On Tuesday, ISIS supporter Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech that many have interpreted as a declaration of war on Syria. During a typical Erdogan rant, the Turkish Prime Minister stated, “Close to one million people died in Syria, and they continue dying. Where is the U.N.? What are they doing? We kept saying ‘patience, patience, patience’ but could not take it any more and entered Syria. We are there to bring justice. We are there to end the rule of the cruel Assad, who has been spreading state terror.”
This last sentence is the point of contention. After all, the original stated purpose of “Operation Euphrates” was to beat back ISIS, not to defeat Assad. However, shortly after the operation was launched (and long before then to informed observers) it was clear that Turkey’s main objective had nothing to do with defeating the terrorist organization it has supported since day one. Instead, it was clear that the intention of the operation was at least partially to break the Kurdish fighters in Northern and Northwestern Syria and prevent them from linking their cantons together on Turkey’s borders. In addition, it was always known that Turkey and Erdogan himself were conspiring to overthrow Assad and, for those who have followed the situation closely in Syria, Operation Euphrates Shield was nothing more than an extension of that war on Syria, albeit in a more direct military fashion.
Erdogan has repeated many times the “Assad must go” mantra but this is perhaps the first time he has suggested that Turkey is directly militarily involved in Syria for the purpose of overthrowing Assad. Still, it has been known for some time that Turkey desired a pretext to enter Syria militarily, even conspiring to commit a false flag attack in order to provide a justification for invasion.
The most concerning issue regarding Turkey in Syria is not so much Erdogan’s rhetoric, however, but the actual military moves being made by Turkey and the fighters it has been backing. This question is particularly relevant in al-Bab, a city currently held by ISIS in Northeast Aleppo but one that is being targeted by both Turkey and its forces (essentially ISIS fighters, FSA, etc.) and the Syrian military.
Their immediate challenge is securing al-Bab, an Islamic State-held city northeast of Aleppo which Kurdish-led fighters are racing to take, and which lies close to the front lines of Assad’s allies.Turkish-backed forces have made rapid gains since August, but largely through less heavily populated areas. Urban warfare around al-Bab is already taking a heavier toll. Five Turkish soldiers have been killed in the past week alone, three of them in a suspected Syrian government air strike.
“Right now the question is whether Russia will allow Turkey to seize al-Bab,” said the Muntasir Billah Brigade official.
“There’s a political equation here. It’s not about whether Turkey has enough tanks, soldiers and weapons, but whether there’s any room for such a move from Turkey in the equation.”
But, as mentioned above, the Syrian military is closing in on al-Bab as well. In fact, according to Ziad Fadel of Syrian Perspective, the Syrian military is only 5kms away from the city.
This will be a watershed moment in the history of this conflict in that it will bring the Turkish Army and the Syrian Army into possible direct confrontation. At a minimum, it will pit the Turk-supported terrorists of the FSA against the SAA. If, as I suspect, the FSA is destroyed, it might bring in the Turks to save them. Once this happens, Russia will intervene on Syrian soil essentially barring NATO from any excuse to assist Ankara. As of right now, the SAA is supported by the YPG. The army is at Tal ‘Unayb and Sha’aala moving toward Irziq which overlooks Al-Baab. Another report informs us that the SAA is only 1km away from forces aligned with Turkey under the title of “Euphrates Shield”.
Thus, there is the distinct possibility that al-Bab could bring Syrian and Turkish troops into direct military conflict with one another. Even more concerning is the possibility that a Turk/Syrian confrontation might lead to a Russian/Turk confrontation, itself a Russian/NATO confrontation that has disastrous implications for the world if restraint is not shown by all sides.
This is the danger of the increasingly brazen and erratic Erdogan and a NATO/U.S. power elite who remain intent on destroying the secular government of Bashar al-Assad. We are entering a very dangerous time as one token President prepares to step down while another prepares to step up.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 850 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.