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8/25/16

Realpolitik: Turkey and US unite to oust Isis and curb Kurds

Turkish tanks have moved rapidly through the Syrian town of Jarablus on Wednesday, ousting Islamic State from one of its last border strongholds – but the most important outcome in Ankara’s eyes was beating the US-backed Kurdish fighters in a race to seize the surrounding area.

In a pointed concession to Turkey, the US vice president Joe Biden demanded that Kurdish forces, who had been a central US proxy in the battle against the terrorist group, “move back across the Euphrates river”, to the east of Jarablus. He also said that the Kurds, who have won a series of recent battles against Isis, would be abandoned if they advanced. US jets gave cover to the Turkish push, one of the first times in the war that the two allies have conducted a joint operation.

“They cannot, will not, under any circumstance get American support if they do not keep that commitment,” Biden said in Ankara during a visit to reset ties with Turkey, which had been strained since the failed coup attempt in July.

Joe Biden reassured Ankara, but it is unclear how Washington’s Kurdish proxies will react to his demand that they step back

Read more: Turkey and US unite to oust Isis and curb Kurds | World news | The Guardian

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