Turkey’s New Relationship With Russia – And Assad
Until the July 15th US-backed (or so the Turkish government alleges) coup-attempt to overthrow Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, Erdogan was trying to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whom the US regime likewise wants to overthrow.
However, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin saved Erdogan’s Presidency, and probably Erdogan’s life, by contacting him hours prior to the pending coup and thus enabled him to plan and prepare so as to overcome the attempt, and crush the operation.
Putin wouldn’t have known ahead-of-time about the coup-plan unless Russian intelligence had provided to him intelligence that it was coming. This intelligence might have included information about whom the source of it was. If Putin had intelligence regarding that matter, then he presumably shared it with Erdogan at that time – prior to the coup.
Promptly on July 16th, Erdogan announced that the source of the coup was his long-time foe (but former political supporter) Fethullah Gulen, who in 1999 had relocated himself and the headquarters of his multibillion-dollar Islamic organization to Pennsylvania in the United States.Erdogan said that he would demand Gulen’s extradition to stand trial in Turkey. However, the US State Department said it had not yet received a «formal extradition request».
On August 4th, «Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Ankara had submitted a second extradition request», but the US ‘Justice’ Department was «still trying to evaluate if the documents can be considered a formal extradition request».
The ‘Justice’ Department is still trying, 16 days later, as of the present writing.
Meanwhile, on August 9th, Erdogan flew to Moscow to meet privately with Putin – the man who had saved his Presidency if not his life. Presumably, Erdogan wanted to see all of Russia’s intelligence on the matter. After that meeting, he may be presumed to have seen all of the intelligence on it, both from Turkish and from Russian intelligence agencies.
Erdogan continued his demand that the US extradite Gulen. Evidently, after his having seen all of the intelligence from both Turkey and Russia, he remained convinced that Gulen was behind it.
Putin is determined to prevent what the American-Saudi-Qatari-Turkish alliance have been demanding on Syria: the ouster of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad prior to any election being held in Syria. The repeated demand by Putin has instead been that only the Syrian people themselves, in a free and fair internationally monitored election, can decide whether or when to terminate Assad’s present term of office, and that Russia will accept whatever the voters of Syria decide as to the identity of Syria’s President going forward.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has, on at least two occasions, publicly stated that he supports Putin’s position on this, and that there would be no legitimacy for a forced ouster of the current Syrian President.
On Saturday August 20th, the AP bannered «Turkey: Assad can be part of transition in Syria», and reported that «Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Saturday his country is willing to accept a role for Syrian President Bashar Assad during a transitional period but insisted he has no place in Syria’s future… ‘Could Syria carry Assad in the long-term? Certainly not… The United States knows and Russia knows that Assad does not appear to be someone who can bring (the people) together’».
Of course, Russia does not «know» that (and, in fact, more than 50 % of Syrians even when polled by western firms, want Assad to continue being President of Syria, and more than 80 % blame the US for backing the jihadists), but Turkey’s statement that Russia does «know» it, will help the Turkish public (whom the Erdogan regime has indoctrinated to consider Assad evil) acclimate to thinking of Assad’s ally Russia as being actually a friend, no foe, of Turkey; and this will, in turn, assist Erdogan going forward, especially if he’s aiming to, for example, remove Turkey from the NATO alliance and align with Russian foreign policy.
What’s happening here is the setting of the terms for the next Presidential election in Syria. Washington and its allies (which used to include its fellow-NATO-member Turkey) demand that the Syrian ‘democratic revolution’ (or foreign invasion by fundamentalist-Sunni jihadists hired and armed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and UAE) succeed and establish a fundamentalist-Sunni leader for Syria, who will then, perhaps, hold elections, which, perhaps, will be ‘democratic’ instead of imposing Sunni Islamic law. But Assad, and Russia, demand that there be no such overthrow prior to the election; and, now, Turkey has stated that this would be acceptable to them. That’s a big change in Turkey’s international relations.
How seriously should one take Turkey’s continuing demand that «Certainly not» could the Syrian people re-elect Assad to be their President?One should take it with a grain of salt that would easily be washed away if Assad does win that election.
In other words: Turkey has announced, on August 20th, that, at least on the Syrian issue, it’s no longer an ally of the US
An earthquake had thus happened in international relations.
* * *
And so then, on Monday, August 22nd, the United States government — which demands the overthrow of the internationally-recognized-as-legal government of Syria — officially announced that America’s military forces in Syria will continue to occupy Syrian land, no matter what the Syrian government says, and will shoot down any Syrian planes that fly over U.S. forces there and attack them.
As reported on Monday by Al-Masdar News:
The Pentagon has announced that the USA is ready to down Syrian and Russian planes that they claim threaten American advisers who by international law are illegally operating in northern Syria.
On Friday, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis claimed that US jets attempted to intercept Syrian planes to protect the American advisers operating illegally with Kurdish forces in Syria after Syrian government jets bombed areas of Hasakah when Kurdish police began an aggression against the National Defense Force.
On Monday, another Pentagon spokesman, Peter Cook, said, “We would continue to advise the Syrian regime to steer clear of those areas.”
“We are going to defend our people on the ground, and do what we need to defend them,” Cook told reporters.
This means that the U.S. government will not allow the Syrian government to expel or otherwise eliminate U.S. forces in Syria. The Syrian government never invited U.S. forces into Syria, but the U.S. now officially dares the Syrian government to assert its sovereignty over the areas where America’s troops are located.
When pushed further about Russia, Cook made it clear that the US would make the same aggression against Russian jets who are operating legally with the Syrian government’s approval and coordination.
“If they threaten US forces, we always have the right to defend our forces,” Cook said.
This means that the U.S. not only is at war against the legitimate government of Syria, but that the U.S. government will also be at war against Russia if Russian forces (which the Syrian government did invite into Syria) defend Syrian forces from attacks in Syria by U.S. forces — forces that are illegally there.
These U.S. forces number only 300, of whom 250 were sent to Syria on April 24th to serve as advisors to other illegal military forces in Syria.
The vast majority of the illegal military forces in Syria are jihadists who had been hired by the Saudi government and the Qatari government, and supplied with U.S. weapons, to overthrow the Syrian government. Most of the other illegal forces in Syria are Kurdish forces, supported by the U.S. government to break Syria apart so as to create a separate Kurdish state in the majority-Kurdish far north-eastern tip of Syria.
The primary U.S. goal in Syria is to overthrow the Syrian government, which is led by the Baath Party, Syria’s secular Party. Many Arabs insist upon Sharia, or Islamic law, but Syria’s Arabs are an exception; the Baath Party is and has always been supported by the majority of the Syrian people, including by most of Syria’s Arabs. Most Syrians are strongly opposed to Sharia law. Syria is the most secular nation in the Middle East.
For example, when Western-sponsored polls were taken in Syria, after the start in 2011 of the importation of jihadists into Syria, those polls showed that 55% of Syrians want Bashar al-Assad (the current leader of the Baath Party) to remain as Syria’s President, and “82% agree ‘IS [Islamic State] is US and foreign made group’.” Furthermore, only “22% agree ‘IS is a positive influence’,” and that 22% was the lowest level of support shown by Syrians for any of the presented statements, except for, “21% agree ‘Prefer life now than under Assad’” — meaning that Syrians believe that things were better before the U.S.-sponsored jihadists entered Syria to overthrow Assad.
Clearly, when “82% agree ‘IS [Islamic State] is US and foreign made group’,” very few people in Syria support the 300 U.S. forces there. Not only is the U.S. an invader, but it (and especially the forces that the U.S. supports in Syria — most especially the jihadists, who are the vast majority of these forces) made life far worse (and far shorter) for virtually all Syrians.
Furthermore, that same poll found: “70% agree ‘Oppose division of country’.” Consequently, the Kurdish separatists are likewise opposed by the vast majority of Syrians.
The Syrian government, from now on, is in the uncomfortable position of having invaders on its territory, and of being warned that one of them — the U.S. — will be fully at war against Syria if Syria tries to expel them.
Russia too is now under warning from the United States, that, if Russia, an ally of Syria, takes any action to expel or kill any of the U.S. invaders in Syria, then the U.S. will also be at war against Russia.
The U.S. government is now also daring the Russian government. Perhaps the U.S.strategy here is to force Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, either to back down, and abandon its Syrian ally, or else to launch a nuclear strike against the United States. If Putin backs down, that would greatly diminish his support from the Russian people, which is above 80% in all polls, including Western-sponsored ones. Perhaps this is the strategy of U.S. President Barack Obama, to drive Vladimir Putin out of office — something that might occur if the U.S. drives Bashar al-Assad out of office.
As Seymour Hersh reported, on 7 January 2016, “the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then [in the summer of 2013] led by General Martin Dempsey, forecast that the fall of the Assad regime would lead to chaos and, potentially, to Syria’s takeover by jihadi extremists, much as was then happening in Libya,” and so Dempsey quit, and Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, director of the DIA between 2012 and 2014, was fired over the matter. “The DIA’s reporting, he [Flynn] said, ‘got enormous pushback’ from the Obama administration. ‘I felt that they did not want to hear the truth.’”
Flynn is now a foreign-affairs advisor to the Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who is being criticized by the Democratic Presidential candidate, for being soft on Russia and insufficiently devoted to the U.S. goal of overthrowing Assad.
You decide what happens if Hillary is elected…