Sultan Erdogan Pulled Trigger on Syrian Offensive Unilaterally, Did Not Warn U.S.

Behind the scenes, the Turkish move has increased tensions in the already troubled relationship between Washington and Ankara. For instance, the U.S. has informed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that his forces currently pushing further south into Syria will not receive air support. The only Turkish forces that will be supported are those pushing westward.

Meanwhile, Erdogan had been told by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month that his forces in Syria would not target Turkish troops if they invaded. In other words, Turkey sought and got Russia's approval, once again implying that Moscow and Ankara are on friendly terms nowadays. That has to trouble the United States, because Russia was and remains America's most important geopolitical opponent in the region.