Turkey’s Erdogan Again Threatens Escalated Aggression in Syria Supported by Trump
by Stephen Lendman
The issue in Syria is crystal clear. According to the UN Charter and other international law, the US, NATO, Israel, and the Erdogan regime are aggressors.
Syrian forces are lawfully defending the country’s territory and its people from hostile invaders and jihadist proxies they support.
There’s no ambiguity about Erdogan’s thuggish record cross-border and internally against critics of his regime.
According to Reuters, prosecutors in Turkey ordered the mass arrest of around 700 individuals accused of involvement in the failed July 2016 coup against Erdogan — including journalists, members of the military, and justice ministry personnel.
Police state raids are rounding up targeted individuals for alleged ties to US-based/exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen — accused of involvement with “members of the military against the civilian government” despite no evidence proving it. He denied accusations against him.
International outlaw Erdogan rules despotically with an iron fist, cracking down hard on independent journalists, imprisoning them for doing their job, targeting all regime critics, committing serious human and civil rights abuses.
Earlier, opposition parliamentary members were stripped of immunity, leaving them vulnerable to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment for criticizing regime policies.
Turkey’s territory is a launching pad and safe haven for US-created and supported jihadists waging war on Syria and its people.
Weapons, munitions and other material support pass freely cross-border to anti-government jihadists in Syria, their wounded treated in Turkish hospitals.
Since summer 2016 post-coup attempt, the Erdogan regime arrested, detained, and prosecuted about 150,000 targeted individuals.
On Wednesday, Erdogan again threatened escalated aggression in Syria after two days of talks between his regime’s officials and their Russian counterparts failed to resolve bilateral differences on Syria.
Warning that confrontation with Syrian forces is just a “matter of time,” he said it “could suddenly come one night,” adding:
“We are entering the last days for (Damascus) to stop its” Idlib liberating campaign that continues and won’t end until the entire area is free from foreign occupiers and jihadists they support.
Ground operations without aerial support are hazardous at best, foolhardy at worst. Russia and Syria’s military control Idlib airspace west of the Euphrates.
Is Erdogan’s threat largely bluster with no follow-through beyond possible small-scale skirmishes with government forces, well short of all-out war he can’t win as long as Russia supports Syria’s liberating struggle, including in areas he seeks to annex?
Saying talks between his representatives and their Russian counterparts failed to “reach (his) desired results,” he added that they’ll continue, perhaps to resume in Ankara.
In response to his threat, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “an operation against the legitimate authorities of the Syrian republic and armed forces of the Syrian republic…would of course be the worst scenario,” adding:
Moscow would support Turkish operations against jihadists in Idlib, elements he supports and won’t combat. Russian “contacts with Turkey are continuing,” Moscow doing all it can to keep conflict from escalating.
At the same time, the Kremlin is “completely dissatisfied now that militants and terrorists have begun advancing from Idlib and attacking Syrian forces and Russian military installations.”
On Wednesday, Sergey Lavrov said (US/Turkish supported) jihadists continue shelling government forces and residential areas, “as well as attempts to attack Russia’s Khmeimim base,” adding:
“Nobody gave a promise to terrorists that they would be safe in the Idlib zone.”
“Just read the agreements between the Russian and Turkish presidents and everything will fall into place.”
“These actions of the Syrian armed forces are a response to the grossest violations of the Idlib agreements” by Turkey.
“At the same time, contrary to some estimates, I emphasize that the Syrian troops are pushing the militants and terrorists not to foreign territories, but to their own, thereby restoring control of the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic over their lands.”
Russian and Syrian forces operate in compliance with Astana and Sochi agreements, what Erdogan flagrantly breached, falsely blaming Damascus for his own criminal actions.
Supported by Trump and hardliners infesting his regime, Syria’s liberating struggle could escalate ahead.
Supported by Russia, Syrian forces continue advancing, gaining the upper hand and sustaining it.
Their goal is freeing the country entirely from foreign occupiers and jihadists they support.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”