I previously posted about the Kurdish war on Iran, and the Islamic solidarity elements of the anti-war movement assuming that the Kurdish groups were operating in conjunction with the American destabilization efforts. You’ve no doubt read the more recent news of fighting between Turks and the same Kurdish nationalists. Well, may to confound the anti-war movement, it turns out that we are providing intelligence assistance to Turkey in suppressing the Kurdish movement. This represents a change in policy.
From the Guardian (still haven’t found any mention in the American media, although the reporter is AP):
Pentagon officials are now starting to say publicly that the U.S. is flying manned spy planes over the border area, providing Turkey with more intelligence information, and that there are standing orders for American forces to capture rebels they find.
Only last Friday, the U.S. commander in northern Iraq, Maj. Gen Benjamin Mixon, said he planned to do “absolutely nothing” to counter Kurdish rebels operating from the region.
But the top American commander in Iraq, in comments that appeared aimed at allaying Turkish frustration over the matter, said Sunday the U.S. military was playing a role in trying to defuse tensions.
Gen. David Petraeus declined to elaborate. Since then, however, Pentagon officials have detailed a number of examples to undermine the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, holed up in bases in northern Iraq.
“`We are assisting the Turks in their efforts to combat the PKK by supplying them with intelligence, lots of intelligence,” Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell said.
And so far I can’t find any comment from the Kurdish region provisional government.
Update: The Kurdish Prime Minister has weighed in against the PKK. There will probably be some political fallout, particularly if he’s perceived as being an appeaser towards Turkey. This is all in the wake of PKK attacks on Turkish forces in September which resulted in the deaths of a number of Turkish troops. They seem to be doing quite well against Iranian forces as well. All of the sudden the PKK has everybody worried.