Wednesday 16 August 2017

Erdogan sends in tanks to thwart the Kurds, not Isil

A Turkish army tank and an armoured vehicle near the border with Syria, in Karkamis, Turkey.
Photo: IHA via AP
A Turkish army tank and an armoured vehicle near the border with Syria, in Karkamis, Turkey. Photo: IHA via AP

Robert Fisk

How the West would love to believe that Turkey's army in Syria - all 10 tanks of it - are striking at last at everyone's enemy, the blood-soaked cult of the "Islamic State".

But few in Syria or Turkey will be fooled. Isil have been sitting in Jerablus for many months; it is the advance of the American-armed Kurdish YPG militia along the Turkish border towards Jerablus that worries Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

And yet again as Turkish troops advanced, he bundled up the YPG (People's Protection Units) - who the Turks believe have connections with the PKK or Kurdistan Workers Party, whom they view as much more dangerous - as "terrorists", along with Isil.

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