Monday, February 24, 2020

Study says coronavirus did not originate in Wuhan seafood market-Stock Markets Dropping on Coronavirus spread

 An interesting report. Not implying anything by posting this report, but, it's interesting because all the western media news reports had this virus originating in the market. 
That is not the case according to the information below.  Also worth mentioning the stock markets, not just the Dow, look to be taking a hit due to the further spread of the coronavirus
Link
"Genomic analysis of 93 samples of the novel coronavirus suggests that it did not originate in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, according to a group of Chinese scientists.
The novel coronavirus that causes the infectious disease known as Covid-19 did not originate at a seafood market in the central China city of Wuhan as was first thought, a new study by a team of Chinese scientists suggests.
The coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2, was imported from elsewhere, said researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Institute for Brain Research.
The team, led by Dr Yu Wenbin, sequenced the genomic data of 93 SARS-CoV-2 samples provided by 12 countries in a bid to track down the source of the infection and understand how it spreads.
A new study says the virus did not originate in the market but spread there.
What they found was that while the virus had spread rapidly within the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, there had also been two major population expansions on December 8 and January 6.
According to the study, which was published on the institute’s website on Thursday, the analysis suggested that the coronavirus was introduced from outside the market.
“The crowded market then boosted SARS-CoV-2 circulation and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019,” it said.
Earlier reports by Chinese health authorities and the World Health Organization said that the first known patient showed symptoms on December 8, and that most of the subsequent cases had links to the seafood market, which was closed on January 1.
The research went on to say that based on the genome data it was possible that the virus began spreading from person to person in early December or even as early as late November. China reported the outbreak to the WHO on December 31.
“The study concerning whether Huanan market is the only birthplace of SARS-CoV-2 is of great significance for finding its source and determining the intermediate host, so as to control the epidemic and prevent it from spreading again,” the research team said.
Human to human transmission of the coronavirus may have started as early as November.
The scientists said also that although China’s National Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Level 2 emergency warning about the new coronavirus on January 6, the information was not widely shared.
“If the warning had attracted more attention, the number of cases both nationally and globally in mid-to-late January would have been reduced,” they said.
Meanwhile, Xiang Nijuan, a researcher at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV on Saturday that people infected with the new coronavirus were contagious two days before they showed any symptoms.
Therefore anyone who had been in close contact with someone within 48 hours of them being confirmed as infected should put themselves in isolation for 14 days, he said"
 
 From late yesterday:

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Kremlin: Don't Make Negative Predictions About Russian/Turkish ties. Israel Confirm Airstrikes Targeting Syria!

Peskov urging rationality and avoidance of very wild speculation.
It must have been quite the spectacle to behold, following this past weeks "news"  or should I more rightly call it perception management?

TASS

MOSCOW, February 23. /TASS/. No negative predictions should be made about the development of Russian-Turkish relations amid a recent escalation in the Syrian region of Idlib, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a televised interview with Moscow. The Kremlin. Putin program on Rossiya’1 channel on Sunday.
When asked whether the Russian-Turkish relationship could worsen due to the situation in Syria, Peskov said, "Certainly, we would not like to plunge into this gloomy mood and in fact to make extremely negative scenarios, but the week has really happened to be absolutely restless."
Ties in nicely with the previous oped:

Israel at it again..  And this time they admit it!


This the first time in all my years of writing this blog that Israel has openly stated they did the deed!  They usually neither confirm or deny

They are in fact confirming they carried out an act of war in another country!
Which makes me think they are going to get much more active! 
And I want to be wrong, but, their flat out admission is a shocker.

Israel confirms carrying out air strikes on Syria and Gaza

Israel Confirms Strikes
Israeli military launched a series of raids targeting the Islamic Jihad movement in Syria and throughout the Gaza Strip, its spokesman confirmed on Twitter after Damascus air defenses intercept hostile targets.
Reuter's

Saturday, February 22, 2020

“The Limits of Relying on Disagreement Between Moscow, Ankara”

 If you prefer irrationality, (the quality of being illogical or unreasonable) which is bizarre (strange or unusual), this is not the oped for you.  So much of the information in the oped has been covered here for many years. Including Turkey's cooperation with Syria and Russia to clear Aleppo city, back in 2016... Yup, there are a number of reports covering that reality here at PFYT's. They will be relinked. 

Sane non sensational oped from aawsat @ Akram Bunni
There has been a lot of talk about the dispute between Moscow and Ankara over influence in Syria. This talk stems from the clashes between factions aligned to each of the two sides and their contestation over the most important sites and facilities in rural Idlib and Aleppo, marking a new level of tension and escalation as Turkish military observation points were bombed by Syrian forces, probably with Russian support and cover, killing and wounding several Turkish soldiers.

Ankara retaliated by targeting a group of Syrian forces, killing and wounding dozens. The Syrian army and the Iranian militias’ successful takeover of dozens of villages and towns make matters more severe. This while Ankara hardened its rhetoric and dragged thousands of troops to protect its military sites in an attempt to pressure the regime and its allies and hinder their advances on land and try to change the scene in the last de-escalation zone.

The two sides indeed have divergent reasons for their involvement in Syria, but it is also true that they have strong shared interests that compel them to put an end to what is happening or limit it to the greatest extent possible.

Firstly, they are both classical pragmatists, opening the door to mutual readiness to make concessions and solidify an agreement, thus preventing things from going as far as they potentially could or towards a bone-breaking battle.
Agree that both Erdogan and Putin are pragmatists. (persons who are guided more by practical considerations than by ideals.) It's quite obvious in their ability to work with one another these past years and adapt to always changing circumstances.
This explains the two sides’ repeated statements on their commitment to the agreements made in Sochi and Astana, including noteworthy commitments to maintain coordination and expanding channels of communication and dialogue to avoid surprises and keep developments under control, especially that both of them are aware of the importance of each of them to the other and the major losses that they would incur if the contention were to escalate.
Pragmatic.
Just as Russia wants to avoid drowning in the swamp of an endless war, Ankara wants to avoid dragging itself into a wide-ranging battle with the regime that could lead to a losing confrontation with its two allies Russia and Iran, in light of an ambiguous American position which will most likely be limited, as usual, to verbal support.

Naturally, neither eliminating nor challenging the Kremlin's presence and role in Syria or the Levant, is a priority for the government in Ankara so long as it receives several forms of support and protection from it. Rather, what it has in mind is cooperating with Russia to curb Kurdish expansion and limit the Kurds’ abilities and the threat that they pose, find a solution to the growing Syrian refugee crisis and expand the influence it has managed to garner or at least maintain it.
It is also not in Russia’s interest to lose its alliance with Ankara so long as it can employ this alliance in its contest for influence with the West over points of tension all over the world. This does not mean that Russia is not working to curtail the agreement’s significance and use it to maximize its influence and control the region's balance of power; this includes using the agreement to threaten the regime in Damascus and shape its positions. Russia also wants to use the agreement to control what remained of the opposition and its armed factions, ensure a degree of favorability for itself among the Sunni Muslim majority and, most importantly, to curtail Iran’s ideological and military presence, which is growing further and further in Syrian society and its economic, security, and military infrastructure. Russia also wants to prepare for the possibility of the west playing a new role in Syria, compelled by the war’s developments on the ground and the possibility of progress on the reconstruction front.
If we go back to an earlier post we should recall that Putin had told Damascus to not push the Idlib issue.  Intense Battles For the Mind Are Raging! Turkish/ Russian Dissolution or Adapting to Changing Realities?
"the Russians had ‘strongly advised’ the Syrian army to halt their offensive and allow Turkey to relocate its troops"
Secondly, there’s the pair’s strong political agreements, which have accumulated over the years preceding Erdogan’s major shift towards Moscow, which began with his apology for downing the Russian Sukhoi jet-plane. This deepened their relationship and shared interests and made them interlinked and intertwined to such a degree that it is difficult to imagine either of them taking a position that is antagonistic to the other’s presence in the region or either of them being ready to cut off his relationship with the other.
This idea of Russia and Turkey's interlinked interests should be obvious to the alt crowd and yet it's not. Instead this idea of Russia and Turkey always being on the verge of war is pushed relentlessly. Why? And why aren't more consumers of this information asking why this idea is being pushed so hard?

This was strengthened further by the emergence of their mutual need for solidarity and cooperation in the face of western economic sanctions imposed on them and the agreement the pair laid down in Sochi and Astana. Before that, Turkish complicity allowed Russia and the regime's forces to control Aleppo and led to opposition militants being transferred from rural Damascus, Homs and Daraa to Idlib after the deals and reconciliations that were made there.
As was discussed years ago, here, Turkey cooperated with both Russia and Syria to clear Aleppo city of militants- This surely raised the ire of the Usrael crowd a great deal.
All in all, the signs are that Russia and Turkey are inclined to develop a blueprint on Aleppo, while leaving the US and its western allies in the cold as mere onlookers.

Quite obviously, all this is not possible without reaching a broad understanding to harmonize the two countries’ differences over the Syrian question. Such an understanding can only be at a nascent stage as of now, but the signal from the Istanbul talks is that there is political will to move forward.
The thrust to take all of Aleppo came for other – mainly three - reasons, says a well-informed contact in the Syrian armed forces.
 These three reasons are (1) the withdrawal of Turkish support for the armed opposition, (2) the collapse of the Western-backed rebels in southern Syria and  (3) the Iraqi-Western push against ISIS in Mosul.
 Turkey and Russia worked together on the clearing of Aleppo city leaving the US and it's western allies out in the cold, and definitely hot under the collar!
Opening oped continues: Russia returned the favor by turning a blind eye to Turkish forces’ incursion in Afrin, then in Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad, its purge and murder of Kurds. Subsequently, last October, Russia signed a deal with Turkey agreeing to the establishment of a safe zone in the region north and east of the Euphrates.
Can't even recall how many times the obvious Russian green lights were mentioned here?
Third, what makes the idea of reaching a mutual understanding more appealing is the depth of the shared economic interests between the two countries. The size of commercial exchange between them in 2019 reached around 30 billion dollars, while the number of Russian tourists in Turkey reached around 6 million. These numbers are very important to the stability of the relationship and on the Turkish economy that is currently facing difficulties that make cutting ties with Russia unbearable. Their relationship was made even more stable after they cooperated in the construction project of a nuclear power plant and Turkish gas pipelines to transport Russian gas to Turkey and Europe.

One should therefore not rely on a new Turkish position in confronting Russian presence only because Erdogan's tone has become sharper and more threatening. Probably, the strength of their shared interests will push them to reach a new understanding, that will be as usual at the expense of Syrian blood, interests and the suffering of refugees. This may culminate in Ankara settling for the outcome of the last battles and framing it under the Sochi Agreement of 2018 on accepting the spread of regime forces supported by Russia between Damascus and Aleppo, and between the M4 and M5 to secure the two international routes from Aleppo and Lattakia.
In the end, regardless of the nature of the struggle over influence between Russia and Turkey in Syria, its horizons are limited, which means that it is necessary to be cautious of building and relying on it. What we have observed in the last few years has shown us time and time again the bitterness of this bet,( relying on and pushing constantly the idea of disagreement) and that it is nothing more than a waste of efforts and opportunities, and has confirmed the readiness of both sides to overcome any dispute between them and that they are more often than not in agreement, and that they now see that the severity of the damage that would result from their competition and the radical divergence in interests and goals that comes with it.
Very Pragmatic.
No salivating for WW III necessary. 
Which was a bit stomach turning to observe this past week.
 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Erdogan and Putin Will Speak Today Regarding Idlib (Via Phone)

 Earlier Today:

Russia/Turkey To Talk in Ankara Next Week- Russia did NOT Strike Turkish Troops

The latest:

 Going further there are now reports that Erdogan and Putin will talk, today, via phone at 15:00 GMT

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he will speak by phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Feb. 21 evening and, based on those talks, will determine Turkey's stance on the military conflict in northwest Syria's Idlib region.
Speaking to reporters, Erdoğan said the French and German leaders had proposed to hold a four-way summit with Russia but that Putin had not yet responded. 
He said that his conversation with Putin will take place at 06.00 p.m. local time [1500GMT].
"During this telephone conversation, we will discuss all the developments in Idlib," he said. "Right now the fight goes on with determination. And in these talks today, this call will determine our attitude."
 Link

Obvious this morning... despite the extreme irrational fear mongering.

the sky isn't falling

* Turkey and Russia quiet on Idlib tensions.

On Thursday some on social media thought World War III was about to break out as Turkish tanks and armored vehicles were seen rushing toward a village called Nayran to do battle with Syrian regime troops. Two Turkish soldiers were reportedly killed in shelling and Turkey responded with rocket fire.  With Russia, the US, Iran, Turkey and dozens of armed groups all in Syria, there could be a major war on.

But Friday arrived with all quiet on the Idlib front. Not entirely quiet, but no MiGs dueling with F-16s. That is because Turkey’s real agenda, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is not to create a conflict with Russia.

Related:

Russia/Turkey To Talk in Ankara Next Week- Russia did NOT Strike Turkish Troops

Link
ISTANBUL, FEBRUARY 21 - While fighting continues on the ground in Idlib between Syrian government forces supported by Russia and rebels backed by Turkey, a new round of talks has been scheduled between Turkish and Russian delegations next week in Ankara. It will be the third round of meetings after those held between Monday and Tuesday in Moscow and previously in Ankara. Previous negotiations have failed to reach an agreement

“The possibility of holding a summit is being discussed. There any no firm decisions about it yet. (But) if all the four leaders deem it necessary, we do not rule out the possibility of such a meeting,” Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
There seems to be confusion, possibly intentional,  about which party struck Turkish soldiers. My understanding is that it was SAA airstrikes. Not Russian airstrikes. 
From my response in the previous post
Hi GC: I'm not certain that Russia bombed Turkish Troops.
From what I'd read yesterday SAA did kill some Turkish troops- Russia bombed the irregulars/mercs, as usual.

As acknowledged by Turkey

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-syria-security-turkey/turkey-says-syrian-air-strikes-kill-two-troops-near-idlib-idUKKBN20E249?rpc=401&

"Turkey said two of its soldiers were killed and five others wounded in Syrian government air strikes in northwest Syria on Thursday, bringing Turkish military fatalities to 15 so far this month in the Idlib region."

It begs the question as to why the idea would be put forth that Russia had bombed Turkish troops- Wouldn't this bring NATO fully into the mix?

Related:

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Idlib Media Coverage Hyper Inflated To Prep For US Intervention In Syria?

 It's not at all clear if fighting has really intensified, since fighting has been consistent in Idlib for years now. How would the intensity be quantified?  It can't be and that's why the 'chicken little' approach to covering Idlib has been avoided here.
  Much more likely is that media coverage has been hyper exaggerated to excuse (seek to defend or justify) a US intervention. Now that I can vouch for. Reporting has been amplified and magnified many times over this past week.

This hyperventilating media coverage began immediately after their had been success due to the Russian/Turkish agreement on Idlib. As had been reported here this turn of events signified the beginning of better ties between Iran, Syria and Turkey. Also serving to severely impede the hoped for Mediterranean connection for the desired Greater Kurdistan. Iran, Turkey, Russia and Syria make a break through and suddenly over the top Idlib coverage abounds in the main stream and alt media. 

* Securing the M4 and M5 Highways in Syria a Blow to Turkey? Or for US/ Israel & Their "Greater Kurdistan" Plan?
 Concluding: The securing of the two highways is more of an obstruction to the Usrael remake agenda then it is to Turkey.  * Turkey will initially see the greater benefit from increased trade.   * Iran benefits via continued trade and access to the Mediterranean, where they have port facilities.  * Benefit will accrue to Syria as well.
 Sure looked to me as if Usrael didn't like the success that Turkey, Russia and Iran were having as Astana Partners.. Reflected in the Lavrov statement

Chicken Little and Extreme Media Drivel VS Reality: Turkey, Russia, Iran & Syria
Lavrov:He also argued that Damascus took control over M4 and M5 highways, in line with Putin and Erdogan's agreement on Idlib.
"I speak about this in such detail, because the coverage of what is happening gives the impression that no one remembers what was agreed in September 2018 and October 2019."
( Except those that actually covered the agreement in 2018. We remember! )
Lavrov "According to comments of some Western representatives, we can get the impression that in Idlib at the time, Russia and Turkey agreed to simply freeze the situation, not touch the terrorists there, allow them to do what they want, firing at everything from this so-called de-escalation zone," he said.
Where it's also reported..

3- Turkey DID NOT request NATO support for an Idlib operation- TASS

The diplomat emphasized that not all NATO members shared Turkey’s goals in Syria and Libya, and the issue of providing military support to Turkey had not been raised at a meeting of NATO defense ministers on February 12-13.
Yes, the breathless media coverage mainstream and alt went into full tilt gasping mode

 *  Intense Battles For the Mind Are Raging! Turkish/ Russian Dissolution or Adapting to Changing Realities?

While ignoring other pertinent information. Such as that of many weapons convoys that have made their way into Syria's north east this last little while. And the news of YAT/ Kurdish special forces.  

 *Russia: US Floods NE Syria With Weapons, SDF/PKK's "YAT" Special Ops Trained & Armed by US To Target Turkish Forces

 

Perhaps the frenzied coverage is prepping for a US/Coalition intervention?

Hope not.

ABC- Pressure Rising For US Intervention 
"As fighting over Syria's last rebel-held stronghold intensifies and puts U.S. ally Turkey in direct conflict with Russia, there is a growing chorus for the U.S. to do something about the dire humanitarian crisis."
US Ally Turkey- That's farcical. The focus is on the "humanitarian crisis". Not Turkey.
The US has NOT concerned itself with Turkey for a long time now

 "But for the four million civilians in Idlib, there is no where to go as Assad's forces back them closer to the border with Turkey, which remains shut as Turkey struggles to host nearly four million Syrian refugees already.

"What's happening in Idlib is the worst case scenario we have worried about in Syria since 2011. We never wanted it to come, we hoped it wouldn't come, and it's here," said Ambassador Robert Ford, who was forced to leave Syria amid threats from Assad when he served as U.S. envoy from 2011 to 2014.
He continued, "This is not just another problem in Syria. The scale is much greater than anything the world has seen in recent decades."
 "What's also more outrageous is the lack of outrage that we're seeing across the United States and in the Western world," said Mouaz Moustafa, executive director of the Syrian Emergency taskforce, an advocacy group. "No one is talking about what's unfolding there, no one is speaking out for children, some of whom have been burned to a cinder."
See Scott's video embedded in yesterday's post: Chicken Little and Extreme Media Drivel VS Reality: Turkey, Russia, Iran & Syria
President Donald Trump once claimed credit for "saving" Idlib by tweeting his opposition to a previous Assad offensive in 2018. But while he told Assad and Russia "Don't do it!" in December, his tweet was undercut by his clear unwillingness to take action to stop any fighting that he does not see as America's problem.
As already asked how do we quantify this "intensified fighting"? When fighting has been occurring all along.
"While the Turkish-Syrian border is closed for now, al Khateeb and Mohamad both said there are plans to storm the border because they say it may be Syrians' only option to survive.
Even if it kills "1,000 people, the rest will save their lives and cross the border and be in safety," al Khateeb said"
That's provocative- Storming Turkey's border. Perhaps the Trump approach can be taken?
Except that will result in hellfire raining down on Turkey.

BBC: Donald Trump 'suggested shooting migrants in the legs'
"According to an excerpt, the president privately suggested to aides that soldiers shoot migrants in the legs, but he was told it would be illegal.
Previously, Mr Trump had made a public statement suggesting soldiers shoot migrants who throw rocks"
Ugly, ugly, ugly...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Chicken Little and Extreme Media Drivel VS Reality: Turkey, Russia, Iran & Syria

More then one chicken little about
Let's toss the trash to the way side and look at some more realistic news. Not wanting to induce any more 'chicken little/ sky is falling' syndrome then is already happening!

  Digression: Chicken Little is a moniker applied to people accused of being unreasonably afraid, or those trying to incite an unreasonable fear in those around them.

1-  Lavrov- The M4 and M5 Are Open Because of the Turkish/ Russian Agreement on Idlib- 

As mentioned in the previous post, Securing the M4 and M5 Highways in Syria a Blow to Turkey? Or for US/ Israel & Their "Greater Kurdistan" Plan? small excerpt immediately below. 
Then we'll read what Lavrov stated.
Concluding: The securing of the two highways is more of an obstruction to the Usrael remake agenda then it is to Turkey. 
* Turkey will initially see the greater benefit from increased trade.  
* Iran benefits via continued trade and access to the Mediterranean, where they have port facilities. 
* Benefit will accrue to Syria as well.
Quoting Lavrov's statement via TASS.
Lavrov
Lavrov:

He also argued that Damascus took control over M4 and M5 highways, in line with Putin and Erdogan's agreement on Idlib.
"I speak about this in such detail, because the coverage of what is happening gives the impression that no one remembers what was agreed in September 2018 and October 2019."
( Except those that actually covered the agreement in 2018. We remember! )
Lavrov "According to comments of some Western representatives, we can get the impression that in Idlib at the time, Russia and Turkey agreed to simply freeze the situation, not touch the terrorists there, allow them to do what they want, firing at everything from this so-called de-escalation zone," he said.
As for the rest of the on line drivel spreaders- the intentional disinformation campaign has been remarkable for it's expansiveness. As Lavrov is pointing out. Shameful.

2-Russia Ready To Continue Talks With Turkey (TASS linked above)
Russia is ready to continue talks with Turkey at any level on the tense situation in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, the country's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.  "We have not put forward any new conditions [at the talks with Turkey]. We believe we need to implement all that our leaders had agreed on," Lavrov said.
3- Turkey DID NOT request NATO support for an Idlib operation- TASS
The diplomat emphasized that not all NATO members shared Turkey’s goals in Syria and Libya, and the issue of providing military support to Turkey had not been raised at a meeting of NATO defense ministers on February 12-13.
 Since not all NATO members share Turkey's goal, because NATO betrayed Turkey long ago..
The issue was not raised at the last meeting- Clearly no request had been made or the issue would have been raised.  Third trash bag tossed to the curb.

Russia announces possibility of Syria trilateral summit in Tehran

Astana Trio Leadership
Bogdanov told the state-run Tass news agency on Wednesday that Syria's trilateral summit with the participation of Iranian, Russian and Turkish Presidents Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, respectively may be held in Tehran in early March if the Turkish president agrees.
According to Bogdanov, the Iranian side has proposed that a summit of the countries guaranteeing the Astana format talks to be held in early March.
As far as I know, Iran and Russia have agreed on this and the timing is right, he added.
Putin's envoy noted that at the present time the summit depends on the agreement of Turkish partners for Erdogan's participation. The main point is the time of the summit to be suitable for everyone. We and the Iranian side are waiting for the Turkish government's response to this summit
 More trash, tossed and I'll update when further info becomes available

5- Jerusalem Post's attempt at black /dark humour? Taking cheap shots? Reiterating and reinforcing memes that are already intoxicating the masses? 
 Or, does the situation in Syria, including the cooperation of Russia, Iran and Turkey bother Israel's expansionist over entitled leadership? You already know what we think here about this. Recall?
"So why all the teeth gnashing and hand wringing?  Is it due to the fact the Usrael Kurdish remake is being slowed and hopefully stopped completely? And, by and large,  the opinion makers on line are zionist ( US/Israel first) in their agenda pushing?  Not all opinion makers, but, by and large.... most are."
 JP: "Three countries – Russia, Turkey and Iran – are currently trying to reassert their former influence and glory, harking back to the power and greatness of the former Czarist/Soviet, Ottoman and Persian empires, respectively. In many ways these three imperial states, led by autocratic leaders – President Vladimir Putin, President Recep Erdogan, and Ayatollah Khamenei, respectively – are similar and have found it convenient to collaborate in some matters. But, in most ways these leaders and their putative empires are very competitive."
 The difference between these three intended empires and the USA is very stark. While the US is really the only superpower, President Donald Trump has enunciated a policy of withdrawal from the Middle East, the main area of big power conflicts, even though his mantra is “Make America Great Again.” In this policy he continues that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who also had a policy of retraction from the Middle East. By contrast, Russia, Turkey and Iran are all in an expansionist phase, particularly in that region.
They see the Arab countries as weak and exploitable, and two of them, Iran and Turkey, seek to reassert their former spheres of control there. Russia, it is said, has always sought a warm water port in the Mediterranean Sea, and in fact Obama’s incompetence gifted that to Putin."

Gibberish and Drivel. Tell me that JP oped doesn't read like most of the garbage in the msm and alt media?  It takes a lot of perseverance and patience to wade through this trash on a daily basis.  

6-Finally! Last, but not least, Scott at nomadiceveryman

Exposing CNN's Wag the Dog-type Propaganda to Save al Qaeda in Idlib


  
Including a brilliant comment from Aunt BB:
Lots of fake lefties parroting the regime-change propaganda that Turkey is helping Israel in Syria, which is laughable. They omit the obvious involvement of FUKUS + Gulf allies there.
Oh, you notice that too Aunt BB?!
Saudi Arabia- say what?

Egypt? Who?
France? Sacré bleu!
UK? Blimey!
US? Wha-at!
Israel?  anti semite!
It's so in your face and yet......🙈🙉🙊 

PS: Notice the news of the US trained special forces/special ops YPG/PKK force hasn't been reported widely? Must be because the US training a force of extreme destabilizers is a good thing? Something to be swept under the rug? Hidden from sight? Seriously the US did that cause it's all peace, love and understanding...  And they are Turkey's loyal NATO ally. (rolls eyes)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Russia: US Floods NE Syria With Weapons, SDF/PKK's "YAT" Special Ops Trained & Armed by US To Target Turkish Forces

Regional Remake SITREP..

I'd seen one report regarding an influx of US military equipment from Iraq into North Eastern Syria- Despite those bogus claims of withdrawal
A convoy of US military vehicles has arrived from Iraq to Al-Hasakah province in northeastern Syria, Sham FM broadcaster reported.
According to its post on Facebook, at least 55 vehicles, including tanks and engineer equipment, entered the province from Iraq.
Also mentioned the construction of yet another American base
Earlier this month, US forces stationed in Syria reportedly started the construction of a new military base in the oil-rich Al-Hasakah province. 
Russian Centre for Syria Reconciliation Says US Saturating Area With Weapons Used to attack Turkish military and others..

Link

The Russian centre for Syria reconciliation says the US forces in the northeast of the country are supplying the local militants with large quantities of weaponry and ammunition that is being used against civilians and Turkish troops.
"The US command in the region is intensively saturating the territory east of the Euphrates river with weapons and ammunition. Since the beginning of 2020, 13 military convoys have arrived from Iraq to Syria, which included over 80 armored vehicles and more than 300 trucks loaded with various types of weapons, ammunition and materiel", Rear Adm. Oleg Zhuravlev said in a daily briefing.
 Military Times

Yup, the US has trained the Kurds in "special operations" and armed them equally as well.

One of the units that has enthusiasts and professionals scratching their head lately is the Syrian Defense Force’s Yekîneyên Antî Teror, or “YAT.”
It is a unit that is still shrouded in considerable secrecy due to the nature of its origins, comprised mostly of senior YPG and YPJ fighters who fight for a free Rojava (Syrian Kurdish state) — very different from the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters most are familiar with.
Besides the differences in political, societal, and economic principles that define the two groups of Kurds, the YAT is different because it is possibly trained and equipped by US intelligence community personnel, in addition to American SOF trainers.
Prior to 2019, the YAT was trained and equipped by United States Army Special Forces, commonly referred to as Green Berets. The world's foremost experts in guerrilla and unconventional warfare, these teams linked up with Kurdish forces in Northern Syria in early 2016.
The equipment pictured is unique, especially when compared to the roughly three dozen other SDF elements equipped by SF teams. Instead of the budget body armor and off-the-shelf uniforms fielded for traditional SDF units, YAT members could be seen wearing a derivative of the Eagle Industries kit, SOCOM’s standard during the early years of the Global War on Terror.

However, a recent photo has emerged of a newly outfitted YAT — one that paints a clearer picture of their specialized role in their fight against ISIS and Turkey, and hints at their possible connection to the IC.

 

 From earlier today:

 Yesterday:

 Saturday:

Russia, Turkey end 2nd round of Idlib Talks- Turkey Stood Down at Saraqueb & Now M5 Highway Open/Aleppo Airport to Follow

After keeping a watch yesterday on how these talks were progressing it seemed likely they had entered a second day. And, they had. Today the second round of talks ended and there has been no statement. Will there be a third meeting? It's possible.
 Not wishing to engage in speculation you and I will have to wait for concrete information to be available.
 Before we get to the  Russia/Turkey talks, a little tidbit iof info is below,  doubtful you'll read elsewhere. I'm quite certain  this reality explains why the US got it's knickers in a knot over the situation in Idlib. As mentioned. Also coincides or syncs up with Lavrov's statement. See below!
That attempt by the US was a fail.

Link
The opposition’s swift loss of Saraqeb came as a shock for the opposition circles. The regime forces had taken over several villages in the city's countryside along with the city of Maaret al-Numan in southern Idlib on Jan. 28. During the month of December, the opposition lost dozens of villages in the countryside surrounding Maaret al-Numan, forcing thousands to flee their towns due to shelling and fighting.
Regime forces besieged Saraqeb from all sides Feb. 5, and the Turkish troops deployed in its vicinity did not prevent them from entering and taking control of the city.
Repeating:
the Turkish troops deployed in its vicinity did not prevent them (SAA) from entering and taking control of the city. 
Keeping in mind the statement from Sergey Lavrov quoted here

 In Idlib, Lavrov: ".......Russian and Turkish military, full mutual understanding,"
"Military representatives of both Russia and Turkey, who are on the ground in Syria, in Idlib province, stay in constant contact, review situation changes. They have, as we hear both from Russian and Turkish military, full mutual understanding," the minister said.

Which clearly suggests that Turkey wanted and made it possible for SAA to take the area.  That Turkey cooperated to make it so. That would align quite nicely with the previous agreements signed.  The US angst. And with Mr Lavrov's statement

Moving along

 Russia, Turkey end 2nd round of talks on Idlib
The second round of the Russian-Turkish consultations, aiming to ease the tense situation in the Syrian province of Idlib, ended in Moscow on Tuesday without any statement.
The Russian delegation led by Presidential envoy for Syria Sergey Vershinin, and Turkish delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, tried to find a solution for the latest outbreak of violence in Idlib de-escalation zone during the two-day closed-door talks in the Russian capital.
In addition to the diplomats, representatives of military and intelligence services took part in the consultations.
According to diplomatic sources, the Turkish delegation stressed the need to rapidly reduce the fighting and prevent further worsening of the humanitarian situation in the region.
Another point on the agenda include measures that could be taken in Idlib to ensure full implementation of the agreements reached under the Sochi memorandum.
Looks as if partial implementation has been accomplished!

With Russia’s consent, Syrian regime opens M5 for civilian movement and Aleppo international airport expected to return to service soon
Reliable sources informed SOHR that regime forces reopened Damascus – Aleppo international highway (M5) for civilian movement with Russia’s consent. According to SOHR sources, civilian vehicles and buses used the highway on their way to Aleppo and the Syrian coastline. This development comes a few days after the Russian-backed regime forces controlled the M5 highway completely.
On the other hand the Syrian regime is getting prepared for re-activating Aleppo international airport after more than eight years of suspension. The first flight is expected to take off tomorrow after securing the entire city of Aleppo and its vicinity over the past few days.
Related: Securing the M4 and M5 Highways in Syria a Blow to Turkey? Or for US/ Israel & Their "Greater Kurdistan" Plan?

From a 2018 report

May 25/2018: Damascus- Gaziantep: Restoring Relations/Economic Interests or Both & More

Discussions on opening the road are not limited to its economic importance. Analysts say that opening the road is a new stage in the restoration of relations between Syria and Turkey.


Which parties would not want to see a restoration of relations between Turkey and Syria? 

Here at PFYT's we've long extolled the return to good relations between these two nations. 
As a necessary impediment to Israel 2.0 and the US desire to remake the region.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Russian, Turkish Military Conduct Patrol in Syria's Hasakah Province

As we continue coverage related to:

Intense Battles For the Mind Are Raging! Turkish/ Russian Dissolution or Adapting to Changing Realities?

In Idlib, Lavrov: ".......Russian and Turkish military, full mutual understanding,"

 Sputnik:
image from article
The patrol in Hasakah has been held jointly with the Turkish military, he added.
"Another joint Russian-Turkish patrol has been held ... in the Hasakah province", Zhuravlev said.
Zhuravlev added that all the patrols had been held in compliance with approved plans, without any incidents.

These patrols are part of the Russia-Turkey deal on the buffer zone in northern Syria

Left this comment at Saker's- Will it appear? I expect so.

It's in Ghassan Kadi's latest piece there. Kadi in my opinion has always promoted the regional remake, deceptively, but none the less the promotion is there.

Turkey Russia Joint Patrols Continue...

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202002171078337506-russian-turkish-military-conduct-patrol-in-syrias-hasakah-province/

The patrol in Hasakah has been held jointly with the Turkish military, he added.

  "Another joint Russian-Turkish patrol has been held ... in the Hasakah province", Zhuravlev said.


An aside, after rereading through Mr Kadi's previous posts-
"Erdogan’s Karmic Trap" : Jan 17/2018 to this latest "Erdogan’s Long-Coming Reality Check" couldn't help but notice a persistent promotion of a certain concept- That more then two years later appears not to have come to pass

Interesting to also that Mr Kadi previously promoted the idea of a Kurdistan in Syria as a means to save Syria?
Reading some of the previous comments.... The idea seems contradictory, shall we say.
And very Israeli friendly as well

" Truth Hurts on January 17, 2018  ·  at 10:19 am EST/EDT

Mr. Kadi you told us before here at the saker that we need to support the Kurds and their federalization to support SSNP Greater Syria so are they still good or no?

https://thesaker.is/kurdish-autonomy-partition-or-master-plan/

you told us that this is the best thing for Syria, for Assad that it would destroy Turkey into pieces but now the Americans are supporting it, so were you right or wrong and why?"


The Americans have always supported this plan-  Always, always, always. As has Israel. Too bad that's not more widely known

 

In Idlib, Lavrov: ".......Russian and Turkish military, full mutual understanding,"

Primary/Original Sources are preferred always:

TASS
Sergey Lavrov:
"Military representatives of both Russia and Turkey, who are on the ground in Syria, in Idlib province, stay in constant contact, review situation changes. They have, as we hear both from Russian and Turkish military, full mutual understanding," the minister said.

He reminded that the next round of negotiations between inter-agency delegations of Russia and Turkey takes place in Moscow.
"All facts are on the table," the minister said. "I hope they would be able to present ideas that would allow to de-escalate this situation [in Idlib], based on agreements, reached by the Presidents of Russia and Turkey."

Stay tuned folks 

Intense Battles For the Mind Are Raging! Turkish/ Russian Dissolution or Adapting to Changing Realities?

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Intense Battles For the Mind Are Raging! Turkish/ Russian Dissolution or Adapting to Changing Realities?

"Realpolitik is the ability to adapt as realities change. It speaks of resilience, strength and determination"
Wow!
  The empire's opinion makers are positively drooling at the prospect of a Russian/Turkish falling out. They want it so bad their willing to fabricate a reality that doesn't exist at this time. Imagining and presenting all sorts of scenarios to manage our minds.
 Mentioned some of this yesterday in the post Securing the M4 and M5 Highways in Syria a Blow to Turkey? Or for US/ Israel & Their "Greater Kurdistan" Plan?  I'm simply not seeing the blow to Turkey.
There are claims that Turkey and Russia are not talking- along the lines of "Putin is not taking Erdogan's phone calls" LOL. Do people who make these claims think this is kindergarten? "I'm not talkin' to you no more!" Foot stomping and all.  Oh my goodness this is the real world, ya know? And really what a meaningless claim since both Putin and Erdogan have foreign ministers who can and will handle matters at hand.

Here, at PFYT, we're hoping Turkey and Russia keep it together and settle Syria in the manner that has been written about for years. With an eye to keeping Greater Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0, and the further death and destruction that will bring, at bay. 

So as usual we're going to deal in reality here. As best as can be discerned. 

Where does Turkey Stand in the Syrian Endgame

 Salman Rafi Sheikh @ NeoJournal
Whereas the mainstream western and Arab media (zio media alt and msm) have been claiming a ‘serious rift’ between Russia and Turkey over the death of Turkish soldiers in a Syrian offensive in Idlib, this is far from the case. While there is no gainsaying that Russian and Syrian interests do not always converge fully and that there are some contentious areas, this then is also quite equally true of Turkey’s relations with the US/NATO as well. Therefore, expecting Turkey to take a full wheel U-turn to the US/NATO as a result of the so-called ‘serious rift’ with Moscow/Damascus is not only an extremely unlikely event to happen but also geo-politically an unrealistic assumption; for, the major disagreement, as it stands, does not exit between Russia and Turkey per se, it exists, if at all, between an increasingly assertive Syrian army, ambitiously advancing to regain control of their country, and a Turkish a resolve to prevent the emergence of a ‘Kurdistan’ along its border with Syria.
Whereas both Syria and Turkey, as also Russia, aim to prevent the establishment of ‘Kurdistan’ along Syria-Turkey border, the disagreement remains over who will prevent this i.e., whether Turkey will do this through a direct military presence or the Syrian army through directly taking control of the territories.
 It was this political disagreement that was at the heart of Putin’s visits to Damascus and Istanbul in the end of January 2020. As the reports suggest, the Russians had ‘strongly advised’ the Syrian army to halt their offensive and allow Turkey to relocate its troops
 As we know they didn't. 
This also tells us Russia was in all probability less then pleased with what occurred- given the position they expressed to both Damascus and Ankara.
"Yet, the candid disagreement and/or failure to honour the deal has not led to a total breakdown of the Sochi process itself, a process that continues to provide the main framework for joint operations inside Syria. Therefore, while the mainstream media were projecting the Turkey-Syria clash, it probably purposefully failed to notice that Russia and Turkey still conducted yet another joint patrol in the countryside of Al-Darbasiyah and Ras Al-Ain in the northeast extreme of the Turkish-Syrian border.
Let’s not forget that these joint operations come as a part of a deal between Turkey and Russia to force the YPG fighters out of the region bordering Syria and Turkey."
That's right it was Russia that green lighted Turkey's last entry into Syria. As they green lighted all previous entries.
As such, notwithstanding the disagreement regarding who would control and manage Idlib and the rest of the northeast border region of Syria, it also remains a fact that Turkey’s most fundamental interest i.e., prevention of a ‘Kurdistan’ along its border with Syria can only be realised through an alliance with Russia and Turkey than through an alliance with the US/NATO.
A Turkish full-wheel U-turn to the US/NATO and the EU, despite the latter’s various attempts, therefore does not seem possible for obvious strategic reasons. An alliance with the US/NATO would be counter-productive in that these countries/alliances favour the establishment of ‘Kurdistan’ and continue to arm and aid Kurdish militias dedicatedly fighting for a nation-state of their own.
US/NATO attempt to 'convince' Turkey of their undying loyalty was covered here:
 And the empire's mouthpieces are out in full force because, in my opinion, the empire is livid!

My hubby was commenting to me regarding his sheer amazement at the many, over the top of  headlines, he'd read.

What's really going on with Russia and Turkey? 

And seriously we want the discussion with sights on resolution to continue. That's the perspective around here-
Putin and Erdogan
The Turkish and Russian delegations will discuss at the Monday talks in Moscow the possibility of the two presidents’ next summit meeting in the wake of the Idlib crisis, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday after his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

"The summit meeting [between Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Recep Erdogan] will take place if needed, but at first we will see how the meeting in Moscow will go off. We will be discussing all the issues," he said.
"We have touched upon all the issues [on Idlib - TASS] in a positive tonality with Sergey Lavrov," Cavusoglu went on to say. "We will take a decision on Monday whether the presidents’ new meeting is needed."
 Idlib crisis not to affect Russia’s S-400 deliveries to Turkey - foreign minister
Disagreements between Moscow and Ankara over Syria’s Idlib will have no impact on the deliveries of S-400 air defense systems, nor on the two countries’ ties in general, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday after his talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. 
If Turkey was in serious disagreement with the securing of the highways would SAA continue to make progress? 
"Regime forces secure M5 highway completely by capturing Kafrnaha"

My contention is still this- the securing of the highways  has set the Usrael empire into a tizzy and not the other way around.

This most probably reality is reflected in the extreme disinfo making the rounds still today!

As stated yesterday:

 Concluding: The securing of the two highways is more of an obstruction to the Usrael remake agenda then it is to Turkey.  

* Turkey will initially see the greater benefit from increased trade.   * Iran benefits via continued trade and access to the Mediterranean, where they have port facilities.  * Benefit will accrue to Syria as well.

So why all the teeth gnashing and hand wringing?  Is it due to the fact the Usrael Kurdish remake is being slowed and hopefully stopped completely? And, by and large,  the opinion makers on line are zionist ( US/Israel first) in their agenda pushing?  Not all opinion makers, but, by and large.... most are.
  After all these years of covering this region the the level of spin/ disinfo and the sheer numbers of purveyors still throws me for a loop. Let's hope Russia and Turkey keep the lines of communication open. An Israel 2.0 will be double the trouble for the ME/NA- More of that is absolutely unnecessary!

PS: Stay Tuned