U.S. to Turkey: We won’t take action on Syria

March 22, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton categorically dismissed a range of Turkish proposals meant to stymie the ongoing violence in Syria and bolster the revolutionary forces.

Clinton rejected proposals offered by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a meeting last month, Turkish and U.S. sources recently told Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Among the plans: creating a buffer zone and humanitarian corridor along Syria and equipping the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting against President Bashar al-Assad, who has murdered thousands of citizens.

Badran reports:

The secretary of state responded in no uncertain terms that the Obama administration had no interest in pursuing any of these options. In fact, according to one account, Clinton told her Turkish counterpart no less than three times, "We are not there." …

What this means is that Washington, which at one point subcontracted its Syria policy to Ankara, has now called the Turks off the regime of Bashar al-Assad. …

This conversation fits well with the administration’s message to other regional allies, namely Saudi Arabia, against arming the FSA and pushing Washington’s preferred policy of going through the Russians, in an attempt to reach a "political solution" to the Syrian crisis.