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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Developments in Syria are always fast and tragically furious but now President Trump has made a pivotal decision. After conferring with his highest ranking military personnel, the intrepid Commander in Chief has boldly moved to arm the Kurds in the framework of speeding up the process of liberating Raqqa from ISIS control.

The militia in Syria is known as the YPG and they are regarded by US military commanders as the most effective partners in the continuing battle against the Islamic State power base.

What appears to be a real cog in the machine however lies with the tyrannical despot from Turkey; better known as its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Let’s not forget that Erdogan now has complete and unfettered political muscle after an April 17th referendum that was tainted with fraud and the man is a way beyond dangerous. Besides jailing his own people en masse as well as saving special torture tactics for members of the media, Erdogan has essentially disemboweled Turkey of any vestiges of a democratic system that once existed there.

To little surprise, it turns out that Erdogan vehemently opposes support of the TPG and even has the colossal nerve to label them as “terrorists.” That may be an arguable point, but frankly, look who is calling the kettle black here?

And to make things just a bit more tense than they already are, Erdogan has arrived in the US for a White House visit with Trump.  Erdogan has said that he considered Washington’s decision to arm the YPG in direct contradiction with US strategic relations with Turkey, noting that “it is not right to see our US ally alongside a terrorist organization.”

Trump has to let Erdogan know in no uncertain terms that the battle for ISIS’s self-declared capital in Raqqa must be fought immediately and effectively to make a significant dent in the power structure of the terror group. He should also let Erdogan know that any threats to prevent coalition air strikes against ISIS by closing down Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base are not going to be a deterrent. Trump also would be well advised to remind Erdogan that he held to enable ISIS’s rapid growth through his own failed system of porous borders.    

Trump’s decision was taken one week before Erdogan’s scheduled visit and during the presence of a Turkish delegation, composed of Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan, and presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin so he has been totally above board with Erdogan about his intention to vanquish the most egregious form of terrorism in our time.