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22 November 2015

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YT

Col. sir,

RE: "R + 6"

France is one of 'em?

I thought she is nato?

The Twisted Genius

YT,

France is not part of what we call the R+6 (Russia+SAA+Iran+Hizbullah+YPG Kurds+progovernment sectarian militias+Palestinian militias). Perhaps they will make it the R+7 coalition.

Herodotus

I agree with TTG this could be R+7. However, if I was Erdogan I would not be a happy camper at the moment.

YT

TTG,

My thanks.

Let us pray she allies with the Ivans...

shaun

Will it be like Fallujah or Dien Bien Phu in three years? Or a little of both. Pound sand much, sounds like their plan. Sand flies around anyways.

Babak Makkinejad

TTG:

Regrettably, I must agree with your statement:

"...West is loathe to let the R+6 coalition triumph ....They want a piece of Syria"

France will not join Russia or R+6; in my opinion.

I also agree with the assessment that Kurds will not fight to capture Raqqa.

Babak Makkinejad

EU are showering Erdogan and Turkey with goodies - all because he sent those Syrian refugees to EU.

EU leaders may hate his guts but he is the only game in town for them. And he knows it and he is squeezing all that he can out of them.

Babak Makkinejad

Not going to happen.

It would be interesting to see the extent to which Hollande will demonstrate "honneur pour le sang des victimes à Paris"

I am pessimistic.

Herodotus

Yes and its well noted, thank you. But there is a wild card in play here. As I was once schooled, the Russians are not smarter than we are. They are just more crafter than we are.

FB Ali

Of much more significance to the overall situation in Syria, and the future, is what is going on North of Aleppo near the Turkish border. Turkish SF (masquerading as Syrian Turkmen) have taken a couple of Syrian villages, with the attack supported by Turkish and US planes. Meanwhile the Syrian army, supported by Russian planes, has captured some Turkmen villages in the same area.

http://tinyurl.com/oz3cbot

http://tinyurl.com/pr945zy

http://tinyurl.com/ngzfp7h

It seems that Erdogan has taken advantage of the Paris attacks to renew his attempt to establish a "safe no-fly zone" in Syria. The US is taking a big risk in backing him (they are probably doing this as payback for his not making an outcry over their backing the YPG). It could lead to a confrontation with Russia (perhaps that is a secondary US motive). Very strange!

Babak Makkinejad

Russians are brutal and ruthless; during the occupation of Iran, the English would put you in jail, the Russians would shoot you.

The Twisted Genius

Brigadier Ali,

Thanks for the update and those links. I did see where R+6 forces with air support took some Turkman villages and a key height near the Turkish border, but had no idea what the Turks were doing other than crying like rats eating onions about the R+6 advance.

Herodotus

Yes they are well known as you say and I have no doubt much of that has not changed. Hense the wild card.

Herodotus

Dangerous ploy for Erdogan. He would then be aced in a position to bank his chips the US. What happens if they fold?

tjfxh

This may be relevant concerning the West's push for Raqqa. This has been on the agenda, but it is now imperative in light of the R+6 advance.

The Race For Raqqa And America’s Geopolitical Revenge In “Syraq” (I)
Andrew Korybko
Oriental Review - Oct 14, 2015
http://orientalreview.org/2015/10/14/the-race-for-raqqa-and-americas-geopolitical-revenge-in-syraq-i/

Petrous

Gentlemen
An article today in Al Monitor sheds a bit of light on a possible shift in thinking in some western quarters. It points out that even Tel Aviv, may now appreciate the Russian-Shia axis a bit more. As the Arab countries around the Persian Gulf have practically abandoned Aerial action against ISIS since Feb or March, concentrating instead on manufacturing more potential future enemies by pounding Yemen instead, their usefulness to those wanting to snuff out the so called Kaliphate may now be suffering some erosion.
Anyway the article can be accessed here :

www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/11/aleppo-hezbollah-iran-isis-yemen-g20-turkey-israel-shiite.html
It does make some interesting points that add to the discussion here.

bell

it's another propaganda piece supporting a country called kurdistan along with the idea of taking a piece of syria and including it in this new country... now, maybe this is the west's longer term game plan.. they have to create stories like this to help nurture the idea.. as for barzani helping in raqqa, that doesn't make a lot of sense reading it any other way.. the french defense ministers comments - same deal.. new country kurdistan folks.. get used to this idea being regularly pushed...

the west is trying desperately to build some sort of opposition to assad.. the plan for regime change hasn't gone as smoothly as they'd hoped... creating a safe zone bordering turkey seems to be in the works as fbi links (thanks) again highlight..

J

TTG, Colonel,

NYTIMES article on Pentagon inquiry into CENTCOM analyst's superiors cooking the books regarding ISIS. And now the Congress is comparing CENTCOM/CIA/DIA ISIS reports.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/us/politics/military-reviews-us-response-to-isis-rise.html?_r=0

Green Zone Cafe

The strategy is for the Barzanis to become Presidents-for-life of an independent Kurdistan in perpetuity. There's a constitutional crisis going on now in the Kurdish region because Barzani won't step down.

This is the KDP newsletter for today, without further comments except to note how often the name Barzani appears, and how the procession of foreign dignitaries paying homage is highlighted at the exclusion of any domestic governance issues:

US Vice President Biden Congratulates President Barzani on Sinjar Liberation
US Vice President Joe Biden called Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani on Tuesday to congratulate him on the success of Peshmerga forces in recapturing the town of Sinjar form ISIS terrorists last week, and praised the bravery and sacrifices of the peshmerga. Mr. Biden reiterated United States’ commitment to continue to support the peshmerga forces.
http://www.presidency.krd/english/articledisplay.aspx?id=nFQyj8WlJOI

Kurdistan Region “A Stabilising Force”: Japanese Ambassador
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani met with the Japanese Ambassador to Iraq, Fumio Iwai, near the Sinjar frontline on Wednesday November 18th, the presidency's official website reports.
Iwai congratulated Barzani on the liberation of Sinjar and the defeat of Islamic State (IS) in the area.
He commended the people of the Kurdistan Region and the KRG for hosting the huge number of refugees and internally displaced people while the government itself is struggling with intense financial and security crises.
Iwai highlighted the role of Kurdistan Region as a significant stabilising force in the broader region.
Barzani thanked his guest and stressed that without stability and security, “progress cannot be made.”
http://basnews.com/index.php/en/news/kurdistan/244350

President Barzani Calls For End to Unrest in Tuz Khurmatu
The Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani has released a statement regarding the current clashes in Tuz Khurmatu in Southern Kirkuk Province, asking administrators and security forces in the area to take control of the situation.
“Instability in the last few days has resulted in unwanted incidents. Citizens from different religious and ethnic backgrounds have been killed, and property taken,” says Barzani.
Barzani urged administrators, and security and Peshmerga forces to handle the situation and protect people regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.
In his statement, Barzani emphasised the protection of unity and solidarity among all components of the city.
http://basnews.com/index.php/en/news/kurdistan/243967

Prime Minister Barzani receives Austrian Parliamentary Delegation
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received an Austrian parliamentary delegation, led by Mr. Andreas Schneider, the leader of Austrian Social Democrats, SPÖ, representing all the political parties in the Austrian Parliament.
The delegation congratulated the people and government of the Kurdistan Region on the achievements of Peshmerga forces against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS, notably the liberation of the town of Sinjar.
http://cabinet.gov.krd/a/d.aspx?s=040000&l=12&a=53950


Prime Minister Barzani meets US under Secretary of Defence
Prime Minister Barzani conveyed the gratitude of the President of the Kurdistan Region, the people, and the government to the United States and other coalition forces for their military support that enabled Sinjar to be liberated in minimal time and with minimal casualties. He expressed his wish that the support would continue in order to liberate other parts of Iraq.
Prime Minster Barzani stated that the Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG, will do its best in the liberated areas for reconstruction and providing basic services.
http://cabinet.gov.krd/a/d.aspx?s=040000&l=12&a=53937

EU delegation congratulate Barzani and Peshmerga for liberating Sinjar
A European Union Consulates to Kurdistan visited the political bureau of the Kurdistan Democratic Party for talks with Fadhil Mirani and Hemin Hawrami, head of KDP’s Foreign Relations Office, in order to resolve domestic disputes in the Kurdistan region and other developments.
During the meeting, Mr Mirani, secretary of the political bureau, briefed the current status in the region and said that after the 2003 liberation in Iraq, the KDP has aspired to achieve a democratic and federal Iraqi state. He said that elections were installed and the general public has rights to cast their votes but the leaders in Iraq were not able to adhere to any principles.
http://fr.kdp.info/a/d.aspx?l=12&s=&a=37167

ISIS Can Be Beaten in Weeks Says Kurdish Intelligence Chief
The Kurdish head of intelligence and security says ISIS could be defeated in weeks if the world community became “fully engaged.”
Speaking near the Sinjar front, a northern Iraqi town where Kurdish forces drove ISIS out last week, intelligence chief Masrour Barzani told the BBC that it was important to militarily defeat ISIS.
“Once they lose territory, there is no area for jihadist around the world to come to and they will lose their capability to recruit locals and lose capability to raise funds.” Barzani told the BBC.
http://time.com/4117831/kurdish-security-chief-isis/?xid=tcoshare


Divisions undermine battle against Isis in Iraq
“After shedding so much blood this [Sinjar] is definitely something we will hold on to,” Masrour Barzani, head of the Kurdistan region security council, told the Financial Times by phone from his command post. “What Saddam [Hussein, the former dictator] did in terms of. . . building provinces based on his own wishes does not mean these areas belong to certain provinces. Sinjar is definitely part of Kurdistan.”
He insisted Iraq’s Kurds were not seeking a direct confrontation with Baghdad, but said the Yazidis had made clear they preferred to be part of the Kurdistan region in previous elections.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/afa0f402-8c6d-11e5-a549-b89a1dfede9b.html?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fhome_us%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct#axzz3sFI4cgIT

Hawrami partakes in London forum on Europe’s Changing Neighbourhood
By official invitation from The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London, and Alsharq Forum, Hemin Hawrami, the Head of Kurdistan Democratic Party’s Foreign Relations Office, participated at a one-day event entitled ‘Europe’s Changing Neighbourhood: Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management in the 21st Century’ where attendees explored the external perceptions of Europe and assessed the nature of current crisis and threats to the region.
The changing crisis environment in which Europe finds itself has raised urgent questions about Europe’s role in the world. With turbulent peripheries in both its east and south, combined with an increasingly introverted domestic debate, internal challenges and
http://fr.kdp.info/a/d.aspx?l=12&s=010000&a=37168

Hawrami in Stockholm to strengthen relations with Kurdistan
The Head of Kurdistan Democratic Party’s Foreign Relations Office Hemin Hawrami is visiting Sweden for talks with members of the Swedish Parliament and political figures to strengthen relations with the Kurdistan region.
Is it within the framework of the Foreign Relations Office to build and enhance a democratic and civil society and to promote the KDP’s vision of developing relationships with political parties around the world.
During his visit to Stockholm, Mr Hawrami met with Kirsten Lundgren, a Swedish Parliamentarian, foreign policy spokeswoman, Margareta Caderfelt, International Secretary of the Social Democratic Party, Marten Lofberg and Serkan Kose, member of Swedish parliament,
http://fr.kdp.info/a/d.aspx?l=12&s=010000&a=37169

Swedish parties emphasise bilateral relations with KDP
As part of efforts to strengthen bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and western political parties, Hemin Hawrami, head of KDP Foreign Relations Office, continued meeting various figures in Sweden to discuss current political and military developments in Kurdistan.
At the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, Mr Hawrami met with a group of parliamentarians including Ms Ulrika Karlsson, member of the Moderate Party and foreign relations committee and Tina Ghasemi, MP.
Mr Hawrami touched on the position of the KDP on the issue of internal problems facing the Kurdistan Region such as attacks on party headquarters and the military campaign by Peshmerga defeating terrorist organisation Islamic State.
http://fr.kdp.info/a/d.aspx?l=12&s=&a=37170

The Swedish Liberal People's Party support sending weapons directly to Kurdistan and Kurdish independence
Head of Kurdistan Democratic Party's Foreign Relations Office, Hemin Hawrami, officially participated The Liberal People's Party- Folkpartiet liberalerna, FP, conference. During the conference, Hawrami engaged in discussion with the President of the LPP, Jan Björklundand, along with several prominent party members. Hawrami thanked Björklundand for the invitation to the conference and extended greetings from the KDP leader, and President of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani.
For his part, Jan Björklund thanked the KDP delegation for attending the conference and praised the role of the heroic people of Kurdistan, the Peshmerga for countering terrorism, and praised the role of President Barzani for his leadership and his wisdom.
http://fr.kdp.info/a/d.aspx?l=12&a=37171

Iraqi Kurdistan plans 10 bcm natural gas exports to Turkey in two years
ISTANBUL, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Natural Resources, Ashti Hawrami, said on Friday the region planned to export 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas to Turkey over the next two years, but that this may slip to 2019.
Speaking at an Atlantic Council conference in Istanbul, Hawrami also said the region planned to increase its crude oil export capacity to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) by end-2016.
https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/iraqi-kurdistan-plans-10-bcm-natural-gas-exports-094406617--business.html
Helping the Kurds to build a land fit for heroes
Following a visit to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Ulster Unionist South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan reveals how Northern Ireland business and education could play a vital role in supporting those in the front line against Isis.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/news-analysis/helping-the-kurds-to-build-a-land-fit-for-heroes-34210497.html
First KRG gas to flow to Turkey in two years
Kurdish gas, which is of critical importance for Turkey in terms of its dependency on Russian and Iranian energy, came to the table at the Atlantic Council Energy and Economy Summit.
"Two years ago, I said the KRG would be a major oil exporter. Now I talk about something different as 150 billion cubic meters of gas has been found and a total of 5 trillion cubic meters of gas will be explored in the region. This amount can satisfy Turkey's gas requirement for 50 years," Hayward said.
http://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2015/11/21/first-krg-gas-to-flow-to-turkey-in-two-years

Ghostship

"the Russians are not smarter than we are"

Maybe if you compare the overall populations of Russia and The United States but then the Washington Borg seem to be spectacularly stupid so where it matters at the moment, the Russians are smarter. After the fiasco in Iraq, you would have thought the neo-cons would have been ostracized or better still, put up against a wall... , but no, they're still there.
As to whether the Russian are craftier, they're no better or worse than the British, French, or Germans, it's just that the Washington Borg is too transparent to do crafty.
BTW, did any one notice a former chief of the British defence staff announced that Assad should be kept in power until ISIS is liquidated. Usually, former chiefs of the British defence staff don't speak so publicly unless they are saying what the current staff are thinking.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/18/camerons-aims-over-isis-and-assad-in-syria-are-contradictory-says-former-military-chief
"He said: “The real issue is can you use the one army that’s reasonably competent which is President Assad’s army? In that respect I personally would see a ceasefire being agreed in the way people are now talking, allowing potentially Assad’s army and Hezbollah and their Iranian backers and others to turn their attention on Isis in a sequential operation. After that the politics would kick in and you would have to do something about the residual political structure within Syria.”"
Footnotes on "British" terminology:
1. For a Brit officer to describe an army as "reasonably competent" not only demonstrates the usual British arrogance when it comes to all things military but also suggests he knows it can do the business.
2. "others" - the Russians but the British Army probably still believes Field Marshal Montgomery's First Rule of War.
3. "would see a ceasefire being agreed" - Al Nusrah won't agree a ceasefire and Al Nusrah are between the SAA and ISIS so the only two parties left at the end in Syria would be the SAA and the unicorns. Having fought Al Qaeda for several years, the British Army unlike the Washington Borg doesn't want to see an energized Al Qaeda emerge at all.
4. My guess for the "politics", it'll be to set up a committee to investigate this that will take the same time as the Chilcot Committee to report - so Assad will retire gracefully at sixty five at the earliest.

David Habakkuk

Ghostship,

Thanks for the link.

There is an interesting contrast with an interview given back in October 2014 to the 'Telegraph' by General Jonathan Shaw, former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, under the title 'Qatar and Saudi Arabia ''have ignited time bomb by funding global spread of radical Islam''.'

(See http://tinyurl.com/nkdv7m6 .)

It may be that the contrast is partly to be explained by a change, implicit in General Shaw's remark that: "The primary threat of Isil is not to us in the West: it's to Saudi Arabia and also to the other Gulf states."

At this time, I think, very many people here had not emancipated themselves from the belief – which has underpinned the British 'Teufelspakt' with the Saudis, which goes back a long way – that jihadists could be used to attack common enemies, without risking, as it were, the scorpion biting the hand that fed it. Events in Paris have finally put paid to that delusion.

There was also, quite patently, a hope that because the scorpion would clearly like, if given a chance, to devour its Saudi and Qatari sponsors, these could be persuaded to rein it in. But the available evidence appears clearly to show that they remain much more concerned to reverse the empowerment of the 'Shia Crescent' caused by the disastrous intervention in Iraq.

If both assumptions collapse, then it is not clear how one avoids the conclusion that our least worst option is to collaborate with the R + 6.

In response to the latest in a series of thoroughly muddled pieces on the website of the 'Financial Times' attempting to accept part of the logic while stopping halfway, I posted a comment which was essentially an encomium to Lieutenant-General Flynn. Minutes later, the whole thread was deleted – not the first time this has happened.

thepanzer

Speaking of the daily "Assad must go", the Atlantic (international) has an article claiming that ISIS is in fact being supported by...Assad. I kid you not. Apparently Assad is also a Batman villian capable of funding and creating his own opposition all in the dastardly plan to strengthen himself in the end by masterfully playing every other govt and group on the planet. This is historical revisionism on steroids. The amount of kool-aid the west is drinking is off the charts.

Here's the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/assad-syria-devil-endgame-putin-obama/407635/

Rd.

"What’s the strategy here?"

with the passage of the UN Resolution 2249, the r2p and their half brother in arm, the borg are now trying to gain a foot hold in syria and continuing their support for selected "vetted" terrorist. not much has changed as far as the 'western' strategy is concerned! the rhetoric will continue same as the collateral damage, unfortunately.

YT

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

YT

RE: pessimistic

Je suis d'accord, Monsieur...

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