Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 11, 2013

The Reyhanli Explosions

As I wrote yesterday:
But don't bet on a turn around yet. I expect some nefarious things are being cooked up right now. There are lots of talks of "massacres" without any evidence that such happen. We may soon see one with "evidence" and then should be careful when attributing that to the responsible side.
Now here is a "massacre" as tweeted by the BBC's Jon Williams:
Reports up to 25 dead after explosions in Turkish town of #Reyhanli on #Syria border. Transit point for rebels going in, refugees coming out.
Here is a first gruesome video of the incident. Looks like a big one went off. Some gunfire can be heard in the background.

We can expect the Turkish prime minister to accuse the Syrian government over this incident and to demand at least retaliation if not outright war.

But we do not know yet how those explosions happened. There is talk of Scud missile but that seems unlikely. As I said we have to very careful with attributions.

This tweet by the Turkish journalist Mahir Zeynalov may help with assessing the incident:

Two explosions outside Reyhanlı municipality and post office, many wounded. This place is predominantly populated by pro-Assad Alawites.


Update: The Turkish interior minister claims a "car bomb" exploded. At least 4 dead and 18 wounded.

Update: Up to 4 carbombs, 18 dead, 22+ injuried. Some harsh words towards Erdogan from people interviewed on Turkish TV.

Update: In this video one can see the damage of the first explosion and then hear/see a second (smaller?) one aimed at first responders. Typical "double tap"?

Update: 40+ dead, 100+ wounded 30+ seriously

No direct blame on Syria yet from the Turkish government but this could get serious: Turkey sends military reinforcements to Syrian border after blast
The Turkish military dispatched additional troops to the Syrian border after car bombs killed at least 40 people in the Reyhanlı district of Hatay on Saturday.

The Cihan news agency said the military began deploying huge number of air and ground military reinforcements to Reyhanlı on the Syrian border after the blasts.

Update: Why is this guy looking so satisfied?

Posted by b on May 11, 2013 at 11:44 UTC | Permalink

next page »

this is HOULA all over again: where the syrian army first were blamed, and later, when it was shown to be close range killing, the 'shabiha' were born

Posted by: brian | May 11 2013 12:31 utc | 1

Update: The Turkish interior minister claims a "car bomb" exploded. At least 4 dead and 18 wounded.

Posted by b on May 11, 2013 at 07:44 AM | Permalink

car bombs = FSA... but also a favored israeli terror weapon

Posted by: brian | May 11 2013 12:35 utc | 2

I think Turkey's tourism sector will take a nosedive this year..What did Erdogan expect? That he'll set fire to his neighbor's house and expect to live quietly?

I posted a link yesterday about the new movement call Liberation front for Iskanderun yesterday. The Palestinians have also now formed a Golan liberation front with the Syrian resistance, backed by Hezbollah. Does anyone see where this is going?

Posted by: Zico | May 11 2013 12:44 utc | 3

Posted by: Zico | May 11, 2013 8:44:29 AM | 3

yes more zionist induced chaos

Posted by: brian | May 11 2013 12:49 utc | 4

It happens a lot in Reyhanli

from February

"The information that we have for now is that a minibus with Syrian number plates coming form the other side exploded. It was a powerful explosion," Arinc, who is also the government spokesman, said after a regular cabinet meeting.

According to the BBC there is also this:

Local media reported that local people attacked cars with Syrian number-plates and Syrian refugees following the attack.

Might just be Hatay people saying that Syrian refugees are not welcome ...

Reyhanli mayor belongs to AKP. From Wikipedia

The district today has a rich ethnic mix of Arabs, Caucasians, and Turks. Reyhanlı has a larger community of Sunni Arabs than most of Hatay, where the Arab population are mostly Alawite.

It's a powder-keg.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 12:54 utc | 5

Not just Hatay residents, 66% of Turkish citizens are against Erdogan's aggressive policies against Syria according to opinion polls. This attack may backfire. The government has been backpedalling on Syria lately. They are finally realizing the huge mistake they've committed.

Posted by: kodlu | May 11 2013 14:19 utc | 6

The explosions look like from inside a building, not a car bomb. I am not sure you can cause destruction like this with car bombs.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 15:19 utc | 7

Thanks for the update, b. I caught on BBC or NPR earlier that the explosions, while initially attributed to Syrian missiles or some such weapons, appeared to be planted in the town.

And, yes, it has hallmarks of Al Q/Al Nusrah or Israeli bombings.

And, again, against mostly Alawite populated area?

Posted by: jawbone | May 11 2013 15:20 utc | 8

8) see above Reyhanli has a different population mix from Hatay, at present something like 80000 Syrian refugees to 60000 original inhabitants.

also this:

Emre KIZILKAYA ‏@ekizilkaya 4h
Lots of rumors in #Reyhanli. Some say that a series of explosions happened where Syrian rebels were producing bombs

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 15:28 utc | 9

Dead 40+ wounded 100+ 30+ of them heavily.

@Somebody - definitely car bombs, no explosion from inside.

This video shows the second explosion
This photo shows a burned body bound to a car wreak. They possibly made someone drive to a certain place and exploded the car via remote control. The FSA has used such a tactic at Syrian army checkpoints.

Posted by: b | May 11 2013 15:29 utc | 10

Turkey PM Erdogan is scheduled to visit Obama Thursday where he planned to deliver his message about “burns, you know, serious burns and chemical reactions.”

Now he has more -- and in fact has become a bit extreme. First he indicated the twin blasts were a reaction to his Kurd expulsion.

"We are going through sensitive times, we started a new era, the Kurdish issue solution process. Those who cannot digest this new era ... could take such actions," Erdogan said in comments broadcast on Turkish television.

And then he really became unhinged:


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday reacted angrily to the massacre of at least 62 people in Syria overnight Friday in the coastal town of Banias, calling Syrian President Bashar Assad a "murderer" and vowing that he would pay for his crimes.

“If God permits, we will see this criminal, this murderer, receive his judgment in this world, and we will be grateful to [God] for it,” Turkish daily Hurriyet quoted Erdogan as saying.

"Hear me, Bashar Assad. You will give an account for this. You will pay a very, very heavy price for [only] showing the courage you cannot show others to the babies in the cradle with soothers in their mouths. God willing, the lamentations of these children will fall upon you as blessed revenge,” he added.

Fireworks along the Potomac next week May 16.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2013 15:55 utc | 11

"babies in the cradle with soothers in their mouths" -- Jeeezus, Recep, get a grip.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2013 16:00 utc | 12

Here we go. Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc is now accusing pro-Assad groups.

Yet, Hatay is a hot bed for anti-rebel sentiment among the Turkish Alawite population. I remember seeing a news piece on France24 last year showing huge numbers of Turks clashing with riot police in protest against Government policy supporting rebels in Syria. The numbers took me by surprise. Coverage was minimal. I can't find the video though, so a Press TV article will have to do.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | May 11 2013 16:12 utc | 13

Can anybody speculate as for the reason for this attack? If we assume that it is the Syrian opposition is behind it then why would they do it? False flag?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | May 11 2013 16:13 utc | 14

As updated above Turkey is said to deploy troops to the area.

Weekly Swoop:

On Syria, the debate between foreign policy experts continues to sharpen, with those in favor of greater US engagement having the louder public voice. At the White House, however, President Obama is still setting a cautious tone, reinforced by the emerging instability in Libya. This underlies the agreement reached by Secretary of State Kerry and his Russian counterpart to hold a diplomatic conference on the way forward in Syria. There is little expectation in official circles that this conference – assuming that it takes place – will deliver a stable solution, especially in light of Moscow apparent intention recognition to ship S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. For the White House, however, the portent of the talks is to gain time for non-military based actions. To ward off its critics, the State Department has released a substantial factsheet on its involvement in Syria. As we have been reporting, the trend in Washington remains in the direction of deeper intervention, but for this to happen Obama will have to be convinced that the benefits will outweigh the serious risks of regional chaos that he perceives.

Posted by: b | May 11 2013 16:25 utc | 15

The Turkish position is pretty grim for the political leadership, so they need a police state environment, and proof that the Syrian government is evil, pure evil. That doesn't mean that Turkey will invade. ZATO would have invaded a long time ago if it had been feasible.

Posted by: Paul | May 11 2013 16:31 utc | 16

14) Locals seem to blame Syrian refugees - I hear the Turkish military has to intervene to protect them - but that does not have to be rational, presumably just means there are huge tensions not that the Syrian opposition did it.

I do not agree with b. - if it is car bombs, as it seems, done professionally to spread the maximum terror, so that people rushing for aid would get caught by the second blast, then Syrian Mukhbarat would have a reason to do this - much like the Algerian strategy in France.

FSA would never profit, it is their safe haven they are risking. It is no reason for intervention, the opposite, as Assad is proven right that the whole region would get up in flames.

Only alternative is locals trying to get rid of Syrian refugees, but then they would have been targeted - lets wait to see who the victims are.

There is no way to prove anything anyway - FSA is bound to be heavily infiltrated if Syrian Mukhbarat is up to their reputation.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 16:31 utc | 17

Let me put it this way..Erdogan NEEDS an intervention in Syria and NEEDS one ASAP given the latest strings of defeats suffered by his fsa/nusra gang. He's bet his entire political career on the Syria project and can't accept defeat. He's been making a lot of noise this week about "proof" of the Syrian government using chemical weapons on those "peaceful protesters". His trip to the US to try to at least get some assurance from Obama that there'll be some military action against the Syrian government -FAT CHANCE!!!

The thing is, Turkey's policy and pronouncements on Syria makes them open to attacks like these. Both from "friends" and foes alike. The fsa/nusra gang will benefit from such an attack as today's..It harden Turkey's position and makes them support the rebels even more. The mossad will also benefit in this sort of attack as it forces the Turkish government to do more to tip the balance in favour of the rebels..But Turkey's done all they could clandestinely to tip the balance for the past two years now and as we all know, nothing's worked. Any further push will ignite the entire region.

I just hope the Turkish government realizes the stupidity of their Syrian policy and change course fast.

Interesting times... :)

Posted by: Zico | May 11 2013 16:34 utc | 18

17) Only other speculation I can come up with is Turkey cracking down on Al Nusra, as is the fashion now, and Al Nusrah taking revenge - classical blowback.
Thinking about it, it is even likely.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 16:34 utc | 19


Non-military actions must surely be frightening those who have been facing bombs and worse all along.

Turkey heading into turmoil and Erdoghan resorting to craziness is not necessarily a horrible thing for Syria. Syria should really hope to see the Gulen crowd be exposed and discredited.

Posted by: Paul | May 11 2013 16:35 utc | 20

Pirouz_2 @ 14 -- I go with false flag, along with other attempts by the "rebels" to tar the Syrian government with massacres which aren't or which were done by the "rebels."

Posted by: jawbone | May 11 2013 16:46 utc | 21


This. Last week, Turkish border troops clashed with and killed two of them in Akcakale when they were denied entry.

Despite what the Deputy PM has said, Davutoglu has suggested that the blasts had taken place to deflect attention from efforts to solve the Syrian crisis.

Sounded to me like a dig at the opposition, who rejected efforts by Lavrov and Kerry to reach an agreement this week.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | May 11 2013 16:51 utc | 22

I too had my suspicions about this whole breakthrough with Russia and
now we have bombs that Turkey is blaming on Syria

As I said yesterday am at my place

"Why do I get the feeling... that some interested parties are trying to get around the understanding between Russia and the US??? "

And we have Turkey making claims of having proof of Syria using chemical weapons

all so conveniently timed to coincide a make a big propaganda push for NATO intervention

Posted by: Penny | May 11 2013 16:56 utc | 23

somebody @ 17 -- If the photo b linked to in #10 is indicative of someone forced to drive a car to a site for the bombing, this has been done before by the "rebels" inside Syria, with a government soldier tied to a steering wheel of a vehicle with a bomb, the gas pedal held down with something to get it into a government check point; however, the bomb did not go off -- something wrong with the reception or cell phone detonator.

Now, I recall reading this quite clearly, but have no recollection of the location other than in Syria; can't recall the site with the photos and video.

Anyone here see that?

I see little benefit to the Syrian government in trying to create a false flag bombing inside Turkey. If it doesn't go after Israel for illegal attacks, what does it achieve by possibly being blamed for this kind of attack?

Now, I could see CIA black ops doing this as well....

Who benefits? Not Assad. Only the "rebels" trying to gin up Western public opinion against Assad. Or the powers, wherever in the West, pushing for faster US military attacks against Assad. Gulf emirates? Saudia Arabia? Israel?

That car bomb killing Hariri certainly did not help Syria, but it did help its enemies....

Posted by: jawbone | May 11 2013 16:58 utc | 24

@11 Erdogan will be told beforehand what to expect in Washington. I don't think he'll like what he hears.

Posted by: dh | May 11 2013 17:00 utc | 25

A third blast has occurred in the same town now again..Seems those pushing the envelope won't sleep till they get their war going..

Posted by: Zico | May 11 2013 17:05 utc | 26

. . . reinforced by the emerging instability in Libya

Yes! The US, hot on the heals of the administration lies about Benghazi, is faced with Benghazi redux. There has been an attack on the French embassy in Tripoli, and guess who's next.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2013 17:07 utc | 27

What's the motive? --- cui bono

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2013 17:08 utc | 28

We (I) say "US" but there are many factions in Washington, witness the current State vs. CIA antipathy over Benghazi.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2013 17:11 utc | 29

Besides the innocent people killed, the most important factor is the failure of the Turkish leadership to see thru their policy choices.

The US/saudi policy of promoting salafi/wahabi terror thru Pakistan to destabilize Afghanistan has brought instability to Pakistan too. For Erdogan and Ahmed Dogulu not recognizing that, shows their total lack of concern for their own population. One would hope, if the Turks can contain their emotionalism, perhaps they will wake up and see the failures of AKP and their leadership, before they create even bigger mess.

Posted by: Rd. | May 11 2013 17:20 utc | 30

26) occurred in a basement where Syrian refugees had been living ...

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 17:20 utc | 31

24, in all fairness, Assad has been pushing the line "when my government goes the region will go up in flames", they all did Gaddafi, Mubarak, I am too lazy to check probably Saddam Hussein did, problem is they all have been proven right ...

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 17:24 utc | 32

The leaders of Qatar and Turkey have bet their houses on killing Assad. They have very good reasons to sabotage the current deal between the U.S. and Russia which would wind down the conflict. A few ten-thousands from Qatar to some FSA or al-Nusra gang is enough to let such bombs go off in Turkey and to set the stage for intervention.

Posted by: b | May 11 2013 17:30 utc | 33

33) no way the US would put boots on the ground - to prevent stuff like this from happening there would need to be a lot of boots on the ground ... no way this is an advertisement for intervention, it is an advertisement against interventions

funny enough, just yesterday this report came out

Report warns of growing risk of provocation involving Syrian refugees

Given that several incidents have already occurred in the provinces where Syrian refugees are being accommodated in the Southeast, a new report released by the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (USAK) warns that there is a growing risk of provocation and manipulations that may lead to major problems involving Syrian refugees in the near future.
“As the crisis in war-torn Syria continues, the number of incidents provoked by some groups in order to create tension in the places where refugees are living will increase,” warned Osman Bahadır Dinçer, a Middle East expert at the think tank that produced the report, on Friday, adding that security concerns were escalating in the camps where the Syrian citizens are staying.

Recently, Syrian youths got into a fight with Turkish youths in the Reyhanlı district of Hatay, which hosts a large number of Syrian refugees. Following the fight, the Turkish group carried Turkish flags around the city and protested the presence of the Syrians.

The USAK report underlines the fact that the region is facing the risk of political, humanitarian and security crises, noting that the refugee issue has several aspects. It cautions that if no further precautions are taken, there could be a great potential for problems occurring in the areas where camps are located.

“Turkey should have Plan B for the refugee issue because if the situation is prolonged, in the long term this issue will be a serious headache for Turkey,” added Dinçer.
The report underlines, however, that in some of the host cities the refugees outnumber the local residents. "For instance the population in Reyhanlı is 60,000 and there are now 80,000 refugees,“ said Dinçer.

The majority of the refugees indicated that do not believe that a sectarian conflict would emerge in Syria in the event of embattled President Bashar al-Assad's fall.

The scenario of the emergence of a sectarian war following the collapse of the Assad regime is one of the main arguments put forward by the Syrian government so far. However, according to Dinçer, Syrian refugees are aware of the regime's game, which is to create fear among the people about the post-Assad era.

The report also underlined that 84 percent of the refugees want to return to Syria after the war ends.

More than half of the refugees, 59.2 percent, want to see a democratic system established in the post war-era and 78. 9 percent of the respondents said that they do not believe that Syria's territorial integrity is threatened and that there is no risk of it being partitioned in the post-war era.

Maybe someone felt provoked.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 17:46 utc | 34

I know I'm starting to sound like a book report (I have a looong train commute), but I finished up "The Quiet American" and it seems very pertinent to all the betrayal, confusion, and "good intentions" (yeah, I know that's a stretch) gone awry that's happening in Syria today...

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2013 17:48 utc | 35

Apparently there's been a third explosion today. See: PressTV


Posted by: William Bowles | May 11 2013 17:51 utc | 36

Updated above with a rather interesting picture.

Posted by: b | May 11 2013 18:09 utc | 37

@somebody no way the US would put boots on the ground
I agree.
1. The polls say no
2. The Pentagon is against it
3. Obama's AfPak war is in the toilet
4. Danger in Tripoli -- talk about impeachment for lying about Benghazi

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2013 18:11 utc | 38

Why is this guy smiling?
He always smiles -- it's aggravating. Must be getting bags of money from CIA.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2013 18:15 utc | 39

Just in:

Turkish Interior Minister Muammer #Guler says, "The ones who conducted the( #Reyhanli) explosions are Assad supporters and its intelligence"

Now that was faaaaaaassssssssstttt for a criminal investigation ....

Posted by: b | May 11 2013 18:23 utc | 40

April 30, recommendations of the International Crisis Group
Blurring the Borders: Syrian Spillover Risks for Turkey

Turkey has no capacity to solve intractable problems inside Syria alone, and is not considering significant military intervention. Stepped-up arming of opposition fighters seems unlikely to enable them to topple the regime quickly. And Turkey’s wishful thinking about the Ottoman past and a leading historical and economic role in its Sunni Muslim neighbourhood is at odds with the present reality that it now has an uncontrollable, fractured, radicalised no-man’s-land on its doorstep. Meanwhile, the suffering of millions of civilians in Syria continues. Even though Ankara has responded well over the past two years, it will need more support as the refugee crisis becomes larger and protracted. Turkey should allow UN agencies and international humanitarian organisations greater access. EU member states should also show more solidarity by facilitating access to their territory for fleeing Syrians, who should not be turned away at either EU borders and should be granted asylum.

More broadly, Turkey must stop betting its reputation on a quick resolution of the Syria crisis, and make some long-term changes of emphasis. In order to talk to all parties from a position of greater moral authority, it should avoid projecting the image of being a Sunni Muslim hegemon. It should also re-secure its border and ask Syrian opposition fighters to move to Syria. Publicly adopting a profile of a balanced regional power, rather than a Sunni Muslim one, would likewise do much to reduce any possibility that the sectarian polarisation that is crippling Syria will jump the border to Turkey, in particular to Hatay province.


To the Government of Turkey:

14. Develop plans and personnel to deal with a protracted refugee problem, focusing on the sustainability of responses and ways to increase refugees’ self-reliance.

15. Maintain initiatives to stop communal tensions from spilling over and keep off-duty Syrian opposition fighters away from Alevi-populated areas.

16. Minimise border crossings by Syrian opposition fighters; do not allow them to use refugee camps as rear bases; ensure there is no pressure on young camp residents to join opposition militias; and establish new refugee camps well away from the border.

17. Avoid targeting any Syrian Kurd or other group that has not engaged in hostile action against Turkey; and pursue efforts to solve the Kurdish problem by moving quickly with the insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to end that conflict and its multiple overlaps with the Syria crisis.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 18:38 utc | 41

The Turks are faster on Syria than Bulgaria was on Hezbollah. Also just as wrong, probably.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11 2013 18:40 utc | 42

@41 "It should also re-secure its border and ask Syrian opposition fighters to move to Syria."

Where they will be dead in a week.

Posted by: dh | May 11 2013 19:11 utc | 43

43) guess, it is time for a retirement programme ...

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 19:18 utc | 44

Are "Friends of Syria" washing its hands from FSA?

BBC is lecturing us,

"Firstly, the FSA - that you have been hearing so much about - does not exist. A better title would be MWG, or men with guns, because having guns and firing them in the same direction is the only thing that unites them.

The word "army" suggests a cohesive force with a command structure. Almost two years after the FSA was created, that remains illusive."

However BBC know for certain that al-Qaeda exists and they killed its Financier in Chief. How could that be possible?

"Somalia:Qatar intelligence chief dies of wounds in Mogadishu"

Qatar’s intelligence chief has died of his wounds after the Sunday car bomb blast in Somalia, Lebanese ad-Diyar newspaper reports.

“This person worked as a coordinator recruiting Yemenis and sending them to Syria after being trained by U.S. Special Forces in Qatar,” the newspaper added.

Now they want us to believe that Emir of Qatar somehow unleashed himself, he is out of control and running the security and intelligence operations across the West Asia and Africa.

"Arab Official in Washington: "The US & Obama are the only ones who can put Qatar in its place."

The U.S. is, according to article above, is in Damage Control Mode. All blame will be picked up by Qataris. We did nothing wrong.

Now we have explosions in Turkey province populated by so-called minorities, and several days ago shooting at border's crossing. Is this a pretext for "moderation", i.e. getting rid of FSA after Syrian Arab Army broke their back?

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 11 2013 19:18 utc | 45

I have updated my post to make mention of that fact that lo and behold Ambassador Robert Ford had covertly gained access to Syria via Turkey just the other day.. to meet with SMC (NATO lackey) General Idriss

Posted by: Penny | May 11 2013 19:49 utc | 46

The International Crisis Group should be renamed
as the Internatioal create and foment a crisis group,
which is a more accurate description of that group

Posted by: Penny | May 11 2013 19:50 utc | 47

It's clear the direction this is going (or some people want it to go). Recent Twitter:

John Little ‏@BlogsofWar
RT @stavridisj: Terrible bombings in Turkey, our strong NATO Ally. We all stand with Turkey in this dark hour.

Links to:

REYHANLI, Turkey — In one of the deadliest attacks in Turkey in recent years, two car bombs exploded near the border with Syria on Saturday, killing 43 and wounding 140 others. Turkish officials blamed the attack on a group linked to Syria, and one called the neighboring country’s intelligence service and military “the usual suspects.”

The blasts, which were 15 minutes apart and hit the town of Reyhanli’s busiest street, raised fears that Turkey could increasingly be drawn into Syria’s brutal civil war.

Turkey already hosts Syria’s political opposition and rebel commanders, has given shelter to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and in the past retaliated against Syrian shells that landed in Turkey.

Look at the fancy rehetorical foot work here: "Turkish officials blamed the attack on a group linked to Syria" which could mean absolutely anything, then (in a sentence that defies all grammar) insinuates the Syrian intelligence services.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2013 19:57 utc | 48

Twitter chatter:

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2013 20:05 utc | 49

"Protests erupted in a Turkish town near the Syrian border on Saturday after twin car bombs killed at least 40 people, with some locals blaming Syrian residents for bringing violence over the frontier and others railing against Turkey's foreign policy."

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2013 20:07 utc | 50

And RT comes with the best analysis:

"It's too early to point any fingers"

"Why would Syria do this?"

"designed to derail US-Russia agreement"

"possible false flag to bring in NATO"

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2013 20:10 utc | 51

Erdogan could have an open revolt on his hands if he presses for war - not that Turkey isn't an old hand at repressing its population. Erdogan may accomplish his goal of invading Syria, but when he does, he may have to move there.

As for the US - all the comments in WaPo are typically bigoted anti-Muslim statements, which are presumably typical of the Zionist bigots (both Christian and Jewish) who are making US foreign policy.

Posted by: guest77 | May 11 2013 20:20 utc | 52

All our analysis and speculation is just as irrelevant as the Erdogan governments attempt to gain profit even from an explosion on Turkish soil by immediately blaming the Syrians.
Why? Because Russia has made clear to Kerry, Cameron and co. as well as Israel that their no-nonsense attitude on Syria.
The Russians are good chess players and are aware of the width and depth of the Anti-Syria coalitions deceptions and orchestrations.
One has not to be a genius to figure out that all those many "massacres", chemical weapons allegations, red-line rhetoric etc. are attempts to make a casus belli after it became clear that any "legal" intervention routes would rightfully be blocked by Russia and China.

Posted by: KerKaraje | May 11 2013 20:29 utc | 53

48) they have to solve a political problem fast
a) it must not have been done by Syrian refugees (they seem close to civil war in Hatay province, it is likely Syrian rebels are tempted to take revenge on Alewis not just in Syria but in Turkey, too)
- i.e. it was an indigenous Turkish group
b) the motive can't have been Turkey's fault
- i.e. they are pro Assad, they are linked to the Syrian Secret Service.

It is quite likely that they were Jihadis taking their frustation out on Turkey. There seems to be a general repatriation operation in place - or rather not in place ...
- repatriation to Tunisia
- German security services are afraid returning Jihadis might apply what they have learnt at home

this here is the Gatestone Institute on the well deserved French problem

In France, the daily newspaper Le Figaro reported on March 13, 2013 that "at least 50" and "as many as 80" French citizens are fighting with jihadist groups in Syria. The number is far higher than the "handful" claimed by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls to be operating alongside Islamists in Mali, or the estimated number of Frenchmen who went to Bosnia, Iraq or Afghanistan to wage jihad.

Leading French anti-terrorism Judge Marc Trévidic told Le Figaro that the presence of so many French jihadists in Syria presents French authorities with an uncomfortable paradox. Because France officially supports the effort to overthrow the Assad regime -- France was the first Western country to recognize Syria's rebel council as the country's legitimate interlocutors -- it is difficult for the French government now to come out and say that it does not support those who are fighting the war.

Trévidic said Syria was a natural destination for French jihadists. There are no visa requirements for French citizens to enter neighboring Turkey, where it is easy to find Syrian contacts and then cross a porous border. He also said that trained and experienced jihadists, once back in France, could become a dangerous problem for the authorities.

"No one," Trévidic said "is trying to stop them going into Syria;" he then referred to their fight as an "authorized jihad." He added: "It is particularly complicated to qualify their adventures in Syria as acts of terrorism. But let's not be fooled. A good proportion of them are going there in the hope of helping to establish a radical Islamic state. The actual terrorism will begin just as soon as the Assad regime is defeated."

The interview with Trévidic came just two days after French police arrested three suspected Islamists in the town of Marignane, near Marseille. Police found weapons and explosives at the home of one of the suspects, all French citizens between the ages of 18 and 27.

Paris prosecutor François Molins said on March 11 that the three men may have been planning an attack to commemorate the first anniversary of the shooting rampage in the southern city of Toulouse by Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French Islamic jihadist of Algerian origin who killed three French paratroopers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi with close-range shots to the head.

Posted by: somebody | May 11 2013 20:37 utc | 54

To put it simply, and that's something those terrorists sent to Syria understand quite well without interpreting and analysing the zato press, Kerry at Moscow showed:

Russia will not be bought, threatened or lured away from their pro-Syria and No-zato-war-in-Syria position. Period.
Russia will deliver S-300 to Syria.

What does this mean for the divers parties involved?

- S-300 work in both directions, north as well as south. That is, turkey better stayed out of Syria unless they have too many military airplanes and need some of them scrapped.

There is another, widely unseen, twist concerning turkey. Being the major zato base in the region and controlling the extremely important (for Russia) Bosporus passage, Russia will - and should - not tolerate a strong or influential zato-turkey. In the worst of cases, if turkey blocks Russian ships, and such basically cuts off the black sea fleet, Russia must be able to bring up a credible and devastating threat (and an extremely disadvantageous risk/cost mix for turkey). Furthermore Russia will want to - and actually does - counterbalance that problem by installing a strong naval presence in the eastern mediterrean.

- The PFMWG (payed for men with guns) / terrorists in Syria are basically check mate. They will very definitely not enjoy a friendly welcome in any of the neighbouring countries and they will not be able to rely on zato/israscum forces to support them or break them free. Evidently this goes against what they've been told and acordingly they feel sold out - and they are.

In my opinion, as weird as it may sound, the Reyhanli terror attack was a desperate attempt of a friendlier and more "diplomatic" terrorist faction to somehow turn the situation around so as to bring the zato-war option back to the table.
The less diplomatic ones, doubtlessly the majority, basically has three options:
- surrender and face trials
- get killed (which may be more attractive than surrender, for zato, too)
- grab whatever weapons and ammunitions they get at/have and run amok against those who sold them out or their major representative; which, for most probably is turkey.
And turkey is a good choice. The majority of turks is against erdogans lunatic, egomaniacal war games, anyway and, even better (for the PFMWG), turkey is quite sensible right now just being at "resolving" the kurdish problem.

However this situation evolves, it will not be positive but rather painful for zato/israscum/turkey. My only major regret is that innocent turkish citizens will die rather than erdogan and his gangster whore clique getting bullets into their heads.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 11 2013 22:14 utc | 55

People in Reyhanlı are predominantely Sunnite not Alawite. Alawites are living in other bordering towns like Samandağ.

Posted by: Ali | May 11 2013 23:15 utc | 56

Note, that the two targets, the Town Hall and the Central Square were both on Atatürk Street. No one in Turkey would dare to attack Atatürk. (Well, Erdogan and his dogs maybe...)

I say the Reyhanli bombs were an al-Nusra style attack on the secular Turkish state.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 11 2013 23:49 utc | 57

Qatar intelligence chief responsible for enlisting Yemenis to fight in Syria dies in bomb attack while trying to recruit in Somalia.

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 0:55 utc | 58

Qatar’s intelligence chief has died of his wounds after the Sunday car bomb blast in Somalia, Lebanese ad-Diyar newspaper reports.
"This person worked as a coordinator recruiting Yemenis and sending them to Syria after being trained by U.S. Special Forces in Qatar," the newspaper added.

Around 11 people were killed in Somalia's capital Sunday when a suicide attacker from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shebab insurgents rammed a car laden with explosives into a convoy carrying officials from Qatar, police said.

"Several people have been killed, the blast was big ... the number of those killed is around 11," police official Mohamed Adan said.

The blast is the latest in a string of bloody attacks in the seaside capital, where al-Qaeda linked al-Shebab insurgents have vowed to topple the government and have set off several bombs and launched guerrilla-style strikes.

The car exploded close to a police station at the central K4 roundabout, a busy part of Mogadishu where many people gather to drink tea at roadside stalls.

"I saw eight bodies including a woman, some of them were burned very badly by the fire from the explosion," said eyewitness Ali Yusuf. "It was a terrible sight."

Reports say that the armored car hit in the attack had been damaged with its back windows blasted out. Other police officials said that at least 10 people had been killed.

A second bomb hidden by the roadside and remotely detonated was set off around the same time in the Daynille district of Mogadishu targeting passing security forces, but injured no one, police added.

The attack on Sunday comes after a week-long major security operation in the capital, with police closing down roads and searching cars for explosives.

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 1:02 utc | 59

Posted by: somebody | May 11, 2013 12:31:36 PM | 17

trust somebody to blame the syrian bombs are the work of terrorists not a military.This is the work of the FSA, and is blowback for turks aiding the thugs

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 1:11 utc | 60

likely scenario: FSA decides it needs the aid of turkish military, and bombs turks to allow Erdogan an excuse to invade syria

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 1:13 utc | 61

Just in:

Turkish Interior Minister Muammer #Guler says, "The ones who conducted the( #Reyhanli) explosions are Assad supporters and its intelligence"
Now that was faaaaaaassssssssstttt for a criminal investigation ....

Posted by: b | May 11, 2013 2:23:39 PM | 40

one of your commentators: 'somebody' is saying the same thing..You may have a mole here

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 1:15 utc | 62

use of false flag terrorism to drag nations into war:

see video doco Fool Me Twice

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 1:17 utc | 63

24, in all fairness, Assad has been pushing the line "when my government goes the region will go up in flames", they all did Gaddafi, Mubarak, I am too lazy to check probably Saddam Hussein did, problem is they all have been proven right ...

Posted by: somebody | May 11, 2013 1:24:44 PM | 32

Somebody, no friend of the syrian people

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 1:22 utc | 64

Posted by: b | May 11, 2013 11:29:29 AM | 10

yes indeed

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 1:24 utc | 65

I have read that AL Qaeda perpetrated the 2008 Mumbai attack in an attempt to ignite a war between india and pakistan, so I think this is similar, probably done by Jahbhat Al-Nusra.

Posted by: clubofrome | May 12 2013 2:16 utc | 66

Meanwhile Russia decides against selling Syria defensive weaponry. No comment anyone?

Posted by: Daniel McAdams | May 12 2013 2:29 utc | 67


Al-Qaeda is just a gang created and managed by ZATO, or at least US and British intel.

Posted by: Paul | May 12 2013 4:33 utc | 68

64) Would you like to live in a police state Brian, faced with the choice police state or lawless anarchy? You are doing PR for an opaque police state you would denounce in the US. I also find the matter of fact way the west admits that they "authorized jihad" in Syria breathtaking and think we should hold our government to account for that.

And of course, I am not friend with "a people", but with individuals I respect. Otherwise the term friendship would be meaningless.

There is this part of Syrian history:

Turks begin Iraq-Syria mediation

Iraq has been showing confessions of alleged Syrian-trained insurgents
Turkey has begun mediation between Iraq and Syria amid a deepening diplomatic row over insurgency bombings in Iraq.

So I assume the bombing in Turkey is the result of renewed Syrian-Saudi Arabian backroom deal cooperation?

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 4:44 utc | 69

"Meanwhile Russia decides against selling Syria defensive weaponry. No comment anyone? "

Only in Jerusalem Post for domestic consumption maybe. My comment is that all you Zionists squatters & trolls can do at this point is to keep on dreaming. The game is set. Russia will deliver (additional) S-300´s according to latest statements and occupied Golan,by Syrias brilliant move to open it up for popular resistance, will eventually go back to Syria. If you can´t defeat Hezbollah (which you couldn´t, twice) Hezbollah, Palestinian fractions and Syria will prove a nightmare for that bloody colonial experiment.

Posted by: Zio baiter | May 12 2013 4:51 utc | 70

Posted by: somebody | May 12, 2013 12:44:14 AM | 69

you assume quite a bit based on little evidence and a lot of speculation

no idea why you raise issue of police state.,.but its par with your 'Assad did it' nonsense

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 5:25 utc | 71

More on the West's authorized Jihad

Is Syria turning our idealistic youth into hardened jihadis?

Of greatest concern is that a sizeable number of these self-selected warriors are suspected of fighting not with the moderate mainstream rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, but with the extremist elements of Syria's rebel movement, including the al-Qa'ida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which soon will be formally designated a terror group by Australia.

The topic has gained only modest media attention, partly because it's almost four years since the last major terror plot was uncovered in Australia, and the media caravan has moved on.

But inside Australia's national security agencies, the issue is being viewed with grave concern. It is seen as a potential game changer in counter-terrorism in this country because it promises to nourish a new breed of Australian jihadists.

"The reason for the concern is the knowledge, skills and experience that they get fighting in an armed conflict," Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Peter Drennan tells Inquirer. "The use of firearms, their potential to learn how to build improvised explosive devices or use rocket-launchers: the list goes on.

"But equally these people are hardened by combat, which is a very different dimension to someone who has aspirations to commit terror offences but has not been tested in the heat of battle. We now have people who potentially know how to make bombs, use firearms and have been tested in the heat of battle - it is a real game changer."

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 5:28 utc | 72

Tunisians in Syria: Dangerous
Jihadists or Brainwashed Youth?

Read more:
"Tunisia is not a land of jihad, and those who wish to engage in holy war will have to head to Palestine!" These were the words of the leader of Ennahda, Rachid Ghannouchi, on May 6 in response to the terrorist bombings that took place in Jebel ech Chambi.
About This Article
Summary :
Amid growing reports of Tunisians going to Syria to fight the regime, some argue these "jihadists" are merely disenfranchised youth, brainwashed by Salafists.

Ghannouchi added that the Tunisian police, army and society are Muslim and therefore no "jihad" can be tolerated in Tunisia. He went as far as to say that “Jihad is to be waged in Palestine against the Zionist enemy and not in Kesserine or Jebel ech Chambi.”
So what about young Tunisians who are joining the jihad alongside rebels in Syria against the [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad regime? Are they "soldiers of God," warriors, mercenaries or simply brainwashed people?
It is worth recalling that during his Friday sermon on Aug. 10, 2012, Ghannouchi said he wanted to unify an "ummah that lacks cohesion and unity."
He cited examples of genocide in Burma, Syria and Bangladesh. "The Muslim world is going through a period of turmoil that will mark its ascent," he said.
At the time, the Ennahda leader had called for "gathering the ranks of the ummah to work for the real jihad in order to fight despotism."
Moreover, it should be noted that on Saturday, March 23, 2013, Minister of Religious Affairs Noureddin Khademi said it has become mandatory to increase efforts and investigations to expose those responsible for recruiting young Tunisians for the jihad in Syria.
However, this same minister appeared in a video dated August 2011, when he was not yet a minister, delivering a Friday sermon. During the sermon, he called upon young Tunisians to join the war in Syria, as part of the holy war — the jihad.
The ruling Islamist Ennahda party is probably adopting openly and publicly a double standard discourse about the jihad in Syria. As we see, it is a deliberate and strategic ambiguity that has produced a phenomenon affecting a large segment of the Tunisian population.
Ali Laarayedh, head of the government, said in his speech at the plenary session of May 8, 2013, that authorities have started fighting against this scourge. "We have already dismantled gangs that are involved in human trafficking and also nearly 1,000 people have been prevented from leaving the country, because their destinations seemed suspicious."
For their part, civil society groups were forced to act given the magnitude of the phenomenon. Thus, an organization known as the Association for the Aid of Tunisians Abroad, was born on April 15. We met with one of its founding members, Badis Koubakji, and asked him about the association's objectives and strategies to this effect.
"We want to help the families of young people who went to fight in the wars in Syria, Mali, Iraq. … We intend to help them at least to recover the remains of deceased persons, and deliver them back to their families," he said.
"We made inquiries and found that many young Tunisians are victims of fraud, given the existence of a network targeting young people from poor neighborhoods," he added.
Koubakji stressed that groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Ansar al-Sharia have been targeting thousands of young people to steer them toward jihad. "They use many ways to instill in them the doctrine of holy war. They even tempt them with financial consideration and promise to marry them off to Syrians," he said.
Salafists, according to our interlocutor, have infiltrated everywhere into the country, in coastal regions, rural areas and cities. They have controlled several mosques. Although the Ministry of Religious Affairs has announced the "liberation" of hundreds of mosques under Salafist control, several mosques continue to serve as a place for recruitment.
Besides sermons and religious education, Salafists have gone as far as to force people to join their ranks. "We have even seen elderly people being beaten up just because they did not have beards. The association's activists have also visited the "hot spot" neighborhoods and saw many "madrasas" (education establishments run by religious institutions) that are exactly similar to the Afghan model. The families living in these areas appear to be perfectly adapted to such facilities and do not seem to fear for their children."
Finally, the association believes that young people who go to fight jihad are merely victims of manipulation. This sounds the alarm about the danger of Salafists who are sending them to destruction or death.
"These jihadists who go to war are not terrorists. They are our compatriots, our children, who have been brainwashed by messages inciting violence under the guise of holy war. They take advantage of their religious beliefs and their dire economic and social conditions. We seek to repatriate our fellow citizens, reintegrate them into society and take care of them physically and mentally," Koubakji said.

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 6:43 utc | 73

'Of greatest concern is that a sizeable number of these self-selected warriors are suspected of fighting not with the moderate mainstream rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, but with the extremist elements of Syria's rebel movement, including the al-Qa'ida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which soon will be formally designated a terror group by Australia.'

they shouldnt be fighting in syria at all!

substitute 'Australia' for 'syria' it OK for fighters to go to australia to wage violent 'rebellion'?

Posted by: brian | May 12 2013 6:45 utc | 74

Meanwhile Russia decides against selling Syria defensive weaponry. No comment anyone?

Correct: Against opening new Sales. Existing contracts for 6 S-300 systems will be honoured.

It might be noteworthy that "system" is a rather vague term. That may translate to 1 TEL (launcher) or, which is a more typical configuration, to 4+ TEL.

Would you like to live in a police state Brian, faced with the choice police state or lawless anarchy? You are doing PR for an opaque police state you would denounce in the US.

Fact is that Assad was doubtlessly elegible and actually was elected into his position. This can not be said of the last 10+ years in zusa.

If Syria was a police state then the majority of Syrian citizens evidently liked it that way.
Actually, however, the grave cases of torture and alike held against Syria (but not against "friends" of zusa) were demanded by and performed for zusa.

Furthermore friends of israel are not at all in a position to judge other countries; after all israel has for a long time been a criminal mass murder and child killer "state".

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 12 2013 7:37 utc | 75

ok. Erdogan is going to have a huge problem at home

This here is a Reuters journalist:

Ayla Jean Yackley ‏@aylajean 1h
Hurriyet says Turkish intel knew 2 weeks ago of 3 car bombs loaded in Syria's rebel-held Raqqa & destined for Turkey

Ayla Jean Yackley ‏@aylajean 8h
Is anyone really blaming Syrian refugees, ie innocent men,women,kids, for Turkish bombings? Or are they pointing @ armed oppo fighters?

It does not mean it is true. It just means that this will blow up politically in Turkey.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 8:06 utc | 76


It is easy to imagine Erdoghan getting in trouble over this. He may think it makes him look like a savior against the brutal Assad, but it is also equally possible that it makes him look like a dangerous idiot for needlessly getting Turkey into a mess. Wars are not popular after a year or so. The PR wears off, and the truth of various things spreads, and the damage to the economy starts to hurt.

Posted by: Paul | May 12 2013 8:20 utc | 77

The Telegraph from Raqqa: Under the black flag of al-Qaeda, the Syrian city ruled by gangs of extremists

Posted by: b | May 12 2013 8:22 utc | 78

78) yeah, it is absolutely amazing how Western journalists can report freely from towns governed by Al Qeida :-))

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 8:47 utc | 79

This here is a good summary of what is going on ...

The Syria Crisis On Turkey's Borders

Turkey applies an open-door policy to Syrians, and Syrian entries to Turkey have been made easy. Syrians with passports enter Turkey by simply showing their passports. There is incredible traffic at the border gates that are still open. Some are closed because of the war. The activity at the most active crossings of Akcakale, Cilvegozu and Oncupinar is mind-boggling. On the Syrian side of the border, you see the flags of the Free Syrian Army. There are practically no controls, with about 500 Syrians entering Turkey per hour. The situation naturally has economic effects on border provinces, towns and villages. We are told many Syrians cross the border for daily work. This makes the already dire employment situation for Turkish citizens even worse. One grievance frequently heard in the region is how Turkish labor wages have dwindled with the arrival of Syrians. Turks, who already had trouble finding work or who were accepting temporary employment, are now complaining of not find anything. Employers are not complaining about the availability of cheap labor. People say wages have gone down to a fifth of their normal rates with the arrival of Syrians. Although an advantage for employers, it has become a tough situation for Turkish workers. The arrival of Syrians has hiked up market prices of almost everything, causing severe complaints from Turks living along the border. The highest increases have been in rentals. It is almost impossible to find a rental house in border towns; those that are available demand high rents. Most towns along the border have turned into construction sites. Construction is particularly extensive at Akcakale and Ceylanpinar, as landowners rush to build homes to rent to Syrians. This high demand for rentals is creating problems between the homeowners and their current Turkish tenants. Owners want their tenants to move out so that they can rent them at higher rates to Syrians.


To understand the social structure on the Syrian side, all you have to do is to study the Turkish side of the border — it is the same. Whichever tribe or family exists on the Turkish side, you can be sure they have relatives on the other side. This is why the Syrians easily find places to live with their relatives in Turkey. Their Turkish relatives also help them by finding accommodations and employment. You can actually say the tribal and family bonds have grown stronger as a result of the Syrian crisis, as Turks are more concerned with the fate of their Syrian relatives. But uncontrolled, the continuation of this situation is bound affect all of Turkey. We found out that Turkish villagers along the border take their Syrian relatives deep inside Turkey, even to the Black Sea region, to find jobs as seasonal labor. Now it is a common sight to see Syrian workers working in agricultural fields of Anatolia and the Black Sea.

Now, this is not Erdogan's immagined Sunni freedom fighting constituency. This is the former district of Aleppo with a predominately Arab mixed Sunni/Alevi citizenship.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 9:15 utc | 80

That "reporter" must obviously suffer from a bad hang-over in Turkey. At least he delivered what the western corporate propaganda press wanted, maybe a little bit too much...smiling faces, love and prosperity in Al Qaida-stan?

Posted by: Mazc | May 12 2013 9:47 utc | 81

A very weird AlJazeerah interview with Moaz al-Khatib. The interviewer is very pushy and al-Khatib avoids answering questions.

Who is riding who's agenda in this?

Posted by: b | May 12 2013 9:57 utc | 82

81) I saw that. I guess, Moaz al-Khatib getting positioned to present the Syrian opposition again and trying not to burn any bridges. It is telling how he avoids to criticize Nasrallah specifically but turns to a general denouncement of the use of religion by all sides.
Russia says the conference cannot be done this month as not clear who will be invited as the "opposition".

Turkey (Erdogan/Davatoglu) seem to be on their own, stupidly pushing a Sunni/Alawite sectarian war story line from Banias to the Reyhanli bombing. There is a media blackout now, enforced by court order. People at the funeral blame Erdogan.

This here is the BBC
Zeynep Erdim ‏@zeynep_erdim 55m
People aggressively challenging media, shouting no criticism against AKP can be voiced. A sign of mistrust to both sides. #reyhanli

Zeynep Erdim ‏@zeynep_erdim 1h
One prayer follows another for each funeral. Tears & anger against gov't, against Syrians at #Reyhanli cemetary.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 10:19 utc | 83

Al Jazeera report on Antakya pro Assad demonstration - seems to have been yesterday.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 11:08 utc | 84

83 actually seems to be from last year ...

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 11:12 utc | 85

Tunisia says 800 Tunisian Islamists fighting in Syria

Tunisian Foreign Minister Othmane Jarandi told AFP on Saturday that some 800 Tunisians are fighting in Islamist rebel ranks in Syria and said the country would work to repatriate its citizens taken prisoner there.

“We don’t have exact numbers, since several people left the country illegally, but the most accurate estimate is a maximum of 800,” fighting in Syria, he said.
The interior ministry said border controls had prevented the departure of some 1,000 Tunisians headed for Syria, where the United Nations says more than 70,000 people have been killed since the March 2011.

Local Tunisian radio station Express FM said 132 Tunisian fighters were killed in and round the northern city of Aleppo in February alone, mostly from the town of Sidi Bouzid, birthplace of the first Arab Spring uprising.

Posted by: b | May 12 2013 11:25 utc | 86

Turkey's government seems to blame this guy

the story here

It is dubious as Erdogan was going on about the "Banias massacre" before the Reyhanli bombing and this now fits his narrative - though I cannot see him profiting from a civil war in his border region when he just seems to have appeased the Kurds. NATO is not protecting him from civil unrest in his own country.

I guess the media blackout is for a reason.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 11:35 utc | 87

nope, they found the usual suspects

According to police sources, five of the captured suspects are members of the terrorist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) while the remaining four are members of the Acilciler (“Urgent Ones”), a splinter faction of the Turkish People's Liberation Party/Front (THKP/C) operating in the border provinces of Turkey. The suspects are accused of helping the bomb-laden vehicles enter Turkey.

They are these guys here. Comment section is revealing.

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 14:16 utc | 88

Of course any terrorists arrested in Turkey are going to have 'alleged links to the Syrian ______ (whatever).' Reporters Without Borders have declared that Turkey is “the world’s biggest prison for journalists” so they'd better get the party line.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2013 14:27 utc | 89

88) well they just banned reporting on the Reyhanli bombing generally. So of course there is lot to hide.

I do wonder if they have still the same suspects arrested from March :-))

Posted by: somebody | May 12 2013 14:44 utc | 90

Erdogan says Turkey won't get dragged in...

Yesterday he was calling for more international involvement. Did he get a call from Washington?

Posted by: dh | May 12 2013 15:05 utc | 91

Turkey is square in the middle of the Syria mess -- but Turkey won't get dragged in? That's on top of 200 chemical weapons missiles (no proof) and "babies in the cradle with soothers in their mouths" (#11). Erdogan has truly lost it so the US must rein him in.

Erdogan is still scheduled to go to Gaza (after visiting Obama). The US even got the PA to say 'don't go.' Obama may lay the law down in Washington, if it still has any influence on anybody.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2013 15:37 utc | 92

@89 --I do wonder if they have still the same suspects arrested from March :-))


“The incident was carried out by those who have been closely linked with pro-regime groups in Syria,” Turkey’s interior minister, Muammer Guler, said. “There is no merit in spelling out the names, we know them all.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 12 2013 15:42 utc | 93

Wheels within wheels...A few days ago, there were clashes along the Syria-Turkey border between members of the Al-nusra front and Turkish border guards where some nusra member were killed.The attack in Hattay could be a retaliation for that incident.It seems Washington pressured Turkey to cut ties with the nusra gang but what they forgot is that,there's no fsa without nusra..In fact, most of the fighting force come from the nusra gangs. The fsa masters in spending time in top Istanbul hotels and meeting foreign agents..

This attack could well have been carried out by Al-nusra..

Posted by: Zico | May 12 2013 16:27 utc | 94

Re: somebody @ 87 -- You mean the one comment? Left by:

Joe Maddin

3/22/2013 3:03:30 PM

Posted by: jawbone | May 12 2013 20:35 utc | 95

Zico (93)

A few days ago, there were clashes along the Syria-Turkey border between members of the Al-nusra front and Turkish border guards where some nusra member were killed.The attack in Hattay could be a retaliation for that incident.

Frankly, so what?

zusa doesn't care the slightest about turkey being in flames or no matter how many dead turkish bodies. After all, turkey is nothing more than a tools for zusa. Dead turks is a very cheap price for the americans.
Being at that turkey is also a useful tool for erdogan and his accomplices. Selling their country out to zato interests to further their own well being is perfectly OK for those whores.

After all zusa is the country that quite openly declared Germany to be a "buffer zone" in any potential war with the USSR. In other words, Germanys role was to hold any Sowjet attacks as best as they can and other wise to be a theater of war to be destroyed and wasted along the way.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 12 2013 22:08 utc | 96

Well, we will never know who was responsible for the bombings, I guess.

Turkish officials have “proudly” announced that even though two trucks loaded with explosives successfully evaded Turkish intelligence and security network – which were reportedly placed on red alert four days before the blasts – they have “captured” nine people in connection with the Reyhanlı carnage. At least two more suspects were reportedly still on the run. Officials have not revealed the identity of the “captured” suspects, those still on the run or the organization the suspects belonged to. Yet, it was obvious that they were pointing at the DHKP/C – a leftist urban terrorist group which has been often contracted by the PKK. Still, Turkish security people ruled out immediately any possible PKK connection in the blasts. They ruled out probable al-Nusra – a Sunni Islamist terrorist group very much connected to the al-Qaeda network – involvement also. But, Interior Minister Muammer Güler’s statement that the attacks were carried out by a group linked to Syria’s intelligence service Al-Mohabarat and that all nine in detention were members of that group blurred however the DHKP/C connection. Still, did Turkey detained those nine people as a result of an investigation, or did Turkish officials decided first which organization the culprit was and started a round-up accordingly?

Well, this is Turkey and even if we ourselves have not personally lectured through bitter experience, we all know the extraordinary “success” stories of the Turkish police. Just to see an end to very persuasive “interrogation” one may confess to even killing a mammoth, even if it became extinct at prehistoric times.

Obviously, there might be two valid motives behind the Reyhanlı blasts. They could be work of those wishing to pull Turkey actively into the Syria quagmire; or they could be work of those who want to show Turkey what consequences it might risk if it continued covertly and overtly supporting in many ways the Syrian rebels. Thus, the blasts could be work of the Syrian rebels as much as they could be work of the al-Assad regime. Obviously because of the “good terrorist” image the government has been trying to paint for the PKK, so far the separatist gang has been spared in this who to blame game.

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2013 8:20 utc | 97

Huge Reyhanli anti-Erdogan demonstration

Locals say FSA warned their own people before the blasts went off to stay away.

Reyhanli used to be an AKP/Sunni stronghold within part Alewi/Arab population Hatay. That is why most of FSA infrastructure was based in Reyhanli.

Posted by: somebody | May 13 2013 11:20 utc | 98

It is easy to imagine Erdoghan getting in trouble over this. He may think it makes him look like a savior against the brutal Assad, but it is also equally possible that it makes him look like a dangerous idiot for needlessly getting Turkey into a mess. Wars are not popular after a year or so. The PR wears off, and the truth of various things spreads, and the damage to the economy starts to hurt.

Posted by: Paul | May 12, 2013 4:20:17 AM | 77

'brutal Assad?' satire?

Posted by: brian | May 13 2013 11:58 utc | 99

The clip says actually "Antakya" not Reyhanli. The reason that I make the distinction is that the numbers which have gathered would be quite impressive for a city of the size of Reyhanli, especially considering that -according to the what is written under the clip, and also inferred by the type of slogans that the demonstrators chant- the demonstration was called for by the radical left (Turkey's communist party and people's associations).
In fact it is even quite impressive for Antakya itself. I wonder if any demonstrators have come from outside the province.
By the way where did you get the information that FSA had warned its own people before hand?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | May 13 2013 12:01 utc | 100

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