By Theodore Shoebat
The Turkish government is declaring that it is now waiting for the right moment to strike Iraqi, specifically the Qandil mountains, a remote region of Kurdish-run northern Iraq which lies right on the Iraq-Iran border. As we read in one report from Hurriyet Daily News:
The Turkish military is waiting for the right time to carry out an operation in northern Iraq’s mountainous Qandil region where high-ranking members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are hiding, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on June 4.
“Qandil is not a distant target for us anymore. Right now, a lot of positions have been seized there [by Turkish forces], especially in the northern Iraq region,” Soylu told the state-run Anadolu Agency in a televised interview.
“Timing is what is important for us right now… Qandil will be made a safe place for Turkey, no one should doubt that,” he added.
The militant group frequently carries out attacks on Turkey from its camps in the Qandil Mountains, a remote region of Kurdish-run northern Iraq.
In response, Turkey has been conducting land control operations inside northern Iraqterritory near the border since March.
Turkey has also conducted frequent air strikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq. It previously carried out cross-border operations in the region in the 1990s and 2000s.
The PKK has waged an insurgency in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast since the 1980s and some 40,000 people have been killed in clashes.
It is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
While Turkey is claiming that this is to fight “terrorism,” we all know what this is about: it the use of term “terrorism” as a pretext for Turkish imperialism. Turkey wants to bring back the Ottoman empire, and this will be done through propaganda and, of course, aid from its Western friends. One report from Al-Masdar News states that Turkish forces are already in Iraq:
The Turkish Armed Forces advanced at least 26 kilometers (km) into Iraqi territory this past weekend, as they continue their military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
“Our soldiers advanced between 26 to 27 kilometres in northern Iraq, and there is not much left to liberate in Qandil,” Turkish state-owned Anadolu agency reported on Saturday, citing Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
At the same time, two Turkish soldiers were reportedly killed and another one was injured when the PKK carried out an ambush in the Qandil region.
The Iraqi government has repeatedly called on the Turkish military to withdraw from their territory; however, Ankara has ignored Baghdad’s demands and expanded their operations inside the country.
The US and Turkey just held a meeting in which Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “discussed cooperation in Syria, along with potential steps to improve security in Manbij”, which is currently under the control of the Manbij Military Council. Supposedly the Turks and the Americans made a “road map” agreement to remove all terror organizations, including the YPG, or the Kurdish terrorist organization. Cavusoglu said:
“The aim of this roadmap is the clearing of Manbij of all terror organizations and the permanent instatement of safety and stability,” Cavusoglu told a press conference in Washington.
“In the first step, the determination of parameters for common plans for the removal of YPG-PYD from Manbij – you can also call it PKK – will be determined.”
Cavusoglu also spoke of US-Turkish cooperation in other regions of Syria:
“In the long term, this road map that will implemented in Manbij will be carried to other regions to implement security and stability in other regions in Syria. Meaning the cooperation will continue in other regions”
Supposedly, there was a ‘deteriorated’ relationship between Turkey and the US over American backed fighters getting into fire fights in Syria. But, regardless of this, there is still a potential arms deal floating around in which Turkey wants to purchase a hundred f-35s from top American military tech company, Lockheed Martin. As we read in a report from Reuters:
Turkey plans to buy 100 of the F-35 jets, and has had talks with Washington about the purchase of Patriot missiles which could be an alternative to the S-400 system. A Capitol Hill source said that if the F-35 sale were derailed and not replaced by another buyer, each F-35 of the same model would increase in price by about $1 million for the United States and it allies. Ankara wants the missile batteries to boost defense capabilities amid threats from Kurdish and Islamist militants at home and conflicts across its borders in Syria and Iraq.
If the US refuses to sell the F-35s and the deal is emphatically canceled, then Turkey will go to other countries to buy aircraft and will continue to pursue to create its own jet fighter. As we read in a report from the Daily Sabah:
Turkey will engage in diplomacy with other nations for fighter aircraft and increase efforts to build its own if the U.S. breaks the F-35 deal, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said late Monday.
“There are currently no delays, cancellation regarding the sale and handover of F-35 fighter jets. Even though it’s a very low probability, Turkey will look for alternative aircraft from other countries and accelerate efforts to build its own if the U.S. breaks F-35 deal,” he said.
However, it looks like the pursuits of industry are trumping the worries of Capital Hill. According to the Daily Sabah, Lockheed Martin invited Turkish authorities to receive the country’s first next-generation F-35 Lightning II jet on June 21. The invitation read:
“Lockheed Martin would be happy to see you by our side during ‘The Republic of Turkey F-35 Delivery Ceremony’ at Fort Worth on June 21”
Turkey’s first F-35A is projected to be in use by November of 2019, after the completion of a pilot training program.
Even if Turkey does not get the F-35s, it will get technology from elsewhere — very possibly Germany — and it will create its own military technology. What is happening here? Nothing new. Just another example of how the military industrial complex, which can trump the authority of the civilian government, is facilitating the rise of the Ottoman Empire.