0 $
2,500 $
5,000 $
520 $
MAY 2021

Russians “Chopped The Shit Out Of A Turkish battalion”: U.S. Syria Envoy On Moscow’s Posture In Syria And Washington’s Strategy

Support SouthFront

Russians "Chopped The Shit Out Of A Turkish battalion": U.S. Syria Envoy On Moscow's Posture In Syria And Washington's Strategy

Click to see full-size image. James Jeffrey

James Jeffrey, outgoing State Department special representative for Syria engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS gave an interview with Al-Monitor, reflecting on Turkey, the Kurds and “what everyone got wrong.”

Jeffrey said that he was against the election of US President Donald Trump, as well as the subsequent actions he undertook. His announcement of a reduction in presence from Syria back in December 2018 was detrimental.

This action, according to Jeffrey, shifted the balance of power in the region, and leading to displacement of Syria’s Kurdish population.

It also threatened to end the alleged success of the US-led coalition against ISIS and against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

“We felt very vulnerable and may have been a little bit punch drunk on fear,” Jeffrey told Al-Monitor. “I understand the president’s concerns about Afghanistan,” he said. “But the Syria mission is the gift that keeps on giving.”

He said that one of the Trump administration’s biggest goals was to reduce Iran’s regional influence, and destroy what the Obama Administration had established. Then it was also denying Assad from winning the war.

“Basically, first and foremost is denial of the [Assad regime] getting military victory. But because Turkey was so important and we couldn’t do this strategy without Turkey, that brought up the problem of the Turkish gripes in northeast Syria. So my job was to coordinate all of that.

So you throw all those together — the anti-chemical weapons mission, our military presence, the Turkish military presence, and the Israeli dominance in the air — and you have a pretty effective military pillar of your military, diplomatic and isolation three pillars.”

And those were actually effective up to a point, Iran’s presence was allegedly reduced in Syria, but Turkey began doing its own thing.

Regarding Turkey, Al-Monitor had the following question:

“Al-Monitor: Let’s move to the subject of Turkey. Secretary of State Pompeo sharply criticized Ankara during the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. In recent Al-Monitor podcasts, Stephen Cook and Philip Gordon said the US should probably not consider Turkey an ally or a “model partner.” How would you recommend the Biden administration engage with Erdogan out of the gate?”

According to Jeffrey, before anything else, “first of all, you have to separate [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan from Turkey.”

According to him, Erdogan needs to be won over somehow.

“Erdogan is a great power thinker. Where he sees vacuums, he moves. The other thing about Erdogan is he’s maddeningly arrogant, unpredictable and simply will not accept a win-win solution. But when pressed — and I’ve negotiated with him — he’s a rational actor.

So if Biden sees the world as many of us do now, near-peer competition, Turkey becomes extremely important. Look what [Erdogan] has just done in eight months in Idlib, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia or Russian allies have been the loser in all three.”

However, one can’t simply concede against Erdogan, since that’s not how any progress is made, according to Jeffrey.

“Erdogan will not back down until you show him teeth. That’s what we did when we negotiated the cease-fire in October of 2019. We were ready to crush the economy.

That’s what Putin did after the Russian plane was shot down. The Russians have now twice sent strong signals to the Turks in Idlib. They chopped the shit out of a Turkish battalion. It didn’t work out the way the Russians wanted to.

You have to be willing, when Erdogan goes too far, to really clamp down on him and to make sure he understands this in advance. The Turkish position is never 100% correct. They have some logic and arguments on their side. Given their role as an important ally and bulwark against Iran and Russia, it behooves us to at least listen to their arguments and try to find compromise solutions.”

He then said that Turkey’s operations against the PKK and SDF, as having quite a few members from the PKK in it.

And how the Kurdish were supported by the US, despite the President wanting a withdrawal.

Russians "Chopped The Shit Out Of A Turkish battalion": U.S. Syria Envoy On Moscow's Posture In Syria And Washington's Strategy


According to Jeffrey it is not certain if the US can reach an agreement with Turkey in regard to the Kurdish population, and that its not exactly in Erdogan’s hands. In his understanding, Northeastern Syria is a sort of issue of internal Turkish policies.

“I don’t know. Whenever you talk about northeast Syria, the most important thing is Turkish domestic politics. Erdogan’s battle buddy, [Devlet] Bahceli, can be summed up in one sentence: The only thing that matters is the Turkish national agenda, and in that there’s no place for Kurds.

That’s not the AKP’s agenda, of course. Erdogan, who has had much better policies toward Kurds and the PKK than anybody before him, is being hampered by the MHP.

If Erdogan feels that he needs a victory [to] churn up national sentiment, he might do something more. The problem is, he would have to do that in conjunction with the Russians because I don’t think he will go south of the M4. He and his people had always maintained that they were not interested in what happens south of the M4. So Kobane, for example. But that would require agreement of the Russians.

The Russians have made it clear — I have it on the highest authority — that the Russians do not want to see an expanded Turkish presence into Syria.”

Essentially, Jeffrey, more than once, makes it obvious that he considered the Russian approach to the conflict in Syria, and Turkey in that scenario, but also elsewhere as a correct response. He also thought that Russia didn’t go far enough when dealing with Turkey, and if it did, it would have much more success.

According to Jeffrey, the SDF and the wider Kurdish population could be included in Geneva.

“Who knows? We live in a world of Kashmirs and Nagorno-Karabakhs.

The point is, this [preserving the SDF] is our plan B. We have a plan A. Plan A doesn’t answer ‘how does this all end?’ Plan A’s whole purpose [is] to ensure that the Russians and Assad and the Iranians don’t have a happy answer to how this all ends, and maybe that will someday get them to accept Plan B. Meanwhile, they’re tied up in knots. They don’t see Syria as a victory.”

In short, Jeffrey felt that US President Donald Trump did more harm than good in announcing several withdrawals from the Middle East, and that this allowed Turkey to act largely with impunity.

It also made it possible for Turkish President Bashar al-Assad to achieve victory, and for Russia to expand its influence and capabilities.


Support SouthFront


Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Servet Köseoğlu

That’s not the AKP’s agenda, of course. Erdogan, who has had much better policies toward Kurds and the PKK than anybody before him, is being hampered by the MHP.

Better policies of Erdogan the ”uber machiavellist” towards Kurs ended with obliterated south-east Kurdish populated cities,full terror waves…Forget it, it doesnt work and you are trapped in Syria..If the first button of one’s coat is wrongly buttoned, all the rest will be crooked…
comment image


i see it in much more simple light
Turkey does not want the YPG to have any territory of the its border.
Russia wants the YPG to give back the Syrian lands they control.

both apply pressure in their own forms. But both have their own reasons.
Turkey see the YPG is an off shoot of the PKK and regularly sends them supplies money and recruits.
Russia see the YPG as destabilizing force in the region and know the US uses them to steal Syrian oil.

the US wants keeping the YPG going for as long as possible.

Servet Köseoğlu

and the 150 million dollar question how this mess will be fixed?


US withdraws fully and the Kurds fold back into Syrian society

Servet Köseoğlu

ı dont think its ever option…Usa-israel will never withdraw…


well you asked and i answered

now what is more likely to happen is that the YPG’s territory will gradually shrink over time through is incidents like turkey attacking a town. Only for more and more of the boarder areas to be filled with SAA soldiers amd patrols.

this phase will end with entire contact line between the turks and the kurds are separated by SAA squads and checkpoints.

The next logical phase would turkey stating this is not enough, and may issue further demands for YPG withdraw deeper into syria. this results to in SAA line thickening to a point where if turks invaded they would be up against SAA for the first 1KM thus ruling out military operations.

in theory once that is completed the USA/kurds will try for more and more provocative actions against the SAA. While turkey will still try push YPG territory further from its borders away via diplomatic means.

the end result of this if the SAA withdraw from the boarders areas turkey will move in. If the kurds attack the SAA turkey will air strike the kurds. IF the SAA launches an operation against. Turkey will still air strike the kurds.

it really is the case of Turkey will gladly fight the kurds but also try to take syria’s land. It quite funny though there is a legal loop hole that turkey could use to strike US troops in Syria.


remember how Armenia claims the Syrian mercs are not prisoners of war.
Well that works both ways.

the turks as NATO allies could state that it needs the location of all US army personnel in Syria as it will launch a strike against the Kurds. The US must give that info. Otherwise the turks cannot promise not hit USA troops.

but in the Turkish mind. the Nato troops having withdrawn from important areas. But not PMCs. But PMCs are private citizens who made the choice to go fight for the YPG for money. Thus cease the prote3ction that being part of citizen of US/Nato grants.

Servet Köseoğlu

you are a good analyzer captain..thanks…

Hind Abyad

YPG protected by Israel


why when Turks attacked afrin Israel did not help when the turks attack raqqa Israel did not help.
The worst thing is for israel fighters getting into a dog fight with turkish ones over syrains skies low and fuel.

Israel will not help the few airstrike in southern syria have shown to have no impact on syria war efforts.

Hind Abyad

‘The relationship between Israel and the Kurds between 1948-49 and 1990
played an important role in the global security policy of the Jewish state in the Near and Middle East.’
‘Also attributing to the Israeli-Kurdish closeness during the mentioned period were strong historical and cultural connections between the two nations resulting largely from the existence of large and strong Jewish Kurdish community in Iraq, rightfully considered as the oldest community in the entire Jewish Diaspora.
Despite the exodus of practically the entire Jewish population from Iraq in the period after the creation of the State of Israel, Iraqi Jews have retained their
identity, culture, and traditions and have been effectively influencing Israel’s policy on the Kurds, and, by extension, on Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran.

And the sizeable Kurdish community of Israel has played its distinct, albeit limited role. Between the 1950s and the early 1980s Israel in collaboration with the U.S. and the Shah’s Iran provided comprehensive military and political assistance to Iraqi Kurds, which effectively kept the armed struggle of the Kurds against the Iraqi government going all that time.

The signing of the Algerian Treaty between Iran and Iraq coupled with the Islamic Revolution in 1979 caused Tehran to withdraw its support for the Kurds in the north of Iraq and, consequently, limited Israel’s-which does not have a common border with Iraq ability to maintain its aid to the Kurds.

As a result, the frequency and scope of Israeli-Kurdish contacts in military and political areas were dramatically reduced, which nonetheless did not diminish the significance of the Kurdish factor in Israel’s global geo-strategy in the Near and Middle East.’comment imagecomment image


turkey is NATO and Nato has article 5. If the Kurdish state attacks turkey it will be crushed. If the IDF attack Turkish soil they will be hit back.

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Whatever the man says, Syria has been a major set back for the NWO, a check-point marker of a reversal at the hands of revanchism.

Potato Man

Reuters: U.S. is about to sanction Turkey over Russian defense system – sources <- (they didn't name anyone).

The sanctions would target Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries and its head, Ismail Demir, sources have said. Several sources said they were expecting the announcement on Friday but one said it could come any day and perhaps as soon as Thursday.


To be fair there were talks of sanctioning Turkey for sometime, when Biden take the WH – you know what gonna happen again in Syria and Turkey and what have you…

johnny rotten

But where do the Yanks hope to go with jerks like that? at best they can steal gasoline from the tanks of parked cars, after ten years they have no idea what they are doing in Syria, except stealing, lying and cheating. Sad end for the supposed superpower of my balls.

Jens Holm

comment image


They are polishing their jihadi terrorist command and control mechanisms.. No other country can say this including turkey. Now the US can create terrorists at will anywhere in the world.. Just like the foreign legions of old..


SF Main page has been redirecting me to VERY dubious websites, and attempting to force the download of fishy programs. Did that happen to someone else ?

Florin Boar

you need to block that website.

Jim Allen

Not so far.

Jens Holm

Check Your security.

I had same problems years ago and changed my defence into Antivir,Malwarebytes, but I think the CCleaner and TweekNowRegCleaner took the crap rediricting things as Yours.

I always use the free Addblocker.

They are all free, so You can install them one by one, run the program and see of You get the needed changes. ANTIVIR and Defender at the same time might not work, so try them opposit as written and by that TweekNowRegCleaner first and CCleaner.

In TweekNowRegCleaner I use almost all programs as its recommending. comment image


Reset, reinstall your browser. It is not SF but something else.

Tommy Jensen

I have never had any of all the problems you guys always have.

cechas vodobenikov

turkey involvement in syria benefits them little except money from EU/ USA


So much bullsh*t in that analysis I don’t know where to start. None of the conflicts he mentioned have been ‘set backs for Russia’. They won in Idlib, Russia is barely even involved in Libya and NK has nothing to do with them. The current Armenian government is not a Russian ally either.


Comparing to what Turkey did, it was a set back. Russia needed Idlib to stop future drone attacks on Latakia bases. Now they gave up Idlib.

cechas vodobenikov

bacon hungry? you ukrop/romani gypsys ceded Crimea/donbass to Russia/pridnestrovia to Russia…ask Georgians about your incompetence


Cechas tell me again the story with your too high to school in America IQ :)


Turkey’s proxies lost ground and Turkey was forced to pull out of many of it’s outposts. I’d say it’s definitely a Russian & Syrian victory.


I’d say after SAA and Russia pledged to take Idlib and were 50km clise and then pushed back by Turkish drones despite all Russian jets in the air, it’s definetely a set back.

Jens Holm

Its no bullshit. Your version is a relative too.


I recomend the read to, get first hand observance of a real outer space cadet. I know, who am I to judge? That given, nothing he has represented in the article is anywhere close to reality. The only reason he is out there talking, in my opinion, is to stir shit up. Not working on me. He is very disconnected from reality and that is why the US policies are getting their asses handed to them of late, especially in Iraq and Syria. My take all.

Pave Way IV


Well, once again: Thanks, Russia.
(I remember a time when the U.S. used to be the good guys. Maybe it was just the mushrooms thinking…)

Me&Myself None

When was that?
– A country build from colonialism, slavery, genocide, looting
– A country that is always at war with some lesser country since its existence.

Al Gathafi Did Nothing Wrong™

Since the beginning of the Hollywood hegemony


good guys???? They started off by killing the males and enslaving the females as sex slaves.. The same people who helped them survive the winter.. Pocahontas was a sex slave.. and they have no shame in using her image as something noble..

Tommy Jensen

Its because you dont know what the bad guys do. The bad guys kill the females and enslave the males as sex slaves. Thats why we are the good guys.

Igors Savitsas

Erdogan pig is bitch – he is not an ally of anybody. In NATO – he is considered enemy by all European nations. Erdogan pig only abuses NATO to protect his turkish asshole from Russia. He is aggressive, because he assumes NATO will defend him. Russia can smash this turkish pig within minutes. 100 cruise missiles against strategic targets, and game is over. Turkish pigs cannot even fight. We watch them for decades against the Kurds. Kurds have primitive weapons, and at the end of the day Turkish pigs cannot defeat the Kurds. If Russia decides to arm the Kurds with MANPADS, then, the turkish pigs will go back to their shithole. The aggression of Erdogan may really cast him the creation of Kurdistan. Once Russia decides, it will happen. Erdogan was dreaming to eliminate Assad. It did not happen. Russia stopped his trade with Daesh. Turkey is an ally of Daesh, and we all know that. In Libya it will come the son of Gaddafi, and he is against Turkey. Russia will have there a base. In Nagorno-Karabah Russia became stronger than any other period since Russian troops left Georgia back in 1994 (not 2008). This is why the turkish pigs are very upset – Russia holds them for the small turkish balls. If Turkey makes one wrong move, then Artsah will become a state recognized by Russia – a huge Russian military base. It is clear that US was pushing the turkish pig against Russia, just like the homosexual west has been pushing the ottoman islamic state for centurires agaisnt Russia. The American bitch confuses reality with dreams.


When this unconstituate fktard says whatever,it means the total opposite (period) nuff said!


It’s not a good indication of logic when he says “….Idlib, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia or Russian allies have been the loser in all three.”

Russia has effectively created a stalemate to stem the state-sponsored terrorist activity. Russia gains a naval presence in the Mediterranean, and the rest doesn’t cost them much comparatively speaking.

The West is trying to create problems, and Russia is hindering that. Simple. There’s not really any win/lose for anyone involved.


Fighting the G Force Limit: Russia’s Unconventional Plans to Make Its New Su-57 Fighter Extremely Manoeuvrable

………….unconventional approach currently being tested to allow pilots to pull more extreme manoeuvres and exceed the 9g limit is to train pilots to breathe an oxygen-rich liquid instead of air when flying. This liquid breathing technology is currently under development by the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects, and has been funded since 2016. This technology also has applications in allowing submariners to avoid decompression sickness if ascending too quickly from under water, but its potential when applied to fighter pilots is considerable and could allow manned aircraft to rival the flight performance of unmanned ones.


I seen this used decades ago in the 70’s tv shows..


OK, but making it usable for combat situations and literally every day use is altogether different, much bigger problem.
If not so, many other countries would use it at least for resolving decompression problems for divers if for nothing else.
Going above 9G is going above all human limits .
People lose conscience even on much lower than 9G.
And if they can do that, one of major advantages of drones to the fighter pilots will disappear .
If Russia can do that, than SU-57 would evade long range missiles very easily, not to mention a dog fights.

Tommy Jensen

Dont forget we have photonic lasers.


Those are good for removing blemishes from the skin.

Hind Abyad

Well said! Haha…


Jeffrey is so preoccupied with all the proxies that not once does he mention the Syrian Arab population. They simply do not exist in his biased perception.

Tommy Jensen

Syrian children got American bubble gum.

Lone Ranger

I can only hope that Turkish batallion was full with cia and mossad trolls.
May they rest in pieces…

Lone Ranger

How is idlib a loss?
SAA us gaining Everybody else is draining ?
Lybia is a stall.
Yemen is a loss for saudisis and the U.S.
Nagarno-Karabah might seem as a loss at first but no Armenian land was lost only contested land, Russia didnt lose anything but won, their troops are now in control there, while the CIA/soros stoge is hiding in the basement of the U.S. embassy.
This will push Armenia closer to Russia, again…
Thats a win overall.
U.S. are lead by braindead double digit IQ retards pretending to be competent and Patriotic when in reality they are neither.

Tommy Jensen

Exactly what I have been saying all the time.
Trump and I did the right thing demanding the troops home, but Russia was too much pussy against Turkey and Israel which prolonged the whole thing.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x