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Regional geopolitics

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  • Syrian Army deploys air defense missiles to northern Syria: report

    By Leith Aboufadel

    Rate Article (4 / 1)

    BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:55 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has recently deployed air defense missiles to the northern provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, following the Turkish military’s incursion in both governorates, the Reuters News Agency quoted a military commander on Monday.

    “The Syrian Army calls up new air defences and anti-aircraft missiles to areas on the frontlines with the militants in the countryside of Aleppo and Idlib,” the commander told Reuters.

    “They cover the air space of the Syrian north,” the report added.

    Damascus has repeatedly warned the Turkish regime in the past that they are willing to shoot down their warplanes if they continue to violate Syria’s sovereignty.

    Ankara has ignored Damascus’ calls and worked with directly with the Russians in order to achieve their political endeavors inside Syria.


    • Breaking: Russian Su-25 pilot killed in Syria returned to Russia

      By Andrew Illingworth

      BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:19 P.M.) – The body of a Russian Aerospace Forces combat pilot who was killed whilst inside Syrian rebel-held territory has been returned to Russia according to defense authorities.

      Moments ago, the Russian Ministry of Defence reported that the body of Russian Su-25 pilot Roman Filipov was returned to Russia following successful efforts between Moscow and Ankara to pressure Turkish-backed Syrian militant groups to hand it over.

      According to sources, the Faylaq al-Sham rebel group who possessed Filipov’s body after he was killed handed it over to the Turkish military who then passed it on to Russia.

      On Saturday, Roman Filipov was shot town by Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces wielding a man-portable anti-aircraft system near the city of Saraqib.

      He survived long enough to bail out of his stricken warplane but, having landing within rebel-held territory, was later engaged by a pursuing militant search party; he ended the chase by killing himself with a hand grenade after a brief firefight.


      • Kurdish YPG retake several areas in Afrin (video)

        By Leith Aboufadel

        BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 A.M.) – The Kurdish-led YPG launched a big counterattack inside the Afrin region of Aleppo this week, resulting in their forces retaking several lost areas.

        Among the several areas recaptured this week were the town of Sheikh Khorouz and large hilltop of Tal Sheikh Khorouz, which were briefly under the control of the Turkish-backed rebels.

        According to pro-YPG media, their forces recaptured these two sites in northern Afrin, while also seizing an enemy personnel carrier and taking two Turkish-backed rebels prisoner.

        Below is a video from the attack that shows the YPG forces taking hold of the enemy’s ACV-15 personnel carrier near the large hilltop of Tal Sheikh Khorouz in the northern countryside of Afrin:


        • Breaking: Turkey-led forces claim chemical weapons attack launched by Kurdish fighters in Syria’s Afrin, major casualties

          By Andrew Illingworth

          BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:06 A.M.) – Turkey-led forces are claiming that Kurdish paramilitary groups in Syria’s Afrin region fired on them with chemical munitions delivered from artillery systems causing considerable casualties among their ranks.

          According to the official media center for the Olive Branch operations room, Kurdish forces have attacked pro-Ankara rebel groups with at least one artillery shell loaded with chlorine gas.

          Rebels say that the chemical attack took place at the town of Bulbul, located just kilometers from the Turkish border.

          Emerging reports by opposition sources claim that 20 rebel fighters were injured, seven of them critically.

          In recent days, pro-Ankara forces have suffered a series of tactical defeats around Bulbul, failing to break into mountain countryside further south and suffering notable losses in manpower and equipment for every assault.

          It is worth noting that the Free Syrian Army and opposition groups often make baseless chemical gas attack claims every time they are losing a major battle somewhere in the country.


          • Turkish forces to take over largest Syrian military helicopter base in north Syra for use as command center

            By Andrew Illingworth

            BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:15 A.M.) – The Turkish Army is to take over one of the Syrian Arab Air Force’s largest helicopter bases in the country’s north and use it as a command center to oversee military positions recently it has set up across Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

            According to reports, a Turkish military convoy of four vehicles entered Syria on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday heading towards the Taftanaz Airbase in northern Idlib province.

            Upon arrival Turkish forces stayed at the site for several hours before departing back to Turkey.

            Opposition sources report that Turkey is planning to take over the Taftanaz Airbase and use it as a operations room to command positions – referred to as ‘observation points’ – recently established by its forces across northwest Syria.

            The development comes two days after the Turkish Army declared it had finished construction of a forth position in the Al-Eis region of southern Aleppo (opposite Syrian government lines).

            Turkish forces are reportedly planning on establishing ten military positions across northwest Syria, ostensibly to monitor a de-escalation agreement for the region that has been brokered by Moscow and Ankara.


            • "Turkey tells Greece it owns eastern Aegean shelf

              Turkey is ready to take “all necessary measures” to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots and Turkey’s ownership of the continental shelf in the eastern Aegean, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu tells Kathimerini in an interview.

              Çavuşoğlu claimed that an area where Turkey is exploring for hydrocarbons – Block 6 of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) – belongs to Turkey’s continental shelf. He also reiterated that there was no sea border between Greece and Cyprus."


              Notice Block 6 in way south of the island has nothing to do with the occupied north.



              • Kurdish YPG destroy another Turkish tank in Afrin (video)

                By Leith Aboufadel

                Rate Article (4 / 1)

                BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:55 P.M.) – The Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) destroyed another Turkish tank in the Afrin region, while repelling a major assault from the Euphrates Shield forces in the Rajo District, the group’s official media wing tweeted on Wednesday.

                As seen below, a YPG fighter scored a direct hit on the Turkish tank after launching an anti-tank guided missile in the Rajo District.

                Kurdish YPG destroy another Turkish tank in Afrin (video)


                The YPG has now destroyed at least two Turkish tanks over the ten days in the Afrin region.


                • Breaking: 100+ Syrian troops killed by US ‘defensive’ airstrikes in Deir Ezzor – Reports

                  By Andrew Illingworth

                  BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:42 A.M.) – Some one hundred or more troops of the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitary forces have been killed as a result of retaliatory airstrikes carried out by US-led coalition warplanes in the country’s east according to media sources claiming to cite American military officials.

                  US military officials speaking to Reuters have stated that ‘defensive’ retaliation strikes carried out by US-led coalition airpower has killed 100 Syrian pro-government troops in the province of Deir Ezzor.

                  The US military is claiming that so-called anti-ISIS coalition forces repelled a threatening Syrian Army-led attack consisting of five hundred troops – backed by artillery and tanks – during the night of Wednesday to Thursday against positions of Arab and Kurdish partner militias at oilfields near the town of Khasham on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River.

                  Apparently no American troops were killed in the engagement.

                  At the present time, the Syrian Army is yet to release a statement on the engagement.


                  • Turkey's Afrin Operation Draws in Armenians, Azeris

                    In addition to the real battle there's a PR war with Turks and Kurds seeking to woo Azeris and Armenians, respectively.
                    Emil Sanamyan
                    Feb 8, 2018

                    A Turkish shell, purportedly used in Turkey's Operation Olive Branch, with "Karabakh is Turkish, Will Remain Turkish" and the hashtag associated with the operation written on it. Armenians and Azerbaijanis have been targeted by both sides in the conflict. (photo:

                    As Turkey’s military intervention in Kurdish-majority Afrin, Syria, entered its third week, a parallel public relations battle has raged on airwaves and social media, with varying messages tailored to Armenian and Azerbaijani audiences.

                    The Kurdish Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, which has administered the Afrin area since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2012, and its People’s Protection Forces (YPG) have accused Turkish forces of a variety of abuses, including killing civilians in air strikes. Kurdish forces released a video showing members of a Turkish-allied Syrian militia abusing the body of a dead female YPG fighter. The YPG also tried to portray itself as victorious on the battlefield, publishing dozens of recordings of its forces successfully targeting military vehicles of the Turkish forces and its allies.

                    The Turkish government, in turn, tried to present its fight against YPG – effectively a branch of long-time enemy number one, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – as a battle against the Islamic State (IS). Turkish officials accused the YPG of indiscriminate rocket fire into Turkish border towns and claimed that “utmost care and sensitivity” were taken not to harm civilians, highlighting cases of Afrin residents being “thankful” for actions of the Turkish forces.

                    As Turkey and the Kurds battled for international public opinion, there were several examples of more specific signaling to the publics in Azerbaijan and Armenia.

                    Accounts associated with the Azerbaijani lobby in Turkey distributed photos, apparently taken in the war zone, showing messages written on shells like “Karabakh is Turkish, will remain Turkish” with a hashtag for the Turkish official name for the Afrin operation, “Olive Branch.”

                    Goksel Gulbey, head of the Turkish Association that Struggles Against International Baseless Armenian Lies (or ASIMDER for short), claimed thatKurdish forces were receiving help from Armenia – particularly from among its Kurdish Yezidi minority – though it didn't furnish any evidence to that effect. Armenian-Turkish leftist guerrilla Nubar Ozanyan, who was killed fighting in Syria in 2017 and whose image has been used to build Kurdish-Armenian solidarity. (photo: Marxist–Leninist Communist Organization – Proletarian Way)
                    The YPG, for its part, sought to highlight its affinity for the Armenians. Last year, Kurdish fighters put on events and produced films dedicated to veteran leftist guerrilla Nubar Ozanyan, a Turkish-born ethnic Armenian who was killed fighting for YPG and against ISIS in Raqqa in August 2017. Ozanyan’s obituaries highlighted the fact that Ozanyan, nicknamed General Mardakert, also fought in the Karabakh war in the early 1990s.

                    Since the start of the Afrin fighting, local officials highlighted the cases of the few ethnic Armenians still living in Afrin killed or injured in the Turkish bombing. Northern Syria, particularly the city of Aleppo, used to have a large Armenian community, descendants of the Armenian genocide in Turkey. Earlier this week, a Facebook account associated with the YPG published a video of its female fighters dancing to a traditional Armenian song, drawings thousands of viewers, many with Armenian names.

                    While on social media Armenians and Azerbaijanis could be seen cheerleading for Kurds and Turks, respectively, official reactions have not been as enthusiastic. A spokesman for Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry issued a statement offering generic support to Turkey’s fight against terrorism. The Armenian government issued a general statement of concern over the escalation in fighting and reacted to reports of ethnic Armenians injured or killed in bombing.

                    Emil Sanamyan’s reports are supported by the Institute of Armenian Studies at the University of Southern California


                    • Ահա թե ինչպես են վարվելու ռուսները նոր պատերազմի դեպքում

                      • Քաղաքականություն - 09 Փետրվարի 2018

                      Արտահերթ ընտրությունների գնալու Ալիեւի որոշումը փորձագիտական շրջանում, ի թիվ այլ պատճառների, մեկնաբանվեց նաեւ հնարավոր նոր պատերազմի համար ժամանակ շահելու եւ ձեռքերն ազատելու տեսանկյունից: Նման մեկնաբանության համար առիթ էին թե ադրբեջանցի պաշտոնյաների հայտարարությունները տարածաշրջանում իրավիճակի հավանական սրման, թե Ալիեւի հավակնությունները Երեւանի ու Զանգեզուրի հանդեպ:

                      Զուգահեռ, հնչում են կարծիքներ Ռուսաստանի հնարավոր պահվածքի մասին: Օրինակ, որ Ռուսաստանը թույլ չի տա ռազմական գործողությունների վերսկսում, կամ պատերազմի դեպքում չի խոչընդոտի հայկական ուժերի հակահարձակմանը, ինչպես նախկինում:

                      Ալիեւն արտահերթ ընտրության գնալով, փորձում է կանխել իր համար որոշ անցանկալի իրադարձություններ, նկատի առնելով թե ներքին, թե արտաքին անկանխատեսելի զարգացումները: Ռուս փորձագետներն այն կարծիքին են, որ արտահերթ ընտրության գնալով, նա «թաքնվում» է Ռուսաստանի թիկունքում այն առումով, որ Ռուսաստանում էլ են սպասվում նախագահի ընտրություններ, որոնք շեղելու են միջազգային հանրության ուշադրությունը Ադրբեջանից, կամ համենայնդեպս նվազեցնելու են այդ ուշադրությունը: Բացի այդ, այդպիսով նվազելու է նաեւ Ադրբեջանում նախագահի ընտրության եւ այլ գործընթացների վրա ազդելու Ռուսաստանի հնարավորությունը:

                      Այս կապակցությամբ արժե հետեւել Սիրիայում Ռուսաստանի պահվածքին, թեեւ հայերն իհարկե պատմական հարուստ փորձ ունեն այդ առումով:

                      Թուրքիան Աֆրինում քրդերի դեմ ռազմական գործողությունները սկսելուց հետո պահանջեց, որ ռուս եւ ամերիկացի զինվորականները հեռանան այդ շրջանից: Ռուսները հեռացան, իսկ ամերիկացիները կոշտ պատասխան տվեցին թուրքերին: Սիրիայում ու Իրաքում ամերիկյան ուժերի հրամանատար գեներալ Փոլ Ֆանքը հայտարարել է, որ Մանբիջի վրա թուրքական ԶՈւ հարձակման պարագայում հակահարված են տալու Թուրքիային: Մանջիբը կարեւոր քաղաք է մինչեւ Իրաքի սահման հասնելու թուրքական մտադրությունների ճանապարհին:

                      Ռուսները մի քանի հարվածներ ստացան այսպես կոչված ապաէսկալացիոն գոտու թուրքական հատվածից, այդ թվում խոցվեց ռուսական օդանավը, սակայն ռուսներն արդարացրին թուրքերին ու աջակցում են նրանց քրդերի դեմ գործողություններում:

                      Ծանոթ պատկե՞ր չէ 20-րդ դարասկզբի իրադարձությունների ու Արցախյան պատերազմի ժամանակներից: Ռուսաստանը չի փոխվել ու չի փոխվելու, անկախ նրանից, թե ինչ ռեժիմ է այնտեղ՝ ցարական, դեմոկրատական թե պուտինյան: Փոխվել է միայն Մեծ Մերձավոր Արեւելքի վերաձեւման առանցքային գործոնը՝ եթե հարյուր տարի առաջ հայերն էին, որոնց հույսը Ռուսաստանն էր, հիմա քրդերն են, որոնք երեւում է հույսեր չեն կապում Ռուսաստանի հետ, ի տարբերություն հայերի:

                      Այնպես որ, պետք չէ նայել Ռուսաստանի կողմ հույսով, որ նա թույլ չի տա պատերազմ, կամ չի կանգնեցնի հայկական հակահարձակումը: Ադրբեջանը պետք է պատրանք անգամ չունենա, որ հայերը կայացնելու են ինքնիշխան որոշումներ, եւ միայն դա է զսպելու նրան: