17:39 GMT29 March 2020
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    Turkey's military operation against its Kurdish population in the town of Cizre, together with Erdogan's increasing ego could push NATO into a war with Russia as the Syrian conflict's scope expands.

    Turkey, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, remains one of Europe's biggest problems amid the ongoing migrant crisis, and with players in the Middle East combating the terrorist group Daesh, according to journalist Michael Goldfarb, writing for Politico.

    Goldfarb focuses primarily on Turkey's assault on the predominantly Kurdish town of Cizre, where the government is embroiled in an operation against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militias using tactics that resemble the collective punishment of the population. According to Goldfarb, turning a blind eye to this, and bigger trends such as Turkey's shootdown of the Russian plane in November, could push NATO into a war with Russia.

    "Why are EU leaders tolerating the Turkish government going to war against the one group that has been successful at fighting ISIL on the ground?" Goldfarb wrote, referring to Turkey's operations against Kurds.

    "It’s like the state has declared war on the people of Cizre," a local civil servant told the BBC World Service in December.

    According to Goldfarb, this, together with Erdogan's heavy-handedness and increasing authoritarianism "will add to the instability and danger created by the Syria/ISIL crisis."

    This, together with his attacks on Russia and invasion of Iraqi territory could also create risks for NATO, and the Syrian conflict's expansion across the region.

    Tags:
    NATO, armed conflict, Kurds, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Cizre, Turkey, Syria
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