Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkey: Regime assails US over ties with Syrian Kurdish militia

Source: Washington Post

“Turkey’s foreign minister assailed the United States on Monday, claiming that American forces in Syria are intentionally stalling the fight against Islamic State militants as an excuse not to cut ties with Syrian Kurdish militiamen as Ankara has demanded. Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Istanbul that U.S. forces are leaving ‘pockets’ with IS militants intact to justify continued cooperation with the Kurdish militia. Speaking ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson later this week, Cavusoglu said Turkey’s ties with the U.S. are at a make-or-break stage and that Washington needs to take ‘concrete steps’ to regain Turkey’s trust.” [editor’s note: Step one is to withdraw all US troops and all US material support from Syria. Step two is to withdraw all US troops and all US material support, including NATO membership, from Turkey – TLK] (02/12/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/turkey-assails-us-over-ties-with-syrian-kurdish-militia/2018/02/12/bc006a88-0fde-11e8-a68c-e9374188170e_story.html

Vatican City: Turkey’s Erdogan meets with Pope Francis

Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Pope Francis on Monday, the first Vatican visit by a Turkish head of state since 1959. Despite previous clashes, the two leaders found common ground on Jerusalem after the US unilaterally recognized the city as the capital of Israel. … Pope Francis and Erdogan were also expected to discuss terrorism, the migration crisis and Syria, where Turkey last month launched an offensive against Kurdish forces in Afrin near the Turkish border.” (02/05/18)

http://www.dw.com/en/turkeys-erdogan-meets-with-pope-francis-during-rome-visit/a-42453574

Russia: Syria opposition missing from Sochi talks

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

“Russia-hosted talks on the war in Syria are being held in Sochi without the representation of any major opposition group. Turkey-backed rebel figures have refused to leave the Russian city’s airport in a last-minute protest. An amateur video obtained by Al Jazeera on Tuesday showed a group of Syrian opposition delegates, who had arrived from Ankara late on Monday, waiting for a flight back to Turkey. ‘Late last night, there was a kerfuffle down at the airport here — distressed Turkish officials running around trying to persuade a group of Turkish-backed opposition delegates to leave the airport,’ said Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Sochi, referring to Monday evening. ‘They apparently didn’t want to come out of the airport buildings because they had seen Syrian government flags plastered all over the branding for this Sochi conference, and that upset them.'” (01/30/18)

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/syria-opposition-missing-russia-sochi-talks-180130084154156.html

Syrian Kurds: The other woman in America’s relationship with Turkey

Source: Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“Ankara is increasingly angry at Washington’s cozy military and political ties to the Syrian Kurds. There are understandable reasons for Ankara’s discontent. The United States has sent extensive arms to Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State, and there have been few indications that the flow will cease even though ISIS was on the verge of collapse by late 2017. The Erdogan government finally extracted a promise from President Trump in November to terminate weapons shipments, but Washington subsequently sent decidedly inconsistent signals. Despite Trump’s promise regarding arms transfers, the administration essentially deputized the Syrian Kurds to suppress remaining pockets of Islamic extremism in northern Syria and to guard the border with Turkey, infuriating Ankara. Turkey’s anger has now exploded into airstrikes and massive artillery barrages on two Kurdish-controlled districts in northern Syria.” (01/29/18)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/syrian-kurds-other-woman-americas-relationship-turkey

Kick Turkey out of NATO

Source: Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo

“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949, over the objections of conservatives like Sen. Robert A. Taft, as a supposed bulwark of ‘democracy’ against the allegedly rising tide of totalitarianism, which the American people were told was about ready to cross the stormy Atlantic and land on our shores. Bolsheviks in Brooklyn! Well, we have them there today, but they’re the homegrown variety: the old-fashioned Soviet types are long gone: another fake ‘threat’ that enriched the panic-mongers and robbed the rest of us.” (01/29/18)

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/01/28/kick-turkey-nato/

US regime says Turkish invasion of Syria is disruptive (apparently the US invasion of Syria isn’t?)

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Turkey’s air and ground offensive against Kurds in northwestern Syria has distracted from international efforts to finish off the Islamic State group and has disrupted humanitarian relief work, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday. Mattis raised the matter in an exchange with reporters after unrelated meetings in the Indonesia capital with senior government officials. He made clear that while the U.S. sympathizes with Turkey’s concerns about border security, Washington wants the Turks to minimize their military action inside Syria.” (01/23/18)

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/politics/article/Mattis-says-Turk-offensive-in-Syria-is-disruptive-12517352.php

Syria: Turkish forces commence invasion after days of airstrikes

Source: CNN

“Turkey launched a ground operation across the border into northern Syria on Sunday, in a move likely to raise tensions with the United States. Turkish officials said the troops entered the Afrin area a day after Turkish jets pounded targets there in an attempt to drive US-allied Kurdish militia from the area. ‘Operation Olive Branch is ongoing as planned and the ground operation has started,’ the Turkish armed forces said in a statement. The land operation comes hours after Turkish jets targeted US-backed, Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia in the area, killing at least eight people and injuring 13, according to the Syrian Democratic Forces General Command.” (01/21/18)

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/21/middleeast/turkey-military-forces-enter-syria-intl/index.html

Syria: Turkey begins offensive against US-backed Kurdish forces

Source: The Hill

“Turkey’s military says it has begun attacking Kurdish-held positions in Syria’s Afrin region, including reportedly firing on positions held by a group that the U.S. has backed in the past. Reuters reports that the Turkish military fired on positions held by three Kurdish-majority groups including the YPG, a militia of Syrian Kurdish fighters that had been allied with coalition forces in the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Turkey views the group as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is considered by both Turkey and the U.S. to be a terrorist group. … A Turkish military leader told NATO leaders in Brussels this week that Turkey would not allow coalition forces to continue arming the YPG, according to Reuters.” (01/20/18)

http://thehill.com/policy/international/369912-turkey-begins-military-offense-against-us-backed-kurdish-forces

Russian, Turkish regimes condemn US regime’s plans for escalation of Syria invasion

Source: Washington Post

“Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria’s international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq. The coalition told The Associated Press Monday that 230 new cadets have already been recruited to the force, which is anticipated to reach 30,000 troops in the next several years. According to the coalition, the core of the force is to be made up of fighters from the existing Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, the coalition’s main ally in the fight against Islamic State militants. The SDF currently controls nearly 25 percent of Syrian territory in the north and east.” (01/15/18)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/us-coalition-230-cadets-recruited-for-syria-border-force/2018/01/15/092bea6a-f9d4-11e7-9b5d-bbf0da31214d_story.html

US, Turkish regimes mutually lift visa restrictions

Source: Reuters

“The United States and Turkey lifted all visa restrictions on Thursday after Washington said Ankara had kept to assurances no further U.S. mission staff would be targeted for performing official duties, following detention of two earlier this year. But Turkey swiftly denied having granted such assurances in the affair that has tested relations since the two local employees of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul were held on suspicion of ties to last year’s failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan.” (12/28/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-turkey-visa/u-s-turkey-mutually-lift-visa-restrictions-ending-months-long-row-idUSKBN1EM1AX