Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 21, 2016

How The Hasakah Clashes End The Kurdish Nation Dreams

Severe fighting in Hasakah, in north-east Syria, continues between Syrian government forces and U.S. advised Kurdish YPG groups. It is still unclear why these clashes broke out after years of mostly peaceful co-existence in the city.

These clashes convince Turkey that the danger of a Kurdish state creation is imminent. This will unite the Turkish, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi hostile positions towards such plans. This unity ends the dreams of an independent Kurdish nation.

The YPG declared that it wants all Syrian government forces to leave Hasakah. But those forces are the sole protection of the large Assyrian (Christian) and other minorities in the city. These minorities fear to be ethnically cleansed by the Kurds who try to install their own state in the north of Iraq and Syria.

Map via ISW

The Syrian army and local auxiliary defense forces recruited from the minorities defend a large part of the city but are surrounded.

Map by Agathocle de Syracuse - bigger

A recent second offer for a ceasefire by the governor of the province was the rejected by the YPG and its local Asayish proxy force. The YPG instead ordered reinforcements to the frontline.

U.S. special forces were in the area when the clashes started. Their role in these is mysterious. They nearly came under fire when Syrian Arab Army planes bombed some of the YPG positions. The U.S. command tried to directly contact the Syrian command to prevent the U.S. troops from being hit. The Syrian command did not respond. The U.S. then made a show of force with its air force to protect its troops. But those troops have absolutely no legal basis for their presence in Syria. They claim to be working with the YPG to fight the Islamic State, but the Islamic State is far from Hasakah which lies in the middle of a large Kurdish controlled area.

As even a mainstream German defense correspondent somewhat irritated asks:

thomas_wiegold @thomas_wiegold
In other words: U.S. Forces practising area denial to other nations forces in their own territory?

The U.S. has absolutely no legal standing in this and everyone knows. The Syrian air force simply ignores the U.S. planes and continues its mission of defending its comrades on the ground. While some sources claim that the U.S. Special Forces contingent has been pulled back from the Hasakah area the somewhat reliable SOHR outlet in Britain reports that they have been reinforced with more U.S. troops arriving.

The Hasakah conflict is now more than a minor local conflict. As remarked in our the last piece on the Hasakah clashes:

Any move against the Syrian army in Hasakah will be watched carefully from Ankara. Turkey fears, with valid reason, that the U.S. supports the Kurdish aim of a national entity in Syria and Iraq. This would endanger Turkey with its own large Kurdish minority.

If the Kurds expel the Syrian forces from Hasakah with U.S. support, Turkey will know that any U.S. claim to not work against its Turkish ally's interest is false. This would deepen already high Turkish animosity against the U.S. and would accelerate its move towards some alliance with Russia and Iran.

There are signs that this predicted turn by Turkey is indeed accelerating. This move was initiated in the recent Turkish talks with Iran and Russia but the Hasakah clashes now play a role. On Friday the Syrian government sent a signal to Ankara when it, for the first time, publicly associated the Kurdish YPG forces in Syria (with which it had mostly been aligned so far) with the Kurdish PKK forces who fight the Turkish state.

Ankara responded in kind and, for the first time, allowed for a compromise in the war on Syria that would keep the current Syrian government in power:

Istanbul is concerned about the growing power of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces across the border and opposes any moves toward Kurdish autonomy or independence. The Syrian government, too, has grown uneasy with the Kurdish forces in the north, who enjoy close relations with the U.S. government, an open antagonist of Syria's Assad.

Damascus has largely refrained from attacking its homegrown Kurdish forces, ...

However on Friday, the Syrian military's General Command released a statement referring to the Kurdish Asayesh internal police force as the "military wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)."

The Turkish concession followed the next day:

Speaking to foreign media representatives in Istanbul, [Turkish Prime Minister] Yildirim said Turkey would aim to become more of a regional player with regard to Syria in the next six months.
"There may be talks (with Assad) for the transition. A transition may be facilitated. But we believe that there should be no (Kurdish rebels), Daesh or Assad in Syria's future," he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

"In the six months ahead of us, we shall be playing a more active role," Yildirim said. "It means not allowing Syria to be divided along ethnic lines ... ensuring that its government is not based on ethnic (divisions)."

This new Turkish position is very much in line with the Russian, Iranian and Syrian one. This is a significant step back from the old position, also taken by the U.S., that "Assad must go" as a precondition for any talks. Unfortunately we do not know if this is meant seriously or just another Turkish diversion from more nefarious plans.

Last night a suicide bombing, seemingly planned by the Islamic State, hit the wedding of a Kurdish politician in Gaziantep in the south-east of Turkey near the Syrian border. More than 50 people were killed. Kurds in Turkey will blame the Turkish government of supporting the Islamic State and thereby for this attack. Instead of acknowledging that this attack is an obviously planned provocation, Kurdish groups will use it to justify harsher resistance. Intensified clashes between Kurdish forces and the government forces of Turkey, Syria and (soon) Iraq will follow.

In my view the Kurds are overplaying their cards.

They have been seduced by U.S. and EU promises of support. This will, in the end, not come through. Historically the Kurds, in all their divergent ethnic, sectarian, linguistic and political flavors, have been unable to unite long enough to form a common entity. There never was, and likely never will be, a common Kurdish position that held for more than a few month. The clashes in Hasakah bring a completely unnecessary complication for their plans of a national Kurdish entity. They predictably unite Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey against them. These are strong states that can and will block the illusory Kurdish dreams.

Promises of U.S. and EU support will not be followed up with anything but some token words. Those countries have bigger interests than supporting the illusory plans  of some unruly tribal people in the east-Anatolia mountain ranges. Even the large hydrocarbon deposits in Kurdish majority areas will not be enough to influence their positions. The Kurdish areas are landlocked. Without long-term secured access routes through those countries the Kurds are now fighting all those riches are just worthless dirt in the ground.

Posted by b on August 21, 2016 at 9:57 UTC | Permalink


Leaders of Kurds in Syria and turkey Leaders have already publicly stated many times that they can't trust anyone. Not the "wonderful" Russians, US, And they are right not to. History is proof enough.

Just because a lot of the leaders commit warcrimes, that doesn't mean that's the Kurdish, children, the elderly and other innocent Kurds should be disgracefilly treated as pawns in a political game. That's advocation of collective punishment.

And b despicable racism in his last paragraph describing a whole people as unruly, is disgusting racism.

I've copied my paragraph and the sites comments section, and let's see if it's censored by the racist.

Posted by: tom | Aug 21 2016 10:37 utc | 1

If they've moved, it hasn't taken them out of harms way according to Gen. Townsend.

(CNN) — In the most direct public warning to Moscow and Damascus to date, the new US commander of American troops in Iraq and Syria is vowing to defend US special operations forces in northern Syria if regime warplanes and artillery again attack in areas where troops are located.

Posted by: wwinsti | Aug 21 2016 10:50 utc | 2

The link for the above quote:

Posted by: wwinsti | Aug 21 2016 10:52 utc | 3

It seems ever more evident that the only real intention driving American military engagement is simply to create more debt, to use to issue more money. Consequently it has all the strategic foresight of bacteria. Any weakness or open wound, it will infect and push dollars into the economy, even as it destroys the economy.

Posted by: brodix | Aug 21 2016 10:56 utc | 4

Not unexpected but sad. I had a slime hope that the YPG and related three letter groups wouldn't follow the path of FSA warlords, Nusra and ISIS as imperialist [f/t]ools.

I wonder in what position the corrupt 'democracy' of the KDP in Nothern Iraq is with all this? Other than serving the US they have been a pretty solid Erdogan ally (no other way to get the oil and contraband in/out otherwise).

Are Kurds really so insane to think that the US will start a (world) war against Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran with Russia and China backing them? Rather than just use the Kurd groups and then throw them to the butchers as leverage when the time comes for a new arrangement with these same countries?

What is the justification of a self professed pro-democratic radical leftist organization to increase the amount of blood flowing in the region to make happy their US puppet masters? Making de facto Kurd ruling in North-East Syria a hard bloody reality? And confirming the need for pro-jihadist and anti-jihadist Arabs to unite against ethnic cleansing Kurds?

The Syrian government is in no position and has no interest on this fight, they know that they will have to keep the status quo (Kurd self-ruling with small areas of shared control) for years. Why waste life now on such useless enterprise? What will the Syrian Kurds or the 'radical leftist' world win from this bullshit?

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 21 2016 11:00 utc | 5

It will basically boil down to a staring contest between Russia and US. How it plays out is hard to see, as the Russians are justifiably cautious about anything that can start WW3 and the US is ready to gamble now that it's Al Qaida and Daesh proxies are about to loose. Openly supporting Kurds is more palatable to the public than supporting Jihadis. That is probably part of US calculation.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 21 2016 11:06 utc | 6

@tom | Aug 21, 2016 6:37:06 AM

And b despicable racism in his last paragraph describing a whole people as unruly, is disgusting racism.

Oh, vey, yeah, poor Kurds, being the "victims" of despicable racists for 2000 + years (read Xenophon), they have never been up to anything beside clinging to their mountains and mountain bandits lifestyle.
Perhaps there is some reason, rooted in cultural/genetic specificity?
Reality is the worst racist of them all...

Posted by: acrimonious | Aug 21 2016 11:21 utc | 7

@ThePaper | Aug 21, 2016 7:00:27 AM

I had a slime hope...

I fear to imagine what a slime hope look like!

Posted by: acrimonious | Aug 21 2016 11:25 utc | 8

I wonder, are these U.S. troops/advisers the same or other ones that abandoned Yemen on the Saudi side? This C-F is getting more confusing each day, where it will stop, who knows?

Posted by: originalone | Aug 21 2016 11:53 utc | 9

Not mentioned in this article is that it has long been an Israhell intent to create a Kurdish state as part of the intended split up of Syria for the gain of greater Israhell and control of pipelines, theft of Syrian oil, etc. Because they want this their U.S. military prostitutes also want it and are backing the Kurds to produce it. U.S. jets must be forced out of the sky.

Posted by: Tony B. | Aug 21 2016 12:08 utc | 10

Since Erdogan is the one responsible for re-launching war against the Kurds in Turkey, when IS attacks a Kurdish wedding, it is anti-Kurdish terrorism. It certainly cannot be a provocation meant to trigger Kurdish war on the government. IS and Turkey have been covertly allied for some time now. With the military disarrayed by purges, the jihadis are more useful than ever to Erdogan.

Turkey's pursuit of Assad's downfall is not because of Assad's personal qualities (which are pretty minimal so far as I can tell,) but because a unitary secular state in Syria is an obstacle to Turkish projection of power in its Neo-Ottoman scheme. Since Erdogan is committed to being the Neo-Sultan, he cannot abide the continuation of the current regime. Such a defeat would be a major blow to his personal power. Rojava would be a competitor to KRG, thus weakens the overall Kurdish nationalist movement. Rojava is not the PKK, not least because its alliance with the US makes it dependent in a way the PKK is not. The US no doubt is working tirelessly to corrupt elements in the YPG, making it as socially and politically innocuous as the KRG. Further, although the Turkish border is porous to jihadis, it is pretty impervious to PKK militants moving into Rojava or YPG militants.

Posted by: s | Aug 21 2016 12:10 utc | 11

Moon is very late to the entire greater Kurdistan debacle. It's been clear that creating a Kurdish state has been one of the main objectives of this war. It's a zionist project, and therefore the US will not just give up on it.
The coalition against the insane Kurdistan plans is indeed large now. I believe that it will also includes China -- who are now providing Assad with military support -- as they have nothing to gain from such an example, given their internal seperatist movements.
Therefore Kurdistan will most likely not happen, but the US, & probably the French, will certainly fight for it much more openly than they do now.

As for the attack on the wedding: those attacked were pro Erdogan Kurdish families, who were against the PKK & Kurdish nationalism.

Posted by: Georgiana | Aug 21 2016 12:28 utc | 12

Could it be part of an eviction message from Damascus to Washington. Now that Manbij has been liberated, the forces will eye capital Raqqa for next attack. A provincial capital is what the US/KSA want as a reward for 5 years toil by proxies for a Sunni independent state stretching across Syrian/Iraqi border. Turkey is still fighting to conquer a part of NW Syria near Idlib for the Turkmen.

Manbij has been liberated, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was a collage of Kurdish and Arab (re: KSA funded) forces. United to fight IS until self-interest would prevail once again.

US Building Military Airbase in Northeastern Syria [Early report from Fars News Agency – Dec. 2015]

Abu Hajar airport which has not been used since 2010 is located in Tal al-Hajar region in the Eastern countryside of Hasaka which is controlled by the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG).

The airbase is located Southeast of the town of Rimelan, which is one of the YPG’s main strongholds and “largest arms and ammunition depots”.

The US has not received or even asked for a permission from Damascus for reconstructing the airbase. The United States does not have a UN mandate for interventing in the Syria war.

Across the border in Iraq, Tal Afar has always been a headache for US forces during their occupation years. Chaos and sectarianism were the leftovers of military force in the region. IS filled the void. Similar story can be told for Mosul.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 21 2016 12:36 utc | 13

This is almost completely off-topic, but I thought it worth mentioning....

Could it be some sort of "punishment" for Brazil from above for impeaching Dilma Rousseff and moving back under the US Atlanticist umbrella?

Brazil at the Olympics
6 Gold
6 Silver
6 Bronze

It's been a long long time since a team walked away with 666 on the medal tally from an Olympics.

Posted by: Jules | Aug 21 2016 12:55 utc | 17

Re: Posted by: Georgiana | Aug 21, 2016 8:28:37 AM | 12

Therefore Kurdistan will most likely not happen, but the US, & probably the French, will certainly fight for it much more openly than they do now.

As for the attack on the wedding: those attacked were pro Erdogan Kurdish families, who were against the PKK & Kurdish nationalism.

I doubt President Le Pen would pursue this policy. I think she would be eminently sensible and side with the Russian point of view in regards to Syria.

Posted by: Jules | Aug 21 2016 13:18 utc | 18

@ 12 Georgiana

The victims of the Gaziantep bombing were obviously Kurds. How do you know they were pro-Erdogan, that is, anti-PKK and Kurdish nationalism? I'm very interested in a referral to your source. Thank you.

Posted by: Quentin | Aug 21 2016 13:36 utc | 19

Posted by: Georgiana | Aug 21, 2016 8:28:37 AM | 12

German news says families including HDP politicians. If you want to call them pro-Erdogan, well, I don't think Erdogan knows.

It is very likely IS is paid to destabilize Turkey and ethnic strife is a great tool according to these planners.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 21 2016 13:42 utc | 20

These clashes convince Turkey that the danger of a Kurdish state creation is imminent. This will unite the Turkish, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi hostile positions towards such plans. This unity ends the dreams of an independent Kurdish nation.

It will be only some days until we understand what Erdogans plan is. If, as is now likely, the offer of Incirlik to Russian Space Forces is genuine, and is accepted by Russian command, then he will be free to move on the closest Kurdish positions at anytime if he so chooses. This could be an win-win for Russia as, with the arrival of the Admiral Kuznetsov, it would provide access to hostile forces on several paths and make US warning signals to their terrorist partners difficult.

For Erdogan he will also have someone watching the remaining B-61s, and his back. He is nowhere as stupid as some might think, and will readily take an advantage of anything to further his own cause.

Posted by: alkomv | Aug 21 2016 13:56 utc | 21

Not necessarily chronologically b) and a little without serious reflection:

"U.S. special forces were in the area when the clashes started. There [Their] role in these is mysterious."

Both the US and Europe work with Kurds for longer now. Thus why exactly is this mysterious?

"In other words: U.S. Forces practising area denial to other nations forces in their own territory?"

Are they? Or responding to some type of alert in the fog of war? ... Basically I would expect them to, if they feel their own might be threatened.

"The U.S. has absolutely no legal standing in this and everyone knows."

Maybe they don't. But considering the larger region, in this case Iraq-Syria, would you deny them whatever slice of responsibility for what happened after "mission accomplished" and some type of possible cross-border-pollination? Or a somewhat justifiable interest beyond borders?

Does Isis have a legal standing?

"somewhat reliable SOHR outlet in Britain reports that they have been reinforced with more U.S. troops arriving."

They (?) (Rami Abdul aka Osama (?) ) made it into a semi-reliable source quite fast, stunningly fast it felt at one point in time. ... Not contradicting you here, but how could interest color interpretation or reading of events?

Posted by: Xenotude | Aug 21 2016 14:00 utc | 22

@11 "Assad's personal qualities (which are pretty minimal so far as I can tell,)"

Then open your eyes. Assad is a heartbeat away from being raped by bayonet. Anyone else would have scrammed by now. Watch his interviews. Despite the pressure, he's cool as a cucumber. He knows how to fight and he knows how to talk, a rare combination in a politician.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 21 2016 14:25 utc | 23


A Slim Hope

"An hour ago Emelyanov Volodya from Bashkirya has died, and I Digen Vasily Nikolaevich am left here alone. Kiev Fascists are conducting a harsh bombardment. I am injured and won't live long. At night remaining survivors from our company ran off rather than be trapped in a cauldron by the Fascist scum. Retribution will still find them. I am laying here, I will die, but not surrender to the enemy. Tell my wife Anna Fedorovna in Chkalov region that I defended Crimea as best as I could. We will defeat NATO and the Kiev Fascists anyway!!! 30 April 2017."

Posted by: TheRealDonald | Aug 21 2016 14:26 utc | 24

The message to the Kurds is to cut the USA loose. They have everything to lose and (the usual) nothing to win through playing the US' yeo[wo]men in Syria as they have in Iraq.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 21 2016 14:37 utc | 25

@1, the Kurds are being used to balkanize Syria. When that's done the Kurds will be abandoned, like the Yugoslavs, Ukrainians, Poles, Libyans, Iraqis, Afghanis before them. Knowing that, they should throw in their lot with the rest of the Syrian people. A Kurdish "state", isolated, unaided, unbefriended will devolve into gangsterism.

Posted by: ruralito | Aug 21 2016 14:38 utc | 26

"it has long been an Israhell intent to create a Kurdish state as part of the intended split up of Syria"

Tony B, I stumbled across a variation on this theme in the larger rumor mill at the times of the Iraq war.

Lately I am wondering a bit about it again.

No doubt Syria and Iran somewhat were part of what felt like a long-term neoconnish ME strategy, judging from Mr. Faster Please's exhibited fervor around the time. But beyond what evidence do we have for such a plan?

b's suggestion no doubt seem a variation of the theme, with the US following the "old road-map" now. If I am not completely misreading him.

Posted by: Xenotude | Aug 21 2016 14:54 utc | 27

As expected after Erdogan's decision to join Russia and Iran in the fight against ISIS,the numerous Islamists cells in Turkey are reacting violently. ( The USA and the Saudis are certainly part of it)
Erdogan's government proves daily that it is unable to ensure security in the country.
Turkey is paying for the obsessive ambitions of one man. Erdogan should leave power now for the sake of Turkey..

Posted by: virgile | Aug 21 2016 15:08 utc | 28

@ruralito |

I fully agree with you. Bashar al Assad has proved to be a cool, resilient and smart politician belonging to a weak and poor country and dealing with rich, powerful and aggressive countries.

Posted by: virgile | Aug 21 2016 15:12 utc | 29


Unfortunately we do not know if this is meant seriously or just another Turkish diversion from more nefarious plans.
Glad to see this placeholder (and in bold!).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 21 2016 15:24 utc | 30

Death wish? U.S. Defense Contractors Tell Investors Russian Threat Is Great for Business

[..] Think tanks with major funding from defense contractors, including the Lexington Institute and the Atlantic Council, have similarly demanded higher defense spending to counter Russia.

Stephen Hadley, the former National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush now serving on the board of Raytheon, a firm competing for major NATO military contracts, has argued forcefully for hiking defense budgets and providing lethal aid to Ukraine. Hadley said in a speech last summer that the U.S. must “raise the cost for what Russia is doing in Ukraine,” adding that “even President Putin is sensitive to body bags.” [..]

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 21 2016 15:28 utc | 31

From Glen Ford's piece on Trump's contention that Obama and Hillary followed the Bush/Cheney game plan for destroying Syria and worked had to let ISIS do its deadly deeds.

The part I've quoted is known to most of the MOA readers, but, in light of the fighting in Hasakah, it's not a bad idea to point out that this follows the NeoCon's plan for destruction of nation states in the Middle East and North Africa. The Chaos plan for increasing the hegemon's power. Ford goes on to note that the US would still be desultorially attacking ISIS if Russia had not stepped to do some actual destruction of the group.

You don’t need to take Donald Trump’s word for it, that Obama and Clinton have been “most valuable players” for ISIS. The U.S. military’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) came to much the same conclusion, back in 2012. The military spooks’ reports, declassified last year, showed the DIA had warned that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey [which] support the [Syrian] opposition” believe “there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.”

The DIA was alarmed that

“...the deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

“This creates the ideal situation for AQI [al Qaida in Iraq, which became ISIS] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters [meaning, Shia Muslims]. ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.” My added italics

Quite possibly those DIA analysts may actually have thought they were giving warning to the Obama administration... not just giving them a roadmap to follow Bush/Cheney.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 21 2016 15:32 utc | 32

@23 "...what evidence do we have for such a plan?"

A lack of arable land and a lack of natural water. The DeSal plants only now provide enough for public/irrigation of what Israel already has, and the production costs of the plants is extremely high, and even with the theft of Palestinian land it will never be enough to feed the population, hence the need to covet the wealth of others. Those in the slums grow restless.

Posted by: alkomv | Aug 21 2016 15:33 utc | 33

Forgot the link for Glen Ford's article:

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 21 2016 15:33 utc | 34

@22 ruralito, 'like the Yugoslavs, Ukrainians, Poles, Libyans, Iraqis, Afghanis before them.'

It's worse than that. It's like the Yugoslavs, Ukrainians, Poles, Libyans, Iraqis, Afghanis ... and the Kurds before them ...

William Blum, Killing Hope, Chapter 39 - Iraq 1972-1975 Covert action should not be confused with missionary work

The Pike Report regarded this incident as an example of the apparent “no win” policy of the United States and Iran, The committee stated:

The progressively deteriorating position of the Kurds reflected the fact that none of the nations who were aiding them seriously desired that they realize their objective of an autonomous state. A CIA memo of March 22, 1974 states Iran's and the United States' position clearly:

“We would think that Iran would not look with favor on the establishment of a formalized autonomous government. Iran, like ourselves, has seen benefit in a stalemate situation ... in which Iraq is intrinsically weakened by the Kurds' refusal to relinquish [their] semi-autonomy. Neither Iran nor ourselves wish to see the matter resolved one way or the other.”[7]

“This policy,” said the report,

“was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue fighting. Even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical enterprise,”[8]

The day after the CIA memo referred to above, 23 March 1974, Soviet Defense Minister Andrei Grechko, who had befriended Barzani when the latter lived in the Soviet Union, arrived in Iraq to help the government reach a settlement with the Kurds. On the advice of Iran and the United States, however, Barzani refused to come to any terms.[9] Earlier that month, the Iraqi government had actually passed a law offering a limited amount of autonomy to the Kurds, but they had rejected that as well, whether or not at the request of their “allies” is not known.

The congressional committee discovered that

“The CIA had early information which suggested that the Shah would abandon the Kurds the minute he came to an agreement with Iraq over border disputes.”

Agency documents characterized the Shah's view of the Kurds as “a card to play” in this dispute with Iraq. And a CIA memo characterized the Kurds as

“a uniquely useful tool for weakening Iraq's potential for international adventurism”.[10]

The last may have been a reference to Iraq signing a pact of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union in April 1972, under which it received military aid and granted the Soviet Navy certain port privileges. Then, in June, super oil-rich Iraq had nationalized the Western-owned consortium, the Iraq Petroleum Company (23.75 percent US), a move warmly applauded by the Soviets, after which the two countries proceeded to conclude a trade and economic accord.[11]

As it was, it was oil that brought Iran and Iraq together. In 1973, the Shah wanted to strengthen Iran's position with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and a crucial part of the inducement to Iraq and other Arab neighbors was Iran's willingness to double-cross the troublesome Kurds.[12] None of these countries wanted their own minorities to be getting any ideas from a Kurdish success.

It was not until March 1975 that the Shah was ready to make his move. Events moved swiftly then. The Shah met with the vice-president of Iraq and, by agreement, the Shah cut off all supplies to the Kurds, including the American part. The next day the Iraqis unleashed their biggest offensive ever. Several days later the stunned Kurds sent a desperate message to

[243] (TOC)

the CIA:

“There is confusion and dismay among our people and forces. Our people's fate in unprecedented danger. Complete destruction hanging over our head. No explanation for all this. We appeal you and USG [United States government] intervene according to your promises.,.”[13]

The same day, the Kurds appealed to Kissinger as well:

Your Excellency, having always believed in the peaceful solution of disputes including those between Iran and Iraq, we are pleased to see that their two countries have come to some agreement ... However, our hearts bleed to see that an immediate byproduct of their agreement is the destruction of our defenseless people ... Our movement and people are being destroyed in an unbelievable way with silence from everyone. We feel your Excellency that the United States has a moral and political responsibility towards our people who have committed themselves to your Country's policy.[14]

The hapless Kurds received no response to their pleas, from either the CIA or Henry Kissinger. By the end of the month their forces had been decimated. Several hundred Kurdish leaders were executed.

In conclusion, the Pike report noted:

Over 200,000 refugees managed to escape into Iran. Once there, however, neither the United States nor Iran extended adequate humanitarian assistance. In fact, Iran was later to forcibly return over 40,000 of the refugees and the United States government refused to admit even one refugee into the United States by way of political asylum even though they qualified for such admittance[15].

When Henry Kissinger was interviewed by the staff of the Pike Committee about the United States' role in this melodrama, he responded with his now-famous remark:

“Covert action should not be confused with missionary work.”[16]

[7] Pike Report, p. 214.
[8] Ibid., p. 197.
[9] New York Times, 12 February 1976, p. 3 1, column by William Safire.
[10] Pike Report, p. 214,
[11] New York Times, 1 June 1972, p. 1; 3 June, p. 1; 8 June, p. 69,
[12] Ibid.,5 February 1976, p. 3 1 , column by William Safire.
[13] Pike Report, pp. 198, 215.
[14] Ibid., 215-216.
[15] Ibid., p. 217.
[16] New York Times, 12 February 1976, p. 3 1, column by William Safire; Pike Report, p. 19S, Kissinger is referred to as “a high U.S. official”.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 21 2016 15:35 utc | 35

Hmm. Lot's of new names ... but some sound/speak much like older names. Wonder what's going on?

Did anyone read the Saker re the Ukronazi's and Syria? You should.

Looks like the neo-cons may get their war with Russia ... and I'll get to watch Armageddon cleanse the world of the virus. Sadly, the world as we know it may not be able to recover.

[Anyone want to accuse me of being a one song musician? At least, for better or worse, I am consistent.]

Posted by: rg the lg | Aug 21 2016 16:00 utc | 36

israel understands the tortures of the damned suffered by the kurds,we have a shared long history of victimhood.
israel is in a unique position to help these new kurdish nations and has the ability and technology to back it up.
oil,gas,water,minerals,mining backed up by the finest military and police protection forces in the world,we also have the diplomatic strength to get these projects passed in an expedited fashion.
the kurdish dream is about to flower like israel a new exodus homeland for the innocent kurd abroad parts of iraq,iran,syria,turkey and libya should all become the new home.
many will resent israels leadership in this area but be sure this in the long term will be done for the sake of stability,fair play and the rule of law,not to mention humanity.
assad new hitler must go before he moves on to other countries of conquest syria must be broken into 4 parts as per the brookings chatham house dossier requirements.
slowly with the help of idf security can be assured for all and the isis threat to greater israel neutralized.

Posted by: menechem golani | Aug 21 2016 16:10 utc | 37

The Kurdistan issue is a thorny one. I sympathize with Rojava as the only unit in the whole region not being right-wing or even fascist. But in the current situation there is more at stakes as the Kurds destiny. There is a threat of a direct confrontation between the u.s. and Russia witch could result in a WWIII - a possibly nuclear confrontation. This dwarfs every other concern. It's necessary to urge everyone not to let the us war party - i.e. reps and dems alike - transform the whole earth in a common graveyard. So everyone living in the u.s.: stand up and protest! Now!

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 21 2016 16:15 utc | 38

PKK asks for Peace Talks with Turkey

The KCK said in a statement issued from Qandil where the PKK has its leadership base that there are efforts in and outside Turkey by friendly countries and civil society organizations for the resumption of peace talks, which they support.

“We saw the need to make our position clear,” read the statement. “We say for a solution to the Kurdish question the one that has to step forward is Turkey.”

The KCK revealed that “there are efforts on an international level and by some friendly organizations in the Kurdistan Region who insist that the HDP should return to dialogue for a solution,”

The HDP is the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democracy Party led by Selahattin Demirtas which has close ties to the PKK and seen by many as the political wing of the group inside Turkey.

The KCK said in its Saturday statement that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) must show its goodwill “by forming a parliamentary delegation with HDP members in it to hold talks with our leader for peace,”

Posted by: somebody | Aug 21 2016 16:26 utc | 39

You have to wonder about the sanity of Assad and his Iranian advisors after this attempt at brute force negotiation. The Kurds were the only large armed force not shouting and shooting Assad Must GO but now they may actively join in that demand.

The other setback that this bombing could produce for the Axis Powers is the dreaded No Fly Zone, already it appears a No Bombing Zone has been created and is being enforced by the Coalition. Assad has no forces able or available to invade Rojava so this show of air power is feeble and has already backfired.

Erdogan may be supporting this attack on the Kurds but the silly pipe dream some people keep projecting of him joining with Assad or Putin against the rebels doesn't match reality.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 21 2016 16:27 utc | 40

According to the National Association of Arab Youth, there are 1717 villages in Al-Hasakah province: 1161 Arab villages, 453 Kurdish villages, 98 Assyrian villages and 53 with mixed populations from the aforementioned ethnicities.

I can understand their desire for independence but why they are so expansive?

Posted by: 21Sunday | Aug 21 2016 16:55 utc | 41

thanks b...

yeah, those no fly zones worked so well in libya and a few other places that warmonger central have turned into shitholes run by mercenary armies doing the work of neo con central... may as well have another one, and maybe if the warmongers are lucky we can get to armageddon sooner too, lol..

one thing seems fairly clear... if it is a choice between some unelected mafia type dude like barzani, or the kurds - you know who the usa is going to choose.. there has never been one of these types stay in power who didn't go along with the materialistic designs on the resources associated with said area and people.. i guess that is why the usa/israel are so often on the same page as appears also the case here..

not to worry.. someone will come along to tell us how the reason the usa is inside syria as for the good of the people of syria and how they are chasing out isis and any other fairy tale you would like to be told to convince you of the supremacy of the great ideals of the american culture... if your brain hurts - it is supposed to when it gets filled with a bunch of lies and bullshite - the specialty of the msm circa 2016..

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2016 17:03 utc | 42

This was inevitable. The Kurds are being used by the US and its Anglosphere and EU vassals and will be discarded. The Kurds are fools for believing the West and overplaying their hand. Syria, Turkey, and Iraq have the Kurds in a vise and will squeeze them to where they want them. The US and EU as a consequence will be pushed out of the region - thank god for that and for Russia coming to the aid of Syria.

The other interesting aspect to this is that many in the US project some kind of 'sainthood' on the Kurds. They are most certainly not saints.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Aug 21 2016 17:06 utc | 43

wayoutwest: Syria has allies, while the US leads its axis.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Aug 21 2016 17:08 utc | 44

Here's what Canthama at SyrPers included about Hasaka in today's update:

"Hasaka: The situation in al Hasaka city continues to be very volatile, now in its 4th day. Some important factors to be considered as the fight inside the town continues in anticipation of a peaceful solution:
•It is getting more obvious, as time passes, that this provocation has direct links to the Turkish-US struggle related to the supposed coup attempt against the Turkish regime. The timing of it, right after the Turkish-Iranian high level meeting and the joint declaration on the main steps toward a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria, has most likely sparked NATO to push the Asayish, PYD military police, to provoke a conflict in Al-Hasaka.
•It seems a possible alignment between Russia-Syria-Iran-Turkey will clearly be in conflict with NATO’s invasion in northern Syria and the use of locals to promote their objectives.
•Syrian Government reaction was swift, both with the directives to the NDF organization to fight back but with the support of SAAF that shifted the initial balance of the attacks.
•There is no clear indication on the ground that large SDF/YPG or even SAA forces are fighting at the moment; both organizations are, so far, using artillery fire to support the fighting inside the town where mostly Asayish and NDF are fighting. This could change if the conflict escalates even further toward a full war.
•There is a clear, maybe unforeseen, risk for large numbers of local Arab fighters deserting the SDF/Asayish ranks. In fact, there are reports of groups shifting allegiance to NDF in the past few days with increasing frequency and magnitude.

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

To see those maps, you'll need to go to the site,

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 21 2016 17:14 utc | 45

Russia has chosen to stand by as US proxy forces mingled with actual US forces attack Syrian government forces. How are those bus wheels feeling Mr. Assad?

Posted by: paul | Aug 21 2016 17:32 utc | 46

Russia is collecting bargaining chips again, in form of a hypothetical rapprochement with Turkey.
Anyone knows what it'll trade them in for? Last time round, in mid-2015, it was obvious, but this time I'm not sure.

And yeah, looks like (some of) the Kurds are overplaying their hand. A pity; they could have gained some nice de-facto-autonomy plus a lot of intl. reputation, but if they push for statehood, they'll lose it all.

Posted by: smuks | Aug 21 2016 17:36 utc | 47


LOL, isn't there something in military doctrine about being predictable? If I was a military that never won a single war, I might look into that possibility. (But that would get me fired immediately in the U.S. military.)

Posted by: O'Coner | Aug 21 2016 17:40 utc | 48


Iran chose the Axis of Resistance brand to describe their alliances in Syria, apparently clueless about its connotations, while trying to spin Bush's Axis of Evil to their advantage. When the Russians entered the conflict use of that brand ended for obvious reasons but they are still self-branded as The Axis.

The nearly independent state of Iraqi Kurdistan exists today because the Kurds allied themselves with the Borg years ago and the same can be said about the new statelet of Rojava who enjoy the support, air power and arming from the Coalition and are already in talks about joining IK to further the dream of an independent Kurdistan. I doubt that any territory they take from the IS will be ceded back to Assad even if he survives the coming Shock and Awe the Red Queen and her friends have planned.

Posted by: wayoutwest | Aug 21 2016 17:53 utc | 49

Excellent article, b

Those hydrocarbons in the ground in "Kurdish majority areas" are of course still actually in the ground of sovereign nations, and the plunderers are now one further step away from getting them. It does seem that the Kurdish dream of their own state has just moved further away, while Turkey has been nudged closer to the good guys.

What is it about US planning and Israeli desperation that compels them to enter into situations they can't win, with forces completely inadequate to the task, and with no Plan B? Do they truly believe that treachery is any longer a powerful weapon when everyone sees through them?

Everything they do backfires, and it's impossible to demonstrate that there's a hidden intention behind this (something we could once provision a school of thought for). It's simple incompetence, blinded by evil. It surely is true that corruption also works to corrupt critical thinking. We approach a western policy sustained only by Hannah Arendt's Banality of Evil, combined with Tolkien's observation that evil is often done badly.


While I'm here, I must stand up for Dr. Assad. The man is a doctor, compelled to leave his practice abroad and called back to his country by circumstances. He has spent time on the front lines with his troops, who support him wholeheartedly. He has rallied his country and kept it rallied through even the most dire times, before the Russians came to help, when there was little hope, and Damascus itself seemed in great danger. His people are with him - what better thing can be said of any leader? In an election today he would win by a landslide.

He's achieved this popularity not so much by any charisma as a dynamic person or a politician, but by his modest demeanor as a patriot doing all he can for his country, and by his moral strength and reasoning intellect (which I have admired greatly in his interviews). As children we are impressed by shiny objects. As adults we must learn to value substance over glitter.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 21 2016 18:58 utc | 50

excellent, informed analysis as usual. dont agree with some of the language, but ...
the question of the kurds is depressing to consider. The Turks are virtually racist in their attitude to Kurds equating them all with terrorists etc - the latest is that PKK are in league with the hated Gulen - conveniently allowing for future expansion of Feto witch-hunt which is already likely to lead to the imprisonment of leading Kurdish politicians - including Demirtas; Turks want to utterly subjpgate Kurds.
Iran has no sympathy for Kurds whatsoever mirroring Turkey's stance most often than not - it too fears Kurdish strength.
So, in the new security agreement, the only player that might try to fight for the Kurds is Russia. Is that likely? If not, then giving up the Kurds is easy negotiation to sway Turkey on other issues.
What will happen, how far they will go is very difficult to judge. Turkey is all but in open warfare - civil war - in the South.
Whatever happens, regional conflicts will not be resolved without dealing with the Kurdish question
Gul and Rouhani exited from their meeting in 2013/14 stating that they were agreed on "the end of terrorism in the region" (by which they were talking not only of Syria but also of PKK or broader Kurdish groups - without question!) - but simply bombing shit out of kurds will not solve the problem, not unless Kurds are completely wiped out.
We must not forget that the Kurdish Question preceded the Syrian conflict and if not resolved as part of the Syria resolution, then it shall continue.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 21 2016 19:10 utc | 51

@51 grieved.. thanks.. i share your viewpoint on assad and etc, as mentioned earlier in the thread as well by ruralito and virgile @26/29..

this is one of the many byproducts of supporting saudi arabia's export of wahabbism produces... and about that expansion of the airport in hasaka by the usa, read this. those americans just can't stop being such benevolent characters on the world stage.. and finally Hasaka Governor: Damascus Gov't Welcomes Kurds' Cooperation in Administering Syria...

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2016 19:53 utc | 52

Grieved says:

While I'm here, I must stand up for Dr. Assad. The man is a doctor, compelled to leave his practice abroad and called back to his country by circumstances. He has spent time on the front lines with his troops, who support him wholeheartedly. He has rallied his country and kept it rallied through even the most dire times, before the Russians came to help, when there was little hope, and Damascus itself seemed in great danger. His people are with him - what better thing can be said of any leader? In an election today he would win by a landslide.

He's achieved this popularity not so much by any charisma as a dynamic person or a politician, but by his modest demeanor as a patriot doing all he can for his country, and by his moral strength and reasoning intellect (which I have admired greatly in his interviews). As children we are impressed by shiny objects. As adults we must learn to value substance over glitter.

very nicely stated. thanks.

Posted by: john | Aug 21 2016 20:10 utc | 53


Add this from a brilliant, on-the-scene, first-hand source in Iran abt Dec 1974. The source was American teacher on contract living in Iran.

The source related to me that the Shah would not last more than 2 years, such was the widespread violent disagreement with his person among the population in the cities, even and especially outside Teheran [itself swarming with SAVAK, his secret police].He fled 1979.

The source was closely known to me and credible on every other datum of which I did have knowledge.

I did not know your data at that time. although I did "know" from academia about AngloIranian Oil and the MI6andcia Mossadegh matter.

My bamboozle-meter has mostly pegged-out since JKK 1963. After several, upper-limit range changes failed to contain the needle action, I tried an "infinite" limit, namely, "Be surprised by nothing". but the meter would not accept it!

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 21 2016 20:23 utc | 54

@12 Georgiana, thanks for the political back story on the wedding. Very interesting, indeed. So it may have been a faction of the Kurds themselves that perpetrated the crime.

Posted by: William Rood | Aug 22 2016 5:04 utc | 55

@20 Georgiana, hold on there. HDP is the pro-Kurdish party, an opponent of Erdogan with reputed ties to the PKK, certainly not opposed to PKK goals, though possibly opposed to violence.

Posted by: William Rood | Aug 22 2016 5:11 utc | 56

According to Reuters, the YPG is attacking again. Someone needs to ask if the US is officially at war with Syria. The Syrian gov. cannot afford to back down.

Posted by: wwinsti | Aug 22 2016 6:31 utc | 57

Posted by: William Rood | Aug 22, 2016 1:04:10 AM | 55

The strategy is known since Iraq - soft target an ethnic group to make them fight. Erdogan himself blames IS.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2016 8:20 utc | 58

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22, 2016 4:20:57 AM | 58

It is working. Kurds are blaming Erdogan.

Remember the anonymous snipers on Maidan?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2016 8:26 utc | 59

Kurdish factions at Gaziantep wedding:

As noted, no hostilities between HDP and PKK were observed. While rhetorics of two movements differ etc., there are many personal links, some HDP parliament members being cousins (or even siblings) of important PKK figures.

Turkish Kurds seem to have three major factions: HDP/PKK, supporters of AKP and radical Islamists. The most radical Islamists cooperated with ISIS and al-Nusra/al-Qaeda, and AKP (MIT?). Perpetrators of previous bombing of gatherings of leftist Kurds (in that case of Ankara, leftist Kurds and Turks) were identified to be ethnic Turkish Kurds who returned from the ISIS-controlled Syria, were interrogated upon return and released. This "bungling" occurred too often to be accidental, IMHO. Now the bomber(s) was (were?) young teen, probably speaking Kurdish to enter the wedding without suspicion, so they were probably brainwashed by "ISIS Kurds".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 22 2016 8:53 utc | 60

and now that

Posted by: Mina | Aug 22 2016 9:05 utc | 61

Usually when they use teens you can bet 90% that he had mental disabilities

Posted by: Mina | Aug 22 2016 9:06 utc | 62

Posted by: Mina | Aug 22, 2016 5:05:03 AM | 61

Yep. According to German media the Syrian army is supposed to tie Kurdish fighters at Hasakah whilst Turkish supported Islamist militants make sure Kurds do not get a contiguous state.

Sometimes interests align.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2016 9:34 utc | 63

Kurdish, government forces trade blows in Hasakah

It's only Asayish, as before. The Americans must have particular influence there. It is not the Syrians launching the attack.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 22 2016 10:14 utc | 64

@ 50 Grieved

I'm saying it again. I absolutely love your comments Grieved!

Thank you for this post. It has to be said and made clear. Where we expect some deep, unseen, hidden strategy where there is failure, we should in fact see it for is what it is: pure incompetence. How often in the past have I (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) thought that there was a hidden agenda. This is the plan and they (USZIONISM) are going to achieve it. No. There might have been some simple plan, yes simple. And what we see *is* what is happening. There is no secrete medication. The Americans are simple. To quote Killary: We came, we saw, we won. That's it.

And the myth that Israel with its "mighty" army can achieve anything they want. It's over. What we see are the last attempts to turn it around. But they will not be able to win against a United Front of Russia, China, India, Iraq, Iran and now Turkey. The biggest nightmare for Israel is unfolding. And now the Kurds get to swallow, again, some of the bitter medication the Western Union of Values likes to prescribe: We needed you at some stage, but thanks, not anymore. Bye.

Thank you @Grieved also for your words about Dr. Assad. Not only is he a true Statesman. He is a patriot and a humble man, living with his family in a neighbourhood in the centre of Damascus. He is a captain who did not abandon the ship when it was about to sink. I remember how they said exactly the same things about Assad, that they were saying about Erdogan during the coup attempt in Turkey (good lesson for Erdogan btw): He (Dr Assad) has left Syria already and he is on his way to Moscow. Only one of the million lies that were told during this conflict. As you were saying, Assad would win any election now and that is exactly why elections with a participation of Dr Assad are not favoured by the USZIONISTS.

I highly recommend this read for those who don't remember how the conflict in Syria started and how it was turned upside down in the media:

Posted by: Demeter | Aug 22 2016 10:35 utc | 65

Not really. YPG calls on Hasakah residents to stand against Syrian regime

“We in the YPG call upon our people, the Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians, to support their legitimate units of the YPG/YPJ, Asayish and Social Protection Forces – to stand united against the terror of the regime and safeguard the region,” the YPG said in a statement."

I am not saying that this call has any effect. All I am saying is that the YPG now officially are in conflict with the Syrian army.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2016 10:50 utc | 66

Kurdish, government forces trade blows in Hasakah

Hasakah City, Syria ([22 August 2016] 12:30 P.M.) – Last night, Hasakah City experienced a brief period of peace, absent of any firefights between the Kurdish police (Asayish) and government-backed “National Defense Forces” (NDF).

However, as dawn approached the city, the Asayish force stormed the NDF’s positions at the Guweiran District, resulting in a series of fierce clashes that spread across the provincial capital.

According to PYD activists, the Asayish are advancing in northeastern Guweiran after infiltrating the National Defense Forces’ front-lines this morning.

Meanwhile, in northern Hasakah, the National Defense Forces managed to advance north of the Al-Amal School, capturing some buildings in the Tal Hajjar District.

The NDF also claimed their units captured some building blocks in the Al-Zuhour District in southern Al-Hasakah.

The Syrian Air Force has played a major part in the defense of government-controlled Hasakah City, carrying out several airstrikes over the Asayish’s positions in the northern districts of the provincial capital.

Government and PYD officials are expected to meet today in Hasakah City today to negotiate another open-ended ceasefire.

There seem to be open hostilities between the US' Kurds and the Syrians. See if the US will back down or go for it.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 22 2016 10:56 utc | 67

Doesn't feel like the YPG is inclined to compromise

YPG official: Syrian regime trying to satisfy Turkey attacking Kurds

The YPG on Sunday night gave Syrian regime fighters –that are surrounded by the Kurdish forces in Hasakah– an ultimatum to give up or fight to the end.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2016 11:00 utc | 68

If I remember correctly without the YPG, Syrian gov would have lost the whole eastern part of Syria 3 years ago.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 22 2016 12:20 utc | 69

@68 sb

from your ARA news ...

The YGP official said the ongoing attacks by the Assad regime against Kurds in Syria’s Hasakah “are aimed at compensating ISIS losses in front of the Kurdish forces and allies”.

“What the Syrian regime is trying to do is to create clashes with Kurds in Hasakah to compensate the ISIS loss of Manbij city,” Can said.

... the Kurdish view seems to be a bit, peculiar.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 22 2016 12:24 utc | 70

@68 sb

from your ARA link ...

The YGP official said the ongoing attacks by the Assad regime against Kurds in Syria’s Hasakah “are aimed at compensating ISIS losses in front of the Kurdish forces and allies”.

“What the Syrian regime is trying to do is to create clashes with Kurds in Hasakah to compensate the ISIS loss of Manbij city,” [Polat] Can [the representative of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to the coalition against ISIS] said.

... the Kurdish point of view seems to be, peculiar. Or is everyone else peculiar?

Posted by: jfl | Aug 22 2016 12:27 utc | 71

Doesn't feel like the YPG is inclined to compromise
So it is the Kurds who are attacking. The Americans must be convincing. It was never likely that the surrounded Syrians would attack. It only goes to show that b is right. The Syrian Kurds had a chance for at least federal independence, and they're now flushing it down the drain. As has frequently been said, total independence doesn't work for them. No point in living in dreamland, just because the US advisor is whispering in your ear. The alternative is the kind of bankrupt limbo-land that the KRG live in.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 22 2016 12:52 utc | 72

If I remember correctly without the YPG, Syrian gov would have lost the whole eastern part of Syria 3 years ago.
The govt doesn't have it even now. It's a question of preparing for the post-war deal. The Kurds and Asad are realists. The Americans are not interested in a post-war future for Syrians; a jihadi state would be fine for them, as Netanyahu has also indicated would be fine for Israel.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 22 2016 12:58 utc | 73

@65 Demeter
There cannot be elections without Assad. This cannot be on the table as a bargaining chip. If it were to be so, then it would serve as the ultimate betrayal of Assad's Syria by Russia.

To the victors the spoils and the forces of evil should not be allowed to falsify the pages of history according to them.

There is one side of this war whose propaganda efforts appear changeable and incoherent. That is the force of evil.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Aug 22 2016 13:10 utc | 74

I think the zionists are so scared of a Trump victory in Nov that they are pulling out all stops in creating a quagmire(which of course it is already)to drag America into their war on Russia,Syria and Turkey,the newest target.
NYTS;Ukrainian Americans(all 200 of them)upset at Trump and his Russian approach.
Another fifth column of idiots who can't leave their ethnic stupidity at our door.
And the Hell bitch doubles down on Israeli fealty,as her new ad in the Times says "she's with us,and we're with her!"
She and the ziomedia are destroying American democracy for zion.Unbelievable.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 22 2016 13:25 utc | 75

According to Masdar the Syrian govt are losing in Hasekeh. It's not surprising; it was never a miliarily tenable position.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 22 2016 13:35 utc | 76

Posted by: jfl | Aug 22, 2016 8:27:26 AM | 70

YPG suspect Assad made a deal with Turkey to prevent them having contiguous Turkish/Syrian areas as a state never mind the people trying to take over Jarablus are Turkish backed Islamists.

If YPG try to put up a fight at Jarablus plus Hasaka they are stretched thin. Never mind YPG in Aleppo.

According to a German language Russian information outlet the Syrian army plan to surround Hasaka - ie get control of the area. Same source also denies US planes would protect the YPG.

So my guess is there is a deal between Turkey and Russia/Syria - Turkey cuts supply lines to Aleppo - redirects Islamists to Jarablus and Syrian army - relieved in Aleppo - gets control in Hasaka.

Would the US walk into something like this to support the YPG renamed into PKK by Syria? When YPG had tried to get rid of Kurdish polical rivals based in Iraq helping their fight against ISIS there?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2016 13:35 utc | 77

@64 Asayish appears to have extended its original mission....

Posted by: dh | Aug 22 2016 13:46 utc | 78

Demeter @65

You link to an article that describes how the conflict started.

Sy Hersh's 'The Redirection' described the planning.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 22 2016 14:36 utc | 80

re 76

According to a German language Russian information outlet the Syrian army plan to surround Hasaka - ie get control of the area.
That sounds pretty bonkers. The Syrian army only holds a small area, and doesn't have a launchpad for conquest. More likely it's the other way round, and the Kurds are attacking the Syrians, all the while claiming to be being attacked.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 22 2016 15:16 utc | 81

Maybe it's in the cards for thermonuclear war, afterall, yall. Washington/Zionist elites are the sorest of sore losers, and lousy winners for that matter.
The West must maintain its control of the region, for a loss would mean a potentially epic collapse in our economies and societies (sooner rather than later).

There doesn't seem to be much inclination for a graceful bow-out.

Posted by: bbbb | Aug 22 2016 16:07 utc | 82

Sputniknews reporting Turkey has launched artillery shelling in northern Syria

The Turkish military has launched strikes against the terrorist group Daesh, also known as IS/Islamic State, as well as the Kurdish YPG in northern Syria, according to NTV.
The howitzer shelling has struck Daesh targets near Jarablus and Kurdish YPG forces north of Manbij.
Earlier on Monday, Ankara had vowed to "completely cleanse" militants from its border region in the wake of the suicide bombing attack that left over 54 people dead at a wedding over the weekend.

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 22 2016 17:31 utc | 83

If someone has already referred to this, sorry -
according to Sputnik, Turkey has started bombarding Northern Syria to open a 'corridor' - is this to use for the creation of 'safe zones' which recently reared its head again?
Interesting is this quote

"Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a news conference.

Turkey intentionally conflates 'terrorists' for local ease of 'consent' and the latest is PKK - DAESH (again). Additionally, Turkey has never seriously acted against Daesh, only pretended to while actually attacking Kurds. Lastly, given Turkey's unwillingness to differentiate between PKK, YPG and others - all the same Kurdish terrorists - we can safely assume that Cavusoglu, and Turkey, intend to wipe all Kurdish 'militias' from its border. The 'ready to do what it takes' is chilling given Turkey's heartless treatment of all non-Sunnis, or rather all Non-Turkish-Sunnis! Truly Chilling!

Read more:

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 22 2016 18:33 utc | 84

@likklemore | 83 - he he, of xourse I missed your post! :-)

@somebody | 76 - very likely indeed. Its been on the cards for a few months. Why are the Russians just allowing it to happen, though? I can't work that one out. Unless, to further humiliate the US.

As I wrote in a previous post, the Kurdish issue predates the Syrian conflict and can not be 'wiped out'. Despite the obvious threat against the Kurds with the Gaziantep bombing, Kurds will not fall for it. Already there are serioua clashes between Kurdish youth and Turkish 'flag carriers' in the region. These are not militas, but citizens attacking one another. On the Turkish front this could be worse than the eighties, but add the Syrian Kurdish situation to the mix and all hell could break loose.

While the Iran,Russia,Turkey detente is promising for Syria, Turkeys hatred of Kurds will ensure no peace for quite some time and may even leqd to yet further destabilisation in Turkey.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 22 2016 18:44 utc | 85

The comments to this entry are closed.