tv Inside Story 2019 Ep 8 Al Jazeera January 9, 2019 10:32am-11:02am +03
side but south korean media is reporting that kim may she for about a mouth a u.s. envoy chance with resolving the diplomatic crisis between qatar and its arab neighbors has resigned there are reports that retired general anthony zinni quits juta the unwillingness of regional leaders to engage in dialogue more than a dozen diplomatic missions in the australian city of melbourne have been evacuated after suspicious packages were delivered to them samples are being tested for hazardous material that have been no reports of harm to starve human rights watch says that venezuelan intelligence have detained and tortured military personnel accused of plotting against the government its report says detainees described being strangled deprived of food and electrocuted international pressure is building on president nicolas maduro to step down right up to date with headlines here on al-jazeera got more news coming up right after inside story from.
with the three. keys president criticizes the conflicting messages coming from the trump administration over its plans to pull out troops from syria national security advisor john bolton has been seeking reassurance on terror but turkey warns it won't compromise this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program. many were caught off guard last month when u.s.
president donald trump announced he would pull american troops out of syria immediately but since then his administration has sent conflicting messages about how and when that withdrawal will take bass is national security advisor john bolton has been in turkey to seek protection for u.s. banks kurdish fighters in syria have been a major part of the battle against eisel but turkey sees them as terrorists and president. has warned he won't compromise on the kurdish issue will bring in our guests in just a moment but first here's more of what the turkish president had to say. the. bolton has made a serious mistake and whoever thinks like this has also made a mistake it's not possible for us to make compromises those who are in halls of the terra corridor or in syria who face the necessary lesson there is no single difference between the p.k. k y p g p d and i saw this same tone to spice reaching
a clear understanding with mr trump different voices of started to emerge from different sections of the administration but chumps views on syria and his decision to withdraw remains a point of reference ordo on was addressing members of his ruling party there earlier in an opinion piece for the new york times his tone was more measured he praised donald trump's decision to pull troops out of syria but added that the united states withdrawal must be planned carefully and performed in cooperation with the right partners to protect the interests of the united states the international community and the syrian people turkey he said which as nato second largest standing army is the only country with the power and commitment to perform that task the first step is to create establish ation force only a diverse body can serve all syrian citizens and he adds in this sense i would like to point out that we have no argument with the syrian kurds his entourage there is
jamaal out child with more now from ankara. this by the public statements made by both the american side and the turkish side that bolton's discussions with president raja senior advisor abram callen here in ankara were productive it would seem in reality they weren't as productive as they would like people to believe prior to this much anticipated meeting it was announced that there would be a joint press conference held by both the turkish and the american side the eleventh hour that's press conference was cancelled when i asked the advisor to president of iran dr cullen why that was he said it was at the request of bolton who said that he needed to get back to washington quickly to deal with the border security issue the war with mexico in the standoff taking place in d.c. not necessarily the most convincing of arguments when you think of what's at stake here american military presence inside syria as well as the greater issue of what to do with syria moving forward now what is the main point of contention as far as the turks are concerned they want to continue what they say cleansing out of the
eastern side of syria from what they describe as terrorist organizations have already had quite significant success in the push against i saw for example the. other surrounding areas from that's group however they say i saw is not only is not the only terrorist organization that there are there is the y.p. gee that's the kurdish militia group affiliated with the p k k that's been attacking turkish turkish cities security forces police officers inside turkey for the best part of several decades the americans however do not consider the y p g as terrorists they consider them as partners they've been funding them arming them in the fight against ice on that's why after president trump had initially said that there would be a full quick swift withdrawal of american troops from syria suddenly the pentagon and other security establishments in the u.s. said well hold on maybe that's not the wisest thing the turks say that they're not going to talk get a kurdish civilians that in fact in previous years and throughout history have actually welcomed kurdish refugees they've cited for example already one did this
in parliament earlier when they brought in kurdish refugees after some. soon have used chemical weapons against them in northern iraq and what their fight is only against what they describe as terrorist organizations the americans because of obviously all the regional implications and impacts on the view that they need some sort of going to with regards to what turkey will do. for inside story. well let's bring in our guests now any thumble off man searched research director at the institute and a former advisor to turkish prime minister. in washington d.c. nicholas jan fourth a fellow for the bipartisan policy center is national security program and here in doha we have marwan director of policy analysis at the absentia for research and policy studies thank you all for joining us on inside story on earth in istanbul if i can start with you the turkish president criticizing the conflicting messages
coming from the administration as far as its plan to withdraw u.s. troops from syria edouard says preparations are almost done for an operation against what he called terrorist groups in syria will he proceed without coordinating with the americans will turkey go it alone. just put it during the press conference very clearly that you will. inform. the weather what we'll be doing but they want requested permission from the americans if turkey can do something but of course till the last moment. we'll be trying to seek to corp of jamaicans but only to put it very civilly clearly and border that the people id is a terrorist organization is a try at threat for it and it can proceed unilaterally but of course it would call donation and at least just notifying the americans what it will be doing there's
a lot of frustration from the turks osman it seems to warsi united states and its plan to withdraw its troops from syria what precisely is turkey and israel are the one looking for from the trump administration at this moment. the disappointments has to force one there is always some shaky and conflicting messages from washington d.c. ok first the president trump was telling that he is to be trolling the american troops immediately and then there are so conflicting messages the american troops should be stay there mr bolton was telling that you know speaking about weeks months maybe years and that's why the tookey first of all want to understand what really the american administration wants this is important this is creating a disappointment and secondly americans are putting sunni and kurds but it is indeed not the sunni and kurds generally the proposed don't put in new york times article as well in front of which is a nato ally which is so many strategy call
a partnership with the americans and it is telling that giving the pro the perception that peabody is more important than the relation with anchor and this is creating a frustration nicholas dance for in washington d.c. osman after a very important question that what does the american administration want. well if people in turkey are frustrated by the incoherent and mixed messages coming from this administration people in washington are even more frustrated you see no end of lawmakers both in the democratic and republican party not to mention other people in the city enormously frustrated with the way this decision has been managed and rolled out whether you think the united states should stay in syria or the united states should leave syria the incredibly chaotic irresponsible way that this decision has been handled is almost guaranteed to secure the worst possible outcome
president ardo one nicholas has come out pretty strongly against john bolton who was visiting ankara on tuesday but reading his zero padding in the new york times it feels like he thinks he can still appeal directly to donald trump and bypass the rest of his administration officials like john bolton can he do that do you think you can get trump back on to his bait. well and this is what's so confusing i mean initially it seemed like he'd had a remarkable success in doing just that in bypassing u.s. administration officials who wanted a long term presence in syria in convincing president trump there the easiest solution would simply be to withdraw u.s. forces now part of the complication is that in order to convince trump of that aired on seems to have promised as he suggested in his op ed that turkey would be able to stabilize the region and would continue the fight against isis subsequently i suspect trump has been informed by many people in washington many people in his
own administration and in the military that this will not be possible that turkey will not be able to live up to the promises that everyone made him how trump responds to this that remains a mystery right. let's bring into the conversation your thoughts on the developments in these last few hours john bolton had been seeking reassurances that turkey will not target the kurds wants us to explode out of northern syria. he was this is a doomed mission from the outset for john bolton absolutely i think the turks will not accept it because this is bellhops that major concern for the government that they want actually to get in syria in order to eliminate their why be because they're concerned that the wife. of the pickier which is considered by the as a terrorist organization this is the whole issue that is really concerned about in syria so when mr poston actually comes and say that we want to
a key to protect the very enemy that is trying to destroy this is a very i mean it seems they seem to me the very strange argument about that so now the issue is in fact if the united states is really going to withdraw and this is something and this is a very big if. as as you would. have just said just. said we don't really know what the real policy of the administration they don't speak with one voice i mean so what if they decide actually to withdraw we need to nor in fact that to when and how and who's going to replace the united states because there is going to be a vacuum in syria if the united states withdraw and actually we don't know which party the united states would want to replace it with that but if if if the kid's going to replace it then can the united states get guarantees from turkey that there will not be trying to eliminate the if it's not
a key iran and russia allow other parties because we hear now that the americans are trying actually to have some sort of arrangement right what better placement of its forces in syria and that might include. military force we don't know if that is going to be possible i was ability actually within this within this context and i see you wanted to jump in there when. when my one thing about you know. mr mr problems it's very legitimate question of what will happen to p. why do you force or sold it but we have offering our hand as a case he was controlling the region and turkish forces into the fight with p.g. and with the f.s.a. free syrian army and the local forces and now they left the region and then with dish participation in the local authorities about one million living there and that's why we have already a model how to govern this region if you forces just just withdrawn from there ok
the not to leave. little i was talking about and i wasn't talking about the kurds i was talking about the militia about turkish was a sham from the white b.g. because i was saying that that turkey actually considered as a terrorist organization so i haven't stood on the right because i'm contributing what you are telling but also a little just. when i was killing do so because of that last night let me ask you about a point the president made in the new york times opinion piece present are the one said that part of his try to gie would be to create a stabilization force that would include fighters from all parts of syrian society that would mean also the courage then in that case wouldn't it yes of course of course the should be there as well just i may contribute to have done false comments about the article in new york times the new york times articles targets from my point of view is the army can public mr president is on is trying to keep the american public in the game first just supporting trump
a decision for the trouble second he is telling that we have the common enemy common thread which is isis which is important for the. you know the military the army can public and that's why you want to put the. actors to the game and secondly you don't have any problem with the syrian troops will define who is sunni and kurds in the region it's too important at this point if i just may remind our viewers of what the issue we're talking about is precisely the kurds of syria we've heard a lot about the kurds so let's take a closer look at this group they're the largest ethnic minority in syria making up between seven and ten percent of the population they control almost thirty percent of the country but mainly in the northeast and near the turkish border kurdish fighters have been integrity in the fight against i saw in twenty fifteen they were bought by u.s. led coalition to fight the armed groups but turkey as we've heard sees them as
a threat it has fought kurdish separatists for forty years and wants to prevent them forming an autonomy region on its border with syria while al jazeera simcoe has more on that now from that that in northern syria. we're a few hundred meters away from that close the member city which is under control of the syrian democratic forces that is dominated by the syrian kurds fighters why fiji where we stand is actually like a buffer zone between the f.s.a. controlled area and the few idea controlled area it is just maybe fifty meters of this is and the u.s. military bases close to here the turkish military base is also very close to here it is at the same time where the tension is but also it is a safe place because the f.s.a. and the few i do try not to interfere to each other because the road behind me is the decayed to to the humanitarian aid transportation according to both sides but
of course there is tension some of the our ops accuse the. kurdish fighters the war the wife e.g. for killing their families out there and on the other hand some of the kurds say that they are very afraid because turkey is planning a military offensive to the region but on the other hand there are some kurds who say that the pew idea why puji is not a group that could resemble that could present their rights because they the white pigeon for you idea are suppressing their kurdish people in the areas that is under their control but of course as the political uncertainty continues the uncertainty in the field continues as well are as you heard there nicholas uncertainty on the ground as well in northern syria how vulnerable do you think the kurds will be warned for u.s. withdrawal if the u.s. what was to withdraw and can may come from support elsewhere from damascus or from
moscow even. exactly and that you know as much as i think people on the ground the kurds on the ground were shocked by the speed and the suddenness of the u.s. announcement there was you know given the kurds previous experience with the united states a certain suspicion about the united states is long term intentions and a certain recognition that eventually the united states would leave and because of that the y.p. g. has stayed on good terms with the assad government and there was an expectation that if the united states were to leave they would prefer to have the assad government come back then to face a turkish invasion and so. given that the united states has said it's going to leave and i think given no no matter what the united states says because there is a sense that one way or another the united states is going to be taking off they're going to try to reach an agreement with the assad government with moscow's backing to make sure that while this is not their first choice it's still something they
prefer to a turkish invasion and there. could well be what we see going forward my one couple on your thoughts if the united states leaves who fills the void well it depends on how the united states will leave actually because if there is an agreement with turkey which is something that i believe now is not is not actually. something that we should expect to have soon given the failure of the bolt on visit to to ankara today so will we still need to see actually who is going to. take advantage of this disagreement between turkey and the united states now it seems to me that we are back to square one between two of the united states concerning the area but let's assume that the americans are withdrawing without an agreement with turkey that will put turkey in a very difficult position because of the russians the iranians and the syrian regime so i think these parties also are watching closely. the negotiations between
the united states and turkey so if these negotiations fail to produce the desired end they will take advantage most probably of this confusion of this because we have seen as nicholas said that she is trying actually to bring in the syrian regime we have seen that in members last week when the invited the syrian regime forces forces to to enter the city so that will make in my opinion the scene even much more complicated and much more dangerous for everybody so we still need to see actually how the americans are going to handle this mess is tuition ok in istanbul marwan says we're back to square one your thoughts on this you think an agreement with turkey is still possible between the united states and turkey is possible can trump and i don't want to come up with an agreement a new agreement a long term plan for the stabilization of syria. yes i truly believe that there is still some common ground between the americans and the turks because if regime
comes to the region it means that iran will be dominating the region i don't think that washington and it especially if they did the previews they're already just. strategies on syria but the us started it was containing iran and if they let people i didn't get would regime it to mean that iran will be coming to the region and it will have the upper hand that's why i think still tookie and americans will have a congress i want to do one more thing. you know i understand what nicholas have said regarding some coach concerns about the turkish penetration to the region but if you look at what the regime is doing over there with barrel bombs with chemical weapons and it is being called as the regime's control but when turkey is entering into the region it is bringing you know the hospitals and the social. services old then and it is being labeled as invasion i don't. articulate your response to that you know i don't look i mean i'm clearly not here to defend the assad regime and i
think people in turkey should ask why it is that so many kurds living in syria would prefer the regime to return their turkish forces that seems like a damning indictment of turkey's behavior in how it's administered regions like afrin after it's taken them over yeah coming back to the issue of iran because it's interesting i mean key figures within the trump administration including my compare the secretary of state and john bolton have argued that u.s. involvement in syria is not just aimed at defeating eisel but countering iran's influence that does donald trump nicholas he and i understand that message. again as i said is the big mystery i mean it did the united states had a strategy supposedly for containing iran in the region people like bolton were saying that the us presence in syria was going to be a centerpiece of that strategy many of us didn't entirely understand how that was going to work how two thousand u.s. forces in syria were going to singlehandedly contain iran but we're even more
confused how would the united states withdrawing from syria we're going to continue to contain iran i do think you see a split now in the u.s. government between people who think they're at turkey taking over the region would be better than assad taking over the region to contain iran but you also see people who think that if the united states is going to leave and the white b.g. wants assad back that is what we should do. here in doha they're trying to find a solution of course for one part of syria right now that takes in the americans but what about the rest of syria the conflicts in the rest of syria exactly i mean the question of that with all of the absence of the or the presence of the u.s. forces in syria is not only about isis it's not only about iran although i mean these two key factors are very important for for u.s. policy and u.s. thought that here in the region but it's also about finding a political solution to the conflict in syria. not a son a former secretary of state he put to what's most people actually believe as the
most comprehensive clear us syria policy. last year in january last year during his famous speech before the hoover institution in stanford university when he when he actually identified the key objectives of u.s. policy actually in syria and why they wanted says should actually stay in syria with its military presence number one is but a venting. from coming back number two is but i've been to iran and i'm having a land door from iraq through syria to lebanon. continuing iranian influence in the region and number three. he's using the u.s. military presence in syria as a bargaining chip in order to force the easy him to accept the sort of political solution that would end the eight years conflict now in syria right with the withdrawal of the u.s. forces now with the decision of the withdrawal of u.s. forces now we really have key. questions about whether the united states is really
about any of these objectives usman i'll give you the last word in istanbul the conflict in the rest of syria is undecided of course in terms of the political outcome obviously militarily the assad regime has the momentum right now how do you see the situation evolving and what role for turkey in this post conflict syria. generally discussion is just rolling around who have lost in syria it is obvious nobody won in syria and i do the assad regime neither you know nor directions nor do run ins even to an extent nor do turks exactly because as such is a tilt a serious thing as their serious losses it's only the syrians who are lost in syria that's exactly you're right exactly or right exactly syrians lost their they are you know they did very very sad thing and everybody is sitting and talking about the future of syria without syrians this is this is so sad about it so pity for the syrians but for the future the american administrations be troubled decision is
making the shoe much more complex big before before this decision. rather to live there will be a stable situation assad was just secure the region securities on consumers and russia world where iran was that american was sitting there and that there may be a solution but allow a new you know. starting or no solution in the mediate future thank you very much for a very interesting discussion gentlemen. nicholas danforth and thank you all and thank you for watching this edition of inside story you can always watch a program again any time on our website at al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page at facebook dot com for trash ha inside story from me for the battle and the whole team thank you for watching by for now.
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