Turkey has invaded Syria to fight against the Kurds. Turkey is fighting alongside FSA terrorists while the United States, a Turkish ally is fighting alongside Kurdish terrorists. The Syrian military is pushing northwest toward Idlib city and the Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces remain in the country to stabilize the situation and defeat jihadist groups continuing to operate there. The Kurds work with the FSA but the FSA is now working with the Turks. The FSA also works with the United States who in turn works with the Kurds.
This is a brief example of the complexities of the Syrian crisis, exacerbated by recent events. For most casual observers, it is becoming harder to determine who is fighting who and likewise who is working together. With so many competing agendas and interests, the waters have become so muddied even researchers and journalists familiar with the crisis are less clear as to what is happening in Syria right now.
In order to understand what is currently taking place in Syria, it is important to understand the interests of the parties involved. Quite simply, one needs to know what these parties want. After understanding the agenda of the nations taking part in the conflict, it will be easier to understand the possibilities in terms of where the recent Turk invasion is going to take Turkey, Syria, the United States, the Middle East, and the world.
The United States
Much has been written about the United States aims in Syria since the beginning of the crisis in 2011, at least within the alternative media. Essentially, the U.S., which launched the terrorist invasion of Syria wants to see the complete destruction of the Syrian government in the same vein of what the United States managed to accomplish in Libya. A Plan B would be the “federalization” of Syria or the breakup of the country into smaller weak impotent states that cannot resist the will of the West. Syria is to be used as a stepping stone to Iran and Iran a stepping stone to Russia.
While many Americans had hoped that a Trump administration would bring a more rational reasonable approach to Syria, Trump’s doubling down on the “Assad must go” line, bombing in Khan Sheikhoun, continuing the illegal military occupation, and providing support for the Kurds all indicate that a more reasonable Syria policy is not in the cards and that the destruction of breakup of Syria is still the policy of the United States.
Turkey has interests that center around the personality of its President Erdogan, its connection to both the U.S. and Russia, and the issue of the Kurds. Above all, Erdogan wishes to keep Turkey free of a Kurdish uprising in its east and south as well as to keep an organized, established Kurdistan from its southern and eastern borders. Erdogan is also a neo-Ottoman that has dreams of expanding Turkey’s influence and borders beyond what they are. In other words, he nurtures pipe dreams of creating a new Ottoman empire. The latter is the main reason, along with Erdogan’s own Islamism, that Turkey has supported the arming, training, funding, and facilitation of terrorists from inside the country across the border into Syria. Turkey is also tied at the hip to the United States and a member of NATO. Despite its own ambitions, Turkey no doubt wants to continue to benefit from this relationship but Erdogan might also be realizing that the Obama administration sold him a bill of goods when it was in the process of using Turkey as a staging ground for the so-called “Syrian revolution.” In the end, Turkey only managed to sully its relationship with its neighbor and foster a massive Kurdish expansion.
Syria’s interests are more transparent than those of anyone in the conflict. Syria simply wants to be free of Western-backed terrorists, Americans, Kurds, and Turks who have invaded their country. It does not want religious rule, Turkish expansion, Kurdish independence, Federalism, or U.N. rigged elections. It simply wants to finish the war, expel the terrorists and other invaders, and get back to the business of rebuilding.
Russia’s interests lie strictly with Russia. Putin’s interests are not in “saving Syria,” but in protecting Russian interests, alliances, and defensive military presence. It just so happens that the Assad government is an integral part of Russian defense strategy since Vladmir Putin’s administration understands that the Western bloc has the intent of surrounding Russia, gradually eliminating its allies, and ultimately bringing down the Russian state both from within and without. Russia wants peace and stability in Syria. It wants the Turks, Americans, and terrorists out of the country. Thus, Russia’s agenda is the same as Syria’s except that Russia seeks to solidify its military presence in the country and its role in rebuilding. The question, however, is how far Russia is willing to go toward this end. Is Russia willing to risk military confrontation with the United States in order to protect Syria? More importantly, is Russia willing to actually go toe to toe with America if the U.S. does not back down?
Terrorists – FSA, ISIS, Nusra, Qaeda, HTS, etc.
The terrorists operating in Syria have no agenda except one of two possibilities – the establishment of an “idyllic” Islamic system based on pre-civilized laws and standards or some quick money being paid to them. Beyond that, the terrorists are nothing more than pawns in the game to destroy the Syrian government. More specifically they are either mercenaries or jihadist dupes paid and armed by the United States for the purpose of destroying the Syrian government.
Iran, like Russia, is interested in preventing a war that sees Persia slated for the next invasion after Syria. If NATO’s plans can be stopped in Syria, there is greater hope it can be prevented from taking place in Iran. Unlike Russia, however, Iran also has ideological reasons for joining the fight, namely defeating Sunni extremism (as supported by the GCC and Turkey). Iran also wants to expand its regional influence not only through Syria and Hezbollah but through Iraq as well.
Hezbollah’s interests lie overwhelmingly with the protection of Lebanon from Israel. Rightly understanding that the war in Syria is one of Israeli machinations, Hezbollah has done everything in its power to protect Lebanese borders, prevent Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and defeat GCC funded, Western-backed Sunni terrorists in Syria. There is also the question of self-preservation since, if Syria is defeated, a major supply from Iran will have been severed.
Israel’s goals are the same, essentially, as that of the United States – the utter destruction of Syria or, in the event of failure, the partitioning of Syria into fractured mini-states that are based on religion, race, or ethnicity. It wants the spread of chaos and destruction throughout all non-Israeli territory in the Middle East to its own benefit.
GCC (minus Qatar)
The GCC are interested in three things – continuing to survive on the gravy train that is their oil exports and thus their deep ties to the United States, spreading their easily manipulated version of Sunni Islam across the region, and the defeat of Shi’ite opposition such as Iran. However, the GCC is largely the lapdog of the West and any interests held by the GCC should be assumed to be largely in line with those of the United States. Indeed, the GCC acted in accordance with the dictates of the West since the beginning of the crisis and it was an example of following orders more than anything resembling an independent decision to destroy the government of Syria.
Qatar is the one standout in the GCC grouping, though Qatar is no longer in the GCC proper. Qatar, like the other GCC countries has an interest in breaking the power of the “Shi’ite crescent” and Iran as well as supporting the Muslim Brotherhood (a Turkish ally). However, like the GCC, Qatar is also acting at the behest of greater powers centered in the West. Its interests do not lie in the destruction of Syria so much as the pleasing of Western powers.
Turkey’s Invasion Of Syria
Turkey’s invasion of Syria has thrown a monkey wrench into an already convoluted web of alliances and entanglements begat by Western proxy invasion in 2011. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Turkey is an ally of the United States as well as a NATO member but the Kurds are also allies of the United States, so much so that the U.S. physically supports them in the north of Syria. Turkey’s invasion to “erase” the Kurds from the northern parts of Syria thus has many analysts wondering just what is happening. In this since, there are three main possibilities.
First, it is possible that Erdogan has simply acted on his own impulses and/or what he views as the best interests of Turkey (meaning in the best interests of keeping his hold on power). Kurdish terrorists attempting to establish their own state in Syria on Turkey’s border is as decidedly bad for both Turkey and Erdogan as it is for Syria and Iraq. Erdogan has repeatedly pledged to prevent the creation of an independent Kurdish state in Turkey and in Syria, the latter due to his fear of a linkage with the PKK and thus an eventual Kurdish revolt in Turkey itself. If Erdogan is acting on his own interests, then this war will put Turkey at odds with the Kurds, Syria, Russia, and the United States, a fellow NATO member. And what happens with the Turkish military pushes through the Kurdish forces and meets up with Syrian forces? What happens when the Turkish military meets up with American forces? There exists a clear and present danger that the Turks and Syrians would clash. Given the irrationality of American foreign policy and the incessant need to show dominance, it is a possibility that the Turks and Americans could see a military clash with one another.
Second, there is the possibility that Turkey is working in coordination with the United States, both powers using the threat of the Kurds as an excuse for Turkey’s invasion. Keep in mind, Turkey is marching into Syria beside ISIS terrorists operating under the name Free Syrian Army. It is also important to remember that the United States has used the Kurds for geopolitical purposes in the past only to leave them holding the bag in the end. The entire Kurdish/American relationship is one of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Indeed, Erdogan has done nothing but arm and facilitate Islamic extremists traveling through Turkey and into Syria since the beginning of the conflict and it has been a faithful soldier in the war against Syria. Neither Turkey nor the United States want to see a secular government in Damascus, especially one headed by Bashar al-Assad. It could very well be that the United States would rather see a Turkish invasion to shore up terrorist supply lines (i.e. Jarablus corridor) as well as to forcibly carve up Syria. The U.S. may believe that Syrian and Russian forces would not fire on a NATO member since the U.S. and Western European failed and failing states would likely use such an attack as justification for a “NATO response” and thus a Turkish occupation is more stable than a Kurdish one that would draw an eventual attempt to liberate it by the Syrian military. It is also possible that the boundaries of the new Kurdish state have been set between the United States and Turkey and the latter is simply moving to ensure that those boundaries become more clearly defined.
A third and most likely possibility is that the Turks are not working with the U.S. but with Russia. If this is the case, it would represent perhaps the most brilliant geopolitical chess move of the 21st Century on the part of the Russians. Given that the United States has moved physically into Syria, planting bases in Kurdish areas, arming Kurdish terrorists and providing military support to them, a Syrian military push against the Kurds may finally give the United States the justification it has long been wanting in order to directly invade Syria. It could claim that the Syrian military attacked its forces and that the subsequent military assault was self-defense. Never mind the logic. It is a fact that logic has never been taken into account with American war propaganda.
If Turkey is working with Russia, however, it is possible that Russia promised to help Turkey do something to prevent an independent Kurdish state on its borders while using the Turks to confront the Americans stationed in Northern Syria supporting Kurdish terrorists. The entire agreement would most likely hinge on the fact that Turkish troops would agree to leave Syria once Kurdish terrorism has been vanquished. However, the main focus would be on evicting the Americans illegally occupying Syrian territory. Turkey would come closer to doing this successfully more so than Syrian or even Russian forces, the latter being an invitation to World War Three and the former being an invitation for further American aggression. If this possibility is what is taking place on the ground, then it would see the Russians and Syrian using the Turks to expel a Western-backed Kurdish terrorist force as well as the U.S. forces from Syria as opposed to do so themselves directly.
Note that there has been no effort on the part of Syria to respond to Turkey’s violation of its airspace, leading credence to the theory that the invasion has indeed been coordinated with Russia. In this sense, it seems that the details of the strategy may have been passed down to Damascus and Tehran by Putin. Thus, Syria would be waiting and relying on Russia to restrain any Ottoman style desires held by Erdogan.
At the end of the day, as Turkish tanks and soldiers continue to move into Syria, no analyst fully knows exactly what motivates Erdogan’s military moves or whether he is working with the United States, Russia, or some other agent of influence. As this article has described, however, there are a myriad of players involved in this crisis and each has its own agenda tied to an overarching agenda that has been marching across the world in earnest ever since 9/11.
By Brandon Turbeville
Source: Activist Post