As the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) draw closer to Afrin City, Kurdish fighters trained by the USA are streaming from eastern Rojava into Afrin to help defend their Kurdish brothers from the Turkish invaders. The Trump administration’s indecision on taking an increasing belligerent Turkey to task for its unlawful invasion of Kurdish autonomous territory has had the following effects on the complicated and chaotic situation in Syria.
- The SDF/YPG fighters that had been close to finishing off ISIS in eastern Syria are now abandoning their posts in order to defend Afrin from Erdogan the ultimate antagonist to the Kurdish people. This has allowed ISIS to regroup and ultimately hand the task over to Russia/Iran.
- By showing indecision on Afrin the Trump administration has forced the Kurds to look elsewhere for support, including Russia and Iran.
- The continued lack of decsion regarding Afrin places the entire US stabilization project from Manbij to eastern Rojava in doubt.
While Turkey is a member of NATO, there is an increasing need for the Trump administration to confront Erdogan head on. Afterall, Erdogan’s Turkey funded and supported ISIS from the earliest days. If Trump does not take Turkey to task now he risks losing the Kurdish YPG units that make up the bulk of the SDF. While its true ISIS is almost finished the Kurds, like the PUK of Iraq may opt to ally with Iran in order to stop the blood letting in Afrin.
The Trump administration has to decide between an increasingly belligerent Turkey who happens to be still a NATO member or a stable Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) that will ultimately act as a buffer between Western Syria and Iran. The irony is that the Obama administration originally supported the creation of ISIS as a mini caliphate with Erdogan’s help in order to block Iran. We all know the results of this. The Kurdish areas are achieving the same result without turning the area over to a deadly terrorist group.