Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 27, 2015

Erdogan Establishes No-Fly Zone Over Syria

Turkey PM 'will support' Syria no-fly zone - May 10 2013

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, has told a US television station that his country will support a US-enforced no-fly zone in Syria.

Turkey's Erdogan says U.N. must decide on any Syria no-fly zone- May 17 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday it would be up to the U.N. Security Council to decide whether to establish a no-fly zone inside Syria and said he backed the involvement of Russia and China in planned peace talks.

Turkey's Erdogan calls for no-fly zone in Syria - Sep 26 2014

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that a "no-fly zone" should be created in Syria to protect part of it from attacks by Syria's air force.

Erdogan: Allies Warming to Idea of Syria ‘Safe Zone’ - Nov 10 2015

Speaking to CNN today, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that his allies are “warming” to the idea of imposing a safe zone in northern Syria, a plan that his government had advocated for years as an alternative to Turkey accepting massive numbers of refugees.

Turkey's Erdogan renews call for creation of secure, no-fly zone in Syria - Nov 11 2015

ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renewed a call for the creation of a no-fly zone in Syria that would allow refugees to return to their homeland.

Only a few weeks ago Erdogan's long desired no-fly zone looked increasingly possible. But then the guardsman passed by.

by Viliam Weisskopf, published 1958 in the Czech magazine Roháč (bigger)

Caught in the act Erdogan is now compelled to install the desired no-fly zone over Syria. For Turkish jets.

Turkey suspends Syria flights after crisis with Russia - Nov 27 2015

The Turkish army has suspended flights over Syria as part of an ongoing joint military campaign with the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after it shot down a Russian jetfighter, sparking an unprecedented crisis between Ankara and Moscow.

The decision was taken following the eruption of the crisis with Russia in which a Turkish F-16 downed a Russian warplane early Nov. 24 after it allegedly violated Turkish airspace, according to diplomatic sources.

Posted by b on November 27, 2015 at 11:02 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"Caught in the act Erdogan is finally compelled to install the desired no-fly zone over Syria - for Turkish jets." -- classic! Home alone!

If they fly out it's unlikely they will return -- or if they do, it will be minus one.

Posted by: doveman | Nov 27 2015 11:07 utc | 1

Hmmm, how easy is it to tell a Turkish F-16 from a USAF F-16 if both fly out of the same Turkish airbase?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 27 2015 11:31 utc | 2

b, thanks, but no thanks for the scary headline. Good the end.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 27 2015 11:32 utc | 3

The snark is strong

Posted by: gemini33 | Nov 27 2015 11:39 utc | 4

No erdogan will not have his no fly zone and russia will not stop its operations and leave the area, we are close to the red line in wich russia will switch from brave responsible to justified agression in the face of years long being under all ways of attacks by propaganda, sanctions, nato expansion etc.

Posted by: | Nov 27 2015 11:41 utc | 5

I think that Erdogan's already had his bluff called. Nobody knows ya when yer down and out.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 27 2015 12:15 utc | 6

Looks like the EU poodles are off the NATO (read DC) leash ....

Hollande appeals to Europe's ministers in media session with Putin, Germany offers help.

Do we cracks appearing in the USSEU facade?

Is bankrupt and way past 'best-by' Nato dead, apart for the fat lady finale?

Posted by: doveman | Nov 27 2015 12:25 utc | 7

Not so OT

Posted by: Mina | Nov 27 2015 12:27 utc | 8

Serves the perfidious Turkish regime just right.Did they really think anyone but the bought-and-paid for Atlanticist media would fall for their clumsy lies?

Now that we know about the close link, it occurs to me that the outrageous, deliberate bloodthirstiness of ISIS is eerily reminiscent of the behaviour of Turkey's troops in Europe, until they were finally thrown back after Vienna.

In Hainburg (Austria) there is a street called Blutgasse, where apparently the blood ran a metre high when the Turks massacred the entire population; and in a nearby settlement only one man survived from his whole village, by hiding in his chimney. The entire province of Burgenland had to be resettled, after the Turks had eradicated the original population.

Can it be that this historic record of genocide is the inspiration for present-day ISIS?

Posted by: Ceteris Paribus | Nov 27 2015 12:29 utc | 9

If the downing of Su-24 is true, which appear to be, the first thing in my mind is that Turkey couldn't do it on its own. It is just unthinkable and impossible, it is something it might comes out from Andersen's fables. If they did it on its own they they had had approval and support of the USA. I wrote that elite 8 F-15C in Incirlik AFB. The second thing if the Russian did not see two F-16s on the sky with its 3D phased array radars from land and sea, than no S-400 will help them.

Since a people are having short memory and attention span not longer than 5 minutes, I want to recollect my memories from Libya recent its regime change intervention and support of various Death Squads. In the beginning Turkey was fiercely against US/UK/France intervention. After a while they (Turks) change their mind!

In politics nothing is happens by accident, which leaves me to think this situation is probably created to defuse the NFZ "idea" by hawks.

President Erdoğan wants to meet Putin in Paris on Nov 30, Kremlin says

As I wrote couple days ago here, the NFZ is not possible anymore. Iraq scenario with "parallels" and Southern and Northern NFZ isn't possible any more.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 13:04 utc | 10

Yep. That's a no-fly zone alright.
Unfortunately for Erdogan it's Russia's, and not exactly what he had in mind (when a no-fly zone seemed like a good idea).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 27 2015 13:06 utc | 11

Interesting article about Syrian and Iraqi oil.

I do not know what, who, is/are, or paid from, but this article strike me as if "ordered" by someone, someone who needs PR campaign.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 13:27 utc | 12

The god's be good; Putin is the only competent player of the lot.
Now that's scary. Fools, for the most part, run the world...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Nov 27 2015 13:28 utc | 13

Kremlin was quick to respond to Erdoğan's call made during his speech saying Erdoğan's offer to meet with Putin has been rejected.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 13:33 utc | 14

ANKARA, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renewed a call for the creation of a no-fly zone in Syria that would allow (his) refugees to return to their homeland.

Erdogan has certainly mastered Chutzpah & Hypocrisy.
He sounds just like an R2P Christian...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 27 2015 13:35 utc | 15

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27, 2015 8:04:03 AM | 10

Russia sure saw them but sure did not expect them to be stupid enough to do what they did. The story has a whole history of Turkish complaints on Russia bombing Turkmen.

There is this "meant to send Russia a message" idea going round. I doubt it was in NATO's interest to send that message. NATO planes from now on depend on Russian good will.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 27 2015 13:40 utc | 16

Dead Iranian diplomat's body surfaced 2 month late

Posted by: Mina | Nov 27 2015 13:40 utc | 17

They indulged in illusions of power, stereotypes about their enemies, and outmoded conceptions of sovereignty; they succumbed to the demands of transient domestic coalitions; and they misperceived their surroundings, sometimes for no good reason. In all of this, such leaders were sleepwalkers,generally unaware of the horrific consequences of the war they were about to unleash.

Do we see, again, Sleepwalkers?

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 13:44 utc | 18

"The story has a whole history of Turkish complaints on Russia bombing Turkmen."

Were do we know this narrative from? Protection of ethic minority of this and that country. Nazi Germany!?

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 13:47 utc | 19

Can that cartoon really be from 1958?

Posted by: dh | Nov 27 2015 13:50 utc | 20

I believe a secret rebellion is going on in the Turkish armed forces .It is well know that the army is a staunch supporter of Gulen. I won't be surprised if the downing of the Russian pplane was not the way to put Erdogan in a difficult position . In addition for most of the world the vicious game of Turkey is becoming apparent and Erdogan's path to dictatorship repulsive.
Erdogan is more isolated than ever in the region and is now trying to reestablish relation with Europe by using blackmail on the refugees crisis. Again he is showing that he just ndoes not understand much about international politics and he is going deeper in a hole.

Posted by: Virgule | Nov 27 2015 13:53 utc | 21

The official narrative seems to be changing towards "gangs" -- it's now State vs criminals rather than State vs 'Islamic' State.

"Germany not at war, but battle against murderous gang"

A decay of NATO and escape of the poodles? -- or a cunning EU ruse to slip in the smaller kitchen knives as a new threat in Putin's back?

Whatever the angle (and it may be both scenarios) the global military industrial complex (and its shareholders) seem keen to keep the levels of hostility and aggression at optimal +ve economic impact just below WW3 trigger threshold.

Posted by: doveman | Nov 27 2015 13:53 utc | 22

Posted by: dh | Nov 27, 2015 8:50:14 AM | 20

Syrian crisis of 1957

Posted by: somebody | Nov 27 2015 14:06 utc | 23

@23. Right. Good find b. It's perfect for today.

Posted by: dh | Nov 27 2015 14:12 utc | 24

I wonder if the folks who've been getting rich via short-changing US TaxPayers, plundering AmeriKKKa's Defense Budget, and treating it like their very own Money Tree for decades, will be rewarded for their theft & greed the way the Banksters were?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 27 2015 14:27 utc | 25

Perhaps the headline should be "Putin closes Syrian airspace to Turks without firing a shot" Losing a plane and the pilot but positioning S-400s in Syria without anyone whining about it and then the Turkish air force taking itself out of any possible fight without a shot being fired at it is quite a bargain. Is Erdogan back on the leash? I suspect the USAF flying F16s might have had something to do with it.

Posted by: blowback | Nov 27 2015 14:44 utc | 26

We will suspend visa-free travel with Turkey, Russia FM Lavrov says.
US 'concerned' over deployment of Russian missile system

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 14:58 utc | 27

Meanwhile, EU president Junker says the Euro doesn't make sense without the visa-free border crossing policy.

If they would close the borders with Turkey and the Balkans, that would probably be enough. Those two areas seem to be the main supply routes for terrorists and guns. If they still need more terrorists, there's the US embassy in Ankarra or Jeddah to issue the visas (per the book "Visas for Al Qaeda").

Posted by: Les | Nov 27 2015 15:01 utc | 28

The su-24 was flown by two human beings, we see that turkey is ready to execute premeditated murder without any legal or moral justification to achieve their illegal immoral goals, it shows us the heart and mind of the turkish people who voted this sick government into their place and enabled them to islamize turkey and facilitate the rise of jihad and the support of usa foreign policy to dominate the world the big picture explains the incident while this incident shows us the big picture, real threat to the world is islam and usa policy and their tools terrorism and nato.

Posted by: | Nov 27 2015 15:04 utc | 29

Russian leader Vladimir Putin says America knew the flight path of the Russian jet downed by its ally Turkey.

Mr Putin dismissed as "rubbish" Turkey's claim that it would not have shot down the jet if it had known it was Russian.

The accusations came at a joint news conference on how to defeat Islamic State (IS) with French counterpart Francois Hollande at the Kremlin.

"The American side, which leads the coalition that Turkey belongs to, knew about the location and time of our planes' flights, and we were hit exactly there and at that time," Mr Putin said.

Of course...

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 15:04 utc | 30

Hail Turkey, front for OTAN (NATO) terrorism, we knew you could achieve great things. Syria should declare a ten KM security zone approaching the Syrian geographic border. Any craft in that zone on a course approaching that border shall be considered to be on a hostile path and appropriate measures shall be taken once the geographic border is crossed. In advent of error or non-harm done and expeditious return across border, only diplomatic protest to be registered. This shall be applied to all non-comercial aircraft not registering their flight information with the coordinating mission in Bagdad Iraq no less than an hour before such flight occurs. No exceptions whatsoever. Sovereignty, the way it should be exercised, by law; accept no substitutes.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Nov 27 2015 15:10 utc | 31

So, in the end there will be no gas-line between Russia and Turkey. I, only, can congratulate to US effort on this disruption after the other one between EU and Russia.

What I can not understand is Turkey.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 15:19 utc | 32

Not sure if this has been posted w/video of Putin/Hollande press conference:

As for Israel buying Kurds/Isis oil, article was in Jerusalem Post. Does Isis oil passes thru Kurd controlled areas. Odd if true.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 27 2015 15:30 utc | 33

and than "Turkey suspends Syria flights after crisis with Russia"

Turkey as Useful Idiot. The question is now who pull the trigger, were there really Turkish jets...

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Nov 27 2015 15:44 utc | 34


I don't mind being corrected, but I can't recall ISIS - which threatens just about anyone on a regular basis - ever being belligerent towards Israel.
Israel is also incredibly nonchalant about Daesh.
Maybe there lies the answer to the mistery of ISIS' creation.

Posted by: telescope | Nov 27 2015 15:53 utc | 35

Turkish nationalists and their expansionist dreams are difficult to understand for normal brains. Just like the Zionists.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 27 2015 16:09 utc | 36

Andrew Korybko has an interesting article that poses some interesting questions folks might like to read,

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2015 16:10 utc | 37

@Mina #36:

Personally, I think that Zionism is easier to understand for Westerners, given that most of us have had a lot more exposure to Jews and Judaism than to Muslims and Islam. Furthermore, my understanding is that Zionism was originally a Jewish secular response to European nationalism – a modern development – whereas Turkish nationalism would seem to derive from the Ottoman Empire, which predated European nationalism.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 27 2015 16:24 utc | 38

It looks this was a setup by the US to get the Turkish Stream project killed.

Posted by: Les | Nov 27 2015 16:26 utc | 39

sa top @ 29 said:"real threat to the world is islam and usa policy and their tools terrorism and nato.

Posted by: | Nov 27, 2015 10:04:00 AM | 29

IMO, the real threat to the world are, the giant multi-national corporate interests, who seek to capture resources to increase market share around the globe, thru manipulation of religious morons to accomplish their goals. At this moment in time, THAT, is the West's policy.

Posted by: ben | Nov 27 2015 16:41 utc | 40

Sultan (isn't that a dog name?) Erdogan, the gift that keeps on giving...

Erdogan's Mistake: Russia May Now Initiate Own 'No-Fly Zone' Over Syria

President Erdogan's mistake in shooting down the Russian Su-24 bomber 'has waived the green light' for Russia to initiate a 'no-fly zone' by deploying additional fighter power and air defense systems in Syria, US columnist Jim W. Dean notes.

The US-led coalition's recent provocation against the Russo-Syrian counter terrorism campaign has "put nothing but torpedoes into its own sinking international credibility," according to US columnist and managing editor for Veterans Today Jim W. Dean.

Dean stresses that the destruction of the ISIL oil tanker fleet, which NATO had been "somehow" unable to detect for over a year, has predictably prompted outrage from those who have long been benefitting from the illicit oil trade

"We suspected the tanker-crushing move would make the people who had been marketing ISIL's oil, the Kurds and Turkey, unhappy enough to be provoked into a blunder themselves. We did not have to wait long, with the militarily-senseless shooting down of the Russian SU-24 bomber by the Turkish F-16s," Dean narrates in his recent article for New Eastern Outlook. [...]

[...] The whole incident looks very fishy: the Turkish provocation has triggered justified suspicions among European lawmakers. Some of them have gone even so far as to blame Ankara for collaboration with ISIL, the US columnist notes.

Still, Turkey's provocation has not worked: the Kremlin immediately disavowed any hints of a military response, Dean emphasizes.

Instead, Russia has deployed its advanced S-400 Triumf air defense system with the capability of hitting targets at ranges of up to 400 kilometers to Hmeymim air base in Syria. Furthermore, Russia's Moskva 11,500-ton warship has reached the shores of Syria in order to ensure the security of Russian aircraft in the region.

Interestingly enough, the Turkish Hurriyet media outlet reported Friday that "the Turkish army has suspended flights over Syria as part of an ongoing joint military campaign with the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after it shot down a Russian jetfighter."

"Turkey used its last 'freebie' by shooting the Russian plane down. There will be no Western coalition no-fly zone in northern Syria, for which some Senators and presidential candidate crazies were trying to get headlines advocating; at least not the kind they wanted," Dean points out.

Now, Russia can create a "defensive bubble" over Syria. Moscow does not want to do this, he notes, but it has been forced to. Russia has repeatedly made attempts to form a real coalition with Western countries and their partners in order to smash ISIL, but the West turned a deaf ear to its proposal.

"Erdogan's mistake in shooting the bomber down has waived the green flag for Putin to bring in enough fighter power for the Syrian coalition to initiate a no-fly zone on any uninvited airstrikes anywhere inside Syrian if attacks on Russian planes were continue," the US columnist emphasizes.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 27 2015 16:45 utc | 41

I was rather pointing at the "expansionist" dimension in both case.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 27 2015 16:47 utc | 42

Turkish stream was a carrot offered to Erdogan to let go of the Qatar pipeline stream dream. Erdogan didn't take it and Russia should just drop it because there is no commonality of interests. Turkey is as unreliable as Ukraine for that purpose.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 27 2015 16:59 utc | 43

The Russians fly those skies by invitation. The NATOs fly there by imperial fiat. The Syrians fly because its their damned airspace. And the Turks fly with great caution from now on.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 27 2015 17:06 utc | 44

@ 43: Short, relevant, and true. Nice post.

Posted by: ben | Nov 27 2015 17:21 utc | 45

Perhaps OT but something else is brewing in Syria neighborhood. A new Israeli ambassador presented credentials in Moscow. It is reported that Putin had a long conversation with him. Immediately after the IAF asserted they will continue to bomb Hezbollah to prevent it from acquiring sophisticated weapons. The IAF will not ask for Russian permission to enter into Syrian airspace. It seems to be more IAF bluster as there are Russian state of the art S-400 SAMs in a state of readiness in Syria. But another report this time from asserts that Syria wants Russia to develop its off shore gas reserves. This seems to be the sticky point between Syria, Israel, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Russia.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 27 2015 17:24 utc | 46

This just shows that Turkey understand that they made a huge mistake.

Hopefully Russia and Turkey will solve this, no one gain anything by this.

Posted by: Seder | Nov 27 2015 17:24 utc | 47

Getting shot of Daesh is a no-brainer.

All one has to do is starve it.

Control the borders, only persons who want to enter / leave, with one suitcase each, would be cleared to pass. All humans would be allowed in or out.

No planes, a blanket no-fly zone, and absolutely no vehicles of any kind, not even humanitarian trucks. Taxis, buses, would be obliged to do the ‘over border thing’ (share the biz..)

A tall order, heh, as the ‘border’ is endlessly long, indeterminate, not established, and moving day by day. A case, nonetheless, where ‘partial’ is potentially effective (as opposed to a cancer operation, a ‘partial’ op is dire and maybe worse than nothing.) Might be arduous, peskily complex, and require military enforcement. The forces would be ‘non violent’ - ‘unless attacked’, with air force protection, there you go. Reportedly 50 or more countries have joined the ‘anti IS’ coalition, let them put their actions where their mouths are.

Cut communications: financial flows, banking, internet, phones, etc. Easy and practically costless in terms of dollars, zero lives lost.

Sit back and monitor the situation. Wait. No direct bombing or killing.

IS (+/ ..) fighters and controlled regions would literally starve -food, food again, water(?), other first necessity goods like cigs, antibiotics, boots, to come down to the ground. IS would have energy though for vehicles, arms galore.

Syria, since 2012 or well before, has been chosen as the theatre of an almighty proxy war between many different factions. Putin stopped that, froze it, in Ukraine. Somehow prefered Syria.

The only accredited pol I noticed writing in such a direction is Dominique de Villepin, article from MSM paper Libé copied by a blogger.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 27 2015 17:25 utc | 48

Posted by: Les | Nov 27, 2015 11:26:15 AM | 38

Your link explains it.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 27 2015 17:29 utc | 49

"Erdogan's mistake" is a bit subtle. His strategic goal was to maintain supplies to rebels, and that is hard if Russia bombs right at the border. Not impossible, mind you, because Viet Cong operated exactly like that: trucking supplies in spite of heavy bombardment, but (A) Vietnamese communists had enormous manpower, the loss of fifty thousand fighters would basically finish northern rebels while Viet Cong lost many times that number, (B) bombing is more accurate nowadays, Russians were chided for using "dumb bombs" but whatever they are using, they can hit trucks quite reliably, (C) other means, like using mules on mountain tracks are also vulnerable in the age of drones, (D) the length of the border that can be used for smuggling weapons is orders of magnitude smaller than in Vietnam war.

In the weeks preceding the shooting down Erdogan tried to impose a no-flying zone protecting "ethic Turkmen" in northern Latakia next to Turkey's Hatay province, and maintain de-facto no-flying zone near Azzaz. It was clear that the exchange of threats will have paramount importance in that war, but poor Erdogan does not have that many arrows in his quiver. Yet, he does have the capability of shooting air-to-air missiles, so in some sense, he had to try.

His mistake was ignoring the divergence of interests between Turkey and NATO members. I wrote that this is a subtle mistake, because NATO is a deeply hypocritical organization and figuring what their interests are is not entirely straightforward. In that situation, Erdogan chose to interpret the ambiguous and contradictory rethoric optimistically. If only, say, Mario Rubio were a President of U.S.A. ??? But what is NATO interest, more precisely, NATO minus Turkey? In the aftermath of poison gas incidents in Ghouta, it became apparent to me that the policy is "we cannot allow either side to win". This motif appeared in a number of articles and speeches, and the executed policies matched that attitude best. A conclusive win for either side presented unwanted consequences.

From that perspective, attacking ISIS is logical because it has a potential to win. It seems that ISIS is not a pathologically terrorist organization, namely, they perpetrate terrorist attacks almost only as a defensive measure, to discourage being attacked, so it is quite possible that would the West let them be, there would be no terror attacks like the ones in Paris. But the win of ISIS is not in NATO minus Turkey interest. Similarly, if sanctions of Syrian government were lifted, the government, with modicum of help from Russia and Iran, would have a good chance of winning. So, again nope. But a direct attack on Syrian government would allow rebels to win. And so on.

Least flattering for Erdogan, it is perhaps his own personality that makes the victory of Islamists in Syria so dreadful to NATO minus Turkey. Rather than pro-Western Turkey exercising moderating influence, we would have Islamism taking over Turkey. Right now, this is already happening, but still somewhat tentatively. The glory of victory would alter the situation in the most dreadful way. Say, the conquering sword of Sunni Islam progressing from Syria south, through Jordan to Egypt, eliminating the Zionist entity on the way. Do you think it impossible for Erdogan to try to restore the glory of Sunna under Ottoman caliphate? Erdogan is on record as a very grumpy looser and a very peevish victor, and with ego much larger than his country.

And the victory of Assad evokes similar nightmares.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 27 2015 17:55 utc | 50

Neretva'43@12 - Thanks for the link. Interesting indeed. I've been trying to connect the dots on the oil sales for weeks and this is the first article I've seen that fleshes out many of these specific details. We have no way to verify all of this because it's basically describing criminal activity, but they lay out a plausible distribution scheme. The names/companies listed may or may not be accurate, but the basic transport/sales structure they describe squares well with many reports over the last few months.

Al-Arabi is interesting in it's own right - it's described in Wiki as a one-year-old on-line news site headquartered in London that expanded to print and TV. Under 'Ownership' we find:

The outlet is owned by Qatari company Fadaat Media.[6] Abdulrahman Elshayyal is the newspaper's CEO, while Islam Lutfi is the CEO of the television channel.[3]

The Wiki footnote links have a lot more on the background and controversy of Al-Arabi, specifically with regard to Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood. Critics see Al-Arabi as just another MB backer as an alternative to al Jazeera. Al-Arabi claims it's apolitical and independent. Al-Arabi has no relation to Al-Arabyia News, which seem to be polar opposites on Egyptian/Qatari matters.

Which brings us back to the ISIS oil sales article. Considering the source, what would be their motivation to publish this particular article now? Looking over the article again, I'm thinking it's probably what's missing in the article that's most telling: 1) any reference to Erdogan's son - Bilal Erdogan - and his involvement in the oil smuggling (ZH article), and 2) any mention of the Kurd's Barzani clan and their possible involvement (my unsubstantiated speculation).

So one wonders if the Al-Arabi article is some kind of pre-emptive damage control (protecting Erdogan and his Kurdish pal Barzani) by offering up an alternative - the appropriate shadowy cartoonish villains that Western media loves so much. On the other hand, the oil smuggling operation may just be a chain of low-level criminals whose collective actions seem larger and more coordinated then they really are, despite my bias otherwise. As is often the case, the truth may lie somewhere in between. And as is more often the case, state actors will distance themselves from this whole affair as far as possible. The Al-Arabi piece provides the named (if real or imaginary) patsies to be picked up by Western media, giving the state actors the ever-so-important plausible deniability if things really go south.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 27 2015 18:05 utc | 51

@ Sun Tzu 45 "But another report this time from asserts that Syria wants Russia to develop its off shore gas reserves. This seems to be the sticky point between Syria, Israel, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Russia."

This makes so much sense. I read somewhere that Syria had relinquished their rights to the Leviathan gas field, but if true why would they? Lebanon and Syria should be included in any negotiations. Meanwhile, Bibi just fast tracked the gas deal because:

September 1, 2015

Massive gas find promises to ease Egypt’s fuel crisis
‘Largest-ever’ discovery of its kind in Mediterranean may cut need for import of natural resource from Israel

So now:

Israel to Fast-Track Offshore Natural Gas Projects

Noble Energy plans to increase its presence in Israel as the Texan company expects to approve at least one natural gas development by the end of 2016. Gas is expected to flow from those fields three to four years after Noble has made a final investment decision according to a statement made by Noble´s Chief Executive Officer David Stover in a conference call with analysts and investors on Monday.

Nov 25 Natural gas from Israel's vast Leviathan offshore gas field will be pumped to Egypt via an existing subsea pipeline for up to 15 years under a preliminary deal announced by the field's developers on Wednesday.

After massive Egypt find, coalition to push gas deal through Knesset
Energy minister says vote on controversial agreement could come Wednesday, after ‘super-giant’ gas discovery off Egypt’s coast is announced

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 27 2015 18:08 utc | 52


It looks this was a setup by the US to get the Turkish Stream project killed.

It appears to be more complicated than that, US duplicity in response to Turkey's shot-in-the-dark seems to have multiple intentions. One of them could have been shutting down Turkish Stream, which IMHO was born crippled, an atypical reaction from Russia to the closing of South Stream under US pressure, just to show it was not isolated, it had options.

Another intention was to launch a shot across the bow warning Turkey about the Kurdish issue. If the US expects one of Russia's reactions to be arming the Kurds, they want to be in for the ride and share the rewards, whatever that might be. As the article says, it is up for grabs. That US action, however, hides other intentions, since it would create internal difficulties for Erdogan, whom the US considers erratic, use him when necessary, and by now sees him as disposable. On top of that, he's a Muslim with grand delusions for Turkey's revival of a neo-Ottoman caliphate.

US might be setting him up for a "color revolution" or a "regime change" of sorts.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 27 2015 18:18 utc | 53


the "absolute blockade" is not feasible, and the means that exists are inherently abusive. Like now, Syria was "discovered" to trade with ISIS, but Turkey was not. As long as U.S.A. Department of Finance is in charge, you cannot expect lesser partiality.

What is more feasible is control of circulation of heavy weapons, starting from missiles like TOW or MANPAD, but also armored vehicles etc. Each of them has a manufacturer and traceable chain of transactions. My guess is that Putin decided to treat TOWs as a fact of life (but not moving them through the border), but to threaten to go ballistic (or to use missiles with a more flat trajectory) if MANPADs would show up. In time, he could escalate to TOWs, but in my estimate, he would need active Chinese support, and that is not coming soon.

Yet, the time may work in this direction. The most sure route to put pressure on KSA would be a "humanitarian intervention" in Yemen, a flotilla with navy ships escorting merchant ships full of humanitarian supplies - and one can unload this or that from the navy ships as well. For diplomatic and financial reasons, China would be extremely helpful and perhaps necessary. Right now, Chinese Navy is installing a base in Djibuti, ostensibly to protect Chinese shipping from piracy, and that base can be handy. Plus a major humanitarian intervention would place the Empire of the Center in its proper place among other countries.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 27 2015 18:19 utc | 54

Israel to open representation in UAE

Posted by: Mina | Nov 27 2015 18:30 utc | 55

Ukraine cutoff of electricity to Crimea could be more dangerous than Syrian crisis. Thousands could die if cutoff is prolonged.

Posted by: Andoheb | Nov 27 2015 18:30 utc | 56

@ shadyl 51 I would think that Gaza (hence the maritime blockade), Lebanon and Cyprus are geographically closer to Leviathan than Syria. But Israel has given a concession to Genie Energy Ltd of New Jersey to explore Oil & Gas in the Syrian Golan Heights. This is where Syrian, Israeli and Russian interests intersect. Genie Energy Ltd. board is composed by the likes of: Rothschild, Rupert Murdoch, Dick Cheney, Efraim “Effie” Eitam Chairman – Brigadier General (reserves) in the Israel Defense Forces.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 27 2015 18:31 utc | 57

@ shadyl 51 Thanks for the links, I had forgotten about the Egyptian gas find.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 27 2015 18:35 utc | 58

Israel sources claim that Israel air attack killed a number of Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters on border. If true how can Russia tolerate this ?

Posted by: Andoheb | Nov 27 2015 18:36 utc | 59

@47 It's simple. Syria is an ally of the Russian Federation, and the separatists in NovoRussia aren't allies or Russian citizens no matter how much they might want to be. The Crimean defense posture was important to the Russian Federation, but Putin's first responsibility should be to citizens and allies. What would Putin's casus belli be? R2P? Putin is too smart to fall into that trap.

The Kiev state is a fascist entity and will collapse on its own. Giving NATO and the U.S. a rallying cry to support Kiev would be madness.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Nov 27 2015 18:38 utc | 60

@b - Turkey is moving its Sabra tanks and heavy artillery to the Syria/Iraq border - do you think Erdogan will be crazy enough to attack the Kurds and go after Isis in Raqqa and Mosul? The UN resolution does say member states should do all they can to destroy Isis. Thank you.

Posted by: Irshad | Nov 27 2015 18:43 utc | 61

sultan is a dog name indeed, well-liked in vienna. let's call this one ... the little sultan.

Posted by: persiflo | Nov 27 2015 18:53 utc | 62

A sad laugh:

Journalist Can't Contain Laughter As State Dept Claims US Doesn't Back Coups

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 27 2015 19:07 utc | 64

Noirette @47:

In populist terms, what you're pointing out is the glaring achilles heel of the entire "bomb Syria" propaganda campaign. I've repeatedly hit on that in comments at the Guardian. The first is under a "let's understand the roots of ISIS" piece by resident 'left imperialist but feels queezy about it' Owen Jones:

No, what plays best into ISIS's hands is completely ignoring the flood of money and arms from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf to ISIS, and the enormous and various support offered by Turkey to ISIS. And ignoring the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars Saudi Arabia has spent to buy media, mosques, and schools that push, hard and intolerantly, to make the extremely misogynist and extremely intolerant Wahabbist version of Islam the now-dominant version of Islam throughout the Sunni world.

Yes, once again a Guardian article that decides not to mention the forbidden phrase "Saudi Arabia." But not just Saudi Arabia, why does the Guardian, even among its 'liberal' pundits, continue to ignore the direct, massive and essential economic support our allies -- Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia -- give to ISIS and other terrorist militias in Syria? We need to cut off these monsters' money, but we're not allowed to recognize or discuss where their money is coming from.

Rather than bombing, Britain should be part of a worldwide coalition that imposes severe economic sanctions on Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar until they stop providing critical sanctuary and economic support to ISIS and all Al Qaeda affiliated militias in Syria.

Oh, Britain is already part of a Western coalition that looks the other way while that is going on? Never mind ...

Jones in his most recent 'good arguments for bombing' piece at least acknowledges the elephant in the room. But in general the obscene silence continues.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 27 2015 19:08 utc | 65

@Piotr Berman@49

[...]It seems that ISIS is not a pathologically terrorist organization, namely, they perpetrate terrorist attacks almost only as a defensive measure, to discourage being attacked, so it is quite possible that would the West let them be, there would be no terror attacks like the ones in Paris [...]

You might want to elaborate on your assertion, that is looking more like a defense of ISIS than a statement based on reality.

What is YOUR definition of a not pathologically terrorist organization?

One that kills children, kidnaps thousands of women, mass rape them, sells them as sex slaves, commits mass executions of prisoners, enslaves entire cities and towns, beheads civilians? What "defensive measure" was ISIS taking when they killed 74 children for not fasting during Ramadan, or mass killing people for "practicing as a Shia Muslim"?

I believe it is pathologically insane, this late into the game, with the thousands of people killed by ISIS in monstrous ways, with hundreds of thousands suffering the effects of their PATHOLOGICAL, PSYCHOPATHIC behavior, to make an assertion like you are making. It is an insult to all of those who have suffered and continue suffering under the criminals you are defending, the equivalent of defending the Holocaust as the nazis "defensive measure."

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 27 2015 19:15 utc | 66

Buffer zone was announced after the Turkish F-4 fighter jet was shot down on June 22, 2012 ...

Turkey Creates De-Facto Buffer Zone in Syria – June 28, 2012
Briefing Ms Nuland on Erdogan's Statements Regarding Syria – June 26, 2012

Posted by: Oui | Nov 27 2015 19:15 utc | 67

The Syrian city of Raqqa, which is now populated by only 200,000 citizens, has become one of the favourite targets of the French president, François Hollande. American, Jordanian, Russian and Syrian military jets have been reinforced by French bombers. British ones could soon be joining them, dropping their deadly load on what remains of the city’s foundations – even though out of 20,000 Isis fighters who used to hide in the city, only a couple of thousand remain at most. The majority have long ago fled to Mosul, in Iraq, or to Deir Ezzor, also in Syria. snip Look at Mosul: this is a city that is home to 1.5 million people, and at most 15,000 Isis terrorists. If you wanted to get rid of Isis in Mosul, you would have to flatten the entire city.

In October 2014 I was the first western journalist to spend time with Isis and return safely. During my stay, we were repeatedly targeted by American fighter jets and drones. It’s hard to overemphasise how quickly our Isis escorts managed each time to disappear among the local population.

Guardian: I know Isis fighters. Western bombs falling on Raqqa will fill them with joy.

Everyone is reconfiguring themselves ... did the USA offer Erdogan meaningless assurances and then renege? Where is John McCain ...
Did anyone claim responsibility for the power grid bombings in Crimea? apparently the most likely suspects have denied responsibility ... (reuters)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 27 2015 19:22 utc | 68

That's what happens to the evil empire when they work with psychopathic nut jobs. Their criminal immorality can backfire spectacularly, and even with Russian plane attack approval by the US.

Oh, but with the US already working with ISIS, the US knows knows, make use of, and they have seen plenty of psycopathic criminal immorality already. Like with the Israeli terrorist zionist state, Rwandan genocidal killers, Saudi tyranny, Ukrainian Nazis, etc. There are no "lesser" evils, that the evil US Empire is unwilling to take under its wing.

Like someone mentioned already, the criminal Russian plane attack backfired on the no-fly zone pretext plan, but its success aspect for the US empire has driven Turkey closer to the US and its "leadership" whores of allied Europe, and away from Russia. All that Corporation economically and culturally between Russia and Turkey, looks at least in the short term to be badly damaged. If your gonna be honest that is a win for the US Empire in that aspect. But I guess Erdogan had such despicable designs on destroying Syria, in stark contrast to Russian interest there, that there is maybe not much that Russia could've done anyway.

Although I'm not a fan of Putin, he is far better than those Western leadership freaks.
Putin has spent an enormous amount of effort making Russia overall and Russians leaders look reasonable and fair to the West. But western state terrorists can undo all that effort, simply with one killer missile.

Posted by: tom | Nov 27 2015 19:28 utc | 69

@51 shadyl

I'm personally convinced that 'The Times of Israel' is nothing but a disinformation outlet.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 27 2015 19:37 utc | 70

Neretva'43 @ 10,

Thank you for being able to look beyond the preconceptions and the headlines that tell us what to think. I, too, guess the shootdown was real.

The Sinai crash may be a different matter; just like the Paris attacks hoax it accomplished its purpose of ginning up home support for escalation against ISIS. A website points out that all those tons of airplane parts that came crashing out of the sky sit very lightly upon the sands of Sinai. In the news images I can no longer find the heavy engine that I saw-- also failing to dent the sand.

Well, if it's a hoax at least no one died. The pattern of the error that we observers commit is to imm'y enter into the controversy of who did it-- hence overlooking whether the event is real. This is further provoked by accusations (especially w obvious errors like magic passports, obvious evidence that's denied, etc). When one is incited to choose between 2 alternatives it's difficult to withhold participation, and so one is co-opted.

Neretva'43, you say "In politics nothing happens by accident, which leaves me to think this situation is probably created to defuse the NFZ "idea" by hawks."

Exactly so. Obama's more pragmatic faction engineered the event and it's had the predictable outcome. At least since the July 14 signing of the Iran nuke deal Obama has been against the no-fly & removed the Patriots, etc.

What do you mean "Iraq scenario with parallels"?

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 27 2015 19:38 utc | 71


Israel sources claim that Israel air attack killed a number of Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters on border. If true how can Russia tolerate this ?

Claims like this appear every other thread. In fact, if you go back a couple of threads, you will find a similar claim from a "Times of Israel" link quoting "opposition media outlets" etc. If you have a link to the news, post it, it might be worth to check it. For the most part it is Mossad-generated drivel.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 27 2015 19:42 utc | 72

Demian @ 37 says:

Personally, I think that Zionism is easier to understand for Westerners, given that most of us have had a lot more exposure to Jews and Judaism than to Muslims and Islam

though there are roughly the same number of Jews as Muslims in the USA(6,7 million), i'd say that most Americans have had a lot more exposure to Muslims and Islam, even if it's a jaundiced view inspired by a psychopathic hatefest via tv, via media. media disproportionately governed by Jews.

so when a denomination's faith has been adequately smeared by violence, they give it a 'moderate' qualifier to make it sound alright.

Posted by: john | Nov 27 2015 19:47 utc | 73

@70 p 'Well, if it's a hoax at least no one died. The pattern of the error that we observers commit is to imm'y ...'

... force new data into our own, personal pet theories. All of us do this to a greater or lessor extent. It's something to be careful of. If I were a Russian, a family member of one of those who did die, I'd wonder what possessed a nice young American girl to so blithely write off the murder of my parent/sibling/child in the interest of a theory created from whole cloth. Same with the Parisians and Bostonians. Who is she working for?

Posted by: jfl | Nov 27 2015 19:54 utc | 74

Just a little reminder...

3-4 Oct (violation, ignored)
5 Oct (violation admitted and apologized)
6 Oct (violation, ignored)
7 Oct (Turkey warning)
8 Oct (NATO warning)
15 Oct (Turkey warning)
16 Oct (drone shot down)
17 Oct (Turkey warning)
…and so it continued.

Also if you look at the Turkish radar photo it looks likethe Russian pilot actually made TWO circles through the Turkish territory and was only shot during the second one.

And a simple question: how many times Russia violated Turkish airspace since 24 November? And why zero?

Posted by: Cortez | Nov 27 2015 19:58 utc | 75


Who is she working for?

Bingo! It was about time someone would ask the right question.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 27 2015 20:03 utc | 76

Question for those reading Russian press: did you notice the tendency that for a while ago all articles started mentioning Syria write the name of ISIS like this "ISIS [an organisation banned in Russia]"? If the article mentions the name twice, that "organisation banned" phrase appears twice, essentially each time it's mentioned. I'm just wondering if it's the journalists being overzealous (doubt it) or there was some new regulation that I missed? In each case this looks to me like treating their readers like complete imbeciles. I'm waiting for when they start adding "[exceeding speed limits is banned in Russia]" each time speeding is mentioned...

Posted by: Cortez | Nov 27 2015 20:05 utc | 77

Well, the way people in U.S. and allied governments always call it "ISIL", when virtually nobody else does, is probably also due to an internal directive.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 27 2015 20:12 utc | 78

At the time of the Kosovo War, I had a job transcribing CNN. Whenever they talked about the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, they invariably called it the "accidental bombing". That was probably also due to an internal directive.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 27 2015 20:14 utc | 79

I don't think Erdogan is stupid enough to have deliberately ordered the shooting the Russian plane. The consequences were obvious to anyone.
It wasn't a mistake either as the USA knew about it and seems to have helped in its execution.
The order came from somewhere else and took Erdogan by surprise.

Yes, I believe that there are some Army officers in the Turkish army who have been plotting against Erdogan with the help of the CIA and Israel. The Turkish army has never accepted that Ataturk and Gulen's non-religious views are been destroyed by Erdogan. There was a hope that Erdogan would not get the majority in the parliament but he did. In the past 10 years, Erdogan has done all he could to weaken and neutralize the army to elude military coups, but now he has no choice. The PKK is threatening the nation again. The army is therefore re-emerging in the political arena, weakened but still decided to stop Erdogan's islamization of Turkey.
Since the path got clear for Erdogan to push for a new constitution that will give him full power, he had to be stopped at any cost.
That's why the CIA has collaborated with the Turkish army to arrange the spectacular shooting of the Russian plan, thus creating a political storm that they hope will disrupt Erdogan's plans.
Even as the CIA plotted the incident, it is usual for the USA administration to express support for Erdogan, while secretly applauding at the success of the plot.
Erdogan is now desperately trying to deal with that crisis, expressing regrets, refusing to apologize, accusing Russia of all names and threatening as usual. He is in a state of panic as the net is closing on him.
I expect that the CIA and the Mossad will continue to use and manipulate the Turkish army's elements by creating new incidents with the hope that Turkey's economy would start to crumble taking with it Erdogan and his clique.
It can be seen as Ataturk and Gulen's response to Erdogan.

The Russian plane shot down is a huge game changer with very negative consequences for Turkey's. It is certainly not Erdogan's doing.

Posted by: virgile | Nov 27 2015 21:06 utc | 80

Neretva'43 @ 18,

I think "outmoded conceptions of sovereignty" is likely the point that CFR wants to get across. If our nations continue to give up sovereignty to supranationals the oligarchs can more easily manage us. Supranationals manage money creation, most economic planning-- and increasingly, trade.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 27 2015 21:24 utc | 81

Neretva'43 @ 32,
US had already made Turkey give up the Russian gasline in January, just when construction was beginning (still w/o a contract). Turkey then asked Russia for separate contracts-- one for oil for Turkey's use, the other for passage to EU, and Turkey refused the 2nd one. But even now Turkey could resurrect it in a few months-- except for the US. US now can threaten Turkey with aggravation of her internal instability-- and possibly scapegoating Erdogan for "creating and maintaining ISIS." Well, at least this can be threatened to keep him obedient.

Paris hoax could take the wind out of the sails of the "right wing" oppositions to current European countries: Paris hoax allowed violation of immigration law which got rid of immigration problem that fueled right wing.

More hoax "terrorism" will be needed to keep Germans from protesting TTIP. Portugal's election based on exiting EU, the euro & NATO was just stepped over as if it didn't count. But the German people will fight more I think.

For the moment Nordstream2 is on again. Although now drones with explosives have been seen under the Baltic by communication or power lines. False flag against Russia brewing? "You see, Russia can't work under the Baltic; they'll destroy all our infrastructure!"

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 27 2015 21:29 utc | 82

Telescope @ 35,

They have all been supporting ISIS: US/UK/Irael/France/Germany/Turkey. Also KSA, Qatar, Jordan. Israel's Golan Heights occupation is guarded by el Nusra forces & Israel has a field hospital for them. When they get into trouble, she lets them pass the border, but not the pursuing Syrians. Sometimes she defends them w artillery & airpower.
Go to & use their search box. Search "creation of ISIS". I'm sure you'll get more than you could read. "support of ISIS" would be good too.

Anytime you want to know the background on anything, that's the site to go to. They are an alternative site that has a long history and it's all searchable.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 27 2015 21:30 utc | 83

re lysias 76

Well, the way people in U.S. and allied governments always call it "ISIL", when virtually nobody else does, is probably also due to an internal directive.
I've been following that question, for no very good reason. ISIL has an L for Levant. ISIS has an S for Sham, the Arabic name for Syria/Levant. Da'ish is simply the Arabic abbreviation of al-Dawla al-Islamiyya fi al'Iraq w-al-Sham.

ISIL is standard US official parlance. In UK, ISIS is normal, but there was an attempt to introduce Da'ish, as it was supposed to be insulting to them, though it isn't. I note that now Cameron uses ISIL, probably by American influence. France uses Da'ish, as do all Arabs.

The only question is why Cameron switched to ISIL, rather than Da'ish, which he tried to introduce.

The problem of IS alone is that nobody knows what you're saying.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 27 2015 21:31 utc | 84

PavewayIV @ 50, Qatar is Exxon-Mobil (Rockefeller) Thanks for the other info.

Sun Tzu @ 56, Massive oil find on Golan Heights.

Reportedly, the potential production may reach billions of barrels, while Israel consumes 270,000 barrels per day. Israel currently imports up to three quarters of its oil from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq, the Financial Times reported in August.

"We are talking about a strata which is 350 meters thick and what is important is the thickness and the porosity. On average in the world strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is ten times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities. The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that's what we now know," Israel business website Globes quotes Yuval Bartov, chief geologist of Afek Oil and Gas as saying. Afek is a subsidiary of the America’s Genie Energy."

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 27 2015 21:35 utc | 85

@ jfl 69, thanks for heads up on Times.

My current pet theory regarding the terrorist acts in Paris, is that maybe they were not approved of by the central command in Iraq/Syria, but it was their affiliates in Libya going rogue and where the consequences were not thought out. The outcome has been to bring France and Russia closer together. No neo-con wants that.

Maybe Turkey's latest actions were intended to cause an over reaction from Putin, but instead of over reacting, he now has the excuse for more intervention.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 27 2015 21:38 utc | 86

@ shadyl Cyprus and the emerging Mediterranean gas wars

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 27 2015 21:46 utc | 87

@ Sun Tzu 85
"Russia, the steadfast backer of Assad in Syria and defender of Russian naval rights at Syria’s Tartus port, has weighed in on the side of…Israel. Nothing personal, just business"


I wonder when the resource wars start over the oil fields in the arctic. Haven't heard much about them lately. Drilling rights and all. Everyone so focused on the ME. Maybe the amount of methane up there is scaring everyone.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 27 2015 22:04 utc | 88

jfl@73- thank you for that. It's clear this nincompoop clogging up the posts is too obtuse to be real.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Nov 27 2015 22:13 utc | 89

The state of play now switches to the formation of Kurdistan straddling the Iraq/Syrian border. Mossad's Barzani announced a couple days ago he's joined France/UK in driving ISIS out of Raqqa. If they once get possession of it. . . . We're looking at an Israeli colony here. Will US support this w more than words? I think to stop it either Iranian regular army or Chinese are needed. I don't think the Chinese are coming. Kurdish refugees in Iraq & Turkey camps being inducted into Kurdish forces to free Raqqa & expand Eastward. Turkey wants to eventually evict Kurds into the new enlarged Kurdistan-- at least the PKK.
On another thread Bakerpete wonders if Turkey could be the next target of chaos by the US. It's possible, but I think US pragmatist faction is in the ascendance. If they are real and not just a feint I don't think so. Although a coup is quite possible.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 27 2015 22:26 utc | 90

Denying the Armenian massacre by the Turks may be punished with 5 years of jail...

"And in a largely symbolic gesture on Wednesday, the Russian parliament proposed a five-year jail term for anyone who denies that the mass killings of Armenians that began under Ottoman rule in 1915 constituted a "genocide," according to an article translated by Foreign Policy columnist and Russia commentator Julia Ioffe."

Posted by: virgile | Nov 27 2015 22:31 utc | 91

Andoheb @ 58, Israel has been claiming attacks on Syria every few days. Sometimes they even claim to have picked up the story from a Syrian or Chinese source. But when you check the source, the story never appeared. All Israeli sources are famous for being disinfo. they will even make up quotes to put in the mouths of high-level officials-- even tho the person denies them the very next day. Just ignore anything at an Israeli source unless you can verify it somewhere else.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 27 2015 22:42 utc | 92

Penelope@83 - The Golan oil may be some kind of ruse. If I ever find it again, I'll post link to a geological study saying that it was unlikely that there was any commercially-recoverable oil deposits in the highly-folded rock underneath the Golan. This was a year or two ago - back when Israel was considering the permit for Genie. The report (paper, I think) was rather mocking in tone, pointing out the absurdity of any oil in that region besides tiny non-commercial pockets. I have no way to verify the claims of some random geologist, nor do I have any way to verify Afek/Genie claims. Geological guesses about the presence (or absence) of oil are always suspect, so the paper may have just been wrong. On the other hand, Genie's claims might be outright lies.

Normally I wouldn't question such an announcement, but everything about Afek/Genie is suspicious. They are making this surprising claim on a grand total of exactly ONE vertical exploratory well drilled in territory that the U.N. has clearly stated is not theirs. Seems odd that they would advertise ANY oil discovery there and draw even more attention to their land theft. I would think they would be particularly careful NOT to advertise a big oil discovery there.

Rationale for Israel making such a crazy claim (if it is indeed untrue) are all completely speculative. Some suggested it was somehow a bargaining chip for the eventual return of the Golan to a post-Assad Western-puppet Syria. Someone said they buried nukes in case Syria ever does take the Golan back (I'll pass on that one). Another 'theory' was that Genie was merely slant-drilling towards the water tables under Jordan or Syria to steal their water. Others have speculated that it's all just cover for completion of a diverted Kirkuk-to-Haifa 'Blood for Oil' pipeline (the historic route is too close to Lebanon). The last two are somewhat plausible - water and Iraqi oil - but who knows.

The Kirkuk-to-Haifa connection is really curious because they were working on that pipeline on and off and the pumping stations were reported operational by locals, but absolutely no information is available anywhere on the status. They may have rebuilt the pipeline mostly underground and plan to bring it above ground at fake Genie 'wells' where it continues on to Haifa. Curious how they can work on it so intensely in supposedly ISIS-controlled Iraq. Good cover to rebuild a deeply-buried version of it under the cover of terrorists while keeping the surface version 'broken' for appearances.

I'll merely toss this out there for caution when considering Genie's claims. They have plenty of big-time financial backers, but the whole operation and reports of oil seem more like something one would see with a Chinese penny-stock scam. It certainly smells like cover for something else much more insidious, but that's my bias showing. Since Cheney is involved, it might as well be the anti-Christ himself running the operation.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 27 2015 23:02 utc | 93

This one, considering the source, shocked me:

Posted by: Alexander Grimsmo | Nov 27 2015 23:07 utc | 94

I think its important to remember that there is agreement on a framework for a 'political solution'. There are a few remaining sticking points, like Assad's role in the transition, but I think the anti-Assad Coalition would like to see such 'political solution' implemented ASAP. I think they believe that they can win a fair Syrian election because Syria had a majority Sunni population before the war.

Prior to the Nov.14 Vienna framework agreement, we saw: threat of MANPADs but delivery of TOWs, downing of Russian airliner, and attacks in Paris. After Nov.14 we have seen: attack on Russian bomber, articles calling for partition of Syria and Iraq, and more talk of MANPADs.

I think we are seeing this 'pressure' because until the 'political solution' can be implemented, the 4+1 Coalition has a free hand to root out anti-government forces (both "moderates" and extremists). The longer that goes on, the more likely it is that the 4+1 Coalition can dictate terms of the political solution such as Assad's role in the transition and refugee re-admittence/re-settlement (allowing for influencing their vote).

I think Obama is playing his traditional centrist role. No doubt his message to Putin is: "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" - while pointing out the potential for a quagmire and/or World War that Erdogan's mischief could spark.

But it seems that the downing of the Russia bomber did not have the intended effect: Putin was not intimidated and did not over-react. In fact it back-fired by giving the Russians an excuse to increase capabilities in Syria. I imagine that this is an untenable situation for the Assad must go! crowd who are probably pushing even harder for MANPADs for 'moderate rebels' or an anti-ISIS intervention.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 27 2015 23:24 utc | 95

George Galloway's Comment

Russian President Vladimir Putin is infuriated that Turkey illegally struck down one of Russia's planes. But even more concerning is that Turkey has been buying oil smuggled from Daesh.

This development must be assessed with the backdrop of knowing that Russian airstrikes against Takfiri positions in Syria had resulted in a swift decline in oil sales by the terrorist group, according to a French official. Daesh-controlled oil sales “have declined significantly in recent weeks due to the Russian campaign in Syria,” Russia's Sputnik quoted a French National Assembly Defense Commission member, Nicolas Dhuicq, as saying in October.

Apart from selling crude oil, the group is also believed to be paying people to refine oil at its own sites with the majority of the terrorist group’s oil revenue being from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar. Observers say ISIL is chiefly funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are trying to gain back their share of influence in the regions of Iraq and Syria against Iran.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 27 2015 23:35 utc | 96

@94 - Galloway claims to have the name of the Turkish citizen who is the go-between between ISIL and the world oil market. Most of the oil, Galloway says, is going to (you guessed it, its been said here before) Israel.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 27 2015 23:43 utc | 97

guest77 @95

Don't we already know the go-between also? Bilal?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 27 2015 23:54 utc | 98

@96 Sure, but I guess it's nice to hear confirmation in the media as opposed to us gabbing about it. Not that he's said the name he knows.

In any case, I guess it would be time for someone to do a FOIA request on the following documents, it might get Erdogan to resign:

Senior Western official: Links between Turkey and ISIS are now 'undeniable'

A US-led raid on the compound housing the Islamic State's "chief financial officer" produced evidence that Turkish officials directly dealt with ranking ISIS members, Martin Chulov of the Guardian reported recently.

The officer killed in the raid, Islamic State official Abu Sayyaf, was responsible for directing the terror army's oil and gas operations in Syria. The Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) earns up to $10 million a month selling oil on black markets.

Documents and flash drives seized during the Sayyaf raid reportedly revealed links "so clear" and "undeniable" between Turkey and ISIS "that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara," senior Western official familiar with the captured intelligence told the Guardian.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 28 2015 0:06 utc | 99

thanks b and to all the posters that make moa such a great place to visit! for the most part folks skipped over the two trolls too! excellent!

my favourite post @23.. thanks for that.. really fascinating..

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2015 0:17 utc | 100

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