Vox quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Aaron Stein on violence in Turkey between the government and the PKK:

Recent events have dashed those hopes. On July 22, the PKK killed two Turkish police officers in the city of Urfa. According to Aaron Stein, a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, the killing was in retaliation for an ISIS suicide bombing on the Turkish border on July 20. That might seem odd, since Turkey is bombing ISIS positions in Syria. But Turkish Kurds believe the Turkish government secretly supports ISIS (more on this below).

At this point, “the state had a choice,” Stein told me. “They could either go back to the peace process and choose not escalate, or escalate. They chose to escalate.” The Turkish government bombed PKK positions, including some in Iraq, and sent police and troops into some heavily Kurdish cities.

“The goal of the airstrikes in Iraqi Kurdistan and southeastern Turkey is to force the PKK to withdraw and disarm,” Stein says. “The goal of the operations in cities is to clear them [of PKK presence] and then hold them.”

Read the full article here.

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