TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


TURKEY

Apr 17 06:44

Ankara Deeply Concerned over US Arms Shipments to Syrian Kurds

A prominent Turkish political analyst underlined Ankara's concerns about Washington's continued arms shipments to the Kurdish militia, warning of the US plans against Syria's territorial integrity by setting the stage for Kurdish
independence.

The Arabic-language service of Sputnik quoted Turki Mahmoud Othman as saying on Tuesday that the US has supplied the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with a large amount of weapons and military equipment.
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Othman claimed that the US intends to protect and support the SDF with the help of the European forces as it promises Turkey to create a demilitarized zone in Northern Syria to buy time, and warned that the demilitarized zone is likely a trap for Turkey by Washington.

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US To Increase Pressure On Defiant Turkey Over S-400 Deal

Apr 16 03:52

Turkey & the Real Risk of a Debt Crisis

Apr 10 08:37

Now Turks Are Rubbing It In.

My main question here is if Turkey knows that F-35 is a....turkey? I am pretty sure Turks do. Of course, behind all this back-and-forth on S-400 are things much more substantial than even top-notch air defense for Turkey--namely massive economic developments in Eurasia. It is also obvious that Turks are now in the bargain mode with Russia across the whole spectrum of issues--gas, nuclear power, military, tourism, agriculture, to name a few--and that could be indicative of a tectonic shift in Turkey's geopolitical orientation but we cannot be sure 100% yet. On F-35 issue, however, one should not discount the possibility of Turks getting off at the last opportunity from this program in order for a bigger, better thing. This thing are SU-35 of latest modifications and SU-57 which is hitting serial production in 2020 and China expressing interest in this aircraft while already operating full Russian versions of SU-35.

Apr 10 05:20

Turkey: Delivery of Russian S-400 may be brought forward

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country’s purchase of Russia's S-400 is a “done” deal, and that the delivery of the missile defense system may happen sooner than the date set.

Erdogan made the remarks to reporters on his plane while returning from a trip to Russia, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Turkish president said that he and his foreign minister were frequently asked about Ankara’s decision on the purchase of the S-400 system from Moscow.

“We answer that ‘this deal is done, everything is settled.’>>>

Apr 09 10:46

After Losing Istanbul Vote, Turkey’s Erdogan Wants a Do-Over

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not handled his party’s poor performance in local elections well, and is continuing to try to find a way to fix the results, particularly in Istanbul. On Monday he suggested that the city may need to revote entirely.

Erdogan’s original plan was to recount all votes in Istanbul, but the High Election Board has rejected the bulk of the recount, allowing for only 51 total ballot boxes to be recounted in 21 districts.

Though Erdogan’s AKP actually did win a slim majority across the nation, the loss of Istanbul and Ankara was particularly embarrassing. Erdogan’s start as a mayor in Istanbul meant his party losing that city was quite a blow.

Apr 09 10:26

Pence Issues Turkey Ultimatum: "Choose Between Remaining NATO Member Or Buying Russian S-400"

Two days after we reported that the US had halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey as part of the ongoing rift over Erdogan's plans to move forward with taking delivery of the advanced Russian S-4000 anti-air defense system, on Wednesday the US escalated the war of words with its NATO ally when Vice President Mike Pence threatened Turkey’s future role in the NATO alliance, warning it against "reckless decisions," like following through with the purchase of the Russian-made air defense system.

“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?,” Pence tweeted on Wednesday, after making similar remarks at a NATO summit in Washington.

Apr 07 08:33

Trump's Neocons See Erdogan as Their Ticket to a Region-Wide M.E. War

Turkish troops and armored units are massed along Turkey’s southern border awaiting orders to invade northern Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to clear a ten mile-deep swath of land east of the Euphrates River in order to remove terrorist-linked militants (YPG) currently occupying the territory. The proposed offensive would put US Special Forces in the line of fire which significantly increases the likelihood of US casualties. If American troops are killed or wounded by the Turkish operation, Washington will respond in force leading to a potentially catastrophic face-off between the two NATO allies. The possibility of a violent clash between Turkey and the United States has never been greater than it is today.

Apr 06 09:22

SECRET F-35 Tech Will Be Compromised Should Turkey Buy S-400, US Media Claims

The US has reportedly halted all shipments to Turkey, related to the procurement of F-35s as Ankara continues to refuse to ditch the S-400 deal with Russia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently indicated that it happened because the US failed to make a better offer than Russia on air defence systems.

Apr 05 12:39

US must choose between Turkey and terrorists’: Ankara slaps Pence with counter-ultimatum

Turkey’s vice president said his US counterpart must choose between an alliance with a loyal NATO partner or siding with terrorists, after Mike Pence issued an ultimatum for Ankara to pick its F-35 jets over Russian S-400 systems.
“The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?” Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted, in response to Mike Pence’s demands.

The Turkish official did not make clear what “terrorists” he was talking about. Ankara is at odds with Washington over the military support it provides to Syrian Kurdish militias which are designated as terrorist organizations in Turkey.

That aside, self-exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose entity Turkey accuses of plotting the 2016 coup attempt, has found a safe haven in the US which also poisons relations between the two NATO allies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that Pence has fully accepted his position as the Vice"merchant of death in Chief", when it comes to hawking US weapons systems other countries really don't want to buy.

But that he threatened Turkey in this very public way, is not going to get him any favors from Turkey, which may be thinking seriously about resigning their NATO membership, and that really poses a problem for NATO.

Because of it bordering both Europe and Central Asia, straddling the Black Sea and Mediterranean Seas, along with bordering Bulgaria; Iran; Syria; Cypress; Armenia and Georgia, Turkey is strategically vital to NATO's operations.

And I have to wonder; after a not so lustrous showing in Turkey's general elections, will NATO decide that Turkey needs a "regime change"?!? Were I Edrogan, I would want to think about this very, very carefully.

Apr 05 12:22

Ankara says US State Department ‘failed to report’ true content of Pompeo talks

Ankara has accused the US State Department of making false claims after a meeting between top US and Turkish diplomats. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks on Wednesday during the Turkish official’s visit to Washington as part of 70th anniversary celebrations of the NATO alliance.

Apr 04 08:23

Turkey Issues Counter-Ultimatum To Pence: Either Stand With Us Or With The Terrorists

In the latest in the continuing fallout between the US and Turkey over Ankara's plans to install Russia's S-400 missile defense systems — for which the United States this week finally halted delivery of not only the jets but also equipment related to the stealth F-35 fighter aircraft, and canceled all future shipments of F-35 related material — Turkey has issued its own counter-ultimatum: you are either with us or with the terrorists.

In response to yesterday's threat by Vice President Mike Pence putting Turkey on notice to either scrap the S-400 deal with Russia or say goodbye to the Lockheed F-35, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted, “The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?”

Apr 04 05:22

Turkish FM says no turning back from Russia arms deal

Turkey will not turn back from a major arms deal with Russia despite the US suspension of Ankara from the F-35 fighter-jet program, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

"The S-400 deal is a done deal and we will not step back from this," he told a think-tank forum in Washington, where he is taking part in 70th anniversary celebrations of NATO.

The United States said Monday that it was halting shipment of F-35 parts of Turkey as well as joint manufacturing work due to Ankara's purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia.

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(*Art of The Deal = written by ghost writer )

Apr 03 11:58

Turkey must choose between remaining NATO partner or buying Russian S-400 – Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence has threatened Turkey’s future role in the NATO alliance, warning it against “reckless decisions,” like pressing ahead with the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system.

“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?,” Pence tweeted on Wednesday, after making similar remarks at a NATO summit in Washington.

Turkey has insisted on purchasing the Russian weapons system, despite repeated warnings from the US. Even after the Pentagon halted deliveries of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet and related equipment to Turkey, Ankara remained defiant, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telling the NATO summit that the purchase was “a done deal.”

Apr 02 12:09

Turkey’s Ruling Party Loses Big in Local Votes; Expects to Reverse Results on Appeal

Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, lost in a big way in the weekend’s local elections, results that had many suggesting that President Erdogan’s attempt to make local voting a referendum on his rule a strategic error.

The AKP, however, is spinning the losses as simple “mistakes,” and with major losses in the big cities of Istanbul and Ankara, the results are being presented as temporary, with AKP fully expecting to appeal enough to get handed those cities in court

Appeals are expected in every distinct of the capital city, as well as in much of Istanbul, where the loss came down to an estimated 0.28 percentage points. Officials see any recounts or appeals as virtually certain to benefit the incumbent party.

With turnouts well above 80%, this was clearly a major election for Turkey, where Erdogan has increased his own powers while severely limiting the parliament, and local officials.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In the long run, Erdogan has not been great for the Turkish people, or for its minority Kurdish populations; the Turkish people deserve far better leadership than they have had under Erdogan's watch.

Apr 02 12:02

Pentagon halts F-35 fighter jet equipment deliveries to Turkey

The Pentagon has suspended deliveries of equipment related the F-35 fighter jets to Turkey unless Ankara refuses to take a delivery of a Russian missile defence system.

The United States has repeatedly warned Turkey that the Russian S-400 system it aims to buy would compromise the security of the F-35 aircraft, which is made by US company Lockheed Martin.

US officials speaking to Reuters news agency on the condition of anonymity said the next shipment of training equipment and all subsequent shipments of F-35 materials have been cancelled.

"Pending an unequivocal Turkish decision to forgo the delivery of the S-400, deliveries and activities associated with the stand-up of Turkey's F-35 operational capability have been suspended while our dialogue on this important matter continues with Turkey," the spokesperson said on Monday.

Mar 27 07:33

"I’ve Never Seen A Move Like This In The 21 Years I’ve Been Watching This Market"

In Turkey's ongoing attempt to crush currency manipulators, yesterday we reported that in addition to launching a "probe" against JPMorgan, the biggest US bank, for daring to cut its TRY price target, as well as threatening unnamed "manipulators", on Monday Turkish authorities took a page of the Chinese currency manipulation playbook, when they made it virtually impossible for foreign investors to short the lira as they soaked up virtually all intermarket liquidity, potentially threatening to kill the economy.

As we reported yesterday, the overnight swap rate on Monday soared more than ten-fold over the prior two sessions to more than 300%, the highest spike on record going back to the nation’s 2001 financial crisis as offshore funds clamoring to close out long-lira positions failed to find counterparties and the cost of a lira short exploded.

Think Volkswagen short squeeze but for a currency, or FXwagen.

Mar 25 08:50

Erdogan says Turkey will take issue of Golan Heights to U.N.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey will take the issue of the Golan Heights to the United Nations.

In an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber, Erdogan said U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement on Golan Heights was a “gift” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of elections there.

Trump moved on Thursday to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territory seized in war, marking a dramatic shift in U.S. policy.

In a speech at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Friday, Erdogan said the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights cannot be allowed.

Mar 22 10:12

Turkish FM slams US decision on Golan Heights

Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday slammed US President Donald Trump’s tweet on the occupied Golan Heights, Anadolu reports.

“The territorial integrity of states is the most fundamental principle of international law,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu in a tweet.

Attempts by the US to legitimize Israel’s actions against international law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region. Turkey supports Syria’s territorial integrity,

Mar 21 10:35

Turkish intervention could trigger Syria's 'second great war'

After a bloody and protracted five-year war, the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition are on the verge of declaring victory against the Islamic State after the fall of its last crumbs of territory in Baghuz. With Islamic State cells continuing to operate to deadly effect in Syria and neighboring Iraq, it's too early to say "mission accomplished," cautioned Mazlum Kobane, the commander in chief of the SDF, in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor March 10 at a heavily guarded complex near al-Omar oil field in eastern Syria. The charismatic 50-year-old Syrian Kurd, whom coalition officials address as “general,” is seen as one of the chief architects of the battle against the jihadis.

Mar 21 07:39

Turkey announces joint raids with Iran against Kurdish rebels

Turkey and Iran have launched a joint military operation against Kurdish rebels along Turkey's eastern border, according to an official.

Suleyman Soylu, Turkey's interior minister, said the offensive on Monday targeted the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"As of 8:00 this morning, we started an operation with Iran aimed at the PKK on our eastern border," he told a crowd in the Mediterranean city of Antalya. "We will announce the outcome [later]."

Mar 21 07:24

WAPO GIVES CAMPAIGN SPACE TO MAIN SPONSOR OF ISIS WHO ALSO JAILS MORE JOURNALISTS THAN ANYONE ELSE

There is of course a big difference. While the murderer in New Zealand, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, visited fascist groups in many countries including Turkey, he was not part of a larger organization or even a terrorist state. There is no evidence so far that he had any big sponsors.

Mar 20 09:27

Turkish Occupation Continues to Erase Cyprus’ Heritage

Since the military invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish army during the summer of 1974, countless reports have been published about the atrocities the Turkish invaders committed on the beautiful Mediterranean island.

But less known is the continuous effort by the Turkish occupiers to drastically alter the cultural identity of the northern half of Cyprus, an area with thousands of years of rich history.

Since 1974’s violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Greek-Cypriots, the northern part of Cyprus has occupied not just by Turkish-Cypriots, from whom the vast majority were already living in the island.

Mar 19 15:43

Top US General Denies Plans to Leave 1,000 Troops in Syria

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford issued a statement Monday denying weekend media reports that the US plans to leave around 1,000 troops in Syria, saying the reports are “factually incorrect.”

Dunford presented the current planned “residual force” as 200, saying that this hadn’t changed since February. The US announced 200 would stay on February 21, but on February 22 officially increased that number to 400.

It’s not clear from Dunford’s statement where the “incorrect” aspect of the new report, which came out of a Wall Street Journal, exists. That report suggested that the 1,000 figure was not yet finalized, but was being discussed. Dunford’s comments didn’t include any details on what is actually being discussed, but just that nothing was finalized.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think the multiple troop numbers being given, are simply a way of creating confusion about how many US troops the US does have in Syria.

Mar 19 09:23

Erdogan slams Israel PM and son over anti-Turkey tweets

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son for verbally attacking Turkey.

On Saturday Erdogan called on Netanyahu to “twist the ear” of his son, Yair, as punishment for “calling Istanbul Constantinople”, warning that he had “other ways to educate Israel” if Netanyahu or his son continued with their rhetoric.

Erdogan’s remarks came in response to a tweet by Yair in which he said “I will remind him that Istanbul is actually a city called Constantinople! The capital of the Byzantine empire and center of orthodox Christianity for more then [sic] a thousand years before Turkish occupation!”

Mar 14 09:58

Erdogan: Netanyahu is a ‘tyrant’ who kills children

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that his country would stand up for Al-Aqsa Mosque against any Israeli attack; describing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “tyrant, who massacres children”, local media reported.

While speaking at the inauguration of new public service programmes in Ankara, Erdogan said that the Turks would not remain silent regarding the dangers facing Al-Aqsa Mosque even if the world does.

Mar 13 10:03

Turkey urges world to react against Israeli aggression

Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday called on the global community to stand against Israeli aggression in the sacred places of Islam, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Unfortunately, today, Israel’s aggression has increased with encouragement from the US We talk about all these issues and will not give up our sacred and national causes,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said, speaking at a public gathering in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.

Referring to raids in East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, he said: “It is time to put a stop to Israel’s recklessness. We can’t tolerate brazen attacks on our holy places and the world must react to this.”

Mar 13 08:04

S-400 Delivery Not Connected to Security of NATO, US, F-35 in Any Way – Erdogan

Earlier, a Pentagon spokesperson warned Ankara that if it went ahead with the delivery of Russia's S-400 air defence system, there would be "grave consequences" for the defence relationship between the Washington and Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the Pentagon's ultimatum on Ankara's purchase of the S-400.

"The S-400s we're buying are not connected to the security of NATO, the United States or the F-35 in any way," Erdogan said, speaking at a rally in Diyarbakir on Saturday, according to Turkish television channel TRT.

Mar 12 08:54

Turkey says done deal on Russia missile ignoring U.S.' warning

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey's deal to buy Russian S-400 missile defense systems had "nothing to do" with the security of the U.S.

He said in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir that it is very clear why Turkey has bought this air defense system, under what conditions it has bought them and how it will be used, adding that the "issue was not about the S-400s" but about Turkey "taking actions on its own accord," especially in Syria.

Mar 09 11:25

No Patriots, no F-35s: Pentagon to empty Turkish army’s shopping cart if it goes on with S-400 deal

Neither the F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet nor the Patriot air defense system will be available to the Turkish military once they get the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missiles, a Pentagon spokesman threatened.

“I can tell you that if Turkey takes the S-400s there would be grave consequences in terms of our military relationship with them,” Charles Summers, acting chief spokesman for the Pentagon, was quoted by US media. “If they take the S-400s, they would not get the F-35s and Patriots,” he told an informal press briefing.

Mar 07 12:22

Turkey says to conduct joint raid with Iran against PKK

Turkey says it is planning to carry out a joint attack with Iran against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has waged a three-and-a-half decade armed campaign against Ankara for independence.

"God willing, we will carry out a joint operation against the PKK together with Iran,” Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told Anadolu news agency Wednesday.

He did not specify which PKK positions were going to be targeted in the planned operation or when the attack would take place. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has in the past indicated that he would order the military to attack militant hideouts in Iraq.

Mar 06 12:20

Turkey’s Purchase of S-400 to Result in Reassessing F-35 Program - US State Dept

The United States has warned Turkey that its planned purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system would put at risk Ankara’s participation in the F-35 jet program and could lead to Washington imposing sanctions on Ankara, US Department of State spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a press briefing.

"We've clearly warned Turkey that its potential acquisition of the S-400 will result in a reassessment of Turkey's participation in the F-35 program and risk other potential future arms transfers to Turkey, as well as lead to potential sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act," Palladino said on Tuesday.

Mar 05 11:23

US Attempting to Prevent Revival of Adana Agreement Between Turkey, Syria

The US is attempting to block efforts to revive the Adana agreement signed between Ankara and Damascus in 1998 days after Turkey did not oppose Moscow’s proposal for deployment of the Russian forces at the bordering areas between Syria and Turkey.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted the UAE’s ‘The National’ as reporting that the administration of US President Donald Trump is after creation of an international force consisting of 2,000 NATO soldiers instead of the safe zone desired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Northern Syria.

Analysts referred to the recent remarks by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Chavushoglu on the possibility for the deployment of Russian forces at the bordering areas in Northern Syria, saying that it means success of Russia’s efforts to persuade Ankara to return to the Adana protocol.

Mar 04 13:09

Trump Move on US Troops In Syria Does Not Bode Well For US-Turkey Relations

News recently that President Trump has once again done a U turn on his Syria policy – and will keep US forces in the north with their SDF (mainly Kurdish) allies – couldn’t have been more felt than in Turkey. Trump’s decision to listen to his military advisors and even titans in Congress like Lindsey Graham to keep a contingent of US troops in the north with the SDF and in the south east at Al Tanf is hugely important in that it keeps other allies there – namely France and the UK – on board and retains America’s barrier to Iran taking the east of the country as a key corridor all the way to Lebanon. It also keeps Saudi Arabia and Israel happy who were particularly vexed by the hasty decision which would have dramatically changed the Syria War chequers board.

Mar 04 12:52

Greek police pelted with PETROL BOMBS as masked attackers take to Turkish consulate (VIDEO)

It was a tense night in the Greek city of Thessaloniki as dozens of masked assailants attacked police guarding the Turkish consulate with Molotov cocktails. Officers responded with tear gas and stun grenades.
The violence broke out after dark on Saturday when around 50 males, whom the Greek media described as “anarchists,” assaulted the police.

Dozens of petrol bombs were tossed before the officers forced the attackers to retreat. There was a chase, but no arrests were made. The perpetrators hid on the grounds of the local Aristotle University, which is off-limits to the law enforcers. No injuries were reported, but firefighters were called in to extinguish several small blazes caused by the Molotovs.

Mar 03 10:14

Turkish Army Resumes Attacks on Kurdish Positions in Aleppo Province

The Turkish Army resumed its offensive on the Kurdish fighters' military positions in Northern Syria after reinforcing and dispatching 70 armored vehicles to Aleppo province.
The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants heavily pounded the military positions of Kurdish Al-Bab Military Council in the village of al-Baqouz East of the city of Al-Bab. The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants were stationed in the village of Olashli West of the city of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo.

Meantime, battlefield sources said that the Turkish Army has dispatched around 70 military vehicles comprising military and logistic supplies as well as a number of soldiers to the war fronts in Northern Syria.

Mar 01 12:00

US Attempting to Prevent Revival of Adana Agreement between Turkey, Syria

The US is attempting to block efforts to revive the Adana agreement signed between Ankara and Damascus in 1998 days after Turkey did not oppose Moscow's proposal for deployment of the Russian forces at the bordering areas between Syria and Turkey.

Feb 28 12:10

100+ warships in 3 seas: Turkey flexes military muscle with largest naval drill in its history

Turkey is conducting an unprecedented three-sea naval drill, the largest in its history. This is also the first time Turkish air and ground forces have taken part in a military exercise on this scale.

The four-day Mavi Vatan ("Blue Homeland”) 2019 drill, involving 103 navy ships, began on Wednesday in the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, and the eastern Mediterranean simultaneously, giving Turkey a chance to show off its recently-upgraded fleet, which includes over a dozen assault boats and frigates in addition to corvettes, mine hunting boats, patrol boats, and submarines.

Turkish-made Bayraktar and ANKA drones and jet fighters will also participate. The drill was planned six months ago, in accordance with NATO regulations.

Feb 27 08:22

Russian S-400 defense system purchase done deal: Turkey

Ankara's purchase of Russia's S-400 missile defense system is a done deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday, despite Washington's efforts to persuade Turkey to buy the U.S. Patriot system instead.

U.S. and NATO officials have warned Ankara that the Russian system cannot be integrated into the NATO air and missile defense system and that purchasing the S-400 system would jeopardize Turkey's purchase of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and possibly result in U.S. sanctions.

Feb 25 11:42

Erdogan warns US-planned Syria safe zone must be under Turkey’s control

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the United States and allies operating along the Syria border that any safe zone planned for the area should be under Ankara’s control.

Erdogan said in an interview aired late on Saturday that plans by the US and European military forces to set up a safe zone along Syria’s border with Turkey should be coordinated with Ankara, reiterating that the Turkish military should have control over such initiatives.

“If there is to be a safe zone along our border then it must be under our control. Because that is my border,” Erdogan told broadcaster CNN Turk.

Feb 25 10:42

Syrian Kurds Vow to Fight 'to Death' in Event of New Turkish Op in Syria - SDF

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and its component, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have promised to fight "to the death" in the event of a new Turkish operation in northeastern Syria, SDF spokeswoman Jihan Sheikh Ahmed told Sputnik on Friday.

"We will defend the north and the east of Syria to the death," Ahmed said commenting on the SDF response on a possible operation.

The spokeswoman added that the SDF would not like to see a situation similar to what happened earlier this year in Afrin, where Ankara conducted a military operation.

Later in the day, Syria's main Kurdish parties and other allied groups issued a joint statement on the issue, calling Turkish plans a "declaration of war" and calling on world powers to prevent an assault on the region.

"All the forces in the north and east Syria…are asked to agree on strategies to confront this aggression," the statement read.

Feb 23 09:19

IRAN FIGHTS TO GET AROUND US SANCTIONS IN IRAQ, TURKEY, RUSSIA AND SYRIA

“Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that Moscow will continue all-out cooperation with Iran, including in the area of nuclear energy," Iranian media reported.

Feb 20 12:17

Why won’t Turkey abandon the S-400 deal with Russia?

Washington’s first deadline for Turkey to respond to its offer to buy the Patriot missile defence system passed last Friday with no progress made. Only one day after the deadline, US Vice President Mike Pence raised the issue once again with Ankara regarding Turkey’s recent deal to acquire the Russian S-400 missile defence system. In his speech at the Munich Security Conference last Saturday, Pence threatened Turkey, without mentioning it explicitly, when he said, “We’ve also made it clear that we will not stand idly by while NATO Allies purchase weapons from our adversaries. We cannot ensure the defence of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

Feb 18 07:46

US ‘won’t stand idly by’ as Turkey buys S-400: Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence has repeated warnings to Turkey against purchasing of Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems, arguing that doing so puts other members of the NATO military alliance in danger.

Pence raised the issue during a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, saying Washington would continue to pressure Ankara to call off the deal.

“We will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries,” he said. “We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

The fiery remarks came a day after Turkey dismissed the first of two US deadlines to cancel the controversial purchase.

Feb 18 04:17

Flashback: The Complete Unexpurgated AIPAC Tape

Following is a transcript of the Oct. 22, 1992 conversation with President David Steiner of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) recorded without his knowledge by New York businessman Haim (Harry) Katz. Its existence was first revealed to the Washington Times and its release triggered Steiner's resignation.

Feb 17 09:52

EXCLUSIVE: Lindsey Graham Pitches Syria Safe Zone to Prevent ISIS Reemergence

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Breitbart News that he is proposing a plan to keep a “small percentage” of U.S. troops in Syria, after the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) caliphate is destroyed.

“The bottom line is we can reduce our presence, but there needs to be some U.S. forces — a small percentage compared to what we have today, making sure our gains are maintained,” he said in an interview Friday at the Munich Security Conference.

Graham is hoping to get allies and partners onboard with creating a stabilizing force that could maintain a safe zone in northern Syria, along its border with Turkey.

Feb 13 10:02

Turkey's president says Venezuelan gold to be processed in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Venezuela's gold will be refined in central Turkey's Corum.

"Venezuelan gold will be refined in Corum ... We will develop Corum for the gold trade and the city to a better position in this field," Erdogan said during an election rally ahead of March 31 municipal elections in this city located east of capital Ankara, CNN Turk news channel reported.

Turkey, a NATO country, aligned itself with those behind Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in a bitter crisis in which he is opposed to National Assembly leader Juan Guaido who declared himself Venezuela's rightful president last month.

Erdogan traveled to Caracas last December and met Maduro.

Feb 13 10:02

Turkey orders 1,112 arrested over links to cleric Gulen - state media

Turkey launched on Tuesday one of its largest operations against alleged supporters of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of leading an attempted coup in 2016, ordering the arrest of 1,112 people, state media reported.

Feb 11 14:35

International law under threat

Lawrence Davidson warns against the steady demise of international law, where the US and its allies are undermining the world climate change control regime, the International Criminal Court and Interpol, paving the way for the return of the barbarism that blighted the earth before 1946.>>

Feb 06 12:11

In Your Dreams! Pompeo Infuriates Turkish Netizens With Map of Divided Turkey

It's so far unclear why the map, published by the US Secretary of State on Twitter, has a border dividing Turkey in two. The State Department and other US officials haven't commented on the publication yet.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shocked Turkish netizens in one of his latest tweets, where he showed the map of countries, supporting Juan Guaido, who recently proclaimed himself an interim president of Venezuela. But it was not the support for Venezuela's opposition that angered social media users, but the map that featured Turkey divided into two unequal parts with a border.

Feb 01 12:42

U.S. Mulls Sanctions Against Turkey over Trade with Venezuela

The United States is currently investigating if Turkey’s deepening relations with Venezuela constitute a violation of its sanctions against the Maduro regime, Reuters reported Thursday.

U.S. officials are reportedly examining whether Turkey’s trade in Venezuelan gold represent a violation of sanctions imposed by the U.S. against Venezuela in November.

The White House has stepped up its efforts to remove Maduro’s illegal hold on power and replace him with 35-year-old opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó until free and fair elections are held.

Jan 31 11:23

Google erases Kurdistan from maps in compliance with Turkish gov.

Google incorporation removed a map outlining the geographical extent of the Greater Kurdistan after the Turkish state asked it to do so, a simple inquiry on the Internet giant’s search engine from Wednesday on can show.

“Unavailable. This map is no longer available due to a violation of our Terms of Service and/or policies,” a note on the page that the map was previously on read. Google did not provide further details on how the Kurdistan map violated its rules.

The map in question, available for years, used to be on Google’s My Maps service, a feature of Google Maps that enables users to create custom maps for personal use or sharing through search.

Because the map was created and shared publicly by a user through their personal account, it remains unknown if their rights have been violated or if they will appeal.

Jan 28 11:21

Turkey shells YPG positions in Tal Rifaat for third consecutive day - Anadolu

Turkish forces shelled YPG militia positions in the northern Syrian region of Tal Rifaat for a third consecutive day, state media reported on Friday.

Tal Rifaat is located some 20 km east of Afrin, which has been under the control of Turkey and its Free Syrian Army (FSA) allies since an operation last year aimed at driving out the YPG militia.

The YPG still controls the small region of Tal Rifaat, wedged between an area under Turkish control to the north and areas controlled by the Syrian government and anti-Syrian government rebels to the south.

Jan 28 10:48

Turkish Master Plan: Crush Kurds, Brush Aside US, Re-Claim Caliphate

The two presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are meeting to discuss their long-term strategic-economic relationship. Nevertheless, the situation in Syria and the US claimed withdrawal from the occupied northeast of the Levant is expected to occupy the greater part of their discussion. Both presidents are aware of the critical situation, particularly the US objective of setting Turkey against Russia and, at the same time, leaving the US allies, i.e. the Kurds of the YPG and SDF, in the eye of the hurricane.

Jan 28 10:47

'Brother, We Are With You': NATO Turkey Emerges as Staunches Defender of Maduro Against Trump

Turkey, Russia, and China came to the aid of Venezuela's leader on Thursday after the United States declared Nicolas Maduro was no longer its president.

The pledges of support came after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela in an address to tens of thousands of people on the streets of the capital, Caracas.

Jan 28 10:12

Turkish Soldiers flee while Kurdish Protesters occupy their Base; Shiladze, North Iraq, January 2019

People are furiously protesting against the Turkish attacks on civilians in the region. Duhok is the capital of Duhok Governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan. Shiladze is a Village in Iraq's northern province of Duhok, some 70km north of Mosul.

Jan 28 09:02

SYRIAN, IRAQI WAR REPORT – JAN. 28, 2019: KURDISH LEADERSHIP AT CROSSROADS BETWEEN TURKEY AND ASSAD

On January 25, hundreds of Kurdish protesters stormed a Turkish military base near the northern Iraqi city of Dahuk in response to Turkish airstrikes that killed two Kurdish civilians on January 23. According to the pro-Kurdish NRT TV, Turkish soldiers opened fire at the protestors killing at least one and injuring many others. Despite resistance, protesters managed to breach the base and set it on fire. Protestors captured most of the Turkish soldiers who were inside the base and several units of military equipment. Two agents of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization, known as MIT, were injured. Later, the captured Turks were reportedly handed over to Peshmerga, a force of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Jan 26 11:57

CIVILIANS STORM & BURN TURKISH MILITARY BASE IN NORTHERN IRAQ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

A mob of angry civilians has attacked a Turkish military camp near the Iraqi city of Dohuk, burning equipment and vehicles. The incident comes in response to the deaths of civilians during Turkish airstrikes, local media reports.
The incident occurred in northern Iraq on Saturday, when a large mob of civilians attacked a Turkish military encampment located in the predominantly-Kurdish region of Dohuk.

Footage from the scene which surfaced online shows civilians at the military encampment with Turkish military vehicles and tents burning in the background. At least one person died and 10 were reportedly wounded during the incident. It remains unclear if the Turkish Army sustained any casualties - servicemen are nowhere to be seen in the footage.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF Turkish President Erdogan thought, for one second, that the Iraqis were going to "throw roses at the feet" of their new overlords, I hope he understands that he was thoroughly mistaken.

Unfortunately, this is most probably going to cause more Turkish attacks of greater intensity against these Iraqi villages.

And BTW, where the heck is Muqtada Al Sadr while all of this is happening?!? Sir, your Iraqi citizens need to know that you have their back, and right the heck now. And I say this, because Al Sadr is now characterized as one of the most powerful elements in the current Iraqi government, yet holds no office of his own.

I hope that something can be done, to get the Turkish bombing to stop.

But notice; the US government requested, and got, an emergency meeting today at the UN regarding Venezuela.

So, why the heck was an emergency meeting not called regarding the Turkish shelling of Iraq?!?

To paraphrase a line from George Orwell's "Animal Farm";
Apparently, for the US government, "Some crises... are more precious than others."

Jan 26 11:46

US MAY BE PLOTTING TO SOW DISCORD BETWEEN RUSSIA AND TURKEY IN SYRIA: RUSSIAN TOP DIPLOMAT

Washington’s troop pullout from Syria may well be an attempt to pit Russia and Turkey against each other in the region, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the International Affairs magazine issued on Thursday.

“Something like that is quite plausible,” he said when asked whether he believes that the US is likely not to remove all of its troops in the end, but rather just clear enough space for Russia and Turkey to lock horns with each other. “We, as well as our colleagues in Ankara and others – we all understand perfectly well that this aspect is also possible. This is also part of the equation that we will have to solve,” the diplomat specified.

Jan 26 11:42

SearchSearch'Brother, We Are With You': NATO Turkey Emerges as Staunches Defender of Maduro Against Trump

Turkey, Russia, and China came to the aid of Venezuela's leader on Thursday after the United States declared Nicolas Maduro was no longer its president.

The pledges of support came after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela in an address to tens of thousands of people on the streets of the capital, Caracas.

Jan 24 10:57

Russia, Turkey agree to take steps to 'stabilise' Syria's Idlib

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recept Tayyip Erdogan say they have discussed steps needed to stabilise the situation in Syria's Idlib province where the joint battle against "terrorist" organisations will continue.

Erdogan arrived in Moscow on Wednesday with several of his cabinet members for a day-long visit.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry said the situation in the region, where Moscow and Ankara have tried to create a de-escalation zone, was rapidly deteriorating and that it was almost under the full control of Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) - a rebel group that was previously linked to al-Qaeda.

"Unfortunately there are many problems there and we see them," said Putin, standing alongside Erdogan at a joint press conference following the meeting.

Jan 24 10:19

Iran, Turkey, Russia warn US against meddling in domestic affairs of Venezuela

Iran, Turkey and Russia throw their weight behind the Venezuelan government against a bizarre move by the US-backed opposition leader to proclaim himself “president,” warning Washington against interfering in domestic affairs of the South American state.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic “backs Venezuela’s nation and legitimate government in the face of any foreign meddling in the country’s domestic affairs or any illegitimate and illegal measure such as attempts for a coup or moves against the people.”

“We hope that any disagreement and political problem in Venezuela will be resolved by the country’s own people and government as soon as possible via legal and peaceful solutions,” he added.

Jan 23 09:20

Is a Land Swap Between Turkey and Syria Being Brokered by Russia?

The regions currently being administered by the Kurds in Syria include the Kurdish-majority Qamishli and al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria along the border with Iraq, and the Arab-majority towns of Manbij to the west of the Euphrates River in northern Syria and Kobani to the east of the Euphrates River along the Turkish border.

The oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate in eastern Syria has been contested between the Syrian government and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, and it also contains a few pockets of the remnants of the Islamic State militants alongside both eastern and western banks of the Euphrates River.

Jan 23 02:09

Trump Successfully Erodes Russia-Turkey Axis in Syria

Graham used to be the best buddy of late Sen. John McCain (an inveterate Russophobe) and a maverick who broke party stereotypes and was among the loudest Republican critics of the president, but today he’s perceived as a leading Trump ally.

Most certainly, Graham undertook the mission to Ankara on behalf of Trump. The Turks understood this and he was well received by President Recep Erdogan. He also had meetings with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. Only last week, Turks had cold-shouldered US National Security Advisor John Bolton. (Erdogan refused to receive Bolton.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Syria seems to be still much in play, and it appears that there is still a great deal which will have to be done to get and keep things stable here.

Jan 22 11:11

Erdogan: Turkey not to allow Syria safe zone to turn into ‘swamp’

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the country will never allow the implementation of a militant-free safe zone in Syria to be turned into "a swamp" like the one in northern Iraq, where US-backed Kurdish militants launch attacks on Turkish soil.

Erdogan made the remarks at an official event in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday.

Jan 22 11:01

Report: Erdogan Urges Trump in Phone Call to Let Turkey Control Kurdish Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again attempted to convince his American counterpart, President Donald Trump, to allow Turkey to control Manbij, a region in northern Syria under the auspices of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ), in a phone call Sunday.

The YPG is one of America’s closest and most reliable allies in the country, responsible for eliminating much of the Islamic State presence in Syria and keeping the terrorist group out of Manbij and much of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). The Turkish government considers YPG fighters “terrorists” indistinguishable from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Marxist, U.S.-designated terrorist group.

Jan 22 10:46

US-Kurdish patrol attacked in Syria as Erdo?an offers to step in

The threat of a growing security vacuum in Syria as a result of Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops has been underlined by an attack on a joint US-Kurdish patrol, which reportedly killed five people and injured at least two American soldiers.

The attack on Monday, in which a suicide bomber drove a car into a checkpoint, emphasised the vulnerability of American troops since the US president declared he was withdrawing 2,000 soldiers from northern Syria on the grounds that Islamic State has been defeated.

The bomber targeted a joint patrol by US forces and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Hasakah countryside of north-east Syria.

Kurdish forces later claimed none of their number had been killed.

Jan 19 10:08

Turkey says Syria regime forces shouldn't be allowed in Manbij

Turkey on Friday insisted Syrian regime forces should not be allowed in Manbij as US troops withdraw, as proposed by a US-backed Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Ankara.

The strategic northern city has been held by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia since 2016 after they recaptured the territory from Islamic State jihadists.

But Ankara, who says the YPG is a "terrorist offshoot" of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has repeatedly called for the militia to leave the city.

"The YPG's efforts to stick the regime in Manbij must absolutely not be allowed," Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy said during a press conference in Ankara.

Backed by Washington, the militia has spearheaded the fight against IS but was taken aback when President Donald Trump made the shock decision to pull out 2,000 American ground forces from Syria.

Four Americans, including two US soldiers, were killed this week in Manbij in a suicide attack claimed by IS.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know precisely what Erdogan is thinking here, but.... if, in fact Manbij is, technically, Syrian territory, it should be ceded to the Syrian military.

This is a very delicate balancing act between Syria, Turkey, Russia, and the US, and if not handled with a great deal of diplomatic finesse, could easily explode into more violence.

And I seriously would like to hope and pray, that the world leaders involved in this standoff, will come to their collective senses, and not cause any more misery for the Syrian people than they have already been dealt, courtesy of the jihadis, and those who trained, funded, aided them medically, and supported them.

Come on, guys; the world knows who you are at this point!!!!

Jan 16 12:57

The US Five-point ‘Non-Paper’ for Syria Delivered by Bolton to Turkey

US diplomats and military officials failed to present any specific details to their Turkish counterparts about Washington’s plans to withdraw its forces from northern Syria during National Security Adviser John Bolton‘s visit to Ankara on Tuesday, Middle East Eye has learned.

Turkish officials had been expecting Bolton and his entourage to bring with them draft plans for the withdrawal of about 2,000 soldiers deployed as part of the US-led campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants following US President Donald Trump‘s announcement last month of his intention to pull them out of Syria.

But the US delegation instead delivered what Turkish officials described as a “non-paper”, an unofficial diplomatic note listing a country’s position on certain matters which is open for discussion.

Jan 16 11:37

Venezuela And Turkey Unite To Refine Tons Of Gold Amid US Sanctions

Venezuela and Turkey are working on a deal to ship tonnes of gold to refine and certify in the Turkish city of Corum this year.

Facing sanctions and international pressure, Venezuela is increasingly turning to Turkey as a partner in the Middle East. Ankara will provide a host of services to Caracas, including building hospital and schools and providing humanitarian aid as a part of the gold refining deal.

Venezuelan Minister of Industries and National Production Tareck El Aissami will finalise a deal on the gold trade during a visit to Turkey on Wednesday. He will also tour an industrial complex in Corum, where Ahlatci Metal company has a refinery with an annual capacity of 365 tonnes, according to a spokesperson from the Turkish precious metals company.

Jan 15 07:17

Erdogan, Trump consider setting up 'security zone' in Syria

Two leaders discuss situation in Syria over the phone amid growing tensions over the fate of US-allied Kurdish fighters.

The conversation on Monday came a day after Trump threatened on Twitter that he would "devastate" Turkey's economy if its forces attacked the US-backed Kurdish fighters, who helped Washington in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

The war of words between the two NATO allies is the latest consequence of Trump's surprising decision last month to withdraw US troops from northern Syria, potentially leaving the Kurdish militia under threat as Ankara weighs a new offensive there.

>>>

Jan 15 07:16

US warns Turkey of economic 'devastation' if it hits Kurd forces

Threat by Trump draws response from Ankara telling Washington not to conflate Syrian Kurds with 'terrorist groups'.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to "devastate" Turkey's economy if it carries out a military offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria, drawing a response from Ankara which warned Washington against "shadowing" the country's strategic partnership with "terrorist propaganda".

Trump's threat on Sunday came amid tensions between the United States and Turkey over the fate of Washington's Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) following his announcement last month that he plans to withdraw US forces from Syria.

"Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions," Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to ISIL.

"Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds," he added, while pushing for the creation of a 30km "safe zone

>>>

US 'a highly unreliable' partner to Ankara: Turkish official

Jan 14 12:32

Turkey sends more reinforcements to border with Syria’s Idlib

Turkey loaded tanks and armoured vehicles onto trucks on Saturday and dispatched the convoy to the Turkish province of Hatay on the Syrian border, the Demiroren and Reuters news agencies reported.

It was the second day of reinforcements of the Turkish military presence on the border near the northern Syrian province of Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.

On Friday, a Turkish security source said the Turkish army had been rotating forces in and out of the region, and declined to say whether the latest movement was in preparation for an operation inside Idlib province itself.

US President Donald Trump announced last month that he had decided to withdraw US troops from Syria. The decision injected new uncertainty into the eight-year-long Syrian war and spurred a flurry of contacts over how a resulting security vacuum will be filled across northern and eastern Syria where the US forces are stationed.

Jan 14 09:27

Trump issues threat to 'decimate Turkey economically' if they attack the Kurds after asking his NATO ally to mop up ISIS in the wake of the controversial US pullout from Syria

President Trump warned Turkey on Sunday of economic devastation if it attacks Kurdish forces in the wake of the US troop pullout from Syria, while also urging the Kurds not to 'provoke' Ankara.

Trump took to Twitter to reveal some of his latest thoughts in the slow drip of information being released by his administration after his shocking December announcement to withdraw troops.

His top diplomat Mike Pompeo is on a whirlwind regional tour aimed at reassuring allies amid rising tensions between the US and Turkey over the fate of Washington's Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Pompeo also sought to reassure Washington's Kurdish allies in the fight against IS, who fear the departure of American troops would allow Turkey to attack them.

Jan 14 08:55

Trump Threatens to ‘Devastate Turkey Economically’ If They Attack Syrian Kurds

In a statement Sunday evening on Twitter, President Trump announced that he will establish a 20 mile “safe zone” between Turkey and the US-backed Syrian Kurds as part of the US pullout from Syria. He also threatened to “devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds.”

Trump appeared to downplay the pullout itself, saying the US would attack ISIS from existing nearby bases if they reform. This presumably refers to US bases being set up on the Iraqi side of the Syrian border.

Overtly threatening Turkey is a new tactic, after a month of puzzling policy proclamations. The evidence, early on, was that President Trump’s pullout was announced immediately after speaking with Turkey’s President Erdogan, amid Erdogan’s open talk of invading Syrian Kurdistan.

Jan 13 12:52

Turkey deploys further military reinforcements to Syrian border

The Turkish military has sent new reinforcements to the country’s areas on the border with Syria’s militant-held province of Idlib as Ankara is preparing for a military operation against US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from the war-torn country.

Turkey's private Demiroren news agency reported that battle tanks and armored vehicles were loaded onto trucks on Saturday, and dispatched to the southern Turkish province of Hatay.

The development came on the same day that Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and top-brass military officials, namely Chief of General Staff General Yasar Guler and Land Forces Commander General Umit Dundar, in addition to Head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan, held a meeting in Hatay and exchanged viewpoints on the latest developments in Syria's Idlib.

Jan 13 09:05

TURKISH FORCES CONDUCT MILITARY EXERCISES ON SYRIA BORDER

Turkey has carried out military exercises at the border with Syria before an expected offensive on the northern city of Manbij, currently held by the United States-backed Kurdish fighters.

Jan 12 11:50

Turkish, Russian defense ministers discuss situation in Syria's Idlib

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has held a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu ahead of the possible visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia, the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its official Twitter account on Wednesday.

Jan 12 10:41

Bolton Leaving Turkey After Erdogan Rejects Meeting Request

US President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton is preparing to leave Ankara after Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied his requested meeting.

Jan 12 09:48

Turkey finishes construction of 764-km security wall on Syria border

Turkey has completed the construction of a 764-kilometer (475-mile) concrete wall along its border with Syria, according to a Turkish official on Saturday

TOKI, the state backed housing developer, built 564-kilometer (350-mile) section of the wall, while the governorates of the border provinces built 200 kilometers (124 miles), the official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.

Ankara had launched the construction project in 2015 to build an 826-km (513-mi) wall on the Syrian border, as part of Turkey's measures to increase border security and combat smuggling and illegal border crossings.

Jan 11 09:52

Erdogan To Trump: Leave Syria Now Before We Strike

Turkey has threatened to strike the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia if the United States delays its troop withdrawal from the country, according to The Guardian.

"If the [pullout] is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision," said Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu, referring to their threat to launch a military operation in Kurdish controlled Syria.

Jan 10 09:22

EXCLUSIVE: The US five-point 'non-paper' for Syria delivered by Bolton to Turkey

US officials failed to offer any specific details of an exit plan during John Bolton's visit to Ankara, instead presenting a 'non-paper' for discussion

Jan 10 08:53

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 10, 2019: AL-QAEDA DEFEATS ANOTHER TURKISH-BACKED ‘OPPOSITION’ GROUP

On January 9, Ahrar al-Sham groups in northwestern Hama surrendered and dissolved themselves under pressure from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), according to local sources. Thus, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) imposed full control over the towns of al-Ankawi and Habit.

Ahrar al-Sham is the core of a Turkish-backed coalition of militant groups known as the National Front for Liberation (NFL). However, neirther other NFL factions nor Turkey intervened to support Ahrar al-Sham during the incident in northwestern Hama.

According to pro-opposition media, the defeated Ahrar al-Sham members will get an opportunity to withdraw to the region of Afrin after they hand over their heavy weapons to HTS.

The current focus of HTS attention is southern Idlib, in particular the town of Maarrat al-Nu’man, which is still in the hands of the NFL.

Jan 10 08:51

Erdogan to Bolton: “We cannot accept Bolton’s messages given from Israel” (Video)

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan issued a crushing rebuke against U.S. national security advisor John Bolton over his pledges to ensure Turkish non-aggression against the American backed Kurds in Syria.

Erdogan’s said on Monday that, “We [Turkey] cannot accept Bolton’s messages given from Israel” adding that Bolton made a “serious mistake”…a statement that left many U.S. warmonger neocon’s stunned

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Turkish President Erdogan’s forceful shut down of war hawk John Bolton on Syria.

What does this mean for the NATO allies, for the Kurds who are now seeking to reconcile with Damascus, and for Russia, which appears to have firmly positioned its partners in Syria, to work towards a diplomatic solution to America’s failed regime change war.

Jan 09 12:26

"A Soft Coup Against Donald Trump Is Underway" Declares Major Turkish Daily

Turkey is going on the attack against John Bolton following his weekend antics in the Middle East, which most recently included being snubbed by Erdogan in the Turkish capital. Bolton has now gone "rogue" and tried to undercut Trump's Syria pullout decision by setting his own preconditions, writes the editorial board of Turkey's most visible pro-government English language daily newspaper.

The pro-Erdogan, AKP-supporting Daily Sabah says "a soft coup against Donald Trump" is underway, but that Trump's "rogue" National Security Adviser got a "rude awakening" upon visiting Turkey yesterday:

Jan 09 11:46

Turkey ready for new military incursion into Syria: Turkish president

Turkey is determined to eliminate the “terror corridor” in northern Syria and “makes no distinction between terrorist groups,” President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an said on Jan. 8, adding that Turkey’s preparations to eradicate ISIL in Syria’s north “together with other terrorist organizations” are underway.

Very soon, we will act on neutralizing terrorist groups in Syria, and we will take out other terror groups that might try to prevent us from doing this,” Erdo?an said, addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers in parliament.

The president said Turkey would confront the YPG in the same way that it will take on ISIL. “For Turkey, there is no difference between the PKK, YPG, PYD or Daesh,” the president said, using the Arabic name for ISIL.

Jan 09 11:42

Turkey asks US to hand over military bases in Syria

Ankara has asked the United States to hand over 16 of its military bases in northern Syria, which were set up for the fight against ISIL, to Turkey or local authorities in the region after the U.S. withdraws, the Turkish presidential spokesperson said after discussions with U.S. officials.

“We are pleased with [President Donald] Trump’s decision for withdrawal [from Syria], but it needs to be clarified as to what kind of structure will be left behind, what will happen to the heavy weapons that have been deployed, the fate of American military bases and logistics centers. In this meeting we discussed these in detail,” presidential spokesperson ?brahim Kal?n said on Jan. 8.

Turkey also expects the U.S. to collect the arms delivered to the YPG back, said the spokesperson, noting that the U.S. authorities informed Turkey that they were conducting a work on the issue of arms.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That must have been in the context of Trump's announcement of a withdrawal. But since that is not happening, I imagine the US will tell Erdogan to get stuffed!

Jan 09 09:39

Turkish doctors carry out surgeries on Gaza wounded

A delegation of Turkish doctors has arrived in Gaza to carry out operations on Palestinians injured during the “Great March of Return”, Felesteen.ps reported today.

The delegation, from Doctors Worldwide Turkey, an independent charity, arrived in Gaza on Monday, programmes coordinator Ahmed Tsefek said.

According to Tsefek, the delegation will remain in Gaza for four days and carry out operations at Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the besieged Strip.

Tsefek said his organisation is currently thinking of opening an office in the occupied West Bank in order to offer its services to the Palestinian refugees in the refugee camps there.

Jan 09 09:22

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 9, 2019: TURKEY WANTS US MILITARY BASES IN NORTHERN SYRIA

Ankara has asked the US to hand over 16 of its military bases in northern Syria to Turkey or to local authorities in the region after the U.S. withdraws, presidential spokesperson ?brahim Kal?n said on January 8 after discussions with U.S. officials.

“We are pleased with Trump’s decision for withdrawal [from Syria], but it needs to be clarified as to what kind of structure will be left behind, what will happen to the heavy weapons that have been deployed, the fate of American military bases and logistics centers. In this meeting we discussed these in detail,” Kal?n stressed.

He added that the US withdrawal should not allow “new opportunities for terrorist organizations or other elements, including the PYD/YPG.”

Earlier, Ankara repeatedly vowed that the US has to collect the weapons and equipment, which they had supplied to Kurdish armed groups in Syria. However, this demand as well as the transfer of US infrastructure to Turkey seems unrealistic.

Jan 09 08:34

Turkey Rejects New U.S. Syria Plan - Humiliates John Bolton

The YPG Kurds, which the U.S. uses in Syria as cannon fodder to fight the Islamic State, are the same organization as the PKK which acts as a terrorist group in Turkey. Turkey can not allow that group to exist on its border as an organized military force.

When Bolton landed in Turkey today he received a very cold welcome. The planned meeting with the Turkish President Erdogan did not take place. The meeting John Bolton, Joint Chief of Staff Joe Dunford and Syria envoy James Jeffrey held with the Turkish National Security Advisor Ibrahim Kalin was downgraded and took less than two hours. A planned joint press conference was canceled.

Jan 08 12:35

#Turkey demands the US vacate all 16 military bases in #Syria and collect all the weapons provided to Syrian Kurds, says #Erdogan's spox Ibrahim Kalin after meeting with US National Security advisor @AmbJohnBolton in Turkish capital.

Jan 08 08:13

Turkey appears to snub US; no assurances on Syrian Kurds

A senior U.S. official trying to negotiate the safety of Kurdish allies in northeastern Syria was apparently rebuffed by Turkey’s president who said Tuesday there would be “no concession” in Ankara’s push against what he describes as terror groups in the war-torn country.

White House national security adviser John Bolton met for roughly two hours with his Turkish counterpart Ibrahim Kalin and other senior officials at Ankara’s presidency complex but got no assurances on the safety of Syrian Kurdish allies — a condition for President Donald Trump’s planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria.

Bolton relayed Trump’s insistence that Turkey refrain from attacking Kurdish forces that fought alongside U.S. troops against the Islamic State group, a guarantee Turkey appeared unwilling to grant.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Oh well, we tried. I guess the troop withdrawal is off! Hee hee hee hee!" - Bolt On

Jan 07 12:23

Syria - Turkey Fails In Idleb, Is Unwilling To Take The Northeast

The neoconservatives in the Trump administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton and the Syria envoy James Jeffery, are scrambling to save their plans for Syria that President Trump disposed of when he ordered a complete retreat.

Those plans were for a permanent U.S. occupation of northeast Syria, the reduction of Iranian influence within the government held parts of Syria and an eventual disposal of the Syrian government under President Assad through negotiations. These were unicorn aims that had no chance to ever be achieved.

Moreover Trump had never signed off on these ideas. Back in April he had announced that he wanted U.S. troops out of Syria. He gave his staff six month to achieve that. But instead of following those orders Pompeo and Bolton tried to implement their own plans:

Jan 07 12:19

Turkey Rejects New US Offer to Cancel Purchase of Russian S-400 Systems - Report

According to the Yeni Safak newspaper, a US delegation has tried to convince Turkey to give up on purchasing the Russian missile systems during the visit to Ankara earlier this week. However, the Turkish authorities reportedly rejected the offer since it did not include a discount on the price set or a transfer of technology.

The Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday that the United States had submitted a proposal to sell Patriot missile systems to Ankara. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on December 18 the US State Department had approved a possible sale to Turkey of 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T), 60 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and other related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.

Jan 07 08:51

No Syria withdrawal without Turkish pledge not to attack Kurds, Bolton says

President Donald Trump will not withdraw American troops from northern Syria until the Turkish government guarantees it won’t then attack Syrian Kurdish forces that have been critical allies in the fight against ISIS, national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday.

Bolton said a commitment from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that protects the Kurds after American forces exit is something Trump is demanding, and that it’s just one of several conditions that have to be met before U.S. troops leave.

“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal,” Bolton said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow, Bolton can back-peddle with the best of them!!

I would not hold my breath that Erdogan will spare the Kurds in any way;but of course, that was Bolton's strategy here all along, as the "excuse" for keeping American military in Syria, permanently, and not leaving.

But this statement leaves me wondering: who precisely is in control of American foreign policy?!?

If you said "Israel's Netanyahu"(among other parties) you would be, of course, completely correct.

Netanyahu is unsure whether the Israeli AG is going to press charges of corruption against him, so he dissolved the Knesset, and set elections for 9 April; just about the time that President Trump has stated, vaguely, that the drawdown in Syria was supposed to start.

Without any oversight by the Knesset, which he dissolved last month, and with him holding two positions in government, Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense, he has from today to the 9th of April (about 90 days) to do anything he wants that the IDF leadership believes is "do-able" in that time frame.

I think he has given Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo their "marching orders" as to just what they will do in the Middle East that will cause him to be thought of very positively, by the time Israeli elections happen.

I don't know whether the madness will be against Gaza; Lebanon; Syria; or Iran; but this is when I expect Netanyahu, who is now a geopolitically wounded animal, to either lash out; or have his American proxies in the Middle East, do the same.

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