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The Vacuum Left by the US in Syria Clears a Breeding Ground for ISIS
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“Never get into a well with an American rope” goes the saying spreading across the Middle East, as the US abandons its Kurdish allies in Syria to a Turkish invasion force. People in the region are traditionally cynical about the loyalty of great powers to their local friends, but even they are shocked by the speed and ruthlessness with which Donald Trump greenlit the Turkish attack.

According to the UN and human rights groups, tens of thousands of Kurdish refugees are in flight from their border towns and are being targeted by Turkish airstrikes and artillery fire. Most leaders contemplating ethnic cleansing keep quiet about it, but Turkey’s President Erdogan is openly declaring that he will settle two million Syrian Arab refugees from other parts of Syria on Kurdish lands (he says he’s discovered that the land is not really Kurdish).

Every news dispatch from the new war zone is full of ironies. Trump says that Turkey will be responsible for securing the thousands of Isis prisoners held by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), But Brett McGurk, as the former presidential adviser to the anti-Isis coalition – and the source for the saying about the unreliability of US rope – notes that in the past it was Turkey which had rejected “any serious cooperation on Isis even as 40k foreign fighters flowed through its territory into Syria”.

Other ironies are still to come. At about the same moment that the Turkish army was crossing the Syrian frontier to attack the YPG on Wednesday, these Kurdish forces were under attack from a different enemy: in the former de facto Isis capital of Raqqa, two Isis fighters with automatic rifles, grenades and suicide belts opened fire on the YPG, who have controlled the city since they captured it from Isis in 2017 at the cost of 11,000 lives.

On this occasion, the two Isis men were surrounded by the YPG, who ultimately came out on top. But in future, their soldiers – it is absurd to call them militiamen since they are some of the most experienced soldiers in the Middle East – will face a more difficult task. In addition to battling Isis at ground level, they will also have to scan the sky for hostile Turkish aircraft that are already hitting YPG positions to the north of Raqqa. Inevitably, parts of the old caliphate will soon start to slip back under Isis rule.

The resurgence of Isis and the fate of the thousands of Isis prisoners held by the YPG has been the focus of much self-centred speculation in the US and Europe. But this is only one consequence of the chaos brought about by the Turkish invasion; there will be no like-for-like replacement of Kurdish/American control with Turkish control.

In this vast area – the 25 per cent of Syria that lies east of the Euphrates – Turkey will be a big player, but it will not be an all-powerful one. It may try to carve its way through northeast Syria salami-style, one slice at a time, though this will still have a great effect on the Kurds since 500,000 of them of them live close to the border. In effect, the frontier between Turks and Kurds will simply be pushed further south and will be a great deal hotter than it was before.

In other words, the inevitable outcome of President Trump greenlighting the Turkish action – in this case the absence of a red light was the same as a green one – is fragmentation of power. This fragmentation will clear an ideal breeding ground for a renewed Isis, and the attack in Raqqa mentioned above is evidence that this rebirth is already beginning.

Another feature of the present crisis favours Isis and the al-Qaeda-type paramilitaries acting as Turkish proxies. Maps showing northeast Syria as “Kurdish-controlled” mask the fact that the demographic balance between Arab and Kurd in this region is fairly equal. Ethnic rivalries and hatreds are the substance of local politics and will become even more venomous and decisive as communities have to choose between Turks and Kurds. It is this sort of sort of broken political terrain in which Isis and al-Qaeda have traditionally flourished.

The balance of power in Syria has been changed by the Turkish invasion and by the American unwillingness or inability to stop it. Trump make clear that he wants out of the Syrian war. “USA should never have been in Middle East,” he tweeted this week. “The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending.” Despite this, the world has been curiously slow to take his isolationism and dislike of military action seriously.

When it comes to Syria, Trump’s policy – though so incoherent that it is closer to a set of attitudes – may be treacherous towards the Kurds, but it contains a coldhearted nugget of realism.

The US position in Syria is weak, and not really sustainable in the long term. Minimal US forces could not hope to indefinitely prop up a de facto Kurdish statelet squeezed between a hostile Turkey to the north and an almost equally hostile Syrian government to the south and west.

The US foreign policy establishment may be aghast at Trump giving up on the Kurds and keen for him to instead confront Russia and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. But this could only have been done with a much greater US military and political commitment – something that both congress and the US public do not want.

McGurk is probably right in believing that sales of US rope as a means of escaping from deep wells will be sold at a heavy discount in the Middle East from now on. In the eyes of the rest of the world, the US has suffered a serious defeat in Syria. The sight of convoys of terrified Kurds in flight recalls pictures of desperate Vietnamese, who had worked so closely with the Americans, trying to escape Saigon in 1975.

The Kurds were always privately cynical about their alliance with the US, but they believed they had no other option. Even so, they did not expect to be discarded quite so totally and abruptly.


Yet it may be that the crudity and unfairness of US actions, and the furore this has provoked at home and abroad, will do the Syrian Kurds some good. Certainly, the anger expressed all round is in sharp contrast to the international disinterest when Turkey took over and ethnically cleansed the small Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwest Syria last year.

But there is a broader lesson to be learned from the latest phase in the Syrian crisis. For a while, it seemed that the violence was ebbing as winners and losers emerged, but now a whole fresh cycle of Turkish-Kurd violence is beginning. It is only when all the multiple conflicts in Syria are brought to an end at about the same time that the country will cease to generate new crises.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Donald Trump, ISIS, Kurds, Syria 
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  1. Patman says:

    There is no vacuum in Syria when the US leaves. First of all the presence of US troops is illegal, they used the invasion by ISIS and Al Qaeda (which they organised themselves) as a pretext to take control over the oil/gas fields in Eastern Syria.

    The SAA, aided by Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, Iraq are more than capable of handling ISIS, the YPG, Turkey and what have you. The cleared the rest of Syria of ISIS and other American proxies with great success, there is no reason to believe they can’t do the same in East Syria.

    Syria will be better off without the American occupation.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Realist
  2. gT says:

    Nonsense, it is the US which is protecting ISIS in Syria, as the US is one of the founding fathers of ISIS. The Syrian Arab Army kills ISIS where ever they can get to them, jail time is not a given for ISIS members caught by the SAA, nor is the peace deal surrender with transfer to Idlib option open any longer.

  3. As always, the US creates chaos in the middle-east for the benefit of Israel.

    • Agree: Hail
  4. Jounny says:

    I guess the organizations (Russia, Syria and Hezbollah) that defeated ISIS elsewhere in Syria will have to defeat it there as well.

  5. hoarse says:

    I second Patman above. The only way to bring peace to Syria is to oust the US occupation or that they leave, or are “helped” to leave voluntarily. If another 1982 barrack bombing with far more casualties is necessary it’ll happen. When they do and abandon everything about creating another “israel” 2.0 or “Roja”whatever, the opportunistic backstabbing Turds, nomads who originally wandered over from Turkey in the 1920’s (and before that the “Kordistan” province in Iran) and settled in some towns along the border will “miraculously” come to their senses and hand back all land and resources they gobbled up during the US and Saudi cutthroat proxies, ISIS, regime. They will also be held accountable for the ethnic cleansing and the genocide on non-Turds in eastern Syria and can consider themselves lucky if they are allowed to stay.

    Cockburn is a disgraced Zionazi apologist and staunch believer in the Yinon plan and it shows.

  6. plantman says:

    The main parties (Turkey, Iran and Russia) have already reached a partial negotiated settlement in the area west of the Euphrates. And one thing they all agree on, is that the US must leave for any final resolution.
    At present, there are 3 entities fighting for a scrap of land THAT NONE OF THEM CAN LEGALLY CLAIM.

    The Turks and the US have no right to occupy Syria sovereign territory. Can we at least agree about that?

    If the US leaves, then we can expect that a settlement similar to the settlement in the west will be consummated in the near future.

    Yes, there are problems in Idlib, but as Russian FM Lavrov says, “The war is mainly over.”

    But there can be no peace as long as the US occupies E Syria. The US is the main obstacle to peace in the region.

    Trump is right,. Get out now. The Syrian people have suffered enough.

  7. Kouros says:


    Commentators – Author score: 6 – 0.

    • Replies: @Amerimutt Golems
  8. Anonymous[101] • Disclaimer says:

    Patrick Cockburn’s dull propaganda doesn’t belong on this website. Here’s why:

    The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
    A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media

    • Replies: @Sean
  9. A123 says:

    As long as Iranian al’Hezbollah troops are present in Syria, Turkey believes they need a DMZ to keep them away. If Russia manages to move Iran out, they can make S300/400 deliveries dependant on Turkish withdrawal from Syria. And, Turkey will no longer need a DMZ to protect itself from Iranian aggression.

    With both Iran and Turkey out, the Trump administration would be more than happy to withdraw U.S. Troops. The NeoConDemocrats have mostly succeeded at insisting on the current deployment due to the Iranian threat. If Russia displaced the Iranian presence, that case for ongoing U.S. involvement is wiped out.

    So there is a solution, but it has to start with the eliminating the regionally destabilizing presence of Iranian troops.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @hoarse
    , @El Dato
    , @anon
  10. barr says:

    “Today’s proponents of the ‘Islamist menace’ are recycling very old bigotries. Their arguments are staggeringly reminiscent of those found in a 1913 essay entitled “The Pan-Islamist Menace”, which was published in the North American Review, then one of America’s most prestigious literary journals.
    The author, Arthur Bullard, draws on orientalist writing in colonialist Britain, painting a dark picture of a pan-Islamist conspiracy.

    Reading Bullard’s breathless fear mongering on ‘the militant rebirth of Mohammedanism’, secret fraternal orders of pan-Islamists who threatened European colonial hegemony in North Africa, and ‘holy war’, two things stand out today.
    Firstly, his conspiracism and racial slurs then had to be proffered under the pseudonym Albert Edwards. Today, Islamophobia is so often rewarded in polite society that his casual racism would be celebrated as contrarian and Bullard would find himself showered with op-ed commissions, prime-time interviews and blockbuster book deals. On both sides of the Atlantic, he would find fellow travellers in the New Atheist movement, with all of the attendant media puff. Secondly, arguments about ‘Islamism’ have always been rooted in a racism and irrational fear that conceives of the Muslim world as a flat surface to be treated as a threat—this hasn’t changed.”

    Andreas Krieg is an assistant professor at the School of Security and Institute for Middle Eastern Studies at King’s College London.

    UK was hobnobbing with Muslim Brotehrhood was promoting Saudi Whabism and was sending ikhnaw to slay shia non wahabhi . It seems same time they were creating the bogeyman “The Pan-Islamist Menace”

    USA has picked up the thread right from there .

  11. Sean says:

    The withdrawal from Syria makes Israel happy, does it?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  12. Anonymous[101] • Disclaimer says:


    Does your Hasbara supervisor know you’re drinking on the job, again?

    • Replies: @Sean
  13. So the US leaving Syria allows the terrorist group that the US created in Syria to flourish?

    Sounds like a masterful move by Trump then.

  14. Crazy Horse [AKA "Gall"] says:

    That title is so ironic since it was the US’ involvement with the support of Israel that created “a Breeding Ground for ISIS”.

  15. anon[117] • Disclaimer says:

    Dozens of IDF reservists have called on Israel to provide military and humanitarian support to the Kurds in Syria following Turkey’s attack in the north of the war-torn country.

    “We, as Israelis and Jews, must not stand by when we see another nation abandoned by its allies and left defenseless,” read an online petition started by Maj. (res.) Yair Fink. “We remember very well the blood of our people, what happens when the nations of the world abandon the fate of a people
    The letter was sent shortly before the prime minister himself announced intentions to offer support to the Kurds.

    The petition called on Israel to provide food, clothing, medicine, intelligence and military assistance to the Kurds in northern Syria.

    “Israel is a country that has the means to help the Kurdish people, and now is the time to do so,” it read,

    Easy ride for IDF .They trained ISIS and transported them to Syria and Iraq. Old contacts can come handy now.

  16. Cockburn: stop shilling for the CIA you clown.
    If you are so concerned about the Kurds et al, why doesn’t the UN security council vote to send in peacekeepers?
    Why is it Trump’s fault?

    Blow it out your [email protected]@ shill!!

  17. bjondo says:

    Didn’t read PC, again.

    Is he still slopping propaganda?

  18. This is pure neocon propaganda that does not belong on the respected First, the Kurds are not American allies. We have no treaty with them and they’ve never done anything to help the USA. They are mercenaries hired by our CIA and Israel to destabilize Arab nations in support of a Greater Israel. Turkey is an American ally through NATO, we even have several military bases there.

    Second, the fleeing Kurdish terrorist army will not leave a gap that ISIS will fill. The Turks will be there to maintain control. The Kurds should have agreed to return control to the legitimate government of Syria to prevent this, but refused, as instructed by Israel. Most of these Kurdish fighters came from Iraq and arrived to drive off native Arabs from that oil rich area while hoping to overthrow the progressive Syrian government and leave Syria in chaos.

    Third, Trump didn’t green light anything. Turkey had said a Kurdish state along its border was unacceptable, and had threatened to invade for years. It finally announced that it would invade to establish a security zone and relocate Syrian refugees back to Syria. Trump wisely pulled back the day before they attacked rather than leave a few hundred Special Forces riflemen to die. The Turks have more air power in the region and resistance was futile. American soldiers have no legal authority to be in Syria in the first place, nothing from the UN or the US Congress, they are just imperial storm troopers leading Kurd invaders.

    Mr. Cockburn knows all this, so why does he lie? And why must we read his trash here?

  19. what a joke of a headline

    I know P-cock is a smart guy but common. isis and the US work hand in hand as needed.

  20. @Carlton Meyer

    The Kurds were secularized, pacified and educated by the USSR. And those are the reasons the west loves them so much. At the same time, the USSR is evil scum . lol

    • Replies: @Sean
  21. hoarse says:

    Ah the Hasbara team “trolling for shekels” at it again…
    PEACE when you leave Palestine and go back to Poland, Lithuania, Brooklyn or wherever the h*ll you came from.

    • Replies: @anon
  22. anon[113] • Disclaimer says:

    Some people keep insisting that Patrick Cockburn is a good war reporter, or something. Seems more like he’s a waste if time and pixels. Is this Unz’ h/t to the sjw/NATO/mainstream?

  23. “Minimal US forces could not hope to indefinitely prop up a de facto Kurdish statelet squeezed between a hostile Turkey to the north and an almost equally hostile Syrian government to the south and west.”

    The poor old Kurds were probably told that if they scrapped alongside the US and their proxies they’d get cash, weapons and a shot at autonomy, but that if they scrapped alongside the Syrian government they’d get nothing but a hard time.

    Difficult choice and they chose the wrong one. Is it too late to change?

  24. Sean says:
    @Paul holland

    It was Obama who failed the Kurds, because only toppling Assad would have allowed the Kurds the possibility of their own state. Obama declined to topple Assad, and it was then that the Russians (previously scared to intervene) moved in and destroyed the Sunni Arab majority revolt against the the Assad family Alawite dictatorship. America could have toppled Assad with a flick of its eyebrow.

    • Replies: @anon
  25. Renoman says:

    The American people want out of Syria. Is there anything else that needs to be said. The rest is just lobbyists and corrupt politicians making a bad noise. The ISIS lads will all be killed as they should be, go on home and fix the roads.

  26. El Dato says:

    Donald Trump greenlit the Turkish attack.

    [citation needed]

    in this case the absence of a red light was the same as a green one


    Another feature of the present crisis favours Isis and the al-Qaeda-type paramilitaries acting as Turkish proxies.

    That’s rather likely. Turks like to have somebody else fight for them. What happened to the report that Assad’s “Sarin” was a shell smuggled in from Turkey? Deeep Sixxxed.

    The US foreign policy establishment may be aghast at Trump giving up on the Kurds and keen for him to instead confront Russia and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.


    But this could only have been done with a much greater US military and political commitment – something that both congress and the US public do not want.

    Everybody wants a Feel-Good War From Afar at No Cost. Lefteros is now calling for “No Fly Zones” against a NATO member to protect the Kurds. From Incirlik? Will NATO bomb itself???

    Yet it may be that the crudity and unfairness of US actions, and the furore this has provoked at home and abroad, will do the Syrian Kurds some good.

    It’s all a direct consequence of the “furore at home and abroad” about “Animal Assad” who “Must Go” allied to instant Politicial Alzheimer. Also, allying with imperial Roman armies in the last days of the Empire is not a top strategy.

  27. El Dato says:

    As long as Iranian al’Hezbollah troops are present in Syria, Turkey believes they need a DMZ to keep them away.

    That’s a new one.

    Is Turkey really worried about Hezbollah??

    • Replies: @anon
  28. @Kouros

    Hardly surprising given Paddy is ever deluded.

    @Patman above has already done the honors. I can’t even add or subtract.

  29. Realist says:

    Syria will be better off without the American illegal invasion.


  30. @Carlton Meyer

    Because Blumpf bad! It warps Cockburn’s whole perspective.

    Now we’re getting this whole astro-turfed “Rojava” in eastern Syria (where the oil is, by the way).

    It’s CIA from top to bottom and Cockburn laps it up like a kitten and cream, because Drumpf evil.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  31. anon[117] • Disclaimer says:

    Why do you want Poles Lithuanian or New Yorker to suffer? Let them stay there and let apply their own laws : mowing the lawn periodically and putting them on diet assuming you have declared them already as a rogue pariah failed state sponsor of terrorism and you have already covered the country with walls all around including to the sea and the sky.

    But chances are they will find another emerging country ,get into nodal points of the levers of that country hoodwink that country and set that country at war against USA for their own benefit which always have come from letting one nation fight against another nation . Then they will celebrate it singing that “we are above all mercenary ” . That was the justification Netanyahu’s father came up with while he trying defending the betrayal of Egypt in it’s war against Iran by the Egyptian Jews .

  32. anon[117] • Disclaimer says:

    US could have done it easily . But US couldn’t have put someone in it’s place. US has never cultivated that spirit and would have been in short supply of ideas methodologies techniques and patience to carry that out.

    BTW, 911 conspirators could have done more damages also and all over the world if they wished . Well , they possibly could still do. Look at those Toyota vans of ISIS convoys . Camel driven or g0aot carted 2 wheeler are no match for the Toyota van. There is no force also against American firepower . But both are ideologically same . ISIS could gain land but cant keep or develop it . US is no different.

  33. anon[117] • Disclaimer says:
    @El Dato

    “As long as Iranian al’Hezbollah troops are present in Syria, Turkey believes they need a DMZ to keep them away. ”

    Have you forgot that pithy observations by I Shamir?

    —Jews tell the west that Muslim want it Its for the Muslim. When they are who demanding and making Muslim look fool Not only that Muslim also get the blame for what Jewish are wishing for

  34. Anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Exactly, Cockburn gives the CIA/neocon position. He’s the Syrian Christian position:


    Syrian Christians Proclaim “Trump is right on Syria!” YPG Kurds are responsible for escalation in Northeast Syria

    09 OCTOBER 2019

    “President Trump is right on Syria!,” according to Johny Messo, the President of the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) (“WCA”). Withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria and halting financial and arms support to the YPG Kurds may help restore peace and security in Syria. Messo further argues that “the YPG Kurds are responsible for the current escalation in the northeast and that they hold the key for peace in this part of our ancestral homeland.”

    1) President Trump made the right decision in withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria to end the “ridiculous endless wars,” fulfilling yet another campaign promise; he already ended the covert CIA program of 2013 to arm the “rebels” in Syria. America’s mission to destroy the Caliphate and military power of ISIS was achieved in March 2019. So there was no cogent reason to stay in Syria, let alone to keep arming the YPG Kurds. Staying rather than leaving would be a greater security threat and burden for America.

    2) Trump’s edict may lead to peace, security and stability in Syria. Despite the powerful war narrative and war lobby, Trump shows the world that America chooses peace and jobs at home above wars abroad. If other countries follow suit, primarily those whose foreign policies largely follow America’s course, and stop arming their proxies, violence will soon end. Then one can finally focus on seeking a genuine political solution for Syria, beginning in a few weeks through the UN-facilitated Constitutional Committee.

    3) The PKK and the PYD/YPG Kurds, who control the SDF, are two sides of the same coin. The communist ideology and violent nature of these nationalist organizations discredit democratic and liberal values. These ‘heroes’ have oppressed vulnerable Arameans, taken their innocent lives, Kurdified their lands and still use a tiny Christian group as their mouthpiece to represent Kurdish interests. The resentment against the YPG among the locals is prevalent, yet underreported. In due time, their authoritarian governance would likely lead to an ISIS 2.0 among the local Arabs, who outnumber the Kurds, mainly among Arab nationalists and among conservative Arab and Kurdish Muslims.

    4) The YPG Kurds had ample time and opportunities to take away the security concerns of Damascus and/or Ankara. Inspired by North Iraq, the envisioned autonomous Kurdish region in North Syria would give a huge boost to the PKK Kurds in Southeast Turkey. Instead of striking a deal for their people, though, Western support made them haughty. The YPG did not calculate or care about the high risks involved in its determination to first craft an autonomous region in North Syria and then a statelet called “Kurdistan.”

    5) By pursuing their own agenda, the nationalist PYD/YPG Kurds have acted irresponsibly, endangering the lives of their own people and those of Arameans and other minorities! Whenever a village, town or city fell in their hands, they proudly raised Kurdish flags and nationalist symbols on the buildings, and displayed images of the jailed PKK leader. It was only a matter of time until Damascus would reclaim control over Northeast Syria or until Ankara would unilaterally resolve its growing security concerns at its border. That day has come, and Aramean civilians now suffer due to the YPG’s irresponsibility.

    6) Unlike the Aramean Christians and Yazidis, the YPG Kurds received protection and huge amounts of money, arms and airpower from America to defeat ISIS. The Kurds should always remain grateful to America, which never promised them an eternal partnership. The YPG Kurds should have used their privileged position to focus on Syria’s unity and strike a peace deal with Syria and/or Turkey. In particular because they should have known that America would never sacrifice its relations with a fellow state, huge trade partner and established NATO ally for a rather impulsive non-state actor whose mother organization after all is officially designated by the U.S.A. as a terrorist organization.

    7) The PKK/PYD/YPG Kurds must give up the armed struggle for autonomy and the idea of a state called “Kurdistan” in the homeland of the Arameans and their Aramaic language! Our region has become weary of wars. They only destroy our common land and the lives of our loved ones and families, causing animosity toward one another. As the indigenous people of Southeast Turkey and Northeast Syria, we call upon the PKK/PYD/YPG to end its violent struggle for independence so that Arameans, Kurds, Arabs and Turks can work together on a mutually enriching co-existence between different ethnicities, religions and languages in Turkey and Syria. Whether in Southeast Turkey or Northeast Syria, the PKK/PYD/YPG Kurds hold the key in their hands to peace, security and prosperity for their own people and for other peoples in the lands which we need to be sharing today.

  35. Mr. Grey says:

    I like how Cockburn starts out henny-penny the-sky-is-falling before admitting that Trump’s action

    contains a coldhearted nugget of realism. The US position in Syria is weak, and not really sustainable in the long term.

    ISIS only gained a foothold in Syria due to the Obama’s covert support to overthrow Assad, aided by Turkey. It was only once it looked like Assad, with Russian help, was going to defeat ISIS and regain control of all Syrian territory that the US teamed up with the Kurds to go after ISIS, hoping to keep a toehold in Syria for actions against Assad in the future.

  36. Anonymous[226] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    I don’t think his perspective is warped because he hates Trump. I think he’s reading from a pre-approved list of “convictions” he’s supposed to have. “Orange man bad” is right there between “Assad is a monster” and “we need more wars for Israel” talking points.

    He’s almost certainly a bona fide paid shill. A more feminine version of Rachel Maddow.

  37. Renoman says:

    ISIS don’t fear the Americans, they are the only faction that might not kill them on site. I say we leave it to “the other” factions! As for Israel, screw Israel, what have they ever done for America or anyone else for that matter. They are nothing but trouble.

  38. anon[117] • Disclaimer says:

    Denmark – In September 2016, the US led an hour long bombing raid against SAA positions on the Tharda mountains to the south of Deir Ezzor airport. More than 100 SAA soldiers were killed during the attack, many others were injured. SAA supplies and equipment were destroyed. The attack enabled ISIS to take control of the area temporarily and put the besieged civilians in Deir Ezzor at high risk of an ISIS attack. Danish air-force F16 planes and drones had taken part in the attack under US command. After the report was published the Danish government withdrew all air support for the US Coalition “against ISIS”.

    Vanessa Beeley

  39. barr says:

    ““Never get into a well with an American rope”

    Absolutely! But also never when you are pushed into the well dug by America . That will be physiologically ,psychologically and spiritually very odd.

  40. Sorry, Patrick. It looks like the 2nd Israel project is finished.

    • Agree: Pat Kittle
  41. Anastasia says:

    Yeah. Who will isis have to evacuate them when needed

  42. anon[114] • Disclaimer says:


    ISIS is our creation. Timber Sycamore. How utterly pathological must someone be to continue to recite this trope of “ISIS breeding ground” like it’s some kind of organic movement?

    We used ISIS *and* the Kurds as mercenary armies in our attempt to overthrow Assad.

    WE ALSO recognize PKK/YPG as a terrorist group because frankly they are terrorists.

    None of this shit was much of a problem, including Iran’s presence in Syria OR Iraq, before we went on our Middle East Democracy Tour.

    Pulling out of Syria hurts Israel? DF did the creation of a de facto Iranian client state in Iraq do? DF did destruction of the Lebanese gov’t do? DF did sponsoring an uprising/civil war in Syria do?

    Iran would have ZERO presence in ANY of these places if not for the Zionists.

    It’s almost as if the jews wanted to destroy every country in the ME so that Iran would have more influence so they could justify then destroying Iran.

  43. Reemergence of ISIS ……….B.S.

    It was US who give ISIS training weapons and ammunition.
    They were told to march on Damascus and kill Sadat and his government.
    But they had a different idea, They did create their own Sunni state.
    They cannot reemerge without heavy weapons and ammunition.
    And there is Russian air force.
    Proceed from oil sales now will go into state coffers.
    Everything will be settled now

  44. Icy Blast says:

    Cockburn has no self-respect and no value as a pundit. He is a journalistic Joe Biden, a liar and an oxygen-thief. I would rebut his points in detail, but he’s not worth the effort. His corruption and stupidity are on display for all to see.

  45. Haha says:

    Perhaps Mr. Cockburn, duly armed with the flag and a rifle, will rush in to prevent the vacuum formation that he dreads. If only there was a law requiring armchair warriors to take their precious butts to places they advise others to go.

  46. Haha says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Well reasoned, well said! All the relevant facts marshalled together so well. Kudos, sir.

  47. Diego! says:

    The Author has answered his own question. Considering US commitment to Syria could not have been elongated, a withdrawal was inevitable sooner or later. Then why not now?
    Whats likely going to happen is a peace between Turkey and Syria (backed by Russia). Both shall divide the Syrian Kurdish area amongst themselves. Turkey wanted ISIS as long as it screws the Kurds – now when it can do it itself, it will probably not let them fester.
    Peace will return to the region when Turkey, Syria, Russia, Iran and Shia Iraq divide the area amongst themselves.
    Any attempt to “protect” the “rights” of ethnic groups like the Kurds shall lead to prolonged war.

  48. Yutani says:

    Like I say to every hawk, gear up, gear up your children, and go fight.

    Put your own family into the middle of century old tribal conflicts, otherwise shut your fucking glory hole.

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