Turkey v YPG

Several posters have made the distinction between the PYD/YPG & PKK and 'the Kurds'. And quite right to do so. Turkey stresses the point that it us rooting out the PKK and affiliates, and not targetting Kurds, per se. But what they did in 2015 and 2016, levelling towns such as Cizre and Siirt, was nothing short of a scorched Earth policy.

What's interesting about this incursion is that it will have held up the odious Al Assad from regaining the other half of Syria. The Russians couldn't give two hoots: they've Latakia air base and Tartus port. The PYD (posing as the 'SDF') had been sniffing around both the Regime and Russia, expecting to do a deal in anticipation of the Americans leaving. I guess that there was no deal...
 
Here is a thought. Turkey has been a pain in the backside for certainly the US and NATO. Trouble is its not some small tin pot country. Trump, or than likely advisors that actually he listens to, decides that after the F35 withdrawal and S400 purchases whilst he wants them out of NATO, but it wont be easy. So he decides to "pull out" of the area that he knows Erdogan will march into (who needs some positive news back home) and then come up with sanctions etc. This is then the starter of a motion to remove Turkey from NATO. All Erdogan needs to do is massacre a few villages etc and he wont be getting his Xmas card from Stoltenberg anytime soon!
In the last couple of years Turkish paramilitaries have already destroyed ethnically Kurdish towns (not just villages) near the border, within Turkey, and no-one in Europe or NATO has so much as blinked.
 
Except that there is no mechanism to sanction, let alone, expel a fellow NATO member state, unlike the powers available to the EU The Washington Treaty is all about joining, not leaving. (...)
I'm not sure that the other members of NATO are ready to agree to expelling Turkey either. There is the long term to consider, and Turkey is more useful as an ally on the south-east flank of Europe than as an enemy.
 
Several posters have made the distinction between the PYD/YPG & PKK and 'the Kurds'. And quite right to do so. Turkey stresses the point that it us rooting out the PKK and affiliates, and not targetting Kurds, per se. But what they did in 2015 and 2016, levelling towns such as Cizre and Siirt, was nothing short of a scorched Earth policy.

What's interesting about this incursion is that it will have held up the odious Al Assad from regaining the other half of Syria. The Russians couldn't give two hoots: they've Latakia air base and Tartus port. The PYD (posing as the 'SDF') had been sniffing around both the Regime and Russia, expecting to do a deal in anticipation of the Americans leaving. I guess that there was no deal...
I suspect that one of the major objectives the Turks will have will be to establish themselves in a position where they will have a say in any reconciliation deal between Damascus and the Kurds. The Turks will want to have their interests taken into account, possibly including limiting the autonomy of any Kurdish regional government.
 
I'm not sure that the other members of NATO are ready to agree to expelling Turkey either. There is the long term to consider, and Turkey is more useful as an ally on the south-east flank of Europe than as an enemy.
Ain't gonna happen. The unity of the Alliance is its strategic centre of gravity. Expel a member and you effectively end NATO.
 
I'm not sure that the other members of NATO are ready to agree to expelling Turkey either. There is the long term to consider, and Turkey is more useful as an ally on the south-east flank of Europe than as an enemy.
Ive oft wondered how much benefit Turkey is to NATO

It controls the Bosphuros* but that a bit meh I always think because the med leads only to 2 other choke points.

Personally I think keeping them in relates more to its spats with Greece - Russia could and would use a neutral Turkeys' animosity with Greece to suck NATO into a pointless conflict

*speelung
 
Ive oft wondered how much benefit Turkey is to NATO

It controls the Bosphuros* but that a bit meh I always think because the med leads only to 2 other choke points.
But also leads to the littoral of numerous NATO allies with Mediterranean coastlines.
 
Ive oft wondered how much benefit Turkey is to NATO

It controls the Bosphuros* but that a bit meh I always think because the med leads only to 2 other choke points.

Personally I think keeping them in relates more to its spats with Greece - Russia could and would use a neutral Turkeys' animosity with Greece to suck NATO into a pointless conflict

*speelung
You're taking too Euro-centric a view of things. Think of how the strategic geography of the Middle East and Central Asia would look if Turkey were either neutral or worse, an ally of Russia. I think that Turkey's main value to NATO during the cold war was less as the guardian of the Bosporus and more as gatekeeper of the Caucasus.

 
You're taking too Euro-centric a view of things. Think of how the strategic geography of the Middle East and Central Asia would look if Turkey were either neutral or worse, an ally of Russia. I think that Turkey's main value to NATO during the cold war was less as the guardian of the Bosporus and more as gatekeeper of the Caucasus.

Polaris skippers dream...
 
Several posters have made the distinction between the PYD/YPG & PKK and 'the Kurds'. And quite right to do so. Turkey stresses the point that it us rooting out the PKK and affiliates, and not targetting Kurds, per se. But what they did in 2015 and 2016, levelling towns such as Cizre and Siirt, was nothing short of a scorched Earth policy.

What's interesting about this incursion is that it will have held up the odious Al Assad from regaining the other half of Syria. The Russians couldn't give two hoots: they've Latakia air base and Tartus port. The PYD (posing as the 'SDF') had been sniffing around both the Regime and Russia, expecting to do a deal in anticipation of the Americans leaving. I guess that there was no deal...
I met many YPJ members who had been involved with PKK whilst I was in Manbij.

We also learnt of wounded IS fighters being treated in hospitals in Gazientep. We found Turkish weapons (LAW etc. made under licence in Turkey) near dead IS. The YPG were convinced that Turkey was supplying IS with hardware.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_abc.jpg
 

rampant

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I met many YPJ members who had been involved with PKK whilst I was in Manbij.

We also learnt of wounded IS fighters being treated in hospitals in Gazientep. We found Turkish weapons (LAW etc. made under licence in Turkey) near dead IS. The YPG were convinced that Turkey was supplying IS with hardware.

View attachment 422749
They did acquire huge stocks of gear from the retreating Iraqi Army, a lot of it came from there
 
They did acquire huge stocks of gear from the retreating Iraqi Army, a lot of it came from there
IS got big stocks of hardware from other rebels, including a lot of stuff supplied by foreign patrons of various rebel factions. I would be surprised if this didn't include kit supplied by the Turks to the rebels they were backing.

A lot of kit changed hands either when a rebel faction would change sides, or in trade between them, or when left behind in retreat or defeat.
 

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