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Hybrid war in the Middle East: US and Israel “bury” Kurds, Turkey flies in the face of Iran

Mark Toner. Photo: golos-ameriki.ru

The attacks undertaken by Turkey on July 24 and July 25 night were a response to US State Department Spokesman Mark Toner’s July 24 statement that “Turkey has granted clearance for the deployment of manned and unmanned aircraft from the U.S. and other coalition members participating in air operations against ISIL.”

The Turks rushed to attack Syria and Iraq from the air. The first reports that Turkey might join the fight against ISIL emerged after Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s July 22 phone talk with Barack Obama. The White House said in a statement that the sides had agreed to work together to "stem the flow of foreign fighters and secure Turkey's border with Syria." The White House did not mention Incirlik but said that the two leaders had also discussed deepening their cooperation in the fight against Islamic State.

But the point is that the mass arrests organized by the Turkish authorities on July 24 covered not only those openly recruiting Turks into ISIL but also a number of Kurdish activists. Hence, the Turks have used the pretext to arrest Kurds for a terrorist act against Kurds in the Syrian borderline town of Suruch. As a result, lots of Kurds went into streets in Ankara with charges that the Turkish authorities had no wish to fight ISIL terrorists.

While bombarding ISIL bases in Syria, Turkish air forces also hit Kurdish PKK guerrilla bases in the Iraqi Qandil Mountains. A few days before PKK said it was no longer at peace with Turkey and admitted its responsibility for the death of two police officers in the southern Turkish town of Urfa (not far from the Syrian border).

At first, the Turks undertook only air attacks but on July 25 Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s press service admitted that the Turks had attacked Kurdish peshmerga as well and were ready to send more troops and if need be, to organize a land operation – in other words, to invade in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, Kurdish sources report that the Turks used not only planes but also tanks and artillery. This means that Turkish tanks and artillery guns are either very close to the Syrian border or have already crossed it. Concerning arrests, Davutoglu said that they had arrested 590 IS and PKK accomplices but did not specify who was who. It seems that most of the arrestees are Kurds.

According to the Kurdish news agency Firat, the Turkish did not bomb any ISIL fighters but attacked mostly Kurds, who are the key force fighting ISIL terrorists in Northern Syria. This seems to be true as Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani would not have started active talks with Davutoglu and would not have urged Ankara and PKK to come to terms. PKK’s response was unyielding: there is no more sense in talks after the Turkish attacks.

Barzani’s calls on Ankara prove that the Kurdish sources are not   lying – under the guise of revenge for Suruch, the Turks have started a war against Kurds in Syria and Iraq. When the Americans first asked the Turks to give them the base in Incirlik, the latter claimed a 50-km buffer zone in Syria – in other words, a huge territory in Northern Syria with Kurdish and Armenian communities. So, Toner’s statement may imply that the United States have allowed Turkey to occupy Northern Syria. In the meantime, on July 24, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to take care of Kurds living all over the region, while US mass media reported Israel’s plan to make it up with Turkey.

It seems that the dream of the United States and Israel – a hyperwar in the Middle East – is becoming a reality. After the success of the talks on Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranians said they would not negotiate with the West or the United States, in particular, about the Middle East, arms or the internal political life of their state. They also said that Syria is as dear to them as the suburbs of Tehran. By starting a war against Kurds in Syria and Iraq, Turkey is challenging Iran. Should they go any deeper than 50 km into Syria, they will provoke the Iranians to interfere.

EADaily Analysis

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