OK, if you're scoring at home, here are the totals.
Turkey: Kills many Kurds. Destroys Kurdish autonomy. Gets the chunk of Syria so latter never comes back. Sanctions lifted.
Russia: Major player.
Iran: Major player.
Bashar al-Assad: Winning streak intact.
Kurds: Not being killed, temporarily.
That's the victory that El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago declared at the White House on Wednesday, making imaginary chicken salad out of his chickenshit foreign policy. He was particular laudatory toward Mazloum Abdi, the leader of the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, which Trump hung out to dry a week ago when he pulled the US troops out of what he now calls "the safe zone." On Monday, Mazioum told the Voice of America:
We haven't accepted the U.S.-Turkey deal in its entirety. We have only agreed to the cease-fire. Our forces have already withdrawn from Ras al-Ayn and Tel Abyad. In return, Turkey would commit to a permanent cease-fire in those areas with the U.S. being a guarantor. As for other details of their agreement, nobody has discussed them with us. Therefore, we do not accept them. We have relied on the U.S. narrative of the agreement, which says that the [Turkish] operation will be limited to those two towns. We will never accept the Turkish narrative, which says that Turkish forces will enter all areas in northern Syria along the border with Turkey.
Basically, he agreed not to allow his forces and his people to get slaughtered and accepted a ceasefire because the alternative was appalling. The Turkish government gratefully accepted everything it has wanted for decades, and also gratefully accepted the U.S. lifting sanctions because Erdogan made the right noises in the president*'s ear. Assad gratefully accepted everything he'd wanted for decades. Some 100 ISIS fighters gratefully accepted being free...somewhere. And 200,000 Kurdish refugees gratefully accepted not being dead yet. Isn't it great when everybody gets along?
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