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Syria: if you’re not confused, you don’t know what’s going on

Vance and soldiers
CDS General Vance visited Iraq frontline and met with troops, and Canadian special forces members in April 2016.
Canadian Forces
In the past week things have taken a very odd turn in northern Syria.

For one, Turkey invaded. And while the Turks claim their motive for invading was to push ISIS back from the border it shares with Syria, it now appears the real aim was to prevent Syrian Kurds from creating an unbroken stretch of Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria.

The Turks have long said that a Kurdish state on its southern border would be a cause for war.

So that’s what we have now.

TRT World
In the days after the invasion, it seemed the U.S. was backing Turkey in their effort to contain the Kurds. Vice-President Joe Biden made it very clear during a visit to Turkey that there would be “no [Kurdish] corridor,” he said. “Period. No separate entity on the border. A united Syria.”

What has happened since, however, has been a bit confusing. With ISIS no longer in the area, the Turks have pressed their attack against the Syrian Kurds and other rebel groups in the area. The big problem there is that the Syrian Kurds and at least one other rebel group caught up in the fighting are actually staunch American allies.

CDS General Vance met with Peshmerga leaders and troops in April 2016.
Canadian Forces
The Kurds under attack by Turkey are also allies of the Kurds that Canada trains in Northern Iraq. Thus, our allies are fighting our allies.

And the Pentagon wants it to stop.

While we are closely monitoring reports of clashes south of Jarabulus — where ISIL is no longer located — between the Turkish armed forces, some opposition groups and units that are affiliated with the [Kurds], we want to make clear that we find these clashes unacceptable,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook told The New York Times. “This is an already crowded battle space. Accordingly, we are calling on all armed actors to stand down immediately and take appropriate measures to deconflict.”

As it stands now, any Western special operations forces working with the Kurds could conceivably come under attack from Turkey, our NATO ally.

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