More events and more news from the Middle East…..
US troops are leaving Syria in the 5 days ultimatum……and Trump gives Turkey new sanctions…..Trump has told Turkey that he would destroy their economy if he was not playing nice…..all that was Bullsh*t!
Russia and Turkey have come to an agreement….after a couple of hours of meetings…..(read that again……Russia and Turkey…not the US)
While President Trump was very determined to insist that anything good happening in Syria was “created by us, the United States, and nobody else,” the evidence is pointing to substantial improvements in the regional situation coming more or less directly out of the new Russia-Turkey ceasefire deal.
In the hours after the Russia deal was signed, Turkey announced that they will push no further into Syrian territory. There would indeed be no need to, since Russia and Syria are going to expel Kurdish SDF forces from the area for them.
The US had tried to claim that all the SDF were already out of the region before the US ceasefire ended. Turkey disputed this and Russia seems to agree, promising to get them out in the 150 hour deal they reached. Russian DM Sergey Shogiu moved on to talk with the SDF head almost immediately after the announcement.
Trump is eager to spin the Turkish ceasefire as his accomplishment, even though Russia seems to be the one dotting all the is and crossing all the ts on Turkey’s demands.
The big difference seems to be Russia’s willingness to engage with Turkey on an equal footing about what could be offered, including joint patrols, as opposed to just unilaterally threatening to destroy their economy if things don’t work out.
In case anyone is interested in the deal that Russia made with Turkey….
Below is the memorandum of understanding reached by the two countries, provided to Al Jazeera by the Turkish foreign ministry.
“President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin agreed on the following points:
1. The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the protection of national security of Turkey.
2. They emphasise their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.
3. In this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area covering Tel Abyad and [Ras al-Ain] with a depth of 32km (20 miles) will be preserved.
4. Both sides reaffirm the importance of the Adana Agreement. The Russian Federation will facilitate the implementation of the Adana Agreement in the current circumstances.
5. Starting 12.00 noon of October 23, 2019, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border, outside the area of Operation Peace Spring, to facilitate the removal of YPG elements and their weapons to the depth of 30km (19 miles) from the Turkish-Syrian border, which should be finalized in 150 hours. At that moment, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10km (six miles), except Qamishli city.
6. All YPG elements and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.
7. Both sides will take necessary measures to prevent infiltrations of terrorist elements.
8. Joint efforts will be launched to facilitate the return of refugees in a safe and voluntary manner.
9. A joint monitoring and verification mechanism will be established to oversee and coordinate the implementation of this memorandum.
10. The two sides will continue to work to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict within Astana Mechanism and will support the activity of the Constitutional Committee.”
Then Homeboy Trump takes credit for the deal…..
And then Turkey is rewarded for their deal with the Russians….sanctions lifted……
President Trump has announced that he is lifting all sanctions against Turkey for the time being, citing a “permanent” ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds and the withdrawal of Kurds from the Turkish-occupied safe zone.
Trump credited the US for getting the Kurds out of the safe zone, and for everything else, conspicuously not mentioning the Russian deal with Turkey which was reached only the day before, and came after pointed US warnings to the Kurds not to talk with Russia.
Trump appeared to be quite conscious that this was a factor, declaring “this was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else.” That’s his position, but it’s unlikely many will see it that way.
Trump said this validated his troop withdrawal from Syria, while also insisting that US troops are going to remain in Syria to protect oil reserves that were taken by the US during the war.
Trump also shrugged off his own declaration of a permanent ceasefire, saying “permanent” doesn’t mean much in that region. He also threatened new sanctions against Turkey if “something happens that we are not happy with.”
Amusing that Russia’s name did not come up….go figure…..
Turkey got everything it ever wanted……sanctions lifted, Kurds moved out of their homes, the door left open for more killings, US gone from the region, I am sure I missed something…..
What a PUTZ!
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