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30 August 2016

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jld

Not to be taken seriously Sleboda is a loony lefty bitterly disappointed that Putin and the RF are not up to the glorious deeds of Stalin and the USSR of yore.
Just look back at the heap of rubbish he spewed about the Ukraine.

Lemur

Interesting comment here: http://thesaker.is/syrian-roulette/

"Can the US and Turkey continue to work their plan to both establish Kurdistan and stop Kurdistan, respectively? Dwell on that one for a moment."

LeaNder

I still have a hard time to wrap my head around the idea that the US military considered ordering events in Hasaka a good idea.

Serge

Big Al Qaeda et al offensive going on north of Hama. This is pushing into christian/ismaili territory as I understand it. Significant territorial changes in past 48 hours

LeaNder

We, in effect, instinctively do their bidding.

Michael, Obama's speech in Kairo somewhat surfaced on my mind lately. ... admittedly along with discussions around photos, like Obama kissing someone`s hand ... among others.

Take care*, meaning no response needed.

*trying to get into something like a pure listening tone around here. ;)

LeaNder

launched via launchpad.com on 17-Apr-2015.

Beyond that, please don't ask me if I ever managed to wrap my head around what seemed to surface as Amazon Technologies. ...

turcopolier

Serge

I see that reserves are being moved around in a familiar way that reflects a shortage of capable ground forces on the R+6 side. We know, don't we, that if if the Sunni jihadis capture Ismaili Shia or Christian villages there will be abduction of women, desecration of shrines and all the usual awfulness? I would suppose that Ben Rhodes and that a-----e spokesman at State (the old sea dog)will have something to say about these atrocities. pl

turcopolier

LeaNder

You still do not understand that issues like that are not decided by the US military. They are decided by the policy dictated by the constitutionally elected government of the US. Senior commanders no longer have much leeway on political/military questions in the context of modern communications. pl

Kooshy

Colonel I have been living here and fallowing US elections for over 40 years, for as long I had never seen or even thought that the entire US media as well as entire US elites, celebrities, and thier surrogates be against a presidential candidate, a major party candidate. IMO this is unprecedented, to the point that no longer the western MSM pretends to be impartial. I think the Borg and thier media companions they are going all in, (without any respect to whatever is left of the electorate' right to be informed) to make sure DT looses in a landslide, in the event of a low turnout.

Tigermoth

I found this article on the Putin/Erdogan St Petersburg meeting insightful regarding what Russia wants from Turkey.

Dances with Bears:

http://johnhelmer.net/?p=16253

"By John Helmer, Moscow
All law students in England, meeting the law of torts for the first time, used to study Scott v Shepherd. That was a case decided in 1773 in which a man in a marketplace was struck in the face by a lit firework that put out his eye. The legal rule was — if you toss fireworks, you are liable for blinding a man, even if you didn’t mean to.
In the preliminaries to this week’s meeting in St. Petersburg, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been playing games with fireworks. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, wasn’t closing his eyes. At the conclusion of their meeting in St. Petersburg on Tuesday afternoon, Putin’s eyes revealed more than his mouth about Erdogan’s incendiaries.
Officials on the Russian and Turkish sides, and their staffs, have already made clear there are four strategic points on the agenda of Russian-Turkish negotiations; one political corollary; and several commercial payoffs.
The priority is the commitment from Turkey to stop attempts at regime change in Syria, the Russian Caucasus, and the CIS states, including Armenia and Tajikistan. This means the expulsion of Chechen fighters from their havens in Turkey and areas under Turkish control; closure of the Turkish-Syrian border for ISIS and other jihadis; and an end to Turkish support for the Azeri war against Armenia and for Islamic oppositionists in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Crimea.
In return, the Turks want a Russian commitment not to support Kurdish groups to establish territorial autonomies or statelets along Turkey’s borders with Syria and Iraq, nor encourage the Kurds to fight their way back into Turkey to establish an independent Kurdistan.
Another Russian priority – the key to the wars which the Kremlin fought against the Ottomans for more than two centuries — is Turkey’s undertaking not to violate the limits of the treaties governing the straits between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and not to allow a permanent NATO naval deployment of Aegis missile systems, targeted against Russia in the Black Sea."

Putin ended up with zip from Erdogan except his now confirming he has no real intention of going "East", and he won't change tack on Syria. Putin probably has taken note of this.

With regards to the Turkish invasion of Syria and the Russian minimal response to it; I'm sure that militarily it benefits the SAA in areas like Latakia since the Turkish backed "FSA" has been pulled from other areas to participate in Northern Aleppo. Another aspect of this is that it has caused terminol within the US coalition itself which should be a positive for the Syrians since it slows down the forming of the US instigated Kurdish statelet.

Al-Bab will be an interesting battle with everyone against everyone else.

ex-PFC Chuck

Cortes,
Couldn't agree more. It's been at least a couple of decades since I read MoF but I still recall it quite vividly.

b

:-)

Thanks for lauding the usual posts on MoA.

I liked Mark's piece as it shows the perspective of the nationalist Russians. Those are likely to gain when Putin retires. With NATO now going bollocks at their doorsteps these people see danger all around them. They (and Mark) are not completely wrong - even the paranoid have real enemies.

Also thought that the piece would bring some good discussion in the comments. It did.

My personal view, in today's piece, is that Russia made a lot of progress in Syria in a quite short time and that the U.S. was caught off-guard with the Turkish move.

I don't understand why the Green Berets, or their higher ups, pushed the Kurds across the Euphrates. Why did they push them into attacking the Syrian government in Hasakah? That ruined their relation with their only local ally - and their national dream of a corridor to the Med. The Kurds were absolutely stupid to agree with that move.

It is clear why the Kurds never gained a nation state. They always end up either betting on the wrong (foreign) horse or start fighting each other whenever real unity, even for a moment, is needed.

turcopolier

b

"why the Green Berets, or their higher ups" As I told LeaNder the military do not make such decisions. They are operating within the policy established at the WH. pl

different clue

b,

Did anyone push the Kurds into this attack, or did those Kurds attack for some obscure reason of their own; doing their best to drag the Green Berets and hence the United States along after them?

different clue

different clue . . .

Of course I meant to type "deal with Iran" right after the word "capability" just above.

The Twisted Genius

b,

The US did not push the Kurds to cross the Euphrates. That was a Kurdish idea and a Kurdish dream. The US wanted the Kurds to go to Raqqa. The Kurds resisted and pushed west rather than south. My opinion is that the US wants to use the Kurds or Kurdish lands as their new base for the anti-Assad unicorn army. The US couldn't care less about the fate of Rojava or the Rojava Kurds. They're just a possible tool to use to remove Assad. I also seriously doubt the US had anything to do with the dust up in Hasakah. That's a long ongoing problem between the Kurds and the Baghdad government. And as Colonel Lang said, the Green Berets do not make policy.

On another note, I've seen mention today that it was the Russians providing air support to the Kurdish push from Afrin towards Al-Bab. Have you seen anything on that?

Matthew

Col: Yes, and these are the people who will suffer the brunt. See https://twitter.com/LinaArabii/status/727190133804519424

Babak Makkinejad

"A Kurdish dream" that the Kurds have failed to realize in over 2 millennia.

Some people can govern and some cannot.

Until every valley has its own potentate and all valleys are in state of intermittent warfare with one another; much like the native people of America or the Bedu.

b

The U.S.gave air support for crossing the Euphrates and for attacking Manbij. That surely wasn't a solely Kurdish idea. Aside from that it was obvious that the Kurds have zero interest to attack Raqqa. Why the U.S. hoped, if it did, it could them to that is beyond me.

In Hasakah U.S. troops were in the line of fire. That is why the U.S. threatened the Syrian air force to stop attacking. What were they doing there anyway? SOHR reported that the U.S. reinforced its spec-ops in Hasakah when the fighting started. For what purpose?

turcopolier

b

Valid points. As I said this is a muddle. pl

The Beaver

Colonel,

FYI:
https://twitter.com/DailySabah/status/771276043420336128

BREAKING - Turkish defense ministry says it has discharged 820 military personnel from land and naval forces

LeaNder

I'll try to reduce my babbling/chatting/ad hoc conversational mode.

It surely isn't your fault that I still don't grasp important basics.

mike

Another 820 Turkish military officers reportedly dismissed from the TSK today. 648 of those 820 were arrested.

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/010920163

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I presume you are referring to b's comment of 1 Sept. I also think this is a valid refutation of TTG's valiant attempt to defend US actions.

It is worth examining what causes this "muddle", since it seems to happen often, and in many different places.

My guess is that US policies are not precise, because they are subject to the pulling and pushing of many varied interests, and there is no firm hand at the top to decide among the competing views and lay down the law. This leaves wide latitude to those who actually execute these 'policies', and makes it easier for them to insert their own views into the execution.

I believe this is what happened to the hapless Kurds. Some level of US policy makers or executors decided it would be a good thing to have a Kurdish 'state' in North Syria, and pushed the Kurds to cross the Euphrates and take Manbij (with a view to linking up with the Kurdish enclave in the West). Then Obama/Biden felt the need to mollify Erdogan, so they promptly ordered the Kurds back across the Euphrates. Who knows what the next move will be?

This is probably one reason why the Russians seem to be faring so well in Syria - sensible, long-term policies, tightly executed.

The Twisted Genius

b,

I think the US supported the Kurdish offensive to take Manbij in the hope that the Kurds would then turn their attentions to Raqqa. I agree that was a forlorn hope.

The airfield just east of Hasakah is the US base for supporting the YPG/SDF. With 300 or so SOF in the region, that a fairly large undertaking.

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