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Syrian War Report – Jan. 9, 2019: Turkey Wants US Military Bases In Northern Syria

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Ankara has asked the US to hand over 16 of its military bases in northern Syria to Turkey or to local authorities in the region after the U.S. withdraws, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on January 8 after discussions with U.S. officials.

“We are pleased with Trump’s decision for withdrawal [from Syria], but it needs to be clarified as to what kind of structure will be left behind, what will happen to the heavy weapons that have been deployed, the fate of American military bases and logistics centers. In this meeting we discussed these in detail,” Kalın stressed.

He added that the US withdrawal should not allow “new opportunities for terrorist organizations or other elements, including the PYD/YPG.”

Earlier, Ankara repeatedly vowed that the US has to collect the weapons and equipment, which they had supplied to Kurdish armed groups in Syria. However, this demand as well as the transfer of US infrastructure to Turkey seems unrealistic.

These statements are a public part of the ongoing negotiations between Turkey and the US over the situation in northern Syria, primarly in Manbij. Similar negotiations are now ongoing between the Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance and Turkey as well as between the alliance and Kurdish armed groups. However, the sides have achieved no significant progress thus far. This can be tracked by monitoring the current areas of the Syrian Army and Russian military police deployment near Manbij. They still only control several positions west of the town. If they withdraw, this would mean that the Kurdish leadership has once again rejected all proposals from Damascus and its allies. If  they enter Manbij or expand their control near it, this would show progress.

In the Idlib de-escalation zone, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has captured several new areas from Turkish-backed factions in northwestern Hama and southern Idlib establishing control of about a dozen of villages.

Meanwhile, pro-government forces have repelled several fresh infiltration attempts by militant groups in northern Hama, in the area close to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-held area. Attacks were carried out from the directions of al-Latamina, Mourek and Ma’arkiba. According to Syrian state media, militants have suffered significant casualties and failed to capture any positions.

Syrian state-run media reports on ceasefire violations by militant groups operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone on a constant basis. In turn, the “opposition” also accuses the Damascus government of violating the ceasefire.

However, this situation could change in the nearest future in the event of further Hayat Tahrir al-Sham expansion in southern Idlib. If the terrorist group consolidates its gains and expands areas under its control across the de-escalation zone, the situation in the demilitarized zone near the province of Idlib will likely deteriorate further. This development would undermine all the previous efforts of Damascus, Russia, Iran and Turkey to de-escalate the situation in this part of the country.

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  • alanbstardmp

    more wars for Israel

  • neil barron

    Love it when terrorist bite terrorist next thing you know there will be none.
    The poison of evil will rain supreme on itself.

  • MADE MAKER

    16 us Military bases in SYRIA that is a lot & TURKEY wants them THAT CANT BE ALLOWED to Happen , they SHOULD now Belong to SYRIA

  • Master Oroko

    For God’s sake, just when I was beginning to like Turkey, they suddenly want US bases in northern Syria…

    • Loz

      Don’t forget that the culture in this area is based on bargaining. And several countries, and in particular Turkey, are masters at bargaining. Positions are both not what they seem, and can change instantly to take advantage of favorable developments.

      • John Whitehot

        “Turkey, are masters at bargaining”
        “Positions are both not what they seem, and can change instantly to take advantage of favorable developments”

        Yeah sure.
        While Israel and the US base their foreign policies on non-negotiable, highly ethical conditions.

        Jesus Christ kicked the merchants from the temple, something the US has forgotten since decades.

      • Master Oroko

        That could also be the case. And Erdogan definitely knows how to play the US.

    • gustavo

      I just want to reamin you that Turkey was one of the main countries in the World that applauded and supported the USA-NATO air missiles stricke to Syria, during that famous fake news about chemical weapons.

      • Master Oroko

        True, but Turkey has changed a lot since the attempted coup against it by the Gulenists. Even so, I get what you mean. Turkey is a snake. They’ll please one side while please the other.

  • John Whitehot

    the title of the article is way too misleading.

    Turkey wants the bases for theirselves, they don’t “want US bases in Syria”.

    Also there is a revealing hint in the second line:

    “hand them to Turkey or to local auhorithies”.

    Which since cannot be the kurds can only refer to the Syrian Government.

    • jorge

      Yes, they want THE US bases in Syria for themselves or for local authorities CHOSEN BY THEM, the Turks.

      • jako

        Except FSA or whatever they are called can’t be imposed now in Idlib as new occupational authority in front of SAA noses.
        That is not for sure part of the agreement between Russia and Turkey and that would not at all be unacceptable to Assad as well.
        Agreement was to remove Kurds and NOT to impose pro-Turkish militias in Manbij as new occupational force.

        “Once Kurds leave we have nothing to do in Manbij” were Erdogan’s words
        So if Turks have nothing to do in Manbij the same goes for their stooges.

        • jorge

          Manbij is in the Aleppo governorate and isn’t part of the called de-escalation of Idlib (formed with a little of northeast Latakia, north Hama, the most part of Idlib governorate and a part of the west of Aleppo governorate), and in Idlib’s de-escalation zone what is appearing in front of SAA noses is al Qaeda’s Nusra Front. They haven’t sent a single man from Manjib to Idlib to fight the Nusra Front, and besides Manbij they are also threatening Tal Rifat, that is closer to Afrin. They are stupids and think that their’s little game of Syrian government don’t exist, SAA don’t exist, Assad don’t exist, Russian plan to help Syria don’t exist, only what we want exists, this stupid schizophrenic little game is still possible. In my opinion, it’s a case for the madhouse.

          • jako

            For Erdogan the Mabij Kurds are absolute priority.
            And all the Turk stooges (“moderate” rebels) had to stay there with Turkish army ready to attack Manbij.
            HTS is only less obedient Turkish servant so no big change has occurred in Idlib. HTS depends on Turkey for their supplies.
            They can’t survive without Turkish support.
            Turks are not happy because of those events in Idlib but those changes are not radical enough to change their focus from Manbij to Idlib.
            That is in my opinion main reason why they didn’t send single man from Manjib to Idlib.

          • jorge

            In Manbij the most part of the population aren’t kurds, and I doubt that the Manjib Military Council will have a kurdish majority. But, anyway, they know very well that, if Assad will be in control of the territories now in the hands of the SDF, the Turks wouldn’t have any Kurd problem in Syria. What these stupids still want is Assad’s skin, and to rule Syria. But what they are going to get is just a bloody nose, or may be something worst.

          • FlorianGeyer

            ” what is happening in Idlib is clearly, till now, with the turkish consent.”

            It is possible that Erdogans removal of many proxies from Idlib to the lawful Turkish/Syrian borders that the US currently occupies with her proxy Kurds , is intended to allow HTS to take over Idlib.

            Erdogan can then say that it is up to Syria and her allies to clear the UN designated Al Nusra (HTS) terrorists from Idlib as Erdogan has said recently that he wants to see Syria cleansed of all terrorists. Including the radical Kurds.

            In my opinion this could all be part of a Turkish Face Saving ploy, in the knowledge that the FUKUS/Israeli plans have failed and to prevent a military drain on the finances of Turkey that cannot be afforded, both in Turkish Army deaths or financial costs.

          • PZIVJ

            “In my opinion this could all be part of a Turkish Face Saving ploy”
            This sounds correct Florian. Appears Erdogan does not want to take any action that would upset the Jihadist near it’s border.
            Good cop (Turkey), bad cop (Syria). :)

          • FlorianGeyer

            IF my possible scenario becomes reality, will Erdogan allow US Coalition of Terror supplies to reach HTS, just to keep the war fires burning, in your opinion ?

          • jorge

            May be it will end like that, if they don’t attack in Tal Rifat, Manjib or East Euphrates, as the main opposition turkish party wants, and would be a nice solution, but they would have to start to speak with the Syrian government.

    • jako

      “hand them to Turkey or to local auhorithies”.

      That actually means ; Hand them to Turkey !
      (because they know if US have to chose between Assad and Turks they will chose Turks always)

      But nobody has right on Syrian territory !
      Nobody has right to give away or receive peace of Syria specially not occupational US troops!

      • John Whitehot

        Publicly maybe – yet there is no doubt that everything that is publicly stated by the US and the west these days is propaganda made by and for Israel.

        But in fact, on this same website you can see a video of US servicemen handing over territory to the SAA military.

        also i don’t see why:

        “hand them to Turkey or to local auhorithies”

        becomes

        “Hand them to Turkey ! ”

        unless you are willing to sing zionist tunes ofc.

        • jako

          If “US servicemen handing over territory to the SAA military” it might be because they are vastly outnumbered and they simply accept reality of the situation on the ground.

          One optics and logic is from their superiors and completely another from soldiers who have to find immediate solution to the difficult situation.

          I was not talking only from “US official standpoint” but from common sense.
          US soldiers can’t possibly give their military bases to the Turks because Kurds are already pissed of with them already as it is.
          So if U.S. would give the bases to the Turks than Kurd’s would see that as 100% betrayal and strike deal with Assad immediately and kick out all US soldiers from the territory controlled by them

          • John Whitehot

            that’s why the only solution that accomodates everyone (beisdes ziojihadists) is to give the territory back to the Syrian government, which is what i said in first place.

          • jako

            Are you accusing me of parroting your own thoughts as my own?!
            I have developed the reasons why would US do that without copying your words.
            I never claimed that you did or did not say something

          • John Whitehot

            “Are you accusing me of parroting your own thoughts as my own?!”

            eh ehm, err err.

            hummm hmm.

            no.

            end of thread.

          • jako

            ;-))

  • Tommy Jensen

    Precisely as Bolton and I have pointed out. Trump dont see the many many problems but we do.

  • Rodney Loder

    HTS is openly fighting Turkish backed rebels in the demilitarisation zones which saved Idlib from a major SAA offensive, Reuters called the Turkish backed rebels the National Army, leaving out the Liberation part of it, probably because Assad has been blotted out of their Satanic Book, I’m not sure but what I can’t understand is what do HTS hope to achieve now Salman is kissing up to Assad, who do they think is going to sponsor them even if they do make significant gains ?, can only be israel.

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    All that US infrastructure was built perfectly, it was made to comply to the very fussy French who’re about to occupy it all lock stock and barrel, alongside the Russians and Syrians in their own positions and bases. And the Germans, and maybe even the Brits will help pay for it all, not the US. And Erdogan will crack the SH-TS big time about it, and eventually do a dummy spit. It’s all great news.

  • When the time does come, and the American military does pullout of Syria, I hope what ever we shipped over there, EVERYTHING will be shipped back home. INCLUDING THE DUST!!! (LOT, STOCK AND BARRELS)
    Who ever moves in after we leave, just give them the walls.

  • Sink Chicken

    “TURKEY WANTS US MILITARY BASES IN NORTHERN SYRIA”? How much are they offering to pay?
    The American taxpayer owns them and we want our money back.

  • Thunder

    Syria and allies will hold that area for it is Syrian territory as the Golen hieghts is and so it shall be again

  • occupybacon

    The real question is if Russia air forces could cover SAA in Eastern Syria