So within the space of a few days, the United States has, first, commanded the government of Syria to keep its air force away from part of its own sovereign territory, Hasakah, occupied by American soldiers and their Kurdish "partners"; it then, with applause from other NATO countries, provided air support for a Turkish invasion of Syria and seizure of the Syrian town of Jarablus from those "partners." These are unambiguous acts of war, and Orwellian acts of doublethink aggression.
Note that Hasakah, where the incident with the Syrian Air Force took place, is not in an area controlled by ISIS. So whatever American troops were doing there, they were not fighting ISIS. Note also that Turkey's announced reason for seizing Jarablus--in order to seal the border and prevent ISIS in Syria from receiving recruits and supplies--is a flimsy excuse that, as the New York Times (NYT) reports, the Turks don't even try to maintain: "Turkish officials made little secret that the main purpose of the operation was to ensure that Kurdish militias did not consolidate control over an area west of the Euphrates River."'
As Al-Qaeda cleric Al-Muhaysin has assure d would-be recruits: "The truth is that the Turks don't prevent anyone from entering Syria." If the Turks wanted to close the Syrian border, across which they've been trafficking ISIS soldiers, arms, and oil for years, they could just close it, on their side. No need to invade Syria. In fact, ISIS was informed of the attack, and left Jarablus before the brave Turks and their Syrian rebel partners arrived. The Washington Post said: "The rebels encountered almost no resistance from Islamic State fighters, who fled ahead of the advancing force." The blogger Moon of Alabama (MoA) made the point more sharply: "There was no resistance to the move. The Islamic State, which had been informed of the attack, had evacuated all fighters and their families out of Jarablus. " As one commentator remarked: They even left mints on the pillows. The toleration of ISIS by Turkey, which includes some not so secret support, will likely continue."
Indeed, Al Jazeera reported that, "a small contingent of special forces had travelled into Syria to secure the area before the larger ground operation." And, Roger Annis cites Kurdish ANF News as reporting that "local residents, said there was little fighting. Instead, ISIS forces turned the city over to the Turkey-supported irregulars and calmly withdrew, many traveling into Turkey. Several reports said that in crossing into Turkey, ISIS cadre donned the uniform of the Syrian Free Army."
Gee, one might be excused for thinking that ISIS is a pawn that the Americans and Turks can move around the board at will. Or even, as Turkish HDP parliamentarian HiÅyar zsoy, echoing a statement from the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), says: "This is not an operation to rescue the town of Jarablus from ISIS"This is an operation to rescue ISIS from Kurdish forces, who just last week captured the town of Manbij and defeated ISIS."
So this is not about the war on ISIS, although they'll be an occasional target. It's about the war on Syria--and for Turkey, the war on the Kurds above all. It certainly is not about saving any part of the world for democracy and human rights. As The Independent reports: the Syrian rebels installed in Jarablus by American planes and Turkish tanks "include the Islamist Faylaq Al-Sham militia and Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement, whose fighters decapitated a child on video in Aleppo last month." ISIS militants give their seats in Jarablus to the "moderate" headchoppers, and move on to fight elsewhere. Jihadi musical chairs. With Turkey and the U.S. playing the tune.