‘US managed to betray both Turks and Kurds’
Turkey officially launched a military operation against Kurdish-held enclaves in Syria called operation ‘Olive Branch’ on Saturday, comprising airstrikes and a ground offensive.
Ankara maintains that UN Security Council Resolutions 1624, 2170, and 2178 allow it to conduct operations against terrorists in Syria while preserving the territorial integrity of its neighbor.
RT discussed Turkey’s move and what provoked it with several analysts.
Dan Glazebrook, independent political analyst, said it is difficult to tell how the situation will evolve further in the Syria’s Afrin region, “but so far, Erdogan has been true to his words.”
“I have to admit, I initially suspected perhaps there would be some cross-border shelling, but they would not go as far as airstrikes or a ground invasion. And I was proved wrong,” Glazebrook told RT.
“It does look like Erdogan is determined to go all the way. And it really does highlight the dangers of the Anglo-American strategy in Syria for the last seven years, which has been to basically turn Syria into a complete free-for-all: all the states in the region to sponsor their own proxy militias and get involved and carry out airstrikes – Israel, Turkey, the US, anyone else. It is a really dangerous situation,” he said.
Last week, the US announced its plans to create a new armed force with the Kurds close to the Turkish border. After Turkey reacted with outrage to US plans, the Pentagon said it was not creating “a new ‘army’ or conventional ‘border guard’ force.”
Glazebrook noted it is amazing that the US in the past week has managed to “completely betray both its rival allies in this conflict.”
“First, betrayal of Turkey – announcing this Border Security Force, made up primarily of Kurds, without any consultation with Turkey. And then, as soon as Turkey makes an issue of it, immediately drop the Kurds altogether, saying ‘we have nothing to do with them’ and basically give Turkey a free hand to slaughter them. Betrayals left, right and center,” he added.
“I hope that the rest of the world really is paying attention that there is absolutely nothing to be gained from offering yourself up to carry out the bidding of empire, as Turkey is learning a very hard way right now and so are the Kurds, actually,” Glazebrook pointed out.
‘Crisis between two traditional NATO allies US and Turkey’
Ali Rizk, expert on Middle Eastern affairs and contributor to Al-Monitor, told RT the Turkish offensive against the Syrian Kurds “is a very significant development, and where it might lead is unknown.”
Rizk said that this undoubtedly means a crisis between two traditional NATO allies, the US and Turkey.
“It is a problem for Turkey, but it is also a major dilemma for the US: it is very likely that they were not expecting Turkey to follow through on these threats,” Rizk explained.
Ever since the American remarks about a “border army” in Syria, Turkey has been threatening to take action. Rizk said he doesn’t think that these words were taken very seriously by Washington.
“At the same time, it is also something that the Syrian government would object to – the Syrian government considers this to be a violation of its sovereignty,” he continued.
According to Rizk, “the reactions could come from everywhere: we have the US-Turkish dispute, as a result of what is happening, at the same time you have a dispute between the Syrian government and Turkey because the Syrian government has expressed its categorical rejection for any such steps. This could lead even to a confrontation between Syria and Turkey. There are a lot of possible scenarios which do lead to escalation, and now that it’s begun I think it might be very difficult to seize control of the situation.”