Following Defense Secretary James Mattis’ announcement that the US is building observation posts on the Syria-Turkey border, officials are also starting a training program for the Kurdish YPG’s Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The plan is to train 30,000 more SDF fighters, which are being presented as a plan to both combat what ISIS fighters remain and to “contain Iran.” If te training plan is successful, it would bring the SDF to 90,000 fighters.
There are reasons to be skeptical, however, as the US has had several training schemes for groups in Syria in the past, and has tended to produce but tiny fractions of their intended numbers. Even then, those newly-trained fighters have proved to be of limited effectiveness and questionable loyalty.
The plan is also likely to alarm Turkey, as Turkish officials have been public about their intention to seize more Kurdish territory in northeastern Syria. Despite US talk of the SDF going after Iran, the reality is that they are being trained up nowhere near Iranian forces, and right on the Turkish border.
13 thoughts on “US Training 30,000 Syrian Kurdish Fighters to ‘Contain Iran’”
As if things aren’t already bad enough… And Trump was supposed to restore “realism” to policy… Even took me “in”… But the writing was on the wall………in Hebrew… Anyway, if we start getting nasty showdowns with Russia & China… Trump will be a 1 term wannabe wonder.. Better to make peace with Putin.. He. Is the big guy with global clout. Kin is a Newby nobody. Who gives a flying smuck about him…. I guess I shouldn’t belittle Trumps good & record breaking work for peace with Kim.. It’s important too, but bad relations with Kim aren’t likely to unleash nuclear winter. Trouble with Putin certainly could.
Ever since about 1999 Russia and China have been working together to contain NATO . They share all military technology . We cant’ have much of a war with either one with out getting into a war with the other . They will stay together until they believe NATO is completely dead .
Turkey is concerned because the jihadis are a ally of our Islamist Nato Partner. Turkey was not concerned when ISIL was present in the area.
Throw the UN Charter out the window if the US gets away with this. Eastern Syria is occupied by a hostile force supported by the US.
Meanwhile, Russia-Turkey ties are improving. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last week attended the completion ceremony of the offshore section of a major gas pipeline.
Judging by our past success at training “fighters”, these 30,000 should be ready by the year 2035. Of course the definition of ready will vary from totally incompetent to mildly incompetent interspersed with blue on blue incidents.
It’s ridiculous. You can’t train those kinds of numbers with even the 2-4,000 US troops in Syria. And the Kurds are loyal only to themselves. If Assad makes them an offer, they’ll cooperate with Syria. If they start doing things against Turkey, Turkey will attack them. It won’t matter how many fighters they allegedly have, they can’t resist either the Syrian military or the Turkish military. If they attack the Syrian military, Russia will bomb the crap out of them as well – or more likely, convince them to cooperate with Syria and dump the US support.
The whole thing is a sham, more incompetent meddling by the US in Syria in an attempt to somehow get a “partitioning” of Syria. Waste of everyone’s time.
Yeah, this will go well. Thankfully there will be a nice strong army for us to fight in a few years when this all blows up in our face. Permanent war for permanent profits….the new American motto.
Questionable loyalty is right. The YPG will take Americas guns and training but they’ll use them to protect their territory from Turkey and their on-again-off-again besties in ISIS. This is the most self-defeating strategy since Ahmed Chalabi. Who else but Trump? Well, except Obama and Bush and Clinton and….
Turkey will see this as a direct threat.
The US acts demented as usual, but the plan will probably fail like all others.
The only US success is creating chaos, mayhem, death and destruction.
Future historians will put that epitaph on the Empire’s tombstone.
Demented gives too much credit to US behavior. It is more like random acts of US agencies that don’t talk to each other, and ignore each other. There is no overall design, not even a demented one.
Will this pretty much guarantee non-stop conflict of one sort or another in the region for decades to come?? Will US arms manufacturers be supplying one side or the other in the conflict (either directly or through some middle man country? No overall design??? Yeah, right.
He meant to say to contain Turkey. Syrian mess from the start was about Turkey as well, that joined SCO in 2013. The period destabilising Turkey started in earnest. Soris and Gulen foundations went into overdrive, politucally Turkey was divided between pro-NATO elements in military and Republican Party, and Errogan nationalists, with religious establishment on its side. But military has come out of the scandal that resulted in trials much more cohesive and under less foreign influence. But the pressures continued, Kurdish militia staged attacks, terrorist bombings rocked the country, electtions inconclusive, and as if on a command — stories about oil trading with Syrian terrorists were placed to blame directly
Erdogan’s family. And the Kurdish region in Turkey became smuggling heaven, smuggling fighters, and arms. Now that Turkish Stream pileline to aTurkeyfrom Russia has been completed following the existing Blue Stream, the push starts to expand it to Balkans, Hungary and Austria. After beating down South Stream — Russian project —it will be hard to beat back another one and depriving region from gas. Adding to this is firm stand on S-400 purchase, and taunting US on opennes to purchase Patriots — knowing full well that Patriots were given only as loaners with fireign crews without Turkish participation.
So now, by placing American military to guard Turkish border — with loud and clear message to Turkey not to cross it. And training. Kurds is a message to everyone that US is back in nation building business,
What a mess. Turkey has been challenged.
But there are so many ways to attack Kurds East of Euphrates. Kurds simply do NOT have numbers to cover the area US is now claiming to be controlled by SDF. Since SDF has no Syrian Arab compinent, or what was there left long time ago — they can huff and puff, but there are so many ways Turkey can attack them without crossing northeast border. Most easily from Al-Bab. The problem for US is becoming a political one — what exactly is being defended here? All that has been happening is ISIS preservation. Without US and Kurds — Syrian Army would have cleaned up ISIS from that area very quiy. And most importantly — how does US go about establishing Kurdish territory when in just about ALL areas they are tiny minority. That goes for the entire Deir Azzor, entire Euphrates valley, larger tiwns like Al-Raqqa, and Al-Hassakah. The only area Kurds are majority is in Kobane. So, unless US trues to emulate Israel pronect, by treating Syrian Arab population as occupied Palestinians, allowing Kurds to control them, develop Kurds economically, encourage immigration and stay there for a long, long time. Otherwise, Arab population will rebel. They already ARE rebelling against Kurds, and US is just bombing them, demoralizing civilian population from resisting Kurdish rule iver them. Of course it is mighty easy to do that — since after all these years most analysts and journalists have not mastered Syria geography and demigralhic data. So, when we hear that US bombed something, and x number of civilians died — we never ask a simple question, just exactly WHO was the enemy? It is nkt ISIS — as it is known exactly where the last ISIS pocket is. Then who? The restive Arab polulation trying to throw off the handfull of their Kurdish overlords. And generally it has been along Eulhrates valley, Deir Azzor and Hassakah. Preciselly where Kurdish rule is questikned, and where Kurds are trully a small minority. By placing US soldiers on Kurdish border US is adressing the most serious vulnerability. In order to defend Kobane Kurds, YPG would have had to withdraw fighters from far flung areas. This way, US is trying to convince YPG to stay put in far flung areas, it else those areas will appoint their leaders, and set up their security. THIS IS THE MAIN REASON FOR PUTTING US Army in Turkish border. Setting up such a trip wire is very risky, as Turkey can have any confluct declared aggression — setting up inter-NATO conflict. As US will no doubt get political support in NATO vs Turkey, this will give Turkey an excuse to abandon NATO. US is escallating militarily — not a good decision. American public may not be the smartest, but will catch on sooner or later that the mess is very costly, and for what? To stay in Euphrates valley for Biblical reasons? You never know.
America using ethnic and sectarian Groups as a Strategy for their wars and agenda not a surprise.
Kurds are fools as expected.
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