Turkey’s protest against establishment of Syrian Kurdistan was supported by U.S. with regard to Iraqi Kurds. Yesterday, in the course of his visit to Iraq, Pentagon Chief James Mattis met with Masoud Barzani, the Kurdish Autonomy leader, demanding to postpone the September referendum of independence. Washington fears that Kurdish separatism may negatively affect the war against IS* and will result in formation of a new anti-Kurdish alliance in the region. This concern of Washington appears to have come true, considering Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strong statement against establishment of Kurdish states in the north of Syria. The Turkish president’s hostile rhetoric is based on real actions. Turkey has been preparing for a military operation in Syria’s Kurdish provinces since late June and has already pulled about 25,000 troops to the border. The priority areas for operation are traditional spots of Euphrates Shield operation: Tel Abyad, Afrin, Tel-Rifat and Manbij.
After Kurds stopped terrorists near Raqqa, Erdogan started searching allies in the region to deter Kurds. According to Iranian media, the Turkish leader appealed to Tehran for help, since Kurdish separatism from Iraqi Kurdistan threatens Iran too. The secret talks resulted in an arrangement to conduct joint military operations against Kurds in Iraq and Syria.
The Turkish-Iranian alliance threatens U.S. with strengthening of a new Tehran-Doha-Ankara axis that has finally taken shape with the Qatar crisis. Qatar’s diplomatic blockade by Saudis made Doha seek rapprochement not only with its traditional ally Turkey but also with Iran. Conflict with Iran would affect gas fields of Northern Dome.
Washington’s major rival in the Middle East, Iran, is gaining influence in the region again. To keep the Kurdish enclave under control, Pentagon has already created 12 military bases in the northeast of Syria. Turkish mass media have declassified location of those bases. Noteworthy that neither Kurds and their American allies nor Turks seek to undertake any commitments to liberate Idlib, Al-Qaeda’s* stronghold in Syria.
After defeat of Ahrar al-Sham Salafi group, Turkey limited the humanitarian supplies to the militants. As for Kurds, they seek to protract liberation of Raqqa from IS to get as much military aid from U.S. as possible. According to military experts, such situation may last until next spring. However, liberation of Syria may face such obstacle as the fight against Kurdish separatism.
The outcome of this fight will depend on how independent President Donald Trump will be from Deep State that has set a goal to “Balkanize” Syria with the help of Kurdish separatism. Besides, Israel that treats Kurds as “brothers” insists that a U.S.-controlled Kurdish autonomous zone is created. Nevertheless, Pentagon realizes that it will hardly manage to keep its positions in the east of Syria surrounded by the countries that deny the idea of Kurdish independence.
“Islamic State” (IS), Al Qaeda – terrorist groups banned in Russia