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13 October 2019


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There's lots of talk about a US withdrawal. But when will that take place? And who will issue the order? As of Friday US SF were still there. Apparently they were free to talk publicly to Fox, but they never heard about Trump's order!

It seems like the chain of command is broken. Isn't it time for some heads to roll at DOD to reestablish the chain of command?

robt willmann

France appears to have suspended the delivery of some war materiel to Turkey because of the offensive by Turkey into Syria--


Babak Makkinejad


Trump had nothing to do with this except knowing when to fold them.

The Twisted Genius

Babak, he didn't even have to know when to fold them. All he had to do was fold them when he was told to fold them. Still, that was only possible because Trump has no ideological bent for neocon forever wars.

The Twisted Genius

The order for withdrawal was only given today. Prior to this, it was only a pullback of a small number of troops.



Who would have told him to fold them? Who?

The Twisted Genius

Erdogan reportedly "rolled" Trump in their phone call. Putin no doubt also made his wishes clear. I have no idea if Putin and Erdogan coordinated leading up to the US pullback. I wouldn't at all be surprised if Putin set Erdogan up.

JP Billen

According to the NYT, the withdrawal of US forces is only from northern Syria. Trump is leaving the Special Forces troops in southern Syria at al-Tanf in place for now.


He seems to still have a stick up his backside about Iran. Must have got a last minute call from Netanyahu.

JP Billen

John H,

The US troops in Syria were following their chain of command. On Friday, SecDef Esper briefed that American troops were only leaving the Turkish border area. And also that the Pentagon was considering sending more troops to Syria to act as force protection for those already there.

Late Saturday night Esper changed his tune. Probably after he learned the Turkish artillery deliberately bracketed the US OP on Mashtenour Hill. Now they are taking them all out except for the small unit in southern Syria. It could take a short time to get them out. You can't just snap your fingers and make them disappear.



Does it matter how he “folded”? The bottom line is unlike Bush and Obama he dumped on the neocons and ordered US forces out of Syria fulfilling a campaign promise. That’s of course dependent on if US troops actually leave. In any case he’s got splodey heads in neocon central. Just read the tweets from Max Boot, Billy Kristol and even Hillary.

The same people that got us into the Middle East Quicksand, 8 Trillion Dollars and many thousands of lives (and millions of lives when you count the other side), are now fighting to keep us there. Don’t listen to people that haven’t got a clue. They have proven to be inept!


yt kealoha

Too bad trump just moved them all to Saudi

John Merryman

Isn't this just blowback for the latest effort to impeach him?

Christian J Chuba

At a minimum this means that all of Syria will now benefit from their oil fields, not just the 5% of the population that is Kurdish and the handful of Sunni Arabs that joined them.

Regarding my obsession, the MSM, I hate them because they are the Praetorian guard for the Borg. CNN, et al, cannot bring themselves to call this Syrian territory that rightfully belongs to the Syrian Arab Republic. They are all sputtering, 'the Kurds were forced to make a deal with our enemy, the regime in Damascus. This is a victory for the Russians.' How can you call this reporting, this is pure propaganda. I wouldn't hate them if they would just come out and say, 'we are state media' but they hold themselves up as the fifth estate, the watchogs, just because they hate the President who has the least impact on bureaucracy that outlasts him.

ted richard

focusing our attention on the day to day machinations of turkey and kurds and usa troops is like looking at a map of the mississippi river as it winds its way down missouri towards new orleans.

the only thing that matters is the river empties at new orleans just as the only thing that matters is syria will become whole once again. those with real power have decided it so.

ignore the day to day news and all the sound and fury coming from the usual suspects as they signify nothing.

Christian J Chuba

Crafty Erdogan

There is an article on www.checkpointasia.net, can't link to it directly now because for some reason my employer considers it porn (one of my favorite sites). In any case, it said that in the run up to the Turkish invasion while we were negotiating a 'safe zone' one of the agreements was to demolish Kurdish fortifications along the border. I guess that makes sense, if you agree to a zone 20 miles back from the border. The Turks launched their attack after all of the fortifications were leveled.

I believe it.

Babak Makkinejad

He has committed the United States to a long war against Iran.

He has also done the same thing in Palestine, viz. condemned Israel to a long war against Islam.

Let us see if he is going to permit Saudis to end their war in Yemen.


Here is the link:


Barbara Ann


At one level yourself and @ted richard are right that the outcome is what is important. However, I think how this was done is of supreme interest. Even if the SDF reconciliation was a happy accident, the sheer audacity of Trump's decision, expressed through Esper, is awe inspiring. It is absolutely clear he is not afraid to take on the Borg now and with Bolton gone who knows what else he might achieve?

But if this was a premeditated plan to provide a near death experience for the Kurds with the explicit aim of engineering a SAG/Russian takeover there are many fascinating questions: Whose plan was it? Who was in on it (I would not rule out Erdogan)? When was it conceived? How was coordination with Trump's pull out order achieved? If, as seems highly likely, Trump was not the architect, how was he able to trust that following through on his part (the withdrawal order) was not a trap? Additionally, other questions arise in respect of the Borg's response. Do they know/suspect they have been had? Will they identify (from their POV) the mole or communication channels used to ‘collude’? What will be their reaction if similar tactics are tried again in Iraq, or even Afghanistan?

So much of this seems unknowable right now, but even if what happened yesterday was not orchestrated and I think it likely was, we seem to be in a different FP paradigm today.

The Twisted Genius

To All:
This information is from JohninMK who posted this comment on another thread. He is reposting a twitter thread from Danny Makki from London who describes himself as a recovering Damascene and Syria analyst.
This is a twitter post, I hope I can post it here. The SAA have already taken over the whole Al-Taqba area including the dam and airfield. As an indication of how welcome the SAA are it seems that most of the soldiers are being transported in buses. This is the tweet. Danny Makki ‏ @Dannymakkisyria 2 hours ago These are the main points in the agreement between the SDF and the Syrian government.

1/ The abolishment of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), with all the current Kurdish forces and military groups joining the 5th Corps (Assault Legion) under Russian control 3:12 AM - 14 Oct 2019
2/ A solid guarantee of full Kurdish rights in the new Syrian constitution with autonomy which will be agreed upon by Kurdish leadership & Syrian state.
3/ Joint coordinated effort by Syrian/Kurdish forces to remove Turkish presence in northern Syria including Afrin (Idleb doesn't count)
4/ Manbej & Kobani were agreed upon for SAA to enter quickly, whilst Hasakeh has seen a wide scale deployment of Syrian troops, this will continue in Qamishly and other joint areas
5/ With Syrian forces now on the border area with Turkey it's clear that this starts a new phase in the 8-year-long war where some sort of endgame is now taking shape - all border areas and administrational centres will be taken over by the Syrian government
6/ Within one month Kurdish leadership with start to take up some official roles within the current Syrian government to ease the transition period of N. #Syria until an new constitution/government is formed in the future
7/ Tabqa in Raqqa was also on the agreement, Syrian forces entered the city and took control of the military airbase earlier today
8/ Russia had brokered a similar deal a few days ago, yet it was rejected by Damascus who wanted more concessions from the SDF.
9/ As per-agreement Syrian forces entered Ein Issa in N. Raqqa today
10/ The agreement between SDF and Syrian gov is yet to be fully completed, the finer details will be fleshed out over the next four days.
11/ For now all ISIS prisoners remain under the control of the Kurds
12/ The agreement thus far is effectively a military one, based on self-defense and mutual interest with a number of set aims. The governance/land delegation/isis prisoners part will follow later
13/ Syrian forces will deployed on the entirety of the border with Turkey, this is the first time in 6 years that the Syrian army will have a serious presence in N. East Syria
14/ Although Manbej is one of the cities that the Syrian army would take according to the agreement, the situation there is still tense and it is unclear exactly who will control it.
15/ Breaking: reports of imminent Turkish attack on Manbej

Prior to yesterday's developments, I've see reports of Turkish bridging equipment approaching the river separating the SDF from the Turks/jihadis north of Manbij. It seemed pretty obvious they intended to take Manbij as part of their offensive. The buildup of SAA forces south of Manbij appeared to be part of an effort to prevent that crossing. The SAA not only intends to prevent the Turks from moving further south, but the SAA fully intends to take Afrin. That will make Idlib much less tenable.

The Twisted Genius

Al Masdar reports US forces have prevented an SAA column from entering Kobani until the US forces fully withdraw from the area. Time is of the essence for the SAA to enter Kobani and prevent further Turkish/jihadi advances so the the US blocking action, even if only temporary, is disconcerting. AMN also tells of an alleged Coalition air strike on an SAA column en route to the city of Al-Tabaqa. Sure there is bound to be some confusion in a rapidly developing situation, but I have to wonder who is calling the shots here. Clearly the USG and DOD are not acting in concert. Are we about to see firefights break out in the halls of the Pentagon?



Yes, but what suddenly gives Trump uncharacteristic "willingness (or boldness) to buck the entire USG"? That's a mighty big order to fill for someone whose tit has been in the DNC/FBI/CIA/CNN soft-coup wringer before he was even in office. Also, what options for revenge do the Zio-Cons pursue now, and in what venues do they pursue it?

The Twisted Genius

Danny Makki said yesterday that the alleged airstrike was actually an IED explosion. Thank God for that.


Note the parallel between Mr. Trump and Mr. Nixon: The mass media and all correct-thinking people hated the latter in his era, and eventually ousted him via what he seems to have really believed was a covert CIA operation. (It was, but against him.) But as several of my lifer friends observed, he got us out of Vietnam. (They'd been there several tours.) And made peace with Chine. There's even an opera about it. We're only now beginning to see his historical significance.

It seems to me quite likely that Mr. Trump is cut from the same cloth: equally disliked and disparaged, fairly unpleasant personally (in a different way), even with his own CIA plot against him, but determined to keep us out of wars, and get us out of the ones we're in. Quite likely he'll suffer a similar fate to Mr. Nixon's, but 50 years from now historians may begin to appreciate him.

English Outsider

TTG - It would be kind if you could leave me with the illusion that he's still playing 4D chess.

What he must be doing, however, is coordinating break-outs like this with such as Brad Parscale. Is this latest move playing well in Trump country, might I ask?

The Twisted Genius

Seward, the idea that this was a "only Nixon could go to China" situation ran through my mind since last night. No matter how Trump got here, it's good for America. Now if he can do this for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the region, he will have one hell of a legacy.

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