Arkiv för augusti, 2016

31 aug

Fler analyser om Turkiets roll. – Damascus and Ankara strike a deal: Erdogan gets the Kurds and Assad gets Aleppo

This is a loose translation of an article by Mohammad Ballout that appeared in Lebanon’s Assafir newspaper on August 29:
The Syrians and the Turks are on the verge of a security understanding that will lead to a political one. The indications of this unprecedented understanding are not yet clear. But its first headline, without any surprises, is a trade off: the Turks backing off in Aleppo and closing the crossings used by some of the armed groups (the most important ones) in the north in exchange for the Turkish forces to be given the freedom to destroy the Kurdish project in Syria. In other words, the city of Aleppo goes to Syria and the corpse of the Kurdish project in Syria goes to the Turks.

Moon of Alabama – Turkey in Jarablus: A deal between everyone but the U.S.

All these talks were not just between Turkey and Syria (in Algeria) or between Moscow and Ankara. There was a wide framework discussed between all relevant forces – Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Turkey and others and only the U.S. (it seems) was left out. I do not see this as a loss for Russia – not at all. The Syrian government was barely alive when Russia intervened just 10 month ago. It has now regained a lot of its land and capabilities. The U.S. and Israeli plans for a divided Syria have been warded. The strategic landscape has been changed. That’s a lot of progress in a quite short time.
Surely Syria would like to be in a better situation, but its resources are limited and neither Russia nor Iran are willing to go all-in (and risk attacks on their homelands) to recover the last corners of the country. The deal with Turkey will prevent control of the U.S. over significant parts of Syria and the federalization of the country the neocons promote. – Syrian Roulette

This comment was chosen by Mod TR from the post “Erdogan Calls Putin as Russia Seethes at Turkey’s Syrian Incursion”. The moderator believes this comment gives another perspective on the complex war in Syria. There are so many different players each with their own interests and agendas – nothing is clear cut in the constantly changing playbook that is the Syrian war. – UN report on chlorine gas attack in Syria inconclusive: Russia

Syria and Russia have rejected findings by a UN-led investigation that claims Damascus used chlorine gas in two attacks in 2014 and 2015.
”These conclusions lack any physical evidence, whether by samples or attested medical reports that chlorine was used,” said Syrian Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari after a closed-door UN Security Council meeting over the report on Tuesday.
The report was ”totally based on witnesses presented by terrorist armed groups,” he added.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin also stated that he had ”very serious questions” over the investigation’s findings and suggested the panel should gather more information.

En tysk rapport från februari i år. Vet inte hur de har kunnat komma fram till de här siffrorna eller om de stämmer.

More than 360,000 Foreign Fighters have fought the Syrian Army” Firil Center For Studies FCFS, Berlin, Germany

The number of foreign fighters who have fought the Syrian army between April 2011 and the end of 2015 is 360.000

About $ 45 billion were paid to fund military actions against the Syrian army; these billions covered monthly salaries, weapons, ammunition, vehicles, SUVs, flight tickets, accommodation in transit countries, forged passports and treatment in hospitals.

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30 aug

Fler försök att reda ut hur det ligger till med Turkiets direkta inblandning.
The Debate – Turkey Syria Incursion

On Wednesday Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria by sending in tanks, planes and ground forces under the pretext of liberating the town of Jarablus from Daesh terrorists. But it soon became apparent that offensive was just as much as Syrian Kurdish forces, as against Daesh at least. What has ensued since has been a sling of claims and counter claims. Turkey accuses the Syrian Kurdish fighters of ethnic cleansing, while the country itself stands accused of killing around 35 civilians in its latest offensive.
As Turkey vows to protect its borders against “terrorist organizations”, we ask at what cost? And is regional security really the objective here? Stay tuned to this edition of The Debate.
– Journalist and Political Commentator, Omar Nashabe (BEIRUT).
– U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security Analyst, Lawrence J. Korb (ATLANTA)

Alexander Mercouris – Erdogan Calls Putin as Russia Seethes at Turkey’s Syrian Incursion

Whilst it seems the Turks did inform the Russians of this move in advance, it is clear that the Russians are to put it mildly unhappy about it.

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27 aug

Andrew Korybko kommer med ännu en lång artikel där han beskriver varför han tror att Ryssland och Syrien var med på att Turkiet skulle gå in i Syrien och trycka tillbaka de kurdiska grupper som vill dela upp Syrien och ha ett eget land.

Turkey In Syria, The FSA, And The Upcoming Quarrel Over Syria’s Constitution

Much ado has been made over the past few days about the ulterior motives behind Turkey’s conventional military campaign in northern Syria, with most people refusing to believe that Erdogan ‘altruistically’ ordered the operation just to ‘take one for the team’ and help his multipolar allies clear out the Kurdish “federalists”. Turkey does indeed have a self-interested national security reason in doing so, but knowing the wily Sultan, he’s bound to have a trick or two up his sleeve, and it’s very likely that he’s aiming for grander goals than just preventing the emergence of a PKK safe haven all along his southern borderland (which is in and of itself an ambitious objective). The fact of the matter is that Turkey’s true long-term intention for its conventional military involvement in Syria isn’t to take the country’s territory like many alarmists seem to think is the plan, but to change its constitution, which in many ways could be just as bad or even worse for the country.
Syria, Russia, and Iran are definitely aware of this, and they might have even held out the possibility – but certainly not the promise – of Turkey influencing the forthcoming rewritten Syrian Constitution in order to convince Erdogan to step into northern Syria to take out the Kurds and replace the pro-Saudi Daesh and pro-American SDF with Ankara’s FSA, all the while risking that he’ll be drawn into a quagmire as he takes out his new partners’ mutual enemies. Despite the risks inherent in this gamble and all that could possibly go wrong with this plot, the Resistance Bloc appears to have agreed that the potential benefits far outweigh the dangers, and that it’s preferable for Turkey to act as their ‘cat’s paw’ against Washington and Riyadh’s proxies because Moscow and Tehran – for whatever their reasons may be – lack the political will to commit to an all-out sustained military operation to do this themselves. – Syrian Army in full control of Darayya

With Darayya under government control, the Syrian Arab Army will be able to redeploy the 2,500 soldiers from the Republican Guard and 42nd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division to another volatile front.
In the grand scheme of things, the loss of Darayya for the Islamist rebels will have an adverse effect on their other fronts in Damascus, as the Syrian Arab Army will have a surplus of soldiers and heavy weaponry to use in the West Ghouta. – Turkish-backed rebels advance against US-backed rebels

The Turkish-backed “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) and their Islamist allies reportedly captured several sites from the US-backed “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) today after a series of intense clashes in the northern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate.

Progress towards settling the Syrian crisis has been made, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry announced after wrapping up key talks. According to the diplomats, experts from both countries will meet in Geneva in coming days to clarify the details of what has been agreed.

In this episode of The Debate, Press TV has conducted an interview with Scott Rickard, a former American intelligence linguist from Tampa, and Daniel Serwer, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University from Washington, to discuss the current situation in Syria after the liberation of the Damascus suburb of Darayya. – ‘West not serious about fighting terrorism’ – adviser to Syrian President Assad

At this point in the interview, the Syrian president’s political and media adviser had harsh words for the present state of the Western media, which she said routinely “falsifies the facts”.
“There’s no free press in the West. There is a corporate media who have an agenda and who try to portray everything according to that agenda. Either they’re labeling accusations against us or falsifying facts and reporting things that have nothing to do with the truth…
Shaaban lamented that because the media has ”demonized us in the eyes of Western people,” the Western people ”don’t know who we are”.
”We don’t have a voice with Western people. We have no channel of communication; the corporate media is blocking the channels of communication between us and the West,” she continued.

Att försöka hjälpa till att råda bot på det som hon säger sist här i citatet har väl varit uppgiften för den här bloggen, även om det på slutet blivit glest mellan inläggen.

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25 aug

Vad betyder egentligen Turkiets militära intrång i Syrien? Har Erdogan lurat Ryssland, eller är Ryssland och Syrien införstådda med att Turkiet hindrar kurderna att ockupera områden som ett led i att dela upp Syrien?
Andrew Korybko tycks snarare tro på det senare – Turkey Crosses into Syria: Unipolar Conspiracy or Multipolar Coordination?

In closing, the author would like to refer the reader to his article from over a month ago about how “Regional War Looms As “Kurdistan” Crosses The Euphrates”, in which it was forecast that Russia would assemble a multipolar “Lead From Behind” coalition in pushing back against the US’ attempts to carve the second ‘geopolitical Israel’ of “Kurdistan” out of northern Syria, with it specifically being written that “it can be reasonably assumed that there’s an invisible Russian hand gently coordinating their broad regional activities” in stopping this. With Turkey crossing into Syria to preempt the YPG from unifying all of its occupied territory in northern Syria and breathing sustainable geopolitical life into the US’ latest divide-and-rule project in the Mideast, and keeping in mind the fast-paced diplomacy between Russia, Iran, and Turkey and the months-long ongoing secret negotiations between Ankara and Damascus, all empirical evidence suggests that this latest development in the War on Syria is less a unipolar conspiracy and more a multipolar coordinated plan to bring an end to this conflict and preempt the internal partitioning of Syria.

Sen dök den här mycket intressanta kommentaren upp på facebook – Hoppas att det inte bara är spekulationer.

Just to make it clear for those who may have missed a few episodes.
Since Russia saved Erdogan’s bacon in the US backed botched coup, Erdogan has turned his back on his former “allies” and now pledges allegiance to THE Putin.
He was instructed to order his ISIS buddies to leave Syria but in order to make it look good and save some face, he was allowed to stage a mock invasion into Syria to get the job done. While there, he was given permission to push back the Kurds of the YPG that are backed by the US and who have lately become aggressive towards the Syrian army in securing territory for themselves. Erdogan was happy to oblige there as it is not in his best interests to have the Kurds establish a strong independent state just south of his border.
Erdogan is proving useful for the Russian led coalition in handling the YPG Kurds and their US backers and also removing the ISIS “Jihadists” saving the Syrians the trouble and risk to lives to do the job themselves.
As for the US, not knowing how else to react and in trying to salvage their alliance with Turkey, they too tag along and provide fake air cover for the Turks in their fake battles with ISIS.

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24 aug – Syria condemns Turkey’s breach of Syria’s sovereignty in Jarablos

An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that Turkish tanks and armored vehicles on Wednesday morning crossed the Syrian-Turkish borders towards Jarablos city under cover of the Us-led alliance’s air forces.
The source said that Syria asserts that fighting terrorism on Syrian terrorism by any side must be conducted by coordinating with the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army which has been fighting terrorism for over five years.
The source stressed that Syria condemns this blatant violation of its sovereignty and affirms that fighting terrorism isn’t done by ousting ISIS and replacing it with other terrorist organizations backed directly by Turkey. – Russian Foreign Ministry expresses concern over situation on the Syrian- Turkish borders and calls on Turkey to coordinate with Syria regarding fighting terrorism – SouthFront: Rebels emerge at new flank in Aleppo after Turkish intervention

rebel forces have captured the Syrian border town of Jarablus after some 1500 insurgents, heavily backed by the Turkish military, prompted ISIS to fully withdraw from the town. – US Warns Syrian Military…Against Operating Inside Syria!

Just when you thought US foreign policy could not get more absurd. Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is listed as ”commander of US forces in Iraq and Syria,” has issued a warning to the Syrian military that if its counter-insurgency operations on Syrian soil leave US troops on Syrian soil ”feeling threatened,” the US military would ”defend itself.”
That needs to be broken down to even be believed.
The Syrian military is fighting an armed uprising on its own soil. The US government is training and equipping several factions of that armed insurgency, in this case the Kurdish YPG militia. The US military is also operating on Syrian soil alongside and in support of the YPG militia. Members of the YPG militia have, over the past several days, been firing on Syrian government forces. The Syrian air force returns fire on its own soil and the US military that is illegally operating on Syrian soil issues a warning to the Syrian government to stop firing on insurgents on Syrian soil!

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19 aug – Pentagon sends jets, warning as Syria bombs near US-backed Kurds

The US-led coalition scrambled planes near the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah, after Syrian SU-24 airplanes dropped bombs “dangerously near” the US Special Forces operators embedded with the Kurdish YPG militia in the area.
Two Syrian Su-24 jets struck Kurdish positions in and near Hasakah, in northeastern Syria, on Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters.
The strike came close to US Special Forces operators, who were embedded with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), comprised of the Kurdish YPG and local Arab militias.
By the time the US jets arrived, the Syrian bombers had already departed. No Americans were wounded in the bombing, according to Davis. The Special Forces were ordered to retreat from the area as a precaution. – Tyrkia og Iran er enige om vilkårene for fred i Syria

Det er en diplomatisk sensasjon, men den er ikke omtalt i de dominerende mediene i vest. Tyrkia og Iran har offentliggjort en avtale som trekker opp prinsippene for en fredelig løsning av Syria-konflikten. Det var Tyrkias statsminister Binali Yildirim som gjorde avtalen kjent i en tale i det tyrkiske parlamentet 16. august 2016.
Avtalen ble så bekreftet av en framstående talsmann for det iranske UD. Gareth Porter har skrevet om denne avtalen i Truthout.
Denne avtalen er uttrykk for en helt ny politikk fra Tyrkias side, og den ble mulig etter samtalene mellom president Recep Tayyip Erdogan og Vladimir Putin i Sant Petersburg. Til nå har Tykria vært den viktigste støttespilleren til de jihadistiske gruppene som kjemper mot Syria og Bashar al-Assad. Men nederlagene til disse gruppene etter at Russland gikk inn i krigen har fått Erdogan til å søke etter et alternativ.
Tyrkias viktigste mål er å hindre at det oppstår en kurdisk stat i Syria. Iran har hele tida vært for å opprettholde Syrias enhet, og er derfor på linje med Tyrkia i dette. Erdogan er svært negativ til USAs de facto-allianse med den kurdiske YPG-militsen og Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). YPG har sagt at de vil sikre seg kontroll over et område vest for Eufrat-floden, noe som er å krysse «den røde linja» som Tyrkia har satt. – Russia engaged in ‘thoughtful’ Syria discussions with Turkey

“We have started to work in detail and thoughtfully on the Syrian issue with the Turkish side. We consider this work to be constructive and positive,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday. – Russian jets launch nonstop airstrikes over southern Aleppo – Syriens armé och Hizbollah attackerar terroristernas militära anläggningar i Aleppo

Bill Van Auken – “Human rights” propaganda campaign paves way for military escalation in Syria

Photographs and video of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh have rapidly become ubiquitous in the media in the US and Western Europe after being distributed by a group aligned with the CIA-backed Islamist “rebels” in Syria.

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18 aug

De syriska styrkorna verkar ha stoppat upp offensiven från ISIS-grupperna mot Aleppo, och börjat återta förlorade områden.

Ryssland har börjat använda flygfält i Iran som utgångspunkt för insatser med bombflyg. Och Kina har meddelat att man är beredda att ställa upp med humanitär hjälp och hjälp åt den syriska militären.

Turkiet förbättrar realtionerna med Ryssland, frågan är om de kan förmås sluta släppa in krigare till Syrien. – Syrian Army, Hezbollah launch new assault in southern Aleppo – Russian jets from Iran hammer ISIS in east Syria – Russian-Iranian Cooperation in Syria is a ‘Slap in the Face to US and NATO’

Cooperation between Moscow and Tehran has been a ”direct slap in the face” to the United States, the North Atlantic Alliance, as well as other countries and forces that are trying to destabilize Iran and Syria, political activist and journalist Navid Nasr told Radio Sputnik.

Nasr mentioned that the deploymnt of Russian aircraft to Hamadan has a geographical and a strategic component. For instance, ”it is much easier to strike Aleppo or anywhere else in Syria” from Iran.

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