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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:10 PM

US tells Turkey to back off Syria

According to inside sources, during her meeting with Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Ankara not to move forward against the Syrian regime. (AFP photo)

In a previously unreported turn of events, it has now come to light that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu last month, emphatically dismissed a number of forward leaning options on Syria that the Turkish top diplomat proposed to the Obama administration.

What this means is that Washington, which at one point subcontracted its Syria policy to Ankara, has now called the Turks off the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

According to well-informed Turkish and US sources, during his meeting with Secretary Clinton, Davutoğlu put forward a set of measures, including, among others, creating a buffer zone and/or a humanitarian corridor, as well as organizing and equipping the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The secretary of state responded in no uncertain terms that the Obama administration had no interest in pursuing any of these options. In fact, according to one account, Clinton told her Turkish counterpart no less than three times, “We are not there.”

http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=378866&MID=0&PID=0

So much for the false claims of US being involved militarily in Syria. And the same for Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which claims I have seen in more than one place.

"n effect, therefore, the administration was actively blocking any such move on Turkey’s part, just as it held a red light to possible Saudi and Qatari plans to arm the FSA."

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Reply US tells Turkey to back off Syria (Original post)
tabatha Mar 2012 OP
Initech Mar 2012 #1
Comrade Grumpy Mar 2012 #2
leveymg Mar 2012 #3

Response to tabatha (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:37 PM

1. That's our war damn it!!!!

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Response to tabatha (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:17 PM

2. It seems the State Department is being very prudent.

Creating a "buffer zone" or "humanitarian corridor" would involve the invasion and military seizure of Syrian national territory. I think the Assad regime would take a dim view of that. And unlike Libya, it has a fairly formidable and efficient military.

Organizing and equipping the Free Syrian Army--what does that lead to?

I think the Syrian rebellion is essentially over. The protestors made a grave, if understandable, mistake by taking up arms against the regime. Now, it is emboldened to crush the "terrorists" once and for all.

And the Russians and Chinese gave them cover at the UN, partly for their own interests, but partly because of NATO overreaching in Libya.

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Response to tabatha (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:53 PM

3. FP says you are wrong (again) about KSA and Qatar not sending arms and jihadis into Syria.

Unless, of course, you're hedging your bets (and talking out of the side of your mouth) by claiming that doesn't amount to those countries being "involved militarily in Syria." This according to Foreign Policy: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/27/saudi_arabia_is_arming_the_syrian_opposition

The last time the Saudis decided they had a moral obligation to scuttle Russian policies, they gave birth to a generation of jihadi fighters in Afghanistan who are still wreaking havoc three decades later.

According to news reports confirmed by a member of the Syrian opposition, Riyadh currently sends weapons on an ad hoc basis to the Syrian opposition by way of Sunni tribal allies in Iraq and Lebanon. But in light of recent developments, more weapons are almost certainly on their way. After his delegation withdrew in frustration from last week's Friends of Syria meeting in Tunisia, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said that humanitarian aid to Syria was "not enough" and that arming the Syrian rebels was an "excellent idea." Soon afterward, an unnamed official commented in the state-controlled Saudi press that Riyadh sought to provide the Syrian opposition with the "means to achieve stability and peace and to allow it the right to choose its own representatives." Meanwhile, Saudi clerics are now openly calling for jihad in Syria and scorning those who wait for Western intervention. One prominent unsanctioned cleric, Aidh al-Qarni, openly calls for Assad's death.

Other Sunni Gulf states, principally Qatar, may be contributing weapons. On Monday, Feb. 27, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said, "We should do whatever necessary to help , including giving them weapons to defend themselves."


And what about the 13 French Special Forces officers captured in Homs last month? We heard about that as a blip, which nobody would confirm or deny, and then gone. Better to negotiate their release out of the public eye for both sides, no doubt.

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