The U. S. government’s warm relationship with the self-described “neo-Ottoman” and D. C. friendly regime of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan is no secret. But emerging details on the classified Operation Nomad Shadow seem to involve the U.S. taking sides in yet another foreign entanglement - this time in a raging Kurdish sectarian conflict near the Turkish-Iraqi border.
As the Washington Post describes,
“the U.S. Air Force (since 2011) has been flying unarmed drones from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey in an attempt to suppress a long-simmering regional conflict. The camera-equipped Predators hover above the rugged border with Iraq and beam high-resolution imagery to the Turkish armed forces, helping them pursue PKK rebels as they slip back and forth across the mountains.”
If the Defense Department’s own service medal eligibility requirements are accurate, Nomad Shadow’s covert existence may stretch back at least as far as November 2007.
If Erdogan's decreasingly popular government ever felt threatened by these nomadic bands of Iraq-based Kurdish fighters, would Turkey then invoke Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty? As a NATO member, the United States is still obligated to commit to their mutual defense.