By Daniel Lazare at Consortium News
When the U.S. and Turkey announced on July 23 that they were joining forces to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria, no one could quite figure out what they meant. With the White House denying that the deal required it to send in troops to seal the zone off or warplanes to patrol the skies, Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin wrote that the whole thing was misnomer: “In fact, there is really no ‘zone,’ and there is no plan to keep the area ‘safe.’”
Indeed, Rogin said, three “senior administration officials” had put together a conference call in order to assure reporters that there were no plans “for a safe zone, a no-fly zone, an air-exclusionary zone, a humanitarian buffer zone, or any other protected zone of any kind.” So if that wasn’t the plan, what on earth was it?
Now we know. The purpose of the non-zone zone that Turkey and the U.S. may or may not wish to establish is to give the former a free hand to bomb the Kurds and the latter an opportunity to engage in joint operations with Al Qaeda.
The proof? A front-page article in the Aug. 1 New York Times reporting that a U.S.-trained rebel unit, known as Division 30, which had been sent into Syria to combat ISIS, had come “under intense attack on Friday from a different hardline Islamist faction … the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda.”
This is no big news in itself since the Syrian opposition’s myriad rebel factions, one more hardline than the next, are constantly battling one another for control of arms, territory, resources and personnel. But what was new was the fact that the trainees had been caught off guard.
As The Times’s Anne Bernard and Eric Schmitt reported: “American military trainers …
Originally appeared at: http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/washingtons-syrian-capers-interventionism-run-amuck/