Mar 27 2018

U.S. must demand more from "power-drunk" Erdogan – WP

The United States needs to demand more from "power-drunk" Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to repair relations between the two NATO allies, still in crisis mode over U.S. support for the Kurds in Syria, the Washington Post said in an editorial at the weekend.

President Donald Trump should insist that Turkey release U.S. citizens being held as de facto hostages, relax his domestic oppression and restart peace talks with the Kurds. If Erdogan continues on his present reckless path, a rupture in the alliance is inevitable, the newspaper said.

Erdogan, like Russia and Iran, would probably like to see the United States leave Syria all together, but that option must be rejected by the Trump administration, which would require it to abandon forces who helped to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and leave the door open for a resurgent Iran, the Washington Post said.

“The easy way out of the dilemma is to cave in to Mr. Erdogan. But that would only stir up more trouble for the Trump administration, both in Syria and in Turkey,” the Washington Post said.

“It’s possible to imagine a compromise settlement under which Kurdish forces were relocated east of the Euphrates and U.S. troops remained in Manbij to help protect civilians. But Mr. Erdogan seems to want more.”