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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    New awakening of the secular kemalists vs erdogan Islamists. A must read.


    • Re: Regional geopolitics


      xMARCH 20, 2017 21:17
      The northern part of the Republic of Cyprus has been under the occupation of Turkish military since 1974. “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” is recognized only by Turkey.

      A UN guard post along the buffer zone of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus as a Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot flag wave nearby. (photo credit:REUTERS)

      Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the thirteenth summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), held in Islamabad, Pakistan on the first of March. One of the topics Erdogan spoke about in his speech was the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, which he called the “mountainous Karabakh problem.”

      Nagorno-Karabakh, historically known as Artsakh, is a small, diplomatically unrecognized Armenian republic in the southeastern part of Caucasus Minor. Following the constitutional referendum in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on February 20, the country was renamed “Artsakh Republic.”

      Artsakh has for millennia been an integral part of historic Armenia. Even when Artsakh fell under the rule of foreign conquerors at different periods in history, the population and culture of the land remained predominantly Armenian. However, the Soviet regime established the “Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast” in 1923 within the borders of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic although the area was mostly inhabited by ethnic Armenians.

      The 1988 “Karabakh File” by the Zoryan Institute states that “Karabakh, the historic Artsakh province, is central to Armenian cultural and historical identify and statehood...

      [It is also] one of the few remaining districts of historic Armenia still inhabited by a majority Armenian population.

      “For Azerbaijan, the fact that the majority of the Mountainous Karabakh population is Armenian is incidental and secondary to facts: Karabakh is theirs now and it has been part of the development of Azerbaijani national consciousness, largely a post-Sovietization phenomenon... Any change in the status of the territory would be considered at the present time an unacceptable blow to Azerbaijani national pride.”

      Azerbaijan, which Turkey calls “the real owner of mountainous Karabakh,” has conducted several violent attacks against the Armenian population, such as the racially motivated pogroms in the cities of Sumgait (February 27-29, 1988), Kirovabad (November 21-27, 1988) and Baku (January 13-19, 1990).

      In the face of continued persecution, Nagorno-Karabakh finally declared independence in 1991, to which Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, responded with military aggression that continued until the 1994 cease-fire. The war had a devastating effect on Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the official website of the Office of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) in the US, the country’s health care system, entire road system, water supply systems as well as many social, economic and educational facilities, private homes and residential buildings were completely or partially destroyed.

      In his speech in Islamabad, Erdogan announced: “Azerbaijan has been suffering from problems for years... We especially cannot ignore the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

      The talks, which have gone on for more than 20 years, have reached no conclusion. The Minsk Group has not been able to resolve this matter. Therefore, we have to take care of ourselves. We have to take these steps in solidarity with the ECO and the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] in a determined manner. We must express Armenia’s occupation at all kinds of international meetings together. I believe if we do this together, it will be easier to get results.”

      Erdogan has often expressed Turkey’s desire to give “mountainous Karabakh” to Azerbaijan. For example, during a meeting of the Turkish Red Crescent General Assembly in Ankara last year, Erdogan recited a poem about Karabakh written by the Turkish poet Abdurrahim Karakoc, and added, “The persecution will not continue forever.

      Karabakh will certainly return to its real owner and belong to Azerbaijan one day.”

      What would happen if Artsakh Republic were given to Azerbaijan? The answer lies in what happened during the April 2016 “Four Day War” – Azerbaijan’s Islamic Statelike treatment of the people of Artsakh that included but was not limited to the murder of elderly civilians in their home, who had their ears cut off, and the mutilation or torture of Armenian soldiers from April 2 to April 5 which was well-documented with photographs, video and testimony surrounding several news reports and human rights reports.

      During the same war, uniformed Azerbaijani soldiers even posed with the severed head of Yezidi-Armenian soldier Kyaram Sloyan in photos and videos. The soldier who held Sloyan’s head up by the ears in one of the photos was later reportedly decorated with a medal by the president of Azerbaijan.

      Erdogan also mentioned the “Cyprus issue” in his speech in Islamabad, saying that “solidarity with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is unfairly subjected to isolation, should be enhanced.”

      Erdogan continued: “In this sense, it will be beneficial to make the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’s temporary observer status in the Economic Cooperation Organization permanent and encourage holding activities of the Economic Cooperation Organization in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”

      The northern part of the Republic of Cyprus has been under the occupation of Turkish military since 1974. “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” is recognized only by Turkey.

      “Cyprus has been a part of the Greek world as far back as can be attested by recorded history,” wrote the author Constantine Tzanos.

      “After the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and the defeat of the Venetians it fell to Ottoman rule from 1571 to 1878. In 1878 it was placed under British administration, was annexed by Britain in 1914, and in 1925 became a British colony.

      “On 20 July 1974, Turkey, a UN member state, in violation of the UN charter, claiming a right (which is also questionable) under the Treaty of Guarantee to intervene, invaded Cyprus and defying the UN Security Council quickly occupied 37% of the island, and forced the separation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots into two communities.”

      Never until the Turkish invasion in 1974 was the northern part of the island majority- Turkish. Turkey has forcibly changed the demographic character of the northern part of Cyprus by driving out Greek Cypriots to the southern part and bringing in thousands of settlers from Turkey as well as some 40,000 Turkish soldiers. Turkey continues to Turkify and Islamize northern Cyprus and wipe out its historic Hellenic and Christian identity through destruction of cultural heritage.

      Turkey’s extremely different stance toward “the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and “mountainous Karabakh” speaks volumes about Turkey’s worldview, hostile to its non-Turkish neighbors. Turkey may try to convince the world that as a NATO member it has largely adopted democratic values and is ready to enter the European Union. But its foreign policy demonstrates that Turkey still carries Islam’s flag of conquest.

      Unfortunately, this world view shaped by Turkish-Islamic supremacism prevents Turkish governments from respecting the sovereignty of non-Turkish and non-Islamic nations, which causes a continued lack of justice, security and stability in the region.

      The author is a Turkish journalist based in Washington DC.
      Hayastan or Bust.


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        They are so eager to test the F-35 against Russian air defense they are intentionally challenging Russia.
        Most likely Russia will not fall for it till the time is right. I wonder if the Russian electronic jamming will work on the F-35.

        "Netanyahu to Putin: Israeli airstrikes in Syria will continue

        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israeli forces will continue airstrikes in Syria if they deem it necessary."


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          Turkish Army attacks Kurdish forces in northern Syria
          By Leith Fadel - 22/03/2017

          BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:50 A.M.) – The Turkish Army has once again attacked the Kurdish-led forces in northern Syria, targeting the positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Afrin Canton of northern Aleppo.

          According to local activists, the Turkish Army heavily shelled the villages of Deir Ballout, Malaa Khalil, Furfrak, and Qara Baba in the Afrin Canton, causing material damage to several posts around this area.

          This is not an isolated incident in northern Syria, as the Turkish Army and their rebel allies have repeatedly attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Afrin Canton.

          Unlike the Al-Raqqa Governorate, the U.S. Marines do not have a presence in the Afrin Canton, so the Turkish Army takes advantage of their absence by attacking the Kurdish forces in this region.


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Originally posted by Vrej1915 View Post
            Turkish Army attacks Kurdish forces in northern Syria
            Will erdogan start calling Russia "Nazi" as well?
            I like how turks are being squeezed out from all sides.

            "Russia Deals Major Blow to Turkey's Syria Policy

            Russian and Turkish soldiers are facing off over the Syrian Kurdish canton of Afrin. Ankara says the area that borders its territory is under the control of PYD ‘terrorists’ affiliated with the Kurdish insurgent group the PKK. But Moscow, like Washington, views the PYD and its YPG militia which controls Afrin as key to fighting Islamic State.

            Moscow took Ankara by surprise when it deployed forces in the canton to monitor a cease-fire between YPG and the Free Syrian Army, which is backed by Turkey. On Wednesday violence erupted again. Ankara said one of its soldiers was killed by a sniper shooting across the border, prompting Turkish artillery to retaliate.

            “This is one of the biggest sensitivities we as a government have. Unfortunately, both Russia and the U.S. have not been sensitive to this as part of both the Raqqa and Manbij operations,” said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus.

            Russia’s deployment in Syria could add to pressure and criticism of Ankara's Syrian policy.

            Syria has brought us to the point whatever we are going to do we are going to antagonize Moscow, the United States and Iran. We can't stand up to all of them,” warns political consultant Atilla Yesilada of Global Source Partners.



            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              SDF capture Tabqa Dam from ISIS in spectacular behind enemy lines operation
              By Paul Antonopoulos - 23/03/201710

              BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:00 P.M.) – The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured Tabqa Dam from ISIS after a spectacular attack that saw the fighters launch the multi-pronged attack behind ISIS frontlines.

              The risky operation was supported by US war helicopters and artillery fire.

              “The Coalition supported this offensive with air movement and logistical support, precision airstrikes, Apache helicopters in close air support, Marine artillery, and special operations advice and assistance to SDF leadership,” the US-led coalition said in a statement.

              “Over the last four months, the Coalition has conducted more than 300 airstrikes around Tabqah and near Raqqa that have killed hundreds of enemy fighters, destroyed more than 200 fortifications, and more than 50 ISIS vehicles,” the coalition added.

              “It takes a special breed of warrior to pull off an airborne operation or air assault behind enemy lines,” said Col. Joe Scirocco of the coalition against ISIS. “There is nothing easy about this – it takes audacity and courage. And the SDF has that in spades.”

              He then went onto claim that the SDF were the most effective fighting force against ISIS.

              “The SDF and their local Syrian Arab Coalition fighters, have proven to be the most effective ground force against ISIS in Syria – and they are proving that once again with this daring operation,” said Scrocca.

              “It is the SDF on the ground, putting their lives at risk, and violently engaging the enemy,” said Scrocca. “And it is the SDF, like the Iraqi Security Forces, who are making the sacrifice so that other Coalition nations do not continue to suffer the threat of ISIS terrorism inside our own borders.”

              The capture of the dam now allows for the SDF to attack the de facto ISIS capital of Raqqa from three axes.


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Trump's ex-national security adviser 'discussed Gulen removal'


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  VIDEO: Islamist rebels hit Syrian T-90 tank with US-supplied missile in northern Hama
                  By Chris Tomson - 27/03/2017

                  DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:10 A.M.) – Jaish Al-Issa, a militant group tied to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), published a video on Sunday showing its fighters launching a TOW anti-tank missile towards an advancing T-90 tank, scoring a direct hit in the process.

                  The incident occurred near the rebel-held town of Maardes which has come under increasing pressure from the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) Tiger Forces.

                  A batch of upgraded T-90 battle tanks were delivered to the SAA in 2015 while dozens more have arrived in Syria since. The Russian manufactured armored vehicle was developed specifically to deter anti-tank missiles which previous versions had proved vulnerable to.

                  Yesterday, a T-55 tank was immobilized by a similar TOW missile strike in rural Hama.

                  In related news, SAA troops posed for pictures in front of scores of dead jihadist militants at the village of Qamhana following a fierce battle today.

                  UPDATE: A source told Al-Masdar News that the tank in mention was not a Tiger Forces T-90 tank but rather an upgraded T-62 tank manned by troops of the SAA’s 5th Corps.


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Kurdish forces enter Tabaqa Airbase in western Raqqa
                    By Leith Fadel - 26/03/20173

                    BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:15 P.M.) – Minutes ago, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) entered the Tabaqa Airbase in the western countryside of Al-Raqqa, Kurdish activists reported this evening.

                    If true, the Syrian Democratic Forces would be the first group to enter this strategic Airbase since the Islamic State (ISIL) took control of the installation in August of 2014.

                    When ISIL took control of the Airbase, they subsequently massacred 200 Syrian Arab Army (SAA) soldiers after marching them across the desert area near this military installation.
                    The Tabaqa Airbase is also considered one of the largest training grounds for new Islamic State recruits – so its potential loss could be devastating for the terrorist group, as the Kurdish forces would be within striking distance of Raqqa City’s western flank.


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      VIDEO: Engineer says Tabqa dam not in immediate damage, but needs urgent repairs
                      By Paul Antonopoulos - 27/03/20170

                      BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:34 P.M.) – The ISIS-affiliated Amaq Agency has published a picture of Tabqa dam control room in complete disarray. This has led to fears that Syria’s largest dam can collapse.

                      The damage was done from US-led airstrikes.

                      However, an engineer at the dam has said there is no need to panic yet, but critical repairs are needed as soon as possible.

                      “If water flow from Turkey remains unchanged, we have about 30 days to time of collapse,” the engineer said.

                      Essentially, Turkey with its control of the water flow have the power on whether the dam can be salvageable or not.

                      10-year Engineer at #TabqaDam tells @MousaAlomar: "If water flow from #Turkey remains unchanged, we have about 30 days to time of collapse"

                      — Riam Dalati (@Dalatrm) March 27, 2017

                      Kurdish-led forces have put immense pressure on ISIS in this part of Syria and are expected to take the dam in the coming day.