Turkish strikes on US Kurd allies resonate in Ukraine war
Dec 03, 2022 2 mins, 22 secs
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Biden administration officials are toughening their language toward NATO ally Turkey as they try to talk Turkish President Recep Erdogan out of launching a bloody and destabilizing ground offensive against American-allied Kurdish forces in neighboring Syria.

and its Kurdish allies in Syria, Turkey has launched cross-border airstrikes, rockets and shells into U.S.- and Kurdish-patrolled areas of Syria, leaving Kurdish funeral corteges burying scores of dead.

And National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Friday made one of the administration’s first specific mentions of the impact of the Turkish strikes on the Kurdish militia, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, that works with the United States against Islamic State militants bottled up in northern Syria.

How successfully the United States manages Erdogan’s threat to send troops in against America’s Kurdish partners over coming weeks will affect global security concerns far from that isolated corner of Syria.

But giving Turkey free rein in attacks on the Syrian Kurds in hopes of securing Erdogan’s cooperation within NATO would have big security implications of its own.

forces on Friday stopped joint military patrols with the Kurdish forces in northern Syria to counter Islamic State extremists, as the Kurds concentrate on defending themselves from the Turkish air and artillery attacks and a possible ground invasion.

“ISIS is the forgotten story for the world and the United States, because of the focus on Ukraine,” said Omer Taspinar, an expert on Turkey and European security at the Brookings Institution and the National War College.

Turkey says the Syrian Kurds are allied to a nearly four-decade PKK Kurdish insurgency in southeast Turkey that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people on both sides.

The United States’ Syrian Kurdish allies deny any attacks in Turkey.

In July, Central Command angered Turkey by tweeting condolences for a Syrian Kurdish deputy commander and two other female fighters killed by a drone strike blamed on Turkey.

The State Department and USAID did not immediately answer questions about whether the Turkish strikes had hindered aid workers and operations that partner with the United States.

Turkey, with strong ties to both Russia and the United States, has contributed to its NATO allies’ efforts against Russia in key ways during the Ukraine conflict.

stands by while Turkey escalates attacks on the Syrian Kurds who were instrumental in quelling the Islamic State, “especially in the aftermath of Afghanistan, what message are we sending to the Middle East?” asked Henri J.

An ethnic group of millions at the intersection of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, Kurds lost out on a state of their own as the U.S.

28, hundreds of Syrian Kurds gathered for the victims of one of the Turkish airstrikes — five guards killed securing the al-Hol camp, which holds thousands of family members of Islamic State fighters.

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