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Threats from Turkey in the Syrian War

Updated on August 9, 2019
Turkish armor near the border
Turkish armor near the border
Map shows Kurdish held areas
Map shows Kurdish held areas

Turkey is a NATO country but there is evidence that one day, Turkey will withdraw from the NATO alliance. The recent order of the Russian S-300\400 missile system greatly irritated NATO, to the point that the US stopped its F-35 aircraft from being sent there as an upgrade. This widening disparity of interests will be tested in the future with the next military offensive by Turkey into Syria to remove the YPG Kurdish group.

They number in great numbers and armed with US weapons and others in the war against ISIS, which they were instrumental in defeating with US support. However, Turkey has always viewed them as an extension of a terrorist group they have fought with for decades. Thousands of Kurds live in Turkey and near the Syrian border and into Iraq. They want their own country to be carved out of the area they now possess, which is mostly in northern Iraq.

There's the rub. The US said it will defend the Kurds if the military offensive that is planned by Turkey is threatening the Kurds. The Turkish army is already poised for this attack only to be halted because of US concerns what the offensive may actually evolve into - an excuse for Turkey to eradicate Kurds from not just the 20 km border with Syria, but deeper into Iraq. It would be a a NATO country attacking a NATO country.

President Trump has threaten Turkey not to even think this. The sides have agreed only to create a joint command to control the coming Turkish offensive, but the alliance is ripe with ill will for this and other reasons. It would not take much for Turkey to go it alone, as they have threaten to do. Turkey has its own aspirations to regain territory once within their vast empire. They once owned much of Syria, Gaza, and Israel, this was during WW1 (1914-1918). This area was part of greater Turkey, so it is very likely similar thoughts may occur again.

President Trump has halted the ambitions so far, but it will not be long before there might be a Russian-Turkish alliance. If Trump is re-elected, this may not occur until after 2024, but if he is defeated, this sort of thing might happen beginning in 2021, because America's role in the Middle East is diminishing even though Trump is staunch supporter of Israel. Were Russia, Turkey, Iran, to attack Israel, when Trump is not in office, America might not come to the rescue.

President Trump's support of Israel, at all costs, and his warning to Turkey regarding the Kurds, may be stalling a major conflict, which is coming. What Turkey does in the next offensive which will happen, may also be delayed until after the next American election in 2020. Many of America's adversaries are now waiting to see what that election brings.

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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      11 months ago

      It is a regional power with an ax to grind and very little to stop them in Syria or Iraq. So far, they have only lacked the will. That will change.

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh 

      11 months ago from Singapore

      Turkey is not a global power like the Ottoman Empire and in my view militarily it won't win.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      11 months ago

      perrya

      You are probably correct.

      The Turkish government has repeatedly declared that the Islamic State (DAESH/ISIS/IS) is the same as the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party), the PYD (the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party), and the YPG (the Syrian-Kurdish People's Defense Units). However, ISIS (aka IS or DAESH) sympathizers strongly disagree with this comparison.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      11 months ago

      I don't think much religion is involved, the hatred of Turks towards the Kurds is decades old who want their own country ca.rved out of much of Iraq and some from Syria. The Kurds are US armed and critical in defeating ISIS, while Turkey looked the other way. Now that is gone, and Turkey still has the desire to eliminate Kurd terrorists. It has been an uneasy alliance within NATO with Turkey recently as they have turned to Russia many times. If you were Turkey and attacked beyond the 20km zone, who is to stop them? The US is the only country who might, but the optics would be so bad.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      11 months ago

      Seems like the problem is one of NATO not the US.

      This is a situation that is based on religion and NATO is not chartered for Religious disputes.

      Another useless organization is the UN, but this situation seem more relevant for the UN than it does for NATO?

      Just a thought.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      11 months ago

      The US is trying to limit the Turkish advance to no more than 20km into Syria, but with the long bad history of kurd terrorism in Turkey, if Turk forces go deeper to take on the Kurds, not sure if US would do anything because one NATO country attacking another is a dream come true for Russia.

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      11 months ago

      perrya

      How about if we see what happens and whether he needs to do anything. Or if there is something to be done, i guess we will see.

      ??

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR

      perrya 

      11 months ago

      Not at all.. but what will Trump do if Turkey calls his bluff?

    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad 

      11 months ago

      Has this even been mentioned by the two dozen democrat presidential candidates?

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