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09 October 2019


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The grand bargain is about Eretz Israel. The Yom Kippur invasion is another step in the eventual partition of Syria. Turkey tries to halt the ceding of Syrian turf to Kurds for their eventual state. (No Fly Zone in Iraq after Persian Gulf War was the model, to be attempted in N.E Syria; "Rojava".) Erdogan thinks he can preempt that move & absorb that turf into Turkey. But redrawing those borders will backfire on him. This is not annexable Hatay or northern Cyprus. Greater Kurdistan has long been planned as "Little Israel" or Israel East, to be a faux rump state of Israel once its final borders of Nile to Efrat are achieved. I was in Irbil for the 2017 referendum vote of independence and this long term 'plan' was spoken of by many average Kurds on the streets whom I spoke to. "One step, one border, one country at a time..." Just passing on what I heard

Paul Merrell

@ "The political pressure to not abandon the Kurds is just too great."

I'm not so sure the pressure is all that great. We're heading into election season and voting to continue a foreign war could pose an electability problem for some candidates.


And when did he arm them? If my memory serves me right Erdogan facilitated the movement of Peshmerga through Turkey to Kobane, these reinforcements being the true gamebreaker in the siege of Kobane. For IMO the best references on "who armed" the IS:
This Dispatch is the result of field investigations during the initial phases of the assault on IS forces in eastern Mosul. It provides clear evidence of IS ability to manufacture weapons on an industrial scale, with output running into the tens of thousands.
This report is the result of more than three years of field investigation into Islamic State supply chains. It presents an analysis of more than 40,000 items recovered from the group between 2014 and 2017. These items encompass weapons, ammunition, and the traceable components and chemical precursors used by the group to manufacture improvised explosive devices.

Barbara Ann
"My guess is that SAA and Russian forces will cross the Euphrates to prevent Turkish and jihadi forces from retaking any oilfields"

I agree that getting the US out of Syria is probably the primary objective for all concerned - including DJT. Russia, Turkey, Iran and the SAG all want to achieve this and must realize that the Kurds reconciling with Damascus is the only realistic way they can force the US out completely - i.e. with the "SDF" inviting the SAA across the river. I'd expect any premature move ahead of that to be met with force, as before. The neocons will surely fight tooth and nail to prevent this and it remains to be seen whether the delusional Kurdish leadership (the real betrayers here) will actually do more than "consider" this course of action. So far they seem perfectly willing to lead their people to oblivion.

Christian J Chuba

I have a different cynical take on the Syrian oil field issue.

Once the SAA finally secures Idlib (can't happen soon enough), the SAR will return look to the east to win back the stolen oil fields. They will first attempt reconciliation but resort to force if necessary.

In Washington, something primal will kick in, the idea of the Syrian 'regime' ousting the SDF to reclaim their own oil fields will boil our blood. It's one thing to allow Turkey to attack the SDF but Damascus, never. I'm not saying that we will fight for the Kurds then, just saying that there will be more outrage, definitely more sanctions and maybe even another cruise missile attack. This will be a sign of our insanity that we are now conditioned to detest the idea of a sovereign country reclaiming their own territory.

This is speculation on my part but if past is prologue, the Turkish invasion of Afrin, eh, but the SAA liberation of Aleppo was the crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (and Al Qaeda was there).



NATO ally Turkey is attacking the Kurds. Perhaps Trump should call for kicking them out of NATO. Maybe Sciff can add this, along with to the uncovering Biden's bribes, to the reasons he should be impeached.



Don't you remember Obama and his officials trotting out the great freedom fighter to rally all those refugees to fight for freedom? She was a regular George Washington.

Diana C

Having watched as many of my high School classmates went off to Vietnam and then followed all the news after Desert Storm, I am just hoping that somehow all these angry people will figure out a way to live in peace before my precious little grandsons grow old enough to be considered as possible soldiers.

I just wonder what this current time in the ME would have looked like if the secular government set up by Kamal Ataturk had not been overthrown by Erdogan. Was it that the Turkish people just could not figure out how to be "non-religous," (as my daughter-in-law used to describe her family) and live and prosper in a society without control by a religious leader?


What is an SF soldier doing talking to the media? Since when is that permitted?

This smells fishy … DOD propaganda?


Biden and the pickle heads in the Congress who are now crying foul, weren't' saying a peep back in the late 70, through the 80s, and into the 90s before and after Desert Storm and Ops Iraq Freedom, when the Turks were slaughtering Kurd villages and murdering innocent Kurd women and children. We as U.S. Military were prohibited at that time from the Top all the way down the chain, from any intervention on our part on behalf of the Kurds because Turkey was our 'NATO Ally', and we 'mustn't piss our NATO Ally off' by stopping their Turk carnage against the Kurds.

I was pissed then, and I'm still pissed now. I understand TTG and your SF buddy's feelings, I feel ya. Couldn't do a damn thing then, can't do a damn thing now unless one is pissed off enough to create an international incident and deal with the Chain's repercussions that would surly follow.

Turmp said the truth when he said their Hatfield-McCoy's fude has been a centuries running one.



Hey! This is what we do! Screw your buddies ought to be a new national motto.

Barbara Ann


Erdogan is convinced the US tried to regime change him on July 15th 2016 and a third motive does seem to be to prevent the US creating the State of Rojava. Given the supposed admission by an NSC official in Newsweek's article that "..it would be better for the United States to support a Kurdish nation across Turkey, Syria and Iraq" the threat seems real enough. Which of the 3 is the real driving force is known only in the Sultan's mind I guess.



One guy at Normandy? We had more Germans in our army then. Got any more century old axes to grind to prove Trump is to blame and don't mention it is the Turkish government doing the invading this time.

ted richard

her bio


this report is a light version of greta thunebergs over the top all emotion, all the time UN address meant to appeal to your primitive brain not its higher rational faculties. jennifer whether she is or not makes the perfect noc in service to inflame readers to choose a side which is mostly none of their business to begin with.

be skeptical!

Steve G

Are we not following Lord Palmerston’s maxim
“Nations have no permanent friends or allies
They only have permanent interests” ?
The basis for Henry Kissinger’s Realpolitik.


My couple of speculative cents:

I work as a completely commercial data analyst. We have a thing where, when we make predictions, how much of our salaries we would be willing to bet on these being true. So I am just going to include this here.

-Russias current abeyance is probably a classical "sell erdogan enough rope and he will hang himself" exercise. It would be fairly expensive for Russia to prevent it anyway. (confidence, quite high. quite higher meaning I am willing to bet one of my monthly salaries on it).

- Russia probably managed to get something promised in return for it, wether the turks will deliver on "it" is a completely different question. (confidence, reasonably high, willing to bet a weekly salary).

-Iran prefers turkey in northern syria over the US in northern syria (confidence, quite high, monthly salary bet).

-Screwing the Kurds is like a rite of passage for everyone in this area and surprised essentially noone other then the usual morons (confidence so high that its irrelevant, noone with more then 2 braincells would take a bet against it).



There is a natural tendency for case officers to "fall in love" with their agents and for Green Berets to "fall in love with" the locals that that they are training or whatever. This tendency must be resisted, because, in the end you represent the US government and you ain't really there to help the locals. You are there to carry out the foreign policy of the US whatever that might be. Does that hurt? You bet it does and the better you are at your job, the more it hurts. David Crist in his book "The Twilight War" wrote that some people thought I was too hard and cynical to ever be a TRUE Arabist. I am glad they thought that.


I am sick of dopey conspiracy theories that the war in Syria is really about "oilfields" or a chimerical pipeline.

The oilfields in Syria are of no consequence. Besides, it's not like Syria would not gladly sell oil for dollars or the United States does not buy oil from far more odious regimes.

Turning a country into a war zone like Libya or Iraq means that country would be a lousy place to park big, expensive, vulnerable, immobile infrastructure such as a pipeline, where you have to constantly pay off every local warlord and malcontent not to attack it. Besides, Syria would gladly allow a pipeline to pass through its territory in exchange for transit fees.

The war in Syria is about our ostensible client states, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulfie tyrannies, and Israel.

Saudi Arabia wants to turn Syria into a wahabbi dependency, a poorer mini-me.

Israel objects to the fact that Syria exists.


I believe that the British were careful not to let their agents "go native", that is to start identifying too strongly with the people they were supposed to work with or govern.

That is why.

Barbara Ann

Only people who lack humanity find the urge to fall in love easy to resist. Hurt it should. You (and TTG) very obviously do not fall into this category and it is all the more impressive that you are thought of as hard and cynical in some circles - a mark of professionalism.



Funny that you initially object to my "dopey conspiracy theory" then reinforce it in your last sentences.

YES! It's not a lot of oil by world standards, but it is more than sufficient for Syria and thus very important given that they are under sanctions and have a decimated economy.

In case you haven't noticed, the 'Assad must go!' Coalition (which includes USA client states and assorted lackeys and sympathizers) is engaged in an effort to starve Syria of resources - including oil and reconstruction funds.


Trump has announced a pull-back (from the Syrian-Turk border) NOT a "pull-out".

MSM is (deliberately) confusing/conflating Trump's rhetoric and reality.


I agree with TTG 100%. I think he is perceptive in saying this may be part of a plan to get the US out of Syria, and I think he is dead on is saying that we will have to see how it plays out before we can understand it.


Thanks for those links. Both of them show IS had access to Turkish weapons and ammo or Turkish components for their manufacture of weapons. It may or may not have been an overt policy of Turkey to arm ISIS. But at the least the MIT, and some Gray Wolves in the TKK encouraged it. And Erdogan looked the other way.

Erdogan did allow a small Iraqi Peshmerga unit to travel through Turkish territory to help relieve the siege of Kobane. He did it at the insistence of both the US and the Barzanis in Iraqi Kurdistan, who had long been cooperating with him against PKK bases in the northern Iraqi mountains. I would not call those 150 Pesh the gamebreaker. What was much more important was the truckloads of ammunition they provided to the YPG that they secretly smuggled through Turkey a week or so after they first arrived.



At least that one (or more?) Kurdish-American boy at Normandy didn't claim five draft deferments.

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