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Turkey and Syria Are at War without a Declaration of War

Russia Will No Longer Restrict the Syrian Military Against Turkey

Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Paul Antonopoulos, Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies…

Although Turkey has supported anti-Syrian government forces, especially terrorist organizations  like ISIS and the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra and Turkistan Islamic Party, since the very beginning of the Syrian War in 2011, no declaration of war has ever been announced between the two neighboring countries. Russia became militarily involved in 2015 and its intervention saw the quick defeat of ISIS and the recovery of large swathes of the country back into Syrian government control, as well as a partnership emerging with Turkey to discuss the Syrian crisis.

However, this now appears to be well and truly over. Oleg Zhuravlyov, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, said on Sunday that the Syrian government was forced to declare the closure of airspace over Syria’s northwest Idlib province. However, it was his following comment that sent social media into a frenzy with speculation that Russia would begin attacking jets illegally operating in Idlib.

“In such conditions, the command of the Russian taskforce cannot guarantee safety of flights by Turkish planes over Syria,” said Zhuravlyov.
Many people have interpreted this as Russia threatening Turkish jets. This is not the case, and rather, Russia is warning Turkey that it will not restrain the Syrian Army in attacking the Turkish military, especially after Turkey downed two Syrian jets yesterday. It was a tense day, even though no Syrian pilots were killed.

The day saw six Turkish drones downed and then in the early morning, Turkish ambulances were seen at the Syrian-Turkish border point to retrieve dead and wounded Turkish soldiers after a Syrian Army attack on a military convoy at Qamenas near Sarmin in Idlib countryside. All this happened yesterday on the first day after a deadline set by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ended which demanded the Syrian Army to withdraw to positions it held earlier in the year.  Although Turkey has not declared war on Syria, there is little doubt that the two countries are now at war and Russia will do little to restrain the Arab country from defending its territory.

The Syrian army command announced on Sunday that the airspace over the northwestern part of the country is now closed. The situation in Idlib escalated after Turkish-backed and Al-Qaeda affiliated Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham launched a large-scale attack on Syrian government forces on February 27, with the Syrian army striking back in retaliation and killing 36 Turkish soldiers and wounding another 30. Immediately afterwards, Russia took steps to ensure a short ceasefire to enable Turkey to recover the bodies of their fallen and wounded.

Moscow has expressed concern over Ankara’s support for terrorist organizations in Idlib. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin first conducted trilateral talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and then with Erdoğan, who described the implementation of the agreement with Sochi as the main condition for the settlement in Idlib. This has been problematic as Erdoğan has refused to stop supporting terrorist organizations in Idlib as set out by the Sochi agreement. In turn, Putin expressed concern over the increase in terrorist activity in the province, while also noting the need for unconditional respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Turkey has blamed Russia for the at least 50 Turkish soldiers killed in February alone, testing Moscow’s patience with Ankara, especially with Erdoğan showing his arrogance after asking Russia to step aside and allow Turkey to engage against Russia’s Syrian allies directly. Although Ankara has received verbal backing from Washington, it is unlikely that Turkey would receive backing from NATO because of the asymmetric weaponization of illegal migrants that Erdoğan unleashed against Greece.

Greece on Friday blocked a joint communique from NATO being announced on Friday night that intended to support Turkey in its war against Syria. This came to the anger of the U.S., UK, Germany and France, pushing the case further that Russia needs to prioritize Greece as relations rift with Turkey. This is especially necessary as relations have broken down so badly that the Turkish military are writing “With Love for Putin” on Turkish bombs destined for Syria.

Although NATO wanted to show a united front against Russia and support Turkey against Syria, it was unable to do it because of Greece’s veto. Despite not having international legitimacy or making a declaration of war, there is little doubt that Turkey is at war with Syria directly now, rather than in an indirect manner like in previous years.

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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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Olivia Kroth
March 3, 2020

The Syrian, just like before them the Libyans and Iraqis, are hit hard and suffer by this continuous war machine.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
March 4, 2020

TASS: Russian military police deployed to Syria’s Saraqib — Syria’s Al-Watan newspaper said earlier that the Syrian government army had regained control over Saraqib, a strategically important city located in the east of the Idlib governorate MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Russian military police units have been deployed to Syria’s Saraqib to safeguard security and ensure unimpeded movement of motor vehicles and civilians along the M4-M5 highways, the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria said on Monday. “Taking into account the importance of safe and unimpeded movement of motor transport and civilian population along the M4-M5 highways,… Read more »

Daniel Martin
Daniel Martin
March 3, 2020

Meanwhile the U.N security council is shining with it’s absence as usual, in condemning this act of aggression, which by the way is the most serious crime that a country can commit against another sovereign country, according to international law. But then again this is what happens when states take the “law” in their own hands, and this is exactly what the Russians the Chinese and the Yugoslavs warned would happen, when the law of the jungle replaces international law. And it all started with the criminal bombings of Yugoslavia back in 1999.

Rick Oliver
Rick Oliver
March 3, 2020

After the dust has settled , it looks like another wall needs to be built , to keep the terrorist thugs out of Syria .

March 4, 2020

Kick their Turk arses all the way back to Turkland.

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