MESOP EXCLUSIV : By SHERKO ABBAS – Kurdish National Assembly of Syria Kurdish leader Sherkoh Abbas: It is necessary to establish a Kurdish federal state in Syria
Dr. Sherkoh Abbas, a veteran Kurdish politician and the President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria.
The president of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, Dr. Sherkoh Abbas, saw no point in going to the Moscow conference scheduled for later this month. He suggested that the conference would only serve as a platform for Russian dictates upon the Syrian opposition while, in the end, the Syrian people would pay the price. In an interview with Al-Hayat, he also affirmed his support for the adoption of a Kurdish federal state in Syria, similar to Iraqi Kurdistan, and called on the opposition to abandon the ideas and plans set forth by Michel Aflaq, which he said have not served, nor will they serve, any purpose. Following is a transcript of the interview:
by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi – Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA Journal) – January 7, 2015
This MERIA special report is the product of a reporting trip undertaken by its author to the town of Azaz between December 18-22, 2014. Visits by researchers and journalists to northwest Syria have become rare in the past year because of the accompanying risks. As a result, it has become difficult to gain a clear picture of the situation on the ground in the rebel-controlled areas. This, in turn, has impoverished discussion among policymakers, specialists, and the public regarding the vital area of Syria policy. This report is intended to contribute to the process of remedying this.With Western air forces engaged over the skies of Iraq and Syria, and the war in those countries nowhere close to conclusion, good information and analysis, systematically acquired and well-presented, is of real importance. As such, the Middle East Review of International Affairs is pleased and proud to offer this report to its readers.
Kobane & the myth of ISIL expansion / Kurdish victory in Kobane does not mean the battle against ISIL is over.
Wladimir van Wilgenburg is an analyst of Kurdish politics for the Jamestown Foundation.
Al Jazeera 28 Jan 2015 – After 134 days of resistance, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Kobane have finally beaten the assault by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that was launched on September 15. Many analysts, journalists, ISIL itself, and western officials initially predicted a Kurdish defeat in Kobane.But despite investing a huge amount of human and financial resources, ISIL was not able to beat the Kurds of Syria and to rename their town Ayn al-Islam (Spring of Islam). Instead, Kobane became a graveyard for ISIL fighters, who started to call the town Ayn al-Shuhada, the “Spring of Martyrdom”, where at least 1,000 of its fighters were killed.
MESOP SPECIAL REPORT : BY Joanna Paraszczuk (RADIO RFE) & US CENTRAL COMMAND
Kurdish militias, Syrian state media, and a Britain-based monitoring group have all reported that Kurdish forces have succeeded in pushing the Islamic State (IS) group out of the northern Syrian town of Kobani.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on January 27 that Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militias “could retake the entire city of Ayn al-Arab [Kobani] after violent clashes with IS militants lashed for 112 days.” However, SOHR added that YPG fighters were “still combing some houses in the eastern suburbs of the city, dismantling and detonating IEDs [improvised explosive devices].”
Madame Jen Psaki: “We’ll Continue to Support the Brave Defenders of Kobani
Jen Psaki, Spokesperson of the State Department comments on Kobane on Daily Press Briefing of January 27, 2015:
QUESTION: The biggest challenge in Kobani seems to be over. The Kurdish officials from Iraq and from Kobani have declared victory there. But as you know, there are many more challenges that faces the rebels protecting the city. Of course, they have said it officially that they don’t have ammunition – enough ammunition and stuff. Also the civilians who want to go back to the city, when they want to rebuild the city – I’m wondering whether the United States is going to be a major player in terms of providing humanitarian and military assistance for the people and the rebels there to help alleviate the challenge that remain.
Exclusive: Obama Cuts Off Syrian Rebels’ Cash – Even the favored secular militias groomed to fight ISIS have seen their funding cut in half.
MESOP : OBAMA’S NEW BRIBERY TRIAL TO TEHRAN / SELLING THE DEMOCRATS OF MIDDLE EAST ALSO TO ASSAD
GAZIANTEP, Turkey — 27 Jan 2015 – THE DAILY BEAST – In the past several months, many of the Syrian rebel groups previously favored by the CIA have had their money and supplies cut off or substantially reduced, even as President Obama touted the strategic importance of American support for the rebels in his State of the Union address. The once-favored fighters are operating under a pall of confusion. In some cases, they were not even informed that money would stop flowing. In others, aid was reduced due to poor battlefield performance, compounding already miserable morale on the ground.
27 Jan 2015 – MESOP – IS fighters retreating from their loss of the Kurdish city of Kobani reportedly launched an attack against rebel positions south of the opposition-controlled city of Marea in northern Aleppo province on Monday, reported pro-opposition news agency Halab News.
Covert CIA Mission to Arm Syrian Rebels Goes Awry / Plagued By Red Tape and Skimpy Supplies, U.S. Shifts Program’s Focus
By ADAM ENTOUS – 26 Jan 2015 – WALLSTREET JOURNAL – HATAY, Turkey—It didn’t take long for rebel commanders in Syria who lined up to join a Central Intelligence Agency weapons and training program to start scratching their heads. After the program was launched in mid-2013, CIA officers secretly analyzed cellphone calls and email messages of commanders to make sure they were really in charge of the men they claimed to lead. Commanders were then interviewed, sometimes for days.Those who made the cut, earning the label “trusted commanders,” signed written agreements, submitted payroll information about their fighters and detailed their battlefield strategy. Only then did they get help, and it was far less than they were counting on.
MESOP TODAY’S EDITORIAL : AFTER KOBANE – ANKARA LOST – BUT TEHRAN WON / IS IRAN BEHIND THE ATTACKS IN HASSAKEH ?
What’s Behind the Kurdish-Arab Clashes in East Syria?/ ARON LUND – JANUARY 23, 2015 – Carnegie Endowment – Major clashes broke out on January 16 in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakahbetween fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG. The fighting shatters a long-standing local truce between the Assad regime and the YPG, who had teamed up to confront the Sunni extremist group known as the Islamic State, which controls much of the countryside around Hasakah.
By Hasakah standards, the past week’s fighting has been severe. The YPG has accused the government of using cluster bombs and claims to have killed dozens of soldiers. The violence is also, unsurprisingly, taking on the contours of an ethnic dispute, with pro-YPG Kurds fighting against pro-regime Arabs. The Syriac Christian minority and its so-called Sutoro forces have tried to stay neutral, but their areas have been hit by grenades and attacks on Hasakah’s Assyrian Cathedral.
Kurdish battle with Islamic State is not over, jihadists still in Kobani area
By Alessandria Masi IBT – ibitimes – 27 Jan 2015 – KOBANI, Syrian Kurdistan,— Kurdish forces in Kobani chased the Islamic State group militants from the Kurdish city in Syrian Kurdistan on Monday. This is an immediate win for the Kurds, both strategically and symbolically, but it doesn’t signal a complete ISIS defeat, nor does it signal the end of the Kurdish battle against the Islamic extremist militants — in Kobani and elsewhere.