Briefing on Turkey’s strikes in Iraq and Syria

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Turkey’s strikes in Iraq and Syria show that it is still willing to engage unilaterally against its allies’ wishes and that talk of a second phase of the Euphrates Shield operation may soon lead to action, making a return to negotiations on its Kurdish conflict less likely.

  • Turkey launched airstrikes on Sinjar in Iraq and on Derik in Syria, as well as striking Rajo further to the west in Syria with artillery, with the YPG subsequently returning fire.
  • These actions mark a significant escalation in Turkey’s conflict with the PKK and the YPG in its near abroad and go against its allies’ wishes.
  • Turkey may soon carry out further ground operations in Iraq and perhaps Syria, unilaterally, making the prospect of a return to negotiations less likely.
  • The recent referendum in Turkey saw a slight increase in Kurdish votes for the ruling party’s ‘yes’ campaign, leading to speculation the AKP’s popularity in the region has increased.

This week Turkey launched air and artillery strikes on new targets within Syria and Iraq. Turkey has long been striking Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in Iraq. However, the target of this attack, Sinjar, is new. The attack also inadvertently killed several Peshmerga soldiers. The strike on Sinjar follows comments from the ruling AKP’s leadership…

 

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27 April 2017

Photo credit: news.sol.org.tr

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