By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media
Apologists for Vladimir Putin, including his propaganda channel Russia Today (RT), have been telling us for months that Turkey has been facilitating and even funding the global Islamic terrorist group ISIS. But the carnage at the Istanbul, Turkey, airport, apparently carried out by ISIS, demonstrates this is a big lie. ISIS is doing Russia’s dirty work in targeting the only Muslim and Middle Eastern country that is a member of NATO.
This would not have been the first time that ISIS had attacked Turkey. In fact, a suicide bomber who struck a busy tourist area in central Istanbul on Saturday, March 19 was also an ISIS terrorist.
But there’s also the possibility that the PKK, the Kurdish terrorist organization also known as the Kurdistan Workers Party, was behind the attack. The PKK has killed thousands of people in Turkey, and has bombed or attacked the country’s tourism industry, hospitals and businesses.
Incredibly, in a scandal that could turn into another Benghazi, it has been confirmed that President Obama’s administration is arming the Democratic Union Party (PYD)—a branch of the PKK—supposedly to fight ISIS. But the PYD’s increasing consolidation of power in northern Syria could pose a military threat to Turkey.
Turkey, a long-time NATO member, is caught in the middle between ISIS and the PKK, while Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says Obama’s support for the PYD is helping to create a “sea of blood” in the region.
In addition to sponsoring International Coalition military attacks on ISIS from its own Incirlik Airbase, Turkey is the only Muslim country that belongs to NATO. Since the days of the old Soviet Union, Russia has hated NATO and has wanted to see it abolished. During the Cold War, American nuclear weapons were deployed in Turkey to counter the Soviet/Russian threat.
The timing of this terrorist attack was significant. The NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government in Warsaw, Poland is scheduled to begin on July 8.
If it turns out that another terrorist group carried out the attack, such as the PKK, that would not be surprising either. Turkish President Erdogan has directly accused Russia of providing anti-aircraft weaponry and rockets to the PKK. “At this moment, terrorists are using anti-aircraft guns and missiles supplied by Russia,” Erdogan recently said. “The separatist terrorist organization is equipped with these weapons. They have been transferred to them via Syria and Iraq.” These charges followed revelations that the PKK used a Russian-made shoulder-launched missile to down a Turkish helicopter.
Retired Turkish diplomat Murat Bilhan, who served in Moscow, noted, “The PKK had an office in Russia and from time to time it received assistance and support from Russia in the 1990s; Russia never considered PKK as a terrorist organization.”
Indeed, the PKK was another one of the “liberation movements” started by the old Soviet intelligence service, the KGB.
Turkish commentator Burhanettin Duran noted that Obama’s support for the PYD “continues to strain ties between Turkey and the United States.” He added, “A recent visit to Kobani by U.S. special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS (DAESH), Brett McGurk, where he accepted gifts from a former PKK member who now serves in the PYD leadership, took the crisis to the next level…To make matters worse, State Department spokesman John Kirby stated at least twice that the United States would continue working with the PYD, which the U.S. does not consider to be a terrorist group.” He went on to say that McGurk offered “to protect Turkey against the PKK,” but that he “came out in favor of strengthening the PYD’s armed People’s Protection Units (YPG) even after President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an openly asked the administration to choose between Turkey and the PYD.”
The New York Times has been slow to acknowledge the scandal that is developing with another Obama administration policy in the Middle East. However, the paper did run astory in February that Turkish President Erdogan “called into question the American commitment to fighting terrorist groups in Syria and cited Washington’s failure to recognize a Syrian Kurdish rebel group as a terrorist organization.” That group was the PYD. “Are you on our side or the side of the terrorist PYD and PKK organizations?” Erdogan asked.
At the State Department’s daily press briefing on February 8, spokesman John Kirby said, “…we don’t, as you know, recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization. We recognize that the Turks do, and I understand that. Even the best of friends aren’t going to agree on everything.”
During testimony before a Senate panel, Obama’s Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said “yes” when asked by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) whether the PYD and its militia force, the YPG, were aligned with the PKK. The Reuters news agency noted that Graham had said, “We are arming people inside of Syria who are aligned with a terrorist group: That is the finding of the Turkish government.”
Isn’t that a variation of the pro-terrorist policy that led to the Benghazi massacre?
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.