Turkey Defies Trump, Claims White House Lied, Bombs City With US Soldiers. Al Qaeda Marches Into Syria.
After days of pleas from Christian publications such as The Christian Post and The Stream, President Trump confronted Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan by phone yesterday, according to the White House. Erdogan’s forces are attacking the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces, and endangering Syrian Christians. The White House said that it warned Erdogan to limit his attacks and avoid any sites where American forces are stationed.
Hours later, Erdogan defied Trump, and Turkish shells and bombs fell on and around the town of Manbij, where US advisors are stationed. What happens when a Turkish bomb kills US soldiers? All hell could break loose. Now Erdogan is denying that Trump even told him to restrain himself. As New York magazine reports:
“Those who support the terrorist organisation will become a target in this battle,” Turkey’s deputy prime minister Bekir Bozdag said Thursday. “The United States needs to review its soldiers and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground in a way to avoid a confrontation with Turkey.”
In other words, Turkey will do as it likes, and the US had better get its soldiers out of the way.
Turkey Humiliating America, Bombing Christians
In Syria, Turkey is humiliating America. The US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces were the army that crushed ISIS in its capital Raqqa — so U.S. troops didn’t have to. The SDF saved countless American lives. But Turkey cost them during the 2003 Iraq War by refusing the US access through its territory. Americans had to fight their way through entrenched Iraqi positions instead, causing hundreds of casualties.
As John Zmirak asked the president here at The Stream:
The Christians who formed the strongest part of your political base want answers. Is this how the US treats persecuted Christians, those who actually fought on our side in a vicious war?
Similar questions will vex any group or nation that might consider aiding America. Will the Kurds who helped us end up just like the South Vietnamese? We don’t serve American interests by showing ourselves as an utterly untrustworthy ally. One which uses its partners then throws them to the wolves.
What’s more, the SDF defends the only part of the Middle East outside Israel that stands for American values. In the Federation of Northern Syria, Christians and Muslims, Arabs and Kurds, men and women, are all safe and free — governed by ground-up democratic councils. The spread of such values, and of sovereignty for Kurds, is a grave threat to Erdogan. When he isn’t bullying Europe with the threat of dumping more immigrants in the EU, Erdogan is busy imprisoning elected members of his own parliament, just for being Kurds.
Erdogan defied Trump, and Turkish shells and bombs fell on and around the town of Manbij, where US advisors are stationed. What happens when a Turkish bomb kills US soldiers?
Now Erdogan is killing Kurds in Kurdistan, for being Kurdish. No Kurds launched attacks against Turkey from Syria. In fact, the Afrin region he is attacking was mostly peaceful through the Syrian civil war. But now the Turkish army is bombing and shelling civilian neighborhoods.
Al Qaeda Marches In: “Death to Apostates!”
Countless Christians are terrified. Many of them are recent converts, as Christianity is spreading among the Kurds — who don’t imprison or execute such converts, as many Muslim countries do. “Death to Apostates!” is one of the slogans of al Qaeda. And al Qaeda is one of the forces which Turkey has brought in to fight its battles. The militia called Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is a faithful al Qaeda offshoot.
So NATO member Turkey is using the group that attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to kill U.S. allies and Christians. Instead of an ISIS caliphate, Syria might replace Afghanistan as al Qaeda’s home base of operations. No big surprise: Erdogan’s AKP party is part of the Muslim Brotherhood. One radical Islamist hand shakes the other.
Risking a Whole New War
Now that Turkish bombs endanger Americans, it’s clear: The Turks are willing to risk a broader regional war. The dogged SDF forces so far have been beating back the Turks, despite the odds. Reinforcements are pouring in from Kurdish volunteers across Syria. In fact, the main Kurdish party in Iraq, the PUK, has offered to send its Peshmerga to Afrin. (If Americans in Ohio were under attack, would not Americans from Texas come to help them?) If that happens, we might see a full scale war between Kurds and Turkish allies explode in Syria, Iraq, and even Turkey itself.
And so far, the Trump administration has done little concretely to protect US allies and Syria’s Christians in Afrin. The civilian population is suffering horribly, as the Turkish air force bombs them indiscriminately. Kurdish Christians have been hiding in caves and the basement of their churches. Men, women and children are being killed simply because they are there. Here is a powerful video of those Kurdish Christians begging God to spare them and their families from imminent destruction:
Call the White House and Congress
Will American Christians stand up and tell President Trump to stop this madness? Will America First conservatives remind him that abandoning U.S. allies doesn’t serve America’s national interests? If the Kurds end up like the South Vietnamese, who will ever trust or help the U.S. again? The weak and oppressed need a strong America to have any hope for a free future, if not, Islamist extremists will use this weakness against the US and Europe.
Will we let Islamist bully Tayyip Erdogan steal America’s victory over ISIS, and hand the region over to the murderers of al Qaeda? How long before they’re launching more terrorist strikes against Americans from their new safe havens in Syria?
Here is video footage of the destruction Turkey is wreaking on civilians in Afrin, Syria:
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) January 25, 2018
Please join the prayers of Syria’s endangered Christians, and join your voice to those calling the White House and Congress to urge President Trump to stand firm in the face of Islamist aggression.