Oct. 16, 2019
- As the Voice of America itself reported on January 23, Erdogan’s plan was to resettle three million or more refugees from other parts of Syria in this “security zone” extending twenty miles deep into Syria. Twenty miles may not sound much, but – the VOA omitted to mention – almost all the Kurdish towns of northeastern Syria lie within that area. So Erdogan’s intention to annihilate the Kurdish presence in that area and replace it with others has been manifest ever since the beginning of 2019.
- A whole series of Trump’s Republican supporters in the Senate expressed outrage over his decision, starting with Lindsey Graham (“Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration”) and continuing with Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, who remarked: “As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”
It is now clear that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intended the annihilation of the Syrian Kurds already two years ago. Moreover, his plans became evident to the US military by the beginning of 2019 and were conveyed to President Trump at that time.
In order to disguise his plans, Erdogan revealed them stage by stage, by making first lesser and then greater demands on the US military, to which Trump agreed — sometimes in the course of telephone conversations with Erdogan. So Erdogan was able to hoodwink the US military up to January 2019 and to hoodwink Trump up to the current invasion: Trump resolutely defied contrary advice from the military (and from everyone else).