What the result will be of Turkey’s offensive against the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin in northwest Syria may not be clear for a while, but two things are already certain. Bad decisions in Washington provided the trigger, and Washington’s regional position will suffer as a result of Ankara’s Orwellian-named “Operation Olive Branch.”
…The leaders of the Syrian Kurds must now grapple with the enormous responsibility of making a fateful decision for their people. They can either refrain from throwing obstacles in Damascus’s way, helping to build a new version of the state in which they will have far more rights than they used to have in Syria, or they can choose the opposite path, doing the bidding of what Robert Ford has called the «immoral» foreign politicians and embark on adventures that will end with them losing everything they have gained.
The US Defense Department announced on May 9 that President Donald Trump had authorized arming the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of rebel fighters led – by the United States in Syria, which includes the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as its main element. The package is to include small arms, machine guns, construction equipment and armored vehicles among the provisions. The decision was taken to boost the SDF firepower before the offensive to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa – the unofficial capital of the Islamic State (IS) group…
There should be no doubt that President Donald Trump’s approval of a plan to directly arm Kurdish forces in Syria is a severe, devastating blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s obstinate efforts to undermine the relationship of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party and the People's Protection Units (YPG) with Washington.