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October 14, 2014

Turkey Bombs Anti-ISIS Kurd Fighters (Within Its Own Border)

That is, it bombed its own citizens.

The situation is complex and riddled with politics. Turkey bombed PKK positions. PKK has been noted as a terrorist organization.

Here, PKK wishes to send its own fighters to Kobani, to fight ISIS there. (ISIS controlled half of Kobani as of yesterday; the city will probably fall completely to ISIS within the next day or two.)

Turkey, however, refuses to permit these fighters to travel there until the alleged coalition assembled by Obama agrees to back Bashar Al-Assad's regime in Syria.

This is contrary to Obama's confused (and confusing) plan; Obama wants to attack IS and either also attack Assad, or at least not do anything that supports him. Obama basically wants to fight against both sides in a civil war, and contrive some "Third Way" of "moderate fighters" whom he will support.

It is Obama's dubious "plan" that he will recruit "moderate" fighters fighting against Assad to carry the fight against IS; obviously, they won't do this if the US is actually backing their primary enemy (Assad, not IS).

In fact they won't do it at all -- they're not going to abandon their own fight to fight Obama's or America's or Iraq's. And in fact IS is allied with other allegedly "moderate" factions fighting Assad.

Getting back to Turkey: PKK began revolting against Turkey, and so Turkey bombed them.

This is a confusing situation, obviously. But Obama's "plan" simply adds further convolutions to the confusing situation.

Due to the politics of the situation, and Obama wanting to keep his very much nominal "ally" Erdogan in the fold, the city of Kobani is being destroyed by IS. This isn't really Obama's fault -- but it is his responsibility, given that his machinations and failure to persuade Erdogan is resulting in the slaughter and mayhem in Kobani.

This makes it incumbent on him to pound IS forces. Not just a few strikes here and there. But to destroy the army, the trucks, the artillery, and the tanks outside the city.

I do not believe this is possible anymore. IS is now inside the city and fighting block-to-block. We cannot bomb IS inside the city.

Why did we not "degrade and destroy" this threat when it was outside the city, sitting in the middle of the desert?

And I am not being rhetorical here: The tanks were literally lined up in a pretty little row in the middle of a desert wasteland. See the news report replayed by Jon Stewart, beginning at about 2:00, here.

Also note the bizarre reactions from administration supporters explaining that this city just isn't all that important. Sure, one man allows, many many people will be massacred, but Kobani isn't a major crossroads or anything...

This IS army was literally in the middle of the desert, with their tanks, artillery, heavy gun positions, and troop emplacements "freely roaming the countryside" in "fairly open places" (that is, in the middle of the desert).

Why were they permitted to do so? We had a large part of the IS army in the exact position we wanted, and we did nothing, except a few strikes here and there, one which destroyed (or damaged) a tank, one which destroyed a gun position, and some that damaged trucks and such.

There are some opponents air power cannot really destroy -- infantry roaming around cities, for example.

There are some opponents, however, that air power can absolutely decimate -- trucks, gun positions, tanks, artillery, troops in positions away from civilian centers.

An IS army gathered in just that way -- permitting itself to be destroyed, absolutely, from the air -- and instead we dithered and sent along some "message" type strikes.

And now another city falls, and more innocent people will be ruthlessly massacred.

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posted by Ace at 01:30 PM

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