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November 20, 2012

Where's the Coverage? Deadly Airstrikes NOT Conducted by Israel

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An American ally in the Middle East conducts airstrikes against fighters that it, the United States and the European Union consider terrorists. Its military uses U.S.-made F-16 jets, attack helicopters and artillery to go after the group this nation believes is supported by Iran, Russia and factions in Syria. For their part, the “militants” claim they only want to establish their own state. This decades-long conflict, in which thousands have been killed, has been escalating in recent months while attracting – and here’s where it becomes clear we’re not talking about Israel – little media attention.

Turkey sent troops on a multiple-day incursion into Iraq – a sovereign state – earlier this month targeting members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Perhaps you read about it on the front page of The New York Times or heard a report on National Public Radio. No?

Turkey also sent ground forces into Iraq in 2008 and maintains an estimated 1,000 troops based there. Maybe you saw a story about this on CNN or read about it in The Washington Post. No?

To its credit, Reuters has covered this story at least twice, but the most extensive reporting has been done by a non-mainstream Web site called World Tribune which wrote:

“Turkey, without fanfare, has been striking PKK targets with a frequency not seen in years,” a diplomat said.

The sources said the Turkish Air Force has been conducting nearly daily strikes on suspected PKK strongholds in northern Iraq. They said the operations were meant to prevent PKK fighters from crossing into Turkey and neighboring Syria. At the same time, the Turkish Army has designated 15 closed zones near the Iraqi border.

In October, the Turkish Air Force deployed about 25 U.S.-origin F-16 multi-role fighters to its base at Diyarbakir. Diyarbakir has been the launching pad for Turkish air strikes on the Kandil mountains in northern Iraq, believed controlled by PKK.

[…]

Turkey has acknowledged an offensive on the PKK. The government said more than 325 PKK fighters have been killed since July.

Since 1984, when the PKK launched an insurgency with the aim of establishing an independent Kurdish state, more than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have been killed. If only the Kurds were fighting Israel, they might get some media attention.

Near-daily airstrikes, terrorists, ground incursions, Iranian and Russian involvement, hundreds killed recently, tens of thousands over the years, and yet… Where’s the coverage?

Posted by SC at November 20, 2012 08:50 PM

Comments

Following Desert Storm in 91, Saddam chased the Kurds into the mountains and the coalition forces launched Operation Provide Comfort to provide food, water and shelter to the Kurds, and then restored utilities as they moved back to their homes.

During that time the Turks were hosting coalition forces, who were largely based at Incirlik AB, while fighting with the Kurds. A US Combat Camera photographer who had spent considerable time in northern Iraq (Kurdistan) told me that he would sit in the US camp at night, and watch tracers go back and forth between the Turkish and Kurdish camps.

Posted by: Jose at November 21, 2012 01:53 PM

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