Turkey Expands Its Ground Operations Against PKK In Northern Iraq – Reports

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Turkish forces, moslty special forces units, have expanded their operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Part (PKK) in northern Iraq, according to reports circulating online.

The Turkish military reportedly seized a few of villages in the areas Kani Rash, Barmiza and Masid after its units had crossed the border with Iraq earlier in March. If reports about the alleged permanent Turkish military presence in the area are confirmed, this will highlight Ankara’s ongoing preparations for a wider military effort against the PKK in northern Iraq.

Turkey considers the PKK and all other PKK-linked militias as terrorist groups. Recently, Turkish forces captured a large area from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG; the Syrian branch of the PKK according to Ankara) in northwestern Syria – Afrin.

Following this success, Turkish top officials claimed that Ankara is going to expand its efforts against Kurdish armed groups to other areas of northern Syria and Iraq.

Turkey Expands Its Ground Operations Against PKK In Northern Iraq - Reports

Source: http://twitter.com/iraqiinfo_eng

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  • What a mental case ,,,

  • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

    It’s hard to decide who to despise more; the Kurds or the Turks. Probably the Turks because they are an outright menace. Kurds are only a pestilence.

    • Real Anti-Racist Action

      The US announced plans for the Kurds new state to extend all the way to the sea.
      #1 The shows that the Kurds are part of the long term plan of the US and Israel to control the ME, and the Turks are not in the US game plan.
      #2 The Kurds are actively fighting to break off 1/3rd of Syria to make a new nation which is already allied with Israel.
      #3 The Turks will leave after the terrorist part of the Kurds has been reduced.
      Turkey and Russia are friends, Turkey is not going to fight against Iranian and Russians and Syrians on the ground ever.
      They will withdraw in about a year from now with guarantees from Russia that PKK will not be allowed to return at all.

      • hamster

        As I’ve said before, the idea that the “turks will leave” Syria is pure fantasy. They will remain there, or at the very least their headchopping proxies will, unless they are forcefully expelled by the SAA + allies.

        • Mustafa Mehmet

          Charlie Brown dream on firstly assat got no army left secondly what allies you talking about. Iran. hesbullah or mercenary from Gypsy lands

        • Luna

          Choppers will stay there with some Turkish security posts. They are Syrian citizens They will be placed right between Kurds in Turkey and Syria. TAF will interfere against forcefull attempts to oust them Legal base of such interference is already present ; ‘Assad attacking his own people once again”

        • Mark

          The SAA will expel them, when they expel them from Antioch.

        • Ronald

          Have no fear, they will be expelled if they don’t leave after dealing with the Kurds.

      • Mark

        Syrian Kurds and Turkish Kurds have fought and killed IDF for Palestine. They have zero to do with Zionism. You are mixing up countries.

        • Ronald

          Israel is the only nation ( Zionists), to directly support the creation of a “Kurdish Border Force” announced by the US.

          • Mark

            There has been no Israel link of any kind to the YPG whatsoever. The proposal was for an ARAB border force. THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT. The fantasy existed for two days. It had never been posed anywhere in Syria.

          • Ronald

            It was proposed by US, CENTCOM, only retracted after Erdogan took offense and announced he would launch what he latter called “Olive Branch”.

            Immediately after the SDF Border Force was announced, Israel’s PM declared its support.

          • Mark

            An ALL ARAB BORDER GUARD i.e. NEW FSA, ALL U.S. TRAINED – devised in hope of literally killing off YPG – that didn’t happen. Wake up idiot.

            Israel //hates// PKK; Netanyahu does PERSONALLY; Mossad help capture Öcalan; Israel’s PKK prisoners were part of a huge swap to get PLO out of Lebanon. The YPG is wildly anti-Zionist, they propose a zero state solution that from Israel’s point of view is a new Ottoman empire. Your comprehension of reality seems to be based on some nutty anti-semitism.

    • Moshe Dummstein

      first you pack up & go as the “realtor” has just declared, then they will figure out who is better, who is worse amongst themselves.

    • Mark

      They are a pestilence … because people literally want them to stop talking in their own language? Nuke Quebec.

      • Ronald

        They are pestilence because they invited US troops onto Syrian soil. Commonly called treason, ” the act or fact of betraying ones own country”. The US has started this war against Syria, and has funded and armed Al Qaeda under its various names. The US claims it is a “humanitarian intervention”, the goal being “regime change”.

        • Mark

          No, this is Russian, not Syrian, ideology. Tell me again why they were ‘traitors’ in Kobane? Did the Syrian air force save 1/3 million people in the month they were without support. If anything their ‘country’ was ISIS. Certainly that’s what IS said, as they killed thousands as ‘traitors’ and ‘apostates’ – you filthy r*dent.

          Erdogan started the war in Syria. He began to organize FSA within 60 days. He arms, and still arms al Qaeda. All foreign IS entered Syria with his visa, his approval, trained in camps in Turkey, went to Turkish hospitals.

          Now he lost, so he’s buying parts of Syria from Putin.

          • Ronald

            A disinformation troll, not worth the time.

  • Christian Gains

    Is that PKK, HPG, YJA Flag with the red star indicative of Communists? Or what?

    It seems to me, {who is BASICALLY ignorant}, that the Peshmerga are NOT Socialist/Communist…Am I correct?

    I’m ALSO REALLY HOPEFUL that the RUMOR that Trump is going to “pull out our Troops” is NOT JUST a rumor…BUT FACT!! We DEFINITELY do NOT need to be in Syria ANY LONGER than what it takes to eliminate the last vestiges of ISIS! Then OUT we go!

    Assad’s SAA & Tiger Force seems QUITE CAPABLE of cleaning up the rest of the radicals…HOPE I’M RIGHT! I REALLY hate seeing those photos of the devastation that’s been foisted on Syria! It WAS a BEAUTIFUL NATION…hopefully ASSAD can reestablish it!

    • psychodrill

      As best as I know they have a “Marxist-Leninist” plank in their party, a pretty significant one with the PKK, even if it goes back to the old Cold War days. After all, Turkey served as the tip of the NATO spear against the USSR in the Middle East, so like a lot of local conflicts (Angola for another example) there was a Communist element injected into the rhetoric of mainly nationalist movements.

      • Christian Gains

        THANKS PSY! That helps…I’m definitely still in the learning stages of my knowledge base concerning the M.E.

    • You can call me Al

      Regards the Flag with the red star (indicative of Communists), I honestly dont not know and I have spent a shockingly long 11 minutes on trying to search the so and so, but I can’t find it.

      I have a feeling there is something dodgy about that map, maybe posted by Turks or Yanks ?…….we need an IT wizz kid to track it back to its roots.

      • Christian Gains

        GO I.T. WIZKID…find the ROOTS!!!

        • You can call me Al

          OK SMARTY, Russia, China and communism + Vietnam.

          Am I a good WIZKID NOW ?

          • Christian Gains

            YUP! I think so! THE WIZKID! Very good…

          • You can call me Al

            You have my thanks. Catch you later.

    • Mark

      If Trump leaves, it is so that Erdogan can take over. Presumably Assad would fall.

  • Smaug

    If this is true then either the Iraqi government is allowing this or they are unable to stop it. But given Iraq’s state of internal war it’s probably a little of both.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/iraq-holding-prisoners-militant-ties-islamic-state-1.4587536

  • Rob

    Palestine the EU slaughterhouse has again active. The presence of Illegal migrant state of Israel is a greater challenge for 52 Muslim states including Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Kingdom, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Chechnya etc. The presence of illegal migrant state of Israel is also a great challenge for Russia and China because this EU slaughterhouse does not suit the Russian and Chinese dignity.

    • neil barron

      You don’t deserve a response but a critical statement. Stupid as Stupid gets hater.

    • Mark

      Erdogan is coming to Jerusalem to solve everything. He will only leave another few million dead in his wake.

  • Rob

    President Assad have two options
    1) to accept the division of Syria and let Kurdistan to establish.
    2) to unite with Turkey for the integrity of Syria and Syrian nation.
    Same for President Abadi

    To be honest Kurdistan is a second Zionist state on which Syria, Turkey and Iraq will have no control and will expand with the passage of time.

    • giulio

      with the difference that Kurds are about twenty millions people that have been always living in that part of lands

      • Rob

        Kurds are living here in America as well come and build one Kurdistan here.

        • Amine Mansouri

          hahahahaha! good one maan!

        • Mark

          Man are you clueless.

      • as

        You buy into ancient Kurdistan 3000 thousands years ago ? Meh local history points they’re just refugees from Persian Iran.

        • Rob

          Kurdistan is a new brand for terrorists like ISIS.

          • as

            Meh ISIS is boogeyman. More like Israel or Mujahedin.

          • Rob

            When Kurdistan established then you will see that there will be no difference between them and ISIS.

          • as

            Well ISIS is bogeymen. Their purposes is to vilify the moslems and scare their population into acceptance of another application of occupation forces in the middle east. Their atrocities are well published by presstitutes in the west. Kurdistan however would have their atrocities carefully closed under the lid like once happen to Mujahedin and Israel terrorist.

          • Rob

            Israel, Kurds, ISIS, HTS and FSA all are false flag organizations and lead by Zionists from Washington and UK. Zionists are non Jews and have no religion.

      • anonim

        When Hafez started receiving Kurds into Syria, al their population was about 300 000. So what do you mean by 20 million people?

        • Rob

          He means all Syrians are Kurds and Syria belongs to Kurds. Wakeup.

        • giulio

          I mean those living spread out among Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. How would you consider them Turkish mountaineers? Does it puzzle you that the fall of Othman Empire still have repercussions on today Middle East? I am not saying that Kurds are saints, but here they are in that region. What would you do to them? Genocide them like the Armenians?

          • as

            Soooo the alternative was…? Giving them country out of your own territory ? If they’re persecuted there then it would do better if they leave the region altogether. Maybe the European or US American would accommodate their creation of Kurdistan out of their own territories.

          • giulio

            what about those that actually don’t want to leave their lands and their villages where they were born? Should they get killed for that? They are in their lands now. How can you find a piece of land for 20 and more millions of people? Maybe a peaceful solution would it be better? Or are you willing to sacrifice few millions of Kurds to accomplish this mass transfer, like it happened for Circassian people and Chechens?

          • as

            Peaceful indeed when the Kurds armed and looking to take as much the resources rich region in Syria and Iraq.

          • giulio

            you are saying the same thing: this people don’t have the right to live on their land and can just benefit from nothing more than pure existence, meaning staying alive. Everywhere in the world, people revolt to such policy. Pacification as you said means that you have to wage a war against those unwilling to get assimilated also because there is no a culture better than another. When conflicts are caused by dispute on resources, then you have wars by default

          • as

            Lol. There are lots more minorities other than the kurds there and sure enough everywhere minorities would have to compromise to majority and vice versa. Let’s say African American in US persecuted and treated as a second class citizens then would they entitled to have a state then ? What about the native American that even now still have their last bastion plundered for profit ? Would they then have right to kick the Anglo Saxon settlers that have built their city and everything at their expense ?
            That’s rich coming from people who would only watching from far away deciding that one has more right than the other in political settlement between them. They’re welcomed to join into political movement peacefully through the legal constitution but they rather do this the easier way through US enabled violent armed uprising. Sure enough I’ll only say that the Kurds that rather invite US genocide against people other than them in the region to just go to Europe or USA.

            Kurds have no right to sacrifices others for their own gain as much as everyone else. Pacification ? That’s funny when the other side have never even try to make a comprises.

          • giulio

            according to your logic minorities should be complying with what majorities prescribe them to do. This fact contradicts the principle of self-determination sanctioned by the UN. what about Crimea though, should Russia return it to Ukraine of course no.
            Also minorities and majorities can live peacefully when general principles are applied and are valid for everybody. You mentioned that case of native Americans: they were robbed of their land by Americans and they are still suffering for that. As for blacks in the Us, same situation, they are still suffering from a wound that yet is still not healed. Same with Palestinians of course. Sorting out a conflict doesn’t mean that you are so strong and powerful that the weaker part in unable doing nothing but surrendering itself. This is not complying with human rights carta and it just prolongs suffering for those that happen to stay on the “wrong side” of history

          • as

            Self determination ? They’re not really self determined isn’t it ? They’re the stooge of the US.
            What about the self determination of Syrian ? You have no right butting into their internal political process.

            Syria already agreed to compromise with self governing but that didn’t stop them from joining hands with the USA in pillaging the Syrian territory.
            Iraq already compromise letting a self governing KRG operated but that didn’t stop them from taking Kirkuk or doing unsanctioned referendum.

            What part of these that you claim Kurds have more right than let’s say Arab there ? They’re not really locals in Syria in the first place. Their language is modified Farsi. Much of their traditionally claimed territory is the territories of Armenians. So why they should be let to have independent States ? Like you say majority can live with minority in peace then i should say let’s have no separated States between Kurds and others in middle east.

            I noted that you don’t say anything about possibility or contemplated about giving Palestinian or Native America independent States. All you can say you’re sorry and of course these people can live together with the majority. Sure enough why can’t kurds do the same thing ?
            I noted you failed to mention the unsanctioned government takeover in Ukraine in regards of Crimean people or that Crimea ethnicity overwhelmingly Russian which was never the cases with the Kurds.

          • giulio

            I will be more explicit then: I am in favor of a completely independent Palestinian State, I am in favor of the Crimean referendum to split from Ukraine to join Russia, I am in favor of giving the Native Americans their lands back, I am in favor for an independent Catalonia. Was it clear enough? Said that what is the difference between Kurds and all the other people? You mentioned that kurds are playing what Americans want them to play in the Middle East and I may agree with you. But Americans didn’t create the Kurds issue they just exploited it for their political agenda. You mention that Kurds have no right in claiming part of Syrian territory, but what about Turkey? Do they have the right to occupy Arab land?

          • as

            There you have it. Until Kurds ready to make their own initiative regarding their own fate then they better off without a state for now. Only when they could exist as a independent entity free from any outside control that they can make both their own statehood and peace with their neighbours. As of now their leadership is hopelessly corrupt and their political movement grossly colored with racism. Both Kurds and their neighbours will have to eventually make a mutual concession and compromise if they go about this diplomatically.

          • as

            what’s left
            The Myth of the Kurdish YPG’s Moral Excellence
            July 11, 2017

            By Stephen Gowans

            A barbed criticism aimed at the International Socialist Organization, shown nearby, under the heading “If the ISO Existed in 1865” encompasses a truth about the orientation of large parts of the Western Left to the Arab nationalist government in Damascus. The truth revealed in the graphic is that the ISO and its cognates will leave no stone unturned in their search for an indigenous Syrian force to support that has taken up arms against Damascus, even to the point of insisting that a group worthy of support must surely exist, even if it can’t be identified.

            If the ISO existed in 1865.

            Of course, Washington lends a hand, helpfully denominating its proxies in the most laudatory terms. Islamist insurgents in Syria, mainly Al Qaeda, were not too many years ago celebrated as a pro-democracy movement, and when that deception proved no longer tenable, as moderates. Now that the so-called moderates have been exposed as the very opposite, many Leftists cling to the hope that amid the Islamist opponents of Syria’s secular, Arab socialist, government, can be found votaries of the enlightenment values Damascus already embraces. Surely somewhere there exist armed anti-government secular Leftists to rally behind; for it appears that the goal is to find a reason, any reason, no matter how tenuous, to create a nimbus of moral excellence around some group that opposes with arms the government in Damascus; some group that can be made to appear to be non-sectarian, anti-imperialist, socialist, committed to the rights of women and minorities, and pro-Palestinian; in other words, a group just like Syria’s Ba’ath Arab Socialists, except not them.
            Stepping forward to fulfill that hope is the PKK, an anarchist guerrilla group demonized as a terrorist organization when operating in Turkey against a US ally, but which goes by the name of the YPG in Syria, where it is the principal component of the lionized “Syrian Democratic Force.” So appealing is the YPG to many Western Leftists that some have gone so far as to volunteer to fight in its units. But is the YPG the great hope it’s believed it to be?

            Kurds in Syria

            It’s difficult to determine with precision how many Kurds are in Syria, but it’s clear that the ethnic group comprises only a small percentage of the Syrian population (less than 10 percent according to the CIA, and 8.5 percent according to an estimate cited by Nikolaos Van Dam in his book The Struggle for Power in Syria. [1] Estimates of the proportion of the total Kurd population living in Syria vary from two to seven percent based on population figures presented in the CIA World Factbook. Half of the Kurd community lives in Turkey, 28 percent in Iran and 20 percent in Iraq. A declassified 1972 US State Department report estimated that only between four and five percent of the world’s Kurds lived in Syria [2]. While the estimates are rough, it’s clear that Kurds make up a fairly small proportion of the Syrian population and that the number of the group’s members living in Syria as a proportion of the Kurd community as a whole is very small.

            The PKK

            Kurdish fighters in Syria operate under the name of the YPG, which is “tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a radical guerrilla movement combining [anarchist ideas] with Kurdish nationalism. PKK guerrillas [have] fought the Turkish state from 1978” and the PKK is “classified as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Turkey and the U.S.” [3]

            Cemil Bayik is the top field commander of both the PKK in Turkey and of its Syrian incarnation, the YPG. Bayik “heads the PKK umbrella organization, the KCK, which unites PKK affiliates in different countries. All follow the same leader, Abdullah Ocalan, who has been in prison in Turkey” [4] since 1999, when he was apprehended by Turkish authorities with CIA assistance.

            Ocalan “was once a devotee of Marxism-Leninism,” according to Carne Ross, who wrote a profile of the Kurdish nationalist leader in The Financial Times in 2015. But Ocalan “came to believe that, like capitalism, communism perforce relied upon coercion.” Imprisoned on an island in the Sea of Marmara, Ocalan discovered “the masterwork of a New York political thinker named Murray Bookchin.” Bookchin “believed that true democracy could only prosper when decision-making belonged to the local community and was not monopolized by distant and unaccountable elites.” Government was desirable, reasoned Bookchin, but decision-making needed to be decentralized and inclusive. While anarchist, Bookchin preferred to call his approach “communalism”. Ocalan adapted Bookchin’s ideas to Kurd nationalism, branding the new philosophy “democratic confederalism.” [5]

            Labor Zionism has similar ideas about a political system based on decentralized communes, but is, at its core, a nationalist movement. Similarly, Ocalan’s views cannot be understood outside the framework of Kurdish nationalism. The PKK may embrace beautiful utopian goals of democratic confederalism but it is, at its heart, an organization dedicated to establishing Kurdish self-rule—and, as it turns out, not only on traditionally Kurdish territory, but on Arab territory, as well, making the parallel with Labour Zionism all the stronger. In both Syria and Iraq, Kurdish fighters have used the campaign against ISIS as an opportunity to extend Kurdistan into traditionally Arab territories in which Kurds have never been in the majority.

            The PKK’s goal, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Sam Dagher, “is a confederation of self-rule Kurdish-led enclaves in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey” [6] countries in which Kurdish populations have a presence, though, as we’ve seen, an insignificant one in Syria. In pursuit of this goal “as many as 5,000 Syrian Kurds have died fighting alongside the PKK since the mid-1980s, and nearly all of YPG’s top leaders and battle-hardened fighters are veterans of the decades-long struggle against Turkey.” [7]

            In Syria, the PKK’s goal “is to establish a self-ruled region in northern Syria,” [8] an area with a significant Arab population.

            When PKK fighters cross the border into Turkey, they become ‘terrorists’, according to the United States and European Union, but when they cross back into Syria they are miraculously transformed into ‘guerrilla” fighters waging a war for democracy as the principal component of the Syrian Democratic Force. The reality is, however, that whether on the Turkish or Syrian side of the border, the PKK uses the same methods, pursues the same goals, and relies largely on the same personnel. The YPG is the PKK.

            An Opportunity

            Washington has long wanted to oust the Arab nationalists in Syria, regarding them as “a focus of Arab nationalist struggle against an American regional presence and interests,” as Amos Ma’oz once put it. The Arab nationalists, particularly the Ba’ath Arab Socialist party, in power since 1963, represent too many things Washington deplores: socialism, Arab nationalism, anti-imperialism, and anti-Zionism. Washington denounced Hafez al-Assad, president of Syria from 1970 to 2000, as an Arab communist, and regards his son, Bashar, who succeeded him as president, as little different. Bashar, the State Department complains, hasn’t allowed the Syrian economy—based on Soviet models, its researchers say—to be integrated into the US-superintended global economy. Plus, Washington harbors grievances about Damascus’s support for Hezbollah and the Palestinian national liberation movement.

            US planners decided to eliminate Asia’s Arab nationalists by invading their countries, first Iraq, in 2003, which, like Syria, was led by the Ba’ath Arab Socialists, and then Syria. However, the Pentagon soon discovered that its resources were strained by resistance to its occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and that an invasion of Syria was out of the question. As an alternative, Washington immediately initiated a campaign of economic warfare against Syria. That campaign, still in effect 14 years later, would eventually buckle the economy and prevent Damascus from providing education, health care and other essential services in some parts of the country. At the same time, Washington took steps to reignite the long-running holy war that Syria’s Islamists had waged on the secular state, dating to the 1960s and culminating in the bloody takeover of Hama, Syria’s fourth largest city, in 1982. Beginning in 2006, Washington worked with Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood to rekindle the Brother’s jihad against Assad’s secular government. The Brothers had two meetings at the White House, and met frequently with the State Department and National Security Council.

            The outbreak of Islamist violence in March of 2011 was greeted by the PKK as an opportunity. As The Wall Street Journal’s Yaroslav Trofimov recounts, “The PKK, once an ally of…Damascus…had long been present among Kurdish communities in northern Syria. When the revolutionary tide reached Syria, the group’s Syrian affiliate quickly seized control of three Kurdish-majority regions along the Turkish frontier. PKK fighters and weapons streamed there from other parts of Kurdistan.”[9] The “Syrian Kurds,” wrote Trofimov’s colleagues, Joe Parkinson and Ayla Albayrak, viewed “the civil war as an opportunity to carve out a self-governing enclave—similar to the one established by their ethnic kin in neighboring Iraq.” [10] That enclave, long backed by the United States and Israel, was seen as a means of weakening the Iraqi state.

            Damascus facilitated the PKK take-over by withdrawing its troops from Kurdish-dominated areas. The Middle East specialist Patrick Seale, who wrote that the Kurds had “seized the opportunity” of the chaos engendered by the Islamist uprising “to boost their own political agenda” [11] speculated that the Syrian government’s aims in pulling back from Kurd-majority areas was to redirect “troops for the defence of Damascus and Aleppo;” punish Turkey for its support of Islamist insurgents; and “to conciliate the Kurds, so as to dissuade them from joining the rebels.” [12] The PKK, as it turns out, didn’t join the Islamist insurgents, as Damascus hoped. But they did join a more significant part of the opposition to Arab nationalist Syria: the puppet master itself, the United States.

            By 2014, the PKK had “declared three self-rule administrations, or cantons as they call them, in northern Syria: Afreen, in the northwest, near the city of Aleppo; Kobani; and Jazeera in the northeast, which encompasses Ras al-Ain and the city of Qamishli. Their goal [was] to connect all three.” [13] This would mean controlling the intervening spaces occupied by Arabs.

            A Deal with Washington

            At this point, the PKK decided that its political goals might best be served by striking a deal with Washington.

            The State Department had “allowed for the possibility of a form of decentralization in which different groups” — the Kurds, the secular government, and the Islamist insurgents — each received some autonomy within Syria. [14] Notice the implicit assumption in this view that it is within Washington’s purview to grant autonomy within Syria, while the question of whether the country ought to decentralize, properly within the democratic ambit of Syrians themselves, is denied to the people who live and work in Syria. If we are to take seriously Ocalan’s Bookchin-inspired ideas about investing decision-making authority in the people, this anti-democratic abomination can hardly be tolerated.

            All the same, the PKK was excited by the US idea of dividing “Syria into zones roughly corresponding to areas now held by the government, the Islamic State, Kurdish militias and other insurgents.” A “federal system” would be established, “not only for Kurdish-majority areas but for all of Syria.” A Kurd federal region would be created “on all the territory now held by the” PKK. The zone would expand to include territory the Kurds hoped “to capture in battle, not only from ISIS but also from other Arab insurgent groups.” [15]

            The PKK “pressed U.S. officials” to act on the scheme, pledging to act as a ground force against ISIS in return. [16] The group said it was “eager to join the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in return for recognition and support from Washington and its allies for the Kurdish-dominated self-rule administrations they [had] established in northern Syria.” [17]

            The only people pleased with this plan were the PKK, the Israelis and the Americans.

            “US support for these Kurdish groups” not only in Syria, but in Iraq, where the Kurds were also exploiting the battle with ISIS to expand their rule into traditionally Arab areas, helped “to both divide Syria and divide Iraq,” wrote The Independent’s veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk. [18] Division redounded to the benefit of the United States and Israel, both of which have an interest in pursuing a divide and rule policy to exercise a joint hegemony over the Arab world. Patrick Seale remarked that the US-Kurd plan for Kurdish rule in northern Syria had been met by “quiet jubilation in Israel, which has long had a semi-clandestine relationship with the Kurds, and welcomes any development which might weaken or dismember Syria.” [19]

            For their part, the Turks objected, perceiving that Washington had agreed to give the PKK a state in all of northern Syria. [20] Meanwhile, Damascus opposed the plan, “seeing it as a step toward a permanent division of the nation.” [21]

            Modern-day Syria, it should be recalled, is already the product of a division of Greater Syria at the hands of the British and French, who partitioned the country into Lebanon, Palestine, Transjordan, and what is now Syria. In March, 1920, the second Syrian General Congress proclaimed “Syria to be completely independent within her ‘natural’ boundaries, including Lebanon and Palestine.” Concurrently “an Arab delegation in Palestine confronted the British military governor with a resolution opposing Zionism and petitioning to become part of an independent Syria.” [22] France sent its Army of the Levant, mainly troops recruited from its Senegalese colony, to quash by force the Levantine Arabs’ efforts to establish self-rule.

            Syria, already truncated by British and French imperial machinations after WWI “is too small for a federal state,” opines Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. But Assad quickly adds that his personal view is irrelevant; a question as weighty as whether Syria ought to become a federal or confederal or unitary state, he says, is a matter for Syrians to decide in a constitutional referendum, [23] a refreshingly democratic view in contrast to the Western position that Washington should dictate how Syrians arrange their political (and economic) affairs.

            Tip of the US Spear

            For Washington, the PKK offers a benefit additional to the Kurdish guerrilla group’s utility in advancing the US goal of weakening Syria by fracturing it, namely, the PKK can be pressed into service as a surrogate for the US Army, obviating the necessity of deploying tens of thousands of US troops to Syria, and thereby allowing the White House and Pentagon to side-step a number of legal, budgetary and public relations quandaries. “The situation underscores a critical challenge the Pentagon faces,” wrote The Wall Street Journal’s Paul Sonne; namely, “backing local forces…instead of putting American troops at the tip of the spear.” [24]

            Having pledged support for Kurdish rule of northern Syria in return for the PKK becoming the tip of the US spear, the United States is “providing “small arms, ammunition and machine guns, and possibly some nonlethal assistance, such as light trucks, to the Kurdish forces.” [25]

            The arms are “parceled out” in a so called “drop, op, and assess” approach. The shipments are “dropped, an operation [is] performed, and the U.S. [assesses] the success of that mission before providing more arms.” Said a US official, “We will be supplying them only with enough arms and ammo to accomplish each interim objective.” [26]

            PKK foot soldiers are backed by “more than 750 U.S. Marines,” Army Rangers, and US, French and German Special Forces, “using helicopters, artillery and airstrikes,” the Western marionette-masters in Syria illegally, in contravention of international law. [27]

            Ethnic Cleansing

            “Large numbers of Arab residents populate the regions Kurds designate as their own.” [28] The PKK has taken “over a large swath of territory across northern Syria—including predominantly Arab cities and towns.” [29] Raqqa, and surrounding parts of the Euphrates Valley on which the PKK has set its sights, are mainly populated by Arabs, observes The Independent’s veteran foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn—and the Arabs are opposed to Kurdish occupation. [30]

            Kurdish forces are not only “retaking” Christian and Muslim Arab towns in Syria, but are doing the same in the Nineveh province of Iraq—areas “which were never Kurdish in the first place. Kurds now regard Qamishleh, and Hassakeh province in Syria as part of ‘Kurdistan’, although they represent a minority in many of these areas.” [31]

            The PKK now controls 20,000 square miles of Syrian territory [32], or roughly 17 percent of the country, while Kurds represent less than eight percent of the population.

            In their efforts to create a Kurdish region inside Syria, the PKK “has been accused of abuses by Arab civilians across northern Syria, including arbitrary arrests and displacing Arab populations in the name of rolling back Islamic State.” [33] The PKK “has expelled Arabs and ethnic Turkmen from large parts of northern Syria,” reports The Wall Street Journal. [34] The Journal additionally notes that human rights “groups have accused [Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish fighters] of preventing Arabs from returning to liberated areas.” [35]

            Neither Syrian nor Democratic

            The PKK dominates the Syrian Democratic Forces, a misnomer conferred upon a group of mainly Kurdish fighters by its US patron. The group is not Syrian, since many of its members are non-Syrians who identify as Kurds and who flooded over the border from Turkey to take advantage of the chaos produced by the Islamist insurgency in Syria to carve out an area of Kurdish control. Nor is the group particularly democratic, since it seeks to impose Kurdish rule on Arab populations. Robert Fisk dismisses the “Syrian Democratic Forces” as a “facade-name for large numbers of Kurds and a few Arab fighters.” [36]

            The PKK poses as a Syrian Democratic Force, and works with a token force of Syrian Arab fighters, to disguise the reality that the Arab populated areas it controls, and those it has yet to capture, fall under Kurd occupation.

            A De Facto (and Illegal) No Fly Zone

            In August, 2016, after “Syrian government bombers had been striking Kurdish positions near the city of Hasakah, where the U.S. [had] been backing Kurdish forces” the Pentagon scrambled “jets to protect them. The U.S. jets arrived just as the two Syrian government Su-24 bombers were departing.” This “prompted the U.S.-led coalition to begin patrolling the airspace over Hasakah, and led to another incident…in which two Syrian Su-24 bombers attempted to fly through the area but were met by coalition fighter jets.” [37]

            The Pentagon “warned the Syrians to stay away. American F-22 fighter jets drove home the message by patrolling the area.” [38]

            The New York Times observed that in using “airpower to safeguard areas of northern Syria where American advisers” direct PKK fighters that the United States had effectively established a no-fly zone over the area, but noted that “the Pentagon has steadfastly refused to” use the term. [39] Still, the reality is that the Pentagon has illegally established a de facto no-fly zone over northern Syria to protect PKK guerillas, the tip of the US spear, who are engaged in a campaign of creating a partition of Syria, including through ethnic cleansing of the Arab population, to the delight of Israel and in accordance with US designs to weaken Arab nationalism in Damascus.

            An Astigmatic Analogy

            Some find a parallel in the YPG’s alliance with the United States with Lenin accepting German aid to return from exile in Switzerland to Russia following the 1917 March Revolution. The analogy is inapt. Lenin was playing one imperialist power off against another. Syria is hardly an analogue of Imperial Russia, which, one hundred years ago, was locked in a struggle for markets, resources, and spheres of influence with contending empires. In contrast, Syria is and has always been a country partitioned, dominated, exploited and threatened by empires. It has been emancipated from colonialism, and is carrying on a struggle—now against the contrary efforts of the PKK—to resist its recolonization.

            The PKK has struck a bargain with the United States to achieve its goal of establishing a Kurdish national state, but at the expense of Syria’s efforts to safeguard its independence from a decades-long US effort to deny it. The partition of Syria along ethno-sectarian lines, desired by the PKK, Washington and Tel Aviv alike, serves both US and Israeli goals of weakening a focus of opposition to the Zionist project and US domination of West Asia.

            A more fitting analogy, equates the PKK in Syria to Labor Zionism, the dominant Zionist force in occupied Palestine until the late 1970s. Like Ocalan, early Zionism emphasized decentralized communes. The kibbutzim were utopian communities, whose roots lay in socialism. Like the PKK’s Syrian incarnation, Labor Zionism relied on sponsorship by imperialist powers, securing their patronage by offering to act as the tips of the imperialists’ spears in the Arab world. Zionists employed armed conquest of Arab territory, along with ethnic cleansing and denial of repatriation, to establish an ethnic state, anticipating the PKK’s extension by armed force of the domain of a Kurdish state into Arab majority territory in Syria, as well as Kurd fighters doing the same in Iraq. Anarchists and other leftists may have been inspired by Jewish collective agricultural communities in Palestine, but that hardly made the Zionist project progressive or emancipatory, since its progressive and emancipatory elements were negated by its regressive oppression and dispossession of the indigenous Arab population, and its collusion with Western imperialism against the Arab world.

            Conclusion

            Representing an ethnic community that comprises less than 10 percent of the Syrian population, the PKK, a Kurdish anarchist guerrilla group which operates in both Turkey and Syria, is using the United States, its Air Force, Marine Corps, Army Rangers and Special Forces troops, as a force multiplier in an effort to impose a partition of Syria in which the numerically insignificant Kurd population controls a significant part of Syria’s territory, including areas inhabited by Arabs in the majority and in which Kurds have never been in the majority. To accomplish its aims, the PKK has not only struck a deal with a despotic regime in Washington which seeks to recolonize the Arab world, but is relying on ethnic cleansing and denial of repatriation of Arabs from regions from which they’ve fled or have been driven to establish Kurdish control of northern Syria, tactics which parallel those used by Zionist forces in 1948 to create a Jewish state in Arab-majority Palestine. Washington and Israel (the latter having long maintained a semi-clandestine relationship with the Kurds) value a confederal system for Syria as a means of weakening Arab nationalist influence in Arab Asia, undermining a pole of opposition to Zionism, colonialism, and the international dictatorship of the United States. Forces which resist dictatorship, including the most odious one of all, that of the United States over much of the world, are the real champions of democracy, a category to which the PKK, as evidenced by its actions in Syria, does not belong.

    • Sinbad2

      The Kurds aren’t a threat to Syria, they are a threat to Turkey. Most of the land the Kurds claim is within Turkey, almost 2 thirds of the country.

      Assad can just sit back and watch the Kurds and the Turks kill each other.
      The Turks will win, but by then the US will be gone, and without the US, Turkey will withdraw, once it has killed all the Kurds.

      • You can call me Al
        • Sinbad2

          I stand corrected, 1 third of Turkey is claimed by the Kurds.

          • Mark

            It’s not ‘claimed by the Kurds’. The only fight has been basically for a Quebec.

          • You can call me Al

            No worries mate, they all look the same to me anyway

            PS I am an equal opportunity commenter and my generalisations should not be considered racist, sexist, gayest or any other type of ist).

      • Rob

        You delusional the disintegration of Syria is not a threat to Syrian nation. Are you joking.

        • Mark

          The Kurdistan problem long predates both the CIA and Mossad.

          • Sinbad2

            Sykes-Picot, if there is a smell in the world, your nose will commonly lead you to Britain and or France, or the newcomer to global domination, the USA.

          • Mark

            It will lead me to the Ottoman Empire which predates all of these, cretin.

      • Luna

        They are a threat to Syria. Look at autonomous Rojava , and Afrin before Turkish interference.They fought with SAA on many occasions.

        • as

          Don’t forget that they’d let ISIS through their territory but refuses Syrian Army from doing the same.

        • Mark

          No, Assad himself set PYD up in Aug 2012.

          • Ronald

            Assad offered to protect the Afrin borders before Turkey came in, but the Kurds refused his offer, unfortunately for them. Russia only left after the YPG refused to allow SAA into Afrin.

          • Mark

            No, ASSAD SET UP THE PYD AFTER DISCUSSION WITH OCALAN IN 2012. YOU ARE COMPLETELY IGNORANT.

          • Ronald

            Mark, you are talking about 2012, I am talking about 2018.

          • Mark

            Yes, I am. YPG has always been an organ of the Syrian state. It still is. Afrin was a unilateral sale of part of Syria, by Putin personally, to the enemy, Erdogan, personally. Assad was FORBIDDEN to defend it with SAA after 20 Jan 2018. “The understandings with Ankara are greater”, as Putin said to Assad.

            The deal was combined with hundred of billions in contracts. A third such deal to SELL A NEW GOLAN or HATAY to Erdogan is in the works.

          • Ronald

            I see, you claim a “greater knowledge”, how do you come by this information, are you with Turkish or an American intel service.
            “The understandings with Ankara are greater”, sounds like first hand knowledge. Or disinformation.

    • hamster

      Yeah, except Turkey isnt interested in uniting and working together with Assad, even though they have a common adversary. Turkey wants Bashar Assad ousted, and for Syria to become a theocratic Sunni state serving its regional expansionist interests.

      • You can call me Al

        I’ll put a fiver on the fact you will be proved wrong.

        • Ronald

          Even Erdogan might learn cooperation.

          • You can call me Al

            I doubt he has any choice now as he has p1.ss.ed every other group of nations off = EU and US + allies.

      • Rob

        Turkey want to unite with Bashar Al Assad.

    • You can call me Al

      I think, well, I hope that No.2 is already in play. I think we might be surprised if this crap ever finishes (nicely surprised).

    • ZP

      Can anyone with common sense trust Erdogan anymore? It does look like he has not given up his dreams of Ottoman Empire 2.0 but at the same time he may truly be attempting to save Turkey from being fractured into several pieces. If he is attempting the later there is room for co-operation with Syria, Iraq and Iran but it also means Israel is going to get re-shaped…

      • Rob

        Israel will not be reshaped but will be desmintalled and will be sent back to their native countries.

    • Mark

      Tell me again how the Kurdish parts of these countries are like Zionism?

    • Roberto

      2 has been arranged through a third party. Let’s hope it works.

  • Ronald

    So what happened to the offense against Manbij, someone needs to let the US know Turkey will not be taken down by the Kurds.