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BRKG SYRIAN ARMY FIRES ON ADVANCING TURKISH MILITARY COLUMNS
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  1. #81
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    But we took on the better of the choices there as allies.... and leave them no air defense against an invading (savage) Turk army. The Kurds need anti-air weapons.
    Last edited by LightEcho; 02-02-2018 at 06:48 PM. Reason: sp

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightEcho View Post
    But we took on the better of the chices there as allies.... and leave them no air defense against an invading (savage) Turk army. The Kurds need anti-air weapons.
    There are no better choice of "allies". That option went away after US politics decided we'd stop putting our own picked people in charge of these places and play a limp wristed, and thus even more screwed up, version of "the Great Game".

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Housecarl View Post
    There are no better choice of "allies". That option went away after US politics decided we'd stop putting our own picked people in charge of these places and play a limp wristed, and thus even more screwed up, version of "the Great Game".
    Under Assad, the muslims were not rabidly in control and murdering the christians. The Kurds are at least ambivalent about christians. So Obama, Israel, Turkey & Saudi Arabia all conspired to create ISIS and wipe out the only moderate forces in the area. Blood on the hands of all those conspirators. Trump seemed to catch on to the ISIS game. But he is not wise enough to know the whole story. We have been stooges to help set up the end of the world war right here. Far better would it have been that we stayed out. If we needed to be involved in any way, it should have been an honorable position.

  4. #84
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    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/c...syria-1.700512

    Turkey is planting the seeds for future catastrophe in Syria

    Despite attempts by Turkey to spin developments, the reality is different, writes Hassan Hassan

    Hassan Hassan
    January 31, 2018
    Updated: January 31, 2018 12:24 PM

    The differences between the United States and Turkey are deepening at a much faster pace than either side is willing to articulate. This is a recipe for future catastrophes that will play out in Syrian neighbourhoods in the north and eastern parts of the country.

    In the absence of common ground, Turkey’s only available strategy to protect its interests appears to hinge on a Kurdish-Arab civil war in the country. At the same time, Ankara has consistently taken measures that provide space for jihadis as it seeks to advance its national interests.

    These policies run counter to Washington’s plan to consolidate its gains against extremism in the country, and both bear blame for an increasingly grim situation.

    Whether Turkey deliberately wishes to ignite such a war is unclear. But the result is the same.

    Take the battle of Afrin. Hundreds of the rebel fighters who joined the conflict hail from eastern Syria. Those include fighters within Ahrar Al Sharqiyah, a group once linked to Ahrar Al Sham in Deir Ezzor. The group was also part of a network associated with Al Qaeda’s former branch in Deir Ezzor until it, along with rebels from the eastern province, was driven out by ISIL in 2014.

    Rebels who used to operate in Deir Ezzor scattered in southern and northern Syria. In diaspora, they largely continued to operate within previous factions, but they also mixed with each other and some were courted by jihadi groups in those areas. Also, the former leader of Jabhat Al Nusra in Deir Ezzor, Abu Mariyyah Al Qahtani, is known for ideological flexibility toward other groups and so he maintained close ties with some of the groups.

    One of the groups that had sympathisers close to Al Qahtani’s network is Ahrar Al Sharqiyah, even though the group is not linked to him. A similar dynamic existed with other rebel commanders.

    There are several other groups like Ahrar Al Sharqiyah that include fighters from other parts of eastern Syria. Some are backed by Turkey, operating in the zone known as the Euphrates Shield, and many of their fighters are currently involved in the fight against the Kurds in Afrin. Such fighters have released footage of themselves shouting anti-Kurdish slogans, and the first rebel fighter to have died in the campaign was reportedly from Deir Ezzor.

    ____________

    Read more from Opinion

    Turkey's permanent state of emergency is crippling its chances of development

    Trump's State of the Union address marks a troubling back story to the narrative of American success

    The most important battle of our times is the war against fake news

    ____________

    These fighters may be a minority in the fighting forces used by Turkey to launch the assault in Afrin. But there should be no question about the implications of having those fighters engage in a war that primarily serves Turkish interests. As I explained in these pages last week, many of those had no choice, by virtue of long-running Turkish support, but to take part in an avoidable war.

    The US could have engaged a large number of those fighters who hail from eastern Syria in the fight against ISIL in eastern Syria. The US has had a shortage of forces fighting against the group, factors that both slowed down the campaign and caused avoidable destruction in places like Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. Despite the shortage, American officials opposed the involvement of such factions, even though at least two of them were vetted by the Pentagon and the CIA and had fought against ISIL at least a year before the US-led campaign began.

    What will happen to those fighters in the future? Does the US hope they will remain away from their towns and villages indefinitely? Worse, what might be the implications of those same fighters after having been involved in a Turkish-led assault against the Kurds in Afrin? These circumstances add to tension that existed between Arab and Kurdish fighters since the early months of the Syrian conflict.

    It will probably take time before American officials recognise the costs of their short-sighted policies in Syria. Given the current momentum against jihadis, it is easy for policymakers to take no notice of dynamics that will shape future challenges.

    Besides infiltration and growing ethnic, social and political tensions, there are also attempts by jihadis to take advantage of the Turkish focus on the Kurds to profit financially. Last year, for example, a senior jihadi told this author about jihadi operatives relocating from central and northwestern Syria to the Turkish-protected zone, in anticipation of Turkish plans to rebuild areas captured from ISIL. Similarly, BBC Arabic reported last week that Hayat Tahrir Al Sham, as Jabhat Al Nusra is now known, also attempts to benefit from the flow of arms to Afrin through the involvement of its operatives there.

    Turkey’s alliance with Russia in Syria is another issue that adds complexity to the American role in Syria. This alliance allows Russia to shape Syria’s political and military direction, as well as permits groups like Hayat Tahrir Al Sham to serve as party to the de-escalation zones agreed between the two countries. The group escorted Turkish forces in Idlib in October. Two weeks ago, its leader also issued a statement confirming that his group struck a deal with Ankara regarding the Turkish entry to Idlib.

    Despite attempts by Turkey to spin the latest developments, as weakening of such groups, the reality is different: Turkish moves in northern Syria are already strengthening groups that the US seeks to weaken and planting the seeds of a needless civil strife that Washington wants to avoid.

  5. #85

    3 France says won't accept Syria circumventing chemical weapons' ban

    PARIS – France said on Friday it was "deeply concerned" that Syria's government was flouting its pledges to stop using chemical weapons and Paris was working with its partners to shed light on recent suspected toxic gas attacks.



    Senior US officials said on Thursday that the Syrian government may be developing new types of chemical weapons, and US President Donald Trump is prepared to consider further military action if necessary to deter chemical attacks.



    Rescue workers and medical groups working in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, near to Damascus, have accused government forces

    of using chlorine gas three times over the last month, including on Thursday morning.



    French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes Von der Muhll said that reports from the OPCW, the global chemical weapons watchdog, indicated that Damascus had not met commitments made in 2013 to fully abandon its chemical stockpiles and was not conforming with international conventions banning their use. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,...079843,00.html

  6. #86

    Turkey: Rocket attacks from Syrian enclave kill 2

    ANKARA, Turkey – Two people were killed on Friday after a barrage of rockets was fired at two border towns in Turkey from the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin across the border, officials said.



    The Hatay governor's office issued a statement saying that that least six rockets targeted the town of Reyhanli in Hatay province—damaging

    a home, a workplace and a road close to the marketplace—and wounding 18 people, two of whom later died in hospital.


    Three more rockets hit the town of Kilis, northeast of Reyhanli, where at least three people were wounded, said Governor Mehmet Tekinarslan.

    Ankara launched a cross-border offensive into Afrin on Jan. 20 to rout the Syrian Kurdish militia group it says is linked to insurgents fighting inside Turkey.



    Friday's deaths have raised to six the death toll in a salvo of rocket attacks on the two towns since then. The victims include a teenage girl and two Syrian refugees. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,...079840,00.html

  7. #87

    4 RT ‘Worse than Afrin’: Erdogan’s aide threatens to ‘break legs’ of Greek ministers over disputed isles 1


  8. #88
    Karwan Zebari‏Verified account @karwanz · 9h9 hours ago

    Reports of a mutilated Rojava Kurdish @DefenseUnitsYPJ female freedom fighter's body (cutting off breast & stripped naked) in streets of Afrin suburbs is disturbing & a crime. @StateDept, @WHNSC, @PentagonPresSec need to bring an end to this fight by #Turkey & its allied proxies

  9. #89
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    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    http://www.atimes.com/article/turkis...ericas-making/

    TURKEY SYRIA ANALYSIS

    A Turkish war of America’s making

    The US is offering the country, and the region, only incoherence and more empty promises

    By BARAK BARFI
    FEBRUARY 3, 2018 12:44 PM (UTC+8)

    As Turkey intensifies its military campaign against Syrian Kurdish fighters, it is tempting to blame the violence on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strident jingoism and xenophobia.

    After all, Erdogan has long warned that Turkey would never tolerate a Kurdish military presence on the country’s southern border; the recent offensive would seem to suggest that his words are being met with action.

    And yet, while Erdogan may have ordered “Operation Olive Branch,” the real culprit is the United States’ myopic focus on vanquishing regional jihadism.

    ters in the northern Aleppo countryside in Syria. Photo: Reuters / Khalil Ashawi
    As Turkey intensifies its military campaign against Syrian Kurdish fighters, it is tempting to blame the violence on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strident jingoism and xenophobia.

    After all, Erdogan has long warned that Turkey would never tolerate a Kurdish military presence on the country’s southern border; the recent offensive would seem to suggest that his words are being met with action.

    And yet, while Erdogan may have ordered “Operation Olive Branch,” the real culprit is the United States’ myopic focus on vanquishing regional jihadism.


    Bereft of a coherent Syria policy, successive US administrations have obsessed over targeting Islamic State (ISIS) without considering the full ramifications of their actions. Turkey’s incursion into northwestern Syria is just one consequence.

    In July 2012, when the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) took over a string of Syrian border towns, Turkey was alarmed. The PYD is the Syrian branch of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging a guerrilla-style war against Turkey’s government since 1984.

    Initially, the US shared Erdogan’s concerns. In August 2012, then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton declared that “Syria must not become a haven for PKK terrorists.” But after ISIS captured large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, the US found in the PYD a useful ally. Soon, the US was providing weapons and training to the PYD’s armed wing.

    Angered by these moves, Erdogan sought assurances that US support for the Kurds would be temporary and that Kurdish fighters would not cross the Euphrates River. But after the Turks received the guarantees they wanted, the well-armed Kurds crossed the Euphrates anyway.

    Then, in August 2016, US vice-president Joe Biden publicly admonished the PYD fighters, warning that they would lose US support if they did not retreat. But the militants never fell back, and the US continued to arm and train them.

    In April 2017, an incensed Erdogan declared that the Barack Obama administration had “deceived” Turkey on the PKK. “I don’t believe the Trump administration will do the same,” he predicted.

    But Erdogan was misled once again. Despite reportedly promising that US weapons transfers would halt, President Donald Trump has not changed course, and US arms continue to flow to the Kurds.

    For these reasons, Turkey’s leaders have lost faith in anything the US government says. The two countries cannot even agree on the contents of a presidential phone call, as their conflicting accounts of a conversation last month illustrates.

    How did relations between two NATO allies reach such a low point?

    Video

    Much of the answer can be traced to Obama’s refusal to deploy combat troops against ISIS, in favor of a light footprint using local forces aided by US air strikes and training.

    This approach was first tried in Iraq but backfired when the Iranian-supported Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) seized territory. The consequences of that decision, which the US has largely chosen to ignore, will come to a head in April, when PMF commanders plan to run in Iraq’s parliamentary election.

    In Syria, the Kurds have proved to be a more reliable proxy. But their allegiance to the US has come at a cost.

    Obama was willing to overlook their fighters’ ties to the PKK, using subtle hairsplitting to differentiate between indistinguishable groups. Never truly appreciating Erdogan’s apprehension, Obama chose to address Turkey’s concerns only superficially.

    When Trump came to office, his lack of interest in details and inclination to grandstand exacerbated tensions. A key feature of Trump’s presidency has been his desire to ingratiate himself with guests by offering what he cannot deliver (as he did during a recent meeting with congressional Democrats on immigration).

    This penchant to please appears to have resulted in Trump making promises to Erdogan that the Pentagon decision-makers guiding America’s Iraq and Syria policies never intended to keep.

    But unlike US lawmakers, Erdogan has an army that marches at his discretion. And Turkey views the PKK as an existential threat and regards the PYD as its Syrian lethal appendage.

    The muddled messaging by the US, delivered by a president unskilled in policy nuance or diplomacy, has inflamed a critical relationship, and in turn, jeopardized the fight against ISIS.

    Despite Trump’s State of the Union claim that ISIS is nearly defeated, some 3,000 fighters remain in Syria, occasionally even capturing territory.

    In short, America’s policy is self-defeating. Not only is it emboldening adversaries such as Iran and its PMF proxies, it is also imperiling some 2,000 US soldiers who are working with the Kurds in Syria.

    Obama’s instincts were not wrong. Full-scale invasions rarely succeed in uprooting jihadist threats. But America’s subcontracting of its battles to local fighters in Syria has created new perils.

    If Trump is to break with the past and earn the credit he is claiming, the US must find a new way to achieve its security goals without deploying entire divisions. At the moment, however, the US is offering Turkey – and the region – only incoherence and more empty promises.

    Barak Barfi is a research fellow at New America, where he specializes in Arab and Islamic affairs.

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  10. #90
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    http://www.spiegel.de/international/...a-1190938.html

    Abandoning the Kurds

    What the Turkish Invasion Means for Syria

    By invading Afrin, one of the last unscathed regions in Syria, Turkey is trying to prevent the creation of a Kurdish state. The U.S. is looking on powerlessly while Russia is rubbing its hands in glee. Ultimately, the true winner might be Bashar Assad.

    By Christian Esch, Maximilian Popp, Christoph Reuter and Christoph Scheuermann

    February 02, 2018 05:21 PM

    The first victims on both sides of the front hadn't done anything. All they wanted was to survive. When the Turkish air force began bombing Kurdish positions in and around the Syrian town of Afrin on Jan. 20, one of their rockets struck a chicken farm near the village of Jalbara and wiped out almost the entire Hussein family. The mother and six children were killed, with only the father surviving. They were refugees from Maarat al-Numan, a city located further south in the province of Idlib, which has once again become the the target of massive bombings by the Syrian air force and has been under fire since December.

    The next morning, another rocket, this time fired from the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, struck near the Turkish border town of Reyhanli, slamming into the ground only two meters away from Nadir al-Fares' car. The taxi driver was killed instantly when the razor-sharp metal shrapnel ripped his car to shreds. Fares had fled to the border region from Bashar Assad's army back in 2012. He had managed to make it into Turkey, while Hussein family's flight ended in Afrin, where they endured the stench of the chickens to at least have a roof over their heads during the cold winter.

    The deaths of these civilians shows on a small scale what the larger situation in the region looks like. They show how new battle lines are constantly being drawn and new hotspots are constantly emerging in the war in Syria. A conflict that those involved aren't even trying to stop anymore.

    For the last two weeks, a brand new front has encircled Afrin. The increasingly autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had repeatedly announced his intention to extend his fight against the Kurdistan Workers' Party across the border into Syria. There, the PKK offshoot YPG, or People's Protection Units, controls around a quarter of the country and has established what is effectively its own Kurdish state. The region includes areas traditionally settled by Kurds, but also places where a majority of residents are Arab.

    The Kurdish party may operate under different acronyms, as the PKK, the YPG or the PYD, but it ultimately acts on behalf of the same leadership and all the various offshoots venerate party founder Abdullah Öcalan. It used to be that Kurdish officials never sought to conceal their de facto unity, but once the Kurds began trying to win the United States as a partner, they started acting as though there were serious differences. Ultimately, though, decisions are made at headquarters in the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq.

    Erdogan finally acted on his threats on Jan. 20. Turkish fighter jets flew sorties from the north and the west and conducted aerial strikes against YPG military installations and radio stations. Turkish-operated Leopard 2 tanks, made in Germany, rolled through the hilly terrain, accompanied by Arab-Syrian rebels under Turkish command. The rebels came from groups that had once been part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and originate largely from the northern part of the province of Aleppo, where the Turkish army occupied a large area during the summer of 2016.

    By the middle of that first week, the attackers claimed to have seized five villages near the border, whereas YPG announced that it had fended off every attack. It's difficult to find independent source because many of the internet connections in Afrin are provided by Turkish mobile phone company Turkcell, meaning the authorities have the ability to cut them off.

    The most reliable claims are likely those made by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in Britain, which has stated that by Feb. 1, 91 YPG fighters and 85 pro-Ankara rebels had been killed in addition to 68 civilians on the Syrian side. The Turkish government contests the civilian deaths, but it has been confirmed by hospitals in Afrin, where doctors say they receive casualties on a daily basis. Turkey claims to have lost seven soldiers. In the last days of January, storms and heavy rainfall temporarily impeded the advance, but the fighting intensified again this week.

    Grave Danger

    But there's considerable danger that far more people, especially civilians, will die as a result of the fighting. Afrin is one of the few areas in northern Syria that hasn't been badly damaged in the war. More than 100,000 internally displaced, including Kurds and Arabs from Aleppo and other areas have taken refuge in the region.

    Throughout the conflict, Afrin has been lucky. The Syrian Kurds never joined the insurgency against Assad's dictatorship, instead adopting a neutral position in 2011. At times they would align with Damascus, at others with the rebels, and at still others with the Russians or the U.S., or preferably both. Assad's army withdrew and Afrin was never the target of bombing. Even as the Islamic State (IS) captured one village after the other to the south of Afrin in 2013, the enclave escaped a similar fate because in a rare show of unity, rebels pushed IS out of Idlib and Aleppo province in early 2014.

    When Washington changed its strategy in summer 2014, declaring Islamic State its primary enemy following the brutal IS attacks on Yazidis in Iraq and on the Kurdish city of Kobani in Syria, the Syrian Kurds proved the ideal partner. The FSA rebels, after all, rejected Washington's condition that they focus entirely on IS and abandon the fight against Assad's army, even as the Syrian troops continued to blast away at their hometowns.

    With weapons and aerial support provided by the U.S., the Kurds essentially became the Americans' boots on the ground in the fight against the Islamic State "caliphate." The U.S largely provided simple technology, but did so in immense quantities, delivering munitions, Kalashnikovs and also, according to unconfirmed reports, Russian Grad rockets.

    Linguisitic Acrobatics

    The new alliance, however, presented a problem: The PKK was still officially listed in the United States as a terrorist organization. Washington, though, managed to skirt the issue with the help of linguistic acrobatics, referring from that point on to the YPG as a valuable ally in the war on terror while continuing to consider the PKK as a terrorist organization. It's a line that Donald Trump continued to maintain in a late-January telephone conversation with Erdogan, in which the U.S. president demanded military restraint in northern Syria while at the same time pledging his support in the fight against PKK terrorists.

    It was a pledge that highlights the entire absurdity of the situation: Washington has expressed its understanding of Turkey's bombardment of a militia that the U.S. only recently armed.

    Erdogan's political calculation, on the other hand, is completely transparent. In 2015, he ended the peace process with the PKK that he himself had initiated -- with the intention of rallying Turks behind him in the face of the Kurdish enemy. It was a cynical ploy, but it worked.

    Mutual Ignorance

    Despite all their differences, the three main parties to this new conflict -- the U.S., Turkey and the YPG -- have one thing in common: their ignorance. Each side believes it can wage its own war in the middle of the Syrian conflagration:

    The United States only wants to wage war against the IS;
    Erdogan is only interested in fighting the Kurds;
    And YPG is seeking to gain control of as much territory as it can, even far beyond the core Kurdish areas.
    None of the three can or even wants to bring the war to an end. And although the coexistence worked for as long as the common enemy, Islamic State, remained strong, that's no longer the case now that the "caliphate" has fallen.

    Two statements that obviously hadn't been coordinated -- one from a Pentagon spokesperson and the other from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson -- triggered the following chain reaction that ultimately culminated with Turkey marching into Syria. On Jan. 13, the news portal The Defense Post quoted spokesman Colonel Thomas Veale, of the Combined Joint Task Force, as saying that a "Syrian Border Security Force" with around 30,000 fighters was being established under Kurdish leadership and that the first 230 had already started training.

    In a speech given at Stanford University four days later, Secretary of State Tillerson presented an ambitious Syria strategy calling for the final defeat of Islamic State and al-Qaida and for a United Nations-brokered solution to be found that would also include Assad's resignation. Iran's influence should also be pushed back, assurances should be provided for the safe return of refugees and all the chemical weapons still held in Assad's arsenal should be destroyed. Then he added something that likely made NATO partner Turkey shudder: The U.S., he said, would maintain a military presence in Syria in areas held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    Apparently caught off guard, Erdogan could hardly contain his anger. "Our mission is to strangle it before it is even born," the Turkish president said.

    Once again, the fact that Tillerson and Donald Trump don't trust their own State Department, where they've left innumerable positions unfilled, has come back to haunt them. "Why is there no American ambassador in Ankara?" Frederic Hof, the former U.S. special advisor on transition in Syria, recently wrote in a heated editorial. "Why is there no senior American special envoy being dispatched to Turkey in the absence of an ambassador?"

    It doesn't appear that they do.

    How Putin Is Winning

    There's one person who profits most from the dispute between Turkey and the U.S.: Russian President Vladimir Putin. It provides him the opportunity to thwart Washington's plans, disavow America's Kurdish ally and to bring a NATO split that much closer. Until recently, 170 Russian soldiers had been stationed in Afrin. But Russia withdrew those troops, cleared the way for Turkish jets and simply dropped the Kurds.

    During the three preceding years, YPG had maintained tactical alliances with both the U.S. and Russia. The U.S. had used the Kurds in the battle against IS, and Washington even helped establish the SDF, a force made up of Kurdish and Arabic troops under YPG command, with the YPG allowed to take control of Arab-majority towns and villages in exchange for their services.

    Moscow, meanwhile, exploited YPG as a bargaining chip against Ankara after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet at the end of 2015 and also as ground troops to be used against the rebels. With Russian air support, YPG units captured the city of Tell Rifaat north of Aleppo in addition to dozens of villages in February 2016. They drove out most residents, stole from hospitals and bakeries and made the area part of their own Afrin canton. Despite the fact that local rebels in Tell Rifaat had freed themselves from IS in heavy fighting two years before.

    Months ago, an analyst with YPG's intelligence service noted that the Kurdish leadership has known for some time that the diverse web of alliances would not hold forever. He recalled a long drive with a Russian general at the beginning of 2017. "You ought to decide," he recalls the general saying. "Either us or the Americans!" Yes, you're right, came the response. "But we really want to be allies with both, with Russia and the U.S.!" The general, he said, merely shook his head with a smile.

    A Russian Ultimatum

    Aldar Khalil, a member of YPG leadership, says that the Russians issued an ultimatum to YPG before withdrawing from Afrin. If Afrin agreed to submit again to Damascus rule, they said, then they wouldn't be attacked. YPG refused and instead wanted to turn to the Americans for help. But Washington didn't respond, says Salih Muslim, the former chair of the Kurdish political party in northern Syria. After the start of the Turkish invasion, the Pentagon stated only that Afrin is not part of the U.S. sphere of influence.

    The rockets being fired from Afrin on Turkey, however, have allegedly been supplied by the Americans. A former Arab SDF fighter from Afrin recalls that "1,200 of the Grad rockets delivered by the Americans came to Afrin and the transport was escorted by Russian military police."

    By tolerating the Turkish invasion, Moscow has in turn bought Erdogan's silence on a far more devastating offensive that has been underway for a short time south of Afrin in Idlib. Russian and Syrian fighter jets are bombing the cities of Maarat al-Numan, Saraqib and Khan Shaykhun as well as dozens of villages. So far, more than 200,000 people have been forced to flee to the north.

    Nationalist, Religious Hysteria in Turkey

    Erdogan had sharply rebuked these attacks - in part because Turkey no longer wants to take in any more Syrian refugees -- but fell silent when Russia pulled out of Afrin. Since then, Ankara has said nothing about ongoing airstrikes by Assad's forces. In Turkey, the offensive has once again stirred up nationalist, religious hysteria. "God is with us in Afrin," Erdogan announced, praising the army's deployment as a divine mission.

    The Turkish leader has said that he next intends to attack the Kurds in northeastern Syria, where likely around 1,000 American troops are stationed, in an effort to capture the city of Manbij. Kurdish troops liberated the city from IS in 2016, but kept it for themselves despite a pledge to the contrary made to the U.S.

    Ultimately, though, the Turkish invasion is likely to help only one person -- Bashar Assad, whose removal Erdogan has been demanding for years. On the evening of Jan. 25, the Kurdish party leadership in Afrin demanded something it would have angrily rejected only a week before. "We call on the Syrian state to fulfil its duty as a state and defend its borders against the Turkish occupier." It was an invitation to Assad's army to please return.

    That's what the Russians had actually been hoping for. And they may now see that wish fulfilled.

    Should that happen, the outlook is going to grow far bleaker for those who once fled Assad's troops to Idlib. They can't flee south, where Assad's troops have been advancing for months. And they also can't head north now that Assad's troops have been invited there.

    The lucky ones are those who have already made it to Turkey. But what does lucky really mean in this conflict?

    The father of the family killed by the Turkish rocket remained in the hospital in Afrin for several days after the attack. And Hassan, the son of taxi driver killed by the Kurdish rocket, asks despairingly: "What did my father do wrong?" He will now have to care for 12 children together with his sister-in-law. "All our other relatives are dead. But how are we supposed to survive?"

    Related SPIEGEL ONLINE links
    Assad's Victory: What Comes after War in Syria? (01/24/2018)
    Arms for Hostage? Berlin Weighs Tank Deal with Turkey to Free Journalist (01/22/2018)

  11. #91
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    I said Russia and Putin should be careful less Turkey's allies go after Russia. And so it has happened at the following link. This should stir things up nicely, Housecarl.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hot-Syria.html

    Russian fighter jet 'is shot down by jubilant Syrian rebels': Pilot ejects and shoots at rebel mob before being killed in defiant last stand after his plane crashed in a ball of flames

    Dramatic video shows Sukhoi 25 plummeting out of sky after it was hit in the north-western province of Idlib
    Another video then shows jubilant rebels celebrating as the wreckage burns on the ground, releasing smoke
    The pilot reportedly managed to eject and parachute to the ground before being captured by the rebels
    Rebels later posted images of what they claimed was the his dead body, and his death was then confirmed

    By Alastair Tancred and Charlie Moore For Mailonline

    Published: 10:45 EST, 3 February 2018 | Updated: 15:11 EST, 3 February 2018

    Rebel fighters in Syria have shot down a Russian plane using a handheld anti-aircraft missile and killed its pilot when he open fire on them while trying to resist capture.

    Dramatic video shows the Sukhoi 25 plummeting out of the sky after it was hit in the north-western province of Idlib while carrying out a strike on rebels fighting the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Russia's ally.

    Another video then shows jubilant rebels celebrating as the wreckage burns on the ground, sending a huge plume of black smoke into the air.

    The pilot managed to eject and parachute to the ground before being captured. He was shot and killed when he resisted capture by opening fire from his pistol on the al-Qaeda-linked militants who tried to seize him alive.
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" is available for sale at the following url
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  12. #92
    Oh it has DD Russia just sent in 26 cruise missiles to clean up the area

  13. #93

  14. Ugh. Does this means that the neocons are going to kick up the propaganda for US intervention against "Russian aggressors"?

  15. #95
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    Link danielboon, please.
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
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  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer Doug View Post
    Link danielboon, please.
    Here you go https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...S9eePYo_9WmkS8

  17. #97

    Video at link shows precision strike on militants


  18. #98
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    Good Advice: DON'T PISS PUTIN OFF!

    Oh my, looks like Putin is really pissed off, Daniel Boon!
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" is available for sale at the following url
    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BRLFYU

  19. #99

    3/2/2018 20:18Five Turkish soldiers killed in attack on tank in Syria's Afrin


  20. #100

    3/2/2018 21:29Syrian jihadist group claims responsibility for downed Russian plane


  21. #101
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    Nice to see you over on this board more DB. I appreciate what you post. You were the only reason I went back to the other board for a while. However I don’t visit at all anymore

  22. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by Warm Wisconsin View Post
    Nice to see you over on this board more DB. I appreciate what you post. You were the only reason I went back to the other board for a while. However I don’t visit at all anymore
    Glad to be here the other board is almost dead.

  23. #103
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    GETTNG MY DAILY DOSE OF DOOM PORN!

    Yeah, time bomb really comes into its own during situations like this. You say DOOM PORN like it is a bad thing.
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" is available for sale at the following url
    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BRLFYU

  24. #104
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    ISTANBUL - Five Turkish soldiers were killed when their tank was hit in an attack carried out by Kurdish YPG militia fighters on Saturday in northwest Syria's Afrin region, Turkey's armed forces said.

    According to state-run Anadolu news agency, the latest attack brought to seven the number of Turkish soldiers killed on Saturday in Operation Olive Branch, which Turkey launched against the YPG in Afrin last month.
    Yes, those wiley YPG forced the organized Turk military to go into that region and then attacked them. The Kurds were not defending their position. The Turks came along waving olive branches and were attacked.

  25. #105

    Turkey warns Kurdish YPG forces will pay for soldiers' deaths


  26. #106
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    Well, DB HAMAS making war threats on Israel; Turkey threatening to attack US troops and the Kurds, Russia bombing the crap out of Syria, and a whole lot of MANPADS floating around. Now what could go wrong with all of that?
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" is available for sale at the following url
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  27. #107
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    There us a dark office down the hall from a big manufacturing plant where weapons of war are made. In that office, a fat evil man smiles as he reads his computer screen. Business is good and getting better.

    1000 miles away, another man who owns a large position in that company as well as many others, and controls those who decide when and where to go to war, is sitting in an over-stuffed chair smoking a cigar and pondering his prospect for the next few months. He too smiles. How wonderful it is, he muses, that there are wonderful places for people to fight and die with all the latest technology short of nuclear weapons. When this area is burned out, we must consider some other non-nuclear region. Sub-Saharan Africa could be a nice contentious place. We will have to get the key players revved up for the next theater.

  28. #108
    Syrian army deploys new air defences in north - commander in pro-Assad alliance
    Reuters Staff
    February 5, 2018 / 5:12 PM / Updated 26 minutes ago

    BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army has deployed new air defences and anti-aircraft missiles to frontlines in the Aleppo and Idlib areas, a commander in the military alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday.

    "The Syrian army calls up new air defences and anti-aircraft missiles to areas on the frontlines with the militants in the countryside of Aleppo and Idlib," the commander told Reuters. "They cover the air space of the Syrian north."

    Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Leslie Adler

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mi...KBN1FP2SO?il=0

  29. #109
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    Well, the final pieces are now being moved into place for a real free for all near Afrin.

    The link below shows a full Kurdish mobilization to defend the city.

    http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/050220181

    FRIN, Syria - Ammunition belts slung over their shoulders, voices cracking from the chanting, dozens of young Syrian Kurds amassed in Afrin's town square to enlist in the "resistance" movement against a Turkish-backed assault.

    They wore mismatched military gear, some in jeans and others with scarves wrapped around their faces.

    A few admitted it was the first time they had ever touched a weapon, but said they felt compelled to defend their hometown.

    Here is a link showing the situation in Manjai is also ramping up.

    http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/050220183

    Manbij Military Council vows to resist possible Turkish assault

    ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Manbij Military Council has vowed to resist any potential Turkish military operation on the city. It said any such assault would only destroy its hard won peace and allow terrorist groups to return.

    "We would like to let the public know that any possible attack on the city of Manbij will be responded to with the same historic resistance of Afrin, and it will be a harsh lesson for anyone who dares to go forth against Manbij," the SDF-linked Manbij Military Council (MMC) said in a statement on Monday.

    Turkey and its proxies in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) previously tried to take over Manbij, but were stopped by the "resistance and determination of the Manbij Military Council," the statement said.

    In early 2017, as part of its Euphrates Shield operation, Turkish and FSA forces launched attacks on several villages in the Manbij area. US forces mobilized in the area in a display of support for their allies and the council handed over control of some villages to Syrian state forces to serve as buffer between them and the Turkish army.

    Next, Turkey is going full bore in attacking Afrin that began on 1-21-2018
    Kurdistan to deploy Peshmerga to help Afrin against Turkey if possible, PUK official

    A senior member of the ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said that they would like to send the Kurdish Peshmerga to help fellow Kurds in their “sacred resistance” against Turkey in Afrin, but this may not be possible given the current situation.

    “Countries of the region, in particular Turkey, knows about our stance in Kobane,” Mala Bakhtiyar told reporters as he visited the Sulaimani office of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the ruling party in Syrian Kurdistan or Rojava.

    The Kurdistan Region, with the approval of Turkey and the US-led anti-ISIS Coalition, deployed its Peshmerga forces to help the Rojava fighters against ISIS in late 2014 in Kobane, a city that was under ISIS siege at the time.

    “If we can, we will help Afrin now. If they allow us, we will deploy forces to Afrin,” Bakhtiyar said.


    Finally, Erdogan is now pouring large military forces into Northern Syria.

    http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/220120181

    In pictures: Turkish troops cross the Syrian border into Afrin
    By Rudaw 22/1/2018

    Erdogan has kept up sending troops into Northern Syria since January 22nd. Further, he has now deployed to the immediate vicinity of Aleppo. Syria has responded by moving anti-aircraft defensive batteries to Aleppo.



    http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/21012018


    Turkey continues its assault on Kurdish Afrin in Syria
    By Rudaw 21/1/2018
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" is available for sale at the following url
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  30. #110
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    The battle for Afrin is now heating up big time.

    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961116001524

    Fierce Clashes Erupt again among Ankara-backed Militants in Northern Syria over War in Afrin

    Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that the Ankara-backed militant groups of Sultan Morad, Ahrar al-Sham and Nouralddeen al-Zinki engaged in heavy fighting in the Eastern and Western villages of Jarabulus region in Northeastern Aleppo near contact lines with Kurds in Manbij region.

    Hawar news further said that a number of terrorists were killed in infighting among militant groups in the villages of Amariyah Tahtani, Qiratiyah, Tukhartemu, Halwanji, Arab Hassan al-Saqir, al-Yaqubiyah, Wam Susah and Zorah al-Maqarah.

    It said that the infighting was due to the militant groups' differences over dispatching troops to the Afrin battle against the Kurds.

    Relevant reports said on Sunday that two militant groups affiliated to the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield engaged in heavy fighting in al-Bab that left five dead and injured.

    The sources further said that both warring side have put their forces on alert and have deployed their snipers at different buildings.

    The Hawar news quoted local sources in al-Bab as saying that the militants of Sultan Morad, affiliated to the Turkish army, engaged in heavy infighting on Wednesday.

    At least four militants were wounded during the clashes.

    The sources added that the clashes erupted after a number of Sultan Morad militants defected the terrorist group and fled; members of the terrorist group also have differences on their dispatch to the Afrin fronts.

    Meantime, field sources said that tensions have increased in al-Bab.

    The development came as Turkey's Operation Olive Branch is pushing further into Syrian territories held by the Kurdish militants, as more civilians have been killed or wounded in clashes between the Turkish Army and the Kurdish militias in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
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  31. #111
    Baxtiyar Goran‏Verified account @BaxtiyarGoran · 25m25 minutes ago

    #Afrin tonight.
    Kurdish people celebrating 16+ days of resisting the Turkish invasion.

  32. #112
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    RUSSIA NOW ENGAGIN TURKISH FORCES?

    If believed, this report indicates Russian forces have now engaged Turkish forces in direct combat as the Turks advance on Aleppo.

    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961116001211

    Turkish Army Sends New Military Convoy to Southern Aleppo

    The websites reported that a military convoy of the Turkish army has entered Syria's Idlib province and has moved towards Tal al-Eis region in Southern Aleppo.

    The websites further said that the Turkish column includes 60 military vehicles and crossed into Syria's Idlib via the border village of Kafr Lousin.

    This is the third time in the last three weeks that the Turkish army convoys try to reach Southern Aleppo.

    A Russian media outlet reported last week that the Syrian Army's artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at a convoy of Turkish military vehicles in Southern Aleppo.

    The Arabic-language website of RT reported that the artillery and missile units of the Syrian army targeted a Turkish army convoy by over 30 artillery shells and missiles near the town of al-Eis in Southern Aleppo.

    In the meantime, media activists said that several Russian warplanes pounded the Turkish convoy that tried to go through the regions that are under the Syrian Army control near al-Eis and near the highway that connects Aleppo to Damascus.

    They further said that two Turkish F-16 fighter jets flew over Kamari region where the Turkish military column was targeted by the Syrian artillery and missile units, adding that five Russian fighter jets were also flying over Abu al-Dhohour in Southeastern Idlib.

    Also, dissident-affiliated sources reported that the Turkish warplanes flew over Aleppo airspace to provide back-up for the Turkish military column in Tal (hill) al-Eis and bombed a region in al-Hadher.

    Local sources said that almost 100 military vehicles, including 15 tanks of the Turkish army together with military equipment of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) entered Syrian territories and tried to deploy behind Tal al-Eis that overlooks the Syrian Army's positions in al-Hadher region in Southern Aleppo.

    Militant-affiliated websites said that the Turkish convoy launched attacks on Syrian Army positons after their deployment near Tal al-Eis.
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
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  33. #113
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    TURKEY WILL SOON ENGAGE 3,000 US TROOPS IN MANIJI

    Turkey is now threatening to attack Manji and move all the way to the Euphrates River.

    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961116000874

    Turkish Media Disclose New US Plan to Boost Kurdish Militants' Military Power in Manbij

    The Turkish-language Yeni Safak daily reported that the US forces are planning to build modern tunnels in the Kurdish-held town of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo after the Kurdish forces' US-built tunnels in the town of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo were destroyed in the Turkish troops' attacks.

    The daily said that the new tunnels are capable of resisting against cement-piercing bombs, adding that identifying the exact location of the tunnels is not simply possible too.

    Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Sunday If the PYD/PKK terror group does not leave Syria's Manbij, Turkey would move there and towards East of Euphrates River.

    In remarks made to CNN Turk, Bozdag, who is also a Spokesman for the government, said the PYD/PKK terrorists had to leave Manbij, a strategic city West of the Euphrates in Northern Syria.

    "If they [PYD/PKK] do not leave Manbij, we will move into Manbij and towards the East of Euphrates," he added.


    Tensions are on the rise between Turkey and the US after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that his country's army plan to expand their invasion of the Kurdish-held territories in Syria from Afrin to Manbij where some 3,000 US military forces are deployed.

    Since the start of Operation “Olive Branch” by Ankara and its allied militants, Turkey has stressed that its forces would spread to the East, while Erdogan has stressed that his army would soon invade Manbij and continue the assault to the border with Iraq some 900km away.

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also warned that it was "necessary for them (US) to immediately withdraw from Manbij" as well as take "more concrete steps rather than words" to end support for the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

    Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the United States Central Command, had said that withdrawing US forces from Manbij is "not something we are looking into".

    Turkey’s Operation ‘Olive Branch’ kicked off mid-January from air and ground around the area of Afrin in Syria's Aleppo to oust the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has stressed that Turkish offensive in Afrin is part of Ankara's strategy based on supporting terrorists.

    The Syrian government has condemned the “brutal Turkish aggression” against the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, rejecting Ankara’s claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" is available for sale at the following url
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  34. #114
    Rojava Defense Units | YPGþ @DefenseUnits · Feb 1

    This is how #NATO member #Turkey secures its borders.
    Attached Images

  35. #115
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    I knew Iran couldn't stay out of the Syrian situation for long. In another HUGE DOT Iran just told Turkey to back off in both Afrin and Manbji.

    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961116000729

    Iran Reiterates Necessity for Turkey to Stop Military Operations in Syria

    "What has happened in Syria by Turkey should stop and Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected because if this process continues, it will help the terrorists to return," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters in his press conference in Tehran on Monday.

    He warned that the terrorists still continue activities in Syria, and said, "Turkey should pursue issues within the framework of Astana talks and pay attention to Damascus views."

    "We are in contact and consultations with both sides," Qassemi said.

    The Iranian foreign ministry had also in January called on Ankara to immediately end military operations against the Syrian border city of Afrin which is controlled by Kurds, warning that the invasion could create the needed chaos for the terrorist groups to resume operations in the region.

    "The Islamic Republic of Iran is following up the current developments in the town of Afrin in Syria closely and with concern and hopes that the operations will immediately end to prevent further deepening and spread of crisis at the Turkish-Syrian bordering areas," Qassemi said last month.

    "Continued crisis in Afrin can strengthen the Takfiri-terrorist groups in Northern Syria again and will ignite again the fire of war and destruction in the country," he added.

    Qassemi underlined the necessity for respecting Syria's territorial integrity and national sovereignty, calling on all sides, specially the Turkish government, to remain committed to the objective of the political settlement of the crisis in Syria, specially through the Astana process.

    He also warned of the illegal and provocative meddling by the trans-regional states, including Washington, and the Israeli regime in Syria, adding that while the US forces and their allied Takfiri-terrorist groups continue their illegitimate presence in Syria, the crisis will not end in the country.

    Ankara has launched a new air and ground operation around the area of Afrin in Syria to oust the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Ankara opened a new front in Syria’s nearly seven-year-old war on January 20, launching airstrikes against Kurdish fighters in Afrin in Aleppo province.

    According to reports, Turkish tanks are supporting the Free Syrian Army’s ground offensive on Kurdish positions in Syria’s Afrin region, as operation "Olive Branch" has started.

    The Syrian government has condemned the “brutal Turkish aggression” against the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, rejecting Ankara’s claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.
    Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
    My end of the world e book "Day of the Dogs" is available for sale at the following url
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  36. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer Doug View Post
    Turkey is now threatening to attack Manji and move all the way to the Euphrates River.

    http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961116000874

    Turkish Media Disclose New US Plan to Boost Kurdish Militants' Military Power in Manbij

    The Turkish-language Yeni Safak daily reported that the US forces are planning to build modern tunnels in the Kurdish-held town of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo after the Kurdish forces' US-built tunnels in the town of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo were destroyed in the Turkish troops' attacks.

    The daily said that the new tunnels are capable of resisting against cement-piercing bombs, adding that identifying the exact location of the tunnels is not simply possible too.

    Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Sunday If the PYD/PKK terror group does not leave Syria's Manbij, Turkey would move there and towards East of Euphrates River.

    In remarks made to CNN Turk, Bozdag, who is also a Spokesman for the government, said the PYD/PKK terrorists had to leave Manbij, a strategic city West of the Euphrates in Northern Syria.

    "If they [PYD/PKK] do not leave Manbij, we will move into Manbij and towards the East of Euphrates," he added.


    Tensions are on the rise between Turkey and the US after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that his country's army plan to expand their invasion of the Kurdish-held territories in Syria from Afrin to Manbij where some 3,000 US military forces are deployed.

    Since the start of Operation “Olive Branch” by Ankara and its allied militants, Turkey has stressed that its forces would spread to the East, while Erdogan has stressed that his army would soon invade Manbij and continue the assault to the border with Iraq some 900km away.

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also warned that it was "necessary for them (US) to immediately withdraw from Manbij" as well as take "more concrete steps rather than words" to end support for the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

    Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the United States Central Command, had said that withdrawing US forces from Manbij is "not something we are looking into".

    Turkey’s Operation ‘Olive Branch’ kicked off mid-January from air and ground around the area of Afrin in Syria's Aleppo to oust the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has stressed that Turkish offensive in Afrin is part of Ankara's strategy based on supporting terrorists.

    The Syrian government has condemned the “brutal Turkish aggression” against the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, rejecting Ankara’s claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.
    Well when, not if, this goes down, besides engaging the Turkish and "surrogate" units, do we "pay a visit" to Erdogan himself and put an end to this BS? Because as I see it, there's very little difference in shadings between Erdogan and AQ/IS goals and their practices are only shaded thus far by what Erdogan thinks he can get away with.

  37. #117
    Doomer,

    This s going south real fast. If Turkey closes the Bosphorus to Russian ships, expect a Russian snap drill then watch out.


    NW

  38. #118

    Turkey sets up military post southwest of Syria's Aleppo


  39. #119
    Stratfor‏Verified account @Stratfor · 58m58 minutes ago

    Russia has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missile systems to Kaliningrad, the country's European exclave situated between Poland and Lithuania, @Reuters reported Feb. 5


    My comment

    Everything is related

    NW

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