It’s easy thousands of miles away to blame Turkey following its recent military attack into Syria, but Ankara has legitimate reasons for its actions. Firstly, to avoid compromising its national security and secondly creating a sustainable solution for the Syrian refugee crises are at stake. Ankara is not the only actor to be held responsible for the mess in Syria. However, considerable mistakes by key stakeholders United States and Brussels have significantly added to the problem. Since Turkey shares a long border with Syria will suffers more from its instability and must legitimately act to secure its territory.

Washington’s crucial mistakes in Syria are a result of its failed policies a long time ago; including the Obama administration’s decision in 2016 to arm People’s Protection Unit members (YPG), which were directly embed with American special forces, was a wrong move. Another Kurdish group, PKK is identical to YPG has been declared as a terrorist organization by the United States, NATO, and European Union. Turkey held the US as its strategic partner, but equipping its major terror threat- YPG was distressing for Turks. US efforts to arm a terrorist organization was not the only mistake to made in Syria. On top of it, the Obama administration’s failure to curb bloodshed in the region had been prevented and the situation could have been different if President Obama had intervened in the Syrian crisis. This time it is President Trump, who has failed to avoid escalating tension. His impetuous decisions, lack of coordination with the Pentagon, White House and the State department and uncertain tweets have been once more depicting the global leadership gap in regional and international politics.

Despite European countries had suffered from the flux of refugees to the region, but the EU did not honor its words to help Ankara in its challenge of accepting nearly four million Syrian refugees. These crises have badly struck the Turkish economy and additionally emerging social tensions are pushing public hostilities towards refugees.

For instance, ignoring an impulsive move by US and Brussels, Turkey could have avoided a military operation. However, during the reign of former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu between 2012 and 2016 Turkish foreign policy was centered on the removal of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad rather than fighting ISIS to stabilize Syria. Turkey’s lack of concern and intent to fight against ISIS allowed YPG to emerge as a reliable ally to the US, made Turkey to suffer multiple ISIS terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of hundreds of Turkish citizens in its major cities.

It is misunderstood by the public and U.S media that Turkey’s military operation in Syria is to kill Kurds, however in actuality it’s only against the YPG and PKK. There are millions of Kurds living in Turkey, who are enjoying equal rights and protection after attaining the status of a citizen. Moreover, the U.S mainstream media is not fair to Project Turkey’s operation as a violent act. Regardless of Ankara -Washington strained relations, Turkey is a strategic NATO ally and acting in conformity with the international law to mop up terrorist sanctuaries in Syria use for attacking Turkish soil regularly.

President Trump has made an uninformed decision to pull out military forces from Syria is risky and depicts his shallow understanding. Washington must collaborate with other stakeholders in the region led by Ankara and Syria and leave the policy to arm a militant group against other militants. Since this contradicts with the principles of United States foreign policy. For Turkey, it important to limit its length of the military incursion and initiate comprehensive dialogues with the Syrian regime. Having said that, these dialogues will help Turkey to resolve disagreement and accomplish its strategic goals.

Everyone has a contribution to the Syria’s mess. Thus, punishing Turkey via imposing sanctions will sabotage regional stability and will widen the vacuum left by the absence of responsible United States leadership in the Middle East.

The writer reports for Fox News Digital and also a freelance columnist. He is currently pursuing an LLM at UC Berkeley and can be reached at mohsin.saleemullah@berkeley.edu