Jan. 30, 2018
- Turkey Is Threatening the Only Competent Pro-Western Militia in Syria – Michael J. Totten
The People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Rojava, the quasi-independent Kurdish region in northeastern Syria along the Turkish border, along with the multiethnic Syrian Democratic Forces which the YPG dominates, are the only armed groups indigenous to Syria that are willing and able to take on ISIS and win, and they’re the only significant armed faction in Syria that isn’t ideologically hostile to the West. In October 2017, they finally liberated Raqqa, the “capital” of the ISIS “caliphate,” while the Russian and Syrian militaries were busy pounding rebels instead. The Turks would rather have the Assad regime – and by extension Russia, Iran and Hizbullah – rule over the Syrian Kurds whom they consider terrorists.
The West is having a hard time processing the fact that Turkey is increasingly hostile. It started when Ankara denied the use of its territory, including Incirlik Air Base, during the war against Saddam Hussein. Later, Erdogan helped Iran transfer weapons to Hizbullah in Lebanon and implicitly sided with ISIS in Syria because he didn’t want an independent Kurdish region to rise up in Syria as it had in Iraq. Now he’s threatening to destroy the only competent Western-friendly militia in all of Syria. (World Affairs Journal)