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Middle East “Peace” Report: Turkey Risks Kurdish War on Two Fronts as Army Advances in Syria

Saturday, October 1, 2016 7:02
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davidstockmanscontracorner.com / By Selcan Hacaoglu, Bloomberg Business • 

Mustafa Denktas had twin sons. One of them, a Kurdish militant, was killed fighting the Turkish army in 2012. Denktas was still in mourning when news arrived three weeks later that the other son had met the same fate.

Back then Turkey’s war with separatist Kurds, however bloody and protracted, was essentially a domestic issue. Now it’s an international conflict. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent his army into Syria last month, he wasn’t just striking a blow against Islamic State: a second goal was to stop Kurds from creating a de facto state.

That’s the element of Erdogan’s Syrian gambit that poses the biggest political risks. It threatens to ensnare his soldiers in a civil war that’s already lasted 5 1/2 years, and drive a wedge between Turkey and its NATO allies — especially the U.S., which considers the Syrian Kurds an ally against Islamic extremists. When Moody’s Investors Service cut Turkey’s rating to junk last week, it cited “the persistence of geopolitical threats” among other reasons.

Erdogan is trying to stem a tide that turned more than two decades ago, when war in Iraq left Kurds in charge of that country’s oil-rich north. Since 2011, civil war has given a similar opportunity to Syrian Kurds, who now control of much of the territory along the 900-kilometer border with Turkey. Among the world’s largest ethnic groups without a state of their own, the Kurds can now glimpse a viable one.

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The post Middle East “Peace” Report: Turkey Risks Kurdish War on Two Fronts as Army Advances in Syria appeared first on Silver For The People.

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