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To keep Turkey in check, the US has become deceptive in al-Bab

33 24 9
12.01.2017

Even in the last days or maybe hours of its mandate, U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has succeeded in being more deceptive than ever in the Syrian crisis and its dealings with NATO ally Turkey.

Turkish officials have told me that Turkey has repeatedly sought the support of the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition for its military operations with Free Syrian Army (FSA) components in al-Bab, but the Pentagon came up with operational excuses that don't make sense to anyone, except American spokespeople.

The problem, apart from phony arguments to mislead public opinion, is simple. The PKK terrorist organization's Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), or its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), the U.S. partner on the ground against Daesh, demanded that Washington must preserve Kurdish dominion in the recently seized Syrian town of Manbij against Turkish threats, otherwise it won't pursue the Raqqa prize with its Arab recruits. Of course, according to U.S. officials, Turkey should not go after the PYD, despite the fact that several PYD-trained suicide bombers ended up killing dozens of Turkish civilians.

What was the U.S. solution to stop Turkey moving into Manbij? Obviously, it was the decision not to provide military assistance to Turkish operations in al-Bab. As Turkish casualties were mounting in Syria against the Daesh terrorist group, Washington preferred to turn its head, while its aircraft were taking off from the Turkish İncirlik Air Base to support YPG operations near Raqqa.

An American official, speaking to the Anadolu Agency last week, openly said that the Pentagon could provide ammunition, intelligence and air cover for Turkey-backed operations in al-Bab on the condition of not touching Manbij. So Washington has taken the liberty of undermining the fight against Daesh when it is not aligned with its set of goals, such as prematurely attacking Raqqa to boost Obama's ratings before he leaves the office.

One must accept that this is trickier than it seems, not just because the U.S. has failed to keep its promise, but also it has taken another misstep.....