Turkish forces have started patrolling the outskirts of Manbij, the Arab city in north Syria, which is under the occupation of militants from the PKK terrorist organization's affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG).
Patrols have started under an agreement reached between Ankara and Washington that foresees Turkey and the U.S. providing security for the city and the withdrawal of PKK-affiliated forces.
The timing of the move to start the patrols seems to be a positive American gesture as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan heads for the presidential elections this Sunday.
Added to this is the announcement by the Americans that David Satterfield has been named as ambassador to Turkey. The appointment was long overdue yet the fact that Washington has taken this step while 40 U.S. ambassadorial posts around the world still remain vacant is seen in Ankara as yet another positive gesture on the part of the White House.
It is clear that the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been instrumental in the positive trend in Turkish-American relations. The White House and the U.S. State Department are on the right track in helping a normalization process in relations between the two NATO allies.
However, it is also clear that there some people who are unhappy with the latest trend.
First there is the lobby of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in the U.S. that is trying to sabotage Turkish-American relations. They are rallying the congressmen closely affiliated to the Gülen gang at Capitol Hill.
Look at the latest move in Congress to block the sale of the F-35 jetfighters to Turkey and you will see all the finger prints of the Gülen gang. They are trying to stall the sale of the fighters to Turkey, which is a scandal. Turkey has joined several other U.S. allies to develop the fighter and is a partner in the project. Trying to deny one of the owners of the project is senseless to say the least.
The first F-35 fighter will be delivered to the Turkish Air Force today at Fort Worth in Texas at the Lockheed Martin plant despite the congressional move. The congressional decision will hardly stall the delivery of the current batch of F-35 fighters yet Turkey plans to purchase a total of 100 jets and some may well be in jeopardy because of this.
The American administration has to see that they too have a vested interest in curbing FETÖ activities in the U.S. because it is clear that such activities are aimed at stalling the normalization process in Turkish-American relations.
Besides FETÖ, we also have some elements of the pro-Israel lobby as well as the neocons who also are opposed to the current administration in Turkey and thus are unhappy with any positive developments that bring Washington and Ankara closer.
So the current trend in Washington where the American administration is making moves to help mend fences with Turkey is very positive but we also have to concentrate on the factors that are trying to stall this process. News that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has started a probe against FETÖ in the 21 states is a positive move in this direction.