Published on: Sep 10, 2018 @ 14:29 – Turkey is back to its games of constant contradictory gestures and apparent vacillations. In the latest of this unfolding horror-show-meets-drama, Turkey is triangulating the U.S’s white phosphorus attacks on several Syrian sites last night, and the shots fired from U.S forces now openly fighting to protect ISIS in the south of Syria in the direction of Syrian allied forces. Turkey is clearly playing upon the increasing threats and open bellicosity, to push Russia and Iran for a better deal for Turkey, of some kind, however it is that they imagine this to be.
Editor’s note: As tensions radically escalate exactly along the lines which FRN has accurately forecasted, FRN has been under sustained DDOS attacks from Turkey, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S’s Atlantic Council and other organs of the Deep State. Therefore, there have been some unfortunate and unavoidable gaps in some coverage, which FRN will attempt to fill in throughout today, conditions permitting. Let’s help show them that they will not silence FRN by helping us with our War Chest.
Today’s statement by Ibrahim Kalin, which should be read in full in the link further down, is quite revealing. FRN’s analysis is that Turkey is not necessarily ‘serious’ about this claim as such, they do come from Kalin and no Erdogan, which is significant.
The presence of Turkish military personnel in the Syrian jihadist-held province of Idlib ensures that no military operation will begin there, according to Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his special advisor. He was educated at Georgetown University and while being Erdogan’s special advisor, represents the still-existing and strongest visible pronouncement of Atlanticist influence upon Turkey.
That aside, Turkey continues to use his presence, as a bargaining chip, to engage in standard methods of bargaining in that part of the world – agreeing, reneging if the agreement came ‘too easy’ or if an opportunity to renegotiate appears to become fruitful.
This cultural understanding of the ‘art of the deal’ has, in the view of many experts, been not a net-gain for Turkey or post-Ottoman countries, where this practice remains standard. Valuable for individual merchants and power-brokers, these generally do not work at the level of statecraft unless operating from a position of unquestioned strength – a position the Ottoman Empire once enjoyed for centuries. At worst, such a move can be deemed a provocation. However, the strategic culture of Russia is such that, in its centuries of experience in dealing defeat after defeat to the Ottoman Empire, does not generally provide for being easily provoked in a military or diplomatic sense. We have seen this principle bear out multiple times in the last few years alone.
Here’s the basic thrust of it all:
“The presence of the Turkish soldiers in that region is perhaps the only guarantee that a military operation will not start there, since the Russian Aerospace Force and the Syrian government’s [Bashar al-Assad] government forces will not carry out any offensive while the Turkish military are present,” Kalin said in an article in Daily Sabah.
According to him, “any attack on Idlib under the pretext of eliminating terrorist groups would undermine the Astana negotiation process” for peace in Syria.
“Idlib is a delayed action, any attack on this Syrian province will only bring death and destruction, which would trigger a new wave of migration to Turkey and Europe,” said the Turkish president’s spokesman.
We must recall that the Syrian government declared in July that it reserves the right to use military force to recover the province of Idlib if the armed terrorist groups that have controlled it since 2015 reject the peace terms of Damascus.
Under the agreements with Damascus, fighters who refused to surrender to government forces in Aleppo, Homs and Eastern Ghouta were gradually moved to Idlib, which since 2017 has been part of a Turkey-sponsored de-escalation zone.
At the end of August, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that the al-Nusra Front terrorists were preparing a provocation in Idlib province with chemical weapons against civilians in order to accuse Damascus and give a pretext for the US-led coalition to attack Syria.
The US said that it would hold Syria responsible for any and all future chemical attacks in Syria, despite the UN special envoy to Syria, for the Syrian crisis, saying that both sides are capable of producing a chemical attack, at least one based on bleach and other dual-use chemicals. This is despite the US under Obama having officially confirmed that Syria disposed of its chemical weapons a number of years ago, during the mid-point of the conflict.
Since 2011, Syria has been the scene of a serious armed conflict in which government troops are confronting armed opposition groups and terrorist organizations.
Conflict resolution is being sought on two platforms: in Geneva under the auspices of the UN and in the Kazakhstan capital Astana, co-sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran.
What we are seeing now is Turkey attempting to renegotiate the terms of Astana, or at least making a gesture that they aim to, or, we must also allow for, a necessary ruse to disarm US interests which still possess some capacity to undermine Erdogan’s authority in an increasingly authoritarian Turkey.