View Full Version : Turkey in Syria & ISIS (merged thread)

03-14-2014, 04:28 PM
A revelation to me - there is a small, sovereign Turkish land in Aleppo! The Turks have a tiny garrison and have warned approaching ISIL to stay away.

Taken from one report:
There are currently around 25 Turkish soldiers based in and around Jaber Castle in Aleppo, which contains the tomb of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman Gazi.....According to international agreements made in 1921, the territory is officially Turkish property with Turkish appointed guards and a Turkish flag. Turkey warned that any attempt to attack the territory would be considered an attack on Turkey and an attack on a NATO member.

Note the report refers to ISIL earlier this week being 35 kms away. So is this really nearby or a ploy by the Turkish government mired in internal issues?



03-14-2014, 05:39 PM
Where is the tomb? Helped by the sparse Wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_Suleyman_Shah

The map will not load here, so a link instead:https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=the+tomb+of+Suleyman+Shah&ie=UTF-8&ei=6jAjU_m7OYSr0QWTkYGgCQ&ved=0CAoQ_AUoBA

An earlier news report cites the site is:
..the fenced compound on a strip of land jutting into the water near the village of Karakozak, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Turkey.

03-17-2014, 10:43 AM
The Turkish garrison of that place (there is a small fort occuppied by Turkish Army nearby) is on alert, and the Turkish military is monitoring ISIS movements in the area.

04-24-2014, 12:47 PM
EA reported yesterday that:
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has confirmed (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-confirms-aid-to-turkish-military-post-inside-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=65477&NewsCatID=352) that Turkey has sent its first military convoy into Syria. Erdoğan said the convoy took “aid” to the tomb of Süleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, 25 kilometers (about 16 miles) inside Syria in Aleppo Province.

Claims circulating on social media on Wednesday said six Turkish tanks, 12 armored vehicles, and 300 Turkish soldiers had been deployed 200 meters from the positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham. Video showed part of the convoy moving through a Kurdish checkpoint in northern Syria


Today EA reports ISIS has issued a demand to Turkey, in a video:
Although the Turkish armed forces are expected to withdraw immediately, we have given a three-day period. We ask them to remove the Turkish flag and withdraw the soldiers. We do not give consent to the armed forces of a secular country within ISIS’s sacred land. Otherwise, we will demolish the tomb.

Within a daily update:http://eaworldview.com/2014/04/syria-daily-uns-ban-dont-hold-presidential-election/#ISIS

04-24-2014, 10:50 PM
One analyst concludes that:
on the way out, reports indicate that the convoy passed through Jarabulus – ISIS controlled territory.

There are scattered reports that ISIS stopped the convoy at the Qara Qawzak Bridge. As far as I can tell, ISIS controls the bridge. Pro-PYD folks have tweeted that there was some sort of interaction between the Turkish convoy and ISIS at the bridge. After the interaction, the convoy is reported to have continued on to Manbij, before turning towards Jarabulus, and then re-entering Turkey through Karkamis. I find this odd.

The most straight-forward way to go about this would have been to simply turn back and return through PYD controlled territory. Why did the TSK choose to proceed over the bridge and then return through ISIS controlled territory? Here is the route


The map below shows the entire route.

04-25-2014, 06:39 PM
Now there is a video showing the Turkish convoy returning via ISIS controlled land, I expect the big black flag is a sign:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NWr9rJT19c

Yesterday source has an update too:http://turkeywonk.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/locating-the-turkish-convoy-analyzing-the-isis-youtube-video/

09-23-2014, 11:39 PM
Responding to ISIL / ISIS advances in Iraq & Syria is complicated by the stance of Turkey, why is complicated. That a NATO member has provided support, even sanctuary is a reminder of how Pakistan (via ISI) followed its national interests over Afghanistan.

Turkey regards itself as nation that stands as a bridge between Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It has been a longstanding NATO member, which has provided bases to the USA, sometimes with restrictions even a veto on use like today and before in the Second Gulf War.

A Washington "insider" last week commented that Turkey's stance on ISIS / ISIL as a NATO member was very hard to understand and accept for the USA.

Today I found two different, complimentary articles:

a) Turkey’s ISIL crisis is worse than you think:http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/9/turkey-islamic-stateofiraqandthelevantisil.html

After two years of tolerating the group as it funneled recruits and supplies into Syria, Turkey has come to the realization that the group represents a serious threat to its national security. How did Turkey get into such a predicament?

b) Turkey and the "Islamic State”:https://www.opendemocracy.net/vicken-cheterian/turkey-and-islamic-state%E2%80%9D

Turkey is notably reluctant to join a military campaign against ISIS. In fact, Ankara's ambiguity towards the radical Islamist group has deep political as well as historical roots.

SWC / SWJ has three directly relevant threads:

1) Turkey in Syria: new flashpoint:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=20263

2) Why Syrians in Turkey are Not “Refugees” and Why it Matters:http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/why-syrians-in-turkey-are-not-%E2%80%9Crefugees%E2%80%9D-and-why-it-matters

3) Turkey mainly, Iraq and the Kurds (2006-2012):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=3104

Following the seizure by ISIS of forty plus Turkish diplomats @ Mosul, Turkey refrained from a hostile response. This week the hostages were exchanged for a larger number of ISIS prisoners.

Some expect this will enable Turkey to change its stance. I am unconvinced. The roots of their stance are deep and criticism can be deflected by their acceptance of millions of refugees, with 130k Kurds this week.

09-25-2014, 09:28 AM
Turkish support - at least 'tolerance' of the Daesh's activities in Turkey and along its borders inside Syria - is related to the general Islamisation of the Turkish society, strongly supported by its government and... well... many of the people who voted for that government:

For some Turks, Islamic State proves a ‘family-friendly’ draw (http://www.timesofisrael.com/for-some-turks-islamic-state-proves-a-family-friendly-draw/#ixzz3EHi7GqV1)

...Dozens of families are crossing into Syria to live, in hope that extremists’ religious rule will protect children from Western

09-25-2014, 02:39 PM
A short comment from the Australian Lowy Institute:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/09/22/Turkey-cautious-partner-battle-against-ISIS.aspx?COLLCC=769279010&

The Obama Administration will need to appreciate that Turkey is status conscious, focused on what the ultimate political order in its region will look like, and doesn't take a simplistic view about the sources of Islamist radicalism. These are, in fact, eminently reasonable positions for Turkey to take. It will be up to the US to account for them and be flexible and attentive if it can.

09-30-2014, 06:37 PM
As the Turkish parliament debates renewal of permission for Turkish troops to cross into Iraq and Syria, just by coincidence Tweets that ISIS have moved closer to the tomb:
Deputy PM Arinc says ISIS militants are advancing on Suleyman Shah tomb in northern Syria.

10-01-2014, 02:09 PM
A nineteen page Turkish think tank report published today 'Defending the Tomb of Suleyman Shah:Turkey’s Options and Challenges', self-explanatory:http://www.edam.org.tr/Media/IcerikFiles/1020/SuleymanSahReport.pdf

10-01-2014, 10:10 PM
The paper cited above refer to the tomb's garrison as sixty Turkish SF soldiers in September 2014; which may be in addition to the twentyfive soldiers cited in my first post.

Numbers matter as it appears ISIS detained half of the garrison yesterday:
A media activsit 36 Turkish soldiers.....were briefly detained by Islamic State forces on Tuesday night. “The arrest of the Turkish soldiers occurred under the watch of individual elements of IS....But IS released them all Tuesday night and they returned back to their posts.


It's almost as if ISIS want Turkey to intervene. Or charitably a local decision reversed by a higher command.

10-02-2014, 01:28 PM
The last time anyone issued a blank check the Austrian Empire decided to pick a fight with Serbia...and we all know what happened next. Has Jens Stoltenberg just given the Turks the green light to expand the conflict further? What with them provoking the Syrians a few years ago with some Phantoms and with the shady goings on currently I, for one, am left slightly bemused. Aside from my questioning Turkey's membership in NATO after the Cold War I am not sure assisting one vile Islamic regime against another bunch of Islamic nut-jobs inside a third party's state territory (which is, legally speaking, still the sovereign government...anyone remember the old non-intervention clause of the UN?) is going to benefit anyone or keep the problem localised (shouldn't we be helping the actually victims; Syria and Iraq?). I for one am awaiting a Turkish Gleiwitz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident) ...

Press conference by incoming NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_113488.htm?selectedLocale=en)

Our responsibility is ... the basic responsibility is to stand up and be very clear to everyone to protect Turkey - that collective defence, that Article 5 is something which is also going to be applied if Turkey is in any way attacked. That's the reason why we have the Patriot systems deployed in Turkey. And that's the reason why I will underline that when I visit Turkey in the near future. And we plan to continue to have a military presence in Turkey with the Patriot missile systems.

When it comes to the decision in the Turkish Parliament that's not related to a NATO operation; but that's a national Turkish decision. And I think I will leave that to the Parliament of Turkey to decide.

10-02-2014, 07:08 PM
Michael Koplow at Foreign Affairs (http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/142135/michael-j-koplow/turkeys-syria-spillover-problem):

But the chaos on Turkey’s border with Syria threatens to upend [Turkey's stability]. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has threatened Turkey’s internal balance in a number of ways. But the danger does not come from ISIS itself. Although the group has proved its military bona fides during its rampage through Iraq and Syria, it does not present a serious territorial challenge to Turkey, which has a large NATO-backed army, a modern air force, and the resources to hit back at ISIS should it choose. Rather, it is the follow-on effects of ISIS’ march through the region that may herald a return to the bad old days.

During the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the we (the West) failed to anticipate the impact of Palestinian refugees on Jordan. And when Jordan expelled them, again there was a failure to understand their impact on Lebanon. And when the Iraq War started, there was a failure to understand the impact of refugees on Syria. And now that Syrian refugees are flowing into Turkey (and fighters in the opposite direction), what will be the impact within Turkey?

10-03-2014, 10:15 AM
A good introduction to relations between Turkey and Syria can be found here (http://www.danielpipes.org/8132/crisis-turkish-syrian-relations)

It's quite dated (published in 1989), but some things simply never change.

10-03-2014, 06:50 PM
A short commentary from The Soufan Group, which covers all points:http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-turkey-steps-in-a-good-thing/

10-04-2014, 01:56 AM
CHP lawmakers accuse Turkish government of 'protecting ISIL and al-Nusra militants' (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-lawmakers-accuse-turkish-government-of-protecting-isil-and-al-nusra-militants.aspx?pageID=238&nID=67750&NewsCatID=338)

AKP Opens a Hospital Only for Jihadists (http://www.aydinlikdaily.com/Detail/AKP-Opens-A-Hospital-Only-For-Jihadists/4568#.VC8-E1cmbs1)

Lets not forget that Turkey helped manage the "Jihadi highway" that funneled jihadis and equipment into Syria, or that they were intent on toppling Assad so bad that they encouraged the very idiots who are now, apparently, a threat to them. But what do I know? :wry:

From: ISIS and the Threat to Turkey (http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/06/turkeys_new_neighbor.php)

ISIS may have become a security threat to Turkey, but many blame the very existence of this threat on the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) itself. Turkey's open-door policy since the beginning of the Syrian crisis has allowed many Syrians jihadists to freely enter its territory, and Ankara has been accused of turning a blind eye, if not direct support, to foreign jihadists in its territory. Syrian Kurds continue to argue that Turkey provided Sunni jihadists, including ISIS, with arms and sanctuary. They allege that Turkey has done this to counter the Kurdish militant group People's Protection Unit (YPG), which it regards as the Syrian arm of the Kurdish terrorist group that has long plagued Turkey, the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK).

It's not only foreigners who fault the Turkish government on this issue. In an address to his party meeting on June 17, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Turkey's main opposition leader, openly accused Erdogan of supporting ISIS, saying that for the first time in history Turkey has become a country that supports terrorism. "The biggest terror attack in our history was done by al Qaeda in 2003, and yet so many foreign al Qaeda fighters have crossed over to the Middle East from Turkey. We have paid the price for this, and we continue paying it," Kilicdaroglu said. Following the speech, the Republican People's Party (CHP) submitted a proposal to the parliament for an inquiry into ISIS funding by Turkey.

On the same day, Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Turkish Nationalist Party (MHP), also made a similar speech. Calling the apparent shift in the government's Syria policy the product of "a late confession of remorse," he explained that those who helped and provided support to ISIS in Syria are now primarily responsible for the blood that is being shed. "Unfortunately the AKP is in this mess and it is a rotten ring of this dark hand that has inflamed this ISIS monster. The AKP's Syria policy is the reason why our borders are now filled with radical and savage elements," Bahceli said.

10-04-2014, 02:09 AM
One analyst concludes that:


The map below shows the entire route.

Good question (http://shoebat.com/2014/09/30/isis-advancing-tomb-grandfather-founder-ottoman-empire/?utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=Walid&utm_source=twitterfeed)... (regardless of who asked it; I've been wondering that myself)

"People need to ask as to why hasn’t ISIS blown up any Ottoman tombs anywhere in Syria and Iraq while they destroyed everyone else’s who wasn’t Ottoman?"

10-04-2014, 01:06 PM
A good question repeated by Tukhachevskii:
People need to ask as to why hasn’t ISIS blown up any Ottoman tombs anywhere in Syria and Iraq while they destroyed everyone else’s who wasn’t Ottoman?

The cited source refers to such tombs, but are there any I ask?

On a quick search I found two other mosques do have tombs, in Deir ez-Zor now held by ISIS and another method has been used:
The rooms that contain the tombs have been filled with cement


As Turkey regards the Suleyman Shah tomb as its own national territory and not another tombs you have an answer. The other Ottoman era tombs are not Turkish territory.

10-07-2014, 03:40 PM
For the purposes of the North Atlantic Treaty, does an attack by the Islamic State on Turkey constitute an attack on the whole alliance? The U.S. invoked Article V after 9/11... what is the threshold for Turkey to do the same?

10-14-2014, 06:51 PM
An 'interesting' day in regards of Turkey today.

First the rumours started flying about, US says Turkey OKs use of bases against militants (http://syriahr.com/index.php?option=com_news&nid=24925&Itemid=2&task=displaynews#.VDvNq_ldXYg). Then Turkey, Denies/d Reports of Deal for Use of its Bases in Fight Against Islamic State (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/world/europe/not-so-fast-turkey-says-on-us-use-of-air-bases.html?_r=0).

On the contrary, F-16s of the Turkish Air Force (THK) have flown a series of air strikes against PKK bases in northern Iraq, along the border to Turkey, today. With this, the cease-fire between Ankara and the PKK is now dead and they're at war (again).

These air strikes came in response to wild 'demonstrations' launched by the PKK in various parts of south-eastern Turkey in recent days, and reported re-activation of some of PKK's cells, which resulted not only in quite some material damage, but the death of more than 30 people too.

And thus, sorry Kobane, but no way are Turks now going to let even a single Kurd refugee within their borders go back to fight in Syria. If you wonder why, remember the rule No. 1 of COIN warfare ('separate insurgents/terrorists/freedom fighters from the population').

In this place: my hearty congratulations to Obama (plus all the idiots in different Western governments and media, especially so in Germany): man, that's a third conflict in the same zone now.

You've got a hat-trick! :rolleyes:

02-19-2015, 08:52 PM
Stranger than fiction? Turkey's position has been challenged, now we have this report for March 2014: Wiretaps reveal Turkey's attacks on Syrian regime positions:
Court documents reveal that last year, when the Syrian opposition captured the Armenian town of Kassab, the Turkish army shelled the Syrian army.

02-22-2015, 10:19 AM
To make things particularly interesting, and all of a sudden, two days ago Turkey has announced (http://t24.com.tr/haber/isid-suleyman-sahtaki-askerleri-rehin-aldi-masada-takas-ve-tsknin-kapsamli-bir-operasyon-plani-var,287808) that its troops guarding the Shah Suleiman Tomb near Qarah Qawzaq have been held as hostages by the ISIS since June 2014.

Ironically, local FSyA and YPG units are now attempting an advance in this direction. They should have reached the place yesterday: Syria Kurds, rebels advance into ISIS bastion (http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Feb-19/288046-syria-kurds-rebels-advance-into-isis-bastion-activists.ashx)

Syrian Kurdish and rebel forces, backed by U.S.-led air strikes, advanced Thursday into Raqqa province, where ISIS has its de facto capital, an activist group said.

"The YPG [Kurdish People's Protection Units] and rebel forces captured 19 villages in Raqqa province," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The U.S.-led international coalition played a key role in the advance, bombing the ISIS positions and forcing its fighters to withdraw," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
...To further increase the irony, YPG spokesman Polat Can (https://twitter.com/polatcano/status/568804002940346368) (his Twitter account was meanwhile shut down) now claims Turkey officially requested the YPG to rescue its hostages.

02-22-2015, 12:17 PM
The NYT reports that Turkish forces entered Syria and evacuated the garrison at the tomb and the tomb's contents:
The Turkish Army launched an operation into Syria to evacuate soldiers guarding the Tomb of Suleyman Shah, which has been besieged by Islamic State militants, and move the tomb’s remains, an official and Turkish news media reported on Sunday.The military then destroyed what was left of the site to prevent the militants from using the enclave, and one soldier was killed by accident during the operation, CNN Turk said Sunday, citing military officials.
The operation, called “Sah Firat,” began on Saturday and involved a large convoy of tanks and other heavy weaponry that entered Syria through Kobani....Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/world/europe/turkish-military-enters-syria-to-evacuate-soldiers-guarding-tomb-reports-say.html?

The BBC has a report, with some footage of the returning Turkish convoy and this:
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the remains of Suleyman Shah would be moved elsewhere in Syria.

02-22-2015, 05:49 PM
A thorough joint commentary by a RUSI SME and 'Turkey Wonk':https://turkeywonk.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/turkey-withdraws-from-suleyman-shah-the-implications/

It is interesting to note the tomb's new home is in the "grey zone" in Syria @ Eshme village; the zone is a narrow area where local rebel groups do not exert full control.

From the conclusion:
Turkey, however, has proven yet again that its role in the Syrian conflict must not be overlooked. It has links to all the main actors operating in northern Syria and is able to generally get its way with most of them, albeit with the occasional disagreement. The biggest change appears to be Ankara’s approach to ISIS. Since 2013, Turkey had treated ISIS as an irritant, rather than a major security threat, but the Suleyman Shah operation is the clearest sign to date that this approach is changing.

They conclude that Turkey's role will remain limited.

03-17-2015, 09:49 PM
Yesterday 'National Interest' had an article 'Turkey's Secret Proxy War in Libya?', which ends almost with:
If Turkey were backing Libya’s jihadists, it would fit a dangerous pattern of Turkish support to extremist regional actors.

Then today Al-Monitor has a Turkish author writing 'Pakistan warns Turkey: Don’t make our mistakes', citing a Pakistani politician:
I warned Davutoglu when he was here, ‘You are repeating in Syria the mistakes we made in Afghanistan. Organizations you support now will turn against you.’ Pakistan was wrong in becoming party to the war in Afghanistan and was wrong in supporting the Taliban. We are now paying the costs of these mistakes."

07-25-2015, 08:08 PM
Turkey's decisions this week to "come off the fence" has been welcomed by some and a few have wondered if bombing ISIS & the PKK is helpful.

The Soufan Group's viewpoint:http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-turkey-escalates-the-fight-against-the-islamic-state/

The BBC's Turkey correspondent:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33664269

07-26-2015, 11:46 AM
Two reminders that history dating back to the Ottoman era's conflict with extremist Muslim, the Ikhwan and Salafi tradition, has an impact today. Then the Turkish dam building programme and the impact of flooding on the PKK.



07-28-2015, 03:21 PM
Looks like Turkey's new policy is to create a safe zone in a small section of northern Syria which will protect rebels it backs there and defend an important border crossing from falling into PYD hands. One wave of bombing in Syria was to hit IS supply areas near a rebel command center in that area. Striking PYD & PKK targets appears to be a bigger concern as Erdogan opposes any kind of Syrian autonomous region in northern Syria which is already de facto come into being.

07-28-2015, 04:27 PM
Striking PYD & PKK targets appears to be a bigger concern as Erdogan opposes any kind of Syrian autonomous region in northern Syria which is already de facto come into being.

That would be my reading too. We will see in a couple of months who bore the brunt of various Turkish activities and who got most of it's support. So far in years past that answer has been rather clear...

07-29-2015, 04:44 AM
Please, don't now start to misinterpret actions against the PKK and the Daesh as 'actions against the YPG'.

Sure, the YPG is de-facto led by ex-PKK thugs, but 'even' the Turks are making difference between them. So, everybody else might want to do the same.

As next, oh my bad, yes: Erdogan is angry about recent election win of Kurdish parties in Turkey.

But, did he order the military into action over this issue?


- PKK has re-opened hostilities by its own action, i.e. attacks; it wasn't Turkey that started.

- Even the leader of Iraqi Kurds has commented PKK's attacks with something like, 'PKK is making a fatal mistake: by resuming attacks they are preventing negotiations that came a long way...'

- Turkey has never negotiated with the PKK: PKK is a terrorist organization and Turkey is not negotiating with such. Turkish position was always crystal clear: negotiations are possible if the PKK stops fighting.

So, please somebody explain: why should Turkey start negotiating with the PKK now - and then at a gun-point?

Because the HDP won few additional seats in the Parliament?

- A 'BTW' factor: HDP's negotiations with Turkish government stalled (and that's the supposed reason for renewal of PKK's attacks) over the issue of introducing 'Kurdish' language as official language in Turkey (that said, Kurds already have their Kurdish-language newspapers, TV- and radio-stations, and the right to use Kurdish in schools and universities). This demand was turned down by two major Turkish parties. Reason: there are 47 different Kurdish languages, with 4 different roots and 4 different alphabets. Several of languages in question have never been spoken in Turkey. Not even the Kurds can agree over their 'official' language; indeed, the PKK is using Turkish as its 'official' language, so all of its members can understand each other!

Please somebody tell me then: precisely what other state would accept such demands?

- Furthermore, Turks are interested in retaining a land connection to Syria, and thus not the least keen to see this cut off by a terrorist organization (whether the Daesh or the YPG, with the note that the latter is de-facto led by ex-PKK) - that's then also cooperating with the regime of Bashar al-Assad (which both the PKK/YPG and the Daesh are meanwhile known to be doing).

- Finally, in its opening strike, the THK is known to have bombed one assembly point and two local HQ of the Daesh in syria, killing 35 (this without violating Syrian airspace, i.e. by deploying PGMs from inside Turkey), and up to nine PKK-related targets in northern Iraq (this time violating Iraqi and Syrian airspace), killing at least one (one of top PKK COs) and wounding three.

During the second strike it flew up to 160 sorties with F-16s and F-4E-2020s in three waves to hit 400 targets in northern Iraq, plus Daesh positions around Azzaz, in northern Syria.

Ever since, it's primarily flying recce.

So, if a 'security zone' - then not 'against the YPG', but only in the area north of Aleppo held by the Daesh and squeezed in between two areas held by the YPG.

07-29-2015, 07:51 AM
Turkey is not making a distinction between the PYD/YPG and PKK. Prof Henri Barkey pointed out that Turkish govt press & papers that back Erdogan routinely say that PKK, PYD & YPG are all the same and that they are a bigger threat than IS. The only time the Turks try to make this distinction is when they talk to the U.S. and you can guess why.

07-29-2015, 04:16 PM
There are words, and there are actions.

Surely, for public consumption at home, Erdogan (don't worry: I'm not trying to defend him) is making no difference between the PKK and the PYD (YPG is the armed wing of the latter).

And he's got not only 'a few good reasons' to do so: the PYD/YPG-conglomerate is de-facto led by the PKK-cadre that used to cooperate with Assadists before the PKK was 'disbanded', three years ago, after which they all fled to Syria. Through the last three years they have assasinated, executed, liquidated or forced into exile any concurent Kurdish leader in Syria in order to establish 'their' PYD/YPG as a 'representative for all the Kurds in Syria'.

They are actually still collaborating with the Assad regime, and not the least interested in supporting other insurgent factions in Syria (though it finds it fine when these are supporting it).

So, considering history of their leaders, and what are they doing... why should it be surprising the PYD/YPG ended on at least the Turkish list of terrorist organizations?

But, this does not mean that Turkey is now going to start bombing US- (and FSyA-) supported YPG units fighting the Daesh around Hassaka. Even less so it's going to drive its Army into northern Syria in order to conquer the area presently controlled (primarily) by the PYD/YPG.

07-30-2015, 06:59 PM
New Chatham House paper on Turkey's entry into IS war. Concludes Ankara wants to establish hegemony over Syrian Kurds rather than fight IS and any safe zone created in northern Syria would probably be used by anti-western jihad groups who want to fight Assad rather than IS.


07-31-2015, 05:33 AM
'Anti-Western Jihad groups who want to fight Assad'...?

Yeah, everybody in the West and his/her next kin, 'knows' that not only Syria, but all the countries in the Middle East are predominantly populated by exactly such elements: crazy hordes of extremist Islamists that want nothing else but to be anti-West and to go fighting Assad...

...like JAN, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaida, but can't stop declaring no intention to go fighting Jihad in the West, and is fighting Assad at every opportunity...

...or like the IF, which has nothing to do with al-Qaida, and fights Assad above everything else...

...or all the different moderate groups, which are still there and still more numerous despite everybody's - really everybody's: Assad's, Daesh's, JAN's, and even Western - sternous efforts to exterminate them...?

...and let me guess what comes as next: 'logical next step' would be to sell - or better: donate - B-52s to Israel, so it can better 'defend' itself... because it is ah-so-well-known that Israel is the only US 'friend' in the Middle East and all the time doing precisely what the USA says and what is in US interest... just like it's clear that continous blanc support for corrupt theological dictatorships like that in Saudi Arabia is certainly going to result in them help establishing democracies in such countries like Syria or Yemen...

Bottom line: throw the facts and logic out of the window. Who cares? It's since long that common sense is anything but common. :rolleyes:

08-05-2015, 05:27 PM
I'm going to triple post this because it relates to the Iraq, Syria & Turkey threads. Pardon the repetition.

Just wrote an article on Turkey's decision to join the US led coalition against IS. Three main points to take away:

1) Turkey is going to follow its own policy which conflicts with the U.S. Obama admini thinks it can change Erdogan's view in the long term while getting right to use Turkish bases in the short. Obama only has little more than a year in office however so Turkey will probably win out in the long run.

2) Turkey wants to punish the PKK/PYD into submission and make it a client like it's done to the KRG

3) Finally Turkey wants to give more direct aid to the Syrian rebel groups its supports like Al-Nusra with the Syrian Free Zone.

Here's the full article (http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/2015/08/turkey-agrees-to-go-to-war-with-islamic.html)

SWJ Blog
08-20-2015, 11:13 PM
Pentagon Chief: Turkey Needs to Do More to Fight IS (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/pentagon-chief-turkey-needs-to-do-more-to-fight-is)

Entry Excerpt:

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SWJ Blog
08-28-2015, 11:12 AM
Why is Turkey Attacking the Kurdish Militants Instead of ISIS? (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/why-is-turkey-attacking-the-kurdish-militants-instead-of-isis)

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06-27-2016, 01:09 PM
After a six year hiatus Israel and Turkey are friends again, which will be a lot more than diplomacy:
The reconciliation deal between Israel and Turkey will see a return to normal diplomatic relations, but ties are unlikely to have the warmth that they did in the past. It is Turkey's growing diplomatic problems - strategic tensions with Russia; difficulties with Europe due to the growing authoritarianism of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; and above all the failure of Turkey's Syria policy (which has also soured ties with Washington) - that have prompted this move.Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36639834

FP added:
Netanyahu credited U.S. Vice President Joe Biden for acting as a peace broker between Israel and Turkey.