Tag: kurds

NATO’s Expiration Date

Problems with Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Donald Trump could tear the rickety alliance apart at the seams.

If the number of eager applicants on a waiting list determines the strength of a club, then the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is in fine fettle.

At its most recent gathering in July, NATO welcomed its 29th member — Montenegro — which means that the alliance now outnumbers the European Union. Nearby Macedonia has been waiting for 17 years to be let in the door only to have Greece block entrance every time because of a longstanding dispute over Macedonia’s name. Bosnia also wants in but must first overcome its internal divisions. Georgia’s membership, too, has been on hold, for fear of inciting Russia’s wrath, though that hasn’t prevented the country from hosting U.S.-NATO military exercises.

The Kurds Being Sold Out by The U.S. Isn’t Shocking If You’ve Paid Attention

With Turkey’s incursion (or invasion) of Syria this week; Kurdish fighters have been ordered to stand down. Some in the West are disappointed by this turn of events but historically it’s just another instance of the Kurds being used as a political prop by U.S. when it’s to their advantage.

Since the escalation of the war in Syria, The United States has been supplying Kurds in Syria with weapons and support in order to combat the Islamic State. The Kurdish YPG have proven themselves to be a competent force in fighting extremism and managed to gain significant amounts of territory.

For a lot of younger people in The West just waking up to geopolitical events this may be the first time they’ve learned of the Kurdish population in the border region of Turkey, Iraq and Syria. If you’re just hearing of the Kurdish struggle for autonomy then you’ve missed the U.S. turning a blind eye to their slaughter for decades and constantly using their plight whenever it’s convenient.

Iran Reportedly Executes Dozens of Sunnis in Crackdown on Prisoners of Conscience

The Iranian government has reportedly executed dozens of Sunni prisoners at Gohardasht prison, an institution notorious for its mistreatment of political prisoners, including Shahram Ahmadi, a prominent prisoner of conscience. Relatives were reportedly asked to come to the prison to say their final goodbyes, but upon arrival were directed to the morgue to collect the bodies of their loved ones. The executions mark the state’s continued policy of systematically and brutally targeting political dissidents and ethnic minorities.

At least 36 Sunni prisoners were transferred to await execution and reports indicate that at least 20 prisoners were executed on Tuesday, August 2, with some reports stating that the total could be as high as 29 people killed. Sunni prisoners in Gohardasht have reportedly gone on a hunger strike to protest the executions.

The US and the EU Support a Savage Dictator

On May 6 a court in Istanbul, acting on the orders of Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan, sentenced the editor of the Cumhuriyet newspaper to five years and ten months in prison for publishing a report about illegal provision of weapons to Islamist terrorists in Syria by Turkey’s secret service. His bureau chief got five years.

Two weeks later Istanbul was host to the World Humanitarian Summit, which was held «to stand up for our common humanity and take action to prevent and reduce human suffering». Attendance included 65 heads of state. It was the usual total waste of time (Oxfam called it «an expensive talking shop» and those who refused to be there included President Putin and the global medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières), but the point is that a humanitarian conference should never have been held in Turkey, which is being transformed into a dictatorship by a president who is well-described by Professor Alan Sked of the London School of Economics as «a volatile, unstable, highly authoritarian personality».

Irregular Uniforms Without Name Tags: First Photo’s Of US Special Forces Inside Syria Released

Like a ghost echoing it’s own death, the first photo’s of US “advisors” inside Syria surface as they join opposition forces on the front. Although just a few, the pictures represent a looking glass perspective of a black-war. What is shown rings of an old truth–things aren’t always what they seem to be.

Taken by an unnamed photographer of Agence-France Presse, Department of Defense says, several photo’s leaked to the web Thursday. According to New York Times, they were shot in the village of Fatisah, showing commando’s “assisting” opposition forces push to ISIS-held Raqqa.

Although Pentagon officials say the American’s weren’t involved in fighting, a Syrian commander told the photographer they’d launched rockets towards a booby-trapped car. Militia fighters were then pushing on an Islamic State position, though the full extent of the fighting is unknown. Colonel Steve Warran said the operatives were east of the Euphrates River, heavily occupied by Kurdish and Arab fighters. The photographer also captured stills of Kurdish militia members, players in Syria’s multi-sided, chymiera-war.

The US is Under Pressure in Syria

While the U.S. government, particularly president Obama and John Kerry, have been voicing two different courses of action with regard to Syria, some recent developments explain the reason for a sort of confused policy the U.S. is currently following and might continue to follow in the months to come. This confusion is evident from the way the U.S. President categorically denied, in his recently given interview to BBC, the possibility of sending more troops to Syria and the way an announcement was afterwards made with regard to sending 250 more troops to Syria to buttress the already stationed troops’ position. This announcement seems to be in ‘perfect harmony’ with John Kerry’s recent ‘warning’ to Syria, Iran and Russia regarding kick-starting transition in Syria by August or else the U.S. might come up with a “new approach” to resolve the crisis.

While the prevailing confusion might not be a ‘confused’ policy in hard terms, it is certainly clear that the U.S. is under a lot of pressure, both domestically and globally, due to its inability to achieve its objectives in Syria in particular, and the Middle East, in general. While the U.S. media was quick to associate this decision of sending additional troops to Syria to the mounting domestic pressure against the government’s passivity against ISIS, the underlying reason is that the U.S. sponsored militants are continuously losing ground to the Syrian army in Syria.

This measure seems to be aimed at taking a pre-emptive action to dominate northeastern parts of Syria and pave the way for the disintegration of this country. The US had previously sent 50 Special Forces to take position along mostly Kurdish regions of Syria in the northern part of the country. The main task of these forces was mentioned as supporting the Syrian Kurds and also what the United States describes as “moderate militants.” The news about sending more American forces to Syria was first broken one week after Syrian government forces and their allies retook the strategic city of Palmyra from Daesh. At that time the Reuters quoted anonymous American officials as saying that the United States was mulling a plan to increase the number of its special forces in Syria. The Reuters’ report had noted that the new forces will be tasked with training and logistical duties and will not take direct part in combat operations.