Monday, August 22, 2011

Syria for PKK: the US-Turkish deal in the region

Turkish fighter planes have started to bombard northern Iraqi Kurdistan Region since Wednesday. So far, they have strike over 250 targets in the mountainous region of Qandil Mountain, Avashin, Khwakurk and Zap and other territories.

The latest Turkish strike in Sangasar sub-district, north west of Sulaimaniyiah city, left at least six civilians dead who were so charred dismembered by the rocket fire that they couldn't even be identified.

All this is happening amid silence of the Iraqi government and their Kurdish authorities in Kurdistan have only "protested" against the attacks that have displaced hundreds of families and damaged villages by releasing a statement calling on the Kurdish separatist group, namely the PJAK and PKK, to not use Kurdish territories to stage cross border attacks against the neighboring countries.

The KRG and the Iraqi government are too weak to be able to sound a firm attitude towards the Turkish attacks on Kurdish territories. And the international community is also turning a blind eye.

Some believe that these attacks by the Turkish military on alleged PKK hideouts in northern Iraq were part of Erdogan's promises in the elections. I believe that Turkey always wanted to attack the northern Iraq, but the US was hindering its designs. And these attacks came only after the US gave Turkey the green light to do so, but this is part of a deal between the countries: Syria for PKK.

Turkey was understood as trying to convince Syrian authorities to do reforms because it did not want its long-standing ally to fall - that could open the borders open to Kurdish separatist groups to infiltrate into Turkey. Turkey also opposed US plans to impose more sanctions against Syria.

On August 18, as US president Barack Obama called on the Syrian president Bashar al-Asad to step down accusing him of "torture and slaughter" against his own people, the Turkish planes bombed targets in northern territories of Kurdistan Region.

The same day, Obama ordered to freeze Syrian government assets in the United States, banned U.S. citizens from operating in or investing in Syria and prohibited U.S. imports of Syrian oil products.

What is going on here is a US-Turkish deal whereby the US will allow the Turkish forces to stage air strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, in return, Turkey will not oppose US sanctions on Syria and its efforts to bring the Asad regime down.