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27 October 2019

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Fred

Unhinged,

It's not just the story, it is also what details purposely left out.

confusedponderer

Peter,
re: "Erdogan is strongly Islamic and taking Turkey from a secular state back to and Islamic state. Turkey put off as long as possible declaring AQ a terrorist organisation."

I think that's rather accurate. That's likely also a reason for Saudi problems with Erdogan - he is a competitor for the job as a self appointed leader of sunni islam. Whatever not so nice one can say about Erdogan - he comes along more credible as, say, an MbS.

IMO Turkey has put off declaring AQ a terrorist organisation because they handy against Kurds and were also a cheap way to get (stolen) syrian and iraqi oil, and by the way, they helped to get some relatives of Erdogan in the oil theft & robbery & smuggling 6 tax evasion trading business.

As Erdogan once iirc said - democracy is a bus that gets you to your destination, when arived you get out of the bus.

I saw images of the current opposition mayor of Istanbul (may he not be murdered) showing cars that under the former pro-Erdogan mayor had been bought for city employees - 5 & 7 type BMW, E- & S-type mercedes, the more expensive VW (Golf was too cheap) and the like. The cars shown were worth a couple millions.

Well, obviously it is necessary that a city employer checking school food, school book or koran buying gets the necessary and appropiate vehicle for that job - like an S type mercedes or a 5er BMW. On the other hand - rather obviously a lot of school food, school books or koran could be bought for the money spend on the cars. Alas ...

IS folks have been useful in getting Kurdish life miserable in northern Syria. Why throw away such a practical tool unused? Erdogan here is a purely practical man.

To get back to MbS - what's worse, what Erdogan does now in north Syria or the daily bombery, butchery, disease and famine MbS caused in Yemen for a few years?

I think Yemen - but we sadly sort of got used to it. An unpleasant parallel in Yemen there is that MbS also used and supported many islamist types to miserable Houthi and Shia days and nights.

Islamists are the swiss knifes for people like MbS and Erdogan. Well, with a swiss knife one can also cut himself. Overusing it increases that risk.

Anon

The snake has no head only a tale.

Peter AU 1

Sat pics on google maps marked as 2019 are, apparently older and the veiw of the site I could see was the building and compound under construction.
Early morning video also showed the site with rubble untouched. Rubble partially pushed back perhaps mid morning or mid day and pics and video from later in the day show the partially cleared ruble and tyre marks. No picks or video show a wheel loader or any other machinery at the site (apart from a small truck), though I did run onto one video showing a wheel loader working in the distance and claimed to be clearing the site.

The Beaver

Walrus

as of tonight:

the new Caliph Isis "Sheik Abdul Aziz Salam Al Kurashi", called "Professor".

Leith

Is it a snake? Or a multi-headed hydra? Is the next guy worse? Outside of Syria and Iraq here is a list of other known ISIS provinces: Libya, Sinai, Yemen, Algeria, Khorasan, West Africa, Central Africa, Caucasus, Somalia.

And then of course there are the two puppeteers behind the various heads of the snake: Erdogan and MbS.

JP Billen

The SDF is a big tent. Those smugglers were Raqqa Arabs, not Kurds. They are the same family or clan from Raqqa that used to buy oil from ISIS Daeshis and sell it to Erdogan's son-in-law.

Leith

You may be right Mina. Dirty underwear? How do you say 'laundress' in Arabic? But how did she get a blood sample? No shaving nicks for sure.

Jim Ticehurst

Not Bagged...Not Tagged...and somewhere in the World...A Cat will gag on Fish Flavored Cat Food..

The Twisted Genius

Jim, what the hell are you talking about?

CK

A cynic would note that neither Osama who supposedly swims with the fishes so that no martyr's memorial to him could be made nor Al-Baghdadi who decorates the walls of some tunnel in Idlib will ever be autopsied, bagged or tagged. We will just have to take their words for what happened just like we did when Seal Team 6's chopper was taken out a few months after Osama was. Not that an autopsy is really any guarantee of truth or even truthiness, one only has to consider Jeffrey Epstein.

Leith

Astana meeting today with ministerial reps from Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

Will Lavrov confront the Turks about their attacks against SAA forces south of Ras al-Ayn? And executing an SAA POW? And Turkish fire wounding a Russian MP?

https://twitter.com/WithinSyriaBlog/status/1189137646058127362

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/291020191

Or will he ask why al-Baghdadi was hiding five clicks from the Turkish border and waiting on transport to the safety of Turkey and Erdogan?

Jim Ticehurst

TTG...My Ancestors were Irish Fishermen...I couldn't help Myself..

Jane

The planes took off from Erbil. The snitch was a Syrian Kurd very close to Baghdadi for some time. Whether he reported to the PYD or KRG or directly to the US as one of our assets, I have no idea. It reminds me of the Sufi Rock Stars from the Republican Guard who provided the info on Saddam's position at one point, but he had just left when we started bombing. I hope this doesn't turn into a massacre of Kurdish jihadis. By the president's own speech, he had alerted the Russians and through them, what was coming down, so they should stand down. He also praised the Syrian Kurds and Turkey, so everyone got a piece of the pie. The last thing I think our heroes would do would be to entrust the Turks of anything before it was over.

turcopolier

Jane
Erbil is a hell of a long way to herd a lot of helicopters. Ground or air refueling would be necessary. I have my doubts about Erbil. This may be a cover story to protect Turkish political sensitivities. Do you have actual information?

Leith

The Erbil launch story comes from a Time magazine article. But it is BS.

Military Times claims it was rehearsed in Erbil and launched from Asad Airbase in Anbar. Or some elements possibly launched from somewhere within NE Syria. Asad Airbase is still too far at 700 to 800 miles round trip. All those birds are capable of refueling during flight, but that would have been a gaggle and a tip-off. Maybe they had some forward refueling point within Syria. The CH-47s could possibly have done it with extended range fuel tanks in their cargo bay, but not the smaller helos.

Leith

Oops! Here's the Military Times link:

https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2019/10/28/american-commando-raid-to-kill-al-baghdadi-was-launched-from-al-asad-airbase-rehearsals-conducted-in-erbil/

The Twisted Genius

Leith, just listened to some Marine General give a briefing on the raid. He said the raid was about an hour flight time away from the target and launched from a base in Syria. Given the lower speed of NOE and low level flying, I think the final flight used a FAARP located in a remote area somewhere outside of Raqqa, maybe far, far outside. I was involved in establishing and running remote FAARPs for the 160th. It's a common procedure.

Leith

TTG, makes sense to me. Even the 47s with extended fuel tanks would have been at the limit of their range envelope if they had launch from Asad Airbase without refueling. It would have been damn hairy though. The SAA deployed to Tabqa and Raqqa two weeks ago. And to get to Barisha they would have had to overfly either SAA or Turkish controlled areas, and/or sneak by Russian, Iranian, & Turkish observation points.

That briefer I believe was CENTCOM Commander, General McKenzie.

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