Turkey Accuses Syria of Aiding Kurdish Rebels in Tit for Tat Policy

Syria is said to be taking revenge on Turkey for aiding Syrian rebels in their fight against Bashar al-Assad

Syria is aiding Kurdish rebels who are fighting Turkish forces by allowing them to establish bases in Syrian territory, a Turkish minister said Wednesday, in an apparent tit for tat response to Turkish conduct to do the same.

Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said Turkish intelligence indicates that Syria is allowing rebels to establish themselves in areas close to the Turkish border, just as Turkey has been allowing Syrian rebels to establish bases in areas close to the Syrian border.

“Terrorist groupings that were not there a year ago have been spotted,” Sahin said. “Syria is turning a blind eye to terrorist groupings in areas close to the border to put Turkey in difficulty and perhaps as a way to take revenge on Turkey.”

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey for decades, has been condemned as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. During the 1990s, Washington supported Turkey major atrocities in the southeast Kurdish region, leaving the countryside devastated with tens of thousands killed and millions displaced.

When Syria began to descend into extreme violence, Turkey gave shelter to the Syrian rebel fighters and eventually provided them with lethal and non-lethal aid, despite their having ties to terrorist groups and having committed serious crimes themselves. That Turkey would complain about Syria committing to the mirror image of its own policies is embarrassing.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.