محاضر من «أستانا 18»: الحلّ السوري بعيد وتركيا لن تنسحب | تقاطع مصالح تركي ــ روسي ــ إيراني ضدّ «قسد»

الجمعة 25 تشرين الثاني 2022

موقفا الدولتين يبدوان اليوم أقلّ حدّة، وهو ما يمكن أن يُعزى إلى أسباب مختلفة خاصّة بكلّ من الدولتَين (ا ف ب)

حسين الأمين  

تُظهر المواقف الإيرانية والروسية من التهديد التركي المتجدّد بعملية عسكرية برّية في سوريا، نوعاً من الليونة التي يمكن تفسيرها بجملة ظروف مستجدّة، جعلت الأطراف الثلاثة الضامنة لـ«مسار أستانا» متقاطِعةً عند العداء للقوّات الكردية في الشمال السوري. ليونةٌ لم تكن إلى ما قبل أشهر حاضِرة كما اليوم، وفق ما تُظهره وثائق سرّية عائدة إلى الجولة ما قبل الأخيرة من اجتماعات «أستانا»، اطّلعت عليها «الأخبار»، يسجّل فيها الروس والإيرانيون حزماً حيال أيّ عملية تركية من النوع المذكور، لم تَعُد مستبعدة، في ظلّ شبه تقبّل موسكو وطهران للمحاججات التركية، ودخول الاتصالات مرحلة الحديث عن حدود التوغّل والأثمان السياسية المطلوبة لقاءه

تحت سطح الهدوء الذي عاشه الميدان السوري طوال الشهور السابقة، كانت تعتمل عوامل ضاغطة عديدة على أكثر من طرف فاعل في الملفّ، يبدو أن بعضها وصل اليوم إلى لحظة الانفجار. هذا ما ينطبق مثلاً على الهجمات الجوّية التي تنفّذها تركيا ضدّ «قوات سوريا الديمقراطية» في شمال سوريا تحت عنوان عملية «المخلب – السيف»، والتلويح باقتراب لحظة وقوع العملية البرّية، والتي سيسيطر خلالها الجيش التركي على مزيد من الأراضي السورية الحدودية. ولطالما كانت هذه الخطوة محطّ تداول طوال الفترة الماضية، خصوصاً في جولة محادثات أستانا التي عُقدت في حزيران الماضي، وتالِيَتها التي التأمت قبل يومَين على وقْع القصف التركي على مواقع «قسد»، على مسمع ومرأى من القوات الروسية والأميركية المنتشرة في المنطقة. وبينما لا تزال روسيا على موقفها المعلَن الرافض للتحرّك البرّي التركي ـــ مع بروز تبدّلات ملحوظة في الميدان لناحية السماح للطائرات التركية باختراق «المجال الجوّي الروسي» في سوريا ـــ تُبدي إيران هذه الأيام تفهّماً أكبر لهذا التحرّك.

في وثائق سرّية حصلت عليها «الأخبار»، تتكشّف المواقف غير المعلَنة وبعض خلفيّاتها، للدول الفاعلة في الملفّ السوري، وذلك على ألسنة مسؤولي هذا الملفّ في كلّ منها، في محادثات ثنائية خاصة، من أيّ عملية عسكرية تركية جديدة في سوريا. ففي حزيران الماضي، انعقدت في العاصمة الكازاخية نور سلطان الجولة الـ18 من «مسار أستانا» التفاوضي، عندما كان الميدان يعيش هدوءاً نسبياً، باستثناء بعض التوتّر بين تركيا والفصائل المسلّحة الموالية لها من جهة، و«قسد» من جهة أخرى، وفي وقت كانت فيه أنقرة تلوّح بنيّتها شنّ عملية عسكرية في ريف حلب الشمالي، وتحديداً على محور عين العرب – منبج – تل رفعت. ممثّل تركيا في «أستانا» حينها، ومسؤول الشؤون السورية في الخارجية التركية، سلجوق أونال، أشار إلى أن «بعض الدول تُعارض العملية، لكنّ هذه الدول في الوقت عينه تتفهّم المخاوف الأمنية لتركيا»، مُدافِعاً بأنه يتوجّب «على تركيا أن تقوم بهذه العملية بسبب مخاطر الإرهاب والانفصاليين، وهذا ما لا تحتمله». وانتقد أونال موقف موسكو، معتبراً أن «ما يقوله الروس بأن العملية ستزعزع استقرار سوريا غير صحيح، لأن لا استقرار أصلاً في سوريا، كما ليس هنالك من ستاتيكو حقيقي ستزعزعه هذه العملية. لا بل إن العملية ستمنع زعزعة الاستقرار بسبب الأجندة الإرهابية والانفصالية لـ»PKK» (حزب العمال الكردستاني)». واستعرض أونال، في حديث خاصّ مع دبلوماسيين، مسار الهجمات العسكرية التي نفّذتها تركيا سابقاً في سوريا، حيث إن «شركاءنا (روسيا وإيران) اعترضوا سابقاً على عملية نبع السلام، ثمّ ما لبثوا أن رفعوا العوائق من أمام تركيا»، في إشارة إلى قبولهم الوقائع التي فرضتْها تلك الهجمات. وافترض أن «الروس ربّما يَعتبرون أن طرد القوات الكردية (من المناطق الحدودية) سيدفعها باتجاه المناطق السورية الداخلية، وهذا قد يجدّد النزاع»، مبيّناً أنه «في هذه الحالة، هُم (الأكراد) سيهاجمون الجيش السوري وليس تركيا». وختم المسؤول التركي حديثه بالتأكيد أن «المسار السياسي بطيء (…) أستانا يبقى المسار الوحيد الذي لا يزال على قيد الحياة»، مشيراً إلى أنه «سبق أن أنشئت المجموعة المصغّرة حول سوريا وانتهت، وكذلك انتهى مسار جنيف».

يَظهر أن مصلحة الدول الثلاث الضامنة لـ«مسار أستانا» تلتقي عند العداء للقوات الكردية في الشمال السوري


وفي وثيقة أخرى، تحدّث سفير تركيا لدى روسيا، محمد سامسار، في اجتماع خاص داخل مكتبه عُقد في تموز الفائت، حول العملية العسكرية المرتقبة، قائلاً إنه «بالنسبة إلى تركيا، فإنه لا أطماع لديها في سوريا، وهدف أنقرة كان ولا يزال إبعاد المنظمات الإرهابية الكردية عن حدودها لمسافة 30 كم على الأقل، وهو الأمر الذي كان الأميركيون قد وافقوا عليه، وأيضاً الروس، الذين كانوا قد تعهّدوا بالمساعدة على تحقيقه منذ عام 2019، دون أن ينجحوا حتى الآن، ما دفع القيادة التركية أخيراً للإعلان عن عملية عسكرية قد تكون قريبة لتحقيق الهدف المذكور، بالرغم من معارضة موسكو وواشنطن، التي تقوم بحماية بعض الفصائل الإرهابية شرق الفرات». من جهة أخرى، استبعد سامسار «إمكانية التوصّل إلى حلول في المدى المنظور، خاصة في ظلّ توتر العلاقات بين موسكو من جهة، وواشنطن والغرب من جهة أخرى»، لافتاً إلى أن «الوضع السوري في غاية التعقيد، مع وجود دول كثيرة تتصارع على الأرض السورية لحفظ مصالحها المتعارضة في كثير من الأحيان»، مُهاجِماً «الدور الإيراني الطامح إلى بقاء طويل الأمد في سوريا، ومحاولة إحداث تغيير ديمغرافي في بعض المناطق السورية، ومنها دمشق العاصمة، وذلك خدمة لأهداف بعيدة المدى تؤذي الشعب السوري بلا شكّ، وتهدّد بشدّة وحدة البلاد واستقرارها على المدى البعيد».

بدوره، رأى المبعوث الروسي الخاص إلى سوريا، ألكسندر لافرنتييف، أنه «سيكون من الخطير إن أقامت تركيا منطقة عازلة، وهذه ستخلق تهديدات جديدة»، لافتاً إلى «(أننا) نصحنا العراقيين وجيران سوريا، أن يتواصلوا مع إيران والدول العربية لمطالبة تركيا بشكل جماعي بعدم تنفيذ عمليّتها». وأشار لافرنتييف إلى أن «تركيا دائماً تؤكّد أنها لا تريد تقسيم سوريا، وأنها مع المحافظة على وحدة وسيادة سوريا، لكنهم يضيفون أنهم سيتركون سوريا عندما تسمح لهم الظروف بذلك، وهذا لا يبدو لنا مشجّعاً. إذا دخلَت لن تنسحب»، مشدّداً على أنه «من الضروري أن نعمل معاً، وأن لا نترك ذلك يحدث (…) (تركيا تريد) احتلال أراضي سوريا، وتشكيل حكومة موالية لها». ولدى سؤاله عن الانتشار الميداني الروسي في سوريا، مع احتدام الحرب في أوكرانيا، أكد «(أننا) لن ننسحب من سوريا. أجرينا إعادة انتشار لقوّاتنا، بسبب بعض الصعوبات اللوجستية المتأتّية من تركيا». وختم حديثه بالقول إن «علينا أن نعيش مع نزاع طويل الأمد» في سوريا. من جهته، رأى مساعد وزير الخارجية الإيراني، علي أصغر حاجي، أن «كلّ ما يحدث متأثّر بالحرب الأوكرانية، التي تُضاعف من خطورة الحالة في الشرق الأوسط»، معتبراً أن «ما تقوم به روسيا في أوكرانيا، تحاول تركيا مقابلته في سوريا»، في إشارة إلى المخاوف الأمنية الروسية في أوكرانيا، والتي دفعتْ موسكو إلى تنفيذ عمليتها العسكرية هناك. وأضاف حاجي: «نقول لأصدقائنا الأتراك إن مخاوفكم الأمنية لا يمكن حلّها بالوسائل العسكرية، وإلّا لكانت حُلّت مُسبقاً. نقول لهم، ساعدوا الجيش السوري للانتشار على الحدود تطبيقاً للاتفاقيات بينكما». أما ممثّل الأمم المتحدة في محادثات أستانا، مدير مكتب المبعوث الدولي الخاص إلى سوريا غير بيدرسون، روبرت دان، فرأى أن «كلّ الأطراف حقّقت أكثر ما تستطيعه»، متابعاً أن «اليوم هنالك تركيا، ينبغي انتظار ردّة فعل الأطراف الباقين على عمليّتها العسكرية، وما سينشأ عنها».

وعلى رغم الحزم الذي تتّسم به المواقف الإيرانية والروسية حيال العملية العسكرية التركية في سوريا، وفق ما تُظهره الوثائق، إلّا أن هذه المواقف تبدو اليوم أقلّ حدّة، وهو ما يمكن أن يُعزى إلى أسباب مختلفة خاصّة بكلّ من الدولتَين. بالنسبة إلى روسيا، فإن التعاون الروسي – التركي بلغ أوْجه خلال الأشهر الأخيرة مع احتدام الحرب في أوكرانيا، في ظلّ موقف أنقرة الذي حافظ على حياده نوعاً ما. وإذ تُدرك روسيا أن تركيا اليوم هي أحد معابرها الأساسية إلى العالم في ظلّ الحصار الغربي المستمرّ على الأولى، فإن الدولتَين تُظهران تعاوناً واسعاً في منطقة القوقاز، أسفر حتى اليوم عن تجنُّب أزمات كبرى، وربّما معارك متجدّدة، وخصوصاً بين أرمينيا وأذربيجان. والأهمّ من كلّ ما سبق، سياقان مغايران للتعاون: الأوّل متعلّق باتفاقية تصدير الحبوب من الموانئ الأوكرانية عبر البحر الأسود إلى تركيا ثمّ البحر الأبيض المتوسط؛ والثاني متّصل بتصدير الغاز الروسي، حيث اتفق الرئيسان الروسي والتركي، الشهر الماضي، على البدء بإنشاء مركز لتوزيع الغاز الروسي من تركيا إلى دول جنوب وشرق أوروبا، عبر أنابيب ناقلة تمرّ من البحر الأسود وعبر الأراضي التركية. وانطلاقاً ممّا سبق، تبدو مفهومةً المرونة التي طرأت على موقف موسكو، والتي تُعزّزها أيضاً المُحاججة التركية بأن الظروف التي دفعت روسيا إلى تنفيذ عملية عسكرية في أوكرانيا، تنطبق إلى حدّ بعيد على تلك القائمة عند الحدود السورية – التركية، وبالتالي فإن ما شرّعته روسيا لنفسها، لا بدّ أن تشرّعه لشريكتها تركيا.
أمّا بالنسبة إلى إيران، التي تعاني اليوم اضطرابات داخلية، فهي تتّهم الأحزاب الكردية – الإيرانية المعارِضة المتمركزة في إقليم كردستان شمالي العراق، بالمسؤولية عن إرسال وتدريب وتجهيز مجموعات مسلّحة لتنفيذ أعمال «إرهابية» على أراضيها. وهي استجابت سريعاً لهذا التهديد باستهداف مواقع تلك الأحزاب، ملوّحةً أيضاً بإمكانية شنّ عملية عسكرية برّية لإبعادها عن الحدود. ومن هنا، يُحاجج «الديبلوماسيون الأتراك، أمام نظرائهم الإيرانيين، وكذلك أمام نظرائهم في دول المنطقة، بسياق تشكُّل الموقف الإيراني المستجدّ تجاه الأحزاب الكردية المسلّحة، ويقارنونه بالموقف التركي السابق والحالي، للقول إن عمليات بلادهم العسكرية السابقة والمرتقَبة في سوريا شرعيّة ومبرّرة، ولا يجب الاعتراض عليها، خصوصاً من قِبَل الإيرانيين»، بحسب ما تَكشفه مصادر ديبلوماسية إقليمية. وفي مقابل هذه المحاججة، يُبدي المسؤولون الإيرانيون تفهّماً للمخاوف الأمنية التركية، إلّا أنهم «يحثّون نظراءهم الأتراك على التعاون مع الحكومة السورية، لضمان انتشار الجيش السوري على الحدود بين البلدين، ومنْع وقوع عمليات أمنية أو عسكرية داخل الأراضي التركية، كما ذلك الذي تسعى إليه طهران مع بغداد»، والذي تجلّت أولى ثماره في إعلان الحكومة العراقية نشْر قوّاتها على الحدود بين إيران وإقليم كردستان.

هكذا، يَظهر أن مصلحة الدول الثلاث الضامنة لـ«مسار أستانا» تلتقي عند العداء للقوات الكردية في الشمال السوري. فهذه الأخيرة وضعت كامل بيضها في السلّة الأميركية، ما يزعج الروس إلى حدّ بعيد، واشتبكت مع تركيا التي تحافظ على موقفها العدائي منها، وفشلت في إنجاح أيّ محاولة حوارية مع دمشق، وذهبت إلى حدّ الاشتباك مع القوات السورية غير مرّة، كما تناقض بتحالفها الوثيق مع الأميركيين الموقف الإيراني المُساند لدمشق، فضلاً عن كوْن نظرائها في أربيل باتوا يشكّلون تهديداً متزايداً للأمن القومي الإيراني. لكن كلّ ما سبق لا يعني أن هذه الأطراف اتّفقت تماماً على السماح بتنفيذ عملية عسكرية تركية جديدة في سوريا، بل يبدو أن ما جرى حتى الآن هو إبداء تفهّم متزايد للمخاوف التركية، في وقت تتسارع فيه الاتصالات البينيّة لرسم حدود الطموح التركي، والتوافق على التفاصيل الميدانية والأثمان السياسية.

من ملف : روسيا – تركيا – إيران: تقاطع ضدّ «قسد»

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Is NATO falling apart?

November 22, 2022

Something quite amazing has just happened.  Following the terrorist attack in Ankara which killed 34 people and injured another 125, Turkish authorities first declared that they will not accept US condolences.  Then the Turks launched a military operation against “Kurdish terrorists in northern Syria“.  Turkey then claimed to have neutralized 184 terrorists.

What is not mentioned in those articles is that the target of the Turkish strike was the US-run center for the training and education of PKK militants in Rojava.  There are rumors that the Turks gave the US enough warning time to evacuate most of its personnel.

Does that sound familiar?

If it does, it is because it is very similar to what the Iranians did when they hit US bases in Iraq following the murder of General Solemani in a US drone strike.

If the above is true, and rumors are very much “if” and cannot be considered as proven fact, then that means that a NATO member state (Turkey) just attacked a US base and, like Iran, got away with it: the “The Finest Fighting Force in the History of the World” just got whacked hard and humiliated for a second time and could do absolutely nothing to defend itself or even save face.

How big a slap in the face did Uncle Shmuel get this time?  According to the Turkish defense minister, Hulusi Akar,

Terrorists’ shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, and warehouses were successfully destroyed,” Akar said, adding that “the so-called headquarters of the terrorist organization were also hit and destroyed.” Overall, the Defense Ministry claimed that the strikes hit nearly 90 targets, which it said were connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG).

Even allowing for some “patriotic exaggeration”, it is pretty clear that Ergodan’s revenge strike was both quite substantial and, apparently, rather effective.

So, what do we have here?  A NATO member state all but accused the US of a major terrorist attack against its capital city, and then that NATO member state openly attacked a US-run facility (let’s not call it a base, that would be inaccurate).

Is Erdogan’s claim even credible?  Absolutely!  Not only has the US already attempted to overthrow and kill Erdogan, who was saved in extremis by Russian special forces (same with Ianukovich), but we also know that the US overthrew General de Gaulle in 1968-1969 and that NATO covert forces were used to stage false flag attacks against NATO allies (especially Italy) in the so-called GLADIO operation.

NATO is not a defensive alliance – it never was –  but it is a tool of US colonial domination.

This was always true, hence the famous words spoken  in the now faraway 1950s when the first NATO Secretary General, British General Hasting Ismay, bluntly admitted that real the purpose of NATO was to keep the “Russians out, Americans in, Germans down“.  Let’s take these elements one by one, starting with the last one:

  • “Keep the Germans down”: here the word “Germans” is a placeholder for any and all European leaders or countries who want true sovereignty and agency.  Translation: enslave the Europeans
  • “Keep the Americans in”: in order to crush any European liberation movement. Translation: place US overlords over all the EU nations.
  • “Keep the Russians out”: make sure that Russia does not liberate Europe.  Translation: demonize Russia and do anything and everything to prevent peace on the European continent.  If possible, break-up, subjugate or otherwise destroy Russia.

Need proof?  How about the undeniable act of war against Germany (and, I would argue, the entire EU) when the Anglos blew up NS1/NS2?  Is that not proof enough?

Against that background, we have to ask yourselves: what does it even mean to be a NATO member state in 2022?

The truth is that NATO was a pure creation of the Cold War and that in the real world of 2022 it is a total anachronism.  Being a NATO member state really means very little.  Not only are some “more equal than others” in NATO, but there are also non-NATO states which are far more “NATOized” than actual NATO members states (I think of Israel or, of course, the Nazi occupied Ukraine).  And being a member of NATO does not protect you from anything, not from external attacks and not against internal ones either.

According to Col (Ret) MacGregor, the war in the Ukraine might well bring about the collapse of both NATO and the EU.  I very much agree with him.  I would say that such a collapse will not so much be the result of embarrassing defeats as it will be due to the deep internal contradictions inside both organizations.

By the way, this is not our topic today, but I think that the CSTO has much of the same problems and contradictions as NATO.  So is what we observe a “NATO problem” or a problem of artificial and generally obsolete alliances?  I would argue for the latter.

But let’s leave a discussion of the CSTO for another day.

In the case of Turkey this problem is made even worse by a total incompatibility between Islam and the Woke ideology now openly promoted (and enforced) by the US and NATO.

Then there is geography.  Turkey has some pretty powerful regional neighbors, including not only Greece or Israel, but also Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria and, course, Russia.  Can Turkey count on any type of US/NATO “protection” from such powerful neighbors?

Ask the Saudis how much the US/NATO helped them against the Houthis!

Ask the Israelis how much the US/NATO helped them against Hezbollah?

If anything, the Iranian strikes on CENTCOM bases have demonstrated that the US does not have the stomach to take on Iran.  In sharp contrast, the Russian and Iranian intervention in Syria defeated the US plans for a “New Middle East” or, shall we say, it did bring about a “new Middle-East”, but most definitely not the one the US Neocons were hoping for!

Add to this is major deterioration in the relationship between the US and MBS’ Saudi Arabia and we get an amazing picture: the USA and NATO (which the US dragged into the region) are gradually becoming irrelevant in the Middle-East.  Instead, new “big actors” are gradually filling the void, including Russia and Iran who are now even gradually allowing Saudi Arabia to participate in a much needed regional dialog about the future of the region.

The phenomenal weakness of the US/NATO/CENTCOM is best illustrated by the US reaction to the Turkish strikes: Uncle Shmuel endorsed (no kidding!!!) the Turkish strikes 🙂

How absolutely pathetic is that for a wannabe superpower?

Will this process have an impact on the NATO war against Russia?

Well, let’s imagine that Russia would really strike some target inside Poland (which is what the Ukies claimed, as did the Poles until Uncle Shmuel told them to cool it).  What would happen next?

Does anybody still remember what happened when Erdogan flew to Mons to beg for NATO protection against Russia (following the downing of a Russian Su-24 over northern Syria by a joint US-Turkish operation, possibly executed without Erdogan’s knowledge, at least that was his claim).  What did NATO promise or give the Turks?  Absolutely *nothing* (other than “consultations”).

Now the Poles might be delusional enough to think that a US President might order a retaliatory attack on Russia if Russia strikes Poland, but those of us who know the USA and its ruling elites know that this is nonsense.  Why?  Simply because a US/NATO counter-strike on Russian forces would result in an immediate Russian response.

And then what?

The truth is very stark in its simplicity:

  • The US/NATO do not have the manpower or firepower needed to take on Russia in a conventional combined arms war.
  • Any use of nuclear weapons will result in an immediate retaliation most likely resulting into a unwinnable full-scale nuclear war.

So here is the deal: whether western politicians understand that or not, military professionals all know the truth – NATO can’t defend ANY of its members against a truly modern military.   Why?

Let’s look at what capabilities the US/NATO truly have:

  • The USN has a superb submarine force (both SSNs and SSBNs) capable for firing large numbers of relatively obsolete cruise missiles (and plenty of SLBMs)
  • A still very capable, if rather old, nuclear triad
  • A quantitative (only!) conventional advantage over Russia
  • Superb (but very vulnerable!) C4ISR capabilities
  • A printing press allowing for the quasi infinite printing of dollars
  • comprador elite ruling over all the NATO/EU countries
  • The most formidable propaganda machine in history

So what does NATO lack to be a credible military force?

Obviously, “boots on the ground”.   And I don’t mean a few subunits from the 101st or 82AB or US special forces or even a so-called “armored brigade” which, in reality, lacks adequate TO&E to qualify as such.  I am talking about a “land warfare” force capable of fighting a modern and extremely determined enemy.

[Sidebar: if this is a topic of interest to you, may I recommend my article “Debunking popular clichés about modern warfare” written in 2016 but which is still mostly relevant]

The USA, Israel and the KSA all fell into the same trap: the delusion that by spending billions and billions of dollars on massively over-priced and massively under-performing military hardware will allow you to defeat an enemy assumed to be “less sophisticated”.  Hence the need to use:

  • Proxy forces
  • PMCs
  • PSYOPS
  • Corruption

All of the above are a normal part of any modern war, but in the case of the US/NATO they are not just part of a bigger plan, they are central to any US/NATO operation, thereby dramatically decreasing the true capabilities of the US/NATO.  In sharp contrast, countries like Russia or Iran can deploy “boots on the ground”, and very capable ones at that (remember that the Iranians are those who trained Hezbollah!).

What does all this mean practically?

It means that even if the Russians decided to strike at a NATO country, the tensions would go through the roof, but it is highly UN-likely that any US President would allow any action which could result in a full-scale nuclear war!  Remember, for Russia, this is an existential war, no less than WWII, whereas no Anglo leader would ever dare launch a suicidal attack on Russian forces which would most likely result in the full obliteration of the US/UK and any other country participating (for example by hosting forward deployed standoff weapons) in such an attack.

Does that mean that we have to anticipate a Russian strike on Poland, Romania or the UK?

No, not at all.  In fact, it would be very dangerous for the Russians to only leave a stark choice to the Hegemony: admit defeat or commit suicide.  And since the Russians do have escalation dominance (that is to say that they have balanced capabilities from the small-arms fire level to a full intercontinental nuclear war, and with all the stages in between these two extremes) they, unlike the US/NATO. are not stuck between the choice of surrender or suicide.

That being said, it would also be misguided to assume that Russia “would never dare strike a NATO member state”.  The Poles might be willing to wager their future and even existence on such a invalid inference, but not the folks at the Pentagon or elsewhere in the decision centers of the Hegemony.

Conclusion:

Douglas MacGregor is right, the NATO war against Russia might very well result in the collapse of both NATO and the EU which, in turn, will place an official “last nail”, into the coffin of an already long-deceased Hegemony which currently still exists only because of its momentum and its propaganda machine.

I would argue that NATO is already falling apart before our eyes, a process which the economic, social, political, economic and spiritual crises which are plaguing the entire EU will only accelerate.  And, of course, the most amazing thing about this is that this collapse is not the result of some Machiavellian plan cooked up by the Russians, the Chinese or the Iranian, but a direct consequence of decades of truly suicidal policies: they did it to themselves!

Now, the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians are mostly waiting, watching (probably smiling) and planning for the Hegemony-free multi-polar world they want to bring about, with or without the participation of the USA and Europe.

Andrei

Turkey detains Taksim explosion suspect, blames PKK

November 14, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Turkey’s Interior Minister held the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) responsible for Sunday’s bombing in a busy Istanbul street.

Ambulances near the scene of an explosion in central Istanbul on Sunday. (Reuters)

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stated that the suspect who planted an explosive device in Istanbul on Sunday has been arrested.

strong explosion was heard Sunday in a busy area in the heart of Istanbul. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the explosion in Istanbul left six people dead and 53 injured.

“The person who planted the bomb has been arrested,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a statement broadcast by the official Anadolu news agency. 

For his part, Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said, “We believe that it is a terrorist act carried out by an attacker, whom we consider to be a woman, exploding the bomb.”

Oktay added that the explosion, which the authorities classified as a terrorist act, injured 81 persons, 39 of whom have since been released from hospitals.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said: “A woman had been sitting on one of the benches for more than 40 minutes and then she got up.”

“One or two minutes later, an explosion occurred,” he said as quoted by A Haber television. 

“All data on this woman are currently under scrutiny,” he said. 

It is also worth noting that Istanbul’s tourist thoroughfare Istiklal has reopened to pedestrians, as per NTV news station on Monday morning.

Istiklal Street was hit during a 2015-2016 attack campaign targeting Istanbul and other cities, including Ankara. These bombings, which killed nearly 500 people and injured over 2,000, were mostly blamed on ISIS and outlawed Kurdish militants.

Istiklal Street in Istanbul’s ancient district of Beyoglu is one of the city’s most well-known thoroughfares. 

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Peace with Syria: The final piece in Turkey’s foreign policy puzzle

August 15 2022

Ankara has managed to reset relations with several neighbors, yet normalization with Damascus has remained the most elusive, until recently. Why now? And what will it take?

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Hasan Ünal

The 5 August meeting in Sochi between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin has given rise to speculation in the west over Turkish-Russian rapprochement – and its possible negative impact on western efforts to curtail the imminent multipolar order.

Western NATO states have reason to be concerned about Ankara’s recent moves, given the momentum created on 19 July during Astana talks in Tehran – between Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Erdogan, and Putin – geared to resolve the Syrian crisis.

United against the States

What was striking about the meeting in the Iranian capital was its defiant tone, slamming US-led unipolarity (the so-called rules-based order), and accusing Washington of looting Syria’s resources and sponsoring terrorism, all while demanding that the US exits the region immediately.

Washington has long sought to undermine the Astana Process, launched in January 2017 by Russia, Iran and Turkey to demilitarize the Syrian conflict and establish ceasefires. To that end, it manipulated Turkey’s ill-defined Syria policy, expecting that Ankara and Moscow would collide head-on over “opposition-controlled” Idlib or elsewhere, thereby hindering possible rapprochement between the two Eurasian states.

However, it seems as if the Erdogan-Putin meeting has instead advanced beyond their earlier encounter on 29 September 2021, also held in Sochi, where it was then leaked that the two leaders had somewhat agreed on a broad geopolitical vision.

The two leaders focused on a wide range of areas of close cooperation – particularly on trade and economy – but also on prospective fields of mutual benefit such as defense industry ventures, as well as on regional issues like Syria, Crimea, and Cyprus.

Turkey’s shift on Syria

Although few details have been released following that closed-door meeting, it is interesting to note the discernable change in Ankara’s stance on Syria since then.

There is now serious talk of normalization with Damascus and a renewal of the Syrian-Turkish 1998 Adana Agreement, which will entail a joint effort to defeat US-sponsored Kurdish separatists in Syria, especially in the areas to the east of the Euphrates where the latter are striving to install a US-backed statelet.

As things stand, there is no reason why Erdogan and Putin could not iron out a deal to end the Syrian conflict, especially since Ankara – in an 18-month flurry of diplomatic outreach to regional foes – has largely given up on its Muslim Brotherhood-oriented foreign policy by mending ties with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and even Israel.

Today, Erdogan’s personal obstinacy over Syria remains the main hurdle obstructing an overall peace with Turkey’s war-stricken southern neighbor.

Why make peace?

The Turkish president certainly has a lot to gain from a well-orchestrated rapprochement with the Syrian government. For starters, Ankara and Damascus could agree on a protocol to repatriate millions of Turkish-based Syrian refugees back to their places of origin, and renew the Adana Agreement to create a common front against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliates.

Conceivably, Erdogan could even ask Damascus to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – a very dear issue for Ankara – in return for Turkey’s full support for the re-establishment of Syrian sovereignty over all its territories, including those areas currently under Turkish occupation.

With strong Russian guidance, is not entirely inconceivable that the two states could return to a comfortable neighborly states quo, with trade, investment, and reconstruction activities leading the way.

It would be a far cry from the 1998 to 2011 Syrian-Turkish ‘golden era,’ when Ankara studiously worked to bolster friendly relations with Damascus, to such an extent that joint-cabinet meetings were occasionally held between the administrations of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Erdogan, where the latter would refer to the former as “my brother.”

Today, the emerging multipolar order makes diplomatic and economic re-engagement all the more conducive, because as NATO’s Madrid Summit demonstrated, the west needs Turkey more than ever, and Ankara’s moves to normalize relations with Damascus is less likely to incur a significant cost than before the Ukraine crisis erupted.

Indeed, even before events in Europe unfolded, Turkey undertook several military operations against the PKK/ Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria, much to Washington’s dismay and outrage.

Ankara could proceed with these operations with less censure today, but it has not. Turkey appears to have realized – possibly under Russian advisement – that without normalization with Damascus, Turkish military moves on Kurdish separatists would yield significantly fewer results.

Problems closer to home

Moreover, Erdogan’s administration has been beset by the contentious domestic issue of the millions of Syrian refugees who remain inside Turkey. The days when the president and his close associates were preaching Islamic solidarity in defense of hosting Syrian refugees have long past.

The mood across Turkey has changed dramatically amid rising inflation, a collapse of the lira, and the general public’s disenchantment with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). For the first time since Erdogan’s ascension to power in 2003, the masses sense that his once-unbeatable, Islamist-leaning populist party may be defeated in upcoming presidential polls slated for May-June next year.

True or not, there are public rumblings that the AKP – to escape an election loss – plans to bestow millions of Syrian refugees with Turkish citizenship, allowing them to vote in the pivotal polls.

The disoriented outlook of Turkey’s main opposition party has always played to Erdogan’s advantage in previous elections. The feeble-looking Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who took the helm of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) after a sex scandal involving its previous leader, has never managed to rally the public around him.

Importantly, Kılıçdaroğlu has typically trailed behind Erdogan in opinion polls because of his pro-American, pro-EU approach to almost everything – at a time when anti-US sentiment in the country polls at a startling 85 to 95 percent of the population.

Repatriating refugees

Furthermore, Kılıçdaroğlu and his party do not make any clear-cut pronouncements about a peace with Syria. If anything, the CHP was as critical of Assad as Erdogan’s AKP, and its spokespeople barely weighed in on the divisive Syrian refugee issue, even though economically-challenged Turkey currently hosts more refugees than any other country.

The entry of a new figure – Ümit Özdağ, a professor of Political Science and International Relations, who recently formed the Party of Victory (Zafer Partisi) – onto the Turkish national political scene, has introduced a radical change in the discourse about Syrian refugees and their repatriation.

Almost overnight, Özdağ has gained widespread support from voters across the political spectrum. His unexpected surge in the polls has clearly contributed to a reassessment by the government and ruling party on the Syrian issue.

Ankara needs Damascus

Today, almost all voices from the CHP to the AKP are floating arguments for some sort of repatriation, but as even the Turkish public understands, this cannot be done without normalization with Damascus.

Hence, Erdogan’s test-balloon musings to Turkish journalists on his flight back from Sochi, hinting that Putin had repeatedly recommended that Ankara coordinate with Damascus on any military operation in Syria to rout out the PKK/SDF.

Despite the positive national outlook on normalizing with Syria, Erdogan won’t have a smooth path ahead. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s untimely remark a few days ago that Ankara should try to bring the Syrian opposition (a clear reference to the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army) and the Assad government together with a view to striking a deal, didn’t go down well at all with those oppositionists.

It almost led to an uprising in Syrian areas under Turkish control – particularly in Azaz, where militants burned down Turkish flags and vowed to fight to the bitter end against the “Assad regime” and even Turkey.

Same old foreign policy

The statement the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued following these events underlined the long hard slog to a Syrian peace settlement, and revealed the depth of the Erdogan government’s involvement with these militants.

As it has predictably done since 2011, the FM statement conveniently shifted blame back onto the Syrian government for foot-dragging toward overall peace and reconciliation.

But Ankara desperately needs to drop its tired old refrain: demanding that Damascus agrees to a new constitution, pushing for federalization of the state, and insisting on new Syrians elections, under a care-taker government, composed of opposition politicians, and preferably without Assad at its helm.

Having failed to oust Assad militarily, Turkey once imagined it could unseat him through this convoluted political and electoral formula. Erdogan’s logic was that the millions of Syrians under Ankara’s influence – both in Turkey, as well as in Turkish-controlled Syrian territories – in addition Syrian Kurds in areas under the PKK/PYD, especially to the east of the Euphrates, would vote Assad out.

Trading the ‘rebels’ for the Kurds

This ‘fantasy’ contrasts sharply with realities on the Syrian ground, and also totally undermines Turkey’s own national interests.

Years of these haphazard AKP policies, premised on the unrealistic scenario of a sudden collapse of Assad’s government, all while stealthily transforming the country into a jihadist paradise – in the name of democracy – has instead become Ankara’s biggest foreign policy quagmire, and has emboldened its separatist Kurdish foes as never before.

Furthermore, Erdogan’s disastrous Syria policy has isolated Turkey for almost a decade in the region, even among Sunni states, and threatened to set off a conflagration with Russia, a major source of energy and tourism for the Turkish economy.

In fairness, the Turkish leader appears to be making some sound political maneuvers of late, and reaching out to Damascus is the most important of these for the region’s stability. Whether Erdogan will crown his new grand foreign policy moves with a Syrian peace by normalizing relations with Damascus remains to be seen.

If he doesn’t take this bold step, particularly in advance of Turkey’s presidential elections, Erdogan runs the risk of joining the long list of politicians determined to oust Assad, who have themselves left or been ousted from office under the weight of the so-called “Assad Curse.”

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Author

Sweden and Finland joining NATO precedes an inevitable financial collapse of the current international system

June 29, 2022

Source

Sweden and Finland joining NATO besides being a provocative act towards Russia, precedes an inevitable financial collapse of the current international system

By Guilherme Wilbert

The Nordic entry into NATO, in the middle of a war, is clearly an act that does not help the peace negotiations that could be underway, but acts as the opposite, putting more wood on the fire for “military-technical” measures (to paraphrase Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister who uses the term when talking about responding to Western provocations).

With the entry of Finland and Sweden barred initially by Turkey, it shows that even a NATO member cares about enemies of its national interests. In Turkey’s case with the PKK, which is a Kurdish political organization seen as terrorist by Ankara and some countries, yet they were (until then) operating freely throughout the Nordic countries with active members of the official Kurdistan party holding protests in public squares in Helsinki and Stockholm.
Just for level of knowledge, Kurdistan is a region that would be home to the Kurdish ethnic group, taking part of Turkish territory up to the North of Iran, which explains Erdogan’s concern with a possible disintegration of Turkish territory if the Kurds were to gain prominence on the battlefields (which in real data would be very difficult since the Turkish army is the strongest in NATO for example).

But this provocation, which will surely be responded to by Moscow, proves the warmongers’ concern with continuing disputes and wars around the world, using Ukraine, which is the most recent case at the moment, as a kind of proxy to weaken Russia, serving only as a spearhead of the American objective, since Zelensky himself and his cabinet acknowledge that they will never join NATO and possibly not even the European Union, if you consider and draw a parallel with the case of Turkey itself, which has been waiting since 1999 for a resolution whether to join the bloc or not.

So, the entrance of the Nordics into NATO does not help Ukraine at all and can even make the situation worse with military-technical measures applied by the Russian Armed Forces perhaps in the decision centers in Brussels or in the Baltics, which would lead us to a nuclear catastrophe since the mentioned countries (Belgium and the Baltics for example) are NATO members and could invoke article 5 of mutual aid in case of “aggression” (See that aggression here is interpreted by Westerners (in an exercise of deduction) as only after the military-technical measure, ignoring what provoked the decision to do so).

Coupled with the desperation to provoke more wars, Western leaders get lost in the real global objective: economic integration and the fight against hunger

While great concern is seen with NATO, with diplomats having used the term “Global NATO” a few times, some primary and more basic goals of the organization’s member nations are put aside to add more gasoline to the fire.

The recent cases of inflation in Western Europe or even in the US precede a global financial collapse that has several causes, with some analysts citing the sanctions on Russia but personally I would go further and cite all of the last 10 years of at least NOTHING-backed dollar printouts that were used to give a supposed liquidity to the economy after the 2008 crash that was a scare felt around the world.

Economics, unlike some sciences, is not as if it can receive arguments and opinions, the theories are very clear and explanatory: by printing too much of your currency, you devalue it. But surely American economists know this and they also know that the coming collapse would affect the entire Globe because unfortunately after World War II, American hegemony was also monetary, with countries to this day using the dollar as an international reserve. In other words, in addition to the overprinting and national devaluation of the currency on American territory, it also devalues in the coffers of the countries that use it as a reserve and this will cause a cascading effect that will further force realpolitik into play and cause more haste in the emerging countries to get rid of the coming bomb.

Unfortunately war-hungry Western leaders are blind to what is coming and is already happening in some parts of the world, either because of irresponsible sanctions or the natural course of the very sequence of American economic mistakes. Because it is very different to sanction Russia compared to sanctioning Iran for example. And this does not mean that Iran deserves to be sanctioned in any way, because I believe that every country should have the right to its nuclear program, at least for peaceful purposes, and this cannot be used as a pretext for sanctions that crush already small economies, such as the example of Iran.

In the case of Russia the conversation is different for numerous reasons, be they military at the nuclear level or at the economic level, because Russia is part of a global production chain which acts as an active player on the macroeconomic stage. For example, the raw material called antimony, which is used in the global defense industry for military equipment of various kinds, is rightly found in excess in Russia and parts of Asia. This is to cite a simple example of an element that is not on the average citizen’s table, for example. In addition to the many important productions that Russia is responsible for.

So, given recent events and the inference for the disastrous future, the international scenario for the Global South forces them towards long term solutions of American de-dollarization and decolonization in the various ways, either by American NGOs that operate in several countries or by the very US culture exporting technologies that function as small fiefdoms of thought, the case of Facebook for example. But the latter is a little more difficult to achieve because it involves a collective societal thought that would require a national unity for the development of regional cultures.

Having said that, a peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia with the Ukrainian loss of the territories that comprise New Russia needs to happen and sanctions against any country need to be lifted for the sake of multipolarity.

The world cannot be guided by one diplomatic corps and one government only because the international scenario is not a movie of one actor, but of several, with several potentials to be developed in different parts of the Globe.


Guilherme Wilbert is a Brazilian Bachelor of Law interested in geopolitics and international law.

كرد سوريا.. في خدمة من؟

الأربعاء 15 حزيران 2022

حسني محلي

السؤال الأهم هو: لماذا تتخذ القيادات الكردية هذه المواقف المتناقضة؟ ولماذا لا تستخلص الدروس من كل أخطائها؟

بعد التهديدات التركية بالتوغل في الأراضي السورية شرق الفرات وغربه، بذريعة طرد مسلحي وحدات حماية الشعب الكردية من الشريط الحدودي مع تركيا، عاد الحديث من جديد عن حوارات كردية مع دمشق بهدف التصدي للجيش التركي في هجومه المحتمل.

قرار وحدات حماية الشعب الكردية لا يتخذ في القامشلي بل في جبال قنديل.

 ومع أن المعلومات ما زالت ضئيلة لجهة نتائج هذه الحوارات، إلا أن الجميع يعرف أن قرار هذه الوحدات لا يتخذ في القامشلي، بل في جبال قنديل، حيث قيادات حزب العمال الكردستاني التركي، الذي بات يسيطر على الحركة الكردية السورية بعد إقصائه الأحزاب والمنظمات والمجموعات الكردية الوطنية وغير الوطنية، بما فيها تلك الموالية لمسعود البرزاني؛ حليف الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان. 

ومع المعلومات التي تتحدّث عن تأجيل العمل العسكري التركي بعد زيارة وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف لأنقرة واعتراضه عليها، تراجعت في الوقت نفسه حدة التصريحات الكردية التي كانت تتحدّث عن ضرورة العمل العسكري المشترك مع الجيش السوري، وهو ما يعكس تناقضات القيادات الكردية بشقّيها: السوري أولاً، والتركي ثانياً. والشق الثاني هو الأهم بغياب إرادة الطرف الأول في اتخاذ القرارات التي تخدم الشارع الكردي السوري أولاً، والدولة السورية تالياً بتوجهاتها الجديدة إلى الحل الشامل لما يسمى القضية الكردية، فقيادات قنديل التي غادرتها بسبب القصف التركي المتوالي ترى في مسلحي وحدات حماية الشعب الكردية، وأغلبيتهم الساحقة من السوريين، ورقة مهمة تساوم بها كل الأطراف الإقليمية والدولية بعد انتكاسات الحزب المسلحة في تركيا.

وقد نجح الجيش وقوات الأمن التركيان المدعومان بآلاف المليشيات الكردية الموالية لها في إنزال ضربات مؤثرة في مسلحي حزب العمال الكردستاني، بعد أن استخدم الجيش طائراته المسيرة بكثرة، في جنوب شرقي البلاد وشمالي العراق، وعلى طول الحدود التركية مع العراق وإيران وسوريا. 

قيادات قنديل وبغياب زعيمها عبد الله أوجلان المسجون منذ شباط/فبراير عام 1999، يبدو أنها قد نسيت أو تناست أن من اختطف أوجلان من العاصمة الكينية نيروبي وسلّمه إلى تركيا، هو الاستخبارات الأميركية بالتنسيق مع الموساد الإسرائيلي.

 كما أنها نسيت أو تناست كيف ارتعشت خوفاً، عندما قال الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب في  29آذار/مارس من عام  2018″إن القوات الأميركية ستغادر سوريا قريباً جداً، وتترك الأطراف الأخرى تهتم بالأمر”، وقصد بذلك الحرب على داعش ثمّ التهديدات التركية باجتياح المنطقة. وهي نسيت كذلك أو تناست أن ترامب هو الذي أشعل الضوء الأخضر للرئيس إردوغان، الذي أمر الجيش التركي بالتوغّل، شرق الفرات، في التاسع من تشرين الأول/أكتوبر عام 2019، (وهو نفس اليوم الذي غادر فيه أوجلان سوريا قبل 19 عاماً بعد أن بقي فيها 15 عاماً)، لتسيطر على الشريط الحدودي، بين تل أبيض ورأس العين (نحو 100 كلم) وتطرد المسلحين الكرد من المنطقة. 

ونسيت كذلك أو تناست أن الجيش التركي كاد يسيطر على الشريط الحدودي السوري مع تركيا سيطرة كاملة، شرق الفرات، لولا تدخّل موسكو وإرسال القوات الروسية إلى المنطقة، وتسيير دوريات مشتركة مع الجيش التركي في المنطقة. 

وهي أيضاً نسيت أو تناست أنها السبب في اجتياح الجيش التركي في كانون الثاني/يناير عام 2018 منطقة عفرين والسيطرة عليها تماماً، بعد أن رفضت التنسيق والعمل المشترك مع الجيش السوري لمنع الجيش التركي من القيام بمثل هذا الاجتياح. 

ولم تستخلص كذلك الدروس اللازمة من حواراتها مع الرئيس إردوغان بهدف حل المشكلة الكردية في تركيا وسوريا معاً، إذ أخفقت كل هذه الحوارات، ليس في حل المشكلة الكردية وحسب، بل في تخلية سبيل زعيم الحزب، عبد الله أوجلان، وهو في سجن انفرادي في جزيرة إيمرالي القريبة من إسطنبول. 

ولم يكتف إردوغان بذلك، بل أمر بوضع الزعيمين المشتركين لحزب الشعوب الديمقراطي (الجناح السياسي لحزب العمال الكردستاني) صلاح الدين دميرطاش، وفيكان يوكساكداغ، وعدد آخر من قيادات الحزب، ورؤساء البلديات والآلاف من أنصار وأتباع وكوادر الحزب في السجون على الرغم من سيطرة هذا الحزب على الشارع الكردي.

وتبيّن استطلاعات الرأي أنه قد يحصل على 12٪ من مجموع أصوات الناخبين في تركيا، وعددهم نحو 60 مليوناً. 

وعودة إلى مواقف قيادات قنديل، يبدو أيضاً أنها قد نسيت أو تناست كيف نسّقت مع أنقرة للعمل المشترك، ما بين عامي 2013 و2015، حيث زار زعيم حزب الاتحاد الديمقراطي الكردستاني السوري صالح مسلم تركيا مرات عدة، والتقى القيادات التركية التي طلبت إليه التمرّد على دمشق، فرفض ليكون ذلك الموقف الإيجابي الوحيد له ولرفاقه، ولكن بعد أن جاءت القوات الأميركية إلى شرق الفرات لتساعدهم في حربهم على داعش، وهو ما استغلته القيادات المذكورة لتدخله في حساباتها الخاصة، التي اعتقدت أنها ستساعدها في إقامة كيان كردي مستقل شرق الفرات.

وأياً كانت التسمية خصوصاً بعدما سارع عدد من العواصم الغربية ولا سيما باريس، وبرلين، ولندن، بل وحتى “تل أبيب” لدعمها وفق حساباتها الخاصة، ومنها تشجيع قيادات “قسد” الكردية على تكريد المنطقة، وتطهيرها عرقياً بسكوت وتواطؤ من القيادات العربية في “قسد”. ومن دون أن تستذكر القيادات المذكورة مواقف واشنطن والعواصم الغربية، التي اعترضت على استفتاء مسعود البرزاني على استقلال كردستان العراقي في أيلول/سبتمبر عام 2017، وهو ما اعترض عليه إردوغان “الحليف الإستراتيجي للبرزاني”.

ويبقى السؤال الأهم وربما الوحيد: لماذا اتخذت وتتخذ القيادات الكردية كل هذه المواقف المتناقضة؟ ولماذا لا تستخلص الدروس اللازمة من كل أخطائها، ومن تاريخ الحركة الكردية في تركيا وسوريا والعراق بل ومن إيران كذلك؟

يتذكر الجميع كيف كان الكرد وما زالوا ورقة تلوّح بها الأطراف الخارجية في تآمرها على دول المنطقة التي دعمت كرد الدول الأخرى، فيما حاربت كردها داخل حدودها. كما استعدى الكرد بعضهم بعضاً في هذه الدول الأربع، ودخلوا في صراعات مسلحة ودموية فيما بينهم، تارة من أجل المصالح والسلطة، وتارة أخرى خدمةً لأطراف خارجية، كما هي الحال في تحالف مسعود البرزاني مع أنقرة، تارة ضد الراحل جلال الطالباني، وتارة أخرى ضد حزب العمال الكردستاني التركي وزعيمه عبد الله أوجلان. ومن دون أن يخطر في بال البرزاني وأمثاله، أن العواصم الإقليمية والغربية لم تفكر، ولن تفكر في حقوق الكرد، بل استخدمتهم وتستخدمهم وستستخدمهم إلى الأبد لتحقيق أهدافها الخبيثة، التي تستهدف دول المنطقة وشعوبها برمتها، وفي مقدمهم الكرد، ومعهم العرب، والفرس، والأتراك، وغيرهم. 

وهذا ما تحقّق للعواصم الغربية والإقليمية بفضل الدور الذي أداه ويؤديه الكرد في العراق، والآن في سوريا التي لولا تآمر القيادات الكردية (الماركسية سابقاً) في شرقها مع المحتل الأميركي والأوروبي، لما وصلت الأمور إلى ما وصلت إليه في المنطقة وسوريا خصوصاً، ولولاها لما تذرعت تركيا بهم لتتوغل في الشمال السوري وتسيطر على 9٪ من مجمل الأرض السورية. 

كذلك فإن الواقع المفروض شرق الفرات بدعم أميركي، هو مبرّر كافٍ لأنقرة لتبقى في المناطق التي تسيطر عليها قواتها بالتنسيق والتعاون مع عشرات الآلاف من مسلحي ما يسمّى “الجيش الوطني” المعارض و”النصرة” وحليفاتها الإرهابية. 

وتتحدث المعلومات هنا باستمرار عن حسابات تركية للاستفادة منهم حين اللزوم ضد الكرد، سواء في داخل تركيا أو في الشّمال السوري، وقد يكون ذلك ما قصده ترامب عندما قال في آذار/مارس عام 2018 “سنغادر سوريا ونترك الأطراف الأخرى تهتم بالأمر فيما بينها”. وفي اتصاله الهاتفي بإردوغان في 24 من كانون الأول/ديسمبر عام 2018 قال: “لقد أنهينا مهمتنا وسوف ننسحب من هناك وسوريا كلها لك”!

ويبقى الرهان في جميع الحالات على التطورات المحتملة ليس في سوريا فقط وتوتّراتها مع تركيا، بل على الخريطة السياسية التي يراهن البعض عليها كنتيجة لزيارة الرئيس بايدن للسعودية في 15 من الشهر المقبل، ولقائه زعماء الخليج، ومصر، والأردن، والعراق، وهو ما سينعكس مباشرة على مجمل معطيات المنطقة، وأهمها: الملف النووي الإيراني، والوضع في سوريا وانعكاسات ذلك على كل الحسابات بصورة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة. فعسى ألا يكون الكرد مادتها الحارقة، التي ستحرقهم، وتحرق كل الذين عاشوا ويعيشون معهم منذ مئات السنين بكل أيامهم الحلوة والمرة. وعسى أن يستخلص حكام دول المنطقة بدورهم، وخصوصاً في سوريا والعراق وإيران الدروس الكافية من كل ما عاشته، وتعيشه دولهم والمنطقة عموماً، ويسدوا الطريق على الأعداء الذين يعرفهم الجميع، وخصوصاً الكرد ومنذ أكثر من مئة سنة على الأقل!

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

‘Russia has restored a missing international balance’: Syrian president

Bashar al-Assad also said Syria is ready to confront Turkey’s military occupation of its northern region

June 09 2022

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin at Hemeimeem air base, Syria on 11 December 2017. (Photo credit: Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

ByNews Desk

In an interview with Russia Today (RT) on 9 June, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad addressed the Turkish plan to invade northern Syria, and talked about the role Russia plays in the world.

In particular, the Syrian leader praised the repositioning of the Kremlin on the global scale, saying it has restored a much needed international balance.

“We can look at Russia from two angles: the angle of the ally who, if he wins a battle or if his political position on the world stage becomes stronger, this is profitable for us, and from another angle Russia’s strength today constitutes a restoration of balance,” President al-Assad said.

He went on to highlight that this previously missing international balance is helpful for besieged nations, such as Syria, on a strategic level.

President Assad also addressed the Turkish invasion of northern Syria, promising to resist any Turkish incursion into Syrian lands.

“Syria will resist any Turkish invasion of its lands at the official and popular levels,” the Syrian president stated.

“Two and a half years ago, a clash occurred between the Syrian and Turkish armies, and the Syrian army was able to destroy some Turkish targets that entered Syrian territory, and the situation will be the same as the capabilities allow. Otherwise, there will be popular resistance,” Al-Assad said.

The Turkish military began a new military campaign in Syria on 25 May, launching an offensive on several villages in the northwestern countryside of Hasakah governorate and the city of Afrin, targeting Kurdish militias, including the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Erdogan said the operation will resume efforts to establish a 30-kilometer ‘safe zone’ along Turkey’s southern borders, claiming threats from the PKK and the People’s Defense Units (YPG).

Russia recently began bombing Turkish-backed rebels in Syria for the first time since the start of the war, with airstrikes on the Syrian–Turkish border on 27 May and on the Aleppo countryside on 29 May.

Syrian Revolutionaries are Revolting against Turkey

 

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Steven Sahiounie
Hundreds of Syrians took to the streets in the city of Afrin on June 3 to protest against routine blackouts and a sharp hike in the prices of electricity provided by Turkey.  The electricity is available a mere 10 hours per day, while the summer temperatures are 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) in recent days.

Afrin, in the Aleppo province, has been under Turkish military occupation since 2018, after President Trump gave Turkish President Erdogan the green light to invade Syria.

The protesters stormed the main building of the local electricity company, “Turkish-Syrian Energy” or STE Enerji company, and set it on fire before Turkish-backed mercenaries opened fire on them.  The protesters also set fire to Afrin’s local council building.

The areas occupied by the Turkish military also have Syrian mercenaries in the employ of the Turkish government.  The mercenaries are from the now defunct ‘Free Syrian Army’ which was organized by President Obama and supported by US Senator John McCain.  The mercenaries follow a political ideology called Radical Islam, which is the same ideology as Al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Muslim Brotherhood.  Erdogan and his ruling party, AKP, are followers of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Local reports say at least one protester was killed and two others were injured. As the protests grew in size, demonstrators were seen chanting “Turks go out of Syria” and “Syria is free.”

Similar protests were reported in the cities of Jindires, Suran Marea, and Al-Bab, also in the Aleppo governorate. In Marea, protesters set the local headquarters of the Turkish-backed Local Council on fire.

Shortly after these protests swept through Aleppo, Turkish forces shelled a high voltage power line that supplies power to Tal Tamr and other villages in the countryside of Hasakah governorate, leaving the area in a black-out.

Afrin was occupied by Turkey and its mercenaries during the military offensive against the Kurdish fighters in 2018, causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Since the invasion, the residents have suffered through violations of human rights, lack of basic services, and constant insecurity.

Similar protests were reported in other Syrian cities under Turkish occupation such as Azaz on Friday. Discontent has been brewing against the Turkish occupation, as mercenaries allied with Turkish forces have been accused of embezzling millions in humanitarian aid and of using the global fuel and wheat crisis to hike the price of daily necessities.

Turkey proposed attack

The demonstrations come as Erdogan has renewed his threats to carry out a fresh military offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria. Recently he announced that his troops will proceed with the planned military invasion of Syria, starting with the cities of Tal Rifaat and Manbij.

The operation will resume efforts to establish a 30-kilometer long ‘safe zone’ along Turkey’s southern borders to curb threats from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the backbone of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which Ankara labels as terrorist organizations.

Turkey says US-backed SDF forces pose a threat to its borders, and in response, Turkish troops have occupied large swathes of northern Syria.

In northeastern Syria, US and Russian forces mobilized intending to stop Turkey from carrying out a new attack against SDF. While US forces moved on the ground, Russian warplanes scrambled in the air.

Fighters of the Syrian opposition factions loyal to Turkey

Residents of Manbij, in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, have documented the outcome of the attacks, warning that the Turkish operation will lead to the displacement of the indigenous population and the city’s religious, sectarian, and ethnic components.

Turkey informed the United States it is committed to taking necessary measures against “terrorist organizations” threatening its national security, and that it will not tolerate the escalation of attacks against Turkish territory from the areas controlled by the US-backed SDF in northern Syria.

Ankara reports that the risk of terrorist attacks from SDF-run areas in Syria against Turkey has increased recently, and emphasized that the PKK-affiliated terrorist organizations are an existential threat not only to Syria’s territorial integrity but also to Turkey’s national security.

Ankara considers the SDF, and its military backbone, the YPG, a terrorist organization and an extension of the PKK, which is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey and the US, and the EU.

The US position

US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, visited the border between Turkey and Syria to assess a long-running UN operation delivering humanitarian aid into northwest Syria, near Hatay, Turkey on June 2, 2022.

UN trucks delivering food and aid into Syria from Turkey were observed and reported by Serena Shim, an American journalist. She saw they contained armed terrorists and weapons being delivered into northern Syria. Not long after her reporting, she was mysteriously killed in a car accident, after a cement truck hit her small car in Turkey.  The accident and the driver were never investigated, even though he fled the scene.

In 2017 President Trump shut down the CIA operations which funded, trained, and supported Radical Islamic terrorists in Turkey to fight in Syria for regime change.

Turkey informed the United States it is committed to taking necessary measures against “terrorist organizations” threatening its national security, and that it will not tolerate the escalation of attacks against Turkish territory from the areas controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria.

The US occupies areas in Syria, and the US military was tasked by Trump with stealing the oil produced in the largest oil field in Syria and allowing the US-backed SDF to sell the oil to fund their operation.

The Russian position

The Russian military was invited into Syria by the government in 2015. Russia has fought against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and all affiliated terrorist groups which follow Radical Islam.  The Muslim Brotherhood is outlawed in Russia, Syria, Egypt, and the UAE. US Senator Ted Cruz has tried to pass legislation in the US Congress to designate the Muslim Brotherhood in the US as a terrorist group but came up against heavy opposition from both Democrats and Republicans who are influenced by the group.

Recently, the Russian army reinforced its ground and air forces at the airport of Qamishli, in Hasakah province.

The Turkish military and Radical Islamic mercenaries   

Turkey concluded two separate deals with both the United States and Russia during its Operation Peace Spring, which it launched in northern Syria on October 9, 2019.

According to the agreements, Russia and the US pledged to withdraw YPG units to a depth of 30 km to the south of the Turkish border, but Ankara says they did not fulfill their promises.

Washington says that Turkey did not abide by the understanding signed between them. Russia had a signed agreement with Turkey to secure the M4 highway from Latakia to Aleppo, by removing all Al Qaeda groups from Idlib.  However, Turkey has protected and reinforced the terrorist groups in Idlib, which is the last terrorist-occupied area in Syria.  Turkey established a network of military outposts which protect the Al Qaeda affiliated groups who occupy Idlib.  The highway remains closed to trucks and passengers for fear of attack.

SDF, YPG, PKK

During the chaos of the US-NATO attack on Syria, which began in 2011, some Kurds in Syria formed military units and got the backing of the US government, while advancing a separatist agenda in the region.  The SDF and YPG were partners with the US troops who invaded Syria to fight ISIS.  This US support of a terrorist group that has killed 40,000 people in Turkey over decades has driven a very big wedge between Ankara and Washington, DC.

Turkey’s proposed safe zone

Under Erdogan’s plan, he will rid the north of Syria of the terrorist group who plans to establish their own ‘homeland’ there, and he will convert the area into a safe zone to settle Syrian refugees now living in Turkey.  The Turkish people have decided the refugees must go home, and they blame all their economic woes on the Syrian refugees.

Pro-Turkey revolutionary

Zahran Alloush had been the leader of a Radical Islamic terrorist group, Islamic Army, backed by Saudi Arabia in East Ghouta, the suburbs of Damascus, along with his brother, Mohamed Alloush, who now lives in Turkey and owns a chain of restaurants there.

In 2016 he was an official with the Syrian National Coalition, which the US government recognizes as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people.  His position was the chief negotiator representing the US position in the Geneva talks to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict.  In 2017 he was chosen as the speaker of the delegation for the revolutionary movements at the Astana peace process talks for peace in Syria.

After he resigned, he was accused of stealing $ 47 million, which he embezzled from funds supplied to the terrorists in Syria to fight the US-sponsored regime change.

Recently, he bought a company in Turkey that mines chrome, Al Ghuraba, (The Strangers).


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

Russia Rewrites the Art of Hybrid War

May 20, 2022

Hybrid War is being fought predominantly in the economic/financial battleground – and the pain dial for the collective West will only go up.

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross posted. 

The ironclad fictional “narrative” imposed all across NATOstan is that Ukraine is “winning”.

So why would weapons peddler retrofitted as Pentagon head Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin literally beg since late February to have his phone calls answered by Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, only to have his wish finally granted?

It’s now confirmed by one of my top intel sources. The call was a direct consequence of panic. The United States Government (USG) by all means wants to scotch the detailed Russian investigation – and accumulation of evidence – on the US bioweapon labs in Ukraine, as I outlined in a previous column.

This phone call happened exactly after an official Russian statement to the UN Security Council on May 13: we will use articles 5 and 6 of the Convention on the Prohibition of Bioweapons to investigate the Pentagon’s biological “experiments” in Ukraine.

That was reiterated by Under Secretary-General of the UN in charge of disarmament, Thomas Markram, even as all ambassadors of NATO member countries predictably denied the collected evidence as “Russian disinformation”.

Shoigu cold see the call coming eons away. Reuters, merely quoting the proverbial “Pentagon official”, spun that the allegedly one-hour-long call led to nothing. Nonsense. Austin, according to the Americans, demanded a “ceasefire” – which must have originated a Siberian cat smirk on Shoigu’s face.

Shoigu knows exactly which way the wind is blowing on the ground – for Ukrainian Armed Forces and UkroNazis alike. It’s not only the Azovstal debacle – and Kiev’s all-around army breakdown.

After the fall of Popasnaya – the crucial, most fortified Ukrainian stronghold in Donbass – the Russians and Donetsk/Luhansk forces have breached defenses along four different vectors to north, northwest, west and south. What’s left of the Ukrainian front is crumbling – fast, with a massive cauldron subdivided in a maze of mini-cauldrons: a military disaster the USG cannot possibly spin.

Now, in parallel, we can also expect full exposure – on overdrive – of the Pentagon bioweapons racket. The only “offer you can’t refuse” left to the USG would be to present something tangible to the Russians to avoid a full investigation.

That’s not gonna happen. Moscow is fully aware that going public with illegal work on banned biological weapons is an existential threat to the US Deep State. Especially when documents seized by the Russians show that Big Pharma – via Pfizer, Moderna, Merck and Gilead – was involved in several “experiments”. Fully exposing the whole maze, from the start, was one of Putin’s stated objectives.

More “military-technical measures”?

Three days after the UN presentation, the board of the Russian Foreign Ministry held a special session to discuss “the radically changed geopolitical realities that have developed as a result of the hybrid war against our country unleashed by the West – under the pretext of the situation in Ukraine – unprecedented in scale and ferocity, including the revival in Europe of a racist worldview in the form of cave Russophobia, an open course for the ‘abolition’ of Russia and everything Russian.”

So it’s no wonder “the aggressive revisionist course of the West requires a radical revision of Russia’s relations with unfriendly states.”

We should expect “a new edition of the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation” coming out soon.

This new Foreign Policy Concept will elaborate on what Foreign Minister Lavrov once again stressed at a meeting honoring the 30th Assembly of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy: the US has declared an all-round Hybrid War on Russia. The only thing lacking, as it stands, is a formal declaration of war.

Beyond the disinformation fog veiling the application of Finland and Sweden – call them the Dumb and Dumber Nordics – to join NATO, what really matters is another instance of declaration of war: the prospect of missiles with nuclear warheads stationed really close to Russian borders. Moscow already warned the Finns and Swedes, politely, that this would be dealt with it via “military-technical measures”. That’s exactly what Washington – and NATO minions – were told would happen before the start of Operation Z.

And of course this goes much deeper, involving Romania and Poland as well. Bucharest already has Aegis Ashore missile launchers capable of sending Tomahawks with nuclear warheads at Russia, while Warsaw is receiving the same systems. To cut to the chase, if there’s no de-escalation, they will all eventually end up receiving Mr. Khinzal’s hypersonic business card.

NATO member Turkey, meanwhile, plays a deft game, issuing its own list of demands before even considering the Nordics’ gamble. Ankara wants no more sanctions on its purchase of S-400s and on top if be re-included in the F-35 program. It will be fascinating to watch what His Master’s Voice will come up with to seduce the Sultan. The Nordics engaged in a self-correcting “clear unequivocal stance” against the PKK and the PYD is clearly not enough for the Sultan, who relished muddying the waters even more as he stressed that buying Russian energy is a “strategic” issue for Turkey.

Counteracting financial Shock’n Awe

By now it’s evidently clear that open-ended Operation Z targets unipolar Hegemon power, the infinite expansion of vassalized NATO, and the world’s financial architecture – an intertwined combo that largely transcends the Ukraine battleground.

Serial Western sanctions package hysteria ended up triggering Russia’s so far quite successful counter-financial moves. Hybrid War is being fought predominantly in the economic/financial battleground – and the pain dial for the collective West will only go up: inflation, higher commodity prices, breakdown of supply chains, exploding cost of living, impoverishment of the middle classes, and unfortunately for great swathes of the Global South, outright poverty and starvation.

In the near future, as insider evidence surfaces, a convincing case will be made that the Russian leadership even gamed the Western financial gamble/ blatant robbery of over $300 billion in Russian reserves.

This implies that already years ago – let’s say, at least from 2016, based on analyses by Sergey Glazyev – the Kremlin knew this would inevitably happen. As trust remains a rigid foundation of a monetary system, the Russian leadership may have calculated that the Americans and their vassals, driven by blind Russophobia, would play all their cards at once when push came to shove – utterly demolishing global trust on “their” system.

Because of Russia’s infinite natural resources, the Kremlin may have factored that the nation would eventually survive the financial Shock’n Awe – and even profit from it (ruble appreciation included). The reward is just too sweet: opening the way to The Doomed Dollar – without having to ask Mr. Sarmat to present his nuclear business card.

Russia could even entertain the hypothesis of getting a mighty return on those stolen funds. A great deal of Western assets – totaling as much as $500 billion – may be nationalized if the Kremlin so chooses.

So Russia is winning not only militarily but also to a large extent geopolitically – 88% of the planet does not align with NATOstan hysteria – and of course in the economic/financial sphere.

This in fact is the key Hybrid War battleground where the collective West is being checkmated. One of the next key steps will be an expanded BRICS coordinating their dollar-bypassing strategy.

None of the above should overshadow the still to be measured interconnected repercussions of the mass surrender of Azov neo-Nazis at UkroNazistan Central in Azovstal.

The mythical Western “narrative” about freedom-fighting heroes imposed since February by NATOstan media collapsed with a single blow. Cue to the thunderous silence all over the Western infowar front, where no mutts even attempted to sing that crappy, “winning” Eurovision song.

What happened, in essence, is that the creme de la creme of NATO-trained neo-Nazis, “advised” by top Western experts, weaponized to death, entrenched in deep concrete anti-nuclear bunkers in the bowels of Azovstal, was either pulverized or forced to surrender like cornered rats.

Novorossiya as a game-changer

The Russian General Staff will be adjusting their tactics for the major follow-up in Donbass – as the best Russian analysts and war correspondents incessantly debate. They will have to face an inescapable problem: as much as the Russian methodically grind down the – disaggregated – Ukrainian Army in Donbass, a new NATO army is being trained and weaponized in western Ukraine.

So there is a real danger that depending on the ultimate long-term aims of Operation Z – which are only shared by the Russian military leadership – Moscow runs the risk of encountering, in a few months, a mobile and better weaponized incarnation of the demoralized army it is now destroying. And this is exactly what the Americans mean by “weakening” Russia.

As it stands, there are several reasons why a new Novorossiya reality may turn out to be a positive game-changer for Russia. Among them:

  1. The economic/logistics complex from Kharkov to Odessa – along Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Nikolaev – is intimately linked with Russian industry.
  2. By controlling the Sea of Azov – already a de facto “Russian lake” – and subsequently the Black Sea, Russia will have total control of export routes for the region’s world-class grain production. Extra bonus: total exclusion of NATO.
  3. All of the above suggests a concerted drive for the development of an integrated agro-heavy industry complex – with the extra bonus of serious tourism potential.

Under this scenario, a remaining Kiev-Lviv rump Ukraine, not incorporated to Russia, and of course not rebuilt, would be at best subjected to a no-fly zone plus selected artillery/missile/drone strikes in case NATO continues to entertain funny ideas.

This would be a logical conclusion for a Special Military Operation focused on precision strikes and a deliberate emphasis on sparing civilian lives and infrastructure while methodically disabling the Ukrainian military/logistics spectrum. All of that takes time. Yet Russia may have all the time in the world, as we all keep listening to the sound of the collective West spiraling down.

The World’s Future Hangs In The Balance: Erdogan Will Decide

15 MAY 2022

The World

On the one side, the U.S.-and-allied side, stands Davos, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateralists, and the rest of the “Washington Consensus,” the view of the U.S.-and-allied side, that America should control the world; and, on the other side stands the United Nations side, the view that neutral and internationally democratically based and neutrally applied international laws should instead control the world, without favoring America’s, or any other country’s, billionaires.

By Eric Zuesse

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s next book (soon to be published) will be AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change. It’s about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan will decide the future of the world; and, on Friday the 13th day of May in 2022, he gave his first indication of what that decision will be — that it will be for a global future of hope for international freedom and democracy, and against a global future of ever-increasing concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. In this, his first statement on the subject, he spoke actually in favor of the world’s public, against the world’s aristocrats (or ‘oligarchs’, as The West’s billionaires refer to billionaires who are not in the richer Western countries).

This key decision, upon which the world’s future now depends, will be between a continuing erosion of the significance of international law (which laws come from the U.N. and its agencies) and a proportionate increase in what the U.S. Government calls “the rules-based international order,” in which America’s Government increasingly controls (and even sets) those “rules” that will replace international laws; versus a future in which what erodes will instead be the U.S. Government’s international power to control the world in its own (billionaires’) favor, and, so a future that correspondingly benefits the global public (the very people who suffer from the aristocracies’ — especially America’s aristocracy’s — increasing control over the entire world). On the one side, the U.S.-and-allied side, stands Davos, the Bilderbergers, the Trilateralists, and the rest of the “Washington Consensus,” the view of the U.S.-and-allied side, that America should control the world; and, on the other side stands the United Nations side, the view that neutral and internationally democratically based and neutrally applied international laws should instead control the world, without favoring America’s, or any other country’s, billionaires. 

Here is how the Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning U.S. President Barack Obama, in a speech that he delivered to America’s future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014, stated the U.S. Government’s position on this matter, which is the key issue concerning international relations, and the global future: 

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.

He was telling his military that America’s economic competition, against the BRICS nations, is a key matter for America’s military, and not only for America’s international corporations; he was saying that U.S. taxpayers fund America’s military at least partially in order to impose the wills and extend the wealth of the stockholders in America’s corporations abroad; and he was saying that the countries against which America is in economic competition are “dispensable,” but that America “is and remains the one indispensable nation.” So, ONLY America is “indispensable”; all OTHER nations are not, in that view. Not even America’s ‘allies’ — such as Germany, France, Japan, etc. — are. All of them are “dispensable. This, supposedly, also (and most especially) authorizes America’s weapons and troops to fight against countries whose “governments seek a greater say in global forums.” In other words, Obama was saying: Stop the growing economies from growing faster than America’s. 

There is a word for the American Government’s supremacist ideology: it is called “neoconservatism.” The general phrase that describes it is “imperialist fascism.” (Neoconservatism is purely America’s imperialist fascism.) Imperialist fascism (of ANY sort) is exactly what America’s President FDR had invented and intended the U.N. to terminate permanently by creating the United Nations to be an international democracy of nations outlawing any and all imperialisms, but FDR’s immediate successor, Truman, instead chose to continue imperialist fascism, but this time for America itself to become the all-encompassing global power. (He was the original neoconservative.) America quickly became the imperialist-fascist power; and, it has remained so even after the Soviet Union ended in 1991 — in fact, that event super-charged America’s fascist imperialism. And Obama super-super-charged it, by his February 2014 coup that grabbed Ukraine on Russia’s border, as a launching-pad from which Russia will ultimately be attacked.

Like another neoconservative, though of the opposite political Party, John Bolton, famously said: if the U.N. headquarters building “lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” America’s Presidents and Congresses are bipartisanly neoconservative, almost 100% in favor of ceaseless increases in the control that America’s Government has over the world. They are happy that the U.N. has become little more than a talking-forum.

That brings us to the present.

On 13 May 2022, Reuters headlined “Erdogan says Turkey not supportive of Finland, Sweden joining NATO”, and reported that

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday it was not possible for NATO-member Turkey to support plans by Sweden and Finland to join the pact, saying the Nordic countries were “home to many terrorist organisations”.

Finland’s plan to apply for NATO membership, announced Thursday, and the expectation that Sweden will follow, would bring about the expansion of the Western military alliance that Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed to prevent by launching the Ukraine invasion.

“We are following the developments regarding Sweden and Finland, but we don’t hold positive views,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul.

Irrespective of how he might define “terrorist organizations,” what he really was saying there is that Turkey, as a member of America’s NATO military alliance against Russia, will veto the proposed addition to NATO (i.e., to its Article 5, which obligates every NATO member-nation to attack and join in conquering any nation that attacks ANY nation that is a member of America’s NATO military alliance) of Finland, which has the second-nearest border to Moscow (only a 7-minute missile-flying-time away), which is second ONLY to Ukraine (which is just a 5-minute missile-flying-time away from Moscow), as being the Russia-bordering nation that would pose the biggest danger to Russia if added to NATO. 

By Erdogan’s siding with Putin, not Biden, on this, the most crucial decision in international relations in our time, Erdogan would be standing firmly WITH the nations that the super-imperialist fascist Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama derisively referred to as being not merely “dispensable” but also as being the “rising middle classes [who] compete with us, and governments [who] seek a greater say in global forums” — Erdogan was siding there AGAINST the mono-polar U.S. global empire, and FOR the multi-polar global community of independent nations under international law (NOT “the rules-based international order” in which America’s Government increasingly controls, and even sets, those “rules” that would replace international law). 

NATO’s Article 10 states that:

The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such instrument of accession.

Turkey, according to Erdogan on May 13th, will veto not only Finland but also Sweden.

NATO’s Article 5 states that:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

If the United States Government succeeds in its (ever since 25 July 1945) ceaseless drive ultimately to replace the U.N. by itself (America) as being the ultimate source of “the international order,” then ONLY America’s billionaires will possess real seats at the international tables where the fates of nations and of their respective publics are being determined. Perhaps Erdogan is finally throwing in his lot with Russia, China, Iran, and the other nations that are standing opposed to imperialistic fascism, and in favor of the international democracy of nations that FDR had hoped would follow in World War II’s immediate wake (but which Truman made neutered and devoid of any real power). No other NATO-member-nation’s leader has, thus far, been so bold as to have announced that his nation will vote in NATO against Finland’s bid to join NATO.

Erdogan’s rationale for his statement, and the extent of his commitment to it, weren’t made entirely clear in that statement, but, in any case, his statement on the matter, at that time, was strong enough to cause America’s international propaganda-agency, RFE/RL, to headline “Turkey’s Erdogan Says He Opposes NATO Membership for Sweden, Finland”, and to allege that “Ankara risks a backlash from its NATO partners over its opposition to Sweden’s and Finland’s membership.” Certainly, there would be a “backlash” from Biden, who, after all, heads the only ‘indispensable’ country.

However, on May 14th, Reuters headlined “Exclusive: Turkey ‘not closing door’ to Sweden, Finland NATO entry, Erdogan advisor says”, and revealed that this matter was merely a negotiating ploy by Erdogan, to get the Kurdish separatist organization, PKK, which is called “terrorist” by Turkey, outlawed in Europe too. Erdogan has no principled position regarding the U.S. Government’s taking over the entire world, but instead is using the issue of Finland and Sweden being allowed into NATO as a lever to force those two countries, and all of the EU, to outlaw the PKK. This internal Turkish matter, not the world’s future, is what motivates him; and he is using the NATO-expansion question in order to force other countries to assist Turkey’s Government to crush the PKK, against which Turkey has been fighting for decades.  

IGNORING THE MIDDLE EAST AT ONE’S PERIL: TURKEY PLAYS GAMES IN NATO

15.05.2022

Written by James M. Dorsey

Amid speculation about a reduced US military commitment to security in the Middle East, Turkey has spotlighted the region’s ability to act as a disruptive force if its interests are neglected.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set off alarm bells this week, declaring that he was not “positive” about possible Finnish and Swedish applications for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

NATO membership is contingent on a unanimous vote in favour by the organisation’s 30 members. Turkey has NATO’s second-largest standing army.

The vast majority of NATO members appear to endorse Finnish and Swedish membership. NATO members hope to approve the applications at a summit next month.

A potential Turkish veto would complicate efforts to maintain trans-Atlantic unity in the face of the Russian invasion.

Mr. Erdogan’s pressure tactics mirror the maneuvers of his fellow strongman, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban. Mr. Orban threatens European Union unity by resisting a bloc-wide boycott of Russian energy.

Earlier, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia rejected US requests to raise oil production in an effort to lower prices and help Europe reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

The two Gulf states appear to have since sought to quietly backtrack on their refusal. In late April, France’s TotalEnergies chartered a tanker to load Abu Dhabi crude in early May for Europe, the first such shipment in two years.

Saudi Arabia has quietly used its regional pricing mechanisms to redirect from Asia to Europe Arab “medium,” the Saudi crude that is the closest substitute for the main Russian export blend, Urals, for which European refineries are configured.

Mr. Erdogan linked his NATO objection to alleged Finnish and Swedish support for the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which has been designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States, and the EU.

The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency in southeast Turkey in support of Kurds’ national, ethnic, and cultural rights. Kurds account for up to 20 per cent of the country’s 84 million population.

Turkey has recently pounded PKK positions in northern Iraq in a military operation named Operation Claw Lock.

Turkey is at odds with the United States over American support for Syrian Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State. Turkey asserts that America’s Syrian Kurdish allies are aligned with the PKK.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that Turkey opposes a US decision this week to exempt from sanctions against Syria regions controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“This is a selective and discriminatory move,” Mr. Cavusoglu said, noting that the exemption did not include Kurdish areas of Syria controlled by Turkey and its Syrian proxies.

Referring to the NATO membership applications, Mr. Erdogan charged that “Scandinavian countries are like some kind of guest house for terrorist organisations. They’re even in parliament.”

Mr. Erdogan’s objections relate primarily to Sweden, with Finland risking becoming collateral damage.

Sweden is home to a significant Kurdish community and hosts Europe’s top Kurdish soccer team that empathises with the PKK and Turkish Kurdish aspirations. In addition, six Swedish members of parliament are ethnic Kurds.

Turkey scholar Howard Eissenstat suggested that Turkey’s NATO objection may be a turning point. “Much of Turkey’s strategic flexibility has come from the fact that its priorities are seen as peripheral issues for its most important Western allies. Finnish and Swedish entry into NATO, in the current context, absolutely not peripheral,” Mr. Eissenstat tweeted.

The Turkish objection demonstrates the Middle East’s potential to derail US and European policy in other parts of the world.

Middle Eastern states walk a fine line when using their potential to disrupt to achieve political goals of their own. The cautious backtracking on Ukraine-related oil supplies demonstrates the limits and/or risks of Middle Eastern brinkmanship.

So does the fact that Ukraine has moved NATO’s center of gravity to northern Europe and away from its southern flank, which Turkey anchors.

Moreover, Turkey risks endangering significant improvements in its long-strained relations with the United States.

Turkish mediation in the Ukraine crisis and military support for Ukraine prompted US President Joe Biden to move ahead with plans to upgrade Turkey’s fleet of F-16 fighter planes and discuss selling it newer, advanced F-16 models even though Turkey has neither condemned Russia nor imposed sanctions.

Some analysts suggest Turkey may use its objection to regain access to the United States’ F-35 fighter jet program. The US cancelled in 2019 a sale of the jet to Turkey after the NATO member acquired Russia’s S-400 anti-missile defence system.

Mr. Erdogan has “done this kind of tactic before. He will use it as leverage to get a good deal for Turkey,” said retired US Navy Admiral James Foggo, dean of the Center for Maritime Strategy.

A top aide to Mr. Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, appeared to confirm Mr. Foggo’s analysis. “We are not closing the door. But we are basically raising this issue as a matter of national security for Turkey,” Mr. Kalin said, referring to the Turkish leader’s NATO remarks. “Of course, we want to have a discussion, a negotiation with Swedish counterparts.”

Spelling out Turkish demands, Mr. Kalin went on to say that “what needs to be done is clear: they have to stop allowing PKK outlets, activities, organisations, individuals and other types of presence to…exist in those countries.”

Mr. Erdogan’s brinkmanship may have its limits, but it illustrates that one ignores the Middle East at one’s peril.

However, engaging Middle Eastern autocrats does not necessarily mean ignoring their rampant violations of human rights and repression of freedoms.

For the United States and Europe, the trick will be developing a policy that balances accommodating autocrats’, at times, disruptive demands, often aimed at ensuring regime survival, with the need to remain loyal to democratic values amid a struggle over whose values will underwrite a 21st-century world order.

However, that would require a degree of creative policymaking and diplomacy that seems to be a rare commodity.

Dr. James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist and scholar, a Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute and Adjunct Senior Fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, and the author of the syndicated column and blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer.

A podcast version is available on Soundcloud, Itunes, SpotifySpreaker, and Podbean.

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Interpreting Turkey’s Opposition To Finland & Sweden’s Planned NATO Membership

14 MAY 2022

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

The more that President Erdogan exposes the manipulative means through which countries like those two NATO aspirants support terrorism against the Turkish people, the more that their international reputations will be damaged, which will in turn harm their influence seeing as how Finland and Sweden’s are disproportionately derived from their soft power.

Turkish President Erdogan said on Friday that his country isn’t supportive of Finland and Sweden’s planned NATO membership because of their governments’ backing of the terrorist-designated PKK. This Kurdish separatist group is responsible for multiple terrorist attacks across the decades, but its Syrian wing, the YPG, is regarded by the US-led West as a key ally against ISIS. Ankara and Washington’s polar opposite stances towards that branch are the reason why they began falling out in the middle of the last decade. This issue has once again come to the fore in light of two recent events.

The first is of course Finland and Sweden’s planned NATO membership, while the second is the US’ decision to waive its anti-Syrian sanctions in the YPG-controlled northeast of the Arab Republic. President Erdogan also expressed his opposition to that move on the same day that he condemned those two countries’ support of Kurdish terrorists. These developments created the opportunity for the Turkish leader to once again raise awareness of his country’s stance towards that group and its regional branches in the hopes of pressuring the US-led West to distance themselves from it.

The challenge that he’s forced to confront, however, is that his mutual defense ally considers terrorist-designated Kurdish separatists to be more important regional partners than his own country. The reason for this is that its Syrian branch serves as the US’ proxies for continuing its military occupation of the agriculturally and energy-rich northeastern region as well as its means for manipulating its stalled constitutional reform process. From the perspective of the US’ grand strategic interests, these objectives are considered to take precedence over retaining ties with its decades-long Turkish ally.

Although it’ll never be openly admitted, America might also be preparing to employ these same Kurdish groups as anti-Turkish proxies in the scenario that those countries drift further apart and Washington considers it advantageous to utilize them as a means for punishing its wayward ally. It’s this possibility that concerns Turkish strategists the most since it could prove to be extremely destabilizing for their geostrategically positioned civilization-state. That’s why President Erdogan uses every relevant opportunity to pressure the US-led West to cut off its Kurdish proxies.

It’s extremely unlikely that this well-intended campaign against America will ever succeed though, but it at the very least raises maximum global awareness about its unprincipled policy of literally endangering the security of its decades-long mutual defense ally all for the purpose of advancing its interests vis a vis Syria at Turkey’s expense. Furthermore, it should go without saying that the US’ European partners like Finland and Sweden are unlikely to change their governments’ policy of wholeheartedly supporting terrorist-designated Kurdish separatists because Washington exercises hegemonic influence over them.

Even so, Turkey can still hit those two countries where it hurts the most by continuing to talk about their scandalous support of the PKK. That’s because a disproportionate share of their influence is derived from their soft power, particularly the impression that they’re supposedly neutral, principled, and peaceful states that are shining examples in all respects for the entire international community. The dark reality, however, is that their backing of the PKK exposes them as American stooges. Moreover, it also suggests that their so-called “humanitarian policies” are actually anti-humanitarian to the core.

Finland and Sweden essentially consider the Kurds to be a so-called “oppressed minority” in West Asia, including in Turkey. Their unipolar liberal-globalist worldview is such that they believe that those people deserve the US-led West’s full support as a result, to which end they aim to disguise their tacit endorsement of those separatist-terrorist Kurdish groups like the PKK on a so-called “humanitarian basis”. Its Syrian wing’s rebranding as anti-ISIS fighters who saved their people from their terrorist rivals’ planned genocide of them endeared the PKK in the hearts and minds of many Westerners.

This in turn facilitated the US-led West’s efforts to continue supporting them in all respects on a false humanitarian pretext. The more that President Erdogan talks about this and exposes the manipulative means through which countries like those two NATO aspirants support terrorism against the Turkish people, the more that their international reputations will be damaged, which will in turn harm their influence seeing as how Finland and Sweden’s are disproportionately derived from their soft power. In other words, this is an asymmetrical response to the threat that they pose to his country’s security.

That said, it remains unclear whether Turkey will formally block their NATO membership, which could provoke an intensification of the US-led West’s years-long Hybrid War against it that he might not be prepared for fully defending against at this time. If he ultimately supports their applications, then it can be considered that he did so knowing that the alternative could have been an exacerbation of the threats that his formal allies are nowadays posing to Turkey’s national security. In any case, it’s clear that Turkey’s troubled ties with the US-led West won’t improve anytime soon no matter what happens.

Turkey Opposes Sweden and Finland Joining NATO

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Turkey has opposed the alliance intentions of the Scandinavian nations, claiming they are like ‘a guesthouse for terrorists’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared on Friday that Ankara opposes the possibility of Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO because he believes the two Scandinavian nations harbor ‘terrorists’.

By ‘terrorists’, the Turkish leader meant militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a separatist movement operating in southeastern Turkey, and members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP/C), an outlawed Turkish communist party.

The statement came after Helsinki and Stockholm demonstrated their intention to join the US-led military alliance.

“We are currently following the developments regarding Sweden and Finland [joining NATO], but we are not favorable towards it. At this point, it is not possible for us to have a positive approach,” the Turkish president told journalists.

“Scandinavian countries are unfortunately almost like guesthouses for terrorist organizations. PKK and DHKP/C are nested in Sweden and the Netherlands. And I’m going even further, in their parliaments,” he added.

In April, concerned with Russia’s military action in Ukraine, Sweden and Finland started to consider dropping their neutral status and joining NATO. Top Finnish officials have already supported the initiative. Sweden is set to decide on its accession to the military bloc on May 15.

Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated that the US-led organization would be eager to include both nations and would make the accession process move quickly.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that it regards the expansion of NATO as a threat to its national security. The Kremlin has also warned Sweden and Finland that they would compromise their security, rather than improve it, by joining the alliance.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

RT

By restricting Moscow’s moves, Erdogan is playing Russian roulette

April 27 2022

If closing part of Turkish airspace to Russian planes is an indication of Ankara’s new direction, it may prove fatal for Turkey across several fronts.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Abdel Bari Atwan

Turkey’s decision to close its airspace to Russian military and civilian aircraft bound for northern Syria surprised many observers. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s announcement of this decision to Turkish journalists during his Latin America tour raised many questions about its future implications for Russian-Turkish relations.

It is unlikely that this decision may have been one of the outcomes of a Turkish-American deal following discreet contacts between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Joe Biden to clamp down on Russia. Unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, Biden believes that it is difficult to achieve regional security without Turkey, which is an original member of NATO. And so the deal between the two countries included expanding economic cooperation and meeting Turkey’s defense needs, particularly in the advanced F-35s, Patriot and THAAD missile systems.

There are several explanations for Ankara’s decision. The first is that the US exerted pressure on Turkey after it became evident that the Russians commanded the battle of Mariupol and other southeastern Ukrainian areas from the Russian airbase of Hemeimim in northern Syria – from which strategic strikes were carried out against Ukrainian forces.

A second possible explanation is that Erdogan succeeded in improving his country’s relations with Washington, taking full advantage of the desperate US need for regional allies in NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine.

But where one loses, another gains. On the back of the surprise Turkish decision, Tehran cleverly offered to allow Russian aircraft to use Iranian airspace to reach naval and air bases in northern Syria. While these flight times may be longer, there are instant benefits for the two countries, especially Iran, which has now further enhanced its strategic relations with the Russia-China axis. Iran has not been ambiguous: since the outbreak of the Ukrainian military crisis, it has failed to condemn Moscow’s actions and has stood quietly in the Russian trench.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been generous with his Turkish counterpart. He forgave Erdogan for his 2015 mistake when Turkish air defenses shot down a Russian Sukhoi plane that allegedly penetrated Turkey’s airspace near the Syrian-Turkish border for a few seconds. It took a series of expansive Russian punishments for the Turkish president to apologize in all languages, including Russian, for the mishap.

Putin has showed understanding, and even patience, over the Turkish occupation of areas in northern Syria, contrary to the wishes of his staunch allies in Damascus. However, Ankara’s latest decision to establish a ‘Russian no-fly zone’ will not be so easy to forgive, especially if followed by further measures such as banning the passage of Russian military vessels through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to the Mediterranean, in accordance with the Montreux Agreement.

This remains an option in light of the rapid – if stealthy – improvement in Turkish-US relations. But choosing to align with Washington on Ukraine also risks racking up Russian-engineered military, political, and economic costs for Turkey, one year out from the country’s pivotal elections.

Further aligning with the US also means Erdogan will not be able to continue playing his carefully crafted role as a “neutral” mediator in this crisis, and host the upcoming summit meeting between the Turkish and Ukrainian presidents.

Turkish aspirations to expand trade cooperation with Russia to $100 billion dollars per annum will also be impacted, and the sale of further Russian S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey will be unlikely. More seriously, Russia may respond by developing or expanding relations with the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and supporting its operations in Turkey.

Politically speaking, the Russian military operation in Ukraine is a matter of life and death for Putin. Therefore his response to Ankara’s belligerent moves are likely to be decisive and could possibly play out on several fronts:

  • The Syrian front: To keep the balance in Russian relations with Turkey, Putin strongly opposed the Syrian leadership’s desire to invade Idlib to eliminate the jihadist terror groups based there and restore territorial control back to Damascus. While Moscow’s position may not yet change, renewed, intensive Russian military operations in Idlib will lead to an increase in Syrians fleeing to Turkish territory, which already hosts over 3 million Syrian refugees.
  • Strengthening Russian-Iranian relations: This will have a negative impact on Erdogan’s regional ambitions – especially in West and Central Asia – taking into account that China, which forms the third and strongest arm of this budding alliance is a full-fledged member of this troika.
  • The Arab Front: Turkey’s desire to improve its relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Persian Gulf and Arab states may be hindered in light of the rapprochement of these countries with Russia and China, which coincides with the breakdown of their relations with their traditional American ally. There is much the Russia-Iran-China (RIC) alliance can do in West Asia to unsettle Ankara’s relations within the region. It is worth noting that Riyadh has not yet responded to Turkish diplomatic outreach, significantly on the closure of the file of the state-sanctioned murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdogan’s leadership in recent months has been characterized by confusion and volatility. Recent political developments include Ankara’s unpopular improvement in ties with Israel, its gradual involvement in the Ukraine crisis, and its warming relations with Washington. These come at a critical time, not only amid a nation-wide economic crisis but also a year before presidential and legislative elections that pose a serious threat to Erdogan’s reign.

President Putin may have decided initially to overlook Turkey’s sale of the Bayraktar drones that have arguably contributed in the deaths of some 2,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine, and reluctantly accepted its role as an intermediary in the crisis. At the strategic level, though, it will be difficult for him to tolerate Turkey’s accelerated bias toward the west.

It is true that Turkey is a regional power, and militarily strong, but it is also true that the US-led camp toward which it is tilting is in decline, torn apart by divisions, and failing dramatically in its economic sanctions regime against Russia. Furthermore, this camp is facing an alliance of two super-powers, a nuclear third (India), and a fourth on the way (Iran), together comprising more than half of the world’s population.

President Erdogan’s gamble with Russia is risky and may backfire, at just the wrong time.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Erdogan with Assad: There is no Reconciliation before the Arabs and “Israel” إردوغان و”إسرائيل”.. من المصالحة إلى التحالف العسكري؟

ARABI SOURI

Reconciliation with Damascus will mean for the Turkish President Erdogan to abandon his strategic calculations and projects.

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

The news published by Hurriyet newspaper, loyal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on April 3, has received wide attention in most Arab media outlets, as the newspaper stated, “The Turkish authorities are conducting their discussions with the aim of dialogue with the Syrian government, in order to restore relations between the two countries to its nature.”

The media and those who wrote in it did not pay attention to what was stated in the news, as it was said that “Turkey, in all its contacts with the Syrian administration, affirms 3 basic things, namely, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, ensuring the lives of refugees returning to their country, and preventing the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party from any activity in Syria.

Contrary to what President Erdogan asserts on every occasion, Ankara controls about 10% of the Syrian territory, which contradicts the notion of sovereignty and the unity of the Syrian territory. It also provides all kinds of support to tens of thousands of militants of the so-called “National Army” established in Turkey, which it pays the salaries of all its personnel.

On top of that, Ankara’s objection to the Syrian army’s liberation of Idlib and its vicinity, without heeding the accusations leveled against it regarding the relationship with the terrorist of “Al-Nusra Front”, which includes thousands of foreign militants, and which obtains all its needs from Turkey, near Idlib.

As for the return of Syrian refugees to their homes, many, including the leaders of Turkish political parties, wrote and spoke about Ankara obstructing the return of Syrian refugees to their country, and it tells them that the living and security situation in Syria is very bad, and it meets the needs of all Syrians residing in the areas controlled by the Turkish army west and east of the Euphrates, as Defense Minister Hulusi Akar previously said that “Turkey meets the needs of 9 million Syrians, 3.5 million of whom are in Turkey, and the rest are inside Syria.”

Ankara believes that this Turkish position “contributes to the increase in Erdogan’s popularity in Syria in general.” As for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which means the “SDF” and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, the Syrian arm of the PKK, everyone remembers how Ankara had a close relationship with Salih Muslim, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party, and sought to persuade him until the summer of 2015 “to rebel against the Syrian state in exchange for promises to meet his demands in the new Syria after the overthrow of the regime in Damascus.”

As everyone knows, Ankara, under the pretext of the aforementioned Kurdish militias, succeeded in persuading Washington and Moscow to allow it in October 2019 to penetrate east of the Euphrates and control a border strip of 110 km in length and 30 km in depth in some areas, which helped the Turkish forces to take control of strategic locations in the region, as is the case in the Afrin region after taking control of it in March 2018.

All of this explains Ankara’s failure to abide by its commitments in the Sochi and Moscow agreements on Idlib and the Turkish military presence in northern Syria in general, despite the possibilities of a heated confrontation with the Syrian and Russian armies in the region, as happened in February 2020.

It also explains President Erdogan’s constant talk about his rejection of any solution to the Syrian crisis, without recognizing the main Turkish role in this solution, which must meet the Turkish conditions in coordination and cooperation with the Syrian opposition, both political and armed, all of which are moving according to the Turkish agenda supported by Qatar, which is what President Erdogan exploits in his overall bargaining with all parties interested in the Syrian file regionally and internationally, especially with the continuation of their current positions, which can be summed up in not rushing to take any decisive decision to close this file.

President Erdogan sees this regional and international situation as a source of strength for him, as long as the Arab capitals are not encouraged to reconcile with President Assad, and he will not think of reconciling with him until after the leaders of the main Arab countries, led by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar, reconcile.

Reconciliation in President Erdogan’s concept is for these leaders and others to contact President Assad, exchange visits with him, and open their embassies in Damascus with Israeli consent, as they all did (Erdogan as well) with the putschist Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (of Sudan), and together they abandoned Imran Khan (of Pakistan) on American instructions!

In other words, President Erdogan will not take any initiative toward Damascus as long as he sees Assad as his “subordinate governor”, and sees himself as the “Ottoman Sultan”, this is what Assad said, which President Qais Saeed (of Tunisia) reminded last week when he responded to Erdogan’s statements, who described his decision to dissolve the parliament as a “coup,” so he said: “Tunisia is not a province, and we are not waiting for a firman (from the Ottoman Sultan).”

We do not ignore President Erdogan’s efforts to reconcile with Cairo, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi, which he personally accused of plotting against Turkey, at a time when President Assad and the Syrian state did not undertake any hostile action against Turkey, which proved, through its recent actions, that it favors “Israel” with its terrorist regime over neighboring Syria, which through it, it entered the Arab region after the first visit of Prime Minister Abdullah Gul to Damascus at the beginning of 2003.

Although Gul, and even Davutoglu, who was said at the time to be the architect of Turkish foreign policy, became in the trench against Erdogan, it became clear that the prospects for Turkish reconciliation with President Assad will never be easy for the Turkish president.

Erdogan sees such reconciliation as a recognition of the defeat of his (Muslim Brotherhood) ideological project, even if he abandoned it during his bargains with “Tel Aviv” (Hamas and the Palestinians in general), Cairo (Egypt’s Brotherhood), Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

In addition, reconciliation with Damascus will mean at the same time abandoning his calculations, projects, and strategic plans, especially after he established a network of complex military, intelligence, and political relations intertwined with very wide Syrian sectors and groups, and that abandoning it will not be easy for Ankara (what will it do with tens of thousands of militants?), which sees northern Syria as an extension of Turkish geography and a strategic depth for its national security, which Turkish officials have been repeating since the beginnings of the Syrian crisis, and its main player is Erdogan, it seems clear that he will not give up this role until his last breath, as long as no one asks him to do so, and President Assad will not surprise him by visiting Ankara!

Erdogan is waiting for the positions of the Arab capitals, and more importantly, “Tel Aviv”, because he thinks, rather he believes, that it will not initiate any reconciliation with Assad, of course, if he had not agreed with Herzog and Ibn Zayed on that, otherwise reconciliation with Syria must be a priority for Erdogan and the others, this is, of course, if they are not together at the disposal of “Tel Aviv”, the only beneficiary of the years of the bloody “Arab Spring”, during which they were all together in one trench against President al-Assad, and with the confessions of Hamad bin Jassem, who is still whining because “the prey escaped from them.” and catching it again needs more than a miracle!


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إردوغان و”إسرائيل”.. من المصالحة إلى التحالف العسكري؟

حسني محلي 

المصدر: الميادين نت

2022  الاثين 18 نيسان

ينتظر أن يزور خلوصي أكار “تل أبيب” خلال الأيام القليلة المقبلة، يليه زيارة رجب طيب إردوغان.

العلاقات التركية – الإسرائيلية يُتوقّع أن تشهد قفزة نوعية بعد الزيارة التي سيقوم بها إردوغان إلى تل أبيب.

بعيداً عن اهتمامات الإعلام التركي والعربي والدولي، تشهد العلاقات التركية مع الكيان الصهيوني تطورات مثيرة قد تجعل من تل أبيب حليفاً عسكرياً استراتيجياً لأنقرة التي يبدو واضحاً أنها تستعد لمثل هذه المرحلة الجديدة، داخلياً وخارجياً. فقد أعلن وزير الخارجية مولود جاويش أوغلو (14 نيسان/ أبريل) أنه سيزور تل أبيب قريباً جداً، ومعه وزير الدفاع خلوصي أكار، بدلاً من وزير الطاقة الذي كان عليه أن يبحث مع المسؤولين الإسرائيليين تفاصيل التنسيق والتعاون المشترك لنقل الغاز الإسرائيلي والقبرصي والمصري إلى تركيا، ومنها الى أوروبا، وهو الموضوع الذي قيل إنه يحظى بدعم أميركي، كما هي الحال بالنسبة إلى مشروع نقل غاز كردستان العراق إلى تركيا ومنها إلى أوروبا، بتنسيق تركي-إسرائيلي مشترك. ويفسّر ذلك الزيارات المتتالية التي قام بها رئيس إقليم كردستان العراق نيجيرفان برزاني ورئيس حكومة الإقليم مسرور برزاني إلى أنقرة خلال الشهرين الماضيين فقط، وتمّ خلالها أيضاً مناقشة الدور التركي في تأليف الحكومة العراقية الجديدة.  

وعودة إلى زيارة وزير الدفاع خلوصي أكار، والتي من المتوقع لها أن تكون خلال الأيام القليلة المقبلة، وستلحق بها زيارة الرئيس إردوغان إلى تل أبيب، فلا بد من التذكير بالاتفاقية التي سبق أن تمّ التوقيع عليها بين الطرفين في العام 1995-1996. وكان حينها الإسلامي نجم الدين أربكان رئيساً للحكومة، واتفق مع تل أبيب على تحديث طائرات أف-5 وأف-16 ومعها دبابات أم-60 التركية، مقابل المليارات من الدولارات. كما لا بد من التذكير بشراء تركيا (2005) لمجموعة من الطائرات المسيّرة الإسرائيلية، واستخدمتها ضد مسلحي حزب العمال الكردستاني جنوب شرق البلاد وفي شمال العراق. وجاءت موافقة أنقرة (أواسط 2011) على القاعدة الأميركية جنوب شرق البلاد قرب مدينة مالاطيا، في إطار المساعي التركية لتطوير علاقاتها مع تل أبيب. وكانت مهمة هذه القاعدة هي رصد التحركات العسكرية الإيرانية، وإبلاغ تل أبيب بأي صواريخ إيرانية قد تستهدفها حتى يتسنّى للقبة الحديدية التصدي لها قبل دخول الأجواء الإسرائيلية. 

الفتور والتوتر اللذين عانت منهما العلاقات التركية – الإسرائيلية خلال السنوات الأخيرة، لم يمنعا أنقرة من تطوير علاقاتها الاقتصادية والتجارية التي حققت أرقاماً قياسية لا تتناسب مع مقولات الرئيس إردوغان ضد “إسرائيل”. ولكنها تتفق مع الموقف التركي المتناقض، حيث لم تستخدم أنقرة حق الفيتو ضد انضمام “إسرائيل” إلى منظمة التعاون الاقتصادي والتنمية OECD (أيار/ مايو 2010) وانضمامها بصفة مراقب إلى الحلف الأطلسي (أيار/ مايو 2016). 

التناقضات التركية في العلاقة مع تل أبيب بما في ذلك إغلاق ملف سفينة مرمرة (كما هي الحال في إغلاق ملف خاشقجي) يشبّهها البعض بتناقضات السلطان عبد الحميد الذي قيل عنه إنه لم يتنازل عن فلسطين لليهود في الوقت الذي تثبت فيه الوثائق التاريخية عكس ذلك، حيث قدّم الكثير من التسهيلات لليهود للهجرة إلى فلسطين وشراء الأراضي وبناء المستوطنات فيها. 

مع التذكير أيضاً بتلاقي الأهداف التركية والإسرائيلية في سوريا، حيث دعمت أنقرة الفصائل المسلحة التي تقاتل ضد دمشق في الشمال، وكانت تل أبيب تفعل ذلك في الجنوب بدعم من الأردن ودول الخليج، كما هي الحال للوضع على الحدود مع تركيا، وباعتراف حمد بن جاسم. 

زيارة جاويش أوغلو وأكار التي تهدف إلى تحقيق التوازن في علاقات أنقرة مع تل أبيب ودول المنطقة الأخرى بعد المصالحة مع الرياض والقاهرة (سامح شكري سيزور تركيا قريباً) يريد لها الرئيس إردوغان أن تبعد تل أبيب عن نيقوسيا وأثينا، وسبق لهذه الدول الثلاث أن وقّعت على العديد من اتفاقيات التعاون العسكري والأمني والاستخباري، وكان ذلك تارة برضى ودعم مصريين وأخرى إماراتي وسعودي، في الوقت الذي ستسعى فيه أنقرة خلال الزيارة إلى إقناع تل أبيب بأن لا تعترض على بيع طائرات أف-35 الأميركية لتركيا، بعد اتفاق الطرفين التركي والأميركي حول قضية صواريخ أس-400 الروسية التي اشترتها أنقرة من موسكو قبل عامين، من دون أن تقوم بتفعيلها بعد ردّ الفعل الأميركي. 

العلاقات التركية – الإسرائيلية التي يُتوقّع لها أن تشهد قفزة نوعية بعد الزيارة التي سيقوم بها إردوغان إلى تل أبيب، يسعى الطرفان إلى دعمها في شتى المجالات، بما فيها تبادل الزيارات الاستخبارية والإعلامية والأكاديمية ورجال الأعمال، بل وحتى الوفود الدينية في إطار ما يُسمّى حوار الأديان والحضارات المدعوم أيضاً من الإمارات، الطرف الثالث في الحوار والتنسيق، ولاحقاً التحالف التركي – الإسرائيلي. 

ويفسّر ذلك وصف إردوغان لما قام به الشباب الفلسطيني بالعمل الإرهابي، ومن دون أن يقول ذلك بحق عمليات القتل والإجرام التي يقوم بها الجيش والأمن الإسرائيليّان يومياً ضدَّ الفلسطينيين داخل المسجد الأقصى. واعتبر ذلك إبراهيم كالين، المتحدث باسم إردوغان، “خطاً أحمر بالنسبة إلى تركيا”، ناسياً أن أنقرة قد نسيت وتناست كل خطوطها الحمر، عندما سلكت كل الطرق والوسائل من أجل مصالحة تل أبيب، بما في ذلك لقاء إردوغان مع حاخامات اليهود. والأغرب من كل ذلك، أن بعض الدول العربية التي تجرّأت وأصدرت بيانات “الاستنكار” لِما قامت به تل أبيب داخل المسجد الأقصى، رجّحت الحديث عن “استخدام مفرط للعنف بحق الفلسطينيين”، كما ورد ذلك في بيان الخارجية العراقية، وتتوقع لها تل أبيب أن تكون البلد العربي الجديد في مسلسل التطبيع، بعد تسلّم جماعة مقتدى الصدر وحلفائه السلطة في بغداد. وهو الاحتمال الذي يجعل من التنسيق والتعاون والتحالف المحتمل بين تل أبيب وأنقرة أكثر أهمية في حال فشل المساعي الإقليمية والدولية لإعادة ترتيب أمور المنطقة، قبل أو بعد الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، ولذلك علاقة بالتطورات المحتملة في الحرب الأوكرانية. فالدور الإسرائيلي في هذه الحرب لا يختلف كثيراً عن الدور التركي، ما دامت لأنقرة وتل أبيب علاقات وطيدة جداً بكييف في جميع المجالات، والأهم العسكرية والاستخبارية، وهو ما قد يتطلب حواراً وتنسيقاً تركيين -إسرائيليين ينعكسان بنتائجهما المستقبلية المحتملة على موازين القوى في المنطقة، وخاصة إذا فشلت المساعي الإقليمية والدولية في إبعاد إيران عن الحدود مع “إسرائيل” سواء كان ذلك في سوريا ولبنان أم عبر باب المندب الاستراتيجي بالنسبة إلى تل أبيب.

ويبدو أنها تستذكر مقولات مؤسّسها بن غوريون الذي قال: “إسرائيل بحاجة إلى ثلاث رئات تتنفس عبرها الأكسجين في محيطها العربي المعادي، وهي تركيا وإثيوبيا وإيران”.

وبخسارة الأخيرة ترى في كسب الأولى والثانية قضية وجودية، منذ أن اعترفتا بكيانها فور قيامه فوراً، واحتفظتا دائماً معه بعلاقات علنية وسرية، مهما كانت شعارات حكامها المتناقضة، كما هي الحال في علاقات أنقرة بحماس، وضَحّت بها بين ليلة وضحاها من أجل الحليف الجديد! 

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

Between Russia and the USA: Will Turkey’s Zigzags Work in the ‘Ukraine Crisis’?

February 3, 2022

Erkin Öncan

It is not possible to be at more than one table at the same time, especially in topics such as Ukraine, where tensions are at critical levels, Erkin Öncan writes.

It would be more appropriate to call this crisis a ’Russia-US/NATO crisis’, rather than Russia-Ukraine.

While the Western world continues its strategy of containing Russia at full speed, under the leadership of the USA, the Western media (propaganda device at all) continues to pump the opposite narrative: the so-called Russian occupation.

The ’Russian occupation’ narrative featured in the Western media is actually not about the steps that Russia will take militarily. This narrative is directly related to the interests of the Western empire. Besides, this ’invasion’ propaganda will cause Ukraine to become more dependent on the West. This situation enabled NATO to refresh its blood at exactly the right time, in a period when the alliance has started to be questioned even by its members.

Western media, successfully fulfilling their historical mission, continue theur disinformation efforts in line with NATO interests, by trampling on the journalistic principles they frequently voiced: Russia’s so-called invasion of Ukraine, the ’annexation’ of Crimea, the Russian separatists ’dividing’ Ukraine, and so on…

NATO’s historical role

The ’ghost of communism’ circulating in Europe in the 19th century and the ideas of equality and freedom have become much more than a ’ghost’ with the chain of socialist revolutions and national liberation movements that started to break out in the first half of the 1900s.

The uprisings and revolutions of the oppressed nations around the world have become the biggest obstacle to the global exploitation of the imperialist system. In the 1950s, Imperialism needed a tool to remove this obstacle and to establish a world of war and exploitation: NATO.

NATO was structured by imperialism, especially against the USSR, to take a position against all kinds of progressive movements around the world, under the pretext of ’the threat of communism’. The biggest argument used by this greatest apparatus of aggression to create legitimacy for itself could be none other than a ’possible Soviet invasion’.

Today, under the leadership of the US, NATO’s rhetoric and strategy are proceeding in exactly the same way. The only difference is that the ’USSR’ was replaced by the ’Russian Federation’. The Soviets no longer exist, but there is Russia, still surrounded by aggressors and Nazis.

NATO and Turkey

In this scenario, one of the most curious regional actors is Turkey. Although Turkey, as a NATO member, has acted in the interests of NATO and the USA for many years, it is not possible to say the same, especially for the last five-year period.

The relations between Turkey and the USA have been in a deteriorating trend recently, and it can be clearly seen that steps have been taken on the ground that contradict each other’s interests, despite the parties’ endless statements of ’partnership’.

To understand Turkey’s stance on Ukraine, it is important to briefly recall Turkey’s NATO adventure:

Coming to the 1950s, Turkey was at the beginning of the liquidation process of the Kemalist Revolution, which was generously helped by the USSR. Due to its location, this country was a candidate to be the ’outpost’ of the USA in the region, and the Menderes government of the time was ’perfectly cut out’ to guard this outpost. The anti-communist propaganda and the ’Soviet threat’ that was frequently voiced were also the password for Turkey’s entrance into the ’Little America’ process.

Turkey, which joined NATO on February 18, 1952, has since been reshaped according to its strategy, that is, the US military and political interests, from its National Security Strategy to its ’threat perception’, from its army structure to its military planning.

This ’Little America’ process, which started, brought with it counter-guerrilla structures such as the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Special Warfare Department, which were shaped by the American intelligence.

Turkey’s NATO process, which started in 1952, has been the main factor determining Turkey’s regional and international role for many years, regardless of the political identities of the governments in power, despite the political crises experienced from time to time. However, this long-lasting ’loyalty’ (some would say friendship or cooperation) was severely damaged after the attempted coup d’état against Erdogan’s AKP government on July 15, 2016.

In fact, the Erdogan government itself had come to power with its close messages to the European Union and the United States, and with political steps in line with the interests of the Western camp. However, the Erdogan administration’s enthusiasm for working with the Western camp began to falter to the extent that it conflicted with US interests in the region.

In Turkey’s domestic politics, it resulted in the deterioration of relations between the AKP and its old ’coalition partner’, the US-backed fundamentalist Fethullah Gülen-led movement. (later it started to be defined as a ’parallel state’ and later a terrorist organization). This also helped to boost the break-up with the US.

On the other hand, although the steps taken by the USA on Syria won support of the Erdogan administration on the borders of ’anti-Assad’, the USA’s choice of the YPG for its Syria plans and the large amount of weapons and financial aid it provided became another important factor that spoiled relations. The YPG is considered a branch of Turkey’s long-time enemy PKK and designated as a terrorist organization.

In the same historical period as relations with the United States were strained, the Erdogan administration ’started to explore’ its northern neighbor, Russia. Despite high-tension topics, such as the downed Russian plane and the killing of Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov (these events were described by the Erdogan administration as the activities of the Gülen organization), relations with Russia continued to improve with various agreements, including the most ’shocking one’ for NATO: Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.

But, when we analyze Turkey’s relations with the USA and Russia from an overview, it is possible to say that the development potential of relations with Russia still depends on the level of tension between Turkey and the US. Even in the S-400 discussions between Turkey and the United States, Erdogan’s administration and its staff have repeatedly argued that ‘Turkey was forced to do this to ensure its own security’ and that the NATO allies, especially the United States, ‘did not act in accordance with the spirit of alliance’.

Therefore, Turkey, despite its potential to be an important partner for Russia, evaluates its relations with Russia in terms of the possibility of severing it from the United States.

What can Turkey do about Ukraine?

On the Ukraine issue, it is possible to see the same attitude mentioned above in Turkish high-level officials, especially Erdogan. First of all, the Erdogan administration, which has assumed the role of a ’regional actor’, reminds that its place on the NATO front is fixed at the end of the day, even though it takes its steps in this direction by using a policy of balance.

Precisely for this reason, it is possible to define it as a ’zigzag policy’ rather than a balance policy.

The Erdogan administration’s first wish for Ukraine is ’no war’. However, Erdogan stated that Turkey is ready to ‘take all steps’ to prevent a war in Ukraine, while at the same time he declared that they ‘respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity’ and ‘always oppose Russia’s invasion of Crimea’. On the other hand, it is an important to note that the Erdogan administration, which does not want war in the region, continues to sell Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles to Ukraine.

Again, Erdogan says: ‘We need to tell Russia why some of its demands are unacceptable,’ on the Ukraine crisis, and at the same time criticizes the US and NATO’s weapon aid to the YPG in Syria.

Alongside Erdoğan, another important figure in Turkish politics, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, said: ‘Sharing NATO’s values and responsibilities, Turkey has successfully fulfilled all the duties and missions entrusted to it since 1952. NATO is the most successful defense alliance in history. We believe that the alliance is more active and alive than ever before.’

These seemingly contradictory statements of Erdoğan are not only related to the zigzags between the USA and Russia, but also directly related to his own party and political tradition. ’Americanism’ is still a very strong political trend in Turkey’s political circles. The narrative of ‘Russian politics’’ in Turkey is still heavily influenced by the anti-Russian rhetoric that marked the country’s last 50 years. It is possible to see a considerable level of ’Russophobia’ in Turkish political circles. Therefore, Turkey, which goes back and forth between the USA and Russia, seems to continue to play this balance game for a while.

The Turkish conservative-right politics represented by the AKP often use a phrase to explain this zigzag policy: ‘We will be at every table.’ Acting with this spirit, the AKP administration aims to get the most profit from every table it sits at.

However, it is clear that it is not possible to be at more than one table at the same time, especially in topics such as Ukraine, where tensions rise at critical levels. Moreover, while every actor in the region has their own chair where they can sit safely, Turkey still walks around the tables for now.

Turkey’s stance on Ukraine is critical. But, as NATO increases the level of aggression against Russia day by day, the usual strategy of Turkey, which wants to play a mediator role between Russia and the United States, will not work. The Ukrainian agenda has become too hot to be postponed with the usual peace wishes. Turkey will have to choose a side one way or another.

This goal will never be achieved as long as Erdogan’s administration and AKP, who say they ‘aim to be a playmaker in the regional and international arena’, index Turkey’s destiny to ‘asking for one more chance every time’ from NATO and the USA.

Asaib al-Haq leader strongly condemns Turkish air raids on Iraq, Syria

The Turkish army has recently targeted several Kurdish sites in Syria and Iraq, a move Iraqi resistance leader Qais al-Khazali says is a ‘breach of Iraqi sovereignty’

February 02 2022

ByNews Desk

File photo showing a Turkish military helicopter over a mountain in Yemisli, Hakkari province near the border with Iraq. (Photo credit: AFP/Mustafa Ozer)

Qais al-Khazali, the leader of Iraqi resistance group Asaib al-Haq has strongly condemned Turkish raids on northern Iraq and Syria on in a Tweet 1 February.

In his post, he slammed Ankara’s “violation” of Iraq’s territorial “sovereignty” saying that Turkey “targets civilians under its pretext” of fighting Kurdish forces.

Al-Khazali also warned that “the time will come when the resistance of Iraq” will teach Turkey “harsh lessons.”

Al-Khazali’s statements came just hours before Turkey launched operation “Winter Eagle,” aimed at striking Kurdish targets in northern Iraq and northeastern Syria.

On 2 February the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced that, at an unspecified time overnight, its warplanes had struck alleged “terror dens” in Derik, northern Syria, and Sinjar, and Karacak, located in northern Iraq.

In a statement published via Twitter, the Turkish defense ministry added that the sites “were used as bases by terrorists in northern Iraq and Syria.”

Al-Mayadeen cited Iraqi security sources as saying that Turkish warplanes flew over Makhmour, east of Mosul, where explosions were soon heard north of Sinjar in the Bara region.

The Turkish statement also added that its air raids targeted the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, both organizations considered terrorist groups by Ankara.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish Counterterrorism Agency in Iraq announced that, late on 1 February, Turkish warplanes “bombed a site in which there were fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Mount Karacho, and bombed two other sites of these militants in the Suhaila borders in Syrian territory (Muldreza), and two other sites in Mount Shingal, and Baray Hasanur in Syria.”

The statement added that the bombings by Turkey produced several casualties and material damage.

Al-Khazali had said on 30 August 2020 that “as long as the occupation exists […] the resistance’s weapons are legitimate” vowing that the Iraqi resistance alone will expel forces of occupation.

Ankara currently maintains 38 illegal bases in northern Iraq, aimed at creating a 40-kilometer wide security belt in northern Iraq.

Why does Turkey have 38 illegal bases in northern Iraq?

January 28 2022

The illegal Turkish military presence in Iraq is a blatant violation of that country’s territorial integrity. While Ankara claims it is a national security priority, it actually uses this military cover to influence and manage Iraqi and regional affairs

By Erman Çete

Almost 100 years after the Treaty of Ankara (1926), Iraq-Turkey relations remain fraught. Despite various disputes over water rights, territorial violations, unlawful oil trades, and alliances, the overriding reason for tensions remains the problem of Kurdistan.

Today, media headlines across Turkey continue to reflect the nation’s antagonism with the armed groups of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) inside Iraq, a neighboring state in which the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launch military operations with impunity.

But despite the repeated protests of the Iraqi government over these violations of its sovereignty, Turkish presence and operations in northern Iraq continue unabated.

In May last year, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visited the Turkish military base Biliç Hill Base in northern Iraq to supervise Turkish troops deployed for an ongoing operation against the PKK.

Furious about the visit, Baghdad summoned the Turkish diplomatic envoy in Baghdad to express displeasure at Akar’s presence inside Iraq without providing prior notice.

Official numbers concerning the presence of TSK in northern Iraq are unclear. According to an Anadolu Agency article back in 2017, TSK had a battalion in the Bamarni Airport, near Duhok, as well as commando units in Kani Masi and Begova in northern Iraq.

In accordance with Ankara’s goal of unilaterally creating a 40km-deep security belt in northern Iraq, TSK has established new bases in the Iraqi regions of Hakurk and Metina.

One source claims that the number of Turkish troops in Iraq has risen to over 10,000, but a news outlet aligned with Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) says there are only 2,000 troops, with approximately 500 of them mechanized units in Bamarni, and 400 of them from Bolu Commando Brigade in Kani Masi.

It also claims that there are 130 Special Forces as liaison officers in Erbil, Zaho, Dohuk, Batufa, Sulaymaniyah, and Amadiya. In the town of Simele, Turkish intelligence units are reinforced with new recruits, while military tanks, recently updated by Israel, are deployed in Bashiqa base.

In a rare move, Turkey’s Directorate of Communications published a map in 2020 which showed the positions of Turkish troops in northern Iraq. The map has since been removed.

According to the map, from Zakho to Hakurk in the west–east axis and from Avashin to Erbil in the north–south axis, Turkey has 38 military posts or bases in northern Iraq.

Source: Turkey’s Directorate of Communications, 2020

Bargaining chips in northern Iraq and wars on terror

It is quite significant that pro-Justice and Development Party (AKP) news outlets portray Iraqi resistance against the US presence – many of them pro-Iran – as an indirect threat to Turkey.

Moreover, it appears that the US has given Turkish military operations a green light inside Iraqi territory, but attempted to create a schism between the PKK and its Syrian militia affiliate, the People’s Defence Units (YPG), with which Washington has common cause – to Turkey’s detriment.

Ankara, which enjoys cordial diplomatic and robust economic relations with Iran, can be just as opportunistic. According to the US’s former Syria special representative James Jeffrey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had personally told him twice that he too “considers Iran a threat.”

Such expressions reflect a constant principle within Turkish foreign policy: If you have problems with the west, turn to the east to create bargaining chips.

In this regard, Turkish hard power instruments in Iraq and Syria work against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), developing elements of pressure against Damascus and Tehran, and creating new opportunities to negotiate with Washington.

A new era for Turkey

During the 1980s, Turkey stepped into a new era marked by two intertwined developments.

The first development occurred when the Stabilization Decisions of 24 January 1980 changed the country’s existing economic model. The external debt of Turkey during the 1970s had triggered a ‘balance of payment’ crisis. The Turkish bourgeoisie desperately needed both foreign exchange and to transform import-substitution industrialization into an export-oriented economic policy.

Second, the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War created a sense of opportunity for Turkey. Neo-Ottomanism entered the Turkish political scene when the newly established Central Asian and Caucasian republics were seen as ‘Turkic hinterland’ for the post-Soviet order.

Today, among left-wing circles inside Turkey, it is still widely believed that the 12 September 1980 coup d’état was initiated to apply these economic policies.

As a result, the Turkish state re-evaluated its foreign policy in two broad ways: via the economic prism – diversifying export destinations to bolster and transform the economy; and via identity politics, transforming Turkey from a ‘secular’ state and society into a country in which Turkish and Islamic identities were promoted forcefully by the putschist government of the 1980s.

Turgut Ozal, the first post-coup prime minister, and later the eighth President of the Republic of Turkey, implemented these policies to ‘re-orient’ the new Turkey.

Mixed occasionally with both pan-Turkist and pan-Islamist ideologies, neo-Ottomanism became increasingly attractive for Turkey in furthering its economic and political visions.

It is no surprise then, that Erdogan views Ozal as his role model for Turkey. Both figures bind export–growth economic policies with proactive foreign policy adventures.

Along with other neighbors of Turkey, northern Iraq was now being viewed as strategically significant in this new political context. Iraq was the bridge through which Turkey could reach the Persian Gulf. Turkish state and foreign policy were thus restructured along this line in the early 1990s.

The First Gulf War, according to Ozal, was an opportunity for Turkey’s new foreign policy realignments. The president went on to join the US-led anti-Saddam Hussein coalition and began publicly championing the theme of a ‘Greater Turkey’ as the protector of Turkomen and Kurds in northern Iraq.

Although the Turkish army and foreign ministry resisted Ozal’s efforts, Ankara allowed the Poised Hammer force – an aviation unit consisting of American, Australian, British, Dutch and French troops – to deploy in Silopi, Şırnak and operate on Turkish soil.

In the meantime, Turkey continued its armed operations against the “terrorist threat of the PKK,” alongside efforts to legitimize its presence in northern Iraq, which are assessed by the Iraqi government as illegal.

There were two large operations in northern Iraq in the 1990s. In 1995, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launched Operation Steel, during which over 35,000 Turkish troops crossed the border.

The second operation, in 1997, was Operation Hammer, and it had two goals: to destroy PKK camps and to strengthen the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) against the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in the Kurdish civil war.

The anti-PUK strategy overlapped with the PUK’s so-called ‘pro-Iranian’ stance. This was another reason for Turkey to support the KDP against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and occasionally against the PUK, and it has been the repertoire of the Turkish state ever since.

Alongside irredentist claims over Iraq, Turkey began to exploit the post-Soviet world around it, exporting cheap and relatively high-tech Turkish goods to new destinations assessed as crucial areas.

The tide turned in 2008. The Justice and Development Party (AKP), with its neo-Ottoman figures like former Prime Minster Ahmet Davutoglu, reversed the Turkish course in Iraq. Ankara started to handpick Sunnis to take under its wings, and to develop solid relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Energy cooperation, particularly oil and natural gas investments, were primary motivations for both these governments. In 2004, Turkey’s exports to Iraq were less than two billion dollars, but by 2013, it had risen over 10 billion dollars, and the destination was the KRG, in particular.

Turkish construction companies earned lucrative contacts in the KRG. Erbil Airport was built by Cengiz İnsaat, which is owned by one of Erdogan’s closest allies, Mehmet Cengiz.

In 2014, despite the protests of Baghdad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) started to sell its oil through Turkish ports.

The new Turkey makes a retreat

After 2016, however, Turkish policy towards northern Iraq underwent a re-assessment.

One of the reasons was due to domestic political shifts. The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) acquired strong support in the June 2015 general elections, and AKP lost its majority for the first time in 13 years, bringing an abrupt end to the AKP’s so-called ‘Kurdish opening.’

There were strong clashes between pro-Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) forces and Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in southern parts of Turkey, which paved the way for a return to the old counter-insurgency TSK tactics in regard to the Kurdish question.

Then, on 15 July 2016, a failed coup d’état triggered a further restructuring of the Turkish state.

Another reason for the change in Turkish policy towards Iraq was that foreign policy failures and disappointments had taken their toll on Ankara.

The Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood’s brief regional ascendence were snuffed out in Egypt and Tunisia, sending shockwaves throughout the Turkish government, and ending the rise of the Turkish model of a modern Muslim state throughout West Asia.

The Syrian government, with its allies Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia, held its ground and the US-backed regime change operation in Syria fell apart.

The so-called ‘Friends of Syria’ group splintered into Qatar-Turkey vs. Saudi Arabia-UAE, and started to fight each other.

The outward flows of Syrian refugees heightened tensions within Turkish society, and fueled both anti-AKP and anti-refugee sentiment.

Importantly, the YPG occupation of northern Syria, and its partnership with the US ‘anti-ISIS’ coalition supported by the PKK, created a ‘national threat’ for the Turkish government.

Turkey then set about modifying its policy on Syria. The result was a retreat from the aim of toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the more humble goal of “eliminating the terror corridor alongside [Turkey’s] southern border.”

The paranoia of ‘Iranian influence’

As a result of its hard power policies over the years, Turkey has been denied access via Syria and Iraq to the lucrative markets of the Persian Gulf’s Arab states. These policies include Turkey’s too-cozy relationship with Iraq’s KRG, as well as its economic and sometimes military competition with Iran in Iraq.

Soaring inflation in Turkey also decreased the competitiveness of Turkish goods in regional markets, and the Iraqi government’s protective policies have slowed down Iraq–Turkey trade volume. At the same time, Iranian trade with Iraq began to increase.

Strategic calculations have also played their part. Turkey’s eagerness to wipe out Kurdish militias from northern Iraq’s Sinjar region has caused tensions with both Baghdad and Tehran.

When TSK launched a military operation against the PKK in Gara, northern Iraq, in February 2021, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU, or Hashd al-Shabi) deployed forces in the Sinjar area against Turkish troops.

Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have also been training anti-PKK Iraqi politician Osama al-Nujaifi’s Hashd al-Watani forces in a Turkish base in Bashiqa, near Mosul. In Sinjar, a tacit alliance between the PMU and PKK-affiliated Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) confronted the TSK-backed Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

For Turkey, this confrontation represents an unholy alliance between Iran and the PKK. When Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, criticized Turkish operations in northern Iraq, then Turkish envoy Fatih Yıldız hit back, saying Masjedi should be “the last person to lecture Turkey.”

Ambitious goals, ambiguous future

Today, officially and firstly, TSK claims that its troops and bases are in northern Iraq for ‘fighting against terrorism’ and maintaining national security.

Secondly, as in the case of Bashiqa, Turkey lays claim to Iraqi Sunnis and legitimizes its assets by exploiting the sectarian fragmentation of Iraqi politics.

Thirdly, as long as the US remains in Iraq and maintains its ‘countering Iran’ policy in West Asia, Turkey will present its policy towards the KRG as a counterbalancing act against the so-called ‘Iranian influence.’

It appears that the KRG, and Sinjar in particular, will be the current focal point for the quarrel between Iran and Turkey. As a distant aim, in the event of the fragmentation of Iraq, Turkey would likely explore the annexation of northern Iraq, where it believes it has historic claims.

With respect to the Iraqi government, options against Turkey’s breaches of sovereignty and territorial integrity are limited. Ankara will remain as a big trading partner for Baghdad, with a staggering trade deficit to the detriment of the latter.

Turkey’s deep reach inside the KRG and warm relations with the ruling Barzani family will allow it to use northern Iraq as a bargaining chip with Baghdad in the post-US era – both unilaterally, and for the benefit of its NATO alliance.

Lastly, the recent thaw between Turkey, some Gulf states, and Israel may force Baghdad to accept the Turkish fait accompli in northern Iraq.

In short, Turkish troops in northern Iraq are useful for three things: Influencing the Kurdish question and directly tackling its PKK problem; boosting Turkish regional ambitions; and establishing a bargaining chip with its western allies.The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Kurdish Terrorist Factions bring their Conflicts to Syria from Kurdistan

ARABI SOURI 

Kurdish groups attacking Kurdish groups in Hasakah northern Syria

Kurdish PKK members attack a so-called Kurdish ‘Democratic’ Union Party quarters after the US calls on the warring parties to mend their ties in the face of the Syrian people, this is a continuation of the ongoing schism between the Kurdish Democratic Party KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK.

As a preamble, do not be fooled by inserting the word ‘democratic’ in all their names, it’s two mafia families the Barzani and the Talabani running the two main parties in Kurdistan reflecting on the relations with the two main Kurdish factions in Syria.

On Friday, 17 December, a group of the so-called Kurdish Democratic Union Party attacked a quarter manned by members of the so-called Kurdish National Council in the Syrian city of Ad Darbasiyah, in the northern Syrian Hasakah province. The attackers burned down the quarter and beat up its staff.

Two days earlier, the same group, said to be loyalists of the Kurdish PKK party, attacked the Faysh Khabur border crossing between Syrian Hasakah province and the Iraqi Kurdistan separatist region, the assailants also beat up the staff of the quarter.

US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists rushed to the attacked posts to guard the Kurdish staff against the Kurdish attackers, the Israeli staff acting as the commander of the Kurdish SDF, so-called Mazloum Abidi condemned the attack calling the attackers as ‘outlaws’ targeting his group’s dominance in the regions it occupies on behalf of Israel and the United States of America in northern Syria.

So-called Abidi vowed to hunt down the assailants and present them to ‘justice’, he didn’t specify what does he mean by ‘justice’ since his own group he commands operates illegally in Syria, steals Syrian oil and wheat with the help of Biden oil thieves aka the Army of the United States of America, and attack Syrian troops, kidnaps Syrian people, kills and maims farmers and burn their farmlands and crops!

These in-between attacks among the Kurdish numerous factions are not different from the attacks between the other NATO-sponsored terrorist groups of Al Qaeda and its affiliated different factions over spoils of the war, the main beneficiary remains at the end Israel, and the main victims are the Syrian ordinary people.

Donate

The Kurdish project in Syria would be a new Israel in the Middle East

Dec 2, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Syrians accuse the Western-backed Kurdish enclave in the country of using ethnic cleansing and child soldiers against them to form a new anti-Arab state. The parallels with Israel’s creation in the 1940s are striking.

Kurdish forces in Syria have been lauded by many in the West as being fighters for freedom and an autonomous society. But, unless you’ve been following independent researchers and the Syrian media, you might be unaware of the crimes the US-backed group have been committing over a number of years.

On November 25, the Daily Sabah (a website not sympathetic to the Syrian government) reported on one of their most sickening practices. It revealed, “YPG/PKK terrorists detained three more 15-year-old girls – Hediyye Abdurrahim Anter, Evin Jalal Halil and Ayana Idris Ibrahim – in Amuda in Hassakeh province on Nov. 21 to forcibly recruit them as ‘child fighters.’ The terror group detained two children, aged 13 and 16, in early August. And two children aged 16 and 13 were kidnapped Aug. 23.”

The piece went on to note that this practice of abducting children and forcing them to fight has been documented by the United Nations, with one report stating that the YPG/PKK used more than 400 children between July 2018 and June 2020.

Yet, the world has been led to believe that the self-declared autonomous region – known as Rojava and comprising areas of Hassakeh, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo governorates – is a haven for liberals and feminists, with freedom-loving Kurdish fighters based there fighting ISIS and liberating Syria.

Indeed, the YPG Rojava page claims“The YPG was set up to protect the legacy and values of the people of Rojava and is founded on the principles of the paradigm of a democratic society, ecology and woman’s liberation. Without preferring or discriminating any religion, language, nation, gender or political parties, the YPG is protecting the country against all attacks from outside. The YPG is the Democratic Nation’s defense force and is not related to any political party.”

It reads like a feelgood fairytale, but is not based in reality.

The utopian image of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the YPG and PKK, is betrayed by the kidnappings, which sadly are not a new development. Search for QSD – their Arabic acronym – on Syrian media and you’ll see regular updates on Kurdish forces kidnapping civilians and journalists.

This image is further betrayed by their ethnic cleansing of indigenous Syrians from the northeastern Syrian regions Kurdish forces occupy and collaboration with illegally occupying US forces.

But this won’t be highlighted in corporate media. Instead, you will still find odes romanticizing Kurdish fighters, with one such recent story deceptively saying that the areas controlled by Kurdish forces have a “predominantly Kurdish population” – a claim not backed up by the truth.

As author Stephen Gowans detailed in a 2017 article, Kurds in Syria comprise, “only a small percentage of the Syrian population… Estimates of the proportion of the total Kurd population living in Syria vary from two to seven percent based on population figures presented in the CIA World Factbook.”

And yet, Assyrians, Arameans, and other Syrians who have lived there for generations should accept being ruled, or expelled, by Kurds?

Gowans went on to note, “Kurdish fighters have used the campaign against ISIS as an opportunity to extend Kurdistan into traditionally Arab territories in which Kurds have never been in the majority.”

In 2018, Syrian journalist Sarah Abed wrote of the SDF’s kidnapping and ethnic cleansing, noting not only the abductions of men, but, again, children. She recorded how Eddie Gaboro Hanna, the founder of Patriarchal Relief Care Australia, a group providing assistance to Christian families impacted by wars in Syria and Iraq, had explained, “They are taking young Christian boys by force to sign them up for the Kurdish military and send them to the front line.”

And he added, “Christians are treated as second-class citizens [here] in their own land. Just like how ISIS has the Islamic tax they have their own Kurdish one. They’ve replaced ISIS.”

Although the BBC’s coverage of the Kurds’ activities in Syria is predictably pro-SDF, in 2015, even it reported on their ethnic cleansing and displacing of indigenous Syrians. Citing an Amnesty International report, it noted the YPG were accused of “razing entire villages after capturing them from Islamic State (IS),” in Hassakeh and Raqqa provinces.

The Kurds’ history in Syria

In January 2019, I spoke with geopolitical analyst and Sputnik contributor Laith Marouf about the Kurds in Syria. A descendant of eastern Syria’s Deir ez-Zor governorate, part of which is now occupied by Kurds, Marouf had a lot to say about the history of the Kurds in Syria and this 21st century land-usurpation project.

He told me, “There was a wave of Kurdish refugees coming down to Syria (from Turkey) in the 1940s, and the second wave of them in the 1960s when the PKK started the armed rebellion against the Turkish government in what was Arab lands.”

“They were given citizenship by the Syrian government. They were armed and given protection by the Syrian state to fight for their liberation in the Kurdistan mountains in Turkey, and the Syrian government housed the leadership of all the Kurdish resistance up until the early 90s.”

Marouf noted that Syria’s support for the Kurds saw Turkey threatening to invade in the 1990s and building numerous dams on the Euphrates, cutting the water flow. Yet, Syria refused to hand over PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. Marouf emphasized: “Syria almost went to war with Turkey, and the Syrian people (in the northeast) went thirsty and the agricultural fields—the breadbasket of Syria—almost collapsed those couple of years, to protect Kurdish rights.”

“And then what happens now is some crazies are saying there’s something called Rojava and that they can secede and colonize and settle and steal parts of Syrian lands.”

He, too, spoke of the years of kidnappings and disappearances of those critical of Kurdish rule. “Even Kurdish Syrians that are critical of what the YPG is doing, even remotely critical professors in the universities in Hassakeh and Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, were disappeared. And these were just critical Kurds.

“So you could imagine what happened to the Assyrian and the Arab leaders in the area, thinkers, tribal leaders, ex-military – huge amounts of disappearances and forced displacements.”

And as Abed’s article highlighted, formerly Assyrian villages in Hassakeh and Raqqa have been fully taken over by Kurdish forces. “They’re moving in the Kurdish militias and their family members into those villages and creating new ethnically pure towns and villages that are Kurdish. And this is expanding to the holdings of the Syrian churches and their Armenian churches, they confiscated all their land.”

So much, then, for the Rojava “legacy and values” that included “without preferring or discriminating any religion, language, nation, gender or political parties.

Marouf also said, “They have enforced an educational curriculum on all the schools—including schools that are run by ethnic and/or religious groups – so all those that are run by the churches are being told that they have to teach a certain curriculum that specifically promotes and propagates falsehoods about the Kurdish control of the area.”

“When the Assyrians refused, because these are their own private schools that are controlled by the church, the YPG went ahead and shut down all the schools, with armed men making sure the kids cannot go to school.”

The ethnic cleansing and forced expulsion of indigenous people sounds horribly familiar, as Marouf pointed out. “So, the reality is that we have an ethno-nationalist settler colonial state being enforced by the empire, called Rojava – and it’s being sold the exact way that Israel was being sold in the 1940s. It’s like cut and paste propaganda saying that we’re creating a utopia of secular and socialist government in the ‘sea of barbaric Arabs.’”

Over the years, I’ve had Rojava supporters criticize me for respecting Syria’s sovereignty and speaking critically about the West’s attempt to overthrow the Syrian government. Instead, according to them, I should have been supporting this false utopia which has killed and displaced many. To them, I say you have been deluded, as much of the Western left has on Syria.

And you can rest assured that had it been Syria committing these crimes, the media would be reporting loudly and regularly. But because they are being carried out by puppets of the West, all is quiet on that front.

RELATED LINKS:

The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence

Kurdish Militias in Northeastern Syria Turn to Kidnapping, Conscription, ISIS-like Tactics

A History Of Violence – The Myth Of The Moderate Kurdish Rebel

The Kurds: Washington’s Weapon Of Mass Destabilization In The Middle East

The Kurdish Connection: Israel, ISIS And U.S. Efforts To Destabilize Iran

Syria Dispatch: Most Syrians Support Assad, Reject Phony Foreign ‘Revolution’

“So when people speak to us here in Syria about the imaginary Rojava land, we will never forget that there was an ethnic cleansing of Arabs and Assyrians from our lands at the hands of Kurdish militias under the order of the order of the Ottomans.”

“This is a monument to the 1915 genocide of Syriac Assyrians, it’s around the same time as the Armenian genocide. Syria is full of Armenians, it’s where Armenians came and hid. My family is from Deir ez-Zor. The first land that Armenians escaping genocide reached, a safe place, was Deir ez-Zor. My great grandparents hid a lot of Armenian families from the Kurdish militias that were coming into Deir ez-Zor to look for Armenians that were escaping.”

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