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Kurdish militant leader claims Trump lied to Erdogan about US stopping arms deliveries

The US again risks a total alienation of Turkey if the promise Donald Trump make to Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a lie.

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Last week, Turkey confirmed that Donald Trump gave Recep Tayyip Erdogan his assurances that the delivery of US arms to Kurdish militants in Syria would cease. This had been a longstanding demand from Ankara and with Turkey-US relations plummeting to new lows, it was widely thought that the US granted Turkey this concession to avoid a possible rift within the NATO bloc. While the US government confirmed Turkey’s version of the phone call, the reports from the US were far more vague in terms of the content.

By contrast, Turkey reported that the US offered a direct commitment to ending arms going to the Kurdish militant/terrorist group YPG and their political wing PYD.

Today however, Sputnik Turkiye spoke to the so-called foreign affairs spokesman of the SDF, a YPG dominated US proxy militia operating in Syria with known links to the terrorist group PKK.

Abdulaziz Yunus has told Sputnik Turkiye,

“The US and its coalition continue providing their military aid. Any reports that the US has halted its arms’ supplies are wrong and do not reflect the situation on the ground.

At the moment, the US has not made any announcement that they intend to stop sending arms. On the contrary, they have voiced their intention to facilitate the cooperation with us and increase the volume of their aid to the SDF. This is their current strategy. We, in turn, also hope this support will continue”.

According to Yunus, not only are US supplies continuing but, just this week the US delivered, “hundreds of trucks loaded with weaponry”.

There are several logical possibilities which can be derived from this statement:

1. Yunus is lying 

Kurdish media and by extrapolation, their spokesmen are notoriously unreliable. Since the recent Erdogan-Trump phone call, Kurdish media has been rife with statements ranging from those indicating that Kurdish militants will cooperate with the Syrian Arab Army to statements denying any desire to cooperate with Syria. Furthermore, while previous Kurdish statements have alluded to the fact that the US is curtailing arms shipments, the statement from Yunus contradicts these reports.

Until independently confirmed information from the group becomes known, it will not be possible to use Yunus’s claims as an authentic source of information. Instead, one can only derive a sense of Kurdish wishful thinking that may be a reality.

2. The US is lying to Turkey 

Alternatively, the US may well have lied to Turkey. This could be because Donald Trump has less control over US policy than he would like to think or it could be due to the US drawing a false distinction between the YPG and SDF. As the YPG makes up almost all of the SDF’s manpower, ceasing arms shipments to one is, by any reasonable stretch of cognition, the same as ceasing arms shipments to the other. This is certainly how Turkey would have interpreted Trump’s remarks.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was present during the Erdogan-Trump phone call stated the following to the press shortly after the conversation between the two leaders concluded,

“According to his (Trump’s) words, it would have been better to put an end to this foolishness (arming Kurds). We welcome this decision and will monitor its implementation”.

Thus, Turkey expressed a clear sense of scepticism about Washington’s willingness to implement Donald Trump’s promise.

A final straw to break the camel’s back in Turkey-US relations 

While Trump’s promise to Erdogan has indeed stemmed the tide of anti-American and anti-NATO statements from Turkish officials, this brief post phone call honeymoon could be short lived. If the US has made a false promise and continues to arm militants that Turkey views, quite correctly, as a threat to its national security, any thaw in the frosty relations between Ankara and Washington will be over.

As a result, the rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus which Erdogan hinted at prior to the phone-call, could manifest itself sooner rather than later. If Turkey and Syria do agree (however privately) to formally renounce Kurdish terrorism jointly (at the moment Syria is renouncing both Kurdish terrorism and the presence Turkish troops in Syria), Russia will have very few strong arguments left to restrain Turkey from going after Kurdish forces in Syria, something which has already partly begun, though something that is widely under-reported.

Turkish proxies and US Kurdish proxies are engaged in heavy combat in Syria’s Aleppo Governorate

Alternatively, if the US does eventually withdraw its support for Kurds in Syria, it will mean that the US will have no fig-leaf to cover the gross illegality of its continued occupation of the Syrian Arab Republic. The Astana Group could then easily redouble calls for the US to withdraw from Syria, something that Russia has stated in fairly bold terms a great deal recently.

Russian FM Lavrov slams “most dangerous” illegal US presence in Syria – seeks US withdrawal

In either instance, Russia remains the key player in the internationally lead Syrian peace process, as I indicated shortly after the Erdogan-Trump phone call:

“If the United States means what it apparently said, this essentially means that the Astana group, of which Turkey is a member along with Russia and Iran, has essentially checkmated the US in Syria once and for all.

With ISIS defeated except for a few small rural pockets that Russian aerospace forces and the Syrian Arab Army are on the verge of fully obliterating and pockets of al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in the the Golan Heights, Hama and Idlib, the Takfiri terrorists are already all but defeated in Syria and everyone from Syria itself to Hezbollah, Russian and Iran have admitted this in public to much fanfare.

In respect of Kurdish militants/terrorists, since the United States is the only power arming and abetting them, if the US actually does withdraw arms from Kurdish groups, they will  not fare well against Turkish troops in Syria who stand ready to fight them and almost certainly beat them in short order. Put succinctly, if the US withdraws aims to the Kurds and there is no one else left to fight in Syria, the US will have no mission goal and therefore no no justification for remaining in Syria. Of course the US could always make up a new, even flimsier excuse for remaining, but with all major regional powers (except for Israel) dead-set against a long-time US occupation, such a position would be highly untenable in the medium and long term.

A recent Washington Post article, allegedly based on inside sources in the US government, stated that the US plans to remain in Syria for “years” in order to effectively help Syrian Kurds in carving out a statelet along the Turkish border.

Based on the statements following on from the phone call between Erdogan and Trump, either the Washington Post piece was inaccurate or the US has suddenly had a change of heart–perhaps as a last ditch effort to prevent Turkey from leaving NATO as Ankara threatened to do, days ago.

Earlier, Donald Trump Tweeted the following, indicating that he is not prepared for an indefinite occupation of Syria.

It may be that either be design or mistake, Donald Trump just killed off the last excuse the US could possibly have for a perpetual occupation of Syria. Because of the notorious unreliability of statements from US officials and the US media, it is anyone’s guess as to whether the Washington Post lied to the world or if Trump deceived the Turkish President.

However, the world may soon find out who is telling the truth as Kurdish militants in Syria just announced that they are ready to attack Turkish Army positions in Syria’s Aleppo Governorate.

In a straight battle between Kurdish militants and the Turkish Army, the Turkish Army will win. There is little doubt about that. The only power that might have been willing and militarily able to prevent such a move is of course, the American armed forces.

If Turkey goes on to do to Syrian Kurds, what the Iraqi armed forces did to Iraqi Kurds, the Kurdish question in Syria may be solved in short order.

After such an impasse, arguments between Russia and Turkey over whether Kurdish factions belonging to the YPG-PYD should be at the Syrian National Dialogue Congress or not, will be effectively moot. If Syrian Kurds are shown that Turkey has effectively been unleashed on them, in so far as no other power will stop Turkey from going after the Kurds, it will effectively be ‘game over’ for any longer term ethno-nationalists ambitions for the Kurds. All that will be left is to either wage the kind of long-term terrorist war against Syria that the PKK has waged against Turkey, or otherwise engage in the eventual internal political process for Syria which the Astana group organises.

Of course, if the US continues to covertly aid the Kurds, or attempt to draw an artificial distinction between the YPG and SDF, Turkey will only be further alienated by an obvious US false promise. If the US does go through with its plans, while some friction between Turkey and the US will be curtailed, Turkey’s overall economic reliance/enthusiasm on its Eurasian partners will not be dented. Only in a foolish zero-sum mentality does a minor US rapprochement with Turkey negate that progress Turkey has made and intends to further with its Eurasian partners, including Russia and Iran.

The US may not be an exponent of the “win-win” mentality which defines modern Eursasian multi-lateral relations, but if someone in the US, even perhaps a Trump who today sounded as reasonable as he did while a candidate, realises that in provoking Turkey, the US will totally lose a former ally while accomplishing little in terms of retarding Syria’s progress in the long-term, someone in Washington may have realised that by going in knee-deep for Kurdish ethno-nationalists, the US would be facing a “lose-lose” situation that a member of the Turkish Parliament Metin Kulunk said would be a “another Vietnam” for the United States.

As Donald Trump successfully ‘dodged’ time in America’s first Vietnam, perhaps he has just dodged the second. Time will shortly tell, just who is being honest and who is being duplicitous.

Either way, if Trump has told the truth in respect of US policy, the war is over as the US will have no one left to support nor to fight. If he is lying to President Erdogan, then NATO may be over”.

Did Turkey just convince the US that there’s no one left to fight in Syria?

In this sense, the Kurdish problem can either be ended through the US withdrawing its support for the YPG/SDF or alternatively, it can be solved through a combination of Turkish military strength combined with tactful Russian diplomacy which will essentially tell the Kurds to negotiate with Syria or else face the consequences that the Turkish Army will be all too happy to deliver.

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Trump’s speech in Miami plays up anti-socialism, as Bolton focuses on Venezuela regime change (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 180.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Trump’s recent speech in Miami, Florida, where the US President condemned Venezuela’s socialist government and called on military command within the Latin American country to defect over to the Juan Guaido camp.

Venezuela’a elected president Maduro dismissed Trump’s remarks as an “almost Nazi-style” speech.

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Via Washington Times

Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, is rejecting President Donald Trump’s call for a new day in Venezuela and comparing the tone of the American president’s speech in Miami to that of a Nazi.

Trump said Monday that the U.S. stands behind opposition leader Juan Guaido and condemns Maduro and his government’s socialist policies. Trump pleaded with Venezuela’s military to support Guaido and warned of dire consequences for standing with Maduro.

Maduro responded to Trump in comments broadcast on state television. He accused the U.S. president of speaking in an “almost Nazi-style” and lashed out at Trump for thinking he can deliver orders to Venezuela’s military.

Maduro said, “Who is the commander of the armed forces, Donald Trump from Miami?” and added, “They think they’re the owners of the country.”

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First Venezuela, now Nicaragua? Bolton says Ortega’s days ‘numbered’ & people ‘will soon be free’

The Central American nation has been rocked by unrest since April last year, with protesters demanding the resignation of Sandinista party leader Ortega.

RT

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Via RT…


US President Donald Trump’s top foreign policy advisor John Bolton appears dead set on resuming his decades-long stand-off with Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega, hinting that Washington-backed regime change may be in the offing.

“The Ortega regime has sentenced three farm leaders to 550 years in prison for their roles in protests in 2018, where Ortega’s police forces reportedly killed 300 activists. As President Trump said Monday, Ortega’s days are numbered and the Nicaraguan people will soon be free,” the national security advisor to the US president tweeted on Wednesday.

The leaders of anti-Ortega protests were given jail terms this week, after they were implicated in the deaths of four policemen and a teacher during a shootout last July.

The Central American nation has been rocked by unrest since April last year, with protesters demanding the resignation of Sandinista party leader Ortega, who has been president since 2007, and convincingly won another five-year term in 2016.

The US has repeatedly backed the uprising against the left-wing government, and last November Bolton made a keynote speech calling for the “crumbling” of what he called the “Troika of Tyranny” – Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba – saying the states represented a “a sordid cradle of communism in the Western hemisphere.”

On Monday, Trump name-checked the same three countries, saying their “great potential” would be unlocked with the collapse of socialism. To expedite the process, Congress last year imposed financial measures that would make it difficult for the economically-stricken Nicaragua to obtain international loans, as well as slapping sanctions on top officials in Managua.

Revenge served ice-cold

Bolton’s history with Ortega goes back to the 1980s. Just as now, Ortega was the leader of Nicaragua, first as he spearheaded the revolution in 1979, and when he was elected president in 1985.

The Ronald Reagan administration spent significant financial resources backing the right-wing Contra rebels during the civil war, which lasted nearly the entire decade.

Bolton, at that time a legal specialist, held a number of senior positions in the Reagan White House, and was more than a witness to its shadowy CIA-aided schemes to bypass a Democrat-run Congress ban on helping the opposition militants.

He reportedly played a crucial part in hobbling both the scope of the Iran-Contra investigation and an inquiry into drug- and gun-running militants, who were enabled by Washington.

 

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After he returned to prominence under George W. Bush in yet another chapter of an unsinkable career, Bolton failed to dislodge Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, the Sandinistas, or Cuba’s Fidel Castro (at one point, he accused Havana of developing biological weapons, without solid evidence). But as a man who with permission from Donald Trump now seems to be steering US foreign policy on dozens of key issues, Bolton has more resources than ever before to settle his lifelong ideological grudges.

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Hungary Prime Minister Attacks Juncker and Soros in Billboard Ad

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán attacked EC President Jean Claude Jucker and George Soros in a billboard ad.

The Duran

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Via MishTalk:


The EU has never seen anything quite like this. Orbán has a billboard campaign that claims European Commission president Juncker and and George Soros are “Endangering Hungary’s Safety”.

Opening a new front against Brussels a few months before European [parliament] elections, the poster shows the European commission president alongside the Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, a familiar target in Hungary.

“You have the right to know what Brussels is planning to do,” the poster says. On its official Facebook page, the Hungarian government says the poster is part of an information campaign to tell the public about Brussels’ migration plans, which it claims “fundamentally endangered Hungary’s safety”.

Although the government has previously run a “Stop Brussels” campaign, the decision to use an image of Junker is an escalation in the Orbán government’s public relations war with the EU’s most senior leaders.

It also exposes the rift in the centre-right European People’s party in the European parliament, which counts Juncker and Orbán, as members.

Orbán was re-elected for a third straight term last April, after a campaign dominated by immigration. A long-term critic of the EU, Orbán has accused NGOs and critical media of being part of a plot orchestrated by Soros to send millions of people to Hungary.

In recent weeks, Orbán has spoken of his hopes that the next European parliament will be dominated by anti-immigration parties.

Birds of a Feather Not

​Juncker once met Orbán with the jokey greeting “hello, dictator” and playfully tapped his face.

Today, Juncker responded Orban Should Leave Europe’s Centre-Right.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has said Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban’s ruling Fidesz party should leave the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament (EP).

“Against lies there’s not much you can do,” Juncker was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency, adding that he had called for Fidesz’s expulsion from the EPP.

​”They didn’t vote for me in the European Parliament,” he said in Stuttgart, Germany, in a speech. “The far right didn’t either. I remember Ms. Le Pen, she said: ‘I’m not voting for you.’ I said: ‘I don’t want your vote.’ There are certain votes you just don’t want,” Juncker said, referring to the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Eurointelligence Comments

Looking at Orbán’s previous record, and noting that one cannot of be sure, we continue doubt that Hungary’s Prime Minister has changed his European strategy and is now working to provoke the exclusion of his party from the EPP. Rather, Orbán seems to be doing one his classic hit-and-runs.

There is little doubt that the new smear campaign will make life on the campaign trail much more difficult for Manfred Weber, the CSU MEP and EPP spitzenkandidat. Juncker himself has now declared more forcefully than ever before that the EPP values are not consistent with keeping Fidesz in.

But we note that the CSU leadership in Munich has in the past consistently worked to maintain close and even warm ties with Orban.

Spitzenkandidat

US readers no doubt need an explanation of Spitzenkandidat. The following video explains.

In short, the term refers to an election process instead of an appointment process to determine the head of the European Commission.

63% of Europeans want the commission president determined by vote. Those in power still support the behind closed doors process for obvious reasons.

Orbán’s mission

Orbán’s mission is to weaken the EU from within. Italy has the same mission, for different reasons, as does President Trump.

EU Splintering

Two days ago I reported a Commerce Study Deems “European Cars a Threat to US National Security”. That’s nonsensical, of course. But Trump’s mission is easy to spot. He is doing his best to bust up the EU.

And now Trump has a lot of help on the inside: Marine Le Pen in France, Victor Orbán in Hungary, and Matteo Salvini in Italy.

I response to Trump, I noted, EU Pokes Trump Again, This Time Over Huawei’ s 5G Technology.

In the UK, Seven UK MPs Split from Labour Party Over Brexit. More MPs joined that parade today.

The splintering of the EU continues with escalating infighting at unprecedented levels.

It is illogical for the UK to want to part of this mess. Yet, the UK Remainers want to stay in.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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