"Two senior American generals came to the front line outside the Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday flying outsized American flags on their vehicles, in case pro-Turkish forces just the other side of the no man’s land, 20 yards away, did not realize who they were."
This a quote from the introductory sentence of an article in The New York Times, which was covering the visit of American generals to Manbij on Wednesday last week. To come to the part of the news that we are more interested in, Major General Paul Funk said, “You hit us, we will respond aggressively. We will defend ourselves."
Although it was not explicitly expressed in the news, it is as clear as day that the target country is Turkey.
Caught red-handed in Manbij
Wait a minute, it's not over yet.
I want your attention, particularly on this part. General Jarrard, one of two U.S. officers who deployed troops to Manbij on Wednesday, tells journalists nearby:
“There are a lot of people that do equate them [YPG] with the P.K.K., but I have not seen any indication of that in my dealings with them throughout our relationship.”
Would you look at that…
No, I will not apply to the evidence describing the PKK / YPG / SDG relationship. In the paragraph under these claims General Jarrad’s statements were refuted before he even left Manbij.
The news correspondent in the article included the fact that the posters of Abdullah Öcalan were on the walls of the office of the YPG spokesman who was accompanying American generals.
Anyway, "This picture is contradictory to the words of the American general,” the correspondent reporting the news says himself.
Since we cannot attribute this to the ignorance of the American officer, there is no other word to say a mock is being made of our intelligence.
Perhaps this news will be presented to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor McMaster, the American visitors of this week, as fresh evidence when the PKK/YPG relations are discussed.
Will Turkey conduct a fait accompli operation, fears the US
Now let us come to the point.
We have a question. Is Turkey thinking of taking American soldiers on directly in military terms?
I can say that the answer to the question is "No".
Nobody is thinking of directly targeting the U.S. military presence in Syria.
However, I have to add that this is not the main question that has not been clarified yet.
What will be the response of the United States be if Turkey strikes the PKK terrorists under the tutelage of the U.S. in Manbij or in the eastern part of the Euphrates?
That's the million-dollar question.
I probed the security source I was talking to about these subjects last week saying, "I do not think PKK / YPG elements under the tutelage of U.S. are to be targeted before we reach common ground with Washington. Don’t you think so?"
My source said, "There will be efforts for a compromise, but otherwise we cannot say for sure that we will keep silent,” and added, " [Turkey] will complete the operation plan, inform the Americans one hour before the operation saying, “Withdraw from those regions; we are going to strike,” and it’ll take action.
This was done in Karaçok
This statement is not the result of a brainstorm.
We have experienced a case of this on the evening of Apr. 23 last year.
The planning was secretly carried out in Ankara, and one hour before 45 F-16 aircrafts took off, U.S. forces were asked to withdraw from the relevant coordinates, and the PKK / YPG targets in the Sinjar / Karaçok region were effectively hit.
Here, the biggest concern of the U.S. is the repetition of such fait accompli operations.
As of this point, the fact that Turkey has started the Afrin operation has already triggered this fear.
In this case, it won’t be wrong to interpret, "How is that? Will you confront our soldiers in Syria?” sentence as the fear of: “What will we do if Turkey targets the elements under our tutelage?”
Because in that case, the United States will be forced to make a permanent choice between one of the two allies.
So, when the costs of what I mentioned are calculated in Washington, the result will be a state of vacillation, inconsistent statements and arbitrarily siding with Turkey one day and with the YPG the next.