What the Russia-Turkey relationship may mean to the war to defeat Daesh and to the survival of democratic Northern Syria.

Ukraine has occupied the news and our outrage for months. Putin’s murderous admitted plan to commit genocide in Ukraine leaves the US and its SDF/AANES partners in Syria in a very difficult position.

You may recall that Putin’s agent in the White House betrayed the Kurds in 2018 when Mike Pompeo plotted with Putin’s three sanctioned intelligence chiefs to reach an agreement that permitted Erdogan to deploy the Turkish army embedded with terrorists, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, to conduct ethnic cleansing of Kurds, Ezidi (also Kurds) and Christians in Afrin.

Then in 2019, when Erdogan threatened to attack our forces and Trump, who receives cash from Turkey via his Trump Towers, surrendered much of the rest of Kurdish northern Syria to Turkey. I believe this was likely in exchange for cash funneled through Trump Istanbul. With Turkey moving in to attack, it appeared ISIS prisoners would be released from prison and all the advances against ISIS would be reversed. You may recall Mattis and McGurk quit and abandoned by the US, the democratic ANNES and its SDF defense force cut a deal with Assad and Russia to stop the planned Turkish genocide in exchange for allowing Assad and Russia access to the NE.

For the past three years, Russia and Turkey have patrolled areas of NE Syria ostensibly to keep Turkey from attacking our partners. There is a still a small US force in the East. Ukraine is much simpler battlespace. It’s basically Russia vs Ukraine. But in NE Syria there are US, Regime, Russian and Turkish forces in an area still at risk from a variety of terrorist forces including ISIS and and Turkey’s affiliated Al-Qaeda forces. There are few constants that can be relied on in this mix other than these: Turkey is allied with the terrorist and Russia and Assad claim to be fighting the terrorists but in reality give them space to remain a threat to the Sunni population that far outnumbers the Assad Alawite base and keeps the Sunnis from asserting their majority rights. And in the middle of this mess is the US and its SDF partners in the war to defeat Daesh.

Now we are about to see Turkey putting on a face that it no longer will allow Russian overflights to reach Syria but still allowing Russian flights full of tourists and businesses to continue to do business with Turkey. To demonstrate who Erdogan really is, we just witnessed Turkey moving shipload of pillaged Ukrainian grain to Turkey from the Sea of Azov. Erdogan is without morals and will play all sides believing that his role in NATO gives him license to violate sanctions. So what comes next?

What I fear is that the Turkish move to stop overflights is just a fake. Erdogan and Putin will find a way to permit Erdogan to finish off Assad’s AANES problem in the NE while looking like a loyal NATO member. President Biden will have to make a decision, just like Trump in 2019, whether to cut and run or stand up to Erdogan. What we need to do is to realize that Turkey is not a valued NATO ally. It is a corrupt, authoritarian ally of global terrorism and a Russian business partner.

If morality is not enough motivation, the oil and gas in Syria is there to be move to fill in for the Russian output loss. Besides assisting global terrorism, Erdogan wants the oil and gas in Kurdistan, not just Rojava (Syria) but also in Bashur (Iraq). Now would be a good time to stop the Turkish genocide of Kurds, Christians and Ezidis. And in doing it finally end the war in Syria and put its oil and gas on line. Also, Russia is weak and over extended. That’s when you attack.

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