TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


TURKEY

Feb 26 13:25

Turkey gains control of border strip inside Syria's Afrin, sends special forces for new fight

The Turkish army has taken control of the outer edge of Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin during its ongoing cross-border offensive against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Turkish state media reported on Monday that the military and its allied militants had pushed some Kurdish YPG forces back from the frontier near the Turkish border.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkey has captured 115 “strategic points” and 87 villages since launching its operation in the Syrian region.

Feb 26 11:59

Turkish Army Attacks Afrin Convoy, Kurds Say It Was Full of Aid

Fighting continues in Syria’s Afrin District, a Kurdish area which is being invaded by the Turkish military. Friday saw Turkish forces attacking a convoy that was heading for the main town in the district.

Exactly what sort of a convoy this was remains hotly contested. The Kurdish YPG says the convoy contained food and medical aid, as well as civilians being evacuated from the areas Turkey is already pushing into.

Turkey, however, says the entire convoy of 30-40 vehicles was full of “terrorists,” and weapons for the YPG forces that are resisting the invasion, which Turkey insists is a terrorist group.

Several of the cars were destroyed in the shelling, and the YPG is reporting one killed and ten wounded. Turkey offered no casualty figures on this specific incident but has claimed to have killed massive numbers of Kurds in the course of the invasion.

Feb 26 11:21

Syria ceasefire not to affect offensive in Afrin: Turkey

Turkey welcomes a United Nations Security Council resolution on a month-long ceasefire in Syria, but says it will have no effect on Ankara's ongoing cross-border offensive in Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously voted in favor of a resolution demanding a 30-day truce in Syria 'without delay' to allow aid delivery and medical evacuations.

Feb 26 11:10

Turkish President Calls-Up Military Reserves; Tells Nation "On the Eve of Resurrection" (Of Ottoman Empire)

The President of Turkey, Recypt Erdogan - a fanatical Muslim - announced the full mobilization of Turkish Armed Forces Reserves today and told an assembled crowd in Maras Province to check on Call-up orders for duty because, he said, "We are on the eve of a Resurrection" (of the Ottoman Empire) and that he's ready to march with his people when the time comes. (To conquer much of Europe).

Erdogan paraded a little girl dressed in military fatigues in today's convention speech in Maras province, saying she is ready to be martyred and buried with a Turkish flag in her pocket. Here's video. You can see the child is petrified:

Feb 26 09:52

UN Unanimously Backs Ceasefire in Syria

After several days of fighting over the exact wording, the UN Security Council unanimously backed a ceasefire resolution over the weekend, calling for an end to fighting in not just Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus, but the rest of the country.

Over 500 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the past week in fighting around the Ghouta area, the last substantial rebel-held territory near the capital, as Syrian and Russian forces pounded the territory trying to force an evacuation deal.

The deal is to stop fighting, and get humanitarian aid into the area “without delay,” but timing isn’t clear, with the Syrian government saying they don’t consider it valid against “terrorist” groups, but promising to work quickly on getting aid into these areas. Turkey has said they don’t believe the ceasefire applies to their invasion, though Syria says it does.

Feb 26 09:26

Erdogan: US Is a ‘Double-Faced, Liar, Crook’ Country

After the latest series of US and Turkish threats, warnings and ultimatums, which culminated with Erdogan saying the Americans were in need of an “Ottoman slap”, the US sent over a series of delegations headed by Tillerson, Mattis and McMster to try and repair the relationship:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Erdogan is right. The US government Is a ‘Double-Faced, Liar, Crook’ Country

Feb 24 11:54

Putin’s Grand Bargain to Israel: Can Israel Digest It?

Israel has now had a taste of President Putin’s ‘stick’: Your air superiority in the North has just been punctured by the Syrian air defences. You, Israel, will lose it completely were our Russian S400s air defences to be enabled: ‘Think it over’.

Last week saw the first ‘game changer’ that almost plunged the region into war: the downing of one of Israel’s most sophisticated aircraft – an F16i by Syrian air defense.

As Ronen Bergman wrote in the New York Times: “Israel will no longer be able to act in Syria without limitations”; and secondly, “if anyone was not yet aware of it, Russia is the dominant power in the region”.

Feb 22 09:46

Jim Mattis refutes the “Fake News” of Israel and NATO

For the first time, a practicing Secretary of Defense has denounced the ongoing lies of Israel, its own administration and NATO.

This should have been the “front page” of all Western newspapers. But only Newsweek reported it [ 1 ].

Feb 20 11:47

Syrian Fighters Enter Afrin; Turkey Retaliates With Immediate Bombardment Sending Turkish Lira, Stocks Tumbling

As we reported yesterday, in a surprising twist in the ongoing Syrian proxy war, YPG Kurdish fighters in north-western Syria - who are backed by the US - had struck a deal with the Russia-backed Assad regime for Syrian forces to enter the Afrin region and repel a Turkish offensive which began last month.

Badran Jia Kurd, an advisor to the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria told Reuters that Syrian troops will deploy along several border positions and could enter the region within the next two days: "we can cooperate with any side that lends us a helping hand in light of the barbaric crimes and the international silence," Jia Kurd said.

We didn't have long to wait for this escalation to unfold, and moments ago a convoy of fighters waving Syrian flags entered the northern Kurdish-held region of Afrin, which Turkey is targeting in a cross-border operation, according to footage on Syrian state TV shows.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So give me a moment to get my head around this; the Syrian Army is now assisting the US-supported Kurds in fending off a Turkish invasion of Afrin?!?

IF a country's leadership is intellectually gifted, they will chose their battles, and enemies, and scenarios for winning very carefully; Erdogan, in his unhinged bloodlust against even the non-militant Kurds, thought such a scenario as the US supported Kurds being assisted by the Syrian Army could never happen.

In war, sometimes, you need to consider, far ahead of actual events, what you will do if the unthinkable actually happens, which it did in this case.

Feb 20 11:03

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – FEBRUARY 20, 2018: TURKEY THREATENS TO STRIKE SYRIAN ARMY

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies continue preparations for a ground operation against militants in Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta. Now, government forces and warplanes target fortified positions, HQs and weapon depots belonging to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham and their allies.

Pro-militant sources and the mainstream media have already started a propaganda campaign targeting the SAA as the only side responsible for civilian casualties in the area. Various sources provide different numbers, but the key thing in these reports is that the number is high.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nsura) will be exterminated if powers having influence over the group fail to discipline it.

Feb 20 10:59

Escalation in Syria – How Far Can the Russians be Pushed? - The Saker

A new US strategy in Syria: to punish the Russians as much as possible short of an overt US attack on Russian forces.

Events in Syria have recently clearly taken a turn for the worse and there is an increasing amount of evidence that the Russian task force in Syria is being targeted by a systematic campaign of “harassing attacks”.

First, there was the (relatively successful) drone and mortar attack on the Russian Aerospace base in Khmeimin. Then there was the shooting down of a Russian SU-25 over the city of Maasran in the Idlib province. Now we hear of Russian casualties in the US raid on a Syrian column (along with widely exaggerated claims of “hundreds” of killed Russians).

Feb 20 10:11

BREAKING - Syrian Forces Heading To Afrin!

Feb 19 15:21

World Watches as All-Out War Between Israel and Iran Inches Closer

Over the weekend, Israel used the long-standing adversarial threat of Iran as a pretext to launch a barrage of attacks against targets in Syrian territory. According to the Israeli side, an Iranian drone launched from Syria flew deep into Israeli airspace, which prompted Israel to not only down the drone, but to also target the base the drone was allegedly launched from in Syria.

Feb 19 11:09

Afrin's Kurds Agree With Syrian Gov't for Army to Help Fight Turks - Official

Amid reports of Turkey allegedly launching a gas attack in Syria, Kurdish YPG groups in Afrin are calling on the Syrian army to meddle in to protect their borders from Turkish combat men, a YPG representative Nuri Mahmud told RIA Novosti.

Senior Kurdish official Badran Jia Kurd has announced that the Syrian Kurdish forces and government have reached an agreement for the Syrian army to enter Afrin to help halt Turkish attacks. He added that the army troops would be deployed along a number of border positions and were expected to arrive in the Afrin region within the next two days.

The Turks-initiated military operation "Olive branch" has been underway against Kurds in Afrin, Syria’s north-west since January. Turkey reported it had eliminated over 1.5 thousand militants, including both Kurdish fighters and Daesh militants (deemed a terrorist organization in Russia), according to Ankara.

Feb 19 11:08

YPG Official Rep: Syria Should Close Airspace for Turkish Jets

In an interview to Sputnik, Kurdish YPG representative Nuri Mahmud detailed the disposition around the Syrian city of Afrin, where Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch is still underway.

"The attacks on Afrin by the Turkish army and groups of the Free Syrian Army, controlled by Turkey, have entered the fourth week – they launch massive airstrikes and employ heavy weaponry. Many countries feel indifferent to Afrin’s fate, whereas they should really demonstrate support of the city and help repel the Turkish offensive. If the Syrian regime deems itself landlord of this territory, it must close Syria’s airspace for Turkish planes and fulfill its commitments with regard to defending Afrin, which is part of the Syrian state. We haven’t engaged in talks with the Syrian authorities on this issue before," Mahmud underscored.

Feb 19 10:49

Syria pro-govt forces to enter Afrin ‘within hours’ amid Turkish military op – state media

Pro-government Syrian forces are expected to enter Afrin enclave “within hours,” local media report. Earlier, an adviser to the Kurdish administration said a deal has been reached to allow Syrian forces into the embattled area.

Feb 19 09:35

President Erdogan warns Putin that Syria will face 'consequences' if it wades into Turkey's offensive in Kurdish enclave

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Syria will face 'consequences' if it wades into Turkey's offensive in Afrin.

Erdogan told Putin that Turkey's military operation in the northern Syrian Kurdish enclave will continue as planned during a phone call between the two leaders.

Feb 18 08:53

Thousands Rally Against Munich Security Conference in Germany

Around 2,200 people participated in a demonstration against the ongoing Munich Security Conference (NSC) in Germany, local Bayerischer Rundfunk broadcaster reported on Saturday.

The demonstrators shouted slogans including "No to War," "Dismiss NATO," "There Are No Winners in War," according to the media reports.

The rally organizers gathered over 100 protest groups from across Germany.

Kurdish activists campaigning against the ongoing Turkish military offensive in Syria’s Kurdish-held Afrin region joined the protesters.

Feb 18 05:47

Time for Turkey to return to the West

***
These contacts could ultimately result in an improvement in Turkey’s relations with the European Union as a whole. Within that framework, the Feb. 14-15 visit to Turkey by Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland was also probably important.

It is same for relations with the U.S., only much more complicated. Çavu?o?lu had said in advance of Tillerson’s visit that relations between the two countries could either get better or worse but not stay the same. Following a three-hour-plus meeting between Erdo?an, Tillerson and Çavu?o?lu on the evening of Feb. 15 - and a near two-hour meeting between Tillerson and Çavu?o?lu with their delegations on the morning of Feb. 16 - the joint declaration and joint press conference showed that Ankara-Washington ties are at least not going to get worse for the time
being.
***
But the main focus of the Tillerson visit was the Turkish-U.S. rift in Syria. It was interesting to see Tillerson saying the status of the town of Manbij was a priority, as Çavu?o?lu said Turkey wanted the U.S. to keep its promises and remove the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij to the east of Euphrates as a precondition for coordinating actions in Syria.

>>>

Feb 17 09:33

Turks propose joint deployment with US in Syria as allies aim to mend ties

Turkey proposed on Friday staging a joint deployment with U.S. troops in Syria, as the two NATO allies sought to rescue a rapidly deteriorating strategic relationship that Washington acknowledged had reached a “crisis point”.

Feb 17 05:52

Tillerson's Visit to Ankara Seen as Green Light to Turkey's Chemical Attack against Kurds

***
The attack was launched by the FSA militants who are backed by Ankara and at the end of Rex Tillerson's visit to Turkey, raising speculations that the attack was launched after a US green light.

Washington's silence on the attack that has reinvigorated speculations about its suspicious role in the incident comes as it has repeatedly accused the Syrian army forces of conducting chemical weapons against militants, a claim always rejected by Damascus.

Experts believe the US selective approach is yet another indicator of Washington's willingness to make an instrumental use of chemical warfare.

>>>

Feb 16 15:42

HERE IS THE FALSE FLAG EVERYONE SAID WAS COMING! Six People Hospitalized After Alleged Turkish Gas Attack in Afrin - Reports

Reports have surfaced that a Turkish chemical weapon attack in the Northern Syrian city of Afrin has hospitalized six civilians. The Turkish military is doing battle with US-backed Syrian Kurdish militias over control of the border city.

Jiwan Mohammad, the general director of the Afrin hospital, told Syrian state-owned outlet SANA that he had treated six men for "difficulty breathing, coughing, and burning all over the body." He added that the symptoms were indicative of a chemical weapon attack.

Feb 16 10:15

Damascus to Deploy Forces in Afrin - Reports

The Kurdish militias and the Syrian government have reached an agreement on the deployment of the Syrian Armed Forces in Syria's district of Afrin, Lebanese media reported on Thursday.

The decision was made in order to protect the district and counter the attacks of Turkey or its allies in Afrin, Mayadeen broadcaster reported, citing a source with a knowledge of the situation.

A source familiar with the situation told Sputnik on Thursday that the Syrian Armed Forces would enter the territory near the border with Turkey in the district of Afrin in the next few days.

Feb 16 10:14

Syria to deploy troops to Afrin under deal with Kurdish militants: Reports

The Syrian government is reportedly set to deploy troops to the northern district of Afrin, which has been the target of a month-long Turkish offensive, as part of an agreement with the Kurdish militants operating there.

Citing “special” sources, Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen broadcaster reported Thursday that Damascus had reached an agreement with militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to station troops in Afrin with the aim of countering Turkish military attacks.

Russia’s Sputnik news agency also quoted a source familiar with the situation as saying that Syrian forces would enter the flashpoint region within “the next few days.”

Feb 16 07:11

Why Is Germany Selling Recycled Ukrainian Weapons to the Kurds?

Sophie Mangal appears to be a pseudonym for pro-Syrian journalists, as exhaustively explained in this recent Counterpunch article.

The Washington Post tried to make a big deal about this, claiming that this was smoking gun evidence of Kremlin Trolls in action!, in their Christmas day article Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options.

Feb 15 17:42

Turkey, Russia to sign deal for second S-400 regiment in 2020

Turkey will sign an agreement with Russia for the second S-400 missile defense system regiment in 2020, a Russian official said Wednesday.

"After the delivery of the first regiment is completed in May-June 2020, the parties plan to sign a new contract on the delivery of the second S-400 regiment in 2021. The list of supplies will be similar to the one included in the first contract," the unnamed official told Russian news agency TASS.

The source also said the new deal will include partial localization of production with some Turkish firms manufacturing certain "non-crucial" parts of the S-400 systems.

Feb 15 08:50

Animosity Toward US Brings Turkey, Russia, and Iran Together for Summit on Syria

The leadership of Turkey, Iran, and Russia have all agreed to attend an upcoming summit in Istanbul on the topic of Syria, with the date for the meeting to be decided soon. Looming large over this is US relations.

Those three nations have met in the past on trying to get a peace process going in Syria, but right now the big issue on all their minds is increasing hostility from the US.

Turkey’s invasion of northern Syrian Kurdish territory has them facing potential conflict with US troops embedded in Manbij. The Pentagon has made clear their presence in Syria is at least in part intended now to fight Iran, and over the past week, US forces killed scores of Russians in the east.

Feb 13 13:07

US troops should stay clear of YPG: Erdo?an

Ankara further toughened its language against the U.S. on Feb. 13, ahead of key meetings in Brussels and Ankara between senior Turkish and American officials.

Speaking at parliament on Feb. 13, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an slammed the U.S.’s continued cooperation with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and a senior U.S. military official who vowed to respond to any Turkish attack in Manbij.

“It is clear that those who say ‘we will respond aggressively if you hit us’ have never experienced an Ottoman slap,” Erdo?an told his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies in parliament.

Feb 13 10:03

Pentagon to NATO-Member Turkey: ‘You Hit Us – We Will Respond Aggressively’

urkey demands US military pulls out of northern Syria to the west of Euphrates around Manbij. US refuses to do so. Turkey threatens it will launch an offensive on Manbij whether US is still present there or not. Turkey adds it may not be able to distinguish between Kurdish militiamen and US troops in battle and could target both. US sends a hi-ranking Pentagon delegation to Manbij to deliver the message the US “will respond aggressively if attacked”. — This has all happened. Welcome to 2018 where the nations with two largest militaries in NATO are issuing threats, warnings and ultimatums…to each other.

Feb 12 13:10

Kurdish Fighters Destroy Turkish Army's Main Position, Tanks in Northern Syria

Hawar news reported that the Kurdish militants struck the Turkish army's defense lines North of Afrin, destroying a main position, four tanks and a depot of arms and ammunition and killing five army soldiers.

Hawar news further said that the Kurds repelled four repeated attacks of the forces of Operation Olive Branch on the villages in Shera region near the villages of Deir Sawan, Arab Weiran and Tal Shemshak, killing 23 members of the Turkish army and allied groups.

It added that the Kurds managed to destroy a military vehicle and truck of the Turkish army Tal (hill) Aka in Bolboleh region and a tank in the village of Sheikh Khourzeh.

The Turkish Army General Staff announced in a statement on Sunday that nearly 1,270 Kurdish militias were killed in the Turkish Army's Operation Olive Branch in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.

Feb 12 10:58

Turkey could JOIN FORCES with Assad's Syria regime in MASSIVE SNUB to US after talks

Serkan Topal, a deputy in the Turkish parliament, has suggested Turkey and Syria restore diplomatic communication.

He said: “Ankara and Damascus have to put dialogue back on track.

“I brought the issue to the agenda at a parliamentary session, pointing out that it has to be discussed in the ministerial council.

“So far, we haven't received a response with regard to the initiative.

Feb 11 10:00

Israeli warplane downed by Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles

IAF chief Tomer Bar reveals F-16 intercepted following strike in Syria was likely shot down by barrage of surface-to-air missiles, shot by Syrian armed forces and made, supplied by Russia; mission 'a complete operational success' despite downing, Bar stresses; stray missiles from the barrage may have reached Israel's Central District—missile trails spotted in region.

The Israeli Air Force's leading conjecture on the F-16 plane that was shot down by anti-aircraft fire on Saturday morning is that Syrian forces used a Russian made SA-5 Gammon medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile to intercept the Israeli aircraft.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: the Israeli military doesn't know if it was a Russian SAM which shot down the Israeli F-16, but they will tar Russia for it anyway.

I would almost be willing to bet real money that this coming week, , the link between alleged "Syrian/ Iranian Agression" and Russia will be the mantra of the presstitutes in the corporate news.

Feb 10 12:25

Russian-Turkish axis in Syria faces meltdown

With suspicions running high that the nominal allies drew each other's blood on February 3, Ankara may well seek a modus vivendi with the US.

Two things differentiate the downing of a Russian Su-25 ground-attack jet in the western province of Idlib on February 3 from the drone attacks on the Russian air base at Hmeimim a month earlier.

Suffice to say, the air is thick with innuendos and dark hints that Russia and Turkey may have drawn each other’s blood on February 3, despite notionally being allies in Syria’s hybrid war.

Feb 09 14:16

Turkey bombs US-backed militants in northern Syria

Turkey has bombed US-backed Kurdish fighters in Afrin with impunity, just after Washington cited an alleged attack on the militants to target pro-government forces in Syria.

The Turkish army said in a statement on Friday that the overnight strikes destroyed 19 targets, including ammunition depots, shelters and gun positions, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven US-backed militants with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as well as two civilians were killed in the attacks.

Turkey began the attacks on January 20, but halted them after terrorists downed a Russian jet in the northwestern Syria province of Idlib, in order to allow Moscow to reinforce its air defense system.

The offensive is aimed at the YPG, which Turkey says bears ties with anti-Ankara militants.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This feels to me to be getting more dangerous by the moment.

The US has stated that it will NOT move its troops embedded with the Kurds at Manbij, which he Turks have stated they will invade next.

I really think that the US, by having a physical presence in Syria, is setting our military up at Manbij to become "sacrificial lambs" for a bloody display of a false flag to be blamed on Syria, so that the US has another "justification" for a full-on invasion of Syria.

Feb 07 13:27

At US outpost in Syria, US general backs Kurdish fighters

On the ground in Syria, the top U.S. general in the coalition fighting the Islamic State group pledged on Wednesday that American troops would remain in the northern Syrian Kurdish town of Manbij despite Ankara's demands for a U.S. pullout.

"We're here to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS is maintained in this area," Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk said during a visit to U.S. forces in Manbij. ISIS is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

Funk's visit comes amid rising tensions between Turkey and the United States — NATO allies that have ended up on opposing sides in some aspects of the multi-layered war in Syria.

While fighting IS in Syria, the U.S. has backed the Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the People's Protection Units or YPG — a group that Ankara considers "terrorists" and allied with Kurdish insurgents within Turkey, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. The YPG makes up the backbone of a force that fought IS in Syria.

Feb 07 09:16

Turkey will ‘hand Manbij to Arab owners’ after expelling YPG: Erdo?an

Turkey’s anticipated military operation into Syria’s Manbij will expel the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the city so its “original Arab owners” can be resettled there, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has said.

“Mr. Obama did not tell the truth. Trump is also on the same path. They said: ‘We will withdraw from Manbij.’ Why don’t you withdraw? Who have you brought to this city with you? The PYD [Democratic Union Party], the YPG and the [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] PKK. You allow them to settle and tell us ‘Don’t come to Manbij.’ We will come to Manbij to hand it over to its real owners,” Erdo?an told his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group on Feb. 6.

Feb 07 09:02

Russian-Turkish axis in Syria faces meltdown

Idlib province is situated right on Syria’s border with Turkey. It is supposed to be a “sealed border” under strict surveillance by Turkish security agencies. If what Sablin alleged was based on factual information, Russian intelligence recently monitored the transfer of MANPADS from Turkey to extremists.

Curiously, the day after Sablin spoke, Turkey came out with a counter-allegation of its own, attributed to “security sources,” to the effect that the weaponry used in the attack against a Turkish army tank on February 3 by Kurds in Afrin “might have been a Russian-made 9M113 Konkurs” and that the “claim is being evaluated.” Five Turkish soldiers were killed in that attack.

Suffice to say, the air is thick with innuendos and dark hints that Russia and Turkey may have drawn each other’s blood on February 3, despite notionally being allies in Syria’s hybrid war.

Feb 05 11:43

The Syrian Madhouse Gets Even Crazier

Why on earth are at least 2,000 US troops mixed up in this fracas in darkest Syria? Because the pro-Israel neocons in Washington, who pretty much run US foreign policy these days, are determined to have revenge for the defeat of US-backed rebel forces in Syria. So it’s once more into the breach near Afrin and the town Manbij though America has zero national interests in Syria. The US first tried to overthrow Syria’s governments in Damascus in 1948 because it was too independent and flirting with the Soviets. Today’s intervention is part of Israel’s plan to fragment Syria and gobble up its water and fertile land resources.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am deeply concerned that a clash between Turkish and US military in Syria, will lead to broader confrontation against Russian forces here.

War in Syria, to fragment it, possibly involving Russian troops, is the most pig-headedly, ham-fistedly stupid thing the US government could do right now; unfortunately, however, just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing it could do, is absolutely zero guarantee that the US governmen will not do it.

Feb 05 11:32

Ankara vows revenge as 7 Turkish soldiers killed in clashes near Syria’s Afrin

Seven Turkish soldiers were killed and a tank lost in Ankara’s ongoing military campaign against Kurdish militias in Syria's northwestern Afrin region. The casualties marked the deadliest day for Turkey since the offensive began.

Five servicemen died in fighting near the settlement of Sheikh Haruz located north-east of Afrin, the Anadolu news agency reported, citing a statement issued by Turkey’s General Staff. The soldiers were killed as a Turkish tank came under attack, it said.

Earlier, the General Staff also reported about the death of two other Turkish soldiers. One was killed in clashes with local armed groups on Syrian territory, while another lost his life during an attack by what Ankara described as “terrorist groups” in Turkey's Kilis province.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What in heaven's name were the Turks thinking, that the Kurdish people inside Northern Syria were going to welcome them with flowers, as they were bombing the hell out of Syria?!?

And here's a companion headline of note, which may be one of the sources of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's ire:

Turkey sustains growing losses in Syria Invasion

Feb 05 10:42

INTERNATIONAL ARMS WATCHDOG FINDS THAT MOST ISIS WEAPONRY WAS PURCHASED BY THE UNITED STATES AND SAUDI ARABIA BEFORE BEING SHIPPED TO OPPOSITION FORCES IN SYRIA AND IRAQ

A damning report by the EU-funded Conflict Armament Research has found that the majority of weapons that ended-up in the hands of Daesh/ISIS were purchased from Eastern European stockpiles by the United States or Saudi Arabia and transferred to opposition militias in Syria. In many cases there is clear evidence to suggest that the arms were transferred into ISIS possession in less than a month, as US-backed groups amalgamated into ISIS or the weapons were sold on a thriving black market.

A significant proportion of the weapons examined were unauthorised for retransfer, meaning that they had End User Clauses for US and Saudi military or police use that were quickly violated, not even being shipped to their country of authorised usage in many cases.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The war criminality of the US government, in enabling and abetting this transfer of weapons, is truly staggering.

Feb 05 10:33

TURKEY WARNS US TROOPS IN NORTHERN SYRIA MAY BE TARGETED BY ITS ARMED FORCES

Last week we reported that days Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, the US predictably refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.

One week later, in the latest dramatic escalation between the two NATO members, Turkey's Deputy PM has warned that US troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish militias in the same uniform may be targeted by the Turkish army due to the difficulty of distinguishing them in the heat of battle, effectively stating that US troops in northern Syria are now "fair game" in the ongoing deadly conflict.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What I am hoping - and praying - for, is that this major escalation in tensions, and the war of words, between DC and Ankara, does NOT mean that our troops in Syria are being considered "sacrificial lambs" by this administration, to be used as a pretext and justification, to establish a wider US footprint in Syria.

Remember: regime change in Damascus is ultimately the issue to which this Administration keeps stubbornly clinging like a tick, no matter how high military and civilian casualties might be in pursuance of that goal.

I just have to wonder at what point Russia, which was invited by the Syria govenment to get rid of its jihadis will say "NYET!!" to a further American invasion of this sovereign country, and what actual steps may be taken by the Russians to prevent this from happening.

Because if the game plan by DC is to engage Russia in Syria militarily, it is obviously a game plan which was never thoroughy vetted, or thought through, with any degree if intellectual rigor.

Feb 04 08:02

A Turkish war of America’s making

As Turkey intensifies its military campaign against Syrian Kurdish fighters, it is tempting to blame the violence on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strident jingoism and xenophobia.

After all, Erdogan has long warned that Turkey would never tolerate a Kurdish military presence on the country’s southern border; the recent offensive would seem to suggest that his words are being met with action.

Feb 04 08:02

Syria Complains to UN About Turkish Assault and Occupation – What Next?

Damascus has complained to the United Nations about Turkey's military campaign in northern Syria, denouncing the operation as "an assault and occupation" of the Syrian territory.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has further urged the UN Security Council "not to allow any state to use force in a way that contradicts international law or to depend on the Charter to justify its aggressive atrocities."

The issue in front of the UN is not a scientific debate, it has everything to do with political will and its own Charter. What the world body is about is telling the United States, Turkey and all of those extras that their days are numbered; that must leave post-ISIL Syria.

Feb 04 08:01

Ankara vows revenge as 7 Turkish soldiers killed in clashes near Syria’s Afrin

Seven Turkish soldiers were killed and a tank lost in Ankara’s ongoing military campaign against Kurdish militias in Syria's northwestern Afrin region. The casualties marked the deadliest day for Turkey since the offensive began.

Five servicemen died in fighting near the settlement of Sheikh Haruz located north-east of Afrin, the Anadolu news agency reported, citing a statement issued by Turkey’s General Staff. The soldiers were killed as a Turkish tank came under attack, it said.

Earlier, the General Staff also reported about the death of two other Turkish soldiers. One was killed in clashes with local armed groups on Syrian territory, while another lost his life during an attack by what Ankara described as “terrorist groups” in Turkey's Kilis province.

Feb 03 11:51

US is in talks with Turkey about Manbij: Mattis

The United States is in talks with Turkey about Manbij, Syria, but it is not the right time to discuss it publicly, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Feb. 2.

"I am not going to discuss [it] right now," Mattis told reporters at a news conference. "It is simply not the right time to do this in the public square."

Mattis was referring to Turkey’s plan to launch a military operation in the strategically important northern city as part of Operation Olive Branch.

Manbij lies northeast of Aleppo but just south of the Turkish border. Washington has voiced concern about the safety of U.S. troops in Manbij amid Turkey's ongoing operation in northeastern Syria.

There are about 2,000 American soldiers in Manbij.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope that these talks will ratchet down the tension here, but it is hard to know what will ultimately be decided.

The one think I am hoping and praying that doesn't happen is that these US troops not be used as "sacrificial lambs", toward a greater US footprint in Syria, which means we will be looking at being at war with Russia also.

Feb 02 09:46

Turkey resumes pressure on US Consulate staff

Turkey has reneged on its pledge to not hound locally employed staff at US missions on its soil, with police interrogating a Turkish citizen working for the US Consulate in Istanbul yesterday, Al-Monitor has learned. The move could likely accelerate the US administration's plans to apply targeted visa sanctions against Turkish officials deemed to be involved in the unlawful detentions of US Consulate staff, provided that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gives final approval, sources close to the Donald Trump administration told Al-Monitor.

Feb 01 11:44

Syria complains to UN about Turkey's 'assault, occupation'

Damascus has complained to the UN about Turkey's military campaign in northern Syria, denouncing the operation as "an assault and occupation" of the Syrian territory.

Ankara continues to "spread lies" about its military aggression against Syria and tries to justify the action as an act of self-defense, Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in two letters addressed to the UN chief and the Security Council chairman.

“The Syrian Arab Republic stresses that the presence of any foreign military operations on its territories without its overt approval is an assault and occupation, which will be dealt with on that basis,” the ministry said.

The Turkish operation on Syria, it said, constitutes a violation of the UN Charter.

Feb 01 11:29

Russia says hundreds killed in Turkish operation in Syria's Afrin

Several hundred people, including civilians, have been killed during Turkey’s military operation in Syria’s Afrin, Interfax news agency cited Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying on Wednesday.

Feb 01 11:27

Doctors Warn Turkish Invasion Taking Toll on Afrin’s Civilians

Turkey’s ongoing invasion of northern Syria is inflicting a heavy price on the civilian population in the Kurdish Afrin District, their first target, with Syrian doctors warning of a rapidly declining humanitarian situation and hospital supplies running low.

At least 65 civilians have been killed so far in the 11 days since Turkey’s invasion, with all but two of those deaths directly attributed to Turkish attacks. The other two civilians were in neighboring Azaz, which the Kurds attacked.

Afrin hospital’s head reported dozens of civilians are being wounded daily, and urged the UN to do something to stop the fighting. Turkey has insisted that they intend to attack all of the Kurdish-held parts of northern Syria, about 25% of the country.

Feb 01 11:24

Turkish army, FSA extend Afrin operation, 800 militants killed so far

The Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have extended their operation against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s Afrin district, with President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an saying that some 800 militants have so far been killed.

“Some 800 terrorists have been killed in Afrin [so far since the start of the operation]. Hopefully, this number will increase until the evening,” Erdo?an said on Feb. 1 at the Be?tepe Culture and Congress Center in the Presidential Complex in Ankara.

Turkish forces and the FSA cleared one more village of the YPG on Feb. 1 during their operation in Afrin, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

Feb 01 11:18

Aleppo: Infighting Reported in Al-Bab among Ankara-Backed Militants on Battle against Kurds

The Kurdish-language Hawar news quoted local sources in al-Bab as saying that the militants of Ferqat Sultan Morad, affiliated to the Turkish army, engaged in heavy infighting on Wednesday. At least four militants were wounded during the clashes. The sources added that the clashes erupted after a number of Sultan Morad militants defected the terrorist group and fled; members of the terrorist group also have differences on their dispatch to the Afrin fronts. Meantime, field sources said that tensions have increased in al-Bab. The development came as Turkey's Operation Olive Branch is pushing further into Syrian territories held by the Kurdish militants, as more civilians have been killed or wounded in clashes between the Turkish Army and the Kurdish militias in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.

Feb 01 11:16

Tens of Ankara-Backed Forces, Militants Killed in Afrin

The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Thursday that the Kurds launched operations against the Turkish army and its affiliated militants in areas near the villages of Boukeh and Ali Kari in Bolboleh region on the 12th day of the Afrin battle, killing 15 Turkish army forces and its supported militants and wounding a number of others. The news outlet also confirmed that 3 Turkey-backed militants and army men were killed during the Kurdish forces' operations in the village of Khalil in Shiyeh region. Meantime, 3 Turkish army military vehicles were destroyed in the Kurdish operation in the village of Shangal in Rajou region. All soldiers in the vehicles have reportedly been killed. Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Wednesday that nearly 30 Turkish soldiers were killed in Ankara's Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish militias in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.

Feb 01 11:13

Turkish Army Occupies Several Regions in Afrin

The Turkish army and its affiliated militants gained control of several regions during the Operation Olive Branch against the Syrian Kurds in Afrin in Aleppo province. Field sources affiliated to the militants backed by Ankara reported that they have taken control of the villages of Korni and Shangal and the adjacent hills during clashes against Kurds in Rajou front in Afrin. They also claimed control over the village of Bak Ubasi near Shangal. Meantime, the Kurdish forces said that the Turkish army and its affiliated militants' attack on the village of Hamam in Jandariseh region has been foiled and they were forced to withdraw. In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Turkish army troops and their allied militants continued Operation Olive Branch against Kurds in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo and captured three more villages.

Feb 01 03:49

Turkish top brass say 790 terrorists killed since start of Afrin operation

Turkey’s Armed Forces have neutralized 790 terrorists in the Afrin region of northern Syria during Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Thursday. "During Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, the Armed Forces killed another 78 terrorists from the People's Protection Units, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Democratic Union Party and the Islamic State extremist group (outlawed in Russia). Since the beginning of the operation a total of 790 terrorists have been neutralized," the statement said.

Jan 31 13:27

Washington Widens the War in Syria by Provoking Turkey

The Trump administration has drawn Turkey deeper into the Syrian conflict by announcing a policy that threatens Turkey’s national security. Washington’s gaffe has pitted one NATO ally against the other while undermining hopes for a speedy end to the seven year-long war.

Here’s what’s going on: On January 18, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced the creation of a 30,000-man Border Security Force (BSF) to occupy East Syria. Two days later, January 20, the Turkish Army launched a ground and air offensive against Kurdish troops in the Afrin canton in Northwest Syria.

The media has tried to downplay the connection between the two events, but the cause-and-effect relationship is pretty clear. Tillerson’s provocation triggered the Turkish invasion and another bloody phase to the needlessly-protracted conflict. Washington’s screwup has made a bad situation even worse.

Jan 31 12:41

Turkey welcomes Sochi decisions, calls on all actors to fulfill responsibilities

Turkey has welcomed a decision for the formation of a constitutional committee by the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in the Russian city of Sochi on Jan. 30, vowing to continue to contribute for peace and stability in its southern neighbor.

“Turkey will continue to support, on all platforms, efforts for a political solution that will bring a real political change to Syria in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254. Turkey expects all actors that have leverage over the Syrian regime and on the ground to fulfill their responsibilities in directing the conflicting parties in Syria to negotiate a credible political solution,” read a written statement issued by the Foreign Ministry late Jan. 30.

Jan 31 12:40

US Has No Plan to Withdraw From Syrian Manbij, Despite Turkey's Warning

After launching its Olive Branch operation in Syria's Afrin, the Turkish authorities said that the operation was likely to expand towards the neighboring city of Manbij, where the US has some 2,000 of its military personnel deployed.

Pulling US forces from Manbij is "not something we are looking into", US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel said Monday.

Earlier this month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara will not limit its precautionary measures against Kurdish fighters to Syria's Afrin district but could move to Manbij, also in Aleppo province.

Jan 31 08:39

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 31, 2018: TURKISH MILITARY COLUMN IS HIT BY CAR BOMB IN SOUTHWESTERN ALEPPO

On January 30, a Turkish vehicle was destroyed and few others were damaged in a car bomb attack as a military convoy of the Turkish Armed Forces was passing the town of Atarib in the province of Aleppo.

According to initial reports from the ground 2 or 3 service members were killed in the attack. The media wing of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) even claimed that the convoy was struck by an artillery shelling or an air strike by pro-government forces.

Later, the Turkish General Staff denied the initial reports and said that a civilian support worker of the TAF had been killed as well as another civilian worker and a service member had been injured in the incident.

The military added that it was deployed in the area under a de-escalation deal reached with Russia and Iran during the Astana talks in May.

Jan 30 13:08

Turkey plays its latest card in the New Great Game – Pepe Escobar

Sochi, not Geneva, is the forum where the endgame for the Syrian proxy war will be decided.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s ‘Olive Branch’ operation appears to have support at home and in Moscow, but failure would spell problems.

Olive Branch” is the Orwellian-named Turkish invasion of a chunk of Syria. The operation comes as no surprise. President Tayyip Erdogan had hinted for nearly a year that a move was likely in the Syrian Kurdish canton of Afrin.

Jan 30 08:27

Multiple Motives Exist As Reason For Turkish Invasion Of Syria

By Brandon Turbeville

Turkey has invaded Syria to fight against the Kurds. Turkey is fighting alongside FSA terrorists while the United States, a Turkish ally is fighting alongside Kurdish terrorists. The Syrian military is pushing northwest toward Idlib city and the Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces remain in the country to stabilize the situation and defeat jihadist groups continuing to operate there. The Kurds work with the FSA but the FSA is now working with the Turks. The FSA also works with the United States who in turn works with the Kurds.

This is a brief example of the complexities of the Syrian crisis, exacerbated by recent events. For most casual observers, it is becoming harder to determine who is fighting who and likewise who is working together. With so many competing agendas and interests, the waters have become so muddied even researchers and journalists familiar with the crisis are less clear as to what is happening in Syria right now.

Jan 30 02:45

CRAZY NIGHT IN SYRIA:

CRAZY NIGHT IN SYRIA - WATCH as Al-Qaeda allows Turkish Army through its territory in Syria, Russia bombs oncoming Turkish forces

IDLIB, Syria - Last night a Turkish military convoy entered northern Syria and were allowed to travel through territory controlled by the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front. This was captured on a video taken by an Al-Nusra militant himself.

(*video at source)

The Turkish military brought a dozen armored vehicles from Turkey's Hatay province and has attempted to take up positions near the Syrian Army in Point 4 in the Tal Al-Eis area of southern Aleppo countryside.

This is now irrefutable evidence of NATO-member Turkey directly colluding with a terrorist organization, the excuse it gives to battle the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in nearby Afrin.

Jan 29 12:26

How Regional Rivalries Threaten to Fuel the Fire in Syria and Iran

Turkish allegations of Saudi, Emirati and Egyptian support for the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) threaten to turn Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurds aligned with the PKK into a regional imbroglio.

The threat is magnified by Iranian assertions that low intensity warfare is heating up in areas of the Islamic republic populated by ethnic minorities, including the Kurds in the northwest and the Baloch on the border with Pakistan.

Taken together, the two developments raise the spectre of a potentially debilitating escalation of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as an aggravation of the eight-month-old Gulf crisis that has pitted Saudi Arabia and its allies against Qatar, which has forged close ties to Turkey.

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt rather than Saudi Arabia have taken the lead in criticizing Turkey’s incursion into Syria designed to remove US-backed Kurds from the countries’ border and create a 30-kilometre deep buffer zone.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With Turkey demanding that US troops get out of Manbij ...or else, while the US government has declared it is not leaving,US General Votel says that US forces will not leave this could get very dicey, very quickly.

I have a very serious concern that those service members, embedded with the Kurds in Manbij, may be pawns, and it is not impossible that they are being used very cynically by this administration.

And I say that, because the minute US service members get killed by Turkish fire, the narrative may well immediately be ordered to be shifted, so that the US government will blame their deaths on either Syrian or Russian forces, as a "justification" for war against either, or both countries.

I just hope to heaven that I am a million percent wrong here.

Jan 29 11:35

Uncle Sam dumps the Kurds (yet again) – The Saker

Russians need to stop the Turks before this all turns into a major and protracted conflict.

Did Trump and his generals really think that Turkey, Iran, Syria and Russia would accept a US protectorate in Syria masquerading as an “independent Kurdistan” and do nothing about it? Yet again, and I know this sounds hard to believe, but I think that this is yet another strong indication that the Empire is run by stupid and ignorant people whose brain and education simply do not allow them to grasp even the basic dynamics in the region of our planet they are interfering with.

Whatever may be the case the Turks reacted exactly as everybody thought:

Jan 29 11:30

By Remaining in Syria the US Is Fuelling More Wars in the Middle East

The US may want to get rid of Assad and weaken Iran across the region but it is too late. Pro-Iranian governments in Iraq and Syria are in power and Hezbollah is the most powerful single force in Lebanon. This is not going to change any time soon and, if the Americans want to weaken Assad by keeping a low-level war going, then this will make him even more reliant on Iran.

The present Turkish incursion shows that Ankara is not going to allow a new Kurdish state under US protection to be created in northern Syria and will fight rather than let this happen. But the YPG is highly motivated, well-armed and militarily experienced and will fight very hard, even though they may ultimately be overwhelmed by superior forces or because the Turkish and Syrian governments come together to crush them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is only one way in which to accurately describe the current US "strategy" in Syria: painfully incoherent, lost, and myopic.

Jan 29 07:52

Turkey could widen Syria offensive after Erdogan vows to attack ‘wherever there are terrorists’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hinted yet again that the campaign against Kurdish militia in Syria could spread beyond the north-western enclave of Afrin.

“Just as the terrorists in Jarabulus and Al-Bab weren’t able to escape elimination, the terrorists in Afrin and Manbij won’t be able to escape the bitter end awaiting them, either,” Erdogan said during a regional party congress speech in the heartland town of Corum.

“Our heroic soldiers made history yesterday in the area of Operation Euphrates Shield [a previous offensive in 2016-17]. They are making history today in Afrin. And they will make history tomorrow wherever there are terrorists along our borders,” the Turkish President told party loyalists hours later on Sunday, during an address in nearby Amasya.

Jan 29 07:41

US blinks under Turkish pressure in Syria

The Turkish President Recep Erdogan gave a stark warning to the Trump administration on Friday by stating his intention to order an assault on the northern Syrian town of Manbij, roughly 40 km from the Turkish border and 100 km to the east of Afrin, where US forces are operating alongside Kurdish militia.

He said, “Operation Olive Branch will continue until it reaches its goals. We will rid Manbij of terrorists (read Kurds) … Our battles will continue until no terrorist is left right up to our (910-km) border with Iraq.”

Jan 29 07:41

America’s Syrian humiliation is worse than it looks

Turkey’s “Olive Branch” incursion against Kurdish positions in Northern Syria this week looked bad for Washington. It’s worse than it looks: Turkey cemented a new set of strategic and economic relationships after defying the United States, its erstwhile main ally. Ankara now has financial backing from China and Qatar and the strategic acquiescence of Russia and Iran. Most of all, it has the financial backing to pursue its regional ambitions.

Turkey reportedly killed several hundred Kurdish and allied Arab fighters this week, reducing an American-supported force that had done most of the fighting against ISIS in Syria. US-Turkish relations are at an all-time nadir, but Turkey’s financial markets remain unruffled. Washington has hard words for Turkey, but no sticks and stones.

Jan 29 06:57

Thousands of Kurds Protest in Germany Against Turkey's Military Op in Afrin

The military offensive by the Turkish Armed Forces in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin, launched on January 20, has triggered public outcry among members of international community and Kurdish diaspora around the world.

About 7,000 Kurdish immigrants took to streets in the German city of Cologne, which is home to a large Kurdish community, protesting against the Turkish military operation in Syria dubbed Olive Branch, the German DPA news agency reported.

Jan 28 07:00

Turkey-Backed Rebels and US Troops Have Been Clashing for Months, but Pentagon Has Been Keeping It Under Wraps

Can you imagine the US response if the Syrian army or Hezbollah *regularly* fired on US troops in Syria? Instead US troops don’t even always fire back and the Pentagon has kept the attacks under wraps since last August...

Jan 27 12:36

Turkey Vows to Expand Syria Offensive East to Iraq Border

One week into the Turkish invasion of Syria’s Afrin District, the war against the Kurdish YPG looks to be expanding precipitously, with President Erdogan first announcing he’d extend the war to Manbij, and now all the way east to the Iraqi border.

This suggests Turkey’s war against Syria’s Kurds is likely to span the whole of YPG territory, which at present is about 25% of all of Syria. That war will include Turkey’s allies, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which Turkey tends to install as de facto rulers in places they’ve seized.

More importantly, this escalation all but ensures Turkey will be in an military confrontation with the US, as all of America’s troops deployed in Syria are in YPG territory, embedded with the Kurds, who they consider allies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But what if there is no "grand understanding:" between Turkey,Syria, the Kurds, Iraq, and Russia?!?!

And the other question, still unanswered, is how much military "monkey business" will Russia, which was invited to Syria at the behest of the Syrian government, allow to happen before it intervenes, and hard, militarily?!?

Is the US goal in Syria, in terms of having US troops in the country illegally, to pick a fight with Russia,and have that become the "justification" for a war against Russia, which, unfortunately, US troops might well not be able to win?!?

And I posit that question as someone who is a Christian pacifist activist, who very deeply cares about her country, and is deeply disturbed by various policy trajectories the US government is taking, both foreign and domestic.

We have reached a point in time where the US government believes that the only answer to any geopolitical dispute has to be war, and has completely forgotten the high art of good will/win/win, moral... negotiations.

Here are the cold hard facts; Russia consripts; the US does not. Our troops are intensely overstretched. The Russians have weaponry which has proven field tested and combat ready; the US presents badly engineered products,like the F-35. And the US doesn't have the manufacturing capacity (we've offshored it/outsourced that), nor the money to insure a positive outcome of a war against Russia.

Jan 27 12:02

TURKEY DEMANDS US FORCES LEAVE SYRIA'S MANBIJ IMMEDIATELY

As Turkish and allied militant forces from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) advance further upon Kurdish positions in northern Syria, Turkey has called upon the United States to vacate its military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Turkish foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu said that Ankara is calling upon the US, its official ally in NATO, to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias.

While both Turkey and the United States are in violation of international law by entering Syria with military forces without permission by Damascus or a UN mandate, both countries have vastly different interests in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note that in the information about the conversation between McMaster and his counterpart, Turkey's Ibrahim Kalin, there is no mention of a withdrawal of US troops from Manbij.

This could get ugly, very quickly, pitting one NATO member(Turkey) against another (the United States).

I would like to believe that saner heads in both the US and Turkish governments will do everything possible to ratchet down the tensions here, but I sure as heck wouldn't bet on it.

Jan 27 11:49

Turkish Foreign Minister Urges Immediate US Withdrawal From Syria's Manbij

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that the United States should take concrete steps to prove the end of support for Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), rather than rhetoric.

The statement was made amid the ongoing Turkish military offensive in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin, launched on January 20 and provoked, as Ankara explained, by the necessity for the country to protect its borders from a "terrorist army," the new "Border Defense Forces," comprising the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish YPG militias, trained by the US.

On the day the operation was started, Pentagon representative Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Sputnik that the US recognized Turkey's concerns regarding the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), but called on all sides to avoid escalation and focus on countering terrorism.

Jan 27 10:09

Turkish Army Dispatches Elite Forces to Northern Syria to Join Operation against Kurds

The Turkish Army has dispatched several military convoys to the border with Syria, a Turkish media outlet reported on Saturday, adding that a sum of 200 special forces have been forwarded to Afrin to join the Operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish militias. The Turkish-language state-run Anadolu news agency reported that 200 Turkish elite forces that are expert in street battle and defusing explosive traps, landmines and bombs have been dispatched to Afrin region together with trained dogs. Its went on to say that more convoys, including 20 armored vehicles, anti-land mine vehicles and a large volume of arms and ammunition have been dispatched to the border town of Kilis. Anadolu added that another military column, consisting of several tanks has been dispatched to Hatay region at the border with Syria as well...

Jan 27 10:07

Fierce Clashes between Kurds, Turkish Forces Inflict Hundreds of Casualties on Both Sides

Fierce clashes between the Kurds and Turkish Army in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo inflicted hundreds of casualties on both warring sides, both Kurdish and Turkish sources reported on Saturday. The Turkish Army General Staff announced in a statement that 340 Kurdish fighters have been killed in the Olive Branch Operation by its soldiers and Ankara-backed militants in Afrin region in the last seven days. It further said that a number of Kurdish fighters' positions, trenches, bunkers and arms depots have also been destroyed in the operation. "Three Turkish servicemen were killed during the country’s operations in Syria’s Afrin and 16 remain hospitalized," said a Spokesperson of the Turkish Health Ministry. In the meantime, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that the Turkish army and its allied militants have sustained 308 casualties, including four officers, during the clashes in Afrin region in the last seven days.

Jan 27 02:57

Mike Pence’s Middle East Tour: Outright Pressure and Threats as Foreign Policy Tools

Washington is pushing a plan pretty vague about details and is doing it without its Middle East strategy defined.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II wants Washington to “rebuild trust “after US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The king believes that East Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestine. According to him, from now on the US has a “major challenge to overcome”.

“Friends occasionally have disagreements,” Mike Pence said ruefully in his comments on the outcome of the talks. The disagreement came into the open.

Jan 26 11:25

Turkey Will ‘Target’ US Troops If They Keep Supporting Syrian Kurds

US-Turkey tensions mounting surrounding the Turkish invasion of the Syrian Kurdish Afrin District look to be getting much worse, with Turkey’s deputy premier Bekir Bozdag warning that the US is the one risking confrontation by supporting the Kurds.

Bozdag warned the US needs to “review its soldiers and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground,” and that US forces who continue to support the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey considers terrorists “will become a target in this battle.”

The US isn’t believed to have any serious forces inside Afrin District, which Turkey is presently invading. Turkey’s President Erdogan, however, says they will attack Manbij next, and there are a substantial number of US troops deployed there.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, please let me get my head around this; Turkey, a NATO member, is threatening war against American troops embedded in Manbij, (The US is also a NATO member) if they find them embedded with the YPG there?!?!?

War with Turkey... over Syria?!?!?

This is a thoroughly insane situation, yet it has been brought about by the "magical thinking" inside the White House, Pentagon, and State Department, that if somehow the US was able to carve out a little piece of Syria to call "their own" (or the Kurd's own), and Syria's sovereign statehood be damned here, that they could somehow push Bashir Al Assad out of power, and regime change Damascus.

Not satisfied’ till Assad gone: US pushes for regime change as war in Syria winds

Erdogan has stated that he has "made a deal" with Moscow about this invasion into Turkey. And as an invited guest of the Syrian government, Russian troops, aligned with the Syrian troops, have done a formidable job of basically scraping most of the jihadists out of the country.

The question now is, what will happen if the situation in Manjib gets ugly quickly, and American military are shot and killed here?!?

Is the US government really thinking about spinning such a potential narrative here, as a reasonable excuse for going to war with Russia over Syria?!?

Jan 26 10:29

Syrian Kurds seek Damascus’ protection as Turkey’s Erdogan vows to return Afrin to ‘owners’

Kurdish officials in Afrin have urged Damascus to send troops to protect Syria’s sovereignty from the “Turkish occupier.” Ankara insists it will return the enclave to its “original owner” after its “liberation” from “terrorists.”

Jan 26 10:06

Russians and Turks Humble the US in Syria

The drama which is unfolding in northern Syria is truly an almost ideal case to fully assess how weak and totally dysfunctional the AngloZionist Empire has really become. Let’s begin with a quick reminder.

The US-Israeli goals in Syria were really very simple. As I have already mentioned in a past article, the initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want).

Jan 26 10:04

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JANUARY 26, 2018: TURKEY THREATENS TO ATTACK MANBIJ

On January 25, ISIS units attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the villages of Kishmah and Ghuraybah in the province of Deir Ezzor. According to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, ISIS killed several army soldiers and destroyed two battle tanks with anti-tank guided missiles.

However, the terrorist group did not overrun the SAA defense and was forced to retreat. According to the Syrian state-run media, 25 ISIS members were killed and several vehicles were destroyed in the clashes.

ISIS seeks to seize some area in the Euphrates Valley in order to lift the siege from its members besieged in the Homs desert.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) captured 7 members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) during clashes in the Afrin area, according to Turkish media. In turn, the YPG claimed that it had captured 16 Turkish servicemembers. However, these persons are likely just members of the TFSA.

Jan 26 03:51

Turkey, Syrian opposition kill 343 terrorists in Afrin — General Staff

Turkey’s Armed Forces and its ally, the opposition’s Free Syrian Army, have neutralized 343 members of terrorist groups since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northern Syria, Turkey’s General Staff said in a statement on Friday. The Kurdish People's Protection Units, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) are labeled as terrorist groups by the Turkish General Staff. Last night, 13 warplanes of Turkey’s Air Force destroyed 23 terrorist targets, including shelters, ammunition depots and firing points, the statement said.
Five militants liquidated near US-controlled area in Syria - A modern electronic warfare package that belonged to the killed terrorists was made in Europe... http://tass.com/defense/987011

Jan 25 12:45

Erdogan says to extend Syria operation despite risk of U.S. confrontation

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday Turkey would extend its military operation in Syria to the town of Manbij, a move that could potentially bring Turkish forces into confrontation with those of their NATO ally the United States.

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 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 12:50

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 12:40

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 12:06

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 11:40

'I Know US Military Took Kids From Large Number of Families in Incirlik' – Local

Commenting on Turkish children allegedly being sold to US soldiers based at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey in an interview with Sputnik, local resident Mahmut Acar confirmed the reports, suggesting that the goal could be to convert the kids to Christianity and use them against Ankara.

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.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA