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Sistani Orders Turkey Out Of Iraq

By Moon Of Alabama

December 12, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "Moon Of Alabama" - After the U.S. invasion of Iraq the U.S vice consul Paul Bremer tried to install a handpicked Iraqi government.  The top Shia religious authority in Iraq, Grand Ajatollah Sistani, demanded a democratic vote. The issue was thereby decided. There was no way the U.S could have circumvented Sisitani's edict without a massive revolt by the 65% of Iraqis who are Shia and mostly follow his advice. Bremer had to fold.

Now Ajatollah Sistani takes position against the Turkish invasion of Iraq:

Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called on the government on Friday to show "no tolerance" of any infringement of the country's sovereignty, after Turkey deployed heavily armed troops to northern Iraq.

Sistani's spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala'i, did not explicitly name Turkey, but a row over the deployment has badly soured relations between Ankara and Baghdad, which denies having agreed to it.
"The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting Iraq's sovereignty and must not tolerate and side that infringes upon on it, whatever the justifications and necessities," Karbalai'i said in a weekly sermon.

The issue is thereby decided. Turkish troops will have to leave or will have to decisively defeat all Shia of Iraq (and Iran). If Erdogan were smart he would now order the Turkish troops stationed near Mosul to leave Iraq.

The Russian President Putin also increased pressure on Turkey:

President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered Russia's armed forces to act in an "extremely tough way" in Syria to protect Russian forces striking Islamic State targets there.

"Any targets threatening our (military) group or land infrastructure must be immediately destroyed," Putin said, speaking at a Defence Ministry event.

Note to Erdogan: Beware of funny ideas...


There was some Syrian opposition conference yesterday in Saudi Arabia were the Saudis tried to bribe everyone to agree on a common position. But the conference failed. Some 116 delegates took part under "international guidance" of their various sponsors. A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda aligned Ahrar al Sham, which closely cooperates with the al-Qaeda entity Jabhat al Nusra in Syria, also took part. No women were present.

The conference resulted in the decision to hold another conference. The 116 delegates at the conference decided to select 33 delegates for a conference which would decide on 15 delegates to confer and maybe take part in some negotiations with the Syrian government side. The NYT's Ben Hubbard, who was there, tweeted:

Ben Hubbard @NYTBen
...The meeting created yet another new opposition body, a high commission, meant to oversee negotiations.

There was debate about how large it should be and what proportion should represent armed groups. Final was 32, changed after meetings to 33.

Those 33 now tasked with choosing a 15 person negotiating team. So, yeah, umbrella groups making a new umbrella.

The political demands the conference agreed upon include non-starters for negotiations like the demand that the Syrian President Assad would leave within 6 weeks of the negotiations start. There was also this illuminating word game:

Islamist delegates objected to using the word “democracy” in the final statement, so the term “democratic mechanism” was used instead, according to a member of one such group who attended the meeting.

The Ahrar al-Sham delegate at the meeting signed the deal while the Ahrar al Sham bigwigs, who took not part, damned the deal and announced they were completely against it. They demand an Islamic State in Syria that would follow their militant Salafi line of believe. Hubbard again:

Ben Hubbard ‏@NYTBen
Re: @Ahrar_Alsham2. It's main delegate did not walk out. Before meeting ended, members not present released statement announcing withdrawal.

The session's moderator said Ahrar delegate was not aware of statement by his group until later, but did sign the final communiqué.

Then Ahrar members like @aleesa71 and @a_azraeel complained on Twitter, suggesting a split between military and political leaders.

The Saudi and Qatari Wahhabi rulers want Ahrar al Sham to be part of any future solution in Syria. They hired "western" think tanks like Brookings Doha to propagandize that Ahrar is "moderate". But Ahrar can not be "moderate" when it is fighting together with al-Qaeda and kills civilians because they are "unbelievers". It is now in an uncomfortable position. If it takes part in a peace conference with the Syrian government its Jabhat al-Nusra ally will roast it, if it doesn't take part its Saudi and Qartari financiers will fry it.

Since the start of the war on Syria no unity has been achieved in the opposition of the Syrian government. The U.S., in form of the CIA head John Brennan, teamed up (again) with al-Qaeda while the State Department tried to sponsor more "moderates". The ensuing chaos continues today.

To prevent further blowback from this nonsense strategy will obviously require a change towards a position that supports the Syrian government. It is doubtful that the U.S. is capable of such foresight and flexibility.



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