More details about Turkey’s plans for a “safe zone” in northern Syria are emerging, and as a few questions are answered on the putative deal between Turkey and the US on the matter, many more questions are also emerging on the notion.
The US and Turkey have agreed the safe zone will be 60 miles long, but they haven’t decided how wide it will be. They have also determined it will be under the control of “moderate insurgents,” but it isn’t clear if such groups exist already or how the US and Turkey figure on installing them, since both insist the plan doesn’t involve ground troops.
Turkey has insisted they don’t want any ISIS territory on their border, but they also don’t want any Kurdish territory on their border. They seem more or less fine with al-Qaeda’s border holding to the west, but the 60 miles seems to cover only a fairly short amount of the non-al-Qaeda border.
US officials are also saying they don’t intend to create the zone as a place to house the 1.8 million Syrian refugees who have fled to Turkey, but they also concede it might well end up becoming that, and the refugees might flock there.
Turkey has clearly wanted rid of the refugees for awhile, and that’s a big part of the plan for them, but how they figure on accomplishing this, beyond a lot of airstrikes, remains completely unspoken.
16 thoughts on “US, Turkey Eye 60-Mile ‘Safe Zone’ in Northern Syria”
To give the land to moderate insurgents! What they really mean by that and Turkish Erdogan regime meeting with NATO is simply asking for permission to clear the area of Syrian Kurdish people giving the area to Al-Queada the moderate Islamist that have the same politics as Saudis dictatorial system. We said it long time ago, Obama is helping Saudis, Saudis helping turkey, Turkish government helping Saudis to expand their religious Sunni dictatorial system which will result in creating a buffer zone against Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon unification in terms of cultural, political and economical cooperation. What they don't know, as of yet, is that they are about to create another Libya, what they don't care is that Obama policies is already doomed to fail, what they don't care about is that Obama and Europe Neo liberalism, Neo fascism already have destroyed three nations in Middle East and in Northern Africa, now they are at it again creating yet another destruction for Kurdish-Syrian people for yet another of NATO friend the Erdogan Sunni dictatorial regime and Saudis to expand their kind of dictatorial system in the region. AIPAC is very happy about the political situation created in the region, as they look into Saudis for their next increased political and economic relation with Israel.
No, I do not think so. US and Turkey are FRENEMIES, and for a long time. When US sticks it to Turkey, Turkey waits for a while — and sticks back. Pattern clear for a long, long time. Saudi Arabia and Turkey are ENEMIES, and for a very long, long, time. I am not even sure how on earth can one see any shade of collaboration between the two. The reason? Saudi Wahhabi cult wants to make inroads among Turkey's poor, and their Sufi or Hannafi branches of Islam. Turkey was against Saudi meddling and financing a coup against elections in Egypt, and toppling of President. That has not been in any way resolved, yet.
The proposal to crate buffer zone was on the table from the beginning of conflict, only US did not want it. Opposed Turkey on every turn. Turkey then just wanted border security. When the buffer zone was not allowed by US, Turkey moved refugee camps more inland — to avoid uncontrollable use of camps for militants.
Additionally, it would be hard to NOT notice, how our politicians were talking up break-up of Iraq. After ISIS took Mosul, Kurds became very vulnerable. In the breach steps in US and UK, and the process of separating Kurds from Iraq had began. With ISIS commanding the control of areas between Kurds and Bagdad — even if there was any will on either side to assist each other, it became impossible. Turkey saw that development as the most dangerous in the region. For once an autonomous Kurdistan, on its way to become independent, materializes in the area, it will become what Albanian factor is in Balkans. Everywhere there is Albanian minority, they place demands on the governments for all sorts of privileges and political control — while still engaging in terrorism. Turkey knows that such entity would be manipulated to stir up problems in Iran, Turkey and Syria. This is why it is not keen on getting Syrian Kurds independence as well. ISIS attack on Syrian Kurds was simply the same strategy employed in Mosul. Threaten them, and they will have to cooperate, and stop resisting "rebels" — whoever they are. For Turkey, priority is to keep Kurdish areas part of their states, and let the internal politics decide on the type of autonomy — not foreign interest for the sake of manipulation or the region.
Terrorist attack gave pretense for Turkey to act. But also, regionally things have changed. Saudi Arabia is in a real mess on its border with Yemen. It keeps financing Bahrain — for its own sake, and Egypt — because of fear that military that took power will strike an independent course. It is getting broke, and Syria is not priority. Let's not kid — Saudi and Gulf are up to their necks funding ISIS, and at this point neither care enough if Sunni have a region in Iraq, or if Assad keeps power. US is kind of left alone. Enter Turkey — now dear friends. But Turkey wants its priorities — buffer zone, and no independent Kurdistan — especially in Iraq. Kerry went to talk to Moscow, about involvement in the crisis, more specifically how to involve — Iran. Moscow wants three regional countries agree on settlement of Syrian crisis — Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
As for Turkey, they do not care at the moment for the US desire to keep at least a fig leaf of victory by demanding that "moderates" control the area. It will not be practical, and Turkey knows it, but no point to argue this point at this time. It will be much easier to get security by non-NATO countries into the region, and get humanitarian agencies do the work in resettling the refugees.
Europe just wants to stem the flood of refugees, and it does not care how.
If US will give freedom to Turkey to identify ISIS targets, it will not be long that the lose groups, with no real hold of territory (population is kept as hostages), are hit where it hurts. They question is, will US and Saudi Arabia let it happen, or they still like the idea of braking up Iran, and having ISIS around for hitting those that are inconvenient.
/Saudis are clear in their collective heads that ISIS is not going to solve anything — but be an on going cost item — politically and financially — they will let Turkey do the job. And if they need to cede Turkey on the status of Iraqi Kurdistan — we will find out, and soon. If Turkey is thwarted in any way — Turkish membership in NATO may be over.
Not that nothing is going right for US and Saudis, they remembered Turks. And f
Have they ask Syria what they think?
But then i guess it´s perfectly ok for Syria & Russia to create a "safe zone" in Turkey to stop the ISIS from flooding in, wouldn´t it?
Also, remember the "safe zones" when the US & Germany was chopping up Yugoslavia. They were organized as a trap for the national army, in this case the SAA.
Syria has granted the Kurds wide autonomy and SAA and the Kurdish guerrilla is organizing their efforts against US & Turkey and their isis detah squads. That my friends is what´s freaking Erdoganistan and Obongo`s white masters out. That is a force to be reckon with and they are most likely to succeed against ISIS(rael) and free their part completely, hence the western move to occupy northern Syria…Ultimately, to the zio-con´s in Washington, a neo-ottoman Sultanate with the despot Erdogan as Sultan is more preferable than the favored wahhabi kaliphate
Go get them Turkey
Time for a free Middle East no more ISIS, PKK, and Israel time to liberate Palestine and Americans all in the one move.
Turkey should remove first YPG, PKK, ISIS then Israel then that would also liberate America from billions in aid….
As a American you are the dumbest in the world giving billions to israel per year in aid and not getting any help in any wars from this ally….. number of Israeli solders helping USA = 0
the world wont tolerate BIBI and his criminal gang any longer
Israel can not survive in a peaceful middle east we all know that they depend on mowing the grass and assassinating neighbors and scientist and they depend on terrorist and 9/11 style attacks to stay in power and to keep the upper hand in the region.
Israel has used all its cards up America knows they did 9/11…Media can not keep up the 9/11 lie any longer.
I totally AGREE.
Off course you totally agree, you as turkovic can not distinguish between ISIS a terrorists group where their policies are from Stone Age caliphate system, as in Saudi Arabia, and the Kurdish people's that are looking to achieve there freedom from yet another Sunni dictatorial regime as Erdogan Turkish regime is, supporting Saudis religious expansion into Syria is Erdogan priority, build his kingdome by sacrificing Turkish-Kurdish people, destroying the bases of Turkish democracy is his second social political agenda.
Look: Turkish Erdogan regime is Sunni puppet regime set up by Saudis and NATO militarism regime dictating for Erdogan and his regime what to do next, Erdogan regime is and has been supporting ISIS since they marched into northern Iraq, they been trained and supplied by Erdogan regime since its creation for such day where Erdogan regime could have an excuse start killing Kurdish people again, otherwise Turkish Erdogan regime could have taken out ISIS in few short weeks with help of Iraqi, Iranian and NATO if they wanted too.
We are not talking about Kurdish people we are talking about Terror organizations like ISIS PKK and YPG and ISRAEL
Here the same matter is repeated by the man himself, You as a "moderate" or a Neo liberal with ideas that Tony Blair and Sarkozi-NATO were correct when they supported entities of Saudis-Wahhabis Islamist barbarians or islamist terrorism and GCC invasion of Libya for "liberation" and "democracy"' which after four years hasn't arrived' and bloodshed in Libya will continue for many years to come, still puzzled by your assessment about whom is terrorist, who is supporting terrorism and what is their nature of what is changed to "insurgency" rather than being marked as stone aged barbarians as ISIS-Al-Queada is.
Look: Kurdish people have the right to exist as Jewish people were given part of Palestinians to coexist with Palestinians, which until than they had, but when the American-English interests in Middle East was challenged by Arab nationalism, they started supporting Israel by all of their means to start wars with Arabs, this is the same situation. They-Turkish Erdogan regime have found the way to creat another killing spree disregarding the Kurdish-Syrian people's rights to exist, as Jewish extremism been doing for last 60 years to Palestinians, for last 60 years the Kurdish people been suffering from Turkish militarism to Erdogan Sunni dictatorial-religious regime.
In last four years the Kurdish people been on the negotiating table with Ankara, yet to receive any concreat answer, but now with the creation of ISIS, if that's the work of Israel or not, is not relevant to the matter. It is not relevant because ISIS is already there and Kurdish-Syrian people been their target of barbarism, Kurdish-Syrian people are on the ground fighting such barbarians, hence for turkey wanting to cleanse the area of PKK or any other Kurdish group fighting ISIS is dubious as when ISIS was created.
The other issues involving this political process presented by Turkish Erdogan regime to NATO is for European Neo liberalism and Neo fascism, all and every other kind of people's movements, idealogy will not be accepted nor tolerated but those who are willing to cooperate with such "Neo" ideas. Neo liberalism is simply based on falsified democracy, is a fake notion where in last 5 years world been witnessing their militarism growth, their created poverty all over Europe being increased, meanwhile Saudi, Israelis have increased their political influence both in Europe and in USA involving their motives behind the creation of ISIS and getting directly involved by military means all over Middle East, killing Palestinians in Gaza by lsraeli forces, killing people's in Yemen by Saudis is another.
What is happening on the political aspect of the matter, one needs to understand why, who is behind and who is beneficial from Bashir Al Assad being removed from power, in religious terms Saudis are beneficial, so as Erdogan Sunni regime, Israel will be benefiting because they are looking for kind of regime established in Syria and Iraq when such regime can be a obstacle to uniting Iran, Iraq, Syria government.
Here you have two options, either ISIS or your other choice is Al-Queada, which almost everyone involved agree on and they already negotiating with yet another "less barbarians" attitude called "moderate" with no democracy as their social political agendas whatsoever supported by European-NATO and USG-Israel. Israel ove to see such transformation happening in Syria and Turkish Erdogan regime having it no other way, therefore, his main target is Kurdish-Syrian people that struggling with an idea, a idea in freedom and independence, in idea in integrity attached to their ideas, therefore, Erdogan regime been supporting ISIS since day one, where as result of Erdogan falsified democracy his regime is Saudis-NATO Neo liberalism and Neo fascism puppet.
Hey Enough with the "moderate" insurgents.
How about some LIBERTARIAN insurgents?
of course they wold be non violent and therefore not insurgents, but in surely gentlemen and gentle women.: )
This is the real reason for the safe zone—to support terrorists and to destroy Syria. Turkey with its buddies Saudi Arabia and Qatar already have in place the al Qaeda army in northwestern Syria. They are already supplied with American arms. These include TOW and anti-aircraft missiles, small arms, sophisticated command and control technology, as well as night vision glasses to mention a few. Americans who believe the mass media as to Turkey’s real intention are being misled. In reality, Turkey is attacking forces that have been fighting ISIS—the Kurds and the Syrian army. Turkey and the Gulf sheiks are bankrolling al Qaeda—the group our political leaders told us were our enemy for life. We need a new policy for the Mideast that does require us to kiss the a __ __ of every oil chieftain or Ankara megalomaniac who thinks they are the new Suleiman the Magnificent.
There are so many problems with your logic. Turkey and Saudi Arabia are at each other's throats. It is only the troubles that Saudi found themselves, stretched out thin — financially and militarily — that concessions are finally made to Turkey. From the beginning of conflict in Syria, Turkey wanted a buffer zone, to control its borders. But there was some reality to Turkish proposal — Syria's main crisis came out of the poor living conditions of millions of Iraqi refugees following Iraqi invasion. Those were radicalized by Saudi missionaries, and with handouts in food and scholarships to kids — ground was laid for violence in Syria. Turkey and I am sure Damascus, understood that that population needed solution, and such a buffer zone would not have been objectionable to Damascus. Neither is it today. But US blocked that solution for a long time. Now with Saudis courting Moscow for its own nuclear electric plants, ditto Jordan and Egypt — it is clear that these are peace offerings to Moscow, and desire to bail out of the chaos. With Iran now out openly acting in defense of its own borders and interests — we can be sure that Iran and Turkey see Iraqi Kurdistan same way. All of this is bolstering Bagdad forces, that were decimated by ISIS. Who knows how it will play out — too early. It is easy to see Turkish, Iran's and Bagdad's objectives. It is easy to see how Saudi Arabia and Jordan want to bail out gracefully without making US mad. But you cannot ever be sure what will neocons do — they seem to defy laws of gravity, and no matter how many disasters they create — they keep on trucking. For as long as they can have corporate-educated public howl for more wars, why not? Logic be damned. The only way they can get bloody nose, if something serious goes wrong. Example may be pushing Turkey too hard to go along with a/ giving Kurdistan autonomy outside Bagdad control, b/ not letting Turkey use its superior intelligence and knowledge of region, to really take ISIS infrastructure out, and c/ insist on some sort of mercenary ISIS like force (with some cute, peaceful name) to take over control in buffer zone. Turkey, if pushed too far, can get OUT OF NATO. It is already a member of Eurasian block led by China and Russia, and members include Iran, Pakistan and India — giving Turkey a regional role in accordance with the agreements it signed with SCO. In the end it will happen anyway — but for now, all Turkey cares about is to stop growing danger to its borders and long-term territorial integrity.
"Turkey was against Saudi meddling and financing a coup against elections in Egypt, and toppling of President. That has not been in any way resolved, yet."
The very same Sunni regime that were elected in Egypt were openly advertising for going to war with Iran, the ver same religious refused to acknowledge the friendship hand was given to Morrsi when he visited Iran. Look: no one wants to have the war engulfing the entire Middle East, they know is going to have a catastrophic consequences for the world, but that doesn't mean that they are not enjoying the political moment looking for loophole to benefit both economically and politically or religiously from the moments. Europe is beneficial when their Saudis dictatorial regimes remain in power, especially that Swedish king, the Sunni Erdogan regime is beneficial when an socialist or communist idealogy is terminated where as result Erdogan political party is no longer the majority, even if it takes killing millions of Kurdish-Syrian people, USG is benefiting from it all because they can sale more of their weapons to turkey and Saudi Arabia, GCC included, Israel is beneficial because they get American weaponry for free, among other thing, all of the above regimes are beneficial because they have created a moment for Syria, Iraq and Iran not being able to grow their unity as Iranian, Syrian, Lebanon and Iraqi government wanted before, as when the Libyan government wanted to such cultural, economic, political unity.
Turkey wanted some things. The US wanted other things. They just agreed to do both.
The fact that both don't actually fit together inhibited this solution for awhile, but they seem to have agreed just to ignore that.
This isn't going to go well. Most warlike adventures don't go well. War seems to attract fools and foolishness.
I cannot agree more! What has happened is that US accepted what Turkey wanted in the first place, but it is hoping that it can steer Turkey in the direction of what it wants. This business of US and Turkey being FRENEMIES, cannot last. One party will have to concede, for it to work. And it will not be Turkey. It will not have an independent/"autonomous" Kurdistan on its border, to serve the same role Albanians all over Balkans. Once Serbian Kosovo was taken, Albanian groups routinely stir up problems in Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro or even Greece. But only when it is convenient to do so. Example, in order to get regime change in Macedonia, a band of terrorists came from Kosovo to Macedonia, and attacked police station. State responded — luckily with determination, and ended the siege. When the bodies came to Kosovo, they were buried as heroes. In plain view of EU, NATO, and all other humanitarian busybodies in Kosovo. Turkey can see the picture, and so can Iran. Turkey will also not become permanent home to million plus refugees. That is a blueprint for future conflict and radicalization. By getting ISIS out of the way, many refugees can not only go back to the designated border buffer area in Turkey, but probably more of them to Iraq where most of them came from to start with. Turkey has two CLEAR goals, and is more likely to pursue them — then Saudi pursuing ideological goals of removing Assad from Syria, or sticking it to Shia Bagdad, by supporting Sunni ISIS in the middle of its territory. Those goals are fine and well — when there is money aplenty. That is no longer the case with Saudi Arabia, that is seeking any outside regional help that can influence situation in Yemen. To find a way to get out with at least appearance of some results.
This is just another step toward destroying Syria's military, so that Israel will be enabled to attack Hizballah in Lebanon in the Bekaa Valley via Syrian territory without having to worry about the Syrian military. Once both Syria and Hizballah have been degraded to the point where they are no longer an effective actor in an Iran war, Israel will get the green light to attack Iran.
The "Iran deal" Obama negotiated is just window dressing for Obama's "legacy." As soon as Syria and Hizballah are out of the picture, probably during the next administration, the deal with Iran will be abrogated – just as the Agreed Framework deal with North Korea was abrogated in the '90's. Then Israel will be given the green light to attack Iran – which in turn will enable the US to attack Iran. Then the military-industrial complex will have another nice decade-long war they can count on to stimulate corporate profits, now that Afghanistan has wound down.
This has been the game plan all along since at least the Libya intervention. All this stuff with ISIS, and Kurds, etc. is all irrelevant. The target is Iran and always has been. No one really gives a rat's ass about ISIS and the Kurds. There's no money in them and no significant threat to any government (except Iraq – and Iran is there to prevent that – which for the Saudis is just one more reason for Iran to be degraded by the US.)
PKK is a proxy of Israel how is this a error?
YPG is a proxy of Israel how is this a error?
ISIS is a proxy of Israel how is this a error?
These are all terrorist organizations including Israel…..
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