Collision course Syria

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, December 5th, 2015 - 81 comments
Categories: International, Syria, war - Tags: , , , , ,

Pepe Escobar is a writer with a sharp perspective of Eurasian affairs that you won’t often read in the mainstream media.

In a piece entitled “How Russia is Smashing the Turkish Game in Syria” he makes it very clear why the shoot down of Russia’s Su-24 happened, and why Turkish and Russian interests in Syria are on a direct collision course, with the USA and its intelligence services playing some kind of complex double game in the region. Not surprisingly, much of it centres around oil.

The oil operation the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) runs to Turkey is virtually illegal; stolen state-owned oil as far as Baghdad is concerned.

Daesh stolen oil can’t flow through Damascus-controlled territory. Can’t flow though Shi’ite-dominated Iraq. Can’t go east to Iran. It’s Turkey or nothing. Turkey is the easternmost arm of NATO. The US and NATO “support” Turkey. So a case can be made that the US and NATO ultimately support Daesh.

What’s certain is that illegal Daesh oil and illegal KRG oil fit the same pattern; energy interests by the usual suspects playing a very long game.

That “very long game” is the eventual control of the oil fields of both Syria and Iraq, including the ones currently controlled by the Kurds.

And we are told that both Turkish and American intelligence interests need supply lines through the region of Turkmen Mountain – where Russia’s jet was shot down – to stay open.

The key reason why Washington always solemnly ignored Ankara’s array of shady deals in Syria, through its fifth column Turkmen jihadis, is because a key CIA “rat line” runs exactly through the region known as Turkmen Mountain.

These Turkmen supplied by Ankara’s “humanitarian” convoys got American TOW-2As for their role in preserving prime weaponizing/ smuggling routes. Their advisers, predictably, are Xe/Academi types, formerly Blackwater. Russia happened to identify the whole scam and started bombing the Turkmen. Thus the downing of the Su-24

The advanced arm of the “4+1” alliance – Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah – is taking no prisoners trying to re-conquer these two key corridors.

And there is no way that Turkey will want to lose control of these areas because it means that the Kurds will be able to form a united contiguous Kurdish territory. The stakes are high for Turkey which explains the escalating rhetoric from Ankara. The synopsis of the situation:

So no matter which way we look, Turkey and Russia are on a serious collision course in Syria. Moscow will support Syrian Kurds no holds barred as they push to link the three major Kurdish cantons in northern Syria into a unified Rojava.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Prime Minister has declared the decision to place American boots on the ground as an unfriendly and unwelcome act, just as Putin has declared that Russian action against those in Turkey responsible for killing its servicemen definitely won’t be limited to just sanctions on tomatoes and construction:

“But if anyone thinks that having committed this awful war crime, the murder of our people, that they are going to get away with some measures concerning their tomatoes or some limits on construction and other sectors, they are sorely mistaken.”

Turkey would have cause to regret its actions “more than once,” he said, promising Russia’s retaliatory actions would be neither hysterical nor dangerous…

“It appears that Allah decided to punish the ruling clique of Turkey by depriving them of wisdom and judgement,” he said.

And on top of all of this, both Germany and the UK are going to send their military forces into Syria. And UK Labour MPs are speaking glowingly of bombing places that they have little understanding of.

What could go wrong?

 

81 comments on “Collision course Syria ”

  1. barry 1

    Everybody hates Daesh.

    The problem is that there are so many players that everybody wants to keep their powder dry while others deal to Daesh. In the meantime the other parties and their supporters are not missing any opportunity to deal to each other, and it actually suits them to have Daesh to keep the others busy so they can’t concentrate their attacks back.

    It is a mess and the NZ army doesn’t have any idea who the people they are training will be fighting next week.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      In essence I agree with everything you say, except that perhaps everybody SAYS that they hate Daesh.

      But for an outfit people say that they hate, they seem to get an awful lot of money, arms, supplies, people and logistical support.

  2. Chooky 2

    Seems like the lines are already being drawn

    ‘Incursion’: Baghdad demands Turkey withdraw ‘training’ troops from northern Iraq

    https://www.rt.com/news/324787-turkish-troops-deployed-iraq/

    “The Iraqi government has demanded that Ankara withdraw the more than 100 Turkish forces that entered Iraq with tanks and artillery for alleged “training” of troops near Islamic State-occupied Mosul. Baghdad stressed the unsanctioned move was a breach of its sovereignty…

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Baghdad stressed the unsanctioned move was a breach of its sovereignty…

      Actually, it’s an act of war.

      • Mike the Savage One 2.1.1

        The old colonial time drawn borders were never natural borders and are no longer valid, and there has for many years already been a de-facto independent Kurdish state in Northern Iraq. This may not be in line with strict interpretation of UN conventions, but who does now care about those anyway, as Israel got away with much over decades, always enjoying the veto of the US in the Security Council. Same have Russia and China, and France and the UK used their vetoes to block moves to hold various powers and governments to account.

        What we have now is a new age, similar to the time the first League of Nations was by many considered irrelevant. It is indeed a free for all, it seems, as we already have the US bomb not only Iraqi territory ISIS hold, they do the same in Syria, so do the French and UK now, besides of the Russians, and only they are accepted for doing so by the still in place Syrian government.

        The Turks have had issues with Iraqi Kurdistan and the Peshmerga for years, as they simply do not wish to have any kind of autonomous Kurdish state, which will only encourage Kurds within Turkey to demand to have the same, or to join the Kurds in Iraq and Syria. So the Turks are doing the same as the US and Russians do, they ignore international law, and take advantage.

        As we may remember, similar developments happened in WW2, or the lead up to it, where the Nazis simply marched into parts of Bohemia, of the Czech Republic, then Poland, simply “claiming their nationals living there to be given a chance to join other ethnic Germans in their homeland”.

        The borders in the Middle East will be redrawn, and ISIS is exploiting the foolishness of the west and Russia insisting former colonial borders of states should be protected. Now other states join ISIS in ignoring borders.

        I say, prepare for the worst, we may well be heading into open conflict between Turkey and Russia, and with that NATO and Russia’s possible other major Eurasian ally China further down the timeline.

        China’s slowing economic growth may tempt the government to exploit nationalist feelings, and start talking tough against the US and west, and we will have Pandora’s Box opened wide, heading into WW3. WW1 started on a small scale of conflict, if we remember, then allies were drawn in, and it got out of hand, in the end killing millions on the planet. WW2 was more or less the consequence of a stuffed up Versailles Treaty, that only nurtured anger among Germans, who later fell for Hitler, and we know the rest.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          +1

          I’d say that many borders are no longer valid and that we’re going to see a major shuffle of nations via conflict.

  3. Pascals bookie 3

    Everyone is in on the oil trade, that’s how it works

    http://www.businessinsider.com/revealed-the-oil-middleman-between-the-syrian-regime-and-isis-2015-3

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-isis-oil-trade-from-the-ground-up?mbid=social_twitter

    ISIS has control of oil fields, they sell it cheap to whoever can get it out, those middle men get it out however they can, working with whoever they can.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    So we have the Afghan heroin rat line. The Libyan oil racket (now over). The Ukraine fascist rat line. The Libya to Syria weapon rat line. The stolen Syrian oil trade. The northern Syrian rat lines. Let’s call them UEBA: Unregulated Exceptionalist Business Activities. What’s not to like? There’s no business like war business.

    And that’s the wrap.

  5. acrophobic 5

    It shows just how complex world affairs are today, and how difficult it will be to eliminate daesh. Russia is an enigma, for sure, but perhaps their direct approach, unhindered by cares and concerns for world opinion, will be successful, as opposed to the self limiting posturing of the western alliances.

    • Craig H 5.1

      Whatever I might think of Russian politics at times, they really are straight shooters internationally – they’ve identified the bad guys and they’re not afraid to go after them.

      • Chooky 5.1.1

        +100…yes seems that way

      • nadis 5.1.2

        are these the bad guys?

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/04/killed-after-posing-for-pictures-the-five-year-old-victim-of-russias-airstrikes-on-syria

        Russia is bombing civilian areas with no rules of engagement. And if the bad guys are ISIS, then clearly Russia has not gone after them. they seem to be bombing everyone else, and in particular civilians.

        Remember, for the Russians this is not about oil, or democracy or anything aprt from preserving their naval base on the Mediterranean. Its the only one they’ve got. Assad is their first choice, their second choice is probably ISIS, they might be able to keep their base if ISIS ran Syria, but certainly wouldn’t if a more western aligned govt was in power.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          nonsense: as Trump said, ISIS destroyed a Russian airliner, Putin cannot be in love with those guys.

          • nadis 5.1.2.1.1

            his actions on the ground would beg to differ. Politically and domestically sure he hates them, but also appears he is happy to use them as a tool on the ground in Syria to achieve his strategic aim.

  6. Anne 6

    Please excuse the simplicity CV but what you are saying is:

    Nothing has really changed since the first Iraq War in Jan/Feb of 1991 – just a rearrangement of the players.

    IT’S THE OIL MAN… THE OIL.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      yes indeed…and some of the players want Assad gone so that they can put their own oil and gas pipelines across Syria to the Med.

    • infused 6.2

      Yes. Yhis isnt news. The iraq feilds are already us controlled.

  7. So a case can be made that the US and NATO ultimately support Daesh.

    Not using that trail of unconnected points it can’t. Is the rest of the article also built out of non-sequiturs?

    • northshoredoc 7.1

      This site is looking more and more like an RT troll farm.

      CV should be billing Vlad for the hours he’s putting in.

      • Chooky 7.1.1

        “RT troll farm”?…a bit simplistic …you are conveniently forgetting that RT uses some of the most knowledgeable commentators and analysts in the Western world

        …many of whom are experienced American academics , diplomats, heads of think tanks, writers, journalists, soldiers , CIA intelligence officers ….from Washington, New York …and British …as well as European

        • Mike the Savage One 7.1.1.1

          Imo RT is biased, without any doubt, who finances them? Yes, of course they love to have western dissenters express their views there too, also maybe Snowden and so, and some of what we get is the truth, but it is also prone to be “spun” to serve the Russian government’s interests.

          I would warn from giving blind reliance and preference to any media from any super power, whether it is the US, Russia or China, they are all not quite kosher.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RT_%28TV_network%29

          “RT, originally Russia Today, is a Russian government-funded television network which runs cable and satellite television channels, as well as Internet content directed to audiences outside the Russian Federation. RT International, which is based in Moscow, presents around-the-clock news bulletins, documentaries, talk shows, and debates, as well as sports news and cultural programmes about Russia.”

      • gnomic 7.1.2

        You’re having a laugh right? Where were you for the last few years by the way? Or have you changed your dickname?

    • ropata 7.2

      The point is that NATO has extremely mixed motives and is playing a dirty game, yes they are “at war” with Daesh but their supposed mates in Saudi and Turkey have dodgy side deals going.

      Where there is money to be made, a deal can be found with any evil regime, apparently

      • Psycho Milt 7.2.1

        So, the point is that different governments act in different national interests (or what they claim to be the national interest), and these interests aren’t always in alignment within any large alliance? Well, yeah. It’s a fairly obvious point. My dispute is the yawning logical chasm between that obvious point and “the US and NATO ultimately support Da’esh.”

  8. johnm 8

    Right! Collision course between International Criminal U$ Nato and Turkey and the only decent human operator in Syria : Russia. Putin is a great man there’s no bullshit anywhere in this man!

    Bombshell: The Turkish Assault on Russia’s SU-24 was Guided by U.S. Air Force [Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS radar plane]

    Warshington will get us all incinerated eventually they’re fing mad neocon zionist maniacs.

    https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/usa-guided-su-24-attack/

    • johnm 8.1

      PUTIN is a great man! He’s tried to bring peace everywhere. But rubbish U$ and rubbish EU have not cooperated. The Anglo Zionist crimanility is plain to see for anyone who cares to look. The UK government is total rubbish full of bullshit in their Rubbish parliament.

  9. Tory 9

    Pepe Escobar, conspiracy theorist of the highest degree, obviously sits well with writers at this site.
    http://everyday.antisemitism.uk/2015/11/13/russia-today-correspondent-posts-claim-that-russian-airliner-was-downed-by-israel-on-orders-from-jewish-oligarchs/
    Roll out the tin foil….

  10. ropata 10

    John Michael Greer: A Landscape of Dreams

    For well over a decade now, the US government has been vaporizing assorted groups of people all over the Middle East via drone strikes, and according to everybody but the paid flacks of the US government, a very large fraction of the people blown to bits in these attacks have been civilians. Here again, Washington DC treats this as a public relations problem, and simply denies that anything of the sort has happened.

    The difficulty with this strategy, though, is that sooner or later you run up against an opponent that isn’t stuck on the level of abstractions, isn’t greatly interested in public relations, and intends to do you real, rather than abstract, harm. To some extent that’s what has sown the whirlwind that the US and its allies are now reaping in the Middle East. In many of the tribal cultures of the Middle East, vengeance against the killers of one’s family members is an imperative duty, and it doesn’t matter how airily the flacks in Washington DC dismiss the possibility that the latest drone strike annihilated a Yemeni wedding party, or what have you. The relatives of the dead know better, and the young men among them are going to do something about it, whether that involves hiking to Afghanistan or, say, joining the current mass migration into Europe, lying low for a while, and then looking for suitable targets.

    The same difficulty has shifted into overdrive over the last few weeks, though, with Russia’s entry into the Syrian civil war. Russia’s current leaders are realists, which is to say, they assign abstractions the limited importance they deserve. The Russian presence in Syria, accordingly, isn’t a mere gesture, it’s the efficient deployment of an expeditionary force that’s clearly intended to wage war, and is in the early stages of turning that intention into hard reality. In an impressively short time, the Russians have built, staffed, and stocked a forward air base at Latakia, and begun systematic air strikes against rebel positions; work has gotten under way on two other bases; weapons and munitions are flooding into Syria to rearm the beleaguered Syrian army; the first detachments of Revolutionary Guard soldiers from Russia’s ally Iran have arrived. Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) and airborne units are en route to Syrian soil, where they and the Iranians will doubtless have something to do besides soak up rays on Latakia’s once-famous Mediterranean beaches.

    Apologies for the long quote. I think I will go outside now

    • Pascals bookie 10.1

      Putin is funny beast, but no, he’s not a ‘realist’ in that sense. he loves abstractions.

      Consider for example “sovereign democracy” an early phrase he used to describe what he was developing. the sovereign part appears on the one hand to about ‘protecting the independence of holy mother Russia’, but on the other hand it’s about how that protection os to be made, through sovereignty of strong leadership. the democracy part softens that. Working together the words rob each other of meaning, it’s democracy, but sovereign democracy.

      He’s post modern as fuck.

      Some good reading;

      http://schumatsky.de/Russia-is-a-lie.htm

      http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/11/hidden-author-putinism-russia-vladislav-surkov/382489/

      even Trotter gets in on it, but he can’t help himself from saying key is the same, but he really isn’t, Putin is on a whole nother level:

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/03/24/very-different-personages-vladislav-surkov-putins-post-modern-puppet-master/

      • ropata 10.1.1

        Wow, the Trotter link is a total mind job

        https://youtu.be/Z7BuQFUhsRM?t=35s

      • johnm 10.1.2

        Pascals bookie

        You’re a fing idiot mate. stew in your shit you stupid f*ck!

        [lprent: The rule is that abuse may not be pointless. I don’t see a point in this comment. If you want to continue commenting, I’d suggest strongly that you explain clearly why the abuse is appropiate. ]

        • Pascals bookie 10.1.2.1

          You seem a bit mad mate. Did someone question the awesomeness of your little mastabatory mindbank?

          • johnm 10.1.2.1.1

            You are an idiot f off with your patronising superior rubbish. you stupid piece of sh*t. Have a wank yourself you wanker.

            • Pascals bookie 10.1.2.1.1.1

              lol, I love tough little bastards.

              All aggro and robust, supporting big tough guy Putin who hunts bear in his underpants or whatever, but can’t quite bring themselves to type out ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’.

              Grow the fuck up son.

              • johnm

                LOL 🙂 The truth is free for those who have the simple bravery to see it. I’m probably older than you Pascal, I grew up a long time ago. Again Putin is the only true straight man there. End of collision! 🙂

                • Colonial Viper

                  PB doesnt quite get it. Putin uses extremely restrained and diplomatic language, but it is language with meaning that he follows up on with congruent -and some times devastating- action.

                  Restrained language doesn’t equate to being soft as it does in modern western culture. Neither Putin nor Xi Jin Ping feel any need to talk about “shirtfronting” anyone.

                  • Mike the Savage One

                    Putin is really soft on gays in Russia too, I suppose, is he not? I fear that you and some others have some past romantic impressions of Russia and its leader, he is not quite the humane man that some of you think. Le t us also not forget the terror dished out in Chechniya and some other places, hence thousands willing Chechen fighters in Syria right now, Russia is not the working man’s and woman’s paradise, believe you me.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Russia’s attitude towards homosexuality is tegressive but fits within its broader culture of conservative orthodox Christianity and is similar to Western attitudes of 40-50 years ago.

                      Re: Chechnya. Thats where a weakened economically crushed Russia got brutal first hand experience of fighting militant jihadi Islamism on home soil. And that was after the Soviet Union was totally humiliated by CIA trained Islamic fighters in Afghanistan.

                    • Mike the Savage One

                      I can tell you that Chechen fighters are among the most formidable and ferocious fighters out there, and also on the front line in Syria, Russia’s military and secret service brutality ensured they are the strongest to survive. To beat them in Syria will be damned hard not just for the Russians, for all fighters involved there!

        • johnm 10.1.2.2

          ” Putin is funny beast, ” This is 100% rubbish and if the standard entertains this rubbish: well it’s just a pathetic provincial rag on line that’s why.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.3

        Putin is realising in physical reality what he means by his term “sovereign democracy.” Watch and learn: where the US and Europe talk endlessly, Russia does.

        • Pascals bookie 10.1.3.1

          I have been CV, you should actually try doing the same with your eyes open.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.3.1.1

            Putin’s home popularity keeps rising and rising, while Obama’s popularity keeps sinking and the US Congress has a 10% approval rating, partly due to how responsive it is to big money corporate interests and not to citizens interests.

            Thats neither sovereign nor democratic; that I think is one of the contrasts that Putin wanted to draw.

            • Grindlebottom 10.1.3.1.1.1

              It’s true Putin’s popularity at home keeps rising, because he’s firmly in control of domestic media messaging. It follows a consistent pro-Putin line, it supports & encourages police/security service harrassment & public thuggery against opponents & “radicals” vilified as threatening “security”. He’s portrayed as a strong leader because he is, in a country whose historical experience is being led by strong leaders. And he’s appealing to popular sentiment that wants to see Russia’s humiliation by its collapse revenged & to be restored to its former Soviet-era great power status.

              Obama on the other hand is forever dissected & portrayed as weak, or devious, a failure and a generally flawed leader by US media, and he is. To much of the rest of the world on diplomatic issues & international relations he’s either a blatant hypocrite or a fool led by the nose by the backroom power brokers and intelligence communities. US society is flooded with blatantly jingoistic propaganda of its own, much of it completely ignorant, and when you study it actually has one of the world’s least democratic systems of government. The ordinary people don’t even directly vote to elect their own president.

              The two countries have much more in common than most people think, but Putin definitely delivers the most clear-sighted, popular, and firm leadership. In their own ways both the US and Russia are ruthless in pursuit of their foreign policy objecives.

            • Pascals bookie 10.1.3.1.1.2

              Because Putinism isn’t corporatist eh?

              God you talk some shit.

              Any luck finding eveidence of a helicopter ever being shot down with a TOW?
              Seeing you doubled down on your claim it could be done easily.

  11. Mike the Savage One 11

    “Iraqi Kurds refute Russia’s claims on Turkey-Daesh oil trade, say tankers belong to KRG”

    http://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2015/12/03/iraqi-kurds-refute-russias-claims-on-turkey-daesh-oil-trade-say-tankers-belong-to-krg

    Who do we believe, the Russians, the US, the Arab Gulf states involved, the jihadist groups, or perhaps some people from Europe that try to fathom in that region, what is really going on? Maybe some human rights and NGO groups talk more sense than media releases and propaganda coming from all sides now. Only those that closely follow all the developments may be able to dissect truth from misinformation.

    The oil trade from Iraqi Kurdistan has been going on for years, and it is possible that there was a “mix up” or even an attempt by the Russians to use propaganda, to claim that ISIS is trading with Turkey, i.e. selling oil it has its hands on to people or businesses in Turkey. The Turks or their government rather claim it is a Syrian with a Russian pass port, who is involved in buying oil from ISIS and selling it even to the Assad Regime and others in need of petroleum.

    The first victim of war is the truth, let us not forget that.

    But CV is right, there is endless potential for a major conflict to develop out of the fighting in Syria and Northern and Western Iraq.

    Let us get real, the clinging to old borders is a lost cause, the first Gulf War, that the Senior US President Bush the fought to push Saddam’s forces out of Kuwait and to keep them out of Saudi Arabia ended in a stalemate, and since then, Iraq has already been cut into territories of vested interests, the Kurds enjoying the US and some other western support to basically create their own state. They had a tough time under Saddam, and no love was lost, so they claim they are entitled to oil on their territories, which again are partly disputed, e.g. Kerkuk.

    The Second Gulf or Iraq War dealt the rest to the former state called that, Iraq, and basically allowed it to be split into interest spheres, along ethnic and religious lines, and the Shiites, who also suffered badly under a Sunni Saddam Hussein regime, they had no love lost for Sunnis.

    Hence we have endless tribalism, and division and the Old Testament style an eye for an eye dishing out of revenge.

    I think we may have to start accepting, that borders around Iraq and Syria will never be quite the same again, those states will change, or cease to exist. It is the heritage of colonialism, and now some try to redraw the borders, the worst players are IS of course, but others not much better.

    What may be needed is a Marshall Plan kind of rebuilding and reformation effort, that helped rebuild much of Europe, but it will only happen after more fighting and much blood letting.

    I despair about the whole situation, as the French and now UK and even also indirectly Germany have rushed in to play military games in Syria, where the government does not want them, and where indeed Russia and Turkey, and Iran and some others have very great strategic interests, we can indeed fall into another trap, a kind of escalation, and the beginning of WW3, I am not kidding you.

  12. Mike the Savage One 12

    Who speaks the truth now? There may indeed be some truth to illegal dealings in Turkey, but it is all rather murky:

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-isis-oil-trade-from-the-ground-up

    “Syria’s most potent oilfields are in the Deir Ezzor province, largely under ISIS control. The group earns most of its money by taxing locals and confiscating valuables at checkpoints, but oil sales still account for hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against George Haswani, a Syrian businessman who allegedly acted as a middleman for sales between ISIS and the beleaguered Assad regime. Hours after Antonov’s announcement in Moscow, the U.S. rejected the Russian claim against Erdoğan.”

    Maybe some more useful info:
    http://ig.ft.com/sites/2015/isis-oil/

    It seems to be very diversified and involve many players in that “market”, surely not only ISIS and Turks.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      note: Turkish authorities would never buy Kurdish oil. Lots of Iraqi Kurdish oil ends up being bought by Israel, according to FT.

      Turkey would have no problem with Islamist oil however.

      • Mike the Savage One 12.1.1

        Erdogan is not against islamists as we know, he is just against chopping non believer’s heads off, as that is not a good look while Turkey tries to get membership in the EU, I suppose.

  13. Pasupial 14

    Turks claim that their invasion of Iraq is to train the Kurdish militia!

    Iraq has told Turkey to “immediately” withdraw forces, including tanks and artillery, it has deployed in the country’s north without Baghdad’s consent…

    Turkish media reported that about 150 Turkish soldiers backed by 20 to 25 tanks had been sent by road to the Bashiqa area north-east of Mosul, the city that is Islamic State’s main hub in Iraq.

    Peshmerga forces from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region are deployed in the area, and Turkey’s Anatolia news agency said the troops were there to train them.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/05/iraq-orders-turkey-to-immediately-withdraw-troops-sent-across-border

    I imagine that this training will focus mainly on how to avoid being shot by Turkish soldiers and tanks.

    • Mike the Savage One 14.1

      Yes, for sure, they will train their enemies, next the YPG, which the US now claims to support to fight ISIS. The whole scenario is a total mess, beyond belief, we should not put any trust in any of our so called leaders, they are idiots or dangerous mafiosis, they all deserve to be sacked right now.

    • Grindlebottom 14.2

      Jesus it’s madness. I have this picture in my mind of senior military commanders getting up every morning & moving coloured pins & labels constantly around on large maps of Syria & Iraq & scratching their heads trying to keep track of who’s shooting at who and who’s bombing who and where the hell everybody is right at any given moment.

      Turks invading Iraq (to train Kurdish fighters – the Peshmerga didn’t seem to need training?) is yet another completely unexpected development that’s going to piss off the Iraqi government & all its allies as well as the Sunnis, maybe the US & coalition partners, and God knows who else. What’s going on now? What a maelstrom.

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        you can be damn sure the Turks are not actually assisting the Kurds.

        • Grindlebottom 14.2.1.1

          “[A] senior Turkish official said the soldiers in the region were there to train Kurdish peshmerga fighters. Turkey has close relations with the Kurdish autonomous zone of northern Iraq, though it views Syrian Kurdish groups across the border as hostile to its interests.

          ‘This is part of the fight against Daesh [Isis],’ he said, adding that there were about 20 armoured vehicles accompanying them as protection.

          …On Tuesday, the United States said it was deploying a new force of special operations troops to Iraq to conduct raids against Isis there and in neighbouring Syria, ratcheting up its campaign against the group.

          The office of the Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has said it welcomed foreign assistance but Iraq’s government would need to approve any deployment of special operations forces anywhere in Iraq.

          Abadi reiterated that foreign ground combat troops were not needed in Iraq. Powerful Iraqi Shia Muslim armed groups have pledged to fight any such deployment of US forces to the country. It was unclear how they viewed the presence of Turkish soldiers.”
          http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/04/turkish-troops-iraq-train-forces-fighting-isis

          Well, seems to be clear at 14. above that the Iraqi PM wants the Turks out of there, and he also doesn’t sound keen on more US special forces being there either.

  14. Mike the Savage One 15

    Different times and wars, but the same questions remain:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRhHpTRuBrk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLAxbQxyJSQ

  15. Mike the Savage One 16

    To add a bit of cynicism and “spice”, why not ask this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFKM2VYDPjg

    Let us wait for a miracle, we get promised it every day in advertising, do we not?

  16. Mike the Savage One 17

    CV I have just come across this probably propagandistic website, what is your view and comment?

    http://www.khilafah.com/

    http://www.khilafah.com/message-to-mr-cameron-bomb-us-or-ban-us-we-wont-reform-or-give-up-our-islam/

    I would appreciate your position, as there is also other stuff coming through the line right now, challenging the UK position.

    https://emmejihad.wordpress.com/tag/islamic-state-of-iraq-and-sham/

    What there is BS and true, you reckon?

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/04/chechen-jihadists-leave-syria-join-the-fight-in-urkaine.html

    http://www.bbc.com/news/30476381

    I see and note the emphasis in the Ummah, that is the wider Islam community, to make so to say the Islamic world, if that is the understanding that we in the west are supposed to make room for that, I fear we will head for a full blown cultural war.

  17. Mike the Savage One 18

    So can anyone “trump” this idiocy?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html

    And I thought most Kiwis were struggling with common sense.

  18. Tautuhi 19

    The whole Middle East thing sounds like a buggers muddle to me.

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    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, April 7, 2024 thru Sat, April 13, 2024. Story of the week Our story of the week is about adults in the room setting terms and conditions of ...
    5 days ago

  • $41m to support clean energy in South East Asia
    New Zealand is demonstrating its commitment to reducing global greenhouse emissions, and supporting clean energy transition in South East Asia, through a contribution of NZ$41 million (US$25 million) in climate finance to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-led Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Minister releases Fast-track stakeholder list
    The Government is today releasing a list of organisations who received letters about the Fast-track applications process, says RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop. “Recently Ministers and agencies have received a series of OIA requests for a list of organisations to whom I wrote with information on applying to have a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Judicial appointments announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister David Jonathan Boldt as a Judge of the High Court, and the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer as a Judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Boldt graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington in 1990, and also holds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Education Minister heads to major teaching summit in Singapore
    Education Minister Erica Stanford will lead the New Zealand delegation at the 2024 International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) held in Singapore. The delegation includes representatives from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) Te Wehengarua and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa.  The summit is co-hosted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Value of stopbank project proven during cyclone
    A stopbank upgrade project in Tairawhiti partly funded by the Government has increased flood resilience for around 7000ha of residential and horticultural land so far, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones today attended a dawn service in Gisborne to mark the end of the first stage of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Anzac commemorations, Türkiye relationship focus of visit
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent the Government at Anzac Day commemorations on the Gallipoli Peninsula next week and engage with senior representatives of the Turkish government in Istanbul.    “The Gallipoli campaign is a defining event in our history. It will be a privilege to share the occasion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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