Monday, 09 December, 2019

Erdogan hopeful for breakthrough in dispute on arming Kurds

Christy Curtis | 13 May, 2017, 10:49

The US and Russian Federation are located geographically far away from the threats coming from north Syria and therefore, their actions will differ from the ones undertaken by Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

The Turkish president will seek to persuade Donald Trump to reverse his "mistaken and shortsighted" plan to arm Kurdish forces in Syria, announced as part of an American attempt to crush Islamic State's final stronghold in Raqqa. Ankara is also enraged by USA plans to arm the Syrian Kurds, who they consider terrorists. Turkey backed off its confrontation with Russian Federation because of severe economic pressure from Putin, and Erdogan announced at Sochi that relations have been entirely restored.

Arming the Kurds is the right tack for Trump to take, a decision that for months we have been urging both Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, to make.

It's not as though Turkey was unaware that USA weaponry was ending up with Kurdish Democratic Union forces, which Ankara considers a terrorist group allied with Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. Thus, the SDF was created.

The SDF is spearheaded by the PKK/PYD and its armed wing, the PKK/YPG. Without that base, the US would have considerable difficulty operating in the region.

"He will blitz Trump with Turkish complaints", said Erdemir, especially over the decision to authorize the Pentagon to arm Kurdish militiamen who dominate the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF.

SDF commander Abdul Qader Hevdeli said on Friday the push to Raqqa "will be in the coming period of time".

According to Soder, the decision is not altogether new. "I believe these weapons or this support will arrive soon", he said. The official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the issue publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the USA has yet to provide the weapons.

N orthern Syria has for several years been a brutal battlefield, but also a symbol of how internationalised the war in Syria has become. Moreover, the YPG threatened that unless the U.S. takes a clear stance and stops further Turkish airstrikes (EKurd, April 29), its fighters would withdraw from the Raqqa offensive.

The 2016 attempted coup in Turkey against Erdogan also heightened tensions, with the Turkish president accusing the United States of supporting coup leaders.

Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli, in an interview with Turkish broadcaster A Haber, said: "There is no reality in the comments that a ground operation against Daesh (ISIS) can only be successful with the YPG". "It's Europe's southern border, and we'll stay closely connected", Mattis told reporters during a visit to the Pabrade Training Area in Lithuania.

Trump preparing certified letter attesting to no Russia ties
Yates called McGahn first thing that morning to tell him she had "a very sensitive matter" that had to be discussed face to face. Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H.

"The SDF accepted Isis' surrender of the city to protect innocent civilians and to protect the Tabqah dam infrastructure which hundreds of thousands of Syrians rely on for water, agriculture, and electricity", a statement from US Central Command said. "The Turkish President said that he would bring up the subject during his upcoming meeting with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Washington on May 16, stressing that Turkey will continue to fight "terror" groups within its borders and overseas".

"Every weapon seized by them is a threat to Turkey".

The Pentagon did not share details on how it will oversee how the weapons are used, but "even if the US could control its weapons, it would be hard to convince Turkey and Turks that PKK attacks in Turkey (which I expect to explode in three to six months) are not somehow carried out through USA hardware", Burak Kadercan, an assistant professor of strategy and policy at the United States Naval War College, told Syria Deeply.

Apparently, the Turkish leader is trying to convince North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies that Turkey's interests can not be ignored and the contribution of the Syrian Kurds has no value if there are troubles with Ankara.

Turkey's short-term response is likely to include increased pressure on YPG positions in Syria. "We never have and never will", Mattis said after his meeting with Yildirim.

"The U.S. administration still has the opportunity to take Turkey's sensitivity about the terror organization PKK into consideration", the PM reportedly said.

Dr. Nasr Haji Mansour, a senior SDF adviser in Syria, disagrees.

"The U.S. ruined Iraq. It's aware it's not possible for them to play with such sensitive issues", he said.

The recent supply of weapons to the Kurds in Syria will be top of the agenda.

Up to date, Turkey's fighting against ISIS is the most effective, others countries weren't successful in it, stressed President Erdogan.

He said the USA has plenty of grievances, too, to fire back at Turkey, including a spike in anti-Americanism in Turkey, Ankara's alleged involvement in the busting of sanctions on Iran, and Turkey's provision of what he called a "permissive environment" for some jihadists and Muslim Brotherhood groups like the Palestinian movement Hamas.

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