As the war against ISIS wraps up in both Iraq and Syria, events in northern Syria are rapidly developing as fault lines over other issues re-emerge and states jostle for influence. In January, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin province to push back against the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). On February 15, the Trump administration released its FY 2019 budget proposal, calling for $300 million for Syria train and equip programs and has made statements detailing its plan for an extended stay in Syria after the fall of ISIS, likely in partnership with the PYD-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces.
As major operations against ISIS come to an end, the US and Turkey remain at odds over the status of northern Syria, particularly in regards to the PYD and the city of Manbij. Following the visits of National Security Advisor HR McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Turkey, how will the two allies move forward? Can the US and Turkey reach a rapprochement over northern Syria?
Please join the SETA Foundation at Washington DC for a timely discussion on the situation in northern Syria and what it means for US-Turkey relations.
Richard Outzen, Senior U.S. Army Advisor & Member of Policy Planning Staff, US Department of State
Denise Natali, Director, Center for Strategic Research, National Defense University (NDU)
Kilic B. Kanat, Research Director, The SETA Foundation at Washington DC
Kadir Ustun, Executive Director, The SETA Foundation at Washington DC