Why doesn’t he provide a solution to the siege by the Islamic State (ISIS) of Kobani (or Ayn al-Araba in Arabic), a Kurdish city in the Kurdish regions of northern Syria? He is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, who has issued a dire warning to the West: “dropping bombs from the air will not provide a solution … the time [has] come to ‘cooperate for a ground invasion.’”
Turkey is a NATO ally with a sizable, modern army, quite capable of tackling ISIS. The problem Turkey, the US, the European Union and NATO face stems from these great centralizers’ opposition to the PKK. The PKK is a long-standing Kurdish, separatist movement, which the US, Turkey and the rest aim to eliminate or undermine, for obvious reasons. Statists struggle with secession, separation or States’ Rights.
The Turkish leader is strongly mistrusted by the Kurds of Turkey and Syria. Many accuse his government — anxious about Turkey’s own Kurdish separatist movement — of conniving with ISIS and of failing to act to prevent it committing atrocities against the Kurds in Syria. Meanwhile, Washington is becoming increasingly frustrated with its NATO ally. There’s growing angst about Turkey dragging its feet to act to prevent a massacre less than a mile from its border,” an unnamed U.S. official told the New York Times. “After all the fulminating about Syria’s humanitarian catastrophe, they’re inventing reasons not to act to avoid another catastrophe. “This isn’t how a NATO ally acts while hell is unfolding a stone’s throw from their border.”
If the US is so cut up about Turkey’s craven indifference to the Kurds, it could collude with NATO members to strip Turkey of its NATO membership, for what that’s worth.
“our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” elaborating that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were “so determined to take down Assad,” that they started a “proxy Sunni-Shia war.” Biden went on saying that “they poured hundreds of millions of dollars, and tens of thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”
The country has been strangely reserved when it comes to dealing with the Islamic State. It is the neighboring country that is perhaps most threatened by the jihadist fighters, but it has refrained thus far from joining US President Barack Obama’s anti-terror coalition, even if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly hinted over the weekend that it might do so soon. When it comes to combatting the Islamic State and putting an end to the Syrian civil war, Turkey has a key role to play.
The government in Ankara had justified its hesitancy by pointing to the dozens of Turkish diplomats taken hostage by the Islamic State in Mosul. Now that they have been released, however, all eyes are on Turkey to see what responsibilities it might take on. On the way back to Turkey from the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Erdogan told reporters that his country is now prepared to join the coalition. At the World Economic Forum meeting in Istanbul on Sunday he added, in reference to the fight against the Islamic State: “We cannot stay out of this.”