How can Turkey respond to US pressure regarding the east of the Euphrates? - MEHMET ACET

How can Turkey respond to US pressure regarding the east of the Euphrates?

Whenever Turkey makes a move, whenever it gives the signal to make a move, the U.S. tries to calm the situation with futile “brush-ups.” We are encountering a new example of this case today.

When Ankara showed determination to launch an operation east of the Euphrates River, they pulled another rabbit out of the hat and invented “a new secret formula.”

According to reports, the U.S. deployed about 100 Peshmerga fighters to northern Syria to alleviate Turkey’s reaction to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) presence on its southern border.

It is crystal clear that this is a brush-up taken to save face, with the intention of carrying on from where they left off after stopping Turkey.

It will help to have knowledge of the facts:

The U.S. has not given up the strategy to siege Turkey through the PKK.

One other fact is that if Turkey succeeds, it can lead this project to a stalemate with its own interventions alone.

It could be said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan having high sensitivity regarding the matter is Turkey’s biggest chance.

Speaking in Turkey’s Central Anatolian Konya province the other day, Erdoğan said, “We announced that we are going to start the operation in the east of the Euphrates. We discussed this with [U.S. President Donald] Trump. His response was positive. We can launch the operation in Syria any moment now, without harm to U.S. troops along the 500-kilometer border line. Our army and plans are ready. We can come again one night, unexpectedly.”

There are two questions at this point:

1- What may have Erdoğan requested from Trump during their telephone call last week?

2- What kind of “positive responses” may have Trump given to Erdoğan’s requests?

A couple of possibilities stand out in this context. As the phone call took place upon Trump’s request, it is certain he called Erdoğan to tell him to “Back down from the operation.”

We can consider that in response to this, Erdoğan reiterated his determined stance and made demands such as moving the YPG elements away from areas near the border, and removing the U.S. troops in points within the operation field.

The context of Erdoğan’s statement that Trump’s “response was positive” fits in here somewhere.

As for the U.S. brought Peshmerga to Syria, we can associate this with the U.S.’s intention to do something after this call to stop the approaching operation.

If it were up to Trump, he would have the troops occupied with futile tasks in Syria. If he had the power to have all his decisions executed, he would not have even a single American soldier stay in Syria.

But one thing that has become quite clear is that the project east of the Euphrates is being implemented by the Pentagon and the CENTCOM mind.

Considering the reactions since Turkey started giving determined messages for the operation, it is again the same groups that are disturbed.

After President Erdoğan said, “We are going to launch the operation in a few days,” the first reaction from the Pentagon resonated among the public as “unacceptable.”

Pentagon’s spokesperson made new statements the other day.

In response to the question, “Turkey is determined on taking military action. If this happens, will you also use military force?” the Pentagon spokesperson said, “I am not sure, I will get back to you on that.”

What does this mean?

Is this a threat implying that they will wage war against Turkey in the case of a likely operation? Or does he simply want to pass off the question to avoid giving away the fact that they have a weak hand?

It seems more logical to see all this as part of the strategy to use “all the required instruments” aimed at preventing Turkey from taking action.

As Turkey did not conduct any comprehensive operation for the east of the Euphrates until now, the kind of reaction the U.S. will show or what might happen in such a situation has not yet been tested. But we have some experience from the previous operations.

The U.S. had introduced a pressure policy before Operation Euphrates Shield was launched, similar to the one it is resorting to today, to prevent Turkey from setting foot on Syrian territory.

When the operation was launched in August 2016, this time the U.S. warned Turkey, saying, “Do not go deeper than 20 kilometers.” Turkey did that too, and at the end of the day, those pressures were useless.

Do these examples not give an idea for today as well?


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