Turkey's parliament voted last week to extend the deployment of an estimated 2,000 troops across northern Iraq by a year to combat "terrorist organizations" - a likely reference to Kurdish rebels as well as Islamic State. Iraq condemned the vote, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned Turkey risked triggering
Speaking before a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry demagogically blamed Russia and the government of President Bashar al-Assad for the escalating violence that has left a ceasefire reached earlier this month in tatters.
The US and Russia have committed to a ceasefire beginning Monday at sunset, which is to last for a week over the Eid holiday. The US-backed rebel groups are supposed to cease attacking government-held areas, although it appears increasingly likely that some rebel groups will refuse to implement the deal. The Assad government has agreed to allow humanitarian supplies into Aleppo.
"Be Serok jiyan nabe!" The well-worn Kurdish adage means "no life without our leader." It was crafted for Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which initially fought for independence then Kurdish self-rule inside Turkey, since 1984. The mantra has gained a new urgency after the botched July 15 coup. The rogue officers who were seeking to overthrow and kill Turkish
A terrorist for the Israelis, Khaled was a symbol throughout the world for the Palestinian armed struggle, following her participation in one of the four simultaneous hijackings of September 1970, inspiring songs, films and works of art internationally. These hijackings were part of the Palestinian “response” to the ignominious defeat they suffered with the
Speaking in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, which has been repeatedly targeted by PKK terrorist attacks, Yıldırım said it is estimated that some 14,000 teachers serving in the region are somehow associated with terrorism.
Sadly, it’s a classic Middle East moment, when regional players’ mistrust of each other overwhelms their common interest in fighting the terrorist Islamic State. And, equally sadly, it’s a moment that illustrates the frailty of the United States’ Syrian policy, which has built its military plans on the treacherous fault line of Turkish-Kurdish enmity.
Since Turkey launched its invasion of Syria on August 24, mobilizing Syrian Sunni militia funded, armed and trained by the CIA, it has increasingly directed its firepower not against ISIS, but rather against the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Pentagon-backed formation dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
While the White House was preparing to consider a secret plan to have American special forces join the Turks, Ankara pulled the trigger on the mission unilaterally without giving officials in Washington advance warning. When clashes started between Turkish and Syrian Kurdish fighters—who are directly backed by U.S. Special Forces—the Pentagon issued
Turkish forces intervened in Northern Syria, officially “against terrorists” (it is a custom now for nearly everybody operating in Syria, to do it under pretext of combating terrorism). But for most observers, the real aim of the operation is to stop the advance of Kurdish forces to the west of the river Euphrates.