The Trump administration is yet to decide how it plans to withdraw its troops from Syria, according to several senators said Thursday, following a closed-door metering of Senate Armed Services Committee and Pentagon officials, Stars and Stripes reported.
“It’s clear that the administration has no real plan,” said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., himself a veteran combat Army pilot. “And the military is being left in a very difficult situation to try to carry out, execute the president’s orders when there’s no real either timeline-based or milestone-based” plan.
This lack of coherent planning continues close to a moth after the president’s December 19 announcement of the withdrawal.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s defense minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday that his country is preparing for an “intense” attack across the Euphrates in Syria, as soon as the Americans withdraw.
Akar said Turkey was determined to end terrorism wherever it may be, which never means Hamas terrorism – it’s just code for killing a lot of Kurds.
“We have no problems with our Kurdish brothers, Arab brothers in Syria, Turkmens and other ethnic and religious groups,” the DM explained, “Our only targets are the terrorists ISIS and PKK/YPG.”
PKK is a Kurdish underground operating inside Turkey, YPG is a defensive army in Syria, and the Turks are not interested in these distinctions.
American officials wanted to condition a US troop withdrawal on a guarantee of safety for its Kurdish allies and a Turkish commitment to non-aggression, an idea President Erdogan hated so much, he refused to meet with NSA John Bolton who had flown all the way to Ankara to meet with him.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that the thousands of Turkish troops amassed along the Syrian border would attack whether the US is out or not.
“If the [withdrawal] is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect reality, we will implement this decision,” Cavusoglu said, noting: “We will decide on its timing and we will not receive permission from anyone.”