Syria

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Big mistake by Trump, both domestically and internationally.
 
The following is a very good article on why Russia will remain involved in Syria over the long term.

CBC reporters went on a tour of Syria organised by the Russian military press liaison team. They went on a similar tour in 2017. There have apparently been considerable changes during that time.

The Russian ambition is to maintain a foothold in the Middle East, which means they are a player whose opinions remain relevant to any discussions about the Middle East in general. And they have achieved this relatively cheaply in terms of military cost to themselves.
"Their endgame is to have a foothold in the Middle East," said Bessma Momani, a Syria expert at the University of Waterloo. "It's been a strategic win. They have a client state [Syria] for the long term indebted to them. And it allows them to remain relevant to discussions of the Middle East."

Momani also said the Syrian investment has come relatively "cheap," with most of Russia's soldiers out of harm's way and the war waged mainly from the air.
A number of other aspects of the general situation in Syria are also discussed, and I would recommend reading the rest of the story.

There is also a 6 minute video at the bottom of the story which I would strongly recommend watching. The ARRSE forum software does not allow me to embed it directly in this post.
 
I've no quarrel with the Kurds myself, but the US only allied with them after everything else the US tried on their own had failed. The US, especially the current government, have no desire to get mired in the middle of any Turkish-Kurdish dispute.

US interests in the region revolve around oil and cash
, and the Syrian Kurds have very little of their own. Nor are the Kurds the key to access routes, unless you count the proposed gas pipeline to Europe, which has so many other political road blocks that the Kurdish question just isn't a top priority there either.

So all these questions about American support for the Kurds tend to start and end with "it would be nice from a Kurdish perspective", but don't address the question of what's in it for the Americans. After the Afghanistan and Iraq (round 2) wars, the Americans are not keen on "nation building" and (the Americans) would need a really compelling reason based on self interest to get involved in anything long term.
Very . . . VERY . . . regrettable "short-term'ism" by POTUS Trump . . . :( .

Without (even) a "token" US presence in the Kurdish area of northern Syria, there will be a Turkish-Kurdish dispute - instigated by Turkey - with Erdogan flailing around to bolster his own ego and popularity :( .

We do all realise that (now) "US interests in the region (and the rest of World . . . ), revolve around oil and cash".

Unfortunately, it is immaterial that the "Syrian Kurds have very little (oil and cash), of their own" . . .

But - as a seemingly irresistible "magnet" to Erdogan - what the Kurds do have, if/when they are forced to defend themselves against Erdogan's Turkey, is the (unwelcome) ability to destablise the WHOLE Middle-East area, which DOES HAVE lots of oil (and cash) !!

I am certain that the Kurds will be the first to say, they do NOT wish the area to again erupt, but it is clear that any hostilities will be the responsibility of Erdogan's Turkey, as they cross the border into (the Kurdish areas of) Syria.

Trump is supposed to be a "business man", but he clearly fails to appreciate the very small - relative - cost of maintaining, AS AN INSURANCE POLICY, (even) a "token" US presence in the Kurdish area of northern Syria, in the now thankfully relatively benign situation . . . . against what will be the financial, military and human costs if/when the USA has (again) to fight its way into the area, TO PROTECT ITS OWN USA REGIONAL INTERESTS :( .

That is the answer to "the question of what's in it for the Americans?".

It is beyond regrettable - it is lamentable - that Trump can not recognise the above as "a really compelling reason based on (the USA's own) self interest to get involved (in a relatively small, benign, way), in anything long term".


_109129009_iraq_syria_no_kurds_25feb19_640-nc.png
 
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Erdogan has announced a new military operation in Syria to be called "Peace Spring".

Turkish jets have bombed Syrian Kurds near the border.

Iran have asked Turkey to avoid military action, while also saying that the US should leave and that Syrian Kurds should support the Syrian army. I get the impression that the Iranians don't want the Turks in Syria any more than they want the Americans there.

Meanwhile the Syrian Kurds want the US to provide air defence (under the fig leaf label of a "no fly zone") to keep the Turkish air force out of Syria.

Russian meanwhile have called the Americans "reckless" in terms of first going into Syria and now leaving. I suspect Lavrov's comments were intended to highly what he sees as the inconstant attitude of the Americans in contrast to Russia's apparent long term commitment.

Moscow is apparently trying to get the Kurds and the Syrian government to engage in talks to settle their differences.

There is a video, but the ARRSE forum software does not support embedding of it.
From the link provided by @terminal . . .

'Who the hell supports Erdogan over the Kurds?'

Reaction in the West was swift.


France, Britain and Germany called for the United Nations Security Council to meet to discuss the Turkish offensive.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on Turkey to halt the operations.

"I call on Turkey as well as on the other actors to act with restraint and to stop operations already, as we are speaking, underway."

While acknowledging Turkey has security concerns on its border with Syria, Juncker said that "if the Turkish plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don't expect the European Union to pay for any of it."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who nevertheless has criticized the president's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, told Axios he plans to introduce a package of "devastating" sanctions to hit Turkey over its military operation.

"Who the hell supports Erdogan over the Kurds?" said Graham, from South Carolina.

"The president's doing this completely against everybody else's advice."

Graham predicted the Senate could marshal the votes to override any potential presidential veto.
 
 

Slime

LE
I haven't checked the thread for this point, but not only has Trump forced his military on the ground to turn tail and leave their Kurdish allies to their fate with an aggressive Turkey, but Trump's idiotic 'icing on the cake' was to say the Kurds 'didn't help the US at Normandy in WW2'!

What an utter tosspot Trump can be.

Edited to add:
It's more than beyond stupid imho that many Western politicians are desperate to bring ISIS fighters back to Europe and to resettle them, while turning their backs on the Kurds who have done so much to help fight ISIS.
 
I feel safe in saying that not only has Trump betrayed the Kurds, but he has betrayed the honour and fidelity of the US Military
It was always going to happen at some stage. Sadly.
 
From the link provided by @terminal . . .

'Who the hell supports Erdogan over the Kurds?'

Reaction in the West was swift.


France, Britain and Germany called for the United Nations Security Council to meet to discuss the Turkish offensive.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on Turkey to halt the operations.

"I call on Turkey as well as on the other actors to act with restraint and to stop operations already, as we are speaking, underway."

While acknowledging Turkey has security concerns on its border with Syria, Juncker said that "if the Turkish plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don't expect the European Union to pay for any of it."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally who nevertheless has criticized the president's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, told Axios he plans to introduce a package of "devastating" sanctions to hit Turkey over its military operation.

"Who the hell supports Erdogan over the Kurds?" said Graham, from South Carolina.

"The president's doing this completely against everybody else's advice."

Graham predicted the Senate could marshal the votes to override any potential presidential veto.
So you want to champion the cause of a new state who will be surrounded by enemies, with no access to the sea, with no real economic base, and ruled by militant Marxists with strong links to a group you acknowledge as being terrorists. In doing so you will permanently alienate all of the regional powers, including a NATO member. I can see that going well.
 
The Syrian Kurdish-led authorities accused Turkey of shelling a prison holding Islamic State (IS) militants of more than 60 nationalities, calling this “a clear attempt” to help them escape.
 
I haven't checked the thread for this point, but not only has Trump forced his military on the ground to turn tail and leave their Kurdish allies to their fate with an aggressive Turkey, but Trump's idiotic 'icing on the cake' was to say the Kurds 'didn't help the US at Normandy in WW2'!

What an utter tosspot Trump can be.

Edited to add:
It's more than beyond stupid imho that many Western politicians are desperate to bring ISIS fighters back to Europe and to resettle them, while turning their backs on the Kurds who have done so much to help fight ISIS.
WASHINGTON—Amid backlash for abandoning an ally that has been crucial in the fight against ISIS, President Donald Trump assured the Kurds Wednesday that there will one day be a very nice tree planted in Washington, D.C. commemorating their deaths.
 
So you want to champion the cause of a new state who will be surrounded by enemies, with no access to the sea, with no real economic base, and ruled by militant Marxists with strong links to a group you acknowledge as being terrorists. In doing so you will permanently alienate all of the regional powers, including a NATO member. I can see that going well.
I'm quoting myself on this, but I should be clear that the above was intended to be rhetorical and not directed specifically at @RCT(V) .
 
So you want to champion the cause of a new state who will be surrounded by enemies, with no access to the sea, with no real economic base, and ruled by militant Marxists with strong links to a group you acknowledge as being terrorists. In doing so you will permanently alienate all of the regional powers, including a NATO member. I can see that going well.
I'm quoting myself on this, but I should be clear that the above was intended to be rhetorical and not directed specifically at @RCT(V) .
Whilst your comment was rhetorical, I do not know who else might respond ;) .

I will just mention Kosovo ?!

Even if the Kurds are "ruled by militant Marxists", there is enough evidence to suggest that the adherence to such principles is inversely proprotional to the amount of financial assistance they receive :) .

I have been surprised by the number of senior US military, and politicians, who have voiced similar sentiments to those in my (first) post #16,123 above.
 
I've read/ seen elsewhere that part of the reason Russia involved itself in Syria is some ancient treaty regarding an eastern orthodox bishopric there, a font of Christianity from Russia's point of view.

Secondly, the news reports tell us that US ( and allied western) troops have withdrawn from the border area to avoid confronting the Turks.
But, where to? Deeper into Syria? Into Iraq or Kurdistan? Back into Jordan? Flown home to CONUS?
 
I've read/ seen elsewhere that part of the reason Russia involved itself in Syria is some ancient treaty regarding an eastern orthodox bishopric there, a font of Christianity from Russia's point of view.

Secondly, the news reports tell us that US ( and allied western) troops have withdrawn from the border area to avoid confronting the Turks.
But, where to? Deeper into Syria? Into Iraq or Kurdistan? Back into Jordan? Flown home to CONUS?
See this, from the link in @terminal 's post, #16,122 . . .

Reporters were also taken on a tour of living quarters, which included a Russian sauna, or banya. The military has also set up a Russian Orthodox church near the Khmeimim airbase. A Russian orthodox priest was on hand to explain that "99 per cent" of soldiers were "believers" and attend regular services.



The military set up this Orthodox Russian church at the airbase. (Corinne Seminoff/CBC)

 
One piece of “Good News” to come from the present debacle, has just been mentioned on Ch4 NEWS, is that Turkey is/has bombed (some) prisons containing captured ISIS fighters.

Do we/rest of “the West”, have any munitions/UAV in the area, that we could now deploy/use, under the present confusion - specifically for JUST that limited objective?!
 

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