19:07 GMT +317 October 2019
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) speaks with US President Barack Obama (R) as they arrive for the family photo during the G20 Leaders Summit on November 15, 2015 in Antalya

    Erdogan’s Gamble in Syria Goes Bust

    © AFP 2019 / BERK OZKAN / POOL
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    The relations between Washington and Ankara became strained after the US declared that it doesn’t consider the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization.

    And while the US intends to remain Turkey’s ally, it’s unlikely that its stance on the Kurdish issue would change, Turkish journalist Ilhan Tanir told Sputnik.

    "The only issue that the candidates of the upcoming 2016 US presidential elections could agree upon was the need to supply more weapons to the Syrian Kurds. At the present moment Kurds enjoy the support of the US leadership because the former play an important role in the fight against Daesh. And then President Erdogan suddenly demands that the US label Kurds as terrorists," he said.

    Tanir explained that Ankara's demands are pinned on hopes that the US would be reluctant to give up its alliance with Turkey for the sake of supporting Syrian Kurds who want to create their own state. However, considering the crisis in relations with Russia and certain difficulties in its relationship with the EU, Ankara can’t really afford to lose any more allies right now, and the US is well aware of this fact.

    "In this situation, the Turkish ultimatum to the US looks more like grasping at straws," he concluded.

    Meanwhile, Josh Landis, director of the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told Public Radio International that Erdogan hopes the US would "come in strong on Syria, stop the Russians and stop the refugee flow that’s pouring out of Aleppo" while Washington "still maintains a non-military solution is preferred."

    "Turkey is furious because it placed a big bet on backing the rebels," Landis said. "It thought it had America behind it in destroying Assad. It looks today that Assad may reconquer the country and establish his authority. The Kurds then would then have a backer in Syria and a large degree of autonomy, and that would put Turkey in a terrible position."


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    ultimatum, relations, Kurds, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Syria, Turkey, United States
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