Tag Archives: Turkey

Syria: The Battle of Idlib

By GHASSAN and INTIBAH KADI

(September 1) – Or is it the Battle for Idlib? And whose battle? And who is fighting who? And where?

The only thing that is clear about this seemingly upcoming battle is the fact that Idlib has been “used” as a sink hole and dumping ground for all anti-government/anti-Syria terrorists. Such a status quo cannot last. Continue reading

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War on Syria: CIA program supplied money, weaponry and training to terrorist forces

Introduction

Timber Sycamore was a classified weapons supply and training program run by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and supported by various Arab intelligence services, most notably that of Saudi Arabia. The program is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. It is further evidence that the United States and/or any of its collaborators and accessories including the Canadian government, with its proxy support, training and arms programs in Kurdistan, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are guilty of crimes against humanity through aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic, a sovereign country. The use of proxy mercenary armies camouflaged by a fictitious “civil war,” according to the Obama Doctrine, masks the identities of their sponsors. It cannot hide them however, nor their aggression, from the light of day nor the reaches of international law. Continue reading

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A rare glimpse into the inner workings of the American empire in the Middle East

U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on December 14, 2017. Its agenda was “To receive testimony on U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East.” | C-SPAN

(January 19) – In recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, four former U.S. diplomats provided remarkably candid commentary on recent U.S. involvement in the Middle East, revealing a number of the most closely guarded secrets of U.S. diplomacy. Continue reading

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Syria: Erdogan’s Karmic Trap

By GHASSAN KADI*

(January 17) – The security zone America intends to establish in Syria is doomed to fail sooner or later. How can this assertion be made and what can it be based on? Well, two main things really; history and facts on the ground. Continue reading

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Trump’s task is to reverse the ‘roll out’ of Iran by challenging the JCPOA

By MAHDI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA 

isis-oil-silhouetteWashington’s plan for regime change in Damascus has failed. Albeit it has not gone the way that the US and Israel have desired, it can be said using the geopolitical language of Israeli and US planners and strategists that Syria has been “rolled back.” This does not mean Syria will stay in this “rolled-back” state statically.

In Iraq, the federal government has come out victorious and pushed back the so-called “Islamic State” and demands have started for a withdrawal of US forces. In the Levant, the Palestinians have managed to form a national unity government that will change the equation of talks between the Palestinians and Israel whereas Hezbollah and its political partners in Lebanon are stronger than ever. While in Yemen, the Houthis or Ansarallah have been able to repel the Saudis.

The US and its allies are the ones in the bigger geopolitical picture that are being “rolled back” steadily. In this context, Washington is now turning to the strategic depth of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, the Houthi, and the Palestinians. That strategic depth is the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Continue reading

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Renewed Jihadi attack on Aleppo supported by ‘Western’ propaganda fakes

By MOON of ALABAMA

(October 23) – The three days of unilateral ceasefire Syrian and Russia had announced and kept for the besieged east-Aleppo expired today. No evacuations took place, no civilians or fighters left and no aid was delivered as “rebels” inside the besieged area shelled all possible crossings. Continue reading

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The Middle East energy war heats up: Israeli-Turkish normalization, Turkey’s military base in Qatar

By MAHDI DARIOUS NAZEMROAYA*

Energy war

This article was originally published by the Strategic Culture Foundation on December 30, 2015.

After shooting down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M tactical bomber jet operating in Syrian airspace, in early December 2015 the Turkish government sent a heavily armed battalion to the Zilkan military base in Iraq. This move ignited tensions between Ankara and the Iraqi federal government, which renounced it as an act of Turkish aggression.

Within the contours of a resource and energy war, the Turkish military deployment was a move by the Turkish government to secure its illegal oil trade with the so-called Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS/IS/DAESH).

Turkish military base in the Persian Gulf

Weeks after the Turkish military deployment to Zilkan, the Russian military’s General Staff reported that it had tracked 11,755 oil tankers and trucks around the town of Zakho on both sides of the Iraqi-Turkish border on December 25, 2015. Despite the claims by the Kurdistan Regional Government that the oil tankers and trucks were the result of a long lineup created by the closure of the Iraqi-Turkish border due to Ankara’s military operations against the Kurds in southeast Turkey, the oil tankers and trucks were understood to be part of a re-channeled smuggling route for Syrian oil stolen by the ISIL.

The Turkish government has taken several steps to redirect its energy ties away from Russia and Iran. It is precisely in the context of securing energy reserves that Ahmet Demirok, the Turkish ambassador to Qatar, announced Ankara’s plans to open a military base in Qatar in the Persian Gulf region on December 16, 2015. In an interview with Reuters Ambassador Demirok said that the Turkish base was being set up in accordance with the security agreement signed between Ankara and Doha in 2014 and that the military base would help both Turkey and Qatar jointly “confront common threats” from certain countries, which Demirok declined to name.

The unnamed countries that Ambassador Demirok was implying could be none other than the duet of Iran and Russia. Moreover, Turkey’s announcement about the establishment of a Turkish military base in Qatar coincided with an announcement on the following day, December 17, by Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi, the Qatari ambassador to Turkey, that Doha was prepared to provide as much liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Turkey as it needed.

Israel and Turkey come together: Eastern Mediterranean natural gas

A day after Qatar’s Ambassador Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi announced that Doha would provide Turkey with as much LNG as it needed, on December 18, it was announced that Israel and Turkey had signed a framework agreement to export Israeli natural gas to Turkey. Although Turkish tensions with Russia, Iran, and Iraq could have hastened the natural gas deal between Ankara and Tel Aviv, the Israeli-Turkish framework agreement for energy trade had been quietly negotiated over for several months by the Israeli and Turkish government.

Analysts and journalists presented the natural gas agreement between Israel and Turkey as a part of a Turkish move to normalize its diplomatic and military ties with Israel as a means of counter-balancing Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and their regional partners. These views and claims, however, overlook the fact there have been clear signs that Israel and Turkey have maintained their cooperation, if not close allied relationship, in the economic and military sectors. Both the Turkish and Israeli militaries have even had synchronized movements and operations on the Syrian border.

While Israel has been re-exporting the smuggled oil that Turkey has been exporting from Syria and Iraq, Tel Aviv has tried to legitimize its appropriation of the Palestinian natural gas reserves off the cost of the Gaza Strip. In parallel, Tel Aviv has exerted its full influence to gain control of the Egyptian natural gas reserves north of the Nile Delta. This is while Israel has tried to lay claim to Lebanese maritime territory holding large deposits of natural gas and courted Cyprus for control of its Mediterranean natural gas reserves.

Contours of a broader energy war emerge

The agreements with Israel and Qatar are a part of a broader energy trade nexus that falls within the contours of an energy war predating recent Russo-Turkish tensions. In fact, both Ambassador Al-Shafi and Ambassador Demirok were only repeating information about deals that were reached between Erdogan and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during Erdogan’s visit to Qatar at the time of the Russian military’s press conference announcing his involvement in the ISIL’s oil smuggling. Furthermore, the spatial configuration of the Israeli, Turkish, and Qatar reflected the dimensions of the energy war taking place in the Middle East.

Turkey has done almost everything possible to stop an Iran-Iraq-Syria energy corridor bypassing Turkey from being created. The Turkish military deployment to the Mosul District in Iraq and the creation of a Turkish military base in Qatar are tied to the joint goals of Turkey and Qatar for creating a rival energy corridor running through Turkey to Europe from the Persian Gulf and Iraq. The public demands that Israel give Turkey “unrestricted” access to the Gaza Strip could also be tied to the Palestinian natural gas reserves off of Gaza’s coast.

Furthermore, for years both Israel and Turkey have worked to establish a Levantine energy corridor where Eastern Mediterranean natural gas would be mainly exported northwards towards Turkey and the European Union while oil would be mainly exported southwards towards Israel. The materialization of this corridor has been obstructed mainly by Syria. This is one of the reasons that the Turkish government has pushed for regime change in Damascus.

While there are claims that Turkey is acting independently of the US government, it is highly improbable that no coordination has taken place in regards to the joint US and Turkish objective of regime change in Damascus. The re-direction of Turkish energy trade falls in line with the US objective to cripple the Russian energy sector by obstructing energy trade between the Russian Federation and other international actors.

This article was originally posted by the Strategic Culture Foundation on December 30, 2015.

 

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