Jan 17 2018

Washington “no longer views Ankara as reliable partner” - academic

The U.S. government is showing that it no longer views Turkey as a reliable partner in Syria by choosing instead to work with Syria’s Kurds, according to Joshua Landis, the director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“The State Department has turned the page on Turkey for it no longer views Ankara as a reliable U.S. partner,” he wrote.

“Many argue that Washington will abandon Syria’s Kurds in order to assuage Turkish anger. I doubt this. Washington expects more anti-U.S. actions from Erdoğan.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will likely not invade or occupy Afrin, Landis said, because it is a populist gesture that would gain him nothing if actually carried out.

“It will not hurt or weaken Washington’s relationship with the Kurds in eastern Syria. Most likely, it will do the opposite,” he said. “Those in Washington who see Turkey as an unreliable and misguided partner will only have their negative views of Turkey confirmed.”

The United States is now merely paying lip service to ideals of prosperity and democracy in the Middle East, Landis said.

“Today, sanctions and military intervention have become the mainstay of U.S. policy. Free trade, the rule of law, and respect for national sovereignty have been pushed aside,” he said.

“Rarely does the U.S. promote democracy to friendly potentates. U.S. foreign policy has slipped its moorings.”