Kurdish women’s movement in europe calls for resistance to the threat of invasion. Image: anfnews
The u.S. President’s impulsive decision to withdraw u.S. Troops from northern syria gambles away political trust even among close allies; the pentagon warns turkey
The withdrawal of u.S. Troops from territory controlled by the syrian kurds did not come as a complete surprise. Donald trump had already announced this in april 2018, but abandoned it due to the poison gas attack that followed shortly thereafter, which the u.S., along with the uk and france, responded to by bombing syria’s allegedly remaining chemical weapons program. Already at that time it was clear for the kurds that they cannot rely on the usa – in the end it was also a signal to all allies that there are no liabilities with donald trump.
Then again, at the end of december, us troops were soon to be withdrawn, trump and erdogan seemed to have come to an agreement (us withdrawal from northern syria: trump and erdogan, best friends?). This, however, met with resistance from james mattis, who resigned shortly thereafter, and also from then-security advisor john bolton. Trump has since fired him, too, and is now largely surrounded by a team in the white house that carries out his decisions (and perhaps, as in the case of the phone call with the ukrainian president, acts covertly).
Exit from the "laughable endless wars"
So now, after a conversation between erdogan and trump, came the announcement that u.S. Forces will withdraw to enable the turkish invasion of northern syrian kurdish-controlled areas (u.S. Clears the way for a turkish military operation). The plan is a population exchange and a turkish colony in syria, as is already the case with afrin. The kurds now had to see for themselves how to cope with the situation, ultimately including the thousands of is prisoners. They feel betrayed, and rightly so, because they had already withdrawn combat troops and heavy weapons from the border area with turkey and agreed to the establishment of a security zone as a result of the turkish-american negotiations.
However, it also hears from the white house anonymously that the u.S. Was only withdrawing a few troops, but remained militarily present in northern syria. Turkey was not going to launch a cruder invasion, the u.S. Was going to continue to try to prevent an invasion.
Update: meanwhile, this report has been confirmed by the pentagon. Only 50-100 special forces were withdrawn, otherwise the pentagon spokesman clarified: "the u.S. Department of defense, like the president of turkey, makes it clear that we do not support a turkish operation in northern syria." they are working to prevent turkey from joining them because of the destabilizing consequences for the region and beyond. Defense secretary mark esper and general mark milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, had warned their turkish counterparts against such a move.
Russia seems to accept the turkic-american approach as well as the eu, which is happy if erdogan settles millions of syrian refugees in northern syria to drive out the kurds there and does not send them towards europe. The russian government is holding back; yesterday defense ministers shugoi and espen spoke on the phone. Minister lavrov spoke with prime minister barzani of the autonomous region of kurdistan. Russia is now threatening to be put in a difficult role between its allies turkey and syria/iran and to lose its influence on turkey.
Trump wants to make a statement during the election campaign and under the prere of the impeachment threat. It’s not just about syria and turkey, which he doesn’t care much about, it’s about a aubenpolitical signal to pull the u.S. Out of military wars and rather focus on trade wars, which promise more profits. So he tweeted that the kurds fought with the u.S. But received a lot of money and equipment to do so. He has stood by them for three years, he said, but now is finally time, "to get out of these ridiculous endless wars". And then comes the message beyond syria:
We will fight where it is to our advantage, and we will fight only to win. Turkey, europe, syria, iran, iraq, russia and the kurds must now find their own way.
Money and equipment bought the services for trump, nothing can be deduced from that, especially not a sustained american aubenpolitik. As for the islamic state, according to trump, this is not a problem for the u.S. For now, which is far from the region. Let the is "again smash, if he somehow comes close to us". Only now it could become difficult or very expensive to find new soldiers for it.
If trump finally starts spinning?
In another tweet, trump seeks to justify himself once again and make it clear that he has not given in to turkey. Apparently, the must continue to mime the strong man to threaten turkey that if it does something wrong, it will be taken away by him "and turkey’s economy will be wiped out, as i have done before". Up to now one could not notice any irony, especially no self-irony, in the narcissist trump.
When he now speaks of his "great and incomparable wisdom" ("my great and unmatched wisdom"), then he could well take this seriously and see himself as a man who stands far above all others as a kind of superman. Could it be that the darkness of the heir billionaire gradually increases to a delusion, because he has eliminated any contradiction around him and at the same time sees himself as persecuted because of his wisdom?
There is also opposition from the republicans, for example from senator mitch mcconnell. Sen. Lindsey graham sees disaster coming after troop withdrawal announcement. Never abandon a alliance that has helped fight is. He denied the "impulsive decision", that would plunge the region further into chaos. An invasion of northern syria by the turks would be an "nightmare", turkey could face sanctions. This is also a nightmare for israel. China, russia, iran and north korea, on the other hand, could exploit if the u.S. Is an unreliable partner.
Even trump confidant nikki haley, once trump’s un ambassador, criticizes the decision to leave the kurds to their fate. One must always support the allies if they are to support the u.S. But trump does not think like that, he thinks in terms of deals made between isolated competitors on the market only according to profit motives. Commitment, solidarity, commonality, conflict avoidance do not exist in this capitalist world.
One of the closest american allies, even for trump, is israel. The fact that putin spoke to netanyahu on the phone yesterday is also a sign of the uncertainty that trump’s decision is causing even among close allies. It is true that israel or. Putin and netanyahu also have good relations. Israel, according to israeli media, was surprised by trump’s decision. Apparently this had not been discussed with israel.
A commentary in the conservative jerusalem post asks whether israel can still trust the united states: "a powerful usa is crucial for israel’s security. A washington perceived as weak and untrustworthy in the region will be tested by the enemies and adversaries of israel and america."