Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Today's Links

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”
Upton Sinclair


1---Yemen: UN Gives Cover For U.S. Spies - Endangers Its Employees
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/11/yemen-un-help-for-us-spies-endangers-its-employees.html#comments


The UN has completely abdicated any neutrality on Yemen. It serves as a mere mouthpiece and servant of misguided U.S.-Saudi policies. The now confirmed, though not admitted, transporting of "former" U.S. special forces under UN cover is an inexcusable breach of its independence and a danger to all its employees.


Any UN envoy or contractor all over the world will now be under suspicion of being a U.S. military or intelligence agent. This will endanger the lives of thousands of UN employees working under difficult circumstances in various conflict areas.
Meanwhile the Saudis and the UAE are pulling all ground forces out of Yemen and are outsourcing their war to soldiers from Sudan, Mauritania, Senegal and Eritrea as well as to mercenaries from Columbia. After the UAE pullback the Houthis have recovered several southern Yemeni cities and are planing to re-capturing the Al-Anad airbase near Aden.


2--Fed Trips over Eye-Popping Commercial Real Estate Bubble, Accidentally Looks, Sees “Early Signs” of “Search for Yield”


3--ISIS and Assad linked??


US Assistant Secretaries of State Victoria Nuland and Anne W. Patterson testified that Russia's engagement in Syria had an adverse effect on the situation in the war-torn country and beyond. Nuland blamed Russia for exacerbating the refugee crisis in Europe, while Patterson accused Moscow-led forces of hitting unintended targets in Syria.
"If Nuland's testimony was bad, Patterson's was worse. With a straight face, Patterson told Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that ISIS and Assad 'are linked.' Could she possibly believe this? It would certainly come as a news to Assad, among others," Carden observed

4---Iran, Russia taking alliance to new level


Several key issues are to be discussed, including Russia’s plans to open a $5 billion credit line for Iran, the idea of establishing a joint bank and Iran’s membership in the Eurasian Development Bank.
“Relations between Iran and Russia have entered a new phase in all aspects. In our visit, we will negotiate with the Russians about diverse issues,” Vaezi told reporters in Tehran on the eve of the visit.
Oil, gas and petrochemicals as well as construction of power plants and railways are some of the areas reserved for discussion, he said....


The minister called Iran as Russia's "most important economic and trade partner", saying bilateral trade stands at “more than $1 billion which is not enough" and has to be raised.


5---Terrorists’ Military Posture in Syria


The Russian military operation in Syria has changed the local military balance and conducted new tendencies among terrorists. The most dangerous of them is a possibility of the compete terrorist groups’ contingence.
The Russian military involvement has pushed the terrorist groups to develop new co-operation mechanisms to counter the alternative anti-ISIS coalition’s force. The militant leaders consider 2 main approaches:....

The terrorist strategists count that the word powers will hardly find a joint position over the Syrian conflict. Thus, terrorist groups should use this dissociation to expand their influence and capture new territories. A mastermind of terrorists’ contingence is foreign supporters and sponsors of the Syrian and Iraq terrorist groups


6---Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War
7---8 days after election win, Obama calls to congratulate Erdoğan, Davutoğlu
http://www.todayszaman.com/anasayfa_8-days-after-election-win-obama-calls-to-congratulate-erdogan-davutoglu_403871.html


The statement said Obama and Davutoğlu discussed bilateral relations along with regional developments, particularly the conflict in Syria. Obama also reportedly told Davutoğlu that the US is determined to increase ongoing cooperation to settle regional problems, especially in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The US president told Davutoğlu that he hopes to have a chance to discuss these issues during a G-20 summit in the Turkish resort town of Antalya next week.
...
The White House said the leaders discussed the situation in Syria and the importance of expanding joint efforts to strengthen the moderate Syrian opposition and step up pressure against ISIL. "They also discussed ways to create conditions for a negotiated solution to the conflict, including a political transition in Syria," the statement said.


8---Davutoğlu: Turkey ready to take part in anti-ISIL ground operation under well-designed strategy
http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_davutoglu-turkey-ready-to-take-part-in-anti-isil-ground-operation-under-well-designed-strategy_403833.html


"A ground force is something which we have to talk [about] together," he said. "There's a need of an integrated strategy including air campaign and ground troops. But Turkey alone cannot take all this burden. If there is a coalition and a very well designed integrated strategy, Turkey is ready to take part in all senses," Davutoğlu said during an interview with CNN International's Christiane Amanpour on Monday night.
Otherwise, Davutoğlu continued, just carrying out a ground operation against ISIL but continuing to have a power vacuum on the ground would lead to the emergence of another terrorist group in Syria instead of ISIL. “We have to solve the Syrian crisis in a comprehensive manner,” he added.
Saying that Turkey has already been conducting aerial attacks targeting ISIL positions as part of the coalition, Davutoğlu said, “But, it is not enough.”


When asked by Amanpour whether the precondition of Turkey getting more involved in the anti-ISIL efforts is an agreement by the coalition to work against Syrian President Bashar Assad, Davutoğlu said, “Yes, and against all groups and regimes creating this [power] vacuum...


Davutoğlu also said in a live interview on the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) that he and US President Barack Obama have discussed the need for a new strategy towards ISIL....


When asked about Turkish concerns over the US's arming and training of Kurdish fighters in Syria as ground force against ISIL, Davutoğlu reiterated Turkey's position regarding the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian wing of the PKK.
"If the US wants to arm Kurdish fighters on the ground, we are ready for it. But not terrorists of the PKK. If they want to arm and help Barzani, peshmerga groups in Iraq, and help them to go to Syria to fight against ISIL, we are ready to help," the prime minister said.
"We will not and cannot tolerate any help to any PKK-related groups in Syria or in Iraq. If that happens, Turkey will take any measures to stop it," Davutoğlu warned.


The US's growing cooperation with the PYD and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG), the most formidable fighting force against ISIL, has been a source of concern in Ankara, which has on many occasions conveyed its uneasiness about the relationship to Washington.
Facing pressure and opposition from its ally, the US said last week that it will no longer deliver weapons to the YPG, but instead will forward weapons to Syrian Arab rebels.
"As of now, we are not providing weapons or ammunition to the YPG. The weapons that we've provided thus far, with the ammunition that we've provided in our one airdrop that we executed, was for the Syrian-Arab coalition," Col. Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the US-led coalition against ISIL, told reporters via teleconference from Baghdad last Thursday....


The Turkish government is pressing for a no-fly and buffer zone inside Syria to defend itself in the face of the clashes in the country, in order to prevent the conflict from spreading to its territory. These two demands have not been welcomed or approved of by US and European partners.


9---
Davutoğlu: Turkey ready to take part in anti-ISIL ground operation under well-designed strategy
http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_davutoglu-turkey-ready-to-take-part-in-anti-isil-ground-operation-under-well-designed-strategy_403833.html

(Turkish invasion?......Yup)  "A ground force is something which we have to talk [about] together," he said. "There's a need of an integrated strategy including air campaign and ground troops. But Turkey alone cannot take all this burden. If there is a coalition and a very well designed integrated strategy, Turkey is ready to take part in all senses," Davutoğlu said during an interview with CNN International's Christiane Amanpour on Monday night.

(Remove Assad?  Yup) When asked by Amanpour whether the precondition of Turkey getting more involved in the anti-ISIL efforts is an agreement by the coalition to work against Syrian President Bashar Assad, Davutoğlu said, “Yes, and against all groups and regimes creating this [power] vacuum...

(Stop arming kurds?) Facing pressure and opposition from its ally, the US said last week that it will no longer deliver weapons to the YPG, but instead will forward weapons to Syrian Arab rebels.
"As of now, we are not providing weapons or ammunition to the YPG. The weapons that we've provided thus far, with the ammunition that we've provided in our one airdrop that we executed, was for the Syrian-Arab coalition," Col. Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the US-led coalition against ISIL, told reporters via teleconference from Baghdad last Thursday....


(No fly zone?)The Turkish government is pressing for a no-fly and buffer zone inside Syria to defend itself in the face of the clashes in the country, in order to prevent the conflict from spreading to its territory. These two demands have not been welcomed or approved of by US and European partners.

This means the kurds just got sold down the river


12---Amanpour meets Turkish PM

13---Turkey’s efforts against ISIL are in coordination with the U.S.-led coalition, after the opening up of its strategic Incirlik airbase for joint flights last July. Turkey is in the core group of four (including the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia - all G-20 countries) discussing the future of Syria, which is directly related with the struggle against ISIL. Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu is expected to join the other three ministers in Vienna probably before the G-20 Summit in preparation to further contacts in Antalya at the leaders’ level....

When U.S. officials announced last week that “as of now” the PYD was not to be given any military material, Ankara was relieved...

There are indications that the campaign against Gülenists is going to be stepped up in parallel with the campaigns against ISIL and the PKK.

The government is likely to take advantage of the election victory and also the international conjuncture when there is a need for Turkey’s cooperation (like the one with the European Union regarding the Syrian refugee crisis) to act quickly and effectively.

14---G-20 set to meet next week in Turkey

The foreign ministers of four G-20 countries the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been conducting talks on the future of Syria since a meeting in Vienna on Oct. 23. Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu called his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov last week to invite him to Antalya in order to continue the talks there, to which Lavrov has reportedly agreed...

The G-20 was established in 1999 upon a joint U.S.-German initiative in order to systematically bring together important industrial and also developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. It is made up of 19 countries - Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States - and the EU, which is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank. Together, the G-20 members represent 85 percent of Gross World Product, 80 percent of world trade, and two-thirds of the world population. Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Senegal, Singapore, Spain and Zimbabwe will join this year’s summit in Antalya as guests.





 

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