Anger in Turkey over news of depar­ture of last ISIS fight­ers from Rak­ka” head­lined Le Monde. This is how the news­pa­per com­ment­ed on the more sub­stan­tial inves­ti­ga­tion by the BBC con­cern­ing an agree­ment between the coali­tion and the last ISIS occu­pants in Rak­ka, in order to speed up the end of the fight­ing and allow evac­u­a­tion of civilians.

Oth­er medias, pick­ing up a feed from the AFP (Agence France Presse) talk of an agree­ment meant to accel­er­ate the lib­er­a­tion of an “oil” zone.

At the onset, let’s men­tion that the reserves of Wahab, al Fahd, Dbaysan, al Kas­sir, Abou al Katat and Abou Kat­ach lie in a desert region. Exist­ing oil wells are south of the town of Rasafa and of its reserves, of which the Syr­i­an army  had  already gained con­trol in June with the help of the Rus­sians and the Ira­ni­ans. The FDS is cur­rent­ly regain­ing the oth­ers from ISIS in fight­ing as mur­der­ous as before.

So, of course, if the town of Rak­ka were also a hub for access to fos­sile fuels, men­tion­ing it is an invi­ta­tion to trig­ger a ref­er­ence to Kirkuk in the read­er’s mind. You know, that town and region of Irak rich in oil that the Kurds had sup­pos­ed­ly col­o­nized, and that was recon­quered by the cen­tral Ira­ki gov­ern­ment… allow­ing for an exploita­tion agree­ment with a large Russ­ian group with inter­na­tion­al funds, an agree­ment Barzani had begun nego­ti­at­ing these last few months, before the autonomous region of Ira­ki Kur­dis­tan found itself reduced to its pre­vi­ous bor­ders and almost placed under embargo.

Why this insis­tence in pre­sent­ing the Kurds of Syr­ia, and more wide­ly the Syr­i­an Demo­c­ra­t­ic Forces, as col­o­niz­ers ready to do any­thing – includ­ing deals with ISIS – for the sake of widen­ing the scope of their wealth and ter­ri­to­ry? The media cam­paign pro­fil­ing itself is not only igno­ble, it is part­ly inspired by dec­la­ra­tions by the Turk­ish regime.

The rev­e­la­tion accord­ing to which the so-called ‘Syr­i­an Demo­c­ra­t­ic Forces’ have reached an agree­ment with the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion ISIS for the evac­u­a­tion of a great num­ber of ter­ror­ists from Rak­ka is extreme­ly seri­ous and edi­fy­ing. (…) This agree­ment is yet anoth­er exam­ple that fight­ing one ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion with the help of anoth­er leads to col­lu­sion between the two orga­ni­za­tions”, declared the Turk­ish Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs in a press release pub­lished on Tues­day and dis­sem­i­nat­ed by the regime’s medias, and a few oth­ers who would have been well advised to keep silent.

A great oppor­tu­ni­ty to asso­ciate, one again, the Kur­dish move­ment and its allies with the bar­barous ter­ror­ism of ISIS. 

Yes, but what about the BBC report? I’ll let you be judge.

Fall of Raqqa: The secret deal — BBC News

In some releas­es, based on this same report, the mat­ter is pre­sent­ed as the flight of thou­sands of com­bat­ants, nego­ti­at­ed by the coali­tion and the FDS.   In oth­ers, there is talk of “sev­er­al hun­dred armed com­bat­ants” and their families.

For his part, Colonel Ryan Dil­lon, spokesman for the coali­tion, has this to say:  “Of approx­i­mate­ly 3 500 civil­ians who left Rak­ka on that day, some 300 were iden­ti­fied as poten­tial ISIS fight­ers. The agree­ment with the FDS stip­u­lat­ed that pho­tos and fin­ger­prints of all men of fight­ing age would be checked to avoid the escape of known Jihadists. 

I can­not claim with 100 % cer­tain­ty that each com­bat­ant was iden­ti­fied in depart­ing Rak­ka. (…) Some of these com­bat­ants may have man­aged to slip through among the civil­ians or pass them­selves off as local affil­i­ates of ISIS. When the con­voy left Rak­ka, it was watched by coali­tion drones but the deci­sion was tak­en not to bomb it because of the pres­ence of civilians.” 

No one men­tions at any point the fact the FDS were the ground forces that reg­is­tered mas­sive loss­es in the past year dur­ing this oper­a­tion of recon­quest. And yet, only yes­ter­day, the reports were filled with praise for them. Nor does any­one men­tion any­more that these same FDS worked to insure that Rakka’s tem­po­rary admin­is­tra­tion would be han­dled by the lead­ers of local tribes and inhab­i­tants of the destroyed town, in a dif­fi­cult bal­anc­ing act respect­ing the dec­la­ra­tions issued months ear­li­er on this mat­ter.  The agree­ment was based on the will not to anni­hi­late the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion, in order to offer some guar­an­tees for the future of those who had not tak­en part in the barbarity.

And what about the role and the pres­ence of spe­cial forces from Euro­pean gov­ern­ments at that point, who took close inter­est in the ISIS com­bat­ants who were made pris­on­er? What hap­pened to them? And to the press who filmed the wives of French fight­ers and their children?

A part of the ISIS fight­ers joined the pock­et in Idlib, oth­ers went to zones Bachar’s Syr­i­an regime is recon­quer­ing on one side, and the FDS on others.

The great fear of see­ing Euro­pean mem­bers of ISIS return to Europe to wreak hav­oc on its cap­i­tals spread imme­di­ate­ly. The BBC report was quick­ly trans­lat­ed and gen­er­ous­ly shared by the medias in the Putin neb­u­la. We are even start­ing to see gov­ern­men­tal dec­la­ra­tions meant as “reas­sur­ance”.

There can be no doubt that the arrests of “ISIS refugees in Turkey” last week sig­naled the start of a fine offen­sive of media pro­pa­gan­da.  The unan­swered ques­tion is that of the poros­i­ty of the Turk­ish bor­ders in these zones, where­as con­trol is water­tight in Roja­va. ISIS has kept its reg­u­lar habits and tak­en to its usu­al tran­sit zones, the ones the Turk­ish regime want­ed to use as a buffer and that serves to launch attacks on regions of the North­ern Syr­i­an Fed­er­a­tion and its cantons.

The Kur­dish move­ment can hard­ly be fooled by this sud­den flur­ry sur­round­ing this “agree­ment”, sim­i­lar to many oth­ers in Mosul which had released a lot more fight­ers, not to men­tion lead­ers with no fur­ther idea of their where­abouts. And what about the “de-esca­la­tion zones” agreed to between the Turk­ish regime, pro­tec­tor of groups one can hard­ly qual­i­fy as demo­c­ra­t­ic, such as Rus­sia, Iran and the Bachar regime? Tomor­row, of course, the FDS will be held respon­si­ble for the sit­u­a­tion, and deemed untrust­wor­thy. Not even to be trust­ed with sup­plied weapons, no doubt.

The butch­ery is com­ing to an end. The var­i­ous coali­tions have their minds set on the great shar­ing of spoils, in league against the Kurds, those spoil­sports with their polit­i­cal project for Syr­ia, who can then become con­ve­nient scapegoats.

In this flood of well-devised pro­pa­gan­da, rest­ing at once on the fear of the return of Jihadists and the copy-paste habits of the media, no one will inves­ti­gate yes­ter­day’s col­lu­sions, the Lafarge cement plants, the ISIS cot­ton, the war crimes com­mit­ted in Irak and Syr­ia, be they by ISIS, the Bachar regime, the Iran­ian mili­tias, the Jihadist fac­tions, the bomb­ings by the coalitions…

Irre­spon­si­ble Kur­dish com­bat­ants will have been in league with ISIS against the civ­i­lized world and, for this rea­son, will deserve to be held in sus­pi­cion for the future, since their word can now be put into ques­tion…” Here’s bet­ting this line of thought will be heard and will spread…

So, end of the fash­ion for women in bat­tle­dress in our wom­en’s mag­a­zines? The men­ace is back? 

Added on Novem­ber 17 :

More is known on the “deal” today, thanks to the tes­ti­mo­ny of for­eign com­bat­ants in Rak­ka. On the one hand – and there is noth­ing new in this – part of the evac­u­at­ed civil­ians had been equipped against their will with explo­sive devices, in pur­suance of their sta­tus as human bombs imposed on them for months by ISIS. This black­mail by ISIS did allow for the evac­u­a­tion of heavy weapon­ry, for­bid­den by the agree­ment, and to avoid detec­tion in doing so. On the oth­er hand, the fight­ing had reached a point where civil­ian and FDS vic­tims did no allow for fur­ther mil­i­tary advances, oth­er than gen­er­al­ized bomb­ing. (The same “agree­ments” were devised by the Ira­ki in Mosul). The choice of guid­ing the “evac­uees” toward the zones that the FDS would lib­er­ate one after the oth­er left lit­tle chances to the ISIS com­bat­ants, except if oth­er par­ties on the ground let them through the sec­tors they con­trolled, toward Idlib and elsewhere.

In the back­ground to all this: the var­i­ous deals with­in the coali­tions and the geostrate­gic con­tra­dic­tions between the Unit­ed States, Rus­sia, Iran, Turkey. The media have toned down their reports on the recent dec­la­ra­tions of the Turk­ish regime’s inten­tions to reclaim the can­ton of Afrîn, for exam­ple (a com­po­nent of the North­ern Syr­i­an Fed­er­a­tion), in a com­plic­it silence by all par­ties. There is even talk of this can­ton being a recent Kur­dish “con­quest” in the infor­ma­tion oblig­ing­ly published.

The harm is done. All the denials and tes­ti­monies will not erase the exploita­tion for pro­pa­gan­da pur­pos­es of a video, one of the co-direc­tors of which has already illus­trat­ed him­self in anti PYD pro­pa­gan­da before, for the ben­e­fit of medias at the boot of the Turk­ish regime.

All infor­ma­tion oblig­ing­ly dis­sem­i­nat­ed in wartime needs to be looked at and shared with a care­ful eye on the context.

Trans­la­tion by Renée Lucie Bourges

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Let­tres mod­ernes à l’Université de Tours. Gros mots poli­tiques… Coups d’oeil politiques…