West Endorses Turkish Invasion of Northern Syria

US Launches Airstrikes to Back Turkish Forces

Russian officials issued a statement of concern today on news of Turkey’s military invasion of northern Syria, appearing to be particularly worried about the escalation of Turkey’s fighting against Kurdish forces inside northern Syria.

Western officials, however, were a lot more upbeat. German Foreign Ministry officials endorsed the invasion as “in keeping with the goals and aims of the anti-ISIS coalition.” They also indicated they were fine with Turkey attacking the Kurds, and wouldn’t complain about it.

“Turkey, rightly or wrongly, believes that there are links between the PKK, which we see as a terror organisation, on the Turkish side and elements among the Kurds of the Syrian side,” German spokesman Martin Schaefer insisted, adding that Turkey has a “legitimate right to take action” against them.

US officials haven’t spoken directly on the matter, but did carry out eight airstrikes against targets inside Jarabulus in support of the Turkish invasion of that town, meaning they are directly participating in the new offensive, even though it is quickly bringing the Turkish forces into direct conflict with US-backed Kurdish fighters.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.