With friends like these, who needs enemies?
The ongoing saga of our “complicated” relationship with Turkey has taken yet another dark turn. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been acting in an erratic fashion of late to say the least, but now he’s gone beyond being openly defiant and is potentially putting the lives of American troops in danger. This week, for reasons which don’t appear to exist in any sane portion of the world, the Turkish official state news agency leaked the locations of ten military bases in Syria where U.S. troops are currently working with the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Kurdish YPG. (Daily Caller)
Turkey has decided to knock the U.S. via its state news agency by leaking out secret details of U.S. troop locations in northern Syria.
Anadolu news agency published a list of 10 U.S. military installations in northern Syria and even included details about the number of troops in specific areas, which is a shocking move for a NATO ally, The Daily Beast reports.
Two of the bases were already known. Some other locations had previously leaked out through a news agency in Iran, but Turkey compiled all of the information and put it out on blast through Anadolu Tuesday via its English language site.
A spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve asked The Daily Beast not to publish base details from the Anadolu news agency.
I don’t imagine anyone requires a lengthy explanation of precisely how bad this is. The American troops are supplying some arms and strategic help to the YPG forces there, but they’re not supposed to be getting into too many firefights unless it can’t be avoided. The process of avoidance becomes considerably more difficult when Turkey is splaying your locations all over the local media.
We had a hint that things weren’t going well in that part of the world when Erdogan moved some of his military forces right near where the Americans were earlier this month. But this is completely off the hook in terms of what we should be expecting from a country which is allegedly our ally. Add to that the fact that Erdogan still has Pastor Andrew Brunson locked up in one of his dungeons despite months of effort by Rex Tillerson and the Vice President to secure his release and you already have more then enough evidence of ill intent. Plus, Turkey is pretty much spitting in the face of Germany and some of our other allies.
Turkey is not playing ball with us at this point and we should have seen this coming for a long time. (Well… some of us did, but it’s too late to kvetch about that now.) Erdogan has been especially cozy with Vladimir Putin lately and Iran as well. And all the while the EU is still courting him and he benefits from his relations with the west. It’s time for the Tyrant of Turkey to pick a side and stick with it. And it’s long past time for us to toughen up our policy toward him.