Friday, 06 December, 2019

Erdogan: Turkey Won't Forget Trump's 'Tough Guy' Letter

SYRIA-SECURITY  TRUMP-ERDOGAN Turkish President Threw Trump's Bonkers 'Don't Be a Tough Guy' Letter in the Trash
Robin Buchanan | 19 October, 2019, 01:14

Shelling and gunfire resounded around the northeast Syrian town of Ras al Ain on Friday, a day after Turkey agreed with the United States to pause its offensive in Syria for five days to let Kurdish forces withdraw.

President Trump, at a rally in Dallas on Thursday, likened the Turkish offensive against the Syrian Kurds to a schoolyard fight.

US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Ankara on Thursday to pressure Turkey into a cease-fire in northeastern Syria.

Amid outcry at home and overseas, Trump dispatched Pence to Ankara to end to the bloodshed - and a deal was announced that would see Turkey stop its attack while Kurdish forces withdraw from the border.

Kurdish forces "brought [Turkey] to a standstill" near the city, the official who spoke to Al-Monitor said, adding that the Turkish-backed forces had been prevented from advancing farther south.


Danielle Ellis, a 29-year-old Oxford University graduate from London, had been part of a civilian convoy attempting to deliver aid to residents of a village in the border town of Ras al-Ayn when they came across corpses buried in the ruins. Turkey aims to create a "safe zone" in northeast Syria to resettle 3.6 million Syrian refugees now residing in Turkey, as well as to combat Kurdish groups it considers terrorist organizations.

SDF leaders made a deal with the Bashar al-Assad regime for protection after Trump refused a last-ditch request from the group's leader, Gen. Mazlum Kobane, for military support.

All military operations will pause for five days, and the United States will assist with an "orderly withdrawal" of Kurdish troops.

The overall US-Turkey deal was 13 terms, though it included lip-service to them both being fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members and other insignificant clauses.

The Kurds were US allies in the fight against the Islamic State group but came under assault after Trump ordered USA troops to leave the area earlier this month.


Turkey cast it as a complete victory in its campaign to control a strip of territory stretching hundreds of miles along the border and more than 30 km (around 20 miles) deep into Syria, to drive out fighters from the YPG, the SDF's main Kurdish component. 'Like two kids in a lot, you have got to let them fight and then you pull them apart.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the "so-called" Syria ceasefire is "a demand (for) capitulation of the Kurds" and called on Turkey to immediately halt its operation in northern Syria.

Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist organisation with links to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in Turkey. The Kurds responded to the announcement of the USA withdrawal by effectively switching allegiances and have already invited forces of the Syrian government, backed by Moscow and Tehran, into towns and cities in areas they control. So that's one of the reasons that you hear that the head of the Kurdish forces who are our allies in the fight against ISIS is talking about a retreat as a tactical maneuver but not a permanent maneuver.

Vice President Mike Pence struck the deal with Erdogan in Ankara on Thursday.

Turkish presidential sources told the BBC that: "President Erdogan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the bin".


The rest is held by the Kurdish-led forces or by the Syrian government military, backed by Russian Federation, which the Kurds invited to move in to shield them from the Turks.

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