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22 October 2016


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"the need for these proposals to be discussed in Parliament. "

Sounds like a functioning government that is obeying its own laws. I'm sure no one in Washington is paying attention.


TTG thank you for your excellent analysis and report, since I was discussing this with Mike on the previous thread, I wonder if Turks have intelligence not to attack Kurd units that have American SP servicemen inbed with them. And if they don't have the necessary intelligence, do they care if they hit and kill Americans servicemen, would they pay a price if they did. SOD was in Turkey yesterday.


Thank you for the insights. Curious how this fits in with the strange diplomatic dance that the Turks have been engaged in since the aborted coup. Erdogan seemed rather eager to disengage with the West, but have the R+6 offered him an added incentive? Are the Kurds the price that R+6 is willing to pay to gain Turkish cooperation?

mike allen

It is true that Americans are with Liwa al Mutasim. But I do not think that group is fighting against the Kurds. There are Daesh fighters in that area which I suspect they would be going against. Shahine though would know better than an armchair observer like me. Does he cite proof?

Turkish tanks are now in Marea. So much for the 15km buffer incursion into Syria (but no more) that Russia was said to have blessed for Erdogan. I understood the Turkish airstrikes and the Turkish armor in Marea is in response to YPG successes against Liwa al Sultan Murad in and near that area. Not Liwa al Mutasim.

I note that some Syrian Kurds are accusing the US of backing the attacks on YPG also. I hope that is not true. If there are Americans with Liwa al Sultan Murad or other Turkish jihadi proxies I suspect they were hoodwinked (again) by Erdogan. Ditto on the Erdogan hoodwinking if al Mutasim fired on the Kurds.


There are also reports of a Turkish tanks on the western border of Afrin, threatening the Kurds there.

mike allen

kao_hsien_chih - "Are the Kurds the price that R+6 is willing to pay to gain Turkish cooperation?"

My guess is that Russia and Syria wants to keep the Kurds just strong enough to keep fighting Daesh, but not too strong to later challenge Assad in their quest for federalization. Some have supposed that they would like to see a very narrow Kurdish land bridge between the cantons of Afrin and Kobane, but a weak one that they could easily disrupt if need be.

The Twisted Genius


I think all sides are dancing around each other. No one is fully in control of the situation or is certain of the outcome. It's much like the cemetery standoff in "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."


The Twisted Genius

mike allen,

I also doubt the U.S. advisors are in control of the actions of Liwa al Mutasim. They're just along for the ride.


"I also doubt the U.S. advisors are in control of the actions of Liwa al Mutasim. They're just along for the ride."

As a tripwire for the Borg to get its desired intervention?

The Twisted Genius


I think this more a case of massive cognitive dissonance. We want the FSA and Turkey to fight IS and we want the rebels to oust Assad. We also want the Kurds to fight IS. Turkey wants the FSA to fight Kurds and oust Assad. The Kurds fight IS and now the Turks in the hope of getting some kind of federalize independence. The rebels are jihadists at heart and will strike at anybody. The U.S. advisors can't be comfortable in this mess.

Babak Makkinejad

The R+6 are constrained in what they could do for YPG and affiliated armed Kurdish formations. That could be a reason for their lack of action.

Politically, it suits the R+6 that the foremost American ally in the region, namely Turkey, is bombing the foremost Kurdish militia allied to US - demonstrating to the Syrian Kurds - yet again - that they have no future relying on the United States. This facilitates the post-war settlement.



My guess is that in the end the Turks will decide that they can't risk their developing relations with Russia by attacking the SAA at the east side of the Aleppo encirclement. I agree that R+6 will be able to repel what is probably the final attempt by the rebels to raise the siege of East Aleppo. A name and constitutional change for Syria would be a master stroke. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I suspect that Turks have sufficient intelligence; they are politically in a situation that any move they make is costly to them.

In the analogous situation, the United States vis à vis Iran, US finally chose to accept a deal based on 2006 Gareth Evans parameters after calculating that those costs were less.

That is why it is important for R+6 to maintain relations with the Turkish Government to enable it to accept the less costly settlement.

Of course, Turks are not Americans - they are not beneficiaries of 2000 years of Rationalist Tradition of the Platonic Academy. And it might prove that what this old Iranian lady told me a while back obtains: " ترک ترکه " - Turk is turk.

Babak Makkinejad

A 2-stage process of constitutional change; a temporary constitution under which competing parties could form and stand for election, followed by a second constitution written by that assembly; just like South Africa.


About your < Rationalist Tradition of the Platonic Academy >
What's rational about Pythagoras, Sir?
What's rational about the myth of ER?
Reincarnation? And many of Plato's views.

And Americans have not been around for 2000 years, unless you mean the ones that were exterminated.

The rationalist tradition stems from Aristotle.

Larry M.

Col. Lang

"A name and constitutional change for Syria would be a master stroke".

Such a change might not only work to improve the Syrian government's relations with the Kurds. It might also, if only slightly, complicate attempts by the next U.S. administration, the EU, etc. to increase their pressure on president Assad.

Finally, a constitutional change, if done now, would take the four million Syrian refugees outside of Syria out of the equation. I do not know for sure, and most reporting on the refugees does not seem to focus on this, but my impression is that almost all of those four million refugees abroad are Sunni Muslim Arabs. This would mean that the biggest ethnic-religious group in Syria, the traditional source of the country's major uprisings, has been reduced from about two-thirds of the total population to little more than half.

Apart from the important fact that the exodus has made it hard for the Syrian army to fill its ranks, it has increased the relative weight of the religious minorities that form a disproportional share of the government's base. So from president Assad's view, now may be the best moment to remake the constitution in a very moderately democratic direction. That many of the Sunnis who have remained are likely to be secular and pro-government is another argument in favour of such "a master stroke".

Babak Makkinejad

Well, I agree that Aristotle was the one who systematized the Greek Tradition of Rational Thought.

I think it was the Platonic Academy and its later manifestations and realizations that propagated the rational approach to the Universe.

Prior to 1800, the program of the Platonic Academy - the Trivium and the Quadrivium - had been adopted, in various forms and to varying degrees, from the Indus River to Tierra Del Fuego; but nowhere as strongly as in the areas West of the Diocletian Line.

In Iran, the ancient religious schools in Qum start their students at Trivium. There is no Quadrivium taught there - has not been done for centuries - may that is why they declined and Diocletian people went forward to conquest after conquest.


Larry M.,
Here are the recent data for Greece: http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/country.php?id=83

You might want to look at the numbers for Italy this year, since I think many of the migrants/refugees are not from Syria but are from Sub-Saharan Africa. There are undoubtedly many refugees from the war-torn areas, but there are also many economic migrants wanting better lives for themselves and their children. One needs the wisdom of Solomon to sort this out. I wish I possessed it, but I do not.



Thanks for keeping us informed. This could be titled "The Wild Wild East”.

If the Abrahamic religions can’t live together after thousands of years of history when stirred up by outsiders; there is no chance for peace until the West stops its headlong dismantling of sovereign states for profit. It is the height of cognitive dissonance to start a hybrid war against Russia and not expect counter moves. Hillary Clinton and the the Elite's contempt was shown by her naming 40% of Americans as irredeemable Deplorables. It is pure hubris to ignore the likelihood that the ethnic religious conflicts that permeate the Balkans or the Fertile Crescent will not be stirred up in the USA among immigrants and their descendants by outsiders; not to mention, the old-time rifts with "Latinx" or African Americans. The only way that the USA can work is if everyone is treated the same. This is clearly not the case since the wealthy have thrown 80% of Americans living outside the big coastal cities under the bus. Without the return of the rule of law and an end to meritocracy, Aleppo and Mosul won’t be the end but are the beginning of the end of our world.


It sounded good about the Syrian Kurds being refugees from Turkey, but apparently it's a charade. Concerted historic action by Turkey, Syria, and Iraq to dispossess Kurds of their identity- further manipulated as a cat's paw by Israel. Syria had always been known as the Syrian Republic until the breakup with Egypt. Then they went from the United Arab Republic to the Syrian Arab Republic. The "Arab" part is foolish for a state that purports to be secular, multiconfessional, and indeed should be multi-cultural.

mike allen

Speaking of 'multiconfessional'. Church bells are ringing again in Bartella and other Assyrian cities and towns near Mosul. Daesh fighters there were taken down by Iraqi SOF Golden Brigade assisted by Nineveh Plains Forces aka Syriac militia.


Those church bells were never silent for over 1600 years until August 2014. Although mostly Shia Arab, the Iraqi SOF Commander is Major General Fadhil Jamil al-Barwari, a Kurd. And it was American trained. The Nineveh Plains Forces are both Syriac Catholic and Syriac Orthodox. Diversity at its best.

Babak Makkinejad

That identity is in all its non-Islamic manifestations is culturally and linguistically Iranic. Neither Arabs nor Turks can countenance that.

I do not think that the Arab part of the Syrian Arab Republic was foolish; it tried to bring together - across several religions - different Arabic speaking peoples; they were copying the French, Italian, German Nation-Building programs of the 19-th century.

The ancestors of present Kurds across several countries had no qualms dispossessing Armenians.


“I suspect that Turks have sufficient intelligence; they are politically in a situation that any move they make is costly to them.”

Yes, it is amazing to me, to see Turkey, which just a few years back was supposedly an exemplary country for the rest of the muslim nations, has in just few years, on false wishful assumptions, strategically messed her self up so badly that her only regional allies are KSA, Qatar, Fateh al-Sham, Al-Nusra Front and a few small Turkeman tribes. Of course I am sure you know, how important, a legal,stable, legitimate, prosperous government in Turkey is for Iran security. For centuries Turkey is and has been and will remain the only viable land route between Iran and Europe. Last week it was in Iranian news that the trucks cue trying to clear customs and enter Iran from turkey was 30 miles and about two weeks to pass inspection and cross into Iran.


To get a ticket to Europe you need money. It was the poor that is Sunni & religious. I think you are wrong.

Babak Makkinejad

You wrote: "...how important, a legal, stable, legitimate, prosperous government in Turkey is for Iran security."

In my opinion, you are not going far enough; "how important, a legal, stable, legitimate, prosperous government in Turkey is for the world of Sunni Islam."

The way I see it, Muslims are, at the moment, not sufficiently appreciative of the core state of their civilization, may be they could chose to subject themselves to the civilizing influence of Turkey.

In the analogous situation, France has always been appreciated, even by her enemies - such as the Russian Empire and Germany. There is a long road ahead....


However, one thing is certain: The Kurds will again get the short end of the stick, as a reward for their shortsightedness and willingness to sell themselves cheap the same people who support their enemies.

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