How Far Will The U.S. Go If Turkey Invades Syria?

The Government of Turkey has now put itself in a position whereby it must act rapidly and precipitously to avoid moving to an ultimately losing strategic position in the war against Syria, which could result in being forced back to fight a full-scale civil war to prevent the break-up of the State into at least two compo-nents, one being a new Kurdish state.

Turkey’s leadership, in insisting — in 2011-12 — on sponsoring a proxy war to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has already led to a refugee crisis of irreversible strategic damage to Europe, but Turkish Presisdent Reçep Tayyip Erdo?an [sic], the Saudi Arabian military-political leadership, the U.S. Barack Obama administration, and the Qatari Emir now find themselves with nowhere to go except to escalate further in the hope that the Syrian revival, backed by Russia and Iran, will collapse.

Clear indications are emerging in Washington, DC, that the Pentagon is preparing to support a direct mili-tary invasion of Syria by Turkish Armed Forces, despite the Munich accord in the week ending February 13, 2016, which was meant to bring about a ceasefire in Syrian fighting. US officials have been actively en-gaged [sic]with those of Turkey and possibly Saudi Arabia in the preparations for ground force attacks on Kurd-ish military formations inside northern Syria, and U.S. Air Force Fairchild A-10 strike aircraft have deployed over northern Syrian territory in early February.

The planned intervention by Turkey (and possibly other powers, such as Saudi Arabia) is specifically not aimed at countering the activities of ISIS (asad-Dawlah al-Isl?m?yah f? al-‘Ir?q wash-Sh?m/Islamic State) [sic], but solely about countering the growing capability of Syrian- and Iraqi-based Kurdish fighters, and to offset the gains which Syrian Government forces, supported by Russian and Iranian/HizbAllah forces, made in and around Aleppo.

The prospect of yet another abandonment of the Kurds is causing considerable division within some U.S. military and intelligence circles, but the fiction is that the Turkish battle is with ISIS.

The Obama Administration and the Government of Turkish President Erdo?an [sic] and Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu [sic] appear to have calculated — probably correctly — that the Russian Government would not di-rectly interfere with the assault on Kurdish forces, the YPG [People’s Protection Units (Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel)] in a move designed to split those forces, driving to a depth of some 25 miles inside Syria.

The proposed major military assault into Syria holds considerable risk for Turkey, not the least of that being a possible accidental escalation of hostilities with Russia, but it now seems unavoidable if Ankara is not to see a major disaster, not only wasting more than five years of intense effort to overthrow the Syrian Gov-ernment of President Bashar al-Assad, but also to avert the unfettered escalation of the Kurdish war to wrench a large part of Turkey away from Ankara to create a new Kurdish state which would link with Iraqi and Syrian Kurds. Already, Turkey has paid an enormous price in unanticipated consequences from its ef-fort to lead a coalition (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the U.S.) into overthrowing Assad.

The war has taken far longer than anticipated, and has cost Turkey all of its regional allies; it has also unit-ed the Kurds of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria into a desire to finally create their Kurdish state; it has generated a refugee flow from Syria and Iraq which is now beyond Ankara’s capacity to manage; and it has created a major rift between Turkey and the European Union, while costing Turkey most of its political support in Washington (except from the Obama White House and the State Dept.). Moreover, the escalation has led to the Russo-Turkish rift, in which Russian sanctions against Turkey are now starting to bite into an already fragile Turkish economy.

At the same time, the Iranian Government feels that Iranian vital strategic interests have been directly challenged by Ankara, and that while Iran had few options but to trade through Turkey during the period of international sanctions, it now — with sanctions being lifted — no longer has to hold back so much in de-fending its interests against Turkish depredation.

It has been obvious for some time to Russian, Kurdish, Iranian, and Syrian officials that Turkey would have to lash out to defend its position.

As a result, all of those states in confrontation with Turkey have had time to begin bolstering their defens-es in the area which Turkey intends to invade in Syria.

Moreover, the reality is that Turkey now places itself in the position, de facto, of declaring war on Syria. This has a significant new element and catalyst:

Turkey and its allies have been operating through a range of proxies, including ISIS, the al-Nusra Front, and so on to wage war on Syria. Thus, at least, Syrian forces would, in facing a conventional Turkish military invasion, legitimately be able to respond militarily, if they could gain the territorial foothold to do so. Thus the determination by Damascus and Moscow to regain as much territory in and around Aleppo as quickly as possible. This raises the question, however, of whether Turkey would use this as a pretext to attempt to engage NATO forces, or at least the forces of the US.

What, then, are the options open to the governments and forces seeking to oppose the Turkish military intervention, knowing that, at the very least, Turkish forces would be able — with their strong combined arms operations and advanced systems, supported by U.S. and Turkish command and control operations — to make swift and significant gains inside Syrian territory?

It is even possible that the U.S. may even seek a viable solution to the Turkish military occupation of the northern 37 percent of Cyprus since 1974 (unlike the Turkish-biased 2004 Annan Plan), in order to get Cy-prus — a strategic partner with Israel, Greece, and Egypt on the gas fields — to go along with the U.S. plan to get Mediterranean gas to Turkey to save it from the Russian sanctions.

Full article: How Far Will The U.S. Go If Turkey Invades Syria? (Oil Price)

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