Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Middle East Game Much Bigger Then Turkey

Carnegie Europe: Marc Pierini is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, where his research focuses on developments in the Middle East and Turkey from a European perspective.

"Turkey’s foreign policy is dominated by a heated nationalist narrative, which in turn has triggered military operations in Syria. At the roots of these developments are several threats to Turkey—some very real, some perceived, others imagined—and the ways in which the political leadership uses them.

But beyond the immediate horizon, littered with hard-to-digest news and a couple of unthinkable risks, lies a different set of issues on which Turkey has little leverage. The real world around Turkey is so complex—Iran, Israel, Russia, and the United States are waging battles out there—that it may warrant a sober look from Ankara.

For now, Turkey faces many short-term hurdles.

Turkey’s EU accession has in practice been blocked by Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The European Parliament has just adopted a new resolution criticizing Turkey’s human rights record. A forthcoming review of EU financial support to Turkey will likely end up with a substantial downsizing of assistance. On March 26, the Bulgarian prime minister will host Turkey’s president and the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission in Varna, where the words of EU leaders are expected to be firm. In April, the commission’s latest progress report on Turkey is also expected to be very critical of the country’s rule of law situation.

Then there are developments in New York.

A U.S. court will issue its verdict in the Zarrab-Halkbank financial crimes case around mid-April. U.S. Treasury fines, thought to be in the billions of dollars, against Turkish state-run Halkbank for violating sanctions against Iran could follow. In addition, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control could exclude the bank from operating in U.S. dollars if it were designated as a foreign sanctions evader.

Closer to home, a fierce narrative is in train: the possibility of a direct conflict between Turkish and American forces in northern Syria. American think-tanks and media are abuzz with scenarios of a potential clash. A military confrontation between NATO’s two largest armies would cross into the realm of the previously unthinkable and, if an understanding is not negotiated, could prove irrecoverable. Diplomatic efforts are currently underway.

Also unthinkable is the possibility of the Turkish navy disrupting again the Cypriot government’s offshore gas exploration.

Whatever happens in Afrin, Manbij, Kobane, or off the coast of Cyprus, there is a much bigger game playing out around Turkey.

The stakes in the Syria, especially its eventual post-war settlement, are immensely higher than the fate of ISIS, the creation (or not) of an autonomous Syrian Kurdish region in a post-war Syria, or the links between the PKK and the YPG. They revolve around two fundamental issues: the balance of power between Russia and the United States in the entire Middle East region; and the potential for war between Iran and Israel.
In the seventy-three years since the end of World War II, the Middle East’s security landscape remained relatively unchanged: the United States was the dominant regional actor and Russia a relatively minor one. Israel was created in 1948 and consistently labelled an “enemy of Islam” by Iran since 1979—but the two never fought a war against each other.

Since 2015, however, momentous changes have been engineered by Russia and Iran in the region, with Turkey’s help.

By rescuing the Assad regime with Iranian support, Russia has drastically changed some of the key parameters of the post-World War II equation in the Middle East: for the first time ever, Moscow has set up a sizeable air force base in the region (in Khmeimin, an extension of Lattakia’s civilian airport in the Syrian coast); it opens and closes the skies of western Syria as it chooses; it is enlarging its naval resupply base within the commercial port of Tartus; and it has driven a diplomatic effort—supported by Iran and Turkey within the so-called “Astana peace process” and Sochi talks—to impose its brand of political settlement for Syria.

Meanwhile, in the process of shoring up the Assad regime, Iran and Hezbollah have also set foot in western Syria. They have established bases and substantially upgraded their arsenals in the country to harass Israel, in particular by building small-scale factories to locally produce drones and missiles, thereby avoiding the hassle of air and sea transport from Iran. Recent incidents between Israel, Iran, and Syria are a testimony to this evolution.

In the face of these developments, the United States is now holding about one third of Syrian territory north and east of the Euphrates River through a combination of proxy fighters—the Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the Syrian Kurdish YPG—and its own special forces. This, in essence, locks its position into future—and “real,” as opposed to the meetings in Astana and Sochi—negotiations about Syria’s future. At stake are the destruction of ISIS, the nature of the Syrian regime, local government composition, the right for foreign powers to maintain forces in the country, and ultimately—albeit indirectly—the security of Israel.

For its own reasons, Turkey has chosen to lend a hand to this geopolitical reshuffle: diplomatically, by participating in the Astana and Sochi talks; financially, by sending money to Iran—to the tune of several billion dollars—through the fully-documented “Zarrab-Halkbank scheme;” and militarily, by issuing threats to U.S. troops in Syria in the hope of pushing them back.

This bigger game playing out around Turkey is not made of somber conspiracies, as Ankara would like to convince its population. Rather, it is the theater of a massive transformation of the Middle East—to the benefit of Russia and Iran. It is as momentous as 1979 was for Tehran. The course that Turkish leaders will choose to follow in the Syrian war will have ominous, long-term consequences not only for their country but for the rest of the world, too"

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Afrin False Flag ??

A false flag in the most basic sense.... Flying the flag of another with the intent to deceive while carrying out, or perpetrating, some type of criminal/evil action
A political or military act orchestrated in such a way that it appears to have been carried out by a party that is not in fact responsible.

As of this writing- 12:00 pm EST,  I do NOT believe that any Syrian loyalist militias entered Afrin

I do suspect that the PKK/YPG  are attempting to and/or may have brought reinforcements into the area under false pretenses.

The YPG/PKK may have thought they could mislead Turkey by claiming their reinforcements were allies of Damascus. It seems apparent Ankara & Damascus have an understanding regarding the Afrin operation

 As yours truly had stated yesterday I see no reason for anyone loyal to Syria to aid the annexing Kurds who are already supported fully by the US.

What's the Deal in Afrin? Loyalist PMU's to Ally with PKK/YPG?

The convoluted saga of Damascus aiding the YPG/PKK in Afrin continues to be presented as fact.
Is it? I'm less then certain at this time.
You may recall that the US wanted Turkey to stop their operation?
U.S Wants Turkey to Restrain Their Operation in Syria   Turkey has not complied.
Tillerson then went to Turkey : Tillerson's Sweet Nothing's to Turkey. Israel & Syria. Lavrov insights Where he made offers he had NO intention of keeping. Turkey most likely made clear their intention to secure the border.
Oh dear what is Usrael to do? Intent on balkanizing both Syria and Turkey.
Cue a false flag

The arrival of alleged Syrian loyalists, who may attack Turkey, offers up the perfect opportunity for the US to gain the upper hand in the area. Have Turkey restrain itself. Etc.,

I mentioned a number of potential possibilities for this move over at syrian perspective..

I’m actually wondering if the Kurds were looking to bait Damascus into a move which would have seen the USrael step into the fray to
1- save their pkk/ypg allies
2- intervene against a wayward NATO ally Turkey (cause USrael doesn’t want to the Turks to impede their Israel 2.0 creation) Much like many syper participants
3- both feet in the door in western syria- aiding the PKK/YPG in connecting their cantons across northern syria- bad news for Syria. bad news for Turkey

I had also thought another possibility would be for YPG/PKK to allow PMU in to Afrin- stage a ‘chemical attack’ and count on the US and France to take action- which is another way of baiting Damascus with the same 3 point result I’d already mentioned.

Also people have to realize all PMU's are "not the same"

Example, as mentioned this at Syper's, Sadr's militia in Iraq, is a PMU (Popular Mobilization Unit) with very obvious ties to the US. Sadr and his militia are coopted.

A post from November 2017:

The PMU(F) & Iraq’s Future: Deal With PKK in Kirkuk.

 Where it was reported one of the militias had made a deal with PKK in Kirkuk

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in coordination with the Hashd al-Shaabi militia, deployed forces and arms in Daquq district, southern Kirkuk Province.

 There is a link contained within that post that reports at great length the differences between the myriad of militias.

If at first you don't succeed try, try again...


The Story of PKK and Hashd al- Shaabi in Sinjar (Kurds call it Shingal)

cooperation abounds

The stances recently taken by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in West, East and South Kurdistan point to a change, whether tactical or not, in PKK policy. One could say it is a turning from Russia and Assad towards the US.

The operations conducted by the Hashd al-Shaabi forces in south Shingal show that the PKK vacated some places there which were taken by the Hashd forces
This is at a time when the Kurdistan Region, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government and coalition forces have demanded that the PKK leave Shingal, but the group is still defying these requests. The question is: Why can’t or do the PKK not want to leave the territory controlled by the Peshmerga, but voluntarily leaves areas under Hashd al-Shaabi control.

The US administration has publicly announced arms deliveries have now reached the Peoples’ Protection Units in Syria (YPG) which Washington knows is an extension of the PKK.

A Shingal Protection Units (YBS) commander in Shingal, a group affiliated with the PKK, has revealed that they voluntarily handed over some Yezidi places to the Hashd al-Shaabi.
This cooperation occurred in Kirkuk also-

Israel is loving the very idea of PMU's entering Afrin- There looking for any reason. Even presenting this as an Iranian move in Syria.
Jerusalem Post: Iran confronts Turkey in Syria

False Flag............ a move that only benefits Usrael.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What's the Deal in Afrin? Loyalist PMU's to Ally with PKK/YPG?

The convoluted saga of Damascus aiding the YPG/PKK in Afrin continues to be presented as fact.
Is it? I'm less then certain at this time.

If Damascus was to aid the YPG/PKK what did they get in exchange? It's sensible that if an agreement was made Damascus would have had to gain something for the assistance.
I don't believe the Assad government is a government of fools and idiots.

 The YPG/PKK is keeping Syria's army and it's people/government away from most of their oil and water assets in the east, yet, I'm supposed to believe that the Assad government is going to run along and aid YPG/PKK in exchange for nothing?

That idea troubles me. The whole narrative for this story came from YPG/PKK themselves. It started yesterday.... And yes, I'm aware that SANA has a report from someone on the ground in Aleppo that this is set to occur-

SANA’s reporter in Aleppo said on Monday that popular forces are to arrive in Afrin area soon to support locals in facing the aggression launched by the Turkish regime on the area since January 20th.

But that could just be the talk in the vicinity. I don't know?

This is interesting from the BBC:

"From the Kurdish perspective, Mr Jia Kurd said: "We can co-operate with any side that lends us a helping hand in light of the barbaric crimes and the international silence."

However, he also warned that the purported agreement - which he said did not include any political arrangements - could fall through"

An agreement that could fail before it's even been enacted?

UPDATE # 1: Bekir Bozdag: 
According to the official, (named above) Ankara doesn't believe these reports, adding that Turkey didn't have any proof yet.
However, as the deputy foreign minister specified, if the Syrian armed forces entered Afrin to support Kurdish militants, this would lead to a catastrophe, giving a green light to the country's split.
I put a Turkish article through translate- looking for more information
This article via translate (google translate)
"We follow the news in all directions. Rejim güçlerinin Afrin'e gireceği haberi gerçek dışıdır. The news that the regime forces will enter Afrin is unreal. Bölgede TSK'nın terör örgütleriyle mücadelesi terör örgütlerinin kökü kazınana kadar devam edecektir. The struggle of the TSK with the terrorist organizations in the region will continue until the terrorist organizations are rooted. Rejimin YPG'yi korumak için Afrin'e girmesi felakete yol açar. Entering Afrin to protect the regime's YPG leads to paralysis.
The news that regime forces will enter Afrin is unreal- Not Real? False?


hattip Kaz

And this were the rumored condition

 Clearly the Kurdish spokesman was lying when claiming that the YPG/PKK would make no concessions....

UPDATE # 3 - fromliveuamap
2 hours ago
Kurdish people's protection units(YPG) deny agreement with Damascus to allow government forces to enter Afrin to help repel a Turkish attack

UPDATE # 4 :

 No agreement with Syrian regime, only a call to protect border: Kurdish forces spokesperson

A spokesperson for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Monday denied reports of a deal with the Syrian government to enter Afrin where a Turkish military incursion is ongoing.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24 during a live broadcast, YPG spokesperson Nouri Mahmoud said the Kurdish forces had not signed an agreement with the Syrian regime to enter Afrin but had only called on the army to protect the borders.
“Our forces have not reached an agreement. We have only called on the Syrian army to defend the borders from Turkey’s assault,” Mahmoud clarified. “There has been no agreement with the Syrian government for the handing over of Afrin.”

 Just as I had suspected!

Other interesting news:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the situation in Syria. Special emphasis was placed on ways of enhancing Astana format cooperation, the Kremlin’s press-service said
Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the situation in Syria. Special emphasis was placed on ways of enhancing Astana format cooperation, the Kremlin’s press-service said.

 "In discussing the situation in Syria special attention was paid to ways of further enhancing cooperation in the Astana format. The readiness was confirmed for tight coordination of efforts by Russia, Turkey and Iran for the sake of achieving effective operation of the de-escalation zones and advancing the political process in line with the agreements achieved by the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi," the Kremlin’s press-service said.

Putin and Erdogan touched upon the situation in northwestern Syria, including the Turkish military operation near Afrin.

Also, they noted "positive trends in Russian-Turkish cooperation" and agreed on a number of contacts at different levels in the near future

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Tillerson's Sweet Nothing's to Turkey. Israel & Syria. Lavrov insights

Tillerson went to Turkey.  He said he'd work on the Manbij situation... "work on it"
Yah, yah! There will be a 'working group" which will begin working no later then mid march- That's a whole month away............ 

Sweet Nothing's ..... affectionate but unimportant or meaningless words spoken to a "lover" (or not)

 Manbij: "It's geographically important. That's why the US has left a troop presence in Manbij to ensure that that city remains under control of our allied forces and does not fall into the hands of others," Tillerson said. "So that will be a topic of discussion in terms of how we go forward to ensure Manbij remains within our control because of its strategic importance."

He said the working group on Manbij will begin work no later than mid-March.
If you've been a long term reader here you know that the US has been paying lip service to the Turks regarding Manbij for a long, long time now. Going back to the Obama administration!

Covered August 2016- Yup, August 2016- 18 Months ago

flashback: Turkey: US to Keep Manbij Promise? 3 Step Road Map: Assad Stays. Cooperating with Iran & More

 1st: US, Keep Your Word on Kurd Withdrawal from Manbij:
Çavusoglu said: "The U.S. and the President Barack Obama personally promised that PYD members in the SDF would be withdrawn to the east of the Euphrates River. Now the U.S. must keep its promise, and we expect them to. We are maintaining our communications regarding this matter."
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu reminded U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday that he had personally made a promise to withdraw the Syrian PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed People's Protection Units (YPG) to the east of the Euphrates once the Manbij operation
No reason to believe US sweet talk regarding Manbij all this time later- I don't believe it. Quite certain Turkish leadership isn't buying the LIE either. Why would they? 

The US says they will stay in Syria's Manbij
US-Turkey relations were frayed over a number of issues recently, namely the US' continued support for the YPG and the US troops in Manbij in support of YPG. The US promised Turkey it would withdraw the YPG from the city after Daesh was defeated, but it has been one-and-a-half years and the YPG is still in Manbij. 
YPG is the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU and has been fighting the Turkish state for more than 30 years.

Janes- Analysis of Syrian S 200 Survival Undermines Israeli retaliation claims 

Saved this yesterday- today I'm getting a 404 error- wonder why?
My saved images are good.. 

Analysis: Survival of Syrian S-200 undermines Israeli retaliation claims
Jeremy Binnie, London and Sean O’Connor, Indianapolis - Jane's Defence Weekly
16 February 2018

Sat image showing intact s-200 complex
Assuming map released by IDF
Key Points

   The IDF said it destroyed Syrian SAM systems after an F-16I was shot down on 10 February
    An important S-200 complex appeared to be undamaged after the engagement

A map released by the IDF on 11 February shows Iranian and Syrian targets that it said were hit the day before in retaliation for a UAV incursion and the shooting down of an Israeli F-16I fighter. It implies that both S-200 (SA-5) sites in southwest Syria were hit. (Israel Defense Forces)A map released by the IDF on 11 February shows Iranian and Syrian targets that it said were hit the day before in retaliation for a UAV incursion and the shooting down of an Israeli F-16I fighter. It implies that both S-200 (SA-5) sites in southwest Syria were hit. (Israel Defense Forces)

Satellite imagery showing one of two S-200 (SA-5) long-range air defence systems in southwest Syria was not neutralised on 10 February raises questions about the effectiveness of Israeli airstrikes on that day.
 Link- The United States Could Be on the Verge of Fighting Turkey in Syria

I personally believe the US and Turkey are and have already been fighting in Syria. Mentioned that last year.. I just love the admission included in this piece that the US supports terrorists
This means sometimes we support terrorists, which usually have turned out to be al Qaeda affiliates. This is because al Qaeda shares an interest with the U.S.: both of us want to destroy the Islamic State. (it's not quite that clear cut, except the US does support terrorists)
Turkey has been helping us fight the Islamic State, but has also been fighting our Kurdish allies in that fight. (Kurdish "allies" who are actually PKK terrorists, who also intermingle with ISIS which still means.... the US supports terrorists)
Russia has been helping Assad fight the rebels, who again are backed by the U.S.(and the US supports terrorists, again!) military. Our confrontations with Russia have become much more frequent. In fact, Russian military contractors might have been part of a recent attack on U.S. military advisers in Syria.
Iran has also backed Assad with weapons. It’s fighting a proxy war with the U.S., and, yes, Israel, which has recently launched attacks into Syria.
Iraq is fighting the Islamic State, too, but Iran is also influencing that fight and doing its best to destabilize the Iraqi government and army.
Russia and Turkey have an uneasy alliance, mostly because of oil resources and transport. Turkey controls the Bosporus Strait, which connects Russian Black Sea ports to the rest of the world. (talked that point up incessantly)
Last December a Turkish citizen (was it a Kurdish Turkish citizen?) assassinated the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, in Ankara. He said he did so in the name of Syria.
Turkey just wants the Kurds to go away. We want the Kurds to stay strong.
But Turkey also doesn’t want the Islamic State carrying out any more attacks there. Last year on New Year’s Eve an IS-inspired attacker shot up a nightclub in Istanbul.
Russia props up Iran’s nuclear program. It needs cheap oil from Iran, and really from all of these places.
So it seems that in all of this, a U.S.-Turkey conflict, a direct confrontation between two allies, would complete some sort of weird circuit. The region, obviously, can’t sustain that, because things are bad enough there. The risk of escalation is high, as is the risk of misunderstanding leading to greater conflict. The more that people start shooting at each other, the more difficult it becomes to tell who’s on your side.
At this point, the United States is looking pretty lonely. At least we’ve got a reality show host at the helm.
The US isn't looking lonely at all... they're looking imperial. And dangerously irrational.

TASS- Lavrov stated this a short time ago, he said it again this week ... I've said it for years

 "They [the United States] seem to be seeking to isolate a vast part of the Syrian territory from the rest of the country in violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.

"A US taskforce and other units are illegally staying in Syria, without any invitation from Damascus (the legitimate government) or a United Nations Security Council mandate," he added.

Lavrov speaking some more
Washington has been staking on Syrian Kurds, supplying Kurdish groups with weapons and ignoring Turkey’s position, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Euronews television channel on Friday.

Turkey’s position, in his words, is that some of Kurd groups operating in Syria are branches of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is listed as a terrorist organization in a range of countries. "Turkey has repeatedly said it would do its utmost to prevent the Kurds from taking control of the border between Syria and Turkey," he said. "Despite that, the Americans have been arming, I would say, heavily arming, Kurdish units totally ignoring Turkey’s position. From the very beginning of their activities in Syria, the Americans have been staking on Kurds and turning a deaf ear to Turkey’s protests."
 Exactly! You may recall Tillerson's other lie was that America hadn't 'heavily armed' the PKK so they didn't have anything worth taking back from them..... Suuuurrreeeeee.  Gee I wonder how it is the PKK/YPG are shooting down helicopters and destroying tanks ? Must be all those AK's? (facetious) At least Lavrov is giving us the straight goods here!

"A couple of months ago, the United States suddenly announced its plans to establish 30,000-strong, mostly Kurdish, force to safeguard the border security zone between Syria and Turkey," Lavrov said. "Later on, they made clumsy attempt to disavow their own statements that facts indicate the this disavowal did not change their intentions. Then, Turkey announced what it announced (on January 20, the Turkish military launched the Olive Branch Operation near Syria’s Afrin, home to about 1.5 million Kurds and refugees from other Syrian regions)."
According to the Russian top diplomat, Turkey’s operation in Afrin was no big surprise for him. "Washington was simply turning a deaf ear to Ankara’s repeated warnings," he added
Recall me saying I couldn't understand all this claimed surprise at Turkey's move?
One can never be certain, of course(unless privy to insider info) but to think Turkey was never going to secure their own border??? 
Makes no sense. 

*I covered the “border force” creation January 7/2018 US Plans to Recognize Annexed Syrian Territory as Kurdish

*Monday, January 15, 2018: Russia, Turkey & Syria Condemn US Creation Of Kurdish “Border Force”

Bullbiscuits to the nonsense of the US not supporting Afrin based PKK/YPG

Flashback : US Considers Air Support To Afrin Kurds- 2016

"The US military will look into the possibility of supporting from the air the Afrin Kurds’ advances in northern Syria against Daesh, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters on Wednesday.

© Alexandr Sherbak/TASS
MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Washington is seeking to isolate and cut off a vast part of Syria’s territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Euronews television channel on Friday.
"They [the United States] seem to be seeking to isolate a vast part of the Syrian territory from the rest of the country in violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.
"A US taskforce and other units are illegally staying in Syria, without any invitation from Damascus (the legitimate government) or a United Nations Security Council mandate," he added.
"Obviously, the United States has some strategy, which, I think, is geared to keep its military presence in Syria forever," he noted. "They are seeking to do the same in Iraq and in Afghanistan, in spite of all their previous promises."


Friday, February 16, 2018

Breaking: Six People Hospitalized After Turkish Gas Attack?

I don't believe this claim at all.

That said, it was was almost predictable that the PKK/YPG would make this claim

After Tillerson's visit- where nothing was resolved between NATO allies this was predictable!
Looked as if Turkey was making advances in cleaning house of terrorists on their border
Factor in the distraction of yet another school shooting.
Macron's constant threatening. 
The US continuously playing the chemical weapons card...
With an ice pack tied to my carpal tunnel we go

Lie/Propaganda via sputnik
"Reports have surfaced that a Turkish chemical weapon attack in the Northern Syrian city of Afrin has hospitalized six civilians. The Turkish military is doing battle with US-backed Syrian Kurdish militias over control of the border city.
The Kurds in question are members of the People's Protection Units (YPG), a militia that formed the bulk of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who have acted as US proxies in Syria.
On Tuesday, Turkey accused Kurdish forces of using chemical weapons against their Syrian allies in the Free Syrian Army, injuring 20. Although allegations of the use of chemical weapons have been commonplace during the Syrian Civil War, the Kurds have rarely been accused of such war crimes.
The YPG denied the report, arguing that Ankara and the FSA were trying to "fabricate a cover for their fiasco in the north of Afrin." They added that the Turks had launched a chlorine-gas attack against the Kurds, but hit the FSA instead.
The Daily Sabah, an independence Turkish outlet, then reported that no such chemical attack occured, and the FSA had instead inhaled smoke"
More details to follow

 Daily Mail
Six men were treated for breathing difficulties in the main hospital in Afrin in Syria late Friday after shelling by a Turkish-led offensive on their village, a medical source and a monitor said.
Jiwan Mohammad, the general director of the Afrin hospital, said six men had arrived to the emergency room with "difficulty breathing, coughing, and burning all over the body."
"We have treated them and are observing them now. We kept their clothes for testing," Mohammad told AFP, adding that their symptoms were in line with exposure to toxic agents.
He said they had arrived in civilian cars from Al-Sheikh Hadid, west of the town of Afrin, and had told medics there was shelling on their village.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that six people were wounded in bombardment on Al-Sheikh Hadid.
"Shelling from either Turkey or allied factions hit Al-Sheikh Hadid and left six people with enlarged pupils and breathing difficulties," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
Abdel Rahman said he could not confirm whether toxic gases were used.
What's the world coming to when SOHR won't even verify this claim?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Illegal US Bases In Raqqa, Syria- Canadians/Brits/French/US Occupiers

As the US makes permanent it's occupation:
Inside Syria Media Centre:

Inside Syria Media Center has obtained information on the location of U.S. military bases which are illegally located in Syria.

1- Muhammed Faris military base is located in Syria’s At-Tabqa (28 miles south- west of Raqqa city). Currently, it has military personnel from the U.S. (22), France (12) commanded by U.S. Sergeant Scott Suaima. The primary task of the unit is to monitor government troops’ movement and Kurdish forces in the region, as well as training the Kurds.

The second U.S. military base is also located in Syria’s At-Tabqa. It has servicemen from
Canada (12), Austria (17), and the U.S. (44) commanded by Erik Butnar from the U.S. Marine Corps. Its main task is to coordinate the activities of the U.S.-led Coalition in the Governorates of Raqqa and Al-Hasakah.

3-Another military base, Ain Isa, hosts combatants from France (35),  Britain (35), and the U.S. (73) commanded by Jason Afrashid. There are also deployed 6 Abrams tanks, artillery and mortars. The base has a runway strip. The base is used to control the air situation in Raqqa Governorate with the help of radars, observe and photograph the activities of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), and to cooperate with Rumeilan base in Hasakah Governorate.
Of course the Canadians are present in Syria- of course! Not that I had ever doubted it

flashback : US Creates Yet Another Base in Syrian Annexed Territory: SDF/PKK

flashback : US Increases Military Posts in Kurd Annexed Syria: Vindicated Again

etc., I've talked and written to the point of exhaustion about American bases and plans to annex Syria- along with the duplicity of the PKK/YPG- years and years now 

earlier today:

It's not "mad" to question the hidden power of the global elite

Extremely important and dam interesting

Harvards Darkest Secret: The JeruSALEM Witch Trials & Mass Hysteria

It's not "mad" to question the hidden power of the global elite

The Guardian had an interesting oped- I can take a pass on most of it.

Here's the basic concept: Julian Baggini is a British philosopher

"Questioning the hidden power of elites – whether big pharma or secret societies – is really quite sane"
Of course it's sane. That's why you and I are here. But questioning alone doesn't go far enough.
Accepting this reality and then making appropriate changes is key

"The wrong moral to draw from this would be that anyone who sees hidden power being influenced is crazy. Rather, we should see the Hellyers of this world as the price we pay for being willing to question the manifest order and to expose the secretive interest groups who seek to manipulate the world for their own benefit.
When we dig for the truth, we flirt with madness. But in a world where hidden power is all too real, it’s the only sane thing to do."

I don't think digging for truth is flirting with madness-

I do think digging for truth is living in reality, being sane and can be empowering.  

Anything else is just mass delusion.