Joshua Landis    – Federal Unity with Assad Regime – Kurds

19 May 2017 – New Bus Service Linking Kurdish Qamishli with Gov controlled Aleppo revives hope of federal unity & revived commerce

In Syria, a bus ride shows shifting map of war  – A new bus service linking Syria’s Kurdish-controlled northeast with the government-held west,…

MESOP NEWS SYRIA DAILY: Opposition Seeks Extension of Geneva Talks


By – Scott Lucas – May 18, 2017 – eaworldview – Syria’s opposition says it wants an extension of the current round of political talks in Geneva, saying more time is needed for indirect negotiations with the Assad regime.The sixth round opened on Tuesday and is scheduled to end Friday. But opposition spokesman Salem Meslet said it was “not right” that only four days were allocated, as time in needed to prepare a response to a working paper presented by UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (pictured).

Meslet said the proposal involved “the constitutional frame” for a political transition. The prospect of a transition is tenuous, however, as Bashar al-Assad has ruled out his departure from power and pro-Assad forces have maintained attacks and sieges since the talks were renewed in late January.De Mistura met the head of the regime delegation, UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari on Wednesday.

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MESOP TODAYS TOP OF THE AGENDA : DO NOT SUPPORT PYD/PKK / Why US might regret supporting PKK/PYD / Opinion by pro Turkish Anadolu News – 17 May 2017

Warning: written by Anadolu  ! But quite interesting !

“Another issue is that when the U.S. supports PYD, it is practically helping the Assad regime one way or another. Like Iran, the Assad regime has a long history of using terrorist organizations as a political tool. Indeed, Assad – the father- harbored, supported and used the PKK and its leader Abdullah Ocalan for a very long time against Turkey.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Bashar al-Assad has used the PYD. Fully aware of the hostility of the PYD, as an affiliate of the PKK, towards Turkey, the Syrian regime literally handed over many cities in northern Syria to the Kurdish militia in the early stages of the Syrian revolution. The goal was simply to create a buffer zone between Turkey and the Assad regime before indirectly manipulating it against Turkey.

Wherever the PYD fails to hold the territories it has occupied, it will invite the Assad regime to come in in order to prevent the Turkish-supported Syrian rebels from taking it. The city of Manbij in northern Syria is a living example of what might befall other cities where the U.S. continues helping the PYD to stretch its territorial control.

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MESOP NEWS GEOSTRATEGY : Iran changes course of road to Mediterranean coast to avoid US forces

New land corridor to move 140 miles south to avoid buildup of US forces assembled in north-east Syria to fight Isis

Iran has changed the course of a land corridor that it aims to carve to the Mediterranean coast after officials in Iraq and Tehran feared a growing US military presence in north-eastern Syria had made its original path unviable.

The new corridor has been moved 140 miles south to avoid a buildup of US forces that has been assembled to fight Islamic State (Isis). It will now use the Isis-occupied town of Mayadin as a hub in eastern Syria, avoiding the Kurdish north-east, which had earlier been mooted by Iranian leaders as a crucial access route.

The changes have been ordered by Maj Gen Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds force, and Haidar al-Ameri, the leader of the Popular Mobilisation Front in Iraq, whose Shia-dominated forces have edged closer to the Iraqi town of Ba’aj, a key link in the planned route and where the Isis leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is known to have been based for much of the past three years.

Throughout the war with the terror group, and for several years earlier, Iran has been attempting to carve out areas of influence across Iraq and Syria that it and its proxies control. But as the project has taken shape, the evolving Syrian conflict has added new and unpredictable dimensions that have made securing such a corridor increasingly difficult.

The US buildup in north-eastern Syria has alarmed officials in Baghdad and Tehran. Senior Iraqi sources have told the Guardian that Iranian leaders believe the stepped-up presence aims to deter Tehran’s ambitions.

“In response they are doing all they can to make this corridor happen as quickly as they can,” said a senior Iraqi official. “That means finishing off Ba’aj as quickly as they can, then kicking out Isis from Mayadin and Deir Azzour. They want to do this before the Americans get there.”

Ba’aj has become an especially potent prize as the war against Isis in Iraq enters a final phase. As Iraqi police and military units continue to squeeze Mosul, Shia militias who have been stationed for the past seven months in Tel Afar, northwest of Iraq’s second city, began a push over the weekend that has taken them to within three kilometres of Ba’aj’s outskirts.

Observers said Isis was fighting fiercely to defend the town, which has remained a hotbed of salafi jihadi fighters since the US-led invasion of Iraq 14 years ago. Intelligence officials in the region believe that Baghdadi was in the town for much of March and numerous reports placed him there in February and for much of the battle to retake Mosul.

The fall of Ba’aj would be devastating to Isis’s shrinking presence in Iraq, leaving parts of Anbar province as the its last remaining stronghold in the place where it all began for the terror group more than a decade ago.

As Isis has rapidly lost ground in Iraq, attention has been diverting to the next – and possibly final – phase of the war, the push to take its last strongholds in Syria, which include Raqqa and Deir Azzour. The makeup of the force that will be sent to take both cities has yet to be finalised, with the US continuing to support Syrian Kurdish groups – to the chagrin of its ally Turkey who is robustly pushing for Arab units that it backs to do the job.

The political jostling has made the battlefield in Syria even more complex, forcing Iran to change course on one of its most important long-term goals, just as its progress had seemed assured.

The corridor had been marked out in Syria with minimal disruption, crossing from the Iranian border into Jalawla, in Diyala province, across the south of Mosul to Shawqat, then north to Tel Afar. The pivot to the west, bypassing Sinjar, has now pitched Iranian-backed forces into direct combat with Isis, serving the twofold goal of taking an increased role in the war and laying a cornerstone along the new course.

The plan has been driven by Shia militias under Iranian direction and has empowered minority communities to secure legs along the way. Kurdish PKK fighters, who had travelled from Turkey, had been central to securing a leg from Mt Sinjar to the Syrian border, but the change in course has taken the corridor to the south.

Iraqi officials say that the newly chosen route is from Deir Azzour to Sukhna to Palmyra, then Damascus, and towards the Lebanese border, where the central goal of emboldening Hezbollah could partially be achieved through demographic swaps. From there, a path to Latakia and the Mediterranean Sea has also been envisaged, giving Iran a supply line that avoids the heavily patrolled Persian Gulf waters.

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As #Erdogan met w. @POTUS in White House, @brett_mcgurk was in #YPG-held #Kobane in #Syria. That’s some trolling from Counter-#ISIS team.

#pt: And just to note, I’m pretty confident that’s #PKK veteran Şahin Cilo sat next to @brett_mcgurk (L); wanted in #Turkey for $1.1 million



Syrian Kurdish council condemns arrest of KDP reporter by Rojava Asayish

ARA News – 17 May 2017 – The Kurdish National Council (KNC) on Tuesday condemned the arrest of Zagros TV reporter Barzan Hussein, who was arrested on 13 May in Rumelan town in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province.

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Kurds disappointed by Trump statements after Erdogan meeting


ARA News – 17 May 017 – VAN WILGENBURG – In a press conference with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, United States President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Washington supports Turkey in its fight against “terror groups” such as the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Speaking to ARA News, official advisor of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Dr. Nasr Haji Mansour said: “Trump’s statement today makes the situation more complicated. The Kurds have been waiting a tougher US position in the face of Turkey and its aggression against Rojava-Northern Syria.”

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MESOP NEWS : TAKTISCHE FAKE-STORY ? – USA bleiben Beweise für Assads Leichenöfen schuldig

Das Assad-Regime soll ein Krematorium errichtet haben, in dem die Leichen von Oppositionellen verbrannt werden – behauptet das US-Außenministerium. Doch klare Beweise bleibt Washington schuldig. – Von Christoph Sydow – DER SPIEGEL – ONLINE – 17 May 2017

Die Landschaft in den Ausläufern des Qalamun-Gebirges liegt tief verschneit da, eine dichte Schneedecke bedeckt Felder, Straßen und Häuser. Mit einer Ausnahme: Auf dem Dach eines Gebäudes, das zum Militärgefängnis Sednaja gehört, ist der Schnee geschmolzen.

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By Fabrice Balanche – PolicyWatch 2802 – May 16, 2017 –  Fabrice Balanche, an associate professor and research director at the University of Lyon 2, is a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute.

To maintain its dominant position and stay true to its ideological roots, the PYD is pushing socialist policies on a skeptical Rojava populace, with uncertain consequences for the future of the Syrian Kurdish zone.

In northern Syria, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) aims to promote a political and economic system based on self-sufficiency and local democracy. Yet a closer look at the measures being implemented reveals a clear effort to apply the anti-capitalist ideology of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). It remains unclear whether this ideology is compatible with local economic conditions, however, and Kurdish authorities might resort to full normalization with the Assad regime instead if key stakeholders resist.


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MESOP NEWS : PYD’S FANTASIES Saleh Moslem: The circle around ISIS tightens around Turkey as well


14 May/ANF News
PYD Co-chair Saleh Moslem stated that the US is clear about aiding the YPG and Turkey needs to come to terms with this fact. He said Turkey will face a reaction by the coalition forces if they repeat their attacks on Rojava.

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