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14 October 2019

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JJackson

Apologies to all, I misread the Latest Posts as 'SAA/SDF progress Jubilation!' and consequently had not read TTG's Jubilation post at the time of commenting and was therefore a day behind the rest of you. TTG's post clears up much that I asked, as JP Billen points out.
What is still not very clear is what Erdogan is going to do, he seems to have been shafted by the US & Russia who can cripple his already wobbly economy. Will he back down and withdraw all forces from Syria and how will that play domestically?

Serge

It's not accurate, any group in the Middle East will blame its enemy on Israel. In this case literally every side fighting ISIS (Gov, Iraqi gov, PMU, SDF, Moderate Rebels, Moderate Beheaders) have a different explanation for ISIS, most involving Israel in some fashion. The primary target of ISIS are the Arab regimes, they have no reason to attack Israel. "9 bullets for the traitors, 1 for the enemy".
Israel has been a key player in helping Egypt fight ISIS Sinai:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/03/world/middleeast/israel-airstrikes-sinai-egypt.html
"For more than two years, unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 airstrikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week — and all with the approval of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi."

Besides all the international ISIS attacks averted due to Mossad alerting the respective targets

ancientarcher

Oy vey!

charly

Turkey probably signed the anti nuke treaty so that they could build nukes if the US removed their nukes.


ps. AFAIK Germany, Benelux did that.

Leith

Will Trump's sanctions on Turkey work?

Have sanctions ever worked? Not in the case of Iran and Russia for sure. I'm not familiar with other cases.

But in this case, I think Trump's threats plus various comments from the EU have strengthened Erdogan politically. Undoubtedly frequent commenter Ishmael Zechariah has a better handle on this than I. But from reading English language Turkish news as far as I can tell even Erdo's opposition parties are 'rallying around the flag' for his cross border incursion. Except of course the Kurdish HDP party, many of whom are being arrested for speaking out against the Ironically named Operation Peace Spring. Even the Kemalist CHP party which beat Erdo in many recent urban elections including in Istanbul have caved. Other than the HDP, the only other Turk to speak out against it was Mustafa Akinci the President of Turkish Cyprus, and he is backtracking.

Trump threatened crippling sanctions, but so far they are pretty mild. Turkey doesn't care, they may just get full membership in the Eurasian Economic Union and take all their business there and with China. But in any case, when the Turks pull back because of Russian calm peacemaking efforts, be sure that Trump will take credit for it.

optimax

confusedponderer

Israelis' are still freaked out over Amelek. That happened, if it ever did, so long ago they have forgotten who they were or what they did. Free floating freakout.

charly

The Kurds are political powerful in Germany and to a lesser extent the Netherlands. Those states could flip sides if Turkey goes to far.

CK

Well that link went dead quickly; but all is not lost to dev null.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GfbPYGrpgk should last another few millisecs.

oldman22

What is the basis for Trump's sanctions on Turkey?
"One reasoning given by Trump was the killing of Future Syria Party leader Hervin Khalaf, a former member of the PKK’s Syrian political wing the PYD,” a Turkish official with knowledge of the conversation told MEE."
It seems well known that she was dragged from her car and murdered, but very murky as to who the murders actually were.
"The United Nations said it is likely Turkish-backed rebel group Ahrar al-Sharqiya was responsible."
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/murder-kurdish-politician-prompted-sanctions-trump-said-have-told-erdogan

JP Billen

A Turkish newspaper that is a frequent mouthpiece for Erdogan called her murder "a successful operation".

She was a civil engineer and a politician. General Secretary of the Future Syria Party whose goal was creating bonds between Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Armenian & Assyrian Christians. According to Syrian Analyst Mutlu Civiroglu, she was good at it, she was born and raised in a small city in the far east of Syria that always had a very diverse ethnic and religious population. She was not in the PYD, although she undoubtedly had a PYD blessing in what she was doing.

English Outsider


Article 5 was not invoked in the Falklands, though the UK was attacked. It was considered at the time that the Falklands were out of area.

Would this not automatically be the case here, as the above extracts and your notes on them indicate? This no matter who attacked whom?

confusedponderer

charly,
I took the tram last saturday and it was blocked by a protestation of several hundred kurds with many flags and chants in Deutz protesting the turkish whatever (= offence/ invasion/ confusion/ putatively preventive overdefence/ anti-Sevres/ certainly anti kurdish) operation in Syria.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_S%C3%A8vres
(interesting map there)

In some protestations the last days turkish kiosks and shops here were attacked, turks provoked kurds, kurds provoked turks, some brawls, iirc turkish cars before the turkish ambassy in berlin burned and so on.

Erdogan's project in syria may easily cause some more of that in Germany.

During another kurdish protest some weeks ago turks drove around with cars with symbols of a turkish anti-terror policy police group. Clearly a sign sent.

There are some pro-Erdogan rockers around here, the "Osmanen Germania", which appear to have good contacts to the turkish government under Erdogan. Arms (and drugs) they already have.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmanen_Germania
(in german)

There obviously isn't much love between the turkish government and kurds.

A view at the turkish consulate in Hürth is an indication: Heavy steel fence with a lot of nato barbed wire, lots of cameras, windows in the ground floor protected with slotted (a little light in is allowed) steel covers, etc. pp.

I have served in barracks with arms depots that were less protected.

Saying online that turkish policy against kurds is brutal and occasionally murderous may end up with a surprise arrest during a holiday in Turkey for "supporting terror". I read that some folks down there were arrested as Gülenists for ... having a dollar note.

Turkish gvt close speakers and writers have also said the german airline Lufthansa was responsible for the gezi park protests against Erdogan.

Indeed, regime change is the one big thing big airlines are about. Lufthansa once flew me to Ireland - it is probably no accident that that it is a democratic country.

rho

@English Outsider

Yes, the only way how I see the formal requirements for an invocation of Article 5 being fulfilled is if the Syrian Army or the Kurds would directly attack territory of the Turkish state. Attacks on areas that Turkey or Turkish proxy militias have occupied in Syria are not relevant.

I think Assad and the Kurds are smart enough that they will not attack Turkey on its territory, so I think the whole Article 5 debate is very theoretical. But it is an important reminder of the entanglements that you can potentially find yourself in if your country is a member of a mutual defense pact like NATO.


Babak Makkinejad

Nah, they just know how which buttons of Protestants to push. References to Amalek are always in Netanyahu's English language speeches for the benefit of his American audiences.

Paul Merrell

But recall that Iraq and Syria opened a new crossing at al Qaim a couple of weeks ago. As the connecting roads are improved, al Tanf will quickly lose its strategic value to block transportation between Iran-Iraq and Syria-Lebanon.

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