The Trump administration is seizing the chance to egg Turkey on Syria. The farther Erdogan goes in his Idlib adventure the more pressure there is on Russian-Turkish relations, and the more the US can advertise its unquestioned support for Turkey contrasted with Russian opposition and resistance.
It would be clever politics but for the fact it means siding with al-Qaeda.
Now we have Turkey protecting Hayat Tahrir al-Sham from the Syrians, and the US offering to “coordinate” with Turkey (presumably to insulate it from Russian pressure and/or reaction) as it does that.
My condolences to the families of the soldiers killed in yesterday's attack in Idlib. The ongoing assaults by the Assad regime and Russia must stop. I've sent Jim Jeffrey to Ankara to coordinate steps to respond to this destabilizing attack. We stand by our NATO Ally #Turkey.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 11, 2020
The Trump admin has already removed sanctions on Turkey it put in place last October when Erdogan invaded the Kurdish-held northern Syria, and its envoy is speaking of the Turkish dead as “martyrs” as in Islamic culture:
Speaking to reporters at Ankara’s Esenboğa International Airport, James Jeffrey said Turkey, as a NATO ally, encountered a great threat in Idlib, northwestern Syria, coming from the Assad regime and Russia.
“Today in Idlib, Turkey, our ally, faces a threat. This threat comes from the government of Russia and Assad. You have martyrs on the field,” Jeffrey told reporters when he arrived in Turkey late Feb. 11.
Jeffrey said he came to Ankara to re-evaluate the situation with the Turkish government, adding that the U.S. will give as much as possible support to Turkey.
Accompanying Jeffrey, the ambassador’s senior advisor Rich Outzen said the U.S. “strongly condemned the attacks of the Damascus regime.”
This is hilarious. In Idlib you have an al-Qaeda statelet, an Islamist jihadistan led by Baghdadi’s ex-ISIS lieutenant Abu Mohammad al-Jolani for whom the US itself has a $10 million reward out, yet the threat Pompe’s man is seeing there is emanating from Damascus and Russia.
US department of Treasury removes sanctions on the Turkish war criminal Hulusi Akar, and two other Turkish ministers.
The sanctions were put in place in October last year after Turkey invaded northern Syria destabilized the war against ISIS. https://t.co/QDn2Y1JSaG
— A Dunon (@4rj1n) February 11, 2020
You will recall that Trump himself ended CIA aid for Syria’s Islamist rebels in early 2017, correctly surmising it was going to extremist with very little love for the US or its values (to put it mildly).
Despite its value as a battering ram against Assad, and all the while continuing to arm its junior allies, even Obama bombed the HTS forerunner Jabhat al-Nusra it on multiple occasions as a terrorist threat, most destructively in January 2017 just before he left office when he sent B-52s which killed as many as 120 of the top AQ Islamists.
Pompeo is plotting to commit treason and put American power and influence at the disposal of its AQ enemies and Trump is letting him do it.