Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kurds: Betrayors Are Often Betrayed- Victims of and Parties to Conflict

 One of those, for your information- keep it under your hat, kind of posts

I've never been one to promote the Kurd victim meme so liberally spread at this time- Nothing is ever that simplistic- Memes are simply mind viruses created to manipulate. Kurd:Victim is a meme.

All information I've read regarding the 'leaders' of the messy mix of Kurdish people, shows their leadership to be both betrayers and betrayed. Always aligning themselves with power for their own, often corrupted, personal gain. But, never  completely innocent! Never entirely the victim. Kurdish elite and fighters have a history of brutality, ethnic cleansing and aligning with power for gain. As it was in the past, so it is in the present. What is apparent is the leadership leaves the masses to bear the brunt of their corruption.... Much like the masses everywhere (not unique to kurds) Sigh......
Such a familiar theme.

It's interesting also how much the kurds have fought among themselves. And they still are today!

20 page pdf : The Kurds as Parties to and Victims of Conflict

In the inter-Kurdish civil war that broke out in 1994, each of the two parties sided with neighbouring countries in order to defeat its adversary. In 1996 the KDP even called for military support from the Iraqi government to expel the PUK from Arbil.
In 1998 the KDP and PUK ended their conflict and started to cohabit in a ‘‘cold peace’’ relationship, but did not manage either to reunite their two administrations or to repatriate the thousands of citizens displaced during the fighting. In autumn 2002 there were still heavily armed checkpoints in the no- man’s-land between the two areas of influence. Although on a much smaller scale, another confrontation emerged, this time between the PUK and a radical Islamist group called Ansar al-Islam that had established its base in the mountainous area near Halabja on the border with Iran. It consisted of radical Islamists who had split off from other Islamist groups in Kurdistan, and of Kurdish and Arab Afghanistan ‘‘veterans’
So many of the same groups still around today- Some readers here may recall me mentioning Ansar al Islam as a Kurdish group of radical Islamists.. Some readers may recall me mentioning it seemed much more probable that the Kurds killed (gassed) in Halabja were killed by other kurdish factions, rather then Saddam Hussein- Much in the same way that it was the rebels that used sarin gas in Syria.

However, for rallying the troops and enforcing a simplistic meme, blaming Saddam for 'gassing the kurds' was likely more expedient

From 1992: An 18 page pdf- Read it entirely-
  1. Foreign Influences on the Kurdish Insurgency in Iraq 
  2. "Although it is not possible to predict the future, it is clear that the Kurds in Iraq have a rare opportunity to add a chapter to the new world order being constructed as the twentieth century draws to a close"
(26) Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin admitted that his country gave  the Kurds "money, arms, and instructors."

Medvedev signs order lifting ban off chartered flights between Russia and Turkey

    Medvedev signs order lifting ban off chartered flights between Russia and Turkey

    Breaking news: Tass

    MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to lift the ban for chartered flights between Russia and Turkey. The document is published on the government's website.

    The document also reads the air companies serving chartered flights between Russia and Turkey should provide additional security measures.

    The ban for chartered flights between Russia and Turkey is off, press service of the Ministry of Transport said on Sunday.
     "Rosaviatsiya has sent notifications to Russian air companies and informed the system of managing air traffic," the press service reported statement by Minister Maxim Sokolov. "Thus, Russian air authorities ready to provide necessary conditions for serving chartered flights to Turkey, including issue of permissions to Russian air companies.".
    Daily Sabah: BREAKING — Russian PM Medvedev signs decree lifting restrictions on Russian charter flights to Turkey from Aug. 28

    It appears Russia & Turkey are moving forward.


    Saturday, August 27, 2016

    YPG Rocket Attack Kills One Turkish Soldier.. Injures Three


    One Turkish soldier was killed and three others were injured in a rocket attack by the U.S.-sponsored YPG terror group, launched against two tanks taking part in Turkey's military offensive against Daesh in the Syrian town of Jarablus.
    This isn't going to sit well with the Turkish population. Their NATO 'ally' supplied rockets used to  kill Turkish soldiers....
    I've no doubt that the US or NATO allies did indeed supply the rockets to YPG/PKK to kill whoever the Kurds choose to kill. 
    What happened to the US instructing YPG/PKK to retreat?
    What about Kerry's claim the US does not support an independent Kurdistan?
    All actions seem to contradict US claims.
    The casualties are the first for Turkey since the launch of Operation Euphrates Shield to rid the border region of terrorists on Wednesday.
    Speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, the official said rockets were launched at two Turkish tanks , the northern Syrian city freed from Daesh.
    The tanks were hit 7 kilometers south of Jarablus, where Turkish forces helped the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to clear Daesh terrorists from the area. The rockets had been fired from an area where the YPG militia has been active.
    Ankara has frequently voiced its concern over the activity of PYD's armed People's Protection Units' (YPG) along the Turkish border, and has been rigid in its stance of not allowing the PYD terrorist group to found any kind of de facto Kurdish state in northern Syria.
    Despite consistent U.S. calls to retreat, PYD units have been moving to the east of the Euphrates river, and the group has continued its offenses amid the conflict between Turkish-backed moderate opposition forces and Daesh terrorists.

    The YPG — the Syrian affiliate of the terrorist PKK — has been expanding its dominance west of the Euphrates River since late December, reinforcing its presence in the region using the fight against Daesh as a pretext.

    KurdIShIS- It's been obvious for so long now- Only the willfully blind choose not to see.

    Friday, August 26, 2016

    Sputnik: "I Mediated Secret Talks Between Turkey and Syria"

    It appeared as if Russia, Syria and Iran were all aware that Turkey was going into Syria. As was the US.  From earlier today: Erdogan & Putin Agree to Accelerate Delivery of Aid to Aleppo

    In an interview with Sputnik, Ismail Hakki Pekin, former head of the intelligence unit of the Chief of Staff of the Turkish army, said that he took part in five behind-the-scenes meetings with representatives of the Syrian intelligence services. He did not conduct formal talks, but instead served as a mediator between Turkey and Syria.

    "I took part in five meetings involving representatives of Turkey and Syria. We held the talks to assess the situation in general and determine whether bilateral relations could be restored," he said. "Much in the same way that Turkey held negotiations with Russia."
    Two of the meetings took place in 2015 and three were held this year, he added.
     "At that time we had no information regarding any official talks between Ankara and Damascus. If they took place, [President Bashar al-Assad] or someone from the Syrian intelligence services would have told us."
    Why would he think that he would be informed of official talks? That's his opinion, might be accurate, might not be. What's most important is that Syria and Turkey were holding talks equal to those held between Russia and Turkey

    The informal meetings primarily revolved around the situation in Syria at the time and security measures, he added.
    "We talked to representatives of the Syrian intelligence services. They told us about what was happening in Syria, about the prospects of restoring relations between Turkey and Syria, about working on a joint security concept. We discussed possible steps that Ankara and Damascus could take towards each other," he explained.
    Related to:

    Erdogan & Putin Agree to Accelerate Delivery of Aid to Aleppo


    August 26/2016:

    "Turkey's Erdoğan, Russia's Putin agree over phone call to accelerate delivery of aid to Syria's Aleppo"

    Erdogan calls Putin

    On August 26, Russian and Turkish presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, conducted a telephone conversation. The presidents discussed the situation in Syria and agreed to continue personal communication conversation. The conversation was initiated by President Erdogan.

    "The leaders had a detailed exchange of views on the state of affairs in Syria. They noted the importance of joint efforts in the fight against terrorism," a message from the Kremlin said. In addition, the presidents discussed "issues of further development of Russian-Turkish cooperation in political, trade and economic spheres in light of the agreements reached at the meeting in St. Petersburg on August 9." 

    Certainly they would have discussed the Turkish move into Syria.



    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Turkey's Move On Syria- Why now? Broken Promises, Coup Fall out, US Elections & Chemical Weapons Meme, Again!

    It was interesting to watch Biden, sitting in Turkey, telling the YPG they had to move east of the Euphrates after all the blood spilled by the two partners in crime in Manbij.
    "Joe Biden had told Kurdish forces that they "must move back across the Euphrates River." He said "they cannot -- will not -- under any circumstance get American support if they do not keep that commitment," according to the AP news agency."
    Covered the Manbij promise here
    So, there was the matter of a promise given by the US to Turkey- once ISIS was removed from Manbij, the Kurds were to vacate the area- They, of course, did not. And it looked as if the US had no intention of encouraging them to do so- Resulting in Turkey taking matters into their own hands. We know the Manbij Kurdish fighters let ISIS go free, displaced a whole bunch of residents and destroyed the registry records making it difficult for the displaced to return. Run of the mill stuff for the Kurdish militias and their US backers. This failure to keep a promise appears to be a factor in Turkey’s move into Jarablus, Syria- Turkey surely noticed the the US didn’t keep their word regarding Manbij- so it appears they moved on their own.

    Fallout from the coup?

    Turkey is not pleased at all with the handling of the Gulen extradition. Yildirim made that clear. This displeasure over the extradition of Gulen, along with the failure to uphold a promise made,  have likely  played into their decision to move on Jarablus. If you can’t trust your NATO allies, who can you trust?

    “Jarablus is a key lynchpin in the Turkish-Kurdish rivalry. The town lies on the western bank of the Euphrates River at the Turkish border in a pocket controlled by the Islamic State group.

    The YPG and other Syrian Kurds stand on the east bank of the river, and from there they hold the entire border with Turkey all the way to Iraq. They also hold parts of the border further west, so if they ever took control of Jarablus, they would control almost the entire stretch”

    Turkey has long, long wanted a no go zone- The US never went along with it

    I covered this topic more then a year ago: Here You can read that post now, if you didn't then.
    Snipped from year ago plus post:
    Turkey has long sought a "no-fly zone" or "safe zone" in northern Syria but met resistance from Washington, which says direct military pressure on Islamic State, not a "safe zone", is the best way to end the region's fighting and refugee crisis.
    Shortly after writing the above post another possibility was entertained, here at the blog, that the US might let Turkey have their zone as a way to grind them down: Here
    Read now if you did not read then- Makes all this history more understandable!

    Turkey’stance : The safe zone , if successful, would enable Turkey to rid itself of it's huge refugee population, while preventing a hostile Kurdish terror state at it's southern border.”

    The US stance at that time The United States will not allow Turkey to attack Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (PYD) forces in northern Syria, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told Rudaw Tuesday”

    My how this situation has changed!

     Also interesting that the US is saying they’re fully behind this, allied with Turkey, but Turkey is presenting this as their own move. AsiaTimes

     “A senior US official, apparently traveling with US Vice-President Joe Biden, said that the United States was giving air cover to the Turkish operations, telling the Syrian government to keep its planes away.
    Actually that's not what the US official said so it's interesting to notice the disinfo aspect, the obfuscation of what is really going on.

    “We have full visibility on what they [the Turks] are doing,” the official told journalists.
     I’ve no doubt the US has full visibility, but, that does not tell us they are supportive. It tells us they are aware, watching, can see what’s happening. Having “full visibility” does not speak of participation- active participation. It’s interesting also that the US was supposed to contribute some artillery rockets for the operation, but, they hadn’t arrived yet. Will they arrive? Ever?

    "References to this support have been relatively few so far in the Turkish media and politicians’ speeches and in Ankara the operation, known as ‘Euphrates Shield,’ is being portrayed simply as a Turkish military success”
    The support isn't being referenced because it doesn't exist. No one can say 'full visibility' = active participation. It doesn't!

    "However, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, said “Turkey and the United States have planned this from the beginning. The US was to contribute M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) but unfortunately they have not arrived yet.”
    Another slight on the part of the US towards Turkey?
    “Turkey appears to have secured the approval of several of its other neighbors before launching  Wednesday’s intervention, including apparently Russia. Presidents Erdogan and Putin met in Moscow on 9 August”

    “It also apparently secured the agreement of the Kurdistan Regional Administration in Erbil in Northern Iraq during a one-day visit to Ankara by President Masoud Barzani on Tuesday this week. The Erbil government  enjoys good relations with Turkey and is on poor terms with the Kurdish militants of Turkey and Syria.”
    There seems to be consensus that Turkey made this move with some types of approval from Russia, Iran, Masoud Barzani and the US. Possibly from Bashar al Assad also.

    YEREVAN. – At present, no country in the region—neither Turkey nor Iran nor Iraq nor Syria—is interested in the creation of a Kurdish state.

    Analyst and former deputy foreign minister of Armenia, Ambassador Arman Navasardyan, noted the aforementioned at a press conference on Thursday.

    In his words, if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had to make a choice between the Kurds and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, he would side with Assad.

    “As long as no Kurdish union is created at the border, since this is a matter of life or death for Turks,” stressed Navasardyan. “Turkey may even conduct some negotiations with Assad, only to prevent the creation of a Kurdish state and take them out of the ‘game.’”

    If the US was behind the coup, as most suspect, did it’s fail change the dynamics? Or is the US simply biding time until the election? I can hardly believe that the US/NATO/Israel/Kurds allies are going to let this pass..

    Turkish incursion into Syria, backed by the US (??) and likely by Russia too, could be a game changer in civil war
    Turkey’s incursion into Syria reflects a shift away from its insistence that President Bashar al-Assad be removed from power in any settlement there and may start to close the gap between the international coalitions that have helped keep the country’s civil war raging, analysts and diplomats say.

    In recent months, Turkey has indicated a readiness to accept a transitional role for Assad in any political solution, something Unal Cevikoz, a retired senior Turkish diplomat, called a major change.

    “Turkey has realised there are more important challenges than removing Assad,” said Cevikoz, and that in turn has opened the door to improvements in Ankara’s relationships with Russia and Iran, Assad’s main backers. Turkey would not have launched “Operation Euphrates Shield” on Wednesday without a green light from Russia, he said.
    The challenges Ankara is now prioritising over Assad include fighting Islamic State, which has stepped up its terrorist campaign inside Turkey, and - even more importantly - stopping the advance of Kurdish forces along the Syrian-Turkish border. Turkey sees the Kurdish militia in Syria as a branch of the Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK, an insurgent force it is trying to crush inside its borders.

    The focus on Kurdish militias risked further tension with the US, at a low point in their relations, given that Syria’s Kurds are key US allies in the fight against Islamic State. Instead, the operation appears to have provided ground for cooperation there as well.
    I don't usually quote Landis- However his statement is accurate
    “The capture of Manbij has changed things dramatically,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who has run an influential Syria commentary forum for much of the war. “American special forces helped the Kurds to capture a swathe of territory that put them in reach of building a Kurdish state. That clearly terrified the Turks.”
    "Robert Ford, former US Ambassador to Syria, said in a phone interview that after creating tensions with Turkey by supporting the Kurdish YPG, or People’s Protection Units, “the Americans are choosing not to resist.”
    "Turkey has been agitating for years to create a buffer zone (read the two posts from 2015) along its border with Syria to prevent Syria’s Kurds from connecting the two areas they hold and establishing their own state, which they have named Rojava. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey previously failed to convince the US to help with the buffer zone, however, and was unwilling to act alone. He would have faced opposition from the Assad regime as well as its Russian and Iranian backers. That calculation now appears to have changed"
    “The interesting thing is that there has been basically no Russian reaction” to the Turkish incursion, said Dmitri Trenin, director of the Moscow bureau of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Russians understand Turkey’s legitimate interest on the Kurdish issue, and it looks like Russia may have agreed not to object to a limited operation, in exchange for Turkey being more cooperative on a political settlement with Assad.”
    WSJ- Today
    A new wave of Turkish tanks rolled into northern Syria on Thursday as the military extended its fight to drive Islamic State away from the border and deter advances by American-backed Kurdish forces.

    Fears of an immediate clash between Turkish-backed Syrian fighters and the Kurds appeared to subside as the Kurdish forces pulled out of Manbij, a strategic Syrian town on the western side of the Euphrates River, according to U.S. and Kurdish officials.
    The withdrawal could help defuse regional tensions as Turkey moves into the second day of military operations inside Syria, an offensive complicated by competing interests among the allies and the rival groups of fighters they support.

    The Kurdish forces, known as the YPG, are seen as America’s most effective force against Islamic State. But Turkish leaders see the group as an extension of an outlawed Kurdish militant group in Turkey and are pushing to limit its territorial gains in Syria.
    The U.S. has been putting pressure on the Kurds to pull back from territory that they have taken from Islamic State, as they have previously promised to do. In a call on Thursday with his Turkish counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry said the YPG was moving back to its strongholds on the eastern side of the Euphrates.
    Turkish soldiers and U.S. warplanes (?- I need more verification of US warplanes being involved?) kicked off the new offensive on Wednesday, joining forces with the Syrian rebels to quickly push Islamic State out of Jarablus, the Syrian border town the extremist group long used as a vital supply route.
    Fighting was continuing between the Turkish-backed forces and militants in villages around Jarablus on Thursday.

    After the swift victory in Jarablus, Turkey said it would remain in Syria until the Kurdish forces in Manbij, 25 miles to the south, followed through on the pledge to pull back.
    But it has also said it would stay until it is certain that Islamic State poses no imminent threat to Turkey, which gives the military open-ended support to remain in northern Syria.
    The operation creates an opening for Turkey to fulfill a long-held desire to carve out a buffer zone in northwest Syria that could become a sanctuary for Syrians fleeing the fighting—and a staging ground for its rebel allies.

    It would also allow Turkey to retain a geographic wedge between two Kurdish-controlled regions of northern Syria that the YPG would like to connect. That would create a unified Kurdish area on Turkey’s border that Ankara sees as an unacceptable security threat.

     Of course, it's the chemical weapons meme. Again

    The US has urged "strong and swift action" after a UN investigation concluded that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people.
     The report will be discussed by the security council next week.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    Operation Euphrates Shield To Continue Until YPG Retreats.

    Daily Sabah: Quoting PM Yildirim
    The operation led by Turkey to liberate Syria's Jarablus from Daesh terrorists will continue until elements of the PKK's Syrian affiliate YPG retreats to the east bank of Euphrates, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Wednesday.
    Speaking at a live interview on Habertürk TV shortly after meeting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Yıldırım said that it is necessary to cleanse Jarablus of terrorist PKK-affiliated groups including the PYD and YPG.
    "This was a pledge, a guarantee of the U.S." Yıldırım said.
    US Promise to Turkey mentioned here: ***Turkey: US to Keep Manbij Promise? 3 Step Road Map: Assad Stays. Cooperating with Iran & More

    Perhaps the US promise to Turkey was an empty one? Made to Turkey while plotting a coup and assuming a successful overthrow? A promise made that the US had no intention of keeping.

    He continued by saying that the timing of the operation has nothing to do with KRG President Masoud Barzani or U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Turkey.
    Yıldırım also said that it is necessary to protect Syria's territorial integrity and that it would be a disaster if all ethnic groups wanted to establish their own state.
    "The situation would be worse than today if every single ethnic group established a state" he said, adding that Turkey is already paying the price of the conflict in Syria by hosting over three million Syrians and that it is necessary for these people to return to a normal life as soon as possible.
     Clearly the operation has nothing to do with ISIS despite the perhaps 'face saving' US spin?


    I'll certainly have more to say tomorrow :) 

    From today's previous post : Syria Shifts Stance Toward Kurds? No. Only Media Narrative Shifted
    " ......Turkey will change course in Syria as he no longer needs Kurds as electoral allies and that even before the Syrian conflict, Turkey and the Syrian government were in agreement over the Kurdish issue"
    Even before the Syrian conflict Turkey and the Syrian government were in agreement over the Kurdish issue...