President Trump lauded the creation of a new ‘Safe Zone’ in formerly Kurdish areas in a stretch of Syria – saying the minorities who fought alongside the U.S. against ISIS will be moving to ‘fairly nearby areas.’
Kurdish leaders, including the top Kurdish general who Trump praised Thursday, have accused Turkey of engaging in ‘ethnic cleansing’ with its invasion and attacks against the Kurds.
Trump also said the U.S. is bringing its troops home, although reports Thursday indicated the Army was poised to bring tanks into position to defend oil-rich areas that President Trump boasted about securing.
‘Turkey fully understands not to fire on the Kurds as they leave what will be known as the Safe Zone for other fairly nearby areas,’ the president wrote Friday morning.
President Donald Trump said Turkey knows not to fire on Kurds who are leaving parts of Syria for ‘fairly nearby areas’ following an invasion by Turkey
He warned Turkey, amid a cease fire, after announcing he would remove U.S. sanctions imposed this month after its Oct. 9 invasion. ‘I don’t have to repeat that large scale Sanctions will be imposed for violations. Going well! ISIS secured by Kurds with Turkey ready as backup.’
Then the president hailed the U.S. economy, claimed the U.S. military was ‘rebuilt,’ said oil in Syria was ‘secured,’ and that U.S. troops were returning.
‘USA has gained Trillions of Dollars in wealth since November 2016. All others way down. Our power is Economic before having to use our newly rebuilt Military, a much better alternative. Oil is secured,’ Trump continued in a set of three tweets.
Syrians demonstrate on October 25, 2019 in the rebel-held city of Idlib in northwestern Syria in support of Lebanon’s massive protests the past week, demanding better living conditions and the ouster of a cast of politicians who have monopolised power and influence there for decades
Turkey-backed Syrian fighters rush a comrade into an ambulance after sustaining wounds from a mine that exploded when they took over the area around the countryside of the northeastern town of Tal Abyad on October 24, 2019, after Kurdish forces left several positions along the long border with Turkey, complying with a deal that sees Damascus, Ankara and Moscow carve up their now-defunct autonomous region
Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters assist their injured fellow fighter near the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria October 24, 2019
President Trump said Kurds would be leaving teh ‘Safe Zone’ for ‘fairly nearby areas’
Trump said U.S. soliers were leaving for ‘other places’
He also said they were ‘COMING HOME,’ although media reports indicate the U.S. may send tanks to protect oil inside Syria
‘Our soldiers have left and are leaving Syria for other places, then … COMING HOME! We were supposed to be there for 30 days – That was 10 years ago. When these pundit fools who have called the Middle East wrong for 20 years ask what we are getting out of the deal, I simply say, THE OIL, AND WE ARE BRINGING OUR SOLDIERS BACK HOME, ISIS SECURED!’
Trump was referencing the military’s moves to reposition troops that were in Syria to Iraq.
Trumps comments followed media points that the Army was considering bringing in part of a tank brigade, as well as a U.S. official’s claim that as many as 100 ISIS fighters had escaped from custody during the Turkish invasion.
Heavy armor would represent both a medium-term commitment and a substantial footprint due to the supply and support that must accompany it. The equipment would be used to protect oil fields that President Trump tweeted on Thursday must ‘NEVER’ be allowed into the hands of ISIS, the terror group the U.S. has been battling in Syrian and Iraq for years.
The tanks could be in position ‘relatively soon’ CNN reported. Newsweek reported on an Army plan to deploy 30 Abrams tanks, half an Army armored brigade. They would go to an area where U.S. troops hold strategic territory containing oil resources, in partnership with Syrian Democratic Forces.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Friday the U.S. would deploy ‘some mechanized forces’ in order to ‘ensure that we can deny ISIS access to the oil fields’ in Syria.
He described the effort as repositioning ‘for the next phase of the defeat ISIS campaign.’
Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi of the U.S.-backed Syrian Defense Forces told the New Yorker last week: ‘We don’t want to accept the Turks occupying the entire Kurdish area and moving Kurdish people from their lands. What the Turks are doing now is ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish.
Syria is not a major oil producer, but ISIS was able to use oil revenues to keep its self-proclaimed caliphate afloat, and oil represented a significant part of Syrian government revenue.
Turkey has long wanted to achieve a border zone to prevent attacks it fears from Kurdish forces as it fends off internal resistance from its own Kurdish population. Kurdish minorities in several neighboring countries have long sought a homeland.