The United States is caught between its best partner against ISIS and the second-largest NATO army, as Turkey presses the United States for a foothold in northeastern Syria at the expense of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). But the impasse could end soon.
After a tense week of negotiations, the U.S. embassy in Ankara issued a sanguine statement on Wednesday announcing an agreement on “initial measures to address Turkey’s security concerns,” the creation of a joint U.S.-Turkish operations center and efforts towards repatriating Syrian refugees.
Turkey’s own defense minister, Hulusi Akar, announced that the negotiations have been “constructive” and his U.S. counterparts have come “closer to our position.”
Public bluster by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has forced the United States to respond, but its demands may be tempered by geopolitical realities. And the U.S. Department of State, led by Special Envoy James Jeffrey, has pushed the SDF to accept concessions aiming to appease Turkey.
Read the full article and more in The National Interest.