But why would Turkey turn against the IS? It was obviously not because it had massacred 32 "Turkish" Kurds in a social center in Suruç. If there was any doubt the brutal repression of the subsequent protests in Istanbul and other cities underlined that the only interest Erdogan has on Kurds is to keep them under his boot. Not at all.
|The 32 Kurdish comrades massacred by the Islamist-Fascists (source: BGD!)|
But (oh, wait!) Erdogan did get an ethnic-Turkish pretext as well: an officer was killed yesterday in a shooting at a crossing point in the artificial border, so artificial that runs along the Istanbul-Baghdad railroad. Well, it was probably engineered somehow but it seems that just killing "Turkish citizens" is not enough for Erdogan if these are Kurds, even as a pretext.
So what has he done so far?
Well, actually mostly attack Kurds inside three states: Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
Inside Turkey they have made massive raids against suspects of sympathizing with the outlawed (but in a long-lasting unilateral truce) Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) and allegedly the IS as well. However not a single arrested (out of 590) is identified (as of yet) as IS member or sympathizer, most however are clearly labeled as sympathizers of the PKK, i.e. Kurdish Revolutionaries of any type, surely mostly civilians like you or me.
Only one person, who was killed in alleged shooting, was identified as member of an illegal Turkish communist group, the DHKP-C.
Outside the Turkish official borders, nine positions of the PKK were bombed in lands under Iraqi formal sovereignty, while unspecified "Kurdish and Islamist" targets were also attacked in Syrian territory.
After these attacks, the PKK said that the truce with Turkey had "no meaning anymore".
No-fly zone to protect the IS?
An intriguing development of this new stage is the agreement by the USA and Turkey to establish a no-fly zone in a very specific zone of the Aleppo province of Northern Syria. Of course this is a violation of Syrian sovereignty but the bullies of the World don't seem to care.
The no-fly zone goes between the towns of Mare' and Jarabulus and 90 km south of the Turkish border. In other words: almost exactly the territory controlled by the Islamic State in the province of Aleppo.
|Detail of control zones in Northern Syria. Credit: (CC: محک)|
[yellow: Kurds, red: Syria, black: IS, green: Al Qaeda et al.]
|The no-fly zone as described by Press TV (approx.) - based on the previous map|
Naturally a question arises: does the IS or even the Kurdish militias have airplanes? Not at all. The only airplanes in the Syrian war, other than the occasional US incursion, are those of the Syrian state. So what's the point of establishing a no-fly zone over the lands controlled by the IS? Necessarily to protect them against the Syrian operations, and maybe those of their allies such as Iran.
We must notice that in the last year the Kurdish control zone of the border region has been growing and I guess that the Turkish state is concerned that they might also manage to gain control of the remaining border strip, disconnecting the IS from its main provider: Turkey.
Reigniting the Kurdish war to 'save Turkey'?
The Turkish Islamist regime must also be worried that the Kurdish backed all-Turkey party HDP made important gains in the last elections, not just in Kurdistan but also in many other provinces, denying the Islamists their much coveted absolute majority in the Turkish Parliament and weakening Erdogan's decade-long tight control of the state apparatus.
It seems apparent to me that the actual goal of all this performance is no other than to declare the HDP illegal at risk of expanding the Kurdish armed struggle back to Turkey after several years of difficult but continued peace.
These years, particularly the latest ones, saw the Kurdish population take a much more active presence in the all-Turkey politics hand-on-hand with ethnic Turks, not just via the HDP, but more importantly maybe in the many protests that shattered the bicontinental state in 2011. Surely Erdogan believes that by reopening the Kurdish front in terms military he can make political gains inside Turkey. I just hope he is wrong and that he will pay dearly for this criminal miscalculation.