Sunday, October 23, 2016

Did Putin give green light to Turkish attack on US-backed Syrian Kurds?

Certainly this thought crossed my mind when I read the news about the strikes on the US backed and trained  YPG/PKK in northwestern Syria.  Turkey attacks Syrian Kurdish forces, 'kills 160'
 Warplanes belonging to the Turkish Air Force conducted airstrikes on 18 Kurdish positions and killed “160 – 200” fighters on Wednesday night in northwestern Syria, Turkish media claimed.
Citing information from the Turkish General Staff, the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) said Turkish bombers attacked the Kurdish village of Maarat Um Hawsh under control of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin Canton, north of Aleppo.
Kurdish forces confirmed the Turkish aerial bombardment reporting at least 20 airstrikes were carried out in Umm Hawsh and Um Qura village.
 According to a statement on the Facebook page of the United States-backed YPG, Kurdish positions were also hit by at least 100 rounds of Turkish artillery shelling.
The attack took place this past Wednesday night, the 19th of October, the same day Putin and Erdogan were in contact.


In exchange for assistance in clearing Aleppo?
Turkish jets launched a massive assault on People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces in northern Syria on Oct. 20 to prevent the Syrian Kurdish group from taking the strategic town of al-Bab in northwestern Syria.
If the YPG, which is linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), seizes al-Bab, there would be a corridor connecting Syrian Kurdish regions east and west of the Euphrates River — something Turkey has vowed not to let happen.
Amberin Zaman reported that “the strikes mark the second time Turkey has attacked the YPG from the air, raising interesting questions about Ankara’s relations with Russia and with the Syrian regime.
YPG sources who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said Turkey is unlikely to have initiated the strikes without informing Russia, whose planes effectively control the skies over northwestern Syria.
It's very, very, very doubtful Turkey made those strikes without notifying Russia. In fact, to me, it seems impossible to believe Russia was unaware.
Russia and Turkey are on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict, but Ankara’s fears of the emergence of a PKK-run Kurdish entity along its borders appear to have surpassed its desire to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. This is one of the main reasons Turkey was so keen to patch up ties with Russia, and some claim with Damascus, after downing a Russian jet over the Syrian border last year.”
Zaman added that Russia will not, however, allow Turkish-backed rebel forces to seize al-Bab, as this could threaten the Syrian government’s efforts to retake Aleppo.
“YPG sources speculate that Moscow gave the green light for Turkish airstrikes to prevent their forces from moving on to al-Bab. In exchange, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan assured Russian President Vladimir Putin in an Oct. 19 telephone conversation that he would help eject Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, the jihadist group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, from Aleppo. Whether he will, or even can, remains unclear,” Zaman wrote.
I'd linked this in the comment section of a previous post- May as well bring it here


MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, exchanged views on the Syrian settlement and discussed the operation to liberate Iraq’s Mosul, the Kremlin press service said on Tuesday after a telephone conversation between the two leaders initiated by the Turkish side.
"The Russian side stressed the importance of efficient separation of ‘moderate’ opposition groups from militants of Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups affiliated with it," the Kremlin said.
 I suspect Russia either green lighted or at the very least looked the other way. If Russia's goal is to ensure Syria's territorial integrity, it doesn't seem sensible they would allow YPG to annex more territory
The removal of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham forces from Aleppo is an interest shared by both Russia and the United States, and it’s a key element of the UN proposal for Aleppo. This column reported Oct. 9 that UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura had said that he would be willing to personally escort the 1,000 Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters out of Aleppo, as they were holding the besieged city hostage.
For some reason, the al-Qaeda-linked group’s role is left out of many op-eds and Western press accounts of the battle for Aleppo.
Yes, for 'some reason' AQ's role in Aleppo is always glossed over.. Rolls eyes 
In addition to the withdrawal of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters, the UN Aleppo proposal seeks a cessation of the bombing by Syrian and Russian forces, an end to shelling of western Aleppo by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and other armed groups, unimpeded humanitarian access to the city and respect for existing independent local administration.
 Updated 6:16 est to add-  hat tip AnonymousOctober 20, 2016 at 10:29 AM
Y on KSA.

Erdogan comment here is almost identical to the 2012 comment son Brazil.

Both ISIL and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), “are pawns that serve the same purpose and are supported by the same powers,” Erdoğan also stated, without giving details.
Erdogan and Putin agree to clear Aleppo?
  Erdoğan said the two sides had talked about a consensus for taking al-Nusra fighters out of Syria’s second largest city. 

“He [Putin] said that as of 10:00 p.m. [Oct. 18] the air bombardment was stopped [in Aleppo]. They [Putin] appealed to us about taking al-Nusra out of the city. We have given the necessary instructions to our friends [officials]. We have talked about a consensus [with Putin] to work on taking al-Nusra out of Aleppo and maintaining the peace of the people of Aleppo,” Erdoğan said Oct. 19, addressing a meeting of neighborhood leaders in Ankara.

More on Mosul at the opening link above. Directly connected to the earlier post on Turkey. KRG, Mosul and more 

No Turkish Troops To Mosul: Refugee Safe Haven


  1. U.S. Navy aircraft flies up to Russian bases in Syria

    Recall US craft beacons off approached Russian bases moments before the airstrike on assad troops. Belgium continues to deny the airstrike form Jordan.

  2. so pay back can be a bitch? As they say.

    1. Nazarbayev to visit Saudi Arabia

      Russian-Saudi NPP, Tanker deals?

      Russia just dumped S300 into Kazakhstan follwoing the terror attack

      Nazarbayev helped facilitate Russia-turkey dialogue whcih took leg up over weekend

      Nayef was just in turkey.



    3. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu came bearing gifts: a delivery of S-300PS surface-to-air missile systems. According to TASS, the delivery of the air defense systems was made free of charge.

      “We are paying special attention to development of the Russian-Kazakhstani ties in the field of air missile defense. We have delivered the S-300PS air missile defense systems and missiles for them to Kazakhstan free of charge with an aim to strengthen the unified regional air missile defense system,” Shoigu said.

      TASS did not specify how many S-300PS systems were delivered.

      This is not the first such gratuitous delivery of air defense systems to Kazakhstan. In December 2015, Russia completed the transfer of S-300PS systems to Kazakhstan. Earlier reports noted the delivery of five systems in August 2015. In January 2014, TASS reported Shoigu as saying that in 2014, Kazakhstan would “deliver enough S-300 complexes to Kazakhstan’s armed forces to ensure protection of the airspace.”

    4. thanks very interesting about Kazakhstan and the role in Turkey and Russia's warm up of relations

    Thanks for yesterday's links. Yep, it does seem that Erdogan has been targetted now for a long time.

    1. the Gezi park protests gave birth to the identity politics hero- what's his name...

      hdp leader- human rights lawyer- mr ngo man-
      had to search it

      Selahattin Demirtaş

    2. Erdogan is targeted as the figurehead of the nation, however, it is Turkey that is the prime target-

      -hence the coup
      -the arrest of the trader who facilitated the oil for gold trade
      -the down grading to junk status (making life harder for the turkish people)
      -the destabilization via PKK proxies
      -the refusal to do a thing about Gulen
      - and the withdrawal of Americans from the bases other then necessary persons
      - demonization of Erdogan (cult of personality ad hominem)

      All actions reek to high heaven of Turkey having the bullseye painted on it

  4. Turkey should just leave Nato and form a military alliance with Russia and China!

  5. Demirtas reminds me of Saakashvili in the early days. Totally CIA or in Demirtas case -- Soros backed.
    Soros leask showed he wanted more power for Kurds & PKK in Turkey, & less for AKP.
    Demirtas was intended to start a colour revolution in Turkey, now a loser in prison for the rest of his life.

    1. "Demirtas reminds me of Saakashvili"

      He also makes me think of the guy from Greece