Weekend reports of a planned Turkish invasion of Syria, aimed primarily at attacking Kurdish forces there, are now being denied by officials, who say they instead will be building up security along the border in areas the Kurds control.
The rhetoric generally continues, however, with one Turkish newspaper declaring the Kurds in Syria “more dangerous than ISIS,” and officials very publicly taking the US to task for its growing aid to the Kurdish YPG inside Syria, seeing it as a threat to Turkey’s border.
Turkey’s policy in the Syrian Civil War has been informed almost entirely by its desire to weaken Kurdish secessionist movements there. So far, however, that has left the Turkish border with ISIS, al-Qaeda, and a large Kurdish autonomous region where Syria once was.
And while the US and Turkey’s other regional allies see ISIS as the biggest problem right now, Turkey clearly views the Kurds as the biggest deal, and with the US backing those Kurds in hopes of weakening ISIS, they are effectively making the YPG an even stronger faction.
Turkey has gotten itself into another corner with this policy, however, as while they try to sell a “buffer zone” carved out of Syrian Kurdistan for refugees, the reality is that it will weaken the Kurds and by extension take the pressure off ISIS, meaning Turkey will almost certainly be alone in supporting this policy.