“U.S. Patrolling Syrian Border to Stop Turk-Kurd Clashes” – TTG


Ilham Ahmed, a co-president of the Democratic Council of Syria, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post on 28 April addressing the recent Turkish bombing of Kurdish forces.


“On Tuesday, Turkey bombed the headquarters of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, killing 20 of our soldiers. Immediately after the strike, the leaders of our forces — known as the People’s Protection Groups, or YPG — rushed from their operations center near Raqqa, where they’ve been working with the U.S. military to push the Islamic State out of its Syrian stronghold, to view the site of the attack. The American colonel and other officers who accompanied the YPG leaders were met by tens of thousands of protesters, including the mothers of soldiers who have died fighting the Islamic State. They asked the Americans a simple question: “How is it possible that our soldiers are fighting with you against ISIS while your ally Turkey is attacking us here?”” (WaPo)


Not long after this piece appeared, the twittersphere came alive with reports, photos and videos of US troops moving to the Turkish-Syrian border. Wladimir Van Wilgenburg, a freelance journalist reporting out of Erbil, said this. “According to Kurdish journalist Heybar Othman three US army groups will spread on the border. First group on Derbisiye Serikaniye area, second on Derbisiye-Tal Abyad area, and third on Kobani and Tal Abyad area.” 

Lizzie Phelan, an RT correspondent reporting from Syria, also noted the troop movements and offered some 140 character analysis. “US troops are patrolling Kurdish areas on border with Turkey and have set up base in Darbasiya that was attacked two days ago by Turkish army. So despite the apparent silence from Washington in the face of ongoing attacks on the YPG, this is a clear message. Three possible scenarios: 1. US confident their presence will stop Turkish attacks  2. They're US forces are at risk of being "collateral damage" from TSK attacks, or… 3. They have an agreement from Turkey about which YPG held areas they can attack.” 

Then things started getting truly interesting. Mete Sohtaoğlu, a journalist and researcher based in Istanbul, tweeted this. “Massive Turkish Armed Forces reinforcements have arrived in Sanliurfa near Syrian border opposite side of Tal Adyad.” Mutlu Civiroglu, a Syrian and Kurdish affairs analyst, tweeted along with a link to a YouTube video. “ANHA reports YPG responded to Turkish attacks on west of Tal Abyad by destroying a radar system and tank.”

Twitter is a good place to identify indicators, but it is also a damned good place to be bamboozled by wild rumors and deliberate propaganda. The presence of videos from sources who have established a reliable reputation helps. I also look for official statements from military spokesmen, but in this era of pervasive information operations, even that has to be examined carefully. In this case Colonel John Dorrian, the Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman, confirms the presence of US troops along the border.  


“WASHINGTON—American forces have started patrolling the Turkey-Syria border to prevent further clashes between Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters that have undermined the fight against Islamic State, U.S. officials said Friday.

The patrols are part of a far-reaching American effort to prevent the rival forces from targeting each other as the U.S. prepares to launch a major effort to drive Islamic State from its largest Syrian stronghold.

“U.S. forces are patrolling in Northern Syria to maintain stability in the area and prevent incidents that could divert efforts to defeat ISIS in Syria,” said Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for the U.S.-led military coalition against Islamic State, also known as ISIS.”  (WSJ)


So what are we to make of this? I can’t tell what unit is at the border. There are unmarked Strykers prominently flying American flags. I’ve seen no distinctive markings on the troops either, although I do see some non-standard uniform items. My guess is that they are from one of the Ranger battalions feeling their special operations oats. (Everybody wants to be an operator.) It was Rangers in Strykers riding around Manbij a while back. They appear to be working side-by-side with YPG troops in their Toyota pickups. 

Are these US troops prepared to call in airstrikes on attacking Turkish forces or are are they just window dressing to assuage our Kurdish partners? We need them to continue the assault on Raqqa and can’t afford to have them abandon that offensive to face their Turkish enemies. We also need them to establish our “safe area” which we want as badly as the Saudis. I get the sneaking suspicion we will, once again, cruelly use and abandon the Kurds. The only difference is this time it is the Rojava Kurds who will feel our perfidy. Perhaps the Russians will take note of this and seek to insert themselves between the Rojava Kurds and their American “benefactors.”

I can only imagine what’s going through the minds of my Special Forces brethren who stood by the YPG since the lean days.


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64 Responses to “U.S. Patrolling Syrian Border to Stop Turk-Kurd Clashes” – TTG

  1. Daniel says:

    Unfortunately I think the US betrayal of the Kurdish movement in Syria is a question of when, not if. When IS is neutralized, what use will we have for a bunch of feminist commies who seriously irritate a NATO ally? Unlike Barzani & Co in Iraq, I doubt they are interested in a long – term client relationship. I hope the YPG/YPJ are smart enough to have a contingency plan when the inevitable arrives.

  2. J says:

    It’s insanity what is building up. Turkey added another 130 F35 to its arsenal, which is indicative of a regional war in the offing (not just Syria). Russians putting more combat troops into Syria to counter U.S. buildup in the Turkey border area.
    And the Brit PM went on BBC two days ago and said that nuclear weapons usage is a viable first option strategy. Nutz just plain nutz.
    Whatever happened to peace and prosperity?

  3. Allen Thomson says:

    > Ranger battalions
    Totally irrelevant for the present discussion, but a new edition of the Ranger Handbook just came out. FYI & FWIW:

  4. LeaNder says:

    And the Brit PM went on BBC two days ago and said that nuclear weapons usage is a viable first option strategy. Nutz just plain nutz.
    Are you alluding to the special pick by the FT? Recent, meaning May’s January 17th speech?
    I have to admit that I somewhat doubt that she reached some quarters of the no-to-Europe-vote with that speech, or with her emphasis of ‘multicultural’ Great Britain, the British history and the Commonwealth.
    But yes, the “nuclear option” no doubt aligns the GB, France, the US and others …
    The third and final reason I believe we can come to the right agreement is that cooperation between Britain and the EU is needed not just when it comes to trade but when it comes to our security too.
    Britain and France are Europe’s only two nuclear powers. We are the only two European countries with permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. Britain’s armed forces are a crucial part of Europe’s collective defence.
    And our intelligence capabilities – unique in Europe – have already saved countless lives in very many terrorist plots that have been thwarted in countries across our continent. After Brexit, Britain wants to be a good friend and neighbour in every way, and that includes defending the safety and security of all of our citizens.
    So I believe the framework I have outlined today is in Britain’s interests. It is in Europe’s interests. And it is in the interests of the wider world.

    I do not think that is her most important or decisive trump factor in the upcoming GB – European leave talks. The more decisive factor will be that GB has a lot more leverage in specific European countries then in others, compared to Russia as far as commerce or the jobs it creates is concerned then e.g. concerning decisions like sanctions against Russia or Iran. … Let’s see how united the EU can stand in this context.

  5. b says:

    I have seen unconfirmed evidence that Russian troops are now patrolling the Turkish-Syrian border of the Kurdish Efrin region in north-west Syria. There have been clashes too in the area. The (coordinated?) Russian-U.S. message to the Wannabe-Sultan seems to be “stay out!”
    What is the U.S. going to do with eastern Syria? It will be a free for all of everyone against it. It is a landlocked area with potential enemies all around (who thinks that Jordan is a safe way out has not been watching). To me this all looks like some tactical CENTCOM decision with zero strategic through and knowledge behind it.

  6. Annem says:

    Our folks may be thinking that the Turkish threat would justify the Kurds and their allies into accepting a permanent base in their region and that it would protect the region from an Assad reconquest of the area.

  7. LeaNder says:

    “Massive Turkish Armed Forces reinforcements have arrived in Sanliurfa near Syrian border opposite side of Tal Adyad.” Mutlu Civiroglu, a Syrian and Kurdish affairs analyst, tweeted along with a link to a YouTube video. “ANHA reports YPG responded to Turkish attacks on west of Tal Abyad by destroying a radar system and tank.”
    TTG, I tried to follow you into videos for quite a while now trying to understand what you see, but which I obviously cannot. Meaning you have experienced-fighting-expertise enabling you to recognize your earlier US brethren on the ground, which I cannot truly distinguish from other–simplifying matters–other uniformed fighters.
    The video is pretty blurred? What is it supposed to tell us? You recognize the vehicles on the hill? As Stryker vehicles? Notice, I am aware, I may be miles of in my interpretation.
    So what are we to make of this? I can’t tell what unit is at the border. There are unmarked Strykers prominently flying American flags. I’ve seen no distinctive markings on the troops either, although I do see some non-standard uniform items.
    More video’s circling on YouTube via Twitter? Or earlier videos on your mind? Some arrival of vehicles you alluded to earlier?

  8. ambrit says:

    It might be an acceptable alternative to all and sundry, (except the Kingdom, of course,) to simply deny Eastern Syria to the jihadis. Assad might make a deal with a Shia dominated Iraqi central government to share any mineral resources sited in the east of Syria? My question is; can the “other” Shia groups make common cause with the Alawites?
    I find it vexing to consider the “realities” of a region where the only “actor,” (Syria,) that espouses religious tolerance and secularism is being targeted for extinction by the West. Shooting oneself in the foot seems simple in comparison.

  9. LeaNder,
    That ANHA video is of a YPG attack on a Turkish vehicle and radar site. There are several videos of the US Strykers. Here’s a good one with lots of detail. You can see the Stykers are new, unmarked and fairly recently painted. The troops’ uniforms strike me as special operations (Rangers) rather than regular Marine or Army soldiers. Someone who understands the narration may be able to tell us more. I believe some is in Italian.

  10. b says:

    I was told 75th Ranger is in the area. The few Strykers there do a show of presence. No more for now.
    I was asked what the NATO procedure are when the U.S. and Turkey both invoke Article 5 against the other. Anyone knows?

  11. SeanColl says:

    Fox News Sunday (4/30/2017)
    H.R. McMaster: “Here you have a Russian president acting against the Russian people’s interest.”

  12. Walker says:

    Man, I wish there was a “like” button on this site for that comment.

  13. turcopolier says:

    I saw HRM on Fox News Sunday. He looked bad. Very, warlike, he seems bent on finding someone to fight in order to to justify his “Triumph.” The claim of Russian assistance to the Taliban seems particularly implausible. I’d like to see some evidence on that. The worst thing he said IMO is that diplomacy must be directly linked in a causal relationship to a threat of military action. That once again, IMO, will place the US in a box in which if the NoKos call our bluff we will have to fight them. pl

  14. Babak Makkinejad says:
  15. elaine says:

    Colonel, The only reason I can imagine Russia arming the Taliban would
    be simple pay back for what we did back in the 70’s to Russia by arming
    the Mujahideen against them. Sometimes blood lust vengeance seems to take
    precedence over common sense with certain people. Sometimes it’s called
    Regarding NK: I keeping running across articles about them arming their
    spy satellites & hitting us with an EMP attack. Do they have the ability
    to do that? If so it would seem necessary to neutralize their satellites
    as an a priori to full blown conflict.

  16. Bandolero says:

    What I see in this US-Turkish row is another sign of the possibility of a looming divorce of Turkey from the Western bloc. The recent referendum in Turkey was one such sign for EU-Turkish relations, and now the military differences over the YPG may be a similar sign for US-Turkish relations. And if would come out this way, would that be good or bad?
    What I think many people overlook are news like these:
    Tass, April 27: Gazprom plans to begin laying Turkish Stream in summer
    Tass, April 28: Turkey, Russia clinch agreement on S-400 air defense system deliveries
    As far as I understand, the Borg are very much opposed to these deals, because they could set Turkey on a course of divorce from the Western bloc, but now they seem to go forward. And due to the US-Turkish tensions over the YPG, I don’t see much the Borg could do to stop these deals. Putting more pressure on Turkey would likely just accelerate the tendency of a Turkish divorce from the Western bloc.
    And then, I think, what needs to be thought through is, assuming there would really be a Turkish divorce from the Western bloc, like Turkey giving up it’s EU membership bid and leaving NATO, where would leave that the US and the Borg? The US would then have as clients in the region just two groups of Kurds: Barzanis Kurds in Iraq and a PKK offshoot in Syria. None of those have a state and both sit on landlocked territory. So, if Teheran, Bagdad, Damascus and Ankara would find any common formula on how to deal with the Kurdish question, like they may try to work it out in Astana, the US would be completely out of influence in the region. But then again, would that be bad or good?
    While the Borg see having the US out of the region as a disaster, I think for people who don’t like the US as a empire there could be made a strong case that it would be good – and very much in line with Trump’s campaign tune. Why not spent more money on building roads, trains and bridges in the US instead of spending it on military ops for trying to dictate how people in the middle east get along with each other? I think the current development in US-Turkish relations may help to get to such a policy, whether the Borg like it or not.

  17. Babak,
    I am replacing your Persian character set URL with a TinyURL just because.

  18. different clue says:

    Based on my totally amateur lack of background in the subject, I can’t imagine a spy satellite carrying up a big enough battery or a big enough charged capacitor or anything else with enough stored electric charge in it to be able to generate an EMP from it big enough to harm our chips and grids
    down here on the ground.
    I should think it would need a big H-bomb detonated in earth orbit to generate a big enough EMP to affect us here on the surface. And if even that wouldn’t do it, then what could the NorKors put up there that would do it? And not do it to their Chinese sponsors and Russian bystanders as well?

  19. kooshy says:

    This doesn’t’ make sense, look at map of Turkey in comparison to Kurdish areas of middle east, the strategic value of Turkey is much higher than that of the landlocked Kurdish areas, no one in sound mind ( a superpower) should want to trade off Turkey (who strategically has held of for 75 years against
    Russians) with a land locked non sovereign Kurdish entity that no neighbour will recognize. IMO, US/West is not that crazy to let Turkey go, and mainly IMO the reason Kurds get the thick end of the stick every time is, this end of the day value calculation which the Kurds come short. IMO, if El Presidente Sultan Erdo. walks too far off the ranch he will have a real chance of having his own Gaddafi moment, before he can become a Putin ally. Kurds (due to not having any other choice, and mostly of their own tribal mafiaism) for their history, have been used as balancing tool by various local or non-local powers, and when done, and no more useful, they are the first to get trade off and thrown away under the bus.

  20. Stumpy says:

    I would speculate that the Russian interest in Afghanistan may be simple business, i.e. Taliban need weapons and Russia needs cash. Also the idea that establishing Afghan and Pakistani influence the Russians get a bit more of a buffer at the borders, which they seem to like.

  21. Barbara Ann says:

    If Turkey decides to go to war proper with the Syrian Kurds I can’t see a few patrolling Rangers dissuading Erdogan from such a course of action. US troops engaging the forces of a supposed ally in a country we are not supposed to getting more deeply involved in would be a PR disaster. The halt in SDF operations in Raqqa (excl. Tabqa btw) resulting from Turkey’s actions has barely been reported, by contrast. If push comes to shove the US can leave the SAA & it’s allies to deal with Daesh in Raqqa after the RuAF has finished it’s Grozny treatment of Idlib.
    Turkey is infinitely more important to the rest of NATO than Rojava will ever be and Erdogan knows it. He has his elected dictatorship mandate now and seething hatred & mistrust of suspected US involvement in the July 15th coup attempt is still fresh. The Kurds will surely go under the bus again if that is what is expedient.

  22. Bandolero says:

    The whole notion that it would be “crazy to let Turkey go” for the US/West hangs on the premise that having a US empire is a good thing for the US. While I surely understand why strong supporters of Israel love to see a lot of US empire power in the middle east, I doubt the US capital to maintain the empire there is spent wisely regarding the interest of average US people. I think that US capital would be more wisely spent to rebuild the US. I remember Trump made similar arguments in his election campaign and it resonated quite well with voters.
    Besides that, I doubt the US has the ability to give Erdogan the Gaddafi treatment. In recent years the US and friends already unsuccessfully tried the following things to unseat Erdogan:
    – using kompromat (prosecutors linked to Gülen accusing Erdogan of corruption)
    – color revolution (Gezi protests & related propaganda campaign)
    – election interference (US help for opposition in recent Turkish elections)
    – military coup (badly failed last year)
    So, what’s left in the toolbox of the empire? Economic sanctions will likely push Turkey just closer to Russia and China. And a full scale US-led war on Turkey completely lacks domestic support in the US and other NATO countries.

  23. Degringolade says:

    Maybe I am getting on in years, but there is something about the way the “Americans” move that just doesn’t seem quite right.
    I got a funny feeling about this.

  24. LeaNder says:

    Bandolero, I somewhat dislike seeing the Gezi Park protests reduced to a color revolution. It started out as protest against redevelopment of the park. Converting it into whatever shopping mall or high priced residences, or both. Legitimate concerns … other equally legitimate concerns followed.
    The building boom seems to have been the basis of Turkey’s economical wonder under Tayyip. Arab money? At least partially?
    But I agree with you, I cannot see RTE, the ‘Reis’, facing Saddam’s fate. I don’t think Turkey ever made it on the to-be-regime-changed list of ME’ern states.

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Then you would be wrong.
    Russians and Chinese and Indians and Iranians want to settle Afghanistan.
    Whether US or Pakistan are interested in the same thing is the big question.

  26. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree with you for the most part.

  27. Degringolade,
    We’re both getting on in years. Back in the day, I knew quite a few who did time with the Ranger battalions. My Ranger buddy when I was a 2LT was a PFC in the 2nd Battalion. Back then, they were extreme infantry and not operators. I think a lot has changed since then. Later when I served in a SMU, we often guided STS teams to and from objectives. I was never impressed with their fieldcraft off the objective. On the objective and in the water, they were superb. Otherwise there was something off with the way they carried themselves.

  28. kooshy says:

    I fully agree to your first paragraph, but on the rest, all said I don’t’ see Turkey has been or can be let go or overturned not yet and not this easy and not with Erdo remaining in power. Past experiences makes it clear US (empires usually are not kind) is not keen to let clientele leave her circle on their own. IMO, what US and Turkey are doing with regard to Syria is a tactical game to keep the Syrian government allies off balance. Sultan Erdo of Turkey is happily working and loves the US domesticated Barazani mafia clan in Iraqi Kurdistan, what makes me blive Erdo would mind a US paid and tamed YPG, PKK, or any other 3 letter initial group. By the way from what I read on Iranian news sites, the other side knows this game Turkey, US play very well , and doing the same thing, using Turkey to have a window open and feel the air coming from the other side.

  29. kooshy says:

    Turkey is bombing the Kurds from the air, and US sends a few troops to Turkish, Syrian border to protect the ground at border? Probably the safest place to not getting bombed from air by allied Turkish US supplied F16s, flying from same base in Turkey US uses. As the say in Persian “They are filming us”.
    Meaning they are playing a game, making us watch an act.

  30. optimax says:

    There are too many generals in the WH kitchen. Trump says he seeks diplomacy first and bigley bad things if that don’t work itself out. We’re not talking to the NoKos but are depending on China to negotiate according to US will. Are our leaders naive or stupid to think China sees their interests as compatible with ours? It’s like Japan in WWII negotiating peace with the US through Stalin. Works every time.

  31. kooshy says:

    Someone for sure is aiding and supplying the Taliban with arms, ammunition and money. That someone can’t be the Chinese with unresting muslim Chinese Uyghurs on otherside. That someone can’t be Russia
    with her own unresting Chechens, why Russia wants to make Zibig’s dream job easy and empower muslim extremist under her soft muslim belly central Asia. That someone can’t be Iran arming and empowering extremist sunni group that almost went to war with back in 90s. My guess is that someone who is arming and supplying ammunition to Taliban is the Pakis with KSA/Qatar money and direct knowledge of US, this will allow US to have a presence and bases in (closest to) the central Asia, where Afghanistan links China, Iran, Russia’ soft underbelly, Kashmir (India, Pakistan). Did you notice 4 of these countries are declared nuclear armed states. In old world trade routs, Afghanistan was the junction going through Pamir (Possible persian meaning Killer of foot?) to go to China or going Through Hindu Kush to go to India.

  32. kooshy says:

    Hindu Kush ( the passage to India) in persian means Indian Killer sort of like John Wayne

  33. Jackrabbit says:

    One might’ve made a similar complaint about Afghanistan (so remote, land-locked, etc) and yet US is still there.

  34. Valissa says:

    Pat Buchanan agrees with you.
    The Rise of the Generals http://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/the-rise-of-the-generals/
    Has President Donald Trump outsourced foreign policy to the generals?
    So it would seem. Candidate Trump held out his hand to Vladimir Putin. He rejected further U.S. intervention in Syria other than to smash ISIS.
    He spoke of getting out and staying out of the misbegotten Middle East wars into which Presidents Bush II and Obama had plunged the country.
    President Trump’s seeming renunciation of an anti-interventionist foreign policy is the great surprise of the first 100 days, and the most ominous.
    … Who is behind the seeming conversion of Trump to hawk?
    The generals, Bibi Netanyahu and the neocons, Congressional hawks with Cold War mindsets, the Saudi royal family and the Gulf Arabs — they are winning the battle for the president’s mind.

  35. Jackrabbit says:

    LOL. After the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris 2 years ago I raised the question (at moonofalabama.org) of why France didn’t invoke, or threaten to invoke, Article 5 against Turkey.
    I think it pretty obvious why the French didn’t then. And the same holds true today.
    IMO Turkey’s attack bought ISIS some time. I suspect that is just what USA-KSA-Israel wanted.

  36. kooshy says:

    I watched the Fox Sunday program, pardon my french, IMO Mr. McMaster is a charlatan, not much different than Flynn, or Susan Rice .

  37. kooshy says:

    Yap, strangely somehow US strategic enemies likes of Iran, Saddam, Gaddafi, Hugo Chavez, they all end up holding up EMP capability up in utter space to threaten US electric grid.

  38. Jackrabbit says:

    “… they are winning the. Style for the President’s mind.”
    And Trump’s business interests having noting to do with it? IMO Trump’s “mind” doesn’t stray far from his own interests.
    Your still falling for the populist dazzle-dazzle? Obama’s 11-dimensional chess BS was debunked long ago. Trump has a billion reasons ($$) for conning us.

  39. kgw says:

    Seems like it’s not much of a fight. . .

  40. confusedponderer says:

    I recently read that Trump is annoyed by these lengthy instructions by CIA and military intelligence, so much that he prefers to get his info, err, true facts, from … (turn on!) FOX News.
    Entertainingly, Trump recently said that being US president was harder than he thought.
    “I love my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life,” Trump said. “I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a . . . I’m a details-oriented person. I think you’d say that, but I do miss my old life. I like to work so that’s not a problem but this is actually more work.”
    What a poor man. Alas, just brilliantly, Trump on Saturday just tweeted the following:
    “From the first day of my administration, I have governed by a simple idea: My only allegiance is to you, our wonderful citizens,” Trump said in his weekly, weekend address, a likely preview of what he’ll say at the rally.

    “Mainstream (FAKE) media refuses to state our long list of achievements, including 28 legislative signings, strong borders & great optimism!” Trump tweeted Saturday.

    “I truly believe that the first 100 days of my administration has been just about the most successful in our country’s history,”

    See? Trumps choices of policy – including cruise missiles to Syria or not getting the money for the wall to Mexico – they are are just ‘most successful’. His first 100 days in office were a grand series of grand successes – and thank you to Pennsylvania.
    President Trump is getting information and affirmation from Fox News, and he’s going a step further, openly promoting the conservative cable news channel.
    “Turn on Fox,” he told ABC’s David Muir when confronted by criticism of his speech at CIA headquarters, “and see how it was covered.”
    Trump said other networks, including ABC, covered the speech “very inaccurately,” but he said Fox got it right. He cited Fox’s coverage three times. “That speech was a home run. That speech, if you look at Fox, OK, I’ll mention you — we see what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches,” Trump said.

    Ah yes.
    Well, stuff like that lets me think that there isn’t much thinking or obstruction to overcome in his mind. Apparently, it rather is a game about preferences, playing vanities, not confusing with annoying details and keeping things brief and simple so the poor, hard working man can play 13 times golf in 9 weeks.
    That said, probably ‘golden the truth’ not only helps a lot also, it straightly becomes a necessity.

  41. johnf says:

    I always thought the Kush in Hindu Kush referred to the Kushan Empire, which straddled those parts late BC/early AD.
    “The word Kushan derives from the Chinese term Guishang, used in historical writings to describe one branch of the Yuezhi—a loose confederation of Indo-European tribes that had been driven out of northwestern China in 176–160 BC, migrated south, and reached Bactria (Tajikistan and northwest Afghanistan) around 135 BC”

  42. LeaNder says:

    thanks, TTG. Checked the Rangers again on Wiki. Been there before, definitively. Weak mind. Maybe indeed 75th Ranger, as b suggests?
    Someone who understands the narration may be able to tell us more. I believe some is in Italian.
    I don’t think anyone speaks Italian, TTG. You may have the guy towards the end in mind. But he is almost immediately translated. Not much time to listen. One word surfacing in the autogenerated Italian subtitles made me wonder, if he is Romanian. On the other hand the Italian subtitles seem oddly random.
    First, not one of the acoustically seemingly present words used by the female speaker surfaces in the subtitles, like Kurdistan, America and Turkey. They leave no trace, which makes me wonder how reliable the auto-generator is. Our ears are still a lot better then linguistic algorithms for Kurdish voice to Italian letters? Well, yes, I am sure they are.
    Second, it feels at least one name that surfaces in the subtitles should be acoustically present, to the extend the three countries above are recognizable. And the randomly surfacing English words, don’t seem to be there either. At least not in English. Like IPad.
    Third, it may be my wild imagination, but the subtitles, although seemingly pretty random leave a distinctive feel and touch all the way down to the guy interviewed and translated: “Video wall street closes your fucking …” semi kidding: ‘freckled free Wifi connection’.
    Fourth, no idea of the original language. Which means, I shouldn’t have used up space here.

  43. VietnamVet says:

    This is like a Civil War Veteran trying to figure out what units are in Pershing’s Mexico incursion based on newspaper pictures. The western troops don’t look like the line troops I served with but buffed up prison guards. They aren’t wearing Hollywood chic mercenary garb but stripped off their uniforms, painted over unit identifiers and grabbed what they could to cover their faces. They then flew American flags on their Strykers. Weird.
    The contradictions in American policy are going nuclear. NBC News tonight had a segment on the coming war with Russia over Arctic resources that can now be accessed due to climate change. This is simple insanity. The USA is fighting a war in Syria that it has no way of winning and sure in the hell appears to be getting ready to strike North Korea; not to mention wars in Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. This makes no sense unless rather than seeing the Empire crumble around them, the establishment has decided to fight a world war; winner take all. Except there won’t be any victorious survivors in underground bunkers in a nuked earth.

  44. Jack says:

    Pat Buchanan hit a home run with me with the post you linked to. I couldn’t agree more!

  45. Ulenspiegel says:

    “I do not think that is her most important or decisive trump factor in the upcoming GB – European leave talks. The more decisive factor will be that GB has a lot more leverage in specific European countries then in others, compared to Russia as far as commerce or the jobs it creates is concerned then e.g. concerning decisions like sanctions against Russia or Iran. … Let’s see how united the EU can stand in this context.”
    IMHO you work with debatable assumptions:
    While the divorce deal only requires a majority, i.e. allows in principle some divide et impera, the for UK much more important trade deal requires 27 yes votes, therefore, each diplomatic stunt in the divorce deal will very likely back-fire, here UK walks on relatively thin ice.
    Re defense: The contradiction is that UK oppoased a more EU centric denfense in the past as EU member, now to assume that UK can use her military as useful bargain chip as non-EU member sounds fishy for me.

  46. Lloyd D. Herod, Jr. says:

    TO: different clue and all
    Re: Nuclear EMP effects of space detonations,
    There were a series of high altitude detonations of fairly small nukes in the 1-2Kt rangeas well as a couple megaton range detonations by the US from 1958-62. There were seven known detonations of weapons in the 1,3-300Kt range by the Soviet Union during the late 1961-1962 time period. The smaller of these weapons are likely to weigh less then 200 pounds, The effects of those detonations have been studied and the literature is in the public domain, The DPRK appear to have delivery systems and weapons capable of duplicating the Soviet and US EMP tests. Wiki and other sources describe the effects of such detonations. HIgh altitude detonations of this type appear to be useful as a decapitation strike in the very early stages of a high intensity conflict as they are able to blind sensors and disable power grids and communications networks.
    Given the historical fragility of the US power grid to transient effects there is significant potential for large scale damage to power grids beyond what one would otherwise expect as well as damage on a similar scale to communications networks. This type of asymmetrical warfare could be very costly to the US and it’s allies.

  47. kooshy says:

    You could be right if the names drives from Kushan, I only wrote what it literary means in Persian, in persian
    Hindu Kush is a the most difficult obstacle mountain pass in road to india.
    ‘The Persian-English dictionary[28] indicates that the word ‘koš’ [kʰoʃ] is derived from the verb (‘koštan’ کشتن [kʰoʃˈt̪ʰæn]), meaning “to kill”. The word and suffix “-kush” means “kill, slay, death”.[29][30] According to one interpretation, the name Hindu Kush means “kills the Hindu” or “Hindu killer” and is a reminder of the days when slaves from the Indian subcontinent died in the harsh weather typical of the Afghan mountains while being taken to Central Asia.[27][31][32]’

  48. Bill Herschel says:

    Paul Krugman has an interesting column today predicting the collapse of Trump’s popularity:
    I would add, perhaps, his Presidency.
    You can’t tell me that McMaster doesn’t want to walk the walk after so much talking the talk. He’ll accept being appointed President any time. And what better way to get that appointment than war in Korea: “The situation has gotten too complicated militarily to be left to civilians.”
    A sort of reverse MacArthur Truman maneuver.

  49. Bill Herschel says:

    Sounds good. Floreat President MacMaster.

  50. b says:

    It is now confirmed that Russian soldiers are putting up shop near Afrin to deter Turkey from attacking the north-western Kurdish enclave.
    Military police and some special forces – in total maybe platoon size traveling light. Just a show of presence like the U.S. Ranger platoon did further east.

  51. LeaNder says:

    Ok, thanks, Ulenspiegel. You surely have more expertise on this then me. I guess the pessimist in me surfaced again. …
    The contradiction is that UK opposed a more EU centric defense in the past as EU member
    No doubt. But, I spare you further meditations on Europe… I sure hope that Macron wins. Let’s see.
    Dernier sondage : Macron se maintient, la dynamique est chez Le Pen

  52. shepherd says:

    Many players today are using social media and fake news to spread rumors of fearsome capabilities that are obviously imaginary.

  53. Valissa says:

    “Your still falling for the populist dazzle-dazzle?”
    WTF are you talking about?
    Can’t you read? All I did was share a link and excerpts from it. I didn’t vote for Trump. I’m a 3rd party voter.

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    US might be playing a game but Turks, Arabs, and Kurds are doing the actual dying across 3 countries.
    I cannot personally assign exclusive blame just to AKP and Erdogan; Kurdish political parties in Turkey bear major responsibility for the crisis in the Southeast
    And then there are also the Gulen Sheep and the Kemalist Mini-Mussolinis.
    All of them have failed to sketch out a credible Laissez-faire vision for Turkey over decades; in my opinion.

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Building Boom also underwrote the economic expansion of Ireland, Spain, and Portugal.
    I have come to the conclusion that for many countries, such as Turkey and Iran – let alone war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria – economic development based on “Building Boom” makes a lot more sense than a model based on export-oriented economic activity.
    The land in Istanbul is very inefficiently utilized, the city infrastructure could use a lot of improvement and there are entire section of the city that need to be razed and rebuilt. The Parks are few and in-between and streets are too small for the volume of traffic.
    I do not know the specifics of the Gezi Park case, however.

  56. Brad Ruble says:

    “Triumph”. It has been a while since a general had a ticker tape parade.

  57. kooshy says:

    Come to think of it, I think the persian name of the mountain range Hindu Kush meaning killer of Indian is more likely correct, that is since all other names of locations around the region are persian and have a meaning in persian, like the “Dorah Pass” meaning the pass of two rads. Which the two rods one goes to Pamir and one to Hindu Kush down to Panjab, in persian meaning five waters/rivers.

  58. kodlu says:

    You’re joking, right. What does Turkey have to do with the Charlie Hebdo attack?

  59. Jackrabbit says:

    Both ISIS and alQueda claimed responsibility.
    Maybe you forgot that ISIS oil was being shipped through Turkey?
    Maybe you forgot that the main transit of foreign fighters to ISIS was through Turkey.
    Most people didn’t know of these things at the time but bloggers suspected and government security agencies would’ve known.

  60. Jackrabbit says:

    When you propose that the borg is “winning the battle for the President’s mind” you implicitly make it appear that Trump (and others close to him) is resisting borg entreaties. This point of view is very similar to that of Obama apologists who insisted that Obama’s heart was in the right place.
    Repetition of this line of thought simply amounts to running interference for the President. Trump seems to have betrayed his ‘base’ just as Obama had betrayed his. And the fact that they each could gain monetary and other rewards for doing so should not be ignored. We don’t need convoluted theories that seek to explain their betrayal. Occam’s razor suggests that THEY EACH KNEW who they REALLY work for from day one.

  61. elaine says:

    All, http://www.rudaw.net/english/culture/01052017
    ‘Baghdaddy’: New York turns Iraq war into a musical
    TTG, Thank you once again for an excellent post, IMO Sultan Erdogan
    is in need of behavioral modification therapy.

  62. LeaNder says:

    Valissa, it feels that Buchanan may have been too concentrated on something like a long needed revolution in the US. At the expense of everything else. America First, back to Reagan? Make America Great Again?
    He must have read a different foreign policy speech by “the Donald” then I did. Not surprising, really. E.g. Concerning Russia, what he said then made me wonder how real his more generally taken for granted rapprochement would be. North Korea surfaced too, as did Iran.
    One of the central pillars always was the military. Considering he has no experience himself, why it is a surprise if he relies on it’s men now?
    The New York Times headline declared that Trump’s speech was full of “Paradoxes,” adding, “Calls to Fortify Military and to Use It Less.”
    But isn’t that what Reagan did? Conduct the greatest military buildup since Ike, then, from a position of strength, negotiate with Moscow a radical reduction in nuclear arms?

    America single-highhandedly won the Cold War? By forcing Russia to spent on the military beyond its means? Spent more on the military then they could afford? Forcing it on it knees?
    Someone around here advised me on why spending on nuclear arms may make sense. But he clearly wasn’t worried about that. Admittedly, I was. Never mind my basic ignorance on matters.
    I never completely understood, the Reagan hero worship. But, I assume that is one of the central sources: He won the Cold War.
    Maybe, I’ll read his book on Nixon.
    PS: Another random Pick. I surely understand American’s resistance to fight in WWII.
    I am aware how many gave their life; considering the treatment of conscientious objectors at the time, that surely was the lesser fate.
    But paradoxically I was always quite grateful America did fight in WWII.

  63. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So do the Western Leaders.

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