" … a Kremlin statement made clear Russia was committed to its campaign against Islamic State and "other terrorist organizations", an indication that it would also target groups in western Syria where jihadists such as al Qaeda are fighting Assad in close proximity to rebels deemed moderate by the West.
Russia says the "cessation" does not apply to its air strikes, which have shifted the balance of power toward Assad.
It says Islamic State and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front are the main targets of its air campaign. But Western countries say Russia has in fact been mostly targeting other insurgent groups, including some they support.
The White House said Obama's discussion with Putin stressed the need to rush humanitarian aid to Syria and contain air strikes.
"In particular, President Obama emphasized the importance now of Russia playing a constructive role by ceasing its air campaign against moderate opposition forces in Syria," the White House said in a statement." Reuters
I worked in Turkey long ago, with the Turkish Army actually. It was a very pleasant time, a two year vacation from the wars in SE Asia. I like the Turks. They are a lot like Americans used to be; blunt, inclined to direct action… At the same time they treasure a pleasure in scheming that they share with the Syrian and Lebanese descendants of the vassals of the Ottoman state.
The US and the West in general have encouraged an attitude in Erdogan's Turkey that mirrors Bibi's statement that "the Americans can be pushed easily." We all look malleable to Erdogan. He is an MB style salafi. He wants to think we are degenerate and doomed to live in a world dominated by his kind of Islam. We have given him no reason to think that is not the future. At the same time we have tolerated his traffic in IS oil coming across the border east of Azaz and west of Jarabulus. Why have we done that? We must know that the money derived from that trade supports IS.
Now he threatens Europe with release of masses of Muslim migrants upon them. We deserve to be threatened. We look soft.
Now the Turkish Army is shelling YPG positions around Menagh village and its airfield near Azaz in Syria. Why are they doing that? IMO they want to keep R+6 forces plus the YPG from closing the border Azaz-Jarabulus and the shelling is a warning. They have said that the Kurds must withdraw from these positions and not return.
Turkish 2nd Army is massing north of the Azaz/Jarabulus sector of the border. The Saudi Sunni led juggernaut is at least notionally intended for combat in Syria. Yesterday I raised the straw man idea that they might motor march all the way to Baghdad and beyond. That seems implausible. On the other hand a sea movement around Arabia and through the Canal to a major port like Iskenderun is quite plausible, especially given the news that Saudi aircraft are deploying into Incirlik not far from Iskenderun. A Sunni juggernaut/Turkish Army link up in SW Turkey would provide Turkish fire and logistical support to the Sunni juggernaut.
What role would the US play in a scheme like that? Unknown.
Would the Turks/Sunni juggernaut actually invade Syria and risk war with Russia? Unknown. pl