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Médecins Sans Frontières have LEFT Western Kurdistan, Syria

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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - North Sy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:41 am

Rebel faction takes frontline
role in Turkey offensive


Turkey has so far deployed around 1,000 SNA soldiers, according to one expert

In the vanguard of Syrian revolt before being ripped apart by division and indiscipline, the Free Syrian Army has returned as a key component of Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militants.

The broad-ranging coalition styled itself as the moderate force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but lacked the funding and support to compete with extremist groups such as Al-Nusra and the Islamic State (ISIS) when they emerged around 2012.

Having all but disappeared for several years, the Free Syrian Army regained the spotlight in 2016 when it participated alongside Turkish forces in Ankara's first incursion into northern Syria against IS.

But images of FSA fighters posing with mutilated bodies of Kurdish militants and looting stores during a second Turkish operation in Afrin two years later undermined their reputation for moderation.

The group recently rebranded itself as the Syrian National Army (SNA), under the authority of the opposition's "interim government" in exile, based in Turkey.

They are armed, trained and paid by Ankara, and once again joined Turkish soldiers this week as part of "Operation Peace Spring", launched on Wednesday against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.

"The Syrian National Army is the indigenous component of the Turkish operation. It's an important infantry force for the offensive," said Emre Kursat Kaya, of the EDAM think-tank in Istanbul.

"The group is formed around Sunni Arab and Turkmen fighters who are locals of the region. Thus, their presence in the operation provides an undeniable intelligence advantage."

The SNA now claims to have some 80,000 men at its disposal, having boosted its ranks earlier this month by integrating another coalition, the National Liberation Front, based primarily in Idlib province.

Some 14,000 of its fighters have been mobilised for the new operation, according to the group's spokesman, Major Yusuf Hamoud.

"That number can increase as the battle unfolds," he told AFP.

A large number of these fighters come from areas targeted by the Turkish offensive, he said, which is aimed at pushing back the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

"These soldiers were forced to leave when the YPG took control" of territories such as Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain, he added.

Turkey has so far deployed around 1,000 SNA soldiers in the Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain areas, estimates Charles Lister, of the Middle East Institute.

"For now, the SNA appears to be operating under the tight control of the Turkish military and Ankara is using them as the primary force," he told AFP.

Lister said this mirrored the way that the US had used the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in their battle against the Islamic State group.

"Their role is crucial for now," Lister said. "Turkey's strategy is not just to train these forces, but to give them sufficient operational experience so that once territory is captured they will operate as capable hold-forces wholly loyal to Ankara."

Kaya, of the EDAM think-tank, believes Turkey has taken measures to minimise the risk of rights violations by the SNA since their last operation in Afrin.

The United States has warned Turkey that any abuses will result in severe economic sanctions.

"These forces have been intensively trained by Turkish forces for this operation. Thus, compared with less-organised groups in Syria, we can expect them to have a higher level of self-control.

"Turkey chose the most professional Syrian moderate forces to participate in this operation. We should also mention that elite Turkish commando forces on the ground will supervise the offensives and react to any excesses," he added.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/a ... nsive.html
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - North Sy

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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - North Sy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:46 am

Turkish-backed rebels
take control of town


The Turkish-backed Syrian National Army took complete control of Ras al-Ain on Saturday in a new advance targeting Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria, a Turkish security official has told Middle East Eye

Images sent to MEE and posted online showed militants from the Syrian National Army posing in Ras al-Ain and stepping on the flag of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

Other militants can be seen taking down the flags of the PKK and the Peoples Protections Unit (YPG) from military outposts in Ras al-Ain.

Turkey's Defence Ministry also confirmed on Twitter that Turkish backed forces had taken control of Ras al-Ain from Kurdish-led forces.

This latest development comes as Turkish-backed rebels on Saturday said it had taken control of a road connecting Syrian towns along a section of the border where the Turkish army is waging it's offensive.

Officials with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) could not immediately be reached for comment.

Youssef Hammoud, a spokesman for the Turkey-backed National Army, told Reuters that fighters had cut the 712 road that links Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain - the focal points of the Turkish offensive that began on Wednesday.

The road hugs the border in some places and in others extends a number of kilometres (miles) into Syria.

"This advance was on a new and surprise front ... between Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain. On this front, they were able to cut the roads linking together Suluk, Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ain with the villages in the area," he said in a statement to Reuters. He said 18 villages had been captured in the advance.

Meanwhile, Turkish forces stepped up their bombardment around Ras an Ain on Saturday, the fourth day of an offensive against a Kurdish militia, after US troops in the region came under artillery fire from Turkish positions.

Operation Spring of Peace

On 9 October, Turkey launched its latest operation in northern Syria, Operation Spring of Peace, targeting the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the YPG.

The move, which was preceded by a promise by US President Donald Trump to withdraw US troops from the area, has provoked outrage from some observers who fear a massacre being carried out against Kurds in northern Syria.

Turkey, however, maintains that it needs to prevent the creation of a "terror corridor" along its southern border.

The US has ramped up its efforts to persuade Ankara to halt the incursion against the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, saying Ankara was causing "great harm" to ties and could face sanctions.

Turkey opened its offensive after Trump spoke by phone on Sunday with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and withdrew US troops who had been fighting alongside Kurdish forces.

On Friday evening, Erdogan dismissed mounting international criticism of the operation and said Turkey "will not stop it, no matter what anyone says".

On the frontlines, thick plumes of smoke rose around Ras al Ain, one of two Syrian border towns targeted in the offensive, as Turkish artillery targeted the area on Saturday, said a Reuters reporter across the frontier in the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar.

Intense gunfire also resounded from within the town of Ras al Ain itself, while warplanes could be heard flying overhead, he said.

It was quieter at Tel Abyad, the operation's other main target some 120 km (75 miles) to the west, with only occasional shell fire heard in the area, another Reuters reporter said.

Earlier, the Pentagon said US troops came under artillery fire from Turkish positions on Friday but none of its soldiers were wounded, near Syria's Kobani, some 60 km (37 miles) west of the main area of conflict.

Turkey's Defence Ministry said its forces did not open fire at the US base and took all precautions to prevent any harm to it while it was responding to fire from a nearby area by the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group.

"US and coalition soldiers were definitely not hit. Indeed the necessary coordination is being carried out by our headquarters and the Americans," Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Akar was speaking as he and military commanders visited operation headquarters along the border, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Seventy-four Kurdish-led fighters, 49 Turkey-backed Syrian rebels and 20 civilians have been killed in the fighting, according to war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is the MOST reliable scource of information in the area

The United Nations has said 100,000 people have fled their homes.

Turkey's Defence Ministry said 415 YPG militants had been "neutralised" since the operation began, a term that commonly means killed.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turk ... ew-advance
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - North Sy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:51 am

Barzani Urges Unity

Barzani Urges Unity of Kurds to End Violence in Northern Syria

Kurdish prominent leader Masoud Barzani, who leads the largest Kurdish political party, has urged all other factions to remain united and spare no effort to end the war in the Syrian Kurdistan.

In an official statement, Barzani said the continuation of the Turkish military operation in the Kurdish areas of northeast Syria “poses a serious threat to the civilians and the security and stability of the entire region”.

Barzani emphasized that there is no time for “emotional reactions” while civilian lives in Western (Syrian) Kurdistan are at risk.

“It is time for all of us to put our utmost efforts and end this war and do not let people paying the price for this dangerous situation,” reads the statement.

The Kurdish leader, who previously served as the president of Kurdistan Region, also urged attempts to prevent a demographic change in Syrian Kurdistan.

Turkey launched a massive military operation last Wednesday deep into areas known as East Euphrates, northeast Syria, after US President Donald Trump gave Ankara a green light to cross the border.

Many countries have denounced the Turkish offensive, arguing that the possibility of Islamic State’s (ISIS) comeback and another human catastrophe in the region at the wake of the operation.

There are unconfirmed reports of scores of civilian casualties with tens of thousands of people already displaced from Sare Kani and Gire Sipi.

http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/new ... tan/552981
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - North Sy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:27 pm

Turkish invasion has revived ISIS

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said a Turkish attack in northern Syria had revived Islamic State and called on allied states that helped fight the jihadist group to close off air space to Turkish war planes

In a televised statement, senior SDF official Redur Xelil said the SDF was continuing to cooperate with the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State even as it must now also confront the Turkish attack on northern Syria.

“The Turkish invasion is no longer threatening the revival of Daesh (Islamic State), rather it has revived it and activated its cells in Qamishli and Hasaka and all the other areas,” Xelil said, noting car bomb attacks in each of the two cities.

“We are still cooperating until now with the international coalition to fight Daesh. We are now fighting on two fronts: one front against the Turkish invasion and a front against Daesh,” he said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syri ... 9&&rpc=401
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - North Sy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:46 pm

Personally, I have 2 main worries:

    The Yazidis, who have existed below the poverty line for 5 years, many in leaking tents without proper food of heating. Thousands of whom live in terror within camps controlled by ISIS bullies

    Kobani, that is still trying to rebuild following the ISIS attack and the Coalition onslaught. Whose inhabitants are now running away for the second time, only this time instead of fleeing to Turkey for help, they are just running without any secure destination. They are just fleeing in fear
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:34 am

Humanitarian organizations in Syria condemn Turkey's invasion

Joint Statement by 97 humanitarian organizations active in North-East Syria:

On Unilateral Turkish Military Intervention in the Region

As active representatives of local and regional actors engaged in supporting humanitarian work within North-East Syria, the 97 signatory organizations to this statement have closely followed the developments of the Turkish military operations in North-East Syria since 9 October 2019. The affected area is home to millions of people in addition to many IDPs from other areas of the country.

With growing concern, we have witnessed significant displacement since the campaign began with cross-border bombardment, as well as the direct targeting of vital infrastructure including water sources and grain silos.

We have received field reports about civilian casualties as the result of military operations instigated by the Turkish army accompanied by Syrian partner armed factions.

Contrary to rhetoric of creating a “safe zone”, this operation risks escalating into wide-scale conflict, which will have disastrous humanitarian consequences for North-East Syria and beyond.

The concerted attempts of the Turkish military and Syrian partners to invade villages, towns and cities in North-East Syria will cause devastating results, and we are concerned about the possible consequences for ethnic and sectarian conflict.

Also, we fear the reactivation and empowerment of ISIS sleeper cells, which will once again de-stabilize the region and endanger its stability and social coexistence. This troubling atmosphere could lead to the displacement of millions of civilians and emptying the region from its original residents.

We as actors engaged in humanitarian work in the area condemn the Turkish military attack which aims at invading these safe regions and we assert the following points:

    • The international community should exert pressure on Turkey to bring an end to its unilateral military operation in North-East Syria;

    • All actors should steer away from violence and apply the language of dialogue in resolving the conflict through international diplomatic mediation;

    • Mechanisms of internationally guaranteed humanitarian protection should be applied to the affected regions of North-East Syria;

    • We firmly oppose any Turkish action aimed at demographic change and threatening social cohesion in the region;

    • We call on international organizations and organizations operating in the region to assist in providing shelter and urgent humanitarian aid for IDPs.
1. Ashna Youth Organization

2. Ashti center for building peace

3. ASO Center for Consultancy and Strategic Studies

4. ASO Media Network

5. Assyrian Association for Aid and Development

6. ADEL CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

7. Ahmed Khani Association in the Netherlands

8. Al Furat Center for Studies

9. Al Jazeera Charity Association in Raqqa

10. Al Watan Charity Association

11. Amouda Charity Association

12. Arab National Commission

13. Ararat For Development

14. ARAS Charity

15. Avahi Civil Society Organization

16. Azura Al-Furat Organization

17. Baladna organization for civil society

18. Balsam Center for Health Education

19. Bayti Baytak Organization

20. Beginning organization

21. Ber Çav Organization

22. Better hope for Tabqa

23. Brotherhood Foundation for Human Rights

24. Chechen Society

25. Citizenship and National Peace Committees in Sweida

26. Common Ground Organization

27. Council of Women in Northern and Eastern Syria

28. Dan Relief and Development

29. Darbasiyah Charitable Society

30. Deir Ezzor Network 24

31. Dirna Association for Development

32. DOZ Organization

33. Eco mesopotamia organisation

34. Eridu center for civil society and democracy

35. Farah Organization for Rehabilitation and Development

36. Foundation of the Free Woman in Rojava

37. Furat Organization

38. Garaki Lagi Charity Association

39. Gav Organization for subsidy and development

40. Hevî Charity Association in Sere kanye

41. Hitma Organization for Cultural and Social Development

42. Human Rights Organization in Al-jazeera

43. Human rights organization in jazeera

44. Jiyan Charity Association

45. Joan Development Organization in Dohuk

46. Joan Organization for Awareness and Development

47. Jomard Charity

48. Kurdish Committee for Human Rights / RASID

49. Kurdish Red Crescent

50. Lawir For protection and development of livestock

51. Mahabad Organization for Human Rights MOHR

52. Mary Organization in Deir Ezzor

53. Metan Center for Civil Society Revival

54. Mezopotamya Development Studies- MDS

55. My Childhood Organization

56. Nabid Team

57. National Organization for Human Rights in Syria

58. NLP ORGANIZATION

59. Omid for development and revival of civil society

60. Organization of Emaar Mansoura

61. Peace and Freedom Center for Civil Society and Human Rights

62. PEACE SHE-LEADERS NETWORK

63. PÊL- Civil Waves

64. Psychiatrists Without Borders

65. Qandeel Al - Amal Charity Association

66. Ref Al-Yaurbiya Association

67. RojAva Organization for Relief and Development

68. SAMA Organization

69. Sanad for Peacebuilding

70. Sara organization to combat violence against women

71. Sanabel Euphrates Development Organization

72. Scoop Organization

73. Shams Al-Furat Organization

74. Shams Organisation For Rehabilitation And Development

75. Shar Organization for Development

76. Share center for development

77. Shawishka association for women

78. Slav Center for Civil Activities

79. SMART Center for Mental Health and Human Development

80. SREO for monitoring and evaluation

81. Stêr Development Organization

82. Syriac Union

83. Syrian Information Technology Club

84. Syrian Medical Relief

85. Syrian Women Council

86. Syrians for Truth and Justice-STJ

87. T Marbouta Foundation

88. Tamazight Women's Movement

89. Tender Without Borders Foundation

90. Tender Without Borders Organization

91. Tevîn Forum for Thought and Culture

92. Together for Amouda

93. Union of Syrian Kurdish Societies in the Netherlands

94. Women's Democratic Network

95. Yazidi House in Al-Jazeera region

96. Yazidi Union of Syria

97. Demo Solutions Organization

https://www.genocidewatch.com/single-po ... ZgJ3q2ovr0
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:27 am

Monitor: 104 SDF fighters
killed in Turkish attack


The death toll among Kurdish-led fighters battling a Turkish offensive in northern Syria has climbed to 104, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces has said that 45 of its fighters have been killed.

I am more inclined to believe the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

This has become a propaganda war :-s

There is so much fake news and propaganda, it is becoming confusing

We seldom post anything unless we have reason to believe it is true
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:44 am

Kurdish-led authority:

785 ISIS-affiliated foreigners escaped Syria camp on Sunday

The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said 785 foreigners affiliated with Islamic State managed to escape a camp where they were being held following Turkish shelling on Sunday.

In an apparent reference to Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, the administration said in a statement that “mercenaries” had attacked the camp where “Daesh elements” - a reference to Islamic State - in turn attacked camp guards and opened the gates.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-syria ... P?rpc=401&
Last edited by Anthea on Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:29 am

Syrian Kurds look to
end YPG-rule in Syria


Syrian Kurds fighting alongside Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) are aiming to expel the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) from all parts of Syria to end the terrorist organization's oppressive rule of locals

"Our people, our families are living in YPG-controlled areas, where the YPG treats them without justice, putting them in jail, forces them to serve in its militias… So now, people are calling for us to liberate them from this injustice," said Azad Shabo, a commander in the first division in the NSA and captain of Kurdish Brigade Azad.

https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terro ... e-in-syria

The article in it's entirety is actually rubbish but rubbish based on the TRUTH:

Syrian Kurds were ignored by most people for a great many years

They were looked on more or less as an extension of Northern Kurdistan and referred to by an assortment of names

They wandered across the border as though it were not there

Indeed they fought and died fighting alongside Kurds from North Kurdistan, as they fought for FREEDOM, UNITY and INDEPENDENCE

I believe it was either 1965 or 1985 (cannot remember which) that a Kurdish leader first penned the term Western Kurdistan

Kurds immediately took this up in an attempt to spread PRIDE and national UNITY

At last the Kurds in Syria had a national identity to be proud of because for 100 years they have been fighting for INDEPENDENCE

Western Kurdistan in Kurdish is Rojava Kurdistani NOT Rojava

Rojava is the Kurdish word for WEST

The PYG have removed the all important word KURDISTAN

The PYG have taken away Kurdish pride

The PYG do NOT want an Independent Western Kurdistan

The PYG ignore the FACT that the original Kurdish population want an INDEPENDENT WESTERN KURDISTAN

Thousands of Kurds died for INDEPENDENT WESTERN KURDISTAN
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:09 pm

Syrian army to deploy along Turkish border in deal with Kurdish-led forces

The Syrian army will deploy along the entire length of the border with Turkey in an agreement with the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria to help repel a Turkish offensive, the Kurdish-led administration said on Sunday

The army deployment would support the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in countering “this aggression and liberating the areas that the Turkish army and mercenaries had entered”, it said, in reference to Turkey-backed Syrian rebels.

It would also allow for the liberation of other Syrian cities occupied by the Turkish army such as Afrin, the statement said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-syri ... F?rpc=401&

The enemy of my enemy is my friend - or is he???
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:19 pm

Turkey vs Syria:
US President Trump


U.S President, Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of forces from northern Syria as the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish forces escalates

“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” Defence Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Esper said Trump made the order Saturday night for “a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria,” without providing a timeline.

“We did not want to get involved in a conflict that dates back nearly 200 years between the Turks and the Kurds and get involved in yet another war in the Middle East,” he added.

Esper stated that he does not know whether Turkey would fire deliberately on U.S forces.

“I don’t know whether they would or wouldn’t,” he said.

The defence chief added that the Kurds are looking to strike a deal with Russia to protect them from Turkey.

Esper said the U.S would withdraw less than 1,000 troops, in a separate interview on Fox News Sunday.

Turkey started its operation in northern Syria on Wednesday.

The country confirmed that it is targeting Islamic State extremists and Kurdish militia.

https://dailypost.ng/2019/10/13/turkey- ... ues-order/

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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:19 am

Assad Will be Real Beneficiary From Turkish war on Syrian Kurds

Turkey has launched its operation Peace Spring in Northern Syria aiming to uproot Kurdish forces. As the United States have already abandon their Kurdish allies which helped them to finish ISIS caliphate and pulling out all the American troops from the Syria to facilitate the Turkish operation. Turkey has come very heavily on Kurdish forces by launching air strikes, heavy artillery bombardment and ground incursion by Turkish troops and allied militias. The scale of the Turkish attack surprised many analysts tracking Syrian conflict

Turkish attacks covered area of 300 km length and 50 km depth in which almost all major cities and towns under Kurdish control are hit. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by Kurdish YPG militia responded to Turkey’s military action with artillery attacks and rockets fired into Turkish territory. Moreover, fierce clashes are taking place in Syrian border villages between advancing Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters.

What consequences of this military confrontation Kurds and Turkey have to face that only time can tell. But one thing is certain that whatever is the outcome of this confrontation there will be only one beneficiary under all circumstances and that will be Syrian President Bashar Al Assad. Let’s have a look how President Assad will benefit under any situation.

First of all, most important development is that United States is withdrawing all its troops from Northern Syria. Its highly possible that US will have no ground presence in Syria. This complete US pull-out will remove Russia’s which is the main backer of Syrian government only military equal from the contest to shape Syria’s future.

Moreover, another important ally of Dr Assad that is Iran going forward don’t have to worry about US monitoring its activity and passing on critical information to Israel. Iran can now feel more confident to move its men and material from Iraqi to Lebanese border.

The Kurds feared that they will lose the autonomy they gained from Damascus during Syria’s civil war, now in its ninth year, and could see Turkey seize much of the territory where the Kurdish population is concentrated.

This danger prompted the Kurds to negotiate with Assad’s government for some form of protection. Weaken by Turkish attacks Kurds are unable to negotiate from position of strength and Assad can pressurise them to accept many conditions which Kurds rejected outright before.

Another prominent possibility is that Assad forces, backed by Russia, could take advantage of the situation and advance from the south into the Kurdish region. President Assad has vowed to retake every inch of territory from the Kurds and the remaining armed opposition in Syria’s northwest. This will force the Kurds to fight on two fronts at the same time something they are unlikely to survive. Ideally this is the right time to launch any military campaign against Kurds.

Turkey has stated that one of its goal is to settle Syrian refugees living in Turkish territory in the areas liberated from Syrian Kurdish forces. As it’s a known fact that the millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey have become a liability for Erdogan, who is now thinking of forcing them back to the Syria. If such a resettlement takes place, it will lead to a permanent change of Syrian demographics which favours Syrian President Assad’s sectarian ambitions.

It will be an extension of the loathed Arab Belt and change the ethnic composition of the Kurdish areas and the sectarian composition of many predominantly Sunni Arab towns. So, going forward in future no Kurdish separatists movement can take root in these areas as Kurds will be in minority there.

Syria’s northwest corner, including the Idlib region, is the last major chunk of territory still in the opposition hands after more than eight years of war. That is mainly because of Turkish support to these residual opposition groups. Turkey has several observation posts in Idlib province hence Syrian government is reluctant to launch a full fledge ground incursion.

As Turkey becomes entangled with Kurds, Turkey has to shift its attention from Idlib to campaign against Kurds. As even Kurds lose the territory to Turks, they can still harass them through the use of guerrilla tactics like hit-and-runs attacks, mines, roadside bombs or perhaps anti-tank missiles in their possession. As a result of this Turks attention from Idlib will be diverted and this will directly help Syrian government which is eager to launch ground incursion in this last rebel stronghold.

The next few weeks and months will determine that weather Rojava Kurdistani (Western Kurdistan) will survive or not. But at this point in time Damascus has all reasons to smile. As its very much clear that Dr Bashar Al Assad will benefit from any possible outcome of this Turkish operation. In the Syrian conflict President Assad always played his cards well and emerged as the victor. However, this time it is different. He is winning without fighting or even putting any effort.

His enemies are going to hand him victory and Kurdish oil

https://ekurd.net/assad-will-real-benef ... 2019-10-14
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:11 pm

US pullout leaves
major prize for foes


The U.S. decision to withdraw from northeastern Syria after paving the way for a Turkish invasion has placed the oil-rich region back in play, heralding a new phase in the long civil war in which America’s adversaries are set to make major gains

Until last week, Syrian Kurdish forces supported by about 1,000 American troops held around a fourth of Syria’s territory, lands captured at great cost from the Islamic State group that gave Washington some leverage in the larger conflict.

But U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move American forces aside allowed Turkey to launch a cross-border operation against the Kurdish fighters, who it views as terrorists because of their links to Kurdish separatists. The resulting chaos forced a broader pullout of U.S. troops and led the Kurds to turn to President Bashar Assad, their last remaining hope for protection against Turkish-led forces.

Trump has defended his decision, saying it extricates the U.S. from “stupid endless wars” — a self-fulfilling prophecy as the security vacuum sucks in surrounding powers. The fighting leaves much of northeastern Syria, home to the country’s biggest oil fields, up for grabs.

A look at who is most likely to benefit.

ASSAD AND HIS ALLIES

Under a deal struck between the Kurdish fighters and Assad, he has started deploying his forces in villages and towns near the border with Turkey — areas his military had abandoned in 2012 at the height of the civil war.

With the help of Russian airpower and Iran-backed militias, Assad has managed to bring most of Syria back under his control after years of heavy fighting in which his forces besieged and bombarded the opposition into submission. The last remaining rebel stronghold in Idlib province, in the northwest, and the Kurdish-controlled areas were the exception.

Assad has vowed to bring all of Syria back under his control, and he now has powerful leverage over the Syrian Kurds. He and his allies could potentially halt or contain the Turkish offensive but will demand territory in return.

That could potentially give Assad, and by extension Iran and Russia, control of vast, oil-rich lands bordering Iraq. It would further expand the so-called “Shiite crescent” of Iranian influence stretching from Tehran to Lebanon, alarming U.S. allies like Israel , which has strongly condemned the attack on the Kurds.

The Syrian Kurds themselves, with their project for self-rule in tatters, would return to a reconstituted Syrian state as a marginalized minority, bringing eight years of war and displacement almost full circle.

TURKEY AND ITS SYRIAN FIGHTERS

Turkey had initially vowed to carve out a “safe zone” extending 30 kilometers (20 miles) into Syria. But after a series of rapid advances left Kurdish forces in disarray and sparked a complete U.S. pullout, it might be tempted to push even deeper into Syria.

Turkey is relying to a large extent on allied Syrian fighters, mainly Arabs and minority Turkmen who despise the Kurds and have been accused of violence and looting. Turkey also says it hopes to resettle up to 2 million of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees it is hosting in the war-won territories. That could upend the demographic balance, laying the foundation for future ethnic conflict.

Despite being a NATO ally, Turkey’s relations with the U.S. have plummeted in recent years and look set to fray further. U.S. officials have sharply condemned the offensive, and Trump has vowed to “obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it does anything “off limits,” raising the prospect of American sanctions.

That would force Turkey to strengthen its ties with Iran and Russia, potentially leading to another agreement among the three powers to divide Syria into spheres of influence. Turkey, Iran and Russia — and not the U.S. — would have the final word in any future peace agreement.

AN ISLAMIC STATE COMEBACK

IS lost its last bit of territory in March, but still stages attacks in Syria and Iraq, and the extremists have a long history of recovering after suffering big military defeats.

The Syrian Kurds were the most effective ground forces battling ISIS. Even days before the offensive, they were still partnering with U.S. forces on operations to track down remnants of the group.

Now those operations have ceased, and the Syrian Kurds say they may not be able to maintain control of detention centers across northeastern Syria where they are holding an estimated 10,000 IS militants, including 2,000 foreign fighters, as well as tens of thousands of female IS supporters and their children.

Clashes near a holding camp on Sunday allowed hundreds of ISIS supporters to escape in a prison riot. The hasty U.S. withdrawal, meanwhile, made it unlikely that American forces would complete plans to transfer dozens of the most feared ISIS fighters to detention facilities in neighboring Iraq.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, himself a former detainee held by U.S. forces in Iraq, is still at large, urging his supporters to step up attacks and stage prison breaks.

Syria, Turkey, Iran and Russia all have an interest in preventing an ISIS resurgence and have battled the extremists before. But over the course of the civil war, they often appeared to view ISIS as a secondary threat, with Syria and its allies focusing on the opposition and Turkey prioritizing the fight against the Kurds. As the various powers converge on northeastern Syria, ISIS could slip between the cracks.

https://apnews.com/adb86acaaa664d28b3bd1ad8d7e851f0
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:18 pm

Turkey will march on
regardless: Erdogan


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey will not back down from its offensive against Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria irrespective of “what anyone says.”

Erdogan made the remarks during a speech at a business conference in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku on Monday.

He said the military operation would continue until “ultimate victory” was achieved.

    “We are determined to continue the operation until the end, without paying attention to threats. We will absolutely finish the job we started. Our battle will continue until ultimate victory is achieved.”
Erdogan also blasted the European Union and the Arab League for their criticism of Turkey's operation and called for international funds for Ankara's “safe zone” plans in northeastern Syria.

Turkish military forces and militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA), who enjoy Ankara’s patronage, launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria on October 9 in a declared attempt to eliminate Kurdish militants from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to push them away from border areas.

The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been involved in armed separatism in Turkey since 1984.

Washington has long been providing the YPG and SDF militants with arms, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Syria. Many observers, however, see the support as part of plans by the United States to carve out a foothold in the Arab country.

Ankara denies Daesh prison break

Also on Monday, Turkey rejected reports that its military operation in northeastern Syria had allowed Daesh prisoners to break out of detention camps, accusing Kurdish militants of deliberately evacuating the Takfiri terrorists from a prison.

“There is only one Daesh prison in our (operation) region and we have seen it was emptied by the YPG,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said, without naming the prison.

“There are pictures and films of it.”

Erdogan had earlier censured "disinformation" reports that Turkey's offensive had allowed Daesh terrorists to escape. “This is actually disinformation aimed at provoking America or the West,” he was quoted by the Hurriyet daily.

Kurdish authorities said Sunday that 800 family members of Daesh terrorists held in a camp in the town of Ain Issa in northeastern Syria had fled due to Turkish strikes.

Kurds accused of freeing Daesh inmates

Moreover, a senior Turkish government official accused Kurdish militants of deliberately releasing Daesh inmates held at a prison in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad.

“Turkish forces raided a prison in Tal Abyad earlier today, expecting to take custody of Daesh terrorists held there,” the official, whose name was not named, said. “Before they got there, (Kurdish) PKK/YPG terrorists set free the Daesh militants in an attempt to fuel chaos in the area.” UNCONFIRMED

The official claimed that no doors had been broken in the prison.

UN: 160,000 civilians displaced

In a related development on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that the Turkish offensive has so far displaced at least 160,000 civilians, calling for an "immediate de-escalation."

Guterres said he was "gravely concerned over the military developments in northeast Syria," and urged "all parties to resolve their concerns through peaceful means."

Stressing that "civilians not taking part in hostilities must be protected at all times," the UN chief called for "sustained, unimpeded and safe humanitarian access to civilians in need" to allow the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to carry out aid work.

Guterres also expressed "serious concern" that the Turkish aggression could lead to the "unintended release of individuals" associated with Daesh.

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/10/ ... tern-Syria
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Re: Updates: Turkey's attack on Western Kurdistan - Syria

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:50 am

Westerners who propped up Islamist ‘moderate rebels’ suddenly realize they're terrorists as they launch ‘genocide’ of Kurds

An absolutely fascinating phenomenon accompanying the Turkish invasion of Syria has been watching the reaction of western journalists who once shilled for ‘moderate rebels’ now falling into the trap of having to condemn them

Spearheading the Turkish invasion are the very “Free Syrian Army” and other “moderate” militants that the mainstream Western outlets have promoted for years as the victims of “genocidal monster” Bashar Assad in Damascus. Now, however, the “rebels” are baddies and Assad is the saviour – at least when it comes to the Kurds the media have been lamenting as allies “betrayed” by US President Donald Trump.

What a headache!

“When Turkish forces fight the Kurds the media calls them genocidal maniacs and ISIS-helpers,”tweeted scholar Max Abrahms. “When Turkish forces fight [Syrian President Bashar] Assad the media calls them rebels and revolutionaries.”

Outlets like the Washington Post are now describing as “crazy and not reliable” the very same militants they defended as “moderate rebels” just months earlier, journalist Aaron Mate pointed out.

    For many years, leftist journalists & others have been smeared & attacked for pointing out what is now openly acknowledged: murderous militias -- aka "moderate rebels" -- used to wage a US/Gulf/Turkey-backed proxy war in Syria "are crazy and not reliable." https://t.co/fGEV8FFn53pic.twitter.com/g9DZb1wRUf
    — Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) October 13, 2019
“There are surely proxy war apologists who previously cheered on FSA now pained by their atrocities against Syrian Kurds,” Mate tweeted, noting that they shouldn’t be taken seriously unless they apologize to those they smeared as “Assadists” for being right all along.

While no apologies have been forthcoming, there has been plenty of hand-wringing by western journalists. Here is Danny Gold of PBS Newshour, bemoaning the discovery that the anti-government fighter he once “embedded with” (while working for Vice) is now taking part in Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria:

Reading the mainstream Western press this week, one would think they are the real victims of last week’s developments – not the Syrian Kurds whose fate they are lamenting – as the narrative they have crafted and maintained since 2011 is falling apart. Not only has the Turkish invasion exposed the true nature of “moderate rebels,” it has also served as a pretext for a general US withdrawal from Syria, and a deal between the Kurds and the Syrian government that Washington has spent years blocking.

The very same journalists who’ve spent years demonizing Assad as a genocidal war criminal and a week accusing Trump of abandoning the Kurds to Turkish “genocide” are now struggling to cope with the Syrian Arab Army stepping in to defend the Kurds from Turkey.

“Trump has driven the Kurds into Russia's arms,” tweeted Edward Luce, chief US columnist for Financial Times, describing the Syrian development as a disaster of global proportions, an unraveling of the world order that only benefits the Kremlin.

“I don't know whether it's too late to retrieve the benign image America had in most of the world. But the light is failing,” Luce said in a thread on Monday.

    Worth emphasising the scale of the disaster Trump has wrought in the week since his call with Erdogan. 1. Revived Isis. 2. Cemented Assad’s grip on Syria. 3. Handed Russia yet another geopolitical windfall. 4. Betrayed the Kurds. 5. Immeasurably harmed US power. Thread 1.
    — Edward Luce (@EdwardGLuce) October 14, 2019
Journalist Max Blumenthal described Luce’s thread as “panic over an empire's waning,” which is fitting for such melodrama. Notice that there is little or no concern for the well-being of Syrians, who have suffered for over eight years of proxy warfare and IS terror – or even the Kurds themselves, who were the original recipients of all the hand-wringing up to the moment they made a deal with Damascus.

It’s hard to admit being wrong, which is why most journalists never do it. Much easier to blame Russia, like they’ve been doing ever since the 2016 US presidential election and the Brexit referendum revealed how horribly out of touch they’ve been with their own societies. What Syria has shown is the extent to which this is true for international coverage as well. Don’t look for them to apologize, however – they’re the real victims in all this, don’t you know?

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/470943-moderat ... sts-kurds/

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
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