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Lies: Iran denies involvement in drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities

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This is, of course, a lie. Iran is 100% responsible for the drone attacks on a Saudi oil refinery that has crippled their oil production, cutting it in half. The evidence is so clear and Iran’s history is so tainted, denials are laughable.

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Michael Pregent went on Fox News this morning to detail why he believes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is correct to blame Iran for the attacks. The drones used were sophisticated, falling in line with Iranian technology rather than technology normally associated with the Houthis or the the militant terrorist cells in southern Iraq where the attacks likely originated. They demonstrated signs of training that could have only come from a handful of nations. And the fact that Iran is the only nation in the region that truly gains something from the attacks is arguably the most conspicuous reason to believe they did it.

The shocking attack has rocked oil prices and raised safety concerns across the Middle East. It is becoming increasingly clear the Ayatollah and his underlings are desperate enough to make waves across the world to achieve their goals.

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President Trump working with Congress to sanction Turkey

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President Trump working with Congress to sanction Turkey

In less than a week, Turkey has managed to draw the ire of most of the world, including most on Capitol Hill, as they move to eradicate Kurds and Christians in eastern Syria. Their invasion, coordinated with attacks by their Syrian al Qaeda proxies, have already caused turmoil, killed hundreds, and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Now, President Trump appears ready to follow through on his threat to “cripple Turkey’s economy” through sanctions.

The President has been criticized by many in both political parties following the White House announcement that we are withdrawing troops from the border region. What followed was such a quick response in the form of an all out Turkish invasion that it’s clear they’ve been planning this for some time.

Our EIC took to Twitter to push the President towards following through with his threat against Turkey should they cross the line. As he noted, they have clearly crossed the line.

Reports of civilian deaths are mounting. It isn’t just the Kurds that Turkey and al Qaeda are targeting. Syriac Christians are in the crosshairs as well. The intense fighting seems to be focused on clearing out entire cities to make room for the millions of refugees the Turks currently hold. Instead of just taking out military targets from the Kurds, who Turkey believes to be terrorists, the invaders are wiping out the entire populations in cities and villages near the border.

Senator Lindsey Graham chimed in. Graham has been a Trump supporter, but broke from the White House over the Syrian withdrawal. Now, he’s voicing hope and alignment with the President’s sanction plans.

Turkish President Erdogan clearly lied to President Trump. It’s time to send them a clear message in response. Our troops may be coming home, but we can stop this bloodbath through sanctions. Cripple their economy, Mr. President.

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Foreign Affairs

Please sanction Turkey now, Mr. President

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Please sanction Turkey now Mr President

President Trump warned Turkey shortly after removing troops from the Syrian-Turkish border that if they “crossed the line” he would cripple their economy. The line has been crossed. It’s time to act before things get worse.

As anticipated, Turkey has turned to Syrian militants to conduct many of the attacks against the Kurds in Eastern Syria. These militias are made up of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups who have sworn to destroy America. Multiple news outlets and monitoring NGOs have reported they have entered peaceful Kurdish areas and began terrorizing civilians. One report even notes they murdered a female Syrian politician.

Turkish backed jihadists murder prisoners and female politician in Syria

https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Turkish-backed-jihadists-murder-prisoners-and-female-politician-in-Syria-604496Turkish-backed jihadist forces in Syria murdered two Kurdish prisoners and shot down a woman politician during Turkey’s offensive in Syria on Saturday. The reports have shocked observers of Turkey, a NATO member, and the increasingly brutal campaign it is waging in Syria.

In one incident Turkish-backed extremists who are members of an Arab rebel group that is embedded with Turkey’s military operation are accused of murdering Hevrin Khalef, a female politician in eastern Syria. In a second incident the Arab fighters backed by Turkey murdered two Kurdish prisoners, one of them tied up, on a video. Many of the extremists Turkey has recruited to fight in Syria have openly shouted jihadist slogans claiming they are coming to murder the “kuffar” or “infidels.” Their behavior in the fighting has been compared to ISIS.

Turkey has used the Syrian Arab fighters as a way to avoid casualties, unleashing them across the border to attack and murder Kurds after US President Donald Trump announced the US would leave parts of Syria and open the airspace for Turkish airstrikes. Since October 9 Turkey has launched devastating airstrikes across northeast Syria, causing 100,000 to flee an area that was peaceful. US forces, sheltering in place near Kobane, even came under artillery fire. Turkey has sought to send a message that nothing will prevent it from continuing its operation and using Syrian Arab forces as cannon fodder to attack Kurdish areas and sack towns and villages.

This is the first report of such incidents confirmed by the Pentagon, but many other reports of similar executions of civilians have been coming in as well. The targets seem to be centered around cities and villages Turkey has apparently earmarked for placement of the two million Syrian refugees they have been holding since the height of the Syrian civil war. These villages are not just homes to Kurds. Thousands of Christians and non-Kurdish Muslims are also being displaced, captured, or killed.

According to a Syriac Christian group, this is a form of ethnic cleansing.

“People were so scared, they were telling me, ‘They are bombing us right now!’” Bassam Ishak, president of the Syriac National Council of Syria, told NPR. “We think this is a message to the Kurds and Christians there to leave, so Turkey can move refugees there. We think it’s a form of ethnic cleansing.”

At least three Christians in the area have reportedly been killed as a result of the Turkish invasion:

Christians Killed on Syria’s Front Lines

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/october/christians-syria-turkey-kurds-erdogan-trump.htmlThree Christians have been killed in Turkey’s assault on Kurdish-held areas in northeast Syria, reported In Defense of Christians (IDC), citing their sources on the ground.

In Qamishli, a Syriac Christian and his wife died, while in Ras al-Ain an additional Syriac Christian civilian was killed. Ten civilians were injured in the attacks.

The Turkish operation focused initially on a 60-mile stretch of land between the two Arab-majority cities of Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad, a sparsely populated area known as Syria’s breadbasket, reported BBC. IDC, which advocates for Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, said that this area has large concentrations of Christians.

Since the announcement was made a week ago that the U.S. would stop allowing our troops to be human shields preventing the Turkish attack, events have unfolded at a lightning pace. Turkey and their al Qaeda proxies in Syria were obviously mobilized and prepared to attack well before the withdrawal. There was no time allowed for Kurds and other residents in the area to escape, which is telling. This is not about establishing a “safe zone,” as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was claimed. This is about blitzing the region as quickly as possible to eliminate as many Kurdish fighters as they possibly can. If Christians and other civilians are caught up in the destruction, so be it.

This is certainly not what President Trump wanted nor expected. He was lied to, and as a result he must follow through with his threat to cripple Turkey economically. If he cannot get a hold of this situation very soon, it will escalate beyond his ability to correct the issue.

To add insult to injury, it appears the Turks and their Syrian allies are freeing Islamic State prisoners, whether intentionally or as a result of their haphazard invasion.

Isis militants break out of prison in Syria after bombing by Turkey

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-turkey-syria-prison-bombing-kurds-sdf-a9152536.htmlFive Isis militants have broken out of a prison in northern Syria after Turkish shelling nearby, a spokesman in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has said.

The detainees escaped from a prison in Qamishli city, Marvan Qamishlo said.

Meanwhile, women affiliated with Isis attacked security offices with sticks and stones during unrest at a camp in the region where Turkey has launched attacks.

Opinion

I have turned this decision around in my head over and over for the last week. While I definitely appreciate the sentiment of bringing troops home, that’s not what’s happening. They were pulled away from the border and will remain in Syria for now. More importantly, these particular troops were with our allies. They were not in harms way as our troops in Afghanistan and other areas in the Middle East are.

Friday, he signed an executive order allowing for broad and swift sanctions to be imposed on Turkey. Monday, he should use these powers to send Turkey a very clear message that we will not stand by and watch as al Qaeda takes over eastern Syria.

The President is losing this narrative thanks to the duplicity committed by Turkey and their al Qaeda allies moving into areas we just vacated. He must follow through with his threat to cripple Turkey’s economy immediately.

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Foreign Affairs

President Trump signs executive order to impose sanctions against Turkey

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President Trump signs executive order to impose sanctions against Turkey

President Trump signed an executive order Friday expanding his powers to impose sanctions on Turkey or anyone associated with the government. It is being seen as a warning that he’s serious about “crippling Turkey’s economy” as he has threatened since ordering U.S. troops to pull back from the border between Turkey and Syria.

The move drew criticism from both the left and the right as politicians and pundits assert the move is a betrayal to our allies in the region, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. Our troops provided weapons, training, and counsel for the Kurds in their battles against the Islamic State. By pulling troops back, Turkey was given a green light to attack their long-time enemies who they believe are terrorists assisting Kurdish insurgents in their own nation, the PKK.

“These are very powerful sanctions. We hope we don’t have to use them, but we can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said. “We are putting financial institutions on notice that they should be careful, and that there could be sanctions.”

These are not sanctions as of yet, They simply expand the President’s ability to impose strong sanctions against Turkey and its leaders. The President has warned if the fighting gets out of hand, if Turkey gets too aggressive, or if any of the 12,000 Islamic State captives in the region escape, he would crush the Turkish economy. Currently, Turkey relies on trade with the United States to sustain its economy, which is the largest economy in the Middle East and has the 18th highest GDP in the world.

The situation was exacerbated Friday following reports Turks attacked a position with U.S. troops present, though very little has been discussed in the media about the development. Many of the President’s Republican allies, most notably Senator Lindsey Graham, have adamantly opposed the move. But as Lieutenant Colonel (US Army, Ret.) Robert L. Maginnis noted:

Trump allies make much hay about withdrawing troops from Kurdish Syria – but miss the bigger picture

https://noqreport.com/2019/10/10/trump-allies-make-much-hay-withdrawing-troops-kurdish-syria-miss-bigger-picture/President Trump answered these critics. The Kurds were engaged in a contractual relationship fighting the Islamic State (ISIS). They were well paid and equipped for their fighting, much like any mercenary group. Further, they were given three years to consolidate eastern Syria to feed their long-held desire to form an independent Kurdistan with other Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. They failed.

The Kurds’ problem and by association the U.S. is that regional powers like Turkey and to a lesser extent Iran and Syria have long held the Kurds in disdain. In fact, Turkey considers the Syrian Kurds allies to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or (PKK), which are Turkish Kurds and terrorists fighting for independence for the last 35 years.

Basically, the Kurds hijacked our fight with ISIS to feed their regional civil war to earn independence.

It will be interesting to see if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slows the attacks on the Kurds. If he doesn’t, how far will President Trump go to prevent full-blown war from breaking out again in the region?

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