Any doubts that Turkey’s involvement in the conflict against Islamic State is purely symbolic were dispelled by a latest round of air strikes against Kurdish positions in northeast Syria and Iraq’s Sinjar region, killing at least 20 fighters. (The number from Ankara is a more inflated 70). Iraqi government officials were flawed by the action, infuriated by its audacity; the US State Department was troubled and confused.
“We are very concerned, deeply concerned,” claimed spokesman Mark Toner, “that Turkey conducted air strikes earlier today in northern Syria as well as northern Iraq without proper coordination with the United States or the broader global coalition to defeat IS.” Toner also explained that such strikes “were not approved by the coalition and led to the unfortunate loss of life of our partner forces in the fight against” Islamic State.
The Pentagon seemed less troubled, concerned more with logistical error and plain bungling among coalition members. “We don’t want our partners hitting other partners,” came a statement from a senior US defence official. “We’ve got to figure out exactly who got hit. We don’t know yet. We do know where the strikes were, but we don’t know exactly who is dead.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is very much on top of the world – his world, at least. On the home front, he continues a savage campaign against alleged coup plotters through mass detentions. He is beaming from the referendum results held this month that granted him new constitutional powers.
Refuting the suggestion that this latest round of belligerence was an act of introspective, isolated adventurism, he explained that, “We shared this with the US and Russia and we are sharing it with Iraq as well. It is an operation that (Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud) Barzani has been informed about.” Such an interpretation stretches the meaning of sharing, to say the least.
Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!