Sunday, February 19, 2017

Standing With Israel On Golan Heights- Enhancing Regional Stability?

Published in Wall Street Journal
 Or  Foundation for the Defense of Democracy
Also The Tower


We can read this entirely at FDD or The Tower- And what a read it is! Recall my mention the other day that when Trump and Netanyahu met, Bibi asked Trump to okay the theft of Syria's territory? I presented my alternative and vastly more sensible idea: The Obvious Safe Zone for Displaced Syrians is Israeli Claimed Golan

Netanyahu asks Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights  WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked US President Donald Trump on Wednesday to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.  

Check the presentation of this"sweet deal" for  Israel:
- Absurdly claiming that condoning Israel’s theft of Golan will ‘enhance stability’? Yah, like sticking Israel in the middle east enhanced stability in that region- Farcical

- Creating the pre conditions to impede the Palestinians in their negotiations for a state

- Prep for a probable attack on Lebanon and Iran


- Send a message to Russia that US and Russia interest regarding Syria don’t coincide- though tolerating this move may serve Russia’s interests regarding Ukraine? Crimea? 
 I'll highlight the interesting bits:
 “Benjamin Netanyahu has achieved his primary objective of resetting ties with the U.S. after eight years of tensions. True, the Israeli prime minister and Donald Trump still need to bridge the gap on issues such as Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy and West Bank settlements. But they seem to be on the same page on a broad range of regional matters.

That could lead to a breakthrough on an issue of strategic importance to Israel. According to reports of the two leaders’ meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu asked for U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The move makes sense for both sides. It would provide the Israeli government with a diplomatic win while helping the Trump administration signal to Russia and Iran that the U.S. is charting a new course in Syria.

Israel captured the bulk of the Golan from Syria in the 1967 war and annexed the territory in 1981. The move was met with international condemnation.

For two successive Assad regimes, first Hafiz and now his son Bashar, restoring full Syrian sovereignty over the Golan has been an axiomatic demand. Israel floated partial Golan withdrawals during several rounds of peace talks with Syria over the past two decades, but the Syrians were never satisfied with the deals on offer.

With the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the facts on the ground have changed. Had Israel ceded the Golan to Syria, Islamic State, al Qaeda or Iran would be sitting on the shores of the Galilee across from the Israeli city of Tiberias. (Israel's terrorists are nicely situated in Golan)

Mr. Netanyahu and other senior Israeli government officials argue that Syria is destined for partition along sectarian, ethnic and regional lines. And while the retaking of Aleppo shifted the tide of war in favor of the Assad government, some Israelis believe it might be time to acknowledge Israel’s hold on the Golan as permanent.

This position has so far found no traction among the major powers, which still say they want to preserve a unitary Syria. Russia, which intervened militarily to shore up Bashar Assad in the name of Syrian territorial integrity, is chief among them.

A disagreement with Russia over Syria is a long time coming. By recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan, the Trump administration would signal to Russia that, while Washington may now coordinate with Moscow on activities such as fighting Islamic State, it doesn’t share Russia’s goals for Syria.

Moreover, it would show that the U.S. will take a tougher line on the provision of arms and intelligence to Iran and Hezbollah.

Recognition of Israel’s Golan claims would acknowledge that it needs these highlands to hold off a multitude of asymmetric and conventional military threats from Syria—( Israel is the biggest military threat to Syria) and whatever comes after the war there. Israel continues to target Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah to prevent them from establishing a base of operations on the Syrian Golan.

Recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan would also soften the Palestinians’ core demand for a state within the 1967 borders. If an international border can be revised along the Syrian border, the Palestinians will have a harder time presenting the 1949 armistice line along the West Bank as inviolable. This might pave the way for compromise when Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, begins to make his push for Palestinian-Israeli peace.
Recall:  For Jared Kushner, Israel Policy May be Shaped by the Personal

Will we  see more Israeli aggression & expansion shaped by Jared Kushner's personal experiences and indoctrination?

The move will anger the Europeans and the United Nations, but that storm will pass. Syrian opposition groups will also protest. While some might be tempted to break their tenuous ties with Israel, they understand that the real enemy is Mr. Assad.

Similarly, Arab states will express their outrage, but they will likely see the big picture. Mr. Assad has fallen out of favor with the Arab League, and a blow to the Assad regime and its patrons in Tehran will be seen as a win by these regional Arab players, especially if the Trump administration makes it clear that this is the goal.
Recall: Saudi Arabia and Shamoon 2-
 We could be looking at a US/Israel thumb screws tactic being employed to encourage Saudi Arabia to be cooperative, in some way.
For the Israelis, the risk of internal instability resulting from the move is low. The Druze Arabs of the Golan, who number about 20,000, are unlikely to respond with unrest. While they profess loyalty to Mr. Assad, the carnage inside Syria has made the stability and prosperity of Israel increasingly attractive.

Mr. Netanyahu’s request will come as a surprise to some observers. But the Israeli prime minister clearly studied “The Art of the Deal.” He knows that his counterpart likes to think big and respects those who do the same.

Don't Miss:

 

 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"White Helmet" Terrorists Get Visa for Oscars. Trumping the Travel Ban

 The White Helmets must have played their "Trump" card! to get in to the US
a decisive overriding factor or final resource —called also trump card
 The White Helmets are truly  trump like individuals
a dependable and exemplary person
Is the oscar nomination for special effects? Cause the White Helmets cinematographer is attending!  Yup, they have a cinematographer!  What else could on have expected?
 Cinematography = Special Effects= Fooling the audience
Here's a cinematographer who has made a series of brief video demonstrating the ease with which it's done  1st  &  2nd 

White Helmets Get Visa to Travel to US for Oscar Psyop

The White Helmets going to the Oscars is perfect!- Their theatrics and production is pure Hollywood- So why not an Oscar nomination?
Two Syrian rescue workers said they plan to travel to next week's Oscar ceremony, where their documentary "The White Helmets" is nominated for an award, after weeks of uncertainty caused by US President Donald Trump's travel ban.
Raed Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, and cinematographer Khaled Khatib have both obtained visas to travel to the US for the 26 February Academy Award ceremony in Los Angeles, producer Joanna Natasegara said.
"They both have valid visas. We remain cautious about the physical part of entering the country. Things had been very unclear until this point, but we are now being told they are welcome to enter," Natasegara said.

theatric production from brand white helmets
 Yet another theatre like production - that made their fakery obvious


I wrote about these slime balls last year: Little Boy Rescued From Rubble? Coincidentally "White Helmets" Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

White Helmets, Really?


Link:


Have you noticed that since Aleppo was liberated from terrorists, terrorists shipped out,  there have been no more White Helmet "rescue" videos? 
"You live in a world of illusion.
Where everything's peaches and cream
We all face a scarlet conclusion.
But we spend our time in a dream"
Steve Miller  Band

From Earlier: A little more illusion for us all to break free of

Encore Presenation:The Weapon of Mass Migration: RCMP aids illegals/McDonalds cares??

Encore Presenation:The Weapon of Mass Migration- RCMP aids illegals/McDonalds Cares?

This lecture and PDF were first posted here December 1/ 2015- Nearly one and a half years later the topic has become that much more pressing. Ever more relevant. We're being played folks. In Canada and the US. Wake up to the division being created. Wake up to the destruction being planned.  The 'refugee crisis' is a plan.  The news today of the RCMP- the Royal Canadian Mounted POLICE breaking Canada's laws at the border to assist illegal entry to Canada simply left me flabbergasted! It was the impetus for the repost! This news is surreal. To say the least. We Canadians need to understand that our government does not serve us at all. It is beholden to other masters.. 

The RCMP standing at the border as Canada is illegally entered?   When I first saw that news this morning "it blew my mind"! (really surprised me, really amazed me) Illegal entry to Canada has always been a crime and for good reasons. Yet there is the RCMP, assisting persons in breaking laws, the RCMP is supposed to uphold? How surreal is that? And the ever pushing an agenda media is present to commemorate the crime, while creating some heart tugging narrative to sell the crime as acceptable? Media is a weapon of mass mind manipulation. It's never been more obvious.

CTV


A family is helped into Canada by RCMP officers along the U.S.-Canada border near Hemmingford, Que., on Friday, February 17, 2017
The usual child prop to manipulate - to tug heart strings.

Staged for maximum PR effect- CBC
Notice all photos of RCMP have children in them- manipulation maximus!
Eight asylum-seekers, including four children, barely made it across the Canadian border on Friday as a U.S. border patrol officer tried to stop them and a Reuters photographer captured the scene.(A Reuter's photographer at the scene)
One by one they scrambled across the snowy gully separating the two countries. RCMP officers watching from the other side helped them up, lifting the younger children and asking a woman, who leaned on her fellow passenger as she walked, if she needed medical care.
 "Nobody cares about us," he told journalists. ( Who just happened to be there at that exact moment- coincidence- I think not!) He said they were all from Sudan and had been living and working in Delaware for two years.
Living and working in Delaware for the past two years!!
The RCMP declined on Friday to confirm the nationalities of the people. (Not doing their job, obviously) A Reuters photo showed that at least one of their passports was Sudanese.
 The RCMP carried the articles to their vehicles, and the people piled in to be driven to a nearby border office to be interviewed by police and to make a refugee claim.
Canada- US agreement 
The Canada-United States Safe Third Country Agreement, which was signed in 2002, requires people to apply for refugee status in the first safe country they arrive in. Any refugee claimant entering Canada at an official border crossing with the U.S., which is the only country that Canada has designated as a safe third country under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, is supposed to be turned away unless they have a blood relative in the country. People who illegally sneak into Canada at unregulated crossings, however, will generally have their asylum cases heard. Because the Safe Third Country Agreement encourages dangerous illegal border crossings, there have been calls for Ottawa to revoke the U.S.’ “safe third country” status. The federal government, however, has expressed no interest in doing this.
This reads to me as if this agreement was signed to encourage exactly what is happening!- Notice when it was brought into effect? 2002. Immediately after 9/11 which kicked off the remake the middle east/north africa plan that is still ongoing present day

Chapter 5: Preventing Illegal Entry into Canada- Auditor General Report 2013

Why it’s important

Failure to prevent illegal entry compromises Canada’s border, the immigration program, and the safety and security of Canadians. Illegal entries are a significant burden on taxpayers. In some cases, authorities must spend time, resources, and effort to track down individuals who are considered a significant threat to the safety of Canadians. The government has not estimated the cost of illegal entries, but Citizenship and Immigration Canada estimates that each rejected refugee claimant, some of whom enter Canada illegally, costs taxpayers about $26,000. The Agency and the RCMP spend about $728 million per year combined on their border control activities.
Yet, the RCMP is standing at the border helping the illegals- What is really going on here?
Weaponized migration folks 

McDonald's shuts branches across US during 'Day Without Immigrants' protest

Weaponized migration. Divide to conquer.

Back to  Professor Kelly Greenhill- the lecture and the pdf from 2015

 This is a must listen lecture- Absolutely a must listen! In fact, listen to it twice. That's how many times I listened last week! But as you absorb the info take note of what is not really mentioned?  This woman doesn't mention that NATO is using forced displacement and coercion on a global level at this time. She mentions state actors, but, fails to mention the global tyranny above the nation state.  Or the ethnic cleansing being engaged in present time: Kurdistan aka “Second Israel”- Ethnic Cleansing the Indigenous of the Middle East

Professor Greenhill examines an understudied, yet relatively common, bargaining tool and method of persuasion: namely, the use of migration and refugee crises as non-military instruments of state-level coercion. Who employs this unconventional weapon, how often it succeeds and fails, how and why this kind of coercion ever works, and how targets may combat this unorthodox brand of coercion will be explored
Kelly M Greenhill is Associate Professor at Tufts University and Research Associate and Chair of the Conflict, Security and Public Policy Working Group at Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center (BCSIA). Shel also serves as Associate Editor of the journal Security Studies. Much of her research focuses on the use of military force and what are frequently called 'new security challenges', including civil wars; the use of forced migration as a weapon; military intervention and (counter-) insurgency; foreign and defence policy; and international crime as a challenge to domestic governance. She is author of Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs), co-author and co-editor of Sex, Drugs and Body Counts: The Politics of Numbers in Global Crime and Conflict (Cornell) and The Use of Force, 8th edition. Her research has also appeared in a variety of other venues, including in the journals International SecuritySecurity StudiesCivil Wars, and International Migration, in media outlets such as the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the British Broadcasting Company, and in briefs prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court and other organs of the U.S. government.


Weapons of Mass Migration

mercury.ethz.ch/.../Files/.../ch5_SI_V9_I1_2010_Greenhill_116.pdf
Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement as an  Instrument of .... To put the prevalence of coercive engineered migration in perspective.


I will try to reconnect the 2015 link if possible, for now, PDF available at link below also:

 http://commons.wikimannia.org/File:Kelly_Greenhill_-_Weapons_of_Mass_Migration_-_Forced_Displacement_as_an_Instrument_of_Coercion.pdf


Friday, February 17, 2017

Robert Harward Declines National Security Offer - Trump Asks Again

President is trying to persuade ex-navy Seal to change his mind on White House role

Donald Trump is trying to persuade his preferred candidate to succeed Michael Flynn as national security adviser to change his mind after the retired admiral tapped for the role told the US president he could not accept the White House position, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Mr Trump asked Robert Harward, a retired navy special forces officer, to succeed Mr Flynn, who was fired as national security adviser on Monday.
At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Trump said his decision to replace Mr Flynn had been made easier because he had an “outstanding” candidate to serve as a replacement.
But Mr Harward later told The Associated Press he had turned down the offer. He said: “It’s purely a personal issue. I’m in a unique position finally after being in the military for 40 years to enjoy some personal time.”
One person with first hand knowledge of the discussions between Mr Trump and Mr Harward said: “Harward is conflicted between the call of duty and the obvious dysfunctionality.”
A second person said Mr Trump had asked Mr Harward to return to the White House for another meeting to try to change his mind.
Appointing Mr Harward, a well-liked navy veteran who is close to James Mattis, US defence secretary, would have helped Mr Trump start to reduce some of the turmoil that has rocked his administration in recent weeks. The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the decision by Mr Harward.
I'll wait a bit longer to see how this plays out- Is the decline certain? 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trump Offered NSA Job to Robert Harward- Iran Attack?

As mentioned here two days ago! 
If you didn't read it then, you may want to now?

Feb 14/17: Flynn's Ouster Planned? Robert Harward (Attack Iran?) Frontrunner

 Harward is a most interesting individual particularly when one considers the post of February 10/17: "How America Could Stumble Into War With Iran" ? Elliot Abrams Nixed
"In Donald Trump’s first term there is a serious possibility of a military conflict, whether intentional or inadvertent, between the United States or Israel and Iran. What follows is how it could unfold, and how it might be avoided"
 If the Trump administration is set to 'stumble' into war with Iran- this is the man for the job
From Trump's Press Conference, today:
 "Another mess I inherited. We have imposed new sanctions on the nation of Iran, who has totally taken advantage of our previous administration. And they are the world's top sponsor of terrorism. And we're not going to stop until that problem is properly solved, and it's not now"It's one of the worst agreements I've ever seen drawn by anybody. I've ordered plans to begin for the massive rebuilding of the United States military.

Harward sans hair

 The Hill
President Trump has offered the job of national security adviser to retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward following Michael Flynn's resignation earlier this week, according to reports.
It wasn't immediately clear if Harward, who previously served as a Navy SEAL and as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, had accepted the position

Politico 
 President Donald Trump has asked retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward to succeed Michael Flynn as his national security adviser, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

I'll update the outcome of this Trump offer as soon as possible- Acceptance or Decline? 

Earlier today

Euphrates (Tabqua) Dam, in Syria, at Risk of Failure- Oroville Dam Karma?

24 hours earlier 

The Obvious Safe Zone for Displaced Syrians is Israeli Claimed Golan

Euphrates (Tabqua) Dam, in Syria, at Risk of Failure- Oroville Dam Karma?

This is one I’ve been following for a while now, but have been tardy in getting the news posted.
Same scenario as Mosul Dam- the flooding of “biblical” proportions would cleanse the area of an Arab population the Kurds/US/Israel have no tolerance, no love, for. All the while ensuring rich rebuilding contracts.
Any damage that may have occurred presently is most probably from coalition (US) airstrikes-
The localized flooding may be due to US proxies “ISIS” terrorizing the locals which works out very well for the YPG/PKK. Rising water levels will definitely come from the winter thaw and spring rains


Rudaw
The Tabqa Dam, already damaged by war, is now at risk of flooding due to rising water levels in the Euphrates River, the UN warned on Wednesday. (Yesterday)

Heavy rain and snowfall combined with ISIS opening three turbines of the dam have resulted in water levels in the Euphrates River rising by about 10 metres in the last three weeks, according to a UN report seen by Reuters.

 Agricultural lands in eastern Deir e-Zor province flood. Photo courtesy of Omar Abu Laila, Deir Ezzor 24

The UN is claiming ISIS opened turbines... Perhaps? How much from snow thaw and rain to opened turbines? I don't know.
“As per local experts, any further rise of the water level would submerge huge swathes of agricultural land along the river and could potentially damage the Tabqa Dam, which would have catastrophic humanitarian implications in all areas downstream,” the report read.

Tabqa Dam has already been damaged by ISIS militants who have deliberately destroyed infrastructure, and in coalition airstrikes carried out in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battling ISIS on the ground in northern Syria.

Earth-filled Tabqa Dam, the largest in Syria, has been under control of ISIS since 2013. The extremist group has used it as a headquarters, prison, and training centre.
The SDF are within a few kilometres of the dam
Atlantic Council
The station has been headed towards disaster over these past years of neglect, complete loss of replacement parts, and the exodus of technical experience. (Thanks to the US backed destabilization) The risk of fighting around the station when the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) makes the danger imminent.

The Euphrates Dam power station protects the dam from collapsing by controlling the water flow from the reservoir and through the turbine generators and the eight spillway gates on the station’s roof.

The portion of the Euphrates flowing from Turkey is 700 cubic meters per second. Since ISIS took control of the dams, this amount reached unprecedented lows. The Euphrates Dam reservoir is about 90 km (60 miles) long, stretching from the city of Tabqa to the Tishrin Dam on the outskirts of Manbij, and an average of 8 km wide. The dam itself is 4 km long and 60 m (197 ft) high, with a width of 512 m (1680 ft) at the base and 20 m (66 ft) on the surface, and is composed of sand and gravel rubble. The dam holds 14.1 billion cubic meters of drinking water as well as a huge wealth of fish, and its reservoir provides irrigation for vast areas of agricultural projects on its banks.
There is currently heavy fighting ongoing between the SDF and the Islamic State in the area around the dam. Coalition airstrikes are targeting the Islamic state in the city of Tabqa, near the power station. Tremors from explosions reach the station’s foundations, and are affecting the dam and weakening its integrity.
Image from Atlantic Council
If the dam or power station is directly targeted, whether intentionally or accidentally, the structure could quickly collapse.
 It will be coalition airstrikes that will bring this dam down. Same as it will be in Mosul. Same as it was coalition airstrikes that took out all of the Mosul bridges in Iraq. Same as it was coalition airstrikes that destroyed two bridges that crossed the Euphrates- That’s right coalition airstrikes.
 

Link
Deir e-Zor residents and merchants have relied on river barges since late September 2016, when the US-led coalition struck and destroyed two main bridges connecting the western and eastern bank of the Euphrates River, Syria Direct reported at the time.
That’s right it was NOT the Syrian government that blew the bridges. It was not Russia or Turkey that blew up the bridges- It was the US led coalition- which is mostly the US- So familiar!
ISIS’ decision to partially open three of the dam’s spillway gates, cause the water level behind the dam to rise, and flood huge areas of agricultural land, is a military strategy to create a natural barrier that would prevent attacking forces from advancing and surrounding the city. The only option the Syrian Democratic Forces are left with is crossing over the dam itself, which is only 20 meters wide, completely exposed, and secured by weaponry. If the dam becomes a battlefield, this could pose an even greater problem, since any aerial assault would damage it, and could even damage the retaining wall on the side of the reservoir, which would allow water to erode the sandy rubble. This process would accelerate rapidly, creating caves behind the dam’s structural reinforcement on the reservoir side, making it unable to hold back the weight and pressure of the water. If this happens, the collapse of the dam would be inevitable.
It would be preferable for SDF forces to attack the city from the west, since their chance of entering it would be less dangerous to the bridge. They appear to have no choice, however, since the battlefront on the west is too wide.

If the bridge collapses in less than ten minutes, it would unleash a rush of water to the Baath Dam, which is 25 km away. The flood of water would join the 90 million cubic meters of water in the Baath Dam’s reservoir, and create a disaster headed for Raqqa at speeds that could reach 120 km / hour.  At this rate, the water would reach Raqqa in less than half an hour, drowning the city. In two hours, it would reach Deir Ezzor, and from there al-Bukamal in Iraq.

The collapse of the dam would not only eliminate all forms of life in the area and change the natural landscape, but would also affect oil wells in Deir Ezzor. Water could mix with crude oil, creating an additional natural disaster. If the Euphrates Dam collapses, it would also affect the areas upstream of the dam, causing droughts and reducing the agricultural output.
 Was thinking about how the actions of the US have detrimentally affected two dams, Mosul and Tabqua/Euphrates, in two nations Iraq and Syria- While negligence at home, thanks to war making abroad,  has resulted in trouble at a dam in California- All because politicians and coopted scientists preached permanent drought for California- fools! While the upper tier politicians reshaped entire regions of the world instead of taking care of their home turf- Pathetic

Oroville Dam:

A year ago, politicians and experts were predicting a near-permanent statewide drought, a “new normal” desert climate. (thanks to Fake Climate Science) The most vivid example of how wrong they were is that California’s majestic Oroville Dam is currently in danger of spillway failure in a season of record snow and rainfall. That could spell catastrophe for thousands who live below it and for the state of California at large that depends on its stored water.
The poor condition of the dam is almost too good a metaphor for the condition of the state as a whole; its possible failure is a reflection of California’s civic decline.
The poor condition of the dam is too good of a metaphor for many things-

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Obvious Safe Zone for Displaced Syrians is Israeli Claimed Golan

That's right readers! It's the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about!
It would be the most efficient, cost effective and best for the Syrian people.It is already a safe zone- UN peacekeepers are  in the area and more can be deployed! Therefore displaced Syrians can be moved within Syria's territory, back to Golan and quite easily be resettled. The land is rich. Fertile soil. Water and natural resources are abundant. No burden for the EU. Canada. The US.

The international community does NOT recognize Israel's claim on Syria's territorial land.  Therefore the land claimed by Israel is Syrian territory! For the Syrian people!
 

Israel has no legal/lawful claim to the land.
It is Syrian territory. 
Refugee problem solved.
It's as easy as that Donald Trump! 

Netanyahu asks Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights
 WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked US President Donald Trump on Wednesday to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

Most of the world considers the Golan, a high plateau between northeastern Israel and southwestern Syria, to be occupied by Israel, which annexed the territory in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally.
Don't do it Mr Trump-
UN rejects Israel's claim over Syria's Golan Heights

The UN Security Council has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that the annexed Golan Heights in Syria would "for ever" remain under Israeli control.
The 15-member council agreed on Tuesday that the status of the Golan, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967, "remains unchanged", Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who holds this month's council presidency said.

Liu recalled a 1981 resolution which states that Israel's "decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights was nul and void and without any international legal effect."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flynn's Ouster Planned? Robert Harward (Attack Iran?) Frontrunner

Well, well, well... doesn't the resignation of Flynn get more and more interesting ????

White House Said to Prepare for Flynn's Ouster Since Last Week Bloomberg
The official said preparations had been under way to replace Flynn for a long time. The person asked not to be identified discussing a personnel matter.
Harward is a retired vice admiral who once served under Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Harward is a most interesting individual particularly when one considers the post of February 10/17: "How America Could Stumble Into War With Iran" ? Elliot Abrams Nixed
"In Donald Trump’s first term there is a serious possibility of a military conflict, whether intentional or inadvertent, between the United States or Israel and Iran. What follows is how it could unfold, and how it might be avoided"
Let's take a gander at Harward

Robert Harward: Everything you need to know about possible national security adviser 

If the Trump administration is set to 'stumble' into war with Iran- this is the man for the job
Harward served as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command under Gen. James Mattis, now the secretary of defense. Harward is an ABC News contributor.
Here’s everything you need to know about the man who could serve as Trump’s chief White House adviser on national security issues. 

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward shakes hands with U.S. Navy Cmdr....

Name: Robert S. Harward
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island
What he used to do:
Harward was appointed in 2011 as the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, serving under then-commander Mattis, until his retirement from the military in 2013.
Before that assignment, he was the deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 in Afghanistan.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, he led troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for six years.
Harward, 60, is now the chief executive officer for Lockheed Martin United Arab Emirates.
Career track:
Harward enlisted in the Navy and was later awarded a fleet appointment to the U.S Naval Academy, from where he graduated in 1979. He qualified as a surface warfare officer aboard the destroyer USS Scott before joining the Naval Special Warfare community. Harward was the “Honor Man” of his Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL class 128, an award given to the most outstanding member of the training course.
Throughout his distinguished career, Harward has been stationed around the world, but also worked for the executive branch in the nation’s capital. He has served on the National Security Council as the director of Strategy and Policy for the office of Combating Terrorism and was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the National Counterterrorism Center as a member of the Senior Interagency Strategy Team, according to his Navy biography.
He holds a master’s degree in international relations and strategic security affairs, served as a federal executive fellow at Rand and completed the Center for International Studies’ foreign policy program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to the biography.
Harward was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award in 2013 by the U.S. Naval War College for his prominence in the field of national security. In 2012 he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award for individuals “whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation are cause for celebration,” according to the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, which sponsors the award.
Things you might not know about him:
Harward grew up the son of a naval officer and spent much of his teenage years in Iran. He graduated from Tehran American High School in 1974 and speaks Farsi.
For his retirement ceremony in Coronado, California, in 2013, Harward jumped out of a plane and parachuted in, landing on the beach where the ceremony would take place. Adm. William McRaven, then-commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Mattis, then-commander of Centcom, spoke at his retirement.


Harward’s parachute had the SEAL trident flag along with his three-star flag above it, according to The Coronado Times.

Interesting no? Harward and his family smack dab in Iran during the reign of the Shah
Images from the 1979 revolution


Full Circle?
 Related

Saudi Arabia and Shamoon 2

I’m not going to automatically assume that Iran was behind this. We could be looking at a US/Israel thumb screws tactic being employed to encourage Saudi Arabia to be cooperative, in some way.
 
Link :Looking for some thoughts.
Saudi Arabia is warning that a computer virus that destroyed systems of its state-run oil company in 2012 has returned to the kingdom, with at least one major petrochemical company apparently affected by its spread.

Suspicion for the initial dispersal of the Shamoon virus in 2012 fell on Iran as it came after the Stuxnet cyberattack targeting Tehran's contested nuclear enrichment program.

It wasn't immediately clear who could be responsible for the new infection, though the relations between regional rivals remain tense.

A report Monday by Saudi state-run television included comments suggesting that 15 government agencies and private institutions had been hit by the Shamoon virus, including the Saudi Labor Ministry. The ministry said it was working with the Interior Ministry to contain the virus.

Sadara, a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., shut down its computer network Monday over a disruption.

Company spokesman Sami Amin said its network remained down Tuesday, though it hadn't affected operations at the facility. He declined to comment further.

Sadara is based in Jubail Industrial City, which sits about 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of the eastern Saudi city of Dammam in the heartland of the kingdom's oil industry. The $20 billion facility, inaugurated by Saudi King Salman in late November, includes 26 manufacturing units that will produce more than 3 million metric tons of plastics and chemical products.

Another state-run TV report on Tuesday said the Saudi Technical and Vocational Training Corp. was affected, though a spokesman denied the virus did any damage to its network.

Symantec Corp., a California-based security firm, warned in late November that Shamoon had been spotted again in Saudi Arabia. Computers affected had their hard drives erased and displayed a photograph of the body of 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, who drowned fleeing his country's civil war, Symantec said.

"Why Shamoon has suddenly returned again after four years is unknown," Symantec said . "However, with its highly destructive payload, it is clear that the attackers want their targets to sit up and take notice."

The November attacks apparently involved previously stolen passwords. Symantec on Monday said the outbreak might be linked to a group it called Greenbug, which previously attacked targets in Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey with emails carrying malicious attachments.

Shamoon, named for a folder in its code, first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012. In that attack, which hit Saudi Aramco and Qatari natural gas producer RasGas, the virus deleted hard drives and then displayed a picture of a burning American flag on computer screens. The attack forced Saudi Aramco to shut down its network and destroyed over 30,000 computers.

"All told, the Shamoon virus was probably the most destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date," then-U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the time.

Shortly before Panetta's speech, a former U.S. official told The Associated Press that American officials firmly believed Iranian hackers likely backed by Tehran were responsible for the attack.

Iran denied being responsible for the 2012 Shamoon outbreak. Tehran had no immediate comment on the new outbreak.

The first emergence of Shamoon came as Iran faced international sanctions over its contested nuclear program and after it saw thousands of centrifuges destroyed by the Stuxnet virus, widely believed to be an American and Israeli creation.

Last year, a series of fires at Iranian petrochemical plants and facilities have raised suspicions about hacking potentially playing a role.

Monday, February 13, 2017

For Jared Kushner, Israel Policy May be Shaped by the Personal

Shaped by the Personal? Personal beliefs? Personal agenda? Personal grudges?

Will we  see more Israeli aggression & expansion shaped by Jared Kushner's personal experiences and indoctrination?

NYT’s
Read in full at link above
Mr. Kushner was a high school basketball player, a Billy Joel fan, a quiz team manager and no one’s guess to become a negotiating partner with Mr. Netanyahu. But unlike other students on the trip, he knew the prime minister, who was friendly with his father, a real estate developer and donor to Israeli causes. Mr. Netanyahu had even stayed at the Kushners’ home in New Jersey, sleeping in Jared’s bedroom. (The teenager moved to the basement that night.)

On Wednesday, when the Israeli prime minister visits the White House, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Kushner will reunite on far different terms from before — and yet their meeting will be imbued with some of the shared ideas of those old encounters. Mr. Netanyahu is on his second stint as prime minister; Mr. Kushner, now 36, is President Trump’s son-in-law and a leading adviser on Middle Eastern affairs with a daunting assignment. Mr. Trump has said that Mr. Kushner will try to “do peace,” which the president has called “the ultimate deal.”
 Kushner “is a mystery to most Middle Eastern officials. He has no experience in government or international affairs. His up-close exposure to the Arab world amounts to little more than trips to a handful of Persian Gulf countries and a star-studded jaunt to Jordan.

Though Mr. Kushner has visited Israel since childhood, and more recently to do business, he is little known there. He holds strong views about the state of Israel, but he has not been outspoken about them, save for editorials in The New York Observer, the newspaper he owned. His thinking on matters like settlements is not well understood.
“Israel wasn’t a political discussion for him; it was his family, his life, his people,” said Hirschy Zarchi, rabbi at the Chabad House at Harvard, where Mr. Kushner was an undergraduate.
Mr. Kushner has ties to Israel that are personal and religious. His visit to Auschwitz was stark, but its themes were not new to him. His grandmother survived the Holocaust by crawling through a homemade tunnel in Poland. His grandfather escaped the massacres by hiding in a hole for years. An Orthodox Jew, Mr. Kushner was instructed to protect Israel, remember the genocide and assure the survival of the Jewish people, those close to him say.

He was educated at Jewish schools where second graders were expected to draw maps of Israel from memory and the West Bank was often referred to by its biblical names, Judea and Samaria, a practice that emphasizes Jewish claims to the land. His family used its real estate fortune to donate millions of dollars to American Jewish and Israeli hospitals, schools and other institutions, including a few in settlements, according to public records. In his classes, Palestinians were regarded at a distance, in part as security threats who committed acts of terrorism — including one that killed a sister of a classmate of Mr. Kushner’s.

Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in New York in 2011. Mr. Kushner is holding the lulav, a palm branch, and the etrog, a citrus fruit, which are used in the celebrations.

When Mr. Trump ran for president, his son-in-law’s stances on Israel helped shape the campaign. Mr. Kushner helped script a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and consulted with Netanyahu officials behind the scenes. When he brought the candidate and the prime minister together for a meeting, his father, Charles Kushner, was invited to join them.

Thanks in part to the younger Mr. Kushner, Mr. Netanyahu will arrive at a White House that has already adopted many of the prime minister’s perspectives on the region. Now Mr. Kushner is helping Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu craft a strategy to recruit Sunni Muslim countries that oppose Iran to help foster an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The approach is a long shot: Negotiations are dead. The Israeli right is pushing for more settlement in the West Bank as talk among Palestinians turns to a single state in which they have equal rights.
Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian leader who was involved in peace talks both with Israelis and internally, said Palestinians were skeptical of Mr. Kushner, and Mr. Trump’s team generally, seeing them as close only to the Israeli side. As part of its philanthropy, Mr. Kushner’s family has made donations to the Beit El settlement, which Mr. Barghouti finds particularly worrisome.
We need somebody who is really impartial,” Mr. Barghouti said, pointing out that it is unclear whether Mr. Kushner has ever visited a Palestinian area (the White House would not say). “There is no indication he is interested in hearing from the other side.”

Mr. Netanyahu’s list of potential donors, including Mr. Kushner’s father, Charles. Credit Ynetnews.com

Through a White House spokeswoman, Mr. Kushner declined to respond or be interviewed
The major Jewish institutions of Mr. Kushner’s life — school and synagogue — emphasized the connection between religion and Zionism. “In the modern Orthodox community, the state of Israel has an important place in identity, as a religious ideal, not only a political reality,” said Elie Weinstock, rabbi at Kehilath Jeshurun, the Manhattan synagogue Mr. Kushner joined.
At his elementary school, the Hebrew Youth Academy in Livingston, N.J., it was impossible to walk the halls “without seeing the flags of Israel and Israeli historical figures and how the kids celebrate Israeli holidays,” said Stephen Flatow

During high school at the Frisch School in northern New Jersey, where Mr. Kushner spent long days attending mandatory prayers (morning and afternoon) and studying in English, Hebrew and Aramaic (the language of the Talmud), every year of his education was interwoven with events in Israel.

But classmates say the environment Mr. Kushner lived in could feel apolitical, because most everyone shared similar views, and Palestinian perspectives were barely considered. Some teachers told students that “Palestinian” was a made-up identity, a label adopted for political reasons. There was little discussion of what it was like to live under occupation, several classmates of Mr. Kushner’s recalled. Many rabbis and teachers seemed comfortable with settlements, and some students said they never learned that Israel’s borders were a highly contested topic.
“There was such an assumption that Jews deserve to have this place, that it was theirs for thousands of years by biblical fiat,” said Eli Schleifer, who graduated the year before Mr. Kushner. “There was such a strange blindness to the complexity of the situation.”
In 1999, Mr. Kushner left New Jersey for Harvard, where he no longer wore a skullcap to classes, but continued to follow rules of Orthodox Jewish life.

 Soon the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, was setting off criticism of Israel on campus and then responses from students who defended the country, but Mr. Kushner kept his head down.

Instead he spent time at the Chabad House, where Rabbi Zarchi was struck by how Mr. Kushner “never felt the need to apologize for his differences, his religious commitments,” he said.

Mr. Kushner sometimes expressed his views during long Sabbath meals at the house. “He certainly believed that a strong and secure Israel was in America and the world’s best interest,” Rabbi Zarchi said. He didn’t believe that Israel needed “the approval of Europe, the United Nations or even Washington or London,” the rabbi continued.

While Mr. Kushner was at Harvard, Mr. Netanyahu once again visited his father, speaking at his office, kicking a soccer ball at one of the schools that carried the family name and sitting down for a tabbouleh lunch with students, including Jared’s younger brother, Joshua.
But Mr. Kushner’s task is formidable. Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump want to set in motion a chain of events that could block Iran, redefine Israel’s relationship with the Arab world and create Israeli-Palestinian peace — “the deal that can’t be made,” as Mr. Trump has said.

“The prime minister is coming into the meeting with the hope to forge a common policy with the president, and Jared’s role is critical in that,” said Ron Dermer, the ambassador of Israel, with whom Mr. Kushner has been in close contact. “He’s someone who, in my interactions with him, has really been able to deliver.”

Ron Dermer the ambassador of Israel has been in close contact with Mr Kushner and states. “He’s someone who, in my interactions with him, has really been able to deliver.”

Able to deliver what? For whom?

From Earlier:

America’s “Best Fighting Forces” Rule With an Iron Fist

America’s “Best Fighting Forces” Rule With an Iron Fist

I dare say the YPG/PKK have been and continue to be the darlings of the main stream media and so called alternative news too. There will be little that is new to long term readers here as I’ve stated these very facts for years now-
The Kurdish YPG recruits fighters at gunpoint, assassinates political opponents, and suppresses the media.
I’m excluding wild speculation, exaggeration and what appears to be fallacious and misleading based on my own knowledge of this situation. Example: Claims by YPG/PKK of  not being adequately trained or armed by the US are absurd.  They have NATO special forces embedded among them, bombs are dropped on their word- The US partnered with the YPG/PKK in  their ethnic cleansing/displacement agenda- They've had tons and tons of weapons delivered to them- The US is supposed to be fighting terrorists/ism, not bolstering it

Cutting to the chase:

This is the second of a two-part investigation, which was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Part one can be read here.
The raid began at 3 am in a Syrian village close to the Iraqi border. Kurdish-led military police, many masked, piled out of their pickup trucks, set up roadblocks, drew their weapons, and launched a house-to-house search.
 It was America’s favorite Syrian militia, the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, at work. Top figures in the Obama administration and even the professional military praised the YPG as the most effective Syrian force against the Islamic State, or ISIS. (The Trump administration hasn’t yet indicated how it plans to work with the YPG.)
But its mission last September 10 was nothing to brag about. The northeast Syrian village being stormed, Bani Shkawe, is Kurdish, and the Asayish, or military police, were not scouring for radical Islamists but for Kurdish draft-dodgers. They arrested seven young men, but many others got away, local residents said.   
Two weeks later, the Asayish returned with a force of 700. When a group of young men took flight, the Asayish opened fire, killing Hani Khanjar, an 18-year-old Kurd. They captured three young men, but set them free, since they were under 18.   

The YPG regularly raids villages such as Bani Shkawe, and several times a month it sets up roadblocks and checkpoints at the edge of major towns and villages, according to opposition politicians and local human rights monitors.

Measures such as these testify to the unpopularity of the Democratic Union Party, the PYD, the political wing of the YPG, but it’s not the only reason. The PYD runs the region, which it calls Rojava or west Kurdistan, with an iron hand, suppressing political opposition, detaining journalists and shutting down independent media, and expelling tens of thousands of Arabs as it seeks to consolidate control. Forced recruitment is both a cause and an effect of its unpopularity.   

“The PYD has a manpower problem,” said Fabrice Balanche, a French academic expert on Syria with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He estimates that 500,000 Kurds—half the population—have fled northern Syria rather than submit to YPG rule.   

The US military has got wind of the YPG’s forced-recruitment practice. “We’ve heard of it. I don’t know if we’ve confirmed it,” Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for the US Central Command, told The Nation. But, he added, “forced conscription is not something we are in there advising” the YPG to do.    

American demands on the YPG may be driving the number still higher. The problem begins with the YPG itself and its hostile relations with neighbors on two sides, Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

In addition, the YPG is the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a group on the US, Turkish, and European Union terrorism lists. While there may be military logic in teaming up the US military machine with a ground force that has a central organization, an officer corps, and combat experience, that’s also the drawback, for the PKK’s combat experience was gained fighting Turkey for some 30 years in an insurgency that flared up again in the summer of 2015.

The State Department claims the YPG is a separate entity from the PKK, a stance viewed throughout the region as fiction. Asked for evidence to prove its point, the department refuses to answer specific questions about US policy.

At US behest, the YPG took a step in late 2015 to broaden its appeal by setting up the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, an umbrella group with a major component of Arab fighters but under YPG control. And that means PKK control.   

“Of course all orders come from Qandil,” said Balanche, referring to the Iraqi headquarters of the PKK. According to PKK defectors interviewed by The Nation, 70 percent of the YPG forces were PKK units based in Qandil. 

Compulsory YPG military service dates back to June 2014, when the PYD-ruled legislative council in the self-styled Jazira canton issued a “law of performing self-defense.” It required every family to provide a male “volunteer” between 18 and 30 years of age to serve for six months. Families without an eligible male were encouraged to send females instead, leading to unrest throughout Jazira and the other cantons, Kobani and Afrin.   

The YPG has been raiding and arresting young men—as well as women and girls—since the beginning of 2014, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reported early this year.   

SNHR has also reported extensive forced recruitment of child soldiers—adolescents under 16. Some 1,876 children were forcibly recruited between 2012 and 2015. “Children have been forced to use and train on guns since 2012 extensively,” SNHR said. Both the Pentagon and the State Department declined to respond to questions from The Nation.   

The YPG agreed in writing in 2014 to halt the recruiting of underage soldiers, according to Geneva Call, an NGO that lobbies armed groups to adhere to international norms in war. As of late 2015, 214 children under 16 had been demobilized and 49 others between 16 and 17 had been discharged from military service, the group said in a report early last year, according to YPG officials.   
Silencing Local Journalists..
“They told me that either I give up journalism and leave or they will kill me.” —Sadun Sino, Orient TV

In the first year of force recruitment, local journalists produced many stories, in part because anxious parents approached them and urged them to report the news. But public protests were quickly suppressed, and independent journalism has been crushed.   

In 2013 Sadun Sino began working for Orient TV, an opposition news outlet in Rojava. After reporting on a series of assassinations of Kurdish opposition figures—all of which he believed were carried out by PYD operatives—Sino began regular coverage of protests, which usually erupted when the YPG seized an underage boy or girl. Sino said he produced at least 15 reports from his hometown of Derbasi, and other reporters in Amudah and Kobani produced even more. The YPG “staged so many roundups in Derbasi that I lost count,” Sino said. “People came to me asking me to report on it,” he pointed out.   

He reported on the conscription of girls, at least two of whom were under-age, and on PKK arrests of young men and women at checkpoints. “On one day in 2014, they took 40 men and boys at one checkpoint,” Sino said. “It was happening every day.” On another day, the YPG issued an order to round up 150 conscripts.   

Finally, the authorities cracked down on the news coverage. “They told me that either I give up journalism and leave or they will kill me,” Sino told The Nation. After being jailed four times, he fled Rojava in January 2015.   

“The PYD and the YPG violently suppressed freedom of assembly and severely limited freedom of speech.” —US State Department

Jason Stern, a researcher with the New York–based Committee to Project Journalists until last week, said CPJ has found that censorship and arrests are routine in Rojava. “Too often the authorities there get glowing coverage for their role in fighting Islamic State, and, as a result, their regular practice of censorship is ignored,” Stern observed in an e-mail.   

“Journalists have been routinely detained for days at a time and then released—each incident sending a clear message to other journalists,” Stern said. Media affiliated with other parties or the Syrian opposition “are targeted” for censorship, he said. And he noted that the PYD withdrew the license of two major news outlets in August 2015, the KRG-based Rudaw news agency and the Syrian opposition station Orient TV. Both were banned permanently in February 2016, according to Saeed Omar Khalil, a human-rights lawyer in Erbil, the KRG capital.   

But this is only part of the picture of repression. In its annual human-rights report last year, the State Department, quoting Kurdish activists and press reporting, said “the PYD and the YPG violently suppressed freedom of assembly and severely limited freedom of speech in areas under their control.”   

In the past two years at least eight journalists have been abducted or arrested, according to Kurdwatch, a Berlin-based watchdog group. It reported a case in early 2015 where a journalist from the website of a news outlet affiliated with the Kurdish Unity Party was abducted by the Asayish military police, beaten with iron bars, and had a finger cut off.   

Lawyer Khalil gave The Nation a list of 57 political activists who had been arrested through last September. Among them was Yunes Assad, the head of the town council in Amudah, who was kidnapped, beaten, and tortured in May 2016.   

The severe political repression has also contributed to the reluctance of Kurds to serve in the YPG, Kurdish refugees said. As of last autumn, according to Kurdwatch researcher Eva Savelsberg, as much as 40 percent of the security forces in Rojava are recruited by force. The rest, mainly young men from poor families, join largely for the salary in a region where there are almost no employment opportunities.   

Despite the forced recruitment, the YPG was still short of fighters last year, so a new rule was issued on October 17 requiring nine months of service, with three more months tacked on for those who don’t register by December 1.   

Rojava opposition politicians claim that the PYD support base is no more than 10 percent of the population; as proof they cite the YPG’s closure of the border with Iraqi Kurdistan since last spring. KRG officials say that if the YPG were to open the borders to Iraqi Kurdistan, three-quarters of the population would flee.   

In Bani Shkawe, the public mood remains defiant. “Our village is surrounded by hills and valleys, and the village people know every valley and stone,” said a resident, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. “Our youth go into hiding when the village is stormed.”   

“We don’t want anything from the PYD,” said the resident. “We just want them to leave us alone.”   
Too bad for the remaining Kurds and Arabs the US has backed this team of terrorists. I'll repeat that which has been stated here on many an occasion- Kurdistan/Israel 2.0 will be just another NATO terror state- It will be Israel 2.0.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

What's At Stake In Battle For Al-Bab? Turkish/Syrian Cooperation

Via the BBC: Fabrice Balanche:  Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Interesting? Share your thoughts.
The Syrian town of al-Bab was rather insignificant until it emerged as a strategic stake between the Syrian president and his allies (Russia and Iran), Turkey, the Kurdish PYD (Democratic Union Party) and the so-called Islamic State group.

Al-Bab was quickly occupied by rebels in spring 2012, and subsequently seized by IS during the winter of 2013-2014, which eliminated the other rebel factions. The town has since become an IS stronghold, home to many foreign jihadists and their families. It has served as the basis of IS's offensives against the Syrian army and the rebels in Aleppo province.

Today, the city and its suburbs (Qabasin, Bizaa and Tadif) are almost surrounded. Operation Euphrates Shield forces, led by the Turkish army, are closing in from the north, while the Syrian army, which has quickly advanced over the last two weeks, moves in from the south.

The Russian air force has also bombed the IS positions south of al-Bab, leaving Turkish aviation to strike targets in the city itself. This suggests that rather than competition between the Syrian army and the Euphrates Shield forces for al-Bab, there is coordination and a shared area of influence.

The Aleppo-Manbij road, to the south of al-Bab, may function as the border between the Syrian Army and Euphrates Shield forces: al-Bab, Bizaa and Qabasin will be occupied by Turkey and Turkish-backed rebels, while the Syrian army will be satisfied with Tadif.
Syrian government forces walk in an area south of the city of al-Bab in the northern province of Aleppo on January 14, 2016.
Southfront

Reporting from southfront seems to confirm the analysis from WINEP

After liberating Tadif, the Syrian army will not enter al-Bab. The Syrian military agreed with Turkey on a demarcation line with pro-Turkish forces (the Turkish army and pro-Turkish militant groups).
“As a result of the advance, the Syrian government forces have reached a demarcation line with the Free Syrian Army’s units as it had been agreed with the Turkish side.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian army has got a control over the highway linking al-Bab and the ISIS self-proclaimed capital of Raqqah.

'Stopping the Kurds'
The objective of the Turkish intervention in northern Syria is to prevent the linkage of the Kurdish cantons of Afryn and Kobane. After regaining the htown of Manbij from IS in August, the Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had planned to next seize al-Bab and thus unify their territories. A race towards al-Bab began between the SDF and the Turkish army. This was halted in December when Turkey bombed the SDF, sending a message that their advance needed to stop.

Neither the Syrian regime nor Turkey had any interest in the Kurds taking al-Bab. The agreement between Russia and Turkey, in August 2016, joined by the Iranians, came at the expense of Kurdish interests. In the deal, Turkey also ceased aiding rebels in exchange for Russian neutrality in Turkey's campaign against the Kurds.

East Aleppo was retaken by the regime soon after the conclusion of this agreement; al-Bab, it seems, will be left for the Turks.
Rebels with different priorities
Turkey is, however, experiencing difficulties in seizing the city. It has been making slow progress since mid-November 2016 and must send significant reinforcements because its Syrian proxies are not motivated by the battle for al-Bab. The primary objective of these rebel groups is to fight the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not IS, and certainly not to collaborate with the Syrian Army in al-Bab.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has no choice, as he needs to use the battle of al-Bab to prove the effectiveness of the Turkish army and its Arab proxies, if there is to be any hope of getting the United States to renounce a plan of making SDF its main ally in the offensive against IS in Raqqa, the group's other stronghold in the country's east.

Taking al-Bab is also an issue of domestic politics for President Erdogan, as it appeals to Turkish nationalism. If it succeeds, the Turkish army may finally turn towards Manbij, in order to repulse the SDF to the east bank of the River Euphrates. 
What next?

President Assad is not pleased with Turkey creating a zone of influence in the north, less than 30km (20 miles) from Aleppo. Al-Bab was expected to have fallen to the Syrian army, which has been only 10km south of the city since January 2016. But the Russo-Turkish agreements seem to have decided otherwise.

What do Russia and Turkey foresee for the future? Will the Turkish army be allowed to advance even further south, and then head for Raqqa by the southern shore of Lake Assad?

This is difficult to imagine: the progression of the Syrian army south of al-Bab seems to indicate that it will next go towards Lake Assad to cut the Turkish route.
To cut the Turkish route? We shall see.
If President Erdogan wants to go to Raqqa he will have to attack the SDF, the US allies postpone the offensive on Raqqa. It is, therefore, in IS's interest to prolong the battle of al-Bab, increasing the potential for Turkish-US discord, as its best strategy for protecting Raqqa.
 From earlier today:

Fukushima Update: 3 Admitted Meltdowns, 6 Years After the Fact