WASHINGTON DC - Kurds took to social media to express their frustrations at Turkish air strikes on its Kurdish opposition, with many accusing Washington of giving Ankara the green light for attacks in return for use of a strategic air base.
In online postings, Kurds accused US President Barack Obama of allow Turkey to bomb the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in return for use of the Incirlik airbase in Adana for the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) group.
Rudaw posted a question on its Facebook page on Tuesday, asking if there is a connection between the PKK bombardment that Turkey has carried out since Friday, and permission to the US to use Incirlik. The question generated nearly 200 responses from Kurds and Americans who believe Obama betrayed the Kurds, while the Americans apologized on behalf of their country to the Kurds.
Miran Ali Jaff wrote online that, “Absolutely, the US gave green light to Turkish regime in order to strike ISIS also PKK too.”
Haveen Taher posted: “For everyone, we Kurds have no friends!” Meanwhile, Kava Rostami urged Kurds to unite in the face of the challenges. “We all Kurds should know we don't have friends and this is the time we should all unite together and be one,” he wrote.
Following a phone conversation between the US president and his Turkish counterpart on Saturday, Turkey started striking PKK bases in the Kurdistan Region. The move raised the ire of Kurds, who see this as a Turkish attempt to reverse Kurdish gains in the Middle East.
Aso Kurdman said the US had sold out the Kurds in Bakur, or Turkey Kurdistan and in Rojava, or Syrian Kurdistan, where the PKK-affiliate YPG has been fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS) group.
“Any fool knows the US sold out the Kurds in Bakur and Rojava, not in return for the airbases but for something else. Not only they attack the PKK, but Turkish army has already shelled YPG controlled villages in Rojava,” Kurdman said.
“Shame on Turkish government and US government coz pkk and other Kurdish army (are) the only troops on ground to against Isis,” posted Ako Sabir.
Some Americans offered apologies to Kurds, saying that the position of their government does not represent the position of the American people.
“Kurds, please know that the American people do not support this,” said Alex Mendez-Whitehurst, from Los Angeles, California.
Jamal Sala believes this is a miscalculation by the Obama administration, and that allowing Ankara to bomb the PKK could lead to a civil war.
“It will create a big civil war in Turkey and kill the peace process. The Turkish government wants to use these attacks on Kurds for an early election and form their government. Turkish action is a big help to ISIS and all jihadi groups in Rojava and Bashur Kurdistan, Turkish aggression is against all Kurds not just PKK,” said Sala.
Another American respondent viewed Washington’s step as an appeasement policy toward Turks.
“The Obama team has been failing in Iraq, and will continue to fail as long as it humors Turkey's claims to be the USA's reliable ally,” said Ted Carr, adding that US has turned a blind eye to Turkish support for ISIS.
“The allegations against Turkey of secretly assisting ISIL have been ignored by the Obama administration, which is a mistake. The USA would be wiser to demand better proofs of reliable friendship than mere words, and demand actions that make it perfectly clear that Turkey does not covertly assist ISIL,” said Carr.
Khaled Silevani said that the international community has stabbed Kurds in back because Kurdish forces have been fighting ISIS on behalf of the world.
“PKK is defending the humanity with their lives, Kurds have paid a lot and this is how the world thank us,” Silevani wrote.
The PKK has been among the most effective Kurdish forces against ISIS. They have pushed back the militants in Iraq and Syria. The PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), continues to defeat ISIS in Rojava.
US officials have hailed the YPG and the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces as the most effective fighting forces on the ground against ISIS.