- Turkish Foreign Minister says every weapon sent is 'a threat to Turkey'
- The Obama administration had long supported Kurdish fighters in Syria
(CNN)Turkey has lashed out at Washington's plan to send arms to Kurdish rebels fighting ISIS in Syria, calling for an end to the US strategy that has long rattled Ankara.
The timing of this announcement, a week before Turkish President Erdogan travels to the US, has raised eyebrows. Government officials had hoped the Trump administration would pull the support that Obama gave the Kurds, so of course, they are expressing outrage.
Turkish officials want reassurances from the US that the Kurds will not remain and occupy Raqqa, and that the Arabs within the SDF will lead the actual fight within the city. Some have even called for the Kurds and Arabs in the SDF to be separated.
From Erdogan down, there have been numerous statements that the US needs to effectively choose between Turkey and the YPG. It has created tensions between the NATO allies, but underlying everything are political and power deals.
One must also bear in mind that both Trump and Erdogan have volatile and unpredictable personalities, and when pushed into a corner or feeling offended, their rhetoric can quickly turn into devastating action. That will mean more civilians invariably caught in the crossfire and the region even more destabilized.