Sunday, December 17, 2017

Tag: YPG

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

What comes next for Turkey after Jarablus victory?

Everyone wonders how long Operation Euphrates Shield, launched Aug. 24, will continue. What are the strategic goals of this operation? Can it expand to the al Rai-Azaz line in the west and, even more important, southeast toward al-Bab to interdict the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and prevent them from...

How Ankara, Washington plan to achieve regional energy security

When US Vice President Joe Biden recently met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara, Turkey’s recent attempted coup, Fethullah Gulen and Syria were the main items discussed. However, in a press conference following the meeting with the prime minister, Biden highlighted two other points: The United States...

Three US Allies Now Fighting Against Each Other in Northern Syria

With America’s own war in Syria vague in both scope and end-game, they’ve been eager to amass allies that seem potentially useful toward some talking point or other. In having done so, however, they’ve picked up a motley crew of “US-backed” groups that have wildly different goals. That’s been a...

Has Turkey really stepped into Syrian quagmire?

Let's be clear: Turkey's cross-border operation that captured the Syrian town of Jarablus was dramatic and unprecedented. However, it was not really aimed at the Islamic State (IS) but actually at the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG). Turkish officials at...

Turkey Is Finally Bombing Syria, But It’s Not Hitting Who the U.S. Wants

Ankara has sent tanks and commandos across the border, but its primary focus isn't ISIS — it's the Kurds trying to seize territory along its border. Turkey has a name for its newly launched military incursion into neighboring Syria: Operation Euphrates Shield. It sums up Ankara’s overriding priority when it...

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of aggression in Syria

Syrian Kurdish officials attacked Turkey's military intervention in Syria as "a blatant aggression" and warned that Ankara was entering a "quagmire" after it deployed tanks and troops against an Islamic State-held border town on Wednesday. Turkish forces and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have crossed the border to take the town of...

Kurds claim control of Hasakah in setback for Assad’s forces

Ceasefire announced in northeastern city following warnings by US it would defend anti-Islamic State forces in city against Syrian air strikes. The pro-Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) was on Tuesday reported to be in control of the "majority" of the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah, following clashes with pro-government forces. According...

Do Ankara, Damascus perceive common Kurdish threat?

Syria's multisided conflict — pitting rebels against government forces and the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) — took a further twist Aug. 17 when Syrian air force jets began pounding the Kurdish-controlled city of Hasakah in northeastern Syria, targeting the US-backed Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units (YPG). At least 43...

Behind Closed Doors at the U.N., Russia and Turkey Are Still Battling

Erdogan and Putin are publicly trying to bury the hatchet. Away from the cameras, their cold war over Syria rages on. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met early last week in St. Petersburg to repair relations that have sharply deteriorated since Turkey’s November 2015...

The Nusra Front Is Dead and Stronger Than Ever Before

The Islamic State’s main rival has just broken ties with al Qaeda, but don't expect it to moderate its jihadi goals. It's actually laying a trap for the United States. The jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra announced on July 28 that it had severed all ties to al Qaeda and established...

Turkey’s secret pact with Islamic State exposed by operative behind wave of ISIS attacks

New evidence has emerged that the Turkish government under President Erdogan is covertly providing direct military, financial and logistical support to ISIS, even while claiming to fight the terror network. The evidence comes in the form of testimony from an ISIS terrorist captured by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, widely recognised as...

Will failed coup push Erdogan toward Iran, Russia?

Along with its many implications at home, the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey may have important repercussions on Ankara’s foreign policy, especially regarding Syria. The apology Ankara extended to Moscow last month for the Nov. 24 downing of a Russian jet had already raised expectations that normalization with Moscow...

What’s Behind Turkey’s Coup & Purge?

With Turkey now undergoing the largest military/governmental purge in modern history, the question of Turkey's future in terms of its domestic stability and structure is in flux and the possibilities facing the world, especially Syria, in regards to any changes of Turkish foreign policy are shaky as well. But...

Syrian rebels stunned as Turkey signals normalisation of Damascus relations

Apparent policy shift could spell end to rebellion against Bashar al-Assad's rule in Syria. More than five years into Syria's civil war, Turkey, the country that has most helped the rebellion against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, has hinted it may move to normalise relations with Damascus. The suggestion made by...

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