‘US Pressure on Turkey in Syria Could Have Grave Consequences for Washington’ – Ex-Military Staffer

A convoy of Turkish armoured vehicles drive towards Bab al-Hawa crossing point between Syria and Turkey on a highway in the northern countryside of the Syrian province of Idlib on June 20, 2019.

© AFP 2019 / AAREF WATAD

OPINION

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Turkey’s Ministry of National Defence has confirmed the arrival of six American military personnel in the province of Sanliurfa in the southeast of the country, who will be involved in the work of the coordination centre for joint operations and the planned security zone in northern Syria.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar also said that the joint coordination centre for the US and Turkey is expected to start working in the coming days. At the same time, the Turkish minister stressed that Ankara would not tolerate delay in this matter and called on the United States to stop supporting the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) in Syria. According to Akar, if the United States does not comply, then Ankara has alternative plans for Syria.

Abdullah Ağar, a former military agent of the Special Forces Command of the Turkish Armed Forces, an expert in the field of security and counter-terrorism, a participant in military operations in Syria, has spoken about what alternative plans Turkey has.

“Turkey’s main concern is the threat of creating a terrorist quasi-state entity in the region, which could lead to the dismemberment of Syria and, in the medium and long-term, of Iraq and Turkey itself”, the expert noted.

“We see that America is exploiting this concern. Meanwhile, Ankara, as it were, warns Washington: if the agreements reached are not implemented, we have alternative options that involve a set of instruments of a geopolitical, strategic, tactical, and operational nature. Today, you are putting pressure on Turkey to achieve your goals, but subsequently this double play will result in grave consequences for you, as it will lead to a change in Turkish geopolitical preferences”, he said.

“The main US strategy in Syria is, on the one hand, to use the Kurdish forces of the YPG and PKK for their purposes, and, on the other, to develop cooperation with Turkey that is beneficial to Washington. Meanwhile, such a two-faced policy will have serious consequences. Currently, the problem for Turkey is not only being face to face with America in Syria; the issue now lies in the plane of geopolitical preferences and priorities. How long can such a two-track situation in relations with the USA continue? This question is now very often raised in Turkey. Today the 70-year-old alliance between Turkey and the United States is transforming and acquiring new dimensions, and it carries several contradictions. In the current period, we are witnessing the collapse of a multidimensional US policy, and the phenomena we are experiencing today are painful echoes of this process”, Ağar concluded.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.


‘Opposition’ or Terrorists: Who is Syria and Russia Really Bombing in Idlib?

A rebuttal to Al Qaeda’s UK-based PR boosters…


Russian Soukhoï Su-34 fighter on mission over Syria (Image Source: Wikicommons)

Tony Cartalucci
21st Century Wire

 Scott Lucas – a professor at the University of Birmingham UK – would decry with the rest of the Western media – resumed joint military operations carried out by Syria and Russia in and around the northwestern governorate of Idlib.

Reuters in their article, “Syrian army resumes military operations against rebels in northwest Syria,” would claim:

The Syrian army said on Monday it was resuming military operations in a Russian-led campaign in northwest Syria that has uprooted tens of thousands and killed hundreds, blaming Turkey for not abiding by its commitments under a truce deal.

Both Lucas and Reuters – like many other Western media fronts and personalities – are careful never to fully characterize who the “opposition” actually consists of – instead attempting to imply Syria and Russia are waging war on civilians and “moderate rebels.” 

When asked by journalist Peter Hitchens to give a run down on who the Syrian opposition actually was, Lucas in a post on social media would respond:

Hi, Peter! #Syria situation, across not only northwest but northeast, is web of local councils, local military groups, and local activist organizations to provide services. You’ll need to specify a particular area, such as a town or city in #Idlib or #Hama Province.

Yet the accompanying picture Lucas used to illustrate his point was of a meeting organized by the IHH (Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief). IHH is based in Turkey and is by no means “local.”

IHH is also linked directly to Al Qaeda, serving as a logistical support network for the terrorist organization, merely couching itself behind its humanitarian mission statement.

IHH’s ties to terrorism are not recent. A 2012 article by Israeli media outlet Ynet titled, “Report: IHH financially linked to al-Qaeda,” would report:

IHH director Bulent Yildirim is reportedly being investigated by Turkish authorities for allegedly creating a financial partnership with the infamous terror group. 

Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily reported Friday that Yildirim has allegedly been transferring funds to al-Qaeda through his organization.

The Israeli-based International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) in a much more recent report titled, “IHH: The Nonprofit Face of Jihadism. An In-Depth Review,” would admit:

IHH (The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief) is a Turkish NGO active in 135 countries and seemingly dedicated entirely to humanitarian aims. In fact, mounting evidence suggests that IHH also operates as a hidden arm of the Turkish government in the conflict zones of the Middle East and Southeast Asia. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by Israel since 2012 and has been investigated by European prosecutors as a key logistical supporter of Al Qaeda.

It is a particular irony that Israeli media and policy institutions have helped expose IHH when many elements of the current Israeli government have been involved in backing terrorist organizations in neighboring Syria alongside Turkey, the United States, other Western states, as well as several Persian Gulf autocracies since the conflict began in 2011.

That the one picture Lucas was able to find where the “opposition” wasn’t overtly exposing itself as armed terrorists still depicted a known, verified foreign terrorist organization operating within Syrian territory – masquerading as humanitarians – speaks to just how deeply rooted terrorists are in Syria’s Idlib governorate.

Strategic Patience 

Were the situation reversed and the West was faced with an entire province or state occupied by Al Qaeda and its myriad of affiliates – total war would commence and would not end until the targeted region was purged entirely of militants. Civilian causalities would either go uncounted and under-reported, or spun as a necessity in confronting an otherwise intolerable bastion of armed terrorism.

In fact – similar narratives were used during the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan despite Washington’s objectives being geopolitical rather than counter-terrorism related.

The strategic reality is that despite how well Damascus and its allies have weathered and overcome Washington’s proxy war in Syria – the US remains a potent military, political, and economic threat. Strategic patience, multiple “truce deals,” and geopolitical concessions will be required to finally wrest Idlib back from foreign-backed terrorist forces currently entrenched there.

Terrorist forces have been concentrated in Idlib as Syrian forces pushed them out of virtually every other populated region of the country. Even the liberation of the City of Aleppo took years to achieve. Idlib is an entire governorate bordering Turkey which is still arming and protecting terrorist organizations both within Turkish territory itself and in Syrian territory occupied by Turkish forces.

While Turkey has recently shown signs of shifting objectives and moving closer to Russia geopolitically – it will be a long and agonizing process to undo the tensions this 8-year conflict has created.

If there is one point of hope amid this still dangerous and deadly conflict – it’s that the Western media and inveterate war propagandists like Scott Lucas are no longer able to conceal the true nature of terrorists they have aided and abetted since 2011.

They will continue trying nonetheless – but as Lucas just managed to do – will succeed only in exposing more of the network the US and its allies used in their proxy war against Damascus – thus further undermining regime change efforts in Syria and complicating similar attempts to target and overthrow other nations in the future.

***
Author Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher, writer and special contributor to 21st Century Wire. Over the last decade, his work has been published on a number of popular news and analysis websites, and also on the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files


Wed Aug 14, 2019 04:39AM [Updated: Wed Aug 14, 2019 04:39AM ]
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 13, 2019. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 13, 2019. (AFP photo)

US President Donald Trump has delayed a 10% tariff set to be imposed on $300 billion of Chinese imports on Sept. 1.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump said he was delaying duties on “cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors and certain items of footwear and clothing” in order to blunt their possible effects on US holiday sales.

“We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US customers,” Trump said in New Jersey. “Just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so that they won’t be relevant to the Christmas shopping season.”

Meanwhile, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s office announced that certain other products had been removed from the list of goods subject to the new tariffs, “based on health, safety, national security and other factors.”

The announcement came just minutes after China’s Ministry of Commerce said Vice Premier Liu He had a phone call with Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Liu, Lighthizer and Mnuchin agreed to speak again by phone within the next two weeks, the ministry said.

Earlier in the day, Trump, however, took to Twitter, accusing China of failing to deliver on promises it had made in ongoing trade talks.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

As usual, China said they were going to be buying “big” from our great American Farmers. So far they have not done what they said. Maybe this will be different!

Trump initiated what is effectively a trade war with China last year, when he first imposed unusually heavy tariffs on imports from the country. Since then, the two sides have exchanged tariffs on more than 360 billion dollars in two-way trade.

Beijing, accusing Washington of practicing “naked economic terrorism” against the country, has opposed the US tariff hikes, saying they are harmful not only to China and the US, but to the whole world.

Beijing and Washington have held several rounds of talks to settle the issue, but to no avail so far.

US and Chinese negotiators met in Shanghai last month for the first time since bilateral talks on trade collapsed in May, and were due to hold another round next month.

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