Nov 6 (5/7): What Changes?

Back to Business?


So the SDF is working with the international coalition again? That’s really, really interesting. That technically means only help fighting ISIS, but close contact with American led forces can only be a good thing for the problems facing SDF/SDC/“the Kurds.”

This is probably a huge new development and a monkey wrench in the best laid plans of some of the actors.

This also furthers the whole no coherent policy thing; it appears a virtual certainty that people within the administration/military are doing what they can to push the limits of their mandate to accomplish objectives that might not totally be what Trump has in his idiot mind.

Nothing yet from the Coalition or Operation Inherent Resolve Twitter accounts as of yet. And OIT was pretty quick to Tweet about sending 4-Battalion 118 Infantry Regiment to Deir ez-Zur, so it’s not like their shy about these things. If anything, for stuff like this they probably prefer that the enemy opposition is aware of their presence and potential for the decisive use of force.


Back to Diplomacy?

Looks like we might be trying “diplomacy” again?

US Dept. State: Special Representative Ambassador James Jeffrey Travels to Turkey

Special Representative Ambassador James Jeffrey Travels to Turkey



NOVEMBER 6, 2019

Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey will travel to Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey, for meetings with senior Turkish officials and members of the Syrian opposition on November 8-9, 2019.  Ambassador Jeffrey is leading an interagency delegation to discuss issues of mutual concern to include, the current situation in northeast Syria, implementation of UNSCR 2254 on the resolution of the Syrian conflict, and our continued efforts to ensure an enduring defeat of ISIS.

Nobody knows what this means exactly. But it appears to mean two things:

  • We’re so not out of Syria.
  • We don’t know who’s driving policy.

We kinda already knew those things. But they keep being intensified rather than resolved.


Or Not?

Submitted without comment.


Israel Wants a Piece

We need one of those side eye emojis in this place.

JPost: Knesset to discuss state of Syrian Kurds for the first time



The Knesset is scheduled to have a discussion on the state of the Kurds in Northeast Syria for the first time since the Turkish invasion, initiated by Blue and White MK Zvi Hauser.

The last time a similar initiative was brought to the floor of the Knesset was in May 2018.

Edit: Yup…

In a rare public dissent with U.S. President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered humanitarian aid to the “gallant Kurdish people” on Oct. 10, saying they faced possible “ethnic cleansing” by Turkey and its Syrian allies.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, told parliament on Wednesday that the offer had been taken up.

“Israel has received many requests for assistance, mainly in the diplomatic and humanitarian realm,” she said. “We identify with the deep distress of the Kurds, and we are assisting them through a range of channels.”

Reuters: Israel aiding Syria’s Kurds, advocating for them with U.S.: official

Edit2: Turkey already positioning itself in relation to Israel in the war of public opinion:

Ahval: Turkey condemns Israel’s plan to expand settlements in West Bank

Where We Are:

So this has shaped up to be a very interesting and potentially very good day for Rojava.

  • SDF has been seen working with US troops, with a howling response from pro-Turkish types.
  • The SDF and SAA have been kicking the shit out of the Turkish backed militias. Big uptick in videos of combat and morale on the front is reported to be high. Seems ISIS is afraid to fight except when they have Turkish aircraft overhead. Some good trash talking too.*
  • The International Coalition announced they were working with the SDF again.
  • Gen. Mazloum of the SDF is basically doing a media junket of interviews and stuff.
  • Israel wants in.

Reading the tea leaves, I think someone in US command (or the administration?) had a “Finkle is Einhorn,” moment and realized that now that we’ve verified that the Turkish backed militia have been so thoroughly infiltrated by jihadis which they have helpfully announced to the world over social media, well, then, Turkish backed militia is ISIS… and they’re allowed to kill them. And help the SDF kill them.

Considering that also happens to be Turkey’s proxy force, if the US starts really backing the SDF against ISIS again (an easy sell to the public; “Turns out there was some left, so we’re finishing the job.”) they can effectively de facto back them against Turkey without violating their mandate or NATO treaty. See if Turkey wants to get their proper regular troops involved, eh?

Who knows what we’ll actually do, but a new and real threat of force is back in place.

Plus, there’s the added benefit of ISIS consolidating organizationally and geographically, making them much easier for a conventional army to kill. And this far, they are.

It would have been a brilliant month long strategy if anyone had done it on purpose.

Basically, the entire dynamic on the ground may be shifting. But we don’t know because the US is anything clear about our policy. But that might also be because pro-Kurd types have managed to wrest control of policy…

…which isn’t necessarily a good thing, even if one approves of the results. Like, that shouldn’t be able to happen.

But… all told... Gotta say, it was a good day.

*Google translate is obviously limited, and idioms and specific usage often gets distorted… but sometimes you can figure out how the words work. Anyway, not one of the more complicated examples, but one of the more endearing and amusing things to see on Twitter is SDF fighters happily Tweeting things like, “We killed 7 gangs while protecting the Jesus village near Tel Timr.”

Edit: In the last few hours, there’s been a huge proliferation of Tweets about NATO and how they’re fucking this up. There is now at least a plethora. So this is their next appeal to the international community, it would seem.

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