MESOPOTAMIA NEWS Iran coy on support for Turkish assault on PKK in Iraq – Erdogan calls on “friends” for waging attack on Qandil – 18 June 2018 – AL MONITOR

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is banking on Iran’s support for a Turkish offensive against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases in the Qandil Mountain range bordering Iran and Iraq, although questions remain about the scope of the operation and the extent of Iranian backing.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : Special joint edition of Iqtisadi and Turkeyscope – Turkey’s pre-election economic crisis

Editors: Paul Rivlin, Joel D. Parker, Hay E. C. Yanarocak and Ceng Sagnic
Iqtisadi: Vol. 8, No. 6, Turkeyscope Vol. 2 No. 7 – June 15, 2017 – Turkey’s pre-election economic crisis
Paul Rivlin
During April-May 2018, the Turkish lira fell by 24 percent against the dollar. On 23 May, after the lira fell to almost five to the dollar, the Central Bank of Turkey intervened with a sharp increase in one of its primary lending rates, from 13.5 percent to 16 percent. This helped stabilize the exchange rate (see Chart 1). This exchange rate crisis is not Turkey’s first: in 2001 there was a massive crisis and devaluation of 30 percent. The 2008 international financial crisis resulted in 15 percent further devaluation. While the economy was hit hard in 2008, it made a quick recovery.1
Since then, Turkey’s economic performance has been much less impressive. Progress increasingly diverged from the historical record of best-performing economies because the pace of reform that had been designed to move Turkey towards European Union membership flagged and economic decisions became increasingly politicized. Economic growth became more unbalanced, accompanied by increasing debt in both the private sector and the external sphere.
In 2016, when the failed coup took place there was another devaluation. The exchange rate of the Turkish lira fell by a third against the US dollar between March
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EU-Türkei-Abkommen – von Addendum  / Schlaglichter  – 17 Juni 2018

Verzerrte Realität oder voller Erfolg?

Es ist ein milder Februar in Europa, und da das Wetter bei Reiseplanungen so oft im Vordergrund steht, machen sich täglich tausende Flüchtlinge auf den Weg, die Ägäis zu überqueren, um auf einer der griechischen Inseln zu landen. Wir schreiben Anfang Februar 2016, die Westbalkanroute ist für den Flüchtlingsstrom geöffnet, die Reisebedingungen nach Mitteleuropa sind akzeptabel bis gut. Die Stimmung auf der anderen Seite der Route könnte jedoch besser sein.

Die Aufnahmebereitschaft gegenüber Flüchtlingen in Österreich und Deutschland ist an die Grenzen der Realität gestoßen, die Befürworter sind weniger und stiller geworden. Der Begriff „Willkommenskultur“ ist längst negativ besetzt. Die Silvesternacht in Köln, nur wenige Wochen zuvor, versetzte ihr den finalen Todesstoß. Aus Berlin hallt zwar noch der Ruf nach mehr Solidarität nach, unter dem Druck Österreichs wird dennoch rasant daran gearbeitet, die nationalen Grenzen an der Balkanroute dichtzumachen.

Die »Lösung der Flüchtlingskrise«

Im Hintergrund arbeiten europäische Spitzenpolitiker und ihre türkischen Kollegen mit Hochdruck an einer gesamteuropäischen Lösung, die jedoch immer wieder an strittigen Punkten scheitert – sei es die Höhe der Zahlungen, die Visafreiheit für türkische Staatsbürger oder die Terrorgesetze. Als die österreichische Politik einen unerwartet achtbaren Erfolg einfährt, schließen Ungarn, Mazedonien, Serbien, Kroatien und Slowenien ohne Vorwarnung die Balkanroute.

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Kyle Orton‏Verified account @KyleWOrton 43 minutes ago

17 June 2018 – The Soviet Union (and to a degree post-Bolshevik #Russia) used the #PKK—often “deniably” through Asad’s #Syria, though not always—to destabilise #Turkey, a frontline state in defending the West during the Cold War. Turkey in effect used Chechen insurgents to repay Moscow. #PRT


 SDF liberate the town of Dashishah and reach 3 km from the Iraqi border

17 June 2018 – As a part of the second phase of the campaign to liberate Deir al-Zour, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Sunday liberated the town of Dashishah from a terrorist organization (ISIS).According to our correspondents on the front lines, the Syrian Democratic Forces fighters entered the town of Naserah (2 km east of Dashishah) and were within 3 km of the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Media Center of the Syrian Democratic Forces –

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS Interview: “Endziel der türkischen Offensive im Nordirak ist endgültige Zerschlagung von PKK”

RUSSIA TODAY – 17.06.2018 • 15:10 Uhr  – Der türkische Militärwissenschaftler Furkan Halit Yolcu hat mit RT Deutsch über die neue türkische Militäroperation im Nordirak, die Rolle der USA sowie des Iran und Operationen in Syrien gesprochen. Ziel der Türkei sei die komplette Zerschlagung der PKK.

von Ali Özkök – Furkan Halit Yolcu ist Militärwissenschaftler und Sicherheitsanalyst am Nahost-Institut der Universität Sakarya in der Westtürkei. Er hat sich auf die türkische Einflussprojektion in Syrien und Irak fokussiert.

Was ist das große strategische Ziel der Türkei, das militärisch in das nordirakische Kandil-Gebirge vorrückt, während die syrische Kurdenmiliz YPG hauptsächlich in der Lage bleibt, auch ohne Manbidsch zu überleben?

Das Endziel der türkischen Intervention im Nordirak ist die endgültige Zerschlagung der terroristischen Bedrohungen. Diese Frage ist in der türkischen Politik hochgradig abgesichert. Es kommt auch einem großen Erfolg für die Regierung gleich, überhaupt militärische Operationen im Kandil-Gebirge durchführen zu können. Und ja, vielleicht können YPG/PKK ohne Manbidsch überleben, aber sie werden ohne eine funktionierende Körperschaft leben müssen.

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Israel ties IDF’s hands as Hamas kites burn fields and Iran uses World Cup to repair its Syrian bases

An impressive graph depicting the decline of Palestinian terrorist operations in the past three years and a map showing the Iranian military array in Syria illustrated the address delivered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the Homeland Security Forum last week. Initiated by Internal Security Minister Gilead Erdan, the forum was attended by his counterparts from 20 countries, including US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Israel owes much of its success, Netanyahu explained, to advanced radar systems capable of precisely “reading” the target’s intentions and providing early warning of attacks in the making. One such tool, FOPEN (made by ELTA Systems) operates an L-band wavelength to detect targets through tens of meters of dense jungle, shrub or forest foliage, from a distance of several kilometers. FOPEN exposes secret Palestinian terrorist training drills or preparations for attack in remote areas covered with dense vegetation. This system was also found to be effective on the northern fronts for tracking Hizballah units using uses dense vegetation on the Syrian and Lebanese borders to conceal their stealthy approach to Israeli security barriers.

What the prime minister neglected to mention was the violent onslaughts Hamas has staged for the past three months on the Gaza-Israel border fence, or the hundreds of rockets and mortars fired against Israeli civilian targets on June 3. And, most strikingly he omitted to refer to the Palestinian terror-by-arson, a Hamas campaign in which thousands of dunams of Israeli field crops, farmland, natural vegetation and nature preserves are being laid to waste by burning kites and incendiary balloons. For this low-tech campaign of wanton destruction, the Palestinian terrorists have no need of advanced radar or weapons systems. Already cheap to manufacture, their makers have plenty of helium on hand for the balloons, because it is supplied by Israel to Gaza for medical purposes. After inflating them, an explosive device is attached to make a toy balloon to make it an efficient weapon.
For two-and-a-half months of these attacks, the IDF was under orders not to shoot the kite and balloon supplies or makers or hit the vehicles delivering them to the “protesters” rampaging on the Israeli border fence. After a consultation with legal authorities, on Saturday, June 16, an IDF aircraft finally struck one of the trucks delivering the kites to the Gaza front.  According to the military spokesman, the truck was empty, while another aircraft attacked “near” one of the teams assembling the flaming kites for tossing into Israel. These statements confirmed that the IDF is still handling the terror-by-arson campaign with kid gloves, while despairing Israel farmers and local inhabitants watch their livelihood and landscape go up in flames and dozens of exhausted fire fighters scurry back and forth to salvage islands of green and keep residential areas safe.

A strange silence has meanwhile descended on Israel’s northern front after systematic IDF strikes over several weeks demolished Iranian military bases in Syria. It doesn’t take a strategic genius to understand what has caused the pause. The prime minister and chief of staff Gen. Gady Eisenkott appear to have decided to hold their fire during the World Cup soccer finals taking place in Russia. According to some sources, Putin extracted a concession from Netanyahu during their phone call last Friday, June 15, not to start trouble in Syria until the games were over. After all, the Russian troops and officers posted there deserve a respite for watching the games in peace on television.

If this is what happened, Israel’s leaders are doubly at fault. This pause in Israel’s attacks in Syria afforded Iran time to repair the demolished military facilities and import new weapons to replace the damaged ones, without fear of Israel hindering their delivery. Putin was apparently not asked to make Iran reciprocate by stopping those deliveries or ordering its Palestinian pawns in the Gaza Strip to hold off on their attacks, in return for the halt in Israel’s military action on the two fronts.

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Kyle Orton‏Verified account @KyleWOrton 13m13 minutes ago  – Two civilians from Deir Ezzor, an engineer and a pharmacist, were tortured to death last week by the U.S.-led coalition’s anti-IS partner force in Syria, the #YPG/#PKK |

2 Syrians tortured to death by YPG – Late last month, residents in Hasakah had protested against the YPG/PKK terror group for forcibly arming the youth in the city.

Local | 2018-06-09 19:38:00 – 2 Syrians tortured to death by YPG – At least two Syrian civilians were tortured to death by the YPG militia organization in northeastern Hasakah province, local sources said on Saturday.

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Gazprom increases oil production in tough Garmian fields

By Rudaw 4 hours ago  16 June 2018 –  Workers at a Gazprom Neft facility in the Kurdistan Region. ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Despite great geological challenges at Kurdistan’s Garmian oil field, Gazprom Neft announced it has intensified efforts reaching more than 23,000 barrels of extraction per day.

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MESOP NEWS IRAQ : HOLY COMMUNISTS ALONE AT HOME – Communist Anger At Sadr-Amiri Alliance




Moqtada al-Sadr’s new alliance with Badr’s Hadi Amiri has upset Sadr’s partner the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP). The ICP was wearyof makingany deal with the Fatah list that Amiri heads. Publicly, the Communists issued a statementsaying they welcomed the new coalition. Behind the scenes however there were variousreports of deepdivisions, arguments, and insults being thrown around within the the party. The Communists see this latest move as a step backwards towards another sectarian Shiite alliance that would go on to form the new government. Sadr and the Communists campaigned together as Sairoon promoting reforming politics and ending the ethnosectarian quota system that divides up every new administration. Iranian pressure and status quo politics have seemingly won out over election promises.

The next question is what this means for Sairoon. The Communists were always a junior partner and only won 2 seats. There have been various tensions about what to do after the election with some ICP members wanting to go into opposition. The Party has to decide whether it will take that course and leave Sairoon or join the new government.


Goran, Baxtiyar, “Iraqi Communist Party: Sairoon, Fatih Coalition prevent country from serious risks,” Kurdistan 24, 6/14/18

Iraq News Network, “Civil current: sharp differences between the cadres of the Communist Party on the Sadr-Al-Amiri alliance,” 6/14/18

– “The Communist Party is considering withdrawing from Sairoon,” 6/14/18

Al Mada, “British analyst: the protest movement broke the barrier of sectarianism and partisan loyalty,” 6/2/18

Al Masalah, “Communist Party shows its position on the alliance of Sadr and Amiri,” 6/14/18

Robin, Benedict, “The Sadrist-Communist Alliance: Implications for Iraq’s Secular Politics,” The London School of Economics and Political Science, Middle East Centre Blog, 6/6/18



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