Trump and Turkey Exchange Hostile Remarks
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
The US pretends to be combatting the scourge of ISIS it created and supports. The same goes for al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and other terrorist groups, used as imperial foot soldiers.
US officials pretend concern for Kurds they don't care a hoot about, using its fighters as proxy forces in northern Syria, to be abandoned when no longer needed, the way Washington always operates.
Via Twitter, Trump warned Ankara against attacking Kurds in northern Syria, saying: "Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone," adding:
"(D)o not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria…"
A geopolitical know-nothing, aware only of what his handlers feed him, along with Fox News misinformation and disinformation, his favorite TV channel, Trump may actually believe the US is combating the scourge of ISIS it supports.
If he followed reliable independent media, he'd know what's going on. He'd know the US has 30 or more bases in Syria and Iraq, building new ones, supplying them with a steady supply of heavy weapons, munitions and equipment, showing Pentagon forces intend staying in both countries.
Erdogan's aide Ibrahim Kalin responded to his remarks, tweeting: "Mr @realDonaldTrump Terrorists can't be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honor our strategic partnership and doesn't want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda. There is no difference between DAESH, PKK, PYD and YPG. We will continue to fight against them all."
Separately, Turkey's Erdogan and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said a military operation against Kurdish YPG fighters east of the Euphrates River will be launched whether US forces stay or leave northern Syria.
Turkish forces are mobilized along the border with Syria, their numbers increasing ahead of cross-border aggression. According to the Arabic-language Al-Manar news site, Turkey's army shelled YPG positions in the town of Raas in northwestern Hasaka, Syria, likely prelude for the coming offensive.
Ahead of its launch, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said "we have recently stepped up contacts with the Kurdish side and intensified them to reflect the challenges that threaten the region," adding:
He's "optimistic…(W)e encourage these political groups to be sincere in dialogue that is happening now between the Syrian state and these groups, taking into account that there is no alternative to that."
Weeks earlier, Syrian YPG leader Sipan Hemo offered Damascus control over Kurdish territory in return for local autonomy, perhaps an idea whose time has come.
So far, Damascus is unwilling to change its constitution to permit it. At the same time, Syrian Foreign Ministry official Ayman Soussan said "(t)he Kurds are an integral part of the Syrian nation."
"We are sure that we are able to resolve a number of difficult issues through a dialogue, and this is guaranteed as long as the dialogue is based on the principle of territorial integrity of Syria and the unity of its people."
A Final Comment
On Monday, Pompeo met with Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh. According to Middle East Eye (MEE), he "delivered…a roadmap" for shielding him from responsibility for ordering Jamal Kashoggi's murder last October.
"The plan includes an option to pin the Saudi journalist's murder on an innocent member of the ruling al-Saud family in order to insulate those at the very top," said MEE - a designated patsy yet to be chosen.
The State Department denied the allegation, calling it "a complete misrepresentation of the secretary's diplomatic mission to Saudi Arabia."
Pompeo presented the plan to MBS earlier, apparently again on Monday before returning to Washington.
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