The war on the Islamic State is far from over. In a bombing earlier today, 19 including four Americans were killed in the city of Manbij. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Islamic State released two brief statements through Amaq, its media arm, claiming that the attack by a suicide bomber targeted a coalition patrol, killing or injuring nine U.S. soldiers, according to SITE Intelligence. U.S. military officials said they hadn’t confirmed that Islamic State was behind the attack.
If the location sounds familiar, it’s because I reported on it back on the fourth day of this year. That post stated that the Kurdsh YPG were leaving the city as a placation to the demands of the Turkish government, who claims they are terrorists. In that post I also pointed out that the Kurdish withdrawal may very well point to a wider war between Syria and Turkey. Knowing this, it is not above a Turk to push out their ISIS proxy. It would be a mistake to take this attack at face value. As I painfully learned across two tours in Iraq in dealing with the locals, you can take nothing at face value.
Just yesterday President Trump had a conference call with Turkish President Erdogan detailing the eventual US withdrawal from the region, but stating the US “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds,“. Publicly Turkey stated that they were not intimidated and their intent to establish a so-called ‘security zone’ inside Syria. They need room to breathe, you know. Al Jazeera reports:
Addressing his deputies on Tuesday, Erdogan said he held a “quite positive” telephone conversation with Trump late on Monday where he reaffirmed “a 20-mile [32-km] security zone along the Syrian border … will be set up by us”.
Erdogan said he viewed the planned security zone in Syria positively and added its range may be extended further.
I’m certain Syria was consulted before hand, and on that note, nothing expedites the need for a Kurdish and American withdrawal like a suicide bombing by your proxy in the very city you intend to occupy. The Turks are no friend to NATO, no ally to the US, and only have designs on expanding their own stake in the Middle East, rebuilding the Ottoman. Any negotiation with the Turks should include reducing Ankara to rubble if they send so much as a speck of sand across their borders. And rename it Constantinople.