Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Conflict Among Syrian Forces Could Draw US into Syrian Fight- PKK/YPG Rebrand to SDF

You can read about the rebrand of PKK/YPG into SDF as stated by General Raymond Thomas in short order.  And, Yes, he literally speaks in marketing terms!

First we’ll get to the potential excuse, possible justification, for US overt intervention in Syria. The one that could be seen coming from a mile or two away. Or maybe 5 to ten miles away?

Stars & Stripes

 RESAFA, Syria — American-backed Syrian opposition fighters were standing watch against Islamic State militants from atop a water tower earlier this month when they were shocked to face a barrage of mortar shells — not from militants, but from the Syrian army.

“We are fighting ISIS. They are fighting ISIS. Why are they fighting us?” Raad Abdullah Hamoud, 17, said as he stood at the foot of the remote desert tower. “This is what they’re doing now. Think what they’re going to do after ISIS is gone.”

What a smooth manipulative spin job! See how that is presented? Kurdish militias oh we’re so good, just fighting ISIS and SAA is fighting us. Oh dear. And boohoo.

The “american backed” fighters aren’t fighting ISIS. Don’t much care what anyone else says or believes in this regard.  They are ethnically cleansing the indigenous/resident population from  vast swathes of land, then claiming the land and it’s resources as there own. That’s it. That’s what is going on presently and has always been going on. ISIS kicked off the campaign of ethnic cleansing  and YPG/PKK finishes up the job.


YPG Commander Dilsoz Derek, 32, conferred with fighters after spotting what he believed to be Islamic State militants riding motorcycles near their base north of Dair Alzour in eastern Syria earlier this month.

“As Assad’s troops gain a foothold in Dair Alzour, (Deir ez-Zor) the crossroads of a strategic land corridor from Tehran to Beirut, U.S.-trained opposition fighters and allies nearby said they hope to take a stand with American backing, potentially drawing the U.S. into a long and costly conflict.”

 In recent weeks, an 80-mile stretch of the Euphrates River has served as a buffer zone — a so-called deconfliction line — between U.S.-backed opposition fighters and the Syrian government.
To the west of the river, some of Assad’s estimated 40,000 soldiers are fighting with support from allied militias, Russia and Iran. To the east, some of the 55,000 opposition forces are fighting with help from U.S. forces. The U.S.-backed coalition said it has about 500 troops in Syria, but experts estimate that has grown to include up to 1,500 Marines, Army Rangers and special forces, plus 1,000 contractors.

 U.S.-backed forces have largely focused on recapturing the Islamic State’s self-declared capital, Raqqa, while Assad’s forces and allies advanced on the militant stronghold of Dair Alzour to the southeast.

“The coalition mission is to defeat ISIS,” the coalition said. “We have no fight with Syrian or pro-regime forces as long as all forces adhere to the agreed-upon deconfliction line.”
But the Syrian government and its supporters have already made several forays across the buffer zone.

Last month, a Syrian fighter jet clashed with U.S.-backed forces south of Raqqa. Farther south, near the border with Jordan and Iraq, what appeared to be an Iranian-made drone attacked American advisers training Syrian opposition forces at a U.S. base in Tanf. That clash came soon after U.S. warplanes struck Iranian-backed Shiite militias approaching the base for the third time in as many weeks.

A U.S. coalition spokesman declined to say last week whether it would back Syrian opposition fighters should they confront Assad’s forces.
“Future operations depend on many different factors and we will not speculate on what the coalition or partner forces may do in the future,” the statement said.
The "coalition" statements are made for public consumption.
 The largest opposition militia is the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, with about 25,000 troops, including Hamoud’s unit at the water tower. The militia’s political wing has been governing northeastern Syria since Assad’s government withdrew about four years ago, adopting the Marxist-inspired philosophy of Abdullah “Apo” Ocalan, whose image adorns not just YPG command posts but billboards and local squares.

Ocalan’s leadership could prove problematic for the U.S., particularly in its relations with Turkey. He was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison, and his Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, is considered a terrorist group by both Turkey and the U.S.
Despite the fact that the YPG/PKK are one and the same. Despite the fact that they are recognized terrorists. Despite the fact the image of the cult leader Ocalan is every where in northern Syria ("Ocalan, whose image adorns not just YPG command posts but billboards and local squares") the US continues to partner with these acknowledged, recognized terrorists.

Now’s a good time to quote General Raymond Thomas, Commander of US Special Forces, regarding YPG/PKK rebranding into SDF:

Note that he uses marketing terminology!

Furthermore, the US general talked about the creation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in October 2015, and the evolution of the US-Kurdish alliance in Syria.

“The one that is most discussed, and most misunderstood is the evolution of our counterpart in Syria, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces. Interestingly came about that name, at one point in time, I’ve dealt with them directly, I was on the formative stage of the relationship with these guys. They formally called themselves the YPG, who the Turks would say equated to the PKK. You are dealing with a terrorist enemy of mine, how you can do that to an ally,” he said.

“So, we literally played back to them: ‘You have got to change your brand. What do you want to call yourselves besides the YPG?’ With about a day’s notice they declared that they are the Syrian Democratic Forces, I thought it was a stroke of brilliance to put democracy in there somewhere. But it gave them a little bit of credibility,” General Thomas added.
Did it give them credibility? Not in my world view. But, I'm sure others just ate that foul excretion right up.  It’s highly unlikely the YPG/PKK rebranded themselves and vastly more realistic that some public relations firm for the US came up with the idea of SDF/Syrian Democratic Forces in order to obfuscate the fact the US is supporting terrorists. Well known, long documented, terrorists actors.

Earlier this month, YPG military leaders on the front lines said eastern Syria should govern itself according to Ocalan’s principles, not be beholden to Turkey or Assad.
What else would one expect the PKK to say?

Branding PKK challenge

However, the US general says the Kurds could ‘help themselves’. “They still have branding challenge going forward, and the Turks remind us every day.  The first time Brett McGurk and I went out to this very old, cold guildhall in Kobani, right on the Turk border, we went in there, a bunch of somber technocrats and military people, and whose beaming face is looking down on us from the front of the guildhall but Ocalan,” he said.

“We said, ‘hey, that’s got to go. You cannot hold on to Ocalan and have any chance of legitimacy in the construct we’re in.  So, you either something different, or. And something that has a legitimacy” he said.
Unique governance

“And you saw part of it. So, Interesting part, we are to close to the problem, you got out there to give different perspective. They are doing something unique to every other surrogate we worked in last decade and their half. They are governing in their wake, they are providing a representative governance,” he said.

YPG/PKK planning an advance of Deir ez Zor
“The regime allies are trying to extend, to control as much as they can,” said YPG commander Daman Frat from his post north of Dair Alzour.We need to coordinate with the coalition to do an advance before the regime comes.”

The YPG/PKK plan to advance on Deir ez Zor before the SAA and allies can advance

 He compared the situation outside Dair Alzour to Syria’s embattled northwestern border region of Afrin, where Turkey deployed added troops this month and shelled Kurdish fighters as tensions increased. The head of the Syrian YPG said the buildup amounted to a “declaration of war” and warned of coming clashes.

“If the coalition doesn’t help us now, the same thing will happen here,” Frat said — this time with the Syrian army, not Turkish, forces.

One Kurdish commander, Orkesh Serdam, has been encouraged to see the U.S. expanding its makeshift bases in eastern Syria, but said that doesn’t mean America is willing to take on Assad’s troops.
Recall this map? I've posted it and reposted it- Now here it is again! The US was so dismayed about the publishing of this map...  Gave a bit too much away?
“If the regime takes Dair Alzour, they will not stop there. They will go to Raqqa and Hasakah” to the north, he said. “I want America to help us fight in Dair Alzour.”

 Personally, since I’ve been against the annexation or federalization of Syria from the get go. I hope that Syria is actually able to take all of her territory back remaining a unified nation state. Never mind this kicking the can down the road, frozen conflict type stuff.

 To the west in Resafa, a remote desert village built around an ancient fortress, Zinar Kobani, the local YPG commander, also said he hopes he can count on U.S. support if his forces continue on their collision course with Assad’s army.

“It’s not part of our plan to attack the regime. But if someone comes to fight us, we will fight back,” said Kobani, 27.

For now, their red line is the water tower north of Resafa. If Assad’s forces try to pass it, closing the roughly five-mile dusty no man’s land in between, YPG troops will return fire.
They recently overheard military radio chatter suggesting an attack by Syrian forces in coming days. Soon after, Syrian troops closed the gap. So far, they haven’t tried to pass the tower.
 Very clearly the Kurdish militias are terrorists- It was obvious. Which is why I never cheered them on.  They are US partners. And to my mind this is still about redrawing/remaking the region.

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