TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

TURKEY

Feb 19 10:15

Erdogan’s Excellent Syrian Adventure

by Daniel Lazare Posted on February 19, 2020

What’s a political strongman to do when his economy is weak and another round of financial turbulence is on the way? When political support is languishing and a series of budget-busting construction projects has people shaking their head in dismay?

The answer is obvious: he invades another country in order to distract attention and give his poll numbers a boost. Better yet, he invades two countries and then travels to a third in order to make highly bellicose comments about a forth. Then while the press back home buzzes with excitement, he folds his hands and prays that somehow it will all work out.

Feb 18 10:11

Haftar-Led Libyan National Army Says It Destroyed a Turkish Vessel With Weapons in Port of Tripoli

Ankara previously deployed military advisors and instructors to Libya to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) against the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar.

Spokesman of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Ankara can't confirm claims that its vessel has been destroyed in the port of Tripoli, Libya.

The statement comes hours after the Libyan National Army (LNA) said in an official statement on Facebook that its forces had destroyed a Turkish vessel, carrying weapons and ammunition that was docked in the port of Tripoli. According to the LNA, by delivering the cargo, Ankara has violated an international agreement banning arms sales to the country.

Feb 18 06:00

NATO Has No Plans to Provide Military Support to Turkey in Syria’s Idlib

NATO has no plans to provide Ankara with military support if Turkey launches a military operation in northern Syria, a diplomatic source from a NATO country told TASS on Monday.

Feb 17 22:26

It’s time to reclaim Syria’s road to recovery

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, neo-Ottoman extraordinaire, is not exactly inclined to commit seppuku, the Japanese act of ritual suicide.

But if not through the perspective of neo-Ottomanism, how to explain the fact he is de facto supporting al-Qaeda remnants in Syria while facing two unsavory options – a humiliating retreat from or total war against the Syrian Arab Army?

Feb 17 08:50

Russian bombers have destroyed Turkish armored vehicles and weapons in Syria

DAMASCUS, (BM) – Russian bombers destroyed Turkish tanks, 18 MLRS installations and about 50 armored personnel carriers, learned Bulgarian Military.com citing news agency Aviapro publication.

Read more: BulgarianMilitary.com 24/7 – War in Syria: Who controls what and what happens

Feb 16 11:40

Gen. Soleimani assassinated to sabotage Iran's talks with Saudis, UAE following Israeli briefing: NYT

Washington ordered the assassination of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani to sabotage de-escalation talks between Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates following a report by Israel's Mossad spy agency, according to the New York Times.

The paper reported on Thursday that General Soleimani had been arranging talks in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in order to de-escalate tensions with Tehran.

The Times wrote that the talks happened after Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which are central to the Trump administration's so-called regional alliance seeking to pressure Iran, began to question the efficiency of Washington's anti-Iran campaign.

Feb 14 11:50

The Suicidal Empire

There are a lot of behaviors being exhibited by those in positions of power in the US that seem disparate and odd. We watch Trump who is imposing sanctions on country after country, dreaming of eradicating his country’s structural trade deficit with the rest of the world. We watch pretty much all of US Congress falling over each other in their attempt to impose the harshest possible sanctions on Russia. People in Turkey, a key NATO country, are literally burning US dollars and smashing iPhones in a fit of pique. Confronted with a new suite of Russian and Chinese weapons systems that largely neutralize the ability of the US to dominate the world militarily, the US is setting new records in the size of its already outrageously bloated yet manifestly ineffectual defense spending.

Feb 13 21:15

What brought Iranian forces to Idlib front?

Iran’s involvement in Idlib appears to also have something to do with Iran’s grand regional plan following the killing of Soleimani, that is, attempting to expel US forces from the region. As the main concentration of the US forces in Syria is in the areas east of the Euphrates river controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, Tehran wants the Syrian government operation in Idlib to be concluded successfully as soon as possible so that the next step in realizing Assad’s promise to “liberate every inch of Syrian territory” could be started in the east of the Euphrates. Referring to this issue, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a press conference Jan. 30 that “the Syrian government and its allies from the resistance front will go from Idlib to the eastern Euphrates to expel the Americans.”

Feb 13 10:05

In Video: Turkish-backed ‘Moderate Rebels’ Wear ISIS Insignias

Just an ordinary Turkish-backed ‘moderate rebel’ in the Syrina province of Idlib. He wears an ISIS insignia and keeps strong democratic feelings in his heart.

Feb 13 09:32

Syria and Turkey Edge Toward All-Out War While Putin Smiles

There have been several clashes between Syrian and Turkish military forces in the last two weeks, as Syria attempts to retake Idlib province from rebel forces. Turkey has carved out a demilitarized zone in Idlib, which is supposed to be a safe zone for Syrian civilians. Their goal is to prevent a flood of refugees from crossing the Syrian border.

But Syria is ignoring the Moscow-negotiated cease-fire and driving hundreds of thousands of refugees toward Turkey, most of them in desperate straits.

The UN is warning of a humanitarian catastrophe as 700,000 Syrians are on the move with nowhere to go. But there are likely to be more refugees as Syria and Turkey have now come to blows, with President Erdogan promising to "punish" Syria for attacking Turkish positions in Idlib.

Washington Times:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Turkey is the US NATO ally in Syria; this could get profoundly ugly, and very quickly.

Feb 12 16:21

Trump Admin Gets on the Al-Qaeda Bandwagon to Deepen Wedge Between Russia and Turkey

The Trump administration is seizing the chance to egg Turkey on Syria. The farther Erdogan goes in his Idlib adventure the more pressure there is on Russian-Turkish relations, and the more the US can advertise its unquestioned support for Turkey contrasted with Russian opposition and resistance.

It would be clever politics but for the fact it means siding with al-Qaeda.

Now we have Turkey protecting Hayat Tahrir al-Sham from the Syrians, and the US offering to “coordinate” with Turkey (presumably to insulate it from Russian pressure and/or reaction) as it does that.

Feb 12 10:36

SYRIAN ARMY GIVES TURKEY FLICK ON NOSE IN NAYRAB, SECURES ENTIRE ALEPPO-DAMASCUS HIGHWAY

For the first time in about 8 years of the war, Syrian government forces have established control of the entire M5 highway, which runs from the border with Jordan through Damascus, Homs and Hama to Aleppo.

Feb 11 11:22

TURKEY FIGHTS BACK AGAINST ‘ASSAD AGGRESSION’ IN IDLIB

The PR department of the Turkish Defense Ministry dealt a crushing blow to forces of the Assad regime that had once again treacherously attacked innocent Turkish personnel in the province of Idlib. At least 5 Turkish soldiers were killed and 5 others were injured in the attack.

On February 10, the Turkish statement targeted 115 ‘regime targets’, ‘neutralized’ 101 ‘regime personnel’, ‘destroyed’ 3 tanks, 2 artillery positions and ‘hit’ a helicopter. After the February 3 Syrian strike on Erdogan forces, Ankara said that the Turkish military had stricken over 50 ‘regime’ targets ‘neutralizing’ at least 76 pro-government fighters. Therefore, the scale of decisive claims demonstrated a successful growth.

Feb 11 09:21

Turkish Police Recover Stolen jewish Torah Scrolls Decorated With Satanic Illuminati Symbolism

Turkish Police arrested Faylaq al-Rahman fighters who were trying to sell two rare, ancient, gold-plated jewish Torahs in the northwestern province of Bilecik. The Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah said that Police had confiscated the two ancient Torahs during the arrest. Syrian opposition sources confirmed that Faylaq al-Rahman fighters had stolen the ancient Torahs from a historical 2,000 years old synagogue in the Jobar district, east of the Syrian capital of Damascus. They contain plenty of more Satanic symbolism such as the demon Baphomet, Illuminati triangle with the all seeing eye, blood libel, serpents, kabbalah hand signs, owls and many other things.

Feb 10 11:37

Fierce Clashes Between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham And Syrian Army Erupt West Of Saraqib. Turkish Artillery Strikes Reported

On February 10, fierce clashes erupted between the Syrian Army and forces led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) near Nayrab, San and Afis in the province of Idlib. These villages are located just west of the town of Saraqib recently liberated by the Syrian Army from terrorists.

Feb 10 10:39

Turkey strikes Syrian Army positions after ‘5 troops killed in shelling’

Five Turkish troops were killed in the shelling of an observation post in Syria’s Idlib province, Ankara has said, blaming Damascus for the attack. Turkish forces then fired on Syrian Army positions.

Feb 10 06:09

Great Investigative Piece on Syrian Rebel Mercenaries in Libya Hired by Turkey

“Turkish forces are resorting to lies to keep the Syrians fighting in Libya motivated”, “These mercenaries believe whatever Turkey tells them”

Editor’s note: Great piece on how Turkey undermined the Islamist rebels in Idlib whose military defeat at the hands of the Syrian army it is now so loudly protesting.

As Syrian and Russian forces bombard Idlib and the Aleppo countryside, thousands of militants from the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) who would presumably be defending these areas in Syria are instead in Libya. They’ve been flown to Tripoli by Turkey, at the request of the Government of National Accord (GNA), to fight alongside the myriad Islamist groups defending the key city from the advancing Libyan National Army (LNA), led by General Khalifa Haftar.

Feb 08 06:50

Turkey preparing for war against Syria and Russia

Erdogan and his forces killed 4 Russian FSB officers. Time for Putin to put out The Dog!

In the afternoon, a suicide bomber from Hayat Tahrir al-Cham blew himself up in a building housing Russian forces. We are still unaware of the outcome of this operation, which we understand should be assumed by Turkey.

We are heading in the short term towards a conflict between Turkey, a member of NATO, and Russia, a member of the CSTO.

Feb 07 08:05

Turkey Demands Russia Stop Syria From Fighting in Idlib

Syrian forces enter al-Qaeda-held town or Saraqeb.

After the Turkish military attacked and killed scores of Syrian soldiers in the same area, Syria has launched a new offensive against al-Qaeda-held Saraqeb, and Syrian forces have reportedly entered the town.

Turkey is very averse to the idea of Syria taking any more territory from al-Qaeda, and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is demanding Russia immediately force Syria to stop all offensives in Idlib Province.

Cavusoglu said Russia must “immediately stop the regime,” and that Turkey considers Syria contesting these towns as a source of “humanitarian drama.”

Syria’s interest in Idlib, beyond it being part of Syria and just rife with Islamists, is that two towns, Maarat al-Numaan and Saraqeb, are on the main highway between Damascus and Aleppo. Syria would very much like full control of that highway, and having already taken the former town, they are pushing to take the later as well.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For Erdogan to be making these demands of Russia, it is obvious to me, that he doesn't know who he is dealing with, in Putin, and/or he has gone completely out of his mind.

I can understand why Damascus wants Idlib back, from a standpoint of
military control of the road linking Damascus and Aleppo, although the cost, in blood and money, is going to certainly be horrific.

Prayers, if you are so inclined to do so, that the civilian casualties will be as minimal as humanly possible.

Feb 06 08:56

Syrian Army’s Offensive in Idlib Deepens Rift Between Russia and Turkey

Major strains are appearing in Russian-Turkish relations, particularly over the Syrian Army’s latest offensive against Turkish-backed jihadists in Idlib and Russia’s non-agreeance with Turkey’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood government based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an made a massive outburst against Russia that has since only escalated. At the heights of relations, according to a November 2018 INR poll, 51% of Turks viewed Russia favourably. However, a poll published on Sunday by Turkey’s Daily Sabah found that only 16% of Turks trust Russia with the so-called mistrust because of Moscow’s Syria and Libya position.

Feb 06 08:23

Erdogan Says He Issued Ultimatum to Putin for Syria to Relinquish Gains or He’s Joining the War on AQ’s Side

I think Putin gave him an answer. His troops are now encircled.

Speaking to MPs from his party Erdogan said that in a recent telephone call with Putin he has issued a demand that the Russian President makes the Syrian army pull back to lines it held before the current Idlib offensive, as well as a preceding one carried out last August.

According to Erdogan he told Putin that if Russia will not make Syria retreat from its territory, the Turkish army and air force would. Again according to Erdogan’s word he has given the Russian president until the end of February to accomplish this.

Feb 06 08:20

‘Military Genius’ Erdogan Gets Hundreds More of His Troops Encircled in Syria

To stop the ongoing — and wildly successful — Russian-backed Syrian offensive Erdogan ordered hundreds of additional Turkish troops to pour into Syria’s al-Qaeda-held Idlib and put themselves in the way of the advancing Syrian army.

This first got 7 of his troops killed when the Syrians at night mistook the Turks for Islamist rebels, and now it has resulted in all of the new troops becoming encircled.

Feb 04 12:53

Podcast – Episode #19 – Alistair Crooke and the Civilizational Wars of the U.S. and Europe

Alistair Crooke and I sit down for a wide-ranging chat on the loss of institutional legitimacy all across the West and the Middle East. Starting with Brexit and what it means for the U.K. and spanning the globe to include Europe, its relationship to Russia and the ideological wars being waged by various factions against Iran and China, this is an episode I don’t think anyone should miss.

I know that I am better served for having been a part of it. And, if in our own small way we can prevent further wars of this type, it will

Feb 01 06:38

Turkey Moves Toward Passage Of Controversial "Marry Your Rapist" Law

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We have often discussed the struggle of women in Muslim countries in resisting religious-based requirements for coverings and limitations on their movements and interactions. Turkey was once the exception among these countries as a secular, modern nation. That was before the rise of Islamic parties under the authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey under Erdogan has already rolled back on protections for girls and women in abuse cases.

Now the country is considering a horrific law aptly called the “marry-your-rapist” bill.

Under this legislation, men accused of having sex with underaged girls could avoid punishment if they marry their victims.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME?!?

This is so morally wrong, on so many levels, I do not even know where to begin.

Jan 31 13:58

The Geopolitics of a Latent International Conflict in Eastern Mediterranean

The conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean is dormant but could flare up at any moment, with serious consequences for North Africa, West Asia and Southern Europe. The militarization of the region and deep-rooted political disputes give ample reason for concern.

In the current scheme of things, the Eastern Mediterranean is sitting atop a dormant volcano. Developments in other hot spots in the Middle East, such as the carnage in Syria, the conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the Saudi-Iranian standoff in the Gulf and the civil war in Libya, have diverted the attention away from a latent yet perilous conflict. If triggered, such a conflict could have tremendous ramifications for countries in North Africa, West Asia and Southern Europe as well as for the stability of shipping transportation and energy markets worldwide.

Jan 31 13:44

FLASHBACK: The New Mediterranean Oil and Gas Bonanza

The discovery in late 2010 of the huge natural gas bonanza off Israel’s Mediterranean shores triggered other neighboring countries to look more closely at their own waters. The results revealed that the entire eastern Mediterranean is swimming in huge untapped oil and gas reserves. That discovery is having enormous political, geopolitical as well as economic consequences. It well may have potential military consequences too.

Preliminary exploration has confirmed similarly impressive reserves of gas and oil in the waters off Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and potentially, Syria.

Jan 31 08:42

Turkey ‘will not hesitate to use military force’ if attacks by Syrian govt forces don’t stop in Idlib – Erdogan

Ankara will not sit idly by as the Syrian Army carries out an offensive in northeastern Idlib province, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned, saying all options, including the most extreme ones, are on the table.
“We will not watch the situation in Syria… We will not hesitate to do whatever it takes, including using military force,” Erdogan said on Friday in Ankara. He claimed that attacks by the “Syrian regime” causes an influx of migrants into Turkey.

"We will do what is necessary when someone is threatening our soil. We will have no choice but to resort to the same path again if the situation in Idlib is not returned to normal quickly."

On Tuesday, Syrian government forces entered a town south of Idlib city and had significant success in their fight against militants. Turkey warned that it would retaliate if any of its 12 observation posts around the city were caught in the crossfire.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One senses that Erdogan's real fear is not an "Influx of migrants", but access to Syrian oil, as indicated by the following article which comes from cnbc.com:

Why Syria’s small oil reserves have become the linchpin for political control in the region

The article goes on to state: "Syria was never a large oil producer compared to its resource-rich neighbors. But somehow the small reserves, barely pumping now after more than eight years of war, have become a linchpin for political control. The Syrian economy has collapsed, and significant outside help is unlikely. The country’s GDP has declined by more than 70% since 2010, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, and the unemployment rate is around 50%. The government’s budget decreased to around $1.162 billion in 2017 compared to $16.4 billion in 2010.

The oil could be just enough to prop up the Syrian government — or a competing power. And who controls oil-rich stretches of the Syrian desert could determine who controls large regions of the country."

Jan 31 04:20

Turkey Deploys Warships, Air Defenses & Heavy Armor To Libya

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced that Turkey had deployed two Turkish warships, anti-aircraft missiles and air defense systems to the capital city of Tripoli.

In addition to this accusation, the LNA said the Turkish military sent at least 3,000 Syrian militants to Libya since late December.

“The number of Syrian mercenaries transported by Turkey to Libya exceeded three thousand,” the Libyan National Army spokesman, Major General Ahmed al-Mesmari said at a press conference yesterday evening, noting that “Ankara transported dangerous terrorists from Syria to Libya through the Misrata and Mitiga airports and Port of Tripoli.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think that Edrodan has an agenda here, other than defeating Haftar's forces, and it very much has to do with Libyan oil.

Jan 24 13:12

Is this what is going on behind the scene? The Yinon plan

“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East
The Infamous "Oded Yinon Plan". Introduction by Michel Chossudovsky

Introduction

The following document pertaining to the formation of “Greater Israel” constitutes the cornerstone of powerful Zionist factions within the current Netanyahu government, the Likud party, as well as within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment.

President Donald Trump has confirmed in no uncertain terms, his support of Israel’s illegal settlements (including his opposition to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, pertaining to the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank). In recent developments, the Trump administration has expressed its recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

“Greater Israel” will be part of the forthcoming March 2020 election campaign. Netanyahu has pledged to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

Jan 24 05:54

Turkey Demands Greece "Demilitarize" 16 Aegean Islands Amid Gas Drilling Dispute

At a moment tensions are soaring over Turkey's expansive East Mediterranean claims, and after starting early last summer it began sending oil and gas exploration and drilling ships off Cyprus' coast, Ankara is demanding that Greece “demilitarize” its islands in the Aegean Sea, reports Bloomberg.

The demand from Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who formally requested Greece move to withdraw armed forces and weaponry from 16 Aegean islands near Turkey on Wednesday, is rich given it's Turkey that's been provocatively sending warships and military jets to accompany illegal gas drilling in the area, something lately condemned by the EU.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could get very ugly, very quickly; I would like to hope that some of the adults in the room in NATO, to which both countries belong, can have a quiet conversation with Greek and Turkish officials about not resorting to a military "brass knuckles" approach in resolving this issue.

Jan 24 05:53

Turkey Demands Greece "Demilitarize" 16 Aegean Islands Amid Gas Drilling Dispute

At a moment tensions are soaring over Turkey's expansive East Mediterranean claims, and after starting early last summer it began sending oil and gas exploration and drilling ships off Cyprus' coast, Ankara is demanding that Greece “demilitarize” its islands in the Aegean Sea, reports Bloomberg.

The demand from Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who formally requested Greece move to withdraw armed forces and weaponry from 16 Aegean islands near Turkey on Wednesday, is rich given it's Turkey that's been provocatively sending warships and military jets to accompany illegal gas drilling in the area, something lately condemned by the EU.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could get very ugly, very quickly; I would like to hope that some of the adults in the room in NATO, to which both countries belong, can have a quiet conversation with Greek and Turkish officials about not resorting to a military "brass knuckles" approach in resolving this issue.

Jan 18 05:59

Enemy of my enemy is my friend? Greek ‘forces’ ready to deploy to Libya after Turkish troops set out to reinforce Haftar rivals

Just days after Turkey vowed “to teach a lesson” to Libya’s strongman General Haftar, Greece – still at odds with Ankara – told him that it could send in some “forces,” tasked with observing a truce and “removal of mercenaries.”
Nikos Dendias, Greece’s Foreign Minister, had “a long conversation” with General Khalifa Haftar, who paid a low-key visit to Athens ahead of a Libya peace conference in Berlin. “We want a ceasefire, the removal of mercenaries and the cancellation of illegal agreements,” Dendias said without elaborating.

The chief diplomat told Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA), that Greece was ready to help “with [deploying] forces” that would monitor the ceasefire with the rival Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

“All of this is a contribution to the future of the Libyan people. We want it to be a modern democratic country,” Dendias proclaimed.

Jan 17 11:14

China’s booming new Silk Road trade hits $1.34 TRILLION

China’s trade with countries participating in its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been expanding and totaled 9.27 trillion yuan ($1.34 trillion) in 2019, customs data shows.

It has outpaced the country’s aggregate trade growth by 7.4 percentage points, according to the data.

More than $60 billion in investments have been promised under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Zou Zhiwu, vice minister of the General Administration of Customs.

Jan 10 08:08

After Missiles Fly, Iraq Becomes the Battleground

The future of the U.S.’s involvement in the Middle East is in Iraq. The exchange of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran occurred wholly on Iraqi soil and it has become the site on which that war will continue.

The defenders of Syria can soon transition into the rebuilders thereof, if allowed. And they didn’t do this alone, they had a silent partner in China the entire time.

And, if I look at this situation honestly, it was China stepping out from behind the shadows into the light that is your inciting incident for this chapter in Iraq’s story.

China moving in to sign a $10.1 billion deal with the Iraqi government to begin the reconstruction of its ruined oil and gas industry in exchange for oil is of vital importance.

Jan 06 09:32

Axis of Resistance.The West and its Allies Support al Qaeda and ISIS Globally

The West and its allies support al Qaeda and ISIS globally. They are the proxies, the “boots on the ground” that destroy sovereign, independent countries for their Western permanent-state masters. They are the essence of barbarism and evil, shrouded in torn veils of “plausible deniability” that deceive only those who willfully choose to be deceived.

Dec 31 09:15

Boeing to pay compensation to Turkish Airlines over 737 MAX grounding

One of Boeing's biggest customers, Turkish Airlines, announced on Tuesday it has reached an agreement with the US aviation giant on compensation for losses caused by grounded and undelivered 737 MAX aircraft.

The company did not specify how much Boeing will shell out. According to Hurriyet newspaper, the payout will total $225 million, with $150 million in compensation and $75 million covering things such as spare parts and training.

Dec 30 08:19

2019: A disastrous year for Trump’s foreign policy

Twenty-nineteen could best be described as a year when Donald Trump’s foreign policy unraveled on so many fronts. It became ever more erratic, one-sided and personalized, changing with the US president’s mood swings. The crisis, as many would call it, has been a long time in the making, and the implications will surely cast a long shadow over the new decade.

Trump, a self-proclaimed deal maker, is floundering as much internationally as he is domestically. The US, on his watch, arguably has less leverage with its allies than it has had at any time in modern history. Trump’s foreign policies—from the Middle East and North Korea to Venezuela— have largely failed

Dec 29 09:07

The Uyghur Issue: How Can the U.S. Dare Lecturing China About the Rights of the Muslims?

The majority of Uyghur people are Muslims. They have their own, ancient, specific culture and most of them are, of course, very decent human beings. Northwest China is their home.

The “problem” is that Urumqi, Xinjiang, are located on the main branch of BRI (The Belt and Road Initiative) – an extremely optimistic, internationalist project which is ready to connect billions of people on all continents. The BRI is infrastructural as well as cultural project, which will soon pull hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and under-development.

Therefore, Washington has decided to act, in order to preserve the status quo and its dominance over the world.

Step one: to antagonize, provoke and to smear China by all means, be it over Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea or, above mentioned “Uygur Issue”.

Step two: to try to turn a part of China’s constitutionally-recognized national minority – Uyghurs – into “rebels”, or more precisely, terrorists.

Dec 29 07:52

USAF Is Spending Millions To Upgrade Turkey Bases Amid Turkish Threats To Kick Them Out

he U.S. Air Force has announced that it will pay eight different Turkish firms tens of millions of dollars to update the infrastructure and complete other construction projects at facilities it operates in that country over the next five years. This comes amid threats from Turkey's government, including from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to suspend or outright terminate American access to various bases in the country, including Incirlik Air Base, where the United States presently stores approximately 50 B61 nuclear bombs.

The Pentagon announced the Air Force deals, worth $95 million in total, in its daily contracting announcement on Dec. 23, 2019. The notice does not say how much each of the Turkish companies received. The Air Force only considered offers from local companies in accordance with the U.S.-Turkey Defense Economic Cooperation Agreement (DECA), which the two countries signed in 1980 and includes guarantees for Turkish participation in military construction projects.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(sigh) With all the "agita" NATO and the US have received from the current Turkish government, why this deal was not suspended until President Edrogan "behaved himself", is a mystery to me.

Is it a little economic "sweetening of the pot" to get him to fall in line with NATO and US positions?!? Frankly, at this point, I am not sure they are correct in still offering this; time will tell.

Dec 28 13:43

Foreign Fighter 'Rat Line' In Reverse: Turkey Sends Syrian 'Rebels' To Libya

Bloomberg has confirmed on Friday the prior rumors that Turkey will be sending mercenaries to Libya — where it is propping up the UN-backed government in Tripoli (the GNA) — are true. "Turkey is preparing to deploy troops and naval forces to support the internationally-recognized Libyan government, joining a planned push by Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to defeat strongman Khalifa Haftar," reports Bloomberg.

Though Ankara has yet to confirm or deny the new reports, Erdogan's Turkey has for years overseen a Libya-to-Turkey-to-Syria arms "rat line" which saw both heavy weaponry and jihadists fighters transported for the purpose of toppling Assad. But now with Erdogan's eyes set on defeating Benghazi-based General Khalifa Haftar, it appears this arms and jihadist rat line has conveniently been reversed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to ask; how is Russia, which is backing Haftar, going to react to this Turkish move in Libya?!?

It looks to me as though this has the very real possibility of this exploding in Erdogan's face like a bad trick cigar.

Dec 26 10:49

Video: Turkish-based ‘Syrian Government’ Threatens Damascus with Military Action

Late on December 23, the Turkish-based “Syrian Interim Government” (an entity funded by Turkey in an attempt to legalize its actions in Syria) threatened the real Syrian government with a military action.

In a released statement, it claimed that forces that participated in Turkey’s Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield operations are now moving to Greater Idlib in order to support their counterparts in repelling an attack by “regime forces, Russia and Iranian militias”.

It remains unclear what “forces” the barely existing “defense ministry” is planning to send to Idlib because Turkish-backed militant groups are already supporting al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the battle against the Syrian Army. The Turkish-backed coalition of militant groups, the National Front for Liberation, has always been a useful partner for al-Qaeda in Idlib.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Erdogan, are you flipping kidding us, with this potential threat against Russia forces in Syria?!?

And sir, if you think you can do this on your own, please go ahead; But do you really believe that NATO will back you against Russia in Syria?!?

Was there some under-the-table quid pro quo, between you and Israel, or between you and the US, that such an act against Russia would be supported in any way?!?

Because if such has not happened, and you are out there, all on your lonesome, expecting NATO to come and rescue you, from your own catastrophic stupidity, and it refuses to do so, WHAT THEN, PLEASE?!?

Dec 26 10:31

AFTER HAFTAR SEIZES TURKISH VESSEL, ERDOGAN DEEPENS MILITARY ROLE IN LIBYA, ANGERING RUSSIA

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE
As we predicted the Libyan war 2.0 has spilled into the Mediterranean and now standings on the brink of becoming a major renewed international proxy conflict bringing in regional powers, especially Turkey, Egypt, and potentially Russia.

The pro-Haftar Libyan National Army (LNA), based in the war-torn country's east, announced late Saturday it seized a Turkish vessel and briefly detained several Turkish crew members while the freighter was searched for weapons. "A vessel under the flag of Grenada, with a team of Turkish citizens on board, was detained," the LNA press service said. It was seized “because it entered Libya’s territorial waters without prior permission,” the LNA spokesman added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was a deliberate confrontation by Turkey, against Russia, through their proxy, Haftar, and may well go full-on war, before the end of the year.

Dec 25 10:18

Turkish parliament readying bill to allow sending troops to Libya

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey may need to draft a bill to allow for troop deployment to Libya and its parliament is working on the issue, Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday, after Ankara signed a military cooperation agreement with Tripoli last month.

“There might be a need for an authorisation in line with the developments over there. The parliament is conducting work on this issue,” Kalin told a news conference in Ankara.

“We will continue to support the internationally recognised Libyan government. This support may be in terms of military training, or other areas, such as political support,” Kalin said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what Erdogan's ploy may be here; possibly to revitalize a very fractious relationship with NATO, which appears to be fraying at the edges, and rapidly?!?

Dec 24 06:43

Turkey Can't Handle New Refugee Explosion & Greece Will Be First To Feel Impact: Erdogan

At a moment Erdogan has his hands dirty in Syria and is preparing to get more militarily involved in Libya, Turkey's president has yet again threatened Europe with a refugee horde so large no country will be able to handle it. He's now specifically threatened Greece as being among the first to bear the brunt of the first waves of refugees unleashed by Turkey.

His threats are now centering on the major uptick in airstrikes by Russia and Syria on Idlib province, said to number in the "hundreds" since a new operation began on Dec.16. Since then, tens of thousands of civilians living under al-Qaeda's Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have reportedly fled.

"Turkey cannot handle a fresh wave of migrants from Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, warning that European countries will feel the impact of such an influx if violence in Syria’s northwest is not stopped," Reuters reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The people for whom I feel sorry the most, in this whole, sordid mess, generated by the US in a continuing (and failing) bid to unseat Al-Assad, are the people displaced by the fighting.

What is happening to them, should not be happening at all, but to the US government, these folks are simply "collateral damage", with no real human value at all.

Dec 20 12:46

Libya's GNA accepts Turkish offer of military support

UN-recognised government in Tripoli says it will boost cooperation with Ankara, sources tell Al Jazeera.

Dec 20 12:18

'Hamas plotting Israel attacks from Turkey as Erdogan turns blind eye'

Citing transcripts of Israel Police interrogations, British newspaper The Telegraph says the group is operating out of Istanbul, where at least 11 senior Hamas members are now living, with the Turkish president only telling the group to stay away from his own country's institutions

Dec 20 10:52

Video: Military Intervention in Libya and Turkey’s Grand Game in the Eastern Mediterranean

During the past week, the situation significantly escalated in Libya, with Turkey expanding its military involvement in the conflict.

In late November, Turkey signed with the Government of National Accord (GNA), which controls only a small part of northern Libya, deals on security cooperation and maritime jurisdiction. By this move Ankara, the main backer of the GNA and pro-GNA militants, tried to legalize its economic zone claims in the eastern Mediterranean and thus legalize its controversial drilling activities in the region. At the same time, Turkey sees its involvement in the Libyan conflict as a tool of expansion of its own influence in the entire region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is a companion piece to this, written early December, from the independent.co.uk, which sheds a little more light on this story.

Putin has turned his attention to the war in Libya as part of his aim to undermine Nato, by Ahmed Abdoulouh

The article goes on to state: "Whatever the morals over such a push, President Putin has played his hand right. The Benghazi attack on the American diplomatic compound in 2012, which resulted in Ambassador Christopher Stevens’s death, left a psychological scar in the US policy towards Libya, and Washington seems unable to find a way out of it.

This along with the chaos caused by numerous factions fighting for their own ends, shaped a perfect environment for Russia to step in. Libya, after Syria, is further proof that the policy of inaction that the Trump administration looks to employ is the biggest strategic asset Putin has. He is trying to make sure Moscow fills the gaps in leadership left behind."

Putin seems to always be thinking light-years ahead of both US leadership, and NATO. This seems to be one of those moments when his outlook is nothing short of brilliant.

Dec 20 09:27

Is It Time to “Duck and Cover” in the Eastern Med?

How badly does Washington want NATO to survive? Bad enough to betray the Greeks again and to reignite the Cyprus killing fields, that’s how bad. News the US Congress is expected to approve a bill lifting an arms embargo on Cyprus, which has been in place since 1987, can mean only one thing.

According to the news from Washington, the embargo on arms sales will be lifted once Congress passes the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020. Once President Trump signs the bill, US exports to the Republic of Cyprus of “defense-related” materials will add guns to what has always been a volatile situation. Recent Turkey-Greece friction already signaled a rekindling of old war fires, and now the US comes out and flatly admits that the Republic of Cyprus needs to be part of the “Partnership for Peace” NATO program.

Dec 19 10:13

THE TURKISH INTERVENTION IN LIBYA MIGHT LEAD TO A WAR WITH EGYPT

A week ago Erdogan said that he was ready to deploy troops to Libya on short notice. Today rumors appeared in Arab media, still unconfirmed, that Turkish special operations forces landed in Tripoli.

The Libyan war between two Libyan parties will now become a very different beast. Egypt will not tolerate a Muslim Brotherhood led Libya as its neighbor. Before the Turkish support allows the GNA government to defeat Haftar Egypt will intervene. The situation can thereby soon develop into an intense war during which Turkish troops fight on Libyan grounds against the Egyptian military.

Both countries have rich Arab sponsors who can finance a long and intense conflict. Both have lots of material and many many soldiers who they can throw into the fight. The Egyptian side has one advantage. Its long land border allows for easy resupply while Turkey will have to rely on supplies that come by sea and air and can be cut off or at least interrupted.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With NATO still fuming over Erdogan's recent behaviour,coupled with his threat to close down the NATO base at Incirlik, Edrogan is playing with fire in this situation, because no matter how he tries to paint such an intervention, I would rather suspect that the rest of NATO will simply attempt to ignore it with dignity, for as long as it reasonably can.

But the real question is, who and what will support Egypt against Erdogan, and who will support Erdogan militarily, should such a conflict start?!?

There is a sister companion story, out of zerohedge.com, with the following, very unsettling headline: Turkey To Establish Military Base In Libya As Egypt Threatens Its Own Intervention

The article goes on to state: "Turkey's involvement in the ongoing Libyan war between Benghazi-based General Khalifa Haftar and the UN-recognized Tripoli GNA government is set to grow.

Following a recent military agreement between Turkey and Tripoli, and as Haftar's forces threaten attack on any Turkish plane or ship, it's expected the Turkish military will set up a base in the war-torn country. Middle East Monitor reports of the latest developments:

Turkey is set to establish a military base in Libya, according to Turkish media reports earlier this week, as President Recep Tayyip weighs up the possibility of intervention in the country’s civil war.

Yeni Shafak reported on Monday that the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish parliament had approved a recent agreement between Turkey and Libya on military cooperation. It also includes provisions for launching a “quick reaction force” if requested by the Libyan government."

Turkey just "kicked it up a notch" with this agreement with Libya to provide Turkish troops, if asked, against General Haftar's potential advance against Tripoli; look for this to get very ugly, very quickly; Russia is supporting Haftar, both openly, and covertly.

If a shooting war continues, look for Russia's support of Haftar to be the key for deal-making, to bring Hafter; Turkey; and Tripoli into an accord which will start with an immediate cease-fire.

Dec 18 15:11

Turkey calls US ending of Cyprus arms embargo ‘dangerous escalation’

Turkey has warned that the United States’ decision to end a decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus would be a “dangerous escalation.”

In a statement issued late Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the US decision “will have no outcome other than hampering efforts toward a settlement on the island and creating a dangerous escalation.”

The US Congress voted Tuesday to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus, which has been in place since 1987. The measure has passed both chambers of Congress as part of a massive defense spending bill, with President Donald Trump likely to sign it.

The bill comes at a time of tensions between Turkey and the US over such issues as Ankara’s purchase of the Russian S-400 system and Washington’s support for Kurdish-led militants in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This ... could get very ugly, very quickly, and someone with some "male Attributes in NATO", has GOT to start working, very hard, and very intelligently, to prevent two NATO members, Greece and Turkey, from assaulting each other, militarily.

Dec 18 13:57

Erdogan Threatens Recognition Of 'Genocide' Of Native Americans In Tit-For-Tat

Is this how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to "get back" at Washington for the recent US bill that recognizes the 1915 Armenian Genocide? Last month he had warned Trump directly of dire consequences if the term "genocide" is formalized in US law.

And now, according to The Independent, Erdogan says Turkey could in turn give legal recognition to the mass killing of native Americans by European settlers and American colonists in the latest tit-for-tat move against the Congressional resolution.

“Can we speak about America without mentioning [Native Americans]? It is a shameful moment in US history,” Erdogan said in a televised interview this week, raising the threat of a reciprocal measure. Theoretically such Turkish legislation would mean the Turkish government could not associate itself with any event or institution which involved denial of the 'genocide' of native Americans.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The irony here, cannot possibly be lost on Americans who are more familiar with the true story of how the West was won; and yes, massive assassinations, coupled with exposure to diseases to which Indigenous Americans had no immunity, were a big part of settlers' successes in the West.

Dec 18 11:26

Brain Dead Congress Doesn’t Realize It’s Trying to Finish Off NATO

After what can only be termed a terrible NATO Not Summit two weeks ago it was clear the alliance has serious fissures forming in its facade.

It seems that the depths of our Congress’ cravenness before the desires of Israel knows no bottom. Erdogan has been explicit in his antipathy for Benjamin Netanyahu’s continued regional provocations to eke out a win in Syria.

Erdogan, Putin and Rouhani in Iran all know that Trump doesn’t have the stomach or the stupidity for war. So they have allowed the political forces in the U.S. to over-commit to a policy they can’t back up.

The Russia/China/Iran axis has simply played the ultimate game of attrition, reading the economic and political tea leaves perfectly while executing a pan-Eurasian strategy of integration through disengagement from U.S. and U.K. financial institutions.That strategy has failed. Trump knows it, but his State Dept. and CIA, as well as those of the U.K., France and Germany, refuse to accept defeat.

Dec 18 07:41

Genocide, Sanctions and Incirlik: Erdo?an Will Not Kick Out NATO From Its Bases Despite Threats

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has dropped a bombshell by announcing that he could shut down the NATO-controlled Incirlik airbase that hosts U.S. nuclear bombs and the U.S. missile warning radar at Kurecik military base, in response to Washington’s threats of sanctions against Turkey. These nuclear bombs are of course placed purposefully close to Russia. The Incirlik air base in the southern Turkish province of Adana is used by the U.S. Air Force while the U.S. military also maintains a missile warning radar in the Kurecik district in Turkey’s southeastern Malatya province, which is part of NATO’s missile defense system in Europe.

“If it is necessary for us to take such a step, of course, we have the authority… We will close down Incirlik if necessary,” Erdo?an said on A Haber TV on Sunday.

Dec 18 07:23

US ‘Seeks Clarification’ On Turkey’s Warning Over NATO Air Bases

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday said he needed to speak with his Turkish counterpart to understand how serious Ankara about shutting down two strategic airbases.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sunday that Turkey could close Incirlik and Kurecik air bases in response to threats of Washington sanctions and a US Senate resolution that recognized the Armenian Genocide, Daily Sabah reported.

Dec 17 05:07

Turkey’s Erdogan Threatens US With Recognizing Genocide of Native Americans

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that in response to the US Senate’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, the Turkish Parliament may adopt a resolution on the genocide of Native Americans during American colonization, RIA Novosti reports.

“We have opened more than a million documents on the events of 1915; come and study [them],” Erdogan said on A Haber TV. “We are talking about documents held in our hands. We must also take action against you by such decisions of our parliament; and we will. How can we keep silent about Native Americans when talking about America? This is a shameful chapter of the US.”

Dec 16 09:23

Turkey could shut down Incirlik Air Base used by US if necessary – Erdogan on US sanctions

Ankara retains the option of shutting down the Incirlik Air Base used by US/NATO forces, in retaliation to any additional sanctions against Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

As well the air base, which is located in Adana, the Kurecik Radar Station in the Malatya province may also be closed, Erdogan said. The Kurecik base houses an early-warning radar installed by the US Army, which plays a strategic role in NATO’s ballistic missile defense network.

Dec 16 07:20

Turkey Gives NATO The Middle Finger, Threatens To Shutter Critical Military Bases Over Sanction Threats

French President Emmanuel Macron complained during the NATO summit in London earlier this month about Turkey's decision to buy a Russian missile-defense system and its invasion of Syria, musing about how Turkey could justify its continued membership in the alliance if it counties to flout its interests at every turn.

These comments, only the latest round of complaints about Turkey's behavior toward its Western NATO allies, inspired speculation about whether NATO could formally expel Turkey. But aside from whatever legal complications might lie in wait, we posit that there's another more fundamental reason why NATO likely won't be able to expel Turkey. Because Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would likely quit first.

Dec 14 05:45

Greece To Help Tripoli 'Block Turkish Ships' As Libyan War Spills Into Mediterranean

The years-long war for post-Gaddafi Libya now threatens to spill over into the Mediterranean as Turkey and Greece line up on either side of the conflict. Each side is now threatening the others' allied ships in southern waters after a controversial maritime deal expanded Turkish claims off Libya's coast.

On Thursday Benghazi-based General Kalifa Haftar declared his Libyan National Army has begun its "final decisive battle" to wrest control of the capital of Tripoli from the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

"Zero hour has come for the broad and total assault expected by every free and honest Libyan," Haftar said in a televised address, reports Al Jazeera. "Today, we announce the decisive battle and the advancement towards the heart of the capital to set it free... advance now our heroes." Beginning eight months ago Haftar launched a siege of Tripoli, which has been stalled in recent months.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could spin out of control horrifically rapidly; prayers for all the innocent Libyans impacted, or who will be impacted.

Dec 13 08:00

Washington’s Proposed New Sanctions Against Turkey also Aimed Against Russia

With the world fixated on Turkish actions against Syria, Greece and Libya at the moment, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate of the United States Congress approved a bill, “Promoting American National Security and Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS Act,” spearheaded and thoroughly promoted by staunch anti-Syria/Venezuela/Iran/Russia Democratic Senator Robert Menendez who celebrated the bills passing on his Twitter. The Republican-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 18-4 to send the bill for a vote in the full Senate.

The approval of the bill was widely reported in the mainstream media as an “anti-Turkey bill.” Senator Jim Risch, the panel’s Republican chairman, a fellow endorser of the bill with Menendez, said that the approval of this bill is because of the “drift by this country, Turkey, to go in an entirely different direction than what they have in the past. They’ve thumbed their nose at us, and they’ve thumbed their nose at their other NATO allies.”

Dec 13 06:16

Ankara Summons US Ambassador Over Senate's Decision to Pass Armenian Genocide Resolution

The day before, the Senate joined the House of Representatives in passing a resolution to officially recognise the Armenian genocide, which for years has been a divisive issue in the US politics.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned on Friday US Ambassador to the country over the US Senate's latest decision to recognise the Armenian genocide.

Dec 11 11:47

Turkey may close Incirlik for U.S.

Turkey will consider requesting that the U.S. withdraw from Incirlik Air Base if Washington imposes sanctions on Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu said.

In an interview on A Haber news channel, the Turkish minister highlighted that Turkey will consider all options if the U.S. imposes sanctions in response to the purchase of Russia's S-400 missile defense systems.

Dec 11 07:02

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – DECEMBER 11, 2019: TURKISH PROXIES SEEK TO CAPTURE CHUNKS OF M4 HIGHWAY

On December 10, the military situation escalated in northern Lattakia and the surrounding area. According to pro-government sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and allied militant groups conducted attacked and shelled several positions of the Syrian Army near the M4 highway and south of the town of Kbani.

In response, Syrian air forces and artillery units conducted strikes on militants’ positions near Jisr al-Shoughur, al-Janoudiya, and at a contact line near the M4 highway and Kbani. Pro-militant sources immediately described these strikes as an example of blatant aggression and ceasefire violations by the Assad regime.

Pro-Turkish sources reported that units affiliated with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces shelled positions of Turkish-backed militant groups near the city of Afrin.

Dec 11 06:49

Turkey May Close Incirlik Air Base for US Over Sanctions Against S-400 Purchase - Foreign Minister

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara will not abandon the Russian S-400 air defence systems in order to buy American Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a statement that Ankara may insist that the US leave Incirlik air base if Washington goes ahead with the sanctions it has threatened in response to Turkey's purchase of S-400 missiles.

"We will assess the worst-case scenario and make a decision. If the US imposes sanctions against Turkey, then the issue of the Incirlik and Kurecik bases may be on the agenda," Cavusoglu said.
The missile attack early warning radar, which is part of the NATO missile defence system in Europe, deployed in the Kurecik region of Malatya province in southeastern Turkey, was put into operation in early 2012. Its functioning is provided for by the US military.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What happens if the 50 US nuclear missiles cannot be retrieved which are held at Incirlik?!?

I seriously think that President Trump has to consider ALL his options on removing them, before things either get so frozen with Turkey that they will not move, or ..... another regional conflict heats up here?!?

Dec 11 05:14

China Just Opened “the Suez Canal of Our Era”: China’s Eurasian Rail “Middle Corridor”

Two recent developments highlight how the new world is being invented by the Chinese—and how it will affect the Middle East and central Asia.

Last month, while Congress busied itself with impeachment hearings, a mammoth Chinese cargo train arrived in Turkey en route to the heart of Europe. It will be remembered as the first freight train to pass from China across central Asia and under the Bosphorus Strait, using the Marmaray tunnel as part of China’s historic Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Like the Suez Canal in its day, this “Iron Silk Road” through central Asia is a time saver, with the added bonus of circumventing sea routes now controlled by the West. It will reduce the transportation time between China and Turkey from one month to 12 days, while the entire journey from Xi’an to Prague in the heart of Europe will take only 18 days, half the time of a similar journey by sea and at similar cost.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Chinese silk road, if allowed to continue by hegemonic forces in the West, will be a boon for all companies using its infrastructure to trade.

Dec 10 10:14

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – DECEMBER 10, 2019: RUSSIAN TROOPS ENTERED RAQQAH CITY FOR FIRST TIME EVER

On December 9, Russian forces entered the city of Raqqa for the first time since the start of their anti-terrorism operation in 2015. A unit of the Russian Military Police set up a temporary humanitarian point and provided locals with aid. According to the Russian side, such humanitarian actions will be a regular practice.

A series of firefights erupted between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and Turkish-led forces to the southeast of Ras al-Ayn. Nonetheless, no side carried out offensive actions. Local sources links the recent clashes with individual initiative of some field commanders.

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units have deployed large reinforcements near the Syrian-Iraqi border, west of Mosul.

Dec 10 06:46

Photos Show Greek Fighter Jet 'Locked On' To Turkish Warships Near Cyprus

Via Al-Masdar News,

A Greek fighter jet allegedly obtained 'missile lock' on a Turkish frigate that was traveling off the coast of Cyprus on December 8, 2019, the Aviationist reported.

Citing photos from the Twitter profile of journalist Yannis Nikitas, the Aviationist reported that a Greek Mirage 2000 jet targeted the Turkish frigate with Exocet anti-ship missiles during a show of force over the weekend.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The old enmity between Greece and Turkey remains, in terms of the Greek loss of half of Cypress,Cyprus: Why One of the World’s Most Intractable Conflicts Continues and is ready to start boiling up again at any moment; I hope that some of the Real Adults in the Room, Geopolitically, are moving as quickly and intelligent as they can, to calm the situation down.

Here is some further clarification, from Wikipedia: The Cyprus dispute

The article goes on to state: "It entered its current phase in the aftermath of the 1974 Turkish military invasion and occupation of the northern third of Cyprus. Only Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, while there is broad recognition that the ongoing military presence constitutes occupation of territories that belong to the Republic of Cyprus. According to the European Court of Human Rights, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus should be considered a puppet state under effective Turkish control.[3][4]"

Dec 08 11:59

China Just Opened the Suez Canal of Our Era and No One Blinked

A hundred years from now, Donald Trump’s looming impeachment and Syria’s unending travails will be long forgotten. But just as we still celebrated the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 without remembering who ruled Egypt at the time (Isma’il Pasha), China’s relentless and historically significant push to establish new trading links between East and West—links that promise to revolutionize the world trading system no less than the Suez Canal—will come to define our era.

Two recent developments highlight how the new world is being invented by the Chinese—and how it will affect the Middle East and central Asia.

Dec 06 11:59

Massive Leak Confirms Turkey's "Gold-For-Gas" Scheme To Evade US Sanctions On Iran

We first started noticing major 'odd' exports of gold from Turkey to Iran in May 2012. Turkey’s trade balance fluctuated wildly as gold stocks flowed out of the country in bursts.

“Turkey’s going to continue it,” the Turkish economy minister said. “If those casting aspersions on the gold trade are searching for immorality, they should take a look in the mirror.”

Then, in 2014, we discussed Turkey's "200 tons of secret gold" trade with Iran detailing how a complex network that spanned Turkey, China, Dubai and Iran was used to skirt US sanctions on energy exports from Iran.

The operation featured an Iranian-born businessman who liked fast horses, faster cars and the fastest planes. His unique skill: Getting gold into sanctions-encircled Iran.

Enough gold that for a time he became the government’s key instrument in improving Turkey’s irksome economic imbalance.

Dec 06 09:05

Resolution recognising Armenian genocide blocked in U.S. Senate

Republican Senator Kevin Cramer prevented the U.S. Senate from voting on a resolution on Thursday that would recognise as a genocide the mass killings of Armenians a century ago, saying it was not an appropriate time to pass legislation that would anger Turkey.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the resolution by an overwhelming 405-11 in late October. But there has not been a vote in the Senate, where President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans hold a majority of seats.

Dec 06 08:19

MASSIVE LEAK CONFIRMS TURKEY'S "GOLD-FOR-GAS" SCHEME TO EVADE US SANCTIONS ON IRAN

OURCE: ZEROHEDGE
We first started noticing major 'odd' exports of gold from Turkey to Iran in May 2012. Turkey’s trade balance fluctuated wildly as gold stocks flowed out of the country in bursts.

“Turkey’s going to continue it,” the Turkish economy minister said. “If those casting aspersions on the gold trade are searching for immorality, they should take a look in the mirror.”

Then, in 2014, we discussed Turkey's "200 tons of secret gold" trade with Iran detailing how a complex network that spanned Turkey, China, Dubai and Iran was used to skirt US sanctions on energy exports from Iran.

The operation featured an Iranian-born businessman who liked fast horses, faster cars and the fastest planes. His unique skill: Getting gold into sanctions-encircled Iran.

Enough gold that for a time he became the government’s key instrument in improving Turkey’s irksome economic imbalance.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what President Trump and NATO (which still also has stringent sanctions against Iran)are going to do about this.

I mean, Edrogan was just at the White House a couple of weeks ago, right?!?
President Trump meets with Turkish President Erdogan at the White House, 11/13/2019

If this was NEVER on the table, in terms of their discussions, one has to wonder to the degree President Trump feels betrayed about these very consistent shenanigans on Turkey's "trading with the (alleged) enemy" right now.

Dec 04 10:16

Turkey Declares Ownership On Half Of Eastern Mediterranean Waters

A Turkish diplomat has revealed a map which delineates waters in the Mediterranean claimed by Turkey, amid an ongoing months-long standoff with Cyprus and Greece over Turkish oil and gas exploration and drilling inside Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

"After signing deals with its own puppet state in occupied northern Cyprus and with the pseudo-government in Libya's Tripoli, Turkey declares that it owns half of the eastern Mediterranean," Aron Lund, an analyst at The Century Foundation, observes of the newly published map.

Dec 01 09:05

Pentagon ‘Pretending’ to Fight Daesh in New Op to Justify US’ Continued Syria Occupation

With this renewed effort to combat Daesh forces in Syria, it’s understandable that some observers are scratching their heads, considering the fact that the commander-in-chief has declared ad nauseum that those same Daesh forces have been eliminated over the past year.

Despite US President Donald Trump’s repeated declarations of victory over Daesh, the US has - once again - announced a resumption in operations against the group. While the tug-of-war between the commander-in-chief and the Pentagon is apparent, one expert points out that there is one thing both parties can agree on: oil.

In a Saturday press conference, US Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Hill announced that, following operations on November 22, a US-led coalition was able to not only capture a “significant amount” of small arms, ammunition and explosives, but also detained over a dozen Daesh soldiers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As a creation of the US government, which funded/trained/armed Daesh (read: Isis), Daesh/ISIS is being used wherever the US government believes it needs a "distraction"; the current looting of Syrian oil creates a marvelous need for some consistent "misdirection".

Dec 01 07:43

Syrian Army Bombs Kurdish Tankers Smuggling Oil to Turkey, A Message to Trump

Oil tankers and oil makeshift refineries in northeast Syria were bombed by ‘mysterious’ planes yesterday morning, SANA later stated it was done by the Syrian Army regional command.

The statement conveyed Syrian Arab News Agency SANA was brief but very meaningful:

“SANA’s correspondent in al-Hasakah quoted a field source as saying: after verifying that some Kurdish organizations in the Syrian Jazira region smuggle Syrian oil through tanks through Jarablus and Erbil region in northern Iraq to the Turkish regime, which they claim to be their main enemy, Groups of these tanks and oil refining centers were destroyed this morning.

The source stressed that strict measures will be taken against any smuggling of stolen oil from Syrian territory outside Syria.”

Syrian Jazira region refers to the Syrian territories east and northeast of the Euphrates.

That’s it!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US government, has been at its most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid, in this totally illegal occupation of Syrian oil fields, and the looting of its products.

I would like to hope, that SOMEONE in Moscow, is talking to SOMEONE in Washington, about avoiding military conflict between the US and Russia in Syria, but right now, it appears that this is a question of "when", not "if".

I would like to politely remind President Trump that what he has done here, is totally and completely illegal, under international law. The question here is, when, and how, will Putin respond to this behaviour?

Mr. President, please; I would calmly and seriously suggest that the US getting out of Syria would be a very reasonable thing to do, if you don't want the US military enmeshed in a war with Russia in Syria.

And we have a companion piece, also at globalresearch.ca, by Phillip
Giraldi, The Path to War in the Middle East heats up, while viewers watch the impeachment hearings

Nov 30 08:34

Turkey refusing to sign NATO defense plan for the Baltics, pressing alliance to label Syria’s Kurds as ‘terrorists’ – report

Ankara has reportedly been blackmailing NATO, refusing to sign the proposed defense plan for the Baltics and Poland unless the alliance officially recognizes Kurdish-led militia in northern Syria as a “terrorist group.”
Agreeing on a new NATO defense plan for the eastern European countries has escalated from a formality into a true diplomatic battle, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing four senior sources within the bloc.

“[The Turks) are taking eastern Europeans hostage, blocking approval of this military planning until they get concessions,” one of the sources said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... is about to get awkward, in the extreme.

Because of its geography, NATO needs Turkey; however, Turkey is beginning to move more and more toward the orbit of the Russian Federation.

This argument may not end well for NATO.

Nov 28 05:31

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT TO EXPAND GLOBAL ARMS EXPORTS IN 2020

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
The Israeli government is aiming to increase the volume of Israel’s defence exports, reported Globes, which has revealed the main points of the plan for the first time.

The project, being overseen by the Defence Ministry’s International Defence Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) led by Brigadier General (Res.) Yair Kulas, will begin to be rolled out in early 2020.

According to Globes, the plan is based on “focused seminars for senior commanders in foreign armies”, Israeli military “assistance for promoting sales of Israeli weapons”, and “subsidising small and medium-sized defence companies seeking to sell arms around the world”.

Speaking this week, Kulas said that SIBAT favours a major expansion of agreements between countries, resulting in significant deals for the large defence companies, especially Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me unsurprised at this development; but one has to wonder how Israeli weaponry really stands up to that of China or Russia, at this point?!?

Nov 26 07:00

Lavrov: Kurds’ interest in Sochi memorandum ebbing as US troops return to northern Syria

The Syrian Kurds lost enthusiasm for efforts to resolve the situation in northeastern Syria in accordance with a Russian-Turkish memorandum as soon as US troops returned to the country’s north, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on Tuesday. "I would advise Kurdish political leaders to stick to their word. Right after the memorandum had been signed [in Sochi] on October 22, we obtained Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s consent to implement it, and Kurdish leaders vigorously assured us that they would cooperate.

Nov 25 06:19

Kurdish Officials: US Troops at Syrian Oilfields Won’t Stop Turkish Invasion

A Kurdish senior foreign affairs official, Aldar Xelil, reported that the US has assured Kurdish forces that US troops will remain in the oilfield area between Derik and Terbespiya, in eastern Syria.

This assurance doesn’t seem to be helping the Kurds feel a lot better, however. with Xelil pointing out that this really isn’t going to do anything to prevent the Turkish offensives into northeastern Syria.

The US announced a “pullout” from Syria but ended up just redeploying around the oil, with President Trump saying the oil is the priority. Xelil says the US has no intention of staying anywhere west of Qamilshli, and for the Kurds, that’s a problem.

The US is still in Syria, but there’s about 100 km gap between Syrian-held Syria and US-held oilfield where Turkey and its rebels are not only free to invade Kurdish-held territory, but to push potentially quite deep into Kurdish territory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The big question for the Kurds is, when is the US government going to stop lying to them about the possibility of an Independent Kurdistan, and tell them the truth; they have been used, had, and because they are no longer useful, have been thrown under the proverbial bus?

And NOW we have Vice-President Pence, posturing, and virtue-signaling to the Kurdish governments and people, that the us "WILL BE SUPPORTING THE KURDS, after the ISIS war is finished. "Pence Reassures Iraqi Kurds in Surprised-Announced Visit.

But what, precisely, is this "support" pledged by Pence?!?

Is it that " independent homeland" for which the Kurdish people, have wanted so long, and if so, what country would allow a "bite out of their territory" taken, to accomodate a Kurdish homeland?!?

The short answer, may well be never.

And there is another problem with Pence's statements to Kurdish leaders in Iraq even though he has pledged "support" when the Isis war "is over", we are looking at endless wars, both existing, in supporting US hegemony in the Middle East.

So Pence could obviously make that hyper-ambiguous statement with a straight face,, because he knows, incontrovertibly, that war, to attempt to keep the Middle East destabilized, is the American game-plan, and will continue for decades.

Unfortunately the Kurds need to find a truly reliable sponsor in the Middle East, or beyond, who can actually assist them in reaching their goal of nationhood, and that country is certainly not the United States.

Nov 22 06:24

MEASURE ON 'ARMENIAN GENOCIDE' BLOCKED AGAIN IN US SENATE

A Republican United States Senate member on Thursday blocked a resolution recognising the "Armenian genocide", the second time in a week that a member of President Donald Trump’s party halted the measure.

Senator David Perdue prevented a bipartisan effort to pass the resolution by unanimous consent, arguing that its passage during a sensitive period "would undermine the administration’s commitment to overcoming real challenges in our bilateral relationship with Turkey".

The move angered Senate Democrat Robert Menendez, whose effort had been rebuffed the previous week after Republican congressmen met with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"It is amazing to me that the greatest superpower on the face of the earth just can’t speak [the] truth of history," Menendez said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, when geopolitical issues overshadow the right calling of history (as in the case of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey) truth, again, becomes the first casualty of those issues.

The Armenian Genocide of 1915

But we have to realize that modern day Turkey is NOT a part an Ottoman Empire, which crumbled in 1922, so it cannot be held responsible for the horrors inflicted by Ottoman soldiers on the Armenian people.

What I think we need here, as they did in South Africa, is for there to be a "Truth and Reconciliation Committee", headed up by both Armenian and Turkish Academics, to address the wrongs which were done in the name of the Ottoman Empire, and look at how Armenians and Turks can resolve those old animosities in the 21st century.

This would be a reasonable, sane way to address history; be informed by it; but be able to look way past old hatreds at each other, and recognise each as brother and sister human beings, not just as Armenians and Turks.

Both countries have a very proud, rich, and culturally intelligent story to tell; let the story of a 21st relationship between these countries be one of trust; hope, and discovering what unites them in common.

Nov 20 07:56

Trump Notifies Congress More Troops Headed To Saudi Arabia As Carrier Enters Hormuz

So much for drawing down in the Middle East. President Trump notified Congress on Tuesday that more American troops are en route to Saudi Arabia, which will bring their overall numbers to about 3,000 in the kingdom.

"These personnel will remain deployed as long as their presence is required to fulfill the missions described above," the president said in a letter.

The official White House notification of Congressional members described the American military presence there as essential in countering Iran's influence in the region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"En Route" means, having been formally deployed, and on the way.

The only question left is, how soon they will arrive, or how many of these 3,000 troops have already reported for duty?

But to be honest, the timing of this increase in the US military presence in Saudi Arabia concerns me greatly.

Very few celebrations are more iconically American than is Thanksgiving, happening next week, with Americans chowing down on the traditional Thanksgiving meal, and watching football in rapt attention.

One has to wonder if the IDF doesn't have a "false flag" scheduled for right around this holiday, to be blamed, of course, on Iran and Syria, and off we go.....

I hope I am completely wrong on this but, when it comes to geopolitical ploys, timing...is everything.

Nov 19 10:26

Turkey to look for F-35 alternative if kept out by US, dropping Russia’s S400 not an option – Erdogan to Trump

If Washington keeps siding out Ankara with the F-35 project, it will look out for similar-class jets, Turkish President warned the US counterpart, adding his country won’t give up the Russian-made S-400 air defense systems.

Nov 15 10:45

Trump Keeps Contradicting Pentagon on US Role in Syrian War

President Trump’s position on the Syrian War aims to further simplify matters. Turkey’s President Erdogan says he is worried about Turkey’s border with Syria, and President Trump sees an opportunity to contrast his own war, saying “we left troops behind only for the oil.”

In the context of US-Turkey relations, this seems very straightforward and avoids conflicts of interest. Admitting that the whole US war is for oil isn’t the panacea Trump thinks it is, however, and he’s running up against other US officials on this issue.

Lawmakers are couching the Syrian War as being about protecting the Kurds, while the Pentagon’s leadership sees it heavily built around fighting ISIS and continuing to work toward regime change in Syria. Some even suggest it’s about countering Russia.

Trump’s all-oil agenda directly contradicts everyone else, and gives the impression that the US is being deliberately evasive about its military agenda and where US foreign policy is going.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a classic demonstration of "foreign policy by dart board"; unfortunately, however, none of the agencies involved, from the White House, to the Pentagon, to the State Department, are working from the same dartboard!!!

Nov 15 09:31

Graham blocks resolution recognizing Armenian genocide after Erdo?an meeting

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) blocked a resolution on Wednesday that would have formally recognized the Ottoman Empire's genocide against the Armenian people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Because, you know, only Jews are victims!

Nov 13 09:15

US Drones Capture Footage Of Pro-Turkish Forces Engaged In Shocking War Crimes

Entirely to be expected, a new report in The Wall Street Journal has found that Turkish-backed Syrian forces currently fighting US-backed Kurdish groups as part of 'Operation Peace Spring' are guilty of war crimes, including summary executions of Kurdish civilians.

"U.S. military officials watched live drone feeds last month that appeared to show Turkish-backed Arab gunmen targeting civilians during their assault on Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria, attacks the Americans reported to their commanders as possible war crimes, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the incidents," reports the WSJ.

What the report fails to mention, however, is the blatantly obvious and relevant recent history that the Islamist militants carrying out such atrocities are the very same militants which were a few short years ago funded, armed and trained by the CIA and Pentagon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This just makes me physically sick.

Can someone, please, identify that moment in time, when I signed on, as a citizen of the United States of America, to be a citizen of a country which either engaged in war crimes, or one which just allowed them to happen, and there were no repercussions against them?!?

I really need some help on this folks, because THIS is my moment... of "selective memory disorder", I absolutely cannot recall having done this, so if anyone wants to clue me in, you're due a profound "thank you."

Do you remember the codswallop we all got force-fed in public school, about how great and noble this country was, and that it was a country which could never, ever be in the morally wrong, at any time, and through any choices its leadership had made?!?

Well, for me, my "Buddha on the Road" came while I was a senior in High School, and the VietNam war was raging; it was great for the military/industrial complex, but pretty lousy for those conscripted to fight this war, and their families.

Many came home in a cheap metal casket; others came home maimed for life; and others may have physically present, but were suffering from any possible number of stress-induced traumas.

Then, those Veterans who DID come home, were not greeted with at least some compassion, but were abused, and humiliated for doing what their country's government directed them to do; it should have been those elements in the US government who perpetuated this immoral war, who should have been rightly reviled, tried, and convicted of their war crimes, and put away at a facility which was NOT a "Club Fed."

I cannot keep from thinking, that had that madness stopped sooner than it was, and the truly guilty were tried and convicted, we would not be in Syria; Afghanistan; Iraq; or Niger today.

But in looking at the current situations in the above-referenced countries, I am reminded of the phrase that "Those who do not learn from history...are doomed to repeat it."

Nov 12 10:17

"These Gates Will Open" - Erdogan Declares As Turkey Begins Deporting ISIS Captives To Europe

Have Turkey's floodgates begun to open? For months now the question of what to do with foreign jihadists which flooded Syria over the course of the eight-year long war has been intensely debated. President Erdogan has shocked European officials by repeatedly threatening to unleash them along with some three million Syrian refugees on Europe if his 'Operation Peace Spring' does not gain support, and if the EU rejects his 'safe zone' offer.

But as of Monday Turkish officials announced plans to begin sending hundreds of the some 1200 plus ISIS detainees and other jihadists it has in its custody back to Europe, saying Turkey "is not a hotel for jihadists" — to quote an Interior Ministry statement from last week.

Nov 12 05:27

US Ramping Up Firepower in Syria to Match Syria, Russia: US general says redeployment to east Syria required more power.

Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, addressing the arrival of more armored vehicles at the US positions in eastern Syria, says it is part of the “resetting” of the US position further east, and required the US to have more “combat power here to sustain ourselves.”

Maj. Gen. Hill says that the goal is not simply to have power to match ISIS but “the militaries of the Syrian regime, the Russians, or even militias backed by fellow NATO partner Turkey.” The focus is on how everyone is carving up territory in eastern Syria, which was once controlled by the US and its Kurdish allies.

Though the Pentagon likes to brag about its ability to project power across the world, in Syria its ability to accomplish anything has historically hinged on getting the Kurds to do it for them. Though the deployment at the oilfields is no doubt capable of inflicting some casualties if control of the fields is challenged, it’s hard to imagine that the US believes it would truly hold this ground with a few hundred troops.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The troop strength here will have to be much larger than the number given by the US Military for public consumption; I would suggest a couple of thousand troops, at least, perhaps more.

I only know one thing about this on coming "war against Syria; Russia; and Turkey"; it has to start quickly, because there is zero public sentiment to pursue it, so the US government will have to have it kicked off with some horrific false flag (most probably engineered by the US's frenemies in Tel Aviv), and away we go.....

Such a war will, be again, extra-Constitutional, as only Congress has the power to declare war under our Constitution; but that being said, there is so little regard for the rule of law in this country, I sincerely doubt that more than just a precious few of us will actually notice we are in yet another illegal war of aggression; as was the Iraq war; the war against Afghanistan; and the war against Libya.

I would hope and pray that those who believe such a war would be "a good thing" for this country, are very, very careful about the outcomes they wish to have happen here, and that they remember the following; in classic Greek dramas, those who acted hubristically, wound up very, very punished and generally ultimately, destroyed.

Nov 12 02:38

BRITISH MI6 AGENT AND FOUNDER OF THE WHITE HELMETS GROUP DIES AFTER "FALLING OFF BALCONY" IN TURKEY

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
The British founder of the organisation that trained the Syrian rescue group known as the White Helmets has died in Istanbul.

A spokesman for the White Helmets confirmed on Monday afternoon the death of James Le Mesurier, but said further details were yet to be established.

Le Mesurier, 48, was found dead near his apartment in central Istanbul’s Beyo?lu neighbourhood at around 4.30am. Turkish media reports said he was found with fractures to his head and legs near the building on Monday morning and appeared to have fallen from the balcony of one of the apartments.

The office of Istanbul’s governor said it had commenced a “comprehensive” investigation into the death.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Turkish media reports said he was found with fractures to his head and legs near the building on Monday morning and appeared to have fallen from the balcony of one of the apartments."

FALLEN, MY ASTROLABE!! Looks like there may well be another round of "wetwork" to "tie up loose intel ends" going on,, and Le Mesurier simply is the first case we know about.

Nov 11 12:12

TURKISH-LED FORCES RESUMED ADVANCE IN NORTHEASTERN SYRIA, WAR REPORT

Over the past days, Syria’s northeast has been the main point of instability in the war-torn country.

On November 10, the Turkish-backed coalition of militant groups, the Syrian National Army, announced that it was resuming it offensive in the area. The group justified this move by claiming that the Kurdish People Protection Units and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which are the core of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, violate the safe-zone agreement reached by Ankara and Moscow. According to the Turkish version of the events, Kurdish rebels did not fully with draw from the border area and continued attacks on positions of Turkish-led forces and civilians.

Nov 11 10:47

White Helmets co-founder & ex-British officer Le Mesurier found dead in Istanbul

The controversial White Helmets, also known as the ‘Syrian civil defense’ group, have confirmed that James Le Mesurier, the man behind their support and training, was found dead in Istanbul, Turkey.

Nov 09 06:14

Pentagon’s East Syria Operation About More Than Taking the Oil

Whether to control the oil or flat out take the oil, US statements on the new military mission in Syria are heavily oil-themed. Other reports, however, suggest that the operation is a lot more complicated than that.

In reality, a lot of the goal is nation-building, with US forces meant to both keep the Syrian government out of this part of Syria, and try to “bring prosperity” to the region, propping up a potential territory of rebels.

This is again built around the assumption that the US can manufacture an autonomous, prosperous region, using the oilfields as the revenue source, and then steer that region toward hostility with the rest of Syria.

This will likely end up being a plan easier for the Trump Administration to sell than overt theft of oil, as it allows the US to retain its primary focus, military hostility toward Syria with an eye toward eventual regime change.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh) to those in the Pentagon who actually believe that this is a reasonable, logical way of moving forward in Syria; I really don't know if you need a hug, some calcium magnesium; some milk and a happy-ending bedtime story, or at least one American, a Christian pacifist activist, who never encourages violence (folks, that's me) to gently suggest to you that such an approach is completely, as in barking-dog mad, rubber-room-esque insane.

What homogeneous group are you going to give this region to, now that the Kurds have pledged fealty to the Syrian government?!?

The Kurds’ commander in chief explains why his forces are finally ready to partner with Assad and Putin.

My big question is, how long Russia's Putin will be willing to put up with this foolishness before Russian (plus Kurdish plus Syrian) troops uncork on US positions in Syria?!?

And folks, for me, that is the ultimate nightmare scenario. The two headlines right under this at antiwar.com, give me no comfort on this issue either.

Pentagon Claims US Authority to Shoot Any Syrian Govt Official Who Tries to Take Control of Syrian Oil and the headline under this, Erdogan: Turkey Won’t Leave Syria Until Every Other Country Does: Says Turkey will not let up on offensive against Kurdish militants

Does the US position here even remotely resemble a reasonable, sane, responsible,and moral moment of conflict resolution?!?

The short answer, of course, is: HELL, NO!!!

Nov 04 10:00

Kushner gave Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman permission to arrest Khashoggi: report

Troops went back in and the story is out.

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner gave permission to his friend, Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to arrest the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi before he was brutally murdered last year, a whistleblower alleges.

Weekly British magazine The Spectator said investigators on the US House Intelligence Committee were aware of the whistleblower's claims and were planning to dig further into them.

According to The Spectator, the Turkish intelligence intercepted a call between Kushner and bin Salman, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan then used it to force Trump to withdraw his troops from northern Syria.

Nov 04 06:16

Islamic State Exacts Revenge On Turkey For Selling Out Al-Baghdadi

Submitted by Nauman Sadiq, an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.

A car bomb exploded in northern Syria killing 13 and wounding 20. The blast on Saturday ripped through a crowded market in Tal Abyad, a town recently occupied by Turkish-backed militant proxies. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blast targeted pro-Turkey fighters and civilians were also among the dead.

Even though the Turkish Defense Ministry promptly laid the finger of blame on Turkey’s arch-foe, the Kurdish YPG militia, without conducting an investigation, car bombing as a tactic for causing widespread fear is generally employed by jihadist groups and not by the Kurds.

Nov 04 06:06

Rebuilding Syria... Without Syria's Oil?

Compare US pillaging with Russia-Iran-Turkey’s active involvement in a political solution to normalize Syria..

What happened in Geneva this Wednesday, in terms of finally bringing peace to Syria, could not be more significant: the first session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.

The Syrian Constitutional Committee sprang out of a resolution passed in January 2018 in Sochi, Russia, by a body called the Syrian National Dialogue Congress.

The 150-strong committee breaks down as 50 members of the Syrian opposition, 50 representing the government in Damascus and 50 representatives of civil society. Each group named 15 experts for the meetings in Geneva, held behind closed doors.

This development is a direct consequence of the laborious Astana process – articulated by Russia, Iran and Turkey. Essential initial input came from former UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. Now UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen is working as a sort of mediator.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This development has been conveniently left out of nearly all accounts in the West of what is going on in Syria, and yet, is one of the most significant developments of the last year.

Oct 30 08:45

Turkey condemned US House recognising Armenian genocide

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to recognize the mass killings of Armenians a century ago as a genocide, a symbolic but historic vote instantly denounced by Turkey.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 405-11 in favor of a resolution asserting that it is US policy to commemorate as genocide the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923. The Ottoman Empire was centered in present-day Turkey.

The vote marked the first time in 35 years that such legislation was considered in the full House, underscoring widespread frustration in Congress with the Turkish government, from both Democrats and President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans.

Oct 29 05:05

Something Stinks in Syria’s Oil Fields

When the US “withdrew” from Syria, Donald Trump announced that he had secured Syria’s oil from ISIS and was protecting it.
Further announcements indicated the US was leaving 500 troops there and would be moving in heavy armor, this being done well outside the purview of agreements with Russia and certainly in violation of Syria’s sovereignty.

Behind it all, we have the very long history of oil theft in the region but first we are going to touch on recent statements made by President Assad who asserted that Turkey, under Erdogan, had stolen billions in Syrian assets, entire factories, oil, wheat, antiquities, and more.

I had gone over existing lists with Dr. Najm, then Minister of Justice, now a law professor in Damascus and columnist for Veterans Today.

Oct 28 09:06

Military Situation In Syria On October 28, 2019 (Map Update)

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

Units of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are withdrawing from the border with Turkey in accordance with the Russian-Turkish agreement;
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has deployed on the Turkish border, east of Ras al-Ayn;
A new Russian military convoy was spotted in the town of Tell Tamr;
A US-led coalition strike allegedly eliminated ISIS spokesman Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir in the village of Ein al-Baydah;
Another US convoy entered Syria en route to the Omar oil fields.

Oct 28 06:04

US Drone Program May Have Helped Turkey Kill Kurds for Over a Decade

Donald Trump is justifiably condemned for approving Turkey’s assault against the United States’s Kurdish allies in the war against ISIS. What is not widely known is that the U.S., in a largely secret program dubbed Operation Nomad Shadow, appears to have been using drones for over a decade to help Turkey stalk and kill Kurds.

Although the U.S. is now publicly opposing the Turkish push into Syria, is Nomad Shadow continuing to be used secretly to support Turkish attacks on Kurdish forces there, given, among other things, the apparent U.S. desire to continue operating from Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base and to maintain its nuclear weapons there?

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