ずくなしの冷や水

2019年10月16日

シリア政府軍とトルコ軍の衝突は回避できるか

シリア北部にシリア政府軍が到着する中で、トルコのクルドに対する攻撃が続いています。この状態が続けばシリア政府軍がトルコ軍(実際はトルコの雇ったテロリスト傭兵)と衝突することになります。

目下、その事態を避けるためにロシアがトルコとシリアの間に立って仲介、戦闘回避の交渉を続けていると見られます。

トルコが国境の内側からシリアに対して砲撃すれば、シリア軍も応戦せざるを得ません。国境を挟んで砲撃戦が始まるのは最悪ですが、場合によってそこまで至った後に停戦合意ということになる可能性があります。

目下のところ、ロシア、トルコ共に何も発表していませんが、夜を徹して交渉が行われているはずです。日本時間14時は、現地時間朝の8時です。

ロシア外相のラブロフは、10/16ソチで開かれたFSBの会議で次のように述べています。
Lavrov also pledged that Russia would add to the implementation of possible agreements between the Syrian government and Kurds.

According to him, Moscow will also support cooperation between Syria and Turkey aimed at maintaining border security.

ロシアは、シリア政府とクルドとの間の可能な合意の実施を加え、トルコ・シリア国境の治安維持を目的とした両国の協力を支援する考えだと述べています。クルドが米国の誘いに乗ったのがそもそもの禍の元であることを認識させ、シリア政府の傘下に押し込むとともに、トルコには国境の治安措置にシリア政府が協力する形を作ってトルコの顔を立てる作戦です。

下の記事によると、エルドアンはシリア政府軍のマンビジ進軍について否定的な動きではないとしています。10/15、プーチンとエルドアンが電話会談をしています。トルコの攻撃は、トルコ側が何かを得るまで続くでしょうが、規模が野放図に拡大する恐れはないでしょう。

今回もロシアの仲介ですべてが進みます。エルドアンもこのまま戦闘が拡大するのは、避けたい。プーチンに希望を述べて実現方を要請するでしょう。知恵を出すのはラブロフとショイグらです。ベストメンバーだからできる歴史の転換劇が進んでいます。今私たちは、まさに同時代人としてそれをリアルタイムで見ているのです。

FARSNEWS2019/10/16
Turkey, Allied Militias Kill +630 Kurdish Militants in 1 Week, US Army Continues to Retreat from Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- More than 630 Kurdish fighters have been killed since Ankara launched 'Operation Peace Spring' in Northern Syria, the Defense Ministry announced Wednesday via its official Twitter account, as the Kurdish militias' so-called ally, the US army, continues to pull its forces out of the war-torn country.

As Turkey's anti-terror operation in Northern Syria continues with great success, the number of "neutralized" Kurdish fighters has climbed to 637, according to the country's National Defense Ministry.

The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants continued their offensive on the Syrian territories through targeting a number of villages and towns in the Northern countryside of Hasaka and Raqqa with artillery and warplanes, occupying several regions and killing a number of civilians, despite US sanctions and growing calls for it to stop, as US sanctions and international calls have failed to slow Ankara assault on Syria.

Al-Arabiyah reported on Wednesday more than 70 civil residents have been killed since the start of the military operation in Northern Syria by Turkey and Ankara-backed militants. According to the TV channel, about 300,000 people had to leave their houses due to combat operations.

As the Pentagon announced the official withdrawal of American forces from the Northern part of the war-torn country, a US official stated that the approximately 1,000 troops being withdrawn from Northern Syria will reposition in Iraq, Kuwait and possibly Jordan.

Official news agency SANA reported Tuesday night 40 American and foreign forces left Syrian territory from the Rhaiba airport in Hasaka countryside to Iraq. In recent days, several hundred US troops have fled Northeast Syria into Iraq.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he told US President Donald Trump Ankara would never declare a ceasefire in Northeastern Syria, adding that Turkey would "not negotiate with a terrorist organisation" in response to Trump's mediation offer.

Later, the White House announced in a statement US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Ankara on Wednesday to press Turkey to halt its offensive.

"Pence will reiterate Trump's commitment to maintain punishing economic sanctions on Turkey until a resolution is reached," the statement read.

A senior Trump administration official stated that Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a loyal Trump supporter who has nevertheless been highly critical of the president’s troop withdrawal, has also noted he would introduce a bill on Thursday to impose tougher sanctions on Ankara.

The Turkish president noted Turkey is not worried about US sanctions imposed in connection with the operation in Northern Syria and Ankara intends to continue the offensive until its goals are achieved, as Trump announced a set of sanctions on Monday to punish Ankara.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said Turkey will retaliate against US sanctions over Ankara's military operation into Northeast Syria, adding that all threats and sanctions against Turkey were unacceptable.

Speaking in parliament, Cavusoglu also noted that Turkey expected the US Congress to turn back from its "damaging approach", and added that ties between Ankara and Washington were at a critical juncture.

He said he would convey this to a US delegation coming to Ankara.

On Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey's operation will end when Ankara completes the formation of a "safe zone" from Syria's Manbij to the border with Iraq.

"We informed the US, EU and Russia before the operation began that ... we want this terrorist organisation to be removed from our borders," he stated at a weekly meeting of his ruling AK Party, referring to the Kurdish militias.

"When the zone from Manbij to Iraq that is 350km [is cleared] when we could establish a safe zone, this operation will be over. But until that point, no power can stop us," he added.

Erdogan stressed that Turkey will never sit at the negotiating table with Kurdish militants in Syria.

On Wednesday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem received UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen and the accompanying delegation.

He stated that the hostile behavior of Ankara clearly exposes the Turkish expansionist ambitions in the Syrian territories.

He added that this behavior can’t be justified under any pretext and it seriously threatens the work of the constitutional committee and the political track and it prolongs the crisis in Syria.

Pedersen expressed deep concern of the Secretary-General and the UN over the last dangerous developments in Northeastern Syria and their serious humanitarian consequences, calling for immediately stopping hostilities and getting away from the acts which threaten civilians and undermine Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and undermine stability and endanger the exerted efforts on the political track.

Russia's Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said Turkey has no right to deploy its forces in Syria permanently.

Speaking to journalists in Abu Dhabi about the Turkish military operation, Lavrentiev stated that, according to earlier agreements, the Turkish military can only cross into Syria and go 5-10 kms (3-6 miles) into its territory.

"We didn't agree with the Turks any questions about their presence in Syria and we don't approve of their actions," he added.

Lavrentyev told reporters on Tuesday Erdogan has stated his intent to withdraw Turkish troops from Northern Syria after defeating the terrorists active in the region.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also stated that the countries, which give shelter to those militants who flee Syria, should be responsible for them.

Speaking at the 18th meeting of heads of special services, security and law enforcement agencies of FSB partner states, held in Sochi on Wednesday, Lavrov recalled that European nations have been recently actively refusing to take back their citizens who used to fight along terrorists in Syria.

"We believe that nations that grant citizenship to future terrorists should take responsibility for them," he pointed out.

Lavrov also pledged that Russia would add to the implementation of possible agreements between the Syrian government and Kurds.

According to him, Moscow will also support cooperation between Syria and Turkey aimed at maintaining border security.

The United States and the Western coalition it leads in Northern Syria have pushed the Kurds towards creating quasi-state entities and confrontation with Arab tribes, Lavrov declared.

"For several years we repeatedly drew attention to the explosive policies of the United States and members of the coalition it leads, which set course towards dismembering Syria and creating quasi-state entities on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates and kept pushing Kurdish organizations towards separatism and confrontation with Arab tribes," Lavrov said.

The world is now faced with the effects of this "shortsighted policy", he added.

As Turkish military operation on the Syrian territories continued for the 7th day on Tuesday, Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) announced it had suspended most of its activities in Northeastern Syria and was evacuating all international staff from the region.

"The people in Northeast Syria have already endured years of conflict and uncertainty. The latest developments have only increased the need for humanitarian assistance, yet it is impossible to deliver it with the current insecurity," Robert Onus, MSF's emergency manager for Syria, said in a statement.

"We are extremely worried about the safety of our Syrian colleagues and their families who remain in Northeast Syria in these troubled times," he added.

Diplomats told Reuters that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will likely meet on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in Syria.

The body's five European members - Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland - had requested the closed-door discussion. If it goes ahead, it will be the second UNSC meeting over Syria since Turkey began its offensive.

As one country after another cease weapons sales to Ankara, Canada became the latest nation to halt arms sales to Turkey amid the ongoing military operation against Kurdish militias in Northern Syria.

Ankara-Backed Militants Start Operation to Capture Damascus-Controled Manbij
Ankara-Backed Militants Start Operation to Capture Damascus-Controled Manbij

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ankara-backed militants have launched an operation to capture Manbij, as Syrian government forces have entered the strategic city after Kurds announced that an agreement has been reached with Damascus for the Syrian Army troops to be deployed along the border with Turkey.

Youssef Hammoud, the spokesman for the Turkey-backed militants, stated that militants would continue to advance toward Manbij, after Syrian government forces had entered the strategic city.

Following an announcement that Damascus troops would head North toward the Syria-Turkey border, Ankara sent reinforcements to Northern Syria as its military operation continues.

The Turkish Defense Ministry announced that as many as 595 Kurdish fighters have been killed as a result of Turkey's offensive in Northern Syria.

While the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were attempting to clear the main towns of Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad from Ankara-backed militias, Turkish airstrikes and artillery shelling intensified its bombardment on the towns, local sources told Kurdistan 24.

The Turkish assault has so far killed at least 78 civilians and injured 300, according to the hospital in Tal Tamir town.

The governor’s office in the Turkish province of Mardin also announced that two people were killed and 12 were wounded on Tuesday after the Kurdish militias launched a mortar attack on Turkey’s border town of Kiziltepe.

Last week, eight people were killed and 35 wounded after a similar attack by Kurdish militants on the border town of Nusaybin in Mardin. Separately, a mortar attack last week on the border town of Suruc, in the Sanliurfa province, killed three others.

On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said more than 700 mortar attacks had hit Turkey since the launch of the incursion, adding that there were “18 martyrs and nearly 200 wounded”, but did not say whether those figures referred to soldiers or civilians.

The United Nations announced up to 160,000 people had been displaced amid Turkey's military push against Kurdish militias in neighboring Syria.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated that the Turkish aggression on Syrian territories has forced nearly 160,000 civilians to leave home, but Kurds claimed that more than 275,000 people have been displaced because of Ankara's offensive.

Guterres also appealed for an "immediate de-escalation" in the Turkish offensive.

UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric noted that Guterres also raised "serious concern" about the consequences of the possible unintended release of suspected ISIL (also known as ISIS or Daesh) fighters amid the ongoing operation.

Aid agencies had earlier warned that nearly a half-million people are deemed to be at risk from ongoing fighting in the border region.

International Aid Agency Mercy Corps also announced it was suspending operations and evacuating foreign staff from Northeast Syria, as the Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants have continued their military operation on Syrian territory for the 7th consecutive day.

"This is our nightmare scenario. There are tens of thousands of people on the run and we have no way of getting to them. We've had to pull our international staff out of Northeast Syria," Made Ferguson, Mercy Corps' deputy country director for Syria said in a statement.

"We just cannot effectively operate with the heavy shelling, roads closing, and the various and constantly changing armed actors in the areas where we are working," Ferguson added.

READ MORE: 1,000s Displaced in Northeast Syria, Only Hospital of Region Closed After Bombings

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement ongoing fighting amid Turkey's offensive could result in the displacement of up to 300,000 people in the Syrian provinces of Hassaka and Raqqa.

Water shortages are also a major concern, ICRC added, with several dams and water stations deemed to be at risk.

"The ongoing hostilities are having a devastating impact on the civilian population," the organisation stressed.

Later, the Kurds claimed that the week-old Turkish operation has forced all international humanitarian organizations to leave the area.

Meanwhile, European Union countries committed to suspending arms exports to Turkey, but stopped short of the EU-wide arms embargo that France and Germany had sought.

The European Council, the grouping of the EU's 28 governments, said in a statement that Turkey's military action had "dramatic consequences" and noted that some EU countries had halted arms exports.

"Member states commit to strong national positions regarding their arms export policy to Turkey," EU foreign ministers added after a meeting in Luxembourg.

In response, Turkey accused the EU of protecting "terrorists" by criticising its military offensive against Kurdish fighters.

"It is unacceptable for the EU to display an approach that protects terror elements," the Turkish foreign ministry announced in a statement, shortly after the bloc condemned Turkey's operation.

Meantime, Czech Republic joined Germany, France, Netherlands and Norway to cease all weapons sales to Turkey which is currently conducting a military operation against Kurdish militias in Syria that has triggered widespread condemnation.

Italia also announced that Rome will ban arms export to Turkey, stressing that “the solution to the Syria crisis must be diplomatic not military”.

Later, the UK said London is to halt new arms export licences to Ankara as a result of concern over its military operation in Northeast Syria.

“No further export licences to Turkey for items that might be used in military operations in Syria will be granted while we conduct that review,” Foreign Minister Dominic Raab stated.

China has also joined several other countries across Europe and the Middle East sounding the alarm over the impact on the Syrian peace process. Beijing urged Ankara on Tuesday to stop military action in Syria and “come back to the right track”.

Erdogan reiterated that Turkey will not back down from its offensive against Kurdish fighters in Northeastern Syria "no matter what anyone says", adding that the battle would continue until "ultimate victory" is achieved.

"We are determined to continue the operation until the end, without paying attention to threats. We will absolutely finish the job we started. Our battle will continue until ultimate victory is achieved," Erdogan said during a speech in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku.

The offensive by the Turkish Army and affiliated Syrian militants kicked off on Wednesday with massive air and artillery strikes, followed by a land invasion dubbed ‘Operation Peace Spring’.

Ankara Offensive in Syria: Turkish Air Raid on Civilian Convoy Kills +10, Wounds Nearly 75
Ankara Offensive in Syria: Turkish Air Raid on Civilian Convoy Kills +10, Wounds Nearly 75

TEHRAN (FNA)- At least 11 civilians have been killed and dozens more injured in a Turkish airstrike on a civilian convoy in the Northeastern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, reports said on Monday.

“11 civilians, including a journalist, lost their lives and 74, including several journalists, were injured,” the Kurdish Red Crescent (KRC) told reporters.

Local sources in Ras al-Ain also told Kurdistan 24 that the convoy had been hit by Turkish warplanes while it was heading to the town to assist families that were stranded. Other sources stated that the convoy was instead driving to Ras al-Ain to take part in a demonstration to protest against the Ankara offensive in Northern Syria.

The injured people were transferred to medical facilities in Qamishli, Hassaka and Tal Tamir, since hospitals in Ras al-Ain have been shut down as a result of the Turkish bombardment.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which put the civilian death toll at nine, said the convoy was hit when it arrived in Ras al-Ain, adding that the convoy, which included protesters against the Turkey-led offensive, was guarded by armed men, and accompanied by journalists.

A spokesman for the Kurdish forces told Associated Press that at least 11 people were killed and 74 were wounded, but it was not clear how many were civilians.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced in a statement that tens of civilians were killed and wounded without specifying their numbers.

The France 24 broadcaster also reported that at least one of their journalists was also among the dead, while two French reporters were reportedly injured in the attack.

A journalist named Saad Ahmed reporting for the Kurdish news agency Hawar was killed and another named Dilsoz Yousef, working for local news outlet North Press, was injured while traveling with the convoy.

Images of the attack shared by Kurdish media showed the air raid shatter an otherwise quiet street. Bodies and severed limbs were strewn in the street.

A local Kurdish health organization claimed that the Turkish military and Ankara-backed militants have been targeting hospitals, medical clinics, and ambulances since the beginning of their assault on Northern Syria, and on Sunday abducted an emergency medical rescue team.

Official news agency SANA reported that the Turkish forces have intensified aerial and artillery bombardment on villages and towns in Hasaka and Raqqa provinces in their aggression on Syrian territory for the fifth consecutive day, occupying several towns and villages.

On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted a total of 109-square-kilometers of land was seized from Kurdish militias by Turkish military and Ankara-backed militants so far.

The Turkish Defense Ministry has also announced on Monday that the number of Kurdish fighters killed during the Operation Peace Spring in Northern Syria has reached 550.

The Turkey's leader also dismissed reports that ISIL (also known as ISIS or Daesh) prisoners in Northeastern Syria had escaped as a result of Ankara's offensive in the region, saying the reports were "disinformation" aimed at provoking the West.

Later, US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Washington has already taken back the most dangerous militants of the ISIL held in prisons in Syria, now Europe should take the rest.

Trump has for several times threatened to set prisoners from Europe who joined the terror group in Syria and Iraq free at the EU’s borders if they refuse to take back the captives.

On Monday, Trump claimed that Kurdish militants in Northeast Syria may be releasing captive ISIL fighters to lure US troops back to the area, adding that they could be easily recaptured.

READ MORE: Kurds Claim Nearly 800 ISIL-Affiliated Foreigners Escaped Syria's Camp as Turkey Continues Offensive

Also at a joint news conference with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's President Emmanuel Macron stated the Turkish offensive - over which both countries have decided to suspend arms exports to Ankara - risked creating an "unbearable humanitarian situation".

Macron told reporters that he and Merkel had spoken separately with Trump and Erdogan to deliver a single, clear message, "Our common wish is that the offensive must cease".

Macron is set to hold an emergency defence cabinet meeting, the main purpose of which is to discuss possible options regarding the Turkish military offensive. Paris will take measures "in coming hours" to ensure the safety of its military and civilian personnel in Northern Syria, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the French president's office issued following the emergency defense cabinet meeting.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also stated on Monday that the European Union must condemn the Turkish military offensive in Syria and urged to adopt an arms embargo on Ankara. He noted that the bloc should request to hold anti-ISIL coalition talks with Washington.

Merkel also told Erdogan in a phone call on Sunday to bring to an immediate halt the military operation in Northern Syria.

In another development in Northern Syria on Sunday, US DefenSe Secretary Mark Esper told CBS' Face the Nation programme that up to 1,000 American troops would be withdrawn from Northern Syria because of the increasing danger posed by the fighting.

Later, the Kurds announced a deal with the Damascus government on a Syrian troop deployment near the border with Turkey to confront Ankara's offensive. Syrian state television announced government troops are moving to the North to confront the ongoing Turkish offensive in Northern part of the country.

On Monday, Erdogan welcomed the announcement, saying that "this is a positive approach".

He added that he does not expect there will be problems with President Bashar al-Assad's main ally Russia, after Syrian government troops deployed to the country's Northeast.

"There would be no problem in Kobani. We are coordinating with Russians. We are decisive about Manbij. We are about to enter the city with the opposition forces," Erdogan stated.

He noted that NATO does not support Turkey and must make a choice between Ankara and the terrorists.

In response, the Kremlin announced it did not want to think about the possibility that Russian and Turkish forces might clash with one another in Syria, adding that Moscow was in regular contact with Ankara, including at a military level.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow had already warned all sides in the Syrian conflict to avoid any action that could escalate the situation or damage a fragile political process.

The European Union agreed on Monday to coordinate its policy on arms sales to Turkey and condemned the country for its decision to battle against Kurdish militants on Syrian territory. The foreign ministers of the bloc also urged the United Nations Security Council to stop the Turkish operation.

Damascus has censured Erdogan’s latest remarks concerning his keenness to protect Syrian people and their rights as far from reality, emphasizing that the Damascus government will respond to Ankara’s offensive into the Northeastern part of the country through all available legal means.

Addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in late September, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem lashed out at Turkey for providing “terrorists with all forms of support, including weapons that are more sophisticated”, stating that Ankara’s action undermines all agreements reached during the Astana talks in Kazakhstan.

“If Turkey is truly committed to the security of its borders and the unity of Syria, as it claims, it must choose whether to respect the Astana understandings and the bilateral agreements on counter-terrorism to secure the borders and to withdraw its forces from Syria, or to be the aggressor and the occupier – and to face the consequences,” he noted.

Muallem stated that Syria is resolved to rid the entire Arab country of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants.

In a recent interview with Al-Mayadeen television news network, the top Syrian diplomat said “every inch” of the Syrian territory will be liberated from terrorists very soon.

共同2019/10/16 12:11 (JST)
停戦不可能とトルコ大統領
シリア侵攻、中止要求拒否
 【イスタンブール共同】トルコのエルドアン大統領は15日、シリア北部侵攻について「停戦は不可能」と述べ、米国などの中止要求を拒否した。米国が対トルコ制裁を発動したが「気にしない」とも述べた。訪問先のアゼルバイジャンから帰国する機内での発言として地元メディアが報じた。
 エルドアン氏は、敵視するシリアのクルド人勢力を国境地帯から一掃する考えを改めて主張。「テロリスト」とは交渉しないと述べた。一方、クルド人勢力が連携に踏み切ったシリアのアサド政権軍が北部の要衝マンビジュに進軍したことについては、否定的な動きではないとした。

ロイター2019年10月16日 / 08:31 / 7時間前更新
ロシア・トルコ首脳が電話会談、シリア情勢を協議
[アブダビ/モスクワ 15日 ロイター] - ロシア大統領府は15日、プーチン大統領とトルコのエルドアン大統領が電話会談し、トルコの侵攻で緊迫するシリア情勢について協議したこと明らかにした。プーチン氏は、国境付近での人道上の問題に関する状況に対して懸念を表明するとともに、トルコ軍とシリア政府軍の衝突を回避することが必要だと強調した。
プーチン氏は、トルコ軍侵攻による混乱に乗じて、捕虜となっている過激派組織「イスラム国」(IS)の戦闘員らがシリアから周辺国に逃げ出すことは受け入れられないとエルドアン氏に伝えた。
プーチン氏は、緊急協議のためエルドアン氏に近日中のロシア訪問を提案し、エルドアン氏は同意した。
ロシアのシリア特使・アレクサンドル・ラブレンチェフ氏は15日、トルコ軍のシリア侵攻は「容認できない」と述べ、時間や規模が制限されるべきだと主張した。
ラブレンチェフ氏は「シリアとトルコの1998年の合意により、トルコはテロ対策として国境から最大10キロまでシリア国内に軍を進める権利がある」と説明した上で「ただ、トルコ軍にはシリア領域に永遠にとどまる権利はなく、われわれはそれに反対する」と強調した。

※ Military Advisor@miladvisor氏の2019/10/15のツイート
Syrian Army units are on the outskirts of Manbij city, eastern #Aleppo in evening. They were waiting withdrawal of US, British troops from Manbij area to enter city.

※ Military Advisor@miladvisor氏の2019/10/15のツイート
Syrian Army and US troops meet on a highway as American forces move out from Ayn-al-Arab/Kobani and Syrian Army heads north.

※ Fares Shehabi@ShehabiFares氏の2019/10/15のツイート
CNN's journalists who are now admitting that Turkey's proxies in #Syria are al-Qaeda & ISIS are the same journalists who praise these very same terrorists as "rebels" in #Idlib! Media hypocrisy at its ugliest form..!

※ Turkse炎Netel@TurkseMargriet氏の2019/10/13のツイート
The #PKK (#SDF/#YPG) forcing #ISIS terrorist to flee from prison.大丸2
While they claim they are fighting #ISIS just like #Raqqa they continue releasing #ISIS 大丸2
#KassaTV #IlLombardia #RegelHet
#OperationPeaceSpring

※ Fares Shehabi@ShehabiFares氏の2019/10/15のツイート
Now that the SDF problem is being resolved by the Syrian state this proves that Turkey only used Kurdish false threat to justify demographic change along the border and to loot Syria's national resources in the north..

※ Josh Rogin@joshrogin氏の2019/10/15のツイート
Over the weekend, State and Energy Dept officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating 50 nuclear weapons that the US had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey... Wow. https://nytimes.com/2019/10/14/world/middleeast/trump-turkey-syria.html by @SangerNYT
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:23| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

シリア問題 現時点での論評 欧州の方

著者はエリヤ・J・マグニエ氏
ジャーナリスト、戦争特派員、中東アナリスト。 アルライ国際課長。
ツイッターのアカウントには
Elijah J. Magnier@ejmalrai
Chief International, veteran War correspondent, ​Terrorism & CT: Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya & more.Moving between ME, London, Italy & Brussels
とあります。

Elijah J. Magnier
By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai
One Rocket provoked the US Withdrawal: details of the Kurdish-Russian-Syrian Deal
Last Friday a 155 mm artillery shell landed 300 metres from a US command post near the Syrian bordering city of Ayn al-Arab (known by the Syrian Kurds as “Kobane”) during an ongoing operation carried out by Turkey – a NATO and a US ally. This operation aimed to dislodge, at a distance of 30-35 kilometres from the border, the US-backed Kurdish militants known as the YPG, the Syrian branch of the US-EU-NATO designated terrorist group, the “Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Turkish troops backed by Syrian proxies had rapidly advanced in the first week of the military operation into US-occupied Syrian territory, cutting the main roads and attempting to isolate their enemies.

These two swift events were enough to ring the alarm bells and straightaway pushed the US administration to announce, via the Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, the withdrawal of approximately 1,000 US troops from north-east Syria (NES). The killing of any US soldier in Syria would effectively have been a nail in the coffin of the US President Donald Trump’s electoral campaign in 2020. France and Britain, who maintain Special Forces in NES, will follow the US forces out of Syria.

The Syrian forces were given orders to deploy in NES following a deal between Russia and Turkey, and between Russia and the Syrian officials, to guarantee the safety of the separatist Syrian Kurds.

The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to guarantee the safety of the Kurds as long as these become part of the National Security Forces. No other conditions were put forward by the Kurds, who have lost momentum with the sudden US withdrawal. Damascus promised there will be no revenge or resentment measures towards the Kurds who have, for years, acted as human shields to protect the US occupation forces which remained in Syria notwithstanding the defeat of ISIS.

The Russian-Kurdish deal consists of the deployment of the Syrian army on all borders with Turkey and the return of all sources of energy (gas and oil) to the Syrian government-controlled forces. These sources of energy are vital to the Syrian government, which has been suffering under heavy US-EU sanctions. Any delivery of oil was blocked, except the crude oil from Iran, whose supertanker managed to breach the siege.

The initial agreement between the Kurds and Damascus (via Russia) consists in the ending of the self-administration of NES, the integration of the Syrian Kurds under the command of the Syrian Army, and the pursuit and destruction of all ISIS forces.

A US withdrawal from the al-Tanaf border crossing between Iraq and Syria is also expected when a solution is found for the 64,000 refugees at the Rukhba camp.

All motivation and benefits offered to the US to maintain occupation forces in Syria have ceased: the “Iranian danger” is no longer on the table following the re-opening of al-Qaem border crossing. Therefore, to maintain US forces on the borders when no more “adverse” forces will remain in the country will needlessly cost Trump more money and engage responsibility uselessly.

Clearly the motive to keep US forces in Syria until a new constitution is agreed no longer interests or concerns the US. Trump is leaving this problem to Russia and Turkey to sort out (with the support of Iran!) with President Assad.

Imposing sanctions on Syria is meaningless now and preventing the Arabs’ rapprochement no longer holds any justification. All Arab countries – with the exception of Qatar – expressed solidarity with President Assad and condemned the Turkish invasion. The return of the Arabs will construct a robust base for the reconstruction of Syria. The Syrian market is attractive to Arab countries, and this commercial contact will bring also their influence back to the Levant. President Assad doesn’t mind closing the pages of war and starting a new and positive relationship with the Middle Eastern countries, and he will allow these to enjoy some influence, as was the case before 2011.

Sanctions on Iran have lost their meaning and purpose when al-Tanaf regains its activity, with al-Qaem. Iranian goods will find their way into the Syrian market and vice versa. The Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Lebanon road is expected to regain strength and significance.

Trump announced his withdrawal without informing his allies. The US-EU partnership on the ground has fallen apart. US credibility is at its lowest level following its attitude towards the Kurds who had defended the Trump forces in exchange for a State, “Rojava”.

The US sanctions on Turkey were simple words without foundation. Trump threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if it crossed the red line, beyond 35 kilometres- only to call for a total withdrawal two days later.

The US elite’s attempt to demonise Russia has fallen apart: Moscow is the saviour of the Kurds, betrayed by the US. The supporters of the Kurds were fanatically supporting the Kurds and asking to avoid their extermination by Turkey: now they can no longer turn their guns and pens against Russia. Here comes Russia, with Assad moving in to save them.

The Kremlin is gaining ground in the Middle East, perfecting its diplomacy in a very complicated area of the world: the US is running away from it. Moscow took in its arms these same Kurds who had chosen to stay for years in US arms. President Vladimir Putin has skilfully managed to establish a good relationship with both Iran and Saudi Arabia, with Assad and Israel, with Hezbollah, and with the Syrian rebels: even with Turkey.

There are many winners in Syria today, and these include Trump- who is running away to avoid human casualties (as he promised in his campaign). The Kurds are the only real losers as they have lost 11,000 people for a State they only dreamt would materialise one day. Although they bet disastrously on the wrong (American) horse, in the end, they saved their lives by switching mentors.

Proofread by: Maurice Brasher and C.G.B

This article is translated for free to many languages by volunteers so readers can enjoy the content. It shall not be masked by Paywall. I’d like to thank my followers and readers for the confidence and support. If you like it, please don’t feel embarrassed to contribute and help fund it for as little as 1 Euro. Your contribution, however small, will help ensure its continuity. Thank you.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 20:58| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

シリア問題 現時点での論評 管理人

米軍のシリア北部トルコ国境付近からの撤退、世界に衝撃を与えています。

2019/10/6の日曜にエルドアンがトランプと電話で話し、その直後にトランプが撤退を発表しています。

エルドアンは、「かねて約束の安全地帯設定が進まないので、自国だけで安全地帯を確保する。そして、シリア難民の帰国を進める。作戦開始は、火曜日。米軍を攻撃目標とはしない。クルド戦闘員を攻撃対象とする。だが米兵の安全確保は保証できない。あらかじめお伝えしておく。」と伝えたのでしょう。

トランプは、米兵に死傷者が出ては大変と撤退を発表します。

トランプの撤退命令をツイッターで知ったクルドは裏切られたと憤激します。そして、トルコ軍から自分たちを守れと米軍に要請しますが、効果があるはずもありません。



ロシア軍は即座にアレッポ北部に部隊派遣を開始します。現地クルドの動きをほとんどリアルタイムで把握しています。

ここまででわからないのは
@ なぜ米軍が撤退を決め、武器などを残さず運び去ったのか。どこへ撤退したのか。

この点については、米軍がどこまで撤退するかは、はっきりしません。他の米軍基地に一時的に移動しただけとも見えます。

A クルドを使ってシリアの領土分割を図る計画はあきらめたのか。

米国発の政界情報では、戦争推進者側には大変なショックになっているようです。油田ガス田地帯の利権を追い求めるグループもいますから、簡単には領土分割をあきらめることにはならないでしょう。イスラエルが強力にバックアップしています。

ただ、クルドはトルコの脅威に直面して、シリア政府と協定し、SDFを解体、シリア軍に編入されることになりましたから、もはや米軍がクルドを歩兵として使うことはできなくなりました。

B トランプは前から撤退方針だったが、軍や兵器産業の利害を代弁する者の妨害を受けて思うように進められなかった。トルコが一両日にも実弾を打つことがはっきりした今が撤退を決定する好機と見たのか。

その面はありそうです。来年の大統領選を控え、国民の支持を得たいトランプは、エンドレスの中東の戦争から米軍を引き上げたことがプラスになると考えています。前回の選挙でも公約に入っています。

トルコは2019/10/8にクルドの補給線を空爆したとされています。10/9現在、トルコの空爆が始まり、10/11現在クルド側に340人以上、トルコ側に260人以上の死者が出ています。市民にも被害が出ています。

クルドは、当初、自力で対抗する方針のようで国境を越えてトルコ国内の国境近くの町を砲撃しています。10/14の報道によるとクルドが国境に近い要の町マンビジにシリア軍の派遣を要請したとされています。



クルド系のメディア、ルダウは、嘘ばっかりと酷評されるほどに報道内容に信頼性がありませんし、クルドの組織機構もやることと発表することに多面性があります。クルドとダマスカスとの間にどのような合意ができたのかは開示されていません。数日前までダマスカスの政府はクルドに対して極めて厳しい姿勢でした。

ロシアは、2日ほど前からクルドにダマスカスとの協定の骨子を示しておりクルドは受け入れたものの、ダマスカスはさらに譲歩を求めたもようで、2019/10/14、暫定的な合意がなりました。

この交渉と並行してシリア軍は、クルドの妨害を受けないとの約束を取り付け、北部にタンクや部隊を送り込みました。

クルドはロシアに助けを求めたり、国際社会に向けてノーフライゾーン、飛行禁止区域の設定を求めたりしましたが、トルコ非難の声は出たものの国際的にクルド支援の声は高まりませんでした。

ロシアは、クルドのためにトルコと闘う立場ではありません。ただ、トルコがテロリストを使うのは目に見えていますから、混乱を防ぐためにアレッポ北部に部隊を派遣した。ロシアがここに自軍がいると伝えれば、トルコも本格的な攻撃はできないでしょう。

トルコは攻撃対象は国境から30kmの範囲としていますがコバニ近辺では35kmまで攻撃しているとされ、コバニにいた米軍の一部が撤退しています。

ラブロフは、間髪を入れず、クルドにダマスカスと協議に入るよう促しました。ロシアを頼られても、ロシアが戦線に出ることはできませんから、頼るならロシアではなくダマスカスだと表明しています。

クルドはこのラブロフの発言を歓迎しています。しかしダマスカスの姿勢は固く、ワシントンの手先にシリアでの足場はないと突き放しました。
There won't be any foothold for the agents of Washington on Syrian territory.

当面、トルコ+FSA、YPG+SDF、シリア政府軍+ロシア軍の三つ巴の争いになると懸念されましたが、ここでは米国が再度クルドを取り込む余地をなくす、そして米軍を追い払うためにSDFの解体を急ぐことが必要との判断がロシアにもダマスカスにもあったはずです。

SDFを解体すれば、トルコにも成果となります。そして驚くことに解体されてシリア軍に編入されたSDF兵士はなんとロシアの指揮下に入るとされています。
1/ The abolishment of the #SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), with all the current Kurdish forces and military groups joining the 5th Corps (Assault Legion) under Russian control

シリア政府軍は48時間以内にコバニまで部隊を送るとされていましたが、10/14の日中にはすでに近くまで部隊が到着していますし、シリア軍のタンクがマンビジに到着しています。

マンビジにシリア軍のタンクが到着し、幼い子までが歓迎の手を振っています。


C ダマスカスがトルコと本格的な戦闘を交えることとなるかという点については、SDFが解体された以上シリアの合法政府の正規軍とトルコが戦火を交えることになるとは考えにくいです。

ここは、ロシアがトルコにサウンドしている、つまり意向を探っているはずです。

D クルドがダマスカスの傘下に入れば、ダマスカスがトルコとの交渉権限を得ますから、ロシアが仲介して停戦に持ち込むという展開は考えられます。

シリアは外交手段を尽くすべきとの声も出ており、ロシアと協議しつつ目下水面下で激しいやり取りが続いているはずです。と10/14の午後に書きましたが、大筋では合意に近づいていました。ダマスカスの朝です。

クルドはすでに12,000人の戦死者を出しているとされます。クルドの指導層は、単純な思考、戦略です。クルドの指導者が現シリア政府に一定のポストを持つということのようです。ですが、SDFに強制徴用されたり徴用を拒否して拷問を受けた人もいます。米軍の攻撃の先兵になったSDFについては、シリア国民の嫌悪や恨みも強く、問題が残るでしょう。



ツイッターのSyrian Girlは、クルドがISISテロリストに近い立場にあると示唆していますし、SDFは2枚看板だと指摘する論者もいます。米軍の手足で動いているという面では同じです。クルドに対する同情論はほとんどない。

米軍は、ハサカの近辺にISISテロリストの収容所を運営していました。トランプが囚人を解き放つぞと脅しています。この収容所は刑務所というより、テロリストの保護を図る施設です。アルバクダーデイの後継者とされる人物は、この米軍運営の刑務所の中に住んでいるとされます。

クルドが運営できるか。シリア軍が引き継いで管理するか。クルドは捕らえられたISISのテロリストを解放した実績もあります。クルドは、早々ととらえられたテロリストについて自分たちは責任を負わないと述べました。



クルドとダマスカスの合意では、この収容所の管理は当面クルドが行うこととされています。
11/ For now all #ISIS prisoners remain under the control of the #Kurds

クルドは元はイランの遊牧民だったそうです。それが今米国の助けを得てシリア北部で自分たちの国を作ろうと画策してきた。イスラエルに近い、イスラエルがクルドを支援するのは当然なんですね。

F ハサカ近くの刑務所から数千人の囚人が逃げ出したとの情報がありますが、全員が逃げたわけではないようです。

トランプが刑務所管理の責任はトルコが負うと強調しています。しかし、トルコが責任を負うはずはありません。彼らがテロリストを再雇用することはあり得ても。

プーチンは彼らがどのようにしてどこに行くのかは重大な懸念だと強調しています。ロシアはセキュリティ部隊をすでに配備しているようです。

シリア政府は、ここから逃げた、あるいは残ったテロリストの扱いについて苦慮するでしょう。ISISテロリストの動向把握も困難です。

米軍が撤退すれば、テロリストにとっては最上位の監督者、雇用者が逃げたことになります。賃金などの支給ルートは別にあるようですが、テロリストは動揺します。

G テロリスト、特にISISのテロリストはどう動くか。

ISISがカミシリを攻撃。対クルド攻撃ですからトルコ側?

H 各国の反応
EUの外交責任者がトルコの作戦開始について、コメントを出しています。同盟軍のテロリスト掃討に支障が出るというものですが笑止千万。米国がいなくなればテロリストの最上位の管理者がいなくなり、ISISを使って市民を殺戮する暴力組織が消えるだけです。EUは、欧州への難民流入の増加を心配しています。

今回の米軍の撤退方針について、各国の見方が少しずつ報じられています。EUは上記のとおり。エジプトが強いトーンの批判、アラブリーグの緊急会合を求めています。プーチンは舞台裏まで知っているので踏み込んだ発言はなし。

ドイツ、フランスがトルコへの武器供給の停止を発表。エルドアンは、それで後戻りすることはないと表明。

昨日の段階で、「事態の展開が早まるでしょう」と書きましたが、トレーラートラックに乗って喜びの声をあげる兵士を見て、大きな取引ができたと確信しました。

ダマスカスとクルドとの合意からも、今回の急展開からも、シリアのクルド問題は、ロシアの読み、戦略の通りに落ちるところに落ちました。ロシアの外交官と軍人はすごい! これには脱帽!

シリア国民には心から祝意を表します。とてもうれしく、一人で乾杯しました。



FARSNEWS2019/10/10
1000s of ISIL Inmates May Escape from Jails Amid Turkish Assault on Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- Fears are growing that thousands of ISIL (also known as ISIS or Daesh) terrorists may escape from Syrian jails, as Kurdish prison guards are reportedly leaving their posts to gear up for fighting back the Turkish military that has started an operation against Kurds in Northern Syria.

The Turkish Army and affiliated Syrian militants kicked off an offensive against Kurdish fighter on Wednesday with massive air and artillery strikes, followed by a land invasion dubbed ‘Operation Peace Spring’.

US officials confirmed to CNN that some of Washington-allied Kurdish forces had already left their posts at various jails holding ISIL prisoners and headed North before the Turkish military operation began.

The CNN reported that officials have long warned of the vulnerability of the "pop-up prisons" housing some 11,000 to 12,000 ISIL militants captured on the battlefield, 2,000 of whom are foreigners not from Iraq or Syria.

The officials emphasized that the security of the facilities is very much in question and a "huge concern" as Kurdish personnel head to the front lines.

Later on Wednesday, the Kurdish militias claimed that a prison holding ISIL detainees was hit in a Turkish airstrikes.

Amid growing concerns over the escape of those prisoners, US President Donald Trump said Wednesday some of the most dangerous ISIL inmates had been moved to "other areas where it's secure".

Hours later, The Washington Post reported that The US military is taking custody of several dozen high-value ISIL detainees, including two British men accused of involvement in the militant group’s summary executions of American and other Western hostages.

The roughly 40 individuals being taken into US custody, all considered important ISIL figures, previously had been held in a constellation of small prisons in Northeast Syria run by Kurdish forces who have been the Pentagon’s primary partner against the terror group in Syria.

A top Kurdish official stated on Thursday that Turkish attacks weaken the ability of security forces in Northeast Syria to guard prisons holding ISIL detainees.

Badran Jia Kurd told Reuters that this may lead to the escape of militants and that the number of prison guards is reduced as fighting with Ankara intensifies.

Trump has for several times threatened to set prisoners from Europe who joined the terror group in Syria and Iraq free at the EU’s borders if they refuse to take back the captives.

Thousands of people, including men, women and children from more than 50 countries, are lingering in detention camps in Northeastern Syria, held by Washington-backed fighters.

※ Ian56@Ian56789氏の2019/10/10のツイート
Flashback:
In 2014 The Kurds Disarmed the Assyrian Christians and Yazidis, And Then Abandoned Them To The U.S. Backed ISIS Onslaught
https://sarahabed.com/2017/09/20/mod

SPUTNIK2019/10/9
Turkey Says It Will Inform All Relevant Countries and Syrian Government About Operation in NE Syria
In a column published Tuesday by The Washington Post, Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun said that Erdogan and US President Trump had agreed to "transfer the leadership of the counter-Daesh campaign" to Ankara, offering that Turkish forces "together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly".

Turkey will inform all relevant countries and the Syrian government about its operation in northeastern Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

The minister defended his country's right to launch an operation in northeastern Syria.

Speaking at a news conference, Cavusoglu said that the only target of the operation is Kurdish militants in the region.

Earlier, Turkish President Erdogan's communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said that "the Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, would cross the border shortly". He did not specify, however, a concrete timeframe for the incursion.

On Tuesday, Turkey said that all preparations for a military operation in northeastern Syria were complete. Ankara says the operation is essential to oust Kurdish militants from the region and establish a "safe zone" to accommodate Syrian refugees.

※ Bassem@BBassem7氏の2019/10/9のツイート
Please don’t use “Syrian National Army”, it is niether Syrian nor National, it is merely an islamic jihadi movement

※ mko@trappedsoldier氏の2019/10/9のツイート
米国に捨てられたクルドYPGが、シリア政府への投降・和解を拒否して、米有志連合と国際社会に「ノーフライゾーン」を設定し守ってくれと要請。
今の米国にシリアの制空権を握る力があると勘違いするから、判断も間違う。よっぽど米軍の力を過信しているんだ。

※ Fares Shehabi@ShehabiFares氏の2019/10/9のツイート
We are witnessing now the beginning of the largest ethnic cleansing campaign against Syrians, and the largest recycling process of ISIS fighters to re-use them once again..! All by Turkey!

RT2019/10/9
Turkey bombs Syria: Erdogan begins ‘Operation Peace Spring’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched an operation against Kurdish-led militias in northeastern Syria. Ankara sees the Kurdish militias as terrorists and argues an offensive is needed to bring “peace” to the region.

The operation targets not only Kurdish-led militias, that Ankara believes to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group which is outlawed in Turkey, but also Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists, according to Erdogan.

Turkish aircraft and artillery began striking positions in Syria immediately after Erdogan’s announcement, according to media reports.

The air and artillery strikes have been reportedly targeting the vicinity of the Syrian border towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn.

Syrian state media has released footage from Ras al-Ayn showing multiple warplanes in the skies as well as a thick plume of black smoke from a fire caused by the air strikes.

The military operation appears to be primarily targeting the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group largely consisting of ethnic Kurds. The SDF has been a close ally of the US-led coalition, with members serving as foot soldiers for its years-long fight against IS.

The SDF said the Syrian towns of Qamishli and Ain Issa were also targeted by Turkish warplanes. The airstrikes have inflicted civilian casualties, the group added, citing preliminary reports from the ground.

PKK militants, seeking an independent Kurdish state, have been waging a low-intensity insurgency in the southeast of Turkey for decades. The party is listed as a terrorist group not only by Turkey, but also by the US and NATO.

FARSNEWS2019/10/9
Russia Urges Dialogue Between Damascus, Kurdish Militia to Solve Issues on Syria-Turkey Border
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow has called for a Kurds-Damascus dialogue in order to solve problems on the Syria-Turkey border.

“We contacted both the representatives of the Kurdish side and the representatives of the government (Syria), and confirmed that we are encouraging them to start a dialogue to resolve the problems of this part of Syria, including the problems of ensuring security on the Turkish-Syrian border. As before, this is the only way to achieve stability,” Lavrov said, RIA Novosti reported.

During their recent phone conversation, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has confirmed that Ankara respects Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Lavrov stressed.

“We have repeatedly voiced our position on what is happening in Northeast Syria, including in the Syrian-Turkish border region. And our position is unequivocal, based on the need to solve all the problems of this part of the Syrian Arab Republic through a dialogue between the central government in Damascus and representatives of the Kurdish communities that traditionally reside in this territory," Lavrov noted at a news conference.

Moscow is committed to promoting the dialogue between Kurds and Damascus, since it sees it as "the only way toward stability", Lavrov noted.

Washington's ambiguous position on Syria has proven its inability to negotiate, Lavrov stressed.

The administration of US President Donald Trump announced late on Sunday that it has started withdrawing US troops from Northeast Syria and would not "support or be involved in" Turkey's operation. According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the US troops that are supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have already started pulling out from the region.

Recently, Erdogan has said that the long-promised operation in Northern Syria East of the Euphrates could be launched in the coming days after the United States announced pullout of their troops from the region.

FARSNEWS2019/10/9
EU Worries Turkey’s Military Operation in Syria Will Trigger Refugee Wave
TEHRAN (FNA)- The European Union expressed concern about Turkey’s plans to attack North Syria and to move millions of refugees into Syrian territory, warning that the military operation can provoke a new wave of refugees heading to Europe.

In a meeting in Luxembourg on Wednesday, officials from EU member states said that if Turkey invaded north Syria, many of the four million refugees it is hosting − most of whom are Syrians − might decide to head to Europe to avoid being forcibly pushed back into the strife-torn areas in their homeland from which they fled in the first place.

European officials also warned that the Eastern Mediterranean route from Turkey to Greece had once again become the main channel for asylum-seekers seeking to reach Europe.

“Geopolitical factors, including conflicts in the broader area particularly in Syria, entail that we will most likely see a continuation of this alarming trend (of mass refugee arrivals) in the short to medium term,” Greece, Bulgaria, and Cyprus announced in a joint statement.

Turkey has announced it is willing to press ahead with its planned invasion of Northern Syria regardless of the possible consequences, dismissing growing international calls to halt the imminent military operation.

The Turkish parliament on Tuesday extended the government's mandate to launch "anti-terror" operations in neighboring Iraq and Syria, effectively green-lighting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plan to launch a vast incursion in Northern Syria.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, also expressed concern about Ankara's plans, calling for "maximum restraint" and the protection of civilians.

"The Secretary-General is following with great concern recent statements regarding Northeastern Syria, in particular the risk to civilians from any potential military actions," UN Chief's Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Tuesday, adding, "He calls on all parties to exercise maximum restraint."

Guterres also emphasized that "civilians and civilian infrastructure need to be protected at all times and that sustained, unimpeded and safe humanitarian access to civilians in need must be guaranteed in order to allow the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to continue to carry out their critical work in northern Syria", according to the statement.

The most dramatic response has come from President Donald Trump who on Sunday authorized the attack by announcing that he will pull out US forces from the region.

On Tuesday night, Erdogan's communications director stated that the Turkish forces deployed to the border areas were ready to enter Syria at any moment. He claimed that the attack is aimed at neutralizing what is left of the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group.

The Kurdish forces announced late Tuesday that Turkey had already started shelling its positions near the border, as a spokesman stated that the militia was ready to fight back.

Early on Wednesday, the Kurdish administration in Northeastern Syria asked civilians to take up arms and defend the region against the Turkish offensive.

※ Syrian Girl@Partisangirl氏の2019/10/10のツイート
How long are the #Kurds going to black mail the world with ISIS #Syria ?

※ On Assignment with Richard Engel@OARichardEngel氏の午後3:58 ・ 2019年10月8日のツイート
The Kurds in northern #Syria now say defending themselves against a Turkish attack will be their top priority−not securing the detention camps that hold #ISIS fighters. @RichardEngel
for @NBCNightlyNews




※ Coordination & Military Ops Center - SDF@cmoc_sdf
BREAKING NEWS:
#Daesh takes advantage of Imminent #Turkish invasion
3x #ISIS suicide bombings on our military positions in Raqqa, clashes still ongoing
@rabrowne75 @gaylelemmon @vvanwilgenburg @mustefabali
@mutludc @SOJTFOIR @CJTFOIR
午前8:06 ・ 2019年10月9日・Twitter for Android

Kenan Demir@kenandemir_tr・3h
返信先: @cmoc_sdf @rabrowne75 さん、他6人
We seen these guys transporting ISIS members from Raqqa before. Now those who they helped is attacking them? People need to Understand SDF has deep ties to Daesh ISIS in another word. SDF has killed and forced many civilians from their homes. #BarisPinari

RT2019/10/8
Turkey warns Kurdish fighters it will enter Syria ‘shortly’
The Turkish government has issued a warning to Kurdish fighters in Syria, stating it will enter the country “shortly” along with a force of allied militants, where it will conduct border-clearing operations.

“The Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly. YPG militants have two options: They can defect or we will have [to] stop them from disrupting our counter-ISIS efforts,” Turkish government spokesman Fahrettin Altun said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The warning comes on the heels of a minor American military pullout from the region, clearing the way for the Turkish operation. Airstrikes on Kurdish positions along the Syrian-Iraqi border were reported less than a day after the move, as Ankara prepared for its incursion.Turkey has long complained about the presence of Kurdish militia fighters along the border in northern Syria, arguing they are allied with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed group in Turkey which has feuded with the government intermittently for decades.

Ankara hopes to push the Kurdish fighters away from the border to create a “safe zone,” where it plans to resettle millions of Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey.

Over nearly seven years of war in Syria, the Kurds have proved a potent force against the Islamic State, particularly in the north and east, where fighters grouped under the umbrella of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) took back dozens of IS-held towns backed by US airpower and other material support. The fighters are now left with few options but to retreat, though some have mulled a partnership with Damascus, hoping to hold off the Turkish attack.

In addition to Turkish regulars, the upcoming border-clearing operation will include fighters from the “Free Syrian Army,” a loose collection of militants backed by Ankara.


posted by ZUKUNASHI at 20:57| Comment(1) | 国際・政治

シリア問題 現時点での論評 ロシアの方

次のRTの記事は、Mikhail Khodarenok, RT.com military analyst, retired colonel.の執筆による長文ですが現状をよくまとめてあります。記事内容の深み、厚みはかないませんが、全体としての認識は、2019年10月16日
米国が撤退してクルドがギブアップ 事態は急進展 シリア軍の支配地域が一気に拡大 とてもうれしい!に書いたことと大きな齟齬があるとは思いません。the proverbial bull in a china shop は「諺でいう陶器店の中の雄牛」です。


※ RT 15 Oct, 2019 19:12 / Updated 6 hours ago
Die or ask the Syrian government to take them in: The Kurdish militias simply have no other options
Tensions in eastern Syria are flaring, after Turkey launched its military operation in the country's north-east. As Turks and their proxies advance, Kurds retreat, defending themselves – possibly right into the arms of Damascus.
The state of play

Turkish forces are targeting two areas, Ras al-Ayn and Tel Abyad. They have inched forward 10-15 km into Syrian territory towards Ras al-Ayn and are up to 30 km inside Syria on the way to Tel Abyad. They have even set up a foothold mid-way. The Turkish army wants to block the strategic M4 highway along the Turkish border, which links Syria's economic capital Aleppo with its administrative center, Al-Hasakah, in the country's north-east.

Turkey has deployed commandos, special ops forces, tanks and artillery. Its forces on the ground, all part of Operation Peace Spring, include 14,000 troops, 120 tanks, 230 armored combat vehicles and 240 artillery pieces.

Ankara's campaign is also supported by the Free Syrian Army (also known as the New Syrian Army), which has been sent into the vanguard of the offensive by Turkey. That would put the total headcount at about 25,000 soldiers and officers. Most importantly, the ground troops are supported by five squadrons of the Turkish air force, with 12-18 sorties every day.

At first glance, Operation Peace Spring appears relatively insignificant for the 700 km Syrian-Turkish border. But the offensive is taking place along two relatively narrow corridors. If Turkey's strategy pays off, the Kurds would have to retreat from other regions in northeastern Syria.

Turkey's military planners will seek to surround the key defensive locations of the Kurds, and push locals to the south and east, towards the Iraqi border. More than 120,000 civilians have been displaced, fleeing Turkish troops and the so called Syrian National Army for the towns of Qamishli and Al-Hasakah.

Up to half a million people to the north of the Euphrates may become displaced in the coming days. Turkish air raids are increasingly targeting civilian facilities, including camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and detention centers for former Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) fighters (including from the US and Europe) and their families.
Mass IS breakouts imminent?

Before the Turkish campaign, the Syrian Democratic Forces controlled seven jails for IS fighters and at least eight camps for IDPs with half of them housing extremists' wives and children. According to the UN, these penitentiary and shelter facilities held up to 110,000 people, representing 72 ethnic groups from 36 countries.
Read more
Pentagon to ‘press NATO allies to sanction Turkey’ over Syrian op, blames Erdogan for potential ‘war crimes & ISIS resurgence’ Pentagon to ‘press NATO allies to sanction Turkey’ over Syrian op, blames Erdogan for potential ‘war crimes & ISIS resurgence’

There is a grave danger that many of the civilians residing in camps may die of hunger or rampant disease while terrorists could break free.

Under an arrangement with the US, the Kurdish military leadership sent the most combat-ready units to guard prisons and IDP camps. And there weren't too many such units in the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Following the launch of the Turkish campaign and the withdrawal of US troops from the border, a move considered to be 'a stab in the back' by the Kurds, the Syrian Democratic Forces said the units that secured oil fields and the Iraqi border in the south of the Deir al-Zor province, as well as units that used to guard detention centers and IDP camps, will be relocated to the frontline.

It is not surprising that fewer security guards and Turkish air raids have allowed some of the inmates to flee. On October 11, after an air strike damaged the building and the perimeter fence of a prison for former IS fighters near the town of Qamishli, five (some reports say 15) of them made their way out of it with the arms that had belonged to the guards killed in the air attack.

The detention center for former IS fighters in Al-Malikiyah, located in the northeastern part of the Al-Hasakah province, has already seen a mutiny. On October 12, several dozen detainees took hostages, seized transport vehicles, used force to free their families from the nearby camp for displaced persons and ran off.

It's highly likely that foreign nationals who fought for IS in Syria will go back home to Europe.
The Kurds' options

As for the Kurdish resistance, it will be crushed in any case, since the Turkish army is superior to the Kurds' in heavy weapons and Ankara dominates the skies. And, frankly, some sources are clearly overestimating the Kurdish forces' combat effectiveness.

The best Kurdish units can probably match Syrian general Suheil al-Hassan's battalions. That is to say, Kurds can win against an adversary of similar strength. Faced with a modern army trained and equipped according to NATO standards with fighter jets, helicopters, tanks, artillery, recon and electronic warfare systems, Kurds stand no chance of winning.

The Turks had notified the Russian military attaché based in the embassy in Ankara about Operation Peace Spring, whereas the command of Russian forces in Syria hadn't been notified in time. Today, they use comms to talk once or twice daily.

What options do the Kurds have left now? Their only option seems to be for the Syrian Democratic Forces to withdraw from the border and lay down their arms. The most combat-effective units can be restructured and integrated into the regular Syrian army.

The other option is to die fighting. It seems the Syrian Democratic Forces have no more variants. To survive, they have to come under the Syrian government's wing. That's the reality the Kurdish leadership has to accept sooner or later. Today, everything is against the Kurds.

When the counter-terrorism operation aimed at crushing IS kicked off, the Kurds were approached by the Russian command and some top Syrian officials. At first, the Kurds seemed to be making steps towards working together, but soon enough they ended up under US control and all talks about cooperation fizzled out. Basically, back then the US just paid the Kurds handsome sums so that they carry out military operations against IS. By and large, that's what the Kurds were living on.

Besides, an overwhelming majority of the Syrian elites was dead set against cooperating with the Kurds in any form, since they were questioning Syria's territorial integrity, to put it mildly. The situation has changed drastically since then, though, with the Kurds now asking for Syrian forces to be sent to the Kurdish-controlled areas and staying away from the issue of Syrian territorial integrity altogether.

Incidentally, there were attempts to reach an agreement with the Kurds during Turkey's previous military operation, Olive Branch. Syrian government forces wanted to take the hard-fought-for Afrin, but the Kurds started haggling. In the end, Afrin was occupied by Turkish forces, who right away started working on changing the ethnic ratio in that part of Syria.
The Americans' dishonorable departure

US forces, having left the Manbij area in a hurry, are leaving no fortified zones in their wake, since all they have in the area are makeshift fortified structures, and all their airfields have dirt runways. If we look at what the US presence has achieved in the region, we would have to conclude that the US hasn't managed to propose a constructive agenda for the Middle East. All their efforts have come to naught.

The US Armed Forces deployed in northeastern Syria included Marines and Special Operations units. In reality, however, the US presence was negligible, with no more than 150-200 troops and officers. Add the rest of the Western coalition members and the total number goes up to about 2,500 people. The order to pull US troops out of the region has been given; plans and general timeframes have been prepared. So far, the one thing that remains unclear is the precise date.
Turkey's endgame

What's next? When will the Turks leave northeastern Syria? Thus far, they have maintained their presence in Northern Cyprus, al-Bab, Afrin and Idlib. As for the Syrian regions bordering Turkey and occupied by Turkish troops, the local population is being actively 'turkeyfied': branch campuses of Turkish universities are opened, Turkish banks start operating in Syria, and in schools, children are being taught in Turkish.

It appears that Operation Peace Spring will be completed once the Turkish army reaches the strategic M4 highway. However, it is highly likely that, within months after they do, a concrete wall several meters high will be constructed along this road.

With Turkey's military operation in northeast Syria underway, the general situation in the country has deteriorated significantly. IS sleeper cells have been activated in almost all Syrian provinces, especially in the south.

But northern Syria is just as turbulent. For example, in the Idlib province, the Turks control only a small portion of the forces. Up to 20-30 times a day, terrorists carry out attacks, their shelling aimed at Syria's government forces. Moreover, the Turks withdrew a significant section of troops especially loyal to Ankara from the Idlib de-escalation zone and sent them to northeastern Syria to fight the Kurds. So, it would not be an overstatement to say that, at this moment, the Turks in Idlib have little to no control, at all.

Another curious thing about the whole Idlib situation is that Turkey's ninth observation post in the province is currently in an area controlled by Assad's troops. This happened as a result of military activities, during which terrorist groups in southern Idlib, concentrated mainly around Khan Shaykhun, were defeated and forced to flee back to the central part of the province.

It was from these areas that the terrorists fired at Russia's Khmeimim airbase, using multiple-launch rocket systems. And it was from there that they launched drone strikes, attempting to destroy Russian aircraft located at the airbase.

The terrorists were ultimately eliminated and forced to retreat – as for the ninth observation post, the Turkish forces stationed there now receive food, fresh water and medicine from the Russians at Khmeimim. A fun fact: when passing by Turkey's observation post, Russian troops receive a message on their mobile phones reading 'Welcome to Turkey.'

Overall, though, Turkey's actions in Syria could be compared, to some extent with that of the proverbial bull in a china shop. As for the ultimate outcome of Operation Peace Spring, it is far too early to say.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 20:55| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

The Russian foreign minister noted the importance of one-on-one contacts in diplomacy

TASS World 15 Oct, 11:21
Wikileaks founder Assange probably tortured in UK detention, Lavrov says
The Russian foreign minister noted the importance of one-on-one contacts in diplomacy

MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes in the possibility of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being tortured while in pretrial detention in the United Kingdom.

The Russian top diplomat made the statement in a Rossiya-24 broadcast on Monday night, commenting on the latest scandal surrounding Washington’s recent publication of a confidential transcript of a phone conversation between US President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky.

"You can see how one-on-one conversations are being treated in Washington: they are trying to make some terrible sins out of them. But, in this case, many questions arise regarding the freedom of access to information," he said. "By making this principle an absolute truth, as Democrats on the Capitol Hill are trying to, they should also lift charges against [former NSA contractor] Edward Snowden, release Julian Assange and stop resorting to torture, to which he, by the look of it, is subjected while in the UK detention."

Speakinga about the transcript controversy in the US, the Russian foreign minister noted the importance of one-on-one contacts in diplomacy.

"In any case, I believe that one-on-one meetings is when you can look someone in the eyes and understand how ready he is to be sincere. I always have respect for those who express their sincerity without any detriment to the interests of their nation, which he obliged to protect," Lavrov continued. "On one hand, this may sound quite paradoxical. That’s a difficult combination, but I assure you that it works."

Lavrov added that he is always ready to both one-on-one talks and talks among delegations, depending on the accepting side’s wishes.

Assange founded the WikiLeaks portal in 2006 to publish classified information about the activities of a number of governments, including that of the United States. After harassment and rape charges had been brought against him in Sweden in 2012 by two women, Assange sought refuge in London's Ecuadorian Embassy to escape extradition to the US, where he uninterruptedly spent almost seven years. In April, the authorities of Ecuador withdrew his asylum, London’s Metropolitan Police immediately arrested him for failing to appear in court under the 2012 warrant, as well as in accordance with the extradition request sent by Washington to the British authorities in 2018.

On May 1, Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his British bail conditions.

On May 23, the US Department of Justice unsealed 17 charges against the WikiLeaks founder, which became the basis for issuing the extradition request to London. The charges "relate to disclosures of war crimes and human rights abuses by the US government", the WikiLeaks website says. Assange may face up to 175 years behind bars.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 00:07| Comment(0) | 国際・政治