The charade began when Americans got excited when Turkish warplanes directly began to target ISIS locations early Saturday for a second straight day. But then, all of the sudden, Turkey switched plans and opened a second front, not on ISIS, but against the PKK Kurdish rebel sites that were fighting ISIS.
The Turkish jets then hit shelters and storage facilities belonging to the PKK in seven areas in northern Iraq, including Mount Quandil where there are no ISIS and is where the PKK’s headquarters are located. Even the Turkish media outlets were more enthusiastic about the Turkish air force’s bombing the Kurdish militia than about bombing ISIS. “The camps of the PKK,” they excitedly reported, “have been covered with fire.”
All this unraveled two days after Obama spoke with Erdogan of Turkey by phone regarding attacks on ISIS and the Kurds.
But the question that begs an answer is this: if it is true that Turkey had a sudden willingness to join the fight against ISIS, why then did Turkey orchestrate a second front, not against ISIS, but against the very enemies of ISIS, the Kurdish rebels in Syria and Iraq?
Fact is, for months, Ankara had been reluctant to join the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, despite gains made by the extremist group on Turkey’s doorstep. So, as it seems, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is using its minor attack on ISIS to deceive the world and use it as a pretext to attack the Kurdish PKK and even block access to all pro-Kurdish newspapers and news agencies which was denied “by decree of court.”
The strangest observance is that even ISIS has not so far made any statements regarding Turkey’s so-called bombings of ISIS in any of its media outlets.
This makes the situation quite fishy, especially after Obama and Erdogan had a phone conversation on the 22nd of July, prior to the attacks on the 24th where Turkey got the green light from Obama. Erdogan himself clearly stated: “In our phone call with Obama, we reiterated our determination in the struggle against the separatist organization and the Islamic State,” Erdogan told reporters adding that “we took the first step last night.”
“…reiterated our determination in the struggle against the separatist organization …”?
This would be the Kurds, the U.S. allies against ISIS whom Erdogan says that Obama is determined to struggle against. The Kurdish PKK and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) has been America’s most effective battlefield partners against ISIS and Obama says nothing?
In the American psyche, the Kurds are friends—they even recruit women fighters and have heroic stories on how they were the best boots on the ground to combat ISIS. So Erdogan and Obama had to create a smokescreen. The United States has relied on Syrian Kurdish fighters affiliated with the PKK while making gains against ISIS. So Turkey is at war with U.S. ‘friends’ more so than they are at war with America’s ‘enemies’ and the latest strikes on ISIS is all a charade.
And if one is to know them by their fruits, there are millions of indigenous Kurds who are continually terrorized and murdered while ISIS terrorists have freely traveled and used official border crossings to go to Syria and return to Turkey; they are even treated at Turkish hospitals by Erdogan’s own daughter, Sumeyye Erdogan.
With closer cooperation between Iran and the U.S. following a recent nuclear agreement, it then becomes clear that Turkey’s shift in policy to show ‘a skirmish against ISIS’ is necessary and a suicide bombing by ISIS that killed 32 people is easily orchestrated, which mainly killed Kurds anyway.
This whole charade is necessary. ISIS is an enemy of Iran as it is an enemy to the U.S., and Turkey walks a tight rope between its Ottoman expansionist dreams into Syria and its apparent alliance with the West. Turkey fears that the increased cooperation between Iran and Washington in the battle against ISIS would sideline Turkey’s sphere of influence, so now it needs to have a face for ‘a war on ISIS’.
Now the U.S. supposedly got Turkey’s promise that it can use Turkish bases at Incirlik, which will soon be open to coalition forces, so they say, to presumably fight ISIS. This remains to be seen. In the past, the U.S. had to traverse 1,000 miles to target ISIS in Syria.
Either way, Turkey could care less about the ISIS threat. After all, even if the U.S. eventually defeats ISIS, the United States will clear the runway for the Ottomans to set its foot in Syria as a peacekeeping force, just as the United States cleared the runway for Iran to encroach into Iraq and become the peacekeeping force there. Both beasts intend to consume much flesh. It is, after all, a Caliphate Agenda in progress, while all credit goes to Obama, Islam’s man in the White House.