On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued another vociferous anti-Kurdish speech, vowing Turkey would never allow the YPG to establish an independent state in northwestern Syria. Since then, reports are emerging that Erdogan has ordered the Turkish military to send troops into Syria to fight against the Kurds.
If true, the move would be hugely controversial, as the Kurdish YPG are being openly backed by the US in their fights against ISIS. Having Turkey, itself allied with the US, attacking the YPG and trying to carve out a “buffer zone” from Kurdish territory would be seen as bolstering ISIS.
The real opposition is likely to come from the Turkish military itself, however, and there are reports that Gen. Ozel, the Turkish military Chief of Staff, has delayed previous directives to intervene in Syria, citing questions about international law. The Erdogan government has been lobbying them heavily ever since, trying to convince them to be on board for the deployment.