Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Trump’s False Claim about Syrian ‘Safe Zone’

In his press conference, Trump said he was “glad” he “was able to help” Turkey establish a “safe zone” — but, in doing so, he made his false claim about deaths “from that safe zone.”

Trump, Oct. 27: Turkey has taken tremendous deaths from that part of the world. You know, we call it a safe zone. But it was anything but a safe zone. Turkey has lost thousands and thousands of people from that safe zone. So they’ve always wanted that safe zone, for many years. I’m glad I was able to help them get it.

Three experts we interviewed said the president is wrong.

“President Trump specifically said they have been fighting in the ‘safe zone’ area that he gave to Turkish control,” Aydıntaşbaş said. “Again, no recorded history of that ever. Turkey has not ‘lost thousands of people in that safe zone.'”

Henri Barkey, a professor of international relations at Lehigh University and adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was blunt: “This is complete nonsense. He is making things up,” Barkey said.

Amanda Sloat, a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, didn’t say Trump was “making things up,” but rather “conflating” Turkey’s ongoing fight against the PKK in Turkey with the perceived threat from the YPG across the border in Syria.

“Turkey has long been fighting the PKK. Estimates that appear frequently in the press and reports are that 40,000 people have died as a result of the fighting between the Turkish state [and] the PKK,” Sloat said, referring us to a Sept. 13 story in Al-Jazeera about a roadside bombing that killed seven in southeast Turkey. “So the ‘thousands’ who have died are in Turkey as a result of fighting with the PKK, not in Syria as a result of fighting with the YPG there.”

The CIA also reports that the conflict in Turkey has resulted in 40,000 deaths.

But, Sloat said, “PKK (in Turkey) are linked to YPG (in Syria),” and “Turkey has long wanted a safe zone.” She said Erdogan since 2013 has been calling for a safe zone “in Syria to push the YPG off its border and to prevent them from connecting several cantons and creating an autonomous Kurdish region, which he believes would threaten Turkish security.”

That threat, however, has not resulted in “thousands and thousands” of Turkish deaths in northern Syria, contrary to Trump’s claim. Those deaths occurred as a result of a decades-old conflict inside Turkey’s borders.

1 comment :

  1. Kalonymus AnonymusOctober 30, 2019 at 8:15 PM

    Gordimer's false claims about left wing rabbis :

    He has a habit of misrepresenting what the left wing rabbis say. For example, he falsely accused rabbi bigman of denying the divine authorship of the Torah. However, upon checking the article he's attacking, bigman says nothing of the sort. He is saying certain readings of the Torah, ie non orthodox, may still be true. There is no limit to how many ways or panim there are to the Torah. That's nothing the same as denying it, or denying yetziat mizrayim.


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