Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
• The Turks have launched a ‘decisive’ military campaign against the Kurds in southeastern Turkey, forcing some 200,000 people to flee their homes so far as the government goes after the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). This will create further instability in Turkey and weaken the fighting forces trying to push back the Islamic State in northern Syria. This fight with the PKK will be protracted, and there will be no clear winner, but plenty of losers.
• And, keeping to form, Turkey’s military foray into Iraq is being met with high-level unrest, with some 4,000 Iraqis protesting this week in Baghdad and oil-rich Basra, calling on Turkish troops to be removed from their positions around Mosul in northern Iraq. We’ll see how long the Turks can hold onto their theory that ISIS is part of their pathway to a new Ottoman Empire after IS launched an attack on Mosul that took out four Turkish troops along with seven Kurdish Peshmerga forces last Wednesday.
• The European Union is—at the time of writing—meeting to decide whether to extend sanctions against Russia for another six months. Countries that may block this extension include Hungary, Cyprus, Greece and Italy.
• As the geopolitical playing ground heats up, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India have broken ground on the $10-billion TAPI pipeline—a 1,735-kilometer pipeline that will carry 33 billion…