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Is Turkey Preparing for a Ground Operation in Syria? w/ Giorgio Cafiero – Parallax Views

On this edition of Parallax Views, Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of Gulf State Analytics, returns to discuss the rumblings about a potential Turkish ground operation in northern Syria. Is Turkey invading northeast Syria about to happen? Also how will the U.S. likely respond if it does? What should be made of U.S. response to the recent Turkish strikes in Syria and the possibility of a Turkish ground offensive there? Among the topics discussed in this conversation:

– The perspective from Ankara, the capital of Turkey, in relation to Syria

– Overview of the tumult in Syria since the 2011 uprising against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the Ba’athist government in Damascus; the Syrian Civil War; the rise of the Islamic State;

– Why did the overthrow of Assad not happen?; how has Assad managed to hold onto power?

– The Kurds, the YGP (People’s Defense Units), and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party); the U.S. relationship with the YGP and operations against ISIS

– U.S. shifting focuses in regards to Syria over the years; U.S. military presence in Syria

– Turkish foreign policy concerns and interests; the ambitious nature of Turkey’s foreign policy goals in regards to the Arab world; Turkey and geopolitics, Erdogan; the upcoming Turkish elections

– Russia and Iran in Syria and the effect of the Ukraine/Russia War on U.S. foreign policy concerns

– The effect of ISIS and jihadist terrorism on the region; allegations of different state actors supporting ISIS

– Iran and the protest movement there

– Risks for Turkey if a ground offensive happens

– Turkey as an ally to the U.S. and why this may keep the U.S. from taking strong action (beyond condemnatory statements from public officials) against Turkey’s current posturing on Syria

– Turkey views YPG as linked with PKK and as a security threat

– No love lost between Erdogan and Assad; if there is a reconciliation it won’t be rosy but rather pragmatic and interests-based

– Sunni Islamism, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt, Tunisia, and shifts in Turkish foreign policy

– Turkey and relationship resets in the Arab world; Turkey and the economy; Turkish business and commercial ties in the Arab world and specifically the Gulf States

– U.S. says it’s opposed to a Turkish invasion, but when push comes to shove Giorgio believes the U.S. won’t do much against Turkey

– U.S.-Turkey tensions before the Ukraine conflict, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Turkey role in the Ukraine/Russia conflict

– What are Washington’s concerns when it comes to a Turkish military campaign in northern Syria?; fear that ISIS could be a beneficiary of a ground offensive; the view from Moscow as also being afraid of the consequences of a Turkish ground operation

– Kurdish separatism and fears from Iraq, Iran, and Turkey of a Kurdish state forming

– Historic tensions between Turkey and the Kurds; repression of Kurds in Turkey

– Where is the Turkey/Syria situation headed from here?

– And much, much more