Turkey says it won’t bow to US threat over its Syria plans

In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, a flag of Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, flies on a building in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/AP

BEIRUT — Turkey will not bow to threats over its Syria plans, the Turkish vice president said Tuesday in an apparent response to President Donald Trump’s warning to Ankara the previous day about the scope of its planned military incursion into northeastern Syria.

Trump said earlier this week the United States would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks’ economy if they went too far.

The U.S. president later cast his decision to abandon the Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from “endless war” in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.

Trump’s statements have reverberated on all sides of the divide in Syria and the Mideast.

In Ankara, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Turkey was intent on combatting Syrian Kurdish fighters across its border in Syria and on creating a zone that would allow Turkey to resettle Syrian refugees there.

“Where Turkey’s security is concerned, we determine our own path but we set our own limits,” Oktay said.

Meanwhile, in the Syrian capital of Damascus, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad called on the country’s Kurds to rejoin the government side after apparently being abandoned by their U.S. allies.

Mekdad’s comments were the first Syrian reaction since Trump’s announcement on Sunday and as northeastern Syria braces for an imminent Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish militias. Trump’s statement has infuriated the Kurds, who stand to lose the autonomy they gained from Damascus during Syria’s civil war, now in its ninth year.

“The homeland welcomes all its sons and Damascus will solve all Syrian problems in a positive way, away from violence,” Mekdad said in an interview with the pro-government daily Al-Watan.

As for the expected Turkish incursion, he added that the Syrian government “will defend all Syrian territory and will not accept any occupation of any land or iota of the Syrian soil.”

The Syrian Kurdish force has pledged to fight back, raising the potential for an eruption of new warfare in Syria.

“We will not hesitate for a moment in defending our people” against Turkish troops, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement, adding that it has lost 11,000 fighters in the war against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Turkey, which considers Kurdish fighters in Syria terrorists and links them to a decades-old insurgency in Turkey, has already launched two major incursions into northern Syria over the past years. The first was in 2016, when Turkey and Syrian opposition fighters it backs attacked areas held by the Islamic State group west of the Euphrates River. Last year Turkey launched an attack on the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin, leading to the displacement of some 300,000 people.

“We tell them that they have lost everything and must not lose themselves,” Mekdad added.

Also Tuesday, Iran urged Turkey not to go ahead with its planned an attack on Syrian Kurds, the Iranian state TV reported. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to express Tehran’s opposition to the anticipated Turkish operation.

Zarif urged Turkey to respect Syria’s integrity and sovereignty, the report said.

Iran, Turkey and Russia have been working together as part of the so-called Astana group on the Syrian civil war, talks that have run parallel to U.N. efforts to find a solution to the conflict.

Trump’s announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into the region.

U.S. involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters to combat the Islamic State. Trump entered the White House in 2017 intent on getting out of Syria, and even before the counter-IS military campaign reclaimed the last militant strongholds early this year, he declared victory and said troops would leave.

In recent weeks, the U.S. and Turkey had reached an apparent accommodation of Turkish concerns about the presence of Kurdish fighters, seen in Turkey as a threat. American and Turkish soldiers had been conducting joint patrols in a zone along the border. As part of that work, barriers designed to protect the Syrian Kurds were dismantled amid assurances that Turkey would not invade.

Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey. Associated Press writer Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, contributed to this report.

7 thoughts on “Turkey says it won’t bow to US threat over its Syria plans

  1. I don’t trust the Turks one iota. IMHO, they are as much the cause for what the Middle East is right now than anyone. If they, our NATO ally (an ally who just purchased Russian military equipment), didn’t deny our 4th Infantry Division entry to attack the north of Iraq during the 2003 Iraq invasion, we would have quickly subdued Iraq and we may have never had ISIS. Turkey’s decision changed everything.

  2. Thanks for your comment Fred V. Squillante!

    I agree that Turkey is a major problem in the Middle East, and we both know that Turkey will also be a key player in the Ezekiel 38 War. Now they are about to dig into Syria and destroy the Kurds. The Kurds are our only ally (other than Israel) in the region that has fought against ISIS, and they also fight against Turkey. So why in the world isn’t President Trump aiding the Kurds?! Why are we abandoning them when they need us the most? I have supported President Trump in most of his decisions that he has made, and some very good ones at that! However, I do not support his present decision in allowing Turkey to invade Syria! Or his lack of decision in not supporting the Kurds!!!

    With all of that being said, all of this is playing into the hands of bible prophecy being fulfilled. And isn’t it strange that Russian and Iran are already dug deep into Syria? And now Turkey? Hmmmm, oh yeah, all three are major players in the Ezekiel War against Israel! How much longer could it possibly be?!

    God bless! Maranatha!

  3. I agree; it’s a complicated issue and I’d like us to be able to get out before we’re mired in something worse. There were some discussions with Turkey recently and some sort of “agreement” was supposedly reached. I wonder if Turkey pulled the wool over our eyes and are now going back on their word. It would be sad imdeed if we sold out the Kurds.

  4. I’m very surprised President Trump threw the Kurds under the bus. Perhaps the Secret Shadow Government twisted Trump’s arm?!! Who knows ? We don’t know what was going on behind the White House scene. I feel bad for the Kurds. I hope the Kurds are strong enough to fight against ISIS and evil Turkish.

    I tell you this, Turkey will be cocky with her forced in Syria. My question is will this leading to Ezekiel War? We will see, but I am hoping we will be out of here!!!!!!!

    Before I forget, I want to tell you something, I don’t mess around with the rumors. Another day I browse YouTube channel of pastor Tim Henderson reported that his source told him that in India, the Indian government will planned chips on the foreheads and right hands. I researched myself and I don’t find the evidence. But yes India government required the Indians to have ID cards and etc. however no evidenced of chips on the foreheads and right hands. I don’t mess around the false information. If I hear anything, I will let you know. You and I both know that next year October 1, 2020 all Americans must have new ID Cards if not, you can’t go into the federal building, fly airplane across the nation, etc. And of course we knew that United Nation Agenda plan for 2030.

  5. Thanks for your comment Jim!

    I was surprised and shocked myself brother, I can’t really believe that he did that! Who knows the reasons why? But it happened. Perhaps this is another fulfillment of bible prophecy towards the Ezekiel 38 War?

    I haven’t heard about India doing such a thing, but the way things are going these days it wouldn’t really shock me. If you find anything credible please let me know.

    God bless! Maranatha!

  6. Hi brother. This morning I learned that JFK airport launched facial recognition. And I’ve heard that somewhere in California and I think either Germany or Sweden are against 5G technology. My question is are 5G have to do with perhaps with the microchip implant? I don’t know. 5G is a hazard to the health and many scientists have said 5G is dangerous.

  7. Thanks for your comment Jim!

    I don’t know that much about this 5G technology, but it’s hard to believe that California and those nations would be against it, as liberal as they are.

    God bless! Maranatha!

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