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Turkey Takes Russia and US to Task Over Their Backing of Kurds in Syria
While rivals in every other respect, both are supporting the local branch of the PKK in Syria conflict
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Turkey has summoned separately the American and Russian ambassadors in Ankara to complain about their countries acting in support of the military forces of the Syrian Kurds who are fighting Isis.

The Turkish government’s alarm underlines its problem in fighting a guerrilla war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey at a time when the US and Russia, while rivals in every other respect, are both supporting the local branch of the PKK in Syria.

The US military says that its planes have dropped ammunition to the Syrian Kurdish militia or People’s Protection Units (YPG), while Kurdish officials say they have received 120 tons of weapons and ammunition. Amina Ossi, a deputy foreign minister in the Democratic Union Party (PYD) enclave in Syria, told The Independent last month that the Syrian Kurdish armed forces “number roughly 50,000 and we have lost 3,000 martyrs”. The YPG is widely recognised as the most effective opponent of Isis which has won a series of victories against it with the support of US air strikes.

The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that arms supplied to the Syrian Kurds could fall into the hands of the PKK and be used against Turkey. He added that “Turkey cannot accept any kind of co-operation with terror organisations that have declared war against Turkey”. Half of Turkey’s 550-mile border with Syria is now held by the YPG which is threatening to launch an offensive to seize Isis’s last border crossing with Turkey at Jarabulus and advance eastwards to link up with the Kurdish enclave at Afrin. Support for the Syrian Kurds from both the US and Russia makes it increasingly difficult for the Turkish army to stop the expansion of the Kurdish-held zone.

The confrontation between Kurds and Turkey has deepened dramatically since the constitutional pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) won 13 per cent in the Turkish general election on 7 June, depriving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development party (AK) of its majority for the first time since 2002.

In July the Turkish army resumed military operations against the PKK in Turkey and Iraq. Since then Turkish-Kurdish relations have deteriorated rapidly, culminating in the suicide bomb attack on a peace protest in Ankara on 10 October that killed almost 100 people and wounded 500.

The Ankara attack is further polarising relations between Turks and Kurds with anti-Kurdish crowds at football matches jeering and shouting abuse during a one minute’s silence for the dead. The public prosecutor in Ankara has declared a gag order prohibiting reporting of the bombing, the worst terrorist attack in Turkey’s history. This will only be lifted when those responsible for the bombing have been detained. The bombers almost certainly come from Isis, but government officials have hinted that the PKK may be responsible though without producing any evidence.


Regardless of the outcome of the election on 1 November, the struggle between the Turkish government and Kurds in Turkey and elsewhere is the region is likely to escalate. The PKK for the first time holds power in a quasi-state in north-east Syria which has US military backing and increasingly warm relations with Russia. It claims to be allied to moderate Arab opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, but this scarcely exists.

With Russia, Iran and the US increasingly embroiled in the Syrian crisis, Turkey’s influence in Syria is diminishing as other powers play a greater role. A crucial test for Ankara will come if the PYD launches an offensive with US and Russian air support to cut the roads between Aleppo and the Turkish border.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Kurds, Russia, Syria, Turkey 
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  1. Tom_R says:


    Thanks for the interesting article, Sir.

    Turkey and Erdogan are a serious problem in the Middle East.

    I always wondered why a Muslim nation like Turkey was allowed to join NATO, and then after a little thought, and using the doctrine that “America is Israel’s puppet and everything it does, it does for Israel”, it was obvious why—to help protect Israel.

    The plan is to steal land from Syria for a Greater Israel, aided and abetted by Turkey, which allows ISIS to enter Syria and drive out the population to Europe, via Turkey, to clear space for the Judaists.

    All those fake “refugees” who invaded Europe a few weeks ago did not have wings and did not fly over into Europe like birds—they traveled through countries like Turkey without European visas on buses. So somebody organized these buses (the Ziothugs did) and Turkey allowed them safe passage through Turkey, illegally, without visas.

    Finally, Turkey has admitted that it was involved in this massive invasion of Europe by these illegal aliens:

    The long term solution to this insanity is for Russia to arm Iran and Syria with lots of air power, missiles and nuclear weapons to contain the mad men of the middle east.

    • Replies: @Anonymouse
  2. Gee. If Turkey is at odds with Russia AND the U.S. I guess Turkey is up the proverbial creek. Methinks Turkey’s problems have a name. The name is Erdogan. The would be Sultan.

  3. Sean says:

    How is Russia backing the Kurds pray tell? As far as I can see the ONLY THING the Russian HAVE done for Kurds is to not attack the Kurds. But, as they have been very busy attacking the Free Syrian Army (who they say are not attacking because the FSA are not terrorist)s it probable the Russians are just destroying Assad’s enemies in order of importance. Turkey has been bombing the Kurds, a group that the US is backing so it seems that Turkey ought to be complaining to the US, not Russia. The Kurds should have remembered what happened the last time they trusted to US, and what Kissinger said about US foreign policy not being missionary work.

  4. Renoman says:

    Turkey is just another perfect example of why the US should have nothing to do with the Middle East. Now that we have Fracking tech and horizontal drilling we don’t need their oil, why put up with their unending tribal wars? Just back off and let them kill each other.

    • Agree: Deduction
    • Replies: @Tom_R
  5. Now that we have Fracking tech and horizontal drilling we don’t need their oil

    The US produces about 10m barrels a day and consumes 18m.

  6. Tom_R says:


    The US can buy oil in the world market like any other country.

    The real reason USA is in the Middle East is to fight for Israel, as our govt. is owned and operated by the Jewish lobby.


  7. @Tom_R

    “I always wondered why a Muslim nation like Turkey was allowed to join NATO, and then after a little thought”

    the answer is one word “Bosphorus” Occam’s razor is your friend.

    at the time of considering turkey’s entering in to nato, syria was ruled by a cia backed coup government.

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