Intriguing Peace Feeler from Turkey’s “PKK” Kurdish Movement

by Helena Cobban On July 3, the Washington Post carried an intriguing op-ed from Cemil Bayik, whom it identified as “one of the five founders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK.)” The PKK is a militant movement of ethnic Kurds… Continue Reading  

Global Power Shifts Sparked in Syrian Hornets’ Nest

by Helena Cobban This week, Mideast watchers have been breathlessly awaiting the arrival in NATO member Turkey of the first of the two batteries of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan purchased from Russia in… Continue Reading  

Game Over in Rojava?

by Walter Posch Donald Trump’s decision to order U.S. troops to leave Syria comes as a surprise. A year ago, experts would have counted the days until the Pentagon quit its unnatural alliance with the Syrian branch of the PKK—a… Continue Reading  

Talking with an Unrepentant ISIS Fighter

by Giorgio Cafiero Situated at the Turkish-Syrian border’s intersection with the Mediterranean, Turkey’s southernmost Hatay Province has been highly vulnerable to spillover effects from Syria’s raging war. That’s been a function not only of geography and refugee waves, but also… Continue Reading  

Conversations with an Ex-Soldier of the Islamic State

by Giorgio Cafiero During May and June 2018, I met an incarcerated ex-fighter for the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) from North Africa in a Turkish “deportation center.” He had fought in major battles in Syria and Iraq beginning in… Continue Reading