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6 Nov, 2015 15:12

Turkish plans to attack Islamic State excuse for hitting Kurds

Turkish plans to attack Islamic State excuse for hitting Kurds

Ankara is worried about possible Kurdish-American collaboration after the backing the Kurds got from Moscow, says Dr. Jamal Wakim, Professor of History and International Relations at Lebanese University.

Turkey says it will carry out a military operation against ISIS in the near future, without specifying when.

RT: Turkey's already carrying out air strikes. What kind of military operation does it have in mind now?

Dr. Jamal Wakim: Well, I believe that Turkey’s declaration that it intends to launch a military operation against ISIL is a mere cover up for its real intention to wage a war against the Kurds. It is on the Kurds and against the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] militants. Especially that Turkey is worried now; mainly Erdogan is worried about the prospects of Kurdish-American collaboration after the backing that the Kurds got from Moscow.

In this case the Kurds of Turkey, who are spread over 40 percent of Eastern Anatolia, will be in a better position to pressure for getting their own rights within Turkey on the one hand, and maybe they can push for autonomy or even independence as they claimed in the past four decades. So that is why I believe that the real intention is to wage a war against the Kurds and marginalize them at the time when the Kurds are getting support from both the US and Russia at the same time.

RT: Turkey has been using its air strikes to take out Kurdish targets. Is fighting ISIL just a pretext?

Dr. JW: In the past two years the main support that ISIL got was from Turkey. Mainly there were media reports in the West about logistical support, about using Turkish airports - ISIL militants would go to Turkish airports and then go by land to Northern Syria and Iraq. When Turkey declared that it was launching attacks on ISIL, actually its main attacks were on the Kurds of Northern Syria.

There were even media reports that said that ISIL served the purpose of Turkey to clear out the Kurds from Northern Syria, especially in the case of Kobani at one point, and to target the Christian population that is considered as hostile to Turkish influence in Northern Syria. That is why I don’t believe that the intention of Turkey is really to fight ISIL.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.