Monday, 3 August 2015

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

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There have been no barrel bomb attacks by Assad in Aleppo for two days, for the first time since 2013*, probably because of the threat of Turkish intervention in the area. Syrian refugees in Lebanon support** the Turkish proposal to create a safe zone in Northern Syria, in the hope they will be able to return home. If you read Patrick Cockburn you will hear none of this, as his project to make the horrors in Syria not about Assad once again requires blaming Turkey.
"Ankara’s objective is the precise opposite of Washington’s and little different from that of Isis."
Get some proportion. ISIS want to set up a brutal caliphate, Turkey wants an end to the genocide in Syria, and the return of the refugees it has generously provided for. There is a bit of a difference.
"The Turks and their allies in Saudi Arabia and Qatar would like to rebrand the Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, movements, whose beliefs and actions differ little from Isis, as born-again moderates."
We've been through this lie before. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have provided support for the FSA Cockburn has spent a lot of time pretending don't exist, but are prepared to acknowledge that groups like Ahrar al-Sham are part of the insurgency and can't be seen as a greater threat than Assad as the Americans do. They were greeted as liberators when they freed Idlib, they didn't chop one head off,  they differ quite a lot from ISIS.
"Al-Nusra abducted Nadeem Hassan, the leader of a small faction trained by the US after careful vetting. And last year, al-Nusra wiped out two groups, the Syrian Revolutionary Front and Harakat Hazm, who were being trained and supplied by the CIA as “a third force” opposed to both Assad and the extreme jihadis."
When these groups existed, Cockburn would pretend they didn't. When it was proposed that the US vet rebels, we were told that would be impossible. They weren't being trained as a force opposed to Assad at all, that is why the US cvould only get 54 of them.
"If US aircraft based at Incirlik are forbidden to attack Isis fighters when they are battling either the Syrian Kurds or the Syrian army, the militants’ two main opponents on the ground..."
Ignoring the FSA groups who have been fighting ISIS since the start of last year. I can't think of anything more likely to increase support for ISIS than the US acting as Assad's airforce.
"Close observers of the Syrian armed opposition in northern Syria say that it welcomes the Turkish attack on the PKK."
I think we can assume that these close observers are enemies of the Syrian opposition, and no evidence for this lie will be found.
Richard Spencer has a rather better piece*** suggesting Prseident Obama doesn't want to defeat ISIS until moderate Sunni forces are built up in Iraq and Syria. Joseph Daher has a poor one****, taking all the bad things about Turkey's relationship with the Kurds to pretend that Turkey is encouraging ISIS.

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