Turkey’s Erdogan Wants Northern Syria Annexed
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Launched in August 2016, annexation of northern Syrian territory is what Erdogan’s Operation Euphrates Shield was all about – at the time, aiding anti-Syrian forces, wanting Assad ousted, battling Kurdish YPG fighters, supporting terrorists, not combating them.
His current Operation Olive Branch is much the same, launched with near silence from Washington, Russia and Iran – statements by their government against Turkey’s aggression unconvincing – comments by Iran the strongest of the three.
In contrast, Washington rages against nonexistent Russian, Iranian and North Korean threats. The double standard needs no elaboration.
Washington controls much of northern Syria, perhaps arranging with Erdogan to carve up the territory. A State Department statement on Turkey’s offensive only “call(ed) on the Turks to not take any actions” against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria,” adding:
“(W)e want them to keep focused on ISIS” both countries support. Syrian officials alone strongly denounced Turkish aggression on their territory, on Sunday Assad saying:
“The brutal Turkish aggression on the Syrian town of Afrin cannot be separated from the Turkish regime’s policy from the first day of Syria’s crisis, which was essentially built on supporting terrorism and terrorist organizations, whatever their names.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad warned that Syria’s military would shoot down Turkish warplanes entering its territory – so far words without follow-through.
Iran warned that Turkeys Afrin offensive could aid terrorists in northern Syria.
At a Sunday press conference, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said government forces crossed into the Kurdish YPG-controlled Syrian region at 8:05 GMT, entering from Gulbaba, aiming to establish a 30 km “safe zone” in Afrin – a pretext for illegal occupation.
Erdogan said the operation may be completed “in a very short time,” using Turkish forces and thousands of regime-backed anti-Syrian Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists.
Early Sunday morning, Turkish and FSA fighters advanced about three miles into Syria, no major clashes occurring on the ground.
Ankara said its warplanes struck 153 Kurdish YPG targets, civilians in harm’s way at risk of serious injuries or death.
Turkey’s offensive was launched days after Washington announced its intention to create a 30,000 border security force, part of the Trump administration’s plan to partition the country, intending permanent occupation of northern and southern Syrian territory US troops control.
Addressing supporters in Bursa, Erdogan accused “some (Turkish) allies” with supplying YPG fighters with thousands of truckloads and planeloads of weapons, calling them dishonest for providing them to “terrorists.”
Washington, NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey support ISIS and other anti-Syrian terrorists.
Like Obama, the Trump administration uses them along with YPG fighters as imperial proxies, serving US interests, wanting Assad toppled and Syrian sovereignty destroyed.
Russian and Iranian support for Damascus stands in the way of Washington and its rogue allies achieving their objectives.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”