Erdogan gets his wish from Trump in Syria, but now what?

Almanitor |On Dec. 19, after the United States announced its troops will make a “full and rapid” withdrawal from Syria, initially jubilant voices rose in Ankara. Several observers were reminded of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s comments Dec. 16 at a Doha summit: “Trump is planning to exit Syria.” Ankara was informed prior to several other countries and even relevant US agencies. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has often repeated his wish for the United States to withdraw.

Given all these facts, Turkey should be ready with its updated strategy for northern Syria.

Yet talk of a new strategy is nowhere to be found, even in the Turkish media. Rather, television shows and newspaper columns are focusing mainly on the United States: “What’s the new US plan for Syria?” and “The US has been withdrawing from the Middle East for 27 years.”

A visible trend in the Turkish media is the lack of trust in America’s commitment to “full and rapid” withdrawal. Yeni Safak in English, for example, published a piece Dec. 19 explaining how the United States is transporting Kurdish peshmerga (militia) to soften or halt Turkish strikes in strategic areas.