The U.S. demand that he stops supporting the jihadists of ISIS immediately
Obama calls on the turkish army to take part in ground operations
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
The United States exert a huge pressure to Turkey, not just to stop any support to the jihadists, but requires their direct involvement in the operations against the Islamic state (ISIS). Americans know that Ankara in recent years has been sending ammunition to the Islamic extremists, as well as providing financial support to the rebels, aiming to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. This, however, resulted in the creation of the jihadists “monster”.
Kerry: “Turkey supported Syria’s bad apples”
U.S. Secretary General John Kerry, in an interview with the CNN did not “mince his words”, saying that “when the efforts to overthrow Assad had begun, some had said, let’s give our support to everyone, even though there were some “rotten apples” among them. This, however, resulted in supporting several groups. Everything happened superficially. Only now, these “rotten apples” have became a big threat”.
Political analysts realized that Kerry was “photographing” Turkey and the interview was given during the visit of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York on the occasion of the UN General Assembly. There, the Turkish President realized that he could not delay making decisions.
After speaking with Barack Obama for about 10 minutes at the dinner hosted to the leaders who came in the USA, the pressure became even larger on Thursday night.
Erdogan met with US Vice President Joe Biden, in a meeting that was scheduled to last for one hour. Eventually, the meeting took two hours and involved Barak Obama intervening via phone, with the three men ending up discussing through a conference call with the help of the interpreter of the Turkish president, who does not speak English.
The announcement by the White House says that “the two leaders discussed ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in dealing with the jihadists threat, while President Obama praised the work of the turkish authorities, who in collaboration with the United Nations care for the “massive influx of refugees arriving in Turkey”. But the partners of the Turkish president say that the “Americans are not joking and are calling for Turkey’s immediate presence and participation in the war against ISIS, since so far the only ones who are openly fighting them are the Kurds”.
Erdogan just won time by stating that with his return to Ankara he will discuss with the government to decide on the course of action, but in Washington they know that all decisions are taken by him and not by Davutoglu.
Ankara, until a few days ago, appeared reluctant to join the international coalition led by the United States. The pressure from the USA seem to have brought results at a declarations level, as for the first time the Turkish president left open the possibility for Turkey to support the international coalition, announcing that his country can provide military support, without however getting into more details.
“From the statements of Erdogan and Davutoglu it is made clear that Turkey will join the alliance, but wants to gain something in return. Turkey asks for the creation of buffer zones, always with the help of the alliance, in addition to the creation of a no-fly zone in Syria”, writes Murad Gietkin to Radically.
Turkey does not wish to participate openly in the fighting against the jihadists, who have now reached 500 meters from the turkish border, since it does not want to give the impression that it fights against Muslims, let alone Sunni Muslims who follow the same doctrine with most of the Turks. At the same time, Ankara until recently hosted and provided arms to hundreds of officers and fighters of ISIS who fought against Assad.
The ex-US ambassador to Ankara, Francis Ricciardone, revealed that “we were telling the Turks not to support groups that we do not trust. We were telling them: “Do not allow them to cross your borders”. Turkey instead “winked” at the organizations al-Nusra and Ahran al-Sham (branches of ISIS).
Jihadists’ hideouts in Turkey
According to revelations of the secret services of the USA, the jihadists have hideouts in Turkey. The turkish government fears terrorist attacks within the country, where it to take action against ISIS.
The Turkish-Syrian border is 850 km in length and is difficult to control.
It is assumed that the PKK Kurds cross the border to support their compatriots in Syria in their fight against the jihadists, while members of ISIS cross the border towards Antioch, where they retain hideouts that provide them with shelter and care, as the Republican People’s Party has often denounced.
Essentially Ankara is “sandwiched” between jihadists and Kurds both of which have a presence within its territory and must choose with whom to go align. There many who recall that the solution to the Kurdish issue has been blocked due to this situation.
If ISIS continues its advance then Turkey will adjoin with a state of “terrorists”, with the Kurds equipped with heavy weapons in order to fight them, which would constitute a clear threat to Turkey’s internal security.
“Fighting in the region is complex. However, Turkey should ally with the Kurds against ISIS to create a new momentum in the region. The two sides must move forward together”, says the political analyst Oral Calislar.