Turkey is no ally of the United States. As I explained in The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS, Erodgan’s Ottoman irredentism makes him reluctant to attack the Islamic State; he would rather use the Islamic State against his Kurdish enemies, and eventually co-opt the Islamic State caliphate into his own.
“Turkey defies British anti-terror commander, escalating its assault on Syrian Kurds and their Yazidi allies,” by Tom Coburg, The Canary, March 3, 2017:
The last 36 hours have seen major developments in the Middle East in defiance of British and US-led anti-Daesh (Isis/Isil) forces. First, Turkish militias are attacking anti-Daesh units near the Syrian city of Manbij. And at the same time, Turkish-backed forces have launched an attack on the long-suffering Yazidi community in Iraq.
In February, the anti-Daesh Coalition strongly suggested that the multi-ethnic but Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were the best placed group to liberate the self-proclaimed Daesh capital of Raqqa….
As previously reported at The Canary, the Turkish regime has expressed its commitment to taking Manbij by force from SDF control. And on 1 March, in direct defiance of the Coalition, Turkey launched attacks on SDF forces in and around the city.
In a separate development, Yazidi Sinjar Resistance Units (YBŞ) in Iraq have reportedly been under sustained attack from Turkish-backed forces since the morning of 3 March.
The Yazidis are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. In August 2014, Daesh attacked Sinjar, the homeland of the Yazidis. Many people were slaughtered, and hundreds of Yazidi women were taken as sex slaves. Iraqi Kurdish forces refused to intervene. Instead, the YPG and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) came to their rescue. The YBŞ is now affiliated to these groups.
Today’s attack on the Yazidis is attributed to a 500-strong group calling itself “RojPesh” (or ‘Rojava Peshmerga’). Despite this name, the RojPesh is closely allied to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of northern Iraq, and is suspected of being little more than a group of Turkish-backed mercenaries. According to one commentator, meanwhile, the assault is not by the RojPesh but by KRG forces. And indeed, only a week earlier, Turkey’s president met with the head of the KRG to discuss strategy.
In short, Turkey is leading an assault on anti-Daesh forces in both Syria and Iraq. And its attacks are only likely to increase in the coming weeks.