Nov 9 (2/8): US Envoy to Turkey: Why?

US envoy to Syria James Jeffries is in Turkey for meetings with “senior Turkish officials and members of the Syrian opposition,” which means SNA but not SDF.

Anyway, here’s what there is to know about the visit:

Why the US says he’s there:

Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey will travel to Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey, for meetings with senior Turkish officials and members of the Syrian opposition on November 8-9, 2019.  Ambassador Jeffrey is leading an interagency delegation to discuss issues of mutual concern to include, the current situation in northeast Syria, implementation of UNSCR 2254 on the resolution of the Syrian conflict, and our continued efforts to ensure an enduring defeat of ISIS.

Why Turkey says he’s there:

That the video clip is a Tweet response to the stuff about joint Russia-Turkey patrols it pretty slick. The way information is bundled to try to influence the connections people draw is fascinating.

Synopsis: Three Purposes for the Meeting

  1. Ensure the implementation of the Oct 17 agreement for temporary cease fire for YPG to leave the safe zone.
  2. Discuss Erdogan’s trip to Washingnton, DC on Nov 13. This trip is really paving the way and is a scene setter for the upcoming meeting where they will discuss among other things  trade, anti-terrorism, and of course, Syria.
  3. The fight against Daesh, which is important to Turkey and the US and to everybody in the world so we should work together.

Why is he actually there?:

The Guardian: ‘Secure the oil’: Trump’s Syria strategy leaves Pentagon perplexed

This is a really good summary of the weirdness of the conflicting expressions of US policy in Syria and how different people are trying to navigate it. It also does a good job distilling what came out of the Pentagon press conference the other day that “re-articulated” and reaffirmed the US mission in Syria.

Geekier elaboration of problems:

ForeignPolicy: The Realists Are Wrong About Syria

Turkish POV of Situation

The points of emphasis for Turkey, particularity in terms of their breadth and emphasis on US and Turkey as both economic partners in addition to being valuable partners in the GWOT is, I think, instructive. Almost like the war in Syria is really just a good hook to get the United States to take a meeting; it just happens to be one of many things to discuss.

Why Is Enes Kanter So Awesome?

Controversial stuff. Food is very political these days, for example, to say nothing of the Les Miserables Problem.

Let’s see if the comments become a bloodbath.





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