The slow-burning war pitting militarized Kurdish groups in Iraq against the governments of Turkey and Iran has escalated since mid-August. Most notably, Turkish fighter jets have flown multiple bombing runs on bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
The Turkish bombing campaign, occurring inside northern Iraq, is reportedly being conducted in retaliation for a series of PKK attacks that have left more than two dozen Turkish soldiers dead since the beginning of the summer. Meanwhile, a PKK offshoot known as the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) is engaged in ongoing clashes with Iranian forces, with Iranian officials claiming last week that 30 PJAK members had been killed in fighting near the Iraqi border.
The multifaceted conflict reached new heights of complexity last week when Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government, called on both the PKK and PJAK to stop using northern Iraq as a base for plotting attacks on Turkish and Iranian targets.