Tuesday 24th of November 2020

playing a dangerous game...

dangerous game

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the beginning of the offensive, Operation Peace Spring, in the north of Syria last Wednesday, vowing to clear the region of Kurdish militants and Daesh fighters. The incursion has been widely criticised by the international community.

The Syrian Army has entered the city of Tabqah, previously controlled by the Kurdish militia, in the province of Raqqa and is moving northward, the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen reported on Monday.

The Syrian government has not yet provided any official statement on the matter.

The administration of the Kurdish authority in northern Syria announced on Sunday that it had reached a deal with the Syrian government, under which the Syrian Army would send troops to the border with Turkey to help the Kurds repel Ankara's offensive.

Turkey's encroachment, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, is targeted against the Daesh* terrorist group and the Kurdish formations in Syria reportedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, that Ankara has designated as terrorists.


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they are people...

Something extraordinary has happened in a corner of north-east Syria. It is a little-known story that defies the usual narratives about Syria or Assad, civil war or ISIS. It is nothing less than a political revolution, which bears important lessons for the rest of the world. In this revolution, women are in the vanguard, both politically and militarily, often leading the fight on the frontline and sacrificing their lives against the most atavistic and anti-woman enemy there is: the so-called Islamic State – or Daesh, as it is more derogatorily known.

This place is called Rojava, the Kurdish name for western Kurdistan, located in north-eastern Syria. After the collapse of the Assad regime in 2012, Kurdish parties began an extraordinary project of self-government and equality for all races, religions and women and men. I visited Rojava, in a personal capacity, in the summer of 2015 to try to understand what's going on there for a documentary film about anarchism, which you can watch on iPlayer.

Few journalists visit this swath of land along the Turkish border, which is about half the size of Belgium. It's difficult to reach and thus expensive, requiring a long journey from northern Iraq and a crossing of the Tigris by small boat onto Syrian soil. The Kurdish Regional Government of northern Iraq (KRG) is not sympathetic to the Kurds of Rojava, and makes access very difficult and sometimes impossible.

The few journalists who make it there tend to focus on the fight with ISIS, assuming that this is what most concerns western audiences. Rojava is safer than the main combat zones of Syria, but still suffers horrific suicide bombings, and western visitors would of course make a fine catch for Daesh kidnappers.

As a result, very little has been reported about the remarkable political experiment of Rojava.

What little commentary appears is often secondhand. It therefore frequently repeats earlier misconceptions or hostile propaganda put about, above all, by Turkey, which opposes the leading political party of the Rojava Kurds – the PYD – and the armed forces of Rojava, the People's Self-Defence Units, which comprise the mostly male YPG and all-female YPJ. Nor does the political character of the Rojava revolution fit familiar pigeonholes; it is neither a nationalist Kurdish project for an independent state, nor is it Marxist or communist, nor driven by religious or ethnic motives.

Perhaps most remarkably – and, sadly, uniquely – this is perhaps the most explicitly feminist revolution the world has witnessed, at least in recent history. Previously, this area was home to traditional peasant norms, including child marriage and keeping women at home. These traditions have been overturned: child marriage, for instance, is now illegal. There are parallel women's organisations in every field, ranging from the separate women's militia, the YPJ, to parallel women's communes and cooperatives. Self-defence is a principle of the Rojava revolution, which is why women are so active in the armed struggle – but the concept extends towards the right of self-defence against all anti-woman practices and ideas, including those of traditional society, not just the extreme violence of Daesh.


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See also: more human suffering... in of social constructs...

it could lead to a confrontation with Turkish-led troops...

Syria's army has moved swiftly into towns and villages in the north-east of the country, which could lead to a confrontation with Turkish-led troops.

State media said Russian-backed Syrian forces entered the town of Manbij as part of a deal reached with Kurdish-led forces previously allied with the US.

Meanwhile, Turkish troops and allied Syrian militias were gathering near the town as they continued their incursion.

Turkey's offensive aims to push Kurdish forces from the border region.

Syrian state media said government forces had entered Manbij, in the area where Turkey wants to create a "safe zone" cleared of Kurdish fighters. Earlier, the army pushed into Tal Tamer and Ain Issa, where residents celebrated their arrival.

The deal is seen as a boost for President Bashar al-Assad as his troops return to those areas for the first time since 2012. The deployment came hours after the US announced that up to 1,000 American troops would leave northern Syria.

The Turkish offensive and US pullout have been internationally criticised as the Kurdish-led fighters were crucial allies of the coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria. There are fears about a possible resurgence of IS and the escape of prisoners amid the instability. 

On Monday, President Donald Trump said a "small footprint" of US personnel would remain in southern Syria to continue to fight the remnants of IS.


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See toon at top.


Note: I looks like some of the now-aligned with Turkey "rebels" were former rebels aligned with the US, also under the banner of Al Qaeda and Al Nusra... They would "liberate" Jihadists prisoners of Daesh if they could, but the Kurds who hold them, have said no about handing these prisoners over to the USA... They guess what could happen by "accidental" release...

russian troops to replace departing US troops...

Russia has said it will not allow clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces, as Turkey's military offensive in northern Syria continues.

"This would simply be unacceptable... and therefore we will not allow it, of course," said Moscow's special envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev.

The withdrawal of US troops from the region, announced last week, gave Turkey a "green light", critics say.

Russia is a key military ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Lavrentyev, during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, described Turkey's offensive as "unacceptable".

He said Turkish and Syrian officials were in contact to avoid any conflict. 

And Russia's defence ministry said its forces, which have been deployed in Syria since 2015, were patrolling along the "line of contact" between Syrian and Turkish forces.


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Russian Troops Move In as U.S. Troops Exit Syrian Region


The Russian Defense Ministry said that its military police were patrolling territory between Turkish and Syrian forces.

This may signal that Russia is moving to fill a security vacuum left by the U.S. withdrawal and illustrates how the power balance in the region is rapidly shifting.

4m ago

Russia Savors U.S. Missteps in Syria, and Seizes Opportunity

President Trump’s erratic moves are letting Russia take on the role of peacemaker — and deal-maker — in Syria.

2h ago


Read more at the NYT...


Note: Russia has been the major deal-maker and peacemaker in Syria, while the US were breaking stuff by using "moderate rebels" (and Daesh) to kick Assad out and replace him with a Sunni Wahabbi extremist government.

relocating refugees...

At the opening ceremony of the new Turkish Parliament legislative year, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented his plan to relocate 2 million Syrian refugees, in line with what had been leaked already four years ago.

Erdoğan indicated that after being hosted by Turkey, the time had come to repatriate the refugees, and pledged to ensure their safety. A safe zone, 30-kilometers deep inside Syria, would be placed under the joint responsibility of the Turkish army. He added that one million people will be transferred to new communities, and another one million to already existing ones. "We will resettle these people in 50 cities of 30,000 inhabitants and in 140 villages with a population of 5,000 each," he stated.

According to the map previously published by Anadolu Agency, the strip of land covered by the safe-zone will be cut off at Qamishli (which would be left outside), thereby precluding the creation of an independent State. The city of Manbij would, however, form part of the zone.

This project was reportedly approved by the United States and may even garner international funding.

President Erdoğan did not touch on the fate of the remaining 1 650 million Syrian refugees remaining in Turkey.

In the past, President Hafez al-Assad had granted the Turkish army the green light to hunt down Kurdish fighters who attacked Turkey from inside Syrian territory. Likewise, he had allowed the Israeli army to protect itself from Palestinian gunfire. The area of pursuit, extending approximately 30 kilometers, was based on the firing range of the mortars.


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croc tears...

Mainstream US media has been the biggest cheerleader for Washington’s chaos production in Syria for years, but now, as Donald Trump pulls troops out of the northeast, they’re suddenly outraged. Spare us the crocodile tears.

“Plenty of reason here for the US possibly to become involved,” pleaded a horrified MSNBC correspondent this week, chastising Trump for ignoring “war crimes” and “human rights abuses” by Turkish forces.

Yet, while he and others cloak their demands for continued US military action in humanitarian concern for the Kurds in the face of Ankara’s onslaught, there is a more selfish reason for the media outrage. They are profoundly addicted to the bogus narrative of the US as the world’s savior, and worse, they crave the kind of dramatic TV footage and tales of military heroism that US forever wars offer. If that sounds a bit too cynical, recall MSNBC anchor Brian Williams close to weeping as he shared the “beautiful pictures” of American missiles raining down on Syria two years ago.

The pleas for fresh US intervention also reveal a hyper-focus on Washington’s “image” in the eyes of the world. The media has been bleating for days about how Trump’s actions will be perceived by its allies and enemies, but who is going to break it to them that their “image” is not quite what they think it is? 

Successive US administrations have pursued policies of chaos and disarray in Syria for years; first covertly attempting to sow social discontent to spur and exploit a popular uprising, then by funding, training, and backing jihadist militias (Al Qaeda, included) against Bashar Assad’s army, and prioritizing the fall of his secular government over peace for the better part of a decade. 

Couple that with Washington’s continued facilitation of slaughter in Yemen, its penchant for economically choking uncooperative nations with punitive and deadly sanctions and its psychological warfare of constant threats of violence against Iran, and one wonders exactly what kind of benevolent do-gooder image there is left to salvage.

This uniquely American obsession with image on the world stage was on display during CNN’s Tuesday night Democratic presidential debate, too. The perpetually grandstanding Cory Booker claimed Trump had turned America’s “moral leadership” into a “dumpster fire,” while Pete Buttigieg lamented the president’s betrayal of American “values” that left the country’s reputation and credibility “in tatters.” 


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removing the football from the pitch...

Turkey and Russia have agreed what they called a "historic" deal over military action against Kurds in northern Syria after a marathon diplomatic meeting.

Turkey has been launching an offensive against Syria's minority Kurdish group near the border.

Russia, a military ally of Syria's president, had deployed troops to the region in response.

The deal says that Russia has agreed to allow Turkey's operation, removing the risk of conflict between the two sides.

It came just ahead of the expiry of a ceasefire between Kurdish fighters and Turkish forces, and it is not yet clear whether the Kurdish militias will agree to the terms laid down by Russia and Turkey.

Turkey considers the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia to be a terrorist organisation.

The ceasefire, brokered by the United States, expires at 22:00 (19:00 GMT). Shortly beforehand, the YPG said they had complied with the terms of the US-brokered deal.

But the new deal agreed by Turkey with Russia has given Kurdish fighters extra time to withdraw.

From noon on Wednesday, the Kurdish fighters would have another 150 hours to leave the border region, withdrawing to a depth of 30km (19 miles) from the border - a so-called "safe zone".

The area affected is a 120km-long strip between the towns of Ras al-Ain to Tal Abyad, where the Turkish operation is taking place. 


But Mr Erdogan had reportedly wanted all 440km of the border to be part of the safe zone.

The statement from Russia and Turkey says that Kurdish forces "will be removed" from the towns of Manbij and Tal Rifat - both of which lie outside the operation area.

It also says Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols outside the operation area.

Why is Russia involved?

President Erdogan and President Putin's private meeting lasted more than six hours.

Russia has been a key military force in Syria's civil war, allied to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr Assad's forces entered the border region in response to Turkey's offensive against the Kurds.

The Russian deployment had created the potential for clashes between Russia and Turkey - something Mr Erdogan and Mr Putin want to avoid.


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who was the whistling-referee again?...

A permanent ceasefire has been achieved in northern Syria, US President Donald Trump has said, prompting Washington to lift recent sanctions it had imposed on Turkish imports in response to the violence.

Key points:
  • President Trump has lifted sanctions on Turkey
  • Russia has threatened Kurdish forces could be 'steamrolled'
  • Iraq will refuse to allow US troops leaving Syria to remain


During a special address at the White House, Mr Trump said that the sanctions would be lifted unless "something happens that we are not happy with", also casting scepticism about the meaning of "permanent" in "that part of the world".

"This was an outcome created by us, the United States and nobody else," Mr Trump said.


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On Tuesday, after the end of the 120-hour ceasefire, Turkey's Defence Ministry announced that its Operation Peace Spring, launched on 9 October, was officially complete.

The situation in northern Syria has partially settled down since Ankara announced there is no need to continue its offensive against the Kurdish forces in the region at this stage.

In the meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan have stated that Russian military police and Syrian troops will patrol the area along the Syrian border with Turkey.


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In the game between Turkey and the Kurdish Army, the Kurds got kicked out of bounds, by the accord between Edorgan and Putin blowing the final whistle... This could be the best minimalist uneasy peace to be achieved here for the moment — and Trump's US troops disappearing act definitely helped the outcome. See also: 

sold a french pup?...






The Iraqi government is seeking international help after US troops withdrawing from Syria entered western Iraq without authorization, with Baghdad now taking legal action against the uninvited presence.

Baghdad did not give permission for US forces to stay in Iraq, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi reaffirmed on Wednesday.

We ask the international community and the United Nations to perform their roles in this matter.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday that US troops transiting from Syria would use Iraq to make preparations to go home and assured that the aim is not to "stay in Iraq interminably." Esper did not specify how long the American troops would be staying.


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us troops...


russian/kurdish/syrian cooperation...

Speaking with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, SDF chief Mazloum Abdi thanked Moscow for securing a deal with Turkey and said the Kurdish militia will support Syrian troops and Russian military police patrolling the border.

Talks between the top Russian military officials and the commander-in-chief of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were held on Wednesday, via video link. Abdi discussed the ongoing developments in northeastern Syria with Shoigu and Russia’s Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, expressing full support to the deployment of Russian military police and Syrian Army units into the region.

Currently, units of the Russian military police and regular Syrian troops are being deployed into many locations. We are providing them with all kind of help and assistance, Abdi said.


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the view from NATO...

NATO behind the Turkish attack in Syria

by Manlio Dinucci

Several members of NATO are currently weeping crocodile tears about the terrible luck of the Kurds, thus masking the fact that they had in fact green-lit « Operation Peace Spring » in advance. To crush any doubt, the General Secretary of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, journeyed in person to Ankara, three days after the beginning of combat, to declare NATO’s support for Turkey.

Germany, France, Italy and certain other countries, who as members of the EU condemn Turkey for its attack in Syria, are co-members of NATO, which, while the attack had already begun, declared its support of Ankara. The General Secretary of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, made this support official during a meeting on 11 October in Turkey with President Erdoğan and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Çavuşoğlu [1].

« Turkey is on the front line in this extremely volatile region – no other Ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey, no other country is more exposed to the violence and turbulence coming from the Middle East », said Stoltenberg, acknowledging that Turkey has « legitimate preoccupations for its own security ». After having suggested – diplomatically - « action in moderation », Stoltenberg claimed that Turkey is a « powerful NATO ally, important for our collective defence », and that the Alliance is « strongly engaged in the defence of its security ». For this purpose, NATO has increased its aerial and naval presence in Turkey, and has invested more than 5 billion dollars in bases and military infrastructures. Apart from this, it has deployed an important command centre (not mentioned by Stoltenberg) – LandCom - responsible for the coordination of all Allied ground forces.

Stoltenberg stressed the importance of « missile defence systems » deployed by NATO in order to « protect the Southern frontier of Turkey », to be supplied in rotation by the Allies. On this subject, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Çavuşoğlu extended special thanks to Italy. Indeed, since 2016, Italy has deployed in the South-Eastern province of Turkey, Kahramanmaras, the « aerial defence system » Samp-T, co-produced with France.

A Samp-T unit consists of a command and control vehicle and six weapon-delivery vehicles each armed with eight missiles. Stationed in the border region close to Syria, they are able to shoot down any aircraft within Syrian air space. Their function, therefore, is anything but defensive. In last July, the Italian Chamber and Senate, on the basis of decisions taken by the joint commissions of Foreign Affairs, discussed the extension of the presence of Italian missiles in Turkey until 31 December. Besides this, Stoltenberg revealed that meetings are currently being held between Italy and France, co-producers of the Samp-T missile system, which Turkey hopes to buy. So, on the basis of a decree announced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Di Maio to block the exportation of weapons to Turkey, Italy must immediately remove the Samp-T missile system from Turkish territory and agree not to sell it to Turkey.

So this tragic little piece of political theatre continues, and Syrian blood continues to flow. Those people who today claim to be horrified at the new massacres, and call for a blockage of the exportation of weapons to Turkey, are the same people who looked the other way when the New York Times itself published a detailed enquiry about the CIA networks [2] which facilitate the arrival in Turkey, and also Croatia, of floods of weapons for the secret war in Syria [3]. After having destroyed the Yugoslav Federation and Libya, NATO tried the same tactic in Syria. The attack force was composed of an armed horde of Islamist groups (defined only a short time ago as ’terrorists’ by Washington) from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Libya and other countries. They gathered in the Turkish provinces of Adana and Hatay, border regions with Syria, where the CIA has opened centres for military training. The command centre for these operations was situated on board of NATO ships in the port of Iskenderun (Alexandretta).

All this information has been erased, and Turkey is presented by the General Secretary of NATO as the Ally « the most exposed to the violence and turbulence coming from the Middle East ».

Manlio Dinucci


Roger Lagassé


Il Manifesto (Italy)


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denying damascus access to its natural resources...

A supposed champion of the rule of law, the US is violating its own anti-Syrian sanctions by smuggling crude from oil fields it seized from Damascus, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has said.

Each month the US smuggles crude worth $30 million out of Syria, according to Zakharova. The fuel comes from fields in the northeastern part of the country, where the US maintains a military presence after pulling its troops back from the Syrian-Turkish border.

“A nation that repeats ad nauseam that it sticks to democratic values and rule of law in international relations, is pumping oil… under a pretense of fighting ISIL,” the official said, using an outdated name for terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

ISIL had been fully destroyed in March this year, according to the statements of the coalition. The narrative of the Americans doesn’t hold water.

Oil fields in the Deir ez-Zor governorate, east of the River Euphrates, were captured by US-backed Kurdish militias as they advanced on IS forces. Washington makes no secret of the fact that it keeps an illegal military presence in the area in order to deny Damascus access to the natural resources that it has every right to possess under international law.


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we could not make this up, could we?...

Donald Trump has dropped a truth bomb, and admitted he’s planning to keep troops in Syria because he wants the country’s oil.

This kind of honesty threatens the usual world order where everyone accuses the US of fighting wars for oil, and Washington denies it, and takes the oil anyway.

ICYMI looks at what else could happen when leaders start accidentally telling the truth.


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question: what are they doing in syria?...?????

At least 22 Turkish soldiers have been killed in an airstrike by Syrian "regime forces", a Turkish provincial governor has said.

Several more were badly hurt in the attack in Idlib in the north-west, Hatay governor Rahmi Dogan said. Other reports put the death toll higher.

Turkey's president held a top-level security meeting after the strike.

Syrian forces are trying to retake Idlib from rebels who are backed by Turkish soldiers.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Syrian forces to pull back from positions where Turkey has set up military observation posts.

Turkey has also threatened to attack Syrian government forces if they do not halt their advance.

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Erdogan said three Turkish soldiers had been killed in an airstrike in Idlib.

Turkey's defence ministry said it had responded to that incident by hitting Syrian "regime targets".


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Question: what are the Turks doing in Syria? Answer: ???????


NO matter the reasons, the Turks are illegally inside another country territory... with no invitation to be there.

One can imagine that the Turks are protecting the "rebels" (Al Qaeda, Daesh) in Idlib because:

a) the rebels are Sunnis and on the same ethnic side as many of the Turks.

b) the Turks are doing what NATO asked them to do: carry on the war against the Assad "regime" by proxy, thus defend the Al Qaeda and Daesh remnants in Idlib.

c) prevent a mass exodus to Turkey...

d) keeping Assad forces busy while the Yanks are stealing the Syrian oil...


Note that the Russians are patient and prefer negotiations to military force. They have the firepower to eliminate the entire Turkish army in Syria. They know it's not in their primary interest though, as they try to navigate the duplicity of Erdogan who eats in any trough he can place his nose in: The West, Russia and the Saudis...

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turkey; a surrogate for NATO's dirty tricks...

At least 29 Turkish solders [sic] have been killed in an air strike by Syrian government forces in Syria’s northwestern Idlib region.

Governor of the southeastern Turkish province of Hatay, Rahmi Dogan, said the death toll from the strike was initially nine soldiers.

He later confirmed 29 Turkish solders died in the attack but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the figure at 34 solders dead.

He says a further 39 injured were being treated in Turkish hospitals.

The deaths mark a serious escalation in the direct conflict between Turkish and Russia-backed Syrian forces that has been waged since early February.

According to the latest reports in the New York Times, the attack could “dramatically shift the course of the Syrian war”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called an emergency security meeting in Ankara, broadcaster NTV reported.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg by telephone, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

The Times reported a convoy traveling to resupply one of 12 Turkish posts set up a year ago came under attack and then the post itself was bombed, a Turkish-backed Syrian official part of the fighting force in Idlib province told the paper in an interview.

“No Syrian fighters were hurt in the bombing. The resupply convoy and the post were solely Turkish,” he said.

Fighting continued earlier throughout the week when Turkish-backed Syrian fighters captured the town of Saraqib on the main M5 highway through the province on Wednesday, and on Thursday were engaged in fierce battles further south.


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What is the "Syrian War?"... please read: ruthless pommy propaganda...

no confusion...

Groups of refugees and migrants are heading towards the EU after Turkey said it would not abide by a deal to stop them reaching Europe.

Turkey's communications chief said the country had not received enough support in hosting millions of Syrian refugees.

Its decision followed a deadly attack on Turkish troops by Syrian government forces in northern Syria.

The incident sparked fears of a major escalation involving Turkey and Syria's military ally, Russia.

Greece and Bulgaria - which border Turkey - have sent reinforcements to prevent people entering. Greek police have been deterring attempts to cross the border with tear gas, reports say.


However there was confusion over Turkish policy after the EU's Mr Borrell said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had reassured him that Turkey remained committed to controlling the flow of migrants to the EU....


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There is NO CONFUSION. Turkey has invaded Syria on behalf of NATO to support/protect ISIS remnants ("rebels", Al Qaeda, Daesh) in Idlib, SYRIA — all in order to unseat Assad. The Turkish army is about to take a blood-bath in Syria as the Syrian (Assad) government is re-taking its legitimate territory, from which many "rebels" (Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, Daesh) and their family are fleeing... NATO countries are refusing to help the Turks in battle against the Syrian army — because of the Russians' presence. The Turks are thus bothering their NATO "allies" by letting "refugees" ("rebels", Al Qaeda, Daesh) flee to Europe. The Europeans don't want a LARGE population of terrorists (("rebels", Al Qaeda, Daesh) invading Europe... These rebels and their families should be sent to Saudi Arabia.


The situation is dire.

flowers for a turkish sweet surrender

by Scott Ritter
This week’s meeting between Presidents Putin and Erdogan in Moscow was cast as preventing a war between Russia and Turkey in Syria. War, however, was never on the horizon. Putin called Erdogan’s bluff, and the Turk folded.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, accompanied by their respective senior national security advisers, met in Moscow on March 5. The purpose of this emergency summit was to negotiate the terms of a ceasefire that would bring an end to heavy fighting in Syria’s Idlib province that threatened to draw their two nations into direct military conflict. After more than six hours of meeting, a new agreement, packaged as an “additional protocol” to the “Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the De-escalation Area as of September 17, 2018” (better known as the “Sochi Agreement”), was agreed to by both parties.

A sputtering offensive

Over the course of a week, from February 27 through March 5, Syria’s Idlib province transitioned from being ground zero for a war between the Syrian army and allied forces, and heavily armed groups opposed to the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad, into a geopolitical powder keg that threatened to pull the Turkish and Russian militaries into direct conflict with one another. On March 1, Turkey, following up on threats previously made by President Erdogan to drive the Syrian Army and its allies back to the line of demarcation set forth in the original Sochi Agreement, unleashed a major offensive, dubbed “Operation Spring Shield” and involving thousands of Turkish troops fighting alongside anti-Assad formations.

Problems talking doesn’t solve

Under the terms of the original Sochi Agreement, the Turkish military was supposed to oversee the removal of heavily armed anti-Assad forces, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a designated terrorist organization, from so-called ‘de-escalation zones.’ The failure to accomplish this task, coupled with continued attacks against Syrian positions by HTS fighters, prompted the Syrian Army’s attack in Idlib. The additional protocol negotiated this week in Moscow “reaffirms” the Turkish and Russian “dedication” to “combat all forms of terrorism” and to “eliminate all terrorist groups in Syria”.

How this will be implemented is not spelled out in the additional protocol, indeed, given the fact that the majority of the anti-Assad forces that have sought refuge in the Turkish observation posts are HTS fighters that had, just a week before, been provided arms and vehicles to carry out attacks coordinated with the Turkish Army, the practicalities of implementation appear non-existent.

The agreement also focuses on another critical, yet unfulfilled, aspect of the original Sochi agreement – the guarantee of safe passage along the strategic M4 and M5 highway corridors connecting the city of Aleppo with Latakia (M4) and Damascus (M5). The inability and/or unwillingness on the part of the Turks to follow through with this provision was the major impetus behind the current Syrian offensive in Idlib. Indeed, the Syrian Army was able to gain full control of the M5 highway and was in the process of doing the same for the M4 highway when the Moscow agreement brought an end to the fighting.

Under the terms of the additional protocol, the new zones of de-escalation will be defined by the frontlines as they currently exist, securing the hard-won advances made by the Syrian Army and embarrassing Erdogan, who had promised to drive the Syrians back to the positions as they existed at the time of the original Sochi Agreement. Moreover, the M4 highway will now be buffered by a 12-kilometer security zone (Six kilometers on each side), and will be jointly patrolled by Turkey and Russia, guaranteeing secure passage for commercial vehicle traffic. These patrols will begin on March 15, which means the Turks have ten days to oversee the evacuation of anti-Assad forces from this corridor–in effect, pushing them back north of the M4 highway, which was the goal of the Syrian offensive to begin with.

Back in line, but for how long?

While couched as a ceasefire agreement, the additional protocol produced by the Moscow summit between Putin and Erdogan on Thursday is a thinly disguised instrument of surrender. The Syrian government got everything it was looking for by launching its offensive, and the Turks and their anti-Assad allies were left licking their wounds in a much-reduced Idlib pocket. Beyond preventing direct conflict between Turkey and Russia, the additional protocol achieves little that changes the situation on the ground. Turkey is still faced with the task of disarming the HTS fighters it currently embraces as allies, and the humanitarian crisis triggered by hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced by the earlier fighting remains. In many ways, the additional protocol, like its antecedent, the Sochi Agreement, is an arrangement designed to fail, because by succeeding it only perpetuates an unsustainable reality that will only be resolved when the totality of Syrian territory is restored to the control of the Syrian government.



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bin zayed supports the liberation of idlib...

According to Middle East Eye, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, has decided to support the liberation of the Idlib Governorate (Syria), which continues to be occupied by jihadists and the Turkish army. [1] MBZ offered $ 3 billion to help the Syrian military.

Russia used Turkey to organize the pull-back of the jihadists towards Idlib. It achieved its strategic objectives by liberating Damascus and Aleppo, then by building up its Navy base in Tartous.

The Emirates and Russia are fighting together against Turkey in Libya.

On 5 March, Russia and Turkey signed a — never implemented — ceasefire agreement. Disregarding it, Syria, supported by the Emirates, forged ahead with the liberation of its territory before being called to a cease-fire by the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Choigou, who came specially to meet President al-Assad in Damascus on 23 March.

With his country having already paid 250 million dollars twice, Prince Mohammed bin Zayed called his Syrian counterpart, on 27 March, to prod him to use the money not to kick the Turks out of Syria, but to fight against the coronavirus instead.



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turkey’s de facto annexation of idleb...

Turkey has imposed its currency, the Turkish lira, in the areas it occupies in northern Syria.

The governorate of Idleb, controlled by Al-Qaeda [1], became in effect an extension of Turkey mirroring the way in which the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the island of Cyprus was taken over by Turkey in 1974 during Operation Attila.

It should be recalled that the pseudo-Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognized only by Turkey and that, despite the accession of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004, the self-proclaimed "champion of peace" never defended Cypriot citizens under Turkish occupation.

The annexation of Idlib is concomitant with the implementation of the siege of Syria by the West (Cesar Act) [2], the coordinated burning of Syrian fields by US forces and jihadist groups [3], and the announcement of Iran’s turnabout to align with Turkey in Libya [4].

Such a move corresponds to the “National Oath” [5], written by Mustapha Kemal Atatürk, against the Peace Treaties of the First World War. Plans to annex other Iraqi, Syrian and even Greek regions are also highlighted in the document.


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russia resumes fighting in idlib (syria)...

Russian air force has restarted its shelling of jihadist groups in Syria, which was interrupted under the Turkish-Russian agreements intended to freeze operations in the Idlib region.

On 21 October 2020, the shelling struck the villages of al-Magarah and al-Rami occupied by Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (Al-Qaeda) and the National Liberation Front (Turkey).

It is too soon to know whether they are isolated strikes or the initial stages of renewed fighting.

A second hypothesis could be that the Turkish army was preparing for a probable Russian offensive in Idlib (occupied by the Turkish army) in response to the invasion by jihadi forces of Nagorno-Karabakh.

This time, Germany and France, which are currently at odds with President Erdoğan on migrant issues, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, are no longer likely to assist Turkey logistically against Syria.



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James Jeffrey is a liar...

James Jeffrey, President Donald Trump’s former special representative for Syria and against ISIL, gave an interview to Defense One [1] a week after being relieved of his duties.

He explains that he strove hard to keep occupation forces in Syria. In particular, he avows to having lied for two years, in collusion with Pentagon generals, about the number of troops on the ground. While Trump had agreed to the presence of only 200 troops to ward off an attack on the oil wells, Jeffrey and the Pentagon kept 900, distributed throughout the territory.

According to our information, half of the revenue from these wells was handed over to the Kurdish mercenaries contracted by the Pentagon, while the other half was earmarked for the black operations conducted by the CIA around the world (i.e. without official funding, therefore hidden from White House and congressional oversight).

James Jeffrey, who served as deputy national security adviser to President George Bush Jr., is a Republican opposed to Jacksonian President Donald Trump. He is one of the signatories of the open letter from Republican former national security officials calling for the election of the Democrat candidate, Joe Biden [2].



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bringing back exiles...

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad held a videoconference, on 9 November 2020, to announce the forthcoming Damascus conference on the return of Syrians from abroad.

More than 150 Russian figures will travel from Moscow specially to participate.

Russia invited all relevant states to take part in the conference. However, the European Union and the United Nations responded negatively.

The European Union deems that the Syrian migrants did not flee the fighting, but the "Alawite dictatorship" (sic) and that they do not intend to return until "Bashar" is gone.

The UN special representative, Geir Pedersen, has been at odds with Russia since his videoconference speech to the Security Council, on 27 October 2020, when he complained about a Russian air attack on the Legion of the Levant (Faylaq al-Cham). From his point of view, this group has been involved in a series of negotiations in the past, and is therefore protected by the United Nations. However, from the Russian perspective, it was incorporated into a Turkish army operation theater two years ago and has, therefore, forfeited its rights.

During the videoconference, President Assad insisted that, unfortunately, hotbeds of terrorism were still thriving in Syria.



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Note: the "Alawite dictatorship" (sic) is protecting all of Syria against a Sunni dictatorship (under a pseudo-democratic adventure) which would please the USA and the West (and the Saudis)... Remove Assad and Daesh would be taking over Damascus in a flash, killing off all the other ethnic groups in Syria, including Christians... 

covert cartoons for propaganda in syria...


By Kit Klarenberg, an investigative journalist exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions.

Follow Kit on Twitter @KitKlarenberg

Leaked documents show how the Foreign & Commonwealth Office spent millions setting up a clandestine network to churn out pro-rebel material, much of it aimed at winning the hearts and minds of kids.

A swath of internal UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) files have exposed a number of covert ways in which London sought to both propagandize Syrian children and turn them into weapons, in a vast, long-running information warfare campaign at home and abroad. 

The documents are just some of the bombshell papers released by hacktivist collective Anonymous, outlining a variety of cloak-and-dagger actions undertaken by the UK government against the Syrian state over many years. 

The overriding objective behind them all was to destabilize the government of Bashar Assad, convince Syrians, Western citizens, foreign governments, and international bodies that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was a legitimate alternative, and flood media the world over with pro-opposition propaganda.

Children figured prominently in a number of the plans, in more ways than one. ARK, a shadowy firm headed by veteran FCO operative Alistair Harris, was central to many of these covert efforts, which may have cost the FCO many millions in total.


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Note: the "Alawite dictatorship" (sic) is protecting all of Syria against a Sunni dictatorship (under a pseudo-democratic adventure) which would please the USA and the West (and the Saudis)... Remove Assad and Daesh would be taking over Damascus in a flash, killing off all the other ethnic groups in Syria, including Christians...