Chaos and High Risks in Syria

Dozens of Russians Are Believed Killed in U.S.-Backed Syria Attack

Four Russian nationals, and perhaps dozens more, were killed in fighting between pro-government forces in eastern Syria and members of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, according to Russian and Syrian officials.
A Syrian military officer said that about 100 Syrian soldiers had been killed on Feb. 7 and 8, but news about Russian casualties has dribbled out slowly, through Russian news organizations and social media.

Russia’s public response to massive Israeli strikes on Syria last Saturday including on T4 airbase where Russian troops are perhaps still stationed was rather subdued. The Ministry of Defence said nothing at all and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only offered the terse statement that “creation of threats for Russian military personnel in Syria is unnaceptable”.

Instead of winding down, why is Syria’s war getting worse?

Bethan McKernan

The fall of the eastern rebel-held side of Aleppo at the end of 2016 marked a turning point in Syria’s civil war, shifting the tide of the conflict in President Bashar al-Assad’s favour.
With Isis’s caliphate dismantled after the battle for Raqqa last year, the other long-standing front in the Syrian theatre also began to wind down.
And yet, on the eve of its seventh anniversary, Syria’s war shows no sign of stopping.

Pentagon to NATO-Member Turkey: ‘You Hit Us – We Will Respond Aggressively’

The two largest militaries in NATO are issuing threats, warnings and ultimatums…to each other

Turkey demands US military pulls out of northern Syria to the west of Euphrates around Manbij. US refuses to do so. Turkey threatens it will launch an offensive on Manbij whether US is still present there or not. Turkey adds it may not be able to distinguish between Kurdish militiamen and US troops in battle and could target both. US sends a hi-ranking Pentagon delegation to Manbij to deliver the message the US “will respond aggressively if attacked”. — This has all happened. Welcome to 2018 where the nations with two largest militaries in NATO are issuing threats, warnings and ultimatums…to each other.

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PKK’s Karayilan: Erdogan and Al-Qaeda forces failed in Afrin

PKK’s Murat Karayilan said that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Al-Qaeda forces failed in Afrin and there is tremendous effort to hide this fact from the Turkish society.
10 Feb 2018

In an interview with ANF Turkish Service, Murat Karayilan, member of PKK’s Executive Council said that the attack on Afrin is a total failure of Erdogan and Al-Qaeda forces. Karayilan also criticized Russia and Syrian regime for giving green light to the Turkish invasion operation.
“The attack on Afrin by the colonialist Turkish state is carried out within the context of Astana platform and with the active permission of Russia. We understand that this permission was granted to Turkey in return to a part of Idlib and economic interests” Karayilan said.

Lavrov blasts US, French ‘dishonest’ claims of not having sent delegates to Sochi Congress

February 13, 2018

The Syrian National Dialogue Congress was held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in late January

Washington and Paris were disingenuous when they claimed that they had not sent their representatives to the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in Sochi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following talks with his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders on Tuesday.
Invitations to attend the Sochi Congress as observers were sent to the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China), as well as to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.