Feb 13 2018

Turkey “can’t dislodge” U.S. from Manbij – Orange County Observer

Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish militias in northwest Syria is an “unwise and ill-timed attack” that holds little danger of derailing the United States’ strategy in Syria, wrote the Californian daily Orange Country Observer in an editorial on Monday.

Turkey is fighting forces affiliated with the mainly Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the enclave of Afrin. Ankara considers the YPG to be aligned with terrorists that are an existential threat to Turkey’s territorial security, however, the group has been a mainstay in the U.S.-backed coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.

“Turkey has moved sharply away from the liberal West, growing closer to the likes of Russia, which is also now deeply enmeshed in Syria,” said the editorial. “Beyond the challenges involved in trying to ‘deconflict’ American and Turkish forces, despite both sharing a formal military alliance, the U.S. faces the embarrassing prospect of having to array its military strategy against that of a NATO member army.”

However, “Turkey’s meddlesome ambitions are sharply constrained” both by the U.S. and the policies of its adversaries, Russia and Iran, according to the Orange County Observer, since the Turkish incursion aligns with none of the combatants in Syria’s aims.

Thus, Turkey is “likely to be the first to leave” Syria, according to the Californian newspaper.