Mezopotamian Development Society (Registered) GERMANY




MESOP NEWS TODAYS OPINION – Is Erdogan a Russian Ally or Putin’s Puppet?

Anna Borshchevskaya  – January 27, 2017  – Anna Borshchevskaya is the Ira Weiner Fellow at The Washington Institute.

The Turkish-Russian relationship is an unequal one, and Erdogan may not realize the extent of Putin’s capacity for manipulating and abandoning temporary allies. Russian and Turkish strongmen Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan appear closer than ever. For years Erdogan opposed Putin’s position on Syria, and demanded that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad must go. No longer does Erdogan voice this demand. To the contrary, upon conclusion of the latest Syria talks in Astana on January 24, Putin and Erdogan only moved closer by agreeing, together with Iran, to jointly fight ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fatah al-Sham. Russian and Western press reports indicate Turkey and Russia already launched joint strikes in Syria. –  Yet the Russian-Turkish relationship is unequal. Putin is in an increasingly stronger position, and it is unclear if Erdogan is aware of this. Read all


MESOP NEWS : TODAYS ANALYSIS –  Principles to Guide U.S. Military Engagement in the Middle East

January 31, 2017 | James Jeffrey and Michael Eisenstadt – The Newsletter /  James Jeffrey – Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Turkey – Michael Eisenstadt – Director, Military and Security Studies Program, Washington Institute

Some of the most significant challenges the Trump administration will face are in the Middle East.  These include the threat of salafi-Jihadist terrorism, Iran’s efforts to create a “Shiite crescent” spanning the region, and a resurgent Russian role. In the Middle East, President Donald Trump, like his last five predecessors, will be a wartime president—whether he wants to or not.Many consider the results of America’s military engagement in the broader Middle East over the past four decades to be incommensurate to the nation’s sacrifice. Particularly since 9/11, many Americans have grown frustrated with their nation’s involvement in the Middle East’s “forever wars.”  Read all


MESOP TODAYS PROGNOSIS :  – What Does Astana Bode for Next Week’s Peace Talks (SYRIA)

By Daniel R. DePetris – HARIRI ENTER / THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL  – 30 Jan 2017

For the first time since the war in Syria began six years ago, representatives from the Assad regime and the multiple opposition factions seeking its overthrow met face-to-face in a Kazakhstan conference room in an attempt to arrive at some minor understanding on tamping down the violence.  The initiative devised and sponsored by Russia, Iran, and Turkey—the three countries that possess the most influence on the ground at this stage in the conflict—was never projected to be a Nobel Prize-winning event.  There was no chance, for instance, that Bashar al-Assad and the anti-Assad rebellion would have the political strength, courage, and fortitude to actually submit ideas for ending the conflict—let alone stay in the same room for more than an hour.  But the meeting in Astana was nonetheless better than no meeting at all—as insignificant as the discussions may seem from the outside, the fact that some kind of process occurred is a welcome break from the last nine months of zero diplomatic progress from the parties. Read all


MESOP NEWS : MUSINGS ON IRAQ Mosul Campaign Day 104, Jan 29, 2017

By Joel Wing – Musings on Iraq – Posted: 30 Jan 2017 07:56 AM PST – The Iraqi Forces (ISF) and Hashd were both preparing for the next phase of the Mosul campaign. The Joint Operations Command announced that Federal Police units were moving into central Mosul to prepare to cross the Tigris and attack the west. The Diyala battalion of the Golden Division arrivedin the city, and the 9th Division was setting up its heavy weapons. The Hashd continuedto talk about how important the 6th phase of their operations will be, which includes participating in the new assault on Mosul. The Al Abbas Division of the Hashd is supposed to take part, but it’s not clear in what capacity. The ISF are still resting and re-supplying after three months of fighting. In a few more days they will likely go back into action. The Hashd in Tal Afar district have been holding ground since November. Read all



MESOP NEWS “WARNING!” – The Euphrates Dam Is at Risk in the SDF Operation to Capture It from ISIS

By Abdel Jawad Sakran  – THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL – 28  Jan 2017

The condition of the Euphrates Dam has deteriorated throughout the Syrian conflict, putting the region at risk of environmental disaster. The greatest threats are international coalition airstrikes against Islamic State positions, and neglect for dam maintenance. Read all




PYD Arrests Rival Politburo Member of KDP-S

January 31, 2017 – MESOP  – ERBIL — The Syrian Kurdish safety forces, affiliated with the ruling Democratic Union Celebration (PYD), on Monday arrested a politician from the rival Kurdistan Democratic Celebration of Syria (KDP-S) in Hasakah province.

Abdulkarim Mohammed was detained early morning on January 30th in Kuritani village of Hasakah province north of Syria, Kurdistan24 reported.  The rationale for his detention and his present whereabouts stay unknown.  Mohammed, who’s a politburo member of the KDP-S, had been taken into custody yet one more time final yr in June.



US Will Use Roj Peshmerga to Protect Safe Zones in Syria: ENKS Official / Trump administration is expected to establish safe zones in northern Syria

Basnews English  31 January 2017 – ERBIL — The US President Donald Trump said last week that he would “absolutely do safe zones in Syria” to stop the flow of Syrian refugees into other countries. According to sources, Trump will use the Syrian Kurdish Peshmerga called Roj Peshmerga to protect the safe zone. Roj Peshmerga consists of Syrian Kurdish fighters trained by the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga ministry and equipped by the US. However, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the ruling party in the Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) has been preventing the Roj Peshmerga troops from returning to their homeland to fight against the Islamic State (IS) along with other local forces. Read all


MESOP INSIDER : WHAT’S ABOUT BASHAR A:? – Report- Assad Suffered “Mini-Stroke” with Brain Clot

January 31 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Syria’s President Assad was treated for a clot on his brain last week in a Beirut hospital and is now recuperating at home, according to reports.A pro-opposition activist, who has been reliable in the past, cited “a highly knowledgeable source in the American University Hospital in Beirut”, where Assad was reportedly treated after initially being taken to a Damascus hospital. The source said the President was flown by helicopter from a Damascus hospital to AUH last Thursday and was released on Saturday, returning to the Presidential Palace. The activist has also privately provided the name of Assad’s doctor for confirmation. Read all


MESOP “IRIN NEWS” : Syria’s forgotten siege – The noose tightens around Deir Ezzor


31 Jan 2017 IRIN  – The recent advance of the so-called Islamic State (IS) through Syrian army lines in besieged Deir Ezzor has deepened a humanitarian crisis and created a complex problem for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Russians, and the new US president, Donald Trump. A month after his army retook the rebel stronghold in eastern Aleppo, al-Assad has plenty of reasons for optimism. Recent peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana produced no agreement, but they signalled the growing clout of his Russian ally and the shrinking ambitions of his Turkish enemy. Syrians and their international backers will soon head for another round of negotiations in Geneva, to which al-Assad looks certain to arrive with a strong hand to play. Read all



Syrian Draft Constitution Includes Elements From Kurds and Opposition: Russia

By Paul Antonopoulos – Al-Masdar News – 2017-01-30 19:27 GMT – A framework draft of Syria’s new constitution Russia offered at the Astana talks envisages the establishment of a democratic state with the republican form of government, a top-ranking Russian military said on Sunday according to TASS.”The draft constitution says that Syria is a modern democratic state with the republican form of government. This state is to be based on the principles of democracy, the supremacy of law and equality of all,” Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov, a deputy chief of the main operation directorate of the Russian General Staff, said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel. Read all


MESOP NEWS BACKGROUNDER: Report on Assyrians Under Kurdish Rule ­in Northeastern Syria .

Assyrian Confederation of Europe – 2017-01-30 23:37 GMT – Syria’s disintegration as a result of the Syrian Civil War created the conditions for the rise of Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria, specifically in the governorates of Al-Hasakah and Aleppo. This region, known by Kurds as ‘Rojava’ (‘West’, in West Kurdistan), came under the control of the Kurdish socialist Democratic Union Party (abbreviated PYD) in 2012, after the strain of the civil war caused the weakened Syrian state to withdraw and leave the area under local militia control.

The 2012 PYD takeover of northern Syria is often described in Western media as the ‘Rojava Revolution.’ The governorates of Al-Hasakah and Aleppo are referred to by the PYD as the cantons of Kobani, Afrin, and Jazire. In March 2016, the PYD officially declared its intention to become an autonomous federation, a move rejected by the Syrian state and opposition groups. Read full report



He has, however (as The Daily Beast previously reported), described himself as a “Leninist,” with regard to his goals of political insurrection.

“Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too,” Bannon said at a book party in Washington, D.C., in November 2013. “I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Lenin isn’t the only communist military or political victor who Bannon seemed to admire, for tactics and ruthlessness, if not leftist ideology. Bannon did not write very many articles at Breitbart, but one of the pieces that bears his byline is an October 2013 obituary for the “‘Red’ Napoleon” of the Vietnam War: Gen. Võ Nguyên Giáp, a famous commander of the Vietnam People’s Army who (like Bannon) once worked in journalism before defeating entrenched establishment powers.

“Giap’s tenacity and ruthlessness became his trademarks as he fought two of the world’s most technologically advanced militaries,” Bannon wrote.

You can also find Bannon’s affection for military and strategic ruthlessness in what he reads. According to two of Bannon’s former friends from his West Coast days, two of his favorite books are Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, the hugely influential ancient Chinese text on military strategy, and the Hindu Bhagavad Gita. The latter tells the story of a holy war to establish dharma. Read all




BAGDAD/MOSKAU, 29. Januar. Die Gäste aus Grosnyj statteten auch dem großen Saladin einen Besuch ab. Am Grab des Feldherrn und Herrschers in Damaskus, der einst die Kreuzfahrer aus Jerusalem vertrieb, posierten zwei enge Getreue Ramsan Kadyrows, des Herrschers der russischen Teilrepublik Tschetschenien, für ein Erinnerungsbild: der Mufti von Tschetschenien, Salach Meschijew, und Adam Delimchanow, ein Duma-Abgeordneter, der zugleich Kadyrows Statt-halter in Moskau ist und von seinem Herrn und Cousin als Nachfolger bezeichnet wurde. „Möge Gott ihre Gebete erhören”, wünschte sich Kadyrow zu dem Besuch der beiden am Saladin-Grab über den Internetdienst Instagram. Volltext