Saturday, October 29, 2016

Allies Resist US Plan to Attack Raqqa?? What's Going On Here???

I've noticed the past week or so... Russia is not flying over Aleppo. Turkey is not flying over Syria.

Straight up, I don't believe Turkey is not flying because of warnings from Syria. Nor do I believe that Russia was unaware of the airstrikes made against the kurdish militias on syrian territory- Putin and Erdogan were talking immediately preceding the airstrikes.
 A news story was making the rounds about some 'close encounter' between a Russian and US plane over Syria, BUT, it was old news 

 Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeff Harrigan said the incident happened on Oct. 17 when a Russian jet was escorting a larger spy plane and came to “inside of half a mile” of the American aircraft, AFP reports.
Making the 'close encounter' news a total distraction.

To make matters even more curious this news from VOA caught my attention:

 Allies Resist US Plan to Attack Raqqa

 Apparently it's not just the Turks that are opposing the move on Raqqa and the use of PKK/YPG as proxies. Europe is less then enamored with the idea. So, what's really going on at this time? 
 A proposed U.S.-backed offensive on the Islamic State terror group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa is encountering problems, because Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists the Syrian-Kurdish YPG — the only militia currently up to the task — can play no part.
America’s European allies also are raising objections and expressing strong skepticism about any major role for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG. They fear that having the Kurds in the vanguard of an assault on Raqqa, historically a predominantly Arab city, would fuel sectarian rivalries.
Speaking to the news channel France 24, Britain’s defense secretary, Michael Fallon, warned that using anything but an Arab force would court rejection by the Sunni Arab residents of Raqqa. He said the liberation of the city would have to be done by an “essentially Arab” force.
“Otherwise,” he warned, “the liberation is not going to be welcomed by the people of Raqqa” and would worsen tensions between Arabs and Kurds.
I've mentioned several times already the Kurds are not an effective fighting force, you're just supposed to believe that is true. The Kurdish militias have benefited from US airpower and the fact that ISIS always melts away- Everywhere. 

Turkey doesn't want a bunch of terrorists on their southern border
Worsening tensions and more sectarian rivalries will fuel more ethnic cleansing and more people displacement- The mass influx of refugees is causing discomfort in Europe.

Related: Kirkuk: Kurdish authorities demolish Arab Refugee Homes. KURDIShIS attacked Kirkuk

U.S. officials are eager to liberate Raqqa sooner rather than later because they fear IS is planning to prolong its already stiff defense of the Iraqi city of Mosul by sending reinforcements from Raqqa — something it may already be doing.
That's odd- 'stiff defense of Mosul'- Just the other day it was announced that Mosul was taken- and the allies were moving on to phase 2
Related: Mosul Offensive Drawing to A Close As Daesh/ISIS Uprooted- Phase 2

Earlier this week, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter called for a simultaneous attack on IS’ self-styled capital of Raqqa alongside the push, started more than a week ago, to retake Mosul.

“We want to see an isolation operation begin around Raqqa as soon as possible,” Carter said during a visit to the Iraqi city of Irbil. “We are working with our partners there [in Syria] to do just that.”

Two fronts

In the runup to the launch of the assault on Mosul, some U.S. officials and analysts argued that to speed up the end of the jihadist caliphate, a better strategy would be to attack Raqqa and Mosul at the same time, forcing an already stretched terror group to fight off two major assaults on different fronts.
“I think Raqqa is more important to IS than Mosul is, because of how central Raqqa is to the group’s administration of its declining state,” Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based research group, told VOA before the Mosul assault unfolded.
In my opinion... The US wants to make the push on Mosul & Raqqa simultaneously in order to continue on with it's remake of the middle east agenda-Greater Kurdistan/Israel 2.0
The Kurdish militias (PKK) in Sinjar will roll on through to Raqqa- claiming everything along the way.. Raqqa is predominately Arab, not Kurdish as this map from the Economist implies

Control of Raqqa and its surrounding province has supplied IS with considerable revenue, from the sale of oil from nearby oil fields and cash the group demanded from the Assad government in Damascus for the electricity generated by the Euphrates and Ba’ath dams.
The importance of both the dams and the oil for Kurdistan has been discussed here on numerous occasions- And KurdIShIS's oil production and revenue has also been discussed.

Only in recent days have U.S. officials started to talk publicly about a Raqqa assault being unleashed within weeks. But as with the planning for the Mosul offensive, with Raqqa, U.S. officials are faced with a host of problems as they try to discipline unruly alliances of local sectarian rivals that mistrust each other and fear they will be outmaneuvered and weakened for what may follow the defeat of IS.
Well, this is Voice of America, so we gotta expect some total baloney will be in the article- The US has spoken publicly about a move on Mosul and Raqqa simultaneously for far longer then a couple of weeks.. There is a post here from August 14th on this topic

Refresh: US Led Coalition Plans Two Pronged Attack Against ISIS in Raqqa and Mosul
“The U.S.-led coalition plans to place simultaneous military pressure on the Islamic State's two critical strongholds in Iraq and Syria to thwart the militant group's grip in the region, a top U.S. commander said"
 Thwart the militant groups grip- absurd.. My readers know this has always been about annexing Syrian, Iraqi territory for Israel 2.0 /Kurdistan. I’ve written about this extensively.

VOA continues
Turkey’s Erdogan has said he told U.S. President Barack Obama in a phone call to exclude the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its militia, the YPG, from the proposed Raqqa offensive.

“We do not need terrorist organizations like the PYD and YPG in the Raqqa operation. Let us work together to sweep Daesh [the Arabic acronym for IS ] from Raqqa, I told him,” Erdogan said.

In a written statement after the phone call, Turkish officials said the two leaders agreed to support the territorial integrity and independence of a post-Assad Syria.
Two Turkish officials said that eh? No names? No direct quotation of said statements? Obviously I don't see this claim by VOA as credible. It directly contradicts Erdogan's quoted statement above and stance below.

Assad first, IS second

Ankara fears the Kurds are planning to fashion an independent state in northern Syria running along the border with Turkey and sees the PYD as an extension of Turkey’s outlawed separatist group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, with which it is locked in a vicious conflict in southeastern Turkey.

But without the YPG, it is unclear who could muster a strong enough assault on Raqqa to recapture it from the jihadists.
Oh, really? Don't believe that claim either.
Since the YPG’s successful 2014-15 defense of the border town of Kobane from IS, Washington has considered the YPG its most reliable ground ally against the jihadists. But backing the Syrian Kurds has damaged Washington’s relations with both Ankara and the mainly Sunni Arab Syrian rebel militias that have battled to oust President Bashar al-Assad for more than five years. Arab insurgents see Assad as their main enemy and IS as a secondary foe that can be defeated once Assad has been driven from power.
Kobane- ISIS melted away- there is no need for strong defense when your so called enemy has it's strings pulled by your bestie- Your ally. 

Syrian rebel militias have clashed with YPG forces, which took the opportunity to seize traditionally Arab towns north of the city of Aleppo during a Russian-backed Assad offensive last February. Both Kurdish-dominated forces and Syrian rebels backed by Turkey are converging on al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo, in a race to take the town from IS.

Speaking in Ankara to the families of veterans, Erdogan reiterated his determination to maintain the push toward al-Bab. After that, he said, the rebels, with Turkish air, artillery and special forces support, would turn their attention to Raqqa.

“I had a long conversation with Mr. Obama last night and I told him that we’ll take these steps,” he said.
But it remains unclear whether Syrian rebel militias want, at this stage, to be drawn into what would be a prolonged and bloody fight over Raqqa. Rebel commanders working with the Turks told VOA that after al-Bab they want to bolster their comrades in the besieged city of Aleppo, where insurgents Friday announced they were mounting a new offensive to try to break a months-long siege by Assad’s forces, their second bid to do so.

The Turkish and American defense ministers, Fikri Isik and Carter, met in Brussels Thursday on the sidelines of a NATO meeting to discuss the anti-IS battles in Iraq and Syria. Isik told reporters that Ankara was pressing the U.S. to drop the PYD and to embrace the Free Syrian Army as the local force to liberate Raqqa.

“We will be insistent on this issue up to the end,” he said.

Scott @ American Everyman put up an interesting piece that may shed some light on Europe's recalcitrance to go along with US plans

After Cutting Massive New Gasprom Deal with EU, Putin Refuses to Renew Airstrikes in Eastern Syria as Our Terrorists Bomb with Impunity

 Winter's coming and it's said to be a cold one- We've had our heat on for better then a week already- With night time lows hitting just one or two degrees celsius- With Europeans already annoyed with the massive migration- would their leaders let them freeze in the cold while not allowing profit making to take place to appease America ?


  1. Hi Penny:

    Re Putin's refusal to renew Russian air strikes in Aleppo....I think Putin knows that the US uses Russian air strikes as cover for its own airstrikes/mortar strikes. So, Putin reasons....If we don't have planes in the air...that reduces the US's ability to bomb and mortar the Syrians.

    1. hey GC:

      Interesting thought GC.

      Certainly the endless stream of bad pr is wielded like a weapon against the masses in their perception of russia and russians

      What you said also makes sense in the context of that news story about the 'close call'- that news was only reported on to create a perception that both nations are flying over Syria every where and there is confrontation-- which does not appear to be the case

    2. Yes the Russians just got done saying that the stealthy raptors were not so stealthy from stand off distances. So the explanation that the russiann pilot simply didn't see the us plane seems rather unlikely considering the Russians are picking up reccon planes with no transponders biweekly. And the Russians just got finished explaining how the Belgium jets took off from Jordan and we're imprinted by their unique signature. Does it stand to reason that a reconnaissance flight, routine patrol or mission was would not picck up a plane within half mile? Seems rather unlikely in wake of the bacck annd forth over the alleged school bombings.

      Maybe it's a qpq. Go into raqqa annd as lavro said yesterday the gimme has come to eradicate the remaining rebels in aleppo.

    3. Hi anonymous:

      I'm not buying the whole close call story at all- It seems so unlikely that it either didn't happen or it was something done intentionally but kept quiet-

      And why the news rounds all this time later?
      Other then as perception management?

      Re: qpq- maybe but who is going to move on Raqqa- Turkey seems unlikely to tolerate the move by the kurds?

      I just don't know?

    4. Wapo reporting the Shia militias have moved in to mosul

      Were those reported "heavy" airstrikes in mosul b52. Rather quiet on what if anything those Qatari based planes are doing.

    5. Is the Saudi air force with its us supplied equipment that incompetent or do the chronic KSA misplaced air strikes have something with the Russian errant airstrike slash war crimes allegations? Turkish troops paying attention to the Saudi operation?

    6. Unless this was a cloaked response to the Russian warnings about stealth. A possibility.

    7. hey anonymous;
      the shia militais going to mosul are interesting, plus Barazani has said he won't move on Mosul..
      What! Perhaps he won't but will PKK try to?

      "“The Peshmerga will not enter the city of Mosul,” Masoud Barzani said in a news conference with Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) Ammar Hakim, in Zartac Mountain, near the city of Nineveh, on Thursday.

      Barzani further said the Kurdish fighters are coordinating their role in the Mosul liberation operation with the Iraqi military, adding that the collaboration will continue"

      The disagreement amongst the kurds isn't a surprise but is there an alternative agreement lurking about?
      I wonder
      can you expand on this cloaked response to russian warnings- not up on this

    8. Turkey made clear the Peshmerga was split in Northern Iraq with those loyal to the Iraq Kurd administration and those with their own agenda. linked on here somewhere. No Uniformity among the Peshmerga, like the broader kurds themselves

  2. Great article, Penny. So why did Turkey stop bombing and will they start soon?

    1. Ally. I read somewhere today that Syria said to Turkey they will shoot down any plane entering their airspace. A f-16 can't out run a S-300;)

      Stay safe.

    2. I know they did but Penny has said that she doesn't think what Syria said has anything to do with it so I am asking her for what other reason is Turkey not bombing? So what you are saying is that Syria has better weapons so can shoot them down? I am from the UK so I'll be fine

    3. Hi Ally: I suspect, but, don't know with any certainty, that Turkey stopped bombing for the time being because of the situation in Raqqa - it appears some wrangling over Raqqa is ongoing- the US wants to bomb Raqqa and have the kurds claim the territory- but Turkey is resistant, obviously- I think Syria is resistant also- and they should be because there is much at stake with Raqqa including gas and electricity at Tabqa dam (spelling??) I've posts on this

      Europe appears to be less then happy about it- So maybe some back door dealings are going on presently???

      Another reason Turkey may have stopped aerial bombing presently is that their fighters are not advancing at this time

      There was an ambush

      I understand cross border shelling is ongoing- Might have put a stall on things temporarily

      I see jo thinks Syria will shoot Turkish planes down but Russia and Turkey have been in constant contact- i just don't see that occurring at this time

    4. Hi jo- hope all is well with you!?

  3. Another statement by the US embassy telling its citizens to leave Turkey and avoid travelling.

    1. when was this recent statement issued? Because this has been an on going situation and the US has been moving it's people out of Turkey

    2. Click on it and read the picture in English. I follow some Turkish media outlets and saw something about the USA (abd).

  4. message to

    karin: where have you been? I know you had a medical procedure and were in pain. Are you ok? If you can drop me a message, I've been thinking about you lately :)

    wallflower: thanks for your previous comments- missed getting back to you regarding them- I found them very interesting- not a subject I am up on at all

    hope all is well with everyone else too
    including lurkers

  5. No one wants to die for Raqqa.
    Kurdish PYG lost nearly 400 fighters during "operation Manbij".
    Turkish-backed FSA seems to suffer a shortage of manpower.
    Government forces are very busy in Aleppo city, Homs and near Damascus.

    But, but, but, there is a light in the tunnel!
    Iraqi PMU recently announced that after Mosul the next target for its forces will be Raqqa. The offensive will be coordinate with Syrian governemnt. Maybe this is why Americans are getting nervous. If PMU and the SAA manage to captured Raqqa, the Syrian government will be able to establish a friendly administration in this city. Then the game is over.

  6. Hi Penny ! I'm fine. The eye took about 16 hours to stop hurting. (they want to do it 3-4 more times, don't know if I want that though)

    Haven't had much to say other than what you're title reveals..
    WTF is going on ? Too many cooks spoil the soup !!
    It's a bloddy cluster-fk out there and how do they keep from running into each other ??
    And, the press, well you know.

    Shamir went to Turkey for a visit
    on coups and cults paragraph 14

    "This idea has been pioneered by Lubawitscher Rebbe of the Chabad Hassids. The late Menachem Mendel Schneersohn also gave away dollar bills and even blessed vodka for his Hassids’ consumption. He conversed with God, and so did Gülen – according to his followers and adversaries. Hassids also tried to obtain influence, with considerable success – but they were never called “terrorists.”

    These are the echelon of radical jewry and it's said Chabad houses (now in every country) harbour mossad and initiate people for their cause.
    the rebbe spoken of completely bat-sh-t crazy according to my reading, but Revered

    Note.. Kolomoisky built them a temple in Ukraine that is monsterous, and several members of Ukrop gov are devotees

    1. Hi Karin

      I'm glad you are ok and can't blame you on wishing to avoid living through pain in your eye another 3 to 4 times

      I really like the shamir piece- because he is stating the obvious that I've been writing about for two years now- yes two years ago I wrote that Turkey was being destabilized for greater kurdistan aka Israel 2.0 and I was derided attacked and shunned- but there it is


    Something about China-Turkey ties:

    More about Iran:

  8. सीरिया में विद्रोहियों की गोलीबारी में 40 की मौत