Turkey may even mount a ground offensive in a bid to crush the separatist movement.
The Turkish air force has been bombing bases of the Kurdish Workers’ Party, known as the PKK, for several weeks, killing around 200 people in scores of raids.
Ankara’s escalating assault on the outlawed PKK since June, when a de facto cease-fire expired, has coincided with an Iranian ground offensive against Iranian Kurds who are holed up in the Qandil Mountains of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
These moves by Turkey and Iran have once again thrust Iraq’s Kurdish enclave into the maelstrom of ancient regional rivalries at a time when the Middle East is in turmoil.
[quote style=”boxed”]The Americans already provide surveillance data on the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Washington, to Ankara, a NATO ally, gathered by Predator UAVs that are scheduled to be withdrawn from Iraq under the U.S. pullout.[/quote]
Classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal that Turkey has repeatedly pressed Washington to escalate U.S. involvement against the PKK and to eliminate the organization before the U.S. withdrawal is completed, involving the Americans in yet another Middle Eastern conflict. Their [PKK]ultimate ambition is to transform their enclave, which has its own semi-autonomous government, Parliament and military forces, into a full-blown independent state.