August 02, 2012
Turkish Army Off Its Tracks
The Turkish army is training near the Syrian border for a second day. From the picture in the report its is evident that it needs more training, especially in tank maintenance and driving.
That old M-60A3 tank has thrown off its right track. That happens when the tank commander and driver are inexperienced, do not perform regular maintenance or misjudge the terrain. If the tension of the track is not well adjusted, turning too fast on uneven ground tends to throw the track off. It will take at least half a day and another tank to get this one back on its tracks.
Twenty percent of all Turkish generals are currently in jail for allegedly preparing a coup. Those 68 prisoners, three times as many as allegedly defected from the Syrian forces, are some of the most experienced Turkish soldiers. They should be publicly listened to before Erdogan sends the Turkish army into Syria and thereby off its tracks.
Posted by b on August 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Permalink
SBS Dateline has an interesting report about the insurgents in Idlib. They use tunnels for maneuver but also as hidden base to rest. I wonder if these tunnels are as old as those wonderful underground cities in Cappadocia, 200 miles north of Idlib in Turkey.
Posted by: b | Aug 2, 2012 11:27:34 AM | 1
Meanwhile on Syria's southern flank in the 'so you know it's true' department--
Gov’t dismisses reports of Jordanian-Syrian border clashes
AMMAN — The government on Thursday dismissed as inaccurate news reports of border clashes between Jordanian and Syrian forces. Several news websites and television stations reported “heavy exchange of fire” between the two armies at four different border locations, saying that one Jordanian soldier was injured in the process.
The Pentagon focuses on the security challenge of humanitarian aid (sure)
Panetta Pledges Help to Jordan for Syrian Refugees
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today pledged to explore ways to continue U.S. help in providing humanitarian aid to those affected by violence in Syria. A meeting between Panetta and King Abdullah in Amman, Jordan, focused on regional security challenges, most notably Syria and recent refugee flows into Jordan, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 2, 2012 11:42:53 AM | 2
And one tank may decide the battle according to "the news" from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based information office aligned with the rebels--
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels on Thursday bombarded a military air base in Aleppo using a tank captured from government troops as activists reported the regime has launched new raids against opposition fighters near the capital Damascus, killing dozens.
It was one of the first indications the rebels are starting to deploy the heavy weapons they've managed to capture in the past weeks from the Syrian army. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebel-seized tank shelled the Menagh military airport outside Aleppo, which the regime has used to launch attacks on rebel positions in the surrounding area.--
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 2, 2012 11:47:25 AM | 3
An attack with a single tank? Sounds so obviously fake. That tank would be done in 10 minutes if it did anything more than fire a couple 'warning' shots and then run away.
The SOHR is a bad joke and even worse propagandists. That they are being used as source for anything other than lame jokes is an statement to the pathetic level of the reporting.
Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 2, 2012 11:57:28 AM | 4
2 Aug 2012. Summary of today's report in Syria's Al-Watan daily newspaper on what's happening in Aleppo city: The Army has sent more reinforcements to Aleppo, the Army has the power to decide the time place and nature of the confrontation in Aleppo, and a confrontation will be happening in which the Army's tactics will be revealed; and until the "real battle" begins the army is conducting "quality operations" that are designed to minimize the exposure of soldiers to high risk. In the Aleppo city neighborhood of Al-Sakri (حي السكري) the army "set up an ambush of about 400 armed men" in which about 150 were killed or wounded, says Al-Watan. Al-Watan adds that Damascus city is orderly and peaceful, while a handful of towns in the province of Outer Damascus are having small-scale fighting continuing, while in Homs the terrorists suffered heavy losses yesterday. http://alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=126346
2 Aug 2012. SANA has nothing about Aleppo city today: http://sana.sy/eng/337/2012/08/02/434490.htm . SANA's report on fighting events nationwide says: "In al-Hajeb town in As-Safira region of Aleppo province [southeast of Aleppo city], the authorities clashed with an armed terrorist group killing or wounding dozens of terrorists." I haven't heard of rebel activity at any time before in the As-Safira region; I think this must be one of the first reports of such. Meanwhile Al-Watan says an army base beside the town of Al-Zahra, 30 kilometers north of Aleppo city, came under attack from rebels yesterday and this was the fifth attack against this particular army base in the last ten days; http://alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=126346 (also reported by AFP). I am upset that the army is not mobilized in bigger numbers to prevent the rebels from roaming about in the towns lying near Aleppo city such as Al-Zahra, Al-Bab and Al-Safira.
Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 2, 2012 11:58:15 AM | 5
As I sad earlier..Like the "news" about rebels acquiring MANPADS, this "news" about rebel attacking aribase with a tank is just as BS as the first one..
My hunch is the rebels are taking a massive beating in Allepo and they make up for their losses by ramping up the media propaganda war..It's all they've got - considering the massive support they have in the western msm..
No sane government, even Erdogan's Turkey will be stupid enough to ship anti-air missile to dodgy rebel groups..Especially when they're flying Al-Qaeda flags in the open.
Their propaganda's really reach the super BS level now..
Posted by: Zico | Aug 2, 2012 12:29:35 PM | 6
from yesterday's State presser--
QUESTION: Patrick, Turkey today has deployed a large number of tanks and armored vehicles and heavy artillery on the border with Syria. How do you view this military build-up?
MR. VENTRELL: Well, again, we’re obviously in discussion with our Turkish ally constantly on Syria. We continue to think that we don’t want to further militarize the situation. We obviously understand that they have their national security interests as well, but we don’t think that further militarization right now is the way to go. But we continue to have a full and robust dialogue with our Turkish counterparts.
QUESTION: And what did you know from the Turks about this military build-up?
MR. VENTRELL: Well, again, I can’t get into great specificity about what we’ve had in terms of our military-to-military and political-to-political kind of conversations, but suffice it to say that we’re in close and constant communication with our Turkish ally.
QUESTION: But do you expect any military operation from the Turks?
MR. VENTRELL: I mean, again, I refer you to the Turkish Government, but I think where we are right now is that the opposition continues to gain ground and start to hold greater territory, but I don’t think we’re at a point where we’re going to see – or we’re hearing greater calls for immediate external military operations into Syria.
QUESTION: Have you cautioned the Turkish Government not to do anything that could be construed as provocative?
MR. VENTRELL: I mean, I’m not going to characterize our discussions with the Turks in great detail, but obviously we’re very much on the same page with them in terms of assisting the rebels and providing the kind of support to their organizational capacity and otherwise. So I think we’re in close and constant communication with the Turks.
QUESTION: But in terms of the, sort of, every country do what you feel is appropriate strategy that’s being used right now on Syria, why wouldn’t that sort of advice be given whether to the Turks, to the Jordanians, to the Saudis, to the Qataris? Why not say don’t do anything that Assad could use as a pretext for retaliation?
MR. VENTRELL: The public message that I said here, that we don’t want and don’t think that further militarization is the way to go right now, is the same thing that we’re delivering in private.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 2, 2012 12:50:08 PM | 8
This just in --
UN Draft Drops Call for Syria's Assad to Step Down
UNITED NATIONS (AP), Aug 2, 2012 — Arab countries have dropped a demand that Syrian President Bashar Assad resign in the latest draft of a symbolic U.N. General Assembly resolution that faces a Friday vote.
The weakening of the resolution, which is not enforceable, showed the struggle to build an effective diplomatic approach to Syria's civil war. A frustrated former U.N. chief Kofi Annan resigned Thursday as the joint UN/African Union mediator to Syria after his own peace proposals failed.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 2, 2012 12:57:22 PM | 9
Thanks for the update Parv haven't been able to open Sana.Sy for most of the week. Every time I click the page fails to load, working now though.
Also in Syria related news:
- Putin is meeting Americas poodle (I mean British PM Cameron) to discuss Syria. Wouldn't say that will be all that friendly.
- China's fifth fleet (really just 1 destroyer and 1 frigate) sailed through the Suez Canal on Sunday lurked around the Eastern Med for a few days but seems to now be heading into the Black Sea. Since Russia's Navy are holding exercises off the coast of Syria I think the Chinese navy stopping by probably serves as a message. China's English language state media had some words to say on the matter in an article "Naval visits accustom Mediterranean to new role."
Source: Global Times
- Kofi Annan looks like he got tired whipping a dead donkey and stood down from his role as peace mediator in Syria. Now point having a peace mediator when one side doesn't want peace.
- Youtube George Galloway interviews Jonathan Steele former Guardian foreign editor on Syria and Afghanistan.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 2, 2012 1:07:56 PM | 10
For Sana.sy just use directly their IP. The DNS service is clearly broken and with no one interested on fixing it.
Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 2, 2012 1:17:53 PM | 11
Nice. Figured it was a DDOS attack by those Freedom loving rebels only wanting their side of the story to come out.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 2, 2012 1:30:05 PM | 12
@6 Zico, the U.S. government is stupid enough to give away anti-air missiles. They gave them to the mujahedin in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.
Posted by: par4 | Aug 2, 2012 2:21:57 PM | 14
I'd say that MANPADS in Syria, like assassinating intel chiefs, would be a redline calling for Iranian retribution in kind.
KABUL, July 31 —Iran has allowed the Taliban to open an office in eastern Iran and discussed providing them with surface-to-air missiles, ramping up the potential for cooperation with the insurgents, according to senior Afghan and Western officials.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 2, 2012 2:36:21 PM | 15
To me that reads just as the usual anti-iranian propaganda without any substance. There isn't a single fact there, just hearsay from 'officials'.
Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 2, 2012 2:46:52 PM | 16
The point of the comment is that Iran would be inclined to react in kind to MANPADS in Syria.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 2, 2012 3:05:12 PM | 17
@B#1 - I don't know where your going with this - Have you seen the Turkish military capability? Turkey's military is far more positioned, equipped and trained than Syria, even stronger than Iran, not just in manpower, and that is more than double, but modern weaponry. Turkey without external assistance could win over Syria; it has over 1900+ aircraft, double of Syria. Turkeys Naval force is pretty epic, where Syria has near nothing. Syria if it does intend to posture can't afford to engage with Turkey. It has a much larger financial capability. Then we have Israel, much smaller, but again It cant engage, that engagement would cause US air-power to cripple Syria. Assad is in a no-go position, and loosing financial ability, this is devastating and he is out of options. The only weak door is Jordan, but this is knocking on Nato again, so no-go.
Think on the logic here, a small force has disrupted the Syrian Army, this force is tiny, with little resources in a true fighting force and the Syrian Army is struggling; how do you think it would handle an invasion of 200,000 skilled, equipped and experienced combatants with Sea and Air support? It would be a white wash, and part of history.
@Par#5 Assad has no funding, the equipment is antiquated, spares are limited, he may have 6 months to fund the army, but with being active i.e. deploying out to cover all, he will have 1-2 months, it's a ticking clock. The small group hit an run tactics wear down such a large force, if this can be spread into many sub groups, Assad will need to fuel, feed, transport, plan and manage at least 2/3 of his forces, 200,000, no one is putting up the million's a day to achieve this. The small arms groups can operate on SME budgets and have external funding.
The idea in not to kill Assad, that would have been done, it would just take a .50 cal or other (Heart and Minds), it's 1. Make him leave via political will (even if it's far greater than that), or 2. Make them make him leave - The rest rest is irrelevant, it's domino's and the statement.
Propaganda or not, the outcome is more than obvious - the US does not want a drawn-out battle (Elections), but does want to be active (It's in it's nature)and assert its supremacy as the world's Superpower. The flack and geopolitical issues are negotiation, and that is working, the stepping down of Annan is a clear signal,"Peace has failed" So it's intervention time - deals have been made, the mechanisms are in place and now it's crossing the 'T's and dotting the 'i's...
Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 2, 2012 3:16:40 PM | 18
The Syrian rebels could have got MANPADS from anywhere really. Don't forget that 20,000 SA-24 Manpads went missing from Libya with only around 5,000 of them recovered. Could have been brought over to Syria by Libyan rebels. Could have been bought by Saudi Arabia. Or handed out by the CIA.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 2, 2012 3:23:02 PM | 19
Now it is intervention time? Hasn't the West been intervening the entire time? Do you mean to say now the West will now intervene more directly? What do you base that on? What deals have been made? Where did you hear about these deals?
How is the US the world's superpower? Based on their nuclear weapon stockpiles? Their economic might?
Posted by: revenire | Aug 2, 2012 3:34:37 PM | 20
ArtofWar @ 18
Turkey's military is far more positioned, equipped and trained than Syria, even stronger than Iran, not just in manpower, and that is more than double, but modern weaponry.
Now hold on right there soldier...Mention one battle Turkey's ever won in recent history..Just one!!! Turkey only survives because NATO wants it to survive..Just a hint, Turkey's been fighting Kurdish rebels for years now with no "victory" in sight.In fact, it's only going to get worse for them with their involvement in Syria..Despite all the shiny weapons NATO throws at them, they can't do jack.
And Iran wouldn't even need to go to war with Turkey..They'll just turn off the gas taps and that will be end of story..Why do you think Erdogan and Davtoglu are frantically trying everything they can to get Barzani in their pocket? So that they can get an alternative oil/gas as their reliance on Iran make them very vulnerable..But Barzani's also on fools errand..Kurds now see him as shilling for Turkey and also he's in deep trouble with the central Iraqi government..My prediction is that Barzani will be "bumped off" sooon..The dude's pissed off a lot of people and his only ally now in the area is Erdogan. A very weak alliance if ya ask me..
Posted by: Zico | Aug 2, 2012 4:15:04 PM | 21
@ Art of War 18
"Turkey without external assistance could win over Syria; it has over 1900+ aircraft, double of Syria"
Turkey has approximately 400 Combat Aircraft, including 150 F-4's that are mainly used for reconaissance. At least try to look at different sources online (Hint: Wikipedia is not hard to find) before making claims like this.
"Turkeys Naval force is pretty epic, where Syria has near nothing."
Syria has more than enough anti ship missiles to wipe the Turkish Navy off the face of the planet if it tries to attack Syria. Syria has Bastion-P Coastal defense missile systems and Persian Gulf (Iranian) Anti Ship Ballistic missiles, as well as many shorter ranged missiles.
Only 10% of the Syrian Army is being used to fight the FSA and they are defeating them. Think again before assuming that Turkey's outdated arsenal of M-48 and M-60 tanks and virtually non existant air defenses could enable it to prevail over Syria.
Posted by: Nemo | Aug 2, 2012 4:32:26 PM | 22
turkey depends on both Iran and Russia for natural gas and oil. Also, i read if turkey invade syria, syria will fire its scud missles at Turkish dams on the Euphrates river, causing massive flooding.
Posted by: nikon | Aug 2, 2012 4:37:27 PM | 23
Art of War 18
No offence but I think Turkey's military is way overrated..Having NATO bases on their soil doesn't make their military any better than others when it comes to war..In a real war situation, there're so many factors involved that make fancy equipments useless..
I mean, who would've thought the US will still be bogged down in Afghanistan still chasing after goat herders(aka Taliban)? After all the B-2 and F-16 you'd think they'll declare victory by now.
War is different my friend..Trust me.
Posted by: Zico | Aug 2, 2012 4:42:02 PM | 24
nikon @ 23
There's a reason Turkey was so eager to have NATO's missile defence shield on their soil..They're very vulnerable and they know it..
Posted by: Zico | Aug 2, 2012 4:46:48 PM | 25
Excuse me for asking what happens to Syria after a successful intervention. Does it become a joint Turko/Israeli protectorate? Will the US make another attempt at Lebanon?
Posted by: dh | Aug 2, 2012 4:54:18 PM | 26
dh @ 26
The answer to that lies in Iraq..What happened after they invaded Iraq....The US is so fixated on their narrow interest - which is not even their interest but Israel's, to the point that they don't think about the consequences of their actions.
Posted by: Zico | Aug 2, 2012 4:59:59 PM | 27
@ ArtofWar - Turkish army
I know quite a bit about it - I have seen it in action - I wasn't impressed.
Yes, they managed to set up some checkpoints in eastern Turkey over the last decades - only to be overrun or circumvented by the PKK.
Otherwise - see the tank above. A lot of sold off German and U.S. equipment, but little capability to manage it or the tactics to deploy it in reasonable manners.
Most important: Everyone in the officer corps is now scared to be in jail next month for the rest of their life. Even a Lieutenant will now not move a finger without a direct confirmed order from Erdogan.
You want to run an invasion with such an army? Good luck and good riddance.
Posted by: b | Aug 2, 2012 5:03:38 PM | 28
@27 The Iraqis were supposed to greet the liberators with flowers if I recall. One can only hope the Syrians will be as generous.
Posted by: dh | Aug 2, 2012 5:09:39 PM | 29
dh @ 29
I won't hold my breath..After that war, I doubt the Americans will ever blunter into such destructive war again..Their new preferred method is subcontracting their wars to radical jihadi groups..it worked in Libya and they think it may work in Syria as well..
No American soldiers life lost, less expensive and they can always disassociate themselves with the radical jihadi groups when the sh*t hits the fan...
It's called war on the war..In these tough economic times, wars are damn expensive so it's better to subcontract them..Erdogan took the bait and so far seem to be managing it sort of OK.
Posted by: Zico | Aug 2, 2012 5:21:51 PM | 30
Sorry..I meant to say "war on the cheap"....:)
Posted by: Zico | Aug 2, 2012 5:23:13 PM | 31
Cheap for the US maybe. Expensive for the Turks I fear ....unless they are expecting KSA to pay for the damage.
Posted by: dh | Aug 2, 2012 5:31:17 PM | 32
I am more interested in the political game Erdogan is running. I think it is clear by now that Erdogan is using the situation to improve his nationalistic credentials, which considering the situation with the military is probably something he and his government deems necessary. The longer they are able to hold power, the more it is the new normal and the less risk of them rotting in jail cells after a military coup.
Starting a war on the other hand is a much larger step, and one I doubt the Erdogan government deems necessary to maintain power. If the war is not swiftly won, it could lead to the fall of the government in votes or by coup. So if I were a gambler I would bet on no war.
Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Aug 2, 2012 6:05:56 PM | 33
The Swede says: If the war is not swiftly won, it could lead to the fall of the government in votes or by coup.
I suggested a few weeks back that forces in the military have been allowing Erdogan to blunder into war with Syria for exactly that reason. Polls show a majority of the Turks oppose intervening in Syria. I suspect that Erdogan's MB ideology is overcoming his common sense.
Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 2, 2012 6:17:56 PM | 34
Turkey is not going to intervene. I thought initially that it might be that they feared the Syrians of Antakya might join with their cousins in Syria. That fear has disappeared.
Now there is the question of the autonomy of the Syrian Kurds. That should make the Turks want to change sides. It is absolutely against their interests that the Kurds of Syria have an autonomous state. It could provoke new questions about the Kurds in Turkey.
Posted by: alexno | Aug 2, 2012 6:21:30 PM | 35
@Zico#21 - The point is Turkeys’ army is greater and it is piggy in the middle, both side don and wont engage, it’s self defeating either way -Yes Turkey is reliant on Iran and Russia (Oil and Gas) including tourism and its manufacturing industry, and needs it’s export market and it is a sizable chunk of the GDP - War will not help at all - in fact the whole Arab spring have for a better word F****d-up a huge tourist and manufacturing industry and that ripple effect is worldwide; globally SME’s in the industry have suffered and will do for years to come - a friend of mine, provided diving tours, shut up shop, went bankrupt solely on Egypt, he has no recourse, and basically eats from tin cans and is living in ‘Spam city’…
The issue on sanctions has been ongoing, and your right, the scramble on energy has been a battle, and we have all felt the impact. Sanctions are utter failures in terms of humanity and civil society, as it breaks the economic capability; it kills the population, the civilians that are essentially nothing to do with the issues, and is the cause of black markets and the illicit trade, not by choice, but by survival, the most ineffective and problem causing tact ever created, but they still do it!
Agree Turkey has been in conflict and some are still ongoing, then again the whole region and most of the World has its battles, some are not years or decades, some for hundreds of years, many stemming from colonialism and beyond and its ‘divided’ solutions, we like to divide, take Israel and today still ongoing, Sudan and Mali for example.
Weak or strong alliances, it is all part of the picture, we the West or the East do our geopolitics with many variable in mind, all have merits and downsides, and we all hold Ace cards of sorts. As for Assad, he has none in tangible terms, he thought he had allies, but they can all be bought and have been bought in some form or manner.
Zico -Your point on Afghan, it’s about the mineral resources, the men that stare at goats and the men in flying machines are all a part of the décor, they leave once the land is raped or put in those to do the on-going raping, it’s Business. Unfortunately the solider is sometimes fodder, irrelevant of side, this is the thing that grips my shit about politics, it plays with life as a figure/cost in relation to the return, soldiers are inherently expendables, like tents, goats, RME’s, but also useful to aid Nationalism and support, more so with a missing leg and running in Nike gear stating how much he or she owes to the service and is a patriot – I don’t know who is the more stupid?
@Nemo#22 – Smoking that crack . Geezer - Turkey’s Mil is ranked 6th in the World, Syria 35 or 36th. It ranks 3rd in NATO in terms of Air-fleet size 755 aircraft, 270 are F-16C/D’s it just added 30 F-16s and associated equipment to cover attrition and a stop-gap measure untill the arrival of the F-35. The Block 50 with the APG-68(V5) radar, radar warning receivers, and carry the AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile. The introduction of the Block 50 gives the THK F-16 force true SEAD capabilities, the weapon systems for its F-16s, including AGM-65A/B Maverick TV-guided missiles and AIM-120 AMRAAM, 138 AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 120 LAU-129A/A launchers and recently purchased POPEYE attack missiles from Israel to be used by both the F-16s and F-4E's upgraded by Israel. In 2005, a number of new weapon systems are to be installed on the Turkish vipers, including AGM-84H (SLAM-ER), AIM-120C, AGM-154A/B, AIM-9X and CBU-103/105.
It’s Marine fleet includes Submarines, and covert missile launches, and it can use high altitude bombing. Turkey spent another two billion upgrading their outdated tanks, and just shed $4 billion to select the country’s first long-range anti-air and anti-missile defense systems. the Syrian Air defense can be broken, and has been. Turkey also operate drones, one was taken down recently. Syria's SAM network is very robust on paper, and would appear to offer a significant degree of protection at first glance. Against a limited incursion, the Syrian air defense network remains capable, despite the reliance on aging Soviet-era systems. This is one likely factor which drove the Israeli Air Force to circumvent SAM-defended areas when striking the Dayr az Zawr suspect nuclear facility in 2007. Since the whole defense has been mapped and the Iraqi side low altitude is open.
In regard to 10% of its forces, what the other 90% doing? Are they on Holiday, taking a break; they are still employed, the assumed 10% would be infantry and more than likely most of it. The point is cost and how long he can pay to operate, it’s all a question of ‘If’ and ‘when’. Once the funding is gone, the Boy Scouts could walk in, and through! Even the banking system is damaged, that caused further damage to the economy , all from the fighting – now we see signs of hyperinflation, the plunge of the currency – this will trigger full-fledged bank runs, expectations for uncontrolled depreciation of the pound could prompt mass flight from bank deposits denominated in the local currency thus causing banks to go bust or the government to close them – This is Russian money for the most part! What good is a tank if you can’t afford the fuel or power to operate it, this also goes for Coastal, Arial and land defense systems, more so the operators, they will just down tools or defect if no pay is putting bread on the table.
Nikon#23 - Scud’s! Bugger me backwards, what a pile of dog-poo, they would be taken out before they could be deployed. That is so 80’s, and Scud have proved very ineffective, as in Iraq, the same will be for Syria.
Most everything has been marked/tagged, the place has been mapped, not one asset has been overlooked. The observer mission has more than likely been used to send live tracking and left vehicles that the Syrian Army are now using, nice donation. Most check points and security post were more than likely give watches as gifts, or funky phones, all tracking devices and all monitored.
I understand and see all of your collective pro-stance, but realistically this is virtually impossible and it’s not just Turkey, that is just one wall/ blockage, while being a gateway for entry, moreover one must not forget Turkey is also Nato!
Posted by: ArtofWar | Aug 2, 2012 8:21:32 PM | 36
"That old M-60A3 tank has thrown off its right track."
Posted by: Mark Pyruz | Aug 2, 2012 11:04:35 PM | 37
"What good is a tank if you can’t afford the fuel or power to operate it..."
What's to afford? You loot it.
Posted by: ruralito | Aug 2, 2012 11:26:06 PM | 38
A few years ago the US were pushing for Turkey's EU membership, over French and Polish opposition. This was in return for Turkey's unofficial support of the US in Iraq. Now that EU membership is moot, the US is probably backing Turkey's pipe-dream of uniting the Turkic peoples of Central Asia (Uzbek, Kazakh, et al.) in return for their support of the Syrian 'liberation.' Erdogan's two left feet can't keep in step for the proxy dance.
Posted by: Biklett | Aug 3, 2012 2:18:32 AM | 40
Now that EU membership is moot, the US is probably backing Turkey's pipe-dream of uniting the Turkic peoples of Central Asia (Uzbek, Kazakh, et al.) in return for their support of the Syrian 'liberation.'
I get the impression that the Turks only treat Central Asia as a business opportunity now. Oil, gas, markets for Turkish products, investment opportunities.
There's ethnic solidarity, of course, but Central Asian Turks are in reality quite different, and Turkey Turks feel it.
Posted by: alexno | Aug 3, 2012 5:48:05 AM | 41
1 b. they must be smuggling tunnels.
Watching the video, I do wonder, where does the money go?
Posted by: somebody | Aug 3, 2012 8:52:15 AM | 42
Mohamad Salim Qabbani, a former collaborator with Mass Media means of lies and fabrications against Syria, narrated last night to Syrian Satellite TV Channel his personal involvement in fabricating news about the ongoing in Syria.
Qabbani disclosed the presence of scores of specialized so-called news rooms to invent, edit and fabricate news items and stories to be aired by scores of media outlets like B.B.C., al-Jazeera, France 24, al-Arabyia and others.
Qabbani pointed out that he made calls to and contacts with scores of media outlets to tell them different invented stories about the city of Homs when he was in Lebanon in Irsal town.
Qabbani added that armed terrorist used to shoot at the demonstrators in different regions as to accuse the Syrian Army and Security of doing so.
"The demonstrators felt bored if they weren't to provoke security forces; so the demonstrators used to hurl Molotov or stones at the security forces which could not but defend themselves,'' said Qabbani.
He spoke about ways and means of taken photos montage and editing in collaboration with scores of professional photographers hired by different media outlets.
Qabbani disclosed some information about the secret life of some figures who worked on the shedding of Syrian blood at the orders of foreign sides and countries, asserting that they were drug-addicted and hired killers.
Qabbani, who said that he was threatened by the armed terrorist groups to collaborate with them, underscored that he had no alternative out of fear for his family and life from the terrorists but to collaborate with them in filming and fabricating lies and out-of-place and of–time hypothetical stories and events.
"All of the satellite channels which contacted me for live reports about events in and from Homs did know that I wasn't talking to them from Homs but from Lebanon,'' disclosed Qabbani.
Qabbani also told the interviewer about the real identity and behavior of scores of some persons involved in fabricating and inventing events and stories like Khalid Abu Salah, who once appeared on TV grasping a killed child accusing the army of killing it, while this child was killed in an explosion of explosive devices under preparation by the armed groups.
Qabbani added that the much talked about al-Khaldiyeh massacre was caused too by an explosion of the then under-preparation explosive devices by the terrorists in a building in the city of Homs.
Media outlets of lies and fabrications used this explosion as a pretext to accuse the Syrian Army of killing civilians and to steer public opinion against countries which support the truth in Syria.
''I surrendered myself to the Syrian authorities because all what we have done is wrong. I didn't want the Syrian blood to be shed. Weapons bring destruction and killing and I don't want to destroy Syria which should never be destroyed,'' added Qabbani.
Qabbani urged every person who can benefit the authorities with a piece of information to surrender himself and everyone who carries weapons to surrender himself and weapons and would be released as it was the case with him.
Posted by: brian | Aug 3, 2012 10:03:15 AM | 43
Good article today by Bradrakumar covering the same topic. It brings up some good points on the challenges Erdogan would face.
Source: Asia Times
1) Politically - It would be toxic. President Abdullah Gul is already making moves against Prime Minister Erdogan. 70% of the Turkish public think Turkey should keep a neutral stance, according to Ankara Social Research Center polling. It will isolate Turkey completely from Iran, Russia, China, Iraq. It would be against international law without a Syrian provocation or an UN Resolution. It would also place Erdogan at the mercy of a military that distrusts him.
2) Militarily - It would spiral out of control. An attack on Syria wouldn't just be an attack on the Syrian military. The Kurds in Syria would get involved and that would likely drag in the Iraqi Kurds. Just today another Turkish soldier was killed at the Iraq-Turkey border and 10 injured. Who knows how the Kurdish population in Turkey's South would react. Iran has also threatened retaliation against any outside invasion of Syria (likely in the form of covert actions). A War wouldn't just be against Syria's Army it would effectively be everything South of Turkey.
Turkey is to smart to invade. However I think something is up, Russia seems fairly panicky over Kofi Annan stepping down, they are calling for an "urgent replacement" for Annan. They know something the rest of us don't, here is the Russian deputy foreign minister today on Annan stepping down "He is an honest international mediator but someone wants to push him out of the game to open the gates for forceful actions. This is obvious."
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 3, 2012 10:20:08 AM | 44
Does this block users? Is that not be media suppression and against the very ideal it vindicates?
Posted by: AoW | Aug 3, 2012 11:20:18 AM | 45
The only one smoking "crack" here is you. Syria has fully modernized air defenses that can easily counter the F16's and F-4s Turkey brings to the table. In fact, they are designed specifically for that purpose. My point still stands that Syria's air defense system is vastly superior to Turkey's and it is still improving. I also note you just tried to evade my point that disproved your absurd statement claiming that Turkey had 1900 aircraft when it so manifestly does not. As for Tanks, Syria not only has tanks that are superior in every way to Turkey's, it has far more of them. And of course, it has anti tank weapons (Kornet, etc, etc) that would shread Turkey's outdated armor if it tried any real invasion. This of course is leaving out the damage the PKK would do, in the event of any atttempted Turkish invasion. Your long list of what weapons an F-16 can carry really does not matter as they would be countered by mobile Syrian air defenses concealed in underground bunkers that would pop out and fire at a few seconds notice. These cannot be "mapped" as you imply. In fact the total defeat of Israel by Hezbollah in 2006 proves the futility of such a tactic. And of course you also ignore the fact that Syria has far more accurate missiles than simple unimproved SCUDS. Look up the Fateh-110, among others.
As I stated before, Iran would respond to any Turkish attack on Syria by demolishing Turkish airfields with its 1,000s of MRBMS and cutting of oil and natural gas exports to Turkey. Kind of hard to use those F-16's when the airfields they use are reduced to smoking debris. And since Turkey knows this very well this means that Turkey will not attack Syria, despite its idiotic bluster.
Your other point is irrelevant. The fact is that Syria's army has only used a small fraction of the force it has in fighting the FSA and since it is winning it is unlikely to use a substantially greater percentage in the future.
Posted by: Nemo | Aug 4, 2012 11:52:37 PM | 46
I am note sure if your point is valid, but what I know from history is that.. Turks in the battle.. results in an unexpected result. often a disaster for the opponent.
Posted by: uha1 | Aug 5, 2012 6:46:28 PM | 47