Aug 27, 2015
- America’s Dangerous Bargain with Turkey – Eric S. Edelman
The Turkish government is now permitting the U.S. to use Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base to fly missions in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State. But the price of this agreement may be too high. Turkey has launched a wave of airstrikes on Kurdish targets, striking hard at Syrian Kurds who have been America’s most reliable ally in fighting the Islamic State in northern Syria. Erdogan’s air war against the Kurds is severely undermining the fight against the Islamic State by weakening the most effective ground force fighting the Islamic State in Syria: the Kurds.
It was the Syrian Kurdish PYD, with logistical support and reinforcement from the Kurdish PKK in Iraq, that liberated the city of Kobani last year and recently retook Tal Abyad, cutting off a key route for infiltration of arms and foreign fighters for the Islamic State. The U.S. risks losing the valuable real-time intelligence provided by Kurdish forces that is so crucial for U.S. airstrikes targeting the Islamic State.The writer is a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and was undersecretary of defense for policy from 2005 to 2009. (New York Times)