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How bizarre that the biggest obstacle to finishing the war against Daesh (ISIS) and beginning the stabilization of Syria is America's supposed friend and NATO ally, Turkey.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the latest attempt to mollify an angry Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a three-hour meeting in Ankara Thursday.To that end, the U.S. has crafted a tentative package meant to appease the Turks by offering them a buffer zone in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, joint Turkish-American patrols of the Manbij region where Erdogan has threatened an "Ottoman slap" if U.S. troops don't leave, and gradual dilution of U.S. ties with a Kurdish-led militia that Erdogan despises.To coax agreement, U.S. emissaries have prepared what amounts to a Venn diagram, showing how closely American and Turkish interests overlap in the region – except for on the Kurdish issue. Certainly, American and Turkish interests should converge; but if so, why does Turkey imprison American citizens, accuse Washington of fomenting a coup and violate U.S. sanctions against Iran?Turkey fulminates and demands American support, but lacks the power to stabilize areas it seeks to control.
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