Syria Updates: ISIS Massacres and Turkish Double-Dealing


Vanessa Beeley – TRANSCEND Media Service

The US Cartel Is Doubling Down on War

18 Apr 2023 – As events are moving so fast in the region, I will try to update more regularly in a condensed format:

US continues its murder of civilians in central Syria using its ISIS proxies to carry out brutal attacks . On the 16th April at least 26 civilians were massacred in an attack on truffle hunters in the Duizen eastern countryside of Hama governorate.

It is reported by the terrorist-biased Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) that 12 of the martyrs were members of the National Defence Forces but the majority of the attacks and kidnap victims are civilians. The US is known to have planted ISIS cells in the area east of Homs and the threat to civilians or military is high. Syrian civilians trying to eke a living in a country under economic attack from the West are forced to hire military protection to survive. Added to this, the desert is still also littered with ISIS and other terrorist group mines and IEDs. On 17th February 53 people were killed in Homs Al Sukhna region near Palmyra and dozens were kidnapped.

Earlier in April SOHR reported that nine soldiers from the Palestinian Liwa Al Quds brigade were killed by ISIS in the Palmyra desert area. The New York Times is reporting a death toll over 100 without mentioning the US responsibility for these deaths.

According to local sources 139 citizens have been murdered since the start of 2023, many since the double earthquake on 6th February. If you include military martyrs, the death toll stands at an estimated 289. A kilo of truffles on the Syrian market costs $ 22 – $ 65 and therefore in such an economic depression the risks are taken by civilians who would otherwise starve under US sanctions and siege. This is all part of the ongoing US UK war of terror against the Syrian people.

Erdogan appears to be under pressure from the US after Russia and Iran have been trying to broker a political resolution between Turkey and Syria before Turkiye elections in May 2023. Erdogan and his administration officials are refusing all concessions under the pretext of national security with a view to combating PKK terrorism controlled by the US in north-east Syria under the rebrand of SDF (Kurdish contras).

President Assad has made it very clear that no meeting will take place between the Presidents until Erdogan gives assurances that Turkish military and proxy terrorist forces are withdrawn from Syrian territory. The US is demonstrating yet again that peace is not on the agenda in the region and is using maximum pressure to prevent regional unity.

Turkiye is a NATO member state, something that Erdogan or his political opposition are unlikely to abandon. This is one reason Russia is now negotiating with a more compliant Saudi Arabia to sell energy to the EU via the Saudi kingdom.

The Turkiye reconciliation would also be a serious threat to Israel who depends upon the instability in the north of Syria to keep the region distracted from serious confrontation with the Zionist entity. Is this posturing from Erdogan or will he find himself boxed into a corner by his own double-dealing? We do not have long to wait and see.

From The Cradle:

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated in a speech on Sunday, 17 April, that “his people cannot feel safe in the first place in the presence of a terrorist organization in northern Syria and Iraq, equipped with air and ground weapons,” Sputnik reported.

Referring to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Syrian offshoot, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), Erdogan told residents affected by the earthquake in Sanliurfa province in southern Turkiye that “It is not possible to feel security in Turkiye without stability in the region, and we cannot feel reassured while terrorists are stationed on our borders and arrive and roam as they please,” according to the office of the Turkish Presidency.

Erdogan stressed that “The goal of the parties that have deprived these countries of security, safety, and stability is to drag Turkiye into the same vortex, but we will never allow that, we will never seek excuses for any global or regional party to publicly jeopardize the security of our country.”

He added: “We have shown our determination in this context time and time again; thanks to our continuous operations within our borders and our cross-border operations, we have made it clear that our country cannot live side by side with terrorism, we will never retreat from this position, and while we take all these steps we will not make any concessions at all, and I hope that we will continue this struggle with determination.”

Erodogan’s comments follow negotiations to re-establish relations with the Syrian government, in which Damascus had demanded the withdrawal of Turkish forces occupying Syria’s Idlib province along with Ankara’s local proxy, the Syrian National Army (SNA), as well as a Turkish drone strike that targeted Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) leader Mazloum Abdi who was traveling in a convoy near the Suleimaniya airport in northern Iraq. The assassination attempt failed, and no injuries were reported.

The SDF is led by the YPG and therefore viewed as a PKK offshoot by Ankara.

Turkiye alleges that Suleimaniya, the second largest city in the Kurdistan Regional Governate (KRG) in northern Iraq, has become a PKK stronghold.

The drone strike on SDF leader Abdi’s convoy was further controversial because US military personnel were accompanying Abdi, suggesting they are facilitating his other SDF commanders’ movements.

Several areas in the Kurdistan region of Iraq have recently been subject to Turkish bombardment in the campaign against the PKK. Turkish attacks escalated after a bombing in Istanbul’s Taksim Square in November 2022, in which 6 were killed and 81 injured, and for which Ankara holds the PKK responsible.

The Turkish bombing campaign has extended to Sinjar, home of the persecuted Yazidi religious minority.

The PKK gained some popularity in Sinjar following its efforts to help evacuate Yazidis in the face of an ISIS assault in 2014 in which thousands of men were massacred, and thousands more women and girls were taken into slavery.

Turkiye is known for its support for ISIS, while Turkiye’s Kurdish allies in the region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), had promised to protect Yazidis in Sinjar from ISIS, but KDP forces confiscated Yazidi weapons and withdrew without warning, allowing ISIS to commit atrocities constituting a genocide.”


Vanessa Beeley is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. “The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned.”


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