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Syria is quite the mess. By all accounts Russia is blocking the Turkish airforce in Afrin, presumably as retaliation for the shooting down of the Russian jet in Idlib. Though as far as I can see Russia is very pragmatic with its grudges, so presumably they don't want to see the Kurds easily crushed. Or at least without exctracting a suitable price. They can play the one air strike for a few dead Chechens in Turkey game for a long time without getting bored. Which doesn't mean that there is any happy end in sight for the YPG. Or for the rest of Syria. The US security state seems to be having too much fun to let the government win easily. And I presume the spooks are pretty OK with not having to deal with the surviving jihadists just yet.
One thing that I don't have any handle on at all is the Saudi - Turkey rivallry. In the Qatar kerfluffle we had Saudi and the Emirates on one side and Turkey and Iran on the other. Before the Afrin invasion I heard some noise fom the SDF side that they thought they had a thing going with the Saudis.
by generic on Fri Feb 9th, 2018 at 10:05:01 AM EST
Thanks for your thoughts on the Syrian issue, indeed an unfortunate outcome of the Arab Spring that started in Tunisia. The Obama administration had the State Department under Hillary Clinton with Susan Rice and Samantha Power, proponents of a R2P policy for intervention [read: regime change] in Libya and Syria.

But Hillary Clinton seemed impatient for a conclusion to the multinational military intervention she had done so much to organize, and in a rare unguarded moment, she dropped her reserve.

Two days before, Mrs. Clinton had taken a triumphal tour of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and for weeks top aides had been circulating a "ticktock" that described her starring role in the events that had led to this moment. The timeline, her top policy aide, Jake Sullivan, wrote, demonstrated Mrs. Clinton's "leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country's Libya policy from start to finish." The memo's language put her at the center of everything: "HRC announces ... HRC directs ... HRC travels ... HRC engages," it read.

America's blunt foreign policy over the decades failed to differentiate between strands of Islam, causing quite often upheaval. Perhaps the US is used to empire building while neglecting the needs of the people, social cohesion and cultural background.

President Obama and in particular HRC sought a close relationship with Erdogan's Turkey, Emir al Thani of Qatar and president Morsi of Egypt after the overthrow of Mubarak. This constituted the Muslim Brotherhood triangle, designated by the US as a moderate form of Islam that could run the affairs of a secular state. Turkey was seen as a model state for the North African nations in the Arab Uprising of 2011.

The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the Arab Emirates of the Gulf States. This is a historic given going back to the period in Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser.  

How Nasser shaped the Arab Spring
The Other Side of Suez (BBC Documentary)

Persecution of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s caused an outflow of Egyptians who were welcomed by the rising oil-rich states of the Gulf region.

First visit of the Muslim Brotherhood's founder, Hassan al-Banna, to Saudi Arabia dates back to 1936

Further reading:

Muslim Brotherhood Axis Egypt - Turkey - Qatar Faces Defeat
Exiled Brotherhood officials may find home in Turkey | Al Monitor |
Visions of Gulf Security

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Feb 9th, 2018 at 01:16:00 PM EST
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