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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    Apparently EU is butt hurt at the Armenian run RT and Sputnik.
    Looks like the old European arrogance is falling apart. So much for Western "Democracy".
    They do not even state which part is "Propaganda". For over 50 years they brainwashed the world with their BBC, Radio Free Europe not to mention the new comers the CNNs.

    "EU Parliament approves resolution to counter Russian media ‘propaganda’

    MEPs in Strasbourg have voted on a non-legislative resolution which calls for the EU to “respond to information warfare by Russia.” RT and Sputnik news agency are alleged to be among the most dangerous "tools" of "hostile propaganda."

    "The resolution hits straight at a number of respected media, including Sputnik agency, and has an aim to stop their activity in the EU. Moreover, the resolution bluntly contradicts the EU's own human rights and freedom of press norms," reads the letter signed by Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan."


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      Who started the counter Russian media "Propaganda"? You guessed it! The usual swines.
      Notice in the video at 0:55 "The Henry Jackson Society" .. "Democracy - Freedom -Human Rights"

      Henry Jackson Society Executive Director: Alan Mendoza

      "Dr. Alan Mendoza
      Founder, Henry Jackson Society - London-based progressive Conservative-aligned think-tank (When you see "think-tank" they all are the same people.)
      the organization has strongly supported Israel"

      "British Jewry: A tale of two stories
      At a Friday night Shabbat at the home of Alan Mendoza, head of the Henry Jackson Society, I learned about the vibrant Sephardic community."


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        Turkish forces attack Syrian Army in Latakia
        By Leith Fadel -

        DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:20 A.M.) - The Turkish Army intervened in the Latakia Governorate on Wednesday when the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a surprise offensive against the jihadist rebels of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front).

        According to a military source in the Latakia Governorate, the Turkish Army fired several artillery shells towards the town of Nawara, where the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) were positioned on Wednesday.

        While no casualties were reported, the heavy shelling forced the Syrian Arab Army and their allies to withdraw their assault in northern Latakia.

        This latest attack by the Turkish Army comes just hours after their air force bombed the Kurdish-led "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF) in the northern Aleppo countryside.


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          Trump and Gen. Flynn move in on Syria, Iraq wars

          Unlike most US president elects, Donald Trump is not waiting to be formally sworn into office on Jan. 20. DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and Washington sources reveal that he has already plunged unannounced into managing America’s military role in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. His national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is secretly in close touch with the Head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, as well as President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Jordan’s King Abdullah. Their covert discussions are preparing the ground for a combined assault on the Islamic State’s bastions in Iraq and Syria shortly after Trump moves into the White House. Their plan of operation would also involve the regular armies of Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Persian Gulf nations.
          For more details on the Trump initiative for smashing ISIS, read the coming issue of DEBKA Weekly out Friday, Nov. 25. To subscribe, click here.
          Israel’s role in the secret track began to surface in the new Golan border arrangements only just revealed by DEBKAfile on Nov. 21:
          Israel, Jordan and Syria have embarked on secret discussions for the stabilization of their borders in southern Syria by restoring the status quo ante that reigned on the Golan prior to the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
          This is reported exclusively by DEBKAfile from intelligence, Washington and Moscow sources.
          The incoming Trump administration in Washington and Russian President Vladimir Putin are in the picture; so is the United Arab Emirates ruler, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
          Although still at a preliminary stage, the talks have produced their first tangible result: A vanguard of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has arrived on the Syrian side of the Golan. It has taken up position at its former Fawwar Camp base 4km east of Quneitra, which it evacuated during the Syrian fighting. The main body of the force, around 1,000 UN soldiers and 70 observers, is expected soon, to take up the task of reconstituting the former demilitarized zone that separated Israel and Syria under the 1974 armistice agreement.
          This DMZ runs 80km along the Hermon range up to the Lebanese border in the north and down to the Israel-Syrian-Jordanian triangle in southern Syria up to the Jordanian border. In the 25km long Golan strip, between half a kilometer and 10 deep, the IDF and Syrian army were originally limited as to the number of soldiers and types of weaponry they are allowed to maintain. The strip will revert to Syrian civil administration under UNDOF control, and the Israeli-Syrian border crossing point will be reopened in the Quneitra area under the joint supervision of UN, Israeli and Syrian officers.
          The military arrangements are still in discussion and changes may be introduced to this format.
          The main obstacle to the return of pre-Syrian war conditions to this sensitive border region is the presence of radical Syrian rebel forces in southern Syria, mainly the Khalid bin Walid Army, whose leaders have sworn allegiance to Islamic State commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
          These forces will face the option of accepting the authority of the Syrian army or fighting a win-or-die battle.
          Israel has an additional, compelling interest in restoring the disengagement zone with Syria in that it leaves no room for the grab for a military presence opposite Israeli Golan and Galilee that was made in recent months by Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hizballah, for the purpose of opening a new front for terrorist attacks against Israel - as DEBKAfile was first to reveal. .
          An indirect clue to the secret diplomatic talks ongoing came from the Syrian ruler Bashar Assad in an interview he gave on Nov. 16 to a Portuguese radio station, when he said: “If –if – he [Trump] fights the terrorists, it is clear that we will be a natural ally, together with the Russians, Iranians and many other countries who want to defeat the terrorists.”
          The parties with varying degrees of involvement in the restoration of the UN-controlled DMZ on the Golan border are, therefore, the incoming Trump administration, Moscow, Damascus, Amman, Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem. Russia, Jordan and the Emirates have gained relevance for the first time as a result of changes in the strategic balance engendered by the Syrian war.


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Egyptian fighter jets arrive in Syria: report
            By Leith Fadel - 24/11/2016

            DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:20 P.M.) - Egyptian fighter jets landed for the first time at the Hama Military Airport this week, the Lebanon-based As-Safir newspaper reported on Wednesday morning.

            As-Safir claims that these Egyptian fighter jets will participate in the ongoing military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), while also providing logistical support to the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAYF).

            Al-Masdar contacted the Syrian Air Force to corroborate this report by As-Safir; however, no response has been received yet to verify the validity of this claim.

            Last month, several Egyptian military advisors traveled from Cairo to the Port of Tartous in order to participate in a training session with their Russian counterparts at the T-4 Airport in east Homs.


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              17 Turkish soldiers killed, 30 Turkish tanks destroyed during operations inside Syria
              By Chris Tomson - 25/11/2016

              In a statement released on Friday morning, the Turkish Army confirmed another of its soldiers had been killed near al-Bab during skirmishes with ISIS.

              Since operation 'Euphrates Shield' began in late August, at least 17 Turkish soldiers have been killed and dozens wounded. In addition, an estimated 30 Turkish armored vehicles have been destroyed due to clashes with ISIS and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

              Yesterday, Ankara accused the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) of carrying out a deadly airstrike on its troops, killing three soldiers in the process. A fourth died overnight due to injuries from the air raid, a Turkish military official said.

              However, an exclusive Al-Masdar News source later denied that the SyAAF had been operational in the area, suggesting the incident to be a false flag operation by Turkey.

              Since operation Euphrates Shield began, the pro-Ankara rebels have captured the ISIS stronghold of Jarablus, cleared ISIS from Al Rai and retaken the symbolically important town of Dabiq without much resistance. In total, 218 villages and towns have been captured from ISIS and the SDF in the past three months.

              Now, Syrian rebels - heavily supported by the Turkish Armed Forces - hope to dislodge ISIS militants from the city of al-Bab. Yesterday, rebel forces seized two villages east of the Islamic State bastion.


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Նոր իրավիճակ Ռուսաստանի ու Թուրքիայի համար

                ԻԳՈՐ ՄՈՒՐԱԴՅԱՆ, Քաղաքագետ
                Մեկնաբանություն - 25 Նոյեմբերի 2016,

                Սիրիայի իրադարձությունների ծավալման ամենասկզբից ԱՄՆ-ն, ինչպես եւ ՆԱՏՕ-ի գործընկերները գործողությունների եւ քաղաքականության որեւէ մշակված ծրագիր չեն ունեցել: Ճգնաժամի առաջին փուլում ԱՄՆ-ում ենթադրել են, որ Սիրիայում կկրկնվի Լիբիայի պատմությունը, եւ Արեւմտյան հանրության աջակցությամբ եւ արաբական պետությունների հավանությամբ Սիրիայում իշխող վարչակարգը կհեռացվի:

                Դա տեղի չունեցավ, եւ ԱՄՆ-ն ավելացրեց ընդդիմությանն աջակցությունը՝ դրանով հանդերձ բախվելով նրան, որ ընդդիմադիր զինված ուժերը կամ Ալ-Կաիդային են պատկանում, կամ էլ գաղափարապես եւ քաղաքական նպատակներով մոտ են նրան:

                Ներկայում ԱՄՆ-ն որոշել է, որ կարելի է համաձայնվել գործող վարչակարգի պահպանմանը՝ քաղաքական-պետական կառուցվածքի բարեփոխման պայմանով: ԱՄՆ-ն շահագրգռված է հակամարտության շարունակմամբ, ինչը թույլ կտա առավելագույնս ոչնչացնել արմատական իսլամիստներին, ընդ որում՝ վարչակարգի ձեռքերով եւ մի շարք արաբական պետությունների՝ Եգիպտոսի, Իրաքի, Հորդանանի եւ այլ պետությունների որոշակի համաձայնության պայմաններում:

                Իրանի հետ հարաբերությունների կարգավորման մասով բարենպաստ սպասումները որոշ չափով իրենց դերն են խաղում Սիրիայում գործող վարչակարգի պահպանման մտքին ԱՄՆ-ի հաշտվելու գործում:

                Այդուհանդերձ, ԱՄՆ-ում շարունակում են տիրաժավորել Սիրիայի տարածքային-պետական մասնատման, Սիրիան մի քանի պետությունների բաժանելու անխուսափելիության մասին գաղափարները, ինչը նախեւառաջ կապված է Մերձավոր Արեւելքում շիա պետությունները տարածապես անջատելու ձգտման հետ:

                ԱՄՆ-ն եւ եվրոպացիները միաժամանակ շահագրգռված են Իրաքի նավթի հանքավայրերից խոշոր նավթամուղեր կառուցել դեպի Միջերկրականի նավահանգիստներ: Դրա համար անհրաժեշտ է Սիրիայի տարածքային ամբողջականության պահպանումը:

                Ամերիկացի վերլուծաբանները չեն կարծում, որ Ռուսաստանը լուրջ եւ երկարաժամկետ խաղացող է Մերձավոր Արեւելքում՝ համարելով, որ այն տարածաշրջանում հուսալի գործընկերներ ու շահեր չունի: Ռուսաստանն օգտվել է Սիրիայի իրադրությունից, սակայն սիրիական վարչակարգի նպատակը ոչ թե Ռուսաստանի հետ հարաբերությունների ամրապնդումն է, այլ ԱՄՆ ու եվրոպական առաջատար պետությունների հետ հարաբերությունների կարգավորումը:

                Իրաքում ռուսական նավթային բիզնեսի համար որոշակի հեռանկարներ, ինչպես նաեւ մի շարք արաբական երկրներում ռուսական սպառազինության արտահանման համար հնարավորություններ կան: Սակայն թե նավթային բիզնեսը, թե սպառազինությունների ոլորտն ընդհանուր առմամբ վերահսկվում են ԱՄՆ-ի եւ արեւմտյան ընկերությունների կողմից, եւ Ռուսաստանը հազիվ թե կարողանա տարածաշրջանում նշանակալի տնտեսական ներկայություն ծավալել:

                Համարվում է, որ Սիրիայում իրավիճակի հանգուցալուծմամբ տարածաշրջանում Ռուսաստանի ազդեցության որոշ չափով վերականգնման ժամանակը կավարտվի, եւ Մերձավոր Արեւելքում Ռուսաստանի դիրքերը շատ համեստ կլինեն: Միեւնույն ժամանակ, Մերձավոր Արեւելքում հակասություններ են առաջացել Ռուսաստանի եւ Թուրքիայի միջեւ, ինչը համապատասխանում է տարածաշրջանային ուժային հավասարակշռության պահպանման ռազմավարությանը:

                Այսպիսով Սիրիան դարձել է «դասական օրինակ», երբ Թուրքիայի ու Ռուսաստանի միջեւ դիմակայությունը տեղի է ունենում ոչ ավանդական մրցակցության տարածաշրջաններում, օրինակ Հարավային Կովկասում, այլ Մերձավոր Արեւելքում:


                • Re: Regional geopolitics


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Turkish-backed rebels, Syrian Army and Kurdish forces all advance in race to al-Bab
                    By Chris Tomson -

                    On Saturday, Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions seized a further three village on the outskirts of al-Bab, thus narrowing in on the Islamic State stronghold.

                    Thus, the FSA - heavily supported by the Turkish Armed Forces - were able to capture Umm Shukyaf, Umm Adasah and Anifiyah, east of al-Bab in Aleppo province.

                    Meanwhile, the FSA also launched fresh assaults against the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at Sab Wiran and Sheikh Nassir. However, these attacks were repelled while another Turkish tank was destroyed by the SDF on the outskirts of the villages.

                    On the other hand, the SDF finally captured the villages of Tall al-Jijan and Tall Unayb, west of Al-Bab, after prolonged clashes with the Islamic State.

                    The pro-government 'Kafr as Saghir Martyrs' Kurdish militia also advanced alongside the Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) Republican Guard east of Aleppo city, thus capturing the villages of Khirbat Duwayr, Amad Taltinah, Shaalah, and Tal Al-Khashkhashat. During the SAA offensive, the SDF provided fire support against ISIS.

                    Notably, the latter advance puts Syrian government forces just 8 kilometers west of al-Bab, a prize which all warring parties hope to obtain.

                    Although the primary faction of the SDF is the Kurdish 'People's Protection Units' (YPG), several other factions are also involved in fighting alonside the YPG in the region. These factions - united by the Manbij Military Council - also include:
                    ► Al-Bab Revolutionaries Front (Arabs)
                    ► Qabasin Martyrs Brigade (Kurds)
                    ► Saljuk Brigade (Turkmen)
                    ► Kaaibah Martyrs Brigade (Kurds)
                    ► Ahrar Arima Brigade (Arabs)
                    ► Martyr Silo al-Rai Brigade (mixed Kurds and Turkmen)
                    ► Al-Bab Countryside Martyrs Brigade (mixed Kurds and Arabs)


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Egyptian pilots flying Russian choppers in Syria

                      Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi’s secret decision to intervene militarily in the Syrian war on the side of the Syrian President Bashar Assad is revealed here by DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources. The precise details of that intervention vary from source to source.
                      1. According to one version, a group of Egyptian helicopter pilots – 18, according to one estimate - landed secretly a few days ago at the Syrian Air Force base in Hama and were pressed at once into service for strikes against Syrian rebel forces.
                      Some sources describe the Egyptian flight crews as taking over the xxxxpits of Russian attack/reconnaissance Kamov Ka-52 helicopters, with which they were familiar, having trained on them since the end of 2015.
                      2. Others say that the Egyptian airmen flew those helicopters from Egypt to Syria over the eastern Mediterranean.
                      3. There is also a claim that their arrival was preceded by a preliminary inspection of the Syrian front lines by two major generals from the Egyptian general staff operations division, who later submitted their recommendations to the Egyptian president. It is not clear if they met the Russian commanders in Syria during that trip.
                      4. Others say the Egyptian generals headed a military delegation, which has set up a permanent mission in Damascus.
                      But every one of those sources agrees that, one way or another, Egypt has secretly entered the Syrian war in support of the Bashar regime – a development which has raised a firestorm in Arab capitals.
                      Saudi Arabia is particularly incensed over El-Sisi’s move. For years, Riyadh granted Cairo billions of dollars in aid, hoping this was an investment for procuring the Egyptian army as the stalwart protector of the kingdom and the Gulf emirates against Iran.
                      But towards the end of last year, Riyadh was affronted when the Egyptian ruler turned down an appeal for ground troops to support the Yemen campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. An eye-opener came when Egypt showed sympathy for Assad’s fight against extremist Islamist groups in the rebel movement, especially those associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which El-Sisi has outlawed in Egypt as the sworn foe of his regime. Then, when Cairo supported Russian pro-Assad diplomacy at the United Nations, Saudi Arabia abruptly cut off financial assistance to Egypt and discontinued its oil shipments.
                      Donald Trump's election this month as the next US president has already become the catalyst of a major reshuffling of Middle East alliances and stakes.
                      Some of its rulers, including El-Sisi, see the landscape changing and may be gambling on Trump reaching a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin for joint military operations in Syria against the Islamic State and other Islamic terror groups, including the Al-Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front. The new bandwagon about to roll appears to favor Bashar Assad and his army.
                      The US president elect’s take on the Syrian ruler is expected to be markedly different to that of outgoing President Barack Obama, who castigated Assad, but held back from fighting him on the battlefield.
                      DEBKAfile reported exclusively on Nov. 21 that clandestine talks between Jerusalem, Amman and Damascus were afoot for the restoration of the demilitarized zone on the Golan and steps to stabilize their common borders in southern Syria.
                      Those talks are taking place with the knowledge of the Trump transition team and the Kremlin. They have already produced results in the return of UNDOF observers to their former posts on the Syrian Golan.
                      There are grounds to speculate now that the deployment of Egyptian aviators to Syria may be one more product of the secret inter-power diplomacy swirling in recent weeks over Syria’s bloody and intractable five-year war.