Sunday, February 14, 2016

Russia, Saudi Arabia And Turkey On Collision Course In Syria

Russia and Saudi Arabia on course to collision in Syria

Russia does not stop. Reports in Arabic media on Saturday evening told the story of a stream of thousands of refugees that won’t subside, all fleeing the northwestern areas of Syria toward the Turkish border. They are escaping a ground offensive by the Syrian army, assisted by Russian carpet bombings against Aleppo and the villages of Latakia and near Homs.

According to reports from Russia, the Syrian army has succeeded in taking control of some villages in northern Latakia, a region in the western part of Syria. Bashar Assad’s army has also conquered areas north of Aleppo; on Friday, his army claimed to have taken over villages controlling several strategic roads near the Turkish border.

As a Hebrew saying goes, the appetite is whetted when the food is served. An emboldened Assad even gave an interview on Friday to Agence France Presse, vowing not to cease fighting until he retakes control of the entire nation. While this would have sounded like science fiction only a few months ago, now, with the help of Russian bombers, it no longer seems a fantasy.

If Assad and his Iranian and Russian allies succeed in taking over “Alawistan,” they are likely to turn eastward to Idlib and then southward to the Golan Heights. Only after this “cleanup” is the Alawite axis likely to try to tackle Islamic State in the eastern part of the country.
Thus, the Russian strategy to defeat Islamic State reveals itself: Firstly, to defeat everything that is not IS and opposes Assad, mainly in the northwestern part of Syria. And then to take on IS.

A war is brewing and perhaps within a few days or weeks, should cooler heads not prevail in the middle east, we will see the opening salvos of World War III. This time it won’t just be a proxy war between various extreme and moderate terrorist organizations. This time, as John Kerry so eloquently noted, the end result may well be war with the Russians.

As we publish, Saudi Arabian forces are readying their air force for bombing runs over Syria. According to reports they are also massing ground troops and awaiting the go-ahead from their Western coalition partners, with the final order likely coming directly from the United States.
For the moment the United States will be sitting this one out, acting indirectly as more of a support mechanism rather than putting any boots on the ground. Thus, it will be in the hands of the Turks and Saudis for now.

But if they think they’re simply going to walk into Syria against battle-hardened forces sponsored by Iran and Russia, they are about to get a very brutal wake-up call.
In a forum posting detailing the The Hidden Agenda Behind Saudi Arabia’s Market Share Strategy, prolific researcher and analyst John Galt of the Shenandoah web sitesays that should Saudi Arabia put boots on the ground and attempt to engage ground forces in Syria the consequences may be disastrous:
The Saudi forces allegedly deployed are designed for operations to protect the royals. Saudi SF are not trained for foreign engagements, have no familiarity with Syrian, Iranian, or other combat operations.
It would be like sending our TSA to fight the Mexican Drug cartels in Monterrey.
If the Saudi and GCC SF’s engage in combat inside of Syria without US oversight, they will lose 50% of their forces in the first engagement with Syrian or Hezbollah forces who now have learned how to launch coordinated air and ground assaults on enemy positions.
The Saudi military is a joke.

Galt backs up his claim with a video that pretty much demolishes the notion that the Saudi Arabian military is trained for this kind of combat.

The Saudis have a bigger problem; they don’t even control their Southern border. They are losing tanks, men, and other equipment daily to a bunch of sandal clad Houthi warriors while they have the “best” equipment from the United States.

“Whatever propaganda the Saudis continue to feed their domestic population,” he says, “is being betrayed by the arrival of body bags from the front lines.”

Update: At least two sources confirm that Turkey also fired on the Syrian army on Saturday, an exceptionally provocative move. 
Update: Washington has now weighed in and is asking the Turks to please stop shelling the soldiers the Pentagon is arming.

In fact, the fighting is more intense than ever. Russia and Hezbollah are closing in on Aleppo, the country’s largest city and a key urban center where rebels are dug in for what amounts to a last stand. If the city is liberated by the government (and yes, “liberated” is more accurate than “falls” because occupied territory belongs to the Syrian government, not to Sunni extremists), Assad will have regained control of the country’s backbone in the west.

That would effectively mean the end of the rebellion and the Gulf monarchies, not to mention Turkey, are not happy about it. “The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey, for Turkey is the main conduit of supplies for the terrorists,” Assad said in an interview with AFP on Friday.

That supply line has been severed and now, it’s do or die time for the rebels’ Sunni benefactors in Ankara, Riyadh, and Doha. Either intervene or watch as Hezbollah rolls up the opposition under cover of Russian airstrikes, restoring the Assad government and securing the Shiite crescent for the Iranians.

As we documented extensively this week, the Saudis and the Turks are now set to invade. Assad has promised to “confront them”, which of course means that the IRGC and Hassan Nasrallah's army are set to come into direct contact with Turkish and Saudi troops, setting the stage for an all-out sectarian war that will almost invariably end up pitting NATO against the Russians. Note that this is different from Yemen, where Tehran fights via proxies rather than directly against the Saudi military.
On Saturday the stakes were raised when Turkey said Saudi Arabia is set to send warplanes to Incirlik.

Now, it appears the Saudis are set to use the base as a staging ground for strikes in Syria.
As RT reports, “Saudi Arabia is to deploy military jets and personnel to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base in the south of the country.” 
Of course the excuse is the same as it ever was for everyone involved: the fight against ISIS.

In short: somehow, Turkey and Saudi Arabia need to figure out how to spin an attack on the YPG and an effort to rescue the opposition at Aleppo as an anti-ISIS operation even though ISIS doesn’t have a large presence in the area
How they plan to do that is anyone’s guess, but the following tweets should tell you everything you need to know about where this is headed. 

As you can see, Turkey has begun shelling Aleppo in what is indeed a very serious escalation that will likely prompt a Russian response.

To sum up, Turkey is deliberately attempting to reverse gains made by the US-backed Kurds in an area that is under siege by the Russians and Iran. Or, more simply: utter chaos.

The Turkish army has shelled Syrian government forces in Aleppo and Latakia provinces, while also hitting Kurdish targets near the city of Azaz in northwestern Syria, including an air base recently retaken from Islamist rebels, with a massive attack.

Anatolia news agency reported that the Turkish military hit Syrian government forces on Saturday, adding that the shelling had been in response to fire inflicted on a Turkish military guard post in Turkey’s southern Hatay region.

Turkish artillery targeted Syrian forces again late on Saturday, according to a military source quoted by RIA Novosti. The attack targeted the town of Deir Jamal in the Aleppo Governorate.
The agency also cited details of an earlier attack on Syrian government army positions in northwestern Latakia.
“Turkey’s artillery opened fire on the positions of the Syrian Army in the vicinity of Aliya mountain in the northwestern part of the province of Latakia,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the Turkish shelling of Kurdish positions continued for more than three hours almost uninterruptedly, a Kurdish source told RT, adding that the Turkish forces are using mortars and missiles and firing from the Turkish border not far from the city of Azaz in the Aleppo Governorate.

A source in the Turkish government confirmed to Reuters that the Turkish military had shelled Kurdish militia targets near Azaz on Saturday.
The Turkish Armed Forces fired shells at PYD positions in the Azaz area,” the source said, referring to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara views as a terrorist group.
A Turkish security official told Reuters that the shelling of the Kurds had been a response to a shelling of Turkish border military outposts by the PYD and forces loyal to Damascus, as required under Turkish military rules of engagement.
Turkey’s PM Davutoglu also confirmed that the country’s forces had struck Syrian Kurdish fighters and demanded that the Kurds retreat from all of the areas that they had recently seized.

After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the socialist country does not have enough food to feed its population, and the opposition government has declared a "nutritional emergency." This is just the most recent nail in the beleaguered country's slow, painful economic collapse.

Many people expect an economic collapse to be shocking, instant, and dramatic, but really, it's far more gradual than that. It looks like empty shelves, long lines, desperate government officials trying to cover their tushes, and hungry people. For the past two years, I've been following the situation in Venezuela as each shocking event has unfolded. Americans who feel that our country would be better served by a socialist government would be wise to take note of this timeline of the collapse.
In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal.  The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are "hoarding" basic staples with serious sanctions.

Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies. Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent "hoarding."

Then, just over a year ago, it became even more apparent that the country was falling, when long lines for basic necessities such as laundry soap, diapers, and food became the norm rather than the exception. Thousands of people were standing in line for 5-6 hours in the hopes that they would be able to purchase a few much-needed items.

Shortly after the story broke to the rest of the world, the propaganda machine shifted into high gear.  As the government began to ration electricity, it was announced that this was not due to economic reasons at all, but instead was a measure of their great concern for the environment.
As the situation continued to devolve, farmers in Venezuela were forced to hand over their crops last summer. They assumed control of essential goods like food, and began putting retail outlets out of business. Then, once they had control of the sales outlets, they began forcing farmers and food manufacturers to sell anywhere from 30-100% of their products to the state at the price the state opted to pay, as opposed to stores and supermarkets.
And now, the announcement of the "nutritional emergency" makes it official. Venezuela is out of food, and it's only a matter of time before Venezuelans are quite literally starving due to a long series of terrible decisions by their leaders.

1 comment:

ally said...

Scott, as a medical professional, your take on the fact that judge Scalia was not even examined, they aren't doing an autopsy and they already embalmed him. 0_0 this sinks to high heaven.