Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Senator Lindsey Graham had been slamming US President Donald Trump’s Syria policy for more than a week when he finally met the president in the White House on Sunday. He was “reassured,” he said, that Trump would make sure that any withdrawal from Syria doesn’t result in Iran filling the void left by America, and that US Kurdish allies “are protected.”

Now, reports indicate that the US will allow “months” for the withdrawal, as opposed to a specific 30-100 day timeline. This is in contrast to Trump’s speech at Al-Asad airbase in Iraq on December 26, where he emphasized that he was bringing the troops home. Trump has been adamant on this since his December 19 decision to end US involvement in Syria.

The new timeline presented and reported in the US now appears to be within 120 days; Trump says that the US is “slowly” bringing the troops home. 

There are also new questions about the degree to which the withdrawal will be coordinated with Turkey. Trump made his decision after a conversation with the Turkish president on December 14. Ankara had threatened a military operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it accuses of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Trump claimed on December 23 that the US withdrawal would be “slow and highly coordinated” with Turkey.

But those plans appeared dashed on Friday when the Syrian regime announced that it would send forces to Manbij, a city where the US has forces and which is run by a local council affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces, the main US partners on the ground. The SDF and YPG were concerned that Turkey would launch an attack on Manbij, backed by Syrian opposition forces. Some of the Turkish-backed forces are extremists and locals fear them. 

The Syrian regime seemed to be riding to the rescue, but it would be an embarrassment for the US to be seen as handing over parts of Syria to the regime which the US officially opposes. Damascus is also allied to Iran, so it would mean that the US was turning over these area to an Iranian ally, the opposite of the policy that Washington had been advancing throughout 2018.

Turkey, which Trump appeared to want to be in coordination with, sent a high level delegation to Moscow on Saturday, including the defense minister, foreign minister, presidential adviser and intelligence chief. Ankara was basically sending every key official it could to discuss with Russia – an ally of the Syrian regime – how to coordinate the US withdrawal. In short, Turkey and Russia were discussing the US withdrawal, not Turkey and the US. Not the coordination that Trump had promised.

John Bolton, the national security adviser, is now planning a trip to the region – along with chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and Syria envoy James Jeffrey – to discuss the withdrawal in Turkey and Israel. According to CNN’s Kevin Liptak, only Bolton will travel to Israel, not the whole delegation. This comes on the heels of reports that Israel had sought to convince Trump to slow down the withdrawal.


  1. The main thing is that the withdrawal has started. The process will take place at its own logical pace. Longer or shorter, we're getting out.

  2. and you think Trump handled this well????????~~~~~~

  3. Trump is the captain of a sinking ship. A lot of what he does has both the potential to make some things better, and some things worse. There was no "clean" way to get out of Syria. But he had to do it because he was standing on principle.

    This blog constantly points out how the President "lies". Here he keeps a promise and he's getting knocked. Being President is a tough job. And Donald Trump is a tough man.

  4. everybody except Trump understands that there is a much more intelligent way of disengaging than falsely claiming victory and announcing immediate withdrawal without consulting or even informing your own troops and allies

  5. When has there ever been an orderly safe disengagement from one of these foreign quagmire quick sand pools? Certainly not Viet Nam.

    When the U.S. has total victory, withdrawals can be pretty. When was the last time that happened?

  6. Kalonymus AnonymusJanuary 4, 2019 at 1:48 AM

    sand and death...
    same in Afganistan..

  7. he could act in a more intelligent manner when keeping promises - like his tax cut and medical care and trade wars

  8. Daas Torah Mod says “he could act in a more intelligent manner when keeping promises - like his tax cut and medical care and trade wars.”
    “And the Lord said to Moses, Pharaoh is stubborn כבד לב; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is coming out to the water, and station yourself before him at the edge of the Nile, taking with you the rod that turned into a snake. And say to him, The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you to say, Let My people go that they may worship Me in the wilderness. But you have paid no heed until now. Thus says the Lord, By this you shall know that I am the Lord. See, I shall strike the water in the Nile with the rod that is in my hand, and it will be turned into blood; and the fish in the Nile will die. The Nile will stink so that the Egyptians will find it impossible to drink the water of the Nile.” (Exodus 7:14-18).
    Today Iran, North Korea, Syria, Hezbollah, etc are כבד לב. So, too, are many Democrats trying to impeach Trump... Trump is speaking is a language that works. I love/support Trump 100% and Netanyahu...


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.