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Turkey launches offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria

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Trump Sends Emergency Delegation to Turkey Amid Bloody Offensive in Syria

A delegation of senior Trump administration officials will depart for Turkey "as soon as possible" to negotiate a ceasefire following Ankara's bloody offensive into Syria that killed civilians and helped to reinvigorate the ISIS terror group, according to senior administration officials.

The delegation will seek to "achieve a deal" in the coming days to end the full-scale battle that erupted when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan permitted his forces to invade Syria following an announcement by President Donald Trump that he is removing American forces from the region.

The troop withdrawal, which has been criticized by both Republican and Democratic leaders, set the stage for a renewed wave of violence in Syria that U.S. officials say has threatened to erase American gains in defeating ISIS terrorists.:snip:

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1 hour ago, Geee said:

Trump Sends Emergency Delegation to Turkey Amid Bloody Offensive in Syria

A delegation of senior Trump administration officials will depart for Turkey "as soon as possible" to negotiate a ceasefire following Ankara's bloody offensive into Syria that killed civilians and helped to reinvigorate the ISIS terror group, according to senior administration officials.

The delegation will seek to "achieve a deal" in the coming days to end the full-scale battle that erupted when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan permitted his forces to invade Syria following an announcement by President Donald Trump that he is removing American forces from the region.

The troop withdrawal, which has been criticized by both Republican and Democratic leaders, set the stage for a renewed wave of violence in Syria that U.S. officials say has threatened to erase American gains in defeating ISIS terrorists.:snip:

 

None of this would be necessary if Donald Trump had not pulled the troops out. This whole thing makes no sense. Turkey says We're going to invade, We pull troops out of the way, then Donald Trump says Don't Invade, Or “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”  

Turkey Invades, The Kurds make a deal with Assad, the Syrian army moves in. Now we're seeing a chance of actual War between Turkey and Syria, + good rumors that some ISIS terrorist have escaped.

Could some kind soul please explain to me how pulling those 50(?) American troops out of the way has made the situation better?

 

 

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Trump's decision on Syria is nothing short of disaster

The Turkish invasion of Syria, prompted by President Trump’s sudden and stunning announcement that he would withdraw troops from the Syrian-Turkish border, spells only trouble for America’s position in the region. It has boosted Iranian and Russian — and even Chinese — standing in the Middle East. It has once again demonstrated American unreliability by betraying Kurdish allies. It has created new humanitarian pressures on a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that abuts Rojava, the Syrian Kurdish enclave, and that has tried mightily to maintain good relations with Washington and the West. And it could lead to an Israeli direct strike on Iran in response to any new provocation by Tehran.

It is certainly true that Iran and Russia would have preferred that Turkey not go more deeply into Syria than it already has done. Iranian spokesmen made that very clear. Nevertheless, Tehran and Moscow, as well as Beijing — an increasingly active player in the region — can only benefit from widespread regional perceptions of American unreliability. America has betrayed the Kurds before, beginning with the 1920 Treaty of Sevres that dismembered the Ottoman Empire but ignored the Kurds. :snip:

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Trump is right to take troops out of Syria. Now they must leave Iraq and Afghanistan

Donald Trump is right to extricate the US from Syria. American troops have no strategic reason to be in that country. If they stayed any longer they would only be sucked in deeper – if they tried to impose a sort of peace, they would be attacked by all sides. The outside world has no dog in the Turkish-Kurd fight.

The US should get out of Syria as it must leave Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

 

Trump has been emphatic about withdrawal, but his unpredictability and aggressive rhetoric has muddied his intentions

While Trump’s motives or thought process for the latest move aren’t exactly clear – as ever – that he has enraged conservative and liberal interventionists alike is as reassuring as it is alarming. Belligerent meddling is now embedded in the west’s world view. But just as there is rarely a good time to intervene in other people’s troubles, so there is rarely a good time to stop. Were there a way in which a US army could swiftly bring peace and concord to northern Syria it might be different. There is none. Nothing in the modern history of the Middle East – not the Taliban or the Saddam or Assad regimes – has equalled the horror unleashed by the US’s “wars of 9/11”. They have come to seem as interminable as they are unspeakable.

As in any intervention, narratives evolve and alliances are formed. Most foolish was the encouragement and aid offered since 2015 to rebels in the Syrian civil war fighting against Bashar al-Assad – a war which David Cameron was inexplicably eager to have the UK join. As northern Iraq descended into chaos and the Kurds were emboldened to increase their pressure on Turkey, Syria became the venue for a nightmare three-way conflict. Throughout it, the US backed the Kurds.:snip:

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1 hour ago, Geee said:

Trump is right to take troops out of Syria. Now they must leave Iraq and Afghanistan

Donald Trump is right to extricate the US from Syria. American troops have no strategic reason to be in that country. If they stayed any longer they would only be sucked in deeper – if they tried to impose a sort of peace, they would be attacked by all sides. The outside world has no dog in the Turkish-Kurd fight.

The US should get out of Syria as it must leave Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

 

Trump has been emphatic about withdrawal, but his unpredictability and aggressive rhetoric has muddied his intentions

While Trump’s motives or thought process for the latest move aren’t exactly clear – as ever – that he has enraged conservative and liberal interventionists alike is as reassuring as it is alarming. Belligerent meddling is now embedded in the west’s world view. But just as there is rarely a good time to intervene in other people’s troubles, so there is rarely a good time to stop. Were there a way in which a US army could swiftly bring peace and concord to northern Syria it might be different. There is none. Nothing in the modern history of the Middle East – not the Taliban or the Saddam or Assad regimes – has equalled the horror unleashed by the US’s “wars of 9/11”. They have come to seem as interminable as they are unspeakable.

As in any intervention, narratives evolve and alliances are formed. Most foolish was the encouragement and aid offered since 2015 to rebels in the Syrian civil war fighting against Bashar al-Assad – a war which David Cameron was inexplicably eager to have the UK join. As northern Iraq descended into chaos and the Kurds were emboldened to increase their pressure on Turkey, Syria became the venue for a nightmare three-way conflict. Throughout it, the US backed the Kurds.:snip:

 

Once Again My 23 Small Simple Questions

1. What Do You Want?

2. How Do You Get It?

Most Importantly

3.Then What Happens?

 

I wonder if Simon Jenkins has ever asked himself these questions...particularly #3. I have my doubts that he has.

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Russian troops patrol between Turkish and Syrian forces on border

Soldiers’ presence underlines Moscow’s role as power broker after evacuation of US personnel

Bethan McKernan in Istanbul

Tue 15 Oct 2019 10.04 EDT

Russian units have begun patrolling territory separating Turkish-backed Syrian rebels from the Syrian army around Manbij in north-east Syria, in a clear sign that Moscow has become the de facto power broker in the region after the evacuation of US troops.

Oleg Blokhin, a Russian journalist usually attached to mercenaries in Syria, posted a video on social media from a deserted US military base in the village of al-Saadiya, near Manbij.

“They [the US] were here yesterday, we are here today,” he said. “Now we’ll see how they were living and what they were doing.”

Meanwhile the flag of the Syrian regime was raised above Manbij, Syrian state media reported, after Kurdish officials agreed a deal with their former opponents to protect both the contested town and nearby Kobani from a six-day old Turkish assault.

(Snip)

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Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies - VDH

Critics now upset about abandoning our Kurdish friends demanded abject withdrawals — and the abandonment of friends — in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces.

Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and abetting Kurdish terrorist separatists inside Turkey. But what they say they can so easily do and what they really can do inside Syria are, of course, two different things.

 

Critics now upset about abandoning our Kurdish friends demanded abject withdrawals — and the abandonment of friends — in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces.

 

Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and abetting Kurdish terrorist separatists inside Turkey. But what they say they can so easily do and what they really can do inside Syria are, of course, two different things.

A Noble People
Most Americans in general favor the Kurds and oppose the Turks. Aside from Israel, Kurds are about the only American allies in the Middle East who predictably fight alongside our troops against Islamists, theocrats, and Baathists. They admire Americans, and for the most part they do not indulge in the normal anti-American histrionics. They despise ISIS as much we do and are on the front lines combatting ISIS atrocities.

Skeptics might suggest that they do so mostly for self-interested reasons. But all people do that. And what is unusual about the Kurds of Iraq and Syria is the number of times they have risked their lives in battle alongside our own soldiers. For that alone, they deserve special American dispensations and should not be left to the vagaries of Turkish or Russian air power or any combined Turkish, Syrian, Islamist, or Iranian cynical alliance.:snip:

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US official says no ‘major’ breakout of IS jihadists in Syria

The United States is not aware of any “major” escape of Islamic State extremists since Turkey launched its assault on Syrian Kurdish fighters holding the prisoners, according to a US official.

“We haven’t seen any major successful breakout so far of the detainees,” the senior administration official tells reporters on condition of anonymity.

However, the official says that anywhere between 50 and 150 wives and children of Islamic State prisoners had escaped in the chaos after Turkish forces attacked last week.

(Snip)

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Pulling US troops out of Syria will prove to be the right decision

Whenever neoconservatives and liberals chant in unison about American policy in the Middle East — as when they championed the Iraq invasion, for example, or the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, or the thwarted attempt to topple the Assad regime in Syria — it means we are being told a pack of lies. Par for the course is the hysterical response to President Donald Trump’s ‘betrayal’ of the Kurds in the wake of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria.

 

Turkey’s goal was to repatriate at least two million of 3.6 million Syrian refugees inside Turkey in a border zone controlled, until the invasion began, by the US-allied, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. Ankara considers that group to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), which is also active in the region, has committed countless atrocities inside Turkey and is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and America.

Since Turkey was never going to back down, Middle East pundits appeared to be arguing that Trump should actually have risked going to war with a fellow Nato member that houses American nuclear weapons at its Incirlik Air Base. Worse, this would have been in defense of the Kurds, with whom the US has no defense treaty and whose ad hoc alliance with the US in Syria was formed with the explicit and limited goal of fighting the now defeated Islamic State. Going into battle against the Turks would also, of course, have meant betraying a historic ally, not to mention potentially causing the outbreak of a third world war.:snip:

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