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Thread: Syrian Civil War Developments

  1. #2881
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    The Turkey mess is everybody's fault

    By Cenk Sidar -
    Friday, October 11, 2019
    ANALYSIS/OPINION:

    It’s easy, especially thousands of miles away, to jump onto the bandwagon of Turkey-blamers following its recent military incursion into Syria. However, Ankara has legitimate reasons for its actions. Its own national security as well as creating a sustainable solution for the Syrian refugee problem are at stake.

    Turkey is not the only actor to be blamed for the mess in Syria. Major mistakes by Washington and Brussels have significantly contributed to the problem. However, Turkey, having a long border with Syria, suffers more from the instability in Syria and must act in order to secure its territory.

    The United States made major mistakes in Syria. The Obama administration’s decision in 2016 to arm People’s Protection Unit (YPG) members and directly embed American special forces with them was the wrong decision. PKK, another Kurdish group, and YPG are identical organizations, and PKK is listed as a terrorist organization according to the United States, European Union and NATO. Witnessing its strategic partner arming its major terror threat was traumatizing for Turks and Turkey.

    Arming what Turkey views as a terrorist organization was not the only mistake the United States made. More important, the Obama administration failed to act to prevent bloodshed in Syria despite the crossing of redlines and multiple ultimatums. If President Obama had actually acted and intervened in the Syrian crisis, the situation could have been different.

    President Trump has not been helpful in avoiding the heightened tension.Impulsive decisions, erratic tweets, lack of coordination among the Pentagon, State Department, and the White House have been once more showing the global leadership vacuum in regional and global politics.

    Even though European countries suffer from the flux of refugees to the region, the EU did not keep its promise assisting Turkey in its challenge of accepting millions of Syrian refugees. Turkey and the Turkish economy have suffered badly from the refugee crisis and the country has been facing major social tension as the public becomes more and more hostile to refugees. Nearly 4 million Syrian refugees are living in Turkey, perhaps permanently.

    No matter the mistakes of Washington and Brussels, Turkey could do better and avoid such a military operation. Especially between 2012 and 2016, Turkish foreign policy, led by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, was fully focused on the removal of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad rather than fighting ISIS and stabilizing Syria. Mr. Davutoglu and other Turkish leaders even publicly praised groups such as Al Nusra, which later merged with ISIS.

    The lack of action and intent to fight against ISIS allowed YPG to position itself as a reliable ally to the United States. Turkey suffered multiple ISIS terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of Turkish citizens in its major cities.

    One thing that the U.S. media and public opinion does not understand is that Turkey is not in Syria to kill Kurds. There are millions of Kurds in Turkey, living as citizens with equal rights. Ankara’s operation is against PKK and YPG.

    The projection of Turkey’s operation as a violent act by the mainstream U.S. media is not fair. Despite all the internal problems, Turkey is a strategic NATO ally and acts in accordance with the international law in preventing a safe zone in Syria for terrorist groups that attack Turkish soil regularly. It is clear that Turkey’s legitimately concerning democratic deficit and rule of law prevents the international community to acknowledge its concerns, even when they are legitimate and right.

    There is much to do to fix the problem. President Trump’s decision to pull out from Syria is immature and risky. Washington should cooperate with legitimate actors in the region led by Turkey and Syria and abandon the policy of arming terrorist groups against other terrorist groups. This is contradictory and against the principles of U.S. foreign policy.

    Turkey must limit the scope and length of the military incursion and launch dialogue with the Syrian regime. Having dialogue channels with Damascus would help Ankara to accomplish its tactical and strategic goals. Syria and Turkey have more in common today.

    European nations should re-admit their own citizens who fought for ISIS and plan a judiciary process for them. Those radicalized individuals are the byproduct of those societies and European nations must take responsibility. All actors should contribute to the mission of creating a safe zone for refugees in Northern Syria and ensure the safety of the area.

    Everyone has responsibility in the Syria mess. Isolating Turkey and punishing the country via sanctions will only harm the stability of the region and will enlarge the vacuum created by the absence of responsible U.S. leadership in the Middle East.

    • Cenk Sidar is co-founder and CEO of GlobalWonks. You can follow him at @cenksidar.


    Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  2. #2882
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    ypg/pkk consist this kind of people... this is from 2018.

    https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-te...oups-brutality
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  3. #2883
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Question is what happens to ISIS ? Do they now reconstitute themselves since their vanquishers are now the hunted

  4. #2884
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    I don't get it. He allows Turkey to move on the PKK/YPG on the proviso there is some unknown red line. Now it appears Turkey already crossed that red line as Trump is sanctioning Turkey with an aim to degrade Turkey's economy. Which isn't in very good shape to begin with.

    These sanctions appear to be a slap on the wrist and nothing major. I suppose we take it as a warning shot across the bow to Turkey not to escalate too far whatever too far means for Trump.

    US hits Turkish officials with sanctions over Syria offensive | FT | Oct 15 2019

    Donald Trump moved on Monday to punish Turkey for its military advance into Syria, imposing sanctions on several Turkish ministers and departments and saying he would double tariffs on the country’s steel exports to 50 per cent.

    The US president has attracted sharp criticism from fellow Republicans, Democrats and US allies after making an abrupt shift in US foreign policy this month by consenting to a Turkish military incursion in north-east Syria against US-backed Kurdish militias who have been instrumental in defeating the jihadi group Isis.

    Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury secretary, said on Monday evening that Mr Trump had signed an executive order, effective immediately, imposing sanctions on Turkey’s defence, energy and interior ministers, as well as the Turkish government’s defence and energy departments.

    Speaking outside the White House, Mr Mnuchin said “secondary sanctions” would apply to financial institutions that carry out transactions for the sanctioned individuals and departments.

    The measures were less harsh than many investors in Turkish assets feared. The lira was up more than 1 per cent against the dollar at 9.50am local time on Tuesday.

    Piotr Matys, an emerging markets currency strategist at Rabobank, said there was “relief” in the markets that the US opted for “relatively mild sanctions”.


    Mr Mnuchin was joined outside the White House by Mike Pence, US vice-president, who said the sanctions were intended to bring about a ceasefire in the region, and that he and national security adviser Robert O’Brien would head to Turkey soon to begin talks with government officials.

    “The president’s objective here is very clear: that the sanctions that were announced today will continue and will worsen unless and until Turkey embraces an immediate ceasefire, stops the violence and agrees to negotiate a long-term settlement of the issues along the border between Turkey and Syria,” Mr Pence said.

    The vice-president said Mr Trump had spoken directly with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who he said had given the US a “firm commitment” not to attack the totemic Kurdish-majority town of Kobani, which in 2015 fended off an attack by Isis jihadis.

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    Mr Trump signalled his intention to impose sanctions on Monday afternoon in a statement on Twitter in which he also said he would increase tariffs on steel imported from Turkey to the US to 50 per cent and halt negotiations over “a $100bn trade deal” between the two countries. The US had halved tariffs on Turkish steel in May to 25 per cent.

    “The United States will aggressively use economic sanctions to target those who enable, facilitate and finance these heinous acts in Syria,” said Mr Trump. “I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”

    In announcing the sanctions, Mr Mnuchin said licences would remain in place to allow the UN and other non-governmental organisations, as well as the US government, to continue to operate in Turkey.

    He said the country would be able to continue to buy fuel under the sanctions regime, adding: “We are not looking to shut down the energy for the people of Turkey.”

    Democratic leaders in the Senate swiftly rejected Monday’s announcement by Mr Trump, saying: “Strong sanctions, while good and justified, will not be sufficient.” The senators called on Republicans to join them in “passing a resolution making clear that both parties are demanding the president’s decision be reversed”.

    Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, said: “President Trump has unleashed an escalation of chaos and insecurity in Syria. His announcement of a package of sanctions against Turkey falls very short of reversing that humanitarian disaster.”*

    The measures appeared to satisfy Senator Lindsey Graham, who had led Republican calls to punish Turkey for its military assault. He said he “strongly” supported the measures. “Until there is a ceasefire and an end to the bloodshed, sanctions must continue and increase over time,” he said.

    Before the announcement, Mr Erdogan had said sanctions would not make him change course in Syria, warning: “Those who think they can make Turkey turn back with these threats are gravely mistaken.”

    Mr Trump said on Monday that a “small footprint” of US forces would remain in At Tanf, a military base in southern Syria, to “continue to disrupt remnants of Isis”.

    Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader who has historically backed the president, said on Monday that he was “gravely concerned by recent events in Syria and by our nation’s apparent response thus far”.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 15 Oct 19, at 15:00.

  5. #2885
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    .... But would you rather a imperialistic absolutist Daesh/ISIS neo 'Califate' as a neighbour or a vaguely civilised new Kurdistan whom the West can reign in?
    no not at all. i very well remember how things turned out with Iraq's northern region... it is simply a base for terrorists... a free Kurdistan founded by the SAME terrorists with those in Iraq will be a way to unite Iran,Syria&Turkey... not to mention Russia...

    so this can be a real backfire to US interests in the region...

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    I hear that some 700 Daesh/ISIS prisoners, some of them apparently Turkish have escaped this morning. As with anything in Syria I cannot say if these reports are true. Was this Erdogan's intent? Turnips? If not did the Orangutan in the White House endorse the Turkish foray against the only real allies the West has in the area? I am just bemused by this dishonourable betrayal.
    isis support can and will backfire Erdo hugely and that will weaken him further (he already lost too much support) so he can not free any isis members.

    actually Erdo's support for the groups against Esad commenced right after Panetta's visit in 2011 (he was head of CIA then)...

    suddenly Erdo turned his back to Esad whom he was calling "my brother".. if you believe in coincidences
    Last edited by Big K; 16 Oct 19, at 08:11.
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  6. #2886
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    pay attention particularly after 1:25...
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  7. #2887
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    isis support can and will backfire Erdo hugely and that will weaken him further (he already lost too much support) so he can not free any isis members.
    Here's a counter point.

    What if Erdo fought Da'esh with the YPG support in Syria like Obama wanted.

    Now what happens to PKK ? they become weak in Turkey because now Kurds can see Erdo is helping them

    YPG are only interested in Syria.

    But Erdo was afraid that PKK + YPG together becomes more dangerous for Turkey.

    It was said inn 2014 when Obama wanted this that Erdo had to acquiesce to the Turkish Nationalists.

    So he refused to fight Da'esh because YPG is a bigger threat. In his mind.

    So Obama sent in SF operators to fight Da'esh.

    This armed american involvement plus lethal weapons to YPG only came to light on this board two years later
    Last edited by Double Edge; 16 Oct 19, at 12:29.

  8. #2888
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Here's a counter point.

    What if Erdo fought Da'esh with the YPG support in Syria like Obama wanted.

    Now what happens to PKK ? they become weak in Turkey because now Kurds can see Erdo is helping them

    YPG are only interested in Syria.

    But Erdo was afraid that PKK + YPG together becomes more dangerous for Turkey.

    It was said inn 2014 when Obama wanted this that Erdo had to acquiesce to the Turkish Nationalists.

    So he refused to fight Da'esh because YPG is a bigger threat. In his mind.

    So Obama sent in SF operators to fight Da'esh.

    This armed american involvement plus lethal weapons to YPG only came to light on this board two years later
    no no no...

    what i can not express enough is that ypg=pkk=pjak... in every meaning of the word they are the same organisation...

    ypg is Syrian branch, pkk is Turkish branch, pjak is Iranian branch.

    and Erdo's turning his back to Syrian Esad is exactly after 2011's Panetta visit....(?!?) (isis was an artificial thing.. has no root within the society... they killed that same society infact...you would live here you could understand very clearly that)



    Dont you see? The only winner from Turkey vs West scenario is Russia... a powerful ypg would bring Syria,Turkey&Iran together...

    Like US support when Erdos rising to power back in 2002.

    US is again confused who to support ..

    just like in S-400 incident... the winner was only the Russia...
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  9. #2889
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    no no no...

    what i can not express enough is that ypg=pkk=pjak... in every meaning of the word they are the same organisation...

    ypg is Syrian branch, pkk is Turkish branch, pjak is Iranian branch.
    ypg & Pjak & Iraqi kurds do not engage in political violence in Turkey. Unlike PKK. Why make more enemies ?

    Turkey and the Kurds: What goes around comes around | TWMES | Oct 16 2019



    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    and Erdo's turning his back to Syrian Esad is exactly after 2011's Panetta visit....(?!?) (isis was an artificial thing.. has no root within the society... they killed that same society infact...you would live here you could understand very clearly that)
    what do you think of the below excerpt from above link

    The notion that there was no alternative to the Turkish intervention in Syria is further countered by the fact that Turkish PKK negotiations that started in 2012 led a year later to a ceasefire and a boosting of efforts to secure a peaceful resolution.

    The talks prompted imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to publish a letter endorsing the ceasefire, the disarmament and withdrawal from Turkey of PKK fighters, and a call for an end to the insurgency. Mr. Ocalan predicted that 2013 would be the year in which the Turkish Kurdish issues would be resolved peacefully.

    The PKK's military leader, Cemil Bayik, told the BBC three years later that "we don't want to separate from Turkey and set up a state. We want to live within the borders of Turkey on our own land freely.”

    The talks broke down in 2015 against the backdrop of the Syrian war and the rise as a US ally of the United States in the fight against the Islamic State of the PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG).
    This is where Erdo loses it

    Bitterly opposed to the US-YPG alliance, Turkey demanded that the PKK halt its resumption of attacks on Turkish targets and disarm prior to further negotiations.

    Turkey responded to the breakdown and resumption of violence with a brutal crackdown in the southeast of the country and on the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

    Nonetheless, in a statement issued from prison earlier this year that envisioned an understanding between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces believed to be aligned with the PKK, Mr. Ocalan declared that “we believe, with regard to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the problems in Syria should be resolved within the framework of the unity of Syria, based on constitutional guarantees and local democratic perspectives. In this regard, it should be sensitive to Turkey’s concerns.”

    a powerful ypg would bring Syria,Turkey&Iran together...
    How ?

    Turkey has already defused the iraqi kurds. Now there was a chance to defuse the syrian kurds but it was missed. If it was taken then all Turkey had to do was come up with some arrangement with PKK. Erdo seemed well placed to solve this problem but the solution slipped away. The Kurd problem in Turkey reminds me of LTTE problem in Sri Lanka. War of identity.

    Then there is pjak. What happens to them. They are Iran's problem. Turkey got 3 out 4. Result is stronger Turkey. Stronger Syria.

    But now YPG will ally with PKK to create more trouble for Turkey. And the captured ISIS fighters will escape and reconstitute themselves and become a headache for every one else. What happens then ?

    US comes back and allies with YPG again to fight ISIS. Maybe not : )

    Like US support when Erdos rising to power back in 2002.

    US is again confused who to support ..

    just like in S-400 incident... the winner was only the Russia...
    Russia is a winner in the sense they are a partner that can be relied on. Gulf countries who disagree with Russian support of Syria still respect that support.

    Anything more remains to be seen. Russia & Iran are together. China is behind them.

    Saudis & Iran do a swap through Russian mediation. Iran lets go of Yemen for Saudi recognition and support for Syria.

    Then there is Israel. They have been quiet. Little too quiet. It means the Americans are still in play to prevent a land bridge between Iran & Lebanon.

    Where is Turkey in all of this ? further adrift or closer to shore. Tell me.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 17 Oct 19, at 00:08.

  10. #2890
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Right now this topic is missing a certain troung : )

  11. #2891
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    I don't know if Kato reads this thread or not but I would hope so. I just read something in Spiegel Online concerning the defense minister proposing a security zone in Syria. I assume manned with German soldiers.

    I am curious about the political ramifications for one. What do German allies think? What do German people think? What does Kato think? You have Russia in the region to deal with. You also have Turkey who I think Germany feels illegally invaded Syria. You also have Syria where you have called for Assad to leave for years now.
    Last edited by tbm3fan; 28 Oct 19, at 20:26.

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