Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Is The End Of Syria (?)

I hope it is not the end of Syria. However, the writer from Alternet is clearly not optimistic. The title accompanies the alternet article- The question mark is mine.

Vijay Prashad

The Souk - Old Aleppo

"The Syrian Arab Army is now within sight of taking back all of Aleppo. For several years now, the eastern part of Aleppo – one of Syria’s oldest and most beautiful cities – has been in the hands of the armed opposition. The western part has been in the hands of the Syrian government. Now with the Syrian army hastily taking the Hanano as well as Jabal Badro and Baadeen districts, the corridor used by the opposition fighters to resupply them from the Syrian countryside (via Iraq) and from across the Turkish border is now substantially closed. Apart from small pockets of hardened resistance, the bulk of Aleppo will soon be in the hands of the government.
 Several factors came together to make the assault on the eastern part of Aleppo possible. It was not the presence of Hezbollah and the Iraqi and Iranian militias nor was it the presence of Russian air support that made the difference for the Syrian army. These assets had been available to the Syrian government for several years now. There had been no appetite to use them previously. Attacks had been made on eastern Aleppo, but nothing of the scale as has been seen now – nor with the ferocity and speed with which the Syrian army moves to close the corridor out of eastern Aleppo. Civilian casualties are certainly high, and so too have been the attacks on key infrastructure in this part of the city. The Syrian army is now attacking not to put pressure on the armed opposition, but to defeat it.
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.

 Let's talk about withdrawal of support by Turkey. As reported here at the blog there was an agreement between Russia and Turkey!  

Pretty certain I mentioned this on more then one occasion. Here's one post on the topic: Russia and Turkey Plot The Endgame in Aleppo

You may also want to look at the article written by Ollie Richardson from
subject of the post before this one:Erdogan Declares War on Syria or Just More Sensationalist Spin from Alt Media Analysts
 " Russia’s agreement with Turkey involving the latter’s entrance in the Syrian theatre did not provisionally include any definite red lines. Thus, these lines will be drawn in the sand where ever and when ever it is deemed necessary"

The Souk in Old Aleppo
 But  for now we'll go back to the Alternet piece

(1)Turkey’s withdrawal: The main reason for the Syrian army’s thrust, says my contact, is that the Turkish government has withdrawn its material support for the armed opposition inside Aleppo. Essential supplies from the Gulf Arab states and from Turkey had come across the border crossing at Azaz. (That’s done)
 Previous comments from Rescue who informed us all that this had occurred:
Yes. The Turks removed all their terrorist proxies from the SW Aleppo front & moved them to N. Aleppo. Later they have moved many more from Idlib to their occupation zone. They have also prevented the rebels inside & out from receiving more arms. Encouraged rebel civil wars ect. This has weakened the rebels, & is the cause of the SAA imminent liberation of Aleppo.

The removal of Turkish backed terrorists from
the Aleppo frontline was public news. All analysts are now claiming this is the reason for Aleppos liberation. Pro-rebel accounts are furious with Turkey, right now.

The Citadel
 The alternet author cites some incidents they believe influenced Turkey’s decision to withdraw support- I don’t agree with the way they are presented though they aren’t entirely off base. - Three biggies IMO would be the Reyhanli bombing. The PKK restarting their war with the Turkish state.(The Gezi park protests being part of the PKK kick off)  And finally the coup.

You can read  the authors contention at the linked article

2) Collapse of southern rebels- Note that this author never mentions Israel as a supplier of terrorists and arms- so we're getting a limited hangout even here!

“Collapse of the Southern Front. The West – particularly the United States – has long recognized that the armed opposition are closely linked with one form or another of radical extremism.  Lack of confidence from their main backers – the West – revived tensions within the Front. One of its main constituents, the Syrian Revolutionary Front, faced a leadership crisis. The old al-Qaeda group – Jabhat al-Nusra – had renamed itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham to attempt to rebrand itself as a nationalist formation. Its leadership – namely Saleh al-Hamwi – called for a new leadership in the Syrian Revolutionary Front, to depose the more nationalist minded leaders and substitute them for Islamists. This was the final blow to the attempt to create a ‘moderate’ force against the Damascus government”
In my opinion, rather then this being about extremism in the 'moderates'- Which, the US was cool with, as was Israel. In fact it suited them just fine!  More sensibly the problem was all the bad PR associated with the US/Israel’s thugs. That was the final straw- No one was believing the moderate rebel meme. No one at all. The battle for your mind and my mind had failed.

 3) Battle for Mosul (Iraq): Finally, the Iraqi government – fully backed (questionable???) by the West – launched a major attack on ISIS-controlled Mosul in Iraq. This was on 21 October 2016. A week later, the Syrian government opened up its own offensive in Aleppo. My Syrian interlocutor who is in the armed forces told me that there were two reasons for the push in November. The first is that the government knew that the attack on eastern Aleppo would bring heavy casualties. They calculated that the Iraqi-Western push into Mosul would also produce a large number of casualties. The West would, therefore, have to be more forgiving of the Syrian advance given that there is no possibility of taking a city without great hardship and death. The French desire to have UN Security Council action to prevent the final push by the Syrian Army will amount to little. The second reason is that once the West helps the Iraqis to take Mosul, they will make a dash for Raqqa. The Syrian army wants to take Aleppo and then turn its energy towards Raqqa.
Agreed that this the Syrian army wants and has to take Raqqa.

And this is where it all goes back to al Bab!

*All Eyes On al-Bab: Putin Confirms- No Russian Jets Struck Turkish Soldiers

 Turkey and Russia are still communicating.

Syria is still working on reconciling.

And there is more to read at alternet, if you choose to, as for me... I'm saying goodnight!

From earlier today- thanks again Ally :)

Erdogan Declares War on Syria or Just More Sensationalist Spin from Alt Media Analysts

Erdogan Declares War on Syria or Just More Sensationalist Spin from Alt Media Analysts

I'm hattipin' Ally for this beauty!! I could have wrote this post myself, thankfully, someone else did the work for me.  Thank- You Ollie Richardson, whoever you are?

Unfortunately I can't put any of it here- But I encourage you to read it.
 Ollie Richardson absolutely takes down Zero Hedge and the Duran for their utter sensationalist nonsense yesterday.

Charles and I had a discussion about so called alt media- No real difference from main stream media.
Charles: "Are you implying all of these news sources are working with the west to demonize Erdogan and destabilize Turkey?"

A good many of them are. And the rest are repeaters. Simple repeaters. Like the Duran. I read their hype yesterday.. NO context. Who was Erdogan's audience?

I ended that comment to Charles with this statement

 However simplistic one dimensional cartoon character like presentations "cult of personality' are always used as a tool of distraction. Which is why I don't get into it.

UPDATED: Mr Ollie Richardson stopped by and kindly provided me with the text for his article- You can read the complete article in the comment section below- I still recommend you go to his article directly for the images included within which include:

 -Zero Hedge's shameless sensational headline, shown for all to see

-And as Ollie Richardson said.. The Duran couldn't make up it's mind on the level of hyperbole it was wanting to engage in- Having two sensationalistic headlines up. Both Duran headlines shown in linked piece.

A brief excerpt as follows:
"In the grand scheme of things, this incident certainly had importance, but nothing like the shooting down of a Russian Su-24 on the Syrian-Turkish border. This resulted in the placement of the S-400 SAM system at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Latakia – a move that essentially ended US hegemony in the Middle East.

A more recent example of an event that could be interpreted as a “declaration of war” is the bombing of Damascus by Israeli warplanes on 29th November, 2016. Four missiles were launched from outside Syrian territory, likely at Hezbollah targets. But alas – there were no sensationalist headlines on display regarding this incident from both the mainstream and the “alternative” media. It was just simply another day in Syria.

But Erdogan’s statement about “removing Assad” is apparently different. A few initial questions can be asked in order to examine this combination of words:

1) Did Turkey attack any Syrian Army positions during Operation Euphrates Shield?

The answer here is no. The focus of the operation was the displacement of the Kurds, under the guise of fighting ISIS, and asserting Turkish influence in northern Syria. The recent incident involving the Syrian airforce bombing Turkish proxies outside al-Bab has been logically explained as the “reformatting of the Rules of Engagement”. Russia’s agreement with Turkey involving the latter’s entrance in the Syrian theatre did not provisionally include any definite red lines. Thus, these lines will be drawn in the sand where ever and when ever it is deemed necessary. For Russia, al-Bab is clearly a red line, and Turkey now knows not to cross it

2) Did Russia attack Turkey when it initially crossed the border during Operation Euphrates Shield?

Again, the answer here is no. In fact, Russia was silent about the US air support accompanying the Turkish tanks crossing the border near Jarablus. A statement was made by the Syrian President condemning the incursion, but the Russian side was relatively quiet – no condemnation was forthcoming

3) How did the Russian side react to Erdogan’s statement?

The Russian side is quoted as saying, “We tried to understand whether it was quoted as it had been said. It was not a direct quote, but a retelling of what had been said ‘off-the-record’. We rely on the public statements”. I.e. Russia knows how the PR game works, and will treat “statements” with “statements”. Or in other words, nothing to see here, move on!

So, linking together the chain of events – the actions and reactions – it becomes very difficult to describe Erdogan’s 29th November statement as anything other than political rhetoric"

Again read the article and check the images: "Erdogan declared war on Syria" Or just more sensationalist social media spin

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

All Eyes On al-Bab: Putin Confirms- No Russian Jets Struck Turkish Soldiers

 Not a totally terrible article from the Independent
"The attacks, less than a mile from the Turkish frontier, are in reaction to what is unfolding 30 miles to the north. Three forces which have been engaged in a bitter struggle against each other in Syria’s civil war are closing in on a city which is a strategic prize for an offensive on Raqqa.

Rebel Sunni Arab fighters of the FSA ( Free Syrian Army) with Turkish military backing; A Kudish led alliance with American advisors and air support and the regime’s army with Russian backing are closing in on al-Bab in Aleppo Province.
Al-Bab, or The Gate, is the last remaining significant stronghold left for Isis before Raqqa.
What happens in al-Bab will not only have a major bearing on the future of Raqqa, but also events in Aleppo and the aftermath of the operations there as the Assad regime carries out a push to take the rebel held east of the city"
 Or events in Aleppo will have an effect on al-Bab? As most of us know Aleppo for the most part has been taken back by SAA and allies.

Syrian soldiers fly their flag near Sakhur district, which had been in rebel hands for four years (Reuters)

Syrian forces storm southeast Aleppo as UN warns of rebel capitulation
UN envoy’s concern for terrorists is oh so touching

The UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said on Tuesday that he could not say how long the rebel resistance would last.

"Clearly, I cannot deny - this is a military acceleration and I can't tell you how long eastern Aleppo will last," he told the European Parliament. "There is a constant increase of movement on the military side."

Igor Konashenkov, a major general and spokesman for the Russian defence ministry, said on Monday: "During the last 24 hours, thanks to very well prepared and careful actions, Syrian soldiers were able to radically change the situation,"

"Practically half of the territory occupied by rebels in recent years in the eastern part of Aleppo has been completely liberated."

Back to the Independent:

-Al-Bab supplied the largest contingent of fighters during the battle for Aleppo in 2012

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has publicly declared that he wants the rebels his government is supporting with a 10,000 strong Turkish force, “Operation Euphrates Shield”, to move to the city. Gaining possession would not only provide a natural defence point for the 5,000 square kilometre “security zone” Ankara wants to establish, but act as a check on expansion of regime forces if and when they take Aleppo.
“Opposition fighters supported by Turkish armour and warplanes captured the villages of Umm Shukyaf, Umm Adshah and Anifiyah at the weekend, while at the same time launching attacks against the American backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in nearby Sab Wiran and Sheikh Nassir.
The results of the attacks were inconclusive and the SDF, led supposedly, led DEFINITELY, by the Kurdish militia YPG with (little to no) Arab groups in the ranks, claimed to have destroyed a Turkish tank. Meanwhile the SDF YPG continued its offensive, backed by US air strikes, against Isis, capturing the villages of Tal al-Jijan and Tal Unayb, west of al-Bab after prolonged and intense clashes.”

Regime forces, while continuing its offensive to capture the eastern part of Aleppo from rebels, advanced towards al-Bab, taking the villages of Khirbat Duwayr, Amad Taltinah, Shaalah and Tal Al-Khashkhashat. Hizbullah and the pro-Damascus Kurdish group, Kafr as Saghir Martyrs, took part in the fighting.
Turkish backed rebels maintain that the SDF provided fire support for the regime forces – more evidence, they insisted, to back their charge of collusion between Bashar al-Assad and the Kurds.

Turkey’s rebels clarify this statement, I’ll highlight it.

The complex and violent tapestry on the ground holds the increasing risk of outside players being sucked further into the conflict. President Erdogan called Vladimir Putin at the weekend after air strikes by Assad regime warplanes, had killed four Turkish soldiers and injured nine others near al-Bab. The two leaders, say Turkish officials, are in regular contact with each other over Syria, a process started by the rapprochement which the confrontation following the shooting down of a Russian plane by the Turks last year.

I stand firm that it was US planes that struck the Turkish soldiers.
Russia denies targeting Turkish troops in Al-Bab, Syria

"Russia has confirmed directly, by Mr. [President Vladimir] Putin, that the jets which conducted that attack did not belong to them," Numan Kurtulmus said after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.
Here's the clarification of the above statement- highlighted
There seems little prospect, however, of the accusations and recriminations on the ground coming to an end. Motassim Khalid Abdullah, an officer with a Free Syrian Army (FSA) acting alongside Turkish troops in Syria spoke of his bitterness about the activities of the SDF. “They are Kurdish, YPG (a Kurdish militia) controlled. They say they are fighting Daesh (Isis) but they are also fighting us and it is for definite that they are helping Bashar when it suits them” he declared.
“We have proof that they were using their artillery when the regime advanced on al-Bab at Amad Taltinah and Shaalah. We are not saying they want Bashar to get al-Bab. They have already said they want al-Bab themselves. They want to create a Kurdistan out of Syria, Iraq and Turkey. The Turks know this and that is the reason they are in Syria. The Americans must also know this, but they keep on supporting the Kurds. It is some kind of a game the Americans are playing.”
US officials announced recently that the SDF would withdraw from Manbij, another town recently captured from Isis, leaving it to the FSA and Arab tribal militias. The Kurds, however, still maintain a presence there and have accelerated operations to gain territory nearby.
Kurdish militias never left, I've already covered this: Here
"My understanding is they were departing and they were doing that today," Dorrian said after being pressed by Anadolu Agency to explain the apparent contradiction.

"But as far as whether every single one of them is gone, I would be very uncomfortable saying every single one," he added”
American backed Kurdish militias  not gone from Manbij!
This lays the ground for another scenario. The outside powers would lose interest – a very real possibility in the case of America under a Trump presidency – or rein back having reached their strategic objectives. The groups they had fed and watered will meanwhile carry on their vicious internecine strife, making the prospect of peace in Syria even more remote.

From Earlier Today:

While the Cat's Away? Israel Plots Largest Settlement In SYRIAN Occupied Golan

Still waiting for an answer to the question posed in today's earlier post? : Egyptian Troops in Syria? " These Allegations Exist Only In the Imagination Of Those Who Promote Them"
"The priority is that we support the national armies to impose control over the territory, deal with the extremists, and impose the necessary stability in Libya, Syria and Iraq," he said.

"When you refer to the National Army in Syria, do you mean the Syrian army?" the presenter asked, to which Sisi replied: "Yes."
Can someone explain how it is that quoted statement turned into Egyptian boots on the ground in Syria?

 Israel Plots Largest Settlement Expansion in Occupied Syrian Golan since 1980

Al-Marsad: Arab Human Rights Center in the Golan announced, in a press release, that it has written to the European Union, European governments and the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council regarding Israel’s plans to expand Katrzin settlement and establish ‘Hermon National Park’ in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

The Israeli Finance Ministry approved plans to build 1,600 additional settlement units in Katzrin in October. About 8,000 settlers live in Katzrin atop the destroyed Syrian villages of Qasrin, Shqef and Sanawber. It is the largest settlement in the occupied Syrian Golan.

“This will be the largest expansion of an illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied Syrian Golan since the 1980s,” a letter from Al-Marsad to the Delegation of the European Union to Israel reads.

Al-Marsad also calls attention to a second Israeli plan for the occupied Syrian Golan, called ‘Hermon National Park.’ The park depends on appropriating 25,000 acres (more than 82,000 dunams) of agricultural land used by residents of Majd al-Shams and Ein Qynia.
Majd al-Shams stands to be particularly devastated by the plan: the park would surround the village from the north and west, thus prohibiting any future expansion of it and essentially besieging it. According to Al-Marsad, about 800 families living in Majd al-Shams are in urgent need of housing, but cannot secure an Israeli construction permit to build.
Israel very big on refugee creation. Always.
In hopes of disrupting the plans, Al-Marsad calls on:
The international community to strongly condemn plans for the construction of 1,600 settlement units in the illegal settlement of Katzrin and the planned expropriation of Syrian land under the guise of the ‘Hermon National Park’ plan; and obtain binding commitments from Israel that it will stop these activities.
The organization also “invites foreign governments and international organizations to send fact-finding missions to the Occupied Syrian Golan to witness, firsthand, the deteriorating human rights situation.”
Israel forcibly transferred 130,000 Syrians from the Golan and destroyed 300 of its towns and villages in 1967 to clear the way for its ongoing illegal occupation.

Egyptian Troops in Syria? " These Allegations Exist Only In the Imagination Of Those Who Promote Them"

There’s a rumour going ‘round....

Discussed a bit here last week- Hubby and I searched and searched for verification of said rumour. Couldn't find it

November 23/2016-  Egypt unlikely to send military forces to Syria: Al-Sisi
Egypt is unlikely to send military forces to Syria, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Tuesday, stressing that it would be better if Syria’s national army took sole responsibility for securing the country.

November 25/2016: Egypt has not sent troops to Syria: Military source

November 26/2013 : Egypt denies sending military troops to Syria after Al-Sisi explicitly supports Al-Assad

Qassem Al-Khatib, a member in the National Coalition of the Syrian Opposition, told Daily News Egypt that Egypt had not sent any military troops to Syria

November 27/2016: Egypt denies sending military troops to Syria

Egypt’s foreign ministry denied in a statement on Sunday the presence of Egyptian military troops in Syria, reiterating its commitment to non-intervention in internal affairs of other countries.

“These allegations exist only in the imagination of those who promote them,” foreign ministry’s statement read, stressing on Egypt’s commitment to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

Sputnik November 27/2016

Some Arab newspapers reported about Egyptian military presence in Syria," the statement published on the Foreign Ministry’s Facebook page read. "Egypt is committed to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries."

Egyptian military has been accused of sending troops to the aid of the embattled Syrian government. Many Arab Gulf states support opposition forces in Syria. A Russian government spokesman said earlier this month he could not confirm reports that Egyptian soldiers were present in Syria.

Could this rumour have been started as a way to demonize Egypt? To cause discord amongst neighbours? Possible.

November 28/2016: Egypt denies it has a military presence in Syria

28 November 2016 13:46 Egypt Denies Presence of Egyptian Forces in Syria

 “The ministry refutes allegations of a number of the Arab mass media about the presence of the Egyptian military in the Syrian territory,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said on Sunday.
Local media outlets recently reported that Egyptian military forces have joined the conflict in Syria in support of the Assad.

“Such ungrounded allegations exist only in the minds of those who are spreading them and the purpose of such rumors is clear. Egypt will stay committed to the principle of non-interference into domestic affairs of other states"
Wonder what the spokesperson meant when saying 'the purpose of such rumors is clear"?
I'll re-ask my previous question:  Could this rumour have been started as a way to demonize Egypt? To cause discord amongst neighbours? Possible.

The statement that caused the rumour mill to kick into high gear?

"The priority is that we support the national armies to impose control over the territory, deal with the extremists, and impose the necessary stability in Libya, Syria and Iraq," he said.

"When you refer to the National Army in Syria, do you mean the Syrian army?" the presenter asked, to which Sisi replied: "Yes."

Can someone explain how it is that quoted statement turned into Egyptian boots on the ground in Syria?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Betraying Turkey:Germany & US Leaving Incirlik/ Pulling Out Personnel/Scouting Alternative Locales

As the betrayal of Turkey progresses....NATO allies? Not so much.
Penny, you should write a post about Germany removing their military from Incirlik. They are trying to gain access to Jordanian bases instead.
Turkey refuses Germany a permanent presence at the base, because of their support for the PKK.
I think its an important story, not reported and talked about enough.

  1. I've seen some of the news about Germany and Incirlik
    If Germany is heading for Jordan it tells us much about the next target for destabilization- Saudi Arabia.
All the latest

It appears Germany is looking to make alternative NATO arrangements. Just like their US counterparts. Oh are you one of those that believes, despite all the publicly available information, that the US and Turkey are on the same page? If so the information below will cause you a bit more cognitive dissonance.  Before you turn your nose up to the information contained within this posting, consider the reality, the fact, that one can glean information & dot connect from open public sources of information as was clearly stated by  Allen Dulles many years ago.
"More than 80 percent of intelligence is obtained from open sources." Allen W. Dulles
 Allen Dulles stated more then 80 percent of intelligence is openly sourced. That is through information that is publicly available, gathered, put through a rational thought process in order to connect dots cohesively. Certainly Allen Dulles was speaking from experience.

Germany explores alternatives to Turkey's Incirlik air base

As relations between Ankara and Berlin deteriorated, Germany began looking for alternatives to the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey in at least three other Middle Eastern countries.

The Kurdistan Region, whose Erbil airport acts as a key logistical support base for the US-led Coalition forces in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), was not among the options for Germans.

Incirlik base was one of the theaters the putschists operated from, flying aerial refueling jets for warplanes that bombed critical targets at the Turkish capital of Ankara, including the Parliament and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s palace.
Turkish authorities subsequently cut all power lines to Incirlik and imposed a ban on Coalition flights there. The Base’s Turkish Commander General Bekir Ercan Van was arrested and jailed two days later.
Last month, an American national security site, Defense One, said the US should get ready to walk away from Incirlik
UPDATED WITH LINK  and excerpt from Defense One article:
Closing paragraph from: Get Ready to Walk Away from Incirlik
" Ideally, seeking out alternatives to Incirlik will minimize the possibility that Washington is ever forced to exercise them.  If Washington has options, Turkey will face the possibility that threatening to throw American forces out could backfire, leaving the country even more strategically isolated. In short, a little foresight and planning could turn Incirlik from a source of Turkish leverage over America to a source of American leverage over Turkey"
Incirlik: Leverage
"It is too early to say whether it will become necessary to withdraw our forces from Incirlik," the spokesman told "Bild." Any relocation, however, would likely take "several weeks," in which time the Tornado reconnaissance jets would be out of action.
The German air force planes aren’t currently flying combat missions.

The German planes aren’t currently flying combat missions- that should make it easier to leave once new digs are found.

I’ve discussed the US prepping to walk away from Turkey and Incirlik on multiple occasions

September 10/2016 Should US Pull Personnel out of Turkey After Coup Attempt ? - Betraying Turkey
A powerful California lawmaker wants Congress to consider moving U.S. personnel and military equipment out of Turkey into other Middle Eastern countries in the wake of an attempted coup in Turkey in July"
Previous mentions regarding US Personnel being moved..

March 29/2016: Military families out of Turkey
September 03/2015: Pentagon Offers Evacuation to 900 US Military Dependents in Turkey
Finding alternative basing options for U.S. personnel and military assets is necessary given that the relationship between the United States and Turkey has become increasingly strained, Schanzer said.
“Whether it’s flirting with the Russians, whether it’s flirting with the Iranians, challenging American foreign policy, you know, making it difficult for Incirlik to operate, shutting down counter-ISIS operations over that short period of time – these are the sort of things that should be viewed as a red flag,” he said. “Not necessarily a defining moment where we need to move now, but again, a red flag, and one that should be an indication to military planners that contingency plans should be made.”
Making Germany's actions part of a coordinated plan

Germany & the PKK: Austria and prepping the narrative for EMBARGO/SANCTIONs

"A Hamburg court made reference to the PKK's so-called fight against Daesh since 2013 and praised the "political struggle" of the PKK terrorists in a scandalous statement.

Since the terrorist organization became a perfect tool for the German government regarding its regional chessboard, some unbelievable decisions have been taken by the German administration.

While Germany acts as a locomotive in its actions against Turkey, other leading members of the 28-nation union play the role of "concerned friends for the ‘bien-etre' of their ally."

However, they delegate some smaller members to put mines and barriers in front of Turkey, concerning its relationship with the union.

The decision by the Austrian parliament to ban weapons sales to Turkey can be evaluated within this framework. Since Austria is not a reference country for weapons sales, it is just trying the make the public become accustomed to the use of the word "embargo" in the same sentence as "Turkey."

A recent report by the European Parliament proposing the end of accession talks between the EU and Turkey is just a recent link in the chain of this "carrots and sticks" policy.

It is clear that the EU leaders' summit to convene in mid-December will not end with the decision to halt accession talks with Turkey.

The success of the Turkish people to overcome the coup attempt on July 15 and the strong attachment of the Turkish people to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the main matter of concern for the EU. To be frank, the EU is frustrated with the failure of the coup attempt. That is why there has been an unbelievable level of support given to everybody who is against Turkey"
I've stated for two years now the US led NATO is betraying Turkey- That fact seems more and more apparent as time goes on.

From Earlier:

Jay Dyer: Esoteric Hollywood: How to Destroy the Entertainment-Industrial Complex

Jay Dyer: Esoteric Hollywood: How to Destroy the Entertainment-Industrial Complex

Worth a listen.
"We begin by discussing Hollywood: its history, significance, and, most importantly, how to destroy it. Jay references Plato, who argued that you cannot have complete freedom of the arts because degeneracy can harm society. Jay also relates this to democracy, explaining that an elite can, through the arts, make man easier to control by appealing to his base desires. We discuss the fact that film has, since its inception, been linked to powerful interests, such as the military and the mafia. We consider the nature of culture, and how it must be altered prior to any political change; Hollywood, having the ability to influence one’s perception of reality, has a played a significant role in this process. The first hour also covers spirit cooking, Satanism, and #Pizzagate"

Thanks to Red Ice Creations for providing one hour of this interview

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Breaking: Blasts Heard In Kurdish Training Camp. US & British Instructors Present?

Related to earlier reporting or upping the ante?

ANKARA, November 27. /TASS/. Several blasts rocked training camps of paramilitary units of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in the Syrian province of Khaseke in Tel Tamer on Saturday, Anadoly Agency reported.
The report said there several people were killed and wounded in the accident.
According to the agency, there were the US and British military instructors in the camp. The facility was formed by the Democratic Union in 2013, for training the Kurdish militia. The trainings have been performed by US instructors since last year.
The Democratic Union is regarded as a terrorist organization in Turkey.
 Connected? I don't know? But worth mentioning

 Official: Loud Blast in Southern Turkey May Have Been Military Jets

A loud blast heard in Gaziantep, in southeastern Turkey near the Syrian border, may have been caused by jets taking part in Turkish military efforts in nearby northern Syria, Turkish officials said late Friday.
Police and firefighting teams investigated the sound, according to Turkey's Anadolu news agency.
The Gaziantep Province governor's office released a statement that said the incident caused no injuries, deaths or property damage.
"This sound could have been caused by warplanes involved in the Euphrates Shield operation going over the usual noise limit. We will give further details later," the governor said.
Tensions are high in Gaziantep. The area borders Syria where Turkish troops have taken part in military efforts to push Islamic State (IS) militants and Kurdish militia from the region.

 From earlier and now updated:

Friday's news:


  • Southfront: No Confirmation Of Syrian Strikes on Turkish Mil- One Year Anniversary Date Russian Jet Shootdown

    Additional commentary and information
    The US was behind the attack on the Turkish troops, (I'm not excluding Syrian collusion) & Turkey retaliated with the attack in Hasakah today. At least 5 US soldiers died.
    Assad is openly courting the US, hoping Trump will be an ally. That is why they are taking a hostile stance against Turkey, and scapegoating Erdogan for the war.
    I'm also worried, because Syria is not acting rationally. Teaming up with the SDF to capture Al-Bab is a fatal decision, that Syria will suffer with for a long time.
    Clearly, Russia & Syria have also fallen out, over what I don't entirely know. I suspect it might have been because of the latest jihadi offensive against Aleppo, where Russia withheld air support, allegedly because of a deal with Erdogan. After that, the relationship between the parties in the Syrian war changed. 

    Hi Penny:

    Perhaps THIS is why Putin and Erdogan have so much to talk about:
Consider the thoughts others are sharing... Rescue makes some good points particularly with regard to Aleppo- Russia wasn't 'all in' on it- For what ever reason? Bad PR etc., They left it up to Syria.
Maybe Syria didn't need the assistance. Taking Aleppo is ugly work.

I agree that it was the US that attacked the Turkish troops- The US made clear they were displeased with Turkey's operation and were officially distancing themselves from it. If Syria is teaming up with the Kurds- Bad move. It is a mistake they will pay dearly for and suggests Syria's leadership is accepting some degree of  balkanization.

Nothing is ever black and white. There are many shades of grey.
Greencrow has raised the spectre of the no fly zone, yet again-
I'm very saddened to read that :(
That will affect Turkey

As the middle east/north africa remake marches on... Yes, this is bigger then Syria. As repeatedly stated here!

Putin and Erdogan: Two Talks in Two Days- Oh to be a fly on the wall....

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone talk with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, focusing on Syria, the Kremlin press service said.

"Today, President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdogan, continuing to exchange opinions on the situation in Syria," the statement said.
The conversation was the second between the two leaders in the past two days. On Friday, Putin and Erdogan had a phone conversation about the Syria crisis and the joint efforts in the fight against terrorism. The Kremlin said that they had exchanged opinions in an encouraging tonality.

Wondering if Putin initiated today's exchange? It seems likely since no mention of who took the initiative unlike yesterday.

Putin, Erdogan discuss Syria twice in two days

Putin and Erdogan spoke by telephone and "continued their exchange of opinions concerning the situation in Syria", the Russian presidency said in a brief statement.
The pair also spoke by phone on Friday "at Turkey's initiative", in a conversation that covered bilateral ties as well as a "resolution to the Syrian conflict", notably the possibility of "coordinated efforts in the fight against terrorism", the Kremlin said.

Rouhani: Iran, Turkey need to сooperate to кesolve сrises in Syria, Iraq 

Geez, I've been saying that all along- Cooperate or be destroyed!  Cause divide to conquer works, if you let it!
 "Nowadays, when the situation in the region seems shaky, the development cooperation, like-mindedness, as well as contacts between Tehran and Ankara can be very useful for solving problems in the region," Rouhani said after a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Chavushoglu in Tehran, as quoted by the IRNA news agency.
The Iranian president said that cooperation between the regional states was necessary to resolve the crises in Syria and Iraq, and help in the fight against terrorism.
From earlier and now updated:
Friday's news:

Blasts hit Coalition Arms Depot in Syria? Russia Confirms SAA attack on Turks?

Two stories I'm keeping an eye on.

Of the two news items I find the first one to be more credible. The second one not so much
The first one has attribution.  The second one has none!

The first one has names and quoted statements.
The second one consists of claims that are unsubstantiated.

The first news report fits in a retaliatory way to the attacks on Turkish soldiers
The second one... is unsupported by anything of  real substance.

You decide and I will keep a watchful eye on the developments of both?

First Report: Blasts hit coalition arms depot in north Syria
"At least five explosions occured on Saturday morning at the arms and munitions depots in a base close to Tal Tamer" northwest of the city of Hasakeh, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.
He said the base was used by Kurdish forces from the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) as well as members of the international coalition fighting IS in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.
A local Kurdish official said a number of people were injured in the blasts and loaded on to ambulances.
Neither the Observatory nor the official could specify the cause of the blasts, and the coalition was not immediately available for comment.
It was not clear if there were any US personnel on the base at the time of the blasts.
A witness told AFP that "successive explosions occurred between 08.30am-09am GMT" and said ambulances and firefighters arrived swiftly on the scene.
The US on Thursday announced the death of an American serviceman in Syria, who was killed by an improvised explosive device.
For more than two years the United States has led a 66-nation coalition using air strikes against the jihadists' positions in Syria and Iraq.
Washington has also deployed special forces in Syria to advise the Arab-Kurdish alliance, the Syrian Democratic Forces, and improve the coalition's targeting of air strikes.
As many as 300 US special forces personnel may be in Syria.
We know one of those personnel died on "Turkey" day: US Soldier Killed in Syria was an Explosives Expert

The above news item is reported on here: Blast hits US backed anti- ISIS force's arms depot

Tit for Tat?: Kurdish Led Forces Blow up 4 Turkish Tanks
The Kurdish-led military command in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Thursday announced they destroyed four Turkish army tanks in the western countryside of the township.

 Second report : Russia confirms Syria regime conducted airstrike on Turkish soldiers

After the death of three Turkish soldiers involved in Turkey’s “Euphrates Shield” operation in Syria in an airstrike, Russia has cooperated with Turkey and conducted an investigation that lays blame for the attack on the Assad regime, media reports have said.
Who in Russia? What entity in Russia conducted this investigation which coincidentally bolsters the questionable original narrative?
Turkish newspaper Hurriyet said that the attack initially seemed intent on spoiling Turkish-Russian relations that have recently warmed since Turkey shot down a Russian bomber last year. However, Russia was highly cooperative and assured Turkey that it did not carry out the attack, maintaining the recently patched ties between the two powers.
When Turkey told Russia that the plane which carried out the strike set off from a Syrian airport under Russian control, Russia asked for more time to investigate the issue before conducting an investigation that confirmed that a Syrian Air Force L-39 Albatros light-attack warplane carried out the attack.
Who in Turkey informed what person or group in Russia? The devil is in the lack of details.
The regime airstrike on the Turkish soldiers came one year after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet that brought relations between the two Black Sea powers to the verge of collapse. According to reports, the regime airstrike caused the death of four Turkish soldiers and wounded ten others.
Immediately after the strike, two Turkish F-16 jets set off from Incirlik Airbase and arrived at the scene 13 minutes later to find that the aircraft which carried out the strike had departed.
Two Turkish or two NATO F-16's? I don't know. I've no reason to believe this report.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim held emergency phone calls with Defence Minister Fikri Isik and the Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar before speaking to the media. Yildirim vowed that Turkey would avenge the deaths of its “heroic sons.”
He also told journalists in Ankara that “there are different parties who do not agree with our [Euphrates Shield] operation against Daesh. There will be revenge for this attack.”
Yup, there are different parties who do not agree with Turkey's operation! Syria alone? I don't think so.
Just the other day I posted information of the US disapproval of this operation
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed said that this attack bore clear messages to Turkey, which supports the Syrian opposition, and that the airstrike was a warning for it to not attempt to expand its control to reach near Aleppo and other parts where Syrian regime does not want Turkey.
Turkey is now fighting to push Daesh out of Al-Bab, which is very close to Aleppo’s besieged and opposition-held eastern districts.

Creating an idea of Russia double crossing Syria?


Friday, November 25, 2016

Putin and Erdogan Talk Syria Etc.- Today


- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over phone on Friday

The two leaders exchanged views on the attack, while also agreeing to speed up efforts to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria's Aleppo, the report said.

Erdogan said "Turkey respected Syria's territorial integrity" with the Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria, which was launched in August by Ankara.

They also vowed to continue to boost the normalization process between Turkey and Russia.

Erdogan and Putin also talked on Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's upcoming visit to Moscow on Dec. 6 and the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council's meeting, which will be held in the first half of 2017.

Thursday's incident prompted initial suspicions of an attempt to bring Turkey and Russia face to face again in Syria amid the first anniversary of Turkey's downing of a Russian jet along the border with Syria, the report said.
That anniversary date caught my attention!


MOSCOW, November 25. /TASS/. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Friday discussed issues of the settlement of the Syrian crisis and joint anti-terrorism efforts, the Kremlin press service reported after their telephone conversation.

The two leaders exchanged views on the settlement of the Syrian crisis in a constructive atmosphere. They agreed, in particular, to continue dialogue between the Russian and Turkish ministries of foreign affairs and defense, and between security services in order to ensure coordination of efforts in fighting against international terrorism," the Kremlin said.

Apart from that, the two presidents "discussed current issues of the Russia-Turkish political and trade-and-economic cooperation, including forthcoming bilateral contacts at various levels," the press service said.

The conversation was initiated by the Turkish side.


Nov 25 Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan discussed ways to resolve the Syria crisis in a phone call, the Kremlin said on Friday.

The Kremlin said in a statement the discussion on Syria was constructive and that both sides agreed to continue active dialogue via foreign and defence ministries, as well as via security services, to coordinate efforts in the struggle against international terrorism.

US Soldier Killed in Syria was an Explosives Expert

Interesting because the initial reports regarding the killing of the Turkish soldier attributed their deaths to an explosion. Was this man involved? Could he have died in the explosion that killed the Turkish soldiers? Necessitating a cover story.. like SAA striking the Turks?

 ***Southfront: No Confirmation Of Syrian Strikes on Turkish Mil- One Year Anniversary Date Russian Jet Shootdown

His death and the alleged SAA attack on the Turkish troops initially reported as an explosives attack conducted by ISIS - occurred on the same day.
It's certainly curious?

A U.S. service member killed Thursday in Syria by an improvised bomb was a highly decorated Navy sailor with 23 years experience, and an explosive ordinance disposal specialist, defense officials said Friday.
 Chief Petty Officer Dayton was killed near Ayn Issa in northern Syria by the improvised explosive device. The commander of the U.S.-led coalition offered condolences to the sailor’s relatives.

If he can dispose, he can build...
Chief Petty Officer Dayton had been assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) Two, based in Virginia Beach, Va. Mr. Dayton had earned a number of qualifications in his Navy career. In addition to explosive disposal technician, he was also an expeditionary warfare specialist, a naval parachutist, an enlisted surface warfare specialist, and a diver, according to Navy officials.
“We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Dayton, who made the ultimate sacrifice on a day we set aside time to give thanks for our freedom and to recognize the men and women who defend that right,” said Rear Adm. Brian Brakke, commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.
The sailor entered the Navy in 1993 and received 18 awards, including the Navy Marine Corps Commendation, Army Commendation Medal, two Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Army Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and others.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter noted the death of the sailor in a statement Thursday.
“I am deeply saddened by the news on this Thanksgiving Day that one of our brave service members has been killed in Syria while protecting us from the evil of ISIL,” Mr. Carter said in a statement, using an acronym for the extremist group. “It is a painful reminder of the dangers our men and women in uniform face around the world to keep us safe.”
 No American boots on the ground in Syria, eh Obama?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Southfront: No Confirmation Of Syrian Strikes on Turkish Mil- One Year Anniversary Date Russian Jet Shootdown

 SANA has nothing as of 4:10 pm est regarding this reported strike
I will update asap

I've been taking some time to really really read the news reports regarding this alleged strike on Turkish soldiers attributed to Syria- Syria has yet to confirm or deny or say anything about this


Let's look at this article:

A brief recap :
The strike on the Turkish soldiers was attributed initially to ISIS- then a statement appeared on line attributed to "the turkish army" saying it was SAA. The statement is not connected to one individual or one spokesperson. Just "the Turkish Army" Who is "the Turkish Army" in this case. Curiously this incident occurred on the first anniversary of the Russian jet shootdown!

November 24/2015: Putin Warns After NATO Occupied Turkey Shot Down Russian Fighter Jet

" The incident came on the first anniversary of Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian military jet on the Turkish-Syrian border."
A message? On such a providential date?

Initial reports attributed to attack to ISIS- Via Turkish media and SOHR. 
SOHR is highly unlikely, given their agenda, to report the attack was conducted by ISIS if it was SAA- think about it!
"Turkish media had earlier blamed the attack on ISIL.
Adding to the confusion, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition monitoring group, also said it was an "attack by IS".
Turkey’s army blamed the Syrian government for an air strike on Thursday in northern Syria that killed three Turkish soldiers –
_Turkish media had earlier blamed the attack on ISIL.
_Adding to the confusion, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition monitoring group, also said it was an "attack by IS".
-Turkey's Army... how is that defined?
-Nothing is coming out of  Ankara 
-One year anniversary of shootdown
-And nothing at Sana as of 5:00 est
 ******But wait, I have more!!! 
Gulf Today:

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian military.(Unbelievable, truly!)
Direct confrontation between Nato-member Turkey and Syrian government forces, which are backed by allies including Russia, would mark a serious escalation in an already messy battlefield in northern Syria.
From my post the other day: US & Turkey At "Cross- Purposes" in Syria? Whaaat?!?!

  "As events unfold around al-Bab fears are growing that a Turkish-backed assault on the town could also spark a clash between Russia, Assad’s patron, and Turkey"
Commentary from yours truly:  The US would surely enjoy seeing Turkey and Russia in conflict- Will that happen? We shall see.. Definitely a volatile situation 

The one year anniversary date of the jet shootdown- A US/NATO attempt one year ago to block Turkish/Russian peacemaking- Are we looking at a replay? The one year anniversary to the day!

From earlier today:

EU Votes To Freeze Turkish Accession Talks-NATO Destabilized

EU Votes To Freeze Turkish Accession Talks-NATO Destabilized


Of course this move is politically and financially motivated- It's part of the war against Turkey.
Surely the US okayed this move.
BRUSSELS—The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to temporarily freeze talks on Turkey's bid to join the European Union on Thursday, citing deteriorating human rights and democratic standards under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rule.

The vote, which was nonbinding, underscores a deep slide in relations between the EU and Turkey and will further drain energy from accession talks that have already dragged on with limited progress for more than a decade.
 EU lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution which called for the freeze in talks in response to the "disproportionate repressive measures" that lawmakers said Turkish authorities have taken since July's failed military coup.
In whose opinion are these moves repressive? The coup plotters opinion?
Recall the EU was non supportive of Turkey after the coup attempt fail? Just like the US.

In recent months, some senior European officials have warned it would be a diplomatic blunder to end the accession talks, saying it would cause a needless fresh crisis between Brussels and Ankara and blunt pressures for reform within Turkey.
However, others believe that ending the talks could allow the EU and Turkey to refocus ties on areas of real mutual interest and end the constant back-and-forth over Turkey's record in moving closer to EU rules and standards.

While only one EU member state, Austria, has formally proposed that the membership talks should be suspended, in recent weeks there has been growing frustration with Mr. Erdogan in Brussels, Berlin and other capitals and an acknowledgment that membership negotiations were headed nowhere.

Many EU countries have, from the start of talks in 2005, been deeply skeptical about Turkey joining the bloc. However, membership for Turkey was once pushed strongly by the likes of the U.K. and the U.S.
In recent months, Mr. Erdogan and Turkish officials have suggested they could walk away from the discussions. Ankara has worked to improve ties with Russia and Middle Eastern neighbors in that time.

Regarding my comment about the coup plotters (EU/US) judging Turkeys alleged disproportionate measures......... Euractiv 

 The paragraph below is mostly hearsay. The numbers are likely be accurate but anything else is unverifiable. It's  mostly written to create empathy
I'll underline the parts I believe to be factual statements
They represent 40 Turkish officers from NATO HQ in Brussels, all sacked peremptorily in September. Overall, 700 out of a pool assigned to NATO of 900 officers are purged or jailed. They are, or were, the cream of the Turkish armed forces, including many post-graduates from the US Naval School in Monterey, California.
They want to talk about their plight. They are victims of President Erdoğan’s purge. If they go home (as some colleagues did) they will be arrested and imprisoned without hope of a fair trial. Most are applying for political asylum in Belgium.
Their properties in Turkey are sequestrated, and members of their families at home, including mothers, have been interrogated. All deny complicity in the July putsch. They are incriminated, they say, because they are Western and intellectual.
They are typical of a new Western-oriented class of military officer that has sought escape from an Ottoman past that was littered with plots, coups, scandals, corruption, torture, and murder. But old habits die hard. “Even Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk] was a ‘putsch-ist’”, my companions remind me proudly.

The military undermined
Erdoğan’s earlier strikes against the overweening power of the Kemalist establishment are not resented by the younger officers. They are loyal to the armed forces but not uncritical.
They know that Turkey’s military has enjoyed great privileges since the foundation of the republic in 1923. ( True) The military budget is beyond the scrutiny of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. (True)A constant battle between Turkey’s civilian and military echelon has been played out in the secretive national security council.
Bastion of secularism, the military itself has been consumed with inter-service and inter-generational rivalry, and many generals have been enriched by running unimpeded a powerful military industrial complex (True)

NATO destabilised

Turkey joined NATO (with Greece) as long ago as 1952. For years, in good times and bad, the only reliable interlocutors with Turkey’s vast armed forces have been the US military.
Erdoğan alleges that the CIA, somehow inspired by Fethullah Gülen from his unlikely hideout in Pennsylvania, was behind the putsch. Whatever the truth, it is difficult to believe that the Americans had no knowledge of the affair in advance.(obviously TRUE)
So today, at least under President Obama, the US military are not talking to the new AKP party interlopers (interesting and telling word!) at NATO in Brussels or SHAPE in Mons.
 Interlopers defined: a person/s who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong. The US military considers Turkey's elected government and it's representatives unwanted and unbelonging persons..

In effect, NATO has ceased to operate reliably on its south-eastern flank. (True) The collective security of the West now stops at Edirne, in Thrace. (surely the way the NATO tyranny looks at it)
Recall this post from more then two years ago??
November 14/2014:  Kurdistan. NATO’s new Southern Flank?
" If all goes well for NATO, Israel and the Kurds.  Turkey will be supplanted as NATO’s Southern Flank. It seems to be just a matter of time.....I hold the opinion that Turkish leadership has become aware of what looks to be it’s impending betrayal"

Stoltenberg the player
It is little short of astonishing, therefore, that Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary general, told a NATO conference in Istanbul on Monday, in front of Erdoğan, that Turkey remains a steadfast ally.
Stoltenberg was lying. It's  just part of the 'game' for him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

US & Turkey At "Cross- Purposes" in Syria? Whaaat?!?!

Wait just a minute! 
The US mouthpieces from every department tell us the US is "fighting ISIS"
And Turkey? They are fighting ISIS, an organization that has attacked the nation state of Turkey.
Turkey is also fighting the PKK/YPG - In both instances, the fight against ISIS &YPG/PKK, Turkey is found to be at "cross purposes' with the US. So many claim they are allied with the US in Syria,  these persons must wonder how it is the US suggesting the two nations are now at "cross-purposes"?  
That claim -Turkey/US unquestioningly/unequivocally allied- is not made here at all.  Not for years now. That ship sailed. The US and Turkey have been at cross purposes for a long while now.. 

So finally the msm is catching up to this blog! And it only took two years! Will wonders never cease? (And yes my disillusionment with alternative voices has only grown over the many years of running this blog!)

Voice of America
Fighting between Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), earmarked by the United States to retake Raqqa from Islamic State (IS) militants, is escalating dramatically.

The intensifying clashes are complicating Washington’s bid to use Kurdish-led forces to launch a full-scale assault on the jihadists’ self-proclaimed Syrian capital, and are maneuvering the U.S. and Turkey into ever greater cross-purposes in Syria, fear Western diplomats and analysts.
-These aren't Kurdish 'led' forces- These are Kurdish Forces. Period!
-Turkey offered to partner with the US on Raqqa- The US rejected the Turkish offer choosing instead to align with their Kurdish proxies as they annex Syria territory
 "The U.S. has been supporting the  SDF (which =YPG/PKK) with weapons and airstrikes and has deployed hundreds of special forces and military advisers to assist the Kurdish forces (omitting spin of led)
U.S. war planners hope that by pressing IS in Raqqa simultaneously as Iraqi forces are attacking Mosul, the terror group’s last remaining major urban stronghold in neighboring Iraq, the jihadists’ resources and manpower will be stretched thin, weakening their ability to defend either city and hastening their fall"
roflmao! Hastening the fall of ISIS. Sure, to create one continuous Kurdish territory from Iraq to Syria- phooey on the fighting ISIS nonsense
"Speaking at a NATO forum in Istanbul Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upped his criticism of the U.S. for its use of the YPG, which Turkey insists is inseparable from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with which Ankara is locked in a vicious counter-insurgency fight in south-east Turkey that has seen widespread rights abuses, according to monitors.
U.S. officials prefer to view Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its YPG military wing as separate from the PKK"

US officials "prefer to view" YPG/PKK as separate. Preferring it doesn't make it so
Prefer as in preference -a practical advantage given to one over others.

I too have many preferences... I would prefer to have a bit more savings- See my daughter more often- Live in a newer home- I have many preferences but reality, existing as it does, means the US preferring to view YPG as separate from PKK does not make it so! Unless the US is out of touch with reality? Which is not the case. They just want the masses to be out of touch with reality and believe the lying spin put forth to deceive
"Euphrates Shield already appears to have gone a long way to undermine the hopes of the Kurds to link all four of their cantons along that run along the Turkey-Syria border - an offensive move, the Kurds say, aimed at denying their legitimate aspirations for self-determination".

They say these are their 'legitimate aspirations' but what about the displaced ? What of their aspirations? Are their's less legitimate. Was all the environmental/general destruction/mayhem and blood shed worth the Kurdish militias claimed legitimate aspirations? I'll wager many, many persons including Kurds would answer no to that question!
 “As Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield progresses toward al-Bab, the spate of fighting between Turkish-backed rebels and the YPG is increasing,” according to analysts at Stratfor, a U.S.-based global intelligence firm.
 Last paragraph:
 As events unfold around al-Bab fears are growing that a Turkish-backed assault on the town could also spark a clash between Russia, Assad’s patron, and Turkey. There have already been reports that Assad’s Russian-supplied air defense radars have locked in on Turkish warplanes as a warning that Damascus won’t tolerate a rebel assault on the town.
 The US would surely enjoy seeing Turkey and Russia in conflict- Will that happen?
We shall see.. Definitely a volatile situation