In Syria, the U.S. views Kurdish fighters as allies, but Turkey sees them as terrorists. The U.S. wants Turkey to limit its military offensive against the Kurds without harming U.S.-Turkey relations.
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Let's hear now about an issue playing out in Turkey. The U.S. would like Turkey's military to restrain its offensive against the Kurds in Northern Syria. That's because the U.S. has troops in the region supporting Kurdish fighters against ISIS. But Turkey sees the Kurds as terrorists with ties to militants inside Turkey. The country launched an invasion it calls Operation Olive Branch to clear those Kurds out of the way. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports on how this is all going over in Istanbul.
PETER KENYON, BYLINE: Istanbul is not known as a stronghold of support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Parti. But with Turkish soldiers on the offensive across the border in Syria, people are nodding in approval when asked what they think of the push into Syria's Northwest Afrin region.
SERTAC TOPUKSAL: (Through translator) I totally support this operation. It's needed for our border security and the safety of the republic. In my opinion, it's overdue.
KENYON: Fifty-nine-year-old taxi driver Fikret Palabiyik leans against a low stone wall next to an elderly man hunched over his shoeshine kit. He knows how unpopular it is abroad to see Turkey attacking another U.S. ally. And he knows there's a risk Turkish troops could run into American forces, but he doesn't care.
FIKRET PALABIYIK: (Through interpreter) The U.S. is supporting this terror group and we are against this group, so I think we should just go in. God willing, nothing terrible will happen. I would go myself. I'm 59 years old. I would definitely go. I'm not kidding.
KENYON: Of course, no one is asking him to go. Turkey's military has no shortage of manpower. But it's a common sentiment among people here. Backing for the government is crossing party lines even as international calls gril for Turkey to show restraint and avoid destabilizing violence. Four men huddled around a table at a cafe say they're all opposition supporters and wouldn't vote for Erdogan.
IHSAN: (Foreign language spoken).
KENYON: But 60-year-old Ihsan says he definitely supports the operation in Syria. He says it's a fitting response to what he calls American imperialism in the Middle East. Ihsan is also not worried about a possible confrontation with U.S. troops.
IHSAN: (Through interpreter) What are they doing here? What is their purpose? The U.S. should pull out of Northern Syria and let the local people decide their own affairs.
KENYON: Rallying behind the government in times of conflict is common, but critics say authorities are also cracking down on those who publicly oppose the operation, arresting more than 300 people.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
KENYON: I found one person willing to say he's not happy with the operation in an Istanbul music shop. Soft jazz played in the background as Sertac Topuksal explained that he just doesn't see more violence solving anything.
TOPUKSAL: (Through interpreter) What if this chaos is contagious? There are millions of people who've lost everything - homes, jobs. They're living in foreign countries. What if something like that happens here?
KENYON: But these days, at least in public, that's a minority view. Peter Kenyon, NPR News, Istanbul.
The view from Turkey excerpted from Yenisafak
Turkey getting back on Syrian ground after Operation Euphrates Shield, led to the emergence of different voices from among even Russia and Iran, our affiliates in Syria. Meanwhile, our “strategic partner,” the U.S., and our NATO allies have almost imposed a weapons embargo on Turkey. Every day, the U.S. and European countries demand that Turkey stop the Afrin operation. As a matter of fact, Turkey is sometimes being threatened, sometimes spooked.
Because Turkey is not giving consent to a terrorist organization that is a national threat to itself and protected by our allies.
Because Turkey has grasped the game in Syria. If, at the end of the game, the U.S. and its gang win, there will be no state left in Syria. Little boutique statelets are going to be formed. Israel will be free of the “threat.” The statelets to be established (the PYD/YPG-PKK is going to want to directly establish a terrorist state in northern Syria) will target Iran and Turkey. The “borders of 22 countries will change”* as a requirement of the U.S.’s long-term strategy for the Middle East. Turkey will also be included among these countries.
US and Israel back on the ground in Syria
The U.S. had no other operation in Syria for a long time other than protecting and aiding the PYD/YPG-PKK terrorists. After taking Daesh out of Raqqa with an agreement, the U.S. was almost never seen on the ground and its air forces had not conducted any operations. However, for the last few days, the U.S. has been carrying out operations in Syria with its warplanes again. It hit the Syrian regime that hit the PYD/YPG-PKK terrorist organization. Israel hit the area right beside Assad’s palace in Damascus. The regime downed Israel’s warplane. Israel downed one of Iran’s UAVs in its airspace.
Because the sides are insistent on their pre-political solution theories and they are trying to impose by wielding weapons.
We cannot help but think, “How will Turkey be affected by the chaos in Syria?”
The answer to this question is hidden in whether Turkey will keep abreast its theories and operations on the ground.
Then let’s see. What is Turkey’s theory on Syria?
The answer is territorial integrity and a just administration. Also, the elimination of the terrorist organizations that pose a threat to its perpetuity.
Apparently the Pentagon is allocating $550 Million from the US Budget for the SDF for just one year. No restraint on the part of the US that's for sure!
With additional funding for the PKK in Iraq
- The Pentagon's 2019 budget will include $300 million for the train-and-equip program for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), predominantly led by the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG), and $250 million for building a "border security force" in Syria, the U.S. government unveiled on Monday.
According to the budget bill that President Donald Trump signed Friday, Pentagon will get $1.8 billion for train-and-equip programs in Syria and Iraq. The spending was $1.4 billion for the 2018 budget