ITS NOT A TIDE FOR THE KURDS, IT’S A FLOOD
A few days ago we observed that the ebb and flow of politics seemed to indicate that the Kurds, after taking Manbij, will keep their head low and avoid antagonizing Turkey. They didn’t, and continued northwards towards Jarabulus on the Turkish/Syrian Border.
Turkey was ready and certainly able. Following two days of artillery pounding, Turkish tanks rolled into Syria yesterday, thus realizing the long-expected scenario of a Turkish military presence inside Syria.
The pretexts and justifications for this action may be “dime a dozen”, but once inside, they become difficult to dislodge and eject. A similar situation has existed in north Iraq near Mosul, for almost a year now.
Turkey’s paramount strategic objective seems to be the obstruction of the creation of a Kurdish entity alongside its southern border. Especially, one that is big and stretches all the way from Iraq to near the Mediterranean. But this is exactly what the Kurds dream of. Hence the clash was always inevitable.
Of course it also, plays well into the hand of the Turkish long-standing demand for a safe zone in north Syria. And, with the likely election of Hillary Clinton, who is a publicly declared proponent of such a safe zone, it would become even more difficult to dislodge them.
The Syrian Kurds are doing the hard ISIS fighting on the ground, theoretically on behalf of the US. And as such, they were regarded as US allies, or at the least their protégés. Consequently, the US has protected them from both ISIS and Turkish threats, that is until yesterday.
The US, not unusually, has now switched. They are now trying to kiss-and-make-up with Turkey after the attempted coup, which was alluded by Turkey as being US instigated or blessed. Vice President Biden was just in Ankara patching things up. Therefore, it is totally unlikely that they would rock the boat and try to intercede on behalf of the Syrian Kurds pounded by the Turkish artillery.
In fact, the Kurds immediately realized their folly in heading northwards, as well as realized they may no longer be the “flavor of the day” for the Americans, so they pulled not only out of Jurabulus, but also, pulled out of Manbij which they had spilt so much of their blood winning.
What is next? Interesting, but also sad, as this new development augurs more battles and more bloodshed with no sign of an early abatement.