Kurdish party chief dismisses Turkey anti-ISIS airstrikes as a ‘show’

AFP reports: The co-leader of Turkey’s main Kurdish party on Thursday dismissed air strikes and police raids by Ankara against Islamic State (IS) jihadists as a “show”, saying their real target was Kurdish militants.

In an interview with Agence France-Presse, Selahattin Demirtas of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said the peace process between Turkey and Kurdish militants was now “in deep crisis” due to the offensive by Ankara against the separatist rebels but insisted it should not be written off.

Turkey has launched a two-pronged offensive against IS jihadists and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants but the strikes against the Kurdish rebels have been far the more frequent and intense.

Demirtas accused the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using strikes against IS as “cover” for its main goal of striking the PKK and weakening the HDP’s major electoral gains.

“A few air raids were launched by Turkey against IS targets for show only and it is over,” he said.

“So-called IS suspects were detained with a few operations for show and most of them were released,” he said.

According to figures from the Turkish government, around one tenth of those arrested in raids against suspected militants were IS-linked and the rest largely Kurdish. [Continue reading…]

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