Russia Deploys Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Belarus: Escalation or Deterrence?

March 27, 2023

Global Research,

By Drago Bosnic


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On March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will start deploying its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Construction of designated storage facilities for the weapons is planned to be completed by July 1.

The decision to transfer nuclear weapons to Belarus was made after Minsk [allegedly] issued a formal request, essentially mirroring Washington DC’s nuclear sharing agreements with several NATO member states. And while the decision was officially made after the United Kingdom announced it would supply depleted uranium munitions to the Kiev regime, the actual reasoning might have to do with much more sinister plans by the United States.

Namely, Warsaw and Washington DC have been floating the idea of transferring some of the US nuclear weapons stockpiled in Europe to Poland. The move has been mentioned several times in recent years, including in early October last year, when Polish President Andrzej Duda mentioned it in an interview with Gazeta Polska. The US has nuclear sharing agreements with the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Turkey, with approximately 100 (mainly air-launched) tactical nuclear weapons deployed in all five countries. Greece also took part in the program, but discontinued its participation in 2001, although it’s widely believed Athens still keeps the necessary storage facilities functional.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko advised against UK plans to deliver depleted uranium munitions to the Kiev regime and warned that Russia would soon supply Belarus with “munitions with real uranium”. However, Putin himself stated that “even outside the context of these events”, Belarus still has legitimate security concerns and that “Alexander Grigoryevich [Lukashenko] has long raised the question of deploying Russian tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Belarus”. This clearly implies that threats to Minsk transcend the immediate danger of depleted uranium munitions deliveries to the Neo-Nazi junta in Kiev.

NY Times: “Frustrated” Putin Could Use Nukes in Ukraine

“There is nothing unusual in such a decision, as the United States has been doing this for decades. They have long placed their tactical nuclear weapons on the territories of their allies, NATO countries, and in Europe. In six states – the Federal Republic of Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Greece – well, not in Greece now, but there is still a storage facility,” Putin stressed, further adding: “[Russia and Belarus] will do the same, without violating our international obligations on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons”.

He added that Russia is indeed mirroring the United States in this regard and that it’s not transferring the ownership of its tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, but that it’s simply deploying them to the country and training the Belarussian military to operate and use them in the case of a wider escalation by the US and NATO. The Russian military has already provided Belarus with the necessary upgrades to be able to deliver tactical nuclear warheads. At least 10 (presumably Belarussian Air Force) jets have been assigned and equipped to carry such weapons, although neither side specified what type of aircraft received the said upgrades.

Belarus operates several types of nuclear-capable fighter jets, including the recently acquired Su-30SM and the Soviet-era MiG-29. In addition to air-launched nuclear weapons, Russia already deploys ground-based assets in Belarus, including the “Iskander” systems capable of launching nuclear-tipped hypersonic and regular cruise missiles. Minsk also operates its own “Iskander” units, meaning that those too could be equipped with tactical nuclear warheads, further bolstering the country’s deterrence capabilities. This is particularly important as Belarus has also been targeted by US/NATO covert/black operations in recent years, including an attempted Maidan-style color revolution in 2020.

“We have handed over to Belarus our well-known and very effective ‘Iskander’ system that can carry [nuclear weapons],” Putin stated, adding: “On April 3, we will start training the crews and on July 1 we will complete the construction of a special storage [facility] for tactical nuclear weapons on the Belarussian territory.”

In addition to the “Iskander”, Belarus still maintains a number of Soviet-era nuclear-capable assets, including a substantial arsenal of “Tochka-U” tactical ballistic missiles. These could serve as a secondary delivery option given their shorter range and inferior accuracy when compared to the “Iskander” which boasts a 500 km range, high precision, extreme maneuverability at every stage of flight, as well as a hypersonic speed estimated to be at least Mach 5.9, although military sources indicate that it can go up to Mach 8.7. This makes the “Iskander” virtually impossible to intercept, as evidenced by its performance during the SMO (special military operation). The system also provides a significant advantage over NATO forces in Eastern Europe.

President Lukashenko strongly indicated that Minsk could host Russian nuclear weapons as soon as NATO implied it could deploy US B61 nuclear bombs to Poland, highlighting that his country’s Soviet-era infrastructure for such weapons remains intact despite US pressure to destroy it during the 1990s.

Belarus is home to a growing arsenal of state-of-the-art Russian military units and equipment, including strategic assets such as the S-400 SAM (surface-to-air missile) systems, as well as the advanced Su-35S air superiority fighter jets and MiG-31 interceptors, including the K/I variants capable of deploying the already legendary “Kinzhal” hypersonic missiles, which are also nuclear-capable.


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Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

Featured image is from InfoBrics

The original source of this article is InfoBrics

Copyright © Drago BosnicInfoBrics, 2023

Israel Bombs Syria Killing 4 Soldiers, its 2nd Aggression in 6 Days


The ‘Jewish’ Israel bombed several posts in central and coastal Syria in the early hours of the morning today, Saturday, November 19, a Syrian military spokesperson said in a statement carried by the Syrian news agency SANA.

In its report, strangely not the website’s main headline, SANA quoted the Syrian military spokesperson:

“At about six thirty in the morning, the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression from over the Mediterranean Sea from the direction of Baniyas, targeting some points in the central and coastal region, and our air defenses intercepted the incoming missiles of aggression and shot down most of them.”

The Israeli aggression killed four soldiers and injured one more in addition to causing material damage, the military spokesperson’s statement concluded.

This is the second Israeli aggression against Syria in the past 6 days, the previous aggression killed and injured Syrian army soldiers.

The Israeli (Read: NATO and the collective West through Israel) aggressions are blatant violations of International Law, the UN Charter, and the May 31st, 1974 ‘Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria,’ dozens of useless UN peacekeepers (UNDOF) were deployed since on the Golan to observe the agreement whose role is just to count the Israeli aggressions and report it to the UNSC which in turn calls for peace in useless statements.

The role of Russia remains very strange in the continuous Israeli aggressions, the Russian military has an agreement with Israel on non-confliction over Syria’s skies, and holds back weapons Syria purchased over a decade ago under request from the Israelis despite the fact that some of those dated weapons like the S300 are very much available in NATO countries including NATO’s launchpad post against Russia, Ukraine.

Moreover, Russia offered its more advanced S400 to countries hostile to it like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and actually sold it to other countries in its opponent camp like Turkey, all of which are parts of the US-led war of terror and attrition against the Syrian people.

The least that Russia can do in light of the repeated Israeli aggressions is not some empty words of condemnation by its foreign ministry, but rather withdraw itself from the weird agreement of coordination with Israel over Syria, which itself is against international law that Russia is saying it wants to preserve, draw down its diplomatic ties with the ‘Jewish’ state, or pressure the Israelis with fewer revenues through trade and tourism if the Israelis continue their breach of the UN Security Council resolutions which Russia is one of 5 permanent members of.

The same, above, goes for China, another permanent member of the UNSC that has very large economic and military ties with Israel.

That is if Russia does not want to sell its advanced weapons to Syria and actually allow the Syrian people to defend themselves with the weapons it delivered earlier.

The ‘Jewish’ state of Israel that commits crimes against the real Semites, the people of the Levant around the clock including on Sabbaths, needs wars to continue its illegal occupation of land, peace will force its criminal leaders to look after the Jews expelled from Europe and from Russia and shipped into Palestine to serve the overall Zionist dream of building the antiChrist’s kingdom.

Jews against Israel and Zionism
Israel is an anti-Jewish Zionist entity

Will Syria be able to restrain itself before retaliating militarily against Israel and its regional sponsors and causing mutual destruction to all parties, not only to Syria alone, is no longer a question, it’s a matter of when the retaliation strikes will start, Syria has nothing further to lose, unlike all its foes who contributed to its destruction.

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Ukraine: Somewhere between Afghanization and Syrianization

Ukraine is finished as a nation – neither side will rest in this war. The only question is whether it will be an Afghan or Syrian style finale.

August 30 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

One year after the astounding US humiliation in Kabul – and on the verge of another serious comeuppance in Donbass – there is reason to believe Moscow is wary of Washington seeking vengeance: in the form of the ‘Afghanization’ of Ukraine.

With no end in sight to western weapons and finance flowing into Kiev, it must be recognized that the Ukrainian battle is likely to disintegrate into yet another endless war. Like the Afghan jihad in the 1980s which employed US-armed and funded guerrillas to drag Russia into its depths, Ukraine’s backers will employ those war-tested methods to run a protracted battle that can spill into bordering Russian lands.

Yet this US attempt at crypto-Afghanization will at best accelerate the completion of what Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu describes as the “tasks” of its Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. For Moscow right now, that road leads all the way to Odessa.

It didn’t have to be this way. Until the recent assassination of Darya Dugina at Moscow’s gates, the battlefield in Ukraine was in fact under a ‘Syrianization’ process.

Like the foreign proxy war in Syria this past decade, frontlines around significant Ukrainian cities had roughly stabilized. Losing on the larger battlefields, Kiev had increasingly moved to employ terrorist tactics. Neither side could completely master the immense war theater at hand. So the Russian military opted to keep minimal forces in battle – contrary to the strategy it employed in 1980s Afghanistan.

Let’s remind ourselves of a few Syrian facts: Palmyra was liberated in March 2016, then lost and retaken in 2017. Aleppo was liberated only in December 2016. Deir Ezzor in September 2017. A slice of northern Hama in December and January 2018. The outskirts of Damascus in the Spring of 2018. Idlib – and significantly, over 25 percent of Syrian territory – are still not liberated. That tells a lot about rhythm in a war theater.

The Russian military never made a conscious decision to interrupt the multi-channel flow of western weapons to Kiev. Methodically destroying those weapons once they’re in Ukrainian territory – with plenty of success – is another matter. The same applies to smashing mercenary networks.

Moscow is well aware that any negotiation with those pulling the strings in Washington – and dictating all terms to puppets in Brussels and Kiev – is futile. The fight in Donbass and beyond is a do or die affair.

So the battle will go on, destroying what’s left of Ukraine, just as it destroyed much of Syria. The difference is that economically, much more than in Syria, what’s left of Ukraine will plunge into a black void. Only territory under Russian control will be rebuilt, and that includes, significantly, the bulk of Ukraine’s industrial infrastructure.

What’s left – rump Ukraine – has already been plundered anyway, as Monsanto, Cargill and Dupont have already bagged 17 million hectares of prime, fertile arable land – over half of what Ukraine still possesses. That translates de facto as BlackRock, Blackstone and Vanguard, top agro-business shareholders, owning whatever lands that really matter in non-sovereign Ukraine.

Going forward, by next year the Russians will be applying themselves to cutting off Kiev from NATO weapons supplies. As that unfolds, the Anglo-Americans will eventually move whatever puppet regime remains to Lviv. And Kiev terrorism – conducted by Bandera worshippers – will continue to be the new normal in the capital.

The Kazakh double game

By now it’s abundantly clear this is not a mere war of territorial conquest. It’s certainly part of a War of Economic Corridors – as the US spares no effort to sabotage and smash the multiple connectivity channels of Eurasia’s integration projects, be they Chinese-led (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI) or Russian-led (Eurasian Economic Union, EAEU).

Just like the proxy war in Syria remade large swathes of West Asia (witness, for instance, Erdogan about to meet Assad), the fight in Ukraine, in a microcosm, is a war for the reconfiguration of the current world order, where Europe is a mere self-inflicted victim in a minor subplot. The Big Picture is the emergence of multipolarity.

The proxy war in Syria lasted a decade, and it’s not over yet. The same may happen to the proxy war in Ukraine. As it stands, Russia has taken an area that is roughly equivalent to Hungary and Slovakia combined. That’s still far from “task” fulfillment – and it’s bound to go on until Russia has taken all the land right up to the Dnieper as well as Odessa, connecting it to the breakaway Republic of Transnistria.

It’s enlightening to see how important Eurasian actors are reacting to such geopolitical turbulence. And that brings us to the cases of Kazakhstan and Turkey.

The Telegram channel Rybar (with over 640k followers) and hacker group Beregini revealed in an investigation that Kazakhstan was selling weapons to Ukraine, which translates as de facto treason against their own Russian allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Consider too that Kazakhstan is also part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the EAEU, the two hubs of the Eurasian-led multipolar order.

As a consequence of the scandal, Kazakhstan was forced to officially announce the suspension of all weapons exports until the end of 2023.

It began with hackers unveiling how Technoexport – a Kazakh company – was selling armed personnel carriers, anti-tank systems and munitions to Kiev via Jordanian intermediaries, under the orders of the United Kingdom. The deal itself was supervised by the British military attaché in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital.

Nur-Sultan predictably tried to dismiss the allegations, arguing that Technoexport had not asked for export licenses. That was essentially false: the Rybar team discovered that Technoexport instead used Blue Water Supplies, a Jordanian firm, for those. And the story gets even juicier. All the contract documents ended up being found in the computers of Ukrainian intel.

Moreover, the hackers found out about another deal involving Kazspetsexport, via a Bulgarian buyer, for the sale of Kazakh Su-27s, airplane turbines and Mi-24 helicopters. These would have been delivered to the US, but their final destination was Ukraine.

The icing on this Central Asian cake is that Kazakhstan also sells significant amounts of Russian – not Kazakh – oil to Kiev.

So it seems that Nur-Sultan, perhaps unofficially, somehow contributes to the ‘Afghanization’ in the war in Ukraine. No diplomatic leaks confirm it, of course, but bets can be made Putin had a few things to say about that to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in their recent – cordial – meeting.

The Sultan’s balancing act

Turkey is a way more complex case. Ankara is not a member of the SCO, the CSTO or the EAEU. It is still hedging its bets, calculating on which terms it will join the high-speed rail of Eurasian integration. And yet, via several schemes, Ankara allows Moscow to evade the avalanche of western sanctions and embargoes.

Turkish businesses – literally all of them with close connections to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) – are making a killing, and relishing their new role as crossroads warehouse between Russia and the west. It’s an open boast in Istanbul that what Russia cannot buy from Germany or France they buy “from us.” And in fact several EU companies are in on it.

Ankara’s balancing act is as sweet as a good baklava. It gathers    economic support from a very important partner right in the middle of the endless, very serious Turkish economic debacle. They agree on nearly everything: Russian gas, S-400 missile systems, the building of the Russian nuclear power plant, tourism – Istanbul is crammed with Russians – Turkish fruits and vegetables.

Ankara-Moscow employ sound textbook geopolitics. They play it openly, in full transparence. That does not mean they are allies. It’s just pragmatic business between states. For instance, an economic response may alleviate a geopolitical problem, and vice-versa.

Obviously the collective west has completely forgotten how that normal state-to-state behavior works. It’s pathetic. Turkey gets “denounced” by the west as traitorous – as much as China.

Of course Erdogan also needs to play to the galleries, so every once in a while he says that Crimea should be retaken by Kiev. After all, his companies also do business with Ukraine – Bayraktar drones and otherwise.

And then there’s proselytizing: Crimea remains theoretically ripe for Turkish influence, where Ankara may exploit the notions of pan-Islamism and mostly pan-Turkism, capitalizing on the historical relations between the peninsula and the Ottoman Empire.

Is Moscow worried? Not really. As for those Bayraktar TB2s sold to Kiev, they will continue to be relentlessly reduced to ashes. Nothing personal. Just business.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Erdogan Asks Russia to Return the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine: Who Does Turkey Support?


Yoselina Guevara Lopez

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently pointed out in a video message that “The return of Crimea to Ukraine, of which it is an inseparable part, is essentially a requirement of international law”, statements he made within the framework of the second international summit of the Crimean Platform. Erdogan added that “ensuring the safety and well-being of our Crimean Tatar compatriots is also among Turkey’s priorities”.  The president again called for the release of Nariman Dzhelyal, deputy speaker of the Crimean Tatar “parliament”, and at least 45 other Tatars who remain detained on the peninsula.

The Crimean Platform Summit, which Kiev held online,  bringing together the leaders of Western countries, more strongly maintained its anti-Russian character this year, without losing one iota of the characteristics with which last year Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described it as a witches’ meeting (Sabbat, coven) in which “the West will continue to cultivate the neo-nazi and racist sentiments of the current Ukrainian authorities.”

For this reason the position of the skilled politician that is Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not surprising. In fact, since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Ankara has been able to play with two hands, maintaining a balance between the West, represented by the United States and its NATO allies, and the Russian Federation. It is precisely this quality of expert balancing act that has led it to play the role of mediator because Turkey has powerful interests on both sides of the conflict.

At the level of Moscow, Ankara is one of the main commercial partners of the gas giant Gazprom, with which it has established a series of agreements for energy supplies from the Russian Federation. For example, in 2021 Russia supplied Turkey with 5 million 800 thousand cubic meters of gas. Moscow has also sold Ankara the famous S-400 missile systems. On the other hand, if we analyze Turkey’s relationship with the West, it cannot be overlooked that since 1952, Ankara has been a member of NATO, and hosts numerous bases, including the Incirlik Air Base which has served as a command base for NATO operations in the Middle East. There is no doubt that for NATO, staying on Turkish territory gives it a geostrategic advantage. As for the migration problem, Ankara functions as a containment wall for the numerous migrants seeking to enter Europe through the Balkan Route.

But Turkey, independently of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has other objectives on the table that indirectly affect what happens between Kiev-Moscow. In the Balkans, for example, Erdogan wants to start bilateral collaboration with Belgrade, especially in the area of arms exports, which on the one hand, will allow modernizing the Serbian armed forces and, on the other hand, will give Turkey the opportunity to exercise a greater presence, both military and of its war industry, in the heart of Europe; with a turnover that, according to some analysts, would be close to 15 million euros. Just as it is no secret that Turkey also wants to expand its sphere of influence and investments towards Asia; the decisions it has taken amply demonstrate this willingness to expand diplomatic and political relations with this area. It is no coincidence that Ankara has made huge investments with the aim of being able to connect Central Asia with Anatolia through major infrastructures: railroads, ports in the Caspian Sea and energy facilities, through Kazakhstan to China, which can reinforce its role as an energy hub.

If Erdogan succeeds in his role as mediator, he will gain international recognition as a “peacemaker” or “the one who achieved world peace”, which could mean that Erdogan will continue to play his role as a mediator in the coming days. This could mean for Erdogan, in addition to going down in history, being rid, once and for all,  of the image of dictator placed on him after he imposed strict policies against dissidents of his government in 2013, without disdaining all his warlike wanderings in different places. The chessboard is still open, the game has not been closed, the political players are still moving the pieces.

Yoselina Guevara L.(@lopez_yoselina)is an international policy political analyst, correspondent and recipient of the Simón Bolívar 2022 National Journalism Award (Opinion) and Anibal Nazoa 2021 (Venezuela).

Sitrep: Operation Z

April 16, 2022


By Nightvision

Let’s start off with some significant Mariupol updates. The Primorski / port area was further captured, some say dividing it in half, and guys on the ground are now saying the entire section may fall by tomorrow or at latest by the end of this weekend.

That would leave only the Azovstal factory because the other big news was that the Illych factory has completely fallen to our forces as well, and this was the only other pocket of UAF left. There is a lot of footage from the Illych capture.

Drone footage of DPR/RF forces storming it and capturing the last few UAF Marines 

(alt link:

A lot of UAF equipment recovered there, hidden in the factory, including many American hummers

Full interview of one of the POWs with subtitles:

Another British merc captured as well:

He is this guy, Shaun Pinner

This merc also served with Cossackgundi in the YPG for years in Syria, and it’s been said he’s even served in Bosnia in the 90’s and is likely part of British Intel forces.

And for those that haven’t seen the previous British merc, Cossackgundi, here are a few outtakes from his interrogations:

And a Russian news report states the following:

“Among those captured in Ukraine there are military personnel from the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). This was announced on Friday, April 15, by Andrei Klimov, deputy head of the commission of the United Russia party for international cooperation…

“We already have prisoners among the military personnel of NATO countries, we will show all this when we conduct trials, and the whole world will see what really happened,” he said during a briefing with the media. The senator also said that there are mercenaries in Ukraine from Asia, Africa, Great Britain, the USA and other states. He recalled that mercenaries are not military personnel and they are not subject to international law.”

So it seems according to this they do intend to put them on trial.

This is how the map is looking now. That small sliver of Primorski section in the SW by the port, and then just the massive Azovstal factory complex.

And as many of you know, the factory was reportedly already bombed by Russian long range heavy bombers, Tu-22m’s in what is reportedly the first usage of the bombers in the conflict so far. Footage:

There’s still no word on the general strategy, as we’ve all seen rumors Russia would flood the factory, or etc. We don’t know if this bombing run is a one-off, and only to bomb certain sections/positions, or a general strategy they will employ to level the entire complex (doubtful). Personally I don’t see the point of bombing now, unless with bunker busters, as we know Azov troops are secured deep in the basement, but there may have been some strategic positions to hit for now, to soften them up before the next phase of the Azovstal assault. For instance, Azov forces likely mined the entire area, and perhaps this is an attempt to first demine and clear all booby traps via large bombing run to prepare the area for ground assault.

In the time of writing this, the Russian MOD apparently reported that the full urban area of Mariupol has been captured, and the map would now look like this:

However, I leave the previous up because once in a while the Russian MOD has been known to jump the gun and I personally haven’t seen the on-the-ground indication yet that Primorski has fully been cleared, although there were several indications it was very close, so maybe it is true. If that’s the case, then there is literally nothing left apart from the Azovstal factory complex.

Either way, we get closer and closer to the end where Mariupol comes home. And on that note there’s some interesting updates. Firstly, apparently anchors at the Crimea24 news station in Crimea are already referring to Kherson as the ‘Kherson People’s Republic’, ‘that is, an entirely separate and seceded political entity from the Ukrainian Central Government.’

And not far away, the Energodar city sign changed from a Ukrainian to Russian flag:

As for news about Phase 2, here are some assorted updates:

There continue to be reports from both sides that a largescale Russian Phase 2 offensive is days away. One source in Donbass even said this: “The head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration believes that the Russian troops do not start the offensive because of bad weather.”

Meanwhile a regional administrator in Barvinkove and separately, the head of Donetsk regional military administrations, urged evacuations as ‘Russia is set to launch a large-scale military operation in a few days.’

My view has been that it won’t come until Mariupol is done, but with that said, they may begin it anyway because some reports indicate forces have already been disengaged from Mariupol and sent both north and towards Kherson because so few UAF remain in Mariupol, they don’t need a large force anymore. Wargonzo / Pegov reports that the famous Somali battalion of DPR will be re-deployed to Avdiivka outside of Donetsk where a large offensive is planned to break through the densest of enemy lines, and some of them have already been redeployed there.

In short, various ‘chirps’ from both sides continue to indicate Russia is almost ready with the preparations for Phase 2, we just have to wait and see if they’re waiting for the ‘symbolic’ fall of Mariupol to begin, or whether they’ll begin without it. We know the Pentagon said last week that the offensive would start “within a week”.

As some others have posted this already, unconfirmed but it matches the general gist I’m hearing everywhere else:

“The Pentagon instructed the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to withdraw all the remaining artillery to the cities on the eastern front – Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, where they can fire behind civilians. Restraining the offensive of the Russian troops is prescribed by small mobile groups armed with mortars and anti-tank systems, moving across the steppe in civilian vehicles. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the Americans impose terrorist tactics on their pets, in which their people are taken hostage. But the fact that Ukrainian resources write about this quite openly, and treat such methods with understanding, and as the only correct one, cannot but amaze.”

There is video evidence of this now that’s emerged where UAF is mostly operating in the style of ISIS ‘technicals’ where they mount a machine gun on a pickup truck and drive around the countryside in search of fast ambush opportunities on RF rearguards, supply lines etc., but unlike ISIS they’re armed with tons of ATGMs and Manpads.

One Russian T-72B3 came home to base last night near Izyum having been reportedly struck as many as 2 or 3 times by Javelins and Nlaws, but its Kontakt-5 reactive armor had no problem shrugging them all off. Photos show Kontakt-5 damage around the turret indicating possible “top attack” (such as NLAW and Javelin) as opposed to normal RPG style weapons hitting lower broadside on the hull. Just further proof that Western weapons are performing abysmally. In fact the ONLY consistently confirmed proof I have seen, out of thousands of videos, of tank kills on Russian armor all comes from the Ukrainian Stugna-P ATGM, which is a Ukrainian/Belarussian produced weapon.

One frontline reporter several days ago said, upon breaching a UAF position they found a bunch of spent Russian/Soviet legacy RPGs laying on the ground, while next to them was several western (NLAW/Javelin) units that were completely unused. You can figure out what this implies.

But of course the U.S. continues to offload its stock of junk on Ukraine:

Czech sends MLRS

While British SAS go straight to Kiev to train the Nazis directly

U.S. also expands its intel sharing with Ukraine, and has stated it will help Ukraine in preparing strikes onto Crimea. U.S. says it won’t overtly help Ukraine with strikes on RF territory, but it doesn’t recognize Crimea as RF territory so it considers it legal to give the UAF signal/satellite intel to strike Crimea.

Meanwhile the Pentagram says, “The Pentagon now says Russia is in the midst of a major jamming operation attempt of Ukraine’s access to GPS signals, which if successful would have a huge impact on Ukraine’s ability to navigate the battlefield and operate advanced aerial systems such as drones.”

The article mentions Switchblade drones, and how they use GPS which is disrupted by Russian jamming. On that front, we have new reports that as of yesterday, two Switchblade drones were already used against Russian tanks in the Kharkov / Izyum area, neither of which did any damage.

“Two American Switchblade UAVs (“Flipknife”) attacked the positions of Russian tankers, but did not cause any damage. Apparently, the operators are just beginning to master the new technique.” (reported by the reliable frontline correspondent Sasha Kots)

It is confirmation the drones are now in theater. But there’s 2 varieties, the 300 and 600 series. We don’t know yet which they have. The 300 is fairly useless against vehicles.

You can see an inside look into these unparalleled Russian jamming systems which have no equal in the world:

If you read my last report with this video:

You’ll know it spoke a lot about Russian ability to shutdown all communications on the front via these various EW stations like the famous Krasukha. In the bitchute videos above, the soldiers talk about how these systems shutdown all cellular communications, fry Bayraktar drones, etc., and this is exactly corroborated in the Dr. Karber presentation at West Point above, where he says all cellular and military radios go blank in a wide swath of territory.

Here’s some more info on the particular complex:

Also yesterday the S-400 was used for possibly the 2nd time of the conflict. The first was in the opening days, a S-400 system in Belarus destroyed a Ukrainian Mig-29 over Kiev (very long distance) which was piloted by one of Ukraine’s most legendary pilots.

The new usage was said to be against one of the helicopters that attacked the Russian Klimovo village in the Bryansk region. The helicopter apparently was shot over the village of Gorodnya in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, about 35 km from the Russian-Ukrainian border.

One analyst writes:

“1. This means that air defense has been strengthened in the border areas. S-400 divisions “do not go alone.” At least a regiment, at least two divisions and a command post. 2 combat vehicles for each

2. The helicopter was shot down at low altitude at a distance of about 35 km from the border, read at least 50-60 km from the division. This means that the target for the division was below the radio horizon, which, on flat terrain and an antenna post deployed not on a 40V6M tower, but on a conveyor, would be about 40 km. This is possible only in the interaction of the S-400 air defense system with the A-50 AWACS aircraft or with the Su-30 fighter and the use of the 9M96E2 missile with an active homing head, which is capable of independently capturing an over-the-horizon target according to the data of the air defense system itself or the specified aircraft.”

Video of the shot down helicopter

In that same region were huge losses for the UAF yesterday. Reported several squads to be completely destroyed while there were many prisoners. You can see photos of the prisoners on most of the popular telegram channels.

Meanwhile in the risible and deteriorating U.S. Navy, humiliation continues to mount:

Here’s a good current map of the overall situation:

And here’s how British Intel reportedly views the coming Phase 2 operation:

By the way, one last note. Some have asked about the news that ‘General Aleksandr Dvornikov’ was appointed as supreme commander of the entire operation, particularly since I previously posted a snippet that had his name in it. The truth is, there is no actual proof or confirmation whatsoever from the Russian side that he has been ‘appointed’ or ‘promoted’ in any way. Even if you search his name in cyrillic on Russian official news sites like Tass there is nothing whatsoever on it, and no such announcement from the MOD. So keep in mind all such information is only as per the “Pentagon’s” alleged secret intel, albeit on sites like wikipedia it is already listed as 100% official and confirmed that he is in fact the supreme commander.

With that said, it may very well be true. And if it is, that’s a good thing, because Dvornikov by all qualifications appears to be a very strong commander who was responsible for much of the success of Russia’s Syrian campaign. Keep in mind he is officially the commander of the entire Russian Southern Military District, with its famed 58th Army, etc., and he continues to be listed as the commander of this district. The Southern is arguably Russia’s most experienced command post due to its involvement in some of the hottest Russian frontlines of the past years, such as the 2008 Georgian war which was primarily prosecuted by the 58th Army of the Southern, stationed in Vladikavkaz. To the 2014 Crimean crisis as well, which was primarily handled by this district. Not to mention it appears the Southern District has possibly the highest contract servicemen percentage of any of the districts, which wikipedia lists at 98% as of 2016.

Though the ‘Western’ district is the ‘prestige’ one, as it guards Russia’s most vital western European flank, and was previously headed by Gerasimov himself, and is probably outfitted with the highest percentage of technologically advanced units (such as the 4th Guards Tank army which is mostly comprised of modernized T-80U’s as opposed to the T-72’s of many other districts), the Southern is the one that has seen the most action in recent years, and has acted as the ‘shock troops’ for various Russian crises.

So the fact that Dvornikov, who was given the highest honors, “Hero of the Russian Federation” medal for his work in Syria, was then promoted to the head of the Southern District after his Syrian service, means the utter trust Russian leadership has in him. So if it is true he is internally now running the entire SMO, then that can only be viewed as a positive. But let it simply be stated that this is completely unconfirmed, and may never be confirmed officially by the Russian side.

And some final assorted things:

DPR troops humanely feed their POWs (quite a contrast to how Russian POWs are treated):

Russian White Swans of death spotted in the skies of Russia not far from Ukr border, but reportedly this is practice for the upcoming parade (or is it?)

An interesting look at the logistical side, Russian mobile kitchens and laundromats – how daily troop life functions:

Chechens put finishing touches on Mariupol districts:

Russia ships mass Bm-21 Grad reinforcements:

More reinforcements head through Kharkov:

Zelensky brags behind the scenes how Macron is his “bestie” who texts him privately (is this legal?)

Crew of the sunken Moskva cruiser re-enlists to continue service in Navy. So much for fake rumors they were all killed, etc:

Another UAF base in Nikolayev destroyed.

There’ve been many huge strikes in Kiev, Kharkov, Nikolayev, etc, that have flattened a lot of bases and factories in the past 2 days since the sinking of the Moskva. In fact in the past day alone, over 300 UAF soldiers were reportedly killed in these strikes all over Ukraine.

Today Zelensky revealed for the first time that UAF losses are alleged to be only 2500-3000 total. But this is a clear lie as the Donbass alone has 3000 POWs. The Russian MOD countered with new realistic losses of the UAF today, which are in excess of 23,000+ troops.

Graphic (18+) Russian Spetsnaz force once again ambushed a UAF squad near Izyum:

Also slightly (18+), Chechens in Mariupol show the clearing of one of the last districts:

أوكرانيا: شطرنج كش ملك أول اللعبة والقلعة تحفظ الملك

 السبت 5 آذار 2022

 ناصر قنديل

تدرك موسكو منذ بداية الأزمة المتصلة بطلب ضمانات أمنية واضحة من الرئيس الأميركي وشركائه في حلف الناتو بعدم ضمّ دول الجوار الروسي إلى الحلف أنها ذاهبة الى الحرب، وتدرك أنها خلال سنوات السباق لاستعادة مكانتها الدولية قد نجحت بكسب حرب الأنابيب في مجال السباق العسكري، بواسطة نشر شبكات الـ أس 400 وبناء قوات عسكرية حديثة متفوقة للقتال النظامي التقليدي، والسباق على أنابيب الطاقة، عبر إمساكها بمورد الطاقة الرئيسي لأوروبا وبنقطة الثقل في توازن توريد الطاقة وسوقي العرض والطلب في النفط والغاز، وان دونها والربح المفترض في سباق أنابيب المال والإعلام التي يمسك بها الأميركيون وحلفاؤهم، عقود وليس مجرد سنوات. فالنظام المصرفي العالمي وشبكات الإعلام والمعلومات، تحت القبضة الأميركية بالكامل، وأن الأميركي لن يتركها تحقق التوازن في هذا المجال لترتضي منازلة محتومة الفوز لروسيا وحليفتها الصين، التي سيقوم على عاتقها تحقيق التفوق في سباق أنابيب المال والمعلومات والاتصال، ولذلك كانت التوقعات الروسية بإعداد أميركي لحرب وشيكة، والاعتقاد الجازم بأن أوكرانيا ستكون ساحة النزال الوشيكة.

خلال عامين كانت واشنطن وموسكو تقتربان من لحظة المواجهة، ويعتقد العسكريون الروس أن الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، والانخراط الأميركي في مفاوضات العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، كانا من جهة تعبيراً عن مأزق واشنطن العالقة في منتصف الطريق الشائك في الملفين، لكنهما كانا من جهة موازية، تخففا من الأثقال استعداداً للمواجهة في أوكرانيا، حيث الدولة التي تشكل ثاني أكبر دولة بعد روسيا بين دول الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، مساحة وعدد سكان وقدرات عسكرية وتطور تقني، وحيث النظرية الأميركية التقليدية التي صاغها مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي الأسبق زبيغنيو بريجنسكي عام 1980، أن روسيا بدون أوكرانيا مجرد دولة كبيرة، ومع أوكرانيا هي دولة عظمى، والخطة هي الفشل في حل سلمي لأزمة إقليم دونباس تنتهي باجتياح أوكرانيا لها، بالتزامن مع ضم أوكرانيا لحلف الناتو، ووضع روسيا أمام أمر واقع يشبه ما فعلته روسيا بضم شبه جزيرة القرم عام 2014.

ينظر الأميركيون الى اوكرانيا نظرة تضعها في مصاف ألمانيا أو اليابان عشية الحرب العالمية الثانية، حيث خمسون مليون نسمة من السكان وأكثر من 600 الف كيلو متر مربع مساحة، واقتصاد رشيق بحجم 150 مليار دولار، يحتل موقع استراتيجي في قطاع الحبوب والزيوت وتكرير المشتقات النفطية وممرات أنابيب الغاز الروسية، وصناعة التقنيات المتطورة والحديد والصلب والطائرات، وكتلة صلبة متطرفة قومياً ودينياً وعرقياً تنتمي لأصول قاتلت في الحرب العالمية الثانية ضد الجيش السوفياتي الى جانب المانيا بقيادة أدولف هتلر، ودفع الجيش الأحمر آلاف الجنود لاستعادتها، ويمثل النازيون الجدد فيها قوة لها امتدادات أوروبية وازنة في العديد من دول الجوار وصولاً إلى ألمانيا، وفي تصويت على مشروع قرار تقدّمت به روسيا تشرين الأول عام 2021 يدعو لتجريم تمجيد النازية، صوّتت واشنطن وكييف فقط ضد القرار الذي أيده 135 دولة مع روسيا وامتنع 45 عن التصويت، والاهتمام الأميركي بتشكيل أرضية صلبة للعداء لروسيا تستند إلى هذا التطلع النازي الجديد، كان أحد عناصر الرهان على إجبار الحكومات الأوروبية وخصوصاً الألمانية للتحسب لخطورة معارضة الخطة الأميركية.

الأميركيون وعدوا الأوكرانيين بضمّهم للناتو بعد حسم وضع إقليمي دونباس عسكرياً، وقاموا بتزويدهم بالسلاح والتقارير الاستخبارية استعداداً لذلك، لكن موسكو كانت تتابع، وكان إصرارها على رسالة الضمانات يسير بالتوازي مع استعداداتها للحرب، وكانت المعادلة الأولى المطروحة على طاولة القيادة الروسية، تقوم على انتظار بدء الهجوم على أقاليم دونباس من الجانب الأوكراني. وفي هذه الحالة قد تكسب موسكو إعلامياً موقعها كمدافع، لكنها قد تخسر عسكرياً، ولأن الكسب الإعلامي مؤقت، بحكم السيطرة الأميركية على انابيب الإعلام، والكسب العسكري ثابت، كانت الأفضلية للسيناريو البديل، تبدأ موسكو العمل العسكري عندما تتيقن من عدم وصول رسالة الضمانات، وتعتبر ذلك جواباً كافياً لنية الحرب، لأن لا شيء يمنع توجيهها إذا كان الحال كما يقول الأميركيون اليوم للأوكرانيين، بعدما بدأت روسيا الحرب وصار الضمّ مستحيلاً فيقولون، لن نضمكم للناتو.

الفرق بين قدرة المبادرة وتحقيق المفاجأة قد يبدو تفصيلاً، لكنه مهم جداً في الحرب، فحتى لو كانت المبادرة مفاجئة، فهي تبقي صاحبهاً ممسكاً بزمام الأمور، وهكذا حسمت موسكو أمر الحرب، متنازلة سلفاً عن ربح الشوط الأول إعلامياً وقبلت الظهور بمظهر لا ترغبه كدولة تغزو دولة أخرى، مقابل أن تربح الجولة الأولى عسكرياً، وتمتلك أفضلية النقلة الأولى على رقعة الشطرنج، وسيستمر السباق على هاتين المنصتين، موسكو تتقدّم عسكرياً، وهي واثقة من أنها تنفذ خطتها بحذافيرها، لكنها تتحمل غبار حملة إعلامية قاسية تصورها في حال إخفاق وتتهمها بارتكاب جرائم، بانتظار أن تفتح المنصة المالية، التي قاد الأميركيون فيها بسرعة حملة شرسة بهدف كش ملك من أول اللعبة، بتجميد أصول البنك المركزي وأصول البنوك الكبرى والشركات العملاقة ورجال الأعمال الكبار، والرهان الأميركي كان على تجفيف الوقود الأهم من الآلة الروسية وهو المال، وحجب دعم النخبة الحاكمة للرئيس الروسي، لكن فلاديمير بوتين بدا أنه كان مستعداً، فلاعب الشطرنج يعرف معنى لعبة تسمّى بالتبييت في حال الشعور بخطر كش ملك، هي ضربة وقائيّة يتبادل عبرها البهلول والقلعة مكانيهما، لتتولى القلعة حماية الملك.

القلعة هي الجيش من جهة، والمجتمع من جهة موازية، والجيش يواصل التقدّم وسيواصل وبقوّة ووفقاً للخطة المرسومة ولا يستطيع تعطيل مهمته أحد، أما المجتمع فهو ليس الأغنياء فيه وحدهم، فهؤلاء الذين استهدفتهم العقوبات، وعدوا بأن أملاك الشركات الغربية ورجال الأعمال الغربيين سيتم ضمها الى وصاية قضائية لتعويضهم منها مقابل خسائرهم، لكن قاعدة المجتمع التي تسأل عن الوقود والخبز واللحوم وأسعارها، فقد تمّ تحييدها عن أي تأثير سلبي للحرب، بل ان الاستهلاكيات الروسية شهدت تخفيضات تشجيعية للمواطنين للشراء، من أجل تحريك عجلة الاستهلاك، ويعتقد الاقتصاديون الروس أن تجميد صلة روسيا بالأسواق العالمية عبر تعليق العمل بالبورصة، وتقديم حوافز لبيع الروبل مقابل الذهب ورفع الفائدة على الروبل، نجحت بتحديد الخسائر في القدرة الشرائية، مع وجود احتياطيات تحت السيطرة تزيد عن 55% من إجمالي الاحتياطيات النقدية، تقدر بـ350 مليار دولار، اتاحت التحكم بالأسواق وضمنت القدرة لسنوات لتأمين الحاجات الأساسية المستوردة وهي محدودة، بينما بقي التدفق اليومي لعائدات بيع الغاز والنفط، سيولة اضافية كبيرة، تكفي الاشارة الى انه يوم أول أمس الخميس وحده قاربت مبيعات روسيا من الغاز والنفط مليار دولار مقابل 300 مليون في اليوم العادي، والسبب ارتفاع الطلب الى الضعف من جهة، وارتفاع الأسعار بين 50% للنفط و150% للغاز. من جهة موازية، وبالمقابل دخل الغرب في سباق مجنون لحرب الأسعار في أسواق الأساسيات، وهي الغذاء والنفط، فسوق القمح والذرة والزيوت روسيّة وأوكرانيّة، وقد توقفت عملياً عن التصدير، وسوق النفط والغاز هي بنسبة 50% بالنسبة لأوروبا و25% بالنسبة لأميركا روسية، لجهة حجم التأثير في الأسعار، فزاد إنفاق الأسرة العادية الأوروبية خلال أسبوع مع ارتفاع الأسعار 40% وزاد الإنفاق بالنسبة للأسرة الأميركية بنسبة 30%، والآتي أعظم.

كل يوم يمر من الحرب ستصبح المكاسب الغربية في الحرب الإعلامية والمالية كميّة، بينما المكاسب الروسية في الحرب العسكرية والاجتماعية نوعيّة، وسيظهر أن القلعة التي يمثلها الجيش والمجتمع قامت بحماية الملك، بينما على المقلب الآخر سيكون على الملك أن ينتظر كش ملك، من الجيش أو من المجتمع، لأن القلعة مجمّدة والبهلول يقود اللعبة!

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Will Erdogan’s Peacekeeping in Ukraine Work?

February 10, 2022

Claudio Gallo

His diplomatic stunts appear more aimed to protect his business while the ball is precisely over the net than an actual peace-building process.

Day by day, the western media cry wolf: “They are arriving, they are at three meters, two, one”. Cutting corners, Bloomberg, the top of the class, has already staged the invasion: why not anticipate the news? In reality, in Ukraine, we are as in the first image of Woody Allen’s 2005 movie Match Point where the shot remains frozen in the exact moment when the tennis ball is over the net. This suspension time, full of risks and opportunities, attracts some characters searching for a leadership role under the international spotlight and, of course, an image boost at home. Easy to guess we are speaking of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In the last weeks, he succeeded in defending the sale of lethal Turkish drones to the Ukrainians that are using them to terrorise Donbas and, at the same time, proposing himself as a peace mediator between Moscow and Kiev. Erdogan’s political identity card is irregular enough to give him some room for manoeuvre. But Turkey’s unpredictability, the chance to see the country in a soft version of non-alignment, stems more from its weakness and contradictions than from a position of strength that could support its credibility.

Although Ankara is the second-largest military force in Nato, after the U.S., it is buying the S-400 air defence system from Russia, rejecting the American Patriot. A little bit over rhetorically, someone in the country hailed the choice as a “country’s liberation from the West”. The gas import from Russia is crucial, and the economic ties include industrial, construction investments and tourism. Russian President Vladimir Putin has just accepted President Erdogan’s invitation to visit his country. The Turkish are expecting that the Kremlin will announce the date of his visit this month, after his return from the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Therefore, the relations with Moscow aren’t always good; sometimes, they are horrible. In Syria, Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 bomber in November 2015. Turkish weapons (the drones again) helped Azerbaijan blitz to retake Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia in the 2020 war. A strategic area for Russia. Ali Akbar Velayati, the international affairs adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that Turkey is “adding fuel to the fire”. More recently, some reports suggested the Turkish secret services not so covert involvement in Kazaksthan’s violent upheaval on December’s beginning.

After many years of Bruxelles’ closed-door politics, the love and hate engagement with Europe is fading in resentment. So, in the last decade, the Asian soul of Turkey has grown dramatically at the expense of the European one.

The NATO links are still strong, but Ankara prefers to gather Asia’s Turkish populations under its Pan-Turkish flag than under America’s Global Police. The recent killing in Syria of the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, is also seen as an American message to its eastern NATO ally. In the words of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Turkey “turned the areas of northern Syria into a safe zone for Daesh leaders”.

Ankara disowned the statement of its sworn enemies but its initial choice to sit out the war against ISIS speaks volumes.

The relationship with Tel Aviv has seen the same zigzag. Israeli-Turkish relations have been tense, especially since the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident in which IDF’s fire killed nine Turkish nationals. In May 2018, Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador in Ankara after deadly clashes between the Israeli Army and Palestinians on the Gaza border. The Turkish diplomatic counterpart had to leave Israel. For the last two years, Turkey has been trying to reactivate its ties with Israel. A few days ago, Erdogan announced an official visit of Israeli President Isaac Herzog for mid-March. Pushed by its economic difficulties, Turkey may see normalisation with Israel to improve its economy and, at the same time, its political status in the Middle East and with the US. Especially in the new climate, real or not is too early to say, produced by the Abraham Accords, Ankara is betting on an economic opening to the Gulf countries.

Erdogan’s regard for Turkey’s geopolitical stance is conditioned partially by the wishful thinking of the pan-Turkish-New Ottoman ideology. Still, his action is more substantially guided by the urge to exit the deep Turkish economy’s crisis. Turkey’s annual inflation has just risen at nearly 49%, hitting a near 20-year high and further eroding people’s ability to buy even basic things like food. The Turkish Statistical Institute stated that the consumer price index increased by just over 11% in January from the previous month. According to the data, the yearly increase in food prices was more than 55%.

The Turkish opposition parties have repeatedly questioned the Statistical Institute’s independence and data. The independent Inflation Research Group put Turkey’s actual annual inflation at a stunning 114.87%. As financial hardship has spread, the crisis has prompted criticism of the president’s recent accumulation of authority, from appointing bank policymakers to university rectors to high court judges.

Ankara’s so-called “drones diplomacy” is easier to understand in this context. Its first success was in Libya in 2020. The Bayraktar TB2, purchased by Qatar and operated by Turkish personnel, helped the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) stop Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s assault on Tripoli. The drones are manufactured by Istanbul-based Baykar, owned by Erdogan’s son-in-law Selcuk Bayraktar. Federico Borsari of the European Council on Foreign Relations noted that the Bayaktars had become a major asset: “Their most significant effects may be in the economic opportunities and political leverage they have provided Turkey”.

Further irritating Moscow, Turkey now is planning to build near Kiev a drones factory to produce the long-endurance Anka drone, made by Turkish Aerospace Industries.

Drones are not invincible; above all, their most significant advantage is comparatively low cost. Electronic countermeasures are one of the most used defences against them. Russia has the new Tor-M2 SAM; a lethal short-range air defence missile system developed expressly against drones. But in many cases, it is like “take a hammer to crack a nut”. General Oleg Salyukov, the commander of Russia’s ground forces, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta: “The cost of one guided air defence missile is way above the cost of a small-size drone. For this reason, a relatively inexpensive small missile is being developed for this system”.

President Erdogan’s peacekeeping attempt is welcome but challenging to pursue, not recognising the Russian incorporation of Crimea as legal (still, in 2008, he rushed to recognise Kosovo’s independence) and arming the Ukrainians to the teeth. More than everything, he seems not in a position to extract any concessions from NATO. His diplomatic stunts appear more aimed to protect his business while the ball is precisely over the net than an actual peace-building process.

Between Russia and the USA: Will Turkey’s Zigzags Work in the ‘Ukraine Crisis’?

February 3, 2022

Erkin Öncan

It is not possible to be at more than one table at the same time, especially in topics such as Ukraine, where tensions are at critical levels, Erkin Öncan writes.

It would be more appropriate to call this crisis a ’Russia-US/NATO crisis’, rather than Russia-Ukraine.

While the Western world continues its strategy of containing Russia at full speed, under the leadership of the USA, the Western media (propaganda device at all) continues to pump the opposite narrative: the so-called Russian occupation.

The ’Russian occupation’ narrative featured in the Western media is actually not about the steps that Russia will take militarily. This narrative is directly related to the interests of the Western empire. Besides, this ’invasion’ propaganda will cause Ukraine to become more dependent on the West. This situation enabled NATO to refresh its blood at exactly the right time, in a period when the alliance has started to be questioned even by its members.

Western media, successfully fulfilling their historical mission, continue theur disinformation efforts in line with NATO interests, by trampling on the journalistic principles they frequently voiced: Russia’s so-called invasion of Ukraine, the ’annexation’ of Crimea, the Russian separatists ’dividing’ Ukraine, and so on…

NATO’s historical role

The ’ghost of communism’ circulating in Europe in the 19th century and the ideas of equality and freedom have become much more than a ’ghost’ with the chain of socialist revolutions and national liberation movements that started to break out in the first half of the 1900s.

The uprisings and revolutions of the oppressed nations around the world have become the biggest obstacle to the global exploitation of the imperialist system. In the 1950s, Imperialism needed a tool to remove this obstacle and to establish a world of war and exploitation: NATO.

NATO was structured by imperialism, especially against the USSR, to take a position against all kinds of progressive movements around the world, under the pretext of ’the threat of communism’. The biggest argument used by this greatest apparatus of aggression to create legitimacy for itself could be none other than a ’possible Soviet invasion’.

Today, under the leadership of the US, NATO’s rhetoric and strategy are proceeding in exactly the same way. The only difference is that the ’USSR’ was replaced by the ’Russian Federation’. The Soviets no longer exist, but there is Russia, still surrounded by aggressors and Nazis.

NATO and Turkey

In this scenario, one of the most curious regional actors is Turkey. Although Turkey, as a NATO member, has acted in the interests of NATO and the USA for many years, it is not possible to say the same, especially for the last five-year period.

The relations between Turkey and the USA have been in a deteriorating trend recently, and it can be clearly seen that steps have been taken on the ground that contradict each other’s interests, despite the parties’ endless statements of ’partnership’.

To understand Turkey’s stance on Ukraine, it is important to briefly recall Turkey’s NATO adventure:

Coming to the 1950s, Turkey was at the beginning of the liquidation process of the Kemalist Revolution, which was generously helped by the USSR. Due to its location, this country was a candidate to be the ’outpost’ of the USA in the region, and the Menderes government of the time was ’perfectly cut out’ to guard this outpost. The anti-communist propaganda and the ’Soviet threat’ that was frequently voiced were also the password for Turkey’s entrance into the ’Little America’ process.

Turkey, which joined NATO on February 18, 1952, has since been reshaped according to its strategy, that is, the US military and political interests, from its National Security Strategy to its ’threat perception’, from its army structure to its military planning.

This ’Little America’ process, which started, brought with it counter-guerrilla structures such as the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Special Warfare Department, which were shaped by the American intelligence.

Turkey’s NATO process, which started in 1952, has been the main factor determining Turkey’s regional and international role for many years, regardless of the political identities of the governments in power, despite the political crises experienced from time to time. However, this long-lasting ’loyalty’ (some would say friendship or cooperation) was severely damaged after the attempted coup d’état against Erdogan’s AKP government on July 15, 2016.

In fact, the Erdogan government itself had come to power with its close messages to the European Union and the United States, and with political steps in line with the interests of the Western camp. However, the Erdogan administration’s enthusiasm for working with the Western camp began to falter to the extent that it conflicted with US interests in the region.

In Turkey’s domestic politics, it resulted in the deterioration of relations between the AKP and its old ’coalition partner’, the US-backed fundamentalist Fethullah Gülen-led movement. (later it started to be defined as a ’parallel state’ and later a terrorist organization). This also helped to boost the break-up with the US.

On the other hand, although the steps taken by the USA on Syria won support of the Erdogan administration on the borders of ’anti-Assad’, the USA’s choice of the YPG for its Syria plans and the large amount of weapons and financial aid it provided became another important factor that spoiled relations. The YPG is considered a branch of Turkey’s long-time enemy PKK and designated as a terrorist organization.

In the same historical period as relations with the United States were strained, the Erdogan administration ’started to explore’ its northern neighbor, Russia. Despite high-tension topics, such as the downed Russian plane and the killing of Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov (these events were described by the Erdogan administration as the activities of the Gülen organization), relations with Russia continued to improve with various agreements, including the most ’shocking one’ for NATO: Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.

But, when we analyze Turkey’s relations with the USA and Russia from an overview, it is possible to say that the development potential of relations with Russia still depends on the level of tension between Turkey and the US. Even in the S-400 discussions between Turkey and the United States, Erdogan’s administration and its staff have repeatedly argued that ‘Turkey was forced to do this to ensure its own security’ and that the NATO allies, especially the United States, ‘did not act in accordance with the spirit of alliance’.

Therefore, Turkey, despite its potential to be an important partner for Russia, evaluates its relations with Russia in terms of the possibility of severing it from the United States.

What can Turkey do about Ukraine?

On the Ukraine issue, it is possible to see the same attitude mentioned above in Turkish high-level officials, especially Erdogan. First of all, the Erdogan administration, which has assumed the role of a ’regional actor’, reminds that its place on the NATO front is fixed at the end of the day, even though it takes its steps in this direction by using a policy of balance.

Precisely for this reason, it is possible to define it as a ’zigzag policy’ rather than a balance policy.

The Erdogan administration’s first wish for Ukraine is ’no war’. However, Erdogan stated that Turkey is ready to ‘take all steps’ to prevent a war in Ukraine, while at the same time he declared that they ‘respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity’ and ‘always oppose Russia’s invasion of Crimea’. On the other hand, it is an important to note that the Erdogan administration, which does not want war in the region, continues to sell Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles to Ukraine.

Again, Erdogan says: ‘We need to tell Russia why some of its demands are unacceptable,’ on the Ukraine crisis, and at the same time criticizes the US and NATO’s weapon aid to the YPG in Syria.

Alongside Erdoğan, another important figure in Turkish politics, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, said: ‘Sharing NATO’s values and responsibilities, Turkey has successfully fulfilled all the duties and missions entrusted to it since 1952. NATO is the most successful defense alliance in history. We believe that the alliance is more active and alive than ever before.’

These seemingly contradictory statements of Erdoğan are not only related to the zigzags between the USA and Russia, but also directly related to his own party and political tradition. ’Americanism’ is still a very strong political trend in Turkey’s political circles. The narrative of ‘Russian politics’’ in Turkey is still heavily influenced by the anti-Russian rhetoric that marked the country’s last 50 years. It is possible to see a considerable level of ’Russophobia’ in Turkish political circles. Therefore, Turkey, which goes back and forth between the USA and Russia, seems to continue to play this balance game for a while.

The Turkish conservative-right politics represented by the AKP often use a phrase to explain this zigzag policy: ‘We will be at every table.’ Acting with this spirit, the AKP administration aims to get the most profit from every table it sits at.

However, it is clear that it is not possible to be at more than one table at the same time, especially in topics such as Ukraine, where tensions rise at critical levels. Moreover, while every actor in the region has their own chair where they can sit safely, Turkey still walks around the tables for now.

Turkey’s stance on Ukraine is critical. But, as NATO increases the level of aggression against Russia day by day, the usual strategy of Turkey, which wants to play a mediator role between Russia and the United States, will not work. The Ukrainian agenda has become too hot to be postponed with the usual peace wishes. Turkey will have to choose a side one way or another.

This goal will never be achieved as long as Erdogan’s administration and AKP, who say they ‘aim to be a playmaker in the regional and international arena’, index Turkey’s destiny to ‘asking for one more chance every time’ from NATO and the USA.

الغارات على مرفأ اللاذقية وماذا بعد؟

الاربعاء 29 كانون أول 2021


إسرائيل تقصف ميناء اللاذقية للمرة الثانية في ديسمبر 2021

لا تأتي خطورة الغارات الإسرائيلية التي استهدفت مرفأ اللاذقية من كونها- كما يزعم الإسرائيليون- استهدفت حاويات تحمل معدات عسكرية، فتلك لا يتم تركها في أرض المرفأ، فكيف في ساحة الحاويات، إلا أن الخطورة تأتي من أن الاستهداف المتكرر للمرفأ عبر غارات جوية من جهة البحر، يفتح الباب لتساؤلات حول العلاقة السورية- الروسية، ما تتهم به موسكو أمام الرأي العام، السوري خصوصاً والعربي عموماً بأنها راضية عن هذه الغارات، أو لا تمانع بها، بدليل أن استهداف يتم في حضن موسكو العسكري، حيث بطاريات صواريخ الأس أس 400 التي تربض في حميميم، التي قيل إنها تستطيع كشف الطائرات الإسرائيلية، وهي على مدرجات الإقلاع من الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة.

حسناً فعلت القيادة العسكرية الروسية في حميميم باصدار بيان يشرح كيفية حدوث الغارات، وإشارته إلى أن الدفاعات الجوية السورية التي تتعامل عادة مع هذه الغارات لم يتم تفعيلها من قبل الجيش السوري لتزامن الغارات مع عبور  طائرة نقل جوي عسكري روسية في ذات الأجواء بذات التوقيت، تفادياً لتكرار الحادثة التي تسببت بسقوط طائرة روسية مشابهة في أيلول عام 2018، ومن البديهي أيضاً ألا تكون شبكات الصواريخ الروسية مفعلة للاعتبار ذاته، والبيان الروسية يأتي تأكيداً لاتهام سابق سوري- روسي للإسرائيليين بالاحتماء بالطائرات المدنية أثناء تنفيذ الغارات الجوية على سورية، وهذا يعني أن “إسرائيل” تتحدى سورية وروسيا معاً، ولا تترك مجالاً لردعها مع تعطيل فرص اسقاط الصواريخ، إلا بجعلها تدفع ثمن الغارات بما يردعها عن التفكير بتكرارها.

لا سورية تستطيع تحمل أن يمر الأمر من دون رد، ولا روسيا تستطيع المطالبة بضبط النفس، وتحمل التمادي الإسرائيلي من دون خطوة رادعة، وقد آن الأوان لضربة موجعة تقول إنه من الآن وصاعداً، العين بالعين والسن بالسن، والمرفأ بالمرفأ، والمطار بالمطار، وما لا تطاله الطائرات تطاله الصواريخ.

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State of American Hypocrisy!

November 21, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

Senator Ted Cruz, a member of the Republican Party, was the key figure who introduced legislation to exempt India from sanctions under the 2017 CAATSA for buying the Russian S-400 system.

Russian news agencies reported that Russia has started delivering the first of the S-400s to India, citing Dmitry Shugayev, head of the Russian military cooperation agency, who said the first S-400 unit will have arrived in India at the end of this year. The deal was reached in 2018, and Russia has started the delivery. It has created an imbalance of power in the region. India may attain supremacy in the region after the deployment of S-400, as no country in the whole area has S-400.

If truth be told, the US policies are always discriminatory since they imposed sanctions for Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system but have exempted India for the same move.

As a matter of fact, the US policies are discriminatory. They imposed the sanction on Turkey, a NATO member, to deal with Russia for S-400 but exempt India. Turkey was a close ally with the US during the cold war era and a significant partner in countering communism. Turkey’s contribution to the Western World is huge and known well. Turkey was a buffer state between Russian and Europe and protected them against communist threats. Technologically, Turkey is well advanced, and that was why the US included Turkey in the development of F-35 fighter jets. But, as an overreaction of the S-400 deal, The US sidelined Turkey from F-35. Unfair!

Similarly, President Trump imposed sanctions on Iran after leaving the Nuclear agreement but allowed India to maintain trade relations with Iran routinely. India exploited the situation and gained maximum economic benefits. India was importing Oil and Gas at concessional rates from Iran and exporting its products at higher prices. Also, India got many projects in Iran, as the American sanctions bared many other countries to keep away from Iran, leaving the ground open for India only. So India was facing no competition and getting projects at the price of their own desires. The biggest project India was involved in in Iran was Road and Railway networks. It allowed India to reach all parts of Iran, so India established a strong network of its agents in length and width of Iran. These agents were also working for America as well as Israel. They were providing ground support for all types of evil activities against Iran. The worth mentioning is recent attacks of Israel on Iranian nuclear assets, sites, personals, etc. These attacks were Cyberattacks, Artificial Intelligence Technologies, and very much precise. All this is possible if ground support, ground data, ground support is available. It is suspected that Indian agents deployed all over Iran under cover of several projects are coordinating with Americans or Israelis. Without such networks, Isreal can not execute very precise targets. India was the beneficiary of all turmoils and exploited all opportunities in its interests.

American legislations are only for adversaries, but her dears, like India, always enjoy exceptions and relaxations. Americans are exposed and are losing credibility. Discriminatory policies may never sustain longer and may reach an end, but after damaging American reputation. It might cause irreparable damage to America. Once upon a time, there was a country where justice and equality prevailed, but that was in history. Today, discrimination, partiality, injustice prevails in American society, and civil unrest is visible all over America. Anti-American sentiments are on the rise worldwide.

It is believed that having lost trust and credibility, the discriminatory policies of the US may never sustain longer and have caused irreparable damage to America. The recent civil unrest in America is due to its narrow-mindedness, bias policies, and targeting certain ethnicities, religions, or races. Well said, the injustice may never sustain forever. The righteous and wrong must be differentiated. When cruelty exceeds all limits, God Almighty’s ultimate authority replaces nations who are invaders, aggressors, and proud with the humble, oppressed, and God-fearing nations.

Hypocrisy will never stay long, and one day, others will understand and react. The media is in the control of a few world powers, misleading the rest of the world. Just for reference, after dropping Atom Boms in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945, some of the so-called leading media from America visited Japan at the sites of Atom bombs. They reported no signs of radioactivity in Japan, which means fooling people that no Atom bomb was dropped on Japan. However, people in Japan yet suffers due to radioactivity. Unfortunate!

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail:

Turkish conflict with United States

Turkish conflict with United States

July 14, 2021

by Batko Milacic – Independent analyst – for The Saker Blog

The events in the Middle East have made a large number of interstate relations of the former “allies” very complicated due to the large-scale operation “Arab Spring”. After the failure of the original idea of creating the Great Middle East, a project in which the main role was played by Washington, in alliance primarily with the Gulf monarchies but also with Turkey, there was a great redefinition of relations within the axis.

Realizing that its interests in the region will not be satisfied in the alliance with the United States, Turkey turned another page in foreign policy, trying to satisfy its own interests, thus at the same time defying the synergistic policy of the NATO pact in the Middle East.

This act was a revolt within the NATO bloc itself. The most concrete results were seen with the realization of the “Turkish Stream” project with Russia and the purchase of modern S-400 anti-aircraft systems from Russia, despite numerous warnings from official Washington.

However, the question arises as to what other choice the Turkish leadership had. The “Arab Spring” project failed, and European leaders were clear that Turkey would not become a member of the European Union. On the other hand, out of its own interests in the war against Syria, Washington continued to support the Kurds and their parastate in northeastern Syria, thus calling into question Turkey’s national interests.

Faced with these problems, Turkey has decided to formulate its own policy, of course paying the price. The coup organized against Erdogan was the best example of how Washington does not forgive betrayal but also neither the change in foreign policy of “allies“. Especially when foreign policy is not in line with the interests of official Washington.

The surviving coup was a good lesson for the Turkish leadership that the United States is a superpower, and that enmity with Washington is costly. This was best felt by Turkish citizens, as Turkey’s economy has weakened significantly, because of the escalation of economic sanctions by Washington towards Turkey.

However, strong pressure from Washington further united the Turks. The lived experience, regardless of the political differences, united a significant part of the Turkish, primarily nationalist opposition, with Erdogan in relation to the United States. Erdogan has begun to pursue an increasingly Turkish-oriented foreign policy. Turkish society, especially its nationalist and secular elements reached the historical peak of contempt for US foreign policy.

Turkey, no matter how economically weaker than the United States, has shown that it is not a small nation that a “big boss” can discipline simply as it has in some other periods of history. The example of Turkish resistance to subordinate its policy to Washington interests is becoming dangerous, because the Turkish example of sovereignty of foreign policy and rebellion within the NATO pact can be followed by others.

Turkish nationalism got a new impetus by merging what previously seemed incompatible, and that is the greatest merit of US politics. With the failed Gulenist coup against Erdogan, Washington showed that it tried to treat this great nation as Haiti, which awakened Turkish national pride and opened the biggest gap in relations with the United States so far.

On the other hand, Russia, which was originally and still is in a geopolitical conflict with Turkey, accepted Turkish sovereignist policy and showed that, unlike America, it wants cooperation with Turkey and wants to treat Turkey without humiliation. In addition to the aforementioned “Turkish Stream” and the S-400 system, cooperation has also been established in the field of nuclear energy.

It is also very indicative that the last war in the Caucasus passed with the coordination of Moscow and Ankara, for mutual benefit. And guess who was the biggest loss of that war? Again of course the United States!

Russia and Turkey have demonstrated in a simple way who is the boss in the region, and that Washington is incapable of protecting its “allies”. This is especially related to Armenia, whose government is headed by a pro-US prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan. Turkey was a demonstrator of force through Azerbaijan, while Russia appeared as a protector, which was another slap in the face for Washington. Turkish society is increasingly mobilizing against the United States, especially in the media. The extent to which Turkish society is antagonized in relation to the United States is best shown by the new Turkish documentary “Dying Empire”:

أميركا عادت… ماذا عن أفغانستان؟

 ناصر قنديل

خلال أسبوع سمعنا خطابين تاريخيين للرئيسين الروسي فلاديمير بوتين والصيني جينغ شي بينغ، والخطابان يتكاملان في إعلان صلابة الثبات بوجه السياسات الأميركية، تظللهما سنوات من التقدّم في جغرافيا آسيا اقتصادياً عبر خريطة الحزام والطريق، وعسكرياً عبر شبكة أس أس 400، وتتوسطهما شريكتهما إيران وهي تقود شبكة حركات المقاومة ومحورها في المنطقة، ويصير خطاب ولّى زمن التنمّر، مكملاً لخطاب ولى زمن التهميش، ومعها خطاب ولّى زمن التهديد، الذي ترجمته حركات المقاومة بخطاب ولّى زمن الهزائم، ويقابل كل ذلك خطاب أطلقه الرئيس الأميركي من اجتماع حلف الأطلسي تحت عنوان أميركا عادت، فهل عادت أميركا؟

يستغرق كثيرون، بعض نيات طيبة وعدم انتباه وبعض بتنفيذ تعليمات، في ترويج نظرية التفرغ الأميركي للمواجهة مع الصين، بإيحاء أن كل ما يجري يجد تفسيره في معرفة ما تريده أميركا، وهو إيحاء مخادع للعقل، حيث أميركا متفرّغة لمواجهة ثلاثي روسيا والصين وإيران خلال عقد طويل شهد الحروب والعقوبات والتفاوض ومحاولات الإغراء والاستفراد، وانتهى بالفشل الأميركي، لأن روسيا والصين وإيران مثلث قوة آسيا وصعودها، نماذج لدول الاستقلال الوطني ومفهوم خصوصية الدولة الوطنية في قلب العولمة، في مواجهة نموذج العولمة المتوحشة، ونهاية التاريخ عند النموذج الأميركي وتعميمه. وما يجمع بكين وموسكو وطهران هو قرار بإخراج أميركا من آسيا بصفتها قوة أجنبيّة، وإعادة صياغة العلاقات الآسيوية الغربية على أسس المصالح واحترام حقوق السيادة، وإلغاء كل وجود عسكري أجنبي، والتصدي لكل محاولات للهيمنة السياسية والاقتصادية، انطلاقاً من أن الدول المعنية هي دول آسيوية فاعلة تمثل أكثر من نصف مساحة آسيا وعدد سكانها وحجمها الاقتصاديّ وقوتها العسكرية.

عودة أميركا تعني إما تقدماً في مشروع الهيمنة يحتاج استثمار فائض قوة عسكرية، لا تملكه أميركا، ويعترف بايدن أنه لا يملك القدرة على التفكير بجعله مشروعاً لولايته، مكثراً من الحديث عن الدبلوماسية كبديل، وإلا فالبديل هو التراجع عن مشروع الهيمنة والتصالح مع الشعوب والاعتراف بحقوقها، وهذا يحتاج إلى فائض قوة أخلاقيّ يبدو واضحاً أن بايدن لا يملكه ولا يتجرأ على التصريح به كخيار، فهو يعد بإنقاذ مشروع الهيمنة، تحت شعار الدبلوماسية والاستعانة بالحلفاء، فهل حملت لقاءات السبعة الكبار خطة قادرة على منافسة الصين، وقد خرجت بمناشدة الصين إعادة النظر بتوسيع استثماراتها في البنى التحتيّة لدول آسيا، وبعدم مواصلة بيع منتجاتها بأسعار لا يملك الغرب قدرة منافستها. وهل خرج مؤتمر حلف الأطلسي بخطة للتفوق العسكري على تصاعد القوة الروسية، وكانت آخر منتجاتها هي الرهان على نجاح الرئيس التركي بإقناع الرئيس الروسي بتغطية نشر قوات تركية في أفغانستان وأذربيجان، قبل أن يصل الجواب الروسي الحازم والقاطع بالرفض؟

تقدم أفغانستان صورة واضحة عن المشهد الدولي الجديد، أو على الأقل مشهد آسيا الجديد، حيث كانت الحرب الأميركية على أفغانستان قبل عشرين عاماً تماماً، وخلال هذين العقدين قال الأميركيون إنهم رعوا قيام بناء دولة جديدة في أفغانستان، وهم اليوم يعلنون الانسحاب ويتهيأون للاحتفال بذكرى الحرب وقد خرجت قواتهم، التي قالوا إن بعضاً منها سيبقى لحراسة المنشآت والعناصر الدبلوماسية، بينما كل شيء يقول في أفغانستان إن الجيش المحلي الذي رعاه الأميركيون ينهار ويتفكك على إيقاع الانسحاب، وإن الآلاف منه هربوا الى باكستان، وتبدو العاصمة كابول مرشحة للسقوط سريعاً، ومعها لن يكون متاحاً للأميركيين حتى الحفاظ على القوة التي قرروا الحفاظ عليها في كابول، بما يستعيد للذاكرة مشهد مغادرتهم لفييتنام، فماذا يستطيعون القول إنهم حققوه خلال عشرين عاماً كلفت تريليونات الدولارات وآلاف الجنود القتلى؟

منذ انتصار سورية وحلفائها في معركة حلب، وآسيا دخلت مرحلة التحرّر من مشروع الهيمنة الأميركية، واليمن مثال صارخ على حال الحليف المالي الأول للأميركي في المنطقة، وفلسطين مثال على حال الحليف العسكري للأميركي في المنطقة، وما يجري في أفغانستان مثال على ما سيجري في كل ساحات آسيا، حيث الاحتلال الأميركي.

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السيد نصرالله يقطع نصف الطريق بنجاح


Sayyed Nasrallah Vows to Keep Serving the Lebanese People on Every Level: Iranian Fuel Promise Still Valid
 ناصر قنديل

خاض الأمين العام لحزب الله ملفات عديدة في كلمته أمس، وقد خرج منها بحصيلة لا يُستهان بها، فقد نجح بقطع نصف الطريق على خصومه في الملفات التي ناقشها سجالياً، كملف تسليح الجيش اللبناني وملف المثالثة المفترضة في بعض الطروحات المتداولة كفزاعة سياسية حول علاقات الطوائف، وبالمقابل نجح بقطع نصف الطريق نحو خط النهاية في إنجاز الهدف، في الملفات التي تناولها من باب الإشارة لما يقوم به حزب الله أو سيقوم به، كحال المسعى المتجدّد لتنشيط المسار الحكوميّ، أو ملف استيراد المحروقات من إيران بالليرة اللبنانية.

في البعد السجالي حول الجيش اللبناني والحديث الأميركيّ عن الرهان على تقويته بوجه حزب الله أصاب السيد نصرالله بالتساؤل عما إذا كان الأميركي حريصاً على الجيش عندما يحرّضه على فريق كبير من اللبنانيين ويحرّض هذا الفريق وبيئته على الجيش ويثير شكوكه حول دور الجيش، بينما في موضوع التسليح الذي يُراد من حزب الله أن يخشاه، فالسيد يؤكد انه أول المؤيدين والساعين لتقوية الجيش وتعزيز مقدراته وسلاحه وأن الأميركي هو العقبة أمام هذا التعزيز. وبالطبع يعرف كل متابع كيف ان دولة في حلف الأطلسي مثل تركيا تلجأ لصواريخ دفاع جويّ روسية، ويمنع الجيش اللبناني من أن يشتري أي سلاح نوعيّ يمكّنه من التصدي للاعتداءات الإسرائيلية المتمادية على سيادته وأجوائه.

في البعد السجالي المتفرّع عن كلام رئيس التيار الوطني الحر النائب جبران باسيل حول الاستعانة بالسيد نصرالله كصديق، أصاب السيد هدفه بالتساؤل عما إذا كانت الاستعانة بغير الصديق وغير اللبناني مقبولة، بينما الاستعانة باللبناني الصديق مذمومة، مضيفاً أن فزاعة المثالثة مبنية على كذبة. فالصيغة المقترحة للحكومة ليس فيها الا ثمانية واحدة، هي حصة رئيس الجمهورية والتيار الوطني الحر كسقف يحول دون امتلاكهما الثلث المعطل، أما الباقي فحصص مختلفة لتشكيلات طائفية وسياسية متعددة لا يمكن احتسابها الا تلفيقاً ضمن معادلات ثمانيات رديفة بنيّة تصويرها تعبيراً عن لعبة مثالثة تجعل التمثيل السياسي من الحصة المسيحيّة لقوى كالمردة والقوميين مجرد امتداد شيعيّ، وقوى وازنة درزياً امتداداً للحصة السنية، ولذلك كل حديث المثالثة مفتعل، ولا حاجة لمناقشته.

في الحديث عن قضيّة المحروقات ساجل السيد نصرالله الذين لا يرحمون اللبنانيين ولا يريدون أن تنزل رحمة الله عليهم، فاعتراضهم على شراء المحروقات من إيران بالليرة اللبنانية، يترجم بقيامهم بتأمين بديل أفضل، فليقوموا بذلك وسنكون أول المباركين، ولديهم أصدقاء لا تطالهم العقوبات، فليذهبوا إليهم كما ذهبنا الى أصدقائنا، وعندها نقبل ملاحظاتهم، أما أن يكون بديلهم الوحيد ترك اللبنانيين نهشاً لطوابير الذل والأسعار الملتهبة فذلك سقوط أخلاقي وتعبير عن انعدام روح المسؤولية واحتكام للحقد لا للسياسة. وتبقى المهزلة في ما قاله رئيس حزب القوات اللبنانية عن أنه ليس لدى إيران بنزين لتبيعه للبنان بينما منظمة أوبك تعتبرها الدولة الأولى في إنتاج البنزين وفائض إنتاجها عن استهلاكها يعادل استهلاك لبنان عشرين مرة.

في جوهر مشكلة الحكومة، قطع السيد نصرالله نصف الطريق أيضاً، فهو تلقف بنيّة حسنة ما قاله باسيل بنية حسنة أيضاً. وأعلن ان المتابعة قائمة والاستعداد مستمر، والهدف هو المساعدة على الجبهات المعنية بتشكيل الحكومة لحل منصف قاعدته مبادرة رئيس مجلس النواب نبيه بري. وما قاله السيد نصرالله منح اللبنانيين الأمل بأن الأمور ليست في طريق مسدود، حتى لو لم يكن الحل غداً، فإن المساعي مستمرة ولا مكان لليأس فيها، ووجود قوة قادرة على الحفاظ على ثقة المعنيين الأساسيين بالملف الحكومي بمثل ما هو حزب الله والسيد نصرالله اليوم يعطي اللبنانيين بعض الأمل أمام السواد الذي يُحيط بهم، ويفتح كوة في الجدار لبصيص ضوء في نهاية النفق، لأن عتبة كل مساهمة جدّية في الخروج من النفق تبدأ بولادة حكومة، والنهوض عبرها بدور الدولة ومؤسساتها.

في الشأن الاقتصادي والاجتماعي كما في الشأن الحكومي، كان السيد نصرالله صادقاً وشفافاً مع اللبنانيين فصارحهم بأن الآتي أشدّ قسوة، وأننا في طريق رفع الدعم ولو بعد حين، لكنه من موقع الإدراك لأهمية تخفيف الضغط عن طلب الدولار من السوق متمسك بمبادرته باستيراد المحروقات بالليرة اللبنانيّة، حيث تشكل فاتورة المحروقات نصف فاتورة الاستيراد، التي سيجري تمويلها بمزيد من الطلب على الدولار عندما يتوقف مصرف لبنان عن تأمين دولارات الاستيراد، ولأن إيران كدولة صديقة وافقت على بيعنا المحروقات، فنحن ماضون في سعينا مبشراً بأن كل الترتيبات اللوجستية والإدارية أنجزت وعندما تدق الساعة ويتخذ القرار، لن نحتاج الا لإطلاق الحركة للتنفيذ.

في زمن يعمّ فيه السواد، جاء كلام السيد نصرالله بكل ما فيه واقعياً يلامس وجع الناس، كما في كلامه على قطع الطرقات، ودعوته للقيادات لقدر من المقاربة الأخلاقيّة لمسؤولياتهم تجاه من يمنحهم ثقته من الناس، وهم يرون الذل والهوان والوجع والألم، في عيون المواطنين ولا يحرّكون ساكناً، ولا يقدمون على ما يجب فعله بالحد الأدنى لتخفيف المعاناة، ولعل بعض ما تمّ وما سيتمّ يأتي على إيقاع محاولة تفادي الخيارات التي بشّر بها السيد نصرالله، التي ستحلّ ساعتها مهما استأخروها.

نصف الطريق نعم، لكنه نصف صع1ب، وقطعه يسهّل قطع النصف الثاني.

هل بدأ أردوغان بالتراجع؟

التعليق السياسي

خلال قمة حلف الأطلسي نفش الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان ريشه الطاووسي، بصفته الجهة الوحيدة التي تتجرأ على تحمّل مسؤولية التمركز في مطار كابول بعد انسحاب القوات الأميركية والأطلسية منها، وعلى نشر جنوده في قاعدة عسكرية في أذربيجان بدلاً من قاعدة أميركية قيد الإغلاق، حافظاً ماء وجه الحلف، طالباً ثمناً لذلك طي صفحة شرائه للصواريخ الروسية أس أس 400، والتغاضي عن مماطلته بالانسحاب من ليبيا.

بالتوازي ظن أردوغان أنه سيلتقي بالرئيس الروسي بالريش الطاووسي ذاته باعتباره أنقذ صفقة صواريخ أس أس 400 من الضغوط الأميركية وكان وفياً لها، آملا بأن يكون الثمن مباركة روسية لنشر قوات تركية يفترض أنها صديقة لروسيا مكان القوات الأميركية العدوة في أفغانستان وأذربيجان.

فوجئ أردوغان بموقف لافت لحركة طالبان ينذره بمعاملة قواته كقوات احتلال إذا وصلت لمطار كابول للحلول مكان القوات الأميركية، وتلاه موقف روسي واضح على لسان الرئيس بوتين أن موسكو لن تتسامح مع نشر جنود تابعين لحلف الأطلسي في دول على حدودها كأفغانستان وأذربيجان، بمعزل عن هوية الدولة المعنيّة العضو في الناتو وعلاقتها بروسيا، وبعدها صدرت مواقف روسية تربط أي حل في أفغانستان بتلاقي دول الجوار، خصوصاً إيران وباكستان، من دون الإشارة الى تركيا.

بالأمس وبشكل مفاجئ خرجت قناة الجزيرة بحوار مع رئيس لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في البرلمان التركي، للتحدث عن ملفات السياسة الخارجية، فقال إن التوجّه للانتشار في أفغانستان لا يزال قيد النقاش، ويجب أن يحظى بموافقة مسبقة من الأطراف المحلية ومن دول الجوار، ثم تحدّث عن التوجّه الى أذربيجان فقال إن ذلك يجب أن يحظى بموافقة روسيا جارة أذربيجان وشريكة تركيا في العديد من الملفات، وأشاد بالحاجة لصواريخ أس أس 400، ملمحاً إلى أن مثل هذه الخطوات عند بلوغها مرحلة متقدّمة تحتاج موافقة من البرلمان.

في العديد من الدول يتم اللجوء للموافقة البرلمانية كذريعة للتهرّب من مسؤولية مواقف تتسبب بالإحراج للحكومة. وهذا ما فعلته باكستان يوم شكلت السعودية للتحالف للحرب على اليمن ووضعت اسم باكستان ضمن التحالف فعلقت باكستان بإعلان تمسكها بالتحالف مع السعودية مشيرة الى أن أية مشاركة لها في تحالف عسكري تحتاج إلى موافقة البرلمان، والإحراج الكبير اليوم هو في كيفية تراجع أردوغان عن التزامات قدمها للرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن، ويبدو أن الطريق للتراجع بدأ بإحالة الأمر إلى حجة الحاجة لموافقة البرلمان، بعدما صارت التحذيرات الروسية واضحة.

إردوغان وبايدن والأرمن.. ليته لم يتصل! Erdogan, Biden, and the Armenians… If Only He Hadn’t Called!

! Erdogan, Biden, and the Armenians… If Only He Hadn’t Called!


US Vice President Biden with Turkish Madman Erdogan April 2016
حسني محلي

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

Five years ago, and specifically, on April 23, 2016, Recep Tayyip Erdogan received then US Vice President Joe Biden in his office in Sultan Abdul Hamid’s palace and sat him on the golden royal chair, noting that he was 80 minutes late after he was in a private lunch with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whom Erdogan “expelled” a month later after this occasion.

Five years after this meeting, President Biden, 3 months after his election, surprised his Turkish counterpart by calling yesterday (24 April), which carried with it many annoying and even humiliating meanings for him. The White House said “Biden called him to tell him that he would describe what the Armenians were subjected to in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Empire as genocide and ethnic cleansing,” which he did on Saturday evening.

US President also promised Erdogan to have “a lengthy and expanded” meeting on the sidelines of the Atlantic summit in Brussels next June, during which all issues of concern to Turkish-American relations in all their aspects will be discussed; bilateral, regional, and international, which may require many hours of discussion due to the heated nature of these issues, including the Russian “S-400” missiles, the relationship with Moscow, the situation in the Black Sea, the Turkish role in NATO, and its details include the Syrian crisis and American support for the Kurds, the situation in Iraq and the Turkish role in it, the Turkish-Iranian relations, the Turkish role in the region, democracy, and human rights in Turkey…

The former Turkish ambassador to Washington, Shukri Al-Akdag, expected “a difficult stage in Turkish-American relations during the coming period,” and pointed out that “Biden has not yet received the credentials of the new (Turkish) ambassador, Murat Morjan, and he has been waiting for him for 6 weeks.” The two countries are at the last turning point in their history, all because of President Erdogan’s wrong policies regionally, internationally, and internally.

Erdogan, who spoke highly of his intimate relations with Biden when he said on December 9 last year, “Biden visited me at my house when I was sick,” seems to have forgotten or ignored when he said about him in December 2019 that he is “tyrannical and must be disposed of democratically through supporting the opposition.”

On October 3, 2014, (Biden) said on Turkey, Erdogan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, “It supported all jihadist terrorist groups, including ISIS and Al-Nusra, to get rid of President Assad, and spent millions of dollars, and transferred weapons and foreign terrorists to Syria.”

In all cases, and while awaiting the Atlantic summit in Brussels on June 14, everyone knows that President Erdogan will face many difficult and complex challenges in the entirety of his regional and international calculations, due to his contradictions, which seem to have brought Turkey to the end of the dark road. A good example of this is Washington’s decision to exclude it from the F-35 project, due to its purchase of Russian S-400 missiles, without this being sufficient to win the favor of Moscow, which said a day after this decision: “Russia will reconsider its military relations with Ankara if it continues to send its drones to Ukraine.”

Erdogan’s efforts to reconcile with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, and later “Israel”, constitute another example of these contradictions that President Erdogan is preparing to exploit in his upcoming and decisive meeting with Biden. The former Turkish ambassador to Washington, Namiq Tan, expecting this meeting “to put points on the letters in the future of Turkish-American relations, in all its political, military, and economic aspects, this will require Erdogan to accept or reject the requests and conditions of Biden, who knows the extent of the strategic importance of Turkey.

The statements of the two Turkish ambassadors, Al-Akdag and Tan, clearly reflect how important the next few days are for Erdogan, who has only to close all the files that will be on the table during his meeting with Biden. This will require him to clarify the image of the relationship with his friend, President Putin, with all its implications for Turkish-Russian coordination and cooperation in Syria in the first place, because Washington has its own calculations there, and in particular its support for the Kurds, despite Turkey’s deep concern about that.

The prevailing opinion in Turkey is that Erdogan tends to accept most of the conditions and demands of President Biden, who will not be late in supporting Ankara to get it out of its serious economic and financial crisis, as getting out of this crisis will help the Turkish president to address all his internal problems and get rid of the opposition pressures that he will easily overcome if Washington flooded him with its dollars that would tickle the feelings of the Turkish citizen, without being indifferent to what Erdogan offered or would offer in terms of concessions to the strategic ally Washington.

Turkey has been for many years a “fish in its hook that cannot be easily disposed of,” and the saying here is by former US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and the ultimate decision by President Biden, and Erdogan before him, because he has not yet determined the course of his regional and international policies, beginning with Iran, with their implications on all regional issues, the most important of which is Syria, Iran, and Yemen, due to the concerns of “Israel” in it, and finally with Russia, which Biden wanted to try his luck with it in Ukraine, in which its response was firm, decisive and clear.

In all cases, and whatever the content and duration of the possible meeting between Erdogan and Biden on June 14, the recognizing of the Armenian genocide by the latter will worry Ankara, with or without Erdogan, as his recognition of this genocide, which 28 countries have recognized so far, maybe followed by the demands of the Armenians for monetary compensation for their property in Turkey, after they were expelled from it at and during the First World War.

Although these potential demands are reminiscent of Israel’s demand for material compensation from the Arab countries that the Jews left after the “establishment of the Hebrew state” in 1948, some expect Tel Aviv and the Jewish lobbies in Washington to impede the Armenian demands, so that they continue to exploit emotional sentiment and global human solidarity with the victims of the Nazi genocide of the Jews at and during the First World War.

Intercontinental Wars – Part 3 The Open Confrontation

Others expect Tel Aviv and the Jewish lobbies to provoke the Armenians in the issue of compensation, as this would be a card that would help Tel Aviv in its attempts to pressure Ankara to force it to reconcile or keep it away from any hostile approach to it, with the continuation of Turkish contradictions in this area, especially after the so-called “Spring” Arabi”.

Despite the threat and menacing that President Erdogan issued, on more than one occasion, against “Israel” and Netanyahu, Ankara did not use the right of veto against “Israel” joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and opening an Israeli representation at NATO headquarters.

The file of the Marmara ship case was also closed in exchange for 20 million dollars donated by Tel Aviv to the families of the victims, at a time when trade exchange between the two countries reached record numbers, with the continued flow of Azerbaijani and Iraqi oil from Turkish ports to Israel.

There is no doubt that President Biden attaches special importance to these issues in Washington’s regional policies, regardless of the shape and size of the apathy with Netanyahu, given that “Israel” is a distinct American product that Washington does not want anyone to say it is corrupt and not consumable anymore, provided that the recognition of the genocide is an emotional issue with a weak displaced people without diminishing regional and international calculations, especially after the recent displacement they were subjected to from Syria and Iraq, without any indifference from Biden and Macron, who tweeted today to say: “We will not forget you!”

إردوغان وبايدن والأرمن.. ليته لم يتصل!

حسني محلي

الرأي السائد في تركيا أن يتجه إردوغان للقبول بمعظم شروط بايدن ومطالبه، والذي لن يتأخر حينها في دعم أنقرة لإخراجها من أزمتها الاقتصادية والمالية الخطيرة.

حسني محلي

باحث علاقات دولية ومختصص بالشأن التركي

المصدر: الميادين نت

24 نيسان 2021

السفير التركي السابق في واشنطن، شكري الأكداغ، توقع
السفير التركي السابق في واشنطن، شكري الأكداغ، توقع “مرحلة صعبة في العلاقات التركية – الأميركية خلال المرحلة القادمة”.

قبل 5 سنوات، وتحديداً في 23 نيسان/أبريل 2016، استقبل رجب طيب إردوغان نائب الرئيس الأميركي آنذاك، جو بايدن، في مكتبه في قصر السلطان عبد الحميد، وأجلسه على الكرسي السلطاني المذهّب، علماً أنه تأخر عن موعده 80 دقيقة، بعد أن كان في حفل غداء خاص مع رئيس الوزراء أحمد داود أوغلو، الذي “طرده” إردوغان بعد شهر من هذه المناسبة. 

بعد هذا اللقاء بخمس سنوات، فاجأ الرئيس بايدن، وبعد 3 أشهر من انتخابه، نظيره التركي باتصاله الهاتفي أمس، والذي حمل في طياته الكثير من المعاني المزعجة، وحتى المهينة بالنسبة إليه، فقد ذكر البيت الأبيض “إن بايدن اتصل به ليقول له إنه سيصف ما تعرض له الأرمن في العام 1915 على يد الدولة العثمانية بالإبادة الجماعية والتطهير العرقي”، وهو ما فعله مساء السبت. 

كما وعد الرئيس الأميركي إردوغان بلقاء “مطول وموسع” على هامش القمة الأطلسية في بروكسل في حزيران/يونيو القادم، يتم خلاله بحث مجمل القضايا التي تهم العلاقات التركية – الأميركية بكل جوانبها؛ الثنائية والإقليمية والدولية، وهو ما قد يحتاج إلى ساعات طويلة من النقاش بسبب سخونة هذه القضايا، ومنها صواريخ “أس-400” الروسية، والعلاقة مع موسكو، والوضع في البحر الأسود، والدور التركي في الحلف الأطلسي وتفاصيله تشمل الأزمة السورية، والدعم الأميركي للكرد، والوضع في العراق والتحركات التركية فيه، والعلاقات التركية – الإيرانية، والدور التركي في المنطقة، والديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان في تركيا…

السفير التركي السابق في واشنطن، شكري الأكداغ، توقع “مرحلة صعبة في العلاقات التركية – الأميركية خلال المرحلة القادمة”، وأشار إلى “عدم استلام بايدن حتى الآن أوراق اعتماد السفير الجديد مراد مرجان، وهو ينتظره منذ 6 أسابيع”، وقال: “العلاقات بين البلدين في المنعطف الأخير من تاريخها. كل ذلك بسبب سياسات الرئيس إردوغان الخاطئة إقليمياً ودولياً وداخلياً”.

إردوغان الذي تغنى بعلاقاته الحميمة مع بايدن عندما قال في 9 كانون الأول/ديسمبر العام الماضي: “بايدن زارني في منزلي عندما كنت مريضاً”، يبدو أنه نسي أو تناسى عندما قال عنه في كانون الأول/ديسمبر 2019 إنه “استبدادي ويجب التخلص منه ديمقراطياً عبر دعم المعارضة”.

وقد قال في 3 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2014 عن تركيا إردوغان والسعودية والإمارات “إنها دعمت كل الجماعات الجهادية الإرهابية، بما فيها داعش والنصرة، للتخلص من الرئيس الأسد، وصرفت الملايين من الدولارات، ونقلت الأسلحة والإرهابيين الأجانب إلى سوريا”.

 في جميع الحالات، ومع انتظار القمة الأطلسية في بروكسل في 14 حزيران/يونيو، يعرف الجميع أن الرئيس إردوغان سيواجه الكثير من التحديات الصعبة والمعقدة في مجمل حساباته الإقليمية والدولية، بسبب تناقضاته التي يبدو واضحاً أنها أوصلت تركيا إلى نهاية الطريق المظلم. خير مثال على ذلك هو قرار واشنطن استبعادها من مشروع طائرات “أف-35″، بسبب شرائها صواريخ “أس-400” الروسية، من دون أن يكون ذلك كافياً لكسب ود موسكو، التي قالت بعد يوم من هذا القرار “إن روسيا ستعيد النظر في علاقاتها العسكرية مع أنقرة إذا استمرت في إرسال طائراتها المسيرة إلى أوكرانيا”.

مساعي إردوغان للمصالحة مع السعودية ومصر والإمارات، ولاحقاً “إسرائيل”، تشكل مثالاً آخر على هذه التناقضات التي يستعد الرئيس إردوغان لاستغلالها في لقائه القادم والحاسم مع بايدن، فالسفير التركي الأسبق في واشنطن نامق، توقع لهذا اللقاء “أن يضع النقاط على الحروف في مستقبل العلاقات التركية – الأميركية بكل جوانبها السياسية والعسكرية والاقتصادية، وهو ما سيتطلب من إردوغان قبول أو رفض طلبات وشروط بايدن الذي يعرف مدى الأهمية الاستراتيجية لتركيا”.

أقوال السفيرين التركيين الأكداغ وتان تعكس بوضوح مدى أهمية الأيام القليلة القادمة بالنسبة إلى إردوغان، الذي ما عليه إلا أن يغلق مجمل الملفات التي ستكون على الطاولة خلال لقائه مع بايدن. وسيتطلب ذلك منه توضيح صورة العلاقة مع صديقه الرئيس بوتين بكل انعكاساتها على التنسيق والتعاون التركي – الروسي في سوريا في الدرجة الأولى، لما لواشنطن من حسابات خاصة بها هناك، وبشكل خاص دعمها للكرد، على الرغم من القلق التركي البالغ من ذلك.

الرأي السائد في تركيا أن يتجه إردوغان للقبول بمعظم شروط الرئيس بايدن ومطالبه، والذي لن يتأخر حينها في دعم أنقرة لإخراجها من أزمتها الاقتصادية والمالية الخطيرة، فالخروج من هذه الأزمة سيساعد الرئيس التركي على معالجة مجمل مشاكله الداخلية والتخلص من ضغوط المعارضة التي سيتغلب عليها بسهولة إذا أغرقته واشنطن بدولاراتها التي ستدغدغ مشاعر المواطن التركي، من دون أن يبالي بما قدمه أو سيقدمه إردوغان من تنازلات للحليف الاستراتيجي واشنطن.

لقد كانت تركيا لسنوات طويلة “سمكة في صنارتها لا يمكن التخلص منها بسهولة”، والقول هنا لوزير الخارجية الأميركي الأسبق جون فوستر دالاس، والقرار في نهاية المطاف للرئيس بايدن، وقبله إردوغان، لأنه لم يحدد بعد مسار سياساته الإقليمية والدولية، بداية مع إيران، بانعكاساتها على مجمل القضايا الإقليمية، وأهمها سوريا وإيران واليمن، لاهتمامات “إسرائيل” بها، ونهايةً مع روسيا، التي أراد بايدن أن يجرب حظه معها في أوكرانيا، فكان الرد منها حازماً وحاسماً وواضحاً.

 في جميع الحالات، ومهما كان مضمون اللقاء المحتمل بين إردوغان وبايدن في 14 حزيران/يونيو القادم ومدته، فإن الإبادة الأرمنية التي أقرها الأخير ستقلق بال أنقرة، بإردوغان أو من دونه، فاعترافه بهذه الإبادة التي اعترفت بها حتى الآن 28 دولة قد يلحق بها مطالب الأرمن بالتعويض المادي لممتلكاتهم في تركيا، بعد أن طردوا منها إبان الحرب العالمية الأولى وخلالها.

ورغم أن هذه المطالب المحتملة تذكّر بمطالبة “إسرائيل” بتعويضات مادية من الدول العربية التي غادرها اليهود بعد “قيام الدولة العبرية” في العام 1948، فالبعض يتوقع لتل أبيب واللوبيات اليهودية في واشنطن أن تعرقل المطالب الأرمنية، حتى تستمر في استغلال الشعور العاطفي والتضامن الإنساني العالمي مع ضحايا الإبادة النازية لليهود إبان الحرب العالمية الأولى وخلالها.

ويتوقع آخرون لتل أبيب واللوبيات اليهودية أن تستفز الأرمن في موضوع التعويضات، ليكون ذلك ورقة تساعد تل أبيب في محاولاتها للضغط على أنقرة لإجبارها على المصالحة أو إبعادها عن أي نهج معادٍ لها، مع استمرار التناقضات التركية في هذا المجال، وخصوصاً بعد ما يسمى بـ”الربيع العربي”. 

وعلى الرغم من التهديد والوعيد الذي أطلقه الرئيس إردوغان، وفي أكثر من مناسبة، ضد “إسرائيل” ونتنياهو، لم تستخدم أنقرة حق الفيتو ضد انضمام “إسرائيل” إلى منظمة التعاون والتنمية الاقتصادية (OECD) وفتح ممثلية إسرائيلية في مقر الحلف الأطلسي.

 كما أغلقت ملف قضية سفينة مرمرة مقابل 20 مليون دولار تبرعت بها تل أبيب لعائلات الضحايا، في الوقت الذي سجل التبادل التجاري بين البلدين أرقاماً قياسية، مع استمرار تدفق النفط الأذربيجاني والعراقي من الموانئ التركية إلى “إسرائيل”.

لا شك في أن الرئيس بايدن يولي هذه القضايا أهمية خاصة في سياسات واشنطن الإقليمية، مهما كان شكل الفتور مع نتنياهو وحجمه، باعتبار أن “إسرائيل” صناعة أميركية مميزة لا تريد واشنطن لأحد أن يقول عنها إنها فاسدة وغير قابلة للاستهلاك بعد الآن، على أن يبقى الاعتراف بالإبادة موضوعاً عاطفياً مع شعب مشرد ضعيف من دون أن يقلل ذلك من الحسابات الإقليمية والدولية، وخصوصاً بعد ما تعرضوا له من تهجير أخير من سوريا والعراق، من دون أي مبالاة من بايدن وماكرون الذي غرد اليوم ليقول: “لن ننساكم!”.

حرب بايدن مع بوتين.. إردوغان مع من؟….بقلم حسني محلي

حسني محلي


بانتظار أن يهاتف بايدن إردوغان سوف يتخذ الطرفان الروسي والأميركي كل التدابير والإجراءات لضمان انحياز الرئيس التركي إلى جانبه أو على الأقل البقاء على الحياد.

فاجأ الرئيس التركي الجميع عندما اتخذ (الجمعة) موقفاً متضامناً مع “حليفه الجديد” فلاديمير بوتين في الحرب الكلامية بينه وبين الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن الذي لم يتصل بإردوغان حتى الآن. فرداً على سؤال يبدو أنه كان معداً مسبقاً قال إردوغان: “في الحقيقة ليس ممكناً القبول بما قاله رئيس دولة ضد رئيس دولة أخرى كروسيا، وليس سهلاً على أحد هضم هذه العبارة التي استخدمها بايدن، وفي رأيي لقد قام بوتين بما يجب القيام به حيث رد على بايدن بشكل ذكي ولائق جداً”.

كلام إردوغان هذا أثار نقاشاً واسعاً في الأوساط السياسية والإعلامية التركية. هناك من أيّد وهناك من شكّك لا سيما أن تصريح إردوغان جاء بعد ساعات قليلة من سماح أنقرة لحاملة الصواريخ الموجهة الأميركية بالمرور عبر مضيق البوسفور باتجاه البحر الأسود الذي يشهد توتراً خطيراً بين روسيا وبين أميركا وحلف الأطلسي الذي يسعى إلى ضم جورجيا وأوكرانيا للحلف الساعي إلى محاصرة موسكو من خلال بناء قواعد بحرية في هاتين الدولتين وفي كل من بلغاريا ورومانيا. 

وجاء حديث السفير الأميركي في أنقرة ديفيد ساترفيلد مع مجموعة من الصحافيين بعد كلام إردوغان بساعتين ليثبت استمرار الموقف الأميركي تجاه أنقرة، حيث لوح ساترفيلد بعقوبات جديدة على تركيا في حال استمرارها بموقفها الحالي في ما يتعلق بصواريخ اس-400 الروسية. 

ورغم أن ساترفيلد لم يتطرق إلى كلام إردوغان في ما يتعلق بالحرب الكلامية بين بايدن وبوتين، إلا أن الأوساط الدبلوماسية في أنقرة تتوقع رداً أميركياً قريباً على كلام إردوغان، ويعرف الجميع أن واشنطن تستعد لحربها معه في مجالات عدة داخلية وخارجية. ويفسر ذلك رد الفعل الأميركي على رفع الحصانة البرلمانية عن أحد اعضاء حزب الشعوب الديمقراطي (الكردي) ومساعي النيابة العامة لحظر نشاط الحزب بشكل نهائي. 

وبانتظار المكالمة الهاتفية التي أعلن بايدن “أنها ستكون في الوقت المناسب” مع بوتين، يبدو واضحاً أن الطرفين الروسي والأميركي يحسبان الكثير من الحسابات لموقف الرئيس إردوغان المحتمل في حال استمرار هذه الأزمة وانعكاساتها على العلاقات الاستراتيجية بين العدوين التقليديين روسيا وأميركا المدعومة من بعض الحلفاء الأوروبيين. 

ومن دون العودة إلى العلاقات التاريخية بين روسيا والدولة العثمانية والتي بدأت قبل خمسمئة سنة تقريباً وتخلل معظمها خلافات وصراعات وحروب، فالجميع يعرف أن علاقات موسكو مع أنقرة دخلت في مسار جديد بعد أن اعتذر إردوغان في حزيران/يونيو 2016 من الرئيس بوتين عن إسقاط الطائرة الروسية في سوريا في 24 تشرين الثاني/ديسمبر 2015. وسمح بوتين بعد ذلك للجيش التركي بدخول جرابلس السورية في 24 آب/أغسطس 2016، أي في ذكرى مرور 500 عام على معركة مرج دابق التي دخل منها السلطان سليم سوريا ثم مصر ليعود منها خليفة على المسلمين. وتطورت العلاقة بعد ذلك بين بوتين وإردوغان لتشمل العديد من مجالات التعاون العسكري والاقتصادي والتجاري والسياحي (6 ملايين روسي زار تركيا عام 2019) بل وحتى المجال النووي، حيث تقوم روسيا ببناء مفاعلات نووية في تركيا بقيمة ثلاثين مليار دولار. ومع جميع حالات المد والجزر التي شهدتها العلاقات بين الطرفين وخاصة في سوريا وأحياناً في ليبيا ومنطقة القوقاز، فقد نجح بوتين في إبقاء إردوغان ضمن “الحلبة الروسية”، وذلك على الرغم من نقاط الخلاف الكثيرة والجدية مع أنقرة في موضوع سوريا وبشكل خاص في إدلب. 

وكان فيه الدعم الذي قدمه باراك أوباما ومن بعده دونالد ترامب والآن جو بايدن إلى وحدات حماية الشعب الكردية السورية الهم الأكبر بالنسبة إلى إردوغان الذي سمح له ترامب ومعه بوتين بإرسال قواته إلى شرق الفرات في 9 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2019 لامتصاص غضبه. وكانت هذه الموافقة ومن قبلها موافقة بوتين كافية بالنسبة إلى إردوغان الذي تحول من خلالها إلى عنصر أساسي في المعادلة السورية المعقدة بكل أطرافها الإقليمية والدولية. ويعرقل ذلك التوصل إلى حل نهائي للأزمة السورية إلا برضا أنقرة التي قال عنها إردوغان قبل أيام “إن موقفها منذ بداية الأزمة لم يتغير ولن يتغير”. 

وليس واضحاً كيف سيوازن بوتين بين موقف إردوغان هذا في سوريا وبين المصالح الروسية المتشابكة مع تركيا التي تستورد أكثر من خمسين بالمئة من غازها من روسيا التي باعت أنقرة صواريخ اس-400.

وكانت هذه الصواريخ وما زالت سبباً كافياً للتوتر بين تركيا والحليف الاستراتيجي التقليدي واشنطن التي لها 12 قاعدة في تركيا وأهمها أنجيرليك التي تضم حوالى 50 قنبلة نووية. 

وبانتظار أن يهاتف بايدن إردوغان، وهي مكالمة يعرف الجميع أن إردوغان ينتظرها بفارغ الصبر، سوف يتخذ كل من الطرفين الروسي والأميركي كل التدابير والإجراءات لضمان انحياز إردوغان إلى جانبه أو على الأقل البقاء على الحياد، وهو أمر شبه مستحيل بسبب الموقع الجغرافي الاستراتيجي لتركيا ومن ثم تداخل السياسات التركية في العديد من مناطق العالم مع سياسات العدوين المذكورين. فقد مثّلت تركيا بعد نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية خندقاً أمامياً للدفاع عن “العالم الديمقراطي المتحضر” ضد خطر الاتحاد السوفياتي الشيوعي، ولولا مؤسسه لينين لما استطاع مصطفى كمال أتاتورك أن ينتصر على دول العالم المذكور، أي فرنسا وبريطانيا وإيطاليا واليونان، ويؤسس جمهوريته المستقلة في 29 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 1923. وبقيت تركيا ثابتة في خندقها لمنع السوفيات والشيوعية من النزول إلى المياه الدافئة في المنطقة العربية الإسلامية، وتحالفت معها أنظمة الخليج المعروفة التي تآمرت دائماً، وما زالت تتآمر، على المد الوطني والقومي العربي، كما هو الحال في ما يسمى بالربيع العربي. 

وجاء سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي بداية التسعينات من القرن الماضي ليدفع أنقرة وبتشجيع من واشنطن إلى الحديث عن المد القومي التركي من البوسنة وحتى حدود الصين مروراً بالجمهوريات الإسلامية ذات الأصل التركي في القوقاز وآسيا الوسطى. 

ولم تغير مجمل التطورات التي شهدها العالم خلال الأعوام الثلاثين الماضية من أحلام إردوغان وهو سائر على طريق الرئيس الراحل تورغوت أوزال الذي رفع شعار “أمة تركية واحدة من الأدرياتيكي إلى حدود الصين”، وسعى بعد حرب الكويت 1991 لضم الشمال العراقي إلى تركيا، الأمر الذي فكر به الرئيس  إردوغان أكثر من مرة غداة أحداث ما يسمى بالربيع العربي عندما تحدث عن حدود الميثاق الوطني الذي يضم الشمال السوري مع ولاية الموصل، التي تعني في العرف التركي الموصل وأربيل والسليمانية وكركوك.

في جميع الحالات وحتى وإن كانت احتمالات المواجهة الساخنة بين واشنطن وموسكو ضعيفة، فالجميع يعرف أن بايدن لن يبحث بعد الآن عن حلول وسط في علاقته مع إردوغان، ولكنه في نفس الوقت لن يضحي بتركيا بسهولة. فالرئيس بايدن معروف بمواقفه السلبية تجاه إردوغان على صعيد السياستين الداخلية والخارجية، كما معروف عنه أنه لا يملك الشجاعة الكافية للاستمرار في مواقفه هذه. فبعد أن اتهم في تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2014 كلاً من تركيا ومعها السعودية والإمارات بدعم التنظيمات الإرهابية في سوريا ومنها داعش والنصرة، زار بايدن بصفته نائب الرئيس أوباما اسطنبول واعتذر من إردوغان بعد أن زاره في منزله وتمنى له الشفاء العاجل بعد عملية جراحية خضع لها في الأمعاء. 

والسؤال هو: هل وكيف سيرد بايدن على تضامن إردوغان مع الرئيس بوتين ضده؟ في حين أن بوتين لن يتأخر في البحث عن مجالات جديدة للتعاون مع إردوغان وتقديم تنازلات جديدة له في سوريا وكاراباخ وليبيا وأماكن أخرى لمنع واشنطن من اختراق تحالفه مع أنقرة.

ولن يبقى أمام بايدن في هذه الحالة إلا خيارين فقط لا ثالث لهما:

الأول: استخدام القوة السياسية والاقتصادية والتجارية بل وحتى العسكرية للتخلص من إردوغان من خلال تضييق الحصار عليه خارجياً (دعم كرد سوريا) في ظل استمرار أزماته الداخلية الخطيرة. 

الثاني: الاتصال بإردوغان بأقرب فرصة لكسب وده وتلبية كل شروطه ومطالبه للعودة إلى التحالف التقليدي بين تركيا وأميركا وفيها العديد من القوى التي تطالب بايدن بمحاسبة إردوغان على خلفية أقواله وأفعاله التي باتت تهدد المصالح الأميركية “ومفاهيم الحضارة الغربية الديمقراطية”. 

وفي كلتا الحالتين سيكتشف الجميع كيف سيواجه إردوغان الاحتمالات القادمة وإذا ما كان سيعالجها بنجاح يضمن بقائه في السلطة وربما إلى الأبد، أو أنه سيجد نفسه في دوامة التجاذبات الصعبة بين حليفه التقليدي أميركا والحليف الجديد روسيا، من دون أن يتجاهل “صداقة” بكين (عدو بايدن الحقيقي)، ولولاها لما تم تطعيم الشعب التركي ضد كورونا!

المصدر: الميادين نت


South Front

Chicken Kiev Meets Cold Turkey: Black Sea Axis Emerges?

Written by J.Hawk exclusively for SouthFront

Kiev’s Unrequited Love

On the face of it, an alliance between Turkey and Ukraine seems like a rather odd creation, yet one that may surprisingly durable simply because neither country has anywhere else to turn. What practically dooms them to a partnership if not an outright alliance is their unenviable geographic and geopolitical position of occupying the strange “no man’s land” between Russia, NATO, and the Middle East. It is, of course, largely a predicament of their own making. Ukraine, with considerable Western backing and encouragement but nevertheless mostly through efforts of a faction of its own oligarchy, opted out of the Russia-centered network of loose alliances, trade partnerships, and other forms of cooperation that were mutually beneficial to the two in the previous two decades. But that defection was not rewarded by the West in a way the likes of Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Avakov, Parubiy, and other architects of the Maidan coup expected. Merely being stridently anti-Russian did not prove enough to warrant a shower of US and European cash, only onerous IMF loans which moreover come with conditions Kiev elites are in no hurry to abide by. EU foreign policy chief Josef Borrel lecturing Kiev that the European Union is not an “ATM machine” delivered that point loud and clear: Kiev is supposed to privatize whatever crown jewels its economy still has (at this point, mainly agricultural land), fight corruption of its own elites and facilitate the corruption of Western elites. Joseph Robinette Biden Junior is hardly the only Western politician with a talentless son in need of a lucrative sinecure. There are entire Western companies eager to participate in the thinly disguised plunder that the privatization of Ukraine’s economy will inevitably turn into. A Kiev court’s recent decision to declare the country’s anti-corruption institutions that were painstakingly stood up with considerable aid and tutelage from Western governments, down to screening appropriately-minded individuals for the job, looks as if it were calculated to send a middle-finger gesture to Borrel in terms even dense EU bureaucratic hacks will comprehend. Pro-EU newspapers like Kiev Post were quick to label this a “death of democracy”, presumably with the intent of interesting EU and NATO in sponsoring yet another Maidan since last one seems not to be delivering the goods. The expected shower of Western weaponry has not materialized, probably because NATO is afraid to give Ukraine so much aid that it will risk a full-blown war with Russia.

Ankara’s Burning Hate

Chicken Kiev Meets Cold Turkey: Black Sea Axis Emerges?

Erdogan’s Turkey, by contrast, is in process of de-facto opting out of NATO, though neither Turkey nor the alliance itself want to take the final step of severing ties completely. NATO membership is still beneficial to Turkey. While the procurement of Russian S-400 air defense systems angered NATO and US in particular, resulting in the expulsion of Turkey from the F-35 program and the cancellation of F-35 sale to the country, evidently Ankara hopes that by nominally remaining in the alliance it limits NATO and EU sanctions that would no doubt be far harsher if it were totally out of the alliance. The hope that Turkey, possibly post-Erdogan, will yet see the error of its ways and return to the fold, prevents NATO from adopting harsher stances that would definitely push Ankara away. Yet the drifting apart is unmistakable, and the animosity between Turkey’s leaders and their Western European counterparts is so intense as to beggar belief. While Germany’s Merkel is careful to tip-toe around the issue due to fear of another wave of refugees as well as unrest among the large Turkish diaspora in Germany, France’s Macron seems to have taken a personal affront to Erdogan’s suggestion he might need a mental evaluation and will press the issue of EU sanctions against Turkey at future Union summits.

But from Turkey’s perspective, getting a cold shoulder from the EU is par for the course. Its own migration to the geopolitical gray zone of Eurasia was motivated by EU’s failure to admit Turkey as a member after decades of leading it by the nose and promising neighborhood in some nebulously distant future right after Hell froze over. Like Ukraine, Turkey was not seeking EU membership because of some mythical “shared values”. It, too, saw EU as an ATM machine that would shower Turkey, one of the poorest countries on the continent, with development assistance and moreover allow Turks to freely travel and work throughout the Union. Needless to say, neither of these prospects appealed to pretty much any European country, no matter how close or distant it was geographically. So after decades of leading Turkey by the nose, EU politely put an end to the charade citing problems with Turkey’s democracy. Thus snubbed, Erdogan opted to chart an independent course and appears to be finding a similarly snubbed oligarch clique in Kiev looking for ways the two countries could extract mutual benefit from their isolated status.

Quid pro Quos

There are plenty of those to be had, as limited as Ukraine’s and Turkey’s resources are, compared to such patrons as EU, NATO, US. Faced with isolation and even a potential ban on arms exports, Turkey has a strong incentive to exploit the resources of the Ukrainian defense industry and engage in some export substitution in case vital supplies are no longer available from the West. Canada’s and Austria’s ban on exports of optronics and engines needed for the Bayraktar TB2 combat drones means Ukraine’s ability to provide substitutes would be most welcome. Ukraine, for its part, would not be against deploying a huge attack drone fleet of its own in the hopes of replicating Azerbaijan’s successful offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh on the Donbass, though there Ukraine’s drones would probably run afoul of Novorossiya’s air defenses in the same way Turkish drones were brought to heel over Idlib. Turkey’s Altay main battle tank is likewise little more than an assembly of components imported from other countries, particularly Germany. Since Germany has already placed a ban on export of powerpacks and transmissions for the Altay, Turkey has been casting about for replacements, looking as far as China. Whether Ukraine’s developments in this realm can be adopted to rescue the Altay project remain to be seen. However, the Oplot powerpacks and transmissions can probably be adapted to Altay use, resulting in Turkey realizing its goal of a home-grown MBT. Ultimately, the greater the contribution of Ukrainian defense industry to Turkey’s military modernization, the more freedom of action it would bestow on Turkey and make it less dependent on other foreign sources of military hardware who can exert influence over Turkey simply by withholding future technical support. If the United States were to follow up on the F-35 expulsion with a ban on servicing Turkish F-16s which form the mainstay of its airpower, the result would be crippling of the country’s air combat capabilities that drones cannot compensate for and which would be sorely missed in any confrontation with another comparable power like Greece. Turkey’s efforts to develop an indigenous fighter aircraft would benefit from Ukraine’s technological contributions and its own interest in indigenous aircraft designs. For Ukraine, the relationship would be an opportunity to acquire NATO-compatible weaponry with the caveat that it would have to pay in full for every last drone, either with cash or in kind. Turkey’s economic situation is not so strong as to allow largesse in the form of free military aid to anyone.

Chicken Kiev Meets Cold Turkey: Black Sea Axis Emerges?

Match Made in Hell

Mitigating against the long-term development of what Zelensky referred to as “strategic partnership” with Turkey is the erratic behavior of Erdogan who seeks to dominate any and all partners and tries to see how far he can push before the partners push back. This practice has led to the confrontations in Syria, Libya, and eastern Mediterranean. Ukraine, in contrast to Russia, France, and even Greece, is hardly in a position to push back. The most dangerous aspect of Turkish politics, from Ukraine’s perspective, is the ideology of Pan-Turkism that just might transform Ukraine’s Tatar community into a proxy force for Turkey right inside Ukraine, adding yet another fissure to the already fractured political picture. On the plus side, Erdogan does not appear interested in “combating corruption” in Ukraine, though that does not preclude the possibility Turkey’s military collaboration with Ukraine might not cost Ukraine dearly, though not to the same extent as EU-promoted privatization efforts.


تركيا «وحيدةً» في حرب قره باغ


السبت 17 تشرين الأول 2020

تركيا «وحيدةً» في حرب قره باغ

توازياً مع استمرار المعارك بين أرمينيا وأذربيجان، بعد فشل الهدنة في وضع حدٍّ للاقتتال الدائر حول إقليم ناغورنو قره باغ الانفصالي، تبدو تركيا ميّالة إلى التصعيد ضدّ روسيا. وإن كانت الأخيرة لا تزال، منذ انطلاق جولة الاقتتال هذه، تحافظ على مسافة أمان مِن طرفَي الأزمة، فهيَ دشّنت، يوم أمس، مناورات عسكرية في بحر قزوين شمال باكو، تصرّ على أنها ليست موجّهة ضدّ أيّ طرفمنذ انطلاق جولة الاقتتال الأخيرة بين أرمينيا وأذربيجان في السابع والعشرين من الشهر الماضي، سعّرت أنقرة، باصطفافها إلى جانب باكو، الحرب الدائرة بين الجارتَين للسيطرة على إقليم ناغورنو قره باغ، في ظلّ مواقف دولية جديدة بدأت تتكشّف، وتشير إلى تصعيد تركي – روسي متضادّ، لاقته الولايات المتحدة على الطرف الآخر، حين انتقدت دور حليفتها الأطلسية في هذا الصراع، آملةً أن تتمكّن أرمينيا من «الدفاع عن نفسها» في وجه جارتها الأذربيجانية.

ومع استمرار المعارك بين القوات الأرمينية والأذربيجانية، بعد أسبوع مِن توقيع وزيرَي خارجية البلدين اتفاق هدنة برعايةٍ روسية، عَدّته الأخيرة مقدّمة لإطلاق محادثات «سلام» ترغب تركيا في أن تمثِّل «حلّاً نهائياً» لهذا الملفّ المتفجّر. غير أن المصالح المتضاربة حالت دون تطبيق بند وقف إطلاق النار، ما دفع روسيا إلى بدء تدريبات عسكرية في بحر قزوين، تصرّ على أنها ليست موجّهة ضدّ أيٍّ من دول الجوار. وتَجري المناورات العسكرية شمال شبه جزيرة أبشرون الأذربيجانية حيث تقع باكو، وتشمل إطلاق صواريخ ونيران مدفعية، ومشاركة ستّ سفن وسبع طائرات وأكثر من 400 جندي، بحسب بيان لوزارة الدفاع الروسية، أكد أن «الأنشطة… لا تشكل أيّ تهديد ولا تفرض قيوداً على الأنشطة الاقتصادية للدول المطلّة على قزوين».

إعلانٌ ما لبث أن ردّ عليه الرئيس التركي، رجب طيب إردوغان، إذ سعى إلى شرح موقفه «المبدئي» من الصراع حول قره باغ، بالقول إن بلاده لم ولن تعترف بضمّ روسيا غير المشروع لشبه جزيرة القرم الأوكرانية إلى أراضيها، مؤكداً في مؤتمر صحافي مشترك عقده، أمس، مع نظيره الأوكراني فولوديمير زيلينسكي، في إسطنبول، أن بلاده تعتبر أوكرانيا دولة محوريّة لضمان الاستقرار والأمن والسلام والازدهار في المنطقة. كذلك، أكد إردوغان أن أنقرة ستواصل دعم سيادة أوكرانيا ووحدة أراضيها، بما فيها القرم.

يبدو أن واشنطن بدأت تصطفّ بوضوح إلى جانب يريفان

في هذا الوقت، يبدو أن واشنطن التي شدّدت، منذ انطلاق المعارك، على ضرورة إيجاد «حلّ دبلوماسي» يجنّب أرمينيا وأذربيجان حرباً طاحنة، بدأت تصطفّ إلى جانب يريفان. ذلك ما بيّنته تصريحات وزير الخارجية الأميركي، مايك بومبيو، الذي أعرب عن أمله في أن تتمكّن أرمينيا من «الدفاع عن نفسها» في وجه أذربيجان، في ما بدا أنه مساندة لأحد قطبَي النزاع الدائر في منطقة ناغورنو قره باغ. وقال بومبيو في حديث إلى إذاعة محلية في ولاية جورجيا الأميركية: «نأمل أن يتمكّن الأرمينيّون من أن يدافعوا عن أنفسهم في وجه ما يقوم به الأذربيجانيون»، مجدّداً الدعوة إلى احترام وقف إطلاق النار و«المباحثات السلمية» لوضع حدّ للصراع. تصريحاتٌ جاءت بعدما أعرب الدبلوماسي الأميركي عن أسفه إزاء شروع تركيا في «دعم أذربيجان»، ودعا الأفرقاء الدوليين إلى عدم التدخل في المنطقة وتجنّب «تأجيج الاضطرابات» في «برميل بارود». وهو ما تساوق أيضاً مع إعلان وزارة الخارجية الأميركية أن الولايات المتحدة عبّرت لمستويات رفيعة في الحكومة التركية عن عدم قبولها حيازة أنقرة أنظمة أسلحة روسية مثل «إس-400»، وحذّرت من «عواقب وخيمة محتملة» لعلاقتها الأمنية مع تركيا في حال إقدامها على تفعيل النظام المذكور. وقالت الناطقة باسم الوزارة، مورغان أورتاغوس، في بيان: «إذا تأكَّد ذلك… سندين بأشدّ العبارات اختبار إطلاق صاروخ من منظومة إس-400 باعتباره لا يتّسق مع مسؤوليات تركيا كعضو في حلف شمال الأطلسي وكشريك استراتيجي للولايات المتحدة».


Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Currently Iran already operates the S-300 anti-air defense system, but just ahead of the major UN weapons embargo set to expire this month, which the US contests, Russia has once again strongly suggested that it’s poised to transfer its more advanced S-400 system to Iran.

The latest comments on the issue were made Saturday by Russia’s ambassador to Tehran Dzhagaryan who told an Iranian newspaper Saturday it would be “no problem” for Moscow, in effect signaling a green light for such a deal.

“As you know, S-300s have already been delivered. Russia has no problem delivering S-400s to Iran. This was never a problem from the very beginning,” the ambassador said.

Russia Says "No Problem" Delivering S-400 Missiles To Iran When UN Embargo Expires
Russian S-400 file image


The UN arms embargo expires October 18, but Washington has vowed to go it alone in imposing ‘snapback’ sanctions after a failed UN bid to extend the embargo. European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal have denied that the US has this legal authority, given it pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018.

On that note, Amb. Dzhagaryan remarked that Russia “took a strong stance against the United States and called on the deal’s three European signatories to stand together with us.”

“But the issue I want to address is very important: the three European countries did not support the United States, but they also continue to criticize Iran’s activities in the region. On one hand, they say that the arms embargo against Iran should be lifted,” he said in the interview. On the other, they say that Iran should not continue its activities. The Russian side has said from the start that there would be no problems selling arms to Iran starting on October 19.”

Looking ahead to the UN embargo’s expiration, under two weeks ago Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov indicated to Interfax news that Russia will pursue the “opportunity” of lawful weapons sales to Iran the moment the embargo expires:

“New opportunities will emerge in our cooperation with Iran after the special regime imposed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 expires on Oct. 18.”

“The amount of this cooperation and the areas in which it will develop is a separate question,” he added.

Ryabkov added that Russian cooperation with the Islamic Republic has “nothing to do with the unlawful and illegal actions of the U.S. administration, which is trying to intimidate the entire world.”

Iraq submits request to purchase Russian S-400 system despite US threats

By News Desk -2020-04-19

The Parliamentary Security and Defence Committee of Iraq submitted a detailed study requesting the purchase of Russian long-range, surface-to-air S-400 missile defence systems for the consideration of the country’s caretaker prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on 18 April.

“The issue has already been discussed with relevant figures at the General Command of Armed Forces, and now awaits the prime minister’s agreement,” committee member Badr al-Ziyadi was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language newspaper al-Sabaah.

As he underscored the country’s need to enhance its defence capabilities, the parliamentarian explained that the acquisition of the S-400 missile system could be finalised after ratification of the deal by the new government that succeeds the current caretaker one, adding his parliamentary committee “will support the next Iraqi government’s decisions in this regard, and will present relevant proposals and pieces of advice to it”

“The approval to acquire such a sophisticated system requires large financial allocations and a political decision in order to diversify the sources to get the weapons as we cannot just rely on the Western camp, but rather need to incline towards the Eastern camp as well,” said Ziyadi.

In a number of previous instances, the Iraqi lawmaker had gone on record as voicing concerns over attempts to pressure Baghdad to forgo signing arms contracts with other states.

Thus, last month the Iraqi lawmaker had revealed that US and Israeli arms companies were urging his government to refrain from negotiating the purchase of sophisticated military equipment with other countries.

“There are companies and traders pushing to prevent Iraq from concluding contracts to purchase weapons from developed countries,” he was cited by the Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency as saying on 18 March.

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Earlier, on 20 January, Badr al-Ziyadi said Baghdad, in a bid to boost its security from any possible aggression, was mulling dispatching delegations to a number of countries to negotiate the procurement of advanced air defence missile systems.

“The delegations intend to visit countries like Russia, China and Ukraine to negotiate the purchase of modern systems to protect Iraq’s airspace… The Iraqi parliament is right now forming a joint executive and legislative delegation to visit developed countries and sign contracts on procuring advanced weapons,” al-Sabaah daily quoted the official as saying.
Heightened US-Iraq Tension

Baghdad has been considering buying Russian S-400 missile systems as concerns mount that Washington might withdraw support for Iraq, the Wall Street Journal quoted Karim Elaiwi, a member of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defence Committee as saying in January 2020.

“We are talking to Russia about the S-400 missiles but no contracts have been signed yet. We need to get these missiles, especially after Americans have disappointed us many times by not helping us in getting proper weapons,” said Elaiwi.

The move was confirmed by Abdul Khaleq al-Azzawi, another Iraqi parliament defence committee member, who said:

“We authorised the [Iraqi] Prime Minister to get air defence weapons from any country he wants and we authorised him to spend the money for it, from any country. From Russia or anyone.”

The Iraqi moves came amid heightened tensions between Iraq and Washington that were exacerbated after the American military on 3 January launched a drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, near Baghdad International Airport.

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