US troops leave Syria?

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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:44 pm

With impeccable timing, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov just started a meeting with Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani. Aside from Moscow's role as Syrian powerbroker, Kremlin-controlled oil giant Rosneft is drilling in Kurdistan and building export pipelines
https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson?ref_s ... r%5Eauthor


Seth Abramson

Yikes... when a person who will betray her own *family* for political gain, like @RepLizCheney, says publicly that a Republican has made a political blunder, it's got to be a *big* blunder.


JUST IN: Liz Cheney calls Trump's Syria move "a catastrophic mistake"
https://twitter.com/SethAbramson?ref_sr ... r%5Eauthor



Adam Klasfeld
Confused about Trump’s threat to Turkey?

The Treasury still has not issued a fine against Turkey’s state-run bank Halkbank for its role in a record-breaking money laundering scheme to Iran.

Experts told me last year the fine could torpedo its economy. https://www.courthousenews.com/turkish- ... ing-in-ny/

Image
The gold trader who spearheaded that money laundering scheme, Reza Zarrab, was a Trump Towers Istanbul resident and former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Giuliani represented Zarrab in a quasi-diplomatic mission as a go-between for the White House and Erdogan.

Giuliani had discussed freeing Zarrab a possible prisoner swap with Erdogan.

The deal failed, and Zarrab pleaded guilty.


This is an important counterpoint, and this was the exact language that I was summarizing in my tweet, which linked to my article. https://twitter.com/emeyersson/status/1 ... 86848?s=21
Image
https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/sta ... 8637551627


Exclusive: Official Who Heard Call Says Trump Got 'Rolled' By Turkey and 'Has No Spine'
By James LaPorta On 10/7/19 at 2:16 PM EDT
Trump_Turkey_7Oct19
President Donald Trump returns to the White House after visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 04, 2019 in Washington, D.C. In a White House statement released late Sunday evening, Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation against American-backed Kurdish forces in Northern Syria. The U.S. military forces will not support or be involved in the operation. Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Donald Trump got "rolled" by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a National Security Council source with direct knowledge of the discussions told Newsweek.

In a scheduled phone call on Sunday afternoon between President Trump and President Erdogan, Trump said he would withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria. The phone call was scheduled after Turkey announced it was planning to invade Syria, and hours after Erdogan reinforced his army units at the Syrian-Turkish border and issued his strongest threat to launch a military incursion, according to the National Security Council official to whom Newsweek spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. withdrawal plays into the hands of the Islamic State group, Damascus and Moscow, and the announcement left Trump's own Defense Department "completely stunned," said Pentagon officials. Turkey, like the United States, wants regime change in Syria. Russia and Iran support the Assad regime.

"President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something," the National Security Council source told Newsweek. "The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that's the bottom line."

Newsweek granted the National Security Council official anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The source said it would not be surprising to see a Turkish incursion in the next 24 to 96 hours.

Turkey has long considered the Kurdish militia in Syria to be a terrorist insurgency, despite the United States providing military and financial aid to the group in its fight against ISIS, the Islamic State militant group. A battle with the vastly superior military of Turkey, a NATO ally, could drive the Kurds into the arms of Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian dictator that Washington wants ousted, and by extension into an alliance with Russia and Iran, two U.S. rivals with forces in Syria.

The White House said late Sunday evening in a statement that Turkey will soon invade northern Syria but both the Defense Department and Trump on Twitter said they made clear to Turkey that they do not endorse a Turkish operation in northern Syria.

"As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, 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!)," said Trump on Twitter Monday. "They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families...it is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory."

According to the NSC official, who had first-hand knowledge of the phone call, Trump did not endorse any Turkish military operation against Kurdish Forces, but also did not threaten economic sanctions during the phone call if Turkey decided to undertake offensive operations.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, "The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial "Caliphate," will no longer be in the immediate area."

The New York Times reported Monday that about 100 to 150 American forces would withdraw from northern Syria but not completely from the country. Newsweek confirmed the Times reporting but the National Security Council official said the number was closer to 230 service members, among them U.S. Special Forces and reconnaissance units.

The Times also reported witnesses observed United States forces withdraw from two observation posts in Tel Abyad and Ein Eissa in northeastern Syria. Newsweek confirmed these on Monday—a senior Defense Department official said American forces are about 90 percent complete with the withdraw as of publication.

One of the main issues in the phone call between the two world leaders concerned the roughly 2,000 Islamic State militant prisoners being held by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Defense Forces in northeastern Syria, who the U.S. military assists financially.

Trump told Erdogan he did not want anything to do with ISIS prisoners despite the United States not currently detaining Islamic State prisoners in Syria. The Syrian Defense Forces control custody of the prisoners.

Erdogan said Turkey would take custody of the ISIS militant prisoners, according to the White House statement and the National Security Council official Newsweek spoke to for this story.

"The ISIS prisoners, some of them, will eventually be freed amongst the chaos, and remain in the area or go elsewhere to rejoin the fight," speculated the National Security Council official.

Turkey_Military_7Oct19
A U.S. soldier sits atop an armored vehicle during a demonstration by Syrian Kurds against Turkish threats next to a base for the U.S.-led international coalition on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border on October 6, 2019. - U.S. forces in Syria started pulling back on Monday from Turkish border areas, opening the way for Ankara's threatened military invasion and heightening fears of a jihadist resurgence. Delil SOULEIMAN/Getty
The White House statement on Sunday also expressed Trump's long-held frustration with how other NATO-allied countries had dealt with captured Islamic State group fighters. The statement singled out "France, Germany and other European nations," for refusing to take back their citizens who had joined the Islamic State militant group.

U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley, Trump's newly minted chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, is scheduled to meet with the service chiefs this morning to discuss the matter, said National Security Council source.

The National Security Council official said they could not speak about what Trump's admirals and generals may plan, but said they would not expect anything out of the usual norms as the Defense Department follows orders with or without advanced knowledge.

If the United States had refused to move out of Turkey's war path, U.S options would not just be the threat of potential conflict between nation-state militaries, it would have been applied pressure on the Turkish economy, according to the National Security Council official.

However, the United States chose not to stand its ground to protect Kurdish Forces against Turkish airstrikes as a part of Trump's "America First policy" and his historical views that war is bad for business, according to the official.

On Sunday, Erdogan reinforced his army units at the Syrian-Turkish border hours after he issued his strongest threat to launch Turkish forces over the border and into the "buffer zone," between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

The buffer zone—sometimes referred to as the peace corridor—was established to prevent another Turkish invasion of northern Syria. The United States had been working to establish a proper demilitarized zone prior to Trump's endorsement of Turkey's military plans.

If Trump's withdraw of U.S. forces had not occurred, the National Security Council official told Newsweek, the United States could have continued to refine the buffer zone on the Syrian-Turkish border.

"To be honest with you, it would be better for the United States to support a Kurdish nation across Turkey, Syria and Iraq," said the National Security Council official. "It would be another Israel in the region."

The current foreign policy debacle is what prompted Trump's former defense secretary, James Mattis, to resign his post after Trump decided to abruptly withdraw American forces from Syria in December 2018. Mattis was the last of the generals touted as the "adults" in the administration—and was an outspoken opponent of a Syrian withdrawal.

A senior Defense Department official told Newsweek in January no U.S. general was happy with the decision to pull back U.S. troops from Syria as Pentagon officials feared the withdrawal could spark an ISIS resurgence similar to the Taliban's growing influence and territory in Afghanistan.

Administration officials in January told Newsweek Trump's sudden withdraw order could undercut strategic U.S. alliances with regional allies; free Russia and Iran to re-establish a full military presence and solid footing in the Mediterranean; and leave U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters vulnerable to being decimated by a Turkish air campaign.

A complete withdrawal could also potentially give up a valuable regional position to American military forces that threaten United States interests in the region, including the interests of allies such as Israel and, to some extent, Jordan.

The National Security Council official compared Turkey to "playground bullies" on Monday.

"When the bigger guy [United States] moves aside in the playground, they [Turkey] get to beat on the smaller guy [Syrian Defense Forces] and this is not about the U.S. being the world police," the National Security Council source told Newsweek.

"We are telling the world, we will use you and then throw you away," the official added. "It's not like they don't have a television in Asia, in Africa, and South America."
https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-offi ... ne-1463623
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby Jerky » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:21 pm

The slaughter of the Kurds has begun.

https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Tur ... aws-604010
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:43 am

Kurds Have Been Preparing for Trump’s Syria Betrayal—With a Vengeance
https://www.thedailybeast.com/kurds-hav ... -vengeance

Just Hours After Trump Bends to Erdoğan, Reports Indicate Turkey's Bombing of Kurdish Forces Has Begun
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.common ... rces%3famp



Trump’s Sickening Betrayal
Geopolitics is a contest of bad ideas. Letting Turkey take control of Kurdish territory falls somewhere between “very bad” and “extremely bad.”
GRAEME WOOD
OCT 7, 2019
PKK flag
A woman holds the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) flag during a demonstration against Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016.YVES HERMAN / REUTERS
The great virtue of Twitter is that it forces users to be concise. One downside is that when an extremely powerful crazy person—the president of the United States, say—uses it, he can sound a bit like the Abrahamic God in one of his more wrathful moments. “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!),” Trump thundered today, as House Republicans scrambled to burn offerings in the Rotunda.


The subject of this tweet, Turkey, had just hours before been the unconditional beneficiary of a sickening desertion by the United States. Late last night, the White House issued a statement confirming that the United States would stand by while Turkey asserted control over northern Syria—including territory controlled by the Kurds, who have been integral to the anti–Islamic State coalition. The Kurds were an American ally, but not a natural one: The PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), which runs Kurdish affairs in Syria, fought against Turkey in the 1980s and ’90s and remains cultish in its Maoism. (Whatever Fox News viewers think Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar believe, the PKK actually believes.) Turkey has consistently promised to strangle any Kurdish state before it becomes permanent. Apparently Trump assented to the Turkish position, and in a hurry to extricate America from northern Syria, abandoned the Kurds to the mercies of their most powerful enemy.


Geopolitics is a contest of bad ideas, with winning defined as implementing the least-bad ones. Letting Turkey take control of Kurdish territory falls somewhere between “very bad” and “extremely bad” in this range; the only question is whether the alternatives fell into the rarely visited “shockingly, horrendously bad” portion of the spectrum. To leave the Kurds to Turkey amounts, first of all, to the total betrayal of an American ally, a group whose members have died in the desert by the thousands, so that we Americans didn’t have to revisit our bad dreams of the Iraq War by fighting in large numbers. The Kurds had their own reasons to despise the Islamic State—their ideology is Marxist and atheist, and ISIS would have slaughtered them all—but anyone who prefers Arlington National Cemetery to remain uncrowded owes thanks to the Kurds who died in our soldiers’ place. Letting our allies get annihilated is a fast way to ensure that we never have allies again.

MORE BY GRAEME WOOD

A pickup truck drives on a dusty road toward structures in the distance.
I Watched ISIS Videos, and Felt My Soul Diminished

Trump’s advisers (but who can advise Yahweh?) seem to understand this: His Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned in part because he refused to sell American allies downriver; and Eliphaz the Temanite, I mean Senator Lindsey Graham, spoke up this morning to say that if Turkey attacks the Kurds, he will try to sanction it and get it suspended from NATO. The advice seems to have elicited Trump’s threat to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy, and the mysterious, false claim that he had done so before. The complication here, however, is that Trump has saved an American ally (the Kurds) by pledging to devastate, according to his awesome whimsy, another American ally. It may seem odd to refer to Turkey—an autocracy with a theocratic touch—as an ally, but it is literally an ally, in the formal sense that it belongs to NATO, and is therefore in a very elite club, with obligations of mutual defense and neoliberal omertà that the Kurds lack. It is neither simple nor wise to treat that relationship recklessly.


Read: The Kurds: Betrayed again by Washington

Nor is it possible to implement a foreign policy in Syria without some Turkish cooperation. Recall that when the Islamic State seized Mosul, Turkey had to negotiate for the lives of the dozens of Turkish diplomats kidnapped from its consulate. The terms of that negotiation remain unknown, but we do know that in the next year or so, Turkey and the Islamic State somehow avoided major confrontation, almost as if they had a time-limited armistice. During that time the fight against the Islamic State stalled.

Allies and potential allies will watch this farce of geopolitics and again wonder what an alliance with America is really worth, if it can be flushed away one night and restored the next—or if there’s always the part where Trump says something, then the part where he takes it back. Trump’s signature trait as a real-estate mogul was that a Trump deal was never, ever a deal. His word meant nothing, and if you thought it did, he’d snatch up your money and walk away with it. As president he is no different, and by this afternoon there is not one ally but two who have been reminded never to trust him—to extend him no credit, to assume he’ll reserve the right to rewrite, unilaterally, the terms of your agreement, and force you to accept his new terms. The old diplomatic wisdom was that you should reward your friends and punish your enemies. To act completely undependable, both as an enemy and as an ally, serves no obvious purpose.


Many bad decisions are made in moments of frustration, and the acute reasons for the White House’s frustration are clear from last night’s statement. It remarked on the continued failure of “France, Germany, and other European nations” to repatriate and prosecute their citizens who joined the Islamic State and are now imprisoned by the Kurds. “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area,” according to the statement. They include some inmates of al-Hawl refugee camp, swollen with about 70,000 inhabitants. The administration’s anger is wholly justified: Wild-eyed, murderous Frenchmen and Germans are in that camp, and the countries whose passports they carried owe the rest of us (most of all the Syrians and Iraqis whose territory they terrorized) an attempt to prosecute them. Instead the ISIS fighters and sympathizers are kenneled together with victims and, according to all reports, are still killing people and plotting from within the camp. Eventually the people in it will rebel, break out, and get the old jihadist bands back together—maybe in Syria, maybe in Europe, maybe somewhere else.


Unfortunately, to declare with a booming voice from the heavens that Turkey is now in charge does not solve the problem at all. Indeed, the Kurds now know that their efforts to secure the foreign fighters is getting them little respect from the United States or anyone else, and they’re likely to divert their resources away from detainment of terrorists and toward the more pressing matter of not being invaded and killed by Turkey.

The White House’s very brief statement twice mentioned that the United States had finished off the Islamic State’s “territorial ‘Caliphate.’” The triumphal tone is unmistakable: We won, and now we get to go home and leave the Turks to clean up the mess. But we never really won, because the territorial caliphate never constituted more than a part of the mess—and the solution to the mess created, as most political solutions do, a mess of its own. The Syrian war is not over, and leaving it behind won’t make it stop, though abandonment will limit our say over how it continues, and who gets killed or terrorized along the way.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatl ... le/599572/

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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:31 am

Image


OCTOBER 9, 2019 / 4:57 PM / UPDATED 3 HOURS AGO
Pompeo says U.S. did not give green light to Turkey's Syria incursion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has not given Turkey a green light to invade Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, but added that Ankara had “legitimate security concerns” and that President Donald Trump made a decision to move American soldiers out of harm’s way.

Speaking to broadcaster PBS in an interview, Pompeo dismissed widespread concerns over the resurgence of Islamic State in Syria.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syri ... SKBN1WO2ST



Turkey Syria offensive: Heavy fighting on second day of assault
Turkish-backed Syrian rebelsGetty Images
Turkish-backed rebels from the Free Syrian Army, pictured here crossing the border into Syria, are also involved in the offensive
Turkish forces are stepping up air strikes and a ground offensive, as their incursion into Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria enters a second day.

Turkey's military said it had seized designated targets. There are reports of heavy fighting in the central border region, and seven civilian deaths.

Tens of thousands of people are reported to be leaving their homes.

The assault on Kurdish-led forces, key US allies, follows US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US troops.

Turkey says it wants to create a "safe zone" on the border for many of the Syrian refugees on its territory.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied the US had given Turkey a "green light" for the offensive.

Turkey v Syria's Kurds explained
Who are the Kurds?
Four maps explaining the offensive
But Mr Trump told a news conference the Turks and Kurds had "been fighting each other for centuries", and said that Kurdish fighters "didn't help us in the Second World War, they didn't help us with [the D-Day landings in] Normandy".

"With all of that being said, we like the Kurds," he added.

Republicans and Democrats alike have condemned the decision to pull back US troops.

What is happening on the ground?

Kurdish sources report a large ground offensive between the towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal-Abyad, in the central area of Syrian's northern border with Turkey.

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels from the Free Syrian Army have also been involved in the fighting.

The area is sparsely populated and mainly inhabited by Arabs.

Map of northern Syria
Ras al-Ain has been hit by numerous air strikes. Eyewitnesses spoke of military jets circling and shelling by artillery.

Civilians flee bombardment in Ras al-Ain, 9 OctoberAFP
Civilians fled bombardment in Ras al-Ain
Turkey's defence ministry said on Twitter that its operation had continued successfully through the night by land and air. Reports say a number of villages east of Tal-Abyad were captured.

The Kurdish Red Crescent said at least seven civilians had so far been killed, two of them children, and at least 19 more critically injured including four children.

Who are the IS prisoners no-one wants?
Why the battle for northern Syria matters
There are no clear estimates of numbers of displaced, but Kurdish sources say tens of thousands at least have left their homes.


Some residents began to flee as smoke rose over the border town of Ras al-Ain
Kurdish authorities accused Turkey of shelling a prison holding Islamic State (IS) group prisoners in Qamishli in the east of the border region in a "clear attempt" to help them escape.

Kurdish authorities have called for a general mobilisation and urged people to "head to the border with Turkey... to resist in this sensitive, historic moment".

Presentational white space
What resistance can the Kurdish-led forces offer?

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) currently number about 40,000 fighters, with tens of thousands of others in parallel Kurdish security services, Kurdish sources say.

The US joint task force on operations against IS in Iraq and Syria describes them as "tenacious fighters with a degree of basic military training to function as infantrymen".

But they are deficient in heavy weaponry that could be used against tanks or aircraft, though some units may have anti-tank missiles.

In operations against IS, they relied on close coalition air support but in the flat, open country of Syria's northern border they will be vulnerable to air and artillery attack.

Presentational grey line
Analysis box by Jonathan Marcus, defence correspondent
Transactional alliances

Even by President Trump's own remarkable standards his off-the-cuff remark that the US alliance with the Kurds is of little importance because they were not at Normandy, ie they did not fight with the US and its allies in World War Two, is extraordinary.

For Mr Trump alliances are simply transactional - business arrangements to be judged according to a brutal and short-term cost benefit analysis. What is the US giving and what is it getting in return?

In seemingly writing off the Kurds he suggests that the US can easily find other allies in the region. Really? Has he already forgotten recent history? The Kurds were the only capable and reliable local ally in the struggle against IS.

But what will Mr Trump do about Turkey who, incidentally, were not at Normandy either? This is fast becoming a major test of Turkey's standing within Nato, with many fearing it has become a far from reliable ally of the West.

Presentational grey line
Why has Turkey attacked?

Turkey says the aim of the operation is to "prevent the creation of a terror corridor" on the border and create a "safe zone" cleared of Kurdish militias which will also house two million Syrian refugees, nearly half those currently living in Turkey.

Boys stand at a back of a truck as they flee Ras al Ain townReuters
Residents fled border towns after the offensive started
But critics say the operation could lead to ethnic cleansing of the local Kurdish population in northern Syria, potentially displacing 300,000 people, and a revival of IS.

Turkey considers the Kurdish YPG militia - the dominant force in the SDF - an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades.

How is the incursion affecting the IS situation?

The SDF says it is holding more than 12,000 suspected IS members in seven prisons, and at least 4,000 of them are foreign nationals. The exact locations have not been revealed, but some are reportedly close to the Turkish border.


Inside the camp of IS families in Syria
Two camps - Roj and Ain Issa - holding families of suspected IS members are inside the "safe zone".

It is unclear whether the Kurds will continue to guard the prisons as fighting breaks out.

The US military says it has taken custody of two British detainees notorious for their roles in an IS cell that tortured and killed nearly 30 Western hostages.

The two men, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, were part of a British cell nicknamed The Beatles.

They have now been removed from a prison run by the Kurdish-led militia in northern Syria.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-49998035
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:15 am

US troops leave Syria?


In Pictures: Turkey's military operation in northeast Syria
Ankara has said it will target ISIL and Kurdish fighters near its border and wants to create a 'safe zone' inside Syria.

15 HOURS AGO
Image
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday the launch of "Operation Peace Spring" in northeastern Syria, saying it would target the ISIL group and the Syria-based Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers to be linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

According to the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are led by the YPG, there were initial reports of civilian casualties after Turkish jets started bombing SDF military positions and villages in Tal Abyad, Ras al-Ain, Qamishli and Ain Issa.

Ankara wants to create a so-called "safe zone" stretching 32km (20 miles) into bordering Syria's northeastern region.

This is Turkey's third offensive in three years targeting Syrian-Kurdish militias, after Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 and Operation Olive Branch in 2018.
Image
Local residents cheer and applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces vehicles is driven through the town of Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border between Turkey and Syria, shortly after the Turkish operation inside Syria started. [Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo]

Image
Turkish army tanks fire artillery shells as Turkish troops begin Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria. [Handout/Turkish National Defence MInistry/Anadolu]
Image
Smoke rises from Ras al-Ain city as Turkish troops along begin the long-threatened military operation in northeast Syria. [Kerem Kocalar/Anadolu]
Image
Turkey has launched the military operation to remove Kurdish-led forces from the border area and create a 'safe zone' to resettle Syrian refugees. [Delil Souleiman/AFP]
Image
Turkey sent a diplomatic note to Syria's consulate in Istanbul to inform Damascus about its cross-border operation. [Kerem Kocalar/Anadolu]
Image
Turkish army vehicles drive towards the Syrian border near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province. [Bulent Kilic/AFP]
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A Turkish army tank drives towards the border with Syria the night before the military operation started. [Bulent Kilic/AFP]
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Turkey's rebel allies in northern Syria prepare to dispatch to the Manbij front line ahead of Turkey's planned operation. [Bekir Kasim/Anadolu]
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/ ... 48676.html
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:21 am

Turkey Moves to Crush Rojava, the Kurds’ Radical Experiment Based on Democracy, Feminism & Ecology

As Turkey launches an aerial and ground assault on northern Syria targeting Kurdish-controlled areas, we look at how the offensive threatens the Kurdish region of Rojava with Debbie Bookchin, co-founder of the Emergency Committee for Rojava. She is a journalist and author who co-edited a book of essays by her father, Murray Bookchin, “The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy.” We also speak with Elif Sarican, a Kurdish Women’s Movement activist and anthropologist at the London School of Economics, and Ertuğrul Kürkçü, honorary chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party in Turkey, known as the HDP. He is a former member of Parliament in Turkey.
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/10/10 ... rds_rojava


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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:18 am

Image

DONALD J. SUBSERVIENT
Trump’s Syria Fiasco Is Part of Putin’s To-Do List

Trump tried to keep his talks with Putin at Helsinki last year secret from his staff and the world, but Russia's president held up the checklist for the cameras. Syria was on it.

Julia Davis
Updated 10.10.19 3:58PM ET
Published 10.10.19 1:49PM ET
OPINION
Mikhail Klimenyev/Getty
President Donald J. Trump’s surprise decision to abandon the Kurds and sign off on Turkey’s operation in Syria drew condemnation in the West, but was cheerfully welcomed in Russia, and, for those who follow Russia closely, the contrast revived the ghosts of Helsinki, where Trump’s surrender of American values was on full display.

There in Finland last year, the leader of the most powerful country in the world demonstrated cringeworthy servility toward Vladimir Putin—president of a rogue government sanctioned by the West for a great number of malign activities, including Russia’s brazen interference in the U.S. elections.

The world’s pariah looked triumphant next to the deflated American president. As Trump stood hunched over, with a blank expression, Putin was practically glowing—and he wanted the world to know just how great the meeting went for Russia. Putin held up a thick stack of his notes with both hands, showing them off for the world to see, in effect giving himself the thumbs-up.

Discernible portions of the first page, purposely written in abnormally large script, included references to the election interference, Putin’s request that Russia be allowed to interrogate the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, and also the British businessman Bill Browder, pursuant to the 1999 Treaty with Russia on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. There was a reference to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. And at the bottom of the first page, Putin’s notes also mentioned Syria, where Russia has been wreaking havoc and committing mass atrocities in concert with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Iran.

For public consumption, the Russian president’s handwriting mentioned “joint humanitarian operations with the goal of creating conditions for the return of refugees.” The reality on the ground tends to create—not dissipate—the flood of refugees, essentially weaponized by Russia and Syria to destabilize Europe.


Julia Davis
@JuliaDavisNews
Close-up of Putin's notes shows the following list of topics, from what I can decipher:
1. "Interference" (in quotes) - proposal
2. #Ukraine - new ideas, transit of gas
3. Syria - joint humanitarian efforts
View image on Twitter

1,898
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On Wednesday this week, President Trump nonchalantly commented that if the thousands of ISIS prisoners that are currently being held by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces escape, "they will be escaping to Europe." Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also threatening Europe with a flood of refugees, publicly proclaiming, “We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way.”

Mystery surrounds the rest of the topics discussed by the President of the United States with the Russian leader in Helsinki, since President Trump confiscated the American interpreter’s notes and remains tight-lipped about his exchanges with Vladimir Putin. But one thing is clear: Trump is moving down Putin’s wish list, fulfilling the Kremlin’s aims at a rapid pace. He is chipping away at U.S. sanctions against Russia, deepening America’s internal divisions on the basis of race, faith, sexual orientation and political affiliation, vocally undermining confidence in our elections, intelligence agencies and institutions, all the while empowering our foreign adversaries and undermining NATO alliances.

“Even Russian experts are amazed at the damage Trump is willfully inflicting.”
Trump’s claims that Ukraine—not Russia— is somehow responsible for the 2016 election interference fall right in line with conspiracy theories the Kremlin has been propagating for years. The Russians have long been promoting the notions that prompted President Trump’s outrageous demands from the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, ultimately leading to the commencement of the impeachment proceedings.

The ousting of Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, was also in line with the Kremlin’s wishes. She stood up for Ukraine’s interests, opposing Russia’s aggressive posture with respect to Donbas. Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, a close ally of Russia's Vladimir Putin—who is the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter—has a longstanding grudge against Ambassador Yovanovitch. Medvedchuk cheered for the U.S. Ambassador to be recalled and the Russian state media predicted that Ambassador Yovanovitch would be Trump’s “first victim in Ukraine.”

Russia’s fingerprints seem to appear on every controversial foreign policy decision undertaken by President Trump. Prior to Turkey’s ongoing offensive against the Kurds, Turkish President Erdogan met with his Russian and Iranian counterparts, reaching "important decisions."

MEMORY LOSS
What Happened When Trump Was Left Alone With Putin?

Clive Irving

All three leaders avoided providing specifics on the talks. Russian state media proudly boasted that Erdogan secured Putin’s approval for Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria before speaking to Trump. Vladimir Soloviev, the host of the nightly program The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev on Russian state television, said that the Turkish president ran his plans by his Russian counterpart, securing his approval during their personal exchanges.

Soloviev added sarcastically that Erdogan was “not quite as delicate” with the president of the United States, implying that the American president was simply put on notice as to the deals that were already struck by Turkey, Russia and Iran.

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"Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council In Yerevan, Armenia October 1, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC1EF9F80670"
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Trump Says U.S. Troops Have Quit Syria, It’s Not True
The prevailing talking point in the Russian state media is that Trump’s actions have proven what Russia has been repeating for years: “Americans can’t be trusted.” Evgeny Poddubny, a military correspondent for Russian state-owned Channel 1 (VGTRK), said that after being “stabbed in the back by the Americans,” the Kurds have nowhere else to turn except to Russia. Now that the U.S. is seemingly abdicating its influence in the Middle East, Russia is readily stepping into the void, offering to facilitate the negotiations between the Kurds and the Assad regime.

“I never thought I’d live to see this ... Washington is doing everything to break down the foundations of transatlantic alliance and unity.”
— Tatyana Parkhalina, Association for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation
Even Russian experts are amazed at the damage Trump is willfully inflicting. Appearing on Russian state television show 60 Minutes last year, Tatyana Parkhalina, President of the Association for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, said as if she were incredulous: "I never thought I’d live to see this—not the USSR nor Russia, who tried many times to drive the wedge between transatlantic allies, but Washington is doing everything to break down the foundations of transatlantic alliance and unity." Last year, the idea of the U.S. pullout from Syria seemed too good to be true. Now, the Kremlin’s ambitions are coming to fruition.

Pundits and experts appearing on the nightly television show The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, concurred that anti-American analysts couldn’t even dream of a situation where the umbrella of American influence in Syria would be retracted. They speculated that China will take advantage of this situation and get more involved in the Middle East.

Semyon Bagdasarov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies, asserted that if he were serving in the armed forces of the United States, he would consider President Trump a traitor. Bagdasarov was perfectly blunt:: “Trump is a traitor to the American people.” Host Vladimir Soloviev chimed in: “Then you should support him... If it’s bad for America, you should support him.” Russian expert Vladimir Avatkov added: “Let’s hope that this will lead to Turkey leaving NATO. Let’s hope for that to happen.” Appearing on the same show, analyst Dmitry Drobnitsky suggested: “Here it is, the multipolar world... We’re witnessing the beginning of a new era.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-j- ... itter_page
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby Belligerent Savant » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:06 am

^^^^^^^^

Just plain dumb, pro-war pap.

Keep 'em coming, as you will, as if it'll make any difference at all.

Those establishment warhawk criminals you so deparately want to win will lose. The orange-hued version of criminality will persist because the true crimes being committed -- the crimes that can actually bring Trump down -- must be kept occluded from view, since ALL the bigger players are complicit I committing them as well.

Continue to promote the theatrics, however, for whatever reasons you are clearly compelled to do so.
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:09 am

Syrian Kurds 'determined' to resist Turkish operation
Turkey's military action in northern Syria has been met with strong resistance from the Kurdish population.

Tessa Foxan hour ago

Kurds protest against the Turkish offensive in northern Syria during a demonstration in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq [Ako Rasheed/Reuters]
Istanbul, Turkey - As the offensive Turkey dubbed Operation Peace Spring continues for a third day in northeast Syria, tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing border villages in search of safety.

The majority of non-combatants have moved about 20km (12 miles) from the border with Turkey into southern villages as the Turkish military and its allies attempt to clear a corridor from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) that it deems a "terrorist" organisation.

Turkey's military action in the region currently controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - which is spearheaded by the YPG - was being met with strong resistance. At least one Turkish soldier and four allied fighters have been killed so far, while Ankara said more than 340 SDF soldiers have died.

Guerrilla tactics are being employed including ambushes from trenches and the use of tunnels to conceal movement.

Shahin Najib al-Ali, a justice council member in the Syrian city of Kobane, told Al Jazeera civilians are travelling to tents set up along the border - even from as far away as the city of Raqqa - to act as "human shields" against Turkey's forces.

"I was there until 3pm today in that tent of human shields. The bombardment was raining close by in the east, west and south of the tents," al-Ali said.

Young people in northeast Syria, typically between the ages of 20 and 25, were also registering themselves as fighters with the YPG and the SDF to defend their cities, while older people, including women, were attempting to protect their homes and communities, he said.

"We took the decision that we will defend this region until the last minute of our lives," al-Ali said.

'Fight to the death'

Turkey is NATO's second-biggest military force with about 800,000 military personnel and a budget of $19bn in 2018.

The YPG-led SDF, on the other hand, does not have anywhere close to those resources, but the Kurdish-majority fighters do not appear to be deterred by the military imbalance.

Elizabeth Tsurkov, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute based in the United States, told Al Jazeera she did not expect the YPG to retreat.

"Determination is one factor in regards to military success, [but] then you have quite a superior military force that has jets and drones at its disposal," Tsurkov said.

While Turkey is a better-equipped military force, the YPG has thousands of fighters who are unwavering and have been trained by the US to battle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

"They fought ISIS even when they were outmatched against them in Kobane and in Sinjar, Iraq ... and they did not give up," Tsurkov noted.

"They are a highly determined force and here they're defending their home, so I think at the end there will be people who fight to the death."

Currently, ground operations by the Turkish military are focused on the villages of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain. The SDF pulled their forces away from the border, leaving armed civilians to defend their towns, according to Tsurkov.

The SDF has advanced weaponry provided by the US in the war against ISIL.

Tsurkov said she believes as Turkey moves deeper into Syria, this weaponry will be unleashed by the SDF to support its defence.

Nowhere to turn

Despite the SDF feeling betrayed after the US pulled out its troops and support from northeast Syria, the Kurdish-led group cannot sever ties completely, considering it has no one else to turn to in the West, and Damascus and Moscow will not negotiate terms of assistance.

Nicholas Danforth, a senior visiting fellow from the German Marshall Fund based in Istanbul, told Al Jazeera the SDF is desperate to take whatever the US offers.

"[Even if that's only] Trump's vague threats to obliterate the Turkish economy [or] whether that's the US Congress looking at sanctions on Turkey," Danforth said.

Meanwhile, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has continued to demand the Kurdish forces surrender the land they captured during the civil war and have since controlled since 2011.

"The YPG wasn't willing to surrender its autonomy in return for the regime's support against Turkey," Danforth explained.

Still, the SDF and the YPG have maintained a relationship with the Syrian government, just in case the US decided to abandon them - as it did earlier this week, he said.

'Very difficult position'

Even though President Donald Trump had threatened the withdrawal of American troops from Syria since last December, this week's sudden pullout caught the Kurdish administration off guard, analysts said.

"[It has made it] much more difficult for the Syrian Kurds to seek the kind of arrangement with Damascus and Moscow that they otherwise might have been able to," Danforth said.

"Essentially, now Damascus is asking for surrender rather than any negotiated agreement, putting the YPG in a very difficult position."

The SDF now faces pressure from both sides - Turkey and al-Assad's government in Damascus.

Tsurkov said the Kurds will try and delay any choice and hope for intervention from the international community.

"They have many countries and leaders who feel sympathy for them and recognise the sacrifice they made with ISIS," Tsurkov said.

"And yet, they aren't willing to act on this and support them, other than issuing a statement."

Al-Ali in Kobane said the people in northeast Syria hope Trump "takes his decision back".

"We as the SDF and the Kurdish people that were in this region, we defeated the big terrorist organisations like Daesh [ISIL]," al-Ali said.

"So we hope ... the US and coalition ... protect their allies and also the people who were helping them to defeat the terrorist groups."
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/ ... 42285.html
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby Belligerent Savant » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:16 am

.

There you go, replying not with a typed response, but an immediate copy/paste of yet more Establishment Propaganda.

You'll paste a few more in short order, and in a relatively brief timeframe, the response i typed will be buried out of view, as you intend. Your M.O., repeated for years.


This is what you do. This is how you stifle discourse.

This is how you are a bad actor.


Continue pasting your Bullshit Propaganda. I won't be interfering in this thread further.

Curate away.

Belligerent Savant » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:06 am wrote:^^^^^^^^

Just plain dumb, pro-war pap.

Keep 'em coming, as you will, as if it'll make any difference at all.

Those establishment warhawk criminals you so deparately want to win will lose. The orange-hued version of criminality will persist because the true crimes being committed -- the crimes that can actually bring Trump down -- must be kept occluded from view, since ALL the bigger players are complicit in committing them as well.

Continue to promote the theatrics, however, for whatever reasons you are clearly compelled to do so.
Last edited by Belligerent Savant on Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:19 am

I see a name repeatedly replying to me but I have that person on ignore so I have no idea what he is saying and I do not care

I have no intention to have of any sort of communication with this person and there is no rule demanding that I do

I am utilizing a feature Jeff gave to the members of this board and will continue to follow his rules

Jeff » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:18 pm wrote:There's no way this won't sound anodyne, but isn't the board big enough for everyone?

I won't pretend to be up to speed on all of the disagreements here, but maybe that's good. The issues are maybe irrelevant to my point, which is that you don't all need to be pals, but maybe you do need to give each other some space.

I don't want anybody banned or the board to be heavily moderated. In return, all I'd like is some basic, online courtesy. Like not flooding someone's thread, or driving discussion off topic, or making vicious personal attacks. That kind of stuff.

Jeff out.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby Belligerent Savant » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:22 am

.


Uh-huh. You do your thing. Keep up the charade.

Get back to work! Lots of copy/pasting to do, and the day's ticking away....


And there it is, the last missive from Jeff presented here yet again. You're quite the quick-draw with that, aren't you? If you keep pasting it, it surely must COME TRUE, right?


In any event, as you were. I'm wasting time here.
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:29 pm

Isis militants break out of prison in Syria after bombing by Turkey
Escape comes after Trump cleared way for Erdogan to launch offensive on Kurds

Samuel Osborne @SamuelOsborne93
3 hours ago

Five Isis militants have broken out of a prison in northern Syria after Turkish shelling nearby, a spokesman in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has said.

The detainees escaped from a prison in Qamishli city, Marvan Qamishlo said.

Meanwhile, women affiliated with Isis attacked security offices with sticks and stones during unrest at a camp in the region where Turkey has launched attacks.
The unrest at al-Hol camp started in the foreigners’ section and involved more people than previous incidents at the camp, Mr Qamishlo said.

“The [Isis] women rose against the internal security forces at al-Hol, they set ablaze tents and attacked the administrative and security offices there with stones and sticks,” he added said.

A video of the disturbance, distributed by the SDF and shot from a distance, showed around 20 fully covered women running in open space with several men appearing to pursue them.

It came as Isis claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack in Qwamishli that killed three people.

On Thursday, a Kurdish official warned that Isis detainees could break out of detention as Kurdish-led security forces confront the Turkish offensive and their ability to guard detainees is weakened.


Independent Minds Events: get involved in the news agenda
Turkish forces have pushed deeper into Syria on the third day after Ankara launched a cross-border offensive against Kurdish fighters.

Thousands of civilians have fled the violence as international criticism of the incursion intensified.

At least nine civilians are reported to have been killed in Turkey and several more in Syria since the beginning of the operation and the UN estimated at least 100,000 people have been displaced.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 52536.html
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:59 am

The glimmer of hope for the Kurds and others being attacked by the Turkish-led jihadi forces is, of course, not in the return of the treacherous US element (which armed the very forces attacking the SDF dating back to Obamatime), but, bizarrely enough, in the incipient alliance with Assad. The SAA is taking positions along the border and for now Turkey appears shy of a direct engagement with Russian-backed SAA forces, which could snowball into, you know, 1914 except with nuclear weapons. To the U.S. propagandists, who yesterday wept for the Kurds, they are forgotten and their possible salvation is decried because it supposedly is "what Putin wants."

Anyway, to continue discussion of this, see here.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=33717&start=2325#p679468
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Re: US troops leave Syria?

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:21 am

I would suggest that this thread be moved to the original Syrian thread that you just got to retitle

The Syria Thread 2011 - Present aka US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

It seems to be an all inclusive title
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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