NATO Tested on Turkey’s Syria Operation: Al Jazeera

Kurdish fighters, in alliance with US forces, were key to reducing the Islamic State throughout Syria. US troop withdrawal from the area prompted Turkey’s military operation against these same Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. The operation divides NATO and risks destabilizing the region, reports Samuel Stolton for Al Jazeera. “After meetings on Friday with Turkish officials in Istanbul, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Stoltenberg stopped short of condemning Ankara's move, but said that the global efforts to put a stranglehold on ISIL could be ‘jeopardised’ should the operation continue,” he writes. “Turkey's influence in NATO is considerable - it has the second-largest army in the alliance and is well-versed in Middle Eastern military operations.” Turkey’s foreign minister responded that his country regards the Kurdish People’s Protection Units as part of the Kurdish Workers Party and “terrorists.” Turkey claims it wants to establish a buffer zone along the border and return refugees to the area. Syria and Russia are stepping in to assist the Kurds with defense, and analysts suggest a battle is underway for territory and influence. Analysts anticipate a boost for the Islamic State and suggest that NATO has little in the way of leverage. Norway, Germany and the Netherlands are suspending arms sales to Turkey, and angry US lawmakers consider sanctions. – YaleGlobal

NATO Tested on Turkey’s Syria Operation: Al Jazeera

Turkey targets Kurds in northern Syria and divides NATO; Secretary General Stoltenberg warns Ankara of potential ISIS risk and regional destablization
Samuel Stolton
Monday, October 14, 2019

Read the article from Al Jazeera about the chaos of US troop withdrawal from northern Syria and Turkey’s military operations against Kurdish fighters who had worked to defeat the Islamic State.

 Turkey’s Military Operations in Northern Syria -	target Kurds as ethnic group -	destabilize the region -	rely on militant groups accused of atrocities -	encourage fear, militancy and terrorism  -	polarize and weaken NATO -	strengthen the Islamic State -	add to questions on US presence at Incirlik Air Base -	encourage Russia and Syria to defend Kurds -	boost Russia’s influence -	boost Iran’s influence -	could mean loss of territory for Turkey. -	add to refugee numbers..

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