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Iraq’s Kurdish regions may end up under Turkish rule

Kurds may be about to vote to forfeit their autonomous status in Iraq only to join Turkey under military rule.

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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised heavy sanctions against parts of northern Iraq, should Kurdish secessionists go through with their threat to hold a referendum for “independence” in two days time.

With leaders of the separatist movement declaring that they will proceed with the referendum in spite of the US, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Iraq all opposing such a move, Turkey is already working on the details of its contingency plan.

Historically, Turkey’s relations with Iraqi Kurdish groups has been better than its relations with those in Syria, as the latter are openly aligned with the PKK, a Turkish based group classified by most countries as a terrorist organisation. In spite of this, Turkey is steadfastly opposed to Kurdish separatism in all areas, including in Iraq.

The Iraqi Kurds stand in defiance of the international community in holding their referendum which non-Kurds in the area are set to boycott. Turkey’s National Security Council has held meetings in order to develop a response that based on the language used in the Turkish press and by Turkish officials, implies a stronger response than mere economic sanctions or even economic boycott.

One of Turkey’s deputy Prime Ministers, Bekir Bozdag offered the following statement on the situation,

“We have discussed all options in the event of the referendum taking place and if it doesn’t. Turkey takes this matter seriously and will act to protect its national security interests”.

This is similar language to that which Turkey used prior to commencing operation Euphrates Shield and also Turkey’s less talked about military intervention in northern Iraq.

While both Euphrates Shield and Turkish involvement in the Iraqi conflict were opposed by Damscus and Baghdad, the issue of Turkey intervening in a Kurdish separation zone presents more dubious legal realities.

While any country’s intervention in the borders of another state must be done with the consent of the state which is being entered or else be authorised by the United Nations, if the Kurds vote for separation, the area could become a partial no-man’s-land, albeit on legal Iraqi territory, thus making the matter instantly turn from an area of black-and-white to one of grey.

Turkey could then make the argument that a renegade entity which legitimately threatens regional security is operating on Iraq soil and invoke the Caroline Test in order to legally justify a military presence.

Iraq would be caught between a rock and a hard place were such a thing to happen. On the one hand, Iraq does not want to see its territorial integrity threatened by Kurdish militants and does not need to fight another armed conflict on yet another front.

On the other hand, Iraq has already expressed its anger over previous Turkish incursions into Iraqi territory and a further incursion would likely not be popular in Baghdad, even given the different circumstance. In the longer term, if the Turkish presence became semi-permanent, Iraq would still have effectively lost an oil rich part of its legal territory, thus making Iraq a country that has been the victim of poor fortune more than just about any other over the last 30 years.

In reality though, if nothing and no one prevented Turkey from going into Syria and Iraq previously, without a legal mandate, surely nothing is going to prevent Turkey from going into a would be Kurdish entity in Iraq. This intervention could be legally justified as an uncontrollable Kurdish entity on Turkey’s border does post genuine concerns not just for Turkish security, but also for the security of Iran, Iraq and Syria. Each of these countries have Kurdish populations, among which, are secessionists. While political differences exist between various Kurdish factions from state to state, it is not hard to extrapolate a domino effect based on a blood and soil nationalism which trumps pre-existing party political differences.

As for the wider international reaction, one only needs to remember that in 1974 when Turkey illegally invaded Cyprus, none of the major powers did anything to stop this. While the invasion of Cyprus was and remains totally unjustified, such a move against Kurdish forces is again, far from black-and-white. The key point here is that if no one stopped the invasion of Cyprus and today no country does anything meaningful to end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, who is going to do so in respect of self-proclaimed Kurdish regions of Iraq? The short answer is: no one. Furthermore, while nuclear Israel is the only nation in the region and the wider world in favour of Kurdish “independence”, Turkey has historically been and remains one of the few countries in the region that isn’t subject to regular Israel treats, invasions and bullying. Indeed, throughout most of the 20th century, Tel Aviv and Ankara had good relations. This dynamic will simply not change over the Kurdish issue.

Beyond all of this, there is also a farcical nature to the Kurdish adventurism in Iraq. After years of legal autonomy in Iraq both under both the Ba’ath Party and under more recent post-2003 governments, Kurds in Iraq may find themselves going backwards in this respect.

If they pull the trigger on “independence”, Turkey might well send in the tanks, drones and troops and occupy that portion of Iraq.

In this sense, the Kurds in Iraq may be unconsciously voting to forfeit their autonomous status in Iraq, only to join Turkey as a land under military rule. It is both ironic and surreal.

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samo war
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samo war

kurdistan is mosad ?

Have a cigar!
Guest
Have a cigar!

If it destroys Assad’s cannon the it is not Syria’s TOW missile. Besides, Syrian Arab Army does not using TOW missiles.
And you samo war, you are full of crap.

Gio Con
Guest
Gio Con

And if Turkey does invade and occupy N. Iraq, will the West slap sanctions against it as they did when Russia peacefully and legally annexed the Crimea?

Jets
Guest
Jets

I guess, the answer to your question is a big “NO”. We have seen it before

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

“when Russia peacefully and legally annexed the Crimea?”

Russia DID NOT “annex” Crimea….look up the definition if you must! While I agree with most of your comment, I cant let that point slip by. Using the same term as the West only gives credence to its lie.

TravelAbout
Guest
TravelAbout

As bad as the constant use of the word regime in describing the freely elected government of President Assad by the presstitues.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

I agree 1000%. The term “regime” should be applied to the US instead.

Screwloose
Guest
Screwloose

The most historically-accurate description for the US would indeed be ‘fascist regime’. Used in its strictest sense: ‘a government controlled by financial and other corporations’ the US is now, sadly, a textbook example of Fascism. Politicians are totally dependent on ‘campaign contributions’ to maintain their cushy positions and further grow their unexplained millions. By tolerating overt political corruption, the American people lost the wondrous Constitutional Republic which the staggeringly far-sighted Founders left in their care. Worse; those in control have no loyalty to the US and are cynically looting the people’s accrued wealth through deliberate currency inflation and manipulated interest… Read more »

bluewater
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bluewater

Accurate..IT WAS ALWAYS THE PLAN by Rothschild/Rockefeller puppets of SOROS,BUSH,CLINTON,OBAMA to destroy the country ……THE INTERNATIONAL BANKERS!!!!
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Screwloose
Guest
Screwloose

That statement alone should have qualified Sssssssoros (H/T Suzanne) for the ‘known terrorists’ list – or even a drone target.

Plenty of foreign leaders have died for far less. I don’t recall Quadaffi ever saying anything as threatening – even after Reagan killed his son – planning a non-banker-issued gold-linked dinar was his fatal error.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal
Screwloose
Guest
Screwloose

The now-widespread use of the word ‘annexed’ originated from Nato’s lie-machine and was instantly adopted by their compliant presstitutes. (They’ve now been ordered to upgrade their fake propaganda to the endlessly regurgitated: ‘Crimea was invaded and seized’…) Annexation is usually understood to mean – ‘land taken by force and added to a country’s own territory’ – hardy the case when an autonomous state’s referendum-backed elected parliament asks to reunite with its historic motherland. Crimea was still shown as a province of Russia on the UN’s own definitive map, as all land borders were frozen at the end of WW-II –… Read more »

VeeNarian (Yerevan)
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VeeNarian (Yerevan)

Surely, it is time for the region to solve the Kurdish issue once and for all? If they do not, then the Kurds will be used by Israel, US and the EU, the “superior and civilized” West, to divide, rule and suppress the whole of the Arab, Turkic and Iranian world. Unless the Arab/Turkic/Iranian world stoop to the barbarism of the West, when they implemented the “Final solution” for their Jewish population, the Kurds will not go away. They will continue to preserve their separate language, culture, traditions and aspirations. The whole Muslim world has to step up to the… Read more »

Constantine
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Constantine

The communities of India have had a more cohesive sense of community than the Arabs, even without adding Turks and Iranians to this mix. The fact that they haven’t been able o make any serious effort to collaborate on various endeavors explains why the divisions exist even today.

FlorianGeyer
Guest
FlorianGeyer

Another well written and logical opinion of the future for the Kurds who in their quest for more power will lose all the power they currently have.

Michalis Kane
Guest
Michalis Kane

Turkey is in its way to be cut I to pieces. And Kurdistan will play a leading role.

hvaiallverden
Guest
hvaiallverden

No, I still dont trust any Turk. I see this as the “solution” witch Turkics and uISISa agrees, this have been the goal from day one, expanding Turkish territory, and Kurds and Turks are the same people, this war, is just smoke and mirrors. Syria will loose this area, to Turks, with the curtice of the Russians, to have an perfect excuse of making “peace”. The continuing ethnic cleansing is an issue nobody touches, why, huh, the Turks have never bothered about that, since they are in same page regarding wiping out the natives, the Turks is “good” at that,… Read more »

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Vladimir Putin calls new Ukrainian church ‘dangerous politicking’

President Putin said creation of the “Orthodox Church in Ukraine” is against Church canon and that the West drove Constantinople to do it.

Seraphim Hanisch

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In an interview with the Serbian newspapers Politika and Vecernje Novosti ahead of his visit to Serbia, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted the creation of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, a schismatic agglomeration headed by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists was “dangerous politicking.” He further noted that:

The establishment of the new religious entity in Ukraine is nothing but an attempt “to legalize the schismatic communities that exist in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of Istanbul, which is a major violation of Orthodox canons.”

“Yet, hardly anyone in the U.S. or in the Ukrainian leadership worries about this,” Putin said.

“Once again, this has nothing to do with spiritual life; we are dealing here with dangerous and irresponsible politicking,” he said.

President Putin had more things to say in the interview, and we present what he said in full here (emphasis ours), as reported on the Kremlin.ru website:

Question: The Serbian Orthodox Church has taken the side of the Russian Orthodox Church in the context of the ecclesiastical crisis in Ukraine. At the same time, a number of countries are exerting pressure on Patriarch Bartholomew and seek to ensure recognition of Ukrainian ”schismatics“ by Local Orthodox Churches. How do you think the situation will evolve?

Vladimir Putin: I would like to remind your readers, who are greatly concerned about the information regarding the split in the Orthodox community but are probably not fully aware of the situation in Ukraine, what it is all about.

On December 15, 2018, the Ukrainian leaders, actively supported by the USA and the Constantinople Patriarchate, held a so-called “unifying synod”. This synod declared the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, with Patriarch Bartholomew signing the tomos (decree) granting it autocephaly on January 6, 2019. Thus, it was attempted to legalize the schismatic communities that exist in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of Istanbul, which is a major violation of Orthodox canons.

Yet, hardly anyone in the US or in the Ukrainian leadership worries about this, as the new church entity is an entirely political, secular project. Its main aim is to divide the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, sowing seeds of ethnic as well as religious discord. No wonder Kiev has already declared ”obtaining complete independence from Moscow.”

Once again, this has nothing to do with spiritual life; we are dealing here with dangerous and irresponsible politicking. Likewise, we do not speak about the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It is de-facto fully controlled by Istanbul. Whereas Ukraine’s largest canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has never requested autocephaly from Patriarch Bartholomew, is absolutely independent in its actions. Its connection with the Russian Orthodox Church is purely canonical – but even this causes undisguised irritation of the current Kiev regime.

Because of this, clergymen and laymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being persecuted and deprived of churches and monasteries, and attempts are made to deny the Church its legitimate name, which raises tensions and only leads to further discord in Ukrainian society.

Evidently, Ukraine’s leaders have to understand that any attempts to force the faithful into a different church are fraught with grave consequences. Yet, they are eager to put interconfessional concord in the country at stake in order to conduct the election campaign of the current Ukrainian President based on a search for enemies, and to retain power by all means.

All of this does not go unnoticed by Orthodox Christians.

Naturally, Russia does not intend to interfere in ecclesiastical processes, especially those happening on the territory of a neighboring sovereign state. However, we are aware of the danger posed by such experiments and blatant interference of the state in religious affairs.

The situation continues to degrade in Ukraine, and though the Orthodox faithful of the Autonomous but Moscow-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church are the hardest hit, worry over Ukrainian lawlessless-made-law has the Jewish community in that country nervous as well. This is perhaps to be expected as the Azov Brigade, a neo-Nazi aligned group that is hypernationalist, is a good representation of the character of the “hate Russia at all costs” Ukrainian nationalists. A parallel piece in Interfax made note of this in a piece dated January 17th 2019:

[A] bill passed by the Verkhovna Rada introducing a procedure by which parishes can join the new Ukrainian church makes it easier to seize places of worship, and supporters of autocephaly have already started doing this across the country, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.

“They need this law to seize our churches. You can’t just come with a crowbar to someone else’s barn, but now the law allows you to do so. They aren’t creating something of their own, but are trying to steal what’s ours,” Ukrainian Orthodox Church spokesperson Vasyl Anisimov told Interfax on Thursday.

The religious entity set up in December with Constantinople’s involvement and called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine “in fact doesn’t yet exist in nature. It’s fake. It doesn’t have any parishes of its own or government registration,” he said.

However, “the supporters of autocephaly don’t have plans to create anything of their own at all, so they have chosen the path of takeover, and the authorities are helping them in that,” Anisimov said.

“Hence, the legislation passed by the Verkhovna Rada today is in fact absolute lawlessness,” he said.

“If you pass legislation affecting an industry, you should talk to industrialists, and if it’s legislation on the agricultural sector, talk to farmers. And here legislation on a church is passed, and moreover, this legislation is aimed against this church, it is protesting, and Jews are protesting, too, because this legislation may affect them as well – but nobody is listening, and they change the law for the sake of an absolutely absurd and unconstitutional gimmick. But, of course, it’s the people who will ultimately suffer,” Anisimov said.

 

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May survives ‘no confidence’ vote as UK moves towards March 29 deadline or Article 50 extension (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 168.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the ‘no confidence’ vote that UK Prime Minister May won with the a slim margin…meaning that though few MPs have confidence in her ‘Brexit withdrawal’ negotiating skills, they appear to have no problem allowing May to lead the country towards its Brexit deadline in March, which coincidently may be delayed and eventually scrapped altogether.

Meanwhile Tony Blair is cozying up to Brussels’ oligarchs, working his evil magic to derail the will of the British people, and keep the integrationist ambitions for the UK and Europe on track.

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Via RT


The UK government led by Theresa May, has survived to fight another day, after winning a no-confidence vote, tabled by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, following parliament rejecting the PM’s Brexit deal, earlier on Tuesday evening.

The no-confidence vote was defeated by 19 votes – the government winning by 325 to 306. It’s a rare positive note for May’s Tory cabinet after the humiliating Brexit defeat.

Speaking immediately after the vote, a victorious May said she was “pleased” that the House expressed its confidence in her government. May said she will “continue to work” to deliver on the result of the Brexit referendum and leave the EU.

May invited the leaders of parliamentary parties to meet with her individually, beginning on Wednesday evening.

“I stand ready to work with any member of this House to deliver on Brexit,” she said.

Responding to the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that the House had “emphatically” rejected May’s deal on Tuesday. The government, he said, must now remove “clearly once and for all the prospect of the catastrophe of a no-deal Brexit from the EU and all the chaos that would result from that.”

Labour will now have to consider what move to make next. Their official Brexit policy, decided by members at conference in September, states that if a general election cannot be forced, then all options should be left on the table, including calling for a second referendum.

Liberal Democrats MP Ed Davey also called on May to rule out a no deal Brexit.

The way forward for Brexit is not yet clear and May’s options are now limited, given that the Brexit deal she was offering was voted down so dramatically on Tuesday.

Gavin Barrett, a professor at the UCD Sutherland School of Law in Dublin, told RT that May will now have to decide if her second preference is a no-deal Brexit or a second referendum. Her preference will likely be a no-deal Brexit, Barrett said, adding that “since no other option commands a majority in the House” a no-deal exit is now “the default option.”

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Final Steps in Syria’s Successful Struggle for Peace and Sovereignty

The war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The situation in Syria evolves daily and sees two situations very closely linked to each other, with the US withdrawal from Syria and the consequent expansionist ambitions of Erdogan in Syria and the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) takeover in Idlib that frees the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian aviation to liberate the de-escalation zone.

Trump has promised to destroy Turkey economically if he attacks the Kurds, reinforcing his claim that Erdogan will not target the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) once the US withdraws from the area. One of the strongest accusations made against Trump’s withdrawal by his opponents is that no Middle Eastern force will ever trust the US again if they abandon the SDF to its fate, that is, to its annihilation at the hands of the Turkish army and its FSA proxies. This, however, is not possible; not so much because of Trump’s economic threats, but because of Damascus and Moscow being strongly opposed to any Turkish military action in the northeast of Syria.

This is a red line drawn by Putin and Assad, and the Turkish president likely understands the consequences of any wrong moves. It is no coincidence that he stated several times that he had no problems with the “Syrians or Syrian-Kurdish brothers”, and repeated that if the area under the SDF were to come under the control of Damascus, Turkey would have no need to intervene in Syria. Trump’s request that Ankara have a buffer zone of 20 kilometers separating the Kurdish and Turkish forces seems to complement the desire of Damascus and Moscow to avoid a clash between the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the SDF.

The only party that seems to be secretly encouraging a clash between the SDF and Turkish forces is Israel, criticizing Ankara and singing the praises of the SDF, in order to try and accentuate the tensions between the two sides, though naturally without success. Israel’s continued raids in Syria, though almost constantly failing due to Syrian air defense, and the divide-and-rule policy used against Turkey and the SDF, show that Tel Aviv is now weakened and mostly irrelevant in the Syrian conflict.

In Idlib, the situation seems to be becoming less complicated and difficult to decipher. Russia, Iran and Syria had asked Erdogan to take control of the province through its “moderate jihadists”, sit down at the negotiating table, and resolve the matter through a diplomatic solution. Exactly the opposite happened. The HTS (formerly al-Nusra/al-Qaeda in Syria) has in recent weeks conquered practically the whole province of Idlib, with numerous forces linked to Turkey (Ahrar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki) dissolving and merging into HTS. This development puts even more pressure on Erdogan, who is likely to see his influence in Idlib fade away permanently. Moreover, this evolution represents a unique opportunity for Damascus and Moscow to start operations in Idlib with the genuine justification of combating terrorism. It is a repeat of what happened in other de-escalation areas. Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly requested the moderates be separated from the terrorists, so as to approach the situation with a diplomatic negotiation.

In the absence of an effective division of combatants, all are considered terrorists, with the military option replacing the diplomatic. This remains the only feasible option to free the area from terrorists who are not willing to give back territory to the legitimate government in Damascus and are keeping civilians hostages. The Idlib province seems to have experienced the same playbook applied in other de-escalation zones, this time with a clear contrast between Turkey and Saudi Arabia that shows how the struggle between the two countries is much deeper than it appears. The reasons behind the Khashoggi case and the diplomatic confrontation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia were laid bare in the actions of the HTS in Idlib, which has taken control of all the areas previously held by Ankara’s proxies.

It remains to be seen whether Moscow and Damascus would like to encourage Erdogan to recover Idlib through its proxies, trying to encourage jihadists to fight each other as much as possible in order to lighten the task of the SAA, or whether they would prefer to press the advantage themselves and attack while the terrorist front is experiencing internal confusion.

In terms of occupied territory and accounts to be settled, two areas of great importance for the future of Syria remain unresolved, namely al-Tanf, occupied by US forces on the Syrian-Jordanian border, and the area in the north of Syria occupied by Turkish forces and their FSA proxies. It is too early to approach a solution militarily, it being easier for Damascus and Moscow to complete the work to free Syria from the remaining terrorists. Once this has been done, the presence of US or Turkish forces in Syria, whether directly or indirectly, would become all the more difficult to justify. Driving away the US and, above all, Turkey from Syrian territory will be the natural next step in the Syrian conflict.

This is an unequivocal sign that the war of aggression against Syria is winding up, and this can be observed by the opening of a series of new embassies in Damascus. Several countries — including Italy in the near future — will reopen their embassies in Syria to demonstrate that the war, even if not completely over, is effectively won by Damascus and her allies.

For this reason, several countries that were previously opposed to Damascus, like the United Arab Emirates, are understood to have some kind of contact with the government of Damascus. If they intend to become involved in the reconstruction process and any future investment, they will quite naturally need to re-establish diplomatic relations with Damascus. The Arab League is also looking to welcome Syria back into the fold.

Such are signs that Syria is returning to normality, without forgetting which and how many countries have conspired and acted directly against the Syrians for over seven years. An invitation to the Arab League or some embassy being reopened will not be enough to compensate for the damage done over years, but Assad does not preclude any option, and is in the meantime demonstrating to the Israelis, Saudis and the US Deep State that their war has failed and that even their most loyal allies are resuming diplomatic relations with Damascus, a double whammy against the neocons, Wahhabis and Zionists.

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