Wednesday July 29, 2015
NATO representatives met in Brussels on Tuesday after Turkey made a rare Article 4 request which compels treaty parties to convene in the event a member state is of the opinion that its "territorial integrity, political independence or security" is being threatened.
That’s the case in Turkey, where the security situation has rapidly deteriorated over the past two weeks following a suicide bombing in Suruc (claimed by Islamic State) and the murder of two Turkish policemen in the town of Ceylanpinar (at the hands of the PKK, which claims the officers were cooperating with ISIS). Ankara responded by launching airstrikes against both Islamic State and PKK.
In many ways, the suicide bombing and retaliatory action by the Kurdistan Workers' Party - which both Ankara and the West have designated as a terrorist group - is representative of the complex web of alliances that makes understanding the conflict in Syria so difficult. As The Economist notes, the PKK "have been fighting an on-and-off guerrilla war against the Turkish government for decades," but the group’s Syrian Kurdish militia arm (YPG) has helped the US coordinate airstrikes against ISIS targets near the border town of Kobani.