Turkey Deploys Its Fighters Again… This Time in Afghanistan

14/07/2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Turkish Intelligence and leaders of armed groups allegiant to Ankara reach an agreement on the issue of sending fighters from northern Syria to Kabul, despite the Taliban’s threats that any foreign presence in the country will be treated as an occupation.

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After sending armed groups to Nagorno-Karabakh and Libya… Turkey plans to send fighters to Afghanistan

As the conflict in Afghanistan between the “Taliban” Movement and the Afghan army escalates, Turkey, supported by the US, is trying to take control of Kabul’s airport security after the US and NATO forces withdrawal from the country, but Ankara’s decision was not welcomed by the “Taliban” Movement that expanded its control over vast parts of the Afghan borders.

The “Taliban” Spokesman in Qatar Muhamad Naeem denounced Turkey’s announcement to keep its forces to be in charge of Kabul’s airport security. Furthermore, Naeem confirmed to Al Mayadeen Net that “the presence of foreign forces under any excuse is rejected by our people. All foreign military presence is an occupation and an extension of it, and any foreign military and security presence will be treated as such.”

Naeem’s warning came to stress previously issued warnings by the “Taliban” Movement in which it stated that any foreign military presence in the country will be treated as an “enemy and occupation”. These warnings came at a time the US initiated its withdrawal from the Asian Country, expected to be finalized on September 11, as US President Joe Biden had announced earlier.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considered that “securing Afghanistan” after the withdrawal of the foreign forces is Ankara’s responsibility and said, “Turkey is willing to bear more responsibilities in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal.”

The “Syrian Observatory” reported that the Turkish Intelligence and leaders of armed groups allegiant to Ankara have reached an agreement on the issue of sending armed groups from northern Syria to Kabul, adding that “the armed groups mission may begin next September and that they will be under the full supervision of the Turkish Intelligence based on official contracts, and their mission will be to protect the Kabul airport and international headquarters, as well as international forces in return for high salaries.”

In the event that Turkey goes ahead with sending armed groups to Afghanistan, it would be the third time in less than two years during which Ankara has sent fighters, especially recruits from its allegiant groups deployed in northern Syria, to participate in battles outside its borders. It is worth noting that it has already sent groups to Azerbaijan to fight alongside this country against Armenia during the battles in Nagorno-Karabakh last year.

Armenia confirmed at the time that Turkey sent militants from Syria and Libya to the Nagorno-Karabakh region last October, which also coincides with the assertions of the “Syrian Observatory” which declared that ” 25 bodies of Syrian fighters who were killed in the Nagorno-Karabakh battles have arrived in Syria.” 

Reports revealed that the number of Syrians transferred to Azerbaijan to take part in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, “amounted to at least 2350 fighters, of whom 320 returned after conceding everything they possess, including their salaries,” according to the Syrian Observatory.

Turkey has sent fighters to Libya for a few months before sending them to participate in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Forces sent by Ankara were charged with fighting alongside the Government of National Accord against the forces led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar. The Syrian Observatory revealed that 7850 fighters were sent to Libya, however, Turkey stopped the funding of some groups that refused to send fighters to Libya.

During a meeting with her Turkish counterpart, Mevlut CavuSoglu, earlier in May, the Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs Najla El Mangoush called for “the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and armed groups from Libya.”

“Maintaining national security” was the justification Ankara used for its people when it came to sending fighters to Syria, Libya, or Azerbaijan, but this excuse cannot be used in the case of Afghanistan, especially if this intervention will cost Ankara a high military and human price, as the “Taliban” reiterated that any foreign military presence in Afghanistan will be treated as “foreign occupation.”

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Turkey and Russia.. Central Asia after Afghanistan?

 ARABI SOURI 

Turkey and Russia Central Asia after Afghanistan

Ankara sees the American withdrawal from Afghanistan as its valuable opportunity to gain several footholds in this country neighboring the Central Asian republics of Turkish origin.

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:

With the approach of the complete American withdrawal from Afghanistan, the competition intensified between Turkey and each of Russia, Iran, and other countries, with the aim of gaining more positions, not only in this country but through it in Central Asia in general as well. With the “Taliban” movement controlling more areas, and the Afghan forces fleeing en masse, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahman, and assured him of his country’s support for him in the face of possible developments in the Afghan crisis, after thousands of Afghan soldiers sought refuge in this neighboring country.

Last Tuesday, the Russian army announced the readiness of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems at the Russian base in Tajikistan, which in turn does not hide its concern about the possibility of an explosion in the security situation in Afghanistan, which may be exploited by the various jihadist groups, which some of them are present in Idlib and other areas of Syria, under the protection of Turkey, which prevents President Putin from any action that directly targets these groups.

President Putin also made a second phone call to his Uzbek counterpart Shaukat Mir Daif and discussed with him the details of coordination and joint cooperation to confront possible developments in Afghanistan.

In turn, Foreign Minister Lavrov said, “The main problem is the growing threat of terrorist attacks because the Taliban is behaving more aggressively. Also, the terrorist organization ISIS is strengthening its presence in the northern parts of Afghanistan near the border with Russia’s allies.”

And the Russian security announced the thwarting of many terrorist attacks planned by the militants of the Islamist “Tahrir Party”, which is mainly active in the autonomous republics within the borders of the Russian Federation, whose population is mostly Muslims, and their number exceeds 20 million.

Iran – which has a common border with Afghanistan with a length of 936 km, Pakistan with a length of 909 km, and Turkmenistan with a length of 992 km – are closely watching the Afghan developments, given the direct relationship of the matter to Iran’s national security. Last Tuesday, Tehran hosted a meeting between representatives of the “Taliban” and the Afghan government, in an attempt to achieve peaceful reconciliation between the two parties after the US withdrawal at the end of next month.

In turn, Ankara sees this withdrawal as its valuable opportunity to gain several footholds in this country neighboring the Central Asian republics of Turkish origin, namely Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visited Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan at the end of last month, in a new attempt by Ankara to develop military relations with these two countries, and later with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, all of which constitute the backyard of Russia, which President Erdogan has previously challenged in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Lithuania.

He also challenged it by lighting the green light for Atlantic maneuvers which included the British and Dutch provocations in the Black Sea, which Washington, with the support of Ankara, wants to turn into an Atlantic basin after the annexation of Georgia and Ukraine to the alliance. NATO membership mainly includes Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria, which overlook the Black Sea, while Turkey controls the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, which connect the Black Sea to both the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean.

Ankara signed several military cooperation agreements with Bulgaria and Romania and then sold its drones to Lithuania, Ukraine, Albania, and Azerbaijan, which achieved quick victories in their war with the Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region thanks to Turkish support.

The information then spoke of Turkey’s efforts to establish several military bases in Azerbaijan, including a base near the Caspian Sea (also overlooked by Iran), which is rich in oil and gas. This may constitute a new and dangerous crisis between Ankara and Moscow, which previously expressed its dismay and rejection of Turkish bases in Azerbaijan in general, which President Erdogan will not care about, who did not care about Russian threats in Syria and Libya, and continued to implement what he had previously planned on the road back to the dreams of the Ottoman Empire.

This (Ottoman) empire had many reasons for entering into 16 fierce wars with the Russian Empire, of which it was defeated in 11. Many see President Putin as the heir of this empire, as Erdogan sees himself as the heir to the Ottoman Empire and its Islamist caliphate, which may make the possible Turkish dialogue, coordination, and cooperation with Kabul after the Taliban control it much easier, even if Turkey is the only Muslim country within NATO that has occupied Afghanistan under the leadership of the United States in 2001. After his meeting with President Biden, on the 14th of last month in Brussels, Erdogan announced that Turkey is ready to send additional forces to Afghanistan to protect the security of Kabul Airport and international facilities, which will be contributed by his ally, Sheikh Tamim, Emir of Qatar, who played and still is, an important role in the American reconciliation with the “Taliban”.

Al-Jazeera was the mouthpiece of the Taliban during its war with the “Great Satan” America, at a time when Osama bin Laden sent his tapes exclusively to the aforementioned channel before and after the American occupation and until his death in May 2011, that is, after the emergence of ISIS, and “Al-Nusra” in Syria and Iraq, which are the arenas for America and its new allies to settle scores with the resistance countries and for “Israel”.

All this explains the new US military position in Jordan, adjacent to Syria, Iraq, and “Israel”, after Washington transferred some of its forces from Qatar, where the Al-Udeid base is still located, which is the most important US base in the region. This base was and will remain, the headquarters of the Central Command of the US Air Force in the Middle East, and it houses 100 warplanes used by US forces against Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

In all cases, and whatever the result of the Turkish moves in Afghanistan, through it in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and all the countries that overlook them or close to them, it has become clear that the Turkish President was, and will remain, a source of concern for President Putin, especially if Ankara succeeds in its relationship with the Taliban. Everyone was surprised by its (Taliban) agreement with President Erdogan, who declared himself “the protector of Islam and Muslims.”

In turn, the Taliban leaders, with Qatari mediation, might consider cooperating with him, especially if he proves his authority in the Central Asian republics of Turkish origin, an authority that the late President Turgut Ozal sought after fall and disintegration of the Soviet Union. Erdogan sees himself as Ozal’s successor and before him Adnan Menderes, who made Turkey “a fish on American hook” for the period 1950-1960.

Erdogan and others did not ignore the strategic location of Afghanistan, which is rich in gold, iron, cobalt, copper, uranium, and rare minerals, including niobium and molybdenum, which are invested by Chinese companies that control the extraction and export of most of the world’s rare minerals everyone needs in sensitive industries, including warplanes and missiles.

In the end, the bet remains on the possible policies of the Taliban. If they remain on their approach as they were 20 years ago, history will repeat itself, and everyone will return to their interests in the extremist Islamist movements that have become more famous for their brutality after the so-called “Arab Spring,” especially in Syria. Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and the extension of these countries in Africa, the Middle East, Bahrain, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and the Gulf region.

Erdogan has proven that he has a long experience in all of them after he succeeded in establishing and developing distinguished relations with all Islamist movements, both political and armed, many of whose leaders had previously been present and fought in Afghanistan. These leaders had a relationship with “Al-Qaeda”, and later “Taliban”, which seems clear that, with its next actions, it will decide the fate and future of Afghanistan, and all its neighboring countries as well, most of which are within the borders of Russia’s backyard.

This may be the “hidden satanic” reason for Washington’s decision to withdraw, which wants Russia to afflict Afghanistan again as it afflicted it during the Soviet occupation, and Turkey was at the time on the neutral, but this time it will be a direct party, as is the case on many fronts, which it proved with the transfer of mercenaries from Syria to Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh. Now, some expect it to transfer their likes to Afghanistan, which is what America might do by transferring what it has of ISIS detainees in Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan!

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President Bashar Assad Delivers a Strong Election Victory Speech

 ARABI SOURI 

President Bashar Assad delivers election victory speech

President Bashar Assad delivered his victory speech after declaring the presidential election results, the televised speech is full of strong words, messages to the Syrian people, their friends, and to their enemies, and vows to start a new constitutional term with more determination on completing the battle against the enemies and to rebuild the country.

In a televised speech, the Syrian President who was re-elected with a whopping 95.1% of the votes, sent several messages to his people and to the enemies abroad, charged with the strength and determination he received from the Syrians who proved once again their steadfastness to continue battling the regime change, occupation, and stealing of their riches by voting again to President Assad for a 4th term, the 2nd based on the recent constitution of 2012, and they voted in an unprecedented flocking to the voting centers all over the country challenging the terrorist threats and ignoring the comments from some western countries and their regional stooges as the approval of those parties is not required to determine who will be leading Syria.

The following is the video clip with English subtitles, followed by the full transcript in English, the translation is partly done by the Syrian News Agency SANA:

https://videopress.com/embed/308CarDz?preloadContent=metadata&hd=1

The video is also available on YouTube and BitChute.

The English transcript of the speech:

Dear fellow citizens, my brothers in loyalty and belonging (to Syria),

In each national entitlement, whether this entitlement was a defense by weapon, opinion, work, or a constitutional entitlement, you have always been making your special definition for the meaning of patriotism, and in every stage that we have been through, your definition has carried special messages, whether for the friend or the enemy, which stems from the conditions of that stage and suits its challenges.

And despite that your several messages didn’t lack, at any time of the war, the wisdom, eloquence, and clearness in their terms, and the deep meaning carried in its lines and in between the lines, but the enemies and opponents have insisted to avoid and deny them, as part of their policies based on denying the reality, denying the failure and defeat of the their policies, and not recognizing the deterioration of their principles and ethics, and they seemed during the latest years that they were infected with insanity… as they see through their eyes, but they don’t see through their minds.

In this entitlement (the presidential election), your definition of patriotism did not differ in its context but it differed in the way and manner, and it will inevitably differ in results and repercussions, your messages will penetrate all barriers and shields they have put around their minds, and it will shift their minds from the willful lethargy state they lived in for years to the coercive thinking state of what is happening on the ground.

What have you done during the past weeks was not a mere celebration in an occasion, nor was it an expression of patriotic emotion or enthusiasm, or adherence to a national duty which is participation in the presidential election; rather what happened goes beyond all that, in wide-scale and great distances. What you have done was a phenomenon of unprecedented challenge to enemies of the homeland of all their nationalities, loyalties, and dependences.

It has broken their false arrogance and pride, and was a slap on the faces of their agents, this challenge was on the highest level of expressing true and deep loyalty to the homeland, it was sending messages in the strongest terms to persons who were sitting in the dark rooms plotting schemes and intrigues dreaming of success at the expense of our blood, money, dignity, and honor, and who will mourn their misfortune again with their tools for their miscalculations, short-sightedness, and lack of understanding the reality and the nature and the essence of this people.

You have turned the scales and broken the game rules and undoubtedly affirmed that those rules are set and determined only here, and made here, and is specified here by our own hands, and that there is no place for partners except for the brothers and friends.

You have redefined patriotism, and this automatically means redefining treason, and the difference between them is like the difference between the so-called the revolution of rebels and what we have witnessed the agitation of bulls, it is like the difference between a rebel (Tha’er in Arabic) that absorbs honor and a bull (Thawr in Arabic) that fed with fodder, between a rebel whose way is honor and pride and a bull that is fond of disgrace and shame, and between a rebel who kneels to his creator and a bull who falls into prostration for the dollar.

You have defined the revolution and brought back its brilliance after part of mercenaries, who lack honor and bear a Syrian passport, have defamed its name, you’ve rescued the reputation (of the revolution) and you’ve relaunched it, so what happened were not celebrations, but rather a revolution in the true sense of the word, not metaphorical, a revolution against terrorism, treason and moral deterioration, a revolution of the tongue, pen, work, and a weapon.

A revolution entitled “honor” against every fallen who has agreed for himself to be a ride on which others can ride to take them wherever they want.

Brothers, gentlemen and lady citizens,

The people choosing me to serve them in the coming constitutional period is a great honor that only the honor of belonging to this people can live up to, not only in the identity card, but in the opinions, aspirations, values, and habits, and what increases my enthusiasm and confidence in future is the spirit of challenge you have, which without it, the bearer of the responsibility cannot face the largest national challenges, and without it a homeland cannot rise up after 10 years of war.

It is your potential strength, which appears in its clear form in the major milestones, provoked by challenges and transformed by your will into action and achievement.

It is the mighty energy that provides the nation with strength and prepares it for victory and triumph.,

I am confident that with this fighting spirit, we will be able to defeat all our enemies, no matter how many fights, and how much the horrors intensify.

This spirit is what we need for the next stage which is a stage of continuous work, resistance and steadfastness in order to prove to our enemies once again that fighting our people through their basic needs and livelihood, would not affect, but increase their commitment to homeland and all of what it represents.

And this people, at the major challenges and entitlements, has always proven that the country is above all.

Brothers, dearest ones, I greet every Syrian citizen who has expressed, through his/her own way, his love to the homeland in every city, town, and village, whether through rallies, popular gatherings, or other ways, I greet and salute every individual, family and tribe who have shown their utmost belonging to their country and raised its flag and withstood in the war and challenged in the entitlement.

I salute our citizens abroad who have integrated through their messages from outside with the messages of their brothers inside, where the far distance and obstacles have not prevented them from participating enthusiastically in the election, and to those who have not been able to cast vote under pressures or intimidation they exerted upon them, we say that your votes have reached, with doubled force, not through the ballot box, but through your stance, so the message has been delivered to the enemies and the patriotic mission has been fulfilled.

You’ve lived a proud people that does not accept dishonor, you’ve a proud people who does not submit to hardship and does not bow down to anyone but God.

Long live and long live Syria, free, honorable, strong, and invincible, peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

End of the English transcript.

This is the first time President Assad uses such strong terms to describe the terrorists acting as rebels in a revolution, describing them as bulls in Arabic and in the context he put is not a favorable description at all.

The Syrian president also raised the level of challenge against the west and described them as disconnected from reality, created their own vision, and blocked themselves from seeing the developments on the ground, ‘they’re infected with insanity,’ and they’re (the enemies of Syria are) ‘not recognizing the deterioration of their principles and ethics’, President Assad describing the likes of officials in the USA, France, Germany, and other countries which have tried to interfere in the Syrian presidential election

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Turkey Re-uses Thirst As A Weapon: Cutting off Water in Syria’s Al-Hasakah

Turkey Re-uses Thirst As A Weapon:  Cutting off Water in Syria’s Al-Hasakah 

By Mohammed Eid

Syria – The Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries continue to blackmail the people of Al-Hasakah and its western countryside by cutting off drinking water from time to time. 

As the summer is near, the Turks returned to practice their hobby of torturing the people and imposing a fait accompli on them. In response, the Syrian government continues digging more wells and using reserves to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe added to the massive spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Khalaf is a Syrian citizen who spends hours on his motorcycle carrying a few empty “gallons” looking for someone to fill it “at any price. However, his efforts remained fruitless as the hot sun rays and the long fasting hours added to his suffering. Suddenly, he stops in front of the Turkish soldiers and their mercenaries sending a heartbreaking angry cry to who “sold the homeland and its dignity at the lowest price.”

“Every time the Syrian government, the UN and the Russians interfere as mediators, things would ease up after the Turkish blackmail reaches its maximum,” Khalaf confirms to “Al-Ahed news” in extreme anger.
Khalaf’s suffering resembles the situation of the majority of the population waiting for a hot summer. “

The Turks have accustomed us to this scene since they set their occupation foot on this land,” Khaled told “Al-Ahed news” before lining up in line, waiting to fill out his “gallons” with the water of the reserve well that the government uses whenever the Turks return to a new chapter of their water terror series.

Meanwhile, Member of the Executive Office of the Municipal Councils’ Sector, Hassan Al-Shamhoud, confirmed that the only and main water source for Al-Hasakah city is Alouk water. 

In remarks to “Al-Ahed news”, Al-Shamhoud pointed out that around 18 attacks were scored recently on the power lines linking Darbasiyah station to Alouk. 

“This weakened the electrical energy reaching the station resulted in the ability to operate only one pump to the three wells. Thus, water does not reach its only destiny at Al-Hamma station,” he elaborated.

Regarding the alternative solutions, Al-Hasakah municipal official explained that “We are restoring to wells in the central city and neighborhoods, in addition to those 28 built by the City Council, along with some wells belonging to some people who help the rest of the population get free drinking water.”

It’s worth mentioning that Syria had urged the United Nations, its specialized agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross to shoulder their responsibilities in terms of ending the unjustified Turkish escalation towards the Syrian citizens in Al-Hasakah province, after the Turks and their mercenaries continue to cut off water on more than a million Syrians for more than 16 days.

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SAUDI ARABIA SUFFERS FROM HOUTHI ATTACKS. IS THERE A NEW JOB FOR TURKEY’S MERCENARIES?

South Front

12.04.2021 

Yemen’s Ansar Allah give the impression that it has an endless supply of drones.

The Houthis (as Ansar Allah is also known) appear to be adept at using them, if their own claims are to be entirely trusted.

On April 11th, two Qasef-2K drones were used to separately target the Jizan Airport and the King Khalid Airbase.

The Jizan Airport is a new target that has recently come up in reports of Houthi attacks.

The location includes hangars containing Saudi warplanes.

The King Khalid Airbase in ‘Asir suffers from the Houthi drone attacks more frequently, and has been subject of attacks at least 4 times in separate incidents since April 1st.

On April 9th, the Jizan Airport was targeted for the first time, and so was the Abha International Airport.

The Houthis are using their drones to disturb the aerial operations of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Riyadh generally either denies these reports of attacks or says they were ineffective, while Ansar Allah claims they successfully fulfilled their mission.

Clashes on the ground continue in Yemen, with the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis fighting in the Madghal district, and in the southern Kadhah district.

Saudi Arabia attempts to dig out every reason why its war in Yemen is failing, and on April 10th announced the execution of three of its soldiers for “high treason”.

They were allegedly collabarating with an enemy against Riyadh’s military interests.

They could have been in contact with the Houthis or with Iran.

This is practically the same, as Tehran supports Ansar Allah.

This means that Riyadh can’t fully trust its own armed forces, and it could require some help, in the form of mercenaries.

The militants in Syria that Turkey deploys and uses in small-scale conflicts such as Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh could be potential candidates for this.

Turkey, under Egyptian pressure, is expected to withdraw the mercenaries from Libya.

According to reports, it will do so within the next 5 months.

Separately, a video showing Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries complaining for not getting paid after fighting for Azerbaijan went viral.

Immediately after it gained popularity, these same militants released a video saying that the news was fabricated, and that they never fought in Nagorno-Karabakh to begin with.

According to unnamed Yemeni intelligence sources, terrorists from Syria were expected to join the Saudi-led coalition in early April.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was reportedly waiting for new militants to arrive in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan to latter send them to Marib.

Today, many Turkish-backed mercenaries are sitting idly, unemployed.

This could mean either bad news for Syria, which will have to deal with them, or Ankara might decide to send them to Riyadh, if it “asks” for assistance.

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A HARD LIFE FOR TURKEY AND ITS PROXIES IN NORTHERN SYRIA

 09.04.2021 

South Front

In the North of Syria, the Turkish armed forces and the factions backed by Ankara are attempting to move and are being punished.

This is the case in Greater Idlib, where a Turkish army convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) as it was passing on a road between the towns of al-Bara and Ehsim in the southern part of Idlib.

Saryat Ansar Abu Baker As-Siddiq, a newly-founded al-Qaeda-linked group with unknown origins, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The IED attack was in response to insults to Muslim women in Afrin and Aleppo.

Meanwhile in Afrin, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced that two of its soldiers were killed.
The Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group also released a video showing the two Turkish soldiers being targeted with an anti-tank guided missile during a well-planned ambush in the village of Gobele.

In response, the Turkish Army shelled positions held by Kurdish forces in the town of Tell Rifaat and its outskirts.

Three Kurdish fighters were killed.

In Aleppo, the Turkish proxies are not without success. the Syrian National Army (SNA) shot down an armed drone that was flying over the Turkish-occupied northern part of the countryside.

The drone was a locally-modified copy of the commercially-available X-UAV mini-Talon, used by Kurdish groups.

While the Kurdish forces lose their drones, the Ansar Allah are putting theirs to good use in Yemen.

Early on April 8, the group announced that it had launched a Qasef-2K suicide drone at the Saudi King Khalid Air Base in the southern province of ‘Asir.

The Houthis (as Ansar Allah are more commonly known) said that the drone had struck its target successfully.

On the other hand, the Saudi-led coalition claimed that it had shot down the drone over the city of Khamis Mushait, near King Khalid Air Base.

In the late hours of April 8th, the Houthis targeted the Jizan airport in the southwest of the Kingdom with a Qasef-2K drone.

The airport contains hangars for Saudi warplanes used to carry out airstrikes throughout Yemen.

Additionally, a commander of the Seventh Military District of the Saudi-led coalition was killed in west of the city of Marib.

The Houthis are keeping up their pressure towards the city, despite constant airstrikes by Riyadh’s warplanes.

The Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes appear to be of little effectiveness.

The volatility in the Middle East continues, with rather small movements taking place in most locations.

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Could Turkish involvement in Yemen free Saudi Arabia?

2018 Istanbul protest against Saudi actions in Yemen
Could Turkey help out Saudi Arabia in Yemen? Just 28 months ago, as seen here on Nov. 11, 2018, Turks were chanting slogans and holding posters in protest of Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen outside the Saudi Consulate. The October 2018 murder of journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi inside the consulate had helped push attention to the war in Yemen.


Source
fehimtastekin.jpg

Fehim Tastekin

April 2, 2021

In part as a result of the Biden administration’s shifting policies toward Iran and Washington’s decision to temporarily freeze and review weapons sales to Saudi Arabia over the Yemeni war, Ankara is aiming to turn Saudi Arabia’s growing international isolation to Turkey’s advantage.

Some Syrian opposition sources claim Turkey might transfer Syrian fighters to Yemen to fight alongside the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels. The immediate interpretation of these claims might be that Turkey is extending an olive branch to Saudi Arabia following a yearslong frostiness in relations.

The second interpretation might be that Ankara is signaling to Tehran Turkey’s disgruntlement over Iranian military activities in Iraq and Syria. Iran believes Russia made too many concessions to Turkey on Syria and has overtly expressed its opposition against Turkish military operations in Iraq, prompting diplomatic bickering between Ankara and Tehran.

Possible Turkish involvement in the Yemeni war might provide Saudi Arabia the face-saving exit from the conflict that Riyadh has been looking for. Reportedly, Turkey’s support might also include Turkish armed drones that have been game changers in the Libyan and Azeri-Armenian conflicts.

The Yemeni Al-Islah Party — the Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood — has been asking Turkey to step into the fray. However, the United Arab Emirates has long opposed the Al-Islah Party’s cooperation in the conflict, while Saudi Arabia has only reluctantly accepted cooperation to date. 

Saudi officials have reportedly been advised to improve ties with Turkey after a chilliness with the Biden administration developed as a result of the administration’s positive messages on the Iranian nuclear deal, the release of a CIA report exposing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the Jamal Khashoggi murder and the decision to lift the Houthis from the US list of foreign terrorist groups. The pro-government Turkish media has also trumpeted a narrative that Riyadh “desperately needs” Turkey.

While the idea of sending Syrian fighters to Yemen may be mere speculation, there have been a number of claims about the matter. Citing a source from the Syrian armed group Sultan Suleiman Shah, the North Press Agency reported that the Syrian National Army, a rebel group backed by Turkey, “has been working for weeks to prepare dozens of militants to send to Yemen.” According to the report, fighters have been offered salaries up to $2,500 a month and were told they were going to be positioned on the Yemeni-Saudi border and not participate in the clashes. It’s worth mentioning that Syrian fighters who were sent to Azerbaijan had also been told that they did not have to participate in the fighting, only to find themselves on the front lines.

Similarly, the Violations Documentation Center in Northern Syria said Turkey’s intelligence agency assigned an opposition commander to recruit fighters to be sent to Yemen. According to the report, the fighters were offered $2,500 monthly; $100 of this amount would be deducted for document expenses, fighters would receive $400 in cash initially and the remaining $2,000 would be paid to their families after the move to Yemen.

Journalist Lindsey Snell shared a voice recording that reportedly belongs to a Sultan Murad Brigades commander in which he seeks identification documents from his fighters who “wish to go to Yemen.” Snell said in a tweet accompanying the recording, “This happened in the couple weeks before Azerbaijan, too.” This was in reference to the transfer of Syrian fighters to the Azeri-Armenian conflict. Social media is abuzz with similar claims. 

Meanwhile, a Turkish armed drone was downed by Houthi rebels in al-Jawf region, further fanning claims about possible Turkish involvement in the conflict. Houthi military spokesman Col. Yahya Saree said the downed drone was a Turkish-built Vestel Karayel aircraft. 

Yet Saudi Arabia acquired these drones as part of a contract worth $200 million that Vestel Defense signed with Riyadh last year. According to the Saudi General Authority for Defense Industries, Riyadh is aiming to build up to 40 armed drones in five years, with six of them planned to be built in 2021.  

Despite rife speculation, there is no official confirmation that Baykar Makina, the manufacturer of the Bayraktar drones used in Libya and the northern Caucasus, will play a role in the Yemen conflict. 

According to Deutsche Welle Arabic, the Al-Islah party, might have played a mediator role in the recent Saudi Arabia-Turkey rapprochement. Citing former Yemeni Transportation Minister Saleh al Yemeni’s remarks to local Yemeni media, Deutsche Welle Arabic reported that an alliance between Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Yemen was “imminent” after disagreements surfaced between UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Riyadh. The UAE media, meanwhile, paints these news reports as Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. 

According to the London-based Al Arab newspaper, Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood network are relying on increasing concerns of the Saudi side following the US policy shift on the Yemeni war and Houthi rebels’ advances toward the oil- and gas-rich Marib region. The newspaper said the first call for Saudi-Turkish cooperation in Yemen came from one of the Al-Islah Party leaders who lives in Istanbul. Hamid al-Ahmar told Al Jazeera that Saudi Arabia turned to Turkey for advanced weapons after the US weapons freeze.

The UAE, like Egypt, is insisting that Turkey should cut its support to the Muslim Brotherhood to mend relations with Abu Dhabi. However, the Emiratis’ diminishing support for Khalifa Hifter in Libya and its decision to pull back from a military base in Eritrea that was key to Yemeni operations could be a manifestation of a downgrade in the UAE’s regional ambitions.

Muslim Brotherhood groups’ desire to draw Turkey into the Yemeni conflict, meanwhile, seems quite clear. Al Jazeera commentator Faisal al Kasim trumpeted that the balance of power on the ground in Yemen would change as soon as “Turkey has started to step into the Yemeni file.” Turkish-based Egyptian journalist Jamal Sultan claimed that Turkish-built Bayrak drones were spotted in Yemeni skies.

Pro-government Turkish media outlets sing a similar tune. The Yeni Safak daily, a governmental mouthpiece, claimed that Saudi Arabia was left alone in the Yemeni conflict. “Saudi Arabia has lost its fear of Turkey,” the paper wrote, “Turkey is the only country that could save Saudi Arabia from the mess it is in.”

Burhanettin Duran — a member of a foreign policy board advising the president and head of the pro-government think-tank SETA — argued that Gulf policies to restrain Iran and Turkey have failed. The Saudis “now need Turkey to fight off Iran’s expansionist policies in the region including in Yemen,” according to Duran. 

The Iranian media also appears to take claims of Turkish involvement in the Yemen conflict seriously. Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported that Saudi authorities have decided to put aside differences with their Turkish counterparts to cooperate with Ankara on the Yemen file.

Although mutual Turkish Saudi interests could spell a new beginning in Ankara-Riyadh ties, the lack of any official acknowledgment is an indication of reluctance and caution on both sides. Defusing a confrontation of some seven years between Turkey and Arab countries requires comprehensive consideration as the “Arab skepticism” that was fanned by Turkey’s expansionist ambitions in the region still is in play and appears to shape Arab countries’ approach to Turkey.


“المونيتور”: هل تتدخل تركيا في اليمن لإنقاذ السعودية؟

الكاتب: فهيم تستكين

المصدر: المونيتور 6 نيسان 14:54

يجادل الإخوان المسلمون ومصادر مقربة من الحكومة التركية بأن السعودية يمكن أن تجد مخرجاً لحفظ ماء وجهها في الصراع اليمني من خلال التعاون مع تركيا.

أتراك يحتجون أمام القنصلية السعودية في اسطنبول عام 2018.
أتراك يحتجون أمام القنصلية السعودية في اسطنبول عام 2018
fehimtastekin.jpg

كتب الصحافي التركي فهيم تستكين مقالة في موقع “المونيتور” الأميركي قال فيها إن تركيا تسعى إلى تحويل العزلة الدولية المتزايدة للسعودية لصالحها، وذلك في أعقاب سياسات إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن المتغيرة تجاه إيران وقرار واشنطن بتجميد ومراجعة مبيعات الأسلحة إلى السعودية مؤقتاً بسبب الحرب اليمنية.

وأضاف الكاتب أن بعض مصادر المعارضة السورية تزعم أن تركيا قد تنقل مقاتلين سوريين إلى اليمن للقتال إلى جانب التحالف الذي تقوده السعودية ضد الحوثيين. وقد يكون التفسير الفوري لهذه الادعاءات هو أن تركيا تمدّ غصن زيتون إلى السعودية بعد سنوات من الجمود في العلاقات.

أما التفسير الثاني فقد يكون أن أنقرة تشير إلى استياء تركيا من الأنشطة العسكرية الإيرانية في العراق وسوريا. وتعتقد إيران أن روسيا قدمت الكثير من التنازلات لتركيا بشأن سوريا وأعربت صراحةً عن معارضتها للعمليات العسكرية التركية في العراق، مما أثار مشاحنات دبلوماسية بين أنقرة وطهران.

ورأى الكاتب أن التورط التركي المحتمل في الحرب اليمنية للسعودية قد يوفر مخرجاً من الصراع كانت الرياض تبحث عنه ويحفظ لها ماء وجهها. وبحسب ما ورد، فقد يشمل دعم تركيا كذلك طائرات مسلحة تركية بدون طيار كانت بمثابة تغيير لقواعد اللعبة في النزاعين الليبي والأذري-الأرميني.

ويطالب حزب الإصلاح اليمني – الفرع اليمني للإخوان المسلمين – تركيا بالدخول في المعركة. ومع ذلك، لطالما عارضت الإمارات العربية المتحدة التعاون مع حزب الإصلاح في الحرب ضد “أنصار الله”، بينما قبلت السعودية على مضض التعاون معه حتى الآن.

وأضاف الكاتب أنه ورد أن المسؤولين السعوديين نُصحوا بتحسين العلاقات مع تركيا بعد أن تطورت حالة من النفور من إدارة بايدن نتيجة للرسائل الإيجابية للإدارة بشأن الاتفاق النووي الإيراني، وصدور تقرير لوكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية يفضح دور ولي العهد السعودي الأمير محمد بن سلمان في جريمة قتل جمال خاشقجي وقرار رفع “انصار الله” الحوثيين من القائمة الأميركية للجماعات الإرهابية الأجنبية. كما روجت وسائل الإعلام التركية الموالية للحكومة لرواية مفادها أن الرياض “بحاجة ماسة” إلى تركيا.

وقال الكاتب إنه في حين أن فكرة إرسال مقاتلين سوريين إلى اليمن قد تكون مجرد تكهنات، إلا أن هناك عدداً من المزاعم حول الأمر. فقد نقلت وكالة “نورث برس” عن مصدر من الجماعة المسلحة السورية التي تدعى “سلطان سليمان شاه”، أن “الجيش الوطني السوري”، وهو جماعة معارضة تدعمها تركيا، “يعمل منذ أسابيع لإعداد عشرات المسلحين لإرسالهم إلى اليمن”. وبحسب التقرير، عُرض على المقاتلين رواتب تصل إلى 2500 دولار شهرياً وقيل لهم إنهم سيتمركزون على الحدود اليمنية السعودية ولن يشاركوا في الاشتباكات. ومن الجدير بالذكر أن المقاتلين السوريين الذين تم إرسالهم إلى أذربيجان تم إخبارهم أيضاً أنه ليس عليهم المشاركة في القتال، فقط ليجدوا أنفسهم في الخطوط الأمامية.

بدوره، قال مركز توثيق الانتهاكات في شمال سوريا إن وكالة الاستخبارات التركية كلفت أحد قادة المعارضة بتجنيد مقاتلين لإرسالهم إلى اليمن. وبحسب التقرير، عرض على المقاتلين 2500 دولار شهرياً حيث سيتم خصم 100 دولار من هذا المبلغ لتغطية نفقات المستندات، وسيحصل المقاتلون على 400 دولار نقداً في البداية، وسيتم دفع مبلغ 2000 دولار المتبقي لعائلاتهم بعد الانتقال إلى اليمن.

وشاركت الصحافية ليندسي سنيل تسجيلاً صوتياً يُقال إنه يعود إلى قائد في “كتائب السلطان مراد” السورية الموالية لتركيا يسعى فيه للحصول على وثائق هوية من مقاتليه الذين “يرغبون في الذهاب إلى اليمن”. وقالت سنيل في تغريدة مصاحبة للتسجيل، “حدث هذا في الأسبوعين السابقين لأذربيجان كذلك”. كان هذا في إشارة إلى نقل مقاتلين سوريين إلى الصراع الأذري الأرمني. كما أن وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي تعج بمزاعم مماثلة.

في هذه الأثناء، أسقط اليمنيون طائرة مسيّرة مسلحة تركية في منطقة الجوف، مما زاد من تصاعد المزاعم حول احتمال تورط تركيا في الصراع. وقال المتحدث باسم الجيش اليمني العقيد يحيى سريع إن الطائرة المسيّرة كانت من طراز “فيستل كرايل” تركية الصنع.

واستحوذت السعودية على هذه الطائرات بدون طيار كجزء من عقد بقيمة 200 مليون دولار وقعته شركة “فيستل” مع الرياض العام الماضي. ووفقاً للهيئة العامة للصناعات الدفاعية السعودية، تهدف الرياض إلى تصنيع ما يصل إلى 40 طائرة مسيّرة مسلحة في غضون خمس سنوات، ومن المقرر تصنيع ست طائرات منها في عام 2021.

وعلى الرغم من التكهنات المنتشرة، لا يوجد تأكيد رسمي بأن شركة “بايكار مكينا”، الشركة المصنعة للطائرات بدون طيار المستخدمة في ليبيا وشمال القوقاز، ستلعب دوراً في الصراع اليمني.

وبحسب قناة “دويتشه فيله” الألمانية، ربما لعب حزب الإصلاح اليمني دوراً وسيطاً في التقارب السعودي التركي الأخير. ونقلاً عن تصريحات وزير النقل اليمني السابق صالح اليمني لوسائل إعلام يمنية محلية، ذكرت “دويتشه فيله” بالعربية أن تحالفاً بين تركيا والسعودية في اليمن كان “وشيكاً” بعد ظهور خلافات بين ولي العهد الإماراتي محمد بن زايد آل نهيان والرياض. في غضون ذلك، يصور الإعلام الإماراتي هذه التقارير الإخبارية على أنها دعاية للإخوان المسلمين.

وبحسب صحيفة العرب، التي تتخذ من لندن مقراً لها، تعوّل تركيا وقطر وشبكة الإخوان المسلمين على مخاوف متزايدة للسعوديين في أعقاب التحول في السياسة الأميركية بشأن الحرب اليمنية وتقدم المتمردين الحوثيين نحو منطقة مأرب الغنية بالنفط والغاز. وقالت الصحيفة إن الدعوة الأولى للتعاون السعودي التركي في اليمن جاءت من حميد الأحمر، أحد قيادات حزب الإصلاح الذي يعيش في اسطنبول إذ قال إن السعودية لجأت إلى تركيا للحصول على أسلحة متطورة بعد تجميد الأسلحة الأميركية.

ورأى الكاتب أن رغبة جماعات الإخوان المسلمين في جر تركيا إلى الصراع اليمني تبدو واضحة تماماً. وادعى الصحافي المصري جمال سلطان المقيم في تركيا بأنه تم رصد طائرات بدون طيار تركية الصنع في سماء اليمن.

وسائل الإعلام التركية الموالية للحكومة تردد نغمة مماثلة. فقد زعمت صحيفة “يني شفق”، الناطقة باسم الحكومة، أن السعودية تُركت وحيدة في الصراع اليمني. وكتبت الصحيفة: “تخلت المملكة العربية السعودية عن خوفها من تركيا، فتركيا هي الدولة الوحيدة التي يمكن أن تنقذ السعودية من الفوضى التي تعيش فيها”.

وجادل برهان الدين دوران – عضو مجلس إدارة السياسة الخارجية الذي يقدم المشورة للرئيس ورئيس مركز الفكر “سيتا” الموالي للحكومة – بأن سياسات الخليج لكبح جماح إيران وتركيا قد فشلت. وقال دوران إن السعوديين “يحتاجون الآن إلى تركيا لمحاربة سياسات إيران التوسعية في المنطقة بما في ذلك اليمن”.

ويبدو أن وسائل الإعلام الإيرانية تأخذ بدورها مزاعم تورط تركيا في الصراع اليمني على محمل الجد. فقد ذكرت وكالة الأنباء الإيرانية الرسمية (إرنا) أن السلطات السعودية قررت وضع الخلافات مع الأتراك جانباً للتعاون مع أنقرة في ملف اليمن.

وخلص الكاتب إلى أنه على الرغم من أن المصالح السعودية التركية المتبادلة يمكن أن تشكل بداية جديدة في العلاقات بين أنقرة والرياض، فإن عدم وجود أي اعتراف رسمي بذلك هو مؤشر على التردد والحذر من كلا الجانبين. إذ يتطلب نزع فتيل مواجهة دامت نحو سبع سنوات بين تركيا والدول العربية دراسة شاملة لأن “الشكوك العربية” التي أذكتها طموحات تركيا التوسعية في المنطقة لا تزال قائمة ويبدو أنها تشكل مقاربة الدول العربية تجاه تركيا.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم

AFTER LIBYA AND AZERBAIJAN TURKEY SENDS LOYAL SYRIAN MILITANTS TO YEMEN

South Front

After Libya And Azerbaijan Turkey Sends Loyal Syrian Militants To Yemen
Illustrative image

Submitted by Khaled Iskef.

Informed sources in Idlib Governorate said that Turkey intends to transfer Syrian fighters to Yemen with the aim of engaging them in battles against the Houthis.

The same sources confirmed that representatives of the Turkish intelligence began to communicate with the Free Army factions to start the registration of those desiring to go, with the aim to transfer them to the Ma’rib governorate in Yemen to fight alongside the Islah party of the Muslim Brotherhood against the Houthis.

The sources pointed out that the salary that the fighter will receive in Yemen is $ 1500, in addition to food expenses of $ 400.

It is expected that the first batch of 300 Syrian fighters will be transferred within days.

According to private sources, the salaries of the militants may reach $ 5,000 for fighters and $ 2,300 for facility guards.

The private sources added that the transfer of the militants would take place before the fifth month of this year

It is worth noting that this is not for the first time that Turkey has transferred Syrian and non-Syrian militants from northern Syria, Idlib, and Aleppo, to conflict areas such as Libya and Azerbaijan.

The number of fighters that Turkey transferred to the Nagorno Karabakh region reached about 1450 militants during the outbreak of the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which ended with imposition of Turkish-backed Azerbaijan’s control of Shusha, the second-largest city in Karabakh.

Turkey’s role in the Libyan file was very large, and one could say said that they controlled most of the Libyan file’s papers, despite the fact that regional parties continued to play less important roles in this file.

But what draws attention is the role that the Syrian fighters are playing in the Libyan war, which began with the Turkish military intervention in Libya in support of the Sarraj government.

According to various sources, no less than 500 Syrian militants were killed in Libya during the battles, including leaders of the armed groups and 30 children.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory announced that the number of mercenary soldiers from the Syrian factions loyal to Turkey who were fighting alongside the Azerbaijani forces has reached 72 people since their involvement in the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

One of activists said, on condition of anonymity out of fear for his safety, that the militants, most of whom are from the Turkish-backed factions, such as the Sultan Murad Brigade, the Hamza Brigade, and the Euphrates Shield go in exchange for money. Another activist explained that they are basically desperate fighters recruited by Turkey for about $ 1,500 to $ 2,000 a month.

The Turkish security companies oversee the transfer of militants by transporting them to Turkey and then  to Azerbaijan and Libya, while the Baku government denied information about the transfer of militants to Azerbaijan.

The British newspaper The Guardian quoted a Syrian young man  as saying that he had been transported to Azerbaijan by a Turkish military plane and that he had already worked there on the line of contact with Armenia before the conflict calmed down. According to the newspaper, the 23-year-old Syrian was transported from Idlib to the conflict zone in the South Caucasus in September as part of a battalion of 1,000 Syrians.

According to some information from French sources, fighters of jihadist groups from Syria have reached the conflict zone via Turkey.

Transport operations were not limited to these countries, as the military platforms were promoted via social media in order to attract more Syrian jihadists and send them to Qatar to work as security guards during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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The region’s wars are concentrated in Yemen حروب المنطقة تتركّز في اليمن

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

The region’s wars are concentrated in Yemen

The U.S. push to stop the war in Yemen, when the U.S. adopted Saudi conditions based on the separation of the request to stop the bombing of the Saudi rear by Ansar Allah, without asking to stop the Saudi-Emirati aggression on Yemen, and stop the blockade that closes Sana’a airport and the port of Hodeida, thus making the war the only way to end the Yemeni crisis.

The U.S. formula to stop the war, which was rejected by the Yemenis, coincided with a U.S. alignment behind the defense of Saudi Arabia by placing a priority on stopping the bombing of the depths of Saudi Arabia as a condition for any discussion of efforts aimed at stopping the war.

The Americans know that establishing a balance of fire allows making the bombing of the Saudi depth, which is very costly to the Yemenis, will not bring new results after the Saudi air strikes on the Yemeni rear have reached its highest extent, and that any change that can be bet on is the creation of a new field balance in the ongoing ground war in a number of Yemen’s governorates, especially in the strategic and highly sensitive governorate of Ma’rib.

The Saudis, backed by the Americans, are begging for Turkish and Qatari aid to seek a new equation in the ground war, and the Turkish-Qatari support is carried out by transferring fighters from Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood from Libya and Syria to Yemen to fight battles in the governorates of Ab, Abyan and Marib.

Practically speaking, the Yemen war is turning into the Mother of Battles drawing new balances in the region, the regional map appears to be the subject of mixing papers against that could open the door to changes in the US- relationship, from the gate of improving Turkish-Egyptian relations, and the talk about improved relations Turkish with Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, and that can explain the circumstances in which the new Libyan government was born.

The Russian pursuit towards the Gulf and Turkey under the title of understandings concerning Russian efforts to move solutions in Syria, will not affect the real changes imposed by Yemen, and will not succeed in changing its equations, as much as it will make the defeat of the Saudis and Emiratis, more comprehensive, broader and an entry point for equations affecting the entire region. .

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حروب المنطقة تتركّز في اليمن

توقفت الاندفاعة الأميركيّة لوقف الحرب في اليمن، عند تبنٍّ أميركيّ للشروط السعوديّة القائمة على فصل طلب وقف قصف العمق السعودي من قبل أنصار الله، عن طلب وقف العدوان السعودي الإماراتي على اليمن، ووقف الحصار الذي يقفل مطار صنعاء وميناء الحديدة، ما يجعل الحرب ميداناً وحيداً لتحرك الأزمة اليمنية.

ترافقت الصيغة الأميركية لوقف الحرب التي رفضها اليمنيون، مع اصطفاف أميركي وراء الدفاع عن السعودية بخلفية السعي لوضع أولوية وقف قصف العمق السعودي شرطاً لأي بحث بالمساعي الهادفة لوقف الحرب.

يعرف الأميركيون أن إقامة توازن ناري يتيح جعل قصف العمق السعودي عالي الكلفة على اليمنيين بعدما بلغ العدوان بالغارات السعودية على العمق اليمني مداه الأعلى لن يأتي بنتائج جديدة، وأن التغيير الذي يمكن الرهان عليه هو إحداث توازن ميداني جديد في الحرب البرية الدائرة في عدد من محافظات اليمن، وتتقدّمها محافظة مأرب الاستراتيجية والشديدة الحساسية.

يستنجد السعوديون ويدعمهم الأميركيون بالمعونة التركية والقطرية، في السعي لخلق معادلة جديدة في الحرب البرية، ويتجسّد الدعم التركي القطري بنقل مقاتلين من تنظيم القاعدة، ومن تنظيم الأخوان المسلمين، من ليبيا وسورية الى اليمن، لخوض معارك في محافظات أب وأبين ومأرب.

عمليا تتحوّل حرب اليمن الى أم المعارك في رسم التوازنات الجديدة في المنطقة، وتبدو الخريطة الإقليمية موضوعاً لخلط أوراق على خلفية هذا التحول، ويمكن أن تفتح الباب لتغييرات في العلاقة الأميركية التركية، من بوابة ما بدأت طلائعه في تحسين العلاقات التركيّة المصريّة، والحديث عن تحسّن علاقات تركيا بالسعودية والإمارات، وما يمكن أن يفسر الظروف التي ولدت فيها الحكومة الليبية الجديدة.

السعي الروسي نحو الخليج وتركيا تحت عنوان تفاهمات تخصّ المساعي الروسية لتحريك الحلول في سورية، لن يغير حقيقة الخلفية الحقيقية للتغييرات التي فرضها اليمن، والتي لن تنجح في تغيير معادلاته، بقدر ما ستجعل الهزيمة التي مُني بها السعوديون والإماراتيون، أشمل وأوسع ومدخلاً لمعادلات تطال المنطقة كلها.

تركيا تخلط الأوراق الإقليميّة مجدداً؟

ناصر قنديل

قبل ست سنوات كانت تركيا رأس الحربة في الحرب المركزية التي تخوضها واشنطن في المنطقة، وكانت سورية المستهدف الرئيسيّ فيها، وكانت أوروبا ودول الخليج وكيان الاحتلال تصطف كلها في هذه الحرب، قبل أن تتموضع روسيا عسكرياً في سورية، وتنخرط مع إيران وقوى المقاومة في خطة موحّدة لدعم الجيش السوري في مواجهة هذه الحرب، وتدور رحى المواجهة الحاسمة في معركة حلب. وعند هذا المنعطف لم تتردد تركيا في خوض المواجهة مع روسيا وتسقط طائرة حربية روسية، حتى ثبت لها عدم وجود قرار أطلسي بالتصادم مع روسيا، فكانت الخطوة التركية الأولى نحو خلط الأوراق الإقليمية، بالانتقال من موقع رأس الحربة في الحرب على سورية، إلى موقع جديد عنوانه تفاهمات أستانة التي ربطت تركيا مع روسيا وإيران، الذي سلّمت بموجبه تركيا بخسارتها مع حلفائها من الجماعات الإرهابية التابعة لتنظيم القاعدة وتنظيم الأخوان المسلمين، في حلب وحمص وحماة ودرعا والغوطة، مقابل احتفاظها بنفوذها وحضورها في إدلب، كقوة فصل ورعاية لتفاهم يقضي بفصل المعارضة السياسية التي دعيت للانضمام الى العملية السياسية عن الجماعات الإرهابية التي يفترض نزع سلاحها وترحيلها، عبر التفاوض أو الحسم العسكري، وهو الأمر الذي لم ينفذ ولم تقُم خلاله تركيا بواجباتها.

خلال السنوات الفاصلة مضت تركيا تحت غطاء موقعها الجديد، الباقي في حلف الأطلسي والمنفتح على روسيا وإيران، فعقدت صفقة شراء صواريخ الأس 400 من روسيا، ولم تلتزم بالعقوبات الأميركية على إيران، واندفعت نحو فرض حضور إقليمي من ليبيا إلى ناغورني كاراباخ، ونجحت بتحقيق موقع متقدّم فيما كانت قوى دولية بحجم فرنسا تتراجع في ليبيا، وكانت قوى إقليمية أخرى كبرى مثل مصر والسعودية والإمارات تعجز عن بلورة هجوم معاكس يصدّ التقدّم التركي، وبدا أن تركيا التي يرى الكثيرون من خلال قراءة خطاب رئيسها رجب أدروغان انها تتسم بالرعونة والتهوّر، قد نجحت بالتفوق التكتيكي على دول مثل فرنسا ومصر والسعودية والإمارات، وتلاعب الدولتين الأعظم في العالم روسيا وأميركا، وتلعب بين خطوطها الحمر، لتحجز موقعاً بين الكبار وتظهر بصفتها بيضة القبان في التوازنات الإقليميّة، وقبلة اهتمام القوتين العظميين، وتنافسهما على اجتذابها.

مع وصول الرئيس جو بايدن وفريقه الى البيت الأبيض، ورسم عناوين سياسته الخارجية، تريثت تركيا وها هي تتحرك مجدداً، والتحرك التركي الجديد يسير على ثلاثة خطوط متوازية، الأول هو خط الدعم للسياسات الأميركية في الخليج وعنوانها محاولة فرض توازن يتيح التفاوض من موقع القوة في اليمن، لوقف الحرب بشروط مناسبة لواشنطن، بعدما بدا أن التوازن قد تمّ كسره لحساب أنصار الله على حساب السعودية، ومن هذا الباب يبدو الإصطفاف التركي مع السعودية والإمارات عبر نقل المسلحين التابعين لتنظيم القاعدة والأخوان المسلمين من سورية وليبيا إلى اليمن. والثاني هو خط التجاوب مع المساعي الروسية لتزخيم فرص الحل السياسي في سورية عبر قبول صيغ تتبناها موسكو للجنة الدستورية تتيح تحقيق مثل هذا التقدم، وكان الاجتماع الروسي القطري التركي إطاراً لبلورة تفاصيلها، وتفتح الباب لعودة سورية الى الجامعة العربية، بتفاهم يشترك فيه الثلاثي المصري السعودي الإماراتي، وتنضمّ إليه قطر. والثالث هو التحرك على خط التقاطع الروسي الأميركي لوقف الحرب في ليبيا، وتسهيل حل يبتعد من خلاله حليفها فايز السراج عن المسرح، وتمسك فيها تركيا فرص الشراكة الأمنية والسياسية في إنجاح حلقات الحل السياسيّ.

النقلة الجديدة لتركيا، التي ستترجم بتسوية تركية مصرية تطوي صفحة نزاع مديد، تشبه النقلة التي سبقتها من بوابة الانفتاح التركي على روسيا وإيران عبر بوابة أستانة، وتفتح الباب لتركيا لتشكل مع مصر ومن خلفها السعودية والإمارات ثنائي الرعاية المستقبلية للملف الليبي، ومقايضة تراجع الأخوان المسلمين من الواجهة المصرية، وربما الليبية مقابل حضورهم في اليمن من بوابة مأرب عسكرياً، تمهيداً لعودتهم إلى الواجهة سياسياً. والمغامرة التركيّة الجديدة، تصطدم هذه المرة بمعادلة يمنية تختلف عن ما شهده الأتراك في ليبيا، والقيادة التركية لا مشكلة لديها بانعطاف ثالث لتلافي المخاطر بعد انتزاع الاعتراف بالدور، نحو أستانة يمنيّة تمهد لحوار خليجي إيراني تكون تركيا شريكاً فيه.

رغم كل أوصاف التهوّر والمغامرة، تقدم السياسة التركية نموذجاً قادراً على المبادرة والمناورة، وتحقق تقدماً باللعب على خطوط التوازنات، وتنجح بخلط الأوراق، والتقدّم كبيضة القبان في اللعبة الإقليميّة، بينما تتراجع مكانة الثلاثي السعودي الإماراتي المصري، وتتأرجح دولة عظمى مثل فرنسا، على حبال الفشل اللبناني بعد الفشل الليبي، ربما بانتظار خطوة تركية جديدة تخلط الأوراق من بوابة أدوار جديدة وتحالفات جديدة.

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SADAT: Blackwater… with a Turkish-Islamic Flavor!

ARABI SOURI 

Turkish SADAT Mercenary and security company - Erdogan

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:

All the opposition’s questions and inquiries remain unanswered as long as the ambiguity hangs over the entire activity and activities of the “SADAT” company.

Turkey has been witnessing for days, far from the interests of the global media, an exciting debate related to the defense philosophy that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes in, at least according to the opposition’s perception. The International Defense and Consulting Services Company, SADAT, announced a few days ago, on its official website: “Organizing special courses in the field of assassinations, bombings, raids, ambushes, and special operations.” This was preceded by a webinar in which some thinkers from Islamic countries participated, during which they discussed “the necessity for Islamic countries to have a joint force in order to rise to the level of superpowers in defending themselves.”

The discussion gained additional importance, because the founder and chairman of the company, Adnan Tanri Wardi, was until January of last year a personal advisor to President Erdogan, as well as a member of the Supreme Commission for Defense and Foreign Policy Affairs in the Republican Palace.

Before getting acquainted with the nature of this company and its various activities, it is necessary to introduce the man and his interesting personality, as he was the commander of the special units in the Chief of Staff before he was expelled from the army in 1996 because of his religious activities, and he was also, a friend of Erdogan, a lecturer at the War College about war gangs when the latter (Erdogan) was mayor of Istanbul in 1994, and the current defense minister, Hulusi Akar, was one of his students.

Retired General Tanry Wardi established his company, “SADAT” on February 28, 2012, after being acquainted with the activities of private American security companies, the most important of which was “Blackwater”, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, and before that, Africa and Latin America.

Turkish newspapers published more information about the activity of this company, but without any official response to these allegations and the inquiries and questions of members of parliament by the opposition parties, including Unal Cevikoz from the Republican people, and Aton Geray about the “Good Party”, who called on the government to reveal the secrets of the company’s activities and secrets inside Turkey, and in Syria, Libya and other places. The company announced after its founding in 2012 that among its goals is “to provide security services to the armies and security forces in countries friendly to Turkey.”

The head of the “Good Party”, Maral Akshanar, spoke about the secret training camps of the aforementioned company near the cities of Konya and Tokat in central Anatolia, “and appealed to President Erdogan” to reveal the reasons, objectives and activities of these camps. ” The press information talked more than once about the company’s officers training the various Syrian factions in guerrilla warfare and the various arts of war and fighting since its establishment, especially after the failure of the CIA project to train the militants of the moderate Syrian factions in camps for Turkey in the year 2013-2014.

Spokesmen for the opposition parties accused the company of secretly transferring weapons and combat equipment to the aforementioned factions, after they obtained them from various countries, including Serbia and Ukraine. Journalist Mehmet Ali Gular said in the Cumhuriyet newspaper that Adnan Tanri Wardi persuaded President Erdogan during Sochi’s discussions with President Putin in September 2018 to establish Turkish military observation points in the vicinity of Idlib, despite the objection of the military leadership.

Adnan Tanri Wardi rose to prominence after the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, after President Erdogan appointed him as his personal advisor, and it was said that he plays a major role in rearranging the affairs of the military establishment, after Erdogan canceled, by presidential decree, all military colleges and schools to replace them with The National Defense University which is headed now by a professor of Ottoman history close to him, and civilians close to Erdogan head the military colleges of the aforementioned university, which is joined according to criteria that will contribute in the medium and long term to the “Islamization of the military establishment.”

During the past period, opposition newspapers published a lot of news and articles about the company’s activities and the activities of its owner, who was said to have had a direct role in training members of the armed factions in Libya since 2013. He also played an important role in transporting Syrian mercenaries to Libya and supervising their movements there, which is the case also in Karabakh.

Member of Parliament for the Republican People Party, Unal Cevikoz, referred to the confessions of President Erdogan, who last year spoke about “sending various groups to fight in Libya,” and asked: “What are these various groups? What is the aforementioned company’s relationship with it? What is the number of its members? How much the Turkish state pays it? What are its special tasks in Libya or Syria or anywhere else if it exists?

This may explain the call of Aula Jalbka and Andre Hahn, members of parliament for the left party of the German government, to “follow up the activities of the mentioned company and its relations with the Turkish community and Islamic mosques in Germany,” and French President Macron did not hide his concern “about the Turkish secret activity among the Muslim communities in his country and in Europe in general. “

The sudden change in the internal system of the armed forces came at the end of last month, as the intelligence and internal security forces would be able to use whatever they want from the army’s weapons, to increase the suspicions of the opposition, which accused President Erdogan in the past of “working to form armed militias loyal to him directly to be used in emergency situations,” without the opposition parties and forces being able to confront Erdogan’s projects and plans as long as he controls the majority in parliament and controls all state facilities and apparatus, the most important of which are the army, intelligence, security, money, and the judiciary, and 95% of the state and private media.

Erdogan seeks to silence his opponents through financial fines imposed by government authorities on opposition newspapers, while the Supreme Council of Radio and Television decides to close television stations or impose heavy financial fines on them, under the pretext that they broadcast news that contradicts “the national interests of the nation and the Turkish state,” which means objection to his policies.

All of this explains President Erdogan’s attack on the leaders of the opposition parties and all those who oppose him, accusing them all of “terrorism, national treason, and espionage.” In turn, the security and judiciary will prosecute anyone who objects to this statement and charge him with insulting the President of the Republic, which carries a sentence of between one and three years in prison.

The opposition says that what the Turkish president aims to do is prevent his opponents on the right and left from talking about the secrets of Turkish activities, official and unofficial, in the military, security, and intelligence sectors abroad, especially in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, and in its neighboring countries, and now in Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

All the opposition’s questions and inquiries remain unanswered as long as the ambiguity hangs completely over the work and activities of the “SADAT” company. “There is no difference between it and the notorious American” Blackwater “company in Iraq and other Arab and African countries, said Ozkur Ozal, a spokesman for the CHP.

Aiton Girai, a member of parliament for the “Good Party”, expressed “his concern about the activities of the aforementioned secret company in Libya,” saying that it is there to achieve balance with the Russian “Wagner” company that supports General Haftar’s forces.

In all cases, and with the continued ambiguity that hangs over the activities of the aforementioned company, everyone knows that it has a very important role in serving the goals, plans, and projects of the Turkish President, both internally and externally, without anyone being able to go into the details, as long as the issue is related to the national security of Turkey, which only Erdogan defines its concepts and standards!

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“بلاك ووتر”.. بنكهة تركيّة إسلاميّة!

حسني محلي

حسني محلي
المصدر: الميادين نت
18 كانون الثاني 15:48

تبقى جميع أسئلة المعارضة واستفساراتها من دون جواب، ما دام الغموض يخيم بالكامل على نشاط شركة سادات وفعالياتها.

قام الجنرال المتقاعد تانري واردي بتأسيس شركته

تشهد تركيا منذ أيام، وبعيداً من اهتمامات الإعلام العالمي، نقاشاً مثيراً له علاقة بفلسفة الدفاع التي يؤمن بها الرئيس رجب طيب إردوغان، على الأقل بحسب تصوّر المعارضة، فقد أعلنت الشركة الدولية للدفاع والخدمات الاستشارية “سادات” قبل أيام، عبر موقعها الرسمي على الإنترنت، “عن تنظيم دورات خاصة في مجال الاغتيالات والتفجيرات والمداهمات والكمائن والعمليات الخاصة”. وسبق ذلك ندوة عبر الإنترنت شارك فيها بعض المفكّرين من دول إسلامية، تم خلالها مناقشة “ضرورة أن يكون للدول الاسلامية قوة مشتركة حتى ترتقي إلى مستوى الدول العظمى في الدفاع عن نفسها”. 

واكتسب النقاش أهميّة إضافيّة، لأنّ مؤسّس الشركة ورئيس مجلس إدارتها، عدنان تانري واردي، كان حتى كانون الثاني/يناير من العام الماضي مستشاراً شخصياً للرئيس إردوغان، كما كان عضواً في الهيئة العليا لشؤون الدفاع والسياسة الخارجية في القصر الجمهوري.

وقبل الاطّلاع على ماهية هذه الشّركة وأنشطتها المختلفة، لا بدَّ من التعريف بالرجل وبشخصيّته المثيرة، فقد كان قائداً للوحدات الخاصة في رئاسة الأركان قبل أن يطرد من الجيش في العام 1996 بسبب أنشطته الدينيّة، وكان أيضاً، وهو صديق لإردوغان، محاضراً في الكلية الحربية حول حرب العصابات عندما كان الأخير رئيساً لبلدية إسطنبول في العام 1994، وكان وزير الدفاع الحالي خلوصي أكار من تلامذته. 

وقد قام الجنرال المتقاعد تانري واردي بتأسيس شركته “سادات” في 28 شباط/فبراير 2012، بعد أن اطلع على نشاط الشركات الأمنية الأميركية الخاصة، وأهمها “بلاك ووتر”، في العراق وأفغانستان واليمن، وقبلها أفريقيا وأميركا اللاتينية. 

ونشرت الصحف التركية المزيد من المعلومات عن نشاط هذه الشركة، ولكن من دون أن يرد أي مسؤول رسمي على هذه الادعاءات وعلى استفسارات وأسئلة أعضاء البرلمان عن أحزاب المعارضة، ومنهم آونال جاويكوز عن الشعب الجمهوري، وآيتون جيراي عن الحزب “الجيد”، اللذان ناشدا الحكومة للكشف عن خفايا أنشطة الشركة وأسرارها داخل تركيا، وفي سوريا وليبيا وأماكن أخرى. وقد أعلنت الشركة بعد تأسيسها في العام 2012 أنَّ من بين أهدافها “تقديم خدمات أمنية لجيوش وقوى الأمن في الدول الصديقة لتركيا”.

وتحدَّثت رئيسة الحزب “الجيد” مارال أكشانار “عن مخيمات تدريب سرية تابعة للشركة المذكورة قرب مدينتي قونيا وتوكات وسط الأناضول”، وناشدت الرئيس إردوغان “للكشف عن أسباب هذه المخيمات وأهدافها وفعالياتها”. وتحدّثت المعلومات الصّحافية أكثر من مرة عن قيام ضباط الشركة بتدريب عناصر الفصائل السورية المختلفة على حرب العصابات ومختلف فنون الحرب والقتال منذ تأسيسها، وخصوصاً بعد فشل مشروع المخابرات الأميركية في تدريب مسلحي الفصائل السورية المعتدلة في مخيمات خاصة بتركيا في العام 2013-2014. 

واتهم المتحدثون باسم أحزاب المعارضة الشركة بنقل الأسلحة والمعدات القتالية سراً إلى الفصائل المذكورة، بعد أن حصلت عليها من دول مختلفة، ومنها صربيا وأوكرانيا. وقال الصحافي محمد علي جوللار في صحيفة “جمهوريات” إن عدنان تانري واردي هو الذي أقنع الرئيس إردوغان خلال مناقشات سوتشي مع الرئيس بوتين في أيلول/سبتمبر 2018، بإنشاء نقاط المراقبة العسكرية التركية في جوار إدلب، على الرغم من اعتراض القيادات العسكرية على ذلك. 

وسطع نجم عدنان تانري واردي بعد محاولة الانقلاب الفاشلة في 15 تموز/يوليو 2016، بعد أن عيَّنه الرئيس إردوغان مستشاراً شخصياً له، وقيل إنّه يؤدي دوراً رئيسياً في إعادة ترتيب أمور المؤسسة العسكرية، بعد أن ألغى إردوغان بمرسوم رئاسي كل الكليات والمدارس العسكرية، لتحلّ محلها جامعة الدفاع الوطني، ويترأسها الآن بروفيسور في التاريخ العثماني مقرب منه، كما يترأس مدنيون مقربون منه الكليات العسكرية التابعة للجامعة المذكورة التي يتم الانضمام إليها وفق معايير ستساهم على المدى المتوسط والبعيد في “أسلمة المؤسسة العسكرية”. 

ونشرت صحف المعارضة خلال الفترة الماضية الكثير من الأخبار والمقالات عن نشاط الشركة وفعاليات صاحبها، الذي قيل إنّ له دوراً مباشراً في تدريب عناصر الفصائل المسلحة في ليبيا منذ العام 2013. كما أدى دوراً مهماً في نقل المرتزقة السوريين إلى ليبيا والإشراف على تحركاتهم فيها، وهو الحال أيضاً في كاراباخ. 

وأشار عضو البرلمان عن الشعب الجمهوري آونال جاويكوز إلى اعترافات الرئيس إردوغان الذي تحدث العام الماضي عن “إرسال مجموعات متنوعة للقتال في ليبيا”، وتساءل: “يا ترى، ما هي هذه المجموعات المتنوعة؟ وما علاقة الشركة المذكورة بها؟ وما هو عدد عناصرها؟ وكم تدفع الدولة التركية لها؟ وما هي مهماتها الخاصة في ليبيا أو سوريا أو أي مكان آخر إن كان موجوداً؟”.

وقد يفسر ذلك دعوة كلّ من آوللا جالبكا وأندريه هان، عضوي البرلمان عن حزب اليسار الحكومة الألمانية، “لمتابعة نشاط الشركة المذكورة وعلاقاتها بالجالية التركية والجوامع الإسلامية الموجودة في ألمانيا”، كما لم يخفِ الرئيس الفرنسي ماكرون قلقه “من النشاط السري التركي بين الجاليات الإسلامية في بلاده وأوروبا عموماً”.

وجاء التغيير المفاجئ في النظام الداخلي للقوات المسلّحة نهاية الشهر الماضي، إذ سيتسنى للمخابرات وقوى الأمن الداخلي استخدام ما تشاء من أسلحة الجيش، ليزيد من شكوك المعارضة التي اتهمت الرئيس إردوغان سابقاً “بالعمل على تشكيل ميليشيات مسلحة موالية له مباشرة لاستخدامها في الحالات الطارئة”، من دون أن يتسنى لأحزاب وقوى المعارضة أن تتصدى لمشاريع إردوغان ومخططاته ما دام يملك الأغلبية في البرلمان ويسيطر على جميع مرافق الدولة وأجهزتها، وأهمها الجيش والمخابرات والأمن والمال والقضاء، و95% من وسائل الإعلام الحكومي والخاصّ.

ويسعى إردوغان لإسكات معارضيه من خلال الغرامات المالية التي تفرضها السلطات الحكومية على صحف المعارضة، في الوقت الذي يقرر المجلس الأعلى للإذاعة والتلفزيون إغلاق محطات التلفزيون أو فرض غرامات مالية كبيرة عليها، بحجة أنها تبث أخباراً تتناقض مع “المصالح الوطنية والقومية للأمة والدولة التركية”، وهو ما يعني الاعتراض على سياساته.

 ويفسر كل ذلك هجوم الرئيس إردوغان على قيادات أحزاب المعارضة وكل من يعارضه، واتهامهم جميعاً “بالإرهاب والخيانة الوطنية والعمالة والتجسس”. بدوره، يلاحق الأمن والقضاء كل من يعترض على هذا الكلام، ويوجه له تهمة الإساءة إلى رئيس الجمهورية، التي تتراوح عقوبتها بين عام و3 أعوام في السجن.

وتقول المعارضة إن ما يهدف إليه الرئيس التركي هو منع معارضيه في اليمين واليسار من الحديث عن أسرار الأنشطة التركية، الرسمية منها وغير الرسمية، عسكرياً وأمنياً واستخباراتياً في الخارج، وبشكل خاص في سوريا وليبيا والعراق والصومال والدول المجاورة لها، والآن في أذربيجان وأوكرانيا. 

وتبقى جميع أسئلة المعارضة واستفساراتها من دون جواب، ما دام الغموض يخيم بالكامل على نشاط شركة “سادات” وفعالياتها. وقد قال آوزكور آوزال، المتحدث باسم حزب الشعب الجمهوري، “أن لا فرق بينها وبين شركة “بلاك ووتر” الأميركية السيئة الصيت في العراق ودول عربية وأفريقية أخرى”.

وعبّر آيتون جيراي، عضو البرلمان عن الحزب “الجيد”، “عن قلقه من فعاليات الشركة المذكورة السرية في ليبيا”، وقال عنها “إنها تتواجد هناك لتحقيق التوازن مع شركة “واغنر” الروسية التي تدعم قوات الجنرال حفتر”.

وفي جميع الحالات، ومع استمرار الغموض الذي يخيم على فعاليات الشركة المذكورة، يعرف الجميع أنَّ لها دوراً مهماً جداً في خدمة أهداف الرئيس التركي ومخططاته ومشاريعه على الصعيدين الداخلي والخارجي، من دون أن يتسنى لأحد الدخول في التفاصيل، ما دام الموضوع له علاقة بالأمن الوطني والقومي لتركيا، ولا يحدد أحد مفاهيمه ومعاييره إلا  إردوغان وحده!

TURKEY RUNS OUT OF MONEY FOR ITS MERCENARIES

 South Front

01.01.2021

On Janury 1, dozens of mercenaries from Siryan Idlib staged a protest in Tripoli’s Police College in Libya. Militants demand payment of salaries from their Turkish bosses.

According to the Al-Saa’a 24 news channel, the Syrian mercenaries have not been paid for five months. Each mercenary’s late due reportedly amount to $10,000.

According to numerous sources, it is known that the amount of contracts for Syrian mercenaries ranges from $1,500 to $2,000, depending on their military specialties and responsibilities.

Despite the signing of the ceasefire agreement between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) in October, Turkey intends to deploy a new branch of mercenaries in Libya to support the GNA, according to the recent claims by the Siryan Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

According to the SOHR, the number of mercenaries sent to Libya is estimated at 18,000. A significant part of them are under age of 18.

Turkey is actively deploying mercenaries from Syria to implement its national interests in different world regions. The recent Nagorno-Karabakh war, where more than 2,500 of its fighters were reportedly deployed alongside with Azerbaijani forces, demanded significant financial efforts from Ankara. Moreover, there are reports that Turkey is going to send mercenaries to Kashmir to fight against Indian forces.

At the same time, Turkish proxies have recently failed a large scale attack on the town of Ain Issa held by the Syrian Democratic Forces in Siryan Raqqa governorate.

Turkish desire to restore the greatness of the Ottoman Empire faces a lack of funds to carry out these ambitious plans.

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Erdogan Used 3000 Syrian Terrorists in the Nagorno Karabach Battles

 ARABI SOURI

Hamzat terrorist group north Syria - Erdogan Muslim Brotherhood Army - فرقة الحمزات الإرهابية

Erdogan sent at least three thousand Syrian terrorists to fight on the side of Azerbaijan in the battles of Nagorno Karabach against the Armenian army and the Artsakh defense army, reports reveal.

The Turkish madman Erdogan took advantage of the brainwashed mercenaries from the ‘armed Syrian opposition’ groups operating in northern Syria in his military adventures in Libya and now in the contested region of Artsakh – Nagorno Karabach. Hamzat, Sultan Murad Brigade, and Sultan Sulaiman Shah (Aamshat) were the main groups Erdogan recruited his cross-border mercenaries from.

Despite their sacrifice for their deity Erdogan, the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists of the above-mentioned groups and the families of their killed and injured ones are still waiting for the balance of their pay.

Erdogan paid 10,000 Turkish Lira for each terrorist as a down payment in exchange for joining the fight in the Caucasian conflict he ignited, the balance was supposed to be paid later on, yet to be done. The families of the killed and injured terrorists, however, haven’t received their blood money until now, some of the ‘armed opposition’ propaganda outlets started reporting.

One of those media outlets reported that most of the casualties among the Syrian terrorists were from bombing by the Artsakh Defence Forces.

Terrorists 'media' reporting on Syrian mercenaries sent by Erdogan to Nagorno Karabakh
Terrorists ‘media’ reporting on Syrian mercenaries sent by Erdogan to Nagorno Karabakh

A report published by one of the ‘armed Syrian opposition’ organizations in early last November stated that two thousand mercenaries were transferred to the battlefields via Turkey in the second half of September, many of them were civilians with no military experience and have joined the fight because of the miserable living situation in the regions controlled by Erdogan forces, the Turkish Army and its Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist groups, in northern Syria.

One of the terrorists described to a media outlet how their movements were only at night in Azerbaijan. They’d arrive at the airport and immediately taken to a military academy by military buses and cars. They stayed in the academy for 4 days, handed over weapons, uniforms, and military badges with engraved numbers on them then were taken to a camp to join the fight.

The 25-years-old terrorist added that the Syrian mercenaries were sent to the battlefront for direct fighting and breaking into ‘enemy lines’ while the Azeri military was ‘a step behind’. This terrorist, who had earlier military experience killing Syrian civilians, complained that fighting in Karabach was very difficult, the terrain was rigid, they had to walk for long distances in mountain narrow strips to reach the battleground. Injured mercenaries were taken to a hospital in the Azeri capital Baku for treatment and were treated much better by the Azeris than how the Turks treated them, the terrorist concluded.

Erdogan propaganda outlets and his officials repeatedly denied using Syrian terrorists in the Sultan wannabe military adventures in both Libya and Karabach, despite the multiple reports by the terrorists themselves in both areas and even after the Armenian army arrested two of them during the battles and the Azeri and the Turks refused to include them in the prisoners’ exchange deal after the Russian-brokered ceasefire was established.

President Bashar Assad slammed Erdogan’s abuse of the living conditions of the Syrians in the regions under the Turkish occupation in the Turkish madman’s military adventures and in instigating the crisis in Nagorno Karabach:

CHAOS AND ARMED CONFLICTS: U.S. STRATEGY TO DISMANTLE RUSSIA IS ALREADY WORKING

South Front

Chaos And Armed Conflicts: U.S. Strategy To Dismantle Russia Is Already Working

In 2020, there have been several notable developments, that all seem to have been happening along Russia’s borders and in key regions developments in which influencing the Russian position on the international scene.

These include:

  • Ukraine’s refusal to seek peace in its East with the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, and various questionable policies.
  • Western-backed protests against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, with a ‘school teacher-turned-politician’ challenging him with an insignificant share of the vote in the presidential election. She received wide support from the West, especially from heavily US-aligned states such as Poland and the Baltics.
  • The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and other groups in Syria are being supported openly, and not so openly, by the United States and sabotage the further diplomatic settlement of the conflict in Syria.
  • The situation in Central Asia is rather exacerbated, with an evident increase in ISIS activity in Afghanistan, alongside various terrorist elements appearing near its borders with Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) countries. The Russian Security Service – FSB – is hard at work in countering various ISIS and other terror cells on the territory of the Russian Federation, and reports such as these are frequent, meaning that there appears to be a network that is successful in either moving terrorist elements into the country, or recruiting them there.
  • There also was the Armenian-Azerbaijan War in Nagorno-Karabakh, which Russia didn’t directly involve itself in, since the fight was for the self-proclaimed independent republic of Artsakh, and Armenia never officially asked for assistance. Regardless, with the Peace Deal it brokered on November 10th, there have been numerous voices in Armenia blaming Russia for the defeat. And that is even though it essentially saved it from an even bigger fiasco and loss of territory. At the same time, despite being the victor, Azerbaijan simply received what it was promised with the Minsk agreements, with the addition of Shusha. There are protests against Russia in Azerbaijan, a country in which any non-government sanctioned protest is snuffed, violently. There are calls that Russia stole the “glorious victory”, while in Armenia there are calls to renew hostilities, while the Russian peacekeepers are there and somehow force their hand in the fight.
  • Turkey deployed thousands of Syrian militants to South Caucasus, and there are claims that it is even reportedly attempting to relocate families from Syria’s Afrin and other areas to the parts of Karabakh that were given to Azerbaijan. This is likely to also provide a fresh extremist presence in the region.
  • Turkey, once again, appeared to be shifting its gaze towards Crimea, but also cooperate with Ukraine in terms of selling UAVs to it and other military equipment.

All of these developments, somehow, almost entirely coincide with a report which the RAND Corporation released back in 2019.

The report is called “Extending Russia” with the subtitle “Competing from Advantageous Ground.” A short description of the report reads the following:

“The steps we posit would not have either defense or deterrence as their prime purpose, although they might contribute to both. Rather, these steps are conceived of as measures that would lead Russia to compete in domains or regions where the United States has a competitive advantage, causing Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically or causing the regime to lose domestic and/or international prestige and influence. This report deliberately covers a wide range of military, economic, and political policy options. Its recommendations are directly relevant to everything from military modernization and force posture to economic sanctions and diplomacy; consequently, it speaks to all the military services, other parts of U.S. government that have a hand in foreign policy, and the broader foreign and defense policy audience.”

Notably, the report suggests that the following “Geopolitical measures” need to be employed in order to counter Russia’s spreading influence and capabilities to provide an adequate answer to an extraordinary situation.

This chapter describes six possible U.S. moves in the current geopolitical competition:

  • providing lethal arms to Ukraine,
  • resuming support to the Syrian rebels,
  • promoting regime change in Belarus,
  • exploiting Armenian and Azeri tensions,
  • intensifying attention to Central Asia,
  • isolating Transnistria (a Russian-occupied enclave within Moldova).

There are several other possible geopolitical moves discussed in other RAND research but not directly evaluated here—including intensifying NATO’s relationship with Sweden and Finland, pressuring Russia’s position in the Arctic, and checking Russia’s attempts to secure its influence in Asia.

Ukraine

Between 2014 and 2016, the US provided $600 million in security assistance to Ukraine. These funds have been used to train Ukrainian military forces and provided nonlethal military equipment, including counterartillery and countermortar radars, secure communications, logistics systems, tactical unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, and medical equipment.

According to RAND, the US could increase its military assistance to Ukraine, or increase its calls to allow Kiev into NATO.

“Expanding U.S. assistance to Ukraine, including lethal military assistance, would likely increase the costs to Russia, in both blood and treasure, of holding the Donbass region. More Russian aid to the

separatists and an additional Russian troop presence would likely be required, leading to larger expenditures, equipment losses, and Russian casualties. The latter could become quite controversial at home, as it did when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.”

Eastern Ukraine is already a significant drain on Russian resources, exacerbated by the accompanying Western sanctions. Increasing U.S. military aid would certainly drive up the Russian costs, but doing so could also increase the loss of Ukrainian lives and territory or result in a disadvantageous peace settlement. This would generally be seen as a serious setback for U.S. policy.

What’s going on in reality? There appears to be no conclusive peace settlement in Ukraine, and anti-Russian policy continues moving forward full speed. The Kiev regime, at large controlled from Washington, is intentionally sabotaging attempts to de-escalate the situation and publicly preparing for a new military operation in eastern Ukraine. Recently, pro-Kiev sources started laying great hopes on the Turkish military aid. For sure, the US is also involved. In August 2020, incoming US President Joe Biden promised to provide Ukraine with even more lethal weapons. In late 2019, the Trump administration also approved several sales of “defensive lethal weapons” to Ukraine.

As such this part of RAND’s suggestion appears to be moving, more or less, according to plan.

Chaos And Armed Conflicts: U.S. Strategy To Dismantle Russia Is Already Working

Syria

“In 2015, Russia’s intervention in Syria cost an estimated $2.4 million to $4 million a day, according to the Moscow Times and IHS Janes’ estimates. 34 Given the size of Russia’s defense budget ($50 billion that year), the sum might not be significant in and of itself.”

Increased U.S. support to the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian opposition could perpetuate and intensify a civil war that had begun to wind down, thereby imposing attritional costs on both Russia and Iran.

RAND believes that such support should also reduce the “moderate opposition’s” reliance on the better-armed, more extremist groups and ultimately might improve the willingness and ability of moderate opposition forces to combat the “more extremist elements.” Now, first of all RAND doesn’t even deny that the most of “moderate opposition” is made up of extremists, who are fighting against even more extreme elements.

At the same time, the reality of the situation is this: the US, with all its claims of complete withdrawal from Syria, simply employed the SDF separatist leadership as a tool of sabotaging the peace settlement in Syria, while Washington is looting Syria’s oil fields. US companies exploit Syrian oil resources. Some of the money is used to bankroll the SDF.

The Russian side has repeatedly also claimed that ISIS and ISIS-affiliated fighters were being trained and received improved weaponry in the US-controlled areas of Syria.

Unlike Ukraine, the United States does not have a single actor to aid in the fight in Syria but rather faces a plethora of groups—often with murky affiliations—increasing the chances of weapons falling into the wrong hands.

“Supporting the rebels could run counter to the most prominent objective of the Trump administration’s Middle East foreign policy—fighting radical Islamist terrorism.”

In the highly unlikely event of total success—if Russia were to abandon the Assad government and the opposition were to somehow ‘defeat’ Damascus—the result would be a major geopolitical setback for Moscow but also a major contraction in its foreign commitments and associated expenditures, not to mention a huge responsibility for the United States and its allies to assume.

At the same time, it appears that supporting the “moderate rebels” isn’t proving effective enough and Israel is picking up the slack with targeting various Syrian and alleged Iranian positions in the areas under Damascus’ control.

Chaos And Armed Conflicts: U.S. Strategy To Dismantle Russia Is Already Working

Essentially, there were some attempts, but none of them are any significant, since the fight in Syria appears to be too far gone.

Likewise, according to RAND, this course of action might have been viable a few years ago, when the armed opposition was stronger and less radicalized. Under current circumstances, the most that expanded U.S. aid could likely do would be to perpetuate a conflict that has already destabilized an entire region. Russia might be forced to pay a bit more for its Syrian commitment but only at the cost of continued regional turbulence, societal radicalization, and increased civilian casualties and displaced personnel.

Belarus

Belarus is Russia’s neighbour and important ally. It provides a buffer between Russia and major NATO countries and is the initial link in Russia’s ground lines of communication between the mainland and Kaliningrad— the Russian enclave entirely encircled by Lithuania and Poland. Already host to Russian forces, Belarus features prominently in many notional conflicts among the United States, NATO, and Russia.

In a zero-sum world, denying Russia its one and only true ally would be a clear geopolitical and ideological gain for the West. It would bring an end to “Europe’s last dictatorship,” a long-standing U.S. policy goal.

“Starting revolutions is not easy, and the United States lending public support to opposition movements does not guarantee that they will be successful. In 2007, Gallup found that 60 percent of Belarusian respondents believed democracy was important and 47 percent believed it was “somewhat” or “very” important for Belarus to have an active opposition party.”

RAND considered regime change in Belarus as one of the most significant escalations, but the attempts have all but failed, and with Russia actually not having to lift a finger.

Even despite Lukashenko attempt to get some concessions from Russia prior to the protests in the country.

“Promoting regime change in Belarus is one of the most escalatory options considered in this report. Such an effort probably would not succeed and could provoke a strong Russian response, including the possibility of military action. Such a reaction might extend Russia by requiring the nation to commit resources to preserve its grasp over Belarus, thereby provoking the United States and its European allies to respond with harsher sanctions, but the result would be a general deterioration of the security environment in Europe and a setback for U.S. policy.”

Currently, protests in Belarus are still on-going, but they’ve barely achieved any real progress in the regime change agenda. However, the Western/NATO interference in the internal situation in Belarus is an undeniable fact.

Lukashenko may be making some interesting claims regarding Russia, or attempting to play tough in order to get a discount from Moscow on natural gas, or some other commodity, but at the same time is wise enough to continue actively communicating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and remain a formal ally.

Nagorno-Karabah: Armenia and Azerbaijan

The RAND analysis begins with reminding that in 2008, the Georgian-Russian relations with damaged severely, after a few days of war and the resulting South Ossetia and Abkhazia as separate countries.

Russia also plays a key role with Azerbaijan and Armenia, particularly over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Ethnically Armenian but geographically located within Azerbaijan, Nagorno- Karabakh’s bid to join the Armenia Soviet Socialist Republic during the latter years of the Soviet Union was denied by the Soviet Politburo because of the risk of encouraging secessionist movements elsewhere.

According to RAND, the United States could extend Russia in the Caucasus in two ways. First, the United States could push for a closer NATO relationship with Georgia and Azerbaijan, likely leading Russia to strengthen its military presence in South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Armenia, and southern Russia.

Alternatively, the United States could try to induce Armenia to break with Russia.

Chaos And Armed Conflicts: U.S. Strategy To Dismantle Russia Is Already Working

“Increased U.S. involvement in the region could produce additional economic benefits as well. The Caspian Sea remains a key producer of both oil and natural gas. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that there are “48 billion barrels of oil and 292 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in proved and probable reserves in the Caspian basins. Almost 75 percent of oil reserves and 67 percent of natural gas reserves are located within 100 miles of the coast.”

According to the analysis, resolving Nagorno-Karabakh is likely a prerequisite to Armenia breaking with Russia, but it is unclear precisely how the United States or NATO could resolve the decades-old conflict without privileging one side and antagonizing the other. NATO has encouraged both parties to resolve the conflict through the Minsk Group—led by the Russians.

Currently, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the six-week war that started on September 27th, 2020 was due to several factors.

Notably, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, as an avid supporter of the West worked to the benefit of what RAND describes and distanced Armenia from Russia with questionable policy.

In turn, Turkey, in support of Azerbaijan saw a chance, prepared and began to largely pull the strings on Baku’s offensive on the region.

Still, Russia managed to somehow salvage the situation for Yerevan, by brokering a peace deal which saw Azerbaijan get what it was supposed to be given under the Minsk Agreements, with the addition of Shusha.

Pashinyan, however, continued blaming Russia, the Armenian population, foreign countries and such for the failure and the gross mismanagement of Armenia’s forces in the war.

Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev presents the war as “gloriously won” but there are some elements which are protesting and claiming that Moscow actually robbed Baku of its “glorious victory.”

There are anti-Russian protests, in a country in which all non-government approved protests are violently stopped.

The US made some claims for peace and so on, as did many Western countries, with France even attempting to somehow mediate the conflict, but only barely.

Paris attempted to prove itself as a valuable ally to Armenia, but in the end, it simply said “we are with you, our Armenian brothers” and all they provided were empty words.

In Armenia, in order for Pashinyan and the pro-Western leadership to remain, political arrests of the opposition began. As such, support for Russia still remains rather low, and it is playing to the measure that RAND outlined in April 2019. In the current conditions, pro-Western forces in the region would continue their efforts to destabilize the region creating chaos near the Russian border and setting conditions for the NATO expansion there.

Central Asia

Russia is part of two economic ventures related to Central Asia: the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative. Russia has benefited from both, although in the case of the former, partners might have been harmed economically. There might be steps the United States and allies could take to reduce Russia’s benefits from both of these.

Engaging more with Central Asia could have modest benefits. Expanding Central Asian connectivity to the rest of the world could reduce that area’s trade with Russia. It must be noted, however, that economic growth within these countries would likely have the opposite effect and increase their trade with Russia because economic size and trade are correlated.

Now, little of this has succeeded in the year. Notably, and not in the vein which RAND describes is that militant activity in Afghanistan, as well as along its borders with the CSTO countries has increased, which Russia sees as a threat.

There are frequent reports of the FSB arresting various terrorist elements that either came from Central Asian republics or were recruited from groups from there. There is little evidence that the US has anything to do with that, but there are some reports that unknown black hawks have been extracting militants from all around, and they’ve resurfaced in northern Afghanistan, after a while.

The US efforts to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and is attempting to counter various projects in the Eurasian Economic Union, which Russia is part of such as the Nord Stream 2, but they are unrelated to Central Asia. In conclusion, regarding this, RAND appears to be a bit far from what’s been carried out, or if such measures are being implemented – they’re not being effective.

Chaos And Armed Conflicts: U.S. Strategy To Dismantle Russia Is Already Working

Moldova

Transnistria is a Russian-speaking enclave within Moldova that currently hosts a Russian peacekeeping force and army base.

Officially, Russian policy toward Transnistria is ambiguous. Russia’s Foreign Policy Concept includes only a single, rather inarticulate statement:

Russia strongly advocates a political and diplomatic settlement of conflicts in the post-Soviet space, specifically, Russia works within the existing multilateral negotiating mechanism to find an inclusive solution to the Transnistrian issue, respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and neutral status of the Republic of Moldova in determining the special status of Transnistria.

The United States could encourage Transnistria’s youth (who, according to some journalistic accounts, might be more pro-West than their elders) to push their pseudo-state to leave the Russian orbit.

Moldovan cooperation in an effort to expel the Russians would not be easy to secure. In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Moldova’s pro-Russian President Igor Dodon stated, “A NATO office in Chisinau [Moldova’s capital], in a neutral country, is a provocation. I do not want this. I want neither NATO nor this Russia-led [military] alliance as far as armed forces are concerned.”

There’s been very limited movement throughout 2020, but it is likely that activities have been more focused on Belarus, Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh, and Moldova has been left for sometime in the near (or far future). The pro-Western presidential candidate, Maia Sandu, won the 2020 election in Moldova, and she’s already promoting the ideal of the need of the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping force from Transnistria. This move sets conditions for the increase of instability.

RAND’s General Recommendations

Extending Russia through geopolitical competition is a fundamentally difficult and dangerous proposition. One might bait Russia into extending its foreign commitments, but only at the risk of serious setbacks to local U.S. partners. Even if such efforts succeeded in generating Russian withdrawals, the result would be the opposite of an extension.

Chaos And Armed Conflicts: U.S. Strategy To Dismantle Russia Is Already Working

Any geopolitical moves to extend Russia would also need to consider other options that (for reasons of length and resources) were not considered here in depth—namely, intensifying NATO’s cooperation with Sweden and Finland, pressuring Russia’s claims in the Arctic, and checking its influence in the Arctic.

Many of these are not exactly spot on, and whether they’re entirely connected to what’s going on comes down to conspiracy theories. However, it is fact that within a year and a half of the publishing, many of these recommendations have been implemented.

There has been a regime change attempt in Belarus, which is still on-going. Armenia and Azerbaijan went to warn for Nagorno-Karabakh, and Russia had to mediate, deploy peacekeepers and further resources, as well as is being accused of both sides for either losing the war for Armenia, or stealing away a bigger victory for Azerbaijan.

Militants are being delivered to South Caucasus, and even families are being relocated there from Syria.

The US and the “moderate rebels” in Syria are still operating, albeit not as actively as before, but Israel is there to provide assistance by bombing Syrian and alleged Iranian targets.

Attempts to spread chaos in Central Asia are apparent, and the FSB continues arresting various extremist elements, but there are likely more who are roaming around and entering the country through various channels.

It is unknown what will happen in Moldova, as of yet, but the trend is alredy seen.

Another thing that could be added is cooperating with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, assisting in the forming of the autonomous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, making pushes to repeat that questionable “success” in other countries such as Montenegro, and more.

Regardless, pressure on Moscow is being exerted from quite a few directions, at the same time, and it is unlikely that under US President Joe Biden this will end. After all, his chosen aides all plan to improve relations with allies, while countering Russia’s spreading influence. Namely in Ukraine, since Biden appears to have a soft spot for the country from which he and his son allegedly funneled billions. Ukraine, and Eastern Ukraine, could also be the best direction from which to target Russia.

Things are still developing on many fronts, and the pieces are yet to fall squarely on the board.

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Israel Enjoys Last Weeks Of Love With Trump. Azerbaijan Controls Kalbajar District In Karabkah

On November 25, Azerbaijani troops entered the district of Kalbajar in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The district was handed over to Baku under the ceasefire deal reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan to put an end to the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War earlier in November.

In total, Armenian forces were set to hand over the following districts: Agdam, Kalbajar, and Lachin, excluding the Lachin corridor. Agdam and Kalbajar are already in the hands of Azerbaijani forces. Lachin will be handed over on December 1. Withdrawing Armenians are destroying their properties and even evacuating graves of their relatives. Just a day ago, on November 24, Armenians troops blew up their barracks in Kalbajar.

In these conditions, the presence of the Russian peacekeepers remains the only guarantee of the security of the local Armenian population. And Russian forces already suffered first casualties as a part of this mission. On November 23, a Russian peacekeeper, four employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic were wounded, and an Azerbaijani officer was killed in a mine explosion near the village of Magadiz. A joint group, that also included representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, was searching bodies of those killed in the war.

A large number of IEDs, not exploded ammunition and projectiles are an important security factor that prevents the potential return of displaced civilians to Nagorno-Karabkah. A group of Russian sappers has been already working on demining key roads and areas in the Russian zone of responsibility. Baku also vowed to demine territories that its forces captured and already started building a new road linking the town of Shusha and Ahmedbeyli.

In the coming months, the security and humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabkah will likely improve, but there are almost zero chances the Armenian population that fled the Azerbaijani advance would return. Therefore, the Azerbaijani-controlled part of Nagorno-Karabakh is in fact empty and the Azerbaijani leadership would have to launch some settlement program if it wants re-populate the region.

Pro-Kurdish sources, waging a propaganda campaign against the traditional Azerbaijani ally, Turkey, already claimed that Ankara is planning to settle families of fighters of Turkish-backed Syrian militant groups in Karabakh. According to reports, Turkish authorities opened 2 offices in the Turkish-occupied Syrian town of Afrin for this purpose. If such plans even exist, it is unlikely that Azerbaijan would be happy to support them. The one thing is to use a cheap cannon fodder recruited by the Big Turkish Brother and the very different thing is to allow multiple Syrian radicals to become the permanent factor of your internal security. The implementation of such a plan would inevitably turn the Azerbaijani-controlled part of Nagorno-Karabkah into the hotbed of terrorism.

Meanwhile, Israel has been desperately exploiting the last months of the current Trump presidency term. Early on November 25, the Israeli Air Force carried out a series of airstrikes on targets in the southern countryside of Damascus and the province of Quneitra. According to Syrian state media, missiles were launched from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights. As of now, the Syrian side denies any casualties and claims that the strike caused a material damage only. Pro-Israeli sources insist that the strike led to multiple casualties among Iranian-backed forces and Iranian personnel.

This became the second Israeli strike on Syria in the last 7 days. The previous one took place on November 18 and hit the very same areas, including Damascus International Airport. The activation of the Israeli military activity in the region indicates that Tel Aviv expects a particular decrease of unconditional support that it was receiving from the United States under the Trump administration. Therefore, it seeks to use the last days of this 4-year-long honeymoon as effective as possible. Even more Israeli and potentially US actions against Iranian interests in the region and Iran itself could be expected in the coming weeks.

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IRGC RELEASES ALLEGED PHOTO OF AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT IN SNIPER’S SIGHTS, IRAN SAYS PRESENCE OF MILITANTS IN KARABAKH UNACCEPTABLE

South Front

IRGC Releases Alleged Photo of Azerbaijani President In Sniper's Sights, Iran Says Presence Of Militants In Karabakh Unacceptable

In a reminder that Iran opposes any further Azerbaijani ambitions in Nagorno-Karabakh and beyond, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) released an interesting photograph.

It shows Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in the sights of an Iranian sniper, while he was visiting the Khodaafarin bridge at the Karabakh-Iran border.

Earlier, on November 16th, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that no changes have occurred in Iran’s northwestern borderlines.

This happened in reference to the peace deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia after several weeks of conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region near the Iranian borders.

Stating that no change has occurred at the borderlines, he stressed that Iran will never accept anything other than what has been announced by the two sides.

Khatibzadeh added that the corridor that has become controversial these days is simply a transit route, the case of which is closely monitored by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

He further said that Iran welcomes any peaceful settlement of the case as it did over the past three decades.

He reiterated that no change has occurred at the Iranian borders and will never occur in the future.

According to Iranian Foreign Ministry knowledge, the Syrian militants must have already left the region, the spokesman said that a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia will benefit the entire region.

The spokesman, however, said Iran will not tolerate presence of any foreign elements in the region.

About killing of Iranian border guards in northwest of the country, Khatibzadeh said Iran’s response to such measures is strong.

A senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says there is no place for Syrian militants close to Iran’s northern borders.

“There is no place for Wahhabi and Takfiri terrorists among people of Azerbaijan who are known for their love for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s progeny, and track records of such groups are very bleak,” Ali Akbar Velayati said in an address to a webinar held to discuss Ayatollah Khamenei’s views on the Karabakh region. “The people of Azerbaijan are capable of liberating their land and the presence of Wahhabi terrorists in north of Iran’s borders [with Azerbaijan] will be fruitless.”

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عندما تعود أذربيجان «سوفياتيّة» وأرمينيا إلى بيت الطاعة

محمد صادق الحسيني

بعيداً عن كلام الإعلام واستعراض الشاشات…

اتفاق قره باغ الثلاثيّ بين موسكو وباكو ويريفان،

ليس هو الإنجاز الذي كانت ترمي اليه أذربيجان تماماً، لكنه الهزيمة المرّة الأكيدة لتركيا العثمانية الأطلسية المتغطرسة وارتياحاً واسعاً لإيران، ونجاحاً باهراً لروسيا…

فوقف القتال في القوقاز الجنوبي سيفضي عملياً حسب مصادر وثيقة الصلة بالنزاع الى ما يلي:

هذه هي خلاصة ما حصل من توافق بين قادة روسيا وأرمينيا وأذربيجان في الساعات الماضية حول قره باغ.

1-

استرجاع الأذربيجانيّين أراضيهم المحتلة منذ نحو 30 عاماً.

2-

عودة نحو مليون مهجّر أذربيجاني الى بيوتهم وأوطانهم.

3-

استعادة قره باغ موقعها كإقليم خاص داخل أذربيجان كما كان منذ عهد ستالين.

4-

عودة أرمينيا الى بيت الطاعة الروسيّ بعد أن حاولت عبر نفوذ غربي أميركي أن تخرج من الفضاء الروسي هلى الطريقة الجورجيّة.

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خروج أردوغان الأطلسي من الفضاء الروسي القوقازي بخفي حنين.

6-

تحصين الروس لسلطات نفوذهم العميقة أصلاً في أذربيجان سواء في أركان القيادة العسكرية الأذربيجانية او من خلال السيدة مهربان زوجة علييف ونائبة الرئيس المعروفة بميلها الروسيّ المعتق.

7-

تحصين النفوذ الروسي في عالم الطاقة القوقازي من خلال مشروع ربط الغاز التركماني الذي اشترته موسكو بخط الغاز الأذربيجاني الذي يمرّ من جورجيا وعلى تخوم حدود أرمينيا الشماليّة.

8-

استعادة روسيا موقعها المركزي في مجموعة بلدان حوض الخزر (بحر الخزر أو بحر قزوين) كطرف أساسي ومؤثر بالشراكة مع إيران.

9-

إعادة الزخم لعلاقاتها الاستراتيجية مع إيران بعد أن ساهمت في إطفاء نار الغدر واحتمالات العدوان على الأمن القومي الإيراني من بوابة اللعب بالصراع العرقي على حدودها الشمالية.

10-

تأديب تركيا وتقليم أظافرها في أذربيجان من خلال العمل الفعلي والجادّ على جدولة خروج مستشاريها وقواتها من باكو ومعها المستشارون الإسرائيليون وكلّ ما استقدم من رجال عصابات إرهابيّة الى منطقة النزاع.

كل ذلك سيحصل من خلال وجود عسكريّ روسيّ سيبدأ بآلاف المراقبين الروس ومئات المدرّعات ولا يعلم مدى حجمه المستقبليّ إلا الله والراسخون في علم الفضاء السوفياتي.

لقد صبرت موسكو كثيراً على قيادة يريفان التي حاولت التمرّد على الفضاء الروسي.

وصبرت أكثر على قيادة باكو وحليفها التركيّ المستجدّ والدخيل على الفضاء الروسيّ في القوقاز منذ ان حسمت معارك الحرب العالمية الثانية طبيعة هذا الفضاء الاستراتيجيّ.

كما استطاعت موسكو أن تعمل بتؤدة وبخبرة عالية أمنية وعسكرية وسياسية وديبلوماسية اكتسبتها من الميدان السوريّ، أن تؤمن ظهرها بالحليف الإيراني وتمنحه جائزة ترضية في حدوده الشمالية من دون أن يخوض حرباً مكلفة لأجل ذلك في القوقاز.

ومسك الختام كان عملها الدؤوب والحثيث لتحضير كلّ ذلك بعيداً عن الواجهة المحتدمة للصراع من أجل اقتناص اللحظة الاستراتيجية العالمية لفرض التسوية الإقليمية لهذا الصراع الناريّ والعدو الأميركي في لحظة انشغال وانهماك في استحقاقاته الانتخابيّة وتداعياتها التي جعلته يتخبط في مستنقع اللامعقول والشلل الاستراتيجيّ.

درس لكل مَن يريد أن يعتبر كيف يتم حسم معركة كبرى مفروضة عليه، من دون إطلاق رصاصة واحدة، اللهم عدا الطوافة العسكرية التي سقطت قرباناً للإعلان عن الصفقة…!

هي السنن الكونية والأقدار يحصد نتائجها مَن يتقن السباحة في بحرها.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

International Reaction to Turkey’s Aggressive Foreign Policy Approach

05.11.2020 Author: Valery Kulikov

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According to numerous observers, the “aggressive approach” the Turkish leader R. Erdogan implies in Turkey’s foreign policy every day evokes more and more hostility and opposition across the world.

It is through the fault of Ankara that many of the faded conflicts have flared up with renewed vigor lately. Thus, in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is striving for shelf hydrocarbons, causing a wave of indignation not only from Greece, but also from the European Union. And although the clash of interests here has not yet reached outright bloodshed, nevertheless, Turkey is no longer shy about ramming opponents with their ships and vessels. This, in turn, causes an increase in the degree of tensions both within the EU and between NATO member states, the outcome of which so far few can predict. The drift towards divisions is on in spite of Washington’s calls to all NATO member states urging them to “keep Turkey in the West.”

After the terrorist attack on October 16 in the Paris suburbs of Conflans-Saint-Honorine, when an 18-year-old Islamist, motivated by religious enmity, killed a school history and geography teacher, a new diplomatic scandal erupted between Turkey and France, which significantly increased tensions between these countries in Libya, where they support opposing sides of the conflict.

Numerous media voices are increasingly citing factual evidence of Ankara’s intervention in the Libyan conflict, and not only in the form of supplying weapons there in violation of the imposed international embargo, but also sending numerous mercenaries from the war zone in Syria.

Recently, the growing criticism of Turkey on sending mercenaries not only to Syria and Libya, but also to the Karabakh conflict zone, has been confirmed by the intelligence services of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries. As a result, today no one, including Turkey itself, can claim that in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it acts as an impartial or neutral party, since it views this conflict as an opportunity to expand its influence in another neighboring region, the Southern Caucasus.

The summit of the EU states, which ended in late October, condemned the aggressive rhetoric and actions of Turkey aimed at the EU states, and the head of the European Council Charles Michel indicated that the EU leaders would discuss further actions with regard to Turkey at the planned summit in December. “We have expressed our determination to make Ankara respect us. Turkey has not yet chosen a positive path in relations with the EU. We condemn the recent unilateral actions of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, provocations and aggressive rhetoric against the EU countries, which is absolutely unacceptable,” Charles Michel said on October 29 following the EU summit held in the video conference format.

NATO also declares its “bewilderment” by Turkey’s actions, openly hinting to Erdogan about “unpleasant moments” and readiness to take a tougher position with regard to Ankara.

Today Turkey has strained its relations with many countries. In addition to the deepening conflict with the United States (after the acquisition and testing of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system), France, Greece and the EU as a whole, the list of Turkey’s “opponents” includes Israel (due to the conflict over the Palestinian problem), Syria (where Erdogan introduced Turkish troops), Iran (with which Ankara has intensified contradictions because of Erdogan’s actions in Syria), Saudi Arabia (relations with which have especially worsened because of the “Khashoggi case”). Even with the United Arab Emirates Erdogan’s conflict has become so widespread that this struggle unfolds from Morocco to Syria, most fiercely manifesting itself in the field of “soft power”, with mutual accusations of seeking to destabilize the Arab world. The Arab monarchies are particularly concerned about Ankara’s policy in the Persian Gulf, where Turkish troops are now stationed in Qatar, another Turkish base is located in Somalia, and Erdogan himself actively supports and finances the Muslim Brotherhood religious and political movement (banned in Russia – ed.) , to which the monarchies of the Gulf are more than wary.

As a result, as noted not only by the Western, but other regional media, Erdogan risks isolating his country from both the West and Arabs with Persians. “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear that he has no desire to be a bridge between Europe and the Arab world. Instead, he decided to reshape Turkey in line with its imperial past and make it a competitor to the two regions,” UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash is being cited.

In response to the aggressiveness of Erdogan’s policy, France has already called off its ambassador from Turkey “for consultations”. The Canadian government, after the Bombardier Recreational Products company “unexpectedly” learned that its engines were being installed on the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 (“Flag Bearer”) operational tactical attack drones (these has been actively used in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh), took the decision to stop supplying them, as well as other weapons to Turkey. Canada stressed that “the use of attack drones by Turkey often goes beyond the framework of agreements within the NATO format.”

For its part, Turkey has no choice but to launch its own production of engines for Turkish drones, or to intensify military-technical cooperation with Ukraine in this regard, which was indirectly confirmed in the speeches of representatives of the industrial and business circles of Turkey, in particular, Turkish Aerospace Industries.

Against the backdrop of these events, the fall of the Turkish lira became uncontrollable, and Ankara no longer has the resources to keep the situation under control. Since the beginning of the year, the lira has fallen by 39% against the US dollar, which has become the worst indicator dynamics among all currencies in Eurasia, despite the fact that the dollar this year is clearly not up to par. The savings of the Turkish state itself continue to fall: according to the investment bank Goldman Sachs, Turkey has spent about $130 billion from its reserves over the past year and a half. At the same time, the reserves do not cease to decline, and if in the summer their volume reached $90 billion, now they have dropped below $80 billion. The situation is complicated by the need to fight the current economic crisis. In addition, unemployment in the country approached 14%, and among young people it reached 25%.

According to the forecasts of the former IMF Managing Director Desmond Lachman, in the event of a liquidity crisis in the world, Turkey will become one of the first countries to declare a default. Under these conditions, in order to mitigate the consequences of the recession, the state again has to borrow a lot from foreign creditors, but because of Erdogan’s aggressive policy, reliable friends (except, perhaps, Ukraine, whose situation is even worse), to whom you can turn for loans, today are getting more and more scarce…

Valery Kulikov, a political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

TURKISH RISK INVESTMENTS IN LOCAL CONFLICTS AND PROSPECTS OF ARMENIAN COUNTER-OFFENSIVE IN KARABAKH

South Front

In early November, the Azerbaijani-Turkish advance in the directions of the Lachin corridor and the town of Shusha in the Nagorno-Karabakh region slowed down.

The main factors are the fierce resistance of Armenian forces, the complicated terrain, deteriorating weather conditions and overextended communications that run through recently captured territories, where Armenian sabotage units are still able to deliver regular attacks. 9 villages, the capturing of which Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced recently, are in fact located inside the territory captured by Azerbaijani forces earlier. This showcases the lack of progress of Baku’s forces in the recent battles.

Commenting on this situation, Armenian sources argue that right now Yerevan has been preparing a powerful counter-attack to push the Azerbaijanis out of the south of Karabakh. The only factor that allegedly stops Armenia from such a move right now is the commitment of the Armenians to the reached ceasefire agreements that Baku blatantly violates.

Meanwhile, the Armenian side continues to regularly release updates about the losses of Azerbaijan in the conflict. The Azerbaijani military allegedly lost 10 UAVs, 21 armoured vehicles, and 103 soldiers in recent clashes. While the high casualties of the sides are not a secret and widely confirmed by visual evidence regularly appearing from the ground, the claims that the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc somehow lost the strategic initiative in the war are at least overestimated. Azerbaijani artillery, combat drones and even warplanes still regularly pound fortified positions, manpower and military equipment of the defending forces. The Armenians do not have enough means and measures to protect its supply columns and manpower from regular and intense airstrikes.

As of November 3, Azerbaijani forces supported by the Turks and Turkish-backed Syrian militants are still deployed within striking distance of Lachin and Shusha. The loss of any of these points may mark the collapse of the entire Armenian defense in the area. Any large Armenian counter-attack, if it does not deliver a rapid and devastating blow to the Turkish-Azerbaijani forces, will likely not allow to achieve a strategic success. Instead, it will uncover the existing Armenian units and increase the number of casualties from air and artillery strikes. The dominance in the air also means an advantage in reconnaissance and target accusation. In these conditions, small regular counter-attacks mostly aimed at disturbing the advancing Azerbaijani-Turkish units, and undermining their efforts to secure the newly captured positions, look more likely. Despite the lack of notable Azerbaijani gains in recent days, the Armenian defense is still in crisis and, if Ankara and Baku succeed in securing communications and regrouping their forces, the new push towards the Lachin-Shusha-Stepanakert triangle seems to be inevitable.

The diplomatic attempts to de-escalate the conflict have so far led to little progress as Turkey and Azerbaijan feel themselves too close to the desired military victory. President Aliyev wants to write his name down in history as the leader that returned Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan, while his Turkish counterpart Erdogan sees himself as the sultan of the New Ottoman Empire, pretending be the leader of the entire Turkic world and even wider – of all the muslims in the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia.

The entire Turkish foreign policy of previous years was a policy of aggressive advances, confrontations and raising bets. This led to particular diplomatic and economic problems on the international scene and undermined the Turkish national economy. However, it looks like the Turkish leadership believes that the potential revenue of turning the Neo-Ottoman and pan-Turkic declarations into a hard reality will generate revenue of such a scale that it would allow to compensate for existing tactical difficulties. Therefore, the Turkish-Azerbaijani stance towards the further confrontation in Karabakh is not something surprising.

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Large Iranian Armored Unit Spotted Moving Towards Nagorno-Karabakh Border (Photos, Video)

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Armenia releases new video of captured Syrian mercenary

By News Desk -2020-11-01

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – On Sunday, the Armenian Ministry of Defense published a video clip documenting the interrogation of a person who was said to be a Syrian militant who was captured in the Karabakh region after he participated in the hostilities on the side of Azerbaijan.

The captured man who appears in the tape said that he is called, Yousef Al-Abed Al-Hajji, who is from the village of Al-Ziyadiyah, located in the countryside of Jisr Al-Shughour of the Idlib Governorate, adding that he was born in 1988 and married with five children.

The man stated that he had arrived in Karabakh to fight the “infidels”. He was supposed to receive a salary of $2,000 month, in addition to a reward of $100 for the beheading of an “infidel.”

The Armenian Ministry of Defense previously published recorded confessions of another person who also claimed to be a Syrian militant who had been recruited to take part in the fighting on the side of Azerbaijan.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani sides have previously exchanged accusations of using foreign militants in Karabakh during the current round of military escalation in the disputed Karabakh region.

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الصراع بين موسكو وأنقرة يشتدّ.. ماذا بقي من تفاهمات؟

المصدر: الميادين

31 تشرين اول 23:07

بوتين لا يمكنه المضي بمسارات في القوقاز شبيهة بسوريا ونفذ صبره من ممارسات تركيا

تبدو العلاقة الروسية التركية وكأنها تتجه إلى التوتر في ظل صراع يشتد حول الأزمات المختلف عليها، بما في ذلك الأزمتان السورية والليبية. فهل ستطغى الخلافات على التفاهمات، وتتعمق الفجوة بين الجانبين؟

لروسيا وتركيا مصلحة في إقامة علاقة جيدة بينهما، وفي تجنب صدامٍ مباشر. لكنّ المصالح تتقاطع، فكلٌ يسعى إلى مزيد من النفوذ إقليمياً، وللدولتين موطئ قدم في سوريا وليبيا، أبرز بؤر التوتر، حيث الخلاف بينهما حول الأزمتين منذ سنوات.

في الأولى، يبدو الخلاف في تصاعد، حيث أن موسكو تضرب “فيلق الشام” المدعوم من أنقرة، فترسل بذلك رسالة مفادها أن الروس مستاؤون من تحركات تركيا إقليمياً. كأنما تريد روسيا بذلك أن تقول: “إن نقل المسلحين إلى القوقاز خط أحمر”. وفي ذلك أيضاً، تكثيف للضغوط على تركيا، لتقوم بسحب ثلاث نقاط مراقبة في جوار إدلب.

تركيا من جهتها، تعرب عن سخطها العميق، من تلك الغارة الروسية في إدلب، ورئيسها رجب طيب إردوغان يتهم موسكو في خطاب له، “بعدم الرغبة في السعي لتحقيق السلام في سوريا”.

الرئيس التركي من جهته لا يُبدي استعداداً لانسحاب قواته من إدلب وشمال سوريا، إلا بعد حلّ نهائي للأزمة. وثمّة شرط آخر هو طلب الشعب السوري ذلك، على حد تعبيره. فهل يتجه البلدان إلى وضع متأزم بينهما، كذاك الذي شهداه بعد إسقاط الأتراك مقاتلة روسية، أو ربما حتى أكثر تأزماً؟

قد يكون لنفاد صبر بوتين واندفاع إردوغان، ما يدفع في هذا الاتجاه. وللرئيس التركي ورقةٌ أخرى، هي النفوذ في ليبيا التي تمثل وجهاً آخر للصراع.

وفي سياق توتر العلاقات الروسية التركية، يأتي تراجع رئيس حكومة الوفاق الوطني الليبية فايز السراج عن استقالته من رئاسة الحكومة، ما قد يعيد الأزمة الليبية إلى الوراء، ويهدد بنسف جهود إيجاد حل سياسي.

كذلك، تتسع الفجوة بين الروس والأتراك، رغم حاجة الواحد منهما إلى الآخر، فكلاهما يبحث عن مكاسب تعزز مصالحه، وكلاهما يخشى على نفسه من تقزيم نفوذه.

محلي للميادين: صبر بوتين نفذ من ممارسات تركيا في سوريا

وعن توتر العلاقة الروسية التركية، رأى الخبير في الشؤون التركية حسني محلي في حديث للميادين، أن الرئيس الروسي لا يمكنه المضي بمسارات في القوقاز شبيهة بسوريا. ولفت إلى أن هناك قلق روسي جدي من الدور التركي المحتمل في القوقاز.

وفيما أشار إلى أن صبر بوتين نفد من ممارسات تركيا، إلا أن محلي أعرب عن اعتقاده بأن إردوغان لن يتراجع في سوريا، على الرغم من التفاهمات التي عقدها مع بوتين.

كذلك تساءل محلي: “ماذا فعلت موسكو أمام سيطرة أذربيجان على مساحات مهمة في ناغورنو كاراباخ بدعم تركي؟”. 

واعتبر أنه لا يمكن لتركيا أن تتخلى عن الولايات المتحدة خصوصاً في ظل الأزمة الاقتصادية التي تمر بها.

كما أشار محلي إلى أن واشنطن وبرلين ساهمتا في نجاح التفاهمات الليبية-الليبية.

أوغلو للميادين: القوقاز جبهة صراع بين موسكو وأنقرة

بدوره، رأى الكاتب والباحث في الشؤون السياسية التركية فراس أوغلو، في حديث للميادين أن هناك فرق واضح في القدرات العسكرية والاستراتيجية بين روسيا وتركيا.

وقال أوغلو، إن القوقاز هي جبهة صراع واضحة بين روسيا وتركيا لاعتبارات عديدة. واعتبر أنه بإمكان تركيا المناورة بين الجانبين الأميركي والروسي “وتبقى فائزة”، على حدّ تعبيره.

كما تناول أوغلو ما يجري بين أرمينيا وأذربيجان، ورأى أن الجو الاستراتيجي الآن يناسب أذربيجان لاستعادة أراضيها.

كما رأى أن أرمينيا تتحول إلى نقطة متقدمة لفرنسا وأميركا، “وهذا الأمر ترفضه روسيا وتركيا”، وفق أوغلو.

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