Washington should find a way to cooperate with Ankara as Trump steps toward creating a more homogeneous and hawkish administration on diplomacy, national security and the economy.
A new way of Arab nationalism based on more radical sectarian discourses is currently being promoted by Mohammed bin Salman and his partners with the help of the U.S. to further fuel in the Middle East.
“The victory in Afrin marked the beginning of two crucial processes for Turkey. First, the future of the YPG in Syria is now part of negotiations and Turkey now has the upper hand in talks with other prominent players. Secondly, Turkey just stripped the YPG of its Kurdish card.”
Under a new counter-terrorism policy, Turkey is committed to neutralizing national security threats in Syria and Iraq whether European leaders like it or not.
There are two possible scenarios: Either Pompeo can end the newly-started compromise on the YPG by supporting the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) or he can balance CENCTOM thanks to his expertise on documents and thus can provide Trump’s promises to Turkey be kept.
The polarization between Iran and the Gulf and Israel is not the only force in the Middle East. There is a third bloc represented by Turkey that brings together players for cooperation. Failing to acknowledge that reality will not only strengthen Iran, but also result in the Gulf’s fragmentation.
Rather than a single diplomatic policy, Turkey’s Africa initiative is a step toward forging a new identity that can struggle against colonial powers.
As the major powers reconsider their plans in Syria, the fight between proxies on the ground is getting more intense.
The future holds nothing for the YPG but a series of losses. The number of moves they have left will not affect the end result.
Washington must reconsider its partnership with the YPG in order to convince the Turks to start talking about other issues, including Iran’s containment. But some steps must be taken regarding Manbij first.