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Syrian Kurds, "Allies of Convenience" to US

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All good things come to an end; therefore, it was expected that the US support to Kurds and regional stability would come to an end–sooner or later. But before taking up the human rights line and saying “but they were the friends of the United States, fought side-by-side,”etc, one should also consider the political realities and historic precedents.

Kurds are a people without a country, and that goes back to “secret deals” made back in 1916 between French and British diplomats, a deal that has proved a time bomb for modern times. The US troop withdrawal announcement from northeast Syria should come as no surprise, as the longer the cooperation lasted, the greater the threat—real or perceived—was to Turkey.

Trump also understands that and did not want to get bogged down in another quagmire – as has been the case in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are more important fish to fry, and now is the time to make good on his campaign promises, to get out and let those on the ground, those living in the neighborhood sort out the mess.

Turks don’t tolerate separatists

Turkey has long considered the Kurdish minority in Syria as a source of terrorism, and that has been the case, not only for Kurdish in Syria but also for Kurds in other countries, especially those living in Turkey itself—and the international diaspora. It is a moot issue as whose terrorist is friend with whom–and which superpower.

While, Kurdish-led forces have until now been a key US ally in Syria, where they helped defeat the Islamic State. But Turkey still regards them as terrorists. It goes back to an operational definition of terrorism; “my freedom fighter is your terrorist”.

Turkey can now use the Kurds to cover its own political and military missteps, including supporting some of the Islamic terrorists in Syria in the first place, directly or indirectly. But political realities change, and that is one thing that is certain in this part of the world.

Timing is everything … and this is the key element to consider when looking at Trump’s recent announcement that US troops, those fighting alongside Kurds would be withdrawn. This is keeping with known US policy. US President Donald Trump defended the withdrawal, saying it was time “to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars”.

Those in Washington, including US Senators want to represent the pullout represents a significant shift in US foreign policy and how it goes against the advice of senior officials in the Pentagon and the US State Department. It is not so simple, as Trump has more “operational intelligence” than senators and the ego driven CNN commentators. The White House recently told that US troops were stepping aside for an imminent Turkish operation, and it was not a matter of choice but because the Turks were ready to go in, with or without the Americans in the free fire zone.

However, what is highly suspect is Turkey’s choice of words and veiled threats — and they could use some coaching in PR. In response Trump claims that he would crash the Turkish economy, if the Turks would indiscriminately attack US-allied Kurdish fighters and civilian populations. One should review America’s own track record of collateral damage and so called “friendly fire.”

As I [Trump] have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider off-limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy........

© New Eastern Outlook