The nearly inevitable has taken place as
a long-planned Turkish military operation in north-east Syria has begun, as Kurdish forces which currently control of the area reported widespread airstrikes and “huge panic”.
The move was triggered by Donald Trump’s announcement at the weekend that US troops would withdraw from the area, where thousands of captured Isis fighters and their families are held by Kurdish forces, and threatens to open a bloody new front in the Syrian war.
It was likely, but a little less likely, until
As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be a ruthless dictator, but he knows when someone has dared him to act by poking him in the eye. And act he has done, Kurds be damned or, as he and his buddy Donald Russia would prefer, slaughtered.
Of course, to be fair to Donald Russia, he said only that if Ankara's move were off-limits "in his estimation," he would destroy the nation's economy. Still, Trump either has goaded Erdogan into acting or believes that foreign policy is akin to the real estate business in New York City. There,
"nice little company you have there- it would be a shame if something happened to it" was spoken quietly, behind closed doors, advantage to the extortionist. However, "invade and you will be obliterated" is spoken publicly and Erdogan unfortunately couldn't resist the challenge.
“I have a little conflict of interest ’cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul. It’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers—two towers, instead of one, not the usual one; it’s two...They have a strong leader.” -Donald Trump, 2015— Evan McMullin (@EvanMcMullin) October 9, 2019