Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Turkey/US: Cat & Mouse. Creating Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0 Has Been A Mass Bloodletting

 Weaponized Migration etc., And it could get worse.

Let’s flashback to the post: Turkey's Move On Syria- Why now? Broken Promises, Coup Fall out, US Elections & Chemical Weapons Meme, Again!

At the time Turkey moved into Syria we were supposed to believe that the US was behind Turkey- That seemed less then true. Less then accurate. As mentioned:
“A senior US official, apparently traveling with US Vice-President Joe Biden, said that the United States was giving air cover to the Turkish operations, telling the Syrian government to keep its planes away”
Unnamed official traveling with Biden claims the US was giving air cover..

Here is the direct quote that is supposed to support the claim:

We have full visibility on what they [the Turks] are doing,” the official told journalists”

Having full visibility does not suggest air cover- It's more indicative of spying.

Hoping none of my readers believed that spin? - Cause the Pentagon spokesperson cited below, with a name, states plainly the US is NOT supporting Turkey in their endeavour.

From today's earlier post: Erdogan's Waterloo: Turkey Invades And Occupies Syria
Elitist  David L Philips Confirms the US was unaware of Turkey's move
The US Department of Defense was quick to distance itself Monday morning from the fighting and Turkish airstrikes, which at least one independent monitor said on Sunday killed 40 civilians.

"The United States was not involved in these activities, they were not coordinated with US forces, and we do not support them," said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook. "We regret all loss of life in these reported clashes and have expressed our condolences to Turkey for the apparent loss of a Turkish soldier."
 US not involved. Not coordinated with US. Not supported 

Ash Carter to Turkey: Stop engaging SDF aka YPG?
"We have called upon Turkey... to stay focused on the fight against ISIL and not to engage Syrian Defense Forces, and we've had a number of contacts over the last several days," Carter said

Again, throwing mud on the idea of the US and Turkey coordinating the entry into Syria?

Brent McGurk
“DOD: We want to make clear that we find these clashes -- in areas where #ISIL is not located -- unacceptable and a source of deep concern.”

Peter Cook, Pentagon spokesperson, claims these Turkish activities are not coordinated with US forces and are not supported- and condolences for the apparent loss of a Turkish soldier?

Why apparent?

You all know the choice of words is very important. So why not just say the reported loss? Was the choice of apparent meant in this manner? “Appearing as such but not necessarily so; seeming”.
If Peter Cook was truly sending condolences “apparent” is not the appropriate word to use... Personally speaking, it's not a word I would ever use to send condolences. To anyone, anywhere, anytime. Pentagon spokesperson being intentionally disingenuous to an ally??? Turkey was never a real NATO ally - Only an ally of convenience- this has been discussed previously.
Deep Concern? Definitely much more serious in diplospeak then 'regrettable
Bottom line?

 We have Mr Cook stating plainly the US is not coordinating or supporting these activities. We have Ash Carter throwing mud on the idea of cooperation- Brent McGurk being "unacceptable and deep concern" And we have yet another slight aimed at Turkey.

Continuing on...
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that the goal of Euphrates Shield was to prevent the Kurds from "completing an end-to-end corridor" across Syria.

"If that happens, it means Syria has been divided," he said, according to AFP.
Hasn’t that been the plan all along? To divide Syria? I've written about that plan, here, since 2011. So, if Turkey was truly being a US ally, at this time, doesn’t it seem odd they are impeding their allies plan? Much to the annoyance of the Americans...

Turkey’s response 
The United States “should keep its word” and force the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) to withdraw to the east of the Euphrates, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said, responding to U.S. President Barack Obama’s special representative Brett McGurk’s remarks on Turkey hitting PYD targets.

“The U.S. knows Turkey’s sensitivity on this issue. A promise was given: The PYD won’t stay west of the Euphrates river,” Kurtulmus told journalists in Istanbul on Aug. 29, referring to Ankara’s demand that the PYD moves back to the east of the Euphrates
The aim of Operation Euphrates Shield was to clear the Jarablus region in northern Syria of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the minister stated.

“So why is the YPG uncomfortable if the common enemy is Deash [ISIL]?” Çavusoglu said.

 “They [YPG] need to move to the east side of the Euphrates as soon as possible, as they had announced they would and as the U.S. had promised,” Çavusoglu said at a joint press conference with Dutch counterpart Bert Koenders.

hattip to Willy Loman- speaking of ISIS, like the Kurds, being besties for Israel!- really worth looking at! ‘Islamic State serves positive function (for Israel)’ – Israeli think tank

I've discussed and reminded readers of this promise made regarding Manbij- The promise was made, to my understanding, post-coup. I believe it was a promise made, with fingers crossed. If ya know what I mean?

Erdogan snubs Biden; NATO hits the rocks
As I explained, the main purpose of the Euphrates Shield operation is to occupy the strategic border town of Jarablus in northern Syria and have a showdown with the Syrian Kurds (supported by US Special Forces and American air cover). The Kurdish militia had crossed the Euphrates river a few months ago and, contrary to American assurances, they are now moving westward to realise their dream of establishing a Kurdistan straddling Turkey’s border, stretching from Iraq to East Mediterranean coast. Turkey’s ‘red line’ has been breached.
A cat-and-mouse game has been going on between Turkey and the US. The latter was calculating that Turkey won’t act on the ground to confront the Syrian Kurds militarily, especially after the recent coup attempt of July 15, which weakened the military, plus the Russian presence in Syria.

Cat and Mouse Game ongoing. Oh Yeah!: November 19/2014: Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis- The impending destruction of Turkey. & November 21/2014:  Pt.2- Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis- The impending destruction of Turkey Followed up with countless posts documenting the NATO backstabbing of Turkey. This betrayal is most probably the reason why Turkey has been constructing a massive  border wall for more then a year now!! Turkey’s Border Wall with Syria
mkbhadrakumar "The stunning part is that the Turkish incursion follows a tacit understanding with Iran (and Syria). Interestingly, Russian jets aren’t visible anywhere in the Syrian skies to stop the Turkish incursion, either. Surely, NATO is rocking, since it is highly improbable that Turkey took the US-led alliance into confidence over the Euphrates Shield operation, which, ironically, aims at destroying America’s best ally on the Syrian chessboard"
A team of Iranian intelligence officials had made a quick dash to Ankara yesterday morning to give the final touch to the concerted Euphrates Shield operation against the Syrian Kurds. The Iranian delegation presumably carried messages from Damascus for the Turkish side and returned to Tehran yesterday evening itself.
According to Iranian media reports, the deputy head of the Turkish intelligence had paid a secret visit to Damascus on Sunday. Prior to that, Turkish Foreign Minister Mavlut Cavusoglu had a stopover in Tehran on Thursday for 5 hours to personally coordinate with the Iranians – avoiding phone conversations that could have been tapped by the American electronic intelligence system. Clearly, we are witnessing the first tangible signs of a super-secret deal between Turkey and Iran to further their common agenda of preventing the emergence of a Syrian Kurdistan backed by the US and Israel connecting the Kurdish homelands between the Iraqi Kurdistan and Eastern Mediterranean. (Asharq Al-Awsat")
Turkey fears that a Syrian Kurdistan will inexorably boost the separatist Kurdish insurgency on its territory. Iran fears that Kurdistan may turn out to be the playpen of American and Israeli intelligence for undertaking subversive activities against it. Equally, Iraq and Syria also stand to lose since the creation of a Kurdistan will be at the cost of their own national unity and territorial integrity. A convergence on the Kurdish problem brings together Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.
Oh, the elephant in the room, being wilfully ignored by so many!

Personally speaking: ***Presenting the move into Syria, by Turkey, as solely being part of the NATO/Israeli planned destabilization agenda including redrawing the map of the middle east is:  
1-failing to consider that redrawn map includes a balkanized/weakened Turkey. As well as Iran.
2-It fails to consider the obvious symbiosis between Kurds and ISIS- ISIS shock troops/Kurdish moppers and annexers.. all done under the guise of 'fighting ISIS' with the US/Israel backing both sides 
3- It is also ignoring the historical fracturing of the NATO alliance at this time. 4-Russian/China's gain. Tacitly backing Turkey at this time means (a) weakened NATO, (b)No problem with Black Sea and Bosphorus access

Personally speaking again, presenting Turkey's move into Syria without considering the points mentioned above and what has been going on the past few years is a very NATO advantageous narrative- It will allow the  NATO friendly presentation to move forward with other NATO members attacking Turkey for being 'rogue'.

The Ankara-Tehran-Moscow Coalition- Pepe Escobar
As it stands, the major fact on the ground is that ‘Sultan’ Erdogan seems to have had enough of the Americans (NATO of course included) and has pivoted to Russia.

Thus the sending of certified Keystone Cop Joe Biden to Ankara to plead “not guilty” on the military coup (forget it; most Turks don’t believe Washington) and to implore Erdogan not to pursue his massive purge (pure wishful thinking).

Considering Erdogan’s notoriously erratic record, his embrace of ATM may be just a gigantic illusion, or may open yet another unforeseen can of worms. But there are signs this may be for real.

Cavusoglu has already intimated that Ankara is aiming for a military/technological upgrade that is impossible under NATO’s watch. In his own words; “Unfortunately, we see countries in NATO are a bit hesitant when it comes to exchange of technology and joint investments.”

Moscow has every reason to be quite cautious regarding myriad aspects of Erdogan’s pivoting. After all the Turkish military has been part of NATO for decades. As it stands, there’s no evidence Moscow and Ankara are looking at the same post-war Syria. But if we’re talking about the future of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), then it starts to get really interesting.

Turkey is already a “dialog partner” of the SCO, while Iran may become a full member as early as next year. Moscow is certainly envisioning Ankara as a valuable ally in the wider Sunni world, way beyond a role in repelling Salafi-jihadis in Syria. With Ankara and Tehran also talking serious business, this could eventually spill out into a serious debunking of the alleged apocalyptic Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian divide, which is the only Divide-and-Rule strategy spun and deployed non-stop by the US, Israel and the House of Saud.

It’s this enticing SCO-enhancing possibility that’s freaking Washington out big time. Russia pivoting East, Turkey pivoting East, Iran already there, and China now also actually involved in a stake in post-war Syria, that’s a geopolitical reconfiguration in Southwest Asia that once again spells out the inevitable; Eurasia integration.
 Two final questions:  

Did Turkey purge it's military enough to guarantee it will act for Turkey? 

Does Erdogan have trustworthy security?

Started on this post Monday... and that's it for today and until later tomorrow!
I've left lots to read, so please, read it :)
And thanks.

Could a Mosul Victory be an "October Surprise"

I've written about exactly this with regard to the taking of Mosul- How it would be a feather in Obama's cap- hadn't considered the gift to Hillary, but, it would work! It would work!

Can a Mosul Victory be Obama’s ‘October Surprise’? 

WASHINGTON — With fewer than 150 days before he hands the Oval Office keys to his successor, US President Barack Obama is making the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) the focus of his administration’s strategy in Iraq and Syria.

Think-tank experts, retired generals and administration officials are talking of an imminent battle to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, before the end of the year. Seizing Mosul from ISIS could serve to enhance Obama’s legacy and possibly emerge as an “October surprise” to help Democrats in the November Experts, however, warn that having the right preparation for the Mosul battle is more crucial than the timeline.
The buzz around liberating Mosul started in April when Obama told CBS television that “my expectation is that by the end of the year, we will have created the conditions whereby Mosul will eventually fall. The recent advances of Kurdish peshmerga forces east of Mosul as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s vow to “raise the Iraqi flag” over Mosul have only increased speculation about a looming battle to recapture the city.

The United States also has increased the number of advisers and trainers working with the Iraqi Army; in July, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that an additional 560 troops would be sent to Iraq to help prepare for an Iraqi-led recapture of Mosul.

Wladimir van Wilgenburg, an analyst with the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation who is based in northern Syria, said Mosul “needs to be surrounded first before the real operation can be launched”. “ISIS supply lines between Iraq and Syria need to be cut… and great manpower is needed,” he added.
This manpower is expected to be made up of “Kurdish forces, fighters from Sunni Arab tribes, the Iraqi Army and Iranian-backed Shia paramilitary groups” said van Wilgenburg, though differences and disagreements among these groups could impede such an operation.

Logistically, the Kurdish forces “will launch an operation in southern Shingal, (Sinjar) while the Iraqi security units push into western Anbar to control the Syrian border gate of al-Qaim and then move towards al-Ba’aj,” according to van Wilgenburg, who warned that “until the encirclement of Mosul is complete, they cannot launch the operation.”
Sinjar, Iraq- Annexed by the Kurds under the guise of fighting ISIS

Flashback!!!! Sinjar: Creating a Crucial Supply Route for KurdIShIS & Annexing Iraqi Territory

Political talks around taking Mosul have started in an attempt to coordinate matters of governance and provincial powers over the city. Lack of good governance and distrust in the security services were among the factors that helped ISIS swiftly seize Mosul in June 2014.
Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani recently hosted talks between US and Iraqi officials and representatives of the Sunni tribes and Kurdish forces in Erbil to discuss post-military operations in Mosul. In a statement released after the talks, Barzani said that “post-liberation Mosul will not accept the old order” and that “drastic changes need to be made for the benefit of the people of Mosul”. Among the likely changes are redistricting Nineveh province and creating a more inclusive political power structure in Mosul.
The term “October surprise” refers to a political event that has a last-minute effect on November elections and that is what some are calling the Mosul operation. A US official who asked to remain anonymous said Obama himself saw ending the ISIS foothold in Mosul as a “critical part of his legacy” but denied any link to the election calendar.
Politico, however, reported in an article titled Get ready for Obama’s ‘October Surprise’ in Iraq that the Mosul offensive “is now tentatively scheduled to begin sometime in early October with a final battle coming at the end of that month.” Retired Army Lieutenant-General Michael D. Barbero told theWashington Times that “some US officers in Baghdad believe the Obama administration is rushing plans for a Mosul offensive so it takes place before the November presidential election.”
Such a move would not be a complete surprise contends Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. He referred to past efforts by sitting presidents to inject national security into the presidential race, such as in 2004 when George W. Bush raised the terror alert only days before the vote to secure his second term.
Virtually all polls give Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump and the liberation of Mosul would bolster the Democrats’ chances of keeping the White House.
But van Wilgenburg warned against rushing a military operation and emphasised the importance of preparedness and first encircling the city. While a quick victory in Mosul could reverberate positively for the Democrats, a short-sighted effort could bring dire consequences for both Obama’s legacy and the Democratic ticket.
From Earlier TODAY!!! -Yup, I've been busy 
 If I can get to one I've been working on. for the past two days, it too will be up today!!

Erdogan's Waterloo: Turkey Invades And Occupies Syria

huffingtonpost:  David L. Phillips- CFR, Senior Adviser to the U.S. Department of State, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and so much more.... He's presenting the elitist agenda
Quite a work of perception management- a bit of truth liberally salted with lies
The Obama administration has assiduously avoided U.S. military engagement in Syria. President Barack Obama is wary of the pottery barn rule: "You break it, you own it." Supporting Turkey's invasion and occupation of Syria would be a strategic mistake, making the United States a protagonist in Syria's civil war. (Rubbish about the US avoiding military interference and yes the US is already a protagonist in Syria's destabilization)
 The  US was caught unaware and the heavy handed narrative creation is getting ever more absurd
Vice President Joe Biden went to Ankara last week on a mission to repair U.S.-Turkey relations. Upon arrival, Biden learned that Turkish Special Forces, tanks, and fighters with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were invading Syria, targeting Jarablus near the Turkish border.

Biden endorsed Turkey's "Operation Euphrates Shield." He also claimed that the U.S. provided air power. However, eye witnesses say no bombs were actually dropped on Jarablus.
The US did not provide air power. Not from anything I've read
Slipping into Syria's quagmire is not in America's interest. Nor is being played by Turkey. Operation Euphrates Shield violates Syria's sovereignty. (Can you believe that claim? Since when has the US been concerned with Syria's sovereignty? ) Supporting Turkey would make the U.S. complicit in Turkey's land grab.( Completely ignoring the fact the US is heavily complicit in both the ISIS/Kurds land grabs, providing no proof of a Turkish land grab)
Turkey wants a seat at the table of the Geneva peace process. (It already had one, so that baloney!) It seeks equal standing with Russia and the United States.
Given Turkey's sordid history supporting Islamists, ( No mention of the US involvement in training the Islamists in bases on Turkish territory, no US sordid involvment. How about Israeli involvment????)  it will be more difficult to negotiate an end to Syria's conflict with Turkish troops on-the-ground.
 It will be more difficult to negotiate the settlement the US/NATO/Israeli axis want!! But it shouldn't be anymore difficult then it's already been. After all this is the FSA. A recognized partner at Geneva?
 Turkey In Syria, FSA & The Upcoming Quarrel Over Syria's New (UN Mandated) Constitution
The Obama administration has been giving weapons and air support to the People's Protection Forces (YPG), Syrian Kurdish forces numbering 40,000. The PYG is America's most reliable ally against ISIS. Washington will continue to support the YPG if it fights ISIS east of the Euphrates.(Lie. Washington has supported YPG/PKK west of the Euphrates)
Erdogan abhors U.S. cooperation with the YPG, which he calls a terror group. Erdogan wants the U.S. to make a choice between Turkey and the YPG, but was repeatedly rebuffed. (Erdogan? Promoting the cult of personality- knee jerk emotional response desired. The US has long betrayed Turkey)
The Obama administration must be steely-eyed about Turkey's intentions. Erdogan says the primary purpose of Operation Euphrates Shield is to fight ISIS. This is patently false.
Erdogan's hostility towards the Kurds is no secret. He insists that the YPG and PKK are the same, even though the U.S. Government says they are distinct.(Appeal to authority- logical fallacy/not proof! The US Gov says.... so what? Lots of information available that the YPG/PKK are one and the same- A ton of it is posted here)
It was predictable that Turkey would drop the pretense of fighting ISIS and focus its operation on the PYG. The Obama administration knows what's going on.
A senior Pentagon official told CNN: "The Turks never cared about Jarablus until the Kurds wanted to get there." Special Envoy Brett McGurk called Turkey's targeting of the PYD "unacceptable and a source of deep concern".
U.S.-Turkish relations were already on the rocks because of Turkey's wholesale crackdown on oppositionists after the failed coup of July 15.(Oh, really?! US Turkish relations were on the rocks long before the failed coup and they worsened after the thwarted coup)
The relationship is further challenged by Turkey's decision to go after America's allies in Syria.( Turkey is no longer an American ally. That's clear)

Turks are increasingly restless. They welcomed Operation Euphrates Shield, which restored the military's credibility after the coup. They were told the operation targeted their two nemesis - ISIS and the YPG/PKK. Now Turks are growing concerned about the end game. How long will Turkish troops stay in Syria and what will they accomplish?

 Obama must guard against manipulation. Providing military and diplomatic support to Turkey's invasion and occupation creates a conundrum, vexing his successor.
Syria will be Erdogan's Waterloo. The U.S. Government must not be tethered to Turkey's sinking ship.
Obama must 'guard' against manipulation?  Syria is supposed to be Russia's sinking ship too. 

From earlier today:  Wow. ISIS Attacks Turkish Backed Rebels- Lucky for the Kurds, eh?

Wow. ISIS Attacks Turkish Backed Rebels- Lucky for the Kurds, eh?

Can you say KurdIShIS? I can! And, just did. :))

An opposition monitoring group and a news agency linked with the Islamic State group say a suicide attacker has targeted Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria.
Another lie bites the dust. Turkey as an ISIS ally. It wasn't true, you were just supposed to believe it was true as part of the demonization of Turkey. As all my readers should know by now, there is abundant information to demonstrate that NATO has turned on it's  inconvenient ally: Turkey

The Islamic State group's Aamaq news agency says the "martyrdom" attack occurred in the village of Kuliyah, west of the Syrian border town of Jarablus.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Wednesday's attack was carried out by a North African IS member. It says casualties were inflicted but did not give figures.

Turkish troops and Turkey-backed rebels have been fighting Kurdish-led forces and IS since Turkey's incursion into Syria on Aug. 24.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Turkey In Syria, FSA & The Upcoming Quarrel Over Syria's New (UN Mandated) Constitution

Really excellent analysis from Andrew Korbyko via Katehon
hattip Ally for leaving the link :)

I've underlined for emphasis
Much ado has been made over the past few days about the ulterior motives behind Turkey’s conventional military campaign in northern Syria, with most people refusing to believe that Erdogan ‘altruistically’ ordered the operation just to ‘take one for the team’ and help his multipolar allies clear out the Kurdish “federalists”. Turkey does indeed have a self-interested national security reason in doing so, but knowing the wily Sultan, he’s bound to have a trick or two up his sleeve, and it’s very likely that he’s aiming for grander goals than just preventing the emergence of a PKK safe haven all along his southern borderland (which is in and of itself an ambitious objective). The fact of the matter is that Turkey’s true long-term intention for its conventional military involvement in Syria isn’t to take the country’s territory like many alarmists seem to think is the plan, but to change its constitution, which in many ways could be just as bad or even worse for the country.
It's amazing to me, personally, to observe how few persons are mentioning the creation of Kurdistan/Israel 2.0 as a problematic issue for any of the nations involved. Syria, Turkey or Iran. (Omitting Iraq for now)  Why is this issue being hidden/covered up by so many? Why is the obvious remake of the region for Israel's benefit not on many so called serious analysts radar?  Thankfully, Andrew Korbyko addresses this plan. So Willy Loman, and I, are not completely alone! Pepe Escobar has also discussed the creation of Kurdistan as an Israeli interest.  Please share if you know of other's seriously discussing this topic, rather then obfuscating it behind manipulative rhetoric?

 Syria, Russia, and Iran are definitely aware of this, and they might have even held out the possibility – but certainly not the promise – of Turkey influencing the forthcoming rewritten Syrian Constitution in order to convince Erdogan to step into northern Syria to take out the Kurds and replace the pro-Saudi Daesh and pro-American SDF with Ankara’s FSA, all the while risking that he’ll be drawn into a quagmire as he takes out his new partners’ mutual enemies. Despite the risks inherent in this gamble and all that could possibly go wrong with this plot, the Resistance Bloc appears to have agreed that the potential benefits far outweigh the dangers, and that it’s preferable for Turkey to act as their ‘cat’s paw’ against Washington and Riyadh’s proxies because Moscow and Tehran – for whatever their reasons may be – lack the political will to commit to an all-out sustained military operation to do this themselves. 
In other words it's highly likely, as I suspect, everyone is playing for their own benefit and hedging to their advantage- This is not a surprise. It's not even shocking. Neither Syria, Turkey or Iran want a Kurdistan..
 The danger is that an FSA-occupied northern Syria would put Turkey in a far better position to indirectly contribute to the UNSC-mandated revision of the Syrian Constitution than a hodgepodge coalition of internationally recognized “moderate” rebel groups backed by itself, the US, and Saudi Arabia, but the flipside opportunity in all of this is that it could remove both of those latter states from the military-diplomatic equation and that there’s no guaranteed certainty that Ankara will even get what it’s politically seeking.
 All that’s on the table is the chance to do so, during which time the diplomatic masters in Damascus, Moscow, and Tehran could see to it that Ankara’s sway is neutralized and that no tangible harm is done. Turkey isn’t being played as a “useful idiot” since it and all of its partners benefit from the expulsion of pro-Saudi Daesh and the pro-US YPG from northern Syria and possibly even from the rest of the country, it’s just that Erdogan wouldn’t ultimately succeed in his last-ditch effort to unseat President Assad in the last way that he knows how.

skipping past several paragraphs that you should read..

The Reason For The Outreach Strategy
The reason behind their decision in this regard is that neither Russia nor Iran has the political will to launch an all-out conventional war against the FSA, and Syria – fighting a liberation war on all fronts, needing to secure recently freed territory, having to safeguard critical supply lines, and steadily replenishing battlefield losses with newly trained personnel – is in no position to do this by itself without sustained assistance from its allies. Since this is not forthcoming for a variety of reasons, they must settle for the next most pragmatic option available, which is selectively using the FSA whenever it meets Damascus, Moscow, and Tehran’s collective interests. That means accepting the group’s existence and passively enabling it – if not outright actively helping it – to fight against Daesh, al-Nusra, and other “consensually agreed-upon” terrorist groups recognized by the UN and the Geneva talks participants. This is an explanation, not an excuse or endorsement, of what’s happening, and it’s crucial for readers to understand what is being conveyed here. The author isn’t arguing in defense of these actions, but is impartially expressing the reality as it is today and explaining why this came to be.
 That's right the FSA is a recognized consensually agreed up partner at the Geneva talks. That means the US and Russia both recognize them...

 Having acquired a factual understanding of the complicated relationship that the Resistance Bloc has with the FSA and the reasons behind this controversial arrangement, it’s easier for one to understand why Syria, Russia, and Iran aren’t overreacting to the installment of Turkey’s FSA proxies as a replacement for Daesh and the YPG in northern Syria. One should remember that these two latter groups are seen as a much bigger threat to Syria and its territorial integrity than the FSA, since both want to change its borders in one way or another (Daesh wants an international caliphate, while the YPG wants a “federalized” [internally partitioned] Syria) and neither are participants in Geneva. This contrasts with the FSA, which has pledged to support the country’s present borders and is actively involved in Geneva.
 The Kurds and ISIS actually want to alter the territorial integrity of Syria.... What a coincidence......... right? ISIS created a "caliphate" and the Kurds fight ISIS to create Kurdistan- on land stolen by ISIS....... convenient

skipping past several more paragraphs...

Accepting Turkey’s Military Operation 
Apart from Damascus’ about the violation of its sovereignty and Moscow’s about expressing “deep concern” (the author couldn’t find any official statement from Tehran on the matter as of 20:00 MSK on 25 August, though that doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist), none of the three has done anything concrete to resist the Turkish military forces, with Syria refraining from asking its Russian and Iranian allies for help in repelling Erdogan’s Army and its FSA proxies. It also didn’t help any that immediately started circulating that the Saudis were offering financial assistance to the Kurds in exchange for the continuance of their fight against the SAA, which comes on the heels of Iran’s just last month that the Saudi consulate in Erbil was providing support to the Kurdish terrorists fighting against Tehran. If it wasn’t in the collective interests of Syria, Russia, and Iran to see the Turks wipe the YPG out from the northern border belt that they’ve been fiendishly building with American-“Israeli”-Saudi support over the past couple of years, then they all would have united in vocally condemning Ankara for what would then have amounted to a pro-US invasion of Syria and began preparing emergency contingency plans for militarily evicting the occupiers.
 The same equipment that deterred a Turkish invasion for the past nine months since the downing of Russia’s anti-terrorist jet over Syria is still inside of the Arab Republic, proving that Moscow could very easily have put an immediate halt to Turkey’s territorial transgressions had they not been coordinated with Syria, Russia, and Iran in advance (no matter what each partner publicly says in order to ‘save-face’ among their domestic constituents). Iran could have announced that it was cancelling Erdogan’s to Tehran if it was really serious about voicing dissatisfaction with Turkey’s moves, just as President Putin could have said that he’d be delaying his to Antalya. Neither of Syria’s external protectors issued any statements whatsoever that could be interpreted as red lines and ultimatums, which further confirms that they don’t see Turkey’s latest moves as a threat, but instead as a prearranged opportunity that decisively works to Syria’s ultimate advantage.

passed by another two paragraphs....

The Fundamental Importance Of The FSA
To be clear, the author is not endorsing the FSA’s occupation of Syrian land, but is explaining why Syria, Russia, and Iran are not taking any steps to stop this and in fact appear to be cynically encouraging it in order to more rapidly bring about a resolution to the War on Syria. To elaborate, Daesh and the PYD/YPG are not nor ever realistically will be party to the Geneva talks, while the FSA is. Evaluating the situation in Syria right now, it’s impossible for there to be a lasting solution to the country’s conflict unless all the parties exercising military control over every square inch of the country are included in the future settlement. The Resistance Bloc understands this, and while it would optimally be ideal for the SAA to liberate the entire state, this might not realistically happen (let alone anytime too soon) because of Russia and Iran’s’ lack of political will (for whatever the reasons may be, whether justified or inexcusable) to commence an all-out conventional war against every militarized anti-government force in the country. Cognizant of this constraint and acknowledging that the SAA is in no position to do this on its own without such support amidst the challenging conditions that it currently finds itself in, the next best solution is for the “moderate rebels” officially recognized by Syria, Russia, and Iran to gain control of the territory presently occupied by terrorists like Daesh and other non-Geneva-participating groups such as the PYD/YPG.

again, passing by several paragraphs that should be read..............

Constitutional Quarrels 
The UNSC-mandated rewriting of the Syrian Constitution is Erdogan’s ultimate aim, even though this strategically puts him at competitive odds with his recently reconciled partners, two of which, Russia and Iran, have publicly restored their relations with Turkey, while the last, Syria, has yet to do so and might never publicly will (but nor would Turkey want to on its part as well, both for domestic political reasons). All Great Powers have their disagreements and areas of rivalry, and this is no different when it comes to the Multipolar Community and the Tripartite between Russia, Iran, and Turkey. While working together to the betterment of their collective self-interests in resolving the War on Syria, these three members still cannot publicly agree on what comes next after Daesh is defeated. Moscow and Tehran place no demands on President Assad to step down, while Ankara is still obnoxious with its rhetoric, though it might by this point actually be only just that, words. It’s very likely that Erdogan has accepted that President Assad will continue democratically ruling over Syria for as long as his citizens allow him to and he’s interested in maintaining that position, but it doesn’t mean that the Sultan still doesn’t have hope that he can engineer his rival’s downfall through the forthcoming negotiations on Syria’s constitutional revision. 

The Face-Off:
Like it was earlier written in the research, all of the military-diplomatic engagements that are presently ongoing in Syria and have been proceeding for the past year are based on removing all “non-consensually agreed-upon” negotiating parties from the ground and replacing them with internationally recognized forces – be they the SAA or “moderate rebels” – that could account for the situation across the entirety of the country’s territory and thus bring about a sustainable solution to the War on Syria. After completing this first gargantuan step, the second one is to work out the nature of Syria’s new constitution, and it’s here where, as the saying goes, “the devil’s in the details”. All parties presently active on the ground with the exception of the PYD/YPG and “consensually agreed-upon” terrorist groups such as Daesh (neither of which are party to the Geneva talks) support the inviolability of Syria’s borders and are against the country’s “federalization” (internal partition), but they dramatically differ over the future of President Assad and the Syrian Presidency in general.
omitted paragraphs can be read at link provided..........

Dark Scenarios
The introductory paragraphs of this study specifically drew attention to the fact that Turkey’s conventional military involvement in Syria is indeed a gambit by all sides, one which could end up being a win-win one if Turkey succeeds in removing (or assisting in the removal of) the US and Saudi Arabia’s proxies in Syria and holds off on (or is prevented from pursuing )any ulterior regime change agenda (i.e. through the constitutional revision), but which could also turn very bad for the Multipolar Community if Erdogan either gets to greedy and/or is won back over by the US in the midst of all of this. Setting aside one’s personal opinion about the wisdom of this initiative, the reality is that Syria, Russia, and Iran all agreed to it with the understanding being that the possible benefits far outweigh the dangers and that emergency split-second military contingency  measures could be implemented to rein in Turkey if it suddenly gets out of control.
 Regarding the possibility of the US wooing Erdogan back?

I noticed it was being reported yesterday that Obama was finally going to be able to find some time to meet Erdogan...on the sidelines of the  G-20 meeting in China- September 4/2016

So after the coup attempt--- no one visited Turkey, an alleged NATO ally, from the US until Joe Biden showed up last week- No visit by John Kerry.  No president to president visit between Turkey and the US in all this time. Until after Turkey starts shooting at  the US besties in Syria..
Recalling the tacit approval to the coup plotters from the US.

"U.S. President Barack Obama will have a bilateral meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during the G20 summit in China next month and is likely to have at least an informal talk with Russia's Vladimir Putin, the White House said on Monday.
Obama wants to talk with Erdogan about events in Turkey after July's attempted coup, the military campaign against Islamic State, and how to promote stability in Syria, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters.
The White House said it opposes Turkey's push into areas in northern Syria controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, an opposition group the Obama administration supports............."

curious and curiouser

Monday, August 29, 2016

Turkey’s Border Wall with Syria

Yes, Turkey has built a good sized, height and length, wall on it's border with Syria. I've mentioned this reality on several occasions. Turkey began construction more then a year ago.. 

Where there is no wall, there will be trenches or massive barbed wire fences. Claims that Turkey has done nothing to secure it's borders just don't ring true. As I've stated once Turkey began tightening border security the US and company began airdropping arms to KurdIShIS. Or arms were brought into Syria via Iraq. Both of these truths ignored to continue pushing a simplistic narrative- 

 Truth Exists

Flashback: November 13: 2015  Sinjar: Creating a Crucial Supply Route for KurdIShIS & Annexing Iraqi Territory
Briefly- Turkey has been cutting off KurdIShIS supply lines for a while now- Covered previously at the blog. This is most likely the reason we recently had reports of the US dropping tons of arms to Kurdish militias in Syria.

 US Airdrops Weapons to Kurdish Militias in Northern Syria: Kurds & War Crimes!
 US Airdrops Tons & Tons of Munitions into Northern Syria- For the “good” terrorists
Sadly, simplistic memes rule no matter how incorrect they may be.  Still we can connect the  beginning of airdrops to Kurdish terrorists PKK/YPG and the smuggling through Iraq with the increased security at the Turkish border
Speaking of simplistic memes..... Kurds: Betrayers Are Often Betrayed- Victims of and Parties to Conflict

Truth Exists, it's based in reality. Below is some reality.

Let's talk about the Turkish Border Wall


Within this framework, Turkey has erected a 239-kilometer-long (148.5 miles) fixed concrete wall at the border with Syria and is planning to build another one, 207-km-long (128.6 miles).
Concrete wall for more then half of the border
Turkey shares a 900-km-long (559 miles) border with Syria, which has been involved in a civil war since 2011. Separately, the set-up of 49 km (30.4 miles) of barbed wire, 72 km (44.7) of a trellis fence, and a 61-km barrier (37.9 miles) of razor accordion-wire has also been completed.
The Turkish Army has also dug a 401-km (249 miles) ditch and built an 86-km-long (53.4 miles) embankment as well as completed a 4-km (2.4 miles) shear wall.
It has also completed the construction of 57 concrete watchtowers at the border regions in the Gaziantep and Kilis provinces and has modernized many existing towers with day-and-night surveillance systems.
Turkish army troops have completed the construction of 85 km (52.8 miles) and improved 1,892 km (1175.6 miles) of roads, and ameliorated lighting on 422 km (262 miles) of the border.
In line with demands, authorities have declared temporary military security zones in 47 regions, while one region was declared a special security zone.
 I live quite near the US/Canada border. There is nothing like what is mentioned above going on in Niagara....

See also: Syria–Turkey border

Turkey announced a plan in July 2015 to build an 800-km (500-mi) wall along its border with Syria.[23]

Construction began last year in July 2015:

Beginning with an 8 kilometre long wall in Hatay province

 Turkey has started building a new wall along a fragment of its southeastern border with Syria as it struggles against smuggling, illegal migration and the threat from al Qaeda fighters among Syria's rebel ranks.
 The Wall in Hatay Province is now 239 kms long

Turkey has built a 239-km wall in Hatay province on the border with Syria for enhancing its security, Anadolu Agency reported Aug. 22.
The newly built wall is three meters high and two meters wide, according to the agency.

Daily Mail  October 2015

 Drastic action: Construction begins on a high-security border fence between Turkey and Syria, pictured in the town of Reyhanli today, in Hatay province..

The latest  portion of wall construction is taking place at Ayn Al Arab or Kobane: 

In my world Ayn al arab is Syrian territory, not Kurdish. And the name of the town is Ayn al Arab- not Kobane. Since the msm and alternative have already erased the actual name of that town from the collective memories of the masses I’ll use both names, but, will opt for the correct name of the town first- Ayn Al Arab. (Kobanî , officially Ayn al-Arab) My presentation  of this material in this manner is in line with that of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov: Both of whom have informed us they stand for a unified Syria and not an 'independent' Kurdistan

Yesterday the Kurds were claiming the Turks were going to attack Ayn al Arab aka Kobane- this was utter nonsense from what I had read, because the Turks were building another section of their border wall! Verified today by the Kurds themselves..

Kurds protesting wall being built a border

It appears a generous handful came out to protest- I see about 30 in the pic included with the coverage:


 The Turkish authorities started building a barrier wall on its southern border.

The Rojava Self-Administration issued a statement condemning the Turkish barrier wall project, and called on the international community to take action and stop the Turkish violations on the border with Syria. 

“The Self-Administration in the Kobane canton condemns this aggression by the Turkish state against the people of our region. We appeal to the international community to break its silence and put pressure on the Turkish government to stop those violations,” it said.

That would be quite hypocritical of the international community to condemn Turkey, for securing it's border, after all the caterwauling from the international community.

We gathered here today to condemn the barrier wall project launched by Erdogan and his government,” Zaibar Kurdi, one of the Kobane protesters.
 This is not the first time for Turkey to build such a barrier wall on its borders with Syria’s Kurdish region. A similar wall has been built near the cities of Qamishli, Derik and Afrin.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kurds: Betrayers Are Often Betrayed- Victims of and Parties to Conflict

 One of those, for your information- keep it under your hat, kind of posts

I've never been one to promote the Kurd victim meme so liberally spread at this time- Nothing is ever that simplistic- Memes are simply mind viruses created to manipulate. Kurd:Victim is a meme.

All information I've read regarding the 'leaders' of the messy mix of Kurdish people, shows their leadership to be both betrayers and betrayed. Always aligning themselves with power for their own, often corrupted, personal gain. But, never  completely innocent! Never entirely the victim. Kurdish elite and fighters have a history of brutality, ethnic cleansing and aligning with power for gain. As it was in the past, so it is in the present. What is apparent is the leadership leaves the masses to bear the brunt of their corruption.... Much like the masses everywhere (not unique to kurds) Sigh......
Such a familiar theme.

It's interesting also how much the kurds have fought among themselves. And they still are today!

20 page pdf : The Kurds as Parties to and Victims of Conflict

In the inter-Kurdish civil war that broke out in 1994, each of the two parties sided with neighbouring countries in order to defeat its adversary. In 1996 the KDP even called for military support from the Iraqi government to expel the PUK from Arbil.
In 1998 the KDP and PUK ended their conflict and started to cohabit in a ‘‘cold peace’’ relationship, but did not manage either to reunite their two administrations or to repatriate the thousands of citizens displaced during the fighting. In autumn 2002 there were still heavily armed checkpoints in the no- man’s-land between the two areas of influence. Although on a much smaller scale, another confrontation emerged, this time between the PUK and a radical Islamist group called Ansar al-Islam that had established its base in the mountainous area near Halabja on the border with Iran. It consisted of radical Islamists who had split off from other Islamist groups in Kurdistan, and of Kurdish and Arab Afghanistan ‘‘veterans’
So many of the same groups still around today- Some readers here may recall me mentioning Ansar al Islam as a Kurdish group of radical Islamists.. Some readers may recall me mentioning it seemed much more probable that the Kurds killed (gassed) in Halabja were killed by other kurdish factions, rather then Saddam Hussein- Much in the same way that it was the rebels that used sarin gas in Syria.

However, for rallying the troops and enforcing a simplistic meme, blaming Saddam for 'gassing the kurds' was likely more expedient

From 1992: An 18 page pdf- Read it entirely-
  1. Foreign Influences on the Kurdish Insurgency in Iraq 
  2. "Although it is not possible to predict the future, it is clear that the Kurds in Iraq have a rare opportunity to add a chapter to the new world order being constructed as the twentieth century draws to a close"
(26) Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin admitted that his country gave  the Kurds "money, arms, and instructors."

Medvedev signs order lifting ban off chartered flights between Russia and Turkey

    Medvedev signs order lifting ban off chartered flights between Russia and Turkey

    Breaking news: Tass

    MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to lift the ban for chartered flights between Russia and Turkey. The document is published on the government's website.

    The document also reads the air companies serving chartered flights between Russia and Turkey should provide additional security measures.

    The ban for chartered flights between Russia and Turkey is off, press service of the Ministry of Transport said on Sunday.
     "Rosaviatsiya has sent notifications to Russian air companies and informed the system of managing air traffic," the press service reported statement by Minister Maxim Sokolov. "Thus, Russian air authorities ready to provide necessary conditions for serving chartered flights to Turkey, including issue of permissions to Russian air companies.".
    Daily Sabah: BREAKING — Russian PM Medvedev signs decree lifting restrictions on Russian charter flights to Turkey from Aug. 28

    It appears Russia & Turkey are moving forward.


    Saturday, August 27, 2016

    YPG Rocket Attack Kills One Turkish Soldier.. Injures Three


    One Turkish soldier was killed and three others were injured in a rocket attack by the U.S.-sponsored YPG terror group, launched against two tanks taking part in Turkey's military offensive against Daesh in the Syrian town of Jarablus.
    This isn't going to sit well with the Turkish population. Their NATO 'ally' supplied rockets used to  kill Turkish soldiers....
    I've no doubt that the US or NATO allies did indeed supply the rockets to YPG/PKK to kill whoever the Kurds choose to kill. 
    What happened to the US instructing YPG/PKK to retreat?
    What about Kerry's claim the US does not support an independent Kurdistan?
    All actions seem to contradict US claims.
    The casualties are the first for Turkey since the launch of Operation Euphrates Shield to rid the border region of terrorists on Wednesday.
    Speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, the official said rockets were launched at two Turkish tanks , the northern Syrian city freed from Daesh.
    The tanks were hit 7 kilometers south of Jarablus, where Turkish forces helped the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear Daesh terrorists from the area. The rockets had been fired from an area where the YPG militia has been active.
    Ankara has frequently voiced its concern over the activity of PYD's armed People's Protection Units' (YPG) along the Turkish border, and has been rigid in its stance of not allowing the PYD terrorist group to found any kind of de facto Kurdish state in northern Syria.
    Despite consistent U.S. calls to retreat, PYD units have been moving to the east of the Euphrates river, and the group has continued its offenses amid the conflict between Turkish-backed moderate opposition forces and Daesh terrorists.

    The YPG — the Syrian affiliate of the terrorist PKK — has been expanding its dominance west of the Euphrates River since late December, reinforcing its presence in the region using the fight against Daesh as a pretext.

    KurdIShIS- It's been obvious for so long now- Only the willfully blind choose not to see.

    Friday, August 26, 2016

    Sputnik: "I Mediated Secret Talks Between Turkey and Syria"

    It appeared as if Russia, Syria and Iran were all aware that Turkey was going into Syria. As was the US.  From earlier today: Erdogan & Putin Agree to Accelerate Delivery of Aid to Aleppo

    In an interview with Sputnik, Ismail Hakki Pekin, former head of the intelligence unit of the Chief of Staff of the Turkish army, said that he took part in five behind-the-scenes meetings with representatives of the Syrian intelligence services. He did not conduct formal talks, but instead served as a mediator between Turkey and Syria.

    "I took part in five meetings involving representatives of Turkey and Syria. We held the talks to assess the situation in general and determine whether bilateral relations could be restored," he said. "Much in the same way that Turkey held negotiations with Russia."
    Two of the meetings took place in 2015 and three were held this year, he added.
     "At that time we had no information regarding any official talks between Ankara and Damascus. If they took place, [President Bashar al-Assad] or someone from the Syrian intelligence services would have told us."
    Why would he think that he would be informed of official talks? That's his opinion, might be accurate, might not be. What's most important is that Syria and Turkey were holding talks equal to those held between Russia and Turkey

    The informal meetings primarily revolved around the situation in Syria at the time and security measures, he added.
    "We talked to representatives of the Syrian intelligence services. They told us about what was happening in Syria, about the prospects of restoring relations between Turkey and Syria, about working on a joint security concept. We discussed possible steps that Ankara and Damascus could take towards each other," he explained.
    Related to:

    Erdogan & Putin Agree to Accelerate Delivery of Aid to Aleppo


    August 26/2016:

    "Turkey's Erdoğan, Russia's Putin agree over phone call to accelerate delivery of aid to Syria's Aleppo"

    Erdogan calls Putin

    On August 26, Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, conducted a telephone conversation. The presidents discussed the situation in Syria and agreed to continue personal communication conversation. The conversation was initiated by President Erdogan.

    "The leaders had a detailed exchange of views on the state of affairs in Syria. They noted the importance of joint efforts in the fight against terrorism," a message from the Kremlin said. In addition, the presidents discussed "issues of further development of Russian-Turkish cooperation in political, trade and economic spheres in light of the agreements reached at the meeting in St. Petersburg on August 9." 

    Certainly they would have discussed the Turkish move into Syria.



    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Turkey's Move On Syria- Why now? Broken Promises, Coup Fall out, US Elections & Chemical Weapons Meme, Again!

    It was interesting to watch Biden, sitting in Turkey, telling the YPG they had to move east of the Euphrates after all the blood spilled by the two partners in crime in Manbij.
    "Joe Biden had told Kurdish forces that they "must move back across the Euphrates River." He said "they cannot -- will not -- under any circumstance get American support if they do not keep that commitment," according to the AP news agency."
    Covered the Manbij promise here
    So, there was the matter of a promise given by the US to Turkey- once ISIS was removed from Manbij, the Kurds were to vacate the area- They, of course, did not. And it looked as if the US had no intention of encouraging them to do so- Resulting in Turkey taking matters into their own hands. We know the Manbij Kurdish fighters let ISIS go free, displaced a whole bunch of residents and destroyed the registry records making it difficult for the displaced to return. Run of the mill stuff for the Kurdish militias and their US backers. This failure to keep a promise appears to be a factor in Turkey’s move into Jarablus, Syria- Turkey surely noticed the the US didn’t keep their word regarding Manbij- so it appears they moved on their own.

    Fallout from the coup?

    Turkey is not pleased at all with the handling of the Gulen extradition. Yildirim made that clear. This displeasure over the extradition of Gulen, along with the failure to uphold a promise made,  have likely  played into their decision to move on Jarablus. If you can’t trust your NATO allies, who can you trust?

    “Jarablus is a key lynchpin in the Turkish-Kurdish rivalry. The town lies on the western bank of the Euphrates River at the Turkish border in a pocket controlled by the Islamic State group.

    The YPG and other Syrian Kurds stand on the east bank of the river, and from there they hold the entire border with Turkey all the way to Iraq. They also hold parts of the border further west, so if they ever took control of Jarablus, they would control almost the entire stretch”

    Turkey has long, long wanted a no go zone- The US never went along with it

    I covered this topic more then a year ago: Here You can read that post now, if you didn't then.
    Snipped from year ago plus post:
    Turkey has long sought a "no-fly zone" or "safe zone" in northern Syria but met resistance from Washington, which says direct military pressure on Islamic State, not a "safe zone", is the best way to end the region's fighting and refugee crisis.
    Shortly after writing the above post another possibility was entertained, here at the blog, that the US might let Turkey have their zone as a way to grind them down: Here
    Read now if you did not read then- Makes all this history more understandable!

    Turkey’stance : The safe zone , if successful, would enable Turkey to rid itself of it's huge refugee population, while preventing a hostile Kurdish terror state at it's southern border.”

    The US stance at that time The United States will not allow Turkey to attack Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (PYD) forces in northern Syria, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told Rudaw Tuesday”

    My how this situation has changed!

     Also interesting that the US is saying they’re fully behind this, allied with Turkey, but Turkey is presenting this as their own move. AsiaTimes

     “A senior US official, apparently traveling with US Vice-President Joe Biden, said that the United States was giving air cover to the Turkish operations, telling the Syrian government to keep its planes away.
    Actually that's not what the US official said so it's interesting to notice the disinfo aspect, the obfuscation of what is really going on.

    “We have full visibility on what they [the Turks] are doing,” the official told journalists.
     I’ve no doubt the US has full visibility, but, that does not tell us they are supportive. It tells us they are aware, watching, can see what’s happening. Having “full visibility” does not speak of participation- active participation. It’s interesting also that the US was supposed to contribute some artillery rockets for the operation, but, they hadn’t arrived yet. Will they arrive? Ever?

    "References to this support have been relatively few so far in the Turkish media and politicians’ speeches and in Ankara the operation, known as ‘Euphrates Shield,’ is being portrayed simply as a Turkish military success”
    The support isn't being referenced because it doesn't exist. No one can say 'full visibility' = active participation. It doesn't!

    "However, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, said “Turkey and the United States have planned this from the beginning. The US was to contribute M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) but unfortunately they have not arrived yet.”
    Another slight on the part of the US towards Turkey?
    “Turkey appears to have secured the approval of several of its other neighbors before launching  Wednesday’s intervention, including apparently Russia. Presidents Erdogan and Putin met in Moscow on 9 August”

    “It also apparently secured the agreement of the Kurdistan Regional Administration in Erbil in Northern Iraq during a one-day visit to Ankara by President Masoud Barzani on Tuesday this week. The Erbil government  enjoys good relations with Turkey and is on poor terms with the Kurdish militants of Turkey and Syria.”
    There seems to be consensus that Turkey made this move with some types of approval from Russia, Iran, Masoud Barzani and the US. Possibly from Bashar al Assad also.

    YEREVAN. – At present, no country in the region—neither Turkey nor Iran nor Iraq nor Syria—is interested in the creation of a Kurdish state.

    Analyst and former deputy foreign minister of Armenia, Ambassador Arman Navasardyan, noted the aforementioned at a press conference on Thursday.

    In his words, if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had to make a choice between the Kurds and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he would side with Assad.

    “As long as no Kurdish union is created at the border, since this is a matter of life or death for Turks,” stressed Navasardyan. “Turkey may even conduct some negotiations with Assad, only to prevent the creation of a Kurdish state and take them out of the ‘game.’”

    If the US was behind the coup, as most suspect, did it’s fail change the dynamics? Or is the US simply biding time until the election? I can hardly believe that the US/NATO/Israel/Kurds allies are going to let this pass..

    Turkish incursion into Syria, backed by the US (??) and likely by Russia too, could be a game changer in civil war
    Turkey’s incursion into Syria reflects a shift away from its insistence that President Bashar al-Assad be removed from power in any settlement there and may start to close the gap between the international coalitions that have helped keep the country’s civil war raging, analysts and diplomats say.

    In recent months, Turkey has indicated a readiness to accept a transitional role for Assad in any political solution, something Unal Cevikoz, a retired senior Turkish diplomat, called a major change.

    “Turkey has realised there are more important challenges than removing Assad,” said Cevikoz, and that in turn has opened the door to improvements in Ankara’s relationships with Russia and Iran, Assad’s main backers. Turkey would not have launched “Operation Euphrates Shield” on Wednesday without a green light from Russia, he said.
    The challenges Ankara is now prioritising over Assad include fighting Islamic State, which has stepped up its terrorist campaign inside Turkey, and - even more importantly - stopping the advance of Kurdish forces along the Syrian-Turkish border. Turkey sees the Kurdish militia in Syria as a branch of the Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK, an insurgent force it is trying to crush inside its borders.

    The focus on Kurdish militias risked further tension with the US, at a low point in their relations, given that Syria’s Kurds are key US allies in the fight against Islamic State. Instead, the operation appears to have provided ground for cooperation there as well.
    I don't usually quote Landis- However his statement is accurate
    “The capture of Manbij has changed things dramatically,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who has run an influential Syria commentary forum for much of the war. “American special forces helped the Kurds to capture a swathe of territory that put them in reach of building a Kurdish state. That clearly terrified the Turks.”
    "Robert Ford, former US Ambassador to Syria, said in a phone interview that after creating tensions with Turkey by supporting the Kurdish YPG, or People’s Protection Units, “the Americans are choosing not to resist.”
    "Turkey has been agitating for years to create a buffer zone (read the two posts from 2015) along its border with Syria to prevent Syria’s Kurds from connecting the two areas they hold and establishing their own state, which they have named Rojava. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey previously failed to convince the US to help with the buffer zone, however, and was unwilling to act alone. He would have faced opposition from the Assad regime as well as its Russian and Iranian backers. That calculation now appears to have changed"
    “The interesting thing is that there has been basically no Russian reaction” to the Turkish incursion, said Dmitri Trenin, director of the Moscow bureau of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Russians understand Turkey’s legitimate interest on the Kurdish issue, and it looks like Russia may have agreed not to object to a limited operation, in exchange for Turkey being more cooperative on a political settlement with Assad.”
    WSJ- Today
    A new wave of Turkish tanks rolled into northern Syria on Thursday as the military extended its fight to drive Islamic State away from the border and deter advances by American-backed Kurdish forces.

    Fears of an immediate clash between Turkish-backed Syrian fighters and the Kurds appeared to subside as the Kurdish forces pulled out of Manbij, a strategic Syrian town on the western side of the Euphrates River, according to U.S. and Kurdish officials.
    The withdrawal could help defuse regional tensions as Turkey moves into the second day of military operations inside Syria, an offensive complicated by competing interests among the allies and the rival groups of fighters they support.

    The Kurdish forces, known as the YPG, are seen as America’s most effective force against Islamic State. But Turkish leaders see the group as an extension of an outlawed Kurdish militant group in Turkey and are pushing to limit its territorial gains in Syria.
    The U.S. has been putting pressure on the Kurds to pull back from territory that they have taken from Islamic State, as they have previously promised to do. In a call on Thursday with his Turkish counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry said the YPG was moving back to its strongholds on the eastern side of the Euphrates.
    Turkish soldiers and U.S. warplanes (?- I need more verification of US warplanes being involved?) kicked off the new offensive on Wednesday, joining forces with the Syrian rebels to quickly push Islamic State out of Jarablus, the Syrian border town the extremist group long used as a vital supply route.
    Fighting was continuing between the Turkish-backed forces and militants in villages around Jarablus on Thursday.

    After the swift victory in Jarablus, Turkey said it would remain in Syria until the Kurdish forces in Manbij, 25 miles to the south, followed through on the pledge to pull back.
    But it has also said it would stay until it is certain that Islamic State poses no imminent threat to Turkey, which gives the military open-ended support to remain in northern Syria.
    The operation creates an opening for Turkey to fulfill a long-held desire to carve out a buffer zone in northwest Syria that could become a sanctuary for Syrians fleeing the fighting—and a staging ground for its rebel allies.

    It would also allow Turkey to retain a geographic wedge between two Kurdish-controlled regions of northern Syria that the YPG would like to connect. That would create a unified Kurdish area on Turkey’s border that Ankara sees as an unacceptable security threat.

     Of course, it's the chemical weapons meme. Again

    The US has urged "strong and swift action" after a UN investigation concluded that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people.
     The report will be discussed by the security council next week.