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Thread: Syrian Civil War Developments

  1. #2521
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    K,

    Was wondering if you could give us from a Turkish perspective some insights into ultimate Turkish goals and endgame in Syria.
    actually it is very simple.

    Turkey will not allow any new state within the borders or Syria and/or Iraq. Especially one that is founded by a terrorist organisation like PKK.

    So Turkish operation is not for acquiring land from Syria but at first to prevent any new "state" to reach mediterranean. The second objective will be to ensure what ever necessary to stay that way.

    That's a lie aimed at splitting the US and the Kurds.

    What Mattis said to him was probably something along the lines of : YPG will turn against the terrorist elements.

    He took that and changed it to: Mattis says will turn YPG against PKK.
    Citanon,

    knowing that YPG is already fighting with ISIS, a mention about a "turn" against terrorist elements would be PKK.

    wouldnt you agree?

    as you know PKK IS a terrorist organisation...



    and it is absurd for me too...
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  2. #2522
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    Citanon,

    knowing that YPG is already fighting with ISIS, a mention about a "turn" against terrorist elements would be PKK.

    wouldnt you agree?

    as you know PKK IS a terrorist organisation...



    and it is absurd for me too...
    Big K, the IRA and Sinn Fein used to be terrorists too. Then there was the peace accords and now only the extreme elements of those organizations are considered terrorists.

    I'm sure you recall that there was a peace process with the PKK too. That fell apart under murky circumstances. Meanwhile, the US has been working with the Kurds in Iraq and Syria to do the heavy lifting vs IS. Do we think that a Kurd that's our ally suddenly becomes a terrorist when they cross the border to Turkey? Or, are we aiming to create a political settlement that brings in most of PKK but isolates the real extremists?

    Also, if Ash Carter's testimony confuses you, would you not expect Turkey's interactions with IS in the early days, Nusra later, and various other Islamist head choppers in more recent months might just confuse us? Things are very confusing in general between the US and Turkey right now.

    Granted, this war has been confusing and Turkey has had to pick her way through turbulent currents, but the US needs at least one rock solid ally on the ground. We found them in the Kurds. Solid as rock US allies since 1991.

    Turkey has been a bulwark for NATO since its founding, but, unfortunately, under Erdogan, things have obviously changed.

  3. #2523
    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Big K, the IRA and Sinn Fein used to be terrorists too. Then there was the peace accords and now only the extreme elements of those organizations are considered terrorists.

    I'm sure you recall that there was a peace process with the PKK too. That fell apart under murky circumstances. Meanwhile, the US has been working with the Kurds in Iraq and Syria to do the heavy lifting vs IS. Do we think that a Kurd that's our ally suddenly becomes a terrorist when they cross the border to Turkey? Or, are we aiming to create a political settlement that brings in most of PKK but isolates the real extremists?

    Also, if Ash Carter's testimony confuses you, would you not expect Turkey's interactions with IS in the early days, Nusra later, and various other Islamist head choppers in more recent months might just confuse us? Things are very confusing in general between the US and Turkey right now.

    Granted, this war has been confusing and Turkey has had to pick her way through turbulent currents, but the US needs at least one rock solid ally on the ground. We found them in the Kurds. Solid as rock US allies since 1991.

    Turkey has been a bulwark for NATO since its founding, but, unfortunately, under Erdogan, things have obviously changed.
    first of all you can remember that i am NOT an Erdogan fan at all. please keep this in mind while reading my post.

    and remember how he gained the power using the heavy influence of US & EU during the days of 2001 economical crisis of Turkey.

    i remember very well the peace process with PKK. and i also remember very well the reports of my business colleagues heard with my own ears that PKK used the peace time as a regroupe and reinforcement break. please do not compare PKK with any of those older terrorist organisations. PKK was/is a subcontractor. they were/are not "freedom" fighters.

    as for IS... supporting a terrorist organisation against another one?? are you serious about this? two wrongs dont make a right here.

    or its for the ultimate goal of creating a Kurdish "Muslim Israel"???

    as for Turkey's interactions with IS. they were highly condemned in here too, the allegations are still being made for those days.

    on the other hand dont you think that it is ironic... when US supports a terrorist organisaton against another it is OK. when Turkey does the same (not the mention the difference of scales) it becames "un-trustful"...

    another misleading thing is YPG/PKK does not represent the entirety of Kurds.

    If you refer the YPG/PKK being US allies from 1991 than we have other things to discuss. a terrorist organisaton can not be US's "rock solid" ally i presume.

    personally i find your remarque a bit offensive. how many wars US fought with YPG/PKK? and when?...

    as for being bulwark of NATO... you must understand that US is losing the support of Erdogan's opposition because of these childish moves.

    what good will do to replace a terrorist with another?

    more than that, what can be the purpose of replacing a terrorist who has a wider target (therefore harder to achieve) with a terrorist who is more focused & organised? and aimed at Turkey?

    If you dont want Erdogan at te helm of Turkey you should not give him these grounds to attack Turkeys alignements towards West.
    Last edited by Big K; 19 Feb 18, at 09:17.
    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none; be able for thine enemy rather in power than use; and keep thy friend under thine own life's key; be checked for silence, but never taxed for speech.

  4. #2524
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Weird thing about this war ? where are the Arabs

    The actors are all non-arabs. Israelis, Americans, Turks, Russians & Iranians fighting in it.

  5. #2525
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Weird thing about this war ? where are the Arabs

    The actors are all non-arabs. Israelis, Americans, Turks, Russians & Iranians fighting in it.
    You mean where are the other Arab countries? e.g. Saudis, Jordanians, etc?

  6. #2526
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    Jordan, since suspending its air campaign in Syria proper, is mostly concerned with border patrol on the Syrian border so as not to be overrun with refugees. They got a dozen combat helos from Israel and a battalion of IFVs from Germany for that purpose.
    Turkey is trying to pull them towards supporting them politically in their operation in Syria, but so far with zero success (see e.g. here).

  7. #2527
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    You mean where are the other Arab countries? e.g. Saudis, Jordanians, etc?
    right

  8. #2528
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    The Saudis are busy on their southern flank (Yemen). They have half their military deployed in support of their operations there.

    I reckon that the Jordanians are primarily concerned with internal security and stability at this point, effecting a cordon sanitaire to prevent the conflict from spilling over their borders, and that they are generally hedging their bets with regards to Syria, as there's no clear path to victory for anti-Assad forces.

    Additionally, Assad is the devil they know, and the unforeseen consequences of a rebel "victory" could be a detriment to Jordan, to the point of being an existential threat to their government. Even if Assad were defeated, the likely result would be internecine conflict between the multitude of Sunni factions in Syria, much like as seen in Libya, with a greater potential for the conflict to spill over their borders without Assad as the principal rebel focus.

    It's worth noting that Palestinians are 60% of Jordan's population (deliberately under-counted by the Jordan government), whom the Jordanian government keeps a very tight lid on through their security services.

    The Sunni Arab states/GCC have no real means with which to deploy any significant forces into Syria. The only possible way they could do this is through Jordan. The Syrian coast is Alawite populated and a strong Assad redoubt. It goes without saying the Arab governments most involved in the Syrian conflict have no naval/logistical means to go in that way on top of that. So even if they wanted to intervene directly with ground forces, it's a non-starter as Jordan has nixed the idea. Which basically limits them to supporting proxies.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 19 Feb 18, at 20:44.

  9. #2529
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    first of all you can remember that i am NOT an Erdogan fan at all. please keep this in mind while reading my post.

    and remember how he gained the power using the heavy influence of US & EU during the days of 2001 economical crisis of Turkey.
    And that was a dumb move on our part.

    i remember very well the peace process with PKK. and i also remember very well the reports of my business colleagues heard with my own ears that PKK used the peace time as a regroupe and reinforcement break. please do not compare PKK with any of those older terrorist organisations. PKK was/is a subcontractor. they were/are not "freedom" fighters.
    They are rebels. Any smart organization will use a lull in the fighting to reorganize and refit. That doesn't mean the peace process would have failed.

    With the isis threat you had additional leverage, andyou had the Kurds needing constant us support.

    I think Turkey could have made it work. The real problem was, if the Kurdish problem was.solved, what would be there to distract the army and the people? Erdogans was motivated to scuttle the peace not to make it work. That was the ultimate cause of the breakdown. I can't prove it, but I very strongly suspect it.

    as for IS... supporting a terrorist organisation against another one?? are you serious about this? two wrongs dont make a right here.
    I don't see the ypg or the pkk even massacreing civilians, raping women and children and chopping off heads. The pkk are rebels, bust IS was clearly a greater threat.

    or its for the ultimate goal of creating a Kurdish "Muslim Israel"???
    They ate not, yet. Don't make them one.

    on the other hand dont you think that it is ironic... when US supports a terrorist organisaton against another it is OK. when Turkey does the same (not the mention the difference of scales) it becames "un-trustful"...
    Again, compare what the two were doing.

    another misleading thing is YPG/PKK does not represent the entirety of Kurds.

    If you refer the YPG/PKK being US allies from 1991 than we have other things to discuss. a terrorist organisaton can not be US's "rock solid" ally i presume.
    You're right. I should not group them together.

    On the other hand, in the last 25 years, when the US needed people to fight, Kurds kept showing up.

    personally i find your remarque a bit offensive. how many wars US fought with YPG/PKK? and when?...
    One is enough to earn our respect.

    as for being bulwark of NATO... you must understand that US is losing the support of Erdogan's opposition because of these childish moves.
    If erdogans wants to move away one can't stop them with lack of excuses, especially when he's initiating the moves.

    what good will do to replace a terrorist with another?
    Having seen what real terrorists look like, I don't think I'm convinced the pkk are terrorists anymore. They are certainly not dead enders. Turkey has the chance to bring them back into the fold. Problem is I doubt Erdogan wants to.

    more than that, what can be the purpose of replacing a terrorist who has a wider target (therefore harder to achieve) with a terrorist who is more focused & organised? and aimed at Turkey?
    Well, for one, they are not medieval barbarians.

    If you dont want Erdogan at te helm of Turkey you should not give him these grounds to attack Turkeys alignements towards West.
    Trouble is, since erdogans is at the helm, he gets to manufacture the excuses.

  10. #2530
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    The Saudis are busy on their southern flank (Yemen). They have half their military deployed in support of their operations there.

    I reckon that the Jordanians are primarily concerned with internal security and stability at this point, effecting a cordon sanitaire to prevent the conflict from spilling over their borders, and that they are generally hedging their bets with regards to Syria, as there's no clear path to victory for anti-Assad forces.

    Additionally, Assad is the devil they know, and the unforeseen consequences of a rebel "victory" could be a detriment to Jordan, to the point of being an existential threat to their government. Even if Assad were defeated, the likely result would be internecine conflict between the multitude of Sunni factions in Syria, much like as seen in Libya, with a greater potential for the conflict to spill over their borders without Assad as the principal rebel focus.

    It's worth noting that Palestinians are 60% of Jordan's population (deliberately under-counted by the Jordan government), whom the Jordanian government keeps a very tight lid on through their security services.

    The Sunni Arab states/GCC have no real means with which to deploy any significant forces into Syria. The only possible way they could do this is through Jordan. The Syrian coast is Alawite populated and a strong Assad redoubt. It goes without saying the Arab governments most involved in the Syrian conflict have no naval/logistical means to go in that way on top of that. So even if they wanted to intervene directly with ground forces, it's a non-starter as Jordan has nixed the idea. Which basically limits them to supporting proxies.
    Sure, was listening to this show and the host just threw that line out. Just from a visual perspective it kinda took.

    This is why Daish is the world's problem and not that of the region

    Think back to first gulf war, you had a coalition of countries there marching in to liberate the place. Or even the Libyan one where air forces from UAE, Qatar & the KSA collaborated.

    This one was blocked by the Russians right from the start. Ostensibly to protect Assad but after all these years you wonder what good came out of it. Assad gets to keep his spot but man did the people suffer. Whenever this thing ends, the country is going to be left in rubble. Worse than Afghanistan
    Last edited by Double Edge; 19 Feb 18, at 20:56.

  11. #2531
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Afrin offensive: Turkey warns Syria against helping Kurds

    Turkey has warned the Syrian government not to help Kurds fighting against Turkish forces in northern Syria.

    Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Turkey's operations were going ahead as planned and it would be a "disaster" if Syrian troops were to intervene.

    Syrian media had earlier said the army would help Kurds resist Turkish operations in the enclave of Afrin.

    But there has been no sign of this so far, and the Kurdish YPG militia has denied there is a deal with Damascus.

    Turkey regards the Kurdish fighters, just across its border in Afrin, as terrorists. It launched a major offensive against them last month.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Russia's Vladimir Putin that Damascus would face "consequences" if it struck a deal with the Kurds, CNN Turk reported on Monday.

    Both Mr Bozdag and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu delivered a similar message later in the day.

    "If (the Syrian army) comes in to defend the YPG, then nothing and nobody can stop Turkish soldiers," Mr Cavusoglu told reporters in Jordan.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43107013

  12. #2532
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Notice they are not attacking Turkish positions in Syria

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/syria-kur...003754491.html

    Beirut (AFP) - A Kurdish-led alliance in northern Syria said late Saturday it had targeted military positions in Turkey, which is leading an offensive against a Kurdish-controlled enclave.

    It was the first time the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, has claimed a cross-border attack on Turkish forces.

    No Turkish official was immediately available for comment on the incident.

    Ankara and allied Syrian rebels have waged a nearly month-long offensive on Afrin, a northwestern pocket of Syria controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which make up the bulk of the SDF.

    Late Saturday, the SDF announced it had carried out "a special operation against a gathering centre for Turkish soldiers" and allied Syrian factions.

    It said the position was in Kirikhan, a district in Turkey's Hatay province, and that there were casualties, without specifying what weapons it had used.

    "We call on civilians to stay away from positions controlled by the Turkish invaders and... terrorists, as all military positions are legitimate targets for our forces," the statement added.

    Turkish media on Saturday reported that two Turkish soldiers and five allied Syrian rebels were wounded when mortar fire hit a police station in Kirikhan.

    The SDF has been the US-led coalition's main ground partner in the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group in the east of the country but receives no direct US support for its operations in Afrin.

    Ankara has blacklisted the YPG as a "terrorist" group, saying it is the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

    Determined to roll back the YPG's presence along its southern border, Turkey has repeatedly bombed positions held by the Kurdish militia and the SDF during Syria's seven-year conflict.

    But the assault Ankara and allied Syrian rebels launched against Afrin on January 20 is Turkey's largest operation yet against the Kurdish forces.

    Last week, YPG chief Sipan Hamo said his forces had never launched an attack across the border from Syria into Turkey.

    "From when we established our forces until today, we have never conducted an operation on Turkish soil and haven't thrown a single rock at it," Hamo told reporters.
    I don't know what we have been thinking. Turkey is a long time ally. The Kurds were an enemy of our enemy (Sadam) but also of our friends. It was a union of convenience and we ignored the things they were doing to our ally.
    And now we see that they are trying to strike a deal with the Syrian Army. And attacking an NATO country.

    Drop them and stick with our friend Turkey.

    Does anyone think that when the Syria mess calms down the Kurds won't be fighting for a "Greater Kurdistan"? One which includes parts of Syria and Turkey. Then what do we do?
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  13. #2533
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Notice they are not attacking Turkish positions in Syria

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/syria-kur...003754491.html



    I don't know what we have been thinking. Turkey is a long time ally. The Kurds were an enemy of our enemy (Sadam) but also of our friends. It was a union of convenience and we ignored the things they were doing to our ally.
    And now we see that they are trying to strike a deal with the Syrian Army. And attacking an NATO country.

    Drop them and stick with our friend Turkey.

    Does anyone think that when the Syria mess calms down the Kurds won't be fighting for a "Greater Kurdistan"? One which includes parts of Syria and Turkey. Then what do we do?
    I know you know NATO's made in the US nukes reside at Incirlik Air Base. During the Coup, Turkey cut off power and closed off the airspace to Incirlik. Polls show 89 percent of Turks say the US is behind the PKK and YPG.


    Can the recent US actions, Kurds aside, be a response to recent Russian meddling in the election. The current and past administrations don't seem to know how to deal with it. Putin embolden sends proxy's against an isolated US/Allied presence. The US response was a display of combined arms. Showing the Russians the US is a force to be reckoned with.

    Is Trump determining US policy in Syria or is it Mattis filling the void? Trump has placed a call to Erdoğan. Mattis acknowledged Turkey's Kurdish insurgency, Two former US Turkish Ambassadors give very dire warnings of US actions. Tillerson is dispatched soon after. Yet the US military is on record as saying the US will remain in Manbij.

    Is the Turkish military is it still effective post-coup Erdoğan? What happens if Turkey becomes bogged down and casualties climb.

    Syria is getting expensive for the Iranians and the Russian. Assad needs the Russians and Iranian and their proxies otherwise he is Mayor of Most of Damascus.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/comrad...-debts-already

    "According to a classified Western intelligence report seen by The Daily Beast, the Syrian regime currently owes the Russian government $60 million for a consignment of crude oil imported last October, and, while Damascus insists it’s got the money to settle its debt—apparently, it’s all “cash” and tied up domestically—it’s nevertheless stalling for time while also asking for another shipment of Russian crude, and at a reduced price no less."

    "A major problem still bedeviling the Assad regime, whose economy has begun to improve slightly in the last year with the tide of the war broadly now going its way, is that the oil fields recaptured from the Islamic State are not yet operational. As such, the country has had to rely heavily on imports of oil and petroleum products from foreign sellers, mainly Iran and Russia.

    In July 2013, the Iranians extended a $3.6 billion line of credit to the Syrians, which money was used to import, on average, 60,000 barrels of crude oil a day, amounting to roughly 1 million barrels per month. That arrangement lasted for a few years, then stopped in January last year. Then it supposedly was restarted in May.

    In total, Assad is believed to owe the mullahs some $6 billion, which has become a source of major discontent on the streets of Iran, where protesters challenged the Islamic Republic, and called for regime change, not least because of exorbitant expenditures abroad rather than at home."

    "The oil fields his forces have retaken, mainly in the western Euphrates River Valley, are old and dilapidated—and even more so now, after the grinding war of attrition against ISIS that allowed their recapture. Other fields, including the largest in Hasakah province, remain under Kurdish paramilitary control and in a geographical zone protected by the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition."

    Putin has a casualty problem. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/artic...-wars-separate The byline says it all: The troops who died in Syria are called mercenaries, not heroes. Will the Russian people buy that? A strong man can't be seen being push around.

    My fear is a 1914 scenario. The Germans had this great plan to take care of Bosnia with the Austrian-Hungary doing the work, the Kaiser just makes a quick call to his cousin to ease tensions. You know how that turned out.
    Last edited by Dazed; 20 Feb 18, at 08:58.

  14. #2534
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    actually it is very simple.

    Turkey will not allow any new state within the borders or Syria and/or Iraq. Especially one that is founded by a terrorist organisation like PKK.

    So Turkish operation is not for acquiring land from Syria but at first to prevent any new "state" to reach mediterranean. The second objective will be to ensure what ever necessary to stay that way.
    I generally understand Turkey's goals regarding the YPG/SDF. What about the rest of Syria where Kurdish factions are not the concern?

  15. #2535
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Convoys of Syrian government and Iranian-backed fighters have been arriving in Afrin over the last couple of hours.

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