Middle East Monitor quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani on strained US-Turkish relations regarding the ongoing crisis in Syria:

“The United States is single-mindedly focused on ISIS”, said Faysal Itani, a fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Centre for the Middle East in Washington DC. “The Turkish government sees the ISIS problem as an outgrowth of the [Assad] regime’s continued violence against the opposition”, he added.


Itani, who is an expert on US policy in the Middle East and in particular with regards to the Syrian conflict, told MEMO that he believes Turkey is in support of the emergence of a Sunni-dominated Syrian state on its southern border.


However, Turkey’s policy towards the Kurds has shifted in recent months, as the country now allows Kurdish fighters from Iraq to enter Syria through Turkey. Nevertheless, Itani explained that Turkey has an interest in preventing the existence of an “independent Kurdish political entity in Syria.” Moreover, he sees that the US is “beginning to recognise how toxic an issue this is to the Turks.”

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