Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 18, 2018

Syria - Tillerson Announces Occupation Goals - Erdogan Makes Empty Threats

For a few days now Turkey has threatened to invade Afrin (Efrin), a Kurdish held canton in the north-west of Syria.

Afrin (topographic) bigger
yellow - Kurdish control, grey - Turks, red - Syrian government, green - al-Qaeda

The threat is not serious:

  • Afrin is mostly mountainous.
  • Pictures from Turkey showed (scroll down) the unloading of some tanks near to Afrin but within Turkey. These were old M-60 tanks. They have been slightly upgraded by Israel but can be knocked out by modern Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and certainly by Anti Tank Guided Missiles. (ATMG). These tanks would get slaughtered should they enter the tricky Afrin terrain.
  • There are several tens of thousands of Kurdish fighters in Afrin. They are well armed.
  • Afrin is under formal protection of Russian and Syrian forces.
  • The real danger to Turkey is not Afrin but the much larger Kurdish protectorate the U.S. publicly announced in north-east Syria.

The Turkish threats and its artillery noise have led to counter noise from Syria and more silent advice from Russia.  The Syrian government wants to show that it is the protector of all Syrian citizens be they ethnic Arabs or Kurds. Russia is proud of its role as the grown up who is calming down all sides.

The two real issues the wannabe-Sultan Erdogan has are:

  • the upcoming meeting of Syrian opposition and government parties in Sochi and
  • the U.S. backing of the PKK/YPG terrorists in north-east Syria.

Russia wanted to invite several Kurdish parties, including the YPG, to the big meeting in Sochi. Turkey rejects any official inclusions of Kurds as a distinct constituency. Russia will fudge the issue by inviting certain personalities of Kurdish ethnic who will take part in their 'private capacities'.

The second issue only came up again because of military bombast at CentCom and some uncoordinated and unsound U.S.  policy:

On Sunday, the U.S.-led military coalition battling Islamic State issued a statement trumpeting the creation of the 30,000-strong “Border Security Force.” But the announcement, which triggered Turkish denunciations, caught officials in Washington off guard. On Wednesday, U.S. officials said the coalition’s declaration was misguided—and the Pentagon issued a statement trying to calm Turkish fears.

“This is not a new ‘army’ or conventional ‘border guard’ force,” the Pentagon statement said.

This was not the first time the Central Command in the Middle East acted in a overtly hawkish and bombastic way without considering the wider strategic impact. Turkey is a  NATO member and to announce the installation of a terrorist force to guard a NATO border from the outside is just nuts. For years now the Pentagon has given way too much leash to CentCom and needs to tighten control over it.

The "border guard" force has now been renamed an internal security force which will also make sure that none of the ISIS fighters in the area, which Washington diligently keeps alive in the Syrian east, will escape across the border to  evade their next assignments.

Yesterday Secretary of State Tillerson announced the official "new" U.S. position on Syria. It is essentially a recap of the position the Obama administration had long held and does not make any more sense:

Speaking in a major Syria-policy address hosted at Stanford University by the Hoover Institution, Tillerson listed vanquishing al-Qaeda, ousting Iran and securing a peace settlement that excludes President Bashar al-Assad as among the goals of a continued presence in Syria of about 2,000 American troops currently deployed in a Kurdish-controlled corner of northeastern Syria.

(The real number of U.S. troops in Syria is around 5,000 soldiers plus an equal number of 'contractors'.)

Other listeners detected even wider ambitions :

The United States has five key goals in Syria, Mr. Tillerson said. They are: ensuring that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda never re-emerge; supporting the United Nations-led political process; diminishing Iran’s influence; making sure the country is free of weapons of mass destruction; and helping refugees to return after years of civil war.

These goals are mutually exclusive. Nothing will happen in the UN process in Geneva as long as anyone insists in removing the Syrian President Assad. Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria are a consequence of U.S. action and (covered) presence in the country. Iran currently has little presence and limited influence in Syria. It would only increase again  should the U.S. try to militarily attack the Syrian government. Refugees will not return as long as the U.S. threatens to again widen the war.

I have yet to read one analyst who believes that the U.S. administration can achieve any of the wishes it announced. It is a hapless policy of "doing something" which will fail when resistance on the ground will ramp up and the political costs of the occupation will become apparent. The YPG Kurds in the north-east, who agreed to their occupation, will be the ones who will have to to bear the wrath. All other parties involved in Syria will hold them responsible.

For now the new announcement and its botched presentation only helped Erdogan to again play to his crowd. None of this will be of much consequence.

Posted by b on January 18, 2018 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

« previous page

Syria and of course the entirety of the ME
has been at the center of global politics
and power shifts for a very long time.

To understand the deep currents in the ME,
one needs to factor in the policies of the
British empire throughout its final decades
of dominance.
Syria has been on the hit list of the Western
powers for hundred years. It appears that the
artificial Nation states of the ME are not even
allowed to function based on the arbitrary
boundaries set by the colonial powers.

The Turkish people are a proud people and
having lived among them taught me a many
valuable lessons regarding 'family' values.

Sure, there appears to be a certain proclivity
for machism, but that is also valid for many
other Nations in the ME. Erdogan's actions must
also be seen as keeping face before his conservative
constituents. It is a macho world for sure and to
witness the daily policy and strategy changes is
overwhelming to even the most sophisticated mind.

I have come to the conclusion, that the present
global developments are reminiscent of a multi
dimensional chess game with an unknown number
of players and game pieces.

Only one thing seems to be certain - the U.S.
remains to be the major impediment and obstacle
for lastingl world piece. A Nation that makes
a living from killing others will always seek
to play out adversaries against each other.

Especially since the insults hurled at Pakistan,
Syria is receiving increasing support from Islamic
Nations that were previously busy with their own
struggles, but can now clearly see who the real
string pullers are in the ME.

Psychological projection is still the order of
the day in America and its vassal states. But
the more Muslim populations wake up to this
realization, then even alleged 'allies' will
turn against their gamemasters.

Last but not least, in all this 'game of
deception', it is always the little people
who are thrown under the tanks.

Thanks trying to make sense out of events
that are so senseless from a humanitarian

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Jan 19, 2018 9:17:51 PM | 101

There will always be racists, and there will always be some bastard/s wanting total dominance. And these will always have to be fought. The small timers that the average person can come to physical grips with are just that, small.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 19, 2018 9:42:21 PM | 102

Gee, this topic sure brought out lots of new ( i think) posters. The new 4th reich needs to project enough BS for some of it to stick to the wall. The empire isn't leaving Syria with- out being pushed out. That, IMO is a no-brainer.

nottheonly1, like your format, it's easy to read when the post is long.

Posted by: ben | Jan 19, 2018 9:44:26 PM | 103

"Trump Keeps US in Syria and Sets Off New War"

From TRNN:

Posted by: ben | Jan 19, 2018 10:04:51 PM | 104 Proof of Censorship Hypocrisy Under the Guise of Stopping Terrorism: Social Media and Government Combine on New Censorship Measures to Control Narratives That Don't Align With Government 'Official' Narratives

Posted by: Liam | Jan 19, 2018 10:11:29 PM | 105


Erdogan's voters hate the Kurds (and love the Islamists), therefore they are very pleased if the Turkish army neutralize the YPG and replace it with friendly islamists (the FSA) or.. even the Syrian army.

Erdogan is counting on a decisive victory over the SDF to boost his position after receiving humiliating rebuffs by the USA and the EU. He wants to give a lesson to the USA. Russia won't mind giving a lesson to the USA too by allowing Turkey to attack the SDF. Will the USA come to rescue the SDF? I doubt.
Ultimately Russia would like that Afrin be under the control of the Syrian army and not the FSA.
If the SDF is cornered, Russia will possibly negotiate a retreat of the SDF and its replacement by the Syrian army. Will Turkey accept to discard the FSA? It is quite possible because the FSA has burnt itself by recently asking the USA for direct support.

Posted by: virgile | Jan 19, 2018 10:14:10 PM | 106

@97 virgile

I like your summary of the situation. But with ISIS now attacking SDF, who is working for whom? Is SDF still supported by the US? Who's controlling ISIS? Is the situation changing this quickly? Or is this just more of the same Idlib infighting?


@99 Peter AU 1

Ziad Fadel has a good piece on the various dilemmas at play in the fields of Idlib right now: Into The Blast Furnace: The War Against Idlib’s Terrorists And The Kurdish Dilemma It was written 2 days ago, which seems a long time ago now. He also (along with virgile) predicts major shifts of allegiance moving towards Sochi - including that Saudi Arabia may be getting tired of bankrolling a lost cause.

Erdogan has multiple dilemmas right now. After a time of playing all ends against each other, he really now is out of options, and caught in that web you mention. I'm actually rooting for him and Turkey, and given the weight of the strategic imperatives for Turkey in the future, I have hopes that things will work out roughly okay. But internal alliances that can't yield ground always seem to be the stumbling block for a nation's progress in the world, so we must watch and see. I don't know anyone taking bets at this point.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 19, 2018 10:27:00 PM | 107

Normally, I appreciate anybody who stands up to the US Empire but Erdogan is a self-serving back-stabbing tool. I hope his karma gets him sooner rather than later.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Jan 19, 2018 10:47:08 PM | 108

>The US government proclaims itself the leader of the free world, in general, and particularly seeks to "stabilise" Syria.
>The dysfunctional and unstable US government is currently shutting down over petty political differences due to congressional disagreement, disregarding factors that most of them agree on

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 19, 2018 10:52:26 PM | 109

Anyone who objects to US attempts to rule the world and change governments, should applaud the Russia-Turkey alliance which disrupts NATO and counters US attempts for pervasive global influence

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 19, 2018 11:23:44 PM | 110

Has anybody got a take on the Turkey/US falling out ? Especially in the developing situation. I have read dozens of different analasys's on them a get all different results.
I think maybe Erdogan has realized he could be next in line for a dose of color revolution and bets his horses.

Posted by: Den Lllie Abe | Jan 20, 2018 1:13:23 AM | 111

There has to be a certain level of humor in the fact that on the same day that US Defense Secretary James Mattis unveiled a bit of a foreign policy 180 in a speech on Friday when he said that US national security focus was no longer terrorism, but "competition between great powers." He said the US faced "growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia," while unveiling a new national defense strategy.

On the same day, it now seems while we have declared war on China and Russia the US government is going through a shutdown because the Congresscritters can't agree on the best way to screw the public.

Lets just hope they put in furlough status the people that are suppose to launch the nukes when petulant Trump goes off the deep end.

On a more serious note on the information, it says to me that a layer of proxies has just fallen by the way side. The revisionist powers concept is fairly new to the public I expect and it will be interesting to see how the definition of revisionist evolves. I see the challenge being to the jackboot of private finance while I suspect others see other geopolitical multi polar agendas.

How are TPTB going to sell a war to clearly keep themselves in power? If nothing else, it will provide all with an insight as to our true "evolved or not state".

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 20, 2018 2:20:51 AM | 112

@ Peter AU 1 | Jan 19, 2018 8:26:17 PM | 99
Have to contradict. This picture is too easy and wrong in quite some parts. The majority of the electorate is against this engagement in Syria. There are quite some clashes with Syrian refugees now, but rarely it is reported in the media. Refugees are an unwelcome competition for the lower income part of the AKPs voter base. The nationalistic part wants to see some „gain“ in Syria, enlargement of territory, and dislikes empty hands. The part that supports jihadists is really small, but very active. Like. e.g., the alt right people who show up in most blogs in Germany now, praising sites like russia-insider,, but are even in the AfD a marginal group.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 20, 2018 3:37:54 AM | 113

This is an alternative viewpoint on the Turkish AND US aim in the Afrin attacks.
Simply put - it is for the creation of a militant "reserve" (my word) where Russian airpower can be minimised or supplanted by the US. The militants are those who are now being displaced from the south east of the Idlib, the opposition area by the SAA. The area would be under Turkish control.
It does explain why the SAA, have allowed (apparently) the reinforcement of Afrin by the YPG through their territory. Also the Turkish statements about the Russians "no longer being in the area" (contradicted by the Russians?) to make it seem as though it is all about "Kurds" to the exclusion of other miltant groups.

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 20, 2018 5:09:43 AM | 114

Den Lllie Abe -- "I think maybe Erdogan has realized he could be next in line for a dose of color revolution"

I think Erdogan is convinced he already was the target of a dose of US color revolution, and that it tried in a serious way to murder him with the early airstrikes on the place he was staying.

The US denies it. US "understanding" simply ignores that. But that failed attempt at a murderous coup shapes all that is happening now between the US and Turkey.

The amazing thing is that Erdogan has been relatively restrained so far. Perhaps that is because of his sense of a danger of inflicting on himself what his enemies tried to do to him. Step very carefully, because they already tried to kill him.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Jan 20, 2018 5:43:31 AM | 115

I think it's important to understand the importance of China's BRI in this geopolitical war. It's a huge threat to the U.S. hegemon and the U.S. will do everything in its power to stop it, or sabotage it, at every step of the way forward.
Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, and Syria are key to the success of the BRI.
This is only the beginning and Tillerson's warning to the world is exactly the U.S. plan of action going forward.
Ultimately I see the U.S. failing; but can only begin to imagine the horror wrought in the process...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jan 20, 2018 5:53:48 AM | 116

The US has had to implement plan B because it is out of options, keep in mind Iran is the ultimate US target, General Mattis said North Korea and Iran top the list of terrorist supporting states, so it is obvious why Syria is targeted for destruction first. The Russians must realize by now the futility of trying to do deals with the US, imagine Lavrov asking why the US just a short time ago were saying Syria should maintain its territorial integrity and sovereignty, and Tillerson replying 'we lied, and by the way don't you know we are the masters of the Universe'. The US are slowly losing the Middle East, it is trying to do the bidding of Israel and the GCC states, populations approx 55 million half of whom are non Nationals. Against the combined populations of Iran,Egypt,Turkey,Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, populations approx 320 million, Best of luck with that equation.

Posted by: harrylaw | Jan 20, 2018 6:54:06 AM | 117

V Arnold 121

Good reminder. Easy to forget China when looking at the middle east and Turkey.
Needs to be taken into account re US/Turkey relations. Through the cold war, US viewed the Soviet union as their main threat, China not being as technologically advanced at that time. Now China is the main threat to the hegemon with advanced diplomacy and tech. Perhaps Turkey/NATO not the buffer zone against China as it was against the USSR in cold war era.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 20, 2018 7:15:47 AM | 118

I agree with b that these are empty threats. Russia has apparently given no green light to this operation and Syria has no interest in a further Turkey presence. Turkey seems to be as useful against AQ as the US is with ISIS.

Russia and Iran appear to be the useful liberators of Syria.


""A Turkish journalist asked Lavrov about media reports that Russian forces have been withdrawn from the Afrin area. “Those reports have been refuted,” the diplomat replied.""

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 20, 2018 8:05:17 AM | 119

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 18, 2018 4:45:14 PM | 21

This is an excellent informative article from Eilijah Magnier on ISIS. Worth reading.

There is barely a line in this piece that is not highly questionable.

For instance, that assertion:

"Throughout the US “war on terror” in Iraq, American forces engaged in the shameful Abu Ghraib prison tortures and the exercise of the lowest level of human behavior against suspects often randomly arrested in security threat roundups. This particular story went viral, only to be forgotten years later, confined merely to the pages of history books. The world brushed aside the fact that this particular loss of human values by a superpower, itself advocating democracy and human rights, was the main trigger and incitement to terrorism recruitment for angry Muslims around the world."

Yes. So why is it that these "angry muslims" who should logically attack the USA, always attack the USA's enemies?

And that:

"To appease Saudi radicals at home due to the presence of US forces on what is considered the most sacred Islamic territory (Mecca and Medina), the late King Fahd gave a free hand to radicals and conservatives who largely financed Saudi madrassas (Wahhabi teaching schools proliferating radicalism throughout the world) to spread their religious extremism and hate speech outside the country."

Puh-leeze. Saudi Arabia is a Western creation. The Wahhabi leaders (the "royal" family) have always been in bed with the West. Historical amnesia leads to entertaining theories, otherwise called "fake news".

Posted by: Lea | Jan 20, 2018 8:08:26 AM | 120

>>>> ben | Jan 19, 2018 10:04:51 PM | 108

AARON MATÉ: It's The Real News. I'm Aaron Maté. The Trump administration has announced it will keep US troops in Syria indefinitely. Even though ISIS has been defeated militarily in Syria, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said US forces will stay to prevent it from reemerging.

There are still pockets of ISIS in both the government-controlled areas (in the far south west bordering Israel and Jordan, Al Yarmuck, the North Hama Pocket, and east of Palmyra) and the SDF-controlled(the southern stretch of the east bank of the Euphrates, and the Syrian-Iraqi border across Deir Ez-zor and Hasakah Governorates) areas so how anyone can say that ISIS has been defeated is beyond me given ISIS' ability to surge back from apparently nothing. The North Hama pocket being a good example where ISIS has reemerged, so unless the Russians/Syrians are giving The Trust another outing ISIS has not been defeated in Syria. The Syrian government needs to clean out the three ISIS pockets they have access to; then at least they can accuse the United States government of keeping ISIS around for nefarious purposes.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 20, 2018 8:14:29 AM | 121

The continued US meddling and baiting as well as the Russian military and Chinese economic strength in the area will probably continue to push Turkey into the Russian orbit.

Russia and China are also showing themselves to be adept at diplomacy. The US, not so much. This is why they (the US) are pushing for so much censorship of the internet and media.

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 20, 2018 8:25:14 AM | 122

second quote you have picked; In the period that Magnier is talking about, The US was in Taif in the hills, near Medina and Mecca, and Jeddah at Sea level.. They were there to control (spy) on the Red Sea, and the ships passing towards Israel/Palestine and Lebanon. They were the cause of a lot of bad feeling within Saudi Arabia. Saudi itself is considered the "Holy" land.

Their presence was distinctly said by Osama Bin Laden, to be one of the major reasons for his attack on 9/11. Those are the "extremists" that ("radicals and conservatives") who were motivated by Whabism and religious concepts.

The Royal "Family" were dependent on the Whahibists, but they could only control them partially. (They had their own police force also - the Mattawah). Ibn Saud used religion as a tool to use, certainly, but he gave a lot of freedom for the Whahibists in exchange. The Saud's are not the "leaders" of the Whahibists.

Although the US and Britain certainly had a large hand in supporting Ibn Saud and the 400 legitimate Princes and pricesses that followed, it is a bit too much to say that Saudi Arabia was their creation. The conquest of Riyadh was done by Ibn Saud leading a small force across the semi-desert. The TOTAL monetary fortune of the Sauds at that time was carried in two saddle-bags during the fighting. Afterwards - OK that was when the British and later the US took an interest.

Abu Ghraib? No US interests were attacked ? tut-tut - what about the fighting that happened in Iraq against US and US supported Sunni's?

PS. If you worked in Saudi Arabia, and left - you cannot (could not) go back as you had decided to "leave paradise", and were unworthy to be let back in.
PPS Haven't yet looked at your link.

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 20, 2018 8:50:59 AM | 123

The SAA have closed the North Hama Pocket and captured the air base according to the Syria page on the Live Map website. This site seems to be pro-jihadist so when they report progress by the SAA, it generally really has happened.

There are both ISIS and HTS forces trapped inside the pocket and since they both seem to hate each other more than they hate the SAG perhaps we will see ISIS and HTS attacking each other first until one of them controls the whole pocket. In the meantime, perhaps we can expect the HTS forces outside the pocket to try and break the siege, so defending against that will be the focus of the SAA forces while HTS and ISIS kill each other inside the pocket. HTS outside the pocket will have the occasional minor success to keep them attacking and dying. Also from previous reports much of the civilian population (70,000 people - predominantly HTS camp followers I suspect) has already left the pocket, so when the SAA turn on the pocket, they will face weakened forces and have a relatively free hand with what they blow up.

It has been suggested elsewhere that it would be best to leave the pocket open and kill the jihadists as they flee through the open neck of the pocket,as with the Falaise Pocket in 1944, but that would ignore the many differences. The Russians seem to take a more holistic approach with pockets recognizing that enemy attempts to break into the pocket to reestablish supply lines into the pocket are just as useful as opportunities to kill the enemy as reducing the pocket is and usually there are more deaths on the attacking side, so I wonder if there are any immediate plans to reduce the pocket with ISIS and HTS being allowed time to kill each other. The Russians as the Soviets before them have always liked so called "Deep Battle" approach, fix the enemy on the line of contact, blow the shit out of them and when they are sufficiently weakened exploit that weakness with a major advance using armour and mounted infantry, a far more successful approach than Blitzkrieg.
From what I can make out, this was the method used by the British and French forces to stunning effect against the disintegrating German Army after the failed Spring Offensive in 1918 that brought the war to a misunderstood conclusion. The only problems, the British and French Armies didn't have the armour and mounted infantry to exploit that disintegration and at least invade a corner of Germany and the British Prime Minister didn't understand the difference between an armistice and surrender, even conditional.
BTW, the battle across northern Europe from Normandy to the Rhine was another fine example of "Deep Battle" and not Blitzkrieg. Maybe Montgomery had learnt the right lessons in World War 1.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 20, 2018 10:01:01 AM | 124

Discussion of US contradictions in announcing border patrol and continuing to provide weapons to Al Qaeda and its offspring.

Along with Mattis now announcing the real "war" is now against Russia and China. ACK!

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 20, 2018 10:50:07 AM | 125

"There are both ISIS and HTS forces trapped inside the pocket and since they both seem to hate each other more than they hate the SAG ...." Ghost Ship | Jan 20, 2018 10:01:01 AM | 129

Most ISIS "boots" were in HTS short time ago. Perhaps all "moderates" will surrender, when you do not have a foreign sponsor, you (as a jihadist) choose more competent and charismatic command. Peripatetic jihadists, ronin of 21st century.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 20, 2018 10:54:50 AM | 126

@DebsisDead - thank you!

Posted by: b | Jan 20, 2018 11:06:28 AM | 127

@Elsi - you are an ignorant blabbermouth.

Cut your verbal effusions her to 100 words max or go and blabber elsewhere.

Posted by: b | Jan 20, 2018 11:08:36 AM | 128

Never give up ;) Emmanuel, Manu for the cool in-crowd, Macron, who aims to become the new president of the EU, ousting Angie M., has just recently re-taken up the worn-out mantra of Assad Must Go.

In contradition with everything he said before he was elected, basically “Syrians must decide, Democracy will win out” plus “There is no legitimate successor to Assad.” (Such statements provoked public outrage in France from ‘top’ ppl, he was promoting terrorism!, yet was liked and approved by voters.) Many news outlets, links Dec. 2017. (in F) (in Eng)

Yes, super confused, as Manu will tell his audience what they want to hear, and so policy statements veer all over the place, no coherence to be found, empty talk.

Sputnik in F more details, jan. 2018, in F:

part:—France tries once more to reclaim its power in Syria…. Macron re-asserts his support for the *unified* Syrian opposition…with whom he met recently (Jan ’18)..the Syrian president must quit power to put an end to ravaging of Syria since 2011…more at link.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 20, 2018 11:37:35 AM | 129

@Noirette 130
In my humble opinion Macron is a sort of populist, but in a nicer package than Trump and a more forthcoming package and he does not say really outrageous things, but I still regard him as a populist, better I am wrong, but...

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jan 20, 2018 11:45:37 AM | 130

yes D L A at 131, but it is a difficult job to be the loved 'populist' in 2018 - he, Macron, is also (in his mind i am sure) the great re-assembler, negotiator, the Prez. who puts France back on the international map, etc. etc.

He hopes to become the next Potentate of the EU, and be Jupiter (as he is called..) Not that it will help the unemployed in F. So he is stewing in a heap of contradictions that he does not know how to negotiate, solve, do anything about.

Winging it. Day by day.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 20, 2018 12:11:18 PM | 131

BBC news about Afrin just report that Turkish aircraft has bombed YPG-positions in Afrin. Any further intel available about what happens there in this moment?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 20, 2018 12:45:25 PM | 132

@Hausmeister 133


Posted by: arbetet | Jan 20, 2018 1:03:10 PM | 133

@ Hausmeister who asked for info about current events in Syria

This is the link below from ZH that reports from a number of sources

Turkish Warplanes Begin "Massive Bombing" Of US-Backed Syrian Kurds

The take away quote
“The TSK (Turkish Armed Forces) has started airborne operations,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said at a party congress on Saturday, quoted by Hurriyet. Yildirim said eight F-16 aircraft were involved in the aerial sortie, which is ironic when one considers that Turkey is using US-made warplanes to bomb a US-backed military organization which has been provided with weapons made in the US.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 20, 2018 1:05:33 PM | 134

130 yep, the msm have been bursting with latest news/proofs of chemical attacks etc.. macron knows that qatar pay cash unlike the vatican

Posted by: Mina | Jan 20, 2018 1:15:21 PM | 135

@130 noirette... i don't think macron ever let go of the 'assad must go' mantra... he works hard to maintain poodle status with the usa-israel and whatever... lol - @ mina - qatar pay cash unlike the vatican!

Posted by: james | Jan 20, 2018 1:25:45 PM | 136

b | Jan 20, 2018 11:08:36 AM | 129

Shame on you sir...

You are the ignorant one...and a pathetic ignoramus at that...

Adios Loser...have fun with your Circle Jerk...

Posted by: FB | Jan 20, 2018 2:37:45 PM | 137

Russia pulling its troops from Afrin seems to be a nod to Erdogan. This will be interesting. Erdo's original use was to prevent a continuous Kurd state across the north of Syria. With the recent US announcement, it seems he has once again been let off the leash.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 20, 2018 4:22:57 PM | 138

The "loss" of endless anti-Semitic rants on MoA is not a loss. I personally think they are designed not only to derail threads but also to stigmatize the sites where they routinely appear.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jan 20, 2018 11:09:27 PM | 139

Mattis' announcement that US national security focus was no longer terrorism, but "competition between great powers" conjured up a variation of the spider scene from the movie Ruthless People.

In this version China goes into the bathroom and sees a lurking (Stars & Stripes) spider.
CHINA: "Eeek! There's a spider! Come and kill it.
RUSSIA: "Wow, it's a big one! But it's just a spider. I'll put it outside. There's no need to kill it" (tosses spider out the back door).
CHINA: "Thanks, but I'd feel better if we stomped it...
RUSSIA: "Doh! You're right! Come on, we'll take turns! Go ask the neighbors if they want to join in?"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 20, 2018 11:40:48 PM | 140


How eloquent! Upon your tongue continual slanders ride,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jan 21, 2018 1:56:22 AM | 141

Logic @142

It is my understanding that Semites are not restricted to Jews but refer to "a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs" Furthermore, many Jews in present day Israel are not even Semites while most of the Arabs in Palestine are actually Semites.

Being anti-Semitic is most often an insult by Zionists and a majority of Jews in Israel are not even Zionists. In addition, the majority of Jews in the US are reform Jews and not Zionists (Trump's daughter and son-in-law are perhaps the most influential exceptions). Actually, most Zionists in the US are radical Evangelical Protestant Christians.

The Zionists in Israel are led by Benjamin Netanyahu the son of Benzion Mileikowsky a Jewish Historian who formally worked as a secretary to Jabotinsky who created militant Zionism:

We are here to learn from one another so I hope this information helps.

Posted by: Krollchem | Jan 21, 2018 3:15:13 AM | 142

Senator Booker, ever the lone voice, points the obvious to anyone but the Western masses: The US occupation of Syria violates both the US constitution and international law. Good read for the logic of both, though.

Posted by: fx | Jan 24, 2018 2:37:03 PM | 143

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