Apocalyptic Conflict in 2016? | Akira

We have hit a series of critical inflection points in the Syrian conflict with recent events.

The most important is that Erdogan has now unmasked himself as a deep supporter of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Frankly there is no other explanation of why he would risk an open conflict with Russia in their defense. It was one thing to brazenly support terrorist proxies when there were no consequences, but to risk the whole economic relationship with Russia and quite possibly a real war?

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The military situation in Syria to the 20th of November, 2015 | Colonel Cassad

So far, from a military point of view Russia is increasing the number of strikes and is likely to do so in order not to miss the recent initiative. Much will depend on how will take place on the battle for Aleppo if the rebels and the the Caliphate will not be able to slow down the development of the offensive of the Syrian army, the Assad before the new year will score more than enough points for the upcoming negotiations on the post-war device of Syria to operate from a position of strength. It’s one thing when his troops retreated and handed over the territory. And quite another when his opponents suffered several sensitive lesions and have lost dozens of settlements with considerable territories. In this respect, as before the fighting apart from the purely military considerations have complicated political implications associated with beginning negotiations to end the civil war in Syria.

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Turkey could cut off Islamic State’s supply lines. So why doesn’t it? | David Graeber

It might seem outrageous to suggest that a Nato member like Turkey would in any way support an organisation that murders western civilians in cold blood. That would be like a Nato member supporting al-Qaida. But in fact there is reason to believe that Erdoğan’s government does support the Syrian branch of al-Qaida (Jabhat al-Nusra) too, along with any number of other rebel groups that share its conservative Islamist ideology. The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University has compiled a long list of evidence of Turkish support for Isis in Syria.

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Mass graves found in Sinjar | AFP

Officials found the site of the mass grave based on information from young women enslaved by IS who claimed to have witnessed the execution of dozens of Yazidi women before later escaping.

Miyasir Hajji, a local council member, told AFP the grave on the edge of the town, which has not yet been excavated, is thought to contain the bodies of 78 women aged from 40 to around 80.

“It seems that the (IS) terrorist members only wanted young girls to enslave,” Hajji said, referring to the jihadists using women as sex slaves who can be bought and sold.

Mahma Khalil, the local official responsible for the Sinjar area, confirmed that the mass grave had been found, and estimated it held some 80 victims.

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Turkey says it fired at Kurdish forces in northern Syria | AP

Turkey has confirmed that its military has attacked the main Kurdish force in northern Syria, a key ally of the United States in its efforts to defeat the Islamic State group.

The U.S.-supported Kurdish militia, known as the YPG, said the Turkish military shot at its forces deployed in the town of Tal Abyad twice on Sunday, using mostly machine guns. No one was injured in the shooting and the Kurdish forces didn’t return fire.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed that the military targeted the Kurdish forces in an interview with Turkey’s ATV television late Monday.

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America’s Client Paralysis | Sic Semper Tyrannis

So, Al Qaeda, the killers of 9/11, made it from nemesis to ally in just a decade, with the general fighting their offspring in 2008 proposing to arm their successors in 2015.

How to better capture the utter strategic incoherence that afflicts US policy at the moment?

Because the guys who killed a couple thousand Americans during 9/11 and afterwards, and a couple thousand Iraqi Shia (no saints either but immaterial to this point) are good guys now that they have started killing Syrian soldiers and civilians, in scores? They have changed their target but surely retained their attitudes. And the general who fought Al Qaeda in Iraq wants to arm them in Syria so they can kill Syrian Army and ISIS fighters? Can the US, after that, seriously claim to have won the GWOT?

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Syrian Kurdistan to open mission in Berlin, Paris and Moscow: PYD leader

Syrian Kurdish PYD leaders last Wednesday held talks in Moscow with Russia’s deputy foreign minister over the conflict in the war-torn nation, including talks about further steps toward the opening of a Russian office.

Deputy minister Mikhail Bogdanov hosted the co-chair of the PYD Asya Abdullah and the head of the administration in the Kobani Canton of Syrian Kurdistan Anwar Muslim, Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Earlier last week an International Kurdish Conference, organised jointly by the Union of International Kurdish Social Institutions and Russian Institute of Strategic Research (RISI) has kicked off in Moscow.

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Syrian Kurds have ISIL ‘capital’ in their sights

“We are preparing to liberate Raqqa and Jarabulus, thousands of fighters are being readied for the offensive. Right now, we are discussing the coordination between us and the Free Syrian army and tribal fighters,” says Idriss Nassan, deputy minister of foreign affairs of Kobani canton, one of the three administrative districts that make up the predominantly Kurdish self-declared autonomous region of Rojava in northern Syria.

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US unsure if Kurds recovered weapons airdropped into Syria

Amid conflicting reports on the delivery of weapons and ammunition airdropped into northern Syria last week, the US military said Thursday it wasn’t sure if the Kurds had recovered any of the packages.

“I don’t have a breakdown of exactly where those—where everything went,” said the US Defense Dept. Spokesman Peter Cook. “My understanding is that…this specifically went to Syrian Arab forces and that there were other groups, opposition groups that may have also been able to recover some of the weaponry as well.”

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The war in the middle East by 17 October – Col Cassad

Kurdish militias really are preparing to attack the Northern frontiers of the Caliphate, in the near future a delegation of the Kurds will visit Tehran. While the Americans promise me some air support to the Kurds. In fact, both sides are trying to involve the Kurds in the coalition by quite prosaic reason – the Kurds will ensure cheap infantry which would fight against the the Caliphate, while the coalition only need aviation and military-technical support. The Kurds know their worth (especially in relation to the conflict with Turkey) and has not made a clear choice, so the struggle for the involvement of Kurds in one of coalitions will continue. In principle, it is more profitable for us that the Kurds are in the coalition with Assad, as in the case of large-scale ground military successes, the Alliance of Damascus and the Kurds will give the opportunity to recreate a significant part of Syria at least on a Federal basis, where the Kurds can count on autonomy, which they will not be able to rely on Turkey and to the idea which is now heavily grown in Washington. But Americans can replay the situation and promises to Kurdish leaders in the creation of a Kurdish state at the expense of the Northern regions of Syria and Iraq, but then they run the risk of seriously quarrel with Iraq and Turkey. In General, there are very a tangle of contradictions.

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Moscow ready to work with Kurds — diplomat

Russia is ready to work with all constructive forces in Syria in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said on Thursday, answering a question about possible cooperation with Kurds.

“We are in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government and are ready to work with all the constructive forces that are ready for joint fight against IS,” Meshkov said.

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