…from Sputnik News, Moscow

[ Editor’s Note: Trump has already supported the news, as he will be claiming credit for all of it, leaving Israel with its shorts in a knot because it has always supported the PKK and YPG and is brokenhearted that the US will no longer be footing the bill for them.

A “deal” with the Israelis is “you pay for everything, and also take the blame if it goes south.”

As I mentioned in the earlier news on the deal announcement today, this gives Syria the green flag to continue clearing Latakia and Idlib, which is going to put Damascus and the Syrians headed for another collision with Turkey. I don’t know how long the joy on the deal will last for Erdogan.

Putin is ready for the war to be over, as it has oil and gas extraction deals with Syria and wants to get rolling on that. The Syrian economy has to be rebuilt, so recovery of all its oil wealth is at the top of the list.

With Turkey’s economy in the toilet, it wants Syria to be in worse economic shape. Nothing would undermine Erdogan quicker than a fast recovery for SyriaJim W. Dean ]

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Jim and Gordon meet the Grand Mufti, last meeting of the 2015 trip. VT Correspondent Nana is to the Mufti’s right, interpreting.

– First published … October 22, 2019

Following a negotiated settlement in Sochi earlier on Tuesday, the Turkey Defense Ministry has announced that Operation Peace Spring is complete.

“At this stage, there is no need to carry out a new operation,” the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement early Wednesday morning. Although a five-day ceasefire brokered with the US to permit Kurdish forces to withdraw from the operation zone had just expired, the office of Defense Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu noted the withdrawal was complete.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), US-allied militias that formed the core of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have been accused by Erdogan of supporting the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey, which Ankara claims is a terrorist organization.

Earlier this month, Turkish forces invaded eastern Syria with the ostensible goal of shutting down cross-border support between the groups, which they hoped to do by driving the YPG out of a 32-kilometer-deep “Safe Zone.” However, after days of fighting and worldwide outcry, US Vice President Mike Pence negotiated a 120-hour ceasefire to facilitate a Kurdish withdrawal beyond the “Safe Zone.”

However, the agreement hammered out between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday in the Russian city of Sochi made this a Russian and Syrian concern, with joint Russian-Turkish patrols in the area and Kurds beyond the 32-kilometer area safe from Turkish attack.

Any Kurdish forces remaining in the “Safe Zone” will withdraw beyond that zone, and subsequent border crossings related to PKK support would fall under Russia’s responsibility as per the 1998 Adana Agreement.

“Good news seems to be happening with respect to Turkey, Syria and the Middle East,” US President Donald Trump tweeted, just moments after the Turkish Defense Ministry’s statement. “Further reports to come later!”


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