As the Obama administration prepares to leave with the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump set to take office on Friday, reports from CNN claim the Pentagon (headquarters of the Department of Defense) is set to provide the Trump administration with new, aggressive military options to fight Daesh, while Obama implements last-minute tactics to further enhance support to the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD).
According to CNN's report, the Pentagon's new strategy includes sending U.S. troops into direct combat against Daesh in Syria. Aside from this, U.S. Gen. Carlton Everhart, commander of the Air Mobility Command, revealed the Obama administration's last-minute tactics in support of the terrorist PKK-affiliate PYD in Syria, saying, "The U.S. Air Force reported 16 air drops in Syria in 2016, with six coming in December." While Everhart's remarks also indicated that the air drops of weapons, ammunition and other equipment were for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by the Syrian PKK-affiliate PYD, he also told USA Today that the air drops range "from small ammunition to vehicles."
Turkey–U.S. relations continue to remain on edge, due especially to the Obama administration's persistent definition of the People's Protection Units (YPG)-dominated SDF as its "strong partner" on the ground in Syria. In fact, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) shared an announcement on their official Twitter account about the SDF, claiming that they had no affiliation or ties to the PKK terrorist organization, causing outrage. In response to the controversial tweet by CENTCOM, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın asked if CENTCOM was joking and added that the U.S. should stop trying to legitimize terrorist organizations.
In efforts to possibly further impose the Obama administration's controversial position in Syria on incoming president Trump, the Pentagon is readying to present an anti-Daesh plan to the president-elect and his defense secretary James Mattis, along with Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CNN report stated: "U.S. military planners and intelligence officials have mapped virtually every airstrip and location in Syria that might have to be used by U.S. troops, according to the official directly familiar with the details."
In addition to the mapping procedures, the report claims that "hundreds or even more additional U.S. troops may take a combat role during the Raqqa operations against Daesh." The Pentagon strategy to be presented to Trump also claims to provide further arming and training to terrorist PYD/YPG-dominated SDF as "'combat teams' on the ground with each ‘team' having as many as 4,000 troops."
If the Trump administration agrees to the suggested Pentagon strategy, Turkey–U.S. relations are expected to further deteriorate, as Turkey recognizes the PYD/YPG as terrorist groups and the SDF is dominated by them. However, the unexpected result of the U.S. election hinted at a new era in world politics and the Turkish-U.S. partnership. Experts have previously told Daily Sabah that strained relations in the late Obama term, due to a reckless attitude toward terror organizations by the U.S., are likely to enter a new phase.
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