Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Erdogan will be Assad’s emissary to Moscow next week

The Turkish President will try to use Russia’s “S-400 diplomacy” against it in seeking to convince Moscow to reverse its position on the Syrian Kurds, an objective which corresponds with Damascus’ as well.

Andrew Korybko

Published

on

4,820 Views

Turkish President Erdogan will visit Moscow next week for talks with his Russian counterpart, during which time it’s very likely that the important topics of the planned S-400 missile deal and the Syrian Kurds will come up in the course of discussions with President Putin. Thus far, Russia has sought to leverage its “military diplomacy” in the Mideast by selling wayward NATO-member Turkey state-of-the-art S-400 anti-air systems in order to complement its multipolar reorientation (or some would more mildly argue, “rebalancing”), but the deal has reportedly been caught up in a snag over pricing arrangements and other issues.

One of the latter seems to be Russia’s support for Kurdish “decentralization” in Syria, as suggested in the Russian-written “draft constitution” unveiled in January, which is intended to epitomize the “balancing act” that the “progressive” faction of Moscow’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to strike between all Mideast actors.  The challenge, however, is in convincing the four state-level parties, especially its two most directly affected ones in Syria and Turkey, that this is a necessary “compromise”, seeing as how Baghdad was able to successfully coordinate with its neighbors in driving the separatist Kurds out of oil-rich Kirkuk in a lightning-fast and largely bloodless operation last month.

The primary difference between the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds is that the latter count at least 10 American bases on their occupied soil, and it’s unlikely that the US would turn a blind eye to its troops being “put in harm’s way”, as the Pentagon would likely frame it in “justifying” a militant response to any forthcoming liberation operation launched in the Kurdish-occupied lands of northeastern Syria. That’s why Russia will probably try to clinch a Great Power “gentleman’s” agreement with its US rival in agreeing to de-facto freeze the Arab-Kurdish component of the War on Syria along its post-Daesh lines largely corresponding to the Euphrates River, with each country promising to “restrain” its on-the-ground allies (the Syrian Arab Army [SAA] and “Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF], respectively) from “violating” this deal.

The possible creation of a de-facto independent, albeit even if legally unrecognized, Kurdish statelet in northeastern Syria could play out to Russia’s grand strategic interests in “balancing” the Mideast by creating a low-intensity pro-American “threat” along Turkey’s southern borderlands that could be indirectly exploited for keeping Ankara “in line” with Moscow and preventing Erdogan from ever second-guessing his multipolar pivot. Russia might request that the Syrian Kurds surrender the energy fields that are under their control to Rosneft in order to comply with Damascus’ promise that Moscow would be allowed to rebuild this nationwide industry if it successfully saved the country, with Russia possibly offering to share some of the proceeds with the Kurds (and maybe even Damascus) as a quid pro quo, as well as trying to “convince” Syria to de-facto recognize their “decentralized” “autonomy”.

For as “brilliant” as this “balancing” plan might sound on paper, it’s much more difficult to execute in practice, since neither Damascus nor Ankara want to see any sort of “decentralized” Kurdish statelet along their shared borderland, no matter if it’s closer to the US or Russia. This explains why Jamal al Zuubi, a deputy of the Syrian parliament, told Sputnik less than a week ago that “Kurdish self-governance in the north of Syria is only a mere desire of some terrorist groups”, thus equating the Kurdish PYD and their larger SDF “federal” forces as terrorists and severely complicating the “progressives’” “balancing” efforts. It also allows observers to understand why Turkey objected so loudly to Russia’s invitation to the Syrian Kurds to attend the planned “Congress of the Syrian People” conference in Sochi later this month, which was reportedly postponed because of Ankara’s opposition.

By all indications, it appears as though Damascus and Ankara are coordinating their policy towards the Syrian Kurds just like Baghdad did with its neighbors prior to the liberation operation against Kirkuk, but that such speculative talks are probably taking place in secret due to the heightened sensitivity of both countries’ domestic audiences to this possibility. If this is the case, and it surely seems to be to one extent or another, then it would mean that Syria and Turkey are doing so outside the prior third-party mediation efforts of Russia, which would be a dramatic breakthrough in their bilateral relations after the two neighbors’ ties with one another soured since the War on Syria first began nearly seven years ago.

To return back to the upcoming Erdogan-Putin Summit after having explained the appropriate contextual background behind it, the Turkish President will probably try to instrumentalize his country’s planned S-400 deal with Russia in order to extract concessions from President Putin concerning Moscow’s “decentralization” policy towards the Syrian Kurds. It’s possible that Russia is already reconsidering its prior strategy after calculating that the potential risks to its hard-fought geopolitical gains of the past two years far outweigh the “balancing” gamble that betting on the Kurds amounts to, and this is evidenced by the recent statement earlier this week from Alexander Ivanov, the spokesman of Russia’s airbase in Hmeimim.

He’s on record as saying that “It is possible that the military options will be the only way facing Damascus to reach regions beyond its control in the North which are under the Kurds’ control illegally and with the US support”, which is the first time to the author’s knowledge that an official Russian figure acknowledged that the armed Kurdish “federalists’” control over northeastern Syria is illegal. This statement importantly came just a day or two after Zuubi’s declaration that the “federalist” project “is only a mere desire of some terrorist groups”, suggesting that Moscow received the signal that Damascus was sending and is responding to it in a positive way. To ensure that Russia goes through with what looks to be an impending policy reversal towards the Syrian Kurds, Erdogan will probably use the S-400 deal as a bargaining chip because he knows that it’s much more important to Russia than to his own country, which could always just solicit Chinese systems instead like it had originally sought to do a few years back.

The S-400s are the best anti-air system in the world, but Russia sees their value more in geopolitical terms than financial ones, since their purchase by Turkey powerfully undermines NATO and solidifies Ankara’s newfound multipolar pivot. From the Turkish perspective at this moment, the country could still move closer to the emerging Multipolar World Order if it sacrificed quality for a cheaper Chinese system in order to protest Russia’s support of the Syrian Kurds’ “decentralization” ambitions, though Erdogan would of course prefer to stay loyal to the deal that he already clinched with Putin and that’s why he’ll probably use the agreement as leverage in pressing Moscow to reverse its position on this issue of national security importance to his state.

Whether as a result of clandestine coordination with Damascus or not, Ankara would in essence be advancing Syria’s interests as well because of the shared concerns that the two neighboring states have over Russia’s “balancing” strategy towards the Kurds, which is why it’s provocative but nevertheless accurate to refer to Erdogan as Assad’s “emissary” to Moscow next week because both Mideast states are simultaneously working along different diplomatic tracks to convince their Eurasian partner to reconsider its envisioned “Kurdish-friendly” “political solution” to the War on Syria.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

BREXIT deal reached? May prepares to turn UK into EU vassal state

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 15.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

Theresa May will convene her cabinet “a historic meeting” on Brexit after the UK and EU reportedly agreed on the text of a withdrawal treaty according to the Financial Times.

The Brexit text has been agreed upon in Brussels, and now Theresa May has to sell it to her cabinet.

The FT reports that ministers have been summoned to May’s residence at Number 10 on Tuesday night for individual briefings on the text, including controversial plans for to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. Two ministerial sources said there would be a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, with one pro-European official saying: “We are optimistic.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the European Union, that now goes to her cabinet for approval and thereafter to the UK parliament and Brussels for what will eventually become the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via Zerohedge

The breakthrough is a significant moment in negotiations that potentially paves the way for a November summit of EU leaders to endorse and finalize a deal, assuming of course there is no mutiny in May’s cabinet. Which is why even though the text of the agreement is settled, negotiations will likely continue over the coming days as political objections are raised by London or EU member states, potentially sending the agreement back to the drafting table.

Bloomberg also reported that May’s cabinet was told to expect to be asked to sign off on the Irish backstop clause this week, potentially Wednesday or Thursday. The prime minister is unlikely to press ahead with the meeting unless she believes she can win cabinet support.

* * *

Update: shortly after Theresa May said talks are in the “endgame”, the Prime Minister will hold a one-off Cabinet meeting to discuss Brexit on Wednesday, according to a U.K. official who declined to be named. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that top ministers are being called in for a briefing at her Downing 10 office on Tuesday night.

As Irish RTE reported earlier, negotiators have reportedly agreed a text on the backstop.

According to reports, the cabinet was told on Tuesday to expect to be asked to sign off on the Irish backstop clause this week, potentially Wednesday or Thursday. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

Another day, another Brexit negotiation story.

According to RTE reporter Tony Connelly, “EU and UK negotiators have agreed a text on how to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, which will form part of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

RTE reports:

“While two well-placed sources have confirmed that the text was “as stable as it can be”, they say it would not be correct to say that the negotiations have “concluded”. According to both sources, there will be one backstop to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.”

It also outlines the backstop:

“The backstop will come in the form of a temporary UK-wide customs arrangement, with specific provisions for Northern Ireland, which go deeper on the issue of customs and alignment on the rules of the single market than for the rest of the UK.”

And of course, the algos read the headline and bid cable back above 1.30…

The bottom line – as with so many stories surrounding this negotiation, don’t hold your breath for this headline to be confirmed.

Bloomberg reports that a senior official said it would be wrong to say negotiations were “concluded”, and that there was still some “shuttling” between London and Brussels.

However, if this report turns out to be true then it is a win for May in managing to garner some concession from the EU which was a key sticking point for hardline Brexiteers.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Foolish French President Macron tests Trump’s patience (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 149.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

US President Donald Trump was ridiculed for his nationalist agenda by the very unpopular, globalist French President Emmanuel Macron, in a very public display of disrespect towards the United States and its president.

Macron, in front of world leaders brought together to commemorate the end of World War I, thought it wise to chastise Trump for his ‘America first’ policy, stating that nationalism was “tearing the world apart.”

Trump did find Macron’s smart ass tone to his liking, tweeting out his feeling the minute he landed stateside by reminding his European peers who pays the bills to keep the peace on the continent.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris reflect on Macron’s diplomatic gaffe, which Trump is unlikely to forget anytime soon.

Macron showed his boyish diplomatic skills, for which a man like Trump will make sure a heavy price is paid. The French President will certainly be at the receiving end of a very public and embarrassing dressing down at the hands of Donald Trump.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via Zerohedge

What was supposed to be a solemn visit to honor the 16 million soldiers who died during World War I alongside a coterie of world leaders in Paris was overshadowed by a mini-scandal surrounding President Trump’s missing an Armistice ceremony at an American military cemetery for purely cosmetic reasons (Trump reportedly didn’t want to get his hair wet during the ceremony which was held in pouring rain, though the White House maintained that he missed the beginning of the ceremony for security purposes).

Given the media’s focus on Trump’s purported vanity at the expense of nearly every other detail from Trump’s visit, it’s hardly surprising that the president has returned to the US rather agitated, and decided to lash out at his European partners in a series of tweets Monday morning.

While he said that his meetings with fellow world leaders were productive, Trump noted that it’s “never easy” to raise the issue that the US foots most of the bill for military protections in Europe thanks to its outsize shouldering of the cost burden of funding NATO.

Adding insult to injury, the US is paying “hundreds of billions of dollars” for the privilege of “losing hundreds of billions of dollars” with these countries on trade. Trump demanded that, going forward, the US must be treated fairly on military spending and trade.

It is time, Trump said, for these countries to either pony up, or find a way to start protecting themselves.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Midterm Elections: A Disaster Denied, and What is Coming

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President.

The Duran

Published

on

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces ) via SHTFplan.com:


Before the 2016 Presidential Election, and both before and after the inauguration, I wrote specifically about how important the midterm election would be, and the results if the President should lose even one House of Congress.  That happened: the Republicans just lost the House of Representatives. Now that the Democrats control it, not one piece of legislation will pass that is on the President’s agenda. In the supreme act of denial, the Republican party claims the “Blue Wave” was not successful; even the President declared a “victory” with the midterms.

Nothing could be further from the truth, on either count.

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President. First, they are going to demand that Mueller go on the attack again. They are already demanding the President’s tax returns. On Thursday, 11-8-18, thousands of people marched in Times Square in New York City in protest of Jeff Sessions’ departure from the White House…although Sessions was the one who tendered a letter of resignation. The mob of protesters carried mass-produced “No one is above the law” placards and signs.

Not one of those Marxists carried those signs when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned after Benghazi, where a U.S. Consular Outpost of the United States was destroyed, and the U.S. Ambassador and four of his staff murdered.

“Happy Veterans’ Day” is coming up, with the cliché eternal: “Thank you for your service.”

Nobody really cares about it, except the vets. Those who have to work receive time and a half for their pay, and Hallmark makes about another $50 million or so on the cards and gifts…about $10 million of that for the Government to “re-ingest” with the taxes….another day on the endless cycle:

The cycle of spending of disposable income, an indispensable part of the economy and all of the governmental employees on paid federal holiday, solemnly dispensed of at the expense of (to paraphrase Metallica) the government’s “disposable heroes.”

Where were the protests in the streets after Benghazi? Everybody was hidden, because at the time we were under Obama. When Donald Trump was elected President, a “hiatus” was granted from the nonstop march toward socialism/communism that reached a zenith as never before. Now that hiatus is shrinking, as the Communists and Marxists begin new offensives under their playbook “Rules for Radicals,” offensives targeting every area of the society.

Their plan should be obvious: to keep the President “backpedaling” and the economy faltering, in order to set the stage for the 2020 election. All of this I have written about before, and it came to pass with the Midterm elections. If they keep the President on the defense and keep pushing the “social issues,” it will render his administration ineffective…not delivering the change back toward the right that the voters wanted to see in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal published a piece on November 9 entitled Democrats plan to pursue most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades.” They have been receiving plenty of help on this one, with the Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and the recent murders by a former Marine last week. Here they come again! All of the legislators…with armed protectors paid for by you, mind you…clamoring for the guns. Here’s a piece of it for you:

Democrats say they will pass the most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades when they become the House majority in January, plans they renewed this week in the aftermath of a mass killing in a California bar. Their efforts will be spurred by an incoming class of pro-gun-control lawmakers who scored big in Tuesday’s midterm elections, although any measure would likely meet stiff resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate. Democrats ousted at least 15 House Republicans with “A” National Rifle Association ratings, while the candidates elected to replace them all scored an “F” NRA rating. “This new majority is not going to be afraid of our shadow,” said Mike Thompson, a California Democrat who is chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “We know that we’ve been elected to do a job, and we’re going to do it.”

Now of course the argument to this rationale will be that the Senate is needed before a law passes. Yes, we all watched “Schoolhouse Rock” and learned about the three-party system of checks and balances. The problem?  Nothing was accomplished when the Republicans held both houses of Congress, and the Reds and Blues counter one another, and more:

The Democrats’ strategy is not to pass any laws: it is to stir up public controversy, win support of the “Zero” generation, and either force actions through the “tyranny of the majority,” or make it so horrible an arena that it detracts from or prevents any positive efforts and actions from the administration…setting the stage for the 2020 election.

Ocasio-Cortez just entered the House of Representatives at the “sage/sagacious” age of 29, and she is a self-described “democratic socialist” who favors single-payer healthcare, gun control, abolishing border controls, and declared that she would support the impeachment of the President. She was also part of Bernie Sanders’ campaign movement in 2016.

Lenin espoused some “gems” that should be considered. Here is one that falls in line with the “newly discovered wonderful possibility of socialism” the Zero-generation and twenty-somethings have fallen in love with hook, line, and sinker:

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

New York just placed a “democratic socialist” in the White House…a declared socialist, among all of the hidden Marxists camouflaged under the “progressive” or “democratic” monikers.

Gun control, coming at us once again, and once more, a quote from Lenin for you:

“Disarmament is the ideal of socialism. There will be no wars in socialist society; consequently, disarmament will be achieved. But whoever expects that socialism will be achieved without a social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a socialist. Dictatorship is state power based directly on violence. And in the twentieth century – as in the age of civilization generally – violence means neither a fist nor a club, but troops. To put “disarmament” in the program is tantamount to making the general declaration: “We are opposed to the use of arms.” There is as little Marxism in this as there would be if we were to say: “We are opposed to violence!” – Lenin, “The Disarmament Slogan,” from October of 1916

The next two years should be interesting, to say the least. Keep in mind: the President is not throwing in the towel, however, he has one more year to turn the tide…before he has to campaign. There is still another way, though: I mentioned it in the last article that I wrote. Bush Jr. used this technique successfully when he was trailing Kerry in the polls. Margaret Thatcher used this technique when she was about to be shown the door, and turned it around, remaining in office.

The “technique” is a war, whether a “quickie” (such as the Falklands War…Malvinas, if you prefer), or a protracted one (Iraq “II” where victory was declared within months of started, and it was achieved…with the decades and a half of Military Industrial Complex contracts…and the transition of the United States into a Surveillance and Police State).

The technique is a war, and if you keep abreast of what is going on, you will see that Russia and China are gearing up for a war, the nations are “decoupling” themselves incrementally from the dying fiat-backed Petrodollar, and North Korea is once again raising itself as a nuclear threat (on its own, or encouraged by one or more nations). A war could either suspend elections, or propel the incumbent into a victory based on the populace’s perception of what they need. Remember this last quote from Lenin, and let it sink in good:

“A standing army and police are the chief instruments of state power.” – Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917

The ultimate truth: the elections are akin to the Stock Market, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average. It doesn’t matter how many shares are bought or sold, as long as there are fluctuations and flux. The winners are the brokers, who pocket their commissions on every trade…a sell or a buy. The same exists here. The blue donkeys versus the red elephants. The “tribalism” of men, and their needs of a social order…a cohesive social grouping that reflects what they believe in…is exploited to its maximum advantage. All the while, the paradigm shifts almost imperceptibly, until before you know it….twenty years have elapsed, and you are not looking at the same country anymore.

The “art” is to make the people think they will be getting what they want…dupe them into believing it is something good, when it’s not. It took the blood of heroes to form and defend this nation.  The downfall is precipitated by traitors from within…bleeding the nation white by circumventing existing laws and replacing them with the greatest injustice and threat to personal liberty of all. What is that greatest threat? A foreign enemy? A spontaneous collapse of everything?

No. The greatest threat is the acceptance of the people of the illusion of “social justice,” that really translates into something for nothing by taking from those who have earned, and giving it to those who live within the entitlement cesspool of their own sloth. Such a mentality pervades our society today. In order to save the United States, we have to return to our fundamental values and become an ass-kicking, straight-shooting people who fear God and care for their families, neighbors, and nation once more. If we do this, we may emerge from the coming night as a nation once more. Ready your NVGs, and steel your hearts for the challenge before it arrives…now…at the twilight’s last gleaming.

May Veterans’ Day bring remembrance to your mind, may your heart find peace, and may any who serve in your family be safe and sound.


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending