Small Wars Journal

NATO Allies Go Head to Head in Syria

NATO Allies Go Head to Head in Syria by Oytun Orhan - German Marshall Fund of the United States Report

Changes in the U.S. administration will largely determine the cooperation between the United States and Turkey in Syria. Mike Pompeo, who will soon replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, and John Bolton, Trump’s latest pick for national security advisor, both prioritize the containment of Iran, and both hold similar views to the Pentagon in acting unilaterally rather than using the means of diplomacy in foreign policy.

Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch has successfully removed the People’s Protection Units (YPG) presence in Afrin. While Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and Free Syria Army (FSA) made a slow start and faced difficulties in the early stages, the YPG’s resistance was broken at the border of Afrin City. The bloody urban warfare that was widely expected did not occur as the YPG made a surprisingly rapid withdraw. The questions now are what kind of civil administration and security structure Turkey will set up in Afrin, and what effects this operation has had on U.S.–Turkey relationship in Syria…

Read the full report.