Will the US Suspend Military Assistance to the Syrian Kurds?
As the fight against Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq seems to finally succeed, there are speculations that the US will make some changes in its policy towards the Syrian conflict. The speculations further strengthened, when at the beginning of this week the White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders made a statement according to which the United States plans to reduce military support for groups fighting against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Still she added that it did not mean Washington would stop all aid to those groups, Reuters reports.
In its turn Pentagon declared on Monday that it was reviewing "adjustments" in arms for US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria but stopped short of declaring a halt of weapons transfers, suggesting such decisions would be based on battlefield requirements, Politico informs.
The statement came after the US. President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, talked on phone last Friday, based on which Turkey’s Foreign Minister announced the Americans would no longer be providing weapons to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
One should not forget that in May of this year President Trump, following the advice of the American military commanders, made a decision to arm the Syrian Democratic Forces to carry out the final assault on the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa, despite the opposition from Turkey. And now, when the operation in Raqqa seems to be over, the discussions on making some "adjustments" in the US policy towards Kurdish forces in Syria is more than natural. But does it mean the US will stop arming the Kurds?
The two houses of the US Congress have already adopted the bill, the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which will allocate another $500 million to the fight against IS in Syria until next September, equipping additional 5,000 rebel troops with AK-47s, heavy machine guns, sniper rifles and more than $21 million in stipends. So once the President approves the bill it will become obvious that the US is not going to stop supplying weapons to fight IS in Syria.
Second important factor to consider is the fact that so far the US President Donald Trump seemed to follow the advice of his military commanders, despite his statements to reduce the number of foreign fighters abroad. The proof of this is the number of the US troops, that has gradually grown in Syria. Although the official limit on US troops has remained at 503 since shortly before President Barack Obama left office, the actual number is now believed to be more than 1,500, including special forces, a Marine artillery unit, forward air controllers and others. They are spread across more than a dozen bases in northern Syria, AP News reports.
Besides, the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis made a statement in which he the clearly stated: "We will stand by the SDF through the Geneva process," which means they are not going to abandon their support to the Kurds in Syria very soon as expected by Turkey.
In his turn the US led NATO Coalition against IS spokesperson Colonel Ryan Dillon in his recent statement noted: "The Coalition is committed to the military defeat of ISIS in Syria and to ensure they cannot return to liberated areas. We will continue our partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces to complete the liberation of the remaining ISIS-held areas, and we will also support security operations that enable stabilization in these areas," The Daily Beast reports.
So, if in reality, the US is not going to suspend the military assistance to the Kurds, what is the disseminated news conditioned by?
First of all, it is not the first time that Turkey tries to interpret the words of their colleagues in the way convenient to them. So this time also, Turkish leadership interpreted Trump’s words the way they wanted, after which the US tried "to correct" them in a diplomatic way via the statements of various officials.
Second, Trump’s administration may attempt in that way to please its NATO ally amid Turkey’s attempt to engage in the trilateral format cooperation with such regional players as Iran and Russia.
Third, the US could wish to warn the Kurds that it may suspend its military aid to them in case they initiate actions, which are not in the US interests. In this context, the information spread that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Kurdish forces assisted by the US, will not be against joining the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Assad forces, if a federal state is awarded in northern Syria (Kurdish autonomous territories as part of the federal Syria), is not occasional, Global Research reports.
These are the possible reasons that resulted in the news about likely suspension of the US military aid to the Kurdish forces in Syria. However, in reality, there is no real ground to assume that the US will withdraw its support to the Kurds, at least in the near future. First, the Kurds remain the main allies of the US in Syria and losing them the US will greatly lose its leverage their. Besides, the Trump’s administration seems to realize from the past experience of previous US administrations in the Middle East that early withdrawal will cause power vacuum that will further escalate the chaos in the conflict-driven countries, like Syria.
- A Summit On Syria Will Be Held In Istanbul The leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France are to hold a four-way summit on the conflict in Syria in Istanbul on Oct. 27, the spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on...
- Who Benefited from Russian IL-20 Crash and Which Were The Consequences? It should be noted that, although the plane was shot down by Syrian air defense, Moscow blamed Israel for this, which, according to the Russian side, did not warn about air strikes on Syria at the time,...
- Russia to Send S-300s to Syria within 2 Weeks According to him, Syrian military personnel had already undergone training to operate the S-300 system, the Defense Post reported.
- Idlib: Who Has Benefits from Putin-Erdogan Agreement? The parties specifically agreed to create a demilitarized zone at the contact line between the government troops and the opposition in Idlib until 15 October, at a depth of 15-20 km. The latter will be...
- Russian MoD Blames Israel for Attack Which Led to Downing of Il-20 by Syria The Russian Defense Ministry held a press conference to discuss the destruction of a Russian military aircraft with people on board off the coast of Syria, which happened at the same time that Israeli...
- ''The Olive Branch'': Ankara Will Not Reconsider its Policy against the Kurds due to International Community's Concerns Due to the developments in Afrin, many Italian political figures have opposed Erdoğan's visit today. The leader of the Left Party of Italy, Nicola Fratognani, urged the authorities of the country ''not...
- Kurds in Syria Call on US Support to Rein in Turkish Operations Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the operation will be expanded to other areas, including Manbij, where American forces are stationed with Kurdish militia.
- Karen Karapetyan Meets with Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani The parties discussed possibilities and prospects for strengthening and developing bilateral economic ties. Prime Minister Barzani assured of their willingness to deepen cooperation with Armenia and boost...
- Two Turkish Soldiers Killed in Kurdish Attack in Southeast Another soldier was wounded in the attack which took place as the troops were carrying out security operations.
- 15 German Police Officers Injured Dispersing Kurdish Rally in Dusseldorf Fifteen officers and at least three demonstrators were injured in the scuffles that ensued after the police moved to disperse a rally.
President Sarkissian will Participate to the Crans Montana World Investment Forum in Geneva
World's Longest Sea Bridge Will Be Opened
Russia Nuclear Treaty: Bolton in Moscow Amid Missile Tensions
"No Chance of Italexit': Italy is not Leaving the EU or the Euro, PM Insists
Man Who Foiled Nazi Nuclear Plan Dies Aged 99
Transfer of the CSTO PA Session from Yerevan to Moscow is a Reflection of the Current Moods
Canada is Running out of Marijuana Two Days after Drug Became Legal
Atmosphere of Mutual Trust has Developed with Putin, says Nikol Pashinyan
Acting PM Nikol Pashinyan, His Holiness Aram I Hold Private Meeting in Antelias (photos)
Nikol Pashinyan Visits Haigazian University, Bzommar Patriarchal Congregation in Lebanon (photos)
Declaration of Friendship Signed Between Shushi of Artsakh and Saint-Étienne of France
Donald Trump. the USS is Pulling out of the Landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia
Pomegranate Festival Held in Artsakh (photo)
EU Cannot Accept Temporary Measure On Irish Border
J. Warlick: US Administration Shows No Interest In Karabakh conflict
Trump Says US will Withdraw from Nuclear Arms Treaty with Russia
The Replacement Of The CSTO Chief Will Be Completed As Soon As Possible
Nikol Pashinyan, Saad Hariri Discuss Prospects of Bilateral Relations Between Armenia and Lebanon
Nikol Pashinyan’s Working Visit to Lebanon Kicks off - Acting Armenian PM, Lebanese President Meet in Beirut
Artsakh: Congratulatory Address to Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia Aram I on the 50th Anniversary of Ordination to Priesthood
Brigitte Macron: We Feel So Good in Armenia that We Don't Want to Leave
In Honor of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Gave Official Dinner (photos)
Macron: April 24 to be Remembered in France as the Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide
It Is Suggested in Armenia to Rename one of the International Airports in Honor of the Great Chansonnier Charles Aznavour
Justin Trudeau: Many Years ago I Had the Opportunity to Visit Armenia with my Father during Summer Holidays
German Publicist about Erdogan's Visit: You Mean the Carpet, which Is Painted with the Blood of Armenians?
Aliyev Criticized International Observers' Assessment on the Yerevan Council of Elderly Elections before the Election Results Were Published
Sharmazanov to Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament: You Should Recognize the Full Exercise of Artsakh People’s Right of Self-Determination
Artsakh's Defense Army Serviceman Artsakh Hovsepyan Posthumously Awarded with the "For Service in Battle" Medal
Humanoid Robot Sophia Delivers Remarks at Yerevan La Francophonie Forum, Vows to Learn French for Next Time
Wind: 8.05 km/h