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Turkey will take a more active role in addressing the conflict in Syria in the next six months to prevent the war-torn country being divided along ethnic lines, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Aug. 20.
Yıldırım also told a group of reporters in Istanbul that while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could have a role in the interim leadership, he must play no part in its future.
"Turkey we will be more active in the Syria issue in the coming six months as a regional player. This means to not allow Syria to be divided on any ethnic base, for Turkey this is crucial," Yıldırım said, adding that Russia and the U.S. “sees that Assad can’t have a role in Syria’s future.”
“Whether we want it or not, Assad is an actor there. His counterparts are the opposition groups in Syria. It’s not possible for us to talk to Assad,” he added.
William Blum, Killing Hope, Chapter 39 - Iraq 1972-1975 Covert action should not be confused with missionary work The Pike Report regarded this incident as an example of the apparent “no win” policy of the United States and Iran, The committee stated: The progressively deteriorating position of the Kurds reflected the fact that none of the nations who were aiding them seriously desired that they realize their objective of an autonomous state. A CIA memo of March 22, 1974 states Iran's and the United States' position clearly: “We would think that Iran would not look with favor on the establishment of a formalized autonomous government. Iran, like ourselves, has seen benefit in a stalemate situation ... in which Iraq is intrinsically weakened by the Kurds' refusal to relinquish [their] semi-autonomy. Neither Iran nor ourselves wish to see the matter resolved one way or the other.” “This policy,” said the report, “was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue fighting. Even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical enterprise,” The day after the CIA memo referred to above, 23 March 1974, Soviet Defense Minister Andrei Grechko, who had befriended Barzani when the latter lived in the Soviet Union, arrived in Iraq to help the government reach a settlement with the Kurds. On the advice of Iran and the United States, however, Barzani refused to come to any terms. Earlier that month, the Iraqi government had actually passed a law offering a limited amount of autonomy to the Kurds, but they had rejected that as well, whether or not at the request of their “allies” is not known. The congressional committee discovered that “The CIA had early information which suggested that the Shah would abandon the Kurds the minute he came to an agreement with Iraq over border disputes.” Agency documents characterized the Shah's view of the Kurds as “a card to play” in this dispute with Iraq. And a CIA memo characterized the Kurds as “a uniquely useful tool for weakening Iraq's potential for international adventurism”. The last may have been a reference to Iraq signing a pact of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union in April 1972, under which it received military aid and granted the Soviet Navy certain port privileges. Then, in June, super oil-rich Iraq had nationalized the Western-owned consortium, the Iraq Petroleum Company (23.75 percent US), a move warmly applauded by the Soviets, after which the two countries proceeded to conclude a trade and economic accord. As it was, it was oil that brought Iran and Iraq together. In 1973, the Shah wanted to strengthen Iran's position with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and a crucial part of the inducement to Iraq and other Arab neighbors was Iran's willingness to double-cross the troublesome Kurds. None of these countries wanted their own minorities to be getting any ideas from a Kurdish success. It was not until March 1975 that the Shah was ready to make his move. Events moved swiftly then. The Shah met with the vice-president of Iraq and, by agreement, the Shah cut off all supplies to the Kurds, including the American part. The next day the Iraqis unleashed their biggest offensive ever. Several days later the stunned Kurds sent a desperate message to  (TOC) the CIA: “There is confusion and dismay among our people and forces. Our people's fate in unprecedented danger. Complete destruction hanging over our head. No explanation for all this. We appeal you and USG [United States government] intervene according to your promises.,.” The same day, the Kurds appealed to Kissinger as well: Your Excellency, having always believed in the peaceful solution of disputes including those between Iran and Iraq, we are pleased to see that their two countries have come to some agreement ... However, our hearts bleed to see that an immediate byproduct of their agreement is the destruction of our defenseless people ... Our movement and people are being destroyed in an unbelievable way with silence from everyone. We feel your Excellency that the United States has a moral and political responsibility towards our people who have committed themselves to your Country's policy. The hapless Kurds received no response to their pleas, from either the CIA or Henry Kissinger. By the end of the month their forces had been decimated. Several hundred Kurdish leaders were executed. In conclusion, the Pike report noted: Over 200,000 refugees managed to escape into Iran. Once there, however, neither the United States nor Iran extended adequate humanitarian assistance. In fact, Iran was later to forcibly return over 40,000 of the refugees and the United States government refused to admit even one refugee into the United States by way of political asylum even though they qualified for such admittance. When Henry Kissinger was interviewed by the staff of the Pike Committee about the United States' role in this melodrama, he responded with his now-famous remark: “Covert action should not be confused with missionary work.”  Pike Report, p. 214.  Ibid., p. 197.  New York Times, 12 February 1976, p. 3 1, column by William Safire.  Pike Report, p. 214,  New York Times, 1 June 1972, p. 1; 3 June, p. 1; 8 June, p. 69,  Ibid.,5 February 1976, p. 3 1 , column by William Safire.  Pike Report, pp. 198, 215.  Ibid., 215-216.  Ibid., p. 217.  New York Times, 12 February 1976, p. 3 1, column by William Safire; Pike Report, p. 19S, Kissinger is referred to as “a high U.S. official”.
More than five years into Syria’s civil war, Turkey, the country that has most helped the rebellion against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, has hinted it may move to normalise relations with Damascus. The suggestion made by the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yıldırım, on Wednesday, stunned the Syrian opposition leadership, which Ankara hosts, as well as regional leaders, who had allied with Turkey in their push to oust Assad over a long, unforgiving war. “I am sure that we will return [our] ties with Syria to normal,” he said, straying far from an official script that has persistently called for immediate regime change. “We need it. We normalised our relations with Israel and Russia. I’m sure we will go back to normal relations with Syria as well.”
Several hundred vehicles containing 100 to 200 ISIL Takfiri militants were given safe passage by US-based forces, out of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, after surrendering their weapons, according to defense officials.
US Army Col. Carver, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighters, told Pentagon reporters the decision to let ISIL convoys leave the city was made by commanders of the so-called Syrian Democratic Force, Russia Today reported.
Col. Carver described how ISIL had civilians in each of the vehicles, and the military wanted to avoid casualties. He didn’t know how many of the civilians had been in the cars voluntarily but said some were likely hostages.
US Dispatches F-22 Stealth Fighters to Intercept Syrian Aircraft. When pushed further about Russia, Pentagon spokesman, Peter Cook, made it clear that the US would make the same aggression against Russian jets who are operating legally with the Syrian government’s approval and coordination.“If they threaten US forces, we always have the right to defend our forces,”
Aleppo prepares for a major battle and the Kurds in Syria are attracting everybody’s animosity.
Biden made it clear that the United States supports the Turkish presence in Syria. He delivered a blunt warning to the Kurds that the United States will not tolerate the creation of a separate Kurdish entity in northern Syria.
“No [Kurdish] corridor. Period. No separate entity on the border. A united Syria,” he said at a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
Biden also warned that unless the Kurds comply with a prior agreement with the United States to withdraw from the Syrian town of Manbij after capturing it, they will no longer receive U.S. support.
“They cannot, will not, and under no circumstances will get American support if they do not keep that commitment. Period,” he said.