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Turkey launches air raids against Kurdish militants in Syria, Iraq

17 Comments
By Fulya OZERKAN

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Looking at the lead photo does anyone remember when Generals were leading their troops in combat, sharing the risks and hardships of combat and life in the field? American and Russian Generals do this. No shortage of images of Generals like James Mattis and Norman Schwarzkopf in battle dress leading their troops in combat. But instead of pointing from the hatch of their armored personnel carrier the Turkish Generals lead from a nice clean office pointing at something over their computer monitors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Desert T...

In any event, any damage the Turks do to Kurds in northern Iraq benefits the Shiites who now rule Iraq and for whom the Kurds are infidels.

Many of the Kurds are Shia. The Shia are often more tolerant of other faiths than the extremist Wahabis.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Erdogan is another religious authoritarian pushing his form of authoritarianism and ultra-nationalism, further splintering the planet, putting the world at 1930s level risk. Now that it's empires clashing more openly maybe also 1914 level. Today, though things are even riskier because of this era's weapons.

Mr. Erdogan faces an election in June of next year and considering the shambles the Turkish economy is in there is a growing believe that Mr. Erdogan could be defeated. I think the other NATO nations are holding their noses waiting to see what comes out of that election before saying or doing anything to permanently alienate the Turks. However, with Romania and Bulgaria firmly in NATO anchoring that flank the strategic importance to NATO of Turkiye is greatly diminished. From what I have seen of the public statements coming from the candidate most likely to defeat Mr. Erdogan, the opposition is even more stridently anti-west and anti-NATO that the current administration, plus he has openly called for retaliation against Israel for the 31 May 2010 raid by Israeli forces against a civilian aid convoy destined for Gaza that included some Turkish vessels even as Mr. Erdogan is trying to restore ties to Israel. There might come a time for the other NATO members to ask Turkiye to leave NATO, since there is no mechanism to expel a member from the alliance. Turkiye out, Sweden and Finland in would be a perfectly acceptable trade. We just have to bide our time and see what comes out of the election.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Erdogan is another religious authoritarian pushing his form of authoritarianism and ultra-nationalism, further splintering the planet, putting the world at 1930s level risk. Now that it's empires clashing more openly maybe also 1914 level. Today, though things are even riskier because of this era's weapons.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As the World turns.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I forgot the mention that Turkiye wants to use that 30 km wide buffer zone to forcibly resettle refugees in with their SNA proxy providing services, police and military protection.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Clearly just an excuse by Erdogan to invade other countries and territories. "

That statement shows a lack of knowledge of the situation in northern Syria and Turkiye's aims for the region. While I find the current government of Turkiye to be vile, their objectives are understandable and rational, though immoral. Turkiye is swamped with refugees from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. They seek to carve out a 30 km or so wide buffer zone along their border with Syria that is controlled by forces friendly to Turkey, meaning the Syrian National Army SNA (also known as the Syrian Free Army SFA or the Turkish backed Syrian Free Army, TSFA.

One obstacle to achieving this objective are the Kurdish dominated and US allied Syrian Democratic Forces who along control territory in northeast Syria in conjunction with an international military force fighting Daesh, a region that the Turks wish to control. Because the SDF is dominated by Kurds they are lumped in with other Kurdish groups as "terrorists" and attacked whenever the opportunity presents itself.

A second obstacle are HTS, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, formerly the Al Qaeda affilieated Nusra Front, who currently control Idlib Province and are a stubborn adversary of the SNA. There is fighting going on right now between HTS and a faction of the SNA that split its allegiances between the rest of the SNA and HTS, with HTS attacking the faction that disavowed them and HTS is trying to take control of their territory even as the Turks tell them to back off. The Turks are reluctant to challenge them in a direct military confrontation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Clearly just an excuse by Erdogan to invade other countries and territories. "

"How are they going to respond? Sanctions, asset freezes, sporting bans, a G7 price cap on Turkish exports? Or will it be the same old hypocrisy and double standards that apply to strategic allies?"

I agree. Both of those above comments undeniably sum up the situation. And Turkey are not an "allied nation" to any country in the west. Sweden and Finland are western allies. Turkey would stab any western country in the back in a heartbeat. Their only real allies are presently threatening their neighbors in the Turkish empires former colonies north of the black sea.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How are they going to respond? Sanctions, asset freezes, sporting bans, a G7 price cap on Turkish exports? Or will it be the same old hypocrisy and double standards that apply to strategic allies?

The Turks are not going to get those new F-16s they want. They won't get upgrade kits for their existing older F-16s either. In fact it has been quite a few years since the US Congress has allowed any kind of weapons to be sold to Turkiye. The Turks co-develop ballistic missiles with China and have even approached Iran to co-develop weapons.

What most do not realize is that the US, Canada and many EU nations apply as strict limitations on the sale of dual use technologies, those with both civilian and military applications, to Turkiye much as they do to nations like China. Things like computer operated milling machines are sold with a GPS device attached to ensure it is not moved from a civil use to a military use, and these pieces of equipment require software and maintenance available only from the builder. The Turks are not permitted to maintain them or the software.

Turkiye cannot build their new tank design for lack of engine and transmission technology. Originally they were supposed to use the power pack from the Leopard 2A6 but after Turkiye's 2019 attack in northern Syria the Germans cut the Turks off. They are hoping to use a South Korean power pack but that will require a major redesign of the tank, and the South Korean power pack has so far proven unreliable causing the South Koreans to look at using the German power pack.

The Turks just keep digging the whole they are in deeper.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Iraq should scud, Turkey,I know Saddam would

Even though Turkish forces entered northern Iraq many times during Saddam Hussein's reign to attack Kurds, the Iraqis never engaged the Turks. The Turkish army is the largest in NATO and vastly superior to anything the Iraqis could muster. In any event, any damage the Turks do to Kurds in northern Iraq benefits the Shiites who now rule Iraq and for whom the Kurds are infidels.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Self Defense!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.

Also known as Osama Suleiman, an anti Assad, anti Turkey exile posting propaganda from his semi detached house in Coventry.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Not good news, since I just arrived over here in Jordan.

There goes the neighborhood, again

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How are they going to respond? Sanctions, asset freezes, sporting bans, a G7 price cap on Turkish exports? Or will it be the same old hypocrisy and double standards that apply to strategic allies?

Of course actions are different for allied nations. The same would be the case for China if one of its few allies did something. Like ignore it almost entirely as it has with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Why should the US take harmful action against an ally openly, when it will have more luck behind closed doors.

Of course Russia and China would love to see NATO allies arguing openly. Probably the real reason behind your post. The US will deal with Turkey quietly, but I think everyone knows Erdogan will do as he pleases anyway.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The US State Department had said on Friday it feared possible military action by Turkey

How are they going to respond? Sanctions, asset freezes, sporting bans, a G7 price cap on Turkish exports? Or will it be the same old hypocrisy and double standards that apply to strategic allies?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Iraq should scud, Turkey,I know Saddam would

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

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