Tuesday, 19 November, 2019

Bipartisan House vote condemns Trump’s withdrawal from Syria

An empty B61 multipurpose thermonuclear tactical bomb is on display at the Atomic Testing Museum Feb. 11 2005 in Las Vegas An empty B61 multipurpose thermonuclear tactical bomb is on display at the Atomic Testing Museum Feb. 11 2005 in Las Vegas
Russell Knight | 17 October, 2019, 01:06

The Trump administration has dispatched its top officials, US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to Turkey for emergency talks to try to persuade Ankara to halt an assault on northern Syria.

But facing a massive backlash at home, Trump later issued a series of conflicting statements, at times threatening Ankara, and at others, suggesting the U.S. had no role in the fight between Turkey and Kurdish militants.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected a USA offer to mediate a cease-fire between Turkish forces and Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria and demanded Wednesday that the Kurds "drop their weapons" as the quickest way to halt the fighting.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey's military operation in Syria will end only if Syrian Kurdish fighters lay down their weapons and leave the border area.

Erdogan said any call or visit to Turkey from foreign leaders regarding Syria will be a "waste of time and energy" unless Turkey's "unequivocal and reasonable" stance is taken into account.

Russian Federation has moved quickly to entrench its leadership role and fill the void after Trump ordered the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria.

Tensions between Trump and lawmakers boiled over Wednesday afternoon during a White House meeting, where the president had a "meltdown" discussing his decision, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hailed the Kurds as "great fighters" and valuable partners in the alliance battling Islamic State who "deserved our loyalty".

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In an address to his ruling party legislators, Erdogan vowed to press ahead with the incursion until Turkish troops reach a depth of 30 to 35 kilometres inside Syria along a border area where Turkey intends to form a "safe zone". The withdrawal left exposed Kurdish fighters who fought for several years alongside American troops against Islamic State and are now under attack from the Turkish military.

Photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, showing smoke billowing from targets in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, caused by bombardment by Turkish forces, October 15, 2019.

Trump added that United States troops are "largely out" of the region, adding that if Russian Federation wanted to get involved with Syria, "that's really up to them. But the Kurds know how to fight and, as I said, they're not angels". Erdogan and Trump are due to meet in Washington on November 13. They've got a lot of sand over there.

"The US can not stick to unilateralism", Cavusoglu said.

Dmitry Peskov denied speculation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would join them for trilateral talks.

Pence says the U.S.is "simply not going to tolerate Turkey's invasion of Syria any longer".

Turkey's invasion of Syria has created a humanitarian crisis that has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians as the United Nations is investigating whether Turkish troops committed war crimes by executing captured Kurdish fighters. He also said Turkey would "give the appropriate answer to these sanctions".

In another sign of Moscow's rising profile, France suggested it will also work more closely with Russian Federation in Syria.

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