Turkey's insanity in northern Syria could make a US-Russia detente a reality
We're not joking: Turkey has become so crazy that it might require Russia and the U.S. to team up in northern Syria.
Actually, we suspect there is already a high level of cooperation that is not being publicly disclosed, for political reasons.
Here's what Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN Turk earlier today:
"If the Self-Defense Forces don’t leave Manbij we will deliver a strike against them. We have openly stated this. If Russia comes in support of the Self-Defense Forces in Manbij or in other place, it will become a problem for us," the foreign minister stressed.
He's talking about violently removing Kurdish forces backed by Washington and Moscow from Manbij. This is how crazy Ankara has become. (And there has already been sporadic fighting between Turkish-backed "moderate" rebels and Kurdish forces around Manbij.)
And now the Turks are turning the assault on Raqqa into a "trainwreck". The reason? Because Erdogan can't decide whether to attack the Kurds or ISIS.
As the Telegraph reports:
The assault on the jihadist stronghold threatened to descend into chaos on Thursday after the Turkish government and the main US-backed rebel in Syria each demanded that America exclude the other from taking part in the attack.
Turkey’s prime minister accused Kurdish fighters within the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rebel group of being “terrorists” while the SDF said Turkish troops inside Syria were an “occupation force” who must leave the country.
Fighting broke out near the northern Syrian town of Manbij, which is held by the SDF, last week.
The tension has escalated to the point that the US has deployed its own troops in an effort to prevent more shooting between the two sides and a senior American general conceded he was worried the rivalry could undermine the fight against Isil.
Erdogan might achieve the impossible by uniting Russia and the U.S. in a common cause: curb-stomping Turkey. Or at least putting Erdogan in the time-out corner.
Zanier things have happened.