U.S. and Turkey Announce United Strategy Against ISIS

By: Annette Brinckerhoff

The U.S. and Turkey have announced a plan to fight the threat of ISIS. The goal is to create a 60 mile “safe-zone” for refugees along the Syrian border with Turkey. Reversing on its long time stance to not cooperate with Washington, Ankara has opened it’s strategic military air bases allowing the U.S. air force to fly drones and other air support from a much shorter distance.

So far, the most successful offensive against the Islamic Caliphate has been Kurdish resistance with air support and supplies from the United States. The ethnic group has a long history of fighting Ankara for sovereignty in their vision of creating a Kurdish Republic.

The U.S. and Turkey have announced a plan to fight the threat of ISIS. The goal is to create a 60 mile “safe-zone” for refugees along the Syrian border with Turkey. Reversing on its long time stance to not cooperate with Washington, Ankara has opened it’s strategic military air bases allowing the U.S. air force to fly drones and other air support from a much shorter distance.

This is believed to be because the most successful offensive against the Islamic Caliphate has been the Kurdish resistance with air support and supplies from the United States. The ethnic group has a long history of fighting Ankara for sovereignty in their vision of creating a Kurdish Republic. A cease-fire in 2013 and the official introduction of the Democratic Union Party into the Turkish congress has allowed for an end to the violence that has claimed over 40,000 lives.

The U.S.-Kurdish cooperation and the growing support from the Turkish electorate for the HDP party is threatening to Erdogan’s administration.

The prime minister has also been criticized for aiding terrorist organizations in Syria by letting recruits through its borders, turning a blind eye to smuggled weapons and supplies, and allowing money and assets to flow through turkey.

The new offensive began in the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Suruç which claimed the lives of over 32 people, mostly students. It also comes in the days after a PKK soldier killed two Turkish police officers.

The Kurds argued that the attack was in response to Turkey aiding Daesh (ISIS’s arabic nickname). Turkey, in response has targeted Kurdish positions in Iraq and Syria claiming that the Kurds and their militias are just as threatening as ISIS.

Now that the United States has found a willing ally in Ankara and will likely be withdrawing the controversial aid to the Kurdish forces. Hopefully, Turkeys military success will follow the path of the Kurds and allow for established safe zones for refugees where stability can be returned.

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