in ,

Idlib on Fire

Submitted by Steve Brown…

Point man to take advantage of US muddling and meddling in Syria by US State is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, clearly playing his hand as the “great NATO ally” posturing to avoid US sanctions, in light of Turkey’s recent S-400 missile purchase and his attempt to fill a perceived power vacuum in the Middle East and Africa..

RTE (Erdogan) has proven himself useful to the US-Israeli regime by providing weaponry to terrorists within the Idlib pocket. This video from Afrin (Turkish-held) shows just two pieces of armor provided by Turkey to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists in Idlib. The APC shown is certainly a Soviet MT-LB likely supplied by rogue Ukrainian weapons brokers to Turkey.  Ukrainian weapons merchants possess vast amounts of old Soviet military gear, and Kiev arms dealers will sell any sort of weaponry to anyone so long as the currency is convertible.

Turkey is in a dispute with Israel over gas resources around Cyprus too, where Cyprus has signed natural gas deals with Egypt and Israel, while Turkey appears only as the interloper, based on its illegal occupation of Northern Cyprus.  (For Israel to call out Turkey on that occupation is the ultimate in irony.) While Turkey pushes Israel for a cut in spoils with regard to Cypriot gas, Turkey can appease Israel by arming terrorists in Syria and that ploy has worked out well (so far) to Turkey’s advantage.

Besides militarist intervention, Erdogan is pushing the envelope with his bizarre concept of a US-Turkish negotiated 20 mile “safe zone” along the eastern Euphrates in northern Syria (negotiated with zero regard for the legitimate and sovereign government of Syria) which poses a dilemma for all in the northeast.

Turkey pressed the issue by threatening to invade the northeast, a brinksmanship bluff that the former United States refused to call. How Turkey’s “safe zone” will operate, and whether the goal is to truly repatriate 700K or so refugees back to Syria from southern Turkey, has yet to be seen.

Briefly, Turkey’s leadership foresaw a power vacuum in Syria just as Turkey (somewhat) successfully exploited a power vacuum in Libya. Erdogan is now pressing the issue even further, challenging all powers present in Syria to oppose him. So long as Turkey can draw this out and leverage that exposure, Erdogan will present himself as a regional power to be reckoned with.

Meanwhile by supplying weaponry to Idlib terrorists – not to mention the NLF – Erdogan can thus press the issue of Syrian security with Syria’s allies, Russia and Iran, and demonstrate his proposed omnipotence as a regional potentate, by aggressively intervening wherever Turkey so chooses.. including Libya.

But unfortunately for Mr Erdogan, Syria is a far different matter than simply hijacking Misurata oil from Libya. For one thing, Israel has little interest in destabilizing Libya – as it does in Syria – and only benefits by selling weapons to all sides in Libya. Also, the Russian Federation does not have the vested interest in Libya that it does in Syria, and Iran too has little interest in Libya, while the United States has largely been frozen out of the Libyan equation by creating the crisis there in the first place.

Again, it’s a double game, playing US and Israel interests versus Russian and Iranian goals in Syria. The risk for Turkey in Syria – as we see from the conflict map – is that RTE’s double-dealing game is not lost on Russia… or on Iran. Syrian security forces have greatly stepped up their attacks versus Idlib to a level not seen before, including attacks on southern Idlib proper, to the great consternation of assorted US-Saudi-Israeli aligned terror groups trapped there.

Ironically it was the west that warned against making Idlib province a humanitarian crisis zone, after originally engineering the disaster in Syria. Subsequent to nine years of US-led armed conflict, Idlib is now a pocket populated by many ISIS and al Qaeda linked groups, and the defeat and disarming of HTS and its myriad associated terror militias in the province will go a long way to subverting US-Israeli ambitions to further destabilize the Middle East. Ironically too, it was arguably Hillary Clinton’s design to group ISIL terrorists in one location and then eliminate them all… a policy that John Bolton no longer supports due to the Israeli and US State desire to implement regime change in Syria by supporting ISIL terror.

However the ultimate question relates to a Russian Federation slap down of Turkish adventurism in Syria with regard to Turkish support for terrorist militias in Afrin, Hama and Idlib. So far the Russian leadership has chosen to concentrate on its goals, to support the SAA clean-up of terror groups in Idlib province, targeting Ahrar al Sham, HTS, the NLF, and many flavours of ISIS and al-Qaida polluting the region. And Erdogan is certainly aware that in any conflict between Russian forces and Turkey’s there can only be one outcome.

Turkey has no doubt provoked the Kremlin’s ire too by providing terrorists in quantity with the Russian-made 9M133 Kornet (aka AT-14 Spriggan – an effective ATGM) since April 2019, and terror militias have used these weapons effectively to turn back SAA advances.

Meanwhile as the situation in Syria heats up further, look for the US leadership to divert and switch attention, to focus on Iran. That is, by focusing on Iran the US can divert from its regime change failures in Venezuela, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, the Ukraine, Georgia, Hong Kong, and more.

For example it is abundantly clear that US State was behind the seizure of Iranian oil carried by the GRACE-1 tanker, even though the Gibraltar governate announced some weeks ago that it was solely responsible for the hijacking. Indications are that Iran is intending to steam off with this re-flagged tanker despite the US order, providing potential for Washington to display its usual grandstanding, propaganda, bluster, and imperial hubris.

Another issue for the US is the UAE withdrawal from Yemen — based on US belligerence in the region – which has left Saudi exposed, and may result in yet another regime failure in Yemen, to group with all the other US failures.

As time goes on, the power vacuum left in the wake of failed US regime change attempts will provide an opening for more demagogues and rogues like Erdogan to exploit… and Erdogan certainly knows that well.

By gradually reducing its options and sphere of influence based on hubris, arrogance, and aggression, the US will lose its trading advantage and possibly even lose the USD as global reserve currency. And yes, there is a difference between losing a war and failing to win one. But there are only so many wars a hegemonic behemoth can fail to win before the winds of change catch up with it.  And certainly, Recep Tayyip knows that too, along with the rest of the world.

Steve Brown is the author of “Iraq: the Road to War” (Sourcewatch) editor of “Bush Administration War Crimes in Iraq” (Sourcewatch) “Trump’s Limited Hangout” and “Federal Reserve: Out-sourcing the Monetary System to the Money Trust Oligarchs Since 1913”; Steve is an antiwar activist, a published scholar on the US monetary system, and has appeared as guest contributor to theDuran, Fort Russ News, and Strategika51.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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TravelAboutpogohereEvil is as Evil doesPierre VaillantTEP Recent comment authors
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It’s important not to over-estimate the erdo-gollum’s abilities to control what’s happening in Syria, just as it is also important not to UNDER-estimate Russia’s ability to bring the rogue gollum to heel, if required.


Thanks to the author of this article and the Duran team for telling the truth. Truth is such a rare thing in this time conglomerate media in all its forms. There has been great coverage in the comment section on Syrianperspective. Great news coming.


The latest news from Idlib indicates that Syria’s Tiger Forces have cut off the M5 north of Khan Sheikun which effectively seals a large cauldron of terrorists in several towns to the south. It also prevents the convoy of Turkish troops that recently crossed the Turkish border at Saraqib from reaching Khan Sheikun which was an essential move for the SAA as they have already begun to enter the town. Although the current situation between Syrian and Turkish forces is extremely tense, I believe Erdogan will not risk serious casualties in Syria by attempting to stop the SAA advance. In… Read more »

Pierre Vaillant
Pierre Vaillant



Turkey fuming after Syrian airstrike on convoy in Islamist-held Idlib province 8-19-19 The Turkish Defense Ministry has condemned Syria for attacking its convoy in the Syrian province of Idlib. Damascus said the vehicles were transporting weapons and ammo to “terrorist forces.” Ankara said three people were killed and 12 others injured on Monday after the Syrian airstrike, which targeted a Turkish military convoy travelling between two observation points in northern Syria. The statement said all victims were civilians, without explaining how they were involved in a military operation. . . . The nature of the attacked convoy is perceived differently… Read more »


Turkey doesn’t seen to understand that anyone not invited into Syria is a terrorist. Can anyone ever imagine Erdogan simply allowing a convoy of vehicles from another country to travel on Turkey soil without permission?

Evil is as Evil does
Evil is as Evil does

Quote: “Ironically too, it was arguably Hillary Clinton’s design to group ISIL terrorists in one location and then eliminate them all”

It was Clinton’s psychotic plan to use them to eliminate Assad, then relabel them, a la KLA, (who interstingly enopugh have trained some) as non-terrorist freedom fighters and woo them into America’s camp with the help of the Saudis, after Syria was ‘cleansed’ in the manner of Libya and Yemen. She’s truly an evil woman.

Parents sending 300 children as young as SEVEN to Isis training camps in Kosovo:

Alex Jones, Maximum Hypocrite & Hegemonist

NYT’s propaganda machine: Iraq WMD, Russiagate & Trump’s ‘Racism’ (Video)