The Turkish government has accused the outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group of collaborating with Da’esh (ISIS).
Turkish officials made the accusation this week ahead of the emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels held on Tuesday at the request of Ankara.
Oddly, the Kurdish group accused Turkey of “collaboration” with ISIS in September of last year. The terror group called at the time for fellow Kurds to unite their forces and cross into Syria to fight Da’esh.
At that point, Turkey was doing little or nothing to block ISIS terrorists from coming and going across its border with Syria. Nor did it stop anyone else from crossing its border to reach the terror group.
Ankara changed its tune 10 days ago.
That is when an ISIS suicide bomber attacked a Turkish border town, killing at least 28 and wounding 100 others.
But Turkey simply added ISIS, and a second front, to the battle it continues to wage against the PKK, and has persuaded the United States to help it create a “Da’esh-free” zone along its border with Syria.
It is also using the additional support it won this week at the NATO meeting as political cover for its counter terror war against the PKK, which continues unabated.
Turkey began striking PKK bases in the Kurdistan region following a conversation between U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last Saturday. The move was vehemently condemned by Kurds who saw it as an attempt to reverse gains by their people in the Mideast. The U.S. was accused of trading away Kurdish safety and rights for the use of Turkey’s Incirlik air base in Diyarbakir for the war against ISIS.
(Erdogan, meanwhile, sees no irony in the fact that Israel carried out its last three counter terror operations against Hamas for exactly the same reasons he gives about the PKK. He simply condemns the Jewish State for any self-defense against the Gaza-based radical Islamist terrorist organization, regardless.)
Meanwhile, Turkey is becoming an increasingly important energy hub in the Middle East, trading with Europe, Russia, Iran and Iraq, which may simply add more fuel to the fire. Two oil pipelines run from Iraq to ports in Turkey, in addition to a natural gas pipeline which runs through Turkey from Iran.
The PKK is not unaware of this, and accordingly attacked the natural gas pipeline this week. An oil pipeline was sabotaged one day later as well, but no group has yet taken responsibility for that attack.