As usual the PKK terrorist organization is playing a dirty game in Northern Iraq, which should be an eye opener for the administration in Ankara.
The PKK is trying to turn the Kurdish public opinion in Northern Iraq against Turkey. Turkey has to be extremely cautious as PKK militants are actually setting up traps that are inviting Turkish military intervention.
One example is how the PKK uses Kurdish villages in Northern Iraq as bait. PKK militants start grouping around a village with the pretense of holding a meeting or some other activity and then this information is being leaked purposefully that of course attracts the attention of Turkish intelligence. The information is relayed to the Turkish command, which dispatches the jet fighters to the area to bomb the environs of the village. PKK militants then flee the area leaving the villages to face the aerial attack. In some instances like this, some casualties have been reported in the villages. Then the PKK uses this as propaganda that Turks are bombing civilians.
This in turn creates anger and concern among the Kurds of Northern Iraq who condemn Turkey especially in the Sulaymaniyah area controlled by the people of Jalal Talabani and the Goran movement of Nourshirvan Mustafa. It is also creating difficulties for the Barzani administration.
We are told by sources in Northern Iraq that while the Turkish airstrikes are creating relatively fewer PKK casualties compared to the blows the PKK is receiving inside Turkey, the attacks have served to limit the free movement of the terrorists in the Qandil Mountains. PKK terrorists have been demoralized and their movements have been curbed due to the attacks. They can no longer move in large groups and can only be seen in pairs.
The PKK has also established close ties with some Iranian elements and is serving their cause. The PKK, which claims to be a Kurdish nationalist entity, is in fact helping Iran against Kurdish dissidents inside Iran. Currently the Kurds of Iran especially in areas close to the Iraqi border have reportedly revolted and Kurdish militant groups close to Masoud Barzani called the Kurdistan Democratic Movement (HDK) are fighting Iranian forces and inflicting heavy blows on them especially in the Mahabad villages. A year ago there was an uprising in the area when a Kurdish girl under custody threw herself from an apartment and the Kurds of the region revolted. At the time the HDK tried to send forces into Iran, which were stopped by the PKK militants. So much for Kurdish solidarity. That incident created deep resentment among Iranian Kurds against the PKK. This time the PKK tried to help Iran but failed and the HDK has managed to report successes against Iranian forces.
So the PKK, which talks about Kurdish unity, is in fact cooperating with the Iranians at the expense of Iranian Kurds.
Turkey has to carefully monitor these developments and start reading the picture in Northern Iraq with a long term perspective, which means reuniting the Turkmens, establishing delicate balances between Sunni and Shiite Turkmens, establish better relations with Goran and Talabani's people, continue to help Barzani and put special emphasis on the Kirkuk issue.