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

So keen was the Obama administration to secure Turkish cooperation against the Islamic States that it would be unlikely to object to Turkey also taking on Kurdish militants, said Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“Turkey just pulled the carpet from under the Kurds,” he said. “In the name of fighting terrorism . . . Turkey now has carte blanche to act against the PKK because it is also is acting against ISIS.”

The attacks stirred up tensions between Turkey and Kurdish groups across the complex spectrum of alliances and rivalries spanning the territories in Turkey, Iraq and Syria that Kurds claim as their homeland.

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