The geopolitical world was rocked yesterday when Turkey began shelling Syria’s second largest city, Aleppo, where the Syrian opposition has its back against the wall in the face of an aggressive advance by the forces of President Assad’s government and the Iranian Republican Guard supported, of course, by Russian airstrikes.
We have been reporting for some time HERE and HERE that the Turks and Saudis would have to do something quick if they wanted to preserve the rebellion. Their proxies are being crushed by Hassan Nasrallah’s army and Vladimir Putin’s air force juggernaut. Even so such a rapid escalation was unexpected.
But Turkish President Recep Erdogan is unpredictable seems to have decided on a whim there’s no time like the present for starting World War III. As well as attacking Assad’s allies in Syria Turkey has launched another offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria. Officially, Turkey says it’s shelling Kurdish positions in Syria in self defense. The Turkish government says it is about securing the border against hostiles. Of course the idea that the YPG are set to invade Turkey is laughable. The Kurds have secured enough space in their own country and Iraq to declare an autonomous proto-state, they have no need to provoke a NATO member into fill scale conflict.
But for Erdogan, that’s precisely the problem. Ankara fears the YPG’s gains will embolden the PKK militarily and the HDP politically and last June’s elections clearly suggest that Turkey’s Kurdish minority has the power to shake up the political scene.
And so, Turkey Turkey and Saudi Arabia needed to find a way to spin an attack on Assad regime and Kurdish territory as an anti-ISIS operation and an effort to rescue the opposition at Aleppo was the best they could come up with even though ISIS doesn’t have a large presence in the area.
Incredibly, Turkey seems unconcerned about appearances. In short, Erdogan looks as though he’s prepared to simply enter the war on the pretext that Turkey needs to roll back the YPG which, you’re reminded is explicitly backed by the US just as ISIS is covertly backed by the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Latest news today is that the Turks have maintained their bombardment. “The Turkish army shelled positions held by Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, killing two fighters,” Reuters reports. The YPG controls nearly all of Syria’s northern frontier with Turkey, and has been a close ally of the United States in the campaign against Islamic State in Syria, but Ankara views the group as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-old insurrection for Kurdish autonomy in southeast Turkey.”
Jaysh al-Thuwwar, an allied group of YPG warned Turkey against further attacks, saying if the country “has goals in our dear nation, we will defend our land and our people, and view it as a hostile party”. Again, this comes from the very same groups the US is overtly supporting with arms and air power. So not the CIA-sponsored opposition. Turkey is shelling fighters who literally have the clearance to call in US airstrikes from warplanes that, in an irony of ironies, are flying from Incirlik, the Turkish air base. And speaking of Incirlik, the Saudi Arabian air force are now there, preparing to launch strikes against ……..? ISIS? Unlikely as they are supported by the Saudis? The ‘moderate Syrian rebels? Unlikely as they are affiliated with ISIS. The Assad regime, which the idiot Barack Obama has sworn to bring down even though it is supported by Russia and China. Probably, they have run out of patience with the testicularly challenged American President and are trying to force him into all out war.
Next move is down to Vladimir Pitin and Xi Jinping.
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