‘L’Angleterre, ah, la perfide Angleterre,
que le rempart de ses mers rendoit inaccessible aux Romains,
la foi du Sauveur y est abordée. — Jacques-Benigne Bossuet
It has been said by RPI advisor John Laughland that “it is better to be an enemy of the Americans than their friend. If you are their enemy, they might try to buy you; but if you are their friend, they will definitely sell you.”
Regardless of whether or not one can apply such logic to every interaction with the United States, it is a lesson that the YPG Kurds are learning in Syria.
The YPG have long been considered as one of the warmer forces in terms of its relation to the United States. While certainly not the equivalent of the Iraqi “Barzani” Kurds who are closely connected to the NATO intelligence apparatus, the YPG has been willing to accept help from any who are interested in defeating ISIS, be that the Syrian government or the United States.
Whether the YPG was unable to see that U.S. assistance in the “fight against ISIS” was nothing more than a smokescreen for American support of the organization or whether the YPG was willing to work with the United States because it believed by doing so it would eventually seize a Kurdistan in Northern Syria is not fully known at this time. Regardless, the YPG seems to have outlived its usefulness to the United States.
The YPG has already seized much of the border with Turkey and effectively cutting off ISIS supply lines coming from Turkish territory except for a small corridor now known as the Jarablus corridor one of the only areas ISIS supplies and terrorists can funnel their way into to Syria. Yet, even after having made a number of attempts to forcibly keep ISIS supply lines open – the implementation of a No-Fly Zone, the insertion of American soldiers into the Jarablus “safe zone,” and a Turkish air war on the Syrian Kurds, the United States seems to be out of covert ideas and is now moving to an overt operation against fighting forces who are not only fighting ISIS but are having significant victories against them and who, only weeks ago, were considered allies, even if they were held at arm’s length.
The United States is now preparing to implement a plan allegedly originated by the Turkish government which involves training more “Arab rebels fighting the Assad regime” (translation: jihadist fanatics who will rape and behead anything in their path) in order to seal the Turkish-Syrian border from both ISIS and the YPG.
Of course, any claims from the United States or Turkey professing a desire to shut down ISIS supply routes can be dismissed out of hand since it has been these two countries that have provided a massive portion of the aid to ISIS since the beginning and even before the Syrian crisis got off the ground.
What is interesting, however, is that both the United States and Turkey openly admit that the plan is to prevent the YPG from gaining ground in Northern Syria and sealing off the border themselves. There is no doubt that it has been the Kurds that have been the most effective fighting force against ISIS in Northern Syria. There is also no doubt that Kurdish success on the borders of Turkey is intolerable for the Islamist Turkish leadership concerned that Syrian Kurd success will equal a union and eventual military campaign by Turkish Kurds, possibly in coordination with Syrian and even Iraqi Kurdish organization.
Turkey has, for some time, been launching attacks against Syrian Kurds under the guise of fighting ISIS and the United States has looked the other way, another indication that the Turkish agenda and the American one are largely one and the same.
A newly empowered, US-backed Arab rebel brigade aimed at enabling larger groups of Arab forces fighting in Syria would presumably serve as a counterweight to Kurdish territorial ambitions in the north. That’s according to Aaron Stein, a Turkey expert and senior resident fellow at the Atlantic Council who spoke with Business Insider on Wednesday.
That, in turn, would allow the US-led anti-ISIS coalition to stem the YPG’s advances — a primary concern for Turkey — without sacrificing ongoing efforts to seal off Turkey’s southern border to jihadists.
“Whether the YPG will actually listen to the US is a different story. But the US is effectively telling the YPG to observe Turkey’s red line,” Stein said, referring to the Turkish leadership’s insistence that the Kurds remain east of the Euphrates.
Wladimir van Wilgenburg, a Kurdish affairs expert embedded in Iraqi Kurdistan, largely echoed those sentiments.
“Most likely the Turkish plan is to insert these forces into the Azaz border strip and to prevent YPG expansion into these areas in the future,” van Wilgenburg told Business Insider on Thursday, referring to the northern Syrian town of Azaz through which Turkey funnels weapons and supplies to the rebels it supports in Aleppo.
He added: “Turkey wants to prevent Kurdish expansion and stop them from linking the Kurdish administrations in Afrin and Kobani.”
Could it be any more obvious? As the Business Insider article describes, Turkey and the U.S. want to “train” another jihadist group to be inserted into the Jarablus corridor in order to act as reinforcements for the ISIS forces under attack there. Thus, the YPG will be prevented from closing the last real ISIS supply line into Syria from Turkey. It also allows for actual force to be used by the “U.S.-led coalition against ISIS” against the YPG.
But there is another question that arises now that the U.S. is throwing the YPG to the wolves.
The YPG has, so far, been open to whatever support it can find wherever that support may come from – the United States, Syria, or even various “rebel” groups. Recently, it has even made overtures toward Russia and suggested that it would be open and willing to accept support from the Russians in addition to anyone else willing to assist. With the U.S. showing its true colors to the Kurdish fighters, how long will it be before the Russians begin providing covert support to the YPG, opening a new front in the proxy war?
Still, it appears the YPG may be smarter than the average bear, openly stating that it is willing to accept assistance from both the United States and the Russians. Back in November, Sherzad Yazidi, Rojava administration representative in Sulimanyia told Politico, “We welcome a strategic relationship with both the US and Russia. One wouldn’t be at the expense of the other.”
The YPG has often been used by the United States to create division within Syrian society and continues to be used for that purpose. The ever-present promises of a Kurdistan in Syria have tempted the YPG to work closer with the U.S. in hopes that it might achieve a Syrian Kurdish enclave in Northern Syria. Thus, the YPG has been willing to play a number of games with the Americans so long as it sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
But the YPG has also accepted U.S. help for a much more noble reason – the fight against ISIS in Syria. In that regard, the organization is willing to accept help from anyone anytime. It has also demonstrated a willingness to work with the Syrian government and avoid societal separation (against the will of the United States). Thus, the American-YPG interaction seems to resemble more of a determined child poking at an insect whose movements he can direct but never fully control. Still, the insect has found itself on the child’s playground and, should the child choose to squash it, it has the means to do so.
Still, the cooperation between the U.S. and the YPG may take a very different form if the “U.S. led coalition” begins funneling more hardware and jihadists against the Kurds for the benefit of Erdogan and his lunatic fantasies of becoming the new Ottoman Empire.
If the U.S. throws the YPG under the bus, we can only wonder if the YPG will continue to work with America at all or if it will simply become another card in Russia’s deck. Or will it continue to try and pick the best assistance from the menu of international actors willing to talk to it?
At this point, only time will tell. The only thing for sure is that Perfide Angeleterre is alive and well.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.