It appears that Turkey, despite the commitments it made to Russia, not only finds it very hard to impose its will on the militias but is in no hurry to do so. It sees control of Idlib as a bargaining chip it can use to win concessions from Moscow over other parts of Syria. Turkey argues that Russia hasn’t kept its end of the bargain to evacuate Kurdish forces from the border area between it and Syria, in particular from the cities of Manbij and Tell Rifaat. Thus, in response to Moscow’s demands to expel militants from Idlib, Ankara is demanding that the Russians move ahead with their pa
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Friday accused Iran of “persistent impunity for human rights violations” in regions including Sistan-Baluchestan.
“In Iran, an apparently coordinated campaign has been targeting minority groups since December, including in Sistan and Baluchestan, Khuzestan, and in the Kurdish provinces,” Bachelet told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Turkey’s military invasion isn’t just about wiping out the Kurds in Syria — it’s a bid to bolster the far right in Turkey. We must oppose this unconscionable act.
Mr Hussein withdrew moments before the announcement was made, at the request of KDP leader Massoud Barzani, a party official told The National.
Demonstrations taking place in numerous towns and cities in Iran have once again raised the following questions: will the protests put an end to the existing Islamic Republic of Iran?
ERBIL, Iraq—Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Iraq on Saturday for an unannounced visit with U.S. troops days before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, and he met with the leader of Kurdistan but didn’t visit Baghdad.
The more recent set of causes for our Kurdish misadventure began in 2011, when President Obama ordered President Bashar Assad of Syria to “step aside.” Beyond the arrogance that leads American presidents to think they can and should decide who may rule other countries lay the utter impossibility of achieving that goal.
History is littered with instances of one-time allies abandoned by Washington to their fate — the Bay of Pigs invasion; the fall of South Vietnam; numerous internal uprisings, like Hungary in 1956, that were fanned by the United States only to be smothered when aid, implicit or explicit, was withheld. The United States has abandoned the Kurds — a stateless people who live in parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Armenia and Iran — on numerous occasions in just the past half century. The most infamous of these betrayals came when Saddam Hussein attacked them with poison gas in 1988, and the Reagan administration protected the Iraqi government from congressional sanctions.
Turkey has agreed to a five-day ceasefire in northeast Syria to allow for withdrawal of Kurdish forces, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday after talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
President Trump, speaking this afternoon from the tarmac at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Forth Worth, called the US-announced ceasefire in Turkey an „incredible outcome“ that saved lives.
„When those guns start shooting, they tend to do things, but I will tell you, on behalf of the United States I want to thank Turkey, I want to thank all of the people that have gotten together and made this happen,“ Trump said. „I want to thank everybody. And the other thing I want to thank as a group, I want to thank the Kurds, because they were incredibly happy with this solution. This is a solution that really — well it saved their lives, frankly. It saved their lives.“
„In order for the AANES to continue to safeguard the people’s rights and play a role in all Syria, an agreement with Damascus is necessary. This is why we have repeatedly tried, either directly or through Russia, to hold dialogue with Damascus and reach a political agreement to end the Syrian crisis and confront the agendas seeking the division of the Syrian territory“, Badran Jiakurd, an adviser to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, said.
Furthermore, Turkish authorities do often question the motives of the continued military support of the U.S. to the YPG although the war against ISIL has already been won. Many in Ankara recall the establishment of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq in the 1990s and express concerns that this trend in Syria may lead to the disintegration of its southern neighbor.
On Monday, witnesses in Syria saw United States forces withdrawing from two positions in northeastern Syria: observation posts in Tel Abyad and Ein Eissa.
Military convoys were captured in dozens of photos and videos, confirming the Turkish leader’s claim that preparations have been finalized to establish a so-called ‘safe zone’ on Syrian soil along the Turkish border and that the operation could be launched “as soon as today or tomorrow.”
Additional armored vehicles and troops were sent to the border town of Akcakale, across from Tal Abyad in Syria, state television TRT confirms.
„Any uncoordinated military operation by Turkey would be of grave concern as it would undermine our shared interest of a secure northeast Syria and the enduring defeat of ISIS [Islamic State],“ Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, told Rudaw via email on Saturday.
Addressing the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 29th Consultation and Assessment meeting in Kızılcahaman, a retreat town of capital Ankara, Erdoğan said Turkey aims to establish peace east of the Euphrates River by purging the Syrian region from terrorists.
Turkey intended to present this as the start of broader joint operations against the Kurds in general, with suggestions that they could be expanded into Syria to target the YPG. This is probably not something that would interest Iran, as they are allied with Syria and Syria’s government is on good terms with the YPG, and has opposed Turkey attacking them.
The 68-to-23 vote to cut off debate ensures that the amendment, written by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and backed by virtually every Senate Republican, will be added to a broader bipartisan Middle East policy bill expected to easily pass the Senate next week.
The vote was the second time in two months that a Republican-led Senate had rebuked Mr. Trump on foreign policy.
(29.1.2019) Trump ordered a rapid withdrawal of troops from Syria on December 19, a move that was widely criticized by lawmakers from both parties.
Since that initial announcement, Trump earlier this month extended his original 30-day timeline to withdraw the troops to four months and told reporters, „I never said we’re doing it quickly, but we’re decimating ISIS.“
At the same, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times all carried major damaging stories targeting White House Middle East policy, all sourced to unnamed American diplomats and defence officials, targeting Mr Trump’s handpicked adviser Mr Bolton for pushing the country towards the brink of war with Iran and trying to maintain the US military presence in Syria as a bulwark against Iranian influence.
The ban for the use of UAVs by civilians has been introduced for the reasons of security.
The mainstream press coverage of President Trump’s announcement that he would be removing US troops from Syria has been unanimously apocalyptic. Journos who until a few days ago couldn’t care less about the Kurds (certainly not when US president after US president has used them as a cat’s paw and then abandoned them to their fate), were all of a sudden up in arms warning about an impending slaughter with the blood dripping squarely onto Trump’s hands.
The US president said: „Syria was lost long ago. It was lost long ago. We’re not talking about vast wealth. We’re talking about sand and death. I’m getting out, we’re getting out of Syria. Look, we don’t want Syria.“
He added: „The Kurds, our partners are selling oil to Iran. I’m not thrilled about that, I’m not happy about it at all.“
However, Mr Trump said he did want to „protect“ US-backed Kurdish fighters in the country as Washington draws down its 2,000 troops, which would happen „over a period of time“.
Syria’s military announced Dec. 28 it has taken control of the flash-point northern town of Manbij, where Turkey has threatened an offensive.
The announcement was quickly welcomed by the Kremlin, whose spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it a „positive step“ that could help stabilize the situation.
Turkey, on the other hand, questioned Syria’s motive with the announcement.
In conjunction with this, we invite the Syrian government forces which are obliged to protect the same country, nation and borders, to assert control over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, in particularly Manbij, and to protect these areas against a Turkish invasion.
A delegation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has arrived in Moscow to discuss a possible plan to stop a Turkish attack as well as the future of the east of the Euphrates, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Sunday.
After a leak in the Wall Street Journal suggested a major reversal in US policy in Syria, President Trump confirmed in a Tweet this morning that the US was withdrawing from Syria. Starting immediately. Will the president follow through? What will the neocons do? Is there another false-flag danger? On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Over 2,000 American special forces in the north of Syria, fighting the fight against ISIS, but also providing a significant bang for their buck.
But to widespread surprise, US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the US intends to rapidly withdraw from Syria.
A commander in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) confirmed to Yeni Safak that the U.S. had handed over weapons to ISIS in the town of al-Mansurah, west of the city of Raqqa, and in the area of al-Tanaf, near the border with Iraq.
According to the commander, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the US-led coalition formed a group of Kurds and Arabs to facilitate the delivery of weapons to ISIS terrorists. The PPK and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) played a key role in the process.
In details, ISIS fighters took advantage of the bad weather conditions and attacked several positions of US-backed forces around the towns of al-Kashmah and al-Bahrah. After overrunning theses positions, the terrorists stormed the Hajin refugee camp and several military positions around it.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that ISIS abducted over 130 families from the Hajin camp during the attack. The SDF, which is responsible for the camp, is yet to confirm or deny this.
Defense Secretary James Mattis announced on Oct. 2 that the number of US diplomats in Syria had doubled. No specific number was mentioned, but the move was motivated by the need to intensify the diplomatic effort, with “the military operations becoming less.” Under the label of “Syria,” the secretary was referring to more than a quarter of the country, with an estimated population of 1.5 million to two million people. This territory is controlled by the US-supported and Kurdish-dominated SDF and its political wing, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC).
(6.8.2018) The Kurdish delegation, however, did not offer much information, simply saying that committees will be set up to prepare for a transition to the phase of negotiations.
This Kurdish-regime dialogue, which was held July 26-27, offered optimism that war may not be the only option, yet there are many obstacles left to overcome. For one thing, the 50,000-strong SDF and the proposed model of democratic autonomy, with its abundant local institutions, are not easy for a centralized system like Damascus to accept.
(28.7.2018) A Syrian Kurdish group said on Saturday it had decided with the government to “chart a roadmap to a democratic and decentralized Syria”, but there was no immediate confirmation from Damascus.
But at least a third of Syria remains outside government control, and those areas are occupied both by Turkish and American troops. Turkey has deployed soldiers in the northwest, in parts of the rebel-held province of Aleppo and in Idlib, which Assad has identified as the next target of an offensive. About 2,000 U.S. Special Operations forces hold sway in the northeast, in support of their Kurdish allies fighting against the Islamic State.
Damascus must make a choice about where to advance next. The Kurds of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and their allies are backed by the Americans but appear willing to negotiate with Assad. During the past two weeks, they sent representatives to hold talks with the regime. Since the beginning of the civil war, the PYD avoided fighting the regime whenever possible and never adopted the position that Assad must be removed from power in any peace deal.
If Assad can show a little flexibility by allowing some level of decentralization for the Kurdish-led cantons, it thus seems likely that he can reassert at least nominal control of these areas.
“Because it is one of the last areas that they hold … we think the fight to dislodge them from that area is going to be difficult,” he said.
Gedney said the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed alliance of Syrian Kurds and Arab fighters, had enabled some civilian convoys to leave Hajin.
Russia played the role of postman for the exchange of the US-Assad messages. President Assad, however, informed the Americans that Iran is not interested in remaining in Syria once all terrorist Takfirees are killed and when its function is no longer required.
The bottom line is that Assad and his allies believe that the US-French-UK withdrawal from Syria would actually be an achievement. Moreover, both Iran and Hezbollah consider their withdrawal both a fact and a necessity, once Assad is no longer in need of their contribution.
An oil production agreement signed by the Syrian government and the Kurds is working, a well-informed source has told Sputnik.
In keeping with the accord, inked a few months ago, “the Kurds are extracting 50,000 barrels of crude each day at al-Rmeilan and Jabsah oilfields.
In the end, 200 to 300 of the attacking fighters were killed. The others retreated under merciless airstrikes from the United States, returning later to retrieve their battlefield dead. None of the Americans at the small outpost in eastern Syria — about 40 by the end of the firefight — were harmed.
(13.3.2007) Syria is surrounded by unfriendly forces. Turkey, a close ally to Israel in the north, Jordan in the south, the U.S.-occupied Iraq east and Lebanon west of it.We know from Seymour Hersh (and in fact, „we“ does mean „6 Billion Jurors in the Court of Puplic Opinion“), that the Bush Administration and the royal dynasty of Saudi Arabia, in coordination with the Israeli Government, are funding Sunni islamists and terrorist militias in the north of Lebanon and all over the middle east, allegedly to prevent the so-called „Shiite crescent“.
We know, that the Lebanese Leader of the Druze, Walid Jumblatt, met with Dick Cheney in Washington last fall and advised him, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be „the ones to talk to“.
We also know by the New Yorker journalist, that „there is evidence that the Administration`s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood,“ that there is Saudi money and American involvement.
According to the report, Macron met with a Rojava delegation, including members of the YPG, at the Élysée. The delegation had arrived in Paris two days ago.
Accompanied by his special chief of staff, Admiral Roger, Macron announced that he would send French Special Forces to Manbij in coordination with the US, another report by Le Parisien said.
France’s president on Thursday assured the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) of Paris’ support to stabilise northeastern Syria against Islamic State, and Kurdish officials said he had committed to sending troops to the region.