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Here it comes: Syria

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Here it comes: Syria

Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:06
  #2401 (permalink)  
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some noise of dissatisfaction claiming that the "David’s Sling" did not perform well and not intercepted the Syrian missiles
"One of the interceptor was ordered to self-destruct after it was determined that both SS-21s were to land inside Syrian territory. It is not known what happened to the other interceptor."
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 10:32
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
"One of the interceptor was ordered to self-destruct after it was determined that both SS-21s were to land inside Syrian territory. It is not known what happened to the other interceptor."
Yes, I read your previous post. Obviously we read different sources. And I think that native Israeli news is more reliable than distant US/UK sources.

Here is the one I was referring too, FYI
http://www.newsru.co.il/israel/24jul2018/prasha_103.html


Sorry it's in Russian, but any online translator will at least provide the contents. E.g. here is an excerpt:

"The website of the Haaretz newspaper wrote that the Syrian rockets haven't been brought down. Operators "Prachtchi David" had to destroy interceptor missiles after they haven't hit the mark, it was told in this publication.

Yoav Zeytun writes on the website Ynet that preliminary investigation confirms correctness of the decision on start of antimissiles, each of which costs 1 million dollars as there was a real threat: one of the Syrian missiles launched approximately for 100 km to an estimated point of interception has fallen all in kilometer from the Israeli border. The author of the publication considers that the Syrian rockets haven't been intercepted because of a technological, but not human factor. The Ministry of Defence and Raphael concern investigate this incident."
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Old 24th Jul 2018, 16:27
  #2403 (permalink)  
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-44940599

Israel 'shoots down' Syrian fighter near Golan Heights

Israel says it has shot down a Syrian warplane which entered its airspace - a rare incident between the two foes.

Two surface-to-air missiles were fired at the Sukhoi fighter jet, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted. According to Israeli reports, it happened over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The pilot's fate is not clear.

Syrian news agency Sana said Israel had targeted the jet over Syrian airspace, but did not say whether it was hit. Sana quoted an unnamed military source as saying the plane was conducting raids against "armed terrorist groups" near the southern Yarmouk Valley......

Israel's Haaretz news website said residents in northern Israel saw interceptor missiles fired and heard explosions. Flames and smoke were also later seen rising from the area of the fence between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights, AFP news agency reports......





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Old 5th Aug 2018, 07:16
  #2404 (permalink)  
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China offers troops to Syria. Nit sure their reasons are just as he surmises - just like Russia it will be an opportunity to put theirnlatest up against current western technology and gather intelligence and assessments.

https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2018/0...-syria-in.html
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Old 5th Aug 2018, 09:00
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That's a long way from offering troops........... could be kit, could be "advisors," could be medics, could be intelligence.......

"Two Chinese diplomats have raised the possibility of Chinese military operations in Syria alongside the Assad regime.
Speaking to Syrian pro-government daily Al-Watan on Thursday, China’s Ambassador to Damascus, Qi Qianjin, said that the Chinese military is willing to participate “in some way” alongside the Syrian Army in Idlib as well as other parts of Syria.

Additionally, Chinese military attaché Wong Roy Chang, in a similar statement also delivered to Al-Watan, reportedly stated that there is “ongoing” military cooperation between the two countries.

“We, China, wish to develop our relations with the Syrian Army. As for participating in the Idlib operation, it requires a political decision,” Chang said. "
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Old 5th Aug 2018, 09:45
  #2406 (permalink)  
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I remember what happened to the Chinese embassy in Belgrade when they didn’t take the hint about providing intelligence on US operations to the Sebian government.

I believe the US government apologised for the JDAM that went astray - all 5 of them.......
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 17:25
  #2407 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/w...g-up-k6pc2gszm

Cold war on Iraq’s frontier with Syria is hotting up


The last checkpoint before the border was different: the scale, the delay but most of all the flags. During our long drive across the Iraqi desert in a convoy of United Nations jeeps and army pick-up trucks we had been swiftly waved through. Not here. Instead, we were stopped by militiamen whose black, green and white banners gave the post away as belonging to the “Popular Mobilisation Units”, militias controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. It took a call from the mayor of the border town, al-Qaim, to let us through.

The abrupt change of control over the road was not random. This border is the most sensitive 12-mile patch of territory in the world. On the Syrian side, a few miles away across the sand, lies a giant base controlled by Iran, unreachable to outsiders but spotted by satellites, thought to contain thousands of Afghan, Iraqi and other Shia fighters. It was bombed by unknown forces in June.

A hundred miles further into Syria is a large, remote and previously unwanted patch of desert now inhabited by 1,000 US, French and Norwegian special forces, alongside perhaps 2,000 allied Syrian Arab Sunni tribal fighters. This territory, previously largely uninhabited, is now a fixed western presence, described satirically by British and US officials as “the spherical emirate of al-Tanf” after the expanding military base at its core.

This border, straddled by the Iraqi town of al-Qaim and its Syrian twin, al-Bukamal, is a patchwork of Iraqi army, western, and militia control, and in the wreckage of Iraq and Syria has become the epicentre of the conflict between the US and Iran.

It is a cold war, but it is hotting up. President Trump originally called time on al-Tanf, which came into existence as part of US support for rebels in the Syrian civil war, saying in his election campaign he no longer wanted to waste resources trying to overthrow President Assad. Now he has done a volte-face, under pressure from his foreign policy advisers, particularly Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, and John Bolton, the national security adviser, to try to scupper Iran’s advance across the region. Both are long-term Iran hawks.

“Trump was opposed to staying put in Syria but it seems the ‘steady state’ has got its way at the moment,” a diplomat in the region said, referring to foreign policy greybeards around Mr Trump. “There doesn't seem any likelihood the troops are pulling out soon.”

The US establishment has become fixated on what they are calling the Iranian road to the Mediterranean and the Israeli border, expanding Tehran’s hold over the so-called Shia crescent. Iran’s support for President Assad has allowed it to set up bases across Syria manned by members of the Revolutionary Guard, officially, as “advisers”, and Shia militias recruited in Syria and across the region.Among them are the Lebanese Hezbollah, several Iraqi brigades and fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Shia minorities. The Iranians already have Hezbollah in Lebanon, which leaves the only gap in the crescent as being the Iraqi territory between the Syrian and Iranian borders, which is why the road west from Baghdad has become so significant.

At Mr Trump’s new command, the US is fighting back. A US envoy, Brett McGurk, is fighting an open battle with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard al-Quds’ brigade head, General Qassem Soleimani, to shape the incoming Iraqi government.

It is a battle where neither side can win outright but Iran is gaining the upper hand. Hadi al-Ameri, who heads the biggest Iran-backed PMU militia, the Badr Corps, also leads the Fateh, or Liberation, party which came second in May’s elections and looks likely to be a key member of any ruling coalition. On the ground, the Badr Corps is establishing bases with its PMU allies from the Iranian border across Iraq. The 12-mile stretch of frontier they have secured west of al-Qaim is the key choke point, and the centre of Iranian-US rivalry. It is a volatile mix.

“The Iraqi army, which is close to the Americans, control the actual border crossing at al-Qaim,” said Hishem al-Hashimi, a prominent Iraqi security analyst. “On the other side in Syria there are 8,000 Shia militiamen.”

He has also been taken by American forces to visit al-Tanf, a rare outsider’s vew. “From there the road [into Syria] is monitored by the Americans, French and Norwegians,” he said. His experience of al-Tanf brought home its unique qualities. “A genie couldn’t live there,” he said. “But it’s an open landscape and they have vision over 45 miles. It’s a very good choice for them.” Al-Tanf’s original Free Syrian Army forces now number less than 400, compared with the 1,000 western troops and up to 2,000 tribal fighters, Mr Hashimi said.

The battle against Islamic State is now in its last stages. Mr Trump said in March troops would afterwards be withdrawn, but now his new envoy to the Syrian opposition says they will be staying, both as a brake on Iran and as a tool to undermine Assad himself. “We will make it our business to make life as miserable as possible for that flopping cadaver of a regime and let the Russians and Iranians, who made this mess, get out of it,” James Jeffrey, the envoy, said. This month Mr Bolton said US forces would stay so long as Iranian forces remained outside Iran.

The Iranian-backed forces are not backing down, however. General Soleimani has issued a direct warning to the US not to take on Iran, and American officials fear militias like the Badr Corps are preparing attacks on US forces. That threatens a return to the chaos following the 2003 invasion, when Iran-backed militias ravaged American and British troops, killing hundreds of them. “We are near you, where you can’t even imagine,” General Soleimani said this summer. “If you begin the war, we will end the war. You know that this war will destroy all that you possess.”..........
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 18:44
  #2408 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/w...g-up-k6pc2gszm
Cold war on Iraq’s frontier with Syria is hotting up
The last checkpoint before the border was different: the scale, the delay but most of all the flags. During our long drive across the Iraqi desert in a convoy of United Nations jeeps and army pick-up trucks we had been swiftly waved through. Not here. Instead, we were stopped by militiamen whose black, green and white banners gave the post away as belonging to the “Popular Mobilisation Units”, militias controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. It took a call from the mayor of the border town, al-Qaim, to let us through.

The abrupt change of control over the road was not random. This border is the most sensitive 12-mile patch of territory in the world. On the Syrian side, a few miles away across the sand, lies a giant base controlled by Iran, unreachable to outsiders but spotted by satellites, thought to contain thousands of Afghan, Iraqi and other Shia fighters. It was bombed by unknown forces in June.

A hundred miles further into Syria is a large, remote and previously unwanted patch of desert now inhabited by 1,000 US, French and Norwegian special forces, alongside perhaps 2,000 allied Syrian Arab Sunni tribal fighters. This territory, previously largely uninhabited, is now a fixed western presence, described satirically by British and US officials as “the spherical emirate of al-Tanf” after the expanding military base at its core.

This border, straddled by the Iraqi town of al-Qaim and its Syrian twin, al-Bukamal, is a patchwork of Iraqi army, western, and militia control, and in the wreckage of Iraq and Syria has become the epicentre of the conflict between the US and Iran.
It is a cold war, but it is hotting up. President Trump originally called time on al-Tanf, which came into existence as part of US support for rebels in the Syrian civil war, saying in his election campaign he no longer wanted to waste resources trying to overthrow President Assad. Now he has done a volte-face, under pressure from his foreign policy advisers, particularly Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, and John Bolton, the national security adviser, to try to scupper Iran’s advance across the region. Both are long-term Iran hawks.
“Trump was opposed to staying put in Syria but it seems the ‘steady state’ has got its way at the moment,” a diplomat in the region said, referring to foreign policy greybeards around Mr Trump. “There doesn't seem any likelihood the troops are pulling out soon.”
The US establishment has become fixated on what they are calling the Iranian road to the Mediterranean and the Israeli border, expanding Tehran’s hold over the so-called Shia crescent. Iran’s support for President Assad has allowed it to set up bases across Syria manned by members of the Revolutionary Guard, officially, as “advisers”, and Shia militias recruited in Syria and across the region. Among them are the Lebanese Hezbollah, several Iraqi brigades and fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Shia minorities. The Iranians already have Hezbollah in Lebanon, which leaves the only gap in the crescent as being the Iraqi territory between the Syrian and Iranian borders, which is why the road west from Baghdad has become so significant.
At Mr Trump’s new command, the US is fighting back. A US envoy, Brett McGurk, is fighting an open battle with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard al-Quds’ brigade head, General Qassem Soleimani, to shape the incoming Iraqi government. It is a battle where neither side can win outright but Iran is gaining the upper hand. Hadi al-Ameri, who heads the biggest Iran-backed PMU militia, the Badr Corps, also leads the Fateh, or Liberation, party which came second in May’s elections and looks likely to be a key member of any ruling coalition. On the ground, the Badr Corps is establishing bases with its PMU allies from the Iranian border across Iraq. The 12-mile stretch of frontier they have secured west of al-Qaim is the key choke point, and the centre of Iranian-US rivalry. It is a volatile mix.
“The Iraqi army, which is close to the Americans, control the actual border crossing at al-Qaim,” said Hishem al-Hashimi, a prominent Iraqi security analyst. “On the other side in Syria there are 8,000 Shia militiamen.”
He has also been taken by American forces to visit al-Tanf, a rare outsider’s vew. “From there the road [into Syria] is monitored by the Americans, French and Norwegians,” he said. His experience of al-Tanf brought home its unique qualities. “A genie couldn’t live there,” he said. “But it’s an open landscape and they have vision over 45 miles. It’s a very good choice for them.” Al-Tanf’s original Free Syrian Army forces now number less than 400, compared with the 1,000 western troops and up to 2,000 tribal fighters, Mr Hashimi said.
The battle against Islamic State is now in its last stages. Mr Trump said in March troops would afterwards be withdrawn, but now his new envoy to the Syrian opposition says they will be staying, both as a brake on Iran and as a tool to undermine Assad himself.
“We will make it our business to make life as miserable as possible for that flopping cadaver of a regime and let the Russians and Iranians, who made this mess, get out of it,” James Jeffrey, the envoy, said. This month Mr Bolton said US forces would stay so long as Iranian forces remained outside Iran.
The Iranian-backed forces are not backing down, however. General Soleimani has issued a direct warning to the US not to take on Iran, and American officials fear militias like the Badr Corps are preparing attacks on US forces. That threatens a return to the chaos following the 2003 invasion, when Iran-backed militias ravaged American and British troops, killing hundreds of them.
“We are near you, where you can’t even imagine,” General Soleimani said this summer. “If you begin the war, we will end the war. You know that this war will destroy all that you possess.”..........
Two items that I bolded.
1. I am sad to see that people coming back/reducing the foot print seems a low ball bet.
2. Undermining Assad strikes me as a pointless exercise, but the brake on Iran is a piece of geopolitical position that is about 40 years old for US geopolitics. Nothing new under the sun.
ORAC, thanks for the link, it's an interesting look at a messy situation.
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 23:26
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Cheers ORAC a bit of light reading there.
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 13:05
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Meantime the US has moved 500 Kurdish fighters away to the eastern Syrian border to help put the squeeze on a very large and deadly pocket of IS resistance armed with anti-tank missiles and other heavy weaponry. (Iraq and France have been shelling IS at the same time from east of the Iraqi border.)

Turkey, who agreed to joint patrols with the US up in Manbij, seem to have simply driven in and taken over, and taking full advantage of Kurd troop movements out of the area they have commenced heavy shelling today of Kobane and other villages east of the Euphrates along the northern Syrian border, places fought for at heavy sacrifice by the Kurds not too long ago. The Kurds drove IS out, but mainly just wanted their homelands back. Turkey does not want any Kurds along their southern border and openly states that she will force the creation of a bufferzone in those very same sacred Kurdish lands. Erdogan is announcing the start of this campaign.

Has some backdoor deal been made where the Kurds have been thrown to the wolves, I wonder? Are the Kurds hoping that by helping the US eradicate IS in eastern Syria, the US will stand by them in their defense against the Turkish onslaught? Should the Kurds trust the US?

And have Turkey done a deal partly to help IS by attacking the remaining Kurds back in their newly-won homelands?

Most of this information can be found digging around in the back pages of al Arabiya, etc., but little of it seems to have hit the mainstream Western press.
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 20:13
  #2411 (permalink)  
 
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How do we get the great unwashed of the UN GA to make appeals for the Kurds with the same vigor that they do for certain residents of the West Bank?
Why do the Kurds not have an advocate? Who did they piss off?
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Old 19th Dec 2018, 17:56
  #2412 (permalink)  
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Well it looks like Trump is throwing the Kurds to the wolves.

If if you have been keeping up with the press in the last few days, Turkey has been massing troops getting ready for a large attack on the remaining Kurdish held area in north-eastern Syria, and presumably also Iraq around the oilfield areas Turket has always considered they lost unfairly in the Treaty of Lausanne.

There are many US troops embedded with the Kurds and there were fears Turkish and US troops could end up in combat.

Well Trump has just announced that “ISIS has been defeated”, and all US troops are being pulled up with immediate effect.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...c36_story.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...kurds-in-syria

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...rds-under-fire

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...thdrawal-trump
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Old 19th Dec 2018, 18:16
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I had to wonder what was really behind that call. Part of me thought it was pure 'troops home for christmas' PR.

I feel very sorry for the Kurds.
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Old 19th Dec 2018, 19:07
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So Trump lets Russia win?
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Old 19th Dec 2018, 19:41
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The Kurds never get a break - they deserve better than this. Indeed, they deserved better the last time they were abandoned - and the time before that.
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Old 20th Dec 2018, 08:46
  #2416 (permalink)  
 
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" ... It came upon the Midnight tweet ..."

.....
Christmas Dinner -

Russia, Iran and Turkey have just had a big joint conflab and carved it all up, leaving the Kurds on the menu again. ‘Everyone else’ doesn’t even get to do the washing up this time.

It also seems Turkey’s having another Army purge – this time of those who are apparently less keen to b***gar their neighbours and involve NATO fighting NATO.

I wonder if Jim Mattis knew ** about this ? .... Apparently the Brits didn’t.

** and the French, Mr Pompeo, Mr Bolton etc ?

..........
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Old 20th Dec 2018, 13:25
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Some reports are the timing of the decision came as a surprise to them as well!
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Old 20th Dec 2018, 14:00
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I think we can park the idea of joining the US in any military coalition; at least for the next few years.

With the abrupt loss of western military critical mass in the region I hope everyone else gets back ok.
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Old 20th Dec 2018, 20:51
  #2419 (permalink)  
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And so it starts - The Times

Turkey poised to attack Kurds as US pulls troops from Syria

Turkey is gearing up for a full-scale offensive in Syria that could shatter Kurdish dreams of statehood and permanently reconfigure alliances in the eight-year civil war.

Hulusi Akar, the Turkish defence minister, said that Ankara was “intensely” preparing for operations east of the Euphrates river, an area currently held by the Syrian Defence Forces (SDF), a coalition largely comprised of Kurdish fighters. His comments came only hours after the US — which created the SDF as its ground force against Isis in 2015 and has supported it since then with weapons shipments, airstrikes and troops — announced that it was pulling out of Syria.

President Trump used the SDF’s victory last week in Hajin, Isis’s last major Syrian stronghold, to declare that the US mission had been accomplished. But his announcement was preceded by days of diplomatic wrangling with President Erdogan, who had been threatening to attack Kurdish areas where US troops are operating. Their negotiations culminated in a phone call last Friday in which Mr Trump informed Mr Erdogan that the withdrawal was imminent. A US official told Reuters that “everything that has followed is implementing the agreement that was made in that call”.......

The threat of an imminent Turkish attack sparked immediate reactions from the Kurds inside northeastern Syria today. Activists told The Times that Kurdish fighters had withdrawn from their bases in Amuda and Ras al Ain, next to the frontier, to Hassakeh, 60 miles inside Syrian territory......

US officials told Reuters that the Pentagon will also halt its air support in Syria — the decisive factor in the Kurds’ huge territorial gains over the past four years.....





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Old 20th Dec 2018, 22:03
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
And so it starts - The Times

Turkey poised to attack Kurds as US pulls troops from Syria

Turkey is gearing up for a full-scale offensive in Syria that could shatter Kurdish dreams of statehood and permanently reconfigure alliances in the eight-year civil war.

Hulusi Akar, the Turkish defence minister, said that Ankara was “intensely” preparing for operations east of the Euphrates river, an area currently held by the Syrian Defence Forces (SDF), a coalition largely comprised of Kurdish fighters. His comments came only hours after the US — which created the SDF as its ground force against Isis in 2015 and has supported it since then with weapons shipments, airstrikes and troops — announced that it was pulling out of Syria.

President Trump used the SDF’s victory last week in Hajin, Isis’s last major Syrian stronghold, to declare that the US mission had been accomplished. But his announcement was preceded by days of diplomatic wrangling with President Erdogan, who had been threatening to attack Kurdish areas where US troops are operating. Their negotiations culminated in a phone call last Friday in which Mr Trump informed Mr Erdogan that the withdrawal was imminent. A US official told Reuters that “everything that has followed is implementing the agreement that was made in that call”.......

The threat of an imminent Turkish attack sparked immediate reactions from the Kurds inside northeastern Syria today. Activists told The Times that Kurdish fighters had withdrawn from their bases in Amuda and Ras al Ain, next to the frontier, to Hassakeh, 60 miles inside Syrian territory......

US officials told Reuters that the Pentagon will also halt its air support in Syria — the decisive factor in the Kurds’ huge territorial gains over the past four years.....





Trump; what a dim witted backstabbing arse. Happy to make a bet with anyone that this is retracted In the very near future.
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