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Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Syrian Kurdish YPG

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Syrian Kurdish YPG

The Turkish defense has made statements saying the attack against its troops were backed by the United States.

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish YPG an extension of the PKK and launched its operation in Syria to sweep the fighters from its southern border.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed frustration at what he called seven trillion dollars of spending in the Middle East.

Now the administration assures us that it has an even better idea, an extended occupation by combat troops amid multiple contending armed forces, highlighted by forcing Assad from office, fixing war-ravaged areas, building up Kurdish forces, satisfying the Turkish government, banishing Tehran's influence, and avoiding confrontation with Russian Federation.

Seriously? Officials in Washington, with a few troops on the ground, are going to deter terrorist organizations, constrain Iran, end sectarian fighting, cow Moscow, and create a democratic Syria?

The HDP is the only political party in Turkey to oppose the operation.

"The specter of the world's worst civil war in decades is becoming demonstrably worse by the week - and even more complicated by the actions of outside forces - creating a flawless storm of chaos and suffering in Syria", the Soufan Center said in an analysis of the situation.

Turkey has threatened to target Manbij, another Syrian town held by the YPG, in its next move, but the United States has refused to withdraw its troops from the town as demanded by Ankara, heightening the risk of a direct confrontation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

There are less than 1,000 IS fighters estimated remaining in Iraq and Syria.

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In the last few weeks alone, Turkey has clashed with Syrian Kurds and threatened a USA -controlled town in Syria; an Israeli fighter jet that was part of a response to an incursion into Israeli territory by an Iranian drone launched from Syria took Syrian anti-aircraft fire, forcing its two pilots to eject and parachute into Israeli territory; and US forces repelled an attack by Russian fighters, killing an unknown number of them that reports suggest could be in the hundreds.

Residents speak of a rapidly worsening humanitarian situation, adding that medical supplies are running low. Not only could Iran move to position its allied Iraqi militia proxies to challenge any Turkish drive southward, it also could pressure the Iraqi government to not join the Turks in such an endeavor. He stressed that the two countries still share goals for Syria and the United States recognizes Turkey's security concerns.

The sprawling region, where rebels launch rockets on Damascus, has been a particular thorn in the government's side for years, and Assad appears determined to recapture it at all costs.

The commissioner said the "no-holds-barred nature" of the assault included attacks on nine medical facilities and the death of 277 civilians between February 4 and February 9 in both Idlib and Eastern Ghouta. At least 2 million people live In Idlib, the largest area controlled by the opposition.

In the year after a failed coup in July 2016, Turkey arrested more than 50,000 people and fired 150,000, including many from the police, army and judiciary. Following the incident, Israel has steadily enhanced its air campaign in Syria against what it calls "Iranian targets".

A new chapter in the Syrian war has begun with the invasion of Turkey in Northern Syria.

With the defeat of the Islamic State, Syria's civil war has changed form. Alas, genuine moderates were few and ineffective, so Washington ended up backing more radical groups.

"So we hope to have talks about how we can work cooperatively to lessen those threats to Turkey but ultimately achieve the objective in Syria, which is the full and enduring defeat of ISIS, the de-escalation of violence in Syria", and progress with peace talks that stabilize Syria, Tillerson said. But she acknowledged the Turkish campaign in Afrin "is one of the areas of deep, deep concern on the part of the [Trump] administration and the USA government". Protesters in European capitals claim that the Kurds have been fighting to stop ISIS in Afrin and in other parts of Northern Syria.

"I think in terms of this observation that the USA has little leverage or role to play is simply false", Tillerson said at a briefing Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. Last week, the US retaliated against an attempted assault against a Syrian Democratic Forces base with a massive strike on pro-Assad forces. "Then they will understand that it is better for them to not to stand alongside the terrorists", the Turkish president told the parliament.


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