Erdogan says Turkey to launch 'air and ground' operation in Syria | Page 13 | World Defense

Erdogan says Turkey to launch 'air and ground' operation in Syria

Falcon29

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
1,558
Reactions
747 7
Country
Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Location
USA
@Falcon29 what do you make of this now after Turkey allowed Assad troops to take over some very important areas?
What do you mean? Turkey along with the SNA are capturing territory, not giving any of it up. US Forces withdrew from Manbij and gave it to the Assad army to take over. This was coordinated with Russia. You can see reports and videos of it in this thread.
 

Zeeman

MEMBER
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
72
Reactions
144
Country
Canada
Location
Canada
Wow ..... Turkey leader understandably cancelled his trip to Pakistan due to the crisis at home, he then refused to meet Pence and now Trump is saying Turkey crossing into Syria “is not our problem”. Trump is loosing it big time. Who is going to trust this guy?
 

Falcon29

SENIOR MEMBER
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
1,558
Reactions
747 7
Country
Palestinian Territory, Occupied
Location
USA
Wow ..... Turkey leader understandably cancelled his trip to Pakistan due to the crisis at home, he then refused to meet Pence and now Trump is saying Turkey crossing into Syria “is not our problem”. Trump is loosing it big time. Who is going to trust this guy?
Trump seems pretty consistent on his position. He wants to get out of Syria and let the locals deal with their issues. He doesn't see a point in us staying in Syria and delaying a political process or even triumph of one side over the other.

The rest of the US government and US allies want us to remain in Syria and advance the Kurdistan project as an tool against Turkish and for benefit of Israel. So they are opposing his steps and putting lots of pressure on him.

In the meantime, because it was the quick commencement of events, he is saying things try to make the transition of power in Syria less chaotic and more orderly. So I wouldn't confuse that for him changing his position.
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
Turkey's Erdogan rejects cease-fire, will only meet with Trump
OCT. 16, 2019
By Nicholas Sakelaris
Turkeys-Erdogan-rejects-cease-fire-will-only-meet-with-Trump - Copy.jpg

Smoke rises at targets inside Syria after bombings by Turkish forces in Ras al-Ein, Syria, on Tuesday. Photo by Erdem Sahin/EPA-EFE

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday he will not meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence when he arrives this week to discuss the military offensive in Syria.
Pence will lead a delegation that includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O'Brien and special representative for Syria James Jeffrey. The officials will discuss the ongoing military incursion into northeast Syria, which the Trump administration has condemned.

President Donald Trump talked with Erdogan on the phone last week and the two agreed that U.S. troops would leave northeast Syria. But the situation quickly deteriorated, prompting Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey and demand a cease-fire.
"I'm not going to talk to them. They will be talking to their counterparts," Erdogan told Sky News. "When Trump comes here, I'll be talking."

Erdogan has also refused calls for a cease-fire in Syria, where his forces are targeting Kurdish fighters along the border to clear a swath of land to repatriate Syrian refugees living in Turkey. The Kurdish fighters, whom Ankara considers terrorists, have partnered with Syrian government troops and Russian soldiers are patrolling areas formerly covered by the U.S. military.

Erdogan, who said the plan is to establish a "safe zone" along the 260-mile border, is adamant he will not negotiate with the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, a group formerly backed in Syria by U.S. troops.

"They say 'declare a cease-fire.' We will never declare a cease-fire," the Turkish leader told reporters. "They are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about any sanctions."

Turkey's Defense Ministry said they have neutralized 637 terrorists since launching Operation Peace Spring, meaning that were killed, captured or surrendered.

Pence said he will leave for Turkey on Wednesday. Trump, who has sanctioned Turkey as a punitive measure for the incursion, has threatened more if Ankara doesn't change course.

Trump ordered U.S. troops out of Syria last week in a move critics say opened the door for Turkey's long anticipated invasion.

"We want to bring our soldiers back home after so many years, and they're the greatest warriors in the world," he said. "They're policing. They're not a police force."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday echoed a chorus of bipartisan concerns about the president's decision to withdraw troops.
"Leaving the field now would mean leaving the door wide open for a resurgence of this dangerous force and a new iteration of the Islamic States, creating a power vacuum begging for the meddling influence of Russia -- leaving northeastern Syria wide open for Iran to extend its reach unimpeded all the way from Tehran to the doorstep of our friends in Israel," the Kentucky Republican said.
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
Turkish state bank funneled billions to Iran, U.S. charges say
OCT. 16, 2019
View attachment 10977
The charges say Halkbank was involved in a multi-layered scheme to cover up transactions that violate U.S. sanctions against Iran. File Photo by Sedat Suna/EPA-EFE

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors have charged a Turkish state-run bank with funneling billions of dollars to Iran, a violation of U.S. sanctions.

The Justice Department said Tuesday Halkbank has been indicted on six charges, including conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.
Prosecutors said the bank conspired to undermine U.S. sanctions against Tehran by illegally giving Iran access to billions while "deceiving U.S. regulators."

"This is one of the most serious Iran sanctions violations we have seen, and no business should profit from evading our laws or risking our national security," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement.

The department said the scheme also involved Turkish government officials so the bank could use money service businesses and front companies in Iran and the United Arab Emirates to cover up proceeds from the sales of Iranian oil and gas.

In some cases, the charges say, transactions were fraudulently designed to appear as food and medicine purchases -- so they'd be allowed under a "humanitarian exception" in the sanctions.

Halkbank illegally transferred $20 billion worth of restricted Iranian funds, prosecutors said.

"The bank's audacious conduct was supported and protected by high-ranking Turkish government officials, some of whom received millions of dollars in bribes to promote and protect the scheme," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said. "Halkbank will now have to answer for its conduct in an American court."

The indictment stems from the arrest of a Turkish banker in 2016 for evading U.S. sanctions. The banker agreed to a deal with prosecutors to cooperate with investigators. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan subsequently asked both the Obama and Trump administrations, unsuccessfully, to drop the case.
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
Bipartisan House majority condemns Trump for Syria pullout
OCT. 16, 2019
SK57UE7QYREU3HD7R3RDJBEVSU - Copy.jpg

Turkish troops walk alongside an armoured personnel carrier through the town of Tukhar, north of Syria's northern city of Manbij, on Oct. 14, 2019, as Turkey and it's allies continues their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. (Aref Tammawi/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops back from northern Syria, which allowed Turkey’s assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria. The vote was 354-60.

Of Republicans, 129 voted with 225 Democrats ― a strong bipartisan vote that’s not only a big rebuke of Trump but adds pressure for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring the measure to the floor. McConnell has urged Trump “to exercise American leadership” but hasn’t committed to any action.

The four-page resolution, from House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, calls on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “immediately cease unilateral military action in Northeast Syria and to respect existing agreements relating to Syria.”

It also calls on the U.S. to continue supporting Syrian Kurdish communities through humanitarian support, including to those displaced or otherwise affected by ongoing violence in Syria and to work to ensure Turkish military acts with restraint and respects existing agreements relating to Syria.
Calling it a "rare moment" of bipartisan agreement, McCaul said he expected bipartisan support in the Senate. "This is going to pass the House and the Senate, sending a strong message about our foreign policy," he said.

The action came ahead of a meeting between Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish President Erdogan later today designed to calm tensions in the region, heightened since Turkish forces began a military assault a week ago.

Trump’s decision has drawn widespread criticism from lawmakers, former military leaders and outside defense experts, who said it amounted to abandoning Kurdish allies in the region who had worked closely with American forces in the fight against the Islamic State group. The White House has announced sanctions against Turkey for the military aggression, and Congress is considering further restrictions this week.

Critics have said Trump’s decision had betrayed Kurdish allies, endangered Israel and benefited Russia, Iran, the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the remnants of the Islamic State group. But Trump was defiant in remarks Wednesday, saying U.S. troops serving in Syria are “totally safe” amid fighting among local military forces thanks to “strategically brilliant” moves to pull back American assets in recent days.
“We’re not going to be fighting, we don’t want to be fighting. I don’t think there is any reason to anyway," Trump said. “If Syria wants to fight for their land, that’s up to Turkey and Syria, as it has been for hundreds of years. For hundreds of years they have been fighting, as have been the Kurds. It’s a mess.”

Speaking from the House floor hours later, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer, said it was important that the House show, “that President Trump’s reckless actions do not carry the support of the American people.
“It is critical that we condemn Turkey's incursion as well and to do so in a bipartisan way,” said Hoyer, of Maryland. “I know it was difficult for some, but it is the right thing to do. The House will do everything in its power to reassure our allies and remind our adversaries that America does not cut and run, that we stand by our word and hold true to our values and stand with our friends.”

A handful of libertarian Republicans have defended the president as finding an exit to a complicated, long-running conflict where they say America does not belong. Likewise, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, D-N.C., and one of Trump’s staunchest allies in the House, said he would not vote for the resolution, despite his concern for the Kurds.

The resolution, Meadows said, “is taking on a political tinge, which disappoints me.” He challenged House Democrats to introduce an authorization
of the use of military force for Syria if it they are serious about maintaining a troop presence there.

Also on Wednesday, more than 90 of Trump fellow Republicans in the House introduced sanctions against Turkey aimed at ending its assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria. That House bill follows the efforts of Sens. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who are expected to introduce their version on Thursday.
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
Trump expresses confidence when asked if nuclear weapons at Incirlik are safe
OCT. 16, 2019

GSPWJDR7IJCTJHIX3TAYGFF2FI - Copy.jpg

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the Oval Office of the White House Wednesday. (Evan Vucci/AP)

In response to a reporter’s question, President Trump on Wednesday said he was “confident” about the safety of U.S. nuclear weapons at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

During a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the Oval Office, a reporter asked Trump how confident he is — amid increasing tensions with Turkey over its invasion of Syria, targeting of Kurdish forces and possible U.S. economic sanctions — about the safety of nuclear weapons reportedly housed at Incirlik.

“One of the things that has been exposed by this Turkey situation is that as many as 50 nuclear weapons are at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. How confident are you of those weapons’ safety?” the reporter asked, according to a transcript of the exchange provided by the White House.

“We’re confident, and we have a great air base there, a very powerful air base,” Trump said in response. “That air base alone can take any place. It’s a large, powerful air base.”

Trump went on to reiterate that Turkey is a member of NATO.
“We’re supposed to get along with our NATO members, and Turkey is a NATO member," Trump said. "Do people want us to start shooting at a
NATO member? That would be a first. And that’s all involved having to do with NATO.”
The New York Times reported on Monday that, over the weekend, government officials had reviewed plans for evacuating nuclear weapons at Incirlik.

The Air Force, as is its usual practice, declined to answer questions about possible weapons there, and whether they would be moved. But the Air Force said Monday that no changes had been made to daily operations at Incirlik.

The presence of nuclear weapons at Incirlik has long been rumored, though never officially confirmed by the government. A Canadian senator earlier this year accidentally published a document listing the bases where U.S. nuclear weapons are kept, including Incirlik.
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
Trump says US troops are ‘totally safe’ amid growing chaos in Syria
OCT. 16, 2019
download - Copy - Copy.jpg

President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that U.S. troops serving in Syria are “totally safe” amid fighting among local military forces thanks to “strategically brilliant” moves to pull back American assets in recent days.
“They have a problem at the border. It’s not our border. We shouldn’t be losing lives over it,” Trump said about the situation in Syria during an Oval Office press event. “We only had 28 soldiers … and they are fully accounted for. We’re watching and negotiating and trying to get Turkey to do the right thing, because we would like to stop wars regardless.”
Trump’s comments came ahead of a meeting between Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Turkish President Erdogan later today designed to calm tensions in the region, heightened since Turkish forces began a military assault a week ago.
Ahead of that, Trump announced plans to pull back U.S. military personnel in the region to avoid getting caught up in a regional conflict.

The move has drawn widespread criticism from lawmakers, former military leaders and outside defense experts, who said it amounted to abandoning Kurdish allies in the region who had worked closely with American forces in the fight against the Islamic State group. The White House has announced sanctions against Turkey for the military aggression, and Congress is considering further restrictions this week.
While Trump said the U.S. withdrawal from the disputed border towns amounted to only “28 soldiers” assisting Kurdish military units, other U.S. military assets remain in the region.
“We have quite a contingent right nearby of soldiers and the finest equipment in the world. I don’t think we’ll have to use it,” he said.

“We’re not going to be fighting, we don’t want to be fighting. I don’t think there is any reason to anyway. … If Syria wants to fight for their land, that’s up to Turkey and Syria, as it has been for hundreds of years. For hundreds of years they have been fighting, as have been the Kurds. It’s a mess.
“They have a lot of sand over there. There is a lot of sand they can play with.”
Trump also downplayed concerns about the safety of Kurdish fighters without U.S. support.
“The Kurds know how to fight,” he said. “They’re not angels. They fought with us. We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us.”
The commander in chief dismissed concerns that the region conflict could complicate work at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, saying that the personnel and equipment there are safe. He also criticized the cost of stationing American troops near conflict zones around the world, saying that the United States needs to step away from such open-ended missions.

“If Turkey goes into Syria, that’s between Turkey and Syria. That’s not between Turkey and the United States, like a lot of stupid people would like you to believe,” he said.
“The plan is to get out of endless wars, to bring our troops home, to not be policing agents around the world. We’re in 90 counties in one form or another. We’re all over the world policing. And frankly, many of those countries don’t respect what we’re doing, they don’t like what we’re doing. And they don’t like us.”
Trump also downplayed concerns that the move could allow Islamic State group fighters to escape from prisons guarded by Kurdish forces and regroup in disputed regions.
“Every player there hates ISIS. Syria more than us. Russia more than us. They can handle it, they should handle it,” he said. “We should fight our own battles on our own territories.”
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
The US Literally Doesn’t Know How Many ISIS Fighters Have Escaped In Syria
OCT. 16, 2019
defense-large - Copy.jpg

“We just have less eyes on the ground to know for sure what is happening,” said one senior defense official.

For the better part of a year, Defense and State Department officials have been issuing dire warnings about the risk that thousands of captured ISIS fighters could escape from a network of makeshift prisons dotted across rebel-held territory in northern and eastern Syria.

Now, as the United States carries out a sudden and unplanned withdrawal from the country, senior officials across government say that the U.S. has no real idea how many fighters have already escaped amid the fierce fighting between Turkey and Kurdish fighters that Washington previously backed in the fight against ISIS.

“Nobody does,” a senior government official involved in the issue told Defense One.

The fear is that large-scale breakouts will allow ISIS, which survives in sleeper cells hidden among the population in Iraq and Syria, will be able to reconstitute itself with the return of experienced fighters to the battlefield. Last month, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ordered his followers to accelerate efforts to free fighters.

Until this week, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces were guarding roughly 10,000 captured fighters in detention facilities, plus tens of thousands of their family members in policed tent camps. Although the United States never took custody of the fighters itself, it offered training, equipment and help shoring up the converted prisons, and it unsuccessfully urged other nations to repatriate and try their fighters in their own courts. (Of those 10,000 fighters, around 2,000 of them are so-called “foreign fighters,” who traveled to the region from around 40 other countries to fight for ISIS. The remainder are from Iraq and Syria.)

But that fragile system fell apart when President Donald Trump ordered U.S. troops to get out of the way of a planned Turkish offensive against the SDF. The SDF began moving fighters across their territory to fight the Turks, leaving the already under-manned prisons with even fewer guards. And as the United States began the risky withdrawal of its 1,000 soldiers, it lost its ability to keep eyes on those prisons.

News of sporadic escapes has begun to trickle out of the region, including reports that roughly two dozen fighters had fled from two facilities in Qamishli city and rumors of escapes in the border town of Tel Abyad. Of particular concern to officials is the central prison in the northeastern city of Hassakeh, which houses some 5,000 detainees. So far, U.S. officials do not believe there have been any breakouts from that overcrowded facility.
“The detainee issue is challenged by our force-posture changes,” a senior defense official told reporters on Tuesday. “We just have less eyes on the ground to know for sure what is happening.”

“We do have reports of escapes,” the official said, but “I can’t confirm numbers, whether it be from prisons or the IDP camps” because “we’re just lacking in the corroborating information at this time.”

Two other officials who spoke to Defense One on the condition of anonymity suggested that the United States has a rough grasp of the numbers — for now — but isn’t confident enough in its intelligence to publicize them.

The Trump administration has insisted that Turkey is now “responsible” for the ISIS prisons that fall within their areas of occupation. But there is not expected to be a formal handover, since the force that is currently administering the facilities is engaged in active hostilities with the Turks. Trump, increasingly fed up with the issue, has attempted to wash his hands of the problem. “I offered ISIS prisoners to the European countries from where they came, and was rejected on numerous occasions. They probably figured that the U.S. would bear the tremendous cost as always!” he tweeted on Monday.

As this information vacuum expands, Turkey, Trump, and the SDF have all appeared to circulate some form of misinformation about the scale of the escapes. Kurdish officials have alleged that Turkish forces have launched airstrikes both on the prisons and the displaced persons camps, allowing for hundreds of escapes — a number that may or may not be inflated. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called those allegations “disinformation” designed to “provoke the U.S. and Europe.”

Trump, meanwhile, has alleged without evidence that the SDF is deliberately releasing prisoners to try to draw Washington into the conflict. “Easily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations from where many came, but they should move quickly,” he tweeted Monday.

Multiple U.S. officials said that there is no evidence that the SDF is releasing detainees, pointing instead to ground operations by Turkey-backed Syrian Arab fighters, some of whom are former ISIS fighters.

“The Kurds are doing everything they can, but once they are pushed out of an area with a prison it is up to who occupies it” to guard the prison, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “If it is TSO [Turkey-supported opposition forces], we are concerned they will let them go, as many are jihadist themselves.”

Not all of the 10,000 fighters are held in the area currently under siege by Turkish troops and their partner Syrian Arab militia units. But even appropriately guarded, officials who have visited the prison say they are hardly max-security facilities. Dozens of fighters are crammed in a single cell, security cameras don’t work or aren’t available, and cheap cement walls are crumbling.

Although Trump appears unworried by the chaotic situation, defense officials continue to express deep concerns about the potential escape of the prisoners.
“It continues to be one of our major, major concerns and why we’ve been so strong that the Turks are responsible for the prisons in their areas of occupation,” said the senior defense official
 

BATMAN

MEMBER
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
556
Reactions
544 5
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Escaped, where to?
Why undisclosed amount of fighters were in Kurd custody?
Why would Kurds separatists release them?

More of a reason for Turkey to justify buffer zone.
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
U.S. jets conduct airstrike on coalition base as troops leave Syria
By Darryl Coote
Oct. 17, 2019
US-jets-conduct-airstrike-on-coalition-base-as-troops-leave-Syria - Copy.jpg

(UPI) -- Two U.S. fighter jets conducted an airstrike on a U.S. coalition base in northern Syria after it had been vacated to prevent it from being utilized by other forces, a military official said.

Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins said the pre-planned strike at the Lafarge Cement Factory near the Turkish border in Syria targeted an ammunition cache to "reduce the facility's military usefulness."

The coordinated strike occurred after all personnel and tactical equipment had been removed from the base, he said.

The factory compound had been utilized as the headquarters for the coalition forces' mission targeting the Islamic State in Syria.


Earlier Wednesday, he said coalition forces were withdrawing from northeast Syria and had vacated the Lafarge Cement Factory and the cities of Raqqa and Tabqah.

On Tuesday, he told Fox News that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which had fought alongside the United States as part of the coalition, had set fire to compound before vacating the area.

"Our priority is protecting the remaining forces at the LCF as multiple forces converge in northeast Syria," Caggins said. "Coalition forces are executing a deliberate withdrawal from northeast Syria."

The strike comes as advancing Turkish forces move into northern Syria as part of Operation Peace Spring that began last week to clear it of Kurdish forces it views as terrorists.

The Turkish troops began their advance after U.S. troops were ordered to withdraw from the region by President Donald Trump -- a decision that has been met with national and international condemnation.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to condemn Trump's decision by a vote of 354-60.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in the first week of Operation Peace Spring, 300,000 people have been displaced and 360 SDF forces and 71 civilians, including 21 children, have been killed.
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
Pence, Pompeo arrive in Turkey to press Erdogan on Syrian invasion
Oct. 17, 2019
By Nicholas Sakelaris
Pence-Pompeo-arrive-in-Turkey-to-press-Erdogan-on-Syrian-invasion - Copy.jpg

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, with Vice President Mike Pence. Photo courtesy Secretary of State Mike Pompeo/Twitter

Oct. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Turkey Thursday hoping to convince Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop his military's deadly offensive in Syria.

Erdogan's forces began Operation Peace Spring a week ago in northeast Syria, to clear border territories of Kurdish fighters so Ankara can send back Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey.

"Our mission set is to see if we can get a cease-fire, see if we can get this brokered," Pompeo said Wednesday before leaving for Ankara.

Erdogan has rejected calls for a cease-fire and initially said he would only deal diplomatically with U.S. President Donald Trump. Late Wednesday, he relented and said he'd meet with the U.S. delegation.

In posting photos online of his arrival in Turkey, Pompeo called Thursday's discussions "critical." Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that the Turkish incursion is "not our problem."

"I am the only person who can fight for the safety of our troops & bring them home from the ridiculous and costly endless wars, and be scorned[?]" Trump asked Thursday. "Democrats always liked that position, until I took it. Democrats always liked walls, until I built them. Do you see what's happening here?"

The House overwhelmingly passed a resolution Wednesday condemning Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. The resolution passed with bipartisan support, including backing from Trump supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham.

"I don't agree with his construct that Turkey's invasion of Syria is of no concern," the South Carolina senator said.

BBC News reported Thursday that Trump urged Erdogan, in a letter dated Oct. 9, against the military offensive in Syria.

"You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people" the letter said. "And I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy -- and I will.

"History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen. Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!"

The report said Erdogan "thoroughly rejected" the letter and "put it in the [trash] bin."
 

Khafee

Professional
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
6,757
Reactions
6,104 263
U.S. jets conduct airstrike on coalition base as troops leave Syria
By Darryl Coote
Oct. 17, 2019
View attachment 11027
(UPI) -- Two U.S. fighter jets conducted an airstrike on a U.S. coalition base in northern Syria after it had been vacated to prevent it from being utilized by other forces, a military official said.

Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins said the pre-planned strike at the Lafarge Cement Factory near the Turkish border in Syria targeted an ammunition cache to "reduce the facility's military usefulness."

The coordinated strike occurred after all personnel and tactical equipment had been removed from the base, he said.

The factory compound had been utilized as the headquarters for the coalition forces' mission targeting the Islamic State in Syria.


Earlier Wednesday, he said coalition forces were withdrawing from northeast Syria and had vacated the Lafarge Cement Factory and the cities of Raqqa and Tabqah.

On Tuesday, he told Fox News that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which had fought alongside the United States as part of the coalition, had set fire to compound before vacating the area.

"Our priority is protecting the remaining forces at the LCF as multiple forces converge in northeast Syria," Caggins said. "Coalition forces are executing a deliberate withdrawal from northeast Syria."

The strike comes as advancing Turkish forces move into northern Syria as part of Operation Peace Spring that began last week to clear it of Kurdish forces it views as terrorists.

The Turkish troops began their advance after U.S. troops were ordered to withdraw from the region by President Donald Trump -- a decision that has been met with national and international condemnation.

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to condemn Trump's decision by a vote of 354-60.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in the first week of Operation Peace Spring, 300,000 people have been displaced and 360 SDF forces and 71 civilians, including 21 children, have been killed.
72674848_3108576465835533_6947197867152900096_o - Copy.jpg
 

TsAr

MEMBER
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
287
Reactions
582 6
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Turkish president 'threw Trump letter in bin'

Turkey's Erdogan 'threw Trump's Syria letter in bin'
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put US President Donald Trump's letter "in the bin", the BBC has been told.

In the letter dated 9 October, and sent after US troops were pulled out of Syria, Mr Trump told Mr Erdogan: "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!"

President Trump was urging Turkey not to launch a military offensive against Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria, but Mr Erdogan ignored this request.

US Vice President Mike Pence is now in Ankara to push for a ceasefire.

The US has faced intense criticism for the withdrawal of troops, which critics say gave Turkey the green light to launch the military attack.

The SDF is dominated by the members of a Kurdish militia called the People's Protection Units (YPG).

Turkey says the YPG is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a rebel group fighting for Kurdish autonomy in the region.

What did Trump's letter say?
In his letter to President Erdogan, Mr Trump wrote: "Let's work out a good deal! You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy - and I will.

"History will look upon you favourably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen."

In response, Turkish presidential sources told BBC Turkish: "President Erdogan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the bin."
 

Top