Turkish army, United States air force kill Syrian civilians

This video says about itself:

Greece: Kurds in Athens protest in solidarity with the people of Afrin

18 January 2018

Hundreds of Kurds marched through the streets of Athens on Thursday, denouncing to Turkey’s plans to bombard the Kurdish-held region of Afrin in northern Syria.

From daily News Line in Britain about Syria:

Friday, 23 February 2018

ON WEDNESDAY more civilians were killed or injured and material damage caused to the citizens’ houses and public facilities in Afrin city and its villages in the countryside of Aleppo because of the aggression waged on the area by the forces of the Turkish regime and its mercenaries.

SANA’s reporter said on Wednesday that the forces of the Turkish regime and its mercenaries bombarded and fired rockets at the residential neighbourhoods of Afrin city, injuring one family, which includes the father and his four children, in al-Ashrafiyeh neighbourhood.The injured people were admitted to Afrin hospital, according to the reporter.

The reporter added that the Turkish regime continued targeting with different types of weapons the houses, farms, and infrastructure in the villages and towns of Afrin area, causing huge damage to them.

On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of popular forces from the National Defence Forces (NDF) supporting the government in Damascus began entering the Kurdish-held region of Afrin to defend the Syrian Kurds against Turkey’s offensive. Turkish state news agency Anadolu said Turkey’s army fired ‘warning shots’ at the Syrian popular forces.

The Turkish regime has been launching a barbaric aggression on Afrin area for 33 days, using different types of weapons and shells, including chlorine gas, leaving more than 630 civilians dead or injured, mostly women and children, in addition to destroying a number of bread production facilities, water pumping stations, schools, a train station, and historical landmarks displacing thousands of civilians in the process. …

More than a dozen civilians lost their lives when the US-led coalition, purportedly fighting the Daesh [ISIS] Takfiri terrorist group, carried out a series of aerial assaults in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr. Local sources told Syria’s official news agency SANA that 16 people, including 9 women, were killed in the US-led aerial attacks against residential buildings in al-Bahra village on Tuesday afternoon.

The sources noted that the death toll is expected to rise as some people had been critically wounded in the airstrikes. The London-based Airwars organisation, which tracks civilian deaths in US-led airstrikes, reported earlier this year that a total of at least 5,961 civilians had been killed as a result of the attacks in Iraq and Syria.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on November 23 last year that 2,759 civilians, including 644 minors and 470 women, had been killed in US-led aerial attacks against civilian areas in Syria over the past 38 months.

The monitoring group added that the US-led air raids had claimed the lives of 98 people, including four children and as many women, between October 23 and November 23 last year.

The SOHR went on to say that the civilian fatalities had been mostly recorded in the northern provinces of Hasakah, Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib in addition to the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorisation from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.


Turkish, ‘Free’ Syrian Army invaders impose headscarves on women

This 31 January 2018 video about Syria is called Dr. Mihemed: Most of the Afrin victims are women and children.

The invasion by the Erdogan regime in Turkey of Afrin in northern Syria is not only a violation of international law rules against aggressive war, established at the post-World War II Nuremberg trials of German nazis. Not only does the Erdogan regime violate the human rights of many Turkish people, arrested for being pro-peace. Not only do the Turkish invaders and their ‘Free’ Syrian Army puppets injure and kill many civilians, including with poison gas according to this report.

Today, we hear that in parts of Afrin occupied by the invaders Syrian women are forced to wear headscarves. Just like banning women who themselves want to wear headscarves from doing so is abject despotism, forcing women to wear headscarves is abject despotism as well.

The Erdogan regime, a member of the NATO military alliance, fights its bloody war in Afrin with weapons from Britain, Germany and other NATO countries. Will Erdogan’s NATO allies object to this violation of women’s rights? Don’t hold your breath.

Turkey’s new dirty war. When the AKP lost its majority in the June 2015 election, President Erdoğan tried to discredit the successful HDP, and win nationalist votes, by declaring war on Turkeys Kurds and ending the peace process with the PKK: here.

Russia, Syria and the Kurds ‘agree resistance’ to Turkish invasion of Afrin: here.

‘Turkish army uses poison gas in Syria’

Syrian with breathing problems in Afrin hospital, AFP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Syrian Kurds: Turkey attacked us with poison gas

In the Syrian-Kurdish region Afrin six civilians with respiratory problems ended up in hospital. Doctors say to local media and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

a source which is often sympathetic to the Turkish Erdogan regime’s Free Syrian Army allies

that the complaints are caused by poison gas. That is said to have been used by the Turkish army, which has been engaged in an offensive in the region since the end of January. …

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which operates from Coventry in the UK, the patients had respiratory problems and dilated pupils. Local media also speak of rashes and vomiting …

The director of the hospital in Afrin told the German news agency DPA that the people injured after the [Turkish army] shelling came in with respiratory problems …

The Turkish army is supported in Afrin by militias of the Free Syrian Army. The village where this incident took place is close to the border with the Turkish Hatay province, where only Turkish troops are stationed.

Turkish regime uses ISIS fighters in war on Syria

This video says about itself:

Erdogan & son profiting off of ISIS oil smuggling – security policy analyst

2 December 2015

A damning report has emerged claiming that the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his son have their hands in the Islamic State’s oil trading business that has been funding the terrorist group. RT’s Lindsay France speaks with security policy analyst Michael Maloof about the report and its ramifications

From daily The Independent in Britain, 7 February 2018:

Turkey accused of recruiting ex-Isis fighters in their thousands to attack Kurds in Syria

Exclusive: Former Isis fighter tells The Independent that Turkey is using the name of the now defunct, Western-backed Free Syrian Army to conceal its use of jihadi mercenaries

Patrick Cockburn

Turkey is recruiting and retraining Isis fighters to lead its invasion of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, according to an ex-Isis source.

“Most of those who are fighting in Afrin against the YPG [People’s Protection Units] are Isis, though Turkey has trained them to change their assault tactics”, said Faraj, a former Isis fighter from north-east Syria who remains in close touch with the jihadi movement.

In a phone interview with The Independent, he added: “Turkey at the beginning of its operation tried to delude people by saying that it is fighting Isis, but actually they are training Isis members and sending them to Afrin.”

An estimated 6,000 Turkish troops and 10,000 Free Syrian Army (FSA) militia crossed into Syria on 20 January, pledging to drive the YPG out of Afrin.

The attack was led by the FSA, which is a largely defunct umbrella grouping of non-Jihadi Syrian rebels once backed by the West. Now, most of its fighters taking part in Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” were, until recently, members of Isis.

Some of the FSA troops advancing into Afrin are surprisingly open about their allegiance to al-Qaeda and its offshoots. A video posted online shows three uniformed jihadis singing a song in praise of their past battles and “how we were steadfast in Grozny (Chechnya) and Dagestan (north Caucasus). And we took Tora Bora (the former headquarters of Osama bin Laden). And now Afrin is calling to us”.

Isis suffered heavy defeats last year, losing Mosul in Iraq after a siege of nine months and Raqqa in Syria after a four-month siege. The caliphate, declared by its leader Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi in 2014, was destroyed, and most of its experienced commanders and fighters were killed or dispersed.

But it has shown signs of trying to revive itself in Syria and Iraq over the last two months, assassinating local opponents and launching guerrilla attacks in out-of-the-way and poorly defended places.

Isis fighters are joining the FSA and Turkish army invasion force because they are put under pressure by the Turkish authorities. From the point of view of Turkey, the recruitment of former Isis combatants means that it can draw on a large pool of professional and experienced soldiers. Another advantage is that they are not Turks, so if they suffer serious casualties this will do no damage to the Turkish government.

Isis and Turkey are seeking to use each other for their own purposes. Faraj, 32, an Arab from the mixed Kurdish-Arab province of Hasakah in north-east Syria, says that he does not like the YPG, but he is suspicious of Turkey and believes that it is trying manipulate Isis. “Turkey treats Isis like toilet tissues”, he says. “After use they will be thrown away.”

Turkey is evidently aware that using Isis fighters as the spearhead for the assault on Afrin, even if they relabelled as FSA, is likely to attract international criticism.

Faraj says that Turkish commanders have discouraged Isis from using their traditional tactics of extensive use of suicide bombers and car bombs at Afrin because this would make the Isis-Turkish cooperation too blatant.

He says that the FSA men are “professional in planning car-bomb attacks as they have experience before with Isis in Raqqa and Mosul”.

But he cites Turkish officers as discouraging such identifiable tactics, quoting one as telling an FSA group in training that “we leave the suicide attacks for the YPG and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party which carries on guerrilla warfare in Turkey), so that the world will be convinced that they are terrorists”.

Turkey has had an ambivalent relationship with jihadi groups since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. At first, it allowed foreign jihadi fighters and military supplies to cross into Syria, though this tolerance ebbed after the fall of Mosul in June 2014.

Nevertheless, Ankara made clear by its actions during the siege of the Kurdish city of Kobani that it would have preferred victory to go to Isis rather than the YPG.

As the YPG advanced after Kobani with the support of US air power, Turkey’s priority became to reverse the creation of a de facto Kurdish state in Syria under US military protection.

The US is in a particularly difficult position. It was the YPG who provided the ground troops who, backed by US air strikes, have defeated Isis in many battles.

Without them there would have been no victory over Isis as was claimed by President Trump in his State of the Union message. But the YPG is now facing some of the same Isis fighters in Afrin with whom it fought over the past four years. It will not look good if the US abandons its proven Kurdish allies because it does not want a confrontation with Turkey.

Such a confrontation could be just around the corner. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened at the weekend to expand the Turkish invasion to include the Arab town of Manbij, captured from Isis by the YPG in 2016 after a long siege. He said that the Americans “tell us, ‘Don’t come to Manbij.’ We will come to Manbij to handover these territories to their rightful owners.”

The fighting between Turks and Kurds and the growing confrontation between the US and Turkey are all in the interests of Isis. It does not have the strength to recover from its crushing defeats last year, but the opponents it faced then are now fighting other battles.

Eliminating the last pockets of Isis resistance is no longer their first priority. The YPG has been transferring units that were facing Isis in the far east of Syria to the west where they will face the Turks.

Turkey is not in a very strong position militarily almost three weeks after its invasion of Afrin. It can only win by bombing round the clock, and for this it will need Russian permission, which it probably will not get. If it is going to expand its attacks, it will need more combat soldiers and this will provide an opportunity for Isis to join in a new war.

The Turkish embassy in the UK has been approached for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.

Inside Afrin, the true victims of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria are revealed – refugees, babies, women and children: here.

Turkish doctors arrested for opposing war

This 1 February 2018 video is called Syria: Afrin Hospital overflowing with civilians injured in Turkish attacks.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Turkish doctors asked for peace, but got jail instead

Today, 9:02 PM

The entire board of the Turkish Association of Doctors TTB has been arrested. In the offices and hospitals where the eleven board members work, there have been incursions and files were seized. The association published a statement online earlier in the week entitled ‘War is a matter for public health‘.

Every war brings with it a humanitarian tragedy, by means of irreparable physical, psychological, social and environmental damage“, says the statement. It ends with the call: “No to war, peace now.”

It is a pacifist pamphlet, in which there are no references to the conflict in Afrin and none of the warring parties is directly addressed. Yet the statement has aroused President Erdogan‘s anger. He called the 140,000 members doctors’ federation, which represents eighty percent of the doctors in Turkey, friends of terrorists. …

“As physicians, we ask for peace, that is all, and we are against war”, says Dr. Samet Mengüç, chairman of a related medical association in Istanbul, who is also a member of the TTB. “This point of view is nothing new to us, and it is not particularly about this conflict, but our colleagues are jailed ‘because of propaganda for terror‘.”

Since the Turkish invasion of Afrin began, more than 300 people have been arrested who have spoken out against the war or shared information from social media across the front line … Dr. Mengüç has another explanation: “The government simply does not tolerate opposition, that is the way we see it. “

Turkish regime’s mass arrests of pro-peace people

This video from Germany says about itself:

27 January 2018

5,000 protesters took to the streets of Cologne on Saturday, in a nationwide demonstration to condemn Turkey’s ongoing Operation ‘Olive Branch’ against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.

Protesters marched through the city and held banners reading “We are all Afrin” and “In Afrin, humanity will be defended”, amongst others.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

More than 300 arrests in Turkey after criticism on social media

Today, 15:14

Turkey has arrested more than 300 people who have criticized the Turkish army offensive in northwestern Syria on social media . The arrests have been made since Operation ‘Olive branch’ began ten days ago. Among the arrested people are politicians, journalists and activists.

The Turkish authorities warn that anyone who criticizes the military operation or distributes [so called] fake news about it will be persecuted. …

The Paris-based journalistic interest organization Reporters Without Borders spoke of a “witch hunt” on critics.

Inside Afrin, the true victims of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria are revealed – refugees, babies, women and children. Exclusive: In part three of his Inside Syria series, and the first Western media report from Afrin since the start of the Turkish offensive, Robert Fisk shows just how ‘surgical’ is the attack on ‘terrorists’ in Operation Olive Branch: here.

German, French demonstrations against Erdogan’s invasion of Syria

This 27 January 2018 video from Amsterdam, the Netherlands is about a demonstration afgainst the Turkish Erdogan regime’s invasion of northern Syria.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Monday, January 29, 2018

GERMAN police broke up a tens of thousands-strong pro-Kurdish rally in Cologne yesterday after participants refused to take down flags and symbols of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Demonstrators came to the city from all over Germany to protest against Turkey’s invasion of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.

“The protest march has been stopped in order to remove all forbidden banners”, the North Rhine-Westphalia state police tweeted.

Despite repeated demands from police, many marchers continued waving flags bearing the image of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is imprisoned in Turkey.

Two people who distributed flags were detained, according to the DPA news agency.

There were scuffles outside the city’s train station between demonstrators and police after the march was broken up, with police firing tear gas.

The PKK, which has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy within Turkey for decades, was designated a terror group by the US and European Union at Ankara’s behest.

Hostilities between the Turkish state and PKK fighters resumed in 2015 after a ceasefire collapsed in the the wake of government complicity with Islamic State (Isis) attacks on Kurds.

Several thousand people in Paris also protested against the Turkish military operation yesterday, with left-wing activists joining Kurdish opposition groups at the Place de la Republique.

They urged French and other Western governments to take a tougher stand against the Turkish campaign.

Paris has urged Turkey to use restraint, but protesters decried that as insufficient.