For about a week now there has been rumblings in the international press that there was a major development happening in Turkey…..ever since the suicide bombing that killed 30 Turkish citizens…..
Lots of speculation so I decided to wait and see what was brewing……looks like there is going to be a major escalation of the battle against ISIS with a major cooperation between Turkey and the US……
Turkey’s nascent fight against ISIS appears to be rapidly intensifying. The country has settled on the broad strokes of a plan with the US that would see the two countries come together to create an ISIS-free zone, with the US supplying warplanes and Turkey contributing troops who wouldn’t actually enter the zone but may use long-range artillery from their side of the border. That zone would stretch along 68 miles of the Syria-Turkey border, reports the Washington Post; the Guardian notes the countries share a 500-mile-long border. Syrian sources suggest the zone could stretch 25 miles into Syria. An unnamed senior US official, one of four the New York Times spoke with, says the intention is to “support partners on the ground in northern Syria”—elsewhere referred to in the Times article as “relatively moderate Syrian insurgents”—who would seize the zone from the ground.
There are a few sticky points: Which Syrian rebels will participate? (The Times points out the US had as of earlier this month trained only 60 vetted Syrian fighters.) And how exactly will the respective players’ goals sync up? For Turkey and Syria, taking out Bashar al-Assad has long been the chief priority, and both have desired the creation of a no-fly zone. The US says the zone will not be a no-fly one. And while the Post points out that the US has said its warplanes will focus only on ISIS, the plan “would also bring American planes in regular, close proximity to bases, aircraft, and air defenses operated by the Syrian government, and directly benefit opposition rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”
Appears as if Turkey will become more involved than in the past……..whichg to some is a good thing…..but I ask…what about the Kurds? Turkey still has a hard on for anything Kurdish.
To make this look at least more official there will be a NATO closed door meeting on this development…..
For just the fifth time in its 66-year history, NATO ambassadors will meet in an emergency session today to gauge the threat ISIS poses to Turkey and the debated actions Turkish authorities are taking in response. The extraordinary meeting at NATO headquarters was requested by Turkey under Article 4 of the treaty that founded the US-led alliance, which empowers its 28 member states to seek such consultations when they consider their “territorial integrity, political independence, or security” to be in jeopardy.
The meeting comes as Turkey’s security situation “has deteriorated dramatically,” an analyst at the German Marshall Fund think tank says. The rise of ISIS “in northern Iraq, in northern Syria, has effectively destabilized the southern border of Turkey. But also domestically, the threat of terrorism has become very real,” he says. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who will chair the closed-door session, says Turkey requested it following recent “heinous terrorist attacks.”
If this is indeed Phase Two……I do not see this as a good development……this appears to be something for Turkey and screw the rest of the region…..Turkey will be fighting on several fronts…..Syria, Kurds and ISIS. None of this appears to be a good thing for the US….these choices will set a new tone for the region.
And again the Congress will be silent on this escalation and once again illustrating just how cowardly our elected officials really are……