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01 February 2017

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mike

TTG -

200 of those Guardians is a big shipment. Some sources are claiming they flew them in from al Dhafra airfield in the UAE, probably to airfields in Kobani or Tel Abyad or Rimelan, or maybe all of the above? I don't know f that is true. But it seems highly unlikely that they came via Incirlik. In any case that is a lot of C-17 flights.

Any reaction from Erdogan yet?

The Twisted Genius

I think there's some mention in the Turkish press. I haven't run any of it through Google Translate yet. My guess is that the shipments started shortly after Obama authorized increased support to the SDF. It was a resupply by infiltration.

ann

Thanks for the explanation.

notlurking

I fear down the line some of those same vehicles will be used against the SAA....

The Beaver

@ TTG

Have you seen this article from AP:
https://apnews.com/b3fd7213bb0e41b3b02eb15265e9d292?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP

Old Microbiologist

As far as I see , it doesn't conflict with the SAA or Russian goals either. Only Turkey might disagree and I believe they are now compliant to Russia to a degree or at least as much as Erdogan can be trusted. It is up to Trump to somehow badger Israel and KSA to accept the inevitable and stop their nefarious dealings. That 7 country list could grow if they don't.

Vic

No real change to the situation.

The Kurds are our only real ally in the region. Yet we treat them like red haired step children because we don't want to upset Turkey (who has NOT been a loyal ally most of the time).

The Kurds are capable of much greater accomplishments. They are great fighters especially in comparison to the worthless FSA. The Kurds main weakness is manpower. They are a small ethnic minority.

We could make the Kurds "punch way above their weight". The US Army had the same problem during the cold war. We had to fight outnumbered and win in Europe. One of the ways we did it was to field a family of weapon systems that gave us a qualitative advantage over the Soviets. We found in Desert Storm that those weapons were unbelievably lethal (tactical nuclear results with conventional weapons).

We need to ignore the Turks and equip the Kurds with weapons that will give them a decisive edge in ground combat in Syria. The Kurds are the only leverage we have left in Syria after the failed policies of Obama. Turn them lose to seal the entire northern Syrian border.

Vic

Babak Makkinejad

And then what?

Maintain a mercenary army in the middle of Middle East indefinitely; with its weapons ready to be pointed at this or that legitimate government depending on who has won elections in US?

You cannot be serious.

If you care about Kurds, I would think ending these wars is the best way to help them.

The Twisted Genius

Vic,

Babak made an important and valid point. The last thing that region needs is another powerful military force seeking to extend the reach of one group over another. That's just a surefire recipe for extending the misery and suffering for all who live in the region. And the last thing we should be doing is using the Kurds as our leverage. I always had an uneasy feeling that Obama would seek using the Kurdish area as a new home for resistance to Assad as his mythical moderate jihadi unicorns began fading into oblivion. My sincere wish is that the Trump Administration will reject the idea of seeking leverage in the region.

I do feel a certain affinity to the Rojava Kurds and hope they can eventually arrive at some kind of accommodation with Damascus where they can enjoy some degree of autonomy and live their lives as they see fit in peace. A push for an independent Rojava is a push for destruction at the hands of Damascus and/or Ankara. Babak is absolutely right on this point.

YT

RE: ending these wars

Sir,

Is this even feasible...?

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/post-national-framework-peace-stability-middle-east/

Babak Makkinejad

This is a well-intention-ed and far-sighted vision but not, regrettably, in the realm of possibility.

Consider the existing RCD/ECO (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_Cooperation_for_Development); in one form or another it has existed for more than 50 years but with little tangible results.

There were two impediments to it; these countries have not been producing products and services that were of value to others (although that has recently begun to change) and the political will for its development has been lacking. (Look at Pakistan, her leaders prefer the people of Pakistan to bake in 55 degree Celsius heat rather than import gas from Iran, lest Gulfies, EU, or US take offense.)

Furthermore, per a corollary of the Makkinejad Thesis, Arabs will not get their act together in any way shape or form for the foreseeable future; this type of cooperation envisioned by this author is a non-starter.

Then there is the issue of absence of trust:

A few years back, Iran offered to finance the construction of a dam in Northern Lebanon, in the Christian area, for electricity generation. It was resisted by the Christian Lebanese inhabitants of that area since they were afraid that Shia Lebanese construction workers would go there to build the damn and thus be invading the Christian areas.

Another example would be the uninhabited wilderness in Southern Armenia; ideal for grazing sheep. Iranians consume a lot of lamb, the Armenian government could rent that area to Iranians, who could send their shepherds there to raise sheep. Because of wolves, the shepherds have to be armed with rifles. Well, the idea of armed Muslims (likely Iranian Azeri Turks) on the Armenian territory is a non-starter, regarding how beneficial that might be to Armenia and to Iran.

The Karun river empties into Persian Gulf and it is within an acceptable distance for pumping its water to Kuwait at a certain rate. However, anger against Kuwait (and Arabs in general) for having supported Saddam Hussein's war against Iran is so deep that no Iranian government will be able to conclude such a mutually beneficial deal with Kuwait.

There is a UNESCO-sponsored accelerator in Jordan, itself donated by EU, for the purposes of advancing & fostering scientific research in the Near East. Iran is a member and on several occasions Iranian scientists were arbitrarily denied visas to Jordan. Two Iranian scientists who had gone to Jordan for working in that facility, were later assassinated in Iran.

And so on and so forth.



ISL

I am sure the SF guys would like to treat the Kurds right, but there is a long history of the US (and everyone else in the region) backstabbing them when convenient. I wonder if the Kurdish leadership understands that it probably is not long before once again they will be on their own with no friends and all their neighbors as enemies.

My advice is try for a Russia re-alignment, who might be able to balance between SAA and Russian interests

mike

TTG & Babak Makkinejad -

Nothing in Vic's comment advocated an independent Rojava. And the Syrian Kurds themselves do not want independence.

I do agree with your assertions that we should not maintain a mercenary army in Syria forever. But they are good allies in the fight against Daesh and we should help them defend themselves if they are attacked.

BTW, even Assad's allies, the Russians, agree that the Syrian Kurds should get some degree of autonomy.

YT

Hhmf.

I see.

The author is just 'nother dreamer with his head up in theoretical clouds (I was kinda startled 'bout him mentioning 'bout getting rid of nat'l borders).

I assume this is what most ivory tower think-tanks send forth.

I can't tell his ethnicity tho.

mike

ISL -

Syrian Kurds have been working with Russia for a long time for such a re-alignment. The latest talks between Russian FM Lavrov and PYD representatives took place in Moscow just a few days ago.

Babak Makkinejad

He is an Arab, likely Lebanese - this type of thinking would not come out of anywhere else in the Arab World.

The thing of it is that the Gulfies can today invite Iran and Iraq to join the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and with one letter of invitation revolutionize their relationship with Iran and the Shia World.

But they will never do it and that the Fortress West has their back - or so it appears - is only making them less willing to undertake any such ventures.

AEL

Are the Kurds up to the urban warfare needed to take Raqqa?
What about their Arab allies?

Who will volunteer to take all those casualties?
Didn't Iraq have a similar problem with Mosul?

Alternatively, will they simply starve Raqqa (and everyone in it?).

The Twisted Genius

AEL,

They took Manbij without a massive amount of air or artillery support. Raqqa would be a whole different nut to crack. I'd be surprised if they simply try to muscle their way into that one.

mike

Ael -

The current plan as proposed by the CJTF coalition is for the Kurdish YPG to be the isolation force and stay out of Raqqa itself. The SDF composed of mainly Arab but some Syriac/Armenian/Circassian is to be the force to actually go in and take Raqqa. Many people have doubts that will work. So far the SDF is untested without YPG support. But they will have embedded US/UK/French coalition forces with them to pinpoint air and artillery strikes.

plantman

This action will just push Erdogan further into Putin's camp which can't be very good for the "pivot to asia" supporters.

It's hard for me to believe that the globalists are going to take this sitting down.

Does anyone else see this as a problem for Trump??

Thomas

"Does anyone else see this as a problem for Trump?"

No, I see it as a grave problem for the Islamic Stater"s Neo-Umayyad Restoration program.

The process is underway for cooperation by key players to encircle, create cauldrons, and clear them until the Islamic State becomes nothing but several chapters in the history books.

LeaNder

sounds like business as usual. ;)

But interesting to see Saatchi surface.

turcopolier

Thomas

And what of the AQ connected groups? pl

Clonal Antibody

Does anybody have some thoughts on this - Trump and Saudi King Agree to More Military Intervention, Collaboration, Aggression Against Iran

The official Saudi Press Agency said Trump and Saudi King Salman agreed on everything they discussed. It reported that the leaders stressed the "depth and strength of the strategic relations between the two countries."

Reuters reported, citing a senior Saudi source, that the two leaders "agreed to step up counter-terrorism and military cooperation and enhance economic cooperation."

The two planned greater military intervention in the Middle East, and the creation of so-called safe zones in Syria and Yemen. The details of how such zones would be created are not clear, but if they were instituted, it would likely take direct U.S. military involvement.
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Saudi Arabia, a close U.S. ally since the 1930s, is a theocratic absolute monarchy that brutally represses all internal dissent, beheads nonviolent protesters and funds and spreads extremist Islamism throughout the globe. A leaked 2014 email from Hillary Clinton revealed, citing Western intelligence sources, that the U.S.-backed regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar supported the genocidal militant group ISIS.

Given the deep involvement of Saudi's and Qataris in keeping ISIS going, I wounder where the disconnect is coming from.

Thomas

Sir,

Those in Syria will share the same fate, now that their supporters in the civilian side of our government are gone. Of course this my view changing from cautiously optimistic to optimistic.

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