Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 09, 2019

Syria - Turkey Again Invades

So it begins:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that a Turkish military operation into Syria has started.

Erdogan said on his official Twitter account Wednesday that the operation, named “Peace Spring,” has begun. He said the operation aims to eradicate “the threat of terror” against Turkey.

Earlier, Turkish television reports said Turkish jets had bombed Syrian Kurdish positions across the border from Turkey.

The plan is as we anticipated. A major goal is to interrupt the M4 highway that runs parallel to the border and allows for troop movements between the east and the west of the Kurdish majority areas. The highway is about 20-30 kilometers from the border. The sector Turkey is attacking right now has only a minority of Kurdish people amongst a majority of Arabs.

Ragıp Soylu @ragipsoylu - 11:34 UTC · Oct 8, 2019
How will Turkey conduct the operation in Syria?
• First phase: 120km area between Tal Abyad/Rasulayn, where US troops withdrew
• Airforce, drones/jets and howitzers will pound YPG targets
• Then Turkish Special Forces and Syrian National Army will enter
— Turkish reports

Ragıp Soylu @ragipsoylu - 10:29 UTC · Oct 9, 2019
More Turkish operational plans in Syria
• First point of contact would be the Turkish/US security zone in Tal Abyad, Rasulayn
• Security pockets prioritised
• MAIN AIM is to cut Kobane - Hasakah road
• Combined Joint Op Center, (CJOC) to be used for de-confliction with US

There are two scenarios:
• If YPG withdraws from the immediate area between Tal Abyad, Rasulayn, Turkish military will just move in with Syrian National Army
• But If YPG has heavy presence, then howitzers and airforce first be used to destroy YPG posts, fortifications

The "Syrian National Army" is a 14,000 men strong ragtag gang of "Syrian rebels" and ISIS leftovers under Turkish command. The same people that are looting and killing Kurds in Afrin.

The stupidity of the Kurds to (again) allow a Turkish invasion in their areas when there is the clear alternative of submitting the rightful Syrian government is amazing. One of the YPG leaders said yesterday they were "considering" that move. Isn't it a bit late for that?

The YPG Kurds still have not recognized that they were simply used as mercenaries by the U.S. and that their usefulness expired. They still beg those who betrayed them for help:

Coordination & Military Ops Center - SDF @cmoc_sdf - 15:27 UTC · Oct 9, 2019
The #SDF showed good faith to the security mechanism agreement between the #US & #Turkey. This left our people defenseless. We ask the US & the @Coalition for a NO FLY ZONE to stop the attacks on innocent people.
@DeptofDefense @NATO @UN @EU_Commission @StateDept

The U.S. will surely consider that no fly zone. That will take considerable time. Meanwhile Turkish bombers will destroy more Syrian villages and cities.

Posted by b on October 9, 2019 at 14:43 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Erdoğan :
Our Turkish Armed Forces with Syrian National Army has started the #OperationPeaceSpring against the PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorist organizations, in northern Syria. Our aim is to wipe out the terror corridor, trying to be implemented in our southern border, and bring peace and security to the region,” Erdoğan said in a tweet.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 9 2019 14:51 utc | 1

Dear Senator Lindsey,

The U.S. will soon run out of targets to sanction. Mars is next.

US Senate Finalises Sanctions on Turkey for Attacking Syrian Kurds

US Republican and Democratic lawmakers are finalising legislation that would impose economic sanctions on Turkey, which has begun a military invasion of northern Syria to clear a border region of US-allied Kurdish forces, Senator Chris Van Hollen said Wednesday.

"Turkey must pay a heavy price for attacking our Syrian Kurdish partners," Van Hollen said in a Twitter message. "Senators on both sides of the aisle won't support abandoning the one regional group most responsible for putting ISIS [Islamic State terror group, banned in Russia] on its heels. Our bipartisan sanctions bill is being finalized now."

Van Hollen, a Democrat, partnered with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to round up votes of a two-thirds majority needed to override a possible veto by President Donald Trump.

The Senate initiative reflects bipartisan outrage over Trump’s order for about 50 US troops to pull out of the Syrian border zone,[.]

There were only 50 U.S. troops there. And, and, and after USD$8 trillion, (a lot of pocket change in the sofa that) !!!

Trump: US President Donald Trump has commented of the US troop pullout from Syria, saying that the United States should never have been in the Middle East in the first place.

Posted by: Likklemore | Oct 9 2019 15:19 utc | 2

I am a daily reader (and wallflower) of I recently landed at through a link provided by Andrew Korbyko in an article posted on Astutenews frequently reposts moonofalabama content amongst an excellent assortment. Just thought I'd pass on my discovery.

Posted by: Realist | Oct 9 2019 15:31 utc | 3

Honestly it's pretty hard to overstate just how dumb the SDF played this whole experiment. I say this as someone who is generally sympathetic to the Kurdish leftist democratic confederalist political movement. It seems they were a victim to the quasi-anarchist/adventurist mindset they cultivated within their political ideology which led way to a complete lack of anything resembling pragmatism, the effects of which were further compounded by the fact that this all was intertwined with the national question (not just a political movement). Unless they regain a sense of pragmatism they will share the same fate as the other "best efforts" of the ideological ancestors representing this tendency: The Makhnovshchina, 1936 Spain (1873 Spain...), etc.

Posted by: twhstmmwmaf | Oct 9 2019 15:36 utc | 4

This is an ethnic cleansing operation. A task for which the Turks are historically infamous.

The zone will be cleared of resident Syrians and rebuilt with refugees (many of whom are ISIS and AQ base) now inside Turkey.

The stupidity of Kurds is historical. They always choose wrongly in hopes that they will get their own Kurdish state.

Israel and the US have wrung out of the Kurds their present usefulness, and thus, the Kurds are on their own again.

The faster they agree to Russia's guidance and come to agreement with Assad, the sooner the moves by Turkey will end.
The longer they wait, the more they lose.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 9 2019 15:39 utc | 5

The Kurds were a placeholder for TurkISISh forces and Turkish occupation itself. Turkey is a recognized State and a member of NATO with a halfway-decent military; they were always prioritized ahead of the Kurds in the geopolitical calculus. Anyone who contested this was simply dreaming. The US needs a proxy to militarily occupy parts of Syria where the US itself can't for tactical reasons. It puts pressure on Russia and the Syrian government (Syria can co-operate with Kurds to fight ISIS, and the SDF even handed over some of its occupied territory to the Syrian Arab Army. Do you think Turkey would handover its occupied territory to the SAA? Of course not, that's why the invasion was greenlit. Turkey's invasion frees the US to commit to other priorities in Syria. Simple.

Posted by: David | Oct 9 2019 15:42 utc | 6

The BBC dares to ask an awkward question....

"The alarm has been compounded by Mr Trump's decision to pull US troops out of north-eastern Syria to clear the way for a Turkish military operation, apparently abandoning America's long-time Kurdish allies.

Again, that has raised concerns here about how far he is prepared to go to protect other allies: "Trump has become unreliable for Israel," concludes Mr Shiffer."

Posted by: dh | Oct 9 2019 15:43 utc | 7

Sources in Syria report SDF still angling for 'terms' with Damascus and hoping for the US to backtrack. Idiots. Erdogan has spoken with Putin who reportedly emphasized Syrian territorial integrity while assuring that Russia would not interfere. We will see what comes of this.

Posted by: the pessimist | Oct 9 2019 15:47 utc | 8

Native Syrian and longtime reporter on the terror war waged against his nation provides an outstanding article that focuses on the resilience of the Syrian economy as a major reason for the war, "Did the Terror War on the Syrian Economy Succeed?":

"The Syrian economic model was an existential threat to the corrupt economics of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and many others."

The statistics he supplies prove his case quite well and solidifies the theory that all the wars since the USSR's fall were waged to install Neoliberalism as the primary governing tool globally, which is why it must be destroyed as an ideology.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 15:51 utc | 9

Posted by: Red Ryder | Oct 9 2019 15:39 utc | 5

This is an ethnic cleansing operation. A task for which the Turks are historically infamous.
You'll find there weren't many Kurds there 100 years ago or more. So it's hardly ethnic cleansing out of ancestral lands (like Israel does to the Palestinians). Most of the Kurds arrived in the 20th century, and before it was Arabs, Armenians and Assyrians (and other Christians). Now where did they all go, if they were replaced by Kurds?

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 15:54 utc | 10

The Kurds have overplayed their hand by confusing their recruitment as a NATO proxy force for undying support for their territorial ambitions. Unfortunately most Kurds have also forgot the perspective of Abdullah Ocalan and his ecological socialism philosophy.

Kurds have never been a majority ethnic group in any part of Syria and are deeply divided along political warlord lines.

Russia, Iran and Turkey have recently agreed to reject the Kurdish separatism and protect the rights of the other ethnic groups in Eastern Syria (especially Turkic groups).

Likewise, Russia and Syria have been recruiting the Arab tribes in South Eastern Syria and have just installed a bridge across the Euphrates River and may move to drive the Kurds out to traditionally Arab tribal areas.

Posted by: Krollchem | Oct 9 2019 16:02 utc | 11

It's absolutely correct that a deal with Syria has been the best endgame for Rojava for years now, but any deal with the regime would have involved Syrian troops at the very least controlling the border - very very likely much more than that. It would have been impossible to conclude a deal whilst the US was there, and impossible for the SDF to force them out. Given the wailing and gnashing of teeth from war hawks in the US currently (and the push back against previous Trump attempts to do something), can you imagine such a deal being accepted in America? With the US involved the die was cast, and I don't think you can blame the Kurds for accepting help in Kobane in 2014.

Posted by: pyatnitski | Oct 9 2019 16:08 utc | 12

Isn't it highly probable that the reason for the Kurds' "stupidity" is the same as the reason for the British and American (US) and other western leaders' "stupidity", namely, that their leaders are either being blackmailed by or have been bought by Israel/US?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 9 2019 16:11 utc | 13

the pessimist | Oct 9 2019 15:47 utc | 8

Erdogan has spoken with Putin who reportedly emphasized Syrian territorial integrity while assuring that Russia would not interfere.

Got a reference for that?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 9 2019 16:16 utc | 14

the pessimist @8--

Russia enjoys unique and powerful leverage over Turkey unmatched by the Outlaw US Empire or any other nation--the keys to Turkey's economic future, as I've written of previously. Gas is about ready to flow through the Turkstream pipeline; does anyone think Erdogan will risk that boon for a slice of Syria? Then there's BRI/EAEU/SCO participation; will Erdogan risk all that too?

Clearly, the idiotic, mulish Kurds--and their Outlaw US Empire sponsors--were a bigger stumbling block in the way of reestablishing Damascus's sovereignty than terrorists holed up in Idlib to the point where nothing other than what we see happening was going to change the situation. IMO, there was most likely a very secret talk between Trump and Putin prior to the most recent Astana talks where what's occurring was mapped out. The backchannel and backstage diplomacy are facets that can only be guessed at in realtime that sometimes get confirmed long after-the-fact.

And back within the Outlaw US Empire, Trump's wielding his most powerful counter to the D-Party/CIA attempt at impeachment in his capacity as commander in chief by really talking up the bringing the troops home and ending the Endless Wars wastage of monies mantras. The irony of it all is Iran and Russia could get Trump reelected via their HOPE/Collective Security proposals that would allow for an even greater withdrawal of Imperial military forces and base closures in the region--Trump today said we should never have entered the Middle East in 2003: "We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, weapons of mass destruction. There were none!"

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 16:24 utc | 15

What about reports that the Pentagon was not going to allow Turkish air support over northeast Syria?

Posted by: kohler | Oct 9 2019 16:30 utc | 16

I've been wondering for quite some time how and why the Kurds allowed themselves to be portrayed as "helping the US to fight ISIS" when it was patently obvious that AmeriKKKa was helping ISIS, not fighting ISIS?

Can't Kurds read? Does one have to fail an IQ test to become a Kurd? Or is it sufficient to be a Drama School dropout? & have shown dozens of mockumentaries in which the 'reporter' is embedded with Kurdish militia groups. ALL of these stories have been embarrassingly FAKE. There's lots of talk, lots of bathos, lots of firing into the middle distance at an unseen enemy, but NEVER anything resembling active engagement with an enemy which was shooting back.

Given the contradictions inherent in the Kurdish claim to be a US ally in the fight AGAINST ISIS it's equally believable, if not more so, that Kurds will do anything for money and fancy themselves as convincing actors/ Drama Queens. Let's not forget that the White Helmets are a Christian Colonial (bathos) invention. Imo, the Kurdish role in the 'Assad must go' plot could well prove to be just as fake as the White Helmets.

If they turn out to be hopeless warriors then that'll be QED for me.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 9 2019 16:30 utc | 17

@ foolisholdman #14 asking for link from the pessimist

from Reuters

Putin urges Turkey's Erdogan not to harm Syria peace process: Kremlin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 9 2019 16:30 utc | 18

NOT ONLY that "considering" that no fly zone would take time.. Erdogan would surely not take it kindly if his airforce was threatend. Plus Trumps has officially transferred the "leadership" of the "Anti-ISIS" operation to Erdogan, so Erdo is in charge.
Shooting down NATOs second biggest armys airforce?? How delusional is that hope?

AFAIS the current plan for Russia/Iran/Syria may be to 1. hope the Kurds come to their senses SOON OR 2. They will lean back, letting both Turks and Kurds exhaust themselves, and deal with both later, when they are both broken down, with what is left of them.
The big question is: Will Erdogan go home some day? Not likely, when he wants to settle millions of his pro-Jihadi proxy "refugees" permanently.
Putin now lost his gamble anyway, when Trump revived his alliance with Turkey (after threatening Erdogan, he now praises him and invited him!). Putin has lost most of his leverage he still had when Turkey was under pressure from both Russia and US. That is now gone, and that gamble is lost.

So restoring Syrias integrity will be even further away, IF the Kurds now agree with Assad now and let the SAA and Russia take over their position. But even then, it would not be easy for the SAA and Russia even logistically to do this at this point.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Oct 9 2019 16:31 utc | 19

Please permit a stupid question:
Why would Turkey feel it is neccesary/justified to launch an offensive into Syria to ensure it's own security?
Wouldn't a country normally setup a defensive position within it's own borders as needed?
Was Turkey acting as supply chain to the good terrorists in Syria?

There's got to be more to this than meets the orwellian, mass-media eye, because this is just a dystopian nightmare.

I think I see that the reason Graham feigns concern for the kurds is that the neocons still had further use for them, now Trump has messed it up.

Please advise.

Posted by: jared | Oct 9 2019 16:32 utc | 20

Maybe it was a typo, but posting on ZH says that Turks are using kurdish surrogates to attack the kurds?

Posted by: jared | Oct 9 2019 16:36 utc | 21

The sector Turkey attacks right now has only a minority of Kurdish people amongst a majority of Arabs.
First phase: 120km area between Tal Abyad/Rasulayn, where US troops withdrew

So the US only withdrew from an area in the middle of the border zone, where there are mostly Arabs, most suited to dividing the Kurds into two pockets with communication hindrances (hardly a block though) between them. Does have a plausible whiff of coordination with the Turks/Russians/Syrians. There has been talk of SAA attacking Manbij. If the US withdraws from that area, that will put very considerable pressure on the Kurds to comply with the plan, i.e. talk to the Russians and Syrians. Much will depend on what the US does in the Manbij area.

At present it is only aerial bombing plus artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border. So although the attack has started the invasion has not yet - the Turks are still in their safety coccoon for the time being. What are they targetting? SDF military posts (mainly Kurds presumably), or indiscriminate including civilian targets (much more risks to the Arabs)? The Turks will presumably try to avoid the latter, both because Arab civilian targets would be political suicide, and because the Arabs were already chaffing at the Kurdish domination. The Turks will be hoping for an Arab rebellion against the Kurds - that central block will then be extremely easy to win. They might also have collaborators in situ to help direct the bombs and artillery fire - away from Arabs and onto the SDF forces.

Furthermore, if the SAA conquers Manbij, the Kurds in the North-West of the SDA zone will be cornered between the SAA to the West, Turkey to the North, the Turkey/Arab block zone to the East, leaving the mainly Arab zone to the South. Will those Arabs also revolt? What will the US do (presumably not sit quietly inside the pocket)? What if "ISIS pockets" are then activated to the south of the pocket?

The other Kurdish pocket then lies between the Turkish/Arab block to its West, Turkey to the North, Arab tribes (and oil) to the East, and more Arabs to the South, plus the Russians and SAA building a bridge across the Euphrates at Deir Izzor.

Sounds like a promising battle plan to me, especially if parts of it have the connivence of the US. An additional advantage of this plan to Trump is that once the initial central zone is blocked and Manbij conquered by the SAA (Manbij is also Arab and anti-Kurd, if I remember correctly), further US pull-outs will be easier to justify and more difficult to block.

Posted by: BM | Oct 9 2019 16:38 utc | 22

How would the kurds care for 1000's of prisoners of war, while under attack?
Seems quite a burden to ask of rag-tag military.

Posted by: jared | Oct 9 2019 16:41 utc | 23

karlof1@15 Agreed that there has been much talk behind the scenes. Damascus is crying foul and threatening that Turkey will pay a heavy price for their invasion of Syrian territory. Is that just public rhetoric? Is Russia trying to put some pressure on Damascus to accomodate the SDF/Kurds?

Reaction from Europe is all over the map from muted admonishment (including from NATO) to outrage at Turkey. Typical "more sanctions" rhetoric from the usual suspects in the US.

What kind of presence does the SAA have in this area? Saw a note that the Syrian gov people had restored power to drinking water pumps disabled by Turkish shelling.

Nothing from Raqqa in the lens at the moment.

As for this all helping Trump's reelection prospects I doubt it. Domestic issues take top billing with the US economy at the peak. Trade war fallout affecting rural voters etc.

Posted by: the pessimist | Oct 9 2019 16:42 utc | 24

karlof1 @15: Russia enjoys unique and powerful leverage over Turkey ...

USA and EU also have leverage. As you are no doubt aware, there's an effort to deny Russian access to energy markets in Europe.

In addition, Turkey's trade with Europe is much greater than its trade with Russia and Turkey has been dependent on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

This is why Erdogan plays a double game. Then consider that Erdogan is an anti-Assad Islamist and you understand why many of us are skeptical of his loyalties and intentions.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2019 16:44 utc | 25

jared @20--

Turkey sees the PKK as a terrorist organization and has long wanted to get to them within their Syrian refuge. Yes, Erdogan was up to his eyes involved with the first phase of the Terror War against Syria; read this from 2016; paste into the Yandex search box erdogan son oil smuggling isis and you'll get numerous videos and articles. Neocons still fantasize about fulfilling the Yinon Plan and gaining complete control of the region of which the Kurds were to play a small role.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 16:48 utc | 26

jared @20

Why would Turkey feel it is neccesary/justified to launch an offensive into Syria to ensure it's own security?
Wouldn't a country normally setup a defensive position within it's own borders as needed?

Most of the population that comprises "Kurdistan" is in Turkey. Syria actually has a very small amount of Kurds at the northeast corner (just google a map of Kurdistan, it's mostly in Turkey, then after that more or less equal parts Iran/Iraq, then after that a minority in Syria). The war in Syria is what allowed this small group, aided by those in Turkey, to establish itself at all. Turkey does not want a militant Kurdish nationalist group to be allowed to have a safe haven on its border which could be used as a springboard for greater Kurdish nationalism in Turkey.

Posted by: twhstmmwmaf | Oct 9 2019 16:50 utc | 27

I wonder how many YPG Kurds believe that the US support was more than a transactional agreement. Not much. The leadership may be more confused because US officials will constantly have been confirming they'll continue backing them. Or they simply can't decide what to do.
But to claim they simply believe the US is really behind them, no, that goes to far.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Oct 9 2019 16:55 utc | 28

i have to agree with jackrabbit... erdogan has been playing a double game all along... it is not a given where all of this is going, but i think releasing the isis-headchoppers locked up by the sdf is a real part of the game plan... that is just too convenient for turkey and others here as i see it.. and i am well aware russia is fully cognizant of all this too.. again, erdogan is given an opening to show his true colours, lol...

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2019 16:56 utc | 29

@ twhstmmwmaf | Oct 9 2019 16:50 utc | 27

So Kurd's over played their hand.
I can see why they are valuable ally - good fighters and not very bright.

Posted by: jared | Oct 9 2019 17:00 utc | 30

jared @20: There's got to be more to this than meets the orwellian, mass-media eye ...

Yes. Some of us have been speculating about what more there is (see previous thread).

For example, I wondered:

> if Trump had betrayed the Kurds to get Erdogan's support (or silent acceptance) for his Palestinian "deal of the Century";

> if resettlement of refugees in Syria meant that demands would be made for Syria to pay for their upkeep;

> if the Turkish invasion had any relation to what was happening in Iraq. USA press has depicted Trump's pull-back of US forces as a 'pull-out'. Could that be a set-up for a stepped-up presence in Iraq?

And here's another:

Erdogan agreed (forced to agree!) not to allow its territory to be used to supply the Jihadis in Idlib. But with increased activity at its borders (due to its fake/unnecessary war on YPG), it may be difficult, if not impossible, for Russia to determine if Erdogan is keeping his promise.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2019 17:03 utc | 31

I just wish Syria would at least use the situation to re-start their operations around Idleb. You know, push the boundaries a little, what with Turkey being preoccupied now. Seems like the perfect opportunity.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Oct 9 2019 17:06 utc | 32

james @29: releasing the isis-headchoppers

Oh yeah. I should've added that to my list. I speculated (one of the first to do so) that the ISIS fighters will (somehow) be freed.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2019 17:08 utc | 33

@ james # 29 about Turkey geopolitics who wrote
again, erdogan is given an opening to show his true colours, lol...

There is this from ZH to add to the equation

Turkey Joins Russia's Ruble-Based Alternative To SWIFT

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 9 2019 17:09 utc | 34

In case you forget....

fukus duplicity ,
Exhibit 1001

British and American pilots are blowing the cover...
19 March 2001

Britain and America's pilots are blowing the cover on our so-called 'humanitarian' no-fly zone.

Royal Air Force pilots have protested for the first time about their role in the bombing of Iraq. Pilots patrolling the so-called no-fly zone in the north of the country have spoken angrily about how they have been ordered to return to their base in Turkey in order to allow the Turkish air force to bomb the Kurds in Iraq - the very people the British are meant to be "protecting".

Posted by: denk | Oct 9 2019 17:11 utc | 35

psychohistorian @34

That's important but means less than it seems.

1. Russia probably forced Turkey to join.

2. Turkey hasn't stopped using US-SWIFT - Russian SWIFT will be used for Turk-Russian financial transactions only (a fraction of overall Turkish international transactions).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2019 17:15 utc | 36

I would think the YPG Kurds cannot simply immediately surrender, just because of a Turkish invasion, and give up their independence dreams to go back under the Syrian yoke. Not right away at least. Things have to get hotter, people need to die, Turkish troops need to slaughter a few people, before the YPG can, with honour, agree to a deal where the Syrian government retakes sovereignty in the areas they currently hold.

Posted by: Working Class Nero | Oct 9 2019 17:18 utc | 37


Others have speculated that this move may be related to a soon-to-be-completed bridge over the Euphrates which will give them easy access to SDF-controlled areas (and likely conflict).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2019 17:22 utc | 38

content is fairly detailed, names, places seemingly off subject, but does this content play with Turkey attack in Syria and Iraq ? <== someone should be able to confirm its authenticity..I hope?

Posted by: snake | Oct 9 2019 17:36 utc | 39

One has to be just a little curious about the Kurdish position. How is it that such unrealisic and costly policies could continue to be pursued by this group? What infiltration has control of the administration of the group (by which I mean what foreign intelligence service)? What corporation(s) are recieving the bulk of the income from resource extraction in the territories controlled? How is this link binding the leadership of the group to its course? What about the unaccounted for Daesh fighters (still active in the territory, and those 'mysteriously evacuated via helicopter')? What about the Daesh fighters reportedly imprisoned in these territories? Why is it that the Kurdish occupied zone roughly equates to the same areas once controlled by Daesh (after a long series of the slowest campaigns to remove Daesh that one could possibly imagine)? Why will they not reconcile with Damascus? Basically what should be asked is who the hell is pulling their strings, and why? How can that be changed?

Posted by: Josh | Oct 9 2019 17:40 utc | 40

the Kurds didn't learn their lesson in Afrin, and they won't learn it now

begging the same people, the US, who have betrayed them and thrown them under the turkish high-speed bus.

They didn't turn to the Syrian government when Afrin was being threatened, and I remember the gov't begging them. The kurds were always demanding impossible things - they got their asses kicked in Afrin and now they are going to get bombed, occupied and cleansed in north-east Syria. I feel pity for the people but not for their leadership

and a curse on that scoundrel and double dealer Erdogan.

for a bit of farce:

by the russian embassy in the UK: "FM #Lavrov: Received Turkey’s assurances that #Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully respected."

Moliere himself could not write better farce

Posted by: michaelj72 | Oct 9 2019 17:42 utc | 41

Canthama tweets the following comment to what NATO said:

"Wow, that is clear stand by NATO....Syrian Kurds are deeply f•cked. Should they start killing Turkish soldiers, things may get really ugly, catch 22 situation for the NATO previous stooge SDF...the current NATO stooge is the new SNA...Syria National Army..LOOL."

Contrary to what NATO has said, Trump's reported saying:

"US President Donald Trump has said that Turkey's operation in Syria is a 'bad idea.'

"He reiterated that the US does not endorse Turkey's offensive and added that Washington is watching it closely."

We have a He Said/She Said Circus going on between pretty much all the players involved.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 17:42 utc | 42

I mean seriously, even if they could manage to carve out some sort of state for themselves (which seems unlikely), they would be land locked, with no air force, and no mechanized military, and completely surrounded by several nations of people that they have thoroughly pissed off. The only help they could hope for then would be from those who have misused them in this way, and would certainly make them slaves. That is the very opposite of logic.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 9 2019 17:47 utc | 43

Actually, I'm not sure Erdogan is particularly pro-Da'ish (ISIS), as suggested above. Religiously they're not so far apart, but Da'ish is a Saudi thing, who are not an ally of Erdogan. There are no Da'ish bases in Turkey, as far as I know.

The Da'ish militants who might revive its chances are in Sunni Arab villages who harbour them in the Jazira (Syria beyond the Euphrates), and in the Sunni areas of northern Iraq. Those populations are pretty desperate, being oppressed by the Kurds on the one hand, and the Shi'a government in Baghdad on the other, so some cleave to Da'ish, though it's not a great idea. It was that sort of Da'ish that nearly got me in Iraq in 2017 (I told you lot about it at the time).

The solution for the Kurds, as ever, and as others have already mentioned, is to renew their deal with Asad and accept federalisation with Syria as an autonomous region. That is what has happened with KRG in Iraq, and it works. In that case, Erdogan can be persuaded to stop, I think. Independent Kurds are what gives him trouble. Of course the US won't like it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 17:50 utc | 44

The Da'ish fighters and families being held by the SDA/Kurds may be a factor in Trump's decision. Likely the US (and allies) were on the hook bigtime for the care and feeding of these people. The home countries don't want them back, so what to do? Make them Syria's problem. Reportedly many (most?) are non Syrians from various places. If they are released or escape they will become a considerable headache for the SAA.

Posted by: the pessimist | Oct 9 2019 18:01 utc | 45

Posted by: the pessimist | Oct 9 2019 18:01 utc | 45

It's a bit late for "Trump's decision". He's already lost control, since Erdogan's invasion.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 18:19 utc | 46

Josh @40: ... who the hell is pulling their strings, and why?

karlof1 @42: He Said/She Said Circus going on

Repeating for emphasis.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2019 18:21 utc | 47

@44 Laguerre, there is no way Damascus can accept a KRG type close-to-failed-state autonomous region with current SDF/YPG occupied territory. The Euphrates will be crossed from the South with only a defeated or weak SDF left to block them but the gas & oil fields will be recovered, else Syria withers..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 9 2019 18:26 utc | 48

Gotta agree with Magnier 100% on his assessment of Pompeo:

"The Middle East is up-side-down, Turkey is invading North-East Syria, Kurds are screaming and....
@SecPompeo is busy with the Iranian super tanker that off-loaded its oil in #Syria.

"Unbelievable how irrelevant is this man."

With Trump finally getting his way on Syria, Pompeo's now the odd-man out. I doubt if he'll make it into 2020 as SoS.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 18:39 utc | 49

Also, there is no way the bridge being completed in Deir Ezzor will be targeted by USAF. With 24 S300 TELARS deployed over Syria, you can bet at least one is in DZ..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 9 2019 18:39 utc | 50

Ever since the fat kurdi said he enjoyed killing Syrian soldiers and was looking forward to more I waited to see the fat kurdi get Gallagherd and my wish might come as soon as next week.. Lets not forget that the kurds expelled all non kurds from kurdish majority areas when ever possible and does not allow them to return.

Sledge-O-Matic (c) 2019..

Posted by: Igor Bundy | Oct 9 2019 18:40 utc | 51

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 9 2019 18:26 utc | 48

there is no way Damascus can accept a KRG type close-to-failed-state autonomous region with current SDF/YPG occupied territory.

Why not? It would achieve Damascus' objectives. The area wouldn't include the Sunni-inhabited areas near to the Euphrates that even the Kurds wouldn't want to retain, but be restricted to solidly Kurdish areas. Creating a legally defined Kurdish autonomous region would be a great victory, which might provide the basis for future action.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 18:45 utc | 52

Tulsi Gabbard weighs in with vid and Twitter thread. First of 5:

"@realdonaldtrump isn't removing our troops from Syria. He's just moving them from the northern Syrian border, allowing Turkey to invade Syria & slaughter the Kurds. Trump lied to the Kurds, promising them our support while simultaneously preventing them..."

If Trump's move's merely a feint, he's now been called on it. He'll do great damage to himself if he's shown to be lying about bringing troops home--a mantra he's said many times over the past 722 hours.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 18:48 utc | 53

Laguerre @52--

Assad and others have repeatedly stated Syria will remain a unitary state, that any attempt to establish federalism by the just convened Constitutional Committee will be rejected. Previously, Kurds were offered semi-autonomous rights related to language, education and self-governance, but not much more. IMO, as with Iraqi Kurds, they got too greedy and lost their longshot gamble by relying on an untrustworthy horse and jockey.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 18:55 utc | 54

karlof1@15- That is one of the best links you have ever posted, and you have posted many great links! Thank you, thank you wise people who voted for Trump (I didn't, and my Green Party vote I am positive went down the drain of corrupted vote counting procedures along with many, many others.)

The greatness of that wording by President Trump (I call him that for the first time)is that he is calling out all of this century's predecessing non-presidents. Which means he is in a position of strength, perhaps for the first time in his presidency.

My first thought is a prayer for a young boy who was caught in a seige back then and indiscriminately slaughtered. The grandson of Saddam Hussein, in a house where his father had been trapped. They mowed him down. My thought is of all the children caught up in these Middle East carnage situations that have been ongoing since the beginning of this century. And in Afghanistan. Wherever battles over territory are fought, terrorism is fomented, lives are shattered.

Thank you, President Trump.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 9 2019 19:00 utc | 55

Various thoughts:

1. The biggest impediment to Kurdish rapprochement with the legitimate government of Syria is that it would require the US to leave Kurdish-controlled areas. So, if the SDF leadership refuses and the Turks continue their operation, the chances for rebellion inside the SDF/Kurdish population (grass roots level) are quite high imo. Also, the Arabs inside SDF territory will remain neutral or directly side with official Damascus or Turkey. So, the Kurds will be "betrayed" or better said abandoned by everyone around them.

2. Can you imagine the absurd headline: "US planes took off from Incirlik airbase/Turkey to enforce the No-fly zone barring Turkish planes from operating inside Northern Syria"?

3. Erdogan called Putin just as he announced the launch of the operation today. Everything is coordinated with Russia. So, as the axiom says: "Always accept Putin's first offer. Each next offer is worse than the preceding one." The Kurds should have taken note...


Posted by: BG | Oct 9 2019 19:01 utc | 56

Tomorrow should be interesting. I get the impression that nobody but Erdogan wants to own this, it seems like Erdogan said "Hold my beer", and Trump said "you really shouldn't do that Recip", and took the beer and stood aside. Everybody else doesn't trust Erdogan, so they don't like it, but they are not willing to get in the way for either side. The chance to pressure the Kurds and US to break up their marriage of convenience likely has something to do with everybody standing aside too, never interfere with an enemy in the process of making a mistake. So appropriate here.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 9 2019 19:02 utc | 57

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 18:48 utc | 53

I certainly agree Trump's in a pickle. Once Erdogan allowed to invade, the US has lost control.

An announcement tonight telling the Turks to stop? I'm not convinced they will obey.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 19:02 utc | 58

@34 psychohistorian.. thanks... i tend to see it as still not enough of erdogan fully committing to the russian position here.. i think he continues to play a tricky convoluted game... we'll see.. it might partly be his escape hatch over the isis headchoppers who he has to process...

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2019 19:02 utc | 59

the talk from the usa towards turkey is a lot of bullshite as i see it... my take is they worked all this out beforehand and the msm talk is all for theatre and anyone naive enough to believe what gets tossed to the msm..

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2019 19:04 utc | 60

Geroman provides an up-to-date situational map.

Woofers is another good Twitter source and provides this news:

"In what seems to be a massive betrayal, the KRG authorities have reportedly shut down the border crossing, the main route refugees are trying to take."

Bosni is yet another and provides this important info:

"No attack on Manbij to be expected, US occupation still in place.

"- 1st Division source."

Not much of a ground shove yet as most attacks confined to air and artillery strikes. It's night yet again; so, we'll need to see what daybreak brings.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 19:09 utc | 61

Novara Media:
"As Trump gives the green light for a Turkish invasion of Rojava, we ask David Graeber what hope there is left for Syrian Kurds."

Posted by: axl | Oct 9 2019 19:10 utc | 62

When Will Washington End the Forever War?

A new breed of progressive politicians and activists is challenging the bipartisan consensus—but there’s a long way to go.

Posted by: Aziz | Oct 9 2019 19:14 utc | 63

but really the question remains

are we entertained? and who could be fired next?
stay tuned and see you tomorrow for another installment called the shitshow at the white house that is exactly the same shitshow as before but now with an orange touch of cat gold.

Posted by: Sabine | Oct 9 2019 19:14 utc | 64

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 18:55 utc | 54

Assad and others have repeatedly stated Syria will remain a unitary state, that any attempt to establish federalism by the just convened Constitutional Committee will be rejected.

Of course Asad wants a unitary state. However, he has already given autonomy to the Druze in Jebel Druze. He can do the same for the Kurds. OK, Asad is still in a relatively weak position, and he gives what he might not if he had complete control. The Kurds might do best to create a justifiable Kurdish region, not expansive over other territories, accept autonomy within Syria, and that will provide a basis for future action that Asad will have difficulty to resist.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 19:26 utc | 65

Sabine @64

Try to impeach this:

Posted by: TrumpistheBestPres | Oct 9 2019 19:32 utc | 66

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 9 2019 16:16 utc | 14

Turkey’s Erdogan, Putin hash over upcoming Turkish Syria operation

09.10.2019 18:04

Posted by: Barovsky | Oct 9 2019 19:34 utc | 67

juliania @55--

You're welcome, but that's not the first time Trump's made that statement I cited. Read the item at the following link to get more.

Lavrov returned to Moscow today after his one day trip to Iraq. TASS provides a lengthy report about Lavrov's comments to the press. Too many potential excerpts to choose from; please read what was reported!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 19:40 utc | 68


i am merely a highly entertained spectator and am waiting for the impeachment shitshow with a ready bowl of popcorn and a nice little bottle of high spirits. Cause why not. But you? Are you entertained?

Posted by: Sabine | Oct 9 2019 19:41 utc | 69

so where are the 'troops' withdrawn to?
just five miles down the road? to iraq? back to the us to join the civvies in getting three jobs without healthcare?

is that like the withdrawing troops from a year ago?
seriously, is anyone here seriously pretending that anything that is said and done is still valid tomorrow or even by the next tweet diarrhea coming from the white shitter?

Posted by: Sabine | Oct 9 2019 19:47 utc | 70

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 19:40 utc | 68

Lavrov said what we knew, nothing new.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 19:49 utc | 71

Oh not to worry - I'm sure our Kurdish 'allies' will all be allowed to settle in the United States, where - along with all those countless other third-world refugees - they will help to drive wages down and rents and profits up, and burn up our reserves of freshwater etc. just like in California, so what's not to like? The Kurds get to escape the consequences of having more children than they can afford to support and pissing off the Turks, the rich get cheap labor and economic growth for the sake of economic growth, and our grandchildren will live like Pakistanis. Win-win all around!

Posted by: TG | Oct 9 2019 19:52 utc | 72

@ karlof1 #68 with the TASS link

I think the last paragraph of the article is important to quote
Commenting on Ankara’s stance on the issue, Lavrov recalled that he earlier had a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. "He unambiguously confirmed to me that Turkey respected Syria’s territorial integrity and would proceed in its actions from the assumption that the ultimate goal of our efforts was, in particular, the full restoration of the Syrian state’s territorial integrity," he said.

If this is indeed true then, IMO, what Turkey is doing is a "cleansing" of all the fighters that the US has supported in the past few years so none, in numbers, can come forward and confirm the war crimes of the US.

Will the US pull out of the oil fields? To me, that is where the money rubber meets the road.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 9 2019 19:54 utc | 73

I would just like to add another aspect to the picture. I suspect that a new home for the Takfiri from Idleb will be established in the new (un)security zone. Idlib is too important for Central Syria, and the SAA has made it clear in recent months that the head choppers cannot stay there. But nobody has MN idea where to put the pack. Slaughtering all including women and children is also not the solution.
So Erdogan gets the chance to resettle his proxies, as he did with Afrin, and the Kurds, highly armed by the US and indeed a constant thread to Turkey, are neutralized at the same time.
The desert strip at the Turkish border is not of immediate importance to the syrian economy, and maybe that's why Assad and the Russian government has accepted the deal for the time being, while Lawrov keeps emphasizing that "the syrian territorial integrity must not be challenged".
Just my hunch. We will see.

Posted by: Cemi | Oct 9 2019 20:05 utc | 74

Posted by: Sabine | Oct 9 2019 19:47 utc | 70

so where are the 'troops' withdrawn to?
If the US troops are not defending the Kurds, there's no point in their being there.

If they're withdrawn to Iraq, that's to a country that doesn't want them, and may well try to expel them in the near future.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 20:05 utc | 75

@73 PH, maybe we will soon find out:

"SDF forces from Deir Zor were sent north. Many DEZ territories in the East are empty and without the presence of the SDF"

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 9 2019 20:07 utc | 76

Also: More reinforcements for SAA forces reach al-Salihiah on the east side of the Euphrates.

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 9 2019 20:15 utc | 77

psychohistorian | Oct 9 2019 16:30 utc | 18

from Reuters

Putin urges Turkey's Erdogan not to harm Syria peace process: Kremlin

Yes, I saw something similar in TASS, but where is the assurance that Russia will not intervene?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 9 2019 20:17 utc | 78

All this talk of betrayal to the kurdish allies by US in the US mainstream media but what about the betrayal to the Turkish allies? Turkey is a NATO ally for 70 years and the US is bound by the NATO Treaty article 5 to protect the territorial integrity of Turkey, but the US is arming and training a marxist terror organisation named YPG (Syrian branch of PKK) whose goal is to split off the Kurdish territories of Turkey. And all the western media act as if the ypg stand for all Kurds, wich is wrong. Ask the Peshmerga what they think of the YPG or the Kurds who fled to Turkey. And why suddenly people like Lindsay Graham become such empathic humanists, is it because they recived orders from Tel Aviv to do so? Is it because they want to interrupt the logistics routes from Iran over the shia parts of iraq to syria and Hisbollah with a US/Israeli controlled kurdish entity?

Posted by: Beyonder | Oct 9 2019 20:19 utc | 79

james @60: my take is they worked all this out beforehand

I think this is right. US & Turkey have been talking about it for months.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2019 20:19 utc | 80

US President Donald Trump’s plans to withdraw troops from the area in Syria where Turkey is conducting an operation may fade away, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

"Trump indeed has said on numerous occasions that he will withdraw troops from Syria and other countries. But people meant to implement these plans let them fade away. I don’t rule out that the same will happen this time," Lavrov pointed out.

Posted by: Mar tin | Oct 9 2019 20:21 utc | 81

My two pennies ...

If the Americans and Europeans want to be able to better influence (control) nations in the Middle East they need recalcitrant nations and leaders taken down a peg or two at times. Turkey is too big for its boots. First sanctions and then an endless war on their border ...

Erdogan is a jerk - everyone sees this. I cannot imagine anyone actually trusting him with his fence-sitting. He plays one side off against the other all the time. (A bit like the Indians actually ... but I digress)

The actions taken by Turkey will be made out to stain Turkey by the media and leaders of Western Nations. Perhaps even eventually leading to the breakup of Turkey.

Perhaps the idea is to let Turkey take a real beating and then later become friends again and sell them more useless weapons??

Perhaps the outcome might be a region of what is now Turkey that might be carved out for the Kurds?

A few of the new Russian manpads in the right hands will take care of anything in the skies over the area. Perhaps the Russian should do some manpad R&D ??

Hmmmm ... if it weren't true that people are being hurt the fun begins ...

Posted by: imoverit | Oct 9 2019 20:28 utc | 82

DontBelieveEitherPr. | Oct 9 2019 16:31 utc | 19

Putin now lost his gamble anyway, when Trump revived his alliance with Turkey (after threatening Erdogan, he now praises him and invited him!). Putin has lost most of his leverage he still had when Turkey was under pressure from both Russia and US. That is now gone, and that gamble is lost.

Putin still has the gas supply and the tourist to threaten Erdogan with. Not to mention the trianing of the crews to operate the S-400s.

I should think that the Russian will, probably, let the Turks persuade the Kurds to ask Damascus for reconciliation.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 9 2019 20:29 utc | 83

"SDF forces from Deir Zor were sent north. Many DEZ territories in the East are empty and without the presence of the SDF"

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 9 2019 20:07 utc | 77

Of course this was to be expected. The oil-fields were only lightly held by the SDF (mainly Kurds). The big issue is that the US will no longer be able to prevent the export of the production to Syria. The rap: all during the war, Syria, and the Syrian army, rolled on oil from the Khabour oil-fields, even when supposed enemies took them over, trade passed. When the US imposed its position, trade stopped, causing a lack even of cooking gas in Syria. It seems we're at the end of that.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 9 2019 20:30 utc | 84

Is exiling 2M - 3M to NE Syria at all viable? Is that land remotely arable? Is there enough fresh water? Is Erdogan just going to put millions into an environment where they will just whither and perish (or play a game of chicken for other countries to keep them alive)? Turks have never done that. . . oh wait.

Posted by: Schmoe | Oct 9 2019 20:30 utc | 85

Lozion @78--

Thanks for saving me from posting same; but, where is al-Salihiah relative to Deir Ezzor? I know it's probably not spelled correctly, but the most detailed map I have shows nothing remotely close to that anywhere nearby. Otherwise, protests in Raqqa demanding SAA presence.

Geroman with another map and info update:

"Latest map:
- Turkish forces were repelled in Tel Abyad
- #YPG conducted a raid on Turkish territory
- Air and artillery raids along the contact lines.
- Civilians flee the area
- Kobani area shelled (despite US forces there)."

I reiterate my assessment on Trump's continuing vow to "bring the troops home" as being his repudiation of impeachment hearings. Will he be able to get BigLie Media to show returning troops disembarking planes into the waiting arms of family? Lets hypothesize he announces the closure of Persian Gulf bases in Kuwait and Qatar thus showing he's not bluffing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 20:39 utc | 86

Willy B has a good summary that explains why we should be skeptical:

Turkey Double Talks Its Way Into Northeastern Syria

No excerpt would do it justice. Just read it.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2019 21:10 utc | 87

Paul Krugman further delegitimizes himself as a credible commentator on anything of importance:

"Has Paul Krugman been
a) hacked
b) lost his mind
c) both of the above

"Remarkable that all three possibilities are perfectly plausible."

Please see tweet to understand why the question as it's relevant to thread topic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 21:23 utc | 88

@ Laguerre 44
The solution for the Kurds, as ever, and as others have already mentioned, is to renew their deal with Asad and accept federalisation with Syria as an autonomous region. That is what has happened with KRG in Iraq, and it works.
What's the extent of KRG autonomy in Iraq? How does it "work?" I know the KRG gained the "autonomous state" moniker in 1970, but are they really autonomous in any way? . . .The KRG tried for separation a few years ago and lost forty percent of their territory for their efforts, including the oil fields, and Barzani's gone, right? . . .My knowledge of the real situation is meager.
Anyhow, in Syria, the autonomous Rohava possibility is a dead duck.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2019 21:41 utc | 89

Lindsey Graham gives the orders around here....
To the Turkish Government:
You do NOT have a green light to enter into northern Syria.
There is massive bipartisan opposition in Congress, which you should see as a red line you should not cross.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2019 21:44 utc | 90

@78 karlof1: 55km south of DE on the right bank of the Euphrates..

Here is Suchkov 's optimistic take on things. I hope he is right:

More on #Russia's take vis-a-vis #TurkeyKurds:
Foreign minister Lavrov just confirmed #Moscow in talks w/ #Kurds,#Syria/n gov to launch dialogue to ensure #Assad's control over the area, have SYR gov take control of SYR-TUR border (presumably under RUS guarantees) 1/

This is the scenario I staked on in my latest @AlMonitor: #Russia would endorse mediation on two tracks (#Turkey-#Syria & #Damascus-#Kurds) as only viable solution for Kurds to survive Turkey's assault,have Assad control of that part of SYR,have TUR safe

Lavrov alludes to some "concrete proposals" #Russia preparing for all parties to negotiate over. He pins the blame for the crisis on #US, says "Americans long fostered quasi-state structures, promoted Kurdish theme against complaints of Arabs" thus delusioning Kurds w/ statehood

Over recent months #Russia tried to organize talks b/n #Syria/n gov & #Kurds three times (twice at Hmeimim, once in #Damascus) it didn't work. Now that Kurds, "dumped by #US", as Lavrov put it, #Moscow feels odds at mediation higher, Kurds more willing to embrace RUS proposals

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 9 2019 21:47 utc | 91

Laguerre @ 10:

What are you trying to argue? Red Ryder @ 5 is correct when s/he refers to the Ottoman Turks (under the influence of the nationalist Young Turk movement) being infamous for carrying out genocide in their empire's twilight years.

The reason that Kurds are present in the areas in SE Turkey / northern Syria where Christian communities formerly lived is that the Ottoman Turkish government, for various reasons including suspecting Armenians of disloyalty and collaborating with Russia, forcibly deported them to concentration camps in desert areas, often by marching them on foot through areas lacking food and water. Most deportees either died on the way or in the camps if they survived the death marches.

Kurdish people often co-operated with the Ottoman authorities in evicting Christian communities and were either rewarded with the victims' properties or settled in their lands. The downside of collaborating with the Ottomans - which Kurdish people later discovered to their cost and misery - was they were expected to give up being Kurdish and become Turkish instead.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 9 2019 21:51 utc | 92

Tuyzenfloot #28, absolutely, the Kurds are no doubt fully aware of the precarious nature of alliance with USA on anyone else for that matter. In 1915 they were betrayed by the Turkish empire for their 'services' in the Holocaust against the Armenians, and then multiple times since by others.

Trump appears to be launching a fully confident assault on the neocons and doubters. He needs to eliminate them in the next three months so as to have a clear run at the reelection. I am confident the Republicans are ready to launch a serious challenger and the dopey Democrat machine has serially shot its foot off. First the Democrats run a fool called Biden (with a time bomb on his belt) and then blatantly rig the primary race again. Now they enable mutterings about a Hillary re-run.

The recent Russian and Chinese hype about mighty weapons and their dominance over the USA navy and its carriers renders the current military leadership subject to ridicule and likewise the industry that repeatedly fails to deliver. Can you excuse a military that is forced to admit that it has built a giant aircraft carrier and only 2 elevators work out of 20!

Trump is on a roll. So too is the voice of anti war, anti waste and for an end to lost opportunity. I trust the latter will win.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 9 2019 21:52 utc | 93


Ditto, pamper pooper Pompeo,

..." US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in an interview with PBS said that Washington did not give Ankara "a green light" for a military incursion into Syria, adding that Ankara had "legitimate security concerns" and claimed that Trump made the decision to move American soldiers out of harm's way."...

USA owes the world, Israel owns the USA!

Posted by: Taffyboy | Oct 9 2019 22:11 utc | 94

I don't know if this is RT trolling the us military or if is incidental to story:

They talk about out brave troops fighting to protect us an this is a taste of the reality I suspect.

I don't think any us soldier could claim that he thought he would be fighting to protect is country at this point. Clearly they are just mercenaries serving geopolitical, financial interests.

Posted by: jared | Oct 9 2019 22:18 utc | 95

Never give a sucker an even break. The Kurds pay the price for their own stupidity and opportunistic behavior.

They must be having a good laugh in Moscow. NATO is doing more damage to NATO than any proclaimed adversary of NATO has ever done.

Posted by: Jens S | Oct 9 2019 22:18 utc | 96

I have a question to ask, not to b but probably all you people, in case someone here knows. It may be rather silly but I have little knowledge about US law and procedures. Yes, I could do my homework but that will take time and I will probably miss a lot of fine print.

I've often read that the US president cannot declare war to another country but he has to ask Congress permission. How does that work? Is the a standard procedure? For example, the president must initiate the declaration and send it to Congress for ratification, first house then senate? Is something like that a clearly defined procedure? Or can we have for example, a declaration of war initiated by house or senate, ratified by both and forcing the president to follow it?

I know that it sounds silly but it is a bit late here and I'm playing with weird scenarios in my mind :)

Posted by: Erlindur | Oct 9 2019 22:18 utc | 97

Lozion @92--

Thanks very much for your reply! The location you provide is very close to the guess I made; thanks also for that!

Contrary to Laguerre's reply to me @71, I clearly saw the new info Lavrov presented that Suchkov tweeted. That further confirms for me that what we're seeing from Turkey are feints aimed at pressuring the Kurds into talks that need to prove rapid and productive as the feints can't continue much longer. The closing of the border by Iraqi Kurds to their Syrian brothers is also an important point that might have been arranged by Lavrov's talks yesterday, thus applying further pressure. IMO, Iraq's Kurds learned the same lesson Syria's Kurds are now being taught about trusting the Outlaw US Empire. The factions are numerous, but IMO they all agree on two major symbiotic points--Collective pressure's required for the Outlaw US Empire to remove itself from the region for there to be peace and that peace must be arrived at through collective efforts. What we're seeing is the initial stages of that collective effort. And Trump going further out on his limb promising to bring home troops opens up numerous possibilities. And thanks to Gabbard, he's going to have to make good on that vow for reasons I explained above. The D-Party and BigLie Media have become so vociferously pro-war that people will easily see Trump as standing almost alone against the Dogs of War.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2019 22:18 utc | 98

@ Erlindur 98
The US Constitution in Article II states that the Congress has the power to declare war. But the US hasn't "declared" a war since 1940. It just goes to war, and under the Congress-passed War Powers Act the president can go to war anytime but must subsequently notify the Congress. The US thrives financially on war, and it quiets the populace, and it supports US corporations internationally, so it works out favorably for a lot of people.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2019 22:32 utc | 99

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2019 22:32 utc | 100

Thank you for pointing where to look first. I may be blind but I don't see anything in article II about war. All I see is article I, section 8
The Congress shall have Power To ... To declare War...

Is that all? Can Congress simply declare war to Turkey/Iran/Russia/China/whoever at will? Sure, since the president is the Commander in Chief, he may do nothing about it, but being in state of war has other consequences I guess. There is probably a lot of fine print involved.

Posted by: Erlindur | Oct 9 2019 22:53 utc | 100

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