Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 19, 2020

Syria - Turkey's Bluff Is Called - Media Opposition Sources Run By British Intelligence

Russia has called Turkey's bluff of a wide ranging attack on Syrian government forces. The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will now have to find a way out of the Idleb trap he set himself in. His excellent Syria adventure is coming to an end.

Meanwhile we learn that the British military intelligence ran another large dis-information campaign that brought 'Syrian voices' into the 'western' press.

Erdogan continues with his wild rhetoric over Syria.

#ERDOGAN: "#Turkey cannot be confined within the 780,000 km2 border. #Misrata, #Aleppo, #Homs & #Hasaka are outside our actual borders, but they are within our emotional & physical limits, we will confront those who limit our history to only 90yrs."

The Turkish talks with Russia have not gone well. Russia had proposed the following points:

1- 16-km border strip in Idlib under Turkey control
2- Russia controls crossing between Idlib strip and Afrin
3- M4 and M5 opened under joint Russian-Turkish supervision
4- Retreat of observation points to border strip

Some ten of Turkey's observation points are currently surrounded by the Syrian army. If Turkey starts to escalate they will be in a dire situation.


Turkey rejected the Russian proposal:

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 19 that talks with Russia on the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib were far from meeting Turkey's demands and warned that a military operation there was a "matter of time".

"As with all [previous] operations, we say 'we could suddenly come one night.' In other words, an Idlib operation is a matter of time," Erdoğan said. He was referring to the previous three Turkish operations to northern Syria since 2016.

"We are entering the last days for the [Syrian] regime to stop its hostility in Idlib. We are making our final warnings," he added. “Turkey has made all preparations to carry out its own operation plans in Idlib."

Russia called a Turkish attack the worst case scenario:

The Kremlin spokesman added that "if it is an operation against Syria’s legitimate authorities and armed forces, it will definitely be the worst scenario."

Russia will continue contacts with Turkey in order to prevent the situation in Idlib from escalating further, according to Peskov.

"We are determined to continue to use our working contacts with our Turkish counterparts to prevent the situation in Idlib from escalating further," he said.

Two hours after it published the above the Russian agency TASS also published this:

Two Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 strategic bombers have performed a scheduled flight over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

"During the flight, the crews covered a distance of about 4,500 km and stayed in the air for more than five hours," the statement runs.

Fighter jets of Russia’s Southern Military District escorted the bombers during the flight.

The Tu-22M3 can fire long range cruise missiles. The Turkish military will understand that warning.

The Russians are also prodding Erdogan with reports about U.S. weapon deliveries to PKK-Kurds in east Syria:

“The US command in the region is intensively saturating the territory east of the Euphrates river with weapons and ammunition. Since the beginning of 2020, 13 military convoys have arrived from Iraq to Syria, which included over 80 armored vehicles and more than 300 trucks loaded with various types of weapons, ammunition and materiel”, Rear Adm. Oleg Zhuravlev said in a daily briefing.

Reports now speak of more than a million refugees in Idleb even as the pre-war population of Idleb governorate never exceeded 1.5 million. Many of those already fled during the early war either to government held areas or to Turkey and beyond. Where are the million reported now supposed to have come from?

The 'western' media is again practicing tear jerking about these refugees in Idleb. But its reports forget to mention that al-Qaeda rules Idleb and that it prevents the people from crossing the line into Syrian government held areas:

In yet another lengthy, expensive, lavishly illustrated story about Idlib, the NYT once again failed to make any mention of the politics of what is happening in that enclave of northwestern Syria– namely, the fact that well-armed jihadist/takfiri fighters from all around the world have controlled it for the past several years, while Syria’s government forces have been battling to regain control.

In that latest article, as in all of the lengthy, one-sided tearjerkers it has published about Idlib over the past year, the NYT has no actual journalists or photographers on the ground reporting the story. It is wholly reliant instead  on “stories” and footage it gathers from unverifiable sources inside the enclave– sources who notably never include any mention of the jihadi armed groups that control all aspects of life there.

Today we learn that many of these unverifiable sources have been on the British government payroll since at least 2012:

A number of leaked documents seen by Middle East Eye show how the propaganda initiative began in 2012 and gathered pace the following year, shortly after the UK parliament refused to authorise British military action in Syria.

Drawing upon British, American and Canadian funding, UK government contractors set up offices in Istanbul and Amman, where they hired members of the Syrian diaspora, who in turn recruited citizen journalists inside Syria.
During 2015, Free Syria, Syrian Identity and Undermine were funded in both British pounds and Canadian dollars, with the equivalent of around £410,000 ($540,000) being spent each month.

These 'sources' which were hired and instructed by the UK government are the ones quoted in 'western' papers. The whole scheme, like the British organized 'White Helmets', was run by military intelligence officers:

Individuals familiar with the project say that around nine companies were invited to bid for the contracts. They included a number of firms established by former British diplomats, intelligence officers and army officers.

Although the contracts were awarded by the UK’s foreign office, they were managed by the country’s Ministry of Defence, and sometimes by military intelligence officers.

These companies set up offices in Amman, Istanbul and, for a period, at Reyhanli in southeast Turkey. From here they would employ Syrians who would in turn recruit citizen journalists inside Syria, who were under the impression that they were working for the media offices of Syrian opposition groups.

The British intelligence also hired journalists to write 'Syrian rebel' propaganda stories. Britain also organized and directed the opposition's spokespersons:

Meanwhile, other leaked documents seen by MEE show that the British government had awarded contracts to communications companies, which selected and trained opposition spokespeople, ran press offices that operated 24 hours a day, and developed opposition social media accounts.

British staff running these offices were told that their Syrian employees were permitted to talk to British journalists – as spokespeople for the Syrian opposition – but only after receiving clearance from officials at the British consulate in Istanbul.

One of the responsibilities of the press offices set up covertly by the British government under the terms of these contracts was to “maintain an effective network of correspondents/stringers inside Syria to report on MAO [moderate armed opposition] activity”.

In this way, the British government was able to exert behind-the-scenes influence over conversations that the UK media was having with individuals who presented themselves as Syrian opposition representatives.

It wasn't just UK media who cited those persons. The whole 'civil opposition movement' was, like the 'White Helmets', a well organized and paid British government front. But when Turkey increased its role in Syria the British dis-information operation began to shut down:

British government enthusiasm for much of the work appears to have begun to wane as it became increasingly clear that the Assad government and its Russian and Iranian allies were winning the civil war, and funding for contracts began to dry up.

Early in 2019, the Free Syrian Police, a British-backed organisation, finally ceased operations following a militant takeover of Idlib province, much to the dismay of civilians and civil society activists.

The Turkish government is also said to have become less tolerant of the propaganda initiatives being co-ordinated from its territory.

One British contractor is understood to have been expelled after the Turkish authorities discovered she had entered the country on a tourist visa.

That Turkey's government became less tolerant to the British operation may also explain the death of the British military intelligence officer who ran the 'White Helmets' propaganda group from his apartment in Istanbul.


Posted by b on February 19, 2020 at 15:58 UTC | Permalink

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Hausmeister | Feb 20 2020 16:31 utc | 191
No one qestions that Western Europa cannot take these migrants infinetely.

I think you are already past the point of no return. People have difficulties understanding exponential growth.

Let's pick a crude model where an average immigrant family has 4 kids while an average ethnic German family has 1 kid. Let's pick a random Reuters info about immigrant population in Germany. Assume immigrants and their kids are 20% population for the sake of simplicity (it is more). Assume we are talking only population in reproductive age (it's even worse in that group). Assume immigration stops today completely (it won't). That means in the next generation there will be 40% of immigrant kids and grandkids and only 40% of ethnic Germans (where 100% is current population, so the population will be 80% of the current population). In the third generation it will be 80% immigrant descendants and 20% descendants of current ethnic Germans. (and population will be back to 100% of current level).
That's an extremely simplistic model but it should give you an idea. I doubt you can assimilate at that pace. BTW, math is extremely racist in case you did not know.

If you doubt what I wrote we can come back to this discussion in 30-40 years from now, if I will be still alive.

If a country like Germany is in a partnership with others for illegal regime change and has the favourable position to seem to be a bit aside, just deliver weapons in an indirect way, this country is kind of obliged to absorb some refugees created by such a war.

Wait, so you say it is OK to be a dick in one way but is not OK to be a dick in another way ? Being half-moral is just an excuse to be amoral. It is attributed to Bismarck that people should not know how politics and sausages are made anyway.

Watch a 2016 marinetraffic video about NGO smuggling immigrants to Europe on industial scale under "saving shipwreck survivors" guise.

Your alt-right correctly sees the problem but they are not in a position to fix it. Guns are not a solution, policy setting is. As you can see by yourself guns put alt-right in bad light preventing them from gaining political power. That's why I would be absolutely not surprised if Hanau thing turns out to be a psyop. The Brunon Kwiecień affair I mentioned earlier was used in Poland to denigrate right wing parties. Not sure if you noticed but the guy conveniently died soon after being convicted.

The whole regime change thing has been a catalysator for political decay in the West.
Doubt it. It's just your government do not need to care for the general population anymore, aside from being elected and not triggering social unrest. Panem et circenses if it rings any bell.

Posted by: pppp | Feb 20 2020 19:02 utc | 201

Proper framing and spin:

"Erdogan Killed 2 More Turkish Army Soldiers to Defend al-Qaeda in Idlib."

It doesn't get more honest than that. Interesting to know how many Turks see it that way.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 19:12 utc | 202

"10-20 tons of fuel have the energy of 30-60 tons of explosives (air oxygen instead of oxygenators), enough to crumble concrete sheathing the metal supporting elements and soften the metal."

One gallon of gasoline has the energy of 15 sticks of dynamite. Somehow my car's engine, which is mostly just aluminum, avoids being reduced to a shiny puddle.

Anyway, cute story, but it is illogical. The structural steel holding the towers up was not fireproofed with concrete, but with asbestos. Indeed, this asbestos is why applications were made for permits to demolish the buildings. Some of this asbestos would have been dislodged by ballistic debris from the initial impacts, but that is hardly the major issue. The fires were brief and diffuse and the structural columns very large. The black smoke indicated that fires were oxygen starved and thus rather cool. Even if we assume the fires were concentrated around the columns themselves, they had mostly burned out well before the buildings collapsed. Had the steel been heated sufficiently to impair its strength, then it would have cooled significantly by the time that the collapse occurred. What happens when you heat steel and allow it to cool? It develops even greater hardness than it had before it was heated.

No, if the collapse was due to the structural steel being weakened by heating, then it would have occurred at the point of peak heating... essentially within seconds of the airliner impact.

Once again, the collapse occurring due to the structural steel columns supporting the towers being weakened by heating is not the official story. That is because it is not believable. The official story is that the floors failed, not the support columns.

The official story is problematic because a couple floors failing would be insufficient to buckle the support columns. Several would need to fail. This is further complicated by the fact that the floors would be seen to fail before changes were seen to occur in the upper portions of the structure, but that is not what the video evidence shows. Oddly, the antenna on tower one, which was mounted directly on the top of one of the structural steel columns, was seen to begin falling significantly before any changes were seen in the rest of the structure. Somehow that particular column failed before any floors collapsed! Weird!

Anyway, whatever caused the collapse, it was the greatest stroke of luck for Lucky Larry Silverstein... a godsend, really.

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 20 2020 19:24 utc | 203

pppp | Feb 20 2020 19:02 utc | 201

"Wait, so you say it is OK to be a dick in one way but is not OK to be a dick in another way ?"

No, I just described what happens. No evaluation.

"It's just your government do not need to care for the general population anymore, aside from being elected and not triggering social unrest."

In short form: as long as the government follows a neoliberal policy, undisputedly a right wing thing, the alt-right has the practical function of pushing the frightened masses into the one particular direction where for sure no solution can be obtained. Alt-right means then simply cementing the status quo in a way that the victims may get luck by squeezing imagined deplorables (migrants). Bootlicking is their identity.

Our real problems have nothing to do with ethnically interpreted demographic math.

karlof1 | Feb 20 2020 19:12 utc | 202

Thanks a lot for this link. Short, but impressive.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 20 2020 19:28 utc | 204

Posted by: arby | Feb 20 2020 18:02 utc | 200
Crickets make louder logical sounds than the expected answer to that question.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Feb 20 2020 19:42 utc | 205

arby @200

"can you please answer Tom_LX @197 's question. What made WTC #7 fall down exactly like the other two buildings."

Structural and material engineers who studied the collapse of WTC7 conclude it was the intense fire fueled by diesel fuel stored in the building that eventually weakened the steel supporting structures and initiated the collapse. Then gravity did the rest. Seems plausible.

Posted by: Carciofi | Feb 20 2020 19:50 utc | 206

William Gruff "It develops even greater hardness than it had before it was heated."

Heating steel to curie temperature then allowing to air cool is termed normalizing. I do this at times to soften hardened steel. Apart from some tool steels, high tensile steels are heated to curie temp or slightly above then quenched. The steel is then tempered. Tempering temp depends on what hardness and toughness is required. Reheating to below tempering temp will make no difference to strength when steel has cooled. Heating above its tempering temp, the steel will be softer when it cools.
If the steel has not been heat treated, then there will be no difference in room temp strength before and after heating.
A heat treated high strength steel can lose a great deal of its strength if it is heated close to curie temp as not only is the steel itself more maluable, but it loses the extra strength it had gained through heat treatment.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 20 2020 20:38 utc | 207

Hausmeister | Feb 20 2020 19:28 utc | 204

Now it's you talking riddles. You do not name problems you see as your real ones.

I do not blame migrants, they do what is good for them. What I am saying is your first problem is not having kids and only secondary your problem is replacing those missing kids by migrants.

Carciofi | Feb 20 2020 19:50 utc | 206
It is a statistical impossibility for all beams to break at the same time. There will always be some delay and imbalance, so it is impossible for a building to fall within it's contour. Once again I tell you to watch how Plasco building fell though you might need to to find a video shot from another angle.

Posted by: pppp | Feb 20 2020 20:57 utc | 208

William Gruff | Feb 20 2020 19:24 utc | 203 and others

One plausible theory that was proposed just after the twin towers is the following: In fact every second floor had explosives. If all of them exploded one after the other then this would actually slow the rate of fall, due to pressure build up. There had to be a "gap".

So where were the explosives?. The theory suggests that they were hidden in the suspended ceiling, originally made of plaster panels, weighing 6 kilos (or lbs but my memory isn't clear on this point). ie, lots of premined panels with military style explosives inside, wired to explode as a"floor" at a time. Timing would have to be carefully worked out OR some "pressure activated switch installed.

How did they get there? It was a fact that the ceiling panels in one tower had beeen changed in the week before 9/11. (Two weeks before for the second tower.) The surveillance systems were switched OFF during the work, (naturally /s), so the "workers" could not be identified later.

No need for complexity, they just needed to cover up who the "contractors" were, who carried out the work.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 20 2020 22:03 utc | 209

911 is OT fellas. The crime itself in nearly every particular is transparent and well analyzed elsewhere... BTW bldg 6 also collapsed spontaneously. Who did it, how, why and all . entirely obvious...just eliminate the impossible and consider the lies. Corbett has it covered...but see YT "On the Morning of 9/11 - The Truth In 5 Minutes - James Corbett" To save time. Otherwise goto Corbett and look>

9/11 Trillions: Follow The Money

9/11 War Games

9/11 Whistleblowers

9/11 Suspects

PTech and the 9/11 Software


Then ask the hard questions...

Posted by: Walter | Feb 20 2020 22:44 utc | 210

911 fantasy land seems to have slipped into the thread. Erdo's fantasy of a new ottoman empire looks to be turning into a bit of a nightmare for him. Cant go forward, cant go back.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 20 2020 22:56 utc | 211

Turkey has requested the US provide air support over Idlib and related areas.

I suspect that the US neocons are pushing Erdogan to keep escalating the situation. They hope to get a fight going between Syria and Turkey so that they can then persuade Turkey to invoke Chapter 5 of the NATO Charter, which would authorize the US to support Turkey in attacking Syria. This also risks a conflict between the US/Turkey on one side and Russia/Syria on the other - which risks escalating to WWIII.

However, I doubt that will happen. Russia can threaten Erdogan with a lot of economic and military pain - more than he is likely to accept just to get some land in Syria. Russia can reimpose the sanctions it imposed after Turkey shot down the Russian jet. It can also ruin Turkey's acquisition of the S-400. It can cut off Russian tourism to Turkey. There are probably other things it can do as well.

Militarily, Turkey is not going to want to start a war with Russia, even inside Syria where Turkey has the capability to send in tens of thousands of troops. Also, if Turkey invades Syria, they end up with a massive insurgency which would involve not only Syrian forces, but all those Iranian and Iraqi militia - including Hezbollah forces - that have been fighting the jihadists. With direct Russian support at that. Turkey could not win that game without direct US support. Again, while the US neocons may want that scenario to develop, I think Russia can put enough pressure on Erdogan to derail that before it can happen.

But we'll see.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Feb 20 2020 23:06 utc | 212

Erdogan looks incredibly weak by crawling to Uncle Sam on his hands and knees, begging for Patriot missile batteries (aren't those primarily defensive in nature and of little use in stopping a ground attack?)

Putin and Assad should take advantage of the next 24-48 hours and quickly retake as much of Idlib as possible, just in case the neo-cons take advantage. Perhaps bomb a Turkish observation post or two "by accident" similar to how the US accidentally bombed the Chinese embassy in Sarajevo back in the Bosnian war.

Posted by: Chris | Feb 21 2020 0:40 utc | 213

Art. 5 can only be used when one is subjected to aggression, not when some member decides to go on a rampage and gets his ass handed to him. Even if one wanted to stretch the notion of "armed attack", it's quite implicit that it would mean an attack inside one's own territory (say, if Russia decides to hit inside Turkey), not an attack on one's own forces while they're busy fighting in *another* country.
Some members might try to cheat, but I don't think the Alliance would survive for long if it happened. Some members would get out, because it would mean that NATO would have become an offensive alliance, not a defensive one, and that other countries' forces could then be used as, basically, mercenaries by the most daring members.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Feb 21 2020 1:05 utc | 214

Not a good time for Erdo. Nato allies patting him on the back with one hand, holding a rainbow flag in the other and saying - we're behind you all the way.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2020 1:33 utc | 215

Even if they were of any use, asking for Patriot missile batteries sounds like a bad joke, if it's true. It's not like going down to the corner store and picking up a couple of missile batteries. Such a thing would take months (and apparently the US did not have Patriot missile batteries at its own base at Ayn al Assad), and who would be operating them? Beyond the fact that they barely seem to work.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 21 2020 1:41 utc | 216

Most stuff about the wtc is fantasy, like gruffs magical properties of steel. All great stuff to take eyes away from any investigation. saudi nationals saudi money bandar bush.. whats next...

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2020 2:55 utc | 217

Gruff @ 203 and others

The real method of the WT towers' demolition was explained in a series of videos by a Russian ex-military specialist not long after 9/11. These seem to have been "disappeared" and all I could find was this from the author.

People argue endlessly about the towers collapse and yet none of the prevailing theories can explain how thousands of tons of steel. glass and office contents turned into a microscopic dust (except one Saudi passport - lol).

This does.

Posted by: augrr | Feb 21 2020 3:52 utc | 218

Richard Steven Hack | Feb 20 2020 23:06 utc | 212

"Turkey has requested the US provide air support over Idlib and related areas."

How do you know that? Your interpretation or do you have a source?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 21 2020 5:58 utc | 219

re Herr Ringbone | Feb 20 2020 16:15 utc | 187
sorry to be so slow responding but only just noticed your post Ringbone.

My response to your ludicrous claim that just because german speaking citizens moved into the sudetenland, it should be part of Germany rather than Czechoslovakia is, Where is the Sudetenland now?
It is part of the Czech republic which is as it should be. The sad coda to that is, all the nazis succeeded at was ensuring post ww2, german speakers were driven out. That need not have happened and likely wouldn't have happened were it not for the nazis. The Czechs had every right to feel aggrieved by the entire process since the migration occurred when the Czechs were trampled under the boot heel of the Austro-Hungarian empire which was run by a german speaking monarchist oligarchy. The Czechs had no say in any of it.
While many German speaking Sudetenlanders fell for the nasty Nazi spiel (maybe your forebears?)many did not, further as I said above once the third reich did move in Sudetenlanders realised that they were now living in a far more oppressive society than they were in before the nazi takeover.

I believe it is an excellent example because it is like the Turkmen in Syria who have been settled there for generations, but have absolutely no right to become part of Turkey - in fact that is why I selected Sudetenland not Rhineland.

Just because a mob of people are permitted to move into an area, it does not give them the right to sequester that territory.
Saying it does is saying Dutch ancestry Boers should have had the right to steal the lands they invaded in what is now South Africa from the existing indigenous population, who following apartheid pass laws they outnumbered, or worse that it is OK for israel to steal Palestinian land and call it their own.

Posted by: A User | Feb 21 2020 6:09 utc | 220

Still no meeting between Erdo and Putin. Erdo messed up big this time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2020 7:41 utc | 221

peter au.. i have given over to reading the 2 main turkish papers... it offers a particular perspective... here is a circulating comment..

"Russian officials have said they hold Turkey responsible for the collapse of the cease-fire deal, saying Ankara had not held up its end to rein in militants who continued attacking Syrian and Russian targets.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Feb. 20 rejected the Russian assertion, saying Ankara was making progress against radical groups in Idlib when the regime launched its offensive."

at least they are printing that for the turkish public..

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2020 8:35 utc | 222

@Chris 213

The Chinese embassy was bombed in Belgrad during the NATO-instigated Kosovo War in 1999, not Sarajevo (Bosnia)

Posted by: Vato | Feb 21 2020 8:52 utc | 223

Erdo's fantasy of a new ottoman empire looks to be turning into a bit of a nightmare for him.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 20 2020 22:56 utc | 211

That is, supposing he ever really had that fantasy, which is more one of Western conspiracy theorists, and Great Gamers playing the world chess game (especially blog commenters). Not that the idea is totally without support from Turkish govt sources, but it is wildly exaggerated, and in fact died a number of years ago. As usual, Erdogan's actual purposes are more defensive, though that doesn't make them more justified.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 21 2020 9:25 utc | 224

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 21 2020 5:58 utc | 219

"How do you know that? Your interpretation or do you have a source?"

This is a source i found : Turkey requests US conduct aerial patrols near Idlib as Assad's forces close in

Extremely shameless by the Turks i must say. Disgusting really. Anyway one can hope that this ceasefire charade ends as soon as possible and the SAA is allowed to continue liberating territories currently occupied by Turkey in Idlib and beyond.

Of the highest importance to those living in the West is to push the governments against any interference in Syria on the side of Turkey.

Posted by: redrooster | Feb 21 2020 10:39 utc | 225

Photo – An “innocent Idlib civilian” Issa Dawoud in a Turkey-supplied APC.
Video – Same “innocent Idlib civilian” proudly displaying the severed head of a Syrian soldier. (Warning: graphic video.)

Posted by: S | Feb 21 2020 11:06 utc | 226

Walter @ 210 says:

BTW bldg 6 also collapsed spontaneously. Who did it, how, why and all . entirely obvious...

no, WTC6 didn't collapse either, but was strangely hollowed out, and no, there was not 8 stories of rubble in the bottom of that hole...(love the nice clean dome of WFC2, though).

odd that who did it, how, why and all is so obvious to you considering you don't even know what happened.

Posted by: john | Feb 21 2020 11:23 utc | 227

Arguing about the WTC towers in this thread is the behaviour one would expect from a troll, whose aim is to derail the thread.

This includes BOTH sides of the argument.

Any regular here involved in a WTC argument is indistinguishable from a troll whose aim is to derail the thread

Posted by: FFS | Feb 21 2020 12:11 utc | 228

"Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing a Russian-backed Syrian offensive are being squeezed into ever smaller areas near Turkey's border "under horrendous conditions" in freezing temperatures that are killing babies and young children, the UN humanitarian chief said Wednesday."

CBC buys into the narrative

Rebels (terrorists) = good
Syria (Bashar al-Assad) = bad

Next thing you know we'll be reading that Syrian soldiers are throwing babies out of incubators.

Posted by: Carciofi | Feb 21 2020 12:50 utc | 229

@Vato - thanks for the correction. I had forgotten the details of that incident.

The more I think about it, the SAA has every right to bomb that observation post that was used to launch artillery fire at them into rubble. It would send a message to Erdogan. And allow for more gains in the vicinity without facing more artillery fire from the Turks.

@Carciofi - the usual suspects are coming out of the woodwork now that they're facing the end of the Syrian conflict and the failure of all that government sponsored terrorism to achieve anything other than death and misery for the Syrian people. The complete lack of self-awareness to see that their own governments (Canada, US, UK) have prolonged the war by funneling arms and money to the jihadis is stunning. Such folks truly fit the term "useful idiots."

Posted by: Chris | Feb 21 2020 14:08 utc | 230

Chris @230: (Canada, US, UK) have prolonged the war

Prolonged? They started it.

Five eyes plus Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey. German and France were also almost certainly involved or went along.

Tens of billions of dollars wasted. Tens of thousands killed or injured. Millions displaced. Whole cities in ruins.

Why? What Western democratic citizenry wanted this? None. But our governments are now run by a Zionist NWO cult of anti-democratic Empire-builders that piss on us and tell us it's raining.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2020 14:51 utc | 231

FFS | Feb 21 2020 12:11 utc | 228

Seems to self-apply, Comrade. I do appreciate the ad hominem.

The crime's transparent, more so than Kennedy liquidations.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 21 2020 15:53 utc | 232

Ask Canada's Guaido-like prime minister Justin Trudeau why Canada is part of this crusade and he likely hasn't a clue. If Canada was truly a sovereign country with its own foreign policy it would join Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta, and Sweden and Switzerland as militarily Non-aligned states. Instead Canada is militarily joined at the hip with the US and it's five eyes group. Why? Because long ago it accepted a pack with the devil in exchange for US P
protection and trade benefits.

Posted by: Carciofi | Feb 21 2020 15:55 utc | 233

Below is a short posting from Reuters

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said he will speak by phone with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Friday evening and, based on those talks, will determine Turkey’s stance on the military conflict in northwest Syria’s Idlib region.

Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said the French and German leaders had proposed to hold a four-way summit with Russia but that Putin had not yet responded. He repeated Turkey was not withdrawing its forces from Idlib.

Erdogan also said Turkey was continuing work setting up housing for Syrian migrants in a 30-35 km (19-22 mile) “safe zone” in Syria along the border with Turkey.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 21 2020 16:02 utc | 234

@ WG 184: john 194; Piotr Berman 195; Tom_LX 197; arby 200 et al debating 9/11 controlled demolition theories.

in 60 years the truth will be told. Some see 9/11 as the biggest bank heist in the history of mankind - fraudulent issued bonds destroyed.

Flashback: Go to NPR archives Frontline program on WT7 heard were the instructions "Pull It"

On the evening of 9/11, year 2001, a construction worker, part of the crew that constructed the WTC, called in to a Radio program discussion on the day's epic event. Worker said "Thermite was in the construction materials in the event buildings had to be taken down"

Two links: 2009 a Chemical - Physics paper on Thermitic Reaction .PDF; and in 2017 an article on column failure - suggest take the discussion over to Open Thread.

2009: .pdf file
Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe

9/11 destruction "Controlled demolition" - fact or fiction

"This building, World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7) was not hit by any aircraft and yet it too imploded like a house of cards, says Korol and his co-authors and others note it housed CIA and Secret Service offices.[.]
The most probable explanation is a controlled explosion and mostly likely using thermite, he says, adding in the case of WTC 7 some 67 per cent of the supporting steel strength in Column 79 — pinpointed as the cause of the fatal collapse — would have to be lost before it failed and that would mean temperatures of 660C.[.]"

or maybe it was " the office furnishings which caught fire" that brought the buildings down, molten steel and there lies a passport intact and unsinged. Enough to hurt one's common senses.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 21 2020 16:07 utc | 235

I notice that the large steelframe buildings in Syria do not collapse at free-fall even when blasted by military attacks and bombing...ok that makes some sort of on topic why to these stubborn steel frames behave so strangely?

for extra credit see> "yugoslavia bombing nato" in images

Transparent. Gore wouldn't go along...and Scalia knew too much...

Posted by: Walter | Feb 21 2020 16:35 utc | 236

According to Turkish news right now, Putin and Erdogan have spoken on thr phone and the message is: "Both parties stated that all sides are bound by agreements"
Diplomatic way of stating that Turkey should toe the line.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Feb 21 2020 17:04 utc | 237

Egor68500 | Feb 21 2020 17:04 utc | 237

What does this mean according to your opinion, expressed in frank language? SouthFront reports that the Syrian troops continue to clean the area as if nothing has happened.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 21 2020 17:31 utc | 238

"I love it when US officials accidentally tell the truth."

Colonel Myles Caggins says the #Idlib province is a "magnet" for terrorist groups who are a "nuisance, a menace and a threat" to the hundreds of thousands of civilians in Syria, who are just "trying to make it through the winter."

The UK's Sky News interviewed US coalition spokesman Col. Myles Caggins as part of its coverage focusing on Syrian and Russian forces “indiscriminately” attacking civilians and “bombing hospitals” — however, the Army colonel gave a counter angle, instead focusing on the jihadist groups ruling Idlib as the fundamental cause to civilian suffering there.

Posted by: librul | Feb 21 2020 17:39 utc | 239


I think it means no agreement was reached, but something had to be said to keep up appearances. Hopefully, a deal will be worked out during the coming Iran–Russia–Turkey talks.

Posted by: S | Feb 21 2020 17:41 utc | 240

@ Likklemore | Feb 21 2020 16:07 utc | 235

There's one major problem with Harrit's paper, unfortunately. They failed to do thermal analysis of a sample - that is measuring energy out of a sample when ignited, another one is they didn't measure burn rate obviously.
Is there a potential explanation for the layered compounds Harrit found? Yes, unfortunately again. One would need to do kinetic high stress/high pressure experiments with compounds involved to confirm or debunk.

@ Walter | Feb 21 2020 16:35 utc | 236

Fusion in a dynamic process is a function of heat transfer rate which again is a function of time. So, almost any explosive event simply does not fit the bill.

'Ultra High Speed-Thermite' - think kind of a MOX composition - may do the trick or maybe not. It all depends on energy output, burn rate and directional wave generation. Can it be done? Yes, of course. Problem is: What did happen in the towers prior to collapse, we do not know. If there was a thermitic composition or ' Nano-Thermite' involved I would expect to find loads (many tons) of oxides of aluminum, zircon etc. in the 0.5-10 micro range. Was there any of this? I, for one, do not know.

WTC7 sure looks like controlled demolition but does this constitute proof? No.

Posted by: Hmpf | Feb 21 2020 18:17 utc | 241

augrr | Feb 21 2020 3:52 utc | 218

Thanks, I hadn't seen this before. Explains a lot.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 21 2020 19:01 utc | 242

While the Russians and the Turks seemingly cannot agree on a plan for a longer term, they do appear to tacitly agree that Nayrab and Kafr Aleppo are great places to make kebab. The Turks deliver jihadi meat canned in obsolete armor and the Russians do the slicing and baking from above.

Posted by: Lurk | Feb 21 2020 19:47 utc | 243

@ Stonebird | Feb 21 2020 19:01 utc | 242

No, it doesn't explain anything, other than shedding a certain light on the author of said article. The guy was military intelligence, my goodness.
150 kt going off 50 m below surface would had created a giant crater about 4-500 m in diameter with practically all of Lower Manhattan gone and 100s of thousands of casualties. Jeez!

Go ask a physicist you trust about what depth a nuclear device of 100 kt has to be buried in the bedrock below surface to prevent blowout and the size of the cavity below ground such a device will leave behind in the bedrock after the fact. Hint: the result is it's roughly 800 meters below ground and a cavity of approximately 200 meters in diameter.
Let him crunch a few numbers, don't take my word for it.

Posted by: Hmpf | Feb 21 2020 20:05 utc | 244


I read through the official reports. That put initiation down to unequal expansion and contraction of very long floor beams as fires traveled through the building.
I have found it more plausible than anything else to date.
The thermite rubbish began with pics of steel pulled from the rubble during clean up that showed severe erosion or corrosion, and the wackos say this was melted.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2020 20:31 utc | 245

Putin finally picked up the phone. I like the Rueters headline.

"Putin, Erdogan agree by phone to intensify talks on Syria: Kremlin"

Erdogan can now talk intensely while his hybrid Turk military-al Qaeda force in Idlib is destroyed.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2020 20:37 utc | 246

I imagine that an ukase has gone out from the Kremlin to their diplomats in Turkey: “Don’t say - we told you so back in 2011!”. “ Don’t say: we told you back in 2011, if things go wrong, you Turks will be left holding the baby and you won’t see your lovely friends for dust.”

Egg on face time.

If the rumours are correct (that the US are flying their nukes out of Incerlik to Poland), the Yanks have drawn the right conclusions. Let’s hope they are not tempted to use them during Defender 2020. Giving them to the Poles! If so, they must be screaming certifiably mad. I’m off to stock the cellar.

Posted by: Montreal | Feb 21 2020 20:46 utc | 247

To the administration,
Your comment section is a disorganized, aesthetically challenged and highly annoying. One cannot tell who he/she is responding to or where the hell his comment went. Please Do something about it! Sincerely...

Posted by: Zoran Aleksic | Feb 21 2020 20:50 utc | 248

The houthies have attacked again an Aramco refinery in Yanbu, the Houthies's speaker said they have used 13 drones Samad-3, 2 winged missiles (high speed drones) and a ballistic missile; the Saudis said they have intercepted 3 missiles and "all the missiles were shot down", but the results of the attack was:


The Yanbu refinery is on fire now but you will not hear anything about this in the know, the Patriot System never fails...

Posted by: DFC | Feb 21 2020 21:20 utc | 249

"Even if they were of any use, asking for Patriot missile batteries sounds like a bad joke, if it's true. It's not like going down to the corner store and picking up a couple of missile batteries. Such a thing would take months..." --SteveK9 @216

"Erdogan looks incredibly weak by crawling to Uncle Sam on his hands and knees, begging for Patriot missile batteries..." --Chris @213

Yes, the optics of this request are bad, and there is 0% chance of it being granted. Why make the request, then?

I think Ur-Dog is doing it to establish an excuse to leave or for defeat, even if that excuse is thin and embarrassing. When the Turks run back to Turkeyland with their tail feathers between their legs they can claim "Hey, we tried, but it was just too dangerous without those Patriots! It's all America's fault!"

Posted by: William Gruff | Feb 21 2020 21:23 utc | 250

The Houthies have attacked the Aramco Yanbu refinery in KSA with 13 drones Samad-3, 2 winger cruise missiles and one ballistic missiles, the KSA air force said they shot-down all the incoming missiles, the results are the following:

The Yanbu refinery is burning right now, but you will not hear anything in the MSM, you know, the Patriot system has 100% efficiency and never fails

Posted by: DFC | Feb 21 2020 21:28 utc | 251

@ Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2020 20:31 utc | 245

Yeah right, cool story bro.

I guess my lyin' eyes were maliciously trying to make me think that the central core, on which the antenna spire rested, went down first. Must have been just another spectacular case of differential thermal contraction.

Posted by: Lurk | Feb 21 2020 22:04 utc | 252

@ DFC | Feb 21 2020 21:28 utc | 250

Deafening silence indeed. All I could find was an article by Reuters, summarily repeating the Houtis' claims, and an article by Aljazeera wherein Saudi Arabia claims to "have intercepted the missiles from Yemen".

If the images making the rounds on twitter are to be believed, then the Saudis must have intercepted the Yemeni missiles with their Aramco facilities...

Posted by: Lurk | Feb 21 2020 22:22 utc | 253

Posted by: Lurk | Feb 21 2020 22:22 utc | 252

Posted by: DFC | Feb 21 2020 21:28 utc | 250

Thanks for the video, about all I've seen that is more
substantial than what Houthi sources say. It's been filtering
out for a day or two now. I see a handful of stories just now, all just
repeating the Houthis.

I think they don't want to talk about it while Pompeo was there
talking up our protection, and there is some G20 think going on too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 21 2020 22:29 utc | 254

Posted by: Lurk | Feb 21 2020 22:22 utc | 252

May be, just may be, there have intercepted 3 of them, taking account that a mid air explosion of a missile does not mean it intercept any missile, simply it explodes, but the attacks seems to be massive, with 15 components with ballistics missiles, cruise missiles and drones, combined to overcome the air defenses

Anyhow nobody have any conclusion evidence that ANY Patriot System has shot-down ANY missile in war situation:

In a deep House Committee about the performance of the Patriot System against the Iraqi Scud in 1991 they said:

"Summary.-The Patriot missile system was not the spectacular success in the Persian Gulf War that the American public was led to believe. There is little evidence to prove that the Patriot hit more than a few Scud missiles launched by Iraq during the Gulf War, and there are some doubts about even these engagements."

Nobody, never and ever has any proof ANY Patriot interceptor has knocked-down ANY ballistic missile EVER, nor in 1991, nor in any other year, nor recently in the ballistic missiles used by the Houthies against KSA recently:

It seems that the performance of the Patriot Systems is the military equivalent of the Boeing 737Max, they do not work well, and all the USA troops are un-protected from ballistic missiles if they trust in the Patriot System (ballistic missiles have an speed of around 3 - 4 Mach, some of them 6 - 7 Mach).

KSA know perfectly well all of this, that is the reason they are in coversation with Russia to buy S-400 system

Do you really believe the lies of the KSA air force?

Posted by: DFC | Feb 21 2020 22:31 utc | 255

@ DFC | Feb 21 2020 22:31 utc | 254

As I said, their refineries seem tombe much more capable at intercepting Yemeni missiles than their Patriot installations.

Posted by: Lurk | Feb 21 2020 22:49 utc | 256

Lurk 251
The more eyes on the piles of smoking rubble, the less attention there is on the unfollowed leads in the criminal investigation. Israeli's and their accomplices, perhaps after the fact, perhaps not, in the US got of scot free same as the Saudi's and their US accomplices will get off scot free on this one.
The smoking debris is not the place to look. The criminal investigation and why it has never been completed is. Saudi hijackers, Saudi finance, Bandar Bush, Bush...

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 21 2020 22:57 utc | 257

Russia seems to be sending a lot of Su-24 and Su-34 to Syria, Turkey has closed his air space to the russian planes, but the russians have sent them through Iran and Iraq. Russia is preparing for the "worst case scenario" against Turkey, no doubt about that, and they will not hesitate to crush the turkish army if attacked (as they have made yet with the turkish "observation post" that fired MANPAD against the russian planes)

Posted by: DFC | Feb 21 2020 23:32 utc | 258

Is Erdogan after Syrian oil? Or does he really believe that Turkey deserves to renew it's presence in Northern Syria, following the old borders?

Posted by: joetv | Feb 22 2020 0:42 utc | 259

Strategic Culture Editorial rips BigLie Media for its never ending spasms of lies about Syria:

"Turkey, a NATO member, is currently most visibly exposed as being an accomplice with the terror groups that are being rolled up by the Syrian army. But the United States, Britain and France have all played a dirty role in fomenting the war in Syria. Western media do not give this coverage because the appalling culpability and criminality of Western governments is too shameful to contemplate or expose to the public.

"If Western media were genuinely concerned about “humanitarian crisis”, they would do well to report on how their governments have created the suffering and misery in Syria. Why don’t they report extensively on how U.S. military forces are illegally occupying the country and looting Syria’s oil fields which is preventing the nation accessing its natural wealth to fund reconstruction and supply returning refugees with fuel? Why don’t Western media report on how the U.S. and the European Union are tightening economic sanctions on Syria, again hampering a war-torn nation from reconstructing?

"Syria is a case study of how Western news media – despite pretensions of ethics and journalism – serve as propaganda tools. And more than propaganda tools, they are complicit in the war crimes perpetrated against Syria because they have knowingly distorted the truth to cover up for their criminal governments." [My Emphasis]

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 22 2020 1:03 utc | 260

Just Lebensraum within Erdogan's emotional borders. Those borders have to do with areas Ottoman Turkey controlled in the past.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 1:05 utc | 261

A little humor. Seems to be about the position Erdo finds himself in now.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 1:49 utc | 262

This about covers it.

"Think back to the September 11 attacks.

Imagine if someone had told you a NATO ally would request our
Patriot missiles to defend Al Qaeda’s longtime sanctuary where
20,000 Al Qaeda linked terrorists are hiding out."

Bullshit dot org, like bellingcrap are a pied piper.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 4:01 utc | 263

FFS 228

The US war of terror and seven countries in five years began with WTC, so it is relevant to
each thread on the subject.
Iran was the seventh country and Trump's eyes are firmly fixed on Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 4:13 utc | 264

Erdogan riding the Idlib horse.

Nothing like a good kick in the nuts to finish things off.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 4:48 utc | 265

Will be interesting to see what happens next. Putin gave Erdo another
chance when he came crawling back after shooting down the SU-24 a few years back.
Erdogan supplied, or his own forces used, manpads to shoot down two Syrian helicopters.
Erdogan's forces at a Turk base in Idlib fired a manpad at a Russian plane.
I think he will get more than a kick in the nuts out of this one.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 5:42 utc | 266

"Earlier, Erdoğan also held a joint call with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which he said that "the Syrian regime and its backers' aggression in Idlib must be stopped." He also emphasized the need for "strong support and concrete action" to halt the unfolding humanitarian crisis, his office said."

these fuckers have contributed directly to the unfolding humanitarian crisis.. they are so full of shit, it is coming out of their eyeballs.. so, it is okay for the western regime to back the moderate headchoppers to overthrow what was a stable country? no... they are full of shit..

Posted by: james | Feb 22 2020 8:05 utc | 267


Watching Putin and Russia, they are taking no shit this time round. AQ paradise will be fumigated.
Nothing will save Erdo's headchoppers now. He has reneged on a deal he made with Putin.
I take it Putins order for the Russian military in Syria to destroy any threats still stands. Russian military are on all the frontlines.
Putins russia saved erdo from the US coup. Putin accepted his apologies for shooting down the aircraft. Erdo has now used manpads against Russian aircraft. He is history. If he survives as Turk leader, it will only be as complete vassal to RU.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 8:21 utc | 268

Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 8:21 utc | 267

"Putins russia saved erdo from the US coup."

That is for sure a bit too simple. According to Turkish media, surfacing in a court case, MIT was warned by a Turkish officer at 3 o'clock P.M.that day about what was planned to do. Whatever the Russians inserted it was not more than a confirmation.
In this particular case we do not know yet what exactly is the content of those Astana deals. And we do not know the character of those refugees: Syrian people hold back at gunpoint from fleeing to the SAA territory, relatives of head choppers, Syrian Turcomans that put a bet on the loosing side, etc.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 22 2020 8:31 utc | 269

Hausmeister shorten your lines a bit as DFC stuffed up the thread.
Turkish media.. court case. Erdo's world is somewhat different.
He has publicly expressed some stuff from Nazi germany and Hitler.
A User made some comparisons in a comment.
Without Russia's backing Erdo was history. He has repaid that by shitting on Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 8:46 utc | 270

What I meant to put in that comment was that Erdogan was given the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 8:48 utc | 271

@Hausmeister | 238
I think What it means is that no matter how Turkey is trying desperately to leverage some new deal or better outcome the original de-escalation agreements stand and should be abided by. This has been Russis's stance all along. Erdogan has tried NATO, Trump, Putin, an no one is interested. He is now trying to pin hope on a Macron-Merkel deal but interestingly no mention of it was made during the telephone call apparently.
Russia has been very sensitive to Turkey's position over the years, but it seems that the good will has run out and that any consequences will now be flatly the responsibility of Turkey.

Of other interest maybe is that one Turkish talking head said of the 'operation' started a couple of fays ago that it should be seen more as a 'drill' because it is taking place in an area where there's no one to fight. Also Cavusoglu seemed to completely distance himself from any such operation stating openly that 'any action will be decided by the Military".

I think 'b's article is spot on.
Apparently a Russian representative will visit Turkey next week - hand holding probably; and soon a Merkel-Macron- Putin-Erdogan meeting will be held. Can't see anything coming out of that except maybe Russia's new proposal which seems to be to reduce the pressure of refugees - but let's not forget the numbers being touted and the footage being shown is bollocks. Zacharova even told Turkey to stop talking rubbish about Idlib - not is so many words, of course. ))))

Posted by: Egor68500 | Feb 22 2020 9:10 utc | 272

@A User

"But there are Russians who rate the s400 deal above a 'small piece of Syria' of that we can be sure.
The Russian leadership's balls are on the line here, just as much as Erdy's, we will know very soon who has the smarts and the balls."

Really don't know what to make of this. The S-400 is a done deal. What are you suggesting? Interesting though that yesterday the idea of TUrkey buying the Patriot system came up agains - the price of US support maybe?

As for claims about TUrkmen populations in NSyria we need to be careful because a) a large number are actually Tuekish not Turkmen; and a large number have been 'imported'. The original Turkemen population is very small, much smaller even that that of Iran.

As for RUssian - Turkish economics being equally important to both - I disagree. Energy projects and supplies are, of course, but neither will become a negotiating point. The rest is not so. Construction companies in Russia, exports to Russia, Russian tourists are still key issues for the Turkish economy which can land a very sharp slap as we've seen before.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Feb 22 2020 9:26 utc | 273

Russia never ever will allow Turkey to shot-down another russian plane, even the attempt to shot-down one will be met with a huge retaliation as we could see. There are hundreds or even thousands of russians advisors, special operation and military police embedded with the front line syrian troops, and the turkish troops that kill some of them will be obliterated. No doubt about that, and at any cost, even if this escalate to a all out war with Turkey.

Russia consider the sovereign of Syria as an strategic red line, they will be not do again the mistake of Kosovo or Serbia 2.0 (as in 1999), nor against Turkey and definitively they will not bend even against NATO. If that means WWIII Russia perfectly know that anyway the West would push anyway to the WWIII; so better now.

Posted by: DFC | Feb 22 2020 9:38 utc | 274

@Peter AU1 | 264
It's definitely what seems to be happening.
But who will help him back onto his feet?
Probably Putin, again.
Trump would ask far too heavy a price - Patriot purchase will not be enoigh!

Posted by: Egor68500 | Feb 22 2020 10:08 utc | 275

Acting counter-intuitively can be a great way to counteract intimidation and many other things in all kinds of contexts including stealing "victory" from beyond the grave.

When Turkey deliberately asks for US equipment they know they won't get it's not grovelling or begging. If Turkey starts to grovel and beg it's still not what's going on, instead they're doing the equivalent of greeting a stalker kindly but loudly and with much attention and fanfare in public in front of a lot of witnesses, taking selfies with the stalker and posting it all over the place. Suddenly someone will appear on any list of suspects. The more times it's done the better, the more over the top positive the better, the more innocently or "naively" insidious the better.

I'm not keen on Turkey (would never vacation there, don't need any silly bullshit "explanations" to know why people snap and suddenly kill them (least of all in Germany)) but I can see that this is what they're doing. Good move by Turkey.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 22 2020 11:47 utc | 276

It has been Erdogan's tactic to always escalate when faced with defeat. Losing a fist fight? Bring a knive. Losing again? Take out a gun. Losing again? Threaten with a bomb. Until the "grown ups" get involved and separate the parties involved in the quarrel. Where is the "genius" in this tactic? The quarrel must always take place on foreign ground. Thereby in this strange forced anatolian bazaar Turkey can always win something even after having lost the fight itself.

Posted by: redrooster | Feb 22 2020 12:35 utc | 277

@Likklemore | 105
Cheers. Great piece.
Thanks for posting.

Add to that scenario the seeming collapse within AKP ranks and we have a pretty good picture of the pressures driving Erdogan.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Feb 22 2020 13:16 utc | 278

Posted by: redrooster | Feb 22 2020 12:35 utc | 277

Can this tactic be used indefinitely? No, because each escalation brings with it a certain cost. A cost in resources and manpower. At a certain cost the break-point is reached at which society can and will no longer accept further bleeding out. This breaking point differs from society to society and from the nature of the war (is it a defensive or offensive war, is it justified, and so on).

Being an illegal occupier on foreign ground defending al-qaida terrorists makes it an obviously unjustified endevour in the eyes of the public. So the question is what is the breaking point in turkish society for an unjustified war? My estimation about 60.000 dead turkish soldiers.

Posted by: redrooster | Feb 22 2020 15:35 utc | 279


Anybody here who has an idea how long E. can finance his system?
Until now he got a lot of hidden financial support from Quatar (Muslim Brotherhood)
and other countries for his support of wahabi head choppers.
What will happen if he looses his ability to intervene there?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 22 2020 16:39 utc | 280

@ 280 hausimeister.. good question.. i don't know the answer.. it appears syria-russia continue to clean up idlib and making progress..

Posted by: james | Feb 22 2020 18:02 utc | 281

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 22 2020 16:39 utc | 280

Let me second what James said. Frankly I don't know what he thinks he is doing in Libya,
or how he is paying for that, why he thinks he can do both. It's like inside the beltway
delusions of omnipotence. But a good question to ask. I'd like to know. It's like the US'
painful dicking around in E. Syria, what do they propose to do there, become some sort of
permanent obstacle? It's nuts. Incompetent. Bush-like. Neocon thinking. They always double

He (Erdogan) looks to me to be in deep doodoo, but, I suspect steps will be made to prop him up,
show respect etc., since having Turkey descend into chaos is not going to be good either.
So Putin and the Eurocrats will try to keep it orderly, civil. Putin always does that

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 22 2020 18:19 utc | 282

Bemildred @282:

It's like the US' painful dicking around in E. Syria, what do they propose to do there, become some sort of permanent obstacle? It's nuts.

IMO a 'permanent obstacle' would require the formation of a State: Sunnistan.

For Jihadis or SDF to effectively hold ground, they need to have effective anti-air defenses. The only way that can be justified is via an internationally-recognized State.

If/When it comes, a Sunnistan will be immediately recognized by a few dozen nations of the Empire - just as Guaido was recognized by the Empire. And it will get sophisticated arms like high-altitude anti-air defenses and aircraft.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2020 18:58 utc | 283

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2020 18:58 utc | 283

That will be expensive, Trump is cheap. I mean I know that's what the idea is,
but I don't think it will work, bullshit will only take so far, as Erdogan is
now finding out. Sunnistan in E. Syria/W. Iraq is a similar sort of wishful thinking
to Erdogan's neo-Ottoman ideas, or Rojava. He would do better to secure and take
care of whathe has, Turkey has a lot of potential, but it's a local power,
part of the Egypt-Iran-Turkey triangle of local powers. Turkey needs long-term
and sound economic and social development to step up to the big leagues.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 22 2020 19:24 utc | 284

Turkey (not Erdogan) can indefinitely support themselves as long as neither the US nor Russia nor anyone/anything else turns on the macroeconomic pressure. Plenty of holiday flats for sale in new high-rises in "Northern Cyprus" and you likely won't find many refugees there.

Exchange rates, tourism, and bouncy tomatoes all the way to tomorrow, then add high levels of organized crime across Europe to find the real profit. They're more subtle than Albanians but only a little. It wouldn't surprise me if the gun (no matter which brand and place of origin) used to kill Turks in Germany was sold by Albanians who bought it from Turks and then shipped it into the EU.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 22 2020 19:31 utc | 285

@Sunny Runny Burger | 285

Maybe look to Erdogans attempts to get his hands on Is Bankasi and the Ataturk money it holds - currently under CHP stewardship; consider the billions made by selling land along the proposed "Kanal Istanbul" site to arab investors; consider the tens of millions of dollars missing from Coup, earthquake or mining charity funds intended for victims - all empty; Consider the monstrous value of all the Gulen assets worth billions that have been seized by the state; then there's the supposed 70bn of taxes that is unaccounted for etc.
These are not my allegations but just some of those made against the government in the last months of 2019 to now.
You start to get a picture of serious corruption and serious wealth at the top.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Feb 22 2020 20:44 utc | 286

There is an article in which Gordon Duff quotes some people, who know more that what we could see and what the puppet masters think about Erdogan. Really interesting!
"Turkey, So Much We Aren't Being Told" - TheAltWorld
Search domain

Posted by: Dilara | Feb 22 2020 20:46 utc | 287

Looks like SAA is kicking things off in the southeast corner of jihadistan.

Still nothing on where al Hassan's 25th or tiger force is located.
They've been out of the Syria news for awhile but they are the ones to watch for direction of a new offensive.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 22:50 utc | 288

With Turk military build-up and USA forcing Russian vehicles off the road, I feel like we've crossed an important threshold: the one were the risk of some stupid act starting WWIII is no longer too small to ignore.

It's raining on hell's slippery slope.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22 2020 23:17 utc | 289

the article that @ 287 dilara mentions is quite good.. thanks dilara~!

here it is for others who are interested.. i mostly agree with it and the authors conclusions. and it includes some better insights into a number of dynamics that are always still open to conjecture..

Turkey, So Much We Aren’t Being Told

Posted by: james | Feb 22 2020 23:20 utc | 290

Egor68500 what you say may well be true, I don't know enough to say, however it will also make him a bigger target internally.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 22 2020 23:37 utc | 291

Hmpf | Feb 21 2020 18:17 utc | 241

Brother I worked steel, made steel, at Fontana, I worked Iron foundries, I have used thousands of pounds of welding thermite, and I can go on... It's off topic. I know what happened 'cause I seen it happen. It's 100% a public secret, transparent. Buying eggs, I have also overheard farmers in the dooryard - farmers with experience doing military demolitions - discuss the job...they too knew what they saw. It's like Sherlock sez, eliminate the impossible, follow evidence...

911 is the biggest lie anybody alive has ever seen - and in plain sight.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 23 2020 0:08 utc | 292

I had a read through Duff's fantasies and thought I'd look up his Idlib oilfield.
No oilfield but what I did find was this.

Fuel and cooking gas are in very short supply in the parts of Syria controlled by the
Assad regime. Yet in Idlib, the last rebel-held pocket of the country and currently
the target of an intense military offensive, these and other essentials are not only
available, but affordable. This is thanks to a company named Watad Petroleum.

But who or what is Watad? If suspicions are true, Watad – about which little is known
– represents yet another way in which Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an organization labeled
a terrorist group by much of the world, is strengthening its grip on Idlib.

Life in this province of northwestern Syria has, without a doubt, been made easier by
Watad’s presence. But with no information available publicly about who owns or runs it,
there is a persistent suspicion about it.

The first that anyone had heard of Watad was in January last year, when it was granted a
monopoly over the fuel market in greater Idlib, with exclusive rights to import oil and
gas from Turkey and to regulate their sale, price and distribution. Ostensibly, the deal,
which also eliminated any domestic competition, was struck with Idlib’s Salvation Government,
but in reality it was with HTS, the de facto power in that area."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 23 2020 1:29 utc | 293

Walter @292--

That's what I've said since it happened: "911 is the biggest lie anybody alive has ever seen - and in plain sight." There's quite a story to tell about my own investigation, but that'll wait for another day.

Escobar weighs-in on Erdogan's dilemma, which poses several good questions. The prepping for the next round is ongoing as I type and may already have jumped off.

Interesting doings reported on Twitter between Outlaw US Empire military and political wing of SDF, the SDS; something about paying for abandoned, unused weaponry. Crazy!

Turkey lost a Major General in Libya and some of his adjutants. So, many dice rolling at same time!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2020 1:30 utc | 294

I've also been seeing that on twitter. Most likely correct as it sounds very Trump.
Trump has always believed that countries attacked and invaded by US should pay the expenses incurred.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 23 2020 5:56 utc | 295

While I guess that this Gordon Duff piece is the ridiculous result of a
armchair strategist far removed from the place. I think this piece is worth
a read:
. Keep in mind that E. swallowed this outlet too and the guy
can drop his message
only into the space between the lines. Looking back to it many years
later he will be gladto be able to use this excuse. He is not that dumb not to
know that something like "moderatehead choppers" does not exist there since long.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 23 2020 7:44 utc | 296

There probably will be a ceasefire (refering to Demirtas) after the M4 is secured by the Syrian Army, and maybe even Idlib City.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 23 2020 8:19 utc | 297

@293 peter au.. thanks.. the idea of the oil in idlib struck me as odd as well, but that is an interesting story you found associated to it in an odd way..
i thought the duff article was quite good for articulating the turkey- iran dynamic.. generally we don't get to read about that much.. my friend in turkey who works for the police has said some pointed things
about iran that have never made sense to me, but reading this article put new light on some of what he has said.. as a consequence i found the article quite worthwhile...

far from being the ridiculous result of an armchair strategist as @ 296 hausmeister suggests, the article from hurriyet news is more of that standard fare and nature.. i read hurriyet news fairly often.. i find it better then daily sabah, but both mostly cater to erodogan as i read them.. that is a turkish journalists armchair strategy, or it appears that way to me.. no offense hausmeister.. a person can find value in a lot of different places if they are receptive and into it.. i liked the article you linked to as he was willing to call a spade a spade in some respects..

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2020 8:46 utc | 298

: karlof1 | Feb 23 2020 1:30 utc | 294 ("missing weapons")

Man, you were in the Army, you know how everything of value, particularly weapons, is on property book. "Is that your signature" can make your blood freeze. There's a chain of possession right to the drop, with signatures.

Now how about those "lost" weapons?

How indeed.

I myself am interested in the special transport by globemaster outta Turk to Poland... N-bangers "deployed"? (man I'm gunna puke if I hear that word again...)

Posted by: Walter | Feb 23 2020 10:06 utc | 300

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