Thursday, August 16, 2012

A new UN ringmaster for Syria. Iraq & Turkey and how about Kurdistan?

Recall the mention here of a replacement for Annan?
“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."

How to interpret that!?

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.

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.
Lets speak of the Kurds. Having spoken of them on multiple occasions since the destabilization of Syria began.....

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.

Iraq angered by Kurdish deal with French Total

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.

France's Total was only the latest.
 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-

Oil's big players raise the stakes in Iraqi Kurdistan

  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?


  1. Hey all
    be back to answer/read previous comments tomorrow

    1. Hi Penny!

      I interpret the Lakhdar Brahimi appointment as a sign the rebel's Aleppo gambit has failed. They will now try to do Kofi Annan post Baba Amr-like ceasefire to allow the rebels to withdraw, rearm and reinforce for another big attack. We can only hope Syria will not bite and the Russians wont try to pressure them to.

    2. Gazprom was latest to do deal in Kurdistan which is probably more telling than the French, who mind you are in the thick of it in Uganda/Kenya/South Sudan via LSE listed Tullow


      "Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN), China's Cnooc Ltd. (CEO) and French oil company Total SA (TOT) could invest up to $5 billion building pipelines that would form a regional oil export hub to transport crude discovered in Uganda and Kenya to world markets, Tullow said Wednesday. "

      Ground troops for Syria?
      The United States and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require tens of thousands of ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of President Bashar Assad's government, according to U.S. and diplomatic officials.

      But: Panetta ruled that out yesterday & a no fly zone?

      "Despite expectations, Washington is not likely to change its non-interventionist Syrian policy even after the presidential election, according to the top American diplomat in Ankara, who said “no one [in the U.S.] is eager to send our soldiers to a foreign country or to get involved in a civil war.”"

      Obama signs order for greater rebel assistance...

      The growing Afghanization of Syria...complete with Stingers

      Syrian opposition fighters acquire Stinger missiles: sources..

      Meanwhile, the tensions in Iraq continue to escalate as the softening up of Shiites around Baghdad accelerates...

      Recall, July Iraq deadliest month

      & AQ back active in Iraq

      Remeber when U.S moved to withdraw troops from Iraq weeks ahead of schedule

    3. Lysander:
      From what I read the Alepppo fighting is still ongoing
      Has it failed?
      I read that the "rebel" brand fighters have attempted to take the airport in Aleppo
      Not sure what is ongoing today?
      Gotta play catchup!

    4. Anonymous

      "Remeber when U.S moved to withdraw troops from Iraq weeks ahead of schedule"

      I do. Thinking there is some speculation here on the blog on why and where they went. One thought was that they had moved some of them to Jordan.

  2. A good slave does his master's bidding without having to be asked.

    "The United Kingdom does not recognize the principle of diplomatic asylum," British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters Thursday. "There is no ... threat here to storm the embassy. We are talking about an Act of Parliament in this country which stresses that it must be used in full conformity with international law."

    thats Hague talking...after Libya, the man has zero credibility.He is what 'democracies' seem to install in office.

    when Hague is finally on the run, and flees to an embassy, remind him he said: The United Kingdom does not recognize the principle of diplomatic asylum,"

    1. Laws applied to the masses never apply to the elites asses

  3. Hi Pen. The Chinese have been all over Algeria for years, so this might be a way for China to indirectly steer the "solution" via the Algerian proxy.

    1. Thanks AP, was unaware of China in Algeria.
      This should be interesting

  4. Good post and good job connecting the dots Penny.

    I think the Greater Kurdistan option is possible.

    1. thanks wwm
      It seems the oil and gas industry is watching the Kurd issue.
      The greater Kurdistan option is possible, but, what does Turkey have to gain from that. Kurds claim about a third of Turkey and approximately 10 percent or less of Syria


    1. nice picture

      His constituents should be darn proud

  6. Russian embassy in UK attacked by vandals

    Aug 17, 2012

    Russia’s embassy in London has been attacked by vandals chanting anti-Syrian slogans, while the British police took no measures to stop the violence or detain the attackers.

    According to the reports, the Consular Section is severely damaged; but there has been no report of embassy staff being hurt.

    The reportys come as 40 protestors masked in balaclavas, targeted the embassy which is located in an upscale part of London.

    A spokesman for the Russian embassy said a group of protestors, who were chanting anti-Assad government slogans, attacked the building in the middle of the night, throwing stones and smashing windows.

    He said, "The police who arrived at the scene regretfully did not take any measures to stop the unsanctioned protest and detain the attackers,"

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused London police of not taking measures to stop any of the violence or vandalizing of the embassy’s building.

    The Foreign Ministry has announced the attack as one more case of the principal of inviolability of diplomatic nations.

    This has not been the first time the Russian Embassy in London was attacked this year. The diplomatic mission said that the consulate would remain closed until Friday noon due to the attack.

    The Metropolitan Police of London refused to comment on the attack.

    Moreover, Russia Today (RT), the Russian English language news channel, has been subject to a DDoS attack by a group who call themselves Antileaks in an apparent protest at their support for the renegade Australian, Julian Assange.

    Assange has been granted political asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, which is delaying his extradition to Sweden to answer claims of sexually assaulting two women.

    1. It's called selective attention.
      They (the Police) were all at the Ecuador Embassy making sure Julian Assange doesn't get away. :-)

      They want to Raid an Embassy to get someone who has embarrassed them with wiki-leaks, ditto with Russian embassy as Russia wont play along with the rape of Syria. Watch out China Embassy is next...



    2. Hi Brian.

      Ecuadorean Embassy Speech

      by craig on Aug 19th in Uncategorized
      .... last Paragraph
      I could not help but be struck by the ridiculously excessive police presence – hundreds and hundreds of policemen everywhere. I don’t think that the concept of freedom of information can be killed off by the extreme intimidation of a single man, but by Heavens, Hague and Cameron are going to try.


    3. yes ive noted the excess police presence myself...its like siege warfare....if the keep this up the UK regime will be thrown out for abuse of public monies...this is where UK activists can work: by targeting this excess and make it more public as well sa the expense

    4. The Assange issue is really fitting the distraction description

  7. Cleansing Saladin Neighborhood in Aleppo From Turkey's FSA Terrorists
    "their beards like brooms" "we never saw such freaks before"

    Syrian TV tours Saladin with Syrian Army interviews residents returning to the neighborhood after cleansing it from terrorists:

    has english subtitles

  8. shows us his real alllegience is to the israeli war machine

  9. Authors and Producers Behind the Blueprint for the Syrian Drama

  10. Compare and contrast: Putin and islam vs the FSA and christianity:
    Syria 24 English
    19 minutes ago
    #Russia -President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russia’s Moslems on the coming feast of Uraza Bairam, which starts today at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

    Putin praised the Moslem believers’ contribution to the advancement of Russia’s ethnic and cultural traditions. He mentioned the growing number of mosques being built and the development of the existing system of Islamic education.

    The President wished all members of Russia’s Moslem community the best of everything and every success in all the good things they do.


  11. Hi penny
    Interesting and informative piece from Aust complete with some background to 2010 and 2011


  12. a dodgy priest attacks Mother Agnes....

    Syrian Liberal @SyrianLiberal1
    It would be great if Fr Paolo could tell us why the Jesuit Order in Damascus published a statement to distance itself from his stance. #PT

    18 Aug Syrian Liberal @SyrianLiberal1
    Father Paolo dall'Oglio accuses Mother Agnes of peddling 'regime lies' about crisis in #Syria … via @IrishTimes
    so who is this father Paolo serving?.....see below!
    (photo from a propaganda anti-gov page)

    1. Father Paolo is full of it
      I am aware of him.
      He converted a christian church into a mosque REALLY a safe haven to commit terrorism on Syria

      Who is he serving? NATO not god

  13. Hi Penny

    I guess you will hear very soon the latest news about how intelligence services operating out of Cyprus are responsible for sending intel to the Americans and Turks...effectively killing people!

    Here is a link to an online report written by a Cypriot journalist and recently updated, which outlines what the Brits are really doing in Cyprus, the history and so on. Basically what I've told people already!

    It was published in part by


  14. oops. Something wrong with that link. Try this one...

    1. Thanks Marie

      Printing the pdf to read away from the computer

  15. Well I can see my reading is cut out for me!!
    Thanks to you all
    Having a very busy weekend with the family
    And the yard and the garden
    What can I say?

    Making a quick post of an interview Sergei Lavrov did
    Seems interesting, regarding the Geneva meeting held previously
    (In the few minutes I have taken to finally sit down and read some news)