39

Apparently the press was curious too... After a hint that it was a Townhall article, it didn't take long to locate it. It's penned by Kurt Schlichter, and it does say pretty much what Trump said: I generally like the Kurds. I generally dislike the Turks. But they’ve been killing each other for a long time and no one has yet offered a sufficient reason why ...


8

Germany considers the PKK to be a terrorist organization. This goes back to some violence in 1993. At the same time, some Kurdish activists are organized in the "Democratic Kurdish Civic Center Germany," which is officially not part of the PKK. Their rallies must not show PKK insignia, since the PKK is banned as terrorists, or their activists may be ...


7

Pence and Pompeo haven’t achieved anything that wasn’t already in the making. Erdogan knew he had a limited number of days to complete his military action as, at least on paper, he was making himself an enemy of everyone. So, time was of essence. Pence’s and Pompeo’s visit was just a PR action for the White House that can now claim they haven’t let down the ...


7

First, it seems this was not a real/open veto, but what is called a hidden veto, i.e. one or more Permanent members of the UNSC expressing disagreement on the wording, so that no actual voting takes place. Unlike some Turkish sources, the Washington Post does not mention a veto having been exercised, but does note that both the US and Russia disagreed with ...


7

Turkey is a member of NATO, and thus is an ally of the Western "democracies". Sometimes when an ally crosses the line, it may be chided, but in private. If it crosses the line too often, then the government unhappy about this situation may, in public express its discontent. Turkey is too important an ally in the Mideast to be reprimanded in public. Don't ...


6

A state is souvereign when other states accept it as such. Whether or not one accepts a state is usually a question of what's in ones political interest. You might want to look at Wikipedia's list of states with limited recognition and look at the backgrounds for more information about why a state would or would not recognize another state. So if a ...


6

Trump has withdrawn some US troops in Syria to avoid interaction with the Turkish incursion into Northeastern Syria, an area the US and Kurds had control of. Turkey began a planned military offensive into northeastern Syria on Wednesday, launching airstrikes and artillery fire across the border just days after the Trump administration announced it was ...


5

The 1943 Barzani revolt was one of several attempts by Kurdish groups to gain self-determination and their own state. Its roots were in the 1931 revolt and it was triggered by economic issues in Iraq, not the war that was raging in much of the world: The impetus for Barzani's return was strictly economic, not nationalist nor caused by a desire to counter ...


5

Trump is just saying that the Kurds are rather irrelevant to US interests, in his view. Or perhaps that they are only relatively recent allies, so the US shouldn't feel too attached to them. He is not literally complaining that the Kurds could have but didn't help in Normandy. Later in the same press conference Trump draws an analogy between Turkey vs ...


4

It really depends. You have to remember that politically the Kurdish people are divided between the states of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey, and each segment of the Kurdish population has diverged slightly. While the Kurds in Syria are fighting ISIS and are proving to be much more reliable to the US than the Iraqi Army, the PKK, which is the communist ...


4

The Kurdish YPG is a core part of the SDF, the Syrian Democratic Force; and the French and the USA are supporting this militia with weapons and training in the fight against IS - it's this that's the benefit to the two western powers. For example, Macrons office "paid tribute to the sacrifices and determining role of the SDF" in the fight against IS. ...


3

According to news.com.au: Mr Trump issued a brief statement overnight saying that America “does not endorse this attack”. The Independent has that in more detail: The comment was made in a statement released by the White House, in which he claimed Turkey is committed to ensuring the safety of civilians, in spite of concerns that the country will target ...


3

Are there any instances of the PKK targeting civilians during the insurgency of 2015-present? Mostly no, not by themselves. On the other hand, there's a big debate whether the newly sprung TAK (Kurdistan Freedom Falcons), which has engaged in bombing of civilians in Turkey at large, is really unconnected to the PKK. The PKK says so, but (e.g.) the Obama ...


3

As you noted, there are now three players in the Syrian civil war: Assad forces, Syrian rebels (FSA, Ansar Al Cham, ...) and the Kurds. You seem to think that according to the "divide and conquer" principle, the two other players fighting would let Assad forces rest. The "divide and conquer" does not apply here. Why doesn't Iran want Turkey to fight the ...


3

It is all relative, but Kurds are probably less anti-Western than many other groups in the region. This is despite the fact that their hopes and dreams for a sovereign Kurdish nation (Kurds are divided between Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran and not treated very well in any of them by the official regimes of those countries nor by ISIS) have been rebuffed by ...


3

I can answer this using Wikipedia, as I've seen in the past that there are articles on relationships between countries. Currently United States has official policy towards the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq. US Kurdish policy starting initially with "contacts" to a covert "relationship" and finally to an overt "...


3

This is an old question, but by now it is very clear that Russia is supporting the YPG. In February 2016 the Rojava administration opened a kind of diplomatic office in Moscow, their first anywhere. In March 2017 it was further announced that Russia will build another military base in Syria specifically to train and support the YPG in fighting ISIS. There ...


2

Because there are no links between PKK and YPG. The question as posed is non-sensical. It uses suggestive term "links" which isn't the actual reality (at least not reality based on the data you yourself use to support your statement, that is the statement by Ash Carter - or rather by Senator Graham). During testimony before a Senate panel, Ash Carter ...


2

The US State Department actually keeps a list, although to make the list an organization has to not only be terrorist in nature, but has to threaten US citizens or interests (so theoretically, WWII partisans in enemy occupied territory would not make this list). As far as Kurdish groups go, it looks like the PKK (based in Turkey) is on the list, as is AQKB (...


1

Mention of US companies is conspicuously absent from the Wikipedia article on Syria's oil industry. The few European companies that were previously operating in Syria have stopped due to sanctions. And even though Russia alleges that the US is involved in theft of Syrian oil it doesn't seem to be suggesting US oil companies are part of this.


1

Apparently the answer is that the US is happy with however the SDF interpreted that: “Today the Vice President received a letter from General Mazloum (Kobani) notifying him that all SDF forces have withdrawn from the relevant area of operations,” said Pence spokeswoman Katie Waldman. “The Vice President welcomes this development and sees it as having ...


1

Has Pence essentially granted Kurdish Syrian territory to Turkey, subject to Russian approval? How can the USA grant something that isn't theirs to give? It's Syrian territory - Syria and Russia have the final say in this. Note that the five day cease fire allows Syrian troops to enter the area. If anything at all, this cease fire allows Syria to oppose ...


1

The New York Times - Syria Live Updates shows a map of the "Turkish Buffer Zone" that includes M4 (see the narrow line that runs right along the border). It seems to be largely inside, though Ain Issa (which was attacked by Turkey and is on the M4) is outside it.


1

Well, insofar it looks like Russia hopes the presence of its ground troops will give Turkey pause from pressing their attacks, at least in some areas: The Russian military announced Tuesday that its troops are patrolling the Syrian-Turkey border town of Manbij, immediately backfilling a vacuum left by U.S. troops who departed on Monday. Russian military ...


1

Some more Reuters news on Oct 13: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday the United States was poised to evacuate about 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria after learning that Turkey planned to extend its incursion further south and west than originally planned. That's still somewhat vaguely phrased. I'm not sure that means complete withdrawal ...


1

I'm not terribly knowledge about the region and am figuring out a lot of this as I go, so I welcome any informed challenge on anything I say here. But my hypothesis right now is that it would be mistaken to assume that popular support for the PKK in Turkey and and the YPG in Syria are primarily based on their political ideologies. In each country, Kurds in ...


1

In addition to the conquest of Raqqa, I think you could also make a case for the following additional objectives: Creation of an IS-free corridor to Deir A-Zor (either for allowing the SAA to strengthen its position there or for conquering it). They were pushing towards Deir A-Zor intermittently with the push towards Raqqa. Maintaining, solidifying and ...


1

The origins of the YPG ("People's Protection Units") are closely associated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a parliamentary opposition party founded in 2003. Almost immediately, but especially after an ethnic riot in 2004, the PYD faced violent repression and harassment from the Syrian regime. It seems that the YPG (or at least some more rudimentary ...


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