Turkey Threatens Christian Communities In Northern Syria In New Offensive

The return of Turkish backed militants to the Ain Issa in Rojava/Northern Syria/Western Kurdistan has put the region controlled by the Western backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) a Kurdish majority umbrella of US trained forces back into the forefront of Turkey’s war on the Kurdish population in Syrian Kurdistan.

It has been reported that the Turkish-Backed Free Syrian Army or TSFA for short with the help of the Turkish National Forces (TNF) began building up their forces and shelling SDF positions in the region in late November. This has continued into December.

Below is a video of an artillery attack on the Syriac city of Ayn Issa.

Turkey has essentially broken the agreements it signed with the USA, Russia, and SDF.

The Russian News Agency TASS, reports: “According to Kurdish sources, the Turkish military command and the armed opposition are now discussing an operation to seize Ayn Issa. To that end, Turkey has already started to redeploy personnel, weapons and armored vehicles to its military base in Mardud.”

Reports from the ground confirm the above.

Ayn Issa sits on the strategic M4 highway that runs across Northern Syria and serves as the border between the TASF/TNF and the SDF and its allies. By making a move to take the road Turkey wants to cut the SDF from moving back and forth in Norther Syria, East of the Euphrates.

Erdogan’s Crusade Against the “Infidels”

From a religious angle, it is not surprising that Turkey, whose leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sees himself as a new type of Sultan and leader of the Islamic world would target Ayn Issa. The city and region is a Syriac Christian stronghold whose name literally mean “Jesus.”

Erdogan and his Turkish militias in Northern Syria have gone out of their way to flip what they originally claimed was a security mission into Rojava (otherwise known as Syrian Kurdistan) into a religious crusade.

Erdogan’s Syrian maneuver, is part of his wider export of Turkish power to other areas of the world.

A recent IBTimes report emphasizes Turkey’s expansion of interference in both the Azerbaijan-Armenia war and soon into Kashmir on the side of Pakistan against India.

Erdogan has done everything he can to not only to go after long time enemy the Kurds by committing acts of genocide in Northern Syria and his own country, but he has gone out of his way to inject a global religious crusade – essentially a Jihad, into other areas by tying together local conflicts into an Islamic Holy War.

Russia As a Buffer

In both the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict and Northern Syria, Russia has acted as a counter weight to Erdogan’s Jihadist plans. Putin sent forces and weapons to Armenian backed rebels in the conflict with Azerbaijan and often times pushes back agains the TNF and TASF in Northern Syria in order to protect the Kurds and Syriacs.

As of last night shelling had stopped with rumors that Russia is planning on setting up multiple outposts in the area and along the M4 highway.


Regardless of Russia’s involvement, the fact remains, Middle East Christians and other indigenous groups like the Kurds are under constant threat of attack from Turkey and its Jihadist allies.

Persecution, an International Christian Magazine says the following:

“The complications of this situation showcase why many regional Christians often feel that their future is reliant upon geopolitics, particularly of the military nature. Their homelands are used by other nations to outmaneuver and out-strategize the other. Thus, regional Christians often feel that their own safety and security will never be accomplished if they remain home.”

Unfortunately, due to the unstable political climate in the USA, the remaining US troops in Syria have yet to take action.

FRAGMENTING KURDISTAN: Iraqi Kurds Take a Neutral Stance Between Iran and the USA

There has been a running hypothesis in Middle East geopolitical circles that Israel and the USA were using the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government as a forward base against Iran.  In fact, Iran has insinuated this for a while. Yet, despite all the talk of direct cooperation against Iran, the KRG has made it clear that they have no intention of allowing third part Iranian Kurdish groups to stage attacks against Iran from Iraq.

A report in Al-Monitor states: “Iraqi Kurds have given reassurances to Tehran that they will not allow Kurdish opposition groups to launch cross-border attacks from Iraqi Kurdistan, a major development in the warming up of relations between Erbil and Tehran. This comes as ties reached a breaking point following the controversial Sept. 25 independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan.”

The Kurdish groups this refers to are two in particular, the KDPI and Komalah, which are known as Rojhelat Kurdish groups. In the past both of these groups seek to create an autonomous Kurdish Iranian proto-state similar to the KRG in Iraq and the SDF controlled areas of Syria, yet are mre interested in focusing on the democratization of Iran.

With the KRG attempting to strike a balance between Iranian border needs and Kurdish cohesions and nationalism, assurances that Erbil has given Tehran may just be more lip service.  The KDPI has always enjoyed cross border ovement in the pourous mountain areas between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan.  Nothing Erbil does will stop this. However, the lip service may also be a message to the USA over what is perceived by the Iraqi Kurds as a failure of the American government to protect their rights in Kirkuk.

Although the possibility of the Iraqi Kurds outright pivoting to Iran is unlikely, a neutral posture can scramble the US plans for the region.



SPLITTING SYRIA: The Coming Showdown and the New Middle East

With Turkey at a standstill against the Syrian Kurds and the US and Russia in a race to build up their bases within their respective proxy areas, Syria has become defacto split along sectarian lines.  Assad and his battered army control the coast and South, while the Kurds along with their Sunni Arab allies control the North and Northeast.

The stage is set for a Kurdish-Sunni state in the heart of Syria.  This is a further disintegration of the colonial borders drawn after World War One and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.  Of course, Erdogan also wants a collapse of these borders, but his goal is a resurrection of the Ottoman Empire.  With the Kurds armed to the teeth and backed by American special forces and weaponry, he will have a hard to following through with his goal.  Yet, his entry into Syria is an unknown that can upend the quiet stability that has formed after the destruction of ISIS.

Currently the Allawites have been happy just to survive even if the price has been to become a Russian vassal.  Russia, for its part just wants to retain its hold on its Syrian basins and have a strategic ability to push back on the West whenever the Donbass in Ukraine feels Kiev’s heat.  With this in mind, Russia has turned the other way while the Kurds on the otherwise of the Euphrates have successfully built a proto-state.

The real losers in Syria’s disintegration have ironically been Iran and Turkey.  Iran, was hoping to use the chaos to move in next to Israel, but the Kurdish controlled area has cut down on their land bridge, while Israel’s ability to attack Iranian positions in Syria have remained unshackled.

Turkey’s invasion into Syrian Kurdistan has exposed Erdogan as a paranoid autocrat that is fearful of rising Kurdish influence throughout Syria and Iraq.  Yet ironically, his overextension may actually be the cause for the rise of an indpendent Kurdistan, thus dooming Turkey to former shadow of its current self.

Turkey senses it cannot afford to lose so expect it to go all out in Syria, while eventually the Iranians will make a serious push against US assets in the region.  The real question is whether Russia will stay out of the coming conflict.


Trump Administration Puts Weight Behind Kurdistan as an Official Policy

In my post titled, “COLD WAR RENEWED: Israel and Kurdish SDF are Now Trump’s Weapons Against Iran” that was published on January 15th I wrote the following:

“President Trump, campaigning against direct US involvement in the Middle East has had his team draft a strategic plan that will help a weakened US military confront these strategic threats head on. Two partners are emerging to help the US push back on the strength Russian-Shiite grip over the Middle East.”

I detailed that both the Kurdish SDF and Israel were these partners.  Lots of things have occured in the following two weeks.  The most important is Turkey’s decision to invade the Kurdish held canton of Afrin in North Syria. Suffice to say the Turkish military operation is not going as well as Erdogan would have hoped.  This is due to the US backing the SDF up with American weapons and of course serious training.

In continuation of this policy the US has now come to realize that it must support the KRG in Iraq as well.

Speaking on Sunday to Abu Dhabi’s Sky News Arabia, while he was visiting Kuwait, Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat the Islamic State (IS), said that “the airports in the Kurdistan Region needed to be reopened.”

McGurk also stated that Baghdad needed to pay the salaries of government employees in the Kurdistan Region and the dispute over control of land borders needed to be resolved as well.

Kurdistan 24 says that a well placed source has indicated that the US has changed positions on its public support of the KRG as opposed to remaining silent due to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s partnership with Iranian para military groups and political parties in Iraq.

This is clearly one of the reasons, but in the broader sense, it is in fact the coalescing of the Turkey-Iran axis with Russia that has made Washington realize that the Kurds need to be suported across the board.  Turkey’s invasion of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava, Western Kurdistan) with its operation in Afrin has sped up this change of policy.

President of Turkey: “Israel is a state of occupation”

In an unhinged reaction to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday described Israel as a “state of occupation” which used “terror” against the Palestinians.

“Israel is a state of occupation,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul. “And now they are making use of terror and are bombing young people and children,” he continued. 

Erdogan was referring to Israel’s response to the firing of rockets into civilian areas from the Gaza strip.  He conveniently left out the fact that one of the rockets destroyed a kindegarden in the Israeli city of Sderot.

Interestingly enough, while Erdogan labels Israel an “occupier” it is Turkey that far outweighs most countries in the world in that category.

Turkey currently occupies half of Cyprus, Northern Kurdistan with its 20 million Kurds, and West Armenia. Turkey was also responsible for the Armenian Genocide that saw more than 1.5 million Armenians killed at the hands of the Turks from 1915 to 1917.

Under Erdogan’s watch, Turkey has grown into an Islamic centric country that eschews minority rights and champions Jihadism.  It was afterall Erdogan’s Turkey that was a key backer of ISIS in its early days by allowing thousands of foreign fighter to traverse the border between Turkey and Syria.  Erdogan’s children were behind medical supplies specifically destined for ISIS. It was Turkey’s backing that lent a hand to Obama’s decision to help prop up ISIS in its early days.

By allowing Turkey to take the mantle of leadership of the Muslim world and thus the “Palestinian Cause” proves the very point that Israel supporters have been careful to make over the past decades and that is the existance of a “Palestinian Nation” is nothing but a hypocritical trojan horse designed to destroy the Jewish State from the inside.

It would be best for the Arab and Islamic world to clean up their act before chastising the only country that may be able to save them from their moral and ethical morass and yes the coming crisis with Iran.

Who Will Stop Iran?

Since President Donald Trump’s famous Iran policy speech, Iran has been on the move, in a sense testing how serious the USA was in stopping their forward march.  They have used the Iraqi military, the USA has financed and trained to occupy Kirkuk and as of this morning crossed over into territory enshrined as Iraqi Kurdistan by even the most ardent Iraqi constitutionalists.

With all of the Kurdish infighting aside, the Kurds are still both America’s and Israel’s most reliable partner in the Middle East and they are the last force capable of blocking an Iranian advance.  The Iraqi military and the Iranian backed PMU have been unlawfully using American weapons against the Kurds. Of course, this has caught the ire of the US Congress who has become vocal in its urging of the White House to come to the aid of the Kurds before it is too late.

The failure to stop Iran now will not only hand the region over to the Iranian Mullahs, it will spell the end of American dominance at a global level. Afterall, if Israel and the Kurds, as well as the Saudis sense that the USA can no longer be counted on to ensure stability in the region, there are others that may be able to.

This is why Israel, Saudi Arabia, and parts of the Kurdish leadership are now in deep discussions with Putin and his military leadership. While this may be a ploy to force the USA to act, it appears to be a recognition of the new reality on the ground.  The only question to the three countries listed above, what will they have to pay to the Russian Bear to ensure it tightens the leash on Iran?

Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi Close in on Kurdistan

The Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi, which is an Iranian proxy in Iraq has been reportedly moving in on Kirkuk as of Friday.  The group, backed by the Iraqi military gave the Peshmerga and Kirkuk governor a list of demands.

Rudaw reports: “Peshmerga officials, including Sheikh Jaafar Mustafa, head of the 70 Force, confirmed on Friday that the Hashd al-Shaabi demanded the Peshmerga leave their posts south and west of Kirkuk in order to allow for their forces and the Iraqi army to move in on Thursday night.”

The Iraqi government has given the Kurds until 2am on Sunday to vacate all the land it has acquired in fighting ISIS. Most of our sources in Kurdistan have confirmed this and clearly stated that the Peshmerga has no attention of pulling back.

Furthermore, these sources have confirmed that the Peshmerga, in anticipation of a wider conflict with Iranian proxies and the Iraqi military have closed the main road between Mosul and Erbil.

Iranian Revolutionary guards are reportedly already blended in with their Iraqi counterparts.

“The Iraqi army and the Hashd al-Shaabi are not the only state that are attacking us. We have intelligence with 100 percent accuracy that there are also the Iranian army and the Revolutionary Guards among them,” Shwan Shamerani, commander of the Peshmerga second brigade said.

The Iranian calculus is clear.  The regime in Tehran views Trump’s move to decertify the Iranian Nuclear Accord as well as placing the Revolutionary Guard on a terror group list and the rise of an independent Kurdistan as interwoven events. The Iranian regime can waste no time in taking on a rising Kurdistan.

With the Kurdish Peshmerga ready to hold onto its territory, the first big test for an independent Kurdistan is set to get underway.  With Trump’s move against Iran in the geo-political arena still fresh, the question remains whether this will translate into support for Kurdish independence on the ground. Eitherway, the coming Iranian Kurdish conflict maybe the opening shot in a wider war.

SHOWDOWN IN SYRIA: The Coming Israel-Iran War in Syria

For all the negativity surrounding the agreement forged between the USA and Russia at the G20 summit in July to impose a ceasefire agreement for the Southwestern part of Syria close to the Israeli border, it has accomplished a few things that had been left in the shadows to ferment.

The first is that the agreement exposed the lie that both the US and Russia were sort of passive players in a chaotic conflict both were just trying to manage.  The very fact that both super powers had the power to actually enforce such an agreement makes it clear that the two were behind the maelstrom of fighting from the beginning.

The second is that the control over the Quneitra and Daraa provinces given over to Russia and defacto Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran means that Israel’s ability to stay out of open conflict with Iran is over. The Israeli government has been content up until in now to use local rebels in battling regime forces, Hezbollah, and Iranian militias, but with the Russians in the neighborhood this strategy has been effectively terminated.

This means that Israel must take on Iran in Syria or risk becoming isolated while the Persians strengthen their hold over the region. The air attacks on various Iranian and Hezbollah installations in Syria make it apparent that Israel is willing to increase its operations there. Yet, there are significant factors that will mean that an Iranian counter-strike could be more imminent than thought.

The first is the Israel-US backed Kurdish independent state in Southern Kurdistan (situated in the KRG area of Northern Iraq). Iran sees this as a dagger pointed directly at the regime in Tehran as it not only breaks up its direct control of the region, but inspires the 15 million Iranian Kurds to agitate for independence.

The second is the increasing ease the Israeli airforce has in attacking Iranian targets in the Levant. While Putin may not be in agreement with Israel on the need to remove Iran from Syria, he appears to be willing to allow the IAF to attack when it feels necessary.

Therefore, Iran will not wait much longer to make a move against Israel or at the very least attempt to solidify its stranglehold over the Southern corridor in Syria as well as push Iraq into a direct war with the Kurdish Peshmerga.  Iran has benefitted from the six years of instability in the region.  With Israel’s ascendancy and Kurdish independence the Mullahs are looking to throw more chaos into the mix to ensure they can finish their solidification as the regions superpower.

In order to ensure this does not happen Israel must be willing to strike hard in Syria as well as push Washington to bolster a young but strategic Kurdistan.

TURKEY CORNERED: Claims Kurdistan is a Zionist Plot

Reactions to the unfolding Iraqi Kurdish referendum for independence have been varied, with countries like Canada saying they support it, while Iran and Iraq claiming to be prepared to go to war over it.  Yet, no reaction is as telling as Turkish President Erdogan’s who said the following:

“Tell Mr. Netanyahu that we are standing at opposing sides. How can our relations be in good shape while he is the only one recognizing the [referendum] of the Regional Administration of Northern Iraq? Tell him to abandon the support,” Erdogan said.

Earlier in the month Al-Monitor reported that the Turkish press claimed that Barzani had made a deal with  Israel to let 200,000 Kurdish Jews living in Israel move back to Kurdistan.  The problem is there is no where as close to that many in Israel.

Turkey’s fear and the reason for their reaction to Israel’s overt support for an independent Kurdistan is that for Turkey and Iran any Kurdish independence will directly impact and inspire their very large Kurdish populations to do the same. There are approximately 15 million Kurds in Iran and another 20 million Kurds in Turkey. An independent Kurdistan in Northern Iraq is seen as the gateway for the rest of the occupied  Kurdish homeland to break away from the countries that have annexed their land.

Many of the Iranian Kurdish groups have bases on the Iraqi side of the porous Iranian border. These groups are natural extensions of the KDP and PUK political parties in Iraq.

Both Turkey and Iran have claimed Kurdistan is some elaborate Zionist conspiracy built by Jerusalem to dismember their countries.  What they seem to be forgetting is that it is their own actions against the indigenous Kurds and their hate for Israel that have caused the very predicament they have feared the most.

Russia and USA Stand Quietly With the Kurds

While the Iranians have had free rein in Syria under Russian auspices, Putin has taken a different track with the Iraqi Kurds, which is similar to the US strategy.  While not publicly supporting Kurdish independence like Israel has, both Putin and Trump have decided to tacitly support independence from behind.

For the USA, Kurdish independence creates a counter weight to Iran, while Putin is willing to let Iran’s push towards regional control get stalled in order to payback Turkey, who Russia considers an arch and ancient enemy.

Israel Surrounded as Iran Attempts to Divide Kurds Ahead of Independence

Sources close to us have confirmed that Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Al Qud’s Force is currently paying a visit to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil, Iraq.  The purpose of the visit is to force Masoud Barzani to call off the referendum for Kurdish independence scheduled for September 25th.

Although a calm atmosphere and warm words are expected to be exchanged Barzani would not be able to call off the vote even if he wanted to.  The Kurds of Iraq are prepared to vote overwhelmingly for independence.  Furthermore, Iran like Turkey is scared that this vote will give a strong signal to Kurdish areas in their own countries to begin pushing for their own autonomy if not independence altogether.

Given this, Suleimani has a secondary goal should Barzani not bow to Iran’s threats and that is to create a division between the Iraqi Kurdish leadership and those Iranian Kurdish groups stationed in the Eastern part of the KRG whose aim is to help win autonomy for the 15 million Kurds in North West Iran.

Once again General Suleimani will receive assurances, but these will in fact be empty leaving Iran no choice but to go head to head with the Iranian Kurds post September 25th.

In fact, a large Iranian armed force is already positioned within the Iranian Kurdish region in preparation for decimating the indigenous Kurds who live there.

Iran Seeks to Stop Kurdistan While Preparing to Invade Israel

The issues of an independent Kurdistan and Israel are intertwined in the minds of Iran.  The Iranian regime views Kurdistan as a forward base for what they call the “Zionist Entity.” Breaking a free Kurdistan is key to rolling back a direct threat to their regime in order to have full focus on Israel’s Golan and Galil.  Already, Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria have moved troops into position under Russian protection.

For Israel, who already has defense pacts with Azerbaijan, a free Kurdistan would push back on Iran’s aggressive stance and give Jerusalem a counterbalance.  Knowing that the friendship between Israel and the Kurds goes far back, Iran is now pushing in the extreme to stop Erbil’s plans towards a free and independent Kurdistan.