US Rejects Turkish Demand to Withdraw Its Forces from Manbij
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
The Trump administration’s plan for a 30,000-strong northern Syria security force, comprised of Kurdish and anti-Assad Arab fighters, infuriated Turkey.
It’s part of Washington’s aim to partition the country, along with occupying as much of its territory as it can get away with.
It’s also about stealing Syrian oil. The main goal of its regime change plan is isolating Iran – ahead of attempting to topple its government.
Washington opposes Russian-led efforts for conflict resolution. At the same time, it betrayed its Kurdish ally by agreeing to let Turkish forces establish and control a 30 km area in northern Syria, preventing Kurdish autonomy in the area.
Turkey is a NATO member at odds with its dominant power. Its Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu demanded Washington withdraw its forces from Manbij and stop supplying Kurdish fighters with weapons.
It demanded immediate action, not promises easily broken. On Sunday, US CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel rejected Ankara’s demand, calling Manjib strategically important, adding withdrawing US forces is “not something we are looking into.”
Turkish forces are advancing on the city, risking possible confrontation with Washington over the area – although it’s inconceivable that Erdogan would let his military clash with US troops in Manjib or elsewhere.
Cavusoglu said Washington chose the wrong partner, calling it “a self-inflicted error when the United States already has a capable partner in Turkey,” its key NATO Middle East one, its military second largest to America’s.
The more Washington angers Erdogan, the closer he allies with Russia. For their part, Kurds blundered by partnering with Washington, believing it a way to establish an independent northern Kurdistan – instead of realizing America can never be trusted.
It has interests, not allies, serving its own agenda, no one else’s, Kurds learning the hard way, but it’s not too late.
Russia is a reliable ally. It’s best strategy is turning East, not West. Autonomy as part of the Syrian state is an achievable goal. Moscow supports it.
So would Damascus to gain an ally, an important accomplishment toward achieving conflict resolution.
A Russian/Iranian/Syrian/Kurdish alliance would be a significant counterweight to Washington, Israel and the Saudis, even stronger with some help from Turkey – an unreliable ally, its allegiance for sale to the highest bidder.
Its rage against Washington’s border security force and support for Kurdish forces allies it with Russia and Iran against this agenda.
The enemy of your enemy in pursuit of your objective puts Turkey in the Russian/Iranian camp against Washington.
As long as it lasts, it helps the Russian/Iranian/Syrian initiative for conflict resolution – until Ankara shifts allegiance and goes another way.
For now, Russia and Iran have the upper hand. The more Washington antagonizes Turkey, the stronger it gets.
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