NEWS FLASH! Arabic language news flash update by Barry Webb

Early the morning of 25 October, al-jazeera TV reported (based on a story of the Israeli paper
ha-Aretz) that a “mystery plane” flew from Israel to Riyadh, after a brief stop in Amman Jordan.
After 55 minutes on the ground in Riyadh the plane then flew directly back to Israel.
The 55 minute stop in Riyadh coincided with U.S. Secretary of Defense Esper’s visit to the Saudi
capital. Thus, the speculation is that the “mystery plane” carried either Netanyahu or the head
of the Israeli Mossad, or both? This speculation in turn has led to the speculation that there
was a U.S./Saudi, Israeli summit in Riyadh. Al-Jazeera speculated that this summit was about
My own speculation is that it would have likely also included Iran and possibly the Arab Spring
2.0/Intefadha now taking place in Lebanon.
Saudi-owned al-arabiyya TV has reported that Hizbollah thugs have taken to the street to beat
up the Lebanese anti-government protesters.
Hizbollah, and its patron Iran, have the most to lose in the fall of the current government and a
reshuffling of the deck. On the other hand, opponents of Hizbollah and Iran’s domination of
Lebanese politics might be seeing a narrow window of opportunity for cutting Hizbollah down
to size given its deep involvement in the Syrian quagmire and loss of manpower.
Erdogan’s demands never stop—and each step of the way he has completely hoodwinked
Trump. Yes, there is a new Erdogan demand today. But first, the background:
When Erdogan demanded the right to move into Syria’s North province of ‘Afrin where there
was a concentration of the PKK (which even the U.S., rightly or wrongly, lists as a terrorist
group), Trump said okay, and looked the other way as the Turks executed and ethnic cleansed
all Kurds, Christians, and Yazidis in the region, whether or not they had any connection to the
PKK. The ethnic cleansed region was then repopulated with Turkic-speaking peoples, some
from Central Asia. It became essentially a Turkish colony.
Then, Erdogan began claiming about a non-existent “terror” threat from the Kurds east of the
Euphrates. This area was the home base of the Syrian Democratic Army (SDF)which the U.S.

had supported and trained and which had born the brunt of the battle in defeating ISIS, and
had lost 11,000 men and women soldiers in the process.
Trump caved in again and agreed to let Turkey join with U.S. forces in “joint patrols” to guard
against the non-existent “terror” threat. After a couple of days of that, Erdogan began
grumbling that the joint patrols were just not working, and he began demanding instead a
“security zone” 30 kilometers deep. In other words, he wanted all SDF personnel totally cleared
out of that area.
Trump again caved in to this 21 st century Hitler’s demands after yet another phone call from
Erdogan in what many are calling a “betrayal of a loyal American ally.” Included in Erdogan’s
demand was also a removal of all American forces, and yes, Trump bowed to that command as
The results? Over 300,000 new homeless civilian refugees in Syria. Countless war crimes and
atrocities, and the summary execution of civilian Kurdish politicians.
Turkey had apparently sweetened the pie for Trump by saying he wanted to resettle some
three million plus “Syrian” refugees currently in camps in Turkey into the security “safe zone”
he wanted to create. Sounds good on paper, right?
Problem is, in order to make room for those three plus million “Syrians,” one would first have
to ethnic cleanse the region of its current residents, the civilian Kurds that the SDF was forced
to leave behind at Trump’s behest.
So, who are these Syrians that Erdogan wants to settle in Kurdish lands? If they truly are
Syrians, they did not come from that part of Syria. Their original homes would have been much
further to the south. Here is something you can take to the bank: These “Syrians,” will be
Islamist Syrians very favorable to Erdogan’s dream of a neo-Ottoman Empire. You can also bet
that even if there are some real Syrians in the bunch, that there will be a large contingent of
Turkic-speaking peoples from Anatolia and Central Asia. You can take that to the bank because
that has been Turkey’s track record, not only at the hands of Erdogan, as in ‘Afrin province, but
long before Erdogan came along NATO “ally” Turkey did that to Greek-speaking Cyprus in 1974.
They’ve been doing that to conquered “minorities” ever since they came onto the scene in the
Middle Ages.
And now, comes one more Erdogan demand from Trump, and this the most humiliating of all:
Erdogan is demanding that Trump hand over the Kurdish SDF commander who defeated ISIS.
This is the same man whom Trump had forced to read a humiliating statement written and
dictated by Trump himself, “thanking Trump for making the cease fire with Turkey possible.”
The Kurdish commander, Gen. Mazloum Kobani ‘Abdi, ate humble pie in regurgitating that

Trump statement only because he needed the 50 million dollars Trump had promised for aid to
his group in a quid pro quo.
A couple of things are wrong with that. First of all, the “cease fire” was made possible only
because the SDF agreed to leave the region Erdogan wanted. It was only the SDF that adhered
to the cease fire. The Turks and their terrorist militia allies broke Trump’s “permanent cease
fire” before the ink was dry. Secondly, the extermination of the civilian Kurdish population in
that region was postponed only due to Russian President Putin’s intervention. He called
Erdogan to Sochi and demanded that Russia do “joint” patrols with the Turkish troops to
prevent a holocaust.
One area of special interest that Russian troops have secured, at least temporarily, is the city of
Kobani which sits right on the border between Syria and Turkey. Kobani was the city that ISIS
had besieged and almost exterminated during the height of the ISIS surge. But the people of
Kobani captured the world’s imagination when they heroically beat back the ISIS attacks. Even
the Kobani women donned uniforms and guns and joined in the defense of their city.
And, of course, all the while the people of Kobani were being abused by ISIS thugs, the Turkish
army was sitting right across the border, only a football field away. Not only did the Turks not
come to the aid of the people of Kobani during their time of need, but they cheered on the ISIS
thugs, yelling Allahu Akbar—and even giving them medical aid as needed—and likely weapons
as well, if truth be told.
But the heroism and success of the people of Kobani so inspired the world that even the Obama
administration was moved, and in perhaps the only decent thing that administration did they
formed the SDF out of the nucleus of the Kobani fighters, adding Christian militia units, Sunni,
Shi’a, and non-believing Arabs, and even 1,000 Yazidis—so that in became, in truth a pan-Syrian
army. This group then went on to defeat the ISIS monster that had terrorized the world.
The people of Kobani, having recognized ISIS, and the behavior of the Turks, as the “real” Islam,
then converted to Christianity—which is likely why the Russians have taken an interest in
protecting that town.
The outstanding question now is: Will Trump grow a pair and finally stand up to that 21 st Hitler
thug Erdogan? Or will he once again cave in to the stronger personality in defiance of the
advice of his advisors and generals?
Barry Webb had a 25-year career as an Arabist for the National Security Agency, has two MA
degrees in related subject matter, and is the author of Confessions of an (ex) NSA spy: Why

American and its Allies are Losing the War on Terror. His website is
. He is currently a senior fellow with Americans for Intelligence Reform

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