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09 October 2019


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How many votes will that cost this election? How many will your fictional Kurdish hero gain you?



Means what?

JP Billen


Thanks for that link to Gurcan's notes on Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch.

I ma wondering if the Turks are over-extended? They have troops in Idlib, Afrin, ES area, and Iraq plus all along those sections of border. Plus they are engaged with the PKK in eastern Turkey. Have they moved armour and artillery from those areas to the current scrap along the NE Syrian border? There are also rumors they are reinforcing northern Cyprus and have TAF commitments to protect their oil drilling in that area.

different clue

Since the Kurds are divided into several minority populations in several countries by several borders, could this saying " One step, one border, one country at a time . . . " be referring to the vain-in-retrospect hope that "Iraqi" Kurds had that a " Free IraKurdistan" would be the nucleus around which would crystallize all the other "little Kurdistans" into One Greatest Ever Kurdish Republic?

JP Billen

That Israeli connection is bogus agitprop. It was Israel that provided Turkey with support against the PKK within Turkey.

By the way, Kurds fought with the Palestinians in Lebanon against the Israeli invasion.



Perhaps folks should take the time to read our old friend Alan.


Barbara Ann


I thank you for that link to Alan Farrell's quiet cri de coeur. I would encourage everyone here to read it.

Gabriel Uriarte

Re over-extension, very unlikely. I do think this *can be* a factor, in that, even with myriads of bashi-bazouks, the Turkish military can probably only manage one limited advance at a time, but I don't see how this would stop anything they have a mind to do know.

Think about it this way: how many tanks or artillery barrels do you think the TSK really needs in Afrin, Iraq, or even the Turkish SE (incidentally, for a fantastic real-time tracker and mapper of where the actual "PKK" activity is happening at the moment, so look up this, https://www.crisisgroup.org/content/turkeys-pkk-conflict-visual-explainer ). News about Cyprus I'd dismiss entirely: who is going to "move" on Turkey not having forces there. Remember that the fact that only a small minority of Turkish forces combat capable doesn't mean that very large 90-percent rump is useless: if you're afraid about Cyprus or islets involving that gas thing, just send some of those undeployable conscripts units there (think of them like the Berlin Brigade for the US).

Back to strategies, what the Turks have already done is massively destabilizing and does not require occupation by their auxilliaries of "key" positions on east-east highways. (BTW, they've pretty bad at media management, but they're getting better: purely from looking at the recent footage, I think they grasped that all those images of their bashi-bazouks looting Afrin not great PR, so they're try to suppress those, perhaps even by not giving the b-b's even the chance to occupy any important place.) Most of the major towns (and all of the border villages) are now empty of civilians. Tons of people have moved . . . somewhere which will necessarily be makeshift, piss people off, require extraordinary relief efforts many actors will be in a position to rat-fuck, etc. . Huge chunks of the urban and local communities of "Rojava", to put this another way, have been made unlivable and all it took was for Turkey to express its opinion with indiscriminate artillery fire and the suggestion they and their jihadi friends might move in.

In a way, the Turkish master-stroke would be not to invade at all: just demonstrate that, whenever they want, they can make a huge percentage of the Turkish population self-relocate into becoming IDPs. That will certainly be "sobering" to people who think that having a traffic-police academy in Kobani is a sign of unalterable local autonomy. '

This of course not the end of it (Erdogan has too much political capital running on this), but I wanted to highlight that, imho, an important objective of the Turkish offensive has already been achieved.


The oilfields may be useful to Syria, but they are not why the United States is working so hard to destabilize the country.

That is the dopey conspiracy theory that I was referring to.


One might think that the Kurds having "put their faith" in the honeyed words of US politicians and CIA agents since the 60's would have wised up a wee bit. Three generations and they still think the USA is going to carve up Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria to give them a homeland. Either terminally stupid or running a sweet con on the gullible in the US media.
Or it just might be part of the Kurd character. None of their neighbours like them.


Pakistan announces support for Turkey. Shift in Pakistan from Saudi axis to Qatar? Or am I looking too much into it.

Barbara Ann


In case you haven't seen it, this article (written at the end of last year) looks very useful in helping to understand why Turkey is focusing on Tal Abyad. It describes the Arab and Turkmen tribal composition in the area, right down to clan loyalties. The author finishes with this rather prescient looking forecast:

Currently, Arab refugees from Tal Abyad are keen to return to the district by force with Turkey’s help. Many of them have trained in Turkish military camps in Sanliurfa and Akcakale, the border town nearest Tal Abyad. These young trainees may be used as the vanguard to “liberate” the district, similar to how the Turkish army used proxies when invading the Kurdish district of Afrin in northwest Syria. This strategy has an even better chance of succeeding (and avoiding international outcry) in Tal Abyad because the majority of the population is Arab, unlike in Afrin where Kurds are more numerous.
I note news of some tribe/clan defections from the SDF already. Might the Turks head for Ayn Issa to split the Kobane & Jazira cantons (which the SDF linked up back in 2015)? I'd have thought Kobane should be easier to swallow up once the M4 is cut.


JP Billen

Actually, many Armenian & Assyrian Christian neighbours of the Kurds in both Iraq and Syria do like them. And a few Arab tribes also, for instance the Shammar who have been allied with them for generations.

In Erdogan's Turkey they are not liked. And have been jailed, tortured, or murdered for speaking the Kurdish language, or singing Kurdish songs, or belonging to the peaceful HDP political party.

JP Billen

ISIS claims responsibility for VBIED car bomb in Qamishli City earlier today. Killed three civilians and injured nine. This time a restaurant.

In July they bombed the Syrian Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in Qamishli. Injuring 12. A local said that ISIS had mistimed the explosion as it would have killed sores of worshipers if it had gone off at the end of vespers a few minutes later.


When looking on the chess board pay a bit of attention to the 1000 U.S. troops
relocating to Saudi Arabia.

JP Billen


Special Forces till there at 4:16 eastern time, and fired on by Turkish artillery (
today. Maybe mistakenly? Or maybe a message.


JP Billen


No direct hit. But rounds landed within 225 yards from US observation post, outside the buffer zone. That US outpost had been declared U.S. And as confirmed by SECDEF and CJCS, the Turks knows all of our locations down to the precise grid coordinate.

Le Renard Subtil

Try 3000


JP Billen,
re the no direct hit. I have that a three line rule of thumb for instances like this:

Once is perhaps coincidence.
Twice is probably negligent.
Three times is certainly enemy action.

Erdo is once again demanding that he must not ever be criticised, demands a lot of EU money and threatens to let loose another flood of refugees on Europe (especially Greece) if he doesn't get that money yesterday. What a ... frenemy.

The Beaver

There was not only an observation post for the US SF on Mishtenur hill in Kobani.
The French SF - Operation Chamal were also nearby . Two of them got injured .

The Beaver

@ TTG ( please publish ONLY if you think it is OK)


What TFSA are doing ?

JP Billen

Confused Ponderer, a half mile error in targeting seems unlikely if they were using the new T55 Firtinas that IZ claimed. Ditto for the recently overhauled M52T. So the question is: was this a message direct from Erdodog or Hulusi, or from a battery commander with connections to the Gray Wolves?

Beaver, a spokesman from the Ministère des Armées has said no French troops were wounded in the incident.

The Twisted Genius

The Beaver, it's not only OK, but speaks to the heart of what's going on. Turkey has been supporting jihadis for years no matter what they call themselves. Once again, the US is complicit in this support to terrorism. We deliberately used jihadis in an attempt to overthrow Assad and now we are deliberately allowing Turkey to use them to eradicate the Rojava Kurds.

JP Billen

Thanks Gabriel. I see your point on over-extension or lack of it, and also on Erdo's objectives.

Re the master stroke of not invading at all. It may be too late for that. Although the invasion is mostly bash-bazouks, there are also TKK tanks, BMP types, an AAA vehicles in the zone. Would Hulusi give those to the TSO or TFSA? Plus I don't see the TKK staying north of the border since the SDF has conducted mortar attacks into Turkey itself in the last day or two.

What is your opinion on the Mashtenour Hill incident - incompetence or a message?

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