“Turkish planes have for the first time carried out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) group targets in Syria.Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the air strikes, on three IS positions, “completely destroyed” their targets.On Thursday, Turkish forces exchanged fire with IS fighters near the Syrian border. One Turkish soldier was killed.In the early hours of Friday, police launched raids against IS and Kurdish militants across the country, arresting 297 people.In Istanbul, more than 5,000 officers helped search 140 properties.”
See Turkey bombs Islamic State targets in SyriaThe major dark spot on the 21st century so far has been the rise in violence in the Middle East and offshoots in Africa. The world just doesn’t need more violence. There comes a time when violence is the only answer or at least the first move towards a solution: when some bully commits crimes against humanity to gain power. That’s happening in many places in the world but the magnitude and proximity to Europe of the stuff happening in Syria, Iraq, Yemen… means it cannot be ignored. Still, folks are tired of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which were largely pointless. They’ve held back, even Turkey with a long border with Syria.
Today, Turkey has stepped up. Seeing that the conflicting political/religious/historical entanglements are out-weighed by the imminent catastrophe, Turkey took steps to deal with everything, all at once. They have attacked violent factions within Turkey and have raided ISIL’s strong points in a Syrian town on the border. It remains to be seen whether this is just a message from Turkey about its limits of tolerance or the beginning of a proper campaign to smack ISIL, Assad, anyone posing a threat to humanity in the region. I think it could be the beginning of a campaign because Turkey has also allowed a Turkish base to be used by USA to attack ISIL in Syria. This puts Raqqa much closer to constant harassment by USAian bombers. Warthogs could essentially put a curfew on Raqqa within days.
I’m still troubled by Turkey’s relationship with the Kurds who have fought honourably in Iraq and Syria while everyone else, including Iraq, fled or ignored the problem. The Kurds need help. Turkey could provide that and earn a proper relationship with the Kurds. The Kurds could, in return, respect Turkey’s position on territory and seek peaceful negotiations rather than endless confrontation. It’s in no one’s interest to have perpetual war. ISIL needs to be granted their death-wish so the rest of us can move on. The Kurds and Turks have more in common than history. They both value humanity. ISIL does not. Assad does not. Iran should not be allowed to fill a power-vacuum with its own brand of inhumanity. If the world steps up as Turkey has done, Iran will get the message. Iran may have some crazies but Iran is not crazy. If Assad and ISIL are pounded into the ground, Iran will be no problem. They won’t want to be the only nail sticking up.
Once Syria and Iraq stabilize on human terms, the world can once again turn to the ancient problems in Palestine, the only real issue remaining. It’s gone on far too long and serves no purpose to continue. Israel/USA/Palestine must be properly resolved rather than allowed to be in an indefinite state of war. When the dust settles in the Middle East, there will be a bright future for the region, but people have to step up to make it happen. ISIL, Assad, and Iran don’t have the answer. The world has to come up with a proper consensus and the sooner the better.
PS:See also, Turkey vows to continue campaign against Islamic State militants