The weekend of Turkish airstrikes on Daesh and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) bases in northern Iraq may have ended, but the fight brewing between Ankara and the Kurds is far from over — and between them is the US.
Since its inception last September, the US coalition airstrikes have backed ground operations from Kurdish militias in several key operations against Daesh (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. And while these are usually coordinated with offshoot Kurdish groups like the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, and the peshmerga in Iraq, Kurdish groups tend to see themselves under one umbrella, especially in the fight against Daesh. Which is why, as things between Turkish and Kurdish social media users heated up with Turkey's airstrikes, people began to speculate what the US would have to say about it all.
By Saturday afternoon that answer appeared in a Twitter statement from Brett McGurk, the Deputy Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Combat ISIL. Here are the tweets.
Regarding recent PKK terrorist attacks in Turkey and reports of Turkish airstrikes against the PKK in northern Iraq...1/5— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) July 25, 2015
We also urge de-escalation and that both sides remain committed to the peaceful "solution process" for a just and sustainable peace. 3/5— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) July 25, 2015
There is no connection between these airstrikes against PKK and recent understandings to intensify US-Turkey cooperation against #ISIL. 4/5— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) July 25, 2015
The statement (and the airstrikes) come just after McGurk announced Turkey's willingness to allow the US coalition to conduct airstrikes from country bases, leading some to speculate on whether the two events were connected.
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