BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned on Sunday the United States would not protect those depending on it, in reference to Kurdish fighters who control much of the north.
“We say to those groups who are betting on the Americans, the Americans will not protect you,” he said without naming them. “The Americans will put you in their pockets so you can be tools in the barter, and they have started with (it).”
U.S. President Donald Trump declared in December he would pull troops from Syria, raising more questions over the fate of Washington’s Kurdish allies under the threat of Turkish attacks.
U.S. forces have long supplied arms and training to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG militia, the main U.S partner in the battle against Islamic State. The U.S. presence helped the SDF seize swathes of north and east Syria, and has also been widely seen as a deterrent against Turkey which has vowed to crush the YPG.
Ankara sees the YPG as a security threat and an extension of the Kurdish PKK movement that has waged an insurgency on Turkish soil for decades.
The U.S. move drove Syrian Kurdish leaders into fresh talks with Damascus and its key ally Moscow, hoping to agree a deal that could protect the SDF region and safeguard at least some of their gains.
“Nobody will protect you except your state,” Assad said in a live televised speech on Sunday. “If you do not prepare yourselves to defend your country, you will be nothing but slaves to (Turkey)”.
George Conway to give live analysis of impeachment hearings on MSNBC
George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, will be giving analysis on President Donald Trump's impeachment hearings on one of the president's least favorite cable news networks.
MSNBC director of booking Jesse Rodriguez announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that Conway is joining "our live special coverage of the impeachment hearings" that are set to begin at 10 a.m. EST.
Rick Wilson claims Jim Jordan will take extreme measures to derail impeachment hearings
On Wednesday, former GOP strategist and Never Trump commentator Rick Wilson warned that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) may have a plan to derail the public impeachment hearings by repeatedly blurting out the alleged name of the whistleblower who first detailed improprieties in President Donald Trump's phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky:
GOP aide tells me one plan discussed is for Gym Jordan and others to repeatedly use the whistleblower's name as one of several strategies to blow up the hearings and make the media report on his identity.
Republicans resort to the most ludicrous possible strategy to defend Trump from impeachment
There has been a lot of talk about "gaslighting" during the last three years, and for good reason. It truly does feel as if Donald Trump and his accomplices are trying to make us all believe we're losing our minds. And as all launch into this impeachment drama, it appears they'll be working overtime at that task.
I've been talking a lot about the Republican strategy, and if one thing is clear it's that the president is giving them very little room to maneuver. Republicans would prefer to argue that Trump was wrong to do what he did on Ukraine, but it wasn't impeachable. Problem is, Trump won't stand for that. They wish they could say that he didn't understand what he was doing, but he is having none of that one either. So they are left with is the most fatuous of all defenses at this moment: There was nothing wrong with what the president said because he was only trying to clear up the corruption problem in Ukraine.