MESOPOTAMIA NEWS Idlib heats up, may be key to Russian-Turkish deal in Syria

Kirill Semenov January 16, 2019  – AL MONITOR –  Article Summary

As Idlib in western Syria falls to an extremist rebel faction, Moscow and Ankara consider their options there and in northern Syria. The sand continues to shift in Syria, as each of the many players there maneuvers for its most advantageous position.The terrorist-designated rebel alliance Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has managed to expand its control over virtually the entire Idlib de-escalation zone. After days of fierce fighting, HTS devastated the Nureddin Zengi Brigades (NZB), one of the largest factions of the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front (NLF). The other NLF forces there then signed a cease-fire agreement with HTS on Jan. 10 without any substantial resistance. Under the arrangement, the NLF handed over all the territories it controlled there to the so-called Syrian Salvation Government — the civil administration wing of HTS. Those moderate opposition groups then had to leave, evacuating to Afrin.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS : Intel: Manbij attack may strengthen Turkey’s hand against Syrian Kurds / THE FUTURE PKK/PYD-YPG

Al-Monitor Staff January 16, 2019 – The suicide attack that killed several US service members and civilians in Manbij today may strengthen Turkey’s hand against Syrian Kurdish groups that it sees as a threat. Ankara has been arguing the US-backed Kurds are unwilling or unable to maintain stability and security in the areas they control in Syria, and is eager to replace them with its own proxies.

Why it matters: The presence of groups affiliated with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Manbij had been a major point of contention between Washington and Ankara until Trump’s decision last month to pull out US troops. Now Ankara is widely seen as waiting for US forces to leave the area before it launches a military operation to take the city.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS COMMENTARY: What A Safe Zone in Syria Would Actually Look Like –



17 Jan 2019 – THE CIPHER BRIEF – A senior Kurdish official has dismissed the idea of creating a 20-mile wide safe zone in Syria presented by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, something that Erdogan says would require both logistical and financial support from the U.S. and other allies.   

The idea of creating the zone comes as the U.S. works out logistics of a troop withdrawal.  Meanwhile, ISIS claimed responsibility for a suicide blast in the Syrian city of Manbij that reportedly killed a number of U.S. troops.   

Cipher Brief Expert Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt (Ret.), who worked as the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs as well as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Affairs, lays out the real-time issues that would be created by a safe zone. 

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : IRANIAN Revolutionary Guards — We Stay in Syria !

Guards commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said Wednesday, “We will protect all of the military advisors as well as weapons and equipment that we have deployed to Syria in order to reinforce the Islamic resistance fighters and support the people of this Islamic country.”

Jafari dismissed Israel’s demands for the withdrawal of Iranian forces: “Rest assured that your ridiculous threat means nothing to us,” Jafari said of Netanyahu’s words. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel “won’t stop attacking” Iranian personnel unless they leave Syria.In a rare confirmation of Israel’s missile strikes on pro-Assad targets, including bases with Iranian commanders and Iranian-led foreign militia, Netanyahu acknowledged raids last Friday on a weapons warehouse at Damascus International Airport.

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Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) November 2018 (These daily reports are missing: 07., 21., 24.-26., 29.-30. November)

01 November 2018 Daily Human Rights Report (11/001) Operations and Attacks in Southeast… It is learned from the news coverage of October 30, 2018 that, 5 militants died in a clash between security forces and HPG militants in Qandil area in Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government on September 20, 2018. It is learned that 1 police officer got wounded in a clash between security forces and HPG militants in Beşiri district of Batman on October 31, 2018. (11/002) Torture and Ill-Treatment in Prison…


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Meldungen des DTF (Demokratisches Türkei-Forum) im November 2018 Die folgenden Nachrichten wurden im November 2018 vom DTF erfasst und teilweise gekürzt oder zusammenfassend übersetzt. 

Klage gegen die Regelung der Registrierung ArtiGercek, 31.10.2018  Gegen die Regelung der Auskunftspflicht für Vereine über ihre Mitglieder reicht die Anwaltskammer Diyarbakır Beschwerde ein. Es regt sich weiter öffentlicher Widerstand gegen die als ” Datensammelei” bekannte neue Regelung des Innenministeriums, die Vereine dazu verpflichtet, personenbezogene Daten wie Name und Anschrift, Geburtsdatum, Beruf und Ausbildungsstand sowie Eintrittsdatum aller Mitglieder weiter zu geben. Der Vorsitzende der Anwaltskammer Diyarbakır RA Cihan Aydın unterstreicht noch einmal, dass mit dieser Regelung des Innenministeriums und der damit einhergehenden Verpflichtung die Vereine gezwungen sein werden, die Mitgliedsnummer, Vor- und Zuname, Beruf, Ausbildungsstand und Datum des Eintritts und Austritts sowie der Kündigung der Mitglieder mitzuteilen.  „Das Recht auf Vereinigungsfreiheit wird verletzt“ RA Aydin weist daraufhin, dass diese Änderung im Widerspruch zu den Grundsätzen der Verarbeitung und Nutzung von personenbezogen Daten sowie den Schutz der Privatsphäre steht. “

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : KIDNAPPINGS DER PKK IN DEUTSCHLAND – Terrorismus Karlsruhe: Fünf Männer wegen Entführung von PKK-Aussteiger angeklagt


Von  NEX24 16 Jan 2019 – Rund neun Monate nach der Entführung eines ehemaligen Mitglieds der Terrororganisation PKK in Baden-Württemberg hat die Bundesanwaltschaft Anklage gegen fünf Verdächtige erhoben. Das berichtet die “Welt“.Demnach soll den 25- bis 47-Jährigen vor dem Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart der Prozess wegen Mitgliedschaft und Unterstützung einer ausländischen Terrororganisation, Freiheitsberaubung und anderer Delikte gemacht werden. Das habe die Anklagebehörde am Dienstag in Karlsruhe mitgeteilt.

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U.S. Strikes Killed Scores of Russia Fighters in Syria, Sources Say

By Stepan Kravchenko , Henry Meyer &  Margaret Talev  – 13. Februar 2018, BLOOMBERG

American, rebel forces repel attack by mercenaries in the east  – The 200-plus deaths dwarf official Russian toll in the war  – U.S. forces killed scores of Russian mercenaries in Syria last week in what may be the deadliest clash between citizens of the former foes since the Cold War, according to one U.S. official and three Russians familiar with the matter.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS SPECIAL : Russia’s New Tool for Wielding Information

By Mason Clark with Catherine Harris – 15 Januar 2019 – Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

Key Takeaway: The Kremlin took a significant step to enhance the military’s ability to control the information space within the Russian Armed Forces by establishing a Military-Political Directorate within the Russian Ministry of Defense. This Directorate could also support efforts to shape the information space abroad. The U.S. and NATO must recognize that Russia is serious about integrating information operations with both conventional and unconventional military operations down to the lowest levels of combat and adjust their preparations for potential conflict with Russia accordingly.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : The Ten Leading Challenges Facing the New IDF Chief of Staff ( A VEGAN PERSON)

Amos Yadlin, Itai Brun, Udi Dekel – INSS Insight No. 1130, January 15, 2019 – ISRAEL

On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi assumed his position as the 22nd IDF Chief of Staff. From political and security perspectives, his tenure begins in a stormy, unstable period, when the IDF’s strategic and operational environment continues to be marked by vast uncertainty. An analysis at INSS points to the ten principal challenges that the incoming Chief of Staff will have to confront almost immediately. These challenges reflect the unique nature of the period and the complexity of the role of the IDF Chief of Staff.

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