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Regional geopolitics

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  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    It is heating up between Iran and the azeris. Look at these comments from the goatfkrs emboldened in desperations.

    "Azerbaijani lawmakers warn Iran to look after its own business
    ... Should Iran dare to attack Azerbaijan, it would be wiped off the map. Iran would break apart and would be replaced by five states,''


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      Then you have another goatfker attacking Russia.

      "One Little Country Blocks Moscow's Domination Of The Entire Middle East: Azerbaijan

      ... the West (what's left of it) must be grateful to Israel and Azerbaijan for upholding the global balance." hehehehe stupidazz


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        Originally posted by Azad View Post
        It is heating up between Iran and the azeris. Look at these comments from the goatfkrs emboldened in desperations.

        "Azerbaijani lawmakers warn Iran to look after its own business
        ... Should Iran dare to attack Azerbaijan, it would be wiped off the map. Iran would break apart and would be replaced by five states,''
        Can you believe this? And where is Armenia's initiative here? We should be taking advantage of this sh*t to sign a FTA with the Iranians and build better relations.


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          This makes me laugh. It says we attacked and somehowthe body of their soldier ended up on our side.
          Hayastan or Bust.


          • Re: Regional geopolitics

            Western Corruption is business as usual. They promote "human rights" when it is right for them.

            "UK companies ‘linked to Azerbaijan pipeline bribery scandal’

            Four British companies are alleged to have played a key part in a multimillion pound bribery scandal involving a leading Italian politician.

            Luca Volontè, a former member of the Union of the Centre party in Italy, has been accused of helping quash a human rights report criticising Azerbaijan, one of the world’s most authoritarian countries."



            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM tURKEY. Even Santa has issues with turks.

              "At least 35 killed, 40 injured in Istanbul nightclub terrorist attack

              At least one gunman dressed as Santa has attacked a night club in Istanbul, killing and injuring scores of people, Turkish media report. Footage shows armored police vehicles surrounding the building as ambulances are rushed to the scene."



              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                Turkish army like Iraqis stalled by ISIS pushback

                Wednesday, Dec. 28, hours before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due to deliver a major speech on his vision for the Middle East, Turkey and Russia announced a ceasefire plan going into effect the same night for the whole of Syria, and in all regions, where fighting between pro-government forces and opposition groups were taking place - excepting for terrorist organizations.
                Moscow and Ankara assumed the role of guarantors of the process. This accord will be brought for approval before the Syrian peace conference to be convened in the Kazakhstan capital, Astana, this week, attended by Russia, Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government and Syrian opposition groups. The US and Europe were not invited.
                Not content with kicking Washington out of any role in resolving the Syrian crisis, the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan accused the US, leader of the Western war on the Islamic State, of supporting “terrorist groups.”
                He claimed Tuesday to have evidence of the US “giving support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD,” adding, ” We have… pictures, photos and videos.”
                While Erdogan is scoring in the diplomatic arena, he faces nothing but frustration militarily over the failure of the large, professional Turkish army to gain ground in the battle for Al Bab in northern Syria. This is Turkey’s first face-to-face with the Islamic State in its four-month old Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria - and it is not gong well. The fighting is deadly with no end in sight.
                This may partly account for Erdogan’s oddly inconsistent behavior.
                Tuesday, Dec. 26, he quietly asked the Obama administration to step up its air support for the Turkish campaign to capture Al Bab, 55 km north of Aleppo and the only major town in ISIS hands in northern Syria. He accused the US of not doing enough.
                It was doubly odd in that Turkey has a large air force of its own, and if that force was not enough to support the campaign against ISIS, Erdogan’s obvious address for assistance would be his ally in the Syrian arena, Russian President Vladimir Putin. After all, Ankara, Moscow and Tehran are in the middle of a shared effort to set the rules of the game in Syria, which has pointedly excluded the US under the Obama administration.
                As to the state of the fighting, on Dec. 21, Erdogan claimed: “Right now, Al-Bab is completely besieged by the Free Syrian Army and our soldiers.” In fact, this siege has been in place for weeks and, worse still, the casualties are mounting.
                Wednesday, Dec. 28, the Turkish military said it had "neutralised" 44 Islamic State fighters in Al Bab and wounded 117 in Al Bab, while 154 Islamic State targets had been struck by artillery and other weaponry.
                No casualty figures have been released for the Turkish army fighting for Al Baba. They are conservatively estimated at 90 dead and hundreds injured. The losses of Free Syrian Army (FSA), the local rebel force fighting alongside the Turkish army, are undoubtedly heavier still.
                Our military and counterterrorism experts explain how the Islamic State’s beleaguered fighters are not just holding out in Al Bab against a superior army, but running circles around it.
                The jihadists took the precaution of clearing back passages from Al Bab to their headquarters in Raqqa, 140km to the southeast, and Palmyra, 330km away.
                This heritage town, which the Russians took from ISIS several months ago, was recaptured by the jihadists earlier this month, when Russian forces were fully engaged with capturing Aleppo. The US air force has in the last few days redoubled its strikes on Palmyra - both to cut off the flow of reinforcements and supplies to the besieged ISIS fighters in Al Bab and to clear the way for Russian forces to recover the lost town.
                This US-Russian cooperative effort is at odds with the Obama administration’s presentation of Washington’s prickly relations with Moscow.
                Notwithstanding the forces ranged against it, ISIS has so far managed to repel almost every Turkish bid to break into Al Bab – thanks to the new tactics it has introduced to the battles for Syrian Al Bab and Iraqi Mosul, which mark a turning point in the war on Islamist terror in those countries.
                Those tactics hinge heavily on maximizing enemy casualties in order to knock the opposing army off the battlefield.
                This is achieved by a deadly mix of guerilla and terrorist methods, and includes car bombs, bomb belt-clad suicides, improvised explosive devices (IED), sniper squads, gliders carrying explosives with small parachutes, as well as the increasing use of anti-air missiles and poison chemicals.
                Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar Al-Abadi estimated that the Iraqi army needed another three months to beat ISIS in Mosul. He was trying to buck up the Iraqi people by concealing the true situation.
                The fact is that the Iraqi military offensive against ISIS in its Mosul stronghold has ground to a halt – and no wonder, when some units have suffered a 50 percent manpower loss.
                Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of American troops in Syria and Iraq, was of the opinion last week that at least two years of fighting were needed to drive ISIS out of its two capitals, Mosul and Raqqa. He did not spell this out, but his meaning was clear: to achieve this objective, a far larger army was needed than the military manpower available at present.


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  Turkey pays dear for Erdogan overreach into Syria

                  The “Santa Claus” shooting rampage one hour after midnight, killing 39 New Year revelers and injuring 69 at the Istanbul Reina nightclub, was the first terrorist event of 2017. It came on the heels of the assassination of the Russian ambassador Andrew Karlov in Ankara on Monday, Dec. 19, by a Turkish special forces officer, 22-year old Mevlit Mert Atlintas, shouting “This is for Syria!” on behalf of Al Qaeda’s Syrian arm, the Nusra Front.
                  That murder had the historic distinction of marking the opening of the floodgates for the Syrian war and its terrorist adjuncts to start surging across the border into Turkey.
                  The Turkish army’s August invasion of northern Syria triggered a sharp escalation of devastating terrorist attacks in the country by Syrian-based organizations, the Islamic State,then Nusra, and TAK-the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, on top of the local Kurdish separatist PKK's regular outrages.
                  However the impact of even those crippling events pales against the earthquake rumbling through the country and threatening to blow its society, armed forces and ruling institutions apart, under the weight of the three wars which President Tayyip Erdogan has ignited:
                  His troops are fighting three concurrent wars – two outside its borders in Syria and Iraq and a campaign at home against Kurdish insurgency. While Turkey’s involvement in all three has been low key, it is being dragged into wider and more complicated areas of conflict.
                  Turkish intelligence is over-stretched for contending with the three wars while at the same time thwarting the terrorist networks planted in Turkey by the Islamic State, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Syrian Kurdish insurgents.
                  In 2016, Ankara and Istanbul suffered several attacks by Daesh terrorists and the PKK that killed more than 180 people.
                  The Russian-Syrian-Iranian-Hizballah victory in Aleppo has pushed large numbers of defeated Syrian rebels into the Idlib region on the Turkish border, presenting Ankara with a dilemma: To leave the border open as it is at present, or to seal it as Moscow is demanding. Shutting it would compress the fugitive rebels inside a Russian-Syrian-Turkish box – much like the blockade Israel and Egypt impose on the Palestinian Gaza Strip. It would leave the Syrian rebels with not much option for surviving but to take their war into southern Turkey.
                  Turkish armed forces are, like the MIT intelligence service, heavily over-extended by the war on ISIS in Syria at the same time as battling al Qaeda’s Nusra Front (aka the Fatah al-Sham Front) which orchestrated the assassination of the Russian ambassador), Syrian rebel fundamentalist Muslim groups and Kurdish terrorists.
                  The situation could tip over into calamity if the Kurdish minority chose this moment to rise up against the Erdogan government, with the backing of the PKK and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. There are 10 million Kurds living in southern Turkey out of a total of 22 million in the country.
                  Ankara is in the process of exiting NATO, turning its back on the United States and Europe and forging a detente with Russia, China and Iran.
                  The Obama administration has not managed to halt this process. Its errors may have even sped Turkey on its flight from the West. The Trump administration will have to decide whether it is willing or able to haul Turkey back into line or take advantage of the process for America’s benefit.
                  Since the July coup against his government, Erdogan has been pursuing an uninterrupted crackdown and purge in every walk of Turkish life, in pursuit of his struggle against his main rival, Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of orchestrating the putsch from his place of exile in America. The Turkish ruler blames Gulen each time any opposition raises its head. He then crushes such opponents with a heavy hand.
                  This regime of repression has had the opposite effect to the one Erdogan intended. Gulen, formerly a marginal figure in Turkish politics, is now a giant and a hero to increasing segments of Turkish society. People are also being driven into the arms of radical elements.
                  If Erdogan fails to curb the spillover of the Syrian war into Turkey, he may find himself fighting not on one but three home fronts: Kurds, radical Islamists and the Gulen movement.


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Syria ready for truce, Assad stays, US is left out

                    President Vladimir Putin has announced that the Syrian government and rebels have signed a truce deal and are ready to begin peace talks. The ceasefire begins Thursday, Dec. 289, at midnight local time. The deal excludes the Islamic State the ex-Nusra Front and all groups linked to them. He did not say which rebel groups were covered.
                    We have been waiting for this event for a long time and working very hard, said, Putin at a meeting with foreign and defense ministers. He said the two sides had signed three documents:
                    The first document covers the ceasefire; the second is a set of measures to monitor the ceasefire, and the third is a statement of readiness to start peace negotiations on the Syrian settlement.
                    Putin noted that the Syrian deal was fragile and required special attention and patience and constant contact with the partners.
                    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that Turkey and Russia would act as guarantors under the plan. The two countries back opposing sides in the conflict, which has raged for more than five years. If true, and if the truce deal is respected, it could end a six-year civil war that has killed potentially more than 430,000 and forced around 11 million from their homes.

                    DEBKAfile’s sources add: The Russian-Turkish initiative, to which Iran is almost certainly co-opted, brings the Syria war the closest it has ever been to conclusion in more than five years of bloodshed. Its success will be tested at midnight on Thursday, Sept. 29, and the coming peace talks in Kazakhstan.
                    Vladimir Putin pulled off a gamble by stepping up direct Russian military intervention in the brutal conflict 16 months ago and using his air force to swing the tide of war in favor of victory for the Bashar Assad government – which was his endgame.
                    Whether by coincidence or design, Putin’s announcement of the Syrian truce deal landed on a hectic international stage. US President Barack Obama and a group of senators weighed in Wednesday with a call for fresh sanctions as punishment for alleged Russian hackers’ interference in the presidential election campaign, although many Western cyber experts note the absence of concrete evidence of this.
                    At the end of the day, outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry delivered his parting shot against Israel in a 1 hour, 17 minute tirade devoted entirely to the elusive Israel-Palestinian peace.
                    His content and the bitterness of his tone indicated how far the Obama administration was out of touch with the latest Middle East developments and the ebbing of US influence on major events.
                    Four important points stand out in the Putin Syrian ceasefire announcement:
                    1. Syria cannot celebrate final peace – or even a total end of hostilities. Even if the 62,000 fighters of the seven main rebel groups and government forces truly lay down arms from Thursday midnight, the war against the big jihadist groups, the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, the Nusra Front, will go on.
                    In the face of it, the situation of the jihadist groups has taken a turn for the worst, since the Syrian government army and its backers will now be free to focus on smashing them for good. On the other hand, some of the fringe rebel groups may reject the truce and peace deal on the table and prefer to carry on fighting in the ranks of the Islamist groups, bringing their arms with them.
                    2. The incoming Trump administration in Washington is presented with a serious challenge in terms of world influence by the Russian president’s success in halting warfare in all parts of Syria after a breakthrough Russian-backed government victory in Aleppo. Russia has by these feats hauled itself up to a new, enhanced strategic standing in the Middle East.
                    Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said on Thursday that Trump’s administration would be welcome to join the Syrian peace process once he takes office on Jan. 20.
                    This was a patronizing invitation to the United States to come along to the historic peace event as just another player and not as a global superpower. Donald Trump is most unlikely to accept the invitation, unless he and Putin come to some quiet arrangement in advance.
                    3. The continued presence of Syrian forces in Syria is an important issue in relation to foreign military participation in the war. Putin indicated that he was amenable to a partial Russian military drawdown Thursday when he met with his foreign and defense ministers to confer on the next steps in Syria. Defense Minister Andrew Shoigu is quoted as sayomg that Russia was ready to begin drawing down its deployment in Syria, which consists of several dozen fixed-wing aircraft, along with helicopters, ships and special forces soldiers.
                    “All conditions have been created for the reduction of the Russian group in Syria,” Shoigu said, without elaborating on how large the force reduction could be, or which forces may be withdrawn.
                    The Russians were pointing the way for Tehran to start withdrawing its own and Hizballah and other Shiite forces from Syria, a demand also made by Turkey, co-guarantor with Russia of the Syrian truce.
                    Iran will most likely pretend not to hear these messages, at least in the early stages of the process of de-escalating the Syrian war.
                    4. There is now no question that Bashar Assad remains in power in Damascus. Obama’s demand for his removal was never timely or realistic.


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Propping up US-Iraqi Mosul flop exposed Baghdad

                      Iraqi tank blown up by ISIS bomber in Mosul battle
                      The US-backed Iraqi campaign launched in October to liberate Mosul from the clutches of the Islamic State is on its last legs, although the Obama administration and Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi are making every effort to disguise the debacle.
                      AS DEBKAfile has been reporting for three weeks, the Iraqi army’s Mosul operation has run aground, despite solid US military backing, giving the advantage to Islamic State fighters occupying Iraq’s biggest city since the summer of 2015.
                      This development has major security ramifications - not only for Iraq, but also for Syria, Jordan, Israel and the West at large.
                      The jihadists staunched the Iraqi army’s advance by releasing in its path hundreds of suicide killers in waves on foot and in bomb cars. This tactic has inflicted crippling losses on the two elite Iraqi divisions leading the offensive, the Golden Division, which is the backbone of Iraq’s Special Operations forces, and the 9th Armored Division. Devastating losses forced both to pull back from the battlefield.
                      This week, another 1,700 US special operations forces and 4,000 members of the Iraqi federal police and counter-terrorism service (CTS) were urgently sent out to reinforce the crumbling front lines. Their deployment was officially characterized as marking the launch of “the second phase of the operation to retake Mosul.”
                      Their real function was to prop up the few positions Iraqi forces have captured so far and save the Mosul offensive from crashing.
                      Western military observers noted Saturday, Dec. 31, that more and more American troops are to be seen on the embattled city’s front lines. US combatants are therefore fighting face to face with ISIS jihadists, a development the Obama administration is loath to admit, never having released the number of American lives lost in the Mosul offensive.
                      Our military sources add that the Iraqi counter-terrorism force sent to Mosul was previously posted in Baghdad to secure the capital against Islamist terrorist operations and ISIS attempts to seize the center and Iraqi’s national government centers. Its transfer to Mosul, 356km to the north, exposed central Baghdad to terror.
                      And, inevitably, on Saturday, two suicide bombers blew themselves up on a main street of the capital, killing 28 people and inuring 40 in their first major attack there in three months since the onset of the Mosul offensive..
                      This happened the day after the Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook released an unwelcome report that US security agencies “do think [Abu Bakr al] Baghdadi is alive and is still leading” the Islamic group and the battle for Mosul.
                      ISIS for its part issued a menacing new communiqué that jacked up its threat against neighboring Jordan’s King Abdullah II and his security forces, in the wake of its terrorist-cum-hostage assault earlier this month on the southern town of Karak, in which 10 people were killed and 29 injured.
                      The communiqué reads:“All Jordanian soldiers, police, mosque preachers, information activists and regime supporters are legitimate targets for the muhahideen’s bullets and knives. All of Jordan is an open battlefield!”
                      ISIS is informing the world of its coming targets, say DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism sources, which are:
                      1. The overthrow of the Hashemite king and his rule, and
                      2. The seizure of southern Jordan.
                      If Baghdadi succeeds in this scheme, he will gain control of a large stretch of land adjacent to Israel and Egyptian Sinai to the west and Saudi Arabia to the south, thereby bringing both under threat and placing itself close enough to block the port of Aqaba, Jordan’s only outlet to the sea.
                      From the desert region of southern Jordan, ISIS will also achieve proximity to the Sinai desert – through Israeli and Egyptian Bedouin – and be able to control the main Middle East arms-smuggling route and the Sinai center of operations of this illicit and enormously profitable trade