09 May 2017

Well, This Is a Fine F%$# You to Erdoğan

The US has decidedly to supply arms directly to Kurdish fighters in Syria:
President Trump has approved a plan to directly arm Kurdish forces fighting in Syria, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, inflaming already strained ties with Turkey and putting the U.S. military a step closer to seizing a remaining Islamic State stronghold.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said the president made the decision Monday, describing the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a diverse group dominated by Kurdish fighters, as “the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqa in the near future.” For more than a year, the U.S. military has been advancing plans to capture Raqqa, the Syrian city that is the Islamic State’s de facto capital, as the final major step in its nearly three-year effort to defeat the militant group.

“We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” White said in a statement. “We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S. is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.”


Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is considered a terrorist group by both Turkey and the United States.
Since Turkey is perhaps the 2nd worst external actor in Syria, after the House of Saud, so the fact that their agenda is going pear shaped is a good thing.

It's fairly clear that Erdoğan is using the conflict with ISIS to reinforce his authoritarian rule, and it appears highly likely that he is intent on creating some sort of Turkish zone of influence akin to the Ottoman empire.

That reality is disabusing Erdoğan of his delusions is a good thing.


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