Turkey’s cross-border operation into Iraq was not its first and speculation was rife that a new offensive was on the cards again.
The latest attack on it troops has, indeed, sparked a ferocious fightback by Ankara, supported by its NATO allies, who have condemned the PKK violence.
Euronews asked two analysts to give their insight into the situation.
Prof. Dr Mahir Kaynak, Former head of Turkish Intelligence:
“First of all, it is wrong to describe this as a terror attack because the goal of a terror attack is to harass and to give a message. This attack is more than a message. This is a military operation. They attacked our armed forces. Their actions are more like those of a military unit.
“I don’t understand why they are attacking now. …it has acutally opened the way for Turkey to organise a military operation in the region.
“NATO and the EU have declared that Turkey can move freely to defend itself from terror attacks and they showed that this action will be supported by the West.
“We must expect a big operation. The options are open. The President of the Kurdish Region in Iraq,
Massoud Barzani, has condemned the PKK attack and said nothing negative against the Turkish army.
In the past, he has threatened Turkey by saying northern Iraq would be a graveyard for Turkish soldiers. Now, he has given up this rhetoric. So they will not act against a Turkish operation.”
For another analyst, the PKK attacks had a precise aim – to ruin the normalisation process undertaken by Turkey.
Mesut Ulker, strategist:
“First of all, the attack came, symbolically, on the second anniversary of the day when PKK militants crossed into Turkey at Habur. But the main reason for this timing is that Turkey has reached a good stage in the fight against terror and in its democratisation process. There is a political consensus about making a new constitution in parliament by political negotiation. I think this attack aims to interrupt that positive line.”