Ankara’s short-sighted position on Syria strengths long-term US-Israeli leverage against Turkey
By weakening pro-Assad Kurds in Syria, in the long-run Turkey is strengthening the US leverage against itself that the US can use at any point it deems necessary.
July 31, 2012, 17:20 EST
While Turkey is being used as the main proxy in the US led war within Syria against the Islamic axis led by Islamic Iran, the arising Kurdish issue in Syria will be a permanent US leverage against Turkey.
One of the main reasons why Bashar al-Assad’s regime is able to continue resisting against the US proxy forces in Syria is because a significant portion of Kurds living within Syria sided with Damascus. The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD) affiliated with the PKK made a deal with Damascus and now controls key areas in northeast Syria. It is an expected move on the side of Assad to activate the Kurdish leverage against Turkey as Ankara provides assistance to the US-Israeli backed forces. What exact outcome this will have on the region and the US sponsored war within Syria is yet hard to predict. However, even if the US manages to topple the Assad regime, the Kurdish question will always be a strong US leverage against Turkey.
The strongest faction within the Kurdish political orbit is the Iraqi Kurdish one led by Massoud Barzani based in Northern Iraq. They have a de-facto state with strong political, economic and military support from Washington. Even if Assad fails to ignite a widespread Kurdish rebellion inside Turkey, the Kurds that fought on the side of the US will extract political, economic and at times military revenge from the Kurds that sided with Assad. In any scenario the Kurdish internal battle will affect Turkey and in one way or another will take place within Turkey even if Assad falls.
In 2009 the leftist Turkish political activist Prof. Dr. Erol Manisali published a book in which he stated that “now everybody, soldier or civilian, accept that the PKK is an organization which is supported by the United States and the European Union. That's why it cannot be destroyed completely.” The US support for PKK is beyond doubt to any informed observer of the Middle East. It would be extremely ignorant to assume that the raids which the PKK conducts against Turkey from Iraq are done without tacit US approval.By weakening pro-Assad Kurds in Syria, in the long-run Turkey is strengthening the US leverage against itself that the US can use at any point it deems necessary. END