Turkey launched airstrikes against Kurdistan Workers’ Party targets in northern Iraq, hours after Ankara faced its second deadly bomb attack in recent weeks (Hurriyet). Sunday’s blast struck the city center, killing thirty-seven people and wounding 127 more, according to Turkey’s health minister. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Turkish security officials said one of the two suspected perpetrators was afemale member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Reuters). Following the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that “terrorism will be brought to its knees” (BBC).
“Ankara’s ill-executed Syria policy and obsession with ousting the Assad regime has exposed Turkey to great risks. The question, unfortunately, is not if there will be a terror attack again, but when the next attack will be,” says expert Soner Cagaptay in an interview with the Financial Times.
“With the signing of the cease-fire between rebels and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the halt to the Russian and American assaults, Turkey had also refrained from attacking Kurdish bases in Syria. The concern now is that following Sunday’s terrorist attack in Ankara, Turkey would decide to resume its offensive in Syria, which could in turn lead to a collapse of the cease-fire just around the time when on Monday the international negotiating conference on the situation in Syria is again convening in Geneva,” writes Zvi Bar’el for Haaretz.
“Abdulkadir Selvi, a prominent pro-government journalist, said on television Turkey would have to ‘become used to live with terror for a while.’ But critics say Turkey’s leaders are unable to protect ordinary citizens. ‘This inept government that fails to secure the well-being of the people must resign immediately,’ columnist Yavuz Baydar wrote in the Ozgur Dusunce newspaper. The U.S. embassy in Ankara warned of an impending attack only two days before the suicide bombers struck on Sunday, but Turkish security agencies were unable to prevent the carnage,” writes Thomas Seibert for the Daily Beast.
CFR-Daily News Brief