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Middle East Expert: US Actions in Turkey 'Irrelevant'

By    |   Monday, 13 October 2014 12:00 PM

The United States' actions in Turkey are "irrelevant," Middle East expert Walid Phares said Monday on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV, while discussing reports that Turkey has allowed U.S. troops on its bases.

"Unfortunately, this is a step that is in slow motion, which means that the Turks have said, 'OK, we're going to have now a delegation coming from the United States looking at the bases, studying the situation,'" Phares told host John Bachman. "It will take a week for the assessment.

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"Meanwhile, the battle of Kobani is going on, so the president of Turkey can say I have opened the discussion about my participation."

In order for Kobani to be saved, "the Turks have to actually advance," he said.

"We can't do anything from the air to save that city," he opined. "At this point in time, we can delay, but the Turks need to move in. It's only a couple kilometers. Secure the city and then discuss with the United States what can be done there if you want to save Kobani."

The Obama administration had a willing partner in Turkey until President Barack Obama drew a "red line" regarding Syria's use of chemical weapons and then failed to act on it.

"On Syria, we were partners, the two countries were partners, until the Obama administration decided not to go against the Assad regime and bring it down, which created some sort of frustration in Turkey because [Turkey President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan wants Assad to go and he wants his friends to take over in Syria," said Phares.

"So, it's a very complicated situation. The Obama administration were not prepared for ISIS . . . so now they're asking Mr. Erdogan to help us on ISIS and he's telling us, 'Yeah, I'll help you on ISIS if you help me bring down Assad, and that's something President Obama cannot do and will not do.'"

After speaking with his sources in the region, Phares said he thinks Erdogan and his supporters do not want to rescue Kobani, "meaning to move in and rescue the city and have the Kurdish forces in place become in charge of the city."

"What they would like to see is that they would save Kobani, unfortunately, after those forces would be withdrawn, so it's a little bit dramatic here in a sense that the Turkish position wants to see those militias leaving and then they would want to come and create a security zone, but that would be very dangerous to do because ISIS would have taken the city, ethnic-cleanse the people, reach the international border, and I'm predicting or projecting something else.
After Kobani, they're going to move west toward another Kurdish city on that border and then east toward another Kurdish and Christian area inside Syria. They're not going to stop in Kobani."

The Obama administration is also not "putting its weight" to help the 500,000 minority Christians, Assyrians, Syriac, Chaldeans, and Yazidis, who fled to Kurdistan to avoid being killed by ISIS, he said.

The U.S. should work with its allies to push back the Islamic State and help the Kurds arm the Christians and other minority groups and form police forces so that those groups can safely return to their homes, Phares suggested.

"Train them to defend themselves, because if we're going to continue to remove these minorities, then ISIS will be winning at the end of the day," he said. "What ISIS wants is an area free from Christians and Kurds and minorities and Jews, and everybody who does not agree with them."

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The United States' actions in Turkey are irrelevant, Middle East expert Walid Phares said Monday on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV while discussing reports that Turkey has allowed U.S. troops on its bases.
Turkey, United States, air bases, ISIS, Kurds
Monday, 13 October 2014 12:00 PM
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