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In association with Bro Don Pearce (Rugby UK)  Keep up to date with Bro Don’s Snippets – Email Don at Snippets@MilestonesUK.org  Just put in the subject line ‘Snippets Request’ state if you would prefer word doc or pdf format. ( If not stated both will be sent) It’s that easy! Below is an extract from today’s 4st Dec which covers (4th Dec 2015)

russia - euphrates

Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin reached a quiet agreement in November to split up between the US and Russia the northern Syrian-Iraqi front against the Islamic State. This understanding may be part of a broader deal on Syria which is still underway.

The two halves are populated almost entirely by Kurds and hinge heavily on their coveted fighting prowess.

Divided by the Euphrates, the two leaders assigned all Kurdish areas in Syria and Iraq east of the river valley to the US and the Kurdish districts to the west, to Russia. (See attached map.)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will be more apoplectic than ever over this secret deal, which undoubtedly boosts Kurdish separatist aspirations, especially in Syria.

Two new developments followed the secret deal in quick succession.

On Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Obama administration announced that a Special Operations contingent, including assault teams and air support units, would be sent to Iraq to fight ISIS and most likely be based in the Kurdish autonomous region’s capital of Irbil. It will join the 3,300 American military personnel already in Iraq.

Second, Russian air force and intelligence officers are reported by DEBKA Weekly’s military and intelligence to have landed in two of the three Kurdish enclaves in Syria: Afrin in the northwest and Kobani nearby on the Turkish border – but not yet in Qamishli.

In those two enclaves, the Russian officers have been attached to the command centers of the YPG Kurdish militia that also includes fighters from the PKK outlawed in Turkey. They are coordinating Russian military operations in support of the Kurds, including air strikes and artillery fire against hostile Syrian rebel groups and ISIS forces.

Russian sponsorship of the Kurds will no double promote the merger of the three Kurdish enclaves into a single national entity.