Turkey's War on the Kurds: Quick Conquest or Quagmire?

(Ha'aretz) Zvi Bar'el - The Kurds may start a broad guerrilla campaign against the Turkish forces, one that will turn the Kurdish region into Turkey's Vietnam. This modus operandi is the specialty of the Kurdish forces, which are facing Turkey with no air support and limited armored strength. The Kurds may also try to move the fighting into Turkey. The quicker the Turkish military campaign reaches a decisive conclusion, the easier it will be for Turkey to evade growing international pressure. But the Kurds are in no hurry. A long war of attrition can enlist public opinion in Europe and the U.S., and can stoke protests in Turkey itself as the number of its soldiers killed increases. To avoid Turkish casualties in a ground war, Turkey has given the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army the mission of taking the territory. The Kurds in Syria can't depend on Kurdish solidarity from outside Syria to help them. There is a deep ideological rift between the Kurdish leadership in Iraq and the leadership of the Kurds in Syria. The Kurdish region in Iraq has strong economic and diplomatic ties with Turkey. At the beginning of the war against the Islamic State, the Kurdish leaders in Iraq offered to send forces to help the Kurds in Syria, but the latter refused out of fear that such forces would become a permanent garrison.

2019-10-11 00:00:00

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