Vehicles from the US Army and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) were seen driving past each other on the road linking Manbij and Kobani, near the M4 highway in north-eastern Syria, on Monday. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/a3dl

The UN Humans Rights Office has initiated an investigation into Turkey’s execution of civilians on the M-4 highway as a war crime, a major blow to Erdogan’s image

…by Jim W. Dean, VT editor

– First published … October 15, 2019 –

[ Editor’s Note: This morning brings us some news with meat on the bones. Hopefully we are over the “unconfirmed reports” state of this current conflict.

The SAA and SDF will now control the Al-Malkihah northeastern border crossing into Iraq, which will be a boon to commercial trade which is badly needed to sustain the populations on both sides of the border; and for military supplies to pass through, as the US will not be shoveling tons of US taxpayer debt-funded support onto the SDF.

There will be two open border crossings, with the Al-Bakumal crossing in Deir Ezzor province operating for two weeks now without any more Israeli air attacks on that area. Iraq seems to be coming through its recent upheavals and moving forward, defeating the plans of the hidden hands behind the riots and Ukrainian-style shooting of both demonstrators and protesters.

I watched a short video last night (see below, an historic one) of a US column of vehicles retreating from Kobani on the Turkish border, heading down and through Manbij. That was followed this morning with news that the SAA has reoccupied the Manbij base that the US had borrowed for its illegal presence inside Syria.

Also in Manbij we finally see SAA heavy weapons, tanks being unloaded from their carriers so Syrian forces will have better ability to fight the Turkish invasion. Before today, all I had seen was light mobile infantry — technicals with heavy machine guns.

I had not seen a single dual 20mm vehicle, mobile truck mounted artillery, or any trucks at all carrying the necessary combat supplies. The initial units were just “show the flag” and photo ops to generate news reports.

We also have a major statement from Trump, that he hopes Assad would protect the Kurds from Turkey and fight Turkey for their own land. This statement not a small thing.

More background on the Syrian National Army (SNA) is finally emerging. They are the usual criminal gangs that flocked into the jihadi movement not so much for ideological reasons, but for the more efficient looting of the populations they were tyrannizing.

While, “administering” the Turkish held areas inside Syria, they controlled all the smuggling, business extortion, and population shake downs — fighting over it against other gangs doing the same. Turkey controlled them by parsing out money, weapons and ammo, turning the spigot on and off to remind them who the boss was.

As Gordon Duff mentioned in his seminal address at the 2015 Damascus Counter-terrorism conference, at the end of the day all of this turmoil is being run primary by uber-international criminal organizations where heads of state are often no more then lieutenants in their power structure, all replaceable, in a variety of ways.

Sputnik is reporting that Ankara might be held responsible for reported executions carried out by Turkish-backed groups in Syria. The announcement came from the UN Human Rights Office.

China has finally taken a stand, calling on Turkey to halt Operation Peace Spring in Syria. The SDF is now saying that their deal with Damascus was a “forced step”, with Russia to play a key role in the process. Moscow is now reporting that it is working with Turkey to prevent clashes between its forces and the SAA.

What I am sensing here is a plan to keep Turkey inside some of its initially planned buffer zones, but not in full control of the border or the M-4 major highway; and then arrange some kind of negotiation to secure the area from Erdogan’s concerns of YPG cross-border operations, of which we have seen no evidence ever provided by Erdogan JD ]