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World View: Tensions Grow Between Turkey and Kurds in Syria

World View: Tensions Grow Between Turkey and Kurds in Syria

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Tensions grow between Turkey and Kurds in Syria
  • Change in Georgia’s leadership presents new problems in relations with Russia and Nato

Tensions grow between Turkey and Kurds in Syria

Syrian conflict (AP)
Syrian conflict (AP)

The firing between Turkish troops and Syrian troops across theTurkey/Syria border may well be a potential war, but it’s not theworst war that Turkey is worried about. There has been a low-levelconflict almost continuously since 1984 between Turkey and theKurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), whose goal is an independent state ofKurdistan. Since July alone, the PKK have launched terrorist attacksthat have killed at least 112 Turks, including 99 from the army.Because Turkey has supported the opposition to Syria’s presidentBashar al-Assad, and is hosting over 100,000 Syrian refugees in campsin Turkey, al-Assad has freed the Kurds in eastern Syria to governthemselves and take whatever action against Syria that they wish.This has energized the Kurdish separatists, and if al-Assad finallysteps down, then the conflict between the Turks and Kurds will stillbe unsettled, and could spiral into a major war. Spiegel and McClatchy

Change in Georgia’s leadership presents new problems in relations with Russia and Nato

When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, it took control of two Georgianprovinces, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and has discussed thepossibility of either absorbing them into Russia or recognizing themas independent nations. A recent election has brought about thedefeat of Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian leader who had fought theRussians in 2008, and the new leader Bidzina Ivanishvili has expressedthe desire to move away from the extremely bitter relations that cameabout in the aftermath of the conflict between the two countries.However, there are two major issues standing in the way ofreconciliation. The first issue is that the new Georgian leadershiphas said that relations with Russia will not be normalized unlessAbkhazia and South Ossetia are returned to Georgia, something that isnot going to happen. The second issue is that the new Georgianleadership, like the old leadership, wants Georgia to become a memberof Nato, something that Russia strongly opposes. Foreign Policy Journal

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