Pope’s go to to Iraqi Ziggurat to deliver collectively a number of denominations – and hopefully entice extra guests


ERBIL, IRAKI KURDISTAN: Instantly after a failed cross-border hostage rescue try earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened additional army actions in opposition to Kurdish fighters overseas and escalated rhetoric in opposition to his secular opponents in his nation.

Erdogan’s newest incursion in opposition to the PKK, an armed group combating for better political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey, rapidly unfold to a brand new crackdown on the pro-Kurdish political occasion HDP in addition to a confrontation with Washington for its ado- alliance with a Syrian Kurdish affiliate of the PKK within the struggle in opposition to Daesh.

It began on February 13, when Turkey launched a raid in opposition to the PKK within the Gara area of Iraqi Kurdistan. After clashes, 13 Turkish residents, most of them police and PKK captive troopers since 2015 and 2016, had been discovered useless.

Ankara stated the PKK executed the hostages, however the group stated Turkish airstrikes on the cave complicated through the operation brought on their deaths. (AFP)

Ankara stated the PKK executed the hostages, however the group stated Turkish airstrikes on the cave complicated through the operation brought on their deaths. At the same time as many Turks solid doubt on the federal government’s model of occasions, safety businesses have arrested greater than 700 folks, together with HDP members accused by Erdogan of being “official terrorist accomplices”.

Utilizing the identical political logic, Erdogan additionally accused the US of supporting terrorism. “What sort of NATO alliance is that this? … They (the Individuals) all the time act with terrorists, ”he stated on February 22, referring to the American alliance with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) group within the marketing campaign in opposition to Daesh within the northeast. from Syria. The principle political entity in northeastern Syria is the Kurdish PYD, which was based because the Syrian department of the PKK.

Many analysts see the mixture of home repression and the explosion in opposition to the US as Erdogan’s cynical try to distract from the bloody end result of the hostage rescue operation.

The developments additionally come because the Turkish folks proceed to wrestle financially, scholar frustrations flip to violence, and the nation’s dealing with of the coronavirus disaster is ranked 74th out of 98 by the Lowy Institute’s COVID Efficiency Index. .

Along with Iraqi Shiite militias, lots of that are backed by Iran, PKK associates current in Sinjar will virtually actually oppose a Turkish army operation there. (AFP)

“Erdogan and the Turkish authorities don’t view the hostage rescue operation as a failure,” Emily Hawthorne, Stratfor’s senior analyst for the Center East and North Africa at RANE, instructed Arab Information. “The thrill of patriotic fervor and the repression of the HDP are a well-known tactic employed by Erdogan to realize the assist of his nationalist base for anti-PKK operations.”

She stated the mileage Erdogan might get out of the disaster was not limitless. “If the PKK did kill the hostages, it is going to assist construct assist at residence in Turkey for extra anti-PKK operations overseas and will strengthen Ankara’s arguments for extra leeway in its operations. Iraqi girls, ”stated Hawthorne. helps loads with the destructive Iraqi public opinion in direction of the operations. “

Clashes between Turkey and the PKK within the south-eastern a part of Kurdish-majority Turkey declined markedly in 2020, in comparison with the years when the Turkish-PKK battle (which started in 1984) erupted within the aftermath of the collapse of a ceasefire in July 2015. Iraqi Kurdistan.

Lately, Erdogan threatened new cross-border offensives in opposition to the PKK in Iraq, together with in opposition to its Yazidi associates within the Sinjar area. In January, Turkish officers met with leaders of the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Authorities (KRG) and mentioned, amongst different issues, the withdrawal of the PKK from that area.

Nonetheless, along with PKK associates, Iraqi Shiite militias, lots of them Iranian-backed, are current in Sinjar and can virtually actually oppose a Turkish army operation there.

Underneath these circumstances, Hawthorne doubts that Erdogan might truly invoke the deaths of those Turkish hostages to win the assist of the Biden administration for one more bloody offensive in opposition to the PKK.

“The Turkish authorities has tried and failed for years to attraction to the US authorities relating to its considerations in regards to the PKK,” she stated. “The USA is unlikely to turn into extra versatile in direction of Turkey due to a very tough and lethal operation in a wrestle spanning a long time.”

Extra usually, the Turkish authorities has issued repeated warnings of operations in opposition to the PKK. But when new incursions into Iraqi Kurdistan, or perhaps a new incursion into Sinjar, happen, Hawthorne predicts that “the additional south the operations, the extra sophisticated the issue will probably be with the Iraqi authorities.”

His views are shared by Kurdish analyst Gunes Murat Tezcur, Jalal Talabani chair and professor on the College of Central Florida, who believes the failed Gara operation is unlikely to have any affect on the present coverage of the administration in direction of Turkey, which is characterised by a divergence of pursuits on a number of ranges. “

These embody US opposition to Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S-400 air protection missiles and Turkey’s opposition to US cooperation with the SDF in Syria. Additional, Tezcur stated it was indeniable that Gara’s raid was a failure because it resulted within the deaths of all of the hostages.

“The distinction to a profitable rescue operation, just like the one carried out by Israel at Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976, is instructive on this regard,” he instructed Arab Information, including that one of many destructive end result of the Gara raid is that Erdogan won’t. have the ability to “rating political factors on the nationwide stage”.

Erdogan threatened new cross-border offensives in opposition to the PKK in Iraq, together with in opposition to its Yazidi associates within the Sinjar area. (AFP)

Even so, the opposition can’t maintain President Erdogan liable for the lack of Turkish lives because of the “prevailing energy asymmetry” in Turkey, ensuing from his authorities’s domination of the media and the state. weakened parliament.

Analysts additionally say Erdogan’s relentless pursuit of the HDP is a part of a method, underway since 2015, to demonize and criminalize its management by equating it with the banned PKK and denying it autonomy as a celebration. Politics.

“This technique, which has seen its ups and downs, has been very constant in recent times,” Tezcur stated. “It retains the MHP (Nationalist Motion Occasion), the junior companion of the ruling coalition, glad, and goals to drive a wedge between the HDP and different Turkish opposition events.

He additionally famous that the HDP has turn into extra ineffective to the federal government for the reason that Turkish army and safety forces have established a stronger army affect over the PKK in recent times, not less than partly via technological developments similar to using refined and lethal armed drones.

“The federal government believes that it now not wants the HDP’s messenger / mediator function given its relentless army operations which severely restrict the PKK’s room for maneuver,” Tezcur stated.

Whereas he plans extra Turkish incursions into Iraqi Kurdistan concentrating on PKK bases all through this 12 months, he doubts the Turkish army will open a brand new entrance by launching an unprecedented floor assault on Sinjar.

The Turkish authorities has issued repeated warnings of operations in opposition to the PKK. (AFP)

At the very least three elements led Tezcur to this conclusion. Before everything there’s the presence of Iraqi army teams and Shiite militias within the Yazidi homeland.

Then there’s “appreciable worldwide concern and sympathy” for the besieged Yazidis, who had been subjected to a vicious marketing campaign of genocide by Daesh in 2014.

Lastly, the remoteness of the border would make the logistical assist of a land operation significantly harder for the Turkish military.

Amongst those that see the arrests of HDP members as Erdogan’s approach of blaming the failed Gara raid is Mohammed Salih, Kurdish affairs analyst and doctoral scholar on the College’s Annenberg College for Communication. from Pennsylvania.

Erdogan’s actions “reveal the impunity, each nationally and internationally, with which he can behave in an authoritarian method,” Salih instructed Arab Information.

“The Turkish chief will definitely proceed his army incursions into Iraqi Kurdistan, as international operations are actually a positive approach for him to distract from the numerous issues dealing with his nation.”

As for the Biden administration, Salih stated that it “has already made it clear, with its silence on the mass arrests, and the violations of Kurdish rights in Turkey generally, that the human and democratic rights of the Kurdish folks in Turkey are virtually non-existent. assess.”

Twitter: @pauliddon





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