US Marines in Syria to defend Kurds against Turkey

The US has sent a group of US Marines armed with eight-wheeled Stryker armored carriers to northern Syria as a buffer between Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces, after Turkish air strikes killed 20 members of the US-backed Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) militia, injured 18 and destroyed the local Kurdish command headquarters. Clashes broke out between Turkish and Kurdish forces after the air strikes.

It was the second time American armored troops had stepped in to separate Turkish and the Kurdish YPG militia that leads the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), to which the Americans assign a major role in the offensive to capture Raqqa from ISIS. On March 17, US Marines advanced towards the northern Syrian town of Manbij when the Turkish army was on the point of fighting the Kurdish militia for control of the town. Continue reading

German deputy speaker: NATO must stop Turkey support for ISIS

BERLIN, Germany – NATO must force Turkey to stop its undeclared support of the Islamic State (ISIS) and shift its policy toward the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the deputy speaker of the German parliament said.

Claudia Roth said in an interview with Rudaw that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is pursuing a “murky” policy in Syria because it wants the Kurds weakened and their fighters “annihilated.”

What we have learned is that Mr Erdogan wouldn’t mind if Kurds were weakened and then annihilated,” said Roth, deputy speaker of the Bundestag and a Green Party MP.

Erdogan’s “dealings with the ISIS are unacceptable. I could not believe that Turkey harbors an ISIS militant camp in Istanbul,” Roth said. “Turkey has also allowed weapons to be transported into Syria through its borders. Also that the ISIS has been able to sell its oil via Turkey is extraordinary,” she added. Continue reading