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2019-08-20 Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Russia's bloody message to Turkey in Syria
[WashingtonExaminer] Tension between The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the occupiers of Greek Asia Minor...
and Syria spiked dramatically on Monday when Syrian-Russian axis warplanes bombed a Ottoman Turkish army convoy in Syria, killing at least three civilians.

Syrian-Russian axis ground forces are also very close to cutting off Ottoman Turkish access to a highway north of the rebel-held city of Khan Shaykhun. Turkey needs that M-5 highway to resupply a military observation post at the border between Syria's Hama and Idlib governorates.

Alongside the air strikes, the situation around Khan Shaykhun attests to an escalated axis effort to dramatically reduce Ottoman Turkish President His Enormity, Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan the First
...Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him. It's a sin, a shame, and a felony to insult the president of Turkey. In Anatolia did Recep Bey a stately Presidential Palace decree, that has 1100 rooms. That's 968 more than in the White House, 400 more than in Versailles, and 325 more than Buckingham Palace, so you know who's really more important...
's influence in Syria. Erdogan's continuing support for Syrian rebel groups, including al Qaeda's Syrian syndicate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly al-Nusra, before that it was called something else
...al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, from which sprang the Islamic State...
, has infuriated the axis. But the axis isn't simply fighting terrorists. A large number of Syrian rebels are simply protecting their families from the axis annihilation campaign.

The axis hopes that by shutting off Turkey's access to its observation post it can push Turkey out of Hama governate and weaken Erdogan's resolve. That will allow the axis to shape the battlespace for a final offensive on Idlib governate. That matters because Idlib is the remaining key to the axis effort to crush the resistance. Testifying to their malevolent interest, the axis has escalated attacks on civilians (especially medical teams) in rebel-held areas.

As Charles Lister notes, Turkey responded to the air strike on its forces by deploying combat and intelligence aircraft into Russian-controlled Syrian airspace. That's an effort to nudge Vladimir Putin
...President-for-Life of Russia. He gets along well with other presidents for life. He is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from poisoning by polonium or other interesting substance. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to him. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead from poisoning by polonium or other interesting substances...
, to reassess his decision to unleash Assad, or face Ottoman Turkish military countermeasures. But Putin will likely gamble that Erdogan doesn't have the stomach for an escalated fight. The Russians are far weaker in Syria than they pretend, but the same S-400 air defense platform that Erdogan has bought from Putin, is operated by Russian forces in Syria. It would impose heavy costs on the Ottoman Turkish air force in any fight.

That said, weakened at home, Erdogan may see a short escalation as a chance to rally his nationalist-Islamist base, then extract a cease-fire on better terms.

Over the past four years Erdogan has gone back and forth between resisting axis ambitions (in an effort to make himself the father-protector of Syrian Sunnis), and bowing to Putin. Alongside numerous other incidents, Monday's air strike proves that Putin retains the initiative.
Posted by Woodrow 2019-08-20 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [327 views ]  Top
 File under: Sublime Porte 

#1 Poor Turkey, my heart bleeds peanut butter
Posted by Rex Mundi 2019-08-20 00:59||   2019-08-20 00:59|| Front Page Top

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