Turkey’s deception. Jonathan Spyer explains:
The strikes against Islamic State by the Turkish air force, and the decision to grant the US Air Force permission to use the Incirlik base near Adana constitute a feint.
Ankara’s stated intention of using its air power to create a 90-km. wide area of control between Jarabulus and Marea along the Syrian-Turkish border is directed against the ambitions of the Kurds, not those of Islamic State.
Why, then, has Erdogan decided to move against the Syrian Kurds?
Since January, Kurdish political stock has been steadily rising in the West. …
Read the rest at the link. Here’s Michael Totten:
The Turkish government is finally allowing the United States to use Incirlik Air Base, just 70 miles from the Syrian border, to launch air strikes over ISIS-held territory—but only if American air power is not used to support Kurdish militias.
The United States, at this late date, is not really interested in helping anyone in Syria aside from the Kurds. All other factions fighting ISIS and the bankrupt Assad regime are Sunni Arab Islamists.
The Kurds are the only American option. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will only allow American planes taking off from Incirlik to provide air cover for the so-called Army of Conquest, an Islamist movement backed by the Turks and the Qataris. …
While the details of the proposed zone have not been sorted out between Washington and Ankara, some analysts believe that Turkey’s motive for wanting such an enclave is to ensure that the three Kurdish cantons declared by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) remain territorially separated from one another.
The Turkish aim is to eventually abort the emergence of another autonomous Kurdish entity, similar to the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
“I think the Turkish objective is to make sure there is a wedge so that the Kurds do not control the whole border,” David Pollock, the Kaufman fellow at The Washington Institute, told Rudaw. “I think the United States does not really care about that aspect of it, but it’s willing to accept it as the price for more coordination from Turkey for Incirlik,” he added.
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