Bolton has weighed in again this morning on the Syrian withdrawal and protecting the Kurds from being slaughtered by Erdogan:
REUTERS – U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Friday talks between the U.S. military and its Turkish counterparts on the Kurds and Syria will continue next week, in the hopes of producing results both countries accept.
Bolton, in a radio interview, said he, President Donald Trump, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo understood Turkey had committed “not to harm the Kurds who had fought with us against ISIS.”
Bolton had suggested on Tuesday that protecting Washington’s Kurdish allies would be a pre-condition of the U.S. withdrawal troops from Syria, which began earlier on Friday. That drew a rebuke from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who called his comments “a serious mistake.”
“What we’re still pursuing in these military-to-military conversations are assurances and protocols and procedures so that everybody feels comfortable with how this is going to happen. And we’re hoping those discussions, which will continue next week, will produce results that are acceptable on both sides,” he said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, according to a transcript.
As I pointed out in an update to our post on the Syrian withdrawal, no troops have been withdrawn yet. Just equipment. So it sounds like getting the assurances from Erdogan is still in play.
But considering how Erdogan feels about the kurds, I can’t imagine we’d trust him saying he’d leave them in peace.
Even Middle East commentators know that Erdogan wants to eliminate the Kurds because he believes they represent a threat to the new-Ottoman caliphate he is resurrecting. One commentator says (translated from arabic) that Erdogan wants…
…to occupy the Syrian north and penetrate deep into the Kurdish places and eliminate them because they pose a danger to the new Caliphate state – or so Erdogan dreams…
He believes the US postponing our withdrawal is an obstacle to…
…the realization of the plan of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to destroy the Arab states and control the Middle East, and to hold tripartite alliances between Qatar, Iran and Turkey, to acquire the game cards in the region.
He needs these ‘cards’ to convince people that he is the chosen Caliph…or something.
But my point is that it is well known that Erdogan wants to destroy the kurds and the idea of getting his assurances that he won’t destroy them seems a bit naive. But perhaps Bolton is just trying to make the best of a bad situation that Trump created by announcing withdrawal.