NEO-OTTOMAN NIGHTS OF ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJANI WAR

South Front

Turkish Sultan-in-Chief Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come up with a justification for the deployment of Syrian militants to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone to support the war against Armenia. According to him, at least 2,000 fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are supporting Armenian forces there.

During the meeting with the ruling Justice and Development Party parliamentary group, Erdogan claimed that during the phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin he allegedly told him that Turkish authorities “have identified, through intelligence sources, that there are some 2,000 PKK terrorists fighting for Armenia at the moment for $600. Mr. President said he was not aware of that.” “I have told Putin that if our red lines are crossed, we would not hesitate to take action,” he added. Apparently, these non-existent PKK and YPG members in Karabakh are to justify direct Turkish involvement in the conflict on the side of Azerbaijan and somehow neutralize the mounting evidence showing Turkish-backed al-Qaeda-linked militants moving to Karabakh.

Meanwhile, the Armenian side revealed radar data confirming the involvement of the Turkish Air Force in the Armenian-Azerbaijani war. The released tracks show that Turkish warplanes deployed in Azerbaijan provide air cover for Bayraktar TB2 drones striking Armenian positions, while the Turkish aerial command post circulating in Turkish airspace, near the conflict zone, coordinates the entire aerial operation. The entire operation, according to Armenia, was planned and carried out with the deep involvement of Turkish military specialists.

Under the pressure of evidence, the Azerbaijani side has already admitted the presence of Turkish specialists and military equipment on its territory. The last step towards reality would be to confirm that they are involved in combat.

On October 28 and 29, forces of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc were conducting intensive strikes on Shushi and Stepanakert, the largest towns in Nagorno-Karabakh. Several airstrikes even hit the maternity section of the hospital in Stepanakert. Some sources even speculated that these strikes were delivered by F-16 warplanes. On the other hand, the Armenian side demonstrated that it is not much better and shelled the Azerbaijani town of Barda killing at least 21 people and wounding 70 others. The Turkish-Azerbaijani shelling of settlements and towns in Nagorno-Karabakh is a logical result of its attempt to remove Armenians from the region. Therefore, their strikes are aimed not only at military targets, but also at civilian ones in order to displace the local population. Meanwhile, the Armenian retaliation in a similar manner rarely has real military goals, rather it helps Ankara and Baku to gain some ‘evidence’ to confirm its propaganda narrative about ‘Armenian terrorism’. Moreover, these actions of the sides contribute to the further escalation of the conflict and undermine any weak hopes for escalation via diplomatic channels.

On October 29, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported that it continues combat operations in the Khojavend, Fizuli, and Gubadli directions of the front calling its offensive ‘retaliatory measures’ to contain Armenian ceasefire violations. According to Baku, the Armenians lost two T-72 tanks, two BM-21 “Grad” MLRS, 14 different types of howitzers, and 6 auto vehicles in recent clashes. Earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that his forces had captured 13 more settlements in the districts of Zangilan, Fuzuli, Jabrayil and Gubadli.

In their turn, the Armenian military claimed that it has repelled an Azerbaijani attack in the direction of the towns of Kapan and Meghri in southern Armenia inflicting numerous casualties on the ‘enemy’. Armenian forces are also counter-attacking in the district of the Gubadli, aiming to retake the district center. However, this attack reportedly was repelled. As of October 29, Armenian forces have contained Azerbaijani attempts to reach and fully cut off the Lachin corridor linking Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Nonetheless, the situation in the area remains instable and the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc still continues its offensive operations in this direction.

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مقاتلو الفصائل المسلحة السورية: انكشاريو «السلطنة» التركية الجديدة!

د. عدنان منصور

في الأول من هذا الشهر، وفي كلمة له مع بداية العام التشريعي الجديد للبرلمان التركي، أعلن الرئيس رجب طيب أردوغان، تمسّك بلاده بمحافظة إدلب، وعدم التخلي عنها لأسباب عديدة، منها حماية البلاد من تسلل الإرهابيين، وتوفير الأمن للنازحين المدنيين في المنطقة!

وقال إنّ هدف تركيا، هو وقف الهجمات، وجعل المنطقة والحدود التركية آمنة.

كلام أردوغان في البرلمان التركي، جاء بعد توقف المفاوضات على مستوى الخبراء العسكريين بين روسيا وتركيا، والتي اقتصرت حتى الآن، على جولة واحدة جرت يومي 15 و16 أيلول من الشهر الفائت، حيث رفض الأتراك بشكل مطلق وحاسم، الاقتراح الروسي القاضي بسحب القوات التركية من أربع نقاط رئيسة من جنوب طريق اللاذقية ـ حلب، والذي يُعرف بـ M4.

تركيا قرّرت الحفاظ على قواتها بحكم الأمر الواقع، والاستمرار في احتلال أجزاء في العراق وسورية وليبيا، والتواجد في لبنان (من خلال القوات الدولية اليونيفيل)، وفي مالي وجمهورية أفريقيا الوسطى ضمن بعثة الأمم المتحدة العاملة فيهما، والإصرار على بقائها العسكري في شمال سورية، لا سيما في محافظة إدلب، بذريعة وجود تنظيمات إرهابية كداعش، وفصائل كردية عديدة أبرزها:

حزب العمال الكردستاني PKK، و«قسد” (قوات سورية الديمقراطية)، وغيرها، ما يهدّد بزعم أنقرة أمن واستقرار تركيا.

لكن أن تقوم تركيا، بنقل مقاتلين سوريين وغير سوريين، من الفصائل المسلحة الإرهابية إلى ليبيا، وقبلها الإتيان بعناصر إرهابية من أنحاء العالم للقتال ضدّ النظام السوري، وبعد ذلك إرسال جماعات أخرى منهم الى ميادين القتال في أذربيجان، ونشرهم على جبهة الحرب الأرمينية ـ الأذربيجانية، فهذا يسقط بالكامل الحجج التركية الواهية من أساسها في محاربة الإرهاب، ويكشف مدى النفاق، وزيف ادّعاءات القيادة التركية، من أنّ قواتها المحتلة لأراض سورية، تهدف الى محاربة الإرهاب، وتأمين سلامة تركيا وحدودها.

لقد تحوّل المقاتلون الإرهابيون، الى فصائل في يد تركيا، تديرهم، وتحرّكهم، وتأمرهم، وتوجههم، وتستخدمهم أينما كان، وكيفما تشاء، تحوّلهم الى “انكشاريين” من طراز جديد، يقاتلون خارج بلدانهم من أجل مصالحها وأهدافها التوسعية، ومصالحها الاستراتيجية، وهم ينفذون سياساتها، ويزيدون من شهيّتها التوسعية خارج حدودها.

يأتي هذا في الوقت الذي تعزز فيه تركيا من احتلالها العسكري لإدلب وحواضرها، بأكثر من عشرة آلاف آلية عسكرية متنوعة، بالإضافة الى الحشود العسكرية التي انتشرت في الآونة الأخيرة.

هل يعلم مقاتلو الفصائل الإرهابية المسلحة، الذين ارتموا في أحضان تركيا وغيرها، أنهم ليسوا إلا أداة في خدمة العثماني الجديد، يؤدّون فريضتهم له، جاعلين أنفسهم له مطية يركبها في أيّ وقت، مقابل حفنة من المال، يدفعها لهم كمرتزقة؟! مال يخضع للعرض والطلب حسب المهمات الموكولة إليهم، والأماكن التي سيتواجدون فيها وفق أوامر سيدهم.

أين هي “وطنية” و”عروبة” الفصائل المسلحة السورية التي ارتمت في أحضان التركي، والتي حاربت النظام السوري منذ سنوات، وما هي حجتها اليوم عندما ترى المقاتلين والإرهابيين، ينغمسون في حروب لا شأن لهم بها. إلا لكون سيدهم التركي يريد منهم ذلك! هذه الفصائل تثبت مرة أخرى وبشكل قاطع، أنها ومنذ اليوم الأول لاندلاع القتال في سورية، ما كانت إلا مجموعات عميلة، مأجورة، تحرّكها قيادات مرتزقة مدفوعة الثمن من الخارج. وها هي اليوم. تحارب نيابة عن تركيا، بدماء عربية، تزجّ نفسها، وتنغمس في أتون حرب لا ناقة لها ولا جمل.

فليفهم المواطن العراقي والسوري واللبناني والليبي، وكلّ مواطن عربي، تورّط في الصراع الإقليمي، وغرزت أقدامه في المستنقع السوري والتركي. انّ تركيا التي تحمل في الشكل، شعارات براقة، ليست في الحقيقة إلا وسيلة لتطلّ منها على العالمين العربي والإسلامي، لنسترجع الماضي، “وأمجاد” السلطنة العثمانية، التي عانت منها الشعوب التي رزحت تحت نيرها، وحصدت منها الويلات، والكوارث والفقر، والظلم والاستبداد.

السلطان العثماني الجديد يطلّ برأسه مجدّداً، يحارب بمرتزقته من “الانكشاريين” الجدد، الذين جلبهم من هنا وهناك، ليوسّع دائرة نفوذه على امتداد العالم الإسلامي، عله يظفر بقيادته، ويتوّج نفسه “خليفة”، حامياً له، و”راعياً صالحاً للحرمين الشريفين في مكة والمدينة!

وزير سابق

Six More Kurdish SDF Militiamen Killed in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa Provinces

September 19, 2020 Arabi Souri

Syria News Kurds SDF PKK YPG PYD Asayish USA NATO Turkey
Land Thieves and Oil Thieves

Six more militiamen of the US-sponsored Kurdish militia SDF were killed in separate attacks targeting them in the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa, in northern Syria.

A military vehicle carrying Kurdish SDF armed militiamen was targeted with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) near the Al Omar oil field in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor yesterday. The explosion killed two of the militiamen.

Another IED was detonated in a gathering of the Kurdish SDF militiamen in the vicinity of the town of Sabha, in the eastern countryside of the province. The explosion left an unspecified number of the militiamen injured.

Two attacks against the Kurdish separatist SDF militiamen in the Raqqa province left four of them killed and others injured, the first attack was in the Dar’iyah district in the western suburbs of the city of Raqqa. Two of the militiamen were shot dead.

The other attack was near the Sugar factory to the north of Raqqa city where a military vehicle used by the separatist militiamen was targeted and left two of them killed and others injured.

A day earlier, two Kurdish SDF separatist militiamen were killed in Ain Eissa, in the further in the north of Raqqa province.

A group of ultra-radical Kurdish fighters was brought to Syria from the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq by the US regimes of Barack Hussein Obama and his successor Donald J. Trump with a goal of creating cantons that would later be merged into a ‘Greater Kurdistan’, a sister apartheid state to Israel. These fighters created the group known as the SDF under the guise of fighting ISIS, which was also created and sponsored by a number of NATO member states and their oil-rich Gulfies. The base of this newly formed militia was from former members of the PKK, YPG, PYD, and other Kurdish militias. The USA pays handsome salaries to whoever joins its proxies and fights against the Syrian people, the more radical these groups are the higher the pay.

Active US officials worked hard to lure the Syrian Arab tribes in the northern regions of the country to join its efforts in destabilizing Syria, by promises of rebuilding what the US proxies and the US-led illegal coalition to sponsor ISIS in Syria and Iraq destroyed and by intimidating and kidnapping of young men, and children, of these tribes and force-conscript them into its fighting militia.

The SDF is an essential tool in stealing the Syrian riches in partnership with Trump forces and Israeli companies, their focus is mainly on stealing the oil, gas, and wheat produced mainly in the north and northeastern regions of Syria, namely the provinces of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hasakah. They continue the theft started by the Turkish madman Erdogan and his anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood radical terrorists.

Lately, attacks against the separatist Kurdish SDF militias have been on the increase, especially after these militias assassinated a number of the tribes’ elders who refused their presence and their Israel-like oppression of the people of these regions.

Separatist Kurdish SDF Militia work for the USA
Separatist Kurdish SDF Militia – Trump and Erdogan’s oil and wheat thieves partners. [Archive]
Kurdish PYD Asayish SDF Torching Wheat Farms in Qamishli
Trump SDF forces burn Syrian wheat fields, June 2019.
NATO terrorists burning Syrian wheat crops in Ras Al Ayn - Hasakah
US-sponsored Kurdish separatists burned Syrian wheat fields (Video)

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Turkey in Western Calculations… Intelligence, Ideology and Military

August 25, 2020 Arabi Souri

Trump: 'Erdogan in the Smallest Pocket' - Syria News Archive - Turkey USA Syria Libya
Trump: ‘Erdogan in the Smallest Pocket’ – Syria News Archive

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:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized, during the inauguration of the new building of the National Intelligence Service (MİT) in Istanbul, on July 26, “the important role that the agency played in the military and political successes achieved by Ankara in recent years, thus becoming a regional and international power to be reckoned with in all forums and areas.”

President Erdogan’s words came as an affirmation of the “militarization of Turkish foreign policy,” whereby the Turkish army is present in Syria, Libya, Qatar, Somalia, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, in coordination and effective cooperation with the intelligence that directly reports to Erdogan, as is the case of the military establishment after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Erdogan took advantage of this coup and used it to serve his larger project, which is to amend the constitution and change the political system from parliamentary to presidential in April 2017, and he became the absolute ruler of the country since that date. Ankara’s regional policies have witnessed very important changes after that date, the most important of which is more intervention in Syria, especially in the Idlib file, and the sending of the Turkish army to Qatar in June 2017, and then to Libya, with more military operations in northern Iraq, and the building of military bases in Somalia.

And Turkish intelligence, according to President Erdogan’s words, had an important and main role in all of these activities, in addition to a supportive role in other countries and places in the region and Africa, and some European countries as well, which is what French President Macron and German officials talked about in particular.

These data were sufficient for America, France and Britain to place Turkey at the top of its intelligence interests, with the increasing Turkish military and intelligence role regionally and internationally. All this thanks to the wide network of relations established by the various Turkish agencies with large numbers of followers, supporters and loyalists of President Erdogan around the world.

The first initiative was from President Trump, who appointed Gina Haspel as head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CİA) in May 2018. It is known that she speaks Russian, she is an expert on Russian affairs, and she is an expert on Turkish affairs, which means that Washington wanted to You kill two birds with one stone, especially since the appointment came after Astana and before Sochi, as Haspel worked in Azerbaijan, and then held the position of assistant chief of the CIA in Ankara, and at a very important time, where she learned the Turkish language well.

And press information talked about her role in the kidnapping of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan from the Kenyan capital Nairobi on February 14, 1999, after she played a key role in the arrest of two al-Qaeda operatives in Azerbaijan, accused in the bombings of the US embassy in Kenya and Tanzania. On August 7, 1998, Osama bin Laden also participated in it.

Haspal’s “successes” were not limited to her contributions to these two stories, but rather it was said that they also played an important role in transporting the preacher Fethullah Golan to America a month after the handover of Ocalan to Ankara, as then Prime Minister Bulent Aguet said: “Why did the Americans hand us Ocalan with this? The shape? ”, To prove in subsequent years that Ocalan and Golan were, and still are, the two main issues that occupy the Turkish state’s mind. And it looks like they will keep that way with the AKP in power.

Haspal’s sudden visit to Ankara on October 23, 2018, for several hours, and her meeting with President Erdogan, confirms its continued interest in the Turkish file, as the visit was days after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul. This crime, and after information obtained by Haspal in Ankara, was an important paper in President Donald Trump’s bargaining with Mohammed bin Salman, as a start on the path to the so-called “Deal of the Century”, and the Saudi surrender to Washington’s slavery after the Turkish-Qatar alliance in June 2017. And under the American umbrella, namely the “Al Sailiya” and “Al Udeid” bases.

Washington was not the only one in this regard, that is, its interest in Turkey, as France and Britain joined it, the two parties to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and what was attached to it from the Balfour Declaration, and also the establishment of the Hebrew state, with the support of America, the master of the capitalist world, after World War II. President Macron was ahead of Washington when at the beginning of 2017 appointed Bernard Amy as head of the French Foreign Intelligence Service (DGSE), after he served as his country’s ambassador in Ankara for the period 2007-2010, then he moved to Algeria, then London, Beirut and Amman, where he became director of the North Africa Administration in French Foreign Ministry.

Amy speaks Turkish fluently, and he is highly experienced in all of Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies, and Turkish history in general, which may explain the words and positions of President Macron against Turkey and his personal positions against President Erdogan, whether in Libya or Cyprus, Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean, and his support for Islamists in Europe and the world, which is what Ambassador Amy knows very well.

As for the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and his grandfather of Ottoman origins, he was not late in his role in this field, as he appointed Richard Moore on July 30 as the head of his country’s intelligence (Mİ6), amid great Turkish media and political interest in this choice. Moore, who was born in Tripoli (Libya), worked as his country’s ambassador to Malaysia and Pakistan, which has a distinctive relationship with Turkey, before he was appointed his country’s ambassador to Ankara for the period between 2014 and 2017, where he established wide relations with Turkish officials after he mastered the Turkish language. Press information predicted for the Turkish-British relations, which is always distinctive, unlike the relations with all the countries of the European Union, to witness a significant development on the basis of coordination and military and intelligence cooperation during the reign of Richard Moore.

The choice of those who speak the Turkish language, and are fully aware of the Turkish issue, reflects the great interest that Washington, London and Paris attach to the current and future policies of Turkey, which has become clear that it relies on two basic elements that complement each other, namely the intelligence and the army, which work within the framework of President Erdogan’s ideological directives, as the head of National Intelligence Hakan Fidan accompanies President Erdogan on most of his foreign visits.

In turn, Moscow is closely watching these Erdogan policies, given its relationship with all the arenas in which it meets or contradicts Ankara, the most important of which are in Syria and Libya, and through it in the rest of the region, with Erdogan challenging President Putin in Ukraine, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and even self-governed republics within the borders of the Russian Federation, where there are about 25 million Muslims, most of them of Turkish origin.

This interest may be a reason for the importance that President Putin attaches to his advisor and spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, who graduated from the Turkish Language Department in Moscow and then worked for a long time at the Russian Embassy in Ankara, where he became familiar with all the developments of this neighboring country now and in the Soviet era, Turkey was a front trench for NATO and America against communism, and the Russian Empire was the greatest enemy of the Ottoman Empire, at least until Lenin’s Communist revolution in 1917.

And everyone knows that had it not been for the support of this revolution, Ataturk would not have been able to achieve his victory over the colonial countries, namely France and Britain, and with them Greece and Italy, which ended with the Lausanne Agreement of 1923, with the establishment of the Turkish Republic on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, as if history always repeats itself, even if in different forms and models in which the intelligence services played and performed important roles that decided, is deciding, and will decide the fate of the countries and the peoples, as is the case now in the Arab geography which was drawn by a young man named Lawrence, who bought the allegiances of the sheikhs of the Gulf tribes who were promoted from loyalty to the old colonial to serve the new master “Israel”, and its intelligence is the most knowledgeable of all their secrets! And as “Israel” was aware of all Turkey’s secrets, and through the followers of Fethullah Golan in the Turkish security and intelligence services, who were spying until the end of 2013 on the communications of all Turkish officials, both military and politicians, and at the forefront Erdogan, who said that they were spying even on his bedroom, while the pro-Erdogan media accused Golan and his followers, at one time with being agents for America, at other times for Germany, and in the end, ‘Israel’, which has become fully aware of all the secrets and hidden acts of the Turkish state.

End of the article

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تركيا في الحسابات الغربيّة.. مخابرات وعقيدة وعسكر

تركيا في الحسابات الغربيّة.. مخابرات وعقيدة وعسكر

حسني محلي 

المصدر: الميادين نت

24 اب 14:41

يعكس اختيار سفراء يتكلمون اللغة التركية، ويعتبرون ملمّين بشكل تام بالشأن التركي، الاهتمام الكبير الذي توليه واشنطن ولندن وباريس بالسياسات الحالية والمستقبلية لتركيا.

أكّد الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان خلال افتتاحه المبنى الجديد لجهاز المخابرات الوطنيةفي إسطنبول، في 26 تموز/يوليو الماضي، “الدور المهم الذي أداه الجهاز في النجاحات العسكرية والسياسية التي حققتها أنقرة خلال السنوات الأخيرة، فأصبحت قوة إقليمية ودولية لا يستهان بها في كل المحافل والمجالات”.

جاء كلام الرئيس إردوغان تأكيداً على “عسكرة السياسة الخارجية التركية”، حيث يتواجد الجيش التركي في سوريا وليبيا وقطر والصومال والعراق وأذربيجان وأفغانستان والبوسنة، وذلك بالتنسيق والتعاون الفعال مع الاستخبارات التي تتبع مباشرة لإردوغان، حالها حال المؤسَّسة العسكريَّة بعد محاولة الانقلاب الفاشلة في 15 تموز/يوليو 2016.

وقد استغلّ إردوغان هذا الانقلاب وسخَّره خدمة لمشروعه الأكبر، ألا وهو تعديل الدستور، وتغيير النظام السياسي من برلماني إلى رئاسي في نيسان/أبريل 2017، فأصبح الحاكم المطلق للبلاد منذ ذلك التاريخ. وشهدت سياسات أنقرة الإقليمية بعد ذلك التاريخ تحولات مهمة جداً، أهمها المزيد من التدخل في سوريا، وبشكل خاصّ في ملف إدلب، وإرسال الجيش التركي إلى قطر في حزيران/يونيو 2017، وبعدها إلى ليبيا، مع المزيد من العمليات العسكرية في الشمال العراقي، وبناء القواعد العسكرية في الصومال.

وكان للمخابرات التركية، بحسب كلام الرئيس إردوغان، دور مهم ورئيسي في مجمل هذه الفعاليات، يضاف إليها دور داعم في دول وأماكن أخرى في المنطقة وأفريقيا، وبعض الدول الأوروبية أيضاً، وهو ما تحدث عنه الرئيس الفرنسي ماكرون، والمسؤولون الألمان بشكل خاصّ.

وكانت هذه المعطيات كافية بالنسبة إلى أميركا وفرنسا وبريطانيا، حتى تضع تركيا في أولويات اهتماماتها الاستخباراتية، مع تزايد الدور التركي العسكري والاستخباراتي إقليمياً ودولياً. كل ذلك بفضل شبكة العلاقات الواسعة التي أقامتها الأجهزة التركية المختلفة مع أعداد كبيرة من أتباع الرئيس إردوغان وأنصاره والموالين له في جميع أنحاء العالم.

وكانت المبادرة الأولى من الرئيس ترامب، الَّذي قام بتعيين جينا هاسبل رئيسة للمخابرات الأميركية المركزية في أيار/مايو 2018. ومن المعروف عنها أنها تتكلم الروسية، وهي خبيرة بالشأن الروسي، كما أنها خبيرة بالشأن التركي، وهو ما يعني أن واشنطن أرادت أن تضرب عصفورين بحجر واحد، وخصوصاً أنَّ التعيين جاء بعد أستانا وقبل سوتشي، فقد عملت هاسبل في أذربيجان، ومن ثم شغلت منصب مساعد رئيس مكتب المخابرات الأميركية في أنقرة، وفي توقيت مهم جداً، حيث تعلَّمت اللغة التركية بشكل جيد.

وتحدثت المعلومات الصحافية عن دورها في عملية اختطاف زعيم حزب العمال الكردستاني، عبد الله أوجلان، من العاصمة الكينية نيروبي في 14 شباط/فبراير 1999، بعد أن أدت دوراً أساسياً في عملية اعتقال عنصرين من القاعدة في أذربيجان، متهمين في تفجيرات السفارة الأميركية في كينيا وتنزانيا في 7 آب/أغسطس 1998، والتي شارك فيها أسامة بن لادن أيضاً.

ولم تقتصر “نجاحات” هاسبال على مساهماتها في هاتين القصتين، بل قيل إنها أدت دوراً مهماً أيضاً في نقل الداعية فتح الله جولان إلى أميركا بعد شهر من تسليم أوجلان إلى أنقرة، إذ قال رئيس الوزراء آنذاك بولنت أجويت: “لماذا قام الأميركيون بتسليمنا أوجلان بهذا الشكل؟”، لتثبت السنوات اللاحقة بأن أوجلان وجولان كانا، وما زالا، القضيتين الأساسيتين اللتين تشغلان بال الدولة التركية. ويبدو أنهما سيبقيان على هذا الحال ببقاء حزب العدالة والتنمية في السلطة.
وجاءت زيارة هاسبال المفاجئة إلى أنقرة في 23 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2018 لعدة ساعات، ولقاؤها الرئيس إردوغان، ليثبت استمرار اهتمامها بالملف التركي، إذ كانت الزيارة بعد أيام من مقتل الصحافي جمال خاشقجي في مبنى القنصلية السعودية في إسطنبول. وكانت هذه الجريمة، وبعد المعلومات التي حصلت عليها هاسبال في أنقرة، ورقة مهمة في مساومات الرئيس دونالد ترامب مع محمد بن سلمان، كبداية على طريق ما يسمى بـ”صفقة القرن”، والاستسلام السعودي لعبودية واشنطن بعد التحالف التركي-القطري في حزيران/يونيو 2017، وتحت المظلة الأميركية، أي قاعدتي “السيلية” و”العديد”.

لم تكن واشنطن الوحيدة في هذا المضمار، أي اهتمامها بتركيا، فقد لحقت بها فرنسا وبريطانيا، طرفا اتفاقية سايكس بيكو، وما لحق بها من وعد بلفور، وحتى قيام الدولة العبرية، بدعم من أميركا، سيدة العالم الرأسمالي، بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، فقد سبق الرئيس ماكرون واشنطن عندما قام في بداية العام 2017 بتعيين برنارد إيمي رئيساً لجهاز الاستخبارات الفرنسية الخارجية ، بعد أن خدم كسفير لبلاده في أنقرة للفترة 2007-2010، لينتقل منها إلى الجزائر، ثم لندن وبيروت وعمان، حيث أصبح مديراً لإدارة شمال أفريقيا في الخارجية الفرنسية. 

ويتكلَّم إيمي التركية بطلاقة، وهو ذو خبرة عالية بمجمل سياسات تركيا الداخلية والخارجية، والتاريخ التركي عموماً، وهو ما قد يفسّر أقوال ومواقف الرئيس ماكرون ضد تركيا ومواقفه الشخصية ضد الرئيس إردوغان، إن كان في ليبيا أو قبرص واليونان وشرق الأبيض المتوسط، ودعمه للإسلاميين في أوروبا والعالم، وهو ما يعرفه السفير إيمي جيداً.

أما رئيس الوزراء البريطاني بوريس جونسون، وجَدّه من أصول عثمانية، فلم يتأخّر بدوره في هذا المجال، إذ قام في 30 تموز/يوليو الماضي بتعيين ريتشارد مور رئيساً لاستخبارات بلاده ، وسط اهتمام إعلامي وسياسي تركي كبير بهذا الاختيار، فقد عمل مور، وهو من مواليد طرابلس الغرب، سفيراً لبلاده في ماليزيا وباكستان ذات العلاقة المميزة مع تركيا، قبل أن يتم تعيينه سفيراً لبلاده في أنقرة للفترة الممتدة بين العام 2014 و2017، إذ أقام علاقات واسعة مع المسؤولين الأتراك بعد أن أتقن اللغة التركية. وتوقعت المعلومات الصحافية للعلاقات التركية – البريطانية، وهي مميزة دائماً، خلافاً للعلاقات مع جميع دول الاتحاد الأوروبي، أن تشهد تطوراً مهماً على قاعدة التنسيق والتعاون العسكري والاستخباراتي في عهد ريتشارد مور.

ويعكس اختيار هؤلاء الذين يتكلمون اللغة التركية، ويعتبرون ملمّين بشكل تام بالشأن التركي، الاهتمام الكبير الذي توليه واشنطن ولندن وباريس بالسياسات الحالية والمستقبلية لتركيا، والتي بات واضحاً أنها تعتمد على عنصرين أساسيين مكملين لبعضهما للبعض، وهما المخابرات والجيش، اللذان يعملان في إطار توجيهات الرئيس إردوغان العقائدية، إذ يرافق رئيس المخابرات الوطنية هاكان فيدان الرئيس إردوغان في معظم زياراته الخارجية.

بدورها، تراقب موسكو، وعن كثب، هذه السياسات الإردوغانية، نظراً إلى علاقتها بمجمل الساحات التي تلتقي أو تتعارض فيها مع أنقرة، وأهمها في سوريا وليبيا، ومن خلالها في باقي دول المنطقة، مع تحدي إردوغان للرئيس بوتين في أوكرانيا والقوقاز وآسيا الوسطى، وحتى جمهوريات الحكم الذاتي داخل حدود روسيا الفيدرالية، ويعيش فيها حوالى 25 مليون مسلم، ومعظمهم من أصول تركية.

وقد يكون هذا الاهتمام سبباً للأهمية التي يوليها الرئيس بوتين لمستشاره والمتحدث الرسمي باسمه، ديمتري بيسكوف، الذي تخرَّج من قسم اللغة التركية في موسكو، ثم عمل لفترة طويلة في السفارة الروسية في أنقرة، حيث أصبح ملماً بمجمل تطورات هذا البلد الجار الآن وفي العهد السوفياتي، فقد كانت تركيا خندقاً أمامياً للحلف الأطلسي وأميركا ضد الشيوعية، كما كانت الإمبراطورية الروسية العدو الأكبر للدولة العثمانية، وعلى الأقل حتى ثورة لينين الشيوعية في العام 1917. 

ويعرف الجميع أنه لولا دعم هذه الثورة، لما استطاع أتاتورك أن يحقّق انتصاره على الدول الاستعمارية، وهي فرنسا وبريطانيا، ومعها اليونان وإيطاليا، وهو ما انتهى باتفاقية لوزان للعام 1923، بقيام الجمهورية التركية على أنقاض الإمبراطورية العثمانية، وكأنَّ التاريخ يكرر نفسه دائماً، ولو بأشكال ونماذج أخرى أدت وتؤدي فيها أجهزة المخابرات أدواراً مهمّة قررت وتقرر وستقرر مصير الدول والشعوب، كما هو الحال الآن في الجغرافيا العربية التي رسم خارطتها شاب صغير اسمه لورنس، اشترى ذمم شيوخ القبائل الخليجية الذين ترفَّعوا من الولاء للمستعمر القديم إلى خدمة السيد الجديد “إسرائيل”، ومخابراتها هي الأدرى بكل أسرارهم!

وكما كانت “إسرائيل” على علم بكل أسرار تركيا، ومن خلال أتباع فتح الله جولان في الأمن والمخابرات التركية، والذين كان يتجسَّسون حتى نهاية العام 2013 على اتصالات جميع المسؤولين الأتراك، العسكريون منهم والسياسيون، وفي مقدمتهم إردوغان، الذي قال إنهم كانوا يتجسّسون حتى على غرفة نومه، فيما اتهم الإعلام الموالي لإردوغان جولان وأتباعه، تارة بالعمالة لأميركا، وتارة أخرى لألمانيا، وفي نهاية المطاف، “إسرائيل”، التي باتت على معرفة تامة بكل أسرار الدولة التركية وخفاياها

Trump Regime Theft of Syrian Oil

By Stephen Lendman

Source

According to the Oil and Gas Journal, in 2015 Syria had around 2.5 billion barrels of oil reserves.

In 2018, the BP Statistical Review of World Energy reported the same number, saying Syrian wells produced around 385,000 barrels per day in 2010 — the year before preemptive Obama regime war on the country began.

Today, US military forces illegally occupy and control most Syrian oil producing areas.

Days earlier, Pompeo confirmed that the Trump regime arranged a deal between an unnamed US energy firm (believed to be Delta Crescent Energy) and so-called Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — comprised of US supported terrorists.

Last Sunday, a statement by Syria’s Foreign Ministry denounced what it called a scheme “to steal Syrian oil…an agreement between…thieves who steal and thieves who buy,” adding:

Damascus “condemns in the strongest terms the agreement signed between al-Qasd militia (SDF) and an American oil company to steal Syria’s oil under the sponsorship and support of the American” regime.

“This agreement is null and void and has no legal basis.”

The Ministry also condemned “the hostile US position towards Syria, the theft of the Syrian people’s riches, and its hindrance of the state’s reconstruction efforts.”

On Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi denounced the US arranged grand theft of Syrian oil, saying:

“The signing of the agreement by the US, as an occupier force that is illegally present on the Syrian soil, lacks any legal validity and amounts to another step taken by (the Trump regime to) plunder Syria’s natural resources.”

The unlawful deal is another hostile US tactic in its near-decade-long war on Syria and its long-suffering 17 million people.

On Thursday, Press TV reported that “multiple missiles” struck an illegal US base in northeast Syria following the reported Trump regime’s deal with hostile to Damascus paramilitaries, terrorists, and Delta Crescent Energy to plunder Syrian oil.

Endless US aggression in Syria is all about wanting its sovereign independence eliminated and its people immiserated, along with gaining another imperial trophy.

Wherever US forces show up, mass slaughter, vast destruction, and human misery follow — what the scourge of imperialism is all about.

Separately, Turkey condemned the Trump regime’s deal with Kurdish-led SDF terrorists to steal Syrian oil, a statement saying:

“We regret that the US lends its support to this move which completely ignores international law, and the territorial unity and sovereignty of Syria, and is covered by the scope of financing terrorism,” adding:

“This position, which cannot be legitimized under any circumstances, can never be accepted.”

“With this step, the PKK/YPG terror group has revealed its intention to advance its separatist agenda by seizing the Syrian people’s natural resources. The natural resources of Syria belong to its people.”

Al-Monitor reported that the Trump regime agreed to provide facilities to refine stolen Syrian oil.

According to the Baghdad-based Iraq Oil Report, Delta Crescent Energy is led by a former US envoy, an individual connected to a security firm, and a third party who sought but failed to obtain license approval to operate in Iraq.

They’ll now pillage Syrian oil in cahoots with anti-Damascus paramilitaries and terrorists — arranged by the Trump regime.

TURKEY HAS 37 ‘MILITARY POINTS’ IN NORTHERN IRAQ (MAP UPDATE)

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Turkey Has 37 'Military Points' In Northern Iraq (Map Update)

On July 6, the Republic of Turkey Directorate of Communications released a map of the military situation in northern Iraq revealing that Turkey has establsihed 37 “military points” in border areas of the Kurdistan Region and inside the cities of Erbil, Duhok, Zakho and Soran.

The map showcases the growing Turksih military presence in multiple locations, spreading across the Iraq-Turkey and Iraq-Iran border areas. The Turkish army also keeps a military base in Bashiqa, in the disputed province of Nineveh, despite multiple calls from Baghdad to withdraw from the area. With the recent start of a new phase of Turkey’s fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, its military presence there is expected to grow even further.

It’s interesting to note that later the Republic of Turkey Directorate of Communications decided to remove its post with the abovementioned map. Likely, Ankara decided to not promote in media locations of its new military positions in the country.

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Syrian Army Fights ISIS In Homs. SDF Rejects Deal With Damascus

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Clashes between government forces and ISIS terrorists have continued in central Syria since July 2, when ISIS cells stormed army positions in eastern Homs. In response, the Syrians supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a security operation in the desert. Sporadic clashes and airstrikes were reported in the area over the next few days.

On July 4, ISIS terrorists even ambushed a unit of the Syrian Army in eastern Homs. The military reportedly lost contact with 25 soldiers in eastern Homs. As of July 6, their fate remains unclear. It’s likely that, members of the dispersed unit are now returning to their permanent positions in the province.

Pro-opposition sources claim that over the past week, at least 20 soldiers were killed in clashes with ISIS members. Pro-government sources do not provide details regarding army casualties, but say that government forces were able to destroy 3 ISIS vehicles and neutralize up to 10 ISIS members.

As the Syrian government fights ISIS on the western bank of the Euphrates, the US-led coalition conducted a raid against the terrorist group in the town of Husayn on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

On July 5, US helicopters landed near the town and US forces assisted by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained at least 4 suspects.

Meanwhile, the SDF leadership declared that it does not see a possibility to reach a comprehensive political agreement with Damascus because the government wants to restore full control over the provinces of Deir Ezozr and Raqqa in the framework of such a deal.

SDF Commander-in-Chief Abdi Şahin better known by his nom de guerre Mazlum Abdi declined such a possibility claiming that the Kurdish-led group wants to keep control of all the areas that it has seized. Abdi is a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which seeks to create an independent Kurdish state in southern Turkey and, if it’s possible, include into it territories of northern Syria and northern Iraq. Therefore, such a position of the SDF leadership is not a big surprise.

In 2019, the Syrian Army came to northeastern Syria to rescue the SDF from the Turkish military advance when the group then abandoned by the US-led coalition needed it. However, after this, the Kurdish leadership once again turned back from the Syrian people selling its loyalty to Washington for weapons and a share of oil revenue from the US-controlled Syrian oilfields.

Infighting among Turkish-backed militant groups erupted in the provinces of al-Hasakah and Raqqa on July 3 and July 5. Tell Abyad, al-Yabisah and Ras al-Ain are the man hot points. At least 5 militants and several civilians were killed. The main source of tensions is the intra-militant competition for control of roads, agricultural lands and trade in a small chunk of area occupied by Turkey in northeastern Syria. The funding from Turkey decreased after the de-escalation of the conflict in this part of the country. So, Turkish-backed fighters are now looting the captured areas to obtain the needed financial resources.

Military Situation In Syria On July 6, 2020 (Map Update)

Military Situation In Syria On July 6, 2020 (Map Update)

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

  • Israeli warplanes struck a truck convoy in Al-Dimas region in northwestern Damascus countryside. A weapon shipment reportedly headed towards the Lebanese border and was intended for Hezbollah;
  • Turkish forces targeted a civilian truck on the M4 highway to the west of the town of Ain Issa in northern Raqqa;
  • Syrian army artillery targeted the villages of Khirbet Al-Naqus, Mansourah in northern Hama and the town of al-Fatirah in Southern Idlib;
  • The US MQ-9 Reaper drone was spotted over the Idlib region;
  • Turkish artillery shelled the SDF positions near the town of Tell Abyad in northern Raqqa.

Related News

PKK CLAIMED RESPONSIBILTIY FOR LARGE-SCALE EXPLOSION AT FIREWORKS FACTORY IN TURKEY’S SAKARYA

South Front

04.07.2020 

PKK Claimed Responsibiltiy For Large-Scale Explosion At Fireworks Factory In Turkey's Sakarya

On July 3, 4 people were killed and 114 injured in a large explosion that rocked a fireworks factory in the district of Hendek in Sakarya province in northwestern Turkey.  The government’s disaster agency AFAD called the explosion an “industrial accident”.

However, later the Kursistah Workes Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the explosion claiming that the factory was producing explosives for the Turkish Armed Forces. The attack itself was reportedly conducted by the PKK’s splitner group known as “Children of Fire”.

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Why do ISIS terrorists and Turkish regime kill Yazidis?

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Saturday, 20 June 2020 14:11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heart wrenching stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s about Genocide!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basma Qaddour

Ex-Turkish minister warns of direct clash between Egypt and Turkey in Libya

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By News Desk -2020-06-22

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:30 P.M.) – Former Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakesh considered that Libya might turn into a direct confrontation area between Turkey and Egypt, stressing the need to stop the tension and give priority to diplomacy.

In an interview with the Turkish newspaper, Cumhuriyet, Yakesh, who assumed the position of Ankara’s ambassador to Cairo between 1995 and 1998, and the Turkish Foreign Minister in 2002-2003, mentioned the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to the western region in Egypt, during which he announced the possibility of sending military forces to Libya, in the presence of tribal leaders on the Egyptian and Libyan sides.

He said: “The border between Egypt and Libya is mixed, as part of the tribes in the region are on the Egyptian side and the other part is on the Libyan side. Egypt’s intervention in Libya and the movement of the army there will be easy because there are no natural barriers. The presence of the tribes on both sides of the border facilitates the mission of Egypt.” .

Yakesh emphasized that the Egyptian administration, led by Sisi, considered the “Muslim Brotherhood” the greatest threat to it, and that Libya, under the leadership of the Al-Wefaq government, which it considered linked to the group, constituted a threat to Egypt similar to the threat posed by the PKK to Turkey.

He pointed out that if Turkey continues to strengthen its presence in Libya and its inability to create common ground, the matter may reach a “violent clash” between the Turkish and Egyptian sides.

He considered that it is currently possible to reach a compromise in the event that an opportunity for diplomacy is given, saying: “In the event of diplomatic contacts, diplomats may be able to find solutions that will reduce the losses of both parties. So Turkey should give priority to this matter but it does not do so at the present time.” .

He explained that the agreement to demarcate the maritime borders signed by Turkey with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) came as a “window of opportunity” for Turkey, adding: “But in diplomacy, we cannot achieve everything we want.”

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

South Front

17.06.2020 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

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

Related News

Amb. Jaafari to UNSC COVID Meeting: Stop Terror Virus against Syria

May 16, 2020 Miri Wood

unsc meeting covid 19 - Syria

Syria’s Ambassador Bashar al Jaafari addressed the UNSC ‘humanitarian bastards‘ meeting, 29 April, calling on the NATO P3 al Qaeda supporters to end savage unilateral economic coercion and reminding them that their terror virus needed more attention than their cover story of COVID concern.

Given a lengthy bathetic title, the meeting was held via video conference, reputedly as a precaution against contagion, though anonymous sources have the UN building had been completely sanitized by the numerous time it was flooded with the crocodile tears wept by the countries which have armed the criminally insane terrorists in Syria.

Leading with their bathetically artificial concern for COVID in Syria, the tripartite aggressors added neocolonial demands for compelled reopening of the al Yarubiyah crossing, lamentations over hospitals that do not exist, and ceasefire to their collective howling.

COVID
NATO stenography media pretend this is normal.
COVID
UN unindicted war criminals lead in coronavirus statistics, 15 May. Syria’s death total remains at 3.
Physician, heal thyself should come to mind.

As every honest diplomat knows, there can be no ceasefire without a formal declaration of war. In the unique situation of Syria — in which the filthiest of the filth, those countries which have dumped their human garbage into Syria, which have armed their human garbage in Syria, and whose media have written odes to the human garbage dumped into Syria and armed — there can only be a cessation of hostilities. Translating their Newspeak into reality-based language, the mobster gang demands that Syria cease protecting its citizens against NATO supported al Qaeda factions and cease to think of liberating up to three million Syrians entrapped in al-Qaeda’s last strong haven in the Idlib province by the Turkish madman Erdogan’s army and terrorists.

Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, His Excellency Vasily Nebenzya drolly explained to the NATO klan its collective error in use of “ceasefire.”
UNSC Video meeting on COVID 19 and sanctions against the Syrian people
A partial break from the P3’s Greek Chorus came via the Representative of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines [second from top, right] who called for the removal of unilateral coercive measures imposed on the SAR. She stopped short of reminding her colleagues that these are a breach of the UN Charter because a Security Council Resolution for sanctions is required to starve a member country.

One upon another, all of the P3 NATO klan and their tap-dancing House Servants functioned as hired mourners, in wailing, in gnashing of their teeth, and in rending their garments whilst suffering intractable grief for the Afrin carnage one day earlier, the spread of COVID — including the donning of the white man’s burden garb to rescue the Arab country, while their own are destroyed by the virus — and Syria’s “war-ravaged health care system.”

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Reported oil tanker detonation near Afrin market has killed & injured dozens in fire.

The NATO klansmen outed themselves as “the grandsons of Sykes-Picot who want to redo what their grandfathers did and divide further what was already divided and tear apart further what they can tear apart.

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Syria before the Roman occupiers began the carving. The last major imperial hacking was by the Sykes-Picot vermin, but their NATO grandsons want more.
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The proud, imperial, UN P3 grandsons want to further carve off more chunks of Syria, today. This time they use their fake concern for COVID.

Not one of the P3 klansmen, nor any of their underlings, mentioned that Afrin, Syria, has been under NATO Madman Erdogan’s troops and assorted al Qaeda mercenary occupation, which is a breach of International Law and of the UN Charter; the NATO tribesmen flout both during their every important anti-Syria Security Council event.

Syria News reminds our readers that when the P3 criminals against humanity mention hospitals and health care, they do not include actual hospitals and clinics, They have never held emergency Security Council meetings to condemn the terrorist destruction of al Kindi University Cancer Hospital, nor the FSA bombings of al Watan Hospital, nor the partial destruction of the Jisr al Shughur National Hospital.

US-sponsored terrorists bombed al-Kindi Hospital in Aleppo December 2013
US-sponsored terrorists bombed al-Kindi Hospital in Aleppo December 2013

When the world leaders in war crimes– France, US, UK — occupying the UNSC say “hospital,” they actually mean unhospitalUnhospitals are any places — stolen homes, tunnels, caves, abandoned buildings, ancient ruins, CGI’s — that al Qaeda savages, illegals (including Mengele-types bragging about practicing medicine without licensure, and surgeries without anesthesia) and assorted human detritus claim to be medical facilities, and it is about these that the UN fake humanitarians criminally identify as “health care” facilities.

Ancient ruin declared a bombed hospital by NATO media.

The US, UK, and French unindicted war criminals did not mention that Syria is war-ravaged because they have dumped their human pathogens into the Levantine republic, and armed them with NATO weapons, and fueled their depraved, joint, psychosis with Captagon. Nor did they mention that they, the humanitarian bastards have also created the humanitarian crisis in Syria, with their illicit, draconian, economic terrorism they call sanctions which actually require a UN Security Council Resolution, which means these criminals are in breach of the UN Charter to which they are signatories.

flags
These terrorists left their flags outside, not wanting to soil them with the blood of the Syrian women they slaughtered.

While flooding the building with crocodile tears under the white man’s burden of protecting Syrian Arabs from COVID, the Axis of Evil P3 Devil’s Ambassadors — and their tap-dancing, Greek Chorus House Servants — renewed their paraphilia-like obsessive demands for the imperialists’ forced opening of the Yarubiyeh crossing from Iraq, under the scam of providing humanitarian aid for Syrians whose country has been destroyed by these same imperial NATO thugs.

As memories have been intentionally shrunk by the onslaught of NATO stenography journalists who got perfect scores their Operation Mockingbird course, we must refresh the human mind with reality dating way back to July 2014, in order to expose the ongoing Goebbels Lie regarding the continuing paraphiliac obsession and fake COVID – related need to crush Syria’s sovereignty by opening its borders to the rat pack.

We offer two screengrabs from the same Reuters writer – the Reuters that was established before the births of most of the great-grandparents of our readership — flouting liarship impunity. On 22 February, Reuters pimped the P3 demand to reopen the al Yaarubiyah crossing from Iraq, and arrogantly lied that “Russia and China blocked the world body from using a crossing point on the Iraqi border to provide help.”

Reuters implementation of the Goebbels Big Lie, 22 February.

UNSCR 2504 was passed on 10 January, in what may be the largest Pontius Pilate abstention votes in the history of the United Nations: The US, UK, Russia, and China all withheld their votes. At the UN, abstentions are counted as “yes” votes.

This vote predated the COVID pandemic in NATO countries.

Reuters re-ran its lie to coincide with the 29 April NATO humanitarian bastards flooding the building with their crocodile tears and their colonial cross-bearing to fraudulently protect Syrians against COVID in the SAR, while their own people suffer under draconian lockdown, food shortages, criminally enforced isolation — which can quickly become desolation — shortages of PPE, destruction of health care infrastructure.

Reuters repeated its lie when reporting on the invisible WHO report that has not been made available to us mere mortals. This service, by the way, appears to occasionally put spies on its payroll.

The Pontius Pilate passage of UNSCR 2504 (2020) was a colonial compromise, both a watered-down version of UNSCR 2165 (2014) and a six-month extension given to NATO supported terrorists in Idlib.

Thought the UN Charter is clear on the inviolability of sovereign rights of member states, UNSCR 2165 (2014) and extensions UNSCR 2393 (2017), UNSCR 2449 (2018) all violated Syria’s territorial integrity.

Beginning with 2165, these resolutions permitting breach of Syrian sovereignty have provided terrorists with weapons — including of a chemical nature — finance, and the ability to smuggle out Syrian oil, artifacts, and property; Jabhat al Nusra terrorists occupying Idlib, have received their life line from Turkey, especially.

Not long after the passage of UNSCR 2165 (2014), Turkey celebrated the breach of Syria’s territorial rights by transporting poisoned measles vaccines to human garbage in Idlib — via the Bab al Hawa fake humanitarian corridor — which were used to murder approximately fifty Syrian children. Bab al Hawa is the Turkish route that Press TV journalist Serena Shim reported used for transporting weapons and terrorists in convoys covered by the World Food ProgrammeShim subsequently was killed in a convenient vehicular accident.

A conspicuous section of UNSCR 2165 (2014) shows the affinity to Yaarubiyah crossing pre-dates the phony COVID concerns by almost six years.

The author provides another four maps to explain that the spawns of Beelzebub paraphilia to Yarubiyah has nothing to do with COVID, but everything to do with Sykes-Picot idolatry.

From the still opened Bab al Hawa crossing, Madman Erdogan can continue to transport weapons and terrorists into Idlib, and into Aleppo countryside. The caliph-wannabe launched aerial and ground bombings of Hasakah governate in early October, all of which were either ignored or cheered by the NATO klan mob at the UN. Similarly, the phony Trump haters have been struck dumb over his ongoing military incursions into Qamishli since 7 August.

The illicit Erdogan regime troops have criminally occupied part of al Hasakah post-October bombings. The illicit Trump regime troops come and go as they please (except when chased by very tall Syrians who tear the criminal flags from the criminal tanks).

These maps are provided to show the malignant intention of the UN NATO club plot to hack off another chunk of the Levantine republic, so that Madman Erdogan might get his criminal annexation. The creative chaos of the phony Trump betrayal of traitor/separatist/Obama-created SDF Kurds and Erdogan’s hatred of the separatist Kurds is more readily grasped in the study of these maps which demonstrate how the two unindicted war criminal regimes are working for the same Sykes-Picot updated for the neo-imperialists.

In the early days of the foreign war of terror against Syria, the Obama State Department gave frequent press conferences in which the criminal attacks against the State by the YPG would be cheered. Given the YPG is ‘military arm’ of the PKK which is actually on the US terror list, United States Special Forces Commander Gen. Raymond A. Thomas declared the name change was required (the various flags of the many armed terrorists against Syria, here. They include photos of US-approved terrorists with US-unapproved terrorists.)

The re-marketed, YPG-cum-SDF Obama regime creation was such a hit with western colonial serfs that they missed the fact that Obama actually put together a NATO wetworker run SDF — advertised as a ‘minority’ fighting against the also the US – created ISIS terrorists.

COVID
Bab al Hawi humanitarian bastards corridor.
Note the colonial appropriation of the map-maker: Ain al Arab is the Syrian town in which the German “Kobane” company built a station.
COVID
Al Walid crossing used by Trump regime troops to illegally enter the Syrian Arab Republic, in military convoys.
COVID
Al Yaarubiyah crossing that every rabid dog of war in the UN has screamed to reopen, since it was closed by UNSCR 2504 (2020). How many foreign PMC’s are in Erbil?
COVID
Trump regime illegal American troops have used al Walid crossing for entry into Qamishli since 7 August 2019.
Turkish madman and caliph wannabe Erdogan
Erdogan holding his annexation map at the recent UNGA meeting. There were no complaints from the west on this plan to breach international law.

The audio for the video conference on the phony concern for COVID in Syria was inconsistent in volume, a problem exacerbated by the struggle to understand enough of the non-native English speakers to have wished that French were still the lingua franca of diplomacy.

The involvement of the draconian Treaty of Versailles in diplomatic language was a painfully ironic coincidence, given that Germany has become one of those House Servants against Syria. For those needing a reminder in Germany’s unindicted war crimes against Syria, see here, & here.

There is an expression about being able to trust a thief, but not a liar, which is an appropriate introduction for Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and first to address the most recent cover story of the NATO gang for humanitarian excuses, COVID. As he has been previously exposed before the Council as a liar, there is no need to discuss the liar’s COVID concerns.

Syria UN Jaafari Humanitarian Aid Delivered by SARC Syrian Arab Red Crescent - السفير بشار الجعفري حول المساعدات الإنسانية المقدمة من الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري - مجلس الأمن الدولي
Addressing Mark Lowcock’s “falsified” stats at UNSC, Ambassador Jaafari shows documentation for SARC convoys in 2018. [Archive]

The UN Spec Envoy, Norwegian Geir O. Pedersen, affixed to Syria via some preposition (on? above? around? at?) remained stoic whilst claiming that COVID 19 and its ramifications will become a multiplier of humanitarian needs in Syria. Essentially his speech was the same as the one he gave in March, when the UN held a tutorial on applying the philosophy of Goebbels to re-colonizing Syria. Norway continues its draconian lockdown of its citizenry and of its borders while audaciously declaring its self-appointed right to enter the Syrian Arab Republic.

COVID
Syria’s COVID statistics 28 April.

The 29 April anti-Syria Sykes-Picot Award should go to Estonia’s deputy diplomat, Gert Auväärt. Perhaps he should also receive the Aesop’s Fable The Young Crab & His Mother Award for smarmy hypocrisy. Despite Auväärt’s Estonia — population a tiny 1.328 million — not doing too well in the COVID battle, sealing off its borders, and imposing a draconian lockdown on its people, this gentleman did not choke on his demands that Syria opens its borders, and its jails, on account of COVID.

Estonia, by the way, is in the bottom rungs of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, which should not come as a shock, given the income disparity in his little forest, where the top 20% of the most affluent make five times more than the bottom 20% of the least affluent. It is not, therefore, a surprise that this deputy diplomat stated his satisfaction with the illicit economic terrorism against Syria.

Those countries that break out from the former eastern block become more radical in their enmity to their former allies in order to submit their papers of acceptance to the new club: NATO, EU, the U.S.F.S.: United States Faithful Servants, and the International Monetary Funds slaves.

estonia-map

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has officially (and wrongfully) called for a ceasefire in Syria, and has officially complained that the al Yaarubiya crossing was closed. He has not condemned the war crimes against Syria by NATO countries. This photographs show his moral character.

chemical-attack
Guterres with Tony Blair at the 1999 Socialist International conference.

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, H.E. Bashar al Jaafari addressed the NATO clan’s “pretentious care and lethal affection” regarding the artificial concern for COVID in the SAR, while engaged in a “sinful war against my country.”

— Miri Wood

Syrian ‘Regime Change’ Architect: William Roebuck, US Ambassador of Destruction

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, May 06, 2020

Since 2006, William Roebuck, a US Diplomat, has been working toward ‘regime change’ in Syria at any cost. The destruction of Syria, hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries, and the migration of one-third of the population have been the price of the US policy under Roebuck’s tenure.  The ultimate goal of ‘regime change’ has never been about greater freedoms, democracy, or human rights for Syrians, but has been with the single target spelled out by Roebuck in 2006: to break the relationship between Iran and Syria. 

William Roebuck, US Ambassador ‘to the Kurds in Syria’

William Roebuck is a 27 year veteran of the US State Department, having served under Presidents Bush, Obama, and currently Trump.  His current title is Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. He is a former US Ambassador to Syria and Bahrain.  He has served in the US embassies in Iraq and chargé d’affaires in Libya under Obama. Seymour M. Hersh wrote about the US Embassy in Libya and its role in arming the terrorists used by the US in Syria.  For the past several years, he has been based in Northeast Syria and managing the Kurds.

Roebuck designed the 2011 “Arab Spring” in Syria

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange revealed a plan concocted by William Roebuck, the former US Ambassador to Syria.  Wikileaks published US diplomatic cables, and chapter 10 of “The Wikileaks Files” concerns Roebuck’s cable sent on December 13, 2006.  Ambassador Roebuck wrote that the US should take action to try to destabilize the Syrian government by provoking it to overreact, both internally and externally. That plan was put into action in March 2011 at Deraa, where armed terrorists were interspersed among unarmed civilians in street protests. The terrorists were provoking the police and security forces by shooting at them, as well as shooting unarmed civilians which were blamed on the security forces.

The cables prove that ‘regime change’ had been the goal of US policy in Syria since 2006 and that the US promoted sectarianism in support of its policy, which built the foundation for the sectarian conflict which resulted in massive bloodshed. Roebuck advocated for exploiting Syria’s relationship with Iran, which makes Syria vulnerable to Israeli airstrikes. Roebuck advised that the US should destabilize the Syrian government by promoting sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shia, which at the time was not an issue in Syria, which is a secular government and a tolerant society. By promoting sectarian conflict, which he had observed in the oil-rich Arab Gulf monarchies, Roebuck was crafting the destruction of Syrian society.  The ultimate US goal in Syria was to destabilize the Syrian government by violent means, resulting in a change of government, and the new government would be pro-Israeli, and anti-Iranian.

Roebuck’s memo leaked

In November 2019 an internal memo written on October 31 by Roebuck was leaked to the press. He criticized Trump for failing to stop Turkey from invading the Northeast of Syria. “Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, spearheaded by armed Islamist groups on its payroll, represents an intentioned-laced effort at ethnic cleansing,” Mr. Roebuck wrote, calling the abuses “what can only be described as war crimes and ethnic cleansing.”Empowering Terrorism to “Stop” Terrorism: America’s Foreign Policy in Syria Summed Up in Three Headlines

Roebuck praised the SDF as a reliable partner acting as guards to keep US troops safe while they occupied Syria illegally, to steal the Syrian oil, which is to be used to support the SDF, instead of the Pentagon payroll.

Two is the company, but three is a crowd

The US state department has a Syrian trio: William Roebuck, and the special representative for Syria engagement, James Jeffrey. Joel Rayburn is a deputy assistant secretary for Levant Affairs and special envoy for Syria.

Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish officials are often confused as to which US officials are in charge on any given issue, and whether their policies were personally driven, or reflected US foreign policy directives. Many analysts agree that the US foreign policy on Syria is a confusing mess.

Roebuck pushes the Syrian Kurds to unite

The Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) have begun direct talks which US diplomat William Roebuck has promoted. For the last two years, he has been working with the Syrian Kurds.  The goal is to unite all Kurdish parties in Syria in one body, which could be part of the UN peace talks in Geneva to end the Syrian conflict.  The KNC and PYD have had serious disagreements over the years.

The KNC is part of the Istanbul-based ‘Syrian opposition’ and aligned with the Kurdish nationalist Massoud Barzani and his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq.  The KNC received criticism as being pro-Turkish after the Turkish Army invaded the Northeastern region of Syria.

The PYD is part of the political arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who had been the US partner fighting ISIS.  PYD bases its political and organizational projects on the PKK’s ideology. The PKK is considered as an international terrorist group accused of thousands of deaths in Turkey over the decades.

The first direct negotiations between the KNC and PYD were held in early April at an illegal US military base near Hasakah, with William Roebuck, an SDF commander Mazlum Abdi in attendance.  Roebuck has met numerous times over the past three months with the KNC, trying to push the idea of unification among the Kurdish factions.

At an April 25 press conference in Qamishli, it was announced that Roebuck had presented a draft that called for a unified political vision for Syria.  After about four meetings, the two sides were in agreement on the following points: Syria is to be a federal, democratic, and pluralistic state; the current Syrian government in Damascus was not acceptable; the Kurdish northeast region was to be a political unit.  It was stressed that both parties were committed to resolving the Syrian crisis through the implementation of UN Resolution 2254, and the new Syrian constitution must recognize Kurdish national, cultural, and political rights.

The SDF and PYD do not have political representation in the Geneva talks because of Turkish opposition to their participation, given the fact that Turkey views the groups as terrorists.  Turkey rejects any project that would lead to Kurdish autonomous rule in Syria, which is the goal of the US. When Trump ordered the sudden withdrawal of US troops from the Northeast of Syria in October, the Kurdish leaders immediately turned to the Syrian government in Damascus to save them from extermination at the hands of the invading Turkish Army.  However, the US did not want the Kurds to be protected by Damascus. The US goal is ‘regime change’ using UN Resolution 2254 as their tool. To achieve that end, William Roebuck has continued to work with the Kurds of the Northeast and is now trying to get them united to be at the negotiating table in Geneva. The Kurds might unite, but they will always remain a small minority numbering only 7% of the population, but who are attempting to control 20% of the territory in Syria.  Will there be justice for the Syrian homeowners and landowners within the territory the Kurds call “Rojava”, who have been made homeless and destitute at the hands of the Kurds? Will the Syrians one day rise in a “Kurdish Spring” cleaning to regain their properties?

Ahed al-Hindi, a political analyst based in Washington, DC, told  Al-Monitor that the US goal to unify the Kurdish ranks in northeastern Syria is a part of a project designed to unify the entire Syrian north, including Idlib and the Kurdish Northeast.  The US goal is to prevent the Syrian government from access to the resources which could be used to rebuild Syria.

The next UN peace talks in Geneva

UN Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen gave a UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Syria on April 29. He announced the agenda for the next session of the Constitutional Committee had been agreed between the co-chairs, and meetings in Geneva would resume as soon as the COVID-19 restrictions would allow. He continued to stress the importance of the current nationwide ceasefire, which was needed to combat and treat COVID-19.  He declared there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, and the UN Security Council resolution 2254 must be used as the path to a political settlement that would be acceptable for the Syrian people while restoring the sovereignty, borders, and independence of Syria.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

KURDISH MILITIAS START NEW DANGEROUS GAME IN NORTHERN SYRIA

South Front

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

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

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

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

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

Related News

WHICH TARGET AFTER SYRIA?

Source

19 years of “war without end”

President George W. Bush decided to radically transform the Pentagon’s missions, as Colonel Ralph Peters explained in the Army magazine Parameters on September 13, 2001. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appointed Admiral Arthur Cebrowski to train future officers. Cebrowski spent three years touring military universities so that today all general officers have taken his courses. His thoughts were popularized for the general public by his deputy, Thomas Barnett.

The areas affected by the US war will be given over to “chaos”. This concept is to be understood in the sense of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, i.e. as the absence of political structures capable of protecting citizens from their own violence (“Man is a wolf to man”). And not in the biblical sense of making a clean slate before the creation of a new order.

This war is an adaptation of the US Armed Forces to the era of globalization, to the transition from productive capitalism to financial capitalism. “War is a Racket,” as Smedley Butler, America’s most decorated general, used to say before World War II [1]. From now on, friends and enemies will no longer count; war will allow for the simple management of natural resources.

This form of war involves many crimes against humanity (including ethnic cleansing) that the US Armed Forces cannot commit. Secretary Donald Rumsfeld therefore hired private armies (including Blackwater) and developed terrorist organizations while pretending to fight them.

The Bush and Obama administrations followed this strategy: to destroy the state structures of entire regions of the world. The US war is no longer about winning, but about lasting (the “war without end”). President Donald Trump and his first National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, have questioned this development without being able to change it. Today, the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski thinkers pursue their goals not so much through the Defence Secretariat as through NATO.

After President Bush launched the “never-ending war” in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), there was strong contestation among Washington’s political elites about the arguments that had justified the invasion of Iraq and the disorder there. This was the Baker-Hamilton Commission (2006). The war never stopped in Afghanistan or Iraq, but it took five years for President Obama to open new theatres of operation: Libya (2011), Syria (2012) and Yemen (2015).

Two external actors interfered with this plan.
 In 2010-11, the United Kingdom launched the “Arab Spring”, an operation modeled on the “Arab Revolt” of 1915, which allowed Lawrence of Arabia to put the Wahhabi in power on the Arabian Peninsula. This time it was a question of placing the Muslim Brotherhood in power with the help not of the Pentagon, but of the US State Department and NATO.
 In 2014, Russia intervened in Syria, whose state had not collapsed and which it helped to resist. Since then, the British – who had tried to change the regime there during the “Arab Spring” (2011-early 2012) – and then the Americans – who were seeking to overthrow not the regime, but the state (mid-2012 to the present) – have had to withdraw. Russia, pursuing the dream of Tsarina Catherine, is today fighting against chaos, for stability – that is to say, for the defence of state structures and respect for borders.

Colonel Ralph Peters, who in 2001 revealed the Pentagon’s new strategy, published Admiral Cebrowski’s map of objectives in 2006. It showed that only Israel and Jordan would not be affected. All other countries in the “Broader Middle East” (i.e., from Morocco to Pakistan) would gradually be stateless and all major countries (including Saudi Arabia and Turkey) would disappear.

Noting that its best ally, the United States, was planning to cut its territory in two in order to create a “free Kurdistan”, Turkey unsuccessfully tried to get closer to China, and then adopted the theory of Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu: “Zero problems with its neighbours”. It distanced itself from Israel and began to negotiate peace with Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, Iraq etc. It also distanced itself from Israel. Despite the territorial dispute over Hatay, it created a common market with Syria. However, in 2011, when Libya was already isolated, France convinced Turkey that it could escape partition if it joined NATO’s ambitions. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a political Islamist of the Millî Görüş, joined the Muslim Brotherhood, of which he was not a member, hoping to recoup the fruits of the ’Arab Spring’ for his own benefit. Turkey turned against one of its main clients, Libya, and then against one of its main partners, Syria.

In 2013, the Pentagon adapted the “endless war” to the realities on the ground. Robin Wright published two corrective maps in the New York Times. The first dealt with the division of Libya, the second with the creation of a “Kurdistan” affecting only Syria and Iraq and sparing the eastern half of Turkey and Iran. It also announced the creation of a “Sunnistan” straddling Iraq and Syria, dividing Saudi Arabia into five and Yemen into two. This last operation began in 2015.

The Turkish General Staff was very happy with this correction and prepared for the events. It concluded agreements with Qatar (2017), Kuwait (2018) and Sudan (2017) to set up military bases and surround the Saudi kingdom. In 2019 it financed an international press campaign against the “Sultan” and a coup d’état in Sudan. At the same time, Turkey supported the new project of “Kurdistan” sparing its territory and participated in the creation of “Sunnistan” by Daesh under the name of “Caliphate”. However, the Russian intervention in Syria and the Iranian intervention in Iraq brought this project to a halt.

In 2017, regional president Massoud Barzani organised a referendum for independence in Iraqi Kurdistan. Immediately, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran understood that the Pentagon, returning to its original plan, was preparing to create a “free Kurdistan” by cutting up their respective territories. They coalesced to defeat it. In 2019, the PKK/PYG announced that it was preparing for the independence of the Syrian ’Rojava’. Without waiting, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran once again joined forces. Turkey invaded the “Rojava”, chasing the PKK/YPG, without much reaction from the Syrian and Russian armies.

In 2019, the Turkish General Staff became convinced that the Pentagon, having temporarily renounced destroying Syria because of the Russian presence, was now preparing to destroy the Turkish state. In order to postpone the deadline, it tried to reactivate the “endless war” in Libya, then to threaten the members of NATO with the worst calamities: the European Union with migratory subversion and the United States with a war with Russia. To do this, it opened its border with Greece to migrants and attacked the Russian and Syrian armies in Idleb where they bombed the Al Qaeda and Daesh jihadists who had taken refuge there. This is the episode we are living through today.

Robin Wright’s "Reshaping the Broader Middle East" map, published by Robin Wright.
Robin Wright’s “Reshaping the Broader Middle East” map, published by Robin Wright.

The Moscow Additional Protocol

The Turkish army caused Russian and Syrian casualties in February 2020, while President Erdoğan made numerous phone calls to his Russian counterpart, Putin, to lower the tension he was causing with one hand.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to curb the Pentagon’s appetites if Turkey helped the Pentagon restart the “endless war” in Libya. This country is divided into a thousand tribes that clash around two main leaders, both CIA agents, the president of the Presidential Council, Fayez el-Sarraj, and the commander of the National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

Last week, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Libya, Professor Ghassan Salame, was asked to resign for “health reasons”. He complied, not without expressing his bad mood at a press conference. An axis has been set up to support al-Sarraj by the Muslim Brotherhood around Qatar and Turkey. A second coalition was born around Haftar with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, but also Saudi Arabia and Syria.

It is the great return of the latter on the international scene. Syria is the culmination of nine years of victorious resistance to the Brotherhood and the United States. Two Libyan and Syrian embassies were opened with great pomp and circumstance on 4 March, in Damascus and Benghazi.

Moreover, the European Union, after having solemnly condemned the “Turkish blackmail of refugees”, sent the President of the Commission to observe the flow of refugees at the Greek-Turkish border and the President of the Council to survey President Erdoğan in Ankara. The latter confirmed that an arrangement was possible if the Union undertook to defend the ’territorial integrity’ of Turkey.

With keen pleasure, the Kremlin has staged the surrender of Turkey: the Turkish delegation is standing, contrary to the habit where chairs are provided for guests; behind it, a statue of Empress Catherine the Great recalls that Russia was already present in Syria in the 18th century. Finally, Presidents Erdoğan and Putin are seated in front of a pendulum commemorating the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire.
With keen pleasure, the Kremlin has staged the surrender of Turkey: the Turkish delegation is standing, contrary to the habit where chairs are provided for guests; behind it, a statue of Empress Catherine the Great recalls that Russia was already present in Syria in the 18th century. Finally, Presidents Erdoğan and Putin are seated in front of a pendulum commemorating the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire.

It was thus on this basis that President Vladimir Putin received President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Kremlin on March 5. A first, restricted, three-hour meeting was devoted to relations with the United States. Russia would have committed itself to protect Turkey from a possible partition on the condition that it signs and applies an Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area [2]. A second meeting, also of three hours duration but open to ministers and advisers, was devoted to the drafting of this text. It provides for the creation of a 12-kilometre-wide security corridor around the M4 motorway, jointly monitored by the two parties. To put it plainly: Turkey is backing away north of the reopened motorway and losing the town of Jisr-el-Chogour, a stronghold of the jihadists. Above all, it must at last apply the Sochi memorandum, which provides for support only for the Syrian armed opposition, which is supposed to be democratic and not Islamist, and for combating the jihadists. However, this “democratic armed opposition” is nothing more than a chimera imagined by British propaganda. In fact, Turkey will either have to kill the jihadists itself, or continue and complete their transfer from Idleb (Syria) to Djerba (Tunisia) and then Tripoli (Libya) as it began to do in January.

In addition, on March 7, President Putin contacted former President Nazerbayev to explore with him the possibility of deploying Kazakh “blue chapkas” in Syria under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). This option had already been considered in 2012. Kazakh soldiers have the advantage of being Muslims and not orthodox.

The option of attacking Saudi Arabia rather than Turkey from now on has been activated by the Pentagon, it is believed to be known in Riyadh, although President Trump is imposing delirious arms orders on it in exchange for its protection. The dissection of Saudi Arabia had been envisaged by the Pentagon as early as 2002 [3].

Missiles were fired this week against the royal palace in Riyadh. Prince Mohamed ben Salmane (known as “MBS”, 34 years old) had his uncle, Prince Ahmed (70 years old), and his former competitor and ex-heir prince, Prince Mohamed ben Nayef (60 years old), as well as various other princes and generals arrested. The Shia province of Qatif, where several cities have already been razed to the ground, has been isolated. Official explanations of succession disputes and coronavirus are not enough [4].

Notes:

[1] “I had 33 years and 4 months of active service, and during that time I spent most of my time as a big shot for business, for Wall Street, and for bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster in the service of capitalism. I helped secure Mexico, especially the city of Tampico, for the American oil companies in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a suitable place for the men of the National City Bank to make a profit. I helped rape half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the American bank Brown Brothers from 1902 to 1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the benefit of American sugar companies in 1916. I delivered Honduras to American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927, I helped the Standard Oil company do business in peace.” Smedley Butler in War Is a Racket, Feral House (1935)

[2] “Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area”, Voltaire Network, 5 March 2020.

[3] “Taking Saudi out of Arabia“, Powerpoint by Laurent Murawiec for a meeting of the Defence Policy Board (July 10, 2002).

[4] “Two Saudi Royal Princes Held, Accused of Plotting a Coup”, Bradley Hope, Wall Street Journal; “Detaining Relatives, Saudi Prince Clamps Down”, David Kirkpatrick & Ben Hubbard, The New Yok Times, March 7, 2020.


By Thierry Meyssan
Source: Voltaire Network

أردوغان تحت أقدام الجيش السوريّ

د. محمد سيد أحمد

قبل بدء الحرب الكونية على سورية في مطلع العام 2011 كانت العلاقات السورية – التركية قد وصلت إلى أفضل حالاتها، فمن المعروف أنّ العلاقات السورية – التركية ومنذ حصول سورية على استقلالها عام 1946 لم تكن في حالة جيدة حتى تمّ توقيع اتفاقية أضنة عام 1998 فخلال هذه الفترة التي تجاوزت نصف قرن كانت العلاقات متأزّمة وعدائية بسبب استيلاء تركيا على أراضٍ سورية بمؤازرة الانتداب الفرنسيّ، أهمّها لواء إسكندرون عام 1938، ثم اختلاف الخيارات والتحالفات الاستراتيجية لكلا البلدين، حيث انحازت سورية إلى التوجهات الاشتراكية، مقابل توجه تركيا نحو السياسات الرأسمالية الغربية.

وخلال العقود الخمسة الممتدة من منتصف القرن العشرين وحتى نهايته سادت حالة من النزاع بين البلدين كادت تتحوّل إلى حروب مدمّرة، وخلال هذه المرحلة قام الأتراك بتعزيز وجودهم العسكري على الحدود وقاموا بزراعة الألغام حتى لا يتمكّن أحد من العبور، ولمزيد من التوتر قامت تركيا في تسعينيات القرن العشرين بإنشاء مجموعة من السدود الكبرى على نهر الفرات، فحجزت القسم الأكبر من مياهه، وحجزت مياه نهر الخابور بأكملها حتى جفّ وتوقف جريانه في الأراضي السورية، أما الأزمة الكبرى في العلاقات السورية – التركية فكانت مع تنامي التعاون العسكري والسياسي والأمني بين تركيا والعدو الصهيوني سعياً لوضع سورية بين فكي كماشة بما يهدّد الأمن الاستراتيجي القومي في مختلف المجالات.

في المقابل كانت تركيا دائماً تتهم سورية بدعم عناصر حزب العمال الكردستاني، وأنها تستخدم الورقة الكرديّة لزعزعة أمنها، هذا إلى جانب تخوّفها من العلاقات السياسية والتعاون السوري – اليوناني والعلاقات مع الشطر اليوناني من قبرص، وبلغ النزاع أوجه عام 1998 حين هدّدت تركيا باجتياح الأراضي السورية بحجة وقف هجمات حزب العمال الكردستاني واشتعلت نيران الأزمة وتدخلت بعض الدول الإقليمية، وانتهت الأزمة بتوقيع اتفاقية أضنة وخروج عبد الله أوجلان ومقاتلي حزب العمال الكردستاني من شمال سورية.

ومن هنا بدأت العلاقات تتطوّر نحو الأفضل فبدأ التوافق والتعاون في الجانب الأمني ثم انتقل إلى الجانب الاقتصادي والسياسي وجرى توقيع اتفاقيات عدة في جميع المجالات بين البلدين، نفذ معظمها في أوانه، وتطورت العلاقات نحو الأفضل بزيارة الرئيس التركي أحمد نجدت سيزر لسورية في عام 2000، ثم زيارة الرئيس بشار الأسد لتركيا عام 2004 عززت أكثر من العلاقات، ومع صعود حزب العدالة والتنمية في تركيا أحدث تحوّلات كبرى في العلاقة بين البلدين حيث تحوّلت العلاقات بين البلدين إلى تفاهم وتعاون فوقعت اتفاقية إزالة الألغام من على الحدود لإقامة مشاريع إنمائية مشتركة، ورفضت تركيا المشاركة في سياسة العزل والحصار التي حاول الرئيس الأميركي جورج دبليو بوش فرضها على سورية، وتمّ توقيع اتفاق التجارة الحرة بين البلدين والذي سمح بتدفق البضائع في الاتجاهين وإقامة مشاريع مشتركة، وأخيراً جاء اتفاق إلغاء التأشيرات الذي يسمح بدخول السوريين والأتراك دون الحاجة إلى إجراءات قنصلية والذي شكل قمة الانفتاح والتعاون الاقتصادي بين البلدين.

هذه كانت حقيقة العلاقات السورية – التركية في مطلع العام 2011 لذلك حين بدأت المؤامرة الكونية على سورية لم يكن متوقعاً أن تتورّط فيها تركيا بهذا الشكل، لكن الواقع قد أفرز ومنذ اللحظة الأولى تحوّلاً كبيراً في الموقف التركي، حيث شكلت تركيا خنجراً طعنت به سورية فأسال دماءها بغزارة. فالعدو الأميركيّ والصهيوني حين خطط لمشروع «الشرق الأوسط الكبير» كان قد اتفق مع تركيا بزعامة عضو التنظيم الدولي لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين الإرهابية رجب طيب أردوغان أنه سوف يُمنح مكتسبات تمكنه من عودة دولة الخلافة على أن ينفذ كلّ التعليمات وبدقة.

وبما أن المشروع الأميركي – الصهيوني يقوم على تفجير المجتمعات من الداخل عبر تجنيد بعض العناصر الإرهابية فقد تمّ التواصل مع العناصر الكامنة من تنظيم الإخوان المسلمين في الداخل السوري لتكون شرارة البدء، بعدها قام أردوغان بفتح الحدود لتعبر الجماعات التكفيرية الإرهابية التي تمّ تجميعها من كلّ أصقاع الأرض كي تخوض الحرب مع الجيش العربي السوري على كامل الجغرافيا السورية، وخلال السنوات الأولى تمكن الإرهابيون من الاستيلاء على مساحات واسعة من الجغرافيا السورية وكانت غرف العمليات التي تدار منها المعارك أهمّها في تركيا، وعبر الأراضي التركية عبرت الآليات العسكرية والأسلحة بكافة أشكالها لدعم الإرهابيين وكلّ يوم كان يعتقد أردوغان أنّ حلم الخلافة قد أصبح قريباً.

لكن هيهات! فقد بدأ الجيش السوري في معارك التحرير بعد التنسيق السياسي والعسكري مع الحلفاء خاصة الروسي والإيراني. وبالفعل تمكن الجيش العربي السوري من تحرير المساحة الأكبر من الجغرافيا السورية عبر معارك كبرى في حلب ودير الزور والغوطة الشرقية ودرعا… وكان دائماً يتمّ الاتفاق بعد الانتصار إلى السماح للإرهابيين بالتوجه إلى إدلب في الشمال بالقرب من الحدود التركية والتي أصبحت آخر معاقل الجماعات التكفيرية الإرهابية على الأرض السورية وأصبحت أيضاً الأمل الوحيد لأردوغان ليحفظ ماء وجهه أمام شعبه وليحافظ على مقعده في سدة الحكم بعد أن تبدّد وللأبد حلم الخلافة.

وبعد أن فشل الحلّ السياسي لخروج الإرهابيّين من إدلب قرّر الجيش السوري تحريرها عسكرياً وهنا جنّ جنون أردوغان وبدأ في التهديد والوعيد بعملية عسكرية موسّعة إنْ لم يتراجع الجيش العربي السوري، وطلب العون من الأميركي الذي كعادته دائماً يتخلى عن عملائه في حالة هزيمة مشروعه. فلجأ إلى الاتحاد الأوروبي وحلف الناتو للمشاركة فلم يجد مَن يعينه، فقرّر أن يتوجّه منفرداً فوجد جنوده يسقطون صرعى تحت أقدام بواسل الجيش السوري، وهو ما يزيد من اشتعال النيران من حوله في الداخل التركي، لذلك ورغم شراسة المعركة فإنّ الجيش السوري قد تلقى تعليمات قائده الرئيس بشار الأسد باستكمال مسيرة تحرير إدلب دون الالتفات إلى الفقاعات الصوتية الأردوغانية. وهو ما يجعلنا على ثقة بأنّ أردوغان سيسقط تحت أقدام الجيش العربي السوري. اللهم بلغت اللهم فاشهد.

Egypt’s Former President Mubarak Died, He Shared Erdogan’s Hatred of Syria

February 25, 2020 Arabi Souri

Husni Mubarak Egypt former president

Former Egyptian President Husni Mubarak died today, he completed 91 years most of it betraying his country, Palestine, and most importantly betraying Syria. He was ousted by his people in early February 2011 in what was a genuine demand by the people that was used by the US in its Colored Revolutions project.

We only remember the former dictator for his bad deeds, we can’t find something in his career that can be remembered in a positive way, maybe positive for those who he was serving, but by the end of his days they didn’t reward him properly, on the contrary, they used him as one of the disposable cards in their hegemonic plans around the world, he’s just another pawn used by the US and betrayed by them when his services are no longer needed.

The purpose of this post is merely to highlight a previous post we’ve done here based on a testimony by a credible journalist who witnessed one of the very ugly betrayals of Mubarak during his life against Syria.

Husni Mahali, Turkish career journalist witnessed a meeting between Mubarak and former Turkish President Süleyman Demirel. The meeting was supposed to be held to mediate between Syria and Turkey at that time, and it was because of the Kurds.

Turkey reached in the year 1998 the height of its war, literal war, against its own people of Kurdish origins, those who only found refuge in Syria from a country known for their genocides and massacres. The Turks wanted the head of the Kurdish leader Ocalan who was hosted in Syria and amassed NATO’s 2nd largest army at Syria’s northern borders.

That time, Syria had a very bad enemy on its eastern borders, he was Saddam Hussein, had already a British satellite state Jordan in the south, Israel up halfway in Lebanon to its west and the last thing we needed was a Turkish invasion from the north. That time Russia was not even on the map and the Russians were struggling for their food, literally.

Here came Mubarak to mediate and his mediating was a betrayal for Syria to stand down at its northern borders while he instigated the Turks to invade Syria. The Turkish leadership that time were smart and were patriotic, they didn’t want a bloodbath in northern Syria, only they wanted to stop the PKK attacks. Once late Syrian President Hafez Assad allowed Ocalan to leave Syria the Turks stood down and didn’t listen to the instigations of their ally Mubarak that time.

Imagine if someone like the madman Erdogan was in charge of Turkey during those days!

Much details in the former post, to avoid repeating I invite you to check it in the following link and watch the video of Mr. Mahali detailing Mubarak’s ugly betrayal:

One of Mubarak’s Betrayal Attempts Against Syria (Revealed 2012)

We’re supposed to remember the dead with their good deeds only; if there’s anything good Mubarak did in his entire career was that he didn’t form armies of terrorists and send them all across the Arab world to help Israel, like what his anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood successor did, or like what the Turkish anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood madman is doing against Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and elsewhere. Other than that he was a faithful servant for the Political Zionism project that controls the USA.

Crisis in Syrian Idlib Has Firmly Put Turkey Back into NATO’s Sphere

Global Research, February 13, 2020

Syria was the very reason why relations between Turkey and the United States deteriorated as the latter openly backed the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), that Ankara considers a terrorist organization. Although Turkey has always been a loyal ally and member of the U.S.-led NATO, the Syrian War saw relations between Ankara and Moscow flourish despite an initial speedbump when Turkey downed a Russian jet in Syria in 2015, leading to the murder of the pilot by Turkish-backed terrorists. Russia not only improved relations by selling Turkey the powerful S-400 missile defense system, but sympathized with Turkish concerns against the YPG and partnered with Turkey in Syria-related discussions through the Astana and Sochi formats. The S-400 sale triggered the wrath of NATO, and many within the political establishment in Washington considered the option of kicking Turkey out of the Atlanticist organization.

It appeared that with Russo-Turkish relations strengthening, Turkey would join the new Multipolar World System. However, at the end of January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had an outburst against Russia, revealing his frustration by stating “Russia is not abiding by Astana or Sochi” as Moscow refused to discourage their Syrian allies from fighting Turkish-backed terrorist forces operating in Idlib province in Syria’s northwest. However, the Astana and Sochi agreements allow for operations against terrorist organizations – the Syrian Army are battling against Al-Qaeda affiliated formations like the Turkestan Islamic Party and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

With Russia refusing to step away from backing its Syrian ally, Turkey has escalated the situation in Idlib by mobilizing thousands of soldiers to illegally occupy large swathes of the province. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wasted no time and during a press discussion yesterday after the first day’s session of the Meeting of NATO Defense Ministers, he announced that NATO is giving support to Turkey against Syria in Idlib. This came when on the same day U.S. Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey said in an interview with the Turkish news channel NTV that Turkish soldiers that are currently stationed in Idlib have the right to defend themselves and that Washington and Ankara have a common geostrategic goal in Syria and Libya.

Effectively, as Russia and Turkey find huge differences in not only Idlib, but also in Libya, both NATO and the U.S. have pounced at the opportunity to bring Turkey firmly back into its camp and away from Russia – Ankara has been more than happy to oblige. As Turkey occupies a strategic space in Eurasia, serving as the bridge between East and West, while also controlling the Bosporus and Dardanelles, the straits where Turkey holds huge leverage against the Great Powers.

There is little doubt that the Syrian Army’s offensive in Idlib has deepened the rift between Russia and Turkey, so-much-so that Erdoğan, emboldened by support from Stoltenberg and Jeffrey, claimed that “most of the attacks carried out by the [Syrian] regime and Russia in Idlib target civilians rather than terrorists.” Of course, he had no evidence to back this claim and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the charge.

Ankara claims that it is deeply concerned by the danger posed by a new wave of refugees and its concerns for Syrian civilians in Idlib. However, the de facto currency of Idlib is no longer the Syrian pound, but rather the Turkish lira. This is in conjunctions to the installation of Turkish communication systems in the province, duty free Turkish goods flooding in and Syrian industry dismantled and taken into Turkey. These actions would suggest that Turkey is planning to permanently control the region. Syrians remember when its Hatay province was stolen by Turkey in 1939 and also remember when the northern portion of maritime neighbor Cyprus was invaded by Turkey in 1974. In the minds of Syrians, a permanent Turkish occupation of Idlib is not an exaggeration as many officials in Ankara openly proclaim their dreams for a neo-Ottoman Empire and a Syrian jihadist leader even said on Turkish television that the so-called Free Syrian Army will fight “wherever jihad is” and for the “Ottoman Caliphate.”

As Turkey has been insubordinate to NATO over the YPG issue and strengthened relations in Russia as a reaction, both NATO and the U.S. have jumped at the opportunity to bring Ankara out of Moscow’s orbit. This was an inevitable result as Russia would not abandon its Syrian ally or accept a permanent occupation. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed in 2016 that “every inch of Syria” would be liberated, and Moscow has always supported the notion that full Syrian sovereignty must be restored and the country not Balkanized. As Turkey’s long-term goal to replace Assad with a Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish-sympathetic leader has failed, it is likely that the occupation of Idlib is Plan B as a consolation prize towards the neo-Ottoman Empire project. As Washington desperately wants Erdoğan back within its sphere of influence, it is willing to allow Turkey to occupy Idlib and perhaps even annex the region. As NATO and Washington have given their blessing for Erdoğan to military engage in Idlib, something that Russia has condemned, there is little doubt that the Idlib crisis has put Turkey firmly back into the NATO sphere and away from Russia.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

Syria, Washington and the Kurds. “The Rojava Dream is Dead”

By Prof. Tim Anderson

Global Research, December 31, 2019

American Herald Tribune

With the defeat of ISIS and Nusra, the exposure of the ‘White Helmets’ and the various Chemical Weapons stunts, and with the collapse of ‘Rojava’, Washington is fast running out of options in Syria. Syria is winning, but the big power has not yet given up. Knowing that it is losing, it still acts to prolong the endgame and punish the Syrian people.

***

We are sitting at a joint military command center in Arima (northern Syria, just west of Manbij) with three Syrian Arab Army (SAA) colonels and two uniformed Kurd SDF ‘koval’ (comrades). There are Russians here too, but they do not enter our conversation. Yet even in the friendly chat, as we wait for permission to travel on to Manbij and Ayn al Arab (Kobane), some tensions are apparent.

Sharing coffee and food, both the SAA officers and the SDF comrades acknowledge they are fighting and dying together against an invading Turkish army and its proxy militias. The frontline is just a few kilometers away.

When I ask what differences there are between DAESH, Nusra and the ‘Free Army’, they all respond derisively.  “There is no difference, it is a money game, the fighters go back and forwards depending on the pay rates”. “Any difference between groups in the numbers of foreigners?” I suggest. “No difference”, they repeat. SDF Comrade B passes me a recent video of ‘Free Army’ fighters at Tal Abiad, to the north-east, protesting conditions and demanding their return to HTS/Nusra controlled Idlib.

But we all know they fight for a different cause. The SAA officers are fighting for a liberated and united Syria, while the SDF comrades still dream of an independent ‘Kurdistan’ by cutting out parts of contemporary Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

Separatist Kurds collaborated with US occupation forces in pursuit of their ‘Rojava’ dream (western Kurdistan), even though Washington never really supported the project. Many Syrians see them as traitors. But the SAA is patient, dealing with one enemy at a time, and at the moment the enemy in north Syria is Erdogan.

The ‘Rojava’ dream is effectively dead. As both Afrin (in March 2018) and Manbij (in October 2019) demonstrated, no Kurdish militia can defend itself from Ankara, which correctly sees any ‘Rojava’ statelet as a stepping stone for the bigger game, a large slice of Turkey. Protection by US occupation forces could not last forever. Moreover, Kurdish groups have no exclusive historical claims over any parts of northern Syria. Many others live there. In much of north Syria Kurds are a small minority.

Despite these tensions a close, even affectionate relationship remains in the room. The SAA colonels are all older men, in their 40s and 50s, while the SDF comrades are younger men, around 30 years old. Colonel H offers more coffee to Comrade A while Comrade B tells of Kurdish conquests. “We lost 850 martyrs liberating Manbij”, he says, and “2,000 in Kobane”. And what about all those in your prisons? one of the colonels asks. “They are reformatories”, Comrade B replies.

Aleppo and Manbij dcc6a

*(Between Aleppo and Manbij there is a switch from checkpoints controlled by the Syrian Arab Army to those controlled by the Kurdish SDF, even though the SAA and Russia now secure most of these ‘SDF controlled’ areas)

What Comrade B does not say about the “liberation” of Manbij is that (1) the 2016 battle was effectively a transfer of the city from one US proxy (ISIS/DAESH) to another (SDF), and (2) there were very few Kurds in that mostly Arab city. After the major battles, many from surrounding areas fled to the city, swelling its population. A recent estimate puts its population at 700,000, of which 80% are Arab (Najjar 2019). Of the rest there are other non-Arab minorities, including Assyrians, Circassians and Armenians. There is no real social base for a separatist Kurd regime in Manbij.

Yet even after the departure of US occupation forces from this part of northern Syria, and even though the Syrian and Russian presence constrains Turkish ambitions, the SDF has been allowed to maintain its former administration of both the city and the region.

The bizarre and unsustainable nature of this regime is made apparent when Nihad Roumieh, my Syrian journalist colleague, asks one of the colonels to show us where we are. Colonel A happily rolls out a military map, with friend and enemy troop placements. The first thing apparent is that six Syrian armored units protect Manbij, to the north. Second, although Syrian forces have resumed control of more than 200km of the northern border, it is depressing to see how much of northern Syria remains occupied by Erdogan and his proxies.

The picture seemed even more grim when we later spoke with a Manbij councilor and his lawyer friend. They complained of many held in prison and tortured, under the SDF regime. They said there were only two Kurd villages in Manbij.

Nevertheless, it seems that a transition is taking place. Over November-December both Syrian and Russian flags were raised over previous SDF positions in Hassakah, Ayn al Arab, Jarablus and Tal Jemaa (Syrian Observer 2019; Semenov 2019; SOHR 2019), with suggestions that the SDF was involved in negotiations with Damascus “to reach conclusive solutions”. However, SDF leader Mazloum Abadi said that the group wanted “Syrian unity … [with] decentralized self-administration” including maintenance of the separate SDF militia (Syrian Observer 2019). Damascus is unlikely to accept such terms.

*

The claim for a Kurdish homeland in Syria is no indigenous movement, claiming the return of ancestral lands. Nor does the debate over Kurds as historical migrants (in Yildiz 2005) or long-standing inhabitants (Hennerbichler 2012: 77-78) resolve the question. While Kurdish languages are of Iranian origin, and the longer history passes through Mesopotamia (Iraq) and the Ottoman Empire, Kurds are certainly part of the native Syrian population.  However at 1.5 million Syria hosts the smallest group in the region, with around 20 million in Turkey (Gürbüz 2016: 31) and another 6-8 million each in Iran and Iraq.

The idea of a ‘Rojava’ statelet in Syria has been compromised in three ways. First, the Kurdish groups in the north and north-east Syria are only one of several groups (amongst Assyrians, Circassians, Armenians and Arabs), and in some areas small minorities. Second, the Kurdish separatist movement in Syria has been over-determined by the politics of and migration from Turkey. ‘Rojava’ was seen as the stepping stone for a larger ‘Kurdistan’ project, driven from the north. Third, intervention by the imperial power raised separatist expectations and has damaged Kurdish relations with other Syrian groups.

In the longer history of Syria, a traditional refuge for minorities, there have been many Kurds, including famous personalities, who did not buy into the separatist dream.

Sheikh Mohammad al Bouti

Two of them are buried inside the grounds of the Ummayad Mosque in Damascus: the 12th-century ruler Sala’addin and the Quranic scholar Sheikh Mohammad al Bouti (murdered by Jabhat al Nusra in 2013). Many Syrians of Kurdish origin embraced the idea of a wider identity. Before the 2011 conflict Tejel (2009: 39-46) classified Syrian Kurdish identities as comprising Arab nationalist, communist and Kurdish nationalist, with Syrian Kurd leaders Husni Za’im and Adib al-Shishakli campaigning for a non-sectarian ‘Greater Syria’.

The Turkish Kurd influence began early in the 20th century, as Kurdish culture was repressed by the post-Ottoman Turkish state. Turkish Kurds first took refuge in Syria, including in Damascus, after their failed rebellion in 1925. The very idea of a Syrian Kurdish party first came in 1956 from the Turkish refugee Osman Sabri; and another Turkish refugee Nûredîn Zaza, became president of that party (al Kati 2019: 45, 47).

There were multiple splits in subsequent years. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) emerged in the 1980s as a branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), loyal to its leader Abdallah Öcalan, who in 1996 acknowledged that “most of the Kurds of Syria were refugees and migrants from Turkey and they would benefit from returning there” (in Allsop 2014: 231). Many of the claims about ‘stateless’ Kurds in Syria have to be read in light of this Turkish influx. However, Öcalan departed in 1998, as part of Syria’s Adana agreement with Turkey (al Kati 2019: 49-52).

The big powers, conscious of the potentially divisive role of separatist Kurds, have used them for decades, to divide and weaken Arab governments. US regional allies Israel and Iran (pre-1979) joined in, with the Shah in 1962 ordering his SAVAK secret police to help finance the Kurdish insurgency in northern Iraq, so as to undermine Baghdad. The Israelis joined in two years later. The CIA offered further help to the Barzani-led Kurds in 1972. One result was that Iraq was unable to join the Arab resistance against Israeli expansion in 1967 and 1973 because a large part of its military was deployed in northern Iraq (Gibson 2019).

The US-led war on Syria in 2011 presented new separatist opportunities. Peoples Protection Units (YPG) were reactivated in 2012, at first with support from Damascus so that Syrians in the north could fight ISIS. However, the US occupation of parts of north and east Syria in late 2015 led to the reorganization of many YPG units into the US-sponsored ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) (Martin 2018: 96). These were sometimes referred to as a ‘Rojava’ force, while at other times the Kurdish component was played down.

According to one US military report in 2017 the SDF in Manbij was only 40% Kurd (Townsend in Humud, Blanchard and Nikitin 2017: 12), addressing the embarrassing reality that Manbij had a very small Kurdish population. In late 2016 US Col. John Dorrian, gave a higher overall Kurd estimate, saying that the SDF “consists of approximately 45,000 fighters, more than 13,000 of which are Arab” (USDOD 2016). Many of the latter came from the fragments of earlier US proxy militia in Syria.

Syrian Colonel Malek from Aleppo confirmed to me that the bulk of SDF members were always Kurdish, including many from Iraq and Turkey. The size of the non-Kurd and foreigner contingents varied according to the money on offer. A report from the London based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) recognized that both the YPG and SDF ground forces remained largely arms of the Turkish PKK (Holland-McCowan 2017: 10).

The failure of the September 2017 separatist referendum in Iraq dealt a serious blow to the regional project. The KDP and PUK put aside their rivalry to hold an independence referendum (having already pushed for and gained federal status) even though it was not authorized by Baghdad. The proposal was said to have gained 92% approval, but was immediately rejected by the Iraqi Government and Army, which drove Peshmerga forces out of Kirkuk in just a few hours (Gabreldar 2018; ICG 2019). For the first time in decades the Iraqi Army took control of the NE region. Baghdad was showing a political will that had been lacking for many years.

In Syria, US forces did nothing to stop the YPG’s ethnic cleansing of non-Kurds in areas to which they laid claim. In October 2015, the western aligned group Amnesty International accused the YPG (just before the US rebranded them as the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’) of forcibly evicting Arabs and Turkmens from areas they took after displacing ISIS. Amnesty produced evidence to show instances of forced displacement, and the demolition and confiscation of civilian property, which constituted war crimes (AI 2015). Similar accusations had come from Turkish government sources (Pamuk and Bektas 2015) but also from refugees who said that ‘YPG fighters evicted Arabs and Turkmens from their homes and burned their personal documents’ (Sehmer 2015; Al Masri 2015).

However, after the US forces became direct patrons of the SDF in late 2015, a UN commission, co-chaired by US diplomat Karen Koning AbuZayd, continued its quest to place most of the blame for abuses on Syrian Government forces. The Commission accused the YPG/SDF of forcibly displacing communities “[but only] in order to clear areas mined by ISIL”, and of forcible conscription, but “found no evidence to substantiate claims that YPG or SDF forces ever targeted Arab communities on the basis of ethnicity, nor that YPG cantonal authorities systematically sought to change the demographic composition of territories” (IICISAR 2017: 111 and 93).What Syria’s Kurds “Think” They are Fighting For Versus Reality

Nevertheless, in 2018 there were ongoing reports of the ethnic cleansing of Assyrian Christians from US-SDF held areas in NE Syria. Young men in the Qamishli area were reported to have been arrested and forcibly conscripted into Kurdish militia, alongside property theft by those same militias (Abed 2018). In 2019 the SDF were reported to have closed more than 2,000 Arabic-teaching schools in the Hasaka region (Syria Times 2019) and to have shot, killed, wounded and jailed displaced people who were trying to escape from al-Hawl Refugee Camp in South-Eastern Hasaka (FNA 2019). Nevertheless, once US forces created and adopted the Kurdish-led ‘SDF’, Amnesty International and the western media muted their earlier criticisms.

Washington in 2012 had looked favorably on the ISIS plan for a “Salafist principality”, so as to weaken Damascus (DIA 2012). In September 2016 US air power was used to attack and kill more than 120 Syrian soldiers at Mount Tharda behind Deir Ezzor airport, to help the terrorist group’s (failed) efforts to take over and threaten the city (Anderson 2017). But when Russia, Syria and Iraq began wiping out these Saudi clones, USA forces simply rescued their best commanders and replaced ISIS with a Kurdish-led ‘SDF’ (Anderson 2019: Chapters 5 and 7), once again to undermine and weaken Damascus.

But US occupation forces did not wait around to sponsor the ill-fated Rojava project. In October 2019 President Trump gave the order for a partial withdrawal from northern Syria. Former US diplomat Robert Ford had warned in 2017 that the US would abandon the SDF (O’Connor 2017). So, stripped of US military protection and their main source of arms and finance, the SDF was forced to rapidly put together a new alliance with Damascus and Russia, to prevent annihilation by Erdogan’s forces. The Turkish leader saw the Öcalan-led YPG/SDF as a stepping stone to its larger project in Turkey (Demircan 2019).

Western liberals complained the US was ‘betraying’ its Kurdish allies; but they placed too much faith in romantic myths. Ünver (2016), for example, presented separatist Kurds as recipients of unplanned opportunities in Syria’s “civil war” in an “age of shifting borders”, as though the big power were not once again using the ‘Kurdish card’ to divide and weaken both Iraq and Syria. Schmidinger (2018: 13, 16-17) tried to twist Syria’s historic diversity into an argument for the ‘Rojava’ sectarian division – instead of an inclusive unitary state. But, as has been said many times before, imperial powers never have real allies, only interests. Lebanese Resistance leader Hassan Nasrallah told Kurdish separatists in February 2018: “In the end they will work according to their interests, they will abandon you and they will sell you in a slave market.”

Meanwhile, with Washington’s blessing, Erdogan persists with his plan to control large parts of northern Syria, with the aim of settling many of the refugees in Turkey under a Muslim Brotherhood style regime, controlled by sectarian Islamist militia. Retired Syrian Major General Mohammad Abbas Mohammad told me that Turkey’s leader has not given up his ambition of becoming a modern-day ‘Caliph’ of Muslim nations, and is working to colonise Syrian minds with his constant Islamist slogans.

*

Nevertheless, with the help of its allies, Syria is winning the war. ISIS/DAESH and Nusra are virtually defeated, the ‘White Helmets’ and the Chemical Weapons stunts have been exposed and the Rojava myth has collapsed. But a Washington-driven economic war now targets all the independent countries of the region, aggravating the occupation and the terrorism.

Director of the Syrian Arab Army’s Political Department Major General Hassan Hassan, tells us that the US “has the power to destroy the world, many times over, but it has not been able to turn that power into capabilities.” That is why US wars are failing across the region.

While we are indeed heading for a multi-polar world, he says, we are not there yet. “Syria still faces the unipolar regime”. Erdogan, ISIS, Israel and the SDF are all “puppets” of this dying world order. Authorized by the US, Erdogan still wants to set up a Muslim Brotherhood region in north and east Syria. This is a dying and a “most dangerous” order, General Hassan says. “The US deep state knows that its unipolarity is failing, but that has not yet been announced. The new world system is born, but is not yet recognized. The US wants to prolong this conflict as long as possible, and to punish the Syrian people”.

Euphrates f77f4

(Crossing the huge Furat (Euphrates) river, from rural Manbij to rural Raqqa, north Syria)

In that transitional phase we see collaboration between the SAA and the SDF, the extraordinary anomaly of an SDF-run Manbij and the ongoing experiment of ‘Kobane’, the SDF controlled border town which Syrians call Ayn al Arab.

Traveling from rural Aleppo to rural Raqqa on the M4 highway we cross the Furat (Euphrates) river, a huge, semi-dammed expanse of fresh water which appears particularly sweet between two deserts. Turning north we arrive in Ayn al Arab, at the Turkish border, in less than an hour. Although Erdogan’s gangs are attacking Ayn al Issa, deeper inside Syria on the M4, there is no sign of fighting near Ayn al Arab itself. Major General Abbas says that Erdogan is aiming at narrow incursions, which can later be widened.

This small city of perhaps 45,000 people was evacuated during earlier fighting and still shows signs of great destruction, especially on the eastern and northern sides. Less than a tenth of the size of Manbij it is now said to have a majority of Kurds and the SDF comrades seem well organized. We are taken to their small headquarters, a three-story building, to await further security checks and an escort to one of their schools and one of their hospitals.

At the secondary school, as in the headquarters, they seem wary of a foreigner accompanied by an SAA Colonel and a Syrian journalist. That breaks down a little as I ask about their curriculum and the children, who have clearly gone through substantial trauma. The headmaster says they are developing programs to help students deal with their war experiences. The threat is not over, as Erdogan’s troops, including sectarian Islamist gangs, are only a few kilometers to the north.

The Kurdish nationalist curriculum has made a break with the centralized Arabic-based system set in Damascus. The headmaster explains that their syllabus is carried out 60% in the Kurdish language, 20% in Arabic and 20% in English. For children from Arab families the syllabus is 60% Arabic, 20% Kurdish and 20% English. They speak of four ‘nationalities’ in Kobane: Kurd, Arab, Yazidi and Christian. That is how they see it.

The management of the small hospital is also strongly Kurd nationalist. I ask where they get their support and they mention the Americans and some international NGOs. Of course, there is nothing from Ankara. “What about Damascus?” I ask. “Nothing and we want nothing”, says one of the managers.

That may be true for this hospital. However Syrian colleagues tell that most of the health centers in SDF controlled areas still get finance and supplies from Damascus. So not only is their security guaranteed by the Syrian state, so are most of their social services.

It remains to be seen how much Kurdish autonomy will remain, under a final political settlement. Federation is not part of the discussion, it is clear that Damascus sees that as a path which would dismember and weaken the country. While the SAA and the SDF jointly fight Erdogan’s gangs, Damascus has been calling on Arab leaders in the north and north east, who had collaborated with the US occupation force and the SDF, to return to the Syrian Arab Army. On the other side, SDF Commander General Mazloum Abdi opposes incorporation of the SDF into the SAA (Van Wilgenburg 2019) and wants to hold onto as much local administration as possible (Syrian Observer 2019). The continued US presence and sponsorship of SDF units in Hasaka, Qamishli and Deir Ezzor (Ahval 2019), serves to maintain the illusions of autonomy.

In the Russian media there is some pessimism about an SDF-Damascus reconciliation. One observer suggests that “Russia will eventually force most (if not all) of Turkey’s forces to leave Syria … [but Damascus] and the Syrian Kurds have opposing political and military goals that will not be easily reconciled” (Stein 2019).

However, Damascus has some other cards. The YPG/PKK/SDF grew its influence through US sponsorship and, as that declines, other voices in the north, including Kurdish voices, are likely to re-emerge, especially through the constitutional process in Geneva. Major General Abbas points out that there are now dozens of Kurdish parties in the north east (Syria Times 2018). Given the intransigence of the US-dependent SDF, Russia is said to be recruiting Syrian Kurd youth to a rival group (Duvar 2019), which is likely to be incorporated into the SAA.

In my view, there will likely be some accommodation of Kurdish nationalist demands at the cultural and local administrative levels, but alongside efforts to ensure this does not privilege Kurds above other Syrian groups. That should appear in the amended constitution. The old world order is dying and the new one is still being born. In this transitional world, Washington persists with its losing war, to divide and punish the Syrian people.

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Dr. Tim Anderson is Director of the Sydney-based Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies. He has worked at Australian universities for more than 30 years, teaching, researching and publishing on development, human rights and self-determination in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. In 2014 he was awarded Cuba’s medal of friendship. He is Australia and Pacific representative for the Latin America based Network in Defence of Humanity. His most recent books are: Land and Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea (2015), The Dirty War on Syria (2016), Global Research, 2015, now published in ten languages; Countering War Propaganda of the Dirty War on Syria (2017) and Axis of Resistance: towards an independent Middle East (2019).

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SOHR (2019) ‘Lens of SOHR monitors the rise of the Syrian flag and the flag of Syriac Military Council affiliated to “SDF”, in Tal Jemma north of Tal Tamr town’, 4 December, Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, online: http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=149576

Stein, Aaron (2019) ‘Temporary and Transactional: The Syrian Regime and SDF Alliance’, Valdai Club, 29 November, online: https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/temporary-and-transactional-the-syrian-regime/

Syrian Observer (2019) Russia takes over SDF Base in northern Hassakeh, 2 December, online: https://syrianobserver.com/EN/news/54623/russia-takes-over-sdf-in-northern-hassakeh.html

Syria Times (2018) ‘Syrian officer to ST: forces in Syria’, 31 December, online: http://syriatimes.sy/index.php/editorials/opinion/39606-syrian-officer-to-st-forces-in-syria

Syria Times (2019) ‘SDF militia closes 2154 Syrian schools and gives some of them to US occupation army’, 27 September, online: http://syriatimes.sy/index.php/news/local/43878-sdf-militia-closes-2154-syrian-schools-and-gives-some-of-them-to-us-occupation-army

Tejel, Jordi (2009) Syria’s Kurds: History, Politics and Society, Routledge, New York

Ünver, H. Akin (2016) Schrödinger’s Kurds: Transnational Kurdish Geopolitics in the Age of Shifting Borders, Journal of International Affairs , Vol. 69, No. 2, Shifting Sands: The Middle East in the 21st Century (SPRING/SUMMER 2016), pp. 65-100

USDOD (2016) ‘Department of Defense Press Briefing by Col. Dorrian via teleconference from Baghdad, Iraq’, U.S. Department of Defense, 8 December, online:

https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1025099/department-of-defensepress-briefing-by-col-dorrian-via-teleconference-from-bag

Van Wilgenburg, Wladimir (2019) ‘SDF leadership meets with Arab tribes in response to Damascus call to defect’, Kurdistan24, 11 December, online: https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/09be9fde-3988-4307-be32-ab161da48412

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All images in this article are from the AHTThe original source of this article is American Herald TribuneCopyright © Prof. Tim AndersonAmerican Herald Tribune, 2019

The One Insurmountable Obstacle to Peace in Syria

MIKE WHITNEY • DECEMBER 4, 2019

The Turkish army did not invade Syria to attack the Kurds. That’s simply not true. The actual target of the Turkish operation (Peace Spring) was a group of separatist militants (The YPG) who have waged a bloody 30 year-long terrorist war on the Turkish state killing upwards of 40,000 people. With the assistance of US Special Forces, the YPG has seized most of the territory east of the Euphrates River including the area along Turkey’s southern border. Turkey could not allow a hostile militia to occupy towns and cities along its border any more than the United States could allow members of al Qaida to occupy bases along the Mexican border. It’s a matter of national security. The YPG was given the choice to either voluntarily withdraw or be removed by force. The United States would not have acted any differently.

The media would like people to believe that the Turkish incursion was driven by a pathological hatred of ethnic Kurds, but this isn’t true either. Keep in mind that 18 percent of Turkey’s population, roughly 14 million people, is Kurdish. If Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wanted to launch a war on Kurds, he didn’t have to go through the trouble of crossing the border to do so. He could have attacked them in his own country and been done with it. But that is not what Erdogan is doing. The Turkish operation is focused on one particular group, the People’s Protection Units or YPG, who rebranded themselves as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to conceal the fact that they are the Syrian affiliate of the notorious PKK, the Marxist-Leninist group that is on the US State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. Washington formed an alliance with this sketchy group to achieve its strategic objectives in Syria while avoiding US casualties. The obvious downside of the arrangement is that, in exchange for their assistance, the US has helped to create an autonomous Kurdish statelet at the center of the Arab world that is vehemently opposed by every other country in the region. As you can see, the strategy was poorly-thought out from the beginning which is why it nearly exploded into a full-blown crisis.

Fortunately, President Trump was smart enough to respect Turkey’s legitimate security concerns and withdraw US troops from the conflict zone 20 miles deep into Syria. In doing so, Trump avoided a tragic and unnecessary conflagration with its 67-year NATO ally, Turkey. Not surprisingly, the US Congress, the foreign policy establishment and virtually the entire media lined up against Trump’s withdrawal proposal preferring instead to engage in a potentially catastrophic confrontation with Turkey rather than make reasonable and entirely painless concessions to a vital strategic partner in the region. Is it any wonder why US foreign policy is such a hopeless shambles?

In any event, the media has convinced the American people that Trump should not withdraw the troops. Instead, the US should remain in Syria in order to plunder Syria’s oil, defend its terrorist friends, and make a general nuisance out of itself for the foreseeable future. This is madness. The position of the United States is not only morally abhorrent it is also strategically absurd. Turkey is not only an ally, it is also a critical landbridge between Europe and Asia, an indispensable part of Washington’s “pivot” strategy. Turkey has emerged as the southern corridor’s primary ‘energy hub’, the vital crossroads for Middle East and Asian gas pipelines headed for the European market. Imagine if Turkey chose to abandon the dollar in future energy transactions delivering a blow to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency. Such a move would unavoidably put pressure on the sale of US Treasuries which rely on the recycling of dollars into US debt markets. Is Washington willing to forgo its “exorbitant privilege” to defend its fledgling proxy army in Syria? The idea is ridiculous.

Even so, there is no denying that the American people have been effectively bamboozled by the media’s relentless disinformation campaign. According to a University of Michigan critical issues poll, a mere 21 percent of Americans support Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from northern Syria. In contrast, more than twice as many respondents (46%) oppose withdrawing US troops. (33% either ‘don’t know’ or are ‘indifferent’) What are we to make of these results given the fact that a clear majority of Americans are sick and tired of the country’s endless wars and foreign interventions?

It’s not hard to explain. Propaganda works, that’s all one needs to know. The media was given the task of garnering support for an unpopular and counterproductive military occupation, and they succeeded. The majority of people now believe that withdrawing US troops is “betraying the Kurds” which is a tacit admission of cowardice and disloyalty. Therefore, we must keep troops in Syria. End of story.

But what if we can show that Turkey is not attacking the Kurds, and that the US should not be supporting groups that are on its own list of terrorist organizations, and that, most importantly, the US deployment in Syria, however small, is still the main obstacle to peace in the country? Would that change any minds?

We have already mentioned that there are roughly 14 million Kurds living in Turkey all of who enjoy the same rights and benefits as other Turkish citizens. And while its true that the Kurds have suffered persecution in the past, it is also true that ” there are more than 100 Kurdish politicians serving in the Turkish Parliament, more than 10,000 Kurdish soldiers serving in the Turkish Army, more than 4 million marriages between Turks and Kurds, and the Director of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency is Kurdish.”

Erdogan’s AK Party also passed reforms that provide Kurds with “the right to education in Kurdish in private schools, the right to choose Kurdish as a selective course in public schools, the right to use Kurdish names in official documents, the right to have election campaign materials in Kurdish, (and) the establishment of a public television channel …which broadcasts only in Kurdish 24/7,.” (The Daily Sabah)

Does this sound like a government that hates the Kurds enough to wage war on them?

Of course not. And then there’s the checkered history of the YPG which has its own bloody baggage to deal with. Take a look at this excerpt from an article in The Nation that sheds a bit of light on the activities of this shadowy group:

“The Kurdish militia that supplies the ground troops in the US air war against the Islamic State has been a systematic violator of human rights in the area it controls in northern Syria, causing the displacement of tens of thousands of Arabs and even more massive flight by Kurds from the region….

As the collaboration with the United States increased in 2015, the YPG stepped up its expulsion of Arabs from the northern border area. This peaked in mid-2015 with the displacement or denial of return of at least 60,000 Arabs after the YPG captured Tal Abyad on the Turkish border, according to Sa’ad Shwish, exiled head of the local governing council in Raqqa.

The pace of the expulsions picked up dramatically after the United States began joint operations against the Islamic State in Syria in mid-2015, as the Kurdish militia threatened Arabs with air strikes if they didn’t leave their villages. While they slowed in 2016, expulsions continue even as the militia turns on its political rivals and jails, tortures, or expels them….

At least 200,000 Syrian Kurds have fled to Turkey rather than submit to forced conscription and political repression….At least 300,000 Syrian Kurds have also fled the region to neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan, according to officials there, and no fewer than 200,000 have fled to Turkey rather than submit to forced conscription and political suppression by a group that insists on ruling as a one-party state, according to Kurdish human-rights monitors in Turkey. …

One high-level official in the Obama administration called the region under YPG control a “mini-totalitarian state.” (“Have the Syrian Kurds Committed War Crimes?”, Roy Gutman, The Nation)

Should the United States be joined-at-the-hip with an organization that is involved in mass killing, human rights violations and ethnic cleansing? And would we be “betraying the Kurds” if we severed relations with the YPG, withdrew our troops from Syria, and let the Turks and Syrians sort this mess out for themselves??

On a personal level, I am sympathetic to the idea of a Kurdish state. The Kurds, after all, are the largest ethnic minority in the world without their own state. What I am not sympathetic to is the US using militant proxies who the State Department has identified as terrorists to carve up and occupy another country in the Middle East. That is a policy that wreaks of hypocrisy.

None of this is meant to infer that Turkey’s role in Syria has been helpful or productive. Quite the contrary, Turkey has supported many of the disparate jihadist militias that have prolonged the war, sent millions of civilians fleeing for cover, and reduced vast swathes of the country to rubble. Without question, Turkey shares a very large part of the blame for Syria’s current (desperate) predicament. At present, Turkey occupies a large part of Northern Syria both east and west of the Euphrates. The government has recently begun an ambitious resettlement program which has already returned more than half a million Syrian refugees to locations in Syria that are now under Turkish rule. And although Erdogan signed a memorandum with Putin that promises to respect the territorial integrity of Syria’s prewar borders, it’s clear that Turkey will not abide by that agreement. Instead, Erdogan will continue to resettle areas in Syria that he now controls, he will install local leaders that are loyal to Ankara, and he will eventually redraw Turkey’s borders so they include large tracts of what used to be northern Syria. But while Turkey’s army will not give up the ground they have already captured,
Erdogan has shown that he will make concessions if the price for achieving his ambitions is too high. The same cannot be said for Washington’s foreign policy establishment that wants to continue the occupation whatever the cost. Accordingly, the US has adopted an operational strategy of “forward deterrence” which means the focus has shifted from removing Assad, which is no longer possible, to preventing Russia and Iran from restoring Syria’s sovereign borders and security. Washington’s current role in Syria is that of “a spoiler.”

And this is what needs to change because the war in Syria cannot end until the American troops leave. When the US finally withdraws, the Syrian army, with the help of the Russian airforce, will swiftly retake east Syria stopping the Turkish advance in its tracks. The Kurds will then be forced to make a deal with Damascus that includes a mutually acceptable agreement for home rule within the confines of the Syrian state. The Russians may challenge Turkey’s land-grab in northern Syria, but Putin will not start another war to enforce his demands. That means Syria’s borders will be redrawn, even while the prospects for peace steadily improve. The Assad government will reassert control over most of its territory, 10 million refugees will return to their homes, and the reconstruction of the battered country will finally begin.

The one insurmountable obstacle to peace in Syria is the US occupation. Trump can create the conditions for ending the war, but only if he is courageous enough to confront his adversaries in the media, the Congress and the foreign policy establishment. That’s the only way forward.

Note–Here is a link to the censored 5 minute video that Erdogan showed to Trump on his IPAD in his recent visit to the White House. The video was blasted as “propaganda” by the media because it provides a chilling summary of the bloody terrorist attacks conducted by the YPG. The video also conflicts with the media’s narrative that Turkey has launched a war on the Kurds, which isn’t true.

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