A week of high-level meetings between Turkish and U.S. officials is over and the two sides have agreed to mend fences and open a new chapter in relations. Hopefully, derailed Turkish-American relations are back on track after Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson got together in Ankara following Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis's meeting.
What is interesting is that the U.S. has hardly committed itself to breaking ties with the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, which are both extensions of the PKK terrorist organization that is waging a secessionist fight against Turkey. The U.S. has been supporting the PYD and YPG, claiming it has no links with the PKK despite massive evidence that all these groups are a part of the terrorist network.
Currently, Britain is prosecuting two of its citizens who fought for the YPG in Syria under its anti-terrorism laws. The U.S. used these terrorists to fight terrorists from Daesh. The U.S. provided heavy weapons and arms, which the Pentagon has acknowledged, and under pressure from Ankara it claimed it would recollect these weapons once the fight against Daesh is over. Tillerson, however, claimed last week that the U.S. did not give heavy weapons to the YPG.
The U.S. shunned offers from Turkey to fight Daesh together and American generals said the fact that Turkey and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured a chunk of land in northern Syria and wiped out Daesh from those areas did not mean much and that these forces were not up to the task to liberate the city of Raqqa from Daesh, so they went along with the YPG.
In return, the YPG and PYD started to colonize Arab areas and set up its own local administrations thanks to the U.S. Currently, PKK-affiliated groups, which do not represent any identity in the region, control 30 percent of Syria thanks to Uncle Sam.
The U.S. finally realized Ankara means business when President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the Turkish military into Afrin, a Syrian enclave that has been historically a base for the PKK. The area is being controlled by the PKK, YPG and PYD, but currently all the terrorist defenses have been smashed by the Turkish military and the FSA, which the U.S. had disregarded as a makeshift, ineffective fighting force.
Ankara now says that after Afrin, the target is the Arab town of Manbij, which was captured by the YPG despite Turkish objections. The U.S. promised it would pull the YPG out of the city once the area was rid of Daesh, but that did not happen and instead the U.S. has allowed the PYD to set up its own administration to run the city.
Now that the U.S. has realized that Turkey meant business, they are trying to talk to Ankara. Last week we were treated to a flood of praise for Turkey as well as the importance of Turkish-American relations from U.S. officials. All that is fine.
Now they have to deliver. They have to show Ankara that they will sincerely address Ankara's demands and severe ties with the YPG and push the terrorists out of Manbij. Turkey will continue its push against the terrorists in Syria and will not stop because the U.S. has made some promises. Turkey is now watching attentively if the U.S. will match its promises with actions.
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