Sunday, February 7, 2016

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is furious over a senior U.S. official’s visit to northern Syria

    Sunday, February 07, 2016   No comments

Erdoğan protested in Ecuador: Erdoğan loves ISIS
ISR comment: The Turkish president, who has resisted pressure to take actual actions against ISIL, is now furious that the U.S. has made contact with a Syrian group that has fought and defeated ISIL. Erdoğan, instead, insists that Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party is a terrorist organization, but his government still refuses to legally classify ISIL (also known as ISIS, Daesh) as a terrorist organization. His insistence on denying the Syrian Kurdish people any level of autonomy within their country is unrealistic and is a direct interference in the affairs of other countries. 
It is likely that the new Syria will be decentralized and that the Kurdish people will have autonomy there with or without the consent of the post-civil war Syrian government. The only thing Erdoğan can do to stop that from happening is to invade northern Syria. He may do that with the help of his sectarian backers like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and local allies such as Daesh, al-Nusra, Jaysh al-Fath, and Jaysh al-Islam. If the U.S. allows that to happen, the Middle East will be further destabilized and more states will fail, creating the perfect environment for ISIL and al-Qaeda.

Erdoğan has said Turkey would not “make the same mistake it did in Iraq in 2003 vis-à-vis the creation of a de facto situation” in neighboring Syria, voicing his country’s readiness in order to protect its national interests in case of all kinds of developing scenarios in Syria.

Meanwhile, he also reiterated Turkey’s stance on the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Defense Units (YPG). Turkey considers the party and its affiliates in the same category as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“We will take this issue to all international organizations. Each moment that we haven’t taken it there is a loss for us. If steps are not taken for their [classification] as a terrorist organization, we would be delayed. Look, [U.S. Vice President Joe] Biden arrived with an assistant. He is a national security official whose name has earlier ben cited with Mr. Obama too. Just during the meetings in Geneva, he travels to Kobane. He receives a plaque from a so-called general in Kobane. How will we trust? Am I your partner or are the terrorists in Kobane?” Erdoğan asked, while speaking with reporters en route from Dakar to Istanbul as he wrapped up a Latin America tour that covered Chile, Peru and Ecuador.

The U.S. envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Brett McGurk, confirmed on Feb. 1 that he visited Kurdish-controlled northern Syria the previous weekend. McGurk said his trip aimed to review the fight against the jihadist group that controls swathes of Syria and Iraq.

He also said that it was long-planned and not “in any way” related to Syria peace talks in Geneva.

Ed Isr

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