As this article suggests, Iran’s support for Shi’a groups in the region has deepened since the Arab Spring. There are signs that it is starting to reach out to its Sunni neighbors in an effort to re-balance its foreign policy. This is in part a function of the Rouhani government and also because it is in a strong enough position to seek accommodations on good terms. Nevertheless, it is not clear that the region has settled enough to let this happen. Iran may feel secure enough to compromise at this point, but do its Sunni neighbors?
“…Turkey agreed to join the fight against the Islamic State, it immediately began bombarding the mountain camps of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or P.K.K., an insurgent group in Turkey and Iraq that is allied with the Y.P.G.
The Turkish deal with the United States sets up an “ISIS-free” bombardment zone along a 60-mile strip of the border region that features another exclusion: At Turkey’s request, it is also explicitly a zone free of the Kurdish militia, even though the Kurds had begun advancing toward the area to start battling the Islamic State there.
Despite cooperating with American forces for months, the Syrian Kurds are now starting to worry that their success might not outweigh Turkey’s importance to the United States.
“There is only one group that has consistently and effectively battled ISIS in Syria, and that is the Y.P.G.,” said Redur Khalil, a spokesman for the militia who says it has grown to include 35,000 soldiers, about 11 years after its start as a self-defense force in a single town. “Opening another front in the region — as Turkey has by attacking the P.K.K. — will make the forces fighting ISIS weaker,” Mr. Khalil said. “Which in turn makes ISIS stronger.”