Turkey trying to provoke a new conflict in Manbij

Turkey is angling for a meeting with US President Joe Biden and is seeking to host the US UN envoy. Turkey’s narrative is that it wants to reconcile with the US after years of bashing Washington, detaining and harassing Americans, accusing the US of plotting a 2016 coup attempt, and even threatening US soldiers in Syria. Turkey has hosted Hamas, threatened Israel and Greece. Isolated, Ankara now wants friends again. However, it may also be provoking conflict in a sensitive area of Syria called Manbij. The goal here from Turkey’s view is to get Syrians to fight each other, to distract each other from the original Syrian rebellion against Assad. As long as Syrians fight each other, Turkey can benefit and increase control. This means that destroying the economy of places like Manbij to starve them and encourage protests against the SDF is part of the Ankara goal and also a result of the international community’s work with the Assad regime.

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