Turkey and US clash over Syrian policy

The clash between Turkey and the US over Syrian policy has provoked extreme movements on the Turkish markets.

US plan a catalyst

The trigger was a US announcement of a plan for a 30,000, predominantly Kurdish, border security force in northern Syria.

Turkey has fought a civil war against Turkish Kurds over Kurdish independence, so it saw this plan as a threat to its territorial integrity.

The US’ plan acted as a catalyst for Turkey to launch pre-emptive military action, Operation Olive Branch, on January 19.

Turkey warns the US

Turkey says it also plans to expand its military action to Manbij where the US has a military presence.

This has raised fears of military conflict between the NATO allies.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Bekir Bozdag, warned the US over its support for the Kurdish militia YPG:

“If the US wants to “avoid a confrontation with Turkey – which neither they nor Turkey want – the way to this is clear: they must cut support given to terrorists”, Bozdag told Turkish broadcaster A Haber.”

Novices dropping spinning plates

In a previous Tyga FX post, I wrote:

“In the defence of its hegemony the US is spinning all its strategic plates at once. The problem is that those plates are being spun by comparative novices…”

It would seem that the novices have dropped one of those plates.

US geopolitical interests have collided with Turkey’s imperative for territorial integrity. This has injected a greater degree of unpredictability and risk into the crisis.

Greater market extremes

At this stage it’s most likely there will be a face saving fudge to avoid direct conflict between Turkish and American troops.

But if Turkish forces start marching towards Manbij, the closer they get the less room for manoeuvre – and the more extreme those market movements…

Gary Hollands

Geopolitical analyst Tyga FX