Here’s David Ignatius’s prescription for the U. S.’s extricating itself from the “mess in Syria”, from his column in the Washington Post:
How can the United States untangle this mess so it can finish the job against the Islamic State? America needs “dialogue” and “de-escalation” quickly with Turkey, explains Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, the commander of U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq. The campaign against the Islamic State is “slowing down,” he warns, and the lull could “allow these people to escape” into Turkey and then to Europe.
I have a simpler prescription: just walk away. The Syrian government, Russians, and Iranians presently have the Daesh forces in Idlib encircled. They will soon have eliminated them. One by one they’re rooting Daesh out of Syria’s cities. They have the incentives and the ability. We could cooperate with them and if we can’t or won’t do that we should just get the heck out of their way.
Erdogan’s Islamist Turkey is not the same country as the secular Kemalist Turkey with which the U. S. was allied. Can anyone seriously believe that this Turkey’s interests are really aligned with ours? For that matter can anyone seriously believe that “finishing the job” against Daesh is either Turkey’s or the U. S.’s only objective in Syria?