The sometimes strained relationship between The United States and Turkey took another hit as Turkish media revealed ten U.S. outposts and bases in Syria. Anadolu news agency reported that the United States was increasing its presence in Syria; specifically, the “terrorist PKK/PYD held Syrian territories.” By revealing the location and relative number of U.S. troops in Syria, Turkish media has put American lives at risk. How will President Trump respond?
Liberty Nation previously discussed Turkey’s consistent criticism of the United States’ support of the Kurdish YPG, but this is a new low. Despite the United States’ insistence that the YPG (the Kurdish militia the U.S. currently supports in Syria) is not a terrorist group, Turkey considers the YPG to be the same organization, or at best an offshoot, of the PKK. The PKK, a Kurdish group identified as a terrorist organization, engages in an insurgency against Turkey that began in the 1980s.
The Anadolu report not only reveals the locations of ten military outposts and installations, but it provides the relative number of U.S. troops (specifically Special Forces) in the area. This is unacceptable. Anadolu isn’t some rogue news organization within Turkey; it is a state-run media source. Essentially, the Turkish government authorized this information’s release. President Trump has made efforts to establish good diplomatic relations with Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. How will this move affect that connection? As Liberty Nation’s Jeff Charles reports, President Erdogan has his own seemingly nefarious plans for the west.
Turkey is a vital ally in the War on Terror that allows the United States to conduct staging operations within the country and, while after their own agenda, supports the U.S. Coalition in Syria (sort of). The relationship between our two nations has a strong history, but our support of the Kurds in Syria and Iraq strains the bond.
Turkey’s long-standing fight against Kurdish nationalists has proven a major sticking point in our cooperation in Syria. Turkish supported Free Syrian Army (FSA) has launched attacks against the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), comprised mostly of Kurdish YPG fighters.
This further demonstrates just how complicated Syria has become. Assad’s forces are fighting the rebels, but they’re also fighting ISIS. The rebels are fighting Assad, ISIS, and each other. Turkey, Russia, and the United States are all allies at best and “frenemies” at worst, yet they each support opposing factions in Syria. All want to defeat ISIS, but each has a different vision for Syria’s future. Turkey acted on their vision this time by undermining ours. With friends like these, who needs enemies?