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The situation deserves a closer look because the events on Monday transcended domestic Turkish issues. In fact, they reflected the convergence of at least five important new trends in the Middle East that touch on Turkey, the Kurds, Syria and Iraq, ISIS, and the Mideast policies of the U.S. and other foreign and regional powers. The attacks Monday were carried out by the Marxist Turkish group called the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), both of whom have been battling the Turkish government and security forces for years. The new development that deserves our attention and resonates regionally is the convergence of this internal Turkish-Kurdish battle with the five new factors that have shaped developments in the region: the fragmentation and partial collapse of existing states such as Iraq and Syria, the emergence of a de facto Kurdish area in northern Iraq and Syria, the persistence of the new "Islamic state" that ISIS has created in Syria and Iraq, the muscular regional militarism of local powers such as Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the continued incoherence of American foreign policy in the region.
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