As Turkey Enters Syria, US Aims to Keep Them Happy

US Hopes Turkey Will Fight ISIS, But Their Aims Center on Kurds

Turkey’s decision to invade northern Syria earlier this week has put the US in a tricky position. On the one hand, the Turkish forces were attacking an ISIS city, which they like, but then they attacked Kurdish forces in Manbij, who just captured the city recently after a 2+ month US-backed offensive.

The US was already struggling to handle several “pro-US” factions in Syria fighting one another, and Turkey just adds to that. Vice President Joe Biden was in Turkey this week, however, pledging unconditional US support, both for their post-coup purge and for the Syria offensive.

Keeping Turkey placated is now job one for the US in Syria, which is a big shift because until recently they just had to keep them satisfied enough to not risk losing access to the Incirlik Air Base, from which they’d been launching strikes in support of the same Kurds turkey is now there to fight.

Though the US appears to hope that keeping Turkey happy will mean their operation inside Syria will mean they will join the fight against ISIS in earnest, all comments out of Turkey indicate that ISIS is a very secondary objective, and that fighting the Kurds to chase them out of former ISIS territory is job one.

How the US manages that remains to be seen, but it’s hard to see how they’ll be able to keep the Kurdish YPG on board with their coalition even as it becomes increasingly clear that Turkey comes first.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • richard young

    I hate to break the news to the geniuses who run our (US) Government, but there is a little item called the UN Charter which our Government helped draft and was among the first to sign some 70 years ago. Under that ancient (but so far as I know still operative) treaty document, we are bound to refrain from using military force against any other member nation of the UN — not excluding Syria — excepting only in response to an actual or imminent attack by that nation. Syria has never attacked us or even threatened to do so. There is nothing in the UN Charter which remotely authorizes our Government to support the violent overthrow of the Syrian government, which of course our Government (and its NATO ally Turkey) has been doing for the past several years. So our Government is in blatant violation of its treaty obligations under the UN Charter — treaty obligations which our Constitution explicitly denominates “the Supreme Law of the Land.” There is no exception in the UN Charter or in our Constitution for “American exceptionalism.” And yet nobody in any branch of our Government is saying one word about this utterly lawless war of aggression against Syria. So much for The Rule of Law in this sad remnant of our formerly great nation.

    • TEAM USA

      Isn’t it obvious America is trying to get the Russians out of the only base it has in the middle East which is located in Syria…J.K….theyre there to fight those barbarians Sadaam Hussein’s or what started as the disenfranchised Sunni ex-military soldiers of Iraq now known as ISIS….The U.S.A will hunt down terrorists and the networks that support them in any nation NO EXCEPTIONS…thats why they’re there…when people hunt down our citizens and torture them we hunt them down and kill them and if we can help people who are trying to overthrow a Iranian puppet dictator at the same time…why not kill 2 birds with one stone…Now you know

      • eric

        The Barbarians such as Gaddafi , Saddam and other dictators were moderate Muslims they did not allow terrorists in their countries . Now we have to fight the real Muslims The religious Muslims that come from all over the world . The Muslims that win when they die , so they can never be defeated .

        • TEAM USA

          Actually Eric Sadaam Hussein was a Sunni Muslim who’s country was majority Shiites that’s why when he was toppled and elections were held almost all positions of power went to Shiites and the Sunni population became disenfranchised and it led to a civil war inside Iraq ultimately leading to the creation of what we now call ISIS aka Sadaams old Baath party and Sadaams ex Iraqi army now it’s morphed into a global menace recruiting from all over the world…it suxx because Sadaam Hussein was a monster hence the name butcher of Baghdad when the majority Shiites influenced by his neighbor Iran would have an uprising he would slaughter thousands of people at a time…but he kept Iran in check…Moderate Muslims huh Eric….USA

    • eric

      The United states discarded almost all agreed upon laws rules and treaties when they started bombing Yugoslavia about 20 years ago . That is the reason Russia now uses fpr annexing South Ossetia and Crimea . Russia and Yeltsin told us we were breaking the rules .

      • eric

        All the rule breaking by the NAZIs or NATO what ever you want to call them is the reason Solzhenitsyn in stalled Putin to lead his beloved Russia . He wanted a man tough enough to stand up to NATO , NAZIs or anyone that might try to attack Russia like they did to Yugoslavia .

  • Lua OS

    Why am I reading an American publication? Just asking.

    • eric

      You are reading a anti war publication

  • willie kai oatee.

    get out of the middle east as well as all other countries and regions where american troops, bases, weapons, and spies are ensconsed and/or operating, etc. respect territorial boundaries and remain inside those of the united states. stop trying to create enemies to attack. end expansionist policies.