War in Syria Escalates
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
There’s no end of it. Washington keeps it raging, wanting regime chance and destruction of Syrian sovereignty.
Erdogan wants northern Syrian territory annexed, launching cross-border naked aggression again after his earlier Operation Euphrates Shield.
He pretends it’s in self-defense, despite Turkey facing no threats – except ones he invents, the way Washington and Israel operate, justifying the unjustifiable.
On Friday, he said his latest aggression (Operation Olive Branch) will continue until it reaches its goals. “We will rid Manbij of terrorists, as was promised to us before,” he roared, adding:
“Our battles will continue until no terrorist is left right up to our border with Iraq.”
He calls anyone opposing his despotic rule a terrorist – the way Israel vilifies Palestinians wanting freedom from occupation harshness – terrorizing, imprisoning or killing them.
Manbij is 60 miles east of Afrin. US forces illegally occupy the area on the phony pretext of combating ISIS Washington supports. So does Erdogan, along with other terrorist groups in the country.
Turkey is a NATO member. It’s inconceivable that he’d risk conflict with US forces. His troops are struggling against heavily armed Kurdish fighters, weapons supplied by Washington.
He and Trump spoke by phone after his cross-border aggression began, reportedly a less than cordial exchange, saying he intends expanding his operation into Syrian territory close to where US forces are stationed.
Initially Washington and Moscow green lighted his latest aggression as long as it doesn’t conflict with their aims.
For Trump, it’s regime change and destruction of Syrian sovereignty while keeping Turkey allied with Washington’s anti Russia agenda.
For Erdogan, it’s annexing as much northern Syrian territory as possible and regime change. It’s getting US and Russian support for his agenda.
Conflict rages with no end in sight. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, “(d)uring (a) search (of) the site (where) Syrian forces” combatted ISIS near Washington’s at-Tanf area military base, “modern radio-electronic equipment manufactured in Europe, ammunition for light weapons and Daesh literature” were found.
Banner and emblems belonging to anti-government Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo fighters, trained by US special forces at at-Tanf, were also found, Russia’s Defense Ministry adding:
“These facts show the involvement of the US in the training and formation of a US-controlled armed opposition created from the defeated pro-Daesh forces.”
“The main aim of the terrorists is to conduct sabotage operations in the provinces of Damascus, Homs and Deir Ezzor to draw the attention of the Syrian army that is conducting an operation against al-Nusra in the Idlib province.”
According to Syrian official Heifi Mustafa, Turkish cross-border aggression makes conflict resolution harder, saying he began a “new round of war.”
“It is the US who is especially interested in the bombing of Syria’s Afrin.” Damascus denounced Erdogan’s cross-border aggression.
A Foreign Ministry statement said “(t)he Syrian Arab Republic decisively condemns Turkish aggression against the town of Afrin, which is an inseparable part of Syria.”
The assault complicates upcoming conflict resolution talks in Sochi, Russia on January 29 and 30.
Endless rounds of diplomacy failed to achieve a significant breakthrough for peace. US-launched aggression continues with no end in sight.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”