A United States Navy plane approaches to land at the Incirlik Air Base, in Adana, in the outskirts of the city of Adana, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The Americans have long coveted the use of the Incirlik air base whose vast size and key strategic location makes any air operations throughout the Middle East far easier. That’s why it’s essential that the administration commit to forging a strong Syrian alternative, both political and military, through its new collaboration with Turkey.
Another Kurdish faction, the PYD (Democratic Unity Party), has also charged that its military wing, the YPG (People’s Protection Units), has been shelled by Turkish artillery inside Syria.
“We are used to this”.
Syrian rebels say driving Islamic State from areas near Aleppo would allow them to focus their efforts on fighting Assad. “National powers use us for their own ends”. Turkish officials confirmed they had hit six PKK targets in northern Iraq, including shelters, depots and caves.
Iraqi government forces recaptured the Ramadi university, 3 miles south of Ramadi, from Islamic State militants Sunday, as part of their broader offensive.
Instead, the meeting heard how Turkey was carrying out President Tayyip Erdogan’s sudden change in strategy against Islamic State – an al Qaeda breakaway that controls swathes of Syria and Iraq – and Kurdish militants based in Iraq. The official was not authorized to speak on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity. But U.S. officials said the aim was not to create a civilian “safe zone”.
The Syrian Kurdish fighters have been the most successful of the forces battling the Islamic State and have swept the militants out of several strategic strongholds in Syria.
Of the 1,300 people the government rounded up in a nationwide anti-terror sweep, the overwhelming number has been Kurdish.
The main Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the YPG, is affiliated with the PKK, and claimed Monday that it had been shelled by Turkish troops.
The mayor of Diyarbakir said distrust is growing toward both the government and the U.S.
“It’s ridiculous that the United States can’t see this”, Gunter said. With the air strikes, he said, Mr. Erdogan could increase support for his Justice and Development Party among Turkish voters.
“While we were deciding on measures (after the suicide bombing), this time the PKK came into play”, said Davutoglu. A total of 142 have been charged so far, while 120 were released.
With the help of U.S. airstrikes, the Kurds have proven to be among the most effective ground forces against the IS group.
“However, we are concerned about reports of Turkish forces shelling Kurdish villages inside Syria”, McCain said.
“The AK Party is dragging the country into a period of conflict, seeking revenge for the loss of its majority in the June election”, Demirtas said.
Kurdish activists and government critics believe the government’s crackdown on the PKK is a tactic aimed at strengthening the ruling party ahead of possible new elections in November.
These fears appear to have been strengthened by Mr Erdogan’s decision to rule out any dialogue with ethnic Kurd movements as “impossible”, and by his threat that any Turkish lawmaker who may have “links to terrorist groups” may be stripped of their parliamentary immunity and prosecuted.
On Thursday, a prosecutor launched an investigation into the HDP’s leader, Selahattin Demirtas, over alleged attempts to disrupt peace and public order by calling for protests in October that resulted in violence, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Following a 90-minute meeting in Brussels, Turkey won the backing it sought for stepping up its role in the US-led fight against Islamic State with air strikes.
The military said rebels from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, launched an attack Thursday on soldiers protecting a military convoy in Sirnak province, near the border with Iraq. Three soldiers, including an officer, died.