Kurds, Not ISIS, Are Turkey’s Real Target in Syria Invasion

Kurds, Not ISIS, Are Turkey’s Real Target in Syria Invasion | Turkish PM: Operation to continue until Kurds driven across Euphrates

Nominally, Turkey’s invasion of Syria earlier today centered on the border town of Jarabulus, held by ISIS. This town was taken almost immediately and with little effort, and the indications are that’s more or less the end of Turkey’s beef with ISIS for the time being.

The invasion isn’t ending, however, rather it is now focusing on its real target, the Syrian Kurds, with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim openly confirming that the military operation will continue until the Kurdish YPG is forced to abandon its territory on the west bank of the Euphrates River.

This primarily means the city of Manbij, which the Kurds seized with major US backing over the course of a two-month battle with ISIS. Turkish officials claimed the US promised them the Kurds wouldn’t stay, and now seem to be prepared to enforce that militarily.

Kurdish officials are complaining Turkey’s operation amounts to “blatant aggression,” which doesn’t appear to be in serious doubt. The YPG insisted it was up to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to decide if they will abandon Manbij. The YPG, of course, is the vast, vast majority of SDF leadership and forces, meaning it really is up to them.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Bianca

    Of course! What else.

  • wehaveseenthisb4

    Are abandoning the Kurds again? When will we force them into the waiting arms of the Rooskies?

    • As a life long Russophile and PKK supporter, I’ve been asking that same damn question for years. My best guess is that the Kurds suffer from a kind of abusive spouse syndrome. No matter how many f**king times lover-boy breaks their jaw, they still think that this time is the time he’s finally gonna change. It’s depressing and maddening.

  • I find it telling that for the first time when confronted by an armed invasion ISIS chose to run like rabbits without firing a shot. It’s almost as if they were holding Jarabulus for their old buddies in the Turkish Army.

  • eric

    Russia seems to be the only one telling the truth about who they are fighting