Turkey Fighting the Kurds, not ISIS

Although Turkey declared it entered the fight against ISIS on July 24, it has yet to target ISIS since that announcement. However, during the last three weeks Turkey has executed airstrikes against Kurdish fighters operating in Syria and Iraq rather than targeting ISIS. Yesterday, the New York Times which describes the current situation as well as provides a map of recent Kurdish gains in Syria. While the Y.P.G., the Kurdish group operating in Syria, may be the most effective ally of the United States in the fight against ISIS, the Y.P.G. is also a point of contention for the U.S. relationship with Turkey. The Y.P.G.’s rapid gains were likely the reason Turkey joined the fight against ISIS on July 24 under the condition of the creation of an ISIS and Kurdish free zone in an effort to prevent the creation of a Kurdish state on Turkey’s southern border. The Turks continued targeting of the Y.P.G. and the P.K.K., the Kurdish Group in Iraq, will undermine the United States efforts to weaken ISIS. Overall, the Turks current view that the Kurds are a bigger threat than ISIS, will continue to undermine the U.S. strategy in the region.

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