Russia and Turkey will pacify Idlib Province

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Syria-idlib-map-400x309

 As of today (7 October) the situation in Syria is looking bad for the jihadis of HTS (AQ) and the IS out in the east.  The IS pocket east of Salamiya is all but gone and the R+6 has cleared the Deir al- Zor/Sukhna/Palmyra LOC of the predictable IS attempt to turn the R+6 out of Deir al-Zor by interrupting their logistics flow.  Just to make things really horrible for the takfiris the SAA has reached Mayadiin on the Euphrates.  Thus far the SAA have taken the airport and are fighting in the town.

The other main obstacle to government re-conquest of the country is Idlib Province.  It is now largely under control of HTS (AQ) but a de-escalation agreement among Russia, Iran Turkey and Syria has been concluded with regard to the province.  HTS is excluded from the agreement and will be fair game when the agreement is executed.

Now we have the interesting spectacle of Turkish troops massing on the Hatay Province/ Syria border with some evidence of fighting at the border having begun as HTS seeks to resist Turkish entry into Syria. 

Evidently the plan is for the Turks to break HTS power and for Russia to occupy most of the province in support of non-jihadi forces.  The Turkish side may intend to crush the Kurdish pocket around Afrin in the process thus eliminating one of Sultan Tayyip's bugaboos.

This pacification of Idlib would leave a few isolated pockets of insurgent control around the country but the Russian sponsored de-escalation negotiations seem likely to eliminate them  Assad's "policy of leniency"makes that process possible.

IMO there is probably an understanding between Putin and Trump with regard to Syria.  This understanding has probably not been communicated very far down the chain of command.  Trump is a business hustler.  He would feel very little need to communicate his private understandings to people he thinks of as his employees.  Such an understanding would stand outside the Israeli's understanding of DJT himself.  IMO "J" is correct when he writes that the Israelis see Trump as their "prize bull." 

They must be frustrated with the level of his inaction on behalf of their project for Syria.  This is sharply in contrast to his acceptance of their "program" for Iran.  pl 

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/turkish-army-jihadist-rebels-clash-idlib/

https://southfront.org/erdogan-confirms-upcoming-turkish-military-intervention-in-syrias-idlib-governorate/

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50 Responses to Russia and Turkey will pacify Idlib Province

  1. mike says:

    The Turks and Turkish proxies will turn a part of Idlib into another den of rape and murder like they did in al-Shabba. That district of Aleppo province, Azaz, Jarabulus, and al-Bab, which was occupied by the Turkish Army since August 2016 has been turned into areas of prostitution, hashish cultivation, and the people are afraid of abduction and murder.
    “Free Police, mercenaries of the Sultan Murad are continuing their practices against the people and the displaced until they have reached the rape of women by the force of arms and harassing them. A number of pictures were leaked of the Sultan Murad commander Suleiman Shah in his car(van) with a woman, and sources told our agency that the car is only dedicated to prostitution acts of Suleiman Shah mercenaries.
    Mustafa al-Fadhil, one of the leaders of the police station in the town of Akhtarin, repeatedly harassed a displaced woman from the city of Raqqa, called (N,A), at gunpoint. The sister and her husband tried to file a complaint to lead the outpost, but were threatened by the elements of the outpost that they will be killed if they talk about the subject.
    The residents of the town reported that these cases were frequent in the town’s police station with women prisoners, poor women and displaced women, and with the mercenaries’ wives whose husbands were killed in battles.
    The sources have confirmed that there are 3 cases of rape or sexual harassment every 24 hours, most of them with displaced women in the camps of Jarablus and Azaz, and each woman is given 120 Turkish pounds under pressure to harass them.”

  2. Babak Makkinejad says:

    His program for Iran is that of the Mukhtar of Sunni Arabs against the Party of Ali; a program and posture that has wounded and will continue to wound USA, the avowed secular republic, in years and decades to come.

  3. FB Ali says:

    It is disappointing to read such unsourced trash on SST.
    It is obviously blatant propaganda. I hold no brief for Turkey or its camp-followers, but these kinds of allegations smell of an agenda, besides being phrased so crudely.

  4. Not only are the SAA Tiger Force battling in Mayadiin, but the jihadis have declared they have abandoned the city as their capital. They moved south to al Bukamal. Looks like IS shot their wad in their last big offensive to cut the Deir al- Zor/Sukhna/Palmyra LOC. I wonder what CENTCOM has to say about the assault on Al-Qaryatayn by 300 or so Is jihadis last week. The Russians are saying the Al Tanf area has become a “black hole” where refugees are being used as a shield to cover the jihadis.
    http://tass.com/defense/969330

  5. Annem says:

    The other side of the Turkish occupation of part of northern Syria is their administration via local Islamist NGO and appointed officials in cooperation with Turkish counterparts from various NGOs and ministries. In the field of education, for example, they are rebuilding the system along the lines of the controversial Turkish “imam-hatip” religious public schools that have replaced a very significant % of public middle and high schools and into which many students are forced to go under various excuses. So, like Turkey, Erdogan has set his sights on creating a “pious generation” of young Syrians. Where this leaves those citizens in the region who are not fans of Islamism or are not Sunni Muslims is anyone’s guess. It may mean that like Idlib, it will end up a “minority-free zone.”

  6. different clue says:

    Can the Erdogan goverment really be trusted to help pacify Idlib in such a way that the entire province is returned to Syrian sovereign control? Assuming it can’t, does the Russian government have the power to apply immediate torture to the Turkish economy and apply it so deeply and so comprehensively as to torture Erdogan himself to submit to the actual re-Syrianization of the entirety of Idlib Province?

  7. Grazhdanochka says:

    Not only that FB Ali but even if you take this Statement as True, Idlib Province is hardly Paradigm of peaceful civility as things are currently so it would not be so much ‘turn in to’ as much as simply changing of the Guard. (To one ultimately more under the Thrall of TSK)

  8. Grazhdanochka says:

    It is worth noting that Afrin SDF has been notably ‘closer’ with Syria/Russia than those across Euphrates and whom operate more consistently with US and Coalition Advisers.
    This ultimately begs a Question, should the ‘Euphrates Shield’ backed lightly by TKS advance successfully in to Idlib and look to be turning Gaze on SDF in around Afrin, does this present an eventual fait accompli to SDF in the Area? Ultimately forcing them to Moscow and Syrian Government as its Diplomatic Umbrella (and thus not only preventing ES Shield and TKS having to go out right toe to toe with the Kurds of Afrin but bringing them nominally back into the Governments Hand)
    Likewise the Syrian Government has maintained its own limited presence in Al-Hasakah Governate isolated which at Times pressured by the SDF there, a similar ‘Bargaining Chip’ could be acquired

  9. Serge says:

    Mayadin was never declared by IS to be a capital. In fact ISIS has never declared a capital, period. Official Russian reporting on Syria by ruMOD seems to be getting more and more fantastical and unreliable the more a Syrian victory becomes apparent, strangely enough. I’d write this Qaryatayn story off as another fantasy like their claims today of killing Omar al Shishani(killed 10 times, the last and definitive being by USA in august 2016,confirmed by ISIS) along with a few hundred ISIS in airstrikes , or the claim last week that 1,500 ISIS had been killed in the Homs offensive in 1 day.
    Although I did read something interesting regarding Qaryatayn, that in fact it was not ISIS at all but a local ex-FSA group connected to the Tanf rebels, and that ISIS had only claimed the capture for street cred. So perhaps it’s not so fantastical after all

  10. Kooshy says:

    Well said

  11. Linda says:

    I for one find the Turkish involvement very distressing. I’d almost rather it be the Russians.

  12. turcopolier says:

    linda
    It is both but this spares the Russians the need to commit major ground troops. pl

  13. Tel says:

    I predict this will turn into a similar stalemate for the Turks as with the US in Afghanistan. The local Sunni tribalists will not accept Turks ruling over them, but the Turks have superior forces in the conventional sense. This will devolve into simmering tit-for-tat attacks with no clear winner.
    Assad will do OK out of this as two of his enemies expend their forces against each other.

  14. mike says:

    FB Ali –
    Perhaps you are right that there was some hidden motivation in the allegations against the Sultan Murad Division.
    On the other hand please note that during the siege of Aleppo the Sultan Murad Division was accused of war crimes by the Syrian regime and Amnesty International and the United Nations. They worked closely with the Nour al-Din al-Zinki headchoppers. They used chlorine gas on civilians (and tried to shift the blame to the Syrian regime). They shelled markets, mosques and civilian residential areas indiscriminately with hell-cannons and home-made rockets.
    Later, after their capture of the town of Jarabulus in September 2016, Sultan Murad Division fighters published pictures of themselves torturing prisoners.
    They are also part of the same Turkish-backed Syrian Turkmen Brigades that machine gunned that Russian pilot while he was helpless in his parachute.
    Does any of the above prove that they are rapists, or exploiters and kidnappers of women in IDP camps? No, of course not. But these accusations should be investigated by the Syrian regime. Or by the Russians, or by AI or the UN or the Hague, or by Sharia courts as long as they are not Turkish backed. Unfortunately that probably won’t happen.

  15. Lemur says:

    Another aspect of the Russian backed Turkish demarche is Moscow’s desire to keep the Persian man under control.

  16. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to FB Ali 07 October 2017 at 01:27 PM
    A little searching turned up that the unsourced material that “mike” quoted but didn’t bother attributing came from Hawar News Agency.
    A few seconds further searching turned up this:
    “QUESTIONABLE SOURCE
    A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, overt propaganda, poor or no sourcing to credible information and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the notes section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
    Bias: Extreme Left, Propaganda
    Notes: Hawar News Agency is an online Kurdish news service based in Al-Hasaka, Syria. The site’s About page says only “ANHA”. The owner of the site is unknown, editor of the site is also unknown. They have a contact page only. Hawar News Agency rarely sources their news pieces at all and in some cases they use questionable sources. According to Pro-Syrian opposition source Verify-sy Hawar News is affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and by affiliation they have a strong left wing bias. Further, they indicate rumors as their source under the analysis headline such as this: “There are changes in Aleppo, Idleb and Hama”. Hawar News Agency uses strong loaded language in both sensational headlines and also the body of articles, therefore we rate Hawar News Agency as mixed for factual reporting and a questionable propaganda website with extreme left bias. (M. Huitsing 8/4/2017)

    Hawar News Agency – Media Bias/Fact Check
    And yes, like others here I’m sure, I have noted that in his response to you that “mike” made yet another series of unsupported allegations.

  17. Thirdeye says:

    Apparently some of the sleepers who seized Qaryatayn had previously availed themselves of the reconciliation process and been repatriated to Qaryatayn. The line between ISIS and the other Takfiris in Hama grew pretty blurry if it ever was distinct. Soon after the siege on ISIS in Homs/Hama was established, ISIS attacked towards the Salamiya – Ithrya highway in an apparent attempt to join up with the Takfiris in northern Hama. They were covered by artillery from the northern side. I don’t think it’s coincident that northern Hama flared up when the ISIS pocket to the south was getting desperate and ISIS was gearing up for their assault on the LOC to Deir Ezzor. The fugitive remnants of the ISIS pocket are attempting to reach the Al Qaeda lines in Hama and that may be a motivating factor in the recent Al Qaeda attack at Abu Daleh in Hama.
    The line between ISIS and Al Qaeda is about power more than ideology. ISIS grew to a large extent by offering better pay when they controlled revenue-generating resources that Al Qaeda lacked. Now that ISIS is being shattered the currents are flowing the other way.

  18. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think not, Russia needs Iran and the Shia.

  19. Barish says:

    For what it’s worth, His Highness Abdullah II implicitly referred to just that zone “out in the eastern desert”, read around Rukban camp, in early 2016 in this interview here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL2_nvAUIbg
    In the meantime, keeping in mind the steady progress SAA made at the border with the Jordanian Kingdom in recent weeks, His Highness appears to have decided it best to let his Syrian neighbour clean up the mess Jordan helped create right at its own doorstep.

  20. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Dubhaltach,
    “Mike” might be a composite character engaged in kurdish agitprop. The posts do not show a consistent character in stylometric analysis. The tripe in the post above has visible inaccuracies. For example, anyone who knows the region would have picked up a reference to “120 Turkish pounds’.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  21. turcopolier says:

    IZ
    Mike is a specific non-Kurdish American. pl

  22. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Americans consider Kurds to be kindred people of the same kind as themselves, torchbearers of Freedom, Progress, and Light against the bad bad governments of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.
    That they could seriously entertain such funny notions, attest, in my opinion, to the depth of their ignorance of that part of the world.

  23. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Col. Lang,
    Thanks for the clarification. Some of what Mike wrote earlier checked out, but his hyperbole quotient has substantially increased in the last several weeks; not what I could reconcile with an ex-military type.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  24. mike says:

    Ishmael –
    I admire the Kurds. I also admire the Turkish people, except Erdogan of course. Talking about composite characters: Erdogan is a composite of the inmates in an insane asylum – the violent ones. Is he really Turkish?
    The UN and Amnesty International did in fact accuse the Sultan Murad Division of war crimes. That is a matter of public record. I cannot vouch for sure that the Assad regime itself also accused them, but during the siege of Aleppo there were many Assad supporters who did.

  25. kooshy says:

    I guess he’s been spending his Turkish pounds

  26. mike says:

    Ishmael –
    Hyperbola I understand. But hyperbole I had to look up. No offense taken. My branch of military service, like many others, have never been known for understatement.

  27. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    This American has never considered Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians and Turks to be bad people. Although I do admit to ignorance of that part of the world as you suggested. Just as many in that part of the world are ignorant of the US, or do you disagree?
    The reason I admire the Kurds and the Houthis is that they are underdogs, but still they refuse to grovel. Some other Americans, not all, feel this same way. But I think it is a characteristic of all people in the world to hold in high regard the little guy that fights back against the odds. Not all though, several commenters here seem to believe that the Kurds are the new ‘deplorables’.

  28. jld says:

    Syrian regime?

  29. The Beaver says:

    Anyone seen this memoir by former Sec Def Carter:
    https://www.belfercenter.org/LastingDefeat
    The news was not all grim—as I was awaiting confirmation, Kurdish forces had ousted ISIS from Kobane, Syria—but good news was the exception.
    Surprisingly he does not mention which one – for sure it was not the Peshmerga who left the place. It was the YPG who came to the help of the locals in Kobane with the GB.
    The sponmasters inside the belway were all atlking about the Khorastan 🙁

  30. Serge says:

    How about that IS blitz from their remaining Hama pocket across SAA lines into HTS-held idlib earlier today? Interesting stuff to watch, they made it quite far before HTS woke up and beat back the vanguard, but the vast majority of the villages taken are still IS-controlled. Seems that IS attacked SAA checkpoints to facilitate the movement of large numbers of vehicles and civilians across.HTS accused SAA of working with IS, of course. If I compiled a list of individual instances of every faction in this war blaming other factions for ISIS it would be pages and pages long, every single side has done it in every imaginable combination.

  31. The Beaver says:

    Sorry about typos:
    spinmasters in lieu of “sponmasters”
    talking instead of atlking !

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I stated: “… bad bad governments of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey.”.
    Kurds are not underdogs; Catholic Christians in Iraq and Yazidi Kurds are the underdogs.
    Because of the preponderance of the United States in the international arena, as well her being the highest exponent of the dominant civilization on Earth, more people outside of the United States know about the United States than Americans know about foreign people. Just consider that so many understand English and thus can consume material written in that language pertaining to the United States; and then there are translations into other languages from US sources.
    Now that understanding of foreigners of US scene is partial and at times rather flawed, but there is nothing in the United States to match it, except among a few specialists that are eking out an existence in a few godforsaken cow colleges.

  33. mike says:

    General Ali –
    Europeans have also been accused of sexually exploiting Syrian women in IDP camps. So Erdogan’s Syrian Turkmen proxies are apparently not the only ones accused of debauchery. A google search on “sexual exploitation Syria IDP camp” reveals a wide number of reports that similar immoral acts have also been done in Greece, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Lebanon and Jordan.
    Take your pick from the following list of reports:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=sexual+exploitation+idp+camp+syria&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
    Call this blatant propaganda also if you wish. But it seems to be coming from many different sources. I personally do not believe that the majority of these reports are faked.

  34. mike says:

    Dubhaltach –
    Hawar News is the mouthpiece of the PYD, so I do not doubt that they are lefties.
    On the other hand, the use of strongly loaded language is prevalent throughout reporting on Syria. The Media Bias/Fact Check site you mention also says that Daily Sabah, al-Masdar, and RT also use loaded language and sometimes publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that refute their claims.
    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/daily-sabah/
    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/al-masdar-news-amn/
    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/rt-news/
    Sorry to see al-Masdar on there. IMHO Leith Abou Fadel, the founder, does try to do a fair job. But I guess he cannot doublecheck all his contributing reporters. Media Bias/Fact Check says that al-Masdar’s “Middle East news is poorly sourced, without links provided.” In other words “unsupported allegations”. Although I think Fadel’s reporting and even his twitter feed are usually sourced.

  35. mike says:

    Kooshy and IZ –
    Turkish pounds was within the quoted paragraph. Probably due to the poor translation from the original which was in either Arabic or Kurdi. My bad that I did not put in a note correcting it. But then I’m not the translator and not in the currency trading business. I would not know a Turkish lira from a greenback except for the pic of Ataturk.

  36. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    We here in the USA sometimes also have bad governments. But times change.
    As for me I do not think the government of Iran is bad. Misguided perhaps in sponsoring the IRGC and repressing their Kurdish citizens. But that is no reason to repeal JCPOA. Turkey at this moment in time has a terrible leader in Erdogan – guilty of genocide, he should endure the fate of Sadaam, or at least Milosevic. Iraq seems to have gotten over the bad times when Maliki was in charge. For Syria I just hope that Russia can keep Assad focused on winning the war against the jihadis.
    You are correct that not many US citizens learn a second language. Other than French or Spanish that is, but even there the numbers are small for true fluency. It is an arrogance among us that we expect all foreigners to speak our language. One of the local small town school districts in my county has for the past few years hired mainland Chinese teachers to teach their language to young elementary school students. A good step I think. We should also be teaching Russian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Kurdi IMHO.

  37. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think your estimation of IRGC is incorrect, it is a branch of Iranian Military forces and is well respected in Iran.
    O yes, oppressing Kurdish citizens. You have to ask them in what manner are they oppressed but I recall reading in foreign papers that they are culturally oppressed.
    And like Catalans, one has to ask them: “Pray, sir, what is your culture?”
    Like the Catalans, they live in an emotional dream land. Over decades in constitutional Iran – from 1905 – they repeatedly resorted to arms to destroy the state and all they achieved was death and destruction.
    Likewise in Iraq and more recently in Turkey; they could not even get along with Erdogan, the man who in spite of many other defects, had been the Turkish leader who had moved closest politically to the Kurdish community since the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
    And now in Iraq, a phony referendum when the KRG Majlis is defunct and the KRG President has been in office 2 years beyond his term and with no new elections scheduled for either the Majlis or the Presidency. And those fools of Kurds (like their Catalan counterparts) go vote for independence for which they do not have the wherewithal. More dead Arabs and Kurds in the coming weeks and months and years.
    In this manner, the Kurdish people have served to cause mischief and keep Iran, Iraq, and Turkey in state of turmoil and dissension, causing them to fall further and further behind.
    “We are for rent for anyone who wishes to cause mischief.”

  38. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    Fools and mischief makers? Wannabee destroyers of the state? With all due respect Babak, your view on your fellow Iranian citizens sounds like something Reza Shah might have said. Would you want the Kurds of Iran submit to Persianization? That kind of strict conformity leads to mediocrity. Your Kurds only want freedom from oppression.
    On the other hand the US treatment of our minorities is not much better. And has been a whole lot worse at times in the past. So it is not our business to judge you. I do not believe we should cancel JCPOA. And I do not believe we should blindly follow the lead of Israel to go to war. We all live on this planet and care about our children’s and grandchildren’s future.
    You say the IRGC is well respected in Iran. Maybe so, who am I to judge majority public opinion there? They did good work in the Iraq/Iran War and I salute them for that. But I suspect that the Basij arm of the IRGC is NOT as well respected by Iranian minorities. And not either by the students of 2009 who were attacked violently by the Basij. And not by women arrested by Basijis for violating the dress code, or by young people arrested for being in public with unrelated members of the opposite sex.
    As for the Quds Force of the IRGC, there are many in the USA, myself included, that deplore CIA adventurism overseas and believe the CIA’s Directorate of Operations should be shut down. Why is the Quds Force any better than America’s CIA? They engage in the same type of dark operations. I would hope there are some concerned citizens in Iran that have similar feelings regarding Quds Force overseas operations. If you want to support your ally in Syria, fine, send the Iranian Army.

  39. mike says:

    General Ali –
    The United Nations is claiming that sexual exploitation against Iraqi IDPs has happened in emergency sites and camps. This is in addition to what has been happening to Syrian refugees.
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57843

  40. Serge says:

    This is unrelated but not at the same time, I want to discuss the situation in Qaryatayn and what it means for the post-conventional future of IS. IS released two media items relating to Qaryatayn today, the first since the fall of the town approx 10 days ago. A photo report, and a short amaq video. In the photo report and video a battle group with many toyotas and dozens of well equipped soldiers are seen, I would estimate at least 50 well equipped fighters total, all in IS uniform. Perusing ISIS propaganda for the past week, they released a photo report near Sukhnah a day before the fall of Qaryatayn. In this Sukhnah report, THE EXACT SAME battle group is seen, you can see that it’s the same cars and the same big IS flag being flown from the lead hilux equipped with an ATGM
    So, this basically puts the Russian and Syrian narratives of this attack coming from Tanf, this attack being Qalamoun peace deal sleeper cells, or this attacking being local FSA peace deal sleeper cells; to rest. This was a daring IS penetration 200km behind enemy lines. This DOES NOT bode well for the post-conventional, insurgent stage of IS existence. Refer to what they did under incubation from their anbar fastnesses post 2008 when they were down to a handful of dozen of core members. an SST user noted a few days ago the fact that the leadership of ISI as we know it comes from Samarra and Baghdad Iraqis, the ones that suffered butchery at the hands of the Shiite Iraqis after the blowing up of the mosque way back then. ISIS learned from this and they replicated the same in Mosul and Syria from Raqqa to Manbij. They created massive refugee populations with an implicit sympathy to ISIS, just like the Samarra/Baghdad populations after the butchery of 04-08. ISIS is in this for the long game, and in our quarterly report political thinking goals to “defeat ISIS”,we have gone about it the totally wrong way. Barring the US suddenly aligning with Iran and Syria tomorrow, there is no way that this war or IS is going away in any of our lifetimes

  41. Babak Makkinejad says:

    We must disagree on the role of Kurds across 4 countries.
    CIA cannot be used as an alibi of USA, all its actions have been authorized by legitimate authority; i.e. the President of USA.

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Mosque that was bloen up was the burial site of Shia Imams and a signigicant pilgrimage site as well. That attack was not only a clear and extreme act of provocation by some misguided Sunnis, but also a direct assault on Shia Islam and Shia memory. Sunni Arabs have been lucky that they are alive today thanks to the intervention of Hawza and Shia leaders.

  43. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    No alibi from me. As I said above the CIA should be banned from doing covert action and foreign political influence regardless of Presidential directive.
    So should the Quds Force. I seriously doubt that the Quds Force and the Basij act without legitimate authorization from Iran’s Supreme Leader. Or are you suggesting there are rogue actors within Quds and Basij that contravene Sayyid Khameini’s wishes.

  44. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Supreme Jurisprudence of Iran is the Commander-in-Chief of her armed-forces. Any and all activities of Iranian Armed Forces as well the Quds Force must be understood as having been duly authorized by legitimate authority.
    The Iranians cannot hide behind the rouge elements of the Quds Force any more than the Americans can do likewise behind rogue CIA elements.
    There is also a qualitative difference, CIA is not an army and thus its officers are not subject to Geneva Conventions.

  45. kooshy says:

    Mike there is no such thing as persianization, not even during the Cyrus a persianization existed, today’ Iran culture is more influenced by shia Islam and Iranian Azaries then that of persians. Kurds are Iranians just like the rest of Iran.

  46. Serge says:

    IMO it was a calculated attack by the most cynical and secular core members of Zarqawi’s AQI, to peel off as many Iraqi Sunnis as possible to his cause. Fast forward 8 years from the act in question and tell me if they succeeded or not.(they did)
    The contingency concerning the survival of the Sunni Arab community in Iraq has nothing to do with the Mercy of iraqi shiite leaders. rather it owes to the utter incompetence of the said bloc from 2003 onwards, even under Iranian domination and direction

  47. mike says:

    Kooshy –
    For sure there was Persianization under the Pahlavis. Which is why Iranian Kurds initially welcomed Khomeini’s revolution.
    But many Kurds today say a form of Persianization still exists. They say there is a restrictive intolerance against those who speak Kurdish. Unless they give up the language and try to pass themselves off as one of the Persian majority. You appear to be saying that it is only religious intolerance and not ethnic?

  48. mike says:

    Babak Makkinejad –
    The assassinations of ex-patriot Iranian civilian dissidents would make the Quds Force perpetrators not subject to the Geneva Convention also. They still go on even in 2017. And don’t forget the Japanese translator of Rushdie. Or do you claim all those assassinations were done instead by VAJA, or whatever the new name is for the SAVAK?

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