Saturday, February 13, 2016

Byzantine Turkey/Syria Relations

"Regardless of whether we can do that or not [retake all of Syria, large swathes of which are under the control of rebel forces or Islamic State], this is a goal we are seeking to achieve without any hesitation."
"It makes no sense for us to say that we will give up any part [of pre-civil-war Syria]. [It will be possible to] put an end to this problem in less than a year [with opposition supply routes from Turkey, Jordan and Iraq cut. But, if not] the solution will take a long time and will incur a heavy price."
"[His government has] fully believed in negotiations and in political action since the beginning of the crisis. However, if we negotiate, it does not mean that we stop fighting terrorism. The two tracks are inevitable in Syria. The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey, for Turkey is the main conduit of supplies for the terrorists."
"I would like to ask every person who left Syria to come back. They would ask ‘why should I come back? Has terrorism stopped?'"
"[Europe’s governments] which have been a direct cause for the emigration of these people, by giving cover to terrorists in the beginning and through sanctions imposed on Syria, to help in making the Syrians return to their country."
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Syrian government soldiers celebrate after taking control of the village of Ratian, north of the embattled city of Aleppo, from rebel fighters on February 6, 2016. (AFP / GEORGE OURFALIAN)
Syrian government soldiers celebrate after taking control of the village of Ratian, north of the embattled city of Aleppo, from rebel fighters on February 6, 2016. (AFP / GEORGE OURFALIAN)
"Russia should be asked: What is your preoccupation with Syria? At the moment, you are like an invader. You are the one cooperating with the murderer of 400,000 people. … Turkey's [566-mile-long frontier with Syria] is under threat. Definitely, Turkey will take precautions. They are only precautions, while Russia is on the offensive. Russia has no right to make allegations on these issues. Moreover, we have compatriots in Syria. Oh Russia, do you have a common frontier here with Syria? Do you have compatriots?"
"This attitude on the part of Russia is something I greet with a smile. Russia should first answer for the people it kills on Syrian territory."
"We don’t want to repeat the Iraq mistake in Syria. The situation in Iraq would have been different [today] if … Turkey had been present in Iraq. Turkey would have been at the table if the motion had been approved. Being forward-looking is very important."
"Things in Syria can go on like this only for a certain period of time, but not after a certain point. Turkey has to protect its sensitivities."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
The pledges that U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter dredged out of allies fighting the Assad regime has resulted in Arab allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates giving greater focus to the air campaign against ISIL. They have also pledged to send special operations forces into Syria to aid local fighters, presumably with their instructional tactics, without specifying numbers to be deployed or other details. President Assad finds no comfort in these pledges, and  he includes Turkey as a prospective military intervenor in Syria.

The problems, as he sees it from his comfortable armchair basking in the knowledge that his regime has finally -- thanks to Iran and Russia, Hezbollah and Shiite militias, gained the upper hand in his battle to retain power while pulverizing his civilian Sunni population -- are manifold; the U.S. and their allies supporting the "terrorists" who continue to threaten his regime, and Europe inviting the "terrorists" to find haven in welcoming countries, are draining Syria of its population by "giving cover to terrorists".

Speaking with the forked tongue of an accomplished liar, he talks on the one hand of 'his' Syrian civilians being led astray by his enemies with their underhanded plot to destabilize his rule, a rule which has utterly lost its moral compass since stage one, while also referring to those same civilians as terrorists given their support of the Syrian rebels who contest his remaining on as the country's leader, hands soaked with the blood of Syria's Sunnis whom he has slaughtered.

As for the risible accusations by the United Nations that Syria under his direction would be found guilty of war crimes, they merely represent a polarizing politicization of a complex situation of competing groups all feverishly engaged in wresting Syria from its rightful ruler; those accusations without credibility and completely lacking evidence. Poor misunderstood Assad; the world aside from Russia and Iran simply doesn't understand that 400,000 Sunni Syrians killed themselves, he had no hand in their untimely and unfortunate deaths.

No one asked them to become terrorists.

As for the 11-million displaced Syrians, and the refugees crowding camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and elsewhere, and the pathetic groups of families dedicated to their terrorist ideals, they have  been deluded by malicious lies about the intentions of the regime, simply put. The four years of violent assaults against his Damascus and Aleppo suburbs, let alone towns and villages throughout the country were unavoidable; chemical weapons, barrel bombs and siege tactics withal, since what is a legitimate ruler to do after all to still an unwarranted and essentially harmful revolt?

Ankara is grumpy, so what? It has lost the land route between Aleppo and the Bab al-Salameh border crossing with Turkey in the Turkish province of Kilis. Well, obviously it is to Syria's advantage, and represents a solution to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meddling in Syrian affairs where they have plotted with the terrorists to topple the Damascus regime since 2011. To which purpose they have used all means at their disposal short of sending troops to Syria.

And should they proceed to do that, through augmenting the ground troops that Saudi Arabia and the UAE plan to dispatch, they will all be returning speedily whence they came, mute and reeking with death's decay, decomposing even while encased in wooden coffins, as they deserve. For Mr. Assad has it on the very best authority that there may well be an impending complication in his current status having achieved the ascendancy.

As soon as the Aleppo route was cut off, thwarting Erdogan's plans for Turkey's future in Syria, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov stated that Turkey was "actively preparing for a military invasion". "We’re detecting more and more signs of Turkish armed forces being engaged in covert preparations for direct military actions in Syria" he warned. And Mr. Assad agrees, and he is prepared and he has issued his warning.

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