Joint Russian, Turkish Bombing Campaign in Syria Deepens NATO Crisis

Global Research, January 20, 2017
World Socialist Web Site 20 January 2017
Israel Claims Airstrikes on Damascus

The launching of coordinated air strikes by Russian and Turkish warplanes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in northern Syria Wednesday has further exposed the crisis gripping Washington’s intervention in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern country, as well as the deepening contradictions plaguing the NATO alliance on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president.

The bombing campaign struck targets around the Syrian town of al-Bab, the scene of bloody fighting between Turkish troops and ISIS militants over the past several weeks.

From a political standpoint, the joint action by Russia and Turkey, a member of the NATO alliance for the past 65 years, is unprecedented. It stands in stark contradiction to the anti-Moscow campaign being waged by Washington and its principal NATO allies, which has seen the cutting off of military-to-military ties, the imposition of sanctions, and the increasingly provocative deployment of thousands of US and other NATO troops on Russia’s western borders. Just last week, the US sent 3,000 soldiers into Poland, backed by tanks and artillery, while hundreds more US Marines have been dispatched to Norway.

Turkey’s collaboration with Russia represents a further challenge to the US-led alliance under conditions in which Trump has severely rattled its European members with recent statements describing NATO as “obsolete” and charging its members with not “taking care of terror” and not “paying what they’re supposed to pay.”

The joint air attack was carried out under the terms of a memorandum reached between the Russian and Turkish militaries the previous week, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The document, signed on January 12, was designed to prevent “incidents” between Turkish and Russian warplanes, as well as to prepare “joint operations … in Syria to destroy international terrorist groups,” Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudoskoy said in a statement.

Russian-Turkish relations reached their nadir in November 2015 when Turkish fighter jets ambushed and shot down a Russian warplane carrying out airstrikes against Islamist fighters near the border between Turkey and Syria. The incident brought Turkey, and with it NATO, to the brink of war with nuclear-armed Russia. At that point, Turkey was serving as the main conduit for foreign fighters, weapons and other resources being poured into Syria to wage the US-orchestrated war for regime change, while Russia was intervening to prop up its principal Middle East ally, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In June of last year, Ankara sought to mend it relations with Moscow, which had retaliated for the shoot-down with economic sanctions. Relations grew closer in the wake of the abortive July 2016 military coup, which the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed on the US and its allies.

The turning point in bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia came at the end of last year, with the Russian-backed Syrian army’s routing of the Western-backed, Al Qaeda-linked militias in their last urban stronghold of eastern Aleppo. Turkey joined with Russia in brokering a withdrawal of the last “rebels” from the area and a nationwide ceasefire, which continues to prevail in much of the country.

Washington was pointedly excluded from the negotiations surrounding both Aleppo and the ceasefire. Only at the last moment has Moscow invited the incoming Trump administration—over the objection of Syria’s other major ally, Iran—to participate in talks aimed at reaching a political settlement over the six-year-old war that are to convene in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, next week.

The joint Russian-Turkish airstrikes around al-Bab came in the wake of bitter protests by the Turkish government over the refusal of the US military to provide similar air support for Ankara’s troops in the area. The Pentagon’s reluctance stemmed from the conflicting aims pursued by Turkey, which sent its troops into Syria last August in what the Erdogan government dubbed “Operation Euphrates Shield.”

Ostensibly directed against ISIS, Ankara’s primary target was really the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG). The Turkish government views these groups as affiliates of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), against which it has waged a protracted counterinsurgency campaign within Turkey itself. The offensive against ISIS-controlled al-Bab is aimed principally at preventing it from falling to the YPG and at blocking the linking up of eastern and western Kurdish enclaves along Turkey’s border.

For its part, Washington has utilized the YPG as its principal proxy ground force in the US attack on ISIS, sending in US special forces troops to arm, train and direct these Kurdish fighters.

The US refusal to back Turkish forces around al-Bab with airstrikes led to angry denunciations of Washington by the Turkish president, who charged that the US was supporting “terrorists” instead of its NATO ally. Ankara also began delaying approval for US flights out of the strategic Incirlik air base in southern Turkey and threatened to deny Washington and its allies access to the base altogether.

It was likely these threats, combined with the Turkish-Russian agreement to conduct joint strikes, that led the Pentagon to reverse its previous refusal to support Turkish forces and launch limited bombing runs around al-Bab as well this week.

This crowded and geostrategically tense battlefield is likely to grow even more dangerous following Trump’s ascension to the White House.

Trump has reportedly called for the Pentagon to come up with proposals to deal a decisive defeat to ISIS in Syria and Iraq within 90 days. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday that he would “present options to accelerate the campaign” against ISIS to retired general James Mattis, Trump’s incoming defense secretary.

Citing unnamed Pentagon officials, CNN reports that “The Defense Department is prepared to provide the new administration with military options to accelerate the war against ISIS in Syria that could send additional US troops into direct combat.”

“One option would put hundreds, if not thousands, of additional US troops into a combat role as part of the fight to take Raqqa,” the Islamic State’s Syrian “capital,” according to the television news network. “… in the coming months, the Pentagon could put several US brigade-sized combat teams on the ground, each team perhaps as many as 4,000 troops.”

Plans are also reportedly being drawn up to escalate military provocations against Iran, which Mattis, in testimony before the Senate, described as the “biggest destabilizing force in the Middle East,” adding that the Trump administration must “checkmate Iran’s goal for regional hegemony.”

There is every indication, Trump’s rhetoric about improving relations with Moscow notwithstanding, that US imperialism is preparing for another eruption of militarism in the Middle East that will pose an ever greater threat of spilling over into a new world war.

Here is why Turkey launched its operation in Syria

Relations between Ankara, Moscow and Washington could determine the endgame in Syria.

A child waves toward Turkish troops heading to the Syrian border, in Karkamis,

Turkey, Aug. 26. Photo: AP

On Aug. 24, Turkey launched the military operation “Euphrates Shield” against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Greater Syria (ISIS) in northern Syrian town of Jarablus. Rebels from the Free Syrian Army also participated in the operation. The operation marks the first time since the beginning of Syrian civil war that the Turkish army has moved into its neighbor’s territory.

The civil war in Syria has had grave implications for many in the region, and so far, the only group that could be counted a clear winner is the Syrian Kurds. Although Kurds make up only 10 percent of the population of Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish group that is a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), control approximately 20 percent of Syria’s territory.

Recommended: “What the Turkish offensive in Syria means for Russia

Through its armed branch, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG), the PYD has been enlarging its area of control and aims to unite the Afrin canton, an autonomous region it controls in northwestern Syria, with two other neighboring regions, with the support of the U.S. and its European allies. Such a move would not only accelerate the fragmentation of Syria, but also bring the PYD one step closer to its general aim of controlling a corridor that has access to the Mediterranean. Such a corridor would help keep the prospects of Kurdish state(s) alive.

TURKEY, WHICH SEES THE COMPLETION OF THE CORRIDOR AS A THREAT TO ITS TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY, DECIDED TO TAKE JARABLUS FROM ISIS BEFORE THE YPG HAD THE CHANCE

In July, keeping in mind the general aim of completing the corridor, the YPG captured the city of Manbij, which left the cities of Jarablus and Al-Bab the largest remaining obstacles in the way of the corridor’s creation. It is this situation that led Turkey to send its tanks across the border. Turkey, which sees the completion of the corridor as a threat to its territorial integrity, decided to take Jarablus from ISIS before the YPG had the chance.

Only a week before Turkey moved towards Jarablus, Syrian government forces bombed YPG positions around the city of Hasaka, indicating that Damascus is no more agreeable to the creation of a Kurdish state than Ankara. The creation of a Kurdish state would open the way for the de facto disintegration of Syria.

Taking into consideration the fact that Damascus is protected by Moscow and Russian-Turkish relations are improving, it could be argued that Turkey’s recent military activities in Syria are a result of the recent Turkish-Russian rapprochement.

The summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Reccep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg was a turning point in this regard. Following the summit, it appears that Russia and Turkey are trying to find common ground for solving the Syrian crisis through a tacit agreement under which Moscow will decrease its support of the Syrian Kurds in return for Ankara giving up its attempts to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

After the summit, the parties also agreed to form a joint military and intelligence mechanism to coordinate their activities in Syria. Given these developments, it is difficult to presume that the regime’s recent actions against the YPG and Turkey’s moves into Syria could have been done without Moscow’s consent.

Nevertheless, both Moscow and Damascus expressed concern only after Turkey successfully took Jarablus. A different kind of official reaction cannot be expected at this moment. Officially, Assad had to defend the borders of his country, and the Turkish-Russian rapprochement is an ongoing process whose outcome is not clear.

Also read: “Turkey’s new red line in Syria

For now, a positive outcome for Ankara and Moscow could be following: After cleansing both ISIS and the PYD out of the area west of the Euphrates, the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) could leave territory to the Damascus regime, with a possible security guarantee for the repatriation of Syrian immigrants in Turkey. In return for this, Russia could make necessary arrangements to abolish the Kurdish-controlled Afrin canton and return it to the regime.

There is also another, less likely and negative, scenario under which Turkish forces inside of Syria would encourage the FSA in its military engagements against the regime, or that Russia would accelerate its support for the PYD in hopes that the Syrian Kurds would switch their allegiance from Washington to Moscow.

Here, U.S.-Turkish relations are the most important factor in determining future developments. Officially, the U.S. had to support the Turkish operation in northern Syria given the fact that Turkey is a NATO member and a part of the anti-ISIS coalition.

THE U.S. IS IN A KIND OF CATCH-22 REGARDING ITS RELATIONS WITH TURKEY. WASHINGTON CANNOT RISK FURTHER ALIENATING ANKARA, BUT NEITHER CAN IT TOTALLY BETRAY THE PYD, THE MAIN FORCE IT RELIES ON IN SYRIA

Turkish-American relations are also not in the best shape and the U.S. doesn’t have strong tools to stop the operation. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Ankara as Turkish tanks crossed the border and openly criticized the PYD and called for the YPG forces to retreat. The U.S. is in a kind of Catch-22 regarding its relations with Turkey. Washington cannot risk further alienating Ankara, but neither can it totally betray the PYD, the main force it relies on in Syria.

Turkey, for its part, is in search of a new foreign policy. Its previous adventurous, but unsuccessful neo-Ottomanism is being replaced by a neo-Kemalism that focuses on national interests and respects the territorial integrity of Turkey’s neighbors.

Nevertheless, Turkey’s moves are dependent on a number of external factors — relations with Russia, relations between the U.S. and Russia, not only in Syria, but also in Ukraine, and the respective policies of Washington and Moscow regarding the PYD.

For the first time in the history of the Syrian conflict, the U.S., Russia, and Turkey are heading towards an endgame in Syria and the fate of that country — as well as the future role of Ankara in geopolitics – will depend on relations between the three countries.

The Kurdish question is unprecedentedly critical for Turkey and that’s why it is not difficult to predict that now who supports Turkish position regarding the PKK/PYD more, that will have better relations with Ankara.

The opinion of the author may not necessarily reflect the position of Russia Direct or its staff.

MANBIJ “LIBERATION” TO OMRAN DAQNEESH THE ORANGE SEAT BOY: ZIONIST MEDIA WAR ON SYRIA NEVER STOPS

by Jonathan Azaziah

First the “liberation” of Manbij. Now the manufactured worldwide outrage over 5-year old Omran Daqneesh aka “The Orange Seat Boy”, aka “The Aleppo Ambulance Boy”, aka “The Miracle Boy Who Survived A Russian (or was it a ‘regime’?) Air Strike”. So many lies to debunk against the Syrian Arab Republic, so little time. Let’s get on with it though, shall we?

Manbij wasn’t “liberated” as liberation can only come at the hands of Syrians who fight in the name of preserving Syrian sovereignty and pluralism, not Imperialists and traitors who fight in the name of ethnic chauvinism and an American-‘Israeli’ destabilization agenda. All that took place in Manbij was one covert US-Zionist proxy–ISIS–happened to get replaced with an overt US-Zionist proxy–the Syrian Democratic Forces led by the treacherous PYD/YPG.

Let us also not forget to note that it was the American regime and its French colonialist pals that have slaughtered hundreds of Syrian civilians in and around Manbij over the last several weeks with zero, yes, ZERO international outcry. But the murderers, invaders and terrorists are liberators now?! Enough! What this really is, on the surface level, is a move orchestrated to give the US-founded fake “anti-ISIS” coalition a public relations “victory” and make it appear as if a “fight against terrorism” is actually being carried out. And on a subterranean level, the “liberation” of Manbij took place to give collaborationist Kurdish forces a strong foothold in a key northern Syrian area so they can push forward with their ‘Israeli’-birthed Federalization/”Rojava”/Partition agenda. This is confirmed by the latest PYD/YPG aggression–launched because the Kurds felt emboldened by their “success” on the Manbij front–in Hasakah City that was thankfully repelled by the Syrian Arab Army.

And it gets deeper still. Because that photo-op lunacy with Manbij’s men shaving their beards–as if the beard is malevolence personified–and the women burning their niqabs absolutely reeks to high heaven of CIA, DIA and Mossad. I am reminded of the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad (DIA) and the fire set to burqas in Kabul after the NATO invasion (CIA). I’m also reminded of countless Zionist media pieces through the years about Iranian expat women in the West ripping off their hijabs/chadors and then filming/photographing it to “upset the mullahs” (all Mossad, all day). The agenda against Islam, a reflection of 15 years of such hasbara post-9/11, couldn’t be more blatant. Western ZOGs are using the Manbij “liberation” to propagandize to their citizens about Islam’s supposed inherent “repressiveness” and “misogyny” and “hyper-aggressive-masculinity” and it was only because of NATO, that paragon of humanity, that these “oppressed” Syrian citizens could be free and liberal and sing songs of unicorns, rainbows and chocolate chip cookies with sprinkles again. Take a damn hike!

Women (and men!) throughout Syria have been practicing Islam as they wish, dressing as they wish and living as they wish under the Syrian government since the French left Bilad al-Sham, and especially under Dr. Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez before him. Syria is, arguably, the most pluralistic, most secular and most free country not only in the Arab and Islamic worlds but the entire Global South. But pictures depicting this way of life are counter to the dystopian narrative presented by the Zionist mass press since day one of the mutant-experiment we refer to as the “Syrian revolution” and are thus never shown to a mainstream audience. Nevertheless, the Empire can’t have it both ways: Either the terrorists are “freedom fighters” attempting to overthrow a “barbaric dictator” so they can live in peace and harmony, or the terrorists are terrorists and the “barbaric dictator” isn’t a “barbaric dictator” but a democratically elected president with a mandate from his free people to combat terrorism. Ultimately, the former falls flat in the face of the latter and the beard-shaving, niqab-burning Manbij “liberation” is left hung out to dry as a third-rate piece of Jewish Hollywood-style hasbara aimed to further the war on Islam and falsely equate it with Al-Saud’s demented Wahhabi-Takfirism.

The Omran Daqneesh phenomenon and Manbij have the Hollywoodism element in common. Seeing this little child covered in ash from a destroyed building after a “Russian/Syrian ‘regime’” air strike is certainly of the heartrending variety and the images and video are meant to trigger calls to “DO SOMETHING!” and “SAVE THE CHILDREN!” Problem is however that Russia categorically denied that sorties from its Aerospace Forces or the Syrian Arab Air Force were launched in that area, at that time, on that day. What Moscow suggested as a much more plausible explanation is that Takfiri terrorist gangs could have shelled the area as they have been doing for over five years now in every Syrian province. This could very well be the case. Wouldn’t be the first time the Zionist media said that the victims of Takfiris were the victims of the Syrian government. Nor would it would be the first time that the victims of Takfiris were trotted out by the Takfiris as props in “regime change” hasbara. No different than the ‘Israeli’ occupiers who drop knives next to unarmed Palestinian children and then label them “militants”, or the American occupiers who dropped guns next to Iraqi civilians and called them “terrorists”, it has happened time and again over the course of the conspiracy against Syria that the Takfiris–inspired in an inverse way by their Western-Zionist-backers–have removed the fatigues and weapons from dead terrorist fighters and then declared they were “civilians”.

But considering who snapped Omran’s picture and filmed him, what appears to have taken place is much more sinister and revolting. The source of Omran Daqneesh’s notoriety is one Mahmoud Raslan, an “activist” linked to none other than the US-UK-Soros-financed White Helmets, aka Al-Qaeda’s clean-up crew. On top of that, Raslan was pictured not too long ago with none other than CIA-Saudi-backed Harakat Noureddine al-Zinki, the Takfiri maniacs who beheaded 12-year old Palestinian boy Abdallah al-Issa in Handarat Camp last month. Just like Manbij, where killers of civilians suddenly became “liberators”, with the Omar Daqneesh situation we have head-chopping child-killers morphing into children’s rights advocates right before our very eyes. This is madness on an entirely different level.

And then when it is processed how swiftly Omran’s photo spread throughout the Zionist media, from The Guardian to CNN, Al-Jazeera to the BBC, Al-Arabiya to Fox News, CBC to ABC, AP to Reuters to AFP and so many others, it is beyond any doubt that this was pre-planned and well-organized, not the “find of a lifetime” by a “citizen journalist”. Omran Daqneesh’s photo is now plastered across the globe to correspond with the increasingly desperate situation for the terrorist bottom-feeders in Aleppo. Unable to stop the advancement of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, International Zionism and its NGO-Human-Rights-Industrial-Complex led by the White Helmets created this event in an attempt to pressure the Resistance Axis into accepting a ceasefire.

It’s the same script the Zionists use every damn time. They did it with Aylan Kurdi. They did it in the early days of the “Syrian revolution” with Hamza al-Khatib. They did it in the Gulf War with the notorious “incubator babies” scandal. They did it two years ago with the false flag killing of the criminal Jewish settler teenagers in the West Bank. Need a pretext to implement a strategic geopolitical objective? Bring out the dead children! Ain’t got no dead children?! Pull some dead children out of thin air! Or, in Omran Daqneesh’s case, put some tremendously sophisticated, Spielberg-style make-up on him and subsequently tell the Earth he’s “shellshocked”. There are real killings and real injuries befalling Syria’s children. Daily. As well as Yemen’s children. Daily. And Iraq’s children. Daily. None of them, these martyrs and wounded of Zio-Imperialist-created terrorism, will be at the top of the Zionist media’s websites tomorrow. Omran Daqneesh is indeed a victim, but a victim of the US-‘Israeli’ Empire and its reprehensible tools who are using and abusing him as nothing but an expendable pawn in their sanguinary game to balkanize our region. Not the Syrian government. And not Russia.

It boggles the mind in an infinite number of ways that there are so few, most especially among our own ranks, who cannot see the Manbij “liberation” and the Omran Daqneesh events for the hideous fabrications that they are. There has been a Zionist media war on the Syrian Arab Republic since March 15th, 2011 and these two events are merely part and parcel of it. Such propaganda must be red-flagged immediately upon seeing it. Then it must be dissected. Then it must be exposed. And anybody who accepts the mainstream narrative instead of following these three simple steps is, to be frank, just as guilty of disseminating hasbara and contributing to the chaos crippling Syria as the White Helmets, the PYD/YPG and the Takfiris themselves.

MAJOR EVENTS THAT WILL SHAPE SYRIA IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS

Ziad Fadel

“Exclusive to SyrPer” by Canthama

Aleppo: After liberating most of the 1070 apartment complex (80-90%) which was held by terrorists for a few days, the Syrian forces and allies have made a few attempts to get into the artillery base, but, it seems those were diversions. The most significant event came from the cement factory and the advance toward Al-Shurfa village, right at the center of the corridor which the terrorists had hoped would open a supply route into eastern Aleppo.  A vital hill, Umm Al-Qar’- Sanawbaraat, was taken by the Tiger Forces some 48 hours ago and after many counter- attacks by the terrorists, they were not able to reverse this achievement. This may seem like a small step, but this hill controls the Ramouseh-Khan Touman road, providing a ‘de facto’ fire control over it and the resealing of the corridor.

A few hours ago, the Tiger Forces managed to take another small hill where the SyriaTel is located. This is southwest of Umm Al-Qar’.  Those two hills will create the opportunity to storm two more sites: the small village of Qaabliyya and Tal Al-Mahrooqaat.

Map credited to @PetoLucem

 The flank positioning will allow the Tiger Force to launch a decisive attack on Al-Shurfa, Al-‘Amaara and Al-Qarraassi villages. That would close the corridor and prepare a larger force to advance on a much protected ground toward M5, leaving the artillery base and Al-Raamoosa industrial district to be cleared in due course;  very much the same as Al-Layramoon factories and Bani Zayd.

 

Some points to consider on Western Aleppo:

  • The terrorists have been able to counter attack, though the intensity has been very much below the major offensive 3 weeks ago, which may indicate that the non stop air attacks by SAAF and RuAF are taking a severe toll on the many terrorists factions in this battlefield.
  • The open corridor was never used to transport large convoys into eastern Aleppo.  It was under constant bombing although a very few vehicles and goods may have crossed.
  • The constant air attacks on the terrorists’ supply lines have been effective, reducing their reinforcement, lowering their morale and destroying vital ammo depots all over Idlib Province.

The massive allied forces gathering in the past 3 weeks, the probing attacks as well as the recent flanking positioning (1070 apartment complex and Umm Al-Qara`/SyriaTel hills), are strong indications that a major offensive is brewing. It is usually expected that to prep for a major offensive, air attacks will increase in frequency and magnitude, such that this may be a clear indication for the timing of this new development.

Hasaka: The situation in al Hasaka city continues to be very volatile, now in its 4th day. Some important factors to be considered as the fight inside the town continues in anticipation of a peaceful solution:

  • It is getting more obvious, as time passes, that this provocation has direct links to the Turkish-US struggle related to the supposed coup attempt against the Turkish regime. The timing of it, right after the Turkish-Iranian high level meeting and the joint declaration on the main steps toward a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria, has most likely sparked NATO to push the Asayish, PYD military police, to provoke a conflict in Al-Hasaka.
  • It seems a possible alignment between Russia-Syria-Iran-Turkey will clearly be in conflict with NATO’s invasion in northern Syria and the use of locals to promote their objectives.
  • Syrian Government reaction was swift, both with the directives to the NDF organization to fight back but with the support of SAAF that shifted the initial balance of the attacks.
  • There is no clear indication on the ground that large SDF/YPG or even SAA forces are fighting at the moment; both organizations are, so far, using artillery fire to support the fighting inside the town where mostly Asayish and NDF are fighting. This could change if the conflict escalates even further toward a full war.
  • There is a clear, maybe unforeseen, risk for large numbers of local Arab fighters deserting the SDF/Asayish ranks. In fact,  there are reports of groups shifting allegiance to NDF in the past few days with increasing frequency and magnitude.

The two maps below show the changes since August 19th to the 21st. So far the NDF has gained ground but fighting continues all over and territory could shift quickly.

Maps credited to @Lawrence1918x

Read more 

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A few simple reasons why Kurdish PYD/YPG claim to federal autonomy and attempts to annex Syrian land are illegitimate, undemocratic, lead to genocide

Syria Free Press

Kurdish-Majority-areas-in-Syria-

Excerpts from:
"WHY A KURDISH ENCLAVE IN SYRIA IS A VERY BAD IDEA", by Maram Susli
[SyrianGirlpartisan]


1. Kurds are not a majority in the Area PYD/YPG are attempting to annex

The region of Al Hasakah, which the Kurdish Nationalist Party (PYD) and its military wing YPG have declared a Kurdish federal state, does not have a Kurdish majority. Al Hasakah Governorate is a mosaic of Assyrian Christians, Armenians, Turkmen, Kurds and Bedouin Arabs. Of the 1.5 million population of Al Hasakah, only 40% are ethnically Kurdish. Moreover, parts of Al Hasakah Governorate, such as Al Hasakah district, is less than 15% Kurdish (!).  Among the other large minorities in the area the Arabs and Assyrian Christians form a majority. Declaring a small area with a wide array of ethnic groups as belonging to a specific ethnic minority is a recipe for oppression.

The Kurdish population of Al Hasakah has also been heavily infiltrated by illegal Kurdish immigration from Turkey. Kurdish immigration to Syria began in the 1920’s and occurred in several waves after multiple failed Kurdish uprisings against Turkey. It continued throughout the century. In 2011 the Kurdish population in Syria reached between 1.6 to 2.3 million, but 420,000 of these left Syria for Iraq and Turkey as a result of the current conflict. Some Syrian Kurds have lived in Homs and Damascus for hundreds of years and are heavily assimilated into the Syrian society. However, Kurdish illegal immigrants who mostly reside in north Syria, and who could not prove their residence in Syria before 1945, complain of oppression when they were not granted the rights of Syrian citizens. Syrian law dictates that only a blood born Syrian whose paternallineage is Syrian has a right to Syrian citizenship. No refugee whether Somali, Iraqi or Palestinian has been granted Syrian citizenship no matter how long their stay. In spite of this, in 2011 the Syrian President granted Syrian citizenship to 150,000 Kurds. This has not stopped the YPG from using illegal Kurdish immigrants who were not granted citizenship as a rationale for annexing Syrian land. Those who promote Federalism are imposing the will of a small minority – that is not of Syrian origin – on the whole of Al Hasakah’s population and the whole of Syria.

2. It is Undemocratic to Impose Federalism on the Majority of Syrians

PYD did not bother to consult with other factions of Syrian society before its unilateral declaration of Federalism. The other ethnicities that reside in Al Hasake governate, which PYD claims is now an autonomous Kurdish state, have clearly rejected federalism. An assembly of Syrian clans and Arab tribesin Al Hasaka and the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO) rejected PYD’s federalism declaration. In Geneva, both the Syrian government and the opposition rejected PYD’s federalism declaration. Furthermore, PYD does not represent all of Syria’s Kurdish population. The Kurdish faction of Syrian national coalition condemned PYD’s federalism declaration. Most of Syria’s Kurds do not live in Al Hasakah and many that do work outside it. Thousands of Kurds have joined ISIS and are fighting for an Islamic State not a Kurdish one.

A unilateral declaration of federalism carries no legitimacy since federalism can only exist with a constitutional change and a Referendum. Federalism is unlikely to garner much support from the bulk of Syria’s population, 90-93% of whom is not Kurdish. Knowing this, PYD has banned residents of Al Hasakah from voting in the upcoming Parliamentary elections to be held across the nation. This shows the will of the people in Al Hasakah is already being crushed by PYD. It is undemocratic to continue to discuss federalism as a possibility when it has been rejected by so many segments of Syrian society. Ironically we are told the purpose of the US’ Regime change adventure in Syria is to bring democracy to the middle east.

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3. Federalism May Risk Ethnic cleansing of Assyrian Christian and other minorities

Since the Kurdish population is not a majority in the areas PYD are trying to annex, the past few years have revealed that PYD/YPG are not beyond carrying out ethnic cleansing of non-Kurdish minorities in an attempt to achieve a demographic shift. The main threat to Kurdish ethnocentric territorial claims over the area are the other large minorities, the Arabs and the Assyrian Christians.

Salih Muslim, the leader of PYD, openly declared his intention to conduct an ethnic cleansing campaign against Syrian Arabs who live in what he now calls Rojava. “One day those Arabs who have been brought to the Kurdish areas will have to be expelled,” said Muslim in an interview with Serek TV. Over two years since that interview he has fulfilled his word, as YPG begun burning Arab villages around Al Hasakah Province hoping to create a demographic shift. It is estimated that ten thousand Arabs have been ethnically cleansed from Al Hasake province so far. The villages around Tal Abayad have suffered the most as Kurdish expansionists seek to connect the discontiguous population centres of Al Hasakah and Al Raqqa. “The YPG burnt our village and looted our houses,” said Mohammed Salih al-Katee, who left Tel Thiab Sharki, near the city of Ras al-Ayn, in December.

YPG have also begun a campaign of intimidation, murder and property confiscation against the Assyrian Christian minority. The YPG and PYD made it a formal policy to loot and confiscate the property of those who had escaped their villages after an ISIS attack, in the hope of repopulating Assyrian villages with Kurds. The Assyrians residents of the Khabur area in Al Hasaka province formed a militia called the Khabour Guard in the hope of defending their villages against ISIS attacks. The Khabur Guard council leaders protested the practice of looting by Kurdish YPG militia members who looted Assyrian villages that were evacuated after ISIS attacked them. Subsequently, the YPGassassinated the leader of the Khabur Guard David Jindo and attempted to Assassinate Elyas Nasser. At first, the YPG blamed the assassination on ISIS but Elyas Nasser, who survived, was able to expose the YPG’s involvement from his hospital bed. Since the assassination YPG has forced the Khabour Guard to disarm and to accept YPG ‘protection.’ Subsequently, most Assyrian residents of the Khabour who had fled to Syrian Army controlled areas of Qamishli City could not return to their villages.

The Assyrian Christian community in Qamishli has also been harassed by YPG Kurdish militia. YPG attacked an Assyrian checkpoint killing one fighter of the Assyrian militia Sootoro and wounding three others. The checkpoint was set up after three Assyrian restaurants were bombed on December 20, 2016 in an attack that killed 14 Assyrian civilians. Assyrians suspected that YPG was behind these bombings in an attempt to assassinate Assyrian leaders and prevent any future claims of control over Qamishli.

It would be foolish to ignore the signs that more widely spread ethnic cleansing campaigns may occur if Kurdish expansionists are supported, especially since other ethnic groups are not on board with their federalism plans. It has only been 90 years since the Assyrian genocide which was conducted by Turks and Kurds. This history should not be allowed to be repeated. Assyrians have enjoyed safety and stability in the Syrian state since this time. Forcing the Assyrians to accept federalism is not going to ensure their safety. Establishment of a Kurdish federal state in Iraq has not protected Assyrian villages from attacks by Kurdish armed groups either. The campaign of ethnic cleansing against both Assyrians and Arabs in Al Hasakah has already begun and may now only escalate.

4. The Resources in Al Hasake are shared between all Syrians

While Kurds make up only 7-10% of Syria’s total population, PYD demands 20% of Syria’s land. What’s more, the region of Al hasakah, which YPG wants to annex has a population of only 1.5 million people. Much of Syria’s agriculture and oil wealth is located in Al Hasakah and is shared by Syria’s 23 million people. Al Hasakah province produces 34% of Syria’s wheat and much of Syria’s oil. The oil pumping stations are now being used by ISIS and YPG’s Kurds to fund their war efforts while depriving the Syrian people.

While headlines abound about Syria’s starving population, there is little talk of how federalising Syria could entrench this starvation into law for generations to come. Instead, promoters of Federalism talk about how giving the resources shared by 23 million people to 1.5 million people will lead to peace.

5. A Kurdish Region in Syria will be a Threat to Global Security

Since the majority of Syria’s population and Syria’s government oppose Kurdish annexation claims, PYD will not be able to achieve federalism through legal means. The only way the PYD and YPG can achieve federalism is through brute force. This brute force may backed by the US air force and an invasion by special forces which contradicts international law. Head of PYD Saleh Islam has already threatened to attack Syrian troops if they attempt to retake Raqqa from ISIS. A Kurdish state in Syria as the Iraqi Kurdistan ensures US hegemony in the region. Like the KRG [1] the YPG are already attempting to build a US base on Syrian soil. Russia, which has been an ally of Syria for a long time, will be further isolated as a result. This will once again tip the balance of power in the world.

All of Syria’s neighbouring countries are also opposed to an ethnocentric Kurdish state in Syria. The YPG is linked to the PKK, which is active in Turkey and which the United Nations has designated a terrorist organisation. Turkey will see YPG’s federalism claims as strengthening the PKK. Turkey may invade Syria as a result, guaranteeing at least a regional war. This regional war could involve Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Israel.

Israel wants to establish a Kurdistan, as a Sunni-Iranian rival to Shi’ite Iran. They hope such a Sunni state will block Iran’s access to Syria and will also prevent Lebanese resistance against Israeli invasion. This was all outlined in Israel’s Yinon Plan published in 1982. Israel is an extension of US influence and hegemony in the region, the Israeli lobby holds much sway over US politics. Strengthening Israel in the region will strengthen US influence over the region, once again shrinking Russian influence and  pushing the nuclear power into a corner. Journalists who show a sense of confusion about the reason the West is supportive of Kurdish expansionism should consider this point.

Finally, a designated ‘Kurdish area’ in Syria is deeply rooted in ethnocentric chauvinism. A US state strictly designated for Hispanic, White or Black ethnicity would be outrageous to suggest and would be considered racist. But the use of ethnicity as a means to divide and conquer is the oldest and most cynical form of imperialism. Syria must remain for all Syrians, not just for one minority. Voices who oppose this should be discouraged. The Syrian Constitution should continue to resist all ethnocentric religious-based parties…


[1] The Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.003003&lon=38.430176&z=7&m=bs

click on map to enlarge ~ here for the original link


Video by SyrianGirlPartisan
Submitted by SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/kurdish-claim/
~

Leaked Memo: Jordan’s King Reveals UK SAS Forces On The Ground In Syria, Israel Supports Nusra

Source

1440_jordankingabdullah2

By Brandon Turbeville

According to a leaked memo obtained by the Guardian in late March, 2016 King Abdullah of Jordan apparently briefed US officials on the fact that Jordanian Special Forces would be deployed to Libya to work alongside the British SAS. In that same briefing, Abdullah also allegedly stated that British SAS had been active in Libya since early 2016.

As Randeep Ramesh wrote for the Guardian at the time,

According to the notes of the meeting in the week of 11 January, seen by the Guardian, King Abdullahconfirmed his country’s own special forces “will be imbedded [sic] with British SAS” in Libya.

According to the memo, the monarch met with US congressional leaders – including John McCain, the chairman of the Senate armed services committee, and Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee. Also present was the House of Representatives speaker, Paul Ryan.

King Abdullah said UK special forces needed his soldiers’ assistance when operating on the ground in north Africa, explaining “Jordanian slang is similar to Libyan slang”.

Abdullah also allegedly pointed out that the British had been instrumental in setting up a “mechanized battalion” in Southern Syria made up of “local tribal fighters” (aka terrorists) and lead by a “local commander” for the purposes of fighting against the Syrian government forces.

The Jordanian king also stated that his troops were ready to fight side by side with the British and Kenyans for the purposes of invading Somalia.

According to the Guardian,

The full passage of the briefing notes says: “On Libya His Majesty said he expects a spike in a couple of weeks and Jordanians will be imbedded [sic] with British SAS, as Jordanian slang is similar to Libyan slang.”

The monarch’s apparent openness with the US lawmakers is an indication of just how important an ally Jordan is to the US in the region. Since the 1950s Washington has provided it with more than $15bn (£10.5bn) in economic and military aid.

However, the Jordanians had become frustrated over perceived US inaction over the Middle East in recent months. Five years of fighting in Syria have dramatically impacted on Jordan, which has absorbed more than 630,000 Syrian refugees, and the king has repeatedly called for decisive action to end the conflict.

Interestingly enough, the King also allegedly admitted that Turkey and specifically Recep Erdogan is hoping for the victory of “radical Islamists” in Syria and that Israel is tacitly supporting al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in Syria.

Ramesh summarizes the King’s alleged statements by writing:

  • The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, “believes in a radical Islamic solution to the problems in the region” and the “fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy, and Turkey keeps getting a slap on the hand, but they get off the hook”.
  • Intelligence agencies want to keep terrorist websites “open so they can use them to track extremists” and Google had told the Jordanian monarch “they have 500 people working on this”.
  • Israel “looks the other way” at the al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra on its border with Syria because “they regard them as an opposition to Hezbollah”.

In March, Stratfor analysts reported that UK Special Forces were already in Libya and that they were “escorting MI6 teams to meet with Libyan officials about supplying weapons and training to the Syrian army and to militias against the Islamic State. The British air force bases Sentinel aircraft in Cyprus for surveillance missions around [the Isis Libyan stronghold] Sirte as well.”

The presence of Western/NATO Special Forces in Syria is by no means a revelation at this point. These forces have been present in the embattled Middle Eastern country for some time.

In October, 2015, it was announced by the White House that 50 Special Forces troops would be sent to Syria. This announcement came days after it was reported that U.S. Special Forces commandos were working with Kurdish forces to “free prisoners of the Islamic State” in Syria. Later, the presence of U.S. Special Forces in Syria was tacitly acknowledged in 2015 when the U.S. took credit for the killing of Abu Sayyaf.

Reports circulated in October, 2014 that U.S. soldiers and Special Forces troops were fighting alongside Kurdish battalions in Kobane. An article by Christof Lehmann published in March 20, 2015 stated,

Evidence about the presence of U.S. special forces in the Syrian town Ayn al-Arab a.k.a. Kobani emerged. Troops are guiding U.S. airstrikes as part of U.S support for the Kurdish separatist group PYD and the long-established plan to establish a Kurdish corridor.

A photo taken in Ayn al-Arab shows three U.S. soldiers. One of them “Peter” is carrying a Bushnell laser rangefinder, an instrument designed to mark targets for U.S. jets, reports Ceyhun Bozkurt for Aydinlik Daily.

The photo substantiated previous BBC interviews with U.S. soldiers who are fighting alongside the Kurdish separatist group PYD in Syria.

The photo of the three U.S. troopers also substantiates a statement by PYD spokesman Polat Can from October 14, 2014, reports Aydinlik Daily. Can admitted that a special unit in Kobani provides Kurdish fighters with the coordinates of targets which then would be relayed to “coalition forces”.

The first public U.S. Special Forces raid in Syria took place in July, 2014 when Delta Force personnel allegedly attempted to rescue several Americans being held by ISIS near Raqqa. Allegedly, the soldiers stormed the facility but the terrorists had already moved the hostages. While the raid would provide evidence that U.S. Special Forces were operating in Syria in 2014, many researchers believe the story is simply fabricated by the White House to provide legitimacy to the stories of murdered hostages and thus the subsequent pro-war propaganda that ensued as well as to promote the gradual acceptance of U.S. troops on the ground in Syria.

In 2012, an article published in the Daily Star by Deborah Sherwood revealed that SAS Special Forces and MI6 agents were operating inside Syria shortly after the destabilization campaign began in earnest. Sherwood writes,

Special Forces will help ­protect the refugees in Syria along the borders.

Last week as the president ignored an international ceasefire, plans were being finalised to ­rescue thousands of Syrians.


SAS troops and MI6 agents are in the country ready to help rebels if civil war breaks out as ­expected this weekend.

They also have ­hi-tech satellite computers and radios that can instantly send back photos and details of refugees and ­Assad’s forces as the situation develops.

Whitehall sources say it is vital they can see what is ­happening on the ground for ­themselves so Assad cannot deny atrocities or battles.

And if civil war breaks out the crack troops are on hand to help with fighting, said the ­insider.

. . . . .

“Safe havens would be an invasion of Syria but a chance to save lives,” said a senior Whitehall source.

“The SAS will throw an armed screen round these areas that can be set up within hours.

“There are guys in the communications unit who are signallers that can go right up front and get ­involved in close-quarter fighting.”

In addition, in March 2012, it was reported by Lebanon’s Daily Star that 13 French intelligence agents had been captured by the Syrian government, proving not only that Western Special Ops presence in Syria did, in fact, exist but also that it existed essentially from the start.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

Obama Announces More Special Forces Troops To Syria, Escalates Existing Policy

obama syria

By Brandon Turbeville

In yet another sign of obvious Western escalation in the war against Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Monday that an additional 250 American military personnel will be deployed to Syria under the guise of defeating ISIS.

In his speech at Hannover, Germany, Obama stated:

Just as I approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL, I’ve decided to increase U.S. support for local forces fighting ISIL in Syria, a small number of special operations forces are already on the ground in Syria and their expertise has been critical as local forces have driven ISIL out of key areas.

So given their success I’ve approved the deployment of up to 250 additional U.S. personnel in Syria including special forces to keep up this momentum.

Obama made a point to state that the troops will not be “leading the fight on the ground” but will be engaged in “training” and providing “assistance” to local forces.

 Obama also restated the U.S. position that “Assad must go” when he said, “Just as we remain relentless on the military front we’re not going to give up on diplomacy to end the civil war in Syria because the suffering of the people in Syria has to end and that requires an effective political transition.”

CNN reports that

The troops will be expanding the ongoing U.S. effort to bring more Syrian Arab fighters into units the U.S. supports in northern Syria that have largely been manned by the Kurds, an official told CNN earlier.

The plan calls for the additional U.S. forces to “advise and assist” forces in the area whom the U.S. hopes may eventually grow strong enough to take back territory around Raqqa, Syria, where ISIS is based.

These troops are not expected to engage in combat operations or to participate in target-to-kill teams but will be armed to defend themselves, one official said.

. . . . .

The official said the President was persuaded to take this additional step because of recent successes against ISIS.

What these statements mean, of course, is that the United States is deploying troops to better assist, train, and organize the terrorists on the ground who are fighting Assad and the Syrian military. After all, these “fighters that the U.S. supports” are nothing more than ISIS, al-Qaeda, FSA, Nusra, and other numerous groups and groupiscules that are ideologically identical to one another and whose only real tangible difference is the names they themselves.

Not only that, any talk of “recent successes against ISIS” is clearly not the successes of the United States, NATO, or the anti-Syria coalition. They are the successes of Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia. Indeed, the latter forces have achieved in weeks what the former could not achieve in over a year (ten years according to the U.S.), a true testament to what can be achieved when one actually targets the terrorist organization as opposed to supporting it.

Still, it is important to point out that, regardless of Obama’s recent announcement, U.S. Special Forces have been present in Syria for quite some time, with NATO member Special Forces known publicly even earlier.

In October, 2015, it was announced by the White House that 50 Special Forces troops would be sent to Syria. This announcement came days after it was reported that U.S. Special Forces commandos were working with Kurdish forces to “free prisoners of the Islamic State” in Syria. Later, the presence of U.S. Special Forces in Syria was tacitly acknowledged in 2015 when the U.S. took credit for the killing of Abu Sayyaf.

Reports circulated in October, 2014 that U.S. soldiers and Special Forces troops were fighting alongside Kurdish battalions in Kobane. An article by Christof Lehmann published in March 20, 2015 stated,

Evidence about the presence of U.S. special forces in the Syrian town Ayn al-Arab a.k.a. Kobani emerged. Troops are guiding U.S. airstrikes as part of U.S support for the Kurdish separatist group PYD and the long-established plan to establish a Kurdish corridor.

A photo taken in Ayn al-Arab shows three U.S. soldiers. One of them “Peter” is carrying a Bushnell laser rangefinder, an instrument designed to mark targets for U.S. jets, reports Ceyhun Bozkurt for Aydinlik Daily.

The photo substantiated previous BBC interviews with U.S. soldiers who are fighting alongside the Kurdish separatist group PYD in Syria.

The photo of the three U.S. troopers also substantiates a statement by PYD spokesman Polat Can from October 14, 2014, reports Aydinlik Daily. Can admitted that a special unit in Kobani provides Kurdish fighters with the coordinates of targets which then would be relayed to “coalition forces”.

The first public U.S. Special Forces raid in Syria took place in July, 2014 when Delta Force personnel allegedly attempted to rescue several Americans being held by ISIS near Raqqa. Allegedly, the soldiers stormed the facility but the terrorists had already moved the hostages. While the raid would provide evidence that U.S. Special Forces were operating in Syria in 2014, many researchers believe the story is simply fabricated by the White House to provide legitimacy to the stories of murdered hostages and thus the subsequent pro-war propagandathat ensued as well as to promote the gradual acceptance of U.S. troops on the ground in Syria.

In 2012, an article published in the Daily Star by Deborah Sherwood revealed that SAS Special Forces and MI6 agents were operating inside Syria shortly after the destabilization campaign began in earnest. Sherwood writes,

Special Forces will help ­protect the refugees in Syria along the borders.

Last week as the president ignored an international ceasefire, plans were being finalised to ­rescue thousands of Syrians.

SAS troops and MI6 agents are in the country ready to help rebels if civil war breaks out as ­expected this weekend.

They also have ­hi-tech satellite computers and radios that can instantly send back photos and details of refugees and ­Assad’s forces as the situation develops.

Whitehall sources say it is vital they can see what is ­happening on the ground for ­themselves so Assad cannot deny atrocities or battles.

And if civil war breaks out the crack troops are on hand to help with fighting, said the ­insider.

. . . . .

“Safe havens would be an invasion of Syria but a chance to save lives,” said a senior Whitehall source.

“The SAS will throw an armed screen round these areas that can be set up within hours.

“There are guys in the communications unit who are signallers that can go right up front and get ­involved in close-quarter fighting.”

In addition, in March 2012, it was reported by Lebanon’s Daily Starthat 13 French intelligence agents had been captured by the Syrian government, proving not only that Western Special Ops presence in Syria did, in fact, exist but also that it existed essentially from the start.

Thus, the presence of NATO Special Forces and U.S. Special Forces specifically are nothing new at all. Obama’s announcement is simply the advertisement of a policy that is gradually escalating in regards to Syria and, as a result, threatens to provoke a direct confrontation between the United States and Russia.

From WTFRLY.com

Image Credit

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

This article may be freely shared in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

WHY A KURDISH ENCLAVE IN SYRIA IS A VERY BAD IDEA

A few simple reasons why PYD/YPG claims to federal autonomy and attempts to annex Syrian land are illegitimate, undemocratic, and could lead to genocide.
Why A Kurdish Enclave in Syria Is a Very Bad Idea

1. Kurds are not a majority in the Area PYD/YPG are attempting to annex

The region of Al Hasakah, which the Kurdish Nationalist Party (PYD) and its military wing YPG have declared a federal Kurdish state, does not have a Kurdish majority. Al Hasakah Governorate is a mosaic of Assyrian Christians, Armenians, Turkmen, Kurds and Bedouin Arabs. Of the 1.5 million population of Al Hasakah, only 40% are ethnically Kurdish. Moreover, parts of Al Hasakah Governorate, such as Al Hasakah district, is less than 15% Kurdish (!). In the other large minorities in the area the Arabs and Assyrian Christians form a majority. Declaring a small area with a wide array of ethnic groups as belonging to a specific ethnic minority is a recipe for oppression.

The Kurdish population of Al Hasakah has also been heavily inflitrated by illegal Kurdish immigration from Turkey. Kurdish immigration to Syria began in the 1920’s and occurred in several waves after multiple failed Kurdish uprisings against Turkey. It continued throughout the century. In 2011 the Kurdish population in Syria reached between 1.6 to 2.3 million, but 420,000 of these left Syria for Iraq and Turkey as a result of the current conflict. Some Syrian Kurds have lived in Homs and Damascus for hundreds of years and are heavily assimilated into the Syrian society. However, Kurdish illegal immigrants who mostly reside in north Syria, and who could not prove their residence in Syria before 1945, complain of oppression when they were not granted the rights of Syrian citizens. Syrian law dictates that only a blood born Syrian whose paternal lineage is Syrian has a right to Syrian citizenship. No refugee whether Somali, Iraqi or Palestinian has been granted Syrian citizenship no matter how long their stay. In spite of this, in 2011 the Syrian President granted Syrian citizenship to 150,000 Kurds. This has not stopped the YPG from using illegal Kurdish immigrants who were not granted citizenship as a rationale for annexing Syrian land. Those who promote Federalism are imposing the will of a small minority – that is not of Syrian origin – on the whole of Al Hasakah’s population and the whole of Syria.

2. It is Undemocratic to Impose Federalism on the Majority of Syrians

PYD did not bother to consult with other factions of Syrian society before its unilateral declaration of Federalism. The other ethnicities that reside in Al Hasake governate, which PYD claims is now an autonomous Kurdish state, have clearly rejected federalism. An assembly of Syrian clans and Arab tribes in Al Hasaka and the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO) rejected PYD’s federalism declaration. In Geneva, both the Syrian government and the opposition rejected PYD’s federalism declaration. Furthermore, PYD does not represent all of Syria’s Kurdish population. The Kurdish faction of Syrian national coalition condemned PYD’s federalism declaration. Most of Syria’s Kurds do not live in Al Hasakah and many that do work outside it. Thousands of Kurds have joined ISIS and are fighting for an Islamic State not a Kurdish one.

Unilateral declaration of federalism carries no legitimacy since federalism can only exist with a constitutional change and a Referendum. Federalism is unlikely to garner much support from the bulk of Syria’s population, 90-93% of whom is not Kurdish. Knowing this, PYD have banned residents of Al Hasakah from voting in the upcoming Parliamentary elections to be held across the nation. This shows the will of the people in Al Hasakah is already being crushed by PYD. It is undemocratic to continue to discuss federalism as a possibility when it has been rejected by so many segments of Syrian society. Ironically we are told the purpose of the US’ Regime change adventure in Syria is to bring democracy to the middle east.

3. Federalism May Risk Ethnic cleansing of Assyrian Christian and other minorities

Since the Kurdish population are not a majority in the areas PYD are trying to annex, the past few years have revealed that PYD/YPG are not beyond carrying out ethnic cleansing of non-Kurdish minorities in an attempt to achieve a demographic shift. The main threat to Kurdish ethnocentric territorial claims over the area are the other large minorities, the Arabs and the Assyrian Christians.

Salih Muslim, the leader of PYD, openly declared his intention to conduct an ethnic cleansing campaign against Syrian Arabs who live in what he now calls Rojava. “One day those Arabs who have been brought to the Kurdish areas will have to be expelled,” said Muslim in an interview with Serek TV. Over two years since that interview he has fulfilled his word, as YPG begun burning Arab villages around Al Hasakah Province hoping to create a demographic shift. It is estimated that ten thousands Arab villagers have been ethnically cleansed from Al Hasake province so far. The villages around Tal Abayad have suffered the most as Kurdish expansionists seek to connect the discontiguous population centres of Al Hasakah and Al Raqqa. “The YPG burnt our village and looted our houses,” said Mohammed Salih al-Katee, who left Tel Thiab Sharki, near the city of Ras al-Ayn, in December.

YPG have also begun a campaign of intimidation, murder and property confiscation against the Assyrian Christian minority. The YPG and PYD made it a formal policy to loot and confiscate the property of those who had escaped their villages after an ISIS attack, in the hope of repopulating Assyrian villages with Kurds. The Assyrians residents of the Khabur area in Al Hasaka province formed a militia called the Khabour Guard in the hope of defending their villages against ISIS attacks. The Khabur Guard council leaders protested the practice of looting by Kurdish YPG militia members who looted Assyrian villages that were evacuated after ISIS attacked them. Subsequently, the YPG assassinated the leader of the Khabur Guard David Jindo and attempted to Assassinate Elyas Nasser. At first the YPG blamed the assassination on ISIS but Elyas Nasser, who survived, was able to expose the YPG’s involvement from his hospital bed. Since the assassination YPG has forced the Khabour Guard to disarm and to accept YPG ‘protection.’ Subsequently most Assyrian residents of the Khabour who had fled to Syrian Army controlled areas of Qamishli City could not return to their villages.

The Assyrian Christian community in Qamishli has also been harassed by YPG Kurdish militia. YPG attacked an Assyrian checkpoint killing one fighter of the Assyrian militia Sootoro and wounding three others. The checkpoint was set up after three Assyrian restaurants were bombed on December 20, 2016 in an attack that killed 14 Assyrian civilians. Assyrians suspected that YPG was behind these bombings in an attempt to assassinate Assyrian leaders and prevent any future claims of control over Qamishli.

It would be foolish to ignore the signs that more widely spread ethnic cleansing campaigns may occur if Kurdish expansionists are supported, especially since other ethnic groups are not on board with their federalism plans. It has only been 90 years since the Assyrian genocide which was conducted by Turks and Kurds. This history should not be allowed to be repeated. Assyrians have enjoyed safety and stability in the Syrian state since this time. Forcing the Assyrians to accept federalism is not going to ensure their safety. Establishment of a federal Kurdish state in Iraq has not protected Assyrian villages from attacks by Kurdish armed groups either. The campaign of ethnic cleansing against both Assyrians and Arabs in Al Hasakah has already begun and may now only escalate.

4. The Resources in Al Hasake are shared between all Syrians

While Kurds make up only 7-10% of Syria’s total population, PYD demands 20% of Syria’s land. What’s more, the region of Al hasakah that YPG want to annex has a population of only 1.5 millionpeople. Much of Syria’s agriculture and oil wealth is located in Al Hasakah and is shared by Syria’s 23 million people. Al Hasakah province produces 34% of Syria’s wheat and much of Syria’s oil. The oil pumping stations are now being used by ISIS and YPG’s Kurds to fund their war efforts while depriving the Syrian people.

While headlines abound about Syria’s starving population, there is little talk of how federalising Syria could entrench this starvation into law for generations to come. Instead, promoters of Federalism talk about how giving the resources shared by 23 million people to 1.5 million people will lead to peace.

5. A Kurdish Region in Syria will be a Threat to Global Security

Since the majority of Syria’s population and Syria’s government oppose Kurdish annexation claims, PYD will not be able to achieve federalism through legal means. The only way the PYD and YPG can achieve federalism is through brute force. This brute force may backed by the US air force and an invasion by special forces which contradicts international law. Head of PYD Saleh Islam has already threatened to attack Syrian troops if they attempt to retake Raqqa from ISIS. A Kurdish state in Syria as the Iraqi Kurdistan ensures US hegemony in the region. Like the KRG [1] the YPG are already attempting to build a US base on Syrian soil. Russia, which has been an ally of Syria for a long time, will be further isolated as a result. This will once again tip the balance of power in the world.

All of Syria’s neighbouring countries are also opposed to an ethnocentric Kurdish state in Syria. The YPG is linked to the PKK, which is active in Turkey and which the United Nations has designated a terrorist organisation. Turkey will see YPG’s federalism claims as strengthening the PKK. Turkey may invade Syria as a result, guaranteeing at least a regional war. This regional war could involve Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Israel.

Israel wants to establish a Kurdistan, as a Sunni-Iranian rival to Shi’ite Iran. They hope such a Sunni state will block Iran’s access to Syria and will also prevent Lebanese resistance against Israeli invasion. This was all outlined in Israel’s Yinon Plan published in 1982. Israel is an extension of US influence and hegemony in the region, the Israeli lobby holds much sway over US politics. Strengthening Israel in the region will strengthen US influence over the region, once again shrinking Russian influence and  pushing the nuclear power into a corner. Journalists who show a sense of confusion about the reason the West is supportive of Kurdish expansionism should consider this point.

Finally, a designated ‘Kurdish area’ in Syria is deeply rooted in ethnocentric chauvinism. A US state strictly designated for Hispanic, White or Black ethnicity would be outrageous to suggest and would be considered racist. But the use of ethnicity as a means to divide and conquer is the oldest and most cynical form of imperialism. Syria must remain for all Syrians, not just for one minority. Voices who oppose this should be discouraged. The Syrian Constitution should continue to resist all ethnocentric religious-based parties. If there is a change to the Syrian constitution, it should be the removal of the word Arab from Syrian Arab Republic. In spite of the fact that the vast majority Syrians speak the Arabic language, the majority of Syrian are historically not ethnically Arab. All sections of Syrian society should be treated equally under the Syrian flag.

 


[1] The Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq

THE FIRES OF HELL OPEN UP ON ALQAEDA; RUSSIA AND IRAN ENRAGED BY TURKISH/BRITISH PLOT; SYRIAN ARMY ON OFFENSIVE IN ALEPPO; MASSIVE REINFORCEMENTS POURING INTO NORTH

Ziad Fadel

غرفة العمليات المشتركة في حلب: نيران جهنم ستفتح على الجماعات المسلحة

ALEPPO:

This is it. This is the end.

My sources in Aleppo tell me it is going to be the end of the rats in the province.  I can confirm that thousands of troops are pouring into the area southwest of the city with a variety of soldiers some of them wearing the insignia of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hizbollah, Russia and even Chechnya.

Putin and Khamenei have made the decision that the cease fire will not produce any results until the Turk-British-supported rodents are driven out of all Syria.  This was a decision made during the last 7 days as it became clear Nusra/Alqaeda was making preparations to retake Highway 5 at Tal Al-‘Ays by bringing forward large numbers of trucks, armored cars, pickups with 23mm cannons, various calibers of artillery and newly-acquired anti-aircraft missiles obtained from Saudi Arabia and manufactured in the United States and France.

The joint operation is called “OPERATION FIRE FROM HELL”.   It will begin in less than 24 hours and my source tells me that thousands of citizens are leaving homes in areas controlled by the terrorists because they know the devastation will be complete.

The Syrian Army had prior knowledge that the terrorists assault on Tal Al-‘Ays where it has been reported that the takfeeri group shot down a Sukhoi-22 jet operating in a reconnaissance role.

The jet was downed by a shoulder-fired heat-seeking rocket manufactured, as usual, by the Americans or the French and delivered to Alqaeda by the Saudis and Turks.  We don’t know how many of these weapons are in the hands of Alqaeda and we can’t wait until we hear about a Turk or Saudi passenger aircraft being mercilessly shot down by these freaks.  It’s only a matter of time.

At Handaraat, the Syrian Army decisively foiled an attempt by Alqaeda to assault SAA positions.  The number of casualties on the rat side exceeded 20 with scores wounded and seen being rushed to field hospitals near the Turk border.  Another attempt to penetrate SAA lines occurred at Abraaj Al-Reeh (Towers of Wind) and also met with dismal results as recon aircraft pinpointed movements of Alqaeda rodents giving the SAA’s field artillery free reign to bombard the tightly deployed terrorist convoys.

The entire Alqaeda force amounted to about 400+ rodents whose primary goal was to cut the Aleppo-‘Afreen Road. They had armored cars, a few tanks, mortars and some home-made and some GRAD rockets.

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.225018&lon=37.326431&z=18&m=b&search=afrin

 

In an act completely consistent with the barbarous nature of Wahhabists, the frustrated rats were ordered to open up their guns on the innocent civilians in Al-Shaykh Maqsood which resulted in 8 deaths and 20 seriously wounded.

A new Operations Room in Aleppo is now empowered to organize and coordinate the military actions of the force entering the theater of battle.  This OR has already called for the evacuation of whole areas of Aleppo to insure the lowest number of civilian casualties.  The citizens are complying.

SyrPer is predicting the arrival of an overwhelming force on the scene.  We have also received reports that the PYG/PKK are also reinforcing and coordinating with the OR.

 

التنظيمات الإرهابية تخرف وقف الأعمال القتالية وترتكب مجزرة بالشيخ مقصود في حلب

A scene from Al-Shaykh Maqsood which was subjected to another barbaric attack by Britain’s murderers.

______________________________________________________

DAYR EL-ZOR:

سلاح الجو

The Syrian Air Force hammered at ISIS positions at Al-Busayri where a command-control center was located.  The SAAF also struck at Al-Sawwaana and Khunayfees where nests of rodents were spotted and destroyed.  At `Araak, another sortie claimed 3 rodents according to monitored terrorist chatter.
Read more 

 

Balkanising Syria is Not Plan B, it’s Plan A

March 29, 2016 (Maram Susli – NEO) – Last month, US secretary of State John Kerry called for Syria to be partitioned saying it was “Plan B” if negotiations fail. But in reality this was always plan A. Plans to balkanize Syria, Iraq and other Middle Eastern states were laid out by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a 2006 trip to Tel Aviv. It was part of the so called “Project For a New Middle East”. This was a carbon copy of the Odid Yinon plan drawn up by Israel in 1982. The plan outlined the way in which Middle Eastern countries could be balkanized along sectarian lines. This would result in the creation of several weak landlocked micro-states that would be in perpetual war with each other and never united enough to resist Israeli expansionism.

“Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan… ” Oded Yinon, “A strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”,The leaked emails of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reveal advocates of the Oded Yinon plan were behind the US push for regime change in Syria. An Israeli intelligence adviser writes in an email to Hillary,

“The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies,”.

Kerry’s plan B comment came right before UN’s special envoy de Mistura said federalism would be discussed at the Geneva talks due to a push from major powers. Both side’s of the Geneva talks, the Syrian Government and the Syrian National Coalition flat out rejected Federalism. Highlighting the fact that the idea did not come from the Syrian’s themselves. The Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Al Jaafari, said that the Idea of federalization would not be up for discussion. “Take the idea of separating Syrian land out of your mind,” he would say.

But some may not completely understand the full implications of federalism and how it is intrinsically tied to balkanization. Some cite the fact that Russia and the United States are successful federations as evidence that federation is nothing to fear. However the point that makes these federalism statements so dangerous is that in accordance with the Yinon plan the borders of a federalized Syria would be drawn along sectarian lines not on whether any particular state can sustain its population. This means that a small amount of people will get all the resources, and the rest of Syria’s population will be left to starve. Furthermore, Russia and the US are by land mass some of the largest nations in the world, so federalism may make sense for them.

In contrast Syria is a very small state with limited resources. Unlike the US and Russia, Syria is located in the Middle East which means water is limited. In spite of the fact Syria is in the so-called fertile crescent, Syria has suffered massive droughts since Turkey dammed the rivers flowing into Syria and Iraq. Syria’s water resources must be rationed amongst its 23 million people. In the Middle East, wars are also fought over water.

The areas that the Yinon plan intends to carve out of Syria, are the coastal areas of Latakia and the region of Al Hasake. These are areas where a substantial amount of Syria’s water, agriculture and oil are located. The intention is to leave the majority of the Syrian population in a landlocked starving rump state, and create a situation where perpetual war between divided Syrians is inevitable. Ironically promoters of the Yinon plan try and paint federalism as a road to peace. However, Iraq which was pushed into federalism in 2005 by the US occupation is far from peaceful now.

Quite simply, divide and conquer is the plan. This was even explicitly suggested in the headline of Foreign Policy magazine, “Divide and conquer Iraq and Syria” with the subheading “Why the West Should Plan for a Partition”. The CEO of Foreign Policy magazine David Rothkopf is a member of to the Council of Foreign Relations, a think tank Hillary Clinton has admits she bases her policies on. Another article by Foreign Policy written by an ex-NATO commander James Stavridis, claims “It’s time to talk about partitioning Syria” .

The US hoped to achieve this by empowering the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist groups, and introducing Al Qaeda and ISIS into Syria. The Syrian army was supposed to collapse with soldiers returning to their respective demographic enclaves. Evidence of this could be seen in the headlines of NATO’s media arm in 2012, which spread false rumours that Assad had run to Latakia, abandoning his post in Damascus. The extremists were then supposed to attack Alawite, Christian and Druze villages. The US hoped that enough Alawites, Christians and Druze would be slaughtered that Syria’s minorities would become receptive to the idea of partitioning.

Then NATO planned on shifting narratives from, ‘evil dictator must be stopped” to “ we must protect the minorities”. Turning on the very terrorists they created and backing secessionist movements. There is evidence that this narrative shift had already started to happened by 2014 when it was used to convince the US public to accept US intervention in Syria against ISIS. The US designation of Jabhat Al Nusra as a terrorist organisation in December of 2012 was in preparation for this narrative shift. But this was premature as none of these plans seemed to unfold according to schedule. Assad did not leave Damascus, the Syrian army held together, and Syrian society held onto its national identity.

It could be said that the Yinon plan had some success with the Kurdish PYD declaration of federalization. However, the Kurdish faction of the Syrian national coalition condemned PYD’s declaration. Regardless, the declaration has no legal legitimacy. The region of Al Hasakah where a substantial portion of Syria’s oil and agriculture lies, has a population of only 1.5 million people, 6% of Syria’s total population. Of that, 1.5 million, only 40% are Kurdish, many of which do not carry Syrian passports. PYD’s demand that the oil and water resources of 23 million people be given to a tiny part of its population is unlikely to garner much support amongst the bulk of Syria’s population.

Former US National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger understood that the key to dismembering a nation was attacking its national identity. This entails attacking the history from which this identity is based upon. In an event at Michigan University Kissinger stated that he would like to see Syria balkanized, asserting that Syria is not a historic state and is nothing but an invention of the Sykes-Picot agreement in the 1920’s. Interestingly, Kissinger is using the same narrative as ISIS, who also claims that Syria is a colonial construct. In fact, ISIS has been a key tool for Kissinger and the promoters of the project of a New Middle East, as ISIS has waged a campaign of destruction against both Syrian and Iraqi historical sites.

In spite of efforts to convince the world of the contrary, the region that now encompasses modern day Syria has been called Syria since 605 BC . Sykes-Picot didn’t draw the borders of Syria too large, but instead, too small. Historical Syria also included Lebanon and Iskandaron. Syria and Lebanon were moving towards reunification until 2005, an attempt at correcting what was a sectarian partition caused by the French mandate. Syria has a long history of opposing attempts of divide and conquer, initially the French mandate aimed to divide Syria into 6 separate states based on sectarian lines, but such plans were foiled by Syrian patriots. The architects of the Yinon plan need only have read Syria’s long history of resistance against colonial divisions to know their plans in Syria were doomed to failure.

Maram Susli also known as “Syrian Girl,” is an activist-journalist and social commentator covering Syria and the wider topic of geopolitics. especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook.”

Kurdish “Federalization” Reminiscent Of Kerry’s Plan B, Brzezinski, NATO Plan A

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By Brandon Turbeville

Kurds in Northern Syria have declared a federal system in Syria, with the areas they have seized in the northern part of the country designated to act as an autonomous zone. The official declaration came on March 16, with reports like those coming from the BBC reaching Western audiences on March 17. According to reports, the conference at which the federation of three Kurdish entities in Syria took place was located in Rmeilan.

Kurdish journalist Barzan Iso confirmed the initial rumors surrounding the Kurdish declaration to RT earlier on March 16 when he stated that “Now the conference has just started in Rmelan, about 200 representatives of Rojava have joined [the event]. They represent different ethnicities and nationalities. There are Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Syriacs, Turkomans, Armenians, Circassians and Chechen. Also we have representatives from the Syrian democratic forces, YPG, women defense units. This conference is supposed to announce a federation as a political project for Rojava region in northern Syria.”

The “new project” is designed to replace the currently autonomous zone of Rojava by formally creating a Federation of Northern Syria incorporating the 250 miles of Kurdish-held territory along the Syria-Turkey border with the section of the northwestern border near the Afrin area. At least, this is the plan as relayed by Idris Nassan, an official working in the Foreign Affairs Directorate of Kobane (Ayn al-Arab). The new system entails “widening the framework of self-administration which the Kurds and others have formed,” he said.

Rojova only received a degree of autonomy in 2013, when Syrian forces were overwhelmed by Western-backed terrorists and were forced to abandon much of the territory now occupied by Kurdish militias such as the YPG and others. In place of the SAA, the NDF and other Syrian patriot militias, as well as Kurdish forces, remained and fought terrorists gallantly to the point of securing large swaths of border territory.

Before 2013, Rojova was never an autonomous region nor was there a separate Kurdish entity in Syria. After all, the “Kurdish” areas are occupied by many more religions and ethnicities than Kurds, including Syrian Arabs, Assyrians, and Turkmen. In January 2014, however, the PYD (Democratic Union Party) declared all three “Rojovan” cantons autonomous. This included Afrin, Kobane, and Jazira. The Rojova “interim Constitution,” known as the Charter of the Social Contract, came immediately after. The charter called for the peaceful coexistence of all religious and ethnic groups residing under its jurisdiction and reaffirmed that Rojova would remain part of Syria.

Still, the representative of the PYD party in Moscow, Abd Salam Ali, told RIA Novosti that “Within days, probably today, self-governing [bodies] of three Kurdish cantons in Syria’s north will declare a federation.” Ali’s prediction came true but he also pointed out that autonomy did not mean separation from Syria, merely the establishment of a looser centralized governing system and the “federalization” of the Kurdish area. He said that the new “Kurdistan” will remain part of Syria.

Turkey, of course, opposes the move fearing both that the Syrian Kurds will begin to represent a significant threat on its borders and that, more importantly, the Syrian Kurds will unite with the Turkish Kurds and begin to wrest territory from Turkey itself. Ironically, the Kurdish announcement resulted in Turkey laughably suggesting that it “supports Syria’s national unity and territorial integrity.” Indeed, if Turkey has finally come around to supporting Syria’s national sovereignty, it is a revelation had by Turkish leaders only hours ago.

Aside from the ridiculous claim that Turkey respects Syria’s territorial integrity, the Turks reiterated their position that any “administrative restructure” must come via the adoption of a “new constitution” for Syria.

The legitimate Syrian government is also rejecting any federation plans for obvious reasons. Bashar Jaafari, head of the Syrian government delegation at the United Nations’ Geneva talks, was quoted as stating that “Drawing any lines between Syrians would be a great mistake.” He also pointed out that Syrian Kurds are an important part of the Syrian people.

It should be noted that the Kurdish move comes as it becomes clear that the Kurds will not be included in the Geneva talks. While Turkey is obviously pleased at the exclusion of the Kurds (evidence suggests the Kurds were excluded at Turkey’s request), the Russians have repeatedly contended that they should be involved in the process. Even Staffan de Mistrua, the UN Envoy to Syria, has agreed that the Kurds should be included.

Rodi Osman, head of the Syrian Kurdistan Office in Moscow, implied that the declaration of the federalized Kurdish territory may have been a response to having been excluded from the peace talks. He stated to RIA Novosti:

The second round of inter-Syrian talks is underway in Geneva, but Syrian Kurds were not invited. It means that the future of Syria and its society is decided without Kurds. In fact, we are pushed back into a conservative, old-fashioned system which does not fit well with us. In light of this, we see only one solution which is to declare the creation of [Kurdish] federation. It will serve the interests of the Kurds, but also those of Arabs, Turks, Assyrians, Chechens and Turkomans – all parts of Syria’s multinational society. Given the complicated situation in Syria, we would become an example of a system that may resolve the Syrian crisis.

Syrian Representative to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari stated that the talks should not have begun with the “absence of half or two thirds of all the opposition” since doing so has left the talks “very weak.”

Kurdish exclusion from political negotiations, however, is not the only possibility as to why the Kurdish federalism has been announced, since the idea is the very concept proposed by the United States only weeks ago.

The Kurdish Plan, Kerry’s Plan B, Brzezinski’s Plan A

The announcement of the Kurdish “federation” is concerning not only because of the now increased tension between parties in Syria but also because of the negative effects it may have in regards to the success of the “peace talks” taking place in Geneva. As a result of the Kurdish announcement only days in to the discussions, a new element has been introduced into the conflict that will prove to be difficult to fully negotiate around since Kurds are not included in the dialogue and because, in the event of a an actual peace agreement being accepted by the two parties in Geneva, the Kurds will see it as being imposed upon them as opposed to witnessing a plan of natural development. In truth, the Kurdish entity is not a separate political actor since it is part of Syria and the Syrian government delegation is representing its country as the sole legitimate delegate. Still, with the declaration of a “federation” in northern Syria, the Kurds have attempted to essentially separate themselves, even if only to a degree, and fracture the line of resistance to Western-backed terrorists and Western geopolitical interests both during the peace talks and afterwards.

What is more concerning, however, is how the Kurdish declaration matches up with the Western “Plan B” for Syria all along; that is, the fracturing of the country into separate states based solely on religion or ethnicity. Consider the statement made by Abd Salam Ali, PYD Representative in Moscow, when he said that Syrian Kurds expect their experience with “autonomy” to be spread to other ethnicities and religious groups in Syria. He stated that “Our experience would be useful for Alawites and Sunnis. Perhaps, this is the key to [bringing] peace in our country.”

In other words, Ali is suggesting that not only should Kurds maintain a “federalized” autonomous state, but so should other ethnic and religious groups. Most likely, he is referring to the same groups mentioned repeatedly in Western media over the last several weeks as the Western “Plan B” – Alawites, Druze, Sunnis, and even Wahhabists.

So Ali’s suggestion and the concept gaining steam amongst the Western population via their corporate media outlets as well as among Kurds in Syria is the same as the Plan B mentioned by John Kerry, the Brookings Institution, and a litany of media outlets and “analysts” receiving their marching orders from the U.S. government. It is quite the coincidence then, that the Kurds would make their announcement so soon after the Plan B begins garnering attention in the international discourse in a renewed fashion.

For his part, John Kerry did not elaborate on the nature of his “Plan B” except to say that it might be “too late to keep as a whole Syria if we wait much longer,” or if the negotiations in Geneva fail.

Yet Kerry’s “Plan B” sounds very much like the “Plan A” of a number of other strategists, policy makers, and imperialist organs.

Consider the op-ed published by Reuters and written by Michael O’Hanlon, entitled “Syria’s One Hope May Be As Dim As Bosnia’s Once Was.” The article argues essentially that the only way Russia and the United States will ever be able to peacefully settle the Syrian crisis is if the two agree to a weakened and divided Syria, broken up into separate pieces.

O’Hanlon wrote,

To find common purpose with Russia, Washington should keep in mind the Bosnia model, devised to end the fierce Balkan conflicts in the 1990s. In that 1995 agreement, a weak central government was set up to oversee three largely autonomous zones.

In similar fashion, a future Syria could be a confederation of several sectors: one largely Alawite (Assad’s own sect), spread along the Mediterranean coast; another Kurdish, along the north and northeast corridors near the Turkish border; a third primarily Druse, in the southwest; a fourth largely made up of Sunni Muslims; and then a central zone of intermixed groups in the country’s main population belt from Damascus to Aleppo. The last zone would likely be difficult to stabilize, but the others might not be so tough.

Under such an arrangement, Assad would ultimately have to step down from power in Damascus. As a compromise, however, he could perhaps remain leader of the Alawite sector. A weak central government would replace him. But most of the power, as well as most of the armed forces. would reside within the individual autonomous sectors — and belong to the various regional governments. In this way, ISIL could be targeted collectively by all the sectors.

Once this sort of deal is reached, international peacekeepers would likely be needed to hold it together — as in Bosnia. Russian troops could help with this mission, stationed, for example, along the Alawite region’s borders.

This deal is not, of course, ripe for negotiation. To make it plausible, moderate forces must first be strengthened. The West also needs to greatly expand its training and arming of various opposition forces that do not include ISIL or al-Nusra. Vetting standards might also have to be relaxed in various ways. American and other foreign trainers would need to deploy inside Syria, where the would-be recruits actually live — and must stay, if they are to protect their families.

Meanwhile, regions now accessible to international forces, starting perhaps with the Kurdish and Druse sectors, could begin receiving humanitarian relief on a much expanded scale. Over time, the number of accessible regions would grow, as moderate opposition forces are strengthened.

Though it could take many months, or even years, to achieve the outcome Washington wants, setting out the goals and the strategy now is crucial. Doing so could provide a basis for the West’s working together with — or at least not working against — other key outside players in the conflict, including Russia, as well as Turkey, the Gulf states and Iraq.

O’Hanlon is no stranger to the Partition Plan for Syria. After all, he was the author the infamous Brookings Institution report “Deconstructing Syria: A New Strategy For America’s Most Hopeless War,” in June, 2015 where he argued essentially the same thing.

In this article for Brookings, a corporate-financier funded “think tank” that has been instrumental in the promotion of the war against Syria since very early on, O’Hanlon argued for the “relaxation” of vetting processes for “rebels” being funded by the U.S. government, the direct invasion of Syria by NATO military forces, and the complete destruction of the Syrian government. O’Hanlon argued for the creation of “safe zones” as a prelude to these goals.

Yet, notably, O’Hanlon also mentioned the creation of a “confederal” Syria as well. In other words, the breakup of the solidified nation as it currently exists. He wrote,

The end-game for these zones would not have to be determined in advance. The interim goal might be a confederal Syria, with several highly autonomous zones and a modest (eventual) national government. The confederation would likely require support from an international peacekeeping force, if this arrangement could ever be formalized by accord. But in the short term, the ambitions would be lower—to make these zones defensible and governable, to help provide relief for populations within them, and to train and equip more recruits so that the zones could be stabilized and then gradually expanded.

Such a plan is reminiscent of the Zbigniew Brzezinski method of “microstates and ministates.” In other words, the construction of a weak, impotent state based upon ethnicity, religion, and other identity politics but without the ability to resist the will of larger nations, coalitions, and banking/industrial corporations.[1]

Thus, the Syrian Kurdish forces, whether willingly or not, have essentially played right into the hands of the architects of the plans currently underway to destroy and degrade their country already set in motion by the NATO powers.

The Syrian “Stans”

Much has already been written about the possibility of a Kurdistan in northern Syria, the boundaries of which have been declared by the Syrian Kurds themselves, which essentially line up with those drawn up by Western strategists and war designers years ago.

Likewise, public suggestions have been made since at least 2013 that, in addition to a Kurdistan, an Alawite enclave – perhaps lead by Assad but perhaps not – would be established in the western portion of Syria, predominantly in the Latakia area, where what is left of the Syrian government, presumably itself decimated by restructuring, would reign. Robin Wright of the United States Institute For Peace, a military industrial complex firm dedicated to strategic development, suggested a largerAlawitistan, stretching from the South, up through Damascus, Homs, Hama, Latakia and on to the northern coast of the Mediterranean.

Druzistan (Jabal al-Druze as suggested by Wright) has also been dreamed up for the Southern tip of Syria (near Daraa).

In the rural areas, discussions have centered around a Sunnistan that would span from rural central and eastern Syria across the border into central, western, and eastern Iraq. However, others have suggested that Sunnistan would be a function of Syria alone.

Still other strategists have even suggested the appeasement of Wahhabist terrorists by the formation of a Wahhabistan in between Iraq and Syria (essentially the same territory as that occupied by ISIS today). Such a Wahhabistan would function as a barrier between moderate and anti-NATO forces in Iraq and Syria and would cut off a major supply route for Syria and Hezbollah coming from Iran for what would be left of Syria.

Consider Wright’s suggestions when she writes,

Syria has crumbled into three identifiable regions, each with its own flag and security forces. A different future is taking shape: a narrow statelet along a corridor from the south through Damascus, Homs and Hama to the northern Mediterranean coast controlled by the Assads’ minority Alawite sect. In the north, a small Kurdistan, largely autonomous since mid-2012. The biggest chunk is the Sunni-dominated heartland.

. . . .

Over time, Iraq’s Sunni minority — notably in western Anbar Province, site of anti-government protests — may feel more commonality with eastern Syria’s Sunni majority. Tribal ties and smuggling span the border. Together, they could form a de facto or formal Sunnistan. Iraq’s south would effectively become Shiitestan, although separation is not likely to be that neat.

The dominant political parties in the two Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq have longstanding differences, but when the border opened in August, more than 50,000 Syrian Kurds fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, creating new cross-border communities. Massoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, has also announced plans for the first summit meeting of 600 Kurds from some 40 parties in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran this fall.

“We feel that conditions are now appropriate,” said Kamal Kirkuki, the former speaker of Iraq’s Kurdish Parliament, about trying to mobilize disparate Kurds to discuss their future.

. . . .

New borders may be drawn in disparate, and potentially chaotic, ways. Countries could unravel through phases of federation, soft partition or autonomy, ending in geographic divorce.

. . . .

Other changes may be de facto. City-states — oases of multiple identities like Baghdad, well-armed enclaves like Misurata, Libya’s third largest city, or homogeneous zones like Jabal al-Druze in southern Syria — might make a comeback, even if technically inside countries.

Former Ambassdor to the United Nations and Neo Con John R. Bolton even wrote an op-ed for The New York Times where he argued for the balkanization of Syria and the creation of a “Sunnistan.” Bolton was relatively blunt in his article, openly admitting that the new state is “unlikely to be a Jeffersonian democracy for many years” but following that statement up with a bizarre admission that “this is a region where alternatives to secular military or semi-authoritarian governments are scarce. Security and stability are sufficient ambitions.” While Bolton’s latter comment would have negated the stated public objectives of the war against Assad by the Obama White House in the first place, it also makes clear that freedom and democracy were never the true aims of the United States, but instead the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad and the destruction of Syria as a functioning state.

Bolton wrote,

Today’s reality is that Iraq and Syria as we have known them are gone. The Islamic State has carved out a new entity from the post-Ottoman Empire settlement, mobilizing Sunni opposition to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the Iran-dominated government of Iraq. Also emerging, after years of effort, is a de facto independent Kurdistan.

If, in this context, defeating the Islamic State means restoring to power Mr. Assad in Syria and Iran’s puppets in Iraq, that outcome is neither feasible nor desirable. Rather than striving to recreate the post-World War I map, Washington should recognize the new geopolitics. The best alternative to the Islamic State in northeastern Syria and western Iraq is a new, independent Sunni state.

This “Sunni-stan” has economic potential as an oil producer (subject to negotiation with the Kurds, to be sure), and could be a bulwark against both Mr. Assad and Iran-allied Baghdad. The rulers of the Arab Gulf states, who should by now have learned the risk to their own security of funding Islamist extremism, could provide significant financing. And Turkey — still a NATO ally, don’t forget — would enjoy greater stability on its southern border, making the existence of a new state at least tolerable.
. . . .

Make no mistake, this new Sunni state’s government is unlikely to be a Jeffersonian democracy for many years. But this is a region where alternatives to secular military or semi-authoritarian governments are scarce. Security and stability are sufficient ambitions.
. . . .

This Sunni state proposal differs sharply from the vision of the Russian-Iranian axis and its proxies (Hezbollah, Mr. Assad and Tehran-backed Baghdad). Their aim of restoring Iraqi and Syrian governments to their former borders is a goal fundamentally contrary to American, Israeli and friendly Arab state interests. Notions, therefore, of an American-Russian coalition against the Islamic State are as undesirable as they are glib.

Bolton’s Sunnistan, while on one level is another aspect of the conglomeration of petty, squabbling, microstates that would make up Syria under the Plan B, is also eerily reminiscent of the “Salafist Principality” envisioned and supported by the United States military and intelligence communities early on and in place in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq today.

Conclusion

In the end, considering the history of the Kurds and Western machinations, and the repetitive use of the Kurds in those schemes, there is no guarantee a Kurdistan will ever actually take shape. Of course, with a Kurdistan, the Brzezinski method of microstates and ministates will become realized. In other words, the construction of a weak, impotent state based upon ethnicity, religion, and other identity politics but without the ability to resist the will of larger nations, coalitions, and banking/industrial corporations.

Without a Kurdistan, the strategy of tension and destabilization will continue to exist as a ready-made fallback plan with which to weaken the region and provide for yet another avenue to sink the countries surrounding the faux Kurdistan into regional conflict and war. After all, the West has repeatedly used the Kurds for their own geopolitical aims while dangling the carrot of Kurdistan over their heads. When the Kurds have served their purpose, they are usually dropped and left to their fate until useful to NATO again.

While the final goal of the Anglo-American empire regarding the creation of a Kurdistan still remains to be seen, the question itself is undoubtedly being used for geopolitical reasons today. It is also certain to result in lower living standards, greater oppression, and less freedom for all involved, the Kurds included.

Image Credit

Notes:

[1] Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives. 1st Edition. Basic Books. 1998.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

Could a Bomb Blast in Ankara Change the Outcome of the War in Syria?

Global Research, February 20, 2016
CounterPunch 19 February 2016
erdogan-carte

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to think so. In fact, Erdogan is acting like Wednesday’s explosion in the capital was a gift from God. You see, Erdogan and his fellow Islamists think that if they pin the blame for the bombing on luckless patsy,  Salih Neccar, who has links to the Kurdish YPG, then they’ll be able to convince Washington that the YPG is a terrorist organization. And if they can convince Washington that the YPG a terrorist organization,  then Obama will have to break off relations with the YPG even though the Kurdish militia has been helping the US defeat ISIS in Syria.  And if  Obama breaks off relations with the YPG, then he’ll have to depend more on good old Turkey for his footsoldiers which is just hunky-dory with Erdogan  provided that Washington meet his numerous demands, that is.

So, could a bomb blast in Ankara change the outcome of the 5 year-long war in Syria?

It certainly could, if Obama is stupid enough to fall into Erdogan’s trap. But so far that looks unlikely.

The problem with Erdogan’s rationale is that the Obama administration is not convinced that the YPG is a terrorist organization. Nor are they certain that Neccar is guilty.  More important, the US maintains a crucial alliance with  the YPG in Syria which has helped them recapture strategic cities and territory from ISIS in the northern part of the country. The militia has provided the boots on the ground the US needs to prosecute its war in Syria.  Naturally, they are not going to end a relationship like that without solid evidence that the charges are true.

And there are plenty of reasons to believe the charges aren’t true. For example, the head of the Syrian PYD, Salih Muslim, has not only denied all responsibility for the Ankara bombing, but also stated that neither he nor any of his lieutenants have any idea who the perpetrator is.  (The PYD is the political wing of the YPG)

We have never heard of this person Salih Necar,” said Muslim, after which he added, “These accusations are clearly related to Turkish attempts to intervene in Syria.

Of course, Muslim could be lying, but you have to ask yourself whether or not the bombing achieves its political objectives if the perpetrators deny responsibility?  And the answer is “No, it doesn’t.” So why lie?

Here’s more from the New York Times:

…some analysts questioned the plausibility of (Erdogan’s) accusation, since mounting such an attack would jeopardize the group’s American support.

“These allegations are unfounded — lies with no truth to them,” Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the group said via WhatsApp from Qamishli, Syria.

“We are not enemies of Turkey, and our goal is to fight Daesh inside the Syrian borders,” he added, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “We have no interest in being enemies with Turkey.”…

“Sponsoring or being involved with car bombings in Turkish cities would break its alliance structure with the U.S. and Russia,” said Michael Stephens, research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security. “Neither of which the P.Y.D.-Y.P.G. wants. In short, the Y.P.G. have nothing to gain and everything to lose by being involved in this.” (“Turkey Blames Kurdish Militia for Ankara Attack, Challenging U.S.”, New York Times)

So who is responsible for Wednesday’s terrorist attack?

While no one knows for sure, many people think the Turkish government itself might have been involved which isn’t too far fetched when you consider that this same administration was implicated in a similar incident in 2014 when the foreign minister (who is currently the Prime Minister) was caught on tape cooking up a false flag operation with the head of Turkish Intel to create a pretext for invading Syria. Sound familiar? (See here for more.)

The fact that the Erdogan administration has been involved in this type of skullduggery before suggests that they might have gone to the well one time too often.. In any event, given what we know of their past,  the members of the Turkish government should, at the very least, feature very prominently on any list of probable suspects.  Add to that the fact that there’s now tons of evidence showing that the government has been arming, training and  funding terrorists in Syria, and the only conclusion a reasonable person can draw is that Turkey is governed by a thoroughly untrustworthy lot of  fanatical miscreants whose spurious accusations should be taken with a very large grain of salt..   Here’s more from yesterday’s Hurriyet:

“Although the PKK and the PYD are denying it, the information from the Interior Ministry and intelligence show that they are behind [the attack],” said Erdoğan, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD)…….

“This process will convince our friends in the international community to understand how tight the PYD and YPG’s connection to the PKK is,” Erdoğan said, repeating that Turkey had insisted on the link, submitting documents.”

(Hurriyet)

See? This is all about convincing Washington that they’ve backed the wrong horse. Erdogan wants to muscle-out the Kurds, so he can take their place as place. That way, he can achieve his dream of annexing a 10-by-70 mile-wide strip of Syrian territory just south of the Turkish border that he wants to convert into a “safe zone” to provide a sanctuary for Sunni militants. The plan will prevent the Kurds from creating a contiguous state on the Syrian side of the border and, also, it will help keep open vital supply lines for jihadist allies conducting military operations in other parts of the Syria.

The Obama administration was sympathetic to this plan at one time, but Russia’s entry into the war in late September changed everything. Now the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Iranian Quds Forces and Hezbollah are closing in on the Turkish border which has dashed any chance Turkey might have had to seize and hold Syrian territory without a direct confrontation with Russia, which Washington definitely does not want.  Bottom line: Washington has adjusted its strategy to the new reality on the ground while Turkey and the Saudis are still grasping at straws thinking the war can be won.

Sealing the border is a top priority for Moscow which pins its hopes for ending the war largely on its ability to stop the flow of Sunni fighters crossing over from Turkey.  According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov:  “The key point for the ceasefire to work is a task of blocking illegal trafficking across the Turkish-Syrian border, which supports the militants.  Without closing the border it is difficult to expect the ceasefire to take place.” (The ceasefire is scheduled to begin on Friday)

So Russia is going to persist in its plan to close the border regardless of what Turkey does. At the same time, it has tried to signal to Turkey that if it goes ahead with its plan to invade Syria, there will be hell to pay. Check this out from Today’s Zaman:

A senior Russian official threatened Turkey, saying that it will face Russia and Iran if carries out a ground intervention in Syria….. Russia proved in Syria how powerful its weapons are and showed everybody that it will not hesitate to use them if necessary.”  (“Official: Turkey to face Russia, Iran if intervenes in Syria“)

Interestingly, the Russian foreign ministry delivered another chilly warning early Friday after receiving reports that  “Turkish military vehicles had crossed into an area in Syria controlled by the Kurds and were starting to dig trenches near Meidan Ekbis, a town in Aleppo province…. Dozens of Turkish military vehicles advanced 200 meters into the Syrian Kurdish region in Aleppo province on Thursday.” (ANHA news agency)

According to AMN News: ”

Asked about the implications of any ground incursion into Syria, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters: “We view Syria’s territory as the territory of a sovereign state. Any incursion into the territory of a sovereign state is illegal.” (AMN News)

The question is whether Putin will engage the Turkish military in a full-blown war just to recapture a few hundred meters of Syrian sovereign territory. I expect Putin will let the incident slide and chalk it up to “frustration” on Turkey’s part. If that’s the only victory that Erdogan requires, then it’s a price that’s worth paying. Putin has to stay focused on the big picture, and not get diverted by trivialities.

Of course, if Erdogan plans to push further into Syria, then there’s going to be trouble. After all, Moscow’s hands are tied. The only way it can hope to extricate itself from the conflict in Syria is by defeating the jihadists as quickly as possible, clearing out the hotbeds of resistance, and reestablishing security. If Turkey enters the war, that throws a wrench in everything. The tit-for-tat fighting will drag on for years, and there will probably never be a clear winner. This is exactly what Putin hopes to avoid. So, if Turkey launches an invasion and sends in ground troops, Putin will be forced to strike with everything-he’s-got to see if one, big shock and awe display of raw military power is enough to reverse the trend and send Erdogan’s legions packing. If it doesn’t work, and Turkey digs in, Syria could devolve into the mother of all quagmires, which is why we’re a little surprised that Obama is not pursuing a plan that would draw Turkey deeper into the fray, after all, Washington gains nothing strategically from its support for the YPG. In a way, the alliance makes no sense. Does Washington care about Kurdish aspirations for a homeland?

No. Does Obama want to help Putin clear the area North of Aleppo of jihadists, militants and opposition forces?

Of course not. Then what does Washington get?

Nothing.

An alliance with Erdogan, on the other hand, provides Washington with the footsoldiers it needs to fight its proxy war with Russia. It also creates a situation where Russia could get bogged down for years in a conflict that could drain its resources, undermine morale, and precipitate social unrest at home. Isn’t that exactly what Washington wants?

Indeed, it is, but there’s one glitch to the strategy that obviously has US ruling elites so worried that they have abandoned their support for any Turkish-led invasion into Syria.

What is that glitch?

It’s the fact that Turkish ground troops would require US air-cover and that, in turn, would pave the way for a military confrontation between Washington and Moscow. And that’s why Obama and Co. have scrapped the idea and moved on to Plan B.

So as reckless as one might think US foreign policy is, Washington still does not want to mix-it-up with Russia. We can all be thankful for that.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/19/could-a-bomb-blast-in-ankara-change-the-outcome-of-the-war-in-syria/

The Syrian Sea of Hostility

Global Research, February 16, 2016
Sputnik 12 February 2016
© Sputnik/

There could hardly have been a more appropriate start for the Chinese Year of the Monkey, geopolitically, than the prime monkey business enacted in Munich between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The Syrian charade now proceeds under a vague “cessation of hostilities” – which is not a ceasefire – to be implemented within a week. Further on down the road, as this is the real world, “hostilities” will inevitably resume.

As Lavrov stressed multiple times, “we made proposals on implementing a ceasefire, quite specific ones.” And yet Washington and the Saudi-Turkish combo relented. A frightened, cornered House of Saud – with its remote-controlled “moderate rebel” gaggle being routed on the ground – even started spinning the ludicrous notion of sending ground troops, a.k.a. a bunch of mercenaries, to “help the US effort” against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS).

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and US Secretary of States John Kerry meet for diplomatic talks on February 11, 2016 in Munich, southern Germany
© AFP 2016/ CHRISTOF STACHE

The monkey business reached such a level of un-sustainability that Russian premier Dmitry Medvedev felt compelled to tell an interviewer from Germany’s Handelsblatt, “The Americans and our [Arab] partners must think hard about this: Do they want a permanent war?”

 

Saudi troops pose in front of an helicopter
© AFP 2016/ PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA

Sultan Erdogan and the House of Saud certainly do – because their Syrian regime change dreams are in tatters. But the lame duck Obama administration’s case is way more complicated.True to its trademark, clueless foreign policy mode, there’s not much left for Team Obama except spinning.

The proverbial unnamed “US officials” spin on overdrive on Western corporate media that this postponed “cessation of hostilities” is a Russian trap – as Washington wanted an immediate ceasefire (no wonder; CIA remote-controlled “moderate rebels” are also being routed.)  European and Arab vassals spin that Damascus and Moscow are “torpedoeing the peace efforts.”

And yet Kerry caved in – to realism, actually. Lavrov must have made it very clear the two non-negotiables for Russia; win the Battle of Aleppo, still in progress, and seal the Syria/Turkey border against any manifestation of the Jihadi Highway, “moderate” or otherwise.

Do the Munich Spin

There’s a nifty historical echo about the war in Syria being negotiated in parallel to the Munich Security Conference – traditionally dedicated to global security. But the most pressing question is whether this new Munich Pact will actually hold.

What’s certain is that Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS) and al-Nusra Front, a.k.a al-Qaeda in Syria, will keep being targeted by both Russians and Americans even after the “cessation of hostilities”.

The “4+1” coalition – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – will also keep targeting every outfit remotely connected with Jabhat al-Nusra (and they are legion).

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will for its part intensify its attacks against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS). Call it the “all roads lead to Raqqa” syndrome. As soon as the Syria/Turkey border is sealed – with crucial input by the YPG Kurds – the march to Raqqa will be inevitable.

Suspected Daesh terrorists waving the trademark Jihadits flag as vehicles drive on a newly cut road through the Syrian-Iraqi border between the Iraqi Nineveh province and the Syrian town of Al-Hasakah. file photo
© AFP 2016/ ALBARAKA NEWS

This is the ground scenario for the next few days. So no wonder the Saudi-Turkish combo is absolutely desperate; if they as much as try to support their “moderate rebels” with their aerial assets, they will be reduced to ashes by the Russian Air Force.Enter extra Exceptionalistan spin, according to which NATO is “exploring the possibility” of joining the US-led from behind coalition against Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS).

This is nonsense; the Pentagon is already implicated. Major powers at NATO such as France and Germany want to extricate themselves from a Syrian crisis, not to get into a ground war. The whole charade amounts to Turkey’s Sultan Erdogan desperately trying, over and over again, to get NATO into the fray, even if it that takes a lethal provocation of Russia; after all his dream – now in tatters – of creating a “safe zone” on the Turkey/Syria border refuses to die.

That Hostile Sultan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, January 26, 2016
© REUTERS/ MAXIM SHEMETOV

Behind the whole “cessation of hostilities” charade, there’s a stark fact; the lame duck Obama administration does not seem to want to escalate those proverbial “tensions” with Moscow to an irreversibly critical level (Pentagon/NATO Cold War 2.0 obsession is another story.) The skies above Syria won’t offer a prelude for a US-Russia total war.But that doesn’t mean the Pentagon will desist from trying.

The Pentagon’s Ash “Empire of Whining” Carter and Britain’s Michael Fallon will be meeting with GCC and Turkey brass in Brussels. And guess who’s the head of the Saudi delegation: Warrior Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the actual House of Saud supremo as it stands (considering King Salman drifts on and off), as well as defense minister and responsible for the Saudi debacle in Yemen.

The Warrior Prince is absolutely livid that his remote-controlled “rebels” are being shellacked on the ground by the SAA and the Russian Air Force. Yet Yemen will be nothing compared to the drubbing his “Special Forces”, a.k.a. mercenaries will suffer under experienced SAA, Iranian and Hezbollah fighters.

The plot thickens. Both sides will deny it, but there are back-room channels being used by the House of Saud and Moscow to clearly demarcate areas to be run by the SAA and some acceptable “rebels” under the framework of fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. This proves Saudis and Russians can join their efforts as long as it’s against hardcore jihadism.

With deranged Sultan Erdogan, on the other hand, any possibility of a deal is beyond remote. Especially after the PYD northeastern Syrian Kurds — which Ankara regards as “terrorists” — opened a representative office in Moscow this past Wednesday, at the invitation of President Putin.

So keep an eye on this “cessation of hostilities”. Because the real hostilities may be just about to begin.

Erdogan’s Turkey fast approaching its catastrophe: Damascus confirms Turkish shelling on north-Aleppo ~ [+ MAJOR UPDATES]

Syrian Free Press


The Syrian government has confirmed that its army positions were targeted by Turkish shelling on Saturday, which also hit the positions of the Syrian Kurdish militias in the northern Aleppo province. Turkish shelling reportedly continued Sunday.

The Syrian government has condemned the Turkish shelling of Syrian territory and described it as direct support for “terrorist” groups, Syrian state media reported Sunday, citing a letter to the United Nations.

“Turkish artillery shelled Syrian territory, targeting Syrian Kurdish positions and the positions of the Syrian Arab Army,SANA news agency reported citing the letter.


Turkish troops shell airport and village held by Kurds inside Syria

The shelling targeted the Menagh military air base and the nearby village of Maranaz.
Kurdish forces and the Syrian Army had taken control of the air base on Thursday.
The Menagh base had previously been controlled by the Ahrar ash-Sham Islamist terrorist gangs, which seized it in August of 2013. Ahrar ash-Sham jihadist mercenaries at the base had been supported by Al-Nusra terrorists and some other gangs of barbarian apes coming from Turkey.



Ahrar ash-Sham is a terrorist gang that has trained teenagers to commit acts of terror in Damascus, Homs, and Latakia provinces, according to data provided to the Russian Defense Ministry by Syrian opposition forces.
The group was getting serious reinforcements from Turkey, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing in Moscow on January 21.


Damascus sent the letter in response to Saturday’s Turkish shelling of areas north of Aleppo recently captured by a Kurdish-backed alliance.

The shelling of Syrian territory by the Turkish artillery amounts to direct support of terrorist groups by Turkey and is an act of aggression against the Syrian people”SANA reported.

The Turkish military launched artillery strikes in response to the military offensive conducted by the Syrian Arab Army in the northern part of Aleppo province, according to the government’s letter to the UN.

The shelling is “an attempt to increase the morale of armed terrorist groupings, who are being defeated,” the letter added.

In the letter the Syrian government condemned statements by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as “blatant interference” in Syrian affairs.

Turkish military sources told Anadolu Agency that the shelling was continuing Sunday and several positions of YPG – the military wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD) – have been destroyed. The militias reportedly suffered a number of casualties, the sources added.

The US has called on its NATO ally Turkey to cease artillery fire against Kurdish positions in Syria’s territory, referring to Saturday’s shelling. The US State Department pointed out the two sides have to join forces to combat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

We are concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to deescalate tensions on all sides,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement Saturday. “We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fire,” he said.

Kirby also stressed that Washington does not regard the Syrian Kurds as terrorists. The comment prompted anger in Ankara, where the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the YPG, are seen as affiliates of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

56c04bafc461888d468b45e6 (1)

Earlier last week, Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador John Bass on Tuesday, expressing its “unease,” AFP reported.

France also joined the US calls, with the country’s Foreign Ministry urging Turkey to halt the bombardment of Kurdish areas in Syria.

“France is worried about the deteriorating situation in the region of Aleppo and the north of Syria,” Paris said in a statement.

The priority should be the fight against Islamic State and the implementation of agreements reached by the International Syria Support Group (Russia, US and UN) in Munich earlier this week, it added.

Local journalist Barzan Iso told RT on Saturday the Turkish artillery fire was hitting Menagh as well as a hamlet nearby. According to him, the airbase was previously held by Ahrar ash-Sham Islamist rebel group that fought Syrian government’s forces as Al-Nusra ally since the start of the Arab Spring.

Menagh airbase was a Syrian Air Force installation located 6 kilometers south of Azaz, Aleppo Governorate.

Earlier this month, the YPG and its non-Kurdish allies regained control over the airbase, aided by Russian airstrikes and indirect cooperation from government forces.

Ahrar ash-Sham, which intensified its attacks on the Syrian army since January, was getting “serious reinforcements from Turkey,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a briefing in Moscow on January 21.


RELATED : US, France urge Turkey to stop shelling Kurds in northern Syria

azaz


MAJOR UPDATE -1-

Sunday, 14 February 2016 09:47

MORE FIGHTING as Saudis and Turks Attack Syria


 

Given the complexity of players (and equipment) in Syria and elsewhere in the middle east, in the table below we are publishing a list of acronyms to assist you in understanding who is being referenced in our ongoing coverage.  You can look up the acronym as you feel necessary!

  • AAH – Asaib Ahl al-Haqq/ League of Men of Truth
  • AQ – Al-Qaeda
  • AQAP – Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
  • AQI – al-Qaeda in Iraq
  • AQIM – Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
  • AQIS – Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent
  • ASC – Aleppo Shari’a Court
  • ATGM – Anti Tank Guided Missile
  • BMP – Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty (Infantry Fighting Vehicle)
  • BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa
  • COA – Course of Action
  • CENTCOM – US Central Command
  • CW – Chemical Weapons
  • FSA – Free Syrian Army
  • HASI – Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya
  • HPS – Sinjar Protection Forces
  • HRW – Human Rights Watch
  • IAI – Islamic Army of Iraq
  • IDF – Israeli Defense Forces
  • IDP – Internally Displaced Person
  • IED – Improvised Explosive Device
  • IF Islamic Front
  • IKL – Islamic Kurdistan League
  • IRGC – Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
  • IRGC-QF – Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force
  • IS – Islamic State
  • ISI – Islamic State of Iraq
  • ISI – Inter-Service Intelligence (Pakistan)
  • ISF – Iraqi Security Forces
  • ISIL – Islamic State in the Levant
  • ISIS – Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham
  • JAM – Jaysh al-Mujahideen
  • JDAM – Joint Direct Attack Munition
  • JIDF – Jewish Internet Defense Force
  • JMA – Jaysh al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar
  • JN (or JaN) – Jabhat al-Nusra
  • JRTN – Army of the Men of Naqshbandi Order
  • JU – Jaysh al-Umma
  • KRG – Kurdistan Regional Government
  • KSA – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • MB – Muslim Brotherhood
  • MBT – Main Battle Tank
  • MENA – Middle East and North Africa
  • MFS – Syriac Military Council (Hasakah Assyrian militia)
  • MOC – Military Operations Command
  • MSC – Mujahideen Shura Council
  • NDF – National Defense Force
  • OIR – Operation Inherent Resolve
  • OPSEC – Operational Security
  • PA – Palestinian Authority
  • PFLP – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
  • PKK – Kurdistan Workers’ Party
  • PLO – Palestine Liberation Organization
  • PNA – Palestinian National Authority
  • POTUS – President of the United States
  • PRS – Palestianian Refugess from Syria
  • PTSD – Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • PUK – Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Iraqi party)
  • PYD – Democratic Union Party (Rojava Kurds)
  • RCC – Revolutionary Command Council
  • SAA – Syrian Arab Army
  • SANA – Syrian Arab News Agency
  • SLA – South Lebanese Army
  • SMC – Supreme Military Command
  • SOHR – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
  • SOP – Standard Operating Procedure
  • SR – Syrian Resistance
  • SRF – Syrian Revolutionary Front
  • SSNP – Syrian Social Nationalist Party
  • SVBIED – Suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device
  • TOW – Tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missile
  • TTP – Tactics, techniques and procedures
  • UN – United Nations
  • UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund
  • UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • UNSC – United National Security Council
  • UXO – Unexploded Ordnance
  • VBIED – Vehicle-borne improvised explosive device
  • WFP – World Food Programme
  • WHO – World Health Organization
  • YBS – Sinjar Resistance Units
  • YPG – People’s Protection Units
  • YPJ – Women’s Protection Units

UPDATE 2:45 AM Eastern US Time — Turkish drones suspected of penetrating Syrian airspace over northern #Aleppo to find additional targets for artillery strikes.


UPDATE 3:19 AM Eastern US Time –– After the Syrian Army cut off supplies line between Aleppo and the Turkish border, Syrian militants received new supplies of ground-to-ground missiles from “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s foreign enemies,” two militant commanders told Reuters.

According to a source, the missiles have a range of 20 kilometers.

Recently, government forces won one of their biggest victories in the five-year-long war, having cut off supply lines from the Turkish border to militants in Aleppo.

The news came after the Munich security conference agreed on a ceasefire in Syria on February 12, which would be secured by Russia and the US.

“It is excellent additional fire power for us,” one of the commanders said. The other commander said the missiles would be used to hit army positions beyond the front line.

This is yet more proof that the Intentions of Turkey and Saudi Arabia (and their allies) is NOT to “fight ISIS” but rather to assist rebels to overthrow the lawfully elected President (Assad) of Syria.  Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey have been working WITH “ISIS” and rebels to destroy Syria and overthrow its government.


UPDATE 3:25 AM Eastern US Time –– U.S.A urges turkey – in the strongest terms – to stop shelling northern Syria.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia say they will step up operations and send in ground troops if no resolution found.


Update 3:27 AM  Eastern US TimeTurkey once again commences shelling Northern Syrian territory held by Kurdish backed militia for second day 


UPDATE 3:29 AM Eastern US Time — 2 killed & 9 wounded due to the Turkish artillery shells in Minneg airport, northern Syria.


UPDATE 3:47 AM Eastern US Time –Saudi Arabia confirms its jets have arrived at Incirlik airbase, Turkey.  Also says they will be meeting soon to “finalize details” of ground operations.


UPDATE 3:56 AM Eastern US Time –– Retired US Air Force General Clyde Simmons has told SuperStation95 “I couldn’t imagine how Turkish and Saudi pilots would feel about flying into a nation whose entire airspace is defended with Russian S-400 missiles. Do they know the range of these things can hit Saudi and Turkish aircraft from INSIDE Turkey and Saudi Arabia right now if the order was given?

Either this threat of a ground invasion is completely empty or the US is going in too, with stealth aircraft on orders to take out every single Russian S-400 prior to Turkish and Saudi troops moving in.

Any other plan to invade Syria is a complete suicide mission.”


UPDATE 4:30 AM Eastern US TimePhone call between Putin and Obama to discuss the situation in Syria

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a VERY bad thing.  When the President of one country calls the President of the United States at 4:30 in the morning over military activities (anywhere) it is very urgent and very serious.  NO ONE does that sort of thing over nonsense; it is always a major, serious event if it warrants rousting one President out of bed in the middle of the night.  In political circles, it simply is not done —- unless war is at stake.  THis phone call seems to be a harbinger of very dangerous things to come.


UPDATE 4:45 AM Eastern US Time — YPG ally “Jaish al Thuwar”: Turkey’s shelling won’t force us to retreat; we are advancing towards Til Rifaat; our aim to reach ISIS territories and fight them


UPDATE 4:49 AM Eastern US Time — President Obama and President Putin agree to intensify diplomatic cooperation in phone call, Kremlin says


UPDATE 4:57 AM Eastern US Time –AROUND 40 AIRCRAFT FROM SAUDI NOW ON STATION ON JORDANIAN-SYRIAN BORDER


UPDATE 5: 00 AM eastern US Time #Turkey has reportedly carried out its first airstrike targeting #YPG terrorists in North Aleppo. says Erdogan


UPDATE 5:01 AM Eastern US TimeTurkish artillery is now striking the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in Marnaz and Menagh airbase and village.


UPDATE 5:02 AM Eastern US TimeTurkey military is digging trenches in southeastern city Nusaybin on #Syria border across #Qamishli


UPDATE 5:13 AM Eastern US TimeRace to Raqqa: Saudis Move Troops to Turkey as Syria, Russia Advance on ISIS Stronghold 

If Assad takes Raqqa, Turkey and Saudi Arabia would have to think up a new excuse to invade Syria. It’s now a race against time.


UPDATE 5:24 AM  Eastern US TimeCONFIRMATION NOW THAT CLOSED MILITARY ZONE SET UP ON TURK -SYRIA BORDER – TURKISH FORCES AND CONTRACTORS DIGGING TRENCHES AND BUILDING FORTIFICATIONS


UPDATE 5:38 AM Eastern US Time — “Moscow supports not Bashar Assad in person, but friendly ties with the Syrian state. At the same time there is no other legitimate head of state in Syria today, except Assad.  Attempts to oust Assad would lead to greater mess in the region. Russian prime minister also considers ground operation a bad idea since it might lead to a full-scale war.”


UPDATE 5:38 AM Eastern US Time — PYD (political wing Kurdish YPG) rejects demand for evacuation of Mennegh airbase, says Syrians will confront any intervention by Turkey.


UPDATE 5:58 AM Eastern US Time — A reporter sending info to us covertly tells us “I am at the border gate to Syria in Kilis/Turkey. Shelling never stopped since morning. We hear at least 10 artillery barrages in the last 5 mins.”


***************** URGENT ******************* 

Sources at the Denver International Airport who work in the air cargo business tell us ” Things are being shipped.. . a lot of things.. to destinations north of Anchorage. Non-disclosures, shielded manifests and need-to-know are being implemented.”

The _only_ thing of interest north of Anchorage is Fort Greely, home of the United States Military’s Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense systems.  Those systems protect the United States from Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles coming over the North Pole from places like . . . Russia.  Why would the US suddenly be concerned about nuclear missiles coming over the North Pole at us?  Maybe because of what the US is doing in Syria and the fact that Russia is rapidly approaching the point where it is going to stomp on the terrorists and their foreign supports? Looks like Obama and his failed Presidency are about to get a lot of us killed.


UPDATE 6:26 AM Eastern US Time — Russia will ‘fail to save’ Syria’s Assad: Saudi Foreign Minister


UPDATE 6:47 AM Eastern US TimeTURKEY SHELLING SYRIA IS DIRECT SUPPORT FOR TERRORIST GROUPS AND THE MATTER WILL BE RAISED AT THE UN – ASSAD SPOKESMAN


UPDATE 6:49 AM Eastern US TimeSAA and allies advance towards Tabaqa: Captured several hills which overlook AlZakia junction in SW Raqqa countryside  (Editor’s Note:Erdogan’s irratic behaviour will lead to a Chapter 7 UN resolution. If US refuses to adhere to the UN charter, will be exposed to be supporting none other than ISIS and their enablers Turkey and Saudi Arabia.  This would be an ultimate breach of international law… which in turn will further expose utter lawlessness of the western cabal, and the world will spin out of control and enter chaos territory, which will destroy just about everyone.)


UPDATE 8:04 AM Eastern US TimeBREAKING UPDATE: Damascus confirms its army was targeted by Turkey shelling


UPDATE 8:27 AM Eastern US Time — URGENT:  Iran has now warned Saudi Arabia against sending troops to Syria after it deployed combat aircraft to Turkey “We will take necessary actions in due time.”  Moreover, an Iran Air Force Commander said Iran is ready to defend Syrian skies if President Assad requests it. 


UPDATE 8:43 AM Eastern US Time — 100s Soldiers of Jordan Army with armored vehicles, moving towards Syria border


UPDATE 9:03 AM Eastern US Time — “The plot thickens . . . . ”  After its victory against Rebels and Terrorists outside of  northern Al Sweida, Syria today, the Syrian Arab Army displayed weapons it captured from the Rebels and Terrorist . . .  INCLUDING ISRAELI-MADE MORTARS!

(Editor’s Note:  We’ve always found it very strange the so-called “ISIS” terrorists never once targeted Israel.  Now it appears we all know why:  ISRAEL IS SUPPLYING THE REBELS AND TERRORISTS WITH WEAPONRY!)

zionist-jihadists-20150212


UPDATE 9:10 AM Eastern US Time — US (again) urges Turkey to stop shelling Kurdish and Syrian forces


UPDATE 9:19 AM Eastern US Time — After having been relentlessly shelled by artillery inside Turkey, the Syrian Arab Army is now RETURNING FIRE; it is shelling into Turkey!


UPDATE 9:49 AM Eastern US Time — Local reporter claims that Turkey are shelling SAA positions in the area of Ateera, Latakia. 


UPDATE 9:57 AM Eastern US Time — Reports of “unknown aircraft” bombing SAA positions in Latakia, Syria


UPDATE 10:05 AM Eastern US TimeNusra terrorist commander Abu Ahmed al Abdullah killed by YPG/SDF in Tal Rifaat


UPDATE 10:20 AM Eastern US Time — France calls for halt to Turkish bombing of Kurdish forces in Syria

Image below: Photo from the battle for Kinsibba, Northern Lattakia Countryside today (14/02/2016)

north-latakia-20160214


UPDATE 11:02 AM Eastern US Time Iraq sent forces to oversee Saudi Arabia led military “exercise” on the border, Army warns against border violations 


UPDATE 11:15 AM Eastern US Time — The Syrian Foreign Ministry said that 12 pickup trucks equipped with machine guns, crossed the Syrian-Turkish border and entered the territory of Syria. On Sunday, 14 February reported the Syrian agency the SANA. It went on citing Turkish attacks in more Syrian areas on the same day, saying that 12 pickups with DShK and 14.5 mm machine guns mounted on them had their way from the Turkish land into Syrian territory across Bab al-Salameh border crossing.

The Ministry noted that the pickups were accompanied with 100 gunmen, some of them are believed to be Turkish soldiers and Turkish mercenaries, adding that munitions supply operations into the Syrian Aazaz area continue.


UPDATE 11:13 AM Eastern US Time — After Syrian Troops captured Israeli-Made Mortars from rebels and terrorists earlier today, Russia has just announced they are givingHezbollah advanced radar systems capable of locking onto Israeli aircraft.


UPDATE 11:33 AM Eastern US Time –Reports that YPG/SDF forces have now taken Ayn Daqnah, despite Turkey’s shelling Syria . . . the rebels and the terrorists are LOSING!


UPDATE 11:35 AM Eastern US Time — Reports of downed jet near Turkish-Syria border!


UPDATE 11:40 AM Eastern US Time — Some 400 militants of the Sham Legion militant group have arrived in the Syrian province of Aleppo through the Turkish territory to help al-Nusra Front terrorist group, media reported Sunday. (Editor’s Note: Erdogan openly supports ISIS/al Nusra… their goes his NATO Article 5 flushed down the toilet.. he’ll end up facing an international war tribunal.)


UPDATE 11:56 AM Eastern US Time —

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad spoke to AFP news agency in an exclusive interview on the developments in Syria. 

Talking about a possible foreign ground invasion in Syria, Assad did not rule out the possibility of a Saudi, Turkish intervention saying, “Logically, intervention is not possible, but sometimes reality is at odds with logic, particularly when there are irrational people leading a certain state. That’s why I don’t rule that out for a simple reason: Erdogan is a fanatical person with Muslim Brotherhood inclinations. He is living the Ottoman dream. For him, the collapse which took place in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria is something personal.”

“This threatens his political future on the one hand, and his fanatical Islamist ambitions on the other. He believes that he has an Islamist mission in our region. The same applies to Saudi Arabia. The collapse of the terrorists in Syria is a collapse of their policies. I tell you that this process is surely not going to be easy for them, and we will certainly confront it,” Assad said in an interview as cited by Syrian official.


UPDATE 2:25 PM Eastern US Time — VIDEO: Tanks moving in Saudi Arabia for Syria Invasion!


UPDATE 2:32 PM Eastern US Time —  Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer “Russia and Turkey are now on a collision course in #Syria and repercussions can be catastrophic”


UPDATE 2:35 PM Eastern US Time — Eyewitnesses: Between 20-24 highly equipped Commandos fighters spotted in two groups assisting the Syrian rebels around Azaz — now believed to be Turkish Special Forces directly aiding embattled rebels and terrorists


UPDATE 2:53 PM Eastern US Time #Qatar|i Foreign Minister: we urgently need to send ground forces. Qatar is ready to send forces. (Editor’s Note: Why?  Because your terrorist and rebel buddies are losing?  Too bad!)


UPDATE 3:29 PM Eastern US Time — BREAKING Egyptian Foreign Ministerrejects the Saudi military intervention in Syria


UPDATE 3:31 PM Eastern US Time — YPG/ SDF fighters have just taken al-Hadeed street northern Tal_Rifat from the murderous Jihadist Terrorists based there; heavy fighting occurring near al Omari Mosque.


UPDATE 3:35 PM Eastern US Time YPG on extreme alert in Afrin, Syria, calls on shops to close and people to go home as YPG prepares to do battle against local Jihadist terrorists


UPDATE 3:39 PM Eastern US Time — Breaking: A member of the Turkish Regular Army Special Forces, embedded with Al-Nusra Jihadist Terror Group, has been captured by #YPG/SDF. Azaz, Rifaat.  This is now 100% verification of the widely held suspicion that the government of Turkey has been actively assisting the Jihadist Terrorists.  Turkey is now a confirmed “State-Sponsor of Terrorism.”


UPDATE 3:55 PM Eastern US Time —

BREAKING: TWO LARGE ARMORED COLUMNS (TANKS AND APC’S)

HEADING SOUTH FROM CEYLANP, TURKEY TOWARD SYRIA . . . NOW


UPDATE 4:04 PM Eastern US TimeTurkey shelling new positions of SDF/ YPG in Ayn Daqnah village To support the jihadists of al-Qaeda in Syria.

Istanbul: Pro Kurdish protestors, demanding an end to Turkey’s attacks on Kurds, were attacked by Turkish police. 


INTEL

SuperStation95 can now confirm the following Turkish Invasion Forces along Syria Border:

intel-1


These Invasion Forces are deployed as follows:

intel-2


Update 4:34 PM Eastern US Time —

RADAR CONFIRMATION ! ! ! ! !

According to military sources, Turkish F16s are taking off from Diyarbakir base to attack targets in northern Syria.

radar-confirmation


UPDATE 5:19 PM Eastern US Time —

Its official — even Turkey’s prime minister has confirmed: Turkish forces have attacked Kurdish YPG militias in northern Syria, and have demanded the Kurds withdraw from the airbase they recently captured from “moderate” rebels.

Turkey has also confirmed strikes against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Ankara claims the attacks (mostly likely shelling, but it’s not 100% clear) were in retaliation for mortar fire from Syrian forces.

While this scenario isn’t impossible, most likely Turkey is looking to provoke the Syrians into firing the first shot — then a direct military intervention would be “justified” in the eyes of NATO/The New York Times.
Well, Turkey might just get what it wants:
Syrian Democratic Forces SDF have warned #Turkey that they will retaliate if artillery attacks continue… #Twitterkurds #Rojava

— curdistani (@curdistani)

February 13, 2016

~

For its part, the US has allegedly asked Turkey to stop attacking Kurdish and SAA forces:
#BREAKING U.S. asks Turkey to stop the bombing of the Kurds and the forces of the regime in Syria

— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng)

February 13, 2016

~

Whether the request is genuine is another story. Russia however, seems to be completely unamused by Ankara’s latest shenanigans. According to sources in Damascus:
Informed regime source: #Russia has decided to close all Syrian-Turkish border crossings by force.

— Shami Rap (@ScotMikey1111)

February 13, 2016

~

Turkey is now warning of a “massive escalation” in Syria over the next 24 hours.


UPDATE 5:13 PM Eastern US Time TURKISH ARTILLERY TARGETING SYRIAN FORCES IN KESSAB —


UPDATE 6:45 PM Eastern US Time — Azaz residents call on Al Nusra/Al Qaeda to lay down their weapons and surrender, to avoid bloodbath


UPDATE 6:48 PM Eastern US Time — Syrian army source: Saudi-Turkish aim is to “establish their forces” in Western Syria and “impose a political change” to “destabilize regime”


Update 6:51 Pm Eastern US Time –Liwa Al-Fateh commander Abo Mahmoud Nadaf was captured by #SDF at Tell Rifaat


UPDATE 6:59 PM Eastern US Time — YPG Media Center: Russian Air Force is bombing border area between Syria & Turkey.


Update 7:07 PM Eastern US TimeArab commander of Jaysh al Thuwar allied with YPG says Turkey is bombing them while they fight Al Qaida 


***** CNN*****

CNN Kurdistan (Eng) @CNNEnglishKurd · 5m5 minutes ago 

#Breaking Report #Turkey has transferred 400 jihadis of Alqaeda & Ahrar from Idlib (through Hatay) to Azaz. 

****************************

(Editor’s Note:  This is now further PROOF that Turkey is not only working with, Al Qaida and AHrar Jihadist groups, they are now transporting them from one battle area to another to bolster the other terrorists who are losing to the Syrian Army and the Kurds!  This is now the SECOND documented instance, today alone, where Turkey has given direct assistance to known Terrorists.  Turkey is therefore now, a confirmed State Sponsor of Terrorism).


UPDATE 7:18 PM eastern US Time — Azzaz, Syria encircled by Anti-ISIS Kurdish forces of YPG, now on the North, West and South. Jihadists Trapped!  Final offensive expected tonight . . .


MAJOR UPDATE – 2 –

SAA-20160215-2

FIGHTING HAS BEGUN.
Turkey Shelling into Syria,
Directly Attacking Syrian Arab Army
and perimeter of Russian Base in Latakia

(by Superstation95submitted byThe Old Sniper‘)buffer-zone-to-not-isolate-daesh-from-turkey

It appears that World War 3 is beginning right now.  This morning, Turkish Artillery began shelling positions outside of Azzaz, Syria.  Those positions are held by the Syrian Arab Army (legitimate, duly-elected government of Syria) and are NOT being aimed at ISIS terrorists! These are direct attacks by Turkey upon the lawful government forces of Syria.With their rebel pals falling to the legitimate government of Syria, Turkey has now begun shelling into Syria to aid their Rebel forces and ISIS Terrorists!

Sources on the ground inside Syria tell SuperStation95 that the Turks began a furious artillery barrage at about 6:00 AM eastern US time today.  Turkey is attacking the Kurdish YPG .

TurkeyFiringIntoSyria

It is unclear at this time, whether the YPG is pro-Bashar Assad and his duly elected government, but it is clear that YPG directly engaged and destroyed ISIS in past battles.  So on the surface, it appears that YPG are the “good guys” and Turkey is attacking them!

It is not known if Russian air forces will engage the artillery firing into Syria because to do so would mean attacking those forces  located inside Turkey.  If Russia were to attack them – even though they have lawful cause to do so — it is clear that Turkey would cry to NATO that they had been “attacked” and try to invoke Article 5 of the NATO self-defense agreement.  That would require NATO to come to the defense of Turkey, thus engaging Russia directly.

One intelligence source in the US, who must remain anonymous – told SuperStation95 “This has disaster written all over it.”


This is a fast developing story, and will be updated frequently today (13 February 2016).  Check back often.


UPDATE:  12:10 PM EST —  Turkish Official boldly declares “major escalation will take place in Syria within 24 hours.”


UPDATE: 12:32 PM EST — Turkish warplanes are flying on the Turkey side of the Turkey/Syria Border, fast and low.    Russian warplanes are flying on the Syrian side of the Turkey/Syria border.  If any single one of these pilots flies across — or fires across – the border, all hell is going break lose TODAY.


UPDATE 12:50 PM ESTKuwait caught moving troops and war gear into Turkey! A Kuwaiti Air Force C-17 Globemaster, no identification tracking, on final approach to IST Ataturk 5/23runway:

Q8-TURK

Updates 1:30 PM EST —

YPG still is moving south of Azaz, Syria towards the town of Tel Rifat. This offensive appears coordinated with Russian Air Force.

BREAKING: Heavy clashes outside Tel Rifaat between YPG/SDF and Turkish backed jihadists!

Source in Efrin says they are OUTSIDE Tel Rifaat but offensive launched to retake it. Heavy clashes ongoing!

37 air raids at least by Russian Air Force on Til Rifaat today, now YPG/SDF will try to take it. It’s been held by jihadists for long time.


URGENT:  1:56 PM Eastern US Time,  13 February 2016 — Stratfor is now confirming Russia has dispatched a ship to the Mediterranean, to deliver NUCLEAR-TIPPED CRUISE MISSILES.


UPDATE  2:03 PM Eastern US Time — Syrian Forces Commander Abu Omar told Russian news outlet “Sputnick” via electronic interview “Turkey is attacking us with mortars and rockets across the border. If the attacks continue, we will respond”  http://haber.sol.org.tr/dunya/afp-turkiye-ypg-ussunu-top-atesiyle-vurdu-145795


UPDATE  2:34 PM Eastern US Time — In an utterly UNPRECEDENTED move, Turkey has begun notifying NEWS AGENCIES (Like Ours) to make certain we are at worked and properly staffed tomorrow because there will be very big news and a huge escalation in Syria.  This is amazing to us; governments don’t do this sort of thing.  They aren’t saying exactly what will happen but the thought is a major air offensive with the Saudis ahead of ground troops. Some pathfinder forces are already on the ground in Syria


UPDATE 2:41 PM Eastern US Time — Turkey is closing major roads near Syrian border and hospitals are being cleared.


URGENT UPDATE: 2:45 PM Eastern US Time —  UK military members told to cancel all plans and all leave, prepare for deployment to Syria!


UPDATE 2:49 PM Eastern US Time — Turkish Military Artillery Forces have just begun yet another barrage of artillery fire into Syria; this one is directly targeting the Syrian Arab Army and is a direct attack upon the lawful government of Syria —  Turkey is now levying war upon Syria.  Turkey attacked first.  Turkey cannot expect to be able to invoke NATO Article 5 because Turkey attacked first.


Update  2:58 PM Eastern US Time — An entire FLEET of Russian Antonov-124 cargo planes (the largest cargo planes in the world) have begun arriving in Syria carrying Russian Tanks, Nuclear-tipped artillery shells and other major warfighting gear.  Within the last 90 minutes, TWO of these massive cargo aircraft have landed and began unloading.  Other Antoniv’s can be seen circling under the watchful eye of Russian warplanes as shown below:

Russian Antonov-124 cargo plane-1

Russian Antonov-124 cargo plane-2

UPDATE 3:17 PM Eastern US Time 13 February 2016 — Russian Air Force Strategic Bomber/Tanker HF Voice Net “BALANS” Heavily Active with numerous fighter jets arranging re-fueling on their trip from northwestern Russia to Syria.  NUMEROUS NUMEROUS Russian Fighter Jets in the air enroute to Syria right now


UPDATE 3:20 PM Eastern US Time — THIRD Antoniv-124 Cargo Jet landing in Syria . . . many more circling or enroute to supply Russian Military Forces again what is now believed to be IMMINENT ATTACK By Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others.  War likely to start by Tomorrow, Sunday, 14 February 2016 . . . . . . . . .

Russian Antonov-124 cargo plane-3


UPDATE 3:40 PM Eastern US Time —   Turkish artillery in Hayat, Turkey is targeting Syrian Arab Army positions near #Latakia. Syria.  This is an additional line of attack by Turkey, directly against the lawful army of the duly-elected government of Syria.  Turkey and Syria are now in a de facto state of war.


UPDATE 3:45 PM Eastern US Time — FLASH: Turkish artillery has begun hitting Syrian Army positions in northern #Syria


UPDATE 3:51 PM Eastern US Time —  Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu says “Syrian Kurdish militia must withdraw from area around Azaz in northern Syria.”  (Did you get that?  The TURKISH foreign minister is telling certain people in ANOTHER COUNTRY, that they must leave their country because TURKEY says so!  What balls!)


UPDATE 4:01 PM Eastern US Time — The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia has told CNN “Assad will leave — have no doubt about it. He will either leave by a political process or he will be removed by force.”  (Did you get that?  The foreign minister of SAUDI ARABIA is deciding who can be the duly-elected President of ANOTHER COUNTRY, Syria!!  What Balls!)


Pardon Us for a moment while we insert some much-needed Humor into this deadly serious news coverage.   Given the Turkish and Saudi remarks about Syria (above), we thought injecting this meme might be a stress-reliever! 

AssadMustGo---


UPDATE 4:25 PM Eastern US Time — SuperStation95 has consulted with military experts who told us “Turkey is ready to deploy some 18,000 troops with substantial artillery and air support to occupy a 30-kilometer deep territory across the border running from the city of Jarabulus westward to the city of Azaz. The operation would cover an area under ISIS control, and it would provide a direct military assistance to terrorists and facilitate establishing of a buffer zone for the vestiges of their forces in Northern Syria. It would drastically escalate the tensions with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, the Turkish military is fully capable of completing the first move aimed to push the SAA and the SDF from the aforementioned area and occupy a significant part of Northern Syria.

This step will likely face a hard answer of the Russian military grouping located in the country. The Russian land and navy air-defense systems and fighter jets are fully capable to neutralize the Turkish air force which will allow the Syrian government to counter-attack the Turkish intervention forces. Thus, the anti-terrorist forces will get a chance to exercise a counter-attack which will be likely supported by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.”


UPDATE 4:43 PM Eastern US Time — Turkey has now opened fire with artillery against FOUR separate Geographic zones inside Syria.


UPDATE 4:50 PM Eastern US Time — Qatar-i warplanes Have arrived with Saudi Arabia warplanes at Incirlik Airbase in Turkey — Air Attacks upon Syria deemed “Imminent”


UPDATE 4:53 PM Eastern US Time — Russia has increased the Alert Level for its entire military.


UPDATE 5:00 PM Eastern US Time — Turkish Artillery is shelling Deir Jamal, Syria and Malikiyah, Syria

Former Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis has warned that Turkey may risk losing a portion of its own territory should it decide to intervene militarily in Syria amid an intensified military campaign by regime forces backed by Russia.


UPDATE: 5:57 PM Eastern US Time —  Russia is amassing military supplies in its Southern Military District – high alert 


UPDATE 5:58 PM Eastern US Time — Eyewitnesses: The Main highway from Kerch to Simferopol, Crimea is completely LOADED with huge military convoys and trucks carrying VAST amounts of heavy military hardware to the Black Sea Port at Simferopol.  The road has a traffic back-up two-hundred eight kilometers long  (208 KM) made up of 100% military convoys.


UPDATE 6:04 PM Eastern US Time — BREAKING: Turkey confirms that its artillery targeted Syrian regime positions in Latakia  (This is now an actual admission by the sovereign government of Turkey that it has deliberately attacked the forces of the legitimate and sovereign government of Syria. Without cause or justification, Turkey has begun a war.)


UPDATE 6:11 PM Eastern US Time — Emergency Action Messages (EAM) – the highest priority message in the entire United States Military Command Structure, requiring IMMEDIATE attention and action —  have been broadcasting non-stop for about the last ten minutes on 8992 KHz USB.


UPDAT 6:16 PM Eastern US Time — URGENT: Turkish artillery renews attack on Syrian govt army positions in Aleppo


UPDATE 7:13 PM Eastern US Time — Reports from border town Kilis, Turkey: Heavy shelling still continues towards positions inside Syria.

Prolific researcher and analyst John Galt of the Shenandoah web site says that should Saudi Arabia put boots on the ground and attempt to engage ground forces in Syria the consequences may be disastrous:

The Saudi forces allegedly deployed are designed for operations to protect the royals. Saudi SF are not trained for foreign engagements, have no familiarity with Syrian, Iranian, or other combat operations.

It would be like sending our TSA to fight the Mexican Drug cartels in Monterrey.

If the Saudi and GCC SF’s engage in combat inside of Syria without US oversight, they will lose 50% of their forces in the first engagement with Syrian or Hezbollah forces who now have learned how to launch coordinated air and ground assaults on enemy positions.
…   . . .   . . .
The Saudi military is a joke.

The Saudis have a bigger problem; they don’t even control their Southern border. They are losing tanks, men, and other equipment daily to a bunch of sandal clad Houthi warriors while they have the “best” equipment from the United States.

“Whatever propaganda the Saudis continue to feed their domestic population,” he says, “is being betrayed by the arrival of body bags from the front lines.”

 


SOURCES:
Russia Today
Major Updates by Superstation95
Submitted by 'The Old Sniper'  
Newsroom editing by  SyrianPatriots 
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/turks-shelling/
~

Erdogan Says US Seeks ‘Sea of Blood’ over Kurds Support


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bitterly attacked ally the United States over its support for Syrian Kurdish groups.


In an impassioned and sometimes angry address, Erdogan accused Washington of creating a “sea of blood” in the region by working with Kurdish groups Ankara lists as terror organizations.


The US has been supporting Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in their fight against Takfiri insurgents in Syria, but Turkey considers them to be terror groups allied to Kurdish rebels on its soil.


“Hey America! How many times have we had to tell you?” Erdogan said. “Are you together with us or are you with the PYD and YPG terror groups?”


“As you have never recognized them (as terror groups) the region has turned into a pool of blood.”


His remarks escalated a row between Washington and Ankara over the role of Kurdish fighters in the fight against the Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant), in Syria.


“Is there a difference between the PKK and the PYD? Is there a difference with the YPG?” growled Erdogan. “We have written proof!”


“Allies don’t tell each other my enemy’s enemy is my friend. You must have principles. But there are no principles here.”


Turkey on Tuesday summoned the US envoy to Ankara in protest after the US State Department said Washington did not recognize the PYD as a terror group and would continue to support its operations in Syria.


Ankara has also expressed outrage over a visit last week by US presidential envoy Brett McGurk to the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane where he met YPG fighters.


“Even the best of friends aren’t going to agree on everything,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said earlier this week.


“Kurdish fighters have been some of the most successful in going after Daesh (Arabic acronym for ISIL) inside Syria.”

Source: AFP

11-02-2016 – 08:09 Last updated 11-02-2016 – 08:09 

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US Position on Syria Tilts in Favour of Russian Intervention

The US seeks to take advantage of shared American-Russian interests in fighting ISIS, downgrading the objective of Syrian regime change

Global Research, February 09, 2016
Middle East Eye 8 February 2016
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry shake hands after a news conference after a UN Security Council meeting on Syria at the United Nations in New York on 18 December, 2015 (AFP). - See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/us-position-syria-tilts-favour-russian-intervention-1555341698#sthash.4vUnEjRW.dpuf

Featured image: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry shake hands after a news conference after a UN Security Council meeting on Syria at the United Nations in New York on 18 December, 2015 (AFP)

The major developments on the Syrian battlefield in recent months have brought a corresponding shift in the Obama administration’s Syrian policy.

Since the Russian military intervention in Syria upended the military balance created by the victories of the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front and its allies last year, the Obama administration has quietly retreated from its former position that “Assad must go”. 

These political and military changes have obvious implications for the UN-sponsored Geneva peace negotiations. The Assad regime and its supporters are now well positioned to exploit the talks politically, while the armed opposition is likely to boycott them for the foreseeable future.

Supporters of the armed opposition are already expressing anger over what they regard as an Obama administration “betrayal” of the fight against Assad. But the Obama policy shift on Syria must be understood, like most of the administration’s Middle East policy decisions, as a response to external events that is mediated by domestic political considerations.

The initial Obama administration’s public stance on the Russian air campaign in Syria last October and early November suggested that the United States was merely waiting for Russia’s intervention to fail.

For weeks the political response to the Russian intervention revolved around the theme that the Russians were seeking to bolster their client regime in Syria and not to defeat ISIS, but that it would fail. The administration appeared bent on insisting that Russia give into the demand of the US and its allies for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad from power.

But the ISIS terror attacks in Paris focused the political attention of Europeans and Americans alike on the threat from ISIS terrorism and the need for cooperation with Russia to combat it. That strengthened the position of those within the Obama administration – especially the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA – who had never been enamored of the US policy of regime change in the first place. In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, they pressed for a rethinking of the US insistence on Assad’s departure, as suggested publicly at the time by former acting CIA director Michael Morell.

The political impact of the Paris attacks has now been reinforced by the significant gains already made by the Syrian army and its allies with Russian air support in Latakia, Idlib and Hama provinces.

The bombing and ground offensives were focused on cutting the main lines of supply between the areas held by ISIS and the Nusra-led coalition and the Turkish border, which if successful would be a very serious blow to the armed opposition groups.

Dramatic successes came in late January, when Syrian government troops recaptured the town of Salma in Latakia province, held by al-Nusra Front since 2012, and the strategic al-Shaykh Maskin, lost to anti-Assad rebels in late 2014, thus regaining control of Daraa-Damascus highway. Even more significant, the Syrian army has cut off the lines of supply from Turkey to Aleppo, which is occupied by al-Nusra and allied forces.

By the time Secretary of State John Kerry met with the head of the Syrian opposition delegation, Riyad Hijab, on 23 January, it was clear to the Obama administration that the military position of the Assad regime was now much stronger, and that of the armed opposition was significantly weaker. In fact, the possibility of a decisive defeat exists for the first time in light of the Russian-Syrian strategy of cutting off the supply lines of the al-Nusra front.

What Kerry told Hijab, as conveyed to the website Middle East Briefing, reflected a new tack by the administration in light of that political-military reality. He made it clear that there would be no preconditions for the talks, and no formal commitment that they would achieve the departure of Assad at any point in the future. He was unclear whether the desired outcome of the talks was to be a “transitional government” or a “unity government” – the latter term implying that Assad was still in control.

The armed opposition and its supporters have been shocked by the shift in Obama’s policy. But they shouldn’t be. The administration’s previous Syria policy had been based in large part on what appeared to be a favourable political opportunity in Syria. As described by Washington Post correspondent Liz Sly’s official US source, the policy was to put “sufficient pressure on Assad’s forces to persuade him to compromise but not so much that his government would precipitously collapse….”

The Obama administration had seen such an opportunity because a covert operation launched in 2013 to equip “moderate” armed groups with anti-tank missiles from Saudi stocks had strengthened the Nusra Front and its military allies. American Syria specialist Joshua Landis estimated last October that 60 to 80 percent of the missiles had ended up in the hands of the Nusra Front in Syria.

Those weapons were the decisive factor in the Nusra-led Army of Conquest takeover of Idlib province in April 2015 and the seizure of territory on the al-Ghab plain in Hama province, which is the main natural barrier between the Sunni-populated area inland and the Alawite stronghold of Latakia province on the sea. That breakthrough by al-Nusra and its allies, which threatened the stability of the Assad regime, was serious enough to provoke the Russian intervention in September.

But given the new military balance, the Obama administration now recognises that its former strategy is now irrelevant. It has been supplanted with a new strategy that is equally opportunistic. The idea now is to take advantage of shared US-Russian strategic interests regarding ISIS – and downgrade the objective of forcing a change in the Syrian regime.

A signal fact of the war against ISIS in Syria that has been ignored in big media coverage is that the United States and Russia have been supporting the same military forces in Syria against ISIS. The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) the leading party in Syrian Kurdistan, controls a large swath of land across northern Syria bordering Turkey. Its military force, the Peoples Defence Units (YPG), has been the most significant ground force fighting against ISIS.

But the YPG has also fought against al-Nusra Front and its allies, and has made no secret of its support for Russian air strikes against those forces. Moreover, the PYD has actively cooperated with the Syrian army and Hezbollah in northern Aleppo province. It is both the primary Syrian ally of the United States against ISIS but also a strategic key to the Russian-Syrian strategy for weakening al-Nusra and its allies.

US NATO ally Turkey has adamantly opposed the US assistance to the PYD, insisting it is a terrorist organisation. The United States has never agreed with that, however, and is determined to exploit the strategic position of PYD in the fight against ISIS. But that also implies a degree of US-Russian cooperation against the main armed opposition to the Assad regime as well.

The Obama administration is no longer counting on a military balance favourable to the armed opposition to Assad to provide a reason for concessions by the regime. Whether military success against the armed opposition will be decisive enough to translate into a resolution of the conflict remains to be seen. In the meantime, the Syria peace negotiations are likely to be at a standstill.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of the newly published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

Furious Erdogan Furious

Five years ago UP warned:

Erdogan, should worry, Turkey has the same Syrian, religious/ethnic political landscape. So, if Syria falls, Turkey could be NEXT. If Syria survive (IT will), Turkey would lose everything build via the Syrian Gate.

Five years later, Furious Erdogan  tells his Anglozionist master to choose between Turkey and Syrian Kurds

 A must see video

Furious Erdogan tells US to choose between Turkey and Syrian Kurds

08.02.2016 | 16:01

Source

RT – Riled by a meeting between a US official and members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which controls the Syrian town of Kobane, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Washington to choose between Turkey and, as he put it, the “terrorists.”

A delegation featuring Brett McGurk, the United States’ envoy to the coalition it leads against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), met the YPG over the last weekend in January. The YPG took full control of Kobane late last June, in what was a powerful symbol of Kurdish resistance. According to US officials, the trip appeared to be the first of its kind to northern Syria since 2013. It took place after the YPG’s political wing, Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), was excluded from new peace talks in Geneva. Ankara had threatened to boycott the talks if the PYD were invited.

“He [Brett McGurk] visits Kobane at the time of the Geneva talks and is awarded a plaque by a so-called YPG general?” Erdogan told reporters on his plane while returning from a trip to Latin America and Senegal, the Beser Haber newspaper reported.

“How can we trust [you]?” Erdogan said.

“Is it me who is your partner, or the terrorists in Kobane?” the Turkish president said, adding that both the PYD and the YPG are “terrorist organizations.” Ankara considers them to be part of the PKK, banned in Turkey as a terrorist group.

60 PKK ‘terrorists’ killed in basement in town of Cizre – Turkish media http://on.rt.com/73xl 

The conflict between the Turkish government and Kurdish insurgent groups demanding greater autonomy for the large ethnic group has been continuing for decades. With several failed ceasefires between the sides, Ankara has been blamed by a number of human rights groups for putting civilian lives at risk in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast. In August, Ankara launched a ground operation to crack down on Kurdish fighters linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The violence ended a two-year truce with Kurdish militants fighting a guerrilla war for independence.

“Turks have a phobia of Kurds because they are scared of their Turkish Kurds, some 20 million of them living in Turkey,” Abd Salam Ali, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s representative to Russia, told RIA Novosti, adding that “Kurds have interfered with Erdogan’s plans in Turkey.”

“Islamic State has military bases in Turkey, and is using it as a corridor. Turkey currently plays a role similar to the one Pakistan played in the 1980s. When the Soviet forces were stationed in Afghanistan, jihadists arrived there through Pakistan, along with the money and arms. Now Turkey is exactly the same corridor [for militants in Syria], and it plays its own game. But Kurds appeared to stand in [Ankara’s] way. They have forced IS away from Rojava [also known as Syrian Kurdistan]. There’s only one piece left, a 90km-long territory between the Kurdish towns. If we force IS out of there and reconnect the Kurdish cantons, Turkey won’t be able to influence [the situation in Syria],” Abd Salam Ali noted.

Chomsky hits back at Erdogan, accuses him of aiding terroristshttp://on.rt.com/71ut 

Late last month, President Erdogan once again refused to search for a peaceful solution to the conflict, which began back in 1984 and has taken at least 40,000 lives, mainly those of Kurdish people. He pledged that “those with guns in their hands and those who support them will pay the price of treason,” referring to the Kurdish militants, deemed terrorists by the government.

According to Turkey’s General Staff, the number of PKK members killed during military operations in the southeastern districts of Cizre and Sur reached 733 on Sunday. But according to Amnesty International estimates, at least 150 civilians, among them children, have been killed during the Turkish operation, with over 200,000 lives put at risk. Turkey’s security operations in the mainly Kurdish southeast resemble a “collective punishment,” the human rights watchdog said last month. Amnesty slammed the international community for choosing to turn a blind eye to what Ankara has been doing to the Kurds.

“While the Turkish authorities appear determined to silence internal criticism, they have faced very little from the international community. Strategic considerations relating to the conflict in Syria and determined efforts to enlist Turkey’s help in stemming the flow of refugees to Europe must not overshadow allegations of gross human rights violations. The international community must not look the other way,” John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Program Director, pointed out.

Up to 21 academics were detained by Turkish authorities in mid-January for signing a petition demanding that Ankara abandon its military crackdown on Kurdish rebels in the southeast of the country. The petition denouncing Turkey’s military operation against Kurds was signed by as many as 1,200 academics. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they all sided with the Kurdish militants, who are considered terrorists by the government. “Unfortunately these so-called academics claim that the state is carrying out a massacre. You, the so-called intellectuals! You are dark people. You are not intellectuals,” he stated.

Syrian Government Delegation Meets With Kurds in Secret

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Kurds in Syria have long demanded participation in the peace talks in Geneva. Not long ago, a delegation from Damascus paid a secret visit to the Hasakah province to negotiate terms.

Sputnik – Middle East

Top-level Syrian officials recently met with leading Kurdish self-defense units and political parties to discuss their involvement in the forthcoming Geneva 3 talks on the future of Syria to be held January 25, Iraqi Kurdish news outlet BasNews reported.

A number of high-ranking military officials, headed by Mohammad al-Shaar, the Interior Minister of Syria, reportedly traveled to the majority-Kurdish town of Qamishli on the border with Turkey.

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) hosted their negotiations with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) alongside the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to BasNews.

Meanwhile, a campaign has been launched by the Kurdish National Council in Syria (ENKS) to bring to the world’s attention the status of the Syrian Kurds during the upcoming Geneva talks. A petition addressed to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is aimed at gathering a million signatures, local media reported.

“The petition emphasizes the role that Kurds have played in Syria and asks that people be included in the decision-makings about their future,” Ibrahim Biro, head of ENKS, commented to Kurdistan24. “We want to tell the United Nations and the international community that the [Kurdish] people [in Syria] are the decision makers in such significant matters, and that politicians should not be the only ones who have a say in the destiny of our people.”

Russia objected to excluding Kurds from Syrian peace negotiations after they were not invited to the Syrian opposition summit in Saudi Arabia mid-December 2015. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that the Vienna-format talks on resolving the long term Syrian civil war must include of all the country’s opposition groups, as well as a delegation from Damascus.

Earlier, Syrian President Bashar Assad stated that Kurdish autonomy could only be discussed after a victory over terrorism.

​Kurds comprise some 10% of the population in Syria and have formed a self-governing autonomy dubbed Rojava (“West” in Kurdish), consisting of four cantons, with its own constitution based on the principle of direct democracy. The battle-hardened Rojavan self-defense units, People’s Protection Forces (YPG) and its female branch (YPJ), have proved one of the most effective ground forcesagainst jihadists of Daesh and al-Qaeda (Nusra).

A number of influential Kurdish and Assyrian political parties have broken away from a Syrian opposition bloc

Fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) sit in the back of a vehicleThe arguably most influential political party of the Syrian Kurds, PYD (Democratic Union Party) — which formed one of the best anti-Daesh ground forces, YPG — and its Christian Assyrian ally, the Syriac Union Party, along with Kurdistan Democratic Party in Syria (PDK-S) have suspended their membership in a Syrian opposition bloc known as the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCC), Kurdistan24 news outlet reported on the weekend.

The Kurdish PYD was a founding member of the leftist Committee, which is often regarded as the main non-armed umbrella group for the Syrian internal opposition.

“Many reasons led us to freeze our membership in NCC,” Sihanouk Dibo, a high-ranking representative of PYD told Kurdistan24. “The most important one to us is that many NCC members designated the Syrian Kurdish forces of People’s Protection Units (YPG) as terrorists.”

First and foremost, acceptance of foreign military aid in fighting Daesh caused that the NCC began stigmatizing its only non-Arab members, a statement published by PYD on Thursday, corroborated.

“NCC’s inclusion of the Kurdish forces of YPG, YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) and SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) in the list of terrorism and demeaning of their victories against IS (Daesh) violates the ethics and noble goals of struggle against terrorism,” the release read.

“Our goal is achieving a democratic Syria for all the Syrians regardless of their ethnicity or sect,” PYD stated.

In December 2015, the Kurds were ostracized from opposition talks held in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh invited 116 representatives from various political and militant groups of Syria to a two-day conference, but some of the participants reportedly had close ties with violent extremist groups. The Kurds and allied groups held their own meeting in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah instead.

The Riyadh summit resulted in the formation of a 32-member council, which is set to choose 15 delegates to represent the Syrian opposition at the peace talks with Damascus, due to be held in 2016 in accordance with the Vienna communique of November 14, 2015.

​Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that the Vienna-format talks on resolving the Syria crisis should include all of the country’s opposition groups, as well as a delegation from Damascus.

Spokesperson for the Secretary-General of UN recently commented on the exclusion of Kurdish representatives from the talks.

“It is important that as many voices as possible, the wide… the different cultures and minorities and religion groups that exist in Syria be represented at the talks,” Stephane Dujarric highlighted.

SDF, mentioned in a citation above, a secular military anti-jihadist alliance of northern Syria, backed both by Russia and the US, consists mostly of the Kurdish YPG/YPJ units alongside Arab and other minor ethnic militias. The local coalition was formed in northern Syria late last year, but has already carried out several successful operations against Daesh and captured a strategic dam over the Euphrates River and still continues to advance.

​The political branch of SDF declared that it is currently working with Moscow on obtaining representation at the forthcoming peace talks.

The epicentre of the Syrian war is shifting — and it could mean ‘a near total defeat’ for Turkey’s Syria policy

NATASHA BERTRAND DEC 17 2015, 5:09 AM

Russian airstrikes across northern Syria have been steadily shifting the epicentre of the war toward a corridor north of Aleppo,through which Turkey smuggles aid and supplies to the rebel groups it supports.

A stepped-up Russian bombing campaign in the Bayirbucak region of northwest Syria, near the strategically important city of Azaz, has primarily targeted the Turkey-backed Turkmen rebels and civilians — and the Turkish aid convoys that supply them.

As a result, Turkey’s Syria policy of bolstering rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime — and establishing a “safe zone” for displaced Syrians that might hinder the regime’s efforts to take Aleppo — is quickly unravelling.

And another important component of Turkey’s strategy in Syria is also at risk of collapse as a result of Russia’s campaign in the north — restricting the movements of the Kurdish YPG, with whom Turkey has clashed, along the Turkish-Syrian border.

In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered help the Kurds consolidate their territorial gains in northern Syria by linking the Kurdish-held town of Kobane with Afrin. That could feasibly be accomplished by the Kurds advancing west across the Euphrates — Turkey’s “red line” for the Kurds — and seizing the rebel-held Azaz.

Following the downing of the Russian warplane, Putin has apparently begun to make good on its promise to arm and support one of Turkey’s primary regional enemies, in the name of cutting Turkey’s rebel supply line to Aleppo.

“Earlier this month, Moscow delivered weapons to the 5,000 Kurdish fighters in Afrin, while Russian aircraft bombed a convoy of trucks that crossed the Turkish border into Syria at Bab al-Salam,” the Washington Institute’sFabrice Balanchewrote in an analysis of the Azaz corridor’s strategic importance.

“Rebel positions north of Aleppo were struck as well, preparing the ground for an offensive by the Kurdish People’s Defence Units (YPG), the PYD’s main militia.”

Russia, for its part, denies that it is deliberately targeting anyone other than “terrorists.”

“Any objective observer cannot have a shadow of a doubt about the true intentions of Russia’s airstrikes,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a recent briefing, according to TheWall Street Journal.

Russian Col. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov echoed this sentiment.

“As a result of the airstrikes, the terrorists have suffered considerable losses in manpower,” he said.

But some experts say the Russian airstrikes have actually created an opening for ISIS to make significant gains near Azaz and advance toward Aleppo. As Balanche wrote, whether Azaz falls to ISIS or to the Kurds ultimately makes little difference to Russia — as long as the corridor remains inaccessible to the rebels backed by Turkey.

“With the Azaz border link closed, Russia could then help the Syrian army and its Shiite allies lock other Turkish crossing points between Bab al-Hawa and Jisr al-Shughour, effectively putting the entire province of Idlib in a net,” Balanche said.

He added: “This would mean a near total defeat for Ankara’s Syria policy.”

A ‘de-facto no-fly zone’

Turkey’s ability to retaliate against the Russian bombing campaign is now severely limited by “the de-facto no-fly zone” Russia has created in the north, said Metin Gurcan, a Turkish military expert.

Following Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane last month, Russia reportedly equipped its jets flying in Syria with air-to-air missiles for self-defence and sent a state-of-the-art S-400 missile system to the Russian Hemeimeem air base near Latakia — about 30 miles south of the Turkish border.

“As a result,” Gurcan told Business Insider, “Turkey has lost its capacity to change the strategic situation both on the ground and in Syrian airspace as an independent actor.”

Paul Stronski, a senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment, agreed that the close proximity of Russia’s airstrikes to the Turkish border — a “matter of minutes” for fighter jets — has made it much more difficult for Turkey to defend its airspace and retain northwestern Syria as a Turkish sphere of influence.

Turkey could try to change the facts on the ground by intervening — but it would “undoubtedly have serious drawbacks,” Aykan Erdemir, a non-resident fellow at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies and a former member of Turkish parliament, told Business Insider.

Still, Erdemir said
it would be unwise to underestimate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s interest in pursuing “a more adventurous policy” there.

“Erdogan wouldn’t like to experience the humiliation of the total defeat of his Syria policy. Furthermore, he could see direct Turkish involvement in Syria and the ensuing crisis as an opportunity to strengthen his bid for an executive presidential system,” Erdemir said.

He added: “We should also keep in mind that Erdogan now has almost total control over the Turkish media, and possesses a strong capacity to shape and steer public opinion which would allow him to market even as risky and unattractive an idea as entering the Syrian battlefield.”

Even so, there is little Turkey can do about the Russian airstrikes without provoking a situation in which NATO would be forced to come to its defence — any intervention, Erdemir said, “could further escalate the Turkish-Russian crisis, prompting heavier sanctions, and even new episodes of clashes between the two armies.”

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How Russia is Smashing the Turkish Game in Syria

 

DECEMBER 3, 2015

Vladimir Putin at a navy parade in Severomorsk

So why did Washington take virtually forever to not really acknowledge ISIS/ISIL/Daesh is selling stolen Syrian oil that will eventually find is way to Turkey?

Because the priority all along was to allow the CIA – in the shadows – to run a “rat line” weaponizing a gaggle of invisible “moderate rebels”.

As much as Daesh – at least up to now – the Barzani mob in Iraqi Kurdistan was never under Washington’s watch. The oil operation the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) runs to Turkey is virtually illegal; stolen state-owned oil as far as Baghdad is concerned.

Daesh stolen oil can’t flow through Damascus-controlled territory. Can’t flow though Shi’ite-dominated Iraq. Can’t go east to Iran. It’s Turkey or nothing. Turkey is the easternmost arm of NATO. The US and NATO “support” Turkey. So a case can be made that the US and NATO ultimately support Daesh.

What’s certain is that illegal Daesh oil and illegal KRG oil fit the same pattern; energy interests by the usual suspects playing a very long game.

What these interests are focused on is to control every possible oil asset in Iraqi Kurdistan and then in “liberated” Syria. It’s crucial to know that Tony “Deepwater Horizon” Hayward is running Ug Genel, whose top priority is to control oil fields that were first stolen from Baghdad, and will eventually be stolen from Iraqi Kurds.

And then, there’s the Turkmen powder keg.

The key reason why Washington always solemnly ignored Ankara’s array of shady deals in Syria, through its fifth column Turkmen jihadis, is because a key CIA “rat line” runs exactly through the region known as Turkmen Mountain.

These Turkmen supplied by Ankara’s “humanitarian” convoys got American TOW-2As for their role in preserving prime weaponizing/ smuggling routes. Their advisers, predictably, are Xe/Academi types, formerly Blackwater. Russia happened to identify the whole scam and started bombing the Turkmen. Thus the downing of the Su-24.

The Turkmen fifth column

Now the CIA is on a mission from God – frantically trying to prevent the rat line from being definitely smashed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on the ground and Russia in the air.

The same desperation applies to the Aleppo-Azez-Killis route, which is also essential for Turkey for all kinds of smuggling.

The advanced arm of the “4+1” alliance – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – is taking no prisoners trying to re-conquer these two key corridors.

And that explains Ankara’s desperation – with a little help from His Masters’ Voice – to come up with an entirely new rat line/corridor through Afrin, currently under Syrian Kurd control, before Damascus forces and Russia air power get there.

Once again it’s important to remember that a gaggle of Turkmen outfits are Ankara’s fifth column in northern Syria.

Most Turkmen live in Kurdish territories. And here’s the ultimate complicating factor; the majority happens to live in the Jarablus region, currently controlled by ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. It’s exactly this area that is cutting the geographic connection between the two Kurdish cantons, Kobani and Afrin.

So imagine a continuous Syrian Kurd control/autonomy/corridor all across the Turkish-Syrian border. For Ankara this is the ultimate nightmare. Ankara’s strategy is to move its Turkmen pawns, with added “moderate rebels”, all across the Jarablus region. The pretext: wipe Daesh off the map. The real reason: prevent the two Kurdish cantons – Afrin and Kobani – from merging.

And once again Ankara will be directly pitted against Moscow.

The Russian strategy rests on very good relations with Syrian Kurds. Moscow not only supports the Syrian Kurd canton merger, but qualifies it as an important step on the way to a new Syria rid of takfiris. Russia will even officially recognize the PYD (Democratic Union Party) and allow them a representative office in Russia.

Ankara regards the PYD and its paramilitary arm, the YPG (People’s Protection Units) as branches of the PKK. It gets curioser an curioser when we know that both Moscow and Washington are cooperating with the YPG against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

The predictable All-Out Ankara Freak Out came in the form of Sultan Erdogan declaring the Euphrates a “red line” for the YPG. If they try to move westward to fight Daesh, sending them out of the Jarablus area, the Turkish Army will strike.

It’s absolutely key for Turkey to control this area between Jarablus and Afrin because here is the site of the would-be “safe zone”, actually a no-fly zone, which Ankara dreams of implementing using the 3 billion euros just extorted from the EU to house refugees but also control northern Syria. Turkmen would be in charge of the area – as well as the Azez-Aleppo line, assuming the SAA does not clear it for good.

The case for UEBA

So Ankara is looking at two very unpleasant Turkmen-filled scenarios to say the least.

Turkmen instrumentalized by Ankara to become gatekeepers against the Kurdish YPG; that means a nasty sectarian divide, orchestrated by Turkey, whose greatest loser is the unity of the Syrian nation.

Meanwhile, the SAA and Russian air power are on the verge of total control of Turkmen Mountain.

This will allow the “4+1” to go much deeper fighting against the so-called Army of Conquest and its twin-headed reptile, Jabhat al-Nusra (a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria) and Ahrar al-Sham, the whole lot “supported” and weaponized by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The “4+1” inexorable advance comes with extra benefits; the end of all rat lines in the region, and no more possible threats to Russia’s air base in Hmeimim.

Make no mistake that Moscow will inflict as much pain on Sultan Erdogan as possible.

As Turkish newspaper Radikal quoted him, Prof. Abbas Vali of Bogazici University confirmed, “The PYD was pleased about Russia’s intervention in Syria. An alliance between the PYD and Russia is inevitable. Russia’s bombardment of the radical Islamist groups on the ground will have a huge impact on the PYD operations.”

So no matter which way we look, Turkey and Russia are on a serious collision course in Syria. Moscow will support Syrian Kurds no holds barred as they push to link the three major Kurdish cantons in northern Syria into a unified Rojava.

As for Washington’s “strategy”, it now boils down to the CIA need of a new rat line. That could imply sitting on the – weaponized – sidelines watching Turkmen and Kurds slug it out, thus creating an opening for the Turkish Army to intervene, and the Russian Air Force to prevent it, with all hell guaranteed to break loose.

The fact remains that Sultan Erdogan badly needs a new CIA-secured rat line to weaponize not only his fifth column Turkmen but also Chechens, Uzbeks and Uyghurs. And Bilal Erdogan, a.k.a. Erdogan Mini Me, desperately needs new oil smuggling routes and a couple of new tankers; Russia is watching their every move. The latest news from Russia’s Defense Ministry has struck like a volcanic eruption; the Erdogan family mob was branded as “criminals”, with Moscow presenting only an appetizer of the all the evidence it has in store.

So we have the Afghan heroin rat line. The Libyan oil racket (now over). The Ukraine fascist rat line. The Libya to Syria weapon rat line. The stolen Syrian oil trade. The northern Syrian rat lines. Let’s call them UEBA: Unregulated Exceptionalist Business Activities. What’s not to like? There’s no business like war business.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  His latest book is Empire of ChaosHe may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

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