Friday, August 19, 2011

Turkey continues bombing Iraq

The Iraqi Parliament is now in recess. Before going into recess yesterday, Alsumaria TV reportsa, there was "a Kurdish request to add the issue of Turkish bombarding on Irbil and Duhok provinces borders on the session’s agenda. Following this request the speaker called the committee of security and defense to study the issue and to present a report about the situation after the vacation." The Turkish military is targeting the PKK. The PKK is one of many Kurdish groups which supports and fights for a Kurdish homeland. Aaron Hess (International Socialist Review) described them in 2008, "The PKK emerged in 1984 as a major force in response to Turkey's oppression of its Kurdish population. Since the late 1970s, Turkey has waged a relentless war of attrition that has killed tens of thousands of Kurds and driven millions from their homes. The Kurds are the world's largest stateless population -- whose main population concentration straddles Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria -- and have been the victims of imperialist wars and manipulation since the colonial period. While Turkey has granted limited rights to the Kurds in recent years in order to accommodate the European Union, which it seeks to join, even these are now at risk." The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq has been a concern to Turkey because they fear that if it ever moves from semi-autonomous to fully independent -- such as if Iraq was to break up into three regions -- then that would encourage the Kurdish population in Turkey. For that reason, Turkey is overly interested in all things Iraq. So much so that they signed an agreement with the US government in 2007 to share intelligence which the Turkish military has been using when launching bomb raids. However, this has not prevented the loss of civilian life in northern Iraq. Back to Aaron Hess, he noted, "The Turkish establishment sees growing Kurdish power in Iraq as one step down the road to a mass separatist movement of Kurds within Turkey itself, fighting to unify a greater Kurdistan. In late October 2007, Turkey's daily newspaper Hurriyet accused the prime minister of the KRG, Massoud Barzani, of turning the 'Kurdish dream' into a 'Turkish nightmare'."

Seyhmus Cakan (Reuters) notes
the Turkish military continued air raids last night over northern Iraq and states this wave "marks a stark escalation of the 27-year-old conflict" between the government of Turkey and the PKK. AFP notes Turkish war planes continue bombing today "for a third straight day." Suzan Fraser (AP) quotes PKK spokesperson Ahmed Danis stating, "Our fighters left these bases a while ago and now they are in constant mobility. Therefore there were no casualties."

Meanwhile Aswat al-Iraq reports US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey met in the KRG with KRG President Masoud Barzani to discuss a number of issues. The ongoing air raid assault has prompted only the mildest of critiques from Nouri al-Maliki. al-Maliki and his State of Law have had much harsher criticism for Iraq's president Jalal Talabani. Alsumaria TV reports that State of Law has taken offense to Talabani's statements that Monday's bombings throughout Iraq partly resulted from Iraq's inability to name people to the security posts.

Rushing this morning, sorry. The following community sites -- plus, Adam vs The Man, Random Thoughts and PRI -- updated last night:

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