WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) – Maher al-Assad’s Manager Placed Under House Arrest

Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 by Al-Modon (Lebanese news website) Brigadier General Ghassan Bilal has been accused of major violations occurring in Damascus and its countryside reports Al-Modon.  Al-Modon has learned from its sources that since March, the manager of Maher al-Assad’s office, the chief of staff of the southern region, Brigadier General Ghassan Bilal, has been placed under house arrest, and has stopped carrying out his duties, along with a number of his aides and associates.

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by Jay Solomon PolicyWatch 3127 May 23, 2019

U.S. rivals are diversifying their support for the Maduro government in familiar fashion, whether to parry the United States, exploit the crisis for profit, or both. As Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro defies international pressure to resign, his allies in the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere are doubling down on their efforts to score another geopolitical victory against the United States. The crisis risks morphing into a redux of the Syria situation, in which President Bashar al-Assad worked with a similar coalition of countries and militias to withstand an array of U.S.-led economic sanctions and military operations.

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24 May 2019  Aliza Marcus‏ @AlizaMarcus 9h9 hours ago  – Aliza Marcus Retweeted Max Hoffman

That sounds about right altho I’m thinking it’s more about ending the hunger strikes and the timing is fortuitous with elections. Plus attempt to use Ocalan to break stalemate on Turkey’s Syria desires but Ocalan won’t/can’t play that game.

Aliza Marcus added,

Max Hoffman @MaxHoffmanDC

Replying to @Charles_Lister @NicholasDanfort @AlizaMarcus

I’m sure Aliza has better-informed thoughts, but my personal view is that it’s a (fairly brazen) ploy to peel conservative HDP voters away for the rerun election in Istanbul. I do not think it will work.


MESOP  COMMENTARY …… it might not work, because in Kandil mountains Cemil Bayik will watch his old dude APO carefully mistreating him.


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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS PROTOCOL : There would not be an independent Kurdish state in Syria: U.S. Envoy

23 May 2019 – MESOP NEWS – James Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy to the coalition against Islamic State

WASHINGTON,— The United States is reminding its Syrian Kurdish allies not to get overly ambitious while at the same time trying to allay concerns Washington will abandon them to Turkey or a possibly resurgent Islamic State terror group.

Kurdish fighters, under the umbrella of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, played a key role in the collapse of the IS caliphate in Syria and continue to help administer large swaths of territory liberated form the terror group.

But Ambassador James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement and the special envoy to the global coalition to defeat IS, said Wednesday that there would not be an independent Kurdish state in Syria.

“We don’t have a political future that we offer for them,” Jeffrey told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee when questioned about what comes next.

“The political future we offer for them is the political future we offer for everybody in Syria … a democratic, peaceful government,” Jeffrey added.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEW FOCUS – Assad: We Met With Hakan Fidan in Tehran and We Are Ready to Meet Erdogan

Monday May 20th, 2019 by Al-Hal (opposition website)  –  President Assad has opened the door to a meeting with Turkish President Erdogan, following a meeting between Syria and the head of Turkish intelligence writes Al-Hal.

President Bashar al-Assad has revealed that a Syrian delegation met with the head of Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan, in the Iranian capital Tehran, and held another meeting at the Kassab border crossing, and expressed his readiness to meet Erdogan.

Assad added that, “the Turkish officers are more understanding about what is happening in our country than Turkish politicians. There are major differences regarding Syria in Erdogan’s government.”

This came during statements Assad made to a Turkish journalist, Mehmet Yuva, from the Aydinlik newspaper, saying: “We are open to cooperating with Turkey … and if it is in Syria’s interests and does not encroach on its sovereignty, we can meet Erdogan.”

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 Kurdish hunger strikers wait for news from meeting of jailed leader

Amberin Zaman May 22, 2019 – AL MONITOR – Article Summary – Imprisoned Kurdistan Workers Party leader Abdullah Ocalan has met for a second time with lawyers as a wide Kurdish hunger strike endangers lives. Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was granted access to his lawyers today in the first such meeting since May 2 and the second in eight years, amid signs that Ankara is easing his isolation. Lawyers Nevroz Uysal and Rezan Sarica returned from the island prison of Imrali, where Ocalan has been held since 1999, following his treason conviction.

But Ibrahim Bilmez, a member of Ocalan’s vast legal team, said what had been discussed is still under wraps. “It may take one or two days for us to share this information,” Bilmez told Al-Monitor.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : How viable is Turkey’s bid for military partnership with Iraq?


READ IN:    Türkçe Fehim Tastekin May 22, 2019  Article Summary – AL MONITOR  – Turkey and Iraq have agreed to work on sealing a military cooperation agreement, and although regional developments dictate the solution of bilateral crises, the volatile relationship between the two neighbors calls for tempered optimism.

During Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s recent visit to Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the prospect of a security and military cooperation accord between the two neighbors, generating some rather splashy headlines in the media. Though Turkey and Iraq have put nothing on paper yet, the mere declaration of intent to resolve problems that have kept them at loggerheads in recent years has created an air of a new beginning. Security cooperation, however, is not a new topic for them. Turkey and Iraq signed a security deal in 2008, but it has had little effect on the ground. And the stumbling blocks in bilateral ties remain tough, calling for more tempered expectations.

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Aaron Stein‏ @aaronstein1 2h2 hours ago  – 22 may 2019 – Aaron Stein Retweeted Rob Lee

I assume there will be an American response to this, smaller than what was hinted at in CNBC, but it really is seriously time to plan for the day after S400 and stop debating “if” it will be deployed

Aaron Stein added,

Rob Lee @RALee85

Turkey’s Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, said that Turkish personnel began training on the S-400 in Russia today, and the training course will last “several months”.  

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As Turkey & Russia pull the strings in Syria’s Idlib, civilians pay the price – STOCKHOLM  – By Aron Lund

21 May 2019 – Freelance journalist and analyst specialising in Syria

Violence has returned to northwestern Syria, as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government pushes into rebel-controlled Idlib province, home to some 2.5 million civilians*. At least 200,000 civilians have now fled the fighting and airstrikes. “The hostilities have escalated intensely, particularly in southern Idlib and northern Hama,” Mari Mørtvedt, a Damascus-based spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross, told The New Humanitarian.The violence has punctured a tenuous ceasefire agreed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran in 2017 and re-negotiated in 2018. However, external powers are still influential. While Syrians do most of the fighting and almost all of the dying, it is likely the Russians and the Turks who will have the final say over what happens next.

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Call for 3rd Global Hasankeyf Action Day on June 7-8, 2019!


We call on social movements, NGO’s, activists and others in the world to join the 3rd Global Day of Action for the defense of the 12,000 year old town Hasankeyf and the Tigris River on June 7 and 8th, 2019! It is urgent because the Turkish government announced recently that on 10th June 2019 it will start filling the Ilisu Dam reservoir.

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