Syria escalating

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, February 14th, 2016 - 37 comments
Categories: climate change, colonialism, energy, International, military, peak oil, Syria - Tags: , , , , ,

Zero Hedge notes that a dramatic escalation in the Syrian conflict is developing.

In short, the Turkish Army has started shelling Kurdish forces occupying Minnigh Airbase in Aleppo. Aleppo is in north west Syria, not much more than 40km or so from the nearest point on the Syria/Turkey border.

This is an airbase that US backed Kurdish forces took from ISIS only a few days ago.

The Americans are very unhappy with this development and have publicly protested against it, asking the Turks to stop their attacks according to the AFP.

To get this straight: NATO member Turkey is attacking the same anti-Islamist forces supported by their own NATO ally and military partner, the USA.

Aleppo remains a partially ISIS controlled city located in north west Syria. The city was a key link in the now-severed “Azaz Corridor” supply route between Turkey and the anti-Assad rebels (including ISIS) that Ankara has been supporting.

RT also reports that Saudi forces may launch attacks directly into Syria, based out of Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey.

It seems to me that both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are pissed that the anti-Assad insurgents and Islamists that they support are being squeezed hard by a combination of Russian and Syrian Government forces.

Russia is unlikely to take any escalation favourably. It is worth remembering that Russia has covered large parts of Syrian air space with advanced S-300 and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. And since Turkey shot down a Russian jet, they have made it clear that future shennanigans will not be tolerated.

37 comments on “Syria escalating”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Turkey is getting scared that the Kurds may garner enough power to declare independence from Turkey as is their guaranteed right under the UN charter.

  2. ropata 2

    Looks like the Cold War is back.., hope it doesn’t get any warmer. NATO is building up forces around the Baltic states to counter Russian threat

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-responds-to-threat-from-russians-by-beefing-up-royal-navy-a6863751.html

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The present conflict between East and West has been warmer than the Cold War for some time. Probably has something to do with declining availability of crucial resources to maintain present excessively high living standards for the West.

    • Bill 3.1

      It’s not very often interviews of this caliber are put out for us to digest.

      The Peter Oborne account of Aleppo just oozes authenticity (begins at 2min 50 sec) And that he reports residents of the city commonly asking him why the UK is backing terrorists…. well.

      That, allied with his comparison of Aleppo to Stalingrad, insofar as the besiegers have become the besieged, – and that observation being repeated by former EU Foreign Policy Chief and founder of “Conflicts Forum” Alastair Crooke in his interview (beginning at 17min 30)…

      I’m really only expanding on ‘The Chairman’s link because I honestly think anyone who is at all interested in Syria, and particularly with what has happened just over the past days, really ought to sit down and listen to those interviews.

      Incredibly illuminating, thought provoking and informative.

  3. johnm 4

    ” URGENT ALERT: Massive escalation in the Middle East
    Well this looks like it – what may prove to be the first salvos in
    a global East-West conflict that pits the main players against each other, rather than the proxy armies we have seen thus far.

    It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is an EXTREMELY dangerous point in human history.

    Combine that with a world economy that is collapsing before our very eyes and runaway climate change and we have the perfect storm.

    I wish I were exaggerating. ”

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/

    Turkey Shells Aleppo, Says “Massive Escalation” In Syria Imminent As Saudis Ready Airstrikes.

    Zero Hedge,
    13 February, 2016

    Update: Washington has now weighed in and is asking the Turks to please stop shelling the soldiers the Pentagon is arming.

    The Independent on escalation
    From the Independent which is not an active member of the war party like the Guardian
    Saudi Arabia sends troops and fighter jets to military base in Turkey ahead of intervention against Isis in Syria
    Saudi officials have stated that they want to fight Isis and see President Bashar al-Assad removed.

  4. tinfoilhat 5

    Very worrying times.

  5. McGrath 6

    The whole thing is a shitstorm-in-waiting. So many international and regional powers have interests in Syria that it’s unlikely to end well.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      A lot of people want Syria as a transit route for strategic new gas and oil pipelines to Europe.

      Such pipelines would undermine Russia as a major energy supplier to the EU.

      Assad isn’t interested in having those pipelines cross his country. Hence one reason for the Western Empire’s call that “Assad must go.”

  6. Tautuhi 7

    Looks like a real buggars muddle?

  7. Chooky 8

    ‘Assad will win?’

    https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/332241-assad-incredible-policy-failure/

    “What a difference a few months makes! Not long ago Washington and its Middle East allies repeatedly predicted the demise of the Damascus government. Today, President Assad is secure and fighting a winning battle. Can the West admit to its incredible policy failure? And can Washington’s neocons accept seeing Russia win?

    CrossTalking with Abdel Bari Atwan, Franklin Lamb, and Jonathan Steele.”

    …and

    ‘Terrorists facing endgame’: Are Turkey & West looking for pretext to start ground op against Assad?

    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/332394-syria-terrorists-endgame-provocation/

  8. Muttonbird 9

    #Laboursfault.

    • ropata 9.1

      Yes, we ought to “Get some guts” and embroil ourselves in the next 100 year war.

      We have always been at war with Oceania… no wait that can’t be right

  9. Chooky 10

    The Americans and friends (Israel, Saudi Arabia)bottom line is get rid of Assad….but

    “French ex-prime minister: Without Assad, neither EU nor US will be able to end Syrian crisis’

    https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/319667-syrian-crisis-economy-refugee/

    “Conflicting views over the Syrian crisis are stalling the fight against global terror. Under the pressure of the economic and refugee crises, European unity is too strained. Can the escalation of fighting be stopped – and what are the instruments that are needed to finally solve the problems that EU is facing for months, if not for years? To find out, we speak to a former prime minister of France. Dominique de Villepin is on Sophie&Co today….

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Utterly damning of the Obama administration.

      The [US] military’s resistance [to the Obama Administration] dates back to the summer of 2013, when a highly classified assessment, put together by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then led by General Martin Dempsey, forecast that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to chaos and, potentially, to Syria’s takeover by jihadi extremists, much as was then happening in Libya…and took a dim view of the Obama administration’s insistence on continuing to finance and arm the so-called moderate rebel groups…

      The document showed, the adviser said, ‘that what was started as a covert US programme to arm and support the moderate rebels fighting Assad had been co-opted by Turkey, and had morphed into an across-the-board technical, arms and logistical programme for all of the opposition, including Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State. The so-called moderates had evaporated and the Free Syrian Army was a rump group stationed at an airbase in Turkey…

      Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, confirmed that his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings to the civilian leadership about the dire consequences of toppling Assad. The jihadists, he said, were in control of the opposition…

      The DIA’s reporting, he said, ‘got enormous pushback’ from the Obama administration. ‘I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.’

  10. johnm 12

    Saudis Say Assad Must Go, Deploy Jets to Turkey: Joint Turkish-Saudi Assault on Syria Now Imminent

    Peace is off the table in Syria. The US is escalating the conflict via its client states

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/saudi-jets-deploy-turkey-joint-turkish-saudi-assault-syria-now-imminent/ri12828

    ” There will be no peace in Syria.

    Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir announced yesterday that for The Kingdom, the removal of Assad is “crucial,” adding without any sense of shame that the Syrian leader is the “single most effective magnet for extremists and terrorists in the region”.

    This is not a rogue statement made by a renegade government: It’s a policy that has been approved, and most likely dictated, by the United States. And now the Saudis have parked their F-15s at a Turkish airbase used by the US military to strike targets within Syria: ”

    ” Turkey has openly acknowledged that it is working with the Saudis on a joint attack plan.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has already made this clear:

    “If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added, fueling concerns that a foreign troop invasion may soon further complicate the already turbulent situation in the war-torn country.

    Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops for a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. Damascus and its key regional ally, Iran, warned that such a foreign force would face strong resistance. “

  11. johnm 13

    The Neoconservatives Are Brewing A Wider War In Syria — Paul Craig Roberts

    ” Washington’s support of the Islamist State is the cause of the war in Syria. General Michael Flynn, the recently retired head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has stated publicly that it was a “willful decision” of the Obama regime to support ISIS. ”

    ” Russian air power in support of the Syrian Army has turned the tide against the Islamist State.
    The invaders are being driven out. The neoconservatives cannot accept this defeat.

    Washington is preparing a Syrian invasion by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the purpose of which is to split Syria in half with Washington controlling the eastern part with the oil fields.

    Possibly this is a bluff to get Russia to accept a Syrian settlement less favorable to Russian, Iranian, and Syrian interests. However, the Russian government cannot risk that it is only a bluff. If a US/Turkish/Saudi force were to arrive first in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor, Syria would be dismembered.

    The Russians can get there first by dropping in paratroopers. In other words, what the insane neoconservatives are doing is giving the Russian government a big incentive to introduce Russian ground troops into the conflict. Once those troops are there, you can safely bet that the insane neoconservatives will cause conflict between them and US/Turkish forces. A wider war will have begun from which neither side can back down. ”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/02/14/the-neoconservatives-are-brewing-a-wider-war-in-syria-paul-craig-roberts/

  12. Jones 14

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

  13. johnm 15

    Break the silence: a world war is beckoning – John Pilger

    Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a “brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis”, as if the truth “never happened even while it was happening”.

    Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his “updated summary of the record of US foreign policy” which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.

    http://truepublica.org.uk/global/break-the-silence-a-world-war-is-beckoning-john-pilger/

    • johnm 15.1

      Washington denounces Russia, backs escalation of Syria war

      ” Washington has given these operations its blessing, though they threaten to unleash a war that could engulf the entire Middle East and escalate into world war. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Friday that he expected commandos from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to invade Syria. Carter claimed they would attack the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS); however, Turkey and Saudi Arabia support Sunni Islamist forces in Syria like ISIS, and their aim would be to destroy Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

      Speaking to Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung Friday night, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir personally threatened the Syrian president: “There will be no Bashar al-Assad in the future.” ”

      ” Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev had already warned that Saudi ground operations could provoke a “new world war.” He told Handelsblatt, “A ground operation draws everyone taking part in it into a war… The Americans and our Arab partners must consider whether or not they want a permanent war.”

      As Russian bombings and Syrian offensives threaten to retake the city of Aleppo from the opposition, NATO and its allies are signaling that they are willing to launch staggeringly reckless escalations to ensure the defeat of Assad and Moscow. The main MSC panel Saturday erupted into arguments over Syria as Kerry and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls attacked Russia, warning that NATO would not allow its Islamist proxies to be beaten.

      Kerry accused Moscow of “repeated aggression” in Syria, declaring, “To date, the vast majority, in our opinion, of Russia’s attacks have been against legitimate opposition groups.” ”

      http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/02/15/muni-f15.html

  14. Michael 16

    You missed out the bit about Russia’s indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against non-combtants in Syria, which has both the intention and effect of stampeding hundreds of thousands of civilians across the border into Turkey and beyond, into the EU. Putin’s motives, in addition to saving Bashar Assad’s head, include destablising Turkey, NATO and the EU. In particular, he wants Germany to get rid of Angela Merkel, Europe’s most effective leader. Putin wants to see right-wing fascist government in Europe that he can portray to his own people as reincarnated Nazis (thus justifiying increased military spending and reduced civilian spending), while simultaneously doing crooked business deals with these regimes. Realpolitik, KGB-style, is alive and well in the Kremlin today.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Michael, you are aware that Russia began it’s intervention only 5 months ago?

      And that the West and its allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Jordan, have been feeding the Islamist led war in Syria with arms, money and fighters for more than 4 years?

      I mean, seriously, get a grip.

  15. Smilin 17

    Cynically the US Defense dept not getting enough press exposure to up their shares on Wall St
    Or more to the point a really big war coming and the Kurds and what’s left of Syria’s civilians and Iraq’s there will be the victims as Russia Turkey the Saudis and the US have what must be the end conflict because everyone else has lost interest or their too busy chasing the ISIS insurgent refugees moving into Europe. The US presidential show must go on centre stage now

  16. JonL 18

    Michael……you really haven’t got a clue, have you.

  17. johnm 19

    World War 3 Could Start This Month: 350,000 Soldiers In Saudi Arabia Stand Ready To Invade Syria

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/world-war-3-might-start-this-month-350000-soldiers-gathered-in-saudi-arabia-are-ready-to-invade-syria

    ” 350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are massing in northern Saudi Arabia for a military exercise that is being called “Northern Thunder”. According to the official announcement, forces are being contributed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Sudan, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and several other nations. This exercise will reportedly last for 18 days, and during that time the airspace over northern Saudi Arabia will be closed to air traffic. This will be the largest military exercise in the history of the region, and it comes amid rumors that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are preparing for a massive ground invasion of Syria. ”

    ” But then Russia, Iran and Hezbollah stepped forward to assist the Assad regime. Russian air support completely turned the tide of the war, and now the Sunni insurgents are on the brink of losing.

    Aleppo was once the largest city in Syria, and Sunni insurgents have controlled it since 2012. But now relentless Russian airstrikes have made it possible for Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to surround the city, and it is about to fall back into the hands of the Syrian government. ”

    ” Reacting to a potential troop deployment, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Saturday, “Let no one think they can attack Syria or violate its sovereignty because I assure you any aggressor will return to their country in a wooden coffin.”

    Pavel Krasheninnikov, a deputy of Russia’s State Duma, has warned Saudi Arabia that any military ground operation in Syria without Damascus’ consent would amount to a declaration of war, Press TV reported.

    We could literally be looking at the spark that sets off World War 3. I can’t believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are actually considering this.

    And if it does happen, you can rest assured that Barack Obama gave them the green light to go in.

    Unfortunately, it sounds like the decision may have already been made. Just consider what Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is saying…

    “If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added, fueling concerns that a foreign troop invasion may soon further complicate the already turbulent situation in the war-torn country.

    Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops for a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. Damascus and its key regional ally, Iran, warned that such a foreign force would face strong resistance.

    And in addition to all of the forces massing in northern Saudi Arabia, the London Independent is reporting that the Saudis have sent troops and aircraft to a military base in Turkey… “

  18. johnm 20

    THE END IS NEAR: Syrian Army Begins Major Advance into ISIS HQ Raqqa
    February 15, 2016 By Stuart Hooper 1 Comment

    21st Century Wire says…

    The end is near for ISIS, and the terror group could perhaps be history in just a few short months.

    ” On Sunday, the Syrian Arab Army and Palestinian armed militias captured the strategically important Tal Masbah hilltop, which was also the last entrenched ISIS position.

    The fortified hilltop was the last line of defence for approaches to the Salamiyah-Raqqa highway, which leads to the terror group’s stronghold in the city of Raqqa.

    Furthermore, the Syrian army mounted a huge assault on the village of Zakiyah seizing an important crossroad nearby, cutting ISIS’s major supply route from Raqqa to the nearby province of Hama.

    A source in the Syrian army says that militants on the Tal Masbah hilltop were forced to flee northeast towards the desert on the Raqqa-Hama border, where an intense battle between the terror group and government forces is currently taking place. ”

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/02/15/the-end-is-near-syrian-army-begins-major-advance-into-isis-hq-raqqa/

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