The US has sent a group of US Marines armed with eight-wheeled Stryker armored carriers to northern Syria as a buffer between Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces, after Turkish air strikes killed 20 members of the US-backed Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) militia, injured 18 and destroyed the local Kurdish command headquarters. Clashes broke out between Turkish and Kurdish forces after the air strikes.
It was the second time American armored troops had stepped in to separate Turkish and the Kurdish YPG militia that leads the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), to which the Americans assign a major role in the offensive to capture Raqqa from ISIS. On March 17, US Marines advanced towards the northern Syrian town of Manbij when the Turkish army was on the point of fighting the Kurdish militia for control of the town. Continue reading
The nationality of the craft is unknown, according to a statement by the military. It had violated Turkish airspace before it was warned and then shot down, the military said. The Anadolu Agency posted pictures of soldiers inspecting a crashed drone and Haberturk television also reported that it was an unmanned aircraft, without saying how it got the information. It said the drone fell inside the Turkish border near the town of Kilis. The military declined to comment on the reports.
This is why it’s oft said here that Greece will not be going anywhere. They’re too strategically important for Europe and will likely become the energy hub for the continent — whether they transit supplies from Cyprus, Russia or wherever else. In a worst case scenario, Greece will be part of a periphery economy should the EU restructure itself.
Greece plans to sign a document on political support for Gazprom’s Turkish Stream project at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, its Energy Minister announced on Monday. The country plans to invest $2 billion in its construction.
A memorandum on political support for the gas pipeline project will be prepared by June 18-20, when the International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2015) will be held in Russia’s St. Petersburg, Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis announced on Monday. Continue reading
Ankara: The NATO alliance has drawn up a strategy to defend Turkey if it is attacked along its border with Syria, a Turkish official says.
Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz, whose country is a NATO member, said the alliance did that at his government’s request as Islamic State militants, who have captured a large swath of Iraq and Syria, are trying to take the Syrian town of Kobane near the Turkish border.
“If there is an attack, NATO’s joint defence mechanisms will be activated,” Mr Yilmaz told reporters. Continue reading
Warns airspace over Syria under protection of Moscow
TEL AVIV – Russia has delivered a behind-the-scenes threat to retaliate if airstrikes carried out by the U.S. or its allies target the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Middle Eastern security officials told WND.
The security officials said Russia complained Sunday in quiet talks with United Nations representatives that the Obama administration’s current aerial campaign against Islamic State fighters in Syria is a violation of international agreements regarding control of Syrian airspace.
The officials said Russia warned it could potentially retaliate if U.S. or Arab airstrikes go beyond targeting Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and instead bomb any Syrian regime targets. Continue reading
ANKARA — Turkey has been preparing for an air war with Syria.
The Turkish military said four U.S.-origin F-16 multi-role fighters were sent to the Syrian border on Oct. 5. Continue reading
Assassination triggers third front in Syrian civil war
A key commander of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army was killed recently by Syria’s al Qaeda rebels, a sign the opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime is fracturing and Islamist rebels are on the rise.
Kamal Hamami, the FSA commander, was killed as he went to a meeting of al Qaeda-backed rebels to discuss joint operations against the Syrian army, a U.S. official said, confirming Middle East press reports. Continue reading
Whether by following Global Geopolitics postings for a while or informing yourselves through various other news sources, readers have seen the developments in Syria unfold from demonstrations to violence. This violence has caused the international community’s involvement and from there has increased the threat level of Syrian retaliation toward its neighbors. We’re now at the tipping point to where all sides are ‘braced for impact’.
The next question is: What will cause the spark that leads to all-out war? One could look towards the use of chemical and/or biological weapons used on their own people or the Jewish state of Israel as one such indicator. Another possibility is the tension with Turkey spiriling out of control via military confrontation as we’ve seen in the past with the downing of two Turkish military aircraft.
Either way, the prospects of war is a question when and not if.
The US and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require up to 60,000 ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of the Assad government, an unnamed American source said Thursday night, Aug.16.
This scenario postulates the disintegration of his security forces, he said, leaving chemical and biological weapons sites vulnerable to pillaging. It assumes the sites could not be destroyed by aerial bombings in view of health and environmental hazards.
The American special forces deployed on the Jordanian-Syrian border and in bases in Israel and Turkey clearly perceive a chemical-biological weapon threat. Military and medical preparations are being quietly put in place. Reconnaissance teams from potentially targeted countries have infiltrated Syria. They are on the lookout for any chemical missiles being moved into firing positions, although it is taken into account that Assad may be shifting decoys and that not all the real launchings can be stopped.
The Syrian ruler may also decide to transfer chemical explosives to Hizballah in Lebanon. Israel is on record as warning it would prevent this.
Wednesday, August 15, Bashar Assad’s violence again broke new ground:
Syrian air force bombers struck Azaz not far from the Turkish border – for the first time with the aim of razing a complete Syrian town. More than 80 people were killed and 150 wounded. He was telling the Free Syrian Army rebels who had been using Azaz as their command post and logistical hub for the Aleppo battle that the gloves were off and the same punishment would be meted out to any urban areas hosting them.
The Syrian ruler also warned Ankara through back channels that if any more Turkish FIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles were supplied to the FSA, he would arm the 2,500 Turkish rebel PKK Kurdish fighters allowed to deploy on the Syrian-Turkish border with Russian SA-8 anti-air missiles for use against Turkey.
Ankara shot back: That will be war.
Full article: Syria’s neighbors braced for chemical threat. Assad warns Turkey on Stingers (DEBKAfile)
According to the Doğan News Agency and Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s military has deployed teams trained to deal with chemical weapons attacks to the Syrian border. This follows a warning by Damascus that it may use these weapons in the event of an attack from outside the country. The chemical weapons battalion, previously based in western Turkey, was transferred to Konya in central Turkey two months ago. One group of personnel has now been moved to the Syrian border.
Ankara is particularly concerned by the situation in Qamishli, a town on Turkish border adjoining Nusaybin, because the PYD is concentrated there. There have been reports that the PYD is preparing to take control of the town from the Syrian administration as it has in Kobane, Efrine, and Amude in the city of al-Hasakah.
Full article: Turkey Transfers Chemical Weapons Personnel to Syrian Border (Gatestone Institute)
NICOSIA — Syria is said to have amassed its military along the border with Turkey.
Syrian opposition sources said the military of President Bashar Assad was deploying a large force of main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers along the Turkish border.
The sources identified the base of the operation as the northern city of Aleppo, deemed the business capital of Syria.
“They are preparing to move to the Syrian border,” Mustafa Sheik, the military chairman of the Free Syrian Army, said.
Sheik, a Syrian general defector, said the MBT force was no more than 30 kilometers from the Turkish border. He said the armored force would either confront the Turkish military deployment near the Syrian border or attack rebel-held areas in the Idlib province.
Full article: Report: Syrian forces massing along Turkey border (World Tribune)
ANKARA — The Turkish military has been ordered to prepare for a
shooting war along the border with Syria.
The government said it was prepared for a border war with Syria in wake
of the downing of a Turkish Air Force fighter-jet.
Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said he revised the rules of engagement for the Turkish military amid its buildup along the Syrian border.
“The rules of engagement of the Turkish armed forces have changed,”
Erdogan said. “Any risk posed by Syria on the Turkish border, any military element that could pose a threat, will be considered a threat and treated as a military target.”
Erdogan has also ordered a military buildup along Turkey’s 900-kilometer border with Syria. Since June 26, dozens of U.S.-origin M-60A3 main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery batteries have amassed along Turkey’s southeastern border.
“As Turkey, the Turkish nation, we have no intention of attacking
[Syria],” Erdogan said on June 27. “We don’t have any hostile attitude
toward any country.”
“From now on, the rules of the game change,” an official said.
The Turkish military has declared 13 areas along the border with Syria
as closed zones. A government statement said military exercises would be
held in these areas from July 6 until Oct. 6.
“If Syria keeps its soldiers off the Turkish border so as not to
increase the tension, then de facto buffer zones through the border will be
inevitable,” Turkish analyst Nihat Ali Ozcan wrote in the Hurriyet daily on
“Moreover, a buffer zone with Turkey behind it will be a strategic
problem for the Assad regime because it may turn out to be a safe haven for
insurgents. If Assad decides otherwise and chooses to be active along the
border, he will have to deal with the constant probability of conflict.”
Full article: Turkey orders buildup on Syrian border, changes rules of engagement (World Tribune)