LET THE MAN GO -RELEASE SALEH MUSLIM NOW

The Jerusalem Post - Israel NewsThe arrest in a Prague hotel of former Syrian Kurdish PYD (Democratic Union Party) leader Saleh Muslim Muhammad is a test case. Its outcome will establish the extent to which the central role against Islamic State played by Syrian Kurds has accrued some broader political legitimacy for their leadership and organizations.

The former PYD leader, who remains among the most prominent and influential of Syrian Kurdish leaders, is set to appear before a Czech court this week. The Turks are seeking his extradition. If extradited, he will with certainty be convicted and might face incarceration for the rest of his life. Kurdish media are calling his capture the most significant apprehension of a Kurdish leader by the Turks since that of PKK founder and leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1998.
The US built the Syrian Democratic Forces – the main instrument for the defeat of IS in its Syrian heartland – around the YPG. Recent statements by senior US officials have indicated that the US intends to remain committed to its allies in Eastern Syria, and to maintain forces in the part of Syria they control, an area covering some 27% of Syrian territory that includes its main oil and gas fields.

he Syrian Kurds declared the establishment of the “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria” over their area of control in March, 2016.

No Western country has recognized or acknowledged this declaration. The Federation, which is today the governing structure in an area where US forces are located, remains entirely isolated diplomatically, even as its armed forces call in US air strikes and work on a daily basis with American Special Forces.

The ties between the PYD and the PKK are at the root of this. The latter has for the last 34 years been engaged in an insurgency against Turkey, demanding autonomy for the country’s Kurds. It is listed as a terrorist organization by both the US and the European Union. Turkey’s warrant against Saleh Muslim, a non-citizen of Turkey, depicts him as a militant member of the PKK.

The question now is whether the involvement of the PYD with the war against IS has acquired a degree of de facto legitimacy for it in the eyes of the West, even in the absence of formal political recognition.

If so, Western pressure on the Czech Republic will lead almost certainly to Muslim’s release, indicating an embryonic, unspoken political alliance now existing between the Syrian Kurdish leadership and the West. This will produce further fury on the part of NATO-member Turkey’s Islamist and increasingly authoritarian leadership.

The United States must pressure Czech to release Saleh without turning him over to the Turkish Dog Erdogan.

TIME FOR THE UNITED STATES TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST TURKEY

Turkish offensive in Kurdish-held Syrian enclave sets up collision course with US

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Damage to the Afrin region of Syria reportedly caused by Turkish forces.

Civilians have been killed, their neighborhoods destroyed and at least one water treatment plant heavily damaged in the Turkish military offensive against the Kurdish-held Syrian enclave of Afrin, according to video, photos and on-the-ground accounts reviewed by Fox News.

Some of the reporting, which included the apparent deaths of children, is too graphic to publish. Some of the accounts of what is happening in Afrin also cannot be independently verified.

The Turkish intervention, called “Operation Olive Branch,” began in late January and, according to national security specialists, further complicates the conflict in Northern Syria involving Kurdish forces that worked with the United States to rout the Islamic State (ISIS).

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“The Turkish attempt to drive the Kurds from Afrin places the U.S. in a very difficult position,” said Tara Maller, a former military analyst for the CIA who is now a senior policy adviser with the Counter Extremism Project. “If the U.S. is seen as abandoning the Kurds, its allies and the most effective fighting force against ISIS, it could result in the loss of credibility and an unwillingness for others to cooperate with the U.S. in the future against ISIS and other terrorist groups.”

While some 2,000 U.S. forces are in the region, Turkey has threatened to clear the Kurds from its border with Syria. The strategy could impact the town of Manbij, widely reported to be a base for U.S. troops.

Maller, who reviewed photos and video for Fox News, said that “there are U.S. troops in this area, in physical proximity to the fighting. The U.S. has said it is not moving its forces from this area and would hit back hard if attacked. At the same time, the U.S. wants to avoid alienating Turkey and pushing it further into Russia’s sphere of influence. The U.S. must work through diplomatic channels to lessen the tension in the area and prevent this confrontation from drawing in other players and becoming a separate war, which will only embolden ISIS and other radical groups.”

Afrin is home to the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, a Kurdish militia. The Turkish government maintains the YPG is a terrorist group and offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a military struggle against Turkey since the 1980s. At the same time, however, YPG is a central element of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces that now control great swaths of Syria.

Returning from overseas last week, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis gave a wide-ranging brief to reporters, one that touched on the Afrin conflict. Mattis said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had recently visited the Turkish capital,  Ankara, where he dealt with issues “causing friction” and a “loss of rapport between us and our NATO ally Turkey.”

Mattis continued. “And while we understand their (Turkey’s) legitimate security concerns, as I’ve mentioned several times, that does not align with us concurring with attacks into areas that were not sources of violence before the attack into Afrin, for example.”

Asked how “mechanisms” would work with Turkey in Afrin and Manbij, he said: “That’s exactly what we have to work out. That’s — as you said, we’re going to put them in place. So there’s a commitment now to work them out. We have to put them — we have to draw them up together, and then we have to employ them.“

The aim of the Turkish operation is to “stop attacks and border harassments, indiscriminate shelling of urban areas, harboring, equipping and training of terrorists, suicide bombers and assassins,” according to a fact sheet sent to Fox News from the Turkish Embassy in Washington. Turkey also maintains that “all precautions are taken to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population” in the operation, a claim sharply disputed by Kurdish groups.

At the Munich Security Conference this month, Turkey’s minister of foreign affairs called Operation Olive Branch a “legitimate right (for) self-defense,” adding that “supporting a terrorist organization against another terrorist organization (ISIS) is a big mistake and risking the future of the country,” a reference to the YPG.

Maller, of the Counter Extremism Project, said ISIS has been beaten back, but emphasized that the terror group would likely stage a comeback, and the U.S. will need its Kurdish allies again. “ISIS continues to have a formidable presence” along the Syria-Iraq border and “is capable of striking quickly and often. Also, ISIS continues to successfully radicalize and recruit individuals globally, while inspiring followers to carry out attacks. Over time, it is quite possible that ISIS could again gain strength, as it has done before, should the war in Syria drag on and Iraq’s government remain weak and under the sway of Iran.

“While the absolute number of ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq may have fallen, the group remains dangerous and continues to spread to Africa, Asia and other parts of the world.”

 

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

TURKEY’S ERDOGAN EAGER FOR A THREE COURSE MEAL OF LEAD

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned the Syrian regime against entering Afrin province in northern Syria. Syrian State Media reported that Syrian “popular forces” would enter Afrin to support the “Steadfastness of their people in the face of aggression carried out by the forces of the Turkish regime.” The potential conflict between Turkey and Syria comes a month after Turkey launched a major offensive into northern Syria aimed at removing what it called “terrorists” of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from its border. The US has continually urged restraint and said Ankara’s operation is a distraction from the war on Islamic State.

On the face of the new revelations this is imperceivable that a NATO member (Turkey) is warning the United States supported troops that they Turkey will use all of the means necessary to bomb, kill and remove our troops from Afrin. Afriin is located in a mountainous region of northwest Syria next to the border with Turkey. Since 2012 it has mostly been cut-off from the vicious civil war in Syria, a Kurdish canton controlled by the YPG. Since 2015 the YPG has partnered with the US-led coalition in eastern Syria, where it makes up part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF liberated Raqqa from ISIS and are key to helping stabilize eastern Syria, the US says.

In January 2018 Ankara accused the US of training a “terror army” in eastern Syria and launched its operation against Afrin using Tanks, airplanes and more than 10,000 Syrian rebel allies. The bottom line here is one that Turkey will regret; bombing our troops who are working with the YPG Kurds will result in the Mother of all confrontations. Turkey will regret the power of the United States. The Muslim Brotherhood Erdogan will soon have to make a choice, back down or eat lead. We venture the latter – a suicide wish will come true.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Turkey would face the “appropriate response” if it follows through on a threat to widen its assault against a Syrian Kurdish militia all the way to the border with Iraq.

Senior SDF official Redur Xelil was responding to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s threat to sweep militants from the length of Turkey’s Syrian frontier. “When he tries to widen his battle, he will be met by the appropriate response,” Xelil told Reuters in an interview in the town of Amuda in northern Syria.

 Previously we reported on the confrontation that will occur in Afrin:

The Turkish offensive in northwest Syria’s Afrin region against the Kurdish YPG militia has opened a new front in the multi-sided Syrian civil war and strained ties with NATO ally Washington.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, January 26, Turkish forces would sweep Kurdish fighters from the Syrian border and could push all the way east to the frontier with Iraq — a move which risks a possible confrontation with US forces allied to the Kurds.

 The Turkish offensive in northwest Syria’s Afrin region against the Kurdish YPG militia has opened a new front in the multi-sided Syrian civil war and strained ties with NATO ally Washington.

Since the start of the incursion, dubbed “Operation Olive Branch” by Ankara, Erdogan has said Turkish forces would push east towards the town of Manbij, potentially putting them in confrontation with US troops deployed there.

“Operation Olive Branch will continue until it reaches its goals. We will rid Manbij of terrorists, as it was promised to us, and our battles will continue until no terrorist is left until our border with Iraq,” Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

A senior official in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias of which the YPG is the strongest, said any wider Turkish assault would face “the appropriate response.

The Kurdish-led autonomous administration that runs Afrin urged the Syrian government on Thursday to defend its border with Turkey despite Damascus’ stance against Kurdish autonomy.

The Syrian government has said it is ready to target Turkish warplanes in its airspace, but has not intervened so far. It suspects the Kurds of wanting independence in the long-run.

Erdogan demands we hand over Fetthulah Gulen

Previously, we reported that Turkey has closed the airspace above, and suspended all US-led air missions out of the giant Incirlik airbase (which houses some 50 US nuclear bombs), we said that there is speculation the “airbase may be held “hostage” by Ankara as a bargaining chip ahead of demands for the extradition of Erdogan’s arch enemy, Fethullah Gulen, currently a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.” A few hours later this was partially validated when during a televised speech, Turkish President Erdogan called on the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric he accuses of being behind Turkey’s failed coup attempt. Source: ZeroHedge

TURKEY’S GOON SQUAD ATTACKS PROTESTORS – SECRET SERVICE GETS INVOLVED

Yesterday outside the Turkish embassy, Erdogan’s goon squad attacked supporters of the YPG .  Hey Erdogan, you are not in Turkey, this is the United States. We have free speech, something that does not exist in your dictatorial state. Go back to Turkey where the YPG will take care of you once and for all. A Kurdian Nation will come to fruition before you die. Count on it. Let it be written, let it be done.

Yesterday outside the Turkish embassy, Erdogan’s goon squad attacked supporters of the YPG .  Hey Erdogan, you are not in Turkey, this is the United States. We have free speech, something that does not exist in your dictatorial state. Go back to Turkey where the YPG will take care of you once and for all. A Kurdian Nation will come to fruition before you die. Count on it. Let it be written, let it be done.

(click hereThe Secret Service announced Wednesday that it is investigating what one official called a “brutal attack on peaceful protesters” in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday by Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail.

The attack that sent nine to the hospital appeared to be unprovoked, Peter Newsham, the D.C. police chief, said. The Wall Street Journal reported that one police officer and two Secret Service officers were injured in the melee.

Attacking the small group of protesters with their fists and feet, men in dark suits and others were recorded repeatedly kicking one woman as she lay curled on a sidewalk. Another wrenches a woman’s neck and throws her to the ground. A man with a bullhorn is repeatedly kicked in the face.