So, if you’re scoring at home, the day before Pompeo and Pence visited with Erdogan, Turkey began bombarding two Kurdish cities, and then got to magnanimously restrain themselves for five days as a some kind of favor to the US… at the end of which he’s meeting with Putin, ostensibly to decide what happens next.
America has officially achieved Pawn Status.
Pawns can’t move backwards.
Also, Beirut is apparently in flames over taxes and corruption, or general habit and feeling left out.
They can move diagonally though, when they want to getcha, they’re sneaky fellers.
Speaking of sideways, some fun facts about Turkey’s “proposed” “safe zone” extending 30 km south of the Turkey-Syrian border that they want to clear of the people there and repopulate it with Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.
- For much of western Syria, this would put the edge of the safezone just a few km from the M4, the only major E-W highway of northern Syria.
- In the eastern region of the country, the M4 would be within the proposed safe zone.
- Also in the east, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous area/Rojava, Qamishli, would be in the safe zone.
- Qamishli has a population of over 200,000.
- Qamishli is a long time center for the Assyrians and for the Kurds.*
- Assyrians are Christians. Qamishli is famous for their Christmas celebrations.
That’s right: Trump is trying to kill Christmas in the Middle East.**
*The Assyrians fled there from Turkey and Iran years ago (and whom the Syrian government was trying to get rid of) and also of the Kurds, who fled there from Turkey and Iraq (and whom the Syrian government also wanted to get rid of. The place is sorta a pain in the ass to get to between mountains and desert, so refugees end up there, I guess.
**I’m joking of course. But one of the most significant Christian populations in the Middle East under threatened siege and violent displacement is obviously politically interesting from the POV of the United States.