TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


TURKEY

Oct 16 13:07

POLICE FOUND EVIDENCE IN SAUDI CONSULATE THAT KHASHOGGI WAS KILLED THERE - TURKISH OFFICIAL TO AP

A Turkish official told AP that police have found evidence inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul which confirms that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed there.
The "high level official" spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity, but said that police had found "certain evidence"that Khashoggi had died in the building. The official did not provide any more details about the evidence uncovered by police.

Reports in US media on Monday evening suggested that Riyadh might be preparing to admit that Saudi-born Khashoggi was killed as part of an unauthorized interrogation gone wrong.

Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate on October 2. Turkey has accused Saudi Arabia of murdering the journalist, but Riyadh has denied involvement.

After a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Monday, US President Donald Trump suggested perhaps “rogue killers” had been responsible for the journalist’s disappearance.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump, a word here, please.

IF the overwhelming evidence indicates that Khashoggi was, in fact, assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, I would politely suggest that no element of criticism of the Saudi regime, is not countered, nor responded to, except by Prince Bin Salman's orders.

OK, so he ordered a hit on a guy he didn't like that he didn't know would go public, and caused the the global consternation it has caused.

But President Trump, you have to know what you are dealing with here, sir, just as you have had to realize about your other BFF in the Middle East: these are diabolically ruthless men, who control with an iron hand, and who see the elimination of "the enemy" as their only goal, by any brutal means necessary, with utter impunity, and zero consequences.

So, you've dispatched your "Bag Man", Mike Pompeo, to Saudi Arabia, to clean up the stench your Buddy, Prince Bin Salman, made, and "sanitize it" with a cover story, which no one will believe, about this torturous assassination.

Mr. President, We the People realize that this pitiful attempt by this administration to put lipstick on this pig of an act, is only about making sure the weapons companies can continue enjoying their fat bottom lines, by insuring that the weapons flow, unrestricted, to Saudi Arabia, with which they are using to murder Yemeni children, women, and the medically fragile elderly.

Congratulations, Mr. President, on your administration's being "all in" with Bin Salman's torturing critics to death, and killing, starving, and sickening the Yemeni people.

I am very concerned, Mr. President, that what you see Bin Salman and Netanyahu doing in their countries, and beyond, is something you might love to have the power to do here, with complete impunity, and absolutely zero consequences.

THAT, Sir, does worry me... and greatly.

And we have a companion piece, also from blacklistednews.com:

Pompeo's 12 hour flight to Saudi Arabia gave him only a 15 minute meeting with King Salman

It is obvious that Pompeo got his marching orders as to how to spin this, and was thrown out of the royal palaces, like some flunky with whom the Saudi king did not want to spend time, other than for the photoshoot, showing them smiling together.

Oct 15 17:19

Rogue killers or state murder? Riyadh gets benefit of doubt from Trump where Russia doesn’t

Trump on the other hand has been more circumspect, even suggesting that perhaps “rogue killers” were responsible for the suspected murder — a theory he proffered to journalists at the White House shortly after a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

But the mostly low-key reaction from the Washington to the disappearance provides a stark contrast to how both Trump and his predecessors have dealt with unproven accusations made against other countries — most notably Russia.

When ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury in March, it took nothing more than a swift declaration (sans evidence) from British intelligence agencies before sanctions had been slapped on Moscow.

Oct 15 10:17

Police Conducting Search Operation in Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

Turkish police are conducting a search operation in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul amid the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Jamal Khashoggi, known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia's policies, has been missing since October 2 after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a marriage document, as reported by Turkish media. The Saudi authorities said that the journalist left the consulate on the same day that he arrived.

Following the incident, Riyadh let the Turkish authorities conduct a search operation in the consulate, while also sending a security delegation to assist in the investigation.

Oct 15 08:47

BREAKING NEWS: Trump claims 'rogue' killers could have murdered Jamal Khashoggi after Saudi king 'firmly denies' any part in disappearance of dissident journalist

President Trump said Monday that he has spoken to Saudi's King Salman about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi and he 'firmly denied' any involvement in the journalist's disappearance.

Trump said that he would send a top U.S. official, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to Middle East to confront Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in person - but wouldn't say whether he believed the Saudi leader's 'flat' denial of wrongdoing in a 20-minute phone conversation.

The president had a theory of his own as to what may have happened to the Saudi-born writer who Turkey says was lured to his death earlier this month in Istanbul.

He suggested without evidence that 'rogue killers' could have been responsible for the disappearance that Trump also framed as a murder.

Oct 15 08:46

Turkish officials arrive to search Saudi consulate where journalist 'was killed' after cleaners entered the building, amid claims the interior has been REPAINTED since Khashoggi's disappearance

A team of Turkish and Saudi officials tonight entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for a joint inspection two weeks after a Washington Post journalist apparently vanished inside.

They entered the building at 6pm local time, hours after a cleaning team swept the premises amid claims the walls have been repainted since Jamal Khashoggi was allegedly assassinated and dismembered for criticising the Saudi crown prince.

Tonight's inspection was agreed after Saudi King Salman and Turkish President Erdogan spoke yesterday - but the Turks don't trust the Saudis not to obfuscate the investigation, a senior Turkish source today told the Middle Eastern Eye.

Officials have not revealed what the inspection will involve or how long it will last.

Oct 13 11:22

Saudi team arrives in Turkey for Khashoggi investigation: sources

A delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Turkey as part of a joint investigation into the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, three Turkish sources said on Friday.

Oct 13 10:23

Outside In: The Trump administration’s plan to remake the Middle East

The only promise that is new about the promised peace plan is the way it will be forced on the Palestinians: no one has promised that the plan itself will be new. With Saudi Arabia and Egypt—the outside—brought onside with the promise of continued military aid despite their crimes against humanity and violations of international law and the Palestinians weakened by being silenced, economically crushed and stripped of any friends to help them, the United States and Israel are now free to attempt to impose a peace plan on the Palestinians.

Oct 12 14:59

Report: Turkish Authorities Have Recordings Of The Consulate Murder

Turkish authorities claim to have audio and video recordings that prove Saudi agents tortured and then murdered Jamal Khashoggi:

The recordings show that a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi in the consulate after he walked in on Oct. 2 to obtain an official document before his upcoming wedding, then killed him and dismembered his body, the officials said.

Oct 12 10:27

Turks Had Saudi Consulate Bugged With Audio: Khashoggi Death Chronology Details Leaked

The Washington Post has provided further details on its prior reporting that US intelligence knew full well that Saudi Arabia was seeking to lure the now disappeared and allegedly murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi to its embassy in Istanbul in order detain or kill him.

In an interesting new revelation the Post speculates based on intel sources that the whole October 2nd incident may have been an attempted "rendition" gone wrong. As more damning evidence emerges showing a Saudi "hit team" of 15 military and intelligence individuals murdered Khashoggi and chopped up his body to carry out of the country, there now appears a strong consensus that the order may have come straight from the top, most likely from crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) himself.

Oct 12 10:18

TURKISH COURT FREES US PASTOR BRUNSON AFTER 2YRS IN JAIL

A Turkish court will release imprisoned US pastor Andrew Brunson, who was jailed for alleged terror links following 2016’s failed coup attempt. Brunson’s arrest has soured US-Turkish relations, with Trump pushing for his release.
Charged with terrorism offences, the court handed down a sentence of 3 years and 1-1/2 month sentence for the evangelical Christian pastor on Friday. Despite the verdict, the court also ruled that the US man would not serve any further time as he had already been detained by authorities since October 2016.

Brunson lawyer: My client is a free man as of now, has already left for home, expect him to go to airport right after, will appeal the conviction. pic.twitter.com/85tHQSPX5I

— Erdem Ayd?n (@eerdemaydin) October 12, 2018

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is good news; but how it will play out, regarding Turkey's relationship with the US, is still up in the air.

Oct 12 09:45

Journalist Disappearance Row: Companies, Media Pull Out of Saudi-Sponsored Event

Turkey has accused Saudi Arabia of detaining and murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Riyadh has denied the accusations and claimed he left it safe and sound. Saudi Arabia has even provided access to the country’s consulate for investigators to prove its innocence.

Following the news about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the accusations against Riyadh of murdering him in its consulate in Istanbul, several media outlets and companies have announced their withdrawal from a major event to be held by the Saudis on October 23-25 — the Future Investment Initiative (FII).

President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, will not be attending the conference, according to anonymous sources within organization, cited by Reuters. The change of plans was reportedly made due to a scheduling conflict with the event's timing. The sources didn't mention if it was connected to the missing journalist.

Oct 12 09:17

Turks Had Saudi Consulate Bugged With Audio: Khashoggi Death Chronology Details Leaked

In an interesting new revelation the Post speculates based on intel sources that the whole October 2nd incident may have been an attempted "rendition" gone wrong. As more damning evidence emerges showing a Saudi "hit team" of 15 military and intelligence individuals murdered Khashoggi and chopped up his body to carry out of the country, there now appears a strong consensus that the order may have come straight from the top, most likely from crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) himself.

Middle East Eye, for example, concludes based on WaPo's prior report, "Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler, ordered an operation targeting journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi... citing US intelligence intercepts."

Oct 12 09:11

'He was interrogated, tortured and then murdered': Arabic audio handed to the U.S. 'proves Saudi critic WAS killed at consulate before 15-man assassination squad sneaked his body to consul general's home'

The government in Turkey claims to have evidence that US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabia embassy after the critic of the country went to get a visa for his upcoming wedding.

He was captured on CCTV footage entering the building in Istanbul October 2 and a source has told The Washington Post he was killed and then dismembered by members of security.

'The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,' the insider told the newspaper that Khashoggi, 59, worked for.

'You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic … You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.'

Oct 12 08:19

Trump says hopes to have U.S. pastor Brunson home soon

President Donald Trump on Friday said he hoped U.S. Christian pastor Andrew Brunson would be home safe soon, shortly after a Turkish court ruled to release him after a two-year detention.

A Turkish court passed a 3-year and 1-1/2 month sentence on Brunson, who had been charged with terrorism offenses, but said he would not serve any further time because he had already been detained since October 2016.

Oct 11 07:56

US Intel Knew Of Saudi Plan To Abduct Missing Journalist; Turkey Releases Footage Of "Hit Team"

Washington knew... and apparently did nothing, reports Bloomberg based on a bombshell Washington Post report:

U.S. intelligence services intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Saudi journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi, whose disappearance in Turkey last week threatens to damage the warm ties between the kingdom and Washington.

The Saudis were discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi back to the kingdom, The Washington Post reported, citing a person familiar with the communications, which were intercepted before he vanished. Khashoggi, a columnist for the newspaper, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and is feared to be detained or dead.

For whatever reason, the Post report buried the lede as the story is headlined simply, Saudis are said to have lain in wait for Jamal Khashoggi.

Oct 11 07:35

US ramps up pressure on Saudis over Jamal Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance has prompted US senators to launch a probe into Saudi officials. Turkish authorities have accused the Saudis of killing the Washington Post writer at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.

Oct 11 06:48

U.S. Intelligence Had A 'Duty To Warn' Khashoggi - Why Didn't That Happen?

It is beyond doubt that the Saudi government abducted, or killed, the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But what did the Trump administration knew about the threat to Khashoggi? Did U.S. intelligence services warn him as their regulations require? Was such a warning blocked by the White House? And what will Trump do about the case?

The Turkish government published pictures of 15 men who had come from Saudi Arabia and were in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul shortly before Khashoggi visited it to get his divorce papers. They moved Khashoggi to the residence of the consul and later that day flew back on the same two private Saudi jets that had brought them to Istanbul.

Oct 10 11:12

Fake News regarding alleged Khashoggi Death Squad Retracted

Al-Jazeera distances itself from Khashoggi death claims, blames Reuters
Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera has distanced itself from a news item speculating that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered while visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Al-Jazeera Arabic, which had repeated the Reuters story extensively, has acknowledged the claims to be unverified and instead blamed newswire Reuters for the information.

The Reuters story cited only Turkish sources without naming them or providing any substantial evidence to support Khashoggi’s death claims.

Oct 10 10:41

EXCLUSIVE: Missing journalist is ALIVE and being held captive in Saudi Arabia after being spirited out of Turkey in a private jet, claims source close to the kingdom's royal family

A Washington Post columnist who went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was spirited out of Turkey in a private jet and held captive in the kingdom where he may still be alive, a source close to its royal family has claimed to DailyMail.com.

Jamal Khashoggi, a long-standing critic of Saudi Arabia and for the last year a columnist for the Post, has been at the center of international concern that he has been murdered after walking into the consulate in Turkey’s largest city and vanishing.

Turkish police were allowed into the building on Tuesday, a week after Khashoggi vanished, and said that CCTV footage from inside has gone missing and Turkish staff were abruptly told to take a holiday on the day in question, The Guardian reports.

Oct 10 09:58

Evidence of what happened to Jamal Khashoggi exists. It must be released.

THE DISAPPEARANCE of Jamal Khashoggi remained a mystery on Monday, but unlike many mysteries, it is one that could easily be solved. The Saudi journalist and Post Global Opinions columnist walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul at about 1:30 p.m. last Tuesday, Oct. 2, and has not been seen or heard from since. Turkish government sources are saying he was murdered inside the consulate; Saudi officials are calling that allegation “baseless and ridiculous.” They contend that Mr. Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he arrived.

If either account is correct, there should be tangible evidence — videos, travel logs and other documents — to back it up. Such evidence should be immediately released. Any delay only magnifies the suffering of Mr. Khashoggi’s family, including the fiancee who waited for him in vain outside the consulate. It compounds the crime of those responsible for his disappearance, who will not succeed in deflecting questions through stonewalling.

Oct 09 13:29

Did the Saudis Kidnap and Murder Journalist Jamal Khashoggi?

Last year, Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia over harsh crackdowns on regime critics. Friction between him and its despotic ruling family surfaced after saying the kingdom should be “nervous about a Trump presidency.”

He opposed Saudi aggression in Yemen, its unacceptable policies toward Qatar, and harshness against critics.

Banned from writing and speaking out publicly, he self-exiled himself to America, saying

“I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice,” adding:

“To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak when so many cannot.”

Earlier this year, he said Saudi intellectuals and journalists risk imprisonment for criticizing ruling family policies.

The State Department was largely silent on Khashoggi’s disappearance, a statement saying it’s aware of reports and seeks more information.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now you understand why I am worried, that one of President Trump's BFFs in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Salam, and the other is Israel's Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu.

They are, at the end of the day, birds of a feather.

Oct 09 11:05

Erdogan Demands Saudis Produce "Proof" That Missing Journalist Left Consulate Alive As 'Murder' Probe Intensifies

It has been nearly a week since renowned Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and never walked back out. In the ensuing days, the Western media has become incensed by reports that the Saudis sent a 15-man "hit squad" to the consulate to carry out the "preplanned" torture and murder of Khashoggi. Afterwards, they reportedly dismembered his body and smuggled his remains out of the building, all while Khashoggi's Turkish fiance waited outside in her car. After sending a "security team" to the consulate to look for the missing dissident, Turkish investigators launched an investigation into Khashoogi's disappearance on Friday - an investigation for which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged his "personal involvement".

Oct 09 10:27

Turkey to search Saudi Consulate for missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Turkey said Tuesday it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the disappearance a week ago of a Saudi contributor to the Washington Post.

The announcement came as a surveillance image surfaced of Jamal Khashoggi walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul just before he disappeared.

Khashoggi, 59, went missing while on a visit to the consulate for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée. He had been living since last year in the United States, in a self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman.

Turkish officials have said they fear the columnist was killed on the premises of the consulate.

Oct 08 09:56

Erdogan Vows Revenge Against Kurds in Iraq, Says He’ll Kill At Least 800: Suggests Turkish forces will move against Sinjar and Qandil

Speaking at a conference of the ruling AK Party in Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed revenge against the Kurdish PKK after a Wednesday attack that killed eight Turkish soldiers in southeastern Turkey.

Erdogan vowed to avenge the troops by “finishing” Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, saying Turkish forces will “go into their dens” in Sinjar and Qandil, Kurdish areas of Iraq where PKK-aligned fighters are accused of being.

Erdogan has been threatening to go into Iraq after the PKK for awhile, and suggested this may be coming soon with today’s comments. Iraq has repeatedly warned Turkey against incursions into their territory.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF Turkey attacks PKK members inside Iraq, he is going to do it when the country, still reeling from the aftermaths of the US invasion and occupation, massive corruption in the Iraqi government, and a weakened Coalition which has thrust the Iranian cleric, Muktada Al Sad,r into the ascent in Iraqi politics.

He will also have to pick a time when American politicians are too occupied with their political campaigns for high office to really take note of what is happening internationally.

It is for these reasons I have shared above, that I think that such an attack might well happen some time before the mid-term election cycle here in the US (November 6th, 2018), as politicians will be too focused about what is going on with their respective campaigns to give a damn about the slaughter happening soon in Iraq.

Oct 08 08:58

Erdogan Believes Saudi Arabia Ordered Brutal Killing Of Missing Dissident At Istanbul Consulate

As we suggested on Saturday, the suspected extrajudicial torture, murder and dismemberment of a Washington Post columnist inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is already straining tensions between Riyadh and Ankara. To wit, on Saturday, Turkish prosecutors officially launched an investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, according to Turkey's official Anadolou news agency, after a "Turkish security team" was allowed inside the consulate by Saudis (presumably under the assumption that they would produce a clean bill of health). Meanwhile, a handful of anonymous Turkish officials reportedly tipped off the Washington Post and Reuters about the murder.

Oct 08 08:09

Turkey claims Saudi dissident was killed, dismembered inside Saudi consulate

Turkish government sources have said that a former trusted aide of the Saudi royal family, who was shunned by Riyadh after criticizing Saudi policies, was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Jamal Khashoggi, 59, is an American-educated former adviser to Saudi royals. He worked for years as an advisor to Prince Turki al-Faisal, one of Saudi Arabia’s most recognizable public figures who represented the Kingdom as ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom. But in 2015, when Mohammad bin Salman, favorite son of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, began to rise through the ranks of the royal family, Khashoggi became sharply critical of changes in the Kingdom’s style of governance. He moved to the United States, from where he began to criticize Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the civil war in Yemen, its support for the repression of political freedoms in Egypt, and other issues.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note that none of this comes from identifiable resources which wanted to state anything for the record, and there is utterly no evidence to support the possibility that the story is either true, nor untrue.

But looking at Bin Salman's butchery in Yemen, it is entirely possible this assassination happened, unless and until Khashoggi either presents himself, or the body parts are found, and a decent forensic examination can be done.

There is enough Turkish/Saudi animosity on a number of levels, and has been for many years; but to spin up a story like this with which to tar the Saudi monarchy?!? One has to wonder.

Oct 04 07:37

Turkey tells US to stop their ‘delaying tactic’ in Manbij

The Spokesperson for the Turkish President, Ibrahim Kalin, said on Wednesday that the U.S. was purposely delaying the implementation of the Manbij roadmap.

“The delaying tactic started becoming a growing problem. Manbij roadmap should be implemented as soon as possible,” Kalin said.

Kalin continued that Turkey “can take steps at any time to ensure its national security against terror groups in Syria”.

Kalin’s comments come just a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted the U.S. over their failure to remove all the YPG elements from Manbij.

Oct 03 10:10

US Training Turkish Soldiers for Joint Patrols in Syria

The US has started training Turkish troops ahead of joint patrols the countries will conduct around the Syrian city of Manbij, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said on Monday as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan railed against US support for groups he called Kurdish terrorists ? and who are America’s main anti-Daesh partners.

The city was liberated from Daesh militants in the summer of 2016 by the Kurdish-dominated and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Turkey considers inextricably linked to militant groups it has designated as terrorists, including the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey.

The US and Turkey have been independently patrolling the Turkey-Syria border by Manbij. Closing ranks in the effort is intended to prevent the outbreak of any violence between the various factions in the area.

Oct 02 13:54

Iraq: A Ticking Time Bomb for Oil Markets

At the same time that a new Iraqi government is forming, a government that is increasing Iranian influence within Iraq, another election is threatening the country’s stability.

On Sunday, Kurdistan is voting for a new KRG parliament, a vote that may result in new power brokers in Erbil. The Kurdish elections are hugely significant for the region, as they not only decide who is going to be put forward as the potential president of Iraq, but also reshape the KRG as an entity and its relations not only with Baghdad, but also with Iran and Turkey. A further destabilization of Iraq would be an outcome that most regional players aim to avoid, with the war in Syria and the imminent Iranian sanctions already causing uncertainty.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When US sanctions start to bite, as of 4 November, the last day President Trump has decreed by which foreign governments can buy Iranian oil, look for oil prices to skyrocket internationally, particularly if the Iraqi oil infrastructure cannot be fixed before then.

Sep 27 14:00

Syria in Past 24 Hours: Afrin Residents Fleeing [from] Turkish Troops, Allied Militants' Brutalities

A large number of civilians started leaving Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo for safer regions after the Turkish army and its allied militants intensified looting people's assets, local sources reported on Wednesday.
Aleppo

The sources said that local residents of Afrin have started leaving their regions towards Aleppo city and the regions that are under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as measures done by the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militants have deteriorated security in the region.

The Ankara forces have continued abduction of people, blackmail, plundering people's assets and damaging civilians' businesses.

Also in the past 24 hours, more Ankara-backed militants were killed in 3 separate attacks launched by the Kurdish militias in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo on Wednesday.

The Kurds ambushed a group of Ankara-backed forces along a road to the village of Deir Sawan n Sheran in Afrin, killing 3 militants and seizing their arms and ammunition.

Sep 27 13:37

Turkish Air Force launches powerful assault across northern Iraq

The Turkish Air Force launched a powerful assault across the northern region of Iraq on Wednesday, the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces reported this morning.

The Turkish General Staff tweeted that their warplanes destroyed several targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in a number of regions in northern Iraq.

In particular, the Turkish General Staff said that their warplanes targeted the Hakurk, Avasin-Basyan, Sinath-Haftanin, Metina and Qandil regions of northern Iraq.

Sep 26 07:20

Turkey will continue buying gas from Iran despite US sanctions – Erdogan

Ankara plans to stay committed to its long-term energy-supply deal with Tehran despite Washington’s threats to punish countries that do business with Iran, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

“We need to be realistic... Am I supposed to let people freeze in winter?... Nobody should be offended. How can I heat my people’s homes if we stop purchasing Iran’s natural gas?” Erdogan said in an exclusive interview with Reuters.

Sep 25 11:28

Turkey will release American pastor this month: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday he was hopeful Turkey would release this month an American pastor whose detention has rocked relations between the NATO partners.

"Yes, he could be released this month. He should have been released last month -- and he should be released today, in fact," the top US diplomat told reporters in New York where he is taking part in the UN General Assembly.

Pompeo reiterated that the United States considers Andrew Brunson, who has been detained for nearly two years on terror charges, to be "wrongfully" held.

"Pastor Brunson and the other US persons that are being held by Turkey all need to be released by Turkey and that needs to be done immediately," Pompeo said.

Sep 25 07:59

ERDOGAN HAS ORDERED TURKISH "OPERATIONS" AGAINST POLITICAL ENEMIES ON US SOIL

A spokesman for Turkish President Erdogan said during a Friday press conference that "operations" have been ordered against Turkey's political enemies, including those on US soil.

"Our relevant units and institutions will continue their operations in the countries the FETO operates in whether it be the U.S. or some other country," said spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, describing how Turkey's National Intelligence Organization, MIT, would target followers of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen worldwide.

"Rest assured that they will feel Turkey breathing down their neck," added Kalin.

Erdogan has been cracking down on Gulen's network, which is said to be in the millions, while Gulen himself lives in exile in Pennsylvania following the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt that resulted in over 250 deaths and the imprisonment of thousands of suspected dissidents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation; it appears that Edrogan has given his marching orders to his intelligence people to carry out some "wet work" here in the US, meaning assassinations.

Sep 24 12:42

Turkish-backed militants accept Idlib deal, but reject disarmament

Turkish-backed militants have rejected laying down their arms or surrendering the territory under their control in Syria’s Idlib Province after Russia and Turkey said they had agreed to set up a buffer zone in the region.

In a statement released late Saturday, the so-called National Liberation Front (NLF), an alliance of militant factions supported by Ankara, said it would cooperate with Turkey in Idlib, but ruled out disarming.

"We will not abandon our weapons, our land or our revolution" against Syrian government forces, the group said.

Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met in the Black Sea resort of Sochi and announced an agreement on Idlib which is the last major terrorist-held bastion in Syria.

Sep 24 10:28

TURKISH INTEL WILL RUN ‘OPERATIONS’ AGAINST POLITICAL OPPONENTS ON US SOIL, ERDOGAN SPOKESMAN SAYS

The Turkish government plans to continue “operations,” including in the United States, against supporters of a political opponent of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a top adviser to the Turkish president said Friday.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Erdogan’s trip this week to the U.N. General Assembly, Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, MIT, would continue targeting supporters of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen across the globe.

“Our relevant units and institutions will continue their operations in the countries the FETO operates in whether it be the U.S. or some other country,” said Kalin, using an acronym for the pejorative term Fethullah Terrorist Organization to describe Gulen’s network of followers.

Sep 21 13:13

Breaking: Intense clashes breakout between Syrian Army and Turkish-backed forces in east Aleppo

Intense clashes broke-out between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Turkish-backed rebels in east Aleppo this evening after a relatively quiet few months.

According to a military source in Damascus, the intense clashes broke out after the Syrian Arab Army fired a couple of mortar shells towards the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) positions at Al-Bab in east Aleppo.

In response, the Turkish-backed rebels fired several missiles towards the Syrian Arab Army’s positions in the nearby town of Tadef, which is just south of Al-Bab.

Sep 21 09:18

Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib only ‘intermediate step’ – Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that creation of the demilitarised zone in Syria’s Idlib will prevent the shelling of Syrian troops and the Russian Hmeymim military base, speaking at in Sarajevo on Friday after talks with his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak.

Lavrov said the agreement on the de-escalation zone between Moscow and Ankara is an just “an intermediate step”, adding that by mid-October all heavy weaponry and the Jabhat al-Nusra militants should be moved out of the area.

Sep 20 12:15

Turkish Lira Swings Violently As Erdogan's Economic Plan Spooks Traders

The Turkish lira swung violently, rising to session highs then slumping 1.5% after Turkey presented its medium term economic plan, which together with last week's massive 625bps rate hike was supposed to restore investor confidence in the country's struggling economy.

The Turkish Lira first rose 1.9% during the speech delivered by Turkey's finance minister Berat Albayrak in which he revealed targets for growth and inflation that signaled a somewhat realistic assessment of the economy and its outlook, including a current account deficit that was forecast at 3.3% for 2019, a number seen as realistic and a far-cry from some of the wild estimates recently suggested by analysts.

Sep 20 08:53

Thousands demonstrate against Turkish military presence in Afrin

Thousands of people gathered in Kobani in northern Syria on Wednesday to demonstrate against the Turkish military operation in Kurdish-dominated Afrin.

Protesters marched through the streets carrying the flag of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.

Sep 19 08:54

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 19, 2018: MILITANTS REJECT DEMILITARIZATION ZONE AGREEMENT IN IDLIB

An implementation of the demilitarized zone agreement in Idlib reached during face-to-face talks between Russian and Turkish presidents on September 17 has appeared to be not a simple task as it has been pointed out by many experts.

On September 18, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), the Islamic Turkistan Party, Jaish al-Izza and Hourras Addin refused to respect the agreement and to withdraw its forces and military equipment from the contact line.

On the same day, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that work to establish a new security system in the Idlib de-escalation zone had started. He recalled that all heavy weapons have to be withdrawn from the demilitarized zone by October 10 and radical groups have to withdraw their forces by October 15.

Sep 19 07:54

What does Russia want in northwest Syria?

Although it is currently in Russia's interest to de-escalate tensions in Idlib, an attack is still likely.

After months of heightened tensions in the Syrian province of Idlib, the last stronghold of the Syrian opposition, Russia and Turkey seem to have reached a temporary solution.

Following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on September 17 in Sochi, the two countries agreed to create a demilitarised zone 15-20km into opposition-control territories along the de-facto front line by October 15.

All "radical fighters" are to withdraw from the area and all "heavy weapons, tanks, rocket launchers, guns and mortars" are to be removed. Russian military police and Turkish troops will be patrolling the zone to ensure that all armed groups abide by the agreement. Erdogan and Putin also agreed to open the M4 and M5 highways linking respectively Latakia and Damascus to Aleppo to traffic from regime-held areas by the end of the year.

Of course, this temporary truce is far from ideal and does not include a roadmap for normalisation of the situation in the province, but it is still better than all the other, more violent, options.

>>>

Sep 19 05:18

Mop-up operation in Syria’s Idlib to start in November

The breakthrough and landmark agreements between Russia and Turkey on Syria’s Idlib, announced by the Kremlin, can be hardly called final, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (outlawed in Russia) to remain in northern Syria. Experts are convinced that after a demilitarized zone is created around Idlib, irreconcilable militants will be eliminated by the Turkish and Syrian forces with Russia’s support, the paper says. So, the Russian-Turkish agreements on Syria, which were reached in Sochi on Monday, may be considered as intermediate.

Sep 18 21:47

Can Russia Survive Her “Partnerships”? Has Putin Made A Strategic Miscalculation?

Paul Craig Roberts

In an act of intentional deception, Israel used a Russian airplane to cloak an Israeli attack on a Syrian ground position, with the consequence that Syrian air defense missiles downed the Russian airplane with the lost of 15 Russian military lives.

One wonders how Israel does it. President Putin covered up for Israel’s destruction of the Russian IL-20 just as President Johnson covered up for Israel’s murderous attack on the USS Liberty that resulted in 208 US Navy casualties. https://www.rt.com/news/438728-putin-israel-syria-plane/ As Israel gets away with everything, including routine massacres of unarmed Palestinian women and children, there is no reason to expect Israel to change its behavior.

Sep 18 12:22

The Major Attack On Syria Followed Putin-Erdogan Agreement For Demilitarized Zone In Idlib

The world once again was taken to the brink of World War 3 Monday night, and the situation is still extremely dangerous. A massive wide-ranging assault on multiple Syrian provinces, including the coastal cities of Latakia and Tartus, occurred Monday evening reportedly by Israel and possibly with the help of France or the US, though the Pentagon is denying any US assistance during the assault.

With Syrian and Russian air defenses responding during the over hour-long attack which targeted among other things an alleged chemical weapons research center, and in the confusion of missiles cross the sky, a Russian maritime patrol plane was shot down with 14 personnel on board. The Pentagon is claiming it was Syrian defense which "accidentally" downed the plane, while Russia is pointing out its radar observed a French frigate firing in the area just before the plane went down.

Sep 18 08:50

BREAKING: TURKEY EMBEDS INTO IDLIB, CEASEFIRE SECURED, INVITES RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has just publicly declared that Turkey and Russia have agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib which will have a depth of 15 km, to be ready and in place by October 15th. This is effectively a ceasefire, with Turkish forces and Russian military police that will conduct joint patrols towards the de-escalation in Idlib.

Russia’s Defence Minister Shoigu has just publicly stated: there will be no military operation in Idlib.

FRN previously raised the possibility of Turkey securing Idlib on its own, then working towards using this possibly to acquire territory or make a better deal with Russia. It appears the second has happened, as we forecasted. Our general operating thesis that ‘things are never as they appear’ was confirmed as well.

Sep 18 08:47

Iraq to Deploy More Troops to Turkey Border

Repeated cross-border incursions by Turkish forces into northern Iraq, generally under the pretext of attacking Kurds, have sparked a reaction from Iraq’s Abadi government, which has issued multiple orders for more troops to be deployed into the border area to stop such incursions.

The goal of these orders appears to be to prevent ground incursions, though most Turkish raids into Iraqi Kurdistan involve warplanes.Prime Minister Abadi has ordered the foreign ministry to document such incidents and forward them to the UN.

This has been a recurring problem since the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq. The Turkish government has felt itself totally justified to cross into northern Iraq to “fight terror,” and willing to label most any Kurdish group as a terrorist organization.

Sep 17 11:24

Turkey to cooperate with Russia on eliminating terrorists in Idlib – Erdogan

Turkey is ready to cooperate with Russia on the fight against terrorist groups in the Syrian northwestern province of Idlib, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said ahead of his upcoming talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“If the situation in Idlib continues as is, the results will be heavy. We have to find a solution with Russia and the coalition forces without letting this happen. As you know, the US has a different position, however, we have previously held meetings with Germany and France. We are already in it together with Russia,” Erdogan said on Sunday, as quoted by Daily Sabah, a Turkish newspaper.

Sep 17 10:18

Russian Defense Minister Rules Out New Op in Idlib After Putin-Erdogan Talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have met in Sochi, where they discussed the situation in Syria's Idlib province, one of the remaining pockets of insurgency in the Arab republic.

Following the talks between Putin and Erdogan, Russian Minister of Defence Sergey Shoygu announced that Russia would not conduct a military operation in Idlib.

"In the next few hours we will coordinate with them [Damascus authorities] all the issues set forth in this document," Shoigu told reporters showing the memorandum on Idlib settlement signed by him and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.

Sep 17 10:07

Putin & Erdogan agree Idlib buffer zone to avert new Syria crisis

Russia and Turkey have agreed a “demilitarized zone” between militants and government troops in Syria’s Idlib, President Vladimir Putin said after hours-long talks with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan focused on solving the crisis.
“We’ve focused on the situation in the province of Idlib, considering presence of large militant groups and their infrastructure there,” Putin said at a press conference after the talks.

“We’ve agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide, with full withdrawal of hardline militants from there, including the Jabhat Al-Nusra.”

As part of solving the deadlock, all heavy weaponry, including tanks and artillery, will be withdrawn from the zone before October 10, Putin said. The zone will be patrolled by Turkish and Russian military units.

Before the end of the year, roads between Aleppo and Hama, and Aleppo and Latakia must be reopened for transit traffic, he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Once again, Putin proves he is a statesman!

Sep 15 13:51

Turkish State TV: 'White Genocide' In South Africa Is A 'Myth' Of The 'Far-Right'

Turkish state broadcaster TRT World released a video last week stating "white genocide" is a "myth" and there's "no reliable data to suggest white farmers are being targeted" in South Africa.

Sep 15 10:24

TURKISH STRATEGY IN NORTHERN SYRIA: MILITARY OPERATIONS, TURKISH-BACKED GROUPS AND IDLIB ISSUE

In order to understand Turkey’s approach toward the conflict in Syria, one first needs to explain the military situation there as of September 2018.

There are localized clashes between militant groups led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in northern Latakia and southern Idlib. The Syrian Arab Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces are carrying out strikes on weapon depots, equipment and UAV workshops and key facilities belonging to militants in southern and southwestern Idlib.

These as well as deployment of additional SAA units at the contact line between the militant-held and government-held areas are described by pro-militant sources as clear sings of the upcoming SAA operation to defeat Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other al-Qaeda-like factions there.

Sep 13 17:17

Turkey raises interest rates to 24% in new bid to boost lira

The hefty 6.25 percentage point rise is the bank's latest attempt to stem the currency's collapse.

The lira is down 38% against the dollar this year despite Thursday's slim gain.

The move came despite Mr Erdogan repeating his opposition to high interest rates earlier in the day.

He has repeatedly blamed the central bank for high inflation, which hit almost 18% last month, its highest level since 2003.

Sep 13 12:58

Turkey imposes indefinite curfew in over 100 Kurdish villages

Turkish authorities in the Kurdish province of Diyarbakir on Wednesday imposed an indefinite curfew effective immediately as of 4 p.m. local time on at least 116 villages and hamlets, citing an imminent military offensive against Kurdish fighters seeking autonomy.

The Ankara-appointed governor’s office said in a press release that the operation zone covered an area falling in the northern districts of Lice, Hazro, Kulp, Silvan, and Kocakoy, a region several thousand kilometers-square large.

People were told to stay indoors at all times indefinitely until a second order.

The mountainous terrain on the provincial borders of Bingol historically serves Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas as a sanctuary.

Since the 2015 collapse of a ceasefire and peace talks between the group labeled by Ankara and its Western allies as “terrorists,” the Turkish army has scores of times conducted large-scale operations to bring the mountains under its full control.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder about the timing here, with vast scores of Turkish groups in Syria, attempting to nibble off a little bit of the country, due to the instability brought about through the US aiding and abetting the terrorists here.

Sep 13 12:08

Iran WARNING: US tells airlines not to fly through airspace as WW3 fears rise

The advisory also warns military activities linked to the bloody conflict in Syria have been ramped across Iran's airspace.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington are running high following Donald Trump’s controversial decision to pull out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal re-introduce economic sanctions last month.

Flight Service Bureau, which provides safety information on airspace to airlines, said "without seeming alarmist", the deteriorating relationship between the US and Iran must be taken into account when planning flights in Iran's airspace.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is getting just about as serious as is a heart attack: I find myself very alarmed at these developments.

Sep 13 12:00

Turkey's Latest Power Grab: A Naval Base In Cyprus?

The possibility of a Turkish naval base on Cyprus does not bode well for the chances of a Cyprus reunification deal, particularly after the breakdown of the July 2017 peace talks, which were suspended when "Turkey had refused to relinquish its intervention rights on Cyprus or the presence of troops on the island."

Turkey has 30,000 soldiers stationed on Cyprus, the northern part of which it has illegally occupied since 1974.

"If Greek-Turkish tensions escalate, the possibility of another ill-timed military provocation could escalate with them... Moreover, such a conflict might open up an even greater opportunity for Russian interference." - Lawrence A. Franklin.

Sep 13 11:45

Meet Turkey’s New Sovereign Wealth Fund Chairman, Who Has "Now Taken Public Companies Prisoners"

What does a man who already controls pretty much everything in his country — from politics to the judiciary to defense — give to himself? How about direct takeover of his country's sovereign wealth fund?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund after recent promises to exert greater influence over the economy. He's nixed the old guard management and hand-picked their replacements, in a move his political rival, presidential candidate who lost the June election, Muharrem Ince, has aptly described as taking "public companies prisoners".

And not to be one to break medieval sultanate tradition, he's further named his son-in-law and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as deputy chairman.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With Turkey poised to gobble off bits of Syria, Erdogan had better be careful about how he decides to deal with its run-away inflation. In a companion story, the following is noted:

Turkish Lira soars after massive rate hike, 625 bps-24

Sep 13 11:18

Large Turkish Army convoy enters Idlib province

Another large Turkish military convoy has entered the northwestern province of Idlib, today, as the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) offensive approaches.

According to Syrian opposition activists via social media, the Turkish military convoy entered the Idlib Governorate from the Hatay Province in order to reinforce their observation posts near the Syrian Army’s front-lines.

Sep 13 10:35

Turkey's Latest Power Grab: A Naval Base In Cyprus?

The possibility of a Turkish naval base on Cyprus does not bode well for the chances of a Cyprus reunification deal, particularly after the breakdown of the July 2017 peace talks, which were suspended when "Turkey had refused to relinquish its intervention rights on Cyprus or the presence of troops on the island."

Turkey has 30,000 soldiers stationed on Cyprus, the northern part of which it has illegally occupied since 1974.

"If Greek-Turkish tensions escalate, the possibility of another ill-timed military provocation could escalate with them... Moreover, such a conflict might open up an even greater opportunity for Russian interference." - Lawrence A. Franklin.

Sep 13 10:09

'The World Must Stop Assad': Turkey calls for international action in Syria

Sep 13 09:37

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 13, 2018: TURKEY ABDUCTS SUSPECT OF 2013 REYHANLI BOMBING IN LATTAKIA

On September 12, Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) announced that it had abducted Yusuf Nazik, a suspect of the 2013 Reyhanli bombing, in the Syrian city of Lattakia and transported him to Turkey. According to the MIT, Nazik confessed that he participated in the 2013 attack on orders from Syrian intelligence units. He allegedly scouted the crime scene prior to the attack and moved explosives from Syria to Turkey.

On May 11, 2013, two car bombs exploded in the city of Reyhanli in Turkey’s Hatay Province killing 53 people. Then, the Turkish side accused the Syrian Intelligence and Turkish Marxist group Acilciler, now thought to be based in Syria, of being behind the attack. The Syrian side denounced these claims.

Sep 13 06:34

Turkish Army Sends New Military Convoy to Northern Syria

A new military convoy, escorted by terrorists, was dispatched by the Turkish army to Northern Hama as the Syrian army is preparing for massive operations in Idlib province. Media activists reported on Thursday that a military convoy of the Turkish army, escorted by newly-found National Liberation Front terrorist group, has been dispatched to the regions monitored by Turkey in Hama province. They added that the convoy which consisted of tanks, 5 personnel carriers and a vehicle carrying weapons and ammunition was sent to the East of the town of Mourak in Northern Hama along with 5 vehicles carrying the National Liberation Front terrorists. The Turkish army had also on Wednesday forwarded new military equipment, including military vehicles and vehicles consisting of artilleries, ammunition and armored personnel carriers, to Kalis and Hatai regions in Southern Turkey at the borders with Syria.

Sep 13 06:18

Ankara Asks Damascus for More Delay in Idlib Operations

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted informed Syrian sources as saying on Wednesday that Ankara has asked the Syrian army's command center, with Moscow's mediation, to provide the country with more time to separate those who it calls as "moderate dissidents" from Tahrir al-Sham (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) and the ISIL terrorists. Based on the report, the Turkish side has admitted dispatch of military equipment to several regions of Idlib province in the past few days, saying that if Tahrir al-Sham rejects leaving the regions occupied by the "moderate dissidents", it will use military power against them. Turkey has not mentioned where the terrorists could retreat to after leaving Idlib. The sources said that if Syria and Russia agree with Turkey's demand, it will be the last deadline given to Ankara to act upon its undertakings based on the Astana conference.

Sep 12 13:22

Turkey reinforces military in Syria's Idlib after ceasefire call fails

Turkey is reinforcing its military posts inside Syria's rebel-held province of Idlib, Turkish and Syrian rebels sources say, seeking to deter a government offensive which it says would unleash a humanitarian disaster on its border.

President Tayyip Erdogan has warned that an assault by the army and its Russian and Iran-backed allies on Idlib, home to around 3 million people, will uproot hundreds of thousands in one of Syria's last rebel strongholds.

Already hosting 3.5 million Syrians - the world's biggest refugee population - Turkey says it cannot absorb more victims of the war and has accused the West of abandoning it to face the consequences of President Bashar al-Assad's reconquest of Syria.

Sep 12 11:01

President Erdogan appoints himself head of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund, the Official Gazette said on Wednesday. Erdogan also completely changed the fund’s board, naming Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as his deputy. The revamp was the latest in a series of steps Erdogan has taken to assume new powers since he won a presidential election in June, heralding the move to an executive presidency, Reuters said.

Sep 11 11:06

Russia, Turkey & Iran speeding up efforts to drop US dollar from trade - official

In response to US sanctions, Russia, Turkey and Iran are negotiating the reduction of the US dollar's share in mutual trade, Tehran Times daily quotes the country's central bank governor as saying.

Eliminating the greenback in mutual trade was most recently discussed by the three countries last weekend in Tehran during the trilateral summit of the Syrian ceasefire, said Iranian Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati as quoted by the media.

“We have decided to proceed with further work in light of the agreements reached at a meeting with the Russian Central Bank governor in Moscow,” Hemmati was quoted as saying. According to Hemmati, the topics discussed also included oil and gas prices, expansion of banking ties and strengthening of economic relations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and their delegations visited Tehran last week for a trilateral summit on Syria and also to discuss expansion of ties.

Sep 11 10:44

Militant Warns Erdogan Against 'Selling Idlib' Ahead of Syrian Army Offensive

With the Syrian Army continuing to amass troops and military hardware in southern Idlib, militants occupying the province are seemingly beginning to panic, warning Ankara against giving Damascus the greenlight to launch its long-awaited offensive in northwestern Syria.

A militant from an unspecified group stationed in Idlib has issued a threat to Turkish President Recep Tayyip, warning that militants in northwestern Syria have dug a tunnel stretching into Turkey’s Hatay province.

He went on to explain that in the event of Erdogan “selling Idlib”, militants will use the tunnel to cross into Turkey, to potentially carry out attacks against civilians and security forces.

Sep 11 07:57

Best Served Cold: Judo Master Putin Sticks It to Isolated, Bumbling Erdogan on Idlib

The trilateral summit in Tehran between the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia was one of the most unusual parades of international diplomacy yet. It was televised live. Let’s remember the scenes: All who watched it saw how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blundered and how Russian President Vladimir Putin ridiculed him. Then it was a rare — if not unique — case of international diplomacy where a trilateral partnership considered detrimental to the interests of the West displayed signs of failure on a burning international issue.

Sep 11 07:55

TURKISH BACKSTAB? ERDOGAN’S SPECIAL ADVISOR: TURKEY’S OCCUPATION IN IDLIB STOPS SYRIA, RUSSIA, IRAN

Turkey is back to its games of constant contradictory gestures and apparent vacillations. In the latest of this unfolding horror-show-meets-drama, Turkey is triangulating the U.S’s white phosphorus attacks on several Syrian sites last night, and the shots fired from U.S forces now openly fighting to protect ISIS in the south of Syria in the direction of Syrian allied forces. Turkey is clearly playing upon the increasing threats and open bellicosity, to push Russia and Iran for a better deal for Turkey, of some kind, however it is that they imagine this to be.

Sep 11 06:06

Idlib discord may spark renewed friction between Russia, Turkey

Turkey is beefing up its positions in the Idlib Governorate while Damascus hopes to bring it back under its control, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Al-Jazeera TV reports of a growing Turkish contingent in the enclave, where the moderate opposition’s forces loyal to Ankara are working hand in glove with radical groups. This gesture is likely to draw a "red line" for the Syrian regime and its allies. Experts warn that a new confrontation between Russia and Turkey may flare up to levels seen back in 2015. Last week’s summit in Tehran between Russia, Turkey and Iran failed to iron out all the differences within the Syrian troika, the paper writes. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that Idlib hosts moderate opposition members and any operations there under the pretext of fighting Al-Nusra (terror group outlawed in Russia) are unacceptable. Meanwhile, Moscow is calling for separating militants from radicals.

Sep 10 11:53

Bolton Warns Next Chemical Attack By Assad Will Lead To Much Stronger Strike On Syria

Update: Trump's national security advisor John Bolton indicated during a speech on Monday that the United States, Britain, and France have agreed that another use of chemical weapons by Syria would be taken "very seriously" and will require a much "stronger" and harsher response.

Dion Nissenbaum
?
@DionNissenbaum

Trump’s NSC head John Bolton warns Syria that US, France and Britain will hit Assad harder than last two times if he uses chemical weapons in looming battle for last major rebel stronghold in Idlib.

His remarks came during what's being described as his first major speech since joining the Trump administration at an event hosted by the conservative Federalist Society at a Washington, D.C., hotel.

Meanwhile Turkey has also weighed in regarding the ongoing Russian and Syrian allied assault on Al Qaeda-held Idlib, which began days ago when Russia initiated a bombing campaign ahead of an imminent and massive Syrian Army ground offensive.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When the faux chemical attack is complete in Syria, with lots of sympathetic PR, to underscore what a "monster" Al Assad is, the Trump Administration is not even going to WAIT for the overnight polls to come in to see if the public is buying it or not, but will move ahead quickly with a major US attack in Idlib.

I would like to hope (and pray) that his Advisors have told him that threats by the Russian government... are just as serious as is a heart attack, should he order this to happen.

Sep 10 10:12

Erdogan Says Turkey Won't Watch Killings in Idlib From Sidelines

Turkey won’t watch the killings of tens of thousands of innocent people from the sidelines, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected his call for a cease-fire in Idlib, Syria’s last rebel stronghold.

Turkey won’t be part of a game to further the interests of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan said. He had warned earlier of a looming “catastrophe” as the Damascus regime’s forces prepare to fight the last major battle of the seven-year civil war.

Sep 09 23:42

Russia, Iran and Turkey decide Syria's future in Tehran

The third summit of the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey was the crisis in Syria's Idlib Province. The participants of the summit agreed that one needs to disarm terrorists and exclude a possibility for a humanitarian disaster in the country. "We hope that representatives of terrorist organisations will have enough common sense to stop resistance and lay down their arms," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on September 7 in Tehran at the summit of the "troika" of guarantors of an armistice between government troops and moderate armed opposition in Syria. The de-escalation zone in Idlib, as well as parts of territories of neighbouring provinces of Ham and Latakia, is one of four de-escalation zones that the "troika" established in Syria in 2017. Idlib is the last deescalation zone that still remains under the control of terrorists and militants of moderate opposition...

Sep 09 08:26

Breaking: Massive Turkish Army convoy enters Idlib with large arsenal of weapons

A massive Turkish military convoy entered the Idlib Governorate from the Hatay Province, tonight, opposition activists reported.

According to the Syrian opposition activists, the Turkish military convoy consisted of more than 300 vehicles, including tanks, MLRS launchers, and BMPs.

The Turkish military convoy reportedly entered Syria through the Kafr Losen Crossing; it was heading towards the rebel front-lines in the Idlib and Hama governorates.

Sep 09 03:08

Iran, Russia, Turkey Agree to Ditch Dollar in Transactions

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Abdolreza Hemmati announced that Tehran, Moscow and Ankara have agreed to remove the US dollar from their transactions as part of efforts to broaden their trade relations to overcome Washington's mounting pressures.

"The agreement was made on the sidelines of a key trilateral summit on Syria held in Tehran on Friday and attended by Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents," Hemmati said.

He underlined that during the Friday summit, "I along with Iranian oil minister (Bijan Zangeneh) held beneficial and constructive meetings with the economic officials of Russia and Turkey with the three presidents" in attendance.

Hemmati reiterated that the main topics discussed during the meetings included oil and gas prices, basic commodities sales, expansion of banking ties, conducting financial transactions by the countries’ national currencies instead of the US dollar and deepening of bilateral economic relations.

>>>

Sep 07 13:04

Turkey Will Secure Its Energy Supply, No Matter The Cost

Economic problems resulting from US sanctions and the decline in the value of the Turkish lira will increase the already record high trade deficit, currently half of which is related to energy imports. In 2017 it amounted to 77 billion USD, more than twice the amount of 2016. Erdo?an is determined to create a politically dominant state. To this end he needs to ensure energy independence, which can be done through the occupation of the oil fields in Kirkuk, and the acquisition of the gas fields of Cyprus.

The increase in oil prices will affect the trade deficit even more, while 75% of its value will be energy imports. The average annual barrel price in 2017 was 54 USD, and this year the average cost is about 70 USD, and the price will continue to rise. All of this is a drag on Turkish economy. To counteract the negative balance sheet, Recep Erdo?an will take more determined steps to ensure energy independence. This, however, will lead to turmoil in the region.

Sep 07 10:04

DRIVING OUT MILITANTS FROM IDLIB NOW TOP PRIORITY IN SYRIA – PUTIN

Driving the extremists out of Syria’s Idlib province should be the primary goal at this stage of the Syrian peace process, Russian President Vladimir Putin said following a meeting with his Turkish and Iranian counterparts.
The Russian leader once again said that Moscow has “irrefutable” evidence that terrorist groups entrenched in the militant-controlled province are seeking to stage false flag attacks using chemical weapons.

“Our common absolute priority lies in the total elimination of terrorists in Syria,” Putin said, adding that Russian forces had recently helped to liberate the southwestern part of the war-torn country and confirming that Idlib province has become the primary target now. “The presence [of militants] poses a direct threat to the … civilians in the whole region,” the president warned.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The big problem here, is that the US government won't let this happen as naturally and gracefully as it should, as President Trump has made the statement that the US military is going to be in Syria...indefinitely:

DONALD TRUMP BACKS PERMANENT U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE IN SYRIA BECAUSE HE DOESN’T TRUST RUSSIA’S INFLUENCE THERE, REPORTS CLAIMS

US Commits to Indefinite military presence in Syria

IF, in fact, these reports are true, one has to wonder just how soon the US, Russia, Syria, and Iran, will be drawn into a nasty military confrontation here in Syria; I don't know what kinds of odds Vegas bookies are putting on this happening, but my sense is soon, and most probably right before the midterms, in order to "energize President Trump's base about going to the polls and voting the Republicans back into control of the government.

Sep 06 10:10

“Idlib Operation Would Be A Big Risk” – Turkey Desperately Trying To Save Jihadists In Syria

Damascus’ plan to launch a military operation in Idlib province, the last major terrorist bastion in Syria, pose great risks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

“The regime has decided to attack Idlib… We agree with the exit of the terrorists, but the operation would aim to occupy Idlib province and this entails great risks,” Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas.

Turkey’s foreign minister said he hopes to examine the situation at the tripartite summit of Russia, Turkey and Iran scheduled for September 7 in Tehran.

Sep 06 09:45

US, Turkey Agree 'Any' Syrian Offensive in Idlib 'Unacceptable' - US State Dept

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Tuesday over the phone with his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, about the situation in Idlib, Syria.

The statement on the call, attributable to State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert, takes a stronger position against than the one taken by US President Donald Trump the day prior.

In this image from video provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, Friday, April 7, 2017.
© AFP 2018 / FORD WILLIAMS/U.S. NAVY
US Media ‘Conditioning’ Public For Bombing Raids on Syria
"President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy," Trump tweeted on Monday. "Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is, in my viewpoint, "the other shoe" which is about to fall, and we have to wonder; just how are the US and Turkey going to respond to the next military pounding of Idlib by Syrian, Russian, and Iranian military, go in and invade?!?

And here is a companion piece, by Aljazeera.com:
The Scenarios for the Battle of Idlib

I am hoping - and praying - that the US government and military don't do something so ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid, that it paves the way for yet more war in a region so desperately in need of peace.

Sep 04 13:48

US, Turkey Agree Syrian 'Any' Offensive in Idlib 'Unacceptable' - US State Dept

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Tuesday over the phone with his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, about the situation in Idlib, Syria.

The statement on the call, attributable to State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert, takes a stronger position against than the one taken by US President Donald Trump the day prior.

"President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy," Trump tweeted on Monday. "Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!"

Now, it appears that the State Department and the White House aren't exactly on the same page. While Trump cautioned against a "reckless attack," the State Department, in conjunction with the Turkish Foreign Ministry, is calling "any Assad military offensive" in Idlib "unacceptable."

Sep 04 03:40

Global debt levels raise red flags… Finance ‘vulnerable’ as ’08…

Ten years after the worst financial panic since the 1930s, growing debt burdens in key developing economies are fueling fears of a new crisis that could spread far beyond the disruption sweeping Turkey.

Sep 03 09:01

Turkey’s Erdogan calls on global trading partners to smash US dollar’s ‘monopoly’

Turkey will pursue non-dollar transactions in trade and investment with other countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in response to US sanctions. He compared the US’ behavior towards his country to “wild wolves.”

“We need to gradually end the monopoly of the dollar once and for all by using local and national currency among us,” Erdogan said at a business forum in Kyrgyzstan.

Sep 01 09:01

Erdogan: Turkey to get Russian S-400 missiles ‘soon’

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will soon receive S-400 anti-missile system in line with an agreement inked with Russia.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony of non-commissioned officers in northwestern Balikesir province, Erdogan said Turkey needed to acquire the Russian S-400 anti-missile system and “will get them soon”.

Erdogan said Turkey is pursuing its own interests and struggling to reach its own goals “in the face of the efforts of those who try to shape both our country and our region according to their own agenda”.

“We do not regret our decisions,” he added.

Aug 31 12:35

The Rumors are that Turkey Will Default

Aug 31 09:40

FM: Syria Ready to ‘Go All the Way’ in Attack on Rebel-Held Idlib

Speaking in Moscw after a visit with his Russian counterpart, Syrian FM Walid al-Muallem declared the Syrian military to be ready to “go all the way” in an offensive against rebel held Idlib, saying that the goal is to wipe out terrorist groups that persist in the deescalation zone in the area.

Idlib and the surrounding area is the last major rebel-held territory in Syria, and Muallem indicated that the presence of a large al-Qaeda affiliate in the region is viewed as a particular problem. Clearly, the Syrian government wants to reclaim the entire region, but Muallem indicated that ensuring al-Qaeda can’t just operate out of the deescalation zone is of particular importance.

Tens of thousands of rebels from different factions are operating in Idlib and neighboring Aleppo. The forces are mostly centered on a pair of coalitions, one led by al-Qaeda and the other dominated by the Turkish government’s proxy forces.

Aug 31 07:46

Rumor: Turkey Selling Gold

Aug 28 10:53

Turkey's Attempts to Annex Occupied Afrin Enrage Civilians in Northern Syria

A new growing wave of rage covered villages and towns in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo after the Turkish troops and Ankara-backed militants intensified their efforts to annex the occupied region to Turkish territory.

The Turkish army units and their allied militants continued giving Turkish names to pave the ground for annexation of the occupied region.

The Ankara forces' measures further enraged residents in Afrin region.

The Ankara forces have forced thousands of civilians and villagers in Afrin region to leave their residential units, and then occupied their units and properties.

Aug 27 11:08

Moscow Lifts Sanctions Against Turkey as ‘Bargaining Chip’ Ahead of Idlib – Prof

Russia is poised to lift the visa regime for Turkish nationals holding official passports. This is what Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday. The minister also stated that a Russian-Turkish working group will discuss the issue of Russia easing the visa regime for Turkish citizens in late August.

Aug 27 09:08

German FM: Europe Should React to US Sanctions Targeting Russia, China, Turkey

Earlier, Wolfgang Buchele, head of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (OAOEV), warned that the prospects for German-Russian trade are still marred by new US anti-Russian sanctions, which are "dangerous because they can target European partners of Russian companies."

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has urged Europe to react to the US sanctions-related policy on Russia, China, Turkey and other important economic partners.

"Washington prompts us to formulate European responses to its sanctions-related policy, something which pertains to Europe and Germany. We should react to the United States suddenly imposing uncoordinated and rather nonspecific sanctions against Russia, China, Turkey and in the future, perhaps, against other important trading partners," he underlined.

Aug 26 10:05

From Baltic Sea to Black Sea, Russia Offers Powers Trump Slams a Win-Win Instead

As confirmed to Asia Times by diplomatic sources, a top summit featuring Germany, Russia, France and Turkey is on the way. Call it an expanded Eurovision – with Turkey included due to (wobbling) NATO membership.

Ostensibly, the summit would be on Syria – according to the Kremlin. That does not cut it – as Syria is already being discussed in detail in Astana by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

Aug 24 08:01

Prepare for the Sanctioned Russia-Iran-China-Turkey Supergroup to Blow Trump's Solo Act out of the Water

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends – and the post-truth geopolitical remix of the supergroup. Meet The Sanctioned; a multinational band starring multi-instrumentalists Vladimir Putin (Russia), Xi Jinping (China), Hassan Rouhani (Iran) and Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey).

As the whole rock universe knows, The Sanctioned run the relentless risk of being outshined – in the form of multi-layered sanctions – by undisputed glitter solo act Donald Trump (US).

Aug 24 07:59

Trump just triggered a new financial crisis. Here’s why

Trump’s attack on the Turkish lira, combined with recent Federal Reserve moves to choke off dollar supply, is pushing the world towards a re-run of the 1997 currency crisis. This may well be the whole point.

Aug 23 10:33

Turkey lira CRISIS: Lira plummets AGAIN as standoff between US and Turkey deepens

The currency fell as far as 6.1350 against the dollar from a close of 6.0330, and was at 6.0700 at 9.14 BST - 0.6 percent weaker on the day.

Turkey’s lira has now fallen a massive 37 percent so far this year, with the crisis between the two feuding nations exacerbating losses, triggered by concerns about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over monetary policy.

Aug 22 05:52

Why Russia continues investing in US public debt

Spokespeople for the US Treasury said that Russia has not changed its share in the US public debt since June. Russia owns a $15 billion portfolio of the US public debt. Russia's investment has dropped to a minimum level since 2007. The largest numbers were reported in 2010, when the Russian government invested $176 billion dollars in the state debt of the United States of America. Russia is not on the list of 31 countries that hold most of US bonds. However, Russia stopped decreasing its share in the first month of the summer. For comparison, Russia disposed of US securities worth $80 billion during the period from March to May. From March 2017 to March 2018, Russia's investments in US Treasuries did not fall below $100 billion. The record high was reported in October 2010, when Russia owned US government securities worth $176.3 billion and was ranked the sixth in the world on this indicator...

Aug 21 11:52

Turkey Files Complaint With WTO Over US Tariffs On Steel And Aluminum Products

A second country has now filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the United States’ insistence on ramping up a trade war. Turkey, following in China’s footsteps, filed the complaint after the US imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum products coming from the country.

“Turkey has requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States concerning additional import duties imposed by the United States on steel and aluminum products. The request was circulated to WTO members on 20 August,” the WTO said on Monday according to a report by RT. “Turkey claims that the measures are inconsistent with a number of provisions of the WTO’s Agreement on Safeguards and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994,” said a statement on the WTO’s website.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA