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Turkey’s Sinjar strikes carry stern messages to Tehran, Baghdad

As the United States braces to withdraw its combat forces from Iraq, the country’s Kurdistan Region is emerging as the scene of a mounting struggle for control between Turkey and Iran.
A Turkish military truck patrols next to a Turkish flag hoisted at the border with Syria on Aug. 14, 2019, in Akcakale, in Sanliurfa, southeastern Turkey.
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Turkey’s back-to-back air raids in Iraq’s Yazidi region of Sinjar this week resonate as stern messages to Tehran and Baghdad as the Turkish-Iranian rivalry appears to escalate on Iraqi territory, increasingly drawing in the Iraqi Kurds.

The two deadly strikes, which came ahead of a planned regional summit in Baghdad, targeted the Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS), a Yazidi militia created after the Islamic State’s (IS) brutal onslaught on Sinjar in 2014 with the help of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the armed outfit that has long fought Ankara and is designated as a terrorist group.

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