The US Syrian policy forces Ankara to walk a fine line between ISIS, Assad’s regime, Kurds, the US and its own interest. We will not rule out that Erdoğan could declare a state of emergency and postpone new elections. Whatever the result of the power struggle in Ankara may be, Turkey’s military will not accept a YPG/PKK in Syria armed to the teeth by the US.
From the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkey and the US supported the insurgency against Assad. Turkey formed a safe haven and provided weapons to groups that later evolved into ISIS. The US started to organize “Friends of Syria” conferences to support the insurgency in Syria. At these conferences, not only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lectured Putin on Middle East policy, but money was also collected for the Jihadists now known as ISIS.
Security analysts who are not blinded by US and European propaganda already noticed that the Kurds were a hurdle in the chosen strategy. The Kurds did not side with the FSA and the “Friends of Syria” show. They engaged in deadly clashes with the US-Turkey backed Jihadists. Kurdish leaders were already slaughtered by the FSA in 2012. The so called “Friends of Syria” conference in Cairo ended in a brawl between Kurds and Jihadists.
During this period, the relation between Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Northern Iraq, improved dramatically. Former BP CEO Tony Hayward visited Erbil and advised the KRG to build a direct oil pipeline to Turkey, bypassing Iraq’s pipes, enabling the Kurds to export Kurdish oil directly via Turkish port of Ceyhan. The good business relation between Barzani, the prime minister of the KRG and Erdoğan’s government limited the freedom for the PKK to operate from Northern Iraq.
Under Assad, the PKK had no opportunity to operate from Syria. In 1998, Turkey threatened to invade Syria as a result of the PKK’s staged attacks from Kurdish Syrian areas. Since then, Damascus reined in the Kurds and stopped the PKK operating from Syria, preventing further escalation between Ankara and Damascus.
Assad had (and still has) little power to retaliate against the US-Turkey support for the Jihadist insurgents against his regime. Assad understood that the Kurds in Syria could spoil the fragile Kurdish peace process in Turkey. In 2012 he granted the Kurds in Syria autonomy to retaliate against Turkey. Back then he could not foresee how great this move was, thanks to the rogue and unreliable US policy in the Middle East. Continue reading