US, Turkish Troops Headed For Military Showdown In Syria

Two days after we reported that Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, when Turkey's foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu also said that Ankara is calling upon the US to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias, not surprisingly the US refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.

Speaking on CNN, General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, said that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is "not something we are looking into."

Last week Turkish troops crossed into Syria in an push to drive US-backed Kurds out of Afrin. As part of the Turkish offensive, which is grotesquely code-named ‘Operation Olive Branch’, president Erdogan warned that the offensive could soon target “terrorists” in Manbij, some 100km east of Afrin.

“With the Olive Branch operation, we have once again thwarted the game of those sneaky forces whose interests in the region are different,” Erdogan said in a speech to provincial leaders in Ankara last week. “Starting in Manbij, we will continue to thwart their game.”

But not if the US is still there, unless for the first time in history we are about to witness war between two NATO members. And the US has no intention of moving.

Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesperson for the US-led coalition, told Kurdish media on Sunday that American forces would continue to support their Kurdish allies – despite Erdogan’s threats.

“Turkey knows where our forces are in Manbij, and what they are doing there, and why they are there –to prevent any kind of escalation between the groups who are in that area,” Dillon told Rudaw TV. “The Coalition will continue to support our Syrian Democratic Forces in the fight against ISIS. We have said this all along, and we have said this with the Kurdish elements of the SDF. We will provide them equipment as necessary to defeat ISIS."

However, in an apparent miscommunication, US NatlSec Adviser H.R. McMaster said a day earlier that the United States would no longer provide weapons to YPG fighters or the Democratic Union Party (PYD) – sending mixed messages about Washington’s relationship with the Kurds.


US army vehicles north of Manbij city, in Syria's Aleppo province

The latest Turkish offensive in Syria has further strained the already contentious relationship between Washington and Ankara. A White House spokesman remarked last week that the operation "risks conflict between Turkish and American forces" in Syria. In an unprecedented step, last week the Turkish presidency went so far as to correct the White House readout of the phone conversation between Trump and Erdogan, explicitly accusing Trump of lying.

The Afrin campaign follows Erdogan’s vow to “strangle” the US-backed Border Security Force (BSF) in Syria. As discussed previously, the US-led coalition announced in January that it would help create the 30,000-strong BSF, half of which would be comprised of the Kurdish-dominated SDF.

Meanwhile, confirming that Turkey has no intention of backing down, and if anything will keep pressing on assuring an armed confrontation with the US is inevitable, Jenan Moussa with Arabic Al Aan TV, reports that "a huge story is developing right now." Namely, that a big Turkish army convoy including APCs drove thru HTS controlled Idlib in Syria heading towards AlEis, a rebel controlled frontline with Syrian gov forces &allies. Turkish army convoy was escorted whole time by Al-Qaeda linked HTS group."

And some additional starting details, according to Moussa, who notes that Russian planes were in the sky as the Turkish convoy drove through HTS controlled Idlib province. They even bombed 15 KMs away from the convoy. "So big question now: Is the Turkish convey moving with the approval or in defiance of the Russians?"

For now the answer appears to be no:

Seems for now the Russians are not going to allow the Turkish army convoy to pass. I am hearing from one source on the ground that the convoy will go back in the direction of Turkey. I am in touch with sources on the ground in Idleb & will update as news develops.

Due to nearby Russian bombing &Syrian shelling, witnesses on the ground now say that the Turkish military convoy has basically turned off its lights and is waiting in the area. We are trying to find out if they will turn back or continue advancing despite warnings.

Will Erdogan be crazy enough to start a regional battle against both the US and Russia at the same time on Syrian soil, or will Russia flip and side with Turkey in its "defensive offensive" yet as it careens to a military confrontation with US troops? We expect to find out in the immediate future.

Comments

Edgarson Able Ape Mon, 01/29/2018 - 20:30 Permalink

Turkey has been a problem for a long time. For the Shock'n'Awe campaign they withdrew permission for our troops to invade Iraq from Turkey at the last second, forcing us to come up with a new strategy on the quick. I know, I was there. NOW they are acting out of their racist hate against the Kurds, who have been staunchly loyal to us. I'm glad THIS President won't turn a blind eye to our allies the Kurds.

In reply to by Able Ape

BobEore stizazz Mon, 01/29/2018 - 22:03 Permalink

Conceived in srael... but the screenwriting is all "made in America," as the plot is one only a Hollow-wood talmudic kabbalist could design. And production is right in the heart of the staggering Samson who is being taken down now... as we speak.

A cabal of traitors in the heart of DC... aided by a gaggle of fifth columnists right on these pages - has been tasked to make the bizarre plot line go live. And as always... there are no 'accidents'... the contradictory messages coming outta of mouths of Nerikan command are a purpose... so that when the very first American blood is spilled at Manjib... it will seem to have been a hurtful 'mishap'... rather than the preconceived moment when the gates of hell are at last open upon a place in the world which had 'insouciantly' considered itself immune to such a fate forever.

All predictable... and  predicted. They laughed... they jeered... till their own blood stained those tears.

"in front of us to study, there can be no doubt whatsoever now that the template used in taking down the Republic of Turkiye will be the one used to complete the takedown of the west! A media-driven orgy of guilt and self-defeating celebration of the end of the real will accompany the final stage of collapse by which the west falls victim to its own 'social media' tools of mass deception." July 30 2016 - "Twilight of the West"

In reply to by stizazz

HowdyDoody new game Tue, 01/30/2018 - 10:46 Permalink

For extra spice, the US is considering sanctioning Turkey because it is interested in buying the S-400. Now we see why the US is so keen to establish Kurdistan. It would relocate its Incirlik airbase there, as there is a high chance of it being blocked by Turkey if the US does go ahead with the sanctions. Al Ubeid in Qatar is a long way from the Eastern Med/Black Sea/Caucasus action.

 

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201801301061175862-usa-turkey-russia…

 

In reply to by new game

SDShack Perimetr Tue, 01/30/2018 - 13:53 Permalink

But in this case the fighting is in a sovereign nation that both Nato members have attacked and are occupying in defiance of international law. So by that logic, Russia supporting their ally Syria, are the only ones following the law. The bottom line is The Petro$ MUST be supported at ALL costs! 

In reply to by Perimetr

BobEore lurker since 2012 Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:53 Permalink

Lurker buddy.... "Israeli Kurds?" We have to go through this from the start - again> ?

Pull out the map. \see the part of northern Iraq centered on Erbil, where all the Kurds are congregated? THOSE are the "Israeli Kurds"/

and that is the puppet state which Srael and Turkey jointly brought into being, in order to reap vast profits from stealing Iraqs oil and shipping it - via Ceyhan port - to Haifa... and Malta... in collusion with the Daesh(ISIS)jihadis who were working the eastern Syrian and Iraqi fields at that time. KRG Barzani Kurdistan.

Now look west... to the parts of northern Syria which run along the border with Turkey. Those are the Kurdish cantons of Rojava. They don't get along with the above. In fact, the borders between the two have been mostly closed, by the KRG, as a favor to their Turk bosses.  In that area, the YPG militias run a defacto administration, and have made an alliance with the rest of the population - Assyrians, Yazidis, Arabs, Circassians etc., to fight Daesh(ISIS) and remain federate with but autonomous of Syrias' state.

They've had US special forces embedded with them for two years. They got a lot of arms from the Americans in exchange for agreeing to go to Raqqa and liberate the Euphrates river valley from the jihadis. The Sraeli-Turk funded and trained jihadist proxies attacked them 3 years ago at Kobane but got wasted by the people who lived their and picked up weapons to defend themselves instead of becoming victims like so many others in syria and Iraq. Now the Turks want to finish them off before they can lay claim to the oil/gas in that region and make a separate deal to ship it out.... which they never could before. Srael would very much like to add those fields to it's growing Iraq portfolio, but cannot do so as long as the Rojava project is in the way - hence the Ankara regime has been called upon to remove them.

"During the negotiations with Damascus, the Kurdish officials declared their unwillingness to hand over the security and financial control despite the central government’s willingness to send 5,000 Syrian soldiers and officers to Afrin and deploy the units along the border with Turkey, which in turn agreed with Russia to stop its menace and bide by a Damascus-Afrin deal if and when it is reached."

That's EM's take. It is demonstrably a false one. Had the Kurds been agreeable to putting down their weapons - and giving up their hard won survival for the sake of an 'agreement' on paper... you would be seeing an orgy of destruction right now at the hands of a massed horde of jihadis hyenas - of the kind who have now joined the fight in Afrin, with the glint of rape and pillage in their eyes.

That's happened too many times before. These folks will fight to the death, if necessary, against ALL comers. And it's quite clear now that, just like three years ago at Kobane.... NOBODY is going to help them. That's just the way it is. And they will deal with it.

In reply to by lurker since 2012

Paracelsus WernerHeisenberg Tue, 01/30/2018 - 05:12 Permalink

   Cyprus was on Henry Kissinger's watch. A slippery character, that guy....

Him and Nixon. It is important to remember that this era was when the money printing went into high gear.The sixties and the Vietnam war were very inflationary. Then '72 came along and Nixon dumped the US gold standard, and the little guy has been getting screwed ever since. No one had the balls to challenge the Central Banks until France sent a cruiser to New York and said," Here's the paper. I want physical instead." That was the end of the Bretton-Woods post war agreement, which included a gentlemen's agreement that although there was a gold window, no one would actually ask for the stuff.

Nothing will grow in that area without the water from the snowpack in the Turkish mountains. It's the water we are talking about here...H2O.

In reply to by WernerHeisenberg

Joiningupthedots Paracelsus Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:27 Permalink

Nixon came off the Gold Standard because the FED was printing fiat to pay for Vietnam because its GDP couldn't really afford the war expenditure.

DeGaulle started the process by sending fiat USD back to Washington and demanding gold bullion in return.

The FED quickly realised that there would be no gold left if the process was allowed to continue unchecked and came off the gold standard.

In reply to by Paracelsus

silvermail 847328_3527 Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:58 Permalink

1. US troops are in Syria illegally - as occupation troops.
2. It was the US, by its illegal military actions in the territory of a foreign sovereign country, created a situation that provoked Turkey's military response.
3. The military response of Turkey is a response to the illegal military actions of the United States in sovereign Syria.
4. Russian troops are in the territory of Syria is absolutely legal. Because Syria is Russia's military ally. And because the Russians have an official request for military assistance, from the legitimate authorities of sovereign Syria.

Conclusion: Wherever the US is present, there is always a lie, terrorism, war and blood.

In reply to by 847328_3527

rwe2late Edgarson Mon, 01/29/2018 - 21:28 Permalink

Turkey has been a problem?

According to the Turks:
The YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the political wing of the PKK in Syria. They share the same leadership…the same budget, the same arsenal, the same chain of command from the Kandil Mountains in Iraq, and the same pool of militants. So the PYD/YPG is actually not a “PKK-affiliated” group, it is a sub-geographical unit of the same organization….
Knowing that the YPG and the PKK are effectively equal, and legally not wanting to appear to be giving arms to a terrorist organization, the U.S. military already asked the YPG to “change the brand” back in 2015. U.S.

Special Forces Commander General Raymond Thomas said during an Aspen Security Forum presentation on July 22, 2017 that he had personally proposed the name change to the YPG.
“With about a day’s notice [the YPG] declared that it was now the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF],” Thomas said to laughter from the audience. “I thought it was a stroke of brilliance to put ‘democracy’ in there somewhere. It gave them a little bit of credibility.” (Hurriyet)

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/01/29/washington-widens-the-war-in-sy…

 

[It would seem that the USA has been a much bigger problem in the Mideast and Syria.]

In reply to by Edgarson

BobEore rwe2late Mon, 01/29/2018 - 22:21 Permalink

"it would seem that"...

some silly westerner jihadi hoes are willing to snuffle up any old bafflegab of agit-prop from their fave jihadi superstar! Anything that aids their bizarre quest to speed up the moment when their world... and unfortunately, everybody else's near to them

falls apart.

Genius. Of a 'special' sort.

In reply to by rwe2late

mug Edgarson Tue, 01/30/2018 - 02:30 Permalink

The Kurds are just in an unfortunate situation where they live between two countries that don't like them. They're looking for whatever help they can get, rather than being staunchly loyal. Likewise for the US they help serve a purpose. No president cares about anyone in the desert

In reply to by Edgarson

Han Cholo Edgarson Tue, 01/30/2018 - 08:06 Permalink

Not denying what you are saying ( I was watching that very closely). But some context. While your build up and rev up was in full swing, Nancy Pelosi OUT OF FUCKING NOWHERE brought up the Armenian Resolution "condemning  Turkey" for the atrocities and acts they committed just before you were to get the go ahead. The democrats literally pulled that stunt on purpose to piss Turkey off. Their plan worked and they pissed off Turkey and fucked you in the process. I will never fucking forget that blatant act of sedition/treason she pulled that day. Par usual, it was party over country for the democrats and they had to see a failure for Bush at any expense; that meant YOU.

In reply to by Edgarson