Turkish warplane kills US American in Syria

Michael Israel

From the Industrial Workers of the World Dorset blog:

Sacramento Wobbly killed by Turkish state

1 December 2016

With great sadness we learn that on 29th of November 2016, Fellow Worker Michael Israel, a founder member of Sacramento IWW [trade union], and six other people, were killed in a bombing raid by the Turkish air force north of Raqqa, Syria. Michael was serving his second tour as a volunteer with the [Kurdish Syrian anti-ISIS group] YPG.

Amid signals by the Trump administration that it plans to step up military involvement in the Middle East, Ankara is preparing to expand its intervention in the wars in Syria and Iraq, while also threatening Iran: here.

Late Wednesday night, the Turkish army launched an intensive artillery attack on Syrian Kurds in Afrin, a multi-ethnic region in northwestern Syria controlled by the US-backed Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its militia, the People’s Protection Units (YPG): here.

16 thoughts on “Turkish warplane kills US American in Syria

  1. Pingback: Turkish warplane kills US American in Syria — Dear Kitty. Some blog | Indiĝenaj Inteligenteco

  2. Wednesday 14th December 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    Warmongering MPs claim fall of Aleppo is down to rejecting intervention in 2013

    TORY and Labour MPs expressed their regret yesterday over failing to go to war against Syria in 2013 during a sparsely attended emergency Commons debate.

    The government is “complicit” in the suffering faced by tens of thousands of Syrians in Aleppo, according to the Conservatives — who voted overwhelmingly in favour of military action in 2013.

    The debate came after UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon raised concerns over unverified reports of “atrocities against a large number of civilians, including women and children.”

    Conservative former minister Andrew Mitchell and former chancellor George Osborne said MPs who voted against intervention had “to take responsibility” for the current conflict.

    Mr Osborne — who voted in favour of British military action — said: “We are deceiving ourselves if we think we have no responsibility over what has happened in Syria.

    “The tragedy in Aleppo did not come out of a vacuum — it was created by a vacuum. A vacuum of Western leadership, American leadership, British leadership.

    “Parliament should take responsibility over what it prevented from being done. And there were multiple opportunities to intervene.”

    However, he did admit that the “price” of intervention includes bloodshed and suffering of thousands of civilians, the “chaos that inevitably follows” such as in Iraq and Libya, the cost to the British taxpayer and societal division in Britain.

    He even went on to take a swing at yesterday’s Morning Star front page, joining MPs including Toby Perkins, Wes Streeting, Ian Austin and Jess Phillips in deriding Tuesday’s headline that stated the “final liberation of Aleppo is in sight.”

    However, Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German told the Star: “Those MPs like George Osborne who say we made a mistake not intervening in Syria are in denial about Britain’s role.

    “Firstly we are intervening in Syria against Assad — this has being going on for years. Secondly the disaster of Syria and the role of Isis started with the war in Iraq. Every single British intervention in the war on terror has been a failure and has only brought more war and terrorism. We should be calling for an end to the war, to all outside intervention on whatever side, and for aid to those who need it.”

    Ms German said: “We should also allow Syrian refugees into Britain, something these hypocritical MPs have no intention of doing.”

    Leader Jeremy Corbyn called on PM Theresa May to work towards a peaceful resolution enabled by a UN-brokered ceasefire and human corridors to allow citizens out.

    It later emerged yesterday that terror groups announced a ceasefire to the Russia-backed Syrian military after the latter regained 99 per cent control of east Aleppo after four years of struggle.



  3. Wednesday 14th December 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    With so much of the Syrian coverage based on dubious facts, RAMZY BAROUD asks: ‘Has the war in Syria also destroyed journalism?’

    WHEN a veteran war reporter like Robert Fisk constructs his argument regarding the siege of Aleppo based on watching video footage, then one can truly comprehend the near impossibility of adequate media coverage on the war in Syria.

    In a recent article in the Independent, Fisk reflects on the siege, uprising and atrocious nazi massacres in Warsaw, Poland in 1944. The terribly high cost of that war leads him to reject the French assertion that the current siege in Aleppo is the “worst massacre since World War II.”

    Fisk asks: “Why do we not see the defending fighters, as we do on the Warsaw films? Why are we not told about their political allegiance, as we most assuredly are on the Warsaw footage?”

    “Why do we not see ‘rebel’ military hardware — as well as civilian targets — being hit by artillery and air attack as we do on the Polish newsreels?” further demonstrating what he perceives to be the flaw of such a comparison.

    Not that Fisk doubts that pictures of the dead and wounded children in eastern Aleppo are real; his argument is largely against the one-sidedness of the coverage, of demonising one party, while sparing another.

    Without reserve, I always find comparing massacres — to find out which is worse — tasteless, if not inhumane.

    What is the point in this, aside from mitigating the effect of a terrible tragedy by comparing it to a hypothetically much greater tragedy?

    Or, as the French have done, perhaps exaggerating the human toll to create the type of fear that often leads to reckless political and military action?

    The French and other Nato countries have used this tactic repeatedly in the past.

    In fact, this is how the war on Libya was concocted, purportedly to stave off the imminent Tripoli “genocide” and Benghazi “bloodbath.” The US used it in Iraq, successfully. The Israelis have perfected it in Gaza. In fact, the US intervention in Iraq was always tied to some sort of imagined global threat that, unsurprisingly, was never proven.

    Tony Blair was so eager to take part in the conquest of Iraq in 2003 that he contrived intelligence alleging that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was able to deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes from the moment such an order was given.

    The US went even further: it was only recently revealed that the US had hired a London-based firm, Bell Pottinger, to create fake al-Qaida videos and news reports that were designed to appear as if written by legitimate Arabic media.

    The propaganda videos were “personally approved” by the commander of the US-led coalition forces in Iraq at the time, general David Petraeus, Salon and others reported.

    We still do not know the specific content of many of these videos and to what extent such material, which cost US tax payers $540 million (£425m), influenced events on the ground and our understanding of these events.

    Considering the high financial cost and the fact that the company worked directly from inside Baghdad’s “Camp Victory,” side-by-side with high-ranking US officials, one can only imagine the degree of deceit imparted upon innocent viewers and readers for years.

    Compounded with the fact that the whole reason behind the war was a lie, the then secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld had no intention of ever informing reporters of what was really transpiring on the ground and that countless reporters agreed to be embedded with US-British forces, thus further contributing to the one-sided narrative.

    One is left to wonder if any truth ever emerged from Iraq.

    Then, again, we know that hundreds of thousands have died in that catastrophic military adventure, that Iraq is not better off and that thousands more are still being killed because this is what happens when countries are invaded, destabilised, hurriedly reassembled and then left to lick their wounds, alone.

    The chaotic violence and sectarianism in Iraq are the direct outcome of the US invasion and occupation, which were constructed on official lies and dishonest media reporting.

    Is it too much to ask, then, that we learn from those dreadful mistakes, to understand that when all is said and done nothing will remain but mass graves and grieving nations?

    As for the lies that enable wars and allow the various sides to clinch on their straw arguments of selected morality, few ever have the intellectual courage to take responsibility when they are proven wrong. We simply move on, uncaring for the victims of our intellectual squabbles.

    “The extreme bias shown in foreign media coverage of similar events in Iraq and Syria will be a rewarding subject for PhD students looking at the uses and abuses of propaganda down the ages,” wrote war reporter Patrick Cockburn.

    He is right, of course, but as soon as his report on media bias was published, he was attacked and dismissed by both sides on social media. From their perspective, a proper position would be for him to completely adopt the version of events as seen by one side and totally ignore the other.

    Yet, with both sides of the war having no respect for media or journalists — the list of journalists killed in Syria keeps on growing — no impartial journalist is allowed to carry out his or her work in accordance with the minimum standards of reporting.

    Thus, the “truth” can only be gleaned based on deductive reasoning — as many of us have successfully done, reporting on Iraq and Palestine.

    Of course, there will always be the self-tailored activist-journalist-propagandist variety who will continue to cheer for death and destruction in the name of whatever ideology they choose to follow.

    They abide by no reasoning, but their own convenient logic — that which is only capable of demonising their enemies and lionising their friends.

    Unfortunately, these media trolls are the ones shaping the debate on much of what is happening in the Middle East today.

    While the coverage of war in the past has given rise to many daring journalists — Seymour Hersh in Vietnam, Tariq Ayyoub in Iraq, photo-journalist Zoriah Miller and hundreds more — the war in Syria is destroying journalistic integrity and with it, people’s ability to decipher one of the most convoluted conflicts of the modern era.

    In Syria, as in Iraq and other warring regions in the Middle East, the “truth” is not shaped by facts, but opinions, themselves fashioned by blind allegiances, not truly humanistic principles or even simple common sense.

    “Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world — and never will,” wrote Mark Twain many years ago. It was as true then as it is true in the Middle East today.

    • Dr Ramzy Baroud is an internationally syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net.



  4. YPG: Turkish army killed 3 civilians and wounded 4 others

    YPG Press Office reported that Turkish army killed 3 civilians and wounded 4 others in the territory of Rojava (West) Kurdistan.

    People’s Defense Units (YPG) Media Center released a statement regarding the ongoing attacks of the occupant Turkish army.

    The statement said:

    “At 00:10 on January 26, a helicopter of the Turkish army crossed the Rojava border and shelled the field located between Ashkan and Hamir villages of Tirbespiyê at random. The helicopter crossed back into the Bakur (North Kurdistan) side of the border later.

    During the same night, 3 UAVs of the Turkish army conducted reconnaissance flights over the territory between Tirbespiyê and Ayndiwer. After the reconnaissance, Turkish army shot the civilians in Mezre village of Ayndiwar. 3 people were confirmed killed and 4 others were wounded as a result of this aggression.”

    Source: NEWS DESK – ANF 29-01-2017


  5. Wednesday 22nd February 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    SYRIA accused invading Turkish forces yesterday of massacring 11 civilians in the Isis-occupied northern town of al-Bab.

    The official Sana news agency quoted local sources who said Turkish artillery had shelled residential neighbourhoods in the town north-east of Aleppo.

    Three children and four women were among the dead.

    While Turkish troops and their Free Syrian Army allies struggled to make headway in al-Bab, the Syrian army and Kurdish People’s Protection Units had Isis on the run.



  6. 12 civilians massacred by Turkish army in al-Bab

    The Turkish army that has invaded the Shehba region under the guise of fight against ISIS has committed yet another massacre in al-Bab, killing 12 civilians, largely from same families.

    According to local sources, Turkish military conducted artillery strikes on al-Bab yesterday, killing 12 civilians, many of whom are from same families.

    Names of the massacred locals are:

    Mihemed Xêr Umer Bethîş and his wife Bethîş; Hesen El-Hac Ehmed Bethîş, his wife Nedwa Hemda and their 7-month-old baby; Umer Hisên Bethîş and his wife Adil El-Nacih, El-Hemdo El-Salih, Hessan Umer Bethîş (4), Mihemed Umer Bethîş (3), Mehmûd Hisên Bethîş and his wife Osam, child named Hesan Mehmûd Bethîş and another unidentified child.

    Turkish military attacks in al-Bab have left around 400 civilians dead and hundreds of others wounded during the past two months.

    Source: BAB – ANF 21-02-2017


  7. Turkish airstrikes on Qandil target civilian areas

    Turkish state’s continued airstrikes on Qandil region of Medya Defense Zones have targeted civilian settlements again.

    Turkish fighter jets started an aggression on Qandil region of Medya Defense Zones in South [Syrian] Kurdistan territory at 15:30 Friday afternoon. The bombardment mainly targeted the Dola Bedran area.

    ANF reporters on the ground have captured the Turkish bombardment targeting civilian areas.

    Turkish jets also shelled Avashin and Çemcu areas in Medya Defense Zones earlier today.

    Source: QANDİL – ANF 25-03-2017


  8. Thursday 6th April 2017

    posted by Morning Star in World

    SYRIA’S ambassador to Russia accused Turkey yesterday of unilaterally moving a border fence deeper into Syrian territory in an apparent “land grab” violating the country’s sovereignty.

    Ambassador Riad Haddad told the RIA Novosti news agency that Turkey had “moved the barbed-wire border fence deeper into our territory, exploiting the drying-up of the Afrin river south-east of the town of Jandaris as if it is now Turkish land.

    “This is how land grab is done on Syrian soil. We consider such actions a violation of our country’s sovereignty,” Mr Haddad said.

    He also accused Ankara of occupying Idlib governorate’s Qirbat and Atma districts and sending heavy armour to seize land near the town of Afrin.

    The ambassador added that the Turks have begun preparations to build a wall to separate the captured lands from Syrian government-held territory.

    Turkish troops, tanks and combat aircraft first invaded Syria on August 24 last year.

    According to Ankara, its Operation Euphrates Shield offensive was launched to first suppress a Kurdish insurgency and move it away from the Turkish border, then to fight the Isis death cult in northern Syria.

    The Turkish army and allied Syrian rebels have seized the strategic towns of Jarablus and al-Bab, while advancing deeper into Syrian territory.

    Damascus has adamantly opposed the Turkish invasion from the beginning, describing it as a complete violation of Syria’s territorial integrity.

    Turkey declared Operation Euphrates Shield over last week, but it warned that similar operations are likely to continue on Syrian soil under different names “if Turkey’s security is endangered.”



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  11. Friday 14th April 2017

    posted by Morning Star in World

    Mistaken attack hit mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces

    THE United States put its hand up yesterday to a misdirected air strike over Syria this week that killed 18 fighters from the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces battling the Isis death cult.

    It said that coalition aircraft had been given the wrong coordinates by the SDF for a strike intended to target Isis militants south of their Tabqa stronghold, near the extremists’ de facto capital Raqqa.

    The strike on Tuesday hit an SDF position instead.

    The SDF acknowledged the strike yesterday, admitting that a number of its fighters had been killed and wounded.

    However, it also announced the launch of a fourth phase of the campaign to capture Raqqa, which it plans to isolate before attacking directly.

    The SDF, with US-led air and ground support, has surrounded Tabqa, 25 miles southwest of Raqqa, and is working to clear Isis out of the Jalab Valley, north of Raqqa.

    The closest SDF position to Raqqa is less than five miles north-east of the city, but the countryside south of Raqqa remains under Isis control.



  12. Pingback: ‘Stop Erdogan’s wars in Syria, Iraq’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Kalkan: This is a new beginning, all should clarify their stance

    PKK’s Duran Kalkan stated that Turkey’s Rojava and Shengal attacks on April 25 were “unprincipled and immoral”, a declaration of war and have given YPG-YPJ and YBŞ the right to fight against the Turkish army everywhere.

    PKK Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan commented on the Turkish state’s attacks on Rojava and Shengal in a program on News Channel.

    Kalkan stated that the Rojava and Shengal attacks on April 25 were “unprincipled and immoral”. Kalkan said the attacks are connected both to history and current politics and pointed out that the attack on Shengal was made to coincide with the anniversary of the Armenian, Syriac and Kurdish Genocide that started on April 24, 1915.

    He stressed that the attacks are a declaration of war and have given YPG-YPJ and YBŞ the right to fight against the Turkish army everywhere.


    Kalkan said with the attacks on Shengal and Rojava, Turkey entered the war in Iraq and Syria directly and added: “The invasion of Jarablus and Bab had already put all Syrian democratic forces at odds with Turkey. These attacks have made Turkey enter the war in Syria and Iraq directly.”


    Kalkan stated that at a time when ISIS is almost defeated in Raqqa and Mosul, the Turkish state is trying to protect and save ISIS and continued: “Now who can say AKP and MHP are separate from ISIS? They are trying to save and protect them.”


    Kalkan pointed out Erdoğan is an enemy of the Kurd, and that he will attack even if they are peshmergas. He protested KDP allowing the Turkish state to attack and asked: “So, wouldn’t one ask, did KDP allow the Turkish jet fighters to bomb Shengal so PKK would leave?”

    Kalkan said Tayyip Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli were encouraged by the KDP in carrying out these attacks.


    Kalkan said Erdoğan is at his weakest in all his 15 years of power and added that he carried out these attacks because he is afraid he will fall.

    He said: “The administration of Tayyip Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli is at its historic weakest. There is no Republic of Turkey left. There is only Tayyip Erdoğan’s gang. They don’t attack because they are strong, they attack because they are weak and they are afraid they will fall.”


    Kalkan called on the KDP to question their line of thought and said that those who abandon Shengal to fascism today will abandon Hewler tomorrow. Kalkan addressed the KDP and said: “Will they declare a Kurdish state under attack by the Turkish state? And will Shengal be part of this state? If this is so, all of Bakurê (Northern) Kurdistan should have been free by KDP’s logic. There they can live comfortably, arm in arm with the AKP.”


    Kalkan spoke of a new beginning and said that nothing will be the same anymore. Calling on all to clarify their stances, Kalkan said: “This is a new beginning. Nothing will be the same anymore. This was truly the end of an era. The time of stalling, ambiguity, playing multiple sides is over. It can’t be the same as before. The US, the EU, Russia, Iran, KDP will all clarify their stances. All in the Middle East will: Whose side are they on?”


    Kalkan called Turkey’s attacks “a declaration of war” and continued: “War has been declared on Democratic Syria. War has been declared on Democratic Iraq. War has been declared on Democratic Autonomous Shengal. Now the Turkish army is at war with YBŞ forces and YPG-YPJ forces. This is war. The headquarters were hit. This is not like anything else. The forces striving to liberate Raqqa from ISIS were stabbed in the back. This is not just a simple situation. It is a declaration of war. Now the Turkish army and the Turkish state are in the middle of the war in Iraq, the war in Syria, the war in the Middle East and the World War III.”

    Kalkan stressed that according to international law, the YPG-YPJ and YBŞ forces now have a right to fight the Turkish army anywhere.

    Source: ANF News Desk 03-05-2017


  14. Gysi: Turkey bombs Kurds with information received from İncirlik

    Prominent member of Die Linke Gregor Gysi stated that Turkey bombed Kurds using information received from İncirlik Air Base and demanded all German soldiers serving in Turkey be called back.

    Gregor Gysi, who led Die Linke for a long time in Germany, is calling for the return of all German soldiers stationed in Turkey. Gysi pointed out that the German army in Turkey gave the information they gathered from the Syrian airspace to NATO and said, “The Turkish army uses this information to bomb Kurds.”

    The crisis that started with Ankara rejecting once more a group of parliamentarians from the Federal Defense Commission asking to visit the German troops in the İncirilik Air Base continues. German opposition parties demand an immediate call back for the soldiers stationed in the İncirilik Air Base.

    Gregor Gysi, long time leader of Die Linke, has been a part of the dispute and he demands all German soldiers serving in Turkey under the NATO umbrella be called back. Gysi shared a video he prepared over social media networks and dealt harsh criticisms to Germany’s policies on Turkey and the Kurds.


    The video was viewed half a million times and in it, Gysi says: “The German army on duty in Turkey surveils with all their military equipment all of the Syrian air space and sends the information they acquire to NATO. This information is used by the US, other NATO countries, and at the same time by Turkey.”

    Gysi points out that Turkey uses this information to bomb the Kurds in Syria and adds: “But it is those very Kurds that are fighting against ISIS on land. If this is the case, Turkey pointing their guns to the Kurds actually means pointing the guns to the USA. But in any case, our soldiers are indirectly helping the Kurdish massacre.” The German politician then asks the following question to the Federal Government:

    “And may I ask, are we on the side of Kurds who fight against ISIS, or Turkey who fights against the Kurds? Putting aside the illogical situation as a whole, we have no business in Turkey or the Middle East in the military sense. For these reasons, we should pull back our soldiers and our weapons from Turkey immediately.


    Meanwhile, the proposal by opposition parties to call back German soldiers from the İncirlik Air Base was discussed in the parliament yesterday afternoon. The Greens and Die Linke in opposition submitted the proposal for which the government issued contradictory remarks. Christian Democratic Union of Germany deputy Roderich Kiesewetter spoke on behalf of the federal government led by Merkel and said:

    “It is indefensible that Turkey doesn’t allow German members of parliament to visit German soldiers in İncirlik Air Base. But I am against calling back the soldiers from İncirlik. Unilaterally and immediately calling back the soldiers is not in Europe’s or Germany’s interest. Calling back the soldiers can create certain consequences, this could lead Turkey to isolation and it could turn into an issue between Germany and Turkey.”

    Kiesewetter stated that the matter should be handled at a diplomatic level at NATO and said: “What is important is that the soldiers are managed well, and the government official responsible for the army visits the soldiers. This matter should be discussed in the Defense Commission in a calm manner.”

    But Die Linke and Greens MPs stated that the proposal should be approved and the soldiers should be called back. After the discussions, the proposal was referred to the Foreign Affairs Commission with Greens and Die Linke voting for and government parties SPD and CDU/CSU voting against.


    German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had held official meetings in the US yesterday during the day and pointed out that in case of a retreat from Turkey due to the İncirlik crisis, it would not be confined to only the soldiers stationed in İncirlik Air Base.

    During his meeting with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson, Gabriel demanded that the US step in so the visit to German soldiers in İncirilik is permitted and called for the US to convince Turkey.

    Gabriel said that the early warning aircrafts (AWACS) positionedi n Konya in line with the NATO Commission in İncirlik are related to each other and added: “This is an integrated decision. I believe it is hard to separate the two.”


    One third of the AWACS personnel in NATO are German soldiers. Some 260 German soldiers in İncirlik partake scouting missions with the Tornado in the coalition efforts to fight ISIS.

    In June 2016, the German Federal Parliament recognized the Armenian massacres of 1915 as a “genocide” with a majority vote. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other Turkish officials say, “We won’t allow those MPs who signed that verdict” and started preventing German MPs from visiting the İncirlik Air Base.

    Source: ANF News Desk 20-05-2017


  15. Thursday 29th June 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    A BARBER in Lincoln has defended his decision to name his shop after Kurdish forces fighting in Syria following a mixed reaction on social media.

    Owner Haji Salih gave his business the name YPG Barbers after the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, who make up the majority of the Syrian Defence Forces militia fighting Isis terrorists in Raqqa.

    Despite online comments claiming that the name would be bad for business, Mr Salih said: “I’ve not heard anyone say they don’t like it, but I’m sure some Turkish people won’t like it and that is up to them.

    “They opened the Turk restaurant and I’m free to do this as well. But the point is British people like it.”

    Mr Salih explained that he had fled Iraqi Kurdistan fearing for his life because of his mixed religious background.

    “I’m half-Jewish, half-Muslim, so I was looking for freedom and looking to save myself. That’s why I came to the UK,” he said.

    The shop’s name was changed from Barber King following a refurbishment earlier this year.



  16. Pingback: Turkish regime invades Syria | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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