Thursday, October 27, 2016

Conveniently: ISIS Plotting External Attacks “against the west” from within Raqqa, Syria

Oh, really?  ISIS plotting an 'external attack, against the west' from Raqqa?

Reality Check: 

The US wants to attack Raqqa. They’ve been preparing for an attack.  Turkey has been problematic in this attack plan due to the FACT, yes the fact, they are not interested in having a destabilizing terror state on their southern border called Rojova.

Cui Bono?

- So, an external ISIS attack??? 
- Excuse for desired attack on Raqqa
-It would enable the US/NATO/Israel to get around the troubles with Turkey..
-Get the masses on board. Fear is such an effective motivator- Irrational fearful masses are elite malleable.
-Advance the remake the middle east agenda

How is the west defined in the news? Of course, it isn't.

Obviously this narrative makes me suspicious- It reads like a set up for some impending plot

The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) is plotting “external” attacks against the West from the Syrian city of Raqqa, according to the commander of the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

"We know they’re up to something, and it’s an external plot,” Townsend told reporters at the Pentagon, speaking from Baghdad, AP reported. “We know this plot-and-planning is emanating from Raqqa. We think we’ve got to get to Raqqa pretty soon,” said Townsend, declining to give a specific timeline.

Warning of ISIS Plots Against West, U.S. Plans Assault on Raqqa

The fight to retake Raqqa, the Syrian city that serves as the capital of the Islamic State, must begin soon — within weeks — to disrupt planning believed to be underway there to stage terrorist attacks on the West, senior Defense Department and military officials said on Wednesday.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the top American military commander in Iraq, declined to name a specific threat against Western targets emanating from Raqqa, but described a “sense of urgency.” He said it was imperative that operations to isolate the city begin soon to prevent attacks on the West that could be launched or planned from the militants’ capital.

In announcing that the fight to retake Raqqa is imminent, American officials are sweeping aside objections from Turkey
Sweeping aside objections from a long time ally? Of course. 

If an attack takes place ‘in the west’???
Watch for Turkey to get spin doctored, to the masses, for allegedly impeding the desired attack on Raqqa and causing/allowing the terror attack. Bad Turkey.

That presentation will be promoted so the campaign of remaking the middle east can move into Turkey...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mosul Offensive Drawing to A Close As Daesh/ISIS Uprooted- Phase 2

Wow, it's so amazing. One week and the offensive is drawing to a close! The offensive over! Moving onto the next stage.  This is exactly as I'd suggested:  Monday Ocotober 17 :The Battle for Mosul Has Begun? "Surely the US will want to wrap it up by the end of the month or beginning of November at the latest ?" Tuesday Oct. 18 - Mosul- Difficult Fight? Already Ahead of Schedule?  Wednesday Oct. 19- Taking Mosul "So far this is easier then Fallujah" What Comes After Will Be Worse, For Iraq. Thursday Oct.20-Taking Mosul "So far this is easier then Fallujah" What Comes After Will Be Worse, For Iraq.

I had even stated why this would end quickly: Because ISIS would melt away. Evaporate. As they have done time and time again- From last Monday's post:
Quoting Soufan group " When faced with the prospect of overwhelming force in other strategic cities, the Islamic State has often preempted a strategic defeat with a tactical retreat, thus preserving the majority of its fighting force"
You didn't know that about ISIS?  Did you think ISIS left Jarablus because they are in cahoots with Turkey? Nah, them leaving was just more of their usual.  Perhaps you believe the spin presented by so many others?  Me, I prefer truth and facts.   Additionally, I've mentioned the phenomena myself on several occasions. (available in previous monday's post)

  So much for all those hollow (without real or significant worth; meaningless) claims about Turkey taking Mosul.....

The latest
The Mosul offensive is drawing to an end and that the Daesh de facto capital in Iraq would soon be made Daesh-free, military sources said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

A small distance of five to six kilometers keeps Iraqi forces away from center city.

Elite counterterrorism forces' Maj.Gen. Maan al-Saadi said that forces have advanced all the way to Mosul city's outliers and currently await reinforcement to march into the Daesh definitive stronghold.

What remains are fears on the aftermath of freeing Mosul from Daesh, especially with areas suffering greatly from sectarian rifts, namely Tal Afar, which is a ticking bomb, said Nineveh's MP Ahmed al-Jarba told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Counterterrorism forces restored control over Rutbah, a small borderline town located near Jordan in Iraq's western Anbar province, after Daesh took over most of its neighborhoods.

Anbar council member Jasem Al Asaal said that Iraq forces were able to successfully drive Daesh fighters out of the last two grips the terror group had in Rutbah.

More so, the U.S.-led international coalition held a meeting in Paris on Tuesday, to review the offensive on the militant bastion.

With the Mosul battle in its second week, French President Francois Hollande called for the coalition to prepare for the aftermath and the next stages of the campaign against the militants.

As the ministers met, Hollande warned that "the recapture is not an end in itself. We must already anticipate the consequences of the fall of Mosul."

"What is at stake is the political future of the city, the region and Iraq," Hollande said, calling for "all ethnic and religious groups" to have a say in the future running of Mosul.

I'll finish with my previous statement regarding the taking of Mosul

 Mosul will be taken in short order- The fallout from the taking of Mosul will drag on for years and years-  
Not sure how the 'taking' of Mosul will be defined? But it will be hyped as a success!
You can count on it!

The NATO allies have their sites set on Raqqa. In a couple of weeks time. After the election? Or perhaps some NATO member state can invoke article 5 mentioned in yesterday's post?

NATO-Run Safe Zones Could Stabilize Syria- Invoke Article 5- US Election Unaffected

Options, options, options..

UPDATE: Retreat and resurgence: IS's never-ending cycle unfolds in Mosul 

" IS will rely on its usual tactics, retreating when needed before regrouping"

From Earlier Today-

Who Suffers From Russia, Turkey Pipeline Deal?

Who Suffers From Russia, Turkey Pipeline Deal?

Forbes Ken Rapoza
After kissing and making up from a downed Sukhoi fighter jet over Syria, Russia and Turkey are back to being business partners again. Gazprom and Botas Petroleum agreed on Oct. 10 to push ahead with the so-called Turkish Stream pipeline. This is going to hurt a few countries.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, look at each other during a news conference following their meeting in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016. Putin and Erdogan voiced support for the construction of a gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey, called Turkish Stream, a project that was suspended amid tensions between the two countries. The pipeline would carry Russian natural gas to Turkey and onto European Union countries. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

On the stock side of the equation, it’s impossible to say whether the pipeline is good for Gazprom’s share price, because the stock hasn’t been over $5 since April.

The deal is good for Turkey. It is not so good for Ukraine and Bulgaria, who will lose out now that the South Stream pipeline is no longer needed. Bulgaria was going to collect transit revenues from that deal.

“Turkish Stream hurts Ukraine because it deprives them of the trans-Balkan route that supplied Turkey via Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria. So it also deprives Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania of transit fees. Bulgaria is even more unhappy than the others of course since South Stream is dead,” says Sijbren de Jong, an energy sector strategist at the Center for Strategic Studies in The Hague.

Too bad for Bulgaria- Bulgaria wants to play a two-sided game with Russia and NATO

 It was Borisov who actually ruined all Bulgarian-Russian joint projects, including South Stream and propelled the military partnership (including bases) with the US. If such a player is opposed to NATO’s plans, it says a lot about their suicidal under text. On the other hand, recent reconciliation between Russia and Turkey may influence the change of behavior of the Bulgarian leadership (or at least part of it represented by the Prime-minister), because of huge Turkish influence in the country. That sign will be undoubtedly seen by the Russian authorities.
Russia/Turkey Pipeline Deal...

The Turkish Stream pipeline was designed by Gazprom as an alternative route into southern Europe instead of through Ukraine. It was to planned to have a total capacity of 63 billion cubic meters (bcm), consisting of four parallel pipelines each with a capacity of 15.75 bcm. Last October, Gazprom said it would cut the capacity by around 25%, citing its planned Nord Stream II pipeline. But that pipeline has now been dealt a mighty blow by a Poland anti-trust ruling.  Gazprom claims it will go it alone now that its main European partners, including Shell, are out for now.

Turkey was the second card up Gazprom’s sleeve.

It’s unlikely to be a full house, however.

The third and fourth line of the Turkish Stream are “hopelessly unrealistic,” writes de Jong in an op-ed published on Monday by the Royal United Services Institute in the U.K. The reason: there not enough demand for gas in the region to support the construction of all those pipelines.

This month’s agreement means the two sides are now committed to the construction of two pipelines. One would serve the Turkish domestic market, and the other would extend into southeastern Europe, replacing the old South Stream proposal with the Italian oil major Eni. Details of any pricing agreement remain elusive.
Recall at the time of the shootdown this posts?

If Oil Was Really A Consideration- Turkey Would NOT Have shot the Russian Jet down
"Turkey relies almost entirely on imports for its total oil consumption of about 720,000 barrels per day.
A large chunk of those imports come from Russia. In 2014 Russia also supplied 27 billion cubic metres of natural gas to Turkey, representing 56 per cent of its total consumption. 
Russia was Turkey's largest source of imports, supplying goods worth $25.3 billion, or more than 10 per cent of Turkey's total imports.
In this context, if oil was a consideration for the Turkish authorities in its decision to shoot down a Russian jet, it would have had good reason to hold fire"
As I had suggested at that time.. Turkey had nothing to gain by shooting down the Russian jet. But other parties did!

Russia/Turkey Pipeline Deal - Irking Ukraine
Turkish Stream doesn’t only irk Ukraine, and take away potential revenues from Bulgaria. It also may outsmart Iran and other gas producers further south.

“Russia knows it needs to use the surplus from the second pipeline to pre-empt future deliveries from Azerbaijan, and maybe even Turkmenistan and Iran,” de Jong says.
May and maybe aren't concrete- What's interesting is to see Ukraine get cut out. And Bulgaria? Sometimes it pays to play both sides against the other? And other times it doesn't?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Syria rejects Russian proposal for Kurdish federation

Options, options, options.
Dozens of Russian aircraft land daily at Khmeimim air base near Latakia, Syria. One such aircraft from Moscow that landed Sept. 17 didn’t attract attention, but its passengers, eight officials of Russia's Foreign and Defense Ministries, were carrying documents that one day could alter the political scene of the region.

But not that day.

The documents, obtained by Al-Monitor, included a memorandum of intent regarding the possibility of the Syrian government's granting Syrian Kurdistan "special status within the framework of Syria." The delegation was tasked with finding a solution to the Kurdish issue in Syria by having the parties agree to the memorandum.
Salih Gedo, secretary-general of the Democratic Party of Syrian Kurds, attended the meeting. "The Russians had a document ready. It was in our favor. They wanted federalism in Syria while reinstating the rights of Kurds. We accepted all of the [stipulations] and suggested some additions.”
According to Gedo, the Syrian government's delegation did not accept the agreement, saying it would split the country, and Damascus would not agree to start a dialogue about an autonomous administration.
The memorandum contains five basic proposals. The text follows below:
The Syrian Kurdish Party has suggested, and the Syrian Arab Party has agreed, to discuss the following issues:
1. Constitutional recognition of the nationalistic and political rights of the Kurdish people in Syria, and at the same time recognition of the rights of other national minorities.
2. Recognition of the democratic self-rule system in the cantons [of Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin, which are currently controlled by Kurds] and acknowledgement that members of the self-rule [system] represent the interests of all national and religious groups in these areas, and acceptance of all decisions issued by the legislative council of these cantons.
3. Recognition of the self-protection units and the Asayish [Kurdish police] forces as the legitimate national military forces.
4. The formation of delegations from both parties [the self-rule system and the Syrian government] to coordinate relations between the cantons and the central government in Damascus.
5. Change the name "the Syrian Arab Republic" to "the Syrian Democratic Republic," and form therein a government with varied democratic views on the basis of a federalism system.
Gedo said the Kurdish side suggested adding: Stop Arabs from settling in the Kurdish villages of Jazeera province, restore the Kurds' property and compensate the Kurds for damages they have suffered.
Any disputes during implementation of the terms would be resolved through talks between the two parties. "These disputes may not be resolved in international courts,” the memorandum said.
Gedo emphasized that the issue is not dead and that the Russian side will continue contacts with the Damascus government. He said the proposed agreement allows for flexibility by stipulating that "each of the parties has the right to abrogate the agreement at any time provided it informs the other of such in writing.”
Syria, one of four Middle East countries where Kurds live in large numbers, has about 3 million Kurdish residents, most of them without legal status. With the advent of the civil war in 2011, Kurds began to demand rights and recognition. Main Kurdish towns in Syria on the border with Turkey, such as Qamishli, Kobani and Afrin, came under the control of the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party (PYD).
From the beginning, Turkey opposed this development. Some in Turkey felt the Syrian regime had abandoned the border region to the Kurds, both to avoid opening a new front in the civil war and also as a challenge to Turkey. But when the PYD unilaterally declared autonomous cantons at Qamishli, Kobani and Afrin, nobody, certainly not the Damascus regime, recognized these new entities. Then when the PYD's military arm, the People's Protection Units (YPG), began seizing land between the disconnected cantons, Turkey reacted strongly and declared it wouldn't allow a Kurdish entity to form a corridor on Turkey’s border.
In recent months, Western countries have been supplying arms to the YPG and giving political support to the PYD. These uncoordinated, conflicting interests of outside powers and lack of political cohesion among the Kurds assured that the Kurdish issue in Syria would remain unresolved. Kurds at times built close relations with the United States and at other times with Russia.
So some political figures in the region have wondered why Turkey has kept silent about Russia's blatant support for the Kurds. Another Kurdish official who was involved in the Khmeimim meeting said, “Of course the Turks know exactly what transpired in the meeting. They also know the Syrian regime is not going to accept the Russian plan for an autonomous Kurdish entity. So why should Ankara react and upset Moscow for an illusion that's not likely to work?"
 It appears from my reading of the above article Russia may have wanted Syria to accept 3 separate cantons existing within it's borders. NATO/US on the other hand is pushing for a unified Kurdish territory- across northern Syria to the Mediterranean.Taking a chunk of Iraq and then a piece of Turkey and onto Iran- I've covered the actions that demonstrate that plan as an ongoing process.

Some readers here may recall this aspect being entertained by myself? If not, I'll refresh your memories...

March 01/2016: In this post - Vladimir Putin, Godfather of Kurdistan? Not a Parent of Kurdistan?
Russia has sold Syria’s sovereignty down the river. As the US long did too
Both the US and Russia claim Syrian sovereignty is non negotiable. Both are lying. Would everyone feel better if I said- misleading?  Russia jumped into the Syrian fracas to block a split, a complete split, or a balkanization.  Pushing for some type of federated Syria instead of the US fracture. Speaking for myself, I wanted Syria to remain the nation that stole my heart. But, pretty much figured Russia was not going to save Syria in the way I’d hoped.
Was I mistaken? I don't think so. Am I disappointed? Always was.
But the blog is about discerning truth to the best of my ability- 
shrugs shoulders....that's all there is to it.

NATO-Run Safe Zones Could Stabilize Syria- Invoke Article 5- US Election Unaffected

 Cognitive Dissonance aside:

NATO-Run Safe Zones Could Stabilize Syria- Invoke Article 5- US Election Unaffected

This "letter" appears in WSJ as if it's a random letter to the editor- Written to the general public. In some ways it is. In other ways it isn't. The author is very interesting. I've done some digging that readers may find very interesting

Promote a NATO initiative by invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty against ISIS in Syria in retaliation for its terrorist attacks in Europe and America.
Oct. 24, 2016 4:01 p.m. ET

Regarding the letters of Oct. 12 responding to Sen. John McCain’s “Stop Assad Now—Or Expect Years of War” (op-ed, Oct. 5): There is a way to overcome these valid points about what is the endgame for the U.S. and how Syria will be governed
. As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. McCain would be able to promote a NATO initiative through invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty against ISIS in Syria in retaliation for its terrorist attacks in Europe and America.

First, NATO must stop the civil war in Syria by implementing the necessary no-fly zones and safe-haven enclaves. The new zone for President Bashar al-Assad and the Alawites must cover their area of influence, which is only about one-quarter of the country, in the West and North. This should stop the tidal wave of refugees to Europe.

NATO would take control of an existing airport in Syria, perhaps Deir Ezzour or Palmyra, thus countering the basing problem caused by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s denial of operating use of Incirlik air base to America and NATO.

Bringing in NATO would mean European, not American, boots on the ground. The U.N. and relief organizations are encountering great difficulties in bringing in relief supplies to various locations in Syria, and this initiative would give them much improved security and access, and America would no longer be paying the full cost This initiative doesn’t require President Obama’s approval.
President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to try to block this. Indeed, it would be irrational for him to want to block an effective attack on ISIS.

Robert Laidley
New York

 Robert Laidley lays out several key points

-Make the destruction of Syria an admitted/open NATO operation through an invocation of Article 5

-Implement a no fly zone and designate safe havens for NATO to run- Leave Assad a tiny rump portion

-Take control of yet another airport. Or perhaps two? (There are already multiple US and French airbases in the Kurd annexed territory of Syria)

- No need for Incirlik as Turkey has denied operating use  and the US has been pulling personnel out of Turkey for months now .If this no fly zone safe zone is implemented in Syria, complete with airports- Turkey will become an open target- NATO long turned it's back on this inconvenient ally

-NATO involvement would mean European boots on the ground not American, boots on the ground. Which, coincidentally, will really turn the middle east remake into yet another world war- History repeats?

- America would no longer be paying the full cost: Obama wouldn't need to approve it.

Who is this fellow Robert Laidley?

The presentation in WSJ is that of a 'concerned citizen'. Robert Laidley appears to have an interest greater then that of an average citizen. Robert Laidley is President of the Atlantic and Conservation Institute.  Wow, the Atlantic and Conservation Institute! That must be an important institution? Yup, that's what your supposed to believe Wow! Important!

 What we can know is better then believing

-Robert Laidley heads an NGO
-An NGO that has little money? Look here.  Also look here
 When I see NGO's with this type of profile (non existent)... I'm reminded of a front company for some other type of operation. A cover of sorts. With a label that is used strictly as an appeal to authority for perception management purposes

Robert Laidley has written articles that have been published by the Washington Times

How to Save the Euro

Austerity leads nowhere
Robert Laidley invites Ambassadors to talk security

Mr. President, Fix The EMP Mess!, by AMBASSADOR HENRY F. COOPER
Several months ago, Robert Laidley invited Dr. Peter Pry and me to speak about the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat at an Atlantic and Conservation Institute conference at The Explorer's Club in New York City. A few weeks later, he invited me back for a dinner at which I met Jen Bawden, who was already a member of the EMP Coalition formed by Frank Gaffney and others at the Center for Security Policy.
In case your curious who Ambassdor Cooper is ? 

Robert Laidley and Ambassador Cooper are Washington insiders. Therefore Robert Laidley's letter published by WSJ has to be considered for what it really is. An insider communicating with other insiders, for public consumption, to push or promote a desired agenda

Cognitive Dissonance aside:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Moscow will provide Ankara with intelligence about operation in Syria

This news seems a natural partner to yesterday's post: Did Putin give green light to Turkish attack on US-backed Syrian Kurds?
  I suspect Russia either green lighted or at the very least looked the other way. If Russia's goal is to ensure Syria's territorial integrity, it doesn't seem sensible they would allow YPG to annex more territory.
After reading the article below, the question became: Did Russia provide Turkey with the intelligence for the strike? Or was Turkey relying on their own resources? As Russia looked the other way?

 Moscow will provide Ankara with intelligence about operation in Syria

 On October 24, Moscow will provide Ankara with intelligence information about the Turkish operation “Euphrates Shield” in Syria, Izvestia newspaper reported. An informed source said to the newspaper, the agreement on the transfer of intelligence information was reached during a recent visit of Russian leadership to Turkey.

“The chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Viktor Gerasimov, was a member of the Russian delegation and held talks with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar. The sides reached an agreement regarding the transfer of intelligence, useful to the Turkish military during the operation ‘Euphrates Shield.’ The two sides also discussed the information specifically, regarding how and in what format it will be provided,” the source told Izvestia.

In turn, as the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Franz Klintsevich said to the newspaper, “Turkey privately joined the pool of intelligence sharing created by Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran…We pass the radio intercept data to the Turkish side and also radio engineering and optical imagery intelligence that may be of interest. In response, they also share information. The Turks have very effective special services and a very good intelligence network in Syria,” Klintsevich said.

“Although Turkey is a NATO country, it is very much offended by a coup attempt, in which, according to some data, some of the Western powers may be indirectly involved. President Erdogan and the Turkish leadership now understand that they can do business with Russia,” he said.

In late August, Turkey and its allied Syrian rebels started military operation “Euphrates Shield” against the so-called Islamic State in the Jarablus area of Syria. At the same time, the Turkish side also stated that the operation is aimed at liberation of the territory from the Kurdish groups.

Talks between the Russian and Turkish leaders were held in Istanbul on October 10th. As stated then by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “the Syria issue was considered multilaterally…We discussed the issues related to the operation ‘Euphrates Shield.’ We made an assessment of how we can cooperate in this direction.”

In early August, in response to the results of the talks between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavusoglu, told reporters that Turkey and Russia have agreed to establish a mechanism on Syria that will include diplomats, military and intelligence representatives.

 Also:  No Turkish Troops To Mosul: Refugee Safe Haven

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Did Putin give green light to Turkish attack on US-backed Syrian Kurds?

Certainly this thought crossed my mind when I read the news about the strikes on the US backed and trained  YPG/PKK in northwestern Syria.  Turkey attacks Syrian Kurdish forces, 'kills 160'
 Warplanes belonging to the Turkish Air Force conducted airstrikes on 18 Kurdish positions and killed “160 – 200” fighters on Wednesday night in northwestern Syria, Turkish media claimed.
Citing information from the Turkish General Staff, the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) said Turkish bombers attacked the Kurdish village of Maarat Um Hawsh under control of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin Canton, north of Aleppo.
Kurdish forces confirmed the Turkish aerial bombardment reporting at least 20 airstrikes were carried out in Umm Hawsh and Um Qura village.
 According to a statement on the Facebook page of the United States-backed YPG, Kurdish positions were also hit by at least 100 rounds of Turkish artillery shelling.
The attack took place this past Wednesday night, the 19th of October, the same day Putin and Erdogan were in contact.


In exchange for assistance in clearing Aleppo?
Turkish jets launched a massive assault on People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces in northern Syria on Oct. 20 to prevent the Syrian Kurdish group from taking the strategic town of al-Bab in northwestern Syria.
If the YPG, which is linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), seizes al-Bab, there would be a corridor connecting Syrian Kurdish regions east and west of the Euphrates River — something Turkey has vowed not to let happen.
Amberin Zaman reported that “the strikes mark the second time Turkey has attacked the YPG from the air, raising interesting questions about Ankara’s relations with Russia and with the Syrian regime.
YPG sources who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said Turkey is unlikely to have initiated the strikes without informing Russia, whose planes effectively control the skies over northwestern Syria.
It's very, very, very doubtful Turkey made those strikes without notifying Russia. In fact, to me, it seems impossible to believe Russia was unaware.
Russia and Turkey are on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict, but Ankara’s fears of the emergence of a PKK-run Kurdish entity along its borders appear to have surpassed its desire to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. This is one of the main reasons Turkey was so keen to patch up ties with Russia, and some claim with Damascus, after downing a Russian jet over the Syrian border last year.”
Zaman added that Russia will not, however, allow Turkish-backed rebel forces to seize al-Bab, as this could threaten the Syrian government’s efforts to retake Aleppo.
“YPG sources speculate that Moscow gave the green light for Turkish airstrikes to prevent their forces from moving on to al-Bab. In exchange, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan assured Russian President Vladimir Putin in an Oct. 19 telephone conversation that he would help eject Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, the jihadist group formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra, from Aleppo. Whether he will, or even can, remains unclear,” Zaman wrote.
I'd linked this in the comment section of a previous post- May as well bring it here


MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, exchanged views on the Syrian settlement and discussed the operation to liberate Iraq’s Mosul, the Kremlin press service said on Tuesday after a telephone conversation between the two leaders initiated by the Turkish side.
"The Russian side stressed the importance of efficient separation of ‘moderate’ opposition groups from militants of Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups affiliated with it," the Kremlin said.
 I suspect Russia either green lighted or at the very least looked the other way. If Russia's goal is to ensure Syria's territorial integrity, it doesn't seem sensible they would allow YPG to annex more territory
The removal of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham forces from Aleppo is an interest shared by both Russia and the United States, and it’s a key element of the UN proposal for Aleppo. This column reported Oct. 9 that UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura had said that he would be willing to personally escort the 1,000 Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters out of Aleppo, as they were holding the besieged city hostage.
For some reason, the al-Qaeda-linked group’s role is left out of many op-eds and Western press accounts of the battle for Aleppo.
Yes, for 'some reason' AQ's role in Aleppo is always glossed over.. Rolls eyes 
In addition to the withdrawal of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham fighters, the UN Aleppo proposal seeks a cessation of the bombing by Syrian and Russian forces, an end to shelling of western Aleppo by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and other armed groups, unimpeded humanitarian access to the city and respect for existing independent local administration.
 Updated 6:16 est to add-  hat tip AnonymousOctober 20, 2016 at 10:29 AM
Y on KSA.

Erdogan comment here is almost identical to the 2012 comment son Brazil.

Both ISIL and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), “are pawns that serve the same purpose and are supported by the same powers,” Erdoğan also stated, without giving details.
Erdogan and Putin agree to clear Aleppo?
  Erdoğan said the two sides had talked about a consensus for taking al-Nusra fighters out of Syria’s second largest city. 

“He [Putin] said that as of 10:00 p.m. [Oct. 18] the air bombardment was stopped [in Aleppo]. They [Putin] appealed to us about taking al-Nusra out of the city. We have given the necessary instructions to our friends [officials]. We have talked about a consensus [with Putin] to work on taking al-Nusra out of Aleppo and maintaining the peace of the people of Aleppo,” Erdoğan said Oct. 19, addressing a meeting of neighborhood leaders in Ankara.

More on Mosul at the opening link above. Directly connected to the earlier post on Turkey. KRG, Mosul and more 

No Turkish Troops To Mosul: Refugee Safe Haven