German observers were prompted to examine and scrutinize the intentions, regionally and internationally, behind the latest Turkish attack on some regions in Iraqi Kurdistan. They looked into the undeclared intentions of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after launching an attack with two different names within few days: the Tiger’s Claw and the Eagle’s Claw. Such attacks raise important questions: why would Erdogan open a third front, in addition to Syria and Libya? Why there was such big propaganda and military and technical preparation for this attack, although it is not something new, it is a usual scene for both conflicting parties?
The research conducted by Deutsche Welle (DW) addresses the motives behind the Turkish move, and sheds a light on the different parts of the subject through five main entries.
Turkey does not Launch Clean Wars
In their report under the title “Turkish propaganda, a video promoting the Clean War”, the German observers talk about a video released by the Turkish Ministry of Defense, in which a drone appears flying over a mountainous area in northern Iraq, chasing a man who is likely to be a PKK member, trying to run and hide between the trees. A few seconds after, the drone targets the man with a rocket, a cloud of smoke rises in the sky, then everything ends. A scene through which the Turkish propaganda tries to provide an evidence that its war in the north of Iraq is a (clean and selective war), targeting only terrorists.
Although a Russian agency refuted most of the videos published by the Turkish Ministry of Defense and confirmed that they were fabricated, Inga Roug, a journalist and expert in Turkish affairs, wrote in NZZ newspaper:
“Erdogan’s clean war is a big illusion; civilian casualties will increase if the war continues, and this is seen in several videos posted on social media.”
What the expert wrote, indicates that Turkey is not fighting fairly as it claims, and its intervention in Syria and Libya is the best evidence that it wants endless lethal wars, especially with the use of its advanced drones.
Whoever heard the announcement from Turkish media and its agencies about the start of the Turkish attack was surprised by its scale and timing The German observers, just like any others, were also surprised. This is understandable, because the country launching the attack is already fighting on the Syrian and Libyan fronts with thousands of soldiers. The German report confirms that “there are other considerations behind the Turkish move,” according to what Marion Sindkler – a correspondent of the German public TV broadcaster ARD in Istanbul – wrote. She made use of the analysis of Christian Brakil from the German Heinrich-Böll-Institute in Istanbul.
In Brakil’s analysis, he links between the timing and the peace talks between the different Kurdish sides, like Syrian Kurds, self-administration representatives, and the Kurdish national council, which is a large political body entailing 15 parties, in addition to the Kurdish democratic union, under the supervision of USA and France. Those talks were brokered and facilitated by the presidency of Iraqi Kurdistan. According to Brakil, the Turkish message was that the Kurdish case cannot be addressed without Turkey being a main player.
How did the balance of power change?
A German report, based on a general survey conducted by the International Crisis Group Research Center, confirms that approximately 5000 people were killed in that conflict since the ceasefire ended five years ago, among which are 1200 Turkish security forces and around 3000 person from the PKK, in addition to 500 civilians.
But how did the balance of power change? And how did Turkey turned previous losses into victories? According to the same center, the increase in use of Turkish drones led to a fundamental change in the battles in favor of the Turkish army, as it was not able before to penetrate into the mountainous area neither by air nor on land.
It is no secret to anyone that Ankara used the same drones in Libya during its support for militias affiliated with the GNA.
Moving to ISIS operations areas
Why does Turkish army, during its offensive in northern Iraq, move to the Yezidis areas, who were oppressed by ISIS?
That issue led Yezidi activists residing in Germany to call for Germany to condemn the military campaign with toughest terms, and to exert maximum diplomatic pressure on Turkey to stop its attacks against the Kurds.
A journalist wrote in a German newspaper: “Once again, Ankara bombs Kurdish areas outside Turkey, and it has a blank check. No one opposed it, neither in Baghdad nor in Europe, as it is always the case.”
In the end, the NATO and the EU’s silence, with the exception of France, gave Turkey the „placet“ to commit all these abuses, on more than one front, through the unlimited financial support from Qatar, which has become Turkey’s money house in its wars in the region and its support for the Muslim Brotherhood.