US Deploys Troops in NE Syria as ‘Buffer’ Between Kurds, Turkey

US Special Forces 'Monitor' Situation After Turkish Attacks

The US has deployed a number of special forces troops and armored vehicles along the border between Kurdish-held northeast Syria and Turkey, with most of the troops sent to the area around Darbasiya, which was the site of heavy Turkish attacks earlier this week.

Officially, US commanders say the troops are there “monitoring the situation,” though Syrian Kurds say that in practice the US deployment is an attempt to establish a “buffer” to try to limit fighting between the two sides,, which has been raging since Turkey’s airstrikes were carried out.

From Turkey’s perspective, there are two trains of thought on their recent push to attack the Kurdish YPG, who they consider “terrorists.” On the one hand, there seems to be some hope that if they can displace the Kurds enough during the buildup to the invasion of the ISIS capital of Raqqa, the US might agree to change it to a joint US-Turkey operation.

On the other hand, there is talk that this amounts to Turkey being more forceful about their objections to the US backing the Kurds, and that this might be the start of a “collision course” which brings Turkey and the US into direct competition over Syria.

The US and Turkey clearly have different agendas for post-war Syria, with the US mostly trying to ensure they can prop up a pro-US government in power, and Turkey’s goal simply being to see whoever ends up in power is harshly cracking down on Kurdish secessionist ambitions.

This isn’t the first time the US has deployed troops in Syria specifically to preempt a Turkish attack, with US troops still in Manbij based on the assumption that Turkey wouldn’t risk causing casualties to the US, a fellow NATO member, in a push against the Kurds.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • curmudgeonvt

    “…on the assumption that Turkey wouldn’t risk causing casualties to the US…”

    Well, that’s one bet I wouldn’t take.

    Try this: Three leaders of militarized nations, US, N. Korea, and Turkey, all suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder, and all ready and willing to destroy the lives of innocent people to bolster their megalomania.

  • armdkny

    LOL!! Pure genius!!

  • R.P. McMurphy

    So we have to protect our terrorists from our NATO ally Turkey. If we attack Turkey, aren’t we obligated to go to war with ourselves?

    • Bianca

      We are led by imbecils. What a comforting thought. Yet, there is still no end game in Syria. Russia should not rush in. Turkey and US are on a collision course — as Kurdish issue goes beyond Syria’s borders. Turkey is getting defence systems from Russia, and has not given up on controling some “rebel” assets. The clashes between various “rebels”, and famous brands like Al-Qaeda and ISIS is intensifying, Syrian army is a beneficiary. Israel is trying to provoke something/anything. On behalf of those who are not happy with Syria policy and want all out clash with Damascus. Trump is in a strsightjscket. North Korea is saving him from Syria. And if US wants to poke and prode Iran, bludgeon Yemen — that happens to be weak enough to give our Friends, Saudis a victory of sorts. And with probems in Libya, South Sudan, Phillipines, Somalia, and expanding problem in Afghanistan — I guess US is kept busy. And “activists” are a sign that things are not great in Pakistan. While we have just pushed illegally formed government in Macedonia — more Balkam mess may be on horizon. Why on earth would Russia be pushy?

      • R.P. McMurphy

        Rather broad range but not without valid points. I suggest you paragraph and focus on one point at a time for effective expository writing in English.

        Your English is orders of magnitude above my Russian. You did mention the Kurds. As best I can remember, they got screwed by the imperialists. They deserve their own country.

        See, that’s one issue. It will likely branch into others, taken one at a time with cross reference. This makes an odd number of paragraphs, a fetish among English teachers in America.

        • eric

          Kurds in one country would be part of Syria , part of Iran and Iraq but also part of Turkey . But Turkey is a NATO ally of the North American terrorist organization so we must not upset Turkey

  • Neuromancer

    Remind me…when was the US military invited into Syria?

  • Michael McNulty

    Russia made the mistake of not keeping the US out of Syria the moment it was invited in. They could have and should have taken it the UN and warned force would be used in defense, but no. The US was given an inch and it has taken its mile and now only harm can come from Russia’s hesitance.

  • Rick Costello

    Isn’t it interesting the the United Nations was created/formed and International Law promulgated in order to insure that breaches of the peace were stopped and mitigated and yet multiple nations (US, Israel, Turkey and others) are ALL carrying out acts of war and daily violations of International Law in Syria with absolutely zero consequences. The UN is unable to stop these acts of war, condemn the perpetrators of these war crimes, form any viable coalitions to bring pressure on these governments by which they would be ordered to remove themselves from this country or even implement a ‘resolution’ saying “bad country – no donut for you!”

    Why taxpayers are expected to pay 3 billion of the UN’s 5 billion dollar budget every year while the UN never actually tries to carry out its mission statement I’ve no clue. Were I the Russians or Chinese I would form an organization that counterbalances the UN that actually fosters cooperation and mutual defense and pull out of the UN altogether. There is absolutely no benefit to dicking around in a ‘club’ dominated by the united States and its military minions.

  • David James

    Wouldn’t trust Turks NOT to attack anyway…