Sunday, February 14, 2016

Major Escalation: Turkey Shells Aleppo, Syrian Army - Now Awaiting Russia's Response

This situation is escalating rapidly. With this most recent aggression by Turkey, we will have to wait and see what Russia's response will be:

Turkey Shells Aleppo, Saudi's move Fighter Jets and Soldiers to Incirlik air base

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.
Syrian Kurds are actively engaged in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group and have been recently described as “some of the most successful” forces fighting IS jihadists in Syria by US State Department spokesman John Kirby, AFP reports.
Earlier, the US also called the PYD an “important partner” in the fight against Islamic State, adding that US support of the Kurdish fighters “will continue.”
The latest developments come as Turkey continues a relentless crackdown on Kurds in its southeastern region. Ankara launched a military operation against Kurdish insurgents from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in July of 2015, breaking a ceasefire signed in 2013.
Turkey’s General Staff claim that Turkish forces killed more than 700 PKK rebels during the offensive in the southeastern districts of Cizre and Sur. Meanwhile, Amnesty International has reported that at least 150 civilians, including women in children, were killed in the Turkish military operation, adding that over 200,000 lives have been put at risk.

A video released by the Syrian Kurdish news agency ANHA and obtained by Ruptly shows damaged buildings and people rushing to take care of the wounded in the village of Maryamayn near the town of Afrin after reportedly undergoing a Turkish artillery attack.

Ruptly reported that at least two civilians had been killed and several injured.
Turkish military sources told Anadolu Agency that the shelling continued on Sunday, destroying several positions of YPG – the military wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD). The militias reportedly suffered a number of casualties, the sources added.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone on Sunday that Turkey’s military will continue to respond to attacks by Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria, sources in Davutoglu’s office told Reuters.
Washington and Paris have already called on Turkey to cease its shelling of Kurdish targets in Syria.

Turkey’s shelling of Syria is a warning to the Kurds to stop trying to free the northern part of the country from Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL), Kobane-based political analyst Barzan Iso told RT, citing reports of civilians injured in the attacks. 
“Turkey is trying to prevent Kurds from liberating the area around the Turkish border from IS,” Iso said. “The YPG [Kurdish People’s Protection] units are stronger than before and have the ability to free the area around Turkey from ISIS.”
The reasons for Turkey’s aggressive move is not just profitable relations with Islamic State, the Kurdish analyst said, referring to the cheap IS oil exports that Turkey has reportedly been receiving. Moreover, he argued, IS fighters in northern Syria also create a useful buffer zone for Ankara that could eventually help Turkey “occupy” the territory between Aleppo and Turkey’s border.

This is just the first signal that Turkey will be further intervening into Syria, he said.

Turkey shelled positions of Syrian government forces in Aleppo and Latakia provinces as well as Kurdish targets near the city of Azaz, in northwestern Syria. This included an air base recently retaken from jihadists reportedly with Russian air support.

This morning, Turkish Artillery began shelling positions outside of Azzaz, Syria.  Those positions are held by the Syrian Arab Army (legitimate, duly-elected government of Syria) and are NOT being aimed at ISIS terrorists! These are direct attacks by Turkey upon the lawful government forces of Syria.With their rebel pals falling to the legitimate government of Syria, Turkey has now begun shelling into Syria to aid their Rebel forces and ISIS Terrorists!
Sources on the ground inside Syria tell SuperStation95 that the Turks began a furious artillery barrage at about 6:00 AM eastern US time today.  Turkey is attacking the Kurdish YPG .

It is unclear at this time, whether the YPG is pro-Bashar Assad and his duly elected government, but it is clear that YPG directly engaged and destroyed ISIS in past battles.  So on the surface, it appears that YPG are the “good guys” and Turkey is attacking them!
It is not known if Russian air forces will engage the artillery firing into Syria because to do so would mean attacking those forces  located inside Turkey.  If Russia were to attack them – even though they have lawful cause to do so — it is clear that Turkey would cry to NATO that they had been “attacked” and try to invoke Article 5 of the NATO self-defense agreement.  That would require NATO to come to the defense of Turkey, thus engaging Russia directly.

This is a fast developing story, and will be updated frequently today (13 February 2016).  Check back often.

UPDATE 4:25 PM Eastern US Time — SuperStation95 has consulted with military experts who told us “Turkey is ready to deploy some 18,000 troops with substantial artillery and air support to occupy a 30-kilometer deep territory across the border running from the city of Jarabulus westward to the city of Azaz. The operation would cover an area under ISIS control, and it would provide a direct military assistance to terrorists and facilitate establishing of a buffer zone for the vestiges of their forces in Northern Syria. It would drastically escalate the tensions with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, the Turkish military is fully capable of completing the first move aimed to push the SAA and the SDF from the aforementioned area and occupy a significant part of Northern Syria.
This step will likely face a hard answer of the Russian military grouping located in the country. The Russian land and navy air-defense systems and fighter jets are fully capable to neutralize the Turkish air force which will allow the Syrian government to counter-attack the Turkish intervention forces. Thus, the anti-terrorist forces will get a chance to exercise a counter-attack which will be likely supported by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.”

UPDATE: 5:57 PM Eastern US Time —  Russia is amassing military supplies in its Southern Military District – high alert

UPDATE 6:04 PM Eastern US Time — BREAKING: Turkey confirms that its artillery targeted Syrian regime positions in Latakia  (This is now an actual admission by the sovereign government of Turkey that it has deliberately attacked the forces of the legitimate and sovereign government of Syria.  Without cause or justification, Turkey has begun a war.)

UPDATE 6:11 PM Eastern US Time — Emergency Action Messages (EAM) – the highest priority message in the entire United States Military Command Structure, requiring IMMEDIATE attention and action —  have been broadcasting non-stop for about the last ten minutes on 8992 KHz USB.

UPDAT 6:16 PM Eastern US Time — URGENT: Turkish artillery renews attack on Syrian govt army positions in Aleppo

"The Syrian government says Turkish forces were believed to be among 100 gunmen it said entered Syria on Saturday accompanied by 12 pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, in an ongoing supply operation to insurgents fighting Damascus," Reuters reports. "The operation of supplying ammunition and weapons is continuing via the Bab al-Salama crossing to the Syrian area of Azaz," the Assad government says.
Meanwhile, since all that would take to unleash a full-blown war is for some Russian to be unexpectedly blown up, events like this do not inspire much confidence in the Syrian "ceasefire":

On Saturday, the geopolitical world was shocked when Turkey began shelling Aleppo, where the Syrian opposition has its back against the wall in the face of an aggressive advance by Hezbollah and the IRGC supported, of course, by Russian airstrikes.

To be sure, everyone knew Ankara and Riyadh would have to do something quick if they wanted to preserve the rebellion. Their proxies are being rolled up rapidly by Hassan Nasrallah’s army and Vladimir Putin’s air force juggernaut. But few expected the escalation would come so quickly.

But Recep Tayyip Erdogan is unpredictable (just ask the lone surviving pilot of the Su-24 Turkey shot down in November) and this weekend, he decided that there’s no time like the present when it comes to starting World War III.

Officially, Turkey says it’s shelling Kurdish positions in Syria in self defense. It’s all about securing the border against hostiles, Ankara says. Of course the idea that the YPG are set to invade Turkey is laughable. The Syrian Kurds have secured enough space in their own country to declare an autonomous proto-state, and they needn’t aspire to capturing Turkish territory.

And so, Turkey is set to take the fight to Syria in the name of fighting “terrorists”, which for Erdogan, means eradicating the Kurds. As we noted on Saturday, the challenge for Ankara and Riyadh is this: 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.

Incredibly, Turkey seems less concerned about the optics than we thought. In short, Erdogan looks as though he’s prepared to simply enter the war on the pretext that Turkey needs to roll back the YPG which, you’re reminded is explicitly backed by the US. 

In a way that makes sense. You can’t very well shell Aleppo and use ISIS as an excuse. The group’s presence isn’t large enough in the area. But what you can do is say “the PKK are terrorists, they’re allied with the YPG who are in Aleppo, and therefore, we need to shell Aleppo.”

Put in the simplest possible terms, what Erdogan is really doing is trying to reopen supply lines closed by Russia and Iran by wiping out Kurdish forces who dominate the northern border with Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Russians aren't letting up. Aleppo will be recaptured and that, as they say, is that.

"Russia is determined to create facts on the ground, and when they have accomplished this, then they will invite the West to fight a common enemy, this is ISIS," Norbert Roettgen, head of the foreign affairs committee in the German parliament says, underscoring our contention that Russia is determined to negotiate from a position of absolute strength. "Let's be clear about what this agreement does. It allows Russia's assault on Aleppo to continue for another week," John McCain exclaimed. "Mr Putin is not interested in being our partner. He wants to shore up the Assad regime, he wants to establish Russia as a major power in the Middle East, he wants to use Syria as a live fire exercise for Russia’s modernizing military."
Right. And America is seemingly powerless to stop him.
In the short term, the only question now is this: how long will it be before Turkey or Saudi Arabia kills a Hezbollah fighter or an IRGC general? 
Or worse: what happens when a Russian ends up dead at the hands of the region's Sunni powers?

Three Shia divisions, who fought Daesh in Iraq, are fighting now in the south and south-east of the province of Aleppo supporting the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Daily Beast quoted US officials as saying.

Several Iraqi Shia divisions, previously backed by US are battling now in Syria on behalf of Bashar al-Assad against Syrian militias backed by US forces, according to the Daily Beast citing two representatives of the US Department of Defense.

"At least three Shia divisions involved in successful battles against ISIS in Iraq-the Badr Brigade, Kata'ib Hezbollah, and the League of the Righteous-have acknowledged taking casualties in fighting in south and southeast Aleppo province," the statement said.

The US military confirmed that "they believe… at least one" unit of the Badr Brigade is fighting in southern Aleppo alongside other Iraqi militia groups" supported by "Russian airpower and Iranian troops-and all of whom are bolstering President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Army."


Caver said...

Well, Church, it looks like the prophetic calendar is moving to a new page......surely one of the last pre rapture pages. Ain't it grand knowing God is still on the throne!

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

See everybody under the Tree of Life, first Friday after The Feast.

Scott said...

Amen to that Caver!

ally said...

Oh Scott and Caver, I sure hope so. My heart is continually breaking for those who don't believe and I've spent all morning weeping on my face before him. I went outside for sunshine to try and lift my mood but the skies are filled with freshly laid chemtrails. Periless times indeed. Yet no one seems to be waking up. And I'm so tired of shouting it from the rooftops. Danger danger while everyone laughs. Most Christians still don't see it. Thank you guys so much fir standing!!!!