[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]
Following 6 hours of grueling negotiations, including direct negotiations between Putin and Erdogan, the parties have finally agreed to the following:
- A ceasefire will begin at midnight.
- Russia and Turkey will jointly patrol the M4 highway (M5 now belongs to Damascus). A 6km buffer zone will have to be created and enforced on each side of M4 by the March 15th (see map above)
- Both parties have reaffirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Both parties have reaffirmed their commitment to a create the conditions for a return of the refugees.
- Both parties have reaffirmed that this conflict has no military solution.
Furthermore, there was a lot of things which were left unsaid, but understood by all:
- The recent military gains of the Syrian military will not be disputed and otherwise challenged. The new line of contact has now become official.
- Russia and Syria will continue to fight all the organizations which the UNSC has declared “terrorist” (al-Nusra, al-Qaeda, and all their franchises irrespective of any “rebranding”).
- Moscow remains as committed to the protection of the legitimate Syrian government as ever.
From the above we can also deduce the following:
- Erdogan’s Blitzkrieg has failed. Initially, the Turkish drones inflicted major damage on the Syrian forces, but the latter adapted extremely quickly which resulted in what the Russians jokingly referred to as “dronopad” which can roughly be translated as “dronerain”.
- The Turks were clearly shocked by the Russian decision to bomb a Turkish battalion. What apparently happened is this: two Syrian Su-22 (old Soviet aircraft) bombed the convoy to force it to stop, then a pair of Russian Su-34 (the most modern Russian all-weather supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft) dropped heavy ordinance on the convoy and surrounding buildings killing scores of Turkish special forces). Both sides decided to “blame” the Syrians, but they don’t fly Su-34, and everybody knows that.
- Erdogan understood that he either had to double down or declare victory and leave. He wisely chose the latter, at least as a temporary measure.
- Neither NATO nor the EU showed any signs of wanting to join Turkey’s war on Syria (because that is what we are really dealing with here), and neither did the USA. Since I cannot call that decision “wise” (there is no wisdom of any kind left in western regimes), I will call it simply “prudent” as Russia was not about to allow Turkey to invade Syria.
- Iran, Hezbollah, and Libya all declared their willingness to fight the Turks for as long as needed and anywhere where needed.
In spite of these developments, it is pretty clear that internal Turkish politics will continue to force Erdogan to engage in what is politely called “neo-Ottoman” policies aka phantom pains for a lost empire. The obvious solution for Russia is to further arm the Syrians, especially with modernized versions of the Pantsir SAMs which have proven very effective against drones, MLRS rockets and even mortars.
The main Syrian problem is a lack of numbers. Until more forces are equipped, trained, deployed and engaged, the Russians need to provide a much stronger air defense capabilities to Syria. The Syrians have done miracles with old, frankly outdated, Soviet equipment (which, considering its age and lack of proper maintenance, has performed superbly), but now they need much better Russian gear to defend not only against Turkey, but also against the Axis of Kindness (USA+Israel+KSA).
Furthermore, it is my opinion that the Russian task force in Khmeimim and Tartus is too big and not well balanced. Khmeimin needs many more Su-25SM3 and a few more Su-35S/Su-30SM to protect them. The naval base at Tartus lacks ASW capabilities, as does much of the Russian naval task force in the eastern Mediterranean. And while the Russian Navy has a number of ships with “Kalibr” cruise missiles onboard, their numbers are, again, inadequate, which means that the Russian Aerospace Forces need to deploy as many Kalibr-capable aircraft in southern Russia as possible. Both Tartus and Khmeimim are pretty close to the Idlib province (that is also were the “good terrorist” tried to strike Russian forces from which, thanks to the successful Syrian offensive, they now cannot do anymore!). This suggests to me that Russia ought to declare a larger exclusive air control zone over both of this locations, and beef up the numbers of missiles and launchers the Russian air defenses will have to enforce it.
Finally, I think that Erdogan has outlived his utility for Russia (and for Turkey, for that matter!). He clearly is a loose cannon which, according to some rumors, even the Turkish public opinion is getting fed up with. Russia should not neglect that public opinion. Then there are the Libyans, “Field Marshal” Khalifa Belqasim Haftar, whose forces seems to have been extremely successful against the Turkish forces in Libya. The Russians are, quietly, supporting Haftar who, while not exactly an ideal ally for Russia, can prove useful. What the Russians need to do next is to explain two things to Erdogan and his ministers:
- If you attack again in Syria, you will be defeated, possibly worse than the first time around
- If you mess with our geostrategic interests, we will mess with yours
The only party which the Russians should never arm are the Kurds, who are even more unreliable than Erdogan and who are basically an Israeli asset to destabilize Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. Russia should, however, talk to the Kurds (all factions) and convince them to accept a large cultural autonomy inside Syria, Iraq and Iran. Turkey could be added to this list, but only once a trustworthy government comes to power in Ankara. Under no circumstances should Russia arm the Kurds.
Right now, the best Russian ally in the region is Syria. This is the country which Russia needs to make safe by creating a truly modern air defense network. The Russians have already done a lot towards this goal, including integrating their combat management and EW systems, but that is not enough. While Russian aid and Syrian skills have forced the Israelis to conduct mostly symbolic and ineffective air strikes, often with missiles shot from outside the Syrian airspace, and while many (most) Israeli missiles were destroyed by the Syrian air defenses, it is pretty clear that both the Turks and the Israelis feel that if they launch missiles from long distance they are relatively safe. That perception needs to be changed, not only to force the Turks and the Israelis to shoot from even further and accept even more losses, but also to show the US, NATO and Europe that the Syrian air defenses are capable of making anything short of a massive attack pointless (and a massive attack costly).
We should also note that the Turkish propaganda machine has been very effective. Yes, a lot of what they said was self-evidently “feelgood” nonsense (thousands of dead Syrians, hundred of tanks, etc.) , but their footage of a Turkish drone striking a Pantsir in Libya did, at least initially, impress those who don’t understand air defense warfare (destroying a single isolated first-generation Pantsir is not that hard, especially from right above it, but destroying a Pantsir position in which launchers protect each other is quite different. And if that Pantsir position is protected “below” (AA+MANPADS) and “above” (medium to long range SAMs), then this becomes extremely difficult).
This war is not over and it won’t be until Erdogan is removed from power. Frankly, Russia needs a stable and trustworthy partner on her southern border, and that won’t happen until the Turks ditch Erdogan. The problem here is that God only knows who might succeed him, should the Gulenists seize power, that will not be good for Russia either.
And here we come back to the murder of General Suleimani. Frankly, the Iranians are spot on: the two things which made the Middle-East into the bloody mess it has been for decades are 1) Israel and 2) the USA. The end goal for the former is a one-state solution, whether accepted or imposed. The intermediate goal ought to be to get the US out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and, possibly, Turkey. Erdogan is crazy and desperate enough (not to mention vengeful) to at least bring this intermediate goal one step closer by alienating the US and NATO. So the Russian game plan ought to be obvious: first, use military means to “contain Erdogan inside Turkey” and, next, engage in long term efforts to prepare for a post-Erdogan Turkey. Then let the SOB destroy himself.
I don’t believe that peace is possible between a secular Syria and a Takfiri-backing Turkey. And I sure don’t believe that the Takfiris can be remolded into any kind of “democratic opposition”. Thus the real end-goal for Russia and Syria will always be military victory, not “peace” (assuming that concept of “peace with the Takfiris” makes any sense at all, which it doesn’t). The Russians know that, even if they won’t admit it.
For the time being, what we see is the first phase of the Turkey-Syria war ending and for the next couple of weeks we shall see a transition into some other phase which will probably be one in which, surprise surprise, the Turks fail to remove all the Takfiri nutcases from Idlib which will then give Syria and Russia a legal reason to take direct action again. In theory, at least, Erdogan could decide to pour the Turkish armed forces across the border, but the closer they will get to Khmeimim and/or Tartus, the more dangerous the stakes for Turkey and for Erdogan personally.
The key to success for the Axis of Resistance is to make Syria too tough to crack. I hope that Russia, Iran, Syria and Iraq will continue to work together, hopefully with Chinese aid, to create such a Syria.
Russia has been a model of international diplomacy and rule of law.
What American leadership has devolved into is embarrassing.
This should spook the U.S. military to its core, now the attention can be turned to the east to liberate those lands from the invaders.
Saker, I like how you frame the Syrian War as a Syria vs Turkey War. If it wasn’t only Turkey at the beginning, it is primarily Turkey now. Especially, arming and fighting alongside the terrorists.
As President Assad says in the Interview you posted today (excellent!) Assad depicts the war as a war against the Muslim Brotherhood via Erdogan.
Today, Putin showed his strategic brilliance and how his geopolitical skills result in dominance on the battlefield. He took the turf the Syrians would have had to lay down many hundreds of lives to secure (the M4 corridor) and handed it to Assad, while the Russians and Turks patrol it to pacify it from the terrorists.
Meanwhile, looking at the map, you can see the carving up of the remaining sectors of Idlib. Several potential boilers/cauldrons. The Generals in Moscow and Damascus will use Russian tactics to sanitize these sectors.
Erdogan went to Moscow and came away with his own defeat. Genius!
Agree that the airspace has to be closed. For Russia it is time to dominate. Nothing left to share with the outsiders except total Syrian territorial integrity. Israel needs to lose a plane or two.
But what about the rest of Idlib region including Idlib city itself?
It remains under permanent Turkish occupation. Nothing that Russians could do, there were no way to prevent Turkish open military intervention.
There is new situation now compared with previous SAA actions. To liberate entire remaining occupied parts of Idlib pocket, it is unavoidable to go to open war with Turkey and Russia will not do that.
SAA needs pause now, after this offensive.
So, everything seems like another Cyprus scenario. I hope that I am wrong.
At this moment this is maximum that Russia could achieve. What will happen in future nobody knows, and much depends on political and economic development in Turkey.
It appears that this “agreement” in Moscow in the long run solves absolutely nothing: it just puts another, temporary pause to the fighting. Which even may not be to the advantage of the SAA in their offensive (unless, of course, the Russians planned to continue to be lukewarm in their military support of the SAA in Idlib, thus tying SAA’s hands anyway).
One way this meeting was presented was, that Erdogan was badly loosing and that the meeting’s purpose was to allow him to back off while saving his face.
But what about another take, that it is Putin who found himself in a corner, not able to decisively intervene militarily without jeopardising his broader desirable relations with Turkey, economic and strategic?
Or, much more likely, that both of these angles were at play?
Thanks for the levity, Bob. Pretty funny stuff.
If it wasn’t so replete with inanities, I would think you were trolling us.
If, somehow this is your sincere take on the events unfolding, you might want to read Saker’s article more slowly, then got to Andrei Martyanov’s blog, read his take.
Here’s his article:
At the very least you could try be civil to other commenters (which, by the way, is one of the rules of conduct that The Saker has explicitly spelled out), and attempt to address the issues, if so possible. So far you have not provided any arguments to support your apparent disagreement.
I fully agree with you, Bob. Nobody should behave as he or she is the unique adult in the room.
You made five points in your comment. Taking you seriously, which considering we are on the most esteemed blog world wide in the English language that focuses on Russia, geopolitics, Eurasia, the Empire, and all things related to the four great civilizations beyond the West, is extremely hard to do, I will fillet your ‘points’ for you.
1. “this “agreement” in Moscow in the long run solves absolutely nothing: it just puts another, temporary pause to the fighting.”
The Highway M4 corridor which Putin took without firing a bullet is a major strategic ‘get’ for Russia and Syria. Erdogan could have gotten supplied by the US to fight for this crucial route for the rest of the year. It would have bled the Syrians, Hezbollah and Iranian militias for months and many hundreds of dead and thousands of wounded, plus losses of tanks, artillery and armored vehicles. It could have led to a clash in the skies between Russian aircraft and Turks’ F-16s. All that was avoided by Putin’s words, ink on paper and Erdogan’s powerlessness to prevent it. The Russians clearly told him and his generals the Russians would devastate his military (again, if you read Saker’s article carefully). So, not nothing, Bob. Something HUGE. At no cost.
2. “Which even may not be to the advantage of the SAA in their offensive”
As I explained in #1, a huge advantage to the SAA in their offensive. Even a ceasefire helps the Syrians much more than the Turks. Their offensive can regroup, rearm, rest and reposition at no risk. Big advantage to Syria.
3. “unless, of course, the Russians planned to continue to be lukewarm in their military support of the SAA in Idlib, thus tying SAA’s hands anyway).”
You level a charge at the Russians of being lukewarm in their military support of SAA in Idlib which is so preposterous and ignorant of the facts that you miss over one and half years of news regarding the Idlib offensive (which began long before recently, thus, the Sept. 2018 Sochi Agreement that established the DEZ in Idlib). You have no facts in your head, thus you spew out nonsense. A double nonsense of being lukewarm and tying SAA’s hands. The several starts and stops of the Idlib operations since 2018 shows that Russian general staff, Putin, Lavrov, Shoigu, Patrushev (FSB), Naryshkin (SVR), have been heavily involved assauging the Turks, but Erdogan’s adventurism and failure to fulfill his obligations within the Sochi Agreement led to his strategic blunder of launching an attack using his own military co-mingled with terrorists. As Saker’s article and Martyanov’s article point out, Russia directly stopped him cold with a fierce bombing of his convoy. Hardly lukewarm, nor a tie around the SAA’s hands.
4. “what about another take, that it is Putin who found himself in a corner, not able to decisively intervene militarily without jeopardising his broader desirable relations with Turkey, economic and strategic?”
Again and again, your ignorance of the facts is profound. Russia bombed the Turks. Russian EW (electronic warfare) took down the swarms of Turk drones, shut command and control communications of the Turk military.
Not Putin in a corner, Bob. The corner is occupied by Erdogan and his generals. Putin took the risk that Erdogan might cancel the gas deal (Turkish Stream) and the nuclear power plant deal, but weighed in on blasting the Turkish military. So, your straw dog notion is baloney.
5. “both of these angles were at play? (Erdogan was losing face and Putin was in a corner)”
Erdogan lost the battle, is losing the war (irreversibly). Putin was never in any corner. He was in the Kremlin waiting for Erdogan to come crawling for help to save him from a military coup for getting his men killed, losing the M4 Highway without a shot fired, and for taking his nation to the brink of a bigger disaster if he kept going with his insane plan to fight the Russians.
Bob, you need to study more, read more, and “listen” better.
The Saker’s Vineyard is elite graduate study level at times. It offers free to all the opportunity to learn and to participate. But, it requires some degree of comprehension for comments. There is no one correct POV. These are complex issues.
Best to ask questions than to make statements that are hollow, fallacious, or silly.
I don’t suffer fools and trolls. And I’ve mellowed out a lot over the years.
For those who think they can duke it out, think twice.
I have a rule that serves me well. I comment only on things I know for certain. The rest of the time I’m a student, I ask questions.
Have a nice day.
Been busier than a one armed man in a paper hanging contest and just now got time to read blog.
Larchmonter, my friend and comrade, well said. I’m tired of the constant trolls showing up here and another, rather more military, forum I frequent. So, Putin is cornered, Putin is doing nothing, allowing Syria to be plowed under, Putin is on the defensive. Well, not quite.
The 12 kilometer wide ‘safe corridor’ along the distance of the M4 is a huge victory for Syria and Putin. The Turks will now be reduced to following Russian BTR’s in combined patrols along and through the entire corridor. The Turk ‘observation posts’ south of the corridor are now cut off and at the mercy of Syrian Arab Army for supply and succor, and as such within months will be abandoned without a fight. The terrorists are in panic mode, knowing well that they will not live to old age nor will they live in Syria in the not too far future. Make no mistake, this war is far from over and when Idlib is finally clear of the ‘moderate’ murderers and head choppers, then there’s a little something on the other side of the river that needs clearing out in addition to an illegal enclave of American forces on the Jordan border inside Syria.
However, thanks to Vladimir Vladmir’vich Putin and his team of masters Lavrov and Shoigu, defeat is averted and victory, however far away on the horizon, is in sight.
Hello, Billy here from one of the primary, deluxe NATO countries, I’ve been perusing for a while to get a feel for this narrative you push and yes, it seems to me the old classic propagandist’s trick of a grain of truth, then a ton of biased, nonsensical rambling – may I ask if the previous Syrian/Russian retreat was strategic, why isn’t the Turkish/rebels of the same type? Oh no, there’s is only pathetic defeat, they were shocked by the Russian response etc etc etc. I get it, governments all pull these tricks, but the way you do it here of seeming to give some secret, insider information that is unavailable to the masses is I think an unfair and deliberate attempt to brainwash the more pliable of minds. Many of the free speech advocates here also appear to have very little tolerance for alternative points of view, striking back in a remarkably pointless, pompous fashion that seems to suggest that certain commentators, with their grandiose and arrogant style are in fact little more than inadequate overstimulated, obsessive oiks. Tally ho.
Larchmonter 445: “The Saker’s Vineyard is elite graduate study level at times.”
Rarely. Most often is ad hominem heaven.
“Their offensive can regroup, rearm, rest and reposition at no risk. Big advantage to Syria.’
Except that would be a breach of the ceasefire- same as for Turkey
As for Russia being “lukewarm” this last time round- I’d posit they were no where to be found.
There was so many reports from a variety of sources that made that very clear. Easy enough to find them.
Prior to the recent moves by the Assad government, Putin visited Damascus and asked that they allow Turkey to remove their troops, this information was included in an article that can be found at NeoJournal and I’m quoting
” It was this political disagreement that was at the heart of Putin’s visits to Damascus and Istanbul in the end of January 2020. As the reports suggest, the Russians had ‘strongly advised’ the Syrian army to halt their offensive and allow Turkey to relocate its troops”
SAA did not take that advice. Instead targeting Turkish troops they knew to be present in the area.
Russia was clearly hands off after that because Damascus put them in a bad spot.
Russia and Turkey have been working out their differences through diplomacy for some years now and Damascus “flipped them the bird”
“I have a rule that serves me well. I comment only on things I know for certain.”
If that was the case I’d expect you’d be a much quieter commenter then you often are.
Turkey and Russia will be meeting again this week as they continue to discuss the parameters of the ceasefire agreement- thank goodnes
Because if it was up to the US, who veto’d approving the ceasefire agreement at the UN- this ceasefire wouldn’t exist at all- Think about that FACT.
Penny, please refrain from comments such as this:
“Rarely. Most often is ad hominem heaven.”
“If that was the case I’d expect you’d be a much quieter commenter then you often are. ”
You’re insulting this blog and a valued contributor. As such you would be part of the ad hominem problem. Refrain.
Our comments are just speculations regarding the outcome of a meeting between two heads of states. Some of our opinions may seem more logical than others but possibly neither may have any relation to what Putin and Erdogan think. If everything in politics would follow logic then computers would be the best analysts. If crossing the M4 corridor becomes the red line in SAA’s efforts to liberate the rest of Idlib, and the territory remains under Turkish occupation, then many of the opinions expressed here may turn out as not being correct. Time will tell.
The Turkeys will not be able to refrain from helping the moderate terrorists, forcing the SAA to slowly root them out, accidentally taking over more territory as they do so. Accidentally, because as we all know, there is no military solution.
And then even Bob, go and read the article on Patrick Lang’s blog, which answers your questions.
And from that, those that say that Putin was ‘in a corner’, or that Syria was not part of this meeting, let me quote something from that blog (just because it is handy at the moment), because those ones that think like that missed Putin’s opening remarks and of course the setting of the meeting:
“The tone of the meeting, however, was set by Putin at the outset with a solid rebuke of Erdogan for his operation in Idlib. In effect, he said, we’re sorry for the losses you suffered but you have to stop supporting terrorists in Syria. “The situation in the Idlib zone in Syria has deteriorated so much that we need to have a direct and personal discussion,” Putin said in opening remarks before they went behind closed doors. “First of all, I would like to express our sincere condolences over the death of your military personnel in Syria. Loss of life is always a big tragedy. Regrettably, as I have told you by telephone, nobody, including the Syrian military, was aware of your troops’ location. At the same time, there were casualties among Syrian servicemen as well. The Syrian army reported major losses.”
“Therefore, we need to discuss everything and analyze the current developments so that, first, this does not happen again and, second, that this does not damage Russian-Turkish relations, which I know that you value as well,” Putin concluded.” Sub-text, you continue on like this my friend Erdogan, and the relations between us will take a dive that you cannot even think through.
That should answer all the questions from those that ask why Syria was not represented, and also if Putin was in a bad spot. He was not. And what was gained for Syria, is all the gains that they made so far. There will be no going back to older battlefields to fight those battles again. If the two highways are safe in Syria hands, that is a massive step forward. And if Turkey now sudden shares responsibility for the highways and must keep them open for commercial traffic, the whole region benefits. I am not a war analyst, but even I can see that the cauldrons are set up for anyone that is dumb enough to step into them.
This is a victory, for Russia, and they handed Syria a large gift. Those that wanted to see Putin’s foot on Erdogan’s head, well, Putin does not deal like that. He just photograps Erdogan and his delegation standing under the statue of Catherine the Great who defeated the Turks several times during the XVIII century. If that does not tell the story, I don’t know what will.
could you give link to Lang’s blog Amayrynth ?
thanks – I keep hearing about that place – I found it once – it seemed interesting at the time..now he’s getting famous.
Ann, here it is: https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/
But allow me to explain. I read only Lang’s work on that blog and for a very specific reason, he is a soldier that commanded in the field, he knows the area backwards, he speaks some of the languages and has a keen sense of the tactical situation in the field. As I am weak on all of these, I sometimes get some help from Lang. But, I do not buy everything wholesale. Another point, he actually understands what American Exceptionalism is, and how it works in the field. So, all of those together and I pick up some of his work.
“It remains under permanent Turkish occupation. Nothing that Russians could do, there were no way to prevent Turkish open military intervention.”
There are only two things ‘permanent’ in this thing we call ‘life’ and that’s death and taxes, and I’m not too sure how ‘permanent’ death is.
There is a lot more going on in that, and other, areas of conflict than is generally known. President Putin just handed President Erdogan a stunning defeat, and the icing on the cake was in the background of one room they were meeting in there was a beautiful bronze of Ye’katarina Bolshoi, aka Katherine the Great, she who put the Turks out of Malorus, Krimu and the east side of the Black Sea. I would think the clear threat was not lost on Erdogan.
As for what else is going on, all I can say is we have occasionally a very sad duty to perform in this area, not very often but often enough that we don’t forget that it’s OUR boys involved in the fighting.
I think to a great extent Erdogan is doing, with however much alacrity, exactly what he’s told to do by Foggy Bottom. Erdogan knows that it’s only by the grace of VVP that he is still in power and he knows what happens when he doesn’t do to the tiny detail what he’s told to do by his masters. He also knows that he’s on borrowed time and the next time Uncle Sugar wants to remove him with a coup, VVP may not warn him. I would say whatever warnings may come will be in direct relation of how useful he is to Russia at that time and in future, and the minute Mother decides he’s a burden, he’ll be gone in a heartbeat.
Never The Last One, paperback edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521849056 A deep look in to Russia, her culture and her Armed Forces, in essence a look at the emergence of Russian Federation.
An Incident On Simonka, paperback edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1696160715 NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
Yes, Erdogan knows that it is by the grace of Vladimir Putin that he is still in power. In fact, it is by the grace of Vladimir Putin that he is alive at all, as back in 2016 Russian AA units and combat aircraft prevented the coup players from shooting down Erdogans aircraft. And what does Erdogan do in Syria ? A little bit of back stabbing, a traditional Turkish tactic. And the Russians ? They respond with their combat aircraft, which indeed was a shock to the Turks, as they did not expect it. However, they forgot how many times the Russians fought them in the past, never forgetting the traditional Turkish stab in the back.
Hey, “Bosnian Croat” what do you think about cooperation between Serbs and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Do you find that to be prudent, or you just want to erase Republika Srpska?
“Bosnian Croat” had not even mentioned anything about us Serbs, nor had he offended you personally. If you won’t apologise to him, then I certainly will in our common good name. Срам те било.
Bosnian Croats are all former Serbs who were forced to convert to the Catholic faith. I thought I would mention it.
The real truth about that claim lays in the fact who had “protection” status in the Ottoman Empire, orthodox Christians or Catholic Church. From that, you can divine who had the incentive to convert, orthodoxies to Catholicism, or maybe it was the other way around? Just thought I would mention that. Cheers
The war against Syria is an israeli war. Turkey is a bit player who thought they could take advantage of the situation for their own ends. Much like poland in the lead up to WW2 riding nazi germany’s coattails and biting off a chunk of Czechoslovakia when hitler bluffed in 1938. There are major differences, though, I made the analogy to illustrate how a bit player can attempt to take advantage of a situation in which, without the majors being involved, the opportunistic bit player would have to remain on the sidelines. Poland got their stolen real estate, but got wiped a year later by the nazis who gave them that temporary gift of stolen property. Turkey wont keep their Idlib gains, but not for the same reasons poland lost out. Nobody will invade Turkey and as the dust settles, Turkey will relinquish their occupation of Idlib. Not necessarily because they want to, though…
@ vot tak
Quite a good analogy with 1938-39. And “… The war against Syria is an Israeli war. …” is indeed the broader picture. While nobody will invade Turkey the way Poland was, there still may be another “internal” coup against Erdogan lurking (successful this time), arranged by the usual Zionist world engineers… After all, they have even swallowed Germany, the swallower of Poland… Yes, quite a good analogy I would say.
I think all wars are Bankers Wars so by implication they are Israeli Wars.
Cheers and thanks, Anonymous.
Indeed it looks like Putin wins But I note a recent comment on MoA which (if correct) also gives a ‘win-win’ to Erdogan – at least in the immediate short term:
“Remember that in Turkey the headline language of the meeting reads well a) “ceasefire” – just what Erdogan had said he intended to argue for; b) Security corridor – precisely what he has been demanding for ages now (no.one is going to mention M4 or look at a map!); c) Joint patrols with Russia – the impression that Syria is sidelined; d) His promise to return refugees to Syria (Erdogan mentioned this when he spoke.) d) And probably the safe return of the soldiers at the observation posts. The meeting can be sold as a good outcome in Turkey and one that was directly the result of Turkey’s aggressive stance.” (MoA, “syria-ceasefire-in-idleb-erdogan-loses-on-all-points” #66)
As for the Israeli vector — they need to lose the Syrian Golan Heights (at least).
Excellent article and excellent comment. Yes, Putin again showed his geopolitical skills (after all, he was in the upper echelons of the former KGB). As for Erdogan, I think he has more trouble in Turkey than may be apparent. The Turkish radicals cannot forget the Ottoman Empire, and no doubt neither can Erdogan. However, in Turkey you also have a middle class which is more interested in trade and profit than in war. Having these past few days read articles and comments on the Internet, one comes to the conclusion that, maybe, there is no general mood in Turkey for any war. This means that Turkish society is polarized. However, at the moment it is not clear to what extent these divisions go. The article is indeed correct in stating that should Erdogan depart, then a clear successor as yet is not visible, which means anyone could take over. This also means that a defeated Erdogan is more valuable to Russia than a destroyed Erdogan. No matter what happens, I think that Turkish society will always be polarized. It’s basically a Turkish tradition. Even during the Ottoman Empire the Ottoman Turks always kept an eye on the Seljuk Turks whom they defeated in the year 1300, the result being that they were forced to employ former Christians to run the Turkish administration, as they did not always know who was an Ottoman and who was a Seljuk
I am waiting for that event to happen for a long time. A F15 or F16 would be enough of a wakeup call. The Israeli approach via Lebanon requires IMHO an AWACS. Approach via Golan Hights maybe not. To remained everyone. The Golan hights despite being gifted to Israel by President Trump are still albeit occupied Syrian territory.
Great News and article Saker
Spring and hope is on the way.
I love your expression: The Axis of Kindness.
One thing mystifies me about these regime-change events — how is it that, when one figure is removed, the entire leadership of a country changes overnight? The police, the judiciary, etc. etc.?
Yanukovitch fled the Ukraine when it was evident the mob was intent on killing him. But did the Ukraine not have people in lesser positions of power, running all the departments/divisions of government? How was it that simply substituting him with ‘Yats’ or ‘Porky’ resulted in an instant shift at every level? (obviously Donetsk, Lugansk, and a few other places did not shift)
The Venezuela coup failed completely, but other South American countries have had their leadership replaced, most notably Brazil. (and Bolivia, Ecuador, …)
So, my thinking and question is this: if Erdogan is tossed out of Ankara, how will his replacement be determined? Is it likely that a ‘sleeper’ from that coup attempt would take the reins? Will the Russian ‘management teams’ prevail over the empire’s ‘shadow teams’? What assurance is there that Erdogan’s replacement will be an improvement?
My own take on Turkey is that from the Americans’ point of view, the AKP itself is OK (it may even have been a “moderate Islam” project developed by the Americans themselves) but Erdoğan himself is no longer useful. Erdoğan himself often references Adnan Menderes, who was overthrown and executed – he had brought Turkey into NATO but the Americans were probably behind his removal.
His former foreign minister Davutoğlu was the architect of much of the Turkish foreign policy mess but is now an Erdoğan opponent. In my view Washington could turn to him, or someone like him.
“This war is not over and it won’t be until Erdogan is removed from power. Frankly, Russia needs a stable and trustworthy partner on her southern border, and that won’t happen until the Turks ditch Erdogan. The problem here is that God only knows who might succeed him, should the Gulenists seize power, that will not be good for Russia either.”
That’s the problem.
Erdogan must go.
But the problem is who will replace him?
You can be sure that America has been conniving behind the scenes to have its own (Gulenist) stooge ready, when Erdogan is removed–either by coup, assassination, or “election.”
One wonders whether the evil mastermind Putin hasn’t also been nurturing an evil clone of himself to run Turkey in the same evil way Putin runs Russia.
I sure hope so. Oops. I mean I hope not.
“2. The Turks were clearly shocked by the Russian decision to bomb a Turkish battalion. What apparently happened is this: two Syrian Su-22 (old Soviet aircraft) bombed the convoy to force it to stop, then a pair of Russian Su-34 (the most modern Russian all-weather supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft) dropped heavy ordinance on the convoy and surrounding buildings killing scores of Turkish special forces). Both sides decided to “blame” the Syrians, but they don’t fly Su-34, and everybody knows that.”
Curious what the source of this claim is as the Russian government has said they did not carry out any air strikes in the area the Turks got bombed.
Every one of your articles gives me a sense of comfort.
I very much agree with this article. I think that I understand well the strategic meaning of the Russian position and I have not at all the intention of criticizing it. Nevertheless, in my heart, I am not happy with the outcome of the Moscow meeting between Russia and Turkey. In the declarations after the meeting, one saw Putin speaking of the relations between Russia and Turkey while Erdogan was insulting the Syrian government. The common document did not mention the Syrian government, as far as I could see.
Ok, this is the reality of the current balance of power. But I feel sad about. This is a Syrian question and the Syrian government should have a place. It is not satisfying that Turkey obtains the “right” of controlling something while completely maintaining an utterly hostile attitude against Syria.
No need to feel bad about this. Since the alternative was further escalation and Russia taking gloves off and possibly a true open war this is great. It solidified Syrian gains. Also Syria has to be practical about it’s position. Sure, it wants to restore full sovereignty but it cannot be done overnight. This is a step in that direction.
Turkey came in strong and was expecting a cake walk and instead had it’s ass handed to them. All of the jihadis south of the M4 are screwed now and have to retreat north of it. Either that or destruction, either way Turkey ceded that Syria keeps it’s gains and further ceded everything south of M4 and the highway.
So complete strategic win for Syria and no need to feel bad about it. Russia represented its interests and did a superb job.
Paul Schmutz Schaller – while I very much agree with Gorgeous George just above, I would like to take your comment from a different perspective.
With respect, you say you understand the strategic meaning of the Russian position and yet you display a discomfort. So, let me ask some questions.
Why do you think Syria should have been in these discussions?. It was very clearly Putin calling Erdogan for a proverbial come to jesus (no harm intended in using this gross expression) meeting.
Why do you think that Putin spoke of relations between Russia and Turkey? Was this face-saving or something else, or was this a clear statement of what Erdogan could lose (Like he did once before).
Let’s go to the Turks now suddenly having the responsibility to safeguard the 2 highways, with Syria? I mean, one can start with the fraternal nature of soldiers in the field having been given a job to do and reason upwards from there. How widely is this responsibility now spread, literally for the whole region in my view. So, who is going to kick Turk butt if they cause problems there?. This is genius in my book. Will it work? Well, it has to because the alternatives for Turkey are not very attractive. Yet, Erdogan has a head made of wood or cheese but he has pressures from many sides now .. internal, on the Greek border where Cassad mentioned that it is as if he has opened a 2nd front, his so-called allies offered to send him ammunition and this is like – screw you mate – here is a few bullets. Erdogan is a little outmaneuvered.
Think it through, and you will find that it is Erdogan that is now in a political cauldron and it is Syria that is the eventual winner. One does not put this kind of bad faith against Syria right now in the same meeting with Erdogan. Russia absolutely did their job as guarantor (I don’t know if that is the right word but I’m referring to the UN agreements) of the situation in Syria. They de-escalated the situation, gave the SAA time to rest and replan and rethink, safeguarded areas already fought for, and did not give anything away.
This situation is fluid, things will change and decisions are situationally driven. For this moment, Syria having been given all their wins over the past six weeks, can repair, rest and get ready for their next charge, which will most certainly happen. They are not a big army – this is welcome timeout for them. It also gives the Russian forces time to reconfigure in terms of what is necessary for the next step.
An important element in the Middle East equation that you tend to ignore, except for a very brief comment at the very end, is the role of China. There are a number of regional (and increasingly global) initiatives emanating from China, Russia and India, including but not limited to, the Belt and Road Initiative, that are increasingly important to countries in the region.
That has huge geopolitical ramifications, which is one major reason why the US is not just opposed, but actively seeking to sabotage these initiatives.
Your excellent website needs to recognise these fundamental geopolitical shifts. I for one would welcome your perspectives.
I wonder if President Putin has any regrets selling the S-400 to “lunatic” Erdogan. Are we supposed to believe the Russian military has a secret kill switch?
The Turkish government and military cannot exercise any kind of sovereignity if NATO friend or foe identification can be manipulated by Israel or the USA.
In order for them to be able to have a neutral or allied stance with Russia they need air cover. They cannot expect that from their current systems.
They have been expulsed from the US F-35 fighter plane program, so they have no first tier military aircraft either. I do not expect them to get those from Russia as that would increase the risk of confrontation with the Syrian Arab Air Force.
Thanks for replying; what I was getting at, however is the question of trustworthiness.
Ergodan has proven himself multiple times to be untrustworthy, thus it was likely a mistake selling advanced air defence systems that can be used against Syria. Furthermore, if the Gulen faction takes power, as Saker alluded to, then USA gets access to advanced air defence technologies. In other words, S400 was a gamble that may backfire, because Erdogan will not be loyal to Putin.
There are a couple of points I disagree with.
First, I sincerely doubt there are any or were any “gulenists”… well, ever. There is dangerous internal opposition, Turkey never was a very safe place for its politicians, but to say that an old cleric living in exile in the US is in charge of a network of supposedly tens of thousands of people, ranging from teachers to generals is, frankly, ridiculous. Erdoğan needed someone to pin the blame on, he used the American playbook and immediately put a face on the coup and then began his purge. He made Gulen out to be the bad guy to pressure the US, who I suspect had at least something to do with the coup attempt, and I think Erdoğan suspects that, too. Since Gulen lives in the US, they would have to hand him over, which they refused to do, long story short, Erdoğan got himself a shiny new S400. There is much more behind his pursuit of the S400, but that was, at least in part what lead to it.
As for Israel wanting a one state solution, that is flat out wrong. That is the last thing they want. A one state solution implies there would be Arabs permitted to live in Israel, which the rabidly racist zionists want to prevent. No, Israel and the US have always pursued a two state solution, though most people don’t realize what that even means. The first state is Israel and logic dictates that, therefore, the second state would be Palestine, indeed that’s what most people think when they hear two state solution. But that’s not what they mean when they say two states. It’s Israel and the Palestinian state, which, in the minds of the Israelis and the Americans, is Jordan. So since they declared Jordan the Palestinian state, there is no need for another Palestinian state in the form of Palestine.
The majority of voters in Israel want a state for Jews without anyone else. I call it the one-state mess because it leads to nowhere. If it would stop there, one might even cope with it. However, Israel clearly wants to expand its territory – even double or triple it in the long term.
Similarities of the Israeli mind with the Arian ideology in the former NAZI-Germany or the ideology of being exceptional in the USA must be pure coincidence. Alas it is pretty much the same (Removed language,MOD) in other clothes.
“I sincerely doubt there are any or were any “gulenists””
There certainly were and probably are. Erdoğan was a partner with them for 20 years, and the AKP owes its political existance to them. The Gülenists were used by US intelligence in Turkey to undermine secular nationalists, as it has been throughout the Muslim World, including Syria.
The idea of this “green revolution” formulated in the Carter administration was to replace “leftists” and secular nationalists in the Muslim world with more “easily controlled” Islamists, with a little help from the House of Saud and other US salafist type allies. Even ısrael had a hand in promoting the MB Hamas as an alternative to the secular Fatah. It might be said that the first secular nationalist government to be brought down by this US contrived revolution was in Afghanistan.
The Gülenists from the 80s onward were used to infiltrate countries, for instance in Central Asia with their islamist educational institutions, which were directed at the youth, and most likely included intelligence agents for the CIA and Turkey’s MIT.
At universities in Turkey, at the beginning of the school year, secular instructors often went to bus stations to try to head off incoming students before the Gülenists could get them and herd them into their dormitories for a subtle political brainwashing.
The Gülenists were far worse than Erdoğan, and that is saying something.
Dear Saker, thanks for the article.
I have a questione that still puzzles me.
How can Israel continue use Lebanon’s airspace with impunity?
And how is the current relationship between Lebanon (not just Hezbollah) and Syria?
Would it be possible for Iran or Russia to put some modern air defence systems (even short range like pantsir or equivalent) in Lebanon to prevent Israel from using Lebanon’s air space to conduct strikes to Syria?
Turkey has been badly let down by its allies and financiers of this war.
It was egged on by NATO, the Gulf Monarchies, EU and other to attack Syria. Now that the war is becoming a loosing game they have all not only abandoned Turkey shamelessly but are seeking to put all the blame on Turkey.
This is a betrayal of historic proportions and will have a grave impact on the political realignment of the Middle East.
I can’t help it, but I very much enjoy gloating at reactionaries parading their incompetence and idiocy/gullibility for all the world to see.
The Empire’s vassal regimes in Greece and Turkey both thought they could, in exchange for partaking in Western imperialist aggression (Libya/Syria), be spared the austerity, violence, and mayhem that are the very hallmarks of neoliberalism. Of course it is total bollocks to put the blame entirely upon Turkey, but greedy hyenas — Poland in the early 20th century and Erdogan’s Turkey right now — lack the instinct of restraint and a much needed understanding of what is kept in store for them. Serves them right.
In what way was Greece involved in either Syria or Libya? In regards to Syria, the Greek PM recently made this comment indicating Greece had no part in what happened there.
Are you aware of any evidence that suggest otherwise? Or any that shows involvement in Libya?
This is the comment I am referring to:
I made a mistake in the post.
The inserted slash (Libya/Syria) was supposed to mean “respectively”. And what’s especially nauseating about Greece and the destruction of Libya is that the oh-so-progressive Greeks protesting en masse in Syntagma square in Athens were totally indifferent to NATO using Souda Bay (Crete) for the heinous crime in Libya, Shows convincingly that First World politics are morally bankrupt.
Your expectation for the general public to even be aware of the reality is unrealistic. Deliberate propaganda campaigns are generally needed to mobilize the public one way or another. Why do you single out Greece when it was the whole world, including Russia, who let down Libya?
What is your country? How did your people defend Libya? Did you?
In regards to Souda Bay; an honest person understands that not every country has the sovereign independence to act how ideologues demand them to. It’s easy to sit at home and throw accusations when you don’t have to worry about coups or assassinations or revolutions of various shades. Or have to consider that your neighbors in all directions are hostile and can be given permission to expand their borders.
So in point 2 saker exactly confirms the recent Elihjah J Magnier article that was believed to be very “contentious” by some commentators …regarding Russians killing the Turks.
JJ, I’m going to take you on on this one .. friendly of course.
Read Magnier if you like of course. But one little bit of fact which I surely think he has in all the other little bits of detail .. well, you probably know the saying .. one swallow does not a summer make.
In addition, I am here to learn the strategic, tactical and operational aspects of this war, as it is a very important aspect of the empires war … I would like to understand the interrelationships there while we know there is no military solution that will make everything better. Magnier’s mess of detail forgets to differentiate mainly. So, he does not give me what I need (and I question a bunch of the detail). But, by all means, take it where you like it. I would like to see though that if things are presented here, that we have a more sure way of analysis. That is why I am here.
Regarding the issue that you mention, look at The Saker’s analysis:
The Turks were clearly shocked by the Russian decision to bomb a Turkish battalion. What apparently happened is this: two Syrian Su-22 (old Soviet aircraft) bombed the convoy to force it to stop, then a pair of Russian Su-34 (the most modern Russian all-weather supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft) dropped heavy ordinance on the convoy and surrounding buildings killing scores of Turkish special forces). Both sides decided to “blame” the Syrians, but they don’t fly Su-34, and everybody knows that
Here we have exactly what happened and I can figure the strategic, tactical and operational aspects. So, this fulfills all my requirements for information in one short para and we are not dickering about who did what. We know, and we’ve actually moved on already. The analysis is military, because we are dealing with a war, and not journalistic.
And I also work here, so, I want to ask you to consider if your comment was helpful, or simply a sour comment? Read the man all you like, but strategy and tactical you will not get much of. Operational yes, but check his facts.
Concur. Good comment. Magnier ranks, for me, as low reliable. Comparable to the Syrian in London bozo. Pertaining to the Fog of War, I see him as a fog machine.
Please advise how then this comment from VT on March 2 should be regarded then
“Likewise…… the attempt to worsen Russian-Turk relations further by blaming them for the airstrike which killed Turkish soldiers is also an israeloamerican psywar exercise. While I am sure magnier is well aware of whose propaganda he is repeating, those spamming his material may not be aware they are promoting israeloamerican anti-Russian propaganda.
Now they do not have that excuse. ;
A little bit of “detective work” on the web illuminated the source of the detailed claim that Russian Su-34 aircraft attacked the Turks.
Are you ready?
The source is Turkish.
It is the assumption labelling that contributors are israeloamerican antirussian propaganda psywar spammers that I find disappointing.
Just because one reads/hears some line of information from another source, it doesn’t absolve that individual of applying critical judgement when they choose to repeat the information.
“The Turks were clearly shocked by the Russian decision to bomb a Turkish battalion. What apparently happened is this: two Syrian Su-22 (old Soviet aircraft) bombed the convoy to force it to stop, then a pair of Russian Su-34 (the most modern Russian all-weather supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber/strike aircraft) dropped heavy ordinance on the convoy and surrounding buildings killing scores of Turkish special forces). Both sides decided to “blame” the Syrians, but they don’t fly Su-34, and everybody knows that
Here we have exactly what happened and I can figure the strategic, tactical and operational aspects. So, this fulfills all my requirements for information in one short para and we are not dickering about who did what. We know, and we’ve actually moved on already. The analysis is military, because we are dealing with a war, and not journalistic.”
Except what is the source of this information. This what the Russian government said:
Live Updates: Russian Air Forces Did Not Carry Out Strikes in Area Where Turkish Servicemen Were Hit
Russian Air Forces Did Not Carry Out Strikes in Area Where Turkish Servicemen Were Hit – Moscow
“Russian Aerospace Forces have not used aviation in the area of Behun”, the official statement said.”
Regardless of how one spins it, the info provided by saker contradicts what the Russian government has stated about the Syrian air attack that killed those Turk soldiers. Does the source of this contradictory info have more credibility than the Russian government?
vot tak, I don’t know what The Saker source is. I can attempt to figure it out though with this sentence.
Both sides decided to “blame” the Syrians, but they don’t fly Su-34, and everybody knows that.
I can imagine being in this meeting, and coming to this point, and the Turks whining and the Russians saying Nyet and everybody knows … and boom … point is conceded – moving on. So, I can only think that this is a product of Saker analysis based on results. But, I may be wrong. This is what makes sense to me.
“Regardless of how one spins it, the info provided by saker contradicts what the Russian government has stated about the Syrian air attack that killed those Turk soldiers. Does the source of this contradictory info have more credibility than the Russian government?”
No they don’t. Since the Russian government would be considered a primary source for information and unsubstantiated claims are just gossip, really.
Perhaps an additional bit of info was provided so elegantly by Shamir (https://www.unz.com/ishamir/syria-corona-aipac/). The Russian army called before the attack the Turkish army through their deconfliction comm channel and asked whether any Turkish army was in the area. And the Turks said “none” :))
Жељко из Крајине
I don’t see Russia ever turning on their long ranged targeting radars
in Syria, save in the case of an Israeli ICBM launch, or an areal blitzkrieg by Turkey or Israel. Heck, for all we know, Russia’s S systems are all armed with nukes, thus making them unless outside of the worset case scenario.
Shortly after the Iranian missile strike on Iraq US base and the accidental downing of the Ukrainian airliner by Iranian defenses, the Russian Military announced that it had tracked 6 US F-35s lurking at the Iranian border. They had seen the stealth planes from over 1000 kms using their radars.
The Russian Foreign Minister announced the discovery of 6 F-35 fighters near the borders of Iran.
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, made a statement that Russian air defense systems were able to detect 6 F-35 fighter jets near the Iranian borders, a few hours after a missile strike on American bases. Given the location of Russian air defense systems, American combat aircraft were spotted by the Container radar deployed at a distance of 3 thousand kilometers.
“At that time, there were at least six F-35s in the air on the border with Iranian airspace. This information still requires rechecking, but emphasizes all the nervousness of the situation. ” – said Sergey Lavrov.
According to the data available to the Avia.pro resource, today there is really only one long-range radar in this direction – the over-the-horizon Container radar, however, given its maximum radius of operation, it can cover only part of the Iranian borders, and, obviously , American F-35 fighters were located precisely on the western borders of Iran.
“The fact that Russian stealth fighters found Russian air defense systems means that Russia has complete control over the F-35, even outside the Middle East.”, – the expert marks.
Подробнее на: http://avia-pro.net/news/mid-rossii-rossiyskie-pvo-obnaruzhili-amerikanskie-f-35-dazhe-u-granic-irana
There is also a YouTube of Lavrov delivering this news to the world.
Just a point of fact.
Errrrr….apparently no fighting overnight….”peaceful” so far..does that not exactly prove the point that Turkey does control the militant jihadist groups?
there was fighting, the terrorists made several small attacks and SAA responded by crushing the positions they fired from and killed a bunch of rats according to several Syrians/Syrian war reporters on twitter.
Yet it was a peaceful night compared to the last weeks.
So the short answer to your question JJ is NO.
Great analysis. The facts are clear.
This whole thing got me thinking, let me know if I’m just completely off on this as a possibility.
If in the near future (one or two years) things get too sticky for Erdogan a home does anyone suppose that an exile option in Russia is something that he would consider. Surely he must know that his western “allies” would tear him apart given the first chance.
I like to think that at some point in the one on one talk Erdo raised concerns for his personal and his family safety if he concedes to some realities and things go nuts in Turkey, and that Putin candidly offered a safe refuge in case things happen. While unlikely, I wouldn’t completely dismiss this a a potential topic of conversation given the history and circumstances.
Bolton made an open indecent offer to Maduro (completelly different offer and situation) not so long ago, so not like these things aren’t in the minds of decision makers.
How off am I, are such matters ever brought up in similar situations?
Judging from the attempted coup in 2016, Erdogan looked like a guy who would rather die than run.
Remember he surfaced and using social media and a smart phone, surrounded by supporters in the street, he kept control over the unfolding coup-countercoup.
He’ll die with his boots on.
More likely, if he retires or retreats, he would go to Kazakhstan which has a Turkic historical link, and Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is retired but still a very influential man. Nazarbayev coached Erdogan to establish close ties with Putin, and that was the basis for their (Putin and Erdogan) ongoing relationship after the coup.
I also don’t see Putin as low key making that offer and you’re probably right with both points. He’ll rather go down in flames and if push comes to shove Kazakhstan would seem as a much safer place for him.
The paragraph starting with “Furthermore, it is my opinion that the Russian task force in Khmeimim and Tartus is too big and not well balanced.” seems to contradict that statement: everything said seems to say that the task force is “too small”, not “too big”.
“Too big” for the defensive gear available in place and as Saker perceives as required. That’s my reading.
Cassad has the up to the moment detail from his telegram and using a very good translator. He also details why a cease fire right now is good.
“Short on Idlib after the conclusion of a new deal between Russia and Turkey.
1. Prior to the armistice, militants opened heavy fire on Syrian Army and Hezbollah positions in the Saraqib area and several other sites, but had no movement. It looked like a display of powerless anger after another promise to “reach Damascus” turned into another defeat, both tactically (yesterday’s attempts to take Daddyh and Saraqib failed) and operationally (it was impossible to maintain at least direct fire control over the M-5 highway).
2. After the time of the truce, the fire naturally did not stop completely, but the intensity of fire sharply decreased, primarily due to a decrease in the activity of the Turkish Armed Forces and Russian aviation. Night and morning shots were still fired, not as active as in the midst of intensive combat operations. If Turkey is really committed to a truce, it will take a few more days for the front to be relatively quiet throughout. This will also be facilitated by the fact that both sides need to make up for the loss of life and material resources following the significant losses of the past month and to consolidate themselves on new frontiers.
3. Julani and Ko have refused to comply with the truce, which means that HTSH remains the main destabilizing factor that could lead to the collapse of the truce and the Moscow deal. In light of this, it is noteworthy that the head of the ruling party in Turkey stated that Turkey is ready to fight the KhTsH with Russia, which last week received various equipment from the Turkish army. How the process of squeezing the KHTSH from the front line will be implemented and whether it will be implemented at all is a big question.
4. In the Saraqiba district, the Syrians write, Afes is behind them, which means that the entire M-5 highway will be under their full control. There are reports that “Tigers” are sitting in Afes, but not yet confirmed. During the day this issue will be definitively clarified, as will the safety of the M-5 from Maarat an-Numan to Aleppo, which will be tested on a pilot basis.
5. Syrians report that some Turkish observatories behind the Syrian army will be evacuated. They used to be evidence that Turkey did not agree that Assad was occupying the territory and it was Erdogan who demanded that Assad’s troops be withdrawn behind their line. After Erdogan agreed to the new status quo on the M-5, their existence loses this sense as well, so they are expected to disappear within the next month.
6. Turkey is also winding down its attack on Europe with the help of refugees – the police have stopped trying to drive the refugees to Greece by force, and the refugees themselves were told that Greece would not open the gates at the border. The tool was used, the effect was so bad, now it is possible to holster. However, the Europeans were pretty scared.
7. Concerning the trolling of Erdogan, negotiations with which took place in the hall, where there was a statue of Catherine the Great and a composition in honor of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878. Yes, it was a light symbolism, although the composition dedicated to the Russian-Turkish war was often flashed at other meetings that took place in this hall. It was just very thematic this time. Erdogan, if he understood this hint, did not give the view on the official photos and videos. He’s a grated mess, too.
8. Opinions differed among Turkish radicals – some believe that Erdogan made a good deal forcing Asad to stop trying to occupy the whole of Idlib, others remind of Erdogan’s threats to kick Asad out of Idlib, that’s why in Turkey one can observe a familiar discussion “Erdogan leaked – Erdogan beat everyone”. As aptly joked in Telegram, tamerlings were pulling down Turkish flags in mass yesterday, the aspirations associated with a direct conflict between Turkey and Russia have not been fulfilled. Western support groups, led by Repke are grieving, from their point of view, Erdogan clearly leaked everything, and the partnership of “friend Recep” with Russia and Iran continues.”
Close the Cilician Gates – move the Syrian, Iraqi and other relevant borders to the mountain passes. That border would be defensible.
what we know is that Turkey can not or will not rein in the militants and that agreements will not be kept and that before the next agreement the Syrian army and allies will make gains that force them again into further agreements.
All while Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah patiently and step by step and operation by operation wins back territory. Yes, it is not a mad bombing, but a slow and consistent and costly freeing of the Syrian population.
S, excellent article. I believe that Putin went along with Erdo’s plea for help simply because, as you said above SAA is short of manpower, equipment and simply run out of steam. SAA needed a breather, so VVP gave it to them. Also, we all must understand that Syria is pretty well short of much needed money. Most of oil fields are in terrorist hands (I include the defenders of the democracy here as well). Also, VVP keeps his word to the Russian people that he will not waste Russian lifes. Syrians will cherish their freedom much better when it’s gained by their own blood instead of Russian. Look at Eastern Europe today, now they want to bulldoze all the WWII Soviet Cemeteries on their territories. Also, Erdo must realize that his Neo-Oto-dream is just that, will not happen and the more he throws himself around the more he will not stop the demise of Turkey.
This is another good article. Good analysis as well, including the noting of contextual details (who called who, where was the summit, what was the setting).
The battlefield objectives of the SAA operation were mostly achieved (M-5, Aleppo and its countryside), and those gains have been secured with legal and political space opened for keeping them with much less outside interference (which is more important than it may seem).
The spirit, and the letter, of the Sochi and Astana agreements remain unchanged (only details regarding the new location of contact line), which is good. The Russians have not elected to anhialate an entire mechanized division of the Turkish military (as some may wish), but this is not a command and conquer video game, this is for real.
Plus the Turkish regime’s aggression (and its real connections to the terrorist organizations) has been quite visibly drug out of the closet, and cannot plausibly be denied (even in the west, which is under the influence of mass hypnosis).
Basically, I have to call this a victory for Syria, and for Russia, and for their allies (collectively, and respectively), overall.
Politically, the icing on the cake is that regardless of the propaganda campaign, and the direct military intervention of the Turkish military (along with direct and indirect support to terrorist proxies), they were forced to fly to Moscow to sign the exact same agreement that they already had (accepting the new contact line as well, I believe).
Maybe not the complete and final victory for the entire conflict, but still another important (and multifaceted) victory, and another pretty solid step in the right direction.
Thank You, for this very good article, Saker.
Western propaganda against Turkey
by Thierry Meyssan
While pretending to protect Turkey, Western propaganda hides its calls for help. The problem is by no means the clashes with the Russian army at Idleb, nor the fate of the families of jihadists, it is much more serious. The world is a cruel place. It is not by blinding ourselves that we will be able to come to the aid of threatened populations.
The empire has Turkey in its sights? Better read this one guys.
Why do you suppose Erdogan wanted S-400s?
He knows the score. He’s on the menu.
Roads from Turkey to Syria lead through mountainous areas, sometimes very tight valleys. It should be easy to stop the any advances.
Well I have two questions left and any answers would be welcome.
One is what will be the future and the fate of the Syrian western beyond Euphates region where is Racqua and other cities despite being mostly a desert landscape. What are the assad s plans for that if any.
The second is whether this significan reinforcement of the syrian forces and air defenses envisaged by the Saker is sufficiently costly to Moscow to the point of damaging chunks of the russian economic expectations.
Reconstruction depends on China’s money, BRI, SCO, AIIB and SOEs investing.
Eventually, China could help development beyond reconstruction. They might find parts of the desert could be converted into agri lands.
These are all down the timeline.
Syria has to control its water and its oil for the future to begin to form.
However, in his interview in a separate article Assad believes that if the US sanctions were lifted, Syrians themselves have the wealth to resurrect their nation and industries.
Russia’s costs are not extreme. Syria can pay for weapons systems. China also pays for Syrian logistical needs.
The war has not had a significant impact on the Russian economy. In fact, it is a showroom for military weapons sales. Everyone wants Russian weapons systems. They see their performance in action.
The recent oil price drop will have more impact on the Russian economy if it persists. It also is the basis for natural gas prices, so it is a double commodity hit on the economy.
There is not much written about reconstruction in Syria, from any other perspective than the western pundits and think-tanks that are all licking their lips but they will be kept far away when the time comes.
Here is a piece ..
“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he is in talks with Chinese construction companies to rebuild the war-ravaged country, with Beijing apparently looking to use the projects to extend its influence in the region.”
Note: “According to a World Bank estimate, it could take six years of work to clear the nearly 15 million tons of debris in Aleppo alone (AFP)”
Regarding Russia’s costs, you all may think I’m brutal stating this, but Russia has a hands-on troop training facility there and this is just the fact. It is saving them a lot.
Wow, I actually found a twitter stream focused on rebuilding Syria. Of course the information needs to be validated, but I’m glad I found something at least.
Can anyone believe that Erdogan will live up to its promises to secure the safe zone and neutralise al Qaeda any more this time than it did the last time it made promises, at Sochi? Of course not, because everyone knows that Erdogan has no intention of keeping its promises. But apart from being vicious and greedy it is also stupid, which is why invasion of Syria loses it more territory. Had it taken out al Qaeda as it promised at Sochi Idlib would have been under its de facto control for years to come and could have been Turkified like Afrin and de facto annexed if not de jure annexed like Hatay (given as a bribe by France in 1939 to keep the Ataturkist ethnic cleansing fascist regime out of WWII). Instead it tried to grab everything, and each time it does so it ends up losing control of more territory. This is basically what Erdogan’s Ottoman ancestors did through the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today’s Ottoman state has apparently not learnt even a molecule of a lesson from that, so the whole circus will be repeated again.
Biswapriya exagerates about the qualities of Erdogan to such a level that it (Biswapriya) becomes a joke.
I advise it (Biswapriya) to stick to normal standards of dialogue
Don’t see why you’re attacking Biswapriya. His points are valid: if what Erdo wanted was a chunk of Syria, he went about it in a most unintelligent fashion. Biswapriya is not saying Erdogan had a right to that chunk.
Perhaps Erdogan was tricked by Assad & helpers: when they kept piling those terrorists in Idlib (remember those Syrian government green bus convoys?), he assumed they meant to leave them there for him to manage at will – along with the province itself.
I wrote this on 28 Feb.
As RATM wrote the zionazis are hellbent to get Turkey and Syria/Allies into a war. The zionazi-gay media is pushing Turkey to attack and falsifying news in a big way, as usual. Erdogan has made loud noises before only to quietly back off after the initial drama. It’s his style. It looks to me he will not invade and will back off. The Russians will arrange it so he can do so while saving face, as they have now done several times before. The net result is that more of Syrian territory will be freed of israeloamerican terrorists and returned back home to Syria.
Nice call. His incursion has been costly. Now the face-saving is even more costly for him.
Several others were speculating along similar lines at that time. RATM & a couple others wrote detailed comments about Turkish strategy.
While I agree that the ceasefire is mostly a defeat for Turkey and Erdogan, I believe their objectives are entirely misunderstood.
The real problem for Turkey isn’t Syria. It isn’t Russia. It isn’t even the Kurds. It’s the jihadists they have been sponsoring for years.
These jihadis are present not just in the Idlib region, but also in the other area’s of Syria controlled by so-called pro-Turkish rebels and in Turkey itself. While most of Syria’s territory has been recovered by either the government forces or the SDF, the majority of the jihadis they were fighting (including ISIS) were not killed but displaced. And most of these ended up sheltering under a Turkish umbrella.
This presents a huge problem for Turkey. The proxy war against the legitimate government of Syria is lost. Everyone knows it. So where does this ultimately leave the remaining jihadis? I mean literally. Where (geographically) do they go when there’s nowhere in Syria left for them to go?
One thing I noticed during the successive phases to cleanse Idlib of jihadis was how the government forces deliberately and openly threatened to create cauldrons instead of actually doing so. As Sun Tzu already taught us, if you leave an enemy no path of retreat, you force him to fight to the death. Threaten to cut his last remaining route of escape, and he will probably run. The Syrian government is in the business of reclaiming its territory, not in the one of killing every last jihadi. On the contrary, they want to preserve Syrian lives and the best way to do so is to get the jihadis running and not have them stop running until they are across the border.
This is exactly what was happening in Idlib. The jihadi forces broke. They were a complete shambles, utterly disorganised (with the possible exception of the groups in the north-west) and heading for the Turkish border en masse. The SAA was driving them towards Turkey as if it was a cattle drive.
Imagine Turkey hadn’t intervened the way it has. The likely outcome would have been a clean sweep with many tens of thousands of extremely dangerous, armed, fanatic criminals with little or no moral compass streaming into southern Turkey. It’s a security nightmare, for the Turks.
They don’t want these jihadis anymore than anyone else does. They’ve outlived their usefulness and have now become a serious liability. I’m quite certain the Turks would much rather see them annihilated in Idlib (at the expense of the lives Syrian soldiers). There is a very serious question i’ve not only seen no answer to, I’ve not yet seen it asked. That is, where do all the tens of thousands (maybe even a few hundred thousand if you add them all together) jihadis (and their families) go when they are finally kicked out of Syria completely?
To a very large extent, the jihadis are the problem, and wherever they go, they take that problem with them. So how do we solve that? It is clear to me that Turkey’s play here has been to create holding area’s in northern Syria (including the Idlib region) for them, hoping that some way the problem will solve itself. It won’t.
It’s an illusion to believe that the jihadis will stop being jihadis just because they lost the fight in Syria. They’re not jihadis because they are fighting in Syria, they are fighting in Syria (now) because they are jihadis. It’s also an illusion to believe that all of them, or even most of them, will end up dead somewhere in Syria. They won’t.
So where will they go? While Turkey certainly shares much of the blame of them being in Syria in the first place, to be realistic, you can’t fault the Turks for not wanting to import that particular powder keg into their own country either.
What happened last month was that Turkey was suddenly faced with the potential influx of tens of thousands of highly unwanted extremists and reacted the only way they felt they could to keep them out, with force against those driving them to Turkey.
This dynamic hasn’t changed, whether in Idlib, Afrin, Al-Bab or along the northeastern border. Turkey can’t afford to allow these jihadis into Turkey. But neither can the sitting Turkish government afford to fight them directly. Erdogan has tied himself too tightly to their cause. Backstabbing people willing to employ suicide bombers is usually a very bad idea, especially if there are so many of them.
So what can Turkey do? How do they get out of this bind?
And it’s not just Turkey that’s worried about where those jihadi’s will end up. In my opinion this is the primary reason why the Europeans keep insisting on maintaining the status quo in Idlib and the other enclaves that hold jihadis (albeit disguised as ‘moderate’ rebels). They are afraid those extremists will end up in Europe. And that was the real threat Erdogan employed against Europe when he opened the border for ‘refugees’. He signalled Europe that if the jihadis are driven from Syria, Turkey will export them to Europe, along with the other refugees.
So while all the geo-political analysis of how the different involved states interact with each other is interesting enough, the real question is, what is the ‘end solution’ concerning the jihadis? Where do they go if not Syria?
RLesnoix yes quite so. You might recall Aceh in Indonesia – they were given self rule of sorts and has a special autonomous status. My knowledge is fleeting but it might be an outcome all can live with – after it has been squeezed and shrunk as much as possible. I’m not advocating that outcome but …
Very well put. I didn’t see your post before making mine, which basically covers the same ground but in less detail.
The jihadis in Idlib are used by everyone from Turkey to the US/EU to KSA and Qatar as proxy shock troops and cannon fodder…but none of their sponsors want them in their own countries and they can’t go back to their countries of origin where they are wanted as terrorists. Many of them have their families with them in Syria.
It’s one hell of a cluster**** with no straightforward solution so for the time being both sides are pretending this problem doesn’t exist.
But, as you say, where are all these people going to go?
(Anyone who says anything to the effect of “kill them all like the rats and roaches they are” isn’t living in the real world.)
OK, color me suspicious. What is poor Turkey going to do with all these rats and cockroaches that they’ve cradled to their bosoms for all these years.
Well, this becomes a philosophical issue. They can participate with Russia and Syria, or they can do what the Chinese did with their drug addled, completely unable, no skills to be human, and from opening the eyes radicalized, and put them in re-education camps and teach them how to shine shoes and cut hair and become something resembling a worth while human being. (No, I don’t say these things easily and war is hell on earth!).
This is Turkey’s problem. These ‘fighters’ have been given sufficient opportunity to lay down arms. I hope Turkey deals in some humanitarian way, as I think China did. First of course is major drug programs because these folks are truly drug addled. God help them, and this is a hard question.
But color me suspicious about this post.
It is a huge problem, one without an existing solution, given that the jihadi maniacs were inserted into Syria by a combination of, ignoring some overlap, NATO, Axis of Kindness, Turkey and a gulf monarchy or two it’s been a smart move to bottle up those jihadis ,who haven’t been spirited away in AngloZionist helicopters to end up in Afghanistan and various African countries, in Idlib province.
It seems to me part of Vladimir, the vulture capitalist slayer, Putin’s genius has been to take the jihadi maniacs out of the general war group by group by busing them to Idlib, now as they are pressured militarily there the only escape route is via Turkey and in part on to the countries of at least some of those who facilitated their involvement in the first place.
An elegant reverse Rat Line.
“An elegant reverse Rat Line”
True, and I too am tempted to see it as some sort of payback. But if you think it through, that’s not really what it’s gong to be is it? It will be almost exclusively innocent civilians in whatever countries the jihadis end up in that will be their new victims, not the people actually responsible for their creation/insertion into Syria.
But it gets worse. You rightfully mentioned several nations and groups of nations who had a hand in getting the jihadis into Syria. Here’s the thing, their networks are still mostly intact as these are predominantly located outside of Syria. So what’s stopping them from inserting those jihadis somewhere else next? Or to target them against Turkey itself?
Some people here seem to naively believe that once they’re defeated in Syria, the jihadis will meekly hand over their weapons and report to the nearest Turkish police station for ‘re-education’ or will somehow revert back to marginally law abiding people. They won’t. Many will report back to their contacts/controllers/leaders in Turkey or elsewhere. The cadre of jihadis will remain intact. And they will continue, to some degree at least, to operate as an organised entity, either at their own behest, or serving someone else (whether they know it or not).
There will be those who will filter back to their countries of origin or to Europe, as part of the mass of refugees. Those will mostly be loners or small unconnected groups of drifting extremists. They will pose a serious danger where ever they end up. But much worse will be the organised networks of jihadis that remain. They will still be dangerous weapon. But who will wield them and who will they be targeted at? (Note; they will have no trouble recruiting new foot soldiers to replenish their depleted ranks if given the time and opportunity, the whole Syria affair could well start over somewhere else).
As far as Putin’s genius is concerned, I agree that bussing them all to Idlib was a smart move. But I think you’re wrong to assume that his goal now is to drive them into Turkey. That’s Syria’s goal, not Russia’s. In a way, Turkey and Russia share a goal here, as long as they are in Syria, Russia can get to them and kill. Once they are in Turkey that’s no longer possible. Russia likely prefers the jihadis to be contained in small pockets in Syria than have them roaming the world freely. The Caucasus, Central Asia, even Ukraine, are all likely places where at least some of those jihadis might reemerge.
It’s a serious problem without easy (if any?) solutions.
I just found interesting Russian video (released today) talking about Turkish “bespolotchikov” destined for destruction (okay in Donbas, but also talks about Syria shocking the hell out of Turks). Sorry its in Russian, but never the less worth watching.
More Russian humor: “Asad told Turks and Americans it’s time to get the hell out of Syria”, also released today. Title: “Erdogan in shock …”.
I am not sure if it was Asad or someone else.
”Asad told Turks and Americans it’s time to get the hell out of Syria”
Haha, that should remind people of the scum Stephen Harper and Tony Abbott, both reported to have greeted Vladimir Putin thus: ”I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you … you need to get out of Ukraine.”. Assad, by contrast, is a lion and bites with razor-sharp teeth. His warnings have substance; they are no Tourette tics for display in the Ziomedia.
Nussi, while I was watching the other videos, I also watched another from 2017-12-14 where Putin answered the question(s) from some Ukro journo. The answer was beautiful and therefore a good reminder for people who either chose not to remember their roots or others who do not know any better (like the Western lie peddlers aka MSM).
I must say that journo seemed to respectfully stay silent when Putin was talking
One more Russian video from 2020-01-30 titled “How Putin’s order forced US to leave Black Sea”
One more comment. I believe that while many people complain about Russia losing Propaganda War to the Western one, It is more important for the Russians to believe in their own strengths, and they get it from Russian sources in Russian. Basically I think, the Western fairy tales, are of no importance to Russian general population.
“It is more important for the Russians to believe in their own strengths, and they get it from Russian sources in Russian. Basically I think, the Western fairy tales, are of no importance to Russian general population.”
Well put, Anonius. As the West’s moral and social rot continues at every level, its fairy-tales are more easily seen for what they are. With Putin at the helm, the Russians are in a particularly advantageous position.
The “Idlib problem” won’t be solved until all the parties involved address the elephant in the room, namely what happens to the people, fighters and civilians, on the “rebel” side?
It is possible to eventually work out a military/security deal that calms Turkey’s fear about the PKK Kurds and lets Erdogan pull his troops out of Syria while saving face, but there is no military option that can solve the problem of what happens to the hodgepodge of jihadi fighters in Idlib and the civilians who live in areas they control.
Until that questioned is answered Idlib will be an open sore that can never fully heal.
The western playbook, i.e., simply refusing to repatriate and bring to justice citizens who went to Syria to fight with ISIS/AQ and leaving them instead indefinitely in camps in Northern Syria, is no solution whatsoever. It’s just “out of sight, out of mind” and making it someone else’s problem. Very selfish and very indicative of current western “values”.
So what to do with all the fanatics from China, Russia, Central Asia, Saudi, other parts of the Middle East, Europe and N. America who are in Idlib fighting against the SAA and its allies Iran, Russia and Hezbollah? The Syrian contingent among them can be dealt with by Damascus but what about the rest?
This is a huge problem and one that no military strategist can solve. One gets the feeling all parties involved, including Turkey, would like it if these “holy” warriors/proxies just disappeared into the ether but that is obviously not going to happen.
I have yet to see a blog post or serious article that considers the Idlib issue from a perspective that goes beyond military strategy or cheering for one’s preferred geopolitical “team”.
You present the “problem” of terrorists as a humanitarian issue.
These are rabid dogs. You kill rabid dogs.
Al Nusra and the Uyghurs are the most hardened of AQ fighters.
You kill them.
One, many of them are meth addicts, used to fuel their “courage and intensity”.
Two, many of them are rapists and torturers of children, girls and women.
Three, most all of them choose to fight to the death.
Take these characteristics, add that the leadership is almost exclusively non-Syrian born, and you have a pack of rabid dogs from other countries that want no part of their former citizens.
You kill them.
This is how all deeply ideological-religious terrorist waves in history have been dealt with.
You kill them.
They accepted their inhumanity.
Now treat them as inhumans are always dealt with. You kill them.
Those who have been transported to Idlib in the Syrian Green Buses were the fighters who refused reconciliation and wanted to continue the fight from Idlib. They were promised a kinetic ending to their lives then. They know they are to die. They want to die.
You have no other solution because they are rabid dogs and need to be killed.
You don’t build a “doggie park and playground” for rabid dogs.
Russia wants to kill them, Syria wants to kill them, China wants to kill them.
If they were outside your home, and you had the means, you’d kill them, too. Or they would kill you. Maybe after cutting pieces of you off your limbs and torso, raping your family, and then slitting your throat and removing your head for the video they would make of your ending.
The wise path of action is to kill them. You have no choice. Just kill them all.
This may sound harsh to some, but it is the grim reality.
Apart from getting killed, other options for the terrorists include:
1. Getting airlifted by NATO into the Balkans where US- sponsored jihadism originally took shape back in the 1990s. There are between 50 – 100 ISIS sanctuary towns in the Croato- Muslim entity of Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. A well-known sanctuary is in Velika Kladusa, near the Croatian border. The terrorists can then be recycled into new conflict zones.
2. “Natural” death due to untreated visceral leishmaniasis
Larchmonter. a brutal analysis but I agree. These psychopathic Muslim fanatic tafkiris have to be defeated once and for all if Syria is to become a peaceful country
SANA, Syrian news, has released this delightful video of some of its air power at work.
Enjoy the elimination of the rabid dogs.
If any qualms overcome you, folks, just recall the beheadings, the liver-eating, the rapes and tortures these rabid dogs have done to tens of thousands of fellow muslims, to Christians, to all people their drug-induced ideology compelled them to vanquish.
Now it is their turn to be wiped off the Earth.
Here is more for you and those who … : ” Russia does not enough “. — https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/02/21/russian-aerospace-greatest-hits-february-21-2020-turkish-tank-column-wiped-out-250-killed-video/
muslim you say?
these takfiri are hero of hebrew history soldiers of the oded yinon.
the house of saud are donmeh sisi of egypt is as well
no sir muslim does not come into it.
more talmud than muslim methinks
Ironically the word “assassin” is an Arabic word.
Keep in mind the takfiri terrorists are not really any different from reagans death squads in Latin America, israel’s likudites and related, such as the stern gang irkun, german nazis, catholic fascists, the brave american “settlers” who massacred Indians and cut off the women’s sexual organs to keep as trophies, hardcore confederates, charles manson and his merry slaughterers, I could go on for several pages…the point being these are all enforcement assets to keep rightwing oligarchs in power. The mental disease of the takfiri is the same mental disease of the white supremacist.
T E Lawrence had this to say about the topic, 100 years ago —
war is hell
I wonder what had to do the Germans there…
Thank you for the analysis Saker. As always it is calming in the sea of uncalm, the center of a hurricane.
What I mean is there is such complexity and deceit at play here.
You can add the US Barack Obama administration who set the whole thing in motion, leading from behind was the official doctrine, the families of oligarchs controlling the politics of the empire, the banking empires, and the silent masses of people having no say they have to sit back and enjoy the show, so much about what is that they have to install into the countries of interest again? Democracy. So the oligarchy what I frequently call the fascist corporate government is heading out into the oil rich nations to install democracy. Well, you know, it is easy to wander off into the wild, holding on to maybe a central thread of who created this and why. Because this would not explain anything, not to the masters of democracy, who are schooled, who are educated, who knows very well, who hold the microphone, who then tell everyone, go on, go on. Assad must go, Assad must go. Everyone is repeating everyone. So there is nothing to tell, only orders, carry out the orders. What was that again? Democracy? Dictatorship it was. Fascism.
The mystery figure is not pres. Erdogan. He is a dangerous man in power because he is part of that carry out orders, and he repeat those orders in his corner of the world, a partner in crime in the criminal organisations this world has become under such oligarchy leaders, whether corporate or state corporate, fascist or national socialist that is. Because pres. Erdogan son Bilal Erdogan was at the center of this world power, John F. Kennedy School in central in educating such corrupt world leaders. There are many other schools and institutions as well. Bilal Erdogan became central in the ISIL oil trade so that pres Erdogan became totally compromised and carried out genocide against the kurdish populations in Turkey controlling the region by military forces, then in Syria. It was all carefully planned, and it was about destroying Syria for the taking.
That is the root of pres. Erdogan’s several new emperor and caliph “misnoming”, it is a strategy to keep
away from the true nature of the war on Syria. So being totally compromised this must be understood by
Russia, who sold him the advanced S-400 air defenses. Selling this to NATO is ill-advised, because NATO is also fully controlled by the “leading from behind USA”, and they are desperate to get their hands on this advanced system. So it is therefore ill advised. It will be a weapons transfer operation from Russia to the empire of evil , USA with Israel and so on, and will harm Iran very badly in the Middle East. Sometimes I am shocked by the politics of pres. Vladimir Putin. I know this is an export version, but I am pretty sure it may be understood well , re-engineered and become a US weapon pretty soon after. Just like the AIM-9x AAM that was developed from Israeli new Python which was re-engineered from Vympel R-73 on the Georgian Su-25KM Scorpion (TAM) , if I remember correct, the entire avionics was built by Israel company Elbit, that acquired the technology of R-73 which resulted in the Python-5 israeli missile, that was the foundation of the Aim-9x.
So Bilal Erdogan is the son of pres. Erdogan, the family is deeply involved in the deep state empire plans for destruction of Syria and pres. Erdogan develope this Ottoman colonial Emperor figure while he carry out the
plan. Yeah, of course it is Erdogan. The root of the conflict is a lot deeper while we now focus on Turkey and Erdogan’s disgrace, the root is always hiding in the shadows , maybe laughing while they gather more gold more money. NATO is my private army, haha haha.
Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey’s President.
ISIS was born in Iraq, with American funding. They came straight out of Mosul and entered Syria via Iraq into the north eastern corner that had their Kurdish pals safely ensconsced within. The US “accidentally” air dropped tons of weapons to ISIS on more then one occasion.
Anything else is utter deitritus. Only when it became politically expedient to rewrite history did silly articles such as the one you’ve linked to began to appear.
ISIS US Created Stay Behind Army Using Iraq’s Plundered Wealth
AQ and Awakening Councils = ISIS
The formation of ISIS in Iraq is acknowledged by place such as the CFR
” – The roots of ISIS go back to Oct. 15, 2006, when what is known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) was established.
-The group emerged in the ashes of the U.S.-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)
The focus of my comment was related to the situation of pres. Erdogan intervention in Syria today.
It is a comment to the Sakers article
“Erdogan loses the battle, but the war is far from over”
I did mention Barack Obama offical doctrine “leading from behind”.
I dont really follow your claim that the article I linked to is rewriting history, there were linked content which I mention below.
I fully agree with the american creation of ISIL, I disagree that ISI or AQI were US fighting forces or that al Qaeda in general is a US fighting force. They may be supported on a larger political scale.
There is historic background related to how pres. Erdogan are interlinked with international syndicates and the Muslim Brotherhood. There are historic backgrounds to how everything works out. MB was very much integrated in the Barack Obama administration and were the core of the historic opposition to the Syrian Government and in the Syrian government in Exile.
Bilal Erdogan continued from HKS (John F. Kennedy School Harvard) to work for the World Bank, the Rockefeller/Rotshcild syndicate itself, the private banking, finance and coroporate cartels that planned to run the world by design and taking control over politics owning or controlling the worlds national banks as the basis of their conspiracy that happened with the takeover of Bank of England in 1815 (Rothschild London) but it started long before that with the financing of the traditonal kings and emperors of Europe of which such a syndicate was designed to create war and revolution of which kings and emperors became financially vulnerable to control, the french revolution by the burgoise (not the people) suppported by the Illuminati of Rothschilds (Weishaupt was the puppet in a totally secret society), illuminati later went underground and used other Freemason Societies of which continues to this day and are part of the American independence which was sought by Rothschild Society to secure his posessions riches and businesses of America away from King George III which was probably like taking candy from a child, since King George III was a nutcase (not a hardhead), probably mentally ill and unfit to be a king. He was accordingly adviced as it seems that there were no financial support beyond a certain level, and Rotshcild Society then could finance a sufficient army for George Washington who by this analysis was handed the victory.
So as to take power after the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States which was needed for Rothschilds security of his posessions, as soon as the founders were out of the picture politically, a party system was created and the election system changed all in order to
So while USA now make decisions on war it is from a base of politicians and presidents who are implementing a financial and corporate plan it is openly called the national interest of the USA.
One may conclude that al Qaeda was created by USA, which is some ways are very accesible information.
One may similarily conclude that ISIL was created by USA (from AQI, ISI) and the information is also very accessable, but there are a lot more to it.
These groups ISI, AQI were later reformed into a US fighting force (mercenaries) at Camp Bucca under US control. They were mostly al Qaeda linked forces fighting USA in Iraq. Al Qaeda also has more than one side, after initially a totally western backed fighting force in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union , it was later starting to fight US interest by military presence that created unstability. Al Qaede were infiltrated with western agents working for MI6 and CIA who then created terrorist operations against the west for political reasons such as creating the totalitarian state powers. Taliban arose from the al Qaeda chaos to create stability and , it was at the time different from the terrorist labels of today. But Taliban
did not support American interests.
ISIL mercenary group in Syria created a rift within the invasion and occupation operation of Syria by creating the “islamic state” a caliphate in June 2014, during the occupation of Syria.
One must therefore understand the politics differently after 2014.
One of the links that I referred to, the article by Thierry Meyssan analyses this carefully in “Clinton, Juppé, Erdoğan, Daesh and the PKK”
“Without surprise, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received, on the 24th July, an ultimatum from President Obama, requiring him to
– immediately renounce the Russian gas pipe-line project ;
– cease his support of Daesh – of which he had become the excutive chief behind the screen of calife Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi – and go to war with them.
Applying even greater pressure, Barack Obama evoked the possibility of excluding Turkey from NATO, with the concertation of the United Kingdom, even though this situation is not mentioned in the Treaty.
After having begged pardon and authorised the United States and NATO to use the the military base at Incirlik against Daesh, Mr. Erdoğan made contact with the special emissary for the Anti-Daesh Coalition, General John Allen, known for his opposition to the agreement with Iran. The two men agreed to interpret President Obama’s remarks as an encouragement to fight terrorism, a heading under which they listed the PKK.”
The headline of your article is “Meet the Man Who Funds ISIS”
It’s in fact a false statement. ISIS originated in Iraq and was funded thusly, clearly and obviously by the occupying Americans. There is an over abundance of information to validate that claim.
You claim it’s a response to “Erdogan Loses The Battle…”
Which is a debatable statement itself- some say win, some say lose. some say cooperation continues (myself)
some say – work in progress (myself)
I consider Thierry to be a questionable source at any time-
And the illuminati stuff really causes my eyes to glaze over.
Adding all that information casts doubt on your statement “The focus of my comment was related to the situation of pres. Erdogan intervention in Syria today.”
Rather it appeared that you were doing a Donald Rumsfeld “going big and sweeping it all up”
Causing anything that might have been of value to become lost in the noise.
The link to “Clinton, Juppe, Erdogan, daesh and the PKK by Thierry Meyssan
I tried to explain how it works, how are all these countries working together to destroy Syria?
How is this world government linked ? Yeah, there was a French revolution, who cares ? The people won , so what ? Not exactly what took place on the larger scale.
Here is an interesting link of the French contribution in the Syrian occupation by Steven Sahouni. (Mint Press News).
thanks for responding. I’m very aware of the French role in Syria.
It’s not exactly a shocker considering France’s role in Syria….. always
In fact I’ve covered that latest news at my own place. Before it hit “mint press”
“The focus of my comment was related to the situation of pres. Erdogan intervention in Syria today.”
But you’ve moved the focus to France? Are you connecting French involvement to Turkey?
Turkey’s involvement is not necessary where France’s role is concerned. The French had their own bases in Syria. If they don’t now they are with the Americans and Israelis in the n/e. Look at the Lafarge ties. France is up to it’s eye balls in Syria. Always have been. They like their coalition pals have long, long used Iraq as the passage into Syria. The US is still to this day driving convoys right into Syria from Iraq. This is how ISIS entered. I’m still waiting for that type of news to be covered here. The US driving the convoys into Syria via Iraq. Or
US Troops Stay in Syria to Keep Oil From Damascus “New Mission”?
Announced a week ago. I’ve seen zero alt media coverage regarding that? Why? Where is all the so called anti empire alt media talk? Non existent, obviously.
It seems to me you’re all over the place and it’s difficult to understand what point your actually making?
You’ve started on one thing, moved to another and thrown in world government for good measure.
Perhaps if you could make one point clear it would be better?
Brilliant analysis as usual. My concern is that Erdogan may play the ‘moderate opposition’ card in Idlib again. After all, it is not difficult for the Takfiri nutters to change uniform and claim to be ‘secular FSA’ fighters. And given that the FSA has not been classified as a terrorist organisation, this can complicate matters unless Erdogan dumps them totally, but will he?
Happens all the time. The best were the LTTE. When IPKF forces patrolled by, they’d hide their machine gun in the bushes and stand around like regular dudes… in their local garb. Once out of sight back to business again. Same here. Uniforms and ID’s are for chumps.
Thank you Saker, once again, for the best fact-based reporting, and critical analysis of world events focused on the resistance to the empire.
I fully agree with your tactical analysis.
Now let’s take it a step up.
What is the strategic, say, 50 year progression of this conflict?
1. we see steadily, the Syrian military capability, taking it from a ‘bit player’ to the top of the MENA theatre
2. while it can not be extrapolated to a 50 year timeframe, we see a strong defacto alliance between the Syrian government and Russia, in particular, and within the context of Iranian (again defacto) support
3. regardless of the ‘loose cannon’ of Turkey, this secures Eurasian integration land trade routes (via Iran and Syria) to the Mediterranean.
4. excepting the use of nuclear weapons, therefore, we see an inevitable fortification of the so-called Shia crescent, ultimately securing a regional influence of Iran from Afghanistan, possibly Pakistan to the Mediterranean; while it looks fuzzy now, we see the favorable possibility of it extending across much of the Arabian peninsula.
5. applied to the global hegemony, we see a withered, impotency, and failure of the myth of geostrategic-military supremacy, if not out-right impotence, and thus the loss of the petro-dollar foundation for geostrategic-financial supremacy (while greatly impacted by outrageous mismanagement, is probably more significant, at the time of this writing, than the military power)
6. further development of tactics, possibly new schools of strategic informational warfare – it is very likely, with this genie out-of-the-bottle, that strategically oriented Russian, Chinese, and Iranian will have potent counter-measures on a 20-50 year purview which will be more significant than Russian manoeuvrable hypersonic missile technology has been a game-changer (though many seem to have missed this huge strategic development).
X. this suggests the re-ification (something existing only in the abstraction, becoming a physical reality) of the Zionist-blatant-land-theft-project isolation in the region; this in the context of a political system in the Zionist-occupied territory which simply cannot continue with even the precepts of ‘democracy‘ (given the rather weak assumption that any principles of democratic process remains in that extremist society).
All this in the context of what is likely a hybrid biological and informational warfare milestone of this novel corona-virus, which could be the initiation of global annihilation of mammal life on the planet as we know it.
Have a nice day.
thanks again for all the chuckles and the play-by-play of humans destroying themselves and … everything else.
Reminds me of the old saying: “The only friend of the Turk is the Turk”.
The new commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani visit Aleppo, and gives his very true analysis of the recent developments in Syria.
“The only outcome of the meeting was the ceasefire that Erdogan called for. He demands a ceasefire only to reorganize his defeated troops in Syria and receive US support for the rest of the battle in Idlib. Turkey’s strategy after the meeting with Moscow indicates the same plan because arms supplies and servicemen are still being dispatched to Idlib even after talks with the Russian officials.”