20191007: Situation in Turkey/Syria

We’ve heard rumblings of something going on in Turkey for several days. For months, we’ve heard President Trump complain about European Nations who refuse to take responsibility for their citizens who became ISIS fighters. The USA has been stuck with them. And yes, we’ve heard Citizen/Candidate/President Trump complain about endless foreign wars.

We recall President Trump trying to withdraw from Syria and the GOPe and Dems had a fit. How odd. Almost open defiance from Sec Mattis. Well, today we see further action.

From the President himself: He did this in a tweet thread. Below is the first tweet in the thread, and below that is the compiled message for ease of reading.

The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate,…..

….including capturing thousands of ISIS fighters, mostly from Europe. But Europe did not want them back, they said you keep them USA! I said “NO, we did you a great favor and now you want us to hold them in U.S. prisons at tremendous cost. They are yours for trials.” They…..

….again said “NO,” thinking, as usual, that the U.S. is always the “sucker,” on NATO, on Trade, on everything. The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for….

….almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to…..

…figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their “neighborhood.” They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!

Thoughts?

Imagine this will be updated throughout the day.

End.

Update #1, 8:15AM Eastern time: Within 30 Minutes, here comes Lindsey Graham, bemoaning our abandonment of the the Kurds, and advocating for the USA staying in Syria with no end in sight. Lindsey claims ISIS is not destroyed and “it is the biggest lie being told by the administration”. “I will do everything I can to destroy Turkey and their economy if they step one foot in Turkey”. “The administration is short-sited in my opinion.” “To say that ISIS is destroyed in Syria is not true.” “We just set the motive for the continuation of ISIS.” and it makes the military sad to leave.

Update #2 8:22AM Eastern Time: Just as predicted, here come the NeoCons.

And MORE from Lindsey Graham:

Update at 11:20AM Eastern Time, from the President:

….down, watching over a quagmire, & spending big dollars to do so. When I took over, our Military was totally depleted. Now it is stronger than ever before. The endless and ridiculous wars are ENDING! We will be focused on the big picture, knowing we can always go back & BLAST!

President Donald Trump

And MORE from our President: 11:38AM Eastern Time

….the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!

President Donald Trump, October 7, 2019.

Update, about 1:00pm, from the Dept of Defense: (Looks like they were not “blindsided” at all, were they?)

About 2:00pm, we hear from Mitch McConnell, who released a statement:

McConnell Statement on Turkey and U.S. Partners in Syria

‘Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey’s ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage. As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.’

WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement today regarding Turkey and U.S. partners in Syria: “In January, a supermajority of the U.S. Senate voted for an amendment that expressed bipartisan concern about the continuing threat posed by ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria, appreciation of the long-term American security interests in Syria and the region, and support for a continued military presence in northeastern Syria.

“The conditions that produced that bipartisan vote still exist today. While the physical caliphate has been removed, ISIS and al Qaeda remain dangerous forces in Syria and the ongoing Syrian civil war poses significant security and humanitarian risks.

“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.

“I urge the President to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners. Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey’s ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage.

“As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, October 7, 2019

301 thoughts on “20191007: Situation in Turkey/Syria

  1. 50-100 Special Operators, no way in Hell they were protecting ALL the Kurds!!

    https://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-background-press-call-on-developments-in-north-1838860081/amp?__twitter_impression=true

    The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    October 7, 2019

    BACKGROUND PRESS CALL
    BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS
    ON DEVELOPMENTS IN NORTHERN SYRIA

    Via Teleconference

    5:01 P.M. EDT

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Hi, this is [senior administration official]. I hope everyone is doing well today. There have been — there’s been a lot of news regarding the call with President Erdoğan yesterday, and U.S. plans for Syria.

    What I thought I would do is just make a couple of quick comments and then open up for questions.

    Number one, Turkey appears to be set on undertaking an operation in Northern Syria. That’s something that the U.S. has been able to dissuade the Turks from doing for the past two years, but it appears that the Turks are intent on some sort of military operation, possibly combined with an effort to resettle refugees.

    The President has made it very clear, publicly and privately, that the United States does not endorse or support any Turkish operation in Northern Syria. There will be no U.S. Armed Forces involvement or support of any operation that the Turks undertake. We also made it clear that if Turkey undertakes such an operation, that U.S. troops cannot be put into any danger.

    The President, after learning of the intended Turkish operation — although we have not seen any operation taking place as of now — made it clear, and rightly made it clear as Commander-in-Chief, that our small number of troops in the relatively small 20- to 30-mile safety zone or border region in Northern Syria should not be danger. We have a small number — you know, 50 to 100 special operators — in the region, and they should not be put at risk of injury, death, or capture in the event that the Turks do come over the border and engage in a — in combat with the local Kurdish forces.

    So, as Commander-in-Chief, it was his obligation to remove that small number of troops who are there. There has been no announcement at present, and this does not constitute a withdraw from Syria. We’re talking about a small number of troops that will move to other bases within Syria.

    That orderly withdrawal is taking place now, again, based on the information we have that the Turks are seriously considering or intend on a military operation in the region. And again, we’re not going to put our soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines at risk. But it’s a relatively small number of our troops, and they will be moving to more secure areas over the next several days.

    There is certainly a concern — and it’s a concern that the President has made clear to the Turks — that such an operation could result in ISIS fighters, that were captured as a result of the United States defeat of the physical or territorial caliphate, being at risk of escape or somehow obtaining their freedom from those camps that are within the safety zone.

    The President has made it very clear the United States position is, is that if Turkey does undertake an operation across the border, that it will become responsible for maintaining the captivity of those ISIS fighters. The United States also made it clear that if there’s any sort of a reconstitution of ISIS or any sort of ISIS activity in the zone of operations, that the Turks would bear full responsibility for dealing with that — you know, the potential for such a reoccurrence of violence on the part of ISIS.

    Also, Turkey would bear full responsibility for any humanitarian issues or injuries to the civilians in the region and would be — as a military power engaged in offensive activities, would need to make sure that they did everything they could to protect the local populations.

    With respect to the ISIS fighters, many of them are foreign fighters who are currently captive or prisoners, whether in the safety zone or in other camps around Syria. Some of those — or many of those foreign fighters originated in Europe. The President has made it very clear in his conversations with European leaders and with — and we’ve made it clear in our conversations with European capitals, that they — the Turks, the Syrians, the Iraqis — are responsible for the continued captivity of these ISIS terrorist fighters.

    These fighters and their families are, under no circumstances, coming to the United States of America. And it’s been suggested by various players that we should make room for them at Guantanamo or some other place, but the President has said absolutely not. The U.S. taxpayer is not going to be responsible for the incarceration or detention of these ISIS fighters in the U.S. or on any U.S. base.

    So with those thoughts, I’m going to open up to some questions.

    There was a headline in the New York Times today that the President endorsed the Turkish operation in Northern Syria. There’s nothing — that could not be farther from the truth. That headline — and the headline may have been written by somebody who did not write the article, but we made it very clear that we, in fact, did not endorse and do not endorse any Turkish operation in Northern Syria.

    And at least at this time, there is not — removal of the 50 to 100 U.S. soldiers from the safety zone where the Turks may incur is not the beginning of a formal pullout of Syria. Although — look, the President has said this on numerous occasions, and the American people want American troops as soon as possible. And that remains our ultimate goal, is to get American troops from the Middle East and to let the parties in the region determine their own future. But this is not the time for any such move right now. We’re moving 50 troops within Syria.

    With that, I’ll open up to any questions. And again, thank you all for being on the line.

    Q Hi, it’s Steve Herman from the Voice of America. As you’ve seen, there’s been widespread concern and alarm from leading Republicans, as well as key Democratic lawmakers, about this essentially giving a green light to Turkey to massacre the Kurds, allies of the United States in the fight against ISIS.

    We heard what you said about the assurances of what would happen to Turkey if they step over the line, but can you tell us how the United States is in a position to actually prevent a wholesale massacre of the Kurds from happening?

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, listen, we have 50 special operators and Special Forces troops in the zone of operation. So, you know, the fact that we’re removing them is, number one, not a green light. In fact, we’ve made it very clear to the Turks that we do not endorse the operation, we don’t support the operation, and we’re not going to be involved in the operation.

    So, for anyone to characterize the fact that the President is taking care to make sure that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are safe as somehow being a green light for a massacre is irresponsible and doesn’t comport with the reality of the situation.

    So, look, Turkey is a large country. It’s got a big military. And if the Turks are going to — and they’re a NATO ally. So, you know, the United States is not in a position to — and will not be in a position to fight Turkey over, you know, any actions that it takes with respect to Syria. So there’s no green light. We’re protecting our troops. And we’ve made it very clear, and the President has made it very clear, that, you know, there should be no untoward action with respect to the Kurds or anyone else. I mean, he also sent out a tweet today saying that if there is some sort of attack or massacre of the Kurdish people, that he is prepared, I think in his words he said, to “obliterate the Economy of Turkey.”

    So, you know, I think the United States has made its position on this issue clear. But the President’s first priority and first obligation, if the Turks are going to move in, is to ensure the safety of our troops in the area. And those 50 troops will be redeployed within Syria to a place where they’re not in danger of being caught in a crossfire.

    Q This is Andrew Feinberg with Breakfast Media. Thanks for doing the call. I have two questions. The first is: Did the President ask for anything in return for us moving our troops away from this area? Or was he promised anything in return?

    And the second question is: What happens when — if and when Turkish forces come in and massacre our former allies, as the previous question suggested? We have obligations under the U.N. Convention to Prevent Genocide. Are we going to fulfill those obligations, or are we not going to if it happens because Turkey is a NATO ally?

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Okay. Well, I’ve already answered the second question. And so, I guess you’re presuming that Turkey is going to commit genocide against the Kurds. I mean, I don’t have any information that would suggest that. But the President has made it very clear. Again, I’ll say it again, and, you know, the President made this clear in a tweet that he would “obliterate the economy of Turkey” if something of that nature occurs. So I think we’ve been very clear on that issue.

    And with respect to the first question, I’m not going to get into the details of the call, but we were not asked to remove our troops. The President, when he learned of the potential Turkish invasion — knowing that we have 50 special operations troops in the region and in the zone of operations — made the decision to protect those troops and keep them out of a crossfire between, you know, look, heavily armed Kurdish forces, as well as heavily armed Turkish forces.

    The last place we need is for light infantry special operators to be caught in between the engagements that could potentially occur in the region. So he made the decision. We weren’t asked to remove troops. The President made the decision on his own to remove the troops for their own safety from that zone of operations.

    Q Hi, it’s Demetri Sevastopulo of the Financial Times. I have two questions. Did President Trump specifically tell President Erdoğan not to go ahead with the incursion? And did he also personally tell him that Turkey would face economic obliteration if the Kurds were hurt?

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So the President’s tweet speaks for itself. So, you can take a look at that on your Twitter feed and on the —

    With respect to the first question: The President made it very clear that this is not an action that the United States endorses or would any way be involved with. And I think there was a Defense Department statement out, as well, today that made it clear that our senior defense leaders explain to their Turkish counterparts what a very bad idea this was.

    Q Hello, this is Toby Capion calling from EWTN. What protection remains for Christians and other vulnerable people in the area?

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I don’t think there has been a President, certainly in my lifetime, that has been more attuned to the issue of religious freedom, especially religious freedom in the Middle East, than President Trump has been.

    President Trump and Ambassador Brownback and Vice President Pence hosted a ministerial, at the recent U.N. General Assembly, on religious freedom, specifically focusing on, among other persecuted — people persecuted for their religious beliefs, Christians in the Middle East. And so, it’s an area of strong concern to us and it’s an issue that we continue to track and monitor extraordinarily carefully.

    The mission of the 50 Special Forces soldiers in the zone — the 20-some-mile zone along the Turkish border — was not to protect religious minorities or religious facilities; it was to create a zone of safety to satisfy the Turks with respect to their concerns regarding the PKK. So those soldiers were not there protecting any sort of Christian village or Christian minority.

    Having said that, the United States has made it very clear its position on religious freedom in the Middle East — in Syria, in Iraq, and other places. We’ve spent a lot of money. We’ve spent a lot of diplomatic efforts to ensure the protection of Christians there. Secretary Pompeo was just at the Vatican and there was an issue that was raised where — the issue of religious freedom by Christians in the Middle East was something that was raised with the Pope as well. So it’s an area where, I think, this administration has a tremendous record of support for religious freedom for Christians in the Middle East.

    Q Hi, thanks so much for doing this. You said earlier that President Trump, quote, “made the decision on his own.” We’re receiving reports from Fox News that top leaders at the Pentagon were blindsided by this decision. So I’m wondering who did the President consult and who agreed with them that this was the right move? Thanks very much.

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And who asked that question? I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.

    Q Oh, sorry, my name is Hunter Walker with Yahoo! News. Sorry about that.

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: All right. Thanks, Hunter. So I don’t know who would be blindsided at the Pentagon. That surprises me that anyone would say that because this is something that was, you know, discussed among senior leadership here at the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon. Do I don’t know how anyone could have been blindsided. So I don’t know how to respond to that. That’s just a surprising question.

    I’m not going to get into each and every one of the people that the President discussed these issues with, but he discussed them with his senior advisors in the defense, diplomatic, and folks here and staff here at the White House. So I’m surprised that anyone would be blindsided.

    Now, it’s certainly an issue that there are folks that may not have a need to know what is going on with their senior leadership and the President, and decisions that are going to be made for national security. And so sometimes people that don’t have a need to know or that aren’t part of the decision chain may be a little disappointed because they weren’t part of it, and may call up friends in the press and tell them that they’re blindsided or that they should have been involved. But those are — look, I can’t — that’s not something I can help those folks (inaudible).

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: All right, thanks again everyone for joining the call today. As a reminder, this was on background, attributed to a senior administration official. Thanks.

    END 5:20 P.M. EDT

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Liked by 5 people

  3. “Thoughts?”

    _________________

    It reminds me of Dracula barring his fangs and hissing when someone inadvertently flashes a cross in his presence.

    Like one monolithic unit, the Neo-Cons turn and hiss at President Trump in unison, like snakes on Medusa’s head.

    Clearly, and it’s hard to imagine any credible dispute, these RINOs / NeoCons are aligned with SOME entity that is neither the President NOR America.

    I mean, if these clowns fought THIS openly and directly for AMERICA, we would have had MAGA 30 years ago.

    If Lady Betrayer Grahambo fought HALF as hard for AMERICA as he does for Kurdistan, America would be like Leonardo DiCaprio on the bow of the Titanic, arms spread wide, shouting “I’m King of the World!”

    But they NEVER fight like this for America.

    N E V E R.

    Never, ever, EVER.

    Not once in my whole life have these slimeballs fought for our country the way they fight against our President.

    So it’s a giant TELL that someone either has their balls in a vice, to the point where they would sacrifice American lives gladly without the slightest care, or someone owns them financially.

    It would have to be someone HUGE to own them financially, OR to have Epstein-like blackmail on them.

    Someone the size of Soros, or a nation state, like China.

    And I hope DJT nails all these traitors to the wall.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I laughed out loud at this part:

    “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!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over…”

    _______________

    That’s the stuff that drives NeoCons and Trump haters into a frothing rage, lol!

    It’s BIG TIME WRESTLING talk!

    Who in the world TALKS this way, except when Vince McMahon is announcing “Let’s Get Ready to Ruuuuuuuumble!!!”

    It’s so over-the-top that it’s hilarious, but at the same time, it actually cuts through all the noise and gets HEARD, precisely because it is so completely OUT of CHARACTER for any national leader to say, except for DJT.

    He can do it, both because he has a history of outrageous statements (so the markets no longer crash every time he does it), and because he has shaken the world so much already, they have to take him seriously, even when his language sounds like it’s out of a cartoon.

    And I LOVE it, lol!

    There is NO WAY for the bad guys to combat this approach 😁

    It’s like the way he’s all over the map in the press availabilities, but if you follow him enough to understand him, you can tell what he means, he’s just not saying anything that anyone can pin him down with in print.

    He sounds like this: “Well I think we can make a deal, I know they would like to make a deal, but maybe we won’t, I’ve said I would like to make a deal, and a deal would be good for us, and a deal would certainly be good for them, so we’ll see what happens, I’d like to have a deal and a deal is certainly in their best interest, but I don’t know if they’re ready for a deal and I won’t make any deal unless it’s the best deal for our country.”

    It’s hilarious and completely unintelligible, and if you ask him again, he’ll do it again, only longer and even better than before. He could go on like that for half an hour 😁

    There is NO WAY to parse that for a soundbite or a newspaper quote. It sounds like total nonsense, unless you have context and understand what he’s doing, and why.

    And you can’t explain the context of what he’s doing and why in a sentence or two, which is the attention span of the average Fake News talking head.

    It’s an amazing thing to watch DJT absolutely confound his enemies 😂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Cocaine Mitch: ““The conditions that produced that bipartisan vote still exist today.”

    _______________

    Translation: The people who bought us off then are still making on-time payments.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Cocaine Mitch: “Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey’s ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage. ”

    ______________

    The ONLY person risking Turkey’s ties to the United States is one Recep Erdogan.

    The ONLY person causing greater isolation for Turkey is, again, Recep Erdogan.

    And if he is determined to risk those things, there is nothing WE can do to stop him, and capitulating to his every desire certainly won’t accomplish.

    All that will accomplish is lining your own pockets like always, because every time American takes a fall in the 1st round, it’s because our manager(s) made a deal with the Mob.

    DJT is the first Manager we’ve had in decades who is not only letting us fight past the 1st round, he’s giving us the green light to fight to win.

    And if we win, the Mob is going to go after the old managers.

    And that’s what Cocaine Mitch and the NeoCons are actually worried about.

    Not about America, but about their own corrupt backsides.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. More on Kurd factions from BB article….

    Martel also remarked on the news that President Donald Trump is moving 50 troops out of northwestern Syria elsewhere within the country, which sparked near-universal outrage in Washington.

    “It’s 50 people, and they’re leaving Syria, they’re not coming home to a hero’s welcome, they’re going to a different part of Syria. The extent to which this is not a major move is incredible to me,” she noted, decrying “career opportunists who have now decided that they are Kurdish separatists” like Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT). Washington insiders condemned Trump for “abandoning” the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ) who operate in Syria to the mercy of the Turkish army, which has been planning to invade the region for over a year.

    “I remember in the 2016 election, a lot of Republicans who were running would talk about the Kurds as a monolith, that there is just one group of people who are Kurds and we like them. That’s not true,” Martel noted. “The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, who are the militias who help the United States, are allies to the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party], who are a Marxist terrorist organization. And those are separate from the Iraqi Kurds, the Kurdistan Regional Government, who want nothing to do with the Syrian Kurds or the PKK. So none of this nuance was found anywhere in mainstream media yesterday.”

    Liked by 6 people

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