February 19, 2016

Only Moscow Can Knock Sense Into Assad, And Only Washington Can Knock Sense Into Erdogan

Will the U.S. and Russia stick with their Middle Eastern dictators to the bitter end?

An excerpt from, "Russia warns Assad on vow to retake all of Syria" By Anna Malpas, AFP, February 19, 2016:
Russia's envoy to the UN on Friday warned long-term ally President Bashar al-Assad over his vow to retake all of Syria, saying he faced dire consequences if he did not comply with Moscow over the peace process.

"Russia has invested very seriously in this crisis, politically, diplomatically and now also militarily," Vitaly Churkin told Kommersant daily, referring to an international agreement to cease hostilities sealed in Munich last week.

 "Therefore we would like Assad also to respond to this," he said, adding that the Syrian leader's stance "is not in accord with the diplomatic efforts that Russia is making."
An excerpt from, "Ankara Blast: Catastrophe of Convenience" By Ulson Gunnar, NEO, February 19, 2016:
The fireball from this week’s blast in Ankara had barely begun to fade before the world begun bracing itself for the predictable accusation that Syria’s Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) were behind the blast. This is because Turkey has developed a transparently cynical strategy of staging blasts throughout its territory and behind to stoke fears, justify condemnation and retaliation and demonize not only it own enemies, but those of its partners in NATO and particularly, those of the United States.

Syria’s YPG was the obvious target of this blast and the barrage of accusations and threats that quickly followed because it is the YPG together with Syrian and Russian forces that now threaten to finally foil the US-NATO-GCC proxy by closing the Afrin-Jarabulus corridor, and specifically, the pivotal city of Azaz, located in Syria right along the Syrian-Turkish border.
Despite the “logic” underpinning Ankara’s accusations and threats against both the YPG and Damascus, none should expect similar threats or retaliations to materialize against the United States, who has maintained a military presence for decades inside Turkey, itself a NATO member since the conclusion of the Second World War.

Instead, what we see is the total breakdown in the US-NATO-GCC narrative used to carry this conflict onward since 2011. The battle along Syria’s border is clearly not about any threat the YPG or the Syrian government pose to Turkey or any other NATO or GGC member. Instead, the battle along the border is clearly about the imminent strangulation of US-NATO-GCC supply lines that have fed what is now clearly appearing to be a foreign invasion, not a “civil war.”