Trump Is Leaving Behind a Trap for Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria

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Trump Is Leaving Behind a Trap for Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria

Written by Elijah J. Magnier@ejmalrai; Originally appeared at his blog

The US executive order of withdrawal from Syria has been signed off on, indicating that President Trump is determined to recall the few thousands US troops in Syria back home. It is well known that regular troops are much more vulnerable during withdrawal operations than in combat or deployment positions. Accordingly, the withdrawal, which seems to be happening despite widespread scepticism in Syria and Iraq, will likely take less than the announced 100 days to complete. US military command keeps the dates secret to avoid casualties. Although the departure of the US is much welcomed by all parties in and around Syria – except for the Kurds – Trump is intentionally leaving behind a very chaotic situation in the Levant, and is setting a deadly trap for Russia in the first place, but also for Iran and Turkey.

Judging from what Presidents Trump and Erdogan said to each other during their last phone conversations, it seems the US establishment has decided to leave Syria in Turkey’s hands. This is far from an innocent move. Indeed, the Pentagon has deliberately pushed the several thousand ISIS fighters in the area under its control to the shore of the Euphrates river, facing the Syrian Army and its allies on the Deir-Ezzour front. This means that, in case of a fast US withdrawal coordinated with Turkey, Ankara’s troops will be able to move into the Kurdish-Arab province of al-Hasaka, starting perhaps with Manbij or Tal Abiad, facing no opposition from ISIS for the simple reason that there aren’t any ISIS militants in the area. The two cities are hundreds of kilometres away from the ISIS-controlled area along the Euphrates in Deir-Ezzour.

Trump Is Leaving Behind a Trap for Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria
Turkey can eradicate ISIS in Manbij, Tel Abiad, Ain Arab, Raqqah and all the way to Qamishli simply because ISIS is not present in the entire area but along the Euphrates opposite the Syrian Army forces where the US pushed it.

In the case of a sudden Turkish attack, the YPG Kurdish forces (Syrian PKK) will have to rush towards the advancing Turkish troops and try to slow them down, waiting for the Syrian government’s help and allowing civilians to leave towards Damascus controlled areas or to flee toward Iraqi Kurdistan. Such a move will disrupt the Turkish-Russian-Syrian relationship. Moscow has already warned Turkey against moving into the northeast Syria. Any Turkish move, or even the advance of its jihadist proxy forces in Syria, amassed on the border of the Kurdish controlled provinces, will trigger a reshuffle in the relationships between Moscow and Ankara and between Moscow and Damascus. Such a realignment can only be avoided if President Erdogan resists the temptation to invade and accedes to Russia’s clear preference that the US departure befollowed by discussions about the future of the area.

Turkey was already contemplating – according to well-informed sources in Syria – annexing the north of Syria rather than occupying it. Any occupation of Syrian territory will generate international complications and lack of recognition worldwide. However, Turkey has learned from Northern Cyprus that annexation can continue for decades with only sporadic reactions from the international community. Russia’s annexation of Crimea might be taken as a precedent.

If Erdogan doesn’t coordinate with Russia and Iran, the Idlib front will be opened. Pretexts are not lacking since the jihadists are continuously violating the cease-fire agreed in Astana. A Turkish invasion will lead the Syrian Army to attack Idlib, the city and rural area under jihadist control, while also attacking ISIS on the Euphrates with a view to a quick victory.

Any possible ISIS future massacre and attacks in the Kurdish controlled provinces will give a retroactive moral legitimacy to the past years of US occupation of Syria territory. Pundits and US establishment officials will tell the world how the illegal US presence in Syria over the years had served to fight terrorism (ISIS).

In Damascus there is a growing understanding between Kurds and government representatives, as negotiations continue,  about how they will face ISIS together once the US pulls out all forces, a withdrawal expected in less than one month.

There is a need for military coordination to create a secure passage for the troops to squeeze ISIS between two forces on several fronts along the Euphrates river before it expands toward the vast area of al-Hasaka. That will require the support of Russian Air Force, the Syrian Special forces, Iranian ground forces allies and Hezbollah to participate in this very decisive battle to end ISIS, a job the USA did not find time for during the last couple of years of its occupation of the same area.

Trump Is Leaving Behind a Trap for Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria

The YPG will find themselves cooperating with Russia after having fought under USA command for many years. Simultaneously, more Syrian and allied forces will be pushed towards Idlib to prevent the jihadists from taking advantage of the ISIS extermination operation to attack.

For Turkey, any unilateral plan to move into Syria without coordinating with Russia is not to its full advantage. US withdrawal will allow Turkey to reach neither ISIS nor the rich oil and gas fields in DeirEzzour, including al-Omar’s abundant oil and Conoco gas fields. These will be targeted and reached by the Syrian government forces and their allies only after the US withdraws its forces. Last February, Damascus ordered its forces to cross the Euphrates in an attempt to attack ISIS and control the oil and gas fields. These were attacked by the US coalition, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Syrian and Russian Wagner contractors.

Turkish combat skills were not very impressive when Turkish forces clashed with ISIS in many areas, including Jarablus, Al Rai and Dabiq, in 2016. The forces of Ankara were able to control these cities only after a deal with ISIS who managed to absorb the first wave of attack and inflict severe losses on Turkish forces during the first weeks. ISIS pulled out once the battle was doomed and it was attacked from the rear.

It is likely that neither the Turkish army and its allies nor the Kurdish YPG are capable of defeating ISIS alone. The Syrian army, on the other hand, with the help of their allies and the Russians, have driven ISIS out of many places on the Syrian geography including Palmyra, Suweida and surrounding steppe, spread over tens of thousands of kilometres, in urban and open area warfare.

What is certain is that the Kurds have everything to lose from Trump’s decision to withdraw, as he daily gives more indications that he wants to end his occupation of northeast Syria in favour of Turkey. They have profited greatly from the US presence, thinking it would never end. Now they don’t have many choices unless they have developed suicidal tendencies, as their decision in Afrin suggests.

The quick US withdrawal is expected and even designed to create, no doubt, an initial confusion in the triangle Turkey-Syria-Iraq in the first months. ISIS, Turkey, and al-Qaeda may take advantage of this, hoping to turn the situation to their advantage. Nevertheless, this withdrawal will no doubt be a long-term blessing to the Syrian government, whose officials had not dared to hope for such an outcome. The US establishment has been a source of continuous havoc in the Levant and especially to the “Axis of the Resistance”; it has been the protector of al-Qaeda (in Idlib) and ISIS (in the area Trump declares his intention to withdraw from) in Syria and Iraq. Its departure is a sign that the US is coming to grips with the fact that its hegemony is no longer unilateral. Russia is moving forward while the US is backing off in the Middle East.

Proof-read by: Maurice Brasher and C.B.

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  • John

    I have to disagree with the premise of the article. I am just not seeing it at all. My take.

    • alejoeisabel

      What premise?

      • S Melanson

        Several apparently and it seems if one contradicts another like leaving a trap for those that are apparently ‘happy’ about it ??? Does not seem to bother the author.

    • FlorianGeyer

      There are so many variables in this most complicated war, I agree.
      It takes a nimble and pragmatic mind to make any sense of it at all.

  • alejoeisabel

    With a no-fly-zone established on the border with Turkey, the Syrian Arab Army can assert sovereignty over its critical frontier. Syria must make peace with its Kurds, and a force of SAA/Kurds must combat the invader and their puppets. The Syrian/Iranians must convince Russia that with or without Russia, Syrian sovereignty is sacred and non negotiable.

    • Hasbara Hunter

      That is probably what will happen… No one will take a part of Syria….Together with their Allies they Have Defeated The Great U.S. Imperial Army of Headchoppers…. Who wants to Fight the ones that Beat the West?

      • Natalia T.

        The pathetic SAA couldn’t assert authority over a a handful of women if their lives depended on it. By virtue of Trump’s cunning decision, Turkey is now the de facto master of northern Syria, and there is nothing Assad or Iran can do about it. Russia will be fine with that, they’re not going to waste more time and money if they don’t have to.

        • Hasbara Hunter

          I said: Syria & their Allies: Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq, China….sure it’s Great the U.S. pissed off out of Syria….was about time…all they do is Create Trouble in this World…USrael….the Devil in Sheepsclothes…

          • Natalia T.

            Trump has said for years that there’s no point to being in Syria other than to kill ISIS. First he wipes out ISIS as an organized military in the whole region between Raqqah and the Iraqi border, and then he basically lets Turkey do what it wants there so long as they promise to hit ISIS if they pop their heads up again. Doesn’t cost the U.S. another cent, and the objective is fulfilled. Actually a brilliant deal by Trump!

          • Hasbara Hunter

            But Turkey won’t stay in Northern Syria…. if they do it will mean Big Trouble….Turkey is working together with Russia…. but Erdogan can be Bribed….Almost every Current Leader in this World can be Bought as long as the Price is Right….
            Mister Trump is Either the Clown who screwed up the Evil Plans of the Cabal by his stupid actions or he is busy Fighting the Deep State together with High Placed Americans who are Tired of the Cokesnorting Warcrimes Committing Deceiving, Lying, Satanic Paedophiles in Washington who go unpunished for Decades….This would make him the Best Actor in the World and he should get an Oscar for it…

          • FlorianGeyer

            “” First he wipes out ISIS as an organized military ”

            I understand now. You are part of a Hollywood movie company and making another film of how the US Military won another war and in so doing, the US us again stealing the valour of others.

          • Carne João Pasta

            yep! And only reason they were organized is bc of the US/UK, et al.

          • Ashok Varma

            Indian government estimates that the British raj stole $ 45 trillion from India and they were not even Jews.

          • Carne João Pasta

            I never mentioned Jews? I was making a statement as pertains to ISIS “army” being organized.

          • Hasbara Hunter

            It always were the Jews & the Freemasons….One cannot only Blame the Jews but also should bare their Henchmen in mind….for they are Traitors & Backstabbers… just as guilty…Jews were traditionally the Banksters of the Western Elites….

          • ravenise
          • Gregory Casey

            Are you a complete Dolt? or deliberately displaying both your US-Ignorance+US-Arrogance in a twin-set?

          • Carne João Pasta

            The US did nothing of the sort (re “wiping out” ISIS)

          • Ronald

            First of all Trump is President of the American Republic, but not Syria, he holds no authority to allow Turkey to invade Syria more than they already have.
            America and Trump had best remember Russia and Syria are long time Allies, as the Chinese would say, learn to be polite.
            Now ISIS is threatening to UAV, Heathrow, or were those really ‘just toys’ ?
            Well, Bush Sr. the man responsible for Al Qaeda, etc. is gone, but will America stop using Wahhabi jihadists or do we have to wait until they UAV LAX.

          • badgery

            3) There’s the old saying about how the old paradigm is dead before the new paradigm is apparent. The House of Bush is on the rocks and hopefully Trump is their last Emperor. But sadly, I don’t expect them to quit their Wahhabi proxy forces anytime soon.

          • Jaime

            The moment you tried to explain the situation in the Middle East, I immediately realized that your understanding is that of a high school student. So you think that Trump wiped ISIS? Who told you this? Or should I say, Where did you read this? I know: CNN, Fox, NYT and so on. Hopeless.

          • GRAHL

            It should work out great. Isis rooted out of most of the major urban areas they focused on. Time to go home. Seriously, best thing that could happen for the Kurds as well in the long run. Disagree with you that Turkey should have any business in Northern Syria, but we’ll see how it develops.

          • ruca

            “First he wipes out ISIS”. Wow, that was delusional.

          • My Opinion

            Natalia, hate to break it to you but your entire premiss is shaky. ISIS was the de facto creation of the west namely USrealis funded by Saudis+PG arabs’ money. US is leaving bcuz they practically lost the war trying to replace the Syrian ligit leader Asad. Turkey is their plan B and it will also fail to bear their diabolical outcome. The plan C is to bring in the failed Eric Princes’ Blackwater mercs to replace the uniformed Pentagon soldiers which of course will fail again. Wake Up America & smell the coffee.

          • Gregory Casey

            How could Donny be responsible for wiping-out ISIS? All he had & has to do is send Orders down the line from his Commander-in-Chief’s (empty) desk in the Oval Office : No more pay & no more support from US Forces. How many ISIS personnel have been re-trained and reprogrammed at the US-Base with its 50 Mile “Exclusion Zone” al-Tanf over the past 12-18 months before being forwarded with new orders to different Theatres? Yemen, Central Africa, Afghanistan to mention but 3 …….. and speaking of which: any news on your attempts to send Uighurs back to China with new Orders to cause trouble in NW China?

          • Felix D (TUPPERWARE PARTY)

            You really believe that Turkey is going to “hit ISIS”? Did they “hit ISIS” when they shared a border in 2015? No they did not. They co-operated in looting Syria.

          • Ashok Varma

            US is playing the great game with less than a great brain.

        • Gregory Casey

          Have you been asleep for the past few years?

    • Zionism = EVIL

      True, so far Iranians and Russia have not coordinated policies and only shown weakness as the Americunts have bombed Syria almost daily and Zionist scum have launched over 120 strikes on SAA and Iranian targets with impunity. The Zionists even downed a Russian IL-20 with 15 dead and Russia merely sulked and did nothing. Basic schoolyard rule against bullies is that if you don’t hit back, they are only emboldened. Syria has been issuing meaningless hollow threats so far and done nothing to retaliate against the Zionists. It is time to hit back, no matter what the cost. The Zionists are more scared of casualties than any other as Jews think that they will live forever and keep killing people.

      • Reza Rezwani

        Tell all this to Mr Putin, but remember the most important day in Russia, Immortals day, and who walked happily beside Putin?

        • FlorianGeyer

          Again you are being disingenuous as you make a cheap jibe at President Putin.

          I watched the parade and as Bibis minders rudely shoved an old Russian soldier with his chest covered in WW2 medals to one side.

          It was then that President Putin ushered the soldier to HIS side for the remainder of they part of the parade.

          • Gregory Casey

            Yep! I spotted that. A studied insult to BiBi and his GangAghasti Minders as they trudged along hoping to get a snip from Putin’s garment!!
            Has BiBi been spotted since in Moscow? Nope and, as I understand the position, a recent ‘ask’ for such a visit to take place was rejected out of hand by Moscow.
            Meanwhile, forget the Khazar’s influence in Moscow for the time being. They are keeping their heads down and their pockets sewn tightly while Putin’s protege and probable successor gets to grips with the world through his position at the head of Russia’s Ministry of Defense.

          • S Melanson

            You got it bang on. The historical role of adversaries is back and is not going to changeany time soon. Shoigu leads a faction that opposed reapproachment with the US led West and is now in the drivers seat.

          • Gregory Casey

            Bank on! Shoigu is the MAN in Moscow for now.

        • Ashok Varma

          The self-anointed “chosen” people from Occupied lands?

    • Smith Ricky

      Kurds needs to make peace with Syria*

    • ruca

      Technically it’s the Kurds that should make peace with Syria. It’s staggering how stupid the Kurds have been.

      • Gregory Casey

        Staggering vastly understates the extent of Kurd stupidity and hypocrisy

      • Bill Wilson

        Where’ve you been? The Kurds and Damascus have been co-operating with each other ever since the fighting first started!

        • ruca

          The same Kurds that welcomed the US of A-holes?

  • ColinNZ

    History tells us that US exceptionalism has no limits and anglozionists always double-down. I would not expect the US to “back off” any time soon.

    • Hasbara Hunter

      What is the U.S…? They are done….

    • Tom Tom

      Except for that U.S. economic collapse coming up.

    • Marko

      ” I would not expect the US to “back off” any time soon.”

      Me neither. And I trust Trump to keep his word about as far as I could throw his fat ass.

  • Mohale

    A subjective article. The US is leaving because of the co-operation of Russia, Turkey and Iran. agreements have been reached on a range of issues, particularly the way forward for SYRIA, the drawing of a new constitution. Trump’s action is because of objective factors, and are not random.

  • Hasbara Hunter

    Turkey should be smart and just stick to the plan…Force the Kurds back into place so that they pose no longer a threat to Turkey….This Forcing Back of Kurds will be done best by Forcing them into the Arms of Syria & Russia….they will accept them in the reconciliation Program & Kurds should behave nice towards Turkey…..otherwise Kurds take the risk to be completely Destroyed by the Surrounding Nations (which should be at least a little agitated by now because of Kurdish behaviour)…. so Kurds be Smart: Help to Exterminate the Last remnants of ISIS….also the ones that thought they would be saved when they joined the SDF….Scout for ISIS-SDF-Infiltrators and Eliminate them all….shaving their Beards should not save them….at least 3000 ISIS-Prisoners in the Hands of the Kurds…. hang them high….

    • matt

      Wanneer hebben de syrische kurden de turken aangevallen???
      Groetjes uit brazilie pik

      • Hasbara Hunter

        Ze zijn Over en weer op mekaar aan het Schieten dat heet oorlog….maar de Kurden gaan gewoon tot een oplossing komen met Rusland & Syrië….Kurden gaan echt niet met iedereen problemen zoeken….zeker niet nu de Amerikanen wijselijk vertrekken….veel plezier in Brazilië… ik vertrek ook volgende week…

      • harmfreymuth briefly

    • Reza Rezwani

      Lol,

    • FlorianGeyer

      ” Erdogan….only stay in Syria if you like a Continuous War on your Eastern Border ”

      Wars are also very expensive and Turkey can ill afford that. In addition if Erdogan accepts a ‘trillion dollars’ fro the Zio Devil, he is more valuable dead.

    • Bill Wilson

      Erdogan doesn’t have the slightest idea of what he’s doing even though he thinks he does.

      • Hasbara Hunter

        Either Way…. as long as the outcome is Good…it’s fine by me….

  • Jesus

    US has been the source of mayhem and destruction in the Levant, once they are gone SDF and Damascus can patch things up defeat ISIS and clean up Idlib.
    The author of the article thinks Turkey is the key keeper of the situation in the Levant in their absence, he is wrong.

    • Garga

      Turkey is not the keeper but can easily disrupt the peace and unification in Syria for a long time. One of the worst outcomes could be gradual replacement of the US forces with the Turkish regulars and jihadi ones. Erdogan will be able to play both sides for his own gain at the expense of Syrians. even if it’s limited to Hasakah and they never enter Deir-Ezzor.

      I’m not sure where do Iraqi army (not likely) and Hashd (more likely) stand, heard nothing from them.

      Best outcome would be Kurds joining SAA and deliver their heavy arms so there’s no longer a reason for Turkey to be worried, if that’s the real reason.

      • Jesus

        Yes, the Kurds are joining with SAA, there was a recent event when Russian and SAA entered a village near Manbij, Turks and their proxies are not known for their military abilities, if SAA and the Kurds deploy along the border, the Turks will not push.
        Russia will use its inside info with the Turks to benefit SAA and the kurds.

  • Smith Ricky

    Finally admitting to all the chaos theyve caused for the last centuries.

  • John Whitehot

    “Although the departure of the US is much welcomed by all parties in and around Syria – except for the Kurds –”

    Actually no, Israel is furious about it. Also the middle eastern powers like Saudia and UAE (those that should make up, in the US vision, the “Middle-East NATO”)

    To quote Bibi – “This is an American decision”, the word “American” used as a synonime of “overwhelmingly foolish”.

    • S Melanson

      The article reads like a cut and paste from multiple articles written by people either clueless or disinformation agents

  • badgery

    Yep. The ‘DJT=JFK 2.0 notion’ was approaching delusional levels (even in polite company). By “bringing the troops home” Donny Johnny doesn’t mean Florida, Virginia, or Texas. He means Kirkuk, Baghdad, and Kuwait. Pivot to Persia, baby!

  • Sinbad2

    Trap, really?
    Why did America intervene in Syria?

    To ensure an American controlled gas pipeline to Europe could be built, and not an Iranian pipeline.
    Getting the American controlled pipeline built was a lost cause shortly after Russia intervened.
    It’s been a spoiling action for some time, and is preventing Europe from obtaining another gas supplier.

    • S Melanson

      Thank you. I did not agree about the trap either, we posted at same time. See mine below.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      Correct. Now focus also on the russian european side of the borders and take a look to what is happening there in the balkans and cyprus and greece and you may begin to get an idea of the bigger picture where syria is the expression of what is about to happen to europe africa and ME sooner than any one think. For west the only option to survival it is a global war unless a miracle happen and west dont believe in miracles believe in holywood scenarios as they proven with their deeds.

  • S Melanson

    This article was a confusing read and Crimea is not a precedent for getting away with illegal occupation by opportunist invaders. The recent relative quiet in Syria is about to change as the fluidity of allegiances and agendas may be ending. Trump did not leave a trap, he is leaving to let those in the region sort it out among themselves as should have been from the beginning.

    Now we will see where everyone stands.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      you are wrong thinking what you suggest tramp did and why. Remember what I told you of the general area surrounding greece and cyprus. The real game is about to begin also see why russia is sending troops in serbia.

      • S Melanson

        Yes I agree. I did not say what Trump planned to do with the troops only that the pull out had nothing to do with a trap, at least not in Syria. I think things are going to get moving which is going to reveal where nations and factions are at. I have been busy finishing my paper on Israel and Russia. Would like to send you an advanced draft for your thoughts. Will be ready by weekend.

        • Promitheas Apollonious

          syria is the test if turkey will turn. So the next step it is what defines friends and enemies among the players that created this wars and the ones oppose them, in their drive.

  • R PLobo

    The premise that the marketing brand isis operates as some sort of independent (of the zionist masters) entity is absurd. Isis does not even exist other than in the propaganda of the western msm presstitutes and their handlers. The US has cut bait and their mercs will fight on only as long as they are paid.

  • RamboDave

    Southfrount ….. can’t you do better than this article? Why give us this crap?

    • Bill Wilson

      Because SF tries to be fair and balanced.

  • verner

    difficult to lay traps so that’s not very likely. on the contrary, once the moronic state is on its way home with the tail between its legs, turkey can reestablish the kurds along the border and things will get back to normal. kurds without a homeland and the four, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, can revert to the situation that was before the moronic state set out to establish a middle east order to their liking.

    the best laid plan of mice and men often go awry – it would seem that trump actually is onto something – what is still unclear but something is growing there.

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    only if russia try to solve this with negotiations and give every one rights they dont have. Then is falling right into the trap turks and english set for them. If they stop getting between the syrians and their enemies and protect the enemies then they are in for a WALK. Many here confuse turks as been a good fighting army and that because you never seen them fighting against someone who can fight back and are worst than the americans are. Especially when they panic and run shooting each other.

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    By the way if tramp can do what he says then none will oppose him beside his own masters of course.

  • stary ujo

    All action with Russians , Hisballah , Turkey and IRAN , will successful without fucking USA !

  • Jens Holm

    Trump dont care about this area at all, as well as being not clever for a trap.

    Funny article legalizing You can go on killing each other as usual. Trump is already guilty for the next stupisme of Yours. Remeber to put in jews and western too with some Rotchild Soros Hungarian cigars and wine.

    So funny to get confirmed again. Not funny so many lines are used for it

    • Bill Wilson

      I think that Damascus and the Russians had agreed in principal to recognize the SDC and SDF as equal partners but were dragging their feet in finalizing their deal with them. Everybody knew that they eventually would but Trump got tired of waiting on them plus got tired of listening to Erdogan’s blather so made the sudden announcement to force Damascus and Russia to embrace the SDC/SDF sooner than they wanted.

      • Jens Holm

        Well, Russia might have protecting and negosiating with the Afrins. Assads demanded their old offices opend and the YPG ones closed.

        YpG wouldnt do that, because it was soemthing for nothing after figting all the enemies of Assads – but non paid – but off course for own pupose as well.

        Then Russia didnt care anymore, they do have the Assad zone, 2 bases and an expanded navy base as well – and have sold old Russian equipment for oil for the next many years.

        By that the Turkish possitions are no problem apart from the Jizira part.

  • Willing Conscience (The Truths

    Excellent article, SF should be trying to rope him into working for them, he’s very clever I think and also very observant, We need more of this sort of unbiased analysis devoid of the usual propaganda if we’re to make sense of what’s happening now. Brilliant article and I hope a lot of SF readers pay real attention to what he has to say, this is as close to the truth as anything I’ve read in SF for a long time. Good on you SF, a big thumbs up from me, and more of the same please.