Yesterday, Turkey launched a series of assaults into Syria, aiming at the Kurds, confirming the fear of many. The former doesn’t like to see latter becoming an important player in the region, despite having fought against ISIS together. Turkey would never approve the Kurdish government from having any leverage to establish an autonomous government in any land.
The event illustrates the growing chaos the Trump foreign policy team must face:
[Ali] Soufan said the United States “would likely have to either dramatically scale back its support of the Kurdish rebels — which would be seen as yet another U.S. betrayal of the few groups that have consistently supported and helped the U.S. in Syria and Iraq — or risk indirect and even direct conflict with Turkey, a fellow NATO member.”
Everyone saw this coming. How will the Trump administration manage this? Can it?
P.S. Over at FP, they published a timely article on the plight of the Kurds, post-ISIS. Here’s a nugget:
The Kurdish leadership made two miscalculations that led to their current perilous position…The first was Barzani’s expectation that the United States would support [Kurdish] statehood … the second source of Barzani’s miscalculation …The inconvenient fact is that Kurdish leaders like to boast that they built a thriving democratic bastion in the largely autocratic Middle East — but they never actually did. After Saddam Hussein’s fall, the two main Kurdish parties … did not pour their energies into creating functional rule-of-law institutions or diversifying the economy. Instead, they used oil money to enrich themselves, their families, and their party cadres.