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tv   Inside Story 2019 Ep 281  Al Jazeera  October 9, 2019 3:32am-4:01am +03

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lead to a return of eisel and cause a mass displacement of people turkey's preparing for an offensive against the kurdish led s.d.s. which it considers a terrorist group the european council president has warned the british prime minister not to play what he called a stupid blame game or the brakes it there are reports in the british media that german chancellor angela merkel has told barres johnson that a deal is unlikely now this year's nobel prize in physics has been awarded to 3 scientists for their research into the universe's history and structure the prize will be shared between a canadian american james peebles and swiss scientists michel and d.d.a. . well those are the headlines on al-jazeera do stay with us inside stories coming up next thank you for watching.
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the confusion over u.s. plans for syria donald trump is facing criticism for his decision to withdraw from the northeast paving the way for a take a ship and see if what are the risks of a military operation and what to do with eisel fight is in kurdish prisons this is inside story. the and welcome to the program fully back to pull the white house is sending mixed messages about the future of america's role in syria president donald trump
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announced on monday that u.s. soldiers would pull out of northeastern syria allowing turkey to launch a military operation against kurdish fighters turkey's defense minister says its forces are ready to enter and clear what he calls terrorists syrian kurds america's close on eye in the fight against eisel call trumps decision a stab in the back and after widespread criticism at home the president is not threatening to destroy turkey's economy if it does anything he considers to be off limits but a white house official says u.s. soldiers are only being moved within syria rather than fully withdrawn contradicting the president earlier tweet that the u.s. would quote get out of the war we have a lot to get to with our guests but 1st this report from kimberly hockett in washington d.c. . as u.s. troops begin pulling out of positions in northern syria their commander in chief donald trump defended his decision to withdraw now we've captured isis we've done
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what we've done we had 50 soldiers in the area talking about and i said we want to bring our soldiers back home it's been a long time it's a major shift in u.s. foreign policy one being criticized by members of the president's own republican party senator lindsey graham one of trump's biggest supporters on twitter pledged to reverse the withdrawal of the u.s. senate calling it a disaster in the making a move also backed by the top democrat in the senate and i can tell you this it is getting roland condemnation from democrats and republicans and i expect congress will take some form of action either a resolution or something even more. u.s. officials credit kurdish forces with helping take back territory from isolating northern syria but there are tensions between turkey and the kurds the turkish government considers one of its most effective fighting forces the p.k. k.
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to be a terrorist organization some u.s. lawmakers are threatening to sanction turkey potentially calling for its suspension from nato if it attacks kurdish forces in northern syria but trump went even further threatening to economically obliterate turkey if the kurds are attacked i have told turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is you main they could suffer the wrath of a an extremely decimated economy still trump has long been vocal about his desire to get the u.s. out of what he calls america's endless wars trumps impulsive syria strategy has led to key members of his administration resigning last year his defense secretary james mattis and brett mcgurk eisel special envoy what this shows president. all of his predecessors were whether republican or democratic is only
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concerned about himself we have a moral responsibility to the kurds because without them we would not have destroyed the caliphate in a statement on monday the pentagon made clear to turkey the united states does not back turkish operations in northern syria believing it will have a destabilizing effect on the region president trump campaigned in 2016 promising to withdraw the united states from foreign wars now with the 2020 u.s. election just a little more than a year away it appears potential voters not his senior advisers are the ones trying cares about pleasing most can really help at al-jazeera the white house so let's take a look at how others have responded to trump's decision nikki haley who served as strom's 1st u.s. ambassador to the u.n. said we must always have the banks on eyes if we expect them to have our back the kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against isis in syria leaving them
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to die is a big mistake turkey is not a friend us senate majority leader mitch mcconnell warned the move would damage relations with turkey and only benefit russia iran and syria as president bashar al assad fronts another in the u.s. fight against size so is worried the on group could remarriage while iran foreign minister jogs a reef called the us and eve relevant occupy in syria he warned turkey against any military operation. going to well let's bring in our guests for today's show in washington d.c. we have also chosen he is the people's democratic party representative to the united states a kurdish opposition group in turkey also known as the h d p in istanbul we have osman sirte director of the institute and former advisor to turkish prime minister. and in washington d.c.
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on skype while. he served as a senior syria advisor to samantha power a former u.s. ambassador to the united nations welcome to you all 'd thank you for being on inside story on china in washington if i can start with you what is your understanding of the administration's announcement of the future us all in syria's war is the u.s. administration endorsing a turkish offensive in northern syria and are they abandoning your people the kurds . well thank you for having me on the show firstly i think. very short and simple answer to that is we just simply do not know yet because in the last year and a half president trump has tried to leave syria on to 2 previous occasions on both being severely pushed backed by the american establishment on the 2nd time in december in 2019 when president front said he had ordered the military to actually
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leave syria. the crisis grew so much the defense secretary of the time james mattis had resigned over it and then subsequently brett mcgurk also resigned over president trump decision to withdraw now we know that after that this isn't pressure from congress especially had president trump backtracking a little bit and actually slowing down the withdrawal although a very limited withdrawal took place. the u.s. and president trump himself also said that. american soldiers would stay longer while what are your thoughts the prevailing narrative has always been that the americans won't abandon the kurds who fought and defeated eisel what do you make of the confusing statements coming from the u.s. administration does the u.s. support a turkish operation in northern syria. you know i wouldn't say that the prevailing
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sentiment was that the united states would never abandon the kurds in fact history proves otherwise those of us who are in the previous administration like myself always pointed out that while partnering with the p.k. affiliate in northern syria was expedient and useful against isis in the short term it was always going to be problematic in the long term because they are the number one any of the nato allies to their north and that's reflective right now in the concert a tree statements confusion and near hysteria you're seeing in washington over the situation where you have on the one hand. those who have invested in this relationship seeing their hard work you know. being being being let go and a president who's erratic and you know. is a you know issues foreign policy from from twitter if i am but but is forced into
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a corner by by by president or one even the white house seemed to walk back the president's withdrawal comment do you think present trump was just perhaps trying to divert attention from the domestic issues while. that's very possible with this president but at the end of the day he was steamrolled as they say by a president or a turkey on this issue and he really has a very recurrent to play even if you were a the most perfect president we've ever had which he is not he is a very curt we're a few hundreds of soldiers in the north. and the turkish army is help and on and on coming across so his choices were either to watch them do it against his objection or to see that he grew to it. let's bring in our sponsor in istanbul a some reports have suggested that even the turks were caught by surprise by the president's announcement of u.s.
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troops withdraw from northern syria i wonder what's going on in their minds right now whether this threat by the u.s. president to obliterate turkey's economy if in his words they do anything he considers off limits what are the turks making of all this painted if you're looking at the looking at the issue from the from ankara and istanbul you can see that there is a mass standing over there ok and this mass is of washington must know the mass of turkish american relations on the one inside there's a president just between of ours he is telling that he is indorsing a turkish possible operation order in syria and secondly he is just threatening turkey true to its devastated turkish economy on the other side the pentagon which should be ruled by the president it is dragging its feet to to apply the orders of the president and this when you look at the issue from took his perspective it is a mass and this mass is an american mass the trance administration's mr trump's 1st priority is to be reelected in the coming elections and to deal with this
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impeachment process and for the congress and the others they need to know if i do or trump and unfortunately the discussion about turkey is just becoming a tool for this fight indeed right please say the. this is an american mess but turkey has a big role to play in this as well i mean will there be a turkish military operation every everything seems to indicate that this will be the case but the question is what will be the scope of any operation what will be the initial focus and how far well turkish troops push into not northern syria of course it's a fact that there's a turkish role what's happening in this problem but it when you look at the issue from you know what kind of an ally you have it standing at the other side of the table with whom you will be negotiating with whom you will be having a deal regarding an operation ok you may be disagree with the operation you maybe disagree with the turkish politics and in syria but what kind of a politics what kind of
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a counterpart you have regarding the operation took is ready to make an operation now. it did twice in the region in of rain and. region and then the turkish army is ready just as as far as i touched to the officers over there they're ready to make it is there are some of the mutations regarding a field or something like that but without the protection such kind of an operation can be terkel turkey did it and it has an experience on the problems that you got in we are discussing about the american policy on syria i think the main problem is that the better america has a policy on syria not about from starting from the obama period is if there is a coherent consistent. in this is another very important point all right. let me bring you back in osman says the turks are ready to go away how concerned are you about the protection protection of kurdish people in northern syria when the takesh tanks roll in both in terms of sovereignty and also maintaining safety in
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the area how big of a risk is this operation. or. absolutely huge risk because we don't have to look anywhere else we can just see war the turkish security forces did in the predominantly kurdish cities in southeastern turkey only a few years back only only in 20152016 turkish tanks and heavy artillery demolished 10 cities in southeast turkey when fighting certain kurdish rebels there so. we don't have to look too far or too far into the future to be very concerned about what this operation into northern syria would do because we're talking about an area that relatively speaking has been the most stable part of the country of syria since the 2011 uprisings began and so for turkey to actually want to
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destabilize and attack a region that hasn't frightened turkey that hasn't had any instability of its own it just doesn't make any sense to me and i think that the legitimacy or the rationalization that's offered by turkey by the turkish government doesn't make much sense even because what the turkish government is saying is that the kurds in northeastern syria northern syria are affiliated to the p.k. k. somehow now that the p.k. k. is a movement that the turkish government sat down with between 250-2050 politically to try and solve the kurdish issue now if your able to sit down with the actual movement that is for an insurgency against you directly namely the p.k. k. then how can it be that a few years after you feel it necessary to actually cross the border into a completely different country and attack kurds there for their so-called affiliation to the p.k. k. now i think international forces need to take note of this as well there was
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a potential for peace between to turkish government and the p.k. k. and i think the only way to solve all of this crisis and. tension is for international powers under turkish government as well to really think it's kurdish policy and sit down with the very movement that it's itself fighting the insurgency in turkey last month in istanbul your thoughts on that while there on says that the turkish government needs to rethink its kurdish policy but it doesn't seem to be the case right now that they want to rethink they just want to go and then clear the area from what they call terrorists are they are they likely to think of this talk thank you very much for. beyond that thank you very much for this in just giving me a voice on that event just in order to make it to to clarify the issues for the audience. is a terrorist organization labeled by the americans by the europeans by turkey which will which killed more than 30000 turkish and kurdish people in the region it is
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a very valid known terrorist organization when it underlined this this is number one regarding the kurds in the region which coach we are talking about it about the northern iraqi kurds i'm talking about the key our g. . and others when they are facing up with isis turkey was rushing to help them to contribute military to try to contribute their fight with isis and turkish help save this coating called codes from isis whether we are talking about the church who escaped from wipe egypt pressure in syria about 200-002-3000 extension 00 kurds living in turkey right now escaping from the y.p. jury when we are talking about these killers in the region the are talking about why p.g. which is affiliated to let k.k. and it is not so court affiliation of the an airliner i don't really agree appling that this is this is this is the affiliation is very obvious and the americans itself you know they know that it was unsafe trainable for the americans to keep
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the balance between just saving the p.k. k. in the region and keeping turkey corn with automatic letter laoghaire arteries going radium a can go 5 bring back while into the conversation are here on your response. firstly just to correct several figures i mean over $40000.00 people have lost their lives inside turkey in the conflict between the p.k. k. and turkey and more than half of the total casualties have been on the side of the p.k. came the kurds so let's firstly get that straight now to the categorization of the p.k. case a terrorist organization yes ok the u.s. and certain states and western states and turkey see the p.k. as a terrorist organization but then as your guests in in istanbul in turkey saying that the turkish government sat down with a terrorist organization because i don't think you can reject the truth that the turkish government sat down with the p.k. k. between 20132015 this was the right thing to do because there is absolutely no
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reason to perpetuate this conflict right now the turkish government took the p.k. k. as the other side of this conflict and sat down and tried to solve this age old question ok now i don't see why i don't think the old discourse and rhetoric holds any water anymore a gentleman in of course as you know another major concern is what will happen to nearly 12000 i saw fighters held by kurdish forces in syria if indeed turkey goes ahead with this operation some 2000 of them are foreign fighters including from france germany and the u.k. but european governments have refused to take them back earlier we spoke to a journalist molly sweeney who recently interviewed people trapped in northeastern syria take a listen. the turks have been threatening this area for years now including throughout the time that the s.d.f. the syrian democratic forces were fighting against eisel as an american partner force the fear of the people is compounded many of the people in the
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camps fear the regime and can't go home to their various parts of syria and iraq because of the regime or because of iranian backed forces there and they fear for their lives but they also fear a turkish invasion from the north these are people who are caught between a rock and a hard place all right while in washington d.c. can any turkish operation create a vacuum for eisel to be made in this area the americans seem to be preparing for such a scenario when they blame the europeans for not taking back the fight is currently being held by the kurds. so it was a possibility if the s.d.f. slashed by p.g. fighters turned their attention to confront turkey in the chaos.
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you know you can see isis fighters escaping you know prisoners escaping the group's reassembling and reemerging but i think. the problem of that happening once turkey takes over is not is not necessarily as bad as everyone is making about to be once turkey takes over those areas they're going to want to protect our interests we may disagree with with those interests are but the turkish military is not allow isis fighters to roam around among them the story of isis and turkish. you know cooperation or a quote really was at its worst in the in the early times of 201-220-1320 extension 14 when turkey was turning a blind eye to isis fighters were fighting the kurds but certainly ara-c. them allowing them to roam free in areas wants to take over your thoughts. in istanbul what will happen to these i saw a fight is currently being held by the kurds the american seem to suggest that if
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turkey goes in and goes ahead with this military operation then they will be responsible for the zeisel fight is. exactly just i will touch upon just i want to just a few sentences regarding yes sir while in washington just clearly put it that turkey sit table with p.k. k. in order to reach a solution it was a very advised decision from my point to a few and exploited this approach unity to talk ammunition in the city's vic the citrate in 02200 i will stop you because it's a very long discussion what d.k.k. is one and one that satirise our ashes to see issue yes exactly did the i.c.c. issue is i think this is a blackmail just coming from the you know the forces in the region there telling that if turkey is coming here the i.c.c. forces will be either julie's or they will be escaping if everybody is against isis ok why p.g.d. americans and the turks and what is the problem over there and regarding the number i need to correct it because it was being exaggerated by the work force in order to
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blackmail the americans and the europeans regarding the possible danger it is about a few thousands with the family is ok regarding 2 of 1000 and sometimes even they are just telling about tens of thousands of us numbers as if like a town or a city it is not the fact there is a problem of isis there should be a very smart planning regarding how to handle this members and and the families but there is another side of the coin the europeans this us as members are just blowing into this country is they are not accepting their citizens they'd just just what wanted this us members live over there and take care of it you know the white pages forces the kurds or the americans order to deal on the road the problem who sent of course not willingly but just lead them to go to the region they are not trying to deal with the problem and and now the existing forces are blackmailing through isis to both americans turks and the europeans to support any kind of operation let's
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say gave back aaron at the last word karen what will happen to these isis fighters being held by the kurds and will justice be served. for the crimes that they purportedly committed 2 points firstly i think the get your guest in well here in d.c. i think his optimism is unfounded firstly i think if a government that was that enabled isis to grow very quickly in its early years they didn't take it precautions on its border according to siphon it actively helped isis in its operational capacity i would find very hard to trust and i would not want to leave my security to a government that's been that's done that before and that's why i believe that the optimism that somehow the turkish army and the turkish government can take responsibility of these isis captives this is completely unfounded secondly i think it's quite rich from anyone that if it that's been affiliated or still is affiliated to the turkish government to talk about. to talk about. some sort of you
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know a fret. by the s. the for why p.g. about the isis prisoners the turkish government aired on has been threatening europe for the past few years with the more than 4000000 syrian refugees in the country trying to take anything it can. from europe and from the western world by frightening them with opening the doors to more than 4000000 syrian refugees to cross the borders into europe so i think it's quite rich from from your guest in istanbul to talk about how the u.s. the f a y p g doing this as the if the kurds in northeastern syria have very limited resources to look after and to to actually hold these people accountable the isis captives accountable and if turkey if the turkish army is going to attack the white p.g. and the kurds in northeastern syria then they're going to have to fend themselves and i think that will take you know that would be a priority ok we'll leave it there gentlemen thank you so thank you so very much
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for a very interesting discussion thank you for joining us. osman said and why as ziad . thank you very much indeed and thank you as well for watching you can always watch this program again any time by visiting our website at al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page at facebook dot com for stash a.j. inside story and of course you can join the conversation on twitter a handle inside story from the foley back to one whole team thank you for watching i can.
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