NEO-OTTOMAN NIGHTS OF ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJANI WAR

South Front

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related News

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

September 19, 2020 Arabi Souri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trump Regime Theft of Syrian Oil

By Stephen Lendman

Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump’s Kurdish SDF Criminals: More Ethnic Cleansing in Qamishli

Source

July 12, 2020 Miri Wood

Bomb detonated in front of Virgin Mary Church - Qamishli - Hasakah Syria

The Trump regime’s SDF mercenaries continue to engage in the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Syrians from the Qamishli area of the Levantine republic. Local news has reported another attempted bombing of the Church of the Virgin Mary along with two other, unnamed churches, and the closure of fourteen Christian schools in the northeastern region of the country, under the protection of American illegal military troops.

Though the NATO-armed SDF (Arabic acronym, Qasad) militia is claimed to be Kurds yearning to breathe free, the traitorous separatists have merely been cannon fodder under an umbrella gang of foreign wetworkers from various NATO countries, under the protection of war criminal US military. The murderous fodder against Syrians were originally the YPG, but as this gang of thugs is on America’s terrorist list, Pentagon leaders under Obama declared a new name was required, to better market these thugs who have kidnapped Syrians, torched Syrian wheat fields, slaughtered Syrian law enforcement. In short, these terrorists are attempting to ethnically cleanse native Syrians from their land.

qamishli, syria
Liters of blood of the Syrian martyrs in Qamishli, slaughtered by US SDF. [Archive, September 2018]


On 1 July, as a preemptive threat against the probability of Russia and China thwarting an extension of the new Sykes-Picot UN/NATO Treaty, Trump’s ambassador Kelly Craft warned of [more] mass graves in the S.A.R. should the NATO dictum not be accepted. Almost immediately upon the expiration of Security Council Resolution 2504 (2020), news came of another impending false flag chemical attack by al Qaeda operatives occupying Idlib, along with a strange blackmail attempt by certain al Qaeda factions against American illegal Bilal Abdul Kareem — the release of his degenerate, naked selfies (which the friend of child beheaders subsequently referred to as family photos) — the same terrorist faction which recently abducted Tauqir ‘Tox’ Sharif, Brit illegal from a Syrian home which he and his also English wife had been occupying.

afp
Al Qaeda FSA/Zinki branch kidnapped a child & proudly videoed themselves carving off his head.

Demonstrating the utter arrogance western colonialism — even while NATO countries hypocritically decry US racism, and westerners continue to feign concern over the brutal murder of George Floyd, using his death as a cover story to break from the COVID-19 lockdown — imperialist pathogenic illegals in Syria claim that the church was bombed by ISIS.

That there is no such place as Rojava is of no concern when it comes to the rancid white man’s burden to impose empire on nation-states. A gaggle of NATO operatives — represented by a Brit, an American, and a Frenchie — have been squatting in northeast Syria since 2018, and have created the imperial Rojava Information Center, a NATO independent “media bridge” from the separatist, Israelized, Kurds, to the “outside [NATO] world” (because ordinary Syrian Kurds could never run their own newspaper, without NATO operatives).

The war criminal hypocrisy of such humanitarian bastards is a bottomless pit of depravity. Ignoring the fact that the US armed SDF previously blown up vehicles near the Church of the Virgin Mary, that they have stolen Syrian homes and kidnapped Syrian children, forcing them into criminal conscription, this NATO-sponsored gang under the protection of the Trump regime illegals in the SAR, have ironically claimed that the US-created ISIS committed the bombing in Qamishli to disturb the Garden of Eden enjoyed by the US-created SDF and Muslim Arabs and Arab Christians trying to break free of their native country. The vicious sadism of this colonial criminality is further flouted in the incestuous reporting on the ‘RIC’ by the Defense Post/Global Post NATO independent sites created by a Turkish student who allegedly came to the US to study but decided to stay.

Let the western world not be fake concerned over domestic racism while flouting support for peak colonialism.

Let Trump’s imperialism in Syria be brought to an end.

— Miri Wood

Trump Regime’s Kurdish SDF Separatist Terrorists Kidnap Syrians

Source

July 5, 2020 Miri Wood

Kurdish PYD Asayish SDF Torching Wheat Farms in Qamishli
Trump SDF forces burn Syrian wheat, June 2019.

The Trump regime continues to lead the attempt to impose a NATO Sykes-Picot on the Syrian Arab Republic. As part of its efforts to carve up the Levantine country, Trump has accelerated Obama‘s unindicted war crimes. Trump illegals — American troops — continue to illegally bring in weapons — a criminal enterprise began in August 2019 — and logistical equipment for criminal bases and stealing Syrian oil. Trump regime forces fire-bombed wheat fields in May; Trump signed the updated unconstitutional, 3,488 page NDAA bill which included the criminal, fake Caesar legislation the vermin on Capitol Warmonger Hill had been unable to get passed, since 2016.

On the 4th of July — while many Americans were deprived of celebrating their Declaration of Independence from British tyranny because of COVID-19 restrictions, and while small businesses are being crushed by them — US tax dollars were busy at work kidnapping Syrians from their homes in Tal Hamis.

From SANA:

Hasaka, SANA – Qasad (SDF) groups, which are backed by US occupation forces, kidnapped a number of locals in Tal Hamis district in Hasaka countryside, amid a state of wide-scale rejection by locals of these groups and their oppressive practices.

Civil sources told SANA reporter that members of Qasad stormed people’s houses in Tal Hamis township on the background of protests against Qasad that had taken place there recently, and kidnaped a number of locals.

During the past few days, Tal Hamis district witnessed protests against Qasad practices, calling for the groups to leave the area.

Syria News reminds our readers that the criminal SDF was launched as a foreign mercenary militia under the Obama regime, after US General Raymond Thomas convinced the cannon fodder armed separatist YPG to change its name for new marketing, as the YPG just happened to be on the US terror list.

During these times of domestic unrest in the US of A, we especially remind our American readers of the horrors their tax dollars have funded against Syrians, specifically by the SDF:

Let US also remember that while the fascist coalition created by Obama and continued by Trump obliterated al Raqqa, Syria, from the sky, the peon SDF demolished the remnants from the ground.

syrian-democratic-forces
CNN cheers destruction as far as the eye can see. This is al Raqqa, courtesy of the US-led war criminal coalition.

As Americans demonstrate the success of Operation Mockingbird, bickering over the domestic mobs acts of arson and other destruction, with some laying the blame only at Trump’s feet, may the more reasonable minds recognize that our country has bipartisanly normalized violent chaos around the non-western world, throughout our lifetime.

— Miri Wood

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

South Front

17.06.2020 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

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

Related News

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

May 16, 2020 Miri Wood

unsc meeting covid 19 - Syria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ancient ruin declared a bombed hospital by NATO media.

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

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

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

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

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

Reuters implementation of the Goebbels Big Lie, 22 February.

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

This vote predated the COVID pandemic in NATO countries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID
Syria’s COVID statistics 28 April.

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

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

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

estonia-map

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

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

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

— Miri Wood

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

South Front

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

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

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

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

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

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

KURDISH MILITIAS START NEW DANGEROUS GAME IN NORTHERN SYRIA

South Front

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

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

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

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

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

Related News

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

South Front

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Front

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

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

See Video Here

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

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

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

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

WHICH TARGET AFTER SYRIA?

Source

19 years of “war without end”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Moscow Additional Protocol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes:

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

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

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

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


By Thierry Meyssan
Source: Voltaire Network

Ceasefire in Idlib to Hold, But Will it be Enough to Bridge Gaps Between Syria and Turkey?

GMT 11.03.2020

Sputnik

Elizabeth Blade

Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said there have been no violations registered in Syria’s northern province of Idlib since Thursday, 5 March, when Ankara sealed a ceasefire deal with Moscow in an attempt to contain the conflict that displaced nearly a million people in three months in north-west of the country.

As the situation around Idlib, escalated, threatening to drag all the conflicting sides into a deeper crisis, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew to Moscow last week to meet with his Russian counterpart and establish new rules of the game.

The measures, which entered into force on 6 March, include an agreement to establish joint patrols of one of Idlib’s two key highways (the M4), along which a Russian-Turkish security corridor will be established.

Pinning Hopes for Better Future

And this time around, thinks Yusuf Erim, a Turkish affairs analyst for TRT World who is close to governmental circles, the chances that both sides will adhere to the agreement are high.

“First of all, [the Idlib agreement presupposed that] Turkey is leaving behind a sizable deployment of troops to secure its area of control and be able to retaliate if Syrian forces violate the agreement. And, secondly, the Syrian army has absorbed huge losses so they don’t have the capability to deal with Turkish troops. Assad understands the repercussions that would follow if he breached the deal”, he said referring to Ankara’s claims that it has “neutralised” hundreds of Syrian soldiers.

In the end of February, 34 Turkish soldiers were neutralised by Syrian troops resulting in Turkey’s decision to launch a full-scale offensive – operation Spring Shield – that claimed the lives of more than two thousand Syrian soldiers and dealt a severe blow to Syria’s military equipment, Turkish sources said.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has justified the operation by saying that Ankara aimed at “putting an end to the carnage” it blamed on Damascus and prevent radicalisation and migration – an opinion shared by Erim, who suggests that Ankara’s involvement in Syria was dictated by purely “national security concerns”.

“Ankara’s first cross border operation into Syria in 2016 was to push back Daesh militants, while the operations in 2018 and 2019 targeted the YPG (Kurdish fighters considered terrorist by Ankara – ed.),” adding that Turkey took great care to avoid skirmishes with the Syrian armed forces. “However, allowing Idlib to collapse and watch a humanitarian disaster unfold on its borders was not an option.”

Is Turkey a True Partner?

But not everyone agreed with this depiction of events. Dr. Nidal Kabalan, Syria’s last ambassador to Turkey, who held this post for more than a year after the eruption of the Arab Spring in 2011, argues that Ankara has successfully disguised its “expansionist intentions” under the preface of fighting for human rights and democracy.

“They didn’t come to Syria to protect civilians,” Kabalan said, adding that the real intention of Ankara was to fight President Assad. In doing so, the former diplomat thinks, Turkey supported various kinds of militants in the war-stricken country, ranging from moderates to extremists.

Since the eruption of the war in Syria nine years ago, Damascus has repeatedly stated that it was fighting terrorists who had flocked to the war-torn country from abroad to wage jihad.

Many, according to Syria, came from Turkey. In 2014, for example, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, a New York based think-tank, published research suggesting Ankara has not only turned a blind eye to its own citizens travelling to Syria to fight alongside the rebels linked to terrorist groups but has also helped foreign fighters to bypass the lax security on the Syrian border.

Ankara, for its part, denies these allegations: being one of the first countries that designated Daesh* and its branches as terrorist organisations, Turkey positions itself as a country that has eliminated over 6,000 Daesh-affiliated terrorists, more, it claims, than any other state.

In addition, Turkey has also collaborated with the international community to find political solutions to the ongoing  crisis, participating in various talks that aimed at protecting civilians and helping millions of Syrian refugees who had entered the country since the beginning of the war.

Refugees as Means of Extortion?

But in the case of the Syrian refugees, as in other cases, Ankara and Damascus agree to disagree.

Recently, Ankara, which is said to be hosting the largest refugee population in the world, including more than two million from Syria, decided to open its borders for hundreds of asylum-seekers who have amassed at the Turkish-Greek border in a bid to cross into Europe.

Turkey justified its decision by its inability to cope with the growing number of asylum seekers and accused the EU of violating a 2016 agreement, under which Ankara agreed to host thousands in exchange for financial support from Brussels – cash that was too little and came too late.

Reaction of the European bloc was quick to follow. It pointed a finger of blame at Turkey for using the issue as a “bargaining chip” in talks with Brussels and Syria’s former ambassador believes Brussels couldn’t have formulated it better.

“Refugees are only a tool in the hands of Erdogan to extort money from the EU,” the former top diplomat said, while referring to the Turkish president’s comments that his country needs some $40 billion to handle the crisis.

But for the Turkish analyst, Erdogan’s demands made perfect sense.

“Turkey has almost single-handedly been forced to shoulder the migrant crisis with very little outside support. Migration is not Turkey’s problem, its an international issue. The EU has had many opportunities to address the root cause of the crisis but it chose to stay silent. The situation has now reached a point where Turkey can no longer handle it by itself. If the EU will not support Turkey in its initiatives to create solutions inside Syria to curb the displacement of people – then it will have to face the consequences of its inaction,” he summed up.

The EU, for its part, rejects Turkey’s claims, saying the bloc has stuck to its 2016 agreement with Ankara, injecting billions of Euro to assist Turkey to finance schools, housing and medical centres for the refugees it hosts on its soil. 

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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

Global Research, February 13, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

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

The One Insurmountable Obstacle to Peace in Syria

MIKE WHITNEY • DECEMBER 4, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IF IRAN FALLS, ISIS MAY RISE AGAIN نيوزويك” تحذر: إذا سقطت إيران، سيصعد داعش مجدداً

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As disorder deepens in Iran amid widespread protests, fears are rising that the fall of Iran’s revolutionary Shiite Islamic Republic could lead to disaster in the region and the re-emergence of an even greater foe of the United States—the Islamic State militant group known as ISIS.

Violent protests sparked by a cut in gas subsidies continue to erupt across Iran, fueled further by a forceful crackdown on protesters from the government. The unrest, coupled with crippling U.S. sanctions and costly campaigns across the Middle East, has incensed those fighting for regime change from within the country, opening an opportunity for Iran’s enemies both at home and abroad to capitalize on this discord and vulnerability.

“Different groups hostile to the Iranian government, including ISIS, separatists or other ones, have and will take advantage of any unrest in the country,” Abas Aslani, a visiting scholar at the Istanbul-based Center for Middle East Strategic Studies and editor-in-chief of the Iran Front Page outlet, told Newsweek.

“They could find a way in this situation to bring more damage to the country,” he added. “This will not be limited to the groups, but also some foreign countries inside and outside the region will also use the opportunity for weakening or changing the regime in Iran and bring instability to the country.”

Iran has remained steadfast in the face of its foes foreign and domestic, and few expect the full demise of the government. But even those inside and outside Iran who support the rallies that continue day and night against the clerics running the nation fear the chaos alone could foster conditions for ISIS to breed.

“Any collapse or weakening of a state in the region is likely to fuel into more instability in the region,” Aslani told Newsweek. “This is also a concern of even opponents in Iran, in so that they are not sure in the case of the collapse of the current system in the country who will replace them and how the situation will be.”

iran protest isis daesh tehran embassy
An Iranian woman holds a cardboard cutout representing an ISIS member in chains, during a demonstration outside the former U.S. embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran on November 4 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. On November 4, 1979, less than nine months after the toppling of Iran’s once-CIA-reinstalled shah, students overran the embassy complex to demand the United States hand over the ousted ruler after he was admitted to a U.S. hospital.ATTA KENARE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

To Iran, the fight against ISIS has always been an existential one. Just as the Pentagon began coordinating its own involvement in June 2014, Iran had begun mobilizing mostly Shiite Muslim militias in both Iraq and Syria to beat back lightning gains made by the Sunni Muslim insurgents that reveled in the slaughter of those deemed to be outside of their ultraconservative ideology.

This proved vital in turning the tide against the jihadis, who have been largely defeated in recent years.

“Iran was critical in providing logistical and advisory support to Iraqi paramilitary forces who battled ISIS in Iraq, particularly during the early days of the campaign,” Rodger Shanahan, a research fellow at the Lowy Institute’s West Asia Program and former director of the Australian Army’s Land Warfare Studies Centre, told Newsweek.

As for Syria, where ISIS spread amid an ongoing civil war, Shanahan said Iran’s support for President Bashar al-Assad “also meant that it has contributed to the anti-ISIS campaign, although it is fair to say that that was by no means the aim of their support for Assad and the targeting of ISIS has been sporadic at best.”

In fighting ISIS abroad, Iran managed to help dismantle the jihadis and broaden the Islamic Republic’s own support network of partnered forces also hostile to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Establishing this so-called Axis of Resistance proved a major strategic victory, but it came at a steep price.

These campaigns cost Iran capital, both human and financial, and strict U.S. sanctions have choked up Tehran’s access to disposable income. Although the Iranian government is believed to still have access to considerable wealth to run its operations, the dual effects of a U.S.-imposed trade siege and domestic mismanagement have made life more difficult for everyday Iranians unable to take advantage of the economic reforms promised by President Hassan Rouhani.

iran police station burned protests
Iranians gather around a charred police station that was set ablaze by protesters during a demonstration against a rise in gasoline prices in the central city of Isfahan, November 17. Iran responded to violent protests with an internet blackout and a swift crackdown that continues to result in bloodshed, with some members of security forces among those killed.AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The Rouhani administration’s decision to cut fuel subsidies last month and ultimately transition to a welfare-based system had actually been in the works for some time and was supported by the International Monetary Fund. Still, the sudden shift was seismic for Iranians accustomed to cheap fuel and people have taken to the streets to protest in massive numbers.

The government’s reaction on the ground was swift and, against who officials claimed were rioters, deadly.

Amnesty International has estimated that more than 200 Iranians have been killed during the unrest and Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, placed the casualties at “many hundreds, perhaps over a thousand”—a figure far higher than other estimates provided by human rights monitors. No conclusive count exists and the Iranian government has disputed these numbers.

Those groups are “the biggest non-state threat to Iran today,” Ariane Tabatabai, an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation and an adjunct senior research scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, told Newsweek. The most volatile border areas are Sistan-Baluchistan, Khuzestan and Kurdistan. Watchers worry that any escalation of insurgencies in these parts could propel Iran toward the sectarian strife seen in Syria.

“That’s part of what’s deterring many Iranians from outright pushing for regime collapse: The lessons of Syria loom large,” she added.

Insurgencies were waged by separatist Arab, Baluch and Kurdish militias for decades before ISIS, Al-Qaeda or even the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the pro-West shah, who long-enjoyed the CIA maintaining his rule. The Islamic Republic has managed to keep these restive communities in line, but deadly attacks persist, such as a February bus bombing that killed up to 27 members of the Revolutionary Guard.

The operation was claimed by Jaish ul-Adl, which along with fellow Sunni Islamist group Ansar Al-Furqan, has taken advantage of previous periods of unrest in an attempt to undermine the Iranian government. ISIS, notorious for its ability to build bridges across continents, has actively sought to exploit these national struggles as it does in countries as far away as the Philippines.

The group’s reach within Iran remains fairly insignificant, Tabatabai added. She explained, however, that “ISIS has mostly focused its efforts in the areas with significant Kurdish and Arab minority populations—because these are populations that have been historically neglected if not repressed by the central authority.”

While eradicating adversarial forces and projecting its own influence abroad were integral motivations for Tehran’s entrance into the fight against ISIS, so was disrupting any potential nexus between the influential jihadi group and other opponents of Iran within the country itself. Shanahan told Newsweek that from the beginning, “Iran was concerned at the threat ISIS posed to Iranian territory, and the possibility of support for low-level insurgencies amongst Arab and Baluch Sunni groups inside Iran.”

Even with limited success in its infiltration, ISIS managed to strike at the heart of the Islamic Republic in June 2017 when several Sunni Kurdish militants aligned with the group staged twin attacks on the Iranian parliament and the shrine to the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, killing 18 people.

An attack last September at a Revolutionary Guard parade in Ahvaz commemorating the Iran-Iraq War—during which Saddam Hussein, too, tried to foster Arab separatism in Khuzestan—killed two dozen people, half of them soldiers, and was claimed by both ISIS and Ahvazi Arab separatists.

In response, Iran launched Zulfiqar and Qiam missiles that flew hundreds of miles across Iraq and into the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, an ISIS stronghold at the time assaulted by two rival campaigns led by the Syrian government and the U.S.-backed, majority-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces. The unprecedented strike was seen not only as a message to ISIS, but as a testament of Iran’s missile prowess directed toward its top three national foes.

us, iran, protests, mike, pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks alongside a photograph of demonstrations in Iran as he holds a press conference at the State Department in Washington, November 26. In a message addressed to protesters, Pompeo said: “The United States hears you. We support you and we will continue to stand with you in your struggle for a brighter future for your people and for your great nation.”SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Iran has often blamed the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia for fomenting discord within the country in an attempt to overthrow a government they view as destabilizing to the region. No conclusive evidence of such a conspiracy regarding the current demonstrations has emerged, although top Washington figures—such as former national security adviser John Bolton, a devout war hawk—have openly courted opposition forces like Ahvazi Arab separatists and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, or Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK).

All three experts interviewed by Newsweek said they believed the collapse of the Iranian government was unlikely in the near future, despite the “maximum pressure” campaign by the U.S. against it. Even for Washington, this may not necessarily be a bad thing: It has repeatedly learned that an enemy government’s loss of control often had far-reaching repercussions in the form of mass refugee flows, the formation of new, more powerful enemies, and costly military interventions to fight them.

The fall of Iran—a nation whose population is higher than all three of those war-torn nations combined—would likely have even more devastating side effects and give ISIS and other underground forces new room to operate.

For now, the threat of ISIS appears to be under control. But worsening economic woes resulting from U.S. restrictions and political infighting among Iran’s own hard-liners and moderates ensure the militant group will continue to root for, if not actively seek out, Iran’s capitulation.

نيوزويك” تحذر: إذا سقطت إيران، سيصعد داعش مجدداً

توم أوكونور

من المرجح أن يكون لسقوط إيران آثار جانبية مدمرة أكثر، وهذا سيمنح داعش والقوات المتطرفة الأخرى مساحة جديدة للعمل.

“نيوزويك” تحذر: إذا سقطت إيران، سيصعد داعش مجدداً

رأت مجلة “نيوزويك” الأميركية أنه مع تزايد الفوضى في إيران وسط احتجاجات واسعة النطاق، تتصاعد المخاوف من أن سقوط الجمهورية الإسلامية الشيعية الثورية في إيران يمكن أن يؤدي إلى كارثة في المنطقة وظهور عدو أكبر للولايات المتحدة هو تنظيم “داعش”.

وقالت المجلة إن الاحتجاجات العنيفة الناجمة عن خفض الدعم عن الوقود لا تزال تندلع في جميع أنحاء إيران، مما زاد من حدة القمع القوي للمتظاهرين من الحكومة. وأدت الاضطرابات، إلى جانب العقوبات الأميركية المشددة والحملات المكلفة في جميع أنحاء الشرق الأوسط، إلى إثارة غضب أولئك الذين يقاتلون من أجل تغيير النظام من داخل البلاد، مما أتاح الفرصة لأعداء إيران في الداخل والخارج للاستفادة من هذا الخلاف والضعف.

وقال عباس أصلاني ، باحث زائر في مركز الدراسات الاستراتيجية في الشرق الأوسط ومقره إسطنبول لـ”نيوزويك”: “هناك مجموعات مختلفة معادية للحكومة الإيرانية، بما في ذلك داعش والانفصاليون أو غيرها، وستستفيد من أي اضطرابات في البلاد”. وأضاف “يمكنهم إيجاد طريقة في هذا الموقف لإحداث مزيد من الضرر للبلاد. لن يقتصر هذا على المجموعات، ولكن أيضاً ستستغل بعض الدول الأجنبية داخل المنطقة وخارجها الفرصة لإضعاف النظام أو تغييره في إيران وجلب عدم الاستقرار إلى البلاد”.

ورأت المجلة الأميركية أن إيران بقيت صامدة في وجه خصومها الأجانب والمحليين، ويتوقع القليلون الزوال الكامل للحكومة. لكن حتى أولئك داخل وخارج إيران الذين يدعمون المسيرات التي تستمر ليلاً ونهاراً ضد رجال الدين الذين يديرون البلاد يخشون من أن الفوضى وحدها يمكن أن تعزز الظروف لنمو “داعش”.

وقال أصلاني لنيوزويك: “أي انهيار أو إضعاف دولة في المنطقة من المرجح أن يؤدي إلى مزيد من عدم الاستقرار في المنطقة. هذا مصدر قلق حتى للمعارضين في إيران، حتى أنهم غير متأكدين في حالة انهيار النظام الحالي في البلد من الذي سيحل محله وكيف سيكون الوضع”.

وأضافت “نيوزيويك” أنه بالنسبة لإيران، كانت المعركة ضد “داعش” دائماً وجودية. وكما بدأ البنتاغون في تنسيق مشاركته في حزيران / يونيو 2014، بدأت إيران في حشد الميليشيات التي يغلب على سكانها الشيعة في كل من العراق وسوريا للرد على المكاسب السريعة التي حققها المتمردون “الجهاديون السنة” الذين قاموا بذبح أولئك الذين يُعتبر أنهم خارج نطاقهم أيديولوجيتهم فائقة التشدد.

وقال رودجر شاناهان، وهو زميل باحث في برنامج غرب آسيا التابع لمعهد لوي ومدير سابق لمركز دراسات الحرب البرية في الجيش الأسترالي، قال لمجلة نيوزويك:

“ثبت أن هذا أمر حيوي في قلب المد ضد الجهاديين، الذين هُزموا إلى حد كبير في السنوات الأخيرة. لقد كان لإيران دور حاسم في تقديم الدعم اللوجستي والاستشاري للقوات شبه العسكرية العراقية التي حاربت داعش في العراق، خاصة خلال الأيام الأولى للحملة”.

أما بالنسبة لسوريا، حيث انتشر داعش وسط حرب أهلية متواصلة، قال شاناهان إن دعم إيران للرئيس بشار الأسد “عنى أيضاً أنها ساهم في الحملة ضد داعش، رغم أنه من الإنصاف القول إن هذا لم يكن بأي حال من الأحوال هدف دعمهم للأسد وكان استهداف داعش متقطعاً في أحسن الأحوال “.

وقالت “نيوزويك” إنه في قتال “داعش” في الخارج، تمكنت إيران من المساعدة في تفكيك الجهاديين وتوسيع شبكة دعم “الجمهورية الإسلامية” للقوات الشريكة المعادية لـ”إسرائيل” والسعودية والولايات المتحدة. وقد أثبت إنشاء ما يسمى محور المقاومة هذا انتصاراً استراتيجياً كبيراً، لكنه جاء بسعر عالٍ.

فقد كلفت هذه الحملات رأس المال الإيراني، البشري والمالي، وفرضت عقوبات أميركية صارمة على وصول طهران إلى عائداتها المتاحة. ورغم أنه يُعتقد أن الحكومة الإيرانية لا تزال لديها إمكانية الوصول إلى ثروة كبيرة لإدارة عملياتها، إلا أن الآثار المزدوجة المتمثلة في الحصار التجاري الذي تفرضه الولايات المتحدة وسوء الإدارة الداخلية جعلتا الحياة أكثر صعوبة بالنسبة للإيرانيين العاديين غير القادرين على الاستفادة من الإصلاحات الاقتصادية التي وعد بها الرئيس حسن روحاني.

وتنقل المجلة عن أريان طباطبائي، وهي عالمة سياسية مشاركة في مؤسسة راند وكبيرة الباحثين المشاركين في كلية الشؤون الدولية والعامة في جامعة كولومبيا، قولها إن هذه المجموعات المتمردة هي “أكبر تهديد من غير الدول لإيران اليوم”. فأكثر المناطق الحدودية اضطراباً هي سيستان – بلوشستان، وخوزستان وكردستان. ويشعر المراقبون بالقلق من أن أي تصعيد لحركات التمرد في هذه الأجزاء يمكن أن يدفع إيران نحو الصراع الطائفي الذي شوهد في سوريا. وأضافت “هذا جزء مما يردع الكثير من الإيرانيين عن الدفع الصريح من أجل انهيار النظام: دروس سوريا تلوح في الأفق”.

وقد شنت التمردات من قبل الميليشيات العربية الانفصالية والبلوشية والكردية لعقود من الزمن قبل ظهور تنظيمي داعش والقاعدة أو حتى قبل الثورة الإسلامية في إيران عام 1979 التي أطاحت بالشاه الموالي للغرب ، الذي كان يتمتع لفترة طويلة بدعم وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية (سي آي إيه)، التي حافظت على حكمه. تمكنت “الجمهورية الإسلامية” من الحفاظ على هذه المجتمعات المضطربة في خطها، لكن الهجمات المميتة لا تزال قائمة، مثل تفجير حافلة في فبراير / شباط الماضي الذي أسفر عن مقتل ما يصل إلى 27 من أعضاء “حرس الثورة الإسلامية”.

وقد تم تبني هذه العملية من قبل “جيش العدل”، الذي استفاد مع زملائه من جماعة “أنصار الفرقان” الأصولية في فترات سابقة من الاضطرابات في محاولة لتقويض الحكومة الإيرانية. لقد سعى “داعش”، الذي اشتهر بقدرته على بناء الجسور عبر القارات، بنشاط إلى استغلال هذه الصراعات الوطنية كما يفعل في بلدان بعيدة مثل الفلبين.

ورأت طباطبائي أن وصول “داعش” داخل إيران لا يزال ضئيلاً إلى حد ما. وأوضحت، مع ذلك، أن “داعش ركز معظم جهوده في المناطق التي تضم عدداً كبيراً من الأقليات الكردية والعربية – لأن هؤلاء هم  (على الأقل) السكان الذين تم إهمالهم تاريخياً، هذا إذا لم تقمعهم السلطة المركزية”.

وفي حين أن القضاء على قوات الخصوم وتوقع نفوذها في الخارج كانا بمثابة دافعين أساسيين لدخول طهران في الحرب ضد “داعش”، فقد كان ذلك يعطل أي صلة محتملة بين هذه الجماعة الجهادية المؤثرة والمعارضين الآخرين لإيران داخل الدولة نفسها. وقال شاناهان لـ”نيوزويك” إنه منذ البداية “كانت إيران قلقة من التهديد الذي يشكله تنظيم داعش على الأراضي الإيرانية، وإمكانية دعم التمردات المنخفضة المستوى بين الجماعات العربية والسنية البلوشية داخل إيران”.

وأضاف شاناهان: “لديهم دعم محدود داخل إيران لكنهم قد يسعون إلى استغلال تركيز الأجهزة الأمنية على الاحتجاجات للقيام ببعض الأعمال التكتيكية المحلية”، مشيراً إلى أن التظاهرات الحالية كانت “حول استياء الإيرانيين من النظام ككل، مع رفع دعم الوقود كحافز، ولا يتعلق الأمر بحقوق الأقليات”.

وعلى الرغم من النجاح المحدود في تسلله، تمكن “داعش” من ضرب قلب “الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية” في حزيران / يونيو 2017 عندما قام العديد من المسلحين الأكراد الذين انضموا إلى الجماعة بهجمات مزدوجة على البرلمان الإيراني وضريح الراحل آية الله روح الله الخميني، مما أسفر عن مقتل 18 شخصاً. فقد أسفر هجوم في أيلول / سبتمبر الماضي على عرض لـ”حرس الثورة” في الأهواز في ذكرى إحياء ذكرى الحرب العراقية-الإيرانية – التي حاول خلالها صدام حسين كذلك تعزيز الانفصالية العربية في خوزستان – عن مقتل عشرين شخصاً، نصفهم من الجنود، وتبنى كل من “داعش” والانفصاليون العرب المسؤولية عنه.

ورداً على ذلك، أطلقت إيران صواريخ “ذو الفقار” التي طارت مئات الأميال عبر العراق إلى محافظة دير الزور في شرق سوريا، وهي كانت معقلاً لـ”داعش” في ذلك الوقت حيث تمت مهاجمتها من قبل حملتين متنافستين بقيادة الحكومة السورية و”قوات سوريا الديمقراطية” ذات الأغلبية الكردية المدعومة من الولايات المتحدة. لم ينظر إلى الضربة غير المسبوقة كرسالة إلى “داعش” فحسب، بل كدليل على براعة الصواريخ الإيرانية الموجهة نحو خصومها الوطنيين الثلاثة الذين يأتون في أول القائمة.

وكثيراً ما ألقت إيران باللوم على الولايات المتحدة و”إسرائيل” والسعودية لإثارة الفتنة داخل البلاد في محاولة للإطاحة بحكومة يتهمونها بأنها تزعزع الاستقرار في المنطقة. لم يظهر أي دليل قاطع على مثل هذه المؤامرة فيما يتعلق بالتظاهرات الحالية، على الرغم من أن شخصيات بارزة في واشنطن – مثل مستشار الأمن القومي السابق جون بولتون، أحد صقور الحرب المتدينين – قد جنّد قوات المعارضة علناً مثل الانفصاليين العرب الأهوازيين ومنظمة “مجاهدي خلق” الإيرانية.

حتى عام 2012، كانت منظمة “مجاهدي خلق” منظمة إرهابية معينة من قبل الولايات المتحدة، وهو ما يمثل الخطوط الواضحة التي حددت منذ فترة طويلة سياسات واشنطن في الشرق الأوسط. في قتال داعش، شاركت الولايات المتحدة مع وحدات حماية الشعب (YPG) ، وهي مجموعة كردية سورية يُنظر إليها على نطاق واسع على أنها مرتبطة بحزب العمال الكردستاني المحظور، وعلى الرغم من أن ترامب قد تبنى موقفاً متشدداً ضد إيران، فإن البنتاغون قد أُجبر على مواصلة التعاون غير المباشر على الأقل مع قوات “الحشد الشعبي” العراقية، وهي مظلة لميليشيات تضم “كتائب حزب الله” المحظورة، المدعومة من إيران، من بين مجموعات أخرى.

وقال الخبراء الثلاثة الذين قابلتهم “نيوزويك” إنهم يعتقدون أن انهيار الحكومة الإيرانية أمر غير مرجح في المستقبل القريب، على الرغم من “أقصى ضغط” التي قامت بها الولايات المتحدة ضدها. حتى بالنسبة لواشنطن، قد لا يكون هذا شيئاً ضرورياً: فقد علمت مراراً أن فقدان سيطرة حكومة العدو في كثير من الأحيان كانت له تداعيات بعيدة المدى في شكل تدفقات كبيرة للاجئين، وتشكيل أعداء جدد أكثر قوة، وتدخلات عسكرية مكلفة لمحاربتهم.

وختمت “نيوزويك” أن من المرجح أن تكون لسقوط إيران – وهي دولة يزيد عدد سكانها عن الدول الثلاث التي مزقتها الحرب مجتمعة – آثار جانبية مدمرة أكثر وسيمنح داعش والقوات السرية الأخرى مساحة جديدة للعمل.

ففي الوقت الحالي، يبدو أن تهديد تنظيم “داعش” تحت السيطرة. لكن تفاقم المشاكل الاقتصادية الناجمة عن القيود الأميركية والاقتتال السياسي بين المتشددين والمتطرفين في إيران سيشجع المجموعة المتشددة على السعي بنشاط لاستسلام إيران.

ترجمة: هيثم مزاحم – الميادين نت

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

SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES’ SHORT-TERM THINKING PROBLEM

Soutb Front

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kilichdaroglu: Dialogue with Assad is the Key to Solving the Problems Erdogan Created

 

Turkey CHP Party Leader CHP lideri Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (Kilichdaroglu)

Kilichdaroglu, the CHP Republic People’s Party leader in Turkey met with Al-Mayadeen’s and Turkish veteran journalist Husni Mahali, the talks covered the blunders caused by Erdogan which harmed the Syrian people and harmed Turkey as well, tarnishing its image, causing severe financial hardship on the Turkish people, and isolating the country regionally and on the international political arena.

Husni Mahali is, himself, a victim of the Turkish pariah Erdogan and his oppression and dictatorship, Mahali was imprisoned by the highly flawed Turkish judicial system which fell under the influence of Erodgan and his anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood AK Party. Mahali’s crime was expressing his opinion in articles and interviews criticizing Turkish policies against Syria.

The following is from Al-Mayadeen Net, first published in Arabic on November 01, 2019:

Turkey CHP Party Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Kilichdaroglu with Al Mayadeen Husni Mahali
Turkey CHP Party Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu Kilichdaroglu with Al-Mayadeen Husni Mahali

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the Republican People’s Party CHP in Turkey and its leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroglu (Kilichdaroglu), have taken a clear and decisive stance against the Turkish President’s policies and his direct intervention in Syria.

This is the position taken by a number of Turkish politicians, including former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Shinar of the Erdogan government (2002-2007). in addition to Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis in the first government of justice and development after the 2002 elections, with them are a number of journalists, academics, generals and retired diplomats.

One of them is Turkey’s former ambassador to Washington, Faruk Lugoglu, who met President Bashar al-Assad on 5 September 2011 in Damascus as a representative of Kilichdar Oglu.

Since that date, Kilichdaroglu has taken a clear position against the policies of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Syria and the region in general, “He is following America’s instructions in Syria as a partner in the Greater Middle East project,” he said.

From this point of view, the question of Syria was necessarily the main topic during our long meeting with Kilichdaroglu, where we discussed the details of Turkish domestic policy as well.

The CHP leader blamed the Arab media for his lack of interest in his anti-Erdogan party since the beginning of the Syrian crisis. I said to him, “In this case, I will summarize what I hear from you for Al-Mayadeen Net, at least the resistance media, you also resisted the so-called Arab Spring. Our host smiled and said, “You also paid the price. They put you in prison but you still write and talk here and abroad.”

We started our interview from the talk of the hour, the first was the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Kilichdaroglu’s response was swift and decisive: “The threat of IS continues, despite the killing of its leader, Baghdadi and several of his aides, this is because the organization has sleeping cells in Syria, Iraq, and other countries. Thousands of ISIS members and their families are in camps protected by Kurdish militias after hundreds have been transferred to Turkey, others were transferred to US bases in western Iraq.”

“The organization had cells and rings in 76 Turkish states,” he continued, “for ideological reasons, Erdogan did not see ISIS as a terrorist organization. ISIS carried out a number of terrorist acts in Turkish cities including Istanbul, Ankara, and Gaziantep, these operations resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Turkish and foreign citizens, which the Turkish authorities could have prevented, but it did not do so by government order, If it had seriously confronted ISIS since 2014, when it threatened to destroy the mausoleum of Suleiman Shah near Raqqa, the organization would not have reached its point in Syria and Iraq.”

Kilichdaroglu reiterated his stated position on more than one occasion regarding Turkish military operations east of the Euphrates, “Erdogan’s logic is fundamentally wrong because he and his followers are talking about conquests as if Ankara were fighting to annex the eastern Euphrates to Turkey,” he said, “Nor does he draw lessons from his failed experiences in Syria. He spoke of a safe area along the 480-kilometer border with Syria. but he settled for to two narrow areas between the Ras Al Ain and the Tal Abyad, he was forced to end military operations on the instructions of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.”

He added: “He (Erdogan) should have discussed this issue from the beginning with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, because Turkey can get rid of terrorism and terrorists except through reconciliation with, and thus direct coordination and cooperation with the Syrian state as the landowner east of the Euphrates, because the elimination of terrorism and terrorists is primarily the responsibility of the state and the people of Syria, We must help them in their fight against terrorists of any name, from Nusra to ISIS, the Free Army (FSA), the YPG, the SDF, and others. Moreover, Turkey can only address the refugee problem with Damascus without forgetting that Erdogan is primarily the cause of this problem.”

Erdogan’s Policies in Syria Are a Sign of the Total Bankruptcy of Foreign Policy

Regarding the background and reasons for accusing President Erdogan on this subject, Kilichdaroglu has again made clear: “Erdogan is the one who sent weapons and combat equipment to terrorist groups in Syria in cooperation with some Gulf (Gulfies) and Western countries, he incited Muslims to kill each other, he allowed thousands of foreign terrorists enter into Syria via the shared border and their wounded were taken to Turkish hospitals for treatment, he then sent them back to Syria and announced that he would pray at the Umayyad Mosque, to this end he pursued racist, sectarian and nationalist policies, and acted as a sultan who decided everything.”

Kilichdaroglu blamed Erdogan for the isolation of Turkey because of his provocative and hostile policies, as he put it. And he said, “Thanks to these policies, we no longer have any friends not only in the region but in the world, including those countries that were allies of Ankara at the beginning of the Syrian war.”

Kilichdaroglu expressed surprise at Erdogan’s repeated talk of his commitment to the unity, sovereignty, and independence of Syria, he said: “Erdogan himself continues his adventures inside Syria and sends his troops inside Syria, he supports, equips and funds tens of thousands of armed men within the framework of the so-called Syrian National Army, which Damascus considers a terrorist organization as we consider the Kurdish militias in Syria terrorists.”

Kilichdaroglu appealed to President Erdogan to stop his military plans and projects and to consider a gradual withdrawal from Syria, and to establish diplomatic relations, friendship and good neighborliness with the Syrian state and people, this will contribute to the consolidation of broader regional relations with neighboring countries, especially with Iraq and Iran, “It is time for these countries to cooperate and agree to address their crises together away from any outside interference of any form, this will be in Turkey’s favor in all fields,” Kilichdaroglu confirms.

The Turkish opposition figure emphasizes the need to create the conditions for a final solution to the Syrian crisis within the framework of UN resolutions and recommendations of the Astana, Sochi and Geneva platforms, and calls for the assistance of the Syrian people of all ethnic, religious, sectarian, social and tribal groups in order to determine their fate freely and democratically without any external interference; he also stresses the need to protect their secular, pluralistic, and civilized system within the framework of the new Constitution without any external interference or pressure, which is the constitution that will be agreed upon by the members of the Constitutional Commission that started its work in Geneva.”

Kilichdaroglu says: “Erdogan should explain why he suddenly became a bitter enemy of President Assad and the Syrian people, and why he antagonized the Syrian state, which did not do anything against Turkey, despite all that Erdogan did against it, although he still supports and protects the terrorists in Idlib, despite his pledges in Sochi.”

Kilichdaroglu considered that Ataturk’s slogan “Peace at home and peace in the world” is very important and serves as a basis for Turkey’s relations with neighboring countries. He said: “Ataturk was also careful not to interfere in the affairs of other countries, he recommended not to interfere in Arab-Arab differences.”

Cleggadoglu expressed his dismay at President Donald Trump’s style in his letter to Erdogan, also his tweets in which he threatened Erdogan and Turkey. He clarified that: “In diplomatic relations, there is what is known as reciprocity, if Trump insulted Erdogan, Erdogan should reciprocate, not only in his name but also in the name of the Turkish state and nation.”

He added: “It seems that Erdogan is afraid of being pursued by the US judiciary because of his personal wealth and the wealth of his sons and family. Trump’s treatment of President Erdogan is a subject that deserves to be taught in the faculties of politics and international relations after he proved for some reason that he is afraid of Trump. He will only have to cancel his scheduled visit to Washington on July 13th.”

Kilichdaroglu considered that Erdogan’s policies in Syria and the region are an indicator of the total bankruptcy of foreign policy, which leads him to distract the Turkish people with outside matters so that they do not think about their daily problems, that is the financial crisis and its repercussions on the high prices, taxes, and the deterioration of the value of the Turkish lira. According to Kilichdaroglu, these issues were a reason for Erdogan’s defeat in the last municipal elections, where CHP candidates won in a number of important cities notably Istanbul and Ankara, in alliance with the democratic forces.

At the end of the meeting, I thanked Kilichdaroglu for his personal interest during my continued detention and trials, more than ever, he seemed optimistic that his party would come to power in the upcoming elections, after all polls show Erdogan’s popularity continues to decline because of his blunders, the most important his endeavors to control all state institutions and facilities, especially the judiciary, that Erdogan expects to help him get rid of all his opponents and put them in prison, as long as they object to his policies at home and abroad, especially in Syria.


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Revisiting the win-win-win-win outcome in Syria

Revisiting the win-win-win-win outcome in Syria

The Saker

[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]

In his recent article “The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War Was Won” Pepe Escobar summarized the outcome of the war in Syria in the following way:

It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive. And Syria will eventually regain control of the entire northeast.”

This otherwise excellent summary overlooks two out of three members of the “Axis of Kindness”, including Israel and the KSA.  Of course, later in his analysis Pepe does address these actors, and also includes Kuwait. Furthermore, a thorough discussion of what took place would have to also include China, Hezbollah, Yemen and the EU (well, the ones that matter, the UK and France.  The rest are just voiceless colonies of the USA).

Most of the analyses of what just took place focused on the “what”.  I will try to look into the “why” and the “how” of what just happened in Syria.  Still,  I don’t propose to make such a detailed analysis, but I do want to re-classify the actors in a somewhat different way: by their relative strength.

Actor Theoretical Strength
The “Axis of Kindness”:United States+CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA by far the most powerful actor almost by any measure: a bigger military force then all the other actors combined (at least when looked at regionally), huge economic power (the dollar is still THE #1 currency on the planet), total control of the region (via CENTCOM) and quasi unconditional support from Europe (via NATO).  Finally, Israel does pack a powerful military punch.  This actor has only ONE weakness, but more about that later.
Iran+Hezbollah+Houthi+Shia forces in Iraq in regional terms, Iran is the local superpower which can even successfully defy the Axis of Kindness forces (and has done so since the Islamic Revolution of 1979).
Russia+Syria I placed Russia and Syria in the same group and I could have added Iran, but since I believe that Russia objectively has more power over the Syrian government than Iran, I think that it is important to put Russia and Syria together simply because Damascus cannot say “no” to Moscow, but could do so, at least in theory, to Tehran.  Finally, Russia and Iran agree on the main issues, but have different visions for the future of the Middle-East.  Thus this is another reason to look at them separately, even if not necessarily in opposition to each other.  In military terms, Russia is very strong, then very vulnerable, then very strong again, it all depends on your level of analysis (see below)
Turkey+pro-Turkish factions in Syria That one is a difficult one to classify.  On one hand, Turkey does not have any regional allies (the Ottoman Empire left only hatred and deep resentment in its former colonies).  For a while, the pro-Turkish factions, which were liberally showered with weapons, money, training, logistical support, etc, by the US and the KSA, but eventually these factions grew weaker and weaker until they reached a state of advanced impotence leaving Turkey pretty much alone (we will also look into that below).
The Kurds For a while, they sure looked potentially powerful: not only did the Kurds have a pretty big military power (albeit mostly one restricted to infantry), they had the support of Axis of Kindness and, especially, Israel which saw any form of Independent Kurdistan as a great tool to weaken and even threaten Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria.  Furthermore, the Kurds happened to control a lot of oil rich regions and they could always retreat in the mountainous areas if needed.
The Takfiris (i.e. the many and constantly name-changing franchises of what used to be called “al-Qaeda”). In reality, the Takfiris really ought to be classified together with the Axis of Kindness since they have been the foot-soldiers/cannon-fodder for the AngloZionist since the 1980s (from Afghanistan then to modern day Syria).  Nonetheless, we will consider them as distinct from the rest of the Axis of Kindness forces.

Of course, and just like any other taxonomy, this one is necessarily somewhat subjective and others might use different criteria or categories.  Now let’s look at what I believe is the key to the control of the entire region: the ability to place “boots on the ground” or the lack of such an ability:

Actor Ability to place boots on the ground
The “Axis of Kindness”:United States+CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA This is The One Big Weakness of the Axis of Kindness members: while they have huge armed forces, and even nuclear weapons, while they can deploy numerically very large forces, while they can (arguably) achieve air and naval supremacy/superiority pretty much anywhere in the region, they cannot follow up any of these options with a credible ground force.  While this is always carefully obfuscated by the legacy AngloZionist propaganda, the US, Israeli and KSA ground forces are only capable of murdering civilians or primitive resistance forces en masse.  But as soon as any of these militaries meets a halfway decent enemy force which is willing to fight on the ground, they are defeated (name me ONE meaningful victory of these Axis of Kindness forces in the last couple of decades or more!).
Iran+Hezbollah+Houthi+Shia forces in Iraq The Iranians and their local allies (calling them “proxies” completely misses the real nature of the relationship between Iran and these regional forces!) are all capable of deploying very capable ground forces.  In fact, they have all done so with tremendous success (especially Hezbollah).  What Iran provides to this informal alliance is the capability to augment it with new, high-tech and modern weapons, including anti-shipping missiles, air defenses, ATGMs, communications, drones, etc.  In terms of ground forces, this alliance is the #1 power in the region.
Russia+Syria Both Russia and Syria have very competent and well-balanced forces deployed in Syria.  However, truth be told, I believe that Hezbollah+Iran currently have even more military weight, at least in terms of ground forces in Syria.  The thing to keep in mind is this: if only Russian forces existed inside Syria (Tartus, Khmeimin, plus assorted special units all over Syria) then Russia is definitely weaker than the Axis of Kindness.  But if we assume that Russian forces outside Syria could (and probably would!) intervene to defend the Russian forces inside Syria, then we would have to flip much of this equation around and categorize Russia as even more powerful than the Axis of Kindness (I will explain in more detail why and how below).
Turkey+pro-Turkish factions in Syria There can be no doubt that at the initiation of the international aggression against Syria, Turkey had a credible and powerful military.  Then something went very wrong and with each new development (starting with the coup attempt against Erdogan) Turkey only got weaker and weaker.  The country which dared to shoot down a Russian Su-24 eventually found itself in the humiliating position to have to ask for Russian help not once, but over and over again.  The latest Turkish invasion of northern Syria has proven that, while the Turks can still beat the Kurds, that’s about all they can do, and even that not very well.
The Kurds Frankly, I never believed in the chances of the Kurds for anything even remotely resembling an independent Kurdistan.  Oh sure, my sympathies were often with the Kurds (at least in their struggle against Turkey), but I always knew that the notion of imposing some new (and very artificial) state against the will of ALL the regional powers was both naive and self-defeating.  The truth is that the US and Israel simply *used* the Kurds if and when needed, and ditched them as soon as it became obvious that the Kurds outlived their utility.  The best the Kurds will ever get is a regional autonomy in Iran, Iraq and Syria.  Anything else is a dangerous pipe dream.
The Takfiris (i.e. the many and constantly name-changing franchises of what used to be called “al-Qaeda”). Just like the Turks, the various Takfiris appeared as a formidable force when the aggression against Syria was initiated.  And if the the US GWOT appeared to be a true blessing for the “good terrorists” (that’s, of course, all the terrorists in this region) it is because it was.  Then something went very very wrong, and now they look as weak and clueless as the Kurds.

Now let’s sum this up.  This is how the relative strength of these regional actors has changed since the initiation of the AngloZionist aggression against Syria:

Actor Evolution of strength of each regional power
The “Axis of Kindness”:United States+CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA DOWN: from strongest to one of the weakest in the region
Iran+Hezbollah+Houthi+Shia forces in Iraq UP: arguably the most balanced military force in the region
Russia+Syria UP: in a process which only *looked* like sheer “good luck” Russia and Syria grew stronger and stronger with each passing year.
Turkey+pro-Turkish factions in Syria DOWN: in sharp contrast to Russia, a weird process of what *looked* like sheer “bad luck” Turkey and its allies in Syria just seemed to get weaker and weaker with each passing year.
The Kurds DOWN: the Kurds made the immense mistake of believing all the empty promises (often called “plan B”, “plan C”, “plan D”, etc.) made by the AngloZionists.  Now all their dreams are over and they will have to settle for autonomy inside Iraq and Syria.
The Takfiris (i.e. the many and constantly name-changing franchises of what used to be called “al-Qaeda”). DOWN: their situation is almost as bad as the one of the Kurds.  Their sole advantage is that they are not linked to any one piece of land and that they can try to regroup somewhere else in the region (or even the world); never say never again, but it looks to me like this will not happen in the foreseeable future.

It is now time to try to make sense of all this and try answer the question of why one group of relatively strong actors had so much bad luck as to become weaker and weaker, while the weaker became stronger and stronger.

The first thing we need to agree upon is that irrespective of the public posturing, everybody is, and has been, talking to everybody else.  This “conversation” could be official and public, or behind closed doors, or even by means of intermediaries and, last but not least, a state version of “body language”: by means of actions which send a message to the other party or parties.  Still, while this is certainly true, it is the quality of the communications between the various parties which made all the difference.  When, say, Netanyahu or Trump publicly proclaim they they don’t give a damn about anything at all (including international law) and that they reserve the right to threaten or even attack anybody, at any time, for any reason whatsoever, this is a very clear message to, say, the Iranians.  But what is that message, really?  It says a couple of things:

  1. Resistance is futile because we are so much stronger than you and therefore
  2. We don’t give a damn about you or your national interests and therefore
  3. We are not interested in negotiating with you (or anybody else for that matter).  Your only solution is to submit to us

This is really crucial.  The USA and Israel have proclaimed their total superiority over the entire planet and, specifically, over every single actor in the Middle-East.  Furthermore, their entire worldview and ideology is predicated on this very strong sense of military superiority.   Ask any Israeli or US American what their countries will do if some coalition of local powers is successful in attacking them: they will reply something along the lines of “we will simply nuke all the friggin’ ragheads and sand-niggers – f**k them!”.  This line is always delivered with a tone of absolute finality, a total certitude and the mental equivalent of “’nuff said!”.

Alas, for the Axis of Kindness, this is a completely counter-factual belief.  Why?

First, the quick appeal to nukes is an implicit admission that there is something very wrong with the rest of the armed forces of the Axis of Kindness.  Furthermore, the real regional powers all understand that it is not in their interest to give the US or Israel a pretext to use nukes.  Thus, while, say, the Iranians sure have the means to strike Israel or any one of the many CENTCOM facilities in the Middle-East, they have been very careful to keep their counter-attacks below the dangerous threshold in which the legacy AngloZionist corporate media would be unable to conceal the magnitude of the disaster and demand that nukes be used (yes, if it comes to that, both the Israeli and the US media will demand nuclear strikes just as they cheered for every war of aggression ever committed by the USA and Israel).

Second, precisely because the US and Israel are unable to have real allies (they only have colonies run by comprador elites), they cannot operate successfully in a multi-lateral kind of relationship with other actors.  The contrast between the US/Israel, on one hand, and Russia and Iran, on the other, could not be greater.  Both Russia and Iran understand that having real allies is much more advantageous than having puppets.  Why?  Because in order to convince somebody to become your ally you absolutely have to offer that party something tangible as part of a compromise goal setting.  When this is done, the weaker ally feels that it is defending its own interests and not the interests of a patron which might be unreliable or which might even backstab you.

Third, one of the best US experts on the theory of negotiations, Professor William Zartman, wrote in his seminal book “The Practical Negotiator” that

One of the eternal paradoxes of negotiations is that it allows the weak to confront the strong and still come away with something which should not be possible if weakness and strength were all that mattered (…).  Weaker parties tend to seek more formal negotiating forums and to strengthen their hand through organizations (…).  Weak states can afford erratic or irresponsible behavior more easily than stronger parties, particularly when the rules of regularity and responsibility favor the strong (…).  Weak states do best by rewarding stronger states’ concessions rather than than by “hanging tough” and by opening high to indicate needs and to facilitate rewards (…).  The tactics of toughness and softness vary according to the strength of the parties: under symmetry, toughness tends to lead to toughness and under asymmetry to softness, with weaker parties following the leader of stronger parties.

There is a lot to unpack here (and there is much more in this book which I highly recommend to everybody!).

First, let’s compare and contrast the Russia and US approaches to creating negotiation fora.  The US cooked up the “Friends of Syria” forum which was most remarkable in two unique ways:  first, in spite of calling itself “Friends of Syria” this group only contained a who’s who of Syria’s, Iran’s and Russia’s enemies (just like to “Friends of Libya” was a cornucopia of countries hostile to Libya).  Secondly, the self-evident (and not really denied) purpose and function of this group was to bypass the UNSC.  There is nothing new here, the US has been trying to replace the UN and its role in upholding international law with all sorts of gimmicks including “coalition of the willing” or appeals for a “rules-based international order”.  Needless to say, with the possible exception of a few truly dim propagandists, all these tricks are designed to avoid the already existing international fora, beginning with the United Nations.  Russia, in contrast, not only used the UN for all its (admitted limited) worth and succeeded in forcing the USA to accept resolutions on Syria (or the Ukraine for that matter) which the US did not want to agree to, but which they could not veto on political considerations.  Not only that, Russia also created the Astana peace process which, unlike the US created fantasies, brought together different parties including parties hostile to each other.  The most brilliant move of the Russians was to impose on all parties the notion that “those willing to negotiate are legitimate parties whose interests must be considered while those who refused to sit down are all terrorists“.  Of course, the many al-Qaeda franchises tried to play the “rebranding game”, but this did not help: you can change names once every 24 hours if you want, but if you ain’t sitting down at the negotiating table you are a terrorist and, therefore, a legitimate target for Russian/Iranian/Syrian attacks.  Once the Empire had to accept these terms, backed by a UNSC resolution, it became locked-in in a process which they could only stop by means of a military victory.

And here we come back to the boots on the ground issue.  For all its combined military power, the Axis of Kindness does not have a ground force it can put on the ground.  Whereas the Syrians, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia very neatly and most effectively (even if informally) agreed to the following assignment of tasks:

  1. The Syrians will let the Russians reorganize their armed forces, especially a few elite units, and slowly, step-by-step liberate their lands.
  2. The Iranians and Hezbollah will act like a fire-brigade and will directly support the Syrian operations with their own forces in crucial sectors of the line of contact.
  3. The Russians will take control of the Syrian airspace and provide the Syrians, Iran and Hezbollah protection from AngloZionist missile and bomb strikes.  Finally, Russian special operation forces will be engaged in high priority operations which are beyond Iranian or Hezbollah capabilities.

What was the biggest obstacle to the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah-Russian plans?

Turkey, of course.  The Turks have always hated Assad (father and son) and their Neo-Ottoman delusions still give them a, shall we say, “special desire” to intervene beyond their own borders.  Furthermore, Turkey also very much saw Syria as a contributing factor to their “Kurdish problem”.  Finally, Turkey did have the kind of military which made it possible for it to threaten intervention or even intervene in Iraq and Syria (obviously not against Iran).  Thus, what Russia needed to do was take Turkey out of the equation or, at least, weaken Turkey as much as possible.  And that is exactly what Russia did.

For the Kremlin the shooting down of the Su-24 was tantamount to a declaration of war.  Except that the Russians, quite aware of their relative weakness if compared to the US+NATO+CENTCOM+Turkey, wisely decided not to retaliate in kind and, say, strike Turkish military facilities.  But Putin did promise “you won’t get away with just not selling us tomatoes” (Russia imposed an embargo on a number of Turkish export goods).  Besides a number of political and economic sanctions, you can be sure that the Russians decided to use all their methods and means to weaken and destabilize both Erdogan personally and Turkey as a whole.  Then, here is what happened:

  • On November 24th, 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24
  • In the next days, Russia closed down the north Syrian airspace, severed all contacts with the Turkish military, promised to shoot down any other Turkish aircraft attacking any target in Syria (regardless from what airspace) and imposed political and economic sanctions.
  • In December Putin ominously declared “Если кто-то думает, что, совершив подлое военное преступление: убийство наших людей — они отделаются помидорами, или какими-то ограничениями в строительной и других отраслях, то они глубоко заблуждаются” (“if somebody thinks that by committing a vile war crime they will get away with tomatoes or some type of restrictions in the construction and other industries, they are profoundly mistaken“).
  • In June 2016,  Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin expressing sympathy and ‘deep condolences’.
  • On 15 July 2016, a coup d’état was attempted against Erdogan and almost cost him his life.  By all accounts, Russia played some kind of behind-the-scenes role and saved Erdogan’s life and power.
  • Following the failed coup, Turkey embarked on a major re-alignment and cast its lot with Russia and Iran, even if that meant having to accept Assad in power in Syria.

What exactly Russia did behind the scenes (versions range from warning Erdogan to actually using Russian special forces to evacuate him in extremis) will probably remain a secret for many years, but neither does it really matter.  All we know for sure, is that after the coup, Erdogan made a 180 and completely changed his tune.  My personal belief is that the Russians used their covert means to entice the US and its Gulenist CIA puppets to try to overthrow Erdogan only to then foil their coup attempt.  I find the two other main options (the US is fantastically stupid and incompetent and Russia is an amazingly lucky country) much harder to believe.  But even if we accept these options, or some combination thereof, Russia still superbly played her cards (by, for example, using the pretext of Turkey’s downing the Su-24 to strongly beef up Russian air defense capabilities in Syria) and Turkey was removed as a “powerful hostile actor” from the Russian equation of the Middle-East.

After that, what was left was only a kind of “political and military mopping-op operation.

Russia repeatedly tried to make the Kurds realize that their strategy of fighting every single neighbor they had was a non-starter which will inevitably backfire.  Alas for the Kurdish people, their leaders were either too delusional, or too corrupt, to understand this.  In the meantime, Erdogan and the rest of the Turkish political establishment were adamant they Turkey would under no circumstances allow the Syrian (or Iraqi) Kurds to ever establish their own state.

[Sidebar: I really feel sad for the Kurds, but I also have to say that they really did it to themselves.  This ought to be systematically studied, but their appears to be two kinds of small nations: those who are smart enough to play one big neighbor against the other while collaborating with both (say Kazakhstan or Mongolia) and then there are those who have no sense of history at all and who end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again like, say, the Poles or the Kurds.  These nations always have a bloated sense of self-worth which leads them to act as if they were the big guys on the block and every time all they achieve is alienating all their truly big neighbors.  Apparently, irrespective of the number of times these folks were smacked down by others in history, their narcissistic self-aggrandizement and, frankly, arrogance, gets them invaded, then invaded again and then invaded some more.  You could say that they are born losers or that they “failed to learn the lessons of history”.  Same difference, really]

For the Kremlin, the solution was obvious: use the Turks to force the Kurds to accept the inevitable but don’t let the Turks establish a permanent invasion force in northern Syria.

True, the Russians have voiced their rather flaccid disapproval of the Turkish operation and they called everybody to come back to the negotiation table.  This is one rather rare example in which Russia’s rhetoric did not match her actions because in reality the Turkish operation would have been absolutely impossible if the Russians had not given Ankara an unofficial, but very trustworthy, go ahead beforehand.  Furthermore, according to at least one report (which I find reasonably credible) the Russian Aerospace Forces even scrambled a pair of Su-35S to engage a Turkish pair of F-16 which, as soon as they saw what was about to happen, decided to make a run for their lives.  Yet, in other instances, we know for a fact that F-16’s were used against Kurdish targets.  It is pretty clear that the Russians not only told Erdogan what was acceptable and what was not, they also “fine tuned” the Turkish operation just so it would force the Kurds to negotiate while not making it possible for the Turks to establish any kind of meaningful presence in northern Syria.

What happened next was a domino effect.  The Kurds tried to fight as best they could, but everybody realized that they were doomed.  The US Americans, very predictably and, I would argue, very logically, also ran for their lives.  Trump used this (totally true, but nevertheless pretext) to get out of Syria (at least officially) not only to protect US lives, but to also get out of the political quicksand which Syria has become for the Axis of Kindness.

Last but not least, the Israelis were absolutely livid, and for good reason: there is no doubt that they are the biggest losers in this entire process and they now find themselves in the situation of depending on a pretend superpower which cannot deliver anything of value (except loads of dollars which the Israelis spend on a lot of useless hardware).  The recent events in the region have not only shown that US ground forces plainly suck, they have also show that US guarantees are worthless while US weapons systems are vastly over-rated.

Here we come to what I believe is the single most important development of this conflict: ALL the many Israeli plans for the region collapsed one after the other.  Most pathetically, all the trips Netanyahu made to Russia to try to con the Russians into taking Israel seriously have failed.  Why?  Because the Russians have long understood that Israel is a paper tiger with impressive “roar” (aka the massive international Zionist propaganda machine known as the “western free media” among infants and dull people) but who is unable to follow up its loud roaring with anything more tangible.  Yes, I know, the worse things go for the Israelis, the bigger their boastful propaganda becomes: after having promised that the “invincible IDF” conducted “hundreds” of strikes in Syria and Iraq they now make noises about having a “killing list” which includes Hassan Nasrallah.  Right.  As for their “hundreds” of airstrikes, they must be the most inept and poorly executed air campaign since the total failure of NATO’s air campaign in Kosovo.  Ask yourself this basic question:

If the Israelis have been conducting “hundreds” of airstrikes in Syria – why have they not resulted in any tangible effects on the military situation on the ground?

After all, when the Russians intervened, they changed the course of the entire war.  In fact, the (very small) Russian Aerospace task force in Syria reversed the course of that war.

Why did the Russian air campaign yield such truly phenomenal results and why did the Israel air campaign yield absolutely nothing (except some much needed psychotherapy for the many Zionists who suffer form what Gilad Atzmon brilliantly referred to as “pre-traumatic stress disorder”)?

The answer is simple: one was a real military campaign while the other was just “feel good” PR.

A very good example of Zartman’s thesis that “Weak states can afford erratic or irresponsible behavior more easily than stronger parties, particularly when the rules of regularity and responsibility favor the strong” can be found in the relative position of, on one hand, Iran, Hezbollah and the Houthis and, on the other, the US and Israel.  Not that Iran or its allies have acted irresponsibly, they have not, but when they reacted, it was always with a double message: we don’t want war, but we are ready for it.  But when the US engages in rather crude threats (just think of all the silly threats Trump has made during his presidency, including the most recent ones to wage war on Turkey if needed, not a joke, check here), these threats always end up further weakening the USA.  It is a true blessing for Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrians that their enemies are not only so inept, but also so good at cornering themselves in the worst kind of situations.  In the end, the US still managed to lose face, even if you were never told about it.  What do I mean?

Just look at what just took place:  Trump sent Erdogan such a crude and rude letter (he sounds like a 10 year old), which was so insulting to Erdogan that he not only tossed it in the trash bin, but he also made sure to tell his aides to “leak” to the media how Erdogan treated Trump’s silly threats and insults.   Turkey also launched a full-scale invasion and clearly challenged the USA to do something about it.  At this point, the two other “geniuses” in the White House (Pompeo and VP Pence) had to scramble to Ankara in what was clearly a desperate “damage control” mission, beg for a meeting, and then beg the Turks to agree to an entirely symbolic ceasefire which gave just enough time for the Kurds to agree to all the Syrian terms and to let the Syrian army take control of huge swaths of land without firing a single shot.  Now here is the beauty of it all:

Pompeo and Pence demanded that Erdogan agree exactly to the kind of balanced outcome the Russians have been advocating all along!  I am amazed that the Dem-media has not accused Pompeo and Pence of being Russian agents because what they just “demanded” and “obtained” from Turkey is exactly what Putin wanted 🙂

Of course, this was all wrapped in all sorts of threats and promises to wipe out this or that country (including Turkey, a NATO member state which could, in theory, invoke Art 5 and ask NATO to defend it against the USA!  Of course, this would not happen as this would mark the end of NATO) and all the rest of the obligatory barking we always hear from the US when the “best military in world history” fails to achieve anything at all (even if Trump seriously claims that the US – not Russia – defeated the Takfiris the West has so lovingly been federating, supporting, I strongly believe, directing them for decades).  Yes, Trump did the right thing when he declared that he wanted the US forces out of Syria, but let’s not be naive about that either: he did not order that because he is some great humanitarian, but because if the Turks, the Kurds, the Syrians or anybody else had taken a hard shot at the US forces in the region, this would have resulted in a bigger war which would certainly cost Trump his presidency.

Which brings us to the Russian task force in Syria.  As I said, it is strong, then weak and then strong again.  It all depends on your assumptions:

If we look just at the Russian task force in Khmeinim and Tartus, we see that it is protected by cutting edge Russian weapons systems including S-400s, Su-34s, Su-35S, EW stations, battle management stations, etc.  This is more than enough to beat back a pretty powerful missile and/or bombing strike.  In this case we can think of the Russian task force in Syria as very powerful and capable of dealing with many types of attack.

On the next level, however, it becomes obvious that the biggest weakness of the Russian task force in Syria has been, from day 1, its very small size.  Irrespective of its sophistication, the Russian air defenses can be over-run by a determined attack by any combination of Axis of Kindness forces simply because at the end of the day, air defenses are always a part of a numbers game.  Even in the best of cases, one Russian air defense missile can only engage one attacking missile or aircraft.  For an attack to be successful, all the Axis of Kindness forces need to do is calculate how many missiles the Russians have, then shoot about 1.5x that number of (rather antiquated) Tomahawks, and once the Russians use up their stores, follow up with a second wave of missiles, this time modern and difficult to target ones.  At this point the Russians would have to reply with only their AA artillery and their EW capabilities.  Inevitably, there will come a point when they will be overwhelmed.  In this scenario, Russia is the weaker party and the Russian task force is doomed in case of a sustained US/NATO/CENTCOM attack.

Finally, there is a third level which the AngloZionists have to consider: the Russians have made it pretty clear that in case of an attack on the Russian task force in Syria, Russia will use her strategic striking capabilities to protect her task force.  Such measures could include: long range cruise missile attack and air strikes (possibly coming from the Iranian airspace).  In this case, as my friend Andrey Martyanov explained many times, including in his article “Russia’s Stand-Off Capability: the 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria” which he concluded by the follow words:

“This simple, single operational fact shows precisely why for two years a relatively small Russian military contingent has been able to operate so effectively in Syria and, in fact, dictate conditions on the ground and in the area of its operations. The answer is simple—many adrenaline junkies are lowered in a cage into the water to face sharks, with only metal rods separating them and sharks’ deadly jaws. Yet, up there, in the boat one can always put a man with a gun which can be used in case of emergency to a deadly effect should the cage give. The Russian military contingent in Syria is not just some military base—it is the force tightly integrated with Russian Armed Forces that have enough reach and capability to make anyone face some extremely unpleasant choices, including the fact that it is Russia, not the US, who controls escalation to a threshold and that can explain a non-stop anti-Russian hysteria in US media since the outcome of the war in Syria became clear”

Here, again, we have the same stance as Iran’s: we don’t want war, but we are ready for it.  One could say that the US stance is the polar opposite: we do want war (heck, we *need* it for political and economic reasons!), but we are completely unprepared for it (including psychologically).

Conclusion: remember all those who are now proven wrong!

Remember all the folks who predicted with absolute confidence that Russia was “selling out” Syria?  They began their tune when Russia prevented a US attack on Syria by catching the US at its word and offering to remove all chemical weapons from Syria.  Not only were these weapons useless, they were a prefect pretext for the Axis of Kindness to strike Syria.  The US was livid, but had to accept.  Well, all the “Putin/Russia is/are selling out” Syria immediately claimed that Russia was disarming Syria to make it easier for Israel to attack.

Yet, in reality, no (meaningful) Israeli attack ever materialized.

Then the same folks claimed that Russia “allowed” Israel to strike Syria, that the Russians turned off their S-300s/S-400s, etc, etc, etc.

Yet, in reality, the US pretty much gave up, while the Israelis claimed “hundreds” of sorties.  Maybe they even did hit a few empty and therefore unprotected buildings, who knows?

Then there was the massive choir of trolls declaring that Russia would partition Syria.  Yet, for all the convincing sounding arguments (at least to those who did not understand Russia or the Middle-East), one by one the various “good terrorists” strongholds fell to the Syrian military.  Now more Syrian land has been liberated than ever before.  As for the Turks, they can dream on about a bigger Turkey or about creating some kind of security/buffer zone, but they understand that they cannot do that if Russia and Syria both oppose this.  In fact, Turkey has officially promised to respect the territorial integrity of Syria (see here, in Russian)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of The Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin agreed on the following points:

1. The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the protection of national security of Turkey.

2. They emphasize their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.

3. In this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area covering Tel Abyad and Ras Al Ayn with a depth of 32 km will be preserved.

4. Both sides reaffirm the importance of the Adana Agreement. The Russian Federation will facilitate the implementation of the Adana Agreement in the current circumstances.

5. Starting 12.00 noon of October 23, 2019, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border, outside the area of Operation Peace Spring, to facilitate the removal of YPG elements and their weapons to the depth of 30 km from the Turkish-Syrian border, which should be finalized in 150 hours. At that moment, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10 km, except Qamishli city.

6. All YPG elements and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.

7. Both sides will take necessary measures to prevent infiltrations of terrorist elements.

8. Joint efforts will be launched to facilitate the return of refugees in a safe and voluntary manner.

9. A joint monitoring and verification mechanism will be established to oversee and coordinate the implementation of this memorandum.

10. The two sides will continue to work to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict within Astana Mechanism and will support the activity of the Constitutional Committee.

 

Memorandum of Understanding Between Turkey and the Russian Federation

http://en.kremlin.ru/supplement/5452

October 22, 2019 (emphasis added by me, VS)

President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of The Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin agreed on the following points:

1. The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the protection of national security of Turkey.

2. They emphasize their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.

3. In this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area covering Tel Abyad and Ras Al Ayn with a depth of 32 km will be preserved.

4. Both sides reaffirm the importance of the Adana Agreement. The Russian Federation will facilitate the implementation of the Adana Agreement in the current circumstances.

5. Starting 12.00 noon of October 23, 2019, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border, outside the area of Operation Peace Spring, to facilitate the removal of YPG elements and their weapons to the depth of 30 km from the Turkish-Syrian border, which should be finalized in 150 hours. At that moment, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10 km, except Qamishli city.

6. All YPG elements and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.

7. Both sides will take necessary measures to prevent infiltrations of terrorist elements.

8. Joint efforts will be launched to facilitate the return of refugees in a safe and voluntary manner.

9. A joint monitoring and verification mechanism will be established to oversee and coordinate the implementation of this memorandum.

10. The two sides will continue to work to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict within Astana Mechanism and will support the activity of the Constitutional Committee.

The key elements of this MoU are

  1. USA out, Russia in
  2. Syria’s borders cannot be changed

You can see the full press conference of Putin and Erdogan by clicking here.

Finally, this is the reaction of one of the worst AngloZionist propaganda outlets in Europe:

Title: The capitulation of the West

“Die Kapitulation des Westens” (The Capitulation of the West).

I can’t say that I disagree with their conclusion 🙂

Finally, does this “capitulation talk” not remind you of something else we have all seen recently?

Yes, of course, the Ukronazi “Ні капітуляції!” (no to the capitulation!).

Again, what does all that talk of “capitulation” strongly suggest?

If this is not a triumph of Russian diplomacy then I don’t know what this is!

And, just for those who disagree, let me throw in a rhetorical question:

If Putin is such a loser who “sells out” everything and who works with/for Israel and for Netanyahu specifically, if Russia is so weak and clueless, why is it that it is not the Russian people who are denouncing a “capitulation” but, instead, why are all the enemies of Russia freaking out about capitulating?

*******

And now, where do we go from here?

Actually, I am very cautiously optimistic since there is a huge difference between Russia and the USA: the USA needs constant wars simply in order to survive, whereas Russia needs peace to flourish.  Now that the Russians are the biggest player in the Middle-East (well, with the Iranians, of course), they will use the fact that they have pretty good relationships with everybody, including (former?) enemies of Russia like the KSA or the UAE.

Of course, there shall be no peace between Israel and the rest of the Middle-East, if only because by its very nature Israel is a mortal threat to every country in the region, even for countries which currently eagerly collaborate with Israel (like the KSA). The only way for the long suffering Middle-East to finally live in peace again would be for  the Zionist “occupation regime over Jerusalem to vanish from the arena of time” to use the famous, and often mistranslated, words of Ayatollah Khomeini.  The current Iranian Supreme leader also clearly spelled out the only manner in which the Palestinian question can be solved peace will be achieved in the Middle-East:

“The Islamic Republic’s proposal to help resolve the Palestinian issue and heal this old wound is a clear and logical initiative based on political concepts accepted by world public opinion, which has already been presented in detail. We do not suggest launching a classic war by the armies of Muslim countries, or throwing immigrant Jews into the sea, or mediation by the UN and other international organizations. We propose holding a referendum with [the participation of] the Palestinian nation. The Palestinian nation, like any other nation, has the right to determine their own destiny and elect the governing system of the country.”

Both Iranian leaders are absolutely correct.  There shall never be peace in the region as long as a crazed racist regime which has only contempt for the rest of the planet continues its slow motion genocide of the indigenous population of Palestine.

In the meantime, now that Syria, Russia, Iran, the Houthis, Hezbollah and the Shia forces in Iraq have successfully shown Uncle Shmuel the door out of Syria, the last Israeli plan (a “plan Z” perhaps) has now collapsed along with any hopes of creating an independent Kurdistan.

Israel is in no condition to take on such a powerful coalition.  I would argue that even the US cannot win against this force, even if it still is capable of triggering a bloodbath (just like the Israelis did in 2006).

Of all the strategic collapses we have seen under the Obama and Trump presidencies, the loss of influence in the Middle-East is probably the biggest one of them all.  This is a very positive development for the region and for the world.  Now let’s just hope that whoever makes it into the White House in 2020 will understand that this is a done deal and will not try to make “the Empire great again” and reverse that course as any such attempts will result in a major regional war.

The Saker

PS: here is a video of the “best military in history” being pelted by stones and veggies by disgusted Kurds while the US forces evacuate in a hurry.  Really says it all, doesn’t it?  Feel the love 😉

It also appears that the same sentiment is shared by the Iraqis who are now trying to take legal action to finally also give the boot to Uncle Shmuel, see here: https://www.rt.com/news/471645-iraq-pleads-un-help-us-troops/

Again, feel the love, the respect and the (lack) of fear 🙂

 

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 23, 2019: ERDOGAN, PUTIN REACH ‘HISTORIC DEAL’ ON NORTHERN SYRIA

South Front

On October 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin reached an agreement to settle the situation in northeastern Syria.

According to the agreement, Turkey’s Operation ‘Peace Spring’ will continue in a limited area between Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ayn with a depth of 32km. Starting from 12:00 October 23, units of the Russian Military Police and the Syrian Army will be deployed along the rest of the Turkish border to the east of the Euphrates.

Syria and Russia should facilitate the removal of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their weapons from to the depth of 30km from the Turkish-Syrian border. After this, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start to the east and the west of the area of Operation Peace Spring.

A joint monitoring and verification mechanism to oversee these processes will be established.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to the territorial integrity of Syria and protection of the national security of Turkey, and vowed to combat terrorism in all forms and disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.

Turkey and Russia emphasized the importance of the 1998 Adana accord, a security pact between Syria and Turkey. Among other things, it allows Turkish to carry out cross-border operations against terrorists in Syria, while Damascus promises not to harbor members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Other points of the agreement include the need to facilitate return of refugees to Syria and find a long-standing political solution of the conflict in Syria.

On October 22, Syrian government forces completed deployment along the Hasakah-Aleppo highway. On the same day, President Bashar al-Assad inspected frontlines in southern Idlib. During the visit, he called Turkish President Erdogan a “thief” stealing Syrian land. Nevertheless, such statements are typical for the Damascus government, when it comments on Turkish military actions in Syria.

Developments on the ground and actions of the Syrian government demonstrate that Damascus supports the settlement of the situation in northeastern Syria through cooperation with Turkey.

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