Monday, January 22, 2018

NATO Attempts a Face Save as UN Security Council Refrains From Condemning Turkey

Below are the article's I've read today:

 Daily Mail- This has a whole lot to do with the potential to shatter the NATO alliance.

As mentioned yesterday France was going to take this issue to the UN

The UN Security Council discussed Turkey's intensifying offensive against Kurdish militias and the worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria on Monday but did not condemn or demand an end to the sensitive Turkish operation.

"It was of course part of the conversation," French Ambassador Francois Delattre said of Afrin after the closed-door talks at UN headquarters in New York.

"The call for restraint, I believe, was widely shared during the discussion," he added, saying that France was "attentive to the security of Turkey, its territories and its borders."
"It's vital to keep the unity of the allies in what remains the number one priority, which is the fight against terrorism and against Daesh in particular," Delattre stressed, using another term for the IS militant group.
Of course there were the usual comments regarding Syria’s leadership:
"The number one party responsible for the humanitarian tragedy in Syria is the Syrian regime," he added. "The number one tragedy happening before our eyes happens in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib."

"If things continue this way, Eastern Ghouta might be the new Aleppo in terms of humanitarian disaster," Delattre added.
Oped from Daily Sabah. Very lengthy just an excerpt below
“Turkey's goals in the Afrin operation are clear and limited. It is to clear its border from the control of terrorist elements that threaten its national security and territorial integrity. Turkey also aims to prevent the formation of a YPG controlled quasi-state that has access to the Mediterranean Sea. The emergence of such a hostile political entity or autonomous unit along its southern border may change the status quo against its interest and isolate Turkey from the rest of the Middle East. Prevention of another inundation of refugees to its borders is also another sensitive issue that is haunting decision makers in Ankara. Turkey also wants to play a more active and influential role in reshaping the political future of Syria in the diplomatic arena. 
Turkey's involvement in the Astana talks together with Russia and Iran was a significant step for the country to play a more constructive role in shaping the future of its neighbor Syria. Having a military presence in the field and limiting hostile elements militarily stood as the most effective way to boost Turkey's diplomatic position”
Since the YPG is armed and trained by the U.S., Turkey may directly and indirectly confront the U.S. in the field. This confrontation may lead to a broader strategic rift between the two NATO partners"
I've reported on, in a number of posts, the massive rift between the US and Turkey. Beginning long before the attempted coup took place!

Sputnik
"The Turkish Air Force attacked the Menagh Military Airbase in northwestern Syria, which the US used for supplying weapons to Kurdish armed forces, the Hurriyet newspaper reported citing military sources"
Turkey not eying Syrian territory?
Erdogan Speaks in Ankara January 22/2018
"Turkey’s president said on Monday that Turkey is not eyeing Syrian territories and that the ongoing operation in Afrin will end as soon as its objectives are met.

"Turkey has no design on the territories of another country. The operation in Afrin will end when its aims are fulfilled, like Operation Euphrates Shield," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan at an awards ceremony in the capital Ankara, referring to a successful cross-border operation that ended last March.

The president said the current Operation Olive Branch is not aimed at Kurds but instead targets terrorists in the region.

“It is very clear that we do not have any problem with our Kurdish citizens; it is also not a matter of a Kurdish corridor"
"The incident is a matter of destroying the terrorist corridor”
in Syria, he added.
 “The main purpose of this operation is to contribute to the safety of life and property of Syrian people as well as the territorial integrity of Syria, along with Turkey’s national security,” he said"
Erdogan get's some digs in!
“He also criticized the U.S. State Department urging Turkey to limit the operation’s scope and duration.

“Then I ask the U.S.: Did you have any specific time duration in Afghanistan, when will it end? You entered Iraq before we came to power [in 2003], has the time duration ended in Iraq, you are still there.”

Reuters: The Issue of Manbij-  immediately below the flashback
Flashback: August 16/16  US to Keep Manbij Promise? 3 Step Road Map: Assad Stays. Cooperating with Iran & More 
“The U.S. and the President Barack Obama personally promised that PYD members in the SDF would be withdrawn to the east of the Euphrates River. Now the U.S. must keep its promise, and we expect them to. We are maintaining our communications regarding this matter."

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu reminded U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday that he had personally made a promise to withdraw the Syrian PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed People's Protection Units (YPG) to the east of the Euphrates once the Manbij operation”
Of course the US did NOT keep this promise and they never intended to ,choosing instead to move troops into the area and bolster their Kurdish proxies.
“Any Turkish operation in Manbij is likely to be met with serious U.S. concerns, with a number of U.S. troops in and around the city. The troops were deployed in March to deter Turkish and U.S.-backed rebels from attacking each other and have also carried out training and advising missions in Manbij.”

The entire U.S. strategy rests on the Kurds. Even if Turkey doesn’t attack Manbij, the fall of Afrin will weaken the Kurds, and that will weaken the U.S. influence with the Kurds,Tol said. ”The only leverage the U.S. has (in Syria) is through the Kurds.
“If Manbij falls, Raqqa is going to be threatened and that is key for the U.S.,” Tol continued"
 The only leverage the US has in Syria is through the PKK/YPG Kurds.....

 Just a thought.... Turkey is forced to enter Syria, to pre-emptively defend itself from an ARMY amply and generously supplied by their NATO ally the United States- Allies?

DW
"But many analysts say the standoff in Afrin is hotter than it looks. The influential Soufan Group, a US-based security intelligence strategy firm, said in its latest brief that the Turkish action is an example of the new coalition between Turkey, Russia and Iran, which are "united in a desire to block US interests in the country." The US will have to back down or ratchet up the conflict with its NATO ally Ankara, the Soufan Group suggests"

Back down or ratchet the conflict up- Which do you think it's going to be?

Of course I had the most recent article from Soufan bookmarked for this latest post!

The US and Turkey Showdown in Northern Syria
  • -The apparent attack has been long in coming, with U.S. direct military support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • -The latest spike in tensions came about with an announcement by the U.S. of a 30,000-fighter ‘Border Security Force.’
  • The initial statement about the border force was that it was intended to keep the Islamic State from regrouping while keeping foreign fighters from traveling freely. As Turkey’s reaction grew more vocal and aggressive, the U.S. stated that the rollout of the announcement had been handled poorly and that in no way was it creating a ‘border force’—even though that was the term it had used to announce its plans.
  • There was also opposition within Syria to the idea of the U.S. setting up a semi-permanent armed rebel force inside the country. Russia also expressed opposition. Turkey, Russia, and Iran have the greatest influence in Syria, though the three countries are not operating in lockstep; the one source of unity among them is blocking U.S. interests in Syria, and they have the ability to do so
  • The U.S.-Turkish relationship has been deteriorating, especially since the July 2016 failed coup. Ankara accused the U.S. of supporting the coup.
Lavrov says :US plan to create security forces in Syria may be ‘deliberate provocation’

Lavrov- He's one savvy diplomat

The US effort to create security forces along Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq may be a deliberate provocation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. “In the follow-up of this course towards gross interference in Syria’s affairs, it was announced that some border security forces would be set up,” TASS quoted the minister as saying. After that, some “clumsy statements” were made to dismiss this information but in actual fact this entire activity continued, he said. “This is either failure to understand the situation or a deliberate provocation,” he said. Kurdish representatives are on the invitation list for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress due in the Russian resort of Sochi, he noted. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia maintains contact with Syrian and Turkish officials. “We believe that the principle of preserving Syria’s territorial integrity is the basic one… We’re keeping an eye on the humanitarian aspects related to the current events in the area of Afrin,” he said.
It's a deliberate provocation- Lavrov knows this. As well as I do!

I’ll end this post, same as I'd ended the, relinked below, post from 17 months ago:

Flashback: Turkey/ US: Cat & Mouse. Creating Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0 Has Been A Mass Bloodletting

Personally speaking: ***Presenting the move into Syria, by Turkey, as solely being part of the NATO/Israeli planned destabilization agenda including redrawing the map of the middle east is:   
1-failing to consider that redrawn map includes a balkanized/weakened Turkey. As well as Iran. 
2-It fails to consider the obvious symbiosis between Kurds and ISIS- ISIS shock troops/Kurdish moppers and annexers.. all done under the guise of 'fighting ISIS' with the US/Israel backing both sides  
3- It is also ignoring the historical fracturing of the NATO alliance at this time. 
4-Russian/China's gain. Tacitly backing Turkey at this time means (a) weakened NATO, (b) No problem with Black Sea and Bosporus access

Personally speaking again, presenting Turkey's move into Syria without considering the points mentioned above and what has been going on the past few years is a very NATO advantageous narrative- It will allow the  NATO friendly presentation to move forward with other NATO members attacking Turkey for being 'rogue'.

 Related posts:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Update: Operation Olive Branch- Turkey's Operation Against US Backed Kurdish Proxies in Syria

It is France that called for an ‘urgent’ UN meeting- Earlier there were claims that Russia was going to do that. Claims, quite frankly I did not believe.  Since I hold  the opinion Russia  green lighted this operation. As did Iran. As did Syria. It seems self evident despite all the cheap talk.


US Broken promises trigger Afrin operation

*Arming PKK/YPG Kurds
*Broken US promise to have their kurdish proxies retreat east of the euphrates
*Creating a “border force” aka a terror army right on Turkey’s border
* Building US bases to support an occupation


“If the US wasn’t going to arm Kurds, Turkey wouldn’t have arrived to the point where it is.” Ankara “tried to draw attention of its ally, [telling the Americans] ‘You should not arm and train and provide ammunition to a terrorist group’,” Yakis said, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) viewed by Ankara as a terrorist group.

IS Units Hidden Amongst Kurds in Afrin

Of course they are! That’s the way this ‘game’ has been played since it started. I caught on to this some years ago-  Hence KurdIShIS!

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

The newspaper noted that the airfield was among the 113 targets scheduled for the attack during Operation Olive Branch in Syrian Africa.

Misleading Headline from Albawaba- so I’m using my own

A broader perspective on the real agenda in the region

Finally we get a better look at what the Syrian destabilization has been about, even though this article is lacking.

Turkey vs Kurds? - Not entirely. The hoped and planned for creation of a Kurdish nation state from the ashes of four destroyed nations. Control of the Turkish Straits. Impeding Russia.

Iran/Hezbollah versus U.S./Israel? Iran & Lebanon vs Usrael. Is more accurate
Mediterranean gas resources.. Pipelines etc.,

Russia

*Russia and arms deals
*Russia and trade
*Russia and resources
* warm water port access - Again think Black sea. Turkish straits, Crimea/Ukraine


The Forgotten Syrian people?

True enough. I've not forgotten them. But the ordinary folk we're never a concern to anyone other then the domestic government.

Albawaba forgot this, I'm including it

Israel & the creation of Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0
* Ally in the region (non arab)
* Trading partner (drugs, arms, organs, people)
* Land grab- Greater Israel
* Both the Kurdish thugs and their Israeli allies detest Christians.

 
There are reports that Turkey’s planning a buffer zone

*but we already know that Russia has told the US backed Kurdish proxies to hand the territory back to Syria- And it is Syria’s territory. And they’ll pretty much put a stop to this- The US backed Kurds refused. They can change their mind. But I don’t think they want to.


From earlier today:

Kurds Rejected Russian Protection In Exchange for Syrian Territorial Return

One thing we can say with certainty this is all “up in the air” and deadly dangerous.
The potential for this to spin out of control is very high.

 Recent : 

Kurds Rejected Russian Protection In Exchange for Syrian Territorial Return

Of course the US backed Kurds in Afrin rejected the Russian offer!
Since they and their backers have other objectives.

First an observation:

When news of Operation Olive Branch first broke the news coverage on main stream and many alternatives sites was absent! Today, I notice more msm coverage of the ongoing situation- A nearly two day delay. I suspect we'll get some heavy spin this coming week via the media- bad Turkey, bad Russia, bad Iran- Especially bad Turkey.

Link
Officials from Syrian Kurdish administration said Russia offered Kurds protection if they hand over Afrin region to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
Nobahar Mustafa and Sinam Mohammad, the representatives of Syrian Kurds in Washington D.C., were quoted by Turkish independent outlet Diken as saying that Turkey and Russia made a deal before the Afrin operation, allowing Turkish airstrikes.
Kurds rejected the offer, officials said, but the withdrawal of Russian forces right before the operation indicates a deal, they said.
Keeping in mind this area has been illegitimately occupied with an intent to annex Syria. I've omitted the rubbish claims of US backed Kurds wanting to make peace with Turkey. They don't want to make peace with Turkey as it exists today..  So that claim would be spin. Absurd spin.


Here is the original source of the above information  put  through translate   below 

 Russia Is Turkey the green light burns, whether he opens airspace to Syria speculation for days while Turkish Armed Forces bombed the name of Afrin 'olive branch' to put the YPG officially launched operations.


There's dust in the air. Russia gave approval to Turkey in exchange for what? What will the US reaction be? What is the scope of the intervention? Will it reach Menbic as President Erdogan said? We have directed all these questions to senior Syrian Kurdish officials in Washington. Nobahar Mustafa from the Democratic Assembly of Syria and Sinam Mohammad Afrin from the North Syrian Democratic Administration told Diken about the negotiations that are currently taking place.

Here are some highlights:
Russia's game

- The Russians are making promises everywhere, but Russia's main goal is to weaken the YPG and deliver the Afrin to the regime.

- The regime is trying to convince it that way, 'if Turkey would come good for you,' he says. But the regime does not want Turkey to come, did you know that Turkish soldiers were settled out. But apparently the regime was convinced in a way that the airfield was opened. The Russians Kafrjane [ceasefire observation point near the border with Turkey] pulled their forces under circulation changes include sheath. They agreed with Turkey. Net.

- Talks between Russia and YPG are ongoing. If you deliver us ' Afrin 'to the regime, then the regime will protect you.' We said ' we will never accept' . At Afrin we said we will resist until the end. At the same time, we had negotiations with the regime. We told them we could turn the menag weather south of Azaz and some control points in the area, but never Afrin.

- Sochi meeting [the Russians gathered the opposition] will join. But after this point, we can change this course, of course.

- New alliances will be formed. Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
We want to have peaceful relations with Turkey

- Turkey is sowing the seeds of a new and fierce battle with these attacks. On the one hand, the Arabs and the Kurds are fighting, while on the other they open space for the ISIID. Russia which point to Turkey 'Stop' he says, it is not yet clear.

- will give way to snatch Turkey until Apparently they want the Kurds but we are determined to resist. We have MANPAD (anti-aircraft missile). It could be Russian. We have repeatedly extended the hand of peace to Turkey, always pushed back and now they're bombing civilians in Afrin. At least seven civilians were injured. Most women and children. In the past, we were talking directly with the AKP government. Then the negotiations stopped. Turkey closed doors. We had contact at least through HDP. That road was blocked too, your friends are all in prison. We have not had direct contact since 2015.

- We repeat it anyway. We want to have peaceful relations with Turkey.
McGurk in Rojava

- Our demand from the United States was commissioned to put an end to Turkey's operation. Brett McGurk [US president's special representative before the coalition against the ISIID] In Rojava, [the commander of the Democratic Forces of Syria] today met with the General Mazlum and the Syrian Democratic Parliament Co-President Ilham Ahmad. (McGurk's rojava tour was decided before the operation, that is, the routine trip AZ) We told him that the coalition should declare a no-fly zone to protect our territories, including Afrin, from air attacks, but we are ready on land but air attacks are of course a huge threat. . Turkey's Afrin attack and demeanor will put the uS in the face of it, our view of how the United States can say that it is the clearest test of a friendly ally.

- Rex Tillerson [US Secretary of State] has made diplomatic initiatives to stop his operation by calling Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, but that is not enough. NATO member Turkey might stop Turkey wants the United States.

- All this is happening to ISID, Iran and the regime. How can the United States stand on this?

- Turkey wants to enter the Menbiç. But it is difficult for Menbic to attack because the US forces are in that geography. In our opinion, there are negotiations between the US and Russia regarding crime. Al Qaeda and El Nusra gangs in Idlib are also very uncomfortable with the United States. We said to the USA, 'Come to Afrin, support us, we will clean El Nusra.' But they have not accepted it yet.
Limitlessness

- The border issue is not new. We are already there. We have powers on the border. Training on technical issues such as mine clearance. The first explanation of the coalition's speech on border power was misunderstood. It was bad. The Russians were also very angry.

Yesterday Northerntruthseeker and I had exchanged the comments below:
I do wonder if Turkey's sudden move here is part of a diabolical plan for giving the US their "excuse" to send combat troops directly into Syria now... The Turks are giving the US government their out by allowing those criminals to now go out and claim that they have no choice but to go into Syria to "protect" the Kurds...

Replies



  1. Hey North

    the turks move is not sudden at all- it's been talked about for sometime now.
    In my opinion the use of the kurds was a means to get Turkey into Syria in hopes of further destabilizing Turkey- for the desired israel 2.0 aka kurdistan- which will be a terror state/expanded Israel- etc.,... USrael needs a big chunk of Turkey to be annexed for this "kurdistan" much water and oil resources, nevermind blocking Iran etc. Oh and impeding Russia via the Black Sea.
    think of the Turkish Straits. Have a post here on that but for now wikipedia will suffice
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_Straits

    The US already has troops in Syria and lots of them- they don't need this turkish incursion to justify their desired intervention, though they may spin in that manner.
Impeding Russia via the Black Sea and the Turkish Straits.. The previous information regarding the significance of the Turkish straits is relinked below:

Turkey's referendum: Is the Sky Really Falling?
The modern treaty controlling relations is the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits, which is still in force. It gives the Republic of Turkey control over warships entering the straits but guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime.

Awareness  that control of this waterway is of vital importance to the many players involved in Syria is one important key to understanding events occurring present day
 Recent : 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Turkey's Operation "Olive Branch" is ongoing in Syria

Interesting name Turkey has chosen. Should we interpret that as an olive branch to Syria?
It surely would have been carefully selected as to deliver the right tone or message

a branch of an olive tree used to symbolize peace. any offering of peace or conciliation.

Link
"The command of the Russian group of troops in Syria has taken measures to ensure security of Russian servicemen located in the district of Afrin, where the Turkish Armed Forces launched a special operation against the Kurdish armed groups," the statement read.
It was reported yesterday the Russian troops has either entirely exited or partially exited Afrin.
Mehr 

 The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated that the country's warplanes have bombed YPG, PYD targets in the Syrian city of Afrin.
Explosions heard from Afrin after Turkish jets cross Turkey-Syria border, reported Anadolu.
Turkish war jets hit PYD/PKK observation post in Syria's Afrin.
Free Syrian Army troops begin entering PYD/PKK occupied areas in Syria's Afrin.
The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated that the country's warplanes have bombed YPG, PYD targets in the Syrian city of Afrin.
The senior Turkish official also declared that the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army had started a military advance in the territory of the Kurdish-populated Syrian city of Afrin.
"From this moment, the heroic Turkish Armed Forces have launched an air operation to destroy the PYD/PKK and Daesh elements in Afrin", Yildirim announced.
The start of the advance has been confirmed by the country's Armed Forces, which declared that the "Olive Branch" operation has been launched at 05:00 p.m. local time (02:00 p.m. GMT).

It's been reported that Tillerson contacted Turkish officials. 

Not much on what was said. Though I'd reported yesterday that the US was not pleased with the Turkish move- suggesting their border force creation was just misunderstood.

I did two posts on this situation yesterday:

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lavrov on Afrin: US Trying to Create Alternate Gov't On Swathes of Syrian Land

Following up on:

Russian Forces Exit As Turkey Begins Afrin Operation?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during a news conference at the United Nations in New York, U.S., January 19/2018

RT:

 The US is working to create alternative government systems on large parts of Syrian territory, which goes against its promises to respect the country’s territorial integrity, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

Responding to a question posed by RT’s Caleb Maupin at Friday's briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, Lavrov commented on America's role in the crisis in northern Syria, which escalated into a new Turkish-Kurdish conflict after news of Washington’s plans to create a “border force” comprising of Kurds. 
Related:
 Despite the US backtracking on its statement, and saying they were misunderstood, Ankara, which considers the Kurdish-dominated YPG force terrorists, said it was launching a military operation against the Syrian Kurdish enclave. Lavrov, however, said the developments were only a part of the pattern of US policy in Syria.
 “It’s a fact that US forces are seriously involved in creating alternative government bodies on vast part of the Syrian territory. And this, of course, absolutely contradicts their own obligations, which they committed to on numerous occasions, including at the UN Security Council, on maintaining the sovereignty and the territorial integrity on Syria,” Lavrov said.
 Washington's inconsistency on Syria is also “quite characteristic of modern US diplomacy, including the reasons for the American presence there, and the reasons for the actions of the coalition, which they command,” Lavrov added
Rex Tillerson told me many times that the only reason for their presence there [in Syria] is defeating Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISL). Now they have some much more long-standing plans,” Lavrov said. “We will have to take this into account and look for solutions that won’t allow the destruction of Syrian sovereignty.”
Related:

The US was misunderstood? I don't think so. 
Their intent has been very very clear in my opinion.


"Oh lord please don't let me be misunderstood!"



UPDATE:


I've embedded the above map so we can grasp the locale
From earlier today it was reported that Russian forces had exited Afrin, relocating around Nubl.  Idlib is close by. Below is an article that talks about a planned pincer.

Newspaper details Turkey's planned "pincer attack" on Afrin

The Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak has published a detailed forecast of the planned military assault of the Syrian-Kurdish enclave of Afrin, northwest of Aleppo.
Ankara has been making preparations to strike Afrin since news hit headlines last Sunday of plans to establish a U.S.-backed border force including fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, considered terrorists by Turkey.
The operation will be take the form of a “flanking maneuver” conducted by two brigades of “specially trained” Turkish soldiers, according to the report.
The Afrin region is flanked to the north and west by Turkish territory, while the Turkish military is occupying regions along the Syrian-Turkish border to the east. Turkish-backed Syrian opposition militias have already begun engaging Kurdish forces in the nearby town of Azaz, according to reports on Friday.
The Turkish assault, which is to be commanded by 2nd Army commander Lt. General Metin Temel, will be conducted mainly by Turkish special forces and infantry due to the rocky terrain around Afrin, Yeni Şafak reported. Around 5,000 troops from the Free Syrian Army will serve as a vanguard in the operation, which will reportedly target the airports at Tel Rifaat and Minnigh as two of its main objectives.
The offensive will be supported by the Turkish air force, while armed drones are conducting intensive surveillance of the region.
The frequent announcements by Turkish politicians and military leaders about the planned operation have been made “in order to lead the citizens in Afrin to abandon the city so that they do not get harmed during the operations”, said the report.

Russian Forces Exit As Turkey Begins Afrin Operation?


 If early reports are accurate, clearly Russia is on board with this. I would assume Syria is also accepting of this move despite whatever words are uttered in opposition. Talk is cheap.

 Daily Sabah
The Russian military started to withdraw its forces from Syria's Afrin Friday as Turkey prepares to carry out a military operation against the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG), Anadolu Agency reported Friday.

The Russian security forces deployed in northeast Kafr Jana region of Afrin city started leaving the area, according to reliable sources in Afrin.

Some of the Russian security assets have reached Nubl and Zahra towns, on the outskirts of Afrin, which were currently held by the Assad regime.

The reports came shortly after Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said that Russia informed Turkey about its plans to pull out its military assets from the Syrian district.

The minister said talks between Turkish and Russian officials regarding the operation will continue.

An operation in Afrin -- a region bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces -- is widely expected in the wake of Turkey's successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which ended in March 2017.
After Turkey issued several severe warnings of an imminent operation, the terrorists in Afrin are now hiding out in shelters and pits in residential areas there.

Doubtful the Turks will use a whole lot of air power- Rather I suspect we’ll be looking at boots on the ground
Mehr

The US is NOT part of this move. The US has made clear they don’t want the double crossed Turks to attack the US backed terror crowd.


Turkishminute


“We would certainly call on Turks not to take any action of that sort,” US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a press briefing on Thursday in response to a reporter’s question about Turkey’s preparations for what is believed to be an imminent invasion.

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan on Thursday paid a visit to Moscow at the invitation of Russia’s chief of general staff, Valery Gerasimov where regional issues, recent developments in Syria and the Astana-Geneva processes, related to the Syrian settlement, were discussed.

Daily Mail

"The Afrin operation will take place," Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli told A Haber television.
"The presence of all the terror lines in northern Syria will be removed. There's no other way out," he said.
Turkish troops fired on several YPG targets in Afrin to prevent the formation of a "terror corridor" on the border, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Army howitzers in the frontier Hatay province launched at least 10 rounds of artillery fire, targeting the "terror nests of the terror organisation in Afrin," Anadolu said.
A military convoy of 20 buses carrying Syrian opposition rebels backed by Ankara also crossed over into Syria, Turkish media reported.
Canikli said with the shelling "in fact, the operation has de facto started."
Asked about the timing of a ground incursion, Canikli said: "It could be tomorrow, it could be in the evening. What we say is that this operation will take place."

Related:

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tillerson: The Way Forward In Syria is Military Occupation & Regime Change

Along with recognition of ill gotten Syrian territory as a separate entity.
 'Scuse me for being completely underwhelmed and absolutely not shocked by any of  this. I've written for years now about this plan to reshape the region, including a push for some form of Israel 2.0/Kurdistan, under the guise of fighting ISIS.


Rice and Tillerson- Bookends for the regional remake?

Interesting that he shared the stage at Stanford with Condoleeza Rice. She of the "birth pangs of a new middle east" fame. I've quoted her many times here at the blog.

 Some excerpts from his prepared speech. Undoubtedly carefully crafted.

“United States will maintain military presence in Syria, focused on ensuring ISIS cannot re-emerge,” Tillerson said. “Ungoverned spaces, especially in conflict zones, are breeding grounds for ISIS and other terrorist organizations … The fight against ISIS is not over (…) Similarly, we must persist in Syria to thwart al-Qaida, which still has substantial presence and base operations in northwest Syria.”

“Once Assad is gone from power, the United States will gladly encourage the normalization of economic relations between Syria and other nations,” Tillerson said. “This process will take time. But we’re patient in the departure of Assad and in the establishment of new leadership.

Relinking some previous posts. 

One from as far back as 2011 mentioning the Kurdish wild card as it pertained to Syria.

Kurds: The Wild Card in Syria- November 2011

As I mentioned in the previous post, some of the Kurds have substantial military ties to Israel.
I wonder just how much of a role those Kurds tied to Israel have already been engaged in the destruction and destabilization of Syria?

Then I come across this today!
From Michael Weiss of the Henry(Scoop) Jackson Society.

You have been introduced to the Henry (Scoop) Jackson Society in previous posts. Interesting to note, the agenda being pushed:Will Kurds Determine Syria's Fate?

Turkey & Syria

Kurd/ ISIS Symbiosis - The Impending Destruction of Turkey. November 2014

Last week there was an article in WSJ One of many in the WSJ, but this one really caught my attention.   

Headline: Kurds Fight Islamic State to Claim a Piece of Syria  

Sub-heading: A Kurdish paramilitary group will help the U.S. expel Islamic militants in exchange for a stretch of northern Syria to build its vision of utopia

Oh, does anyone find it odd that the US can just give another nations territory away?    Anyone think that strange? Of course Israel sees this as perfectly acceptable because they were given land inhabited by other people. Northern Syria is not just occupied by Sunni Muslim Kurds. There are others resident in those areas. Do they want to live in this Utopia? Is anyone considering them?

Part 2- Kurd/ISIS Symbiosis - The Impending Destruction of Turkey- November 2014

 Many suspect that Erdogan supports ISIS? But does he?
I mean, yes, support of ISIS could explain why he refused to join the coalition against ISIS?
But, I don't think it does.  With all the new information I have come across lately it seems vastly more plausible that Erdogan would not join the fight against ISIS because he knows, as I have written, that the fight against ISIS is a fight to create Kurdistan. And that ISIS is a pretext created by the West specifically for that reason. In other words Turkey is not going to participate in it's own downfall
Kurdistan: NATO's New Southern Flank- November 2014

If all goes well for NATO, Israel and the Kurds.  Turkey will be supplanted as NATO's Southern Flank. It seems to be just a matter of time.....I hold the opinion that Turkish leadership has become aware of what looks to be it's impending betrayal
“Especially if the export of Kurdish oil and gas through Rojava and the Mediterranean Sea is implemented. In this situation, Kurds must be politically and economically independent. Now, Kurds have a good opportunity and they must play their political cards wisely,” added Penjweni.

Kurds must be united in their national interests to protects Kurdistan and Kurdish people,” concluded Penjweni.
 Iran

 August 2015: P5+ 1 is a Distraction -Early Seeds of Iranian destabilization cross the Turkish border
The seeds of an Iranian destabilization are being  sown-
All the while the destruction of Turkey by Kurdish forces is on full display, for those with eyes to see. 
 April 2016: Iran's Forgotten Kurds Step Up The Struggle- So the Media Promotion Begins
 Consider this news item the beginning of your war mongering, perception managing, main stream media indoctrination to explain why Iran is bad. Oppressive. Tyrannical. And needs to be attacked by NATO force for Sykes Picot 2 and Israel 2.0/ Kurdistan. That is if you allow yourself to be manipulated and indoctrinated?

May 2016: Kurds on Attack in Iran as Predicted