December, 2016 Russia

 Truce in Syria Turkey


Murat Yetin
The truce in Syria toward the end of the fifth year of the civil war was announced simultaneously by the Russian and Turkish foreign ministries on Dec. 29.

Syria truce US left out


DEBKAfile Special Report
President Vladimir Putin has announced that the Syrian government and rebels have signed a truce deal and are ready to begin peace talks. The ceasefire begins Thursday, Dec. 289, at midnight local time. The deal excludes the Islamic State the ex-Nusra Front and all groups linked to them. He did not say which rebel groups were covered.

 Turkish army ISIS pushback


DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 

Wednesday, Dec. 28, hours before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due to deliver a major speech on his vision for the Middle East, Turkey and Russia announced a ceasefire plan going into effect the same night for the whole of Syria, and in all regions, where fighting between pro-government forces and opposition groups were taking place - excepting for terrorist organizations.
Moscow and Ankara assumed the role of guarantors of the process.

Aleppo Liberated


Moon of Alabama (USA)
As planned by the Russian forces the liberation of east-Aleppo was completed before Christmas. There are no longer beheadings by Takfiris in East-Aleppo. Instead a Christmas mass could be held in the damaged Elias Cathedral in the Old City in east-Aleppo.

Assassination  Russian ambassador

by Daniel Pipes
Australian

The assassination on Dec. 19 in Ankara of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, raises some major geopolitical issues: Will this act of violence break relations between the two countries, isolate Turkey, or – counterintuitively – improve their ties? And does this murder affect the Middle East and the world beyond?

 Andrey Karlov


Murat Yektin
I knew Andrey Karlov in person. The Russian Ambassador to Ankara was from the old school, a Cold War warrior, who even served in North Korea. In the worst times of Turkish-Russian crisis over the Syria-plane downing affair, Karlov did not lose his calm.

Ambassador's assassination

 By YOSSI MELMAN 
Sources in Turkey were quick to blame supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish preacher who is in exile in the United States.

Russia  Friend or Foe

There is no basis for any claims about a “stolen” presidential election.
Nikolas K. Gvosdev

There is no basis for any claims about a “stolen” presidential election. Nobody stole anything. No Russian operatives altered ballots or tampered with election machines, which is why the Obama administration itself has declared that state-by-state election results “reflect the will of the people.”

Russia commandos


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

Moscow started to deploy Chechen special operations forces units to Syria this week, DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal. The troops come from elite units of the Chechen military with extensive field experience in urban warfare. Some of the units fought in eastern Ukraine in the past two years and, before that. in Chechnya for suppressing radical Islamic terror organizations linked to Al Qaeda and the Salafi movement.

Trump Putin

By William Blum

 "Information Clearing House" - That he may not be “qualified” is unimportant. That he’s never held a government or elected position is unimportant. That on a personal level he may be a shmuck is unimportant.What counts to me mainly at this early stage is that he – as opposed to dear Hillary – is unlikely to start a war against Russia. His questioning of the absolute sacredness of NATO, calling it “obsolete”, and his meeting with Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, an outspoken critic of US regime-change policy, specifically Syria, are encouraging signs.

Anomalies  Russia

 
By Jacob L. Shapiro
Are Russia’s banks failing or recovering?

On Nov. 22, an economist wrote in a Russian-language newspaper: “To judge by the flood of complaints, guarantees on bank deposits are ceasing to operate. People are often paid a fraction of their deposits and are being told that before closing the bank destroyed its documents, and your copies of the contracts are not binding for us!” (Translation by the BBC.) 

 Erdogan US, Russia  Syria


Author Semih Idiz
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been promising since September to liberate the northern Syrian town of al-Bab from the Islamic State (IS) and move east to Manbij to rid it of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Turkey claims that the YPG — the core of the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting IS — and its parent organization, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), are terrorist groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), but it has failed to generate international support for this position.