0 $
2,500 $
5,000 $
1,489 $

U.S., Turkey Bargain Over Syria Conflict: Kurdish Issue, Patriot Sales And “Deterrence” Of Iran & Russia

Support SouthFront

U.S., Turkey Bargain Over Syria Conflict: Kurdish Issue, Patriot Sales And "Deterrence" Of Iran & Russia

ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGE: Turkish-backed militants in Syria

On December 18th, the US State Department’s Deputy Spokesman Robert Palladino rebuked Turkish President’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s claim that US President Donald Trump had given “the nod” to a possible Turkish operation in Northeastern Syria.

When Palladino was asked whether Trump responded positively to such a situation, and the question itself had the suggestive notion of “That is a misstatement, right?”

“Yes,” Palladino responded. “The United States and Turkey are coordinating actively on all issues affecting both Turkish security and the situation in Northeast Syria. Where you know, of course, US forces are present in the campaign of insuring the enduring defeat of ISIS. We’ve made significant progress recently in the campaign. But the job is not yet done, and President Trump and President Erdogan have discussed these issues in their telephone call last week. As did Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu in a separate call. Both of our countries remain focused on coordination to counter the threats that terror poses to the Turkish nation and beyond. And we believe we’re making progress with Turkey.” Basically, answering a set up question, that simply wanted to have a denial of Erdogan’s words “on record,” while once more reinforcing that the real threat is ISIS and no other group.

On December 17th, Erdogan claimed that Trump had given a positive response to Turkey’s operation east of the Euphrates during a phone call.

“We can start our operation any moment now in Syrian territory at any place, especially along the 500-kilometer border, without harming U.S. soldiers,” Erdogan said

Erdogan had also warned Trump that “his terrorists” must leave the region east of the Euphrates river.

“If they don’t go, we will send them,” he said. “The terror corridor [in Syria] is disturbing us. Since we are partners with the US, we must do this.”

On December 12th, Erdogan said that the Turkish army will begin a military operation in the next few days against the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey deems an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The country has listed both the YPG and PKK as terrorist organizations.

Thus, by proxy the Turkish army will go against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the core of which is the YPG. Both the YPG and SDF are US-backed.

In his statement, Erdogan also accused the US of “protecting terrorists, not Turkey,” and applying “delaying tactics” regarding its promise to clear the northeastern Syrian town of Manbij from YPG members.

“It is clear that the purpose of U.S. observation points in Syria is not to protect our country from terrorists but protect terrorists from Turkey,” he noted.

Furthermore, on December 18th, the US State Department approved the possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey of eighty (80) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles, sixty (60) PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.

The prime contractors will be Raytheon Corporation in Andover, Massachusetts, and Lockheed-Martin in Dallas, Texas.

Regarding how Turkey will utilize the Patriot systems, the US State Department statement read the following:

“Turkey will use Patriot to improve its missile defense capability, defend its territorial integrity, and deter regional threats.  The proposed sale will increase the defensive capabilities of the Turkey military to guard against hostile aggression and shield NATO Allies who might train and operate within Turkey’s borders.  Turkey should have no difficulty absorbing this system into its armed forces.”

However, there has been no deal made by the US and Turkey on the issue. Ankara is still set to purchase S-400 missile defense systems from Russia. That is something that the US and NATO have strongly opposed, because it would then integrate it with the F-35.

The Patriot and S-400 systems are different in capabilities. The S-400 is a mobile system, designed for deployment behind the lines to protect critical infrastructure, with a very long range. The Patriot, meanwhile, is a medium-range system.

In relation to other US-Turkey points of tension, on December 17th, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that US authorities started investigations against the supporters of the FETO movement, led by Fethullah Gülen, who Turkey blames for the failed coup of July 2016 and wants extradited from the US to face justice.

“The FBI said they have begun to see the dark face of the organisation based on the evidence they had reached. Furthermore, there are some arrests in different states including New Jersey,” Çavuşoğlu said.

There has been no official confirmation by the US State Department or any other US official. Earlier, on November 15th, two unnamed senior US officials were cited by NBC News, claiming that the White House was looking for ways to extradite Fethullah Gülen, in order to “calm” Turkey over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia.

All of these come amid tensions over the US-Turkish roadmap for Syria’s Manbij, which according to Turkey the US refuses to honor and continues to delay, as well as the Turkish-Russian deconfliction agreement surrounding Syria’s Idlib.

On December 18th, Russia, Turkey and Iran as guarantors of the Syrian peace process reached an agreement on the Syrian committee.

“The 150-strong committee, due to start work next year, could pave the way for UN-supervised elections and a possible peace process that would encourage millions of refugees to return to their homeland.”

The agreement was reached in Geneva and was passed on to the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, for his endorsement and for consideration by the UN security council on December 20th.

The abovementioned developments are just a part of the wider picture of the complex Turkish relations with both the US-led bloc and the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance in the region. Since 2016 Turkey (as a restult of an economic and diplomatic sanctions imposed by Russia) has repeatedly assisted the Russia-led alliance in diplomatic and security spheres, thus allowing it to achive some of important successes in the conflict. On the other hand, Ankara has got an opportunity to carry out two military operations – Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch – in northern Syria preventing creation of a possible YPG-controlled self-proclaimed state in the area. Now, Washington is engaged in active contacts with Ankara in an attempt to return it to own sphere of influence and to gain Turkish assistance to deter Russia and Iran in Syria.


Support SouthFront


Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



all a big theatre play ……

all they are doing is preventing the SAA from taking back their land in the EAST,NORTH and SOUTH

all these areas are occupied by NATO!!!!! period thats a FACT!!!!!

and Putin is PROTECTING the nato occupation in the north.THATS a FACT!!!
think what i´m wriitng… i did not write RUSSIA, i wrote putin!!!!!

Now folks here, most of them, believe that putin is trying to get turkey to dismiss NATO , turn against them………THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN…just to think about such bogus idea is insane….

Turkey on the other hand, invaded the entire Northern part of syria, thus NATO occupation….turkey has allowed french and british experts on chemical warfare to “visit” idlib on several occasions as mentioned in several articles here at SF and elsewhere.
If..only IF, putin was playing an honest game in syria, this (french and british experts…..as mentioned above)would have been the final nail on the turkish coffin in syria..and should have been the BIG GREEN LIGHT BY PUTIN to attack ALL GROUPS in idlib including the illegal TAF bases.

But all we ALL get to hear , day in and day out, is the constant bs stories about TAF and its jihadi proxies attacking SDF(us proxies ) in the east. WILL it ever happen.BIG NO NO.
And even if TAF and its jiahi proxies attack SDF in the east……what does that have to do with IDLIB or AFRIN????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Iam just asking folks here an OBVIOUS QUESTION …. WILL TAF move out of IDLIB and AFRIN by itself??????????????????????????????????????????

I know the answer..its obvious…anybody who STUDIED the works and sick dirty deeds in AFRIN by TAF knows the answer…….AFRIN IS LOST!!! PERIOD…anybody who speaks different has NO IDEA what is talking about.TAF changed the DEMOGRAPHICS in AFRIN.And they learned from the sickest of sick..the jews……look at west bank…changing the demographics…look at occupied GOLAN…changing the DEMOGRAPHICS…Thats what happened in AFRIN.And in case u folks dont know what that means “changing the demographics”…….its evil, its sick, but its simple once the changing force is the STRONGER party…..
TAF changed ALL town names, city names, village names from SYRIAN to turkish…
TAF threw out the indigenous population, they “confiscated” their farms,houses,factories, etc..and replaced them with Turkish bastardos.
In schools, all teachers got replaced , syrian currency is no longer legal and worthless in AFRIN..only the turkish LIRA is ALOOWED to be used.
ALL PUBLIC places are renamed from syrian to turkish, ERDOGAN square etc…

And TAF is doing the same in IDLIB RIGHT NOW!!!! every day , putin preventing SAA to attack, is one day more the turkish bastardos have to change the demographics…and once , like in AFRIN, or in the west bank or jerusalem, this illegal sick minded operation is finished, attack by SAA is totally useless….because what they are fghting for, be it people or area is no longer syrian.

The best thoughts on putin in this regard i have and the(with a big IF) plan he might have regarding syria..is the following..

Putin gave afrin and idlib to turkey, under several conditions, 1. TAF has to fight SDF in the east
2. hence, eventually turkey leaves nato.

if thats the plan, and erdogan follows through…ok ok…it would be the biggest setback of nato since france under general deGaulle left nato in 1966.And i quess Assad , with russian security garantuees that turkey wont fuck around anymore in syria will be happy too having survived the international onslaught on his nation.

But there are alot of ifs in that equation……..for the poor population of syria which went literally through hell in the past years i truly hope that this nightmare is soon over.


Were you saying the same things about the Israel border before it was cleared? Putin is a door mat, it will never happen, etc..

Gregory Casey

I tend to agree with most of what you have said Potcracker but when it comes to Idlib, I think the existence of 1.3 – 1.5 Million Syrians within Idlib Governorate might be more than enough to ensure Turkey doesn’t try to grab the entire Territory.


“Putin is PROTECTING the nato occupation in the north.THATS a FACT!!!
think what i´m wriitng… i did not write RUSSIA, i wrote putin!!!!!”

You’ve been bashing Putin and the Russian military for a long time. While I’ve been supporting them. And now they’ve just won the war. As the US declares victory and leaves.

Promitheas Apollonious

so two professional liars both telling their own version of the story, or their secret well wishing?

My take of the whole situation is that US will finally give in to what the turks want, since they are backed by UK and most of the northern European countries that are heavily invested in turkey.


Erdogan is useless pig Putin must attack all none government opposition terrorists. Erdogan can close his phophorus strait.Then Iran and Russia must close Hormus,Kergy straite ,black sea and Artic straits.Help China and close all China straits then Nato dogs and puppet allies will suffer.

John Whitehot

the only ones that should be attacked are all those that don’t wish and work for world peace.

they should be put on a spaceship and shot into oblivion.

Gregory Casey

Just dripping out of Washington that US Military + FUKUS are withdrawing from NE Syria !!! Deal done between Turkey & Washington.


US Special Representative James Jeffrey speaks at the Atlantic Council on December 17, 2018
” The eventual goal of the mainly-Kurdish Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) should be “to become part of the fabric of a changed Syrian society,” US Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on December 17. Distancing the United States from the prospect of supporting SDF or other Kurdish groups as autonomous from a future Syrian government, Jeffrey said “we do not have permanent relationships with substate entities. That is not the policy of this administration and has not been the policy of other administrations.”
So Turkish President’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s claim stems from the despair found himself that he will lose Afrin and the idea of the undefeated Sultan.

John Whitehot

“The S-400 is a mobile system, designed for deployment behind the lines to protect critical infrastructure, with a very long range. The Patriot, meanwhile, is a medium-range system.”

The Patriot is the longest range land SAM the US was able to produce, period.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x