World Biden faces test as Turkey prepares new attack on Syrian Kurds
Syria's Bashar al-Assad Returns to World Stage in Defeat for US, Win for its Foes
The Syrian leader, once a political pariah, is now being welcomed back by many of the countries that cut him off 10 years ago, despite ongoing U.S. opposition.One by one, countries severed ties with Assad and his government, including the U.S., which imposed economic sanctions in 2011 and shuttered its embassy for good in 2012.
In January 2018, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch. It was designed to capture and the Afrin District of northern Syria. In October 2019, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to control, via Turkey’s Arab proxies, the population centers from around Tell Abyad to Ras al-Ayn. Get ready for incursion No. 3.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan justifies the looming offensive as a response to a rocket attack thattwo Turkish policemen. Those officers were acting as occupation authorities in Syria’s Azaz region, north of Aleppo. Turkey appears to blame the incident on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) operating near , which the YPG captured in 2016.
Puppet Little Amal arrives in UK after journey across Europe
LONDON (AP) — A giant puppet of a Syrian refugee child created to symbolize millions of displaced children landed Tuesday on the coast of southeast England on the last leg of a 5,000-mile (8,000-kilometer) journey across Europe from the border of Syria. The 11.5-foot (3.5-meter) puppet named Little Amal — a name meaning “hope” in Arabic — was greeted by actor Jude Law on the Folkestone seafront. The puppet, operated by three people, has travelled through much of Europe after setting off from the Turkish-Syrian border in July and has been greeted by thousands of people along the way, including Pope Francis in Rome.“Little Amal is 3.
In recent days, Erdogan’s government has reportedly signaled to both Moscow and Washington that it wants to launch a new attack. Turkey’s state-controlled pressthat Turkey seeks to move 20 miles into Syria in order to drive the YPG from Manbij, Qamishli, and Kobane. That latter city is where the YPG broke the Islamic State’s siege and turned the tide of the war against the self-declared caliphate.
While neither President Vladimir Putin nor President Joe Biden has approved the operation in the manner that President Donald Trump and his envoy James Jeffreyin 2019, Turkey appears undeterred. Russian forces have reportedly some of their positions in Syria in case Turkey makes its move.
Biden may face within days his first major test in the Middle East. What is at issue, after all, has never been terrorism. The Turks are hard-pressed to back their accusations of cross-border Kurdish terrorism with evidence. Turkey’s currency, meanwhile, is in free fall, as is what remains of Erdogan’s popularity. True to form, the Turkish leader appears now to take a page out of the distraction playbook of Argentine military dictator Leopoldo Galtieri, who ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982, and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who in 1990 ordered the invasion of Kuwait.
The US must expel Turkey's ambassador
Secretary of State Antony Blinken should declare Turkish ambassador Serdar Kılıç persona non grata. © (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool) Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party members, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, July 26, 2019. Erdogan says Turkey is determined to destroy what he called a "terror corridor" in northern Syrian regardless of whether or not Turkey and the United States agree on the establishment of a safe zone. Turkish and U.S. officials have been holding talks for a safe zone east of the river Euphrates to address Turkey's security concerns.
The mismanagement by the Argentine and Iraqi dictators bankrupted their countries. Both the Argentine peso and Iraqi dinar were devalued to the point of worthlessness. Both leaders nevertheless harbored delusions of grandeur and sought to use nationalism to distract their public from the looming implosion of their economies. Adding to Erdogan’s current adventurism is the looming centenary of modern Turkey’s founding — oh, and the fact that the West has excused, turned a blind eye to, and evenpast Turkish aggression.
While Biden has positioned himself as the anti-Trump, he may shortly need to decide if he will repeat Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds, an action that led to the resignations of Defense Secretary James Mattis and then-Special Envoy (and now Biden national security aide) Brett McGurk. Given McGurk’s public statements in the wake of the Trump betrayal, it would be difficult for McGurk to remain in the administration and to retain moral credibility, though ambition may lead him to try. The alternative strategy for Biden would be for him to redouble aid and assistance to the Kurds and perhaps even enhance the American military presence in the region, an action Biden appears unprepared to order.
Biden Leaves Afghanistan, Pulls Back in Iraq, But U.S. Troops Fight On in Syria
A prominent independent politician in Syria told Newsweek that "the best interests of the U.S." could "only be achieved with a stable working relationship with the Syrian government."But in Syria, the U.S. military remains with no discernable exit strategy.
Biden’s inner circle may continue to spin the recent Afghanistan disaster as inevitable if not wise, but it was neither. They may also believe that what happens in Afghanistan stays in Afghanistan, but it does not. Autocrats are attracted to American weakness the way flies are to honey. The perception that America is weak, combined with Erdogan’s ego and domestic problems, suggests a perfect storm is brewing.
Michael Rubin () is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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Turkey plans to deport Syrian refugees for posting TikTok videos of them eating bananas in a 'provocative' way .
Turkey has opened deportation proceedings against seven Syrian migrants accused of "humiliating" Turks by eating bananas in a viral TikTok trend.Al-Monitor reported that the challenge, which Syrians across the globe have participated in, was inspired by a viral video of a Turkish man complaining he could no longer afford bananas. He went on to claim that Syrian refugees could buy "kilos" of the fruit.