There are a lot of reasons to criticize Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who’s increasingly behaving like an old-school autocrat and who has been arresting critics en masse, but he’s actually proving himself to be useful in Syria. For a while now, his troops have been cleaning up in the war-torn country, where one ISIS stronghold after another has fallen into Turkish hands.
It goes without saying that this is very good news indeed.
And there’s more good news where that came from: Erdogan told U.S. President Barack Obama that he’s willing to, together with the U.S., launch an operation against ISIS’s Syrian capital of Raqqa.
On the sidelines of the G20 summit in China, Turkish President Erdogan told the press it “would not be a problem” to join the United States in its campaign to eradicate Islamic State terrorists firmly established in Raqqa, their Syrian stronghold.
The collaboration was first suggested by outgoing US President Barack Obama, and President Tayyip Erdogan agreed. “Obama wants to do some things together concerning Raqqa in particular,” he was quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper as saying. “We stated that would not be a problem from our perspective. We said, ‘Let our soldiers come together, whatever is necessary will be done,’” he said.
Again, Erdogan is far from an ideal ruler — actually, he’s the opposite — but he’s starting to do a stellar job with regards to Syria. ISIS has to be destroyed against all cost. If Erdogan can help the anti-ISIS coalition to achieve that, so be it.