Week in Review October 22, 2017 – AL MONITOR – Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved quickly to adapt to the Iraqi federal government’s retaking of Kirkuk and disputed territories through the use of Iraqi forces, all the while seeking to limit any fallout with Iran in Iraq and Syria.
Putin had been banking on the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to expand Russia’s regional influence and energy assets. Rosneft, the Russian energy company, had made a roughly $4 billion investment in the region’s energy sector. What Putin did not bank on was that Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani, despite warnings from all quarters, would proceed with a disastrous independence referendum that led to the Iraqi central government reclaiming Kirkuk and disputed territories in what Cengiz Candar has labeled the worst setback for Iraqi Kurds since 1975, when the Kurdistan Democratic Party lost the support of Iran and was crushed by Saddam Hussein’s forces.
Ali KhederyVerified account @alikhedery – Ali Khedery Retweeted AFP news agency
23 Oct 2017 – Response from Tehran/Baghdad will be: what militias? The PMF/Hashd (Badr, Kataib Hezbollah, AAH, etc) are part of the Iraqi Government now.
AFP news agencyVerified account @AFP #BREAKING Tillerson demands Iranian militias leave Iraq – More via www.mesop.de
23 Oct 2017 – In Syria, U.S.-backed militia fighters seized the country’s largest oil field from the Islamic State, narrowly beating pro-government forces to it. Our graphics editors traced the militant group’s advance, and subsequent retreat, in maps.
But speaking in Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Europeans not to invest in certain Iranian businesses as the United States considers reimposing sanctions against Iran. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/22/world/middleeast/tillerson-iran-europe.html?emc=edit_mbe_20171023&nl=morning-briefing-europe&nlid=73143833&te=1
MESOP NEWS : JASH ! OR THE PUK ! PUK orders all their followers not to be involved in any democfratic demonstration or Protest against Iran & Baghdad.
Sunday, October 22, 2017 – ISW Intelligence Summary: October 13-20, 2017
Key takeaway: The US-led campaign against ISIS achieved a major victory in Raqqa, but post-ISIS conflict in northern Syria remains likely due to the dominant role of the Syrian Kurdish YPG in the Raqqa operation and its commitment to shaping post-ISIS governance in accordance with the vision of PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan. Russia, Iran, and the Syrian regime are meanwhile preparing to cut a deal with the YPG for the future governance of northeastern Syria, which could oust the U.S. Turkey is exploiting US calls for action in Idlib to establish military positions in the province that posture Turkey for future confrontation against the YPG to the north. Turkey is not meaningfully constraining al Qaeda. In Iraq, the Kurdish retreat across Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries could destabilize northern Iraq rather than unify the country if Kurdish civilians now under the control of Iraqi forces and Iran’s proxies turn to violence. Early indications of civil unrest have already emerged. The Kurdish retreat is nonetheless a political win for Prime Minister Abadi and a military win for Iran, whose proxies are now consolidating control over formerly contested cities and advancing further into northern Iraq.
Two years after the Kurds fought against the Islamic State, America turned its back as they sought independence
By Bernard-Henri Lévy – TABLET MAGAZINE – October 21, 2017 What has just transpired in Iraqi Kurdistan is heartbreaking. Here is a people who, for decades, have been fighting every form of tyranny that the terrible 20th century spawned in that part of the world. Here is a small but great people who, in the very midst of the complex Middle East, embody an exceptional strain of enlightened Islam that is open to universal values, welcoming to minorities, and inclined toward secularity and democracy.
MESOP NEWS : DEALS ON SYRIA & KURDISTAN – Erdogan, Putin Discuss Turkish Deployment in Syria’s Idlib
Sunday, 22 October, 2017 – Ankara – Saeed Abdul Razek – Asharq al Awsat
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks on Friday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the latest developments in Syria and the upcoming Astana peace talks.
SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ)
Kurdish goals remain the same, but tactics must adapt: US ex-ambassador
By Namo Abdulla 22 Oct 2017 – RUDAW – It is not over, Kurdistan has not been served up to Iran, said Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as US ambassador to Iraq from 2005 to 2007. Speaking with Rudaw’s Namo Abdulla in Washington about the recent Iraq advance into the disputed areas, Khalilzad said now is the time for the Kurdish leadership to look at what happened, learn their lessons, and plan for the future. “The goal remains the same, but the strategy and the tactics need to adapt,” said Khalilzad. “And I believe that’s what the Kurds will do. I hope that’s what they will do.”
State Department: ‘Not aware’ of Iranian coordination with Iraq
by Joel Gehrke | 20 Oct 2017 – Wasihington Examiner – The State Department on Thursday cast doubt on reports that Iranian military forces have cooperated with Iraq in a brewing fight with a key U.S. partner in the country.”I’m not aware of any Iranian involvement in that, per se,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Thursday.