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24 January 2018

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LG

YPG fighters that leave ISIS operations for Afrin will lose US support: Pentagon
By Leith Aboufadel - 24/01/20188

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:20 A.M.) – Any YPG fighter that leaves the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) in order to participate in the Afrin operations will lose U.S. backing, the Pentagon told Turkish state owned Anadolu News Agency on Tuesday.

“If they [U.S.-backed forces under the SDF] carry out military operations of any kind that are not specifically focused on ISIS they will not have coalition support,” according to Pentagon spokesperson Adrian Rankine-Galloway in reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another name for Daesh.


“Let’s say for example, a unit of YPG says, ‘Hey, we’ll no longer fight ISIS and we are going to support our brothers in Afrin.’” then they are on their own, he said. “They are not our partners anymore.”

Turkey launched a massive offensive in the Afrin Canton this past weekend, targeting the large pocket controlled by the YPG forces.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/ypg-fighters-leave-isis-operations-afrin-will-lose-us-support-pentagon/

Ishmael Zechariah

TTG,
We feel that this kurdish/izzie issue is an existential threat to us. The operations have full support of the Turkish population; those of us who are willing to fight and die or send our kin to fight and die, if need be. It has nothing to do with "ottoman expansion".
The USA has to decide what, if anything, is important to her interests in ME. Does she have a consistent, well-articulated, realistic goal?
Ishmael Zechariah

Jack

The USA has to decide what, if anything, is important to her interests in ME. Does she have a consistent, well-articulated, realistic goal?

Simple answer. No. Never has at least for the past 50 years.

LG

https://twitter.com/Ibra_Joudeh/status/956181930403299328
Breaking: according to @AlMayadeenNews
Kurdish official in Afrin say they welcome the Syrian Army in Afrin region and that Syrian government was never an enemy to them

LG

@leithfadel

After sending thousands of soldiers to the Idlib front, it appears the Syrian Army is going to halt operations in favor of a ceasefire ahead of the scheduled Sochi peace conference.

Please note: nothing has been confirmed yet.

Balint Somkuti, PhD

Why is it an existential threat? Will Turkey cease to exist if they succeed?

I really dont understand the existential part.

David Habakkuk

IZ,

‘Does she have a consistent, well-articulated, realistic goal?’

Of course she doesn’t.

What one has to face up to is quite how stupid the people running things are, both in the United States and Britain – I won’t attempt to speak for the rest of Europe.

For me, the saga of the dossier and Christopher Steele has been rather like the moment in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ when the figure behind the curtain appears.

There is a type about which I know quite a lot, some of it from my own direct experience and that of other family members: superannuated Oxford and Cambridge student politicians.

(Another example is our embarrassment of a Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.)

Well, I can assure everyone here that anyone in American intelligence or law enforcement who has taken or takes anything produced by Steele seriously has either to be a complete cretin, a crook, or – commonly the most economical explanation – some combination of both.

On both sides of the Atlantic, the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

Lincolnite

My intuitive thought is that CENTCOM is simply going to exchange its accommodation with the YPG for another accommodation with a Turkish occupation force. With Erdogan it remains uncertain as to who is going to be left without a chair to sit on.

james

thanks ttg.. i am wondering if you or anyone would like to comment on the perspective of the turkish army aligning with al qaeda - often referred to as the fsa here?
this quote is from al masdar news "A Turkish military convoy – accompanied by Al-Qaeda-linked militants – has visited a key area that borders government and rebel-held lines in the western countryside of Aleppo province. The reported purpose of the visit by Turkish forces was to assess places suitable for the establishment of observation posts aimed at preventing a Syrian Arab Army offensive towards Idlib."

Ishmael Zechariah - do the people of turkey also acknowledge that erdogan has sided with al qaeda in all of this? i am curious.. thanks..

walter

Ishmael, would u b willing to describe in detail what the Kurds do inside Turkey and outside Turkey that the Turkish population object to. With little to no information on this conflict, I have always assumed that the Kurds just want more autonomy to speak their language, govern themselves, decide and choose how they want to live ... which doesnt seem like a bad thing to me. Could u explain why the Turkish people are against the Kurds having more autonomy and are in favor of military intervention against the Kurds?
Walter

james

interesting comments from erdogan today in hurriyet..
"The administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama “failed to keep its promises” to Turkey in Syria, not following up its pledge to “leave Manbij to its rightful owners,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said."

see title - Obama administration cheated Turkey in Syria - for more outrageous comments...

walter

Jack and David H, I don't understand why u say US has no clear goal. I believe their goals have been clear: in short, Israel and oil. Help Israel in whatever ways possible (defeat Hezbollah, Syria, Iran...any group that is a potential threat to Israel); protect our interests in keeping the oil flowing to us. The unstated, but probably more important third interest, is the perpetuate the business model that keeps all the players paid, fat and happy: to keep the jobs and money flowing to the participants involved in goals 1 and 2: military, security, engineering and construction contractors, politicians, corporations, US armed and intelligence forces.

There is no money in peace. These are self-perpetuating financial systems (self-licking ice cream cones).

This system cares nothing about the people, democracy, freedom, saving people from gas attacks...these are the platitudes/propaganda that sell the wars to the American people "He gassed his own people"; "Arab Spring"; "democracy"; "they hate our freedom"; "..Islamic radicalism" "terrorism"

There are some participants involved in which money is not the primary consideration...the jewish and christian zionists who for religious reasons support this Middle East policy...but these guys are greasing the wheels with money and propaganda.

The strategies and tactics to achieve the goals have been confused, illogical, inept....but I believe the over arching goals are pretty clear. Furthermore, there has been no accountability or punishments for the failures...this foreign policy system is largely unaccountable and unrestricted by any financial or political constraints.

My opinon
Walter

Ishmael Zechariah

Walter,
This is a complex issue. If you really wish to understand the problem, please investigate why Patrick Bahzad, in a recent thread, described the kurds as: " The eternal losers of the Middle East ".
Ishmael Zechariah

Peter AU

I would think orders would have to come from the President for centcom to back the Kurds against Turkey, as that is a political rather than military decision. Be interesting to know Trump's orders to centcom if any.
Perhaps Trump has given no orders and is letting centcom stew in the mess they have created?
AMN also reported rumors SAA have pulled their people from the Turk/FSA - Mabij frontline.
My initial thought when the Turkish operation began was that Russia and Syria may well have agreed to Turkey pushing Kurds back into their original enclaves, which would mean the Turk main attacks being around the Tall Rifat and Manbij areas.
Syian civil war maps have been showing most of the fighting taking place along the Azaz/Mare frontline, but other maps and reports are showing a different picture.

walter

OK, will check it out...however, my understanding of them being "losers" is not that they have any particular moral failing or unjust desires..its just that they are geographically surrounded by more powerful governments that prevent them from achieving the autonomy they want...Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria...they don't have the power to achieve their reasonable desires...just like the Palestinians..the native American indians, the Hawaiians....go down the list of weak but nice humans who just been militarily defeated by stronger power. Im sure a student of history would just call this the never-ending story of human history...the weak against the strong. But it seems that we earthlings should be more able to solve problem without violence....like Assad seems to have done reasonably well with Syrian Kurds...giving them some autonomy in exchange for inclusion in the national government.

aleksandar

But Afrin is in Syria. You're just invaders.
Oh and all the German were behind Hitler about the Sudete Invasion!
It was also a " existential threat ".

Account Deleted

TTG

My guess is that Turkey’s ambition extends far beyond Afrin.
Erdogan and Çavuşoğlu have made no secret of the fact that Olive Branch will extend along the whole "terror corridor" as they refer to the YPG-held areas in Northern Syria. The ultimatum to cease support for the YPG equates to an ultimatum for the US to leave NE Syria and the hyperbole is being dialed up:

"The north of the Aleppo-Mosul line is a region that must be considered entirely security-based for our country. No organization or foreign country’s presence can be allowed in this zone"

https://www.yenisafak.com/en/columns/ibrahimkaragul/true-afrin-is-small-but-it-is-where-multinational-plans-are-being-squashed-2042297

Could an 'agreement' for the US to vacate the area IFO TSK be forthcoming soon?

Jony Kanuck

TTG
Thanx for digging: Fog of war seems very thick in Afrin. So far, I've found Al Masdar good for news & Al Monitor good for analysis. I wonder if the Syrian Observatory might be good in this case because they have no dog in the fight? I think Erdo might be on the horns of dilemma: If the Kurds are indeed mostly holding the line on the border, he will have to deploy major firepower & Turkish infantry to break through. That means Turkish casualties & ugly pictures of dead civilians. Not good for next year's Pres election & lots of international pressure now. But, if he went after Manbij, the US Military would probably melt away. Nato shooting at nato is a foreign policy debacle...

Richardstevenhack

Meanwhile, Israel, taking advantage of the chaos, seeks to seize more Syrian territory - indeed, whole provinces...

Israel’s “Safe Zone” Is Creeping Farther Into Syria
https://theintercept.com/2018/01/23/israel-syria-safe-buffer-zone-golan-heights/

The plan includes seizing at least 40 kilometers beyond the Golan Heights.

Quote:

“We want to get to a point where there is no Iranian influence in Syria, and this is being done in a combined military and diplomatic effort.” A zone of that size would stretch across both the Quneitra and Daraa provinces.

According to Syrian opposition commanders based in Jordan, who have been privy to the details of the de-escalation deal, the Israelis made it clear that even 40 kilometers would not be enough.

“They basically want Hezbollah and Iran to be pushed as far back as Hama,” said one commander based in Amman, who asked not to be named because of the delicacy of the issue.

End Quote

Allegedly both Russia and the US refused to assist Israel in this effort, but Israel is doing it anyway. I've little doubt that the US has no interest in preventing them, as this increases the partition of Syria, which is clearly part of the US goals in Syria.

Richardstevenhack

Russia has deployed four more units of S-400 anti-aircraft systems to Syria.

Russia Deploys New Units of S-400 Air Defenses to Syria (Video)
http://russia-insider.com/en/russia-deploys-new-units-s-400-air-defenses-syria-video/ri22302

This is interesting because of the recent drone attacks on Russian facilities inside Syria. But the S-400 is not intended to shoot down drones. That is a function of the Pantsir AA system...

Russia Has the Perfect Weapon to Crush Drone Swarm Attacks
http://russia-insider.com/en/russia-has-perfect-weapon-crush-drone-swarm-attacks/ri22286

So is Russia possibly intending to use these new S-400s against Turkish aircraft if Turkey gets out of line? Or the US? Or Israel?

Lemur

Turkey brought the Kurdish situation it now faces upon itself by contributing to the destabilization of Ba'athist Syria, and facilitating the regime change efforts of other powers hostile to Assad and Iran. Perhaps its Turkey that lacks 'consistent' goals? (US goals are very consistent from the point of view of what the borg wants and cares about)

blue peacock

David,

There is now a possibility that the Steele dossier was actually a product of the FBI/DOJ collaboration with Fusion GPS and that Christopher Steele and GCHQ were brought in to provide cover and "legitimacy".

We'll know more when Rep. Nunes' summary memo get's declassified and released. It seems that there will be other memos to follow as explained by Rep. Jordan in an interview.

IMO, this is way bigger than what we believe today. There are far too many linkages among the Obama White House, top officials at the FBI, DOJ and the IC as well as the media in building and fanning the Russiagate narrative and the law enforcement "investigation" to frame Trump. The scale of this conspiracy is staggering.

SteLe

Some comments, thoughts and observations, and quite many of them. I think of SST as one of the only placed to discuss those issues in depth, and would be happy to share this.
Even though this may be my first time post as a now yearlong reader and observer.

As a German growing up with Kurds and Turks, i understand the "Kurdish Question" is a Gordian knot, and the hate that has build up in centuries leaves no room to compromise for either side.
So i dont see neither side in a black/white view.. All sides are unable to look beyond their own view, and see escalating to an absolute and total "solution" as the only way.

An "Endlösung" to once and finally end the Kurdish uprising for the Turkmen side, and an "Endlösung" for the Kurdish side in having a full national state.

For everyone familiar with the European and especially German History of the 19th and 20th century, the parallels are obvious.

Every side sees it only as the sole victim, and uses this as justification for even the most cruel violence.

My Problem is with all this; again as a German; that Erdogan has build up militias similar to those the Nazis had in our darkest days.
With that i mean the Takfiris of FSA and HTS/Al Qaida, and also the "Grey wolf" fascists (You can see the "Hitlergruß" equivalent greeting of soldiers that take part in Afrin Offensive on recent pics even).

Meaning totalitarian ideology's, that accept no other view besides them, and have no remorse or restraint what so ever in using force and violence against anyone else.
You see, to me this is historically a pretty familiar concept.


Meanwhile the Turkish military openly lied and said, they would be fighting ISIS in Afrin, even when everyone knows, that there are none in Afrin, expect maybe for some underground sleeper cells (like there are in Turkey and here in EU).

Another thing is: It is also clear for everyone who wants to know it, that Turkey was the main hub for all terrorists/takfiri supply's and ISIS oil trade, not by accident, but by decisions from the very top of the gov., meaning Erdogan, with the MIT following orders.

Of course this was part of a wider NATO strategy, with all major NATO country's involved.


Think about this: If NATO+Erdogan+Saudis and other Arab country's would have not waged regime change on Syria, and arming ISIS and other Takfiri, the Kurds would have never had the chance, to become YPG/SDF, and occupy northern Syria.

It was the Regime change by Takfiri operation guys like Erdogan and Countrys like Turkey started, that made this whole mess possible.
The NATO okayed Turkish supply and support via MIT let ISIS wage a genocidal war against the Kurds in northern Syria.
If the Russians wouldnt have provided them with the first weapons, ISIS would likely have succeeded in Kobane etc., and many Turkish ultra nationalists and fascists couldnt have been happier.

The then-successful defense legitimized the PKK elements, like in Iraq, where the NATO and turkish supported Peshmerga ran away (and there are also evidence of deals with ISIS), while the PKK was the only effective counter force.

And now that Erdogan has crippled your otherwise powerful military so badly, that they got humiliated before the whole world when they could only claim victory in Al-Bab after they had made a deal with ISIS..
It isnt even sure, that the current operation will be a success, even if you pay 1000s of FSA takrifi mercs to die for your country.

Anyway, This could well end with a disaster, when the Kurds accept Syrias demands and make a deal with the Syrian state, and thus being under the umbrella and protection of the russians.

Expect Putin to play his hand like the fox he is. I bet he is aiming just exactly for this scenario.

So 1) If you are willing to die or send your kin to die, you should know, that you or your kin will die for a lie, and for a mess those same politicians have created, who you are now dying for 2) Most deaths on Turkish side are Takfiri mercs, for not actually truly risking Turkish lives.

The ONLY one that benefits from this operation, is Erdogan.
Now that he got humiliated at the last referendum, and only survived due to the votes of EU and German citizens which were allowed to keep their Turkish passports as second citizenship, and massive voter fraud in the mostly Kurdish parts of southern turkey, where Turkish citizens of Kurdish identity were violently blocked from putting in their vote, this war is the only thing to save him.

The old and proven tactic, of uniting a country behind a politician by war.
Now that the opposition partys are getting traction, and gain momentum, this was the only effective move he got left.

And for this goal, to stay at the power, he needs people that are willing to give their live for this own benefit, and even see that as a good thing, a patriotic act, while in fact its just someone wasting his life as a pawn for a power hungry psychopath.


Additionally, this operation will in the long term not solve anything.

The "Kurdish Question/Issue" cant be solved by force and violence. The only way to do that, would be a plain and simple genocide with millions slaughtered from child to grand parents.

I know this is the wet dream of many Turkish nationalists, grey wolf fascists, and Takfiri.

But i dont believe it the the true aim and desire for the majority of the Turkish population (meaning also non turkmen citizens, opposed to what you seem to mean, when you say that "everyone" is standing behind this operation).

Or not?

Again, the parallels to the European and German history are apparent.

And while i dont believe in a scenario in the proportions of the crimes of my country taking place in this conflict, it will lead to another civil war, and small to medium scale genocide, like on Armenians.

Like back then 100 years ago, with German (and now NATO) weapons and support. But now on both sides. A sick joke of history.

Do I expect this to take place now? No. But for decades and centuries to come, it will lead to it, step by step. Until it explodes into EVERYONES face.

If not both sides start to see compromise as the only solution, despite all what happened.

And that is really unlikely. On both sides. Sadly.

SteLe

VietnamVet

TTG

Syria is a very murky and dangerous place and is ignored by corporate media except for propaganda mentioning Syria’s use of chlorine gas or white helmets saving war victims. Maybe we should just admit that mankind cannot get along. If looked at as a religious war between the major Abrahamic religions and their offshoots, the conflict will go on forever until everyone on the losing side is dead unless secular governments supersede the ethnic tribes and secure peace through strong borders and political inclusion.

As IZ hints, Turkey has taken on the job of the protector of the Arab Sunnis; just as the American Empire is the protectorate of the Jews. The danger is a world war due to stupidity, ignorance and hubris of which there is plenty in CENTCOM and in the Washington DC hierarchy.

Meanwhile the rich get richer at the expense of everyone else.

Babak Makkinejad

SteLe and Lemur:

Erdogan has been the single Turkish leader since before Ataturk who moved closest to the Kurds; this is undeniable.

Syria, under Assads, served as a sanctuary for Illegal Kurdish Fighters - for decades.

When Ocalan was surrendered to Turkish Government by SAR under threat of invasion, a new chapter began for Kurds in Turkey. That chapter ended when a number of Kurds, under the name of PKK, resumed their military activities in Diyarbkar - they used a bombing in Turkey where Kurds were murdered as an excuse.

Both internationally and domestically, legitimacy and force go together.

Either the Turkish Republic - under the Erdogan or not - is the Legitimate Authority or not.

If it is, PKK must be destroyed.

If it is not, then who or what is the Legitimate Authority in Anatolia?

Certainly not the Bundestag or US Congress.

If by "Autonomy" is meant Self-Rule, the way Germany is, that is not possible within the constitutional as well as customary structures of the governance of Turkey; which, like France, has been a centralized state for centuries.

If by "Autonomy" is meant a Medieval Fiefdom of Kurds, by Kurds, for Kurds - that will not happen - Turks (sunni or Alevi) will unite to destroy such a formation - over and over and over again as decades and centuries come and go.

It is undoubtedly true that the Persian New Year - Noruz - was suppressed in Turkey for many decades. But that has not been the case for many years now. I am unaware of status of Kurdish language and music in Turkey.

But in Iran, where Kurdish language books are published, the language has a number of university level courses, and Kurdish music and musicians are routinely broadcast by state television and radio, and Noruz is a non-issue - still remain Kurdish Iranians that pine for independence or who take to the mountains to wage a senseless and a hopeless war against the Iranian state.

In both Iran and in Turkey, that only leaves a number of dead young men and women whose lost lives cannot be in any way shape or form be deemed to have not been an utter loss.

This pinning for their own state - wil remain an emotional cause for Kurds and they will kill and die for it - just like the Sikhs did for a while until crushed by Indian Army. And just like the case of Sikhs, the issue is not amenable to compromise.

Now - about you people in European Union:

Why don't you put your own words into practice:

When will we see a united and independent Ireland?

When will Italy let go of Tyrol and surrender it back to Austria?

When will Spain grant full and complete independence to Catalonia and Basque country?

When will Hungarians in Romania be granted the right to secede and join their brethren in Hungary?

I think that at the present time, you in Europe and in North America are making things worse by indulging Kurds in their fantasies, using them, and then discarding them; leaving more dead.

You could write to Herren Merkel or the CDU leaders and ask them to please oppose these policies that use Kurds as a wedge - in the name of Christ and Humanity - but I suppose that is too much to ask.

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