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15 December 2016


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What a tangled web we weave...

I've been trying to figure out the relationship between Trump the administration, Turkey, and the Kurds. We know Flynn is very pro-Turkey. Trump on the other hand may take a dim view of Turkish attacks on the SDF, which he may interpret as an assault on a force fighting the No.1 enemy that is ISIS.

Another question is, what is better for Syria's territorial integrity long term? Kurdish or Turkish advances?

Ishmael Zechariah

re:" Another question is, what is better for Syria's territorial integrity long term? Kurdish or Turkish advances?"
Most of us see the kurdish aspirations as a part of the PNAC plan. Over the past decade the izzies have provided logistics, intelligence, materiel and training to various kurdish groups. The Syrian kurds, themselves, have given mixed signals about their aspirations. Very few folks in the ME trust them. I am not sure if they are the US allies against ISIS or are something else. I am also not sure who has supported ISIS all this time. It is a complicated business.
Ishmael Zechariah


I think Kurds in some waays knows that they can't survive outside the protection of the syrian republic. A sort of autonomy has to be done, perhaps, but Assad is a very pragmatic man.
I should add that Assad 2016 is not Assad 2000, no more " son of Afez".
He IS Syria and nobody will stop him as it was the case in 2001.



No more "fils a papa?" pl


the site has been the most informative and unbiased and reliably correct coverage of the Syrian war, i disagree with pretty much all other opinions that this blog has accepted, but that does not really matter when one prioritizes truthful information.

many thanks for being an island of sanity in this ridiculous storm of nonsense we call our main stream media.



Yes i agree with that.


They would if they could. I believe the only thin stopping Western recognition of a sovereign Northern Syria is the Turkish meltdown that would follow. Assad should be able to play the Turks and Kurds off against one another to his benefit. I'm guessin the end result will be a communitarian rather than territorial autonomy for the Syrian Kurds. Syria territorial integrity is retained, the Kurds get a measure of self-determination, and Turkey avoids a Kurdish state on the border.

mike allen

The PYD (political arm of the YPG fighters in Syria) is not asking for independence, only for a form of federalism similar to what Virginia and 49 other American states enjoy. Unfortunately, that seems to be anathema to Assad and Erdogan.

Meanwhile some Turks in Istanbul, a few with al-Quaeda flags, are protesting and shouting for jihad. https://twitter.com/DrAriMurad/status/809354274417295360

The Twisted Genius

mike allen,

You are absolutely correct. Russia is pushing Assad to be magnanimous towards the Rojava Kurds when the time comes. Assad would be smart to take that advice. He could have an organized and armed frontier corps on his northern border if he plays his cards right. He would still have to keep an eye on future YPG-PKK shenanigans. But all this is a way off. Let's slay the alligators first.

The Twisted Genius


Erdogan seems bent on reviving the Ottoman Empire. He doesn't give a fig about Syria's territorial integrity unless its as a province of his Ottoman dream. Except for a few wild-eyed dreamers, the Rojava Kurds wish to remain in Syria with some kind of federated autonomy. An independent Rojava would be dead meat between Turkey and Syria.

different clue


Kurdish advances might be better for Syrian territorial integrity because as TTG says the Syrian Kurds may well settle for federal regional autonomy within a federal Syria. If they declared independence before the SAR were able to crush that independence, then Turkey would invade them to crush their independence. A Syria too weak to suppress a Kurdish declaration of independence would also be too weak to expel Turkish forces.

And if any Turkish forces advance in that area, they will never leave unless driven out by force.

Babak Makkinejad

TTG & Mike Allen:

The US states began life as independent states within the English Common Law and Constitution. You are asking Kurds, in effect, to be like Americans.

Well, they are not English men, can never be English, and are clueless as to how to run the machinary of a consituational system with decentralized power.

You will be encouraging the worst sort of parochialism under the guise of federalism.

Here is another modest Makkinejad proposal:

Restore the Cherokee Nation to their ancestral lands, issue a Presidential Proclamation of Apology, and begin the process of setting up an autonomous Cherokee Government in the areas so wantonly and unjustly and illegally and inhumanly taken away from that nation.

This would go a long way towards making you more credible to foreigners when you suggest to them how to organize their political lives.

[If any Cherokee is reading these lines, please, if US Government enacts this proposal, I would be satisfied by a single statue dedicated to me and possibly a few streets.]

Babak Makkinejad

Not sure about ISIS but Jihadists are clearly supported in Aleppo by the European Union:


Doug Colwell

TTG, sorry I don't have a link, but I saw Assad interview with a Russian woman in which he was asked about a federal arrangement with the Kurds. His response was that it was not his decision to make, and that the constitution could be changed only by the parliament.
Make of that what you will.

The Twisted Genius


The PYD has called for a federated status under a united Syria. This isn't something I or Mike Allen are making up. So it's Rojava Kurds calling for this, not Englishmen. I applaud their realism and wish them well.

As for your modest proposal, I'd like to see the USG at least stick to their treaty obligations. Canada had an interesting solution with the creation of Nunavut. Maybe they'll make a snowman in your honor.



The fate of Syria is the fate of the world. This is the cauldron that will determine if sovereign states persist or will they be superseded by trans-national undemocratic Corporations and Non-Government Organizations. Without the protection of government police and military, society devolves into tribes, gangs and families. To survive Syria must forge an alliance of minorities (Alawites, Kurds, Shiites and Secular Sunnis). If the Middle East war is ever to end, the Daesh cannot have their own land and their support by the West and Gulf Monarchies must end. Likewise, if the USA is to survive the end of its Empire, government must treat the fatal despair of mid-America.

The current Western push to scapegoat Vladimir Putin serves globalist goals of diverting attention from the complete incompetence of the neo-liberal-con elite and continues the oligarchs’ wars and looting worldwide. The Great Game will be terminal if not ended.

The Twisted Genius


With all its faults, Syria was a multi-confessional secular alliance before all this current unpleasantness started.

 Ishmael Zechariah

You state in the above comment
1-"The PYD has called for a federated status under a united Syria. This isn't something I or Mike Allen are making up."
In a previous one you also state:
2-"He would still have to keep an eye on future YPG-PKK shenanigans."
Now we should discuss what kind of shenanigans, and why, and what they mean by a federated state, etc. But, I guess, you might say that all these details are for the future. However, a more immediate issue is the US interests in the area. Now that "Assad must go" is a failure, what are you all trying to do there? Also, what is the kurdish role in your aims? Why would Assad or Putin want to have heavily armed infantry commanded by US SF in their area of control since, from the beginning, the US goals were orthogonal to those of the R+6?

There are several reasons why TSK is in Syria.1-The formation of a convenient "kurdish" corridor to the MED is something TSK would prefer not happen. 2-It is highly possible that if, instead of reviving the Ottoman Empire, tayyip-the lesser's gambit, and serious investment, in Syria resulted in an "independent kurdistan" as envisioned by PNAC/Clean Break papers, tayyip would-literally- lose his head. He is now desperately trying to establish status with Putin, and maneuver himself into claiming some gains for all this "effort". It is a hard task. It just might happen that, when the West needs a sundenbock for the Syrian debacle, tayyip might be fingered as the ideal one. It would be such poetic justice.

I wish to remind all that tayyip and his gang were lauded by the izzies and their US/Western amen corner as the pinnacle of "democratic islam" and economic prowess just a decade ago. Pretty much the same cast of characters who are claiming a "humanitarian massacre" in Aleppo.

Interesting days await.

Ishmael Zechariah

mike allen

Babak Makkinejad -

I fully support your proposal for a Presidential Apology to the Cherokees. But why stop with them? Why not restore their land and autonomy to the other 500 nations? I'll dedicate a street to you and build and put up the street sign myself when it happens.

Turkey and Iran are the biggest foes of Syrian federalism. Turkish opposition I understand, as it would be a threat to Erdogan's power. Why Iran?


Mike Allen, in that video you linked, they shout "I-ran qa-til" (Iran, the Murderer) in Syria "suriye-de". Flags are not ISIL, but rather the model used by AQ, Nusrah, IMU, ETIM and Taliban. Turkish NGOs are all up on this latest phase now suddenly being a "Katliam" (massacre), but a lot of intellectuals are joining in, and organise demonstrations in larger Turkish urban centers, both in Turkey and in Germany. Hamburg also saw a similar demonstration, first in front of the Russian, then at the Iranian consulate. Also Ankara and Berlin got a showing at the respective embassies.
But following the agreement between Erdogan and Putin to continue Geneva talks in Astana (staring 1 Jan. Kazakhstan joins the UN SC), the Turkish focus is now shifting on Iran only (see http://www.ozgurder.org/). A Turkish brother from Central Asia probably now has a moderating influence.
I see it likely that Erdogan will let go this whole stuff (Misaq-i-Melli, screwing with the Kurds), once he has changed the Constitution to a Presidential Lifer System.


Yes sir, but " fils a papa " refers mainly to money and wealth,
" born with the silver spoon in mouth", If I remenber well, the same saying in french and english.
I was more on a political side.
You certainly knows that Bachar has quietly expressed frustration at the begining to be unable to implement political and democratic reforms due to Baath party caciqus resistance.
I bet this will not happen again.


Josh Landis, in a recent RT interview, was asked 'where now for the SAA post Aleppo?'. His answer - which made sense to me - was that Idlib could be contained and wait as the Jihadis were too AQ to get a lot of overt support from NATO. The Turkish invasion onto Syrian soil was a much more immediate problem for Assad as the presence of a Nation State with a foothold would be more difficult to remove especially if they get dug in. I assume that it would also be Russian thinking too as they will not want to be fighting a NATO state that close to the boarder as it would cause too many opportunities for an accidental escalation from proxy to direct conflict with NATO/US.
Assuming IS can not hold territory indefinitely against Russia and the US and that SAA keep clearing and holding more areas there must be a point at which Assad will say 'thanks for the help be we can take it from here, please leave Syria now'. The US and Turkey have been looking for an end-game where they have proxies holding territory which the Syrian government can not retake and are willing to settle. This is looking less likely. To me it seems more likely that the SAA are going to end up with adequate force outside a Syrian city occupied by US or Turkish proxies and forces who will not leave. How does that one end?


1) This alliance was already set up before the war. You're in the ME.
I don't remember who was saying, maybe one clever guy here about Lebanon, that a president even not democrat coming from a minority, ie Alaouite, is the best way of maintaining peace among communities and a sort of decent way of life politically and economically.

2) When we tried to know what Afghans wanted, we discovered that it was nothing about democracy, they wanted jobs, electricity, hospitals, schools and soccer fields!


Alawi dominance of Syria since the early 50s is a by-product of French Colonial policy in which they policed Syria by using ethnic minority Alawis as auxiliary troops. after the French left the Alawis simply pushed the Sunni Arabs to one side and took power. In fact the Alawis overlords became protectors of the other minorities in Syria, Christians, Druze, Shia, etc. They also made common cause with the modernist element in the Sunni population. pl



IMO Idlib Province must be recovered and soon from the AQ/Nusra occupation. If it is not IMO it will not be possible to govern a Syria that contains this cancer within. I will say again that the real world is not a graduate school seminar in which people can be argued into reasonable behavior. Facts must be established in the ground. pl



My French is actually pretty good and "fils a papa" also means someone who would have no significance if he were not daddy's boy. pl

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