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Erdogan plays 'Arab card' in Kobani

Bent on not leaving Kobani to the Kurds, Turkish President Erdogan starts a debate on the city’s name, ready to give credence even to Arabization policies of the Syrian regime.
A convoy of Kurdish peshmerga fighters drive through Arbil after leaving a base in northern Iraq, on their way to the Syrian town of Kobani ,October 28, 2014. Iraqi peshmerga fighters left Iraq for the besieged Syrian town of Kobani on Tuesday to help fellow Kurds in their battle against Islamic State militants, a senior Kurdish official said. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT) - RTR4BWKZ

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements about the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani, under a weeks-long siege by the Islamic State (IS), may have been mind-boggling but they all have the same objective: to sideline the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Rojava’s main political actor, and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG). For Erdogan, both are terrorist groups and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Over the last two years, Erdogan has tried to use the “Kurds versus Kurds” card in Rojava, seeking to bring the Iraqi Kurdistan leadership into play in the region. In the past few weeks, he has given the green light to Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga to cross to Rojava via Turkey, after which he made two intriguing statements.

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