No 'Self Defense' from Pentagon after Turkey pummels US backed rebels
Thursday, 29 June 2017

The massive Turkish bombardment of Kurdish-held north-western Syria we reported yesterday has died down now. How did that happen? The Turkish and American defense ministers met in Brussels ahead of a scheduled NATO meeting, but there was no indication this had anything to do with it. Perhaps it was the other way around and the Turks scheduled the bombardment ahead of the meeting precisely to keep their grievances on the agenda in Brussels.

In any case, it was also reported yesterday that Russians had evacuated their base in Kurdish-held Afrin enclave, perhaps to give the Turks a free hand against the Kurds, but this has been debunked. The Russians are still in their Kafr Jana base. In fact Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister complained yesterday the Russian base was a problem for Turkey:

The problem in the region is Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) control over Afrin and the establishment of a Russian base there.”  

Another thing which did not happen was any sort attack by US military against Turkish and Turkish-backed forces. You will recall that when the US shot down a Syrian Su-22 over Syria on June 18th the Americans cited "collective self-defense of partnered forces" as the reason they had to do so. Allegedly the Su-22 "dropped bombs near" the Kurdish SDF and so the Americans "immediately" shot it down.

Why did the Americans not fire back at Turkish artillery and Turkish-backed rebels clashing with the SDF this time? The Americans would say they are not partnered with SDF in Afrin, but just with SDF in the rest of Syria which is convenient. Many times before, albeit not this time, the Turks also attacked SDF where it is backed by the US and there was no such American response.

In fact, the Lebanese journalist Jenan Moussa who is right now in Kurdish-held north-eastern Syria (she interviewed Trump's envoy Brett McGurk) says she has been told that at various times before the Turkish army even fired in the direction of US forces themselves.

Needless to say, no incident of the US firing back at the Turks "immediately" or otherwise has ever been reported.

In reality, the US would never dare to fire at Turkish troops. 


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