This piece by Mike Whitney on what may have been the plan for Turkey to invade Syria is a good read and this latest incident may be a plan B or C
"It sounds far fetched, but there are points worth considering. For example, on CBS news program 60 Minutes, Obama said this:
“I’ve been skeptical from the get go about the notion that we were going to effectively create this proxy army inside of Syria. My goal has been
to try to test the proposition, can we be able to train and equip a moderate opposition that’s willing to fight ISIL? And what we’ve learned is
that as long as Assad remains in power, it is very difficult to get those folks to focus their attention on ISIL.” (60 Minutes)
"We’ve suggested in earlier columns that Obama might have struck a deal with Erdogan to launch a Turkish invasion of Syria as long as the US
provided air cover for Turkish ground forces. We think this was part of a quid pro quo that Obama agreed to for the use of the strategic airbase at
Incirlik. Keep in mind, Erdogan withheld US access to Incirlik for more than a year until the US met his demand to help him topple Assad. Naturally,
this is not something that Obama could acknowledge publicly, but it would have been an essential part of any agreement. An interview on PBS News Hour
last week with David Kramer, the former assistant secretary of state during the George W. Bush administration, provides some support for this theory.
Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, David Kramer, what about that? There is the real worry if the U.S. gets involved, it gets sucked in, dragged in, and can’t get
DAVID KRAMER: The Turks had indicated a long time ago that they were prepared to send forces in if the United States provided cover and support. So,
we should create safe zones. We should create no-fly zones. We should enforce those for any planes that would threaten people in those areas, whether
they’re Syrian planes or Russian planes. We should give the Russians full notice that any violations or attacks on those zones would constitute an
attack that we would have to respond to.
Nobody wants this. There are bad decisions that have to be made here, but that’s where we are right now. And I think unless we do that, we will
continue to see people get killed, we will continue to see people flee Syria, so there aren’t any good solutions. We have to find the least worst
JUDY WOODRUFF: But my question is, isn’t that an entire new level of risk, U.S. planes get shot down, U.S. troops get potentially captured, not to
mention a conflict, potential conflict with Russia, unintentional?
DAVID KRAMER: We have the Turks that have indicated a willingness to go ahead. We may have other countries, including from the Gulf, although
they’re not great contributors to this kind of operation. The United States could provide the air support, to provide the cover that way. I think
there is a way of doing this without putting U.S. forces on the ground, but there aren’t any good options here.” (“Pulling the plug on rebel
training, what’s next for U.S. in Syria?“, PBS News Hour)
Kramer not only sounds extremely confident that “The Turks… were prepared to send forces in if the United States provided cover and support.”
He also seems to imply that a great many Washington elites were aware of the deal but kept it under their hats.