Cutting the Gordian knot of Syria is beyond OUR power
March 18, 2016 by Thomas Wictor
The Gordian knot is a legend from antiquity used to symbolize what seems like an insoluble program. Gordias the peasant was made king of the Phrygians; his son Midas dedicated Gordias’s ox-cart to the Phrygian god Sabazios and tied it to a post with an intricate knot of cornel bark. In 333 BCE, Alexander the Great arrived at Gordium. He wanted to untie the knot but couldn’t find the two ends. So he either removed the pin holding the yoke of the ox-cart, or he ended up cutting the knot in two with his sword.
Cutting the Kurdish knot
Most people see the Kurds as heroic fighters united against the Islamic State. Nothing could be further from the truth. Kurds are flawed humans like the rest of us. Kurdish Peshmerga (Ones Who Face Death) are Iraqis. They’re divided into three groups: those controlled by the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP), those controlled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and those controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Beginning in 2012, the KRG began training thousands of Syrian Kurds as fighters. The actual hands-on instruction was done by the KDP. These troops call themselves the Rojava Peshmerga, after the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria.
Rojava is not contiguous; the city of Azaz has not fallen under Kurdish control.
So these thousands of Rojava Peshmerga are in Syria, fighting shoulder to shoulder with the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), right?
Saleh Muslim, co-president of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, said in an exclusive interview with ARA News: “We do not recognize any military force under the name of Rojava’s Peshmerga (dissident Kurdish soldiers from the Syrian Amy who have been trained in Iraqi Kurdistan).”
“We do not recognize any armed force under such a name,” Muslim said.
“We only recognize the Ministry of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and officially deal with it,” he added.
The Rojava Peshmerga have not been allowed into Syria. And Saleh Muslim is splitting hairs: The Rojava Peshmerga were organized by the Kurdish Regional Government. The PYD rejects these troops because they were trained by the KDP.
And what do the Rojava Peshmerga have to say about the YPG and the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD)?
Ibrahim Biro, the leader of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (KNC), also said the Peshmergas do not want to join the newly established Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that includes the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and some Syrian Arab groups that fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
“The SDF group has good relations with the Syrian regime. For that reason we cannot join them nor make any agreement with them,” Biro told ARA News.
These Kurds are all lying about each other. They’re putting political power ahead of human lives.
Cutting the Kurdish-Arab knot
We’ve all seen what the Islamic State is about.
And much, much, much worse. So if Kurds offered to liberate the Arab city of Raqqa, Syria, the residents would be grateful, right?
“There is an underlying ethnic conflict here,” said [Soner] Cagaptay of the Washington Institute. “Raqqa being an Arab city and having been liberated by the YPG would be seen by the locals as being occupied by Kurds.”
Don’t kid yourself. The Sunni Arab Raqqa Revolutionaries’ Brigades (Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa) was a Kurdish YPG ally. In November of 2015 it merged with the Sunni Arab Tribes’ Army to form the Raqqa Revolutionary Front (Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa). However, tensions between Kurds and Arabs resulted in the YPG and its allies blockading the Raqqa Revolutionary Front at Tel Abyad.
On January 6, 2016, the Tribes’ Army voluntarily ceased to exist.
What remains unclear is why the Tribes’ Army disbanded rather than simply drop out of its alliance with the YPG.
Jabhat Thuwar al-Raqqa’s announcement did not blame any specific party for the dissolution of the Tribes’ Army. A senior Raqqa-based rebel commander who requested anonymity told Syria Direct Tuesday that it was the blockade against Liwa Thuwar and Tribes’ Army rebels in Tel Abyad that made the disbanding an “inevitability.”
In a moment I’ll tell you why the Tribes’ Army disbanded.
Cutting the Turkish-Kurdish knot
This was actually the easiest problem to solve. In comparison, the Kurds have not yet been persuaded to cooperate with each other. The cutting of this knot began sometime in 2014. Turks get no credit for their concessions.
September 20, 2014 – The Turks allowed 300 Kurds to join Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State in Kobane.
September 21, 2014 – More than 130,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees were allowed into Turkey.
Their safety, shelter, and food was paid for by the Turks.
September 24, 2015 – The Turks carried out air strikes against the Islamic State in Kobane. Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve didn’t begin air strikes on Kobane until September 27, 2014.
September 28, 2015 – The Turks allowed 1500 Kurdish fighters to enter Kobane from Turkey.
October 29, 2014 – Fifty Arab special operators entered Kobane from Turkey. The media claims that these were dorks from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), but that’s not possible. These fifty men killed hundreds of Islamic State terrorists.
October 31, 2014 – About 150 Kurdish Peshmerga from Iraq were allowed into Kobane from Turkey. They were armed with artillery and had to have been flown in.
The Turks have publicly stated their intention to accept an independent Kurdistan. You’d think that people would give a little in return, but the Palestinian leadership has never made a single accommodation, so there’s precedent for pathological intransigence.
Well, different people are now in charge.
Cutting through the obstructions
I said above that I’d tell you why the Tribes Army disbanded instead of simply dropping out of the alliance with the YPG. It’s because they were ordered to do so. And what happened to the Raqqa Revolutionaries’ Brigades (Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa), which had a falling out with the Kurds?
The Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa (Raqqa Revolutionaries’ Brigades), affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), is one of the factions that has continued to wage war against the Islamic State (IS). In an interview with Al-Monitor, the brigade’s commander, known by the nom de guerre Abu Issa, said that his brigade had joined the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen and Christian factions, as part of a strategy to combat the terrorism of IS and other extremist organizations.
He also said the brigade’s war against the Syrian regime continues unabated and emphasized that Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa remains committed to the Syrian revolution, as evidenced by its continuing to raise the Syrian revolutionary flag.
Someone told the Raqqa Revolutionary Front, “You can be part of the future, or you can disband. There’s no third option.”
Actually, this was the unstated third option.
Russia now has a whole new outlook on life.
Colonel Steve Warren: We have seen the Russians fly sorties in the last 24 hours, but they have not conducted any strikes.
The Russians are therefore pretending.
Russia says its warplanes are carrying out up to 25 air strikes a day around the Syrian city of Palmyra in support of Syrian forces trying to oust so-called Islamic State (IS). Defence ministry spokesman Lt Gen Sergei Rudskoi said the Syrian army was poised to defeat IS militants there.
But US officials said Russia staged no air strikes in Syria in the past week.
Everyone’s letting the Russians save face. I couldn’t do it. My instinct would be to expose all the childish make-believe. But as I said before, I’m too vengeful.
Syrians and Iranians are pretending too.
The Syrian army has recaptured a section of a highway in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province from the Daesh terrorist group, a local source told Sputnik on Tuesday.
“The army [re]gained control over a part of the highway linking the Al-Tim oil field and the city of Mayadin near the city of Deir ez-Zor,” the source said.
According to the source, fierce fighting in the operation resulted in multiple casualties among the Daesh militants.
No. The Syrian army isn’t assaulting al-Mayadin.
Just two weeks ago, unidentified troops took an Islamic State military base at al-Tanf.
US troops stationed in Jordan fired GPS-guided rockets into Syria for the first time, in support of “rebels” who entered Syria from Jordan. In reality those rebels were Arab League or allied strategic special operators. They couldn’t have entered Syria if that area were crawling with determined Syrians and Iranians.
Those guys are playacting. Some of them don’t even have ammunition pouches. Russia is pretending to bomb Palmyra, and the Syrians and Iranians are pretending to attack Deir Ezzor.
Someone else is about to take Deir Ezzor for real.
Early today, the U.S. backed “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) imposed full control over the village of Al-Mukmin in the Al-Hasakah Governorate’s southern countryside after a short battle with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) near the Deir Ezzor Governorate’s northern border.
With the capture of Al-Mukmin today, the Syrian Democratic Forces are now just a few kilometers away from the Deir Ezzor Governorate; this leaves ISIS in serious trouble as they will be cutoff from their primary supply route to the Al-Raqqa Governorate.
The end approaches.
Cutting like a blowtorch
I’m positive that Jaysh al-Thuwar (Army of Revolutionaries) is mostly Arab League and allied strategic special operators with Syrians in support. This group is a component of the Syrian Democratic Forces. Although it has no state-patron, it keeps winning. I finally found a second piece of combat footage. You can clearly see the difference between the first man and the others.
He aims carefully and stands as steady as a rock when he fires. His face is never shown. When he crosses the street, he’s in total control, watching the enemy and producing a storm of bullets to cover himself.
His posture is textbook special operator.
For “shoot and move,” you lean forward, put your head down close to your weapon, and keep your knees bent. This improves your accuracy.
He’s also wrapped the rifle sling around his supporting hand to reduce the recoil.
He’s a highly trained, calm, effective, and lethal professional.
We can shoot fine. However, we’re terrible at cutting Middle Eastern Gordian knots. Let’s leave that up to the experts.
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