This 31 July 2015 Associated Press video says about itself:
German troops head for Turkey’s border with Syria
1. Wide of plane at Tegel airport in Berlin, soldiers in foreground
2. Mid of German soldiers
3. Close pan from soldier’s face to German flag on soldier’s uniform
4. Wide of ceremony
5. Focus pull from Lieutenant-General Dieter Naslerent to soldiers
6. SOUNDBITE: (German) Dieter Naslerent, Lieutenant-General, German army:
“Solidarity within the [NATO] alliance means that we need to be ready to help when a partner within the alliance calls on us. This is a situation that has benefited us in Germany since the end of the Second World War. Our deployment to Turkey is now an expression of our ability to demonstrate solidarity with others within the alliance.”
7. Wide pan of soldiers walking towards airplane
8. Various of soldiers shaking hands
9. Zoom in to soldiers walking onto plane, NATO sign visible on plane
10. Wide of plane taking off
240 German troops were deployed to the Tukish-Syrian border on Sunday as part of a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) mission to prevent Syria’s conflict spilling over into Turkey.
The majority of soldiers deployed will join Patriot air defence units already stationed in Turkey.
A smaller number of the troops will join logistical, medical and nuclear, biological, chemical defence units.
In early December, the German government agreed to send 400 troops to help NATO deploy Patriot missiles in Turkey.
Lieutenant-General Dieter Naslerent said Germany is fulfilling its responsibilities as a member of the NATO alliance.
“Solidarity within the alliance means that we need to be ready to help when a partner within the alliance calls on us“, said Naslerent.
The German batteries are part of a NATO contingent of Patriot missiles that intercept incoming ballistic missiles, which will remain in Turkey for a year.
Two Dutch and two US batteries are also being deployed to other parts of southern Turkey.
Turkey requested the missiles to boost its air defences …
Violence has flared along the border in recent months, with
Turkey firing artillery across the frontier …
Once a close ally of Damascus, Ankara has turned into one of the Syrian regime’s harshest critics since the uprising began.
The Syria crisis began with peaceful protests in March 2011 but has since turned into a civil war.
By Alex Lantier:
Germany, US threaten war amid Russia-Turkey summit on Syria
23 October 2019
As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew to the Russian resort of Sochi for a summit yesterday with President Vladimir Putin on the war in Syria, Berlin and Washington issued bloodcurdling threats of all-out war in the Middle East.
In Washington, where a bitter debate is unfolding over Trump’s Middle East policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened war with Turkey, a NATO ally and major regional military power. Asked for his reaction to the Turkish military offensive against the Kurds, Pompeo replied: “We prefer peace to war. But in the event that kinetic action or military action is needed, you should know that President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action.”
So, after the United States Trump administration greenlighted Erdogan’s invasion of Syria, now they threaten war on Turkey …
The most aggressive proposal, however, came from Berlin, where Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for a massive European Union (EU) force to occupy northern Syria, supposedly working in coordination with Russia and Turkey. “My proposal is that we would set up an internationally controlled safe zone, involving Turkey and Russia,” she said. “I believe that would be a strong political and diplomatic response of the European powers in NATO.”
Tens of thousands of troops from Germany, Britain, France and other EU states would be mobilized under this proposal, in the largest EU overseas occupation force in decades. Roderich Kiesewetter, a former German army staff officer serving as a foreign policy specialist for Kramp-Karrenbauer’s Christian-Democratic Union (CDU), estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 troops would be involved.
Kramp-Karrenbauer is to argue for her proposal at tomorrow’s NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels.
This proposal testifies to the vast shift to the right in official European politics over the last decade. For the first time since the fall of the Nazis in 1945, Berlin is proposing an international military operation; previously, it supported wars launched by Washington, Paris or other powers. Since Berlin began to remilitarize its foreign policy, however, shortly after Washington backed off from bombing Syria in 2013, politicians and right-wing extremist academics have ceaselessly promoted militarism to try to overcome deeply rooted popular opposition.
Amid a military buildup across Europe, France and Sweden have announced timelines for restoring the draft. Collectively, the EU powers have pledged to pour hundreds of billions of euros into their militaries over the coming years. Kramp-Karrenbauer’s remarks show that this buildup aims not to make Europe safe for democracy against foreign invasion, but to prepare the EU powers to wage their own neocolonial wars in oil-rich regions key to their strategic interests.
Imperialist circles in both America and Europe are outraged at the military and financial advantages that could accrue to Russia, Iran and China from their defeat in Syria. One recent essay from the US Brookings Institution think tank complained: “The prospect of lucrative reconstruction deals has triggered a deluge of interest from governments and firms looking to profit from Syria’s devastation. The regime’s closest allies, Russia and Iran, have been the most prominent beneficiaries of the Syria reconstruction gold rush, with China not far behind.”
As a trade war escalates between Washington and the EU, with threats of billions of dollars in trade war tariffs on both sides, US-EU geostrategic divisions are also widening. However, the EU powers also view the defeat of NATO’s Islamist and Kurdish proxies in Syria, and the victory of the Russian-backed Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad, as a threat to their strategic interests and world position. As Berlin seeks to advance its own independent interests, it does so—for now—under the increasingly thin and unsteady cover of the NATO alliance.
In an article titled “What the Syrian debacle means for the Middle East and Europe,” German news magazine Der Spiegel warned: “Now that the U.S. has withdrawn from northern Syria, a trio of autocrats is dividing the country up between them. … Rarely has a single act in global politics triggered such a rapid chain of events as the U.S. pullout from Syria last week.”
Calling Trump’s Kurdish policy “the end of a world power”, Der Spiegel continued: “A changing of the guard is taking place in Syria. The West has surrendered. The Europeans and the Americans have repeatedly condemned the atrocities in Syria, but they have done little to prevent them. Meanwhile, the despots—Assad, Erdogan and Putin—are emerging as the victors. And the consequences will be felt far beyond the Middle East.”
EU denunciations of Middle East despots reek of hypocrisy. The plain fact is that the imperialist powers currently face a humiliating defeat in the Middle East, where they bear responsibility for decades of wars launched on the basis of lies and provocations, like the claim that the Iraqi regime had weapons of mass destruction used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
A general retreat of NATO forces is now underway across Syria and Iraq, where Washington and its European allies have been involved in bloody wars of plunder ever since NATO led the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. Taken collectively, these wars killed or wounded millions, and turned tens of millions of people into refugees. The hasty retreat of the remaining US troops from northern Syria is now leading to an outpouring of protests.
The population of Syrian villages through which convoys of US armored vehicles passed pelted them with tomatoes or eggs, or allegedly shouted slogans denouncing them for betraying Washington’s Kurdish allies. After they crossed the border into Iraq, these convoys were met with further protests and calls in English of “Fuck off”.
A further blow to the US military position in the Middle East came from the neocolonial puppet regime set up by the 2003 US war in Iraq. Now more closely aligned with Iran, it is reeling under a scandal over its bloody repression of mass protests at the beginning of the month, in which Iraqi troops killed 121 people—shooting them in the head and torso. This comes also amid a wave of ongoing mass protests in Lebanon.
Suddenly, yesterday, the Iraqi regime countermanded US Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s claim that US troops leaving Syria would remain in Iraq … The Iraqi army issued a statement that US forces only have the permission to transit through Iraq and leave, not to remain there.
Berlin’s proposal for EU military occupation of northern Syria is, no less than Pompeo’s open threat of all-out war with Turkey, a call for a vast escalation of imperialist violence in the Middle East. It involves the danger of a direct military confrontation with Russia, a major nuclear-armed power whose forces are allied to the Syrian government. It would inevitably collide not only with military opposition in the region, but with growing protests and anti-imperialist sentiment among Middle East workers and youth.
While Kramp-Karrenbauer proposed to coordinate her deployment with the Russian and Turkish officials, there was every indication yesterday that Moscow opposed it. Asked about Berlin’s proposal, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov evaded the issue, implying that Moscow had not even considered the possibility at all. “It is a new initiative, there is no clear position on it. One would have to look at it,” he said.
However, German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle interviewed Ruslan Mamedov of the Russian Council for Foreign Policy think-tank, who bluntly declared: “The official Russian position is that all foreign troops must leave Syria. I do not believe any sort of safe zone under the joint control of EU countries and Russia will develop.”
Germany’s grand coalition has officially extended the military operation in Syria and Iraq, which has now been running for over four years. The government took the decision last week: here.
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Turkey accused of war crimes after suspected white phosphorous use against Kurds in Syria (Newsweek)
Bloodied clothes and body bags: Kurds mourn dead in Syria (The Guardian)
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GERMAN authorities have come under fire for demanding the removal of five children from their mother because of her activities in the Kurdish freedom struggle and protests against war in northern Syria.
The Oberhausen District court judge quizzed Zozan G and her four-year-old son and other children at a hearing in December, during which the family did not have a lawyer present.
Despite the Youth Office deciding that they are not at risk, prosecutors are pressing for her five children, aged between four and 15 to be taken into custody, accusing her of indoctrinating them with “PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party] propaganda.”
Proceedings began after her daughter Lorin took part in a demonstration in March outside the Dusseldorf state parliament in support of prison inmates on hunger strike in Turkey over jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan continuing to be held in isolation.
Thousands of people took part in the action, which was instigated by imprisoned Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) parliamentarian Leyla Guven in November last year.
The hunger strike ended in May at Mr Ocalan’s request, shortly after he was given access to his lawyers for the first time since 2011.
Lorin G was detained by police as part of a group who wanted to present a dossier of war crimes allegedly committed by the Turkish state to parliamentarians. Authorities feared that they were going to occupy the Dusseldorf government offices.
She was also accused of taking part in a youth march from Mannheim to Karlsruhe in February where authorities claim she held a flag displaying a portrait of Mr Ocalan — banned under German law.
Zozan G, a prominent Kurdish rights activist, said the case, which has been adjourned until January 22, was being brought with the intention of intimidating Kurds and “to make us give up our rights.”
She told German newspaper Link Zeitung: “The accusation made against me is ‘child welfare risk.’ My children are not at risk. I educate them to be people who have an opinion, who represent human values and who stand up for them.
“Obviously, they want to make an example of me, to intimidate me so that I stop getting involved in politics.”
It appears her activities have been spied on by the state for a number of years, as she explained that authorities had presented photographs of her speaking at pro-Kurdish rallies and transcripts of her speeches.
Zozan G insisted that she rejects violence and that the political events that she has participated were in opposition to war and the killing of Kurds and others.
A demonstration in support of Zozan G and her family will take place outside the court hearing in Oberhausen on January 22.
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