Turkey slips toward internal war
As Turkey continues to bomb Kurdish anti-ISIS fighters in Iraq, violence is quickly spreading within Turkey itself. Two assailants—apparently both women—opened fire on the US consulate building in Istanbul on Aug. 10, fleeing the scene when police shot back. One of the assailants was captured in a building where she took shelter. She has been identified as a member or the armed-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C). (Hurriyet Daily News) Elsewhere in Istanbul, an officer was killed in clashes after a car-bomb attack on a police station. In southeastern Sirnak province, four police officers were killed by a roadside bomb and a soldier died as gunmen fired on a military helicopter. (BBC News)
Nearly 400 PKK fighters have been killed and hundreds injured in two weeks of Turkish air-strikes on positions in northern Iraq, the official Anatolia news agency reports, citing intelligence sources. At least four PKK leaders and 30 women fighters are said to be among the dead. (AFP) We continue to wait in vain for reports of Turkey bombing ISIS positions.
Way to go, Obama. By green-lighting Erdogan's attack on the Kurds, you've sent NATO ally Turkey plunging towards internal war. Smart move.
Another claim of Turkey's collaboration with jihadists was made on reader-generated CNN iReport. The PKK-aligned YPG militia in northern Syria asserted that six of its fighters who were wounded fighting ISIS at Kobani last month and taken across the border for treatment in Turkey went missing from the hospital and were later determined to have been turned over the Nusra Front in Syria's Idlib governorate. The report also claims that a contingent of US-trained FSA fighters who took refuge in Kurdish-controlled territory had their names turned over to Nusra Front. They were later attacked by Nusra forces at Azaz near Aleppo, and 15 of them were captured alive.
Whether or not these claims are true, it is a simple objective reality that Turkey is essentially serving as an air force for ISIS, and the initial guise of an anti-ISIS operation has been all but dropped. This was stated with refreshing blatancy by PKK leader Cemil Bayik. "The Turkish claim they are fighting Islamic State… but in fact they are fighting the PKK," Bayik told BBC News. "They are doing it to limit the PKK's fight against IS. Turkey is protecting IS... Erdogan is behind [the] IS massacres. His aim is to stop the Kurdish advance against them..."
Will this finally prompt Obama to rein Erdogan in? The louder we call out this egregious bullshit, the more likely that will be...