Turkey launches attack on Kurds in Syria

In a surprise and widely criticised move President Donald Trump announced that US troops were being withdrawn from Syria. This was seen as a green light to Turkey to go in and attack the Kurds, who were US allies.

Turkey has announced they have launched attacks on the Kurds.

Fox News: ‘Huge panic’ as Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish civilian targets in Syria after US withdrawal: report

President Trump is calling Turkey’s ongoing military assault in Syria a “bad idea” Wednesday as reports are emerging of civilians being caught in the crossfire of a long-standing feud between Ankara and Kurdish forces.

Many said his sudden withdrawal of US troops was a bad idea which was predicted to result in what is happening now.

His comments come hours after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the launch of Operation Peace Spring — a mission that will “neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.”

Trump has been heavily criticized throughout the week following his decision Sunday to pull American troops out of northern Syria, leaving the Kurdish forces — who have been longtime U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS in Syria — in peril. Ankara views the Syrian Kurdish forces as terrorists allied with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey.

“The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House. “Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place—and we will hold them to this commitment.”

“There are no American soldiers in the area,” he added.

No US troops, just ex-allies of the US that Trump suddenly abandoned.

A spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces says Turkish warplanes on Wednesday have “started to carry out airstrikes on civilian areas,” causing a “huge panic among people of the region.”

The Kurds requested air support from American forces in response to the strikes. But U.S. military officials tell Fox News that Trump has ordered them to not get involved.

Fox News: Lindsey Graham warns Trump on Syria troop withdrawal: ‘It’d be the biggest mistake of his presidency’

If President Trump follows through on his proposed troop withdrawal from Syria, it would be one of the biggest follies of his presidency and cause ISIS to reemerge in the region, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”

Trump tweeted about the issue on Wednesday and said the United States should never have been in the Middle East in the first place. He also put the onus on Turkey to stabilize the region and take up arms against any remaining ISIS elements.

“That’s a pre-9/11 mentality that the Middle East is no concern to us,” Graham told Fox News. “I hope President Trump’s right. I hope we can turn the fight against ISIS over to Turkey. I hope that Turkey, when they go into Syria, they won’t slaughter the Kurds… If [Trump] follows through with this, it’d be the biggest mistake of his presidency.”

He claimed that if Trump doesn’t continue with safe zone border patrols, ISIS will fill the void and the fault will lie squarely with the Trump administration.

“I hope that Turkey, when they go into Syria, they won’t slaughter the Kurds…” seems to have been a forlorn hope.

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49 Comments

  1. I hear President Xi is anxious to talk to Trump by phone today. Taiwan and Japan are re-evaluating their defence policies – time to bow the knee to China.

    Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  10th October 2019

    I just posted this in a reply to Patz on PG’s previous post.

    Gezza / 10th October 2019
    Yes, they launched air & artillery strikes last night. There was coverage of aircraft & bombing smoke on Aljazeera tv.

    The Kurds & other NATO allies are disgusted with Trump. The Kurds were the US’s most loyal & most effective allies in the fight against IS, which they of course (not Trump, not the US as the pathological liar keeps claiming) defeated on the ground, with some US air strike assistance & a few sophisticated but low-grade US weapons such as anti-tank missiles.

    11,000 of their fighters, men & women, were killed. How many yanks died? Fark all.

    They also, foolishly now, they realise, pulled back from their forward positions, as requested by US commanders, who had persuaded Trump to let them do joint patrols with Turkish troops – preventing the Turks from attacking the Kurds, as they have been threstening to do for months.

    So, having given up some of their defence-in-depth positions to the Americans, the US troops have now gone & surrendered those to the Turks. Trump has betrayed them. There’s no other word for it & he is widely seen – even by some Republican congresspersons & Trump supporters – as having done so.

    Although that probably should come as no surprise. He has loyalty to no one & shown himself willing to shit on even ardent acolytes, should he see some personal advantage to doing so. He’s in trouble at home, he knows it – he & Pompeo are going full retard. He needed a distraction.

    Sergey Lavrov has given a press conference somewhere (I think he might be in Iraq?) & advised that Russia was not consulted by the US before they turned tail & ran. There was commentary this morning on Aljazeera that the Russians are possibly somewhat pleased to see the Kurds getting some punishment. They have been decades-long allies of the USSR & the Russian establishment was very annoyed when they suddenly shifted alliance to the Americans.

    Lavrov is now saying (of course) that there can be no military solution to the conflict(s) in Syria & has suggested the Kurds should enter into negotiations with Assad’s Syrian regime & its allies, them, & the Iranians. They are reported to be considering it.

    Russia is the main beneficiary of Trump’s disloyalty & incoherence. Russia has good relations with Turkey & Iran & effectively now controls Assad.

    EU / NATO countries are calling for an immediate Security Council meeting, fearful of the risk to the Kurds & the expected resurgence of IS. It has become clear that – unbeknown (naturally) to the US’s intellectually lazy-arsed Doofus-in-Chief the Turks have no plan for what to do about the thousands of IS fighters & their committed family members the Kurds have been holding as prisoners & in closely-supervised refugee camps & pleading for assistance with because of the threat they still represent.

    Reply
    • NOEL

       /  10th October 2019

      Yah have to remember it’s all Obama’s fault and we have to be thankful it was Trump alone who defeated ISIL.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  10th October 2019

      “EU / NATO countries are calling for an immediate Security Council meeting,”

      I look forward to the effective, rapid and resolute action that the EU will undertake following this meeting that will change the situation in this region and deliver a peace that was unthinkable just days ago.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  10th October 2019

        Absolute & total waste of time, energy, & bureaucrats salaries. The UN is as useless as its predecessor The League of Nations. The permanent Security Council members all routinely thumb their noses at it when it comes to msming war on whoever they want to. In fact pretty any country with a conflict going on simply ignores its many special rapporteurs & special envoys to conflict zones – none of them has achieved anything.

        It’s not even a toothless tiger – its a timid doormouse. This is probably why their current SecGen spends most of his time handwringing about Climate Change. He never dares criticise the major powers. If he criticised Trump, would simply withhold even more of the $ billions in unpaid dues that the US owes the UN right now.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  10th October 2019

          Sht!

          *msming = making

          Reply
        • Pink David

           /  11th October 2019

          “European countries issued a joint statement calling for an immediate halt to the offensive.”

          There you have it. Europe has spoken. I expect this will be respected by all parties and peace in the Middle East will have been achieved.

          In other news, the German Army has just received new maternity uniforms for heavily pregnant soldiers.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  11th October 2019

            Once again, like your lazy, intellectually deficient & morally defective idol,Trump, here you go, introducing & focussing on a snide irrelevancy – a petty-minded, childlike insult to the Germans, in your desperate hope of distracting folk from yet more of the seemingly unending examples of the ongoing, loudmouthed, egotistical but hopelessly ignorant displays of the many, many shortcomings of that narcissistic moron Americans unhappily ended up giving the keys to the White House to.

            Sad. 😎

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  11th October 2019

              Europe has issued a STATEMENT Gezza. It’s strongly worded too. They have ‘urged’ Turkey to stop they stuff they are against, while phrasing Turkey for the stuff they are for. Powerful indeed.

              Maja Kocijančič has spoken!

            • Gezza

               /  11th October 2019

              Trump’s currently spouting his usual egotistical bollocks at a Trumpophile rally in Minneapolis, David. Are you posting from among the slobbering red cappers there?

              Can you hear the chants from the protesters outside: “Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up, lock him up!”

              Gotta have a grin with that one … 😎

            • Pink David

               /  11th October 2019

              “Are you posting from among the slobbering red cappers there?”

              I head back permanently on nov 15th.

              One of my first jobs when I’m back is to find the missing Hunter Biden.

            • Gezza

               /  11th October 2019

              Good. Hopefully that’ll keep you too busy to keep making excuses for Trump here. Did you see the moron on tv in one of his many stand ups attempting to justify his total ethical deficit?

              “They haven’r always supported us! They didn’t support us in World War 2!”

              Christ! What a moron.

              Surely to god the Republicans can find someone else to replace this turd before the 2020 Presidential elections?

            • Pink David

               /  11th October 2019

              You do realise the ‘Kurds’ are not a US ally don’t you?

              “Surely to god the Republicans can find someone else to replace this turd before the 2020 Presidential elections?”

              I hear Mitt Romney would be happy to lose again if selected.

            • Gezza

               /  11th October 2019

              You do realise the ‘Kurds’ are not a US ally don’t you?

              Of course I do, what are you on?

              You do realise that until he just shat on them from a great height they WERE, don’t you? Never mind, probably you don’t actually get what an ally actually, is in a joint war against a common enemy. It doesn’t require a formal treaty.

              Mitt Romney. Christ – are you Republicans that bloody hard up? There’s gotta be someone in that crowd, a genuine patriot, statesman or stateswoman, diplomatic, intelligent, hardworking, responsible, thoughtful, careful, collegial, with an actual moral compass – surely?

              What about Nikki Haley ?

            • Pink David

               /  11th October 2019

              “You do realise that until he just shat on them from a great height they WERE, don’t you? ”

              No they were not.

              “Never mind, probably you don’t actually get what an ally actually, is in a joint war against a common enemy”

              Was it a joint war? The US supported elements of what you call the Kurds in there goals because interests coincided. Gave them weapons and money, and some limited on the ground support. Those interests no longer coincide.

              “It doesn’t require a formal treaty.”

              Guess who the US has a formal treaty with and is an ally…Turkey. Turkey did support the US in WW2.

              “Republicans that bloody hard up?”

              Care to name a democrat that meets your requirements.

              “What about Nikki Haley ?”

              2024. Almost a certainty.

            • Gezza

               /  11th October 2019

              The US created IS. Pinky – starting in 2003. IS just loved beheading captured Americans, attacking American troops, oil infrastructure & military & civilian personnel in Iraq, destabilising Iraq – another, albeit bedraggled & wrecked (by the US) ally.

              Of course it was a joint war, Pinky. They were a direct threat to American troops & civilians, & US corporate & strategic interests in the region. Military assistance was provided to the Kurds in both Iraq & Syria because you couldn’t just wipe them out in Iraq.

              You really do buy in up to your eyeballs in every bs utterance that spills out of Trump’s moosh, unecumbered by any truth or facts, don’t you?

              I can only assume you suffer from some kind of moral & ethical anaemia, like most of his most ardent acolytes seem to do.

              Care to name a democrat that meets your requirements.
              I don’t know yet. The Democrats are a motley collection I currently despair about as they seem devoid of any actual policy & direction & their supporters an odd collection of lost sheep.

              But they might yet produce some candidate who fits the bill & can unite their disparate groups of Anti-Trumpers & give them some sense of direction & political philosophy. Seems unlikely, but who knows? What makes you think I’d look to the Democrats for America’s salvation from the Moron-in-Chief?

              Nikki should run in 2020. Brains, beauty, guts, determination, impressive track record, tough, moral compass, works well with others, honest (& certainly not the pathological liar your hero is), good communicator, independent thinker when not under Trump’s thumb – & had the brains to get out from under him before he wrecked her reputation too. Solid Republican values, a patriot.

              If Trump tried attacking her on the campaign trail she’d eviscerate him, skewer the pig on her stillettos, I reckon – & feckless bimbos would be the only females left still voting for the turd. The Republican thinking woman’s votes would go to her.

              See if you can persuade her to enter the race. America needs her. The world needs her.

              Dump The Trump. Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up 👍🏼

            • Pink David

               /  11th October 2019

              “You really do buy in up to your eyeballs in every bs utterance that spills out of Trump’s moosh, unecumbered by any truth or facts, don’t you?”

              Trump was elected on a clear promise to exit foreign wars. For his to do this, the US will actually leave those foreign wars. Short time ‘allies’ such as the ‘Kurds’ will be upset. Some long time ones will be too. The surprising thing for many is Trump seems to actually be doing this.

              “I can only assume you suffer from some kind of moral & ethical anaemia, like most of his most ardent acolytes seem to do.”

              I spent enough time in these places to get an understanding of how the real world is. There are no good allies to be had in that region. I submitted a short form plan for the war prior to 2003, to a planning think tank. You could fairly summarize it as ‘go in with maximum force, wreak everything, kill everyone we needed to kill, and then leave’. Repeat as many times as necessary. I was completely against the rebuilding, or any form of policing actions. I imagine you would consider that immoral or unethical.

              I still believe that was significantly more moral that what ‘we’ actually did. Once you are in the field, every decision you make kills someone, somehow. If you are going to use the hammer, use it for the shortest time possible, with the most violence. That has always been my ethic.

            • Pink David

               /  11th October 2019

              Just to add, I think Nicky is the best possible choice for the first female President and will be a great pick in 2024. Tulsi Gabbard is the best of the democrats, however, she has zero chance at the nomination due to her sanity and honesty.

            • Gezza

               /  11th October 2019

              You could fairly summarize it as ‘go in with maximum force, wreak everything, kill everyone we needed to kill, and then leave’. Repeat as many times as necessary. I was completely against the rebuilding, or any form of policing actions. I imagine you would consider that immoral or unethical.

              Your “experience of the real world” is simply your own expression of the way you’ve seen it thru your eyes & your own personal, rudimentary value system.

              Others seeing the same places will have their own ways of seeing it.

              And that’s fine. That’s how we human apes are made.

              But given your apparent inability (or wilful refusal) to look at it from any other perspective, or to picture yourself & your loved ones being innocent bystanders & helpless victims on the receiving end of your self-righteous, pitiless, cold, hard, orgy of destruction, & then refusal to pay compensation & to rebuild the devatation you’ve wreaked, then yes, you are immoral & unethical – but it explains most of why you are such an admirer of the Anericans & in particular of a bullying, lying, morally bankrupt arsehole like Trump.

            • Duker

               /  11th October 2019

              Amazing you actually think has a coherent middle East policy.
              He’s criticised Obama for withdrawing troops from Iraq and criticised him for NOT getting out of Iraq fast enough.
              https://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/26/politics/trump-2011-troops-in-iraq/index.html
              Remember the bit where he said that US ‘should have taken Iraq’s oil’ while saying the above.

              George W Bush used to talk about withdrawal from Iraq too, but delayed signing until his replacement had won election.
              To think that Trump has any sort election promise that he sticks too begs the question ‘which one’. As well it’s just pre election happy talk used for the wars in Korea, Vietnam Iraq and now Iraq. They all did it.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  11th October 2019

          Dormouse; it’s from the French dormeuse, a sleeper. Nothing to do with doors.

          Reply
  3. Wayne

     /  10th October 2019

    Pete, I was under the impression you had abandoned the blogging business. But in fact as I scroll through (after seeing your comment on Kiwiblog) that your silt is very much alive and solely active judging by the number of comments per item. Basically up to 50 or so.

    Though it does seem you are doing fewer items per day compared to you announcement of a few months ago. That is probably a good thing for more considered debate and discussion.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  10th October 2019

      “silt” = site, one hopes? 😳

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  10th October 2019

        “Must proofread” or get grammarly

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  10th October 2019

          Grammarly seems all but useless, as one would expect from a site with a name like that. Corky uses it. Enuff said.

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  10th October 2019

          If it ain’t the payed vursion, it ain’t worf shite, Luchy.

          Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  11th October 2019

          Any grammar website whose makers don’t know that grammar is a noun, not an adjective, and that grammarly is not a word must be suspect.

          Reply
    • I decided to step back from daily commitments, I have other things I have to give more time too, but always left it open to post when I wanted to.

      After years of blogging been my primary thought when i got up and when I got home and having to keep tabs on things when I was away and on holiday it’s been good to switch to whenever feel I want to say something about something.

      And there is still obviously a demand for this forum that I have decided to keep feeding, for now at least.

      Politics can be quite thankless and demoralising, with a lot of pettiness and entrenched views that can never be swayed (especially with those active engaged). I’m trying to avoid that side of things and pick and choose what I post on.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  10th October 2019

        We should be supporting PG on keeping his blog going. Its very demanding and in general only blogging on things that interest him or are well above the usual background chatter are the best way to keep it going.

        Reply
      • Wayne Mapp

         /  10th October 2019

        It is good that you have continued the blog. The slower rate of posts is good. Being selective means more thoughtfulness. And this is reflected in the comments. On other blogs too many of the commenters come across as intolerant extremists. It is not conducive to debate and discussion, but instead fosters abuse.

        As for the specific topic, I think it is pretty hard for the US to stop a determined Turkey. It is not as if the US is going to war with Turkey, or do anything that is seen as aggressively hostile. The US is no longer omnipotent in the Middle East. The last time that was the case was 1990/1991 over Kuwait.

        So it will be diplomacy, and a push for Turkey to act with restraint.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  10th October 2019

          I think it’s highly likely we will see Russia taking more of the initiative in the ME now because Putin has been cultivating good relations with all the major players in Syria, with Assad, who’s now dependent on them, with Iran, who tread carefully when Russia intervenes or calls them for discussions, with Turkey – who ended up prostrating themselves before Putin after they shot down the Russian bomber & felt the immediate economic impact of Russian sanctions, & who they now also rely on for their missile defence system & will need for stealth/fighter/attack aircraft upgrades now that the US has turfed them out of the F-35 program. (China is likely to be approaching them with offers of their stealth fighter.)

          Turkey is a threat to the Saudi push for dominance in the region. Erdogan, I think, sees Turkey as ideally filling that slot, or at least being able to hold the Saudis in check & have considerable influence on its Arab neighbour countries. Indications are that no matter what equipment & materiel Trump sells the Saudis, they’ll never be able to fight their way out of a paper bag. Their governance system will always ensure the wrong people with the wrong skills are in command.

          I also think that none of these Middle Eastern power players will in the end owe any loyalty to whatever temporary allies they might make if push comes to shove, but I’d currently put money on Turkey being the most determined & best organised military power there. It will be interesting to see how things progress.

          I think Erdogan is going to ignore Trump’s mutterings about economic punishment & just push on regardless with his own plans. His position in NATO may become threatened as his European partners are most unhappy with both Trump & him, but he may have already seen the writing on the wall – that the EU’s continued tardiness to admit Turkey is evidence they don’t see Turkey as European.

          Reply
  4. David

     /  10th October 2019

    Alternatively you could say the US went in and helped the Kurds and others to destroy ISIS and are now going home, this was for the Kurds benefit not the Americans.
    The prison camps are full of Europeans who the Europeans dont want back and its a European problem not a US one.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  10th October 2019

      You could, but few other than the saddest & blindest Trumpophiles would, the US having been directly responsible for the very creation & existence of IS, having issued a call for others sucked in to their 2003 “coalition the willing”, & US citizens being among their most favoured captives for ransoming & for grisly, slow, knife beheadings to be given wide, grinning, choreographed display on the internet.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  10th October 2019

        *having issued a call for others sucked in to their 2003 “coalition of the willing” to help them get the Iraqis & Kurds to do the dirty work destroy their evil accidental creation…

        Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  11th October 2019

    Erdogan threatens to send Syrian refugees to Europe
    President Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will send the 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey to Europe if European countries label the country’s military operation in Syria as an occupation.

    “We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way,” Erdogan said in speech to his AK Party.

    Hitting the sack here, but just stayed up a little late to watch this speech,just broadcast live with concurrent English interpretation by Aljazeera tv.

    Certainly a hard-hitting speech. Tore strips off various countries for criticising Turkey’s military action.

    Including:

    Saudi Arabia (first up) – “Look in the mirror before criticising Turkey”. You have created an ongoing disaster & national catastrophe for the Arabs in Yemen – and got nowhere!

    Egypt – a dictatorship – which suppresses it’s own people, not even a democracy – murdered their democratically-elected President Morsi & wouldn’t even allow his family to see him or to bury him.

    European countries – lambasted for stonewalling Turkey’s admission to the EU for decades now. Also for discriminating against Syrian refugees, to the extent they even pay Turkey to not let them come to Europe, whereas Turkey has welcomed them and does not discriminate against anybody – including the Kurds – except those in the YPG and PKK who are terrorists.

    Captured ISIS fighters. Claimed that most of them are from European countries. We will ensure captured ISIS fighters are not able to be a threat to anyone. Those not taken back by the European countries they came from will be kept in prison.

    We are the only democracy in the region acting responsibly and legimately. We cannot rely on anybody else. So we need to rely on ourselves.

    Fiery, powerful stuff. Basically, “F U all !: We are not invading Turkey, we’re making a safe haven for Syrian refugees – that’s all. And nobody’s going to stop us. Get a big dog up ya” (or many words to that general effect). 😐
    Nite
    12.30 am

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th October 2019

      🙄 Whoops. * We’re not invading Syria

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  11th October 2019

        I expect that dear old Mark Taylor is having a good sweat.

        He must long for the days when he used to prance along the street in Hamilton, smirking in a self-satisfied way and obviously thinking that people were impressed by the sight of a Pakeha in ‘ethnic’ clobber. He would have been disappointed to know what those who saw him and knew who he was really thought.

        Reply
  6. Gezza

     /  12th October 2019

    @Pinky

    Unless the Moron-in-Chief now makes monkeys out of Pentagon Command by countermanding their decision with another tweeted brain fart, so much for your claim yesterday that by shitting on the US’s Kurdish allies Trump’s simply delivering on his promise to get the US out of foreign wars !

    Putting American troops lives on the line for that murdering asshole MBS & his war crime-committing repressive regime.

    What pathetic snivelling excuses for the chaotic, narcissistic nutbar have you to proffer on this one?

    US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia as Gulf tensions soar

    The deployment would include about 500 military personnel and is part of a boost in the number of US troops in the Middle East [Massoud Hossaini/AP]

    The Pentagon said on Friday it has approved the deployment of 3,000 additional US troops and military hardware to Saudi Arabia, boosting the country’s defences after attacks on its oil installations. 



    US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorised the deployment of two more Patriot missile batteries, one THAAD ballistic missile interception system, two fighter squadrons and one air expeditionary wing, the Pentagon said in a statement.

”Secretary Esper informed Saudi Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) this morning of the additional troop deployment to assure and enhance the defence of Saudi Arabia,” it said.



    “Taken together with other deployments this constitutes an additional 3,000 forces that have been extended or authorised within the last month,” it said.

Esper later told reporters that the deployments were in response “to continued threats in the region” and came after a conversation with MBS about “efforts to protect from further Iranian aggression”.

MBS had requested additional support,

    Esper said.

Since May, the US has increased the number of its forces by about 14,000 in the Central Command area covering the Middle East, the defence department said.

    The new deployment is part of a series of what the US has described as defensive moves following the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities last month, which rattled global energy markets and exposed major gaps in Saudi Arabia’s air defences.

    The US and Saudi Arabia, as well as several European countries, have blamed Iran for the attacks, allegations Tehran denies.

    More…
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/deploy-troops-saudi-arabia-gulf-tensions-soar-190720082258022.html

    Reply
  7. Gezza

     /  12th October 2019

    US troops have pulled out from one of the positions they still held in Northern Syria, after they came under shellfire from the Turks.

    No casualties.

    Reply
  8. Duker

     /  12th October 2019

    Look who is withdrawing adding more troops to the Middle East
    “Donald Trump claimed Friday that Saudi Arabia is footing the bill for a massive new U.S. military deployment to the kingdom amid mounting tensions with Iran.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  12th October 2019

      Had to happen I guess. Trump’s got the US military up for hire. No questions asked.

      Reply
  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  17th October 2019

    Why Trump’s actions make better sense than his critics:
    https://spectator.us/pulling-troops-syria-right-decision/

    Reply
  10. Fox News: President Trump says Turkey’s invasion of Syria is ‘not our problem’; Kurds ‘are not angels’

    President Trump on Wednesday once again defended his decision to remove U.S. military forces from northern Syria, saying before a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the White House that Turkey’s invasion of Syria is “not our problem.”

    Trump’s comments come amid widespread, bipartisan criticism of his decision to withdraw from the region and ahead of a planned trip by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to press Turkey for a cease-fire in its attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters.

    “If Turkey goes into Syria, it is between Turkey and Syria. It’s not our problem,” Trump said, adding: “The Kurds know how to fight. As I said, they are not angels.”

    Trump added: “We are not a policing agent…It is time for us to go home.”

    Trump’s decision to move U.S. forces out of Syria effectively abandoned the Kurdish fighters, long allied with the U.S., and cleared the way for Turkey’s invasion. After heavy criticism at home, Trump sought new leverage with Turkey by imposing economic sanctions.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has so far defied U.S. threat of sanctions, saying the only way its military offensive would end was if Syrian Kurdish fighters leave a designated border area.

    As he met Wednesday with Italy’s president, Trump said: “If Syria wants to fight to take back their land, that’s up to them and Turkey.”

    Trump added: “There’s a lot of sand that they can play with.”

    But as Trump defends removing troops from northeastern Syria, he’s also talking up his recent decision to send more troops to Saudi Arabia to help the kingdom defend itself against Iran.

    Trump says the U.S. is sending missiles and “great power” to the Saudis, and added: “They’re paying for that.”

    Russia has moved quickly to entrench its leadership role and fill the void after Trump ordered the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria.

    Following the U.S.’s withdrawal from northern Syria, Russia has sent troops to the war-torn region to mediate a resolution between Turkey and the Kurds.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-says-turkeys-invasion-of-syria-is-not-our-problem

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  17th October 2019

      I watched him doing that spin on Aljazeera tv. It was laughable, almost like a comedy routine, watching him reel off a string of implausible & even made up excuses for what everyone can see is a massive, brain-farted cockup. He’s screwed up, he knows it, it shows, but the egotistical ninny can’t just admit it.

      Sending Pence & Pompeo to try & threaten & cajole Erdogan into stopping & doing “something” (even Trump’s not exactly sure what he wants him to do to save face) is going to be interesting. I also watched Erdy do a long & very intransigent speech to his party faithful (widely broadcast, I should think) telling them, in effect, to get stuffed. He is not bothered by Trump’s sanctions; Turkey is used to them & reckons they can weather them.

      Tore strips off EU critics.

      Russian troops, as far as I know, are still managing to keep the Turkish & Syrian forces facing off for the present by inserting their own troops between the warring parties. Whether Erdogan will listen to Putin or not isn’t clear, but any cessation of hostilities or truce or understanding reached by those directly involved will be down to Putin, not Trump – who Erdogan now knows is a complete twit & a blustering bullshitter, giving him the go ahead, then denying it & caving in to his own critics.

      Something else I learned last night; Trump hasn’t pulled their troops out of the ME, they’ve been sent to Iraq.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  17th October 2019

        Just to clarify, Russia has troops between the warring parties at Manbij. Elsewhere, in other towns, the Turkish assault on the Kurdish forces continues. The Turks have not yet succeeded in taking all the territory they said they intended to; in some towns the Kurds are putting up a fierce resistence using trenches & tunnels which are a problem for Turkey’s ground forces.

        Reply

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