Sardar Aziz is a senior adviser in the Kurdish parliament as well as a researcher and writer. His areas of interest include civil-military relations, Middle East regional politics, and governing. He has a Ph.D. in Government from the University College Cork.
Also available in العربية December 3, 2019 FIKRA FORUM
On November 23, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Iraq for an unannounced trip that included a visit to meet with the President of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Barzani. In the published White House remarks of the meeting, one sentence asserted a sense of confidence in the Kurdish-American relationship. After thanking the Kurdish president, Vice President Mike Pence highlighted “the enduring bond that exists between the Kurdish people and the people of the United States of America.”
However, it remains to be seen whether these statements can heal the psychological aspect of the relationship between Iraqi Kurds and the U.S. government, recently significantly damaged by the latest U.S. announcement—since amended—of a withdrawal from Syria.
Posted by Scott Lucas | Dec 2, 2019 | EAWORLDVIEW
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have agreed to a deployment of Russian troops to two mainly-Kurdish towns south of the Turkish-Syrian border, both reinforcing Turkish-Russian military oversight of northeast Syria and raising questions about it.
The SDF said Sunday that an accord was reached on Russia’s presence in the towns of Ain Issa and Tel Tamr, where fighting has continued with Turkish-allied anti-Assad fighters despite the Turkish-Russian declaration of oversight. The SDF added that Russian troops will also go to the border town of Amuda.
WEST KURDSTAN (SYRIA)
Seth J. Frantzman 3 Dec 2019
Because of the disgusting and shameful impunity given to every country involved in Syria, these civilians were murdered; and the only fact is that “both sides” are competing to see who can kill the most. There is a third side that doesn’t kill civilians, but it is the side that the US betrayed and which isn’t allowed to participate in Geneva and which is excluded.
Russia and Turkey have partitioned Syria, with Iran getting some also. But these countries and their fake “ceasefires” don’t want to stop the violence, for them the “ceasefire” is where you send the Syrian Arab Army (regime), the Syrian National Army (Turkish backed) and Syrian Democratic Forces (Kurdish and US backed) to fight each other, like some horrid example of a boxing match where the world watches innocent people be crushed.
Why do people in Ayn Issa or Tel Temr or Tal Rifaat or Maaret al-Numan have to pay this price?
Beginning with special representative James Jeffrey, U.S. officials consistently misread the threat from Turkey.
By Lara Seligman – FOREIGN POLIY – October 30, 2019,
On April 3, 2018, Brett McGurk, then-special presidential envoy for the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition, told an audience in Washington that the United States planned to stay in Syria for the foreseeable future. “We are in Syria to fight ISIS,” McGurk said during an event at the United States Institute for Peace, “and our mission isn’t over.”
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS RECOMMENDATIONS & BOOKS
“Independent” Kurdish Media in Syria: conflicting identities in the transition
2016, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : THE SOLID BUSINESS CONNECTIONS BETWEEN PKK/YD & THE BASHAR AL ASSAD REGIME / THE ROJAVA OIL
Source Al Monitor 30 Nov 2019
Putin Hails Syrian Kurds’ Support to Russian Military Police – BasNews 29/11/2019 – 20:18 Published in Kurdistan
ERBIL – Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed the support of the Syrian Kurds to his country’s police forces in the Middle Eastern country, noting that people understand that Moscow’s mission is to protect them.
Putin made the remarks at a meeting of Russia’s Nationalities Relations Council on Friday, during which he added that “at least some positive achievements” that have materialized on the Syria-Turkey border areas “rely on the Kurds’ support and their interests.”
Syrian Regime Bombards SDF – It has accused the Kurdish forces of smuggling oil to Turkey
BasNews 27/11/2019 – 20:02 Published in Middle East ERBIL – The Syrian regime has bombarded the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), accusing the US-backed fighters of smuggling oil to Turkey.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SNA) cited an operations officer as explaining that the Syrian regime shelled the oil refining centers and tankers used by the SDF to allegedly snuggle oil to neighboring Turkey.
According to the officer, the bombardments were conducted after receiving verified information about the illegal shipment of oil in the region of al-Jazaeera in Syria. He noted that the attacks resulted in the detecting of crude oil refining facilities and dozens of trucks in the border town of Jarablus of Aleppo province.The regime has vowed to not allow the shipment of any amount of oil by the Kurdish forces any longer.In early October, the White House announced that the US forces would withdraw from Syria and let the Turkish army to move into the area. The Kurdish forces, therefore, handed over the border areas to the regime in hopes of halting the Turkish offensive.However, the US later decided to leave a small number of forces in Syria to secure the oilfields in the Middle Eastern country.
Posted by Scott Lucas | Nov 26, 2019 | EAWORLDVIEW – The head of the world’s chemical weapons inspectors has knocked back propaganda denying chemical attacks in Syria’s 105-month conflict.
The propaganda campaign has been propelled by Russia, which is seeking to undermine the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ inspections of the attacks, almost all of which have carried out by the Assad regime. The campaign has been supported by pro-Assad activists, bloggers promoted by Moscow, and even a group of UK-based activists. Since March, the distortion and misinformation has focused on an April 2018 attack on Douma, in the final days of a two-month Russia-regime offensive that forced the surrender of the last opposition area near Syria’s capital Damascus. The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission’s final report concluded that chlorine was likely used in an assault on a residential building. Witnesses said 43 people were killed.The OPCW’s Investigations and Identification Team, mandeted by member countries in June 2018 to assign responsibility for attacks, is now considering nine incidents including Douma. Its first reports are expected in a few months.
26 Nov 2019 – 19h
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : THE US TRAINED SPECIAL FORCE OF PKK/PYD(SDF) IN SYRIA
26 Nov 2019 – 19h
Great thread. The US has concentrated its military aid on one particular YPG CT unit – the YAT. Much like the Iraqi “Golden Division” they are equipped and trained close to US standards and are VERY experienced because they get deployed to every serious battle. Seems the US +
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[THREAD] on the Equipment of the YAT, the YPG/SDF’s Special Forces, with a focus on 2019, but with contextual information from 2015. The YAT is the premier “Anti-Terror” force for the SDF/YPG, with a particular focus on anti-ISIS operations. 1/
More via www.mesop.de
More via www.mesop.de