Syria is a messy country. Just ask anyone involved. The recent conflict or fight goes back to 2011 with the formation of the Free Syrian Army. The U.S. pretty much stayed out of it, until they found Syria using chemical weapons. Of course, back in 2013, Obama was in charge, so there were only harsh words used agains Assad. Since Trump became President, he’s all action. Trump sent in 59 Tomahawks to send a clear message that the U.S. is not going to put up with Assad’s chemical weapons. So even though Turkey and the U.S. were once allies, it’s just not that clear any more.
The U.S. had built a close relationship with the Kurds in Syria. We also have had a strong relationship with Turkey over the past years. As I said before, it is one big mess in Syria. To understand the mess of the Syrian War, you realy have to go back in time and understand who is fighting who and why? Here’s a short clip to help:
Recently to act as a “buffer” the U.S. sent troops to the border of Syria/Turkey and flew our flags on the tanks, hoping we would deter Turkey from shooting the Kurds we are supporting to fight against ISIS, who Turkey claims is also part of a fraction or group they are fighting against in Turkey. Pretty confusing right?!
Things were going fine, until these guys showed up!
H/T Conservative Tribune:
One of our own allies struck United States-backed forces in Syria with its force last week, resulting in “a significant number” of casualties — and possibly putting the safety of our own forces in jeopardy, as well.
These Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) fighters have been “integral in fighting ISIS,” according to Air Force Col. John Dorrian, the spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, who spoke to reporters after the Turkish attack.
What’s worse, from an American standpoint, is that there were United States forces not far from where the strike took place.
“We had forces within six miles of the strikes,” Dorian said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Those United States forces were informed of the impending strike from our so-called allies “less than an hour” before the strike took place, according to the Washington Examiner — far less time than is reasonable to expect in order to ensure our forces were at a safe distance.
In response, according to The Daily Caller, the U.S. military redeployed a number of armored vehicles closer to Turkey’s border with Syria, hoping that having allied units in the region would prevent further airstrikes.
Ilnur Cevik, a senior political adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that if the Kurds and American forces continue to work together, well, they can’t be responsible for what happens.
“We won’t be considering the fact that there are armored American vehicles… All of a sudden, by accident, a few rockets can hit them,” Cevik said in a radio interview according to The Cable.
“It was an unsafe way to conduct operations,” Dorrian said. “It’s a very complex battlefield here. And we just want to make sure that coordination is done so that we can get these things right and prevent the types of incidents that we saw here, which included the killing of Peshmerga soldiers …”
Even worse than that was the subtle threat a Turkish government official made against the United States and its forces if they continue to assist the Kurds. It sounded like the kind of veiled threat a James Bond villain would make. Seriously.
Nothing would be more disastrous for the US than a war between Turkey and the YPG while ISIS gets breathing space to carry out attacks as it did on Tuesday.
Turkey will continue to challenge US policy in Syria in the coming months and try to find allies in Washington who will listen to its point of view. Turkey views a permanent US presence in northeastern Syria as highly problematic and a provocation against its sphere of influence. At the same time, the US must decide if its relationship with the Kurds in Syria is merely one of convenience – until ISIS is defeated – or if it will build on it in the coming years.
Last month, about 200 Marines rolled into northern Syria backed with howitzers, significantly widening America’s footprint in a highly toxic battlefield. The Marines’ deployment came days after another intervention, when dozens of army troops drove outside the town of Manbij, riding Stryker armored vehicles, following an earlier conflagration of fighting between Syrian Kurdish troops and Turkish troops. The U.S. deployment in Manbij intentionally put Americans in the middle of that rivalry, hoping to cool it down.
The US Stryker armored fighting vehicles appeared seemingly out of nowhere in Syria and descended onto the Kurdish-held town of Manbij. Their arrival was anything but inconspicuous, as the convoy of multiple Strykers, in various configurations, along with tricked-out Humvees rolled across the Euphrates river in broad daylight, with giant American flags whipping in the air above them.
That’s right! This was another statement. After two years of the US having a low-profile, the US now seems to be a “show of force.”
So now, it seems to be about whether there could be in turn a standoff between US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces which are dominated by Kurdish fighters aligned with the PKK—Turkey’s bitter enemy—and Turkish-backed forces that have sacked the city of al Bab to the west. Turkey has since said made it clear that they are ready to push east toward the ISIS stronghold of al Raqqa. The problem is that Turkey has stated that all Kurdish forces need to retreat east of the Euphrates River as this was one of the key goals of Operation Euphrates Shield.
So basically America’s flag-waving increase in visibility seems to serve a couple purposes. First, it tells Turkish, Syrian and Russian forces that Americans are operating openly in the strategically located city and they have shown that ISIS has been neutralized in the area. Therefore, any attack on Kurdish or US forces by Turkish, Syrian or Russian-backed forces could not be “confused” for one against ISIS.
The operation also is a warning to Turkey, that any move against the town could not only endanger US forces, but it would see two NATO allies pitted against one another.
Only time will tell, what the results will bring. Let’s hope for “peace through strength.” We need Turkey and Syria to assist the US with taking out ISIS. But, as I said, the Syrian war is one big mess.
H/T The Warzone
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