Turkey Demands US Forces Leave Syria's Manbij Immediately

Submitted by Brecht Jonkers and Andrew Illingworth via Al-Masdar News,

As Turkish and allied militant forces from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) advance further upon Kurdish positions in northern Syria, Turkey has called upon the United States to vacate its military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Turkish foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu said that Ankara is calling upon the US, its official ally in NATO, to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias.

Cavusoglu’s statement came mere hours after an official telephone talk between Turkey’s Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster about the ongoing Turkish invasion of Syrian soil.


Turkish backed forces advancing in Afrin. Image via South Front

Though unconfirmed by officials in Washington, the US-funded Voice of America reports that McMaster "pledged to stop giving arms to YPG Kurdish forces in Syria" during the phone call. However, it is unclear what this would mean on the ground as the Pentagon has in the past attempted to make a linguistic distinction between the YPG per se (Kurdish "People's Protection Units") and the Syrian Democratic Forces (the former comprises the bulk of the latter), as well as a distinction between YPG operating in Afrin Canton and the rest of Kurdish forces in Rojava.

Voice of America reports the following of the high level phone call between McMaster and Erdogan's presidential spokesman:

Turkey said Saturday that Washington has pledged to stop giving arms to YPG Kurdish forces in Syria, as Turkey's offensive against the U.S.-backed group there enters its eight day. Turkey's presidency said in a statement that U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster spoke Friday with Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. McMaster confirmed in the phone conversation that the U.S. would not give weapons to the YPG militia, the statement said. There has been no U.S. confirmation.

While both Turkey and the United States are in violation of international law by entering Syria with military forces without permission by Damascus or a UN mandate, both countries have vastly different interests in the country.

The United States has for years supplied weapons and training to Kurdish militias in northern Syria, causing concerns that they seek an eventual secession of Kurdish-occupied lands from Syria. Turkey on the other hand, having supported so-called "moderate" rebel groups such as the FSA since at least 2015, actively seeks to prevent the existence of a YPG-controlled area to its southern border, as it sees the Syrian Kurdish units as an affiliate of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is active within Turkey.


Via The Saker

Meanwhile, with the lifting of bad weather and the return of Turkish warplanes and gunships to the skies over northern Syria, pro-Ankara forces have breached the defenses of Kurdish forces in a key area of the Afrin region on Saturday. As reported by Al-Masdar News earlier this morning, so far Saturday has witnessed the Turkish Army and allied Free Syrian Army militias under its command advance inside Afrin from positions near the northwestern border of Turkey and Syria.

Sources report that Free Syrian Army-linked rebel groups and Faylaq al-Sham Islamists managed to seize the village of Ali Beski and the hilltop of Point 740 in the Rajo area of Afrin. The militant advance was backed up by fire support from Turkish attack helicopters which targeted Kurdish positions and movements. The engagement for the two locations in Rajo resulted in a dozen Kurdish casualties of which 10 fighters were killed and two were captured by pro-Turkish rebels.

Comments

Crazy Or Not BaBaBouy Sat, 01/27/2018 - 14:01 Permalink

>What The Hell Are We Doing In There...

Probably you know this, but for the newbies: 
Syria is Putin's Wall, it prevents (what used to be) pro-western Gulf states from supplying Europe with Natural Gas. Gazprom is making Russia wealthy & increasing its ability to update its depleted USSR military power. 

The Middle East prize is Yemen and Somalia, which sounds crazy to many. but due to internal conflicts they are still both rich in untapped oil/gas resource. Hence the increase of US, China, KSA, German/French/European military bases in Djubuiti, just North of Ethiopia & Somalia, and opposite KSA, Yemen. In the meantime Iraq/Iran/KSA and further East Khzakstan etc all wish to traverse Syria & Turkey to reach Europe...but Putin and increasingly Erdogan are not playing.

In reply to by BaBaBouy

Son of Loki Crazy Or Not Sat, 01/27/2018 - 14:04 Permalink

Looks like the 100 years of war in the middle east and Asia started by Bush and expanded by Mohammed bin Obama and Crooked Hillary, and costing the American sheeples over $16 Trillion dollars is a huge success (for Bankers and MIC):

 

‘It’s a Massacre’: Taliban Bomb in Ambulance Kills 95 in Kabul

"...over 158 injured...."

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/world/asia/afghanistan-kabul-attack…

 

"Change you can bereave in!"

 

~ Soweeto Mohammed Hussein bib Bama, Nobel peace Prize Winner!

No wonder the snowflakes, Dem war mongers and Hollywood perverts are protesting Trump; he's barely killed anyone yet!

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

JohninMK shitshitshit Sat, 01/27/2018 - 18:55 Permalink

That happy looking band  in the top photo are not quite what they seem.

This is a group from the Jabhat al-Nusra splinter group from Ahrar al-Sharqiya fighting alongside the Turkish Army in Afrin. In 2016 they were proudly in another photo sitting around a young lad, about 10 years old, they had just captured in a village they had taken. Shortly after, just for fun as you do, they cut his head off.

Strange allies NATO forces have nowadays. Especially when they don't want to put their own troops too much in harms way.

 

In reply to by shitshitshit

Crazy Or Not Son of Loki Sat, 01/27/2018 - 14:12 Permalink

The short version is we're flying into the bottleneck, and its difficult to see a way through that doesn't involve:

a) Uptick in skirmishes leading to a massive Trade War with Russia and China.
b) An increasing dirty war/industrial sabotage/proxy war via rebel groups that threatens to go mainstream several times weekly.

c) Full blown insanity by power craving lunatics.

In reply to by Son of Loki

Winston Churchill Crazy Or Not Sat, 01/27/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

It can be several things at once you know, just as Afghanistan was about blocking the proposed

Iran/China pipelines across the Hindu Kush.Raping them for minerals,opium etc were secondary bonuses.

You need to study the Great Game as Kipling called it, and the MacKinder heartland doctrine.Past is prologue.

You may have better insight before opening your mouth ,which would save us all the time reading

drivel in the future.There is a huge difference between strategy and tactics,the latter changes constantly

and is confusing you.

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

Crazy Or Not Winston Churchill Sat, 01/27/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

The tendency is to simplify, because these are comments not articles. 
Graham Greene's also worth the read if you like Kipling. 
John Pilger, John Perkins, Corbett & the "ex"-agency pundits always worth a chuckle.
http://www.moonofalabama.org/ for a more in depth discussion.
It's always several things at once, I did preface with "The short version" ;)
Please don't mistake my staying on the immediate topic for ignorance.

In reply to by Winston Churchill

HowdyDoody Crazy Or Not Sat, 01/27/2018 - 15:46 Permalink

" Syria is Putin's Wall, it prevents (what used to be) pro-western Gulf states from supplying Europe with Natural Gas. "

Wrong. Russia is there to eliminate the wahabbist terrorists to stop the US unleashing them on the Russian Federation once Syria was destabilized. That is an existential threat to Russia. Competition over gas prices is not.

 

 

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

Crazy Or Not HRClinton Sat, 01/27/2018 - 17:14 Permalink

Agreed. All I know is the oil here:

https://twitter.com/BP_MiddleEast/status/954002221326155776

...has to get to the market to keep the machine working. Ship is more expensive than pipeline. Those with pipelines make more $$$'s than those with ships.  "The market" is Europe, USA & China.

If you question the relevancy of the link above, just consider the Chief of UK SIS (MI5 /MI6) recently became a board member of BP. Sir John Sawers is also on the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Conferences and participated in all conferences since 2014 

"Marvel" comments are complex things simplified so the majority or the time poor can grasp forces at work in seconds.

In reply to by HRClinton

MoreFreedom Crazy Or Not Sat, 01/27/2018 - 18:12 Permalink

The oil will get to the market, because 1) whoever has it will sell it for $, and 2) oil is fungible and intermediaries will be used if necessary, and they'll make a nice profit.   

And while there's money to be saved/made in pipelines to transfer oil or natural gas (mostly gas because it's not so easy to ship) oil can be transported also in ships and on railroads.

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

Al Tinfoil Crazy Or Not Sat, 01/27/2018 - 19:35 Permalink

I think your post gives a good overview of part of the current Syrian situation. 

I think Putin got into the Syrian game only lately.  The US has been trying to destabilize Syria for 25 years, since Syria is a prime ally of Iran.  Lately, the Saudis and Qatar wanted to build pipelines across Syria but Syria refused permission, preferring a pipeline proposal from Iran.  That seems to have lit the fuse for the start of the hot war by the alphabet soup of Al qaeda, Al Nusra, Daesh, ISIL/ISIS and "democratic opposition" to begin, with Israel providing material and medical services to the alphabet soup which pretended to be Israel's enemies.  The US stated that it was "fighting terrorism" and "fighting ISIL/ISIS" but has been outed as training and supplying the very terrorists that it said it was fighting. 

Putin got involved publicly only after Assad came to Moscow and appealed for help.  Russia then did an end run around the US by proposing a coalition with the US to fight the terrorist ISIL/ISIS that the US claimed to be fighting.  The US was trapped  by their own rhetoric and had to accept, at least in public.  In spite of US attempts to sabotage the "coalition" with Russia, the Assad Syrian forces, backed by Russia, Iran, China, and Lebanon's Hesbolla, pushed ISIL/ISIS out of most of the Syrian territory they had occupied. 

Rather than give up their gambit to take over Syria, the US/Israel/Saudi/NATO forces are attempting to hold on to the parts of Syria they occupy, using Kurdish forces as their proxy army. 

Turkey's Erdogan has a history of grievance with the Assad dynasty in Syria.  The Kurds were left with no territory of their own after the WW1 Sykes-Picot border drafting - their traditional lands are now in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, and the Kurds have been fighting for independence for some decades now.  The Kurd uprising has cost Erdogan dearly in blood, money, economic development, and international prestige (allegations of breaches of human rights, internal strife, etc.), and continues at low ebb today after the Turks put down the earlier hotter times. 

Assad's father provided safe haven for the leaders of the Kurdish uprising against Turkey, earning Erdogan's hatred.  Lately, Turkey provided support and a channel for supplies from the US side to ISIL/ISIS at least until recently, and Turkish forces invaded and plundered parts of Syria bordering Turkey during the ISIL/ISIS successes.

The US and Israel have cultivated the Kurds as allies.  Note that after Saddam Hussein was overthrown in Iraq, the US allowed the Kurds to operate as an independent country in northern Iraq, where the Kurds sold Iraq's oil and gas to Turkey and Israel, and provided a safe route for ISIL/ISIS oil tanker trucks taking Syrian oil to Turkey, where Erdogan's son shipped it out in his tanker fleet, much of the oil going to Israel. The US forces left the ISIL/ISIS tanker trucks alone but after Russia got involved, Russian aircraft bombed the truck convoys and thus cut off a big source of ISIL/ISIS funding (and Erdogan family profits).

Israel has been cultivating the Kurds and "Kurdistan" as a potential province of "Greater Israel". The Israeli aim is to take over Lebanon, and at least parts of Syria and Iraq bordering Turkey to extend Israel east as far as Iran.  The US, Saudis, France and UK are backing Israel here, while the "Shiite Crescent" of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran are opposed, with Russian and Chinese backing. 

After Russian success in stopping ISIL/ISIS, and after the attempt by the CIA et al to kill Erdogan, Erdogan has apparently switched sides to at least some extent.  He has become much friendlier to Russia and hostile to the US and EU, although as a NATO member Turkey is supposedly an ally of the latter.  

The US has defied demands that it take its forces out of Syria, where the US now appears to be an invader, and clearly in breach of international law.  Russia has now backed away from the areas of Syria that Erdogan is "cleansing" of Kurdish forces.  Thus, Turkey is attacking the US' proxy Kurd army, and their US army and air force support, and Russia is avoiding direct confrontation with US forces while their Turkish ally does the fighting.

Interestingly, Qatar has reached an agreement with Iran for shared exploitation of their giant gas field, and Qatar appears to have jumped into the Iran/Syria/Russia/China camp, earning a blockade by the Saudis and their allies, and aid from Turkey in the form of soldiers.

The Saudis continue their (US and Israel-backed) bombing of Yemen, apparently trying to counter Iranian efforts to ally with Yemeni Houthi forces. Yemeni territory has oil and gas potential and a key geographical position for access to the Suez Canal, and as a key route for undersea communications cables.

Interesting times. 

 

 

 

 

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

BobEore Crazy Or Not Sat, 01/27/2018 - 21:31 Permalink

".but Putin and increasingly Erdogan are not playing."

Nice try. EVERYONES' A PLAYER in this scripted production... and the roles assigned to Russia and the neo-ottomans are no less duplicitous and destructive than those assigned to America and the rest of the cast.

Assigned by a $power which fights its battle primarily through its ONEMEDIA Army of scribes armed with 'fake news' howitzers and bunker bombs of phony storylines. A $POWER  whose identity can increasingly be discerned as that of a Russo-Ashkenazi talmudic mafiya, which OWNS the asses of POTUSs... POTENTATE... and PUTINATES... in capitals around the world! As this gem of a quote illustrates...

Turkey on the other hand, having supported so-called moderate rebel groups such as the FSA since at least 2015, actively seeks to prevent the existence of a YPG-controlled area to its southern border,

the constant stream of agit-prop emanating from the ONEMEDIA everywhere, effectively acts to convince naive readers to 'cheer' for the hired mercenaries and jihadists of tel aviv's proxy puppets... and in doing so... for their own demise!  Moderate rebel groups... kinda like a 'moderate nail gun' what inflicts 'modest' damage to the noggin!

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

BobEore Crazy Or Not Sun, 01/28/2018 - 01:54 Permalink

he he heh...

yes (believe it or not!) I fully understood your original allusion.

And repeat, therefore, with emphasis added - EVERYONES' A PLAYER - in a production which allows for MANY "western pipelines" ...

when the masking semantics are stripped from the storyline.

International finance capital.... aka talmudic kabbalism in its "russo-talmudic mafiya form, has made inroads into the ownership of all significant producers in the petroleum game, over the past decade. Sufficient inroads to allow now for the refocusing of its agenda onto the next phase after its Syrian Imbroglio - which is the execution of its long planned Eurasian Energy Cartel.

The fact the people don't care to KNOW the ownership structure of the major players///GENEL, ROSNEFT, etc.,///the conjuntion of STATE CAPITALISM as pursued by the Moscow Regime/Tehran Regime/Ankara Regime/Saudi Regime etc., with the major forces of racketeering which have come to dominate the western polities ... in addition to maintaining their longstanding grip on China///or the ploys by which energy traders like Glencore get folded into the entire show... so as to kick off the monopolization of Europes' energy supplies by said cartel... in the classic manner...

does not cancel out the fact that all those players are now WELDED TOGETHER so as to reduce the comic book 'EAST VS. WEST phony narrative as presented on these pages

to a laughably outdated sideshow for nostalgia lovers. 

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

A Sentinel Crazy Or Not Sun, 01/28/2018 - 00:55 Permalink

You keep saying “apartheid”.

You do realize, don’t you, that after that regime fell and the communist Mandela took power, EVERY fear, every reason they had the apartheid system in place for in the first place - everything- came true.

And even if it were a good description (I’ve never been there), those of us who know the mahound Muslim in actual practice— we don’t think that keeping Muslims sealed off from civilization is a bad idea.

You need a new description.

In reply to by Crazy Or Not

07564111 arby63 Sat, 01/27/2018 - 14:18 Permalink

Erdogan is doing something ;)

He now makes sure that there will never be a Greater Israel controlled Kurdistan. :D :D

He also now shows the Kurds and the rest of the fools in the MENA ( and the world as a whole ) that the JUSA will throw its 'friends' under a bus at a moments notice :D :D

sux to be joo ;)

In reply to by arby63

justa minute LiteBeeer Sat, 01/27/2018 - 20:13 Permalink

maybe you should read the Script and understand prophecy, israel is gog and jerusalem is referred to as "sodom and egypt where our Lord was crucified" In ezekial there is this tiny little verse you conveniently overlook, It says, "and they came into a land of unwalled villages" (happened in 1948)  Can not happen now as israhell is the most walled up place on earth. And when you read the Script pay really close attention to the words of the One you say you believe in. "ye are of your father the devil" or "the Kingdom is taken from you and given to another nation" and many other like quotes

In reply to by LiteBeeer

johnnycanuck The_Juggernaut Sat, 01/27/2018 - 14:46 Permalink

Erdogan has Trumpland balancing on the edge of a toilet seat and he keeps nudging them toward the shithole.

Recent Defense mag article reports White house soft on Kurds, giving support to YPG / SDF while Pentagon standing behind their 'Nato' partner 100%.  And that's not the half of it.  See these;

" CIA officially recognizes PYD as terror group PKK's Syrian wing? "

https://twitter.com/EHSANI22/status/957263847823495170

 

"The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has officially confirmed that its sees the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is headed by chairman Salih Muslim, as the Syrian wing of the internationally-recognized terror group PKK.

Under its "The World Factbook" section and Syria

subcategory, the agency listed the Syria-based PYD as a PKK branch under foreign-based terrorist groups."

https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2018/01/27/cia-officially-reco…

 

There's more than a bit of back at ya in the above. Insulting the Sultan for skirting sanctions on Iran must have a price. Erdolf is big on that sort of thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In reply to by The_Juggernaut