The US will still “maintain a presence” after troop pullout from NE Syria

T. Belman. It would appear that Trump did not announce his troop withdrawal before getting Turkey’s agreement not to cross the Euphrates and a commitment from Russia that it would continue to work with Israel. Also, The US and Iraq are in advanced negotiations for the deployment to the Iraqi-Syria border of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF).It will stand in the path of Iranian and Iraqi Shiite militias crossings into Syria. Iraq has consented to the US building a military base in Iraq near to syria that would protect these forces.

Works for me.

DEBKA  Dec 22, 2018 @ 12:10

Following the backlash from President Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from NE Syria, senior administration officials Friday night, Dec. 21 offered Mid East leaders clarifications for allaying their concerns. DEBKAfile’s sources reveal those messages’ high points:

    1. US troops will leave eastern and northern Syria, but America is not deserting this part of the country, said the officials, without revealing the nature of its continuing presence.
    2. The Trump administration has not abandoned the Kurds or “stabbed them in the back” as widely reported, “and the Kurds know this,” it was authoritatively said. And, indeed, despite their loud cries of dismay, not a single Syrian Kurdish militiaman has deserted the lines they hold against ISIS in eastern Syria.

  1. Regarding President Tayyip Erdogan declaration that the Turkish army was about to march on East Euphrates and reach the Kurdish capital of Qamishli, amid fears of a massacre, the US officials advised distinguishing between talk and deeds. They referred to a phone conversation between Presidents Trump and Erdogan on Dec. 14, in which the latter promised his army would not cross the Euphrates. In a speech welcoming the US pullout from Syria on Friday, Erdogan allowed that Turkey would “wait a little longer before launching the operation” and counted on US “logistic support.”
  2. Trump said subsequently that the troop pullout would be phased out within 40-60 days. According to the US officials, a more realistic timeline would be 4 to 6 months. “During that time, Syria is bound to see many developments that may require  Washington to revise its plans.”
  3. The US and Iraq are in advanced negotiations for the deployment to
    the Iraqi-Syria border of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) – the “Golden Division” – which drove ISIS out of Mosul. It will stand in the path of Iranian and Iraqi Shiite militias crossings into Syria.
  4. Part of the ISOF’s deployment will include the western Iraqi province of Anbar. In this regard, the US officials referred to a disclosure by Mohammad al-Dilemi, one of the chiefs of Anbar’s Arab tribes. On Dec. 12, he said that the US army was building a new base on the line dividing Anbar from the next-door province of Nineveh. It would position US troops 30km north of the Euphrates River and near the Syrian border. This new base will provide the Iraqi division with American backup.
  5. The officials from Washington refused to confirm or deny that the Russians were involved in the forthcoming US plans for Syria; nor would they refer to a possible US-Turkish-Russian deal on the subject. They did take note of the strides taken in recent weeks toward repairing Russian-Israeli relations. The US officials pointed out that the transfer of a Russian S-300 air defense missile battalion to Deir ez-Zour in eastern Syria brought the Israeli Golan and Galilee Panhandle within their range, but not the Israel Air Force bases in northern and central Israel.
December 23, 2018 | 8 Comments »

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  1. The latest reports from Debka and AI Monitor indicate that Trump has acted more responsibly and with much greater preparation and forethought than initial reports alleged. He kept his plan secret from his own top advisors, or at any rate some of them. But that may be because he didn’t trust them not to leak the plans prematurely or reign in protest before he was ready to announce it. Being devious and being irresponsible are not always the same thing.

    Clearly Trump was following the advice of some analysts who have been monitoring the Syrian situation closely, such as the experts cited by AI Monitor. He propably even consulted with the Kurdish leaders. He is struggling to bring about a ‘deal of the century” in Syria that will result in a settlement that is reasonably fair to everyone, while at the same time giving the U.S. a viable exit strategy. It may or may not work, but it is a reasonable gamble. And it is probably reversible if the Kurds and America’s allies face a real catastrophe at the hands of Erdogan or Assad.

  2. Pretending Kurds have not been sold out to Erodgan is lacking in credibility!

    Turkey on Saturday sent military reinforcements to northern Syria as it threatens a military offensive against Kurdish forces stationed there, AFP reported.

    Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP that “Around 35 tanks and other heavy weapons, carried aboard tank carriers, crossed the Jarablos border crossing in the early evening.”

    “They headed for an area near the Sajour River, between Jarablos and Manbij, not far from the front lines where Kurdish fighters of the Manbij Military Council are stationed,” he added.

  3. @ Edgar G.:
    I have been told this as a fact but do not have any details of it. I believe my source. I know nothing more than what I have disclosed. When the powers that be want to make it public, they will delineate it.

  4. Not unexpected by me…as has been re-iterated in past much criticised posts. I won’t say ” I told you so” until I see how the replacement arrangements unfolds and their success rate, also in case of a slip-up, what the “Plan B’ is….Even then..I’m far too modest to say so anyway………!!!….

    But…you may choose to respectfully bow (NOT SPIT) when you pass my residence….