Kurdish issue related articles, news etc.
The Y.P.G. is perhaps America’s most effective ally in Syria against the Islamic State. But American officials, though they will broadly acknowledge that they are working with the Y.P.G., take pains not to detail just how closely the forces are working together, given the group’s ties to the outlawed P.K.K.
The United States has sought Turkey’s help in the fight against ISIS since last year. Turkey, which has been a NATO member since 1952 and is considered by American officials to be critical to weakening the Islamic State in Syria, was reluctant to participate. Turkey finally agreed to assist, but with some conditions, including the creation of an ISIS- and Kurdish-free zone in Syria on the Turkish border.In return, the United States will be allowed to launch military operations against the Islamic State from Incirlik Air Base and other bases in Turkey “within a certain framework,” according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. American officials have been careful not to offend Turkey and have publicly supported its campaign against the P.K.K..In a statement on Twitter, Brett H. McGurk, President Obama’s envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, said, “We fully respect our ally Turkey’s right to self-defense.”
Analysts say that Turkey’s decision to join the fight against the Islamic State was driven in part by the threat posed by the Y.P.G.’s rapid territorial gains within Syria. Kurds across the region have historically sought an independent state, which the Turkish government strongly opposes.Mr. Erdogan has said that Turkey “will never allow the establishment of a new state on our southern frontier in the north of Syria.”
Some areas of violence between Turkey and the P.K.K. since March 2013
Areas of Turkish airstrikes on P.K.K. positions, July 24 to August 3
For now, Turkey is more actively targeting Kurdish insurgents with the P.K.K. than it is fighters with the Islamic State. In Turkey’s recent roundup of 1,300 people it identified as terrorism suspects, 137 of those arrested were linked to the Islamic State and 847 were linked to the P.K.K. At the same time, Turkey bombed P.K.K. positions in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq, claiming that the militants could attack Turkish areas from across the border.The Turkish airstrikes effectively ended a two-year cease-fire with the P.K.K. and has set off rounds of protests and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants throughout Turkey. In the meantime, Turkish operations against the Islamic State have been slow to develop.Mr. Erdogan’s strategy, according to analysts, is also politically motivated. In June, his party lost its parliamentary majority partly because of the electoral success of a pro-Kurdish party. By bombing the P.K.K., Mr. Erdogan stands to win back votes of nationalists who oppose Kurdish autonomy.