The Middle East just took a step closer to a full blown war….instead of the hunt for a “safe zone”…..
NATO ally has invaded a sovereign nation, Syria, in pursuit of a people they say are terrorists….the Kurds….
In a meeting the scales are weighted…..Syria has ageed to defend the Kurds from Turkish aggression…..
This might be a last-minute, desperation deal—but now Syrian Kurds have some protection. They said Sunday the Syrian government has agreed to send army forces to the nation’s northern border to try to curb Turkey’s assault, the BBC reports. Russia brokered the deal over three days between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and President Bashar al-Assad’s government, a Kurdish intelligence official tells the Washington Post. What the Kurds gave up in response is unclear, but Mazloum Abdi, leader of the SDF, described it as a necessity.
“We know that we would have to make painful compromises with Moscow and Bashar al-Assad if we go down the road of working with them,” he writes in Foreign Policy. “But if we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people.” Abdi expressed appreciation of America’s “generous support,” but said “Turkey would never attack us so long as the US government was true to its word with us. We are now standing with our chests bare to face the Turkish knives.” Indeed, Turkey attacked as President Trump ordered most or all US troops in the area to pull out.
This situation is leading to an old stand-off…..NATO vs Russia……Syria has help…Russia and Iran…..NATO has Turkey……
This should test the strength of the NATO charter.
On the other front in this….American troops…..
US officials had already made a big deal of withdrawing from northern Syria, but President Trump on late Saturday has finally ordered a full withdrawal from the area, covering about 1,000 troops that were still in potential combat areas.
Among the troops withdrawing were the personnel in a US base at Ayn al-Issa. Turkish forces were approaching the area, and had cut off US supply lines by seizing the highway. Keeping the base at that point seemed no longer feasible.
That the Pentagon is reporting this new order covers 1,000 troops in northern Syria is interesting, as just days ago the US claimed to have only 15-100 troops left there, when they came under fire from Turkish artillery. Even before that, Trump claimed the US had only ever had 50 troops there in the first place, as to downplay the pullback.
It is not clear from the reports where these 1,000 troops are going, though so far there is no indication that the US is actually leaving Syria. Rather, it is likely they’ll just move deeper south, as to give Turkey more room to operate.
With Turkey moving its troops deeper into Syria, and Syria’s Army advancing into the area to resist them, the fight could get very complicated very quickly. The US clearly doesn’t want to get directly involved, though these slow, incomplete pullouts mean the US is also determined to keep a toehold in the country.
The news will be daily around this situation…..I will be watching.
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