Turkey is planning an invasion of Syria—not to fight ISIS, but to fight the Kurds.
“We will never allow the establishment of a state on our southern border in the north of Syria,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. “We will continue our fight in that respect whatever the cost may be.”
He wants a buffer zone along the Turkish border 30 kilometers deep into Syria in an area that the Kurds are poised to take back from ISIS.
As always, the Turkish government fears the Kurds more than anything else. An independent Syrian Kurdistan could encourage the people of Turkish Kurdistan to break free as well. And 25 percent of Turkey’s population is Kurdish.
Turkey’s only long-term solution to this problem is peace with the Kurds. They aren’t going anywhere. They will want out of Turkey, out of Syria, out of Iraq, and out of Iran as long as those countries treat them like dirt.
The good news for Turkey—if the Turks ever wise up enough to figure this out—is that the Kurds are the easiest people in the entire Middle East to make friends with.
Making friends with ISIS, meanwhile, is impossible.
What will the United States do if Turkey stomps on our only genuine and competent allies in the war against ISIS? Probably nothing. Turkey is a member of NATO, and even if it weren’t, a war against Turkey is unthinkable for so many reasons.
If Turkey actually goes through with this, though, more people than ever will insist that Turkey exits NATO at the same time Greece exits the Euro.