Erdogan, Trump to Coordinate on Syria Pullout

Turkey continues to build up military forces on Syrian border

In a phone call on Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Trump agreed to coordinate in the announced US withdrawal form Syria. Officials say the goal is to prevent “an authority vacuum” in eastern Syria.

This reflects the additional information learned about the decision to withdraw from Syria, that it came following Erdogan’s last call to Trump on the planned Turkish invasion of the region. In effect, the US presence is going to be replaced with a Turkish one.

Which doesn’t sit well with Kurdish officials, who are continuing to call on the US to do something to stop Turkey from invading. There is no reason to think that might be likely to happen, and reports indicate that Turkey has forced the US to choose between them, a NATO ally, and the Kurdish YPG, who many in the US saw as an alliance of convenience.

The US pullout may delay the Turkish invasion somewhat, as Turkey seems to be holding off while the US effects its withdrawal to prevent any sort of fighting. In the meantime, however, Turkey continues to build up its own forces along the border, and Erdogan insists an invasion will come.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.