World War 3: Situation Report
Turkey: US and Turkey clash over Kurds
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told US President Donald Trump that his country will not accept Syrian Kurdish fighters in the region, but stopped short of criticising a US decision to arm them.
The Turks fear any weapons the U.S. provides the Syrian Kurds could well end up with their ethnic brethren in Turkey, who’ve fought violently as part of a separatist insurgency for more than three decades
Last month, the Turkish military bombed Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq, in one case with American forces only about six miles (10 kilometers) away. His government has insisted it may attack Syrian Kurdish fighters again. The U.S., whose forces are sometimes embedded with the Kurds, has much to fear.
Donald Trump has urged Turkey to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested on charges of “being part of a terrorist organization” last year, the White House stated on May 16 following the U.S. president’s first face-to-face meeting with President Erdoğan.
Mr Erdogan said his visit would “mark a historical turn of tide” and hailed “outstanding relations” between the nations.
US officials disclosed on 9 May Mr Trump’s approval of plans to supply the YPG as it advances toward the so-called Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.
Mr Erdogan had pledged to use the White House meeting to try to get Mr Trump to change course on the YPG, which Ankara regards as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK.
The PKK has fought an insurgency in south eastern Turkey since 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Turkey and Europe.
The United States sees the YPG as distinct from the PKK and as a valuable partner in the fight against ISIS.
At their joint press conference, Mr Trump made no mention of Mr Erdogan’s record on dissent and free speech.
North Korea: Ballistic Tensions
The top American military officer in the Pacific said Wednesday that North Korea’s recent military actions are “a recipe for a disaster” and warned against a sense of complacency in the face of increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea test-launched a missile on Sunday that many experts believe could be its most advanced yet, flying higher and longer than any previous missile.
The missile on Sunday was deliberately fired on a “lofted” trajectory — reaching more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), which is higher than satellites in low Earth orbit — to test re-entry capabilities and place its “splash zone” in the open Pacific.
Harris also obliquely criticized China for throwing up obstacles to the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where Beijing has constructed island bases in the disputed waters, saying “we should fly, be able to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said there is a “high possibility” of war with North Korea, as he warned its recent missile launch is a serious threat to global peace.
“The reality is that there is a high possibility of a military conflict at the NLL (Northern Limit Line) and military demarcation line,” Moon was quoted as saying by the presidential Blue House.
President Moon Jae-in said the country’s military was ready and capable of striking back should the North attack.
“Launching ballistic missiles is a serious provocation that violates UN Security Council resolutions, as well as being a serious challenge to global peace and stability. We will never tolerate such North Korean provocations and nuclear threats,” he added.
North Korea has made no secret of the fact that it is working to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the US mainland and has ignored calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, even from China, its lone major ally.
United States of America: Threatens North Korea
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley accused North Korea on Tuesday of intimidating the entire international community with its nuclear program, military ability and cyberattacks, and said any country that doesn’t implement U.N. sanctions is supporting Pyongyang’s actions.
She indicated Washington and Beijing had agreed they would take action if a new test looked to be long range and leaning toward an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States.
Echoing her earlier comments, calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “paranoid,” Haley said that Pyongyang had no reason to be hostile, as the US was not trying to assassinate him or organize regime change.
“The US is not past looking at third-country entities who are helping North Korea, and putting sanctions on them,” Haley said, sending a pointed message to the UN members. Washington intends to “tighten the screws” on North Korea and apply every kind of economic, diplomatic, and political pressure, she added. “If you are a country that is supplying or supporting North Korea, we will call you out on that,” Haley said. “And we will target those sanctions towards you as well. You either support North Korea, or you support us,” she said. “You have to choose, you have to pick a side.”
Responding to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement warning against “intimidating” Pyongyang, Haley said that it was North Korea doing the intimidating, of the “entire international community.”
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