Amid the US pullout of northern Syria, the Turks, as promised, have vowed to eliminate the Kurdish region of Rojava through force. Without much in the way of air defenses, they’ve got a rough road ahead.

Turkey, nominally a NATO ally, considers the YPG a terrorist organization and although has nominally given lip service to combating ISIS, its widely acknowledged that Turkey has given support to them in the past. As Foreign Policy noted:

Beginning in late 2013 and early 2014, Turkish border cities became the chief logistical hubs for foreign fighters seeking to enter Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State and other rebel groups. By all accounts, foreign fighters from around the globe first traveled to Turkey and then on to Iraq and Syria, forming the backbone and striking power of the Islamic State. In 2013 alone, some 30,000 militants traversed Turkish soil, establishing the so-called jihadi highway, as the country became a conduit for fighters seeking to join the Islamic State. By August 2015, Turkey did eventually tighten up its borders and agree to engage in strike missions as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, but by then, the lion’s share of foreign fighters had already arrived in Iraq and Syria.

Given Turkey’s history of acting with no regard for anyone but themselves, no one should be surprised by their move to capitalize on the vacuum left in the US absence.

Erdogan is seeking to build his own stake in the Middle East, building a new Ottoman Empire in the process. And unabated his government doesn’t care who they kill to get it, as history has shown with both the Kurds and the Armenians.

From the SDF:

There’s a hard fight ahead and one I think we’ll be seeing the consequences of soon enough.