Finally it has happened. Finally Erdogan has pushed the envelope so far that Washington not only stood its ground but pounded his assets into minced meat. As we reported this Saturday ISIS militants made a push for for the Kurdish held town of Tel Abyad on the Syrian-Turkish border from Turkish territory.
In other words Erdogan had staged its own Bay of Pigs style invasion of Syria – but using ISIS as its Cuban exiles. This was too much even for the United States (or at least the Pentagon) which promptly dispatched planes to back the Kurds.
Firstly, we should take a moment to truly comprehend and appreciate the level of Ankara’s cynicism here. Tell Abyad is nearly 100 kilometres away from the nearest ISIS-held crossing on the Syrian-Turkish border at Jarabulus. There is simply no way ISIS could have covered this distance without the cooperation of Turkey. Indeed, if Russians are to be believed Turkey had no intention of even pretending it wasn’t behind the offensive but actually openly backed it with its artillery.
What an insane sight: artillery of NATO member Turkey andISIS suicide car bombers working in tandem to soften up the enemy.
That enemy being the Kurdish-dominated SDF which brings us to our second point; the quick and no nonsense reaction of the US. Erdogan’s frustration with the US refusal to cut ties with the Kurds is understandable. As is his anger at the Kurds’ increasingly sealing the Turkish-Syrian border and reducing his influence on the Syrian war. However, it is unclear what he thought he could accomplish in this instance.
US had been willing to accommodate Erdogan and back off of its support for the Kurds in north-western Syria where there is a hodge-podge of various different factions and where the US is also pursuing its Syria regime change war and looking benevolently on Turkish-backed jihadis who may accomplish that.
However, in the north-eastern Syria, where ISIS and the Kurds are the only game in town, the US support for Kurdish militiamen has always been absolute. YPG captured Tell Abyad in 2014 with US air cover in the first place. Turkey may have its red lines in the west, but here it’s the US which draws its own red lines – Erdogan crossed one and his proxies paid the price.
As a final point, where is the western mainstream media on this? President of NATO member Turkey has just organized his own merry little troupe of ISIS head choppers and sent them to invade a neighboring state from his territory.
None of this is in dispute or controversial – it’s western reporting which is saying the invasion force was ISIS and struck from Turkey. So then where is the outrage? Where are the condemnations? Where are the calls for Turkey to finally be brought into line?
Or is that only reserved for Russia?