The Syrian Kurds are trapped between the President’s refusal to act beyond cursory bombing and neighboring Turkey’s cynical realpolitik. In northern Syria and across the Middle East, the Kurds are secular, mostly Sunni Muslims and staunch friends of America. The U.S. needs to protect and strengthen these allies to defeat Islamist terror and restore order in the region.
As for Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ’s government is letting its distrust of Kurdish intentions cloud its moral and strategic interests. Turkey refuses to let weapons and supplies cross into Kobani to reach the Syrian Kurdish YPG, or People’s Protection Committees. Ankara suspects them of links to the banned Turkish Kurdish terrorist group, the PKK. Though Turkey’s parliament last week voted to support the Obama campaign, its formidable military sits on the border, watching the ISIS onslaught.