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Turkey may be subtly changing sides in the Syrian conflict

The unthinkable has become the conceivable.

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Between the Syrian victory in the Battle of Aleppo in December of 2016 and the signing of the Astana Memorandum on the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria in May of 2017, Turkey was one of the biggest obstacles to peace in and freedom for Syria.

The Battle of Aleppo was in many ways the Stalingrad moment in the Syrian war on al-Qaeda/al-Nusrea. It was a point of no return in respect of al-Qaeda/al-Nusrea’s long term desire to conquer and subjugate important population centres in western Syria.

It was during the interim period between the end of 2016 and the spring of 2017 that Turkey increased its own illegal war against Syria using its own jihadist proxies, the so-called FSA.

Since Turkey so-signed the Astana Memorandum in May of this year, Turkey’s position has subtly shifted.

Geo-politically, the Astana process has led Turkey to technically side with Russia and Iran, two unambiguous supporters of the rule of international law in Syria and consequently, supporters of the legitimate Syrian government.

Knowing that illegal regime change in Damascus is now all but an impossibility, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attempted militarily to work with the US in capturing the self-proclaimed ISIS capital of Raqqa. Erdogan was not only totally disregarded by the US in this respect but the US has openly aligned itself with Kurdish forces in Syria who are sworn enemies of Turkey.

With Kurds acting in manners which are increasingly hostile to not only Turkey but also to Syria, it is clear that Ankara and Damascus both have a common enemy who seek to annex parts of both Turkey and Syria. Kurds in Iraq may unilaterally declare independence in northern Iraqi regions as early as September of this year.

Iran which for years has had to deal with its own Kurdish insurgency is dead set against Kurdish nationalism in Iraq, Syria and Turkey for the obvious reason that it opposes such moves on Iranian territory.

In this sense, Turkey, Iran, Syria and indeed Iraq are all on the same page. In each instance the US is an enemy for very different reasons. Iran is a country that the US seeks to discredit, defame and possibly make war upon. Syria is a country that under President Obama, the US illegally invaded and occupied with the intent to create a Salafist state in Damascus. Under Donald Trump this plan has changed to one of more or less helping the Kurds to annex Syria east of the Euphrates, something Turkey in particular deems totally unacceptable.

Turkey of course has been in NATO since 1952 and has been a traditional US ally, but recent events may be changing this more than previously imaginable.

In backing the Kurds so heavily and openly, America is backing Turkey’s supreme regional and internal enemy. Not only is this a potential straw to break the camel’s back in respect of Washington’s relationship with Ankara, but it would have been sufficient to cause a major rift in bilateral and intra-NATO relations even without the current and most recent former US President having a personally poor relationship with President Erdogan.

In Aleppo Governorate where Kurds are attempting to make a push to the Mediterranean through Arab territory in an attempt to solidify the expansionist borders of a would-be Kurdish state, Turkish troops have shifted their focus to fighting Kurdish forces.

According to Al-Masdar, a generally reliable source for information on the ground in Syria and an outlet that is anything but pro-Erdogan, the arrival of Turkish troops in Aleppo who are now fighting Kurds, were welcomed by the local Arab population, something which would have been virtually inconceivable just two months ago.

If Turkey and Syria and indeed Iran now have a common enemy, the only thing stopping them from forming a united front is a great deal of bad blood, particularly in respect of Syria. Relations between Iran and Turkey by contrast, continue to improve.

While a formal alliance between Damascus and Ankara against Kurds still seems difficult to imagine so long as Erdogan is in power, a covert or even unspoken agreement to allow Turkey to target Kurds in Syria may well be something that could happen. The tentative groundwork for such a reality is already starting to occur, albeit more by necessity than by design.

The biggest factor here is Russia. Russia like Iran supports the Syrian government and has partnered with Syria to form an anti-terrorist coalition that is for all intents and purposes, winning the war against Salafism.

Russia unlike Turkey and Iran, does have normal relations to Kurdish forces in the region, in spite of the fact that Kurdish loyalties are now fully in-line with American interests which run contrary to that of almost every other party in Syria.

Russia has not and will not stop Turkey from fighting Kurds in Syria, nor will Russia advocate for a Kurdish state against the wishes of Syria, Turkey or Iran.

Therefore, while Russia’s position on the Kurds is more agnostic than that of Turkey, Iran or Syria, Russia will not advocate for the Kurdish cause without reason and it is unlikely that Russia ever will have a reason to do so.

It is therefore conceivable that Turkey, Syria, Iran and Russia may end up on the same side of a conflict in which Gulfi money is slowly but surely being redirected out of and where America and its Kurdish proxies stand alone as the last major obstacles to a mutually agreeable peace for Syria.

Al-Qaeda has been largely decimated, the FSA can only do what Turkey allows it to do and ISIS is on its final breath in Syria.

In this sense, America will not have only failed to gain the vast majority if not all of Syria, but in the process America will have lost Turkey as an ally.

Erdogan entered the war in the most alienating fashion possible and it backfired. Now though, Erdogan’s pride and his reputation may be partly saved due to the fact that however arrogant Erdogan has behaved, America is in reality, far worse and far more dangerous to the region. The fact that America is totally foreign to the region, automatically gives Turkey more credibility even now than America has ever or ever will have.

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mikhas
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mikhas

The opportunistic jihadist Erdogan has stabbed so many backs and turned his coat so many time in this war that we all have lost count. Hi’s cutthroat mercenaries has also killed so many Syrians that a rapprochement would seem unimaginable. Due to realities on the ground, he has put his neo-ottoman ambition on hold for now but nobody should be so naive as to believe that he has given up on it. Still, when Putin accepted his apology he started to say “Assad can stay” (how very generous of him) only to change back to “Assad must go” later. The… Read more »

RaisingMac
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RaisingMac

But something important has definitely changed: if the US and Europe have now finally turned against Turkey, then Turkey has nowhere else to go but Syria, Iran and Russia. That means régime-change in Syria is over.

Unfettered Fire
Guest
Unfettered Fire

Even the US/Europe ties have cooled: “Europe already has suffered considerable economic harm from complying with the US on taking over Ukraine, and from absorbing millions of destitute and alien refugees from Syria, Libya, and other countries where the US CIA, and other agencies, fomented the «Arab Spring» to unlock, in those countries, the oil and gas pipeline potential, which, if controlled by the US, would go to US oilfield-services firms such as Halliburton, and not to European ones such as Schlumberger. Kern and Gabriel — and the local national aristocracies (respectively Austrian, and German) whom they represent — are… Read more »

RaisingMac
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RaisingMac

I used to believe that the EU was arm-twisted into the Ukraine debacle against their will, but I’ve revised my opinion since the election. I now think that Merkel herself was a prime-mover behind the coup in Kiev, and that, even if she’s somewhat disappointed but the unequal division of the spoils of victory, she’s still on board with the Ukrainian venture for one powerful (if never publicly spoken) reason: those sanctions on Russia are necessary to quarantine the country from the EU, so that Germany can go on being the proverbial ‘big fish in a small pond’. Merkel does… Read more »

Le Ruscino
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Le Ruscino

Never forget the US arrange failed Coup !

The West lost Erdogan & Turkey at that moment as Russian Spetznas saved Erdogan’s life & he is not the forgiving kind.

Prediction : Turkey & Syria will join SCO in the not so distant future & maybe even Qatar & Iraq isolating CIA’s Saudi gangster state.

Norman
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Norman

I’m happy. Very happy with the changing landscape.

niveb
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niveb

A textbook case of the tail wagging the dog.
The US doesn’t care about the kurds. It never did. It certainly never dreamed of dacrificing its crucial strategic alliance with Turkey for them.
But Israel is set upon establishing a Kurdish state as a counter balance to Arabs and a means of de-stabilising Iran. And the US does what Israel wants. Even when the consequences are clearly suicidal.
Give the Zionists enough trope and they’ll hang themselves, and their allies.

permopin
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permopin

Perhaps, for the first time in his office, Erdogan has learned a vital lesson in diplomacy worth a lot more than a chunk of Syrian territory, that friendship with Russia and Iran is more valuable than playing the role of a puppet for the U S for some short term gain. And that, the U S foreign policy is totally against stability anywhere in the world not excluding Turkey. Something is for certain, though, association with Mr Putin, can even change the most unpredictable of all minds, the Erdogan.

colum
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colum

With all the subtilty of a baboons arse. In any case better late than never.

Walter Dublanica
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Walter Dublanica

Turkey is steadily moving away from American influence. The U.S. is 6,000 miles away. Russia/Syria/Iran/Iraq are all next door.

RainToh
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RainToh

Remember when most of us were calling for blood after the Turkish shootdown of the Russian SU-24, this would have never happened if we gave in to our emotions. Bless the patience and foresight of Mr Putin and Mr Lavrov.

plamenpetkov
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plamenpetkov

we shall see. USA is setting up military bases all over Eastern Syria and Russia and Syria are either unable or don’t know how to stop it. USA has began shooting at Syrian army itself. USA might just be waiting and then start a general invasion of Syria. USA know Russia will not start WWII over Syria while USA ARE willing to start WWIII over Syria. Supposedly, Aleppo was liberated long go but Im still reading how Syrians fighting in Aleppo. USA canot allow Russia and ran to win in Syria, that would show them as helpless and they cannot… Read more »

FiendlyNeighbourhoodTerrorist
Guest

I don’t know why this article failed to point out that the Kurds are being supported by the zionist entity, and that they are in fact meant to be a Zionistan II. The criminal zionist entity, as everyone knows, owns and controls the American Empire, and it will do what the Nazinyahu cabal orders no matter where its own interests lie.

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Tape recorded evidence of Clinton-Ukraine meddling in US election surfaces (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a look at new evidence to surface from Ukraine that exposes a plot by the US Embassy in Kiev and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to leak Paul Manafort’s corrupt dealings in the country, all for the benefit of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Via Zerohedge


Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko has launched an investigation into the head of the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly attempting to help Hillary Clinton defeat Donald Trump during the 2016 US election by releasing damaging information about a “black ledger” of illegal business dealings by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The Hill’s John Solomon, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week, according to The Hill

Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk. –The Hill

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” said Lutsenko, speaking with The Hill’s John Solomon about the anti-corruption bureau chief, Artem Sytnyk.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” Lutsenko continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort‘s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.” –The Hill

What The Hill doesn’t mention is that Sytnyk released Manafort’s Black Book with Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko – discussed in great length by former Breitbart investigator Lee Stranahan, who has been closely monitoring this case.

Serhiy Leshchenko

T]he main spokesman for these accusations was Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian politician and journalist who works closely with both top Hillary Clinton donors George Soros and Victor Pinchuk, as well as to the US Embassy in Kyiv.

James Comey should be asked about this source that Leshchenko would not identify. Was the source someone connected to US government, either the State Department or the Department of Justice?

The New York Times should also explain why they didn’t mention that Leshchenko had direct connections to two of Hillary Clinton biggest financial backers. Victor Pinchuk, the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation at a staggering $8.6 million also happened to have paid for Leshchenko’s expenses to go to international conferences. George Soros, whose also founded the International Renaissance Foundationthat worked closely with Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Ukraine, also contributed at least $8 million to Hillary affiliated super PACs in the 2016 campaign cycle. –Lee Stranahan via Medium

Meanwhile, according to former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, Leshchenko was a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the infamous Trump-Russia dossier.

Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.

“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. –Daily Caller

Also absent from The Hill report is the fact that Leshchenko was convicted in December by a Kiev court of interfering in the 2016 US election.

A Kyiv court said that a Ukrainian lawmaker and a top anticorruption official’s decision in 2016 to publish documents linked to President Donald Trump’s then-campaign chairman amounted to interference in the U.S. presidential election.

The December 11 finding came in response to a complaint filed by another Ukrainian lawmaker, who alleged that Serhiy Leshchenko and Artem Sytnyk illegally released the documents in August 2016, showing payments by a Ukrainian political party to Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

The documents, excerpts from a secret ledger of payments by the Party of Regions, led to Manafort being fired by Trump’s election campaign.

The Kyiv court said that the documents published by Leshchenko and Sytnyk were part of an ongoing pretrial investigation in Ukraine into the operations of the pro-Russian Party of Regions. The party’s head had been President Viktor Yanukovych until he fled the country amid mass protests two years earlier.

-RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty (funded by the US govt.).

So while Lutsenko – Solomon’s guest and Ukrainian Prosecutor is currently going after Artem Sytnyk, it should be noted that Leshchenko was already found to have meddled in the 2016 US election.

Watch:

Meanwhile, you can also check out Stranahan’s take on Leshchenko being left out of the loop.

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‘I will take over as Brexit Party leader’: Nigel Farage back on the frontline

Nigel Farage says that if the UK takes part in European elections, he will lead his new Brexit Party.

RT

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Via RT


Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has announced that he will lead his new Brexit Party into the European elections if UK MPs decide to delay Brexit beyond May 22.

Farage, who has ostensibly appointed himself leader, told various media, including the BBC and Sky News on Friday morning: “I will take over as leader of the Brexit Party and lead it into the European Elections.”

It comes after the Brexit Party’s leader, Catherine Blaiklock, quit over a series of alleged Islamophobic statements and retweets of far-right figures on social media.

It is not yet thought that Farage has officially been elected as leader, as the party does not, as yet, have a formal infrastructure to conduct such a vote.

The right-wing MEP vowed to put out a whole host of Brexit Party candidates if the UK participates in the upcoming EU elections in May, adding: “If we fight those elections, we will fight them on trust.”

On Thursday night, the EU agreed to PM May’s request for a delaying to Brexit beyond the March 29 deadline. Brussels announced two new exit dates depending on what happens next week in the UK parliament.

The UK will have to leave the bloc on April 12 unless British MPs agree to May’s Brexit deal. If the withdrawal agreement is passed by next week, EU leaders have agreed to grant an extension until May 22.

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Baltics cannot rely on Germany any more

The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it is supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership blunders.

The Duran

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Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis…

On March 29 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate 15 years of becoming NATO member states. The way to the alliance membership was not simple for newly born independent countries. They have reached great success in fulfilling many of NATO demands: they have considerably increased their defence expenditures, renewed armaments and increased the number of military personnel.

In turn, they get used to rely on more powerful member states, their advice, help and even decision making. All these 15 years they felt more or less safe because of proclaimed European NATO allies’ capabilities.

Unfortunately, now it is high time to doubt. The matter is NATO today is not as strong as it supposed to be. And it is not only because of leadership’s blunders. Every member state does a bit. As for the Baltic states, they are particularly vulnerable, because they fully depend on other NATO member states in their defence. Thus, Germany, Canada and Britain are leading nations of the NATO battle group stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia respectively.

But the state of national armed forces in Germany, for example, raises doubts and makes it impossible not only defend the Baltics against Russia, but Germany itself.

It turned out, that Germany itself remains dissatisfied with its combat readiness and minister of defence’s ability to perform her duties. Things are so bad, that the military’s annual readiness report would be kept classified for the first time for “security reasons.”

“Apparently the readiness of the Bundeswehr is so bad that the public should not be allowed to know about it,” said Tobias Lindner, a Greens member who serves on the budget and defense committees.

Inspector General Eberhard Zorn said (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-arms/germany-not-satisfied-with-readiness-of-submarines-some-aircraft-idUSKBN1QS1G7) the average readiness of the country’s nearly 10,000 weapons systems stood at about 70 percent in 2018, which meant Germany was able to fulfill its military obligations despite increasing responsibilities.

No overall comparison figure was available for 2017, but last year’s report revealed readiness rates of under 50 percent for specific weapons such as the aging CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters and the Tornado fighter jets.

Zorn said this year’s report was more comprehensive and included details on five main weapons systems used by the cyber command, and eight arms critical for NATO’s high readiness task force, which Germany heads this year.

“The overall view allows such concrete conclusions about the current readiness of the Bundeswehr that knowledge by unauthorized individuals would harm the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he wrote.

Critics are sure of incompetence of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen. Though she has occupied the upper echelons of German politics for 14 years now — and shows no sign of success. This mother of seven, gynecologist by profession, by some miracle for a long time has been remaining in power, though has no trust even among German military elites. Despite numerous scandals she tries to manage the Armed Forces as a housewife does and, of course, the results are devastating for German military capabilities. The same statement could be easily apply for the Baltic States, which highly dependent on Germany in military sphere.

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