Small Wars Journal

Turkish Rebuke of Bolton Highlights Troubled Effort to Sell U.S. Plan for Exit from Syria

Turkish Rebuke of Bolton Highlights Troubled Effort to Sell U.S. Plan for Exit from Syria by Kareem Fahim and Karen DeYoung – Washington Post

White House national security adviser John Bolton traveled to Turkey this week to talk with Turkish officials about working together on President Trump’s plan to quickly withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

 

Instead, he got an earful.

 

Turkish President Recep Tay­yip Erdogan, who declined to meet with Bolton, scolded him on live television Tuesday, describing as “a serious mistake” remarks Bolton made conditioning the American exit plan on protection of U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters. Turkey considers the Kurdish forces terrorists and has vowed to attack them in northeast Syria as soon as the Americans leave.

 

The furious response in Ankara was the latest setback for the White House’s troubled effort to extricate 2,000 American troops from Syria — a withdrawal that President Trump announced suddenly last month without a detailed plan to implement it.

 

Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are touring the Middle East, seeking to explain the policy and elicit support. But administration efforts at reassurance have instead raised doubts about the plan, laid bare internal disagreements and perplexed U.S. partners…

Read on.