Saudi Crown Prince Defies the US Policy against Syria

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

In November 2022, Saudi Arabia formally changed its stance on Syria. Saudi Arabia is the political powerhouse of the Middle East, and often shares positions on foreign policy and international issues with the UAE, which has previously re-opened their embassy in Damascus.

“The kingdom is keen to maintain Syria’s security and stability and supports all efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the November Arab League summit in Algeria.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 following the outbreak of conflict instigated by the US, and portrayed in western media as a popular uprising of pro-democracy protesters.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said, “The developments in Syria still require a pioneering Arab effort. It is necessary to show flexibility from all parties so that the economic collapse and political blockage can be dispelled. Syria must engage in its natural Arab environment.”

The next Arab League summit will be held in Saudi Arabia, and there is a possibility of Syria once again taking its seat at the round table.

On January 16, the Syrian Foreign Ministry agreed to resume imports from Saudi Arabia after over a decade of strained relations, and Syria planned to import 10,000 tons of white sugar. This development signals a new beginning between the two countries.

Saudi and the Syrian tribes

The Arab tribes in the north east of Syria have traditionally had strong ties with Saudi Arabia, and have received support from the kingdom. The tribes have opposed the ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Arab villages which the US-led YPG militia has conducted for years. Even though Saudi Arabia has been viewed as a US ally in the past, this has changed since the US military has supported the Marxist YPG who have oppressed Syrians who are not Kurdish.

The US occupied oil wells in north east Syria may come under attack by Arab tribes who are demanding their homes, farms and businesses back from the US-supported YPG.  Some analysts foresee the US troops pulling out of Syria after the Kurds find a political solution with Damascus.

Turkey and Syria repair relationship

Turkey and Syria have begun steps to repair their relationship, which ended after Turkey supported the US-NATO attack on Syria for regime change, and hosted the CIA operations room funneling weapons and terrorists into Syria, under the Obama administration.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad demanded recently the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Syria to begin to repair the relationship.

Russia is brokering the reconciliation between Erdogan and Assad, which began with the Moscow hosted meeting of the three defense ministers, and a meeting between the three foreign ministers is upcoming.

The developments between Turkey and Syria are being watched by Iran. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said his country was “happy with the dialogue taking place between Syria and Turkey.” Amirabdollahian will travel to Damascus on Saturday for talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Mekdad.

Iran is looking to establish a new role in the recovery process in Syria. President Ebrahim Raisi will visit both Turkey and Syria soon, his first visit to Turkey since taking office two years ago.  While analysts see Saudi Arabia and Iran as antagonists, some feel the kingdom will ultimately realize they have to work with Iran in Syria and Lebanon.  Iran is part of the region and can’t be excluded from the geo-political sphere.

Saudi Arabian reforms 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said on April 27, 2021 that the country was undergoing a sweeping reform which would restructure the role of religion in Saudi politics and society.  The process began a few years before he became crown prince, but under his leadership it has accelerated. Islamic institutions in the Kingdom have seen changes in procedure, personnel, and jurisdiction.  All of these reforms are in line with the future vision of the country.

Some analysts feel the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1960s eventually gave rise to support for domestic religious institutions, and eventually led to funding of religious activities abroad, while religious leaders at home wielded power over public policy.

Vision 2030

Saudi King Salman, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and his son, MBS have a plan for the country which is known as Vision 2030.  MBS is also Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.

The days of unlimited oil and markets are in the decline. Education, training, and employment opportunities are the stepping stones to building a thriving country and MBS is determined to plan for a long future of growth and innovation.

MBS

The Crown Prince is young and has new ideas.  He is instituting sweeping reforms to the society which have included more rights and freedoms for women. He has championed projects to place Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination, year round golf and soccer venue, and encouraged cultural arts such as musical productions. MBS is breaking the mold: no longer will Saudi Arabia be a breeding ground for Radical Islam.

Extremist preachers

Saudi Arabia had hosted many extremist preachers.  Some were featured on satellite TV channels located in Saudi Arabia, and others were local preachers, authors, or scholars.  Some had traveled abroad preaching in pulpits and exporting their hatred and sectarian bigotry.

One of the most famous preachers was Muhammed Al-Arifi, who has had an electronic surveillance device attached to him by Saudi intelligence agents, after they seized all of his social media accounts. His last tweet is said to be on May 6, 2019, when he had 20 million followers, and 24 million likes on Facebook, which ranked him as tenth in the Arab world and in the Middle East. The kingdom is shutting down clerics who are extreme.

In 2014, Great Britain banned Arifi from entering the UK following reports that was involved in radicalizing three young British citizens who went to Syria as terrorists.

A YouTube video in 2013 showed Arifi preaching in Egypt and prophesying the coming of the Islamic State.  Egyptian TV reported Arifi meeting with the former Muslim Brotherhood prime minister Hisham Qandil in his office.

Arifi is best remembered for his statement on the media Al Jazeera in which he called for jihad in Syria and supported Al Qaeda.

Adnan al-Arour is another extremist preacher who had appeared regularly on two Saudi-owned Salafist satellite channels. Arour was originally from Syria before settling in Saudi Arabia, and in the early days of the Syrian conflict he would stand up on camera, shake his finger, and called for his followers to ‘grind the flesh’ of an Islamic minority sect in Syria and ‘feed it to the dogs’.

These extremist preachers made it clear that the battles being waged in Syria had nothing to do with freedom or democracy, which the western media was pushing as the goal.  The truth was the conflict in Syria was a US-NATO attack for regime change and utilized terrorists following Radical Islam, who fought a sectarian war with the goal of establishing an Islamic State in Syria.

The previous Crown Prince

Muhammad bin Nayef Al Saud (MBN) served as the crown prince and first deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia from 2015 to 2017.  On June 21, 2017 King Salman appointed his own son, MBS, as crown prince and relieved MBN of all positions.

MBN met with British Prime Minister David Cameron in January 2013. He then met with President Obama in Washington, on 14 January 2013. The discussion focused on the US-NATO attack on Syria and its support from Saudi Arabia.

In February 2014, MBN replaced Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia, and was placed in charge of Saudi intelligence in Syria. Bandar had been in charge of supporting the US attack on Syria. Bandar had been trying to convince the US in 2012 that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons.  However, research has shown that the terrorists used chemical weapons to push Obama into a military invasion, based on his speech of ‘The Red Line’.

In March 2016, MBN was awarded Légion d’honneur by French President François Hollande, another partner in the US-NATO attack on Syria.

On February 10, 2017, the CIA granted its highest Medal to MBN and was handed to him by CIA director Mike Pompeo during a reception ceremony in Riyadh. MBN and Pompeo discussed Syria with Turkish officials, and said Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the US was “historic and strategic”.  Just months later in June MBS would depose MBN and strip him of powers, in a move considered to be “upending decades of royal custom and profoundly reordering the kingdom’s inner power structure”.

US diplomats argued that MBN was “the most pro-American minister in the Saudi Cabinet”. That is what brought MBN down. The days of blindly following the US directives are over in Saudi Arabia.  MBS has refused to bow down to Biden when he demanded an increase in oil production.  The Vision 2030 that MBS developed does not include financing failed wars in the Middle East for the benefit of the Oval Office. MBS has a strained relationship with Biden, and he wears it as a badge of honor.

Saudi role in the Syrian war

Saudi Arabia played a huge role in the large-scale supply of weapons and ammunition to various terrorist groups in Syria during the Syrian conflict.  Weapons purchased in Croatia were funneled through Jordan to the border town of Deraa, the epi-center of the Syrian conflict.

At the height of Saudi involvement in Syria, the kingdom had their own militia in Syria under the command of Zahran Alloush. The Jaysh al-Islam are remembered for parading women in cages through the Damascus countryside prior to massacring them.

In summer 2017, US President Donald Trump shut down the CIA operation ‘Timber Sycamore’ which had been arming the terrorists fighting in Syria. About the same time, Saudi Arabia cut off support to the Syrian opposition, which was the political arm of the terrorists.

Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, expressed his view at the time that “Saudi Arabia is involved in the ISIS-led Sunni rebellion” in Syria.

Syria has been destroyed by the US and their allies who supported the attack beginning in 2011.  Now, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are looking to find a solution which will help the Syrian people to rebuild their lives.  Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia have turned away from past policies which found them supporting the conflict in Syria at the behest of the US.  There is a new Middle East emerging which makes its own policies and is not subservient US interests.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

دمشق – أنقرة: تصلّب المواقف يؤخّر الخرق

الإثنين 16 كانون الثاني 2023

لا تزال العملية العسكرية البرية في سوريا «خياراً» تركيّاً مطروحاً على الطاولة (أ ف ب)

محمد نور الدين  

تتزايد الإشارات الصادرة عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري حيال مسألة التطبيع وما يعتيرها من معوّقات لا تزال تحول دون إتمامها. ويجلّي تلك المعوّقات اشتراط الجانب السوري إنهاء الاحتلال التركي كمقدّمة لأيّ مصالحة محتمَلة من جهة، وعودة الأتراك إلى العزف على نغمة التهديد بعملية عسكرية بريّة في الشمال السوري، قالوا إنها لا تزال خياراً مطروحاً، من جهة أخرى. في هذا الوقت، يَظهر الرئيس التركي، رجب طيب إردوغان، التواق إلى إحراز أيّ اختراق يعزِّز من شعبيته المتراجعة قبل الانتخابات، إلى الآن، كَمَن «يبيع سمكاً في الماء»، أقلّه بالنسبة إلى دمشق

صدرت، في اليومَين الماضيَين، عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري، إشارات عكست أنّ «شيئاً ما» يَعترض مسار المصالحة بينهما، وإنْ كان جليّاً أن الطريق ليس سهلاً أو مفروشاً بالورود. ففي حوار إذاعي أبرزته الصحف التركية في صدْر صفحاتها، يوم أمس، تحدّث الناطق باسم الرئاسة، إبراهيم قالين، عن أن العملية العسكرية البرية في سوريا لا تزال «خياراً» مطروحاً على الطاولة، ويمكن أن تُنفَّذ في أيّ لحظة، ووفقاً لمستوى التهديد الأمني. وأعلن قالين أن اجتماعاً لوزراء خارجية تركيا وسوريا وروسيا سيُعقد في أواسط شهر شباط المقبل، وحتى ذلك الحين بإمكان وزراء دفاع الدول الثلاث أن يجتمعوا مجدَّداً، مؤكداً، في الوقت ذاته، أن العملية السلمية ستستمرّ، وأن أنقره تدعمها، وإنْ جدّد الإشارة إلى أن «قوات حماية الشعب» الكردية، و«حزب العمّال الكردستاني» مجموعتان «إرهابيتان» يجب التخلُّص منهما لحماية أمن تركيا. وجاء حديث قالين في أعقاب تأجيل موعد اجتماع وزيرَي خارجية البلدَين، مرّتَين على التوالي: الأولى على إثر الاجتماع الأوّل لوزيرَي دفاع البلدَين في موسكو، في 28 كانون الأوّل الماضي، حين توقّع وزير الخارجية التركي، مولود تشاووش أوغلو، أن ينعقد اللقاء في منتصف كانون الثاني الجاري، ثمّ قال إنه سيجري في مطلع شباط المقبل. والثانية، لدى الإعلان أن وزيرَي الدفاع قد يجتمعان مجدّداً، وهذا يعني أن هناك قضايا لوجستية وميدانية وأمنية وعسكرية لا تزال عالقة، وتحتاج إلى المزيد من التشاور لإيجاد حلول لها. وعلى ضوء نتائج هذه الاجتماعات، يمكن أن ينعقد أو يتأخّر أو لا ينعقد لقاء وزيرَي الخارجية.

وعلى الجانب الآخر، السوري، صدرت مواقف ربّما تكون الأكثر إشارةً إلى دقّة مسار المصالحة، وما يعتريه من تعقيدات لا تُحلّ بمجرّد لقاء أو اثنين أو صورة مشتركة. وفي هذا الإطار، قال الرئيس السوري، بشار الأسد، بعد لقائه المبعوث الروسي إلى سوريا، ألكسندر لافرنتييف، إن «هذه اللقاءات، حتى تكون مثمرة، يجب أن تُبنى على تنسيق وتخطيط مسبقَين بين سوريا وروسيا من أجل الوصول إلى الأهداف والنتائج الملموسة التي تريدها سوريا، انطلاقاً من الثوابت والمبادئ الوطنية للدولة والشعب المبنيّة على إنهاء الاحتلال ووقْف دعم الإرهاب». وجاءت الإشارة الثانية على لسان وزير الخارجية، فيصل المقداد، بعد لقائه نظيره الإيراني، حسين أمير عبد اللهيان، في دمشق، السبت، من أنه «لا يمكن عودة العلاقات الطبيعية بين تركيا وسوريا من دون إزالة الاحتلال التركي». من جهته، تحدّث الوزير الإيراني عن أن أيّ حوار بين دمشق وأنقرة يمثّل خطوة إيجابية تصبّ في مصلحة البلدَين والمنطقة «إذا كان جادّاً»، مؤكداً أن بلاده «تثق ثقة كاملة» بالمواقف والقرارات السورية. ولربّما يعكس ما تقدَّم تشكيكاً إيرانياً في جديّة الجانب التركي، كما أن الحديث عن «ثقة كاملة» بالموقف السوري ربّما يبدو ردّاً على شائعات تباينات الموقف بين طهران ودمشق في شأن المصالحة مع أنقرة. إلى ذلك، عكست تطوّرات ميدانية أيضاً ما يعتري عملية التطبيع من عوائق، من مثل مقتل جنود سوريين في قصف تركي في شمال البلاد، ومن ثم إعلان أنقرة أن أحد جنودها قتل في قصف على قاعدة تركية في ريف حلب، فضلاً عمّا أفيد به من مقتل أربعة جنود سوريين جرّاء اشتباكات عنيفة مع مسلّحي «هيئة تحرير الشام» في ريف اللاذقية.

بات مؤكداً أن اللقاء بين الرئيسَين التركي والسوري لن يجري في الموعد الذي يرغب فيه إردوغان

وفي ضوء المواقف الصادرة عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري وأيضاً الإيراني، بات مؤكداً أن اللقاء بين الرئيسَين التركي والسوري، لن يجري في الموعد الذي يرغب فيه الأول، وربّما تأتي الانتخابات التركية لتطيحه إلى ما بعدها، في حال مضيّ مسار المصالحة قُدُماً. كذلك، تطرح التصريحات المختلفة أكثر من علامة استفهام تتعلّق بأساسيات ومحدّدات التطبيع بين تركيا وسوريا، كما مواقف الأطراف الأخرى، ومنها روسيا وإيران. كما أتت التصريحات «الصارمة» للأسد والمقداد، بعدما لفت المراقبين «تأخُّر» الردّ الرسمي السوري على ما كان يَصدر من مواقف تركية منذ مطلع آب من العام الماضي. وكان كل ما يتعلّق بالمصالحة المفترَضة يأتي من الجانب التركي، وآخرها ما اعتُبر خريطة طريق رسمها إردوغان قبل حوالي شهر ونصف شهر، على أساس لقاءات تتدرّج من المستوى الاستخباري إلى وزراء الدفاع، فالخارجية والرؤساء. وجاء بيان وزارة الدفاع السورية الإيجابي بعد لقاء موسكو، في إطار العموميات، ليُحكى من بعده عن تأجيل لقاء وزيرَي الخارجية ومن ثم اشتراط الأسد، للقاء إردوغان، زوال الاحتلال أوّلاً، ليؤكد الموقف الرسمي السوري الحذر من الرغبة التركية المفاجئة في المصالحة، خصوصاً أن هذه الرغبة لم تقترن إلى الآن بأيّ خطّة عملية ومبرمجة زمنيّاً. وقد انتظرت القيادة السورية اجتماع موسكو لتبني على الشيء مقتضاه، وقد بُني هذا الشيء، أخيراً، على لسان الأسد والمقداد، وعنوانه أن الرئيس التركي «يبيع سمكاً في الماء»، ويُقدّم وعوداً غير مقنعة لدمشق.

في المقابل، فإن العزف التركي الجديد على وتر العملية العسكرية البرّية جاء كما لو أنه ردّ على موقفَي الأسد والمقداد، وأيضاً كمؤشر من شأنه تعزيز التقديرات القائلة بأن تركيا ليست جادّة في عملية التطبيع ولا تريد منها سوى تقطيع الوقت من الآن وحتى الانتخابات الرئاسية في حزيران (وربّما في أيار) المقبل، وأن الأهمّ لإردوغان هو الظهور في صورة مشتركة مع الأسد يستثمرها في الانتخابات الرئاسية، فيما تنتظر دمشق من أنقرة أجوبة واضحة ومفصّلة عن خريطة طريقها للانسحاب من الأراضي السورية وتصفية المسلّحين المعارضين في إدلب والمناطق المحتلّة، بمن فيهم ما يسمّى «الجيش الوطني»، وعدم الاكتفاء، كما قال قالين، بتصفية قوات «قسد».

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Turkey and Syria Meeting in Moscow May Result in Peace Plan

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Steven Sahiounie

Tomorrow, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Syria will meet in Moscow.  This is the highest level meeting between the two countries who have been on opposite sides of the US-NATO war on Syria for regime change since 2011.

The outcome of that meeting, and the expected follow-up meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, may form the basis for the recovery of Syria, circumventing the UN resolution 2254, which has failed to produce results.

The US has lost the war, but has used armed militias to remain occupying parts of Syria, and to impose a stalemate which prevents a peaceful solution and recovery for Syria.  America is no longer the only superpower, and decisions made in the new Middle East no longer depend on orders from the US State Department.

Erdogan is up for re-election in June and faces heavy opposition. The economy is dismal, and people blame the Syrian refugees for lost jobs and social ills.  Erdogan and the opposition promise to send the refugees packing.

The Turkish export market to Syria in 2011 represented half of the entire global export market for Turkey.  That was lost when Damascus banned all Turkish imports because of their participation in the war on Syria. Erdogan could get the Syrian market restored by repairing the relationship.

In order to win re-election, Erdogan proposes a rapprochement with Assad.  The US has voiced its displeasure at any attempt of any country to repair relations with Syria.  However, Erdogan will not be swayed by US opinion or threats, in light of the fact that the US supports, trains and supplies weapons to the Kurdish militia (SDF and YPG) linked to an internationally banned terrorist organization (PKK), which have killed thousands in Turkey over three decades of terrorism. The Kurds know that Turkey is a much more important ally to the US, and the US will never fight Turkey to save the Kurds.  Former US envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, told the Kurds they should repair their relationship with Damascus for protection. The US never supported a “homeland” for the Kurds.

Syria and Turkey are united in their goal to demilitarize the Kurdish northeast of Syria.  Syria and Turkey share a common enemy (the Kurds), and a common ally (Russia). This may be the basis of forming a new foreign policy between the two neighbors.

Syria

Syrian officials have met with Turkish officials and Arab Gulf officials.  Some Arab embassies in Damascus were re-opened, and Assad made a visit to the UAE.

The Assad administration in Damascus controls the vast majority of the Syrian territory.  The exceptions are: Idlib province in the northwest is under the occupation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a Radical Islamic terrorist group which was the former Al Qaeda branch in Syria, and the Kurdish administration region in the northeast under the occupation of about 600 US troops and two local Kurdish militias (SDF and YPG) which follow a communist political ideology first promoted by the jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

Syria and Russia have been prevented from attacking and liberating Idlib from terrorist control. The US uses the three million civilians living under occupation as human shields to prevent attack. The US and its allies in the UN demand that the UN food and medical supplies be delivered to Idlib. The civilians are being fed and clothed, but the terrorists and their families are as well. The international community is supporting the welfare of the terrorists, who are there at the behest of the US, to prevent peace and recovery in Syria.  Despite the UN protocol which demands all UN members to fight Al Qaeda, or their affiliates, anywhere on earth, the US and Turkey have circumvented the protocol and use the terrorists as guards of the political stalemate which the US imposed on Syria.

The US

America has maintained an iron grip on Syria through the use of US sanctions and a brutal military occupation which has prevented the Syrian citizens from fuel for transportation and home heating, and to generate electricity.  Syrian houses, hospitals, schools and businesses have between 15 minutes to 1 hour of electricity in four intervals per day because of the US imposed sanctions, which have not affected the Syrian government, but have brought the Syrian people to desperation. Kidney dialysis machines require electricity constantly.  A gasoline powered generator can suffice when there are blackouts, but the US sanctions also prevent the importation of gasoline.  How can Syrians survive?

Despite Richard Haass writing in 1998 that US sanctions are ineffective and immoral against civilians, the US State Department hangs on to sanctions as a tool for regime change.

Iran

Iran and Syria have been united in their resistance to the occupation of Palestine Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms.  Iran stood firmly with Syria during the US-NATO attack on Syria because it is a key in the land route from Iran to Lebanon. Recently, there are some cracks appearing in the relationship between Damascus and Tehran.  Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s meeting in Damascus was postponed recently. Some experts feel Iran has been asking too much of Syria, and with new opportunities for improved relations with the Arab Gulf and Turkey, Syria may be taking time to evaluate its options.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries want to see Iran out of Syria.  As long as Iran is in Syria the Israeli airstrikes will continue, which have been deadly and destructive.

There were 32 Israeli raids in 2022 that destroyed and struck 91 targets, including civilian infrastructure, buildings, weapons caches and vehicles. Eighty-eight military personnel were killed and 121 wounded in the attacks.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is the United States’ largest foreign military sales customer, with more than $100 billion in active cases.  In the US there is a saying, “The customer is always right.”

Perhaps this may explain why the US takes no action against Saudi Arabia even when there have been deadly issues, or when Biden asked the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to pump more oil, and he refused.

MBS is making huge reforms, which includes loosening restrictions on women, and creating new tourism and international sports opportunities.

MBS and Netanyahu are united in a common issue: to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, despite Iran insisting on wanting nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes, such as energy production and medical research.  Netanyahu has stated one of his main priorities in office will be to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.

The Arab League

The upcoming Arab League Summit will take place in Saudi Arabia, traditionally scheduled yearly in March.  Depending on the outcome of meetings between now and spring, Syria could possibly be reinstated and occupy their seat at the table.  Big changes have been taking place in the region involving the relations between Arab countries and the US, China and Russia. Saudi Arabia is in the driver’s seat and will use their hosting of the summit to project their ranking as the Middle East’s power broker.

Israel

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has announced that the next Abraham Accords summit will be held in Morocco in March 2023.

The US had brokered in 2020 the Abraham Accords for the normalization of relations between Israel, Morocco, the UAE and Bahrain. Later, Sudan joined the accords.  Areas of shared interests are: defense, investment, agriculture, tourism, and energy.

The meetings and realignments between Syria and Turkey, mediated by Russia, may produce lasting changes in the Middle East, and bring enemies together as new friends.  The Israeli occupation of Palestine will continue to be the primary cause of instability and violence in the region.  It fuels religious extremism and terrorism. If Israel values the establishment of relations with their Arab neighbors, they must first look at their closest neighbors in Gaza and the West Bank.  The Middle East and the world wait for a peace summit to begin the process of peace for Israel and Palestine, and the host country will not likely be the US.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

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السبت 14 كانون الثاني 2023

محمد صادق الحسيني

تعتبر معركة السيطرة على البلدة الاستراتيجية المعروفة بإسم سوليدار، أشبه لنا بمعركة السيطرة على مثلث خلدة بما فيه بلدتا بشامون وعرمون اللتان يُعتبر أنّ مَن يسيطر عليهما يُسيطر عملياً بالنار على طريق الساحل الجنوبي كله حتى صيدا وكلّ منطقة بيروت المدينة من انطلياس حتى راس بيروت، بالإضافة الى المساحة البحرية التي تؤدّي الى عمق البحر، وكذلك كلّ الطرق التي تفتح على الجبل…

الفرق فقط هو انّ سوليدار ليست قريبة من البحر، وما يحيط بها ليس جبلاً، جبل ولكن مجموعة تلال شمال المدينة، تعتبر مهمة أيضاً، للسيطرة على المثلث، سوليدار.

انّ سقوط حصن مثلث سوليدار يعني سقوط سوليدار القلعة المهمة جداً والتي كان يسيطر عليها ويقود المعارك فيها جنرالات بريطانيين وألمان…
وما الغموض الذي اكتنف المعركة لمدة ٤٨ ساعة سوى انّ الروس تركوا ممراً غربياً مفتوحاً للجنرالات الغربيين بالخروج منه، منعاً من خلق ظروف معركة عسكرية مباشرة مع حلف الأطلسي، قد تؤدّي الى توسيع نطاق الحرب بما لا يتماشى مع الخطة الروسية…

ولكن ماذا يعني في الاستراتيجيا سقوط مثلث سوليدار:

اولا ـ يعني انّ التحصين والتدشيم الذي عمله الألمان والبريطانيون للقلعة قد انهار تماماً، وانّ الناتو بكلّ تكتيكاته العسكرية والعملياتة قد سقطت تحت أقدام الروس.
ثانيا ـ انّ مدينة كاملة أخرى تحت الأرض فيها أنفاق طولها ٢٠٠ كلم وعلى عمق ١٠٠ متر محصّنة تحصيناً كاملاً لحرب بديلة تحت الأرض قد سقطت أيضاً كانت مشيّدة بطريقة بحيث ان بإمكان السيارات والدبابات والمدافع ان تسير تحت الأرض وتقاتل الخصم منها.
ثالثا ـ انّ منجماً للملح بحجم ١٣ مليار طن من الملح كان يصدّر منه الى ٢٢ دولة في العالم منها دول عربية قد سقط أيضاً بيد الروس.
رابعا ـ انّ سقوط القلعة المحصنة هذه سيؤدي الى فتح الطريق جنوباً لتحرير مدينة باخموت الاستراتيجية الأخرى المهمة والتي تقع على بعد ١٢ كلم جنوب سوليدار.
خامسا ـ يعني انه لم بعد بإمكان الأوكران والناتو من قصف الدونيتسك بالمدفعية كما كانوا يعملون ليل نهار قبل هذه المعركة، لانّ كلّ هذه المعدات قد تمّ تدميرها.
سادسا ـ انّ سقوط هذه القلعة المدجّجة بالجند والعتاد يعني عملياً، انهيار الجبهة الأوكرانية في الدونباس، بشكل كامل، وانّ الاحتياط الاستراتيجي للأوكران والناتو هناك قد طار تماماً في المحرقة السوليدارية..

وحتى يتأكد المتابعون مما نقول يكفي ان نطلع على انّ حارس الناتو الجنوبي أردوغان كان قد تحدث خلال الساعات الماضية عن ضرورة تأمين ممرّ طويل ومهمّ لإخلاء الجرحى، والأخبار الميدانية تفيد بأنّ حجم القوات التي خرجت من المعركة نهائياً يبلغ نحو ٢٥ ألف مقاتل بين قتيل وجريح وهارب من الميدان…

وهذا يفضي عملياً الى انّ الروس سيتمكنون من السيطرة على كامل مساحة الدونباس خلال الأيام الـ 15 المقبلة.
وبعدها سيتوجه الروس الى منطقة شمال زاباروجيا وخيرسون ومن ثم الاندفاع غرباً باتجاه أوديسا التي هي في الواقع مدينة روسية تاريخية بُنيت على أيديهم من أيام حكم القياصرة والتي منها سيغلقون البحر الأسود على الأوكران.
هذا ما حققه عملياً تعيين رئيس الأركان العامة للقوات الروسية في أوكرانيا الجنرال زالاري غراسيموف، وهذا يُفهم منه استعداد كلّ صنوف الجيش الروسي في المعارك المقبلة، واذا ما أضفنا إليه تعيين قائد القوة الجو فضائية الروسية الجنرال سورفوتين، والذي كان مسؤولاً عن قوات بلاده في سورية، نائباً لرئيس الأركان، ومعاوناً لقائد العملية الخاصة الروسية الجديد في أوكرانيا، فإنّ ذلك يعني مزيداً من الرسائل المهمة التي يبعث بها للروس للأطلسيين.

روسيا تعدّ وتحضّر بعد ذلك كما تفيد المعلومات الميدانية الى معركة جديدة لا تقلّ أهمية عن معركة السيطرة على سوليدار ألا وهي معركة تحرير ممر سوالكي الشهير، وهو الممرّ الاستراتيجي الذي يقع شمال شرق أوكرانيا، والذي يقع في مثلث الحدود الأوكرانية البيلاروسية البولندية، والهدف المطلوب سيكون فتح الطريق البري الضروري بين الأراضي الروسية ومقاطعة كالينين غراد المحاصرة عملياً.
هذا كما سيكون هدفها الثاني مشاغلة القوات الأوكرانية وضباط الأطلسي شمالاً، بهدف تخفيف الضغط على الجبهة الجنوبية، وليس للعمل باتجاه كييف، كما يروّج الأطلسيون وإعلاميّو جبهة امبراطورية الكذب.

ختاماً يمكن القول بأنّ هزيمة الناتو المذلة في سوليدار، يمكن اعتبارها بداية العد العكسي لنهاية الحرب العسكرية الاطلسية على روسيا في أوكرانيا.
ولا ينبئُك مثل خبير.


بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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President Assad Resisting Russian Pressure to Help Erdogan

 ARABI SOURI J

Russian President Putin continues his extensive efforts to help the Turkish madman Erdogan in ruling Turkey, economically, Russia has done its uttermost to help the Turkish economy after the US and European Union pressure on it and despite the policies of Erdogan prior to the Russian special military operation in Ukraine were very harmful to Russia itself. The latest attempt by Mr. Putin to help the Turkish madman is to pressure President Bashar Assad to meet Erdogan in a photo-op summit which Erdogan will sell to his people as a sign of resolving the Syrian refugees issue in Turkey.

Syria’s response to previous attempts to mend ties with Turkey falls very much under the principles of international law, the UN Charter, and the bases of the Adana Accords, Turkey has interfered in Syria militarily, politically, economically, and by sponsoring tens of thousands of al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists, Syria has not harmed Turkey in any way possible.

After a meeting in Moscow that joined the Syrian minister of defense to his Turkish counterpart with the presence of the Russian minister of defense, Erdogan started selling his election promise that he’s on the verge of rapprochement with Syria that will see millions of refugees return to their home country.

The Turkish regime has even set dates for a meeting between the foreign ministers of Syria and Turkey which prompted the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates to visit Damascus and ask President Assad to include his country in such a meeting.

Syria’s response to further meetings with the Turkish side are varying from negative to suspicious regarding the Turkish commitments, after all, Turkey is a NATO member state and the leaders of this ‘defensive’ alliance are not known to keep their words, especially Erdogan. Russia knows that firsthand and now even more after the revelations of former German Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande that they were never serious to implement the Minsk agreements regarding the Donbas and were using them only to buy time for Ukraine to build up a strong army and threaten Russia.

Erdogan has also not only failed to implement the Idlib agreements in which he promised to cease supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS and to dismantle these terrorist groups, but he also went on beefing up these terrorists with more imported terrorists, supplies of weapons, and by sending the Turkish army, NATO’s second-largest army to protect those terrorists turning posts which were supposed to serve as observation posts to see the dismantling and withdrawal of al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists into military bases to support those terrorists inside Syrian territories.

All of this has not stopped Mr. Putin from adding more pressure on President Assad to help the Turkish madman in the upcoming elections to the extent of sending his special envoy, Mr. Lavrentiev, to Damascus to try to convince President Assad.

After receiving the Russian envoy President Bashar Assad said:

“The meetings with the Turkish side must be based on prior coordination and planning between Syria and Russia in order to be fruitful, and in order to reach the tangible goals and results that Syria wants from these meetings.”

President Assad then added:

“The objectives of the meetings stem from the national constants and principles of the state and the people, which are based on ending the Turkish occupation of the Syrian lands, and stopping support for terrorism.”

Al Qaeda, ISIS (ISIL – Daesh), their affiliates, and offshoots are considered terrorist groups by Syria, and most of the world including the United Nations General Assembly, and the United Nations Security Council, however, the regime of the Turkish madman Erdogan considers these same terrorists as moderate rebels and builds its policies toward Syria over a potential essential role for these terrorists in Syria’s future political leadership!

Yet, seems that the Russian leadership, and especially President Putin sees the Turkish madman Erdogan as a winning card against NATO and a reliable person.

The failed foreign policies of the Turkish madman Erdogan have stripped him of his friends in his country and abroad, the biggest failure was in Syria when he vowed to pray in the Grand Omayyad Mosque in Damascus as a conqueror after toppling the government of Bashar Assad, it was President Assad who saved the Turkish economy under Erdogan and Gul after the European Union doors were closed in its face when the Syrian gates were opened for Turkish businesses inside Syria and through it to the Arab world.

All of Turkey’s economic gains in the past two decades are merely because of President Bashar Assad, and all of Turkey’s economic losses in the past few years are merely because the Turkish madman Erdogan failed to topple the only person who helped him and his country stand on its feet no matter how much Qatar, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, and now the combined Gulfies help Turkey. With the southern gates blocked and with millions of refugees pressuring the Turkish economy, there’s no way Erdogan can win the upcoming elections.

Erdogan’s future without the presidency is in a confined prison cell, his and his family’s corruption is beyond comprehension, even his own partners in the Turkish mafia went against him, by winning the elections, the Turkish dictator can immune himself from the prosecution he’s promised by the Turkish opposition, and can solidify more powers under him to rule without opposition, anyway, most of the Turkish opposition are either in jail or in exile.

Sedat Peker, The Mafia and Erdogan… And Syria, Again
Sedat Peker the mafia boss in series of YouTube videos exposes Erdogan’s links to drugs, terrorist groups, money laundering, and Israel.
Syria News

An adviser of the Turkish madman Erdogan exposed his boss’s real intentions toward Syria: Erdogan will not implement any agreement he strikes with President Assad before the Turkish elections, and will allow 1.5 million to 2 million Syrian refugees to return to their home country only if Aleppo is placed under the administrative control of Turkey!

Will the Russian leadership of Mr. Putin continue to pressure Syria into helping Erdogan win re-election coming this mid-May, or understand that the likes of the Turkish madman Erdogan cannot be trusted no matter what other concessions the Russians are able to get out of him?

It was the war criminal and former US President George W. Bush who tasked the Turkish madman Erdogan with a leading role in the region if he helps the USA implement its PNAC (Project for the New American Century) by dismantling all secular Arab countries especially Syria to protect the creation of the Jewish state of Greater Israel aka Greater Middle East Project, known in biblical terms as the kingdom of the antichrist; the Turkish madman Erdogan will become the neo-Ottoman sultan of the divided Muslim world in exchange. The whole world changed after the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood project of Erdogan failed miserably in Syria which caused a reverse domino effect in the Arab states in which it succeeded earlier: Tunisia, Sudan, Libya, Morocco, and Egypt.

The Turkish madman Erdogan started the war on Syria turning his country into the main hub for all sorts of terrorists hired by the different ‘intelligence’ agencies of NATO and Gulfies to fight the Syrian state, and it’s in the hands of the Turkish madman to end the war on Syria and secure re-election, Russia must not ask of Syria to help Erdogan, it must pressure Erdogan to at least comply with the agreements the latter signed of which Russia and Iran were the guarantors.


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A Moscow Meeting Shatters Fantasies of a Syrian ‘Confederation’


January 11 2023

Photo Credit: The Cradle
A geopolitical writer and journalist who previously worked at leading Lebanese daily As-Safir.

Malek al-Khoury

Russian-brokered Syrian-Turkish rapprochement will bury prospects of a divided Syria, with the potential for opposition factions to be co-opted into the armed forces.

The newly-initiated Syrian-Turkish rapprochement talks are headed in Damascus’ favor and the “Turkish concessions” derided by opponents are just the start, insiders tell The Cradle.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already abandoned his dream of “praying in the Umayyad Mosque” in Damascus. But sources say this will be swiftly followed by further concessions that will throw a wrench into the ambitions of Syria’s opposition factions.

An undivided Syria

There will be no “federalism” or “confederation” – western codewords for the break up of the Syrian state – at these talks, but rather a “Turkish-Russian” acceptance of Damascus’ conditions.

For starters, Ankara plans to open the strategic M4 highway – which runs parallel to the Turkish border and connects all the vital Syrian cities and regions – as a prelude to opening the legal border crossings between Syria and Turkiye, which will re-establish trade routes between the two countries.

This move, based on an understanding between Damascus and Ankara, will essentially close the door on any opposition fantasies of breaking Syria into statelets, and will undermine the “Kurdish-American divisive ambition.”

It is not for nothing that Washington has sought to thwart communications between Ankara and Damascus. Under the guise of “fighting ISIS,” the US invested heavily in Syrian separatism, replacing the terror group with “Kurdish local forces” and reaped the rewards in barrels of stolen Syrian oil to help mitigate the global energy crisis.

Now Turkiye has closed the door to that ‘federalization’ plan.

A Russian-backed proposal

The Syrian-Turkish talks in Moscow on 28 December focused mainly on opening and establishing the necessary political, security, and diplomatic channels – a process initiated by their respective defense ministers.

While resolving the myriad thorny files between the two states is not as easy as the optimists would like, it is also nowhere as difficult as the fierce opponents of rapprochement try to suggest.

The Moscow discussions centered on mild, incremental solutions proposed by Russia. The Kremlin understands that the minefield between Ankara and Damascus needs to be dismantled with cold minds and hands, but insists that the starting point of talks is based on the political formulas of the Astana peace process that all parties have already accepted.

On the ground, Moscow is busy marketing satisfactory security settlements for all, though those on the battlefield appear to be the least flexible so far. The Russian plan is to “present security formulas to the military,” intended to be later translated into the integration of forces – whether Kurdish fighters or opposition militants – into the ranks of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

This will be achieved via committees led by both Syrian and Turkish intelligence services, a Russian source involved in coordinating the talks tells The Cradle.

Occupied areas of Syria, in 2023

Co-opting the Kurds

The Russian proposals, according to the source, rely on two past successful models for reconciliation on the battlefield. The first is the “Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood model in northern Aleppo,” an area once controlled by Kurdish forces who began to coordinate with the SAA after the sweeping 2016 military operation that expelled opposition militants from the eastern neighborhoods of the city.

The Russian source says that the “Sheikh Maqsoud” model succeeded because of “security coordination,” revealing that “Syrian state security is deployed at the entrances to the neighborhood with checkpoints that coordinate with the Kurdish forces inside – in every way, big and small.” This security coordination includes “arresting criminally wanted persons, and facilitating administrative and service services” in coordination with Damascus.

The second reconciliation model used by Russian forces in Syria succeeded in bringing together the SAA and Sheikh Maqsoud Kurdish militias in a joint military maneuver conducted near the town of Manbij in the countryside of Aleppo last August.

While the Russian source confirms that the experience of “security coordination” between the SAA and the Kurdish forces was “successful,” he cautions that these models need “political arrangements” which can only be achieved by “an agreement in Astana on new provisions to the Syrian constitution, which give Kurds more flexibility in self-governance in their areas.”

Opposition amnesty

A parallel proposal revealed to The Cradle by a Turkish source, approaches ground solutions from a “confederation” angle, anathema to the Syrian authorities. According to him, “Damascus must be convinced of sharing power with the qualified factions of the (Turkish) National Army for that.”

While the Turkish proposal tried to move a step closer to Damascus’ aims, it seems that Russian mediation contributed to producing a new paradigm: This would be based on the tried-and-tested Syrian “military reconciliation” model used for years – namely, that opposition militants hand over their arms, denounce hostility to the state, and are integrated into the SAA.

Turkiye’s abandonment of its “demand to overthrow the regime” applies also to its affiliated military factions inside Syria, as the latter’s goals have dwindled to preserving some areas of influence in the north of the country. This is the current flavor of Turkiye’s reduced “confederation” ambitions: To maintain Turkish-backed factions within “local administrations” in northern areas where Turkiye has influence. This, in return for giving up on Ankara’s political ambition of “regime change” in Damascus and redrawing Syria’s northern map.

The solution here will require amending the Syrian constitution, a process that began several years ago to no avail.

From the Syrian perspective, officials are focused on eliminating all opposing separatist or terrorist elements who do not have the ability to adapt to a “unified” Syrian society.

Therefore, Damascus rejects military reconciliation proposals for any “sectarian” separatist or factional militias. Syrian officials reiterate that “the unity of the lands and the people” is the only gateway to a solution, away from the foreign interests that promote “terrorism or secession” – a reference to the Turkish and American role in Syria’s war.

Reconciliation on Damascus’ terms

There is no “confederation” in the dictionary of the Syrian state, and it is determined to stick hard to the principle of Syrian unity until the end. Damascus is intent on one goal: Reconciliations based on surrendering arms in the countryside of Latakia, Idlib, Aleppo, Raqqa, Hasakah, Qamishli, and al-Tanf, which are the areas that are still outside the control of the state.

According to the Turkish source, Syria refused to discuss anything “outside the framework of reconciliations and handing over weapons and regions,” which he says “makes it difficult for Ankara to undertake its mission,” especially in light of the fact that the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front controls large parts of these target areas.

A Syrian source tells The Cradle that the “Qamishli model” of military reconciliation is the closest one that applies to this case: Wherein “the SAA and national defense forces (the majority of which are pro-Damascus Kurds) coordinate fully.”

He makes clear that Damascus has already provided ample self-governance mechanisms for Kurds in the country’s north:

“The (Kurdish-run) Autonomous Administration in Syria already exists. It deals directly with Syria’s Ministry of Local Administration (in Damascus) and has multiple agencies that work through local representative councils to implement government plans in terms of security, tax collection, and services,” and of course it consists of the people of the region – Kurds.

The recent statement of top Erdogan advisor Yassin Aktay may throw a wrench in those works. His insistence that Turkiye should maintain control over the city of Aleppo – Syria’s second most populous, and its industrial heart – did not come out of nowhere.

Ankara considers that its repatriation of three million Syrian refugees should start from “local administrations run by the (Turkish-backed) Syrian National Army (a rebranded version of the opposition ‘Free Syrian Army),” says the Turkish source.

He is referring to Idlib, Aleppo, and their countrysides, and the areas in which Turkiye launched its “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield” military operations. These locales in Syria’s north include the northern and eastern countryside of Aleppo, including Azaz, Jarabulus, al-Bab, Afrin, and its environs.

Turkiye may consider gradually handing over these strategic zones to its allied Syrian militias, he says.

“Call it confederation or not, these areas should be controlled by the Syrian National Army factions instead of the Al-Nusra Front – in order to ensure the safe return of the refugees.”

Steady progress

In short, the Russian mediation to bring Damascus and Ankara closer is moving slowly, but according to the Turkish source, “it is closer to reconciliation because the Syrian Ministry of Local Administration is beginning to take charge of regional affairs after holding new local council elections – in compliance with plans forged in the Astana process.”

Regarding Astana, the Turkish source says, “Let the Syrians treat the Kurdish and opposition areas as one, if the Kurds agree to dismantle their factions and join the Syrian army within a certain equation, the opposition factions will also accept.”

Regarding the complicated geopolitics of Syria’s east – currently occupied by US troops and their proxies – a high-ranking Syrian official who recently visited Saudi Arabia and Cairo, proposed “Arab intervention with the Syrian tribes to disengage tribe members in the Al-Tanf region from the US forces.” But according to the official, this would be subject to “the progress of relations between Damascus, Riyadh, Cairo, and possibly even Jordan.”

A few days ago, a video message was sent by Nusra Front leader Abu Muhammad al-Julani, in which he thundered: “Where are the armies of the Muslims?” It is a topical message from Al Qaeda’s Syria boss, who is angling to maintain his sectarian “area of ​​influence” in northwest Syria – strategic Idlib on the Turkish-Syrian border. Julani’s destructive narrative may be the last barrier to break for Damascus, Ankara, and Moscow to strike a deal on the ground.

US on alert as UAE seeks to join Turkish-Syrian reconciliation talks

As the UAE tries to join Russia in mediating between Ankara and Damascus, the US is looking to establish a middle ground between Turkiye and the SDF in hopes of preventing normalization with Syria

January 08 2023

(Photo Credit: Emirates News Agency)

ByNews Desk- 

During a speech in Ankara on 5 January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted that a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad may soon take place, “as part of efforts for peace.” He added that a tripartite meeting between the foreign ministers of Turkiye, Russia and Syria is scheduled to be held in the near future for the first time since 2011.

The upcoming meeting aims to enhance communication after Russian-sponsored talks between the Turkish and Syrian defense ministers were held in Moscow on 28 December. The meeting was the highest-level of official meetings between Ankara and Damascus since the start of the Syrian war.

In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 5 January, Erdogan called on the Syrian government to “take the steps to achieve a tangible solution concerning the case of Syria.”

The US seeks to establish a middle ground between Ankara and the SDF in order to prevent Turkish-Syrian reconciliation

The Syrian-Turkish rapprochement via declared Russian mediation was paralleled by Emirati-Syrian rapprochement – the latest of which was a “brotherly” meeting aimed at strengthening cooperation and restoring historical relations between Assad and Foreign Minister of the UAE Abdallah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, according to SANA.

Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported that the UAE seeks “to join Russia in sponsoring Syrian-Turkish relations at a high level,” noting that the Emirati foreign minister’s visit to Damascus sought to arrange Turkiye’s participation in the tripartite meeting of Syrian-Turkish-Russian foreign ministers, making it a quadripartite meeting.

The meeting is meant to pave the way for a presidential meeting between Erdogan and Assad in the presence of Putin. Reportedly, the UAE has offered to host this summit, with a possibility of a high-level UAE official being present at the meeting if it will be held in Moscow.

Asharq Al-Awsat added that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu plans to visit Washington on 16-17 January to brief US officials on the developments of Turkish-Syrian normalization, his meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad, and the “roadmap” sponsored by Moscow in the context of security, military, political and economic fields – as agreed upon by the defense ministers as well as the intelligence chiefs in Syria, Turkiye and Russia over the past weeks.

As Turkiye has been launching successive operations against Kurdish groups both on the Turkish-Syrian border as well as within Syria itself under ‘Operation Claw Sword,’ a Western official informed Asharq Al-Awsat that a high-ranking US official will be visiting Ankara in the coming hours as part of efforts to mediate between Turkiye and the SDF in northeastern Syria.

Ankara has demanded that Moscow and Washington commit to the implementation of the bilateral military agreements signed at the end of 2019. The agreements stipulate the withdrawal of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to beyond 30 kilometers from the Turkish border, and from the areas of Manbij and Tal Rifaat, in addition to the withdrawal of all heavy weaponry.

The SDF says that it has fulfilled its obligations, and will not withdraw its police force – known as the Asayish – nor dismantle its local councils, despite Turkiye’s insistence on dissolving all Kurdish military and civil institutions in the area.

Meanwhile, Cavusoglu told media on 29 December that Ankara is willing to withdraw from the territory it occupies in northern Syria and hand it over to Damascus in the event that “political stability” is reached – after cooperation in “neutralizing ISIS members, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the YPG.”

The Saudi newspaper’s report stated that US mediation seeks to reach a “compromise” between the Kurdish groups and Ankara without a new Turkish incursion taking place ahead of the Turkish presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2023. This mediation seems to be an attempt at circumventing the imminent Syrian-Turkish reconciliation.

Another official source disclosed that Ankara was “uncomfortable with the leaks following the meeting of the Syrian, Turkish and Russian defense ministers in Moscow, and that it had agreed to a full withdrawal.” However, the source confirmed that, “it is true that Ankara and Damascus consider the PKK a common threat, and will work against any separatist agenda, because it is an existential threat to both countries,” adding that the two countries will “work to open the Aleppo-Latakia Highway.”

Following the UAE’s visit to Damascus, which came after the US called on its allies and international partners to refrain from normalizing ties with Syria, Asharq Al-Awsat quoted an official as saying that the US has been the only western country to issue a statement against normalization, and is working alongside Paris, Berlin, and London to assume a united stance against normalization with Syria.

Communication is currently underway for a meeting between the representatives of Paris, Berlin, London, and Washington and UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pederson in Geneva on 23 January. This meeting will take place before Pedersen’s visit to Damascus to meet with the Syrian foreign minister to “confirm the position against normalization, and support the provision of funding for electricity projects within the timeline of early recovery,” stipulated by a resolution for international aid that will be extended before 10 January.

Asharq Al-Awsat said that the UAE has proposed to contribute to the funding of economic and electrical projects in Syria – within the confines of the Caesar Act.

Simultaneously, Jordan, who was the first to open high-level channels of communication with Damascus, is leading efforts alongside other Arab countries to reach a “united Arab position that defines Arab demands in order to make normalization possible.”

The newspaper quoted another western official as saying that Jordan is calling for coordination to put pressure on Damascus to provide political and geopolitical steps for the coming phase in southern Syria, as Amman confirmed that there has been an increase in the smuggling of Captagon, weapons and ammunition across the Syrian border following the start of the normalization process. Additionally, Amman has said that the Iranian presence in southern Syria near the Jordanian border has not diminished, and that there has been an expansion of ISIS activity in the area, according to the official.

Syria’s Arab League membership was suspended in November of 2011 following the start of the Syrian war, and it has been excluded ever since.

Al Qaeda Terrorists Protesting Turkey’s Rapprochement with Syria

JANUARY 7, 2023

 ARABI SOURI

NATO-sponsored Al Qaeda terrorists in Idlib took to the streets in angry protests against the latest rapprochement steps by the Turkish madman Erdogan toward Syria.

Euronews, a strong propaganda state-controlled arm of NATO and its financial arm, the European Union, shared a video clip showing a few dozen of all males protesting somewhere in the Al Qaeda stronghold in the Turkish-occupied and controlled Idlib province.

In the accompanying news, the EU propaganda outlet claimed that similar protests took place in a number of towns in the countryside of Idlib.

The video is also available on Rumble, and BitChute,

The protest shared by the EU propaganda arm Euronews showed protests spewing slogans with improper language reminiscent of the 2011 NATO-promoted protests in most remote villages and towns across Syria calling for NATO bombing of Syria to spread freedoms and democracy. These protests also witnessed the killings of dozens of Syrian policemen and civilians by 5th column instigators planted by foreign powers and funded by the US-led coalition which included Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the most retard political regimes in the whole world.

Without naming him, the al Qaeda fighters shown in the above video clip with their sons were expressing their anger toward their main sponsor, the Turkish madman Erdogan, after the recent steps taken by him to mend the ties with Syria and their fear he would drop his role in the regime change in Damascus which he played the central part in ever since he was assigned that task by George W. Bush years before the NATO-sponsored Arab Spring was initiated.

The Turkish madman Erdogan is in desperate need to speed up his rapprochement with Syrian President Bashar Assad before the upcoming elections in Turkey, all his policies during his very long reign in Turkey have brought draconian measures against freedoms in his own country, the jailing of tens of thousands of public workers and journalists under the pretext of supporting an opposition movement to him and the failed coup of 2016, in addition to the countless debacles in foreign interventions earning him zero friends in contrast to the policy of zero troubles with neighboring countries which he fooled his people with to vote for him.

Any meeting and agreement with President Assad would help Erdogan in his bid to be reelected, again, as it would give the Turkish people the impression of solving the refugee crises in their country, the crisis they blame for their deteriorating economy.

The main losers of such rapprochement with Damascus are the al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists in northern Syria, the Turkish madman Erdogan considers them, like his NATO colleagues, as moderate opposition; Syria and the normal world consider them as terrorists. The other losers of a Turkish rapprochement with Syria are the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists. Both these terrorist entities share the same goals of creating cantons carving them out of Syria and placing a foothold of NATO and Israel where Syria’s main food basket farmlands and oil fields are.

It’s no surprise that al Qaeda terrorists would express their anger toward any rapprochement between Turkey and Syria, however insincere their main sponsor Erdogan is, they fear they will be abandoned like all cheap cards are in the bigger strategic political game.

Syria’s main condition for any rapprochement with Turkey is exactly that, Turkey must drop its support to Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists in their numerous groups and return to the Adana Accords of 1998 which only Turkey under Erdogan has breached every article of it.

It’s also no surprise that the NATO propaganda arms would return to promoting those same terrorists who wreaked havoc across Syria and all the countries that were infested with the Arab Spring, and even the countries that sponsored the Arab Spring and had their terrorists return home and carry out terrorist attacks, mainly in western European countries.

There are somewhere between 60,000 and 120,000 terrorists of al Qaeda, ISIS, and their affiliates controlling a Syrian population of around 4 million Syrians across the regions under the Turkish occupation in northern Syria including Idlib province, parts of Aleppo, Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hasakah provinces, a large number of those terrorists are foreign terrorists brought into Syria from across the world all the way from the Chinese Uighur and their families through Central Asia to western Europe, literally wherever the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabism doctrines have influence, the first is the twisted version of Islam followed by the Turkish AKP ruling party with Erdogan as its supreme leader, a number of radical parties empowered across the Arab world, and the latter is the main twisted version of Islam followed by the Saudi and Qatari rulers.


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Russian-Turkish Partnership in the Area of Another Turkish-Syrian Crisis

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Alexandr Svaranc
In today’s geopolitical dynamics, Russia and Turkey maintain a relevant regional presence in strategically important regions of the Near and Middle East, where the interests of the two powers can combine and diverge. However, the ruling elites have a high sense of maintaining a balance of power, respecting national interests, avoiding the prospect of radicalization of conflict situations and seeking decoupling to strengthen regional peace and mutually beneficial cooperation.

It should be recognized that the administrations of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have so far succeeded in finding relatively acceptable solutions to crisis situations through constructive dialogue, guiding the diplomacy of the two countries towards finding joint solutions on the same issue of Syria, overcoming the burden of historical stereotypes and building a new example of a worthy partnership.

In this context, Russia and Turkey have established a number of effective negotiating platforms (in particular the Astana, Sochi and Geneva summits in multilateral and bilateral formats). Russia understands the concerns of Turkish partners on key issues of Turkey’s national security (including ethnic separatism, external threats to territorial integrity and international terrorism). Russia, given its economic, resource, technological, intellectual and military-industrial strength, does not set out to suppress its important geographical neighbor. On the contrary, Moscow is developing a high level of strategic partnership in all the aforementioned areas, making a significant contribution to stabilizing Turkey’s financial and economic situation and strengthening its defense potential, and expects to expand trade with the ambitious goal of reaching USD 100 billion.

The stability and progress of each country depends not least on border security and the normalization of relations with its immediate neighbors. The political course of Turkey’s ruling Justice Party, led by its charismatic leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, proclaimed the “Zero Problems with the Neighbors” strategy in the early 2000s. For the Republic of Turkey, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023, the tradition of a post-imperial state remains high, where the complex history of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following World War I was partly transformed into a painful relationship with many of its neighbors, who regained or lost their independence on the wreckage of the collapsed state.

Of course, the declaration of the said strategy without taking into account current realities cannot simultaneously succeed on all directions of Turkey’s borders and requires time and painstaking diplomatic work on bilateral and multilateral levels. At the same time, Turkey has had a number of positive achievements in shaping better relations with Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria and African countries. There is every reason to believe that Ankara is also interested in restoring full-fledged friendly relations with such a key country in the Arab East as Syria.

The peculiarities of the US regional policy in the Middle East have led to widespread destabilization in a number of Arab countries, to the negative phenomenon of the growth of radical Islamic movements with their institutionalization as Al Qaeda and ISIS (both terrorist groups banned in Russia), which eventually led to the chaos in a large part of the Levant. Accordingly, the destabilization of the political situation in the same Syria has provoked ethnic and religious strife, triggered a wave-like flow of a large army of refugees mainly to neighboring Turkey, and caused a significant social and economic crisis which took a heavy toll on the Turkish economy.

For Turkey, the politicization of the Kurdish issue within and near its national borders is an objective concern, forcing the authorities to pursue a tough course to prevent another territorial redistribution and, as a consequence, new social cataclysms in the Near and Middle East. Both Turkey and its reliable partners have to contend with these challenges.

The Russian peacekeeping operation in Syria since fall 2015 has set a new precedent for eliminating the US foreign monopoly in this region. With the arrival of the Russian Air Force, conditions have developed on Syrian territory for more effective interaction with key states in the Near and Middle East (in particular Turkey and Iran) to curb the threat of international terrorism emanating from ISIS (terrorist group banned in Russia) and to find political ways to resolve the accumulated differences in the Syrian-Turkish agenda, combining them with effective peacekeeping operations.

Turkey, which has problems with Kurdish separatism, is very sensitive to attempts to activate the Kurdish militant movement in Syria. This is why, after the Syrian Kurds declared political autonomy in 2014, Ankara recognized the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist organization and ally of the PKK, which is banned in Turkey, and the fighting wing of the PYD, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as a military opponent. Partly due to the Russian presence in Syria, a number of Turkey’s limited military operations in the north have become a reality in order to avoid the creation of quasi Kurdish independent territorial entities capable of intensifying terrorist and separatist threats to Ankara. In particular:

– Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016-2017 (as a result, the cities of Jarablus and al-Bab were subjected to military mop-ups, 2,000 square kilometers of Syrian territory came under Turkish control with the formation of a security buffer zone there);

– Operation Olive Branch in 2018 to prevent the Kurdish-populated cantons of Jazira, Kobani and Afrin from uniting and the Kurds from reaching the Mediterranean Sea (Afrin ended up under full control of Turkish forces);

– Operation Peace Spring in October 2019, with Turkish military and pro-Turkish Free Syrian Army (FSA) units advancing deep into northern Syria, taking control of new population centers – Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad, cutting the strategic M-4 highway. Thanks to effective negotiations between the Russian and Turkish leaders in Sochi on October 22, 2019, new zones of influence in north-eastern Syria were secured, with the status quo maintained in Turkish-occupied areas and the withdrawal of all Kurdish groups from the entire border with Turkey 30km inland, as well as the establishment of Russian-Turkish patrols in the area.

It should be noted that from operation to operation, Turkey has built up its military forces from special forces units to the use of armored vehicles, artillery and air force with a combination of infantry from the same FSA units, gaining new experience in combat operations in this theater.

In November 2022, with air strikes against Kurdish military bases (in Kobani, Aleppo, Raqqa, al-Hasakah), Turkey announced a new “Operation Claw-Sword” in northern Syria. The formal occasion was the terrorist act of November 13, 2022 in Istanbul’s Istiklal Square, which the Turkish intelligence services recognized to be organized by Kurdish insurgents (in particular the PKK and a Kurdish fighter executor from Syria). Ankara aims to implement a declared plan to establish a 30-kilometer security zone along the entire border with Syria.

Erdoğan has announced his intention to conduct a ground operation involving regular army forces alongside the air operation. He also criticized Russia to a certain extent. Turkey’s leader believes that Moscow has not fully met its obligations under the 2019 Sochi agreements to withdraw Kurds from the 30-kilometer zone. However, the creation of the same “Idlib Security Zone” with Russian participation was, infamously, prevented by the fact that the US refused to withdraw its forces from the zone with the support of local Kurdish forces.

Russia and Turkey have gone a long way towards an effective partnership in the Syrian crisis. Of course, every time Moscow and Ankara make progress in finding new solutions to stabilize the situation in northern Syria, the US, aware of the loss of its own hegemony in the region, finds another form of torpedoing the Russian-Turkish agreements. Accordingly, the Russian-Turkish effective partnership is perceived in Washington as a kind of attack on America’s monopoly and a breakdown of NATO unity, plagued by equally obvious internal contradictions.

Meanwhile, Russia-Turkey relations are progressing with strong results to show for it. Thus, according to Mehmet Samsar, Turkish Ambassador to Russia, the trade turnover between Russia and Turkey by the end of 2022 could be close to USD 50 billion, an increase of USD 15 billion over 2021. The scope of this partnership is expanding: from a gas pipeline to a nuclear power plant, from military and technical cooperation to joint actions for regional peace, from a grain deal to a gas hub. Turkey remains one of the few NATO countries that has not supported total sanctions against Russia in the context of the special military operation in Ukraine, pursues a traditionally pragmatic policy and maintains its role as a reliable partner and effective mediator in relations with its northern neighbor.

The author believes that, in the new year too, the Russian-Turkish situational alliance that has developed in recent years will maintain its momentum of growth, trust and optimization of new opportunities. The coming year 2023 will prove to be a time of intense and important political, economic, military and cultural events in the lives of the two countries. In particular, the next presidential election in Turkey, the launch of ambitious new economic projects (the gas hub, the unblocking of important regional communications, the prospect of a second nuclear power plant near Sinop on the Turkish Black Sea Coast), the establishment of stability in the safe corridor on the Turkish-Syrian border, the approach of peace in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, etc. All this points to a broader agenda of Russia-Turkey relations, where the parties can complement each other and interact effectively.

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Dictators welcomed and safe from prosecution in the US

Wednesday, 04 January 2023 10:47 AM  

[ Last Update: Wednesday, 04 January 2023 10:51 AM ]

Mohammad Bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister (File Image)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman being granted immunity from prosecution in US reassuring dictators around the world that they are safe in America.

In September, as a lawsuit was proceeding against him in a federal court in the United States, Mohammed bin Salman abruptly became Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister, a role with several rights that he had not enjoyed previously as the country’s Crown Prince.

That dubious move paid off on Thursday, November 17, when the US State Department said that bin Salman enjoyed head of state immunity in US courts effectively dooming the lawsuit filed against him for his role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

How bin Salman escaped punishment

Khashoggi was a loyalist turned dissident who lived in self exile in the United States and wrote articles critical of Bin Salman for The Washington Post.

In late 2018 he traveled to Turkey to obtain papers he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

On October 2, he entered the diplomatic building. He never left, not on his own feet. A hit squad flown in from Saudi Arabia had been waiting for him inside the consulate where they tortured him to death, and then dismembered his body, taking his limbs outside in suitcases.

Khashoggi’s fiancé, Hatice Cengiz, waited for hours outside the consulate for him to emerge, when he didn’t she alerted the Turkish police.

Soon, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a personal friend of the couple, joined the fray with full force and hardly a day went by without President Erdogan, or the Turkish Government, commenting publicly on the case, thus directing international attention to the Saudi government, or dropping hints that bin Salman, the Crown Prince, may have been personally involved.

Erdogan hosts MBS on his first visit to Turkey since Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia

Plenty of evidence, no prosecution

Turkish security agencies even released audio tapes from inside the consulate with people yelling and Khashoggi screaming, effectively detailing the grisly murder and keeping the international community focused.

And only a month and a half after the murder, The Washington Post, which had been Khashoggi’s publication of choice, dropped a bombshell. The CIA had concluded that Mohammed bin Salman had personally ordered Khashoggi murder. The CIA never spoke publicly about their findings on the matter.

Already the world had learned of an earlier princely gambit whereby Mohammed had become Crown Prince through what US media described as a coup d’etat, purging his rivals and holding the then Crown Prince in custody until he agreed to step down.

To learn that the prince had become so emboldened as to order the murder of his critics in a foreign country was seen to have been a step too far, and it seemed that the prince was finally going to be held to account.

There was reason to believe that since President Erdogan was unrelenting in his public admonishments of Saudi Arabia.

Years later, both before and after he assumed office, US President Joe Biden was openly critical of Saudi Arabia. At one point during a presidential debate when he was asked about the Khashoggi case, Biden said he would make the Saudis “pay the price and make them in fact the pariah that they are”.

All of that angry moral posturing went down the drain of history when the US State Department said that the Saudi Prince had legal immunity in the United States of America as Prime Minister, Saudi King Salman, MBS’s father, had already bent over backwards to make that possible, but even he himself couldn’t believe that the Americans would fall for his scheme that easily.

Legally the prime minister himself as King of the country, King Salman acted against Saudi law by delegating that position to his son in late September just as Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiance, was doing everything she could to have justice served in a court of law.

The US mulls lifting a ban on the sale of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia; however, the final decision is expected to hinge on the KSA ending the war in neighboring Yemen.

President Biden’s rhetoric, and his anger over a move by OPEC+ to limit output at a time of energy difficulties for the US and Europe had given further hope even though the Turkish denunciations had already died down years ago.

Fraught as it is with behind the scenes jockeying, betrayals and other moral failures, world politics took away not just one woman’s hope for justice, but the entire world’s faith in the willingness of the US and other governments to stand up to tyranny, despite all the rhetoric to the opposite effect, killing Hatice Cengiz’s hope for justice and perhaps closure.

The US and others had one message for all murderous dictators in the world: You’re safe in America.

The prince and the spy, MBS vs al-Jabri

The prince and the spy, MBS vs al-Jabri

Barely five years since he came to prominence as the crown Prince, and the de facto leader of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, MBS has shocked the world with his callous disregard for human life.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

Erdogan reviving Ataturk-era Turkey, waging wars and claiming hegemony

January 2, 2023

Source: Politico

By Al Mayadeen English 

The AKP barely passes 30% of popular support as Erdogan still amps up preparations to enter Syria and dissolve Kurdish militias, which Turkey views as tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas.

The Turkish presidential election is set to take place on June 23 and is anticipated to be the most polarized this new year, determining the fate of 85 million citizens in the nation of 3 continents: Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Although the election is still six months away, Erdogan’s conservative Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, or AKP), which came to power in 2002, may face a difficult challenge.

The country is already dealing with high inflation and a depreciation of the Turkish lira against the US dollar.

The AKP is barely passing 30% of popular support, according to recent polls in Turkey. Despite that, Erdogan is still amping up preparations to enter Syria and dissolve Kurdish militias, which Turkey views as tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas. 

He has also threatened to strike its NATO ally Greece over the regional disputes of Cyprus, alleged “militarization” of Greek islands, and expansion in the Aegean Sea. 

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar accused Greece on Monday of sabotaging bilateral meetings with Turkey, which intend to be for trust-building and cooperation in NATO. 

Greece took advantage of the meetings to present its problems “as Turkey’s issues in its relations with NATO, the US, and EU,” according to Akar, while simultaneously attempting to steer public attention away from domestic scandals. After Greek politicians’ called Turkey a threat, Akar responded by asserting that his country is a reliable ally and poses no threat. 

Erdogan placed Turkey as an irreplaceable mediator between Russia and Ukraine, proven in the most recent Black Sea Grain Deal initiative and by hosting talks between US and Russian security officials. 

Not only so, but he has worked both sides by supplying Kiev with arms and simultaneously safeguarding trade and energy ties with Russia.

History repeats itself

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) was sentenced by a court last month to more than two years in prison, which prevented him from practicing politics for the same period, on charges of insulting members of the Supreme Electoral Council in 2019. 

The Istanbul Mayor is among a handful of opposition leaders that polls show could beat Erdogan in a head-to-head race during the presidential race next June. Thousands of Turks gathered in a square in the center of Istanbul last month to protest the political ban against the opposition mayor of the city.

In light of that, the US State Department expressed that it is “deeply troubled and disappointment” at the possibility of excluding one of Erdogan’s biggest rivals from the political scene. 

Germany described the decision as “a heavy blow to democracy,” while France urged Turkey “reverse its slide away from the rule of law, democracy, and respect for fundamental rights.”

Erdogan denied his involvement with the verdict against Imamoglu, as he said: “What is behind the storm sparked by a verdict these past few days? This debate has nothing to do with us – neither with me nor with our nation.”

It is worth recalling that Erdogan was a former Istanbul mayor, who was sentenced to a year in jail for reading an alleged Islamist poem in 1994 and was prohibited from running for office until further notice. 

A new world order?

In his political lifetime, Erdogan went from having no problems with neighboring nations to full-launch attacks on Syria and Greece. But, a ground execution of military operations in Syria could come and bite back as it already triggers US and Russian reactions against it. 

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, Erdogan confirmed that it is “important to clear the (Kurdish fighters) from the border to a depth of at least 30 kilometers,” noting it was “a priority”.

Erdogan has been threatening to conduct a new military incursion into northern Syria to move out Kurdish forces, which he blames for the November bomb blast that killed six people in Istanbul. 

The Turkish President also said his country is committed to destroying the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “until its last militant is neutralized” and raised the possibility of conducting a ground operation soon. 

It is worth noting that on November 20, Turkey launched airstrikes that targeted military bases belonging to the PKK and its armed wing, the YPK, in northern Syria and Iraq.

This year, November will mark the 100th anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s foundation of Turkey from the remains of the Ottoman Empire. 

It seems like Erdogan is taking advantage of the current multipolar world order between the US and Russia in order to replace both and make Turkey the global hegemonic power as it was back in the days of Ataturk. 

In the midst of all of this, the EU stands on the sidelines, watching the fight as it struggles with inflation and the energy crisis.

Turkey is the EU’s largest trade partner, but after delaying Turkey’s entry into the EU bloc, it has lost influence in Ankara, and Belgium now has to persuade and buy off Turkey in order to keep the nearly 4 million Syrian refugees from crossing into Greece.

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«إدلب واللاجئون» مختبَراً أوّل للتقارب | دمشق – أنقرة: جارٍ تسليك الطريق

 الجمعة 30 كانون الأول 2022

علاء حلبي

تزامن اللقاء مع الجدل الدائر حالياً في مجلس الأمن حول قضية المساعدات الإنسانية (أ ف ب)

أنبأ تطابق التعليقات الرسمية السورية والتركية على اللقاء الثلاثي الذي انعقد في موسكو على مستوى وزراء الدفاع ورؤساء الاستخبارات، فضلاً عن الأصداء الإيجابية التي حملتْها تلك التعليقات، بأن هذا اللقاء غير المسبوق منذ 11 عاماً، ستتبعه بالفعل خطوات عملية على الأرض، من شأنها أن تَدفع قُدُماً بمسار التقارب بين أنقرة ودمشق. خطواتٌ يُفترض لمسها خلال الفترة القليلة المقبلة في نطاق ملفَّين رئيسَين: أوّلهما إدلب وطريق حلب – اللاذقية، وثانيهما اللاجئون السوريون الذي يُنتظَر أن تتسارع خطوات إعادتهم إلى بلادهم. وفي خضمّ ذلك، تجد القوى الكردية نفسها أمام اختبار جديد، في ظلّ خشيتها من أن يأتي التطبيع السوري – التركي على حساب وجودها وسلطتها، وهو ما دفعها إلى إطلاق حملة استنكار للاجتماع الأخير، على رغم أنها واصلت، على مدار اللقاءات التي انعقدت بينها وبين الحكومة السورية خلال الأشهر الماضية، رفْض أيّ حلول وسطية، متمسّكة بتحالفها مع الأميركيين وتعويلها عليهم

لعدّة ساعات أوّل من أمس، اجتمع وزير الدفاع السوري، العماد علي عباس، ونظيره التركي، خلوصي آكار، إلى جانب وزير الدفاع الروسي، سيرغي شويغو، بحضور رؤساء استخبارات البلدان الثلاثة، في لقاء هو الأوّل من نوعه بين مسؤولين رفيعي المستوى من سوريا وتركيا، منذ اندلاع الحرب السورية قبل أكثر من 11 عاماً. الاجتماع الذي جاء بعد بضعة أشهر من المباحثات الأمنية والوساطة الروسية المتواصلة، بالإضافة إلى جهود إيرانية بدت واضحة خلال قمّة دول «مسار أستانا» التي عُقدت في العاصمة الإيرانية طهران في شهر تموز الماضي، ركّز على مجموعة قضايا أبرزها المخاطر الأمنية ومسألة اللاجئين. وهاتان القضيّتان كانت قد شكّلتا محور لقاءات أمنية سابقة بين دمشق وأنقرة، في ظلّ رغبة العاصمتَين المشتركة في إخراج القوّات الأميركية من سوريا وإنهاء مشروع «الإدارة الذاتية» الكردية من جهة، وطيّ ملفّ اللاجئين السوريين من جهة أخرى، بهدف سحبه من أروقة السياسة، بعد أن تمّ استثماره لسنوات عدّة من قِبَل الدول الغربية.

وخلال الشهرَين الماضيَين، أبدت تركيا رغبتها في استعجال خطوات الانفتاح على سوريا، بهدف قطف مكاسب هذا الانفتاح في الداخل، في وقت ربطت فيه دمشق التطبيع مع أنقرة بمجموعة خطوات يتعيّن على الأخيرة اتّخاذها، أبرزها وقف دعم الفصائل المسلّحة، وإخراج قوّاتها من الشمال السوري، بالإضافة إلى إنهاء تحكّمها بالمياه الواردة عبر نهر الفرات، والذي يؤدي إلى أزمات جفاف متلاحقة أضرّت بشكل كبير بالقطاع الزراعي السوري، ومنعت إيصال مياه الشرب إلى آلاف القرى. وفي وقت لم تَصدر فيه عن دمشق أيّ توضيحات حول فحوى اللقاء ونتائجه، باستثناء البيان المقتضب الذي أصدرته وزارة الدفاع السورية، والذي وصف الاجتماع بـ«الإيجابي»، ذكرت مصادر سورية أن تركيا تَقدّمت بضع خطوات على المسار الذي تريده سوريا، الأمر الذي سهّل عقْد هذا اللقاء، متوقّعةً ارتقاء الاجتماعات إلى المستوى السياسي في وقت لاحق، من دون تحديد وقت دقيق لذلك، في ظلّ الملفّات المعقّدة والمتشابكة التي تحيط بالعلاقات السورية – التركية، والتي ترجئ الحديث عن التسوية النهائية إلى ما بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية التركية.

خلال الشهرَين الماضيَين، أبدت تركيا رغبتها في استعجال خطوات الانفتاح على سوريا


اللافت في موعد عقد هذا اللقاء، أنه يأتي بالتزامن مع الجدل الدائر حالياً في مجلس الأمن حول قضية المساعدات الإنسانية، إذ ترغب أنقرة في ضمان استمرار تدفّق المساعدات خلال الشهور المقبلة لمنع حدوث اضطرابات في الشمال السوري، في وقت تصرّ فيه دمشق وموسكو على أن تفي الدول الغربية بتعهّداتها حول تقديم دعم ملموس لمشاريع التعافي المبكر، وخصوصاً منظومتَي المياه والطاقة الكهربائية، بما من شأنه أن يؤمّن أرضية مناسبة لإعادة اللاجئين. كذلك، يأتي الاجتماع بعد تعثّر الخطّة التركية لشنّ هجوم برّي جديد في الشمال السوري، بفعل رفض كلّ من موسكو وواشنطن إيّاه، ليبقى الحلّ الوحيد بالنسبة إلى أنقرة هو الانفتاح على دمشق وفق الخطّة الروسية، خصوصاً أن الولايات المتحدة لا تملك سوى تجديد طرح مشروعها لربْط المناطق الخارجة عن سيطرة الحكومة السورية (الإدارة الذاتية والشمال السوري)، الأمر الذي تَعتبره تركيا وصْفة لتجذير «الإدارة الذاتية» بدلاً من إنهائها.
وعلى أيّ حال، ترى مصادر سورية مطّلعة، في حديث إلى «الأخبار»، أن الأصداء الإيجابية الصادرة عن وزارتَي الدفاع السورية والتركية عقب اللقاء، تشي بوجود خطوات على الأرض يُفترض لمسها خلال الفترة القليلة المقبلة، وأُولاها تقديم دفعة حقيقية لحلحلة ملفّ إدلب وفتح طريق اللاذقية – حلب المغلَق من جهة، ومن جهة ثانية، تسريع وتيرة إعادة اللاجئين السوريين، ولا سيما أنه جرى تحديد معابر دائمة لإعادتهم، وافتتاح مراكز مصالحة خاصة بهم في إدلب. ويضع التوافق السوري – التركي، القوى الكردية، أمام اختبار وجودي جديد، في ظلّ إعلان الرئيس التركي، رجب طيب إردوغان، اتّباع آلية جديدة في محاربة تلك القوى، عبر استهداف بنيتها التحتية ومصادر تمويلها، في إشارة إلى قوافل النفط التي يجري تهريبها، ومراكز تكرير النفط البدائية، بالإضافة إلى مقرّاتها العسكرية. وفي الإطار نفسه، أعلن وزير الخارجية التركي، مولود جاويش أوغلو، أن ثمّة مساعيَ حثيثة لإيجاد مخرج سياسي عبر لقاءات سورية – سورية (بين الحكومة والمعارضة)، وفق مسارَين: الأوّل هو «مسار أستانة» بدعم روسي، والثاني هو مسار «اللجنة الدستورية» (المسار الأممي)، المجمَّد حالياً، علماً أن كليهما لا يضمّان أيّ تمثيل لـ«قسد». ويأتي ذلك في وقت تتابع فيه واشنطن، التي تحاول جاهدة إفشال المساعي الروسية للحلّ ومنْع الانفتاح السوري – التركي، التصعيد السياسي والميداني في سوريا، سواء عبر تقديم دفعات من الأسلحة المتطوّرة لـ«قسد»، أو عن طريق إنشاء «جيش رديف من مكوّنات عربية» في منطقتَي التنف في المثلث الحدودي مع العراق والأردن، والرقة على الحدود مع تركيا.

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Reconciliation: Turkey Has Not Made Any Serious Offer to Syria

DECEMBER 23, 2022

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Syria-erdogan.jpg

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Erman Çete

While Damascus is open to negotiations with Ankara, it is wary of being used as a Turkish pre-election political ploy.

On 15 December, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his government planned to schedule a tripartite mechanism with Russia to work toward Syrian-Turkish rapprochement.

Initially, he suggested the establishment of meetings between intelligence agencies, and defense and foreign ministries, to be followed by a meeting of the respective leaders. “I offered it to Mr Putin and he has a positive view on it,” the Turkish president was cited as saying.

In the past few months, Erdogan has displayed an increasing interest in meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom he characterized as a “murderer” only a few short years ago.

Diplomatic developments

Early signs of rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus are already evident in multiple, ongoing meetings between their respective intelligence agencies.

Somer Sultan, a Turkish journalist residing in Syria, told The Cradle that recently the level of talks between intelligence services has been raised.

According to Sultan, one of the outcomes of these talks is the establishment of the 25th Special Mission Forces Division of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – commonly known as the ‘Tiger Forces’ – on the Turkish-Syrian border in many areas evacuated by the US-backed Kurdish militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

It also appears that – at least for now – Russia and the US have blocked a new Turkish ground offensive in Syria against SDF/YPG Kurdish militias, which Erdogan has been threatening to launch for several months.

Meeting of the US, SDF, and PUK

Two days before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his US counterpart Antony Blinken met on 22 December, an interesting meeting was held in Syria.

US General Matthew McFarlane, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader and the son of Jalal Talabani, Bafel Talabani, and SDF leader Mazloum Abdi participated in this meeting. During his visit to North Syria, Bafel Talabani also met with PYD co-leaders Asya Abdullah and Salih Muslim.

It is important to note that Turkiye has recently threatened the PUK-held Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, and accused the PUK of supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group viewed as a terrorist organization by both Washington and Ankara.

So far, the US and Russia have managed to deter Turkiye from launching a ground incursion into Syria. However, a new Turkish security concept, “meeting and eliminating threats across borders,” continues in Iraq and Syria whereby PKK targets continue to be identified and eliminated.

Turkish journalist Murat Yetkin quotes a senior Turkish security officer as saying that Ankara has warned the US to stop escorting PKK/YPG elements in Syria. According to this officer, Turkiye has advised the US forces to affix a UN or US flag on their cars to avoid any friendly fire.

What does Turkiye offer?

Relations with Syria, its related refugee conundrum, and generalized economic crisis are among the most heated topics in Turkiye’s domestic politics. Indeed, several Turkish opposition parties have attributed the refugee problem as a direct consequence of Erdogan’s misguided Syrian policy – a popular view in Turkiye today.

Former Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Kamil Erozan, now a deputy of the opposition IYI (Good) Party, revealed to The Cradle that Turkiye has thus far not made any serious offer to the Syrian side.

“What the government says in public is the threat of YPG/PKK,” Erozan said. “But we, IYI Party, think that this is not enough. Idlib is the hotbed of terrorism and AKP (Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party) has not touched upon this topic during the negotiations yet.”

He believes that Erdogan does not have an exit strategy from Syria, and is biding his time on this issue until Turkiye’s next key elections in June 2023.

Erozan says that the IYI Party, as a potential ruling party after the elections, will seek to make direct contact with the Syrian government. “We wrote a letter to our foreign ministry about our intention to visit Syria and waited for a response until December 15. They did not respond and now we will try to contact Bashar al-Assad on our own,” he said.

If the Assad government accepts, Erozan said, then they are open for dialogue with Damascus even before the elections, at any time and in any place.

“When we are in power, we are going to raise the dialogue level in our negotiations,” Erozan claimed. He said that the most important point is to solve the urgent Syrian refugee question, and then the difficult issues about the PKK/YPG and Idlib.

When asked whether his party has a plan to withdraw Turkish troops from Syria, he said this could be negotiable. According to Erozan, the Erdogan government has itself not yet put the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Syria on the table.

However, it is unclear whether the Syrian government would accept IYI’s offer — Somer Sultan thinks that the party’s offer would not satisfy Damascus “because IYI wants the Syrian government to accept an alliance against the PKK/YPG but for other terrorist organizations they want a ‘common approach.’ This is not acceptable for Syria.”

The view from Syria

A Syrian source with close ties to the government told The Cradle that in a closed meeting Assad assured his audience that he will not meet Erdogan prior to Turkiye’s elections.

However, according to Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, the Syrian president has also said that the level of dialogue between intelligence agencies will rise in the near future – which has, in fact, recently happened. Assad also said Syrians will continue to keep an eye open regarding the Turkish government’s intentions.

Editor-in-Chief of the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan and a close Assad confidante, Waddah Abdrabbo, wrote an editorial in a similar tone: “No pro bono gift for Erdogan.”

Abdrabbo said that the Syrians are waiting for a concrete step from Ankara. “Syrians want territorial integrity, end terrorism, and lifting sanctions,” he stressed.

Despite Erdogan’s overtures and Assad’s willingness to expand dialogue with Ankara, Syria is cautious about her neighbor’s intentions and does not intend to play a hand in Erdogan’s electoral ambitions.

Rapprochement scenarios

For both Turkiye’s ruling AKP and its opposition, any possible Syrian-Turkish reconciliation process must include a settlement on the Syrian refugee problem. One of the ostensible reasons for all Turkish ground offensives into Syria after 2016 has been the safe repatriation of the Syrian refugees.

However, Erozan is doubtful about Assad’s intentions: “He may not accept all refugees to his country.” When reminded that Syrian refugees in Lebanon had already started to return, he stated that Lebanon is a different case.

IYI’s negotiation plans depend on Damascus’ signals. Last September, the party convened a “Migration Doctrine”conference and announced that through negotiations with the Syrian government and the participation of the EU, refugees will be able to return to Syria. If the plan does not go ahead, then Turkiye would take matters into its own hands and create a safe zone in Syria. It appears, on the surface, to be a carbon copy of Erdogan’s post-2016 policies.

While it is inevitable that high level negotiations will eventually take place between Syria and Turkiye, Damascus’ primary condition will always remain the withdrawal of Turkish troops. If a future Turkish government can view this condition as negotiable, things can rapidly improve on the rapprochement front.

For Syria, reclaiming territory from Turkiye, but also from the US-backed SDF, is of utmost importance. Securing Turkish cooperation against the SDF (and the US) would be a huge achievement for Damascus. However, the Syrian leadership evaluates the US presence in Syria as ephemeral. Therefore, cutting a deal with a powerful neighbor like Turkey is more important than to drive out American forces first.

Second, although the SDF poses a mutual threat for both countries, Syria and Turkiye have starkly different views on Islamist groups. Regaining Idlib, the northern Syrian governorate which remains the last bastion of extremist militants, is not just a question of territorial integrity for Syria – it also illustrates continued Turkish support for armed Islamist militias. Therefore, Ankara severing ties with those takfiri-salafist groups could provide an important basis for high level negotiations.

Whether the AKP or its opposition can provide this outcome is doubtful. Erdogan is not a reliable partner for Damascus for obvious reasons, but the opposition coalition also hosts some dubious figures, such as Erdogan’s former foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, a champion of the catastrophic Syrian war.

For now, both countries choose to maintain their mutual talks at a certain level, and it seems unlikely that the Syrian question will be resolved until after the Turkish elections.

Erdogan Jails His Main Rival in the 2023 Election

 

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces a tough re-election vote in six months.  His rival, the Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu, is very popular and far ahead in the polls.

Erdogan went back in time to find an obscure statement made by Imamoglu in 2019 which Erdogan used to order the Turkish courts to try Imamoglu on the charge of ‘insulting electoral officials’.

On December 14, Imamoglu was sentenced to 2 years, 7 months, and 15 days of prison, and was banned from politics.

Following his sentence, Imamoglu told his supporters, “Because this case is not a case against me. Because this case is not a party case. This case is a country case. This case is a justice case. This case is an equality case. Because we see this case as the case of leaving a strong and democratic Turkey to our children. Believe me, 2023 will be very beautiful.”

The US reaction to Erdogan’s move to rig the election

On December 15, Ned Price, US State Department Spokesperson said, “The United States is deeply troubled and disappointed by a Turkish court’s verdict against Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, sentencing him to two years and seven months in prison and banning him from political activity.  His conviction is inconsistent with respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.  We remain gravely concerned by the continued judicial harassment of civil society, media, and political and business leaders in Turkey, including through prolonged pretrial detention, overly broad claims of support for terrorism, and criminal insult cases.

We urge the government to cease prosecutions under criminal “insult” laws, and to respect the rights and freedoms of all Turkish citizens, including by ensuring an open environment for public debate.”

The Erdogan-Biden relationship has been weak despite Turkey being an ally, a fellow NATO member, and hosting a US airbase in Incirlik.  Turkey and the US are on opposite sides in northeast Syria, and Turkey is expected to increase their attacks on the US military’s partner there, the Kurdish SDF.

Erdogan’s policies have failed

Erdogan’s polling is so low for many reasons.  From 2011 he supported the US-NATO war on Syria for regime change. The Obama plan failed, and Turkey suffered from the effects of the support for the failed US-sponsored project.

His ruling AKP party aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood united Turkey with Qatar but broke its relationship with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. He began an Islamist transformation from a secular democracy.

International terrorists were hosted by Erdogan as they transited through airports and set up headquarters in camps on the Syrian border.

In response to the terrorists battling the Syrian government, Syrian refugees who aligned themselves with the Muslim Brotherhood flooded Turkey in the millions as they sought protection under Erdogan and his Muslim Brotherhood-aligned party, AKP.  After 12 years of 3 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey, Turkish citizens have grown to hate and resent the refugees for racial, and economic reasons.

Turkey lost its biggest export market in 2012. Turkish exports to Syria represented 50% of all global Turkish exports, but in 2012 the Syrian government banned imports from Turkey because they participated in the US-NATO attack for regime change.

This huge loss to the Turkish economy began a downturn that saw the currency devalued and hyperinflation. Turkish citizens are suffering the loss of a prosperous lifestyle robbed of them by Erdogan’s failed foreign policy.

Erdogan and his close relatives have prospered as war profiteers; making money off of stolen oil, factories, and wheat, and transporting them to Turkey for resale.  Erdogan and his son sold stolen Syrian oil to the EU for $17 per barrel and sold stolen Syrian wheat to France for its croissants and Italy for its pasta.

Erdogan is low in the polls and is afraid of losing the election

Erdogan finished with the constitutional three-term limit in 2015, so he changed the constitution to allow himself more time to reign.

Cemil Cicek is a former parliamentary speaker from Erdogan’s ruling AKP, who also has served as deputy prime minister and justice minister, and is now a member of the Turkish Presidency’s High Advisory Board.

“If you decide on a one-sentence defamation claim after such a long time, and at such a critical threshold, neither the legality nor the accuracy of your decision will be convincing,” said Cicek of the Imamoglu sentence, and added “I don’t believe that it is credible either. This both harms the judiciary and a lofty concept such as justice. It will do a lot of damage to the country as well.”

Bulent Arinc, former parliamentary speaker and one of the founding members of the AKP also slammed the court’s decision on Imamoglu. “The court’s verdict is a shame and a despair for the Turkish judiciary,” Arinc said.

The Mayor of Istanbul

Ekrem Imamoglu is a Turkish businessman, building contractor, and center-left politician. First elected as Mayor of Istanbul with 4.1 million votes and won with a margin of 13,000 votes against his AKP opponent in the March 2019 mayoral election as the joint Nation Alliance candidate, but served only from April 17, 2019, until May 6, 2019, when the election was annulled on orders of Erdogan. Imamoglu was then reelected in a renewed election on June 23, 2019, by an even larger margin of 800,000 votes.

Condemning the decision in 2019, Imamoglu said “Those who canceled the election are fools.”

The opposition to Erdogan

Turkey’s six opposition parties including the CHP have formed the Nation Alliance to unite their strength against the ruling bloc AKP (Justice and Development Party) and its supporter MHP (Nationalist Movement Party). The opposition candidate for president will be determined by the leaders of six opposition parties, who are: CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu, IYI Party Chairman Akşener, Future Party Chairman Davutoğlu, Democrat Party Chairman Uysal, DEVA Party Chairman Babacan, and IMM President Ekrem Imamoglu.

The opposition parties are united in their goal to defeat Erdogan

200 thousand Turkish citizens gathered in Sarachane in support of Imamoglu and protested his prison sentence. The setting of the rally was the site of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt to overthrow Erdogan’s government.

The leaders of the six opposition parties gave speeches to the crowd and stressed justice and the ultimate victory awaiting the nation.

IBB President Ekrem Imamoglu spoke to the crowd, “I will tell you: The people who run this country are sick, very sick. These are people who are allergic to the will of the nation.”

Referring to Erdogan and his nepotism and cronyism, “You manage some interest groups, elected associations, close family foundations, and some dark circles. They have established an order of waste in Istanbul and they want it to last forever. This was an order that enriched the wealth of a handful of people and hurt the people of Istanbul,” said Imamoglu.

“If 16 million Istanbulites are not equal in your eyes; If you do not see our 85 million citizens of the Republic of Turkey,” he said and added, “You showed your day to those who want to set a barrier to your will three and a half years ago and twice. You will show it again; I have no doubt. Never lose your hope.”

CHP Chairman Kilicdaroglu said “In Turkey today, no one feels safe. The rule of law is not the rule of the superiors. No one speaks to the one who has an uncle. But when a teenager tweets, there is a knock on his door early in the morning and he is taken into custody. We will finish this scene. Don’t worry. You will never, ever experience these sights again.”

Kilicdaroglu added, “This is not a 100m run. It’s a marathon, and we’ve come to the end of the marathon. After six months you will see a new Turkey. You will see a beautiful Turkey. You will see an embracing Turkey. You will see a fertile Turkey.”

IYI Party Chairman Aksener said forcefully, “Democracy is ours. The ballot box is ours.”

DEVA Party Babacan said, referring to the long reign of Erdogan, “The 3-term rule, these three terms expired in 2015.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely. 85 million is bigger than one. Turkey is bigger than one.”

Uysal, Chairman of the Democratic Party said, “May 6, 2019, is the date of a major break for Turkish democracy. It is the date when the main pillar of our democracy collapsed.”

The Chairman of the Future Party, Davutoğlu said “Yesterday, the judiciary became politicized. But our issue is above politics. We are here as six general presidents. We are in different political parties. But we all say ‘Honor’ with the same loud voice. We call it ‘fundamental rights and freedoms’. We call it the ‘democratic state of law’.

I say on behalf of 85 million democracy lovers: We are not afraid, we are not afraid, we will not be afraid. We did not bow to you, we do not bow, we will not bow. We will protect everyone’s rights, law, and justice, regardless of their political views.”


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

Erdogan: Turkey to complete 30-km security strip along Syrian border

December 4, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Turkey will be completing the security strip along its southern border, which is 30 kilometers deep into Syrian territory.  

Turkish soldiers from the 1st Border Regiment Command patrol along the border wall on the Turkey-Syria border on March 2, 2017, in Kilis, Turkey. (Getty Images)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said that Turkey will be completing the security strip along its southern border, which is 30 kilometers deep into Syrian territory.

Erdogan, speaking at a meeting in southern Sanliurfa province, said that the attacks (by namely the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – or the PKK – and the YPG, which is the PKK’s branch in Syria) will not deter the country from its determined stance on securing its southern border: “We will definitely complete the 30-kilometer-deep security corridor that we are establishing along our southern borders, attacks will not dampen our resolve,” he said.

Since 2016, Turkey has engaged in three anti-terror operations in northern Syria – which have also consequentially resulted in the occupation of the region. The operations are Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019). 

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the US, and it has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 civilians according to Turkey. 

Erdogan: Turkey is committed to destroying PKK

Erdogan underlined on Monday that Turkey is committed to destroying the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “until its last militant is neutralized.”

He further stressed Turkey’s determination to establish a 30-kilometer-deep (18.6-mile) security strip next to its borders, on Syrian soil, claiming that it is something Turkey previously sought to do with US and Russian cooperation on its southern border.

“We do not need to get permission from anyone while taking steps concerning the security of our homeland and our people, and we will not be held accountable to anyone,” he stressed.

The Turkish President said no one will be able to force Turkey into any position against its own interests in political, diplomatic, economic, and military terms through what he called “empty threats”.

He also claimed that no side should be disturbed by Ankara’s offensives, which are aimed at “expanding the circle of security and peace.”

“We do not have to tolerate the hypocrisy of those who support registered terrorist groups with naming-change games,” he said, adding that it is unacceptable for a number of countries to support PKK militants in northern Syria.

Read more: US asked us to reconsider possible ground offensive in Syria: Turkey

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Khaled Al-Aboud and Dr. Muhammad Noureddine/ developments in northern Syria and the region’s political and military future
The relationship of Iraqi Kurdistan with the security events in northern Syria, Iraq and Iran / with Hussein Mortada and Dr. Nazih Mansour

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Why is Russia Set to Tolerate Türkey’s Attempt to Launch a ‘Small, Victorious War’ in Syria?

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

David Narmania

As Erdogan reportedly plans his own “special military operation,” Moscow has good reasons to value a stable partnership with Ankara

Earlier this week, Reuters quoted senior officials in Ankara as saying that the Turkish army had completed preparations for a ground incursion in Syria.

“It won’t take long for the operation to begin,” one of the agency’s sources was quoted as saying in the article. “It depends only on the president giving the word.”

Strictly speaking, news of Türkiye’s potential offensive is a bit delayed. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans for it back in May, when it was supposed to start any day, but never did. The main goal Ankara has declared is to fight against Kurdish self-defense units, which, according to the Turkish side, are a very serious security threat.

However, in six months of waiting for strikes against the Syrian Kurds, Türkiye has managed to conduct a ground operation against the Iraqi Kurds and even almost started a war with Greece and Cyprus (the probability of this is certainly low, but in 2022 such scenarios are not impossible.)

The Turks even managed to carry out an air operation against the Kurds in Syria – the reason for this was a terrorist attack in Istanbul, which Türkiye blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (KWP). After the tragedy, Turkish authorities looked a bit like a shipwreck in a storm: they indirectly blamed not only the KWP for what had happened. Damascus and – remarkably – Washington were also dragged in into the frame.

The allegation was that the mastermind of the attack, Syrian citizen Ahlam al-Bashir was, according to Turkish security forces, trained by American instructors in territory controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

In fact, that is why a joint base of the Western coalition and the SDF, where there was also US military personnel, was among the 89 targets of the strikes. Interestingly, the White House was not particularly outraged.

The forthcoming “ground operation” in northern Syria will be nothing new for Turkish troops – Ankara conducts them regularly, declaring the successful completion of its goals each time, but for some reason, it has failed to completely eliminate the “Kurdish threat.”

Nevertheless, there are many reasons for postponing such an event.

First and foremost, Erdogan wants to avoid clashing with Russian interests: Moscow is a reliable partner to President Bashar Assad, and its support has been pretty much the key factor that has allowed the Syrian leader to remain in power.

The Turkish president’s statements in this regard are very revealing: last Sunday he said that he did not rule out the restoration and normalization of relations with Damascus in the future.

There is no room for hard feelings in politics,” Erdogan explained.

Formally, of course, any operation would be a violation of Syrian sovereignty but, Assad’s forces have little control over the territories in question. At the same time, however, Russian officials have also warned their Turkish counterparts that such a move would hardly contribute to stability in the region.

These arguments are unlikely to calm the fervor of the Sultan – the fact is that the military campaign in this case is a prologue to his re-election campaign. Next year Türkiye will choose its next president, and there is no success to boast of in the domestic arena, where a prolonged economic crisis accompanied by record inflation creates fertile ground for the opposition. Erdogan is therefore forced to compensate for the lack of bread by looking to capitalize on pride in his country.

But even here he tries to be careful, only gently tugging at America’s beard. Take, for example, the epic tale of Sweden and Finland’s bid to join NATO.

Here it is important to note the context: Stockholm recently gained a new government, and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson commenting in parliament on the bombing of Kurdish formations in Syria, stated that “Türkiye has the right to self-defense.” He also touched upon another important issue, which Ankara considers crucial for accepting new members into the US-led military bloc: Kristersson stressed that Sweden should not be a safe haven for terrorist organizations. Apparently, he was referring to KWP supporters, whose extradition is demanded by Ankara. His predecessor, Magdalena Andersson, was far less accommodating on this issue.

Of course, time is on Erdogan’s side here, which explains the message to Scandinavian politicians from his Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said that Sweden and Finland still have hurdles to jump before joining NATO.

The Turkish president is very good at bargaining, and even when conducting actions that run counter to the interests of his partners – both the US and Russia – he skillfully uses attractive concessions to smooth things over.

The main thing in this situation is to understand that Moscow and Ankara are not allies, but partners and neighbors with many overlapping interests that need to be considered. Something which is part of the multipolar world that both countries hope to help build.

And of course, an independent, and at least relatively stable Türkiye is a far better option for Russia than one obedient to Washington.

Operation Claw-Sword: Erdogan’s big new game in Syria

November 27, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors a Syria invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia

There’s another Special Military Operation on the market. No, it’s not Russia “denazifying” and “demilitarizing” Ukraine – and, therefore, it’s no wonder that this other operation is not ruffling feathers across the collective West.

Operation Claw-Sword was launched by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as revenge – highly emotional and concerted – for Kurdish terrorist attacks against Turkish citizens. Some of the missiles that Ankara launched in this aerial campaign carried the names of Turkish victims.

The official Ankara spin is that the Turkish Armed Forces fully achieved their “air operation objectives” in the north of Syria and in Iraqi Kurdistan, and made those responsible for the terror attack against civilians in Istanbul’s Istiklal pedestrian street pay in “multitudes.”

And this is supposed to be just the first stage. For the third time in 2022, Sultan Erdogan is also promising a ground invasion of Kurdish-held territories in Syria.

However, according to diplomatic sources, that’s not going to happen – even as scores of Turkish experts are adamant that the invasion is needed sooner rather than later.

The wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors an invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia – which encompass a large geopolitical and geo-economic arc.

He well knows that Moscow can apply all manner of pressure levers to dissuade him. For instance, Russia at the last minute annulled the weekly dispatch of a joint Russo-Turkish patrol in Ain al Arab that was taking place on Mondays.

Ain al Arab is a highly strategic territory: the missing link, east of the Euphrates, capable of offering continuity between Idlib and Ras al Ayn, occupied by dodgy Turkish-aligned gangs near the Turkish border.

Erdogan knows he can’t jeopardize his positioning as potential EU-Russia mediator while obtaining maximum profit from bypassing the anti-Russian embargo-sanctions combo.

The Sultan, juggling multiple serious dossiers, is deeply convinced that he’s got what it takes to bring Russia and NATO to the negotiating table and, ultimately, end the war in Ukraine.

In parallel, he thinks he may stay on top of Turkey-Israel relations; a rapprochement with Damascus; the sensitive internal situation in Iran; Turkey-Azerbaijan relations; the non-stop metamorphoses across the Mediterranean; and the drive towards Eurasia integration.

He’s hedging all his bets between NATO and Eurasia.

‘Close down all of our southern borders’

The green light for Claw-Sword came from Erdogan while he was on his presidential plane, returning from the G20 in Bali. That happened only one day after he had met US President Joe Biden where, according to a presidential Erdogan statement, the subject had not come up.

“We held no meeting with Mr Biden or [Russian President Vladimir] Putin regarding the operation. They both already know that we can do such things at any moment in this region,” the statement said.

Washington not getting briefed on Claw-Sword mirrored Erdogan not getting invited to an extraordinary G7-NATO meeting in Bali, on the sidelines of the G20.

Then-US vice president Joe Biden (L) speaks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Beylerbeyi Palace in Istanbul. Photo: AFP / Bulent Kilic

That meeting was called by the White House to deal with the by-now notorious Ukrainian S-300 missile that fell in Polish territory. At the time, no one at the table had any conclusive evidence about what happened. And Turkey was not even invited to the table – which profoundly incensed the Sultan.

So it’s no wonder Erdogan, mid-week, said that Claw-Sword was “just the beginning.” Addressing AKP party lawmakers in Parliament, he said Turkey is determined to “close down all of our southern borders … with a security corridor that will prevent the possibility of attacks on our country.”

The ground invasion promise remains: It will begin “at the most convenient time for us” and will target the regions of Tel Rifaat, Mambij and Kobane, which the Sultan called “sources of trouble.”

Ankara has already wreaked havoc, using drones, on the main headquarters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, whose commanders believe the main target of a potential Turkish ground invasion would be Kobane.

Significantly, this is the first time a Turkish drone targeted an area extremely close to a US base. And Kobane is highly symbolic: the place where the Americans sealed a collaboration with Syrian Kurds to – in theory – fight ISIS.

And that explains why the Syrian Kurds are appalled by the American non-response to the Turkish strikes. They blame – who else? – the Sultan for stoking “nationalist sentiments” ahead of the 2023 elections, which Erdogan now stands a great chance to win despite the catastrophic state of the Turkish economy.

As it stands, there is no Turkish troop buildup near Kobane – just airstrikes. Which brings us to the all-important Russian factor.

Manbij and Tel Rifaat, west of the Euphrates, are much more important for Russia than Kobane, because they are both vital for the defense of Aleppo against possible Salafi-jihadi attacks.

What may potentially happen in the near future makes the situation even murkier. Ankara intel may use Hayat Tahrir al-Sham jihadis – which have already taken over parts of Afrin – as a sort of “vanguard” in a ground invasion of Syrian Kurd territory.

Selling stolen Syrian oil to Turkey

The current fog of war includes the notion that the Russians may have sold out the Kurds by leaving them exposed to Turkish bombing. That does not hold – because Russia’s influence over Syrian Kurd territory is negligible compared with the US’s. Only the Americans could “sell out” the Kurds.

The more things change, the more they remain the same in Syria. It could all be summarized as a monumental impasse. This gets even more surrealist because, in effect, Ankara and Moscow have already found the solution for the Syrian tragedy.

The problem is the presence of American forces – essentially protecting those shabby convoys stealing Syrian oil. Russians and Syrians always discuss it. The conclusion is that the Americans are staying by inertia. They do it because they can. And Damascus is powerless to expel them.

The Sultan plays the whole thing with consummate cynicism – in geopolitics and geo-economics. Most of what is unresolved in Syria revolves around territories occupied by de facto gangs that call themselves Kurds, protected by the US. They traffic Syrian oil to resell it mostly to … Turkey.

And then, in a flash, armed gangs that call themselves Kurds may simply abandon their “anti-terrorist” fight by … releasing the terrorists they apprehended, thus increasing the “terrorist threat” all over northeast Syria. They blame – who else? – Turkey. In parallel, the Americans increase financial aid to these armed gangs under the pretext of a “war on terror.”

The distinction between “armed gangs” and “terrorists” is of course razor thin. What matters most of all to Erdogan is that he can use the Kurds as a currency in trade negotiations linked to bypassing anti-Russian embargoes and sanctions.

And that explains why the Sultan may decide to bomb Syrian territory whenever he sees fit, despite any condemnation by Washington or Moscow. The Russians once in a while retake the initiative on the ground – as happened during the Idlib campaign in 2020 when Russians bombed the Turkish military forces that were providing “assistance” to Salafi-jihadis.

A view of the site after attacks carried out by Assad regime in Syria on the city center of Idlib on September 7, 2021. Photo: Izzeddin Kasim / Anadolu Agency

Now a game-changer may be on the cards. The Turkish Army bombed the al-Omar oilfield north of Deir ez-Zor. What this means in practice is that Ankara is now destroying no less than the oil infrastructure of the much-lauded “Kurdish autonomy.”

This infrastructure has been cynically exploited by the US when it comes to the oil that reaches the border with Iraq in Iraqi Kurdistan. So in a sense, Ankara is striking against Syrian Kurds and simultaneously against American robbery of Syrian oil.

The definitive game-changer may be approaching. That will be the meeting between Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad, (Remember the decade-long refrain “Assad must go”?)

Location: Russia. Mediator:  Vladimir Putin, in person. It’s not far-fetched to imagine this meeting paving the way for those Kurdish armed gangs, essentially played by Washington as useful idiots, to end up being decimated by Ankara.

The OUN-Russia war (no longer an SMO): What do the parties want and what does the future hold?

November 23, 2022

Source

By Eric Arthur Blair

During this current relative reduction of hostilities in Ukraine, the calm before the storm so to speak, it may be useful to reflect upon the goals of the various geopolitical players, whether stated overtly or intended covertly. This may enable us to make educated guesses as to how events may ultimately unfold.

WHAT DOES RUSSIA WANT?

The party whose openly stated goals appear to align most closely with their defacto goals seems to be Russia, who at the start of the special military operation stated that they wanted the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine, the cessation of hostilities against and the autonomy of Donbass (respecting the rights of Russian speakers) and the long term neutrality of Ukraine with no possibility of it being part of NATO, whether defacto (as it currently is) or dejure. Implicit in the latter is the indivisibility of security, the guarantee that US/NATO intermediate range missiles or so-called anti-ballistic missiles (which in reality can be fitted with nuclear warheads and function as INF) will never be stationed in Ukrainian territory. The Russian status of Crimea was never negotiable.

Current situation: having attempted peace negotiations many times but being repeatedly rebuffed by the Oligarchic States of America / Ukraine / NATO (henceforth termed OUN) regarding all the concerns above, and facing ongoing genocidal aggression by the OUN against Donbass, Russia was forced to occupy and denazify much of Eastern/Southeastern Ukraine to protect Russian speaking civilians and Russia’s own security, discovering along the way more than 30 bio-pathogen labs near the border of Russia which had been funded by the USA (as admitted by droolin’ Nuland herself):

https://russiaun.ru/en/news/271022_nb

Subsequent referenda conducted in the the four liberated oblasts (Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson) all overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. Hence ensuring the security of these territories in perpetuity is now a priority. It seems likely that the majority population in Russia will also demand the liberation of Odessa (which has a huge number of Russian speakers, constantly under violent threat by the UkroNazis. Please recall that 48 Russian speakers were killed by the firebombing of the trade union building in Odessa in 2014 by Ukronazis). Odessa was historically a Russian city. The return of Odessa to Russia will shrink the remaining territory of Ukraine to an impoverished land-bound “rump” state, if it continues to exist at all.

There was a time Ukraine had one of the greatest prospects of any European state, with large, fertile steppes producing massive quantities of grain for export, with the lucrative status as an energy hub to distribute Russian gas to Western Europe and a base for heavy industry in Donbass. All of this is now lost (as will likely be Ukraine’s remaining access to the Black Sea) because of a violent corrupt fascist puppet regime that was installed by the USA. The former bread basket of Europe is now the basket case of Europe.

Presently Russia is hammering the crap out of Ukraine, lobbing 3 times more missiles into Ukraine daily than Ukraine can muster (20,000 vs 7,000 according to Colonel Doug MacGregor). “Most missiles launched by Ukraine are ground to air anti-missile missiles” (many are outdated S-300s, one which supposedly went “astray” into Poland, killing two civilians). The OUN also continue to shell the Russian occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, even while insisting that the Russians are shelling themselves.

As far as the previous Russian “retreats” from Kharkov and Kherson were concerned, please see my footnote, to place these events in proper historical perspective.

Where to from here? The Russians only began to seriously target Ukrainian infrastructure (electricity, water etc) eight months into the SMO, after the OUN terrorist attacks against the Nordstream pipelines and Kerch bridge. When the OUN sent drones through the maritime corridor previously designated for peaceful grain export, in order to attack the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, the Russians then proceeded to demolish even more Ukrainian infrastructure. The big question is this: why has Russia not yet destroyed 100% of Ukrainian infrastructure, which it could easily have done months ago? To US analysts, this was a puzzle, because standard practice of the USA has always been to completely destroy vital civilian infrastructure from day one, as in the case of Yugoslavia or Iraq or Libya. Possible explanations for Russian reticence are:

  • Russia has far greater concern and respect for civilian lives than the USA has ever had, certainly much more so than the terrorist Ukronazis – who were deliberately bombing civilian areas in Donbass for the eight years prior.
  • Complete interruption of electrical and water supplies in Ukraine will inevitably lead to the abandonment of all western Ukrainian cities and a massive exodus of at least 8 million Ukrainians to the countries West. This, along with the economic and energy hardships now afflicting Western Europe (as a result of their sanctions against Russia backfiring), will lead to massive social unrest, possibly even the collapse of some Western European countries. This horrific prospect is a massive bargaining chip that Russia holds over the West and is a huge incentive for the OUN to sue for peace now, before the worst effects of Winter set in.
  • As shown above, it will be exceedingly easy for Russia to depopulate all of Ukraine all the way to Lviv, which will achieve the goal of the demilitarisation of Ukraine. This can be achieved right now, even without a single Russian soldier crossing West of the Dnieper river. However it appears that Russia’s preferred option is to achieve demilitarisation of Ukraine without depopulation, so as not to inflict excessive hardship on their cultural kin.

WHAT DO EUROPEANS WANT?

By “Europeans” we must distinguish between the so-called “leaders” of Europe and the ordinary people of Europe. The former are totally corrupt, bought-and-paid-for and in the pockets of the US neocons. The latter are largely clueless and brainwashed by their Mainstream media to adopt mindless anti-Russian hatred and bigotry. As far as can be seen right now, even if the European people could cobble together a vaguely coherent idea of what they may or may not want, their wishes are utterly irrelevant. They have no agency in how events are going to unfold, unless they can overthrow their US controlled puppet governments and install leaders who truly work in their interests. The solutions to the European problems are simple: reverse all sanctions against Russia, request that gas is delivered to them through Nordstream 2B and that the other 3 pipelines are repaired, and agree to total demilitarisation of Ukraine with removal of all Nazis and all NATO “advisers”. These are the best ways to prevent Russia from opening a floodgate of Ukro refugees into the West. Sanity is unlikely to prevail because the Germs in particular seem to be terminally stupid and spineless. So my advice to the Germs is this: get ready for a shitstorm of events: industrial and economic collapse and a massive influx of refugees who you will have to support with your dwindling tax base and rising inflation.

WHAT DO UKRAINIANS WANT?

This is no more relevant than the wishes of flotsam tossed about by a stormy sea .

WHAT DOES THE USA WANT?

There is a huge disconnect between the officially stated goals and covertly pursued goals of the USA, as befits a two faced “non agreement capable” imperialist oligarchy. The official line from the US is that they are engaging in a noble struggle to “free” Europe from being held to ransom by an “unreliable” energy provider, Russia, and that this is a global confrontation between Western “Democratic” and Eastern “Authoritarian” regimes for the future of the world. That is of course total bullshit. In reality, the exact opposites apply. All actions by the US with regard to Russia and Ukraine, dating back not just to 2014 but to 1991, were deceitfully ignoble, the US is utterly focused on the enslavement, not the liberation of Europe (to be permanently kept under the jackboot of US hegemony), Russia has always been a completely reliable provider of cheap energy to Europe and the Oligarchic States of America are completely undemocratic: they neglect the well being of their own citizens while donating hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars to the US MIC. “Authoritarian” Putin has always been careful to address the wishes of the Russian public (via the Duma) and the wishes of the majority populations of Crimea and Donbass (via referenda, which were much better conducted and more legitimate than the recent suspect and dodgy US mid-term elections https://podbay.fm/p/the-duran-podcast/e/1668956802 ).

Some short term goals of the US neocons, as far as sabotaging the sale of Russian energy to Europe and railroading the Europeans into buying very expensive fracked US LNG, seem to have been successful. However this will not work in the medium to long term because expensive fracked LNG can never generate industrial products economically competitive with products manufactured using much cheaper energy eg by China using piped Russian gas. Hence the medium and long term collapse of the German industrial economy is certain (hence they will eventually be unable to buy expensive US LNG) if the Germs continue down this foolish path. I previously devoted an article to the real motivations of the US neocons and oligarchs who have hijacked US policy.

The medium term US tactics and goals were these: to confiscate more than $300 billion of Russian foreign reserves and to impose economic sanctions (more than 10 thousand so far) which would turn the “Ruble to rubble” (as stated by sleepy Joe) and trigger Russian economic collapse. This would create public unrest in Russia which would enable a US sponsored colour revolution to depose Putin in favour of a US designated puppet (echoes of “Yats is our guy, fuck the EU” droolin’ Nuland). Astroturf revolutions are an old tactic taken directly from the CIA playbook, dating back to the antics of Kermit Roosevelt in Tehran. Embroiling Russia in a lengthy resource-sapping war in Ukraine, perpetrated by US terrorist proxies, was designed to weaken Russia as Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin so transparently admitted. Stinkin’ Blinken also admitted the Ukraine situation was a US/NATO proxy war with Russia, just as he had crowed about how the bombing of Nordstream represented a “tremendous opportunity” for the US to sell LNG to Europe.

The US long term goal would eventually be to fragment Russia into smaller states (just as the USSR had previously been broken up, following its embroilment in a lengthy resource-sapping war in Afghanistan, perpetrated by US terrorist proxies). Those smaller post Russian banana republics would each have puppet leaders appointed by the USA, who would then foil the “belt and road” initiative of China, the next target of the US neocons. All of this devious skulduggery has been outlined in many a Beltway think-tank document, especially that from the Rand corporation.

Not only have every single one of those US goals failed, they have backfired spectacularly. Especially laughable is smellin’ Yellin’s “oil price cap” policy, which is being ignored by everybody. The only sane strategy is to negotiate peace with Russia. Nevertheless the position of the US at present remains unchanged: any peaceful economic links between Germany and Russia must be sabotaged at all costs, because it would create an economic-industrial behemoth that, along with China, would sideline the USA into irrelevance on the world stage. The only excuse Germany has for “sanctioning” Russian gas today is the so-called “aggression” of Russia in Ukraine. If a peaceful outcome in Ukraine is achieved, there will no longer be any excuse for Germany to deny itself Russian gas. Hence, from the POV of the USA, peace in Ukraine must be avoided at all costs. The consequence of refusing to achieve a peaceful settlement, of obstinately continuing to lob missiles against the Russians, will be this: the complete and utter destruction of Ukraine by Russia, with massive out-flux of refugees into Western Europe. Does the US care if there are economic and humanitarian catastrophes in the making (and of their making) in Western Europe? Absolutely not. Not only is the USA happy to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, the USA is happy to fight Russia to the last European.

THE SPECIAL CASE OF TURKEY:

Turkey has been a long standing NATO member. Readers will remember from history that the stationing of US nuclear capable missiles in Turkey was the catalyst for the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Today, Turkey and the OUN are best described as “frenemies”, now leaning towards being enemies. The USA sees Turkey as an unreliable ally and was particularly miffed by the Turkish insistence on buying Russian energy in Rubles, of continuing to honour Mir transactions and its intention to become a Russian natural gas hub, supplying south eastern Europe via the Turkstream pipeline. Erdogan firmly believes that the attempted coup against him in 2016 was perpetrated by Gulenists sponsored by the USA. The recent terrorist bombing in Istanbul which killed 6 and injured 81 was traced to an individual that the Turks claimed was a Kurd from northern Syria who was a proxy of the AngloZionists. We do not know if this is true, but what matters is that the Turks believe this to be true and it is certainly consistent with the history of the US using terrorist proxies. Accordingly, when the US ambassador to Turkey offered his condolences for the bombing, the Turkish interior minister flatly rejected it, saying that Turkey knew who did it, expressing disgust for such US hypocrisy. All US interactions with Turkey in recent years have counter productively served to push it closer towards Russia and the BRICS+ countries.

CONCLUSION: The USA is the worst terrorist state in the world, they represent the greatest threat of global nuclear war to every one of us (USAnians included) – which could cause human extinction. Being an enemy of the USA is dangerous, but being an ally (especially if you are a Germ or a Ukie) is fatal. The Turks are discovering this to their chagrin and are wising up.

Footnote: The AngloEuroZionist mainstream media and their stooge pundits always crow loudly over every transient Pyrrhic victory “won” by the Ukie proxies, while demonstrating a profound ignorance of history and strategy and reality. General Surovikin is nothing if not rational. Given a choice between precariously holding on to Kherson city located on the “wrong” side of the river (which can and will later be recaptured) and preserving the lives of Russian soldiers, he chose his soldiers. All civilians who appreciated the protection of Russia were evacuated. Die hard Ukie ideologues who prefer to freeze and starve this winter in an eviscerated city were allowed to stay.

This echoes the much higher stakes situation of 1812 when General Kutuzov had to choose between Moscow and his army and he chose his army. He allowed Napoleon to march into Moscow which had been stripped of any and all resources that could support the French, who eventually had to withdraw, enabling Russian forces to recapture Moscow. The Russians slaughtered the French as they withdrew. Today’s Ukie/NATO forces are tactically and strategically far more stupid than Napoleon.

Remember the “massive victory” of Ukies advancing into Kharkov oblast empty cow paddocks not long ago? The Russians had staged a tactical withdrawal* and suffered almost no casualties, but enticed the Ukies into open territory where the Ukies were sitting ducks to Russian artillery and rockets. The Ukies lost around 8000 dead. With such a great “success”, it is just a matter of time before the Ukies suicide their way to moribund victory.

(*this was a classic Mongol tactical “withdrawal” which the Kievan Rus had learned from history to their great cost, and now inflicted upon the stupid Ukies to their great cost.)

BTW, Kiev was founded by the primordial Rus, it was the first capital city of the Russian people who were then known as the Kievan Rus. That is historical fact.

EAB is not Russian, knows no Russians and has never been to Russia. Inspired by Tolstoy, he is learning more about Russian history day by day.

Following Israel, Turkey Bombs Northern Syria Killing 11 Soldiers

 ARABI SOURI

Turkey bombed several sites in northern Syria in the early hours of today, Sunday, November 20, 2022, killing 11 Syrian soldiers and injuring 4 others, local sources confirmed.

The Syrian news agency SANA conveyed a military source statement confirming the Turkish aggression and the killing of Syrian soldiers without specifying the number of martyrs or wounded:

“A number of soldiers were martyred as a result of the Turkish attacks on the Syrian lands in the northern countryside of Aleppo and the countryside of Hasakah at dawn this day.”

A reporter for SANA said that Turkish fighter jets bombed several sites in the southwest of Darbassiya, in the outskirts of Al Malikiyah, and in the village of Tal Harmal to the north of Abu Rasin, all of these sites are in Hasakah countryside.

Other sources added Ain Digna, Meng Airport, Ayn Al Arab, Khafaya Al-Salem silos, Tal Rifat, and Mara’naz to the sites targeted by the Turkish bombing.

Wide destruction of houses and farmlands resulted from Turkish aggression.

The regime of the Turkish madman Erdogan claimed this aggression by NATO’s second-largest army is to avenge the Istanbul ‘terrorist’ attack earlier this month, the attack that most observers and analysts doubted the Turkish official narrative about and alleged it’s more of a false flag similar to the Zelensky’s forces S300 missile that targeted Poland.

NATO-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists also denied their involvement in the Istanbul explosion, they would otherwise celebrate their operations.

NATO and its members, especially Turkey have a long history of false flags in Syria to justify their aggression and the war crimes they commit on daily bases against the Syrian people, the head of the Turkish ‘intelligence’ plotted an attack against Turkish soldiers to justify Turkish army aggression against the Syrian forces a couple of years ago, his conversation was leaked and the plot was exposed, he was rewarded by Erdogan for his services.

The Turkish aggression against the Syrian army posts in Hasaskah comes a day after Israel bombed Syrian army posts killing 4 soldiers and injuring a fifth, the Israeli and Turkish aggressions come after the Syrian army cleared the last stronghold of ISIS in southern Daraa city a day preceding the Israeli aggression.


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Erdogan Sent 800 al Qaeda & ISIS Terrorists to Ukraine from Idlib

ARABI SOURI 

The Turkish madman Erdogan sent hundreds of mercenaries of his most loyal terrorists of al Qaeda, ISIS, and their derivatives and affiliated terrorists from the Syrian province of Idlib under NATO Turkish occupation to Ukraine to fight the Russians.

Semi-official recruitment offices in Idlib were established in recent weeks and managed to send 800 terrorists with the help of Al Qaeda Levant (HTS – Nusra Front – Jabhat Nusra) to help the NATO-sponsored regime of Zelensky in Ukraine fight against Russia, news report.

Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel quoted Sputnik Arabic news in this report:

The video is also available on Rumble and BitChute,

Transcript

Sources in Idlib told Sputnik news agency that the transfers (of terrorists) occurred during the past two weeks in the town of Sarmada and the Bab al-Hawa crossing with Turkey, in coordination with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, adding that most of the militants hold Syrian nationality and belong to pro-Turkish factions.

The sources indicated that Idlib’s semi-announced offices were set up to attract mercenaries to Ukraine in return for a monthly salary of up to US$5,000.

End of the transcript.

The Turkish madman Erdogan commands, with his sponsors in Washington and Tel Aviv, the world’s largest army of terrorists comprising tens of thousands of anti-Islamic suicide bombers and head-choppers of what western officials and mainstream propagandists dub ‘moderate rebels.’

Imported from all sides of the world, trained, armed, financed, and protected by NATO officers in Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other places and deployed to Libya, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and Nagorno Karabach between Azerbaijan and Armenia, these terrorists are the backbone of NATO, an alliance of countries living off the resources plundered from weaker countries around the world.

The recycling of these terrorists occurs, sadly, with the acquiescence and direct participation of governments willingly or unwillingly under pressure from the USA, some officials in these countries think it is wise to rid their countries of the underprivileged uneducated brainwashed citizens to kill innocent people in other countries, those officials in these countries fail to comprehend one of the golden rules proven by history: whoever raises a monster, the monster will eventually eat him.


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