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Did Russia’s Intervention Derail Turkey’s Plan to Invade Syria?
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Thousands of Iranian soldiers have arrived in Syria to join a major offensive against Sunni militants located in the northwest section of the country. The Iranian ground forces will be part of a joint operation that will include the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Russia and fighters from Lebanese militia, Hezbollah. The assault comes on the heels of a withering two week aerial bombardment of enemy positions by the Russian Air Force which has wreaked havoc on US-backed jihadis along the western corridor. The mobilization of Iranian troops indicates that the 4 year-long conflict is entering its final phase where the Russian-led coalition will attempt to crush the predominantly-Sunni militias and restore security across the country.

Currently, the fiercest fighting is taking place in three areas that are critical for Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s survival: The Rastan enclave, the North Hama salient, and the Ghab plain. While Assad’s forces are expected to overpower the jihadis at all three sites, the militants are dug in and have destroyed a number of armored vehicles and tanks. The regime must seize this area in order to control the M5 highway which runs north to south and connects the cities that create an integrated state. Once these enemy strongholds are broken into smaller pockets of resistance, coalition forces will move further north to close the borders with Turkey while attempting to recapture the strategic city of Aleppo. (See: Sic Semper Tyrannis for an excellent breakdown of the ground offensive with maps.)

According to military analyst Patrick Bahzad: “Overall, the outcome of the current operations in the three areas mentioned above is clear. Whether the various rebels groups have thrown everything they got into these battles is hard to say, therefore no assessment can be made as to how their fighting capabilities will be affected by the coming defeat.

It is also worth mentioning that once SAA units have managed to break through rebel defences…. this might cause a disorganised retreat of the trapped rebel units. That moment of the battle could be crucial, as it might be the starting point to a massive artillery barrage (MRLs) and large RuAF airstrikes, resulting in crippling casualties among rebel ranks.” (Sic Semper Tyrannis)

In other words, there’s a good chance that the jihadis will realize that they have no chance of winning and will head for the exits, but it’s still too early to say when that will be.

According to a report in Reuters, “…a large mobilization of the Syrian army … elite Hezbollah fighters, and thousands of Iranians” are moving northwards to retake Aleppo. However, ISIS militants are also headed towards the city from the east which means that a major clash could take place at anytime. In response, the Russian air force has increased its bombing raids to more than 100 sorties per day. That number is expected to double in the days ahead as the fighting intensifies.

According to early reports from Syria Direct, the Syrian army has enclosed Aleppo in an open fist configuration that cuts off the main artery of vital supplies to the north from Turkey. As the fist tightens around the city, US-backed rebel units have fled to the west which is now the only possible escape route. The panicky retreat has precipitated protests against rebel leaders who are blamed for losses on the battlefield and for allowing “the regime’s disastrous completion of the Aleppo siege.” One of the militia’s commanders summarized his frustration saying:

“The myriad brigades under al-Jabha a-Shamiya’s umbrella in northeast Aleppo are bleeding men and hardware across multiple fronts…They’re caught between regime forces to the south, and IS to the north….(Due to) the complete lack of coordination between each brigade, and not nearly enough guns and cash from the Americans to compete with the much-better equipped Islamic State, and they had no choice but to retreat.” (“Jabha Shamiya commander blames ‘complete lack of coordination’ for Aleppo losses“, Syria Direct)

Aleppo is a key node in Moscow’s strategy to defeat terrorism and reestablish order across Syria. The battle is bound to be hard-fought, possibly involving close-range, house-to-house urban warfare. This is why it is imperative that coalition forces seal the border from Turkey and stop the flow of arms and supplies as soon as possible. There are rumors that Putin will use Russia’s elite paratroopers north of Aleppo for that very mission, but so far, they are just rumors. Putin has repeatedly said that he will not allow Russian ground troops to fight in Syria.

There’s no way to overstate the Obama administration’s destructive and nihilistic role in Syria. Along with its Gulf allies, the US has funded, armed and trained the bulk of the jihadi hoodlums that have ripped the state apart and killed nearly one quarter of a million people. Now that Putin has decided to put an end to Washington’s savage proxy war, the administration is planning to add more fuel to the fire by air-dropping pallets of ammunition and weapons to their fighters in central and eastern Syria. The editors of the New York Times derided the program as “hallucinatory.” Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“…the White House on Friday unveiled a plan that is even more incoherent and fraught with risk.

The Pentagon will stop putting rebel fighters through training in neighboring countries, a program that was designed to ensure that fighters were properly vetted before they could get their hands on American weapons and ammunition. The new plan will simply funnel weapons through rebel leaders who are already in the fight and appear to be making some headway…..

Washington’s experience in Syria and other recent wars shows that proxy fighters are usually fickle and that weapons thrust into a war with no real oversight often end up having disastrous effects……..The initial plan was dubious. The new one is hallucinatory.” (“An Incoherent Syria War Strategy“, New York Times editorial Board)

The administration has also delivered “27 container loads of weaponry to the (Syrian) Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD)” and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The weapons are supposed to be used against ISIS, but the move has infuriated Turkish president Erdogan who regards the group as terrorists. While it appears that the Obama team is merely looking for ways to show its critics that it is being proactive in its fight against terrorism, it may have created the perfect pretext for a Turkish invasion into N Syria which would greatly complicate the situation on the ground. Here’s a clip from the Turkish Daily Hurriyet:

“Findings in the aftermath of deadly explosions in Ankara on Oct. 10 targeting pro-Kurdish and leftist activists indicate the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), may be involved, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Wednesday.

“As we deepen the investigation, based on the [information obtained about] Twitter accounts and IP addresses, there is a high possibility that Daesh [Arabic name for ISIL] and the PKK have played an effective role in the bombing,” he said while speaking at a press conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in İstanbul.” (“Turkish PM says both ISIL and PKK may have role in Ankara bombing“, Hurriyet)

There is, in fact, no evidence of PKK (Kurdish militia) involvement at all. DNA samples from the two suicide bombers indicate they were both members of ISIS. The only reason Erdogan would want to implicate the PKK would be to either discredit his (Kurdish) political rivals or to create a pretext for invading Syria. (Note: A Turkish court has imposed a confidentiality order on the bombing investigation that strongly hints at a government cover up. According to Altan Tan, a deputy of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), “Bombs explode all over Turkey. Two conclusions can be made on this — either the government is behind those attacks or it failed to prevent those attacks.” Either way, the government is responsible.)

While Turkey’s future role in the Syrian conflict remains uncertain, US support for the Kurds greatly increases the chances of a Turkish invasion and a broader, regional war. Is this the administration’s real objective, to draw Turkish troops across the border into Syria so that Russia gets bogged down in a costly and protracted quagmire?

It sounds far fetched, but there are points worth considering. For example, on CBS news program 60 Minutes, Obama said this:

“I’ve been skeptical from the get go about the notion that we were going to effectively create this proxy army inside of Syria. My goal has been to try to test the proposition, can we be able to train and equip a moderate opposition that’s willing to fight ISIL? And what we’ve learned is that as long as Assad remains in power, it is very difficult to get those folks to focus their attention on ISIL.” (60 Minutes)

Naturally, Obama wants everyone to believe that “it’s all Assad’s fault”, after all, he’s not going to blame himself. But he is being honest about one thing: He never really thought arming Sunni extremists was a good idea. In other words, he supported the objective (regime change) just not the methods. (arming jihadis) And he probably felt vindicated when–after 4 years of fighting–the conflict deteriorated into a stalemate.

So if he was convinced that arming jihadis wasn’t going to work, then what was his backup plan, his Plan B?

We’ve suggested in earlier columns that Obama might have struck a deal with Erdogan to launch a Turkish invasion of Syria as long as the US provided air cover for Turkish ground forces. We think this was part of a quid pro quo that Obama agreed to for the use of the strategic airbase at Incirlik. Keep in mind, Erdogan withheld US access to Incirlik for more than a year until the US met his demand to help him topple Assad. Naturally, this is not something that Obama could acknowledge publicly, but it would have been an essential part of any agreement. An interview on PBS News Hour last week with David Kramer, the former assistant secretary of state during the George W. Bush administration, provides some support for this theory. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, David Kramer, what about that? There is the real worry if the U.S. gets involved, it gets sucked in, dragged in, and can’t get out.

DAVID KRAMER: The Turks had indicated a long time ago that they were prepared to send forces in if the United States provided cover and support. So, we should create safe zones. We should create no-fly zones. We should enforce those for any planes that would threaten people in those areas, whether they’re Syrian planes or Russian planes. We should give the Russians full notice that any violations or attacks on those zones would constitute an attack that we would have to respond to.

Nobody wants this. There are bad decisions that have to be made here, but that’s where we are right now. And I think unless we do that, we will continue to see people get killed, we will continue to see people flee Syria, so there aren’t any good solutions. We have to find the least worst options.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But my question is, isn’t that an entire new level of risk, U.S. planes get shot down, U.S. troops get potentially captured, not to mention a conflict, potential conflict with Russia, unintentional?

DAVID KRAMER: We have the Turks that have indicated a willingness to go ahead. We may have other countries, including from the Gulf, although they’re not great contributors to this kind of operation. The United States could provide the air support, to provide the cover that way. I think there is a way of doing this without putting U.S. forces on the ground, but there aren’t any good options here.” (“Pulling the plug on rebel training, what’s next for U.S. in Syria?“, PBS News Hour)

Kramer not only sounds extremely confident that “The Turks… were prepared to send forces in if the United States provided cover and support.” He also seems to imply that a great many Washington elites were aware of the deal but kept it under their hats.

Fortunately, Putin’s military intervention sabotaged any prospect of implementing Plan B, so we’ll never know whether Turkey would have invaded or not.

What matters now is that the Russian-led coalition move fast to solidify their gains, disrupt enemy supply lines, block the exits, seal the borders and discourage Turkey from taking any action that would expand the war. Erdogan will surely listen to reason if it is backed by force.

The jihadi mercenaries must either surrender or be wiped out as quickly as possible so that 11 million Syrians can return safely to their homes and begin the arduous task of starting over.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Syria, Turkey 
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  1. tom says:

    Well written Mike.

    supports my theory too that if the US Empire did not want a Libya type situation where they couldn’t install their military dictatorship ASAP where Jihads are still wreaking chaos, then a military boots on the ground would have to be the option. And if US boots are on the ground are not an option, then it looked to be Turkish boots on the ground in Syria.

    But if turkey didn’t wanna play ball the way the US evil empire wanted it, then jihadi murderous chaos would be despicably fine till they can force their dictatorship just like in Egypt .

    Using a Turkish airbase is one thing, but using the Turkish military and soldiers is another thing altogether, where the Turks would demand so much more concessions from their invasion and takeover of Syria.

    All that wrangling of discussing dividing the spoils of Syria, could’ve been just the time needed that Russia took advantage of.

  2. Sean says:

    It is quite absurd to think that mercenaries can defeat a nationally supported army with heavy weapons. The Syrian are bombing the rebels with helicopters, impossible if the US were really supporting the rebels with equipment such as AAA. Russia said publically at the beginning at the month that the Syrian Free Army are not terrorists, yet the Russians are bombing them out control of the key road link with Turkey around Aleppo. In 2013 the Russian claimed the FSA had gassed its own supporters. Turkey’s main contribution has been attacking the Kurds who certainly are not Jihadists, but are openly backed by the US. The Russians and the Turks are both attacking the forces associated with the US, and the US is helpless to stop that happening. The extent to which Islamic State are depending on ex-Baathists is unclear but the Assad regime has helped IS at the expense of the FSA, and Turkey has effectively played a similar role by attacking the Kurds. As Kissinger is reportedly said in reference to the last time the US abandoned the Kurds, foreign policy is not missionary work. This post opposes the fact that the IS gains around Aleppo were not from Assad at all, they were from the original and still main anti Assad rebels, the Free Syrian Army which contains defectors from Assad. How did the FSA take these vital areas fro Assad’s well equipped army without heavy weapons if not be sheer force of numbers? The fact is Assad is not supported by the majority of the population, and they masses know what to expect from him. Assad is being backed to continue a war he can never win, these campaigns can only result in further mass emigration from Syria.

  3. unit472 says:

    I have no idea how this war will turn out except that Assad will not be president for much longer and that Turkey does not need US aircover to invade if that is what it decides it must do. Sheesh, it has 250 F-16’s of its own and it produces them in Turkey ( under license) as well as indigenous helicopter gunships etc. Turkey is major regional power able to conduct independent military operations.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @Avery
  4. Sean says:

    The mobilization of Iranian troops indicates that the 4 year-long conflict is entering its final phase where the Russian-led coalition will attempt to crush the predominantly-Sunni militias and restore security across the country.

    Excuse me, Assad had a not inconsiderable air force, a large army with heavy weapons supplied by Russia on favourable terms, Hezbollah from Lebanon and Iranian troops. So why have they not been able to crush the the “predominantly-Sunni militias” who have no air force or air surveillance capability, no defence against air strikes, no heavy weapons, and no tanks if not because “the predominantly-Sunni militias are backed by most Syrians?

    The mobilization of Iranian troops indicates that the 4 year-long conflict is entering its final phase where the Russian-led coalition will attempt to crush the predominantly-Sunni militias and restore security across the country.

    Yeah, that Guatemalan general in the Reagan era explained how to restore security. First kill a third of the people and then force another third to flee the country. This will be great for Assad but not for the western countries who are going to have to take “their share” of the Syrian Sunni Arabs and Kurds who are 70% of the population. Take a look at this map of Syrian population densityAleppo has the highest population density.

    According to a report in Reuters, “…a large mobilization of the Syrian army … elite Hezbollah fighters, and thousands of Iranians” are moving northwards to retake Aleppo. However, ISIS militants are also headed towards the city from the east which means that a major clash could take place at anytime. In response, the Russian air force has increased its bombing raids to more than 100 sorties per day. That number is expected to double in the days ahead as the fighting intensifies.

    If ISIS militants don’t currently occupy Alleppo and surrounding area and Assad doesn’t either that must mean the Free Syrian Army Is who these forces closing in on Aleppo are attacking. Assad was accused of providing heavy weapons support to helping IS attack the FSA around Aleppo in June. Now Russian airstrikes around Aleppo have opened the door again.

    The panicky retreat has precipitated protests against rebel leaders who are blamed for losses on the battlefield and for allowing “the regime’s disastrous completion of the Aleppo siege.” One of the militia’s commanders summarized his frustration saying:

    Who are these militia around Aleppo that ISIS are advancing against? They are the Free Syrian army which controls key areas in the most populous region in the country despite having nothing but infantry weapons. It is seems only reasonable to conclude that the FSA are Assad’s real enemy, because they represent most of the population of Syria. There is no question that the FSA were the force of the original uprising against Assad. Karlin will tell you that jihadists are ten feet tall and unbeatable by Arab armies but the the Jihadists came later and according to some observers Assad created them by releasing jihadists from prison once the FSA rebellion started. The FSA were the force that outfought Assad’s heavily armed murder machine. This marginalising of non jihadist rebels is similar to what Putin did in Chechnya. I have got complaints about pasting news articles so look in my comments for links and more detail.

    The jihadi mercenaries must either surrender or be wiped out as quickly as possible so that 11 million Syrians can return safely to their homes and begin the arduous task of starting over

    The unwisdom of Assad allowing refugee from Aleppo and other population centres (that rebeled) to come back to Syria in their millions ought to be obvious. anyone who tries will be attacked by death squads. The Assad regime wants rid of the population base of the rebels, and the Russians are helping Syrians get to Norway, by the way.

  5. I am not sure that Obama has/had a Plan B. Never underestimate the stupidity of the government.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  6. tbraton says:

    ““…the White House on Friday unveiled a plan that is even more incoherent and fraught with risk. . .The initial plan was dubious. The new one is hallucinatory.” (“An Incoherent Syria War Strategy“, New York Times editorial Board)”

    That’s why I was lobbying over at TAC a year ago to rename our operation in Iraq and Syria either “Operation Enduring Incoherence” or “Operation Incoherent Resolve.” (The advantage of the latter is they can use the existing signage by merely adding a two-letter syllable, which represents a sizable cost-savings.)

    The other astounding fact is none of the Democratic candidates at the debate the other night raised the issue, as far as I am aware (I only watched the first hour or so), of what legal authority the U.S. had to sponsor a rebellion against the legitimate government of Syria. I also find appalling the apparent fact that we have cut a deal with Turkey that would allow Turkey to gobble up a part of its neighbor Syria in complete contravention of the U.N. treaty as well as bomb their own Kurdish citizens. (While it is reprehensible for Assad to bomb Syrians threatening to overthrow his legitimate government, it’s OK for the Turks to bomb their own Kurds, who are doing no such thing. More incoherence.) Why isn’t Rand Paul raising some fuss about this on the floor of the Senate?

    • Replies: @Ace
  7. @Positive Dennis

    have you seen the recent 60 minutes interview of obama? he truly believes that what he is doing in the ME: fucking up countries, turning them into a seething cauldron of religious fanatics = making america safer, for the interest of americans. it is not about making the world a better place. I like the honesty he showed for that question/anwser.

    • Replies: @tbraton
  8. tbraton says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    I got the distinct impression from that interview that he was seeking to protect his own reputation for being a brilliant thinker by telling Steve Croft that he was correct in his original assessment that arming the Syrian rebels was a useless exercise. In that case, asked Croft, why did you go ahead with a program that you knew was going to fail? Uh, let’s talk about climate change.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  9. What could possibly go wrong? When I heard that U.S. is going to airdrop supplies to the rebels. Besides the real possibility they’ll end up in IS hands or a bunch of kids, the Russians could use these drops as ambush set-ups. After the parachutes hit the ground, wait for the rebels to gather up the supplies then strafe them in Russian SU-25. Or quick reaction Spetsnaz unit rounds them up with the added propaganda bonus of possibly retrieving items that the U.S. might not want displayed on net.

  10. @tbraton

    he “believes” that he is correct. a belief that isn’t grounded in reality.

    • Agree: tbraton
  11. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @unit472

    Turkey is major regional power able to conduct independent military operations.

    Sure, let Turkey “conduct independent military operations” against Russian bases there. I do respect Turks as a fledgling regional power and they are, certainly, capable people but I heard this “music” about Assad not being in power since …well, long time ago and from the players who are way bigger than Turkey.

    P.S. FYI, Turkey also does some work on F-35s assembly. But assembling and producing are two very different things, especially when it comes to avionics and weapons and, here, Turkey is merely a recipient of what is really produced elsewhere. In other news, F-16 is, basically, an early 1970-s design and, while one of the sexiest aircraft ever, is, somewhat, outdated.

    • Replies: @Deduction
  12. Avery says:
    @unit472

    Turkey has been itching to invade Syria and steal more land since it organized the “uprising” by its Islamist terrorist puppets in Syria four years ago.
    And any country that is supposedly a “regional power” and supposedly “able to conduct independent military operations” would not run like a frightened little girl to big daddy NATO to beg for protection from Syria via Patriot batteries.

    Turks are certainly capable fighters, but their bark is worse than their bite.
    TSK has been unable to defeat a few thousand PKK guerillas in 30 years of trying.
    Turks sent 40,000 troops to take over Northern Cyprus, against the mighty Cypriot national guard numbering 12,000.
    Turks still keep those 40,000 on the island, because all they got is numbers: they are afraid to be overrun by a few thousand Cypriot troops.

    Turks have not met a half-equal adversary in battle since Gallipoli.
    Even at Gallipoli, with all the advantages of holding the high ground, having prepared defensive positions, German support, incompetent allied landings and attack, Turks barely won. And they lost a lot more men than the allies, even though Turks were on hilltops shooting down.
    A year prior to that, at the Battle of Sarikamish, Imperial Russian Caucasus army of 100,000, supported by Armenian irregulars who knew the terrain, completely wiped out the 120,000 man 3rd Turkish army.

    Russians and Turks have clashed in battle over centuries something like 17 times: Russians have stomped them every time.

    As to Syria.
    Now that Russian military is on the ground in Syria, and has let Turks know who is in charge, Turks would not dare do anything other than organize terrorist strikes against Russians, if they can.
    Any ground invasion by Turks into Syria will be tactical-nuked and that will be the end of it.
    And Turks know NATO will not back them: NATO has no provision to support other members invading other countries.
    And Russia is not going to play games having dog fights with the supposed 250 F-16s over the skies of Syria.
    It should be obvious by now that neither Putin nor Russian high command will do what everybody else thinks they will do.
    Nobody expected Russian “little green men” to appear out of nowhere and secure Crimea, while NATO was still trying to figure out what Russians were planning to do.
    Nobody expected Russia to precision-strike terrorist targets in Syria 1000 miles away from their little navy ships in the Caspian sea.
    NATO is still trying to figure out how Russians did that: you know the backwards Russian “gas station”, and the high-tech Western military, and all that….

    • Agree: Realist, annamaria
    • Replies: @Deduction
  13. Sean says:

    Isis has flourished because it serves Turkey (anti Kurd), Assad (anti Free Syrian army) and Russia (anti Free Syrian army). Turkey could hardly invade Syria and attack the only trusted and proven anti-Isis force the US has, one the US gives air support to. Turkey will just keep on bombing the Kurds in Syria and indirectly boosting Isis where that can weaken the Kurds. Turkey has mainly been concerned to weaken the Kurds in Syria and to that end, Turkey turned a blind eye to Isis supply and commercial transit through Turkey. Because the US has started targeting Isis, Turkey has started some half hearted efforts to combat Isis.

    However, Turkey has mercilessly bombing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its bases in Iraq and Syria. This is no kind of anti Isis effort Turkey has been subtly backing Isis, against the PKK, which is the only avowed anti-Isis fighting force that is actually fighting Isis. Fat lot of good it does them. Anyone showing images of the PKK, or maps of Kurdish Turkey gets banned from Facebook by the way.

  14. annamaria says:

    “Isis has flourished because it serves Turkey (anti Kurd), Assad (anti Free Syrian army) and Russia (anti Free Syrian army)”
    What a great rationale for spending billions and billions of US dollars (by the US) to arm and augment ISIS! The most fantastic explanation ever. Who would believe that the US are so much dedicated to Russian, Syrian, and Turkish interests… According to your explanation, it is the poor Israel that is completely neglected and out of the US mind.

    “…The latest ISIS offensive has been made possible by a massive infusion of US weapons. Prime Minister Abadi admitted that the Islamists captured some 2,300 armored Humvees—worth over one billion dollars—when it routed Iraqi security forces in Mosul nearly a year ago… Peter Van Buren, a former US State Department official in Iraq, reported that, in addition, at least 40 M1A2 main battle tanks as well as vast quantities of “small arms and ammunition, including 74,000 machine guns, and as many as 52 M198 howitzer moil gun systems” fell into the hands of the Islamist militia.
    There is an inherent logic in the flow of US arms to ISIS, which, while officially branded as America’s most dangerous terrorist threat, is at the same time the most powerful military opponent of the Assad government in Syria. It would not be the first time that American weapons were funneled to an ostensible enemy in order to further the counterrevolutionary aims of US imperialism. Thirty years ago, a similar scenario played out in what became known as the Iran-Contra affair, with a secret network in the White House organizing the sale of arms to Iran—then labeled by Washington as a terrorist nation—to fight against Iraq and, most crucially, to obtain money to secretly and illegally finance and arm the so-called contras in a CIA-orchestrated terrorist war against Nicaragua…”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/06/03/pers-j03.html
    http://www.infowars.com/obama-arms-isis-linked-militants-pushes-gun-control-on-very-same-day/
    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/06/04/Fog-War-US-Has-Armed-ISIS
    http://www.alternet.org/world/how-isis-ended-stocked-american-weapons

    • Replies: @geokat62
  15. geokat62 says:
    @annamaria

    It would not be the first time that American weapons were funneled to an ostensible enemy in order to further the counterrevolutionary aims of US imperialism.

    Great post Annamarina. But, as I’ve noted previously, these interventions in the ME have little to do with US imperialism and everything to do with Zionist imperialism by proxy.

  16. Deduction says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    I do respect Turks as a fledgling regional power

    They’ve mostly been for the foremost regional power for the last seven centuries…not exactly fledgling…

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  17. Deduction says:
    @Avery

    Any ground invasion by Turks into Syria will be tactical-nuked and that will be the end of it.

    …and just when I thought some commenters here couldn’t get any crazier…

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @Avery
  18. Avery says:
    @Deduction

    Your knowledge of history, powers of deduction, and cogent analysis of world events is most impressive.

    UNZ.com is lucky to have non-crazy posters like you, but you deserve better.
    You are destined for greater forums than the plebeian UNZ.com.
    If only the rest of us could match the high standards set by youse, homes.

  19. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Deduction

    I should have clarified–I meant regional superpower. On the rest–you are correct.

  20. Avery says:
    @Deduction

    {…and just when I thought some commenters here couldn’t get any crazier…}

    http://www.wired.com/2009/10/russia-well-nuke-aggressors-first/

    [Russia is weighing changes to its military doctrine that would allow for a “preventive” nuclear strike against its enemies — even those armed only with conventional weapons]

    [In an interview published today in Izvestia, Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Kremlin’s security council, said the new doctrine offers “different options to allow the use of nuclear weapons, depending on a certain situation and intentions of a would-be enemy. In critical national security situations, one should also not exclude a preventive nuclear strike against the aggressor.”]

    [What’s more, Patrushev said, Russia is revising the rules for the employment of nukes to repel conventionally armed attackers, “not only in large-scale, but also in a regional and even a local war.”]

    Pretty crazy, No ?

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  21. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Avery

    Pretty crazy, No ?

    Yes, it is, granted that Patrushev’s thoughts were expressed 6 years ago and since then Russia has adopted new military doctrine which explicitly states conventional option as preferred one. This is exactly what Russia demonstrates currently in Syria. Time flows, things change.

    • Replies: @Avery
  22. Avery says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    {….Russia has adopted new military doctrine which explicitly states conventional option as preferred one.}

    Reference please.

    And “preferred one” does _not_ exclude nukes if necessary.
    Agree ?

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  23. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Avery

    http://static.kremlin.ru/media/events/files/41d527556bec8deb3530.pdf

    26. В рамках выполнения мероприятий стратегического
    сдерживания силового характера Российской Федерацией
    предусматривается применение высокоточного оружия.

    • Replies: @Avery
  24. Avery says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    16. Ядерное оружие будет оставаться важным фактором
    предотвращения возникновения ядерных военных конфликтов и
    военных конфликтов с применением обычных средств поражения
    (крупномасштабной войны, региональной войны).
    16. Nuclear weapons will remain an important factor
    prevent nuclear war and conflict
    wars using conventional weapons
    (large-scale war, regional war). (Google translate)

    21. Основные задачи Российской Федерации по сдерживанию
    и предотвращению военных конфликтов:
    в) поддержание глобальной и региональной стабильности и
    потенциала ядерного сдерживания на достаточном уровне;
    21. The main tasks of the Russian Federation to curb
    and prevention of military conflicts:
    c) maintaining global and regional stability and
    nuclear deterrence potential at an adequate level; (Google translate)

    btw: my Russian is a little rusty after being out of Armenia SSR for some years, but nothing in #26 ” explicitly states conventional option as preferred one.”

    Google translate: {26. As part of the strategic activities
    deterrence force nature of the Russian Federation
    provided the use of precision-guided weapons.}

    First use of precision-guided weapons makes sense: but nothing in #26 says nuclear weapons will _not_ be used, as specifies in #16 and #21.

    “… and conflict wars using conventional weapons”

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  25. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Avery

    Again, where did I say anything about nuclear weapons? Deterrent and kinetic options are two different things. Observe what is going on in Syria and Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Avery
  26. Avery says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    {Again, where did I say anything about nuclear weapons? }

    This is where you said it, by implication:

    I wrote:
    [[What’s more, Patrushev said, Russia is revising the rules for the employment of nukes to repel conventionally armed attackers, “not only in large-scale, but also in a regional and even a local war.”]Pretty crazy, No ?]

    Mention of nukes by Patrushev is explicit.

    You countered:

    [Yes, it is, granted that Patrushev’s thoughts were expressed 6 years ago and since then Russia has adopted new military doctrine which explicitly states conventional option as preferred one. This is exactly what Russia demonstrates currently in Syria. Time flows, things change.]

    …and referenced Doctrine document to counter Patrushev’s assertion of rules of employment re nukes.

    I then referenced other articles of Document you cited to counter your argument.

    Let me ask you “I am not your friend”: why do you care if a few 1000 Islamist terrorists are carbonized by nukes.
    You said you grew up in Muslim Baku. I get that.
    But why do you care what happens to Islamist terrorists ?
    Turkish and Saudi Wahhabist supported Chechen terrorists massacred 100s of Russian children at Beslan.
    Whose side are you on anyway ?
    Orthodox Russian Christiandom or (‘Azeri’) Islamofascists.
    (yes: 100s Caucasus Turk ‘Azeri’ terrorists are in Syria murdering Christians; the same terrorists that my Armenian compatriots, whom you hate, wiped out of our Artsakh).

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  27. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Avery

    This is where you said it, by implication:

    Ah, I see. Good.

  28. Ace says:
    @tbraton

    Great comment. The legal authority issue is paramount. In the course of obtaining it Obama would have to lay out his reasons and strategy for military operation in Syria.

    It doesn’t appear to bother the useless GOP leadership that Obama can’t be bothered to observe the Constitution. Ho hum.

  29. Avery says:

    {….Why isn’t Rand Paul raising some fuss about this on the floor of the Senate?}

    Rand Paul (son) is no Ron Paul (father).
    And Sen Paul has been bought off by Neocons.
    He came out against the Iran deal.
    For what reason would a US Senator be against the deal with Iran ?
    How would war with Iran be of benefit to the American people or American taxpayer ?

    Unless it benefits a foreign state, Israel.

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