The US has been pushed out of the Middle East and has lost most of its influence despite of its military presence in Iraq.
Ankara took the role of the mediator with the “opposition”  per the Russian government’s request. This completely puts Washington and the EU format out of business. On December 16, the president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev issued a statement: “The Russian and Turkish leaders expressed interest in holding peace negotiations in Astana of the conflicting parties in Syria. Nursultan Nazarbayev supported that initiative and announced his preparedness to provide a platform for such talks in the Kazakh capital.”
The US State Department spokesperson John Kirby during his daily press briefing on December 20th stated that also the US wasn’t a party to the talks on Syria the Secretary of State’s John Kerry was briefed by the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and by the Foreign Minister of Turkey,  there also was a press briefing after the meeting which the US was allowed to attend.
Listen to the first ten minutes of the Kirby trying to calm down the hysterical American journalists who were asking him if the US has lost its influence around the world. He tried to smooth it out and downplayed the simple fact that the US has become irrelevant in the Middle East, despite of its military and secret services operations there.
“The secretary doesn’t see this as a snub at all. He sees it as another multilateral effort to try to get a lasting peace in Syria and he welcomes any progress towards that.”
We would obviously refute any notion that … the fact that we weren’t at this one meeting is somehow a harbinger or a litmus test for U.S. influence and leadership there or anywhere else around the world.”
We are not excluded, we are not being sidelined.”
Normally, I wouldn’t post the State department press briefing video, but this one is just too good to miss.

During the meetings on Tuesday  the Moscow Declaration to end the Syrian War was adopted without any presence of the US. Russia, Turkey & Iran stated that they are ready to be guarantors in resolving Syrian crisis – Russian defense minister.
It’s clearly reflects Russia’s growing links with Iran and Turkey, despite of the attempt to undermine the process by murdering  on Monday the Russia’s ambassador to Turkey.
At this point, the terror attacks on Russia and its allies before major diplomatic events have become routine.  However, instead of sidelining those events, these terror attacks bring the major powers in Eurasia, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Kazakhstan, India and everyone else together. Essentially we see in real time how terror attacks serve as catalysis to speed up the process of unification of Eurasia in the process of pushing the US and EU out of the continent, and curbing Israel’s and Saudis’ lust for blood in the region.
Like a wounded monster, the US tries to bring as much harm to Russia as it can. On December 20, Washington announced more political and economic sanctions of Russia this time on gas producer Novatek. Also on the list Crimean Ports, Crimean Railways, Stroiproekt Institute, Transflot, and two vessels bearing the Russian flag “Marshal Zhukov” and “Stalingrad.”  Also more sanctions are imposed on the Glavgosexpertiza Rossii, the leading Russian institution dealing with expert reviews of design documents and findings of engineering surveys.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov made a statement saying that:
“We will be expanding our lists, we will see how we can respond asymmetrically. We reserve the right to choose the timing, the venue and form of counter-moves the way that will suit us, and the way it will be relevant to our own priorities in the American direction.” 

Some new facts in the murder of the Russian Ambassador
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on this assassination. A working group went to Ankara to take part in the probe into this crime together with the Turkish investigation.
President Putin said that “Karlov died as a soldier. He was an illustrious diplomat, enjoying a very good reputation in the country of his mission, he had good relations with the leadership of Turkey as well as with other political forces that respected him.”
One of the Turkey’s pro-government daily Yeni Safak had published materials that points at the CIA being behind the assassination of Russian ambassador.
Hamza Sulyman, a retired Syrian army sniper tweeted some interesting photos:
During the Moscow meeting bodyguard of the Iranian Foreign Minister watching the bodyguard of the Turkish Foreign Minister

Photo of the killer while still in the police force
Also a touching footage of people in liberated Aleppo, reminds me of similar footage of people in liberated Warsaw and Berlin.

Someone from the German AfD lamented that “thanks to Assad, in Syria you can now celebrate Christmas safer than in Germany. Merkel must go!

Don’t say that he had too many beers.
Peskov disclosed a bit of information on the Russian investigative group. It includes eighteen officers of special services, doctors and psychiatrists. They have been in Turkey from the second part of Tuesday.
The Russian Ambassador, as we know, had no Russian security detail. In essence, Russian security has not being allowed to operate and to carry arms outside of the mission according to the international practices, it’s the hosting country responsibility to provide the security for the foreign diplomats.
After being wounded, the Ambassador was without medical attention for 25 minutes.
A week ago, the assassin took part in the  “protection” of the Russian Embassy, when an anti-Russian meeting in the protest against the liberation of Aleppo was organized near the mission’ building.
The shooting occurred at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in Ankara’s central Cankaya district,  the Turkish state-run media agency.
While Altintas was not on duty, he used his police identification badge to enter the gallery with a gun, per Hurriyet Daily News.
The metal detectors were used at the entrance to the gallery, but there was no increased security because of the ambassador’s presence.
This attack is a provocation aimed at disrupting our relations. I condemn it vehemently.” Erdogan
Altintas has not been tied to any Islamic terror organizations, on the contrary there are facts pointing that he was a part of the pro-Washington anti-government putsch, and that he was working  with the US and Israel intelligence.
Mert Altintas was later killed during a gunfight with security forces, authorities told Anadolu, the Turkish state-run media agency. The operation to stop Altintas was led by special forces, Anadolu reports. He was shot about 15 minutes after the initial attack.
Russia’s intelligence expressed the dissatisfaction that he was killed, instead of being taken alive.
There are witness accounts, don’t know how credible, saying that he was surrendering when he was killed.
Someone pointed out the terrorist’s last name was Altintas, that could be translated as “gold stone” or Goldstein. Also, there was information that Altintas was actively involved with Turkish neo-liberal organizations in the US like “Young Turks.
In November the Duran posted the following: “To watching the entire Young Turks team meltdown live on air as they insult all of America, call people “f***in dumb”, and then go on a bizarre rant threatening the DNC with all out war.”
On December 19th, in the wake of assassination President Putin had an emergency meeting with the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the head of foreign intelligence services Sergei Naryshkin  and Alexander Bortnikov, the Director of the FSB.

“We have to know who gave orders to the assassin.” said Putin

Slain ambassador’s body arrives in Moscow, met by Russian & Turkish FMs 

The spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Russia’s Ambassador Andrei Karlov was working to establish contacts with the Syrian opposition.   He was talking to all sides of the Syrian conflict and was facilitating the dialogue between Syrian government and the opposition. “Consider this, this tragedy takes a completely new dimension.”
Apparently, Karlov’s work with the Syrian opposition somehow was leaked out to the West. On December 1, 2016 the Financial Times reported that  Syrian rebels in secret talks with Moscow to end Aleppo fighting. “Turkey-facilitated negotiations without US show how Washington could become sidelined”
The way Erica Solomon phrases it for FT makes Kirby’s statements that the US only wants peace in the region regardless of an authorship of this peace sound like bold-faced lie. This also completely debasing one of the all time favorite Washington’s meme that Russia wants to destroy the “democratic Syrian opposition.” 
” Syrian rebels are in secret talks with Russia to end the fighting in Aleppo, according to opposition figures, a development that shows how the US could become sidelined in some of the Middle East’s most pivotal conflicts.”
“The Russians and Turks are talking without the US now. It [Washington] is completely shut out of these talks, and doesn’t even know what’s going on in Ankara,” said one opposition figure, who asked not to be identified.”
This kind of situation couldn’t be tolerated by the Obama’s regime. No wonder that according to the Russia’s officials an assassination of the Ambassador was carried out by the CIA.

I want to use this SITREP to address a couple of issues that I believe are being misunderstood  in terms of Russia and Turkey relations.
Turkey has a powerful and very active pro-Washington, pro-Israel and pro-EU opposition. On the top of this, Turkey is heavily infected with NATO and other foreign intelligence operatives, including those who operate as jihadists. The 5th columnists, accompanied by the motley crew of murderers for hire are doing everything, including the demolition of the Turkish economy and the assassination attempts on  Erdogan. Those who scream that Russia has to instantly cut off all the relations with ” Turkey the Backstabber” are only helping those neo-liberal interests.
Frankly, if Russia were to cut the diplomatic ties with Turkey today, tomorrow every Russian ambassador would be killed in every country. We are in the middle of the 1st World War in the twenty first century: the American and European war on Russia.
Only, unable to burn down Russian villages, and to hang Russian women and children in their town squares, democrats take down Russian passenger planes and kill ambassadors.
We have been dealing with this European sustained hatred towards Russians for centuries. When it comes to the emotional competency, the long-term hatred is delegated to those parts of human brain that deals with the most  primitive skills. For me, this is representative of any average European.
In the US, the large part of the population doesn’t have this hatred and wants to have better relations with Russia, but until recently these people had no voice. The majority of those who have the political power and the media are those with the Brutish, Eastern European, and Israeli roots.
Long story short, the last war with Turkey was over 100 years ago, while we had two major wars with Europe in between. Turkey didn’t attack the Soviet Union during the last Europe’s war on Russia, despite  of the Germany’s insistence and the covert British terror attacks on the Turks. Sounds familiar, right?
So, we were able to sustain good relations with Turkey. It’s our ally in the Middle East now, and it has its own very important mission. Only with Turkey, Russia and Iran can lock Europeans and Americans out of the ME, lock Israel and Saudis in, and with this to stabilize the region.
Turkey is developing better relations with the Syrian government, with Iran, and even with China, despite some bitter terror problems. Ergodan is now our guy. He is very smart, he is a patriot, and he wants what the best for his country. He has understood recently that Turkey will be peaceful and prosperous only as a part of a greater Eurasian union.
About Turkish troops in Northern Syria: Turks entered Syria per agreement between them, Russia, Iran and Syrian governments. The issue is very transparent. The US, Israel and EU want to divide Syria, and to create the Northern Syrian land corridor called Kurdistan. Washington was looking to have a complete control over this puppet territory, to control oil and gas routes to Europe, and to set up dry land routes for the military to move closer to the Iran’s, Russia’s, Afghanistan’s, Kazakhstan’s, China’s borders. This corridor would give the Western allies power to interrupt the trade routes, including the Silk Road and the North-South corridor from Russia to India via Iran.
If the north of Syria would be made into a land corridor and was occupied by the Western allies this would eventfully bring complete devastation to the entirety of Eurasia, not just the Middle East.
One after another nations that are still standing would be pushed back into stone age. Kurds, as the agents provocateurs,  had already played their parts in the devastation of Iraq and Syria. It was them who went to the UN and cried crocodile tears and demanded the “international community” to punish Saddam for some made up crimes against them. See how Egypt just arrested a group producing videos of “injured children of Aleppo” with fake blood and teddy bears, just to get a glimpse into the industrial production of fake video evidences of nonexistent war crimes.
For the past two centuries, the Kurdish elite has been serving the British crown, and with the same passion and devotion they have laid themselves under Washington.
I have to admit that there are healthy groups of Kurds who want to cooperate with the Syrian and Turkish governments, and who just want to be the normal citizens of their countries.
Those, however, who dream the impossible dream that Washington would create for them a heaven on earth, end up terrorizing Turkey with at least 300 people killed and over thousand of injured, in a course of one year. They have turned a prosperous, peaceful, tourist oriented country into a terror hellhole.
Knowing all this and more, the Syrian government could not start fighting with the Syrian Kurds for obvious reasons, since they are citizens and fight with ISIS. Russia and Iran couldn’t do anything either. The only other country that has the legitimate reason to use military force to bring Kurds to heel is Turkey. That’s why the Turkish troops are in Syria. They are acting as place-holders  o make sure that Western troops can’t get there.

Thank you for your time,
Scott and Baaz
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