The Wall Street Journal quotes Vice President and Rafik Hariri Center Director Francis J. Ricciardone on the politics behind Turkey’s new two-front war against Kurdish militants and ISIS:

By breaking the ceasefire, the PKK “has put in jeopardy everything HDP has gained in terms of political legitimacy as a party within the constitutional state,” said Francis Ricciardone, who served until last year as U.S. ambassador to Ankara and is now director of the Middle East center at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

Turkey’s slide into this crisis began with a July 20 bombing, apparently by Islamic State, that killed 32 people, most of them Kurdish volunteers, in the border town of Suruc. The volunteers had been planning to travel to nearby Kobane, where the PKK’s Syrian affiliate dealt a major defeat to Islamic State with the help of U.S. air strikes earlier this year—much to Ankara’s dismay. Instead of rejoicing at Islamic State’s defeat, Turkey viewed these Kurdish advances as an even bigger threat.

Read the full article here.

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