The Confrontation between US-Turkey's Strategic Interests in Northern Syria and Iran's Foreign Policy

Document Type : Original Article


1 Tehran University

2 University of Mazandaran


The beginning of the political crisis in Syria, each regional and trans-regional actors have adopted different policies based on their interests and goals in relation to this country. Syria is an exceptional issue for countries in the region and the world's powers like the United States of America, and any transformation in that form might have a fundamental impact on the interests of each of these regional and global powers. Turkey as a regional power and the United States has always been present in the Syrian crisis as a regional power based on its interests. But the United' support of the present groups in Syria has sought to fight ISIS extremists, which Turkey has called for terrorist groups to reduce the US and Turkey relations. The present study was conducted using descriptive-analytic method and using documentation sources to provide a theoretical framework, the question of why Turkey is against United States about the Syrian Kurdish issue? This study investigates the presence of United States in Syria and the support of Kurdish groups, as well as the reaction that Turkey and Iran have been involved in. The findings of this article indicate that the United States support the Kurdish groups in northern Syria has led to conflict of interest between the two countries.


Main Subjects

Article Title [Persian]

تقابل منافع راهبردی آمریکا و ترکیه در شمال سوریه و سیاست ایران

Author [Persian]

  • Seyed Saleh musavi 2
2 University of Mazandaran
Ajorlu, Mohammad Jafar and Mahmoud Rammaz, (2013),” A Turkish Geopolitical effect on foreign policy of the Islamic State of Justice and Development”, Afaq Journal of Security, Vol. 5. No. 20 Bear. [In Persian]
Arnold, Michael. 2019. How Turkey Can Help Bring Stability to Syria, https://
Asgarian, Abbasqoli and saeed Tajri, (2017), "The impact of the Syrian crisis on Russian and Turkish relations in the Caucasus region”, The central and Caucasus magazine, No. 97. [In Persian]
Bagheri Dolatabadi, Ali, Dehgolan Rahimi, Sirvan, (2015), " Syrian crisis: Investigation of motives, positions and future of Kurds”, Journal of Foreign Policy, Vol. XXI, No. 1. [In Persian]
Bagheri Dolatabadi, Ali, Jamshid Kholghi and Abdolreza Fathi Mozaffari, (2012), " Syrian political developments: foundations, Trends and complexities”, Journal of Strategic Policy Research, vol. 1, No. 4. [In Persian]
Bahman, Shoayb, (2019), "A Framework for understanding Turkish-and-international relations", The think of the Strategic Explanation, No: 323. [In Persian]
Bakhshi, Abbas Ali, (2016)," Turkey and Kurds in Syria: issues and solutions”, think strategic explanation, news ID: 30863. [In Persian]
Barchil, Scott et al., (2014), " Theories of International Relations", translated by Haimra Moshirzadeh and Ruhollah Talebi Arani, Tehran: Mizan Publishing.
Chan Sewell, (2016), "What’s Behind Turkey’s Attackon Syria’s Kurds”. Availableat: Accessed on: 22 Jan.
Dadouch, Sarah,(2019), " Turkey, U.S. agree to form joint operation center for Syria safe zone",
Dehghani Firouzabadi, Seyed Jalal, (2012), " Neoralism and foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran”, Journal of Foreign Policy, vol. 6, No. 1. [In Persian]
Ellen Francis & at el,2019, "Syrian Kurdish YPG to withdraw from strip along Turkish border,
Erdemir Aykan,2019. "What are Turkey's interests in Syria?, https://www.khaleejtimes. com/ editorials-columns/what-are-turkeys-interests-in-syria.
Gall, Carlotta.  2019. U.S. and Turkey Avoid Conflict by Agreeing on Buffer Zone in Syria,
Gardner, david. 2018. Turkey’s action in Syria threatens fragile alliance. Available at:, Accessed on: 24, January, 2018.
Ghasemian, Rouhollah, Reza Simbar and Ahmad Jansiz, (2018), " The Syrian crisis and the new Cold War", The Journal of Political Research of Islamic World, Vol. 8, No. 1. [In Persian]
Habibolahi, Davood, (2016), "The role of regional powers (Iran and Turkey) and transnational region (Russia and the United States of America) in deepening the Syrian crisis", Master's thesis, University of Guilan.
Hafeez Ullah Khan and Waseem Khan, (2017), " Syria: History, The Civil War and Peace Prospects" , Journal of Political Studies, Vol. 24, No. 2.
International Crisis Group. 2018. Avoiding a Free-for-all in Syria’s North East, Crisis Group Middle East Briefing N°66.
Javan online. 2020. Turkish-American escalation in East Euphrates, [In Persian]
Katz N Mark (2013) “Russia and the Conflict in Syria” Middle East Policy, vol 20, No2, pp 38-46.
Khoury, Abeel, (2013), “Arab Cold War Revisted: The Regional Impact” Middle East Policy, vol 20, No2, pp 73-87.
Lafleur, 2019. Turkey to carry out own plan if US delays Syria safe zone deal, Erdoğan says,
Leeuwen, Jan van & Erwin van Veen. 2019. Turkey in northwestern Syria Rebuilding empire at the margins.
Macaron, Joe. 2019. Turkey, US agree to launch first phase of Syria safe-zone plan, agree- launch- phase- syria- safe-zone- plan-190822090734698.html.
Mashreghnews, 2020. Comparison of Iran's behavior in Kirkuk with Turkey in Afrin. [In Persian]
Mortimer Caroline. 2018. Turkish troops enter Afrin in northern Syria as offensive against Kurds continues. Accessed on: 21 January 2018.
Mosafa, Afsaneh and Rohollah Shahabi, (2017), "political, economic, and security relations of the United States of America and Turkey during the presidency of Erdogan", the Journal of Nations Research, Vol. 2, No. 24. [In Persian]
Mosalanejad, Abbas, (2011), " Analysis of Iran's power balance policy in the realist and noerealist approach”, The Journal of International Relations, Vol. 1, No. 1.
Mousavi, S.H., Barzegar F., Ghavam A.A., Zakerian M. (2016) The Impact of Arab World Developments on Regional Policy of Iran and Turkey, Geopolitical Quarterly Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring.
Pearson, Robert. 2019. Turkey and US at loggerheads over Syria, https://www.
Petti, Matthew. 2019. Turkey’s Demands Meet Reality When It Comes to Syria,’s-demands-meet-reality-when-it-comes-syria-72181.
Reuters. 2019. Turkey plans new military operation in northern Syria, https:// www.
Snyder Xander. 2019. In Syria, An Opportunity for US-Russian Cooperation,
Stein Aaron. 2017. Reconciling U.S.-Turkish Interests in Northern Syria,
Toosi, Nahal and Morgan Wesley. 2019. Congress' Syria panel warns against Trump withdrawal plan, [In Persian]
Valerstein, Emanuel (2012) Gibolitik Arab Unrest, translated by Musa al-Haloul Al-Jazeera Center for Studies.
Waltz, K. N, (1979), "Theory of International Politics" , New York: McGraw- Hill.
Yeni Şafak. 2019. Turkey, U.S. disagree on five issues over northern Syria safe zone, https:// ahvalnews. com/ us- turkey/ turkey- us-disagree- five-issues-over-northern-syria- safe-zone.