Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 27, 2019

Turkey's Military Intervention In Libya Might Help Syria

The Turkish intervention in Libya might develop into a major international crisis as each side in the 'civil' war in Libya has several international supporters.

Turkey is now taking serious steps to move troops and equipment to Libya:

Turkey will introduce a bill to send troops to Libya as soon as Parliament resumes, in response to the country's invitation, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Thursday.

Speaking at a meeting of provincial heads at the headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan said the military mandate to send troops to Libya will be on Parliament's agenda when it resumes early January.

He also criticized countries supporting the East Libya-based warlord Khalifa Haftar rather than Fayez al-Sarraj.

Reuters noted that there is no public record of the 'invitation' Erdogan talked about:

It was unclear what specific invitation Erdogan was referring to as the interior minister in the Tripoli-based government, Fathi Bashagha, suggested in comments to reporters in Tunis that no official request had yet been made.

Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and several west European countries support the anti-Muslim Brotherhood forces under Khalifa Haftar who controls most of Libya (red). Qatar and Turkey have taken the Islamists' side. Fayez al-Sarraj controls little more than Tripoli and Misrata (blue). He originally had UN and EU support but the lack of progress since 2015, when Sarraj's Government of National Accord was formed, has weakened his authority and his international support.

More foreign involvement in the war in Libya will be bad for that country but it might be good for Syria. In 2011, after NATO had supported Islamists to destroy the Libyan state, many of those fighters were transferred to Syria to help to destroy that country. Weapons from Libya were transported via Turkey to Syria to support the 'rebels' against the government. Both flows are now reverting:
Turkey-backed rebels from Syria will soon join the internationally-recognized Libyan government's forces in the fight against strongman Khalifa Haftar.

The ethnic Turkmen rebel groups that have fought alongside Turkey in northern Syria are expected to reinforce the government in Tripoli imminently, according to senior officials in Libya and Turkey.

The Libyan government had initially resisted the idea of such a deployment but eventually accepted it as Haftar’s forces began to advance on Tripoli, according to that administration’s official.

The so-called Sultan Murad Brigade has been used by Turkey to ethnically cleanse the Kurdish areas in northwest Syria. Its fighters are known to be undisciplined and brutal. They have been trained and armed by Turkey and their commanders speak Turkish. Some of them are also trained to call in air support. Other groups currently undergo training by Turkish officers to then be sent to Libya.

Turkey and Qatar are offering relatively large sums to recruit more of such Syrian 'rebels' for Libya:

Sources confirmed that the Turkish-backed factions attract youth to join war in Libya offering temptations and rewarding salaries range between 1800 and 2000 US dollars for a single fighter per month. In addition to that offering additional services to be guaranteed by the host country.

Other sources confirmed that two fighters were killed in Libya days ago, they are of those who had displaced from Damascus and joined the Turkish-backed factions.

Less 'rebel' fighters in Syria will make it easier for the Syrian army to make progress in its renewed Idleb campaign. Since its launch on December 19 the new operation on areas held by the al-Qaeda affiliated Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) already liberated more than 40 villages.

Map via Al Masdar News . bigger

Both, the President of the United States and the Emir of al-Qaeda in Syria, issued quite similar messages of concern about the Syrian government attack. Both pointed to Russia and Iran instead of the terrorists those countries seek to defeat.

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump - 15:25 UTC · Dec 26, 2019

Russia, Syria, and Iran are killing, or on their way to killing, thousands if innocent civilians in Idlib Province. Don’t do it! Turkey is working hard to stop this carnage.

A day before Trump's tweet HTS leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani published a video which one of his fan boys translated:

"Between the two [Russia & Iran], the regime is being used by the two sides as a puppet to take over territories and properties, through demographic change... To achieve their goals, the two have no qualms in committing the ugliest massacres against the Sunni people"

...., through airstrikes, bombardments and leveling to the ground, after they failed to pacify the revolution through political and security means."

Jolani: "Having said that, we are in front of a great battle, on behalf of the whole Islamic Ummah, and on behalf of a hypocrite world that once wanted to destroy the Soviet Union & to confront the Iranian ambitions."

The last part, 'on behalf of the Islamic Ummah', can be understood as a fresh invitation to Islamists and sponsors from everywhere to support al-Qaeda in its fight in Idleb governorate.

Joulani had previously rejected help from the 'rebels' associated with Turkey. He fears that they could endanger his dominant position in Idleb. He is looking for new recruits who are willing to swear personal allegiance to him. It seems unlikely though that his call will receive sufficient response to make up for the losses his current forces have to take.

The U.S. State Department has designated HTS as a terrorist organization. At a 2017 conference (vid) organized by the Middle East Institute, Brett McGurk, the U.S. government’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, called Syria’s Idlib province “the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11 tied directly to Ayman al-Zawahiri [current leader of Al Qaeda].” He added that the Al Qaeda presence in Idlib was a “huge problem” and had been so “for some time.”

Neither Trump's nor Joulani's protests will have any effect on the Idleb campaign. The Syrian operation to liberate Idleb will continue in several phases.


The Syrian army is currently fighting to control the blue area. It is then likely to proceed further north to gain full control of the M5 highway between Hama and Aleppo. The army will then move to take the western part of south Idleb to reopen the M4 highway which leads from the coast to Aleppo.

Idleb governorate is mostly rural and has few economic assets that are worth a big fight. But the control of those highways is essential for the revival of Syria's economy.

PS: Wikileaks just released a fourth batch of OPCW documents about the fake chemical attack in Douma, Syria. The documents do not seem to add to the known facts. They only support the already known manipulations of the OPCW reports as they were reported by Jonathan Steele and Peter Hitchens. We discussed those here and here.

Posted by b on December 27, 2019 at 15:22 UTC | Permalink


Odd that these "Syrian Rebels" would see fit to forego overthrowing their government in order to fight elsewhere, unless of course they were never Syrian nor really rebelling in the first place. The cited mainstream news stories inadvertently provide a tacit admission of this longstanding kernel of dishonesty.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Dec 27 2019 15:40 utc | 1

Thank You- *b*.
It's important that every reader here @MoA gets updates.

Personally, I follow 3 twitter accounts for minute-to-minute updates from Syria:.

Regarding your thesis that the turk-libyan 'adventure' will deflect headchoppers & resources from Syria, You are 100% correct.
ErDOGan is a very slimy animal.
IMO, He sold-out his headchoppers earlier this year when he was in Moscow, and Putin bought him an ice cream and promised him he could buy just about anything he saw at the military airport.
Putin sweetened the possible deal with a... turk in space 2023:

The real problem erDOGan has had since Putin 'saved his ass' in 2016 is....what is he gonna do with all of his headchoppers.
And the turk MIT-National Intelligence Organization.
Gotta get rid of them, the cia-loyalists & $$$-loyalists some way.
The guy is an opportunistic career-egomaniac.
"What-to-do. What-to-do" he's been thinkin' since his ice cream in Moscow.
Abracadabra zippideedo ...send'em to Libya.

Anyway, Prayers for the Good People of Syria.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Dec 27 2019 16:37 utc | 2

Thanks for the ME update b

What puzzles me is how all these regional cannon fodder are going to be moved to Libya from Syria through Turkey or are they somehow going to go through Jordan and Egypt?

We seem to be playing out the story of the elite paying half of the people to kill the other half. How sick is that?

What a world.....when does the music stop, it seems to be more like a shriek?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 27 2019 16:56 utc | 3

Well, the Trump tweet was ominous because in August-September 2018 the Trump Administration had readied a false-flag and then threatened to bomb if ANY attempt was made to liberate Idlib. The narrative then was the same: a military operation in Idlib threatened the civilian population.

Terrorists readying chemical attack to frame Damascus & provide pretext for US strikes – Russian MoD

Russia postpones Syrian offensive in Idlib as NATO threatens escalation


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 27 2019 17:03 utc | 4

- From what I read here I ask myself: "Why would Turkey start to support a group/faction that's losing support from other countries ? Does Erdogan want to support another losing faction (like in Syriah) ? It will sour the relationship between NATO (US) and Turkey even more.
- I belief that Erdogan's moves in Libya are meant to distract attention away from the dismal economic situation in Turkey itself.

Posted by: Willy2 | Dec 27 2019 17:14 utc | 5

They'll have to be quick.

I'm not certain the NATO-inspired GNA can hold out for much longer, given the international support Khaftar is slowly gathering. Let's face facts, he controls a significant majority of the country and at has the backing of an allegedly democratically elected government.

ically least has has a democratically elected parliament behind him, if nothing else.

Nor am I certain that Turkey/Qatar can easily transport

Posted by: Ant. | Dec 27 2019 17:27 utc | 6

Oops. Partial post.

I was pointing that the GNA has never held elections, they are just a set of puppets installed by NATO imperialists. Half of which have now fled their bunker in Tripoli port.

And that Turkey/Qatar are vaguely attempting their own 'Arab Spring' via Moslem Brotherhood proxies (and that's who we are talking about), which are no better than Wahhabist jihadists. Not sure that they can be easily transplanted... via sea routes only? They certainly won't go through Egypt.

Posted by: Ant. | Dec 27 2019 17:34 utc | 7

thanks b..

other then asset grab, it seems erdogans goal is to get rid of the headchoppers he supported earlier... he doesn't want them back in turkey... that makes sense.. but what is qatars agenda? is this more muslim brotherhood must be installed in all islamic countries? then there is the al qaeda guy al-Julani saying - "the two have no qualms in committing the ugliest massacres against the Sunni people" which really feeds into the idea that these suckers have bought into this sunni verses shite crap that was served up in some atlantic council memo, so that all the countries can continue to pour weapons and murder into the selected areas with retards like this buffoon... so trump is on the same page as al-julani.. what a surprise, lol..

i'd be a bit concerned about the timing of trumps tweet as well.. never trust a country or leader that can't be trusted past the fence-post...

Posted by: james | Dec 27 2019 18:14 utc | 8

Well this was no surprise. When the Syrian proxy war began at first, many jihadists from Libya were sent through Turkey into Syria along with the stockpiles of Ghadaffi Army weapons. NATO attack on Libya was the precursor to Syria. Now its coming full circle and I still believe Senator Chris Stevens death had something to do with Turkey as the tribes/clans around Benghazi stated day prior Turkish officials visited the Benghazi consulate.

Posted by: Katakuri | Dec 27 2019 18:15 utc | 9

Veritas X 2
I'm sure the Turks have seen some blowback from their partnership with the Jihadi proxies they facilitated into Syria.

And we have yet another admission that al Qaeda dominates the rebel opposition in Syria. Soon there should be more White Helmet reports/videos with no MSM acknowledgement of White Helmets working with the terrorists. But the "activist reporters" will push another chem attack and the idea that Russian/Syrian forces targeting schools and hospitals.

Meanwhile, Nobel Peace Prize Obama and cackling Hillary's legacy of Libya lives on with 3 governments and jihadi proxies continuing to kill and devastate whatever's left there.

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 27 2019 18:21 utc | 10

And we cannot forget the LIFG whose training was funded by the CIA via Sayyaf in the early 1990s (The Convenient Terrorist, pg 53) and also received support from the UK via MI6.

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 27 2019 18:29 utc | 11

Isn’t USA and Turkey on same side in Libya?

Isn’t that very relevant to Syria? Especially after the USA-Turk dance in October that re-arranged the chessboard?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 27 2019 18:32 utc | 12

Katakuri @9

Stevens wasn't a Senator. He was America's version of James Bond. He was America's Super Spook. His spook cover was "ambassador", which is a rather high rank for a spy's diplomatic cover, but that just shows how highly ranked he was as a spook.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 27 2019 18:43 utc | 13

So, the all-powerful Neoottoman Empire is overstretched with only two small proxy war operations in its immediate neighborhood.

His Highness Tayyip should pay more attention to the economy and less attention to his illusions of grandeur...

Posted by: vk | Dec 27 2019 18:53 utc | 14

Regarding the OPCW, Yves Engler has an article on the Canadian connection. To nobody's surprise it turns out that Ottawa has been a major contributor to the OPCW's work, ever since it turned its hand to falsifying facts for imperialism.

".....Canada’s special envoy to the OPCW, Sabine Nolke, has repeatedly accused Assad’s forces of employing chemical weapons. Instead of expressing concern over political manipulation of evidence, Nolke criticized the leak.In a statement after Henderson’s position was made public she noted, “Canada remains steadfast in its confidence in the professionalism and integrity of the FFM [Fact-Finding Mission] and its methods. However, Mr. Chair, we are unsettled with the leak of official confidential documents from the Technical Secretariat.”

"Amidst efforts to blame the Syrian government for chemical weapons use, Canadian officials lauded the OPCW and plowed tens of millions of dollars into the organization. A June 2017 Global Affairs release boasted that “Canada and the United States are the largest national contributors to the JIM [OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism for Attributing Responsibility for Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria].” The statement added that Canada “is the largest voluntary cash contributor to the organization, having provided nearly $25 million since 2012 to help destroy chemical weapons in Libya and Syria and to support special missions and contingency operations related to chemical weapons use, investigation, verification and monitoring in Syria.” Two months after the Douma incident Freeland announced a $7.5 million contribution to the OPCW in a statement heavily focused on Syria.In August Governor General Julie Payette even traveled to The Hague to push OPCW Director-General, Fernando Arias, on Syria. After a “meeting focused on OPCW activities in Syria,” Payette highlighted Canada’s “$23 million in voluntary funds for Syria-related activities.”

"Ottawa backed the group that produced the (probably staged) video purporting to show chemical weapons use in Douma. The Liberals backed the White Helmets diplomatically and financially. In a release about the purported attack in Douma Freeland expressed Canada’s “admiration for … the White Helmets,” later calling them “heroes.” Representatives of the White Helmet repeatedly came to Ottawa to meet government officials and Canadian officials helped members of the group escape Syria via Israel in July 2018. Alongside tens of millions of dollars from the US, British, Dutch, German and French governments, Global Affairs announced “$12 million for groups in Syria, such as the White Helmets, that are saving lives by providing communities with emergency response services and removing explosives....”

Posted by: bevin | Dec 27 2019 19:53 utc | 15

thanks bevin.. is doing good work..

Posted by: james | Dec 27 2019 19:59 utc | 16

To all those curious as to how Turkey can get their Uyghur and other Central Asian takfiris out of Idlib province before the Syrians get them, it's likely the Turks will push their proteges into agreeing to be bussed into camps in Turkish territory (in Hatay or other border areas) where "Syrian refugees" are already being hosted. There, the takfiris will be rebranded as "refugees" and at some later date will be sent out as boatpeople to Cyprus or Greece. From those places they may make their own way to Libya. All being done with false identities and papers.

Another route may be through Israel while the political situation there is still paralysed with the prospect of a third general election. Perhaps with that election. Takfiris masquerading as civilians needing medical care may be sent there, again with fake names and IDs, and then later despatched to Libya by air or by sea.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 27 2019 20:05 utc | 17

Those fighters can --hardened-- be easily sent back in reverse (again).

Posted by: bjd | Dec 27 2019 20:14 utc | 18

bjd #18

For those fighters there my be death waiting at home as many will be known and mighty unwelcome.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 27 2019 20:56 utc | 19

Meanwhile, in neighbooring Mali, France puts itself into another Vietnam-like swamp:

Germany TWICE rejects French plea for military aid in Mali as Paris keeps sending body bags home

“Jihadist groups that are active in the region enjoy significant freedom of movement, and can therefore act without any bounds while even enjoying support of the local population,” it said. “

Vast, sparsely populated areas with little or no state control bolster criminal and terrorist networks.”

Posted by: vk | Dec 27 2019 21:34 utc | 20

@17 Jen
sounds right to me. especially with geoffrey R. pyatt as the usa ambassador there.
Pyatt, Ukraine show runner

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 27 2019 22:43 utc | 21

Sorry all. US Ambassador to Greece.

Posted by: lex talionis | Dec 27 2019 22:49 utc | 22

@ bevin | Dec 27 2019 19:53 utc | 15

not only Canada... this was aired on Christmas Eve no less!

video & transcript

Posted by: Desolation Row | Dec 27 2019 22:51 utc | 23

Mm, not sure a few hundred foot soldiers will make any difference in both Libya and Syria. A case of too little too late. Unless Turkey brings heavy gear fast, Haftar is positioned to win the gig. The LNA stopped a Turkish vessel this week and there are reports Turkish ammo drops to Misrata get blown to smithereen. Also, where does Saif fit in all this?

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 27 2019 23:03 utc | 24

@20 vk. In Burkina Faso as well. 35 dead a few days ago:

Overlap where most attacks in the Sahel are occurring with known or potential gold deposits and well, you get the point..

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 27 2019 23:10 utc | 25

As has been previously discussed, the game is afoot in North Africa & Libya has always been a key part of North Africa - not that most Libyans want this, although they do have an impressive record of shielding the former brit & french colonies around them from further incursion by FUKUS. Colonel Ghadaffi worked hard to establish a bloc of resistance which is a major reason for oblamblam & clinton having him offed.

It is fair to conclude that the empire's preference is to have Libya continue in a state of chaos for as long as possible by encouraging & enabling both factions of local greedies to continue fighting each other for as long as possible.
The North Africa takeover is not going as smoothly as hoped with considerable resistance from locals in Niger, Mali & Burkina Faso. In fact more than the french special forces (with limited assistance from englander & amerikan butchers) can handle.
Macron dropped by over xmas to lean on the so-called leaders of Côte d’Ivoire and Niger, to try to persuade them to allow more foreign troops in to slaughter the indigenous population. He was not successful.
It is import to understand that islam is the prevailing religion in much of the population of North Africa, particularly among those regions where the FUK colonists never really got control. That makes it easy for 21st century imperialists to claim they are fighting 'jihadists' when all they are really fighting is a local population determined not to be driven off their land by whitey.

I have no idea what erdy's strategy is - maybe he wants to keep the former syria operating mercs out of Turkey but equally he could be cutting a deal with his nato bum-buddies on the qt. Remember erdy is trying to be on all sides at once as much as he can manage.

So he uses MB as a flimsy excuse to keep the pot boiling in Libya by lending support to the Sarraj Government of National Accord which is widely estimated to be on its last legs.
The longer the Libyan civil war runs, the longer it will be before a stable Libya asks the empire WTF they are doing in Libya's backyard.

Posted by: A User | Dec 28 2019 0:46 utc | 26

The most interesting snippet in this story is that b has detected some ambiguity in whether it was the GNA or some "other" entity which requested Turkish intervention in Libya. I suspect that the request came from US-NATO's thieves and vampires. Imo, NATO needs chaos in Libya to prevent the emergence of a government loyal to the Libyan People because a REAL Libyan Government will have a mandate to investigate NATO's crimes in Libya including the 'disappearance' of circa $1 Trillion in Gold bullion and Libya's Sovereign Wealth Fund cash (which was probably in Western Banks).

There's also the question of control/ownership of the communication satellite which Ghadaffi paid for to relieve North Africa of the need to pay usurious charges to the Euro Cartel for its satellite services.

Turkey's role will probably be to challenge Haftar's forces in Libya and call in NATO if Haftar looks like winning. The beaut thing about the NATO scam is that taxpayers fund the war-fighting and the owners of the M-IC pocket the profits and bonuses from arms sales and looting. So it's no skin off NATO's nose if they have to spend 3 or $4 Trillion to keep their dirty little $1 Trillion secrets secret.

I agree with b that this Libyan self-ambush by NATO will be good for Syria because there's no limit to the cash & resources NATO will feel obliged to throw at this particular Crusade/ Fake War.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 28 2019 1:18 utc | 27

@5 Willy2 | Dec 27 2019 17:14

In the old language it is called a 'retreat' -- but where to out of the cauldron? So, basically dump your (now) inconvenient mercenary head-chopping organ-eating garbage in a convenient disposal unit. They are being rounded up, shipped out, and sent to disappear into history as if it never happened -- like the Armenian genocide. What better plan than to 'support' the losing side in Libya?

Posted by: imo | Dec 28 2019 1:21 utc | 28

article from M. K. BHADRAKUMAR today on this topic.. there is a link on the bottom of his article that looks good too.. it's worth the quick read here..

Eastern Mediterranean is big enough for Turkey, Russia

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2019 1:28 utc | 29

that article at the end of bhadrakumars post is quite good.. here is a link to it..

A New Great Mediterranean Game

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2019 1:51 utc | 30

@ Posted by: james | Dec 28 2019 1:51 utc | 29 & 30

Thanks for the links and encouragement to read them. Given that Trump has gutted the US State Department, the only option left to America is bullying and more Afghanistan like quagmires to further increase the US debt burden on the public.

It is really hard to understand where the allegiances are and will evolve to in the near future but given Libya's oil I expect US interest will try and assert itself into the fray someway.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 28 2019 2:58 utc | 31

A couple of articles analyzing Turkish moves in the Mediterranean and Libya:



Posted by: ak74 | Dec 28 2019 3:37 utc | 32

@32 psychohistorian... hey! you are welcome! happy new year to you! the 2nd link - a new great Mediterranean game is quite good and helps answer your general question in the last sentence!

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2019 6:17 utc | 33

that article at the end of bhadrakumars post is quite good.. here is a link to it..
A New Great Mediterranean Game
Posted by: james | Dec 28 2019 1:51 utc | 30

I am afraid I was distinctly unimpressed by the Sisci article, which I found muddled, confused and contradictory. The author's abysmal English grammar makes for very disjointed reading, and if you are not careful obscures the persistent non sequiter relationship between successive sentences. It is rather more like a juxtaposition of random thoughts which do not sit together. If you reread it more carefully and avoid misdirection by the faulty grammar, I think you should see what I mean.

A perfectly plausible view of the Turkish action in Libya:

Erdogan made a big mistake geostrategically in his support for terrorism in Syria, and the likelihood of serious domestic terrorism blowback is very real. Turkey's best geostrategic interests lie in close cooperation with Russia and an ever-increasing distancing from the US, but continuing to cultivate the terrorists is inconsistent with that. On the other hand foresaking the terrorists will have the direct result that they will strike back in Turkey domestically, becoming a very serious internal problem.

So what is the best solution for Erdogan? It is easy to see that sending jihadis to Libya could potentially offer a release of pressure for Erdogan (that is, in somewhat reducing the scale of the problem but certainly not eliminating it). Certainly the last thing Erdogan wants as the game closes in on Idlib is tens of thousands of jihadis crossing into Turkey, while on the other hand blocking them from entering Turkey would incite the jihadis all the more against Turkey. So sending them to Libya may seem like good news for Syria but I certainly cannot wish them on poor Libya.

Another dimension is that Russia and Turkey are now the most important supporters of the opposing sides in Libya; if Turkey and Russia accommodate and put pressure on their sides to accommodate, they could both bring about a resolution to the conflict and win huge rewards from a resulting coalition government. What then happens to the jihadis in this scenario is unclear, though.

Posted by: BM | Dec 28 2019 13:28 utc | 34

"Jihadists" or "salafists" do not need to come from Syria....there is a good vivarium in Morocco...may be also related to French KIA....

The expansionist geopolitical project of the "Great Morocco" devised by the Salafist El Fassi: includes Western Sahara and intends to annex Mauritania, a third of Algeria and Mali, the Canary Islands and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

The expansionist geopolitical project of the "Great Morocco" devised by the Salafist El Fassi: includes Western Sahara and intends to annex Mauritania, a third of Algeria and Mali, the Canary Islands and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

The father of Moroccan nationalism, the Neosalafist politician El Fassi, includes the Canary Islands in his "Great Morocco" project. In closing, clarify that Morocco has never renounced this expansionist project with imperialist borders dreamed by El Fassi ".

Who is behind the strangely remaining Moroccan absolutist monarchy, which in the middle of widespread "Arab Spring" affecting each and every of its neighbors, continue, unchallenged, expelling its impoverished, unemployed, and absolutely lacking any future perspective youth population to Spain....?

Whose First Daughter visited recently Morocco in official visit?

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 28 2019 13:42 utc | 35

La géopolitique expliquée en 45 secondes.

Command-and-Control thinking vs. Systems thinking
Why it is often better to see the big picture rather than just carry out internal power fights.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 28 2019 13:46 utc | 36

Great article as usual, B!
A little disappointed that you didn't elaborate more on the players on the ground in Libya. Has their been a post on this that I've missed?
Seems US, Russia, Israhell & Greece back Haftar and Turkey and Qatar backing GNA?

Haftar is CIA's man. But so were the Jihadis in Syria. I find all of this somewhat confusing.

Posted by: Annie | Dec 28 2019 15:56 utc | 37

It's amazing that the Obama CIA failed coup in Turkey in 2016 could lead to such a personality change in Erdogan. It's almost like he (and Turkey, who has rallied around him) felt betrayed by the US. Failed coups, like elections, have consequences.

Posted by: Michael888 | Dec 28 2019 19:26 utc | 38

Does anyone know the reasoning behind not denying the "rebels" the use of the major roads if that is indeed the case? I'm sure there's a good reason no matter what, only curious.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 28 2019 21:06 utc | 39

@ 34 BM... i hear what you are saying with regard to the article..the writer is french, but it was translated into english? i am guessing... did you read bhadrakumars article where he linked to it @29??

i tend to agree with you on the set up with regard to turkey and erdogan.. erdogan made a mistake siding with the jihadis in syria and he is still trying to work it out.. that this move will produce more negative results for erdogan - i think you are right about this, but it looks good on the surface at the moment..

going back to the article in question, i still think it gives a really good overview of the wider perspective on what is happening in the area and i have seen no article do anything like that so far.. while you may not agree, i tend to agree with bhadrakumars take on the article which i will quote to encourage others to read - "Read Francesco Sisci’s masterly essay, A New Great Mediterranean Game'...

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2019 21:53 utc | 40

Why did the U.S. promote that failed coup in Turkey in 2016? The only reason I can think of is that Erdogan was supporting the Palestinians.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 28 2019 22:51 utc | 41

BM @34

Are the Jihadis an asset or a liability for their client states? If the former, then moving them to Libya is not to "release pressure" but to safeguard them and position them for future use (in Africa and elsewhere).

Erdogan made a big mistake geostrategically in his support for terrorism in Syria ...

Erdogan's joining with USA/NATO partners + Gulf States + Israeli against Syria looked like a smart bet at the time and was entirely consistent with Erdo's Islamist outlook and dreams of Ottoman restoration.

The key question (and one which has been debated quite a bit at moa) is whether Erdogan will ever abandon his Islamist/Ottoman orientation and be the partner that Russia/Putin hopes for. Usually the response to my cynical view of Erdogan is that: 1) Erdo didn't order the downing of the Russian warplane and 2) that Putin saved Erdo from the apparent attempted coup in 2016. But now we have some evidence that the first of these asserts may be false and real reason to question the second assertion - does a grateful ally act like this?

Russian policy and Russian strategy aren’t the same thing; there are differences of assessment of Turkish intentions and capabilities between the Russian General Staff, the Foreign Ministry, and the Kremlin. As the gap between them has widened, the Stavka (Defence Ministry, General Staff) has muted public reporting of its views. The sharpness of this divergence broke into view following publication a few days ago, on November 26, by Nordic Monitor of leaked Turkish Government documents; these show that Erdogan had known in advance, and had approved, the ambush of the Russian Su-24 aircraft over Syria on November 24, 2015.

. . .

On November 27, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, defended Turkish violations of the latest Putin-Erdogan agreement on northern Syria, claiming the Turks change their minds and positions “by the hour”.

... the likelihood of serious domestic terrorism blowback is very real.

Erdo is probably more concerned with political blowback than terrorism as much of his political support is Islamist/Turk Nationalist. But Erdo has concentrated power so well that he should be more than capable of weathering the storm.

Turkey's best geostrategic interests lie in close cooperation with Russia and an ever-increasing distancing from the US ...

Erdogan has done well for himself and Turkey by playing both sides. The fact that Turkey is much more dependent economically on EU than Russia is an important fact that those who claim that "Erdogan is turning east!" conveniently forget.

... but continuing to cultivate the terrorists is inconsistent with that.

Maybe in the long run, when/if Russia+China demonstrate that they are clear winners. For now, the the Empire has many advantages and their downfall is not inevitable.

On the other hand foresaking the terrorists ... [risks their] becoming a very serious internal problem.

As Jen has pointed out several times, a large number of fighters in Syria (and Libya) are Turkish. Erdogan likely sees this proxy army as an ASSET, not a liability that needs to be cleaned up.

Who benefits from this asset? Ultimately, it's likely to be USA/NATO. Jihadi mercenaries destabilize countries that USA/NATO want to conquer (via humanitarian intervention to fight the Jihadis).

... sending jihadis to Libya could potentially offer a release of pressure for Erdogan ...

Until the OPCW scandal broke in November-December 2019, I would've argued that USA+Turkey would support the Jihadis in Idlib, probably after a false-flag.

But now, a false-flag seems unlikely and the Jihadis need to be evacuated to where they can be more useful.

USA may secretly be supportive of the transfer of Jihadis to Libya and the safe haven provided to them.

... Russia and Turkey are now the most important supporters of the opposing sides in Libya ... [they could] win huge rewards from a resulting coalition government.

That seems to be very unlikely as Russia sees defeating the Jihadis as a strategic necessity while Erdogan uses the MB-Jihadis as a strategic resource.

What then happens to the jihadis in this scenario is unclear, though.

IMO, in any scenario, Jihadis will be nurtured until either the Empire or the upstarts (Russia and China) are defeated. We already see them being used in Afghanistan, Iran, and Africa.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2019 0:09 utc | 42

@ 34 BM... i hear what you are saying with regard to the article..the writer is french, but it was translated into english? i am guessing... did you read bhadrakumars article where he linked to it @29??

i tend to agree with you on the set up with regard to turkey and erdogan.. erdogan made a mistake siding with the jihadis in syria and he is still trying to work it out.. that this move will produce more negative results for erdogan - i think you are right about this, but it looks good on the surface at the moment..
Posted by: james | Dec 28 2019 21:53 utc | 40

Sisci is obviously Italian not French, he was writing in English, and his grammar is not that good. I have no problem with that per se, as long as he gets his ideas straight. My complaint is that I don't believe he has a clear idea about how the various pieces fit together - if his grammar was better that would be more obvious - the grammar problem is masking the conception problem. I read the Bhadrakumar article, but I think Bhadrakumar is very variable - he writes excellent pieces occasionally, sometimes quite good pieces, quite often very mediocre, occasionally seriously flawed.

I agree with the concept that there is a "new Great Mediteranean Game", but (a) I think it was inadequately thought out and badly presented; and (b) that aspect is only one of several very important issues related to the matter of Turkey's actions in Libya, of which the article made no mention and no balancing.

And no, I didn't say the Libya venture will have negative results for Erdogan, only that it will be (wildly) insufficient to resolve the domestic blowback from Syria jihadis. I think is will have mainly beneficial results for Erdogan's interests (possibly even extremely good results, if he cooperates with Russia in settling the Libya conflict) - but only if my interpretation of his basic motives is correct and he does not go all-out (in which case I think it will be a huge disaster for him).

Posted by: BM | Dec 29 2019 6:03 utc | 43

Look James, Jackrabbit disagrees with me and even tries to pick me apart sentence by sentence, so I must be right! ; )

Posted by: BM | Dec 29 2019 6:06 utc | 44

thanks BM.. i hadn't read a perspective like that on the importance of the mediterranean sea countries before.. if you come across a better presentation of this new great med game, let me know..

my concern is erdogan continues to appear to play a game where he is wanting to play russia off against the usa.. that is what it looks like to me.. i would like to be wrong on this.. if he is in russias corner - great... but the set up here looks like what i have seen in the past in syria..

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2019 6:26 utc | 45

re: Veritas X- | Dec 27 2019 16:37 utc @ 2


It appears the...(Hhmm), MIT-turk intel didn't like the prolific minute-by-minute reporting being done by my #2 choice for info regarding Syria & turk-headchoppers.
Y.N.M.S (@ynms79797979) got his twitter account compromised and shut it down, permanently:

HERE is YNMS's new account:

I will post additional information on the *Open Thread* in a few minutes.

Posted by: Veritas X- | Dec 29 2019 9:27 utc | 46

I fail to understand how sending more djihadists to the Sahel playground will help anyone. Macron went to the Ivory Coast for Xmas to support Ouattara, now campaigning for reelection and re-assert his complete submission to the US goals in West Africa, and they announced the creation of an "Academy" (TM) of counter-terrorism...

Posted by: Mina | Dec 29 2019 17:22 utc | 47

BM 44: Jackrabbit disagrees with me

Not entirely.

I think the core of what you've proposed is right: Turkey is extracting and repositioning Jihadis.

The Libyan adventurism is a perfect excuse for that.

I just disagree about whether this will be done because they are a danger to Erdogan/Turkey or because they are an asset being moved around the chessboard. My perspective is informed by USA+Turk rearranging of the chessboard in NE Syria just two months ago. Turkey made use of thousands of Jihadis in that operation.

I should've made that more clear. My apologies.

I elaborated point-by-point to better illustrate my perspective and add info that some readers might find interesting.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2019 18:12 utc | 48

james @45: play russia off against the usa

Yup! And what's striking about this 'playing' is how it is strategically adverse to Russian interest. The Russians want to end Jihadi terrorism which the West has weaponized.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2019 18:20 utc | 49

Very interesting all this mercenary transporting from one battlefield to another in another country.If you, have nothing better to do look on flightradar or the like what is flying between Turkey and Libya.

I do not know much about aircraft and do not want to board such invention,having flown twice in my twenties though.But where I live,for years I heard some evenings on the week a steady-going slow and heavymotored aircraft ,about the same time,and I said to my wife,maybe it's military courrier between bases,some relic from the cold war.So, a few years ago,when I heard about flightradar tracking aircraft in realtime,of course I tried it on the sound coming from heaven that I was used to by now,and was astonished to find out that it went to Misrata,in Libya,the airfield of its departure not named.
The airplane itself,was an Antonov,so I found out.But it turned out to be more than one type that flew slow,and with a deep motor humming,because Hercules and Airbus 400M make about the same noise.Any ways,those voyages are often north-south right over my head,coming from Belgium or the Netherlands.Of course they are all cargo-planes,military use them a lot.
Just two hours ago,when closing chickenshack and volets,I heard but could not see some heavy motor humming flying south-north.Inside I put on flightradar and found out it was an Antonov,Ukranian flagged,coming from Hassi Messaoud in Algeria,going to Liège , Antonov.So I look up Hassi Messaoud,no departures except Algerian ones.I looked up Liège Airport,arrivals from Doha,Memphis,Tel Aviv London,no Ukranian planes.So I look up Liège military airport,Bierset.I suppose it has gone there.But what do they transport from Hassi Messaoud,which by the way is rather close to the Tunesian and Libyan borders? And what do they transport north-south over all those years?

I forgot to mention that I live in the East of France,and although it is a quite natural environment,not crowded at all ,overheads up in the air it's an enormous crossroads of aircraft.It makes one think about the lives of all the business-man,bankers,politicians that go to an fro between Geneva Frankfurt Zurich London,Milan-Brussels,I suppose they take the plane on a daily basis ,to go home after work,not to mention the holiday people Amsterdam-Alicante,Dortmund-Malaga,Paris-Athens,London-Izmir they are all up there,over my head.yes I can tell you that even Chicago-Dubai,New York Doha and Montreal Bombay find it necesaary to fly above my garden,making a lot of noise and spewing their gasses,without even noticing my Piment d'Espelette and tomatoes.
So go look for Ukranian aircraft in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Posted by: willie | Dec 29 2019 18:39 utc | 50

While my>west coast bus tours of usa, I read this article and really like the stuff.

Posted by: Flora | Jan 13 2020 5:19 utc | 51

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