A number of incidents have troubled relations between the United States and Turkish armies over the last few days.

Turkey carried out bombing raids in Iraqi territory against the installations of the PKK (Turkish Kurds), while the United States are training the Peshmergas (Iraqi Kurds) in the same areas.

According to Fox News, the liaison officer for the Turkish Army informed the CAOC (Combined Air and Space Operations Center) 10 minutes before the beginning of the operation, demanding the immediate withdrawal of US aircraft . Turkey then proceeded with the bombing of its objectives at the risk of killing its allies, perhaps even Pentagon personnel [1].

Moreover, according to a US officer who was quoted by the channel, Turkey is not simply attempting to prevent the creation of a Kurdish state in Syria, as it declares, but above all to control the transfer of petrol by the PKK-YPG to the Mediterranean.

The spokeperson for the US Secretary of State, Mark Toner, in an interview with the Kurdish daily Rudaw, confirmed that Washington had forbidden Ankara to attack the Kurds of the YPG in Syria [2].

Knowing that Washington has excluded the possibility of infringing on the territorial integrity of Syria, this decision could be explained by the US desire to allow access to sources of finance for the PKK-YPG.

Pete Kimberley

[1Turkey’s strikes on Kurds could drag US into new front, military sources fear”, Lucas Tomlinson & Jennifer Griffin, Fox News, August 10th, 2015.