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Kurds face stark options after US pullback

By Pepe Escobar : Posted with Permission

Forget an independent Kurdistan: They may have to do a deal with Damascus on sharing their area with Sunni Arab refugees

Forget an independent Kurdistan: They may have to do a deal with Damascus on sharing their area with Sunni Arab refugees

In the annals of bombastic Trump tweets, this one is simply astonishing: here we have a President of the United States, on the record, unmasking the whole $8-trillion intervention in the Middle East as an endless war based on a “false premise.” No wonder the Pentagon is not amused.
Trump’s tweet bisects the surreal geopolitical spectacle of Turkey attacking a 120-kilometer-long stretch of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates to essentially expel Syrian Kurds. Even after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cleared with Trump the terms of the Orwellian-named “Operation Peace Spring,” Ankara may now face the risk of US economic sanctions.

The predominant Western narrative credits the Syrian Democratic Forces, mostly Kurdish, for fighting and defeating Islamic State, also known as Daesh. The SDF is essentially a collection of mercenaries working for the Pentagon against Damascus. But many Syrian citizens argue that ISIS was in fact defeated by the Syrian Arab Army, Russian aerial and technical expertise plus advisers and special forces from Iran and Hezbollah.

As much as Ankara may regard the YPG Kurds – the “People’s protection units” – and the PKK as mere “terrorists” (in the PKK’s case aligned with Washington), Operation Peace Spring has in principle nothing to do with a massacre of Kurds.

Facts on the ground will reveal whether ethnic cleansing is inbuilt in the Turkish offensive. A century ago few Kurds lived in these parts, which were populated mostly by Arabs, Armenians and Assyrians. So this won’t qualify as ethnic cleansing on ancestral lands. But if the town of Afrin is anything to go by the consequences could be severe.

Into this heady mix, enter a possible, uneasy pacifier: Russia. Moscow previously encouraged the Syrian Kurds to talk to Damascus to prevent a Turkish campaign – to no avail. But Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov never gives up. He has now said: “Moscow will ask for the start of talks between Damascus and Ankara.” Diplomatic ties between Syria and Turkey have been severed for seven years now.
With Peace Spring rolling virtually unopposed, Kurdish Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi did raise the stakes, telling the Americans he will have to make a deal with Moscow for a no-fly zone to protect Kurdish towns and villages against the Turkish Armed Forces. Russian diplomats, off the record, say this is not going to happen. For Moscow, Peace Spring is regarded as “Turkey’s right to ensure its security,” in the words of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. As long as it does not turn into a humanitarian disaster.

No independent Kurdistan

From Washington’s perspective, everything happening in the volatile Iran-Iraq-Syria-Turkey spectrum is subject to two imperatives: 1) geopolitically, breaking what is regionally regarded as the axis of resistance: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah; and 2) geostrategically, breaking the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative from being incorporated in both Iraq and Syria, not to mention Turkey.

When Erdogan remarked that the trilateral Ankara summit last month was “productive,” he was essentially saying that the Kurdish question was settled by an agreement among Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Diplomats confirmed that the Syrian Constitutional Committee will work hard towards implementing a federation – implying that the Kurds will have to go back to the Damascus fold. Tehran may even play a role to smooth things over, as Iranian Kurds have also become very active in the YPG command.

The bottom line: there will be no independent Kurdistan – as detailed in a map previously published by the Anadolu news agency.

From Ankara’s point of view, the objective of Operation Peace Spring follows what Erdogan had already announced to the Turkish Parliament – that is, organizing the repatriation of no fewer than two million Syrian refugees to a collection of villages and towns spread over a 30km-wide security zone supervised by the Turkish army.

Yet there has been no word about what happens to an extra, alleged 1.6 million refugees also in Turkey.

Kurdish threats to release control of 50 jails holding at least 11,000 ISIS/Daesh jihadis are just that. The same applies to the al-Hol detention camp, holding a staggering 80,000 ISIS family members. If let loose, these jihadis would go after the Kurds in a flash.

Veteran war correspondent and risk analyst Elijah Magnier provides an excellent summary of the Kurds’ wishful thinking, compared with the priorities of Damascus, Tehran and Moscow:

The Kurds have asked Damascus, in the presence of Russian and Iranian negotiators, to allow them to retain control over the very rich oil and gas fields they occupy in a bit less than a quarter of Syrian territory. Furthermore, the Kurds have asked that they be given full control of the enclave on the borders with Turkey without any Syrian Army presence or activity. Damascus doesn’t want to act as border control guards and would like to regain control of all Syrian territory. The Syrian government wants to end the accommodations the Kurds are offering to the US and Israel, similar to what happened with the Kurds of Iraq.

The options for the YPG Kurds are stark. They are slowly realizing they were used by the Pentagon as mercenaries. Either they become a part of the Syrian federation, giving up some autonomy and their hyper-nationalist dreams, or they will have to share the region they live in with at least two million Sunni Arab refugees relocated under Turkish Army protection.

The end of the dream is nigh. On Sunday, Moscow brokered a deal according to which the key, Kurdish-dominated border towns of Manbij and Kobane go back under the control of Damascus. So Turkish forces will have to back off, otherwise, they will be directly facing the Syrian Arab Army. The game-changing deal should be interpreted as the first step towards the whole of northeast Syria eventually reverting to state control.

The geopolitical bottom line does expose a serious rift within the Ankara agreement. Tehran and Moscow – not to mention Damascus – will not accept Turkish occupation of nearly a quarter of sovereign, energy-rich Syrian territory, replacing what was a de facto American occupation. Diplomats confirm Putin has repeatedly emphasized to Erdogan the imperative of Syrian territorial integrity. SANA’s Syrian news agency slammed Peace Spring as “an act of aggression.”

Which brings us to Idlib. Idlib is a poor, rural province crammed with ultra-hardcore Salafi jihadis – most linked in myriad levels with successive incarnations of Jabhat al-Nusra, or al-Qaeda in Syria. Eventually, Damascus, backed by Russian airpower, will clear what is in effect the Idlib cauldron, generating an extra wave of refugees. As much as he’s investing in his Syrian Kurdistan safe zone, what Erdogan is trying to prevent is an extra exodus of potentially 3.5 million mostly hardcore Sunnis to Turkey.

Turkish historian Cam Erimtan told me, as he argues in this essay, that it’s all about the clash between the post-Marxist “libertarian municipalism” of the Turkish-Syrian PKK/PYD/YPG/YPJ axis and the brand of Islam defended by Erdogan’s AKP party: “The heady fusion of Islamism and Turkish nationalism that has become the AKP’s hallmark and common currency in the New Turkey, results in the fact that as a social group the Kurds in Syria have now been universally identified as the enemies of Islam.” Thus, Erimtan adds, “the ‘Kurds’ have now taken the place of ‘Assad’ as providing a godless enemy that needs to be defeated next door.”

Geopolitically, the crucial point remains that Erdogan cannot afford to alienate Moscow for a series of strategic and economic reasons, ranging from the Turk Stream gas pipeline to Ankara’s interest in being an active node of the Belt & Road as well as the Eurasia Economic Union and becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, all geared towards Eurasian integration.

‘Win-win’

And as Syria boils, Iraq simmers down.

Iraqi Kurdistan lives a world apart, and was not touched by the Iraqi protests, which were motivated by genuine grievances against the swamp of corrupt-to-the-core Baghdad politics. Subsequent hijacking for a specific geopolitical agenda was inevitable. The government says Iraqi security forces did not shoot at protesters. That was the work of snipers.

Gunmen in balaclavas did attack the offices of plenty of TV stations in Baghdad, destroying equipment and broadcast facilities. Additionally, Iraqi sources told me, armed groups targeted vital infrastructure, as in electricity grids and plants especially in Diwaniyah in the south. This would have plunged the whole of southern Iraq, all the way to Basra, into darkness, thus sparking more protests.

Pakistani analyst Hassan Abbas spent 12 days in Baghdad, Najaf and Karbala. He said heavily militarized police dealt with the protests, “opting for the use of force from the word go – a poor strategy.” He added: “There are 11 different law enforcement forces in Baghdad with various uniforms – coordination between them is extremely poor under normal circumstances.”

But most of all, Abbas stressed: “Many people I talked to in Karbala think this is the American response to the Iraqi tilt towards China.”

That totally fits with this comprehensive analysis.

Iraq did not follow the – illegal – Trump administration sanctions on Iran. In fact it continues to buy electricity from Iran. Baghdad finally opened the crucial Iraq-Syria border post of al-Qaem. Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi wants to buy S-400 missile systems from Russia.

He also explicitly declared Israel responsible for the bombing of five warehouses belonging to the Hashd al-Shaabi, the people mobilization units. And he not only rejected the Trump administration’s “deal of the century” between Israel and Palestine but also has been trying to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

And then there’s – what else? – China. On a state visit to Beijing on September 23, Mahdi clinched a proverbial win-win deal: plenty of oil supplies traded with investment in rebuilding infrastructure. And Iraq will be a certified Belt & Road node, with President Xi Jinping extolling a new “China-Iraq strategic partnership”. China is also looking to do post-reconstruction work in Syria to make it a key node in the New Silk Roads.

It ain’t over till the fat (Chinese) lady sings while doing deals. Meanwhile, Erdogan can always sing about sending 3.6 million refugees to Europe.

What’s happening is a quadruple win. The US performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO alley Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive.  And Syria will eventually regain control of its oilfields and the entire northeast.

 

 

 

The Essential Saker III: Chronicling The Tragedy, Farce And Collapse of the Empire in the Era of Mr MAGA
The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire
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48 Comments

  1. ”But many Syrian citizens argue that ISIS was in fact defeated by the Syrian Arab Army, Russian aerial and technical expertise plus advisers and special forces from Iran and Hezbollah.”

    Verdict: Syrians are lousy authoritarians led by a regime in the greasy hands of a thuggish dictator / sarc off /

    • The local fakestream media, since 2011 avid propagandists for the takfiri butchers (the ‘rebels’) and against ‘the blood-thirsty tyrant Assad’ and the ‘Syrian regime’, were waxing hysterical this morning with concern for Austfailian jihadist women, because the ‘Evil, bloodthirsty’ Syrian regime troops were advancing, and were bound to commit atrocities too horrible to contemplate. Same old, same old-wedged in between attacks on Nobel laureate Peter Handke for the crime of telling the truth about Yugoslavia, and the usual wall-to-wall Sinophobic hatred.

      • The article points out “whats’s happening is a quadruple win”…indeed.. “Ein kluger Schachzug” of the Russians … but i just watched the UK Fakestream media > John Snow the veteran TV newsdistorter was almost choking and spluttering his words in his indignation and fury that things were not turning out so well for the Anglo-Zio dream…he interviewed a UN representative and asked why the UN was not taking a more active role… and how could the USA abandon its precious allies…and “surely someone should intervene”…interspersed with references to Assad “the dictator” and the Syrian “regime”…Linsey Hilsom the airhead roving reported was also spluttering with indignation as she and the press corps were pushed out of Syria and into Iran (she of Crimea fame, standing right between the “polite Green Men” and the “poor” Ukies and delighting in the fact that she was right there at that historic moment, just about to witness the outbreak of hostilities – when the Ukies marched towards the Russians and actually made a gesture that the Russians, who took it all calmly, knew well to be friendly). …

        • Analyst,
          How can UN the “dud” do anything when US and Russia just the other day tried to pass two different things though Security Council and then rejected each other’s proposals. I am not in favor of the NWO-Globalist UN, but I must admit it offers “some get together and deal” platform.
          Just like I said previously, Kurds do not have the core territory where only they exist, to ask for their own.
          Sad fact but unfortunately it’s the reality, and as long as Turkey is permitted to exist Kurdistan will not. Some people never learn from the past, and I am speaking here about the Kurds. They continually get used by otsiders because they never learned their history. Let me repeat what Greek philosophers said since the archaic times: “Knowing and never forgetting your history sets you free”. This is why the West does not teach history anymore, this way everyone is kept boxed in like the cattle.

  2. Sputnik reporting Free Syrian army….National Syrian Army …. also called jihadists are heading for Manbij..hence Russia still calling Turkey to not endanger Astana peace process…..can Turkey control them though he says Manbij is an objective of his that should be returned to Arabs….to avoid serious
    ” confrontation” with SAA??? Or best for SAA to lance the boil of them? Will Russia militarily support the SAA if under threat? Turkey was not really able to previously sort out oppositionist forces in Idlib to bring peace to rhat regionhen e SAA and Russian forces still actioning in Idlib….despite promises to do so with Russia and Iran…..so is Erdogan weakness here about to be exposed despite assurances from him of constant communication and coordination with Russia….will the NSA FSA and associate groups be dumped by Turkey just like the USA dumped the Kurds?

  3. One can only hope for the dawning of the realization that peace is in the best interests of all. Perhaps if we left Israel alone and withdrew our monies and this new base supposedly to be set in Jerusalem, Israel, too, will try and get along with its neighbors.

  4. Turkey was halfway restrained, until now; it is possible that the Peace Spring, will be just that: peace by Springtime, or Turk inspired/enforced settlements; but it seems rather too remarkable, that it should be somehow another “spring”, as in the notoriously bloody, and strangely dubious, Arab Spring; that rather depressing spate of information-media crafted coup’s throughout the region may not be over, but rather reaching an angry conclusion. The Turks are not pawns in this game, they are rabid wolves, now set for blood.

  5. The Turks have tried the “God’s chosen” president’s patience to the breaking point. Now they will face his ultimate weapon (no, not the dreaded stubby fingered pussy grab), he is sending the pence to deal with them.

    Trump Calls on Erdogan to Stop Syria Offensive, Sends Delegation to Turkey – Pence

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201910151077049806-trump-held-phone-talks-with-syrian-democratic-forces—pence/

    “US President Donald Trump has called on his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop the operation in northern Syria and has directed US Vice President Mike Pence to head to Turkey for negotiations, Pence told reporters.”

    Will the Turks manage to stay awake during the meet?

  6. It is both nauseating and hilarious to see the Imperial thugocracy, after enumerating Putin’s diplomatic successes in the Near and Middle East, and China’s economic advances there, too (both including sweet little Israel)acting all outraged that the USA is no longer ‘Number One’. Apparently they cannot understand why violence, threats and aggression no longer work to ‘keep the rabble in line’.

    • Yes but how much of this is just posturing on the part of Trump to keep the American war party off his back? He has to do this does he not to keep the yankee mad dogs somewhat mollified. He has a balancing act to perform with regard to domestic and international politics. I suspect he has an understanding with the Turks and they know he is paying theater for American domestic consumption. This way he keeps everyone satisfied and he maintains a balance.

      • Chaos and instability is the essence of the Oded Yinon Plan, to destroy all Israel’s neighbours and break them into pieces through deliberately fomented internecine war, and sanctions and invasion otherwise. I see this as just a strategy to revivify Daash, all of whose killers have, unsurprisingly, ‘escaped in the chaos’, and set it against Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, Afghanistan and, hopefully, Xinjiang, the Caucasus and Central Asia and the OBOR project.

      • “Yes but how much of this is just posturing on the part of Trump to keep the American war party off his back? ”

        Yes, we must defend likudnik quisling trump’s “good intentions”,(he isn’t warring against Iran for israel – really, really, really, you must believe me, it’s those deep staters twisting his arm), got to keep selling the zionazi quislings, it’s the guardianista way…

  7. “What’s happening is a quadruple win. The US performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO alley Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive. And Syria will eventually regain control of its oilfields and the entire northeast.”

    The only exception is the Kurdish people living on current Turkish-Syrian borderland for many centuries, who are going to be ethnic cleansed by Erdogan – regardless of wether the SDF hands over the control of the eastern Syria to Syrian government or not. I do not believe for a second that Ergo will back from his plan to settle 2+ millions of Arabs in the “buffer zone” (=Kurdish homeland), once he invested the effort into the current military operation.

    Does “Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process” aka “multipolar world order” involve things as ethnic cleansing ? Thank you, I am not interested in it anymore then.

  8. The Next Steps …

    “All are under SDF will be handed over to the Syrian Government, it will take time to return the State toward all the area, the priorities are:

    1) Border with Turkey and its terrorists to hold their advance
    – done

    2) Control of main cities and the return of the State’s institutions
    – partially done, returned control of all main cities and Institutions are being brought back, it will take time to return all to normal.

    3) Oil & gas filed – top priority for Syria since it has to access the pipelines to the coast, winter is coming and the Gov wants normality in oil and gas flowing to the main power stations, refineries and coast.
    – Few oil and gas fields were manned, mostly in Raqqa and NE Hasaka (main gas field in Syria), Deir ez Zour is coming as the US forces retreat from Omar field.

    There will be bump on the roads, terrorists attack by ISIS plus some die hard al Qaeda/Muslin Brrtherhood sleeper cell, there is no way back. It is important to remind that the Kurds had some autonomy in some area where they inhabited before 2011, this will be granted as some more national participation in the Gov, army and other institution.

    There is no sense of revenge in the Syrian Gov, there is a sense of getting things done and return to normal life to all citizens of Syrian.”

    • MacGregor got the swamp part right. The rest–the checkmate stuff–is silly. It’s these parties who are making deals and solving problems w/o the US.

      The Turks are buying more Russian gas and S-400s. The Iranians are on the verge of joining the SCO and the EAEU– while the Chinese up their oil purchases from Iran– and the Turks may well also be driven to join the SCO by the two war parties in the US: the Reps and the Dems. Whose quagmire is really getting worse ?

  9. What About Idlib ?

    “Very important to mention that the liberation of Idlib and western Aleppo is coming, the RuAF, SAAF and SAA artilleries are pounding hard the turkish backed terrorists for 2 days, non stop, Arbeen mountain has been single handed this time, massive bombing on Ariha and areas nearby it.

    The deadline for the turlish backed terrorists to exit M5 was due yesterday, so it is fair game now for the SAA. With the recent collapse of reputation and other things, Turkey is no position to offer any possible defense to its terrorists in Idlib, they will be eradicated from Syria or they will flee to Turkey then Europe/Central Asia, this is going to happen, have no doubt about that.

    The newly named 25th SOF Division (Tiger Forces) has moved north, place is not disclosed yet ”

  10. Current SAA Operation in Numbers

    “As the day went through, here are the areas confirmed that the SAA and the Syrian Government have taken full control :

    Repeat again, all Manbij pocket is now in total control of the SAA, all of it.

    1) Hundreds of villages

    2) Key cities under total control by the Syrian Gov.

    al Hasaka
    Al Qamishli
    Manbij
    Raqqa
    Tabqa
    Ayn Issa
    Tell Tamr
    Ayn al Arab
    Ras al Ayn – fighting is on here but the SAA came to calm down the situation.

    3) Key sites

    Qarah Qawzaq bridge – the only bridge left over the Euphrates.
    Tishrim Dam
    Tabqa Dam
    Tabqa Airbase – to be operation in 2 weeks max, work is on it already today.
    Brigade 93
    Division 17

    There are over 40,000 SAA soldiers being sent to all corners of North, NE and Easter Syria, have seen videos of SAA forces going one direction and the US forces going the other direction, hilarious indeed to see it happening.

    The oil and gas fields will have a group of SAA to defend each one of them, and SAA soldiers are already on the way, these are top priority for the Syrian Gov.

    There is already effort within the Syrian Gov to evaluate all oil and gas pipelines to see how quickly they can be used to pump oil and gas to the coast, this is urgent and critical due to the up coming winter approaching, last winter Syrians suffered terribly due to the criminal sanctions on the ordinary people.

    There is a NFZ in northern Syria, mostly Manbij pocket, and all northern Raqqa all the way to Qamishili. RuAF and SAAF have put over 30 jets to stay 24×7 on the skies there.

    Last but not least, in every place the SAA arrived in northern and NE Syria so far, the ordinary people flocked to embrace the SAA, they know who they can trust, it shows how strong was the support to the Syrian Gov and the only army that can protect all Syrians, the mighty SAA.”

    • If true then this is great news for the Syrian people.

      I guess this means the Idleb campaign is on hold? It would make a lot of sense, as long as the Syrian army can hold & consolidate their gains, and they can successfully absorb the YPG into the Syrian army.

      Considering the pressure on Iran, I am also guessing neither the Iranians, nor Hezbollah can spare many reinforcements for Syria, as they need them against USA & Israel respectively.

    • Perhaps there has been some slight adjustment to Erdogans plans by Russia re Manbij…..
      14 OCT, 23:28
      Russian defense ministry says it never discussed operation in Syria’s Kobani with Turkey

      MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Russia’s defense ministry has refuted media reports that Russia has no objections against Turkey’s extension of the Peace Spring operation into the Syrian city of Kobani. This matter has never been discussed with Turkey, it said on Monday.

      Kremlin says Russia, Turkey maintain contacts on operation in Syria
      “During talks with the Turkish colleagues, issues of extending the Turkish army’s operation Peace Spring into the Syrian city of Kobani were not discussed. Media reports on this topic are not true,” the ministry stressed.

      Ankara said earlier that Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gersimov had spoken over the phone with his Turkish counterpart, Yasar Guler. According to the Turkish side, Gerasimov and Guler spoke about security problems in Syria. Nothing however was said about the operation near Kobani. Ankara also said that the two countries defense ministers, Sergei Shoigu of Russia and Hulusi Akar of Turkey, had had talks on “ccordination of joint activities.”

      Addressing a news conference in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Russia had taken the idea of Turkey’s liberation of the city of Kobani in northern Syria from Kurdish units quite positively. He promised that Turkey’s army would grant safe entry to the city of Manbij, controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, for soldiers of the so-called Free Syrian Army.”

      • Manbij update….plans altered?

        Ankara does not insist on the presence of its military in Syria’s Manbij, the main thing is that terrorists should leave the area, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

        “We have agreements with Russia on Manbij, and when we meet with respected [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, we will discuss this with him. We do not have such a goal – certainly be in Manbij. We have one concern, let Russia or [Syrian] regime be there, but terrorists should be cleared,” Erdogan told reporters.

      • More Manbij update

        “Russian military police officers have conducted their first patrolling of Syria’s northeastern city of Manbij, driving infantry mobility vehicles Tigr, Russian Military Police officer Safar Safarov said on Wednesday, just one day after the Russian Defence Ministry announced that the Syrian army had taken full control of the city and the Russian military was patrolling Manbij borders along the contact line between Syrian and Turkish forces.

        “Our patrol was driving the streets of this city for the first time ever. Military activities cease immediately at the sight of the Russian flag, as neither Turks nor Kurds want to affect us. So, fighting stops thanks to our efforts. Just one week ago we could not travel to Manbij openly and demonstrate our flag there, as US servicemen, present at two military bases, opposed us all the time, intercepting us on the road due to different understanding of areas of responsibility,” Safarov told reporters.

        The patrolling lasted for over three hours, Safarov added.

        “We will continue controlling our area of responsibility. Our main task is to ensure safety of the locals if any side starts a shelling. This is not our first task here, as we have been working here for over six months, and we have never experienced any problems with anyone,” Safarov added.” Sputnik.

    • ”They /SDF/ had not expected the popularity of Assad in the population.”

      Haha, lazy arrogant people who cannot trouble themselves to ask the citizenry — better watch Western/Saudi/Israel ”news”, eh?

  11. And the Izzies? Kedmi was on Rus TV the other day threatening a “Samson Option”-style attack against Iran. My take was he was referring to any threat to the Golan, but that is just a guess. I felt like some Izzy red-line was being referenced without being explicitly mentioned.

    • Casey, sounds to me like the Mad King Lear:

      “O! to have a thousand devils with red hot forks
      Come hissing in upon them! I shall do such things …
      I know not what they are… but they shall be
      The wonder of the world “.

  12. One pedantic note. In German or Russian it is called a “cauldron” or a “kettle”. Usually in American English it is called a “pocket”. Example “The Ruhr Pocket’ of WW2 fame.
    Hyper-nationalists never have any sane or practical political thinking. For example, the Nazis or the Japanese of WW2. A practical political program would be a buzzkill to the hyper-nationalist feeling, hence the leadership engages in delusional political thinking. The YPG has no clue that all the non-Kurds hate and despise them because hyper-nationalist are racist bigots to anyone not in their group. The US Centcom leadership was morally and strategically bankrupt when they decided to support “Rojava” without any approval from either Pres. Obama or Pres, Trump.
    Things will probably be ugly as the Kurdish leadership will be unable to adopt any sane policy,

  13. … President of the United States, on the record, unmasking the whole $8-trillion intervention in the Middle East as an endless war based on a “false premise.” No wonder the Pentagon is not amused.

    And that is what I truly love about Mr. Trump. The Pentagon, and various TLAs, have been telling us lies for so long that they have begun to believe their own lies. And that has led them into this cul-de-sac. The same TLAs that have been attempting to push Mr. Trump out of office. Let them rot.

    I know, it’s going to be traumatic when all this stuff collapses, but the ongoing pretense is only making the eventual outcome worse. Thank you, Mr. Trump, I never liked your TV show, but you do have a few hints of the truth.

  14. Sounds like Erdogan is being closely supervised?
    After phonecalls….”Putin then invited Erdogan for a working visit to Russia “in the next few days,” which the Turkish leader accepted.

    Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev told reporters in Abu Dhabi that the Turkish advance needed to be concluded soon and that it was “unacceptable.”

    “We didn’t agree with the Turks any questions about their presence in Syria and we don’t approve of their actions,” Lavrentiev said.

    He said Turkish troops had the right under an agreement struck between Damascus and Ankara in 1998, the Adana pact, to temporarily push up to a maximum of 10 km (6 miles) into Syria to conduct counter-terrorism operations.

    “But it doesn’t give them (Turkish troops) the right to remain on Syrian territory permanently and we are opposed to Turkish troops staying on Syrian territory permanently,” he said.” Extract from

    https://southfront.org/turkey-united-states-and-russia-are-in-close-contact-over-northern-syria/

  15. Well, well, well.

    Before beating a very hasty retreat from their colonial outpost in Manbij, Syria, the Americans apparently scribbled some semi-coherent insults to arriving Russian troops.

    Looks like the US troops were butt-hurt about being driven out of NE Syria.

    Stay classy, Amurica!

    US Soldiers Left Behind “Lovely” Messages for Russian Troops in Hastily Evacuated Syria Base
    https://www.checkpointasia.net/us-soldiers-left-behind-lovely-messages-for-russian-troops-in-hastily-evacuated-syria-base/

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