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US-backed Kurdish special service plot terrorist acts in Syria’s oil region

06.11.2019 — 7:20

There are reports that «special services» of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (KWP), operating in Syria (apparently, the so called «Asaish Security Service»), are preparing terrorist attacks in Trans-Euphrates region, which they intend to pass off as the activities of ISIS* underground network.

In fact, given that Kurdish «security officers» have a considerable number of former ISIS militants in their hands, such reports may well turn out to be true. The question is why do they do this and why they may need this.

«Asayish is fighting wing of «Syrian Democratic Union», that is, the autonomist party of the Syrian Kurds. With the beginning of Syrian conflict «Democratic Union» took separatist positions under the influence of KWP leaders from Iraq and Turkey. Its «security service» gained a sad reputation in Syrian Trans-Euphrates region. It has kidnapped, killed, tortured and executed without trial and investigation both leaders of other ethnic groups and opponents from among Kurdish figures themselves.

According to rumors, the Kurdish special services could also stand behind the sabotage against the American convoys and caravans with smuggled oil, as they were interested in another reminder ti the US allies who was the most important part of the game.

However, terrorist attacks and sabotage in Trans-Euphrates region during American-Kurdish occupation became a common thing. Against this background, «Asayish», under the pretext of fighting the terrorist underground network, regularly conducted campaigns of arrests and cleansing of the unwanted, simultaneously taxing entire tribes and clans.

Then, with the beginning of Turkish «Source of Peace» military operation, many former ISIS militants and their families found themselves outside their former places of detention. Moreover, only 7.5 of almost 14 thousand who had been released were in the area of Turkish operation. The rest were released by «raids» of «unknown» groups in those areas of the provinces of El Hasaka and Raqqa where Turkish planes did not fly to. At the same time, the guards of the camps and prisons under the jurisdiction of «Asayish» have suffered virtually no casualties…

At first glance we can see some contradiction — why should Kurds who fought against ISIS for dear life deal with terrorists? The answer is simple — common Kurds don’t need to. But those for whom war is connected with business and war, «terrorist threat» is necessary, otherwise they can lose everything.

They had their landmarks set up by the United States. As Pentagon and CIA could not persuade the Kurdish leaders to abandon the KWP symbols and to conceal the presence of this party in the self-proclaimed authorities in the Syrian north-east, Donald Trump gave the allies a taste of the Turkish whip. In order to prevent them from submitting to Damascus in the darkness of despair, Donald Trump offered them an increased share of the proceeds from the looting of the oil fields in Trans-Euphrates region, which remained under the control of the United States military forces. While the authorities of Syrian Arab Republic and Russia are saving the population of the northeastern regions from yet another bloodshed and ensuring the separation of Kurdish formations and Turkish troops (which the Americans have failed to cope with), the separatist leaders are once again trying to reach an agreement with America.

Trump, by the way, taught a lesson not only to them, but also to Europe. A year ago, he said that the U.S. regional allies and NATO partners should be engaged in the separation of the parties and fighting radicals in Syria, and he is going to withdraw the U.S. military contingent. Faced with a general reluctance to take on the main military burden «on the ground,» Trump made a knight’s move.

He decided to show the whole world that he is only interested in oil and the buffer zone with Iran in Syria. Territorially these are the southeastern districts of Deir Ez-Zor province and the southwest of Homs province, where At-Tanf base is located.

Militants there are already preparing for battles against pro-Iranian groups in the Syrian desert and adjacent areas of Iraq. In Baghdad and Basra, the Arab-Shiite opposition to Iran (yes, such thing does exist), led by the Sadr clan, is preparing to fight pro-Iranian groups from «Hashd al-Shaabi» militia. ISIS gangs are active on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Several thousand American military personnel, withdrawn from the Syrian northeast, suddenly found themselves not in Saudi Arabia, where they allegedly expanded their bases on the coast of the Persian Gulf, but in Iraqi Kurdistan. But there already were more than 5 thousand American servicemen, protecting the main oil fields and pipelines.

Iraqi Kurdistan borders Syria, Iran and Turkey. In the Kandil mountains located on its territory the Turks have been conducting an operation against the KWP bases for the third year in a row.

Iranians do not like this organization either, as they fear Kurdish separatism on their own territory. But for the sake of access to the Mediterranean, they were ready to deal with it, including through the mediation of the Kurdish-Iraqi Talabani clan from Suleimaniyah.

As Mazlum Abdi, commander-in-chief of the Kurdish self-defense detachments, mentioned on the eve of the beginning of Turkish «Source of Peace» operation, a business proposal was made to him personally by Kasim Suleimani, responsible for special operations of Tehran abroad. But Mazlum refused to negotiate with Iran, just like he had previously refused to deal with Damascus.

As a result after the United Stated renounced further confrontation with Turkey on Kurdish issue and hastily withdrawn U.S. troops from the border areas, a bloody massacre unfolded in northeastern Syria, which was stopped only due to the Russian-Turkish agreements reached in Sochi on October 22.
(It is noteworthy that the timid initiative of the German Defense Ministry to create an «international security zone» in the northeast was criticized by the German Foreign Ministry and parliament, after which it was peacefully forgotten).

Thanks to the Russian military police and Syrian army units which had stood between the Turks and the Kurds, the Turkish offensive stopped. Ankara received a security zone here, although the situation is still rather precarious and some of the Kurdish separatists clearly do not mind playing Russia and Turkey off against each other, judging by the recent provocation against the Russian military police convoy near Darbassia settlement.

Using the Russian-Syrian shield, the Kurdish leadership is taking its time. Among the local population there a lot of those who are in opposition to the current Syrian government, so the Kurds are talking about something like a de-escalation zone for the period of political settlement.

At the same time, they persuade the Americans to return their units to Kurdish Rojava, to the northeast of Al Hasaka province and guarantee their protection from the Turkish invasion.

This is not so much in the interests of common population as in separatist leaders’ interests. They can keep their position only in the northeastern corner of Syria, which has been held with assistance of the United States so far. Neither Turkey, nor Iraq has a place for them anymore. Therefore, despite the assets in European banks and the draft law on asylum in the United States, adopted by the House of Representatives, Kurdish leaders are not willing to leave the warm and profitable spots.

And in order to provide themselves with support of the Americans who need a rear for the period of activation of the struggle against the Iranian influence in Iraq, the Kurdish separatists in Syria are ready to set fire to Trans-Euphrates with the help of the released terrorists -to offer Washington their support in neutralizing them.

However ISIS has yet another role to play in that game.

Due to «WikiLeaks» project the whole world learnt that the United States once supported the emerging «Islamic State» in the interfluve between Tigris and Euphrates in order to block Iranian influence in Iraq and Syria. U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry admitted this in a conversation with the Syrian opposition on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in February 2016.

«White Helmets» leader Riyadh Saleh, recorded these words then and the tape leaked to Internet.

What was left behind was the relationship between ISIS and Saudi Arabia. In the kingdom which is the guardian of the Muslim holy places of Mecca and Medina, the clan of Saudi Arabia and the clan of descendants of the founder of Wahhabi creed, Muhammad Ibn Abdalwahhab are fighting since its formation in the last century. This fight may not be obvious for the outer world though.

Inside the clans themselves there are many groups, but spiritual leaders do not leave their attempts to shake the authoritarian power of the ruling dynasty with the hands of their followers. The direct clash between them is hindered by the deal made two hundred and fifty years ago between the Saudi dynasty and Wahhabi scholars for the sake of capturing the Arabian Peninsula.

The open confrontation between religious scholars and the authorities will result in the collapse of the entire state. However, the ideologists of radicalism have repeatedly tried to exert pressure on the royal family, provoking external pressure.

There is a version that the attack on the USA on September 11, 2001 was one of such provocations. The Republican George W. Bush, Jr. did not, however, launch Washington’s retaliation against his friends, the Saudis, but against the uninvolved but strategically important for the American expansion Iraq and Afghanistan. Under the presidency of the Republican Donald Trump (it is the Republicans who are traditionally friendly with the Saudis) the situation has become even more peculiar.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who has concentrated almost all the threads of Saudi rule in his hands, does not even hide the fact that despite to public opinion, he made a geopolitical deal with Israel, against the backdrop of the almost existential level of confrontation with Tehran. At the same time, Riyadh has a conflict with Turkey and its Arab ally, Qatar. All this makes the kingdom too vulnerable to external threats, especially against the backdrop of the Yemeni gamble, in which Saudi military power, which is already of low quality, got bogged down.

Basis of the threat to the kingdom’s existence is the balance of the Arab tribes in its territory. In clan society the resentment of those wh, under pressure from Saudi or Wahhabi forces, have gone into the interfluve of Tigris and Euphrates over the past centuries and made up a large part of the population of Eastern Syria and the western provinces of Iraq, if it comes to the resumption of an open conflict, could lead to a large-scale civil war, as some tribal groups have also remained on Arabian Peninsula and will help their relatives to return to what was once lost.

A while back the Saudis paid Saddam Hussein and diligently avoided quarrelling with Syria so that the two states could control the tribes dangerous to the Wahhabi kingdom. Under George Bush Jr. Iraq was destroyed and the economic situation in Syria deteriorated significantly, so that tribes on the Saudi border began to show concern. A «hungry Bedouin», as they say in the Middle East, «will find someone to take food from». As a result, the Saudi intelligence services took an active part in fomenting conflicts inside Iraq and Syria in order to turn the energy of the tribes to seize oil fields and profit from cross-border smuggling.

In Iraq this led to the emergence of ISIS. Leader of that pseudo-halifate was Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, a Qurayshite native. Qurayshits are a tribe of the Prophet. But a significant part of its representatives from among those who appeared in the first centuries of Islam existence in the territory of modern Iraq have long been in opposition to those who found themselves in Damascus and created the Umayyad Caliphate.

Under the black banners of the Qurayshite Abbasid tribes from Iraq once conquered both Arabia and Syria, creating their own caliphate with its capital in Baghdad. A thousand and two hundred years later, the scenario with the invasion of Syria under the black banners was repeated, but the Saudis simply bribed their way out of trouble with ISIS. To keep Riyadh up Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi regularly called them «apostates», but while ISIS was doing business in Mesopotamia, the tribes dangerous for Saudi Arabia were under his control. Those who did not obey orders ISIS thungs simply killed, executing every male persons over the age of 12 in disobedient clans.

With the defeat of ISIS the situation for Riyadh has become even more complicated. Americans and Kurds became the main recipients of rent from oil facilities operation and international transit. The deprived tribes began to look in Turkish direction, which may turn into direct aggression for Saudi Arabia in the nearest future. It is unlikely that the Saudi intelligence services were thrilled by the name of Al Baghdadi’s successor, voiced by the head of the terrorists shortly before Trump’s announcement of his liquidation — Abdallah al-Qardash, an ethnic Turkoman from the outskirts of the Iraqi Mosul, associated with Turkish intelligence.

During autumn of 2018 — spring and summer of 2019, several Saudi ministers visited the Syrian Trans-Euphrates region and promised all local political forces generous funding in exchange for loyalty. However, for most local Arab tribes this did not outweigh the negative attitude towards the domination of the US-backed Kurds. The situation began to change after the last steps of the U.S. president.

In addition to «surrender» of the Kurds and the increase in the share of Arab militants in the oil transit from Eastern Syria, this and the epic «annihilation» of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Not even touching the question of whether it is fake or not, we should pay attention to the tribal affiliation of the new «caliph» and its official speaker — they are Qurayshites. But Abdallah al-Qardash was killed under unclear circumstances almost simultaneously with al-Baghdadi.

Thus, the scheme of trying to control the tribes dangerous for Saudi Arabia and distract them from internal Syrian and Iraqi affairs is once again in the trend.
The focus is now shifting to inter-tribal strife.

This is particularly evident in Eastern Syria. As soon as the Arab tribes of Trans-Euphrates region saw the weakening of Kurdish positions against the background of the withdrawal of American troops from the northeastern regions, the sheikhs of the largest tribal unions of Bakkara, Ukeidat and Shaitat, who had gathered in Raqqa at the invitation of the Americans and who had advocated for autonomy, appealed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with a proposal to grant amnesty to «Syrian Democratic Forces» militants.

Tribal Arab militia fighters were meant under the «militants», some of whom were still fighting for ISIS, but now rightfully fear revenge from relatives of repressed clans who had gone to the western bank of Euphrates and announced support for Damascus government.

The Lebanese «Al-Modon» media, which supports Syrian opposition, suggested that Trans-Euphrates tribes are ready to negotiate with Russia, Turkey and the USA as long as, on the one hand, they are protected from ISIS supporters associated with Iraqi leaders, from whom they have turned away for the sake of an alliance with the Americans, as well as from those tribal groups that they themselves have driven out to Damascus-controlled territory, and, on the other hand, to keep the rent from oil revenues.

Thus, new reformatting of ISIS clearly aims to weaken the Arab tribes of Syria and Iraq as the most dangerous for America’s regional allies.

By Vasiliy Korolenkov

* terror organisation banned in Russian Federation

Tags: ISISKurdistanKurdsMiddle EastQatarSaudi ArabiaSyriaTurkeyUSAWar In Syria

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