Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The Secretary expressed his condolences to Foreign Minister Cavusoglu regarding the July 17 attack in Erbil, Iraq, which resulted in the death of a Turkish diplomat. Secretary Pompeo reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to addressing Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border, while also reiterating the U.S. Government’s obligation to ensure the protection of local partners working with the United States and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. The Secretary also conveyed the United States’ disappointment over Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system. [emphasis added]
Will President Trump Let Turkey Humiliate America, Slaughtering Syria’s Christians?
I’ve written here many times about U.S. allies in Syria. (Click on my name for an archive.) These are the people, Muslim and Christian, Kurdish and Syriac, who handed President Trump his greatest foreign policy victory, over ISIS. Without the sacrifice of thousands of U.S. troops.
I don’t want to talk about what might happen to them. Let me tell you what’s about to happen. Unless the U.S. acts.
A New Persecution of Christians
The churches in North-East Syria will burn, as those in Afrin in did. Its Kurdish men, who fought alongside Americans against ISIS, will be slaughtered by jihadists linked to al Qaeda. Remember them? They bombed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The local women and girls will be raped, as if they’d been conquered by ISIS. All this will happen while U.S. soldiers camp just a few miles away. The Syriac Christians in the region will be thrown out of their houses. The long-suffering Yazidis in refugee camps who thought they were safe? Their men will again be slaughtered, the women and girls made sex slaves by the very same people. That’s right, many ISIS fighters fled its failure and joined the jihadist militias which Turkey controls. Now they’ll get another chance to rape and murder non-Muslims.
And all of this might happen just a few days after President Trump, Vice-President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a public stance promising to advance religious freedom. After they met in the Oval Office with representatives of persecuted Christians, and Nadia Murad, the Yazidi survivor of ISIS brutality and Nobel Price winner. What a national humiliation, and moral disgrace, for America.
But U.S. “ally” Turkey is about to launch just such an offensive. Turkey has flooded the Syrian border with more forces and jihadists. It’s openly threatening to attack. This even though the U.S. Army is present in that same area. Why?
To humiliate the U.S. You see, the U.S. warned the Turks that as NATO allies they shouldn’t be buying Russian missiles. Turkey defied the U.S. and bought them anyway. So the U.S. punished Turkey, kicking it out of a key fighter program. No Turkish pilots will even get to train on the cutting edge F-35 fighters.
The vindictive, autocratic Turkish president, Tayyip Erdogan, is lashing out. The only target near enough and weak enough? America’s allies in the Kurdish-led Federation of Northern Syria.
Snuffing Out the Gospel
Erdogan, like other Islamists, already hates the Federation for promoting women’s rights and religious freedom, including the freedom of Muslims to convert to Christianity. Churches full of such converts (who’d face execution in Islamist lands) have popped up all over the Federation. Erdogan wants to burn them. See the video below, from a Kurdish pastor pleading for protection against the last Turkish invasion of the region.
Kurdish Christian Praying for Deliverance from The Stream on Vimeo.
Freedom of religion and freedom and equality of women are a frightening development for the Muslim Brotherhood regime of Turkey. What if people in Turkey and all over the Middle East want to be free? The Turkish Islamist regime fears that given the chance, too many Muslims would accept Jesus. So it wants to snuff out the sparks of the Gospel in the region.
The people of North-East Syria sacrificed tens of thousands of their family members in the fight against ISIS. They paid a terribly high price for the world’s security against Islamist terrorism. Their Syrian Democratic Forces have defeated ISIS all over North-East Syria.
Trashing America’s Legacy
The U.S. only needed to give them guns, training, air power and a bit of specialist help and they did the job. And after that they established genuine freedom. It was the most successful U.S. foreign mission since WWII. Will President Trump let Erdogan trash America’s legacy?
The U.S. has made it very clear that it will stay in North-East Syria in order to create stability against ISIS. (The group still lurks in the background, seeking targets of opportunity.) And to hold back Iran.
But some in the Pentagon apparently don’t want to hold back the Turks. If these views prevail, the U.S. will betray a faithful ally, and discredit itself.
Turkey makes no secret that it intends to use al Qaeda-linked jihadists from Idlib and other areas to attack North-East Syria. The same jihadists are killing and raping in Afrin on a massive scale. Last week they raped and stoned an older Christian woman to death. Will America let this happen on a massive scale to its allies?
America Must Put Turkey on a Leash
The self-defense force of Syrian Christians, the Syriac Military Council released a statement. Please read it. It urges the U.S. and American Christians to stand up to Turkey.
This is a pivotal moment for America. Will it allow Turkish Islamists to destroy all it has achieved? Ask President Trump if he will allow Erdogan to butcher U.S. allies and stomp out religious freedom. Will Trump’s Christian supporters stand by and say nothing?
UPDATE: In the wake of this article’s appearance, Stream founder and publisher Rev. James Robison issued the appeal below:
I’ve asked the President and our national leaders to not allow this to happen. Please pray for these precious people who risked their lives to destroy ISIS and they saved many of our troops.https://t.co/mCDkYktvQM
— James Robison (@revjamesrobison) July 19, 2019
A State Department statement has subsequently appeared:
Johannes de Jong is director of the Christian Political Foundation for Europe. He has been working with the Syriac Christians of Iraq and Syria, the Yazidi’s, Turkmen people of Iraq and Syrian Kurds.