February 17, 2016
Today's Attack In Ankara Could Be A False Flag Incident
In March 2014 tape recordings of a meeting between the Turkish then Foreign Minister Davutoglu, the chief of the Turkish intelligence MIT Hakan Fidan and others leaked to the public. They talked about a false flag attack on Turkey to be used as a justification form a Turkish attack on Syria. The new was mostly ignored by the "western" main stream media. As I wrote about the tape:
The major points from my view:
- Turkey has delivered 2,000 trucks of weapons and ammunition to the insurgents in Syria.
- There are plans for false flag attacks on Turkey or Turkish property to justify an attack from Turkey on Syria.
- The Turkish military has great concerns going into and fighting Syria.
- The general atmosphere between these deciders is one of indecisiveness. Everyone seems to be unclear what Erdogan wants and is waiting for clear orders from above.
- Shortly before the meeting the U.S. military presented fresh plans for a no-fly zone over Syria.
Consider those 2014 plans for a false flag when reading this just-in news:
At least five killed in huge explosion in car bomb attack in Ankara"
A big explosion that officials said was an "act of terrorism" took place in the Turkish capital of Ankara, killing at least five people and injuring another 10.
Ankara Governor Mehmet Kılıçlar said the officials believe the explosion was caused by a car bomb.
News reports say buses carrying military personnel have been targeted. The explosion took place as the buses were arriving at a military lodging facility in downtown Ankara, according to reports.
Ömer Çelik, a spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), wrote in Twitter that the explosion was an "act of terrorism."
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the authorities have received information about the blast and were looking into it. Davutoğlu was scheduled to depart for Brussels for a visit later this evening but he canceled the trip and headed to the presidential palace to attend a last-minute security summit.
The attack was near a Turkish military headquarter in Ankara. The announced numbers of wounded and killed are still increasing by the minute.
Turkey will likely blame the Turkish Kurdish PKK for this incident and will extend the blame to the Syrian Kurdish version of the PKK, the YPG. But if this is not a Turkish stage-managed false flag attack it is more likely an Islamic State terror attack than one by the PKK.
Michael Horowitz @michaelh992
#ISIS released the latest edition of its magazine in Turkish, specifically targeting the Turkish military #Turkey
6:58 AM - 26 Jan 2016
As to what follows from this incident consider also this:
Saud Al Tamamy @Saud_AlTamamy
Saud Al Tamamy Retweeted قناة الإخبارية
For the second time in less than 24 hours: a phone call between King Salman and President Erdogan.
MK Bhadrakumar, who was India's ambassador in Turkey in 1998-2001, reminds us that disagreements between Turkey and the U.S., like the ones we have seen during the last weeks, are not necessarily what they seem:
Although Washington and Ankara appear to be preoccupied with a verbal brawl over christening Syrian Kurds as “terrorists” or not, there is a long history of the two NATO allies working in tandem while dissimulating difference of opinion to mislead outsiders.
Turkey has a consistent record of making defiant noises but ultimately falling in line with Washington’s guidelines. Such situations can be multiplied. Thus, it is entirely conceivable that the open support voiced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday for Turkey’s proposal to create a ‘no-fly zone’ in Syria would have enjoyed some measure of American approval.
Turkey's Prime Minister yesterday said they would not give up on the Azaz pocket and the city of the same name currently held by CIA/Turkey/Saudi sponsored terrorists against the Russian supported Syrian Kurds.
The hectic communications over the last days, the likely fall of Azaz to Syrian Kurds and this "terror attack" in Ankara lets me assume that we will very soon witness a serious escalation by Turkey and its allies against Syria and its allies.
Posted by b on February 17, 2016 at 01:06 PM | Permalink
That was an excellent analysis there. It seems that bombing was indeed a "false flag".
I really sincerely hope that nobody provokes Russia on such "no-fly zone" nonsense or an attempt of a ground invasion any further. We will have big war real soon and wars do start just like that.
Posted by: laserlurk | Feb 17, 2016 1:15:25 PM | 1
It may very well turn out to be fake.
Just like the fake Russian bombing of hospitals.
Southfront confirms hospital bombing in Syria fake.
Posted by: noman | Feb 17, 2016 1:18:42 PM | 2
And I wonder how what Merkel's role is in Turkey:
Turkish-German Pact: EU Split by Merkel's Refugee Plan
Merkel has promised the Germans that she will reduce the number of refugees coming to the country and has pledged that 2016 will not see a repeat of the million migrants who arrived last year. But she hopes to achieve that goal without closing off European borders and suspending the Schengen border-free travel regime. That is what makes the situation so complicated: The only hope of Merkel's plan working is if she can find a coalition of the willing to accept refugees.
I still believe the refugee problem will be the greatest unintended consequence of the war on Syria, and will be an existentialist threat to Europe. Turkey has everyone by the short hairs...but for how long?
Posted by: shadyl | Feb 17, 2016 1:23:29 PM | 3
The US are using the Kurds for their strategy, for now, so not agreeing with turkey in public by calling the Kurds terrorists is not a good idea, even if the US think that the Kurds really are terrorists. The US calling Kurds terrorists in public, would immediately drive the Kurds into Russia's arms. That is not a good idea if you want to establish that no-fly zone BS that's really an invasion zone.
We are seeing an Western onslaught of propaganda, lies and now even possible for flags to make the momentum for an invasion of Syria seen irresistible.
Posted by: tom | Feb 17, 2016 1:30:36 PM | 4
The fact that the US is attempting to distance itself politically from both Turkey and Saudi Arabia – who has also pledged to carry out ground operations in Syria amid the collapse of terrorist fronts across the country – indicates a possible attempt to produce plausible deniability ahead of a much larger provocation or intervention
Posted by: john | Feb 17, 2016 1:44:54 PM | 5
Let follow this closely and see if the narrative trends towards A-IS is the culprit & B-Enough, need to intervene..
Posted by: Lozion | Feb 17, 2016 1:45:51 PM | 6
@6 I don't see how blaming ISIS advances Turkey's plans. They would prefer to blame Assad, Russians or Kurds.
Posted by: dh | Feb 17, 2016 1:52:07 PM | 7
Tomorrow's headlines will have the attack on Ankara and this: Radioactive material stolen in Iraq raises security fears:
The material, stored in a protective case the size of a laptop computer, went missing in November from a storage facility near the southern city of Basra.
The material, which uses gamma rays to test flaws in materials used for oil and gas pipelines in a process called industrial gamma radiography, is owned by Istanbul-based SGS Turkey, according to the document and officials.
"We are afraid the radioactive element will fall into the hands of Daesh," said a senior security official ... "They could simply attach it to explosives to make a dirty bomb" ...
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17, 2016 2:10:01 PM | 8
@7 Any pretext to intervene really. So far, Turkey is blaming IS to advance the safe zone/no fly zone script but maybe they will accuse the Kurds this time..
Posted by: Lozion | Feb 17, 2016 2:10:46 PM | 9
These events (attack in Ankara and report of missing radio-active material) seem rather conveniently timed (too conveniently!). We are a day or two away from when Kerry's Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) is supposed to start.
Obama's Syria-related remarks in his news conference and Ash Carter's interview with Charlie Rose lead me to wonder if the 4:30am call from Putin to Obama was prompted by a US ultimatum: observe the CoH/stop bombing or else.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17, 2016 2:17:43 PM | 10
"Thus, it is entirely conceivable that the open support voiced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday for Turkey’s proposal to create a ‘no-fly zone’ in Syria would have enjoyed some measure of American approval."
This is precisely why I believe Obama is STILL interested and is probably working with Turkey to get a ground invasion into Syria going, while publicly ostensible opposing any escalation. Merkel would not have called for a no-fly zone without US approval.
As I've said before, the US elites and Israel can NOT give up their desire to see Syria degraded to a failed state. Their entire hopes in the Middle East depend on taking down Syria, Hizballah in Lebanon, and ultimately Iran. You don't give up such goals because there are complications such as the Russians being present in Syria. You find ways around those complications, such as a Turkish/Saudi Arabia ground invasion following by a US/NATO air campaign against Syria - WITHOUT engaging the Russians, thus forcing the Russians to decide how far THEY want to go in confronting Turkey, perhaps NATO, and perhaps the US (ie., WWIII). I believe the "crazies in the basement" (as Pat Lang refers to them recently) in Washington are prepared to escalate further than Putin would be willing to go.
The problem becomes: What if they're wrong and Putin IS willing to directly confront at least NATO, if not the US? What is things escalate beyond anyone's control?
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Feb 17, 2016 2:23:55 PM | 11
I think the Russians and Iranians will go as far as they have to to maintain their positions. Arms and men to confront KSA and Turkey. Both of the latter look good on paper, but they've never been in a real war--that is a war with a real opponent... Many thought that the likudniks would draw the U.S. into an war in the ME. Looks like they'll be able to laugh from the sidelines...
Posted by: chuckvw | Feb 17, 2016 2:46:24 PM | 12
@ tom | 4
The US are using the Kurds for their strategy
Of course, as a proxy forces and in Balcanisation plans.
While most here rejoice how Kurds are screwing up Turkey, but I actually feel sorry for Syria and Iraq more. Kurds are difficult and frustrating to deal with because they want independence, are greedy, and are largely in USrael pocket, especially Iraqi Kurds.
What a lot of people dont know, is that ISIS werent alone when they began attack on Iraq - they were aligned with Kurds, and both of them have the same master. They coordinated actions, and often worked as one-two punch. ISIS created an existential threat to a very weak Iraq to divert an attention. While Kurds took over all oilfield they could get their hands on and expanded their initial territories by 300%, probably more now. As soon as US gives a green light, they'll announce Kurdistan creation.
In Syria Kurds are less treacherous (in general) compared to Iraq's, but still difficult to deal with. Some groups are allright, some are not, even aligned with jihadis.
Its highly probable Kurds wont give back the land and oil fields they occupied during this war (compare small pockets they had before and territory they want to expand to), and my guess they'll either demand full autonomy (de-facto independence, just not de-jure), or will merge with Iraqis in Kurdistan under USrael guidance. Kurds already started ethnic cleansing, with Western media's complete silence about it.
In any case, I expect Syria and Iraq to be screwed by Kurds, the question is - how much.
Posted by: Harry | Feb 17, 2016 2:46:56 PM | 13
It is clear is that Erdogan DOESN'T want to be alone to send ground troops in Syria. In addition there is no popular support for that adventure.
What he will do depends on whom he'll accuse for the attack.
a) Accusation that the Syrians Kurds are the perpetrators: That would justify to the world and to the Turks that the YPG is a terror group so the USA and Europe stop helping them militarily.
It could be also be a false flag to achieve that goal.
b) Accusation that ISIS is the perpetrator: It means that ISIS is angry at Erdogan's threats and is sending a warning message to Erdogan not to get involved with the Saudis in any ground troop operation against it.
Will Erdogan find an excuse to renounce to send ground troops or in the contrary he will use it to convince the Turks and the USA that they should lead a military coalition and invade Syria?
c) Syrian/Russian/Iranian intelligence are the perpetrators: Continue creating insecurity and instability within Turkey to provoke a civil war to topple Erdogan
In all cases Erdogan is in a increasingly uncomfortable situation.
Posted by: virgile | Feb 17, 2016 3:16:48 PM | 14
thanks b.. if by 'false flag' you mean anything to blame the kurds - okay.. what about the oct 10-2015 attack in ankara? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Ankara_bombings - i guess they couldn't use that for raising a false flag... bottom line is turkey is f*ked here with a likelihood of an increase of more of the same..
this lingo - terrorist - moderates - is always used to clobber others over the head with.. anyone who believes any of it, need to ask more questions.
@13 harry law.. i agree the kurds with be used this way and that, but underneath this appears to be a group of people that have been ripped off and cheated for quite a long time.. that's how one makes terrorists.. keep on abusing and ripping off others.. countries with geo-political designs will do what they are always going to do.. people need to see how that plays into all of this too...
Posted by: james | Feb 17, 2016 3:18:43 PM | 15
A false flag was the first thing I thought of when I heard this - especially following up on the 'Russian missiles' that hit the 'hospitals' the other day. The Turkish 'derin devleti' or deep state is certainly capable of this and has the motivation. We have to remain agnostic until more details emerge - but if it was the deep state, it would be aimed to curry international (read: US) support for an invasion. They desperately want to drag NATO into Syria to cover their asses, as the Turkish 2nd Army would not last long alone against Russia + friends.
I'm not sure I agree that the PKK are _incapable_ of such an attack. They definitely are, but it doesn't fit their overall strategy that well at this moment. Whereas the timing is impeccable for provoking support for a Turkish incursion in Syria.
Either way, Erdoğan's inevitable crocodile tears for the poor recruits who just got blown up will be nauseating as always... I'm glad all my male Turkish friends are done with their military service already - it was bad enough patrolling Van a few years ago in 'peacetime'.
Posted by: Daniel | Feb 17, 2016 3:29:29 PM | 16
james@15-just read Andre Vltchek's latest on Iraqi Kurds, sounds like they would agree with you:
While the social system is collapsing, Erbil is turning into one of the most segregated places on earth: with 12-lane roads, fragmented communities, absolutely no public transportation, almost no cultural institutions, but plenty of malls for the rich, as well as luxury hotels for the expats.
In the area where the majority of people live on less than $1 per day, a decent hotel room now costs over $350, and the daily rate for car hire from a hotel is around $400.
There is great fear in the Kurdistan Region. And fear is feeding anger. And anger may lead to violence against the corrupt pro-Western regime.
And what is Erbil’s “solution”? Reuters reported on February 11, 2016:
“Massud Barzani, de facto president of Iraq's Kurdistan Region, declared in early February that the "time has come for the country's Kurds to hold a referendum on statehood.”
Baghdad is watching and warning: “Don’t do it! You will not be able to survive without us.”
But the regime in Kurdistan Region appears to be too stubborn. As in all colonies of the West, it is business as usual: “Profit over people.”
Posted by: Nana2007 | Feb 17, 2016 3:34:23 PM | 17
@17 nana.. thanks... the link you provided doesn't work..
i like that line "profit over people".. basically sums up western civilization circa 21st century, thanks corporations and the politicians beholden to them..
Posted by: james | Feb 17, 2016 3:43:06 PM | 18
There is only one avenue that makes sense: blame ISIS. In fact, I expect ISIS to take responsibility. That way, the response is clearly justified under UNSC 2249, which:
> calls on nations to attack ISIS;
> recognizes that Syria has lost control of ISIS-held territory (an attack on ISIS-held territory is NOT an attack on the legitimate government of Syria);
> reiterates the right of nations to defend themselves.
So the 'play' here is to respond to an(other) ISIS attack. That is why so many nations have proclaimed themselves willing to join that fight. Turkey will NOT be alone. But the US may not join them unless Russia attacks the "anti-ISIS" (in name only) forces that invade Syria.
Your other 'options' pale in comparison as they achieve very little. Blaming Kurds is a tactical gain, not strategic. In fact, the dispute with USA over arming Kurds is likely to be just for show - it distances USA from Turkish actions. Blaming Assad/Russia is a dead-end - Turkey is NOT going to directly attack Assad or Russia. And a single terr0rist attack is probably not enough to warrant closing the Bosporus.
It seems very clear that the anti-Assad Coalition want Russia to act as the bad guy - the Western public has been prepared for that so they will ardently support whatever action their leaders take after Russian aggression.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17, 2016 3:46:16 PM | 19
how does turkey justify it's attacks on azaz and surrounding area? what is their justification for that? saying they don't want the kurds to control the area is plain stupid.. they have to come up with a better rationale then that.. of course many - myself included - see this as turkeys attempt at leaving a supply line open for their ''moderate'' rebels... well, i refer to them as headchopping terrorists myself.. turkey in bed with saudi arabia sums it all up for me..
Posted by: james | Feb 17, 2016 3:50:31 PM | 20
The ultimate proof of a U.S./Israeli engineered Kurdistan won't be in a simple declaration of independence. The long-rang plan has always required a fake Kurdistan that extends all the way to the Mediterranean, which would mean Efrin would have to be extended to the west through Turkey's Hatay. They would have to take Hatay territory from Turkey and claim it as their own.
The Rojava Kurds, themselves, have never expressed any desire that I know of to have Kurdistan extend to the Mediterranean. Nor have they ever had any designs on Hatay province. It was Syrian land a century ago, but is now populated with Turks. Turkey would never cede Hatay back to Syria, and certainly never to the Kurds.
Once could imagine (with enough U.S./Israeli psychopaths in the basement) a widespread conflict with Turkey sufficiently provoking the Kurds to annex Hatay. Something like attacks from Hatay to Efrin's west, whereby Efrin Kurds would justify taking Hatay to protect themselves from further Turkish aggression. I'm simply guessing at the circumstances - there are many ways to make a Hatay land-grab seem plausible. Most involve the blood of many innocent Turks and Kurds. Best of all, the U.S./Israel psychos could ensure enough Russian soldiers were killed by some kind of fake Hatay aggression that they would willingly help the Kurds move west. See? The U.S. and Israel are innocent - it was the evil Putin that helped them annex Turkish territory.
Hatay will never be in the spotlight by design. It will be a little-reported sideshow to a much wider Turkish/Russian/Syrian conflict. The public is easily distracted and any annexation of Hatay will be no exception - everyone will be looking somewhere else at the time.
Now the Kurds may maintain control of their own destiny and refuse to be a party to any U.S./Israeli grand Iranian attack corridor schemes. Hard to say. The average Kurd just wants to get back to their farm or city and have everyone leave them the hell alone. Nobody cares what the average Kurd thinks, though. Nobody ever has, even the Kurdish leaders.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 17, 2016 4:16:36 PM | 21
Profit Over People is the title of a book written by Chomsky and published in 1999 to coincide with the Battle in Seattle. Quite damning as you might expect.
Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17, 2016 4:18:24 PM | 22
This is the U.S. government's invasion model we all witnessed on 9/11. Now a car bomb can justify invading another sovereign nation. Pretty soon assassinating a high official of government or royalty will be the excuse. Oh wait, that's how WW I got started.
Posted by: PokeTheTruth | Feb 17, 2016 4:18:28 PM | 23
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17, 2016 3:46:16 PM | 19
It all depends if Erdogan is really serious and ready to send ground troops to Syria.
If he is then of course the Blame ISIS is the best option. His call for the USA to lead a military ground coalition may be heard.
If he doesn't have the popular support to send ground troops then he will put the blame on the PYG to force the USA to reconsider their support and recognize it as a terror group. Therefore he will get the green light to continue bombing them to prevent them from taking Azzaz. It is funny that this is happening after Davutoglu said "wait a few days and you will see"
I also think that the attack could be very well be a Syrian/Iranian/ Russian intelligence action to create more internal tension and contradict Erdogan who used the security issue as an argument for the success of the AKP in the snap election.
That's my take...
Posted by: virgile | Feb 17, 2016 4:19:02 PM | 24
James @15 That's not me, not that I disassociate from Harry's opinion.
Posted by: harry law | Feb 17, 2016 4:20:43 PM | 25
@25 harry law.. thanks.. i have a bad flu bug that landed yesterday and my mind isn't all that sharp today..
Posted by: james | Feb 17, 2016 4:25:16 PM | 27
Turkey wants 10 km long ‘safe-zone' in northern Syria | Al-Masdar News | AFP – Gulf News |
Turkey said it was seeking to create a “safe line” inside Syria that would include the flashpoint northern town of Azaz near the Turkish border. “We want to form a 10-kilometre (six-mile) safe line inside Syria, including Azaz,” Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan told A Haber television in an interview.
Turkey has long pressed for a safe zone, backed up by a no-fly zone, under the pretext of protecting its borders and providing protection for refugees on Syrian soil. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan.
Alarmed by the advances of Syrian Kurdish forces in Aleppo province near the border, Ankara has in recent days bombed their positions, defying international calls for a halt to the strikes. The fate of Azaz is of particular concern to Turkey, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu making clear Ankara will not allow Kurdish fighters to take it from Takfiri insrgents.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday backed calls for a no-fly zone in Syria, saying it “would be helpful if there could be such an area, where none of the parties are allowed to launch aerial attacks.”
Moscow, which has carried out air strikes to help President Bashar Al Assad regime’s ground offensive in northern Syria, said Wednesday that any decision would have to be approved by Damascus.
“Any decisions on creating some sort of no-fly zones cannot be taken without the agreement by the receiving side and without a relevant UN Security Council decision,” deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov told Interfax.
Posted by: Oui | Feb 17, 2016 4:25:55 PM | 28
Merkel's call for ‘no-fly zone’ in Syria splits nation | RT |
Merkel’s call for the creation of the no-fly zone is supported by German military and political heavyweights, journalist Michael Opperskalski told RT. Yet, the journalist noted, Merkel faces tough opposition in Berlin.
“She is supported by Foreign Minister Steinmeier, the German foreign intelligence service – BND, and other high ranking government responsible forces,” Opperskalski noted, stressing that some see it as part of the “anti-Russian campaign.”
He explained that Merkel and her government are “pressured” by Turkey to advocate the no-fly zone, “to follow the Turkish regime interest due to the refugee crisis.” The second reason behind Merkel's rhetoric he says is Berlin’s “open agenda” for a “regime change by all means in Syria.”
Calling Berlin’s move a “big and very dirty game,” the German journalist noted that the military establishment in the country is being split on the matter, with some being “very much against” the creation of a no-fly zone.
Forces who argue against the move say “it will not be useful as fight against ISIS,” with some arguing, as Opperskalski notes, that “Russian intervention is the real force opening the peace perspective for Syria.”
“The government and the institutions are getting more and more divided on the course of the direction of the activity, and especially when it comes to possible confrontation on political and other levels with Russia, and on perspective of the regime change in Syria,” Opperskalski told RT.
○ Ankara car bombing: 28 dead, 61 injured in blast targeting military convoy, Deputy PM says
Posted by: Oui | Feb 17, 2016 4:26:40 PM | 29
Turkey’s Erdoğan, Saudi King Salman discuss Syria in telephone conversation | Hürriyet Daily News |
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Saudi Arabian King Salman spoke by phone late on Feb. 16, with both describing attacks by Russia and Syrian government forces north of Aleppo as “worrisome,” sources at Erdoğan’s office said.
Saying there could be no solution to the Syrian conflict with President Bashar al-Assad remaining in power, the two leaders called for an end to strikes on civilians and the lifting of sieges, sources from the Turkish president’s office told the state-run Anadolu Agency. They said the attacks by Syrian government forces and Russia’s attacks to the north of Aleppo were making the humanitarian situation in the region worse.
Erdoğan and Salman also discussed attacks by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the militia force of Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD), on the northern Syrian town of Azez, close to the Turkish border, and the shelling by the Turkish army in response.
○ Erdoğan slams UN, US, vows to keep hitting PYD ‘terrorists’
Posted by: Oui | Feb 17, 2016 4:32:14 PM | 30
Turkey, regardless of who is at the helm, would never allow to lose Hatay much worst to Kurds. Turkish special ops have been in Iraq since 1980s, and still actively are. Turks would not mind losing millions in a war and fight until every person to defend Hatay regardless of who is at power. When it comes to defending country, nothing can stop that.
However, if 'Turkish deep state' in line with Gladio (US/Nato operandi) decides to get rid off wannabe Sultan and co, it would have taken easily by now. My guess (completely speculative) the USrael has more dirty work already contracted to the madman of Bosphorus, thus him being still in power
Posted by: Truist | Feb 17, 2016 4:38:01 PM | 31
Truist@31 - I agree, Truist. It is so unlikely to happen for so many reasons that if it does happen by some miracle, then I will assume it was a U.S./Israeli engineered miracle in line with their long-stated desires.
Team Chaos loses a few battles, but they'll never walk away from the conflict. Chaos = opportunity.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 17, 2016 4:47:14 PM | 33
It's possible, but I would think if Erdogan wanted to go with an outrage-inspiring false flag attack, it would have targeted civilians - probably women and children - rather than soldiers who are paid to assume risk. Some external analysts have indeed blamed it on Islamic State, but how likely is that considering Turkey is their not-so-secret sugar daddy? It might very well have been the PKK. Not that nutjob Erdogan would stop short of a false-flag attack, but his stock in NATO has not looked too high lately. How confident is he that it would bring the desired result?
We should know soon enough, anyway - Turkey and their crazy Saudi pals have announced their willingness to invade Syria (under the aegis, of course, of 'fighting ISIS', but obviously to remove Assad) as 'part of an international coalition'. So everybody is just waiting on word from the Beltway.
Posted by: Mark | Feb 17, 2016 5:03:26 PM | 34
Turkey said on Wednesday it was seeking to create a “safe line” inside Syria that would include the flashpoint northern town of Azaz near the Turkish border. “We want to form a 10-kilometre (six-mile) safe line inside Syria, including Azaz,” Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan told A Haber television in an interview.
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/turkey-wants-10-km-long-safe-zone-in-northern-syria/ | Al-Masdar News
Posted by: james | Feb 17, 2016 5:04:16 PM | 35
I just want to point out that in effect, if it was Turkey proper or ISIS, it's a false flag all the same as it could be used as pretext for Turkish escalation. The Kurds would seem to be the least likely perpetrators.
Posted by: Colinjames | Feb 17, 2016 5:13:36 PM | 36
How has the media spun the story yet? I dont even watch lame stream media anymore..
Posted by: Lozion | Feb 17, 2016 5:17:36 PM | 37
@36 colin - exactly.. but we aren't dealing with rational minds here..
here's daily sabah's take under the article -
"Turkey wants secure line made 10 km within Syria, including Azaz, Deputy PM says "Azaz is the last rebel stronghold before the border with Turkey north of the Syrian city of Aleppo, part of what was, before the Assad offensive, a supply route from Turkey to the rebels fighting Assad."
'''rebel'''... uh huh..
Posted by: james | Feb 17, 2016 5:17:46 PM | 38
Mark@34 - "...It's possible, but I would think if Erdogan wanted to go with an outrage-inspiring false flag attack, it would have targeted civilians - probably women and children - rather than soldiers who are paid to assume risk..."
I was thinking just the opposite, Mark. Turkey's state intelligence / internal police (MIT) are fiercely loyal to Erdogan. The regular Turkish military, not so much. As far as I can tell, they are probably the biggest single threat to Erdogan. He regularly purges the ranks of senior officers for one reason or another reflecting his paranoia.
What's hard to gauge from the outside is if Erdogan's attempt to associate the PYD with the PKK is taken to heart at all by the military. My guess is that it's not. The Turkish Army hates the PKK, but they have little reason to be threatened by the Rojava YPK/YPJ. The covert assistance to ISIS and war against Syria is largely MIT's scheming. I'm not so sure the regular Turkish Army would be too excited to go up against Syria/Russia to clean up MIT's mess. It would be easier (and much better for Turkey in the end) for the Turkish Army to string up Erdogan and his mafia clan from Ankara's lightpoles and hunt the MIT goons down for elimination all across Turkey.
The general mistrust of the Turkish military towards Erdogan is somewhat muddied by the senior officers whom are obviously loyal lackeys to Erdogan. Strip away those lapdogs and you have the other 99.9% of the military that's less than enthusiastic about him. It wouldn't take much to set the military off on Erdogan.
Car-bombing military members could be an effort to stir up hatred for (in this case) the PYD and/or PKK. Nothing would save Erdogan's own neck more than creating a more immediate enemy for the military. Now if Erdogan screwed this false-flag up and Turkey found out that his MIT boys were responsible, I would expect the military to 'solve' everyone's problem in short order. Think Turkish Army in Erdogan's palace showing off the golden toilets on Turkish TV as they ransacked the place.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 17, 2016 5:32:16 PM | 39
james@38- they've banned all media coverage of the Ankara bombing, limiting coverage to reading out official statements. They're not taking any chances on who the blame will be pinned on- looks like PKK/YPG from your latest links.
Posted by: Nana2007 | Feb 17, 2016 5:42:39 PM | 40
There was one detail in the german ARD news that made me think - they "just so" mentioned that these were soldiers of the turekish Airforce. I dunno if it is a coincidence, but I certainly had some interesting thoughts, about revenge and such.
Posted by: Anon coward | Feb 17, 2016 6:04:09 PM | 42
Why do I think Assad will outlast Merkel,Cameron,Obomba,Salman,Erdogan,et al?I must be an optimist.
Yes,The No fly zone does seem Russophobic.Poor Germany,stuck with a mind of mush.
Posted by: dahoit | Feb 17, 2016 6:09:08 PM | 43
O my gosh, the EU is really, really falling apart now ...
Europe at the breaking point
This weekend's Munich Security Conference, which brought together European and international officials, exposed deep and bitter divisions wracking European capitalism. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ public attack on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's policy in the European refugee crisis, in which Valls demanded even more vicious attacks on refugees, was among the sharpest of a whole host of conflicts that erupted.
Having dismissed Merkel's policy as “unviable in the long run” the day before the summit, Valls said Paris was “not in favor” of her proposal to distribute throughout Europe hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing imperialist wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, on the basis of a quota system. “We need a very clear message that ‘Now, we don't take any more refugees,’” he declared.
Valls bluntly predicted that if refugees kept fleeing to Europe, the European Union (EU) would disintegrate politically and economically. Borders would keep going up in Europe to halt them, he said, and international trade within Europe and the Schengen accords on free movement between European countries would collapse, “with economic consequences we can only imagine.”
Not content to state his opposition to Merkel, Valls sought support among right-wing nationalist European politicians hostile to her policy. He first met with Horst Seehofer, the minister-president of Bavaria, whose Christian Social Union (CSU) is an outspoken critic of Merkel's refugee policy. Valls then lunched on Saturday with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, who the previous day had called Berlin's refugee policy “stupid.”
The fate of millions of desperate refugees fleeing societies ravaged by decades of imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria has become the focus of intensifying geo-strategic and economic conflicts between the European powers.
Anonymous German officials pointedly reminded Le Monde that they could retaliate to criticisms of German policy by objecting to the size of France's budget deficit, which violates EU rules. With European banks facing €1 trillion in bad loans and layoffs spreading throughout the EU, Berlin could press for bone-crunching austerity from Greece to Italy to France should the sell-off on financial markets trigger an economic collapse in Europe.
The unnamed German officials added that Valls' statement on refugees was “all the more unfriendly” in that it encouraged opposition to Berlin from Macedonia, Bulgaria and the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia) as they met Monday in Prague. There, the six Eastern European countries, traditional allies of Berlin that are economically closely integrated with Germany, opposed Merkel's quota proposal on refugees. Instead, they agreed to help Macedonia close its border with Greece to block the passage of refugees into the rest of Europe.
Even as NATO militarizes much of Eastern Europe in a reckless confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, the power struggle between Berlin and Paris over refugee policy and influence in Eastern Europe is another ominous sign of a political breakdown. Since Berlin launched the re-militarization of its foreign policy in 2014, the European powers have announced plans to spend hundreds of billions more on their armed forces.
Now, as before World War I, when France cemented an anti-German alliance with Russia, and World War II, when its eastern ally against Germany was Poland, France is trying to counterbalance the rising economic and military weight of Germany by making political appeals to the East to oppose Berlin.
In this fraught political context, anti-immigrant sentiment incited across Eastern Europe, in France, by parties ranging from Valls' Socialist Party to the neo-fascist National Front (FN), and in Germany, by the CSU and politicians like Thilo Sarrazin, is setting Europe on a course to disaster.
Under the impact of anti-German forces in France such as FN leader Marine Le Pen and Left Front leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, or anti-Greek sentiment stoked up by the entire German ruling elite, the anti-immigrant hysteria and militarism being promoted across Europe can explode once again into the hatred between European nations that repeatedly plunged the continent into war in the last century.
... the Weapons of Mass Migration
have worked like a charm, in the EU as a whole as well as in its individual constituent nations ... the nihilist Manuel Valls tool ratchets up USraelian discord ...
But wait! Over there, in Turkey ... Terrorists! ...
Turkey’s Erdogan vows revenge for deadly Ankara blast
German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the deadly bombing, adding, “In the battle against those responsible for these inhuman acts we are on the side of Turkey."
"I'm telling the Turkish people: we as Germans are sharing your pain," she said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also issued a statement offering his condolences to the families of the victims of the car bombing.
He noted that such actions can never be justified and that "NATO allies stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism."
The US also strongly condemned the attack while reaffirming its solidarity with Turkey. "We reaffirm our strong partnership with our NATO ally Turkey in combating the shared threat of terrorism attacks,” said deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
So far no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred near a military complex.
... 'We in NATO/the EU/USrael must quickly unite and mount yet another diversionary 'war on terror' to deflect attention from the terrorist war we are waging on all levels against ourselves!'
When are we peoples of Europe and North America going to snap out of it? going to identify the real agents of our demise : our own governments, cosmodemonic manipulators of death, devastation, destruction and deceit, of war of all against all in their desperate attempt to substitute war as the 'solution' to the economic collapse of Western financial-bubble capitalism?
Posted by: jfl | Feb 17, 2016 6:40:12 PM | 44
From Turkish reports: Kurtulmuş confirmed that Wednesday's explosion was caused by a car bomb and targeted military vehicles that were carrying armed forces personnel. "We believe that those who lost their lives included our military brothers as well as civilians," he added.
There are at least three types of terrorism if Turkey: PKK, ISIS, and "extreme leftists" (mostly Alevis) (I did not observe Gray Wolves in that capacity recently). So far, ISIS concentrated on the civilians, leftists, on politicians, and PKK, on the military and policy, so to me it looks like PKK. Military bombs them, and they reason that they can attack the military. Black flag operation would make sense if it would create a false and unexpected perception, but PKK has plenty of reasons to attack the military AND it regularly does so, this attack is merely more lethal than most.
I do not see how the political narrative in Turkey will change as the result. There is a split between those who want PKK "eradicated" and those who think that Erdogan picked a fight with PKK all on his own to further his ambitions, and the innocent civilians (mostly Kurdish) and innocent soldiers pay with their lives. If anything, some adherent of "eradication" will think that Erdogan perhaps wants to do the right thing here, but he is inept.
My summary is that while "black flag" is possible, it would be stupid and unnecessary, while this type of action fits a pattern that was observed so far.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 17, 2016 6:45:05 PM | 45
Considering the habit of Turkish military of deposing governments, if this was a false flag, then targeting the military is best to get them onside with Erdogan.
Posted by: Bakerpete | Feb 17, 2016 6:49:39 PM | 46
The US counted on, and perhaps still are, the failed state of Ukraine to be enough to distract the Russians from Syria.
I agree that it's about Iran, and they aren't just going to abandon the goal, no matter how many bit players they involve in the greater drama on the way down that road. In fact strategically, destroying Russia is on that same road.
I imagine there are a few "holocausts" in their bag, as tools. Or birthing implements, as Condi Rice might say. Will they be false flags, like 9/11 was? There's quite a good chance of that, I think.
Posted by: L Bean | Feb 17, 2016 6:59:03 PM | 47
Being a veteran (USN) I find myself having Khobar Towers flashbacks. This Ankara Mass Murder carries the same aroma as Khobar Towers. EVIL! Just my opinion.
Posted by: ALberto | Feb 17, 2016 7:17:15 PM | 48
I hope the Turkish military decides it was a false flag by the MIT - @b, @16 daniel - hoping to blame the PKK - @45 PB - and that in consequence the Turkish military react - PW @39.
But it may be that this is just the emergency of the day, and that the real activity is, as it's been everyday for awhile now, the continuing Syrian/Iranian/Russian reclamation of Syria from the USA/KSA/Turkey al-CIAduh/Da'esh bad actors.
Would be really good if Vltchek's observations - @17 nana - as regards the Kurds bore fruit ... and if the Iraqis finally threw off the US yoke and joined the winning regional alliance whole-heartedly.
Posted by: jfl | Feb 17, 2016 7:31:50 PM | 49
Has anyone else seen this? Tres droll well not really pretty unsubtle but amusing nevertheless.
Since the link comes from the grauniad who're somewhat slow on spreading net info I spose it's well known round here but I like the juxtaposition of utilising the most base neoliberal indoctrination techniques (sorta thing bush came out with when pushing "the silver ring thing") to carry a message that questions the neoliberal subtext of the great peacemaker which is encapsulated in everything oblamblam does/says.
Posted by: Debs is dead | Feb 17, 2016 7:41:19 PM | 51
I would say it most certainly has to be a false flag. One has to keep their eye on the Anglo-Zionist stated policy which is the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Under no circumstances will any county be allowed to become powerful enough to challenge the Anglo-American Axis's global hegemony. If Russia is allowed to finish their project of restoring the Assad Gov't to power, and eradicating the jihadists, then the stated US goal of full spectrum dominance is in serious jeopardy. Any words coming from any Western spokesmen just have to be disregarded entirely. The Anglo-Zionist-NATO cabal just can't be trusted, period. There is no way they are giving up on their mission to rule the planet. This false flag is paving the way for a major escalation.
Posted by: Kraken | Feb 17, 2016 7:52:44 PM | 52
Nana2007@50 - Oh, hell... Charles Lister chiming in is as good as an official confirmation that it's a false flag intended to demonize the YPG in the eyes of the Turkish military and western public. Chuckey is like a bizzaro one-man anti-MoA. Thanks, Chuckles.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Feb 17, 2016 8:03:33 PM | 53
Lister, lol. That didnt take him long.. Maybe he is paid on thursdays?
Posted by: Lozion | Feb 17, 2016 9:41:02 PM | 54
Re 2: " ...Just like the fake Russian bombing of hospitals. Southfront confirms hospital bombing in Syria fake."
That didn't take long. Be a little faster off the mark and next time you might get the first comment in.
"South Front is sited in Russia and while it doesn't seem to be funded by the Russian government given it's very vigorous fundraising pleas, I will assume they have good sources in the country's military."
I'll bet they do!
By the way, just because Igor Konashenkov and unnamed "experts" say something is fake, doesn't make it so.
Southfront seems to have more than one view of the matter:
"The UNSC discussed the shelling of the hospitals and schools in Northern Syria on Feb.15 which left close to 50 people dead."
This Southfront article is a day more recent than the one claiming that the attacks on hospitals are "information warfare". Are 50 dead or is it fake? Were hospitals and schools shelled (or otherwise hit) or is it "information warfare"? It can't be both.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 17, 2016 9:44:46 PM | 55
Kooshy @ 41:Very relevant link, since IMO, most of these wars have to do with business, and who dominates it, the "West" or the "East". Thanks.
Posted by: ben | Feb 17, 2016 10:02:34 PM | 57
@ emil... nice hit piece on patrick bazzad and southfront...
is that you site idiota??
Posted by: james | Feb 17, 2016 10:04:51 PM | 58
"Michael Horowitz @michaelh992 #ISIS released the latest edition of its magazine in Turkish, specifically targeting the Turkish military #Turkey"
Islamic State is a good suspect. However, the PKK seems to have a history of using vehicular bombs as well:
And with the recent shelling of Kurdish positions in northern Syria by the Turks, this could be payback.
As for a false-flag operation... assuming that we take the "leaked tape" at face value, the previous suggestion for a false-flag attack was explicitly rejected. If a false flag operation were carried out, I would expect it to be less lethal -more flash, "inaccurate" fire and property damage than carnage. Too many witnesses and too much risk of a government toppling scandal with an attack like this; and if anyone ever breathed a word it would be a capital criminal trial for the head of the security service and the president too. Such individuals don't get and keep power by taking foolish and unnecessary risks.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 17, 2016 10:09:35 PM | 59
Debs @ 51: Gotta' love the push-back. Nothing works better than a simple truth. Thanks for the video.
Posted by: ben | Feb 17, 2016 10:10:25 PM | 60
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 17, 2016 10:09:35 PM | 59
"I would expect it to be less lethal -more flash"
MH17. Very lethal, no flash. In this game, a human life is simply a pawn on a chess board.
Posted by: Peter AU | Feb 17, 2016 10:27:12 PM | 61
With regard to that "leaked tape", I must confess that reading the English transcript provided by b's other blog article, it is not always clear what is being discussed or proposed. But this is clear enough:
"HF: Now, sir, commander, if it’s a matter of justification, we can supply one, I can send 4 men to the other side, give orders for them to launch 8 rockets unto empty land. That’s not a problem! Justifications are manufactured. The issue is to display such a will. We’re asserting a will to wage war, we’re falling to the trap of speculation here, as always."
Launching rockets into "empty land" along the border is quite different from a car bomb in the capitol that kills. Note also that a Turkish army general (Guler) was present at that conference: it was not a conspiracy against the military.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 17, 2016 10:39:02 PM | 62
I don't exclude that it could be the work of Syrian intelligence with Russian support. There are almost 2 millions Syrians in Turkey, many of them are still loyal to Bashar al Assad, desperate for money and they hate Erdogan. I wouldn't be too difficult to find some ready to blow up Turkish soldiers and create panic. Contrary to ISIS trade mark, it was not a suicide bomb.
Erdogan is now in disarray as the economy starts to suffer with the drums of war, the loss of tourism and delays of investments. The credibility of his party is at stake.
He has to stop barking and show he can bite
Maybe that's what the Russians are waiting for to inflict him a humiliation they hope will be fatal.
Posted by: virgile | Feb 17, 2016 10:55:20 PM | 63
Erdogan’s aims in Syria curtailed by army
It was clear at the time that the Turkish army was very unhappy about the prospect of a military clash with Russia. It does not share Erdogan’s dream of an Islamist-ruled Syria either. So the Russian bombs kept falling, the Syrian army went on advancing, and now it has cut the main supply line from Turkey to the rebels in and around Aleppo.
Posted by: virgile | Feb 17, 2016 11:25:58 PM | 65
If you haven't been to http://en.farsnews.com/ today, go see-- regular rainstorm of good news. My favorite: The Yemeni army and popular forces made considerable advances in Ma'rib province on Wednesday by winning back 16 strategic regions and purging terrorists from 19 others as they are now only eight kilometers away from provincial capital.
You think the Saudis w/b dumb enough to spare any forces to go collect another defeat?
The false flag? Maybe the US is nudging Erdogan: "Go ahead-- jump!"
Posted by: Penelope | Feb 17, 2016 11:43:05 PM | 66
Lister is skeptical of the report, proving that even a broken clock is right twice a day.
ISIS would also have a motive to implicate YPG/PYD in a bomb attack. But the timing is awfully convenient for anyone in the Turkish government trying trying to drum up support for an invasion when their shelling of YPG is being condemned across NATO. My guess is that any Turkish claim that it was YPG/PYD is going to be very carefully vetted because of Western reluctance to abandon the only non-government force that is effective against ISIS.
Posted by: Thirdeye | Feb 17, 2016 11:53:19 PM | 67
Two things worth noting that occur to me so far--the bombings targeted military personnel and get it's still being called "terrorism" with Ash Carter saying: "We strongly condemn this cowardly attack which appears to have targeted buses carrying Turkish military personnel. We stand with our Turkish allies in the face of this horrific act, which only strengthens our resolve to deepen our ongoing cooperation in the fight against terrorism."
Which is just...well, that's Terrorism for you. Literally anything Western power wants it to be.
The other thing is I don't see many people talking about the internal politics of (particularly Syrian) Kurds, and how their democratic confederalism is probably leading them to play both sides (hence the tentative backing of US and Russian interests at different points in different degrees). They want their 'state,' and they want to do something new there. The US back room guys see that kind of libertarian anarchism as a way bigger threat than they probably do Russia.
Posted by: ambit12 | Feb 17, 2016 11:55:15 PM | 68
Posted by: Thirdeye | Feb 17, 2016 11:53:19 PM | 67
My guess is that any Turkish claim that it was YPG/PYD is going to be very carefully vetted because of Western reluctance to abandon the only non-government force that is effective against ISIS.
Yes we're all familiar with how the West carefully vets ME Intel.
Posted by: Nana2007 | Feb 18, 2016 1:02:17 AM | 69
Re 64: "...in Ankara the car drove into the military bus."
If the Ankara car boming was a suicide attack, I agree that doesn't fit the PKK modus operandi; but it does fit Islamic State.
But if that's the case, why are we talking about false flag operations?
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 1:33:46 AM | 70
Incidentally, Zaman Today must have updated the text since b. posted the link: it says at least 28 killed and dozens more injured.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 1:38:34 AM | 71
Here's an English-language news source:
"A vehicle filled with explosives detonated as it drove past a vehicle carrying military personnel stopped at a red light, Turkey’s deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said Wednesday."
Given the source cited, that seems to confirm it. And of course, there is no way to predict that the bus with soldiers would be stopped by a particular traffic signal, much less at a particular position in a line of traffic, so that rules out a stationary bomb set off by remote control.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 1:55:23 AM | 72
I probably asked for help at the wrong spot, so I'll ask again here ...
Mesopotamia in Place of ISIS
Today the Levant is a place where not only the future of Iraq and Syria is being moulded, but that of the world as a whole. Three historically leading forces in the region, the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, are ready to decide on their political preferences. It was the opening of a representative office of Western Kurdistan in Moscow on February 10  that triggered such a motion.
[T]oday Kurdistan, the steadfast tin soldier of the Middle East, was finally recognized and supported by Russia. This event did not go unnoticed, not only in the West but also in the Muslim world. Kurdish forces have long been providing support to the Syrian authorities in the fight against ISIS, and on February 14 several Iraqi Shiite divisions, formerly supported by the US, joined forces with the Syrian government troops.  This is not the first time that Shiites demonstrate support of Bashar al Assad: Iran firmly stands the ground with regard to supporting the legitimate regime in Syria.
 the opening of a representative office of Western Kurdistan in Moscow on February 10
Any help with number 2?
Posted by: jfl | Feb 18, 2016 2:55:06 AM | 73
The car bombing of two military buses in Ankara may just be the incident that Turkey can use to enter Syria. The Turks appear to be blaming the attack on a Syrian YPG militant in an English language twitter account:
Ankara bomber is Salih Necar, a Syrian Kurd and YPG militant.
The comments section mentions other unnamed reports that say he is actually an Arab ISIS supporter from Deir Ezzor that has been mistaken for a Kurd due to his name. A senior security source said initial signs indicated that Kurdish militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were responsible. Separate security sources in the southeast, however, said they believed Islamic State militants may have been behind it.
The original source appears to be a story in the Turkish language daily Sozcu:
Rough Google translation is:
28 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks governing Kurdish nationality Syrian citizens PYD / YPG militant was learned that Saleh Nec.
Ankara, 28 hours after the incident the person's terrorist credentials of an explosion that cost the lives of fingerprints has been reached. According to the information; terrorist PKK's Syrian wing of the PYD / YPG militant Kurdish nationality Syrian citizen was learned that Saleh Nec. Necare Saleh was born in 1992 that is reported to be 24 years old.
This will be the excuse for Turkish army full scale attack into Syria on the YPG and their Arab Army supporters!
Posted by: Krollchem | Feb 18, 2016 3:33:57 AM | 75
Yes we're all familiar with how the West carefully vets ME Intel.
They can, except when political considerations override the analysis. Pat Lang wrote a pretty good description of how good but politically inconvenient intel work routinely gets massaged.
Posted by: Thirdeye | Feb 18, 2016 3:36:53 AM | 76
 DebkaFile and quoted in a comment to an article in The Saker. You can find more references in Jewish linked second coming and prophecy websites.
Russian hands-off warning to US, Saudis, Turks amid crucial Aleppo battle
The five-year Syrian civil war, faces its most critical moment. Saturday, Feb. 6, a combined force of Syrian army and Hizballah troops and an Iraqi Shiite militia under Iranian officers, were led by Russian air and Spetsnaz (special forces) officers into pressing forward to encircle 35,000 rebels trapped in Aleppo, the country’s largest city. As they tightened the siege, 400,000 Syrian civilians were also trapped and forced to bear heavy Russian air bombardment and savage artillery fire from the ground forces closing in on the city.
Rebel supply routes were cut off Thursday and Friday when Syrian and Hizballah forces captured the Azaz Corridor connecting Aleppo and all of the northern province of Idlib to the Turkish border.
Tens of thousands of refugees fleeing from the beleaguered town are massing at Bab al-Salama, the last Turkish border crossing to be closed against them. This is the largest Syrian refugee exodus since the start of the civil war.
The rebels under siege are painfully short of weaponry for fighting off the massive, combined offensive, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Their only remaining recourse is to surrender or be ground into submission as the conquering force knocks over their positions and takes over street after street.
Once the combined forces fighting with Bashar Assad’s army take Aleppo and northern Syria, the opposition will have suffered its heaviest defeat since the war began. The rebels groups’ capacity to continue fighting the regime will be gravely diminished.
Syria advances on Islamic State stronghold in Raqqa as Russia denies bombing civilians
Posted by: Oui | Feb 18, 2016 3:40:01 AM | 77
Post meant for jfl - #73
Posted by: jfl | Feb 18, 2016 2:55:06 AM | 73
Posted by: Oui | Feb 18, 2016 3:44:24 AM | 78
Turkey just bombed PKK in Iraq and a Turkish military convoy in the southeast got bombed.
Posted by: Thirdeye | Feb 18, 2016 3:48:43 AM | 79
PKK has denied responsibility for the Ankara bombing.
Posted by: Thirdeye | Feb 18, 2016 4:17:03 AM | 80
Considering the fact that the PKK isn't an Islamist group, together with some changes in the organizational structure, I'm a little skeptical of the Kurdish suicide bomber theory in the present instance. Islamists conduct martyrdom operations on the supposed presumption of an afterlife reward. The PKK began as a Marxist-Leninist group, but transitioned after the capture of its leader, Oscalan, into a "Democratic Confederalist" (read: libertarian socialist communalism) doctrine.
According to the Wiki page, "From 1996 to 1999, it also conducted a series of 14 suicide bombings, 10 of which were carried out by women." Apparently the Tamil Tigers had a similar phenomenon; the latter was structured almost like a cult. But 1999 also corresponded to the year of Oscalan's capture and a change in structure and tactics.
There is one other reference to suicide attacks in the Wiki article:
"In addition to skirmishing with Turkish military and police forces and local village guards, the PKK has conducted suicide bombing on government had police installations, as well as at local tourist sites."
But the footnote cited in support of this leads to a May 2007 article in The Independent which quotes Erdogan as saying "Is it a suicide bomber or a parcel bomb? Technical teams are working on this", and unconfirmed reports of something left at a bus stop.
Are there any PKK experts here? When was the last time a documented PKK suicide attack occurred?
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 5:04:23 AM | 82
Unbelievable! From the American propaganda mouthpiece RFERL. Erdogan must be completely wtitten off by Washington ... need to watch the comments from the military top in the Pentagon and NATO HQ in Brussels:
"A PKK official and the PYD head denied the allegations."
Posted by: Oui | Feb 18, 2016 5:04:32 AM | 83
Earlier accusation from Turkish sources ...
The military condemned what it described as a terrorist attack and a senior security source said initial signs indicated that Kurdish militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were responsible.
The co-leader of the PKK umbrella group, Cemil Bayik, said he did not know who was responsible but the attack could be a response to "massacres in Kurdistan", referring to the Kurdish region covering parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
A Syrian national, identified as 1992-born Salih Necer, was behind the car bomb attack in Ankara on Feb. 17 that killed 28 people and wounded 61 others, Davutoglu said with “certainty.”
Necer was born in the Amuda province of Syrian Kurdistan in 1992 and had links to the YPG, Davutoglu informed reporters.
“A direct link between the attack and the YPG has been established,” he said, adding that nine suspects were detained while the investigation continues.
Posted by: Oui | Feb 18, 2016 5:06:04 AM | 84
You can run through the pages yourself and learn Sunni/Salafist terror has targeted Kurds in Syria and Iraq.
Ekurd daily – search "suicide"
Posted by: Oui | Feb 18, 2016 5:17:45 AM | 86
Re 85 (the second link about Turkish nationalists heading to Syria):
“We had 12,000 people call us to go [join the rebels], then we stopped counting.
“We tell them 'we cannot take you, but if you want to go, we will tell you where to show up, and you can go on your own.' If someone actually organises things, I think 10,000 people would go to Syria,” he added."
Assuming that all this isn't just hype, could this alter the balance of power in Latakia? If so, what would be the result?
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 5:37:50 AM | 87
Re 86: " You can run through the pages yourself and learn Sunni/Salafist terror has targeted Kurds in Syria and Iraq."
No doubt. But I was asking for the most recent occasion when a documented suicide bombing conducted by the PKK occurred.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 5:40:51 AM | 88
REVENGE IS IN VICTORY!
Every Turkish provocation in the Syrian war has been aimed to distract Russia from doing what it has been doing successfully and force it to do something else, possible less successful. This week the Kurds are having their greatest success ever; not only on the battlefield, but politically. Kurdish forces are at the same time supported by the Syrian army, the Russian air force and U.S. special forces (if not in the west, then at least in the east).
If Turkey now shells some Kurds from across the border and kills a few dozen, the right thing to do is bite your tongue and march toward Azaz and Jarabulus. The stupidest thing to do would be to send a suicide bomber to Ankara.
If this is not a ISIS bomb, then this must be a false-flag operation by Erdogan to get an excuse to wage more war on the Kurds. I do not think it would even be technically possible for the attack to be a Kurdish revenge for the Turkish shelling. Planing for an operation like this takes far more than four days.
The Kurds have far better ways of revenge. The best revenge comes from victory!
Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 18, 2016 5:43:36 AM | 89
Historically, the Chechens and PKK rebellion used female suicide bombers
From the mid-1990s, the organization began to lose the upper hand in its operations as a consequence of a change of tactics by Turkey and Syria's steady abandonment of support for the group. From 1996 to 1999, it also conducted a series of 14 suicide bombings, 10 of which were carried out by women. In the late 1990s, Turkey increased the pressure and the undeclared war between Turkey and Syria ended open Syrian support.
Posted by: Oui | Feb 18, 2016 5:53:02 AM | 90
PKK has used female suicide bombers in the 1990s to slip past security ...
Essay: Suicide Terrorism
About 15 percent of suicide bombers have been women. Most of them belonged to the Tamil LTTE or the Turkish PKK; almost two thirds of the PKK’s suicide bombers were female. In both of these groups, their charismatic leaders assured the female volunteers that by participating in the suicide campaign, they would support the group cause while proving that they were as brave as their male peers.
Until recently, female suicide bombers were unique to the LTTE, PKK, and other non-religious terror organizations, but this trend has changed recently; some religious leaders have sanctified women’s participation in such acts under their “loose” interpretation of Islamic tradition. (Ironically, the same men claim “strict” readings of the Koran to justify terrorism.) Thus, the Palestinian Hamas and PIJ as well as Chechen separatists have started utilizing female bombers.
Importantly, those organizations have been operating in very conservative and traditional societies where women have not enjoyed equal rights with men.
PKK and the 'free female fighter' rhetoric | HDN |
Posted by: Oui | Feb 18, 2016 5:53:55 AM | 91
What, besuited Finnish technocrat is unofficial spokesman for the Kurdish forces? Kilju, lakka, or sima? Gotta get me some of that. (No offense to Bertolt Brecht.)
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 6:03:16 AM | 94
By July 2005, there had been 400 suicide bombings in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion.
○ Al Qaeda In Iraq – A CSIS Study [pdf]
For a potential red flag scenario, Al Qaeda forced their prisoners to drive truck bombs to its destiny. So, all possibilities remain open.
Posted by: Oui | Feb 18, 2016 6:32:15 AM | 95
Re 93 ("Kurdish mother of two launches suicide attack" -- Kobane, 2014):
"It was the first known case of a female Kurdish fighter carrying out a suicide bomb against IS. According to tributes on Twitter, she was a mother with two children, though this was unconfirmed.
"While there is little else known about the woman, she was a member of the Women’s Protection Unit, a branch of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG). The force has more than 10,000 female fighters who played a major role in the battles against the IS group.
"Yesterday the force suggested all of their fighters would martyr themselves if it meant defeating IS and protecting the pivotal border town.
"A press release from the People’s Defence Unit read: ‘As a result of remarkable resistance by our units on the axes of the city, repelling the invading attacks, 15 of our comrades martyred in action after facing the mercenaries with all the strength.
" ‘Of our martyrs was valiant comrade Arin, she was able to perform a fedai action and kill dozens of ISIS mercenaries and stop their advance, such strong will and determination shown by comrade Arin will be the spirit of resistance in the hearts of all our combatants of the People’s Defence Units and Women’s Defense Units.
" ‘If necessary, all our fighters will be comrade Arin and shall not allow the mercenaries reach their wishes at whatever cost.’"
Well, this is very interesting. It shows that the Kurds have something called "fedai" which seems to be analogous to martyrdom operations. It links her to the YPG. And it is supported by a Kurdish press release.
All in all, I may have to reevaluate my skepticism about the possibility of Kurdish involvement in the current Ankara bombing. I don't mean to suggest that this constitutes evidence: merely that, with other historical evidence, it makes the possibility seem more plausible.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 6:34:53 AM | 96
a) Accusation that the Syrians Kurds are the perpetrators: That would justify to the world and to the Turks that the YPG is a terror group so the USA and Europe stop helping them militarily.
It seems that Erdogan has decided that neither the army nor the people are ready for a full scale attack on ISIS.
Therefore its the YPG that is targeted. The Turkish army will go along with the bombings and eventually a limited ground attack on the YPG positions.
Davutoğlu says Syrian Kurdish YPG behind Ankara attack, warns allies against backing group
Posted by: virgile | Feb 18, 2016 6:51:01 AM | 97
I don't find the forced bombing scenario particularly plausible in this case. The driver obviously had good intelligence ahead of time and followed the target patiently while awaiting an opportune moment.
I agree with Comment 89 that the underlying technical basis for such an attack would take more than four days: but the intelligence branch of the Kurdish forces has a longstanding habit of collecting intelligence on the movements and dispositions of Turkish military, as well as contingency plans that can be put into effect as called for.
And the Turks have been attacking Kurdish positions in Iraq, and in at least one prior case in northern Syria, for far longer than four days, in recent months, as well as making threatening noises about crushing Kurdish aspirations in northern Syria and Iraq.
None of which is evidence for Kurdish culpability in the latest Ankara bombing.
Posted by: Emil Pulsifer | Feb 18, 2016 6:55:03 AM | 98
One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter, this can be summed up neatly by the bickering over this question by all sides in the Syrian conflict.."But as the arguing goes on for months, it gets more absurd, with Egypt demanding that the Iranian government’s Quds Force be included as a terrorist group, leading Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to suggest that the American CIA ought to also be included in that event". http://news.antiwar.com/2016/02/17/syria-terrorist-list-effort-still-deadlocked-as-nations-bicker/ Lavrov had it right to start off with, anyone carrying arms against the legitimate government of Syria and recognized as such at the UN, is a terrorist, its that simple.
Posted by: harry law | Feb 18, 2016 7:03:36 AM | 99
Who'll benefits from provoking Turkey into escalating the military actions againt the YPG?
In my view it can only be anti-Syria agents ( Syrian opposition, Saudis, CIA, MIT Turkey or all together).
Syrian PYD leader rejects responsibility for Ankara attack
Salih Neccar, a Syrian national, was named as a prime suspect in the bombing by Turkish authorities.
"We are completely refuting that. ...Davutoglu is preparing for something else because they are shelling us as you know for the past week," Saleh Muslim told Reuters by telephone.
Turkey has said its shelling of YPG positions is a response, within its rules of engagement, to hostile fire coming across the border into Turkey, something Muslim also denied.
"I can assure you not even one bullet is fired by the YPG into Turkey ... They don't consider Turkey an enemy," he said.
Posted by: virgile | Feb 18, 2016 7:04:48 AM | 100