Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Turkey and Russia: A Remarkable Rapprochement

 Glad to know someone else is paying attention to the remarkable rapprochement of Turkey and Russia. And is paying heed to just how well Turkey and Russia have been working together.  For more years then many are acknowledging or care to be aware of. In Syria. And elsewhere. I've been following their dealings as close as possible and admit to being impressed by both leaders as they cooperate. Together. And with Iran in the Astana partnership.

  We have to understand that it's not just a matter of Putin being a real diplomat. One can't be a diplomat without a partner who is willing to engage in diplomacy. Erdogan and Putin, together, have been able to pull this off. They've been remarkably pragmatic in their dealings. 
This should be applauded. 

After all 'it takes two to tango" certain actions or activities cannot be performed alone - they need two people to participate -  both people involved in a situation are equally responsible for it's actions or communication needs more than one person 

It's far better to see political leadership work out  their differences in this manner then engaging in the wanton destruction of vast swathes of territory, while ethnically cleansing thousands and thousands of people, and stealing much needed resources to boot! Yes, I'm pointing my finger right at US/UK/Israel and the YPG/PKK/SDF Kurds.

The essay below is from Michael Reynolds. Published at War on the Rocks
Michael A. Reynolds is associate professor of Near Eastern Studies and Director of the Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies in Princeton University. He is the author of Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908-1918 (Cambridge, 2011), a recipient of the American Historical Assocation’s George Louis Beer Prize.
Erdogan and Putin
It's very lengthy so a limited excerpt will be featured below, BUT, you are encouraged to read the ENTIRE article. It's rational, historical and devoid of the usual rhetorical nonsense too many of us have been exposed to.
"Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia has arrived amidst the most significant crisis in the history of U.S.-Turkish relations. The purchase has not only spurred a further deterioration of these relations but has also changed the fundamental structural dynamics of the crisis so as to make impossible a return to the status quo ante. Despite the fact that the S-400 deal had been in the works for two years, the delivery of the weapon system this past July appears to have caught American policymakers genuinely by surprise, but it should not have. Moments of close and even enthusiastic cooperation between Ankara and Washington over the past decade and a half have acted as so much dust in the eyes, obscuring the reality that, since the end of the Cold War, U.S.-Turkish relations have been on an overall downward slope. Yet, today, incredulous American policymakers cling to the notion that Turkey is akin to a wayward child who, after throwing an emotionally gratifying tantrum, will have no choice but to come to his senses and resume behaving properly, in this case supporting the American-led global order. ( that's the general alt and msm presentation) The inability of those in Washington to grasp the causes of the crisis has prevented them from comprehending its potential consequences for American foreign policy.
The current crisis is not rooted in the whims of an autocratic, anti-Western, and Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (more of the same alt and msm presentation) To the contrary, the purchase of the S-400s reflects the fulfillment and manifestation of long-standing Turkish foreign policy aspirations and, what is more troubling for Washington, a marked decline in U.S. authority and power around the globe. In 2003, the United States embarked on a project to transform the greater Middle East in its favor. ( this is the remake the region project endlessly discussed here and at Scott's and pretty well no where else) That project has not only failed to secure a more liberal, prosperous, and stable Middle East, it has also alienated Turkey, a lynchpin of America’s Middle East, Eastern European, and Eurasian policies. The larger meaning of the S-400 crisis is that Washington has to reconsider all these policies, not just its relationship with Ankara.
Turkey’s Relationship with Russia
A source of American disbelief about Turkey’s readiness to buy arms from Russia has been the assumption that Turkey and Russia are fated by geography, history, and culture to be adversaries. The idea that the two countries could be partners or even allies seemed unthinkable. It is true that a long-running and bloody rivalry between the Ottoman and Russian empires — the two have fought some 12 wars with each other — left indelible marks on the cultural and historical memories of both. Yet, there have been significant episodes of cooperation. Russia backed Istanbul in 1832–33, when Mehmed Ali of Egypt began advancing on Anatolia. Acting at the behest of the sultan, the tsar deployed Russian soldiers near Istanbul to deter any attack on the Ottoman capital, and thereby helped preserve the empire. The tsar subsequently converted that deployment into a treaty alliance that lasted almost a decade. Even on the eve of the most epic Ottoman-Russian conflict, World War I, the Ottomans established a Turkish-Russian Friendship Committee in March 1914, and in May 1914 pitched the idea of an alliance to the Russians. Historical grievances did not define Ottoman foreign policy toward Russia.

The most relevant instance of Russian-Turkish collaboration came during the Turkish War of National Independence (1919–22), when the Russians provided essential financial and military aid to the Turks. Even before he emerged to claim the mantle of the Turkish National Forces (Kuva-yi Milliye) in May, 1919, Mustafa Kemal engaged representatives of the Bolsheviks to discuss a possible alliance. Upon taking command of the nationalist movement, he promptly followed through to form an alliance with Vladimir Lenin and Bolshevik Russia. Soviet Russia subsequently delivered to Kemal and his forces both arms and funds. Kemal’s outreach to Lenin was a geopolitical masterstroke, but hardly a Machiavellian or even particularly clever one. It was neither a betrayal nor compromise of the Turkish Nationalist program, nor even controversial. Indeed, Kemal’s rivals either made their own overtures to the Bolsheviks or backed his.
The Turkish alliance with Soviet Russia against Britain, France, and the other imperial powers reflected Kemal’s insistence on uncompromised sovereignty and “total independence.” These were the fundamental principles of the nationalists who were determined to erect a self-standing nation-state out of the rubble of an empire. The gold and guns that Soviet Russia supplied enabled the Turks to prevail militarily in Anatolia and defy the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres, by which the victors of World War I agreed to partition Anatolia between Britain, France, Italy, Greece, and Armenia and leave a rump Turkish sultanate in the north of Anatolia and a potential Kurdish state in the southeast.
Kemal’s crowning success was the military victories that rendered the Treaty of Sèvres null and void and made the founding of the Turkish Republic possible. The Turkish Republic would likely not exist had the Soviets not backed him. Kemal had no interest in Bolshevism as a form of social organization, and indeed suppressed the nascent Turkish Communist Party. But he did grasp the Soviets’ potential as geopolitical allies. Soviet aid in the form of money, arms, and ammunition was critical to his success in the War of Independence. Indeed, so important was that aid that, in 1928, Kemal personally ordered that the monument to commemorate the victory of his forces also depict the first Soviet ambassador to Turkey, Sergei Aralov. Known as the Republic Monument, it stands today in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. The new Turkish Republic and the Soviet Union would enjoy sympathetic relations into the 1930s.
Stalin’s territorial and other demands on Turkey at the end of World War II pushed the Turks decisively toward the West and into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which it joined in 1952. For the next five decades, Turkey would maintain a pro-Western orientation. Yet, even during the Cold War, Turkey found a sometimes sympathetic audience in Moscow. A thaw in relations between Turkey and the Soviet Union in the early 1970s, for example, facilitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Greece, in response, withdrew from NATO military command. The prospect of NATO members Greece and Turkey coming to blows undoubtedly thrilled the Politburo."

The future of Russo-Turkish ties will depend to a great deal, perhaps decisively, on the future of U.S.-Turkish relations. If the United States and Turkey remain allies — even troubled ones — Ankara is unlikely to deepen its ties with Russia beyond what it is doing now. The same aspirations for independence and uncontested sovereignty that push Turkey to distance itself from the United States will, especially when coupled with a historically informed wariness of Russia, work against Turkey becoming a close and enthusiastic partner of Russia. If, however, U.S.-Turkish relations grow still more confrontational, Ankara may deepen its relationship to Moscow. Moscow will seek to widen and exploit the rift between Washington and, ideally, exploit it so as to disrupt the internal dynamics of NATO. ( It appears the US is moving towards being more confrontational, as I'd expected)
"However foolhardy the downing of the Russian jet may have been, Washington’s cool attitude toward Ankara in its wake signaled that Turkey would be on its own in managing Russia. Similarly, the Obama’s administration’s incoherent diffidence in Syria — blending noisy rhetoric against Assad, massive albeit ineffective covert support for the armed opposition, and an abashed but firm refusal to intervene directly — left Turkey in a lurch. Ankara’s support for anti-Assad rebels, including a motley assortment of jihadists, had been no more successful than Washington’s. And with Russia having demonstrated that it was in the driver’s seat in Syria, Ankara calculated that it had better work with Moscow or face a severe and chronic threat from Syria. Less than a year later, in a stunning turnaround, Erdogan formally apologized for shooting down the jet, and even offered compensation to the family of the Russian pilot who died. Turkey endorsed and began participating in the Russian-sponsored negotiations on Syria in Astana, Kazakhstan. The story of how Putin bent Erdogan to his will is remarkable and would make an excellent case study in coercive diplomacy.
Erdogan’s 180-degree turn from being Putin’s defiant opponent to his supplicant did not come without blowback. Just as the Astana talks were to begin in December 2016, an off-duty Turkish police officer gunned down the Russian ambassador to Turkey in a macabre assassination in an art exhibit in Ankara. The provocation, however, failed to shake either Ankara’s or Moscow’s determination to put aside their past differences"
 "The provocation, however, failed to shake either Ankara’s or Moscow’s determination to put aside their past differences"
Provocation, indeed 

America and the Kurds
"If American irresolution in Syria and the failure of its own misadventures there left Turkey feeling exposed and vulnerable to Russian power, America’s collaboration with the People’s Protection Units caused Ankara to conclude that it had been betrayed and thus might now even need Russian power. The 2014 decision of the Obama administration to train and arm the Kurdish militia in Syria created, in the words of then-deputy assistant secretary of state for Southern European and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs, a “ticking time bomb” in U.S.-Turkish relations. The “strategic contradiction” of arming the greatest enemy of a treaty ally created “foreseeable consequences that are now on painful display.” Foremost among those foreseeable consequences was the alienation of Turkey from the United States and the former’s rapprochement with Russia"
 2014. Yes, 2014 the US began training and arming Kurdish militias. Let's flashback to a multi part post published here in November 2014 that saw my work derided and ridiculed. And garnered multiple on line attacks and smears. Vindication is mine. The foreseeable consequences were easy enough to predict when one understood and accepted the reality that the US was intending to remake the region into a very Usrael friendly space.  While damning all others.
American Support for Fethullah Gülen
"Although it is virtually impossible to think of a more inflammatory act than working with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, America’s curious sympathy for the guru-like Turkish religious figure, Fethullah Gülen, would make an excellent candidate. Gülen, who has a long and demonstrated track record of attempting to subvert the Turkish Republic by helping his followers infiltrate Turkish bureaucracies, in particular, the armed services and police, has been residing in the United States since fleeing arrest in Turkey in 1999. Although in 2008 the Department of Homeland Security rejected Gülen’s application for residence as duplicitous, an appeal on Gülen’s behalf led by American diplomatic and intelligence officials resulted in Gülen being permitted to reside in the United States. Despite the fact that Gülen’s followers in America were subsequently revealed to be engaged in systematic fraud of American taxpayers in multiple states, as well as in a number of far more serious illegal efforts inside Turkey, as attested by credible government critics and supporters alike, Gülen continued not just to reside in the country, but even to retain access to prime media outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post."
There are a number of reports here, written by your's truly about Fethullah Gulen. A few below:
Gulen resides in the "Keystone State" 

 Partial excerpt of last paragraph
"But the inability, or unwillingness, of American policymakers to craft policies that take into account the fundamental security concerns and sensitivities of a country that has, for decades, been a key partner of the United States in the Middle East, the Balkans, the Black Sea, the Caucasus, and Eurasia must be central to any explanation of the current turn in Turkish-Russian relations. The mutual willingness of Washington and Ankara to rebuild their ties will be the key determinant of the future of the Turkish-Russian relationship. Turkey, Russia, and even the United States in the coming years will all be vulnerable to domestic turbulence and each inevitably will encounter crises in their foreign relations. Many things can change. As this piece goes to press and U.S.-Turkish relations continue to deteriorate, however, one can only expect that the trajectory of Turkish-Russian relations will continue in a positive direction." 

 Much, much more to read at the opening link. Worth reading.

 We should understand that while, yes, Turkey and the US could mend fences.. It does NOT seem likely at this time. The US has crossed dozens of red lines. Betrayal after betrayal. Perhaps, they can attempt and succeed with yet another coup. That would change the dynamic.  Presently, Turkish leadership is painfully aware the regional remake includes a vastly smaller, weak Turkey.Which will make heaps of trouble for Russia as we peer into the future, however limited our abilities to do that. For the foreseeable future I'm expecting Russia and Turkey to continue cooperation. As has been stated here for years there is much more going on in the region then meets the eye or is usually acknowledged.

Turkey, Iran and Russia Oppose US Quest To Fund Syrian Activities With Oil Money


"Turkey adamantly opposes U.S. plans for Syrian oil, including Senator Lindsey Graham’s proposal to use crude revenue to help fund American military operations in the war-torn nation.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Tuesday that it has become clear over the past two weeks that “the priority of all interested parties in Syria, apart from Turkey, is to secure oil resources.”

Last week, Trump said he’s going to work something out with formerly (nice spin- still US backed forces is more accurate) U.S.-backed Kurdish forces so they have cash flow, moving American forces close to the oil fields and holding out the possibility that an American oil company could get involved. U.S. control over Syria’s oil fields will keep them out of Islamic State’s hands and deny Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran a monetary windfall, his administration reasons.
Recall this most recent mention of the reasons the US will hold Syria's oil?

 2- The US wants to control Syria's oil for a number of reasons:
(a) the purpose of DENYING access to the oil from Damascus.
(b) The US wants their Kurdish proxies to have control of the oil  so the Kurdish proxies can enrich themselves and the stolen territory they call Rojova.
Just as Syrians should be able to determine their own political future, they should also be allowed to decide how the resources of their own land should be spent,” Fahrettin Altun, Erdogan’s chief of communications, wrote on Twitter late Tuesday, adding that oil revenue should be used for reconstruction efforts and to support civilians uprooted during Syria’s civil war.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, discussed the issue at a news conference alongside Turkey's top diplomat Mevlut Cavusoglu in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday.
“Well, it seems that the United States is staying to protect the oil,” Zarif said ironically. “At least President Trump is honest to say what the United States intends to do,” he added to laughter.
Lavrov, in turn, said that the return of American forces to Syria, after their transfer to Iraq, was “under the pretext of protecting oil deposits” from the Daesh terror group.
He further reminded the US of the illegality of any exploitation of a sovereign country’s natural resources.
“The essence is that any illegal exploitation of natural resources of a sovereign state without its consent is illegal and that is the view that we share,” he said. “Our US colleagues are aware of our position and we will defend that position.”
Separately, Fahrettin Altun, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director, stressed Syria’s right to its own oil reserves, saying, “Syria’s natural resources belong to Syrians.”
Oil or other types of revenue should be used for reconstruction efforts including local infrastructure, support for civilians, IDPs (internally displaced persons), and refugees. Just as Syrians should be able to determine their own political future, they should also be allowed to decide how the resources of their own land should be spent,” he tweeted.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Lawrence of Kurdistan Backstabs Turkey: NATO Allies? Baghdadi Buried At Sea. Psyop Laid To Rest

UPDATE: October 29/19 6:20 am est 

‘Disposal complete’: ISIS chief al-Baghdadi buried at sea, like bin Laden, but photo & video proof remains classified – Pentagon
"The US got rid of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s body mere hours after a swift DNA test confirmed the terrorist’s identity, Pentagon officials said, adding that all evidence of the raid and his burial at sea remains classified.
Following the US special forces operation in northwestern Syria, in which Washington claims al-Baghdadi was eliminated, the mutilated body was immediately taken “to a secure facility to confirm his identity with forensic DNA testing,” Army General Mike Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news briefing.
The disposal of his remains has been done and is complete and was handled appropriately.
Just like al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group chief was reportedly given a proper burial at sea in accordance with Islamic tradition, with all Muslim religious rites afforded to him. While the raid and subsequent processes of identification and body ‘disposal’ were documented in numerous photos and videos, they are yet to go through a “declassification process,” according to the US general.
We are not prepared at the time to release those."
Wonder how the DNA was gathered? You're gonna love this story!
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) say their spy stole Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's underwear which was then DNA tested and used to prove his identity before he was killed. 

 Absurd. Ridiculous. Ludicrous. Farcical. Imbecilic
Fabrication. Deceptive. Deceitful. Fictional. Fraudulent. Subterfuge.

Before kicking this post off there are two points that should be stated:

1- Baghdadi didn't exist as presented: At best he's a bad actor. A mascot for a team of terrorists called, known as or identified as ISIS/L. Every team needs a mascot. Baghdadi fulfilled that role.

2- The US wants to control Syria's oil for a number of reasons:
(a) the purpose of DENYING access to the oil from Damascus. Damascus needs the oil to support it's population and rebuild the nation. This FACT has been discussed repeatedly here. The US does NOT want this to occur. Therefore they are staying put. And their Kurdish proxies are staying beside them.
(b) The US wants their Kurdish proxies to have control of the oil enabling the Kurdish proxies enrich themselves and the stolen territory they call Rojova. As has already been occurring.

Let's move on to the oped from Lawrence of Kurdistan aka Brett McGurk  Narratives are definitely solidifying. One can start to get a feel for where the killing of Baghdadi psyop is heading.  It started yesterday with what was an obvious move to redeem the Usrael Kurds. 
 The narrative gaining traction is a continuation of "bad Turkey" with a twist. Turkey was sheltering Baghdadi. There is no proof of that, other then aspersion and conjecture. Which is what Brett McGurk engages in all throughout his oped. Sadly that is good enough for most. Should be interesting to see how/who this spreads through the 'alternative' media.
  So you'll get the reference to Lawrence of Kurdistan....Brett McGurk reenacts the role of “Lawrence of Arabia” in destabilizing/destroying the Ottoman empire of so long ago. 
 History repeats to some extent in this continuation of the remake the region agenda.

 We’ve been continuously spoon fed the Ottoman empire meme the last 8 years or so, same as we get the Tsar spin. You're going to choke on that slop.
Note to readers: The Ottoman Empire does not exist. In theory or practice.

Backstab & Backstab
  • harmful and unfair things that are said or done to hurt the reputation of someone
  • to attempt to discredit  by underhanded means, as innuendo, accusation, or the like.
Paying attention to Brett McGurk’s oped in the  Washington Post, it's clear McGurk is engaged in backstabbing. The tone is being set for your perception to be managed. Keeping in mind that WaPo is the CIA’s outlet of choice. Recalling that yesterday, according to the official narrative, the Usrael Kurds worked hand in glove with the CIA to “take down” Baghdadi. Which contradicts, completely the McGurk headline below.
link- Kurds & Native Americans?

Brett McGurk @ WaPo : “Baghdadi’s Death Underscores What We’ve Lot by Abandoning Syria’s Kurds”

Brett McGurk, the Payne distinguished lecturer at Stanford University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, served from 2015 to 2018 as a special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

FACT:  The US has NOT abandoned the Kurds. Still working hand and glove with them. Nor has the US withdrawn troops. 

Going to hattip Yaya for leaving this comment and link, excerpt below:
Hi Penny: "The American troops have not withdrawn and they will not withdraw."
In the transcript of Trump's announcement about Baghdadi oil is mentioned 22 times. You're right, of course. The troops will not withdraw:
"Look, we don’t want to keep soldiers between Syria and Turkey for the next 200 years. They’ve been fighting for hundreds of years. We’re out. But we are leaving soldiers to secure the oil. And we may have to fight for the oil. It’s okay"
Let's read the spin from McGurk and WaPo
“Turkey also has some explaining to do. Baghdadi was found not in his traditional areas of eastern Syria or western Iraq, but rather in northwestern Syria — just a few miles from Turkey’s border, and in Idlib province, which has been protected by a dozen Turkish military outposts since early 2018.”
Baghdadi's "traditional areas of eastern Syria and western Iraq"In the same locations as the Usrael Kurds.  And the US! What a coincidence! Not.  Isn't it curious that Baghdadi was in among the US/UK/Israel and their Kurdish proxies?
Let's get to Idlib. Is Idlib province SOLELY and ONLY protected by a dozen Turkish military outposts? Is that accurate? Of course it’s not accurate. Are there other parties involved in policing Idlib? Of course there are. Therefore Brett McGurk is lying by omission when he claims this area is protected by Turkey.
Lying by omission is when a person leaves out important information or fails to correct a pre-existing misconception in order to hide the truth from others.   
The map below and another one like it have been shown here at the blog repeatedly. The map shows multiple outposts of the Astana 3 around Idlib. Turkey, Iran and Russia all have outposts “protecting” the area. And of course SAA is on the ground too. 

One of the maps will be featured below yet again! You can find it in this post as well

Syrian Government Forces are stationed around Idlib. Russia, Turkey and Iran all have outposts around Idlib as well
IF Baghdadi, the mascot, was actually killed in Idlib, which is not credible, however  if you choose to believe such rubbish then the blame for Baghdadi being in Idlib belongs to multiple parties, not just Turkey. It's on Turkey. Iran. Russia. Syria. In fact blame falls on the US/Usrael Kurd occupiers of eastern Syria/western Iraq. How is it that Baghdadi left his traditional area of eastern Syria/western Iraq under the watchful eyes of the occupying US and Kurdish forces??
Clearly, Brett McGurk by not acknowledging the on the ground presence of multiple parties is lying by omission as he continues on with his backstabbing of Turkey/Redemption of Usrael Kurds                       
“Idlib has become the world’s largest terrorist haven..”
  Idlib is the stomping grounds for the vaunted “White Helmets” who are supported by the US and UK. Is McGurk admitting they are terrorists? I'd call that a gem of truth hidden in among McGurk's lies.
“This reality remains a serious threat to U.S. national security; unfortunately, our ability to gain information in these areas will depend not on Turkey but on the other allies we have established in Syria, particularly the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). It was not a surprise to hear President Trump confirm that credible information leading to Baghdadi came from the SDF. This has been the case for nearly all similar operations targeting ISIS leaders in Syria.”
Can’t depend on Turkey, but, we can rely on the SDF because they are "credible" ??
 According to McGurk, anyway.  I have other thoughts about what they are. "Credible" in NOT one of those thoughts. Proxy fighters with a long history of terror and destabilization. Associated with the US and Israel. Lawrence of Kurdistan continues on with yet another lie of omission

“The United States helped develop the SDF — a force that grew to 60,000 fighters, including Arabs, Kurds and Christians — as the infantry to defeat the Islamic State caliphate because there were no available alternatives. The United States had sought to build a counter-Islamic State force with the support of Turkey, but two administrations found Turkish-backed forces too riddled with extremists to partner with”
There are reports here about the offers Turkey made to work with the US to target ISIS.  

* The US made no move to work with their NATO ally instead choosing, willfully, to heavily arm the Usrael Kurds. Long time terrorizers to Turks and Kurds alike resident in Turkey and elsewhere.  The heavily armed Usrael Kurdish proxies then engaged in ethnic cleansing, annexing of territory, stealing Syrian resources, smuggling etc., Is that why McGurk claims they are "credible"? Credible killers? Credible thieves? Credible partners in occupation?
 * The US could have, as a matter of fact, worked with the national army of their NATO ally, Turkey But the US did not want to exercise that option. More lies of omission.

Much of McGurk’s oped is one big exercise in limiting the narrative. Do read at your own risk-


Seiche East Side Lake Erie, ON, Canada: October 27/19

Yesterday was a crazy windy day. On crazy windy days one heads to Lake Erie. With the hopes that a seiche is occurring.  Image below is included with wiki article explaining difference in Lake Erie levels during a 2003 seiche. 

 We weren't disappointed. Below are two of a couple dozen images we took yesterday. Look at those clouds- what an ominous sky.  I LOVED IT!
Fence usually dividing the beach is immersed in water

Swim at your own risk, indeed.-

The seiche increased water levels on the eastern side of Lake Erie by 2.3 metres or about 7.5 feet. The canal level was way up as well-

Link- Tribune
The winds created a seiche at the eastern end of the lake which saw water pushed well past the shoreline.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) said the lake rose at least 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) with wave heights of more than 1.5 metres (5 feet).
Flooded roads along the lakeshore in Fort Erie were reported and part of North Shore Drive in Haldimand County was also flooded. H.H. Knoll Lakeview Park in Port Colborne also saw flooding and the level on the Welland Canal reached the top of the wall along parts of West Street.

Homes on the shoreline in Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, October 27, 2019

CIA Got Tip on Al Baghdadi's Whereabouts from the SDF/PKK. Redeeming the Kurdish Terrorists

Quick follow up on today's earlier report
 I've noticed this push to redeem the Kurds in the mass of perception managed minds in all the reporting on this assassination. These terrorists don't deserve redemption. 


"WASHINGTON — The surprising information about the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s general location — in a village deep inside a part of northwestern Syria controlled by rival Qaeda groups — came following the arrest and interrogation of one of Mr. al-Baghdadi’s wives and a courier this past summer, two American officials said.

Armed with that initial tip, the C.I.A. worked closely with Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence officials in Iraq and Syria to identify Mr. al-Baghdadi’s more precise whereabouts and to put spies in place to monitor his periodic movements, allowing American commandos to stage an assault Saturday in which President Trump said Mr. al-Baghdadi died.
The officials praised the Kurds, who continued to provide information to the C.I.A. on Mr. al-Baghdadi even after Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw the American troops left the Syrian Kurds to confront a Turkish offensive alone. The Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, one official said, provided more intelligence for the raid than any single country."

The American troops have not withdrawn and they will not withdraw. 
The SDF/ PKK Kurds,  are not standing alone, if they are working alongside the CIA. 
 The CIA is admitting cooperation Including, long term cooperation and intelligence exchange. Therefore there is a  clear contradiction in the two claims, one of standing alone while working alongside. Where there is a contradiction there is usually a LIE.
This will be a Hollywood production in a not to distant future. As has been the case previously.
9/11. Osama Bin Laden.

 Manchurian Candidates- Don't Think. Don't Question. Just Believe and Obey.

Donald Trump’s Big Announcement- Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi Killed , Finally /Deja Vu Obama & Osama

Yup, yet again Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi has been killed.  Deja Vu? Or the same as simply restarting some random nameless video game? The fearless fighter can hunt the bad guy down over and over. Different scenarios of course, but, still the bad guy dies in any number of places and manners.  How many times can one play this same game? Apparently many times because here we go again!

 ‘Major statement’ expected by Trump on Sunday morning: White House

"The U.S. military conducted an operation against elusive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Saturday, a U.S. official said, as U.S. President Donald Trump prepared to make a “major statement” at the White House on Sunday morning.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, was unable to say whether the operation against Baghdadi was successful. Newsweek said the operation took place in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province and was carried out by special operations forces after receiving actionable intelligence.
The official did not disclose details of the operation and other U.S. officials contacted by Reuters declined to comment. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley announced late on Saturday that Trump would make a “major statement” at 9 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) on Sunday."
We’ve hours to go until this major statement, but, it feels like a PR Stunt for an election campaign. Am I right? 

Check out Al Jazeera on Youtube
There are conflicting reports about whether the operation to kill the ISIL leader was successful. The US Magazine Newsweek is citing a US Army official who says Baghdadi, who has been reported dead several times before, was killed. The White House says President Donald Trump will make a statement.

  It has always seemed to me that Baghdadi existed only as war propaganda but not as a reality,  though the presence of US special forces in Idlib is not doubtful and wonder if this is a cover story for something else? Something yet to occur?

Recall July7th/2014: Mythopoeia- Abu Bakr al Baghdadi

al Baghdadi

"My stance on this is there is NO Abu Bakr al BaghdadiNot a living human being. Not one individual. He is a composite. . He moves like the wind through the branches.  You hear the branches, but, not al Baghdadi. He is everywhere. He is nowhere.  He is whoever he is needed to be"

Flashback: Baghdadi was reportedly killed, or something like that,  November 2014
"His legend will live on and his super villain status will explode into your consciousness!
His omnipotence will cause you to shake with fear.
He must be caught!!! For you to feel safe at night!
Or some garbage like that?!

 He's been killed and killed again since November 2014- Five years of nonsense. Five years of public relations spin. Perhaps, finally, this campaign needs to come to an end? A grand announcement by Donald Trump during an election campaign would be a clever way to finish this off. 

Oh the shock of it all

Wait just a minute! Didn't Obama take the same type of action? Yes he did!

Obama Trumpets Killing of Bin Laden, and Critics Pounce
 Presidents running for re-election typically boast of programs they created, people they helped or laws they signed. They talk about rising test scores or falling deficits or expanding job rolls.

 President Obama is increasingly taking the unusual route of bragging about how he killed a man.
UPDATE: 9:42 am est

Below is the video capturing the moment Baghdadi dies - 
Does the headline and what is shown really sync?

Video captures moment Isis leader ‘detonates suicide vest during US raid’

UPDATE 2: Baghdadi Is Dead

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday morning. Baghdadi became the head of ISIS in 2010 but was not seen in public until 2014, when the group designated him caliph and he addressed the world in a florid speech from the pulpit of the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, Iraq. Since then he has shown himself only once, on a dull video filmed in a windowless room and released in April.
As with Osama bin Laden, the most intriguing fact about Baghdadi’s assassination was its location, deep in what was considered enemy territory.

An appropriate ending is being written. Bad guy, coward, takes his own life as a beaten down man sheltered by 'enemy forces'  having lost his followers, his way and finally his life.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Russian Defence Ministry REFUTES Fake News Reports Claiming Turkish Backed Fighters Attack SAA

Sigh... yah, I'd seen the 'reports' earlier today, figured they were exactly the kind of spin we should expect from certain media outlets! Exactly the type of perception management which would induce a hysteria in the masses by planting an idea of discord rather then cooperation. And have the chattering masses on social media spreading the misinfo far and wide.
Or sadly playing to the domestic audience. Truth the first casualty in war, always. 
It's a pretty clear statement refuting the claims

"Russia’s defense ministry refutes media allegations that pro-Turkish Syrian opposition units attacked Syrian government army’s position in the northeastern part of the country on Thursday, Major General Alexey Bakin, chief of the Russian Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides in Syria, said on Friday.

"Reports in a number of foreign media outlets about the deterioration of the situation and clashes between government forces and pro-Turkish units near the settlement of Tell Tamer in the Al-Hasakah governorate have nothing to do with the real state of things," he said.

According to the Russian officer, the Syrian army continues to deploy its units along the contact line with Turkish forces. "The Center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides keeps an eye on the situation in these areas. The current situation there is characterized as stable," he said.
The Russian reconciliation center continues to fulfill assigned tasks after the completion of the military campaign in Syria. The center’s officers regularly travel around the country's liberated areas to assess the humanitarian situation. The main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on assistance to the refugees returning to their homes and evacuation of civilians from de-escalation zones"

Greta Thunberg: Visits Glacier During October Blizzard? Meet the Greta Beetle

 An October blizzard in a ‘warming world’ seems oxymoronic,: a combination of contradictory or incongruous words- Ya know blizzards, cold, snow, wind and warming??

Keeping in mind that cold is the absence of heat.

Let’s play spot the contradictions as Greta’s BIG PR cult of personality  machine continues to blow your eyes. 
Greta and "scientist"

National Post

“She was very brave to go up on a snow-covered glacier in a blizzard in October. She’s clearly utterly fearless for a teenager,Pomeroy said in an interview Thursday"
Snow covered glacier. During a blizzard. In October.  As the world warms?  Brave? 
Or something else entirely?

The glacier has shrunk this year, but, it’s not due to warming.. Since it wasn’t a particularly warm summer- I can vouch for that!

This year alone we lost six metres of ice downward off the top, six metres of melt, which is the highest we have ever measured,” he said.

That melt, he said, occurred even though it wasn’t a particularly warm summer."
I can vouch for not a particularly warm summer (opposite, again of the idea that's been shoved down our throats)
“The reason was due to ash and soot that had been deposited on the glacier in previous years and now we have algae growing on the glaciers, binding the ash and soot to the ice and darkening the glacier,” said Pomeroy. “It’s absorbing much more solar radiation and melting away as a result.”
So not warming, but other factors. Not man made carbon warming!? Whatever could it be? Bottom line? A dirty glacier, supporting plant life,  absorbing more solar radiation. From the shining sun.

This just in!

As new species continue to be discovered, despite the claims made by "Extinction Rebellion"  of imminent planetary demise and species extinctions.

 A blind wingless beetle is  named after Greta Thunberg.
A new species of beetle has been officially named after Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who has inspired climate strikes and raised awareness of global warming around the world.
Nelloptodes gretae is less than 1mm long and has no eyes or wings. It belongs to the Ptiliidae family of beetles, which includes some of the smallest insects in the world.
Greta Thunbug

How apt. A blind flightless beetle named after Greta.  Since Greta's cult of personality blinds people to reality, binds them to a lie, leaving them grounded.

One wonders if the bug was chosen for Greta or to represent the blind/bound up followers of Guru Greta

Things are most often not what the seem and rarely are they as sold.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Deconstructing Putin-Erdogan MOU On Syria

 Indian Punchline

I continue to be busy, so, a good read is being shared for now :)
"The talks between the presidents of Russia and Turkey — Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan — at Sochi on October 22 relating to the Syrian question lasted close to seven hours and reportedly involved “difficult” negotiations. The two statesmen wore sombre looks at their joint media briefing and didn’t take questions.
Most of the conversation was one-on-one and the Memorandum of Understanding, which the two statesmen signed, does not fully reflect the outcome. Not everything can be put down in writing in the given situation, especially given their highly personalised style of diplomacy during the past four-year period since the Russian intervention in Syria"
Erdogan and Putin
Could Donald Trump manage 7 hours of one on one conversation with anyone? Anywhere?
Ever? Doubtful. The man speaks in sound bites and platitudes unless something has been written for him to regurgitate and even then............... 
7 hours of negotiations speaks of seriousness to deal with the matter at hand and a willingness to resolve and move forward. Absolutely taxing to carry on that type of exchange.
"It’s no secret that the two countries have divergent interests and specific concerns in the Syrian conflict. But the MOU speaks for itself. Evidently, there has been a lot of give and take. To recap, Russia recognises that Turkey has legitimate security concerns  (they do) over the presence of terrorist groups in the Syrian border regions with Turkey. But Russia also regards the Turkish incursion as an infringement on Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  (it is) Again, Russia disapproved of the concept of a “safe zone” being created by Turkey on Syrian territory. Russia supports the Assad regime’s aspiration to to regain control of entire Syria" (I'm hoping but realize this is not just about Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran)
"However, the MOU signals that Putin and Erdogan have reconciled the seemingly insurmountable contradictions through an ingenious approach of revival of the Adana Agreement of 1998, which allows Turkey to make limited incursions into Syrian territory to counter terrorist threats but puts the main responsibility for border security on Damascus.
Of course, conditions on the ground are vastly different from what existed twenty years ago and today, Ankara and Damascus have no official relations. Thus, Russia has stepped in as facilitator. This translates on the ground in complex ways with the burden of the security of the entire north-eastern Syrian-Turkish border (from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border) to be jointly shouldered by Russia independently with Turkey as well as Syria as back-to-back arrangements. (Keep in mind we have east of the Euphrates and parts west of the Euphrates having different arrangements. Which has been apparent even through all the spin)
"The MOU says that the Kurdish fighters will have 150 hours starting at noon on October 23 to pull back 30 kilometres from the entire northeastern border." (Will they comply? It a cause for concern!)
"The Russian and Syrian forces will ensure compliance. When the deadlines expires on October 29, joint Russian-Turkish patrolling will begin along a 10 kilometre wide stretch of the border. Russia has agreed that Turkey will retain sole control of the swathe of land 120 kilometres wide and 30 kilometres deep between the Syrian border towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn that it captured in the current operation known as Operation Peace Spring that began on October 9"

Syria/Russia Forces to Deploy Outside of Turkey's Operational Zone- Revitalizng Adana- Assad Supports the Deal

An understanding has apparently been reached that Turkey will not proceed further with Operation Peace Spring. That means the vast areas of northeast Syria, which are being vacated by the US forces, and the Turkish-Syrian border to the east from Ras al-Ayn right up to the Iraqi border will come under Syrian control and patrolled jointly by Syrian forces with assistance from Russian military.
Plainly put, Syria regains control over a considerable stretch of the border with Turkey, which is a good thing, but the flip side is that it has to learn to live with the Turkish control of 3600 square kilometres of its territory between the Euphrates and the Iraqi border (which is equivalent of a quarter of Lebanon’s size) as well as the large tracts of Syrian territories to the west of the Euphrates from the border town of
Clarifies the shared duties
Jarabulus all the way to Idlib province near the Mediterranean coast, which Turkey captured in its first and second operations codenamed Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch respectively and is keeping in its control.
Clearly, something like two-thirds of Syrian border regions (stretching from Idlib in the west to Ras al-Ayn in the east de facto remain under Turkish control. No doubt, this is a bitter pill to swallow for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who vowed on Tuesday to support any “popular resistance” against Turkey’s invasion “to expel the invader sooner or later.”
An embittered Assad told Syrian troops during a visit to Idlib frontline (even as Putin was receiving Erdogan in Sochi), “Erdogan is a thief. He stole factories and the wheat and the oil in cooperation with Daesh (ISIS) and now is stealing the land.” Assad is in no position to defy Putin, who phoned him up after the talks with Erdogan, and Moscow has since claimed that Damascus is on board the MOU.
Assad has to talk tough to the troops,  but the bitter reality, surely a tough pill to swallow is the SAA and Bashar Assad are in no position to control the entire length of the border and ensure the security of that border for itself and it's neighbours- Including Iraq. That's the fact of the matter.
Speaking of Iraq. Not so sure they are trustworthy.

 No definition of long term. No definition of short term. Considering Iraq's been occupied since '03 and have been fully participant alongside the coalition of the killing. I'm not taking their talk at face value. Feels like perception management.
But this cannot be the end of the story. Why did Putin blink? One plausible explanation could be that he felt it tactically important to get Erdogan to somehow terminate the escalation of Turkish military operations (Operation Peace Spring) at this juncture and to get him to accept the Adana Agreement as the cornerstone of border security. After all, if Erdogan keeps affirming support for Syria’s unity and territorial integrity, Turkey cannot indefinitely occupy such large areas of Syrian territories. But the catch is, this also happens to be parts of Syria where Turkey had harboured territorial claims historically. Another explanation would be that Russia hopes that once a Syrian settlement takes shape, continued Turkish occupation will anyway become untenable. But this may turn out to be an underestimation of Turkish irredentism. Possibly, Moscow could be counting that Erdogan has burnt his bridges badly with the West, which makes him dependent on Russia’s goodwill. And Turkey’s estrangement with the US opened a window of opportunity that Russia will not fail to exploit. The surprising part is that Putin has accepted Erdogan’s concept of “safe zone” and has pledged to make joint efforts to repatriate Syrian refugees. Russia had previously decried the very notion of “safe zone” on Syrian territory. The most plausible explanation would be that Putin sensed that Erdogan is stubborn about keeping the Syrian territories that have been captured in the current and previous military operations no matter what it takes, while remaining open to reaching an understanding that Turkish military will not purse Peace Spring any further.
Whether Turkey does or doesn't pursue Peace Spring any further will have a whole lot to do with the Kurds. The US. Israel.  Iraq. It's not as simple as just an interaction between Turkey and Syria. Or Turkey, Russia and Syria. Cooperation between all parties is going to be THE KEY to this situation working out. And that includes Iran.
This is smart thinking on Erdogan’s part, as control of the territories that have been captured is worth the price of not expanding the scope of Peace Spring, which in any case badly isolates Turkey in the international opinion. Essentially, therefore, the deal in Sochi is that while Turkish patrols to the areas closest to the border (10 km deep into Syria) jointly with the Russian forces, Operation Spring will be restricted to the limited areas between the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn, 32 km deep into Syrian territory, and the sectors of the border from Kobani to Tel Abyad and from Ras al-Ayn to the Iraqi border will be controlled by the Syrian forces, supported by Russian military police. Without doubt, Erdogan is the winner here. He has vanquished the Kurdish fighters and scotched their dream of homeland in Syria. And Turkey controls almost two-thirds of Syria’s northern border, which gives Erdogan a commanding voice in dictating the terms of any eventual Syrian settlement.
Not so sure that the Kurds are vanquished.  Not as long as the US, Israel, France and other lackies are still around. It's too early to tell, but, it's certainly more promising then anything else that has occurred for all these years.

U.S. senators want quick visa for Kurdish general, amid Syria crisis
"Republican and Democratic U.S. senators asked the State Department on Wednesday to quickly provide a visa so that the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces could visit the United states to discuss the situation in the country. 
The lawmakers who sent the letter have been among the loudest voices in the U.S. Congress lamenting Trump’s decision, which many see as abandoning Kurdish forces who fought for years alongside U.S. troops as they battled Islamic State militants."
 Added October 24/19: MOU- Text of Understanding Between Russia and Syria 

"President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin agreed on the following points:
1. The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the protection of national security of Turkey.
2. They emphasise their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.
3. In this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area covering Tel Abyad and [Ras al-Ain] with a depth of 32km (20 miles) will be preserved.
4. Both sides reaffirm the importance of the Adana Agreement. The Russian Federation will facilitate the implementation of the Adana Agreement in the current circumstances.
5. Starting 12.00 noon of October 23, 2019, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border, outside the area of Operation Peace Spring, to facilitate the removal of YPG elements and their weapons to the depth of 30km (19 miles) from the Turkish-Syrian border, which should be finalized in 150 hours. At that moment, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10km (six miles), except Qamishli city.
6. All YPG elements and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.
7. Both sides will take necessary measures to prevent infiltrations of terrorist elements.
8. Joint efforts will be launched to facilitate the return of refugees in a safe and voluntary manner.
9. A joint monitoring and verification mechanism will be established to oversee and coordinate the implementation of this memorandum.
10. The two sides will continue to work to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict within Astana Mechanism and will support the activity of the Constitutional Committee."

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Syria/Russia Forces to Deploy Outside of Turkey's Operational Zone- Revitalizng Adana- Assad Supports the Deal

One would have been blind, deaf, dumb or disnfo not to have seen this deal coming. Oh wait there are lots of those type around :))

Putin calls Assad, who voices support for deal

10:35 p.m.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Syrian President Bashar Assad to inform him about the provisions of a deal he struck with Turkey.
The Kremlin said Putin emphasized in Tuesday's call that the agreement should help restore Syria's territorial integrity.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Assad voiced support for the agreement and said that Syrian border guards were ready to deploy to the border with Turkey along with Russian troops in line with the agreement.
The agreement Putin struck with Erdogan allows Turkey to maintain control over the area in northeastern Syria it has taken since Oct. 9, when it launched an offensive against Kurdish fighters. It also calls for Kurdish withdrawal and lets Russian and Syrian troops control the rest of the border.
The almost-seven-hour-long talks in Sochi, Russia between Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan were focused on the situation in Syria, particularly the ongoing offensive in its northeastern region.

Kurdish forces to withdraw

The agreement says the Kurdish-led militias – the prime target of the Turkish operation – must withdraw into Syrian territory beyond 30km from the Turkish border. ( It appears many of them have gone to Iraq along with US troops) Erdogan's operation, meanwhile, will continue in a limited area – between towns of Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ayn – up to 32km inside Syrian territory.

Syrian army to be deployed to the border

Other parts of the Syrian border – from Kobani to Tell Abyad and from Ras al-Ayn to the Iraqi border – are set to be controlled by the Syrian military and border guards, supported by Russian military police.

Joint Russia-Turkey patrols along the border

At the same time, areas not affected by the Turkish military operation, will be jointly patrolled by the Turkish military and Russian military police up to 10km deep into Syrian territory.

Captive ISIS militants must be contained

The issue of multiple prisons and camps in northeastern Syria where Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) fighters are detained, was specifically singled out. Putin stressed that the inevitable chaos created by the Turkish operation should not allow them to escape.
“It’s important that members of terrorist organizations, including ISIS, whose militants are held captive by Kurdish armed groups and are trying to break free, do not take advantage of the Turkish armed forces actions,” Putin stressed.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for his part, urged those who had created and maintained the prisons to understand their “responsibility” in preventing IS detainees' escape.

Revitalizing 1998 Adana Accord

explains the disinfothama troll visit. :p

"Both Turkey and Russia reiterated the importance of the 1998 Adana accord, a security pact between Syria and Turkey. Among other things it allows the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations in Syria, while Damascus promised not to harbor members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist organization. While diplomatic relations between the two were significantly damaged during the years of the Syrian conflict, the pact was never denounced, and now Moscow has pledged to support its implementation in the “modern reality.”
The PKK has been waging a low-intensity insurgency in Turkey for decades, ultimately seeking the creation of an independent Kurdish state. Ankara has accused the Kurdish-led militias across the border in Syria of having strong ties to the PKK. Indeed, PKK flags and insignia have been repeatedly seen displayed by Kurdish forces in Syria, though the extent of the ties between the groups is not known.
Let's recall the numerous mentions of ADANA beginning years ago.. Vindication.

Russia, Iran, Turkey & Penny: Talkin' up the STILL IN FORCE Adana Accord. Yup The ADANA Accord!! & Damascus & SDF Have a Deal? Doubtful. However, Negotiations Continue with Kurds That Renounce Terrorism. & A Quagmire in the Making? Turkey to Move East in Syria?

Previously discussed has been this idea of the Adana Agreement being in play, present time, in Syria. I've read claims that allege Turkey is sending slews of fighters to block SAA in the Hama/Idlib area. That seems not likely for a number of reasons already mentioned. 
 If we also consider the possibility that Turkey is 'poised to expand' eastward, which would be Adana in action, then it's not likely Turkey is behind any mass movement of fighters towards the region that SAA is retaking.  
Lavrov: Upcoming Astana Talks & the Agenda Includes..... Adana  & Part 3: Adana & Encouraging Formal Cooperation Between Turkey and SyriaPt. 2: Lavrov- Adana Agreement Understood To Be In Force & Russia/Turkey/Syria 2019 & the Adana Agreement of 1998 Still Valid & Turkey, Syria, Iran and the Adana Agreement: The End of Pax Adana

RT continued

US stance on Syria too ‘fluid & contradictory’ to listen to

The Turkish-Russian memorandum mostly covers the same region and the same issue as the deal reached between Ankara and Washington five days ago. Still, the US and its “ceasefire” were barely mentioned by the top officials after Tuesday's Sochi talks.The reason behind that was summed up by Russia’s foreign minister.
”We do not particularly look at the United States and its stance. That stance is quite variable and contradictory, and of course, the coalition led by the United States is in Syria illegally, this is well known,” Lavrov told reporters.

From the first link..
10:20 p.m.
The International Committee of the Red Cross says the Turkish military offensive in northeast Syria has made the issue of fighters for the extremist Islamic State group and their families detained in the region "even more acute today."
 Islamic State is that much of a concern?