By Simon Kent.
The New York Times has reported on a Turkish incursion in the mountains of Northern Iraq to destroy Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) positions. The incursion comes in response to a recent IED attack inside Turkey which killed 14 police officers in a mini bus.
The raids–20 military strikes according to the report–have sparked a wave of nationalist attacks against Kurdish property in Turkey, prompting the government to appeal for calm and national unity. Protests have occurred in several Kurdish towns. During the course of some of the fighting, The Guardian alleges that civilians have been killed in Kurdish villages.
According to the Turkish military, 30 Kurdish fighters have been killed.
Meanwhile, The Independent reports that Kurds have been flocking to join the ranks of the PKK–something the Americans once feared would happen in the last decade when Turkey threatened to launch a ground war against the PKK, which could have taken Kurdish forces away from the al Qaeda fight.
The risk is therefore similar today: the Turkish incursion no doubt risks drawing manpower away from the fight against ISIS.