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23 Jan 2018 08:32

Iraq weren't too happy with them pursuing complete independence recently IIRC (whether or not that was on behalf of Erdogan is another question).
Ferminal
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Re:

23 Jan 2018 09:25

Ferminal wrote:Iraq weren't too happy with them pursuing complete independence recently IIRC (whether or not that was on behalf of Erdogan is another question).

No-one is ever too happy about loss of territory, particularly when they think the leaving nation might be hostile due to decades oppression and even genocide. A referendum on independence for Kurdistan was promised under the Treaty of Sevres, but arguments over borders and territorial inclusion delayed any referendum while the Turkish war of independence was fought. This lead to the Treaty of Lausanne where stipulations for a referendum were removed and Kurdish claimed territory was distributed between the French and British mandates for Syria/Lebanon and Iraq and Turkey, on the establishment of Turkish sovereignty.

Kurds have opposed this since it happened which is what has lead to many of the injustices they have experienced. What has been happening recently could be considered comparable to the establishment of a Turkish state from the remnants of the Ottoman empire (and many states before it), but clearly Turkey do not want this as the next logical step for an independent Kurdistan in current Syrian/Iraqi territory would be the extension of territory to include Kurdish majority regions in Turkey.

The issue here is that Turkey are fighting a battle that neither Assad, the USA or Russia (really) want to happen. The Kurds have been an effective force against ISIL in this region and, if Turkey were to win, they stand in the difficult position of either creating a power vacuum in Northern Syria and likely resurgence of ISIL or Al Qaeda if they pull out or a possible confrontation with Assad and Russia if they remain.
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23 Jan 2018 13:11

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/kurdish-forces-syria-turkey-kurdistan-counter-attack-battle-militia-erdogan-olive-branch-latest-a8172851.html
A clash between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds was always likely once Isis had been defeated. Ankara had hoped that the US would then drop its alliance with the Kurds once Isis had been defeated. But on 17 January, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave a speech in which he said that US troops would stay in Syria on an open-ended basis, which in practice means they will remain based in the Kurdish enclave in the north east of the country. He said they would do so to prevent the advance of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and reduce Iranian influence in Syria. This was a dangerous new departure for the US in Syria.

Mr Tillerson said that the continued US presence would stabilise the country but in fact it has done the exact opposite. He himself does not seem to have taken on board that this was wholly predictable since his words would anger Russia, Syria and Iran but, most importantly, would have an even more explosive impact on Turkey.

In effect, the US was underwriting the existence of a permanent Kurdish statelet under US protection and controlled by people whom Mr Erdogan has denounced as “terrorists” and promises to destroy.

Several days earlier the US had said it would train a 30,000 strong border force to be drawn from the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces. This grouping contains Arab fighters, but is essentially run by the Kurds.
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24 Jan 2018 07:50

http://www.newsweek.com/putin-meddled-didnt-get-what-he-wanted-785890
Putin’s meddling did give him a different power: fear. His moves have meant that Russia has become a virtual bogeyman, viewed as the unseen mover behind almost anything.
...
Even if Clinton had won, the concern about the integrity of the election, spurred on by Trump's statements about the vote being "rigged" during the campaign, would have unsettled Americans.

"The ultimate goal is to destabilize politics from within, to make countries incapable of reaching consensus and decisions, which of course makes them less of a threat to Russia’s interests, in Russia’s view," Polyakova said.

The continued partisan divide over the Russia investigations might prove that while Putin may not have gotten everything on his wish list, he didn't come away empty-handed.
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24 Jan 2018 10:26

https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/iraq-govt-adviser-kurdish-groups-pull-syria-borders-benefits/
The withdrawal of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) under an ongoing offensive from Turkish troops represents a “threat of Islamic State’s return to the abandoned areas”, Hisham al-Hashimi, an adviser to the Iraqi government on terrorist groups, wrote on Facebook.

“(Turkish) operations in Afrin (a district northwest of Syria), have forced SDF and YPG to withdraw all of its outposts in northern Euphrates to provide a backup to their members, which has led to emptying the Syrian-Iraqi borders for a distance of more than 275 km,” Hashimi wrote.

“That represents a threat to the Popular Mobilization Forces stationed at southern Sinjar until Tel Sufouk (areas in the west of Iraq’s Nineveh),” he added.

According to Hashimi, there are at least “1000 Islamic State terrorists, fully-armed” at the deserts and islands of Euphrates. He said those represent “ a not-so-far danger to northern Anbar, Nineveh and Salahuddin (provinces)”.


http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/230120183
Some 145-150 ISIS militants were killed in a “precision strike” on a headquarters of the group in eastern Syria, the coalition announced Tuesday evening.

The strike hit an ISIS headquarters and command and control centre near As Shafah, in the Euphrates River valley, about 20 kilometres from the Syria-Iraq border.

The “heavy concentration of ISIS fighters… appear to have been massing for movement,” the coalition stated in their published announcement.

“The strikes underscore our assertion that the fight to liberate Syria is far from over," said Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, commanding general of the coalition’s special operations task force.
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24 Jan 2018 17:17

The YPG claims that Erdogan made a deal with Assad, maybe it's just propaganda, but it wouldn't surprise me.
Turkey and Russia seem to get along and durning the last few months they have been pretty close with the Iranians, they have similar interests when it comes to the Kurds, both have had a similar position when it came to the Kurdish referendum in Iraq and Erdogan publicly supported the Iranian regime durning the protests a few weeks ago, so it's not unthinkable that a deal was made.
The Turks are willing to accept Assad, but they get a free hand when it comes to the Syrian Kurds and don't have to worry about controlling the territory long term, if the Assad regime takes over afterwards, but that's just my two cents.
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28 Jan 2018 09:14

the turkish invasion of nortthern syria is now over a week old...it is the border town of afrin where the turks and their proxy forces said are going to expel the kurds from. it is not clear if they have achieved the objective - most likely not yet - but the turks are escalating big time the conflict...now clearly trying to push the united states. either to completely accept the turkish position or more significantly completely out of syria.

this is the message promoted by the turkish media including the trt i now watch regularly. in essence, it is about the turkish demand to withdraw the us forces from their syrian base in manbij.

it is hugely significant and curious b/c i dont think the us is used to ultimatums, particularly when in their public statements there was a clear attempt by the trump administration to move towards the turkish position...specifically, yesterday it was announced and confirmed the us will NOT supply any more weapons to the sysria kurdish ypg....

what was the turkish reaction to the seeming accommodation by the us ? to pile up more pressure.

1st it was the turkish foreighn minister who said it is yet to be seen if the us is going to follow thru given many of its broken promises. then it was him or another turkish official who repeated that the us should withdraw its forces from manbij...i just saw a clip where the us rep ryan dillon flat out REFUSED to do so.

it is now for all to see whether this will escalate and how far... it is hard to imagine turkey getting so daring without some sort of far reaching agreement with russia and iran. it is my speculation, no more, b/c all 3 would seem to benefit from the us influence shrinking.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-end-weapons-support-syrian-kurdish-ypg-turkey-says-737621136

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkey-says-u-s-has-promised-to-stop-arming-ypg-warns-washington-on-manbij-idUSKBN1FG0P4?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reuters%2FworldNews+%28Reuters+World+News%29
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Re:

29 Jan 2018 10:25

Mayomaniac wrote:The YPG claims that Erdogan made a deal with Assad, maybe it's just propaganda, but it wouldn't surprise me.
Turkey and Russia seem to get along and durning the last few months they have been pretty close with the Iranians, they have similar interests when it comes to the Kurds, both have had a similar position when it came to the Kurdish referendum in Iraq and Erdogan publicly supported the Iranian regime durning the protests a few weeks ago, so it's not unthinkable that a deal was made.
The Turks are willing to accept Assad, but they get a free hand when it comes to the Syrian Kurds and don't have to worry about controlling the territory long term, if the Assad regime takes over afterwards, but that's just my two cents.


This is very possible but it's a fair gamble too. Assuming Turkey can remove the Kurds from that area you then will require a military presence to remain or the Kurds will return/a power vacuum will be created. If Turkey won't accept Kurdish forces in this area you either need a Syrian regime force permanently in this area, the Turkish forces to remain or some international force. I can't imagine Assad would want to see a permanent Turkish/International force in Syria. This is only likely to lead to further clashes with Kurdish forces and mean the Turkish forces push into Syria or Syrian regime forces have to join the battle. They are spread thinly anyway and more fighting could mean another ISIS or resurgence of Al Qaeda which leads to more Western interference. Even if Assad decides to station a force there after the Turkish forces win and leave this could happen. The Kurdish forces are very effective against ISIS, removing this can become problematic.

The issue of a people's right to self-determination is also a factor here, but the UN seem to give little regard to the Kurds in this area.
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29 Jan 2018 10:49

may be you need to do a tad more reading...it was widely published. the turkish armed forces in syria are mainly in support, using their proxies - the so called free syrian army. the trt put their numbers at 25,000 just around the afrin thetre. they are the ones who are doing the bulk of fighting and the bulk of holding to the syrian territory 'freed' from whoever the turkish masters tell them.

not long ago, the free sysrian army supported by the turkish military fought isis in the operation the turks called the Euphrates shield. once whoever the turks wanted to be removed from their border were pushed out, the turks withdrew back to turky leaving the free sysrian army there.
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Re:

29 Jan 2018 11:21

Mayomaniac wrote:The YPG claims that Erdogan made a deal with Assad, maybe it's just propaganda, but it wouldn't surprise me.
Turkey and Russia seem to get along and durning the last few months they have been pretty close with the Iranians, they have similar interests when it comes to the Kurds, both have had a similar position when it came to the Kurdish referendum in Iraq and Erdogan publicly supported the Iranian regime durning the protests a few weeks ago, so it's not unthinkable that a deal was made.
The Turks are willing to accept Assad, but they get a free hand when it comes to the Syrian Kurds and don't have to worry about controlling the territory long term, if the Assad regime takes over afterwards, but that's just my two cents.


this is a good expansion of why such a deal wouldn't be in the best interests of non-Turkish factions involved in the assault on Afrin, and also why it's very possible Assad and Erdogan have made a deal.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/omar-sabbour/dont-do-it-why-attacking-afrin-city-would-be-major-blunder-for-s
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06 Feb 2018 14:53

I'm not sure this has been discussed but it's interesting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-42959076

I get where the Polish Government is coming from (caveat, I can't read the text of any law, I'm assuming that the English coverage is good and it refers to Poland as a state, not Polish individuals) but restrictive laws like this are rarely a good idea and usually end up mis-used. It also seems to be having the opposite effect to what they were hoping, making people think they have something to hide. Education and pointing out the facts would be a much better option.
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08 Feb 2018 01:45

How will the israeli-Palestinian negotiations play out if it turns out that the leaders of the two major nations on one side are both indicted?

Israeli police will recommend indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges, the premier confirmed on Wednesday.


http://www.newsweek.com/israel-benjamin-netanyahu-indicted-media-reports-801069

At least Bibi doesn't say this is fake news.
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09 Feb 2018 13:57

Here's a brilliant, brutal, and extremely personal take on Propaganda by Andre Vltchek. Well worth reading. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48757.htm

John Swanson
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Re:

09 Feb 2018 17:34

King Boonen wrote:I'm not sure this has been discussed but it's interesting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-42959076

I get where the Polish Government is coming from (caveat, I can't read the text of any law, I'm assuming that the English coverage is good and it refers to Poland as a state, not Polish individuals) but restrictive laws like this are rarely a good idea and usually end up mis-used. It also seems to be having the opposite effect to what they were hoping, making people think they have something to hide. Education and pointing out the facts would be a much better option.


I do not believe it is the place of laws to try to define historical facts. Obviously the law is to be interpreted according to the Polish language, but if it is a good translation, there is a huge difference between claiming innocence on the part of a state and then non-culpability of a nation. I wonder if historical research is included under the exemption umbrella of science, and if historic research uncovers something, where does the assertion of "against the facts" in the legislation (again, as translated) stand?
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10 Feb 2018 09:02

(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
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10 Feb 2018 10:57

the loss of even one israeli f-16 to the syrian anti-air fire is very significant b/c it never happened before (according an israeli analyst) and b/c syria is using outdated soviet-era missiles..the loss may indicate the russians have seriously upgraded them.

the full circumstances around the events are not known b/c the sides spin. to gather whatever the reports agree on, i read the opposing as well as neutral sources. all agree that at least one f-16 was shutdown and that israel had carried out at least 2 strikes inside syria this morning. israel said they shutdown an iranian drone over israel and sent some f-16s to attack the drone control facilities..it is during this attack israel said they ran into an intense anti-air missiles fire from syria which claimed one of their craft. the syrian sana agency said they hit at least one craft and chased away the other attackers. curiously, the israeli official source said they 'attacked their targets' in stead of the usual 'they destroyed' them...

an israeli source i take with a grain of salt reports that the russians may have been involved in the shooting down as they control the syrian air space in that area.

knowing the israeli arrogance and the iranian/syrian intransigence , i expect an escalation. at least until the us and russia will try to calm their clients.
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Re:

10 Feb 2018 11:20

python wrote:the loss of even one israeli f-16 to the syrian anti-air fire is very significant b/c it never happened before (according an israeli analyst).


F16s maybe, in fact I think the Israelis have only lost them to accidents, malfunctions and birdstrikes. However the Syrians (and Egyptians) blasted dozens of Israeli jets out of the sky in '73.

Why is that relevant to now? Because they used the 2K12 “Kub” missile defense system supplied by the Russians. Now, and in fact for the past 2 years, the Russians have had their S400 system in Syria. It's not near the Israeli border but it's range is so great that it covers half of Israeli airspace.

If it was an S400, then we are entering interesting times.
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10 Feb 2018 14:50

How dare the Syrian govt shoot down hostile aircraft in their airspace.
Damn shame.
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