He Who Hesitates Is Lost And Russia Hesitated — Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts
US-Turkey Lurch to World War in Syria
By Finian Cunningham
Following US President Barack Obama’s dubious stellar performance this week at the UN General Assembly recounting a litany of lies for almost one hour before the eyes of the world, it was the turn of Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to insult humanity’s intelligence.
Like his American ally, who inverted reality by claiming that US war crimes against numerous nations were a virtuous legacy, Erdogan performed a similar spellbinding conjuring trick. In his address to the UN, the Turkish president said his military has rendered peace to the Middle East region by invading Syria last month.
Can you imagine Adolf Hitler declaring to the then League of Nations that Germany had just invaded Poland to restore peace to Europe? It is astounding, when you think about it, how the august international forum in New York City indulged Erdogan and Obama with such polite attention, when they are both responsible for the supreme war crime of aggression against the sovereign state of Syria?
Turkish and American troops are occupying a 100-km wide swathe of northern Syria after they both launched Operation Euphrates Shield on August 24, with tanks and warplanes in support of ground forces.
Syria and Russia have both expressed concern over the incursion, with Damascus denouncing it as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. American warplanes have been violating Syrian sovereignty for nearly two years.
Just because Turkey and the US claim that the latest operation is aimed at fighting the ISIS terror network, that still does not confer legitimacy.
Four weeks on from the US and Turkey launching the incursion into Syrian territory, Ankara says that it is expanding its occupation.
Earlier this week, Erdogan said his troops would push further south into Syria to take a total area of 5,000 square kms – about five times the area already under its present control. In Orwellian jargon, the Turkish-US forces are labelling the annexed territory as «safe zones». Exactly to whom this is being made «safe» for is not yet clear.
While in New York City, the Turkish leader urged the US to step up its military cooperation with Ankara to, as he put it, «finish off Daesh [ISIS]» in Syria. Erdogan is pushing Washington even harder to get onboard with the long-held Turkish objective of setting up «no fly zones» in the occupied northern Syrian territory.
Erdogan also hinted that he expected a Clinton presidency to be more gung-ho about escalating military involvement, and in particular implementing no fly zones. Hillary Clinton has already said that she would take a more hostile line towards Syria and Russia, going as far as declaring she would deploy military force to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
It is notable that Erdogan is making his appeals solely to Washington for greater military intervention «to finish off Daesh» in Syria. Surely, if Turkey was serious about this stated objective then it would be entreating Russia to join forces, given that Russia has shown itself to be the most effective military power against the terror groups, after it was requested to intervene by the Syrian government last year.
That Erdogan wants to go it alone with the US on his supposed «anti-terror» mission in Syria points to an ulterior agenda. That agenda is nothing less than war on Syria.
Using the pretext of «fighting terrorism» is a risible cover for the fact that Turkish and American military forces are illegally operating on Syrian soil. And as they expand their presence towards the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, what should become apparent is that these two NATO members are involved in an full-on invasion of Syria.
Forget about ISIS or any other terror outfit that Washington and Ankara are publicly claiming to be combatting. Turkish media last year exposed the Erdogan government’s cross-border weapons supply to illegally armed insurgents in Syria. The notoriously «porous» Turk border is porous because that is part of Ankara’s covert war on Syria, in league with Washington and other NATO members, Britain and France, as well as the Wahhabi terror-funding Saudi regime.
Russian military surveillance footage has also proven that the Turkish authorities were colluding with terror groups in running oil-smuggling operations, until, that is, Russian aviation forces obliterated this Erdogan war racket.
The so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militias that Turkish military are collaborating with in their latest offensive into Syrian territory are equally complicit in horrific crimes of terrorism as the more infamous ISIS and Al Nusra extremists.
The FSA terror gangs are sanitized in the Western media as some kind of «vetted opposition». But they were involved, for example, in the massacre at Kassab in Latakia Province back in March 2014, along with the Al Qaeda throat-slitters and Turkish military support.
For Turkey to claim now to be working with FSA militias to «cleanse» border areas from «terrorists» is a derisory illusion.
Far more conceivable is that Erdogan’s Ankara regime feels that the US-led «regime change» plot against Syria is facing defeat at the hands of the Syrian army bolstered by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. The battle for Aleppo is the last stand for the foreign-backed proxy army of terror gangs, which were unleashed on Syria in March 2011 for the purpose of waging covert war for regime change.
The US-led criminal conspiracy against Syria is failing, largely due to Russia’s intervention a year ago this month. In 12 months, the tide of war has been turned in favor of the Syrian state’s victory against the foreign-backed insurgency.
Given the grim prognosis for the regime-change conspirators, Turkey and the US appear prepared now to ratchet up direct military intervention. In short, they are moving to fully-fledged war on Syria.
Erdogan seems to be using the failed coup in his country in mid-July as added leverage on Washington. Reeling from Turkish accusations that the US was somehow complicit in aiding the coup attempt (probably overblown), Washington seems keener to accommodate Erdogan’s demands over Syria.
During negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN this week, US Secretary of State John Kerry was talking the language of Erdogan by calling for no fly zones around Aleppo as a condition for restoring a shattered ceasefire.
Erdogan’s Turkey has always been the most belligerent protagonist among the US-led gang of state terror-sponsors. After the failed coup, Erdogan appeared to abandon the secret war agenda towards his southern neighbor. The Turkish president went on a charm offensive towards Russia and Iran, the main allies of Syria. He even muted earlier bellicose demands for regime change against Assad. That apparent conciliatory attitude was short-lived though. Maybe it was a foil to catch Russia and Iran off guard when Erdogan ordered his tanks to roll over the Syrian border. It seems so.
As the rhetorical smoke and mirrors clear away, what should be evident is that Turkey and the US are openly at war with Syria. That puts in proper context the massacre of Syrian troops at Deir ez-Zor last weekend by US warplanes. American claims of it being an «accident» are as ridiculous as other tenuous American claims of «fighting terrorism».
If the analysis presented here is correct, then the startling conclusion is that a world war is underway, with Russia and the US being pitted against each other.
And if we are honest, we would have to admit that that war has been coming for a long time, a war that Washington bears responsibility for.
Moody’s ratings agency cut Turkey’s sovereign credit rating to junk thus concluding its post-coup review.
Turkey and Russia are currently in talks over a protocol to coordinate combat flights in the Syrian airspace to prevent incidents, a Turkish military source told Hurriyet Daily News.