The attack is almost certain to usher in a new phase in the Syrian civil war, the U.S.-Turkish relationship and Turkey’s domestic Kurdish conflict as well.
Turkey and the U.S. have both turned to their own preferred fictions because they have not found a more effective means to reconcile their conflicting interests in Syria.
History shows some of the embedded challenges that faced Kurdish nationalists a century ago, and sheds light on the factors influencing regional politics today.
Whether the Syrian Kurds would attend the talks is perhaps most interesting for what it reveals about the relationship among the U.S., Turkey, and Moscow.
Washington and Ankara’s failure to see eye-to-eye will likely hamper attempts in the longer-term both to degrade and destroy ISIS and reach a peaceful transition in Syria.
Turkey’s Syria policy has focused on issues other than the ISIS threat, in the misguided belief that if Turkey left ISIS alone, ISIS would leave Turkey alone.
The United States and Turkey, sworn allies in public, reveal undercurrents of friction when it comes to the Kurds in Syria.