Though officials say that the US remains committed to pullout out of Syria, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joe Dunford, says that the US will not be either dismantling the small observation posts on the Turkish border, nor giving them to Turkey.
This was a response to a statement yesterday, in which Turkey’s National Security Adviser said all 22 US bases in Syria must either be given to Turkey, or destroyed outright by the US before they withdraw.
Gen. Dunford, however, says the US won’t be doing either, and instead plans to “keep” the observation posts, assuring Turkey that they will “deter threats” to southern Turkey from coming out of Syria.
The recently built posts are a source of tension between the US and Turkey, as while the US insisted that they are for Turkey’s benefit, Turkish President Erdogan pointed out that they’re fairly obviously there to monitor Turkish military operations, and keep the Kurdish YPG apprised of planned invasions.
Assuming the US withdraws, it doesn’t seem keeping the posts just sitting there at the border would serve any purpose at all. It may, however, be that the US doesn’t want to disadvantage the Kurds by giving the posts to Turkey,and doesn’t want to admit the posts were about watching Turkey by giving them to the Kurds. Too new to destroy, the plan may be to abandon them outright.
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