Although the Kurds of Northern Syria have been the most reliable, effective fighting force against ISIS in the region, the Turkish Government has warned the United States to not aid the Kurds in any ISIS territory too close to the Turkish border. “No one can act in their own interest just because they are fighting ISIL … The demographic structure of the region cannot be changed through a fait accompli,” states one section of the document leaked to Turkey’s Hürriyetnewspaper.
Kurdish-led forces advanced on Monday deep into ISIS controlled areas of Syria, continuing to build momentum after seizing a border crossing from the terrorist group last week. In response to the success against ISIS, Turkish government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc accused the Kurds of engaging in “ethnic cleansing.”
Turkey’s refusal to fight ISIS – or even allow other countries to fight ISIS – reveals Turkey’s true intention. As Vice President Biden said, “Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” he said, explaining that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were “so determined to take down Assad,” that in a sense they started a “proxy Sunni-Shia war” by pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons” towards anyone who would fight against Assad. “And we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.”
Kurdish officials also question Turkey’s motives for staying passive. “Turkey should thank us for what we have done against IS – if it is not supporting this terrorist group,” said one Kurdish PYD official.
As the Middle East continues to be torn apart by sectarian civil war, America needs to take a look at the countries we call allies. Turkey has been accused of assisting ISIS medically, militarily and financially, and their recent attempt to stop the only fighting group actively attacking ISIS certainly doesn’t help their case. Given these actions, why would anyone listen to Turkey?