International Affairs have always interested me more than domestic, undoubtedly because of my wide-ranging travel. Here are a couple of items collected that may have escaped the attention of a few readers.
Recently Russia and Turkey buried the hatchet and their relationship has warmed to a degree whereas it has become an alliance against the West and its Coalition. This may be the reason there have been several rapid re-deployments of U. S. and coalition aircraft and a ground attack in Syria against American based advisors and trainers. Yesterday an unusal report of U.S. fighter planes coming close, two miles, to Syrian fighter aircraft. There was also a horrific bombing in a border town having a Kurdish wedding party killing 82 and wounding over 70. No one as yet has claimed responsibility, although it sounds like ISIS, who knows for certain?
The most dependable ground force in the Middle East is the Kurdish Pesmergah and it’s fall out leftist PKK. Kurds having fought exclusively against the Turks until more recently when ISIS came into prominence. Turkey is populated by approximately 15-18% Kurds located in the southeastern corner of the country. The Kurds have been combat seasoned by fighting for an independent Kurdistan for 150 years against Turkish regimes. The Americans although gladly welcoming the Kurds into the Coalition do not supply significant amounts of munitions and logistic to them because the U S. and NATO do not want to offend Turkey, a NATO brother. (i.e shortage of rifles)
As Russia and Turkey become allies, Turkey joins a new inter-coalition consisting of Russia, Bashar Assad’s Syria, Iran, and Iraq against ISIS. Turkey, once a strong faithful U. S. friend, and the other four combined against the coalition friendly Kurds. This is a slap face to the U. S. The U.S and its coalition desperately need the Kurdish army at its side as the vital Mosul offensive draws near.
To top off this game changer, Russian and Chinese officials have simultaneously visited Damascus last week. Not just routine officials, but a Chinese Admiral and his compliment to set-up training and logistics facilities. It appears the Chinese are entering the Middle East as the Russians did 18 months ago. This may become another interesting challenge for the U. S. and for Obama to handle before he leaves office. We shall see, what we shall see. What would Trump do?
All the Best.