Friday, June 23, 2017

Tag: Kurds

More Special Operations forces are headed to Syria. Here’s what they’re going to do.

As Syrian fighters push toward the Islamic State’s de-facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced Saturday that additional U.S. Special Operations forces will head into the country to help the fledgling offensive. The additional 200 troops will bolster the 300 or so already in...

Shiite Militias Are Crashing the Mosul Offensive

Pro-Iran militias are looking to settle an old grudge in one of the Islamic State's strongholds in northern Iraq. One of the mysteries about the ongoing offensive in Mosul, where Iraqi security forces are now pressing into the northern, eastern, and southern edges of the city, has been the apparent...

Donald Trump Likely to End Aid for Rebels Fighting Syrian Government

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump said Friday that he was likely to abandon the American effort to support “moderate” opposition groups in Syria who are battling the government of President Bashar al-Assad, saying “we have no idea who these people are.” In an interview with The Wall Street Journal...

Abadi says we are ready if Turkey wants war

What is Turkey up to? The question gained fresh urgency today as Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik and Land Forces Commander Gen. Zeki Colak inspected troops in Hatay near the Syrian border a day after Turkish forces backed by tanks and other combat vehicles massed near the town of Silopi on Turkey's border...

What is Turkey up to in northern Syria?

The Oct. 25 bombing by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is leading Operation Euphrates Shield, is symptomatic of the struggle currently taking place in northern Syria on the al-Bab/Manbij axis. It also underlines the geopolitical conflict pitting...

Syria rejects Russian proposal for Kurdish federation

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Dozens of Russian aircraft land daily at Khmeimim air base near Latakia, Syria. One such aircraft from Moscow that landed Sept. 17 didn’t attract attention, but its passengers, eight officials of Russia's Foreign and Defense Ministries, were carrying documents that one day could alter the political scene of...

What Turkish raid on Syrian Kurds means for Ankara-Washington ties

Turkish jets pounded US-backed Syrian Kurdish-led forces during the early hours of Oct. 20 in an apparent attempt to prevent them from establishing a long-coveted corridor to link up territories under their control in northern Syria. The Turkish attacks follow sustained threats from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take further action against the...

Erdogan talks with Putin on Al-Nusra withdrawal from Aleppo

Russia tells US to separate rebels from terrorists. MOSCOW, OCTOBER 19 - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Tuesday evening with Russian President Vladimir Putin about an accord to make troops of Al-Nusra Front, now known as Fateh al-Sham Front, withdraw from Aleppo "as requested" by Moscow...

ISIS fighters will be allowed to flee Mosul and retreat to Syria under agreement...

The US is said to have agreed for the safe transfer of terrorists from Iraq to Eastern Syria on the premise ISIS militants fight Russian troops when they get there, a news agency has claimed. The agreement is said to involve 9,000 extremists who will leave Mosul for eastern areas...
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President Bashar Al-Assad’s interview given to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda

Question 1: Thank you very much, Mr. President. It's a big happiness for me, and I'm very proud. Okay, I will start from my questions. The situation in Syria become more dangerous and more unpredictable. Why? Because this conflict draws inside more participants and more players. For example, who...

Russia sends S-300 advanced missile system to Syria, U.S. runs out of options

As US struggles to respond to Syrian army advances, reports circulate of Russia deploying advanced S-300 VM Antey-2500 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. Shortly before the US announcement of its decision to suspend talks with Russia on the ‘cessation of hostilities’ agreement reached by US Secretary State Kerry and Russian Foreign...

Turkey-US ties could fray further as Pentagon mulls arming YPG

Turkey's fraught relations with the United States over the US alliance with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the war against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria have taken another turn for the worse as the Pentagon considers providing more arms to the Syrian Kurdish militia while continuing to...

What’s keeping Syria’s rebel forces from consolidating their power?

BEIRUT — The collapse Sept. 19 of the US-Russian agreement on Syria — which provided for a cessation of hostilities and greater military cooperation between both world powers — followed by a resumption in violence will further fracture an already-divided Syria. Since the 2011 revolution against Syrian President Bashar...

Are US-Turkey military ties under threat?

Until two years ago, deep-rooted US-Turkey military relations were cited as a model of strength in the defense industry, military training and exercises, global peace support operations, global struggle against terror, NATO missions, and joint operations in Afghanistan. These were all signs of the high level of cooperation and...

Are Ankara, Washington on collision course in Syria?

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's supporters were awed once again by his performance at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. He spoke at the summit about Syrian refugees and touched upon nearly every issue on in his agenda, as if he was addressing an admiring domestic audience in...

Russia Trumps USA Energy War in Mideast

In a fundamental sense the entirety of the five-year-long war over Syria, as well as the entire Arab Spring from Libya to Egypt to Iraq has been about control of hydrocarbon resources—oil and natural gas– and of potential hydrocarbon pipelines to the promising markets of the European Union. Dick...

U.S. Commandos Enter, Leave, and Return to Syrian Town, With Some Help From Friendly...

Who says the United States got nothing for the star-crossed, $500 million train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels that fell apart last year? It apparently bought enough goodwill with one rebel group that they escorted U.S. special forces troops back into the northern Syrian town of Rai on Friday, just...

Turkey demands role in Mosul battle, but coalition unconvinced

With US-led operations against the Islamic State’s strongholds of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq looming, Ankara and Washington are engaged in intense talks to determine Turkey's involvement in them. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated that Turkey wants in on both operations, declaring that US President Barack Obama called for...

US Special Forces sabotage White House policy gone disastrously wrong with covert ops in...

President Barack Obama is engaged in Felonious conduct, mis-using the US Military to provide training, equipment and logistical support to ISIS, Al-Qaida and other Terrorists in Syria, in violation of Title 18, United States Code 2339A and 2339B. These are “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” under American law and are...

Turkey’s emergency rule stokes Kurdish separatism

Five days after the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened back-to-back meetings with the Council of Ministers and the National Security Council, installing a nationwide state of emergency. According to what he said at the time, the state of emergency, which empowers the government...

Kurds become new target of Ankara’s post-coup purges

While Ankara's post-putsch crackdown on Gulenists is increasingly called into question — most recently by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself — the purges are now expanding to Kurdish quarters accused of backing the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a designated terrorist group. Days after some 11,000 teachers were suspended with...

ISIS fighter reveals group’s plan to spread even after defeat in Iraq and Syria...

Patrick Cockburn interviews an Isis militant who claims the movement will rise again in North Africa, that Turkey turned a blind eye to shipments of weapons across the border and that Isis fighters are still present in Jarabulus. Isis will flourish and survive even if it is defeated in the...

Turkey reaches critical crossroads in Syria

Now that control of the Turkey-Syria border has been wrested from the Islamic State (IS) between al-Rai and Jarablus, what will Ankara's next target be: IS in al-Bab or the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Manbij? On Sept. 4, 12 days into Operation Euphrates Shield, Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements...

About 450 More US Troops Arrive in Iraq to Back Mosul Drive

About 450 more U.S. troops have arrived in Iraq in the past week to support the imminent offensive to drive ISIS from Mosul, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said Thursday. Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, declined to give a time...

Turkey’s Erdogan Announces Largest Operation in History Against Kurds, as 11,000 Teachers Suspended

Crackdown against Kurdish affiliates comes amid separate operations against suspected followers of cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey is waging the largest operation in its history against Kurdish militants and the removal of civil servants linked to them is a key part of the fight, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, as...

US backing ensures Arab-Kurd alliance in Syria will survive

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which has expanded its operation in northern Syria by sending tanks to al-Rai, needs a win. Just as important, the Turkish government needs a story about how the balances have shifted since the TSK’s intervention and how the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by the...

Losing ground, fighters and morale – is it all over for ISIS?

The self-styled caliphate has been in rapid decline since Turkey joined the war in northern Syria. But if the jihadis refocus their efforts on acts of terrorism in the west, victory may be short lived. It has been a bad few months for Islamic State (Isis). For the first time...

What is Turkish army really doing in Iraq?

A cannon shot roared into the night. The target was in the town of Bashiqa in northern Iraq, seized by the Islamic State (IS) in 2014. Seconds after the explosion, the clatter of a collapsing building echoed in the mountain. For months now, the Turkish army has repeatedly targeted IS...

Is Turkey falling into its own Syrian trap?

The sentiment in Turkey is that, with "Operation Euphrates Shield," the country has made a thunderous return to the Middle East. But in a topography where nobody knows who is fighting who and what will tomorrow's alliances look like, there are serious traps awaiting Turkey. During the first week of the operation,...

U.S. Strategy to Fight ISIS Has Set Off a New Conflict in Syria

Five years after the start of Syria's uprising, the Turkish military directly entered the fray last week, sending troops to occupy the northern Syrian town of Jarablus, previously held by the militant group the Islamic State. Turkey’s intervention represents a significant escalation of the conflict, as well as a...

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