Take a few steps further back, and realize that what we are dealing with here is Kurdistan, broken up and parceled out to it's neighbors. But the Kurd people still live there. So it is a political map that fuels an ongoing war. Turkey is fighting the Kurds, both inside Turkey and across borders.you are conflating two issues and two geographic areas
Idlib was invaded by Turkey last spring if not earlier. The media barely reported this as it was not sexy and didn't involve Americans
Remember when Turkey shot down that Russian jet in Idlib and then they destroyed the Russian rescue crew sent to retrieve the pilot? that was 2015- Obama was President then
And Trump DID not withdraw US forces from Syria. The force that he ordered moved, so they wouldn't be sued as human shields, was a lightly armed force of about 50 men.
The US force--with British and French troops as well, and probably Jordanians-- that is there in the Kurdish areas now (oil fields) is a far larger and much better equipped force then Obama had at the border. The force there now has armor and direct support artillery.
But all of these forces are in Syria illegally
And Erdogan is playing a very dangerous game. he thinks he has complete spt from his ppl, but he doesn't (vis a vis the military coup attempted about 6 yrs ago)
He is getting Turkish troops killed in Libya helping one govt fight against the other libyan govt-the one supported by Russia
He is challenging Russia all over the place despite public pretenses; he has had his military offer military aid and training to Ukraine under NATO auspices, but he cares little for NATO
And he has just released the hordes against Europe
There are reports of refugees arriving on Greek islands in recent days. refugees who did not have to pay a fee but were smuggled for free--who do you think paid the boatmen?
He has withdrawn security forces from the Greek and Bulgarian borders allowing encouraging refugees to move on the borders all because he is made that Europe his not backing his Syrian and Libyan adventures--hardly the act of a good NATO ally
and he has hinted at trying to invoke the nato article (is it art 5?) saying that turkey is under attack to draw in NATO forces against Syria
wont work,, a nato nation cant invade another nation and then call on nato to help when that other nation fights back
Turkey under Erdogan is the true Islamic state. He supplied ISIS; allowed fighters to transit through turkey to syria, allowed supplies to isis go through, bought oil illegally from ISIS
syria is a sovereign nation and has the right to not only put down rebellion but to also fight against a foreign invasion--turkey's invasion in the north west of syria and in idlib is only prolonging the war that the syrian govt is trying to end
What is special about the moment is, the fight has become an all out battle, and yet it is still being contained. Our forces were pulled out of the battle zone, if we return to the fight still on the side of the Kurds we will be in a coalition with Russia and Syria against Turkey... that's never happening. I agree that Turkey's play to get NATO article 4 applied to this battle isn't working at the moment, but that's more of the manifestation of the spirit in the 5th seal; holding back the winds of war.