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07 October 2019


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The US is only pulling back from the border, the Kurds can still remain in the US Syrian protectorate further to the South, their dreams of an independent Kurdish homeland with its own borders was never going to materialize. I think the recognition of that is what has them upset.

You can dislike Erdogan but he is pretty smart playing the Russian's off against the US to get what he wants in Northern Syria, its not even a country any more just a carved up piece of land where everyone gets a piece of the pie, Russian naval base, Turkish border zone, US buffer against the Iranians and Shiite. I think the Syrians must be realizing they have been played by Putin and the Russians at this point and they were never going to get their country back.

Trump is right in the longer term, get out and let the Jihadi's go back to operating in southern Russia and eastern China and let them deal with it. Not sure Trump can pull that off but anything that annoys Graham, Clinton, Rubio and Hailey is a good thing.


I admire the POTUS' gutsy and principled stance, especially in light of the status of the never-ending Impeachment Saga. While his base will be heartened and supportive, this puts his political viability in DC at risk. I have to admit I'm in awe of Trump's courage.


If the US force is not leaving and are not guarding the prisoners or fighting IS what are they going to do, watch their allies being slaughtered. Do they expect the SDF Kurds to remain in south east and do their biding? I would expect them to take all their US supplied kit and head back to NW and defend their home land in which case I would not want to be an American in Syria as there aren't enough of them to fight the the jihadis who must still be in the area let alone the Kurds if the decide to take revenge for their betrayal. If they had had adequate warning they could have negotiated terms with the Syrian government but it seems too late now. Time to cross the Euphrates and take back the east?


jjackson As I understand this, the US is leaving the SDF area.


“throughout my life of service I have seen this tendency on our part displayed many times”

Col. Lang,

Where does this tendency come from in your opinion?

- Eliot


PYD (made of YPG/YPJ) says they want to fight turk invasion.

The fighting in Afrin has shown that Kurdish forces, like many other guerrillas in the Middle East, are unable to protect themselves from air forces. This is the main cause of Kurdish casualties (about 820 dead, YPG/YPJ women and men and about 1200 civilians) in 1 month. This intolerable rate explains their defeat.

I dream that some Colonel, at the Pentagon or the National Security Council, shows a little pity towards these loyal and effective allies and gives them alms for some Manpad (portable anti-aircraft weapons). A few shot down F16s should calm the fury of flying killers....
Controlling their use should not be difficult.
PR wise, they could say that these weapons were stolen and paid by Israel.

Barbara Ann



I have been saying to anyone who would listen that Trump has sold out to the neocons. This event makes me think that I have been completely wrong.

What if Putin and Erdogan have a secret alliance? They have convergent interests - the US tried to depose Erdogan and arguably Russia has more to offer Turkey than the US does. If R+6 becomes R+6+Turkey ... they can build an energy corridor through Turkey and together have a monopoly/oligopoly on hydrocarbons pipelined into Europe. Everyone who can feed natural gas to Turkey (from the east) is allied with R+6. Putin has a good track record of not betraying his partners. Turkey knows it is never going to get into the EU.

Turkey gets control of Kurdish areas long enough to cleanse them, Assad gets the rest of Syria, and the USA's reputation as a partner is further degraded.



You mean all those oceans that separate the US from Iran aren't a buffer but we need ground forces in Syria, which is not adjacent to Iran at all, to serve as a buffer. That's even worse map reading than most Americans accomplish.

Jim Ticehurst

Strange timing I think..On This Date..October 7...2001......The Bush League Invaded Afghanistan..Killed all the Bad guys..Stabilized the whole Region..Let Iraq and Iran solve their own Problems..Our Troops came home..and Every American President since then have made Wise Decisions after good Council from their Security Advisors..The IC.. and Cabinets..Leaving The United States Happy...Secure..and Free of Corruption..and the Most Stable Government and Society in the World..Im ready For Thanksgiving..There are no Shortages of "TURKEYS".. "Gravy" or ""Greasy Palms."".in America..'

JP Billen

Erdogan will enlist ISIS into his TFSA to use against the Kurds and then later against Assad.

And nothing was said about a withdrawal of the 200 US troops at al-Tanf. Will they stay and continue blocking the al-Waleed border crossing on the Damascus-Baghdad Highway? Or will Trump keep them there to appease Israel. That road may have less importance now due to the opening of the northern route at the al-Qaim crossing, but that route is much longer and still needs major rebuilding in some areas.

If Trump was serious about rejecting neocon advice, he would get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.


Could this withdrawal be a sign that Israel be losing its grip on Trump? In the past the Kurds were supported and trained by Israel, mostly, I suspect, to make mischief against Iraq, Iraq, and probably even Turkey.

With the Israeli government in turmoil for the foreseeable future, this would be an ideal moment for a course correction and would be much welcomed … though the usual suspects (neocons) must be apoplectic!


akaPatience, Say what??? Abandoning a proxy force & genuflecting to an
Islamist is "gutsy and principled"? Please consider me neither "heartened"
nor "supportive" & I'm trying to remain part of Trump's base primarily
because the alternatives are completely unacceptable @ this time.

Jim S

The SDF might have taken a hint the last time this was threatened, more than half a year ago. Then again my understanding is that the leadership we've been dealing with is more on the gangster side of things (please correct any misapprehension) and may not have such foresight. Damascus will have taken the hint and Moscow will not have needed it; perhaps the SDF is not blind, or perhaps it has had help reading the tea leaves.

Would a relatively bloodless incursion be a weak or a strong indicator of a tacit agreement, sir? Violent clashes would indicate surprise, or at least that the US has isolated the Kurds from meaningful communication with Damascus.



I think that the Puritan culture brought with it a disdain of anyone different and now we are all infected with that It is easy to betray the "little people."

Jim Ticehurst

Colonel..Typo..Correction...Its EASY..to Betray....


At this point the Kurds have physical possession of the ISIS fighters. Can they just march them over to Syrian government territory and give them to Assad?

Jim Ticehurst

the best Readout I Have read today for some Background on The Syria Story..was to go to the AP Website..Posted One Hour ago..Heading…"trump sends Strong ,Conflicting Signals on Syria.."..By Lita Balder..Matthew Lee...and Robert Burn..



That Kurd/Israel BS is Arab propaganda. Israel in the past helped Turkey against the Kurdish PKK. And in 1982 the Kurds went to Lebanon to fight alongside the Palestinian Resistance against the Israeli occupation.

Barbara Ann

Actually you are right, this is very much Trump being Trump. He has at a stroke trashed the Borg's Rojava nation-building plans. A betrayal? I see it more as tough love. Perhaps Trump finally figured out (probably with help) that the only way he'd be able to extricate US forces from Syria was if the Kurds reconciled with Damascus. And the only way they were going to do that was under threat of extermination from Turkey.

From all the hyperbole in the more rabidly pro-Erdogan Turkish press over a 'terror corridor' on the southern border, it is clear that Erdogan sees the ongoing US presence in Syria as the real threat. I think it quite possible he and Trump have agreed a mutually beneficial arrangement. If the Kurds do now finally reconcile with Damascus how long before the SAA cross the Euphrates?


Just because President Trump tweeted
this does not mean it will happen.
Seems as he is surrounded by people intent on carrying out agenda other than what President Trump has specified.

English Outsider

The Kurds are weak in part of that area and are having to suppress an increasingly restive Arab population. There was earlier a suggestion that they might reconcile with the SAA in such circumstances as these. Is this still possible?


''Could this withdrawal be a sign that Israel be losing its grip on Trump? In the past the Kurds were supported and trained by Israel, mostly, I suspect, to make mischief against Iraq, Iraq, and probably even Turkey.''

I don't know but the Israelis are howling that this means America has deserted Israel.
Graham,Schumer and Pelosi also howling, Jewish Israeli think tanks like FDD also howling betrayal of Kurds and Israel.



Sorry elaine but I disagree and don't see why we should remain in Syria. Trump was elected in part by those of us who are fed up with perpetual wars.



As for this being an ideal moment - it is also Yom Kippur.

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