SYRIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


SYRIA

Jan 25 09:34

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 25, 2018: SYRIAN ARMY PREPARES TO CLEAR ABU AL-DUHUR POCKET

The Syrian military is deploying reinforcements to northern Hama and eastern Idlib reportedly preparing to launch a military operation to clear the militant-held pocket there. According to pro-government sources, additional units of Liwa al-Quds and the Qalamoun Shield Forces have already been deployed there.

The liberation of the pocket will allow the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies to eliminate the ISIS threat in the area and to free additional resources for possible future operations in Idlib.

Kurdish YPG/YPJ forces have repelled another attack of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army on Birsaya Mount but lost the village of Abudan.

Jan 25 09:33

#Afrin Self Administration office published a statement calling out The Syrian Army to enter Afrin and protect it from #Turkish invasion

Jan 25 09:16

Trump urges Erdogan to ‘exercise caution’ & avoid targeting US forces in Syria

In a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Donald Trump has raised concerns that Ankara’s ongoing military operation in neighboring Syria, if not wound down, may result in a direct clash between the two NATO allies.

“President Trump relayed concerns that escalating violence in Afrin, Syria, risks undercutting our shared goals in Syria,” according to the White House readout of the conversation. “He urged Turkey to exercise caution and to avoid any actions that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces.”

Trump has further urged Turkey to deescalate and “limit its military actions” in order to “avoid civilian casualties and increases to displaced persons and refugees.”

Jan 25 05:47

Syria: Two US military advisers killed by Turkish airstrike

Air strikes of the Turkish Air Force have killed two US military advisers in Syria. Syrian media reported that in ??the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, as a result of the air strike of Turkish military aircraft, two military advisers from the United States were killed. The Pentagon has not yet commented. The White House held a telephone conversation with the Turkish presidents, where the situation in Syria was discussed. Donald Trump said that he was concerned about the escalation of violence in Afrin and called on his Turkish colleague to limit the actions of the armed forces in this region. Ankara continues the military operation against the People's Self-Defense Forces YPG in the north of the country.

Jan 24 16:46

Turkey re-enters Syrian endgame with ‘smart power’

“Our operations will continue until the separatist terror organization is fully cleared from the region and around 3.5 million Syrians who are now sheltered in Turkey are able to securely return to their homeland.”

The UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday regarding Turkey’s military operations in Syria turned out to be like the dog that didn’t bark in the night in the Sherlock Holmes short story. There was no bark – no statement by the Security Council – condemning Turkey.

Jan 24 12:53

Over 650 Syrian civilians killed in US-led airstrikes in 40 months: SOHR

A monitoring group says more than 600 children have lost their lives ever since the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group started its aerial assaults against residential areas across Syria back in September 2014.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that 2,815 people, including 655 minors and 481 women, were killed in US-led aerial attacks against civilian areas in the conflict-plagued Arab country over the past 40 months.

The London-based watchdog said the aerial assaults were conducted in the provinces of Hasakah, Raqqah, Aleppo, Idlib and Dayr al-Zawr, noting that the remains of 19 victims still await identification.

It added that the US-led coalition continues to carry out airstrikes across Syria despite the fact that the militants are controlling only pockets of Syrian territories following their humiliating defeats in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

Jan 24 12:53

Western Media Fixates On Vague “Chem Weapons” Allegations, Ignores Children Murdered By America’s Terrorists

By Brandon Turbeville

While Rex Tillerson, Nikki Haley, Heather Nauert, and Emmanuel Macron as well as the entirety of the Western corporate media focus on phantom chemical attacks, none of the above have even mentioned the terrorist shelling of Damascus (Bab Touma area) which has resulted in the death of nine people, most of whom were children and teens...

Jan 24 12:50

Obama administration cheated Turkey in Syria: President Erdo?an

The administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama “failed to keep its promises” to Turkey in Syria, not following up its pledge to “leave Manbij to its rightful owners,” President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has said.

“There was an operation during Mr. Obama’s administration. That operation aimed to clear terrorists from Manbij. But he failed to keep up to his promise and cheated us,” Erdo?an said in a speech to neighborhood heads (muhtars) in Ankara on Jan. 24.

Manbij is a city in the northeast of the Aleppo Governorate in northern Syria, currently controlled by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara sees as linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“We’ve done our part but they have not. They promised they would send the terrorists in this area to the east of the Euphrates and leave Manbij to its rightful owners. But they did not keep their promise,” Erdo?an said.

Jan 24 12:44

ISRAEL’S “SAFE ZONE” IS CREEPING FARTHER INTO SYRIA

ISRAEL IS EXPANDING its influence and control deeper into opposition-held southern Syria, according to multiple sources in the area. After failed attempts to ensure its interests were safeguarded by the major players in the war next door, Israel is pushing to implement the second phase of its “safe-zone” project — an attempt to expand a buffer ranging out from the occupied Golan Heights deeper into the southern Syrian provinces of Quneitra and Daraa. The safe zone expansion marks a move toward deeper Israeli involvement in Syria’s civil war.

The Intercept learned the outlines of the safe-zone expansion plan through a monthslong investigation relying on information from a variety of sources, including Syrian opposition activists on the ground in the south, Syrian opposition figures based in Jordan, Syrian government sources, and an Israeli-American NGO directly involved in the safe-zone project.

Jan 24 12:40

Turkey's Operation in Northern Syria, Day 4 Roundup

During the fourth day of Ankara’s military operation, Turkish Air Forces continued making airstrikes on Kurdish forces’ positions in the Syrian town of Rajo, near the border with Turkey, according to the Sputnik Türkiye correspondent. Turkish tanks and artillery near the Afrin border were also pounding Kurdish positions.

Turkish armed forces and FSA units stationed to the west of the city of Azaz were shelling Kurdish forces. There were also clashes between Kurdish forces and Turkish military near the town of Gülbaba.

Meanwhile, Turkish Armed Forces continue to move military hardware to the Afrin area through Öncüp?nar checkpoint in Kilis.

Jan 24 12:12

Russia deploys four S-400 missile defense systems to Syria

The Russian military has deployed four units of its state-of-the-art S-400 anti-aircraft missile defensive systems to Syria.

In the videos published by the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday, two of the four units can be seen being delivered to the Hmeimim airbase in Syria's coastal province of Latakia.

The two other units were shipped to the Russian maritime facility located in Syria's Mediterranean coastal city of Tartus.

Jan 24 12:06

Kurds Release ISIL Captives to Join Battle against Turkish Army

Local sources reported on Tuesday that the Kurdistan Democratic Union Party (PYD) has released all ISIL captives that have agreed to join the battle against the forces of the Turkey-led Olive Branch Operation in Northern Aleppo.

Jan 24 12:06

Lebanese Kurds call on Russia to defend people in Syria’s Afrin

The Lebanese Kurds held rallies in front of the Russian embassy and the Russian Center for Science and Culture, condemning the Turkish military operation in the Afrin area

Jan 24 12:05

Press review: Damascus to deal death blow to al-Nusra and CEFC set to seal Rosneft deal

The Syrian army is gearing up for a large-scale offensive in Idlib, with the goal of encircling and wiping out Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist group, outlawed in Russia), three sources in the country’s army told Izvestia on Friday. The ruling Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party also confirmed the plans to the paper.

Jan 24 10:09

Intense battles continue between Turkish fighters, Kurds in Syria's Afrin

Turkish soldiers are seen with their armored vehicles near Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay, Turkey, on Jan. 23, 2018. Turkish military's operations in Syria will continue "until all terrorists are fully eliminated" and 3.5 million Syrian refugees return home, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Tuesday

- Intense battles continued Tuesday between the Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led troops on the outskirts of the Kurdish-controlled Afrin enclave in northern Syria, a monitor group reported.

The battles between the Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led fighters stretched from northeastern Afrin to its southwestern part, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Turkish warplanes also struck several targets in Afrin on Tuesday, killing two children and two women on Tuesday, the observatory said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Erdogan needs a quick ending to this invasion of Syria, because he absolutely doesn't want the optics here to be about massive Syrian casualties, but it appears that Kurds are not going to allow him that luxury.

Unfortunately, unless there is an immediate ceasefire, coupled with negotiations on a practical way to repatriate displaced Syrians taking shelter in Turkey, this could very well drag on, and morph into a hard, nasty campaign from both sides.

Jan 24 09:54

Putin, Erdogan discuss situation in Syria, including near Afrin — Kremlin

Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russian and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey spoke over phone to discuss the situation in Syria, including near Afrin, where Turkey is conducting a military operation, the Kremlin press service said on Tuesday.

"Russian President Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two presidents exchanged views on the situation in Syria, including in the northwest of the country, near Afrin, where the Turkish armed forces are conducting a military operation. Both side stressed the importance of further joint efforts towards crisis settlement that are to be based on the principles of respect to Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty," the Kremlin said.

According to the press service, the two leaders also touched upon preparations for an upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress due to be held in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on January 29-30.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Russia has won this round, backing up diplomacy with Turkish "muscle" in Syria.

The US government has now lost Syria, whatever various spokespersons say, and this is yet another epic fail, and catastrophe of non-critical thinking, in the Middle East.

Jan 23 13:44

Turkey offers to form a military coalition with Iraq Syria and Iran to ‘eliminate kurdish dissent’ and confront Saudi axis, Iraqi media reported following visit by Turkish FM Oglu to Baghdad

Jan 23 13:09

UNCONFIRMED REPORTS THAT #US SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES WEARING #YPG UNIFORMS ARE ENGAGING #TURKISH ARMY SOLDIERS IN AND AROUND AFRIN #SYRIA

UNCONFIRMED REPORTS THAT #US SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES WEARING #YPG UNIFORMS ARE ENGAGING #TURKISH ARMY SOLDIERS IN AND AROUND AFRIN #SYRIA

Jan 23 11:57

Russia 'concerned' about Turkey military bid in Syria

Jan 23 11:53

Syrian Kurdish Forces Launch Powerful Counterattack Against Turkey

Turkey is hoping for a quick victory in Afrin, but its soldiers and allied Syrian militiamen are facing counter-attacks by Kurdish forces on villages close to the border. The Kurds are reported to be readying reinforcements to join the battle from their bases in north east Syria where they have thousands of troops who until recently were fighting Isis.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says there would be “no stepping back from Afrin” which means that the campaign, bizarrely named ‘Operation Olive Branch’, will continue. But it will take time to drive the Kurdish YPG paramilitary forces out the Afrin enclave north of Aleppo. So far the Turkish offensive has captured only a few villages close to the border in three days of fighting and there are a total of 350 villages in Afrin.

The population of the enclave is estimated to be 200,000, many of whom will be come refugees if Turkey and Arab militiamen take control.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have that story accompanied by the following:

Turkey escalates attacks on Syrian Kurds

Jan 23 11:49

US Struggles With Fighting Between Turkey, Syrian Kurds, Two Key Allies

US warnings and calls for restraint have failed, and Turkey has invaded Syria’s Afrin District, beginning what could be a protracted battle with the US-backed Kurdish YPG. Two major US allies are in open conflict.

US allies have often clashed in the course of the Syrian War, but this is shaping up to be a long military campaign by Turkey, which has been looking to push against the Kurds for quite some time.

The US is so far just calling for “restraint,” but their involvement in the fight could come quite quickly, as Turkish officials have repeatedly said after Afrin, they’ll be attacking the YPG-held city of Manbij, a city that has US troops embedded within.

The US initially sent troops to Manbij to try to deter a Turkish invasion, betting they wouldn’t want to risk causing casualties to a fellow NATO member. That the fight is already ongoing now may change that calculation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So let me get this straight; the US military has troops embedded with the YGB in Mandij, the city in Syria Turkey has announced it will attack next.

Is the White House planning to create an exit corridor through which the American troops be able to leave, and quickly, or are they "sacrificial lambs" with which to justify a full-on invasion of Syria and/or Turkey?!?

This is about to get ugly, quickly.

Jan 23 08:29

Turkey’s Presence in Afrin Shows Complex Syrian Conflict ‘Nowhere Near Ending’

The Turkish military’s incursion into northwestern Syria creates a new dimension in the years-long crisis in Syria and highlights the conflict is “nowhere near ending,” an international affairs and security analyst told Sputnik.

The Turkish operation is nothing short of an effort to "cleanse" the Syrian city of Afrin from ethnic Kurds, security analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik.

Jan 23 08:16

How US went from supporting Syrian Kurds, to backing Turkey against them – in just 9 days

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been left flailing as Washington desperately struggles to avoid being shut out of Syria by its own allies – following a crisis it helped provoke just days ago.

For all the backpedaling and reframing the US officials are now doing, the chronology of the volte-face from Afrin to Ankara is startlingly straightforward.

Jan 22 14:00

War With Russia Creeps Closer as Ukraine Moves to Pull out of Minsk Accords

While much of America’s – and the world’s – attention focused this weekend reflecting on Donald Trump’s first year in the Oval Office, holding one-year anniversary events for the historic Women’s March and drawing up balance sheets of his promises and achievements, Russia has had a rather different issue on the front-burner: a possible war with Ukraine.

The situation in the Donbass region of south-eastern Ukraine has been a feature of Russia’s political talk shows for the past couple years, along with the military campaign in Syria and more recently the stages in the preparation for presidential elections on March 18.

Focus on the Donbass conflict increased in the closing weeks of 2017 as military action on the front lines separating the forces of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk enjoying Russian support from Ukrainian militias and armed forces reached an intensity not seen for more than a year. This is despite the heralded exchange of military prisoners by both sides before New Year’s under talks supervised by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill.

Then, this past Thursday, came a wholly new development>>>

Jan 22 12:12

Lavrov: It is about time Russia should exit Western project

To expand the horizons of its “red lines,” Russia should get out of someone else’s economic project, political analyst Leonid Krutakov said.

In an interview with Kommersant, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov outlined Russia’s “red lines,” which Western “partners” are not recommended to cross. Serious Western politicians should not only understand but also respect this he added

“Russia has the right to defend the interests of its compatriots, especially when they are persecuted in many countries, when their rights are oppressed, as it happened in Ukraine,” Sergei Lavrov said.

He referred to Russia’s action in the Crimea after the coup in Ukraine>>>

Jan 22 11:05

Turkey ‘will not take a step back’ in Afrin operation: Erdo?an

Turkey will “not take a step back” from its operation into Afrin and has an agreement with Russia regarding its military offensive against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the northwestern Syrian city, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an said on Jan. 22.

He was speaking on the third day of “Operation Olive Branch,” during which one civilian in the southern province of Hatay was killed as a result of rocket fire from YPG militants across the border in Afrin.

“The Afrin issue will be resolved. There will be no step back. We have discussed it with the Russians and we have an agreement with them,” Erdo?an told businesspeople gathered for an award ceremony in the capital Ankara.

He reiterated that Turkey’s offensive into Afrin will only be over once objectives are accomplished in the field, “just like the Euphrates Shield Operation” in mid-2016.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note that Edrogan states that " We have discussed it with the Russians and we have an agreement with them.”

Very few US news outlets, even blogs, are discussing this, and there is no mention on the corpratized US presstitute media, and I will go into the reasons for this a little later in this article.

I am going to be linking to several articles which appear today at http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com, a Turkish daily blog in English which has a number of news/op-ed pieces which, I believe, all thinking Americans should be reading.

Turkey, Russia, and Iran agree on 1600 Attendees list for Sochi Meeting

This meeting is will be dedicated to creating a peaceful, stable situation in Syria, where the voices of minorities can get heard.

Turkey was infuriated by unilateral US actions in Syria-Lavrov

This article goes on to state that:

"Unilateral U.S. actions in Syria infuriated Turkey, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said, adding that Washington’s bid to cooperate with the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara sees as a terrorist group, is a misunderstanding if not a provocation.

“Either it is a misunderstanding of the whole situation, or a deliberate provocation,” Anadolu Agency quoted Lavrov as saying at a press conference in Moscow on Jan. 22.

“We have already drawn attention to the fact that the U.S. have embarked on the creation of alternative authorities in large parts of Syrian territory,” Lavrov said.

“In Syria, Washington supplies arms both openly and discreetly to groups that cooperate with them, especially the SDF,” he said referring to the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is largely dominated by the YPG.

“The U.S. has announced the creation of certain ‘border forces’ in Syria. Clumsy denials followed. But the fact is they are still trying to control the border,” Lavrov said.

The reason yhou have barely heard a thing from the corporatized presstitutes on this issue, is that the on-going Turkish invasion of Syria represents a staggering "epic fail" of American foreign policy in the Middle East, but right now, without declaring (or NOT declaring a war, but acting covertly) against Syria; Turkey; or Russia, the US government is thoroughly impotent of doing anything about it, other than issue "milk toast", boiler-plate stements calling for "restraint"

THAT is why you are seeing, ad nauseum, images of a thouroghy disfunctional Congress, trying to figure out how to get back to working (allegedly) for We the People!

I even doubt that the adroitly skilled and nuanced Sarah Saunders, White House Press Secretary, will be able to put a positive spin on this Turkish invasion of Syria. No matter how she tries to slice and dice it, the neon red, flashing optics are officially horrible, with regard to US foreign policy.

Jan 22 10:49

Situation Map of Syria

Jan 22 10:40

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 22, 2018: ABU AL-DUHUR LIBERATION, OPERATION OLIVE BRANCH

On January 20, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) officially launched a military operation in the area of Afrin and started conducting massive artillery and airstrikes on positions of Kurdish militias there.

“‘Operation Olive Branch’ has been started on Jan. 20, 2018 at 5 p.m., in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region to establish security and stability on our borders and region, to eliminate terrorists of PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh [ISIS], and to save our friends and brothers… from their oppression and cruelty,” the general staff said in an official statement.

The Russian military relocated its forces deployed in Afrin “to ensure the security of Russian servicemen located in the district.” The country’s defense ministry added in an official statement that:

Jan 22 10:13

Turkish Jets Hit Menagh Airbase Used by US to Supply Arms to Kurds - Reports

More than 70 Turkish military aircraft have been engaged in Ankara's Olive Branch operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish troop, according to Turkey' General Staff.

The Turkish Air Force attacked the Menagh Military Airbase in northwestern Syria, which the US used for supplying weapons to Kurdish armed forces, the Hurriyet newspaper reported citing military sources.

Jan 22 08:31

Turkey INVADES Syria – tanks and soldiers cross the border

Forces entered the country's Afrin province today just 24 hours after pounding the region with airstrikes.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim reportedly said they are targeting US-backed Kurdish fighters.

Shocking pictures show dozens of tanks and armoured vehicles crossing over the border in a terrifying display of military might.

Jan 22 08:30

Afrin: Over 150 Kurdish Positions Destroyed, Turkey-Backed Militants Capture First Region

Chief of the Turkish Army Joint Staff announced that 153 positions of the Kurdish fighter in the town of Afrin have been damaged by the forces of the Olive Branch Operation.

He further said that a number of hideouts and arms depots of the Kurdish forces were among the destroyed positions, adding that the artillery units' heavy fire is still underway in Afrin.

Based on reports, the militants of the Ankara-backed Euphrates River have captured the village of Shinkal in Northern Aleppo.

In the meantime, the Kurdish sources said that tough battle is underway in the village of Shinkal in Rajou region in Afrin, adding the Kurdish fighters have thus far targeted and destroyed two Turkish tanks in the village of Sheran near Afrin.

Jan 22 08:30

Turkey vs. USA? Ministry of Defense orders Russian military to leave Afrin, Syria

The Russian command in Syria has taken measures to ensure the security of servicemen in Afrin, where Turkey is conducting an operation against the Kurds, the Defense Ministry said.

The military department stressed that "to prevent possible provocations, to exclude the threat to life and health of Russian servicemen," the operational group of the Center for reconciliation of warring parties and military police was relocated from Afrin to Tel Adjar.

The Center for Reconciliation continues to monitor the situation in the de-escalation zone of Tel-Rifat in order to promptly provide assistance to the civilian population leaving the combat areas, the report said.

Jan 22 08:29

The diplomacy behind Turkey’s operation in Syria

Surprising many opponents of the campaign, still active Syrian air defense and air forces did not intercept the Turkish military operation on the Afrin region, which officially started at 5 p.m. (14:00 GMT) on Jan. 20.

Neither did the Russians. Perhaps even more surprising was the statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry after the start of the “Olive Branch Operation.”

“The main reasons contributing to the development of the critical situation in this part of Syria were the provocative U.S. steps aimed at the separation of regions with predominantly Kurdish populations,” it stated.

The statement continued by describing militant groups affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as “pro-U.S.” forces and pointed the finger at Washington for the escalation of tension.

Jan 22 08:20

Iran Calls on Turkey to Immediately End Olive Branch Operation

At least nine people, including six civilians were killed as a result of the Turkish airstrikes carried out on Saturday under the military operation in Syria's northwestern Afrin district, a source in Afrin's local authorities told Sputnik on Sunday.

"Because of the airstrikes six civilians, two young women from the Kurdish Women's Protection Units [YPJ] and one fighter of the People's Protection Units [YPG] were killed," the source said speaking about the victims killed on Saturday. The source added that 13 more people were injured in the airstrikes.

Jan 22 08:20

Kurds Reportedly Destroy Five Turkish Tanks Amid Offensive in Syria

A video has appeared on YouTube showing the Kurdish YPG militia launch an anti-tank guided missile at a Turkish Leopard tank as the Turkish Army advanced toward Afrin in an offensive against the Kurdish forces.

According to the ANF News agency, the tank was hit in the area of the village of Kurdo in the Bilbil district of the Syrian city of Afrin on Sunday morning.

The video has been posted on the YouTube channel of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

In a single day, Kurdish fighters destroyed five Turkish tanks in the Afrin area, ANF reported.

Jan 22 08:20

US Unilateral Actions in Syria Provoked Turkey to Fury - Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has pointed to the United States' "destructive role in foreign affairs" in an interview with Russia's Kommersant newspaper.

"Many political scientists ask the question, why are we concerned [over US actions as regarding the Iranian nuclear deal], saying that 'worse is better': let the United States prove its inability to negotiate, its destructive role in foreign affairs, whether in Iran, or in Syria, where Washington is taking unilateral steps that have enraged Turkey," Lavrov said, answering a question about the benefits Russia could gain as a result of US the policy to abort the deal with Tehran.

Jan 22 08:19

Missiles hit Turkish towns near Syrian border, casualties reported

The Turkish border town of Reyhanli has been hit with multiple missiles fired from northern Syria amid Turkey’s military operation, leaving one person dead and dozens injured. Another missile reportedly hit the town of Kilis.

At least one person was killed and 32 others wounded in Reyhanli, Mayor Hussein Sanverdi told Turkish media.

Jan 22 08:19

‘US broken promises to stop arming Kurds triggered Afrin op’ – Turkey's ex-FM to RT

Turkey would not have embarked on a military campaign in Afrin if Washington had honored its promises to cut off supplies and support to Kurdish militias, Yasar Yakis, Turkey's former foreign minister told RT.

It was “to a very large extent” the US policy towards the Kurds which served as the catalyst for the Turkish offensive in northern Syria, the former diplomat and ambassador to the UN Office in Vienna, Egypt and Saudi Arabia said.

Jan 22 08:18

Kurds Still Adamant to Russian Offer after Turkish Invasion

One of the Kurdish movements in Afrin disclosed that the Kurds have turned down a Russian request to hand over areas under their control to the Syrian government.

Jan 22 08:01

UN Security Council to discuss situation in Syria on January 22 - French top diplomat

The United Nations Security Council will discuss the situation in Syria at its meeting on Monday, January 22, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday.

Turkey’s operation in Afrin to complicate inter-Syrian dialogue - expert
"The UN Security Council will hold consultations on the situation in Syria tomorrow. France will stress the necessity of humanitarian assistance," he wrote on his Twitter account.

Earlier, he said France requests an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

On Saturday, Turkey’s General Staff announced beginning of the Olive Branch operation against the Kurds’ units near Afrin, where about 1.5 million Syrian Kurds live. Recent reports quote the Turkish Air Force have hit 153 targets in Afrin. According to Sky News Arabia, six civilians and three military were killed in the air strikes. The Turkish General Staff, however, insists all the killed and injured "are terrorists.".

Jan 22 08:01

Assad slams Turkey’s operation in Afrin as support for terrorism in Syria

Syrian authorities believe that Turkey’s military operation in Afrin is geared towards supporting terrorism, SANA news agency quoted President Bashar Assad as saying on Sunday.

"Turkey’s aggression in the Syrian city of Afrin cannot be separated from the policy pursued by the Turkish regime since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis and built on support for terrorism and various terrorist groups," he said.

On Saturday, Turkey’s General Staff announced the beginning of the Olive Branch operation against Kurdish units near Afrin, where about 1.5 million Syrian Kurds live.

Jan 22 07:42

Syria: Turkish ground troops enter Afrin enclave

Turkish ground troops have crossed into northern Syria as part of a major offensive to push out Kurdish militia, which Turkey regards as terrorists.

The Kurdish group targeted, known as the YPG, is active in the Afrin region, across from Turkey's southern border.

It says it has repelled Turkish troops in the area, and retaliated with rocket fire on Turkish border areas.

The militia forms a crucial part of a US-backed alliance battling Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to crush the YPG "very quickly", but the US is urging Turkish "restraint" in order to avoid civilian casualties.

Jan 22 07:30

Egypt: Turkish attack on Afrin is unacceptable

The Foreign Ministry of Egypt condemned the Turkish state’s “unacceptable” attack on Afrin, calling it an intervention against and violation of Syrian lands.

In a statement about the operation, the Foreign Ministry pointed out that Turkey negatively affected the political efforts for the ending of terror in Syria, saying; “The attitude of Egypt towards military methods is clear as attacks against our Syrian brothers and sisters are increasing.”

On the other hand, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Frants Klintseviç stated that “Russia will ask Turkey to end its operation on Afrin at the United Nations.”

In a Facebook post about the invasion attempt, top Russian official Konstantin Kosaçev said; “Disturbing news are coming from Syria. The “Anti-terrorist operation” announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an causes nothing but concern.”

Jan 21 14:56

Turkey retaliates against attacks, destroys YPG, PKK hideouts in Afrin: Turkish Army

Turkish military said on Jan. 20 it retaliated against the People's Protection Units/ Kurdistan Workers' Party [YPG/PKK] firings from Syria's Afrin on Jan. 19-20, destroying shelters, hideouts.

The Turkish General Staff said the army hit the shelters "within the scope of legitimate self-defense," state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Jan 21 14:56

Turkish military operation into Afrin begins, Manbij to follow: Erdo?an

Turkish military operation into the northern Afrin province of Syria has 'actively begun in the field,' President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an said on Jan. 20, speaking in the central Anatolian province of Kütahya.

Syria's Manbij will be the next destination for a Turkish combat operation, Erdo?an added, addressing the crowd during the sixth regular congress held by his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

"The promises made to us over Manbij were not kept. So nobody can object if we do what is necessary," Erdo?an said, referring to past U.S. assurances that the Peoples' Protection Unit (YPG) would move out of Afrin.

"Later we will, step by step, clear our country up to the Iraqi border from this terror filth that is trying to besiege our country."

Jan 21 14:55

Turkey summons UN Security Council member envoys, writes to Syrian regime

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Jan. 20 summoned Russia and the U.S.’s top Ankara-based diplomats to inform them about the ongoing military operation in Syria's northwestern Afrin province.

Turkey has also summoned the Iranian ambassador to Ankara, a ministry official told Hürriyet Daily News, speaking on conditions of anonymity.

Ambassadors from the three remaining permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – Britain, France and China – will also be summoned, with Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Kaan Esener set to conduct the talks, the source said.

Jan 21 14:55

Afrin operation not to influence Sochi meeting: Turkish FM

Turkey’s military operation on the Kurdish militia group the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s Afrin province will not affect the Syrian conference in Sochi scheduled for later this month, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu said in a televised interview on Jan. 20.

Ankara has repeatedly said the YPG should not be allowed to join the Sochi conference, he said, responding to a question concerning an Iranian statement that the military offensive could affect the meeting scheduled for Jan. 29-30

Any ground operation in Syria may affect the Sochi-based Syrian National Dialogue Congress “in either a positive or negative manner,”

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari told reporters in a comment on Turkey’s operation in Syria’s Afrin.

Jan 21 08:58

Turkish Warplanes Pound Kurds, Thousands of Syrian Rebels Bused to Border

Following up on a flurry of Friday artillery strikes against Kurdish forces in the Afrin District on northern Syria, Turkish warplanes carried out a large number of airstrikes against the small district, with at least 108 strikes reported, leaving the towns’ streets empty, and locals panicking.

Syria’s government complained Turkey hadn’t informed them of the attacks, adding that they “strongly condemn” Turkish aggression. Syria had threatened to target Turkish warplanes raiding their airspace, however, and there’s so far no sign of this happening.

Instead the US-backed Kurds are getting hammered from the air, and Turkey is now not only massing their own troops at the Afrin border, but has bused in thousands of Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels to attack the Kurds as well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just how long this will be allowed to continue without US/Russian/Syrian military intervention.

And on the corporatized US "non-news", courtesy of American Presstitutes, the Turkish invasion of a sovereign country, Syria, is treated as though it wasn't happening at all!!

Jan 21 08:48

Russian forces re-deployed from Afrin after Turkey’s offensive - Russia’s Defense MinistryMore:http://tass.com/defense/986083

An operations group of the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides and military police has been re-deployed from Syria’s Afrin to Tel Ajar after Turkey had launched its offensive, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said that "the command of the Russian military group in Syria has taken steps to provide security of the Russian servicemen, who had been stationed in Afrin canton, where the Turkish Armed Forces have mounted a ‘special operation’ against Kurdish units."

"The operations group of the center for reconciliation of warring sides and military police have been redeployed from the area of Afrin to the area of Tel Ajar in the Tel Rifaat de-confliction zone in order to avoid possible provocations and to ensure Russian servicemen’s lives and health are not exposed to risks," the ministry said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: this may be a retreat, but it appears to be a tactical retreat only, to keep Russian soldiers safe, until Putin and Lavrov decide precisely how to approach this Turkish invasion of Northern Syria.

But in the genral theme of things, the optics here cannot appear as through Russia has "backed down" from assisting Syria militarily, or allow Turkey to appear militarily successful in this bombing campaign and invasion.

Jan 21 08:37

Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch ‘aims to bring 10,000 km2 of Afrin under control’

The Prime Ministry’s Office of Public Diplomacy has cited the reasons for Turkey’s military operation against Syria’s northern Afrin province in a 12-article note.

The note, titled “What Turkey aims to do with Afrin operation,” was posted on the office’s official Twitter account on Jan. 21. It cited the following reasons for the operation:

* To ensure the Turkey-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA) takes control of a 10,000-square kilometer area.

* Following on from the Euphrates Shield Operation and the operation in Idlib, to completely prevent the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from reaching the Eastern Mediterranean.

* To eliminate the possibility of losing Turkey’s geographical contact with the Arab world.

* To ensure the security of our borders with Syria.

* To prevent the infiltration of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the PKK into Turkey through the Amanos Mountains.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Notice that last point: "To counter US support for a terrorist organization", and by that statement, Turkey is referring to all Kurds, not just the PKK.

And that 10,000 square kilometers to which the Turkish government refers, is nearly 3,900 square miles; not an insignificant hunk of Syrian real estate!

But as far as I can see this morning, there has been absolutely zero military response to the bombardment yesterday or invasion today of Syria by Turkey; not from the United States Government; not from Russia, and not from the Syrian military or government.

Jan 21 08:25

Turkey launches major land operation into YPG militants in Syria's Afrin

Turkey has begun a land operation on the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), with troops entering Syrian soil at 11:05 a.m. on Jan. 21, Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m told a group of journalists.

“Our units have entered Afrin from two branches at 11:05 a.m. with the Free Syrian Army. This means the land operation has begun,” Y?ld?r?m said, speaking to the editors of Turkish news publications in a meeting held in Istanbul.

The operation, which came hours after a major air strike on the YPG on Jan. 20, will consist of four phases to create a safe zone with a 30-kilometer depth, he said.

The first phase would be aimed to form a secure zone on the Turkish borders between Azaz and Afrin. Following the first phase, Y?ld?r?m said, the "cleaning" would require an even more thorough work and "there was no need to rush."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Webcrawl on Faux News barely mentioned the Turkish bombing campaign in Afrin yesterday, and has certainly not mentioned the land invasion of northern Syria by Turkey today in any meaningful way.

From the time of the Ottoman Empire to the present,one skill set at which the Turkish government and military continues to be magnificently adept is genocide.

The Turkish Genocide of Armenians

When Yildirm made the observation that "There are around 8,000 to 10,000 terrorists in Afrin,", he is, hubristically, attempting to "groom" the rest of the world to be prepared for an horrifically overwhelming number of dead Kurds from this operation; women; infants; children; and the medically fragile elderly most likely will not be spared.

And what I want to know is, just how many US troops are embedded with these Kurdish troops in and around Afrin, and what happens when those US troops get shot and killed or maimed for life by Turkish forces?!?

Did the Turkish government covertly warn the US government that this was going to happen in time to get those US troops safely out of that area of Syria?!?

No one at the White House seems to be saying anything, and this... is a really bad sign for both innocent, non-combatant Kurds, and for our troops in that region of the world. I mean, a couple of months ago, wasn't the US government attempting to create an independent Kurdistan out of bits of Northern Syria?!?

Specter of Syrian Kurdistan: How US' Covert Plan is Taking Shape

And if this is, in fact was "the US plan" for the Kurdish people, why has President Trump done absolutely nothing to prevent, or at least, mitigate, Edrogan's invasion of Syria?!?

There are way too many questions, and not nearly enough intelligent answers.

Right now, I am praying for the Kurdish non-combatants in Afrin, and hoping for a way in which they can be evacuated to safety; but that would probably need Russian assistance from the Syrian side, and I don't see the presence of any Russian military yet in the region.

Jan 20 14:28

Turkish Jets Hit Menagh Airbase Used by US to Supply Arms to Kurds - Reports

More than 70 Turkish military aircraft have been engaged in Ankara's Olive Branch operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish troop, according to Turkey' General Staff.

The Turkish Air Force attacked the Menagh Military Airbase in northwestern Syria, which the US used for supplying weapons to Kurdish armed forces, the Hurriyet newspaper reported citing military sources.

Jan 20 10:12

Trump Keeps US in Syria and Sets Off New War

Just days after the announcement of a U.S.-backed Kurdish "border force" and an indefinite U.S. military presence in Syria, Turkey is shelling Kurdish areas and threatening a ground assault. We speak to Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton about what the Trump administration's renewed commitment to both regime change and confronting Iran means for Syria.

Jan 20 10:06

Russia Accuses US Of Carving Out "Alternative Government" In Syria As Mattis Says No Longer Focusing On Terrorism

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has accused the United States of working to carve out "an alternative government" on Syrian soil in statements made at a UN press briefing related to the recent Turkish military build-up poised to assault Syrian Kurdish areas of Northern Syria. Lavrov's words come after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged in a speech on Wednesday that US military forces would remain in Syria indefinitely until various objectives are met, which include Syrian government transition and the curtailing of Iran's influence.

Lavrov said "It’s a fact that US forces are seriously involved in creating alternative government bodies on vast part of the Syrian territory. And this, of course, absolutely contradicts their own obligations, which they committed to on numerous occasions, including at the UN Security Council, on maintaining the sovereignty and the territorial integrity on Syria."

Jan 20 10:06

Pat Buchanan Asks "Is A US-Turkish Clash In Syria Imminent?"

The war for dominance in the Middle East, following the crushing of ISIS, appears about to commence in Syria - with NATO allies America and Turkey on opposing sides.

Jan 20 09:40

CIA False Flag Likely in Drone Attack on Russia’s Syrian Bases

The audacious multiple-drone attack on Russia’s military bases in Syria is increasingly looking like a false flag carried out by the American Central Intelligence Agency. Sophisticated technology and a Ukrainian connection indicate that the swarm attack with 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) was not the work solely of Syrian anti-government militants.

What’s more the Russian government appears to have the incriminating evidence on who sanctioned the drone attacks against the Russian air base at Hmeimim and its naval port at Tartus on January 6.

The weapons failed to execute their deadly mission. Of the 13 drones used, seven were shot down by Russian Pantsir S-1 air defenses and six were safely landed by Russian electronic jamming technology. Those captured intact UAVs will have provided forensic information about what agency authored the plot.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said coyly, “We know who did it”, without as of yet specifying the culprit.

Jan 20 09:36

Turkish Warplanes Begin "Massive Bombing" Of US-Backed Syrian Kurds

In a sharp escalation of Turkey's military campaign against the US-backed Syrian Kurdish YPG, on Saturday Turkish warplanes fired missiles and launched "massive bombing" of Kurdish targets in Syria's Afrin, NTV television reported.

Jan 20 09:25

Turkish Minister confirms that his country will go to war with Kurds in Syria

The Turkish Minister of Defense, Nurettin Canikli, stated on Friday that the Turkish military will battle with Kurdish forces in the Afrin canton of northern Syria.

"The threat level against Turkey is increasing day by day. This operation will be carried out and we will combat terrorism," he said.

Turkey considers the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Although the US arms, funds and supports the YPG, it contradictory considers the PKK as a terrorist organization as well.

Jan 20 09:03

Russian Military Pulls Out Of Syrian Kurdish Town As Turkey Initiates "Massive Cross-Border Attack"

Crucially, the Turkish state-run news agency Anadoul confirmed that Russian military personnel have started pulling out of Afrin ahead of Turkey's "expected" and imminent cross-border military operation. Russia has administered 'deconfliction' zones in the Afrin area while controlling airspace overhead, and has sponsored trilateral talks with Turkey and Iran which seeks cooperation among the three powers to wind down the war in Syria. The Russian military has long had "military advisors" on the ground in Afrin, which have in the past helped coordinate the fight against ISIS.

Jan 20 07:44

Turkey Escalates Shelling, Says ‘No Turning Back’ From Syria Invasion

Turkish troops continue to mass at the Syrian border Friday, with artillery fire from their positions pounding Kurdish YPG forces in the Syrian Afrin District, and Turkish DM Nurettin Canikli saying this is the “de facto start” of a full-scale Syrian invasion of Kurdish territory.

Turkish officials have threatened this invasion off and on for months, and earlier this week said it was imminent. Canikli says now there is “no turning back” and that the invasion is in progress.

Turkey has long presented the Kurdish YPG as “terrorists,” and insisted they will not allow them to retain territory west of the Euphrates River. To this end, President Erdogan says Turkey will attack Afrin first, then Manbij.

Other Turkish officials, however, say they consider it unacceptable for the YPG to retain any territory near the Turkish border at all, which means nearly all of their territory is at risk from this ongoing operation

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that nothing less than wholesale slaughter of all Kurds. a mass genocide of these people, is all that will be acceptable to the Turkish government.

And have you noticed?!? Even though the shelling against Syria has started from inside the Turkish border, not a world from any of the thoroughly government-compromised presstitutes on corporate US TV have even made mention of the fact that Turkey has, de facto, declared a war against Syria?!?

The following from the BBC is a confirmation that Turkish shelling has intensified, before Turkish tanks and military hardware invade Afrin:

Turkey steps up Syria shelling as invasion of Afrin looms

Jan 20 07:38

NGO: US-Led Coalition Civilian Killings Tripled in Iraq and Syria in 2017

UK-based NGO Airwars has offered a reckoning of the 2017 air operations of the US-led coalition against ISIS, involving attacks in both Iraq and Syria.The number of civilians killed increased dramatically, with estimates suggesting that they roughly tripled from 2016.

In 2016, they documented an estimated death toll of between 1,243 and 1,904 non-combatants, but in 2017, the estimate was a minimum of 3,923, and potentially as many as 6,102 non-combatants killed.

That’s a huge increase, and a troubling one, in no small part because the US doesn’t admit it’s even happening, with Pentagon assessments putting deaths at no more than a few hundred annually, and around 800 over the entire past four years.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And it gets worse, folks: here's a story from alternet.com, to which we should all be paying attention:

Trump Is Turning the State Department into a Global Weapons Dealer

The story goes on to state:

"The Trump administration will soon announce its next move in the ongoing assault on diplomacy and human rights currently taking place in the United States. Through a plan dubbed “Buy American,” the administration is calling for U.S. attachés and diplomats to play a larger role in the sale of U.S. weapons, effectively solidifying their role as lobbyists for the arms industry rather than agents of diplomacy.

This means the State Department, the agency that is meant to foster diplomatic relations and maintain peaceful engagement with other countries, will now openly operate as a weapons dealer. The administration is essentially forcing the State Department to undermine itself, as seeking out and expanding opportunities for increased weapons sales are certainly not conducive to fostering peaceful global relations."

If EVER this country needed a "Department of Peace", to figure out non-martial, non-military alternatives to this country's never-ending geopolitical conflicts, it is right the hell now!

Jan 20 07:24

RUSSIAN MILITARY PULLS OUT OF SYRIAN KURDISH TOWN AS TURKEY INITIATES "MASSIVE CROSS-BORDER ATTACK"

Turkey's defense minister has confirmed the Turkish military has begun cross-border shelling of the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin in what he further describes as the "de facto start" of the operation in order to destroy - in President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an's words - Kurdish "terror nests" - and which has been dubbed previously by Turkey as a 'massive cross-border attack.'

Defense Minister Nuettin Canikli said Friday that Ankara "has no option" regarding the planned invasion of Northern Syria to dislodge the YPG (Kurdish "People's Protection Units") and other factions, which it considers an extension of the "terrorist" PKK. Kurdish YPG militias and their media arms began reporting sporadic shelling and clashes earlier this week.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, let me get this straight; Turkey, a NATO member, may well find itself attacking positions where the US, another NATO member, may have troops embedded with the Kurds in Afrin?!?

This is dicey. But what is even more dicey is the reality that if Russia attacks the US in Afrin, we may well be on our way to World War III. The same may well happen if Russian forces strike Turkish forces here.

Jan 20 06:34

RUSSIA ACCUSES US OF CARVING OUT "ALTERNATIVE GOVERNMENT" IN SYRIA AS MATTIS SAYS NO LONGER FOCUSING ON TERRORISM

Lavrov, as usual, is absolutely spot on in his assessment here.

Jan 19 16:23

Turkey ‘determined’ to hit YPG despite US call

Turkey will carry out a military operation in Afrin in northern Syria, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli vowed in an interview with private broadcaster A Haber on the morning of Jan. 19.

“The threat level against Turkey is increasing day by day. This operation will be carried out and we will combat terrorism,” Canikli said, referring to a long-anticipated operation against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin, seen by Ankara as organically linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

According to the minister, the Afrin operation should be carried out without delay and Ankara and Moscow will continue talks about Turkey’s planned military action.

Jan 19 10:41

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 19, 2018: SYRIAN TROOPS ALMOST CLOSED EASTERN IDLIB POCKET

On January 18, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Iranian-backed militias liberated the village of Qaytal fom Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) in southern Aleppo and almost closed the eastern Idlib pocket.

Late on the same day, ISIS reportedly captured thirty villages, including Rasm al-Dhaba, al-Muwaylah, abu Ajwa, Muakar Shamali, Huma, Najm Al-Zuhur, Umm Qurun and Rasm Arira, in northeastern Hama and southwestern Aleppo from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

According to reports, some of HTS members withdrew from the area to avoid being encircled by the SAA while the rest of them just joined ISIS.

The pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi also reported that ISIS fighters started an advance to reach the SAA-held village Tell Daman in order to open a route towards Idlib province.

Jan 19 10:13

Afrin knot: How the battle for a small Kurdish enclave could be the death knell for US-Turkey ties

This week, the countdown began for Afrin, a Kurdish-held enclave in the north of Syria which is feverously preparing for a major Turkish offensive. Over the past few days, international media have been reporting about Turkish troops, tanks and armored vehicles rolling towards the Syrian border.

The upcoming intervention in Afrin is said to be an extension of Turkey’s Euphrates Shield Operation, the declared goal of which was to target Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and drive Kurdish forces out of their enclaves in northern Syria.

Jan 19 10:01

Tillerson says U.S. has no intention to build border force in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday denied that the United States had any intention to build a Syria-Turkey border force, saying the issue, which has incensed Ankara, had been “misportrayed.”

Jan 19 09:43

So-called "moderate rebels" shell a kindergarten in Syria's Aleppo

Yesterday a barrage of rockets fired by so-called "moderate rebels" targeted a kindergarten in Aleppo, Syria's largest city and industrial hub.

Four missiles hit the al-Zahraa district in Aleppo's west, with two of those missiles hitting the Al-Wahaa kindergarten.

Children were quickly taken to the kindergartens basement until it was safe enough to emerge.

The resulting attack killed a bus driver, a kindergarten teacher and wounded four children who were all treated in hospital.

Jan 19 08:40

“You Are Now Entering the American Sector” (Will Syria Be Partitioned?)

Do not take your eyes off the ball, remember that all this delicate pussyfooting is about power.

Russia avoided the Syrian quagmire despite dire predictions. Putin minimised his footprint, his war is almost over, ISIL has been defeated. Trump could also exclaim “Mission is completed!” – and fly home.

But, it seems he is eager to rush in where angels fear to tread. Trump does not mind doing for the Israeli Prime Minister what his predecessors, whether Democrats or Republicans, refused, namely, fighting Israel’s war by indefinitely extending the hostile and illegal occupation of Syria.

Jan 19 08:30

Why Is Putin “Allowing” Israel to Bomb Syria? The Saker

The truth is that “the Russians are *not* coming”. The key for Putin is to do what needs to be done to advance Russian interests but without triggering an internal or external political crisis.

Trying to reason with the Israelis or get them to listen to the UN has been tried by many countries for decades and if there is one thing which is beyond doubt is that the Israelis don’t give a damn about what anybody has to say. So talking to them is just a waste of oxygen. What about threatening them? Actually, I think that this could work, but at what risk and price?

Jan 19 07:51

Syria threatens to 'destroy' Turkish warplanes

Syria threatened on Thursday to "destroy" any Turkish warplanes that fly into its territory as Ankara prepares to launch a cross-border military operation to wipe out Kurdish fighters it calls "terrorists".

Turkish officials have repeatedly vowed to attack the Syrian-Kurd militia known as the YPG at any moment in the Afrin region in northern Syria, near the border with Turkey.

The move comes after the United States announced this week it would train the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to be part of a 30,000-strong "border force" - a statement US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday was "misportrayed".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And to that, we have the following update on a very tense situation, vis a vis Turkey and Syria, from just several hours ago:

Russia moving military "observies into Syria's Afrin

How quickly Russian assets can move from "Observer" to "Participant" status remains to be seen. But I think we can count on one thing for sure: Russia will do just whatever Al Assad asks then to do.

IF Turkey attacks US forces in Syria, this will be an ugly scene of NATO member firing on fellow NATO member.

IF Russian and the US mlitary turn this conflict into a shooting war between themselves, we are looking, potentially, at the start of World War III.

Jan 18 12:06

US Plans to Prevent Syria's Stabilization as Sovereign State - Former UK Envoy

Sputnik spoke to former UK ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, to ask whether any further US involvement in the Syrian conflict is only likely to exacerbate division in the country, thus perpetuating the war.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested on Wednesday that the Trump administration would be taking on an open-ended military commitment to Syria as part of a stated strategy to prevent the regrowth of Daesh and to forge a new 'solution' that hopes to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power.

Jan 18 12:05

Syria Vows To Shoot Down Turkish Jets As Erdogan Orders Putin "Do Not Oppose" Assault

According to the Associated Press, this morning Syria said it would shoot down any Turkish jets carrying out attacks inside Syria. This comes as preparations continue for an imminent large-scale Turkish attack of Kurdish militia groups currently holding Afrin near the Turkish border.

Multiple regional outlets have confirmed a build-up of forces that could constitute the largest external intervening force thus far in the entirety of the Syrian war, including special forces troops, Army units, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and Turkey's air force.

Jan 18 12:05

Watch The State Department Respond As US Ally Turkey Attacks US-Backed Forces In Syria

On Tuesday the US State Department spokesperson was asked during the daily press briefing about the obvious contradiction inherent in US ally and NATO member Turkey shelling US-backed Kurdish forces in Afrin - the Kurdish held zone in northwest Syria near the Turkish border.

It's not the first time that a US partner force has attacked another US partner force in Syria (and then there's this Vice News headline from 2016 indicating it's sometimes gone three ways: "Three US allies are now fighting each other in northern Syria").

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