Turkey‘s leading paper, Hurriyet, cites President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declaring that Turkey will “do what is necessary” to prevent U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish militants from declaring autonomy in the town of Tel Abyad near the Turkish border, including conducting further military operations.
Turkey is an important member of NATO with the largest army, yet now Turkey could see herself on collision course with US policy. I’m struggling to follow who’s supporting whom. But I believe that Turkey is allied with Saudi Arabia in wanting President Asssad removed. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran are giving Assad support and helping challenge ISIS. The Western solution seems to be to break Syria into three self-governing parts including a Kurdish region – Turkey will oppose greater Kurdish autonomy.
Since President Putin has intervened in Syria and caught President Obama on the back foot, US policy has been changing at a knee-jerk speed. Even a NYT editorial has questioned the legality of a US escalation and the clarity of the endgame.
America needs a strong leader right now and I worry what Obama will do next.