World View: Kurds Protest Violently in Cities Across Turkey over ISIS Attack on Kobani

World View: Kurds Protest Violently in Cities Across Turkey over ISIS Attack on Kobani

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Turkey’s Erdogan sets conditions for saving Kobani from ISIS
  • Kurds protest violently in cities across Turkey over ISIS attack on Kobani
  • Biden makes a third apology, this time to Saudi Arabia

Turkey’s Erdogan sets conditions for saving Kobani from ISIS

Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Kobani have been pouring into Turkey (Getty)
Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Kobani have been pouring into Turkey (Getty)

As we’ve been reporting the last few days, the Syrian city of Kobaniappears to be close to being overrun by the Islamic State of Iraqand Syria (IS or ISIS or ISIL). The city is populated by SyrianKurds, and a successful attack by ISIS would result in a massacre andtens or hundreds of thousands of refugees. Now, on Tuesday, Turkey’spresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a statement that I consider to bepretty remarkable:

I am telling the West – dropping bombs from the airwill not provide a solution. The terror will not be over… unless there is cooperation for a ground operation.

Months have passed but no results have been achieved. Kobani isabout to fall. We asked for three things: one, for a no-fly zoneto be created; two, for a secure zone parallel to the region to bedeclared; and for the moderate opposition in Syria and Iraq to betrained and equipped.

I keep reading this statement over and over, and it appears tome to be almost a kind of extortion: “Meet my demands, and I’llsave Kobani.”

It’s well known that Erdogan is very dissatisfied that the US-led airstrikes in Syria have been attacking only ISIS targets, and that hewould like the air strike to attack targets of the regime of Syria’spresident Bashar al-Assad. So he’s making the following demands:

  • “one, for a no-fly zone to be created.” This would be a no-fly zone directed at al-Assad’s airforce.
  • “two, for a secure zone parallel to the region to be declared.” Erdogan would like to create a secure zone, protected by Turkish forces, to which Syrian refugees could flee. Currently, millions of Syrian refugees have fled to Turkey. There have been 200,000 refugees from Kobani alone, mostly in the last couple of weeks.
  • “and for the moderate opposition in Syria and Iraq to be trained and equipped.” These “moderate” fighters would fight al-Assad’s army.

Erdogan has said that ground troops will be required to save Kobani,and that Turkey would be willing to join in a coalition ground troopforce Western governments.

However, whether Erdogan likes it or not, Turkey is under tremendousinternational pressure to save Kobani. On Tuesday, prime ministerAhmet Davutoglu expressed his government’s willingness to join with aWestern coalition to use ground troops in Syria to fight ISIS and theal-Assad regime.

According to a Turkish analyst, Turkey might be dragged intoa quagmire:

“If Turkey engages in a ground assault against theAssad regime in Syria, then it might be dragged into a quagmire. Iwant to draw attention to the fault lines based on ethnic andsectarian divisions. We have divisions similar to those MiddleEastern countries which have been recently dragged into civilwars. The most appropriate option is for Turkey to join the aircampaign against ISIS.”

Hurriyet (Istanbul) and AP and Today’s Zaman (Ankara)

Kurds protest violently in cities across Turkey over ISIS attack on Kobani

Twelve people were killed in clashes with police, as Kurdishprotesters in cities across Turkey took to the streets in violentriots to demand that Turkey protect the Kurds in Kobani who are underattack by ISIS. Curfews have been declared in five provinces. Theprotests were called for by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), thebiggest Kurdish party in Turkey. PKK is considered to be a terroristorganization by Turkey and by Western countries. In a 30-year civilwar between the PKK and Turkey, some 30,000 people were killed. Nowthe PKK is accusing Turkey of siding with ISIS, in order toexterminate the Kurds in Kobani.

For its part, Turkey sees helping the Kurds in Kobani as being thesame as helping the PKK. Turkey sees ISIS as less of a threat thanthe al-Assad regime and the Kurds, and fears that the Kobani crisiswill revive the civil war. BBC andToday’s Zaman (Istanbul)

Biden makes a third apology, this time to Saudi Arabia

As we’ve reported, U.S. VicePresident Joe Biden had to apologize on Saturday to Turkey’s presidentRecep Tayyip Erdogan for saying in a speech on Thursday that Turkey,Saudi Arabia and the UAE had funded and armed the Islamic State ofIraq and Syria (IS or ISIS or ISIL) and contributed to its rise.Biden was trying to pin the blame on Mideast states in order to defusethe scathing criticism from the Obama administration’s former defensesecretary, Leon Panetta, whose new book blames administration policyfor the rise of the ISIS. On Sunday, Biden apologized to the ForeignAffairs minister for United Arab Emirates (UAE). Now, on Tuesday,Biden call the Foreign Affairs minister of Saudi Arabia to apologizefor the same remarks. CBS News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Kobani, Ahmet Davutoglu,Leon Panetta, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Joe Biden,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL,Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, Saudi Arabia, UAE
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