Bloody high five

Posted by: Teonan

Bloody high five - 10/07/19 11:00 AM

...down low.
Murderous fiends.

Donald Trump just decided to get millions of Kurds murdered on his way out the door

Late on Sunday night, Donald Trump’s White House announced that the United States is pulling out Northern Syria, thus allowing Turkey to invade and take over the region. This means that Turkey, led by Trump’s corrupt and murderous ally Erdogan, will quickly slaughter millions of Kurds – to the point that it’ll be nothing short of mass murder – and it’ll have Trump’s fingerprints all over it.

Read on:

Foreign correspondent: Turkey plans attack on Syrian Kurds
A "voluntary" resettlement plan isn't working out very well.

By Reese Erlich
October 6, 2019

ISTANBUL —The Turkish government plans to use Syrian refugees to displace the local Kurdish population in northern Syria. But so far, the scheme isn’t working so well.

US troops start pullout in Syria as Turkey prepares operation
American troops 'will no longer be in the immediate area' casting uncertainty on the fate of their Kurdish allies.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/07/19 08:59 PM

Spineless Trump got ‘rolled’ by Turkish president — according to national security official who heard the call

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump said he’d support a Turkish military excursion into northern Syria. The move frightened military leaders and lawmakers who warned it would harm America’s Kurdish allies in the region.

Reporter Eliot Higgins spoke with a National Security Council official about Trump’s decision, which was made after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The unnamed official said that Trump had gotten “rolled” by his Turkish counterpart.

“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something,” the National Security Council source said. “The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line.”
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/08/19 09:31 AM

Trump On Turkey: ‘I Have A Little Conflict Of Interest ... It’s Called Trump Towers’
The president, in his own words in 2015, zeroes in on a problem linked to his order to abandon Kurdish allies to a Turkish assault in Syria.

“I have a little conflict of interest ’cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul,” Trump boasted in response. “It’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers — two towers, instead of one, not the usual one; it’s two. And I’ve gotten to know Turkey very well. They’re amazing people, they’re incredible people. They have a strong leader.”

He said then that the situation was “complicated,” adding, “I thrive on complicated.” Trump did not reveal what he would do in the region if he were to become commander in chief.

Trump still profits from Trump Towers in Istanbul, and the “strong leader” then was the same as now: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Though his continuing business interest in Istanbul is widely known, his own admission that it represents a conflict of interest is startling. Critics have long argued that Trump, as presidents traditionally do, should divest from his businesses to avoid conflicts of interest that threaten to put his personal benefit ahead of the nation’s.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Monday that Trump’s decision had nothing to do with the Trump Towers Istanbul complex.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/08/19 09:38 AM

Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade just ripped Trump apart for 'abandoning' the Kurds in Syria

October 7, 2019

Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade has a very loud wakeup call for President Trump.

On Sunday night, the White House unexpectedly announced the U.S. will "no longer be in the immediate area" of northern Syria where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday a Turkish military incursion was "imminent." So the following morning, Kilmeade wasted no time going after Trump, tearing the president a new one for "abandoning our most loyal allies" in the Kurdish-held area.

"What a disaster," Kilmeade said to bluntly introduce the topic Monday morning. He then cited a White House statement reading the U.S. "defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate,'" and countered by saying "we would not have done that without the Kurds, who did all of our fighting." Those Kurdish allies were "why our casualties were so low" during the ISIS fight, but "now we're saying 'Okay Turks, go wipe them out.'"

Despite Steve Doocy's attempt at rationalizing Trump's decision, it seemed to be universally decried across Trump's conservative base. Kathryn Krawczyk
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/11/19 10:41 AM

Girl, 8, loses leg, brother killed in Turkish shelling of Qamishli

QAMISHLI, Syria – Turkish shelling on the Kurdish city of Qamishli, northeast Syria on Thursday killed an 11-year-old boy and seriously injured his 8-year-old sister while they played outside their home.

Turkey has continued to shell towns and villages along its shared border with Syria as part of Operation Peace Spring, which began Wednesday.

The 11-year-old boy, Mohammed Yousef, was killed in Turkish shelling in the Qudurbag area of eastern Qamishli on Thursday while playing outside with his sister Sara, neighbours told Rudaw’s reporter at the scene.

Sara was injured in the same blast – her right leg reduced to a pulp of meat and bone. In heart-wrenching footage from Salam Hospital in Qamishli she can be heard crying for water while her father Yousef weeps.

The children’s mother was also injured in the attack.

Rudaw correspondent Vivian Fatah went to Salam Hospital where Sara is being treated.

“A shell hit their house. As a result the boy died and we do not know what happened to the girl. They are the children of my brother,” the children’s aunty told Rudaw in the hospital waiting room.

Mohammed was already dead when he arrived at the hospital, one doctor told Rudaw’s reporter. Sara has undergone surgery.

“By the time they got him here, he was already dead. Artillery shrapnel had penetrated his heart,” the doctor said of Mohammed.

“The sister … has had her right leg cut off. There are fractures in her left leg due to artillery shrapnel. We have done a surgery for her, and we will see what happens.”

Rudaw’s reporter went to the site of the attack and spoke to residents.

“It was this house. The children were outside, playing. Then the shell came down, martyring the boy and blowing off the girl’s leg,” one neighbor told Rudaw.

Locals said another woman was killed near her home while returning from the market. Her son, Ahmed Abdullah, 35, was also injured.

Rudaw’s reporter had to cut short her discussion with residents when Turkish shelling resumed.

Mohammed was among eight civilians killed and 14 wounded in Turkish attacks across northeast Syria on Thursday alone, according to the Kurdish Red Crescent. This brings the total to 11 civilians dead and 34 injured since the offensive began on Wednesday.

According to the latest figures published by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 10 civilians have been killed since the start of the Turkish operation.

Turkey’s operation entered its third day on Friday with further shelling on Tel Abyad and Sari Kani.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/12/19 11:25 AM

SIS detainees, affiliates no longer our responsibility: SDF spox

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Fighting off a “genocidal attack” by Turkey, a spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they can no longer be responsible for the ticking time bomb that is the thousands of Islamic State (ISIS) militants and their supporters held in Kurdish jails.

“We are currently subject to a genocidal attack. There is a project to make a demographic change and eradicate Kurds. Therefore, our first duty is the protection of our people, border and soil,” head of the SDF press office Mustafa Bali told Rudaw in Hasaka, northern Syria.

“All our forces are focusing on this now. Our prisons, which have about 12,000 ISIS gangs, and camps, which have more than 90,000 families of ISIS fighters and migrants, are like detonated bombs. We do not know when they will explode. However, this is no longer our responsibility,” he said.

The Turkish Army and its Syrian proxies launched Operation Peace Spring against the SDF on Wednesday after appearing to get a green light from US President Donald Trump who pulled American troops back from two outposts on the Turkey-Syria border.

Read on.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/12/19 04:26 PM

Norway, Finland and Netherlands suspend military equipment sales to Turkey over Syria offensive

Norway and the Netherlands have followed Finland’s lead in the suspension of military exports to Turkey following its military offensive in Syria.

On Friday, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry stated that it would halt the processing of any new applications for export licenses for military and multi-use military products to Turkey. The ministry also said that it would conduct reviews on any extant ones.

“As the situation is unclear and rapidly changing, the Foreign Ministry, as a precautionary measure, will not process new applications for export licenses for military and multi-use military products to Turkey for the time being,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide explained in a statement.

Søreide also added that all valid licenses to Turkey will also be reviewed, Dagbladet reports.

“We are following the situation with deep concern and are reiterating our clear call for Turkey to end its military operation and respect international law. The Foreign Ministry has also expressed this in a meeting with Turkey’s ambassador to Norway today,” Søreide continued.

Earlier this week on Wednesday, Finland’s Defense Ministry announced it would cease all military exports to Turkey, ANF reports. Yesterday the Netherlands did the same.

Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen took to Twitter to write: “The situation is severe. Regarding my area of ​​responsibility, I would say this: Finland does not export defense materials to warring countries or countries that violate human rights.”

“No new license will be granted to sell arms to Turkey by the Defense Ministry. As for previously approved licenses, the review is underway,” Kaikkonen said.

The government in Sweden has also suggested that defense exports to Turkey should be stopped at the European Union level. In recent years, Sweden’s military exports to Turkey have risen substantially.

Earlier in the week, Turkey began what it’s calling ‘Operating Peace Spring’, a military offensive in Kurdish-dominated northeastern Syria to clear the area of so-called ‘terrorists’ – a term Turkey uses to describe Kurds.

Europe’s widespread condemnation of the military operation has enraged Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan. Following the harsh criticism from his NATO ‘allies’, Erdogan – for the second time – threatened to flood Europe with 3.6 million migrants living in Turkey.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/13/19 10:39 AM

Meanwhile, the traitor hits the links.

US forces 'left us here to die': Kobane residents after reported Turkish shelling of American base

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Residents of an area where Turkish forces reportedly fired at US Special Force Friday night said they had been left to die while American troops were airlifted to safety.

Turkish forces reportedly fired at US troops on Mashtenour hill in Kobane, northern Syria, by mistake. Turkish shelling was so heavy that US personnel considered firing back in self-defense, a senior Pentagon official told Newsweek. The Turkish Defense Ministry issued a statement shortly afterward denying that its military had targeted US forces.

The Special Forces troops were immediately removed from the targeted area by helicopter.

Reporting just a few hundred meters from the US base on Saturday, Rudaw’s Rangin Sharo spoke to panicked locals who slammed American troops for failing to assist vulnerable people caught up in the shelling.

"Everyone rushed outside after hearing huge mortar bangs landing near our houses panicking everyone - children, elderly and women and our men," Ahmed Mohammed Hassan, 33, an eyewitness who chose not to flee despite the attacks told Rudaw. "The American forces brought in helicopters and removed their soldiers from here, leaving us behind."

"Where is humanity?" Hassan lamented. "They fled for their lives and left us here to die."
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/13/19 03:01 PM

Hundreds Of ISIS Supporters Escape As Turkish Troops Near Kurdish-Held Syrian Town
A U.S. military official said the situation across northeastern Syria was “deteriorating rapidly.”

AKCAKALE, Turkey (AP) — Turkish forces approached a key Kurdish-held town in northern Syria on Sunday, setting off clashes that allowed hundreds of Islamic State supporters to escape from a camp for displaced people and prompted U.S. soldiers to withdraw from a nearby base.

A U.S. military official said the situation across northeastern Syria was “deteriorating rapidly” and that American forces were cut off from the Syrian Kurdish fighters they had previously partnered with.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/13/19 03:36 PM

Trump itches for torching journalists. “Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn't it?"

Foreign journalists, civilians reportedly targeted in Turkish airstrike

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Nine people were killed when a convoy of foreign journalists and civilians was reportedly struck by a Turkish jet on Sunday afternoon, a war monitor and local media have reported.

According to Rudaw’s reporter in Rojava, the convoy had been heading to Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain) from Tel Tammar in northern Syria when it was caught in an airstrike.

Nine people, including 5 civilians and a journalist, were killed in the strike on the humanitarian support" convoy in Seri Kani, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Foreign journalists were on board the convoy, the Observatory confirmed. Hawar News, a media agency close to the ruling Kurdish authority in Rojava, also said foreign journalists were among the passengers.

The death toll is set to rise, the Observatory said, with some convoy passengers, including children, currently in a critical condition.

Northern Syria-based North Press Agency (NPA) reported the severe injury of one of its journalists, named by the agency as Delsoz Yousef.

Footage taken on the scene by Rudaw in a Tel Tammar hospital shows the blanket-shrouded bodies of five of those killed in the convoy strike.

A gruesome video shared online showing the alleged aftermath of the strike shows dead and wounded people scattered among the burning wreckage of vehicles, body armor, camera tripods, and backpacks.

Among the bodies are several armed men.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/14/19 10:17 AM

Will sanctions, suspended arms sales halt Turkey’s Syria offensive?

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – With US forces set to completely withdraw from northern Syria, ceding the defense of their erstwhile Kurdish allies to the Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian backers, few means are left available to pressure Turkey to halt its offensive bar sanctions and arms embargoes.

France and Germany joined The Netherlands, Norway, and Finland in suspending arms sales to Turkey as a means of pressuring Ankara to halt or at least soften its offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces.

“Against the backdrop of the Turkish military offensive ... the Federal Government will not issue any new permits for all military equipment that could be used by Turkey in Syria,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Saturday.

Florence Parly, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, issued a similar statement on Saturday.

“Pending the cessation of the Turkish offensive in North-East Syria, France has decided to suspend any plans to export to Turkey war materials that could be used in the context of this offensive. This decision is of immediate effect,” she tweeted.

Nevertheless, European military hardware, including Leopard tanks, has been used to fight the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who until last week was the West’s key ally in the ground war and counterterror effort against the Islamic State group (ISIS).

It is also unclear how much of a dent the suspension will put in Turkey’s arsenal. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Turkey imports 60 percent of its weapons and hardware from the US, which has not joined the embargo.

Turkey also has a burgeoning domestic arms industry and is gunning for complete self-sufficiency, and could easily shop elsewhere – namely Russia – to make up any shortfall.

Unless the US, Britain, and other major arms suppliers get on board, an embargo is unlikely to force Turkey to change course in Syria.

Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/14/19 03:17 PM

Brett McGurk

Only four days into Turkish attack and one week after POTUS-Erdogan call:

* UN: 130k displaced (likely to 3x)
* ISIS terrorists escaping (caught after years of painstaking effort)
* Syrians executed on roadways by Turkish-backed opposition forces
* Main US supply lines cut..

7:31 AM · Oct 13, 2019·Twitter
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/14/19 03:41 PM

The funeral of Kurdish politician, Hevrin Khalaf, who was dragged by from her car and executed by Turkish forces. Photo: Getty Images.

How Terrible Does Turkey Have to Get?

by Burak Bekdil
October 14, 2019

* So where is this "economic devastation" against Turkey? Or does that make two promises that the U.S. has not kept?

* Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been threatening to flood Europe with more refugees. "We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way," he promised on October 10.

* Meanwhile, obscenely, Erdoğan has been invited to the White House for November 13.

* The real crime was for the US to betray the Kurds -- savory or not -- by making promises it did not keep... and leaving the world to wonder which Middle East ally the US will double-cross next. Take a guess?

Turkey's military offensive into the overwhelmingly Kurdish northeastern Syria is sending messages on many wavelengths. One consequence is beyond dispute: Turkey is adding further chaos, bloodshed and tears to a region already in turmoil. The U.S. had apparently "assur[ed] Kurdish protection from Turkey." Trump spoke of "economic devastion" if Kurdish forces were attacked. "As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)," Trump tweeted on October 7. [Microsoft may thoughtfully have censored this tweet for you. Ed.]

So where is this "economic devastation" against Turkey? Or does that make two promises that the U.S. has not kept?

In theory, the Turkish incursion will build a safe zone that is 30 kilometers (20 miles) deep and stretches more than 480 kilometers (300 miles) toward Syria's Iraqi border -– which just so happens to be the very place where many of the Kurds in Syria live. From there, the Turkish army will push Kurdish militants south and ward off an "existential threat" to Turkey. Once cleared of the YPG forces, the main Kurdish group (the Syrian offspring of the insurgent umbrella organization PKK) Turkey says it will build homes, hospitals schools and rehabilitation centers for the two million Syrian refugees it hosts.

This happy-ending scenario may not materialize so easily.

As in earlier cross-border clashes with the Turkish military, the Kurds have vowed to fight back despite allegedly heavy losses. On Oct. 13, the fifth day of the Operation Peace Spring, the Turkish Defense Ministry said its forces "neutralized" 525 Kurdish fighters. Kurdish shelling in over 300 rounds killed 18 civilians on the Turkish side of the border, including a nine-month old Syrian baby. More than 100 civilians were injured in Turkish towns and villages. One Kurdish, politician, Hevrin Khalaf, and nine other civilians were reportedly dragged from their cars and "executed."
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/15/19 09:28 AM

Trump attempts the Walk Back dance wearing flip-flops. This should be interesting.

US sanctions Turkey over Syria offensive

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – After a week of threats, United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday sanctioning three Turkish ministers and two ministries over Turkey’s unilateral incursion into northern Syria. His administration has offered to mediate a ceasefire and warned that more sanctions could follow if Turkey does not end its military incursion.

Violence has escalated as Turkish-backed groups continue to advance into northern Syria in its Operation Peace Spring, now in its eighth day.

Trump repeatedly warned he would introduce sanctions and, on Monday, the US Treasury Department formally sanctioned Turkey’s Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar, Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu, and Fatih Donmez, the Minister of Energy.

Both the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources were also sanctioned.

“The United States is holding the Turkish Government accountable for escalating violence by Turkish forces, endangering innocent civilians, and destabilizing the region,” US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters in a joint press conference alongside Vice President Mike Pence on Monday.

Dealing with the designated ministers and their ministries is now prohibited, Treasury added. The department was clear, however, that the sanctions would not affect the operations of NGOs or United Nations in Turkey who are providing services to Syrians.

The sanctions will also not affect Turkey’s energy sector. The Treasury “is prepared to issue authorizations, such as general or specific licenses, as appropriate, to ensure that today’s action does not disrupt Turkey’s ability to meet its energy needs.”

“We are not looking to shut down the energy for the people of Turkey,” said Mnunchin.

Trump also announced measures against Turkey in a statement on Twitter on Monday, bringing steel tariffs back up to the 50 percent that had stood before being reduced in May.

“The United States will also immediately stop negotiations, being led by the Department of Commerce, with respect to a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey,” Trump said.

“Turkey’s military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace, security, and stability in the region. I have been perfectly clear with [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan: Turkey’s action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes,” the president said, demanding Turkey protect civilians and not jeopardize gains made in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

“I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path,” Trump declared.

Mnuchin described the sanctions as “very very strong,” but qualified they would be lifted if Turkey took “necessary actions,” without going into further detail.

The US move came after European Union nations condemned Turkey’s military incursion.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/15/19 10:56 PM

Humanitarian aid groups fleeing Syria only compounds crisis: Kurdish official

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria has forced at least 15 international aid organizations to withdraw their staff, compounding the humanitarian emergency, according to a Kurdish administration official.

“The humanitarian plight of the displaced in areas targeted by the aggression has worsened with all humanitarian aid being cut and all international organisations ceasing their activities,” the Kurdish administration said earlier on Tuesday in a statement posted on Facebook.

Speaking at a press conference, Khalid Ibrahim, the Kurdish administration’s head of humanitarian affairs, said the withdrawal of aid organizations has left “displaced people to suffer”.

“At least 15 organizations have left northern Syria due to the Turkish offensive,” Ibrahim said. “This has resulted in creation of a humanitarian crisis, as displaced people are in need of food, water, and daily requirements.”

Local schools in Hasaka province are now hosting families displaced from the border towns of Tal Abyad, Ras al-Ain and surrounding villages as camps reach full capacity.

One Kurdish woman sheltering in a school in Hasaka told Rudaw they are desperate.

“What does Erdogan want from us? Where shall we go? We cannot be displaced every day,” she said.

An Arab resident of Sare Kani told Rudaw: “The only thing we need is to return to our homes. We do not want anything else.”

More than 300,000 people have been displaced since the start of the Turkish incursion – 70,000 of them children, according to Ibrahim. UN OCHA puts the figure at 160,000.

Hasaka, where the majority of the displaced have fled to, is 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the border-city of Qamishli.

“Displaced children are in need of milk, food, and clean water,” said Ibrahim. “Therefore we ask the international community to help us.”
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/16/19 09:03 AM

Trump's culpability in Turkish war crimes

There is a warning given to all analysts not to fall into a trap called ‘pride of previous position’. President Trump is currently proving the wisdom of that saying. It became clear very quickly that giving the Turks the green light, intentionally or not, to move against the Kurds in northern Syria was a mistake.

The more people around him tell him it was a mistake and that we need to defend the Kurds, the more he resists. Senior Republicans in the House and Senate have opposed the president's move. The senior military commanders have all opposed the move and advised against it, but it appears that the louder they yell, the more Trump resists. Many say this is because Trump is owned by Putin or Erdogan, but the fact is it is because his ego has overridden common sense. The problem today for America is this: we have a president who has done very well domestically and revived a moribund economy, but understands little about foreign policy.

Trump’s ego is such that he cannot admit when he has made a mistake. While this is common among politicians and successful businesspeople, it is very dangerous when applied to international affairs. Trump’s excuse that he is keeping a promise to get our troops out and stop the unending wars belies the fact that this is more likely to expand the conflict. He said this is done so we do not have to go to war, which the same excuse Obama made in pushing the Iran agreement, that it was either an agreement or war.

The question, then, is how much influence the US can exert on Turkey in the short term. The answer is very little, since Erdogan is a prisoner of his own ego and controls a large army that he sees as invincible. While Trump sees himself as a great negotiator, leaks from the conversation indicate that Trump was, in the words of those present, ‘rolled’ by Erdogan. This leaves the question of whether or not the Turks would have crossed the border if US troops were left in place: a question we will never know the answer to.

I blame Trump for the current state of affairs in northern Syria, but new solutions need to be found. Erdogan sees the Kurds as terrorists, which is what he meant when he told Trump he would handle the terrorists in the area. Trump, of course, took this to mean the Islamic State (ISIS). The problem now is that the PYD and their YPG forces are in fact seen by many as offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. The Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government also holds this view. Regardless, once the first bombs fell on Kurdish civilians, the US should have moved its troops forward and at least engaged the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army. They did not, which now raises the question of where the rest of the world’s forces are, who have decried Turkish aggression.

In a press conference, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said the US will not go to war against Turkey, a fellow NATO member. This may explain the absence of NATO condemnation, but that alliance must be questioned. NATO was formed as a military response to Soviet aggression, with Turkey holding a strategic location on the border with the Soviet Union. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the purpose of NATO was expanded to peacekeeping and expanding democracy. Turkey has lost its claim as a member since it has assisted terrorism in the region and ended any semblance of democracy in Turkey. The wheels of bureaucracy move slowly, but it’s time NATO accepted this fact and removed any protection Turkey has as a member state.

Unless Congress can convince Trump to reverse course, an unlikely outcome, Turkey must be held accountable for its actions and the war crimes committed by it forces and its proxies. Continuing to blame Trump and protests at the White House are of no use; it is like flogging a dead horse. At this time the eyes of the world and the protests and actions must be directed at Turkey. Syrian forces will do very little against the Turkish army and the Russians are unlikely to engage Turkey directly. In order to end this aggression, some form of credible military threat must be made.

Regardless of how you feel about Trump, he is not the answer to the aggression against the Kurds. Where are the PKK or the Arab League? Turkey must be made to feel pain and in the short term – militarily. It must also be taught that any future actions of this type will bring ruin to the whole of the nation in the form of economic sanctions. In this regard, the US Congress can and must act. Time is of the essence before thousands die. We cannot wait for committee hearings.

Paul Davis is a retired US Army military intelligence and former Soviet analyst. He is a consultant to the American intelligence community specializing in the Middle East with a concentration on Kurdish affairs. He is president of the consulting firm JANUS Think in Washington D.C. and is also a lecturer at Soran University.
Posted by: Pravda1984

Re: Bloody high five - 10/16/19 05:28 PM

The fact that Turkey has a long history of genocide (See Armenia among others) and that the Kurdish people are just another "bothersome" minority would be enough to raise this issue as an example of humanitarian outrage towards the President. But, when you add in the geopolitical ramifications of allowing Russian forces to have an excuse to become a permanent fixture in Syria and bordering on Turkey, it is truly mind boggling how ineffective the president is in dealing with world political issues. This blow to the Kurdish people by the president will have decades long ramifications, none of which will be helpful to the United States.

Once again proving that a reality TV star, without any moral compass, has no business being president of the United States.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/17/19 10:51 AM

Originally Posted By: Pravda1984

Once again proving that a reality TV star, without any moral compass, has no business being president of the United States.

Couldn't agree more.

On the precipice of doom by toehold. May his AMORAL compass trip up the muddle headed maniac. Good riddance.

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of using banned weapons against civilians

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish military and political leaders and health officials have accused Turkish forces of using internationally outlawed weapons in its offensive in the northern Syrian town of Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain) and have asked for an international investigation.

"There are a lot of fears that prohibited weapons are being used in Sari Kani. Wounds we treat at the hospitals are not normal injuries at all," Dr. Manal Mohammed, head of the Rojava Health Board, told Rudaw on Wednesday night.

"Our health board is currently investigating to find out what type of weapon is being used against us. Like I said, wounds we treat are not normal at all,” the doctor said.

Turkey has not commented on the alleged use of banned weapons, but Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish presidential spokesperson, accused people of levelling false allegations against Operation Peace Spring.

“Those who are smearing the Operation Peace Spring are those who are frustrated, angry and funny for losing positions in Syria,” Kalin told a press conference in Ankara late Wednesday.

Spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mustafa Bali tweeted “we suspect that unconventional weapons are used against SDF fighters” in Sari Kani.

He appealed for an international investigation, saying the local teams on the ground lack the expert knowledge and the foreign specialists and humanitarian aid groups have withdrawn from northern Syria.

Aldar Khalil, an executive board member of northern Syria’s ruling Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM), told Sterk TV on Wednesday that medical examinations “confirm claims that Turkey is using banned weapons containing phosphorus and napalm.”

White phosphorous phosphorous is commonly used to create smoke screens or as an incendiary weapon. Its use is controversial and is prohibited in areas where civilians are located.

The US-led coalition was criticized for appearing to use the chemical during the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.

Napalm is a viscous substance that burns at extremely high temperatures. Its use against civilians is banned by a United Nations convention.

Turkey launched its Operation Peace Spring into northeastern Syria last week. The fighting is largely concentrated in the towns of Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain) and Gire Spi (Tal Abyad) on the border where the Turkish army and its Syrian proxies claimed to have seized control, but the SDF says it has retaken lost ground.

Dozens of civilians have been killed in the offensive. The Kurdish Red Crescent reported 62 people have died at Tal Tammer hospital.

Mazloum Kobane, commander of the SDF, told Ronahi TV on Wednesday that 205 civilians have been killed by Turkish forces.

Banned weapons have been used multiple times against civilians in the more than eight-year long Syrian conflict.

In November 2018, the US was accused by the Syrian regime and Russia of using white phosphorus in the fight against ISIS in Deir ez-Zor.

The Syrian regime been accused of using barrel bombs and chemical weapons including chlorine and sarin gas against rebel-held neighbourhoods.

The international community has voiced its concern over reports of Turkey’s Syrian proxies committing war crimes by executing civilians, prisoners of war, and a female Kurdish politician. The United States joined European nations on Wednesday in calling for a halt to the offensive.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed he will not bow to the growing international pressure. “They say ‘declare a ceasefire’. We will never declare a ceasefire,” he said on Wednesday. “They are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about any sanctions."

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish forces a terrorist organization.

US Vice President Mike Pence is travelling to Ankara to try to negotiate a ceasefire.

Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/17/19 03:56 PM

The Vanishing GOP Adult
Charlie Sykes - The Bulwark

With apologies to Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, who has bemoaned the disappearance of adult supervision in our culture, our more immediate problem is the absence of adult supervision in his own party.

Let's start with yesterday's presidential tantrum. In a roomful of putative adults, President Trump apparently melted down, becoming so abusive that Democrats actually walked out of the meeting. It was apparently at that same meeting that he handed out The Letter: "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool! I will call you later."

And every sentient creature in the universe reacted: this can't possibly be real -- a plaintive cry in defiance of what we know deep down: There is no bottom to the juvenile ignorance of the man who sits in the presidency.

From Vanity Fair:

Is This Real?”: Trump Sends Third-Grade Reading-Level Letter to Erdogan

Donald Trump has said or done something certifiably insane nearly every day of his presidency. And not like, “This guy’s a little kooky”-level insane, but full-on “Mr. President, put down the stapler and unhand the president of Finland”-level insane. But last week, apparently seeking to prove to the world that we ain’t seen nothing yet re: the depths of his mental instability, he wrote and reportedly proudly distributed the following letter to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, for all the world to see...

This is real:

Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/18/19 10:44 AM

Amnesty condemns ‘shameful disregard for civilian life’ in northeast Syria

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region⁠— Amnesty International detailed evidence of war crimes and a “shameful disregard for civilian life” by Turkey and Turkish-backed forces in a report published Friday, while medical convoys remain under attack.

Compiled from witness accounts taken from October 12 to 16, the statement denounced a vast array of war crimes and human rights abuses committed against civilians in the Kurdish enclave of Rojava in northern Syria, which have “wreaked havoc on the lives of Syrian civilians,” according to Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo.

“Turkish military forces and their allies have displayed an utterly callous disregard for civilian lives” he said, adding that civilians live in “constant fear of indiscriminate bombardment, abductions and summary killings.”

The summary provided detail into the killing of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf, which was blasted as a “blatant war crime” to be independently investigated, according to Naidoo. Various eyewitness accounts of children injured by Turkish shelling were also included, with medical teams forced to amputate the leg of an 8-year old girl in Qamishli.

Kurdish authorities estimate that more than 300,000 civilians have been displaced and more than 200 killed since Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, intended to create a 30km ‘safe zone’ in northeastern Syria. The once-dominant military force in the area, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), is seen by Turkey as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), branded as a terrorist group by Ankara.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Friday that the medical convoy of the Kurdish Red Crescent, accompanied by the US-based Free Burma Rangers, was targeted by Turkish-backed Syrian forces.

“Factions loyal to Turkey are preventing a Kurdish Red Crescent and an American humanitarian organization from going into the city of Ras al-Ain (Sari Kani) to evacuate the injured there as the factions deliberately targeted the convoy parked near one of the entrances of Ras al-Ain city,” the monitor said.

The targeting of humanitarian convoys follows an urgent appeal from Kurdish authorities on Thursday evening to create a humanitarian corridor for those trapped in the city, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days.

Amnesty International additionally expressed concern over the “deteriorating humanitarian situation” following the withdrawal of international NGOs, adding that there are “real fears” over access to basic supplies for the displaced, which is over 90% of the population in some areas.

Naidoo called for collective efforts to open the area to humanitarian groups, adding that “all parties must provide unfettered access to local and international humanitarian organizations.”
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/19/19 10:26 AM

A Turkish-backed Syrian fighter stands over corpses in the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain on October 17, 2019, during Ankara's deadly offensive against Kurdish forces. (Photo by NAZEER AL-KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump to Kurds: Ethnic-Cleanse Yourselves

by Philip Rotner
October 18, 2019

Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Mike Pompeo just made a deal with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to give his Syrian Kurd enemies five days to ethnically cleanse themselves.

Ten days after Trump green-lit Turkey’s attack on the Syrian Kurds, he sent Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo to Turkey to “make a deal” with Erdogan.

And make a deal they did.

Here is the deal: The Kurds have five days. After that, the “pause” will end, and if the Kurds haven’t abandoned their homes, Turkey will go back to killing them so that their homeland can be repurposed to accommodate the population of Erdogan’s choice.

And in exchange for giving Turkey everything it wanted in the first place, Trump backed off even from the sanctions he threatened in an attempt to pretend he hadn’t given away the store.

In other words, Erdogan gets a slice of Syria, the displacement of the Syrian Kurds, a warm welcome from the president of the United States, and no sanctions.

The Kurds get: Screwed.

And we get: What?

We must be getting something, because Trump called the deal an “amazing outcome” and a “great day for civilization.”

And we have it on good authority from Fox that this president “never lies.”

Philip Rotner is a columnist whose articles appear in national publications and on his website, Philip is an attorney who has practiced for over 40 years, both in private practice and as the general counsel of a global professional services firm. Philip’s views are his own, and do not reflect the views of any organization with which he has been associated.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/22/19 10:35 AM

Fury in Qamishli as US troops leave the city

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Qamishli residents express fury at US soldiers in northeast Syria .

Dramatic footage emerged on Monday of angry Kurdish residents in northeastern Syria throwing tomatoes at the US troops withdrawing from the area seemingly bringing to an end a five year alliance that saw the territorial defeat of Islamic State (ISIS).

Angered residents can be heard shouting “no, no” in unison as the armored vehicles try to pass through a small crowd in the city of Qamishli in northeast Syria. A young bearded man shouts “what happened to you” at one of the soldiers atop one armored vehicle.

Turkey launched an air campaign against the US allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on October 7 hours after President Recept Tayyip Erdogan told President Donald Trump that he was going to invade northern Syria.

Turkey sees the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed force which has fought the Turkish state for decades in pursuit of more rights for the Kurdish minority in Turkey.

The SDF has been a critical partner of the US- led international coalition, losing over 11,000 men and women during the five grueling years against ISIS. The Kurds say President Trump’s green light to President Erdogan to invade northern Syria would cause ethnic cleansing.

“America” could be heard as people start an inaudible chant in unison. “America runs away like a mouse, the Americans are running away like mice” a tall man with a photo of a SDF fighter pinned to his chest shouts as he runs towards the fleeing vehicle.

The city has been the site of multiple atrocities as the Turkish airforce bombed the city including the maiming of an 8-year old child and the death of her 11-year old brother as they played outside. The city’s Christian community has almost entirely fled the area.

A US soldier was photographed on Sunday wearing a badge of the female contingent of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPJ) as soldiers left the town of Tel Tamr. Troops also withdrew from the city of Raqqa, supposedly heading to Iraq to join 5,000 US troops against the ongoing threat of an Islamic State (ISIS) resurgence.

US troops have described the withdrawal as a “stain on the American conscience” as Kurdish forces, the US’ strongest ally in the fight against ISIS, have been left to fight a Turkish incursion.

Residents were previously seen holding placards lamenting the US withdrawal leaving Kurds to face Turkish brutality across the region. “Tell your children that the children of the Kurds were killed by the Turks and we did nothing to protect them,” one read.

As the American convoy passed through the crowd another could be heard shouting “the Americans are cowards.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who was critical of abandoning the Kurdish allies said on Sunday that he was increasingly optimistic that there could be “some historic solutions” in the volatile region.

He called on the US to "make sure we have a demilitarized zone between Turkey and the Kurds," adding that "the Kurds were the allies who helped us defeat ISIS. They lost 10,000 soldiers, we’ve lost eight in four years, God bless the eight, but it was the Kurds who did most of the fighting,” Graham said.

“Protect our NATO ally Turkey from elements of the Kurds that they consider to be terrorists," the senator added, calling for a "demilitarized zone occupied by international forces, no Americans, but we provide airpower.”

Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/22/19 10:46 AM

Turkey counts down to resumption of Syrian operation

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The clock is ticking on the northern Syria ceasefire with Turkey's state TV running a countdown clock and civilians fleeing border towns in anticipation of an attack tonight.

In the top right corner of the screen, TRT has a clock counting down to the end of the 'pause deadline' in Turkey's Operation Peace Spring. The US-brokered truce is due to expire at 10pm local time on Tuesday.

The agreement was not labeled a ceasefire at Turkey's insistence, but detailed steps towards a full cessation of hostilities. Under the terms, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would withdraw from a stretch on the border, pulling south of the M4 highway. They would also relinquish their heavy weapons and destroy fortifications within the truce zone. Turkey in turn would commit to a full ceasefire.

Both sides have accused the other of violating the agreement. The spokesperson for the SDF, Kino Gabriel, told Rudaw that they are ready to abide by the terms and the survival of the ceasefire depends entirely on Turkey. At the moment, the SDF is waiting to see what Turkey will do. "There is no information as to what is going to happen later or tomorrow night," Gabriel said on Monday evening.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Tuesday for what is anticipated to be a decisive meeting.

Turkey’s TRT World runs a countdown clock in the top right of its screen, counting down to the end of the pause in Operation Peace Spring, in this screenshot taken Tuesday morning. Photo: TRT World screenshot

The day before, Erdogan struck a combative tone, saying he will not make a deal with terrorists.

A group of Russian military advisors reportedly arrived in the northern Syria city of Qamishli on Monday, ahead of an expected deployment of Syrian regime troops along the border with Turkey. Russia mediated a deal between the SDF and Damascus for government troops to enter key towns and bolster security along the border to protect against Turkish aggression.

Turkey's ground incursion, launched on October 9 two days after starting an air campaign, has been focused around the mixed Kurdish-Arab border towns of Gire Spi (Tel Abyad) and Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain).

With the end of the pause in operations nearing, the population of Darbasiyah, a village on the border east of Sari Kani, has fled their homes. Turkey removed a segment of their border wall in the area and residents are afraid they will be the Turkish army's next target. Darbasiyah is now a ghost town, according to the Rojava Information Centre.

"Because the ceasefire is ending tomorrow the population is leaving [Darbasiyah], the city is now empty of population, they all left to Hasaka or Iraqi Kurdistan," a resident told the information centre on Monday.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/24/19 11:31 AM

Trump's brave new world

In the alternate universe that much of America now exists in, President Trump on Wednesday gave a press conference to take credit for his great success in Syria. "This was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else," Trump said. "No other nation, very simple. We're willing to take blame and we're also willing to take credit."

Apparently the ethnic cleansing of some 300,000 civilians, the betrayal of a stalwart Kurdish ally, the loss of U.S. credibility and influence in the Middle East, the rise of Russia as the key power broker for the region, the empowerment of Assad and the loosening of pressure on Iran are great accomplishments for Mr. Trump. In this neo-Orwellian world much of America now inhabits, these are all things to congratulate the Trump presidency for. He did, after all, order some 1,000 U.S. troops out of Syria – around the same time he sent another 2,000 to Saudi Arabia.

David Romano has been a Rudaw columnist since 2010. He holds the Thomas G. Strong Professor of Middle East Politics at Missouri State University and is the author of numerous publications on the Kurds and the Middle East.

Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/25/19 09:16 AM

Family’s agony as Syria Kurd sets himself on fire outside UNHCR in Geneva

HASAKA, Syria – Ali Basheer Wazeer, 31, doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire outside the headquarters of the UN refugee agency in Geneva on Wednesday. Swiss police believe it was an act of protest at the world’s response to Turkey’s invasion of his native northeast Syria.

Mahbouba, Ali’s older sister who lives in the Kurdish-majority city of Hasaka in northeast Syria, was distraught when she learned of her brother’s act of protest, which has left him with burns to 80 percent of his body.

“We want to be given our rights. We are also humans,” Mahbouba told Rudaw at her home in the embattled Kurdish region.

“We need our rights, for us to have a country, for our youth to no longer fall martyr, for our homes to no longer get plundered, and for our children to no longer get killed.”

Ali survived the incident but was severely injured. He was flown to a nearby burn trauma unit.

Three years ago, Ali was a fighter in the ranks of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group fighting for greater cultural and political rights for Kurds in Turkey.

With his mounted machine gun, Ali served on the front line against the Islamic State group (ISIS). He later fled to Europe and claimed asylum in Germany, where he is married with two children named Rubar and Hozan.

Ali’s elderly parents still don’t know what has happened to him.

His uncle Adeel, who also lives in Ali’s home city of Hasaka, was in close contact with his nephew while he was serving with the YPG.

He is furious with the international community, who he accuses of abandoning the Kurds, leaving their sons and their land to face an uncertain future.

“Ali fought in all the battles in Hasaka, Qamishli, Sari Kani, and Alouk,” Adeel said. “Ali fought in all the battles. Any battle that took place in our province, you could find Ali participating it.”

“My message for the international community is that if you claim yourself to be democratic, that you care for human rights, then come have a look at Sari Kani. Let them come to the hospitals, to see how our children have been burned with chemical weapons. Or is it that you are just liars?”

Adeel was referring to the case of Mohammed Hamid Mohammed, a 13-year-old Kurdish boy from Sari Kani who was reportedly burned by white phosphorus – a banned chemical weapon – allegedly used by Turkish forces.

Photographs of Mohammed’s injuries and his face contorted in agony have been widely shared on the internet, provoking outrage and condemnation. Turkey has denied using chemical weapons in its offensive. The UN is investigating.

The family says Ali called them before the incident in Geneva, telling them he planned to return to northeast Syria to rejoin the YPG. They also say he was on hunger strike for 10 days in the lead up to the incident.

Ankara and its Arab Syrian proxies launched Operation Peace Spring on October 9 with the stated aim of pushing the SDF back 32 kilometers from Turkey’s southern border.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to resettle up to three million Syrian refugees currently hosted by Turkey inside this ‘peace corridor’. Critics say the move amounts to ethnic cleansing of the predominantly Kurdish region.

Protests against Turkey’s incursion and the US decision to withdraw troops from the region have been taking place in cities across the globe, especially those with a large Turkish diaspora.

With reporting by Halkawt Aziz, translation by Mohammed Rwanduzy
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/26/19 10:05 AM

Turkish-backed SCUM. Help save Cicek Kobane!

Kurdish force makes appeal after female fighter captured alive by Turkey-backed militia

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdish women’s armed group in northern Syria issued an urgent plea for international help to save one of their fighters who was wounded and captured alive by Turkish-backed Syrian militias that have been accused of committing war crimes.

“On October 21 at 21:00, the gangs of the Turkish invading state attacked the village of Mishrafa in Ain al-Issa leading to a fight between our forces and the gangs. Cicek Kobane was injured in her leg and fell captive to the gangs of [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan,” read a statement from the YPJ, the all-women branch of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northeast Syria.

Video published on Telegram channels linked to the Syrian militias show a militant carrying the captured Kurdish fighter. The militants call her “pig” and say she will be taken to “slaughter.” There is evidence of the Syrian militias desecrating the body of another female Kurdish fighter and killing a senior female politician and human rights advocate.

American officials have said these incidents could be war crimes.

The YPJ called on the international community to “urgently intervene” to save Cicek Kobane.

“We call on all the women of the world and international human rights organizations to speak up against this brutality of Turkish-backed gangs,” said the force.

The video was made public at least 24 hours ago. The fate of Cicek Kobane remains unknown.

Turkey and its Syrian proxies launched Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on October 9. The operation has been condemned by officials and leaders around the world.

A US-brokered deal on October 17 brought in a five-day pause in operations and Moscow and Ankara subsequently reached an agreement to take control over the border.

The Kurdish forces accused Turkey of violating the ceasefire. The YPJ said that Kobane was captured after the cessation of hostilities was supposed to be in force.

There is evidence of the Syrian militias desecrating the body of another female Kurdish fighter and killing a senior female politician and human rights advocate.

American officials have said these incidents could be war crimes.

“I've seen the reports as well. We’re trying to monitor them. They are horrible and, if accurate, I assume that they are accurate, they would be war crimes, as best as I know the law of land warfare. So I think all of those needs to be followed up on. I think those responsible should be held accountable – in many cases it would be the government of Turkey should be held accountable for this because we cannot allow those things to happen,” US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in an interview with CNN, aired on Tuesday.

There are growing calls for an internally-controlled zone along the border between Turkey and northern Syria. Germany, which presented such a proposal to NATO defence ministers this week, is ready to commit 2,500 soldiers, Spiegel reported on Friday. Germany would lead the mission and is calling European allies to join what would be an international force.

The European Parliament this week called for the United Nations to take the lead in establishing a safe corridor.

Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/27/19 10:51 AM

‘They broke her body’: Mother grieves for murdered Kurdish politician Havrin Khalaf

DERIK, Syria – Suad Muhammed, 62, stands out among the crowd of mourners in her black dress, her eyes sharp despite many sleepless nights. Her daughter, Havrin Khalaf, was summarily executed by Turkish-backed Syrian militias on October 12.

It’s a bright and sunny day in Derik (al-Malikiyah) in northeastern Syria, but the beautiful weather does nothing to cheer the people walking the streets. The district came under repeated Turkish attack during Ankara’s military incursion. Shells fell on the town and surrounding villages, killing several people and damaging infrastructure.

On Tuesday, people were anxiously counting the hours before the end of a US-brokered pause in operations, which was due to end that evening.

More than a dozen relatives of people killed in the conflict gathered in front of the Council for Martyrs, grieving for their lost loved ones, afraid of what would happen next.

“Havrin was the last of my six children. She was 34 years old. She was single and was a leading figure in Syria who dedicated her time to the enhancing of other people’s lives,” Suad said.

Havrin was secretary general of the Future Syria Party, which campaigns for social cohesion among all components of Syrian society. She was recognized by many as a figure who could have played a major role in the reconciliation process after the war in Syria.

“As soon as she finished her studies, she started helping people by fighting inequality. Before being a member of Syria’s Future Party, she had been a key member of the Ministry of Energy of the autonomous region [of North-Eastern Syria] and passed some bills that allowed every household at least 10 amperes of electricity despite all the power cuts,” Suad said of her daughter.

“She then joined the Ministry of Economy and worked on developing agrarian reforms to ensure food sustainability in Northern Syria. After these basic reforms, she dedicated her life to bringing communities together,” a task which was especially important to the late-politician.

Suad says Havrin’s dedication to the cause of reconciliation was at the center of her work, even when it endangered her life.

“She wasn’t influenced that much by Abdullah Ocalan (leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK); rather, she had a genuine desire to see her country recover from the disaster it had gone through in the last nine years. Social cohesion and harmony between the communities was an obsession for her. That’s why she was targeted,” Suad said.

When she mentions Havrin’s death, her eyes suddenly sharpen, her voice rises, and her hands become animated.

“I was with her the morning she was killed. She was in Derik to meet her driver’s family as his father had died of natural causes. That morning, she told me how good I smelt. I told her to stay, or that I should come with her as she had meetings around Raqqa and Tabqa. But she said everything would be fine.”

“I told her to take a Quran to protect herself, but she said she didn’t need it, that she had one in her heart already.”

“The criminals who murdered her broke the Quran that was in her. They say they are Muslims, but they are no such thing. Even non-believers don’t behave like that.”

Havrin’s car was targeted with heavy weapons in an intentional, targeted attack. Videos clearly show her body was mutilated. “There is no doubt about this,” Suad said.

She reserves the greatest share of her rage for the Turkish president.

“I accuse Erdogan of using chemical weapons against civilians, of killing children and committing war crimes. I accuse him of murdering my daughter. If there is any justice in this world, why is the international community staying so silent?”

“If they had wanted to eliminate her, why didn’t they just put a bullet in her head or in her heart?”

“No, instead, they tortured her. They broke her body, tore her nails and hair off… is this democracy, is this justice? No, it’s not. I’ll keep shouting till justice comes.”

She falls silent a moment, her face riven with grief.

“What have we done? Nothing! We haven’t thrown a single stone against their walls. But they come into our houses to kill us. What have we done? No matter what happens, we’ll defend ourselves. It’s the most legitimate right we have,” she said.

Suad steps inside the Martyrs Council office to collect the meager pension given to all families who have lost loved ones in the conflict – $40 per month.

Her daughter’s name has been officially recorded by the council as a hero who defended the people against terrorism and oppression.
Posted by: DoctorTom

Re: Bloody high five - 10/27/19 12:55 PM

Glory for Kurds.
None for homeless Vets or other Americans.
Posted by: Formermac

Re: Bloody high five - 10/27/19 01:21 PM

It appears that you have no opposing agenda with reasons why but only in attempt to annoy Teonan. Can one be so obvious? Take your battle to another topic seeing that you've already gone to the Ontario County site with the same one liner.
Posted by: Timbo

Re: Bloody high five - 10/27/19 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: DoctorTom
Glory for Kurds.
None for homeless Vets or other Americans.

Sorry, Harley. Nom de guerre aside...

You might be right (if it were true), but, as usual, you aren't (because it's obviously not).
Posted by: Formermac

Re: Bloody high five - 10/27/19 01:45 PM

God morning Sir, it's becoming all too apparent that this forum is losing the ability to have opposing dialogue with respect and views in which one may not have otherwise thought of. When I came here years ago, some of those views were thought provoking and gave way to one seeing some things in a different light...those days seems to be gone, now we observe antagonistic behavior of grade school children, I personally commend those comments coming from yourself and Teonan.

My bad I didn't forget you Ben
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/28/19 10:40 AM

Originally Posted By: DoctorTom
Glory for Kurds.
None for homeless Vets or other Americans.

No sense being a traffic cop Doc. Roll out a new forum thread with your concerns. Easy peasy. You know the drill. whistle
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/28/19 11:08 AM

Baghdadi killing important but doesn't end ISIS: Kurdish leaders

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region- The death of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an important step in the fight against ISIS but is not the end of the terror group, Kurdistan Region officials said on Sunday amid reports that the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) provided vital information that facilitated the US-led operation.

“The Kurdistan Region, as an important and main component of the International Coalition against Daesh, considers the destruction of the head of the terrorist Daesh organization Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi a big step in the fight against terror,” KRI President Nechirvan Barzani said in a Sunday statement, using the Arabic acronym of ISIS, before thanking the US and all those who contributed to the mission.

“Killing Baghdadi, after the destruction of the so-called caliphate of Daesh, is an important step, but this in no way means the end of terror, or the end of Daesh’s ideology or mindset,” Barzani added.

In the early hours of Sunday, a US-led operation on a compound reportedly sheltering the ISIS leader in Barisha village, in northwest Syrian province of Idlib ended with Baghdadi committing suicide.

While US President Donald Trump hailed Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, and to a lesser degree Kurds, reports indicate that the Kurdistan Region and Syrian Kurds provided more intelligence than any other actors that contributed to the death of the ISIS leader.

At the height of ISIS’ expansion and control of territory in 2014, the KRI fought ISIS along a frontline extending 1,000 kilometers. More than 1,000 dead Peshmerga fighters died, with thousands more injured.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 10/31/19 09:12 AM

Erdogan threatens to expand Syria ‘safe zone’ as attacks intensify on Kurdish enclaves

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Just hours after the Russian-brokered ceasefire between Turkey and Syria’s Kurds expired on Wednesday morning, sporadic fighting resumed across northern Syria.

With the full withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the border region complete, Turkey is now mooting the further expansion of its planned ‘safe zone’ deeper into Syrian territory.

Wednesday was marked by a rash of fighting between Turkish-backed militiamen and Syrian regime forces.

Turkey agreed on October 22 to pause Operation Peace Spring against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), giving the group 150 hours to withdraw 32km from the Syria-Turkey border.

Russia announced the completion of the withdrawal on Tuesday. The ceasefire expired at 6am local time on Wednesday.

Just hours later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he may expand his so-called ‘safe zone’ along the shared border beyond the 32km line.

The Turkish president plans to resettle millions of Syrian refugees currently hosted by Turkey inside this corridor.

“We will give a drastic response to any attack coming from outside of the safe zone [in northern Syria] and we will expand our safe zone area if needed,” he told a parliamentary meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Wednesday.

In response to the Turkish operation, which began October 9, the SDF struck a deal with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad allowing the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to secure the border, while leaving the political autonomy of the Kurdish administration unchecked.

Shortly after Erdogan issued his new threat to expand the safe zone further south, Turkish-backed rebels attacked regime troops south of Tel Tamr – around 30km south of the Turkish border.

The people of Ras al-Ain (Sare Kani), which was recently seized by the Turkish-backed militias, had fled to Tel Tamr to escape the fighting and treat their injured. Now they have again been forced to flee.

“The situation is not good. They [Turkish-backed militia] are shelling south of Tel Tamr from 7-8km,” one man told Rudaw as he left town on his motorcycle.

Another man said the people of Tel Tamr are “terrified” of the approaching forces, and have even started moving their livestock, fearing looters.

Military vehicles belonging to regime forces were also spotted leaving the area.

Turkey is yet to comment on the clashes, but SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali confirmed the attack on Tel Tamr in a tweet.

As guarantors of the ceasefires, the US and Russia are “responsible” for the attack, Bali said.

“There is a ceasefire agreement in place which requires SDF to withdraw and Turkish army to stop aggression. Villages of Dirbasiya and Tel Temr are still being heavily attacked, even the ones in which we handed over positions to SAA,” he tweeted.

“It’s clear that Turkey has no intention of halting attacks. Russia, US are responsible for bloodshed and displacement of thousands of civilians who are now fleeing their homes in Tel Tamr,” he added in a separate tweet.

Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 11/01/19 10:20 AM

Why the Kurds remain genuine friends of the West

On October 6, following a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan, Donald Trump betrayed the Kurds in Syria. Without warning, he ordered the small contingent of US soldiers on the Syria-Turkey border – whose presence there prevented a Turkish invasion of the Kurdish-led Syrian enclave – to withdraw. Turkey’s invasion came two days later, spearheaded by Syrian Arab proxies, several of them jihadi extremist. Turkey’s attack also brought with it very open plans for ethnic cleansing, given Erdogan’s stated intention of “cleaning out” what he called a “terrorist entity” and resettling the area with Syrian refugees from non-Kurdish parts of Syria.

The betrayal became the latest in a long litany of Western betrayals of the Kurds. The Treaty of Sevres in 1920 promised the Kurds self-determination in their homeland, but was quickly forgotten. In the 1920s, the British promised the Kurds of Iraq measures of local autonomy and respect for Kurdish rights, but these promises were likewise left by the wayside. In 1946, Britain and the United States convinced the Soviet Union to withdraw its support for the nascent Republic of Kurdistan in Mahabad, Iran, leading to the military defeat of the first Kurdish statelet and the hanging of its leaders.

Full article at above link.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 11/02/19 11:11 AM

US House overwhelmingly votes to recognize Armenian genocide
Resolution comes at delicate time in US-Turkey relationship, shortly after House votes to impose sanctions

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to recognize the Armenian genocide of a century ago, stepping into a fraught historical debate at a particularly tense moment for the US-Turkey relationship.

The House voted 405-11 in favor of the resolution, which is not legally binding, to formally recognize the systematic killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915, modern-day Turkey, as a “genocide”.

Earlier on Tuesday, the House voted 403 to 16 to impose sanctions on Turkey, in a striking rebuke of Donald Trump after he pulled American forces from northern Syria following a phone call with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, paving the way for Turkey’s assault on Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria.

The Turkish government has long denied the term genocide to describe the slaughter and has waged a lobbying campaign in the US and around the world to discourage the use of that word in reference to the killings.

Many countries and nearly all US states officially recognize the killings as genocide. But the US Congress has resisted pressure in recent years by activists out of a desire not to inflame tensions with a Nato ally. Support for a resolution grew, particularly among Democrats, after Trump enabled the Turkish offensive against the Kurdish groups.

The US had previously allied with Syrian Kurdish forces against militants of the Islamic State group. The Turkish offensive left scores of Kurdish fighters and civilians dead and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

“If we ignore history, then we are destined to witness the mistakes of the past be repeated,” the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said, urging support for the resolution on Tuesday. “Recent attacks by the Turkish military against the Kurdish people are a stark reminder of the danger in our own time.”

The California Democrat Adam Schiff, a sponsor of the resolution, said in a statement: “The House declared that it will no longer be party to the cause of genocide denial. This is a vote I have fought for 19 years to make possible, and one that tens of thousands of my Armenian American constituents have worked, struggled, and prayed for decades to see.”

The vote on the bipartisan resolution came on the heels of House passage of economic sanctions against Turkey.

There is a bipartisan resolution in the Senate but it is unclear if the chamber will bring the measure to the floor.

In a statement, the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, condemned the move, which he called “a meaningless political step” and an “attempt to rewrite history”.

“The US Administration and politicians as well as the American people are best placed to consider the damages this resolution seeking to disrupt Turkey-US ties does and will inflict upon the US interests at an extremely fragile time in terms of the international and regional security,” the statement said, adding: “Undoubtedly, this resolution will negatively affect the image of the US before the public opinion of Turkey as it also brings the dignity of the US House of Representatives into disrepute.”

But on Capitol Hill, the resolution’s passage was celebrated.

California congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who is Armenian American, said she had been “waiting for this moment” since she was first elected to Congress more than a quarter-century ago.

“This resolution not only honors and commemorates my ancestors who perished but all those who were lost in the first genocide of the 20th century,” she said.
Posted by: Timbo

Re: Bloody high five - 11/02/19 11:31 AM

Long time coming.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 11/06/19 11:02 AM

Former Marine Slams Trump’s Kurd Betrayal In Ad On His Favorite Fox News Show

The ad from a Republican group will air during “Fox & Friends” in Washington.

President Donald Trump could find himself receiving criticism from an unexpected source on Wednesday: an ad during “Fox & Friends,” reportedly his favorite Fox News show.

The spot from the Republican group Defending Democracy Together ― led by conservative Trump critic Bill Kristol ― features a former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant slamming the decision to abandon America’s Kurdish allies by withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria.

“Every Marine knows that you don’t leave a Marine behind. You don’t leave an ally behind,” Sgt. Joe Jenkins says in the spot. “So why are we leaving the Kurds behind? That’s not right.”

Jenkins, now a teacher in Texas, served in the Marines for five years, including back-to-back tours in Iraq’s Anbar province.

“How long can America keep relying on others when we turn our backs?” he asks in the spot, which will air on “Fox & Friends” in Washington and also run digitally:

Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria drew widespread condemnation from both sides of the aisle, with the House voting 354-60 to condemn the move.

The commercial directs viewers to the Stand With Allies website to sign a petition aimed at the 60 lawmakers who voted against the measure, all of whom are Republicans.

“The Kurds in Syria have been America’s most effective local ally in fighting ISIS,” Kristol said in a statement, noting that Kurdish intelligence helped U.S. forces find and kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

He added:

“This is an indefensible betrayal of a key U.S. ally, and every American should remember this shame and dishonor so that we never repeat this mistake again.”

According to the United Nations, 180,000 people ― including 80,000 children ― were displaced by the two weeks of fighting that ensued after U.S. troops left and Turkey attacked the Kurds.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 11/12/19 11:14 AM

US troops at Syria base say they’ll keep pressure on ISIS

A BASE IN EASTERN SYRIA (AP) — At a base in eastern Syria, a senior US coalition commander said Monday that American troops who remain in Syria are redeploying to bases, including in some new locations, and working with the Kurdish-led forces to keep up the pressure on the Islamic State militants and prevent the extremists from resurging or breaking out of prisons.

The commander, Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric T. Hill, said even though Bradley armored vehicles have arrived in eastern Syria, the mission’s focus has not changed. He said the “force mix,” including the mechanized armored vehicles deployed in Syria for the first time since the war against ISIS, has an array of capabilities to deny ISIS the chance to regroup.

“The mission still continues. And Daesh is trying to resurge wherever they can,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the group. He said the forces have captured 700 IS fighters since its last territorial holding fell in March. “We’ve destroyed many and war remnants and we continue to do so as we find them.”

Speaking at a remote base in Syria where the Bradleys arrived last week, he said “our primary way that we do that” is through working with the US partners, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 11/15/19 01:10 AM

Footloose rats attempt the Ball Twist

Turkish president claims he taught Senator Graham “a lesson” for anti-Turkey remarks

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — On his way back to Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkish journalists that he taught Senator Lindsey Graham “a lesson” for his comments against the Turkish invasion of northern Syria.

His remarks follow a two-day visit to Washington DC, in which he met with US President Donald Trump and a number of senators.

Five Republican US senators, known for their strong criticism of Turkey's Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, were invited to the Trump-Erdogan meeting.

Prior to his trip to the US, the Turkish president said that he would try to revert the stance of those Americans who see the Turkish operation in Syria as an invasion.

However, a source who was present in the room told US outlet Axios that Erdogan’s video “was unpersuasive”

Senator Linsdey Graham is reported to have asked Erdogan “"Well, do you want me to go get the Kurds to make one about what you've done?"

Read on:
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 11/24/19 12:26 PM

Counter-ISIS coalition announces killing, capture of ‘multiple’ militants in eastern Syria raids

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The international counter-Islamic State (ISIS) coalition announced Saturday "multiple" ISIS militants were killed and wounded in a "large-scale" raid in eastern Syria. Other militants were taken alive during the Friday operation.

The statement from US CENTCOM did not provide a figure for militant fatalities and injuries. However, “more than a dozen fighters” were captured during the raids on “multiple compounds” in Deir ez-Zor province.

After clearing the terrorists' compounds, a significant amount of small arms, homemade explosives and ammunition were removed, the statement added.

The fresh raid was "part of the enduring partnership in the fight against ISIS" in north and northeastern Syria, where "terrorist sleeper cells remain a persistent threat."

"Local security forces, with Coalition assistance, are continuing to conduct counter-terrorism operations," the US-led coalition statement read, in reference to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Friday's operation was conducted following days of joint planning and preparation with the SDF.

Taking advantage of the US troop drawdown in Syria in the wake of Turkey's incursion, ISIS has been able to rebuild and expand its ability to conduct attacks in the area.

Before the launch of Turkey's ground invasion, SDF and Kurdish administrative leaders warned they would have to center their efforts and resources on pushing back the Turkish offensive – putting counter-ISIS operations and the detention of ISIS suspects and their kin on the backburner.

"SOJTF-OIR remains committed to our relentless pursuit of Daesh," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric T. Hill, Special Operations Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve commander. "As long as Daesh presents a threat, we must stay vigilant to prevent it, for the sake of the region and our homelands."

The Pentagon's Lead Inspector General indicated in his latest report to Congress that the US withdrawal was detrimental to the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) mission against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

"Prior to the Turkish incursion and subsequent draw-down of US forces, ISIS...had been continuing to reconstitute networks and carry out attacks...After the Turkish incursion, the DIA reported ... that with SDF and U.S. operations against ISIS in Syria diminished, ISIS was likely to exploit the reduction in counter-terrorism pressure to reconstitute its operations in Syria and expand its ability to conduct transnational attacks," Inspector General Fine stated in the report’s opening message.

Related: New Pentagon report confirms US troop withdrawal helped ISIS rebuild in northeast Syria
Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 11/27/19 11:27 AM

Turkey bombs Kurdish village north of Sulaimani

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region —Turkish warplanes bombed a village north of Sulaimani on Tuesday evening, forcing locals to flee their homes.

"The Turkish warplanes bombed Sarginel village six times," Nahro Abdulla, mayor of Sangasar, close to Sarginel, confirmed to Rudaw.

"The bombing started at 4pm and lasted two hours," he added.

The village in Raniya is home to around 50 families.

Posted by: Teonan

Re: Bloody high five - 11/28/19 11:38 AM

Father grabbed his 5 children and fled after US 'betrayed' his town

By Clarissa Ward, Salma Abdelaziz and Mohammed Hassan, CNN

November 26, 2019

Al Hasakah, Syria (CNN)It was just a few weeks ago, on a sunny day in early October, when Ibrahim Hassan stood snapping photos of his children smiling with American soldiers in his hometown of Ras al-Ain.
The regular US patrols gave the Kurdish construction worker a reassuring sense of security against the chaotic backdrop of Syria's civil war. The troops were a sign of the long-term alliance between the US and Kurdish forces, which fought ISIS in northern Syria and provided critical intelligence that led to the death of terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Ibrahim Hassan was glad to photograph his son with a US serviceman. But he said he felt betrayed when the Americans changed their mission.