“The United States and several allies are likely to shortly endorse a replacement for Annan"
Meet the ringmaster for the UN circus
Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi to replace Kofi Annan as mediator on Syria
Susan Rice :
Rice said that the US is willing to consider an alternative UN presence in Syria, stating that there was no point renewing the observer mission as there was no longer a ceasefire for the monitors to observe.
"That portion of UN activity is not able to function, so that will not continue as far as we are concerned," she told reporters, as quoted by Reuters. "We would certainly be willing to entertain other conceptions of a UN presence.”
"There will be a country team, there will be a humanitarian presence, and perhaps there will be recommendations that are more political in nature that we can consider favorably."
Earlier this month it had been reported that rebels were using tanks they had captured from the Syrian military. However DEBKA is claiming something entirely new. Is it entirely true?
“The Syrian rebels’ Western and Arab sponsors have ratcheted up their military assistance by giving them tanks, 20 Russian-made T-62 tanks from Libya, debkafile reports. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the nod for the transfer to the rebels of their first heavy weapons during her brief visit to Istanbul Saturday, Aug. 13, as the prelude to the next step of the war. Qatar is paying for the tanks.”
They could use the tanks to gain ground for a no fly zone, however, that appears on the backburner
"We have planned for a number of contingencies that could take place and one of those possible contingencies is developing a no-fly zone. But we've also pointed out difficulties in being able to implement that," Panetta said. "It's not on the front burner as far as I know."
DEBKA suggests an alternative use for the bulldozers
Sources in Ankara report that Turkey has drawn up plans for carving out those safe havens between 5 and 25 kilometers deep inside Syrian territory and on its borders with Turkey and Iraq. Ankara is concerned less with the military aspects of those safe zones than with using them to relieve Turkey of the burden of hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians who have fled and continue to flee across the border into Turkey as destitute refugees.
Maybe? Considering this news reported yesterday
Reports say Turkish police have clashed with Syrians seeking shelter at an area in Turkey’s southern province, Hatay, located close to the Syrian border.Lets speak of the Kurds. Having spoken of them on multiple occasions since the destabilization of Syria began.....
Similar incidents have also been reported in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa near the Syrian border over the past few days.
At least seven Syrians were injured in a similar confrontation in Sanliurfa in July.
On July 25, a Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ankara would close Turkey’s border crossings with Syria until further notice.
Kurdish aspirations may play a role in why the FSA went into Aleppo (The FSA controlled, trained etc in and by Turkey)
"The battle for both the regime and the opposition has taken on a multidimensional strategic aspect"
The descent of the Free Syrian Army on Aleppo is tactically and strategically motivated.
Heavy weaponry from Turkey (tanks?) reportedly has already begun to be transported to the rebels in Aleppo, signifying that the attack on the city was no less a Turkish than a rebel decision.
The move against Aleppo also has been taken with two objectives in mind for the Turks and the rebels. Seizing Aleppo, besides pushing back or forcing the regime's forces into submission, affords the Turkish government a say over the future of the Kurdish Qamishli area in northeast Syria and helps to prevent irredentist stirrings in the Turkish Hatay province in which a significant number of minorities reside. Given that the Kurds of Qamishli have refused to join the Syrian National Council yet claim opposition to the regime, Turkey has grown concerned about a future autonomous Kurdish enclave along its border.
This strategic maneuver by the Turks, however, has been affected by two misgivings, prolonging the battle for Aleppo at the expense of a great loss in property and lives as well as creating circumstances under which unintended consequences could alter the makeup of power within the opposition.(?) Turkey has supported the Muslim Brotherhood within the Syrian National Council and has exerted significant influence over the decisions and movements of the Free Syrian Army, whose main bases are located in Turkey and alongside the Syrian-Turkish border.
Aleppo also has taken on a strategic dimension for Ankara and the rebels. Capturing the city has become essential not only to deal a severe blow to the regime but also to check potential irredentist and hostile actions close to Turkish restive areas.
Can't help but notice the oil, gas and business industry is considering the creation of Kurdistan as a real possibility. This should tell us quite a bit!
Double Dealing in Iraq and Syria: The Kurdish Independence Gamble
Adding Syria to the Baghdad-Irbil equation makes for a rather interesting geopolitical sum, but there is no clear winner emerging just yet as everyone from international oil companies, Western governments, Turkey and the Syrian regime attempts to buy Kurdish patronage with promises of independence.
Oil workers in Iraqi Kurdistan where the French oil company Total signed contracts for exploration with the regional authorities
Of the world’s top nine oil companies, three have recently signed contracts within the Kurdish region.
Gazprom, the Russian mega-company that is partly overseen by the government, signed a deal for Kurdish oil at the beginning of August. Exxon Mobile, who is the world number four, set off a firestorm in June when it signed its exploratory contract. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, warned that the oil deal could lead to war and the disintegration of the current Iraqi state and finally, Chevron.
One more just to bring the point home-
Output in this region bordering Turkey, Syria and Iran is an on-off trickle for now in global terms but, given the right investment and an export route, it could reach 1 million barrels per day (mbpd) by 2014, and 2 million five years later, according to Ashti Hawrami, the KRG natural resources minister.
An independent Kurdistan could be a petrol giant. Just a thought. Maybe one Saudi Arabia has yet to consider? Who knows?