Security Zone in Syria? Occupation by Another Name
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
On Monday, Trump and Turkey's Erdogan reportedly discussed establishing an illegal 20-mile-deep, 286-mile-long security zone in northern Syria, bordering Turkish territory.
Erdogan wants it extended even further under his control, part of his scheme to unlawfully annex Syrian territory - what Russia, allied with Damascus, should strongly take a stand against.
Washington and Ankara illegally occupy northern Syrian areas, Turkish forces mobilized for further cross-border aggression.
Trump and Erdogan pretend to be combatting jihadists in Syria they support. Turkish sources said representatives from both countries will discuss the technical details of establishing a security zone, including a no-fly zone if set up - usurping exclusive Security Council authority along with Syrian sovereign if they go ahead with this scheme.
According to Erdogan, establishing a safe zone depends on clearing the territory of Kurdish YPG fighters, Trump at odds with this idea.
Pompeo claimed a safe zone is to protect Turkish security at a time it faces no terrorist or other external threats. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement, saying:
"The president expressed the desire to work together to address Turkey's security concerns in northeast Syria while stressing the importance to the United States that Turkey does not mistreat the Kurds and other (so-called) Syrian Democratic Forces" - used as US proxies in its war against Syrian sovereign independence.
Erdogan aide Yasin Aktay called Washington "a highly unreliable partner" to Ankara, adding "(t)he problems and misunderstandings between the US and Turkey are results of the confusion and cacophony between the actors at different levels of the US administration and institutions."
At the same time, local sources on the ground reported that US military convoys continue supplying Pentagon personnel at its northern Syrian bases with weapons, munitions, equipment and other supplies.
It's further evidence that the US intends staying in the country. This month alone, hundreds of US military trucks entered northern Syria from Iraq and Turkey.
Ankara increased its troop strength along with border with Syria. Its military began cross-border shelling of Kurdish YPG positions, likely prelude to invading.
According to Sputnik News' Arabic-language service, Syrian and Russian forces are preparing for a major military operation in Idlib province - because the Erdogan regime failed to disarm terrorists in a demilitarized zone he and Putin agreed on.
Earlier reports of an imminent offensive in the province proved greatly exaggerated. It remains to be seen if the long overdue liberating campaign will begin this time.
Syrian forces began shelling al-Nusra positions in southeastern Idlib. AMN News cited the same report, saying "(t)he Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their Russian allies are allegedly preparing to launch a big offensive inside the Idlib and Hama provinces of northwest Syria."
Large numbers of troops, weapons and equipment were sent to northern Idlib and Hama provinces. Separately, AMN News said the Pentagon continues to "reinforc(e) its military bases in eastern Syria" - despite Trump's pullout announcement, adding:
"A massive Turkish Army force has amassed along the Syrian border this week, despite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent pledge to implement a…safe zone in northern Syria."
On Wednesday, Erdogan unilaterally and illegally announced the establishment of the security zone discussed above.
His thinly veiled scheme to steal Syrian land won't go down well in Damascus. How Russia responds remains a key question to be answered.
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