Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 09, 2017

Syria - Turkey Violates Astana Agreement - Renews Alliance With Al-Qaeda

Yesterday Turkish army forces entered the Syrian Idleb governate from the west. The move is officially part of a de-escalation supervision process agreed upon between Syria, Turkey, Russia and Iran. One point of the agreement is to continue the fight against al-Qaeda in Syria, currently operating under the name Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). HTS controls large parts of Idleb governate.

This is confirmed in the official Turkish Idleb Operation Explanation. "To purge terrorist organisations, especially DAESH, PKK/PYD-YPG and HTS from the region," is  describes as one aim of its de-escalaton force.

But the Turkish forces have made a deal with HTS. When their reconnaissance teams entered Idleb yesterday they were escorted by heavily armed HTS forces (video). According to their agreement with the terrorists the Turkish forces will only take up three positions. All of these will be bordering the Kurdish enclave Efrin (Afrin).


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An (anti-Syrian government) journalist reports:

Hassan Hassan‏ - Verified account @hxhassan - 5:22 PM - 8 Oct 2017

1. Turkey established three checkpoints in Darat Izzat, west of Aleppo, in coordination with HTS.
A senior HTS official tells @MousaAlomar Turkish forces won't be present anywhere other than those checkpoints "for now."
2. Mousa asks a series of questions to the HTS official:
 Q. Will the Turkish army enter [rebel-held] areas?
 A. Yes (but not beyond the three areas agreed with HTS)
 Q. Any imminent battle in Idlib?
 A. No. So far things are good, unless Turkey changes its position
My own sources confirm that an effort to keep things peaceful between Turkey and HTS is so far successful.

The purpose of this Turkish incursion is obviously not to counter al-Qaeda/HTS but only to surround the Kurdish held enclave around Efrin.

An aggressive Turkish move could now  try to cut of the Kurdish Efrin area (yellow) from the Syrian government held areas (red) by connecting the Turkish controlled rebel area in the north (blue) with the al-Qaeda controlled Idleb governate (green). Such a move would encounter fierce resistance not only from Kurdish elements and the Syrian government but also from Iran. Auxiliary Iranian troops hold the government corridor between Aleppo and Efrin to protect some important Shia villages in the area.

On one side one can understand the Turkish abrogation of its duties under the Astana agreement. Erdogan is afraid of the domestic backlash a real fight against  HTS would likely cause. But it was Turkey that created the mess by supplying al-Qaeda in Syria with men and goods for nearly six years. It is its duty to kill the monster it created. It also has to uphold its diplomatic agreements.

Turkey has proven again that it is not trustworthy. Erdogan may hope to get NATO cover should he incur new Russian wrath about his breach of trust and his abrogation of the de-escalation agreement. But the expanding spat between the State Department and the Turkish government, as well as low Turkish standing within NATO populations, do not bode well for any bet on that alliance.

Posted by b on October 9, 2017 at 05:35 AM | Permalink

Comments

The more informed among us knew that Turkey would betray Russia. It has several times already, and will continue to do so, because it's an arm of NATO. Turkey's pro-Russian feint frees up NATO/American resources to steal Syrian land. It doesn't matter whether the land is occupied by US-backed Kurds or Turkish forces or Turkish-supported Islamists. Recall the 2012 DIA report forecasted that there may be a Syrian splinter state annexed to Turkey.

Effectively, the United States is (via a variant of the "lead from behind" strategy) playing another, less anti-Russian "because Turkey has business interests in Russia *cough cough* Turkstream" *cough*-- face.

It's part of an advanced geopolitical psy-op designed to confuse Russian strategic planners and force Russia to hesitate, and waste precious Syrian & Iranian military resources with negotiations. It's a psy-op which leverages Russia's aptitude for diplomacy.

There is also an essential similarly shared geopolitical background between the two states to consider. Turkey is convincingly enough of an "other" entity in NATO (non-European, which arguably historical Russia is not -- non-secular, etc.) that apparent tensions between NATO and Turkey can be highlighted, made to have substance. By the way -- Russia had the losing hand in Russian-Turkish negotiations of the Turkstream pipelines!

Several prolific Turkish propaganda assets rampant on this site for the past two years pushed disinfo about Gulen/CIA/NATO planning a coup against Erdogan because he was warming up to Russia (the original source of this claim is Sorcha Faal). This claim failed on its face for many reasons, one of them being that the timing was far too quick. The coup was likely a psy-op false flag set up by Erdogan to consolidate power (which actually happened) and suppress his opponents. His opponents being Kemalists, other secularists, moderates and others who would oppose a Turkish escalation in Syria.

Look, for those of you not blindly continually offering Erdogan the benefit of the doubt and saying, "Let's wait, let's wait, let's wait for what Turkey does in Syria." This is what you need to understand about Turkey's apparent relationship with Russia and its own role as an asset of American strategic power. Russia can't use force with Turkey. Russia's core options regards Turkey are limited by virtue of the latter's membership in NATO. Turkey knows this. The US knows this. Turkey is the NATO arm to restrict Russian action in Syria.

"Greater Kurdistan" is not a real plan, nor a real threat. Of course it is a "threat" in the same sense that the UK is a "nuclear threat" to the US because it could launch one of its missiles to hit the US mainland.

A "Greater Kurdistan" comprised of parts from Iran, Syria etc. would of course benefit the American deep state and its imperial geopolitical planners. A weakened central state in Iran and Syria, fomenting ethnic & religious unrest, the splitting of the "Shi'ite crescent" is crucial to weakening Pan-Arab/Iranian resistance to Zionism and by extension US imperialism.

But who benefits from the implied, looming threat of a Kurdistan forming on Turkey's borders? Turkey of course. Turkey is confronting the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, isn't it?
It also plays the "bad cop" role of the good cop/bad cop duo with the US. Turkey's incursions into "Kurdish" populated areas of Syria lets the Kurds more easily accept a tactical alliance with US ground forces setting up illegal bases in Kurdish occupied areas in Syria. The "Turkish threat" (which is real to the Kurds, historically) is a good stick for ensuring it follows orders.

More Kurds co-operating with US ground forces = less reason to ally with the Syrian & Russian forces. This means one fewer capable ground force for Russia & Syria to work with. If you like, it's a "sphere of influence" within Syria itself.


We all clearly remember back in about December of last year when the YPG Kurds were ordered to move back East across the Euphrates river. This was a planned US "compromise" with Turkey and actually fell well into NATO strategic planning. Turkish disinformation assets like Korybko hemmed and hawed about how Turkey's anti-Kurdish goals demonstrated tension with the US deep state which planned to create a "Kurdistan" to weaken Syria and by extension Turkey because of their mutual significant Kurdish minority populations.

But the Kurdish threat is a phantom for Turkey. None of it actualizes. We are told the Kurds will link a canton with the Iraqi-Syria border. It didn't happen. Why then, is Turkey's Kurdish threat so repeated and hyped up?

Because the Kurdish threat (from the Turkish angle) is a geo-analytical psyop.
Greater Kurdistan and Turkish destabilization was a hot topic the last two years. Now it's dropping off the major alternative news sites. Why? Because the disinfo assets performed their job.

The apparent tension between Turkey's anti-Kurdish goals & the US cynical exploitation of the Kurds confuses the minds of Russian military planners, and it confuses readers like us who don't have the behind the scenes details. Why does Turkey seem to swing back and forth between a potential alliance with the Russians and then violating its terms? Why does the US consistently arm and train the Kurds against Turkey's (apparent) wishes?

If it has a peculiar rhythm, if certain events are just timed too rightly, if a phantom is being drawn but it never appears...it is staged.

Recall. Did Turkey kick US troops from Incirlik airbase? No. But it was hyped up.

Did NATO...transfer some of its Turkish-based nuclear missiles to NATO bases which are stationed closer to Russian borders? Yes. The 2016 Turkish "coup" provided cover for that anti-Russian maneuver.

"muh Kurds" are the Turkish equivalent of Dubya's WMDs in Iraq. When Turkey demanded it, the YPG Kurds were forced to withdraw East of the Euphrates, and the US offered merely a stern condemnation when the AF was bombing Kurdish positions west of there.

Did the appearance of a willing, pro-Russian Turkish state...encourage Russia to hesitate, and engage in negotiations with the Turks regards a Syrian "de-escalation"? Yes.

Did those negotiations include ceasefires? Yes. Did Turkish-back militants violate the ceasefire? Yes.

Did the Kurds withdraw East of the Euphrates? Yes. Is Turkey bombing the Kurds? Yes. Is the US defending vulnerable Kurdish forces from Turkey? Barely.

Those ceasefires halted Russian & Syrian gains in territory and allowed the US to set up maneuvers in other parts of Syria.

Still Turkey continues to violate the terms of the de-escalation agreements it supposedly has with Russia.

Why?

Because Turkey is playing its role brilliantly in a geopolitical psy-op theater for us to witness second-hand. The Russians being firsthand.

I wouldn't be surprised if Erdogan has moles in Turkish-Russian strategic meetings (which allegedly exclude the Americans from participation) feeding intelligence to the Americans on Russian & terrorist positions. Since Turkey imports these terror assets into Syria through its porous land border, and is basically the intelligence arm of the al-Qaeda groups in Syria, it could easily co-ordinate with the Americans to launch an attack on Russian ground force positions. Or it could attack Russian positions themselves using "al-Qaeda terror" as cover.

Ask yourself why Turkey has never closed the borders to Syria! The "wall" it's building along its Syria border isn't meant to block out terrorists -- obviously Turkey has options to transport terror assets.

Turkey is a terror state, because it's in NATO. There's your answer.

Fuck Turkey, and fuck the Turkish disinfo assets who come in here praising Erdogan while claiming to support Syria in its anti-imperialist fight.

Posted by: David | Oct 9, 2017 6:50:46 AM | 1

Well, Erdogan is looking more like NATO's "Rogue One" as he (and his) fight off a possible head replacement with Muhammed Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi (and his).

From the armchair this is getting better than a 99th rerun of the Big Lebowski:
(Da Fino) -- "...And let me tell you something: I dig your work. Playing one side against the other--in bed with everybody--fabulous stuff, man." https://youtu.be/c-7ovfO03Ww

Posted by: x | Oct 9, 2017 7:34:01 AM | 2

thanks David

Posted by: Glen Etzkorn | Oct 9, 2017 7:34:55 AM | 3

After 4 days another pawn is played.

Thanksgiving coming up sometime soon…?

“Turkey issues detention warrant for 2nd US consulate worker – local media” (RT, https://www.rt.com/news/406113-turkey-detain-second-us-worker/ )

Posted by: x | Oct 9, 2017 7:45:40 AM | 4

x | Oct 9, 2017 7:34:01 AM | 2

LOL; you're probably correct.
Tis a tangled web we weave, no?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 9, 2017 7:47:58 AM | 5

This came up on Twitter:

UmawiSupremacist‏
@AbuHumamAlUmawi

#BREAKING:

New Jihadist faction has been created in Syria:

"Jamaat Ansaar Al-Furqan fi Bilad Al-Sham"

This new Jihadist faction considers Turkey to be an enemy and everyone who works together with Turkey are also alike:

https://twitter.com/AbuHumamAlUmawi/status/917359098282364928

Posted by: arbetet | Oct 9, 2017 8:46:53 AM | 6

Erdogan is just a mix or Judah the Iscariot and quisling.
It s enough for putin to lure part of the Kurds and arm them.

Posted by: augusto | Oct 9, 2017 8:46:56 AM | 7

Posted by: David | Oct 9, 2017 6:50:46 AM | 1

The more informed among us knew that Turkey would betray Russia.

Sorry, but it doesn't require being well informed to know that Turkey would betray Russia, because Turkey and Russia have been sticking it to each other for hundreds of years, longer than the United States has existed. So, the assumption that Putin wouldn't know that Erdogan would try to screw him over is wrong. It's safer to start with the assumption that Putin knows that Erdogan will do so and proceed from there. What Putin is up to is not at all apparent, but I just know that Erdogan will come to regret his betrayal, if that is what it really is.

A week or so ago the intensity of Russian air operations over Idlib suggested that the SAA were soon going to attack HTS on a large scale. Perhaps the Americans, frightened of losing HTS, decided to launch the SDF mercenaries against Deir Ez-zor to distract them, unfortunately for the Americans that will only work once for a few weeks, and unless the Americans are prepared to get the SDF to attack the SAA, it can't be done again.

As for the video above of the three "Turkish" SUVs enetering Idlib, where is the evidence that they contained Turkish reconnaissance teams? Some pro-rebel reporter says so? Why should anyone believe him as he will lie when he's told to.

HTS is now claiming that the Russians and Syrians allowed ISIS from east Hama to transit through SAG territory in to HTS-held territory around Idlib Governorate where ISI and HTS are now killing each other.

Posted by: Ghostship | Oct 9, 2017 9:10:54 AM | 8

And here we have Erdogans main intention - Kurds
Interestingly there have been some reports that US troops have arrived on the Afrin border. Don't know how credible they are, but if not US troops then I would expect to see RF troops. Erdogan is simply not going to get his war against Kurds on his terms.

As for AQ / HTS, any action against them would be Erdogan sacrificing his own. Do not for a minute think that Erdogan supporting AQ is in anyway unpalatable to the Turkish people. It is not. Turkey is already home to tens of thousands of extremists imported and home grown - AQ members actually form part of local AKP governments in Kurdish regions! Additionally, there are already open discussions stating that HTS, Turkish citizens and Turkish specual Ops have already been taken across the border from Idlib into Turkey, safety. So, if Turkey's other motive is indeed to close its border to further extremists then they are the ones that have been deemed expendable, thats all - entirely possible.

Lasrlt

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 9, 2017 9:33:26 AM | 9

Sorry, Lastly, there are ground ops and there are ground ops ... Lets not forget Jerablus - more an exercise in media manipulation and parallele reality than an actual military operation! :-)

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 9, 2017 9:35:16 AM | 10

@Gostship
"Turkey and Russia have been sticking it to each other for hundreds of years"
Absolutely right - and RF most always wins! There is no love lost between them. But in the current climate there is no chance of Erdogan doing anything more than 'pushing the boundaries' of their agreements - which I am sure both RF and IR expect.
Lets not forget that the RF-TR rapproachment which began over 18 months ago is still being dragged out - RF is still drip feeding parts of their economic agreements stretching them out to both leverage and to some extent control Turkey. At the same time pressure against Turkey from Germany and US is huge. Erdogan's only hope of retaining power in Turkey lies in doing what he is told. That simple. Despite all his ranting and raving. Erdogan has no future in ME and Asia without Russia, it has no future in Europe without Germany, its relationship with US is tenuous, and Turkey is not strong economically or militarily ... so,for the time being, Erdogan is being 'managed'.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 9, 2017 9:48:07 AM | 11

Erdogan is in serious need of a psychiatrist. Such megalomania has rarely been experienced in a hundred years.

Posted by: schmenz | Oct 9, 2017 9:58:24 AM | 12

@1 David

While I agree that Erdogan cannot be trusted by anyone, I doubt that NATO is necessarily behind it. When warmer relations broke out between Russia and Turkey there was much consternation that he was untrustworthy. I doubt that the Kremlin is losing much sleep over Erdogan machinations. He has always been predictable as he geographically sits in the cat seat and will play each side against the other. Additionally, his reticence to attack HTS is understandable, as politically that is allied with his domestic political base.

What I find more interesting right now is that he is pushing Russia for its keys to its s-400 missile technology. That maneuver is both telling and indicative of Erdogan's strategy. He will continue to play both sides against eachother for his own gain.

Such is the way of his multipolar worlld, as he is still busy building his empire.

In any case the bottom line will be how truly economically independent he can afford to be. I'm waiting to him to put more conditions on the South Stream.

Posted by: Michael | Oct 9, 2017 10:16:30 AM | 13

Hassan Hassan is assosicated with Chatham House, Council for Fopreign Relations, Brookings Institue and is a fellow of a Washington-based ME policy 'think tank. He also collaborates with Michael Weiss. And the author of this post takes what he says seriously? Hassan Hassan is a full member of the Anglo-Zionist team.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 9, 2017 10:16:55 AM | 14

I'm hesitant about calling Hassan Hassan (or his buddy Michael Weiss) a journalist.

Posted by: Merasmus | Oct 9, 2017 10:34:47 AM | 15

By the by, isn't that curious that a blatant attack on the palace guards occurs when Saudi Barbaria starts to join the humanity and to align itself with Russia (scoring victories on numerous geopolitical front recently), which in turn starts to experience unprecedented wave of emergency situations: hundreds of false bomb alarms in Moscow, huge construction market fire,...

I recommend staying vigilant and keeping a close eye on all AngloZio outposts, agents, supporters, sympathizers, institutions, foundations, movements, ...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 9, 2017 11:09:21 AM | 16

thanks b and @1 david..

david - i happen to agree with ghostship and atabrit and although you paint a pretty good scenario, i think it is off.. and, for the record, no one here has been praising erdogan! most folks at moa have been calling him a liar from the get go! so, i suspect russia is well aware of just who and what erdogan is and are working him accordingly.. they now have him in a tough place... lets see how he moves forward here... personally, i don't believe he is long for this game, but i could be wrong..

Posted by: james | Oct 9, 2017 11:20:55 AM | 17

Well, this cannot be a coincidence.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/turkey-says-it-may-renege-on-its-s-400.html

Posted by: Steve | Oct 9, 2017 11:36:02 AM | 18

There is a lot to unpack here...

Let's start with the big picture and some historical context...

The US has been trying to destabilize Syria for decades...even directly attacking Syrian military in east Lebanon in December 1983, with an aircraft strike force launched from a US carrier off the Lebanese coast...the attack was a huge failure with the Syrian-operated Soviet SAMs downing several US jets and capturing a couple of pilots...

The important thing to note here is how the US viewed Turkey's possible role in a possible all-out regime-change war against Hafez Assad...

Let's recall that this was in 1983 when the USSR was arguably at its peak strength...yet even then the US didn't mind playing chicken with the Russians and was drawing up plans for such a war against Syria..

A National Security Council paper called 'The Destabilization of Syria' was produced...

...When Assad challenges Israel and the Marines in Lebanon, he knows that if Israel attacks him it cannot occupy all of Syria. Assad feels he can always retreat to the North and set up a smaller state and with stronger Alawite control...
...However, if Turkey is brought into the calculations...[it] will be totally different and would be impossible to add up without [Syrian regime] losing their power...If Syria is attacked by Turkey from the north the Alawite stronghold will be gone at the start and Assad and his supporters will have to fall back on an ocean of hateful Sunni moslems (sic) in the south where they will be eaten like lost sheep...
Therefore the pressure on Syria should come from Turkey and not from the Marines and or Israel...

Fast forward to 2011 when the regime change operation against Syria was launched...Turkey was the keystone in all of this...as with the old plan...

But instead of sending its own forces in, Al Qaeda mercenaries, well trained and equipped in Turkey by US and NATO specialists, were sent pouring across the northern Syrian frontier...a game plan nearly identical to that outlined in 1983...

When Russia entered Syria in 2015, one of the main objectives was to take control of the Syrian border with Turkey, cutting the lifeline of the Nusra invasion forces...

Unfortunately, that goal has never been achieved...the northern frontier in Idlib province is still controlled by Nusra, and is still a revolving door in and out of Nusra sponsor Turkey...

Let's not kid ourselves about this...This may be unpalatable to us, but let's not be fooled that Erdogan is now about to do a 180 and throw Nusra/HTS under the bus...

For what...?...what can Putin give him in return...?

He's obviously not that worried about the Kurds in the SDF/US held part of Syria...he understands fully that the US is going to throw the Syrian Kurds under the bus...he has surely received assurance to that from the US side, and there is no reason to think it should be otherwise...

The US would be foolish not to sacrifice the Syrian Kurds [YPG] because their usefulness is limited...

Turkey's usefulness, along with its Nusra/HTS charges is much more useful and powerful...

Putin is trying to do the best he can with the hand he's got...Getting Erdogan on board as a so-called partner in the Astana process was never going to change the geopolitical reality...

Anybody who is saying that Erdo is taking orders from Putin is out to lunch...or that the Turks are going to pass on intel on HTS etc...this is disneyland stuff...

We have not even mentioned the Turkish occupation of that Euphrates shield area right next to Idlib...

Now the Turks are moving into Idlib itself, under the guise of the Astana process...

This is nothing more than the pound of flesh that Putin had to pay to Erdo in order to keep things at least to appear under control and diplomatic process, ie Astana...ie to stabilize the situation...

The only bright spot we have is that Erdo and the US are both equally duplicitous and therefore distrust each other completely...we have a three-way standoff as in the final scene of 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...'

What does this come to in the end...well we don't know because we're not there yet...

But one thing we can be certain of is that there will be no real threat to the Alwaite 'heartland' in the Northwest because the Russians are there in strength...

The Syrian state and its major population centers has been preserved...the only question is how much terrorist territory can the SAA win back, so as to minimize future problems on its borders...

But there can be no dreams of US and Erdo finding some formula to carry out the 1983 plan...that's toast...

Just that in itself is a victory for Syria and Russia...the action remains in the South of the country, especially in the southeast where the Tigers are making hay in pushing to Bukamal and the Iraqi frontier...

The SDF/ISIS/Sunni Tribe coalition seems to have shot its bolt and does not seem to have the same ISIS support on the south side of the Khabur river, so the way is open for the Tigers to cross to the Omar field and sweep south to the Iraqi border...in sync with the Iraqi army and PMU going the same direction from their end...

I suspect that once this is accomplished...both Turkey and US will have no cards left to play, other than to insist on keeping their presence in the respective areas they now hold...

For Turkey that includes all of Idlib as of now...

The Russians don't like this, but I suspect that they are working an 'installment plan' if you will...let the Turks officially control Idlib, as they de facto do anyway through their HTS proxies...

And wait until the last act to deal with that final thorn...as well as the US/SDF problem in the east...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 9, 2017 11:46:49 AM | 19

>>>> Anonymous | Oct 9, 2017 10:16:55 AM | 14

Hassan Hassan is assosicated with Chatham House

The real source's twitter feed suggests he's a jihadist (not necessarily jihadi). Most of his tweets seem to include the strange theological references that jihadists love.

By the way, the Anglo bit of the Anglo-Zionist team is a hollowed out shell of its former self. I mean the supposed leader can't even defenestrate Boris Johnson. The days when you had to count your fingers after shaking hands with a British diplomat are long gone.

Posted by: Ghostship | Oct 9, 2017 11:55:48 AM | 20

Focus on the big picture and look on the bright side. On the surface, NATO's Turkey is cooperating with Russia in several matters, which is bad news for the main problem -- US hegemony in the area. It's the death of the Carter Doctrine, no small matter especially if it goes on to play out in the Gulf with its 40,000 US troops/dependents, military headquarters, etc. Regarding Erdogan, what's new pussycat when it comes to politicians. The US has "Erdogans" in spades.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9, 2017 11:57:36 AM | 21

@19 flankerbandit.. that is a pretty good analysis... thanks..

@1 david.. i was thinking how usa psy ops work and wondering how many of the commenters here function in that capacity?

speaking of propaganda houses.. chatham house certainly fulfills that description...

Posted by: james | Oct 9, 2017 12:56:53 PM | 22

Can Erdogan truly "control" Idleb if he doesn't control the air space? Russia and Syria control that air space. NATO has nothing to say there. And Turkey isn't being allowed in.

Russia will kill all those terrorists. And if they're mercenaries, Russia will work on their paymaster to stop. Personally, I would hate to stand in the way of that.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 9, 2017 1:07:28 PM | 23

@ Grieved 23...

Yes that is a good point and am in total agreement...

The Turks cannot fly over Idlib and that airspace belongs to Russia/SAA...

This is yet another victory for Syria that should not be overlooked...

I think all in all we need not fret too much...Putin has played his hand extremely well...the results are good, but not everything we might have wanted...at least not for now...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 9, 2017 1:24:20 PM | 24

Missing from @1's narrative is the purging of pro Nato, pro Gulen/US from all government sectors, also that Erdogans support base is pro AQ, anti US., otherwise it could well be Turkey and US playing good cop bad cop. Also the Kurds. US were or still are planning on setting a Kurdish state running from Iraq, across northern Syria to the mediterranean coast. This is what Erdogan refers to as a terrorist state in his recent anouncements which he intends to ensure does not occur.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 9, 2017 1:32:13 PM | 25

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41556557
Erdo shall keep his (our) djihadists

Posted by: Mina | Oct 9, 2017 2:28:12 PM | 26

When the UN has to cope for EU's deals with murderers who have established "joy division" camps where all the women are parked and raped all day long in front of everyone passing by...
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/278520/World/Region/UN-assisting-thousands-of-migrants-stranded-in-Lib.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Oct 9, 2017 2:33:21 PM | 27

Erdogan is terrified of the zombies, the living dead of failed terrorists who trudge back into his country to seek mischief. He is in a difficult situation. Like Saudi he views the West as an impending spent force…

Posted by: Lochearn | Oct 9, 2017 2:47:39 PM | 28

I don't know what's going on here, but I sincerely doubt that Iran and Russia were duped by Turkey. I tend to think this is a warning to the SDF. "Quit cooperating with the U.S. and ISIS, or we'll release Turkey on you."

Posted by: rcentros | Oct 9, 2017 2:50:13 PM | 29

There is not any independent or official confirmation of this yet, though I wouldn't be surprised. I seriously doubt that Russia or Iran are surprised either. This was most likely set up by them to test Erdoğan.

I did not expect Erdoğan to actually send Turkish troops into Idlib to fight HTS. That would be a disaster even with Russian air support. The casualties would be heavy and Erdoğan would be toast. I am sure the Russians were aware of the dilemma they put Erdoğan in.

If Erdoğan has made an agreement with HTS, then that is what the Russians and Iranians wanted to discover. Erdoğan would thereby have failed their test. Should Erdoğan put pressure on the Kurds in Afrin, that would not be a bad thing for Russia and Iran.

Posted by: Blue | Oct 9, 2017 2:54:17 PM | 30

It is clear that Russia, Iran, Turkey and Syria want to get rid of the SDF, the proxies of the USA and Israel. The Kurds have become a threat to the unity of the region and therefore they should be eliminated. The Turkish army hidden priority mission is weaken the SDF to the point where after ISIS is dislodged the SDF is weak enough to be neutralized.
Russia, Iran agree with this and are allowing Erdogan to play the good cop in making a tactical deal with ISIS that would ensure the collapse of the SDF. Russia, Iran and the Syrian army are the bad cops who will fight ISIS and not the SDF.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 9, 2017 3:14:15 PM | 31

the NATO mutual defense charter does not apply to a NATO country invading a foreign country. The US is not getting involved to help Turkey (a country who them and Europe are having major issues with) if Russia, Syria and Iranian forces decide to start bombing them to pieces in Idlib. I also doubt that he had anyone fooled here. My guess is theyre handing him enough rope hear to hang himself politically if Idlib gets stormed by allied forces and the small Turkish contingent gets slaughtered.

Posted by: Danny801 | Oct 9, 2017 3:17:28 PM | 32

AAron Lund: Turkey intervenes in Syria: What you need to know

http://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2017/10/09/turkey-intervenes-syria-what-you-need-know

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 9, 2017 3:22:24 PM | 33

This is not necessarily bad news. This could be similar to the deescalation zones the Syrians and Russians have been setting up all over the place. Those HTS and ISIS forces do not consist of just foreign jihadists but also include many Syrian nationals. One thing that setting up these zones has resulted in is the separation of these these two groups -- the Syrian government is offering amnesties to their nationals if they put down their arms. Maybe the Turks are attempting their own version of this plan. I wouldn't be surprised if the Turks had discussed this with the Russians beforehand. One advantage to the Syrian government is that it will put a little more pressure on the Syrian Kurds to drop their desire for independence.

Of course, the Turks can't be trusted to much but both the Syrians and Russians know that.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 9, 2017 3:26:04 PM | 34

Gilbert Doctorow just posted a very good piece on Consortium News. Apparently, last night the Russians used a talk show to directly and bluntly warn the Americans of future support of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Things may get a little more heated.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/09/a-deaf-ear-to-dire-russian-warnings/

Posted by: Michael | Oct 9, 2017 3:54:15 PM | 35

Meanwhile, Erdogan meets with Poroshenko in Kiev and states during a press conference that Turkey "did not recognize and does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea"...

Posted by: dapoopa | Oct 9, 2017 3:59:42 PM | 36

@flankerbandit | 24
"what can Putin give him in return...?"
Guess you haven't been watching for the last 18 months or so ... :-)
But seriously, you try to cover too much and it becomes too simplistic - which does not necessarily equate with "bigger picture".
You have to remember that just because two sides oppose each other does not mean that their interests can not converge. For example, it is in the interests of RF, US, Germany (if not EU) and Iran to have a weakened Turkey or weakend Erdogan, at least. And whether coordinated or otherwise they are all working to 'manage' that weak Turkey into positions of difficulty, and successfully so, allowing them then to influence their own agendas which is why I suggest that Erdogan is being 'managed'.
Look at the current spat over the arrest of the embassy worker - stopping visa applications didnt even happen when their Ankara embassy was bombed even though everyone knows that Turkey facilitated AQ to carry out the attack. So why the over-reaction now? Is the US now planning its turn to remove itself from Incirlik to Jordon now that Germany has made the first step? I dont know. But the over-reaction must have a purpose. Maybe it is as simple as wanting to weaken TRs economy further to try and pressure Erdogan into binning S400 or something. Or maybe to have some leverage over Erdogans actions in Idlib/ Afrin ... ?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 9, 2017 4:00:14 PM | 37

What Turkey and Erdogan do or don't do is almost irrelevant. The Astana 4th de-escalation zone for which they share joint responsibility will be enforced. The degree to which the Turks assist competently is the opportunity they define for themselves in the border with Syria, the economic opportunities with a rebuilt Syria, benefits for their Turkmen inside the northern section of Syria, and how much "help" they get handling the Kurds.

Turkey has vacillated before, has fluctuated before, has pirouetted before. But they have moved forward alongside the Russian plan, have gotten into a relationship with Iran, and have not acted out badly. Erdogan has a time lag reaction to the facts of Syria.

Best to look at how fast and successfully he acted to save Qatar from Saudi-US overthrow.
And how he has pushed Germany out of Turkey's military bases. Those are positives.

What has happened to Turkey is the US attempted coup knocked it into the arms of Russia.
He had not intended to work in a subordinate position with Russia. But that's the reality now and for his entire lifetime. Turkey's 'greatness' is postponed for a century or five.

So, whenever he can have a day of news headlines, he does some small thing from which retreat is easy.

What the Turks are really signally with al Nusra is they don't have the manpower and leadership in their military to act powerfully. That means Turkey also cannot decide anything of its own interests inside Syria (claiming and holding territory it wants for the Turkmen, or pushing the Kurds away from the border so no Kurdistan is formed).

Turkey is like the conman who tries to crash the posh party but has to drive up in a Chevy with dents on the side and chips in the windshield. They are fooling no one.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 9, 2017 4:50:21 PM | 38

Erdogan did not willingly turn to Russia. His hand was forced.

Despite blaming US for the alleged coup attempt, Erdogan drove the Kurds into the arms of the 'Assad must go!' Coalition by continuing with his (unnecessary) belligerence.

So its interesting that the current bad relations with USA allow Erdogan 'space' to do as he pleases because it won't be viewed as "doing Washington's bidding".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9, 2017 4:59:34 PM | 39

@ Virgile 33

I have to wonder about linking to nonsense like this...

This turdkicker Aron Lund ['author' of the story you linked to] is with the Soros funded Century Foundation...

He cries the usual NWO river of tears about the 'humanitarian' situation in Idlib...citing all the usual fake 'human rights' NGOs...

He cites a 'journalist and activist forced to leave his hometown of Madaya in April'...we recall that Nusra scum were bused out of Madaya and into Idlib not long after the Aleppo liberation...

And he quotes some UN stooge harping on the old familiar theme of Russians bombing civilians...

'Russian and Syrian bombing killed 149 civilians in Idlib between 19 and 30 September, most of them women and children...'

I have to jump in here when I see links like this being posted...

Not pointing fingers, but folks, we have to know that a big part of the internet and so-called 'alternative' media are Soros wolf-in-sheep's-clothing outfits...

This Century Foundation and this Aron Lund dipstick have been on my radar for some time...it's billed as a 'progressive' outfit...but is funded by Soros OSF and is in bed with AI...etc...the gang's all here...

Here's a piece from some dirtball praising this fake progressive outfit, which is just an NWO pig with lipstick...

https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-century-foundation-the-little-known-liberal-stalwart/

this agit-prop piece from

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 9, 2017 5:01:47 PM | 40

Red Ryder @38:

... look at how fast and successfully he acted to save Qatar from Saudi-US overthrow.
Personnally, I never thought 'overthrow' was really in the cards. IMO they were baiting Iran.

As I recall, Turkey sent a very small contingent that wouldn't have prevented any real overthrow attempt.

the US attempted coup knocked it into the arms of Russia.
I think it was Erdogan's eagerness to help the 'Assad must go' Coalition by downing the Russian warplane that sealed his fate. Erdogan was forced into a neutral position due to Russia's cutting of trade.

The alleged coup attempt can be seen as a means of allowing Erdogan to take that neutral position without losing face.

... they don't have the manpower and leadership in their military to act powerfully.
I think their military is large enough, and they aren't acting alone: this is joint effort.

Others have mention (above) Turkey's support for extremists is now an internal political matter that might make taking action difficult. But shouldn't Turkey/Erdogan be taking steps to counter the extremists?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9, 2017 5:20:38 PM | 41

Speaking of Chatham House, a bit of history:The Anglo-American Establishment



One wintry afternoon in February 1891, three men were engaged in earnest conversation in London. From that conversation were to flow consequences of the greatest importance to the British Empire and to the world as a whole. For these men were organizing a secret society that was, for more than fifty years, to be one of the most important forces in the formulation and execution of British imperial and foreign policy.
The three men who were thus engaged were already well known in England. The leader was Cecil Rhodes, fabulously wealthy empire-builder and the most important person in South Africa. The second was William T. Stead, the most famous, and probably also the most sensational, journalist of the day. The third was Reginald Baliol Brett, later known as Lord Esher, friend and confidant of Queen Victoria, and later to be the most influential adviser of King Edward VII and King George V.
... the three drew up a plan of organization for their secret society and a list of original members. The plan of organization provided for an inner circle, to be known as "The Society of the Elect," and an outer circle, to be known as "The Association of Helpers." Within The Society of the Elect, the real power was to be exercised by the leader, and a "Junta of Three." The leader was to be Rhodes, and the junta was to be Stead, Brett, and Alfred Miler. In accordance with this decision, Miter was added to the society by Stead ...

This organization has been able to conceal its existence quite successfully, and many of its most influential members, satisfied to possess the reality rather than the appearance of power, are unknown even to close students of British history. This is the more surprising when we learn that one of the chief methods by which this Group works has been through propaganda. It plotted the Jameson Raid of 1895; it caused the Boer War of 1899-1902; it set up and controls the Rhodes Trust; it created the Union of South Africa in 1906-1910; it established the south African periodical The State in 1908; it founded the British Empire periodical The Round Table in 1910, and this remains the mouthpiece of the Group; it has been the most powerful single influence in All Souls, Balliol, and New Colleges at Oxford for more than a generation; it has controlled The Times for more than fifty years, with the exception of the three years 1919-1922; it publicized the idea of and the name "British Commonwealth of Nations" in the period 1908-1918; it was the chief influence in Lloyd George's war administration in 1917-1919 and dominated the British delegation to the Peace Conference of 1919; it had a great deal to do with the formation and management of the League of Nations and of the system of mandates; it founded the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 1919 and still controls it; it was one of the chief influences on British policy toward Ireland, Palestine, and India in the period 1917-1945; it was a very important influence on the policy of appeasement of Germany during the years 1920-1940; and it controlled and still controls, to a very considerable extent, the sources and the writing of the history of British Imperial and foreign policy since the Boer War.
p10
Among the ideas of [Arnold] Toynbee which influenced the Miler Group we should mention three: (a) a conviction that the history of the British Empire represents the unfolding of a great moral idea - the idea of freedom - and that the unity of the Empire could best be preserved by the cement of this idea; (b) a conviction that the first call on the attention of any man should be a sense of duty and obligation to serve the state; and (c) a feeling of the necessity to do social service work (especially educational work) among the working classes of English society. These ideas were accepted by most of the men whose names we have already mentioned and became dominant principles of the Milner Group later. Toynbee can also be regarded as the founder of the method used by the Group later, especially in the Round Table Groups and in the Royal Institute of International Affairs...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 9, 2017 6:34:28 PM | 42


These methods can be summed up under three headings: (a) a triple-front penetration in politics, education, and journalism; (b) the recruitment of men of ability (chiefly from All Souls) and the linking of these men to the Cecil Bloc by matrimonial alliances and by gratitude for titles and positions of power; and (c) the influencing of public policy by placing members of the Cecil Bloc in positions of power shielded as much as possible from public attention.
p33
When [Alfred] Milner went to South Africa in 1897, Rhodes and he were already old acquaintances of many years' standing... they were contemporaries at oxford, but, more than that, they were members of a secret society which had been founded in 1891. Moreover, Miler was, if not in 1897, at least by 1901, Rhodes's chosen successor in the leadership of that society.
The secret society of Cecil Rhodes is mentioned in the first five of his seven wills. In the fifth it was supplemented by the idea of an educational institution with scholarships, whose alumni would be bound together by common ideals-Rhodes's ideals. In the sixth and seventh wills the secret society was not mentioned, and the scholarships monopolized the estate. But Rhodes still had the same ideals and still believed that they could be carried out best by a secret society of men devoted to a common cause. The scholarships were merely a facade to conceal the secret society, or, more accurately, they were to be one of the instruments by which the members of the secret society could carry out his purpose. This purpose, as expressed in the first will (1877), was:
The extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom and of colonization by British subjects of all lands wherein the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour, and enterprise, . . . the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of a British Empire, the consolidation of the whole Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial Representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire, and finally the foundation of so great a power as to hereafter render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 9, 2017 6:42:04 PM | 43

For Erdogan a paying bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. Incirlik airbase is probably the biggest heroin distribution point in the whole operation and we must assume that Erdogan takes his cut. If at some future point Russia and China prove as powerful as the western alliance then, and only then, will Erdogan reassess his cards. Until then Erdogan as part of a western elite 'club' will follow orders and continue to reap the rewards of being in the 'club.' This whole will or won't Erdogan switch sides is spy versus spy being played at the grand master level that in reality Russia has to play to be in the game even if they know it is the USA playing the opposing pieces and not Erdogan.

Posted by: BRF | Oct 9, 2017 9:01:28 PM | 44

I must say I'm shocked. SHOCKED that Turkey would do this. Thank God they've got those S-400s on the way to deal with any Syrian planes that may try to disrupt this new arrangement.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 9, 2017 11:17:14 PM | 45

@35 Michael

Good link, thank you. Good article by Doctorow. That Sunday night TV show is big - culturally speaking, the entire nation is watching it. I've seen several shows with English subtitles. I'd love to see this one. Translators are volunteers, and the heroes of this war.

I guess we knew everything that Doctorow summarizes, but it's important in the context of this thread to see that Russia ia very serious in its mission. Right now it is using its air force to destroy hostiles east of the Euphrates. As the elements get in the right order in Idleb it will do the same there. The US has been warned in increasingly strong terms that if they act covertly and get in the way they will be destroyed.

I don't think the issue in Idleb is really much about Turkey and its political embarrassments. I think it's much more about how the US may blunder there. People think that Russia hesitates to tell the US how things are, but the great difficulty is that the the US has a hard time taking the warnings seriously. If Russia crosses one of its own lines it will act decisively, instantly and ruthlessly. But it would be better for the US generals to hear the warnings before they bring serious shame upon themselves, and possible damage to the world.

Tillerson and Lavrov are talking right now. Hopefully the message goes stateside. Otherwise, perhaps Russia may finally have to make a point by fire. I suspect she judges the time may now be right for it. I actually think US personnel and materiel could be destroyed in the right circumstances and the true powerlessness of the US to respond would be shown to the world. Russia would not choose it this way, but the US keeps choosing the worst outcomes for itself, and no one seems able to stop it.

~~

As to Turkey, I don't think anyone is especially happy to see Erdogan squirm - if in fact he even is. I'm not sure I see him making duplicitous moves in any of this, frankly. Russia would rather just get on with it, and in fact I doubt if many moments are being wasted as Turkey makes its moves. Honestly these initial gambits don't seem as sinister to me as b's article suggests. If Turkey's only role is to kettle the Kurds in a cauldron, that would remove the US from the situation while SAA and allies get on with the liberating. And if HTS will do this and stay out of trouble, all good. If HTS have to die, this I guess would sit better with the region than to kill a lot of Kurds.

But if HTS could ultimately be stood down by its paymaster, fine. Nothing wrong with making deals instead of fighting. It IS a de-escalation zone after all. One assumes there will be several instances where amnesty is offered, and forces change sides, etc. But in the end, at the point when only hostiles remain, everyone dies. There's nowhere left to bus them to.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 10, 2017 12:55:42 AM | 46

'Edogan can never be trusted'


TURKEY CAN NEVER BE TRUSTED.

it has been flipping and flopping between
pro- nato/anti- nato [sic] faster than you blink your eyes !

MURKKA./INDIA/TURKEY the triumvariates,
dont touch this unitedsnakes with a ten feet pole !

Posted by: denk | Oct 10, 2017 1:13:09 AM | 47

Turkey is on path to further isolating itself vice bringing certain economic prosperity through pipeline deals and huge tourist business with Russia and OBOR deals with China not to mention having no one to protect them from a spiteful US who they suddenly insist on provoking. Good luck with that approach, Erdogan.

Posted by: Bavarian | Oct 10, 2017 4:39:59 AM | 48

@46 Grieved

I think you are correct. In b's previous article detailing the HTS problem Erdogan created for himself, it seems people stopped looking at the big picture. Putin tasked Turkey with clearing/controlling Idlib and this mission will be supported by Russian air power. Seriously,does anyone think Putin is going to allow Erdogan to fail in this task? No more than he is going to let Syria become prey to ISIS, SDF, HTS or Israel.

I expect Russia has intel on events in Idlib and any attempt by Erdogan to stray from his appointed path will be denied. There will be a cessation of hostilities in Idlib or Russia is going to bomb any area attacks are being launched from. It's what they've been doing and again, Putin is not going to let Turkey fail in regards to Idlib.

b4real

Posted by: b4real | Oct 10, 2017 9:34:37 AM | 49

@ Grieved 46...

I second that vote of appreciation for Micheal [@35] link to the Doctorow piece...Consortium News is a fine website with real old-school journalists like Robert Parry and Gareth Porter...

You make some very good points about the Idlib situation...am in complete agreement with your take...

@ AtaBrit 37...

You make a good point about the severe overreaction of the US to this minor consulate affair involving the Turkish arrest of a Turkish national employed there...

But we can only guess at the real reasons behind this spat...is it really indicative of a deepening US - Turkish estrangement...is it because Turkey 'betrayed' US on Idlib...is it because of the US support for YPG/SDF...or because of the S400 deal...or because of the US arrest warrants for the Erdogan entourage violence in US...?

There are any number of friction points...

'...You have to remember that just because two sides oppose each other does not mean that their interests can not converge...'

Yes, we all know this...diplomacy is the second-oldest profession in the world...

I think you were referring specifically to the Russian - Turkish relationship...but the same can be said of the Turkish - US relationship...and even the Russian -Iranian relationship...

The latter is not mentioned much, which is too bad, because those who tend to speak of this as some one-dimensional alliance are quite off the mark...Russia is unhappy with much that Iran does [including even its presence in Syria...the SAA officers see their Iranian counterparts as intolerably arrogant...]

Although here again, Russia absolutely needs Iran in Syria...

This supposed Iran-Russia love-in is similar to the nonsensical idea that Erdo has flipped to the Russian camp...

There is much complexity and as much disagreement within all of those separate relationships as there is agreement...the trick is always to find some common ground and a modus vivendi that all can live with...

To get into all of that in a coherent way would require a book...so I would agree that any attempt at brevity would have to be simplistic...

I will try however to refine my focus a little...We recall that when Russia first came in in 2015, the focus was on closing the Turkish corridor...there was much noise from the Russian side about this...

We saw a lot of Russian sorties in that border area until the Turks ambushed that SU24 ground-attack jet...This told the Russians what Erdo's red line was...

But Putin and his generals showed great tactical skill...they quickly stopped trying to pound that square peg and switched to destroying the ISIS oil convoys, then liberating Aleppo and the other major population centers...

Arguably, the whole Syria war could have been over two years ago, if the Russians had ignored Erdo's red line and really doubled down on that northern border and taken it by force...

But they realized that was something Erdo would not allow unless it was ripped from his cold hand...the possibility for a wider war that a large-scale Russian operation, including a large ground contingent, could ignite was too dangerous...

So they simply let that be and chose to bypass...this is a tactic we have seen repeatedly by the SAA as well...no doubt guided by Russian advice...ie at Tanf....Tabka...Maadan...etc...

In fact the Russian-guided campaign in Syria may end up being a masterpiece of tactical maneuvering that will be studied for years to come...

The liberation of Aleppo was a Stalingrad moment, which is confirmed by the absolutely ridiculous level of hysteria by the West's Propaganda Ministry...

That victory opened the way for the diplomatic offensive at Astana...it was at that point that Erdo realized that the US plan for regime change was toast...he too is a realist and an opportunist...

He didn't need to 'switch sides'...he's simply not a dummy that's all...

And now here we are with the Idlib situation...Ideally, the Russians would love to see Erdo shut that border which would snuff out the HTS for good...

But why should Erdo do that...?

Idlib and the military potential of those HTS and affiliated mercenaries is still a strong card for Erdo...if push came to shove that whole Jiahdist offensive could be restarted at any time if Turkey decided to...

Everybody knows this...the Russians, Assad and the US...which is probably pressuring Erdo to do just that...this possibility is the big thing that still ties Turkey to the US in the Syria game...and is probably why the US has blown up the consular affair...they are probably seriously unhappy that Erdo gave away too much with the Idlib de-escalation deal...

But Erdo did not give away the whole store as some naive observers were perhaps expecting...a possible northern offensive is still the nightmare scenario for Assad and the Russians...

What we have now is that Erdo has deftly kept his hand in the game by agreeing to officially 'reign in' the HTS...of course this is not the same as defanging the HTS or even sealing the border...

There can be no real hostility between Turkish military [and their proxy forces] and HTS...many here have pointed out that the HTS cause has widespread support among the Turkish population and in Erdo's party...

My point is that besides all of that, it is simply smart for Erdo to keep as strong a hand as he can...and Idlib is that...

Both the US and Turkey are still partners in that...the old 1983 plan...but Erdo is not that dumb to go to war with Russia on behalf of the US...

When I said what could Putin give Erdo to let that option go...the answer is obviously nothing...it's simply not a realistic scenario...Erdo has nothing to lose by playing for time, just as the Russians are...

But we should be concerned...as b's article suggests...

That is why I went into the history and the geography...

That Idlib situation may be temporarily bottled up for now...and I would say in the best possible way that could be realistically expected, especially with official recognition of Russia controlling the airspace...

But Idlib is far from solved...we see that the neocon and NWO propaganda machine is still active as illustrated by that Lund article that a commenter here linked to...

The same 'humanitarian' tropes and 'sympathy for the devil' song and dance for the benefit of the terrorist mercenaries bottled up in Idlib is being kept warm on the propaganda burner...

[While not a tear is shed for the Syrian children devastated by the three year ISIS siege of Deir Ezzor...those victims do not exist in the West's selective lens of Syria...we can only turn to RT to see the faces of these victims...]

Bottom line is that the Idlib situation is on hold...as I said this is the best that could be expected...But it could change in a heartbeat if the US decides to throw caution to the wind and launch a massive standoff cruise missile strike on Syria...

The fact that Trump actually tried this on a small test-the waters scale back in April, shows this option is not yet off the table...

In this scenario, as unlikely as it may be, Turkey would then be able to go all in with the still considerable HTS military potential in a major offensive on the Alawite heartland...

So we should not be surprised that Turkey's role is not what those who have believed the 'psyops' about Turkey's flip may have expected...

Incidentally I think David @ 1 makes a good point in this regard, especially calling out the pinhead Korybko...although I would say this is more sheer ignorance than any attempt at being a clever subversive...

[Lund and his ilk are far more skilled in this regard...I love his take...'What You Need to Know About Idlib'...where he tells us that Turkey's fault is that it is keeping 'bad company'...ie the Russians]

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 10, 2017 10:11:03 AM | 50

FYI: Turkey and the US just stopped issuing visas for their citizens to visit the other country...

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/europe/1870968-turkey-suspends-all-visa-evisa-services-turkish-missions-us.html?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=

The US part hasn't started yet, but I can only assume it will ensure shortly...

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 10, 2017 10:47:49 AM | 51

When the UN has to cope for EU's deals with murderers who have established "joy division" camps where all the women are parked and raped all day long in front of everyone passing by...

Posted by: Mina | Oct 9, 2017 2:33:21 PM | 27

You are a very dishonest person.

There isn't so much as one word about rape in that news report.

What it did say was:

    "Conditions in the centres are often dire and abuse widespread."

"Abuse" has a very wide definition, especially when used in the context the authors used it, and in fact had the authors meant to imply "rape" they would most likely have mentioned phrase "sexual abuse".

But they didn't.

Rape may happen in these camps and indeed probably does on some scale. But rape can happen whenever and wherever large mixed-sex groups of humans congregate

For you to describe that as "murderers who have established "joy division" camps where all the women are parked and raped all day long in front of everyone passing by" is extremely dishonest.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Oct 10, 2017 2:27:55 PM | 53

Just Sayin',
could you check the reports of the journalists who have been embedded on the Aquarius boat and have reported in medias about the stories they heard? i ve listened to the interviews.
women are systematically separated and used for comfort by the milicias and raped in open air with the other migrants watching where they are parked (and ransomed, the militia men calling their families in senegal, Cameroon, Mali etc asking for money with playing gun shots in the background)
The UN probably stepped in simply because these kind of reports have been here and there.
And check this film:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3652526/
and the doctor who has been workin in Lampedusa for more than ten years and say that in the latest years, he sees 100% of the women who arrive pregnant.
https://www.thelocal.it/20160810/the-doctor-who-has-assisted-every-migrant-arriving-at-lampedusa
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37695637

Posted by: Mina | Oct 10, 2017 3:26:56 PM | 54

@flankerbandit | 50
"I think you were referring specifically to the Russian - Turkish relationship" - No. I Wasn't.
Had you continued reading to just the next sentence in my post you would have seen that I gave an example - US, RF, German (if not EU) and Iranian interests converging where a weakened Turkey is concerned - and I didnt specify diplomatic relations.

And you need to double check your time line - RF was bombing Turkish smuggling routes - oil etc - from the off, long before the shooting down of the Jet. Erdogan showed no strength whatsoever in that move because it was so utterly botched by Turkey and showed it had no clear strategy whatsoever. In fact, after the immediate shock, the tide continued turning firmly against him.
And as for Putins tactics; the move heralded the economic attack against Turkey which floored Erdogan and led within 6 months to the man returning cap in hand and asking foegiveness from Putin! For the last 18 months Putin has been slowly but steadily allowing those economic tues to be restored, but Erdogan has had to earn every step of economic restoration and has had to toe the line re. Syria!
So, if anything the move showed Russia's red line and Erdogan has been paying the price ever since.
Anyway ... And HTS, well I've posted my thoughts on that elsewhere.
One thing you must always remember is that Erdogan talks to his people only. What he says is for intenal consumption. Sadly his stranglehold on all media allows him to completely control and manipulate Turkish people. Much of it is bollocks. Watch what he actually does outside his borders ... Very effing little.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 10, 2017 4:02:55 PM | 55

@ AtaBrit 55

'...but Erdogan has had to earn every step of economic restoration and has had to toe the line re. Syria!'

Sorry, but I must respectfully disagree...

The idea that Erdo is 'toeing' Putin's line on Syria is exactly the kind of nonsense that some people want to believe...

Erdo has received quite a lot from Putin, including keeping his influence over Idlib and the HTS that answer directly to him...

Not to mention actually occupying that slice between Afrin and Manbij...

A lot of people haven't thought through exactly how and under what circumstances Erdo is going to withdraw from that Syrian real estate and allow Syria to take control of the Idlib border with Turkey...

As things stand now Erdo and his FSA and HTS proxies control nearly the entire northern Syrian frontier...and that may stay that way for a very long time...in fact this latest Astana deal gives Erdo the control of the Idlib border explicitly...

Would you like to enlighten us as to how you envisage that border being given back to Syria by the Erdo that is toeing Putin's line...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 10, 2017 5:54:52 PM | 56

',
could you check the reports of the journalists who have been embedded on the Aquarius boat and have reported in medias about the stories they heard?

Posted by: Mina | Oct 10, 2017 3:26:56 PM | 54

You're full of shit Zina

If you weren't full of shit you would have linked direct to those reports you are alleging to have read and listened to- that's how we know you're full of shit. And you have always been full of shit Zina.
The BBC? The Local? lol, they're even less trustworthy that you are Zina.

And an IMDB link to a film? Oh well - it simply must be true then. Zina saw it on TV, how could anyone doubt it?
- you're a purveyor of utter shite Zina, always have been, always will be.

i ve listened to the interviews.

Well, ain't you brilliant.

Give yourself a rubber medal.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Oct 10, 2017 6:09:57 PM | 57

Seems like Israhell is going all-in: Israel’s Role in the Cataclysm to Come


Finally, the skeleton is out of the Arab Spring closet via an article in Foreign Policy written by Jonathan Spyer. Israel has been at war for total dominance in the Middle East and, according to the senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center (Rubin Center) and Jerusalem Post columnist, Tel Aviv is about to engage in Syria to confront Iran. [..]

The Israeli expert goes on to assert that “Syria hardly exists today”, and proclaims Iran and Russia the “masters” of the war-torn country. The Foreign Policy article lays out in no uncertain terms the essential mindset and strategy Israel has deployed against neighboring enemies and allies alike – even though the author did not intend to do so. By showing what Israel fears most, and in listing in convincing form the geopolitical and military counterweights of Tel Aviv, Spyer betrays the actual intentions of Israel. Read how Israel has worked with rebels inside Syria:

“Israel has developed pragmatic working relations with the local rebel groups who at the moment still control the greater part of the border, such as the Fursan al-Joulan group. This cooperation focuses on treating wounded fighters and civilians, and providing humanitarian aid and financial assistance. There has also probably been assistance in the field of intelligence, though no evidence has yet emerged of direct provision of weapons or direct engagement of Israeli forces on the rebels’ behalf.”

Finally, scanning reports and propaganda from the Rubin Center’s website one finds the Israeli group not just focused regionally. First, we find this Spyer fellow with eyes on Ukraine and the Jewish community there in a piece for Jerusalem Post portraying pro-Russian factions as Nazis. Next, I find it interesting that the Caucasus and Georgia are covered in depth. [..]


Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 10, 2017 7:15:39 PM | 58

Bavarian 48

'Turkey is on path to further isolating itself vice bringing certain economic prosperity through pipeline deals and huge tourist business with Russia and OBOR deals with China '

and yet Turkey is at the forefront of murkkan orchestrated islamist jihad in Myanmar , a key node of the OBOR./BRI project ?


Posted by: denk | Oct 10, 2017 11:20:16 PM | 59

I came across this article about one of the ways the US is playing spoiled sport

Russia says decreased U.S. coalition strikes in Iraq bolsters IS in Syria

It is short enough I will include the full text
"
MOSCOW, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S.-led coalition has reduced airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Iraq, allowing it to send reinforcements to Syria and complicate the advance of Syrian troops, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

The international coalition has sharply cut the number of airstrikes against IS in Iraq since September to just several times a day, the ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

The decrease in intensity of strikes coincided "in a strange way" with the arrival of IS militants from Iraqi border areas to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, where Syrian government troops have significantly expanded the territory liberated from terrorists over the past week, he said.

The continued fueling of terrorists from Iraq raised serious questions about the objectives of U.S.-led anti-terrorist operations in the region, he said.

In a separate statement, Konashenkov said Russian warplanes delivered 182 strikes over the past 24 hours in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zour against IS militants coming from Iraq, killing dozens of them.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 10, 2017 11:22:26 PM | 60

@57 Careful there lad, Mina is an esteemed collaborator on MoA.
Your trolling will only prove it..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 10, 2017 11:22:50 PM | 61

@ Lozion 61

Thanks for standing up for that Mina gal...

I honestly don't know what the kerfuffle is about but that last hysterical outburst by this 'Just Sayin' fella is simply shameful...

Anyone resorting to ad hominems = instant dolt in my book...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 11, 2017 12:22:10 AM | 62

@57 just sayin'

this is from @54 minas bottom link..

"He tells me mostly about the children he sees with agonising chemical and petrol burns - the dinghy disease, he calls it bitterly. But it's the women who suffer the most, he says. They practically all arrive raped, even the little girls of 12 and 13 - the psychological trauma is so big that… he breaks off and rests his head on the desk for a moment.

"They all used to arrive pregnant," he continues in a controlled, professional tone. "But no longer - not because they haven't been raped but because, they tell me, the traffickers are giving them injections to stop their ovulation. We've no idea what dose of drugs they've been given."

Posted by: james | Oct 11, 2017 1:56:02 AM | 63

now maybe the italian doctor is stretching it, but it is hard to know...

Posted by: james | Oct 11, 2017 1:57:00 AM | 64

Js
Get a life. No need to give links to interviews in French in the world of armchair cowboys. You can google aquarius and lampedusa as anyone else. But virtual bullying is what you are after.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 11, 2017 4:04:36 AM | 65

Thank you all for your commentary. I apologize for the harsh language I included at the end of my initial comment @1. In the moment of writing that, I was riled up by memories of people just defending, defending, defending Erdogan and giving him the benefit of the doubt when his maneuvers in Syria didn't seem to merit /any/ of it. It went as far, in August 2016 with people attacking a re-post of Mark Sleboda's Syria analysis and denying his prediction that Turkey would funnel terrorists to al-Bab, or occupy it through proxy or direct troops (which, it turns out Turkey would do).

Now, among other things, we see that Turkey (effectively) has occupied a slice between Afrin and Manbij. Denying the Kurds access, and acting as a placeholder of sorts for al-Qaeda affiliates/subsects.

Of course you could disagree with several points in Sleboda's take of the situation back then, but I think he still raised an important part about Turkey's role in Syria re regime change: how Turkey occupies land to deny it (primarily to the Kurds) but effectively to the Syrian Army forces. I think he was one of the first analysts to point out that facet of Turkey's strategy. Not that Turkey illegally occupying land was anything new in its history (see Cyprus).

If it wasn't Sleboda, another analyst at least as capable as him would've pointed it out, and it would be something worth discussing. Yes, Sleboda interned at Stratfor -- as someone with a political science background might do, in the smear campaign which followed in the latter half of the comments. This smear campaign took place back when the NATO/Gulen anti-Turkish coup narrative was a hot topic, and apparently credible. I know many at MoA aren't so keen on Sleboda. I haven't seen much else of his ouvre, but that many people seemed to react so strongly to that particular analysis of his made me thing something was wrong.

I think I understand the reason for that reaction now -- it was part of a wider "fog of war" campaign against analysts trying to clarify Turkey's role in Syria /without/ a "Eurasian integration" assumption as a base. What I found, generally, is that if people thought Turkey had undergone some sort of internal alliance switch and now had a stronger commitment to "Eurasian integration", then its actions in Syria -- with integration and larger geopolitical machinations as the backdrop -- could be explained rationally through this lens and "calm" the kneejerk anti-imperialist reactions from the Left.

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm trailing off -- I just recall a large campaign to frame Turkey as a "turning" actor, an actor undergoing a change whose watershed moment was the NATO coup (according to the popular Eurasian integration narrative). There was much reason in the initial phase to be hopeful about a potential Turkish change of direction. Turkey's options in Syria may become increasingly limited, thanks to Russian-achieved new realities on the ground, but I don't think that translates straightly to a Turkish accord with a Russian-directed plan. As some astute commenters here have pointed out already.

Remember this campaign too? : Turkey invades Syria in Operation Euphrates Shield, August 2016. People here said there was "deafening silence" from Iran and Russia about Turkey's invasion; a stunning lack of condemnation or comment. This meant that Iran & Russia tacitly approved, or greenlight a co-ordinated Turkish attack plan. I was like...errr? No? What about Syria's foreign minister directly condemning the invasion? Doesn't his opinion count? Or is his condemnation part of the "theater" between Turkey, Russia and Syria to confuse the West...?

It was a strange and frustrating time.

Posted by: David | Oct 11, 2017 5:31:41 AM | 66

Forgot to close bracket after initial sentence. Sorry!

Posted by: David | Oct 11, 2017 5:32:33 AM | 67

And regards Andrew Korybko, @Flankerbandit: You've probably read much more from him than I have, but your assessment is likely too. In either case, he's useful pawn for promoting certain "fog of war"-type narratives which allow US planners to continue regime change plans unabated.

Posted by: David | Oct 11, 2017 5:38:59 AM | 68

Alright, perhaps not so much 'defending' Erdogan as it was giving him the benefit of the doubt, or hoping a bit too eagerly that he was committed to turning a new leaf with Russia! :P MoA has many intelligent readers and I know few would be so silly as to actively defend his well documented nefariousness

Apologies for post after post. I have trouble collecting my thoughts. This will be my last on this thread for a bit.

Posted by: David | Oct 11, 2017 6:01:55 AM | 69

ISIS is on the way out, as a player in Iraq & Syria. For the most part, they are simply being escorted by Iraqi and Turkish troops into safe areas, where they change skins and become some other sort of jihadi. Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran are vying with the Kurds to replace them.

My guess, is that Turkey will, in fact, become the new ISIS in Iraq and Syria, allied with Iran.

Posted by: Michael S | Oct 11, 2017 6:02:44 AM | 70

@ PeacefulProsperity 58

Thanks for the heads up on that FP article...[your link didn't work so I put it in above]...

You know, I'm starting to enjoy more and more the impotent hissy fits of the neo-khazar commentators like this 'Jonathan Spyer' fellow...

So Israel is Going to War in Syria to Fight Iran...'

Well...if wishes were fishes...no khazars would ever go hungry...

Buried in that delusional nonsense are some rather interesting observations that approach truthiness...

'...This all forms a larger picture in which Israel sees a major shift underway in the regional balance of power, to the benefit of the Iran-led regional bloc...'

And...

'...The period of Arab unrest in 2010, during which Islamist and Salafi forces seemed briefly ascendant, is now a spent force...'

Aw, c'est dommage...I can just picture the Gene Sharps and various Mossad, CIA and PNAC scumbags crying into their kosher wine...

Indeed the jihadist / color revolution party is over...Thanks Mr. Putin...

A rather cogent point is also made...

'...“Syria,” of course, hardly exists today...'

Notice the author's use of quotation marks around UN member state Syria...nice touch, no...?

This is highly revealing of how the enemies of humanity view countries and peoples they seek to destroy...

For them a 'Syria' that doesn't exist...de facto, if not de jure...is the perfect cover for illegal aggression, such as the continuing US occupation of Syrian territory...

We have all heard by now a thousand times that the US is in Syria to fight terrorists...because Syria itself is unable to do so...

Absurd as this may appear on its face, this is completely legit in the eyes of those who want to believe...

There is also unfortunately quite a bit of reality in the notion that 'Syria' doesn't exist...

The most important part of this is that Syria controls very little of its borders...

This up to date map shows the situation...

We see here that Damascus controls at most about a quarter of its frontiers...

the northern border with Turkey is controlled by the US proxy SDF in the east, and the Turks in the West...

The southern frontier with Jordan is now only about half in the hands of Damascus...

On the absolutely vital border with Iraq to the east, perhaps only 10 percent is now in the hands of Damascus...The SDF and ISIS together now hold more than three quarters...about evenly split between the two...

The imperative now for the Damascus is to regain that frontier from ISIS...on the west bank of the Euphrates that means the area from Sukna to Bukamal...

On the east bank that means everything south of the Khabur River, which empties into the Euphrates at Mayadin, where the Tigers and Russian air and Kalibr strikes are now working on snuffing out that last ISIS stronghold in the area...

This race for the Iraq border is absolutely crucial...and all the Israel firsters like that Spyer dingbat can see that there is no way to stop that...

So they start making empty noises about 'going to war'...

As if...let them try...see what happens when Russia convenes an emergency session of the UNSC...calling out blatant Israeli aggression on a UN member state...

What we have seen up to this point is rather low-key illegality from the US and Israel...US supposedly supporting Kurds to fight ISIS...Israel launching the odd missile from outside Syrian airspace...etc...

This is all they can do and they know it...any overt aggression would be a step too far...

As it is that low-key aggression and helping terrorists and treacherous US cooperation with ISIS and HTS etc...is not going to work...end of story...

But we do see how important it is for Damascus to regain control of as much of its frontiers as possible...

In previous comments I mentioned the northern frontier and Turkey's hold on that area...

This too is a big problem... although many would prefer to remain oblivious to this fact...

A country that does not control its borders is not a country...


Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 11, 2017 12:08:08 PM | 71

@ PeacefulProsperity 58

Thanks for the heads up on that FP article...[your link didn't work so I put it in above]...

You know, I'm starting to enjoy more and more the impotent hissy fits of the neo-khazar commentators like this 'Jonathan Spyer' fellow...

So Israel is Going to War in Syria to Fight Iran...'

Well...if wishes were fishes...no khazars would ever go hungry...

Buried in that delusional nonsense are some rather interesting observations that approach truthiness...

'...This all forms a larger picture in which Israel sees a major shift underway in the regional balance of power, to the benefit of the Iran-led regional bloc...'

And...

'...The period of Arab unrest in 2010, during which Islamist and Salafi forces seemed briefly ascendant, is now a spent force...'

Aw, c'est dommage...I can just picture the Gene Sharps and various Mossad, CIA and PNAC scumbags crying into their kosher wine...

Indeed the jihadist / color revolution party is over...Thanks Mr. Putin...

A rather cogent point is also made...

'...“Syria,” of course, hardly exists today...'

Notice the author's use of quotation marks around UN member state Syria...nice touch, no...?

This is highly revealing of how the enemies of humanity view countries and peoples they seek to destroy...

For them a 'Syria' that doesn't exist...de facto, if not de jure...is the perfect cover for illegal aggression, such as the continuing US occupation of Syrian territory...

We have all heard by now a thousand times that the US is in Syria to fight terrorists...because Syria itself is unable to do so...

Absurd as this may appear on its face, this is completely legit in the eyes of those who want to believe...

There is also unfortunately quite a bit of reality in the notion that 'Syria' doesn't exist...

The most important part of this is that Syria controls very little of its borders...

Southfront has up to date maps that show the situation...[apparently this site does not allow linking to that website]

We see on the map that Damascus controls at most about a quarter of its frontiers...

the northern border with Turkey is controlled by the US proxy SDF in the east, and the Turks in the West...

The southern frontier with Jordan is now only about half in the hands of Damascus...

On the absolutely vital border with Iraq to the east, perhaps only 10 percent is now in the hands of Damascus...The SDF and ISIS together now hold more than three quarters...about evenly split between the two...[the US proxies around al Tanf control a good piece too]

The imperative now for the Damascus is to regain the ISIS-held part of the Iraqi border...on the west bank of the Euphrates that means the area from Sukna to Mayadin to Bukamal...

On the east bank that means everything south of the Khabur River, which empties into the Euphrates at Mayadin, where the Tigers and Russian air and Kalibr strikes are now working on snuffing out that last ISIS stronghold in the area...

This race for the Iraq border is absolutely crucial...and all the Israel firsters like that Spyer dingbat can see that there is no way to stop that...

So they start making empty noises about 'going to war'...

As if...let them try...see what happens when Russia convenes an emergency session of the UNSC...calling out blatant Israeli aggression on a UN member state...

What we have seen up to this point is rather low-key illegality from the US and Israel...US supposedly supporting 'Kurds' to fight ISIS...Israel launching the odd missile from outside Syrian airspace...etc...

This is all they can do and they know it...any overt aggression would be a step too far...

As it is that low-key aggression and helping terrorists and treacherous US cooperation with ISIS and HTS etc...is not going to work...end of story...

But we do see how important it is for Damascus to regain control of as much of its frontiers as possible...

In previous comments I mentioned the northern frontier and Turkey's hold on that area...

This too is a big problem... although many would prefer to remain oblivious to this fact...

A country that does not control its borders is not a country...


Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 11, 2017 12:14:14 PM | 72

@flankerbandit | 56

"Erdo has received quite a lot from Putin" - you go on to list Idlib, HTS, and the stretch between Afrin and Manbij ...

Erdogan wanted desperately to move from Jerablus to manbij but RF stopped him. RF allowed him only to prevent the unification of the two Kurdish tracts. Erdogan is now stating that he will go onto Afrin. He will not. If rumours are true US troops are now in Afrin (converging interests? But not Turkey's.)
As for Idlib abd HTS lets see. These are Astana agreed parameters for the de-escalation zone.

Leta not forget that Turkey is of uae to RF and so there is of course cooperarion. One of the key factors dealt with immediately after Wrsogan went cap in hand was Turkish Stream - if you remember Erso reneged on the previous agreement at Obamas inaiatence ... RF turned that around smartly. Many more instances.

Consider Turkey's activity before and after RF intervention and you will notice striking differences. Ersogan wilk only gain from this conflict that which he is 'given'. Davutoglou's New Ottoman aspirations in Syria are dead. They died in 2015/16.

Would be interested to hear about anythjng else that Erdogan has gained from the Syrian conflict since RF intervention! Maybe there's a reason why his attention is mow on the Blakans ...

Oh, and calling my opinion 'nonsense' is not actually 'disagreeing respectfully'.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 11, 2017 3:49:29 PM | 73

@flankerbandit | 56

"Erdo and his FSA and HTS proxies control nearly the entire northern Syrian frontier."

What the ... ?
Missed this gem on first reading. :-)

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 11, 2017 3:53:54 PM | 74

@ bavarian l denk | 59
Both excellent but contradictory points.
Either of you have any ideas I'd love to hear them.
There is no doubt that while Erdogan has all but lost the ME, for 'downtrodden' muslim communities in Asia, parts of Africa and the Balkans he still commands considerable admiration as the defender of Muslims.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 11, 2017 4:10:21 PM | 75

I'm not sure about Turkey renegading...

La stratégie militaire de la nouvelle Turquie, par Thierry Meyssan


Following an agreement between Russia and Turkey at the last talks in Astana, the Turkish army entered the governorate of Idleb, in violation of Syrian sovereignty, in order to fight the jihadists.

The Turkish Army makes a distinction between:
- the Syrian Turkmen, which it has grouped under the flag of the former Free Syrian Army (ASL) and which it intends to use as support in the region.
- jihadists who agree to continue their fight in Southeast Asia and who should be transferred there by the Turkish secret services (MIT).
- all others, which should be eliminated.

The Turkish army is already occupying Al-Bab, also in violation of Syrian sovereignty.

The Turkish presence in Idleb cuts Rojava's access to the Mediterranean Sea. His presence in Al-Bab offers him the opportunity to quickly cut the Rojava in two and crush this pseudo-state.

So this counter the AngloZio plans of creating their Kurdish "independent" outpost in the ME. Apparently Erdogan has called the Kurdsh referendum "an Israeli plot" for a reason.

Another interesting quote:


Turkey, Iran and Iraq have agreed to stifle the desire for independence of pseudo-Kurdistan. The Barzani family and Israel have gradually nibbled over territories as a result of local conflicts and war. In fifteen years, the territory administered by the Barzani and Israel under the name of "Iraqi Kurdistan" has multiplied its area by five to the detriment of the indigenous populations, Arabs and Christians. On 25 September 2017, the Barzani family and Israel held a referendum on independence. Following a largely rigged vote, particularly in Christian areas, the "yes" won 92%. At a popular festival, the Barzani family, brandishing Kurdish and Israeli flags, announced that the process of independence was irreversible. The Kurds-Israel magazine revealed that an agreement had been reached between Tel Aviv and Erbil providing for the transfer of 200,000 Israeli citizens to "Kurdistan" as soon as independence was declared. The Israeli army intends to quickly install missiles to threaten both Syria and Iran.

And now we have this "Baghdad court orders arrest of Kurd independence referendum organizers"
www.rt.com/newsline/406386-iraq-court-kurd-organizers

Some more good news:

On guard: New batch of female students graduates from Syria’s military college (VIDEO)
www.rt.com/news/406410-syrian-women-military-college/

www.sott.net/article/364031-Syrians-arrest-US-spy-in-Damascus

www.sott.net/article/364021-Ex-nuclear-deal-negotiator-sent-to-Iranian-jail-on-spying-charges

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 12, 2017 12:32:21 PM | 78

One more quite important quote from the above VN piece:


The pipeline linking the pseudo-Kurdistan to the port of Ceyhan (Turkey) will be closed by the Turkish public operator that owns it, BOTAŞ, thus cutting the oil revenues of the Barzani. Currently, Kurdish oil is mainly exploited by the French Total. It is sold in the European Union, Ukraine and Israel, where it accounts for almost all domestic consumption.

Turkish and Iranian airspace will be closed with pseudo-Kurdistan. Given the war, Syrian airspace is not practicable for civil flights. Flights to and from Erbil are compulsory through Baghdad.

The border crossings between Turkey and Iran on the one hand, and pseudo-Kurdistan on the other, will all be closed, cutting off the customs revenues of the possible new state. In order to maintain Turkish-Iraqi trade, a new road will be opened along the Syrian-Iraqi border linking Ankara to Baghdad. The Iraqi army will deploy 13,000 troops to ensure its safety, while the construction of a new pipeline on this road will begin immediately.

This road will cut communications between pseudo-Kurdistan and Rojava.

The Turkish army has already occupied Bashiqa (psudo-Kurdistan) since 2015, in violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

An ultimatum will be addressed to the Barzani family urging him to renounce independence by 1 November at the latest. In case of refusal, the Turkish army prepares to enter the war against the pseudo-Kurdistan. It would take Erbil in pincers, on the one hand from the Turkish border, on the other hand from the new road secured by the Iraqi army.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 12, 2017 12:35:53 PM | 79

AtaBrit 75
'he still commands considerable admiration as the defender of Muslims.'

The Turks bleat about alleged 'genocides' in Xinjiang, Myanmar etc,
Never heard them whine about Kashmir tho. !

Looks more like a Nato's stooge than a champion of Islam ??

Posted by: denk | Oct 12, 2017 8:50:31 PM | 80

The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet is reporting that the movement by Turkish troops into Idleb is according to an agreement with Iran and Russia. They describe the move as a joint mission with Russia and Iran to monitor a local de-escalation zone and to "pacify al-Qaeda linked militants" in the area.

So it looks like b might a little too worried about this move.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 13, 2017 1:01:45 AM | 81

@denk| 80
"Looks more like a Nato's stooge than a champion of Islam ?"

I fully agree. But our perspective is different.

But the Mayanmar focus is interesting; while I often suggest that in Syria Erdogan is toeing Russia's line, that is probably not true elsewhere. The US still has considerable leverage over Turkey, e.g. over Erdogan in particular we might see it blast onto the headlines soon - Zarrab and the Halk Bank affairs will surely implicate Erdogan in corruption and no ammount of US embassy hostages is going to change that. :-)
The question is how far that leverage will go? Will we see the partition of Turkey because Erdogan wants to save him and his AKP mafia mates. And is this the real reason for the sudden resignation of decades loyal and trusted AKP politicians recently - once they've resigned they are less a target ?!. We'll see.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 13, 2017 7:21:37 AM | 82

@PeacefulProsperity | 79
Just as Rosneft signs a deal with Kurdistan to pipe to the Black Sea ... Conincidence?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 13, 2017 7:23:44 AM | 83

@PeacefulProsperity | 79

"The Turkish presence in Idleb cuts Rojava's access to the Mediterranean Sea. His presence in Al-Bab offers him the opportunity to quickly cut the Rojava in two and crush this pseudo-state."

The former is certain, imo. The possibility of reaching the Med poses a significant economic threat to Turkey because energy will be able to travel via'Kurdistan' and reach the Med without touching Turkish soil ... Not to mention other supply and transport routes ... China wanta access to the Med. Does it really care where tbat access point is?
But the latter? Turkey take on the Kurds in Northern Syria? After Assad has stated a willingness to negotiate with them; considering the depleated and weakened Turkish armed forces; considering US support of Kurds?
Maybe its a defensive and stabilising stance that Turkey is taking. The military threat from Kurds to Turkey is growing and should Kurds try to partition Turkey they will make sure to be prepared before they do so, and Turkey is not ready for such ... Doesn't even have enough F16 pilots left!!
So maybe it is both cutting off access to the Med and securing against invasion ...
Maybe somethjng else... :-)

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 13, 2017 7:40:12 AM | 84

@AtaBrit Rosneft deal is just a promise, far in the future, contingent on many variables. Whereas the dependence on Turkey is very palpable, hard reality.

Unravelling the Riddle of the Kurds’ Iraqi Pipedream


[..] Following an October 2011 deal with Exxon Mobil (when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was still its CEO), a deal which did not get Baghdad’s approval, Total is investing in the Shaikan oil field. Rosneft signed a multi-billion dollar contract to build a new gas pipeline – and quite probably would not have done if they didn’t have security guarantees from Ankara. And British Gulf Keystone Petroleum is also getting in on the action.

Still, the real kingmaker is Turkey’s BOTAŞ Petroleum Pipeline Corporation. And Erdogan is right: it takes just an index finger down to completely halt the oil flow to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Erdogan’s key demand to the KRG post-referendum is non-negotiable: no declaration of independence. [..]

Barzani has been spinning wildly that the KRG’s “partnership” with Baghdad is over. In doing so, he has managed to obfuscate the fact that the KRG took over Kirkuk province only because the Iraqi Army folded when faced with ISIS in June 2014. And he actually praised ISIS’ occupation of Mosul because he saw it as a perfect opening for the partition of Iraq. [..]

Even though Kirkuk’s oil fields are currently controlled by the Peshmerga, Barzani would never be foolish enough to engage in a war against Baghdad over Kirkuk, especially if the PMUs are involved. For all practical purposes, that would mean war against Iran as well.[..]

So Turkey can both block both the exports through Ceyhan and retract its security guarantees for the Rosneft project rendering it null.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Oct 13, 2017 7:52:13 AM | 85

Well...the Erdo that is toeing Putin's line on Syria is now embarking on a a Turkization of its occupied area in the northern part of Aleppo province...

Reuters tells us today that...'In schools and hospitals, Turkey carves north Syria role...'

'...Children returning to school in the northern Syrian city of al-Bab were handed a new textbook this term: “Türkçe Öğreniyorum” - “I am learning Turkish”...

'...Turkish lessons, Turkish signposts, Turkish-trained police and most recently a Turkish post office all point to Turkey’s deepening role in an area of northern Syria it captured from Islamic State (IS) with the help of Syrian rebels. Turkish administrators are even helping to run hospitals in the area...'

Reuters points out the obvious...

'...Turkish support is also consolidating the region’s status as a Syrian opposition-held territory where Turkey-backed Syrian opposition groups are building their own government even as the forces of President Bashar al-Assad win back swathes of the country elsewhere...'

Again, the question must be posed to all non-realists here as to How, and under what circumstances will we see Erdogan restoring the control of the border area of this 60 mile stretch of Syrian land to the legitimate government of UN member state Syria...?

Yes, we all recall how the Turko-Russian rapprochement unfolded...Erdo decided to go to Moscow to formally 'apologize' for the downing of the Russian aircraft...

Not long after that, Putin made a reciprocal visit to Ankara...

Right after that visit, Erdo launches the Euphrates Shield military invasion of Syria, under the pretext of fighting ISIS...

We can speculate all we want about whether Putin agreed to this, but we simply do not know what Putin agreed to, and whether Erdo then took the liberty of going much further than was agreed...

Certainly the latter seems much more likely...

Clearly Putin and Assad in particular would have preferred to take out ISIS in that area themselves and restore control of the border with Turkey between the two Kurdish enclaves...

Turkey pre-empted that...why do I get the feeling that the cozying up to Putin just prior to this move into Syrian territory was so much fancy footwork...?

Clearly, had Russia not agreed to kiss and make up, Erdo would never have dared to launch Euphrates Shield...as long as he was at still at odds with Russia, he would have to know that his tinpot army would have been Kalibrd, Iskandered and Kh-101d into pieces...

What we see here is that Erdo has no intention of ever leaving his piece of occupied Syria...

In a speech last weekend, Reuters says...Erdo said this...

'...We don’t have a wish to occupy these lands but we want the rightful owners to go back there...

Presumably this means ethnic Turkmen who will settle these occupied territories along the West Bank model...

Undoubtedly Putin is extremely pleased that Erdo is toeing his line so faithfully...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 13, 2017 11:31:22 AM | 86

@flankerbandit :-)

You are of course entitled to your opinion, but the very fact that by its own admission Turkey is acting according to the Agreement and not of its own accord is sufficient in my view, to prove that it is actualy toeing the line despite attempts to show otherwise. Turkey did not enter Jerablus of its own volition and it is not entering Idlib of his own volition. Neither, in both cases, was the Turkish Air Force given a role and air power was managed by 'allies' to ensure that Turkey's moves could be checked if necessary! An important step given that no one trusts Turkey.

Your cheerleading the 'ethnic Turkmen' (Many of whom in Syria are imported Jihadists!!) leads me to think that you are actually an Erdo Fan Boy. Are you?

Finally, there may be big developments on the Zarrab case in the near future which will be interesting - Erdogan may decide to lash out in a vain attempt to protect himself, or he.might decide to simply continue pkaying havoc with NATO and US relations as he us now.

We'll see.
Oh, and always interesting to read others' views.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 13, 2017 4:26:09 PM | 87

AtaBrit says...

'...Your cheerleading the 'ethnic Turkmen' (Many of whom in Syria are imported Jihadists!!) leads me to think that you are actually an Erdo Fan Boy. Are you?..'

What...?

Are you serious or just trying to twist my words...?

Either way there is zero substance to that absurd notion...and my comments could not conceivably lead anyone to believe the statement you just put out...

Let me repeat myself to be absolutely clear...

Erdogan has just said that the territory his army now occupies in Syria should be returned to its 'rightful owners...'

What on earth do you think that means, if not Turkmen...who are not I repeat not the rightful 'owners' of any territory in Syria...

They, like other ethnic groups are owners of nothing except their own personal property...

The fact that I pointed out Erdo's nefarious scheme obviously has you very upset...

Sorry but you are only digging yourself deeper by being disingenuous...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 13, 2017 9:25:53 PM | 88

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