It’s hard to see anything good coming from a possible confrontation between Turkey and the US and its forces in Syria. From James George Jatras at strategic-culture.org:
What the result will be of Turkey’s offensive against the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin in northwest Syria may not be clear for a while, but two things are already certain. Bad decisions in Washington provided the trigger, and Washington’s regional position will suffer as a result of Ankara’s Orwellian-named “Operation Olive Branch.”
The offensive is the latest twist from Turkey’s erratic and unpredictable leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Let’s recall that “Sultan” Erdogan was an early and active participant in what was supposed to have been a relatively easy regime change operation in Syria starting in 2011, on the pattern of NATO’s overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi that same year. Turkey, with its lengthy border with Syria, was (and to some extent still is) a major supporter of al-Qaeda-linked jihadist groups in Syria, working with Saudi Arabia and Qatar under American guidance, with Israel as a silent partner. The appearance of ISIS (Daesh, ISIL) as an outgrowth of al-Qaeda in Iraq was a direct and foreseen consequence of that effort, as the Obama Administration was warned in 2012 by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), then under the command of General Michael Flynn.
To the surprise of many, the Syrian government under President Bashar al-Assad didn’t just roll up and die but displayed an unexpected tenacity in defending that country’s secular, multi-religious society against outside efforts to impose a Wahhabist sectarian state. The clincher came with Russia’s September 2015 intervention, a distinctly unwelcome development for the “Assad must go!” crowd.
Two months later a crisis erupted between NATO-member Turkey and Russia when Turkish planes shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter (ostensibly for crossing into Turkish airspace) and ethnic Turkish (also called Turkmen) fighters murdered one of the two Russian airmen who parachuted from the plane. Perhaps Erdogan thought he could give Moscow a bloody nose and, with NATO’s backing him up, the Russians would turn tail and run. That didn’t happen, giving Erdogan reason to feel hung out to dry.
To continue reading: Playing ‘Kurdish Card’ in Syria Backfires on US As Turks Move In