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Old 6th October 2019, 10:03 PM   #1
a_unique_person
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Rumour - Turkey about to invade Syrian Kurds

Quote:
Washington: The White House has said that Turkey will soon invade northern Syria, renewing fears of a slaughter of Kurdish fighters allied with the US in a yearslong campaign against the Islamic State group.


For months, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been threatening to launch a military assault on the Kurdish forces in Northern Syria, many of whom his government considers terrorists. The Kurdish forces bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against Islamic State militants, and Republicans and Democrats have warned that allowing the Turkish attack would send a troubling message to American allies across the globe.

Not sounding good.


https://www.theage.com.au/world/midd...07-p52ye6.html
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Old 6th October 2019, 10:32 PM   #2
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Following yet another weekend phone call from Trump on a golf course to another despot.

Did Erdogan tell Donny he has something on the Bidens? Seems to be the golden bargaining chip currently.
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Old 6th October 2019, 11:11 PM   #3
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Erdogan has lost key election, and with it is posterior.
Looks like he's going to ask the Kurds to hand it to him.
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Old 6th October 2019, 11:13 PM   #4
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:10 AM   #5
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The poor Kurds once again get their usual "reward" for helping the West out with their Middle-Eastern adventures

Quote:
The US will step aside for an imminent Turkish operation against Kurdish-led forces in north-eastern Syria, the White House has said, in a major shift.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-49956698
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Following yet another weekend phone call from Trump on a golf course to another despot.

Did Erdogan tell Donny he has something on the Bidens? Seems to be the golden bargaining chip currently.

Since the White House announced it then there was probably a phone call I guess.
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Did Erdogan tell Donny he has something on the Bidens? Seems to be the golden bargaining chip currently.
Don't underestimate his ability to throw friends and allies under the bus for no reason just to impress some random despot.
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Old 7th October 2019, 12:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Announcing invasions well in advance is ... not ... how you usually want to do things.

I honestly doubt much will happen. We'll see, but Turkish military is not what it was five years ago. The coup in 2016 and the purges that followed robbed them of a competent air force for one.

Attacking battle-hardened Kurds in home territory without significant air cover doesn't sound like like much of a plan. Victory isn't even assured, if the Kurds are given weeks to prepare. Heavy losses are highly likely if not outright certain. Can Erdogan afford the risk of his army being pushed out of Syria by the Kurds, plus the international fallout that will follow regardless of what Trump "permits"?

I doubt it.

Any Turkish involvement in Syria will likely be limited to the border areas, 20 km or so into Syria. Much propaganda, little actual fighting.

I hope so anyway.

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Old 7th October 2019, 01:21 AM   #9
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Erdogan might prefer big losses to justify holding onto power for 'national security'.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Erdogan might prefer big losses to justify holding onto power for 'national security'.
Of course he would. But invading Syrian Kurds and suffering heavy losses against them is a humiliation, not an effective way to wave national security issues at everything.

If this was within Turkey things would be different. But it's not.

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Old 7th October 2019, 05:37 AM   #11
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I went to find the alleged White House statement for our Syria news where we use primary sources when possible. I found no such statement, and in the article in the OP it is claimed that the statement was made by Stephanie Grisham, allegedly WH press secretary. Her twitter account says that she is director of communication for Melania. The BBC article linked above gives no specific source at all, while SPIEGEL talks about a "US representative talking to Reuters".

So until I see a primary source I treat the White House statement as rumour (and don't bother our news ticker with it).
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:06 AM   #12
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Trump Tweeted

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!
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:08 AM   #13
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Check the official WH statements, i.e. Trump Tweets.

Oops ninja'd
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:55 AM   #14
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I am sure it is just coincidental that this is being announced at a time when the President's other deals are in the news.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:34 AM   #15
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Thanks Käpt'n but there's nothing about a Turkish invasion and the US stepping aside in Trump's tweets. Just what he has said for years (but didn't do), just like Erdogan has repeated on Saturday what he has said for years but didn't do (invasion due tomorrow).
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Thanks Käpt'n but there's nothing about a Turkish invasion and the US stepping aside in Trump's tweets. Just what he has said for years (but didn't do), just like Erdogan has repeated on Saturday what he has said for years but didn't do (invasion due tomorrow).
News outlets are showing video of the U.S. forces pulling out. That part seems confirmed.

ETA: Livemap (usually to be taken with a grain of salt) has video and photos of empty U.S. outposts, and of U.S. troops moving away from the border area.

Last edited by crescent; 7th October 2019 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:28 PM   #17
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The statement is now on the White House website.

Crazy.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I am sure it is just coincidental that this is being announced at a time when the President's other deals are in the news.
If so, it might have backfired a little.
He is getting more pushback from Republcians in Congress on this then he has gotten in a long time.
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:43 PM   #19
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SDF statement:

Originally Posted by SDF Press
[...] Since the beginning the Turkish threats continued against the forces who make efforts to fight against the terrorism and clearly targeted the original components of the region, displacing the original population in the areas it has occupied, and instead of the international community taking strict positions, the White House announced once again its approval of Turkey’s occupation of north and east Syria, the withdrawal of its military forces, the abandon of its responsibilities in the war on terror and leaving the region open to dangerous possibilities that will have a serious impact in the fight against terrorism and will have deep impact on the political situation and international efforts to end the crisis and resolve it politically and to further complicate the scene, and push other regional parties to increase their presence on the line of crisis. [...]
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Old 7th October 2019, 01:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by timhau View Post
Don't underestimate his ability to throw friends and allies under the bus for no reason just to impress some random despot.
But Trump has "Great and Unmatched Wisdom".
His said so himself in a tweet about this decision.
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Old 7th October 2019, 02:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Erdogan might prefer big losses to justify holding onto power for 'national security'.
Sons and husbands coming home in boxes will be bad for him.
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Old 7th October 2019, 02:57 PM   #22
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And Trump has done something else with his announcement of US withdrawal that is damn near impossible: Both Israel and Most Arab governments are calling it a betrayal.
Anything that destabilized Syria is bad news for Israel.and Arabs shudder on Turkey invading another Arab country; memories of the Ottoman empire run deep.
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Old 7th October 2019, 03:22 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Sons and husbands coming home in boxes will be bad for him.
Any media showing that will simply be arrested. Like Trump wishes he could do.
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Old 7th October 2019, 06:45 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Any media showing that will simply be arrested. Like Trump wishes he could do.
Sure and he has the media tied up already. It seems to me that people will notice, talk and protest if they stop reporting the deaths of “martyrs” (şehit in Turkish) and their funerals.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:03 PM   #25
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The Kurds have been steadfast allies - in Iraq, where they were basically the only ones not trying to kill everybody else in Iraq; and in Syria, where they fought alongside Americans to reclaim and protect the Syrian portion of Kurdistan.

But Trump gets along really well with Edrogan (who plays him with all sorts of praise). So, the Turks get to kill Kurds ... again. It's like their national sport.
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Old 7th October 2019, 07:08 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
AMERICAN Sons and husbands coming home in boxes will be bad for him.
More accurate. Donny doesn't give a flying **** at a rolling donut about the brown Muslim Kurdish sons and husbands...or women and children.
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Old 7th October 2019, 08:03 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
More accurate. Donny doesn't give a flying **** at a rolling donut about the brown Muslim Kurdish sons and husbands...or women and children.
Was not talking about Trump but yeah.
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Old 8th October 2019, 12:36 AM   #28
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With Trump feeling the backlash, Erdogan might want to delay his incursion into Syria: his friend in the White House might just decide that he can score brownie points by stabbing him in the back.
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Old 8th October 2019, 12:39 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
With Trump feeling the backlash, Erdogan might want to delay his incursion into Syria: his friend in the White House might just decide that he can score brownie points by stabbing him in the back.
Moscow Mitch came out and called on Trump to restrain Erdogan.

Quote:
McConnell on Monday urged Trump to reverse his move, saying "a precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime."
"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," the Kentucky Senator said. "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," he added.
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/07/p...rds/index.html

It's mild to be sure and includes a jab at Obama, but it's still rather huge.

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Old 8th October 2019, 12:45 AM   #30
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Bad timing for Trump, good timing for McConnell: it's a way to yank Trump's chain without bringing up Ukraine.
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Old 8th October 2019, 08:52 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
The Kurds have been steadfast allies - in Iraq, where they were basically the only ones not trying to kill everybody else in Iraq; and in Syria, where they fought alongside Americans to reclaim and protect the Syrian portion of Kurdistan.
True. But does working together against one enemy mean that the US is responsible for protecting them from another? Especially if that other (Turkey) is also an ally?

I read a story in AP citing someone for the National Security Council saying that our end objective in the region should be the creation of "another Israel" but for the Kurds. I assume everyone here recognizes how ridiculous that idea is.
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Old 8th October 2019, 09:20 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
What is it with the Kurds, anyway? Why does everybody seem to want to wipe them out?
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Old 8th October 2019, 09:22 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
So until I see a primary source I treat the White House statement as rumour
Are you feeling ok?
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Old 8th October 2019, 09:23 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What is it with the Kurds, anyway? Why does everybody seem to want to wipe them out?
They have had the misfortune that their tribal homelands sit within three mutually antagonistic arbitrarily drawn countries and are seen as a dangerous minority in all three.
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Old 8th October 2019, 09:25 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
They have had the misfortune that their tribal homelands sit within three mutually antagonistic arbitrarily drawn countries and are seen as a dangerous minority in all three.
Any truth to that, or are they just at the wrong place and are convenient scapegoats?
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Old 8th October 2019, 10:01 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Any truth to that, or are they just at the wrong place and are convenient scapegoats?
Yes, the Kurds are often seen as dangerous minorities in the three countries where their ethnic group is most often found. For a historical, European example see the Poles up until 1918 when they got their own nation state - the old Kingdom of Poland had been divided up between Prussia, Russia and Austria-Hungary and none of those nations were particularly good at dealing with the situation - essentially any expression of Polish nationalism was to be supressed as a sign of that said expression meant they weren't loyal to Berlin/Vienna/St. Petersburg.

While the Ottoman Empire still existed, and the Kurdish territories were (mostly) inside it, this wasn't a problem. Once the Empire was broken up, not along either old Ottoman provincial lines, or along the lines of ethnic groups, but rather along lines that made sense to British and French diplomats who were looking more at economic areas to exploit, rather than political boundaries that produced stable nation states, well, someone was going to get the short end of the stick and it certainly wasn't going to be either the western forces with their large and effective armies that were right there, or their "allies" who were there to take over those new states and cut the western powers a good deal.

Now through all this, the Kurds have maintained a reasonably unified ethnic culture separate from that of the Turkish/Persian/Arabic majority countries that they found themselves in and with members doing crazy things like calling for self-determination, those countries tend to look at the Kurds as being dangerous to the stability of the state....
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Old 8th October 2019, 10:21 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
They have had the misfortune that their tribal homelands sit within three mutually antagonistic arbitrarily drawn countries and are seen as a dangerous minority in all three.

Four. Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
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Old 8th October 2019, 10:57 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Four. Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.
Of course
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Old 9th October 2019, 12:16 AM   #39
McHrozni
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
They have had the misfortune that their tribal homelands sit within three mutually antagonistic arbitrarily drawn countries and are seen as a dangerous minority in all three.
Those borders aren't arbitrarily drawn. They follow a simple rule: place centers of population together and draw a border across sparsely populated regions, the desert serves as a natural barrier.

Many consider the Skyes-Picot agreement to be the cause for all the suffering in the Middle East and would perfer ethnic borders. Most of those people never saw what an ethnic map of the region looks like.

Don't be like those people.

The ethnic map of Syria does not look like this.

It looked like this.

Now it looks like this.

This is Iraq.

Turkey.

Iran.

I challenge anyone to draw me an ethnic map that would be more workable than what the Skyes-Picot did. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Last edited by McHrozni; 9th October 2019 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 9th October 2019, 01:07 AM   #40
The Don
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Many consider the Skyes-Picot agreement to be the cause for all the suffering in the Middle East
I'd like to see some evidence to support that particular claim.

OTOH there are many people who claim to have some knowledge of the geopolitics of the Middle East who claim that Skyes-Picot is a significant contributor to the current problems, as is the subsequent partitioning of what remained into countries with nice straight line borders.

That's not to say that there wouldn't still be all kinds of tribal problems in the area but, for example the way that the British handled Saudi Arabia and Jordan was almost a recipe for disaster.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
and would perfer ethnic borders.
There may have been less friction than with borders which create situations like the Kurds are currently facing.

Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Most of those people never saw what an ethnic map of the region looks like.
Again, I think you need to provide some evidence to support that claim. I would expect that most of the academics who publish on the subject are very familiar with that information.
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