Latest Developments around Syria (also on Armenian genocide and Syrian constitution)

Bipartisan House Passes Bill Punishing Turkey for Syria Invasion

October 29, 2019
A bipartisan bill punishing Turkey for its invasion of northern Syria and illustrating both parties’ dismay with President Donald Trump’s retreat from the region sailed easily through the House on Tuesday.
The bill marks both parties’ latest show of disapproval for Trump’s decision this month to abandon the United States’ longtime Kurdish allies against Islamic State fighters by pulling American forces away from northern Syria.
The measure underscores lawmakers’ wariness of the cease-fire that Vice President Mike Pence struck with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and of the subsequent agreement between Turkey and Russia splitting control of the territory .

‘Arrogant & illegal’: Lavrov denounces US military’s oil moves in Syria at Russian-Turkish-Iranian press event

29 Oct, 2019
The US was “arrogant” to send its troops to guard oilfields in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, adding that it remains unclear from whom the installations need to be protected.
The actions of the Americans in Syria violate international law, as their presence in the country is “illegal,” Lavrov reiterated, appearing alongside his Iranian and Turkish counterparts at a press-conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
The statement that this [US] presence is needed to protect the oil riches of Syria is arrogant. It turns out that they are being protected from Syria itself.

Turkish Troops Kill Six Syrian Soldiers in North Syria, Capture 18 Others

Posted on In a potentially huge complication for the Turkey-Russia ceasefire, Turkey has gotten into combat with Syrian troops in northern Syria, as fighting around Ras al-Ayn, a town in north Syria, turns deadly.
An exchange of Syrian and Turkish gunfire has left at least 6 Syrian soldiers dead, and 18 others were reportedly captured alive. Turkey reported they are coordinating this matter with Russia.

Read also:
EU countries stop short of arms embargo for Turkey

U.S. Spies Say Turkish-Backed Militias Are Killing Civilians as They Clear Kurdish Areas in Syria

By John Walcott and W.J. Hennigan

October 28, 2019

Three weeks after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. forces to pull out of northern Syria, American spy agencies are seeing disturbing intelligence. Turkish-backed militias, armed by Ankara, have killed civilians in areas abandoned by the U.S., four U.S. military and intelligence officials tell TIME. The officials say they fear that the militias committing those potential war crimes may be using weapons that the U.S. sold to Turkey.
These officials say they are concerned that worse could lie ahead. Turkey and its allies are deploying larger forces and bringing more significant weapons to the field than would be necessary to complete their publicly-stated mission. They have said that they plan only to maintain a security zone along a 18-mile wide ribbon of land south of Turkey’s border with Syria. “They’re far more than the Turks need to conduct the operations they’re supposed to be conducting,” one of the U.S. officials told TIME.