Between Kurds and Radicals: the Threefold Dilemma of Erdogan

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the mediabankTurkey's President Erdogan is facing hard choices: anything he undertakes will help either Assad, IS or the Kurds
Turkey's President Erdogan is facing hard choices: anything he undertakes will help either Assad, IS or the Kurds - Sputnik International
The Islamic State's (IS) onslaught on Kobani unfolding before the eyes of Turkey, which has done nothing yet to prevent the looming massacre of the Kurdish defenders of the besieged Syrian city, as Ankara is facing hard choices either of which emboldens one of Turkeys enemies: IS, Kurdish separatists or the Assad regime.

MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) – The Islamic State's (IS) onslaught on Kobani unfolding before the eyes of Turkey, which has done nothing yet to prevent the looming massacre of the Kurdish defenders of the besieged Syrian city, as Ankara is facing hard choices either of which emboldens one of Turkeys enemies: IS, Kurdish separatists or the Assad regime.

The government of Turkey is facing a hard choice: helping the Kurds against the IS assault would indirectly benefit Kurdish separatists and their ally Assad, while letting Kobani fall would significantly embolden the Jihadists’ position  at the volatile southeastern border of Turkey.

The government of Turkey has ruled out a full-scale assistance to Kurds because of the suspected links between the Kurdish militia and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Both Turkey and the US consider the PKK a terrorist organization. “What ISIS is to us, the PKK is the same,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as reported by TIME. Besides, to the Turkish reluctance to aid Kobani adds the Kurds’ statehood aspirations, as well as close ties with the Assad regime.

Yesterday Erdogan said Turkey would not act to prevent the fall of Kobani, as reported by the Australian, having also blamed the US-led coalition for its inability to efficiently contain IS and provide weapons to Syrian “moderate” rebels. The Turkish president may have a point: the coalition’s aerial operation to suppress the IS has proven ineffective, as the current Jihadi assault was renewed immediately after the massive airstrikes carried out Wednesday, as reported by L.A.Times.

The defenders of Kobani are expecting a military intervention from Turkey as their situation has become critical as IS seized about a third of town during the assault Wednesday night, Reuters reports.

During past few days, Turkey’s dominately Kurdish southeast, as well as Istanbul and Ankara have seen the worst street violence in years, as reported by Reuters. Media have reported 21 dead from clashes between local police, Kurds and Islamist groups as a resultof the protests. The Kurds are dissatisfied Turkey has not yet come to the rescue of Kobani. Leaders of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), Kurdish militia besieged in Kobani, have warned of an upcoming massacre if IS occupies the town. The YPN is conducting negotiations with Ankara in hopes to obtain permission to deliver armaments and fresh Kurdish fighters via Turkish territory. However, the Turkish government has turned them down. “They promised some things, but they have done nothing”, said Salih Muslim, one of YPG leaders, as reported by TIME.

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