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zkojq
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Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:54 am

Worrying news coming from the Syria-Turkey border:

Turkey has been threatening to attack the Kurdish-controlled towns of Afrin and Manbij for some time in an attempt to counter a militia called the People's Protection Units (YPG), which it considers a terrorist group.

The YPG denies any direct military or political links with the PKK.

The US also rejects Turkey's portrayal of the militia, which has proven to be a key ally in the battle against the jihadist group Islamic State.

The YPG is part of an alliance with a number of ethnic Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). With the help of US air strikes, its fighters have captured tens of thousands of square kilometres from IS.

The US dissuaded Turkey from also attempting to take the mainly Arab town of Manbij from the SDF by force, but got the YPG to agree to withdraw east of the River Euphrates. Turkish officials say that has not yet happened.

One recent development appears to have brought forward Turkey's plans to clear YPG fighters from Afrin and Manbij.

News broke on Saturday that the US was helping the SDF build a new "border security force".

US officials said the plan was to train about 30,000 personnel - half of them SDF fighters - to help prevent infiltration by IS militants across the Turkish and Iraqi borders and parts of the River Euphrates, which effectively divides SDF- and Syrian government-held regions.

The announcement enraged Turkey's government. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that he considered the border force to be a "terror army".

So why would the Turkish assault on Afrin matter?

It could bring two Nato allies into direct conflict and also have a major impact on relations between Turkey and Russia.

Russia is believed to have hundreds of troops in Afrin and effectively controls the enclave's airspace. An offensive without its approval might prove difficult for Turkey and open a major new front in a war that activists say has already cost more than 340,000 lives.


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42704542

Some Turkish troops have been in Syria for three months after entering northern Idlib province following an agreement with Russia and Iran to try to reduce fighting between pro-Syrian government forces and rebel fighters.

The observation posts which the Turkish army says it has established are close to the dividing line between Arab rebel-held land and Kurdish-controlled Afrin.

Turkey’s National Security Council said earlier on Wednesday Turkey would not allow the formation of a “terrorist army” along its borders.

As the council met, a Reuters reporter witnessed the Turkish army deploying nine tanks to a military base just outside the city of Hatay, near the border with Afrin, to the west of the area where the border force is planned. That followed earlier reports of a military buildup in the area.

On Monday, with relations between the United States and Turkey stretched close to breaking point, Erdogan threatened to “strangle” the planned U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born”.


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mide ... F62GV?il=0

The YPG has done more to facilitate the downfall of IS than anyone else and is one of the few moderate forces left in Syria, it would be sad for Turkey to repay them like this.
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salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:37 am

Maybe sad, but also inevitable.

This isn't the way I wish it to be, it's just realpolitik.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:22 pm

At least the position of Turkey in NATO should be clarified.

If worse comes to worse I wonder if the US can cripple the hardware it has sold to Turkey.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:47 pm

Aesma wrote:
At least the position of Turkey in NATO should be clarified.
Are you advocating forcing Turkey into the orbit of Russia? Or Islamic fundamentalism?
Aesma wrote:
If worse comes to worse I wonder if the US can cripple the hardware it has sold to Turkey.
If the US could do that, nobody would ever buy anything from US defense contractors again.

There is no "news" in this story. Turkey is never going to give up the eastern part of its country, and the Kurds are not likely to give up their resistance anytime soon.
 
Flaps
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:54 pm

salttee wrote:
Aesma wrote:
At least the position of Turkey in NATO should be clarified.
Are you advocating forcing Turkey into the orbit of Russia? Or Islamic fundamentalism?
Aesma wrote:
If worse comes to worse I wonder if the US can cripple the hardware it has sold to Turkey.
If the US could do that, nobody would ever buy anything from US defense contractors again.

There is no "news" in this story. Turkey is never going to give up the eastern part of its country, and the Kurds are not likely to give up their resistance anytime soon.


The US "could" however start reducing support for Turkey. Turkey is at best a questionable ally anyway (at least governement to government, the militarty to miiitary relationship may be diffferent) and is sliding toward Russia anyway. The status quo isn't going to hold forever. I don't really see a good outcome for anyone involved in that scenario.
 
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:07 pm

Flaps wrote:
The US "could" however start reducing support for Turkey. Turkey is at best a questionable ally anyway (at least governement to government, the militarty to miiitary relationship may be diffferent) and is sliding toward Russia anyway.


Why? Turkey has never been shy of playing the Russia card but I think its just a bluff.

From the Turkish perspective, the hoary Obama days are over. Erdogan & Trump can build a solid personal relationship based on their shared lunacy. Its a good opportunity for America to get invested in Turkey again and keep Russia out.

I think President Trump should schedule a visit to Turkey sometime soon and boost cooperation with the Turkish govt. Turkey is the best bet for America to arrest the slide in the region towards Russia.
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salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:07 pm

@Flaps

So your idea would be to speed up Turkey's slide away from the west?
And I assume you still want to campaign against Assad?
Then you want to bomb Yemen some more no doubt.
And pressure Iraq to tone down the Shiiaism and give half their oilfields to the Kurds.
Then of course you want to start a war with Iran.
Later, when Saudi Arabia collapses, you'll want to take in all those Sheiks who have been so loyal to us (just like the Shah).

You right wingers sure are a clever bunch.
Last edited by salttee on Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:50 pm

Erdogan is already pushing Turkey towards islamism all by himself. And Turkey had no problem buying oil from IS. With allies like that (add Saudi Arabia to the list), who needs enemies ?
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moo
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:36 pm

Aesma wrote:
Erdogan is already pushing Turkey towards islamism all by himself. And Turkey had no problem buying oil from IS. With allies like that (add Saudi Arabia to the list), who needs enemies ?


What does any of that have to do with fighting a separatist militant force that has a publicly stated desire to steal land from you?
 
solarflyer22
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:56 am

This has nothing to do with the Kurds or IS directly. Your analysis ignores what Tillerson just said today. They want to "diminish Iranian influence" in Syria and topple Assad. They mythological land corridor between Iran and Hezbollah/Assad is what they want to cut off (doesn't really exist, Iran send arms by airplane). To do that, they have to somehow jam in a Kurdish breakaway region in between Iraq and Syria.

By doing this, the US is once AGAIN, serving the interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia whose foreign lobbies in DC control the US' middle east foreign policy totally. In their obsession to "contain" Iran, its "malign influence" and give the Golan Heights to Israel they will do just about anything.

This will be a disaster. It will be rump state the US has an open ended military commitment to protect and will directly place the US/Israel/Saudi Arabia into confrontation with Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and Turkey.

https://www.rferl.org/a/us-troops-stayi ... 82139.html
 
salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:30 am

Trump has reversed course; somebody must have explained some geopolitical realities to him.
U.S. Scales Back Plan to Create Syria Border Force After Turkey Objects to Kurdish Role
https://www.wsj.com/articles/syria-threatens-to-shoot-down-turkish-jets-amid-border-tensions-1516292026

BTW
solarflyer, you're spot on about this administration wanting to create a Kurd territory to prevent the Shiite's from controlling a continuous stretch of land from the Pakistan border to the MED. But that horse left the barn as soon as George Bush invaded Iraq. This is the age of a Shiite rise in power and importance (like it or not).
 
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:31 am

salttee wrote:
Trump has reversed course; somebody must have explained some geopolitical realities to him.
U.S. Scales Back Plan to Create Syria Border Force After Turkey Objects to Kurdish Role
https://www.wsj.com/articles/syria-threatens-to-shoot-down-turkish-jets-amid-border-tensions-1516292026

BTW
solarflyer, you're spot on about this administration wanting to create a Kurd territory to prevent the Shiite's from controlling a continuous stretch of land from the Pakistan border to the MED. But that horse left the barn as soon as George Bush invaded Iraq. This is the age of a Shiite rise in power and importance (like it or not).


Yes, I too read they are already backing down. And since when do Republicans believe in a open ended military commitment? Its like the forgot about Vietnam. I don't fear a rise in Shiite power. The terrorist are all Sunni coincidentally just like the US Government allies.
 
salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:23 am

solarflyer22 wrote:
since when do Republicans believe in a open ended military commitment? It's like the forgot about Vietnam.

For the last 70 years.

The Vietnam involvement began in in the (R) Eisenhower / Dulles era and really took off under LBJ who was a Dem, but a pre-"southern strategy" Dem. In the 64 elections it was the Republicans who wanted to double down in Vietnam. Johnson was the supposed peace candidate, but that was just a stance to pick up votes.

The political alignments in 1964, before Richard Nixon's "southern strategy", the most rabid anti-Communists and warhawks, were the southerners, at that time they were almost unanimously members of the Democratic party. Johnson was a southerner and a Texan to boot. In the political world of today, Johnson would be a Republican.

Post WW2, the people we now know as Republicans have been the drivers behind wars in every case except for the Kosovo intervention, which was a humanitarian action conducted by the opposition party.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:49 pm

moo wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Erdogan is already pushing Turkey towards islamism all by himself. And Turkey had no problem buying oil from IS. With allies like that (add Saudi Arabia to the list), who needs enemies ?


What does any of that have to do with fighting a separatist militant force that has a publicly stated desire to steal land from you?


Erdogan fighting the PKK in Turkey is one thing (I have opinions about that too), Erdogan fighting the YPG in Syria is another thing. We're allies with Turkey, not with the Syrian government. IS is our sworn enemy, and our supposed ally deals with our enemy, you don't have a problem with that ? YPG meanwhile has been very effective against IS, and Turkey wants to wipe them out.
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Route66
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:26 pm

The Kurds are every bit as deserving of a homeland as the Palestinians.

It is the Europeans who should be most worried about Turkey embracing Putin, the importance of the entire region to the US is lessened now that there are alternatives to Middle East oil. The US has little to fear from Russia.
 
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:58 pm

Route66 wrote:
The Kurds are every bit as deserving of a homeland as the Palestinians.
That's an odd comparison to make, as the two cases are so much different, especially from the American POV. The history is quite different in each case, again especially from the American POV.

In the case of the Kurds, there exists a region that was created to be unstable from its beginnings, shortly after WW1. The United States had no part in the drawing up of the national boundaries and the United States bares no responsibility for, and has no obligation to fix, anything that is broken. In order to "fix" the problem the Kurds face, four nations (Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran) will all have to cede parts of their nations to a new Kurdish state. This is an impossibility in anything close to the current state of affairs, so any solution which will create a Kurdish nation will have to be made by brute force. While it might be possible to play the countries off against each other temporarily, in the end, all four nations would have to be cowed with military force. Any partial solution would be unsustainable because the PKK really is the YPG and visa versa. However, as unfortunate as the current circumstance is, the Kurds have nowhere been driven from their homes en mass or been subjected to brutal repression merely for existing, as have the Palestinians. Furthermore, the Kurd situation is stable, there is no significant attempt in place, or planned, by any of the four concerned nations to drive them off land they currently occupy.

In the case of the Palestinians, a group of Europeans with no connection to the land, infiltrated the area then overthrew and displaced the original occupants with American material support and approval. For the last 50 years it has been American arms and the American military which has supported the ongoing land theft; and repression of the native people. Another difference between the Palestinians and the Kurds is that in Palestine, the displacement of the original inhabitants is ongoing.

Route66 wrote:
It is the Europeans who should be most worried about Turkey embracing Putin, the importance of the entire region to the US is lessened now that there are alternatives to Middle East oil. The US has little to fear from Russia.
So you are another American right winger who wants to abandon NATO?
 
Route66
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:34 am

salttee wrote:
In the case of the Kurds, there exists a region that was created to be unstable from its beginnings, shortly after WW1. The United States had no part in the drawing up of the national boundaries and the United States bares no responsibility for, and has no obligation to fix, anything that is broken.


Correct, much the same as Palestinians. Interestingly, here we are again dealing with a colonial European screwup.

salttee wrote:
However, as unfortunate as the current circumstance is, the Kurds have nowhere been driven from their homes en mass or been subjected to brutal repression merely for existing, as have the Palestinians. Furthermore, the Kurd situation is stable, there is no significant attempt in place, or planned, by any of the four concerned nations to drive them off land they currently occupy.


I think you have an incredibly selective memory. Or a desire to rewrite history..

...Jakob Künzler, head of a missionary hospital in Urfa, has documented the large scale ethnic cleansing of both Armenians and Kurds by the Young Turks.[100] He has given a detailed account of the deportation of Kurds from Erzurum and Bitlis in the winter of 1916. The Kurds were perceived to be subversive elements that would take the Russian side in the war. In order to eliminate this threat, Young Turks embarked on a large scale deportation of Kurds from the regions of Djabachdjur, Palu, Musch, Erzurum and Bitlis. Around 300,000 Kurds were forced to move southwards to Urfa and then westwards to Aintab and Marasch. In the summer of 1917, Kurds were moved to Konya in central Anatolia. Through these measures, the Young Turk leaders aimed at weakening the political influence of the Kurds by deporting them from their ancestral lands and by dispersing them in small pockets of exiled communities. By the end of World War I, up to 700,000 Kurds had been forcibly deported and almost half of the displaced perished.[101

....Turkish State actions have included forced inscription, forced evacuation, destruction of villages, severe harassment, illegal arrests and executions of Kurdish civilians.[138][139][140][141]

Since the 1970s, the European Court of Human Rights has condemned Turkey for the thousands of human rights abuses.[138][142] The judgments are related to executions of Kurdish civilians,[139] torturing,[143] forced displacements[144] systematic destruction of villages,[145] arbitrary arrests[146] murdered and disappeared Kurdish journalists.[147].]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurds


salttee wrote:
So you are another American right winger who wants to abandon NATO?


Anet, where words appear out of thin air. I haven't seen that written here, or much of anywhere else. It is time though that Europe stood up and owned these messes created by their historical colonialism and ignorant map making. Instead, the US is expected to fix it and when it falls on its face, who is leading the criticism - the very people who created it all.
 
salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:46 am

Route66 wrote:
...Jakob Künzler, head of a missionary hospital in Urfa, has documented the large scale ethnic cleansing of both Armenians and Kurds by the Young Turks.[100] He has given a detailed account of the deportation of Kurds from Erzurum and Bitlis in the winter of 1916. The Kurds were perceived to be subversive elements that would take the Russian side in the war. In order to eliminate this threat, Young Turks embarked on a large scale deportation of Kurds from the regions of Djabachdjur, Palu, Musch, Erzurum and Bitlis. Around 300,000 Kurds were forced to move southwards to Urfa and then westwards to Aintab and Marasch. In the summer of 1917, Kurds were moved to Konya in central Anatolia. Through these measures, the Young Turk leaders aimed at weakening the political influence of the Kurds by deporting them from their ancestral lands and by dispersing them in small pockets of exiled communities. By the end of World War I, up to 700,000 Kurds had been forcibly deported and almost half of the displaced perished.[101

....Turkish State actions have included forced inscription, forced evacuation, destruction of villages, severe harassment, illegal arrests and executions of Kurdish civilians.[138][139][140][141]

Since the 1970s, the European Court of Human Rights has condemned Turkey for the thousands of human rights abuses.[138][142] The judgments are related to executions of Kurdish civilians,[139] torturing,[143] forced displacements[144] systematic destruction of villages,[145] arbitrary arrests[146] murdered and disappeared Kurdish journalists.[147].]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurds

You're talking about events of 90 years ago.

salttee wrote:
So you are another American right winger who wants to abandon NATO?

Route66 wrote:
Anet, where words appear out of thin air. I haven't seen that written here, or much of anywhere else. It is time though that Europe stood up and owned these messes created by their historical colonialism and ignorant map making. Instead, the US is expected to fix it and when it falls on its face, who is leading the criticism - the very people who created it all.

So you are another American right winger who wants to abandon NATO?
 
LMP737
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:11 am

Route66 wrote:

Anet, where words appear out of thin air. I haven't seen that written here, or much of anywhere else. It is time though that Europe stood up and owned these messes created by their historical colonialism and ignorant map making. Instead, the US is expected to fix it and when it falls on its face, who is leading the criticism - the very people who created it all.


You are incredibly naive if you think the USA does not have a hand in this mess. No 2003 invasion of Iraq, no ISIS. No CIA sponsored 1953 coup in Iraq, no 1979 hostage crisis. The list goes on but I think you get my point.
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c933103
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:09 am

So,
Whether the US support Turkey or Kurds in this conflict?
And whether Russia support Turkey or Kurds in this conflict?
 
salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:01 am

The Kurds are chopped liver, I've been pointing this out since 2003.
I don't have anything against the Kurds; I'm just pointing out the reality of the situation.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:56 pm

Well, now they are in there and Turkey is prepared to take its fight against Kurdish forces in northern Syria as far east as Iraq, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. Expect a serious down turn in tourism, just one suicide bomber in a Turkish resort in the next few months will kill the summer trade.
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tommy1808
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:00 pm

Route66 wrote:
It is time though that Europe stood up and owned these messes created by their historical colonialism and ignorant map making. Instead, the US is expected to fix it and when it falls on its face, who is leading the criticism - the very people who created it all.


Like the complete one sided support for one nation only, regardless of what it does, doesn't have anything to do with the on-going mess...

We screwed it up, alright... but you are one of the bigger obstacles in the way of fixing it.

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salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:32 pm

Whether you like the Huffington Post or not, the message from them is accurate.

Years Of U.S. Government Lies Could Soon Result In A Kurdish Massacre

"The Trump administration is doubling down on a lie the U.S. government has promoted since it first began cooperating with the Syrian Kurds against the Islamic State group in 2014: that the Kurds it is working with in Syria differ from those that are anathema to NATO ally Turkey.

American officials designed that fiction to enable the anti-ISIS strategy adopted under President Barack Obama and continued under President Donald Trump. Now it’s taking its most serious toll yet: Turkey is bombarding Afrin, a Kurdish enclave in northwest Syria, with airstrikes and artillery fire and the U.S. is refusing responsibility. Extending the Obama-era logic, team Trump maintains that Afrin is totally distinct from the Kurdish regions in Syria’s northeast that are home to American bases and thousands of U.S. troops.

Dozens of civilians have died in the campaign’s initial assault on smaller villages around the main city. Over a million more are at risk, as are Turkish civilians facing rockets in response. And Trump’s choice has boosted bitterness toward the U.S. among Washington’s most effective partners in Syria. In the weeks ahead, it could torpedo U.S.-brokered cooperation between Kurds and the country’s majority Arab community, tempting more Arabs to join radical groups like the powerful local al Qaeda affiliate or what’s left of ISIS; escalate an already dire humanitarian crisis; and cede more space in Syria to actors Trump is ostensibly committed to challenging ― Russia, Iran and the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. There’s little clear benefit to the U.S. in return."

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ye ... e33eb32b3a

So, we can either cut and run (my choice) or we can get bogged down in "nation building"; this time we would also have to create the nation.
 
CCGPV
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:08 pm

The USA should not do a *thing* (except strongly worded letters) to stop this from happening.

I'm over it.
Stay curious
 
WIederling
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:10 pm

"that the Kurds it is working with in Syria differ from those that are anathema to NATO ally Turkey."

so many tribes.
Looks like the Kurds like the Paschtun Afghans are natural warriors.
Tress pass on their territory and prepare to be toast.
With no external threat they instantly start to go into an inter clan warfare self destruct mode.

The various Kurdish minorities would be better served with guaranteed minoritiy representation in the
national states they exist in. The Syrian Kurds denied allegiance to Syria and dismissed
offers from the state of Syria to protect their region. Toast. Fireworks burnoff between Turkey and Kurds.
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zkojq
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:47 am

Turkey disgusts me. They deserve to have ISIS knocking at their front door for a thousand years. Ironic that they were so fundamental in the group's existence.

Europe and America disgust me too. They beg for the Kurds help in removing ISIS then, once that's done, they don't give a shit about Turkey slaughtering the Kurds.

readytotaxi wrote:
Expect a serious down turn in tourism, just one suicide bomber in a Turkish resort in the next few months will kill the summer trade.

Hopefully the coup and the bloody crackdown afterwards is enough to remind holidaymakers that Turkey is not a stable place to visit.


salttee wrote:
You're talking about events of 90 years ago.

Oh so that makes everything ok and completely justifies the US Government's refusal to acknowledge the first Holocaust.

Route66 wrote:
Correct, much the same as Palestinians. Interestingly, here we are again dealing with a colonial European screwup.


It was a British screw up. Please don't go trying to pin this on Continental Europe. The US also has a lot to answer for, given the actions of 2003.
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salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:27 pm

zkojq wrote:
Turkey disgusts me. They deserve to have ISIS knocking at their front door for a thousand years. Ironic that they were so fundamental in the group's existence.
Turkey was not involved in the re-birth of Islamic fundamentalism, but Turkey has been profoundly affected by that rebirth. Currently Turkey has an Islamist government and this is as a result of events that began and grew outside of Turkey's borders. Every time a westerner makes a statement such as yours, Turkey is driven further into the arms of the extremists.

zkojq wrote:
They beg for the Kurds help in removing ISIS then, once that's done, they don't give a shit about Turkey slaughtering the Kurds.
That's excessive, IMO the problem here is that too many care too much about the fate of the Kurds, while the real world opportunity to do anything about their plight is non-existent. In order to create a stable Kurdistan the US would have to place three quarters of a million troops somewhere (northern Iraq?) and militarily cow Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran simultaneously while building this Kurdish nation. Anything short of that simply would not work.

Yes, the US used the Kurds but then the Kurds also used the US. The Kurds knew their plight before the US invaded Iraq the first time, even while US policymakers were studying their maps trying to find this place called Kurdistan.

There are plenty of places to throw rocks if one wants to react to past events; none of that will serve any good purpose. We all need to forget the past, accept current realities and find the best way forward. Acting to turn Turkey into a pariah state will certainly not be in the interests of Europe or humanity. Such a course would only benefit Islamic extremists and the Putin regime. It would turn Greece into something akin to a DMZ.

zkojq wrote:
Hopefully the coup and the bloody crackdown afterwards is enough to remind holidaymakers that Turkey is not a stable place to visit.
As one kind of visitor leaves, a different kind takes their place.


salttee wrote:
You're talking about events of 90 years ago.

zkojq wrote:
Oh so that makes everything ok and completely justifies the US Government's refusal to acknowledge the first Holocaust.

I had written:
However, as unfortunate as the current circumstance is, the Kurds have nowhere been driven from their homes en mass or been subjected to brutal repression merely for existing, as have the Palestinians. Furthermore, the Kurd situation is stable, there is no significant attempt in place, or planned, by any of the four concerned nations to drive them off land they currently occupy.


To which Route66 had responded with an appeal to live in the past.

Forget the past, try to understand the present and pick the best way forward!
 
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Aesma
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:25 pm

Erdogan is in power since 2003. He's an islamist and has never claimed otherwise. His turn to more islamism has nothing to do with the west. He figures it's the way to become a sultan.
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Aesma
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:56 pm

The main problem I see with the situation (aside from the humanist point of view I mean) is that Kurds are Muslims. They're the kind of Muslims we dream about, who are less conservative than many US Christians. Female units in the military anyone ?

So if we let them be crushed by more fundamentalist Muslims, and worse stay allied with the later (including Saudi Arabia), we will lose an argument for Islam's reform.
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salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:50 pm

Aesma wrote:
He figures it's the way to become a sultan.
I'll assume that your goal here is to spread enough hate to drive Turkey out of NATO and into the arms of the Salafists.

Aesma wrote:
So if we let them be crushed by more fundamentalist Muslims, and worse stay allied with the later (including Saudi Arabia), we will lose an argument for Islam's reform.
Within the Islamic community, western intellectual arguments for Islam's reform (read: watering down), carries about as much weight as cow farts in Nebraska.

Aesma wrote:
The main problem I see with the situation (aside from the humanist point of view I mean) is that Kurds are Muslims. They're the kind of Muslims we dream about, who are less conservative than many US Christians. Female units in the military anyone ?
So why don't you take your French army over there and straighten things out? After all, the French had their noses in as deep as the British when it came to divvying up the Ottoman Empire.

Why weren't you looking out for the Kurd's interests back then?
 
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Aesma
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:37 pm

Well my grandparents where children back then, living in what are now 4 countries : one grandmother in France, one grandmother in Tunisia (French protectorate, Italian quarter), one grandfather in Italy, one grandfather in Viet-Nam (French Indochina).

As you can see I'm quite aware of the colonial past of my country. At the same time I have nothing to do with it, as anyone alive today.

The French military is actually fighting in Iraq officially, probably Syria too less officially, should it intervene in the region we're talking about, it's difficult to say. I'm not arguing for an intervention, but yes I'm arguing for sanctions on Turkey. We don't need an ally that makes matters worse for us.
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salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:50 pm

Aesma wrote:
We don't need an ally that makes matters worse for us.

Have you given any thought to a future where this less than perfect ally actually became an enemy of Europe?
 
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zkojq
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:12 pm

salttee wrote:
zkojq wrote:
Turkey disgusts me. They deserve to have ISIS knocking at their front door for a thousand years. Ironic that they were so fundamental in the group's existence.
Turkey was not involved in the re-birth of Islamic fundamentalism, but Turkey has been profoundly affected by that rebirth.


Sorry but Turkey proactively maintained a porous border so that islamic radicals could pass through them and join IS (and hopefully keep the Peshmerga/YPG under control).

salttee wrote:
zkojq wrote:
They beg for the Kurds help in removing ISIS then, once that's done, they don't give a shit about Turkey slaughtering the Kurds.

That's excessive, IMO the problem here is that too many care too much about the fate of the Kurds, while the real world opportunity to do anything about their plight is non-existent. In order to create a stable Kurdistan the US would have to place three quarters of a million troops somewhere (northern Iraq?) and militarily cow Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran simultaneously while building this Kurdish nation. Anything short of that simply would not work.


I disagree. So far the Kurds have proven to be a much more effective fighting force than the SAA/IraqiArmy/IS/SDF/FSA. Currently the Kurds control 35-40% of Syria and a significant portion of Iraq too. They're here to stay. The Syrian government is in no position to stop their moves towards independence and the Iraqi one isn't really either. Unless Turkey launches a full scale invasion of Northern Syria (which they could do, but not without significant risk), they're not going to be dislodged anytime soon. Turkey will have to learn to live with them.


zkojq wrote:
Yes, the US used the Kurds but then the Kurds also used the US. The Kurds knew their plight before the US invaded Iraq the first time, even while US policymakers were studying their maps trying to find this place called Kurdistan.


I remember vividly how Bush used Saddam's treatment of the Kurds as evidence of his brutal behaviour and justification to march on in to search for some WMDs.


salttee wrote:
Acting to turn Turkey into a pariah state will certainly not be in the interests of Europe or humanity.

Turkey already is a Pariah State. The EU (and NATO partners) need to treat them as such in punishment for their moves towards an authoritarian Islamist state and their crushing of democracy, murder of journalists and crackdown on other freedoms in their (successful) pursuit of cementing Erdogan's power.

One thing I do like about Erdogan (the only thing, actually, I guess) is that he's made certain that Turkey will never be an EU member.


salttee wrote:
However, as unfortunate as the current circumstance is, the Kurds have nowhere been driven from their homes en mass or been subjected to brutal repression merely for existing, as have the Palestinians. Furthermore, the Kurd situation is stable, there is no significant attempt in place, or planned, by any of the four concerned nations to drive them off land they currently occupy.

Look I understand where you're coming from and whilst I agree that the Palestinians and the Kurds are very different situations, I disagree. Turkey's military (and I guess Russia's too) are the only local players who have the strength to dislodge the Kurds. Turkey knows this and they could very well invade Rojava to crush the Kurds independence moves. I honestly wouldn't put it past Erdogan to institute an invasion and subsequent colonisation of Rojava. Lets be honest; the international community would do all that much to stop him.

You have to remember also than until ~100 years ago, much of Far Eastern Turkey had an Armenian or Kurdish population. The Turks had no problem driving them out (through genocidal and other means), claiming the territory for themselves and colonising them since then.

Plenty of Kurds were displaced by IS. All of this only strengthens their resolve to become fully independent with secure borders and a standing army.

Aesma wrote:
The main problem I see with the situation (aside from the humanist point of view I mean) is that Kurds are Muslims. They're the kind of Muslims we dream about, who are less conservative than many US Christians. Female units in the military anyone ?

So if we let them be crushed by more fundamentalist Muslims, and worse stay allied with the later (including Saudi Arabia), we will lose an argument for Islam's reform.

I hadn't even thought of this.
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salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:12 pm

zkojq wrote:
Sorry but Turkey proactively maintained a porous border so that islamic radicals could pass through them and join IS (and hopefully keep the Peshmerga/YPG under control).
What does that have to do with the re-birth of Islamic fundamentalism? Modern Islamic fundamentalism can be traced from the teachings of Sayyid Qutb, to Nassar's Egypt hence the Islamic brotherhood, to the Saudi Madrasses and on to AQ, the Taliban, ISIS and a dozen other peripheral offshoots of which Erdoğan barely qualifies. Erdoğan would probably be stoned for apostasy in some of the Saudi madrasses.
zkojq wrote:
the Kurds have proven to be a much more effective fighting force than the SAA/IraqiArmy/IS/SDF/FSA.
That's mostly because their main function has been to act as artillery spotters for the USAF, or in the case of Al Raqqa, for a US Marine artillery battalion with unlimited ammunition and a whole city for a free fire zone.
zkojq wrote:
Currently the Kurds control 35-40% of Syria and a significant portion of Iraq too.
In both cases they merely stepped into the vacuum created when government forces vacated the area because of revolution / war.
zkojq wrote:
They're here to stay.
As descendants of the Median Empire, I would also expect them to remain in their homeland.
zkojq wrote:
The Syrian government is in no position to stop their moves towards independence and the Iraqi one isn't really either. Unless Turkey launches a full scale invasion of Northern Syria (which they could do, but not without significant risk), they're not going to be dislodged anytime soon. Turkey will have to learn to live with them.
Well if that's the case we can all step back and watch the show and there is no need for us (the west) to get involved.
zkojq wrote:
I remember vividly how Bush used Saddam's treatment of the Kurds as evidence of his brutal behaviour and justification to march on in to search for some WMDs.
How true. And look at how that's turning out. BTW I was opposed to Buschco and the Iraq war then and now.
zkojq wrote:
Turkey already is a Pariah State. The EU (and NATO partners) need to treat them as such in punishment for their moves towards an authoritarian Islamist state and their crushing of democracy, murder of journalists and crackdown on other freedoms in their (successful) pursuit of cementing Erdogan's power.
First off, one does not "punish" a nation state; that's the lesson of the First World war. Turkey may be a Pariah State in your mind, but to me Erdoğan's Turkey is a country seeking internal security with no expansionist plans and no ideology to export. And Turkey is not a trivial country, they occupy the entirety of Anatolia and the mouth of the Bosporus and they have a strong society with a strong army. Politically and militarially, they can swing either of three ways and find alliances: towards the Islamic awakening, towards Russia or towards the west. We're best off the way we are now.
zkojq wrote:
One thing I do like about Erdogan (the only thing, actually, I guess) is that he's made certain that Turkey will never be an EU member.
Nope, it was the Europeans who did that, Erdoğan merely acknowledged realpolitik.
 
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mad99
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:20 pm

Turkey has lost 10 men so far, 5 from a TOW hit by the YPG/PKK. Latest news is Turkey is planning on building a military base in the area. Sounds like they plan on staying a while
 
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par13del
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:43 pm

moo wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Erdogan is already pushing Turkey towards islamism all by himself. And Turkey had no problem buying oil from IS. With allies like that (add Saudi Arabia to the list), who needs enemies ?


What does any of that have to do with fighting a separatist militant force that has a publicly stated desire to steal land from you?

I thought the Kurds were a minority of Turkish citizens who are fighting for equality and presently believe that the onl way they can accomplish such goal is by having self determination in regions of Turkey where they are the dominant population, or am I overlooking the big picture?
 
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par13del
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:02 pm

The military end game for Turkey is what, destroy the Kurds fighting ability in Syria to avoid a conflict on their home turf?
1. The western forces - whoever - will have to starve the Kurds of military supplies to allow their defeat, if that is done Turkey may win the military conflict in Syria but I suspect the Kurds will then return the battle to the domestic front, I do not expect them to allow all the fighting ability to be lost in Syria.
2. If the Kurds have stockpiled sufficient equipment expect other Kurdish factions in Syria and even Iraq to attempt to join the battle, Turkey will then try to pressure Syrian and Iraq factions to join the fight, if there were or still are tensions between the Kurds and nationalist in Syria and Iraq the Kurds will then be fighting a battle on two fronts, allies against ISIS will become their enemy. I can see Iraq looking to benefit from this as the Kurds have been the most effective fighting force and it does appear as if the Kurds are being used as a catalyst to unite warring Shia and Sunni factions in the name of a combined Iraq, however, once the Kurds are gone I expect them to go back to war against each other.
3. If neither of the above happen, Turkey will not be defeated militarily but it will become their version of a war of attrition, a long stay of forces in Syria and Iraq and domestic incidents which will wear on the civilian population.

Turkey is emboldened so they are throwing their weight around, unfortunately for the Kurds, those who relied on them to help eliminate the ISIS threat and restore Iraq (major) and assist Syria (secondary) will not repay them by providing aid and or comfort in the conflict with Turkey, sad but I think that will be the result.
 
Route66
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:03 pm

salttee wrote:
I had written:
However, as unfortunate as the current circumstance is, the Kurds have nowhere been driven from their homes en mass or been subjected to brutal repression merely for existing, as have the Palestinians. Furthermore, the Kurd situation is stable, there is no significant attempt in place, or planned, by any of the four concerned nations to drive them off land they currently occupy.


To which Route66 had responded with an appeal to live in the past.

Forget the past, try to understand the present and pick the best way forward!



That is rich. First you completely misstate both history and current events, then when given a lesson, say history doesn't matter.

He who forgets history is destined to repeat it.

I will reiterate, the Kurds are every bit deserving of a homeland as the Palestinians.
 
WIederling
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:26 pm

par13del wrote:
moo wrote:
Aesma wrote:
Erdogan is already pushing Turkey towards islamism all by himself. And Turkey had no problem buying oil from IS. With allies like that (add Saudi Arabia to the list), who needs enemies ?


What does any of that have to do with fighting a separatist militant force that has a publicly stated desire to steal land from you?

I thought the Kurds were a minority of Turkish citizens who are fighting for equality and presently believe that the onl way they can accomplish such goal is by having self determination in regions of Turkey where they are the dominant population, or am I overlooking the big picture?


Kurds subdivided into various clans and dialect groups are distributed over a range of touching nations. Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, ...
not the perfect map but ...
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... ap.svg.png
one problem similar to Afghanistan is they go united against a common foe but turn to inner low intensity conflict the moment
that recognized foe has been driven away.
A Kurdish nation will have massive issues.
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:30 pm

salttee wrote:
zkojq wrote:
One thing I do like about Erdogan (the only thing, actually, I guess) is that he's made certain that Turkey will never be an EU member.
Nope, it was the Europeans who did that, Erdoğan merely acknowledged realpolitik.


Yeah, EU ( mostly German ?) conservatives used the poison "Leitkultur" to kill Turkey's expectations.
Pushing Turkey out of the EU group in view of them really trying to fit * boyed Erdogan and his Islamist leaning party
and later let Erdogan look out for a new set of friendly peers: SA, .... the rest follows from doing what the Joneses ( here the Wahabite Saudis ) do.
Murphy is an optimist
 
salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:41 pm

Route66 wrote:
That is rich. First you completely misstate both history and current events, then when given a lesson, say history doesn't matter.

He who forgets history is destined to repeat it.

I will reiterate, the Kurds are every bit deserving of a homeland as the Palestinians.

Your first two sentences are meaningless without explanation or facts.
Your third sentence is a cliche, and your last sentence is your personal opinion on a subject you know little about.

In any event "deserving" is a quaint, yet irrelevant, concept in the field of international politics. It has no meaning.
 
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par13del
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:58 pm

WIederling wrote:
Kurds subdivided into various clans and dialect groups are distributed over a range of touching nations. Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, ...
not the perfect map but ...
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... ap.svg.png
one problem similar to Afghanistan is they go united against a common foe but turn to inner low intensity conflict the moment
that recognized foe has been driven away.
A Kurdish nation will have massive issues.

So how is that different from the current ME, we have Iraq which was kept together by a vicious dictator, or do we believe that all the killings in Iraq then and now was done by US troops, how about Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya - was that only the EU nations doing - how about the old Yugoslavia, head over to the Brexit thread to hear talk of troubles if there is a hard border in Ireland.
Such ethnic conflicts have existed for centuries, personally, if the world accepts the current countries in the ME I see no reason why a Kurdish nation would be any different.
 
salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:17 pm

WIederling wrote:
A Kurdish nation will have massive issues.
That's an understatement, with no standout natural resources, no seaport, no infrastructure, low educational education level and their last successful attempt at self government being 2,500 years ago, they will be doomed to be the poverty capital of the ME.

par13del wrote:
if the world accepts the current countries in the ME I see no reason why a Kurdish nation would be any different.
Fine, let's accept Kurdistan, as soon as the Kurds make it happen on their own. But let's not get involved in creating a smouldering fire that will go on for centuries without end. Or if there is to be a smouldering fire that goes on for centuries, let's not get ourselves involved in it.
 
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par13del
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:07 pm

Fortunately or unfortunately, those who used the Kurds to fight ISIS made them a more capable, battle hardened military force which the Turks and even the Sunni's and Shia's in Iraq will have to deal with.
If they are abandoned to be slaughtered by the Turks that will say something about all involved, they were gassed before in Iraq, so they have suffered before and are still here, so.......maybe military action is not the be all to end all.
 
WIederling
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:54 am

par13del wrote:
Fortunately or unfortunately, those who used the Kurds to fight ISIS made them a more capable, battle hardened military force which the Turks and even the Sunni's and Shia's in Iraq will have to deal with.
If they are abandoned to be slaughtered by the Turks that will say something about all involved, they were gassed before in Iraq, so they have suffered before and are still here, so.......maybe military action is not the be all to end all.


Kurds appear bound by ethnicity and less so by religion. They follow a potpourri of everything and its derivatives available in the region.
( And Syria seemed to be the most accomodating society in the region. the al Assad family ( being Alavite ) seem to have been able
over a prolonged time to bind a diverse nation together. Broken up by feeding money to some malcontent strongly islamic factions.
Murphy is an optimist
 
salttee
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:06 am

WIederling wrote:
Kurds appear bound by ethnicity and less so by religion.


More so tribal.
Image

Also:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish_tribes
 
WIederling
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:20 am

salttee wrote:
More so tribal.


acting on cross tribal common grounds under duress. Kurds.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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mad99
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:11 am

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/che ... bc24f6fb97

Now we have USA/YPG/PKK being attacked by SAA (0 dead) with the USA bombing SAA killing 100

Also, rumours that Turkey is recruiting isis fighters
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Turkey prepares to "suffocate" Syrian Kurdistan

Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:01 pm

Relations between Turkey and the USA are strained to say the least, could this course of action jepodise the Incirlik Air Base in the country ?
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