This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Killing Turkish Civilians is Barbaric; Kurdish Civilians Not So

"We condemn this bombardment that led to the martyrdom of people from the Kurdistan region and call on Turkey not to bombard civilians again."
"[The PKK separatists] must keep the battlefield away from the Kurdistan region in order for civilians not to become victims of this war."
Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani

"There were six houses in this area, and all of them have been destroyed. The people targeted here are innocent civilians. The Turkish state is targeting Kurdish villagers on the excuse of PKK guerrillas."Feqi Muhammed, local villager-witness
© Murad Sezer

The Government of Iraq's Parliament has demanded that Turkey stop its incursions into Iraqi territory, bombing border villages, invading Iraq's sovereign territory. "The Turkish military aircraft have inflicted serious damage to the lives and property of the Iraqi people and neighboring border villages during their bombing operations inside Iraqi territory," read a statement by the Parliament.

Turkish warplanes blasted village of . 9 civilians lost their lives #ZergeleKoeyuendeKATLİAM
Following the Islamic State suicide attack on the Turkish Kurdish town of Suruc that killed 32 Turkish Kurd socialists and wounded another 100 who were planning to aid Syrian Kurds trying to restore the town of Kobani on July 20, the Kurdistan Workers' party accused the Turkish government of "supporting and cultivating" Islamic State, that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had used the Kurds as a buffer against ISIS.

The Frankenstein that Turkey had encouraged in its rampages against Syrian President al-Assad's regime has outlived its usefulness for Turkey's President and his Justice and Development Party. And Turkey's Kurds, voting in the June elections, succeeding in overturning Erdogan's majority status to a minority, fairly well sealed the fate of the peace agreement between the government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Four years of frustration for Erdogan in his campaign to do all he could to destroy the Assad regime has ended in failure. The United States couldn't be persuaded to bomb the Syrian military, nor to adequately fund the Syrian Free Army whose Sunni Islamist credentials Erdogan thoroughly approves of. Turkey's enablement of Islamic State hasn't resulted in the regime's fall, nor has Iranian and Hezbollah involvement with the regime's response to Islamic State resulted in either's destruction.

With Turkey's decision to finally agree to fulfilling its obligations as a NATO member in aiding the U.S.-led airstrike coalition, it has now opened itself to attacks by Islamic State. Sometimes such gambles are taken for purposes not immediately recognizable. Now, even while it is attacking ISIL positions, it is dedicating more of its resources toward attacking the PKK positions in Iraq. And at the same time threatening Kurdish parliamentarians for purported involvement in "terrorism".

The Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party's successful defence of Kobani with aid from coalition airstrikes while the Turkish military stood by on the border preferring not to intervene, hoping that Islamic State would demolish the PYD was yet another epic disappointment for Erdogan. That the PYD has chosen to cooperate with the Syrian regime to work on pushing back ISIL, represents another ulcer in his stomach wall.

The PYD is a reflection of the detested PKK as far as Turkey is concerned, both terrorist groups whose presence and reason for existence, to agitate for the eventual creation of a Kurdish state is intolerable. All of which made the bombing raids on PKK's north Iraq presence this week a given. The two-and-a-half-year-old truce is in shambles. Erdogan's decision to abandon himself to vengeance against the Kurds will risk his country's equilibrium as much as the Kurdish agitation does.

But the inconvenience of Kurdish fighters representing the only viable militias that have succeeded in halting the Islamic State advance, the Kurdish militias' successes in regaining some towns that fell to ISIL, has earned the Kurds new respect from the international community. Certainly, the United States has given full recognition to the fact that however well they train Iraqi troops as an example, it is an exercise in frustration. The Kurdish militias, on the other hand, fight with courage and conviction.

The international community's willingness to acknowledge Kurdish military prowess, the democratic nature of its governance, the acceptance by the Kurdish communities of people of minority ethnic and religious status, its protection of Christians and Yazidis, has gained it high regard. Mr. Erdogan's efforts to isolate and slander the Kurds, describing them as terrorists in their zeal to agitate for a homeland of their own only serves to highlight the Turkish president's paranoid hatred.

Islamic State presented as an alternative to Bashar al-Assad's regime. Now that the regime remains in power in that part of Syria it has been able to cling to, Erdogan's attention has turned to the Syrian Sunni militias, most of them now aligned with al-Qaeda offshoots and Islamists in their own right, just not quite as blood-curdlingly barbarous as Islamic State, though they too have been accused of human rights violations.

This is the Middle East, after all.

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