Tuesday, November 6, 2018

U.S.-Turkish Ties May Be Cut for Good in Syria

Oddly enough I wrote a post similar to this March 01/ 2017:
Aaron Stein is a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
The two countries are trying to work together in Manbij, and it isn’t going well.
"Last week, the United States and Turkey started joint military patrols in the Syrian town of Manbij. The patrols are part of the second phase of the so-called Manbij Roadmap, an agreement the two countries signed this year to try to lessen tensions between them in Syria. Despite some progress, the plan hasn’t really worked, and what happens in the city could further undermine an already strained U.S.-Turkish relationship"
Recall my repetitively stating that this agreement is a non starter?
"Manbij, which lies near the Syrian border with Turkey, has long been a point of contention between the two powers. In 2016, the United States, together with allied Kurdish forces, made a push to oust the Islamic State from the city. The mission was meant to block the militant group from access to the Turkish border, and it came in preparation for a larger campaign to liberate Raqqa slated for the following year. But the operation violated a long-standing Turkish red line against any Kurdish presence west of the Euphrates River."
 "Manbij, which lies near the Syrian border with Turkey, has long been a point of contention between the two powers" As has been stated here again and again- going back years now.

  "Ankara was none too pleased. It viewed the westward march of Kurdish militias as a threat to its national security. And so, just after the fall of Manbij,(ethnic cleansing of Manbij) in the summer of 2016 Turkish troops invaded northern Aleppo. The Turkish operation, dubbed Euphrates Shield, ousted the Islamic State from its last positions along the border. But it also blocked all potential overland routes for the Kurds to push west toward the isolated canton of Afrin, where they would have joined with another contingent of Kurdish forces holed up there. In early 2018, Ankara followed Euphrates Shield with a second operation, dubbed Olive Branch, through which it took full control of Afrin and drove out the Syrian Kurds. (ahem- largely not Syrian Kurds)

During the buildup for that operation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled that Manbij could be next. And in a January speech, he warned U.S. troops not to get too close to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the most powerful Kurdish militia among those with which the United States works in Syria. The YPG also happens to be connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an insurgent group that has been active in Turkey since 1984"
I'm going to repeat this fact. Fact. Not lie. Not obfuscation. Not perception management
"The YPG also happens to be connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an insurgent group that has been active in Turkey since 1984."

"To smooth things over with Turkey, former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Ankara in February to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The two agreed to establish two working groups, one on Syria and one on broader issues in the U.S.-Turkish relationship, including the detention of U.S. citizens, the conviction of a Turkish national in New York, and Ankara’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system.

The working groups, which launched soon after Tillerson’s trip, had mixed results. In June, though, the two sides did reach an agreement on Manbij. Together, they crafted a road map to work together, rather than at cross-purposes, in the city. The plan called for independent patrols by each country along the area’s border, which would be followed by integrated military patrols down the line. Now that the joint patrols have started, the road map’s second phase is supposed to kick in. That will involve the United States and Turkey vetting members for the Manbij Military Council, which currently governs the city.

But the Manbij Roadmap has been plagued by a lack of clarity from the start."
The Manbij Roadmap has been plagued by a "lack of clarity" BY DESIGN
 "Ankara has insisted that the agreement was supposed to have a tight timeline. But the United States, for its part, has maintained that both sides were supposed to meet specific conditions before moving from stage to stage. The back-and-forth has undermined the road map’s intended effect: Tensions between the erstwhile allies remain high, and no one is sure what will come next"
No agreement. Honestly it can't be claimed that there is an agreement went not one party, of either of the  two parties participating in said agreement, can agree on what that agreement actually is!  It's absurd to call this an agreement!

" Over and over again, Erdogan has made clear that he views Manbij as a stepping stone for clearing all YPG presence from eastern Syria. To underscore the point, Turkey has recently bombarded YPG positions near Manbij and elsewhere along the Syrian-Turkish border with artillery fire.
Turkey intends to use the military pressure to accomplish two things: first, to try to convince the United States to drop its Kurdish partners, and second, to force Washington to negotiate Manbij Roadmap-style agreements for other towns in eastern Syria. (Why would Turkey want to negotiate more nonsensical agreements with a duplicitous partner? Seems absurd.) Implicit is Turkey’s threat that if the United States doesn’t do what Turkey wants, it will continue to rain munitions down on territory that has, for the past several years, been relatively conflict free"
Relatively conflict free for several years?- Sure ask all those Syrians who were living in their homes but are now stuck in refugee camps. Or worse.

 "The United States, despite having had ample public warning from the Turkish government, appears to have been caught off guard by the recent uptick in shelling. (Off guard? Oh poor wittle United States. Bad Turkey.) It is struggling to respond, vacillating between trying to placate Turkey by privately hinting about future concessions along the border and quietly rebuking the Turks and warning that U.S. forces will defend themselves if fired on"

  The United States’ top priority is to prevent Turkey from destabilizing northern Syria. (That is as written by Mr Stein- Turkey "destabilizing" northern Syria) The Turkish attacks challenge a central assumption about the direction of the Syrian civil war: that the various front lines have hardened and that the combatants’ existing positions can be used as the basis for negotiations to end the conflict. But the United States doesn’t really have a good option for responding to Turkeyit is not going to drop the Kurds, like Turkey wants, or start bombing Turkey in order to get that country to fall in line"
The US will simply get their proxies to attack Turkey.. So they can claim innocence while covering up the fact they are standing alongside them. They've delivered tons of weapons and vehicles in recent months... Heavy equipment for trenches. It's a total hardening of positions.

 "The United States’ only realistic interim step is to try to fix the Manbij Roadmap in an attempt to take the immediate point of conflict out of the equation. Without another round of talks to flesh out the agreement, the process of vetting new members for the governing council is certain to be fraught, with each side withholding national intelligence about why it deems certain people to be off-limits. If the process breaks down entirely, Ankara will likely only increase the pressure on the Kurds in Syria"
The US is already ok with that-

And just for the hell of it! More then two years old!
Last few posts:



  1. "....it can't be claimed that there is an agreement when not one party, of either of the two parties participating in said agreement, can agree on what that agreement actually is! It's absurd to call this an agreement!..."

    This is the only way that USrael can negotiate/communicate. It is impossible to speak in a normal way when you have a forked tongue.

    1. Hey GC: Stein is an Atlantacists.. so the article is carefully crafted, BUT, this idea being put forth that there is an agreement at all is beyond absurd.

      What's interesting is we are getting more and more articles covering this discord between Turkey and the US.. it's signalling via the media. Something is coming.

  2. Off topic, Penny, but in case you missed seeing this:
    Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s claims of climate change fatalities are contradicted by new data. McKenna repeatedly pointed to a surge in deaths in a July heat wave in Québec as proof of the need for a national carbon tax...
    Average daytime highs were 30° compared to 25° for the same period in 2017...
    The 1936 heat wave forced factory shutdowns in Winnipeg [40C] cooked fruit on the trees in Hamilton, buckled a Canadian Pacific Railway trestle at White River, Ont. and was blamed for 64 forest fires.

    1. Yaya:
      from your link

      The Québec Institute of Statistics said deaths across the province for the month totaled 5000, the same as the identical period last year. Deaths for July were comparable to the ten-year average and below a peak of 5,072 deaths in July 2010, when average temperatures were two degrees cooler.

      so, there you have it- always lying, always spinning for the agenda.

      I'm not surprised in the least!

      1936 often comes up as a really, really hot year in data- before carbon induced, human forced 'global warming' roflmao!

  3. Here off grid on CB island we had frost late June and again early Sept. Heat in July.
    Every Govt needs funding including the up and coming one world Govt. Carbon Tax.
    Media could convince people they are dieing of the heat while the stand there in a winter outfit in Sept. Or that we need to bomb that country for their own good.
    But reality sets in, I need to feed a pack of dobermans but am missing a growing season.

    1. Hey CB Island!

      While not as extreme here in Southern Ontario
      we had snow May 1st and had to turn the heat on in the house mid october- so we're running the heat most of the year-

      Now that the IPCC is fudging data in a different way- my climate observation for the region IS more accurate then their manipulated data- At least I can talk 25 years of gardening and the challenges as it has gotten colder.

      BTW: think about the carbon tax and it getting colder, making the carbon tax that much more profitable here..

      "Media could convince people they are dieing of the heat while the stand there in a winter outfit in Sept."

      Sad and true. Very sad and very true!