Monday, February 13, 2017

Turkey in Syria Fighting ISIS

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Turkey has begun their part in a ground operation to destroy ISIS. Over the weekend Turkish forces crossed over into Syria on their way to liberate the Syrian city of al Bab from ISIS.

The operation was confirmed by Turkish President Erdogan before he departed on a regional trip visiting Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.

Al Bab is about 13 miles over the Turkish border, so it was not too difficult logistically for Turkish forces to get to. But their next stop is Raqa which is 110 miles from al Bab.
Raqa is the capital of ISIS and is its nerve center.

Erdogan said that the objective is to liberate 5000 sq km (about 3000 sq miles) from ISIS. He actually used the word "cleanse" not liberate. He also made it clear that Turkey will not stay in Syria.

This is a major change in the Turkish game plan. Erdogan and Trump spoke earlier in the week and this must have been part of the plan they discussed. Turkey is a very important asset in the battle to defeat ISIS. 

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