Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 28, 2015

Will Turkey Close Or Erase Its Border With Syria?

There are some new and worrying development on the ground next to Syria.

The Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov yesterday said that Russia is ready to close the Turkish Syrian border:

Lavrov recalled that French President Francois Hollande earlier voiced the proposal to adopt specific measures to block the Turkish-Syrian border.

"We actively support that. We are open for coordination of practical steps, certainly, in interaction with the Syrian government," he said. "We are convinced that by blocking the border we will in many respects solve the tasks to eradicate terrorism on Syrian soil."

Russia is taking active steps to make that happen. Six or seven truck staging areas near the crossing points north of Aleppo have been bombed over the last several days. Truckers and truck owners will now think twice before taking on a cross border trip. In Latakia the Syrian army and its allies are pushing Turkey's "turkmen" mercenaries back over the border into Turkey. From the east Kurdish forces with Russian air support push along the border towards the Aleppo corridor.

A day after Lavrov's statement the U.S. suddenly claims it also urges Turkey to seal the border. But that claim may be false:

The Obama administration is pressing Turkey to deploy thousands of additional troops along its border with Syria to cordon off a 60-mile stretch of frontier that U.S. officials say is used by Islamic State to move foreign fighters in and out of the war zone.

The U.S. hasn’t officially requested a specific number of soldiers. Pentagon officials estimated that it could take as many as 30,000 to seal the border on the Turkish side for a broader humanitarian mission. Cordoning off just one section alone could take 10,000 or more, one official estimated.

It’s unclear how Turkey will respond.

We do not know how serious the U.S. is about this. We do know that the U.S. connives the Islamic State's oil trade with Turkey and handles weapon transfers to the "moderate" rebels through the Turkish-Syrian border. I doubt that these issues have changed.

But Turkey is moving troops to the border:

Turkey deployed additional tanks, armoured personnel vehicles and other weapons alongside its border with Syria on Saturday after the downing of a Russian military jet by Turkish Armed Forces heightened the tensions between the two countries.

A convoy of military trucks, coming from western Turkish provinces and towing armoured personnel vehicles and 20 tanks, entered into the 5th Armored Division Command in the border province of Gaziantep.

Previous day, another batch of tanks were deployed alongside Turkish border with Syria.

Tanks are not very useful to close down borders. That needs infantry, lots of it. But tanks are good to fight other state's forces. There were also a report that Turkey deployed an ASELSAN Koral electronic jammer system at the border. That could probably jam the Russian air defense in Syria or could blind Russian fighter jets. Such a system was used to electronically blind the Syrian army and to disable its radios when the "moderates" earlier this year stormed in from Turkey and conquered Idleb.

To me the Turkish deployments so far look offensive, not like preparations to shut off the border.

Syria alleges that Turkish weapon shipments to the rebels increased and that its soldiers were fired on from Turkish ground:

"We have certain information that the Turkish government has recently increased its support to the terrorists and the level of their supplies of weapons, ammunition and equipment necessary to continue their criminal acts," an army statement said.
The statement by the Syrian army command alleged that weapons were being delivered in shipments which Turkey claimed to be humanitarian assistance. It also alleged the weapons were supplied in exchange for looted Syrian and Iraqi antiquities and oil sold at low prices.
The Syrian statement also said Turkey had fired a number of mortar bombs toward Syrian army positions on Friday night from a location just over the border from Latakia province in northwestern Syria.

Turkey may pull back from its aggression against Syria and really close its border. The weapons supply to the "moderates" would then shrink significantly. If Turkey does just sits tight and does nothing Russia will do it the way it already started to do it. It will bomb any truck or other transport that crosses into Syria.

But maybe Turkey wants to prevent that and will try to scare the Russian away from the border and to push its troops into Syria to create a "safe zone" and attack Aleppo and other Syrian cities from there. It is a bad idea. It would not work but it would be bloody and potentially escalate further into a bigger war. One wonders if Obama will give a green light for that and promises the "moderate" Erdogan his support.

PS: This may well be a good book: The Dirty War on Syria

Posted by b on November 28, 2015 at 19:18 UTC | Permalink

next page »

sealing the border seems to be a top priority if you want to shut down turkey and it's love affair with isis.. how the us acts in all this is hard to know, but nothing they have done to date gives one a feeling of confidence in their actions for following thru with anything they say they are doing, or going to do..

john helmers latest from yesterday.

the legal charges against this, that and the other journalist in turkey, along with the murder this morning of The president of the bar association in southeastern Diyarbakir doesn't seem to bode well for turkeys stability on a number of levels... most of the charges are for insulting erdogan, but they are framed under espionage and terrorist acts.. i wonder if they are getting counseling on this from the usa too?

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2015 19:27 utc | 1

closing or erasing the border - good opening line b! thanks for your posts!

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2015 19:28 utc | 2


When b starts leading the war news with prognostication, then it becomes titillating war porn, and time to visit the Saker.

Posted by: Chipnik | Nov 28 2015 19:32 utc | 3

@3 well, it was put in the form of a question which i think is valid as turkeys actions are not clear in anything to date..

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2015 19:37 utc | 4

If Erdogan, who has become a quite dangerous player in this game, militarizes the border it won't be about "sealing" so much as about keeping the conduits for arms, mercenaries, and oil flowing unobstructed.

After the Ukraine affair, these are clearly the opening gambits in a war with Russia. Russia is being backed into a corner, which seems to be the intent. The Kagan/Nulandites are running the show. Neither Obama, nor Clinton before him, seem smart enough or brave enough to fight them.

Clinton will be a war president. God help us all.

Posted by: chuckvw | Nov 28 2015 19:52 utc | 5

The only way for Russia to nip Turkish designs in the bud and prevent any further escalation is to escalate first and immediately bring tactical nukes into Syria, with the most unambiguous warning to NATO that Russia means business and will use them without hesitation.

Posted by: telescope | Nov 28 2015 20:09 utc | 6

From the RT version of the article: “Turkey is determined to clean Daesh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State) from the 98 kilometers of border between Kilis and Jarabulus,” a senior Turkish government official said as cited by the WSJ. “There is no need to receive any kind of warning or advice from anyone, including our US partners.”

“Just closing down the border would not be enough to solve our problems and would not address Turkey’s demands,” a Turkish official said.

It seems clear that the border they intend to "close" is on the other side of theirs.

Posted by: Jesrad | Nov 28 2015 20:11 utc | 7

The only hope ... from the man who abused that word to get elected 8 year emperor (aka US president) ... is that perhaps he'll avoid war because of what he sees as his legacy. If it was Hillary already, we'd be f****d, and hard!

Posted by: Rg an LG | Nov 28 2015 20:23 utc | 8

Turkish AF stalking Russian jets for days, scrambling jets immediately when Russian jets took off, and may have also been in contact with militants searching for the pilots

Posted by: Les | Nov 28 2015 20:38 utc | 9

Time for the Russians to bring in some more of these rockets with 60 mile range.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 28 2015 20:41 utc | 10

#2 chipnik

Be our guest. Time for you to move on to the Saker.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 28 2015 20:50 utc | 11

After the downing of the Russian warplane a German minister complained that Turkey's actions were "unpredictable". This has struck me since 2012. Turkey's actions are completely incomprehensible from any model that the Erdogan government is acting in promoting Turkey's national interests. This movement of offensive armor brigades, rather than border security forces, to the Syrian border is most certainly an ominous development. Is Turkey seriously considering to confront the Russian military in Latakia province? Who knows? If that is Turkey's intention then the big question becomes: how will NATO respond?

The only thing that is clear to me is that Turkey's actions remain unpredictable. There is no grand puppet master in the sky that is guiding these events.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 28 2015 21:05 utc | 12

Thanks b for all your work.

In light of the latest developments, US/Erdogan nefarious plans behind the shooting of the Russian plane can now be seen in perspective. Erdogan called Putin a few hours after shooting the plane, and Putin didn't answer, Erdogan has since called for a meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the climate conference in Paris next week, which the Kremlin only acknowledged and didn't respond.

The intention behind shooting the plane was to present Russia with a de facto aggression, then do all the "theater of the absurd" (Peskov), issuing regrets, calling for moderation, no escalation, and for face to face meetings with Putin, to make him an offer he couldn't refuse: let us continue our plans on Syria (sacking, plundering, pillaging), or the Turkey-Syrian border will cause you trouble, and more.

In other words, the "planned provocation" (Lavrov), was a blackmail operation.

It was planned to happen a week or so before the climate change conference, enough time to make Putin understand that it is better to talk and solve this issue before it escalates, which has been Turkey's mantra ever since. At the same time, they are moving military hardware toward the border, intending to show their blackmail operation is serious, and the Russians better take notice. Either you sit and talk to us, or else...

Move aside, Don Barzini, here is mafia boss Erdogan, pretending to blackmail Russia and scare Putin, with the backup of cowardly NATO and the criminal USA.

When Russia offered to coordinate closing the Turkey-Syria border, Lavrov was piggybacking on spineless Hollande's statement, which like so many from him, didn't have any substance. But Lavrov is an astute diplomat, he knows diplomacy is war by other means, and since closing the border is in Russia's interest, offering to coordinate with the West in such an endeavor had a logic on its own. In a way, Lavrov was also calling the West's bluff to check how far they were willing to go with their intentions.

As b points out in his closing argument, we don't know how far mafia boss Obama and his pimp Erdogan will go, but something is very clear, the US and Turkey are not going to scare Russia out of their vital, existential strategy in Syria, much less scare/blackmail Putin with threats and mafia style "talks."

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 28 2015 21:10 utc | 13

Turkey's strategic priority seems to be the Libyazation of Syria and the annihilation of the (Syrian) Kurds. The question is how Syria/Russia will react to a possible incursion by the Turkish army, short of deploying tactical nukes.

Posted by: S | Nov 28 2015 21:17 utc | 14

@14 That will depend on how the tanks are used. Will one or two cross the border to test the water? A group of tanks would make a tempting target.

Posted by: dh | Nov 28 2015 21:25 utc | 15


It seems clear that the border they intend to "close" is on the other side of theirs.

They intend to "close the border" on the Syrian side, from Syrians.

Turkey is run by a mafia, and it shows, it's the typical extortion/protection racket, "we will protect your business and your family, give us such-and-such amount, or your business might be set on fire, your workers might go on strike, or your son might have an accident."

Reason why is not enough to "close" the border, they want to "clean" it from Daesh, not the ones on Turkey's side, obviously.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 28 2015 21:32 utc | 16

Victoria must be giggling a la Hillary. Things are going well. Getting the Turks and Russians all worked up against each other serves her aims.

Erdogan should recall the meeting between April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein and tell himself that the same
Siren is singing in his ears.

Meanwhile, as usual when the elephants are fighting, the savanna is trampled underfoot. Since Georgia stands in the Russian armored divisions way, it will conveniently be invaded on the way to more important meetings and Georgi Margvelashvili will have to be deposed and replaced through a red white blue color revolution.

So then, Turkey's attention will be called to the northern side and it will have to mitigate its desire to mess up with Russia in Syria.

Seriously, one cannot doubt the fact that Erdogan is being baited by his handlers into monumental blunders.

Unfortunately anything that weakens the other players is good for the Empire. Weaker friends are more docile and weaker enemies are easier to vanquish.

It must be expected that before long, somebody will try to see how effective the ASELSAN KORAL system is in light of the Russian systems yet to be tested. It is understandable that the US, Nato, Israel are all keenly
interested in the device's performance.

The question is, will it occur before, during, or after the Paris summit?

My guess is Putin will not attend that meeting.

We won't have to wait too long.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 28 2015 21:55 utc | 17


Be our guest. Time for you to move on to the Saker.

Bye-bye, Chipnik, don't worry we will lock the door after you, say hello to ego ladened Gawker.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 28 2015 22:01 utc | 18

The U.S. now seems committed to sealing the border with the help of Kurds. Until now Turkey has stopped any attempt by Kurds to take Jarablus on the western bank of the Euphrates.

Syria Kurds test Turkey’s planned “safe zone” - NOW (Lebanon), Aug. 28, 2015

BEIRUT – The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have launched an offensive against ISIS outside Jarablus, challenging Turkey's plans to establish a “safe zone,” roll back ISIS and prevent Kurdish forces from expanding along its border.

“The YPG successfully carried out its first operation to breach ISIS defensive lines west of the Euphrates River on Thursday night, managing to kill 12 of members of the group to the East of Jarablus,” Bas News reported Friday morning.

The Iraqi Kurdish outlet cited a military field source as saying that a group of YPG fighters had crossed secretly on boats to the west bank of the Euphrates River and reached ISIS positions east of Jarablus, where fierce clashes erupted.

It did not work out then. Turkey stopped the attacks with artillery fire. Now the tune may have changed:

First US soldiers arrive in Syria: Kurdish source - Agence France Presse, Nov. 26, 2015

BEIRUT: U.S. soldiers are in Kobani, the town in northern Syria nearly destroyed in fierce fighting with ISIS, to train Kurdish forces to battle the extremists, Kurdish sources said Thursday.

Mustapha Abdi, an activist in the town on the Turkish border, told AFP the American instructors had arrived "in recent hours" in what is the first official deployment of U.S. ground troops in Syria.

A source with the Kurdish People's Protection Units said the Americans would help plan offensives on two Syrian cities held by ISIS -- Jarablus and the extremists' Syrian "capital", Raqqa.

At the same time, they would have a role in coordinating with the Kurds and their Arab and Syriac Christian allies on the ground airstrikes on ISIS by the U.S.-led coalition, the YPG source said.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Nov 28 2015 22:05 utc | 19

@16 what's amazing to me is how Sibel Edmunds pegged turkey in 2002 !

Posted by: bbbb | Nov 28 2015 22:07 utc | 20

Here's a positional map provided by Southfront, Here's a regional map,

Note that Gaziantep, the Turkish troops marshalling location provided in the last part of b's post, is almost due North of Aleppo and close to an extensive amount of border area occupied by Daesh and other terrorists. Also note that the Turkish troops are also quite close to the main Syrian Kurd regions that have been trying hard to link-up over the past month. Given the hatred Erdogan has for Kurds and love for the terrorists, I think his goal is to destroy the Kurds while helping the counter-attack he's coordinating with his terrorists to retake Aleppo and drive to the coast to push the Russians into the Med. Lacking its ground forces, Russia will be at a distinct disadvantage. Turkish forces appear to be an armored division and two motorized infantry, more than enough to overwhelm local SAA and allied forces. Of course, this is informed speculation.

Erdogan can employ anti-terrorist rhetoric backed by the Outlaw US Empire's Propaganda System to drown out any protests raised by Syria/Russia, although his invasion of Syria would be illegal. Some of this can be pre-empted by Russia declaring any entry of Turkish forces into Syria will be treated as an unfriendly invasion that will be met by Russian Airforces. Otherwise, this scenario or a close variant would radically escalate the situation and create unknown consequences, all likely bad.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28 2015 22:07 utc | 21

@19 Glad to see Petri back here regularly, always had some of the most informative posts. Thanks Petri!

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 28 2015 22:40 utc | 22

If the Turkish army attacks the Russians in Syria and the Russians respond by bombing them within the Syrian borders, would that be a casus belli for NATO.

Posted by: lysias | Nov 28 2015 23:06 utc | 23

interesting thread connected to this on ssr for anyone interested in more of this..

@19 petri.. thanks.

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2015 23:07 utc | 24

Sorry, link to regional map is this,

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28 2015 23:11 utc | 25

Certainly seems like the panic level rises as R+4 continues to make progress either toward the border or toward the east and Raqqa. A Wall Street Journal article claims that Turkey is being coaxed into closing & guarding their border and will get EU funding to deal with refugees in exchange. I'm not at all convinced that's what they'd do with border troops. I will believe that when I see it. Almost everything we've been told about the war in Syria has been a lie so far, with the exception of the "Assad must go" motive but even the reasoning behind that was not truthful.

At the moment, hawks in US seems focused on Raqqa and on making sure Assad cannot reclaim Syrian territory to the east of what they've reclaimed now. They mask this with the premise of defeating ISIS but if you read between the lines it's clear they want Raqqa and everything east of it.

There's a rather urgent push to get consent from Congress to put American boots on the ground in Syria. McCain and Graham are talking about 100K+ "coalition of the willing" among NATO allies and countries in the region with "large and professional" armies. I can't tell yet if this is a total pipe dream or not.

Neocons are acting like the Paris attacks were a new 9/11 to be fully exploited as pretext for big escalation and to move back into the Middle East. Hardly any of them will talk about troop numbers though. Only McCain and Graham so far who can hardly contain themselves they're so psyched about another big war in the Middle East. Don't miss this interview. It's a must read:

It remains to be seen if the American public responds with another "Oh HELL no" to the latest push for deployments. Looks like the neocons have a strategy for making both hawks and doves happy by
1) allowing Congress to reclaim their long lost war powers (this is supposed to make the "doves" happy somehow even though we know the president now goes to war whenever (s)he feels like it thanks to the precedent set by King Obama

2) getting a new war authorization AUMF or an actual declaration so that the hawks have a renewed justification for their "long war" and just in case some new president can't or won't wage war whenever (s)he feels like it in this new dispatch by Eli Lake.

Posted by: gemini33 | Nov 28 2015 23:13 utc | 26

Pepe Escobar has an excellent piece up explaining the "moderate Turkmen" farce:

The myth of innocent Turkmen civilians being slaughtered by the “Assad regime” is, well, a myth. In Washington these militias are considered “moderate rebels” – as much as they have merged with all sorts of jihadi or jihadi-gobbled outfits, from the ever pliable construct Free Syrian Army to Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaida in Syria (which Vienna finally branded a terrorist group).

Predictably, Turkish media hails all these Turkmen as “freedom fighters,” a la Ronald Reagan in the 1980s jihad Afghan. Turkish media spins the whole of their territory is controlled by an “innocent” Turkmen opposition, and not the Islamic State group. Not the Islamic State group, yes, but mostly al-Nusra, which is virtually the same thing.

For Russia, there’s no distinction, especially because a gaggle of Chechens, Uzbeks and Uyghurs (Chinese intel is on it) have sought harbor among these “moderates.” For Russia what matters is to smash any possibility of a future 900 km-long Jihad Highway between Aleppo and Grozny.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 28 2015 23:24 utc | 27

It won't be a smooth blitzkrieg. Tanks do not move very fast in Mountainous regions. Hezbollah inflicted considerable pain to the IDF's Merkava tank battalions with Russian Kornet anti-tank missiles, tandem HEAT RPG in Southern Lebanon in 2006.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 29 2015 0:02 utc | 28

Turkey amasses tanks at the border.

"Moderate rebels" have lots of TOWs.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 29 2015 0:31 utc | 29

One suspects that this border closure/ erasure will prove to be the beginning of the end of Erdogan. If I can see the idiocy of a Muslim "Leader" helping the mendacious Judeo-Christians with their War On Islam, and taking advice from AmeriKKKa in doing so, then all of the SANE Turks can see it too.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 29 2015 0:43 utc | 30

Turkey has removed al-Nusra and connected groups from the list of ‘terrorist organisations’.

Posted by: Daisee | Nov 29 2015 0:49 utc | 31

With the S-400s in Syria, and the Moskva off Latakia shore, what's all the noise about a few old tanks? Just look at the territory the S-400s cover on the map provided.

No US airstrikes in Syria since Russia deployed S-400 systems

[...] The S-400’s radar has a range of 600 kilometers and is capable of discriminating even objects moving on the ground, such as cars and military vehicles.

S-400 radar covers Syria, western regions of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, nearly all of Israel and Jordan, Egypt’s northern Sinai, a large part of the eastern Mediterranean and Turkish airspace as far as the capital Ankara.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 29 2015 0:51 utc | 32

With the S-400s in Syria, and the Moskva off Latakia shore, what's all the noise about a few old tanks? Just look at the covered territory on the map provided.

No US airstrikes in Syria since Russia deployed S-400 systems

[...] The S-400’s radar has a range of 600 kilometers and is capable of discriminating even objects moving on the ground, such as cars and military vehicles.

S-400 radar covers Syria, western regions of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, nearly all of Israel and Jordan, Egypt’s northern Sinai, a large part of the eastern Mediterranean and Turkish airspace as far as the capital Ankara.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 29 2015 0:56 utc | 33

Re: Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28, 2015 5:07:48 PM | 21

Russia can release a list of targets in Turkey that will be destroyed by Russian cruise missiles if Turkey illegally invades Syria.

Make the consequences clear and see if Turkey is prepared to pay the price presented.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 29 2015 1:08 utc | 34

@30 Hoarsewhisperer
"One suspects that this border closure/ erasure will prove to be the beginning of the end of Erdogan."

A few months ago there were some rumors about a military coup in Turkey. I'm not sure who has the most influence over Turkey's military.
(Question: I would love to hear some informed opinion on that if anyone here has it -- also are Turkish military and Turkish intelligence aligned and influenced by the same entities? I've heard Turkish intel (MIT) is heavily influenced by NATO hawks).

Also, last summer, I heard that Turkey's economy was on the brink. EU is offering money if Turkey will stop supporting ISIS, so the story goes. This seems logical from EU's standpoint if they think shutting down ISIS means shutting down waves of refugees to Europe. But will it be enough to prop up Turkey's economy? How much money would they need to do that? What revenue or aid will replace the loss of income from Russia?

Posted by: gemini33 | Nov 29 2015 1:14 utc | 35

@35 Oui

Here is the google translation...thought it important

In order to protect national security and national interests of the Russian Federation to protect Russian citizens from criminal and other illegal acts, and in accordance with the federal law of 30 December 2006 № 281-FZ "On special economic measures" and on 28 December 2010 № 390-FZ "On security" decree:
see also
Decree №583 «On measures to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation and the protection of Russian citizens from criminal and other illegal activities and the use of special economic measures against the Republic of Turkey"
223.8 kB

1. The authorities of the Russian Federation, federal government agencies, local authorities, legal entities, formed under the laws of the Russian Federation, organizations and individuals under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, in its work to proceed from the fact that in the Russian Federation input time:

a) prohibition or restriction of foreign economic operations involving import into the Russian Federation of certain goods whose country of origin is the Republic of Turkey, on a list established by the Government of the Russian Federation (except for goods imported for personal use to the extent permitted by law of the Eurasian Economic Union);

b) the prohibition or restriction for organizations under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Turkey on the implementation of (provision) of certain types of work (services) in the territory of the Russian Federation on a list established by the Government of the Russian Federation;

c) prohibition for employers, customers of works (services) are not included in the list determined by the Government of the Russian Federation, to attract to January 1, 2016 in order to work, works (services) of workers citizens of the Republic of Turkey who are not labor and (or) civil-legal relations with these employers, customers of works (services) as of December 31, 2015

2. Pause from 1 January 2016 in accordance with the Federal Law of July 15, 1995 № 101-FZ "On international treaties of the Russian Federation", and paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on the terms of mutual trips of citizens the Russian Federation and citizens of the Republic of Turkey on May 12, 2010 action of the Agreement in respect of the journeys undertaken by citizens of the Turkish Republic, which are the owners of foreign passport, except citizens of the Republic of Turkey, who have a temporary residence permit or a residence permit on the territory of the Russian Federation and citizens of the Republic of Turkey sent to work in diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Turkey on the territory of the Russian Federation in possession of valid official and special passports, and their families.

3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in the established order the Republic of Turkey to send a notice of partial suspension of the Agreement, named in paragraph 2 of this Decree.

4. To establish that the tour operators and travel agents should refrain from implementing the citizens of the Russian Federation of the tourist product, include a visit to the Turkish Republic.

5. The Government of the Russian Federation:a) define lists of goods, works (services) provided by subparagraphs "a" and "b" of paragraph 1 of this Decree;b) to determine the list of employers, customers of works (services) provided by subparagraph "c" of paragraph 1 of this Decree;c) to define the list of contracts concluded with organizations under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Turkey for the supply of goods (works, services) in respect of which special economic measures provided for in this Decree shall not apply;d) adopt measures for the following:a ban on charter air transportation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey;strengthening of control over the activities of the Turkish road transport on the territory of the Russian Federation in order to ensure safety;strengthening of port control and monitoring to ensure transport safety Russian waters of sea ports in the Black Sea region, including the prevention of illegal residence and movement, and other marine vessels in the waters of Russian sea ports;d) if necessary, make proposals to amend the period of validity or the nature of the special economic and other measures provided for by this Decree.

6. This Decree shall enter into force on the date of its publication and is valid until they cancel the special economic and other measures.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 29 2015 2:03 utc | 37


At least that is what Erdogan hopes to accomplish. Yet another in a string of overt and covert actions by Turkey to attempt to draw NATO into his visions of a new salafist Turkish empire. No doubt the neocons and deepstate under Bush's and Hillary's state department offered Turkey plenty of carrots to help reshape the Middle East. Since Hillary's departure, Obama has avoided many of Turkey's overtures to draw the US and NATO in on Turkey's terms. If Erdogan's tanks invade Syria, Obama might just give him enough rope to hang himself.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Nov 29 2015 2:07 utc | 38

@34 sounds like an RFI, its already on SIPRNET.

Posted by: thirsty | Nov 29 2015 2:09 utc | 39


Thanks for bringing that Executive Order up, and for all other important links you share with us.

Your link goes to the Russian version of the President of Russia web page, which also has the English version of the document. Thanks to psychohistorian@36 for the Google translation, but here is the official one.

Executive Order on measures to ensure Russia’s national security and protection of Russian citizens against criminal and other illegal acts and on the application of special economic measures against Turkey

Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Measures to Ensure the National Security of the Russian Federation and the Protection of Citizens of the Russian Federation against Criminal and Other Illegal Acts and on the Application of Special Economic Measures Against the Turkish Republic.

November 28, 2015 20:15

For the purposes of ensuring national security and protecting the national interests of the Russian Federation, the protection of citizens of the Russian Federation against criminal and other illegal acts and in line with federal laws On Special Economic Measures of December 30, 2006 and On Security of December 28, 2010, the President has resolved: Russian Federation state power bodies, federal government bodies, local government bodies, legal entities, organisations and individuals under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation shall proceed in their activities from the fact that the following are temporarily in effect on the territory of Russia:

a) Ban on or limitation of foreign economic operations envisaging the import to the territory of the Russian Federation of certain goods originating from the Turkish Republic as listed by the Russian Federation Government (except for goods imported for personal use in amounts established by Eurasian Economic Union regulations);

b) Ban on or limitation of certain types of work (services) rendered on the territory of Russia by organisations under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Republic in line with a list established by the Russian Federation Government;

c) Ban for employers, contractors of work (services) not listed by the Russian Federation Government to employ as of January 1, 2016, citizens of the Turkish Republic who are not bound by employment and/or legal civil contracts with the said employers on December 31, 2015.

The President has also resolved as of January 1, 2016, pursuant to Federal Law On International Agreements of the Russian Federation of July 15, 1995 and item 1, Article 10 of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Turkish Republic on terms of mutual visits by citizens of Russia and Turkey of May 12, 2010, to suspend the said Agreement with regard to trips by citizens of Turkey in possession of ordinary foreign passports, with the exception of those citizens of Turkey who have temporary or permanent residence permits on the territory of Russia, as well as those citizens of Turkey who have been assigned to diplomatic representations and consulates of the Turkish Republic on the territory of Russia, who hold valid service and special passports, and their family members.

The Russian Federation Foreign Ministry is to notify the Turkish Republic in line with the established procedure of the partial suspension of the aforesaid Agreement.

The Executive Order also states that travel agents and operators are to suspend the sale to Russian citizens of products that envisage visiting the territory of the Turkish Republic.

Relevant instructions have been issued to the Russian Federation Government.

The Government has also been issued instructions to take measures to introduce a ban on charter flights between Russia and Turkey; to enhance control over the activity of Turkish trucking companies on the Russian territory to ensure security; to enhance control at ports and ensure the transportation safety of Russian seaports in the Azov-Black Sea area, including the prevention of the illegal presence and movement of marine and other vessels within the waters of Russian seaports.

The Government was also given instructions to submit proposals, if necessary, regarding changes to the duration or nature of the special economic and other measures envisaged by the Executive Order.

The Executive Order comes into effect on the day of its official publication and remains in effect until the special economic and other measures established thereunder are cancelled.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 29 2015 2:36 utc | 40

Russia has known for long time of Turkey's territorial ambitions, and Peskov is now delivering a message to Erdogan, stating loud and clear that violating Syria's territorial integrity is a red line for Russia.

Territorial Integrity Must Be Undisputed Constant in Middle East - Kremlin

Territorial integrity of Middle Eastern countries has to be absolutely undisputed.

VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) – Territorial integrity of countries like Syria, Iraq and Turkey has to be absolutely undisputed in the Middle East, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Saturday.

"You know, this region is too vulnerable. And this is why the territorial and political integrity has to be the entirely undisputed constant," Peskov told Rossiya 24 television channel.

The spokesman outlined Syria, Iraq and Turkey as the countries requiring such measures, as violation of territorial integrity could lead to catastrophic consequences.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 29 2015 3:09 utc | 41

Erdogan is just a pimp, his super-ottoman ego is being manipulated by the usual suspects who will use him until necessary to fulfill their Syrian objectives, then he will be disposed of as a nuisance.

Erdogan's 'Silent Backers': Who Egged Turkish Leader to Attack Su-24?

[...] "What role did the emotionally unstable US Defense Secretary and neo-conservative Russophobe Ash Carter have, if any, in the downing of the Su-24 and later the Russian rescue helicopter? What role did Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 'Fighting Joe' Dunford play, if any? What role did the British secret services play, if any? What role did the Israeli IDF and Mossad play, if any, in the Turkish deed?" Engdahl asks [...]


What role does mentally handicapped, multiple nicks hasbara troll play on MoA? None. His presence however, and his "line of attack," confirms my growing suspicions.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 29 2015 3:59 utc | 42

Erdogans psychopathy is starting to resemble Netenyahus. He also has a whole population of stateless people in the Kurds that he has plans of genocide for. The similarities are striking.

Only a certifiable maniac would confront Russia in Syria, and what better man for the job than Erdogan.

Turkey under Erdogan is pushing the limits to see how far Russia will push back. Something the US Empire is glad to use, and can claim distance from if it goes bad by people who don't follow these events.

The US has indeed found a another despicable partner to work with.

Posted by: tom | Nov 29 2015 4:33 utc | 43

@ 43: Yep.

Posted by: ben | Nov 29 2015 4:37 utc | 44

How crazy is Erdogan?

November 2010, Ankara was arranging w Iran a Turkey-Iran-Iraq-Syria common market. Visas were repealed; Customs reduced; authorities created to manage the oil and gas pipe-lines, and management of water resources. Lebanon and Jordan asked to join the new common mkt.
2011, UK & France launched war against Libya and Syria, under control of US, which Turkey opposed; Libya & Syria were trade partners.

March 2011, French Defense Minister Juppe persuaded Erdogan; he secretly proposed to support Ankara’s candidacy to the EU and help it solve its Kurdish problem if Turkey would join the wars against Libya and Syria. Solving of the Kurdish problem is now being implemented in Syria and Iraq via the Juppe-Wright partitioning. Turkey wants to deport the PKK to the new Kurdistan. However, it's Israel & the West which will control the new states carved out of Syriaq. If Turkey's Kurds go to fight for this new entity in any serious numbers I don't see how Russia-Iran-Syria-Hezbolla can prevail. The only hope wd be to nip it in the bud before it begins to be viable, and therefore attracts more adherents.
Many Syrian Kurds, having their rights respected in Syria, don't want to fight for independence. Many Iraqi Kurds, having experienced Barzani's Kurdistan, want out. If Syria & Iraq are to remain unitary, Iran must come into the war in numbers.

Kurds from refugee camps in Iraq & Turkey being forcibly inducted into the fighting now.
I think the US factional division was around whether to get rid of Assad and ISIS. I fear both factions want a large Kurdistan straddling the border which wd actually be an Israeli colony; they've promised Erdogan he can exile his Kurds there & that's why he's willing to go in. I suppose it means a Sunnistan, too.
It is just possible that Turkey is also a target here; they've long shown it partitioned on their maps. But only after he's helped to partition Syria.
I don't think Erdogan's bluffing; he's backing up the French/British/Iraqi Kurds in taking Raqqa.
What a mess.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 29 2015 5:01 utc | 45

In the fourth century a Roman Emperor named Constantine moved the capitol of his empire Eastward, to a fine natural harbor that faced the Black Sea. Byzantium, a trading village by the harbor, had already been there a millenium, as a waypoint along the Silk Route between China and Europe. It now became Constantinople.

Western Christianity split away and collapsed into the Dark Ages. But the Eastern Byzantine twin, focused on Constantinople, grew and flourished for 1100 years, until Islamic Turks invaded and renamed it Istanbul. Just as the treasures of Christianity were spirited away to Byzantium as Rome fell, they were once again moved to a new center of Eastern Christianity, called Moscow.

The Turks proved to be fierce in battle but poor at administration. Their empire, called Ottoman, was a strict Islamic Caliphate, run by hereditary dictators who typically thought of themselves as deities. By the end of WW I, a war fought in part over oil still underground within the Caliphate, the empire could not hold. It shattered into many pieces, none stable. This was a perfect chance for Russia to retake the Orthodox spiritual center, still hidden within the shadows of Istanbul. But as if by an act of God, Russia collapsed at the same time!

The oil wealth was gradually peeled away from Turkish control, stolen for the most part by foreigners and infidels. The new secular state of Turkey was created, blessed with strategic position between the Black Sea and Mediterranean, but cursed by a lack of natural resources.

Behind the creation of the Turkish state was a secret society, called the Donmeh, that has also been called the deep state. In fact a part of the donmeh has Jewish roots, which include ties to the state religion of Saudia Arabia, Wahabbism, founded by a Jewish “convert”.

You might say that the modern deep state Donmeh coordinates interests of Turkey, Israel, the Saudis, and perhaps others. In some ways these seemingly hostile states could all benefit from a return of the Caliphate and creation of a new 'Donmeh Empire' where the Ottomans once ruled. Leaders in each of these countries might see an angle by which they could end up controlling this restored empire.

On the eve of the Syria campaign, Russia's Putin spoke to his commanders with great passion about commencing a holy war to save Christianity, Operation Salvation. Putin spends part of each year in an Orthodox monastery, and has worked tirelessly to rebuild the Church within Russia. He is keenly aware of the suffering that has taken place among Eastern Christian communities in Ukraine, Syria, Turkey, and Armenia, to name a few. He is rebuilding traditional ties to other Eastern Christian groups in Serbia, Greece, Egypt, Armenia, Bulgaria, and beyond.

We could imagine that ISIS is a handy tool for restoration of a neo-Ottoman Empire, to be administered by some balance of power within the Donmeh. That is a dream, perhaps of many. But an alternate dream is that the Byzantine Empire is raised from the dead, newly centered around Russia and the restored spiritual center of Christian Costantinople.

Russia v Turkey could become the final clash between Christianity and Islam forecast by Albert Pike over a hundred years ago. On the grand chessboard, Russia and Turkey are noble opponents. But their mutual destruction may serve other actors, behind the scenes. There can only be one form of victory on such a battlefield – revealed truth.

Posted by: Seamus | Nov 29 2015 5:07 utc | 46

@LoneWolf - #39
Thx for the hat-tip! Appreciated.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 29 2015 5:09 utc | 47

Russia to Launch 'Total Destruction' Operations against ISIL in Syria...

Posted by: telescope | Nov 29 2015 5:29 utc | 48

@Seamus #47 - thanks. That's a very important perspective to keep in mind through these events, I think.

@Penelope #46 - Russia's involved also in the equation. I have to wonder, what if the Kurdish aspect of the Yinon plan takes a different turn, and Turkey loses territory, while the Kurds adopt alliance with Russia and its allies, instead of with the west? To use the terms cited by Seamus, the Donmeh lose the Kurds as dupes and proxies forever.

There is no Sunni/Shia dynamic. There's Donmeh allied with Rome, against the Holy Rus allied with the devout of many faiths and cultures.

I confess I haven't studied the Kurd position and really I'm throwing out raw speculation - hope no one jumps on me for it. But surely Russian planners are looking at the highest and best positioning for the Kurdish people right now. I have to wonder, if I were a Kurd, whom would I trust as a reliable ally, in this situation?

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 29 2015 6:56 utc | 49

Like to share Jualiana Barembuem in Sott Radio. She interviewed Pepe Escobar 25 Nov 2015. Never missed anything from Pepe Escoba, Abby Martin or Paul Jay beside others. It's more than an hour long and you can watch it either in Sott Radio or youtube:

SOTT Radio Network: Paris terror attacks - War against ISIS? Interview with Pepe Escobar

Posted by: Jack Smith | Nov 29 2015 7:05 utc | 50

Posted by: lysias | Nov 28, 2015 6:06:30 PM | 23


Posted by: somebody | Nov 29 2015 7:50 utc | 51

Yes, these developments do support the story that Turkey is about to attack Syria.

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 29 2015 7:58 utc | 52

@54 Willy2

snark on

According to ZH 90K Turkish citizens will be kicked out of Russia by January 1 so there is potential for a boost in the Turkish army.

snark off

Thanks Lone Wolf for the better translation. I was headed out but wanted to skim it and expected others did to so did Q&D

I hope the Turkish military has more sense than Erdogan.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 29 2015 8:06 utc | 53

Russian success against ISIS is threatening NATO, specifically the Zio-Anglo Empire's expansionist plan. The latter are worried of the aftermath after Russia routes ISIS. They are starting to coalesce under the guise of fighting ISIS: France, Germany, U.K. all attempting to get in on the fight. NATO doesn't want Russia getting all the credit and influencing the future of Syria. The Turks are playing a dangerous game because they’re trying to incite NATO to fight Russia in Syria. The U.S. knows exactly what Turkey's doing and playing dumb.

Russia should more closely align with the Kurds strategically and politically and with Iran and Iraq strategically and logistically. Can the Kurds trust the Zio-Ango Empire? No. They only need to look at the mess the Empire has produced that has affected the Kurds badly. The Kurds, Iraq and Iran should be involved not only in the fight to restore some stability to Syria but discussions should begin on the desired future political landscape for Syria. Maybe it’s naïve, but I’m wondering if the Kurds might be able to help negotiate with only the most moderate Sunnis who were not involved in the attempted militant/rebel coup; Sunnis that reject wahhabism of course.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 29 2015 8:25 utc | 54

Hi all, lurker here since the beginning of the Russian intervention in Syria and absolutely fascinated by the brillant discourse of most participants on MoA, especially Lone Wolf, Penelope, jackrabbit and a few others who should not waste time with the trolls who try to pollute this blog..
Hold fast and keep on sharing your thoughts!

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 29 2015 8:40 utc | 55

Grieved @ 51,

The US were giving Syrian Kurds aircover while Syrian planes couldn't approach due to the Patriots. At the same time Syrian govt was supplying them w weapons and soldiers' salaries. The neocon US faction was talking to them about autonomy & wanted them to take Raqqa. Syrian Kurds are Marxist & speak a different language than Iraqi Kurds. They killed each other during the Cold War. There's a recent rapprochement. Syrian Kurds are starting to get air support from the Russians now, so I expect they're making up their minds. The US 50 advisors/trainers arrived the 26th to train the Kurds & still want them to take Raqqa.

Iraqi Kurds are headed by Barzani who is Mossad & a dictator. He & his closest cronies are millionaires. Germans were supplying their weapons for quite awhile. They're expansionist & it seems like everyone wants Raqqa & the lion's share of Syria. The Sunni/Shiite divide isn't real-- especially not in Syria, but it's the pretext the West wants to use to partition Syria & Iraq. Only a tiny Alawite sliver would be left on the Mediterranean if the West carries thru its long-time plan , the Juppe-Wright partitioning-- or something else ad-hoc-- depending on what happens on the ground.

Juppe-Wright Map
Version of things I'm relating is from this & other voltaire articles.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 29 2015 9:19 utc | 56

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 29, 2015 2:58:36 AM | 54

It is absolutely unlikely as their airforce cannot protect their troops after Russia installed (very quickly) the S400.

Troops on Turkish border make sense as heavily weaponized militants will now be driven across same border - which is no fun for Turkey considering these militants all have civil support structures in Ankara and Istanbul.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 29 2015 9:32 utc | 57

Circe @ 56, Hi!

Syrian govt has throughout the conflict accepted all Syrian fighters who aren't guilty of war crimes
back into private life w/o any sanctions. All they need do is lay down arms & attend short period of rehab.
Since Geneva communique in 2012 Assad has worked pretty hard at correcting matters. There's a new constitution
that guarantees rights, provides president can run for only 2 continuous terms of 7 years each, so he's a couple
years into his first term. At Geneva2 many groups who have participated in govt changes wanted to participate &
Assad govt wanted them too, but the talks were undermined by US Jeffrey Feltman so that only a single radical
group was allowed to present itself as the opposition. All they did was hurl insults, so the talks failed.

Russia has made good contact w remaining Syrian citizen groups who are combatants-- about 2 weeks ago.
Iranians have offered, too. I have no idea whether Kurds would be good go-betweens. Historically, their lands
have been up in the extreme northeast corner & in the northwest around Afrin. I don't know why they spread over
so much of the border during the war. There are 3 oilwells in the area; maybe that's why. The Syrian Kurds
are 3 million people-- mostly driven out of Turkey either by Ataturk or by Erdogan.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 29 2015 9:38 utc | 58

Seamus @ 48, Hi!

You're right: ISIS is a handy tool for trying to regain the Ottoman Empire. According to Wayne Madsen the Saudi royals are Donmeh too-- really Jewish. Quien sabe?

This is really a mess, seems to be an all-out race to land-grab.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 29 2015 9:50 utc | 59

Gemini@33. Thanks for the Two amigos link, Putin was right about McCain..."Mr. McCain was captured and they kept him not just in prison, but in a pit for several years. Anyone [in his place] would go nuts," Putin said, according to the Associated Press. McCain and Graham want to start WW3.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 29 2015 9:59 utc | 60

It looks like the axis of evil is bringing together troops of all its members. Once they're all on board and present in or over Syria, they'll bring on some trigger event, think one singular *massive* terror strike, and there'll be no limits. Turkey will provide boots on the ground and the whole west will be flying airstrikes.
They know no limits. Russia brings in anti-air-missiles? Well we'll bring the whole Nato Airforce.
I hope I'm wrong, but it really looks like the prelude to something similar to a next world war.
Of course they're *not* coming to fight islamic extremism. That may be the foot in the door, but once they start, it will be annihilation of Assad/Syria.
So far, the russians could be smart because the nato-west-axis had to act like they're "the good guys" fighting terrorism. But now they seems to care less and prepare for a full scale intervention.
I can't see any other reason why they're so eager to get every nations troops into Syria so quickly. It must be so that everyone is already there once it starts.

Posted by: radiator | Nov 29 2015 11:09 utc | 61

This is telling, russian dead body suddenly shows up in..Turkey!

This shows turkey's complicit with the terrorists that handled the body to them!

Posted by: Seder | Nov 29 2015 11:23 utc | 62

I just keep wondering how long can Erdogen survive. He is driving, foot hard on the accelerator, Turkey right onto the rocks. The 'Deep State' and the various elites there (many of whom he has has pissed off) must be sh**ing themselves.

He has managed to piss off both Russia and China (in their case over the Uyghurs see and other posts there on this).

He has managed to destroy one of those 'once in a lifetime' economic opportunites(becomng the new Russian gas hub), he has steadily dug himself more and more into the whole Syrian debacle and tied homself even more and mre into the fortunes of IS/AN/etc. Remember the 'gas attack' that nearly had the US bombing Syria...made in Turkey.

Posted by: Lisa | Nov 29 2015 11:25 utc | 63

Somewhat OT. Might it be possible when a comment is removed to leave the space intact with a message: Entry Deleted by Site Administration - and not confuse the citing numbers of subsequent commentary? It might be interesting to leave the offending 'Posted by:' information intact to keep a record of those pseudo-names to indicate - Do Not Respond To (such transgressors) for future trespass.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Nov 29 2015 11:49 utc | 64

Germany plan to invade Syria 2016

Posted by: Seder | Nov 29 2015 12:42 utc | 65

When b starts leading the war news with prognostication, then it becomes titillating war porn, and time to visit the Saker.
Posted by: Chipnik | Nov 28, 2015 2:32:19 PM | 3

Well ... almost.
Knowing what you don't want is quite different from knowing what you do. But what the heck! Why risk ennui by loitering at a blog which gets it right most of the time when there are so many perfectly acceptable blogs which don't?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 29 2015 13:08 utc | 66

Well, if I were in charge of Russia, I would simply overfly the Syrian/Turkish border with Sukhoi Su-25 jets continuously, with some Sukhoi Su-34 jets somewhat farther back in Syria for backup. That would make it really, really challenging to cross that border.

Time for the Turks to go home -- and stay there.

Posted by: blues | Nov 29 2015 14:41 utc | 67

Posted by: radiator | Nov 29, 2015 6:09:20 AM | 60

Nope, that's wrong.
US-NATO is seriously handicapped by its "invincible" myth which, un-coincidentally, is the reason it's using proxies against Syria/Russia. If the proxies are vanquished then the Invincible Myrh will be intact, but sullied and limp. Putin isn't kidding around and Russia and its allies will win a direct East vs West confrontation. So there won't be one.
I could tell you lots of rib-tickling stories about cowards (liars, bullies etc) but in a few months from now I won't need to. You'll have seen it all for yourself.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 29 2015 14:50 utc | 68

Erdogan internal repression confirms the old principle that foreign policy is an extension of domestic policy (I. Deutscher.) In order to cover up his blatant intervention in Syria, he's accusing those who oppose it/denounce it as treasonous, and he's repressing Turkey's media with impunity, without any EU/US protests, no "human rights" al-CIAdah fronts issuing a condemnation against Erdogan.

Now he's arresting 3 high ranking army officers for their alleged intervention January LAST YEAR, in a weapons shipment for the "Fee Syrian Army" as b appropriately calls it, disguised as "humanitarian aid" for Turkmen. Who knows what the real reasons are for this arrest, regardless, he is making enemies galore in all sectors of Turkey's civil society.

Erdogan/Davutoglu are vulgar thugs, tin-pot petty tyrants with an inflated ego and pretensions of grandeur. They are ready for the trash bin of history.

Erdoğan says intercepted MİT trucks were going to Free Syrian Army

Contrary to earlier claims by the Turkish government that trucks operated by its National Intelligence Organization (MİT) were carrying “aid” to Syrian Turkmens, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said they were on the way to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) before they were intercepted.

“But they [those who revealed the transfer] made the world hear about these trucks by stopping them and checking what they were carrying. Then they said the government was sending weapons to terrorist groups [in Syria]. In so doing, they revealed all the humanitarian aid that was going to Bayır-Bucak Turkmens. They also exposed those going to the FSA in that way,” Erdoğan said in Balıkesir on Saturday while addressing a group of supporters.

The trucks were at the center of a controversy last year, with pro-government figures previously claiming that when they were intercepted en route to Syria they contained “humanitarian aid” for the Bayır-Bucak Turkmens who live just over the border from Turkey's southern Hatay province. Many claims were made by the opposition and Turkish media that the trucks were, in fact, transporting weapons to radical factions in Syria.

Early in 2014, an anonymous tip led to the interception of a number of trucks on the suspicion of weapons smuggling. The first operation took place in Hatay on Jan. 1, 2014. Another anonymous tip led to three more trucks being stopped and searched in Turkey's southern province of Adana on Jan. 19, 2014 [...]

3 senior commanders detained over stopping of MİT trucks, reports say

Two generals and a retired colonel were detained for their alleged role in the January 2014 interception of Syria-bound trucks that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) said belonged to it.

According to Turkish media reports, Ankara Gendarmerie Regional Commander Maj. Gen. İbrahim Aydın and former Adana Gendarmerie Regional Commander Brig. Gen. Hamza Celepoğlu and former Gendarmerie Criminal Laboratory head, retired Col. Burhanettin Cihangiroğlu, were detained on Saturday.

In January 2014, gendarmes stopped three Syria-bound trucks in the southern provinces of Adana and Hatay, after prosecutors received tip-offs that the vehicles were illegally carrying arms to armed organizations in Syria.

The government quickly dismissed claims at the time that the trucks intercepted and searched by the Turkish military by order of prosecutors in Adana had any weapons. Current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was foreign minister at the time, asserted that the cargo was humanitarian aid destined for embattled Syrian Turkmens on the other side of the border [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 29 2015 14:50 utc | 69

Penelope @45: Kurdistan...[an] Israeli colony.... It is just possible that Turkey is also a target here; they've [Israel?] long shown it partitioned on their maps.

Seamus @46: Donmeh

I don't buy the notion of Turkey as being set up because I don't think Erdogan is stupid. IMO he has the backing of, and coordinates with, the other anti-Assad countries.

I think the Israeli/Jewish conspiracy theorists sometimes go too far. If the anti-Assad Coalition prevails, Turkey will be stronger than ever. So how much credence should we give to fantasies of Turkish breakup?

In the same vein, the Donmeh story edges into hysteria. It's not enough that KSA+Gulf States ("Sunni Coalition") and Israel see Iran (and SCO) as a bigger threat than each other? AFAICT, they made peace (for now, anyway) because they all have something to gain and together they had the power to rope in Turkey (by supporting melgo-maniac Erdogan) and use their influence to get USA/NATO support.

Paranoid fantasies are self-defeating. I'd MUCH rather discuss issues like why Western foreign policy has been allowed to be hi-jacked by our bullshit fundamentalist allies ("bullies"?).

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

While I'm at it: I also wonder at those that claim that the CIA controls EVERYTHING. Seems like an easy way to shirk responsibility (by the usual suspects) as CIA will not try to prove the negative.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 29 2015 15:01 utc | 70

I think "tanks on the border" serve two purposes. (1) Symbol of might and resolve. (2) Decent mobile artillery. But in mountainous areas they are probably not used to attack.

The real escalation is in the supplies of TOWs and other heavy weapons. Russian attempt to stop supplies at the border, and Turkey, to stop or hinder Russians. Right now, Russia chose to apply economic pressure using steps which are painless, to Russia. The population, used to vacations at Turkish beaches will suffer a bit, but there is Crimea, Abkhasia, and coming soon, resorts on the Iranian shores of Persian Gulf. With produce, China, Iran, India etc. would surely help.

The real heavy economic/political pressure would involve stopping gas supplies, first Russia, second, Iranian, third, Azerbaijan (Armenian card? ), fourth, KRG (replacement of Barzani, or a threat of it?). S-400 system protecting PKK in Iraq -- that probably can be installed across the border in Iran, completing that damn contract with Iran would of course come first. That could hurt Russia and Iran more than Turkey, if Turkey can replace gas as power station fuel with oil, which is not expensive, so such steps are best kept in reserve.

One thing to note is that NATO can save Turkish skin from almost all adverse consequences, so Putin has a more subtle game to play than some posters here appreciate.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 29 2015 15:17 utc | 71


The Turkstream pipeline was dead before this incident just as the huge pipeline deal with China is probably dead due to low gas prices and the growth of LNG supplies. Also Europe is moving to become less dependent on Russian gas supplies not more dependent.

The only 'gas' that Turkey has had is natural gas, Assad was the only one with 'gas attack' Sarin. If you have evidence, not rumors, to prove otherwise please provide it.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 29 2015 15:51 utc | 72

I guess this time, pathologically criminal psychopathic IS truly used "defensive measures" to protect their crimes: they booby-trapped the mass graves of their Yazidi victims.

Booby-Trapped Grave of 120 Yazidi Victims of ISIL Discovered in Iraq

A new chilling discovery of a genocidal site with remnants of more than 120 Yazidis, who were murdered by militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist group in Sinjar, yet again confirms the murkiest suggestion that there are thousands of jihadists’ victims to be found after recapturing the region.

A local Iraqi Kurdistan official confirmed on Saturday that the burial contains as estimated 123 bodies, AFP reported. The area around the mass grave was crammed with explosive devices.

It is the sixth Yazidi genocidal site discovered so far after Kurdish militia forced ISIL out of the Sinjar region earlier this month. There are approximately 15 mass graves expected to be found around the town of Sinjar, according to the Kurdish news outlet Rudaw [...]

[...] According to UN estimates, at least 5,000 children, women and men have been killed by ISIL militants since a summer 2014 offensive, when ISIL captured the region, systematically enslaving, raping and killing thousands of local residents [...]

Mass Graves with over 300 Bodies Found in Iraq

TEHRAN (FNA)- Some 5 mass graves with the remains of tens of Izadi people who had been killed by the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group were uncovered in the city of Sinjar in the Nineveh province.

The first mass grave was found in Soulagh district with 76 bodies of the Izadi children, women and the youth in the village of Kouju, while a little later a second mass grave with 60 bodies was also found in the same region.

Meantime, the third mass grave containing 86 corpses was found in Qelia Mirka. The fourth mass grave was also unearthed to the Northwest of Sinjar military base, but the exact number of the bodies found in the grave has not been specified as yet.

The last mass grave was discovered in Tal Avzir region with 80 bodies.

Member of Iraq's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Jamil Khezr Abdal announced that all the graves have been bomb-laden and demining experts are trying to defuse the mines.

In late May, several mass graves with the remains of 470 people who had been killed by the ISIL terrorists were uncovered in the city of Tikrit in Salahuddin province.

Several mass graves have been discovered in Tikrit since the Iraqi forces seized back the city in early April.

On April 7, the Iraqi forces discovered 12 mass graves in Tikrit most of them belonging to the Speicher massacre during which tens of army cadets, mostly Shiite Muslims, were killed in June 2014.

The ISIL committed horrific crimes during the era that it had Tikrit under its occupation and it had buried their victims in mass graves.

The Speicher massacre saw the terrorists executing more than 1,700 army cadets, mostly Shiite Muslims who had been kidnapped from the camp on June 12 last year.

Following the abductions, the attackers took the victims to the complex of presidential palaces, killed them, and threw their bodies in the river. The massacre was filmed by ISIL and broadcasted on social media.

Many innocent people have been killed by ISIL in the city of Tikrit and its surrounding villages. Some families watched their loved ones being killed on Youtube by ISIL and are still looking for the bodies.

“They took my brother in August and broadcasted a video of him. They said this is the fate of those who enter the Sunni territories as if he was entering another country. I’m looking in the grave so that I may find his body,” said one man.

Iraqi forces have also found a mass grave in Tikrit near the river where ISIL had buried hundreds of soldiers after digging a hole. Clothes and identity cards were also found along with the bodies of the victims.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 29 2015 16:23 utc | 73

W@71, funny thing is that I never seen you post any evidence, no links whatsover to base your arguments here... I'm a regular MoA reader but did the following google search so as not to make baseless accusations, a quick scanning of the results confirms my point.

If you have evidence, not rumors, to prove otherwise please provide it. Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 29, 2015 10:51:09 AM | 71

Posted by: citizen X | Nov 29 2015 16:26 utc | 74


The only 'gas' that Turkey has had is natural gas, Assad was the only one with 'gas attack' Sarin. If you have evidence, not rumors, to prove otherwise please provide it.

Foaming at the mouth drooling more drivel? Turkey Stream is still a viable project, once Erdogan is removed from power, it can be revived, since it has not been officially killed. Since you are asking for evidence, what is your evidence the pipeline with China is "probably" dead? Your "probably" line bs? Besides the Sarin gas false-flag Turkey used to try the US to bomb Syria, the only other gas resides above your neck.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 29 2015 16:40 utc | 75

Some alleged wacko in Britain calls for closing the Syrian borders and choking off arms!
They call him Crazy Corbyn,while I call him the sanest man in GB.
I'm nuts too.

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 29 2015 16:43 utc | 76

Wayouywest @ 71 says:

The only 'gas' that Turkey has had is natural gas, Assad was the only one with 'gas attack' Sarin. If you have evidence, not rumors, to prove otherwise please provide it

well, there's this,

and this...

Posted by: john | Nov 29 2015 16:53 utc | 77

US/UK/Israel/France/NATO is using Turkey's Erdogan as a tool. Poking the bear. Conceptually, escalation and provocation are favored. The S-400 is very impressive. Some shite is about to hit the fan.

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 29 2015 16:54 utc | 78

@76 and this:

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

Cute as always to see those making evidence free accusations demand evidence from the other side. But in WoW defense, when you have a heart-pounding, teenage-girl, beatlesmania-esque infatuation with an ultra-violent, global terrorist organization... its hard to think straight.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 29 2015 17:21 utc | 79


Possible implications, unverified reports and rumors are not evidence and no one has shown with any verifiable evidence that anyone other than Assad had or had the ability to make Sarin.

Hersh's undocumented second or third hand report of al-Nusra being caught with Sarin in Turkey is contradictory, first they had 15lb of Sarin then they were looking to buy the precursors to make Sarin and they don't measure things in pounds in Turkey. All the precursors needed to make Sarin are closely monitored by international treaty and not easily purchased anywhere.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 29 2015 17:32 utc | 80


Possible implications, unverified reports and rumors are not evidence.

I agree.

I have been looking for some evidence beyond the "possible implications, unverified reports and rumors" the Media and Western leaders presented as "evidence" and I'm glad that finally there's someone like you who's got the facts to prove it.

Looking forward for your info.

Posted by: Kraut | Nov 29 2015 18:07 utc | 81

Wonder if Russia has a kill list like the US. If so the Turkish militant who killed one of the Russian pilots does not have a long life expectancy..

Posted by: Vollin | Nov 29 2015 18:10 utc | 82

Wayoutwest @ 79 says:

All the precursors needed to make Sarin are closely monitored by international treaty and not easily purchased anywhere

indeed. re Hersh's report(which i guess you didn't even read):

British intelligence had obtained a sample of the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal

Posted by: john | Nov 29 2015 18:12 utc | 83

what gall... Way out there @80, who nevah posts documentation of any kind...

accuses Hersh, a pulitzer prize winning investigative journalist, of ... let's see. To begin, not being as thorough as he, Way out there, is? I could go on, but I have better things to do.

Posted by: crone | Nov 29 2015 18:16 utc | 84

Why you guys even feeding trolls like WayofISIS? Just ignore him. Saves time and brain cells :)

Posted by: Harry | Nov 29 2015 18:20 utc | 85


I'm not trying to prove anything just stating the facts that are known and proven today. Assad posessed and had the ability to produce Sarin, no one else has been proven to have had or posessed the technology to produce Sarin. These are known facts the rest is unverified speculation including Sy Hersh's so called reporting.

Russia provided the verification that Assad had Sarin and helped with its disposal, what the US has said about the attack is irrelevant and has no bearing on the known facts.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 29 2015 19:14 utc | 86

The military hierarchy of Turkey

The Turkish army or the Turkish land forces is the main branch of the land based military operations in Turkey and of the Turkish armed forces.

Reported order of battle, 2012, during Syrian uprising

The 2nd Army Command, headquartered in Malatya, has the second-highest number of troops after the Istanbul-based 1st Army Command, comprising roughly 100,000 soldiers. It is under the control of the Commander of the Land Forces, and includes these affiliated units:

Role of 6th Corps 5th Armored Division Command in Gaziantep

Posted by: Oui | Nov 29 2015 19:39 utc | 87

PS: This may well be a good book: The Dirty War on Syria
Not that I'm against what Anderson says, at least according to the review. The US certainly has imported to the ME its practices in the Americas. What is lacking is an understanding of the Syrian situation. Anderson admits that he didn't know anything about Syria before 2011, therefore his view is simplistic.

My Syrian (Alawite) informant agreed with me that the Syrian army is worn out after four years war. There's not going to be a glorious victory offensive, even with Russian air support. The last weeks' events kind of show it. He said that the Druze have all deserted, and it's only the Alawites who fight now. I didn't take that literally, as the Druze have always held themselves apart and refused to fight. Perhaps he meant that Druze and Sunnis have deserted.

That means that the Syrian army has become an ethnic militia. In that case, they're going to have difficulty reaching Raqqa, or encircling Aleppo. That will depend on what the local people think. Do they prefer ISIS, or being reconquered by Alawites?

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 29 2015 20:13 utc | 88

@88 lg

I note your informant is where you are and not in Syria.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 29 2015 21:14 utc | 89

The situation is much as in the First World War. The troops are worn out. In that case, the French and the Russians. They refused to attack again. However new blood was infused by the Americans, and the Brits who continued stolidly, but would have collapsed, had there been another year of war.

The question here is who is worn out first.

Defend your people is a strong motivation. It seems to be the major factor.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 29 2015 21:23 utc | 90

@88/89/90. i think that is a valid observation.. i think this brings in the importance of sealing off the border for the arrival of more foreign provided weapons to ISIS and there "moderate" friends... if the north west corner is any indication, russia is going to bomb anything that moves that looks like it is a truck carrying weapons. i don't think this war can be won with a 'bombing' only campaign, but recently we have been made aware of russias involvement with ground troops.. i am not sure how much is happening on the ground in syria, but russia seems to mean business.. turkey is being run by some regularly insulted guy who is crazy enough to charge anyone with an alternative viewpoint as a terrorist, or for insulting him! but, he is friends with ISIS, so that is all that apparently counts! either that or his son is getting so much kick back from the oil sales, he figures he can still grab a section of syria with the wests help, while taunting them with the refugees streaming to their countries.. it is quite the scene.. not sure what the next act is, but it is coming..

Posted by: james | Nov 29 2015 21:37 utc | 91

Syria's Assad says his enemies increasing support for insurgents..

Israeli Airstrikes on" Hezbollah?

Posted by: james | Nov 29 2015 21:49 utc | 92

Modern diplomacy....Turkey gets rewarded for helping terrorists...

Posted by: dh | Nov 29 2015 22:01 utc | 93

re 89

True, in Paris. I thought he was a bit negative. As is usual for Syrians today. They're very depressed about the future of their country. One student has disappeared completely into depression.

In this case, he had some reasonable remarks, which I told you about.

I didn't tell you about the desperate situation the Syrian students are in. I've told them not to defend their doctorates, so that I can continue to write letters for their residence card.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 29 2015 22:06 utc | 94

"Erdogan: Russia ‘Playing With Fire’ in Attacking Syrian Rebels.
Russia Imposes Trade, Travel Sanctions Over Shootdown".

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 30 2015 0:12 utc | 95

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 29, 2015 3:13:47 PM | 88

Do you realise that what you've written is 100%, 24 ct, disingenuous, racist-supremacist, Identity Politics, Zionist bullshit?

I hope I'm not the only visitor to MoA who understands that clumsy, stupid, obvious trolls like Wayoutwest are planted here to draw attention from subtler, more insidious trolls such as your terminally-desperate self? Ter'rism Central ("Israel") is finished, Laguerre.
Get over it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 30 2015 1:21 utc | 96

"PS: This may well be a good book: The Dirty War on Syria"

Well, it certainly explodes too many myths, in too few words, for Laguerre to let it pass without trying to tar & feather it...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 30 2015 2:21 utc | 97

Seamus (11/29) names Albert Pike as authority on Islam-Christianity "final clash." Luciferian Grand Dragon and Confederate General Pike indeed outlined to Giuseppe Mazzini in 1871 a "New World Order" arising from what Samuel Huntington described 125 years later as the "Clash of Civilizations," fueled anew by 9/11 and subsequent neocon false flag events. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Posted by: Gatopardo | Nov 30 2015 20:04 utc | 98

During his press conference in Paris a few hours ago. Putin directly stated that the Russians are seeing "industrial scale" shipments of oil across the Syrian border into Turkey, specifically "into Turkish ports". In the same answer he mentioned that it is impossible to have a "grand coalition" against terrorism while some states are using Daesh for "their own purposes" (economic, political, etc.) - again nodding in the direction of Turkey.

One of the goals here appears to be to set up a political deterrent against any further Turkish actions in Syria (military or otherwise). Because the next logical question if you accept Putin's statements is - why isn't the coalition bombing targets in Turkey as well. I doubt the Europeans or the Americans want to take it that far, and I don't even know if Putin's words will have much of an effect on Ankara (which up to this point has clearly counted on both formal Article 5 protection and informal "we need your airbase" patronage from the U.S. to cover itself).

Nevertheless, if you make a public statement accusing State A of doing something naughty and then State A does something even more naughty (e.g. sending tanks across the Syrian border) - you've kind of backed yourself into a rhetorical corner. I doubt that things would get as bad as Russian aircraft bombing Turkish tank columns, but certainly it would be hard for Putin domestically (!) - not to mention internationally - to de-escalate at this point.

The question is, is Erdogan playing a long-term game. The Russians have been treating him as if he were - hence the economic sanctions, among other things, because "in the grand scheme of things" no rational individual would scupper Turkey's long-term economic and political well-being for "this" (whether "this" is oil trade with Daesh, dreams of annexing some Syrian lands, reflexive fear of anything Kurdish, etc.).

On the other hand, if Erdogan is indulging in the best traditions of "vabanquespiel" and figures there won't be any consequences after all ("what, do you really expect the Russians to start bombing us if we cross the border?")...

We'll see. I will say, however, I doubt the U.S. and EU will go to bat for Turkey after a certain line is crossed - the Turks aren't that useful. And you can already see political hints of this in that even official U.S. sources and news organizations are suggesting Turkey hasn't been a "good actor" in the region of late.

Posted by: Angry Panda | Dec 1 2015 3:18 utc | 99

Posted by: Gatopardo | Nov 30, 2015 3:04:31 PM | 98

Talking about Clash of Civilizations, let's not forget that the disgusting Western Mainstream Media is still pretending not to notice that the 'Islamic' Extremists of IS-US only attack Goyim countries and Goyim religions to kill Goyim people and obliterate/loot ancient Goyim cultures.
Why are some coincidences harder to swallow than others?
Which ME beacon of Democracy and Racism refuses to offer safe haven or assistance to Muslim refugees?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 1 2015 4:26 utc | 100

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