US and Turkish defense chiefs disagree on Syrian Kurds

US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar met in Washington on Friday to discuss the creation of a buffer zone in northern Syria, after the subject was first cleared between Presidents Donald Trump and Tayyip Erdogan. A Turkish statement said: “The two Ministers reiterated the importance of the deep-rooted strategic partnership between Turkey and the US as well as the ongoing cooperation within the NATO alliance, including in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq and NATO maritime activities” while “reiterating Turkey’s concern over US support of the [Syrian Kurdish] YPG/PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK.” DEBKAfile adds: The two sides failed to agree on the key issue, since Turkey refused to promise not to attack the US-allied YPG militia which it deems a terrorist group. At the same time, Erdogan has refrained for ordering his army to enter Syria in view of objections from both US and Russia, which also opposes a buffer zone.

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6 thoughts on “US and Turkish defense chiefs disagree on Syrian Kurds

  • Feb 23, 2019 @ 11:33 at 11:33

    The Israeli forces in Rojava must pack up completely and bug out pronto – their American cover is on the road home

    • Feb 24, 2019 @ 4:18 at 4:18

      I would say that Iran’s proxies in Syria and Lebanon should pack up and get the heck back home to Iran before someone gets hurt.Duchess of Rojava? aren’t you supposed to be in England duchess?

  • Feb 23, 2019 @ 18:46 at 18:46

    let the “buffer zone” be on turkey’s side of the fence.

  • Feb 23, 2019 @ 23:06 at 23:06

    The nations that are opposing the Kurds, and cheering on Erdogan’s genocide, are:
    Turkey, Iran, and Iraq.
    Turkey is primarily Sunni Muslim, but, Erdogan challenges the Saudi leadership of the religion because of his own dreams of a Caliphate, headed by himself.
    Iran is Shiite Muslim, headed by the Ayatollah, sworn enemy of the Sunnis.
    Iraq is primarily Shiite Muslim, and, were it not for the presence of US troops, would be a satellite of Iran.
    So, why haven’t the Saudis, Eqyptians, and Emerites stepped up and supported the Kurds?

  • Feb 24, 2019 @ 2:10 at 2:10

    @ Syd Chade, these countries are probably providing support to the Kurds at the moment (behind the scene). They cannot do much without US approval though.

  • Feb 24, 2019 @ 4:48 at 4:48

    What about this base that supposedly is being built to house the US and foreign forces that are to be withdrawn from Syria? What is the real purpose of this base? Anything? And, can so few western forces in a remote Iraqi base really restrain the major players in the region, such as Turkey and Iran?

    And why, Debka, is it the case that the other US Arab allies are not able to do much without US approval? Are their forces so vulnerable and ill-trained and equipped? Does the West not trust them to enter combat without US support? ? Have we not supplied them enough? Are they only able to attack Yemenite civilians and Houthis?

    Something is wrong with this picture.


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