Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Putin: Russia Will Not Supply PKK/YPG With Weapons

Wanted to get to this yesterday. It didn't happen. Long time readers are aware I am no fan of out of context quotes- So when anonymous left the comment below, to which I responded noting the lack of direct quotation. 

Moscow maintains working contacts with Syrian Kurds as they are among most capable units in fight against ISIL - Putin

It's a shame he said that at all! At least he didn't say they are the best or only effective fighters- That would have been an insult to SAA- still....it's not surprising to read that type of thing from him- interfax without quotations-

And no context. I went to search for exactly what was stated by Putin and what was the situation/context for this statement. What I found was rather interesting


Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed participants of the Belt and Road Investment Forum in Beijing, China.

On May 14-15, the Chinese capital has hosted the international forum dedicated to the initiative of Beijing to develop infrastructure in Eurasia and to strengthen ties between the countries of the continent. The event is expected to gather together dozens of world leaders, including Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko among others.
 We have Putin in Bejing at an investment forum taking questions

Support of Kurds in Syria

When asked whether Russia supplies Kurdish fighters with arms in Syria, Putin said that Moscow, unlike the US, doesn't do that.
 "Unlike other countries, we do not announce the supply of weapons to Kurdish units, and they do not much need our deliveries. They have… other sources of receiving these weapons. We do not believe that we need to somehow intensify this work," Putin said.
They (Russia) don't supply weapons because the Kurds don't need our (Russian) weapons.
Obviously they don't since the US supplies them everything they need and more.  

Digression: I am wondering about the use of the word announce? Does it imply secrecy? Is it a translation thing? The rest of Putin's statement appears to state no weapons are supplied because they aren't needed and most sensibly not asked for.

 "Since the Kurdish factor is a real factor in the situation in Syria, and Kurdish fighting units take part in military operations against the so-called Islamic State [Daesh terrorist group] and are among the most combat efficient units, we consider ourselves entitled to maintain with them working contacts, at least in order to avoid possible clashes and situations that could create threats to our servicemen," Putin said.
Let's talk about what Putin said above:

"Kurdish fighting units take part in military operations against the so-called Islamic State"

"the so called Islamic State" 

That's interesting.  Using so called denotes sarcasm. Why is Putin being sarcastic when referencing the Kurdish military operations against the so called Islamic state?

"among the most combat efficient units" 

Putin says they are among the most combat efficient units. 
What makes them so efficient? (competent/capable)
The US arms? The US bombing? The unlimited US support? The embedded special ops forces? The support of Israel? The UK? Certainly all these factors would make the Kurds very efficient.  Considering the Kurdish militias have every conceivable advantage possible, could calling them efficient simply be a statement of the obvious?
Is Putin's statement one of admiration? Or support?
Or is it just an observation based on available information?   
Of course, we don't know what Putin was thinking when he said this. But, I'm not jumping to conclusions about support or admiration for these militias. Maybe? Maybe not?

"we consider ourselves entitled to maintain with them working contacts"

I'm quite sure that Russia does maintain all manner of contact with them.


G&M spins Putin's statement as lauding. Was he lauding/praising?
Perhaps he was being facetious? He did use "so called" in the same sentence.
Perhaps he was expressing known observations/common talking points? I don't know? 
Neither does the Globe and Mail.

"Putin on Monday lauded the Kurdish fighters as "one of the most efficient units" against IS and said Russia has "working contacts" with them"
Putin insisted in televised comments that Moscow would not arm the Kurds because "they have other sources of obtaining the weapons."

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