Turkey pursues Kurdish rebels after attack kills 26 soldiers

Turkey pursues Kurdish rebels after attack kills 26 soldiers The Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) are reported to have killed at least 26 soldiers in police and military outposts and wounded 22 in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeastern province of Hakkari, along the Iraqi border. The Turkish military responded with airstrikes and ground incursions into northern Iraq ...

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Turkey pursues Kurdish rebels after attack kills 26 soldiers

The Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) are reported to have killed at least 26 soldiers in police and military outposts and wounded 22 in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeastern province of Hakkari, along the Iraqi border. The Turkish military responded with airstrikes and ground incursions into northern Iraq in pursuit of the fighters. Turkish President Abdullah Gul stated, "No one should forget that those who make us suffer this pain will be made to suffer even stronger. They will see that the vengeance for these attacks will be immense." The attack came a day after the PKK was suspected of detonating a landmine that killed five police officers and three civilians in the Kurdish southeast of Turkey. Violence has escalated since the summer and today's attack is one of the deadliest in three decades of conflict as Kurdish separatists seek autonomy.

Headlines  

Turkey pursues Kurdish rebels after attack kills 26 soldiers

The Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) are reported to have killed at least 26 soldiers in police and military outposts and wounded 22 in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeastern province of Hakkari, along the Iraqi border. The Turkish military responded with airstrikes and ground incursions into northern Iraq in pursuit of the fighters. Turkish President Abdullah Gul stated, “No one should forget that those who make us suffer this pain will be made to suffer even stronger. They will see that the vengeance for these attacks will be immense.” The attack came a day after the PKK was suspected of detonating a landmine that killed five police officers and three civilians in the Kurdish southeast of Turkey. Violence has escalated since the summer and today’s attack is one of the deadliest in three decades of conflict as Kurdish separatists seek autonomy.

Headlines  

  • The U.S. will hold off on a $53 million arms deal with Bahrain taking into account a human rights report on the government crackdown on civil rights protesters set to be released on October 30.
  • In prisoner swap, forty freed Palestinians deemed too dangerous to return to the Palestinian territories have been deported to Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, and Syria.
  • Yemeni government forces fired upon protesters for the fourth day, killing 35 people this week as Nobel Peace Prize winner appeals to the U.N. to reject immunity for President Saleh’s regime.
  • Libyan forces have re-launched an attack on Sirte after having been pushed out once again by Qaddafi loyalists.
  • Jordan’s new Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh began consultations to form a new cabinet saying he is looking to include all political parties in efforts to conduct reforms.
Daily Snapshot

A group of protesting Turkish millitary veterans gather outside the Prime Ministers residence in Ankara on October 19, 2011, hours after Kurdish rebels killed 24 Turkish soldiers and wounded 22 others at the border with Iraq. Kurdish rebels killed 24 soldiers in simultaneous attacks in southeast Turkey, marking one of the deadliest days for the army in the 27-year battle against the separatists. The Turkish military retaliated with air strikes and by sending in troops into neighbouring Iraq where the rebels are based while the prime minister cancelled a foreign trip (ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images). 

Arguments & Analysis

‘From the West Bank: the Palestinians are ready’ (David Shulman, New York Review of Books)

“An American veto in the Security Council, if it comes to that, is no trivial matter this time; it will mark yet another critical milestone in the decline of American power and influence in the entire Islamic world. The spectacle of the Americans vetoing what is, in effect, their own policy on Palestine-for narrow electoral reasons in the United States-will itself constitute a major Palestinian victory. Yet symbolic achievements such as this, however important in the long term, may not be enough to keep the Palestinian moderates in power. Eventually-perhaps in the not too distant future- Israel’s rejection of the option for peace with Abu Mazen will almost certainly lead to a Hamas takeover of the West Bank, with incalculable consequences.”

‘A Saudi-Iranian Cold War takes shapes’ (Rami Khouri, The Daily Star

“This rivalry and open confrontation seems to be driven more from the Saudi side than the Iranian side for now, because the Saudis feel more vulnerable that their world, as they know it, is threatened with change. Their ferocious response, which contrasts with the traditional low-key Saudi style of diplomacy, is a sign that the kingdom feels in danger and will take the initiative to protect itself. A new regional cold war is taking shape, adding to the threats the region is already facing from the repercussions of the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

‘Egypt’s government: designed for dictatorship’ (Mohamed Elshahed, Al Jazeera English)

“Egypt’s government is designed for a dictatorship: It is extremely centralised and tightly controlled by national policy, and local councils are void of power. Although Cairo’s three governorates have separate budgets and various departments, they largely depend on the country’s ministries, led by presidentially appointed ministers, to care for essential elements of the urban environment: housing, schooling, transport, parks, healthcare, etc. Governorate budgets largely go to paying salaries rather than public spending. There is no unified city government with elected local officials and a mandate to effectively manage the city. Instead, governors do the occasional ribbon-cutting, and make hollow announcements regarding randomly selected projects that suit their whimsy.” 

    <p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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