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Topics - Rudi Jan

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Central Bank Issues Stunning Warning: "If The Entire System Collapses, Gold Will Be Needed To Start Over"

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 10/13/2019 - 13:04

It's not just "tinfoil blogs" who (for the past 11 years) have been warning that a monetary reset is inevitable and the only viable fallback option once trust and faith in fiat is lost, is a gold standard (something which even Mark Carney hinted at recently): central banks are joining the doom parade now too.

An article published by the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), or Dutch Central Bank, has shocked many with its claim that "if the system collapses, the gold stock can serve as a basis to build it up again. Gold bolsters confidence in the stability of the central bank's balance sheet and creates a sense of security."

While gloomy predictions of a monetary reset are hardly new, they have traditionally been relegated to the fringe of mainstream financial thought - after all, as Mario Draghi stated on several occasions in recent years, the mere contemplation of a "doomsday scenario" is enough to create the self-fulfilling prophecy which materializes it. As such, it is stunning to see a mainstream financial institution open up about the superior value of limited supply, non-fiat, sound money assets. It is also hypocritical given the diametrically opposed Keynesian practices regularly engaged in by central banks and official institutions worldwide: after all, just a few months back, the IMF published a paper bashing Germany's adoption of the gold standard in the 1870s as the catalyst for instability in the global monetary system.

Fast forward to today, when the Dutch Central Bank is admitting not only did gold not destabilize the monetary system, but it will be its only savior when everything crashes.

The article, titled "DNB's Gold Stock" states:

"A bar of gold retains its value, even in times of crisis. This makes it the opposite of "shares, bonds and other securities" all of which have inherent risk and prices can go down.

Photo of gold bars from the DNB's article "Goud van DNB."
According to the IMF's latest data, the DNB holds 615 tons (15,000 bars) of gold mainly in Amsterdam, with other stores in the U.K. and North America; the value of this gold reserve is over €6 billion ($6.62 billion). Calling gold the “trust anchor,” the article details briefly why the hard asset is so important to wealth building and the global economy, claiming: "Gold is... the trust anchor for the financial system. If the whole system collapses, the gold stock provides a collateral to start over. Gold gives confidence in the power of the central bank's balance sheet."

Why this sudden admission of what goldbugs have been saying for years? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that on October 7, the bank announced it would soon be moving a large part of its gold reserves to "the new DNB Cash Center at military premises in Zeist."

Almost as if the Netherlands is preparing for the grand reset, and is moving its most valuable asset to a "military" installation just for that purpose.

As tongue-in-cheek points out, "DNB is no stranger to playing along with the Keynesian, inflationary games of the global monetary system. A system which, according to some, is now more a Ponzi scheme based on force and blind faith than sound economic principle. That notwithstanding, the centralized financial powers of the world know the real score, and that’s why hard assets like gold are hoarded and locked down while everyday, individual residents of these geopolitical jurisdictions are encouraged to spend and spend, going further into debt to prop up ultimately unsound national economies."

It is hardly a coincidence that in its preparation for monetary doomsday, the Dutsch Central Bank is also set to begin cracking down on crypto exchanges and wallets, stating that "firms offering services for the exchange between cryptos and regular money, and crypto wallet providers must register with De Nederlandsche Bank."

While the push for greater KYC/AML transparency is a growing global trend, and is hardly surprising in a world in which trillions in assets reside in "tax-evading" offshore jurisdiction, the remarkable aspect of this latest crackdown against crypto - which many see as a modern, more efficient form of "gold" - is the fact that invasive regulations and restrictions by central banks can be seen as yet another means of stockpiling precious assets. This time, not gold bars, but bitcoin and crypto.

As for the timing of the "great monetary reset", which other central banks have already quietly hinted at themselves amid massive repatriation of physical gold from the New York Fed to various European central banks such as Germany and Austria, we are confident that the trust-keepers of the current establishment - such as other central banks and the IMF - will be kind enough to provide ample advance notice to the citizens of the "developed" world to exchange their fiat into hard assets. Or, then again, perhaps not.

US troops ‘leave’ Kobani as Turkish incursion advances

14 Oct, 2019 00:28

Turkey-backed militias in Syria © REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

American troops have reportedly withdrawn from their observation post in the town of Kobani in northern Syria as Turkish army advances deeper south and Damascus says it sent the Army to the area.

The pullout began after 3 pm local time, Turkey’s Anadolu new agency reported citing security sources. There have been no confirmation from Pentagon. The American observation post in Kobani, the strategic town also known as Ayn Al-Arab, came under Turkish artillery fire on Saturday. No one was hurt and it’s unclear if the attack was deliberate.

A small number of US troops have also reportedly left their station in the town of Ain Issa, a Kurdish administration center located an hour’s drive south from Kobani. This happened as Turkish-backed militias were advancing on the city. The troops were relocated to other bases in Syria, according to Washington Post. Earlier reports claimed that US troops in Ain Issa were left isolated after Turkish-backed forces took control of the M4 highway, a key supply route in northern Syria that runs through the city.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Sunday that the US is planning to evacuate about 1,000 troops from northern Syria. “We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” he told CBS. “There is no way they could stop 15,000 Turks from proceeding south.”

The Turkish Defense Ministry said Sunday that its troops have pushed 30-35km into the Kurdish-held territory, several kilometers beyond its proposed 30-km ‘safe zone.’

Meanwhile the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said it has reached an agreement  with Damascus for the Syrian government troops to be deployed along the border with Turkey. The Syrian Army entered the city of Manbij in the northern province of Aleppo late on Sunday, Lebanese broadcaster Al Mayadeen reported. They are said to be planning to reach Kobani, some 60 kilometers away, within 48 hours. RT’s sources in the region have confirmed the report.

With the Syrian Army on the move, the pressure is mounting on Turkey, believes Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“The Syrian government is going to try to go across and get the oilfields, the gas fields that are so crucial for Syria’s economic well-being,” he said, adding that they also want to take control over prime agricultural land and the Tabqa Dam that the Americans and the Kurds have held. Landis fears that without enough diplomatic efforts, an all-out war could break out between Turkey and Syria.

The Turkish military has entered northern Syria as part of the so-called “Operation Peace Spring,” with Ankara saying it would establish a buffer zone for the return of Syrian refugees. However, it is also aimed against the Kurdish militia that Turkey considers terrorist, and had led to an exodus of Kurdish civilians from the area.

Ankara’s move has been condemned internationally, and several Western countries have halted their military supplies to Turkey in retaliation. US President Donald Trump, who has come under heavy criticism for pulling out American troops and thus “betraying Kurdish allies,” on Sunday threatened to impose “powerful sanctions on Turkey.” Those could personally target Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. However, Trump is unlikely to change his mind about the pullout, which he says was needed to end the “endless war.”

R ~ Turkey's military is green in battle experience vs. the Syrian Army, as are the Kurds. This will bog down very quickly and Turkey will not come awya clean.

Kurdish-led forces retake most of key city in northern Syria

By News Desk -2019-10-13

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:20 A.M.) – The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched a swift counter-offensive against the Turkish-backed militants in northern Syria last night.

According to reports, the Syrian Democratic Forces stormed the positions of the Turkish-backed militants at Ras Al-‘Ayn in a bid to retake the areas they lost.

The attack would ultimately pay off as the Syrian Democratic Forces reentered the city and recaptured several sites that were seized by the Turkish-backed militants in Ras Al-‘Ayn.

The Syrian Democratic Forces and the Turkish-backed militants are now engaged in a fierce battle for control of Ras Al-‘Ayn and its surroundings.

At the same time, the Syrian Democratic Forces have been fiercely resisting the Turkish-backed militants near the strategic city of Tal Abyad in northern Al-Raqqa.

According to the latest report from Al-Raqqa, the Turkish-backed militants managed to capture the town of Sulouk after a brief battle with the Syrian Democratic Forces this morning.

Syrian Army attacks foreign jihadists along Turkish border

By News Desk -2019-10-13

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:45 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) was filmed striking the positions of the foreigner-led Turkestan Islamic Party near the Turkish border this past week.

In a short video released by Sputnik’s Arabic-language channel, the Syrian Arab Army can be seen heavily targeting the Turkestan Islamic Party in the northern countryside of the Latakia Governorate near the Turkish border.

The Syrian Arab Army has intensified their strikes in the Latakia Governorate following a string of attacks carried out by the jihadist forces in this region of the country.

Earlier in the week, the jihadist rebels from Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham carried out a powerful raid in the Jabal Turkmen area that killed at least two Syrian Arab Army soldiers.

According to a military report from Latakia, the jihadist attack was carried out at the hills of Al-Ziyarah, which is close to the front-lines in Jabal Turkmen.

Syrian army units move north to 'confront Turkish aggression'

Sun Oct 13, 2019 07:02PM [Updated: Sun Oct 13, 2019 07:14PM ]

Members of the Syrian army forces are transported in the back of military vehicles toward the town of Khan Sheikhun
in the northern province of Idlib on August 24, 2019, after they announced the total control of the city a day before. (Photo by AFP)

The Syrian army has dispatched several units to the northern part of the country to confront a ground offensive by the Turkish military and allied militants from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) on border towns under the control of Kurdish communities.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Sunday evening that Syrian Arab Army units have begun moving to the territory “to confront Turkish army aggression.”

The new development came after reports emerged noting that representatives from the Damascus government and the Kurdish-led and so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been holding talks in the strategic Hmeimim air base in Syria's western coastal province of Latakia.

Ahmed Suleiman, a senior member of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party (KDPP) in Syria, told Reuters on Sunday that the talks were underway, expressing hope for a deal that would halt a Turkish attack.

Suleiman, however, did not say whether he or his party, which is independent from the SDF, had participated in the negotiations.

The top KDPP member went on to say that an agreement between the Syrian government delegates and the Kurds would “halt the ongoing war and especially its catastrophic and dangerous consequences,” adding that the talks could be moved to Damascus.

“We have confirmed from the start of the (Turkish) invasion that we will study all options that could spare our people ethnic cleansing,” Mustafa Bali, the head of the SDF media office, said when asked about the KDPP member’s comments.

According to Reuters, Syrian government officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Kurdish party leader 'killed in ambush' by Turkish-backed militants

Separately, a high-ranking Kurdish politician and party leader was killed in northeastern Syria.

Hevrin Khalaf, the secretary-general of the Future Syria Party, was killed during an ambush by Turkish-backed FSA militants during an attempt to capture a point on the international M4 road, the Kurdish-Language Kurdistan 24 television news network reported.

Slain Secretary-General of the Kurdish Future Syria Party Havrin Khalaf (via Twitter)

Khalaf was reportedly killed on the road to the city of Qamishli,local media outlets added.

“A group of Turkish mercenaries tried to control the M4 road and killed many people, and Hevrin was one of them,” Kurdistan 24 said.

Dozens of civilians killed, injured as Turkish jets bomb marketplace

Moreover, SANA reported that a large number of people have lost their lives and sustained serious injuries when Turkish fighter jets struck a commercial district in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

The report, citing local sources, said the military aircraft bombarded Souq al-Mughlaq marketplace in the town of Ras al-Ayn, claiming the lives of dozens of people. There were reportedly foreign journalists among the victims.

A video published on social media networks showed tens of injured people, with charred and mutilated bodies strewn everywhere.

525 terrorists 'neutralized' by Turkish operation

The Turkish Defense Ministry also said on Sunday that a total of 525 Kurdish militants from the People's Protection Units (YPG) had been neutralized ever since Turkey's operation in northern Syria started.

Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed FSA militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria in a declared attempt to push YPG militants away from border areas.

PressTV-Turkey starts war against Kurds in northeastern Syria
Turkish military and allied forces have launched a cross-border offensive against Kurdish YPG militants in northeastern Syria.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the SDF.

Syrian army moving to face 'Turkish aggression' in country's north – state media

13 Oct, 2019 17:18

FILE PHOTO: Syrian government troops. © Sputnik / Mikhail Alaeddin

Tensions are mounting in northern Syria as Damascus started moving its forces to face the Turkish troops that are carrying out an operation against the Kurds in the area, state news agency Sana reports.

The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said in a statement that an agreement has been reached with Damascus for the Syrian government troops to be deployed along the border with Turkey.

The Syrians will deploy to the strategic Kurdish-held border town of Kobani within 48 hours, Lebanese broadcaster al-Mayadeen reported. RT’s sources in the region also confirmed the reports.

The Syrian army already entered the city of Manbij in the northern province of Aleppo late on Sunday, al-Mayadeen reported. The Kurd militiamen let the government troops pass through their checkpoints unhampered.The distance between Manbij and Kobani is around 60 milometers, a one-hour car drive.

Turkey is going to come under intense pressure now that Syrian troops are heading to the north, believes Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“The Syrian government is going to try to go across and get the oilfields, the gas fields that are so crucial for Syria’s economic well-being. Also, this is prime agricultural land as the Euphrates River flows down here. The Tabqa Dam that the Americans and the Kurds held, the Syrian government is going to want to take that back as well,” he listed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, would have to show off their best diplomatic skills to avoid an all-out war between their countries, Landis believes.

Earlier this week, the Turkish military entered northern Syria without consent from Damascus in order to fight the Kurdish militia in the Kobani region, whom Ankara regards as terrorists.

Turkey says the aim of the operation is to create a “safe zone” near its border to prevent the Kurdish fighters from making incursions into the country.

Before the start the Turkish operation, the US called back several dozen of its servicemen, who were embedded with the Kurdish forces. On Saturday, Donald Trump authorized a withdrawal of the remaining 1,000 US troops from Kobani so that they don’t get caught up between the warring sides.

The Kurds, who had been Washington’s main allies in fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) before, called the US move a betrayal.

Turkey Conducts Offensive in Syria for 5th Day Amid Growing Pushback

10:00 13.10.2019

© AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis

Ankara is pressing forward with its military operation in northern Syria despite harsh criticism from the EU, the United States and the Arab League, who are considering possible sanctions and diplomatic measures against the country.

The Turkish military and local fighters supported by Ankara continue to move ahead with "Operation Peace Spring" in Syria, aimed against the Daesh* terrorist group and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). A day earlier saw battles in the border city of Ras al-Ayn, as both Turkey and the SDF claimed they had gained control over its centre. According to Ankara, its forces have neutralised 415 militants since the start of the op.

The ground offensive was announced earlier this week by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who vowed to continue it despite major pushback from the EU, the US, and Arab States.

Local residents applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces trucks transporting tanks is driven in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border
with Syria

According to his Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the op was launched under Article 51 of the UN Charter and UN Security Council Resolutions regarding the fight against terrorism because Turkey considers the Kurdish troops to be affiliated with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that Ankara has blacklisted as a terror organisation.

Damascus, however, stressed that the operation is another violation of Syria's sovereignty. The Arab League also opposed Ankara on the issue and is considering halting military cooperation and lowering of diplomatic ties with Turkey. At the same time, France and Germany have already halted arms exports to Ankara, urging the Middle Eastern country to stop the offensive.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Ask MPs to Back New Deal or Delay Brexit - Report

15:13 12.10.2019

© REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch

Media reports say Brussels and London are closer than ever to striking an agreement, but whether MPs approve it remains a question.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will ask MPs to back his new agreement with the European Union or delay Brexit, The Times reported. Talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union will continue throughout the day amid speculation that a Brexit agreement is almost there after Johnson held fruitful meetings with Irish PM Leo Varadkar. The talks precede crucial EU summits, scheduled for 17 and 18 October. Any deal agreed by London and Brussels must be approved by all 27 member states.
Back to Basics or Johnson's U-turn

Almost nothing is known about the new agreement as government officials remain tight-lipped. After their breakthrough meeting Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar signaled that the two have overcome differences regarding the Irish backstop, a key stumbling block in Brexit negotiations.

Media reports say that Johnson has made a u-turn and revived Theresa May’s deal. Under the agreement, which was rejected by Parliament three times, Northern Ireland will remain in the EU’s customs union and according to Johnson take advantage of any new trade deals that Britain signs after leaving the bloc. How this plan will work in reality is unclear.

Moreover, it could hinder Johnson’s chances of selling it to Parliament because he vehemently opposed Theresa May’s plan. In an article in the Daily Mail, he described his predecessor’s deal as a suicide vest wrapped around the British constitution with a detonator in Brussels' hands.

Johnson’s unwillingness to share the details of his breakthrough meeting with Leo Varadkar have prompted Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party, to speculate about Britain’s surrender to the European Union.

​Although Labour MP Peter Kyle signaled that the party intends to attach a confirmatory ballot to any deal Boris Johnson manages to secure, it will come down to the Democratic Unionist Party and Johnson’s fellow lawmakers, who repeatedly voted against Theresa May’s deal.

The United Kingdom has until 31 October to leave the European Union. Boris Johnson earlier insisted that Britain withdraw from the bloc without a deal if the two sides fail to reach a compromise, however after MPs passed the Benn Act into law, the prime minister is now obliged to request an extension from Brussels if no deal is reached.

R ~ Boris is a traitor as much as was Theresa May. No deal is what the British want and politicians of every stripe refuse to honor the will of the people. What a surprise that Boris prefers surrender to a bunch of un-elected foreigners.

Iran Vows Appropriate Response to 'Cowardly' Oil Tanker Attack in Red Sea - Government

12:30 12.10.2019(updated 13:16 12.10.2019)
by Tim Korso

© AP Photo / SHANA

An Iranian tanker suffered two attacks yesterday that damaged its hull reportedly leading to an oil spill just 100 kilometres from the Saudi port of Jeddah. The incident immediately sent oil futures up.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabei has stated that Tehran will respond appropriately to the attacks against the tanker belonging to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), which took place on 11 October. At the same time, he added that Tehran will "avoid haste" and will carefully examine the incident.

"An appropriate response will be given to the designers of this cowardly attack, but we will wait until all aspects of the plot are clarified", Ali Rabei said.
Iran's Fars news agency previously cited a senior security official as saying that the country has video evidence, which could help determine the perpetrator behind the attack on the tanker.

The Iranian oil tanker, Sabiti, was attacked in the Red Sea just 100 kilometres from the Saudi port of Jeddah, reportedly suffering two missile hits that severely damaged the ship leading to an oil spill. The aftermath of the attack was reportedly contained, with the vessel later sailing for the Iranian island of Larak using its engine, according to Refinitiv shipping data.

An undated picture shows the Iranian-owned Sabiti oil tanker sailing in Red Sea

The incident has sent December oil futures upward with two key benchmark crudes, Brent and WTI gaining 2% on the day of attack. Similar price volatility occurred after two attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf region in May and June.

These attacks left several oil carriers crippled, although none of them led to oil spills. One of the incidents, near the UAE coast, was investigated by the country's officials, who ruled a "state actor" was behind it, without actually pointing the finger. Disregarding this fact, the US accused Iran of being behind both attacks, without providing any substantiating evidence. Tehran vehemently denied any involvement and slammed the attempts to put the blame on the country.

Erdogan claims Assad killed 1 million people, calls Sisi ‘a murderer’

By News Desk -2019-10-10

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 P.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unleashed a verbal attack against the Saudi and Egyptian governments on Thursday after the latter two states criticized Ankara’s new military incursion in Syria.

“Saudi Arabia has to look in the mirror before it criticizes the peace process,” Erdogan said in a speech during an expanded meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), as quoted by the Anatolia news agency .

“Who brought Yemen to this situation, except Saudi Arabia, and the Egyptian president in particular, has no right to speak at all, he is a killer of democracy in his country,” Erdogan continued.

“I will remind them of the names, and invite them to be honest. I will start from Saudi Arabia, and say you have to look in the mirror, who brought Yemen to this situation? How is the situation in Yemen now? Did thousands of people not die in Yemen? You have to first calculate that,” he said to the audience.

“Yemen is currently suffering from extreme poverty. You have destroyed every place. You have to calculate that first. You cannot interfere with us about the operation we launched in Syria to fight terrorism and preserve the territorial integrity of Syria,” he concluded about Saudi Arabia.

“As for the president of the Egyptian regime. Don’t ever speak about us! You are a murderer of democracy in your country. You are a murderer!”

“It was said that Sisi met with one of them and denounced the process of the spring of peace. Our love for the Syrian people is not debatable,” he continued.

Erdogan explained that Turkey does not accept any kind of criticism about this military operation in Syria.

“Turkey is not fighting the Kurdish brothers in the east of the Euphrates, but fighting the terrorist organization, and that Turkey may be the only legitimate force inside the Syrian territory.”

Erdogan reinforced that Turkey stands with the Kurdish people, saying, “We still host 300,000 of our Kurdish brothers who came to our country from the Syrian city of Ain al-Arab, but the United States and the European Union do not see that.”

“They are pushing for the step we have taken for the sake of the unity of Syria. Stay aside. We will continue our path, the aim of this process is to contribute to the preservation of the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria.”

Erdogan also criticized the positions of the European Union countries on the Spring of Peace” operation, saying “If you try to denounce the military operation as an occupation, our work is very easy. We will open our doors and send you 3.6 million refugees.”

“The EU says it will not send the second the batch of 3 billion euros in aid to Syrian refugees. You have never delivered on your promises and we have not relied on you. We will manage but at the same time open the doors to the refugees.”

“How many Syrians have been embraced by some Arab and European countries that criticize us? We are waiting for an answer to these questions.”

“Your whole life is a lie,” Erdogan said. “Attack Recep Tayyip Erdogan as you wish, we are taking confident steps in this way.”

He also spoke of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying: “Unfortunately, the regime’s choice was not in favor of democratic methods, but through coercion. Bashar al-Assad killed nearly one million people in Syria.”

“We are a member of the alliance and Article 5 of the alliance provides for the support of any NATO country when it is subjected to terrorist attacks,” Erdogan told NATO members.

“I call on those who used to criticize Turkey at a time when they turn a blind eye to what is happening in Syria, to reason with their morality and conscience; Turkey does not covet the territory and property of any state, as well as the Syrian National Army, which is moving with it.”

“We never accept that no one will be harmed in the peace process, especially civilians, and everyone will trust that ISIS will not reappear in the region that Turkey controls, and I would like to offer this guarantee to the whole world.”

R ~ Erdogan is so full of shit his eyes are brown.

Syrian War Report – Turkish Forces Storming Tell Abyad, Ras Al-Ayn


Since October 9, the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkish-backed militants have been developing a ground phase of their operation against Kurdish armed groups in northeastern Syria.

The main Turkish efforts were focused on the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tell Abyad. Turkey-led forces captured several villages surrounding the towns and event entered Tell Abyad. Nonetheless, the situation in the area remains unstable. It is expected that the Syrian Democratic Forces, a brand used by mainstream media to describe the YPG and the YPJ, will be able to defend fortified urban areas until they are not encircled.

According to pro-Turkish sources, over 100 YPG/YPJ members were neutralized since the start of the operation. This number remains unconfirmed. Pro-Kurdish sources claim that the YPG was able to eliminate several pieces of Turkish military equipment and kill two dozens of Turkish proxies. These claims were also barely confirmed by any evidence. However, at least 17 civilians were injured in a mortar shelling that targeted the Turkish town of Ceylanpınar.

Syria’s state-run news agency SANA reported on October 10 that about 100 US troops had left northeastern Syria through the Semalka border crossing with Iraq. Taking into account that US President Donald Trump called Turkey’s operation a “bad idea”, but distanced himself from Kurdish forces because they did not help the US in World War II, it becomes more and more clear that the Turkish military action in the region is in fact coordinated with the US.

By this move, the Trump administration makes an important step to return confidence of its key ally in the eastern Mediterranean and, at the same time, delivers a blow to efforts of the Obama administration and the CIA that had contributed notable efforts in supporting the Kurdish project in northern Syria.

The possible rapprochement of the US and Turkey over the conflict in Syria will allow Washington to strengthen its campaign to limit influence of Iran and the Assad government in the war-torn country, as well as open additional opportunities for a revanche of the US military industrial complex on the Turkish market. This is a logical step in the framework of the national-oriented policy provided by the Trump administration.

The key question is how deep into Syria the Turkish military is planning to expand its Operation Peace Spring. Currently, pro-Turkish sources speculate about the possible creation of a 30km-deep corridor. If the US allows Turkey and Turkey appears to be capable of reaching this goal, Anakra will boost its role in the conflict even further and gain a wide range of options to influence its possible settlement. In this event, the Assad government will lost all the remaining chances to restore the territorial integrity and the Trump administration will get additional leverages of pressure on Iran, the Assad government and Russia in Syria.

The World Below / Turkish Army keeps advancing in northeast Syria
« on: October 11, 2019, 10:37:32 AM »
Turkish Army keeps advancing in northeast Syria as they attempt to besiege Kurdish forces

By News Desk -2019-10-10

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – The Turkish forces have captured a couple of new towns and areas in the surroundings of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad this afternoon following a major push in northern Syria that began yesterday.

According to a military report from northern Syria, the Turkish Armed Forces are attempting to isolate both Tal Abyad and Ras Al-Ayn in a bid to capture both of these key cities that are located in the Al-Raqqa and Al-Hasakah governorates.

While the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are fiercely resisting, their troops have mostly been forced to retreat due to heavy airstrikes launched by the Turkish Air Force.

With virtually no air defenses, the Syrian Democratic Forces have been reliant on close quarters combat and short-range missile strikes in order to slow down the Turkish Army’s progress.

The U.S. military has also left these areas in the past few days, which is why the Syrian Democratic Forces have been at the mercy of the Turkish Armed Forces’ ongoing bombardment.

R ~ Turkey's 'allies' are the self same terrorists that shipped oil into Turkey before Russia ended that bit of theft. They are financed and trained by the coalition. If the US is leaving Syria they are likely the same troops being shipped from Syria to Saudi Arabia. The anti aggression policies of Turkey are being underplayed by the MSM and the USG but it's just empty as the USG has supported any and all forces, national or mercenary, who will join in to secure the oil under the Euphrates for Israel. Anyone who doubts that ask yourself - why is Israel attacking Syria almost daily? What other interest aside from the humanitarian pablum they claim do they have in Syria?

Turkish forces, allied militants facing stiff Kurdish resistance: Observatory

Fri Oct 11, 2019 04:02PM [Updated: Fri Oct 11, 2019 04:07PM ]

Turkish-backed militants from the so-called Free Syrian Army gather in Hawar Killis village in Syria's northwestern
province of Aleppo on October 11, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish military forces and allied militants from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) are facing stiff resistance by Kurds in northern Syria, says a monitoring group.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday, “There is heavy fighting between the SDF (the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, which is an anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants) and the Turks on different fronts, mostly from (the towns of) Tal Abyad to Ras al-Ayn.”

The observatory said the Turkish operation involves airstrikes as well as heavy artillery and rocket fire.

“The SDF are using tunnels, trenches and berms” in their defense operations, the war monitor said.

It noted that four civilians lost their lives in Tal Abyad when an airstrike hit the car in which they were fleeing, while another three were shot dead by snipers around the border town.

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, in a picture taken from the Turkish side of the border in Akcakale on
October 10, 2019, on the second day of Turkey's military operation against forces of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). (Photo by AFP)

That brings the civilian death toll to 17 on the Syrian side, while seven have also been killed in Turkey.

According to the observatory, 41 SDF fighters have also been killed. Turkey has reported the death of only one soldier.

More than 70,000 people displaced in northeast Syria: UN

The United Nations has expressed concern over Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, stating that tens of thousands of people have already fled the escalating violence and been displaced in the wake of the ground offensive.

“Over the last 48 hours, tens of thousands of people have been fleeing their homes as a result of the escalation of conflict in northern Syria, and hundreds of thousands more are at grave risk amid active hostilities as cold weather sets in,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said in the Swiss city of Geneva on Friday.

Syrian Arab and Kurdish civilians arrive in Tall Tamr town in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, after fleeing
Turkish bombardment on the northeastern towns along the Turkish border on October 10, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

“I have echoed the secretary general's (Antonio Guterres) call for respect for international humanitarian law by all parties. It is also important that aid agencies, including UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), have access to civilians in need to help avert a deepening humanitarian crisis.”

The World Food Programme (WFP) has said more than 70,000 people have already fled the escalating violence since Wednesday.

The mass displacement occurred in al-Hasakah and al-Raqqah provinces, said WFP Spokesman Herve Verhoosel in Geneva.

On Wednesday, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed FSA militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria in a declared attempt to push Kurdish militants from the so-called People's Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

PressTV-Turkey starts war against Kurds in northeastern Syria
Turkish military and allied forces have launched a cross-border offensive against Kurdish YPG militants in northeastern Syria.

The YPG constitutes the backbone of the SDF. 

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Friday that a total of 342 terrorists have been “neutralized” since the start of the incursion.

“Our aim is to end the existence of terrorists, especially Daesh and YPG, east of the Euphrates River and establish a peace corridor to assure our Syrian brethren' return to their own lands, homes,” Akar said.

Ankara says one of its goals in the cross-border operation is to form a “safe zone” to which at least one million refugees from the Arab country can return, after the years-long presence of refugees in Turkey became an increasingly political liability.

The Turkish military has launched two cross-border incursions in northern Syria, namely “Euphrates Shield” in August 2016 and “Olive Branch” in January 2018, with the declared aim of eradicating Kurdish militants and Daesh Takfiri terrorists near Turkey’s borders.

Car bomb kills three people in Syria’s Kurdish city of Qamishli

Separately, at least three civilians lost their lives and nine more sustained injuries on Friday, when an explosives-laden vehicle detonated in a busy neighborhood of the Kurdish city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria.

People gather at the site of an explosion in the northeastern Syrian Kurdish city of Qamishli on October 11, 2019.
(Photo by AFP)

The World Below / Iranian oil tanker hit by two blasts in Red Sea
« on: October 11, 2019, 10:15:00 AM »
Iranian oil tanker hit by two blasts in Red Sea

Fri Oct 11, 2019 05:32AM [Updated: Fri Oct 11, 2019 03:05PM ]

Photo of Iranian oil tanker SABITI after being hit by two missiles in the Red Sea near the Saudi port city of Jeddah on
Oct. 11, 2019 (Via social media)

Two separate explosions, possibly caused by missile attacks, have hit an Iranian oil tanker operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) near the Saudi port city of Jeddah, in what Tehran calls a "dangerous adventure".

The incident took place some 60 miles from Jeddah early Friday, according to a statement by the NITC.

The explosions have hit the vessel’s hull, causing heavy damages to the vessel’s two main tanks, which has resulted in an oil spill in the Red Sea. The spill is currently stopped, according to officials.

Technical experts are currently investigating the cause of the explosion. They believe it was a "terrorist attack", unnamed sourced told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA).

The statement by NITC said the SABITI tanker was hit by two separate explosions at 5:00 and 5:20 am Friday, probably after being struck by missiles.

It said the crew members are currently safe and none of them has been harmed in the explosions. The tanker is currently in a stable condition, the statement added.

Photo of Iranian oil tanker SABITI after being hit by two missiles in the Red Sea near the Saudi port city of Jeddah on
Oct. 11, 2019 (Via social media)

The NITC later dismissed the reports that the vessel had caught fire, according to the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum's official news agency SHANA.

'Dangerous adventure'

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman later described the attack as “a dangerous adventure”, warning that all the responsibilities fall on those behind it.

“The investigations conducted by the National Iranian Tanker Company indicate the Iranian tanker has sustained damages after being targeted twice, at half-hourly intervals, from a place near its shipping route in the east of the Red Sea,” Abbas Mousavi said Friday.

He expressed concern about the maritime pollution caused by the massive oil spill in the region after damages inflicted on the vessel’s tanks, and said, “All the responsibilities for the act, including the extensive environmental pollution in the region, fall on those behind the dangerous adventure.”

He also noted that a probe is being conducted on the details of the attack and those behind it, and the results will be announced once it's done.

Earlier in the day, the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet announced it is aware of media reports about the blast but had no further information.

“We are aware of the reports but we don’t have any further information,” a spokesman said.

The blasts have caused oil prices to jump by over 2 percent, media reports said.

Photo of Iranian oil tanker SABITI after being hit by two missiles in the Red Sea near the Saudi port city of Jeddah on
Oct. 11, 2019 (Via social media)

The explosions came a few months after Iranian oil tanker Happiness-1 faced “engine failure” and lost its control with 26 on board off the Red Sea port of Jeddah, and was later transferred to the port city for maintenance.

According to Iranian officials, the incident had occurred on April 30 while Happiness I was on its way to the Suez Canal, and that water had leaked into the tanker’s engine room.

The Saudis refused to let the vessel leave and demanded that Iran pay $200,000 a day for maintaining the vessel in the port, some $10 million in total. It was finally released on July 20 and returned home.

Also in June, two large tankers were hit by explosions in the Sea of Oman. The Marshal Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous were hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

At that time, Iranian rescue workers rushed to the assistance of two tankers hit by the unspecified accidents in the Sea of Oman, transferring all of their 44 crew members to its southern shores.

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker was, according to reports, heading from Qatar to Taiwan when a fire broke out on the tanker approximately 25 miles from Iran’s Jask port city.

The Panama-flagged ship was also en route from a port in Saudi Arabia towards Singapore when a fire broke out approximately 28 miles from Jask.

Pentagon sending 2,000+ more troops to ‘assure and enhance defense’ of Saudi Arabia amid tensions with Iran

11 Oct, 2019 17:04

© Reuters / Mario Anzuoni

The US is beefing up military might in the Middle East, saying it will send more troops, fighter jets and missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia amid escalating tensions with Iran.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has authorized the deployment of two fighter squadrons, one Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW), two batteries of Patriot missile defense systems and one Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said Friday.

This is in addition to the 200 or so troops, Patriots and radar systems whose deployment was announced two weeks ago, and amounts to 3,000 troops “extended or authorized within the last month,” Hoffman clarified.

The Pentagon has increased the number of US forces in the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations by about 14,000 since May this year, as it continues to lock horns with Tehran. Not all of those went to Saudi Arabia, however, as CENTCOM’s area of operations covers the entire Middle East, including Afghanistan and Syria.

The US “does not seek conflict with the Iranian regime, but we will retain a robust military capability in the region that is ready to respond to any crisis and will defend US forces and interests in the region,” Hoffman said.

News of the deployment comes hours after reports that an Iranian tanker was struck by two projectiles in the Red Sea, some 60 miles (96 km) from the Saudi port of Jeddah. The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said the Sinopa was damaged but not on fire, and was still en route to the Persian Gulf.

Iran too has been accused of targeting oil tankers with acts of sabotage, promting the US to announce a multinational maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf. Tehran however denies the accusations, and the US has not provided definitive proof to back up its claims.

R ~ Yemen aggression and Iranian support. Ignore who started this. After all oil and arms takes precedence over peace and justice every time.

Tires Burned in Syrian Border City to Blindfold Turkish Warplanes

18:12 10.10.2019

© Sputnik

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the beginning of ‘Operation Peace Spring’ in northern Syria against Kurdish forces and Daesh* terrorists. Both Washington and Brussels have already expressed dissatisfaction with Ankara’s move.

With a Turkish military operation in Syria in full swing, tires are being burned across the north-eastern city of Qamishli in order to reduce visibility for Turkish warplanes, a Sputnik correspondent reports.

The operation affected a number of Syrian border areas, including the village of Senyurt in Mardin province, where residents were evacuated due to Turkish shelling on Wednesday.

A partial evacuation also took place in the province’s Nusaybin area after at least three people were injured by Turkish airstrikes; the situation in the area remains unstable, according to the Sputnik correspondent.

The developments come after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to "open doors" for 3.5 million Syrian refugees to Europe if the EU decides to refer to the Turkish military operation in northeast Syria as an occupation.

Tires are seen being burned in Syria's Qamishli

He insisted that Turkey’s military operation would help strengthen Syria’s territorial integrity by containing Kurdish forces’ drive to control the Arab country's northeastern areas.

Tires are seen being burned in Syria's Qamishli

EU, US Frustrated Over Turkish Op in Syria

The remarks followed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s warning that Ankara “must cease the ongoing military operation” in Syria.

US President Donald Trump said that the Turkish operation is a "bad idea," reiterating that the US does not endorse Turkey's offensive and adding that Washington is watching it closely. Late last week, Washington announced that US troops would withdraw from northern Syria and that Washington would not back Ankara’s military operation in the area.

According to the press service of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), at least three Kurdish militia fighters and five civilians have been killed, with dozens injured in Turkish shelling of border areas inside Syria.

Beginning of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring

The operation began on 9 October as the US withdrew support for the SDF and related Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the de facto autonomous region known as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, often referred to as Rojava by the Kurds.

Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist organisation, related to its own Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK). According to Ankara, the offensive is aimed at clearing the border area of terrorist forces and creating a security zone.

‘Hey EU, wake up’: Erdogan threatens to send millions of refugees to Europe if EU labels Turkish op in Syria an invasion

10 Oct, 2019 10:49 / Updated 3 hours ago

A Turkish soldier walks next to a Turkish military vehicle during a joint U.S.-Turkey patrol, near Tel Abyad, Syria September 8, 2019. © REUTERS/Rodi Said

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Europe against criticizing his country’s newly-launched military incursion into Syria, claiming he could allow millions of refugees to pour into the EU if he so chooses.

In a speech to lawmakers from his AK party, Erdogan warned that there would be repercussions if Europe viewed Turkey’s operation in Syria as an invasion.

Hey EU, wake up. I say it again: if you try to frame our operation there as an invasion, our task is simple: we will open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants to you.

The threat comes after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Ankara “must cease the ongoing military operation” in northeast Syria. He said that the incursion would “not work” and that Turkey should not expect Europe’s help with creating a so-called “safe-zone.”

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Wednesday, in order to create a “safe zone” on the Syrian side of the border. The area is controlled by US-backed Kurdish militias, which Ankara views as terrorists. Erdogan claimed that Turkish forces have already killed 109 “militants” since the operation began.

US forces withdrew from the region earlier this week, prompting accusations that US President Donald Trump had betrayed Washington’s Kurdish allies. As a result, leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have signaled that they might turn to Damascus and Moscow to repel the Turkish incursion.

The World Below / Trump Calls Turkey's Operation in Syria a 'Bad Idea'
« on: October 09, 2019, 11:29:52 AM »
Trump Calls Turkey's Operation in Syria a 'Bad Idea'

20:06 09.10.2019(updated 22:01 09.10.2019)


On Wednesday, Turkey launched a military operation aimed at ousting Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria and setting up a "safe zone" in the region to accommodate Syrian refugees there.

US President Donald Trump has said that Turkey's operation in Syria is a "bad idea".

He reiterated that the US does not endorse Turkey's offensive and added that Washington is watching it closely.

Trump also said that there are no US troops in northeastern Syria where the Turkish operation is taking place.

The United States expects Turkey to abide by its commitments to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian crisis as it carries out its incursion in northern Syria, US President Donald Trump said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Turkey has committed to protecting civilians, protecting religious minorities, including Christians, and ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place - and we will hold them to this commitment," Trump said.

According to the US President, Turkey is now responsible for ensuring that all captured Daesh* fighters remain in prison in Syria amid the ongoing offensive.

A Turkish army officer guides a comrade driving a tank to its new position, after was uploaded from a truck, on the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday a military operation in northeastern Syria. He said it is aimed against Kurdish militants operating in the region and is also meant to create a "safe zone" in the area where millions of Syrian refugees could be accommodated.

*Daesh (also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

R ~ A "bad idea'? It's an invasion ffs. Maybe the word aggression needs to be part of the narrative. Anyone at the UN in play here?

Admin Officials Already Trying To Walk Back Trump's Syria 'Withdrawal'

by Tyler Durden
Tue, 10/08/2019 - 13:25

In what's beginning to look like an exact repeat of April 2018, when Trump previously declared it was time to "bring the troops home" from Syria but severe push back from the generals and his own administration resulted in the opposite happening, a senior official has walked back some of the president's statements regarding the new US draw down in northeast Syria.

In a call with reporters late Monday, following a prior Trump tweet declaring "It is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home," a senior administration official told reporters "the U.S. is not removing its forces from Syria in the face of a Turkish incursion." It appears the Pentagon is merely ready to reposition forces within the country, withdrawing from some key northern border posts:

Rather, the president ordered roughly 50 special operations troops in northern Syria to relocate to a different part of the country after he learned that Turkey has planned an offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria. The official said that offensive had not yet begun.

US forces at Tanf base along the Syrian-Iraqi border, via Wiki Commons.

The report continues, based on the new statement issued on condition of anonymity, saying: "The latest assertion, however, appears to conflict with a flurry of tweets the president issued Monday, further explaining a White House statement late Sunday that first announced the withdrawal, but offered few details."

A hasty US withdrawal from border observation posts such as at Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain in northeast Syria appears to have already happened.

Officially there's still as many as 1,000 American troops occupying Syrian, in support of Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who've said they were "betrayed" by the White House's late Sunday statement, which said Turkey will move forward with a military incursion into Northern Syria and that American troops "will no longer be in the immediate area".

Pentagon officials and reports have claimed the defense department was "blindsided" by the administration's withdrawal declaration.

Indeed it does appear that some top administration officials were confused by the new policy, as evidenced in a now deleted tweet by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.

Esper had stated the US "does not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria," and further called any such move "destablizing" and that it would bring "consequences". Likely the statement was premature, and Esper and deleted it in order to await and confirm the official policy, which may still be somewhat up in the air. 

Uncertainty over the Pentagon's ultimate direction and goal in Syria could remain all the way into next month, given Turkey's President Erdogan and President Trump are set to discuss the matter of the so-called Turkish 'safe zone' in face-to-face talks in Washington.

Meanwhile, both sides of the aisle, including the military and intelligence 'deep state' are no doubt already mounting fierce push back.

Turkey ‘launches airstrike’ against Kurds on Syria-Iraq border – reports

7 Oct, 2019 20:06

© Reuters / Umit Bektas

Videos circulating on social media appear to show Turkish forces targeting Kurdish troops near Syria’s border with Iraq with airstrikes, just hours after the US announced it would be pulling out of the region.

Turkish forces launched airstrikes against Kurdish and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions in al-Hasakah province in northeastern Syria, according to SANA news agency, which initially reported there were no casualties from the attacks.

Turkish planes reportedly attacked SDF headquarters in Hasakah province, according to Saudi broadcaster al-Ikhbariya. Other reports suggest Turkey targeted the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara views as a terrorist group and which is part of the SDF.

Turkey’s presence in northeast Syria is only “temporary,” and Ankara respects Syria's “territorial integrity,” Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday in conversation with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif. Iran opposes military operations in Syria and called to respect its territorial integrity, Zarif responded.

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