By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Turkey has thrown down the gauntlet with the US. Yes - with the United States of America!!!
Turkey has almost no allies anymore. The United States has been a strong friend of Turkey for the past 60 years. But Turkey has chosen to give the US an ultimatum - it is accept our ultimatum, or else.
The US must abandon the Kurdish fighters in Syria or lose Turkey as an ally.
The idea that Turkey would even think of saying this publicly, that they would call in the US ambassador to Turkey and issue the ultimatum is just mind boggling. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and even Iran have all deserted Turkey and are no longer their allies.
The United States used to refer to Turkey as their "most reliable ally in the region." No more.
The Kurds of Syria are the only true fighting force that has had any real success against ISIS. The raid at Tishrin, for example, was a joint operation that was successful only because of the Kurds who were the foundation of the raid.
But the Democratic Union, aka the PYD in Syria, is an outgrowth of the Kurdish Workers Party - the
PKK. And the PKK has been at war with Turkey since 1984.
Turkey has used the cover of ISIS to strike at the Kurds and the Kurds have hit back at Turkey.
The United States cannot abandon the Kurdish PYD. That would mean cutting off and abandoning their only reliable set of trained and vetted fighters on the ground in the region. These Kurds are great fighters. They are fighting for their land, for their families and for their lives. If they lose to ISIS they will lose everything - including their heads.
These Kurds will not run away like Iraqi soldiers or Syrian Sunnis did. They are motivated to fight. The United States needs them.
Turkey is over playing their hand. They have not even offered all that much in the first place.
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