US-Turkey tensions over Iraq deaths; Erdogan vows to expand operations in northern Iraq
US-Turkey tensions flared following the death of 13 Turkish soldiers, police, and civilians who perished during a Turkish offensive against PKK Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the US State Department’s initial condemnation of the deaths, before Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a swift clarification during a call with Foreign Minister Cavusoglu on Monday. The death toll, and the manner in which the men were killed, has also impacted Turkish domestic politics. Meanwhile, Erdogan vowed to expand cross-border operations against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.
Dr Aykan Erdemir, the Director of the Turkey Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former Turkish lawmaker, joins us to analyze these developments.