Can the US Stop Turkey from Syria, Iraq Invasion? 

Photo credit: AFP

Turkey will attack militants with tanks and soldiers soon, singling a possible ground offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria after retaliatory strikes escalated along the Syrian border.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to say that Ankara is planning to deploy ground forces to attack Kurdish forces based across the border in Syria.

Turkey blames the groups for the November 13 bombing in central Istanbul, which killed six people.

Erdogan’s comments came as Turkish artillery kept up bombardment of Kurdish bases and other targets near the Syrian towns of Tal Rifaat and Kobani.

Ankara’s threats are not new. It has been threatening and carrying out invasions of Syria, often targeting Kurdish areas, routinely since 2016. 

Some experts say, however, that Turkey’s policy in Syria is not just about attacking Kurds, but is also about reducing the U.S. role in Syria. Experts say that it also means the U.S. is also the only powerful country that might reasonably prevent another Turkish invasion. 

History shows Ankara has been demanding to invade and destroy Kurdish areas of Syria since 2016, and the U.S. generally has been able to slow down or prevent these invasions.

Analysts say that the U.S. is in a difficult position.

Iran is bombarding the Kurdish Region of Iraq, destabilizing an area that is key to the fight against ISIS and extremism. 

The U.S. has only a small number of forces in Syria. Iranian groups often target U.S. forces. Analysts warn that the U.S. cannot simultaneously defend these forces from Iran and also stop a Turkish invasion.

The U.S. will have to use pressure to stop a new invasion, but the war in Ukraine makes this difficult. Turkey is playing a significant role in Ukraine as one of the guarantors of the grain deal between Russia and Ukraine. 

The coming days and months will indicate if the US can stop another massive Turkish invasion that causes hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

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