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ISIS, the Kurds and Turkey: A Messy Triangle

KEYWORDS: TURKEY, SYRIA, ISIS, KOBANI, KURDS

WHEN: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 5:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. ET

WHERE: Bipartisan Policy Center, 1225 Eye St. NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC, 20005

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As the United States seeks allies to take on the terrorist group now calling itself the Islamic State (commonly referred to as ISIS or ISIL), the Kurds—particularly in Syria—have been on the front lines for the better part of two years. Now, ISIS is engaged in a brutal campaign against the Kurdish town of Kobani, in northern Syria. But Turkey, which is reluctantly moving toward supporting the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS, has tried to block Syrian Kurdish refugees escaping ISIS from entering Turkey and fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party from crossing into Syria to join the fight for Kobani.

BPC hosted a discussion of the latest developments in this conflict and the complicated relations between ISIS, the Kurds and Turkey. We examined the role that the Kurds and Turkey might be able to play in confronting ISIS and what U.S. policy towards each of these group should be.As the United States seeks allies to take on the terrorist group now calling itself the Islamic State (commonly referred to as ISIS or ISIL), the Kurds—particularly in Syria—have been on the front lines for the better part of two years. Now, ISIS is engaged in a brutal campaign against the Kurdish town of Kobani, in northern Syria.

Follow the discussion on Twitter @BPC_Bipartisan #BPClive.


Ambassador Eric Edelman
Co-chair, BPC’s Turkey Initiative
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey

Dr. Henri Barkey
BPC’s Turkey Initiative Member
Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Professor of International Relations, Lehigh University

Moderated by:

Blaise Misztal
Director, BPC’s Foreign Policy Project