World View: Car Bomb Attack on Military in Ankara, Turkey Kills 28

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The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Car bomb attack on military in Ankara Turkey kills 28
  • Erdogan slams US, UN policy, renews demand by Syria ‘safe zone’

Car bomb attack on military in Ankara Turkey kills 28

Terror attack in Ankara
Terror attack in Ankara

A car bomb exploded on Wednesday in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, during rush hour at a busy intersection, near vehicles carrying military personnel. The explosion occurred in what was supposed to be a super-secure area in central Ankara that contains Parliament buildings and military headquarters. 28 people were killed and 61 others were injured in the attack.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, and there are two possible perpetrators: the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) or the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

According to one analyst, “There’s definitely many reasons why Turkish reaction is going to be fierce.”

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded angrily:

Our determination to respond in kind against such attacks against our unity and future from outside and inside is even more strengthened through such attacks. Turkey will not hesitate to use its right to self-defense anytime, anywhere, and in all situations. […]

Turkey’s losses in its struggle against terrorism are challenging its patience.

The PKK is a separatist group that has conducted numerous terrorist attacks in Turkey since 1984. They’ve frequently attacked military targets in the past.

Turkey was shocked last October when ISIS conducted a terrorist attack in Anakra killing 97 people and injuring hundreds more. It was referred to as the worst terrorist massacre in Turkey’s history, or as “Turkey’s 9/11.” ( “13-Oct-15 World View — Turkey is seen as increasingly unstable after Ankara massacre”)

Today’s Zaman (Istanbul) and CNN and Reuters

Erdogan slams US, UN policy, renews demand by Syria ‘safe zone’

During the last week, as Kurdish militias in the YPG have gotten to within 25 kilometers of Turkey’s border, Turkey has been shelling YPG positions. The US administration has been asking Turkey to stop the shelling, but after Wednesday’s terror attack in Ankara, nothing like that has any chance of happening. According to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “At the moment, I have difficulty in understanding America, which still hasn’t called or still cannot call the PYD and the YPG as terrorists and which says, ‘Our support for the YPG will continue.'”

Erdogan has for years been demanding help from the US and UN to set up a “buffer zone” or “safe zone,” a strip of land in northern Syria along the border with Turkey. As we wrote last week ( “10-Feb-16 World View — Russia and Turkey head for clash on Syria border”), Erdogan appears to be taking advantage of the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees massed on Turkey’s border by setting up refugee camps in Syria, effectively creating a de facto buffer zone.

In response to Wednesday’s attack in Ankara, Erdogan said: “Oh America! You did not say ‘yes’ to a ‘no-fly zone.’ Now the Russian planes are running wild over there, and thousands and tens of thousands of victims are dying. Weren’t we coalition forces? Weren’t we supposed to act together?”

On Wednesday, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support for Erdogan’s idea for a no-fly zone, saying that it would be a sign of good will that could lead to a peace agreement Syria.

Remember when the US and Russia announced a “cessation of hostilities?” It feels like it was months ago, but actually it was only six days ago. ( “12-Feb-16 World View — US and Russia agree to a farcical ‘cessation of hostilities’ in Syria”) And now, after Wednesday’s attack in Ankara, it would seem that the cessation of hostilities idea is gone. Hurriyet (Ankara) and AP

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, Syria, Russia, Germany, Angela Merkel
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