TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

TURKEY

Mar 01 06:20

Russian Sputnik news agency: Turkish bureau editor-in-chief detained, police in office

Russian news agency Sputnik has reported that police have entered its Istanbul office. Meanwhile, it is confirmed that Sputnik Turkey's editor-in-chief has been detained.

Mar 01 06:19

Erdogan: Expect 30,000 Refugees At Europe's Borders Saturday After Turkey 'Opened Gates'

Despite a 2016 agreement with the EU to stop refugee flows out of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that 18,000 refugees stood ready along Turkish borders with Europe to pour into the continent.

In his first public comments since Thursday's deaths of 33 Turkish troops in Idlib, likely by a Russian airstrike (though Ankara has preferred to blame Syrian forces), Erdogan said this number will likely climb to as many as 30,000 on Saturday.

Mar 01 06:17

In Call With Erdogan, Trump Backs Turkey on Syria

President Trump had a call with Turkey’s President Erdogan on Friday, and according to White House officials, Trump backed Turkey absolutely in Syria, demanding Syria and Russia immediately halt their offensive in Idlib Province.

The White House comments again presented Turkey’s operations as trying to “de-escalate the situation in northwest Syria,” when it would be more correct to say they are trying to keep Islamist groups from being defeated outright by the Syrian government.

Feb 29 20:32

Russia Deploys Elite ‘Hellduck’ Bombers for Strikes on Jihadists as Clashes in Idlib Escalate

The Russians have deployed several warships carrying Kaliber Cruise Missiles off the coast of Syria the past couple of days and these planes too.

Amid escalating clashes in Syria’s Idlib province, which have seen Turkey providing considerable armaments and direct fire support to a range of jihadist militias on the ground, the Russian Air Force has deployed its elite Su-34 ‘Hellduck’ strike fighters for attacks on militant positions.

Feb 29 19:42

Turkey is set to invade Syria along a 900 km front.

A Syrian friend is telling us that his sources in Syria are telling him that Turkey is preparing to invade Syria along it entire border at various points. The Russian and entire Syrian military are on high alert. Unless somebody dissuades Erdogan all hell may break loose. 2 days ago the Russians moved several surface warships near Syria and the are carrying scores of Kaliber missiles. Things are gonna get ugly. Got my ear to the ground. I hope the Russians talk him out of it.

Feb 29 18:44

US Demands Russia ‘Immediately Ground Warplanes’ Over Syria

“We call on the Russian Federation to immediately ground its warplanes. And we call for all Syrian forces and their Russian backers to withdraw to the ceasefire lines first established in 2018,” Craft said, speaking at the UN Security Council’s emergency meeting on Syria on Friday.

Feb 29 10:41

Turkey Asks NATO to Join Its War Against Syria and Russia

Note: The events that led to this critical impasse were reported by me last night, and that report thus continues here, in order to provide context to these events.

The spokesperson for the Islamist party of Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has called upon all of NATO to go to war against Syria for Syria’s having killed dozens of Turkey’s troops in order for Syria to defeat Turkey’s invasion and military occupation of Syria’s Idlib Province, which borders on Turkey. Going to war against Syria would mean going to war also against Russia, which is in Syria to protect Syria’s sovereignty over its own territory. If the United States accepts that Turkish proposal, then World War III will consequently result.

Feb 29 05:43

SYRIA - DEADLY BOMB STRIKE WARNS TURKEY TO END ITS ESCAPADES

SOURCE: MOON OF ALABAMA
The last three days of the Idleb campaign were quite eventful.

The Turkey supported Jihadis threw everything they had against Saraqib where the M4 and M5 highways join. This enabled the Syrian army to take some 40 towns and cities at the southern front. The whole Ghab plain is now in liberated and the frontline has been massively shortened.

Saraqib fell to the Jihadis but they paid a very bloody price for it as the Syrian and Russian air force continued to intensively bomb the approaches to the city. A new defensive line has now been established around Saraqib and the Syrian army is preparing to recover it.

To take the large area in the south in difficult terrain and against little resistance was more important than the temporary loss of Saraqib.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope and pray that someone besides Erdogan, in Ankara, is reading the tea leaves here, and understands - fully - what has to happen, which is a total and complete withdrawal of Turkish troops from Syria, and as immediately as humanly possible.

Angering Russia in this way was one of the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid things Erdogan could have done here, to the point where Moscow believed that the only remedy for Turkey's aggression, was a retaliation of this magnitude.

I would like to hope (and pray) that Edrogan is capable of learning from his mistakes, but am unsure how this will translate into Turkey's future policy on Syria and Russia.

Feb 29 05:12

Greece locks down land and sea routes as migrants are teargassed while trying to storm border after Turkey says it won't stop its 3.6 MILLION refugees from reaching Europe

Europe is on the brink of a new migrant crisis as Greece locked down its land and sea routes while Turkey pulled out of a long-standing deal to stop the country's 3.6 million refugees from travelling beyond its borders.

Hundreds of asylum seekers immediately began making their way towards Greece and Bulgaria – and, if they successfully cross the border, could carry on deeper into Europe.

Turkey’s neighbours responded by reinforcing their frontiers. Greece said it was locking down land and sea routes ‘to the maximum level possible’, while Bulgaria deployed 1,000 troops and military hardware to its 190-mile border with Turkey.

Feb 29 04:58

Syrian Refugees in Turkey Ready to Cross Border Into Greece

Migrants continue to arrive to the Greek islands, although authorities remain reluctant to relocate them to the mainland, despite promises to do so.

Feb 28 15:18

Turkish military carries out massive attack against Syrian Army

Putin is a day late and a ruble short. The Man has repeatedly let the terrorists and their sponsor Turkey off the hook! Very weak!

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:25 P.M.) – The Turkish military carried out a massive attack against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) last night, as their drones and ground forces launched several strikes on the government’s positions in the Latakia, Hama, Aleppo, and Idlib governorates.

READ ALSO: Turkish, Syrian Forces Trade Attacks in Idlib Amid Increased Tensions

According to a military source in the Aleppo Governorate, the Turkish military heavily targeted their armored and technical vehicles, causing significant destruction to their northwestern Syria arsenal.

Feb 28 14:54

Even NATO is unwilling to touch Turkey’s Idlib mess with a ten-foot pole

Scott Ritter
is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

Having been hit by the Syrian Air Force in Idlib, Turkey has called on NATO’s protection, but as much as the alliance would like a fight with Assad and his ally Russia, it’s refused to back Ankara’s questionable adventure.
Turkey engaged NATO in Article 4 consultations, seeking help regarding the crisis in Syria. The meeting produced a statement from NATO condemning the actions of Russia and Syria and advocating for humanitarian assistance, but denying Turkey the assistance it sought.

A failed gamble

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is painfully obvious, that Erdogan did not due his "due dilligence" with NATO, of which Turkey is a member, to sound out potential support for this military misadventure, which is on track to be one of the most miserable epic fails in Turkey's contemporary history, before he decided to send in troops.

The next Turkish Parliamentary elections are scheduled in about 3 years from now. Turkish General Elections Scheduled for 2023.

IF Edrogan keeps writing geopolitical checks his military is unable to cash, this pathologically "bad behaviour" on his part may well sour the Turkish electorate on him; cause the voting public to go back to a Parliamentary system of elections; and find someone else who will care enough about the Turkish people and its military to not put them in harm's way like this.

And now, we have a related story, from rt.com, with the following headline:
Turkey & Syria on brink of WAR in Idlib: How did it come to this?

I am hoping (and praying) that Russia's collective general level head will continue to prevail, but it all depends on how hard Erdogan, and his military, are willing to push back here.

Erdogan has been very much behaving like the human version of a loose cannon, ever since the 2016 attempted coup in Turkey; I am seriously hoping that there has got to be a point, where he has to realize what harm he is bringing to both his people, and his military; but in looking at his current behaviour, relative to Syria, I am not so certain that we are going to see a change in the behaviour which brought Turkey into Syria in the first place.

Feb 28 14:12

Hundreds of Refugees Reportedly Move Towards European Borders Amid Escalation in Idlib

Ankara has linked a new refugee crisis with renewed hostilities in Syria’s Idlib Province, where the Syrian Army has been repelling militant attacks, some of which began under the cover of Turkish artillery fire, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.

Hundreds of refugees coming from Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq are currently moving towards Turkey’s borders with Europe following reports that Ankara will no longer prevent migrants from crossing them, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported. According to the media outlet, these refugees have been moving in large groups on foot and using vehicles via the cities of Istanbul, Edirne, Izmir, and Aydin.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF in fact these reports are true (and Sputnik is not known for pulling punches), the impact on an already immigrant over-saturated Europe, may well be devastating.

Feb 28 13:27

Turkey-Russia Tensions Soar After Deadly Syria Strike

The leaders of Russia and Turkey held crisis talks Friday after 33 Turkish soldiers died in a regime air strike in Syria, prompting President Donald Trump to urge an end to the Moscow-backed Syrian offensive against rebel holdouts.

The attack by Syrian forces took place late Thursday in the northwestern province of Idlib, where President Bashar al-Assad is waging a fierce campaign to oust rebels from their last stronghold.

Trump "condemned" the attack on Turkey's troops and joined his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in calling jointly on Russia and Syria to "halt" the Idlib operation, the White House said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word please, just in case your "kitchen cabinet" failed to inform you; Idlib is sovereign Syrian territory, which the Syrian and Russian governments are working to take back from foreign -sponsored terrorists, like those Turkey has been supporting, training, funding, and arming.

The country absoflippinglutely in the wrong here, is Turkey,; not Syria, and not Russia; I do not know why you have a problem keeping this fact straight, but it appears that you very much do have a problem, keeping this fact straight.

Turkey needs to leave immediately, to ratchet down tensions here.

Feb 28 10:00

Putin, members of Russia’s Security Council alarmed at escalation in Idlib

Putin just read Erdogan the riot act in his usual nice way.

Putin and members of the Russia’s Security Council expect that Ankara will do everything possible to ensure security of Russian missions in Turkey

Feb 28 08:15

Turkey's Losing Bet in Syria

By Tony Cartalucci

Turkey has allegedly lost another 33 troops in Syria this week amid its refusal to withdraw from Syrian territory amid Syrian government gains in the northern governorate of Idlib...

The US-led proxy war against Syria is all but over. It is just a matter of time before Damascus and its allies restore control over the entire nation and begin rebuilding...

Feb 28 07:23

Turkey to open Idlib border and allow Syrian refugees free passage to Europe

Stupidity on top of insanity or is it the other way around. Erdogan had bitten off way more than Turkey can chew and now he has no doubt aggravated the Europeans too! He may well be on his way out.

Turkey will open its southwestern border with Syria for 72 hours to allow Syrians fleeing the pro-government forces' assault free passage to Europe, Turkish official sources have told Middle East Eye.

Feb 28 07:19

Turkey Set for Lone War as US Dismisses Idea of Reentry

Turkey’s repeated escalations in Syria’s Idlib Province came at least in part with US officials endorsing them and the idea of confronting Russia. But as Turkey risks blowing this up into a whole new war, it’s a war that they’ll be fighting alone.

US officials are making clear they aren’t considering joining the war in any real way

Feb 28 07:17

33 KIA in Airstrike on Turkish HQ in Syria. Russia Denies Ankara’s Request to Evacuate the Wounded by Air

In any case, the strike was possible because Russia keeps Idlib skies closed to Turkey, and Russia’s attitude was demonstrated sufficiently with the refusal of the Turkish request to allow speedy medical evacuation of the wounded with helicopters, which doubtlessly contributed to more agony and possibly deaths of Turkish soldiers. (An aerial evacuation was allowed earlier this month when Turks were hit by Syrian counter-artillery fire but since then a video emerged of Turkish soldiers firing an anti-aircraft missile at a Russian plane.)

Feb 28 07:10

Big war in Idlib will have grim consequences for everyone, including Turkey – Russian senator 28 Feb, 2020 08:58

Turkey should take into account that it will suffer too if it starts a large-scale operation in Syria’s Idlib, a Russian senator has warned. If Ankara hopes to get NATO backing for it, it will be disappointed, he added.

Feb 28 07:09

Turkey ‘puts all known targets of Syrian regime under fire’ in retaliation for airstrike

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:25 A.M.) – Turkey’s communication director announced this evening that their forces have put all Syrian military positions under fire from the air and ground, citing this attack as retaliation for the airstrike that targeted their soldiers earlier tonight.

Feb 28 07:07

The threat of a Russia-Turkey-NATO hot war over Idlib is a godsend for US foreign policy

Turkey is calling for NATO’s protection after 33 of its soldiers were killed in an apparent Syrian airstrike in Idlib, allegedly while fighting in terrorist ranks. In the regional chaos that ensues, only one player stands to gain.

Speculation over what’s to come next has seen #article 5 trending on Twitter in the hours following the attacks, after Omer Celik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AKP party, indicated to reporters in Ankara that he was looking at requesting formal NATO protection against Damascus and, by proxy, the Russian air force.

“We call on NATO to [start] consultations. This is not [an attack] on Turkey only, it is an attack on the international community. A common reaction is needed. The attack was also against NATO,” Celik told Turkish media.

Article 5 of the NATO treaty says an attack on one member is an attack on them all.

Feb 28 04:16

Russian Airstrikes Kill at Least 34 Turkish Soldiers in Syria

Weeks of threats by Turkish President Erdogan to retake Syria’s Idlib Province by force went extremely poorly on Thursday, when Turkish forces moved into an observation post south of Idlib City, and were immediately hammered by airstrikes from both Russia and Syria.

At least 34 Turkish soldiers were reported killed in this strike, a major number of casualties. Turkey’s Hatay Governor reported casualties were still flowing into his province from Idlib.

Turkey has put thousands of troops in Idlib recently, and Erdogan had promised to reclaim all 10 of the observation posts, while ultimately expelling Syria from Idlib. They negotiated with Russia on getting Syria to surrender, but that failed.

Turkey seemed to be under the assumption that they could overrun Syria’s military, still taxed by a long civil war, with little problem.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have a companion piece to this, also from antiwar.com, with the following headline: Turkey Set for Lone War as US Dismisses Idea of Reentry:
Esper: I don't see any likelihood that we would be back

The article goes on to state: "Turkey’s repeated escalations in Syria’s Idlib Province came at least in part with US officials endorsing them and the idea of confronting Russia. But as Turkey risks blowing this up into a whole new war, it’s a war that they’ll be fighting alone.

US officials are making clear they aren’t considering joining the war in any real way. Defense Secretary Mark Esper in particular said that 'I don’t see any likelihood that we would be back along the border.'

There were few reasons to think the US would want to get sucked back into a war in Syria, particularly one against Russia. This is likely informing Turkey, in the recent flare-up, were trying to play this up as a fight against the Assad government, and not Russia.

That makes sense, of course, because Turkey’s military is in a decent position to fight a one-on-one conflict with war-weary Syria over Idlib Province. Fighting Russia is something else entirely, especially with the US not interested in getting sucked in."

IF Edrogan thought for one second, that his position was secure in Syria, because the US military would be coming to his aid, he really mis-read the tea-leaves here, to the point of being utterly dead-wrong.

I hope that his supporters in Turkey understand that this hairbrained campaign was utterly not in their best interests, and although I do not believe that Turkish law has any equivalency to the US's 25th Amendment, I hope (and pray) that the Turkish people get disillusioned with their current national leadership in a way which will leave room for cooler heads to prevail on the stage of international geopolitics, the next time there is a national election.

Feb 28 03:51

Erdogan 'Opens The Gates' And Begins Flooding EU With Migrants After Syrian Army Airstrike Kills 33 Turks

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan "opened the gates" and began flooding Europe with migrants on Friday after a Syrian government airstrike killed 33 Turkish soldiers in Syria's northwestern Idlib province.

Feb 27 21:43

Even Trump is Smarter than Erdogan: 37 More Turkish Soldiers Killed in Idlib

What is known so far is the Syrian Arab Army bombed a Turkish military column of armored vehicles that were moving to aid al-Qaeda in Saraqib after the terrorists were defeated. The military column is ‘deleted’

Feb 27 21:38

Turkey in social media BLACKOUT amid fears of all-out war in Syria

Turks are getting their butts handed to them.

Social media platforms across Turkey winked out after reports of an airstrike in Syria killing dozens of Turkish soldiers fueled rumors of an all-out war. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and YouTube were all reported down.

Feb 27 21:35

33 Turkish soldiers confirmed killed in Idlib airstrike as Erdogan chairs emergency meeting on Syria

At least 33 Turkish servicemen have been killed in an airstrike in Syria’s Idlib province, while an unspecified number of soldiers were injured. Turkish officials attributed the strike to the Syrian military.

Feb 27 21:29

33 Turkish Troops Killed by Airstrike in Syria's Idlib

Some 33 Turkish servicemen have been killed as a result of an airstrike in the Syrian province of Idlib, Rahmi Dogan, the governor of Hatay province, located close to the Turkish border with Syria, said.

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