Powder Kegs Exploding: Violence Escalates In Turkey, Yemen As Mid-East Tips Towards Chaos

On Friday we checked in on two of the world’s most important conflicts: 1) that which is unfolding in Turkey where President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has effectively granted Washington access to Incirlik (you know, for “anti-terror” sorties) in exchange for NATO’s acquiescence to a brutal crackdown on the Kurds as AKP looks to usurp Turkey’s fragile deomcracy, and 2) that which is unfolding in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting to restore the government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

In Turkey, Erdogan has successfully undermined the coalition building process necessitating new elections in November when he hopes the escalation of violence across the country will prompt voters to restore AKP’s parliamentary majority allowing the President to rewrite the constitution and consolidate his power. Journalists are being arrested, a terror “tip line” has been set up, a 24-hour Erodgan Presidential TV channel is in the works, and the country has, for all intents and purposes, been plunged into civil war with ISIS acting as a smokescreen for Erdogan’s power grab. 

As for Yemen, the Iran-backed Houthis have been driven back by Saudi and UAE troops but the problem, as WSJ noted last week, is that the ragtag militia in Aden is “a motley group that spans the spectrum from southern secessionists to ultraconservative Salafi Islamists to supporters of al Qaeda.” In other words, it doesn’t seem all that far-fetched to suggest that should restoring Hadi ultimately prove to be impossible, an independent South Yemen could end up falling into the hands of extremists, which would be ironic not only for the fact that it would represent the latest example of US foreign policy gone horribly awry, but also because according to at least one source, the Saleh government – whose fighters are now allied with the Houthis – for years worked with AQP while accepting US anti-terror funding. Notably, were Yemen to split in two, it would also effectively create a permanent Iranian colony on Saudi Arabia’s southern border.

In the two days since we detailed the latest on the two conflicts, both situations have deteriorated meaningfully. In Turkey, roadside bombs killed several Turkish soldiers on Sunday prompting a swift response from Ankara. Here’s more from Rudaw:

Several Turkish soldiers were killed or wounded Sunday by roadside bombs blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey’s Kurdish southeast, the official Anadolu Agency reported.

It said the Turkish air force had launched air raids on PKK targets in the country’s Kurdish southeast following the attack. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the private ATV channel that the war on terror would be waged “with much greater determination” since the attack.

Yes, “much greater determination”, which means more violence and more crackdowns on the media and anyone deemed to be a PKK sympathizer. Case in point, from AFP:

Supporters of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Sunday stormed the headquarters of the Hurriyet newspaper in Istanbul after accusing the daily of misquoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the publication said.

A group of 150 people chanting slogans supporting the AKP pelted the offices of Hurriyet in Istanbul’s Bagcilar district with rocks, knocking out windows and the front door.

Full article: Powder Kegs Exploding: Violence Escalates In Turkey, Yemen As Mid-East Tips Towards Chaos (Zero Hedge)

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