Damascus: US Occupation Cost Syria $107.1bn in Oil, Gas Sector Losses

August 30, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Damascus says the years-long occupation of Syria by the United States has cost the war-ravaged Arab country $107.1 billion in oil and gas sector losses.

In two identical letters sent to the secretary-general of the United Nations and the president of the UN Security Council, Syria’s Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that direct and indirect losses caused by the US occupation of the Arab country are estimated at 107.1 billion dollars till the end of the first half of the current year.

“According to the figures of the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources and its accurate statistics, the direct losses suffered by this key vital sector amounted to 24.2 billion dollars as a result of the thefts of oil, gas and mineral resources that have been committed by the terrorist groups and the separatist SDF militia that is spreading in northeastern Syria under the auspices, protection and support of the American forces present in Syria illegally,” said Syria’s foreign ministry, Syria’s official news agency [SANA] reported.

The US and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] terrorist group without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. Damascus has repeatedly condemned the unauthorized presence of the US troops in the Arab country.

The US-led military interference, however, was surprisingly slow in confronting the terrorists, despite the sheer size of the coalition that had enlisted scores of Washington’s allied countries.

Furthermore, Washington backs the Kurdish People’s Protection Units [YPG] militant group, which is the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] militant, a coalition of militant factions which also receives support from the US and has occupied large parts of northeastern Syria.

The ministry said “the estimated value of these losses resulting from extraction, smuggling and illegal trade in Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources amounted to $18.2 billion until the end of the first half of this year, and the SDF militia continues to steal and smuggle Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources and illegal trade. The project is under the cover and protection of the American forces present in Syria illegally.”

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. However, numerous confirmed reports indicate that the US forces and their allied SDF militants smuggle large quantities of Syria’s crude oil almost on a daily basis. 

“These losses are also caused by the sabotage and theft of extracting and transporting Syrian oil, gas and mineral resources facilities by terrorist groups, the estimated value of losses resulting from these crimes amounted to 3.2 billion dollars. In addition to the illegal bombing and aggression perpetrated by the so-called “international coalition” on Syrian oil and gas facilities, the estimated value of the losses resulting from these acts of aggression amounted to 2.8 billion dollars,” the statement added.

“As for the estimated value of the indirect losses until the middle of this year, it amounted to $82.9 billion, which represents the values of lost production of Syria’s crude oil, natural gas, gas for house use, various oil derivatives and mineral wealth, due to the decline in production down from the expected and planned rates within the framework of normal working conditions as a result of the crimes of sabotage, destruction, theft and illicit trafficking committed by terrorist groups and separatist militias that spread in the areas of oil and gas fields and mineral resources under the protection, sponsorship and cover of the US forces illegally present in Syria,” said the foreign ministry.

Damascus considers the US presence to be an outright violation of its sovereignty. It says it reserves the right to respond to the occupation as it sees fit.

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

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

June 09 2022

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

ByNews Desk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syrian Revolutionaries are Revolting against Turkey

 

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turkey proposed attack

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

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

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

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

Fighters of the Syrian opposition factions loyal to Turkey

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

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

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

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

The US position

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

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

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

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

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

The Russian position

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

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

The Turkish military and Radical Islamic mercenaries   

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

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

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

SDF, YPG, PKK

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

Turkey’s proposed safe zone

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

Pro-Turkey revolutionary

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

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

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

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


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

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

14 MAY 2022

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are Western Spooks Backing a New ‘Ukrainian White Helmets? Al Mayadeen investigates

4 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Samir Mustafa 

A new attempt is made by Western mercenaries to fuel the fight in Ukraine further under the guise of “humanitarian assistance,” former Western soldiers and mercenaries are at the forefront of such operations.

Are Western Spooks Backing a New ‘Ukrainian White Helmets? Al Mayadeen investigates

A British mercenary with alleged ties to the US intelligence services is working to establish a version of the pseudo-humanitarian White Helmets in Ukraine. 

Macer Gifford, who has previously fought with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syriac Military Council is crowdfunding for supplies which he says are bound for the frontline.  

“On the 27th of February, President Zelensky formally called for International Volunteers from around the world to assist his country. The people of Ukraine need our support and they need it NOW!,” his appeal page declares. 

British volunteer fighter Macer Gifford in Raqqa, Syria on August 19, 2017. Getty Images

Gifford aims to raise at least £15,000 that he says will enable him “to create a fast response medical team, staffed by international volunteers, that will deploy to the frontline within the next month.”

He plans to emulate his experiences in northern Syria where as well as fighting ISIS, he established a medical team and provided training to mercenary forces and locals there. But he is clear that this will not merely be a humanitarian mission.

“The terrain, the particular needs of the Ukrainian military, and the enemy that we’ll be fighting mean that we’ll have to bring the very best equipment with us,” he writes, indicating that he is recruiting people to take part in combat against Russia. 

His own Twitter page appears to support this, sharing posts on how to sign-up for the Ukrainian armed forces following Zelensky’s plea for international support. He made similar appeals during a BBC radio debate with one of the leaders of Britain’s Stop the War Coalition John Rees who described the call for volunteers to fight as “ludicrous” and dangerous.  

Gifford’s organization aims to join the fight against Russia under the guise of humanitarian intervention, a model that has been used before.“I want to be absolutely clear here, the ambition is to create a Ukrainian version of the White Helmets,” Gifford states, a reference to the notorious group operating in Syria.

Also known as the Syrian Civil Defence force, the White Helmets poses as a humanitarian organization, however, is linked to both jihadist groups and western military and intelligence services. Set up by former British Army officer James Le Mesurier it has received millions in funding from the US, British, and other western governments, acting as a front for regime change operations.

Predictably, criticism of the White Helmets is dismissed as propaganda and smears led by the Syrian and Russian governments. But the White Helmets operate in jihadist-held areas and have its buildings situated next to the Islamists headquarters in many Syrian cities. 

The group has been involved in a series of controversies and some of its members have been shown to be supporters of Al Qaeda and other Salafist organizations. It has been accused of staging chemical attacks, most notably in Douma, to pave the way for western military intervention in Syria. 

Fears that a White Helmets-style operation could be deployed in Ukraine for similar purposes have long been praised by critics. Gifford – whose real name is Harry –  hails from a wealthy part of rural Cambridgeshire. Prior to his military adventurism, he served as a Tory councilor and city currency trader.

He has openly boasted of meetings with the US and British intelligence services and has briefed government officials on the situation in Syria, pleading for increased military support. Using his connections he tried to drum up support for the YPG and attended meetings with financiers in Switzerland, the FBI in New York, and inside the British parliament.

“I’ve been to the Carlton Club [a private Conservative club in central London], you would not believe, so many times,” he said. 

“But it’s important to get the message across. It’s so intensely frustrating to be out there, to be on the frontline and see the success and then see politics hold back people’s hand,” he told The Guardian newspaper in a 2016 interview. 

Gifford now openly encourages British military volunteers to follow him and join “the defense of Ukraine.”

His Twitter feed sees him glorify what he describes as “a British sniper” posing with a weapon and fatigues bearing the logo of what appears to be the ultranationalist Right Sector. 

Photographs appear to show members of his organization delivering training to Ukrainian soldiers in an unknown location. In video footage, he claims that he and his partner are off to train the Ukrainian police force. 

His operation works under the name Nightingale Squadron, its flashy logo emblazoned on the side of an expensive Landrover Freelander vehicle seen loaded with aid packages. 

While to westerners the name may seem innocent enough, it has chilling connotations for those in Lviv, evoking the name of the unit that collaborated with the Nazis, sending tens of thousands of Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust. 

The Nachtigall Battalion/Nightingale Battalion was founded in 1941 and came under the control of Stepan Bandera’s Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists. 

Most of its members formed the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, while 14 of them joined the SS Galicia Division in 1943.

The Simon Wiesensthal Centre says the Nightingale Battalion was in Lviv and collaborated with the Nazis between June 30 and July 3 of 1941 when 4,000 Jews were massacred. Its descendants can be found in the far-right forces now operating in Ukraine that have been involved in the massacre of Russian speakers and pogroms against Jews. 

Gifford shot to prominence in Britain having served in northern Syria in the fight against ISIS. 

A notorious self-publicist who seeks to further his career in politics, Gifford published an “Andy McNab-style” book, Fighting Evil in 2019 describing his experiences in the region. 

His treatment is a stark contrast to the working-class volunteers, many of whom served alongside him in Raqqa and other key battles on the frontline. 

The large majority have faced arrest, surveillance, and the threat of prison on their return to Britain while Gifford has escaped similar scrutiny.

By contrast, Gifford roams freely between parliament, TV studios, and radio stations that fall over themselves to amplify his voice. 

Many of his YPG peers have privately voiced suspicions that Gifford is a state agent.

He certainly fits the mould and has the contacts. Politically right-wing with conservative values, he can be relied on to trash the antiwar movement and opponents of the Tory government along with the political establishment.

And there are obvious similarities between Gifford and the man he seeks to emulate, White Helmets founder Le Mesurier who died in suspicious circumstances in Istanbul in 2019. 

In many ways, he is the perfect candidate to establish a “Ukrainian White Helmets” which those on the ground have long-suspected of being an international operation. 

Other former YPG fighters are also getting in on the act. Gifford’s comrade in arms, former British paratrooper and veteran of the Afghanistan war Daniel Burke, has set up a similar operation which he announced last week.

He has established what he described as an NGO named “Dark Angels of Ukraine,” although the background to this is unclear. 

Burke, who was discharged from the army for fighting, said he had set up the NGO “because other NGOs or international military units tend to go to war against each other to show who is best.”

Dark Angels of Ukraine exists to provide humanitarian relief and training to the military and is already known to be operating inside Ukraine. The activities of the unit, which appears to be made up of military veterans include “moving logistical requirements such as food, water, and medicine to refugee centers and military units.” Their vehicle rescued a couple stranded somewhere in Ukraine and enabled them to return to France.

“It was on this trip that we had christened our truck the “Dark Angel” since our backgrounds as veterans lends our expertise to the Territorial Defence Forces,” the fundraising page says.

The group is there to “protect the freedoms that we all hold so dearly from our homelands here in Ukraine,” it declares. 

Burke is in many ways the opposite of Gifford. 

A trained soldier he was motivated to join the fight against ISIS in Syria after the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing in which 22 people died following an attack on an Ariana Grande concert. 

During his time in Syria, Burke photographed and retrieved documents and hard drives that he passed onto the British counter-terror experts, and maps, which he handed to US special forces.

This led to accusations by the YPG that he was a British spy and he was interrogated for days before he eventually convinced them otherwise. 

Unlike Gifford, Burke came to the attention of security services, spending eight months in prison after he was charged with terror offenses, although his case was later dropped.  

According to social media networks, many former YPG volunteers have joined the ranks of the international mercenary fighters in Ukraine. 

It is not clear exactly how many have traveled to the country, however, Nottinghamshire care worker Aiden Aslin – also known as Cossack Gundi – surrendered to Russian forces in Mariupol last month.

He insists that he is not a foreign mercenary and, like fellow Brit Shaun Pinner, was a member of the regular Ukrainian armed forces having signed up in 2018. 

Russia claims that thousands of foreign mercenaries have entered Ukraine and accuses NATO and the west of shipping weapons and equipment via civilian rail and transport networks. 

As the war drags on, the profits of the arms companies continue to rise and western efforts to weaken Russia continue while peace looks to be further away than ever.

“It is quite conceivable for a Ukrainian White Helmets to play the same role as its Syrian counterparts; a major anti-Russian propaganda offensive, staged events, and the triggering of incidents to pave the way for NATO intervention.”

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 16, 2022

Source

By Nightvision

Let’s start off with some significant Mariupol updates. The Primorski / port area was further captured, some say dividing it in half, and guys on the ground are now saying the entire section may fall by tomorrow or at latest by the end of this weekend.

That would leave only the Azovstal factory because the other big news was that the Illych factory has completely fallen to our forces as well, and this was the only other pocket of UAF left. There is a lot of footage from the Illych capture.

Drone footage of DPR/RF forces storming it and capturing the last few UAF Marines 

(alt link: https://www.bitchute.com/video/aY4HS5Bpawm5/)

A lot of UAF equipment recovered there, hidden in the factory, including many American hummers https://www.bitchute.com/video/G1HMTwSk6OH5/

Full interview of one of the POWs with subtitles: https://www.bitchute.com/video/m4P2ylBqhv3W/

Another British merc captured as well: https://www.bitchute.com/video/Erio4G6vzPJS/

He is this guy, Shaun Pinner https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10569039/Ex-British-soldier-Shaun-Pinner-says-chaos-line-Ukraine-Russian-conflict.html

This merc also served with Cossackgundi in the YPG for years in Syria, and it’s been said he’s even served in Bosnia in the 90’s and is likely part of British Intel forces.

And for those that haven’t seen the previous British merc, Cossackgundi, here are a few outtakes from his interrogations: https://www.bitchute.com/video/z6hfHjgWGhaX/

And a Russian news report states the following: https://iz.ru/1321114/2022-04-15/v-sf-zaiavili-o-nalichii-soldat-stran-nato-sredi-plennykh-na-ukraine

“Among those captured in Ukraine there are military personnel from the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). This was announced on Friday, April 15, by Andrei Klimov, deputy head of the commission of the United Russia party for international cooperation…

“We already have prisoners among the military personnel of NATO countries, we will show all this when we conduct trials, and the whole world will see what really happened,” he said during a briefing with the media. The senator also said that there are mercenaries in Ukraine from Asia, Africa, Great Britain, the USA and other states. He recalled that mercenaries are not military personnel and they are not subject to international law.”

So it seems according to this they do intend to put them on trial.

This is how the map is looking now. That small sliver of Primorski section in the SW by the port, and then just the massive Azovstal factory complex.

And as many of you know, the factory was reportedly already bombed by Russian long range heavy bombers, Tu-22m’s in what is reportedly the first usage of the bombers in the conflict so far. Footage:

https://ok.ru/video/3397653039744

There’s still no word on the general strategy, as we’ve all seen rumors Russia would flood the factory, or etc. We don’t know if this bombing run is a one-off, and only to bomb certain sections/positions, or a general strategy they will employ to level the entire complex (doubtful). Personally I don’t see the point of bombing now, unless with bunker busters, as we know Azov troops are secured deep in the basement, but there may have been some strategic positions to hit for now, to soften them up before the next phase of the Azovstal assault. For instance, Azov forces likely mined the entire area, and perhaps this is an attempt to first demine and clear all booby traps via large bombing run to prepare the area for ground assault.

In the time of writing this, the Russian MOD apparently reported that the full urban area of Mariupol has been captured, and the map would now look like this:

However, I leave the previous up because once in a while the Russian MOD has been known to jump the gun and I personally haven’t seen the on-the-ground indication yet that Primorski has fully been cleared, although there were several indications it was very close, so maybe it is true. If that’s the case, then there is literally nothing left apart from the Azovstal factory complex.

Either way, we get closer and closer to the end where Mariupol comes home. And on that note there’s some interesting updates. Firstly, apparently anchors at the Crimea24 news station in Crimea are already referring to Kherson as the ‘Kherson People’s Republic’, ‘that is, an entirely separate and seceded political entity from the Ukrainian Central Government.’

And not far away, the Energodar city sign changed from a Ukrainian to Russian flag:

As for news about Phase 2, here are some assorted updates:

There continue to be reports from both sides that a largescale Russian Phase 2 offensive is days away. One source in Donbass even said this: “The head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration believes that the Russian troops do not start the offensive because of bad weather.”

Meanwhile a regional administrator in Barvinkove and separately, the head of Donetsk regional military administrations, urged evacuations as ‘Russia is set to launch a large-scale military operation in a few days.’

My view has been that it won’t come until Mariupol is done, but with that said, they may begin it anyway because some reports indicate forces have already been disengaged from Mariupol and sent both north and towards Kherson because so few UAF remain in Mariupol, they don’t need a large force anymore. Wargonzo / Pegov reports that the famous Somali battalion of DPR will be re-deployed to Avdiivka outside of Donetsk where a large offensive is planned to break through the densest of enemy lines, and some of them have already been redeployed there.

In short, various ‘chirps’ from both sides continue to indicate Russia is almost ready with the preparations for Phase 2, we just have to wait and see if they’re waiting for the ‘symbolic’ fall of Mariupol to begin, or whether they’ll begin without it. We know the Pentagon said last week that the offensive would start “within a week”.

As some others have posted this already, unconfirmed but it matches the general gist I’m hearing everywhere else:

“The Pentagon instructed the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to withdraw all the remaining artillery to the cities on the eastern front – Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, where they can fire behind civilians. Restraining the offensive of the Russian troops is prescribed by small mobile groups armed with mortars and anti-tank systems, moving across the steppe in civilian vehicles. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the Americans impose terrorist tactics on their pets, in which their people are taken hostage. But the fact that Ukrainian resources write about this quite openly, and treat such methods with understanding, and as the only correct one, cannot but amaze.”

There is video evidence of this now that’s emerged where UAF is mostly operating in the style of ISIS ‘technicals’ where they mount a machine gun on a pickup truck and drive around the countryside in search of fast ambush opportunities on RF rearguards, supply lines etc., but unlike ISIS they’re armed with tons of ATGMs and Manpads.

One Russian T-72B3 came home to base last night near Izyum having been reportedly struck as many as 2 or 3 times by Javelins and Nlaws, but its Kontakt-5 reactive armor had no problem shrugging them all off. Photos show Kontakt-5 damage around the turret indicating possible “top attack” (such as NLAW and Javelin) as opposed to normal RPG style weapons hitting lower broadside on the hull. Just further proof that Western weapons are performing abysmally. In fact the ONLY consistently confirmed proof I have seen, out of thousands of videos, of tank kills on Russian armor all comes from the Ukrainian Stugna-P ATGM, which is a Ukrainian/Belarussian produced weapon.

One frontline reporter several days ago said, upon breaching a UAF position they found a bunch of spent Russian/Soviet legacy RPGs laying on the ground, while next to them was several western (NLAW/Javelin) units that were completely unused. You can figure out what this implies.

But of course the U.S. continues to offload its stock of junk on Ukraine: https://www.bitchute.com/video/cW8vv4om4cJJ/

Czech sends MLRS https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1514471276437401601

While British SAS go straight to Kiev to train the Nazis directly https://www.rt.com/russia/553973-uk-commandos-train-ukrainians/

U.S. also expands its intel sharing with Ukraine, and has stated it will help Ukraine in preparing strikes onto Crimea. U.S. says it won’t overtly help Ukraine with strikes on RF territory, but it doesn’t recognize Crimea as RF territory so it considers it legal to give the UAF signal/satellite intel to strike Crimea.

https://www.rt.com/news/553853-us-intelligence-attack-crimea/

Meanwhile the Pentagram says, “The Pentagon now says Russia is in the midst of a major jamming operation attempt of Ukraine’s access to GPS signals, which if successful would have a huge impact on Ukraine’s ability to navigate the battlefield and operate advanced aerial systems such as drones.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/military/russia-ratcheting-efforts-jam-us-provided-gps-signals-ukraine-pentagon

The article mentions Switchblade drones, and how they use GPS which is disrupted by Russian jamming. On that front, we have new reports that as of yesterday, two Switchblade drones were already used against Russian tanks in the Kharkov / Izyum area, neither of which did any damage.

“Two American Switchblade UAVs (“Flipknife”) attacked the positions of Russian tankers, but did not cause any damage. Apparently, the operators are just beginning to master the new technique.” (reported by the reliable frontline correspondent Sasha Kots)

It is confirmation the drones are now in theater. But there’s 2 varieties, the 300 and 600 series. We don’t know yet which they have. The 300 is fairly useless against vehicles.

You can see an inside look into these unparalleled Russian jamming systems which have no equal in the world: https://www.bitchute.com/video/dFe6qSXQF3IX/

If you read my last report with this video: https://youtu.be/_CMby_WPjk4?t=1584

You’ll know it spoke a lot about Russian ability to shutdown all communications on the front via these various EW stations like the famous Krasukha. In the bitchute videos above, the soldiers talk about how these systems shutdown all cellular communications, fry Bayraktar drones, etc., and this is exactly corroborated in the Dr. Karber presentation at West Point above, where he says all cellular and military radios go blank in a wide swath of territory.

Here’s some more info on the particular complex: https://military-wiki.com/the-power-of-russias-murmansk-bn-electronic-warfare-complex/

Also yesterday the S-400 was used for possibly the 2nd time of the conflict. The first was in the opening days, a S-400 system in Belarus destroyed a Ukrainian Mig-29 over Kiev (very long distance) which was piloted by one of Ukraine’s most legendary pilots.

The new usage was said to be against one of the helicopters that attacked the Russian Klimovo village in the Bryansk region. The helicopter apparently was shot over the village of Gorodnya in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, about 35 km from the Russian-Ukrainian border.

One analyst writes:

“1. This means that air defense has been strengthened in the border areas. S-400 divisions “do not go alone.” At least a regiment, at least two divisions and a command post. 2 combat vehicles for each

2. The helicopter was shot down at low altitude at a distance of about 35 km from the border, read at least 50-60 km from the division. This means that the target for the division was below the radio horizon, which, on flat terrain and an antenna post deployed not on a 40V6M tower, but on a conveyor, would be about 40 km. This is possible only in the interaction of the S-400 air defense system with the A-50 AWACS aircraft or with the Su-30 fighter and the use of the 9M96E2 missile with an active homing head, which is capable of independently capturing an over-the-horizon target according to the data of the air defense system itself or the specified aircraft.”

Video of the shot down helicopter https://twitter.com/Cyberspec1/status/1515294027608104965

In that same region were huge losses for the UAF yesterday. Reported several squads to be completely destroyed while there were many prisoners. You can see photos of the prisoners on most of the popular telegram channels.

Meanwhile in the risible and deteriorating U.S. Navy, humiliation continues to mount:

https://www.rt.com/news/553992-navy-commander-fired-f35/

Here’s a good current map of the overall situation: https://twitter.com/War_Mapper/status/1515118706682122244

And here’s how British Intel reportedly views the coming Phase 2 operation:

By the way, one last note. Some have asked about the news that ‘General Aleksandr Dvornikov’ was appointed as supreme commander of the entire operation, particularly since I previously posted a snippet that had his name in it. The truth is, there is no actual proof or confirmation whatsoever from the Russian side that he has been ‘appointed’ or ‘promoted’ in any way. Even if you search his name in cyrillic on Russian official news sites like Tass there is nothing whatsoever on it, and no such announcement from the MOD. So keep in mind all such information is only as per the “Pentagon’s” alleged secret intel, albeit on sites like wikipedia it is already listed as 100% official and confirmed that he is in fact the supreme commander.

With that said, it may very well be true. And if it is, that’s a good thing, because Dvornikov by all qualifications appears to be a very strong commander who was responsible for much of the success of Russia’s Syrian campaign. Keep in mind he is officially the commander of the entire Russian Southern Military District, with its famed 58th Army, etc., and he continues to be listed as the commander of this district. The Southern is arguably Russia’s most experienced command post due to its involvement in some of the hottest Russian frontlines of the past years, such as the 2008 Georgian war which was primarily prosecuted by the 58th Army of the Southern, stationed in Vladikavkaz. To the 2014 Crimean crisis as well, which was primarily handled by this district. Not to mention it appears the Southern District has possibly the highest contract servicemen percentage of any of the districts, which wikipedia lists at 98% as of 2016.

Though the ‘Western’ district is the ‘prestige’ one, as it guards Russia’s most vital western European flank, and was previously headed by Gerasimov himself, and is probably outfitted with the highest percentage of technologically advanced units (such as the 4th Guards Tank army which is mostly comprised of modernized T-80U’s as opposed to the T-72’s of many other districts), the Southern is the one that has seen the most action in recent years, and has acted as the ‘shock troops’ for various Russian crises.

So the fact that Dvornikov, who was given the highest honors, “Hero of the Russian Federation” medal for his work in Syria, was then promoted to the head of the Southern District after his Syrian service, means the utter trust Russian leadership has in him. So if it is true he is internally now running the entire SMO, then that can only be viewed as a positive. But let it simply be stated that this is completely unconfirmed, and may never be confirmed officially by the Russian side.

And some final assorted things:

DPR troops humanely feed their POWs (quite a contrast to how Russian POWs are treated): https://www.bitchute.com/video/GyMLSCgz3rhn/

Russian White Swans of death spotted in the skies of Russia not far from Ukr border, but reportedly this is practice for the upcoming parade (or is it?)

An interesting look at the logistical side, Russian mobile kitchens and laundromats – how daily troop life functions: https://www.bitchute.com/video/lbyWPdJXtXy2/

Chechens put finishing touches on Mariupol districts: https://www.bitchute.com/video/zH6ZymTy6EZ7/

Russia ships mass Bm-21 Grad reinforcements: https://www.bitchute.com/video/fbCOVZvcygVl/

More reinforcements head through Kharkov: https://www.bitchute.com/video/kcnOFC8OeDvQ/

Zelensky brags behind the scenes how Macron is his “bestie” who texts him privately (is this legal?) https://www.bitchute.com/video/4OCZ4XRXfAHs/

Crew of the sunken Moskva cruiser re-enlists to continue service in Navy. So much for fake rumors they were all killed, etc: https://www.bitchute.com/channel/nnwlaOOuDM1W/

Another UAF base in Nikolayev destroyed. https://www.bitchute.com/video/LqyoUGfEwKLC/

There’ve been many huge strikes in Kiev, Kharkov, Nikolayev, etc, that have flattened a lot of bases and factories in the past 2 days since the sinking of the Moskva. In fact in the past day alone, over 300 UAF soldiers were reportedly killed in these strikes all over Ukraine.

Today Zelensky revealed for the first time that UAF losses are alleged to be only 2500-3000 total. But this is a clear lie as the Donbass alone has 3000 POWs. The Russian MOD countered with new realistic losses of the UAF today, which are in excess of 23,000+ troops. https://www.rt.com/russia/553998-russia-ukraine-casualties/

Graphic (18+) Russian Spetsnaz force once again ambushed a UAF squad near Izyum: https://www.bitchute.com/video/qoqS4oNnHmtD/

Also slightly (18+), Chechens in Mariupol show the clearing of one of the last districts: https://www.bitchute.com/video/yoEdnDP6jUUT/

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

February 3, 2022

Erkin Öncan

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

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

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

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

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

NATO’s historical role

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

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

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

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

NATO and Turkey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What can Turkey do about Ukraine?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why does Turkey have 38 illegal bases in northern Iraq?

January 28 2022

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

By Erman Çete

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Turkey’s Directorate of Communications, 2020

Bargaining chips in northern Iraq and wars on terror

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

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

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

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

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

A new era for Turkey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new Turkey makes a retreat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The paranoia of ‘Iranian influence’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ambitious goals, ambiguous future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 2, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Kurds’ history in Syria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RELATED LINKS:

The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Russia Protects the YPG in Syria

November 16, 2021

Moscow regards the legitimate Syrian opposition as a bigger threat than the YPG.

Russian military vehicles drive on the road as Russia makes a new military and logistic reinforcement of 30 vehicles to its military points in Kamisli occupied by YPG, Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist organization on September 14, 2020 Photo by Samer Uveyd, Anadolu Images


F
or years, the Turkish public criticized the U.S. administrations for their support of the YPG, the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist organization, which poses a threat to Syria’s territorial integrity and a national security threat to Turkey. At the same time, Russia also tried to use the YPG as a card against Turkey in 2015 and early 2016, but later changed its position and declared its support for the territorial integrity of Syria, and acknowledged the threat the group poses against Turkey. However, in the end of 2019, Russia viewed the partial American withdrawal as an opportunity and re-changed its position again.

In this manner, in 2018, Russia withdrew from the Afrin region and opened the way for the joint Turkish-Syrian military operation of the Syrian National Army (SNA), the former Free Syrian Army (FSA), and the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) against the YPG.

Moreover, Russia accepted to exclude YPG figures from the Syrian constitutional committee and signed several Astana resolutions which define the YPG as a threat to Syria’s territorial integrity. However, Russia changed its approach to the YPG following Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring and became – along with the U.S. – the new military protector of the YPG in Syria.

Read: The Only Way Out for Russia Is to Let Turkey Weaken the YPG

Why did Russia change its attitude towards the YPG? In order to understand this policy change, one should first analyze Russia’s overall Syria policy before Operation Peace Spring. No doubt, for Moscow, autonomy and federal governments or other forms of decentralized government are not a threat to the territorial integrity of a state since Russia itself is a federation. Nobody should expect Russia to oppose a federal system in Syria.

Therefore, Russia does not recognize the PKK and its Syrian branch, the YPG, as terror groups, and, in principle, does not oppose the YPG per se; however, Russia opposes the YPG’s current policies. For Moscow, the YPG’s partnership with the United States has been the main source of its distrust toward the organization. Moscow wants the YPG to quit working with the U.S. and cooperate with the Russia-backed Assad regime. Until Operation Peace Spring, all Russian charm efforts failed and the YPG remained loyal to the United States.

With Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, the YPG felt the urgent need to invite the Assad regime and Russia to provide military protection against Turkey and the Syrian Interim Government. The YPG’s request was seen by Moscow as a golden opportunity to gain extensive leverage. Russia wanted to fill the void and was further encouraged when U.S. CENTCOM officials decided to hand over their bases to the Russian military rather than seeing a further push by the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army.

Read: The YPG Myth Downplays a Danger For the West

With this momentum, Russia deployed its troops to Manbij, Ayn al-Arab (Kobane), Ayn Issa, Tal Tamr, Dirbasiyah, and Amudah along the front lines or the border region, and entered the towns of Tabqah and Raqqa. As Russia had troops in the YPG-held Tal Rifaat pocket since 2016, with this development, the YPG was on the verge of coming under full Russian military protection.

Moscow was expecting to enter the far east of Syria at the Iraqi border and the oil-rich region of Deir Ezzor in the southeast, but Trump’s decision to protect the oil hindered Russia from doing so. U.S. soldiers stayed in a strip in the east of the country and prevented Russia from entering. Since then, the YPG militants maintained a balancing act between Moscow and Washington as demonstrated by the visit of the PKK veteran and head of the political supreme body of the YPG, Elham Ahmad, to Moscow before heading to Washington.

Following the partial U.S. withdrawal and the new Russian protection of the YPG, Turkey signed two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia. The deal with the U.S. stopped the SNA-TAF advancement and canceled U.S. sanctions against Turkey in return.

Read: Why Turkey Is Dismantling the YPG from Northern Syria

The deal with Russia was more comprehensive. After Operation Peace Spring, the YPG invited the Assad regime and Russia to protect the front lines against a further push by the joint Turkish-Syrian forces, and Russia obligated itself under the terms of the deal to enforce a full withdrawal of all YPG forces from Tal Rifaat, Manbij, and an area extending 32 km from the Turkish border in the east of the Euphrates to the border with Iraq. The deal also foresaw joint Turkish-Russian patrols in a 10-kilometer-wide strip across the Turkish-Syrian border. Except for the joint patrols, Russia failed to deliver on any of the terms of the agreement.

Let alone keeping their promise, Russians have done the opposite and supported the YPG in its terror campaign against the Syrian Interim Government and Turkey. The YPG engaged in several attacks with various weapon systems against civilian-populated areas of the Syrian Interim Government such as Afrin, Azaz, Al-Bab, Jarablus, Tal Abyad, and Rasulayn.

The YPG used new models of Russian-supplied anti-tank guided missiles to target Turkish soldiers

The YPG used new models of Russian-supplied anti-tank guided missiles to target Turkish soldiers, infiltrated the front lines to kill SNA soldiers, and operated a network of cells in the areas of the Syrian Interim Government located in northern Syria. With these cells, the YPG could plant IEDs and attempt assassinations against the SNA, Syrian local politicians, and Turkish soldiers.

Read: The YPG Has a Bloody History in Syria, But the West Turns a Blind Eye

The YPG used the Russian-protected areas as a safe zone to conduct ranged artillery attacks against hospitals and civilian infrastructure. Yet, the most brutal of the YPG attacks were the constant car bomb attacks carried out in urban areas which randomly killed innocent civilians.

The YPG tries to maintain plausible deniability and rejects responsibility. However, car bombs intercepted at crossing points from YPG-held areas to the areas of the Syrian Interim Government, and the logic behind the attacks leave no doubt about who the perpetrators are. The YPG’s foreign backers, like the U.S., condemn the attacks without naming any suspect or culprit, or turn a blind eye to them entirely, like Russia.

For Moscow, the YPG’s systematic use of terror is a preferred tool to prevent the Syrian Interim Government from establishing a sustainable alternative to the Assad regime without getting into a confrontation with Turkey. The attacks are not conducted directly by Russia, but by the YPG, and the U.S. support and protection of the YPG shields Russia from Turkish criticism.  The Turkish public focuses on the U.S. support of the YPG rather than the military protection Russia provides the YPG and its pragmatic attitude to the YPG’s terror campaign.

In fact, Russian policy shows that Moscow regards the legitimate Syrian opposition as a bigger threat than the YPG. For Russia, the Syrian Interim Government is a direct alternative to the Assad regime, and the YPG represents only a territorially limited pursuit of autonomy. Therefore, Russia prefers to protect the YPG in order to disrupt the Syrian Interim Government rather than implementing its obligations stemming from the Turkish-Russian agreement of 2019.

In fairness, it should be underlined that the Russian position regarding the YPG’s demand to establish an autonomous region in northeast Syria has changed in line with the Astana accords. In the negotiations between the Assad regime and the YPG, Moscow puts its weight behind the regime’s categorical rejection of autonomy. In line with the Astana agreements, Russia rejects the separatist agenda of the YPG on paper. While the U.S. actively supports the political ambitions of the YPG in Syria, Russia supports the military presence of the YPG only as a temporary tool.

VIDEO: Exploiting the Female Body: The YPG Case

What Business Does America Have on Syrian Lands!

Oct 18, 2021

What Business Does America Have on Syrian Lands!

By Mohammad Sleem

Beirut – As the Syrian crisis reached the end of a devastating war, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad called for the withdrawal of US and Turkish troops from Syria in a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York lately, asking what the American troops have to do on the Syrian territories.

Mekdad stated that Syria will reassert the government’s control over the entirety of the country again, insisting that “This is a non-negotiable national and constitutional right”.

Moreover, the Syrian foreign minister stressed that foreign presence on Syrian soil without Syria’s approval is both illegitimate and a violation of international law and the UN Charter.

So how is the American presence shaped and formed in Syria in all?

The deployment of American troops and its international allied forces has focused in recent months on the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border triangle at the Tanf border crossing near the deployment of the Syrian Army and its allied forces. The Tanf border crossing is of great importance to all local, regional and international parties involved in the Syrian conflict, in addition to Albukamal in Deir ez-Zor province.

Rmelan Airport:

It is one of the most important locations for US forces. The Ramlan base area has oil wells under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF]. The base has been constructed by the US in November 2016 after measures to build new facilities and to expand runways. It was originally an airstrip for agricultural pesticide spraying aircraft and helicopters.

The airport, known as Abu Hajar Airport, is located southeast of the town of Rmelan, northeast of Qamishli city in al-Hasaka governorate, close to the Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi border triangle, an area known for its heavy oil production and subject to the People’s Defense Units [YPG]’s self-administration system. The airport is the first established US military presence since the beginning of the war on Syria.

 

Ayn al-Arab Base:

This base is located south of the city of Ayn al-Arab [Kobane] near the village of Kharab Ashiq, about 33 kilometers south of the Turkish border. It is the largest of US base and it provides support to the international coalition forces and its allies. Western newspapers published information from the analysis of satellite images showing housing units for hundreds of soldiers and a fleet of vehicles of different types as well as facilities for military transport aircraft and the defense of al-Qaeda, such as control towers.

Al-Mabrouka Base:

It is a small camp in the village of Al-Mabrouka, where small-scale US forces are located west of Qamishli city in al-Hasaka governorate within the control of the YPG.

 

Rubaria Airport:

Located near the northeastern city of al-Hasakah, near the border with both Iraq and Turkey, the airport was originally a small airstrip for small agricultural aircrafts before the US turned it into a helicopter runway under the supervision of its troops to provide logistics to Kurdish forces and support other international coalition forces fighting the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”].

 

Tell Beydar:

The base is located 30 kilometers northwest of al-Hasaka and is close to the Turkish border. It includes helicopter airstrips and a training camp for non-combat forces such as police, civil defense and others to meet the needs of Kurdish forces in managing the areas they control.

 

White Hill [Tell Abyad]:

A large number of US soldiers are deployed at the base. Some reports indicate more than 200 troops are deployed in the city, and the US flag is raised on some government buildings in the city center.

US forces are present alongside forces from the international coalition and armed opposition states at the Syrian al-Tanf base on the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border triangle. The US requires the establishment of a “no-clash” zone under which no coalition forces of the government allow them to approach or enter.

Furthermore, US forces are also present in several camps in Raqqa province to support the SDF’s operations, which have been fighting to retake Raqqa from Daesh. US forces use artillery of various kinds like rocket launchers and other heavy combat equipment, in addition to various types of intelligence and armored vehicles to conduct joint patrols with the SDF.

US forces are also deployed as training advisers in at least three training camps in al-Hasaka governorate to train Kurdish fighters as well as near the city of Manbij, north of Aleppo, which has been controlled by the SDF since August 2016.

Based on the aforementioned, it’s crystal clear that the US does not have any business in Syria except what it has been doing for decades: draining Syria’s natural resources! Wherever natural resources and oil exist, American troops arrive in a jiffy and settle down.

Biden Regime: New War Crimes against Syria

MIRI WOOD 

Biden regime continues its war crimes against Syria. On 8 October, the supremacist US state again illegally entered the Syria Arab Republic with a convoy of fifty-six trucks and tankers, loaded with illegal weapons, ammunitions, and “logistical materials.” This massive convoy also included eight “new Hummer military vehicles” — courtesy of American taxpayers, struggling to put food on their tables, and to avoid joining the masses of homeless people. The unindicted war criminal Biden regime illegally entered through the al Waleed crossing from the still US-occupied state of Iraq.

Biden regime criminals brought massive weapons into Syria, via the al Walid illegal crossing.

Al Walid continues to be used by Biden regime forces. Those who fantasize about differences between the Democrats and the Republicans are prima facie evidence of the success of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird.

We offer a quick reminder to the NATO Goebbels Nazi junta that occupies the United Nations, that the sacred Charter declares: All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Biden regime troops breach International Law & Charter, as the Nazi junta of the UN collectively avert its gaze.
Biden regime troops breach International Law & Charter, as the Nazi junta of the UN collectively avert its gaze.

This most recent war crime against Syria, by the Biden regime illegals is especially disconcerting, coming on the heels of intelligence reports that UN terror states of Belgium and France have been engaged in setting the stage for another false flag chemical attack against the SAR, which in turn would be used as the cover story of the unindicted war criminals on the UNSC, to bomb Syria for their al Qaeda troops.

The author makes note of the hypocrisy of her fellow countrymen, in their phony left/right, phony partisan hypocrisy involving our ongoing border crisis.

Biden imperial US again helping to destroy Syrian water supply.
This map clearly shows that Syria is not part of the US.

The criminal convoy, and the American illegal troops were headed toward al Hasakah, Syria, to reinforce the illegal Biden military bases throughout the governate, and to beef up the Obama created SDF armed separatist terrorist cannon fodder whose purpose is to help NATO impose a new Sykes-Picot on the Levantine republic.

Biden regime continues to run the NATO wetworkers SDF gang.
The US demanded the terrorist, separatist armed Kurds change their name.

Syria News also — and again — reminds our readers that when Obama launched his fascist war criminal coalition to bomb Syria, when Trump unilaterally bombed Syria for al Qaeda in Khan Sheikhoun, that when Trump, May, and Macron bombed Syria for al Qaeda in Douma, when Biden bombed Syria — because he could — these atrocities were committed without the necessary UNSC resolution. The imperial, racist scum ruling the UN issued no complaints against these rogue terror states acting against the noble Charter.

The Biden regime forces have illegally brought more weapons into the Syrian Arab Republic. The NATO terrorists occupying the UN will continue to remain silent over this ongoing breach of the UN Charter.

— Miri Wood

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U.S. A FRIEND WITH WHEAT IS A FRIEND INDEED

South Front

29.03.2021 

The current state of affairs in northeastern Syria is bordering on the absurd.

In an unexpected twist, US-backed militants seized a shipment of US-made missiles that were en route to other militants also supported by America. The shipment included 2 TOW anti-tank guided missiles, 24 AK-type assault rifles, a designated marksman’s rifle, two gun tubes and ammo.

On March 28th, the Syrian Task Force, a joint force of the Turkish Police, Counterterrorism Unit and the National Syrian Army (SNA) took the weapons shipment.

Most SNA factions were once backed by the US, which supplied them with TOW ATGMs until late 2017. They are also currently and continually supported by Turkey.

Turkey said that the weapons consignment was seized because it was heading towards the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).  The SDF is the most important US ally in Syria, but it is comprised of the PKK and YPG, whom Ankara deems as terrorist organizations.

US forces in Syria need all the support they can get, and as such they are delivering supplies to its presumed allies.

On March 27th, in addition to smuggling oil, a large US convoy smuggled 38 trucks of Syrian wheat from the Hasaka governorate into northern Iraq. Just days earlier, on March 25th, 18 more trucks with wheat were taken out of Syria.

In Hasaka, the SDF is carrying out its expansionist work, displacing home-owners in the vicinity of a helipad. The positions are to be used to counter the attacks and movements of Turkish-backed militants coming from Ras al-Ayn and Afrin.

And sure enough, Turkish forces, as well as militants backed by Ankara, renewed shelling on the Hasaka countryside. They shelled the two villages of al-Khashma and al-Dardara to the north of the town Tal Tamer on March 27th.

In response to Turkey’s shelling and attacks, the SDF carried out an operation towards Raqqa. As a result, eight Turkish-backed militants were either killed or wounded. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, SDF fighters blew up a militant position near the town of Umm al-Manajir in the northern outskirts of the town of Ain Issa.

Still, even without the SDF attacking any positions, in Afrin the Turkish-backed militants continue fighting even amongst themselves. On March 27th, militants of the Hamza Division clashed with a group which recently defected from the division and joined the al-Sham Corps. At least 11 were either killed or injured.

Northern Syria appears to be in a perpetual state of chaos, with several sides attempting to steal away resources to forward their own interests. Turkey, the US, and the militants that they back are taking the chance to do so, since the Damascus government and Russian support are more focused on Greater Idlib, and the ISIS-infested central region.

Related

SDF Wetworkers Engage in Mass Kidnappings of Young Syrian Men

MIRI WOOD  

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

SDF armed terrorists, secessionists, unindicted Nuremberg criminals have engaged in mass abductions of young Syrian men from al Raqqa and al Hasakah governates. Over the recent two days, these savages kidnapped over 200 young men, taking them to concentration camps for purposes of turning them “into killing machines by the CIA and its contractors,” all criminals.

These US armed terrorist secessionists continue to breach all forms of International Law, including vicious attempts to ethnically cleanse indigenous Syrians from their homeland.

The US created killers ambushed mosques — grabbing young men after prayer — in several towns of al Raqqa, to “forcibly recruit” young Syrian men into their depleting ranks between Friday and Sunday.

https://goo.gl/maps/q56yV6fq5L55t61S6

From SANA:

In Hasakah southern countryside, local sources indicated that the militia launched a campaign of raids in the town of Arisha and the village of Twaimin in Hasaka southern countryside, and kidnapped a number of civilians and took them to their camps and positions in the same countryside.

https://goo.gl/maps/SPyQ8oiw85ACiQQc7

“In the framework of its continued crimes which aim to tighten the noose on the locals, QSD (SDF) militia on Saturday kidnapped a number of civilians in separate campaigns of raids that targeted the locals’ homes in al-Yarubiya area and Tal Hamis town in Hasaka, and al-Mahmoudla village in Raqqa western countryside.

There were no reports of the lawless SDF murdering anyone trying to escape or prevent the mass kidnappings, as has happened in the past.

As unindicted war criminal Hillary Clinton (Iraq, Libya, Syria) and Council on Foreign Relations member daughter are prepping to launch a propaganda drama series on ‘female Kurdish militias’ to help Americans cheer more war crimes, we offer a short refresher on the origins of the separatist, murderous, blood-lusting, wetworking SDF.

Upcoming propaganda tv show to keep Americans cheering destruction of other people’s countries.

US Americans have become the best at being hypnotized by mass media propaganda in all forms; the porn freaks among them devour war propaganda, especially involving women. This show will be a pathetic hit.

The Kurdish people are not indigenous to Syria. Many Syrian Kurds are descendants of those who first fled genocide in Turkey, and were graciously taken in by Syria; the martyred Sheikh Saeed Ramadan al Bouti — killed in mosque, during prayer, after having called the FSA terrorists “scum” — was born of Kurdish origins, born in Turkey.

The YPG is/was an armed faction of separatist Kurds in Syria, who believed they had the right to steal a chunk of land in a country that took them in, and protected them from being slaughtered. The YPG was on the US terror list. The Obama regime did not want to remove the YPG from this terror list, and so convinced the rag-tag terror gang to change its name, for remarketing purposes which were to include fake heroism.

The US demanded the separatist armed Kurds change their name.

Obama oversaw the bringing together wetworkers from around the world, to fight ISIS in Syria, which is not in the US, to fight the same ISIS that the US created. This was, and remains, the imperialist cover for the ancient military strategy to divide, and conquer — Syria, not DAESH.

Here is a sampling of phony SDF leaders — and the bogus of the altruistic — foreign NATO wetworkers:

syrian-democratic-forces
Brit operative ‘joined’ the US wetworkers called Syrian Democratic Forces.
“Then we just bombarded the shit out of it [Raqqa].” “I’ve literally done nothing in my life but jack off before I came here.” — American terrorist & human garbage.
No mention of him being armed in a foreign country.
An illegal Swede in Syria: SDF ‘leader.’
Imagine the US being illegally entered and occupied by a foreign military force. Would msm normalize such a criminal aggression?

Obama brought in human garbage from around the world to create the SDF; Trump brought in the military. Both presidents are indictable under Nuremberg statutes for crimes against humanity.

The Trump regime outdid Obama’s war crimes; where Obama dumped scattered riff-raff into Syria, unobtrusively slipped in a couple thousand “special operatives” on that down-low, and named the killers for hire — that is what wetworkers are — Trump set up military bases, bragged about stealing Syria’s oil, and used the stupid separatist Kurds as cannon fodder, to divide, conquer, balkanize Syria.

The giddy goose in the photo, below, is Virginia Gamba. She is the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict — a topic so significant that the UN forced it into an Arria Formula meeting, 29 January, a meeting not addressed by SG Guterres, who merely listened in. Gamba was quite somber for that occasion.

Gamba’s excitement, below, involves the signing of the “so-called June 19 Action Plan” — another attempt by the klansmen who have usurped the United Nations and shredded its noble Charter — to legitimize armed separatists against Syria. Abdi signed a treaty in agreement that the [US created, owned, armed] SDF would halt forcing children to become soldiers — such a stunning breakthrough given that the Geneva Agreement declared ”recruitment” of children under 15 a war crime, decades ago (IHL database, Rule 136. Alas, there is that annoying loophole, that armed terrorist/secessionists against a de jure government are not signatories to statutes on International Law and war crimes.).

un-goosy SDF terrorist commander Mazloum Abdi
Another UN breach of its own charter: Signing an agreement with an agent of the US in Syria. There exists no such place as “Syrian Kurdistan.”

Please pay particular attention to this paragraph from the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (html, here; pdf, here.), October 1970:

The principle concerning the duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter. No State or group of States has the right to intervene directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law.

According to United Nations documentation, the meeting between an armed insurrectionist against the de jure government of the Syrian Arab Republic and Gamba et al. — which includes SG Guterres — is in breach of International Law. According to the UN, all breaches of International Law are war crimes.

war crimes
UN leaders who meet with armed insurrectionists are in breach of International Law, and therefore engage in war crimes according to the UN.

Though loopholes appear to be the function of the NATO supremacists that have hijacked the United Nations, utilizing the ancient divide and conquer strategy to crush sovereign nations not affiliated with NATO, the US-created, armed, and protected SDF fulfills the criteria of IHL definition of war crimes.

The SDF engages in war crimes in Syria.

The SDF war crime of kidnapping has been constant, though the past weekend’s numbers are among the highest, and part of this criminal gang’s plot to fulfill the larger war crime of ethnic cleansing of indigenous Arabs from their Syrian homeland. Other kidnappings have included a Baath Party leader from his doctor’s office, another large group of young men from Deir Ezzor and Hasakah villages, early last month, kidnappings in January.

In August 2018, the US-run SDF fake police shut down Christian schools in Qamishli (this was during the time that the State Department started wailing about religious freedom), and shortly thereafter a vehicle was blown up outside the Church of the Virgin Mary. The following month these fake police massacred 13 Syrian security personnel.

syriac - syrians-in-qamishli
qamishli christians syriac church
Liters of blood of the Syrian martyrs in Qamishli, slaughtered by US SDF. [Archive, September 2018]
Imagine American soldiers slaughtered in the US, their bodies dumped & the world writing about “moderate American opposition.”
Kurdish sdf ypg woman fighter

Throughout much of January and February, the US-owned SDF terrorists utilized the war crime of cutting off food to the locals in Hasaka, a siege which was temporarily halted after 20 days of empty bakeries and water deprivation, and protesting Syrian Arabs being shot at. This was a follow-up to the malignant criminals’ rampages of stealing Syrian farmlands last summer, and torching farmlands of wheat they were unable to purloin.

Kurdish SDF separatists with US army - Biden Trump Obama Israel

Al Hol was originally a camp for IDPs, internally displaced persons forced to leave their homes and neighborhoods because of the terrorism of FSA and other al Qaeda moderates fighting to destroy Syria. It has been renamed al Hol Hell, since it was taken over by the SDF terrorists — as usual, under the protection of the now Biden regime criminal troops, American illegals militarily occupying parts of the SAR. The separatist, secessionist war criminal SDF subsequently used it as a dumping ground for some captured members of ISIS, their concubines, and unfortunate offspring, mixing them in with vulnerable refugees.

Al Hol (Hawl) concentration camp for Syrian refugees in Hasakah
Al Hol (Hawl) concentration camp for Syrian refugees in Hasakah

Since November, the western supremacy adored SDF have taken to shooting al Hol inhabitants, in cold blood — shootings that were lamented by the NATO klan at the 25 February anti-Syria UNSC meeting. It is worth of a reminder that the usual suspects spoke of the shootings as though nobody were responsible; they just were magically happening — despite the obvious fact that the SDF is the gang with the weapons. Also please keep in mind that the celeb white savior Khush — the DC-based American illegal who spent time in al Hol, which is in Syria, not in the US — revered the SDF terrorists as “authorities” in her address.

Let us be mindful that as the US (military-industrial-complexcreated al Qaeda, as the US created ISIS, the US has also created the terrorist, war criminal, ethnic cleansing, SDF.

— Miri Wood

Here is another bombshell interview, a defector-official describing the relationship between the terrorist ISIS gang and the terrorist SDF gang:

Kurd SDF Official Defects and Exposes the Group’s Relationship with ISIS

https://syrianews.cc/kurd-sdf-official-defects-and-exposes-the-groups-relationship-with-isis/embed/#?secret=8fXVwOp4QS

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TURKEY’S ETERNAL CRUSADE ON PKK CONTINUES

South Front

Turkey is unrelenting in its crusade against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party and the People’s Protection Units, as two parts of a whole.

Ankara’s forces carry out frequent operations within and without the country, targeting both the Kurdistan Worker’s Party s (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG)’s interests and members. The Turkish government dubs both groups as terrorists, and does not shy away from invading the sovereign territory of other countries to pursue and “eliminate” their members and positions.

As a result, Turkey frequently encroaches on Syrian and Iraqi territory, and even has observation posts set up to target its Kurdish enemy.

It strongly opposes the Syrian Democratic Forces, a group whose core is comprised of the YPG, and receives heavy US support.

Most recently, between February 10th and the 14th, Turkey began its most recent operation in northern Iraq. In particular, it took place on the Gara Mountain in the Duhok Governorate of the Kurdistan Region. The result was such that both the PKK and the Turkish Armed Forces claimed victory, following the operation. The accounts of what transpired vary.

Turkey said it killed 53 PKK members, and captured 2. It admitted to losing 3 soldiers, while 4 of its troops were wounded in battle. According to the PKK, Turkey lost at least 30 soldiers, and dozens more were injured. A sort of collateral damage involved 13 Turkish hostages whose corpses were discovered in a cave network in the mountain area. Turkey and the US claimed that these were largely civilians, and some intelligence officers. The PKK claimed these were 13 Turkish military hostages. Turkey’s Defense Minister claimed many weapons and ammunition, as well as other equipment were seized.

In the aftermath, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to expand military operations which showed progress to other regions where threats are still significant.

Ankara’s aggressive and assertive actions are making many of the involved parties dissatisfied. Regardless it keeps carrying them out and shows no intention of stopping.

In Iraq, the Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement issued a warning to the Turkish Army against invading the country any longer. It said that it would suffer the same fate as the American Army whose convoys and positions continue to be targeted. Iraq maintains the posture that Turkey must withdraw fully from its sovereign territory. It should simply pack up its bases in the north of the country and vacate the premises.

In response, Turkey maintains that the West, and Iraq’s government aren’t doing enough to counter the alleged terrorist threat. Ankara claims it has its right of self-defense, even if it requires invading other countries.

Operation Claw Eagle 2 was of questionable success, if the numbers by the PKK are to be considered, against those provided by Turkey. These operations, however, are unlikely to stop, both in Iraq and Syria.

Erdogan seems hell-bent on solving all “security issues” and expanding Turkish activities in regions that are deemed threatening to Ankara’s interests.

Related

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

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