Turkey: US Must Hand Over All Military Bases in Syria

Officials ask for 22 bases to be given to Turkey or destroyed

While a lot of the details of the US withdrawal from Syria and the Turkish invasion of Syria still aren’t entirely clear, Turkey sees a big opportunity. The US has 22 military bases in Syria they presumably will no longer need, and Turkey wants them.

Turkey’s National Security Adviser Ibrahim Kalin has reportedly asked the US to agree to cede all of the bases to the Turkish military, or failing that agree to destroy them outright before they leave.

The US bases are embedded across Syrian Kurdish territory, exactly where Turkey is invading. The goal here for Turkey is likely to ensure that the US doesn’t simply hand them over to Kurdish factions, though being given the bases would be ideal for their invasion.

Since US officials say they want to protect the Kurds on their way out of Syria, it’s unlikely they’ll give most of the bases to Turkey. They may, however, decide that small posts on the Turkey border, and bases inside Manbij, from which the Kurds have already fled, would be no harm to hand over.

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.