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Posts Tagged ‘PKK

Faltered: Another U.S.-Backed Alliance to Counter ISIS in Syria.

They new fictitious created factions are all of the “Democratic” kinds in name

Financed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Gulf Emirates

And logistically relying on Turkey that is killing its own Kurdish citizens.

I just had the pleasure of spending 10 days cruising around northern Syria with Tyler Hicks Kamiran Sadoun Eziz Garis and some other trouble-makers. Here’s the first product.

After the high profile failure of a $500,000 million program to train rebels to fight the Islamic State, the US has thrown its support behind a newly announced alliance called the Syrian Democratic Forces. Sounds promising, except that the alliance exists in name only.

EIN EISSA, Syria — Weeks after the Obama administration canceled a failed Pentagon program to train and arm Syrian rebels to combat the Islamic State, American officials announced a new effort to equip ground forces in Syria to fight the jihadists.

But 10 days of interviews and front-line visits across northern Syria with many of the forces in the alliance, called the Syrian Democratic Forces, made clear that so far it exists in name only, and that the political and logistical challenges it faces are daunting.

One Arab commander, sitting near the earthen wall that separates this deserted town in Syria from the Islamic State’s front line, bitterly recalled being chased from his Syrian hometown by the jihadists and said he would do anything to reclaim that territory. But then he detailed a list of things his forces needed: ammunition, radios, heavy weapons and more American airstrikes.

“This is the state of our fighters: trying to fight ISIS with simple means,” he said, pointing to a fighter in broken boots, tattered fatigues and a dirty sweatshirt that read “Skateboarding ruined my life

Ben Hubbard shared this link Nov. 5, 2015
Ten days of interviews and front-line visits made clear that an alliance entrusted with beating jihadists in northern Syria faces daunting political and logistical…
nytimes.com|By BEN HUBBARD

Beyond the early logistical factors, the new alliance faces what is perhaps a more serious challenge in the long term: Though it is intended to begin clawing back territory from the Islamic State in mostly Arab areas, nearly all of the group’s fighting power comes from ethnic Kurdish militias.

That demographic reality is likely to further alarm Turkey, a vital American ally that considers Kurdish autonomy near its southern border a security threat.

It also limits the forces’ ability to strike the jihadists in predominantly Arab communities — Kurdish fighters have less motivation to fight for those areas, and could deeply anger residents by doing so.

“The backbone of these forces are the Kurdish groups because of their experience fighting ISIS and their numbers,” said Redur Xelil, a spokesman for Syria’s dominant Kurdish force, the Y.P.G.

But he talked about how that could be a limiting factor in fighting for cities like Raqqa, the Islamic State’s headquarters in Syria: “We have to be realistic that the Y.P.G. can’t go by itself into Raqqa, or people will say, ‘What are you doing there?’ ”

A newly appointed spokesman for the alliance briefed reporters in Syria beneath a yellow banner bearing its name in Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian. But the meeting took place inside a Kurdish militia facility because the alliance does not have its own bases yet, nor flags to put on its cars or a defined command structure, said the spokesman, Talal Sillu.

The combined force is to be commanded by a 6-person military council, Mr. Sillu said. But he acknowledged that only one member had been selected so far — Mr. Sillu himself.

Last week, President Obama announced plans to deploy dozens of Special Operations troops to support the new alliance. And before that, American officials said 50 tons of ammunition had been airdropped for Arab fighters with the new group.

But already, things have not always gone as planned.

Since the ammunition airdrop, American officials have privately acknowledged that the Arab units it was intended for did not have the logistical capability to move it. So, again, the Kurds were called to help.

An array of smaller groups have allied with the Kurds, including Arab and Turkmen rebels, Christian militias and Bedouin fighters loyal to a sheikh who considered the Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi a friend.

While these groups hate the Islamic State, most are small, and some have been repeatedly routed by the very jihadists the United States now hopes they will defeat.

While the Kurds have become used to securing territory, with uniformed forces and a clear chain of command, their Arab allies often leave teenagers with Kalashnikovs at checkpoints who stop and release cars at random, scaring drivers.

A commander of one Arab group lamented that while Kurdish commanders could simply order their fighters to move, he could only make suggestions and hope his men complied.

Some of the alliance’s forces have cooperated before, but relations are not always smooth. The Kurdish military strength in the area means that Kurds set the agenda, and many clearly look down on their Arab partners.

For their part, Arab rebel fighters (do you mean Syrians or a combination of other Arabic States?) say they worry about their partners’ close ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., which the United States, Turkey and others list as a terrorist organization.  (They are PKK)

They also distrust the motives of the thousands of Kurdish fighters who have come to Syria from Iraq, Turkey and Iran.

ISIS brings foreign fighters for an Islamic State, while they bring foreign fighters for a Kurdish project,” said one Arab commander with the Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade who goes by the name Abu Hamza. “But if that is how they think, they’ll fail.”

At another position near Ein Eissa, a swaggering Kurdish commander listed his militia’s victories against the Islamic State before acknowledging that he — like many of his fighters — was not Syrian. He was from Iran, and unabashed about being another foreign fighter in Syria’s civil war.

“I came to bring democracy, while ISIS came to kill,” said the commander, Gali Cilo. “That is the difference.” (That’s a huge declaration, bringing democracy)

The roots of the Syrian Democratic Forces lie in Syria’s northeast corner, a long-neglected region where most of Syria’s Kurdish minority lives alongside other ethnic groups in impoverished towns scattered among wheat fields dotted with aging oil wells.

While world attention since the Syria conflict began has focused on fighting between the forces of President Bashar al-Assad, Sunni rebels and the Islamic State, the Kurds have taken advantage of the chaos to carve out an autonomous zone.

Much of that has been done over the last year, as the Y.P.G. — the Kurdish abbreviation for the People’s Protection Units, the dominant Kurdish force in Syria — has closely coordinated with the United States and its allies to seize land from the Islamic State in a long strip along the Turkish border.

Evidence of the Kurdish group’s dominance is obvious. The militia runs ubiquitous checkpoints; photos of its “martyrs” adorn billboards; and its fighters hold most of the more than 280-mile-long front line with the Islamic State.

Parts of it have come to resemble an international border, with deep trenches and high berms running for miles, lined with bright lights to prevent jihadist infiltrators. The whole line is dotted with heavily sandbagged positions to protect against machine gun and mortar attacks by the jihadists.

A senior United States military official said the United States had encouraged the Kurdish militia to create an umbrella group that would make more sense to an international audience, and Kurdish leaders decided to call it the Syrian Democratic Forces.

But the name of a subgroup of Arab brigades called the Syrian Arab Coalition was “an American invention,” the senior official acknowledged. It had about 5,000 fighters, and roughly 20% of them said they would defend their land but would not go on the offensive against the Islamic State.

The dominant Kurdish force, the Y.P.G., meanwhile, is believed to have about 40,000 fighters — including thousands from neighboring countries and many linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

“The Y.P.G. is a very effective fighting force, and it can do a lot,” said Barak Barfi, a research fellow at the New American Foundation, a policy group in Washington, who recently spent time with Kurdish units in Syria. “But these Arab groups are weak and just a fig leaf for the Y.P.G.”

The alliance sought to help the Kurds by dampening fear among Arabs of Kurdish domination, and the United States hoped it would play down its close relationship with the Kurds so as not to alarm Turkey, Mr. Barfi said.

But the alliance itself has internal tensions.

“There is no deep-rooted alliance between these groups; this is a shifting, tactical alliance,” Mr. Barfi said.

The motivations of the Kurds’ allies varied. Some lived in Kurdish majority areas, so attached themselves to the dominant power. Others had lost their communities to the Islamic State and hoped that Kurdish military might help them go home.

“What is important for us is to protect our area, and the security of our children, our homes and our women,” said Sheikh Hmeidi Daham al-Jarba, whose Arab tribal militia, the Sanadeed Forces, has joined the alliance. “We have the Kurds on one side and ISIS on the other, so who should we choose?” (How about the official Syrian army?)

Seated in the vast reception hall of his 5-story palace, Sheikh Hmeidi said his tribesmen, living in a collection of poor farming and herding villages, formed an armed group in 2011 when rebels attacked their area.

The sheikh’s son, Bandar, the force’s military commander, said they would consider fighting the Islamic State elsewhere but needed support. Many of his fighters had sold land to buy ammunition, he said.

At a front-line position on the road to Raqqa, Abu Hamza of the Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade explained his group’s long path to its alliance with the Kurds.

It had formed in Raqqa Province in 2011 to fight Mr. Assad’s forces, sometimes alongside Islamist rebels including the Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda. For awhile, they even fought against the Kurds.

But early last year, Islamic State militants kicked his men out of the city of Raqqa, and then out of a nearby village. So they sought refuge with the Kurds.

Four years of fighting had worn them down. Scores of their colleagues had been killed, and the group had to blow up two valuable tanks it had captured from the Syrian government so that Islamic State militants would not take them.

Now, Abu Hamza said, they hoped their alliance with the Kurdish forces would let them get back at the jihadists, and perhaps open a new line of support.

“We need uniforms, we need ammunition, we need everything,” he said.

Kobani, Company, Ain Arab in north Syria… What’s the big picture?

Kobani is a large town in north Syria, a few miles from Turkey, and predominantly Kurdish.

Not just Syrian Kurds, but Kurds who support the Turkish Kurdish revolutionary Party  PKK of Abdullah Ojalan (or Abbo Ocalan) who is in prison. (Read the link in the note)

Daesh is now encircling Kobani from three fronts and occupy 50% of the town.

And you wonder: “Why Daesh  or ISIS has to venture so near Turkey and get into a tight trap when Turkey decides to wipe them out of town later on?”

Daesh has no major interest in getting far away from its bases, unless it was pressured and even threatened by Turkey to attack Ain Arab.

The US has today dropped 25 bombs and missiles on Daesh troops around Kobani.

Turkey refuses to get engaged, even though it had amassed tanks on the border

Turkey refuses to save Kobani from certain genocide, even though daily marches and demonstrations in Turkey are demanding serious actions in favor of the Kurds in Kobani.

Over 50 demonstrators were killed by live bullets but Erdogan despises demonstrators not agreeing with his views.

What is the strategy of Erdogan’s Turkey?

Turkey does not want any Kurds in Syria out of its direct control, and prefers all Syrian Kurds to vacate Syria and be relocated in areas under its control. Even if they flee to Turkey.

The strategy is to send a strong message on the ground that Turkey refuses any program to give the Kurds any independent State.

The clearing of the Kurds in the northern Syrian stretch region is a way to deny any kinds of links among the Kurds in Iraq, Turkey and Syria and allow Daesh State to be a buffer zone.

The “peace negotiation” between Ocalan, the PKK and the Turkish government has been going on for 2 years now. Already the PKK has sent its fighting resistance troops to Iraq, but the Turkish government has been unable to satisfy its part in the terms of the deal.

Most probably, Turkey is getting ready for another civil war and a genocide against the Kurds, as it perpetrated the genocide against the Armenians in 1915.

Mind you that Turkey relied on the Kurds as its executive hand to round up the Armenians and dispatch them on this death trail toward Deir el Zour in 1916.

Kobani didn’t exist in 1912.

The German company who had the monopoly to install the railroad linking Istanbul to Damascus, Bagdad and Mecca, decided for this location as a major in-between warehouse and routing facility. People around called this location Company, and later transformed into Kobani.

If Kobani is allowed to fall, mayhem will devastate Turkey and the PKK fighters will return from Iraq to resume the fight.

Note 1: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/10/05/abboby-nabil-al-milhem/

Note 2: The young girls in Kobani are participating in active resistance.  6 of them were trapped in an ambush. 5 died in the fight, the remaining fighter shot herself in order not to be taken prisoner

Nelly Yazbek shared a link. “Get to know Darine, the Syrian Kurdish resistance fighter). 

تقود المقاتلة الكردية ميسا عبدو الى جانب مقاتل اخر القوات الكردية التي تدافع عن…
annahar.com

The Kurdish “Abbo” or Abdullah Ocalan by Nabil Al Milhem

Note:  If you are following the current military attacks of Turkey on the Kurds then this book might help understand the problems.  The leader of the Kurdish Workers Party has been in prison for over 6 years but the movement is strong.

“Abbo”by Nabil Al Milhem (Written on November 23, 2006)

This is a review of an interview conducted in Arabic by Nabil Al Milhem with Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of Kurdish Workers Party (better known under the acronym of PKK). This interview spanned 7 days in a secret meeting place after many attempts to sidetrack the Turkish intelligence services or MIT.

The Kurdish meaning for Abdullah’s family name Og Alan is “the one seeking revenge“.  In fact, revenge has been a widespread behavior among the Kurds. Abbo’s mother Aicha, from a second marriage, used to harass Abdullah since his early childhood to seek revenge with the kids; she would frequently threaten him that she would disown him if he ever showed leniency to harm done to him. The partisans or kirilla of the PKK affectionately shortened Abdullah to “Abbo”.

The PKK is located mainly in the heartland of Turkey in thesouthern region of Anatolia.  The home town of Abbo is named Amarley five kilometers from the Euphrates River and 80 km from the Syrian border. The town of  Amarley is surrounded by six villages, one Armenian village, two Turkish, and the other three are Kurdish.

A few years ago, Turkey threatened Hafiz Assad of Syria of invasion and the stopping of the Euphrates River flowing through Syria if Assad failed to deliver Abdullah to the Turkish authorities. Currently, Abdullah, or best known by his partisans as Abbo, lingers as prisoner for perpetuity on a Turkish island. The Turkish government was ready to execute him but listened to the European appeals for a stay of execution.

The entire village of Amarley feared Abbo’s mother and she enjoyed the support of her fierce 5 brothers who visited her occasionally.  Abdullah did not believe in the revenge attitude. Instead, he turned his society behavior into seeking close friendship with the kids categorized as belonging to the family enemies.

Abdullah did not fit well and spent most of his days hunting or resting on top of trees because he felt that his vocation is to fly free like birds.

Abdullah’s father, much older than his mother, was practically a non entity in family affairs, in contrast to his grandfather who was a fierce and renowned knight and who made his offspring live in his shadows.

One day, Abdullah got upset with his younger brother who kept ruining the plants instead of working and chased him with stones to his house; his father tried to stop Abdullah and he threw stones at his father too; then he left home for good.

He headed toward the capital Ankara and worked as a daily laborer until he saved enough money to continue his journey.  He was first in his classes and retained the respect of his teachers.

Abdullah graduated as a technical geodesic and worked as a government employee in the Diar Bakr region where he amassed riches from bribery and got acquainted with the Kurdish peasants’ conditions.  The Turkish army would not hire officer Kurds in its ranks and Abdullah had to enroll in political science at the University of Istanbul with a student stipend.

Apo was deeply religious in his early youth, could recite around 30 short invocations to God, fled to the Mosques when in despair or for seeking peace of min. He is very knowledgeable about the personal and historical facts of the Prophet Mohammad and the early Caliphates, and it appears that he leans more heavily toward the Alawi sect, which is a splinter of the Shiaa.

He read the Communist and Socialist literature but never was a Party member to any political organization.  He is a socialist and comprehend that the fight of his Kurdish Workers Party against Turkey is targeting its Fascist and Kamalist (Ataturk) ideology which cannot conceive of any type of Federalist system for the Turkish minorities. 

The PKK is based in Anatolia, the Turkish heartland, where the majority of all the Kurds live.

The Kurds inhabit a land within the frontiers of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran; the Kurds’s homeland was historically the buffer zone for any major expansion toward the Near-East or Levant of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and current Jordan.

For instance, throughout historical subjugation of the Near East region by empires such as the Assyrians, Iranians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Tatars, and lastly the Ottomans, all these expansionist empires did not attempt to invade Syria until they managed to conquer all of Kurdistan.

The Ottoman Empire, under Sultan Selim Yawouz, had to defeat the Farsi Shiaa with the help of the feudal Kurdish leaders in the battle of Calderon in Anatolia in 1514 before it directed its attention and military force toward Syria and Egypt.

Recently, Kamal Ataturk managed to impress upon the French to turn over the regions of Antioch and Iskandaron, which were part of Syria around 1933, after he managed to occupy the Kurdish region of Dir Sim.

The leader of the PKK affirm that the Kurdish people, and specifically the PKK, is the main obstacle for the success of the US strategy in the Greater Middle East; he understand that the US plan is to divide the region into two antagonistic axes:

1.  The first axe is the Sunny axe composed of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey;

2. The second is the Shiaa axe composed of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

This US strategy is meant to keep the region in constant conflict and totally reliant on its mediation and support.

Abbo is a stoic; he can forfeit modern luxuries and can resist the temptations of sexual intercourse for many years. Actually, he married Kassira, from a bourgeois family that was close to Kamal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey; the girl did not share his passion but she wed him to follow the order of the Turkish intelligence services.

For ten years, Abbo knew that she was a mole inserted in his Party by the Turkish establishment but he managed to confront the contrariety and did not punish her physically or executed her when she was tried for treason; they had no sexual intercourse. And during all that period he never entertained a girlfriend. His wife would never believe that he has been faithful to her physically.

The PKK confronted militarily the regular Turkish armies and the two other main Iraqi Kurdish movements of Barazani and Talbani.

For example, the Barazani Party relied on the tribal and feudal Kurdish warlords and sold his principles to the highest bidder in order to maintain the allegiance of the tribes;  but within 24 hours of a peace treaty between the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Barazani’s army of 100,000 soldiers strong laid down its arms.

Jallal Talbani Party relied on the Kurdish middle class and was constantly seeking political solutions with the Turkish government, even at the price of military confrontations with the PKK.  Lately, the two other Kurdish factions are seeking the mediation of the PKK to resolving their endemic confrontations between themselves.

Turkey sent three times its army to wipe out the PKK with over $100 billion US aids and failed.

Once, Turkey concentrated a force of 300, 000 soldiers in its attack, evacuated over one thousand Kurdish villages and could not dislodge the PKK from the mountains and in its strongholds of partisans.

The PKK had to face the direct cooperation among the governments of Turkey, the US, Israel, and Germany.

During the Ottoman Empire it was Great Britain that sustained this ailing Empire in order to prevent the Russian fleet from reaching the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea.   It was Great Britain that stopped the advance of the Egyptian army headed by Ibrahim Pasha from entering Istanbul in 1840.

The war of attrition lasted twenty years but the PKK got stronger and more widespread among the Kurdish partisans throughout these upheaval and devastation.  In the early eighties, when the PKK got cornered, Abbo had to split his fighters. One group headed to the Turkish mountains in Anatolia and he led the other group toward the Middle East, I guess mainly to Syria and Lebanon.

The PKK fought against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 alongside the Palestinian and Lebanese Resistance; his fighters defended the castle of Beaufort (Kalaat Chkeef) in South Lebanon and 300 of his fighters managed to evacuate Beirut when Israel encircled the City.

Around 1990, Abbo directed his fighters to return to the Turkish mountains and had to confront many obstacles to that return home.

The PKK believes in friendship based on values and had strong connections with Hafiz Assad of Syrian, Greece, the Balkans, Russia, and the Armenians, though the Armenians still call Kurdistan “Arministan” because it was their kingdom in ancient history.

Abbo refused to appoint a second in command or instituting a central political committee for fear that the Turkish intelligence services would attract the prominent figures in the movement to split the revolution, and also to avoid the bureaucratic tendencies among the members of the Party, a tendency that he abhorred in the Communist Parties.

In fact, when his younger brother was made prisoner by the Kurdish leader Talbany, the latter tried to woo the Turkish government into offering a political solution in exchange of his prized prisoner.

Abbo never tried to remarry or associate himself with a girlfriend because he figured that any women would accept him solely because he is a famous figure and not for his personal characteristics.  He believes that love is the foundation for any marriage, and when love is over then the relationship between a husband and a wife is not distinguishable from a whoring business.

He thinks that the main struggle within a society is to spread the awareness of freedom and independence among the women in the families in order for society to enjoy freedom and liberty.  He looks favorably to the Prophet Mohammed marrying thirteen times because these wedding were not done under duress but consensual and he was soft and equitable and loving for his wives.

He believes that any marriage should not rest on religious dogma because the structure of families has changed through evolution and are different among societies.

Abbo claimed that the Kurdish people did not go through a slavery period, though it did not succeed in its evolution to experience any bourgeois period throughout history.

The Kurdish people is fundamentally a peasant and working class governed by a feudal and tribal system.  For this fact, Abbo believes that it is a much easier task to establish socialism in Kurdistan and be a role model for a happy and democratic society worldwide.  Actually, Abbo contends that the Kurdistan is the original bed of civilization that started 5 thousand years ago, and that the original Kurds fled Mesopotamia (current lower part of Iraq) to the northern mountainous region through successive waves of repressions and calamities.

The leader of the PKK affirms that he never carried a gun, shot a bullet, ordered an execution, or even ordered the start of the military alternative to the Kurdish struggle.

Note:  Abbo is still in Turkey’s prison but his confinement has been relaxed lately.  Abbo is ready to negotiate with Erdogan.

Currently, there are a few radical Kurdish factions, supervised by Israeli agents, trying to raise hell with Turkey because the current Turkish government has opened up with its Arabic neighboring States.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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