US/Turkey Deal on Syria Like Carving up Cuba Scene from the Godfather Trilogy

BY Stephen Lendman

Source

Comment: Rick Sterling or Stephen Lendman, perhaps one must view the situation in Syria bearing both viewpoints, the latter’s below and the former’s in the previous post. A quagmire such as one in Syria is far too multi-faceted to be comprehended by looking through a singular lens. 

One of the trilogy’s most memorable scenes was in pre-liberated Cuba where mafia dons are seen carving up a cake representing the country.

The Hyman Roth character explains that “all of you will share” in plundering the island state in collaboration with its ruling authorities, adding:

“These are wonderful things that we’ve achieved in Havana, and there’s no limit to where we can go from here.” 

“This kind of government knows how to help business to encourage it…(W)e have now what we have always needed —real partnership with the government.”

Cuba’s strongman despot Fulgencio Batista was like Nicaragua’s Anastasio Somoza, a figure Franklin Roosevelt called “a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

The characterization applied to Batista, today to all despots serving US interests and their own at the expense of peace, equity and justice.

Since early 2011, Obama’s war on Syria, now Trump’s, using ISIS and likeminded jihadists as proxy Pentagon/CIA foot soldiers continues.

It’s gone on endlessly because bipartisan US hardliners reject restoration of peace and stability to the country and others the US attacked aggressively.

They want all nations not controlled by the US transformed into vassal states, Assad and other independent leaders replaced by pro-Western puppet rule.

War in Syria is also about isolating Iran regionally, ahead of a similar scheme against its ruling authorities.

What’s going on in the Middle East post-9/11 is part of a US-led NATO/Israeli plot to redraw the Middle East map, carving up nations for easier control, looting their resources and exploiting their people.

Tactics include endless wars and chaos in one country after another, serving US imperial interests. Peace and stability defeat its aims.

Russia’s intervention in Syria four years ago changed the dynamic on the ground, most of the country liberated from the scourge of US-supported ISIS and other terrorists, Idlib province the key remaining battleground.

Infested with thousands of heavily armed US-supported al-Nusra jihadists, they’re holding around three million civilians hostage as human shields, defeating them requiring protracted struggle that’s winnable.

The greater issue is occupation of northern Syria by US and Turkish forces, its south bordering Iraq and Jordan by Pentagon troops.

As long as Syria is occupied by foreign forces, liberation remains unattainable.

The illegitimate October 17 US/Turkish deal leaves troops from both countries occupying and controlling Syrian territory — a flagrant international law breach, a scheme Damascus rejects.

It includes redeploying US forces in northern areas largely or entirely cross-border to Iraq and perhaps Jordan, unknown numbers remaining in Syria — thousands more sent to Saudi Arabia, increasing the Pentagon’s regional military footprint.

As portrayed in the Godfather trilogy, the US and Turkey agreed to carve up Syria’s north, ruling authorities of both countries wanting control over its oil-producing areas.

Damascus has no intention of relinquishing any of its territory to foreign occupiers, war likely to continue until all parts of Syria are liberated.

On Friday, Bashar al-Assad met with Kremlin special representative for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin.

Discussing the latest developments on the ground, notably Turkish aggression and Erdogan’s deal with the Trump regime, Assad stressed that Syria’s liberation depends on halting Ankara’s offensive and freeing the country from foreign occupiers.

Russian officials affirmed support for Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, what the Kremlin backed throughout the war, along with restoration of peace and stability to the country.

On Saturday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Turkish terror-bombing and cross-border shelling continue for the second day following Thursday’s deal in Ankara, saying:

“(R)esidential neighborhoods in Ras al-Ayn and targeted places of worship from mosques, churches and monasteries, which caused the people fleeing the targeted areas” were struck, adding:

A “SANA reporter said that eight civilians were martyred and about 25 others were injured in the ongoing Turkish aggression on Syrian territory in and around Ras al-Ayn city despite the announcement of the Turkish regime reaching an agreement with Washington…”

“(G)roups of the Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries infiltrated into Ras al-Ayn city and the surrounding villages and attacked with medium and light weapons the people in the villages of Lazka, Abah, Mraikiz, Bab al-Khair and Sheikh Hussein Tomb in Ras al-Ayn countryside.”

“The Turkish regime is launching offensive on a number of villages and towns in the countryside of Hasaka and Raqqa, which resulted in the martyrdom and injury of hundreds of civilians, including children, women and workers in the service sectors, and considerable material damage to service facilities, vital infrastructure such as dams, power and water plants.”

On Saturday, Southfront said the “northeastern Syria ceasefire is collapsing.” Turkish forces continue to attack sites, at least 28 civilians killed or injured.

AMN News said “Turkish forces (are) advanc(ing) (on a) key border city despite (Thursday’s) ceasefire” agreement, attacking Kurdish YPG fighters.

Hardline US and Turkish regimes can never be trusted, time and again agreeing to one thing, then going another way.

Is this what’s now playing out in Syria? What follows Thursday’s deal remains very much uncertain.

If past is prologue, there’s little reason for optimism.

Damascus: US-Turkey Ceasefire Deal Unclear, Kurdish autonomy Firmly Rejected

Syrian president's political adviser Buthaina Shaaban

Al-Manar

October 18, 2019

Syrian president’s political adviser said that Damascus firmly rejects establishment of Kurdish autonomy in Syria as there are no reasons for that in the country.

“Of course we cannot accept it,” Shaaban said in an interview with al-Mayadeen television responding to the question of whether Damascus could accept a “copy” of Iraqi Kurdistan on its territory.

“There are no grounds for this [Kurdish autonomy] … We will never be able to speak about it from such an angle, since Syria consists of many ethnic and religious layers, and we do not say that someone is a Kurd, or someone follows such and such religion, we simply don’t say that. The majority of the Kurds are a precious part of our society for us, but some Kurdish organizations have made a political decision that is contrary to the interests of the country,” Shaaban stressed.

“The ceasefire agreement announced by the US and Turkey is unclear,” Shaaban also said in an interview with al-Mayadeen television.

“As for the term a ‘security zone,’ it is incorrect: what Turkey really implies is a zone of occupation,” she added.

Source: Sputnik

Related News

 

 

TURKISH-BACKED FORCES ANNOUNCE ADVANCE ON MANBIJ, CLASH WITH SYRIAN ARMY

Turkish-backed Forces Announce Advance On Manbij, Clash With Syrian Army

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South Front

14.10.2019

On October 14 evening, Turkish-backed miltiant groups officially announced an advance on the town of Manbij, which was controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The advance started a few hours after units of the Syrian Army was deployed north of Manbij.

Michael A. Horowitz

@michaelh992

Turkish-backed rebels claim they started an operation to capture Manbij

Michael A. Horowitz

@michaelh992

Official statement from the Turkish-backed SNA on the beginning of the Manbij op

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According to pro-Turkish sources, Turkey-led forces shelled several positions of the Syrian Army and even captured a battle tank.

The situation is developing.

MORE ON THE  TOPIC:

Abandoning Syrian Kurdish Allies, Trump Gives Turkey the Green Light

By Jeremy Salt

Source

American troops withdraw from Kurdish controlled N. Syria 8843e

Abandoning its Syrian Kurdish allies, the US is pulling its troops back from the Turkish border to allow the Turkish military to begin a campaign east of the Euphrates. Within hours of the announcement coming from the White House on October 6, the troops were being withdrawn and Turkey was shelling Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) positions across the border, with a land operation regarded as imminent.

The decision took the Washington political and media establishment by surprise. According to Trump, “it’s time to get out of ridiculous endless wars …. the United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight.”

The Defence Department made plain its opposition to the Turkish operation, while emphasizing the small number of US troops would be pulled back. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said the withdrawal would benefit Russia, Iran, and the “Assad regime,” as well as giving the Islamic State and other terrorist groups the opportunity to regroup. Other members of Congress, Republicans as well as Democrats, emphasized the “betrayal” of the Kurds. While giving Turkey a green light, Trump warned that if it did anything he considered “off limits” he would “totally destroy and obliterate” its economy.

Islamic State prisoners held in the southeast will be transferred into Turkish custody. The fate of the thousands of women and children – the Islamic State families – who have also been detained has not been clarified. In late September a number of mutilated bodies were found in the Hawl camp after an outbreak of violence in which women were said to have fired on their guards. The chief Kurdish administrator of the camp said the security situation was “deteriorating sharply” as Islamic State fighters had “stepped up their regrouping efforts” through women. Once Turkish forces are inside the northeast, this will be Turkey’s problem.

Turkey is already inside Syria, of course, in Idlib, where it has 12 military ‘observation posts,’ and in the northwest. In 2012, under attack across the country, the Syrian army was forced to withdraw from the northwest, allowing the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) to take over the Afrin region and begin working towards the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish zone along the border.

Early in 2018 the Turkish army and its proxy militias crossed the border and suppressed the YPG after three months of fighting. Turkey now occupies thousands of square kilometers of Syrian territory, almost as far south as Aleppo. Inside this occupied zone it has set up schools, Turkish banks, postal services, university faculties and even an industrial zone, close to the town of Al Bab, about 40 kilometers northeast of Aleppo.

Whereas Afrin is a largely Kurdish enclave, a military campaign across the Euphrates in Syria’s northeast will take the Turkish army into the Syrian Kurdish heartland, just across the border from Turkey’s own Kurdish heartland. This will be a much more dangerous operation than the campaign against the YPG in Afrin. The Syrian Kurdish militias east of the Euphrates are armed and trained – by the US – and are now preparing to fight a war of resistance, no doubt a guerrilla war of attrition, given the overwhelming numbers and firepower of the Turkish military.

Having been abandoned by their American benefactor, the Kurds may turn to the Syrian government for support but having allied themselves with the enemy it is not likely to be sympathetic. The YPG, the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) and Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) are all components of the same Kurdish national movement, creating the possibility that the campaign could blow back across the Turkish border.

The Washington political and media establishment is largely critical of Turkey, which has a notoriously poor human rights record and jails more journalists than any other country in the world. The prosecution and imprisonment of the US pastor, Andrew Brunson, in 2016 is still fresh in the mind, as is the savage beating of demonstrators by Erdogan’s security detail when the Turkish leader visited Washington in 2017. Then there is Erdogan’s cordial relationship with Putin and Turkey’s purchase of Russian S400 anti-missile defense system in preference to the American Patriots, despite threats of sanctions.

Equally if not more offensive in an administration and a Congress strongly beholden to Israel and its lobby is Erdogan’s support for the Palestinians and his repeated depiction of Israel as a terrorist state. Speaking before the UN General Assembly in late September, Erdogan infuriated Netanyahu by holding up maps showing Israel’s engorgement of Palestinian land since 1948.

Like Israel and Erdogan’s enemies in Washington, Saudi Arabia would like to see Erdogan brought low in Syria. Turkey fell out with Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian government over the overthrow of Muhammad Morsi in 2013 and the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood. On public occasions Erdogan still holds up his right hand with the thumb turned inwards, the four fingers signifying the killing of thousands of demonstrators by ‘security forces’ in August 2013 during the sit-in around Cairo’s Raba’a or Rabi’a (‘the fourth’) al Adawiya mosque in August, 2013. (The mosque is named after the 8th century female Sufi mystic poet, Rabi’a al Adawiya).

Relations with Saudi Arabia worsened in 2017 when Saudi Arabia launched a land, air and sea blockade of Qatar for refusing to follow the Saudi line on Iran. Turkey and Iran immediately came to Qatar’s support, causing the blockade to fail, and Turkish-Saudi relations have only worsened since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October, 2018.

Turkey did not hold back from sharing details of the gruesome killing with other governments and the media and Erdogan himself has kept up the pressure on Muhammad bin Sultan, the power behind the Saudi throne. The crown prince has accepted government responsibility for the murder but has denied personal responsibility, even though it is practically inconceivable that Khashoggi could have been killed without Muhammad bin Salman ordering it.

So, should the light being flashed from Washington be seen in Ankara as green or red? In the Aeneid (written 29-19 BC), Virgil’s epic account of the Trojan wars, Laocoon remarks: ‘Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they are bearing gifts.’

Perhaps the same caution needs to be observed when the Americans approach with gifts in hand. In 1990 such a gift seemed to have been offered to Saddam Hussein by the US ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. “We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait,” she told Saddam, who invaded Kuwait shortly afterwards, perhaps thinking the US would not intervene, only to walk into a trap which ultimately destroyed him and left his country in ruins

The US says it will neither help nor hamper a Turkish military operation in Syria. This is the gift – perhaps the Greek gift – being offered and the way is now clear for Erdogan to finally give the signal for the land operation to begin (if he has not already given it by the time this article is printed). A successful military campaign would certainly offset the mounting pressure he is facing on the home front, but only as long as that victory can be had at a minimal cost. Therein lies the danger because the cost might not be sufficiently minimal to maintain Turkish nationalist support for the campaign.

Finally, why Turkey is inside Syria in the first place? In 2010, just before the outbreak of the so-called ‘Arab spring’, relations between Turkey and Syria were better than they had ever been. All outstanding problems had been solved. The border had been opened to visa-free travel for Syrian and Turkish nationals and cross-border trade, including trade originating in the Persian Gulf, was flourishing. Erdogan (then Prime Minister) and Ahmet Davutoglu (then Foreign Minister) had made numerous trips to Damascus and regarded Bashar al Assad as their brother.

This was still the situation when in 2011 Tunisia’s Zine al Abidine bin Ali, Egypt’s Husni Mubarak or Libya’s Muammar al Qadhafi were all overthrown. Erdogan and Davutoglu concluded that Bashar was next in line and abandoned Bashar in favour of riding the wave of reform that seemed to be sweeping across the Middle East. If they were advised in adopting this policy, they were badly advised. Syria was not Egypt or Libya. Bashar was personally popular amongst his people, whatever their criticism of the government, and Syria had a powerful friend, Russia, whose long-term interests included access to a naval base in the eastern Mediterranean.

Blind to these realities, Erdogan and Davutoglu launched a propaganda war against Bashar, marked by a lot of personal abuse, before committing Turkey to the war on the Syrian government in 2012. This was done by supporting the exiled Syrian National Council and allowing the so-called Free Syrian Army to launch attacks from across the Turkish border. Furthermore, under their watch, Turkey turned into a highway for jihadists converging on Syria from all parts of the world.

At the time Turkey had only one declared goal. This was to bring about the downfall of the Syrian government. The ‘dictator’ would be overthrown, the Ba’ath party would collapse and the Syrian people would get their democracy back after decades of one-party rule. In fact, democracy had nothing to do with the assault on Syria except for propaganda purposes. In the minds of governments leading the attack (the US, Britain, France, Qatar and Saudi Arabia), the overthrow of the government in Damascus was only a stop on the way to the overthrow of the government in Tehran and the destruction of the ‘axis of resistance’ (Iran, Syria and Hizbullah) across the Middle East.

Israel had to remain in the shadows, while being fully part of this assault. None of these greater goals were on the Turkish agenda, yet Turkey still allowed itself to be sucked into this campaign.

The destruction of the Syrian government’s authority in the north opened a vacuum which was quickly filled by the Islamic State on one hand and the YPG on the other. Founded in 2004, the YPG was a small and relatively ineffectual organization, closely watched and controlled by the Syrian government.

The irony here is that Erdogan was seeking the overthrow of a government which was just as strongly opposed to Kurdish autonomy as were he and his government. The attack on Syria, in which Turkey was a central player, was the bellows which pumped oxygen into the lungs of the YPG and created the security problem which Turkey now says it has no option but to crush.

Predictably, the US played on Syrian Kurdish separatist aspirations to suit their own strategic interests, against the continuing protests of the Turkish government. Equally predictably, the Kurds again backed the wrong horse.

The other main beneficiary from the attack on Syria was the Islamic state. Had the US stayed out of Iraq, there would have been no Islamic state in the first place. In Syria, the attempts to create a credible armed opposition in the shape of the Free Syrian Army having failed, the takfiri terrorists were the committed fighters the US had wanted all along. Its condemnation of terrorism notwithstanding, the establishment of an Islamic State presence in eastern Syria suited US strategic aims, as a declassified Defence Intelligence Agency memorandum made clear in 2012.

The strip of Syrian territory to be cleared of Kurdish ‘terrorists’ is to be turned into a ‘safe zone’ into which a million or more Syrian refugees can be funneled, as long as the EU or someone else stumps up the $27 billion the Turkish government is requesting to build the city that will house them.

This project seems to be pie in the Syrian sky. Erdogan is threatening to open the gates to a new wave of Syrian refugees into Europe unless financial support is forthcoming but the EU has already poured billions into Turkey for refugee relief. Even if it has more money to spare, it might not be willing to give it to Turkey to build a city in someone else’s country. The time factor is another consideration: how many months or years would it take to build housing and infrastructural support for such a large number of people? Furthermore, Syrian refugees coming from somewhere else will most probably want to go home rather than stay in the north.

Inevitably, Erdogan is already being accused of demographic engineering, i.e. intending to swamp the Kurdish population in northern Syria with Arabs. One can quickly see the ethnic tensions that would be created by the implantation of a large non-Kurdish population in a region heavily Kurdish, apart from the parallels that will be immediately drawn with the ‘relocation’ of the Armenians in 1915.

The abandonment of a successful ‘zero problems’ foreign policy in favor of intervention in Syria has created no end of problems for Turkey, including the presence of more than three million refugees within its borders. The Syrian government was controlling the situation in the north before and the most sensible Turkish option now would be to work towards the restoration of its authority over the whole country and take a firm stand with Syria, Iran and Iraq against the endless mischief-making of the US and Israel. However, too much is at stake, politically and personally, for Erdogan and the AKP government for such an abrupt reversal to be possible. On the contrary, Turkey’s intervention in Syria has now been moved to an even more dangerous stage.

How long Turkey plans to stay in Syria, and what it intends to do with the territory it has occupied, will no doubt largely depend on political developments at home, where, after 17 years in power, the ground is finally cracking under the feet of the Turkish president and his government. They cannot afford to fail in Syria.

الانسحاب الأميركي من سورية استحقاق مؤجّل… ولكن!

أكتوبر 8, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لا نريد هنا مناقشة اسباب الانسحاب الأميركي من سورية سواء الجزئي أو المتدرج أو الشامل، فهو استحقاق مؤجل منذ معركة تحرير حلب، وسقوط أي فرصة لتعديل موازين القوى العسكرية بوجه الدولة السورية. والتأجيل مر بثلاث مراحل. في الأولى كان بالرهان على النجاح في إدارة الحرب على داعش بما يضمن تدحرجها في الجغرافيتين السورية والعراقية، وقد افشله محور المقاومة بانتصاره في معارك الموصل ودير الزور والبادية وتدمر. والثانية بالرهان على مقايضة الوجود الأميركي بالوجود الإيراني والمقاوم في سورية ضماناً لأمن إسرائيل، كشرط من شروط التسوية التي تقبل بها واشنطن في سورية، وقد سقط رهان المقايضة نهائياً، واقتنع الروس بأن لا إمكانية لبحث وجود إيران وقوى المقاومة ما دام الجولان السوري محتلاً، ويعلن كيان الاحتلال ضمه وتؤيده واشنطن في ذلك، أما المرحلة الثالثة فكانت الرهان على عقدة إدلب بوجه تقدّم مشروع الدولة السورية لفتح استحقاق الخروج الأميركي، على قاعدة أن إدلب كآخر معقل للمسلحين والوافدين من الإرهابيين وللأتراك ستشكل تغييراً في وجهة الحرب التي كتبتها معارك حلب وما بعدها وصولاً إلى درعا، حتى قالت معركة خان شيخون العكس، فصار قرار الانسحاب على الطاولة راهناً.

– لا نريد هنا أيضاً مناقشة تبعات الانسحاب، الذي باعه الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب للرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، وكل منهما يعلم أن ترامب وجد الذريعة لخروج مما أسماه الحروب اللانهائية السخيفة، لأن جوهر القرار هزيمة المشروع الأميركي في سورية، ولن يغير من ذلك ما سيقوله كثيرون عن مؤامرة تفجير الشمال السوري، وتقسيم سورية، لأنه كيفما دارت البدايات بعد القرار الأميركي، فإن النهايات ستكون انتشار الجيش السوري حتى الحدود الدولية، وعودة تركيا إلى اتفاقية أضنة، وسقوط مشروع الكانتون الكردي، وانضمام الأكراد إلى مسار الحل السياسي كمكوّن من مكونات المجتمع السوري، والرابح سيكون حكماً هو مشروع الدولة السورية، سواء أدركت القيادات الكردية مبكراً حجم ترددها بالتسليم بالأحقية السيادية على الجغرافية السورية للدولة السورية، واستبقت بفعل ما يلزم الخطوة التركية الأولى، او واصلت التردد وسبقتها الخطوة التركية الأولى، ففي الحالين سيكون الجيش السوري هو الجهة القادرة على فرض عودة الأمن إلى المنطقة، التي لن يكون إمساك أي طرف بأمنها، غير الدولة السورية، نزهة كما يعتقد، لا الجيش التركي سينجح بالاستقرار، ولا الجماعات الكردية ستستطيع الصمود.

– ما نريد مناقشته هي العبر التي يقدّمها ما يجري شمال سورية، فما هو حال جماعات المعارضة السورية التي تقاتل تحت راية العلم التركي، بعدما كانت تتشدق بشعارات الاستقلال والسيادة، وهي لا تشبه اليوم إلا جماعة أنطوان لحد في جنوب لبنان، تحت راية المحتل الإسرائيلي، ويعلم منافقو المعارضة أن تركيا وما تضمره لسورية لا يختلف بنظر السوريين على اختلافهم عما يضمره كيان الاحتلال للبنان وفلسطين وسورية؟ وما هو حال الجماعات الكردية التي تعاملت مع الاحتلال الأميركي كضامن لسلخ جزء من الوطن وتحويله كياناً تفتيتياً لوحدته، وها هي اليوم تندب حظها وتتحدث عن الطعن في الظهر، بعدما جربت طعن وطنها السوري ودولتها في الظهر، ورفضت تقديم وطنيتها على المال والنفط والوعود التي تسقط بفخاخها اليوم؟ وماذا عن العرب حكاماً وبعض النخب الملتحقة بهم، الذين لا زالوا يظنون أن أمامهم مزيد من الوقت ليراقبوا ما يجري في سورية قبل الاعتذار وطلب الصفح لما فعلت أيديهم، أو الذين راهنوا على أميركا مرة لتحمي دول الخليج من إيران، فباعت أمنهم لأنصار الله اليمنيين، أو راهنوا عليها لتشفي غليل أحقادهم ضد سورية وإيران وحزب الله وقوى المقاومة، وها هي تتركهم، وستتركهم أكثر يواجهون مصيرهم الأسود كأحقادهم، بينما تكلفة الاعتراف بنصر محور المقاومة لن ترتب عليهم سوى صفاء النيات، لتلاقيهم الأيدي الممدودة التي لا تعرف للثأر والانتقام مكاناً.

TURKISH OPERATION PEACE SPRING IN NORTHEASTERN SYRIA, EXPLAINED

South Front

10.10.2019

Turkey officially announced that it had launched a military operation in northeastern Syria. Over the past years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other representatives of the country’s leadership have repeatedly announced this idea. However, this time promises were turned into reality.

On October 6, the administration of US President Donald Trump released a statement saying that Turkey will soon carry out its “long-planned operation” into northern Syria. According to the statement, US forces will not “support or be involved in the operation” and “will no longer be in the immediate area”. The announcement came following a phone conversation between the US and Turkish presidents.

On October 7, US forces started withdrawing from their positons along a large chunk of the Syrian-Turkish border. US military garrisons in Tel Abyad, Tel Musa, Tel Hinzir and Tel Arqam were abandoned. US patrols in the border area were halted. The Pentagon provided no details regarding the number of troops withdrawn from the border. US mainstream media outlets mention the numbers from 50 to 100.

This US decision caused a kind of panic among leaders and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They simultaneously called the US decision a backstab, asked the US-led coalition to establish a no-fly zone ‘like in Iraq’ and declared their readiness to resume negotiations with Russia and the Assad government, which they just a few weeks ago were calling a ‘bloody regime’.

Kurdish armed groups, mainly the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), are the core of the SDF. The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) dominates in the self-proclaimed administration of northeastern Syria. Ankara names the YPG, the YPJ and the PYD terrorist groups because of their links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). This separatist group is engaged in a long-standing guerrilla war against the Turkish state in an attempt to establish an independent Kurdish state on territory of southeastern Turkey. The PYD and its military wings pursue similar goals in northeastern Syria.

Ankara has reasonable concerns that funds, weapons, equipment and training provided by the US to Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria will later be used by the PKK in its fight against the Turkish government. The US-Turkish ‘safe zone’ agreement on northern Syria was designed to remove these concerns. Turkey insisted that Kurdish armed groups should be removed from the border and disarmed, or, at least, the US should stop supplying them with weapons and equipment. However, this did not happen. The peak of the US-Turkish coordination over this question was several joint patrols along the border.

By evening of October 9, Turkey had put its proxy forces on a high alert and the Turkish Air Force had bombed SDF positions near Tell Abyad, Ras al-Ayn, Kobane and al-Qamishli. The Operation Peace Spring started.

President Erdogan says that its goals are to neutralize “terror threats” along the border, establish a real safe zone and facilitate return of Syrian refugees to their homes. Besides the anti-terror declarations, one of the main points of the Turkish public rhetoric is the oppression of Arab locals by Kurdish militias.

If the Operation Peace Spring develops like Turkish operations in al-Bab and Afrin, Ankara will use its proxy groups as a first line of the ground advance and a shield for Turkish personnel deployed on the ground. Artillery, warplanes and special forces of the Turkish military will be the main striking power. Pro-Turkish sources say that about 15,000-20,000 members of pro-Turkish groups have already been mobilized. If this is true, the total number of personnel, including Turkish servicemembers, involved in the operation may reach 30,000.

At the first phase of the advance, Turkey will likely to get control of the area of the non-implemented US-Turkish safe zone. Some Turkish sources speculate that in the event of success the Turkish Army may push even towards Deir Ezzor. However, this remains unlikely in the current military and diplomatic situation in the region.

Debunking the Putin and Netanyahu/Israel work together

Debunking the Putin and Netanyahu/Israel work together canard (final installment)

The Saker

OCTOBER 10, 2019

This will not be an analysis or even a commentary.  Neither am I siding with, or expressing support for, the Turkish military operation in norther Syria.  Finally, I am not discussing the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of the Kurdish Independence movement.  All I propose to do here, is to draw your attention to a series of facts and logical imperatives which, in my opinion debunk and falsify the disinformation campaign aimed at convincing us that Putin and Netanyahu are working hand in glove or, even better, that Putin is a puppet of the Israelis.  So, with that in mind, here we go:

  1. Fact1: The creation of some kind of independent Kurdistan has been both an Israeli dream for decades and a crucial element of the Israeli plans to “reconfigure” the region.
  2. Fact2: The Turks could *never* execute that attack without Russia’s agreement.  Not only does Russia have some of her top-of-the-line integrated air defenses in northern Syria (the Khmeimin Aerospace Forces base and the Tartus naval base), she also has very powerful EW and SIGNIT capabilities.  The only way for Turkey to try to force their way through that air defense “cupola” would be to attack the Russian forces in Syria which would result in a war with Russia which Turkey has no chance in hell of winning.
  3. Fact3: The Russians also have a lot of weight with the Syrian government who also had to agree to let the Turks operate in their skies.  Remember that while the Syrians don’t have air defense systems as sophisticated and powerful as the Russians, they now have a pretty decent and effective integrated air defense system (as shown by how easily it defeated US cruise missile attack).  If the Russians really wanted to do Israel’s bidding, they could have also convinced the Syrian to defend their airspace.  Finally, the Syrians could move forces in an oppose the Turkish invasion.  None of that happened.

Instead, Erdogan gave the Russians (and, via them, the Syrians) assurances that this operation will be limited in scope and nature and that this is not an attack on Syria’s sovereignty.  Since the Syrians ALSO have a problem with the Kurds, what that meant in plain English is “no worries, we will disrupt and suppress the Kurdish attempt to built some kind of Kurdish independent state and then we will limit ourselves to limited, punctual, operations if and when needed.  This is all in your interests too.”  Which is quite true!

Now the Russians are telling the Kurds:

you need to make a deal with Syria, because if you do not, the Turks will smash you“.

To the Turks, the Russians are probably saying:

If the Kurds agree to some autonomy under a unitary Syrian state, then Damascus will be responsible for law and order in northern Syria, which is the best you can hope for“.

I believe that this is exactly what will happen next.  That is also, in my opinion, the only viable solution for the Kurds.

Bottom line:

A lot of folks are saying that

the US has back-stabbed the Kurds“.

That is quite true, of course.

But if Russia was defending Israeli interests, why is nobody saying that

Russia back-stabbed Israel“?

Because this hypothesis is based on a false premise, that’s all!

As for those who promoted it, I leave you to decide whether they were sincerely wrong or whether they were trying to acquire some public visibility by voicing these imbecilic rumors.

Finally, I already see that a lot of news sources are now saying that Erdogan is planning an annexation of northern Syria.  This is what I make of this hypothesis:

  1. Even if true, this still means that the Israeli dream of some kind of independent Kurdistan will never happen.
  2. Whatever Ergodan did or did not promise the Russians and the Syrians, he fully realizes that Turkey cannot afford to let an anti-Kurdish operation turn into a shooting war with Russia and/or Syria.  Thus whatever solution Ankara would want to impose on northern Syria, it would have to be agree upon with Russia, Syria and, I would argue, Iran.  Israel is basically irrelevant now, especially since the US forces have left.
  3. Finally, see for yourself what the Chinese write (as opposed to the AngloZionist legacy media) about this (emphasis added):

    Both sides noted the importance of ensuring the unity and territorial integrity of Syria and respect for its sovereignty.
    MOSCOW, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed Ankara’s military operation in northern Syria over the phone, the Kremlin said Wednesday.”Putin called on Turkish partners to carefully weigh the situation so as not to damage the overall efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis,” the Kremlin said in a press release.”Both sides noted the importance of ensuring the unity and territorial integrity of Syria and respect for its sovereignty” it read. Earlier in the day, Erdogan announced that his country had launched a military operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish forces that Ankara considers terrorists and separatists.

QED.

The truth is simple: while Israel does have an effective 5th column inside Russia, and while it is sufficient to carefully “massage” the public discourse inside Russia about Israel (most Russians have no idea about the real nature and policies of the last openly and proudly racist state on the planet, at least those who get most of their info from the very philosemitic Russian public media), that 5th column has failed to affect major Russian foreign policy decisions.

Yes, the Russians are all happy to smile and say good things about the Israelis, but that sure does not mean that they don’t understand whom they are dealing with.  Likewise, those who need to know do know about the hatred most Israeli decision makers have for Russians, Christianity or even all non-Jews.

Maybe one day the prediction that Russia will become an Israeli/Zionist puppet will come true.  Maybe. But “maybe in the future” does not mean that it already has.  Besides, even an infinitesimal chance qualifies as “maybe”, but that hardly means that we can be confident, or even hopeful, that it will happen.  If I play the lottery tomorrow, I might win.  But that is not a reason to say that I have already won or that I will win tomorrow.

Conclusion: the hypothesis that Putin/Russia are working with, or for, the Israelis cannot be sustained.  Facts have conclusively falsified it (in fact, any honest and competent analysis of past facts would already also have done so too).

As for myself, I consider that the task is done, I have now conclusively debunked that toxic canard and I won’t waste any more of my time with this nonsense.

Here is my concluding advice: I recommend you carefully take down the names of the individuals and media sources who spread that toxic nonsense and remember that they lied to you this time when, the next time around, they come up with the next form of sensationalism, click-baiting and disinformation (which they will, trust me, that is all they can really do).

The Saker

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