The Imperial response to the prospect of PEACE in the Middle East
official warned Syrian
Kurdish leader not to talk to
Assad or Russia
meeting came hours before Turkey and Russia struck a deal to jointly
patrol the northeast Syria border zone
Defense Post, 22
State Department official told a senior Syrian Kurdish leader during
a meeting in Washington that the United States would not fully
withdraw its forces from northeast Syria and advised her
administration not to engage with Bashar al-Assad’s government or
to two sources familiar with the Monday, October 22 meeting, a senior
member of Washington’s diplomatic team is said to have become angry
and told Ilham Ahmed, President of the Executive Committee of the
Syrian Democratic Council, that the U.S. will not allow the SDC to
arrange a deal with the Assad regime or Russia for protection against
the Turkey-led attack.
is currently in Washington to appeal to the Trump administration and
Congress to stop the Turkish incursion, which has displaced more than
176,000 people and killed scores of others. The Organization for the
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is also investigating the possible
use of banned weapons after accusations Turkish forces employed white
phosphorous against civilians in the border town of Ras al-Ayn.
and two other SDC representatives declined to comment on the meeting.
State Department representatives did not respond to requests for
Syrian Democratic Forces have requested that U.S. forces either
defend the SDF-controlled region or withdraw from northeast Syria
completely so the SDF can arrange a political deal for the Syrian
government to return to the northeast.
by U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey,
Washington’s diplomatic team has repeatedly discouraged the SDC
from negotiating with the Assad regime while signaling that
implementation of Turkey’s demands for a so-called safe zone –
dismantling SDF border defenses and allowing joint U.S.-Turkish
patrols – would deter Ankara’s aggression, according to SDC
that’s true, I’d say that’s diplomatic malpractice,” Robert
Ford, the last U.S. ambassador to Syria, told The Defense Post.
the U.S. has declined SDF requests to strike Turkey-led forces to
stop the incursion. A ceasefire announced by Vice President Mike
Pence last week after meeting Erdogan in Ankara was widely seen by
the SDF as a capitulation to the Turkish government’s demands.
to a document obtained by CNN, SDF commander Mazlum Abdi pleaded with
Jeffrey’s deputy, William Roebuck, to allow the SDF to negotiate
with Russia for protection as Turkish artillery pounded Syrian border
towns ahead of the invasion earlier in October.
you planning to let Turkey proceed 30 km and take our towns and
villages? We need to know if this is the intent,” Mazlum reportedly
said. Roebuck told the commander “not to take any immediate
decisions” and said he would defer to Jeffrey, who is also the
Special Envoy to the Coalition against ISIS, according to the report.
senior SDC official told The Defense Post that Mazlum only approached
the Syrian regime after the situation became desperate. “We did not
wait for the answer from officials in Washington,” the official
said on the condition of anonymity. “It was what it was.”
government troops entered the northeast as American forces withdrew
over the past week, but political negotiations with the Assad regime
have not yet begun, Ahmed told The Defense Post on Monday.
launched Operation Peace Spring on October 9 after a phone call
between U.S. President Donald Trump and Erdogan and the White House
announcement that American troops would leave the northeast border
posts. U.S. officials have insisted NATO-ally Turkey was not given a
“green light” to invade.
considers the multi-ethnic SDF alliance and its component People’s
Protection Units (YPG), which is predominantly Kurdish, to be
inextricably tied to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged
a decades-long insurgency in Turkey.
officials told The Defense Post that American officials in the past
have promised they would not withdraw U.S. forces until a political
settlement was in place to secure their future in the Syrian
Tuesday, Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced they
had reached an agreement for northeast Syria that will see the
preservation of the “status quo in the current Operation Peace
Spring area” to a depth of 32 km. The deal includes Russian
military police and Syrian border guards deploying on the Syria side
of the border, as well as joint Russian-Turkish patrols to a depth of
10 km outside the area between Ras al-Ayn and Tel Abyad.
asked about Turkey crisis, says Trump is ‘fully prepared’ to take
Donald Trump is prepared to use military force if “needed,”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday when he was asked about
Turkey’s attack on Kurds in northern Syria.
prefer peace to war,” Pompeo said in a taped interview that aired
on CNBC's “Closing Bell” on Monday. “But in the event that
kinetic action or military action is needed, you should know that
President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action.”
declined to lay out a red line for what action would prompt a U.S.
military response, saying he did not want to “get out in front of
the president’s decision about whether to take the awesome
undertaking of using America’s military might.”
suggested the economic powers that we’ve used. We’ll certainly
use them. We’ll use our diplomatic powers as well. Those are our
preference,” Pompeo said.
State Department declined comment on Pompeo’s remarks.
told reporters at a Cabinet meeting on Monday that the U.S. “never
agreed to protect the Kurds for the rest of their lives.”
not going to take a position. Let them fight themselves,” Trump
president is under heavy criticism for his decision to withdraw
American forces from northern Syria, abandoning the Kurds, who led
the ground war against ISIS. The withdrawal precipitated Turkey’s
incursion into the border zone earlier this month, which has left
more than 120 civilians dead, according to the U.K.-based Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights.