Turkey bombed the Kurds

We’re America’s best friend in Syria. Turkey bombed us anyway.

By Ilham Ahmed, WaPo

Fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) visit the site of Turkish airstrikes near the northeastern Syrian Kurdish town of Derik on Tuesday. (Delil Souleiman/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Turkey bombed the headquarters of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, killing 20 of our soldiers. Immediately after the strike, the leaders of our forces — known as the People’s Protection Groups, or YPG — rushed from their operations center near Raqqa, where they’ve been working with the U.S. military to push the Islamic State out of its Syrian stronghold, to view the site of the attack. The American colonel and other officers who accompanied the YPG leaders were met by tens of thousands of protesters, including the mothers of soldiers who have died fighting the Islamic State. They asked the Americans a simple question: “How is it possible that our soldiers are fighting with you against ISIS while your ally Turkey is attacking us here?”

This is not the first time that Turkey has attacked us. Turkish planes and artillery have been bombing northern Syria for more than a year, and Turkish forces invaded the country last year. In each case, the Turks have acted under false pretenses. They claim to have invaded Syria to fight terrorism, and yet the groups they support on the ground (Ahrar Al Sham and Nour Eddin Al Zanki) share the same jihadist ideology that the United States has been fighting since 9/11.

The Turks said they bombed our headquarters because they claimed our territory is being used to launch attacks against Turkey, but those accusations are unfounded. Let me be as clear as can be: We have never used northern Syria to launch any attack against Turkey. If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t trust us when we say this, fine. But why can’t he trust the U.S. personnel in our area who assure him of the same?

Erdogan justifies these illegal attacks with the same baseless claim: that the YPG is the same as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is currently fighting the government inside Turkey. This claim is based on the fact that we share a founder and many intellectual values with the PKK — but this is equally true of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a legal political party in Turkey with 58 members in the Turkish parliament. They are no more PKK than we are, and any attempt to equate us with the PKK is disingenuous.

Erdogan knows this. He knows that our political and military leadership is completely separate from that of the PKK. He knows that any attempt to combine YPG with PKK would run contrary to our core value of decentralization of power. He knows we are not using northern Syria to launch attacks on Turkey. He knows all this. He just doesn’t care.

Erdogan is trying to force the United States to choose between us and Turkey. We don’t think such a choice is necessary, but it is worth considering what that choice entails. We, the Democratic Council of Syria, are an alliance of progressive, democratic parties that govern the Northern Syria Federation. Though we are besieged from all sides (by the Islamic State, the Assad regime and Erdogan’s Turkey), our region is more stable than any other part of the country. So much so, in fact, that in addition to our population of 3 million, we have taken in an additional 500,000 refugees (Christians, Sunnis, Shiites, Armenians and Yazidis) from across Syria.

Sadly, there is a stark contrast between our democratic, egalitarian and progressive society and that of our neighbor, where Erdogan is consolidating power and turning Turkey into a totalitarian state. This is further shown by his recent “victory” in this month’s constitutional referendum, which he conducted after arresting a vast number of lawmakers, political leaders, journalists, union members and military leaders who do not agree with the Turkish president’s political narrative.

Ironically, in pushing the United States to choose between us and him, Erdogan is only bringing further attention to the fact that Turkey is not a true ally of the United States. Consider this: While we are fighting for our people’s right to freedom from tyranny, Erdogan is tyrannically denying freedom to his own people. While we are fighting and dying side by side with the U.S. military in the campaign against the Islamic State, Erdogan is turning a blind eye to terrorism and supporting groups that overtly espouse jihadist ideals.

If Erdogan were a true U.S. ally, then instead of dropping bombs on the headquarters of the YPG, which currently hosts more than 1,000 U.S. military personnel, Turkey would seek to destroy al-Qaeda, which has set up bases in Idlib, right along the Turkish border. Al-Qaeda in Idlib is among the largest affiliates in the organization’s history. (That’s according to U.S. officials, by the way.) Yet Turkey does nothing.

While Turkey turns a blind eye to terrorism, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in which the YPG plays a big role, is only 10 miles away from Raqqa, the so-called capital of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate. The SDF also controls 70 percent of another strategic city called Tabqqa and is in full control of its air base that was taken from the Islamic State by the SDF. In the past month alone, the SDF captured dozens of villages around Raqqa from the Islamic State, and we will not stop until the last supporter of the caliphate has been vanquished.

To be clear, we do not want to escalate the conflict with Turkey. Yes, we believe that Erdogan, who is turning a blind eye to terrorism as he aspires to build his totalitarian state, is on the wrong side of history. As he looks outward in his aggression, we look inward, in a spirit of optimism and progress, toward a better Syria.

We do not believe that the United States needs to choose between us and Turkey. With each passing day, however, it becomes clearer who the United States’ true ally in this conflict is.

April 29, 2017 | Comments »

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  1. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Oh,wow! It just occurred to me. Chief Rabbi Metzger was convicted, get this, of pocketing money intended for NGOs! Talk about adding insult to injury. Read for yourself. I swear, these people have no shame, none at all.

  2. Sebastien Zorn Said:

    “Judaism rejects the original sin that Christianity ran with by bringing it to an end with the flood. After that it’s free will, all the way.”]

    Comic relief:

    “…There the guy who’s got religion will tell you if your sin’s original…”
    Tom Lehrer – The Vatican Rag – fabulous version – LIVE FILM From Copenhagen in 1967




    Though, actually, Arnold and Edgar G., it should be apparent from reading about Norsemen, Harald and William of the Iron Arm in Italy, that it would be more accurate, cosmologically speaking, to say that it’s violists all the way down.

    and HoneyBee:

    “Did you hear that abortion has caught on so well in Sweden that now there’s a 10 month waiting period.”


  3. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    And what about Olmert, who was Likud at one time? Shaked is so brilliant. She picked the one post where she can really make a difference. And the one post, where, just maybe, she can protect herself in the process. Could any of this explain President Trump’s recent concessions to the liberals?

    Correction, they cooked up — I have little doubt — some new charges. Read for yourself.

    “…Interfaith dialogue[edit]
    Metzger worked to encourage friendly relationships with other religious communities. One idea that Metzger proposed was the establishment of a religious United Nations in Jerusalem. He first advocated this in late 2004 after mediating a highly publicized dispute between Jerusalem haredim and the Armenian Christian community.[11] Under Metzger’s plan, the new body would contain representatives of the world’s religions as opposed to nations. Metzger has also suggested that the Dalai Lama could lead the assembly. The Dalai Lama was reportedly very excited at the idea and pledged to help Metzger realize his plan.[12][13] Other supporters include Frederico Major, the co-president of the Alliance for Civilizations, a Spanish lobby group for international conflict resolution.[14]
    On a February 2007 trip to India, Metzger joined other prominent rabbis in signing a declaration against violence with local Hindu leaders, as part of a summit organized by the World Council of Religious Leaders. One of the points emphasized by the participants was the commonality between Jews and Hindus, particularly in regards to ongoing violence at the hands of Muslims.[15] Metzger noted in his remarks “Jews have lived in India for 2,000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history.”[16]

    Metzger with Polish president professor Lech Kaczynski
    In March 2008, Metzger supported an interfaith conference proposed by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.[17]
    During the “bus conflict” about mixed seating between men and women, Metzger stated that this is not a “haredi country”. And urged the ultra-orthodox to not push their opinions on the others and be more accepting.[18]
    Relationship with Armenians[edit]
    During his term Metzger was involved in several notable incidents of rapprochement with the global and Israeli-Armenian communities.
    In December 2004 Metzger was instrumental in easing tensions between Jerusalem’s haredim and Armenian Christians following an incident in which a Haredi yeshiva student spat on an Armenian archbishop. Metzger gained further attention in November 2005, during a visit to the Memorial of Armenian Genocide and Genocide Museum in Yerevan. He laid a wreath and gave a short speech in which he acknowledged the pain of the Armenian people and emphasized that though Israel does not formally recognize the Armenian Genocide as a genocide, he does “use that term”. Metzger went on to say “no other nation can understand the pain of the Armenians better than Jews.”[19] Metzger’s comments received a very positive reaction in Armenia, particularly at the implication that more Israelis are changing their positions on using the term “Genocide” to refer to the Armenians.[20]
    Turkey’s Jews, on the other hand, themselves a vulnerable minority population, reacted with some discomfort at Metzger putting them in an awkward situation. The spokesman for Turkey’s Chief Rabbi commented, “Let the historians do their job and then we will see.”[21]…Comments on the Palestinians[edit]
    Metzger gave an interview with the British Jewish News paper in January 2008 in which he advocated transferring the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula, adding that though Israel welcomed peaceful Muslims, the world’s Muslims needed to recognize that Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people, saying, “You have another place, Mecca and Medina, you don’t need a third place.” Metzger also challenged the idea that Muslims had any connection to Jerusalem at all, noting that when Muslims pray to Mecca, their backs face Jerusalem. Metzger received some criticism from moderate Israelis for these remarks as well as by some in the Arab world.[40]…”


    Excuse me, a really good guy!

    And a logical target. No?

  4. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Still reading this


    Apparently, the one Wikipedia


    said went the other way, was made up.


    Israel’s Chief Rabbi in 2005, Yona Metzger,


    who seems to be a really good guy, was the one who — along with the otherwise infamous Yossi Beillin, who gave us Oslo along with Peres and Rabin, was the one who called the Turks out for the Armenian Genocide. Though the first one to do so, at the time, U.S. Ambassador Morgenthau, was Jewish. Very interesting article. The Germans were responsible for that genocide, as well. They are linked. Many of the key perpetrators of the Shoah, from Husseini to Hoess, who later ran Auschwitz, both Muslim and German, were there at the scene of the earlier crime in 1915. German military leadership played an active role. Later, Hitler is quoted as having said, “nobody remembers the Armenians.”

    I am very suspicious of these prosecutions the world holds up as a sign of how democratic Israel is:

    “Ex-Israel chief rabbi to serve jail time in plea deal for fraudUnder bargain, Yona Metzger will confess to slew of corruption charges in exchange for reduced prison sentence of 3.5 years, NIS 5 million fineBY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF January 24, 2017”


    claims he accepted money from a hotel

    Now it’s BB’s turn.

    It’s been speculated that Sharon’s wild turn towards the Left was fueled by his desire to get out from under the clutches of the Leftist dominated justice system in Israel.

    How can the Left-wing shadow bureacracy always in place in Western Countries regardless of who gets elected at the national level be cleaned out?

    Really a must read. Still reading it. It’s long. It happens to be terrific even though it’s published in a disgusting left wing magazine that has garbage by Noam Chomsky also in it. You can sometimes find gems in S*t. [one of the reasons Islam and Christianity lend themselves to racism easily, especially Christianity*, whereas Buddhism and Judaism do not: the Koran says somewhere that the apple never falls far from the tree, but Buddhism has for it’s symbol the lotus, because it is a beautiful flower that grows out of a swamp and Judaism rejects the original sin that Christianity ran with by bringing it to an end with the flood. After that it’s free will, all the way.]

    Glad we are helping the Kurds. F the Turks.

    * This was the author of the famous “First the came for … and then they came for me”

    “…Role in Nazi Germany[edit]

    Martin Niemöller, Adolf Hitler’s ‘Personal Prisoner’ at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp
    Like most Protestant pastors, Niemöller was a national conservative, and openly supported the conservative opponents of the Weimar Republic. He thus welcomed Hitler’s accession to power in 1933, believing that it would bring a national revival. However, he decidedly opposed the Nazis’ “Aryan Paragraph”. In 1936, he signed the petition of a group of Protestant churchmen which sharply criticized Nazi policies and declared the Aryan Paragraph incompatible with the Christian virtue of charity.[4]
    The Nazi regime reacted with mass arrests and charges against almost 800 pastors and ecclesiastical lawyers.[11] In 1933, Niemöller founded the Pfarrernotbund, an organization of pastors to “combat rising discrimination against Christians of Jewish background.”[10] By the autumn of 1934, Niemöller joined other Lutheran and Protestant churchmen such as Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer in founding the Confessional Church, a Protestant group that opposed the Nazification of the German Protestant churches.[10] Author and Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Mann published Niemöller’s sermons in the United States and praised his bravery.[4]
    However, Niemöller only gradually abandoned his national socialist views and even made pejorative remarks about Jews of faith while protecting—in his own church—baptised Christians, persecuted as Jews by the Nazis, due to their or their forefathers’ Jewish descent. In one sermon in 1935, he remarked: “What is the reason for [their] obvious punishment, which has lasted for thousands of years? Dear brethren, the reason is easily given: the Jews brought the Christ of God to the cross!”[12]
    This has led to controversy about his attitude toward Jews and to accusations of anti-Judaism. Holocaust historian Robert Michael argues that Niemöller’s statements were a result of traditional anti-Semitism, and that Niemöller agreed with the Nazis’ position on the “Jewish question” at that time.[5][13] American sociologist Werner Cohn lived as a Jew in Nazi Germany, and he also reports on antisemitic statements by Niemöller.[14]
    Thus, Niemöller’s ambivalent and often contradictory behaviour during the Nazi period makes him a controversial figure among those who opposed the Nazis. Even his motives are disputed. Historian Raimund Lammersdorf considers Niemöller “an opportunist who had no quarrel with Hitler politically and only began to oppose the Nazis when Hitler threatened to attack the churches.”[15] Others have disputed this view and emphasize the risks that Niemöller took while opposing the Nazis.[4] Nonetheless, Niemöller’s behaviour contrasts sharply with the much more broad-minded attitudes of other Confessing Church activists such as Hermann Maas. Pastor and liberal politician Maas — unlike Niemöller — belonged to those who unequivocally opposed every form of antisemitism and was later accorded the title Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.[16]…


    then again, Chiune Shugihara, was motivated by his interpretation of Christianity, though apparently he was also moved by the actions of Jews he knew, so people will cherry pick.


  5. Firstly the Americans do not have any sensible policy in this part of the world and do not really care as to who gets killed as long as their soldiers get some real field practice. They do not understand the real meaning of the word ally
    Secondly when will the world wake up and understand that Erdogan is todays Hitler in Turkish drag – he is very dangerous ! Why has the world sat by and watched him destroy a democratic country, imprisoning many without fair trial etc
    Erdogan will do whatever he wants to retain power – we know from past history that the Turks can be very cruel – have we forgotten the sides that the Turks took in WW1 & 2

  6. The ME mess is becoming more and more complicated. But some things remain unchanged.
    1.- Turkey is a genocidal country. Proven by the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians. Proven also by the massacres Turkey left behind every battle they fought in WW1 against weaker peoples.
    2.- Turkey modus operandi is to massacre weak, undefended people with blood thirsty cruelty.
    3.- Then came in Erdogan. The worse of the worst. Hypocritical, perverse, coward, lier, insane of power, you name it. He alone, is the head of enormous ammount of evil.
    Untill that head is cut, we see will nothing but evil coming out of Turkey.

  7. “The Turks said they bombed our headquarters because they claimed our territory is being used to launch attacks against Turkey, but those accusations are unfounded. Let me be as clear as can be: We have never used northern Syria to launch any attack against Turkey. If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan doesn’t trust us when we say this, fine. But why can’t he trust the U.S. personnel in our area who assure him of the same?”

    Reminds me of:





    I see that most of the massacres in the modern era were by the Turks against minorities, usually but not always non-Muslims. I noted there was one that went the other way with Armenians massacring Muslims.

    Grateful to be here. Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to close the border on your way out.