Well, I suppose it’s always the military the last to know …..
As most of us know by now, the US Consulate in Istanbul was attacked.
ANKARA, Turkey – Two women opened fire at the heavily protected U.S. Consulate in Istanbul Monday, while assailants exploded a car bomb at a police station then fired on police inspecting the scene, in a day of heavy violence in Turkey’s largest city.
In the southeast of the country a roadside bomb killed four police, and Kurdish rebels attacked a helicopter, killing a conscript. There has been a recent sharp spike in violence between Turkey’s security forces and rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, as Turkey has attacked PKK targets in Iraq in tandem with airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.
One of the consulate attackers was later shot and taken into custody in a nearby building and hospitalized. The far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front, or DHKP-C, identified her as 51-year-old Hatice Asik, and said she was a member of the group, though it did not directly claim responsibility for the attack. The DHKP-C and the PKK both have Marxist origins and have cooperated in the past, though there was no immediate indication of PKK involvement in this attack. ……
Heh! “No immediate indication of PKK involvement” …… ???????
WASHINGTON – Just hours after a deal last month allowing the U.S. to use Turkey’s air bases to launch sorties against ISIS, Turkey pulled a move that left American military leaders surprised and outraged, and raised questions about the two nations’ alliance in the war on the jihadist army.
With only 10 minutes notice to their American partners, Turkey launched a massive air strike of its own July 24 against a Kurdish militant group in the northern mountains of Iraq. The U.S. had barely enough warning to make sure its own forces were out of the way, according to a military source with knowledge of the tension Turkey’s attack caused in the Combined Air and Space Operations Center, the allied headquarters in the air war against ISIS.
“A Turkish officer came into the CAOC, and announced that the strike would begin in 10 minutes and he needed all allied jets flying above Iraq to move south of Mosul immediately,” said the military source, describing events that took place in the center, in a secret location in the Middle East. “We were outraged.”
In addition to targeting forces engaged in the fight against ISIS, U.S. officials believed the Turkish military’s sudden move raised the risk of friendly-fire casualties.
“We had U.S. Special Forces not far from where the Turks were bombing, training Kurdish Peshmerga fighters,” the source said. “We had no idea who the Turkish fighters were, their call signs, what frequencies they were using, their altitude or what they were squawking [to identify the jets on radar].”
US sources believe Turkey could be using the cover of cooperation to settle its own score with Kurds.
When the Turkish officer returned the next day to inform his international partners of another strike, U.S. military officials made their objections clear. The Turkish liaison officer was sent away, but not before a back-and-forth in which U.S. leaders demanded specific flight plans of the attacking Turkish warplanes and the Turkish officer sought the locations of the U.S. trainers.
The coalition Air Force officers in the ops center refused to share the sensitive information.
“No way we were giving that up,” said the military source. “If one of our guys got hit, the Turks would blame us. We gave the Turks large grids to avoid bombing. We could not risk having U.S. forces hit by Turkish bombs.”
Critics of the new agreement between the U.S. and Turkey say the deal gives Ankara cover to carry out strike missions against Kurdish fighters in Iraq and even Syria, where Kurds have won hard-fought gains against ISIS. While the Kurdish fighters have been remarkably effective fighting the terrorist army, Turkey remains their nemesis and fears the recent expansion of Kurdish control along the border could provide Kurds more incentive to form their own country in the future.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan finally agreed to allow US planes to launch from Turkey, but his own strikes on Kurds have complicated matters.
The target for the initial Turkish air strike was the headquarters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a radical leftist group located in northern Iraq which has carried out a 30-year insurgency against Turkey, killing, by some estimates, as many as 40,000 people. The Marxist-Leninist inspired PKK has been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. government and many European nations.
But the PKK’s Syrian affiliate has been the leading ground force against ISIS in Syria, and a close ally of the U.S. military. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, as this Syrian Kurdish force is called, has enabled U.S. warplanes to effectively strike ISIS in Syria. In Iraq, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, separate from the PKK and YPG, have been praised by many U.S. lawmakers for their success in fighting ISIS.
By striking the Kurds, NATO-ally Turkey may have opened a new front in the war, against the PKK. U.S. military analysts’ fears that that war could blow back on the U.S. and Turkey may have been realized Monday, when two women opened fire on the heavily guarded U.S. Consulate in Istanbul and a car bomb went off outside a Turkish police station nearby.
In southeast Turkey Monday, a roadside bomb killed four Turkish police and gunmen fired on a Turkish military helicopter killing one soldier.
The string of attacks comes one day after six U.S. F-16s landed at Incirlik airbase in Southeast Turkey along with 300 U.S. military personnel, following the Turks’ agreement to lend their bases to the U.S. after a year of resisting American requests. U.S. jets will now only have a 30-minute flight to strike ISIS, saving valuable time and fuel.
The Turkish government has been concerned that the U.S. fight against ISIS would embolden the Kurds, who now control most of Turkey’s 560-mile border with Syria except for a small 68-mile corridor between the Syrian border towns of Kobani and Azaz, west of the Euphrates River. Should the Kurds gain control of this section of the border they would have unfettered access from Iraq through Syria all the way to the Mediterranean.
A military source confirmed that Turkish tanks fired on YPG units to keep them from entering this 68-mile area, killing some YPG fighters allied with the PKK in northern Iraq. These fighters have helped the U.S. coalition secure gains against ISIS on the ground near Tal Abyad and Kobani and are the key to the coalition moving on the ISIS capital, Raqqa.
A senior defense official told Fox News that another reason the Turks want to keep Kurdish fighters outside of the 68-mile border is to prevent the Kurds from potentially selling their oil on the open market from ports along the Mediterranean.
“The ‘safezone’ was Turkey’s way of preventing a complete takeover of the [Turkish-Syrian] border,” said the official. “Turkey doesn’t want to eliminate ISIS, they want to prevent the Kurds from a complete takeover of the border. They need U.S. help to do this.” …….
So, there’s a Mid-Eastern saying ….. the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So, what then, is the enemy of my friend?
Why, does one reckon, that Turkey suddenly allowed US jets to attack ISIS from Turkey? What did the US give Turkey in return?
As the article points out, Turkey isn’t concerned about ISIS. ISIS is attacking Syria, whom Turkey dislikes. Turkey is much more concerned about the Kurds, whom they despise.
Personally, I don’t give a damn about the PKK, but, they’ve demonstrated that they’re usable against ISIS. Further, I don’t believe Turkey distinguishes much from the PKK to the Peshmerga, who I believe are worthwhile and would be a much more consistent and reliable ally than the Turks.
This is something to watch. If the attacks on the Kurds continues, and the press says little or nothing and no quotes come from our military, then, we know they had their marching orders.
Meanwhile back at the ranch ……
The entire Mid-East has gone to $hit for US interests under this administration.