Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Whole Lot of Kurds Killed By Turkey

Turkeys claims to have killed 150 Kurdish fighters in its attacks on the mountains of Iraq.

Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq have killed more than 150 rebels and hit more than 200 targets in recent days, the Turkish military said Tuesday, countering Kurdish claims that only a handful of people were killed in the attacks.

My only question is how is Turkey sure it didn't kill 1,500 Kurdish rebels, or 1.5 million Kurdish rebels. If they're going to just make up numbers. Maybe the attacks did kill that many.

Of course Turkey knows it cannot accomplish any military objective by attacking dug-in mountain-based guerrilas from the air. This is pure theater aimed at accomplishing political objectives.

The first political objective is to rehabilitate the image of the United States and even Israel in the minds of Turkey's voters. I'm sure it has had some effect. I'm sure that will be countered the next time the Kurds mount an offensive. Kurdish offensives are set to become more deadly and more continuous over time.

A Turkish envoy said here Wednesday it was American intelligence that made Turkey's latest raids in northern Iraq on Kurdish rebels possible.


Personnel from Israel's Aerospace Industries are assisting the Turkish army in activating Israeli-made unmanned aircrafts for use in military operations in Kurdish northern Iraq, Turkish sources were quoted as saying in a report to be published Thursday in the Turkish Daily News.

The second objective is to pressure the US to pressure Kurdish authorities to order the guerrillas to curb their attacks. This is a short term effect that has happened, but guerrillas have ways to use the time productively.

The third objective is to pressure the US to pressure Kurdish authorities to give up Kirkuk. That may work, but Kirkuk is a luxury, not a necessity for Kurdistan. The Kurds have pushed the referendum back 6 months. This will become indefinite, but in the mean time the Kurdish non-oil economy and the oil they actually control will continue to fund the guerrillas who will resume attacks when they feel conditions are favorable.

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