If you haven’t noticed, Barack Obama’s best friend Recip Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, has launched an offensive operation into Syria. There are those who applaud this, under the belief that Turkey is going to take the fight to ISIS. I caution you, because not everything you see on the surface in the Middle East is what it should be.
We recently shared with you the meeting between Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; funny, didn’t Turkey shoot down a Russian fighter plane? There are certain machinations going on in this area, and Obama is a bystander sitting in the corner sucking his thumb.
As reported by the Washington Post, The Turkish government had been planning for more than a year to send troops into Syria to fight the Islamic State before it did so this week, but the intervention was opposed by military officers who later participated in July’s failed attempt to overthrow the government, a senior Turkish official said Thursday.
He spoke as Turkey dispatched additional tanks across the border to reinforce positions around the Syrian town of Jarabulus, which was captured from the Islamic State on Wednesday by Syrian rebels and Turkish troops in Turkey’s first significant foray into Syria since the war began five years ago.
Reluctance within the military to move across the border was reinforced by other issues that subsequently emerged, including Turkey’s November 2015 shoot-down of a Russian jet, which forced Turkey to suspend flights over Syria for fear of Russian retaliation and meant it could not offer air support to any advancing troops.
The suggestion, however, that military officers who were secretly plotting against the government all along had acted for more than a year to thwart its plans to intervene in Syria offers one possible new explanation for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s seeming reluctance to fulfill long-standing U.S. demands for Turkey to adopt a more active stance against the Islamic State in Syria.
Planning for the offensive spearheaded by Turkey on Wednesday against the Islamic State-controlled town of Jarabulus began in June 2015, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to share information on sensitive issues. However, the proposals were consistently resisted by the Turkish military, he said.
The real issue, if you look at the map accompanying the Washington Post story, is that the objective is not so much to defeat ISIS, but rather stem the Kurdish advance.
Matter of fact, recently the Turkish military was bombing the Kurdish forces Obama claims he’s supporting. As well, it is a very convenient statement to say it was the generals supporting the coup that did not support Turkish actions in Syria.
One must be very concerned about the Erdogan’s long-term objectives. Here’s my assessment. Erdogan met with Putin in order to set a line of demarcation between that which will be reserved for Syria’s Assad and ISIS — which is indeed supported by Erdogan. Erdogan’s original intent to support a Sunni Islamist terrorist action to undermine Assad ran into a little obstacle called the Russians. Putin needs a base of operations in the Middle East and a sure port of call in the Mediterranean Sea — that’s Syria. Assad has been bolstered and Putin is brokering a trade-off.
The real loser in this game of thrones will be the Kurds. Here is a group which could be a solid ally for the United States, along with Jordan, Egypt and Israel, in the region. But, thanks to the disinterested Obama, Russia has become a power broker and since we’re releasing billions of dollars to Iran, they are becoming the regional hegemony. And what does Obama get in return for the billions of dollars — harassment of our Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf.
Russia, Iran and Turkey are in position to put a deadly squeeze on the Kurds, forcing their acquiescence.
And what of ISIS? Well, no one is taking any action against their center of gravity in Raqqa, Syria. And, more importantly, no one is taking action against the ISIS stronghold in Mosul, Iraq. The eastern portion of Mosul and its surrounding villages have fallen under Kurdish control. However, it’s central Mosul and the west that is firmly in the hands of ISIS. Baghdad is controlled by Shia Iran; they’re not launching any operations into Mosul.
So, in the long term, ISIS will be allowed to maintain a caliphate, one it appears Putin and Erdogan agreed will not threaten Assad — but will be able to export its terrorism elsewhere. If we had a strong, resolute, visionary leader in America, he could seize upon this situation and find opportunity. The opportunity would be to firm our relations with the Kurds and set as an objective an independent Kurdistan that would stretch all the way to Iskandrun, a seaport.
If no one’s noticed, this is not about just ISIS, but an axis, an alliance, that is forming. It’s about the growth of the global Islamic jihad which is based in Islamo-fascism. In the end, it is less about Sunni vs. Shia, but rather about a savage, barbaric and antiquated ideology — and Erdogan is a leading candidate for fascist of the year considering his suppression of individual liberties.
You just have to ask, what are the nearly 6,000 US troops doing in Iraq? It’s just an optic, a show; they’re extensions, somewhat, of Barack Obama’s bystanding, except they’re not in a corner sucking their thumbs. When the opportunity arises, they’re getting engaged in fighting the enemy alongside their Kurdish counterparts, hence why MSG Wheeler and PO3 Keating IV lost their lives. But the faulty ROE is also enabling the enemy to kill our troops, such as the Marine who lost his life, and others wounded when their FOB (forward operating base) was attacked…remember our troops cannot fire upon the enemy until fired on themselves.
There is a dangerous bit of theater unfolding in the Middle East, and only a display of strength will keep the final act from playing out. Hillary Clinton has already telegraphed her intent of no US troops fighting in the region. She has also stated that we should learn to empathize with our enemies. You want her as president? Then just accept even more terrorist attacks and the spread of Islamo-fascism…along with that good ol’ Russian reset button.