Terrorism | Homeland Security Newswire

TurkeyTurkish jets bomb Kurdish positions

Published 15 October 2014

The tensions and acrimony between Turkey and the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS have risen to new heights in the last two days. No other country in the region bears as much responsibility as Turkey does for the rise and continuous success of ISIS, and on Monday, Turkey went a step farther in its effort to protect ISIS: Its air force conducted heavy bombing raids against targets of the Kurdish group PKK, one of the more capable Kurdish forces fighting to hold off ISIS and its advances. We should not assume that Turkey’s leaders, pious Muslims though they are, actually espouse or support the extremist version of Islam for which ISIS stands. Rather, Turkey sees ISIS as a tool which, if properly protected, and provided it does not get out of hand, can be used to harass, weaken, or even defeat Turkey’s main adversaries in the region. Turkey’s refusal to contribute to the weakening of ISIS is now running the risk of creating a humanitarian crisis of historical proportions: ISIS forces are closing in on the Kurdish town of Kobani, just inside Syria across from the Turkish border. ISIS has publicly announced that it will kill the 200,000-300,000 Kurdish citizens in the besieged city unless they converted to ISIS version of Islam.

The tensions and acrimony between Turkey and the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS have risen to new heights in the last two days.

No other country in the region bears as much responsibility as Turkey does for the rise and continuous success of ISIS:

  • Turkey has allowed thousands of foreigners to use Turkey as a transit station on their way from their home countries to ISIS training camps in Syria and Iraq
  • Turkey has helped the organization accumulate a hefty war chest by buying crude oil from ISIS-controlled oil fields in Syria and Iraq – and also helped the organization sell the oil under its control to other countries

While helping ISIS establish itself as a regional player, Turkey has made it difficult for others to fight and weaken the Islamist organization:

  • Turkey has refused to participate in any military action against ISIS
  • Turkey as refused to allow the United States and other NTO members to use Turkish territory or air space to stage attacks on ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq
  • Turkey’s refusal to contribute to the weakening of ISIS is now running the risk of creating a humanitarian crisis of historical proportions: ISIS forces are closing in on the Kurdish town of Kobani, just inside Syria across from the Turkish border. ISIS has publicly announced that it will kill the 200,000-300,000 Kurdish citizens in the besieged city unless they converted to ISIS version of Islam. The Kurdish forces defending the city are small and lightly equipped, and unless help arrives, the city and its citizens are doomed. Turkey, however, adamantly refuses to allow even light arms to be transferred to the city’s Kurdish defenders, thus ensuring that the city would soon fall to ISIS.

On Monday, Turkey went a step farther in its effort to protect ISIS: Its air force conducted heavy bombing raids against targets of the Kurdish group PKK, one of the more capable Kurdish forces fighting to hold off ISIS and its advances.

Turkish fighter jets bombed and strafed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in south-eastern Turkey for the first time since the peace process between the Kurdish pro-independence group and the Turkish government began in 2012.