Published On: Tue, Oct 8th, 2019

Turkish “Operation Peace Spring” Facing Major Opposition From Trump Republican Allies, UN Will Work Closely With Turkey It Says

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On Tuesday, Turkish Parliament ratified it’s previous agreement on operations in Syria and Iraq -allowing for an additional year of cross-border military incursions – a decision that has become crucial in the wake of President Erdogan’s “Operation Peace Spring” that would expand a safe zone in northeastern Syria for refugees.

Ever since President Trump announced U.S. troops would not be involved in the operation, a number of defense analysts, experts and prominent republicans have expressed their dismay and echoed how dangerous that decision is.

The New York Times reported just one day ago that President Trump did an about-face in U.S. military policy by acquiescence to Turkey on President Erdogan’s insistence on a military incursion into northeastern Syria whose goal is to create a 20-mile safe zone for the return of Syrian refugees and to push back against U.S. backed Kurdish militia YPG/PKK who Turkey and its allies consider a terrorist organization.

Turkey is the largest ever host of refugees, sheltering close to 4 million and has been, in the words of the Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis – Panos Moumtzkis -” a very generous host.”

Moumtzkis said that the UN plans to work very closely with Turkey in such an operation and that Turkey’s respect and dignity toward Syrian refugees is something “no one can put a price on it.”

Meanwhile, White House officials told the New York Times that approximately 100-150 U.S. military personnel in northeastern Syria will be pulled out in light of an imminent operation by Turkey in that region.
According to the New York Times report, the U.S. has given Turkey its stern warning that it will have nothing to do with the Turkish operation and cautioned that any overstepping of bounds toward the Kurds or the instigation of major combat will result in dire consequences for the Turkish nation.

Trump tweeted on Monday: “As I have stated strongly before, if Turkey does anything that I,  in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before).”

Trump also tweeted on Monday: “It is time to get out of these ridiculous, Endless Wars.”

That said, news sources reported that Kurdish forces working with the U.S. feel betrayed. In contrast, Turkey views the Kurdish presence as a threat to its nation’s sovereignty and fears for its country’s safety having already seen civilian casualties in Turkish border areas.

Further, White House officials told The New York Times that Trump had agreed to “moderate incursion for a safe zone,”  but that a large invasion is unacceptable.

Last December, Trump had insisted on a full withdrawal from Syria  but reversed his decision after major blowback from the Pentagon, intelligence and diplomatic officials. 

On an additional note, Director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Soner Cagaptay, told the New York Times that such an operation with permission from the U.S. allows Turkey to move into Kurdish controlled territory in Syria.

He added that such a move would give Erdogan a place to send hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and prove his influence with Trump on Syria.
Many analysts and experts have voiced their concerns that Trump ‘s even partial troop withdrawal – insisting it endangers many of the counterterrorism gains that were already achieved by the American military.

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