The Clash of Turkish and US Interests in Syria
The Pentagon spokesman, Robert Mening, said the US Defense Ministry continues to supply weapons to Syrian Kurdish militants who are fighting the militants of the Islamic State terrorist group. "We have made it clear to Turkey from the beginning that the supply of weapons to the Kurdish detachments will be limited" he said. According to Mening, the Pentagon simply monitors the possibility of changing the priorities of military assistance to the Kurds.
Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that in a telephone conversation with Turkish President, US President Donald Trump promised to completely stop the supply of weapons to Syrian Kurds. Washington denied Çavuşoğlu 's statement mentioning that the issue had been discussed but Trump did not make such a promise.
There are quite other goals concerning the Kurds in the United States. During the six years of the Syrian conflict, the American main ally have been Syrian Kurds who, according to the Syrian Civil War Map, control 27 percent of the country's territory. In the current military and political conditions and in the context of American interests in the region, they do not have a realistic alternative to cooperation with the Kurds, so it is hardly possible to stop the cooperation with Kurds now in order to satisfy Ankara.
The Pentagon has already voiced its readiness to increase military presence in Syria. According to newly published data, there are 1720 American soldiers in Syria, which is three times more than the number of previously reported American military men in Syria. It should be noted that American soldiers are mainly located in the territories controlled by Kurds. According to American official sources, Washington plans to create a new governing body in Kurdish-populated areas.
However, the American vision of the Syrian conflict is the most unacceptable option for Turkey and Ankara will try to prevent such developments. Turkish Defense Minister Nuretin Janikli has already announced the possibility of launching an operation in Syria's Kurdish region of Afri. Thus, serious intensification of the Turkish-American confrontation is expected in Syria, which will have a negative impact on the inter-regional dialogue launched in Geneva today. The main precondition for progress in the political settlement of the Syrian conflict is the consensus on Assad's fate in the future of Syria. However, the agreement on this issue in Ankara and Washington is indirectly linked to the Kurdish issue.
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