Beleaguered Kurds: ISIS resurgence, a Turkish invasion
In 2019, President Trump betrayed the Syrian-Kurdish allies who were on the front lines of enabling the United States to eradicate the ISIS caliphate. This decision was made in direct defiance of the counsel of a majority of foreign policy and defense officials. Because Trump capitulated to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s invasion, an estimated 300,000 Kurds were forced to seek sanctuary as refugees. In the war against ISIS, the Kurdish forces lost 11,000 fighters, and their betrayal sent a grim message to American allies abroad.
Joe Biden said at the time, “Donald Trump betrayed a key local ally in the fight against terrorism by selling out the Syrian Democratic Forces.” The Syrian Democratic Forces – the Kurds and Arabs who fought alongside the United States to smash ISIS’s caliphate.
If we pull ahead to 2022, we’ll find that Turkey is planning another invasion, which could overwhelm the Kurdish forces currently holding more than 10,000 ISIS prisoners. ISIS-affiliated militants are waiting for the right moment to gateway and render their jihad.
Still, one of the United States’ top priorities is to stop ISIS from gaining ground, which is why 900 American troops are helping the Kurdish forces. . The United States has a disproportionate security influence thanks to its limited footprint. Still, that influence might vanish in the blink of an eye if Turkey launched a full-scale invasion. Sadly, it seems that Turkey, a NATO member, places more importance on eradicating the Kurds than destroying ISIS.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), whose core contingent is the Kurdish YPG, have said they will focus their forces on the invasion to defend Kurdish territory from a massive ground offensive. This is done to defend the Kurdish region. That means the soldiers watching over the ISIS inmates could leave anytime at night. Mazloum Abdi, the leader of the SDF, said, “If Turkey attacks, the war will spread to all parts of the country. We can say that the international coalition’s work against IS has broken because our attention is now being taken away by the attacks in Turkey.
Jennifer Griffith of Fox News asserts that there are compelling reasons to worry that Turkey’s intended ground invasion of Syria could lead to the release of thousands of Islamic State terrorists who are being held in prison from more than 50 different countries.
The Turkey-Russia-Iran Axis
Turkey is getting ready for what could be its fifth and final ground war in the north and east of Syria. Turkey considers that the Kurdish forces operating in Syria are an extension of the PKK, which is a terrorist group that exists in Turkey. But America disagrees. Turkey’s primary objective is to establish a permanent security zone in Syria that is twenty miles deep and runs along the border with Turkey.
After the Kurds have been expelled from the territory, the area will be allocated to resettle Syrian refugees now residing in Turkey who were forced to flee their homes following the civil war in Syria. On the other hand, the expulsion of a civilian population is expressly outlawed in Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
After the Kurds have been expelled from the territory, the area will be allocated to resettle Syrian refugees now residing in Turkey who were forced to flee their homes due to the civil war in Syria. On the other hand, the expulsion of a civilian population is expressly outlawed in Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
In 2019, Joe Biden posited that former President Donald Trump had betrayed the Kurds by forcing them to “defend themselves against Turkey instead of combating ISIS.” The president may demonstrate true leadership and give credence to his statements by exercising his leverage to pressure Erdogan to negate his invasion. During the G-20 summit, President Biden offered Erdoan his condolences for the terrorist tragedy in Istanbul earlier this month and assured him that “we stand with our NATO ally.” However, the report from the White House did not involve any advisory against an invasion on the ground. This is not a favorable indication at all.
Erdogan has concluded, after careful consideration, that the Biden administration, much like the Trump administration, will not impose any severe implications in response to an invasion and that, therefore, can act with impunity given NATO needs his approval to allow Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. This conclusion was reached after Erdoan contrasted the policies of the Trump administration and the Biden administration.
But given the current state of Turkey’s economy and that his party is behind in the polls, an invasion of Kurdish territory in Syria may be more about domestic politics and an attempt to influence the upcoming election in Turkey. Erdogan may be betting that if he appeals to the nationalism of the Turkish people, they will forget about their economic problems and focus on a common enemy outside of Turkey. This would give him another election victory.
There is a possibility that Biden does not have sufficient leverage or options to dissuade Erdogan. But he must make it clear to him that there would be severe ramifications if Turkey opts out of playing ball. Instead, the president ought to discuss with Erdoan and persuade him to cease his attack indefinitely; otherwise, the United States will hold him accountable for the return of ISIS and another humanitarian refugee crisis. Sadly, it seems as though the Biden administration has already resigned itself to the idea of capitulating the Kurds to Erdogan’s ambitions.
An invasion by Turkey would also be seen as a victory for Russia. The Astana deal is a plan for splitting Syria up, and Turkey, Russia, and Iran are all part of it. Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute contends that Russia could be making a bid for a deal between Ankara and Damascus that may wrap up the war in Syria,” which would result in Iran, Russia, and Turkey each receiving their allotted portion of the Syrian pie.
It’s possible that many Americans have forgotten about the Islamic State and the dangers they pose to the West. The American public would not be so forgiving of Biden should this situation blindside him if the jihadists rose again, with images of rape, plunder, and beheadings resulting from the Turkish invasion. At a tremendous financial expense, the international community has once completely obliterated ISIS. Nobody wishes to have to go through with it once more.