Daily Memo: Kurds, Oil in the South China Sea, Russia and North Korea

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GPF Staff |November 8, 2018

Kurdish woes. On Tuesday, the U.S. announced that it had effectively placed bounties on the top three leaders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PPK, a militant political organization Turkey and the U.S. consider a terrorist group. Washington’s objective here is to allay Turkey’s concerns over the U.S. partnership with the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia that Ankara believes is an offshoot of the PKK. The problem is that the YPG has been invaluable to the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Earlier this week, in fact, Kurdish forces (with U.S. air support) killed scores of IS fighters in Deir el-Zour province. The U.S. can’t afford to abandon the partnership just yet; efforts to stamp out Islamic State holdouts have largely stalled, and several governments have warned that the group may soon stage its comeback. But U.S. pressure on the PKK doesn’t appear to be doing much to appease Ankara, which called the bounties overdue but ult

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