The Kurds are the 'ideal scapegoat for both Turkey and Iran'

© Baderkhan Ahmad, AP

Turkey began a fresh offensive against Kurdish groups in Syria on Sunday amid a concurrent air campaign against Iraqi Kurdistan launched by the troubled Iranian regime – embattling Kurds on both sides of their border-spanning homeland.

Turkey launched what it called “Operation Sword-Claw” on November 20, bombing Kurdish groups in Syria. Over recent days, Ankara struck several more targets in Kurdish-controlled parts of Syria as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also threatened to launch a ground offensive in the country sometime “soon”.

Turkey says Kurdish fighters from the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and Syria-based YPG (People’s Protection Units) were responsible for a deadly attack in Istanbul on November 13 (Kurdish groups have denied the accusations). Ankara appears to have its eye on the symbolic city of Kobane in northern Syria, which Kurdish forces seized from Islamic State group jihadists in 2015.

Iran is, meanwhile, bombing Iraqi Kurdistan – accusing Kurdish movements of fomenting the wave of nationwide protests that have shaken the regime since Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman, died in the custody of the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” on September 13.

The Kurds are coming under attack from both Turkey in Syria and from Iran in northern Iraq. Have the two countries coordinated their offensives?

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