Why do ISIS terrorists and Turkish regime kill Yazidis?

Source

Saturday, 20 June 2020 14:11

Why have ISIS terrorists and the Turkish regime killed and captured thousands of Yazidis in Iraq and Syria while the international community has done almost nothing to document the 2014 genocide in Iraq’s Sinjar by ISIS [Its Arabic Acronym is DAESH]?

Turkey, a NATO member, never bombed Iraq’s Sinjar when it was besieged by ISIS. It waited until Yazidis returned before claiming it needed to bomb “terrorist” targets.

In August 2018, Turkey assassinated a Yazidi leader who was driving back from a memorial service for genocide victims, alleging he was a PKK leader, according to media reports that affirmed there are still up to 3,000 missing people kidnapped by ISIS, mostly women and children. The community, which suffered genocide, now faces a new threat of airstrikes.

“On August 3, 2014, the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, IS, Daesh) terrorist group attacked the Yezidis in Shingal, Iraq. Yezidis are an ethno-religious minority in Iraq. ISIS killed or captured nearly 10,000 Yezidis. They forced them to convert to Islam or be killed. ISIS enslaved and sexually abused the women and girls. They brainwashed the boys and used them as suicide bombers. They executed the men. They sold the babies and toddlers to raise them as Muslim. This was the 74th recorded Yezidi genocide,” Dr. Amy L. Beam, an American researcher, writer and human rights advocate said in her book “The Last Yezidi Genocide” which was published in English paperback on Amazon in 2019.

The 362- pages book contains heart wrenching stories of survivors of ISIS captivity, their dangerous escapes, and eye witnesses testimonies to the atrocities. Half of the book is the author’s narrative analysis explaining the culture, history, evidence, and politics of the genocide in Iraq. 3,000 Yezidis remain missing.

“The Last Yezidi Genocide” by Dr. Amy L. Beam

The United Nations recognized the Yezidi genocide in 2016, established a UN committee to investigate the genocide in 2018, and funded it in 2019. This book, which is the result of four years of interviews provides evidence of the genocide. It should be required reading for any researcher, scholar, social worker, or policy-maker studying terrorism, genocide, immigration and asylum, and the Middle East.

 She was living in southeast Turkey expanding her tourism business when 20,000 Yezidis fled over the mountains from the barbaric ISIS terrorists’ attack upon their homeland of Shingal, Iraq, in which 10,000 Yezidis were killed or captured in August 2014.

A Yazidi woman, Sara showed Beam the IDs of her husband and two small children whom had been captured.  Beam explains, “I got up to hug Sara, and she broke down in sobs, then fainted in my arms.  Then her mother fainted. People showed me photos of beheaded men and piles of dead bodies.  They gave me lists of their abducted family members.  I was the only outsider there, and I could not turn away from this tragedy. I knew I had to alert the world to this crisis, but the enormity of the responsibility left me trembling inside.”  Since that day, Beam has not stopped campaigning to help the Yezidis get international asylum and aid.

In 2018, Beam moved to Shingal city and she was the only foreigner with permission to live there.  

She states, “I came to report the truth to the world because judges in Europe were denying asylum to Ezidis who had risked their lives to get there. The courts are erroneously claiming that it is safe to return to their villages in Shingal. I came to Shingal to video the empty villages and report that there is no electricity, no water, no infrastructure, and no means of livelihood. It is impossible under current conditions for Ezidis to return from their camps to their villages. There is no solution in sight.”

Beam has gotten more than 700 Iraqi IDs and passports for survivors of ISIS captivity and rape. Most of them received asylum in Germany, France, Australia, and Canada. While meeting the survivors many wanted to share their stories with her.

Heart wrenching stories

She narrates in her book a lot of stories, including the story of  three sisters who are survivors of three and four years’ captivity with ISIS terrorists.

“The three sisters now live in Australia. ISIS killed their father on  August 3, 2014, in Tal Ezeer, Shingal, northern Iraq. ISIS, in addition, killed Mirza Baker’s father-in-law. First they drove a car over his legs then they shot him,” Beam told Syria Times e-newspaper, pointing out that some sources announced that as of the end of April, 3.371 Yezidis had been rescued from ISIS terrorists.

According to these sources, ISIS kidnapped 6.284 Yezidis among them 3.467 females.

On March, 5 2019, it was reported that 550.000 Ezidis lived in Iraq prior to August 2014. While 100.000 estimated emigrated out of it since the same year.

ISIS terrorists destroyed 68 religious sites and shrines for Yezidis in Iraq.

Last month, one of my friends told me that one of the Turkish-backed terrorist groups killed a Yazidi lady because of her ethnicity in Afrin city in Syria’s Aleppo province.

She added that the terrorists also kidnapped over 200 Yazidis and demanded ransoms to release them.

“They killed some of them. Before the start of the Turkish regime’s aggression on Syria on January 20-2018 , there were 35.000 Yazidis in 22 villages in Afrin region. Now there are only 1500 Yazidis, most of them are elderly, while the others have been displaced and they are living in camps in Syria and Lebanon,” she said.

A Yazidi young man wrote this poem to express his pain and the pain of his people, and allowed me to share it with you:

It’s about Genocide!

I want to scream and cry for children cried when their mothers were enslaved and raped !

I want to scream and cry for the kids who lost their parents during Genocide.

I want to scream and cry for little Yezidi girls who were kidnapped and enslaved!

I want to scream and cry for the Yezidi mother who IS cooked her kid to eat it!!

I want to scream and cry for the kid who lost his girlfriend who was taken as slave!

I want to scream and cry for the girls who lost their husbands after a week of their marriage!

Basma Qaddour

IDLIB MILITANTS ATTACK TURKISH-RUSSIAN PATROLS AS TURKEY SHIFTS FOCUS TO NORTHERN IRAQ

South Front

17.06.2020 

On June 16, a joint convoy of the Turkish Army and the Russian Military Police became the target of a new IED attack during a patrol along the M4 highway in southern Idlib. The explosion damaged a BTR-82A armored personnel carrier of the Russian Military Police, but led to no casualties. The incident happened near the village of al-Qiyasat, about half way down the patrol route covering the area between Tarnbah and Furaykah.

Idlib militants and their radical supporters regularly stage provocations aimed at sabotaging the implementation of the Turkish-Russian de-escalation agreement on southern Idlib. These provocations, including IED attacks, have already led to casualties among Turkish military personnel. Despite this, Ankara continues to protect Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other terrorist groups claiming that they are a kind of “moderate opposition”. This behaviour encourages militant groups to go for more aggressive actions.

However, as practice demonstrates, when these attacks lead to real casualties or equipment losses, Russia, contrary to Turkey, is not prepared to tolerate the situation and will resume full-scale operations against these groups even in the face of “moderate opposition” mantras from Ankara.

Turkish-backed militant groups announced that they had conducted an operation against cells of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which had been involved in 11 bombing attacks in the Turkish-occupied Syrian region of Afrin. As of June 17, at least 7 supposed YPG members had been detained. Turkish-backed groups lay the blame for any terrorist attacks or explosions that happen there on the YPG. Whereas the YPG and affiliated groups regularly announce attacks on Turkish proxies in the Afrin area, they have never claimed responsibility for any bombing in civilian areas.

On the evening of June 16, Turkey launched an active phase of its Operation Claw-Tiger in Iraq’s Haftanin region. According to the Turkish military, the Turkish Armed Forces’ artillery hit at least 150 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets, while commandos supported by attack helicopters conducted raids on the ground.

The Operation Claw-Tiger covers the Iraqi areas of Sinjar, Qandil, Karacak, Zap, Avasin-Basyan and Hakurk and is aimed at neutralizing PKK bases, weapon depots and training camps. Turkish forces regularly conduct anti-PKK operations in northern Iraq, but they have still not been able to fully neutralize the armed group there.

At the same time, pro-Turkish sources are speculating that Ankara will soon resume military action in northeastern Syria against the YPG, which it considers a PKK affiliate. Right now, Turkish-backed forces are building up their presence near Ayn Issa. The formal pretext for this military effort will be the unwillingness of Kurdish fighters to withdraw from the 30km deep border area as it was agreed in the framework of the US-Russia-Turkey de-escalation agreement on the region.

Military Situation In Syria On June 18, 2020 (Map Update)

Military Situation In Syria On June 18, 2020 (Map Update)

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

  • A booby-trap explosion was reported at the Nassib checkpoint on the Syrian-Jordanian border;
  • Large reinforcements of the Turkish military and its Syrian proxies were deployed north of Ayn Issa;
  • An incident occurred between the Russian Military Police and SDF/locals/US-led coalition at Deir Ghusun;
  • The US imposed new sanctions under the Caesar Act against Syria and its allies;
  • The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained two ISIS members south of Shaddadi;
  • Turkish-backed forces shelled positions of the SDF west of Tal Abyadh;
  • Turkish-backed forces shelled positions of the Syrian Army west of Aleppo;
  • The Syrian Army sent reinforcements to southern Idlib amid increased SyAF and RuAF activity;
  • Large reinforcements of the Turkish military and its Syrian proxies were deployed of Ain Issa;
  • An anti-government demonstration was held in Tafas, Daraa province, as a part of previous demonstrations.

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Turkey Lied to Us

Source

03 May 2020 10:54  

The Investigative Journal has recently published a well-documented report about Turkey’s dirty role played in Syria and Libya. 

 “I just got back from Libya yesterday,” said Zein Ahmad*, a Turkish-backed so called Syrian National Army (SNA) militant in Afrin. “But I had been trying to leave for more than a month.” When the Libyan National Army (LNA) neared Tripoli in April 2019.

Turkish forces began heavily recruiting militants and terrorists  from its affiliated to terrorist groups and began flying hundreds to Libya every week. The exact number of terrorists Turkey has sent is unknown, but estimates range from 5,000 to 17,000.

Ahmad is a member of Ahrar al-Sharqiya,  and had been based in Afrin with the faction since Turkey’s Operation “Olive Branch” in 2018. The Turkish invasion of Afrin led to the deaths of hundreds of civilians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands. Ahrar al-Sharqiya perpetrated widespread war crimes in the city, including looting, murder, kidnapping, and serial rape.

When asked if he believed in Turkey’s mission in Afrin, Ahmad laughed. “I was a mercenary going to Afrin, and I was a mercenary going to Libya.

The militants in Libya were promised salaries ranging from $2000-3000 per month, but reports assert that they received nothing. One member said he’s been paid $2000 every month and a half rather than every month. Some Faylaq al-Majd members who have been in Libya for more than three months say they were paid once and never again.

“They told us we would be paid $3000 a month. That never happened. The first month we got $2000. The second month, they gave us $1400. The third month, we weren’t paid at all,” Ahmad said. “So we looted. We took copper from the homes, anything gold we could find, anything valuable we could find. And the Libyans with us would take the items and sell them for us.”

After arriving in Libya, Ahmad stayed in a house in Tripoli with ten other Syrian militants and a Libyan militant who accompanied them whenever they left the house. The house was a well-appointed villa, almost certainly abandoned by its rightful owners when clashes intensified and drew closer.

 “It was nothing like we are used to in Syria,” Ahmad said. “It’s urban street combat. We don’t have the right weapons or the right skills. We are being slaughtered. And so, many of us started to refuse to fight. Or we’d be taken to the frontlines and hide there.”

Ahmad says that when the militants began defying orders, Libyan soldiers would come and beat them. He says once, when a Syrian had refused to fight three times in a row, a Libyan militiant shot him in the leg.

The number of the terrorists brought from Syria to Libya by Turkey desperate to leave Libya is growing by the day. “The last lie that Turkey told us was that we would only have to stay for two months, or three months,” Ahmad said. “But more than three months had passed for my group, and they weren’t letting us back.”

Ultimately, Ahmad was forced to pay his commander $700 to fly home to Syria. “There were around 100 of us,” he said. “Some paid $500, and some as much as $1000, but then they put us on a plane with the dead and injured and allowed us to return to Syria.”

Dr. Mohamad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

HARD TIMES FOR U.S. FORCES IN NORTHEAST SYRIA. ARMY PREPARES FOR IDLIB ESCALATION

South Front

The Syrian Army and local self-defense forces have carried out an operation against ISIS cells hiding in the desert area on the administrative border of Raqqah and Deir Ezzor provinces. According to pro-government sources, Syrian forces eliminated up to 10 ISIS members and destroyed their hideouts.

The security operation came in response to the recently increased IED attacks and ambushes conducted by ISIS cells near Deir Ezzor city and the town of Mayadin. At least 5 Syrian service members and 8 civilians were killed during the past 2 weeks alone.

The Afrin Liberation Forces, affiliated with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, conducted a new series of attacks on Turkish proxies in the region of Afrin. The attacks took place in Kafr Hashir and on the road between Chima and Deir Survan. A vehicle was destroyed and several Turkish proxies were killed.

Sources affiliated with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other Turkish-backed militant groups are accusing the Syrian Army of violating the ceasefire regime in southern Idlib. According to them, over the past few days government forces have repeatedly shelled their positions near Jisr al-Shughur, Sarmin and al-Barah. They also claimed that over the same few days Russian aircraft have increased reconnaissance flights over this area.

Pro-government sources say that these strikes were retaliatory actions to ceasefire violations by militants. However, it should be noted that the Syrian military is not hiding that it is actively deploying reinforcements and rearming troops on the frontline in southern Idlib. All the sides of the conflict understand that the current status quo in the area cannot last long. Al-Qaeda-linked militants and other radicals remain a constant source of terrorist threat in Greater Idlib and nearby areas.

On April 7, Syrian troops and patriotic activists blocked a US military convoy near the city of al-Qamishly in northeastern Syria and forced it to turn back to its permanent positions. This became the third such incident in the area in the last two weeks.

Since the very first moment of the deployment of the Syrian Army and the Russian Military Police in Syria’s northeast, US forces have been trying to limit their movement by blocking Russian and Syrian convoys. They apparently forgot that two can play at this game. So, now US troops prefer to stay put in their bases and conduct their own ‘patrols’ in a very limited area only.

The situation reached such an extent that the US-led coalition was forced to airdrop supplies to its forces deployed in the Omar oil fields area on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Another problem is the terrorist threat from ISIS. For a long time, the US coalition and its proxies were turning a blind eye to actions of ISIS cells along the Euphrates because this allowed them to justify the seizure of the oil fields with the need of protecting them from ISIS. As might be expected, this allowed ISIS cells to strengthen their presence in the area and now they regularly conduct attacks on US-backed forces and intimidate locals.

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SYRIAN SOLDIERS KILLED IN TURKISH STRIKES IN IDLIB. KURDISH REBELS ATTACK TURKISH PROXIES IN AFRIN

South Front

The Afrin Liberation Forces carried out a series of attacks on Turkish-backed militants in northern Aleppo. According to the group, its fighters stormed positions of Turkish proxies near Omra killing three of them on March 26. On April 1, the group’s members blew up a vehicle of a field commander, Abu Khalid. The commander and his three bodyguards were killed, while the fourth one was injured. On the same day, Kurdish rebels detonated an IED at a headquarters of Turkish-backed forces in the al-Mahmudiyah neighborhood of Afrin city. The attack resulted in material losses only.

The Afrin Liberation Forces is a brand used by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to distance themselves from regular attacks on the Turkish Army and Turkish-backed groups in northern Syria. They launch their attacks from the YPG-controlled area near the city of Aleppo and have a network of cells within the Turkish-occupied region of Afrin.

Turkish convoys with building blocks and engineering equipment were entering Syria through the Kafr Lusin border crossing on April 1 and April 2. Later, the equipment and building blocks then were delivered to the militant-held part of the M4 highway in southern Idlib. The Turkish military is reportedly planning to use them to set up a group of fortified checkpoints along the highway in order to solidify its presence there. In March, Turkish forces in the area became a target of two IED attacks by radical militants, and Ankara reasonably expects that such attacks could continue in April.

On April 2, two Syrian soldiers were killed and five others were injured in a Turkish artillery strike on a Syrian Army checkpoint near the town of Tell Tamr in the province of al-Hasakah. In 2019, the army established a number of positions in northeastern Syria following a breakthrough agreement with local Kurdish militias. Then, joint Syrian-Russian efforts allowed to limit the Turkish military operation against Kurdish forces and prevent a larger escalation. Nonetheless, sporadic firefights and artillery duels regularly erupt on the contact line between the Turkish Army and its proxies on the one hand and the  Syrian Army and Kurdish militias on the other hand.

Meanwhile, the US-led coalition reinforced its military base in the oil-rich area of Rmelan. The US base is located near one of the country’s largest oil fields. It can produce up to 90,000 barrels a day. Earlier, the US military deployed additional equipment and troops to its positions in the area of al-Shaddadi in southern al-Hasakah.

According to the Pentagon, about 500 US troops remain deployed in the oil-rich areas in the provinces of Deir Ezzor and al-Haskah. However, the scale of military activity in the region indicate that the real number of personnel involved is likely higher.

KURDISH MILITIAS START NEW DANGEROUS GAME IN NORTHERN SYRIA

South Front

An armed group named the Islamic Revenge Movement (IRM), hostile towards both Turkish forces and the Syrian Army announced its existence in northern Syria. In a video message released on March 20, the IRM claimed that in 2019 its members conducted 118 attacks killing 13 Turkish officers, 187 Turkish-backed militants and 24 pro-government fighters. The IRM also vowed to continue its fight against the “tyrant state” of Turkey and the “Assad regime” in 2020. The claims of the IRM are very questionable, as the group provided no evidence with which to confirm them.

Furthermore, pro-Kurdish sources were first to release the IRM video arguing that the group consisted of former al-Qaeda members. They also released the name of the supposed group leader:  “Abu Osama al-Shami.” Syrian opposition and pro-al-Qaeda sources called the group fake. According to them, the video is just a coverup for actions by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Both groups prefer to distance themselves from acts of direct aggression against the Syrian military and the Turkish Army in northern Syria. In the public sphere, the YPG plays a victim oppressed by the bloody Assad regime and Erdogan the Invader. In reality, it already has a special brand created to distance the group from attacks on Turkish troops and proxies in Afrin – the Afrin Liberation Forces. The Turkish-rooted PKK pretends that it has no bases and fighters in the region despite the fact that a large part of YPG commanders and members is linked with the PKK.

Iran reportedly increased its military presence in southern Damascus. According to pro-opposition sources, the Shiite-majority area of Set Zaynab was turned into a stronghold of pro-Iranian forces. Syrian government sources deny these reports.

On the evening of March 26, Israel shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of Hezbollah, which allegedly violated “Israeli airspace”. The photo released by the Israeli military allows to identify the UAV as a modified variant of the commercially-available Skywalker X8. Armed groups across the entire Middle East modify such drones for combat purposes installing on them submunitions as well as use such UAVs for reconnaissance.

In Iraq, the United States withdrew its forces from the al-Qayyarah Air Base and handed it over to the Iraqi military. A spokesman for the US-led coalition, Col. Myles B. Caggins III, said hundreds of coalition troops will “temporarily” evacuate the base as a protective measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. About 800 troops of the U.S.-led coalition were deployed at the airbase, which hosted approximately $1,7 million dollars worth of coalition equipment. The al-Qayyarah Air Base became the 2nd important military facility abandoned by US forces in March. The withdrawal of US troops from the previous one – al-Qaim – took place last week. These developments are being carried out under the pretext of the COVID-19 outbreak and the defeat of ISIS, but local sources link them with the increasing number of attacks on US forces across the country that the Pentagon cannot contain successfully without a large-scale military escalation.

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ISIS Threat Revives In Eastern Syria. Idlib Militants Kill Each Other Over Security Zone Deal Contradictions

South Front

ISIS cells are once again active in eastern Syria. Late on March 17, the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces epelled an ISIS attack in the area between the town of al-Sukhna and the T3 station. The attack involved over two dozen ISIS members supported by at least 6 vehicles equipped with heavy weapons. Pro-opposition sources claim that at least 20 Syrian soldiers were killed in the clashes. Pro-government sources deny casualties and say that terrorists were forced to retreat after they had been targeted by artillery and mortar fire.

The ISIS presence in the desert area of eastern Syria had been slowly decreasing over the past year. Additionally, government forces carried out several security operations cracking down on the remaining ISIS cells in southeastern Deir Ezzor and eastern Homs. However, the terrorist threat was not removed. Syria and Russia say that ISIS members use the US-controlled zone of al-Tanf as a safe haven to hide from Syrian Army operations.

Five civilians were reportedly killed and 15 others injured in a rocket strike on the city of Afrin on March 18. Pro-Turkish sources say that the rockets were launched by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) or affiliated rebels. The YPG created the brand of the Afrin Liberation Forces in December 2018 in order to distance themselves from regular attacks on the Turkish-controlled part of northwestern Syria. In this way, the YPG, which is the core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, was seeking to distance itself from operations against Turkish forces. The goal was to continue receiving military and financial support from the United States, while simultaneously using the same resources to carry out attacks on the formal ally of the US under another brandname.

Alaa al-Omar, a commander of one of the largest units in the Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sham Movement, was assassinated near Jisr al-Shughur in the southwestern part of Greater Idlib. Al-Omar was among commanders of Turkish proxy groups involved in sabotaging joint Russian-Turkish patrols along the M4 highway. Pro-government sources claim that his assassination is a result of the contradiction between al-Omar’s unit and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party, which controls Jisr al-Shughur. According to this theory, al-Omar was not active enough in organizing protests against the safe zone deal.

Regardless of the contradictions among the Idlib armed groups, the M4 highway remains closed and the Turkish-Russian agreement on the safe zone in the area is not being implemented.

Combat Footage: Kurdish Forces Strom Turkish Position In Southern Afrin (18+)

Image result for Combat Footage: Kurdish Forces Strom Turkish Position In Southern Afrin (18+)

South Front

On March 15, the Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) released a video of a recent attack by its cells on a position of Turkish-backed militants in the southern part of occupied Afrin in northern Aleppo

The video shows the Kurdish group’s fighters storming the position, which is located in the town of Berade in the district of Sherawa. The fighters can be seen shooting and killing many Turkish-backed militants from a close range after infiltrating the position.

See Video Here

The attack is an example of the ALF’s excellent guerilla warfare tactics. It also reveals the poor training and low morale of Turkey’s proxies in northern Syria, which appear to be incapable of repelling even a small-scale attack.

The ALF is launching most of its attacks from a region in southern Afrin jointly controlled by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Both sides appear to be supporting the group. However, the extent of their support is still unclear.

The last few months witnessed a surge in ALF attacks on Turkish forces in northern Aleppo. However, the Turkish military and its proxies are yet to take any serious measures to confront the growing threat of the Kurdish group.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

US Special Forces Deployed with Al Qaeda in Idlib in False Flag Attack on Turkish Forces (updated)

Source

By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor -March 8, 2020

Communications intercepts and intelligence from inside Turkish backed terror groups tell an interesting story.  Americans are there, for the past 2 days, loads of cash, promises of US passports and families resettled in the US.

US forces are to set up ambushes and suicide bombings against Turkish outposts in Idlib in order to bring about an end to the truce negotiated in Moscow between Erdogan and Trump on March 5.

Whether video will be shot using captured Syrian uniforms may be possible.  It is also rumored that Turkish officers, some under CIA/Gulen control, may take part as well.

Some sources say the same Americans had come down from Afrin during the failed chemical attack five days ago scheduled to coincide with US envoy Jim Jeffries illegal visit with terrorist forces.  Jeffries and his party entered Idlib through Syria, meeting with Al Qaeda and White Helmet representatives while, nearby, a number of militants, including members of the White Helmets, were severely injured when chemical weapons they were planning to deploy leaked.

White Helmet and Reuters film crews were on station to provide dramatic video of a US envoy carrying dead children, a disaster when it failed to materialize and the opportunity was lost.

With a collapsed American economy and the US reeling from accusations of an attempted coup against Saudi Arabia, there was little chance that a few children murdered for Facebook was going to make an election year difference for Trump and his administration now reeling in failure after failure.

BIOGRAPHYGordon Duff, Senior EditorSenior Editor , VTGordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a disabled veteran and has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.

Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.

Gordon’s Archives – 2008-2014gpduf@aol.com

ما بعد حلب: قواعد اشتباك جديدة ومسرح عمليّات مختلف

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

بعد أن فاز أردوغان بـ “ورقة يانصيب” تمثلت باتفاق سوتشي حول إدلب السورية، استعملها بذهنية أنها تشرّع له السيطرة على منطقة تتجاوز مع منطقة عفرين التي كان قد احتلها ومع منطقة شمالي حلب غربي الفرات، مساحة الـ 14 الف كلم2 من مساحة سورية البالغة 185 الف كلم2، وإذا ضمّت إليها ما احتله في الأشهر الأخيرة من العام المنصرم وأسماه “منطقة آمنة” لامست الـ 4500 كلم2، إذا جُمع كلّ ذلك يكون أردوغان عبر الاحتيال والإرهاب والعدوان امتلك السيطرة على 1/10 من سورية ما يتيح له ادّعاء الفوز بتعويض كافٍ له للقول بأنه انتصر في سورية وامتلك مفتاحاً فاعلاً للتدخل في شؤونها عوّض له شيئاً من خسارته لمشاريعه الأولى الرامية الى السيطرة على 6 دول عربية عبر الاخوان المسلمين او السيطرة على سورية وبعض العراق.

أقنع أردوغان نفسه بأن بوتين سيكون مطواعاً لرغباته مستجيباً لطلباته، لأنه ظنّ بأنّ الروسي بحاجة إليه لكونه عضواً في الحلف الأطلسي ويحكم دولة ذات موقع استراتيجي مميّز بشكل عام وذات خصوصية مفرطة بالنسبة لروسيا، كما أنّ تركيا تملك من الإمكانات والقدرات ما يجعلها قادرة على التأثير في اقتصاديات دول الجوار اللصيق والبعيد، وروسيا منها، ثم جاء التساهل الروسي مع عدوانيّات أردوغان ليعزّز اعتقاد الأخير.

أما سورية التي قبلت باتفاق سوتشي وفقاً لفهم ساعدها الروسي على تظهيره، فإنها تعاملت معه على أساس أنه جسر لتحرير إدلب على مراحل قد تتطلّب وقتاً طويلاً نسبياً لكنه مسار تحرير محدود الكلفة مضمون النتائج، كما وعد الروسي، ومع هذا ولأنّ المؤمن لا يُلدغ من الجحر مرتين ولأنّ سورية لدغت من الجحر التركي وذاقت منها الأمرّين من خلال غدره وانقلابه على اتفاقات سابقة، فإنها تعاطت مع الأمر وفقاً لعنوانين سياسي وعسكري: الأول ثقة بالتعهّد الروسي، ولذلك أوقفت العمل العسكري الذي كانت تستعدّ له في أيلول 2018 والثاني بالمحافظة على الجهوزية لإطلاق هذا العمل عندما تتهيّأ ظروفه الميدانية والسياسية والاستراتيجية بعد تعثر الأول واعتمدت له استراتيجية الوثبات المدروسة والتحرير بالقضم المتتابع.

لقد رفعت تركيا لوحة تفاهم سوتشي كشعار، ولكنها عملت بمقتضيات مشروعها الخاص حصرياً، ولم تنفذ من اتفاق سوتشي حرفاً واحداً لمصلحة سورية، لكن سورية التي كما قلنا لم تثق لحظة بأردوغان، كانت تستغلّ كلّ عدوان إرهابي تدعمه تركيا، او كلّ خرق مباشر لتفاهم سوتشي ومناطق خفض التصعيد وتنفذ ردة فعل عليه تتمثل بوثبة تحرير مدروسة، وبهذا نفّذت وثبات مورك ثم خان شيخون ثم معرة النعمان ثم سراقب. وكانت مع كلّ وثبة تُحدث تغييراً ميدانياً له أحياناً أبعاد استراتيجية وتأثيرات سياسية، لكن الأخطر والأهمّ والأعمق تغييراً كان في ما أحدثته العمليات الأخيرة التي صحّت تسميتها بـ “عملية الأمن لحلب وطرقها“ فما هي نتائج هذه العمليات وما هي مفاعيلها؟

لقد حققت عملية “الأمن لحلب وطرقها “والتي نفّذت رداً على جرائم الإرهابيين ومحاولتهم اقتحام مواقع سورية محررة في غربي حلب وريفها وريف إدلب، إنجازات عسكرية هامة في طليعتها تحرير ما كان تبقى بيد الإرهابيين من أحياء حلب الغربية وأكمل بذلك تحرير حلب التي أنجز معظمه في العام 2016، ثم وسعت نطاق الأمن المباشر لحلب بشعاع يتراوح بين 12 و15 كلم، أيّ إبعاد صواريخ الإرهابيين عن المدينة وتأمينها أمنياً بالكامل، ولا تقلّ أهمية ما تحقق على صعيد المواصلات من والى حلب حيث تمّ فتح المطار الدولي وفتح طريق حلب دمشق الدولي السريع بعد 9 سنوات إقفال. وبهذه الإنجازات تكون قد حرّرت وطهّرت من الإرهاب مساحة 3000 كلم2.

لقد أذهلت نتائج “عملية الأمن لحلب” واستئناف العمل وتشغيل المواصلات الجوية والبرية اليها، أميركا التي فهمت المعنى الحقيقي للإنجاز المتحقق بربط عاصمة سورية الاقتصادية (حلب) بالعاصمة السياسية ( دمشق) وتفعيل شرايين الاتصال والانتقال بين أهمّ مراكز الثقل النوعي الاستراتيجي السوري، فالذي يفهم المدلول ويحلّل الصورة يعلم انّ سورية بهذا العمل تدفن نهائياً مشاريع العدوان التي استهدفتها، وتجمع أوراق المناورة في مواجهة الحرب الاقتصادية التي تشنّ عليها، أما أردوغان الذي اختلّ توازنه لا بل دخل متخبّطاً في حالة انعدام الوزن والهذيان راح يطلق التهديدات التي يعلم هو قبل غيره أنه ليس قادراً على تنفيذها، ولكنه أصرّ على ممارسة العمل باستراتيجية الضفادع والتهويل عبر إدخال 10.000 عسكري من الجيش التركي وإنذار سورية بوجوب العودة الى خطوط ما قبل العملية، فجاءت مواقف الرئيس الأسد الهادئة لفظاً والمدوّية مضموناً لتوجّه إليه صفعة قوية خاصة عندما تعهّد الرئيس بمواصلة العمليات لسحق الإرهاب وتحرير الأرض دونما مبالاة بالفقاعات الصوتية الآتية من الشمال (ويقصد مواقف أردوغان تلك) واتبعتها قيادة الجيش ببيان إغلاق الأجواء السورية ضدّ أيّ طيران معادٍ.

لقد رسمت عملية “الأمن لحلب وطرقها” مسرحاً ميدانياً فرض فيه الجيش السوري وحلفاؤه قواعد عمل واشتباك جديدة، رافقتها سلوكيات أطلسية لا يمكن تجاوزها، حيث انّ أردوغان وبعد ان لمس فشل ما لجأ اليه من تهويل تركي ضدّ سورية لجأ الى الأطلسي وهدّد به ـ وهنا كان الردّ الصادم لأردوغان حيث لم يستجب هذا الحلف لشيء من طلبات حاكم تركيا لا بل وجه اليه صفعة مؤلمة عندما استبعده عن مناورات آذار المقبل التي سيشارك فيها 41 ألف عسكري أطلسي ليس فيهم تركي واحد.

أما أميركا التي كانت ولا زالت تستعمل أردوغان أداة مشاغلة ليطيل أمد الصراع في سورية ويؤخر استحقاق تحرير شرقي الفرات من الـ 800 عسكري أميركي المعلن عن وجودهم هناك، فإنها اكتفت بتصريح وقح تستنكر فيه قيام سورية بفتح وتشغيل مطار حلب وطريق حلب السريع الـ M5.

هذه السلوكيات أكدت بأنّ حلفاء أردوغان المفترضين تركوه يتخبّط ولن يغيّر هذا الاستنتاج ما يُقال عن لقاء تركي فرنسي ألماني روسي للبحث في مسألة إدلب، التي بات أردوغان مستميتاً لتجميد الوضع فيها على ما هو عليه الآن خاصة أنه يخشى من استئناف العمليات السورية لتحرير تلك المدينة التي لا تبعد عن المواقع الأمامية للجيش العربي السوري الآن أكثر من 14 كلم.

وأخيراً… مع استبعادنا أيّ مواجهة عسكرية روسية – تركية، أو مواجهة سورية – أطلسية، والاعتقاد بأنّ المواجهة السورية – التركية تبقى منخفضة الاحتمال جداً لن تقع إلا إذا ارتكب أردوغان فعلاً جنونياً كاملاً، فإننا نرى انّ الميدان السوري بات محكوماً بقواعد عمل واشتباك جديدة تؤلم تركيا كالتالي:

1 ـ جهوزية الجيش السوري وحلفائه لمعالجة أيّ عائق يعترض تنفيذ مهماته حتى ولو كان هذا العائق جيشاً تركياً، وعلى أردوغان أن يستوعب جيداً ما جرى لجنوده الذين قتلوا بنار سورية عندما حاول الإرهابيون الاحتماء بهم، أو ما حصل لقواعده النارية التي قدّمت الدعم للإرهابيين في هجومهم على النيرب، وأخيراً البيان الصريح الذي أعلنت فيه القيادة السورية أنها تغلق أجواءها بوجه كلّ عدو وأنها ستستعمل كلّ الوسائل المتاحة من أجل ذلك (وطبعاً يدخل ضمنها صواريخ “أس300” التي بات أمر تشغيلها بيد سورية).

2 ـ إنّ روسيا ليست بصدد إعطاء مهل إضافية لتركيا وإنها ملتزمة بدعم الجيش العربي السوري في مهماته لتحرير إدلب، ولن يكون أمام أردوغان فرص جديدة او مناورة احتيال أخرى. فروسيا نفد صبرها وهي تقرّ مطلقاً بحق الجيش السوري في تنفيذ تلك المهمات وله أن يتابع وفقاً لما يراه وعلى الآخرين احترام وحدة الأرض والسيادة السورية.

3 ـ عدم واقعية او جدية او جهوزية الحلف الأطلسي لدعم تركيا في مشروعها الخاص في إدلب وجلّ ما يمكن تقديمه هو دعم لفظي لا أكثر. وقد طويت صفحة مسرحيات الكيماوي التي كان الأطلسي يلعبها لتبرير التدخل العدواني المباشر ضدّ الجيش العربي السوري.

4 ـ انكشاف محدودية قوة تركيا في مساندة الإرهابيين واستعمالهم خدمة لمشروعها الخاص الذي بات نجاحه شبه مستحيل، وستكون لهذا الانكشاف ارتدادات خطيرة على معنويات الإرهابيّين الذين كانوا يتصرّفون بطمأنينة مطلقة الى قوة تركيا الداعمة لهم ولمسوا الآن، بل تأكدوا انّ الجيش السوري لا يعبأ ولا يهتمّ بما تدّعيه تركيا من هيبة عسكرية او ما تضعه من خطوط حمر، وكانت عملية النيرب التي سحقهم فيها الجيش العربي السوري نموذجاً.

*أستاذ جامعي وخبير استراتيجي.

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 18-21, 2020: DOZENS ARMY TROOPS KILLED, INJURED IN IDLIB CLASHES

46 Syrian service members have been killed and 77 were wounded in recent clashes with radical militants in Greater Idlib in the period from January 16 to January 19, the Russian Reconciliation Center reported. According to the report, 57 civilians were killed and 116 others were injured as a result of attacks and shelling by militants.

On January 19, the Syrian Army repelled a large attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and its allies on the town of Abu Dafn. According to pro-government sources, the army lost several armoured vehicles. The Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL), a key ally of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, militants damaged a battle tank and an infantry fighting vehicle, and destroyed an artillery piece belonging to the army. The NFL also claimed that dozens army troops were killed and injured. Earlier, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham recaptured the areas of Tell Khatrah, Mustayf Hill and Abu Jurayf from government forces and foiled army attempts to take them back.

Aleppo city came under a series of artillery and rocket strikes by militant groups operating in its southwestern countryside. Russia’s Hmeimim airbase also came under an attack by militants’ armed drones. All drones were intervened. The behavior of Idlib militants is a visual confirmation of forecasts saying that a new round of military escalation in the so-called de-escalation zone is almost inevitable.

On January 18, a car bomb exploded near a convoy of U.S. forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the road heading to the Conoco gas facility, according to the North Press Agency. The incident happened in the village of Jadid Akkidat. No casualties were reported.

On January 13, 15, 17 and 18, the so-called Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) conducted a series of attacks on positions of the Turkish Army and Turkish-backed militant groups in northern Aleppo. According to the ALF, 9 militants were killed and 2 Turkish soldiers were injured in these attacks. The inability of Turkish-led forces to secure their positions in northern Syria from attacks by Kurdish rebels demonstrates that the support of local population to the Turkish intervention is a bit lower than Ankara claims.

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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – DECEMBER 11, 2019: TURKISH PROXIES SEEK TO CAPTURE CHUNKS OF M4 HIGHWAY

South Front

On December 10, the military situation escalated in northern Lattakia and the surrounding area. According  to pro-government sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and allied militant groups conducted attacked and shelled several positions of the Syrian Army near the M4 highway and south of the town of Kbani.

In response, Syrian air forces and artillery units conducted strikes on militants’ positions near Jisr al-Shoughur, al-Janoudiya, and at a contact line near the M4 highway and Kbani. Pro-militant sources immediately described these strikes as an example of blatant aggression and ceasefire violations by the Assad regime.

Pro-Turkish sources reported that units affiliated with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces shelled positions of Turkish-backed militant groups near the city of Afrin.

In the province of Raqqa, Turkish-led forces once again seized the Shirlrak silos located on the M4 highway, east of Ayn Issa. Earlier this month, Turkish proxies withdrew from the area under the agreement between Aknara and Moscow. The control over Shirlrak allows pro-Turkish groups to rob civilians that use the highway. If they remain there, the Shirlrak silos will likely become a new point of tensions soon.

Meanwhile, Russian President’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said that Turkey and Russia had agreed to not expand the northeastern Syria safe zone. Therefore, attempts by Turkish-led forces to seize more areas along the M4 highway is an open violation of the ceasefire agreement.

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SYRIAN WAR REPORT – DECEMBER 4, 2019: GOVERNMENT FORCES REVERSED MILITANTS’ GAINS IN SOUTHERN IDLIB

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On December 3, pro-government forces liberated the villages of Rasm al-Ward, Istablat and Ajaz from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radical groups in southeastern Idlib.

With this advance, the Syrian Army and its allies retook all the villages that captured by militants in the framework of their advance launched on November 30.

Now, according to pro-government sources, the Syrian Army is preparing for a further push into southern Idlib in order to neutralize the terrorist threat in the region.

Pro-militant sources claim that multiple Russian and Syrian airstrikes hit positions of “opposition forces” near Maarat al-Numan. This town remains the main militant stronghold in the area and is an apparent target of any possible Syrian Army operation in the region.

On December 1, the Syrian Air Defense Forces intercepted several unmanned aerial vehicles launched by militants over the Hama Airbase. According to pro-government activists, the mysterious UAVs approached the air base in what appears to be an attempt to bomb it.

Earlier in 2019, the Hama Air Base became a target of several UAV attacks. All the drones were launched from Greater Idlib. The new attack appears to be identical to the previous ones.

The Hama Air Base is one of three key air fields in central Syria. The airbase is hosting several squadrons of the Syrian Arab Air Force. Some Russian units are also deployed there.

Turkish-backed militants arrested a number of young local men and looted properties in multiple houses in the village of al-Qatouf village near Ras al-Ayn, Syria’s state media reported on December 3. The same report says that several militants died as a result of fighting erupted over the stolen properties.

Over the past years, several cases were repeatedly reported in the Turkish-controlled areas of Afrin and al-Bab. Turkish sources ignore these reports or call them fake news.

Sporadic clashes between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and Turkish proxies erupt on a regular basis north of Ayn Issa and southeast of Ras al-Ayn. Nonetheless, no major offensive actions have been undertaken by the sides.

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SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES’ SHORT-TERM THINKING PROBLEM

Soutb Front

The political and military leadership of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has appeared to be in a shaky situation since the withdrawal of US troops from Syria’s north and the start of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring. Since the start of the US invasion of Syria, Kurdish armed groups, primarily the People’s Protection Units (YPG), relied on foreign power to fend off the ISIS offensive and expand their control across northern and eastern Syria. The US military, political and financial support made Kurdish leaders believe that Kurdish armed groups were a kind of “integral” part of Washington’s strategy and that they had a voice to decide their future under a US protectorate. This illusion predetermined the YPG-SDF stance towards cooperation with the Damascus government and its allies.

In January-March 2018, YPG forces in Afrin were defeated by the Turkish Army and pro-Turkish armed groups and were forced to flee towards Syrian Army positions near Aleppo city. Prior to Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch, YPG leaders once again rejected Syrian-Russian proposals to settle their status and re-integrate into the Syrian state. Instead, they repeatedly asked the US and the so-called ‘international community’ for help – help which was not forthcoming.

The very same approach led to the start of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria in 2019. On January 19, the so-called Autonomous Administration of Eastern Syria, a political body created by the SDF/YPG to manage the seized areas, issued a de-facto ultimatum to the Damascus government. Besides formal claims about the need to keep the unity of Syrian land and ensure rights to minorities, the 10-point long list included such demands as:

  • to accept the Autonomous Administration as a legal part of the Syrian political system;
  • to guarantee the Autonomous Administration representation in the Syrian Parliament;
  • to use the Autonomous Administration flag alongside the Syrian flag;
  • to allow the Autonomous Administration to conduct its own independent foreign policy;
  • to allow SDF units to keep control of the Syrian border;
  • to keep the SDF security force Asayish as the main security force within northeastern Syria;
  • to distribute “Syrian wealth to the Syrian regions in a fair manner.”

Summing up these claims, the SDF demanded Damascus should legally recognize a de-facto independent US-backed pseudo-state and its military force within Syria and fund this state from the Syrian state budget. This behavior undermined Damascus attempts to launch a real political dialogue to settle differences and the SDF became even more dependent on the US amid open preparations of Turkey for a military action in northeastern Syria. So, when US troops withdrew and the Turkish Army crossed the border, there was nobody to protect the Kurds. President Donald Trump turned up the heat even more by advising the Kurds, if they want US protection, to resettle into oil areas, control of which its administration sees as one of its main priorities.

Therefore, the SDF leaders rushed to reach a protection agreement with Damascus and Russia. Syrian Army troops and Russian Military Police were deployed along the border and the M4 highway limiting the Turks to the area that they had already captured. Moscow negotiated with Ankara a safe zone agreement. The Turkish Army limited its actions to the aforementioned chunk of the border. Rescued SDF units started withdrawal from a 30km zone away from the Turkish border.

Despite this, the SDF and its political representatives continue insisting that the agreement with Damascus is solely a security agreement and political terms and conditions are yet to be negotiated. The group also expressed hopes that it will be able to ‘restore’ dialogue with the US to the level that they had before the troop withdrawal. The SDF even criticized statements by the Syrian Defense and Interior Ministries suggesting SDF members should settle their legal status within the Syrian state and join the army if they want. The SDF claimed that it will not accept any deal that would not “recognize and preserve” the group’s “privacy and structure.” These actions demonstrate that at least a part of the Kurdish leadership has learned little from the Afrin and northeastern Syria cases and still believes that it is in a position to use the language of ultimatums. The involvement of Kurdish leaders in the US-run oil smuggling operations also play a role. It is likely that they do not want to lose revenues from their illegal cooperation with the foreign power that is looting Syrian natural resources.

These factors add additional instability to the situation in northeastern Syria and complicate its further de-escalation. Developments south of Ras al-Ayn where clashes between Kurdish and Turkish-backed fighters have recently erupted, are a result of the lack of coordination in the implementation of the safe zone agreement additionally to the aggressive behavior of both sides.

Nonetheless, the SDF will have to find a kind of political understanding with Damascus because the main and most likely alternative is the resumption of the Turkish offensive.

The Kurdish armed groups known as the SDF have recent experience of betraying the Syrian nation. In the most precarious situation, they abandoned Syria and made a pact with the US, the foreign power that seeks to undermine the country’s territorial integrity and, at that stage of the conflict,  was supporting the actions of al-Qaeda in Syria. There were – as there ought to be – consequences and the SDF suffered them. Washington abandoned its proxies, when it was deemed of higher value to the US to enable Turkey to carry out its offensive, than it was to protect them.

The US is not leaving Syria and the SDF is once again demonstrating that it may be prepared to sell its loyalty for American coin if a proposal were to come their way. However, if such a proposal is made and the SDF sabotages the reconciliation with Damascus, what guarantee is there that the US won’t abandon them once again?

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Washington abandons its Kurdish proxies as Ankara and Damascus step in

October 13, 2019

By Aram Mirzaei

Washington abandons its Kurdish proxies as Ankara and Damascus step in

Even though I have my doubts over whether Washington will actually withdraw from Syria fully, it seems as if their Kurdish proxies in northern Syria have been left to defend for themselves against the ongoing Turkish offensive. I can’t say I’m surprised since Washington has done this to their Kurdish “partners” many times before, yet the Kurdish leadership across Iraq and Syria have failed to learn from history yet again.

Once more, the Kurdish leadership have been proven to have put their faith in the wrong allies. When Moscow stepped into the Syrian war four years ago, Moscow gave the YPG the same offer that Assad had given before: reconcile with Damascus and join forces against terrorism. They refused. Moscow tried again by offering them to set up a consulate in Moscow, inviting them to peace talks in Astana and offering them safety from Turkish attacks, if they agreed to a deal with Damascus, one that respects Syria’s territorial integrity. Moscow even offered talks on a guarantee for future Kurdish participation in Syrian politics. They refused once again, with a spokesperson for the YPG explaining that Washington does not allow them to talk to Moscow. Such was the nature of the US-Kurdish “alliance”.

When the so called “Islamic State” terrorist group was about to collapse in 2017, the US backed “Syrian Democratic Forces”, of which YPG is part of, was quick to grab as much land as possible. Then came the threats against Damascus and the Syrian Army, to back off from entering the eastern shores of the Euphrates. Fortunately, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus saw Washington’s moves early on as they managed to capture the imperative city of Albukamal, located exactly at the Syrian-Iraqi border, before Washington could. In capturing this city, Damascus and Baghdad have been able to re-open the Tehran-Damascus highway stretching from Iran, through Iraq and into Syria, connecting the three countries and enabling the transportation of supplies from Iran to Syria.

The SDF managed to secure many of Syria’s oil fields in their push to capture the eastern parts of the Deir Ezzor province. Having grabbed such a large part of Syria, the Kurdish leadership felt safe with US forces backing them against Damascus.

This stance didn’t seem to change when Turkish forces together with their proxy jihadists launched the Afrin offensive. US forces did nothing to protect their Kurdish vassals from harm as Turkish forces easily captured the entire Afrin Canton within weeks. The Kurdish leadership was offered a deal with Damascus in which control over the Afrin area would be handed over to the Syrian Army before Turkish forces could capture it. Alas this suggestion was refused by the stubborn Kurdish leadership who would rather let Ankara and the Jihadists capture that area.

So 18 months later, the US has seemingly withdrawn and abandoned the Kurdish-led militias to fend for themselves against Ankara and a hostile Damascus. Not so surprising considering Washington’s track record. The Turkish Army and its proxies launched their offensive on Wednesday and quickly announced gains that same day. Since then, several towns along with the border city of Tal Abyad have fallen into Turkish hands as reports have emerged that imprisoned ISIS militants have escaped from their prisons as a result of Turkish bombardments of several prisons in the Hasakah province.

The offensive has caught an enormous amount of media attention, as the Kurds have for long been the Western Media darlings, capturing many people’s hearts with footage of young armed women battling the perverted terrorist forces of the “Islamic State”.

Washington and the European vassals have all howled and voiced their “concerns” over Turkey’s offensive. Some have called for resolutions and embargoes on Turkey for “violating international law” and “endangering the region”. What a joke! Look at the people expressing their “concern”: Hillary Clinton, Lindsey Graham and Nikki Haley. These are some of the people that are concerned that Turkey is “endangering the region”.

Now when Twitter is being filled with videos of executed Kurdish fighters, these people recognize the same “FSA” militants that they used to cheer for to execute Syrian soldiers, for what they are, barbarian scum.

Just a few days after the commencement of the offensive, Kurdish officials began contemplating the idea of turning to Moscow and Damascus for help, but not before asking Washington one last time to confirm their betrayal. SDF General Mazloum Kobani openly indicated in an interview with CNN that dealing with Moscow and Damascus is an option if the US fails to protect the Kurds from Turkey. “I need to know if you are capable of protecting my people, of stopping these bombs falling on us or not. I need to know, because if you’re not, I need to make a deal with Russia and the regime now and invite their planes to protect this region”, Kobani said.

What a sad statement. He needs a receipt of Washington’s betrayal, as if it was a surprise when he and his colleagues have been warned for years about Washington’s treacherous nature. Reports have previously suggested the amassing of Syrian Army forces near Manbij in the Aleppo province, with the aim of entering and taking over the area. The same has been said about Hasakah and Qamishli in the northeastern parts of the country. If true, then this would create a situation similar to the one two years ago when the Islamic State was collapsing. As mentioned before, back in 2017, as the Islamic State was collapsing, the SAA and the US-backed SDF were racing to capture as much territory as possible. This resulted in the Euphrates turning into a demarcation line between SAA and SDF controlled territory, a line that has been in place since 2017. Now, it seems as if a new race is on, as the Syrian Army is racing against time, with the jihadists rapidly advancing and are inching closer to Raqqa city.

If the Kurdish militias are willing to cooperate, then Damascus must be harsh in its demands. The Kurdish militias must hand over their weapons and the territory they’re occupying if they want to have any chance of surviving the Turkish-led onslaught. But they need to act quickly, time is running out for the Kurdish militiamen.

Will the Kurds choose poorly again?

Turkification, Crimes of Killing and Kidnapping Continue in Syrian Areas Occupied by Turkish Regime

Deeds not words

Turkification, Crimes of Killing and Kidnapping Continue in Syrian Areas Occupied by Turkish Regime

ST

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 09:09

DAMASCUS, (ST)– The Turkish-backed terrorist organizations and mercenaries alongside the Turkish occupation forces in the Syrian city of Afrin continue to commit murder and kidnapping crimes  against the locals in the areas that have been occupied by Turkey since March 2018. These crimes have been accompanied by an active Turkification campaign by Turkish occupation in the areas under its control.

According to local and media sources, a civilian from Afrin in Aleppo northwestern countryside was recently tortured to death at the prisons of the Turkish backed “Al-Hamzat Free Army” terrorist group. Another civilian was kidnapped in the vicinity of the city by another terror group called “al-Amshat Free Army”. The kidnappers asked his family to pay $3000 ransom to release him.

The sources also revealed that a person was found killed by unknown gunmen in Azaz city in Aleppo northern countryside which is controlled by the so-called “Free Army”. Such crimes have been repeatedly committed in the areas controlled by Turkish-affiliated terrorist groups.

Since its occupation of Afrin in March 2018, the Turkish regime, led by Recep Tayyib Erdogan, has adopted a Turkification policy that has affected all aspects of life in the city. The regime replaced the Arabic names of some areas and main squares with Turkish names.   It also changed the names of the villages and towns into Turkish names in an attempt to  wipe out their real identity. For example, the Turkish occupation replaced the name of a town called “Qastal Mikdad” with the Turkish name “Saljoki Obasi” and named the main square in Afrin as “Ataturk”. All these provocative acts go in line with Erdogan’s Ottoman aspirations which are based on occupation, looting and violations of international laws and conventions.

Turkey’s attempts to Turkify the Syrian cities, towns and villages, such as Azaz, al-Bab, Jarablus and Afrin, included also the naming of some Syrian schools in these areas after Turkish officers who were killed while invading the Syrian territories.  The Turkish flag is hoisted over these schools and the Turkish language is imposed as a main subject in the curricula.

In addition, the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries have forced Afrin residents to obtain new identity cards to use them at “official” circles in the city, according to tens of media and local sources. This behavior is reminiscent of the Zionist occupation’s practices in the occupied Syrian Golan and Palestine.

Edogan’s regime, through its terrorist tools, has also attempted to undermine the cultural and historical Arab identity of the area through destroying all its archeological monuments and historical icons. The Turkish warplanes have destroyed many archeological sites in Afrin including Ain Dara temple and the archeological sites of  al-Nabi Houri and Tal Jandares. They even destroyed the archeological site of Barad in Afrin which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, not to mention the acts of vandalism in the tombs and archeological sites in search for artifacts, gold and other historical treasures.

Hamda Mustafa

القتل والخطف والتتريك.. ممارسات يومية لنظام أردوغان ومرتزقته الإرهابيين بحق الأهالي في منطقة عفرين وريف حلب الشمالي

في إطار الوظيفة المنوطة بهم يواصل مرتزقة النظام التركي من التنظيمات الإرهابية المنتشرة جنباً إلى جنب مع قوات الاحتلال التركي في منطقة عفرين ممارساتهم الإرهابية والقمعية المتمثلة بعمليات القتل والاختطاف بحق الأهالي والمتاجرة بأرواحهم في تلك المناطق التي احتلتها قوات نظام أردوغان الإخواني في آذار من العام الماضي.

وأفادت مصادر أهلية وإعلامية بوفاة أحد المدنيين من أهالي منطقة عفرين تحت التعذيب في إحدى زنزانات سجون ما يسمى فرقة «الحمزات الجيش الحر» الإرهابية إحدى أدوات نظام أردوغان الإجرامية بمدينة عفرين في ريف حلب الشمالي الغربي وذلك بالتوازي مع إقدام ما يسمى «فصيل العمشات الجيش الحر» الإرهابي على اختطاف شخص آخر في محيط المدينة ومطالبة ذويه بدفع 3 آلاف دولار أميركي فدية لإطلاق سراحه.

وفي مدينة أعزاز بريف حلب الشمالي الخاضعة لمجموعات ما يسمى «الجيش الحر» الخاضعة لنظام أردوغان أيضاً كشفت المصادر أنه تم العثور على شخص مقتول على أيدي مسلحين مجهولين في حادثة تكررت عديد المرات بحق الأهالي في المناطق التي تنتشر فيها مجموعات إرهابية تتبع مباشرة لسلطات النظام التركي.
وتشهد مدينة عفرين وريفها منذ احتلالها من قوات النظام التركي في الثامن عشر من آذار من العام الماضي محاولات متواصلة من نظام أردوغان لفرض مخططاته فيها معتمداً ممارسات طالت كل مناحي الحياة فاستبدل أسماء المناطق والساحات الرئيسة بأسماء تركية بالتوازي مع محاولاته طمس الهوية الحقيقية عبر تغيير اسم البلدات والقرى إلى أسماء تركية كما فعل في بلدة قسطل مقداد التي استبدل اسمها إلى الاسم التركي «سلجوقي أوباصي» وأطلق اسم «أتاتورك» على الساحة الرئيسة في مدينة عفرين وتعدى ذلك إلى تغيير معالم المناطق فيها بما ينسجم مع أوهامه العثمانية القائمة على الاحتلال والسلب ومخالفة القوانين والمواثيق الدولية.

محاولات النظام التركي تتريك المدن والقرى والبلدات السورية الواقعة شمال البلاد مثل أعزاز والباب وجرابلس وعفرين شملت أيضاً إطلاق أسماء ضباط أتراك قتلوا خلال اجتياحهم الأراضي السورية شمال شرق حلب ومدينة عفرين وغيرها على المدارس السورية وفرض اللغة التركية مادة أساسية في مناهج التدريس مع تغيير كبير فيها ورفع العلم التركي عليها.

وأكدت عشرات التقارير الإعلامية إضافة لمصادر أهلية من المنطقة أن قوات الاحتلال التركي بالتعاون مع مرتزقتها من الإرهابيين ألزمت السكان باستخراج بطاقات شخصية جديدة لاستخدامها في الدوائر «الرسمية» بالمدينة بما يحاكي ما أقدمت عليه قوات الاحتلال الصهيوني في الجولان وفلسطين المحتلة كما عمدت إلى ضبط التوقيت الزمني في هذه المناطق بالتوقيت الزمني لتركيا.

إضافة لما سبق عمد نظام أردوغان عبر مرتزقته الإرهابيين إلى طمس الهوية الحضارية والتاريخية للمنطقة عبر تدمير جميع الأوابد الأثرية التي تدل على عروبة المنطقة حيث أقدمت قواته وطائراته على تدمير العديد من المواقع الأثرية في منطقة عفرين كمعبد عين دارة وموقع النبي هوري قورش وتل جنديرس الأثري إضافة إلى موقع براد الأثري الواقع جنوب مدينة عفرين والمسجل على لائحة مواقع التراث العالمي لمنظمة الأمم المتحدة للتربية والعلم والثقافة «يونيسكو» عدا عن عمليات البحث وتجريف بعض المواقع والمقابر بحثاً عن لقى أثرية وكنوز ذهب معتمدين على خرائط حصلوا عليها خلال عمليات نهب وسرقة مديريات الآثار والمتاحف في عدة مدن قبل اندحار الإرهابيين منها.

sana

   ( الثلاثاء 2019/08/20 SyriaNow)

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Syrian War Report – August 19, 2019: Tiger Forces Advance To Encircle Khan Shaykhun

South Front

Government forces are rapidly advancing in southern Idlib inflicting large casualties to radical militant groups.

During the weekend, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Tiger Forces and their allies have liberated the villages of Khirbat Abidin, Hursh al-Tawilah, Mughr Hunta, the farms of Nijm, Nisr and al-Safar, and the Nar Hill. According to pro-government sources, at least 7 units of military equipment and 2 dozens of militants were eliminated in recent clashes.

In own turn, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies carried out several counter-attacks involving suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices in Madayah and northwest of Khan Shaykhun. Despite some tactical successes, they were not able to turn the tide of the battle and stop the SAA advance.

Government forces are currently aiming to cut off the M5 highway and encircle the town of Khan Shaykhun and other militant positions to the south of it.

On August 17, members of the Turkish-backed National Syrian Army (NSA) shelled positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) at the town of Tell Rifaat and the nearby villages of Zyuan, Nyrabia and Tell Madiq in northern Aleppo. According to pro-YPG sources, the shelling also targeted a positions of the Russian Military Police near Tell Rifaat. No casualties among Russian personnel were reported.

The NSA shelling started in response to an attack by YPG-linked Kurdish rebels in the Afrin Region. The rebels’ attack resulted in the deaths of 5 Turkish-backed militants. Tell Rifaat and its surroundings are under the joint control of the YPG and the SAA. YPG-linked cells use this area as a safe heaven to carry out attacks on Turkey-led forces in northern Aleppo thus provoking Turkish responses and increasing tensions between Damascus and Ankara.

Russian forces are establishing several positions in the southern Deir Ezzor countryside, pro-opposition media reported on August 16 citing local sources. The reports claimed that Russian units are working to establish new positions in the town of al-Jalaa.

Located less than 30km away from the border with Iraq, al-Jalaa is one of the largest towns in the western part of the Middle Euphrates River Valley. A highway leading to al-Qa’im border crossing passes through the town.

The deployment of Russian forces in al-Jalaa could be related to the near opening of the Syrian-Iraqi border as well as the ongoing security operations against the remaining ISIS cells in the region.

GOVERNMENT TROOPS ARE STORMING KHAN SHAYKHUN AFTER CUTTING OFF M5 HIGHWAY NORTH OF IT (MAPS)

Government Troops Are Storming Khan Shaykhun After Cutting Off M5 Highway North Of It (Maps)

Click to see the full-size image

Late on August 19, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Tiger Forces and other pro-government factions started storming the town of Khan Shaykhun in southern Idlib.

Earlier on the same day, government troops seized several important hills north of Khan Shaykhun and cut off the M5 highway, which Turkish forces attempted to use to enter the town.

According to some pro-government sources, members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radical groups have started withdrawing from Khan Shaykhun. Reports are also circulating that militants are planning to withdraw from the entire northern Hama parea. Nonetheless, these reports still have to be confirmed.

The situation is developing.

Government Troops Are Storming Khan Shaykhun After Cutting Off M5 Highway North Of It (Maps)

Click to see the full-size image

Syrian Army breaks through militant lines to advance on Khan Sheikhoun: video

 

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) scored a big advance in the southern countryside of the Idlib Governorate this past week after cracking the militant lines near the key city of Khan Sheikhoun.

Chronicling the Syrian Arab Army’s advance in southern Idlib was the Anna News Agency, who captured exclusive footage of the military’s operations and push towards Khan Sheikhoun.

“On August 13, the Tiger Forces faced a challenge. In one night, they had to go half the distance between the cities of Hobeit and Khan Sheikhoun,” the Anna News said.

“When the last gleams of the sun went out over the horizon, the Tiger Forces set their machine in motion. But the Syrian movements did not go unnoticed. Detachments of militants prepared to meet the Tigers with everything they had,” they continued.

“We were especially struck by the number of artillery shells that the militants fired at us. After taking the strategic height of Tel Ays, the strategic city of Khan Sheikhoun was clearly visible. Everyone expected that the troops would go to storm the city, but instead the troops turned north,” they added.

Since this video was posted, the Syrian Arab Army has begun their attack to capture Khan Sheikhoun from the militant forces in southern Idlib.

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Syria warns US-Turkey safe zone deal is a plot for “expansionist ambitions”

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Syria warns US-Turkey safe zone deal is a plot for “expansionist ambitions”

Monday, August 12, 2019

After three days of intense negotiations in Ankara, US and Turkish officials reached an agreement on Wednesday to create a joint operations center and set up a safe zone east of the Euphrates in north eastern Syria. Deal details have not yet been disclosed.

This last minute deal between Washington and Ankara is in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement on Sunday that Turkey was prepared to carry out a unilateral cross-border operation to push back Kurdish militias on the Syrian Turkish border east of the Euphrates river, if the Washington didn’t cut ties with the Kurdish militias and create a safe zone in northern Syria.

The two NATO allies agreed that the Turkish based joint operations center would be created as soon as possible to address Turkey’s security concerns.  The safe zone would become a “peace corridor”, and efforts would be made so that Syrian refugees could return home.

However, wanting peace is just a front for Erdogan’s true motives. The Syrian government categorically rejects the deal as a blatant attack on Syria’s territorial sovereignty and warns of Erdogan’s real reasons for establishing a so-called safe-zone on Syrian soil.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said “The agreement constitutes a partnership between the US and Turkey over aggression against Syria that would serve the interest of the Israeli occupation entity. It also reflects how evasive and misleading the policies of the Turkish regime are.”

On Thursday an official Syrian source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told SANA “Syria expresses categorical rejection of the agreement announced by the US and Turkish occupations on establishing the so-called [safe zone] which constitutes a blatant aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and a flagrant violation of the principles of international law and the UN Charter,”.

Turkey is using the excuse of protecting its borders against the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who Turkey views as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), to fulfill its long-term mission of expanding its territory by invading and balkanizing its sovereign neighbor.

Many nations including the United States, who designated the PKK as a terrorist group in 1997, and Turkey who has been in conflict with the PKK since their inception in 1984, consider them to be a terrorist organization.

Another Turkish goal is to replace the indigenous diverse ethnic population in northern Syrian with extremists that are sympathetic to Erdogan, like we have seen in Afrin and other towns on Turkey’s border in northern Syria.

Erdogan’s plans for invasion and annexation will put Christian minorities in danger, some of whom can trace their lineage back to the original inhabitants of this land. However, Kurdish militias have also targeted them by using forced conscription and other Daesh-like intimidation tactics. The Kurdish Connection: Israel, ISIS And U.S. Efforts To Destabilize Iran explains more about how Kurdish militias have been used by the US to achieve their own objectives in the Middle East.

statement issued by the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states “This agreement has very clearly exposed the US-Turkish partnership in the aggression against Syria which serves the interest of the Israeli occupation entity and the Turkish expansionist ambitions and it unequivocally exposed the misleading and evasiveness which govern the policies of the Turkish regime.”

“Syria calls on the Arab people to be aware of the dangers of the expansionist ambitions of the Turkish regime which is spreading the killing and chaos in different parts of the Arab world from Syria to Libya and the Sudan and it will not stop till it will satisfy its illusions on reviving the Ottoman Sultanate,” the source said.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative concluded by saying that “Syria calls on the international community and the UN to condemn the US-Turkish flagrant aggression which constitutes a dangerous escalation and poses a threat to peace and security in the region and the world and hinders all positive efforts for finding a solution to the crisis in Syria.”

All the major players involved in the proxy war in Syria, including Turkey, Russia, and Iran want the US to leave, except of course the US-backed Kudish SDF which are just a rebranding of the YPG.

US President Donald Trump has expressed interest multiple times in a swift troop withdrawal ,and to let the local regional players figure things out. However, the war hawks surrounding him in Washington, along with the Pentagon have derailed his plans since last December. They have stressed that US interests need to be protected by having a long-term presence in the oil-rich, agriculturally rich, breadbasket of Syria, to keep an eye on Iran while protecting their ally, Israel.

As I have stated previously establishing an independent Kurdish state in Syria is just part of the decades-long Israeli-American plan to weaken and divide all the nations neighboring Israel.

Although it might seem like Russia has been uncharacteristically quiet this week regarding the latest developments with Turkey and the US in north eastern Syria, Russia has consistently stood by the Syrian government’s right to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Whether its occupation and annexation by the Kurds or Turks, Kurdification or Turkification, the Syrian government and military categorically reject any infringement on their land, and have adamantly stated they will take back every inch of Syrian territory from terrorists or occupiers.

Source: InfoBrics

 

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JULY 5, 2019: BRITISH MARINES SEIZED IRANIAN OIL TANKER

South Front

On July 4, a detachment of Royal Marines and the authorities in Gibraltar seized a supertanker suspected of carrying oil to Syria on the belief it was breaching EU sanctions. 30 Royal Marines from 42 Commando were involved in the operation targeting Grace 1 that had sailed from Iran. The operation was made upon request from the US and the UK. If the oil on board is confirmed to be Iranian, the tanker would also be violating a US ban on Iranian oil exports.

Later, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador in Tehran, Rob Macaire, over the incident describing it as an “illegal seizure”. Nonetheless, it’s unlikely that the tanker will be released soon. Such operations mark the start of a new round of pressure campaign on the government of the Bashar al-Assad as well as Iranian oil exports in the region.

On July 3 and July 4, a fighting broke out between the Turkish-backed militant group known as the National Syrian Army and joint forces of the Syrian Army and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) near the town of Hazwan in northern Aleppo. Turkish-backed militants admitted that at least 2 of their fighters were killed.

The army and the YPG jointly control an area between Afrin and the eastern countryside of al-Bab. Some Russian Military Police units are also deployed in key positions there. Tensions at the contact line between this area and the Turkish-occupied part of Syria grow after every successful attack of Kurdish rebels on Turkish targets in Afrin.

Several senior commanders of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) have inspected the frontlines with the Syrian Army in northwestern Hama. The TIP released photos of the visit on July 2. They faces of the commanders are blurred but they may have been Abu Rida al-Turkistani and Ibrahim Mansour, the top commanders of the TIP.

The interesting fact is that the visit took place in the area near to the Turkish military observation post in Shir Mughar. It confirms the freedom of movement that terrorist groups have under the nose of Turkish troops that allegedly deployed there to prevent such developments. Under the demilitarized zone agreement radicals like the TIP and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham have to be withdrawn from the contact line. Nonetheless, this has never happened.

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – APRIL 1, 2019: US SAYS SYRIAN ARMY MUST WITHDRAW FROM GOLAN HEIGHTS’ CONTACT LINE

SOUTH FRONT

01.04.2019

Over 50 ISIS members were eliminated by strikes of the US-led coalition in the outskirt of the town of al-Baghuz al-Fawqani in the Euphrates Valley over the past few days, local sources reported. The airstrikes were a part of the operation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the coalition in the area, which is ongoing despite a formal US statement declaring defeat over ISIS.

According to local sources, a notable number of ISIS members is still hiding in a network of caves and underground tunnels in the area.

Besides this, ISIS cells within the SDF-held area have recently carried out a series of attacks killing at least 10 SDF members near the town of Diban and in the area of the Omar oil fields, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

On March 28, General Commander of the SDF Ferhat Abdi Sahin claimed that the group, which includes the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their all-female faction, the Woman’s Protection Units (YPJ), had made a decision to capture the area of Afrin from Turkish forces.

“We are preparing and making arrangements in order to liberate Afrin … Because this is a military matter, everyone should know that when the time is suitable, the liberation phase will begin,” he said in an interview with Sterk TV.

Currently, the SDF has no land route to Afrin from northeastern Syria while YPG and YPJ control only a few positions to south and southeast of the area. Therefore, SDF statements regarding the military advance on Afrin should are just a political move designed in an attempt to buy support of the Syrian population. The group, which deeply relies on the foreign support to control northeastern Syria, is currently facing notable problems with the control over the Arab-populated areas seized from ISIS.

While the SDF has no real chances to capture Afrin itself, YPG and YPJ cells conduct attacks on Turkey-led forces on a regular basis. On March 31, a Turkish service member was killed and one was injured an attack by Kurdish rebels, according to Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense.

Following the announcement, the Turkish military artillery fired more than 100 shells at YPG positions in the towns of Tatmrsh and Shuargha. No casualties as a result of the shelling were reported.

The US-led coalition and its proxies from the so-called Revolutionary Commando Army continue to prevent evacuation of civilians from the Rukban refugee camp. They even held a live-fire drill involving High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems near the US garrison of al-Tanf located in the same area.

The situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone remains unchanged. The ceasefire regime is violated almost on a daily basis. Firefights and artillery dues are especially intense in northern Hama and southern Idlib.

On March 28, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came with a new statement claiming that his  country will continue working against Iranian presence in Syria. The statement shows that the Israeli military is set to continue its military campaign in Syria.

In own turn, the US did not limit its recent actions in support of Tel Aviv to recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. It also demanded the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to withdraw from the separation line area established in the framework of the 1974 Disengagement Agreement. US-Israeli efforts to force the SAA to do so could easily turn the Golan Heights into a new hot point and fuel the Syrian conflict further.

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