Near East Folie a Trois featuring Syria, Turkey and Kurds--soon to be full-on international war
Once upon a time, there was relative peace in the NE (near east, which is a more precise location name for the Levant and nearby areas) despite simmering resentments and hatreds. Along came crypto-Muslim B. Hussein, who liked to play with matches, many of them thoughtfully lit for him by his handmaiden, Hellery. First they thought Africa might be a nice experimental area for their wars of oil, gold, riches beyond belief. Enticed by the victorious battle cry of "We came, we saw, he died. Hahaha", Hussein thought what a fun game this is. But beset with uncertainty, because after all, he is only a sneaky wimp, Handmaid Hellery pushed his hind-regions in dropping more matches on an NE country, governed by an overt Muslim. Despite being a despot, Assad did have policies of religious tolerance and acts of malice performed against the national population, he was certainly more benign than neighboring "benevolent" rulers such as Hussain (note the subtle difference in spelling), Saud, and Bibi.
Old habits die hard, especially in the NE, one of those habits, shared by everyone, but by Assad to a lesser degree, was feuding violently with neighbors. They've been doing this since the Romans departed Palestine and became more adept after Mohammed routed bedouins, Jews, and other unbelievers from the Arab homeland. Unfortunately, internecine warfare, dressed up as differing doctrines of the "true faith", soon arose. This spawned the Shia and the Sunni.
While not being Arabs, a cultural group called the Kurds were also Muslim and, like the Palestinians, found themselves without a homeland. Some Kurds called northern Iraq home. Others felt that southeast Anatolia was home. Still others dwelt in northwest Syria.
The Kurds in all three arbitrarily constructed nations felt a cultural, if not religious, affinity for one another. The Shia were sundered by Sunni-dominated Iraq between Syria and non-Arabic Iran.
Yet another non-Arab Muslim nation, surviving from the ruins of the Ottomans, congealed into Turkey, largely comprised of the ancient Anatolia.
As mentioned above, this situation festered grievances of hundreds of years' duration. An explosive mixture, awaiting an incendiary event, such as the dropping of lit matches by Obomber and the Mad Bomber.
So, after funding ISIS and Al-Qaeda, Obomber sat back in his easy chair, eating popcorn while watching Drone TV broadcast the fight. Ah, yes, "let's you and him fight". Vladimir Vladimirovich did not like the uneven fight, especially when it endangered his warm water treaty port of Tartus. This with typical bear-like determination he helped Assad beat back the riff-raff.
Obomber, never afraid to spend good money after bad, since none of it was his own, actually had to send in troops, disguised as aircraft maintenance workers and military instructors. The air campaign did not go well because those pesky Russkies (yes, those guys!) insisted in flying over battle zones. Hussein, being color-blind failed to perceive the "red line in the sand" (what with all the admixed blood) and stopped just short of establishing a no-fly zone, hence initiating WW3. However, the Mad Bomber, determined not to be made to look soft, kept insisting that the wimp really duke it out with the Russkies (or, more properly, nuke it out).
Fortunately Hellery's coach got lost on the way to coronation and she got Trumped. So defeated ISIS and Al-Qaeda (or al-Nusra or whateverthehell they call themselves) with two very potent weapons.
Warning: the following sentence may offend some--Trump actually left the fighting to a Mad Dog, who proved very capable at killing. But more importantly, he cut off the funds with which the Clowns In America were using to pay ISIS-Al-Qaeda and other "moderate rebels". Faster than you can shout "George Soros!", these groups are heading for the dustbin of history (same place as the Dimocrats are bound in a few years).
Trump, wisely taking a lesson from history (something the modern Demonratic party has proven itself unable to do), he stepped back from the aggressive war in Syria, although he did not abandon it entirely. I surmise his reluctance to completely withdraw and declare victory was to continue supplying the MIC with red meat, thus maintaining his still precarious grasp on power.
So now we come to the present day.
Assaad and team are beating back the "moderate rebels" steadily with the help of V.V. Putin's airfare AND the inestimable help of Kurdish fighters. This tripartite combination is just too much for the invading Sunnis to overcome, especially when the predominantly Shia Syrians would never succumb easily to them (a lesson the US miserably failed to learn in Viet Nam).
Hence a power vacuum has developed in this war torn NE hell hole. The Turks, having a sizable Kurdish minority are none too happy about this turn of events. So they have entered this so-called civil war, mainly fighting on the northeast border of Syria. The aim of this is obviously to counterbalance the Kurdish interlopers in Syria, whom by the way, are not resented by Assad. Was long as a Kurdish enclave in northeast Syria doesn't try to overthrow Assad, he won't try to crush their culture or religious practices.
So now the stage is set:
1. From stage right--a resurgent Assad team
2. On stage left--an exiting, disappearing bunch of moderate rebels
3. On stage left posterior, Erdogan chomping at the bit to crush Kurds and take a bite out of Assad
4. On stage right posterior, Kurds happily grinding up the "mods" in their sector
5. On stage south, Bibi salivating at the internecine warfare and the thought of more U.S. foreign aid. However, BN is being patient, according to the doctrine of let's you and him fight.
For those of you, who thirst after citations from sources more reliable than a swamp, I offer the following:
The Assad regime's soldiers are siding with the Kurds in northwest Syria, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. "The announcement followed weeks-long negotiations between Kurdish and Syrian government representatives over the future of the Afrin district. Those talks proceeded as Turkish troops and thousands of their Syrian rebel allies advanced through the surrounding mountains."
The direct implications: This new move "could thwart a Turkish offensive there — or draw Turkey and Syria into direct confrontation."
BTW, here's a tidy, two-sentence summary of the many foreign interventions in Syria, via Middle East scholar Hassan Hassan: "ISIS caused the U.S. to intervene in Syria in 2014, while ISIS's former affiliate caused Russia to intervene the following year (2015). The year after that, in 2016, Turkey intervened to check the expansion of the YPG, itself a byproduct of the U.S. intervention in 2014 that was itself a byproduct of the policies of Turkey whose intervention in 2016 was made possible through an alliance with Russia, an alliance designed to counter the U.S. policies in Syria."
Note: the enemy of my enemy is my friend hasn't worked out so well for Turkey, now that the Kurds are gaining impressive military victories.
BEIRUT — Kurdish fighters in Syria said Tuesday that militias aligned with President Bashar al-Assad’s government had entered the northern enclave of Afrin in a move that could thwart a Turkish offensive there — or draw Turkey and Syria into direct confrontation.
The pro-Assad fighters arriving in the enclave Tuesday appeared to belong to Iranian-backed units that have often bolstered the efforts of the Syrian military, and it was unclear whether or when the Syrian army itself would be deployed in the area.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested Tuesday that the incoming fighters were acting without the authority of the Syrian government. Speaking at news conference, he warned that Turkey would not allow “a wrongful step” in the future, adding that those who do “would pay a high price.”
Interesting that Erdogan is lecturing Syria how to manage its as yet internal conflict. Hypocrisy is not a uniquely US political virtue.
The government’s move to support the Kurds threatened to unravel months of diplomatic efforts by Russia, Turkey and Iran to de-escalate the conflict. It also signaled a new phase of the war with a greater potential for military engagements between other countries with a stake in the outcome, among them Turkey, Iran and the United States.
In the Ghouta area, Monday was the deadliest day in three years, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group. The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations put the two-day death toll at 200 or more.
Eastern Ghouta, a cluster of concrete-block towns and farmland with an estimated population of nearly 400,000, is of President Bashar al-Assad. Rebels based there periodically shell government-held neighborhoods of Damascus.
Thus, unless Erdogan invades and if Drumpf stays on the sidelines, this long festering Syrian mess may be over--at least for a while.
I offer this picture for Nobel Peace Laureate B. Hussein Obama for a place on his trophy shelf: