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7/29/15

Turkish attacks on Kurds muddle Obama's Islamic State fight - by Josh Lederman

President Barack Obama's stepped-up partnership with Turkey in fighting the Islamic State may come at the cost of alienating another key group he's counting on for help in the same conflict: the Kurds.

"Knowingly or not, the U.S. is going to end up having to choose between the Turks and the Kurds," said Blaise Misztal, national security director at the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center.

While defending Turkey publicly, the U.S. has been urging Turkey to be "judicious" in its retaliation against the PKK, senior U.S. officials said. But Turkey's air campaign shows few signs of letting up.

Turkish jets hit Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq overnight and the government said strikes would continue until the rebels lay down their arms. White House spokesman Eric Schultz called Wednesday for "a return to the peaceful solution process," but Turkey's prime minister shot down that prospect until the PKK withdraws its armed fighters from Turkey.
 
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