Turkish Policy in Syria: Divining Intent and Options for the United States

Source:Atlantic Council Date:17Nov2018

Aaron Stein nails it on the head:  Without a Turkish-PKK ceasefire, the threat of a broader conflict in Syria will remain. It is in the United States’ longer-term interest to mitigate future sources of conflict. To do so, the US could build upon narrow, condition-based agreements in Syria with the YPG (i.e., those linked to the violence directed at US forces around Manbij and the shelling east of the river) to broader American engagement on the PKK-Turkish government conflict.

Ankara is certain to resist any such effort, but that does not mean the United States should not try to shape outcomes in line with its interests. A return to peace talks, or at the very least, a PKK-Turkish government ceasefire that extends to Syria, should be the American “hard ask” of Turkey.