U.S. wants play to stop in Syria – Erdoğan aide

The United States is like a goalkeeper refusing to put the ball back in play in Syria in its attempts to prevent a Turkish operation against the Syrian Kurdish-held town of Manbij, wrote İlnur Çevik, an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“On the issue of Manbij, Turkey is following a truly decisive and consistent attitude, the Americans are staggering about,” Çevik said.

Turkey and its Islamist Syrian allies captured the Syrian town of Afrin on Sunday after a two-month offensive against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian Kurdish force that Turkey sees as a terrorist organisation. But the YPG makes up the backbone of the U.S.-backed Syrian Defence Force (SDF) that has all but defeated Islamic State (ISIS) in northern Syria.

“The U.S. does not want to leave the north of Syria and it sees the YPG as like an anchor,” Çevik said.

There were no U.S. troops in Afrin, but there are in Manbij where they are training the SDF to fight ISIS. Washington says the Turkish offensive against the YPG is hampering the campaign against ISIS and U.S. military commanders have said their troops will defend themselves if Turkey carries out its pledge to try to take Manbij.

“The Americans have clearly been routed in Afrin, and we have a Washington that has still not been able to get over the shock of this,” Çevik said.