US forces bomb own anti-IS headquarters in Syria to prevent them from going to Turkey-backed forces
The ground situation in Syria is becoming worse for the US ever since President Donald Trump announced a hasty retreat of his troops from northern Syria, leaving regional allies Kurds exposed against Turkey.
The US has found itself in a corner after President Donald Trump made the hasty decision of withdrawing troops from northern Syria on October 6. The move resulted in exposing Washington’s regional allies -- the Kurds who had helped it defeat the Islamic State (IS) -- against their local foe Turkey. The Trump administration has drawn flak for its action, even from the Republicans, and on Tuesday, October 15, the American troops did something bizarre.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that cited American officials, the US started airstrikes to destroy its own headquarters in Syria where Washington’s anti-IS campaign was based. The base included warehouses where the Kurds-led forces fighting the IS and Turkey were trained. The airstrikes were reportedly launched to bar Turkish forces from nearing the headquarters. The US first used its air force to repel the advancing Turkey-backed fighters but having failed to meet the objective, it destroyed the base. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces also fled after setting fire to their part of the base, the WSJ report added.
It also said that despite the offensive launched against the Kurds by Turkey, Trump remarked on Wednesday that they had nothing to do with the US.
Pence, Pompeo in Turkey today to discuss Syria with Erdogan
Meanwhile, a high-level delegation including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien were set to visit Turkey on Wednesday night to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to address the situation in Syria on Thursday, October 17. Also on Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution (625) opposing the move to end certain American efforts to prevent Turkey’s military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in northeast Syria. The resolution was passed by 354-60 votes.
Trump okay with Kurds getting help from Syria, Russia
Kurds sought help from Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Trump was okay with the idea of the Kurds taking help from Syria and also possibly having aid from Russia. “Syria is protecting the Kurds, that’s good. Syria may get help from Russia and that’s fine. … There’s a lot of sand to play with … I wish them all a lot of luck,” he said, prompting his own partymen like Senator Lindsey Graham to say that he was only undermining the efforts of Pence and Pompeo.
That Turkey is little deterred by Trump’s threats of destroying its economy and imposing of sanctions was evident when President Erdogan mocked his American counterpart recently said he could no longer “keep track” of the latter’s tweets on Syria. It was a clear dig at Trump’s relentless tweets over his decision of moving troops from Syria -- many of which have sounded baffling.
The Turkish strongman even said that irrespective of the US’ sanctions and demand for a ceasefire, his forces will continue with the assault.