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Report: Turkey Angers Its Military by Allowing Iraqi Kurds Passage to Fight ISIS

Report: Turkey Angers Its Military by Allowing Iraqi Kurds Passage to Fight ISIS

Turkey has angered its military by allowing a group of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces to enter the besieged border town of Kobani in Syria, through Turkish territory, and join other Kurds already battling Islamic State jihadists, Al-Monitor reported.  

Kobani is located along the Syria-Turkey border.

Al-Monitor reported that an estimated 200 Iraqi Kurdish security forces, known as peshmerga, arrived in Turkey this week to cross into Kobani with heavy arms and help Syrian Kurds defend the town against the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS, ISIL).

The Turkish government’s move to allow the peshmerga forces passage into Kobani has angered Turkey’s military, which “is known to abhor the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq] and the peshmerga,” noted Al Monitor.  

In explaining why the Turkish military loathes the Kurdish government in Iraq (KRG) and its security forces (peshmerga), the article pointed that “the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been waging a separatist campaign of terror in Turkey since the mid-1980s, was allowed to lodge itself in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq and to use public facilities in areas under KRG control.” 

The PKK is a militant group calling for self-determination for Turkey’s Kurdish population. 

Turkey’s government “has been intent on keeping the Turkish military and the peshmerga fighters as far apart as possible,” added the article.

The decision by the government in Ankara to allow the peshmerga to enter northern Syria through Turkish territory marks the first time Turkey has permitted reinforcements against ISIS to reach Kobani, which has been at the center of the U.S.-led airstrikes against the jihadist group.

Fueling the anger of the Turkish military is the Oct. 25 killing of three of its soldiers in civilian clothes while they were shopping, which has been blamed on PKK members, noted Al-Monitor.

“Whatever the true motive behind Ankara’s decision to permit the peshmerga to enter northern Syria through Turkish territory, and the differing opinions on this score, let alone the aggravation this is causing in Turkey, the general consensus is that this move will not much alter the military situation on the ground,” added Al-Monitor. 

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