“The National Interest,” revealed the scenes of the sudden withdrawal of the US army in January 2018 from northeastern Syria, giving way to Turkey to penetrate and strike the Kurdish fighters.
The newspaper report, titled, “Exclusively: John Bolton Lists How Iran’s Falcons Found Trump’s Catastrophe for Syrian Kurds”.
In his book to be released on Tuesday, Bolton wrote of several US officials seeing the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) fighters whom Washington had supported in the war on terrorism.
It is interesting that most of them did not view these forces positively, at least when compared to their view of Turkey.
The Pentagon was closer to “SDF” than the State Department, probably because of its direct relationship with the fighters it sponsors.
So Trump’s sudden decision was the immediate reason that prompted former Secretary of Defense James Mattis to resign from his post in the same month.
Bolton’s primary goal and the other hawks toward Iran, by keeping American forces in Syria, was to confront Tehran and Moscow and saw that the alliance between Washington and the “CFD” was nothing but a distraction from this goal.
The report added that the hawks “left the Turkish-Kurdish conflict escalating until it got out of control”.
Bolton did not like “SDF” because it was an extension of a leftist organization (PKK), but at the same time, it was concerned that abandoning it would push it toward Iran and erode the confidence of Washington’s allies in the Americans.
Bolton described the policy of US diplomat James Jeffrey, favoring the Turks, as “a chronic scourge of the State Department, where the external perspective becomes more important than the United States”.
The report adds, quoting the book, that Bolton entered into a conflict with Mattis because he was focusing on ISIS rather than Iran, but they agreed on the need for the United States to keep its soldiers in the region.
Significant media pressure contributed to Trump’s decision to change the image, so the US President made a second call to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, telling him that he supported the Turkish army’s presence in the region “as long as it attacks ISIS, not the Kurds”.
Amid this volatility, then-chief of staff Gen. Joseph Dunford intervened to round the corners, saying that he still needed a few weeks to end the war on ISIS.
Danford found that Turkish leaders “were looking for reasons that they could use to avoid leading military operations south of their borders, and to say simultaneously that they were protecting Turkey from terrorist attacks”.
He believed that the commander of the “SDF”, General Mazloum Abdi, had “very limited” options and that he wanted to consider “some guarantees”.
Bolton writes that Trump ignored the warnings of his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, about the fate of the war against ISIS.
He declared that Turkey would take care of the remnants of the organization, and Macron replied, “Turkey was focused on attacking the Kurds, and it will establish a settlement with ISIS”.
Citing the Bolton book, the website said Pompeo also said that “Erdogan does not care about ISIS”.
Bolton mentioned that Erdogan sought to reassure Trump about the positive, mutual view between the Kurds and Turkey, saying that Ankara’s problem is with the “Kurdistan Workers Party”, “the Democratic Union Party”, and “Kurdish People’s Protection Units” that do not represent the Kurdish people.
“We heard all of this before, and that was the standard propaganda of the Erdogan regime,” Bolton said.
The Turkish president had previously refused to receive Bolton on January 8, 2019 due to statements he made during his visit to the occupied territories when he said that “Ankara must agree to protect Washington’s Kurdish allies in Syria”.
What ended up with things later was not the withdrawal of the American army, but rather the closest to repositioning, as there are still about a thousand American soldiers in Syria, most of whom guard the oil fields in the far east of the country, which are supervised by the Kurds.