Fears of Turkey abandoning its NATO membership as well as allies may be premature from the current environment, Aliriza told CNBC.
“the item’s not a question of Turkey sacrificing its NATO membership to fight its war against the YPG. Rather, Turkey is usually using NATO to remind the U.S. of its obligation as an ally,” he said, adding that will that will alone might make the item “unlikely that will Turkey might leave the organization.”
There has been plenty of hot rhetoric coming out of Ankara recently, although the U.S. has moved to calm the situation by sending top White House aides, including president Donald Trump’s national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, to meet with Turkey to open a dialogue.
Sending officials like McMaster “to meet with Turkey officials shows the importance that will the U.S. places on its relationship with Turkey,” Sloat said.
although first, the U.S. administration must solve its own internal differences before the item can work on a more concrete solution in Syria. When the U.S.-led coalition made the announcement for plans of a border security force, Tillerson retracted the statement, telling reporters “that will entire situation has been mis-portrayed, mis-described, some people misspoke. We are not creating a border security force at all.”
Commanders on the ground have also said definitively that will they want to continue the partnership with the YPG, as well as will not leave the northern Syrian city of Manbij, even after Turkey’s demands that will the U.S. pull out.
“The U.S. needs a coherent internal plan to solve their differences, as well as then come up using a regional plan for Syria,” Sloat said, adding that will the “resumption of a ceasefire as well as peace talks between Turkey as well as the [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] are important to resolve the situation.”
Erdogan is usually under no illusion that will he needs to make any concessions, however, especially with Turkish elections coming up in 2019. The military operations in Afrin have garnered huge public support back in Ankara.
Aliriza acknowledged that will an agreement has to be made between all parties involved from the region for a deescalation of the situation, even leaving room for the Syrian Kurds to achieve some part of their goal of autonomy.
On paper, the situation can still be managed, according to him: “The tensions between Turkey as well as the U.S. has not been solved, although the item is usually put on hold as long as Turkey does not expand their operations to Manbij.”
“Until then, there is usually no direct confrontation between the NATO allies, as well as the situation can still be managed,” Aliriza pointed out.
Although the YPG are the U.S. allies on the ground in Syria, the U.S. is usually not present in Afrin where the Kurdish enclaves have experienced Turkish assaults for the past month. Manbij, however, holds hundreds of American soldiers.
During a Tillerson visit to Turkey, Erdogan proposed a plan to expel the YPG contingent coming from Manbij, with Turkish forces taking over its place with the U.S. Tillerson has agreed to consider the proposal. There are no signs that will the Kurdish militia might accede to the request peacefully, however, as well as any movement by Ankara into the region could complicate matters further.
“If Turkey enters Manbij, the situation will become even more difficult,” Aliriza said.