US Marines in Syria to defend Kurds against Turkey


US Marines in northern Syria

The US has sent a group of US Marines armed with eight-wheeled Stryker armored carriers to northern Syria as a buffer between Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces, after Turkish air strikes killed 20 members of the US-backed Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) militia, injured 18 and destroyed the local Kurdish command headquarters. Clashes broke out between Turkish and Kurdish forces after the air strikes.

The convoy of US armored vehicles took up positions at the village of Darbasiyah in the northeastern Hasakah province, a few hundred meters from the Turkey border.

It was the second time American armored troops had stepped in to separate Turkish and the Kurdish YPG militia that leads the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), to which the Americans assign a major role in the offensive to capture Raqqa from ISIS. On March 17, US Marines advanced towards the northern Syrian town of Manbij when the Turkish army was on the point of fighting the Kurdish militia for control of the town.

However, on April 24, the Turkish air force went into action against the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) base near Sinjar on Mount Karachok in Iraq, wiping out ammunition dumps and weapons store – but also against a YPG command center in northeastern Syria, claiming they were both hubs of a conjoined terrorist entity.

By its twin operation, Ankara emphasized that Turkey was very much present in the Syrian and Iraqi arenas and informed Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin that Turkey’s view of its national security interests in those arenas took precedence over helping to promote the two powers’ objectives.

The Pentagon responded Friday, April 28, that the US wants the SDF to focus on liberating the ISIS-held town of Tabqa and the ISIS capital of Raqqa “and not be drawn into conflicts elsewhere.”

The movements of Turkish jets in Syrian air space are routinely reported and coordinated in advance with Russian and American air force command centers in Syria. The YPG commanders therefore took note that neither the Russians nor the Americans chose to warn Turkey off its plans to hammer the US-aligned Kurdish militia. They feared this would happen when they threw in their lot with the American forces. But the US command in Syria promised them protection under an American ground and aerial umbrella.

After the Turkish attack, the Trump administration, seeing the Kurdish militia had one foot out of the door of the alliance versus ISIS, was forced to choose between losing the operation’s spearhead or spreading the American umbrella to avert more Turkish attacks.

By sending another contingent of marines over to Syria – “We have US forces that are there throughout the. entire northern Syria that operate with our Syrian Democratic Force partners,” Pentagon spokesman Army Capt. Jeff Davis said – President Donald Trump made a fateful choice: In the face of Turkish President Tayyip Edrogan’s threats of all-out war on the Kurds, he decided to commit US military forces to keeping the Kurdish militia safe under the US military wing and fully focused on the main objective of defeating ISIS.

The potential of a rare military run-in between two members of NATO may now be in store for the US president. And pretty soon, there may be fireworks when he sits down opposite Erdogan at the NATO summit in Brussels on May 25.

April 30, 2017 | Comments »

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  1. The Turks have been involved in genocidal actions against the Kurds for over a century.

    Turkey needs to get booted from NATO. They are no friend of ours, and their knives digging in our backs need to be pulled out.

  2. This was repeated on a Russian source, along with video, confirming that the US and the Rojava Kurds are conducting joint patrols — apparently with US flags prominently displayed on the strykers, as in the Manbij operation — along the Syrian-Turkish border. After the recent deadly Turkish airstrike against Kurdish positions in both Iraq and Syria, the YPG had threatened to abandon the US assault on Raqqa unless we did something to prevent further Turkish offenses.

    You know that I have been predicting that Turkey will soon team up with Iran to attack Israel, as per Ezekiel 38-39 (Erdogan being “Gog”, the name of the dynasty in western Anatolia during Ezekiel’s time). We will see, after the NATO summit later in May, 2017, whether or not Erdogan flies into another one of his rages. The Bible describes him as one who is led about by his own tongue:

    Ezekiel 38:
    [3] …Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
    [4] And I will turn thee back, and PUT HOOKS IN THY JAWS, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army…
    [5] Persia (Iran), Ethiopia (Sudan), and Libya (Cyrenaica) with them; all of them with shield and helmet…
    [8] …in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations…

    Erdogan typically acts on impulse and, as he did in the Gaza Flotilla episode, is know for suddenly lashing out against Israel.

    The only thing which causes me to think this coming invasion won’t happen VERY soon, is that Turkey, Iran, Sudan and Cyrenaica (E. Libya) aren’t all allied with one another. If Turkey goes sour against the US over our support for the Kurds, this could quickly change, though: Turkey has a working relationship with Russia, at a time when our own relationship with Putin is at an all-time low point. Iran and Hizbullah are also in this group of strange bedfellows, as is Cyrenaica’s Gen. Haftar. Sudan’s Bashir is something of a wild card, having switched back-and-forth between supporting the Muslim Brotherhood (read, “Turkey”), ISIS and others all in turn. Haftar has even placed immigration restrictions against Iran, Sudan and Syria while at the same time getting very close to the Russians. Russia seems to be the one catalyst who can bring this grouping together; and it might do so.

    That may seem like a lot of speculation, read into the deployment of a few strykers; but this is the Middle East, and things can change quickly here.

    PS. This predicted battle is NOT the “Armageddon” or “World War III” that many prophecy mongers talk about. Israel is predicted to win, and to spend seven months burying the dead on the wide-ranging battlefield, followed by seven years of burning fuel from Turkish and Iranian, etc. weapons — not a “messianic” prediction.