Concerns grow over Turkey’s military operation in northern Iraq – analyst

Several countries are growing increasingly concerned over Turkey’s military operations in northern Iraq, Seth J. Frantzman said in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday. 

Turkey began the land and air operation “Claw-Tiger” on June 17 against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and groups Ankara says are affiliated with it.

But Frantzman said this intervention has also included air strikes against Yazidi areas of Sinjar and near Christian villages along the border, and Iraq has expressed increasing concern about the attacks - which appear to be coordinated with Iran.

Turkey’s military operation in northern in Iraq has also created tensions with Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, Frantzman said. Saudi Arabia condemned Turkish aggression on Iraqi land and offered support for Baghdad in measures to preserve its sovereignty.

The conflict has also increased tensions in other countries, he said. Pro-Kurdish demonstrators in Vienna were attacked by Turkish nationalists this week.

But, while “some U.S. voices have expressed concern, including a tweet by the State Department after three women were killed in a Turkish air strike in Syria, most remain silent,” Frantzman said. 

Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper tweeted on Saturday that he was extremely disturbed by reports of “Turkish military attacks on Kurdish people in Iraq”.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has also expressed concern and called for an end to the attacks, Frantzman said.