Busy day in Turkey

Turkey is dealing with the aftermath of a series of attacks in the southeastern part of the country and in Istanbul. Şırnak Province, in the southeast, saw two separate attacks by the Kurdish PKK that killed at least 5 Turkish security officers. In one attack, PKK fighters targeted a Turkish military helicopter with rockets, killing one soldier, and in a separate attack in the same province, a PKK roadside bomb killed 4 Turkish police officers. Yet another presumably PKK attack against a police HQ in Lice, in Diyarbakır Province, may also have caused casualties but there doesn’t seem to be any word on those yet, with a couple more attackers and another police officer killed in subsequent fighting.

In Istanbul, two women affiliated with the leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army Front (DHKP-C) attacked the US consulate. One Turkish police officer was killed and one of the attackers was wounded and captured. Also, a car bomb (presumably also a product of DHKP-C) in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district injured 10 and killed one of the perpetrators.

The ongoing PKK-Turkey violence shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the DHKP-C attack in Istanbul is a lovely new developing in Turkey’s ongoing internal security crisis. The Leninist DHKP-C is anti-US at its core (they’re perhaps best-known for attacking the US embassy in Ankara in 2013), so it’s not like they need an excuse to take shots at the US consulate, but they may have been agitated by this:

The United States sent six F-16 jets and about 300 personnel to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Sunday, the U.S. military said, after Ankara agreed last month to allow American planes to launch air strikes against Islamic State militants from there.

The Pentagon said in a statement the “small detachment” is from the 31st Fighter Wing based at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Support equipment was also sent but no details were provided.

Kurdish and leftist interests broadly align in Turkish politics, so it’s also possible that the DHKP-C attacks and the PKK attacks have the same motivation. Certainly both the PKK and DHKP-C have been a target for Turkish repression in the past.

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