Thursday, May 04, 2017

Turkey, Trump's friend, bombs people fighting ISIS, our enemy. Making foreign policy great again? (ian Reifowitz) · Sunday, April 30, 2017, 12:38 pm

I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS, a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians and men, and women and children of all faiths and all beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet. — Donald Trump, February 28, 2017

It doesn't appear that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on board with Trump’s plan. This week, Turkish jet fighters attacked some of the anti-ISIS coalition’s most effective opponents, killing 20 members of the Kurdish militia group known by the acronym YPG, which fights in both Syria and Iraq. The group is part of a larger alliance, the Syrian Democratic Forces. The Turkish attack in Iraq also, apparently accidentally, killed five members of the forces of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish government, the pesh merga, which also is fighting hard against ISIS.

This is complicated stuff, and there are tensions even between the autonomous Iraqi Kurds and the YPG. The Turks claim that the YPG are connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has long fought their government, and which seeks autonomy for the Kurdish regions of Turkey. The U.S. government has designated the PKK as a terrorist organization, but has strongly supported the YPG.

One thing about all this is simple: This Turkish attack represents a clear failure of Donald Trump’s foreign policy.


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