U.S. Bombs from Turkey as Turkey Steps Up Attack on Kurds

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Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

U.S. Bombs from Turkey as Turkey Steps Up Attack on Kurds

WASHINGTON - CNN reported Thursday: “For the first time, the United States launched manned airstrikes from a base in Turkey against ISIS forces in Syria, the Pentagon said Wednesday.”

Also, see Washington Post piece on Thursday by David Ignatius: “Kurdish Leader Blasts Turkey’s President,” which states: “Turkey’s political tensions were sharply evident Thursday, as the country’s leading Kurdish politician accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of ‘supporting ISIS’ in the past. He said that Erdogan wants early elections as part of a strategy of ‘attacking the Kurdish movement’ and reversing its recent political gains.”

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KANI XULAM, kani at kurdistan.org, @AKINinfo
Xulam is director of the American Kurdish Information Network. He said today: “The U.S. use of bases in Turkey follows Ankara breaking a three year truce with the Kurds — and the U.S. government is not stopping that. This is in line with prior U.S. government policy. Three years ago, the U.S. provided Turkey with “actionable intelligence,” which resulted in the death of 34 Kurdish villagers.

“While Kurdish forces have been quite effective in fighting ISIS in Syria, the Turkish government has turned its back to ISIS fighters crossing its borders. This is partly driven by an incredible animosity toward [Syrian President] As’ad — partly out of an anti-Alawite sectarianism.

“With elections coming up and with the Erdogan restarting a low-intensity conflict in Turkey, the ongoing war in Syria and Iraq could easily spread to Turkey.”

Xulam recently wrote the piece “Calling all John Browns in Turkey.”

Also, see, by Patrick Cockburn: “Turkey conflict with Kurds: Was approving air strikes against the PKK America’s worst error in the Middle East since the Iraq War?

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