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Regional geopolitics

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  • Vrej1915
    Policy Analysis

    PolicyWatch 3260
    Turkey’s Options for Pressuring Russia in Idlib Are Limited

    Soner Cagaptay
    Also available in العربية
    February 11, 2020

    Weighty domestic concerns and geopolitical fears will likely keep Erdogan from pushing too hard against the current Russian-Syrian campaign, but the parties may yet broker a temporary deal to carve the province in half.

    Besides sending hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to the Turkish border, the ongoing military campaign against rebels and civilians in Idlib is undermining agreements reached between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Previously, they had envisioned the Turkish military and the Syrian rebel factions it backs coexisting in the province with Russian and Syrian forces. Yet Putin and Bashar al-Assad’s renewed military push has raised doubts about whether Erdogan can prevent them from seizing most or all of the territory. On February 4, the Turkish leader warned that “he would not allow Syrian forces to advance,” but his options for following through on this ultimatum are limited by a host of strategic and political factors.

    Although Erdogan is the most powerful politician in Turkey’s modern electoral history, the failed 2016 coup left him feeling vulnerable. Putin has played on these fears as part of his broader effort to cast himself as the protector of threatened leaders worldwide, from Assad to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. Shortly after the coup attempt, he reached out to Erdogan before any of Turkey’s traditional Western allies did, then continued to offer support in various sectors even as the post-coup crackdown made Erdogan broadly unwelcome in European capitals.
    Historically, Russia is Turkey’s top geopolitical nemesis, but Putin has deliberately backed down from that posture in his eagerness to drive a wedge in the NATO alliance. As part of this shift (however temporary it may be), he and Erdogan have fostered detente, cut deals on security matters (e.g., Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems), and deconflicted their regional military efforts, first in Syria and later in Libya.
    At the same time, Turkey’s long history of being bullied by Russia makes Erdogan hesitant to cross Putin. Among all its neighbors, there is only one that Ankara truly fears: Russia. Between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries, the two peoples fought nearly twenty wars, all of them instigated and ultimately won by the Russians.
    Turkey’s leaders are therefore keen to avoid escalating the current crisis in Idlib. Although Turkish forces have pushed back against local Syrian and proxy forces to a certain degree, Ankara will shy away from a broader military confrontation with Russia over Idlib.

    Prior to last year, the festering conflict between Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli and the eastern-based forces of Gen. Khalifa Haftar had largely settled into a stalemate. This stasis, however fragile, was more or less acceptable to Turkey so long as the Tripoli government (which it supports) was not seriously threatened by Haftar (who has the backing of Erdogan’s regional adversaries, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt).
    Yet as the year wore on and fighting broke out again in earnest, Russia changed the game by enhancing its own military support for Haftar. By providing him with critical materiel (e.g., nighttime warfare capability), additional well-trained mercenaries (i.e., “Wagner’s Army”), and the know-how to shoot down the Tripoli government’s Turkish-provided drones, Putin turned Haftar into a mortal threat against Ankara’s local allies. This forced Erdogan to deploy his own forces to Libya, and to seek Russia’s help in securing a ceasefire that could prevent Haftar from seizing Tripoli.
    Although Putin failed to broker a conclusive ceasefire at a January summit in Moscow, he has decreased his most potent support to Haftar—for now. This gives him an opportunity to link his Syria policy with his Libya policy when dealing with Turkey. If Erdogan pushes back any harder in Idlib, Putin would likely renew his full-fledged support to Haftar, putting Tripoli within the general’s grasp.
    That scenario is unacceptable to Ankara, not only because it would humiliate Erdogan regionally, but also because it would lead to Turkey’s encirclement in the East Mediterranean by adversaries old (Greece and Cyprus) and new (Egypt and Israel). Over the past few years, these four countries have launched various natural gas and security initiatives with each other, which Ankara believes will blossom into active strategic cooperation against Turkey. This fear played a major role in Erdogan’s November decision to sign a maritime boundary agreement with Libya, drawing a line that might allow him to cut into the emerging Cypriot-Egyptian-Greek-Israeli bloc while countering Egypt-Emirati pressure on Tripoli. But upsetting Putin in Syria could upend that strategy.

    Turkey already hosts nearly 4 million Syrian refugees, and if Idlib province falls, the resulting mass displacements could overwhelm Ankara’s resources and cause further domestic backlash. Turkey’s political environment remains highly polarized between pro- and anti-Erdogan blocs, but resentment toward Syrian refugees is the rare issue on which popular opinion is united. After welcoming millions of fleeing Syrians and hosting them for nearly a decade, most Turks now seem to believe that their presence is impeding government efforts to address economic recession and other challenges. According to a recent Kadir Has University poll, nearly 70 percent of Turkish respondents are “unhappy” with the refugee presence.
    Hence, if Russia and Assad continue their campaign to empty out Idlib, Turkey will not agree to absorb all of the resultant refugee flows on its own. Instead, Erdogan will likely try to steer the refugees toward Europe, either indirectly through third countries or by opening Turkey’s doors and allowing them to cross into Greece.

    Putin’s goal is to end the war in Syria on terms favorable to him and Assad, ultimately reaching a political settlement through the so-called Astana Process. Turkey’s participation in that process is key if the outcome is to have any sort of international legitimacy. Without Ankara’s imprimatur, the Astana Process would become a “Friends of Assad” club in the eyes of the world, since its only other current participants are Russia and Iran.
    Putin also knows that turning the screws too hard in Idlib might push Erdogan back into Washington’s arms, thereby repeating Joseph Stalin’s misstep of 1945-6, when Soviet demands for Turkish territory spurred the country to join NATO and become a close U.S. ally. The Kremlin seems to realize that its long-term strategic interests may be better served by offering Erdogan a new deal in Idlib, even if it plans to renege on that deal later on. Putin may even allow Turkey to conduct symbolically powerful strikes on Assad regime targets.
    In order to maintain balance, however, Moscow will not allow Erdogan to push Assad’s forces out of Idlib entirely. And given the asymmetrical nature of Turkey’s relationship with Russia and the real threat Moscow poses to Turkish interests in Libya, Erdogan will have to take an Idlib deal if Putin offers one.
    This potential deal would likely stem from Assad’s core interests. His Alawite-led regime still wants to retake as much territory as possible, but with as few Sunni Arab residents as possible, since the 2011 uprising was born out of that constituency. This suggests that once Assad secures the strategic M4 and M5 highways running through east and south Idlib, he may acquiesce—at least temporarily—to letting Erdogan control the province’s western and northern sections abutting Turkey. Such an arrangement would press most of Idlib’s population (including around 2-3 million civilians) into an area around 1,000 square miles in size. But creating that humanitarian tinderbox may be a price they are willing to pay in order to kick the Idlib can further down the road.
    Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow at The Washington Institute and author of Erdogan’s Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East.

    Leave a comment:

  • Vrej1915

    Originally appeared at ZeroHedge
    The initial major rationale and justification the US administration offered for the drone assassination of IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani and commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was the Dec.27 rocket attack on K1 camp in Kirkuk, which houses coalition forces.
    That attack involving surface-to-surface missile strikes killed an American contractor and reportedly wounded several US troops. Washington immediately blamed the Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary group Khataib Hezbollah, with Mike Pompeo saying of the attack: “We will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy,” after he briefed President Trump. But top Iraqi military and intelligence officials are now calling this entire narrative into question.
    NYT: 'Iran-Backed Militia' Attack That Provoked Soleimani Killing Was Possible ISIS False Flag ISIS terrorists in Iraq, file image.
    A new lengthy New York Times investigative report cites multiple top Iraqi officials who go on record to say of their analysis of the Dec.27 Kirkuk incident: “These facts all point to the Islamic State, Iraqi officials say.”
    The Pentagon says it has evidence decisively pinning it on Khataib Hezbollah, known for its closeness to Tehran; however, the paramilitary group itself has denied that it was behind the operation. US officials have from the start been scant on details and have not made public any evidence or intelligence.
    This led some analysts in the days after the attack to question whether ISIS cells, still known to be active in the area, might have been behind it given also it would be to the Sunni terrorist group’s benefit to sow a major rift between US and local Iraqi Shia forces, which is precisely what happened (Trump has recently gone so far as to threaten “very big sanctions” on Baghdad if US forces are kicked out). Alternately the White House perhaps appeared ready to manufacture a justification to take out Soleimani.
    Further, as detailed in the Times report, the white Kia pick-up from which the rockets were launched was found near a known ISIS execution site, in a heavily Sunni area not known to have had a Shia paramilitary presence since 2014:
    But Iraqi military and intelligence officials have raised doubts about who fired the rockets that started the spiral of events, saying they believe it is unlikely that the militia the United States blamed for the attack, Khataib Hezbollah, carried it out.
    …Iraqi officials say their doubts are based on circumstantial evidence and long experience in the area where the attack took place.
    The rockets were launched from a Sunni Muslim part of Kirkuk Province notorious for attacks by the Islamic State, a Sunni terrorist group, which would have made the area hostile territory for a Shiite militia like Khataib Hezbollah.
    Khataib Hezbollah has not had a presence in Kirkuk Province since 2014.
    The Islamic State, however, had carried out three attacks relatively close to the base in the 10 days before the attack on K-1. Iraqi intelligence officials sent reports to the Americans in November and December warning that ISIS intended to target K-1, an Iraqi air base in Kirkuk Province that is also used by American forces.
    And the abandoned Kia pickup was found was less than 1,000 feet from the site of an ISIS execution in September of five Shiite buffalo herders.
    The NYT further says this single event set off “a chain of events that brought the United States and Iran to the brink of war” which President Trump confided at a private luncheon this week was “closer than you thought”.
    Richard Hanania@RichardHanania

    The attack that provoked the Soleimani killing may have been an ISIS false flag. It wouldn't be the first time unfortunately that the US has been manipulated by Sunnis Islamists to do their bidding. Also can't rule out US intelligence itself having known. …
    View image on Twitter

    9:19 PM - Feb 6, 2020
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    33 people are talking about this

    Brig. General Ahmed Adnan, the Iraqi chief of intelligence for the federal police at K-1, told the NYT: “All the indications are that it was Daesh.” He said further: “I told you about the three incidents in the days just before in the area — we know Daesh’s movements.”
    “We as Iraqi forces cannot even come to this area unless we have a large force because it is not secure. How could it be that someone who doesn’t know the area could come here and find that firing position and launch an attack?” he questioned.
    Anonymous US officials, however, claim that evidence from within the Kia pickup points to Khataib Hezbollah, and also cited “multiple strains of intelligence” though without making it known.

    Interestingly, amid a general breakdown in trust between Baghdad and Washington, a top Iraqi general has said the US side hasn’t even shared its claimed evidence that Khataib Hezbollah was behind the Kirkuk attack:
    “We have requested the American side to share with us any information, any evidence, but they have not sent us any information,” Lt. Gen. Muhammad al-Bayati, the chief of staff for former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, said in an interview.
    The director general of Iraqi Intelligence and Counterterrorism, Abu Ali al-Basri, said the United States did not consult Iraq before carrying out the Dec. 29 counterattacks on Khataib Hezbollah.
    “They did not ask for my analysis of what happened in Kirkuk and neither did they share any of their information,” he said. “Usually, they would do both.”
    The bombshell NYT report further collects eyewitness accounts and other Iraqi official statements, all of which strongly suggests the chain of events which led to Soleimani’s Jan.3 killing, which in turn led to an Iranian ‘revenge’ attack with ballistic missiles on Ain al-Asad Air Base, wounding scores of troops (we later found out as part of an ever growing number of solders with ‘Traumatic Brain Injury’ from the blasts), was a possible ‘false flag’ event undertaken by ISIS meant to be pinned on the Islamic State’s Shia enemies backed by Iran.
    US forces in Iraq, via the AP.As Northeastern University counter-terrorism expert Max Abrahms observes: “Let’s recap. Pompeo said Soleimani was killed because he was an imminent threat, a claim he couldn’t substantiate even in private settings.”
    Abrahms said further on Twitter: “The escalation began with a Shia militia attack in which the best evidence indicates the perpetrators were actually ISIS, Soleimani’s enemy.”

    Ultimately, the United States stood on the brink of major war with Iran which could have spiraled into a World War 3 scenario all of which was potentially initiated by an ISIS false flag event designed to unleash more regional chaos.

    Leave a comment:

  • Vrej1915
    “I came for the money”: Interview with a Turkish-Backed Syrian Mercenary in Libya

    by Lindsey Snell

    0 0
    When Turkish President Erdogan announced he would be sending men from the so-called “Syrian National Army,” also known as the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) to Libya to fight in support of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, rumors among the Syrian opposition began to swirl. One TFSA commander in Afrin told me that fighters would be paid $2000 per month. “It’s around $100 here in Syria, or $2,000 there. It’s an easy choice for them,” he said. He mentioned that recruitment efforts were heavily focused on areas in and around Idlib recently recaptured from the Syrian opposition by the Syrian government and Russia. “They’re homeless. Erdogan lures them with this as a way to rebuild their lives for their families.”
    Tripoli, Libya in 2014
    By: Lindsey SnellThe TFSA commander mentioned that the TFSA was offering a sort of recruitment bonus of a couple hundred dollars for those who didn’t want to travel to Libya to fight but knew someone who did and referred them. “And it’s not just fighters they are sending,” the commander said. “It’s also civilians who are poor and willing to go. They have to hit certain numbers every time they send a plane.” To date, an estimated 3,000 TFSA members have traveled to Libya.
    The Investigative Journal managed to interview one TFSA mercenary stationed at a camp in Tripoli. We can’t reveal his name, but we will call him “Ahmed.” We can’t reveal the name of his faction, or his exact location.
    Sign in support of General Haftar in Martyr’s Square, 2014
    Photo by: Lindsey Snell
    “We hear ‘Haftar, Haftar, Haftar,’ but we don’t know who he is and never even saw him on the news,” Ahmed said, referring to General Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the Libyan National Army (LNA), the force fighting the GNA. “The Turks mentioned his name to us in Syria, and told us to go fight him, but no one cared until they said it was $2,000 a month to go.” Before arriving in Libya, Ahmed hadn’t heard of the LNA, the force fighting the GNA in Tripoli. “We haven’t even met Libyans here,” he said. “The Turks come to train us, but that’s all we see.”
    President Erdogan has claimed that there are no Turkish soldiers on the ground in Libya, and that only Turkish military commanders and advisors had traveled to Tripoli. Ahmed says this isn’t true. “There are Turkish soldiers here. Not just commanders. There are a lot of Turkish soldiers, but not as many as there are Syrians. They’re living in a separate place. And they’re treated better than us.”
    Ahmed says there was much talk among the Syrian militants about escaping the camp and finding a smuggler to ferry them to Italy, but in his area, this hasn’t happened. “The Turks came to count us to make sure it didn’t happen,” he said. (The LNA has reported the capture of several Syrian militants who were attempting to make the trip, including an ISIS member, and say that more than a hundred more have already made deposits to try to secure their spots on boats with smugglers.)
    Shortly after arriving at the camp, Ahmed said he was part of a group of 70 who were divided between ground forces, snipers, and other positions. “I’ve been in many camps, and the difference in this one is that we are not being trained for combat as usual,” he said. “They are training us for guerrilla street wars…for close-range street combat. But we barely hold weapons in practice,” he said. The Syrian militants also not been briefed on the weaponry possessed by or fighting style of the LNA.
    Ahmed’s group has yet to see combat, though a number of Syrian mercenaries have already been killed in battle. “We’re only eating, playing sports, and sitting in the camp, and we’re forbidden to leave the camp. They bring us food and cigarettes,” Ahmed said. “We’re getting $2,000 a month to do nothing.” Ahmed said.
    Tripoli, Libya in 2014
    Photo by: Lindsey SnellAhmed has no regrets about coming to Libya. “I came for the money…because of the situation in Syria and because the dollar is so xxxxty [referring to the near-collapse of the Syrian Pound],” he said. “Some of us are from Aleppo, some from Ghouta and Homs…and all of us are displaced with nothing left. We have no homes. We have nothing left. We don’t even have a tree branch in Syria. And I still have a family to feed. Call us mercenaries or whatever, but what are we supposed to do? No one has anything left in Syria.”

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  • Vrej1915
    “These Mercenaries Believe Whatever Turkey Tells Them”

    by Lindsey Snell

    A Turkish-made JMK Bora-12 that allegedly arrived in Tripoli with a shipment of weapons from Turkey last weekAs Syrian and Russian forces bombard Idlib and the Aleppo countryside, thousands of militants from the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) who would presumably be defending these areas in Syria are instead in Libya. They’ve been flown to Tripoli by Turkey, at the request of the Government of National Accord (GNA), to fight alongside the myriad Islamist groups defending the key city from the advancing Libyan National Army (LNA), led by General Khalifa Haftar.
    But according to Soleman Mohammad* a 21 year-old Syrian mercenary from Kafr Nabl, a town in the Idlib countryside, the TFSA in Tripoli are sufficiently motivated to fight in Libya. “There are Russians here,” he said. “Russian soldiers. The Turks confirmed this to us. I wouldn’t even hurt a Libyan here. But if I find a Russian, I will put a stick up his ass.”
    Hasan Khalid*, a TFSA source in Afrin, told The Investigative Journal that Turkish forces are resorting to lies to keep the Syrians fighting in Libya both placated and motivated. “Of course there are no Russian soldiers there. If the Turks tell them there are Russian troops in Libya, and that the [TFSA] will get fight them, they believe they are fighting the same enemy that is destroying their cities in Syria. But of course, this is a lie, and Libya is not Syria. But these mercenaries believe whatever Turkey tells them.”
    Soleman Mohammad said he hadn’t seen much fighting, but was promised that a major offensive would start soon. “With the help of the Turkish forces and their equipment, we will defeat the Russians,” he said. When asked about General Haftar and the LNA, Mohammad answered without hesitation. “Haftar hates the Sunni people,” he said. When informed that Haftar, like the vast majority of Libyans, is Sunni, he added, “I mean, he hates the Sunnah. He is Sunni in name only.”
    Mohammad said that the Americans were on the side of Turkey and the GNA. When asked why he believed this to be true, he again said, “We were told by Turkey.” (Mohammad was not aware that President Donald Trump praised Haftar in a phone call to the General himself last year.)
    Following German-led peace talks between the GNA, LNA, and their foreign partners in Berlin last month, a tenuous ceasefire was established between the rivals. But on January 28th, a Turkish ship carrying military vehicles and weapons arrived at the port of Tripoli, violating the ceasefire agreement and previously-established UN arms embargo. Abdullah Rahman*, a 26 year-old Syrian mercenary from the Sultan Murad faction sent a photo of a JMK Bora-12, a Turkish-made sniper rifle he says was part of the Turkish arms shipment.
    When asked if he considered the Turkish-made weapon to be high quality, Issa Abbas*, a TFSA commander based in the Aleppo countryside laughed. “I don’t know,” he said. “The only time the Free [Syrian] Army sees weapons like that is in the movies. Or in the [online battleground game] PUBG. We have never seen this gun in Syria.”
    In addition to bolstering the GNA with weapons shipments, Turkey has continued sending Syrian mercenaries to Tripoli. The militants cross into Turkey and are briefly held at military points near Gaziantep or in Ankara. They are sent to Istanbul via Turkish military plane, where they transfer to Libyan commercial aircraft to fly to Tripoli. (At the time of this writing, a TFSA source in Afrin said that around 100 Syrians were in Istanbul, where they would soon board a flight to Tripoli.)
    Despite a monthly salary of $2000 or more, and additional benefits, such as Turkish citizenship for any militant who stays in Libya for six months, Turkey has had issues recruiting as many Syrian mercenaries as they’d like. According to Issa Abbas, last week, Turkish forces informed 9th Brigade TFSA factions stationed at points throughout the Southern countryside of Aleppo that they’d be left on their own, without Turkish support, to repel impending Syrian government and Russian Air Force attacks on the area. In protest, commanders from these factions threatened to stop allowing their fighters to join the fight in Libya. “But that ended very fast, because Turkey threatened to stop paying any salaries,” Abbas said.
    According to Hasan Khalid, after reports of Syrian mercenaries being confined to camps for days upon arrival in Tripoli made their way back to Syria, other TFSA members soured on the idea of coming to Libya. Turkish forces encouraged the Syrian fighters in Tripoli to try to convince their friends back in Syria to consider the trip, promising the mercenaries a per-head bonus if they were able to successfully recruit.

    Still from a video sent by a Syrian militant in LibyaLast week, Ahmad Ibrahim*, a 23 year-old fighter from the Sultan Murad TFSA faction sent a video of the villa he was sharing with several other militants. “This is the new house,” he said, panning around what looked to be a child’s bedroom. “Everything in Libya is great.” he paused his camera on a pack of Kent cigarettes. “And,” he added later, “they let us smoke weed here!”
    Soleman Mohammad made similar remarks. “They smoke hash like cigarettes, and I spend all day high and laughing. I am expected to appear at the frontlines tomorrow, but I will be so high,” he said.
    All six of the Syrian mercenaries interviewed by The Investigative Journal said that, while they were given more freedom after they were allowed to leave the reception camp, they were still quite limited in their daily activities. None were allowed to leave their residences without a Libyan escort. Their access to the internet was limited to a couple hours a day.
    When asked if he would rather be at home in Syria, fighting to defend Idlib, Mohammad thought for a moment.
    “Sure, I wish I was there, a little. My heart is there. But it doesn’t matter. The commanders, the Free Syrian Army, are selling [out] and walking away. So I have, too,” he said.

    Leave a comment:

  • Azad
    ^^^ Real reason

    "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that no project can proceed without his country's consent following a maritime border agreement that Ankara signed with Libya's Tripoli-based government."

    Leave a comment:

  • Vrej1915
    Is Libya Turkey’s Neighbor?

    Thursday, 16 January, 2020

    Salman Al-Dossary
    Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

    When a State has very aggressive political tools, it cannot use diplomacy, but rather fails in it. This applies literally to Turkish politics. The faltering political agendas prevail over the language of reason, logic and international relations. The tactics of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century dominate the mentality of the Sultan in the 21st century.

    Therefore, Turkey always finds itself in conflicts, disagreements and wars with everyone. So which country can be called its friend today?

    If we exclude Doha, which shares converging policies with Ankara due to the presence of the Turkish base in Qatar, the rest of the world puts barriers and keeps a cautionary distance.

    After the military operations and the invasion of the Syrian north, the latest unexpected Turkish adventures came with the announcement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of his country’s military intervention in Libya. Ankara began sending soldiers and mercenaries, and had previously sent weapons, in a clear violation of international legitimacy and Security Council Resolution 1970 of 2011, which stipulates that Libya must not be provided with arms.

    All this is happening despite the absence of direct borders between Libya and Turkey, which are separated by the Greek island of Crete. But Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar offered another definition of geography when he recently declared that “Libya is our neighbor from the sea!” According to this fictional “Ottoman” definition, India and Pakistan are neighbors to Saudi Arabia, Syria is a neighbor to France, and Lebanon is Spain’s!

    Libya ranks fifth in the world in oil reserves, at an average of 74 billion barrels, enough to export oil for another 112 years. This may be a sufficient reason for Ankara to try to interfere, especially as it suffers from lack of energy resources and imports 90% of its oil needs, while consuming 500,000 barrels per day.

    However, the economic goal is not the only reason that pushes Turkey to intervene militarily. In fact, Libya’s position as a major strategic element in Turkish foreign policy is increasingly growing. Ankara can use it to compete with its old rivals, such as Greece, or the new ones, like Egypt. While the country was intervening in the past through its proxies, its strategy has become official and scandalous.

    Moreover, Libya constitutes the main hub of migration routes between the African and European continents, and this file has been used by Turkey to blackmail its European neighbors and threaten them with Syrian immigrants’ invasion with the aim of obtaining countless material gains. It wants to have a new role, so that no anti-immigrant policies in Europe can be countered without Turkey having a means to blackmail again.

    The Turkish invasion of Libya has failed before it began.

    In addition to the difficulty of implementing this tactic on the ground and the lack of geographical conditions that led Ankara to military intervene in Syria, the Turkish notoriety has globally increased.

    All countries have condemned this brutal Turkish intervention, except Qatar, of course, which supported it.

    Turkish policy has become associated with recklessness and arrogance and deserves the first place prize of achieving catastrophic failure at the political, military and strategic levels.

    Leave a comment:

  • Vrej1915
    Ռեգիոնում տեղի են ունենում շրջադարձային վերափոխումներ, դրանք չեն կարող չառնչվել ՀՀ-ին․Հակոբ Բադալյան

    [COLOR=var(--yt-spec-text-secondary)]9 jan. 2020[/COLOR]

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  • Vrej1915
    Ադրբեջանական զորքը ներխուժել է Վրաստան. ելք չկա

    ՀԱԿՈԲ ԲԱԴԱԼՅԱՆ, Մեկնաբան

    Բաց աղբյուրների վրա հիմնված Bellingcat հետաքննական կայքը արբանյակային լուսանկարների ուղեկցությամբ հրապարակել է տեղեկատվություն, ըստ որի Ադրբեջանի սահմանապահ զորքը դիրքեր է զբաղեցրել Վրաստանի տարածքում, առաջ շարժվելով մոտ 200 հեկտար: Ըստ տեղեկության, Ադրբեջանի սահմանապահները՝ որոնց ռազմատեխնիկական հագեցածությունը գործնականում չի տարբերվում ցամաքային զինուժից, դիրքեր են տեղակայել Վրաստանի Քվեմո-Քարթլիի շրջանում:
    Ադրբեջանը Վրաստանի հարավ-արեւելյան տարածքների հանդեպ հավակնությունը արդեն ամիսներ շարունակ արտահայտում է բաց տեքստով: Դա իհարկե անում են ոչ թե պաշտոնյաները, այլ պատմաբանները՝ Ադրբեջանի ԳԱԱ անդամները: Սակայն, նաեւ մի հատկանշական հանգամանք կա: Օրերս պաշտոնից հեռացել է Ադրբեջանի ամենաազդեցիկ գործիչներից մեկը՝ Հիքմեթ Հաջիեւը, որը հայր Ալիեւի ժամանակից գտնվում էր այդ պաշտոնին: նախագահի աշխատակազմի ղեկավարի պաշտոնը թողնելուց հետո Հաջիեւը դարձել է Ադրբեջանի Գիտությունների ազգային ակադեմիայի նախագահ: Դա վկայում է, որ պատմաբանները պարզապես արտահայտել են պաշտոնական Բաքվի ռազմավարությունը:
    Միեւնույն ժամանակ, արդեն պաշտոնապես Վրաստանի հանդեպ դե ֆակտո սպառնալիք հնչեցրել է Անկարան, որտեղ օրերս ընդունել էին Վրաստանի վարչապետ Գեորգի Գախարիային: Թուրքիայի նախագահ Էրդողանն ասել է, որ Վրաստանը Թուրքիան եղբայրների հետ կապող կամուրջ է եւ իրականացնում է նրանց հետ նախագծեր, որոնք կարեւոր են կայունության համար: Էրդողանը Վրաստանի վարչապետին փաստացի սպառնացել է, որ Թուրքիայի եւ Ադրբեջանի միջեւ «խելոք կամրջի» դերը չկատարելու պարագայում Վրաստանը կունենա խնդիրներ: Իհարկե, Էրդողանը չի ասել, որ Վրաստանն այդ իմաստով դիտարկում են ժամանակավոր կամուրջ, քանի որ Ադրբեջանն ու Թուրքիան իրենց ռազմավարական տեսլականում անկասկած այդ կամրջի երկու ծայրերից շարժվելու են միմյանց ընդառաջ: Ադրբեջանի սահմանապահները Քվեմո Քարթլիից սկսել են դա:
    Մի քանի օր առաջ էլ Թուրքիայի ու Ադրբեջանի նախագահները Բաքվում տեղի ունեցած Թյուրքալեզու պետությունների Վեհաժողովում հայտարարում էինբ պանթուրքիստական ապագայի մասին: Նրանք այդ ապագայի արգելք դիտարկում են ոչ միայն Հայաստանը, այլ ոչ պակաս նաեւ Վրաստանը:
    Հայաստանի հարցում կա ռազմա-քաղաքական կարծր դիմադրություն, մի շարք գործոններով ուղեկցվող, իսկ Վրաստանի պարագայում Թուրքիան ու Ադրբեջանը կարծես թե չեն հանդիպում դիմադրության, եւ դրա վկայությունն է այն, որ ադրբեջանցի սահմանապահները Վրաստանի տարածք են խորանում առանց արգելքի եւ պաշտոնական դիմադրության:
    Թբիլիսին անշուշտ այդ իմաստով գտնվում է երկու քարի արանքում: Երբ նա դիմադրում է Բաքվին ու Անկարային, ընկնում է Մոսկվային դիմադրելու կարողությունը, եւ հակառակը: Դրա վառ վկայությունն էր ամռանը հակառուսական ալիքի հանկարծակի բռնկումը այն ժամանակ, երբ Ադրբեջանը ագրեսիա էր դրսեւորել Դավիթ Գարեջիի վանական համալիրի նկատմամբ:
    Արեւմուտքն այդ հարցում Թբիլիսիին կարծես թե չի ցուցաբերում ուղիղ եւ անմիջական օժանդակություն, ինչը Վարդերի հեղափոխությունից ի վեր ակնկալում է Թբիլիսին ու գործնականում չի ստանում իր ակնկալիքի չափով: Դա հուշում է, որ ռեգիոնալ անվտանգության համակարգի համատեքստում Վրաստանի հարցը բաց է: Արեւմուտքը հրաժարվում է Վրաստանի ամբողջական խնամակալության տարբերակից, համարելով, որ Թբիլիսին ինքը պետք է ձեւավորի իր անվտանգության միջավայրն ու Արեւմուտքին ներկայանա ոչ թե որպես անվտանգության սպառող, այլ մասնակից, ձեւավորող:
    Արեւմուտքն այդ հարցում ապահովել է իր համար կարեւորն ու նվազագույնը՝ Վրաստանի հարցում առանց իրեն չի ստացվի ոչինչ: Թբիլիսիին չեն թողնում Ռուսաստանի հետ պայմանավորվելու այլընտրանք: Բայց այստեղ փոխշահավետ աշխատելու գործնականում միակ տարբերակը մնում է Ռուսաստանի հետ հարաբերության խորքային առողջացման գործընթաց սկսած Հայաստանը:

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  • Azad
    turks are worried of the US shifting its bases to Greece. Will the new NATO border be Greece? I do not not like the fact turkey is shifting to the Russian sphere.

    Google Translated.

    "The US military continues to turn Greece into a giant military base. The Pentagon recently deployed an air combat brigade to the country's city of Volos. The US military sent 1700 troops, 50 UH-60 and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, 10 CH-47 Chinooks, 20 AH-64 Apache helicopters and more than two thousand wheeled vehicles to the Stefanovikio base."

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  • Vrej1915

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    Syrian Kurds' Protection Deal With Assad, Explained
    The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have reached a groundbreaking deal with the Assad government.
    This happened on October 13 evening after the US-led coalition expectedly abandoned their ‘local partners’ in face of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring and an ‘accident Turkish shelling’ of a US military garrison near Kobani. Turkey is a NATO member state and a key US ally in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara considers the SDF to be a terrorist group linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. So, it was hard to expect that the US would really fight the Turks on behalf of the Syrian Kurds.
    Units of the Syrian Army already deployed in Manbij, Tabqah, Tabqah Dam, Ain Issa and other key areas in eastern Aleppo, western al-Hasakah and southern Raqqah. Russia, which was the main mediator between the SDF and Damascus, also sent its military police to Manbij. Official details of the agreement are yet to be revealed and all the sides involved in the northeastern Syria standoff seem to have own versions of events.
    The SDF and affiliated Kurdish political organizations say that the deal with the Assad government was a least-evil solution and it was related to the defense sphere only. A political agreement still has to be reached and the sides are going to start negotiations in the coming days. SDF sources see Russia as a guarantor of the agreement and the only power that is able to prevent the further Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria. According to this version, the Syrian Army will be deployed along the Turkish border and its presence there will guarantee Syrian territorial integrity. The areas captured by the Turkish military and pro-Turkish groups will remain a zone of military actions until their liberation. They name the liberation of the Turkish-controlled region of Afrin as one of the points of the agreement. Sources close to Damascus say that the SDF will have to hand over to the government the control of oil fields on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
    In the political sphere, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the only real military political power within the SDF, will seek to get recognition of their self-proclaimed Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria by Damascus. The format of this recognition and a possible Kurdish autonomy will depend on the course of negotiations and the development of the Turkish offensive.
    The Syrian government has not released official comments on the deal with the SDF so far. The Syrian Army is also not hurrying up to start a fully-fledged war with Turkey on behalf of the SDF. In these conditions, the best strategy is to block directions of possible Turkish-led advance rather than engage the Turkish Army and Turkish proxies in an open battle. This turns the Turkish advance in northern Syrian into a race against time, whose main goal is to capture as much area as possible, while the Syrian Army has not come. The situation in Manbij is a demonstration of this approach:
    On October 14, the Syrian National Army, a coalition of Turkish-backed armed groups, officially announced the start of advance on Manbij. However, no real advance happened, because the Syrian Army and the Russians came.
    The Turkish behavior demonstrates that Anakra knows the rules of this game. On October 15, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the operation was ongoing successfully and Turkish forces ‘liberated’ 1,000km2. Erdogan added that his country aims to clear northern Syria of ‘terrorists’ (i.e. Kurdish armed groups) stretching from Manbij to the Iraqi-Turkish border. Nonetheless, this is just an official rhetoric that should not fully comply with the real actions. Turkey will likely gain control of the area between Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ayn, and the M4 highway south of these towns. What really matters is who will get control of the city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani). In the current conditions, Ayn al-Arab is the only area, where clashes between the Syrian Army and Turkish-led forces can start if they reach it simultaneously. The fate of the town will likely be determined by some kind of behind the scenes deal among Ankara, Moscow and Damascus. At the same time, all the sides will continue to employ their formal rhetoric as if such a deal has never existed.
    In own turn, US President Donald Trump used the Turkish operation to deliver his repeatedly delayed promise to withdraw American troops from the war-torn country, at least formally. US forces indeed abandoned their military garrisons in northern Syria about 1,000 personnel are withdrawing. However, the reduced contingent of about 150 troops will remain in place in the al-Tanf area as a part of Trump’s anti-Iranian strategy in the region. The US does not want the Damascus-Baghdad highway to be used by Iran to supply its allies in Syria and Lebanon. Additionally, the US-Israeli bloc uses the al-Tanf base to project its power on the Syrian-Iraqi border and monitor supposed Iranian operations in the area.
    Another factor behind the US move is the need to improve its relations with Turkey. US military support to Kurdish armed groups in Syria used to be a factor of constant tension in the relations between Washington and Ankara. Now, it is removed. A new round of anti-Turkish sanctions announced by President Trump is mostly a formal move aimed at the US internal audience.
    Meanwhile, the United States and Russia blocked attempts of the UN Security Council to condemn Turkey’s military action in northeastern Syria. If this was really a part of some unpublicized coordination, key powers involved in the conflict may be on the edge of reaching a long-expected wide political deal on settling the conflict in Syria

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