Syrian opposition in Turkey needs to address issue of refugees

Anti-Syrian sentiment reaches dangerous levels.

Many of the problems that Syrian refugees encounter in Turkey stem from the fact that their presence has become part of that country domestic politics. PM Erdogan’s AK party has done much to support them, but his unwavering support has become fodder to be used by his political rivals, especially the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP). This development does not augur well for the future wellbeing of Syrians in Turkey. The fortunes of Syrian refugees in Turkey cannot be tied solely to those of one of her political parties, a much wider support for the plight of Syrian refugees in Turkey is needed.

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Notes on Current Developments – January 23, 2014

As talks in Geneva open with Vitriol, Accusations and Acrimony, according to local activists and certain revelations via social media, ISIS, Al-Nusra and the Islamic Front have reportedly reached a deal allowing for the establishment of a joint administration of all rebel-held territories in the country. The agreement calls for the establishment of  High Sharia Commission to supervise the conduct of military operations, assess the legality of agreements reached with members of the international community, provide services in local communities, launch economic development projects, and manage local sharia courts focused on resolving local disputes. If this development is indeed true, then, it comes to underscore the complete disassociation of the political process currently unfolding in Geneva from the realities on the ground.

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Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants

Power Vacuum in Middle East Lifts Militants – NYTimes.com.

“It’s not in America’s interests to have troops in the middle of every conflict in the Middle East, or to be permanently involved in open-ended wars in the Middle East,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser, said in an email on Saturday……

Comment: Tell Obama, not to worry too much, Ben, the holy warriors will soon bring their battle to your living-rooms, and not via TV. These things just have a nasty habit of festering, and you’re already knee-deep in this, no matter what you say or think. It’s all part of the open-endedness of our political geography these days.

US and Iran’s First Joint Military Venture: Fighting al Qaeda in Iraq

US and Iran’s First Joint Military Venture: Fighting al Qaeda in Iraq.

While Western coverage portrays the Maliki-led operations against the inhabitants of the Anbar Province as a battle against Al-Qaeda, and as the U.S. supplies Maliki with advanced weapons and intelligence information to carry out these operations, the story is far more complex and involves a legitimate grievance by Iraq’s Sunni minority regarding their representation in government and the lack of any serious effort to develop their areas. The Sunnis of Iraq are being punished en masse for the crimes of the Saddam regime. But the West, the U.S. in particular, seems oblivious to that, as a result it has created a void that Al-Qaeda was all too happy to fill, just as it was happy to fill the void in Syria generated by the U.S.’ unwillingness to invest in moderate rebel. In short, and in pure sectarian terms, the U.S. intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan brought misery to the Sunnis, and the U.S. lack of intervention in Syria achieved the same on an even larger scale. Sunnis are beginning to see a pattern, and Islamists are exploiting that. For all its pretension to noninvolvement, the policies of the Obama Administration put it squarely in the camp of Iran in an ongoing identity conflict that is quickly spanning the region. A backlash is bound to happen, and it’s bound to be violent and bloody.