As the Russians and Iranians continue to hammer Syrian rebels in Aleppo and cut the city off from Turkey, Ankara is up to its own ends bombing Kurds in Syria (who they see as terrorists) instead of ISIS forces. If Aleppo falls, Bashar Al-Assad consolidates his power and the rebels are effectively done. The Turks would rather burn everything down rather than have Assad back in power with the Kurds under his protection, so Turkey is ready to throw down in a big way. That's all bad enough.
This is worse.
Russia has promised to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria in case of a ground offensive by Turkey, a move that would lead to a “big war,” the Syrian group’s envoy to Moscow said in an interview on Wednesday.
“We take this threat very seriously because the ruling party in Turkey is a party of war,” Rodi Osman, head of the Syrian Kurds’ newly-opened representative office said in Kurdish via a Russian interpreter. “Russia will respond if there is an invasion. This isn’t only about the Kurds, they will defend the territorial sovereignty of Syria.”
Conflicting interests in Syria have created a dangerous new phase in the country’s five-year war, even as world powers struggle toimplement a truce agreement. Turkey fears Kurdish gains along its border will morph into an autonomous state and inspire similar ambitions among its own Kurdish minority. But a ground intervention risks conflict with Russia, which backs the Kurds militarily, and would anger the U.S., which sees the group as a major ally in the fight against Islamic State.
Turkey has been shelling Syrian Kurdish forces since the weekend, and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed them for a bombingin Ankara that killed 28 people on Wednesday.
“We are continuing to liberate our territory and it would go faster if it wasn’t for Turkey,” Osman said. Russian warplanes are providing support for the Kurdish offensive, which is aimed at securing full control of the Turkish border, while Russia has also promised to support the Syrian Kurds’ goal of federal status, he said.
A NATO partner involved in a shooting war with the Russians in Syria. You can kinda see where this is all going, huh?
Russia has said it is helping the Syrian Kurds militarily and Nikolai Kovalyov, a former head of the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the Soviet KGB, said that Russian jets would bomb Turkish troops if they enter Syria.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any foreign incursion into Syria would be “illegal” and the Russian response would depend on the situation. Russian airstrikes in northern Syria are succeeding in driving out Turkish-backed rebels, she told a weekly briefing in Moscow on Thursday.
The Syrian Kurds are trying to create a Kurdish autonomous region in northern Syria by uniting two territories separated by about 100 kilometers of land controlled by Islamist rebels, according to Anton Lavrov, an independent Russian military analyst.
“That is the Syrian Kurds’ dream and the Turks’ worst nightmare,” Lavrov said by phone.
Oh it's not just Turkey having nightmares about that, I assure you. This one could get real nasty, real quick-like. I'm glad President Obama is in charge, because if it was a Republican, we'd be heading for a quagmire that would make Afghanistan look like a boy scout camping trip.