Trump’s Syria Pull-Out: US and Turkey on Thin Ice Over Kurds… Again

It seems that the recent diplomatic row between Washington and Ankara may cast a shadow on the US withdrawal from Syria as the Turkish government is not inclined to ensure the safety of Syrian Kurdish militias and fulfil National Security Adviser John Bolton’s conditions.

The US and Turkey have yet again found themselves on thin ice after mutual reprimands between US National Security Adviser John Bolton and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the fate of the US-backed Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

While Bolton castigated Erdogan’s recent New York Times op-ed on the US withdrawal as “wrong and offensive”, the Turkish president slammed the national security adviser’s conditions for the American pull-out from Syria as a “serious mistake”.

“Bolton is making a big mistake, his statement is unacceptable. Terrorist organisations do not represent the Kurds,” Erdogan stated on 8 January, abruptly cancelling a meeting with the Trump administration official.

On 6 January, while in Jerusalem, the US national security adviser came up with an apparent foreign strategy shift claiming that Washington would not pull out of Syria until Ankara guarantees Syrian Kurdish forces’ safety. He also emphasised the People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) role in the fight against Daesh*.

However, in the eyes of Ankara, the YPG is nothing more than an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has long been outlawed in Turkey.

“For Turkey, there…

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