The US regards the Turco-Syrian conflict as a window of opportunity to close ranks with Ankara and project its force in the Balkan-Black Sea and Central Asian directions, says Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, the head of the Ankara Centre for Crisis and Policy Research.
As tensions between Ankara and the Syrian government forces began to escalate earlier in February, Washington embarked on a charm offensive with its NATO ally with US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey stepping up negotiations with the Turkish leadership.
Speaking to NTV on 12 February, Jeffrey voiced support for Turkey’s “legitimate” interests and military presence in Syria and specifically in Idlib: “We have very close geostrategic objectives with Turkey in the two areas where you have forces committed right now in Libya and in Syria”, the ambassador emphasised.
For quite a while Turkey and the US have been engaged in a war of words over Ankara’s acquisition of the Russia-made S-400 air defence system as well as Washington’s continuous propping up of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which are considered as a terrorist group by the Turks.
Washington is Seeking Ways to Improve US-Turkish Relations
Professor Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, the head of the Ankara Centre for Crisis and Policy Research (ANKASAM), believes that the US is seeking a way to mend fences with Turkey while seeing the recent conflict in the Idlib…