Turkey is a NATO ally and an ally of the United States, but Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly planning to send troops after the Syrian Kurds in Syria, who are fighting ISIS.
Erdogan said in a speech last Friday that he would not let the Syrian Kurds, who have been supported by U.S bombing, set up their own state based on the gains they have made by fighting ISIS terrorists, noted The Daily Beast.
I am saying this to the whole world: We will never allow the establishment of a state on our southern border in the north of Syria, We will continue our fight in that respect whatever the cost may be.
There were several news reports following Erdogan's speech that he and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had made a decision to send up to 18,000 soldiers into Syria, but the Turkish government made no official confirmation or denial.
The Syrian Kurds are also known as the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG), which is the military arm of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD); Turkey has labeled the PYD a terrorist organization.
Turkish generals have reportedly told Turkey's leaders that their troops may find themselves in a battle with ISIS, Syrian Kurds, and the Syrian government, if they invade Syria.
Erdogan and Davutoglu are reportedly hoping that their troops could take out both ISIS and the Syrian Kurds.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the A Haber news channel today, "We will neither put Turkey into an adventure nor have an eye on another country's soil without any reason," but later added, "If we take no precautions against any threat to ourselves, we might put Turkey's stability at risk," noted the Anadolu Agency news website.
According to the Hill, Turkey denied President Obama's request in 2014 to use Turkish military bases to fight ISIS in Syria, after the Obama administration claimed a deal had been reached.
PBS reported in 2012 that Turkey received more than $40 billion in military aid from the U.S. from 1946 to 2010, and continues to do so.